2020 has been a difficult year for us all. COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives and everything around us forever.
We have to work from home, stay at home all the time, talk to friends via Zoom, etc.
But I’ve found that it’s not been a bad thing for me. I’m a homebody. I enjoy staying at home, doing my work, and watching TV series on Netflix.
If there’s a bad thing, it might be that I can’t travel abroad. Normally, I’ll travel around the world many times in a year, but I can’t do that this year. I really miss Japanese and Korean food!
Anyway, because I spent most of my time at home, I managed to accomplish a lot this year.
Let me sum it up in this post.
Took Many Online Courses
Since I’ve been at home every day, I bought lots of online courses and spent time studying new things.
I never thought I’d spend over $10,000 on online courses, but this I spent over $30,000 on them.
What courses did I take?
The first course I bought was on SEO.
In the paid-traffic world, someone once called me the “Scale King”. But in the SEO world, I consider myself an “SEO Noob”.
When I started working as an internet marketer, I started by doing SEO. But not SEO in a “good way”.
What I did was just launch tons of mini-sites and get small organic traffic from each of them. The combined effect of the small traffic was huge traffic. This was how I did the SEO in the past.
If you ask me how to do keyword research for SEO or how to structure a website for internal links, I’ll have no idea.
This year, I want to get more organic traffic for this TML blog.
I’ve been writing this blog since 2019. It contains more than 50 posts, but I don’t have much organic traffic yet. This is what I want to improve.
Also, I bought many courses about writing. Not only copywriting, but also basic article writing as well.
I love writing, but I’m not sure I’m any good at it yet, so I decided to learn more about it this year.
As I plan to add new content to this blog once a week, I want to learn how to write better and faster.
I bought an Article Writing Course from Sean D’Souza at Psychotactics.
Sean is a cool internet marketer and writer who lives in New Zealand. I knew Sean from his book, The Brain Audit. It’s a good book about marketing.
His article writing course helps me plan before writing, structure the content, etc. If you’re planning to learn about writing, I highly recommend this course.
I also bought a course about paid traffic. Since I use paid traffic regularly, I want to learn more about how other successful internet marketers use it.
This course is called The Traffic Engine. It’s offered by Shawn Twing.
It’s not a general course about paid traffic. There are no tips, tricks, or step-by-step instructions on using paid traffic.
This course focuses on the core of the business. Shawn will teach you where and how to use paid traffic in different parts of your business.
The course is kind of about how to direct paid evergreen traffic to your business.
Apart from traffic and content writing, I also studied a course about print-on-demand. I bought the Idea Workshop class from Michael Essek.
If you Google print-on-demand, you’ll find Michael Essek’s blog. It’s a good one, and I highly recommend you read it.
Anyway, the way I run my print-on-demand business is totally different from the way Michael does it.
I focus only on quantity, but Michael focuses on the quality of his designs.
Most of my designs are just simple text, while Michael’s designs are lovely cartoons and objects.
I subscribed to his blog and found that he’d launched a course about his design ideas, so I joined immediately. This course will update the way I do the POD next year.
Another course about print-on-demand I bought is the Gearbubble 3.0 course from Will H.
Will H. is a top seller who makes the most consistent sales on Gearbubble. He sells tons of necklaces throughout the year and makes stable profits every day.
I can’t seem to sell necklaces using paid traffic, so I want to learn what Will is doing.
So far, I have a few profitable necklace campaigns that make a few bucks for me every day. I’ll try to make more from them next year.
I also joined Don Wilson’s Coaching class as well. Don has been a good friend and mentor for many years, and I’ve learned a lot from him.
My print-on-demand business grew by leaps and bounds after I attended Don’s 2017 Mastermind in Bali.
Recently, I built PODTurbo, so this time I want Don to guide me on how to run a successful SaaS business.
I’m new to this business, so I need Don’s help. I’ve already learned a lot about the subject from him.
Apart from the business part, I also subscribe to a yearly plan on Engoo. Engoo is a website where I can learn English online with native speakers.
I studied at Engoo once in 2017 before I spoke on stage in Las Vegas. After that, I paused it for a long time. I just decided to improve my speaking skills this year.
Okay, that’s all about the courses I took this year. As I said, I think the lockdown did me some good, since I could stay at home and learn many things.
Hit 7-Figures From Print-on-Demand
Selling print-on-demand products has been my main source of income since 2014.
People keep asking me whether print-on-demand is saturated. Maybe. But my income from this business still increases every single year.
It’s a business model that can help you earn passive income.
This year, I didn’t do anything differently from what I did last year. There are two print-on-demand business models I use:
- Selling print-on-demand products on marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy
- Scaling print-on-demand products using Facebook Ads
That’s all. Nothing special. Nothing fancy. I just focus on what I’ve been doing for years.
One thing I did slightly differently from last year was use PODTurbo to help me list tons of new products.
Also, I don’t add new products in tons of niches, like I usually did in the past. Because I’ve been doing this for many years and have the selling stats, I know which niches sell well.
I no longer use quotes like this:
“Keep calm, I’m an Engineer”
“Keep calm, I’m a Nurse”
“Keep calm, I’m a Teacher”
I created a small script that extracts the top-selling niches for me. Then I asked my virtual assistant to find new quotes specifically for those niches so I can create products for them.
These are examples of quotes for new products:
“Without Engineers, Science is Just Philosophy”Engineer Niche
“Don’t mess with me! I get paid to stab people with sharp objects”Nurse Niche
“I’m sorry… Is my teaching interrupting your talking?”Teacher Niche
I don’t mean to say that the repeating quotes don’t work anymore. But when you have some sales stats, it’s better to find more specific quotes for products.
So far, I’ve made many sales from the products that use these new niche-specific quotes.
Also, I don’t sell only coffee mugs, shot glasses, or travel mugs. I’ve added new types of products such as face masks, necklaces, and jewelry message cards to my store.
Face masks have been selling really well because of the pandemic. Necklaces and jewelry message cards are selling well too, because the competition is very low.
Necklaces and jewelry message cards are products you can sell for a high price, even though the base cost is cheap. I love this. It’s another reason why I listed more of these products this year.
I also discovered that most of my Amazon sales are from FBA products.
So, this year I sent many more boxes of coffee mugs to the Amazon Warehouse, especially in Q4.
I think I sent around 2,000 coffee mugs there this year.
My Amazon sales in 2020 increased over 100% over last year. It’s mainly because of FBA. I plan to send a lot more products to FBA in 2021.
Apart from selling print-on-demand products on the marketplaces, I also used paid traffic – Facebook Ads – to scale my sales aggressively.
I picked some of the best-selling products in my Amazon and Etsy accounts to promote before Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I made almost $350k from these special days.
At the end of the year, I also used paid traffic to promote Dropship on Demand (DOD) products that I do with my team. We almost reached 7-figures in sales in less than a month.
Paid traffic is what you use to scale your products to the moon.
So, that’s all about my print-on-demand journey this year. I did almost all the same things I did in the previous year, but got better results.
Improving PODTurbo For Our Crew
I never thought I would create a tool that can help people make almost $400k in a year.
This tool is called PODTurbo. It helps people list tons of print-on-demand products on marketplaces such as Amazon or Etsy and make passive income easily.
My friend and I built it last year, and we have many new members using it this year.
Last year, PODTurbo didn’t have the features and performance it does today.
If you are among the first batch of people who used PODTurbo, you might remember when you had to wait for an hour for the system to process the CSV file.
Now, it can process that same CSV file in less than a minute!
I’m very happy about this, because I’m a PODTurbo user as well. I use this tool to grow my print-on-demand empire, so I need to make sure that it works the way I want.
My members and I always come up with new features. We have a long list of new features we’ve added to the system.
We also added new product types to PODTurbo. This year we added face masks, jewelry message cards, camper mugs, and clothes.
It’s very important to have new products, because print-on-demand sellers always need to add new products to their stores.
For example, if all sellers upload only white coffee mugs, there will be too many white coffee mugs in the marketplaces. It will be difficult to make a sale from a new coffee mug.
For this reason, when a new product is available from Gearbubble, our development team always acts fast to make it available to our members.
Next year, we’ll keep improving the system and help our members crush their print-on-demand sales.
If you haven’t tried PODTurbo yet, now is the time to build your Print-on-Demand Empire!
Create Two Training Courses
This year, I created two courses, but only one has been publicly launched.
These two courses are my Mother’s Day Mini-Course and the Scale King Method.
The Mother’s Day Mini-Course is the training I created for print-on-demand sellers who want to crush their Mother’s Day sales.
I was written from my experiences in 2019. This year I made a lot more than I did last year, so I already have a plan to update this training in 2021. YES, all existing students will get the updates for free! 🙂
The Scale King Method is a training course I quickly created for people who want to crush holiday sales using Facebook Ads.
This course was launched internally with a pilot version, and around 100 people enrolled in it. Many of them hit 5-figure days after using the scaling method I wrote about.
Anyway, this course hasn’t finished yet. I’ve only completed the part about the scaling method I used to scale up my Facebook Ads Campaigns to make over $60k a day within just a few days.
There is still another part, called Over-The-Shoulder, which I want to show to my students. I’m writing it now. It should be ready in mid-January.
I plan to open this course to the public next year.
These are the two courses I created this year.
Now I have:
- The 1-Hour System (1HS) for NEW sellers who want to build a print-on-demand business.
- The Mother’s Day Mini-Course for print-on-demand sellers who want to crush sales on BIG holidays like Mother’s Day.
- The Scale King Method (SKM), for experienced sellers who want to scale their sales to the moon using Facebook Ads.
I think these courses are just the ticket for people who want to build a sustainable print-on-demand business using both free and paid traffic. I’ll keep updating these courses next year.
I always put my money into assets that can make me more money.
I put more money into my stock portfolio during the COVID pandemic because the stock prices were lower than they used to be. They started making some profit when there was good news about a Covid vaccine.
I also invested money in tech stocks in the U.S. If you follow the American stock market, you know that the stocks of companies like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Tesla have been increasing dramatically.
When I started investing in 2012, I didn’t see huge differences when the stock market rose or fell, because back then I only had a small amount of money invested.
But after investing and accumulating money in my stock portfolio for years, I’ve found that my profits increase significantly when the stock market rises (and decrease significantly when it falls).
I’m quite enjoy looking at my portfolio.
Also, I’ve heard many good things about cryptocurrency, but I don’t know much about it yet, so I haven’t invested much in crypto. I have a small amount of crypto in my eToro portfolio.
I’ll study the subject more next year. Hopefully it’s not too late, because Elon Musk just tweeted about it a few days ago…
Anyway, investing is critical. If you make some money, invest some of it in assets that will grow your money.
Remember, you can’t work forever. I realized that when I was in the hospital a few weeks ago. When we get older, we won’t have as much energy as we do today.
It’s important to make your money work for you.
For years, I didn’t make New Year’s resolutions.
Last year, I wrote, “What I’m going to do will be basically the same as what I did in 2019.”
This year, I’ll do the same.
“What I’m going to do in 2021 will be basically the same as what I did in 2020.”
I will continue building my print-on-demand business. I’ll add more products to my Amazon and Etsy accounts. I’ll focus more on sending more products to Amazon FBA. I’ll choose good products to promote using Facebook Ads.
Those are the main things I’ve been doing for years, and I’ll continue to do them next year.
Regarding blog posts: I published 27 blog posts this year. I’ll keep sharing my internet marketing journey. Hopefully, I can publish at least 30 posts in 2021. 🙂
I’ll also have to finish the Scale King Method, because it’s not finished yet and many people are waiting for it.
The Over-the-Shoulder part will help other people understand how I run my Facebook campaigns so they can do the same for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Then, I’ll update the Mother’s Day Mini-Course so people can read my latest strategy to crush Mother’s Day sales.
Apart from the business, I plan to do more exercise next year.
A few weeks ago, I passed out and had to stay in the hospital for two days. The doctor told me that I didn’t rest enough and drank too much coffee.
I have to change my bedtime, exercise more often, and quit drinking coffee.
Now, I’ve changed my bedtime. I go to bed before midnight and wake up at around 9 o’clock. I do my exercises first thing in the morning and start working after that.
So getting healthier will be the main thing I do next year.
Okay, that’s my 2020 Year in Review and my plan for 2021.
I wish you all and your family a very happy and healthy New Year. I hope you all have a great break, because we all deserve it.
Enjoy the holidays, and see you next year!