It’s been 30 days since we published Code For Cash.
Since launch on December 19th, we here’s how our revenue breaks down (as of January 17th):
|Amazon||Approx $430 in revenue
65 units sold.
$18 from Amazon associates;
Total approx: $450.
|SendOwl (direct)||Approx $478 in revenue (post-Stripe transaction fees);
82 units sold.
(our indie publishing partner,
for iBooks, Barnes and Noble/nook, Scribd, Kobo, Page Foundry & tolino)
|Approx $31 in revenue; 5 units sold.|
Resulting in a total of 152 copies and $959 revenue.
|Amazon marketing services:||$150|
|Time posting to online communities and developing SEO content and backlinks||Not included here, but significant.|
If you’re holding on to the book and haven’t read it yet… read it, please! Not only so you benefit from the information, but so you are greater prepared to contribute to our shared business community. And. If you don’t like the book, you just send me 500 words on why (along with your purchase receipt) and you get your money back.
If you have read the book:
It would be super helpful if you could share feedback on why you bought the book: could you identify what needs or pain points it solved for you? Really valuable feedback for our marketing needs.
Could you please rate, 1-10, how likely you’d be to recommend Code For Cash to developers you know?
Finally, could you leave an honest review for the book on Amazon.com? **if you want, we will also publish your review on the website and link to your GitHub
The Slack channel is alive and well. I invite anyone who’s purchased a copy of the book to join us – just send me an email off-list for an invitation. We are working on a private gigs board just for members of our Slack community. Additionally, we are preparing to ramp our b2b consulting bizdev and prospecting efforts…for the benefit of people in our Slack community.
One complaint I got from a reader was that after finishing the book (he skimmed through it, admittedly) he didn’t feel any closer to bringing in income. He needed clients NOW. Unfortunately, that’s a tough position to be in because (a) finding clients is like planting seeds, and it requires a sales cycle of typically 30+ days unless your client has some sort of urgent emergency and (b) your desperation means you have no BATNA or Best Alternative To No Agreement and seriously weakens your negotiating power. If determining an hourly rate, even shaving a few dollars off can have deleterious long term consequences.
However, in efforts to solve his problem, I published a new guide: 30 Days To Your First Freelance Programming Client: Step-by-step guide to finding your first client and it’s available here
Haven't built a standalone page for the book yet. In fact, since publishing this report, I decided it was better to combine the two books. So now, you get both books for $9.97. I figure this is the best way to increase quality and value and build positive buzz.
We are recording videos. Recording is being done by my friend Spencer who is a TV production vet, having worked on ABC Nightline and BET 106 & Park, here in New York.
My living room has turned into a mini studio. So far, guests are tolerant.
The equipment we’re using for the filming:
Desk Lamp - decoration. here's the one we're using
Mouse pad - decoration. here's the one we're using
iPhone tripod - here's the one we're using # iPhone camera quality has gotten really, really good! That combined with this mini tripod makes it perfect.
Mini microphone - here's the one we're using # Also buy an extension cord. I can’t recommend an extension cord brand at this time because the one we bought on Amazon doesn’t work. Make sure you get one that matches your mic; look into whether your recording mic is TRRS or TRS.
Clamp lights - here's the one we're using
Stands for the clamp lights - here's the one we're using
Clothespins to fix the light filter onto the light - here's the ones we bought
Daylight bulbs - here's the one we're using
Frost shower curtain we cut up and attached to the light clamps, with clothespins, in order to diffuse the light - here's the one we're using
Early feedback from eLearning partners is the audio and video quality is “Exceptional”.
Stay tuned for details here, but if anyone wants early access to the online course in exchange for feedback, let me know.
We are also preparing some in-person workshops. Contact me if you'd like to get involved in that.
I am optimistic that the books will continue to generate sales, though perhaps fewer than launch month. As we sell more copies and receive feedback from readers, the book will improve and hopefully it will begin spreading word-of-mouth.
So far, we have had limited success in finding a viable marketing channel (Amazon Marketing Services offers positive ROI but is not scalable yet – we can’t bid high enough on tangentially related keywords because the Amazon.com sales page for the book isn’t top notch yet: we believe more reviews and detailed descriptions, such as including videos on the page, will help. I’m taking a webinar on this in the coming month).
Look at this spreadsheet:
You’ll notice that we want to buy traffic with immediate positive ROI, we can spend only about $0.0912 for a visitor, or $0.09 CPC (Cost Per Click). That’s because visitors to the website rarely click the “buy now” links (Amazon, 4.32%; SendOwl, 2.39%). And barely 5.56% of people who click the Amazon link actually continue to make a purchase, whereas 49% of SendOwl clicks make a purchase.
Note: This doesn’t even take into credit card processing fees for direct purchases (hammers CPC budget down to $0.085) or the cost of Amazon revenues staying in Amazon’s coffers for 60 days.
Admittedly, there are few places online where you can buy quality traffic for 8.5¢ CPC so in order to get the unit economics online, we must increase AOV (Average Order Value) and LTV (Lifetime Value). That is, provide our audience and community with more high value products and services to buy and increase the price of those products and services. Hence, developing the eLearning course and the in-person workshops. Those are going to happen, but what we add to the production queue next depends on the feedback we hear from our audience.
Let’s explore the Mailing List as a tool of customer acquisition. We want to figure out the conversion rate of the mailing list, and the rate at which visitors join the mailing list.
Now this is a little bit more promising - we can spend $1.25 on acquiring a mailing list signup. Assuming we can get traffic at 25¢ cpc (cost per click), then we would need a 20% conversion rate on a squeeze page in order to build profit. It’s also taking into account a hand-waving assumption that 15% of mailing list subs convert to purchases over the lifetime of the list. Anyway, it’s something I will test in the coming month and report back on.
However, I also find visualization helpful, so here’s a funnel (numbers as-of a few days before publishing):
Wow! It’s clear that there is huge opportunity in getting users who visit the website to not bounce. I think improving above-the-fold content will be critical here. The site as it stands is completely text-heavy and adding a video or images or interactive elements should help tremendously.
Thanks for reading.
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