So I run a small-ish online record shop, which has been growing and growing over the last year, so much so that I felt confident in quitting my day job and focusing on my shop full-time. I started this back in November of 2020, and am nearing 100k in revenue. It's not a whole lot compared to other posts I've read on here, but I am 19 and this is more money than I have ever seen. My margins are pretty good, but nearly every single cent has been getting invested back into the business week-after-week.
It has been anything BUT passive, it sucks up a boat load of my time and energy, however I don't really mind because I love music, and I love vinyl, but I've been wanting to find a way to passively earn some more that still pertains to doing the things I love, which is where my blog idea came in. I had been pondering it for a while, and several weeks ago I bit the bullet, bought the domain, and started with a wordpress.com site, with the Elementor add-on, with the hopes of being able to convert to a wordpress.org site when the time comes, and when I've gained enough knowledge to confidently run and design that.
Don't shit on me please, I am aware that there are cheaper options with much more flexibility, but this is my first time dipping my toes into the world of true eCommerce (My online shop is on Etsy, where I don't have to handle all the technical coding and admin stuff), and actually building a website.
It's been a huge learning experience as I try to figure out how all this works, and despite me being pretty young, I would not say I'm tech-savvy, at least to the extent some of my peers are.
My idea was to build a website that functions primarily as a music/vinyl blog, but also acts as another area of the web I can establish presence on and generate some organic traffic through my site into my Etsy shop, while simultaneously getting a piece of the advertisement pie alongside the affiliate link pie. I know some would suggest that I just fully move to my own site instead of staying on Etsy, but I love the exposure that Etsy gives my products. They put the customers in front of my products, and I don't have to handle a lot of the SEO, conversion optimization, or even a lot of the financial reports. Etsy keeps everything in one place for me, and makes my life a lot easier. I don't plan on staying on Etsy for forever, Etsy was just a good place for me to start and is a good place for me to remain for the time being.
It probably goes without saying too, I'm dog shit at SEO, which is a big reason why this website/blog thing has me pretty stressed out. But, I'm hoping to gain some SEO knowledge and experience throughout the making and running of this website, so whatever it's a learning experience.
I've hit a road block though and cannot decide if I should start setting up the advertising part now, or wait till I have a bunch of content to start rolling out ads. My site is set to launch to the public September 1st, and my thought process was to revise, edit, design, and write articles up until then so that when my site does launch, there is a plethora of content that my audience can read on a website that looks professional. I'm building my email list day by day, have a decent Instagram/Facebook audience, and have a significant amount of repeat customers, all with the hopes of having a great starting audience for when the site does launch.
What are your thoughts on this tactic of building and building and building for several months then rolling out the finished project? Do people usually just launch the site right away and just continually add content while growing their audience from the start? I wouldn't just stop creating content once I launch the site, I would still be adding more and more articles as time passes on, but I just figured it would be wiser to have more of a "complete" project at the launch date, rather than something that appears it needs to be built-up some more.
On top of that, should I start setting up the advertising/affiliate side now? Or should I focus more on building the content side and wait till the site is launched to focus on ads/affiliates when I have regular visitors?
I apologize if these questions are too vague, or if this was too confusing to read, my brain is kinda fried right now from the stress of all this and I just feel sort of lost at what I should be doing. Not to mention I never had a plan written out and have just been going along for the ride and sucking up as much knowledge as I can.
This was way longer than I had wanted, I guess I just needed to vent to like-minded people with the hopes of someone understanding.
Any input is appreciated, I love business and finance, but I'm not going to pretend for a second that I know what I'm doing. I'm a regular lurker of this sub and I've read a lot of the sophisticated discussions on this sub which often times leave me feeling like a total naive idiot but whatever. I know some of you don't have the time to be dealing with a 19-year old, self-proclaimed "entrepreneur", but please, I'm just looking for some input from someone who knows more than I.