Cambell Baxter’s Story: Accounting, Music, Allergies And Internet Marketing

People always have interesting stories, even if they don’t think so themselves. And those stories usually involve unique experiences that make people experts by default.

An expert is generally someone that knows more than someone else… And this knowledge can always be turned into an information product and sold.

Cambell is one of those experts in many different fields…

Cambell Baxter’s Story

[box]
Cambell Baxter

Cambell Baxter

My name is Cambell Baxter and I live in Australind, Western Australia (just down the road from Ian).

I work 40 hours a week as an accountant and I am very interested in music, especially ocarinas and bass guitar. I enjoy using fountain pens and have a penpal who I write to often.

I also study part time at Edith Cowan University for my Business Degree – Accounting and Public Practice Majors.

I have never bought any internet marketing courses, but I follow your blog and Brendon Burchard’s.

I have run a few eBay selling programs, but nothing serious. All were successful, but the return was around 10% each time. I was selling action replay for Nintendo DS and R4i SDHC cards for DS.

I have a blog at AllergyMad.com

I have the site set up, Aweber ready to go and a small introductory opt-in product. But my main product is not complete. I would like to get to selling my product and earning about $300 per week from it. This would give me a great deal of freedom and choice. More would of course be great, but right now that is a great goal.

I would like a recurring, fairly stable income that I can use to supplement my current income.

[/box]

My Comments To Cambell

Cambell, first up, well done on getting your WordPress blog set up complete with content and an optin form. Considering you have never bought an internet marketing course, that is an amazing effort.

As an Accountant, you will have a good handle on business and bottom line profits… You just need a good strategy and you’ll have a winner.

I know from speaking to you, that you have suffered with allergies for a long time, and that’s the inspiration for AllergyMad.com. As someone who also suffers, I know that I am willing to try almost anything to get over them. I also know that a search on Google provides a huge amount of information which is provided by some big power sites like Wikipedia.org, Medicinenet.com, Webmd.com and other high page rank sites.

I also found plenty of Dummies guides to allergies and hundreds of allergy books on Amazon… So, there is obviously a lot of money to be made in the niche, but it is very, very competitive.

The Dummies guides sell for around $19, so you should be able to achieve that price with a good ebook of your own. To make $300 a week you need to sell about 3 ebooks a day, taking into account processing fees, etc.

If you buy traffic, you will probably need about 6 to 8 sales per day. This is achievable with plenty of smart work.

The issue I have with a competitive niche, is the amount of work required to break into and make sales in the niche.

If you implement ‘free’ traffic strategies (which are never free, unless you don’t value your time), it is going to take a BIG effort to succeed. This could take you 12 months (or more) of consistent backlinking, article writing, social marketing, blog posting, etc. every day.

If you implement ‘paid’ traffic strategies you will probably have to pay $0.50 to $1.00 per click to get someone to your website. At an industry average conversion rate of 2% you would need to make $25 to $50 per sale to breakeven. At a $19 price point for your ebook you will lose money hand over fist.

To get around this, you need to find a way to increase the lifetime customer value from $19 to $100, or more… Just like I did with the model train ebook ($27) and creating a membership site ($120+).

What you need to consider, is if allergy sufferers will want to stay subscribed to a monthly membership. I wouldn’t because my allergies are seasonal, but people with allergies all year round might… It’s something that you could test.

It would be a good idea to build a subscriber list of at least 500 people and then ask them.

The other option is to consider your other skills, passions, and see if there is not some other lower hanging fruit that you could build a membership site using this strategy.

I look forward to your comments.

Have Fun,
Ian

Want to be advised when this conversation is updated?

Then enter your details into the subscribe form below, and click the subscribe button. You will then get an email with the latest update, so you won’t miss out… Got any suggestions, feedback or comments? Please leave them below.

  • Cambell Baxter

    Hi Ian!

    These are some great points, thank you for taking the time to take a look at my situation. The conversion figures I calculated for my product weren’t quite as poor as the average, but they still didn’t work out to be viable. I believe the competition in the niche is too high to enter without having something ground-breaking. I think most of the medical niches would be the same – it’s all been covered before.

    I have since been brainstorming ideas. If I can find a niche with less competition but which I still have some expertise in, then I know I have the skills to bring the strategy side of things home.

    Here are a few of my ideas:

    1. Ocarinas – These instruments are my absolute favourite. They are small, portable, rare, interesting and beautiful. I have been playing for about two years, have a small YouTube following and a well known presence on the foremost internet forum for the instrument (www.theocarinanetwork.com). I know pretty much all there is to know about the instrument, and know all the people that know the rest!

    There is a market for some sort of guide or training in how to learn to play. Being quite an obscure instrument, there isn’t much material written directly for it, and so we often cannibalise technique and repertoires from other instruments.

    The downside of it being an obscure instrument are that there is a much smaller player base than you would normally be looking at. there are tens of thousands of players but many are located in Asia, and only about 10,000 are registered or reachable via The Ocarina Network or several Facebook communities.

    As you can see, I have a passion for the instrument and the idea. What I need help with is the practical application of a product, subscription and networking opportunities. Is this a potentially viable idea?

    2. Student Ideas: This is such a broad topic that it leaves lots of room for expansion, but may not have a foot to stand on in the first place. The problem I see is that students tend to not have much money. The potential market, however, is huge.

    There are plenty of opportunities for products – study guides, graduation gifts, quote books, academic products, etc. I don’t think there would be much of a potential subscription base though. One idea I had was for something like an online study group. What do you think?

    3. Accounting: As an accountant, I do have the knowledge of the field that 99% of people don’t have. The only thing that has stopped me considering this kind of thing further is the regulation and legal restrictions around giving financial advice in Australia. Do you have any ideas on this?

    4. Weddings. I am currently in the process of planning my wedding. I never realised how much time, effort and MONEY went into these things!! There is an immense market and huge potential, with money being showered on vendors of quality products. The one thing I couldn’t seem to find was a decently-priced wedding planning guide, which would be a massive help, believe me!

    I believe there are opportunities for affiliates to sell the products and enough margin on products to affiliate sell items myself. This appeals to me, because the product is already there and ready to go, with me performing a vendor/networking function.

    I would really appreciate any feedback on my ideas, from anyone and everyone!

    Once again Ian, thank you for taking the time to coach myself and the other candidates. I think this is a great project, and one to watch closely for great ideas!

  • Ian McConnell

    Hi Cambell,

    You have come back with 4 rock solid ideas… Well done!

    I can tell from your comment that you have methodically considered each idea. Each of those idea’s will probably be a winner… But, the trick is finding the idea that will provide the best return on your time and money investment.

    Let’s analyse them:

    1. Ocarinas – I had not heard about this instrument before, but you certainly got me interested, so I Googled it. I don’t know if it resonated with me because of growing up in Zimbabwe and loving the tribal shows, but what an interesting instrument. It dates back over 12,000 years and is important in Chinese culture… Interesting!

    So, let’s do some research…

    Google searches – 135,000 global searches (wow), low competition (excellent), $0.32 CPC (average cost per click you would need to pay if you bought traffic from Google).

    Google Trends – the search trend is consistent over the last 12 months, with the majority of searches coming from the US for the keyword phrases zelda ocarinas, songbird ocarinas and ocarinas for sale (it proves people are buying and selling online).

    You can see the trend at http://www.google.com/trends/explore?hl=en#q=Ocarinas&date=today%2012-m&cmpt=q

    Amazon – over 3,000 results for ‘ocarinas’ with many having over 50 positive reviews. That means people are buying and selling within Amazon, but there are no how to books.

    eBay – over 2,000 active listings and a few ‘learning the ocarina’ books. More proof people are buying and selling online.

    YouTube – I found a docjazz4 video with 6,350,943 views and he has others with millions of views… WOW!

    These niche stats are looking VERY good. A simple video blog featuring your YouTube videos would be the way to go. With those insane amount of views just a simple Adsense strategy (ads) on your videos would bring in some nice passive income.

    You could also monetize further by offering deals on eBay and Amazon (like I did with model trains), and later you could create a video based how to guide.

    Because of your passion and experience, it seems like this niche is an absolute no-brainer for you. Within a few days you could have a great website and be ranking Ocarina based articles within a few weeks (because of the lack of competition).

    2. Student Ideas – many people have done extremely well with selling study guides to students. You will be amazed how students find the money to pay for something, if they really want it.

    It is a very broad niche, but you could have a student based website specific to Australia, which becomes an authority. It could become the go to website for Australian students, and encompass all the ideas you spoke of, study guides, graduation gifts, quote books, academic products, online study group and more.

    This will take months of work and the monetization could be from the sale of guides, a small monthly for access to the study group and advertising. Long term, this authority website could be worth a small fortune…

    3. Accounting – there is a massive opportunity for someone like yourself to produce how to guides for entrepreneurs like myself.

    I had to do so much research (on my own) to find accounting software that would cater for my earnings in different currencies. I now use Xero, but it took a lot of trial and error to find the right solution.

    Many new entrepreneurs need educating on cashflow and all the other sexy financial stuff that you know about, and we should too.

    When I first started out, I didn’t want to ring my accountant and ask, what he would have probably thought were trivial questions, and I get slugged with a big bill…

    Also, back then (many, many years ago) I had the other issue of trying to decipher what my accountant was telling me. He spoke in accountant technical speak, that I just didn’t understand. I hope he never reads this because he’ll wonder why I didn’t tell him I didn’t understand.

    The truth was, I was too embarrassed to ask him to dumb it down… I actually got better answers to my questions from asking other business owners what they did.

    I won’t have these issues know though, because I’ll ask you… and I’m more educated now. 🙂

    My point is, there is a need for some great how to and step-by-step guides, written in plain English, for the newbie entrepreneur.

    You can get around the legal issues with a disclaimer, and structuring the content to just offer recommendations, that they should run past their accountant before implementing them.

    But I don’t know how your fellow accountants will like you providing these guides. They might think that you are taking work away from them. It could make dealing with their clients easier though… That’s something to consider.

    4. Weddings – I won’t do the research for this, as I already know its a winner. There is a big need for someone to take what a wedding planner does, and putting it into a quality information product. Maybe even a physical ‘kit’ type product.

    I have friends that are sending their kids to Bali to get married because it is a fraction of the price, with 10 times more value, than getting married in Australia.

    A good information product with checklists, recommendations, wedding style ideas, etc. would be a must have purchase for anyone planning a wedding.

    I would be surprised if there is nothing like this already available. I’ll do some investigating and let you know what I find.

    There is a big opportunity to make affiliate sales on all the purchases, but it is going to take a big effort to put this ‘kit’ together.

    Hopefully this has helped you and I look forward to your comments.

    Have Fun,
    Ian

  • Cambell Baxter

    Ian,

    I have begun to draft out some ideas for Ocarina products. If the market is accessible, then this is definitely the niche I want to entrench myself in.

    I’m considering an introductory e-book about different types of ocarinas and the pros and cons of each. This will be my opt-in product, to be followed by emails and blog posts with articles on the ocarina and playing techniques, tunes to learn, ideas and ‘questions from readers,’ which is always popular.

    Do you think it would be prudent to get the ocarina community involved with the idea-generating process? I can definitely scope out the products that are sought after this way.

    I’ll let you know when I have the opt-in product and a few blog posts ready and can get a domain up and running, then we can start ‘cooking with gas’!

    • Ian McConnell

      Hi Cambell,

      You need to do some more research. Find your competitors, future partners, etc. What are they already doing in the market? How can you make it better?

      You don’t want to reinvent the wheel. An optin may not work.

      Do you know why this video has close to 4 million views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sw76wHUmk4

      I thought it was the Super Mario part but he has over 21,000 likes…

      Also, take note of the call to action to pre-order his Ocarina album on Kickstarter. He has 168 backers that have pledged $10,050 at todays date… WOW!

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/docjazz4/an-album-of-ocarina-music

      The YouTube channel ‘docjazz4’ looks like someone you need to be following closely.

      Have Fun,
      Ian

      • Cambell Baxter

        Hi Ian,

        Competitors in the ocarina field really are few and far between, even among the makers of ocarinas. As far as information products go, there are very few in English, and those that exist are basically song books. These are distributed mainly by Songbird Ocarinas in the US. There are no online information products except for one guide on making ocarinas, which is why The Ocarina Network forum gets so much traffic from newbies looking to learn.

        I am friendly with the Ocarina Network admins and many makers and users. There are several new makers that I am sure I could set up some sort of affiliation with. The admins would also be quite receptive to promoting a learning series, I’m sure.

        For sure, videos are the primary medium in the ocarina world. Docjazz4 (David Erick Ramos) is probably the most ‘famous’ for his long list of videos, consistently high quality playing and his audience interaction. I am a big fan 😀 He has a large, loyal fan base which he interacts with genuinely and who have grown along with him. For a long time, his videos were the only ones on youtube for the ocarina, which is the reason for the Mario video. Since then there have been others come on the scene (Cris Gale/Ocarinadiva, Kissing88, Ubizmo and others). For examples of great playing, check out David’s ocarina cover of ‘Someone like you’ by Adele.

        Docjazz4 tried a set of learning videos recently but seems to have given up on them. I also have a sheet music tutorial video on my channel (Camdavbax) but I haven’t uploaded a video in a while.

        The strength he has is his natural fan base, which I can certainly utilise: he often does ‘shout outs’ to followers, especially if it is something that ocarina players may be interested in.

        Do you still see a video series as being the ideal medium? Something similar to what ‘toonboxstudio’ on Youtube does? he is a digital artist that sells video courses, and uses youtube as a teaser, with his website having the full courses for sale. Could I use that as a template?

        • Ian McConnell

          Hi Cambell,

          David has proved that there is money in this market with his kickstarter listing…
          http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/docjazz4/an-album-of-ocarina-music

          It is incredibly hard to get people to back you on an idea and he has managed to get over 171 backers to pledge $10,000. I doubt though that he is going to get to his goal of $22,000. And it would seem that he may not go ahead with the album if he doesn’t get there.

          Because you are already deeply entrenched in this niche it makes sense to have your own ocarina blog to house your YouTube videos and create a timeline of your experiences, etc.

          You can then offer 2nd hand and new ocarinas, do reviews on songbooks and how-to guides and build an audience (subscriber list).

          As soon as you have a few hundred subscribers you could then survey them and ask what they would like next.

          It could be a forum, or an album, or interviews of other experts, or a video based how-to guide…

          If the demand is big enough, you would then take that next step.

          Your experience with people in the ocarina market is similar to mine when I first looked at the model train market. There wasn’t a huge amount of ‘beginner’ products on the market but I heard all the questions. Sometimes you just have to take a punt.

          What have you got to lose? Nothing.

          You don’t need the extra income right now (like some people), and you are going to LOVE creating your own ocarina blog.

          You will make some money from this project, but the question is how much? You won’t know until you try.

          Have Fun,
          Ian

  • Joe

    Its really exciting to read the dialogue between you two already.

    The Ocarina idea sounds like a winner. I’d only ever heard of them from the Zelda games.

    Is there much money in them though? I see the Adwords competition is listed as ‘low’. This means there aren’t many people paying for adverts in this niche.

    In fact, when I did a Google search for Ocarina there were no Adwords adverts listed on the Google search results page. Although that might be because of my location?

    Any way, good luck with your project, I look forward to keeping up to date with it.

    Joe

    • Ian McConnell

      Hi Joe

      The low Adwords competition and CPC is an indicator that there are no marketers buying ads on the subject.

      But, the YouTube views of 3 million plus indicates there is a huge amount of people viewing the videos. If Cambell just created YouTube Videos on his channel, and got those view numbers, he would have a winner with the Google partner program (ad before video) or placing Adsense ads on the videos.

      The retargeting of ads would ensure these ads are relevant to the viewer (credit card ad on an Ocarina video), and could produce some awesome click through rates.

      Cambell needs to work out why those videos are so popular and make his even more popular.

      The issue I have is if YouTube decides one day that Cambell has violated their TOS, for one reason or another, his business will vanish overnight. This has happened on many occasions (including to me) for reasons that people haven’t been able to figure out.

      To get around that Cambell should build his own video blog which will mirror his YouTube channel. He can then promote this site and figure out if a how-to video course, buying and selling Ocarina’s, or something else is profitable.

      Have Fun,
      Ian

    • Cambell Baxter

      Thanks for the comment Joe!

      The Zelda game ‘Ocarina of Time’ certainly pushed the ocarina onto the western stage in modern times, but it was actually quite a common instrument 100 years ago and even during WW2, where the US soldiers were given them to keep morale up!

      There is certainly money to be made in the niche. I have over $1500 worth of ocarinas and related merchandise, and I have quite a small collection. One of my ocarinas is worth $500 by itself! If I had access to a product for ~$30-$40 when I started out, I definitely would have bought it, as it is a small price to pay for the return you get from the instrument. There are literally hundreds of topics on TON asking about playing techniques, how-to questions and such. People are hungry for the information, and I’m sure I can give it to them.

      Thanks again for the comment!

  • Joe

    Sounds like the perfect niche for you then!

    Good luck with it and keep us posted.

    Joe

    • Ian McConnell

      Joe, there is gold hiding in some of these obscure niches.

      And the best thing is that Cambell will always have very little competition, because it is an obscure niche.

      Have Fun,
      Ian

  • Owen

    Great idea and love the interaction. Never heard of Ocarina myself, but sounds good. Good luck with the project.

  • Pingback: How To Make Money From Your Knowledge Or Skill | Make Money Online... InMyHomeOffice()