Slow progress? Discouraged? Learn from our mistake!

Last Update: December 03, 2018

So your website is not working the way it should: the menus aren't working, you've changed the theme and it still plays up - Grammarly that everybody raves about freezes your laptop to a screeching halt - everybody reports traffic and even some sales and you? You see nothing, nada, zilch. Well, except for error messages that is. All of a sudden your lousy job, the one that inspired you to start this online "thing", doesn't look so grim at all... and even though that job sucks, at least they do pay you a little something.

Does that sound like where you are at the moment?

Listen to this then...

The year was 2011. I got enthusiastic about this "internet marketing thing" and learned how to make an HTML website. (Yeah, I know! Should have gone Wordpress from the start. But that is how it goes - you do what you are taught. That is why it is so important to learn from those who have made a success of this business! But let me go on with the story.)

I was stuck trying to choose a niche. (Same place that I've been at for the past 5 weeks too! Argh!) My dear Hubby has specialist technical knowledge in his field of work, so I convinced him to write eBooks that I can sell on my website.

He enjoyed writing the eBooks - writing about that which you know so well, comes easy, doesn't it? (Exactly what we are taught here at Wealthy Affiliate!)

I took his manuscripts and made it into professional looking eBooks, configured Aweber and got it all ready and working like clock-work.

Meanwhile Hubby got enthusiastic about the project and made a short YouTube teaser video, which gives a tiny bit of information and then refer them to the website. Hubby also went to technical forums which specializes in the subject and made sure that his comments added value. On one such forum they allowed him to pay a fee for the privilege of adding his website to his signature.

Sales started trickling in, painstakingly slowly, one a month, sometimes one a fortnight, sometimes one a week.

Hubby went to a lot of trouble to make a video, which he hoped would sell like sweet cakes, since it shows the technical process in great detail, rather than the client having to read through the eBooks (which has no pictures or photos).

But to our utter disappointment... the eBooks kept on trickle-selling and not one video sold. Hubby adjusted the price of the video, up and down. He tried to bundle the video with the eBooks, then adjusted the price of the bundle up and down. Still no video sales.

Meanwhile I felt that Hubby took over MY project, just after I had suffered through all the HTML hiccups, pulled out my hair and even got the teething problems sorted! Such audacity! ;-) LOL! So I officially handed the project over to him. At some point he tried his hand at Wordpress, but that didn't work out too well either. (Let me tell you, it is really difficult it you aren't able to look over Kyle's shoulder! And in 2011, there weren't all the courses available on the internet that there are today either.)

Then some of the Google updates happened... which we knew nothing about of course. We only saw that the trickling of sales seemed to have dried up. At some point Hubby decided that for the amount of sales that trickles in, Aweber is far too expensive. So I spend days to investigate another autoresponder, but long story short, Hubby couldn't get that autoresponder to work and it was in anyway far above my level of elementary knowledge.

By this time we were both fully and truly fed-up with this project - wading through all that HTML code every time we are trying to do something, having to read up and "study" for days to get the simplest of CSS things done, dealing with customers who pretend that they never got the download link, but when I check the software, they have indeed downloaded, but I could also see that they tried to forward the link to somebody else, who obviously couldn't open it, because our download link checked the IP address. Argh, so much hassle, for so little sales...

We never made the formal decision to abandon the project as such. "Life just happened" you know - we got busy with life... we moved to another town, then went overseas to see the family, then a fishing trip came up, then there were things to do, even just the daily hustle and bustle... the project was never placed on the back-burner, it just totally fell off the stove ALL BY ITSELF. [tongue in cheek and fingers crossed] I "promise"! ;-) LOL!

Fast forward to 2018... I joined WA 2 months ago... A supportive community, Wordpress, the SiteRubix platform - oh my goodness! Totally amazing stuff!

Then a few evenings ago, Hubby decided to check up on THAT website again and this is what he found:

  • Doing a plain old Google keyword search, he found his website, his YouTube teaser video and some of his forum posts all over the FIRST page of Google!
  • Checking his YouTube teaser video, he found that it had thousands of views! (WHAT?!)
  • Signing into his YouTube account he found hundreds of angry comments, of people who WANTED TO BUY his eBooks, but the links weren't working (since he cancelled Aweber and couldn't get the other autoresponder to work).

We sat there in silence, with question marks in our eyes and big question marks in the empty spaces above our heads. ("ABOVE our heads", I said - although I won't hold it against you if by this time you probably are thinking that we have empty spaces between our ears too!)

We just couldn't believe it!

The unspoken question that was hanging thick with emotion in the air was "WHY?!?"

  • Why did we abandon this project so easily?
  • Why didn't we seek outside help when we couldn't get the autoresponder going?
  • Why did we get so discouraged when the sales were only trickling in? At least they WERE trickling in! We should just have done more of what was producing the trickle, right? Why didn't we?

As we lay awoke that night, staring blankly into the darkness of the night, I searched for answers, character flaws, reasons...

.... because we both had that utmost nauseating realization that if we hadn't abandoned this project, with that amount of YouTube views and angry want-to-buy comments - Hubby could probably have resigned his job a long time ago already. We could probably have been sitting at some beach, in stead of here. We could probably have started other websites too that could have been a success...

We could probably have . . .

. . . . . Don't let this happen to YOU!


PS: Yes, yes, I committed to BoTipton to blogging here - so this is my first blog post! Thanks for the "kick" Bo! ;-)

PSS: Okay... if you feel like also kicking our backsides for having done this - please hit the Like button below. ;-) Okay-okay, and the kindhearted ones among you may also hit the Like button, without the kicking. ;-) LOL! Has anything like this happened to you? Is it giving YOU a kick? Please comment below, I would love to hear from you! ;-)

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Recent messages
Swangirl Premium
Wow, that sounds like quite the roller coaster ride! I have not had anything that dramatic but I still wonder if I am just putting too much time into this. I wonder what I could have accomplished if I had put all that time into something else. I kick myself for not finishing my master's degree instead of spending all my free time on websites.

I know the training here is invaluable though and I can SEE it working. I get traffic and I get sales. I know it works. If I want more traffic and more sales, I just need to put in more time. I have all the tools I need, I just need to apply them.

Thanks for the great should help many people who want to quit!
TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Jessica

Yes, I guess one has to decide what is most important to YOU. Nobody else can decide that on your behalf.

I would say, you have ALREADY spend this much time, like Tony said below, you'll be stopping 5 feet short of being successful should you stop now - you will basically repeat what we have done.

You don't want to come back to your website in 6,5 years time, like us, just to realize that if you have kept on a year or two longer, if you have given it your all, you could have finished as many Masters and Doctorate Degrees as you wish - all while having earned a nice income from your previous hard work.

Type "GoGetters" into the search bar (if you are not in Bo's group already) and get in, I believe that will make a huge difference and commit to give it just this one more year - a year passes so quickly - besides there's only 11 months left anyway! ;-) LOL!

The pet market is a billion dollar industry - make sure you get your share of it - the money is on the table...

Hope this helps Jessica!

Swangirl Premium
I am not going to quit Sharlee, I am just saying I understand the struggle! I know I have come too far to quit.

I have a very good job with great benefits, the best boss I could ask for and a very flexible schedule which I need right now with my health problems. I have the best medical insurance you can get also. We also bought a rental property and hope to buy another one this year with my husband's VA benefits. For these reasons I have to make sure I can keep up with the job I already have and don't have time to commit to the the BoGetters. I will keep following along however and I am very excited for all of you who are in it! I am very excited as I move forward and can see the results of the training here. Implementing something and seeing the traffic come in and rankings rise is so exciting!

TeamIceCream Premium
GREAT! I'm glad to hear that quitting is not on the charts! ;-)Sorry to hear about the health problems that complicates things - may you return to good health soon! Yes, at least you will be able to follow along and implement it in your own time at your own pace - this is part of what makes WA amazing.
Wishing you much success and health Jessica! ;-)
XavierPerez1 Premium
Yes Ice Cream, I have had one of these kicks, but I am still here. Slowly recovering from several issues with our Mothers health, but here nonetheless. I am and will work through this and come out on the other side as I have found out that I have been selected for the Super Affiliate program. Better days to come, was one of my Fathers favorite sayings, God rest his soul. These days, I know he is with me as he will be for eternity. Yes, obstacles no doubt, but conviction to move on is what defines us. Hang in there and Buttered Pecan was his favorite.

TeamIceCream Premium
Whoooo-hoooo! Congratulations on the Super Affiliate acceptance Xavier!
Sorry to hear about your Mother's health - will keep her in our prayers!
"Moving on is what defines us..." - well said!
Yes, that is special to have such fond memories of them - sending you a tub of his favorite e-Buttered Pecan ice cream! (Just add a bit of imagination, will you?)
Stay strong, stay busy and keep your goal in mind! We know you can do it Xavier!
Chocolate + Vanilla IceCream
TonyHamilton Premium Plus
What a wonderful reminder Sharlee, that when we seem to be at the end, we are most likely only 5 feet from striking gold and should continue on and not give up!

The best part of this story is yet to be written my Friend and I look forward to hearing about Mrs. Chocolate Ice Cream and Mr. Vanilla Ice Cream having great success!

Thank you Sharlee for this great story that reminds us to be persistent and focus with the end in mind, it's not over until we win.

All of our continued success is my daily prayer,

TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Tony

Thank you for your encouragement and also for the analogy of only being 5 feet away from striking gold - so very true!

I hope that we can buy you ice cream in Vegas Tony, then we can tell you the story in person. ;-)

Peace to you Friend!
Chocolate + Vanilla IceCream ;-)
Henry-II Premium
Hi, Sharlee! Wow... Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I see you are totally convinced you can set up your business online and that is crucial! Your own experience constitutes a huge motivation for you and for all of us.

And congrats for your first post here at WA! This is an awesome posts with an inspiring story! Thank you very much! :)
TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Henry

Thank you for the kind and encouraging words! Much appreciated!

I have to say that what we learn here at WA and the platform that is available here, make it SO MUCH easier, than when we tried to do it on our own in 2011.

I still need to learn how to insert pictures in my posts... but somebody post the following quote the other day:
“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” — George S. Patton
And seeing that I have the bad habit of procrastinating because I want to have things peRfect ;-), I decided that taking action on an 80% good enough post (without a picture), is better than to procrastinate until I think I know how to do it. ;-)

So therefore your kind comment is very much appreciated. Thank you Henry!

Peace to you!
AlexEvans Premium
Hi Sharlee, the take home is that you are still going and haven't given up quitting is the only time we fail, even if we are goofing off more than the national average, but keep on working things through we can find a way to move things forward. A bit of experience speaking there, there is always an answer it is just that at times we can not see it.

Looks like you have a sound backbone there just a matter of getting some resources in place and fleshing it out.

Don't sweat it when things don't go according to plan, happens to us all, just sit back and work a way around it, the weird thing is that you will look back at this and wonder what it was all about.

All the best as you forge a head.
TeamIceCream Premium
Hi Alex

Thank you for your comment.

Yes, you are so right, there are always an answer and that is why I am so thankful to be in this community, where answers and encouragement abound!

I didn't think it was necessary saying in the post that Hubby has already started rebuilding it in Wordpress and is resurrecting that website with great speed and enthusiasm! It is on the front burner, going full blast at the moment. ;-)

Thank you for your encouragement Alex!

Peace to you!