I originally planned on making this topic into an eBook and have it released alongside “How I Launched, Marketed and Promoted A High-Traffic Blog in Under 15 Days” but I’ve decided against it. I wrote this (very personal) article to document the rapid rise and ultimate collapse of my very first business which I launched in 2008 at age 16 and to tell you what I learnt from this experience. I’ve tried to be as transparent as possible with regards to financial information and other experiences along the way.
The business was called ZOR Technology. In this early recount of my business life I go into detail of how I created an online business that was importing crates of consumer electronics from China, had revenues of high 4 figures per month, made me a power seller on eBay, generated national media attention and put me in one of those ridiculous “top 10 young entrepreneurs in Australia” list. I also talk about the fall of ZOR which involved the intention to sue from one of the biggest companies in the world (read the first ever post on Sofa Moolah for more information about this) and a lifelong suspension from eBay.
As a freelancer, when I started out one of the most baffling aspects of the job to me was setting an hourly rate. I hadn’t really given it much thought, I just knew I wanted to develop websites and that I needed clients. When I got my first design gig and I got an introductory email asking me to reply with a few details and my ‘hourly rate’ it struck me that I had no idea what to charge.
It can be one of the most odd situations to jump in to, especially if, like me, you came in to this from a pretty bog standard job where your pay cheque came in at the end of the month at its usual rate. It can be easy to set your rates too high for your experience, but even more so it’s possible to undervalue your own work and take a rate far lower than you should be.
There’s been a lot of discussion recently about the true value of a Facebook fan. Some, particularly those in the direct response world, have said that having a lot of fans on Facebook isn’t necessarily going to translate into revenue. Others, primarily those in social media, have claimed that the real value of a Facebook fan varies from business to business, with some proving quite profitable.
It’s not my place to comment on the real value of a Facebook fan. They do vary from one industry to another, and it’s definitely a field that benefits some businesses more than others. Local brands, for example, tend to do very well on Facebook, whereas high-value services and expensive niche products rarely appeal to the wide audience that Facebook is capable of generating.
Wow, it should not have taken this long. It’s been almost 7 months since our first landing page went live and in excess of a year since the idea was conceived. Many things have held us back but we’re here now and it’s time to begin.
Our idea for Sofa Moolah is simple: we want to document our journey of making money online while also showcasing interviews with other successful entrepreneurs, display case studies that work and also give out material that our users will find helpful.
Time for introductions. This could get confusing as I’m trying to write for both of us, and you the reader have no idea who’s writing this. To simplify things, we’ve both written a short bio below. We’ve tried to avoid cliches such as writing in third person. Here we go.