It’s been 9 days since my last blog post so I thought I would give you an overall update on what’s happened since then.
Although I’ve used my accountant’s firm to handle my income taxes since around 2003, it still takes a lot of time and effort myself. I have to dig up all my accounting history over the past year for both my personal self as well as the corporation’s income taxes. Next year, I will have to do this for the new holding corporation as well!
When you add in affiliate marketing, it just makes all this even more time consuming as I have hundreds upon hundreds of transactions going on. In fact, I probably have close to a hundred sources of income and expense sources that I have to organize information from!
Then there’s the unfortunate reality that many online sources offers very poor accounting and reporting options, so I end up having to dig deep to get the necessary information, often having to request the necessary information from various company’s accounting departments.
Lastly, there’s crap such as having multiple credit cards and bank accounts, exchange rate and multiple currency accounts, etc. So, even though I have somebody else do my taxes, it’s still a lot of effort just to gather all the information to pass onto them!
Anyhow, it’s always something I’ve despised having to do and always procrastinate in getting it done. Last year was my latest ever and I even had to pay the government a penalty and interest on that penalty for being so late!
I’ve finished preparing my 2014 personal taxes, and am now roughly 20% done preparing the operating corporation’s 2014 fiscal year’s taxes. When I finish, it will be a huge weight off my shoulders and will allow me to allocate more time towards other work things.
My First Deposit
While I literally held the keys to my first rental income property a month ago, I didn’t actually receive my rental income until just a week ago.
This is because I am using a property management company to oversee the property, which means that there is a bit of a delay from when they receive the funds on the 1st to when they process it, take their cut, and then send to me.
So here it is, after the property management company took their 10% cut:
A few days later, they also sent me an accounting spreadsheet documenting all the details. All I have to do is keep those and send them to my accountant at the end of the year. Easy!
Anyhow, obviously the $1,505.10 I received is not all profit. I have bills to pay: the mortgage, city utilities, property tax, and insurance. And I keep a contingency fund for capital expenditures, repairs and maintenance, and vacancies.
Finally, here are a bunch of updates pertaining to my website idea.
First off, I am now referring to the website idea as Project "V" for easier reference.
I had an NDA and non-compete documents made up and signed by both interested investors (and myself). I then created a slideshow presentation and presented it to the first investor online via a Skype conference call.
He asked questions throughout the presentation (about every 1-2 minutes in fact) and I would pause and address them until he was satisfied with my answers. Once the presentation got to the point where it revealed the main idea, the investor started to become very excited.
The presentation ended up taking 2 hours! Since I was talking 97% of that time, my throat was very sore by the end of it! I am not used to talking so long – in fact I’m not used to talking at all! Here’s a screenshot I took of Skype once it finished:
When I finally finished the presentation, the investor was extremely excited about the project. He definitely wants to come on board for a $15,000 investment. We’ve been communicating everyday since about the project. He’s very excited.
The second interested investor is located in a time zone 9 hours ahead of mine and we had a hell of a time coordinating a time to schedule the presentation. So finally I decided that I would just record the entire presentation again on MP3 and then send him the slideshow so that he can follow along.
In fact, I actually literally said "click" each time I would click on the next item of the presentation so that he could follow along exactly with me. I didn’t record a screencast because it would have been too huge if it was another 2 hour recording. I actually added a few slides to the 2nd presentation (18 total)!
While recording it though, I was very cognisant of the fact that the first presentation was so long, so I tried to both speed things up and keep things simple. It seemed to work, as it ended up being an hour long exactly. It probably helped a lot that I wasn’t answering questions throughout
Anyhow, the 2nd investor ended up not being interested at all, so he definitely won’t be coming on board. He did provide some reasons as to why he didn’t like the idea. I respect his rationale but I personally do not agree with them. I actually think the project has other more concerning issues, such as traffic retention.
So where we stand is a raised $15,000 investment from one investor who is extremely excited.
I am still open to other serious investors coming in (send me an e-mail). Please only contact me if you’re interested in investing a minimum of $5,000. It would also help and speed things up if you can provide some of your background.
Should no other investors come on board, the other investor and I will proceed with creating the investment agreement document, signing it, and having it notarized by a notary or lawyer.
After that it’s off to begin the development phase.
In my previous blog post, I wrote about how I was thinking of launching a new website based on an idea I’ve had for a while now.
There was a brief mention about how I might consider partnering with someone else on this project by taking on investors. It was just a small mention, merely a couple of sentences, yet I ended up receiving e-mails from a couple of different interested investors.
The first was interested for coming in at $15,000 but after following up with him he has not responded, and so I deem him as uninterested or at least not serious about it.
The second investor ended up being a contact who I’ve known for quite a while online… perhaps around 7 years or so. We’ve done a number of business transactions together before so there is some definite history between us there.
He has shown extreme interest in this project and actually just sent me another e-mail a minute before I started working on this blog post. He is also interested in coming on board for $15,000.
The Boring Stage
Our next step is to have him sign an NDA and non-compete, and then I will present an online slideshow presentation where I can demonstrate the website idea and my plans for the website.
Should that all go well, which I anticipate it will, we will then draft up an agreement and sign it under a local notary or lawyer as witness to the signings.
As such, this will be strictly be a profit-sharing deal, with no actual shares in a company or any other ownership exchanged.
So, here are the basic terms of our agreement:
A $15,000.00 investment would yield a 50% return of the site’s net profits, paid monthly, for the life of the site, including any sale of the site. There would be a 10x multiplier buyout clause where at any point I have the option to buyout the investor for 10x of their original investment. This buyout would be on top of any return they have received so far. The buyout would cease the 50% profit share agreement.
For example (based on a $15,000 investment), in the scenario the site makes $1,500 net profit each month during the first 5 months and I want to buy them out, they will keep $3,750 ($1,500 * 5 = $7,500 at 50%), plus $150,000 (10x) for the buyout. They would have received a total of $153,750.00.
The same example as above, but this time based on a $9,000 investment (in which case they would receive a 30% profit share rate): $2,250 ($1,500 * 5 = $7,500 at 30%), plus $90,000 (10x) for the buyout. They would have received a total of $92,250.00.
He has the option of being a 100% silent partner, but has has expressed interest in taking a more active role and responsibility on.
With a $15,000 investment, not including the money and time I will be putting into the website myself, it is already enough to cover all development costs and a small bit of marketing and promotion.
However, should any other interested investors want to come on board as well, all the rates would change. Of course, other investors would only be allowed to come on board before I sign a deal.
For example, if another investor wanted to come in at $15,000 as well, I couldn’t give each of the investors a 50% cut since then I’d have no cut myself! Instead, the overall budget of the project would be raised to like $45,000 and each of the 2 $15K investors would receive a 33.3% cut.
The difference is that they receive a smaller cut, but the project’s budget is bigger which can mean a higher quality website and more advertising budget.
A $15,000 investment is not required. I think I’d be open to other amounts such as $5,000 and $10,000. A second investor coming in at $5,000 would probably get a 10% return.
In you’re a serious investor interested in coming on board this project, feel free to send me an e-mail. Please only contact me if you’re interested in investing a minimum of $3,000. It would also help and speed things up if you can provide some of your background. Please keep in mind that I am not going to be begging for investor money, this isn’t Shark Tank) – I am relying on my public history and reputation to vouch for me (whether that be good or bad!).
Anyhow, I just thought I’d share this little update, as it appears that my website idea may actually come to fruition…
If you’ve only been reading my blog for 2-3 years, then you might think that I’m solely an affiliate marketer.
The fact is, though, that I actually have a lot more experience with creating websites from scratch and monetizing them. It’s how I made my living from around 2004-2012, with my blog and affiliate marketing income taking over since then.
The main reason I turned to affiliate marketing around 2012 is because in early spring of 2011 I sold my largest money-making website. I agreed to a non-disclosure regarding the actual sale price, but let’s just say it was around an average 2-year salary.
While a nice chunk of change in one go, it also meant that a lot of residual money each month was gone, which is why I decided to give affiliate marketing another try.
I’ve had many other websites too. Probably around 30 or so. Almost all of them have been sold off now, although I do still have some abandoned sites lying around such as Movie-Vault.com and PublisherSpot.com (some more are listed here). Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you’re interested in buying any of them from me!
The point I’m trying to make is that I have a lot of experience building websites, many of which have made a decent amount of income (although I’ve made just as many if not more which were complete flops!).
Anyhow, I can’t remember exactly when, but sometime around a year ago I came up with an idea for a new website that I thought would be great.
First of all, I think that there’s a definite need for it. Why do I think this? Because I’ve personally been in the situation many times where I could have used such a website, and I know others have as well. It solves a problem that people are constantly having.
From my research, I couldn’t find an existing website that addressed this. In fact, I was surprised! I did find some websites when I was searching for domains that had the rough idea in mind, but never actually built a website around the idea. There may be some simple apps around this idea out there (I haven’t looked), but the idea is really best suited in a website (at least at first).
It’s a website that has enormous potential… I’m talking about the sky as the limit. This is what gets me excited. It certainly has the possibility of "blowing up" in no time.
It’s a free website and has an open demographic; anyone and everyone can find a use for this website.
While free, I have 3 monetization ideas for it: standard display advertising, optional "promoted" areas which would be suited towards larger companies, and a possible credit system, although I am not too sure about the last one as it may make the website too convoluted for the regular user. I am never concerned about monetizing a website though.
It is not a content-based website. It is more a community or social-based site. This would aid greatly in spreading the word of the website too, as social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook would be a big part in propagating its arrival.
Development-wise, I’d rate it about a 5 or 6 out of 10 in order of complexity to program. It’s a unique idea and will be media-rich which is always a bit of a pain to deal with, and there will need to be a comprehensive administration area in addition to the main core of the website.
It’s been a few years since I outsourced for a website to be programmed up from scratch so I may be off a bit in my estimates, but perhaps $4,000 – $5,000 for programming might be close to reality.
Design + HTML would be the typical standard costs… probably around $3,000.
Then you have other costs such as domains and possible custom introductory videos, etc. maybe $1,000-$2,000.
All in all, it will probably cost close to $10,000 to get off the ground. I didn’t allocate any money for advertising or promotion.
Do I Want to Take This On?
So I’ve had this website idea for around a year now. It’s always on the back of my mind.
And when I have something on my mind that I can’t shake, it’s very difficult for me not to do something about it. Whether it’s something I want to buy or an idea I want to implement, I usually end up buying it or implementing it.
I mean, a year ago I posted about how I was thinking of investing into real estate and 12 months later I am literally holding the keys to my first income property in my hand.
There are a number of problems with developing this website idea though:
- With my health as it is, I’ve been having a very difficult time focusing and working lately.
- My company’s income is currently low as a result of the above and having just bought an income property
- I still have existing websites which have been abandoned. I should get rid of them first.
- I have other priorities I need to take care of first such as finishing my corporate taxes and getting caught up with e-mail.
- The idea could fail miserably. This really isn’t a concern though since my whole business live has always been about calculated risk.
So if I did take this on, I’d probably make it a personal perquisite to get my taxes sorted out first, sell at least 2 more of my websites, and then get all caught up with e-mail.
That way, I’d have a lot less baggage and would be able to focus on the development of the new website.
There’s also the possibility of partnering up with someone else. I’ve never partnered with anyone in a business endeavour in my life before though…
There are also options such as having others invest in the project for a piece of the pie, though it may be difficult to do that properly legal-wise. I actually did exactly this back in 2009 and had a number of interested parties, but ultimately nobody invested in me. It’s a good thing they didn’t too, since after I ended up funding it myself it ended up being my worst venture ever!
If I did get investors into the project though, I’d probably want to up the development costs a bit and spend a little bit on promotion, so maybe closer to $15,000-$20,000.
I don’t know. Creating a website with a budget (as opposed to launching one for essentially free) is always a risk. I really don’t know what I will do.
But it’s certainly an I idea have and it’s constantly reminding myself of its presence.
A couple of months ago I announced how I finally signed up to Instagram. While it took me a long time to do that, it took me even longer to sign up to Facebook!
Sure, I have a couple accounts for advertising, as well as a personal account that has always been inactive with like 4 friends, but I never made a Facebook account for my blog or business side of things believe it or not.
That is, until now.
So, why the sudden change? Well, now that I am more or less actively blogging again, I want to start sharing my posts and build up my audience a bit. I also always wanted to keep separate accounts for personal and work and just never got around to making one for work.
And… I’m simply not the biggest fan of Facebook. In fact, to be honest, I will not be terribly active on Facebook – but my account there will be.
I’ve set things up so that my blog posts as well as my Instagram and Twitter posts will automatically display on my Facebook Timeline so friending me on Facebook is a good way to stay informed of my posts and updates.
So, follow me on Facebook. My Facebook profile can be found at http://www.facebook.com/tylercruzdotcom.
I do not have a page yet, just an account. I am not sure if I will create a page or not but if I do it won’t be until sometime down the road.
Added Facebook to My Blog
I’ve added Facebook icons and buttons to my blog, located on the top right section.
I actually also added these for Instagram when I signed up to Instagram as well:
And I also updated my e-mail newsletter template footer:
Automating Posting WordPress Posts to Facebook
I spent too much time on this, but ended up getting exactly what I wanted.
Again, one of the main reasons it took me so long to sign up to Facebook is because I didn’t want yet another social network where I would need to spend my time posting and staying active.
It was very important to me, then, to be able to automate posting on Facebook as much as I could.
This proved to be very easy for Instagram since it was already a built-in option (in Instagram), but I wanted for my blog posts to automatically appear on Facebook.
I did a lot of searching through various WordPress plugins that would do this, but all of them had inherent flaws which I did not like.
A bunch of people and websites suggested the plugin Jetpack to me, but I found it to be extremely bloated and it ended up putting a huge strain on my server for some reason (I have issues with my Heartbeat API [/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php] so it was probably that).
I also tried NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster but it too caused some issues.
Another thing I didn’t really like about these WordPress plugins is that most of them would only post to Facebook once you physically hit the Publish button in WordPress. The problem with that, for me, is that I actually don’t use WordPress to write, edit, and publish my blog posts. For the past 10 years I’ve been using Windows Live Writer.
I was willing to give that up and just use the standard WordPress editor, but fortunately I found a better solution (for me anyway).
Thanks to Kevin Muldoon for the tip – he mentioned that I could alternatively use HootSuite or dlvr.it which are 3rd party services which let you manage your social networking sites. One of the things they can do is automatically post your blog posts to Facebook, and the way they do it is simple – through your RSS feed.
I ended up using dlvr.it even though it’s way smaller than HootSuite mainly because it looked to be a lot more simplified to me; all I wanted to do after all was have my WordPress posts automatically post to Facebook, nothing else.
I actually set it up do both Facebook and Twitter – the whole process only took a minute!
Here it is in action:
I love how it automatically includes a photo from the blog post too!
Feel free to set the same thing up if you haven’t already!
Anyhow, I’m now on Facebook, so please follow me there at http://www.facebook.com/tylercruzdotcom.