Having ventured down the rabbit hole of online income for two years now, we’ve come to our fair share of proverbial forks in the road. These decisions, or opportunities as we see them, are only compounded by associating with others in the online world. As we see friends and colleagues venturing down new income streams we too want to hop on board. Who doesn’t want to diversify their portfolio and talents? But I read an article recently that got me thinking that maybe chasing those shiny new income streams that could potentially be bigger and better may not be the best course for us.
Diggity Marketing wrote this article relating to Affiliate Marketing & SEO. For those not tuned into affiliate marketing I’ll sum it up: Once you’ve found something that works and mastered a market, dominate that market, don’t move on to a new venture just because you can coast on cruise control in your current venture. To some this may seem blatantly obvious, but for those working online, its not so obvious. After reading Diggity’s post, I thought about what we were currently doing and quickly realized we too could be making a massive mistake, or maybe already did make a mistake.
I think the biggest issue stems from the fact that we, online entrepreneurs, see all our eggs in one basket as extremely risky. While it is risky, it may not be as risky as jumping ship on your expertise to explore a new one. This is all too common, and I think even more prevalent in location independent hubs such as Chiang Mai. We are privy to the latest crazes in generating online income. Affiliate marketing, eCommerce, Drop Shipping, FBA, T-Spring campaigns, we’ve seen all these come and go in two short years. There are far more that jump from one idea to the next promising that “this is going to be the one, I’m sticking with this one for the long run.” Unfortunately, I’ve seen those same people move onto something else a few months later, and honestly, we thought about it too.
Coming back to the plumbing example, its crazy to think of a plumber shifting gears in his business after two short months. But this happens time after time with online entrepreneurs, and we almost fell victim after struggling for so long ourselves. Luckily, we were dumb enough to keep going, and made affiliate marketing work. The predicament here is we have been looking very seriously at Amazon FBA (importing items from China, and selling them on Amazon as your own brand) and eCommerce (buying an already successful website selling its own items). If we are to do this, it will pull us away from our current income source, affiliate marketing.
Its really easy to get sucked into a new market once you’ve conquered one. We’ve spent the last year looking at products to consider for Amazon FBA. We get turned onto FBA for weeks at a time, researching, contacting suppliers etc, but always fall short of pulling the trigger. Just in the last week I’ve realized that maybe this isn’t where our time is best spent. But on the other hand, it is a huge opportunity and we’ve watched first hand some of our close friends do this successfully.
The best conclusion we have come to is if we are to spend time on a new project, we must first put protocols in place to maintain and grow our current business model. Again, seemingly obvious, but we’ve failed to do this for the past year. This requires buckling down and getting months ahead of our current projects. This also requires building a team. This is something we’ve put off for months because we don’t know the best way to implement this yet, or more realistically, we have just blown it off.
So the question remains, whats the future of TheTradingTravelers?
Well, we are writing out a lengthy to-do list, trying to spend way less time on Facebook, Twitter, etc, and focusing on getting shit done. If we can get ahead a few months on our current projects then we can afford to try new ventures. We are also trying to slow down the traveling. After fighting it for so long, we’ve realized we suck at traveling full time. We can’t seem to work and Travel, it’s too much. We have to go slow, take our time, and focus on growing our businesses. So this leaves us with a travel blog, and a future looking towards less travel. While we are now planning to head back to SE Asia during the first quarter of 2016, we will be mostly working.
We are really excited about 2016 though because we’ve reached a major milestone. The purpose of TheTradingTravelers was to show people they can earn an income while traveling the world, or at the very least, while living abroad. I’ve never been one to be confined to a normal life and Brittany and I set out to show its possible. We’ve done this on a pretty unexpected scale. Although we can’t say who yet, two aspiring digital nomads will be joining us in Chiang Mai and Bali in 2016.
Their resume includes quite an impressive Amazon FBA start. Just two months in, they are knocking down over 150 sales a week!
So needless to say, we are pretty pumped about growing our business alongside two other just as motivated individuals. Because we really want to focus on business and less travel, we are inclined to dive into our real life, the day to day shenanigans of location independence. But ultimately its up you all, the readers, whether you prefer travel, business, or ideally a mix of both.
So what do you think? Keep blogging about what we do in “real life” or should that be put on a separate blog for business?