An update on launching multiple startups in one year.
Greetings, Glorious Alphas!I‘m back with an update on our 5 startups – and in this article, you’ll get an in-depth breakdown of our progress so far.
As I’m writing to you, there’s snow falling outside my window here in Canada… In May.
But alas, the beach is starting to call my name again…
…and I feel that the beginning of a very long trip is rapidly approaching.
It’s been awhile since we last spoke…
…and I know – I’ve been distant. I apologize.
The outpouring of excitement as we launch into these new projects has been overwhelming.
I’ve been reading your emails, and have really enjoyed reading some of your questions, and all of the awesome feedback you guys have been sending me.
So I’m sorry if it’s taken me awhile to get back to you. I try to reply to everyone as soon as I can.
Here’s the thing:
We’ve been full steam ahead over here at Alpha Male Blueprint HQ.
I’ve brought on 4 new interns, and I’m training them to become full-time team members.
I’ve got them helping me with several of the startups, and it’s been hectic so far.
I’m learning how to delegate tasks, and how to lead a team.
It’s a challenge.
I’m simultaneously training them, delegating tasks, and empowering them to make their own decisions as well.
In order for me to get anywhere my goal of getting these 5 startups to $1M in revenue, I not only need people on my team that can take direction, hustle, and execute…
…I need my team members to be creative, empowered, and able to make decisions on their own.
This requires a lot of follow through, action, and patience on my part.
While I’m training these guys, I’m simultaneously managing my team of remote workers…
…and I’ve been overloaded, to say the least.
See, this is new territory for me.
I’ve always had a great work ethic.
I have no problem grinding out 12-hour workdays in order to get something done.
Success has always been a matter of putting my nose to the grindstone and doing the work…
…until it gets done.
But adding more team members to the equation has presented a whole new set of challenges.
It requires a ton of self-awareness.
I need to be constantly evaluating my strengths and weaknesses, against those of my team…
…so I can put systems in place that allow my startups to run without me needing to be in the driver’s seat 100% of the time.
It’s been a huge challenge so far, but I am learning so many valuable lessons in the process.
And I know that my hard work will pay off in the future.
Any worthwhile pursuit in life is going to challenge you.
It’s going to push your buttons.
It’s going to make you want to give up.
In fact, most people will give up just before they succeed.
Most guys will give up on that startup idea they wanted to execute on.
The late nights and early mornings will be too much for them.
The endless google searching – sifting through the mountains of information to try and decide on a business idea, marketing strategy, and a way to execute.
The fear, doubt, and insecurity will cripple them.
They’ll convince themselves that their day job is “not THAT bad” and building a successful business that brings them freedom, happiness, and fulfillment…
…is just not for everyone.
That they’re “just not that kind of guy.”
They will delude themselves into thinking these things to preserve their egos.
Here’s the thing:
When you’re building a startup, you have to be able to face your fears, embrace your shortcomings, and own your insecurities.
You have to be ok with taking the game winning shot and missing.
You have to be able to jump out of that plane…
….knowing there’s a possibility of your parachute not opening.
You have to be able to push yourself to the point where you want to give up, then push past that point and keep going.
To say that I’ve wanted to give up a few times during this process would be an understatement.
I knew that launching multiple startups in 1 year would push me to my limits…
…but it has turned out to be an even more daunting challenge than expected.
It’s my mission with Alpha Male Blueprint to be continually challenging myself, experimenting, constantly adjusting in the process.
I’ll be reporting on the results, and sharing the entire process with you.
Here’s the thing:
There’s many “lifestyle gurus” out there that will try to sell you the dream of being an entrepreneur…
…without being honest about the amount of hustle and hard work that it takes.
If there’s one promise I can make to you, It’s that I am not that guy.
I am the guy that is going to show you the exact systems, tools, and steps that we take to build million dollar businesses.
In the coming months, we’re going to build and scale 5 startups.
And you’re coming with us on the journey.
You’ll get a top-down view of what it takes to build startups that can scale to a million in revenue.
You’ll get a fully transparent view of how everything works.
From the websites and sales pages we build, and the PPC traffic campaigns that we run…
… to the back end sales and CRM systems we use to make it all run smoothly.
We are going to create “follow along” campaigns, which will include a series of blog posts…
…detailing our processes for building each startup.
Pretty cool right?
We thought so.
This is absolutely unprecedented in our industry…
…because NO ONE out there is showing their audience exactly what happens behind the scenes of building a business.
Perhaps they don’t want to give away ALL their secrets…
…or they are afraid of someone ripping off their idea.
And perhaps it’s just too much work.
Either way, we’re going to “peel back the kimono” for you in the coming months…
…and you’ll get the kind of insider secrets that people pay tens of thousands of dollars to get access to, for FREE.
So now the groundwork is set.
Our goal for 2016 is to successfully launch all 5 startups (plus one more) and showcase the build + launch process.
Most of the groundwork has been laid, and we’re ready to start monetizing several of the startups.
We’re already 1/3rd into the 2nd quarter…
…so we have got a serious fire under our asses over here at AMBP HQ.
Below is a summary of our progress so far.
Startup #1: Viralnova-Style Sites
As I explained in the last article, we’ve been working on 3
Celeb Supernova, Fancy Gals, and Astrology Revealed.
If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what ViralNova is, Let me fill you in:
Viralnova is an image heavy site that aggregates viral content from around the web…
…repurposing them into tasty little articles and videos designed to capture your attention and distract you from whatever important work you’re supposed to be doing.
It’s similar to the likes of Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and Distractify.
It employs curiosity-inducing images, and pairs them with a catchy, overstated headline.
Otherwise known as “clickbait”
Viralnova is a creation of a small town kid from Ohio named Scott Delong.
He built the site from his house that borders a cornfield…
…and in just a few short years, he took his website to 6.6 million visitors per month.
He recently sold his company for $100 Million…
…and now he’s a clickbait mogul.
I saw an opportunity in this space, and decided to build 3 different websites based on the Viralnova model.
Our aim is to replicate a conservative 1-5% of the success of Viralnova.
Here’s what’s happened so far:
I’ve put some systems in place to
tackle the article writing, site development, and social media marketing.
We’ve hired virtual assistants for admin support.
We’ve also built our social media accounts to over ten thousand followers across all platforms.
However, there have been some challenges.
So far, we’ve had some really big hiring issues.
Because I’m bootstrapping our startups on a shoestring budget…
… I haven’t been able to find and keep quality outsourcers.
In fact, in the last month, I’ve hired and fired about 11 team members.
However, I’ve learned something in the process:
My team members are a reflection of my systems, my hustle, and my execution.
I’m 100% in charge of hiring, training, and setting priorities for my team…
…which means I’m 100% responsible for our outcome.
Thus, I’m seeing the harsh reality of what it takes when your launching multiple startups.
Hustle, talent, and systems.
See, there is a system for everything in a business (a successful one at least).
When you hire on new team members, you have to train them on your systems.
Each team member has to have a clear understanding of my expectations of them…
…as well as their priorities, and process.
Here’s the thing:
My team members are an amplification of my systems.
If they’re inefficiencies in our process…
…adding new highers amplifies those inefficiencies.
It can be costly to make mistakes playing the game at this level, which is why it’s so crucial that my systems are airtight.
I’ll be honest – so far, I’ve been struggling to find the right people to bring on board that can execute the tasks given to them.
That being said, I’ve come up with this theory:
You can find people to deliver high-quality work.
You can find people to deliver work quickly.
You can find people to do work for cheap.
But you can’t do all three.
Like I mentioned before, I’m bootstrapping these startups with my own cash…
…and it’s of the utmost importance that my team delivers the highest quality work possible
Which means what?
You guessed it – the projects take time.
Here’s one of the realities of being an entrepreneur:
Building million dollar startups not only takes talent and hustle…
…it takes patience.
If you’re not patient, you better have enough capital to invest in people that do.
That means vetting and hiring the top quality people.
…and paying them enough to keep them around.
So pay attention to this theme, because it’s going to be important as we move forward.
Surround yourself with the most talented, hardworking people you can find.
Build systems that help them to thrive in your business.
Make those systems airtight, so that your team understands their goals..
…and how their goals fit into your vision for the company.
Ok, I know I veered off on a tangent there. Sorry.
But systems and team building will be critical to your success as an entrepreneur, so I had to drive that point home.
So, like I mentioned in the first article:
These “viralnova clones” will be set up to monetize using “PPC arbitrage”.
PPC arbitrage involves driving Pay Per Click ad traffic to our website…
…and getting users to click through a slideshow of images.
Each time they click, the ads refresh on the page and a new set of ads are shown.
For each page refresh, we receive a few pennies of ad revenue.
So, if we’re able to buy clicks from Facebook at $0.03, and make $0.06 in ad revenue…
…we’ve generated a profit!
I know $0.03 doesn’t seem like much, but at a million clicks per month…
…that’s $60,000 in ad revenue, and $30,000 in gross profits!
Pretty cool, right?
I think so.
Although it sounds easy, there are many variables and complexities…
…that can make the process seem daunting.
But if you have the hustle, talent, and the patience..
…it’s a viable business model that can generate millions of dollars in revenue.
Just look at Viralnova.
Anyways, here’s our plan for the coming months:
First, we need to find the right ad traffic partner.
Google AdSense, Taboola, RevContent, and Outbrain are some of the major ones.
Selecting the right partner is critical to your success because a few pennies difference on ad traffic…
…can mean the difference between a profit and a loss.
Next, we need to begin testing some conversion flows pre-launch…
…so that we can begin monetizing once our ad partner is in place.
That means finding the cheapest clicks (we’re talking pennies on the dollar)…
…as well as high click–through rate (CTR) images and headlines that push the readers’ emotional hot buttons.
There are many variables involved in getting cheap, quality PPC traffic…
…so I won’t be able to go into too much detail in this post.
However, if you want to learn more about traffic buying and customer acquisition, I suggest you check out the following resources:
- Affbuzz: A news aggregator that grabs information from all the top PPC blogs
- Stack That Money Blog: A paid forum ($100/month) with all kinds killer of info
- Digital Marketer: Some of the best material about paid traffic, customer acquisition and Facebook Ads. They’ve got some amazing courses, as well as free content.
Finally, we’ll need to set up a system for billing and processing payments.
Sounds easy, right?
Unfortunately not. It’s not as simple as setting up a stripe or PayPal account.
There are many challenges and hurdles that must be navigated…
…especially if you are also setting up offshore like we are.
(We’ll talk more about offshore setups in a future post.)
Remember, we’re generating revenue from ad partners here, not selling a product to customers.
That means that the ad partner has to make sure we are generating enough impressions on their ads…
…before they can deem us as “trusted” and then start to pay us out.
This whole process can take up to 90 days.
This means that cash flow management can very quickly become a massive challenge…
…because we need to put up the money to buy ads up front.
Also, leveraging relationships with billing partners can be a hassle…
…and for us, it has become a larger scale operation than we anticipated.
So once we’ve got our ad partners, billing systems, and conversion flows in place…
…We’ll be able to open the floodgates, and let the cash pour in.
Startup #2: Unacell
Oh, what to say about Unacell.
I feel like I’ve kept you in the dark about this business.
I’ve been thinking about that and considering that I’ve done millions of dollars in revenue from these types of products…
…I’ve decided that it’s unfair of me NOT to fill you guys in on how it’s done.
The thing is, running a mobile app business of this nature is like an emotional roller coaster.
Or to be more accurate, an emotional roulette wheel.
I’ll be honest:
The Unacell business model is not necessarily the most fulfilling work.
It doesn’t involve inspiring people to take positive action in their lives.
It doesn’t involve building an amazing product that solves a huge problem in the marketplace.
And certainly, our Unacell products are not “disrupting” anything…
…except your time and attention.
The Unacell business model is about offering an impulse buy…
…whether that be a game, app, or even porn.
People will click your ad, see your offer, and then agree to install your app, at which point they’ll see some terms.
Once they agree to the terms, they get billed on a monthly basis for a subscription service.
It’s all about getting a high performing conversion flow.
Once you’re acquiring customers at a profit…
…you can crank up your ad budget and watch the money flow into your bank account.
That’s why I love this model – recurring revenue.
Here’s the thing:
Millions of people every day are downloading apps, games, and other software products on their phones.
It accounts for billions of dollars of revenue each year.
My goal has always been to capture a very conservative 1% of that market…
…and use it to bring in massive cash flow streams that can fund other startup projects – ones that actually make a positive impact in the world.
Like Alpha Male Blueprint.
Here’s the cold, hard truth:
There have been moments in building this startup where I questioned the ethics of what I was doing.
I felt morally greasy.
I looked for a way out.
But when you have a machine that prints money, it’s hard to resist.
This is the reality for most affiliate marketers out there.
It’s about doing whatever you can get away with…
…legally of course.
I’m not saying you should go out there and try to scam people.
I’m not saying you should go into the marketplace and try to do illegal and immoral things to make money.
What I am giving you is an honest, transparent look at how I’ve generated millions of dollars in revenue…
…and how I plan to 10x that in the coming years.
I can guarantee you that no “marketing guru”, “life coach”…
…or any other huckster that wants you to buy his course will do the same.
The reality is, most gurus will want you to think they are more credible, more knowledgeable, and more ethical than they really are.
We do things a bit differently at Alpha Male Blueprint.
We bring you a completely honest and transparent viewpoint of what it takes to make it big in this industry.
We hold nothing back.
We let the chips fall where they may.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let me fill you in on the progress we’ve made so far:
This month has been great –
We’ve been working like crazy and have built over 10 products thus far.
There are several games, a few apps, and even one adult service.
We’ve built a team of designers and developers that can build the technology required…
…and execute at the level that we need.
We’ve built landing pages, quiz flows, and video landers.
We’ve got working procedures in order…
…and a project manager to help run it all.
All the pieces are in place for us to start monetizing.
The best part is – you’ll get an inside look at the process as we go along.
However, triumphs don’t come without challenges…
…and we wouldn’t be giving you a transparent look if I didn’t talk about those challenges.
Here’re some of our biggest hurdles so far:
Lining everything up – in this business model, you have to have 5 different factors in order…
…time, place, offer, traffic source, and conversion flow.
Having these factors in order (or out of order) will determine whether we make huge profits…
…or take a loss.
In other words, we have to make sure we find our target market and understand their purchasing behavior.
We need to know where they hang out online…
… in order to know where to target them (i.e. what networks we should use for purchasing traffic)
We also need to make sure they see the right offer – one that is relevant to our customer.
This means doing extensive market research and analyzing consumer behavior.
Sounds like fun stuff, right?
That’s why most affiliate marketers tuck their tails and run away from this kind of model.
Not only is the process tedious and time-consuming…
…it’s also quite expensive.
There are the actual costs of building the product (design and development)…
…as well as setup and connection fees.
It all depends on the market and geographical location that we’re targeting.
Here’s a quick cost breakdown:
- Product build (1 product) = $2,000 – $30,000
- Setup and connection fees = $1,000 – $2,500 monthly
- Monthly ad spend = $500-2500 minimum
Out the door, it’s going to cost you about $3-6 k when all said and done.
I don’t give all of these warnings just to scare you, I promise.
My only hope is to give you a realistic view of what it takes to run a mobile app startup like this.
With that being said, here’s what we’re working on moving forward:
Currently, we’ve got a “win an iPhone” offer running.
Basically, a user would be presented with a banner which they then click on.
Once the user clicks on the banner they are forwarded to a landing page with contest details, rules, and the billing terms.
Once the user agrees to the billing terms they get access to a service – usually a tie in with the contest offer.
We’ve done 3 rounds of testing, and spent about $800 in ads.
The results so far?
4 conversions of a $50 product.
That’s a total of $200 – bringing us to a $600 total loss.
I promised transparency, didn’t I?
Here’s the thing:
Sometimes marketing tests don’t work. That’s why they are called tests
The thing to remember is not to judge yourself.
A series of failed tests doesn’t make you a bad marketer. It makes you an experienced tester.
So it’s on to the third round of testing for us, and we hope to increase that conversion rate dramatically.
To do so it’s going to require more research…
…as well as expanding our reach further by creating new products and going into new markets.
We’re going to work on our PPC skills, hone in on our testing process, and maybe bring on some new team members.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated, whether we hit a phenomenal success…
…or end up with an abysmal failure.
Either way, it should be fun, and we’re excited to have you with us on the journey 😉
Startup #3: New Social Media Platform (TOP SECRET!)
Honestly, I was hoping that I could share this one with you guys.
The truth is, it’s not ready yet.
We’ve been having some major issues with our dev team…
…and I’ve had to personally fire at least 2 different developers that were working on this project.
Here’s the thing:
Getting 5 startups to up and running, to the point of monetization, is a colossal task…
…and a massive goal like this will come with a massive amount of failure.
My time and resources are spread thin.
My team members are spread out across the world.
My patience is wearing too. (just ask my team members! 😉
So after 4 months of development, we don’t have any big wins to report.
The Alpha version that we were supposed to launch left me feeling disappointed…
…and it looks like we will have to start the project over from scratch.
Sad days, I know.
It all comes back to the issue of finding the right talent…
…and plugging that talent into our systems, so that they can execute with little margin of error.
When you are growing your business on your own as a solo entrepreneur, you need systems…
…but they don’t have to be that efficient.
You don’t have to write out every single task and process…
…because most of that lives in your head.
At the end of the day, you can execute at a high level…
…without writing out your tasks and processes.
That’s because no one has to follow your own instructions on how to execute.
Once you hire even ONE person, everything changes.
You not only have to write out all of your working procedures, you have to be incredibly thorough when training your team members on those procedures.
You also have to find talented people, that can hustle and execute what needs to get done.
But at the end of the day, it all comes down to you.
I have a theory:
Your working procedures, your training, and your systems should be SO DETAILED…
…that a person of AVERAGE INTELLIGENCE having a BAD DAY can execute with 100% accuracy.
That means having clearly written, detailed SOP’s…
…as well as training videos that provide a visual explanation of the work required.
I’ll go into more detail as to how this looks in another post.
Just know that if you heed my warnings, you can avoid breakdowns in team communication, increase effectiveness and turning your business into a well-oiled machine.
Annnnd… I say this while my own systems are still underdeveloped.
It’s a reminder for myself 😉
Startup #4: World Hunger App (Reveal… Kind of.)
So this was another one of our secrets we’ve been keeping under wraps…
…as we don’t want to reveal the exact idea until we have tested and validated it.
Here’s the jist:
We’re building an app that aims to solve the problem of world hunger.
Sounds ambitious, I know.
We’ve done some initial testing of the idea and received amazing feedback so far.
Essentially, it’s a free app from the app store, that generates revenue from banner ad placement.
Then we run ads through an ad partner network like Google AdSense, Outbrain, or Taboola.
Half of the ad revenue goes to funding charitable causes, to help feed people in developing nations.
Let me explain why we’re doing this:
Right now, there are over 3 billion people in the world living below the poverty line…
…on just $2.50 a day. (Source: Dosomething.org)
1.3 billion of those people live in EXTREME poverty…
…that is, living on under $1.25 a day.
There was a great film on Netflix (not sure if it’s running anymore), called “Living on $2 a day,” – where a few upper-middle class white kids fly down to Guatemala to live in an impoverished rural town.
The 4 of them move into a little grass and mud hut, where they would spend the next 60 days.
They have to make due with the clothes on their back…
…and less than $2 a day to feed the four of them.
It’s heart wrenching, to say the least.
The degree of squalor and hardship is difficult to watch on screen….
…let alone to have to experience that kind of existence first hand.
Unfortunately, that’s a daily reality for billions of people around the world.
Our goal is to offset a tiny fraction of that suffering with our app.
Here’s some statistics:
The number of smartphone users is forecast to grow from 1.5 billion in 2014 to around 2.5 billion in 2019
Just over 36 percent of the world’s population is projected to use a smartphone by 2018, up from about 10 percent in 2011.
So if we can capture a conservative 1% of the smartphone market worldwide…
…that’s 150 million smartphone users.
There’s potentially tens of millions of dollars worth of ad revenue we can generate…
…all for a worthy cause.
In addition, this will be a good opportunity to leverage our impact-driven startup to get some press coverage.
We think that outlets such as Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur will be really interested in our story…
…as long as we hustle and execute to 100% of our ability.
Combine that with the fact that we’re launching 5 other startups…
… and we think we’ve got a newsworthy story that can get us some big media opportunities.
If we can make that happen, it can potentially generate a ton of free traffic…
…which we can convert into valuable opportunities.
It’s all about keeping the big picture in mind…
Of course, getting 150 million users on our app is no small feat.
We would probably be ecstatic to get 15 million users.
The thing is, once you get the ball rolling and gain some serious momentum…
…there is a snowball effect that starts to take place.
As more users sign up for the service, we can draw more attention to this project…
…which will result in more users downloading the app.
It’s an upward spiral of success and media coverage.
At least we hope.
Startup #5: Alpha Male Blueprint
You may have noticed this was the first startup listed in our original article.
Well, I decided to put it at the bottom of the list this time…
…because I wanted to focus on the startups that brought the most revenue first.
There are a lot of gurus, coaches, and experts out there that will be happy to take your money…
…in exchange for access to their “super-secret, magic bullet marketing methods.
Even if these methods haven’t been tested in the real world.
They will happily tell you about the million dollar campaigns they have run…
…or flash the fancy exotic cars in their driveway.
But most of these guys have a dirty little secret that they won’t tell you.
95% of the coaches, gurus, and experts make their “fat stacks” by selling you on the dream.
Meaning, they don’t actually make real money by following the advice they’re giving you.
They make their REAL MONEY by SELLING that advice to an audience of gullible wantrepreneurs.
I know, it sounds a bit harsh. But it’s true.
What do I mean by that?
I’ll give an example:
Years ago, I signed up for a course. I won’t say the name to protect that person’s privacy.
Anyways, this “Business Guru” promised that in 8 weeks, he could teach me how to build an online business…
…that would give me the freedom to travel around the world, meet hot girls, and generally do awesome things with my life.
Being the naive guy that I was at the time, it sounded great.
I really thought that this guy could teach me everything that I needed to know to grow a successful online business.
Little did I know, I was just being sold ON THE DREAM.
I paid over $2,000 for his course…
…but within weeks, I could already tell that the “magic bullet methods” were not actually magic bullets.
They weren’t even bullets. They were duds.
I could have learned everything contained in this course from free content on the internet.
However, I was sold so hard on THE DREAM…
…that I didn’t consider this “guru’s” credentials at all.
All I cared about was the end result.
I pictured myself sitting on that white sand beach in Thailand, sunbathing and sipping cocktails…
…only taking a break to check my PayPal account, so I could see how many sales had come in that day.
To say I was delusional at this point was an understatement.
So instead of selling you on some whack techniques that don’t work, I plan to instead give you real techniques that actually work for FREE.
Here’s my promise to you:
Everything that you will learn from this blog will be battle-tested strategies, that are proven to work…
…from thousands of hours of relentless testing, tweaking and optimizing.
In other words, we will teach you shit that actually works in the real world.
And we know because we’ve tested it.
Now that’s out of the way, let me give you a quick update on our progress so far:
- We’ve rapidly grown our audience from 0 to tens of thousands of followers across all social platforms
- We’ve grown our email list from 0 to 300 in just a few weeks since launch
- We’ve expanded our team and brought on 4 new interns.
- We’ve written several articles on the topics of business/entrepreneurship/startups, health/fitness, and dating/self-development
- We’ve created a version in Japanese – this is especially exciting because there’s not much that exists like this in the Japanese market. (Sugoi!)
Of course, there have been some challenges! (Have I mentioned that already?)
I think you’ll notice a common theme happening across all of the startups – It’s like that old saying goes, “how you do one thing is how you do everything.”
Here’s what’s been challenging us in the past few months:
- Finding the time, resources, and people to produce high-quality content on a consistent basis.
- Finding quality translators for our Japanese version
- Streamlining and systematizing the process (what a surprise!)
- Doing it all on a shoestring budget.
Remember my equation from earlier?
You can have high-quality work.
You can have that work delivered with speed.
And you can have work that’s inexpensive.
There’s no way you can have all three – because if you want high-quality work delivered with speed…
…it will cost you.
So for now, we’re working on a shoestring budget, so we’ll have to forgo speed, and be patient.
With warm regards,
P.S. We love to hear from our readers. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line at [email protected]
P.P.S. Love this article? Hate it? Join the conversation on twitter. @Alphamalebp