I came up with all of those skills AND ** reasons why it was a good idea to buy an adboard site for my son, Kai.** This idea all started from my idea of moving away from my current adboard because they use Clickbank.com as their affiliate program management. Ick. I really don't like using ClickBank.com.
I talked to one of my friends on hive (@mba2020) about how I could remedy this since I knew that there was another adboard company that was selling adboards for the same price but with a slightly better payout for affilliates. We zoomed and chatted about it (thanks for the advice Chris!) and I decided to use the new adboard company as my primary adboard going forward.
I use these because they work. I give away free ads in exchange for people joining my list. They're obviously advertisers, on a budget, looking for ways to get eyes seen on their product or service. I can provide a valuable service to them for relatively cheap.
The logic in my mind is that I now have a commodity (ad space) on a site that people want to advertise on. I have seen similar sites work well in TEs and mailers. I know how those work quite well. Match made in heaven.
To get the views needed to make it work, I simply pay for traffic on some well-known sites that I frequent. I explained to my son how we can use arbitrage (buy traffic at a low price and sell the same traffic at a higher price) to earn money.
Seems like a win to me. (Hey @jongolson can you tell I've been reading for book club?)
Owning an advertising site is similar to having an evergreen product in my mind. You have a commodity that solves a problem for a niche: online marketers need traffic to their site. My site solves this need by providing a place to advertise their site\product or service. It's free, and the upsells are minor.
My thinking is that if I have a service I can provide to help people (in this case, it's offering free ad space), that has a couple of modest upsells, it's a good idea. I decided that it would be worthwhile to try a different adboard technology as the lead magnet for my list anywa. NO Clickbank, remember?
Currently I've been using Adcardz, but I have a lot of reasons why I was dissatisfied with their service.
While looking through some other ads online I came across another company that had an ad board that was nearly identical but had some fantastic behind the scenes features.
My son and I have been talking about the entrepreneur side of owning a business. He's fascinated by that whole process.
We talked and I asked him if he understood some basics such as compound interest and profit and loss.
He has some gaps in his knowledge about math on how businesses work, but I am here to help him each step of the way. We decided that to help him learn the basics of entrepreneurship, investing, etc. I'll have him help me, and I'll work with him on the business side of it and teach him as we go.
We decided to divide up the work, and ** Kai would be paying for the lease of the business out of his allowance**. That would give him an incentive to become profitable quickly. He's not paying with a credit card per se. I bought the service and am the one who owns it all. I just withhold the $14 out of his monthly $40.
**Kai is taking the risk and fronting this with his own allowance. **(He earns $10 a week or ~$40 per month). The cost of owning the ad board is around $14 per month. Our ad budget is the other $16 to round up to $30 per month.
Since the adboard includes a mailng list feature built in, and keeps track of everyone who has joined up to place an ad, Kai wanted to emphasize that it's a CLUB.
What a great spin on it! Instead of it just being an ad site, we are going to create a club, and it's free to join.
It IS the free ads club after all. :) Kai's idea of making it more about membership is a great spin and a way we can definitely capitalize on when it comes to our own advertising in the future. Love this kid.
I buy the ads and make all legal and financial decisions, but discuss it with him so he can see what I am doing and learn the skills he needs. I also screen all social media and emails for any accounts we have (since they're mine) to make sure it's clean. I am a dad after all. :)
I am the one who actually owned the business on paper since he's only 12. I would allow him to help me review ads, and make some fun videos like the one we made today. He's ALL in to say the least.
I created a new account (@freeads.club) that Kai and I will use specifically for the new site we have. That way we can post from that account, and the author rewards will be easy to track and separate from what I do with @threesteps.
Our financial goals are straightforward, and we simply are investing approximately $30 per month on this entrepreneur project. I am using this as an opportunity to go through a lot of marketing concepts with Kai, and I figure the education he is getting is priceless compared to the $30 we're spending total.
Now that we know our max budget, how are are we going to be profitable as a business?
1. Upgrades - There's only so many spots on the adboard. (scarcity) Upgrades are available for very small incremental costs. So we earn on the upgrades. It's not much. $1 here, $2 there. That's all that's needed though.
2. Affiliate Sales -We also earn commissions when people use our affiliate link on the adboard, and purchase their own adboard. It's a straight 50% commission on a $14 sale, or $7 per month recurring. The best part is that it's NOT ClickBank. :D
3. Email Marketing - The adboard has a mailing list management service built in, including segmenting the list based on who is paid vs. free, and sending recurring emails. Spiffy!
We can also really earn on our email marketing through recommending other products to marketers and helping them solve problems. This is the big win with this system vs. Adcardz.
4. Posts on Hive - Kai and I want to do more of the 'let's pick apart bad ads on a traffic exchange' recordings like we did tonight. We'll be making more of these. How we handle the Hive is discussed below.
I am really looking forward to working with Kai and showing him how to write a sequence of emails over time (or pay for someone to do it.).
He is excited and is very hands on. He even picked the domain name and color scheme for the site. We had a long discussion about leading with value, and how it pays to simply be available and help people solve problems.
Our goal is to be unique and have an adboard that Kai can manage and enjoy, while providing value and traffic to the users.
I explained how most businesses aren't profitable at the outset, and that he would really have to hustle to make the site worth some money.
As a method of raising the funds for our advertising budget, Kai and I are creating videos like the one above where we critique the ads of others on a traffic exchange, and have fun.
Any Hive that we earn from our videos, we stake 50% to the @freeads.club account to grow it and we use the other 50% on advertising.
Because I love Hive and want to see it grow more and more, I'd like for us to eventually get as much of this on-chain as possible. Therefore, our business' blog and our updates will be hive-based.
As we earn CTP and Hive, we can use those with firepay and hive pay to upgrade in some traffic exchanges, ListNerds, etc. as we grow, and keep as much of the proceeds from the blogging in-house. (IE: my previous article on fire pay
Just like anything else that is worth doing, this will take time. I have plenty on my plate already and have decided to ditch one of my other posting types to concentrate on helping Kai and promoting this. Realistically this is a litmus test of all of the marketing skills I've picked up. I want to see him succeed, and doing so with the right business sense and ethos.
I think I impressed on him that there's a lot we need to do now that we own a business:
He gets it. Now let's watch and see how much hustle the two of us can generate.