It’s 2017 ALREADY!!!
Holy shit, man. Time flies when you’re having fun, or in China, or whatever.
Hard to believe that I’ve been living in Asia for one full year now but… exciting stuff is going down, to say the least.
I believe last time I posted was October, so it’s been quite some time. I didn’t want to give up on this blog, it’s just every time I sat down to write, I would be thinking there is something more important I could be doing with my time.
So what have I been doing with that time?
Well, let’s get to it:
Apartments Are FUN…NOT!
By the time I got back to Guangzhou, Carl and I were frantically looking for a place to live. The problem was, our expectations of what type of apartment we could get based on our old place were being shattered left and right.
Every place we visited was substantially more expensive than our old apartment and not nearly as nice or not in nearly as convenient of a location. This was quite a let down and we realized how good we had it at our old place for the price we were paying. Honestly, it was a fucking steal.
After unsuccessfully looking for places while also trying to find work and living in a hostel, we decided it was best to find separate places for the time being, as it would be easier to find something short term.
Carl moved in with a buddy that he met before we moved to Taiwan and I found an open room with a Ukrainian guy in a part of the city not too far away.
My rent is now comparable to what it was before I left, but it is really a HUGE downgrade. O well… I’ll live.
Making Da MONIE$$$
I had begun to explain how I was making money in another post by selling products with my own only store using Shopify. I’m still doing that but let me catch you up.
When I moved to Taiwan I was doing quite well, I mean, well enough where I could get by month to month and not worrying about teaching or anything like that.
However, I hadn’t been tracking my data as closely as I should have. By this, I mean tracking my sales, ad spend and product spend, on a day-by-day basis.
Well, I started doing this and much to my surprise I wasn’t making as much money as I thought!!! YIPEE!!
But seriously, this was really a good thing because I didn’t realize how much I was spending on advertising and some days when I thought I was making money, I was actually breaking even or even losing money after my product cost.
SO, for about two months, from September to November, I really made a very little amount of money but I was okay because I had saved up some cash from the Summer. I was also not working since I was taking a Chinese class.
By the time I got back to China in October I was freaking out a little bit. Not like I was not going to be able to buy food but funds were getting low and wasn’t making much from my store. I started picking up teaching shifts again and that helped supplement me to continue working on my store.
Fast forward to middle of November and I’m at the point where I’m getting quite frustrated with Shopify, Facebook advertising and all that jazz. I think “fuck it, I’m gonna try to target some new countries and see what clicks.” Targeting the US market on Facebook has become so expensive because all of the competition.
Well, lo-and-behold, one of my campaigns takes off! BOOM we back in business bitch!
With the cheaper ad spend, I’m able to reach a lot more people per dollar spent and it just so happens that I got the targeting down to where this particular audience is converting well.
Over the span of Black Friday and beginning of December I made some decent money which lifted me back up. I felt good and decided I needed to make some moves with this new cash I just made.
I realized that there wasn’t really anything setting my store apart from my competitors. Furthermore, half of what makes somebody buy is the brand behind the product. With that said, I revamped my logo, visited a box factory and began creating a custom box for my top selling product.
I’m on a mission to create some brand identity and brand loyalty so that customers will actually enjoy receiving their nifty gadget as opposed to receiving it in a plastic “drug baggy”.
I’ve also invested in recreating one of my top selling products with a different supplier and with more expensive, quality materials. This new item is looking GOOD and I will be able to sell it for about $50 more than what I’m currently selling it at.
The plan is to get all of these goods to a fulfillment center in the US or target country so that all orders will be fulfilled and shipped automatically when the orders are placed. This allows me to spend more time expanding the business rather than doing all the fulfillment by myself. (Little side note: Since I started this little Shopify journey, I have had to monitor my Facebook ads, shopify store, and fulfill orders EVERY SINGLE DAY. There is no break in entrepreneurship. Oh your tired? Hungover? Bad mood? Don’t feel like working today? Doesn’t matter bitch! No one else is gonna do that shit, so you got to. (Okay, side note over)).
That brings me to now. It’s almost February and Chinese New Year is right around the corner. I started targeting some new countries at the beginning of this month and have begun using a new advertising method called manual bidding, which has worked quite well so far.
I finally broke my first $1,000 day in sales and will surpass $10,000 in sales for this month. Exciting stuff! But I’ve learned not to get too excited because I’ve seen how this shit will literally fall apart in a matter of days when the ads decide to stop cooperating. The never ending Facebook battle…
Anyway, that’s my update yo. Hope everyone is having an awesome 2017 so far and I hope I can sit down more and write some stuff. Might be boring stuff that has nothing to do with anything but you’ll read and you’ll like it (insert creepy smiley face here).