For those who read our post about starting an online business, this will be an update for you. As you know we had high hopes that we would be able to start this online business, and be successful at it fairly quickly, to the point where it would generate income for us to remain house sitting, and travelling for the entire year. Unfortunately, this did not end up happening soon enough for us to make the decision to remain abroad.
We did get the website up and running like we said we would at the end of the last post. We had to learn about advertising online, which mainly focused on Google Shopping and text ads. It is the luck of the draw that determines whether the product you are selling will cost $0.50 for every click or $2.00 and up for every click. What we mean by “click” is every time a person clicks on our text ad or our shopping ad, whether they buy from us or not, we have to pay Google. You are allowed to set a limit so that you aren’t spending hundreds or thousands per day on advertising. For us, we set our limit at $10 per day. With two types of ads running, this was $20/day. We could tell very quickly that the advertising had to convert into sales, otherwise we would not be able to afford to advertise very long. Some people we knew were having sales in their first week, others took 3-4 months, so we really had no idea what would happen. We were lucky enough that we got a $100 coupon for Google, so that we didn’t have to put our own money into the advertising until we wanted to. The good news was that our ads were doing well – meaning people were seeing them (which is hard on Google, being so competitive and all). The bad news is that we weren’t getting sales. We came so close a few times, when we saw that customers have put items in their cart, but they didn’t follow through. This was frustrating because all we wanted was one sale to give us the motivation to keep going.
After a couple weeks of advertising, and coming to the end of our credit, we had to decide if we wanted to continue to advertise with our own money (when we financially couldn’t afford to do so). It was a hard decision, because on one hand, if we don’t pay to advertise we won’t make sales, but if we keep advertising and spending money, we are now going into “debt” past our set budget for our travels. After some tough discussions, we decided to pull the plug on our advertising for the business, and enjoy the last month we have to travel.
Since we have been working on this business almost daily since day 1 of our journey, we haven’t had a chance to feel like we are on “vacation”. We didn’t leave our lives behind to “vacation”, however, once we came to terms with the fact that the business wasn’t going to be successful in time for us to make income to remain travelling, we decided to change our focus to “vacation mode”. We are very excited to spend the next month exploring some new countries and making some great memories. We plan to pick up the online business once we are back home earning a regular income again, but for now we are setting it aside. We know this process works, we have seen it work with other people, and we know it can work for us. We aren’t giving up on the dream of running our online business – it just isn’t going to happen right now.