My First $3,000 Sale!
Gratitude. That's what I'm thinking about right now. Gratitude to this great program at Wealthy Affiliate and to all the members who have helped me over the years. Yesterday I made my first $3,000 sale, netting over $1,500 in profit from the rental of a timeshare. With the capital I can now reserve two more prime weeks for future rentals, netting the same profit margin. Needless to say, I'm pretty pumped!
It's been a long, slow journey for me. I have four websites now - two I run for others and two for myself. The first is a baking blog - Baking Naturally - that I have been operating for four years. I've made a bit on that, but it's more a labor of love for a hobby than a real money-maker for me. And I've not been nearly as industrious on marketing for it than I could have been. I get about 50 hits a day though, so it has potential.
But through my experience with Baking Naturally, I learned all the basics of web site design and marketing. I decided last year to apply what I'd learned to another love - TRAVEL. My partner Dwaine and I travel all over the world, and we've purchased numerous weeks of timeshares. Now, I know . . . timeshares. But we use them and take advantage of all the perks that go along with them - travel clubs, freebies, discounts, etc. Being retired, we can take advantage of last-minute sales and benefits that others can't. So it all works for us.
But having numerous weeks, we found we aren't using them all. Our contract doesn't require us to pay the maintenance fee unless we actually use the week, so it didn't hurt us, really. But we had let the weeks languish, rather than using them to make us money! That all changed last January, when during a - ahem - alcohol-fueled, animated discussion on our balcony in Mexico, we came up with Cowboy Concierge.
We formed an LLC online the very next week and I began work on building our site. The idea was to use our existing weeks to book prime slots at high-peak times at the resorts we most often frequent, and build a set of blog articles around them as marketing tools to pique the interest of our readers. Using Wealthy Affiliate training, I developed the start of a sales funnel and began directing readers to our rental opportunities. And yesterday, I snagged a $3,000 sale to one of our most deluxe spots in Nuevo Vallarta.
The week costs us about $1,500 to rent, but comp rentals came in at about $3,000, so that's where we placed our price point. And then we sold. I set up a MailChimp account and gathered emails from visitors and friends who had rented from us before. We've donated weeks to my school's Education Foundation, so we had all those folks to add, too. I started with about 100 names on a list. We created business cards and passed them out at various events and groups we belong to. And I wrote articles about all the things to do and see in Nuevo Vallarta, posting them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Yesterday, my MailChimp campaign snagged a lead that turned into a sale. The check is on its way and the client is thrilled to have gotten a good deal.
Next up, I'm planning a Berlin tour. I was there a year ago for a language intensive, and several friends have experessed interest in going there to see the sites. With my experience, I can help set up an itinerary, places to stay and secure advance tickets to museums and exhibits. I'm gathering up my travel photos and writing blog articles right now.
One thing I always, always tell other WA members - be open to new directions and new ideas for websites. If you're a premium member, you can host a bunch of different ones! And once you learn how to do one, you can do another. The original idea you had - while still fun - might not be your money-maker. Take advantage of other things that come along. You might be surprised to see it take off in a way you couldn't have imagined.
Thanks again, everyone. I really appreciate all of you.