What Happened To Me And My Business In The Past 2 Months (And What I’m Gonna Do Next)

updateHey there,

It’s been such a long time since my last post, and I’m sure you’ve been eagerly waiting for my update.

Well, so many things have happened these past 2 months:

Got Tired After the Successful Product Launch

Thanks to the trust I’ve been able to build up on the blog, my very first product launch went really well as explained here.

But I got really stressful shortly after the launch because of so much pressure from dealing with technical errors, customer support, refunds, not-so-good customers, etc.

Honestly, I didn’t enjoy running the membership at all.

I did want to help every member to be successful, but I’ve been an affiliate for over 4 years, and I really enjoyed the “passive” aspect of it, so having to answer questions of over 70 members everyday really stressed me out.

Lost the Niche Site Challenge to Josh

The niche site challenge I started with Josh Ecusa from FormYourFuture.com last year officially ended with Josh as the winner.

His site is now consistently making $1000+ a month while my site was penalized in one update 2 months ago.

My biggest mistake with this challenge was outsourcing all the SEO to a friend and completely ignored the project. The site did rank in the first page but suddenly, all the rankings dropped somehow.

Confused with What to Do Next

The first week of March was a pretty low time for me as I was confused on what direction to take for my business.

I didn’t know what to do next.

I lost motivation in everything, and I just wanted to take a break.

Then something happened.

Made a Mid-Five Figure Income with Teespring

A good friend of mine introduced me to Teespring as a new way to make money online.

In case you don’t know, Tee Spring is a place where you can sell your own custom T-shirt. I started to take action immediately.

Well, My first 2 campaigns failed.

I lost $160 but I didn’t want to give up, I turned to him for advice, then started churning out campaign after campaign.

The profits went up dramatically. One month later, I was sitting at over 300 campaigns and a mid-five figure profit.

I won’t reveal the number or the exact method on the blog, but if you’re interested, check out this course.

I learned so many things from it and I’m sure you can make money with Tee Spring too if you’re willing to take massive action after quickly going through the course.

Anyway, I don’t answer questions about Teespring on Cloud Living, so please don’t ask me via comments or emails. If you want my advice, here it is: “Go to Teeview or Teespring Discover, analyze successful campaigns, then make your campaigns based on the trends.”

Chilled Out for a Month

People tend to get lazy after making a fortune, and I’m no exception to that.

I chilled out for a bit while thinking about my future, what I’m gonna do with my life, what’s my greatest passion, etc.

I also played a lot of video games with my friends, traveled to Saigon to meet up with the DC, worked out really hard to get the six-pack,etc.

Confused with What to Do Next Again

I was pretty happy overall.

I had money, time, and freedom.

But I still felt like something was missing.

I wanted to work.

I realized that money was not my biggest motivator.

I just wanted to see how great an entrepreneur I am and how far I can go.

So I started to think about work again but I was confused.

What am I gonna do next?

Building niche websites?

Running paid traffic campaigns?

Building an SAAS? I didn’t know.

I wanted to do everything. But I just couldn’t.

“FOCUS is the key to success”. I repeatedly said that to myself.

Lost Motivation on Running the Blog

When I started the blog last February 2013, Cloud Living was just a place for me to document my journey and share my knowledge in order to help other people to succeed with doing online business.

But as it grew into an authority blog, I felt more responsibility to keep updating it with high quality content and helping even more people.

But like others, I got only 24 hours in a day and the blog was taking too much of my time (and money too).

Some more experienced friends told me that I should monetize the blog. That was a great advice, and I agreed with it 100%.

Monetizing the blog will allow me to make the blog better.

I tried but information product was not my thing as I explained above.

So I can tell you that from now on I won’t charge for information again. Instead, I will create something of value (service/tool/plugin) that you’re willing to pay for.

I really admired what Spencer from Niche pursuits has been able to achieve with his products like Long Tail Pro, Niche Website Theme, Domain Java, Rank Hero, etc. That’s a great model to follow in my opinion.

Got My Energy Back

It took me a while to get fully inspired and motivated again, but the downtime was totally worth it.

What I’m Planning Ahead

I no longer rush to make more money as I have enough cash to survive for a few years now.

I’m gonna take it slow this time. It takes time to build a successful and sustainable business. And I’m willing to wait.

Here’s what I’m planning to do next:

1. Build Up My Niche Website Empire Again, One Site at a Time.

Why still niche website? Well, I’ve been doing that for a long time and know a lot about it. So why not? Why try something new that I’m not familiar with when I can make a good living with niche websites? Again, my goal is to build a sustainable business, so my approach changed a bit. I will write a blog post about that later.

2. Keep Growing Cloud Living into One of the Best Resources on the Internet about Building Profitable Affiliate Websites.

I know it’s a hairy goal, but I think I’m pretty close. I just need to put more attention into the blog and serve my audience well. If you love Cloud Living, do remember to spread the word =).

3. Try Another Way to Monetize Cloud Living.

I’m not giving up on getting your money =). But it would be something extremely valuable that you would be willing to pay for.

4. Travel More and Explore the World.

I’ve always wanted to become an adventurer when I was a child. Luckily, my job can afford me to do that. I’m gonna visit Singapore and Malaysia this month. If you’re living in these cities, shoot me an email and we will meet :).

That’s everything I wanted to say for today. Hope you enjoyed the post.

Cheers,
Tung

Email:
  • Nguyễn Quốc Huy

    It’s hard to believe you could make that big numbers with Teespring. But somehow I know you did it. Congrats, Tung!

    • Tung Tran

      Thanks man :)

  • Personalised Gifts

    Hi Tung,

    As a reader I would like to suggest few things which might inspire you.

    - You should do a public niche website and do seo yourself to regain your trust back in niche websites after losing competition with Josh. So that you can upgrade your seo skill and add more strategies.

    - Secondly if you wan this blog to be full of resource for readers, you should writer at least 1/2 informative post per week.

    Hope this will work to overcome your frustration.

    • Tung Tran

      Thanks for your suggestion!

      - Losing is not a big problem for me :D.
      - Agree

  • http://www.nichestats.com/ Velin Naydenov

    Hey Tung,

    glad you’re back, buddy! The post was really informative and I’m happy to see that you back on track and you are motivated to work again! All the best with your business, I’m looking forward for new articles here ;)

    • Tung Tran

      Thanks Velin :) Will have new post soon

  • http://www.voicesofmarketing.com/ John Shea

    I’ve been in the same spot as you many times. There is so much out there to learn about, so many ways to try to earn an income online it’s all very overwhelming.

    I think you should continue with the niche site building, I know you had great success with the dumbbell site so why not keep building sites just like that one and stick with it?

    Now that I’m helping Jon with Lightning Rank I’m finding I want to focus more time on SEO and working on what’s actually earning me an income, my interview show was good for building relationships but I was not really making a ton of money with it so I’m basically taking a break.

    Like you said, focus is so important. If you are making a lot of money with TeeSpring maybe stick to that?

    • Tung Tran

      Yeah Teespring has been good to me :)

      I’m still doing it as the niche website building doesnt take all of my time.

  • http://onlinesideincome.com Jeff

    Glad to see that you’re back at it again tung, I’m looking forward to more updates. I have been looking into teespring, and find it really intriguing. I may have to give that a try with some facebook ads at some point.

    If you’re interested in keeping CL as a go-to place for how to make money online, keep working at it and keep providing a lot of value to readers and you’ll be fine.

    • Tung Tran

      I agree Jeff. I will keep growing CL

  • Bruno Amaral

    Great news to know you’re back in business! :)
    Just wanted to let you know! :D

    • Tung Tran

      Thanks mate :)

  • Mario

    Tung,
    How did you manage to get your site penalized, what type of links did you build? Did you use the same services you used on adjustable dumbbells? I’m really curios on what triggered your penalization and also have you tried to find the bad links and disavow them?

    • Tung Tran

      I had no idea. Maybe because I changed the theme and structure of the site too many times.

      The links were clean and the anchor text profile was fine.

  • lebron

    I challenge you to build a eCommerce business. This is an efficient long term strategy which will allow you to build a brand instead of these one hit wonders.

    Good luck though!

    • Tung Tran

      I thought about that a lot as well. The plan is to grow amazon affiliate sites to know what sells well then build a dropshipping store on that niche

  • lebron

    Actually I challenge you to buy that amazon site on empire flippers and work on it!

    • lebron

      Lol just found the url of the site. Not going to reveal as I actually want the owner to successfully sell the sight :-)

    • Tung Tran

      I prefer to build new sites now. It’s more profitable to me atm

  • Priyank

    Hey Tung,

    Missed your posts a lot. Good to see you back to blogging.

    Hope you read more from you.

    Regards,
    Your Indian Friend.

    • Tung Tran

      Will have more posts soon buddy :)

  • http://www.lostcyclist.me/ Quinton Hamp

    I hear you on taking time off to reset. After I hit the $8k+ mark each month, I was pretty tired. It had been a 3 year slog of basically working 2 jobs to get to this point, and I didn’t have the energy to keep going.

    The energy finally came back when I realized that I had a huge gift: The ability to turn the internet into a profit.

    Now, I’m trying to use that gift so that I may give back to others. Not sure what that looks like yet, maybe hiring people who can work from home, or biting the bullet to build a course, but it was enough of a goal to get me moving again.

    I’d be interested in hearing how you promoted your membership course. Getting 70 peeps on board in such a short period of time is pretty impressive. Might make a good blog post ;)

    • Tung Tran

      Yeah I’ve been following your journey for a while Quinton :)

      Maybe you could come here and share your knowledge with the audience? :P

      • http://www.lostcyclist.me/ Quinton Hamp

        Sounds like a plan. Let’s make something happen!

  • http://formyourfuture.com/ Josh Escusa

    Hey Tung, it’s definitely hard to stay motivated sometimes. You just gotta keep close to your online business buddies! I’m always here to chat, so hit me up man! Love the success you’ve had with your “other” projects. I’m jealous! haha! Lets connect soon!

    • Tung Tran

      yeah buddy! Congrats on quiting your job. Chat soon!

  • http://linkprocessor.com/ Link Processor

    Hey Tung, I would be very interested to pay for banner ad on your site and to support you on that way. Let me know if you decide to place ads on site.

    • Tung Tran

      Hi,

      Thanks for the offer but I dont put ads on the blog.

      Tung

  • mazel123

    Why even continue the blog? Just keep making the 5-figures a month doing t-shirts?

    • Tung Tran

      It’s my baby. How come could I abandon it? :P

  • Alistair Cochrane

    It would be a pity to see you step back now, Cloud Living is just starting to take shape. You mentioned kicking back with some video gaming. That’s cool, but in real life you didn’t complete the game, you just moved onto the next level. New challenges and baddies to face and overcome. Good luck!

    • Tung Tran

      Thanks man :) I wont give up on the blog.

      Actually I’ve been a hardcore gamer all my life.

  • http://www.nicheaddictions.com scott masse

    Tung,
    Sometimes you have to experience frustration and failure to reaffirm what your passions are……the idea of focusing like a laser beam on the niche sites is a great idea. The membership model brought to life the true reason you love the passive niche model.
    I deal with the public on a retail basis and I often wish my niche site projects were further along so I could afford to walk away from my day job.
    No doubt you will spring to life and achieve new levels of success!
    Scott in Boston

    • Tung Tran

      Hi Scott,

      If you need any help, just shoot me an email.

      • http://www.nicheaddictions.com scott masse

        Thanks Tung, I would like to interview you for my blog Niche Addictions!

        • Tung Tran

          Yeah you can find me through email on the contact page

  • Puneet Gupta

    How you know your site has been penalized, I always worry that but don’t know how to find it.

    Can you a case study to rank the penalized site again. That will give a lot people motivation to not to give up.

    Thanks

    • Tung Tran

      All the rankings dropped significantly to page 20+

      No I wouldnt spend time on penalized site as it’s extremely hard

  • Richard Adams

    Great to see you back Tung! Yours is a favorite blog of mine so I’m glad to see we should have some good stuff coming our way shortly ;-)

    • Tung Tran

      Thanks for your support Richard!

  • http://www.citeworks.net Glen Thomson

    Inspiring post man, good for you!

    • Tung Tran

      Thank you Glen :)

  • http://berichandrich.com/ Raweewan M.

    ็Hi Tung, It took you so long to come back! Anyway, glad you’re back again. Last month, I just launched my first info product too and I’m pretty like it. I think you are on the right track, just take everything slow, build more profitable affiliate blog and travel the world. Last month, I just went back from Germany & Austria. It was pretty fun and relax for me. So I have a lot of motivation for continue running my online business. And I’m quite interested in TeeSpring too. I think I’m gonna try it too. Talk to you soon!
    Raweewan

    • Tung Tran

      Thanks for dropping by Raweewan!

      • lebron

        you 2 should marry ;-)

  • Servando So Yong Silva

    Nice strikeback Tung :)

    If your FB account was banned, how did you promoted your TS campaigns?
    Hope to hear back from you soon as you start building niche sites again :)

    • Tung Tran

      Thank you Servando :)

  • http://acoupletravelers.com/ acoupletravelers

    Hey Tung – very interesting to hear your update. I have also been thinking about my business and I know we had a brief talk about this, and I am going to start a Saas (as you yourself mentioned). You know where to find me if you ever want to trade ideas!

    • Tung Tran

      Thanks Dave :) We have to talk more about it

  • http://www.JohnnyFD.com Johnny

    Hey Tung, great to hear what you’ve been up to since I saw you in Saigon. Glad life is going well buddy. Come out to Chiang Mai!

    • Tung Tran

      Glad to have you here buddy. Will visit Chiang Main again probably on October before DCBKK

  • George mathew

    Hey buddy glad that you came back. Please keep posting. We love you

  • Randy

    Glad your back! Was wondering what happened to you. I’ll look forward to your next posts. You have a very good resource here….

  • believe

    em hi vọng sẽ có dịp đc mời anh 1 ly cà phề

  • http://www.dionandhisfiverradventures.com Dion Lynk

    Go Tung go! I’m experimenting with teespring as well, and I’m excited about the potential here.

  • http://tropicalnomad.com/ Adam Finan

    Glad to see you blogging again Tung, always look forward to your posts. Well done with Teespring, 300 campaigns is a lot of Adspend in facebook!

    • Tung Tran

      Thanks man :)

  • http://humanproofdesigns.com/ Dom Wells

    Just re-visited this post, looking forward to seeing some more activity on your blog man!