9 Lessons Learned from first ‘Muse’

teachingOver the weekend I called an end to my first attempt at creating a passive income ‘Muse’.  The general idea was to develop an e-book and software package and sell it online using adwords to generate traffic for the site.  The site gathered just 200 visitors over the course of the week, and had zero sales.  Six sales was the magic number I was hoping to get.

The business idea failed to generate interest but the test was a success.  There were many lessons learned during this test that I will be able to take into the future tests.  And there were a few things that perhaps need to be improved to increase my chances at success next time.

Here’s a list of the biggest lessons I learned.

  1.  Have different versions of the web page to test different versions of the sales pitch.  I was fine tuning the adwords campaign by tweaking the words in the ads, and adjusting the keywords list.  but the site remained static.  My next pitch will come in different versions so I can really nail down the salesmanship that works.
  2. Test the price point.  Selling an e-book and software package for $50 might have worked but it might have seemed cheap for the people that would consider buying it.  A higher price psychologically implies a better product.  Selling it for $100 or $200 might have actually increased sales. Next time I’ll have a variety of price points to test to determine the best one.
  3. Determine the lowest price point by taking into account an estimated conversion rate of 1% and an adwords cost of at least $1 per click.  Unless you can get better estimates on those rates.
  4. If I’m going to sell a software package make sure that I have some screen shots to make it more real to the customer.
  5. If it’s an e-book use one of those 3D book cover images to make the book more real.
  6. Spend a lot of time on the keywords.  short one and two word sequences are expensive and not targeted.  Long tail keywords are more targeted and less expensive, but you need lots of variation to get the traffic.
  7. If you’re going to spend $2 to get a person to visit the site, you’d better have a good pitch that has a decent chance at making a sale.
  8. It may seem silly to rely entirely on google adwords for traffic since I could take advantage of many free ways to get more traffic.  but In this case I’m just interested in the conversion rates, and the rates I get from targeted ads should be higher than any traffic I could generate quickly and for free.
  9. It’s a lot cheaper and easier than I expected to get a domain name and hosting for as little as 2 months.

Looking back over my site and sales pitch I can see a lot of things that could be improved.  These lessons would never have been learned if I never invested the $250 to test this out.  Furthermore, I’ve just reduced the risk on my next $250 investment.