What It's About
A drone side hustle reaches great heights following a spectacular crash!
Words of Wisdom
According to Alan, a big downfall for many people working online is that they hide behind their computer. Never venturing out to talk to potential customers about what they want. He says that the best businesses solve real problems. To find those problems, you need to have communication with potential customers.
For months and months, Alan fought for people's attention. All he wanted was to hop on the phone with people, learn more about the industry and pick people's brains. Now it’s a completely different story. He’s in a position where people are reaching out to him all the time to not just ask questions but to hop on the phone for partnership discovery calls, to pitch products, etc. That’s what happens when you become an authority in your niche.
Notes from Chris
Alan Perlman never intended for his side hustle to become a full-time business. In fact, Alan—a regular side hustler for 10 years—had modest goals in mind when he started his website, UAVCoach.com. The original plan? Make a few extra dollars on the side by reviewing quadcopters and drones, his favorite toys. You see, Alan loves UAVs—unmanned aerial vehicles—so much so that he could drone on about them for hours. Back in 2014, Alan purchased his first drone with the idea of doing some basic aerial photography. A fun little side note here, on its maiden voyage, he crashed the drone into a car in New York City. I should also point out that it was a parked car although Alan assured us that the car came out of nowhere. He’d seen friends build successful review websites and drive traffic with SEO. That traffic could be monetized with affiliate offers through stores like Amazon.com. Alan thought he could do the same for his newfound passion and decided to launch the website on a whim. It was a good insight because drones are a very high priced item. With Amazon’s commission structure, it's possible to make up to $60 per sale on the higher priced models. He could bring in real money if he sold even a few each month. Now, technically the website made money in its first month! How much? Well—not exactly sky high revenue—fourteen cents. Nothing to write home about. It’s in times like these that many people lose hope and move onto the next thing, but not Alan. Finding the motivation to keep working when things don’t go your way can be difficult. But Alan didn’t lose heart. He kept working on the site over the following year. A big investment of time went into producing long-form, high-quality content. The type of content readers love and want to share. It worked! Just a year later, UAVCoach generated five figures in a single month. Most of it coming from the Amazon Associate affiliate program. You’re probably expecting me to end the story here with a nice little happily ever after spiel. But that wasn’t the way things panned out. Things began to decline after that, with no way of recapturing the revenue. Not satisfied with letting things continue to nosedive, Alan moved to a higher altitude of operations. He started collecting the email addresses of his website visitors. Over the next few months, the website generated thousands of email addresses from people who were interested in drones. Here’s where phase 2 of the plan took off… Alan began talking directly to his website visitors in the form of a simple email. These emails led to several 1 on 1 conversations which highlighted a very specific and currently unmet need: a lot of drone enthusiasts needed flying training and education. On top of that, many drone owners didn’t even know the laws around flying drones in their local area. It’s with this revelation that UAVCoach really started to take off. Where are they today? In 2017, their business generated six figures in revenue and is on track to do the same in 2018. The money earned through affiliate sales only accounts for 10% of their total income. The rest comes from their training courses. You could say they are flying high with no end in sight. We’re confident Alan can take this business into the stratosphere.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- UAV Coach: Looking to man your own fleet of drones? Fly on over to Alan's website!
- Amazon Associates Program: Interested in starting your own affiliate program? Learn how you can get started, here
- ProBlogger | How to Make Money with Amazon’s Affiliate Program: Check out this thorough guide by Darren Rowse on how you can make money with the Amazon Affiliate Program
- Flight Instructor’s App Takes Flight, Earns $30,000: Urs Camenish wanted to create an app to help him grow his income. But, he’d never owned a smartphone or used an app in his life
- Freelance Illustrator Helps Other Artists Sell Their Work: A successful illustrator creates a side business earning more than $25,000 a year by helping artists sell their work online
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work! Yours in the revolution,
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