Why I pull the plug out of Backbone Management System

I invested a lot of research efforts in the early development stages of Backbone Management System. It was to be my first SaaS business. The short answer is that I do not want to manage a multi-million dollar SaaS start up. That is a stressfull full time job.

Remote teams

Managing remote teams is one of the most sought after skills in this new era of tech start ups. I got the taste of it, and essentially this is what most of the future work will look like, but the magnitude of what Backbone.ms was supposed to become was such, that it would have required over 50 hours a week to keep everything up and running. At least in the firts year or two after launch. I do not want that.

IMS or Hosted Intranet

There are more factors why I decided after several months -of not directly working on the project- that it was time to stop. One being the fact that I did not progress on the prototype. It shifted from being a fully Integrated Management System to a more lightweigth (do I hear Minimal Viable Product?) hosted intranet. That still may work very well, but not under the name backbone.ms. You can have it. Grab it out of quarentine x days after 22 of august 2018. Good luck. The next one will be a .com. I never liked this .io thing by the way and I am totally over alternative domain extensions. Did not learn my lesson with the .cash I registerred some years before, and now this one neither took off as a rocket.

New oppertunities arrise

I do like the realm.li and webapp.li domains I picked up in the process. Not for SEO, but because of there more generic potential in building something big. I just do not know yet what it is. Another potential MVP that stays after this failure that I am proud off is clickablegrid.com. This was supoosed to be a feature of backbone.ms and I might very well develop this anyway as a simple WordPress plugin.

Integrated Management Systems

In the meanwhile I learned a lot about Integrated Management Systems (IMS) and got certified as internal auditor for management systems. The demand trough the Upwork platform (my main source for gigs) was not what I expected. Also, I have not seen the IMS boom I expected because of the new 2015 versions (Note: 3 year tansition period) of quality and environmental management systems in combination with a new standard for Health and Safety using the same High Level Structure (almost forget about that one).

Dissecting other Businesses

The moment I pressed the delete domain button I felt this is a good descision. I learned an awfull lot about business in general, about SaaS business specifically, about Management Systems and most important; I realised what type of lifestyle businesses I am after. In some time I will probably be an Angel Investor. In the meanwhile I enjoy dissecting other businesses without being too much involved myself. One way or the other that is what I like most. Understanding how and why businesses and organisations work or fail. I started doing that since my first job ever, and later on observing silently as student worker in many types of organisations. It explains why I wanted to become auditor for Integrated Management Systems, and why I find so much satisfaction in advertising now.

Google AdWords Search Certified Professional

At least untill 3th of April 2019. I may oficially call myself a Google Adwords Search Certified professional. I was awarded with the certificate after passing the AdWords Fundamentals and Search Advertising assessments. Since January 2018 these Google certificates are issued by Googles Acedemy for Ads.

Why did I want to become certified?

It requires certain investment of time to study the course materials – and skill set – to be able to pass first the Fundamentals and later the Search exam. There are no exam fees whatsover, but still. Basically I had to because you required me to have an Adwords Search Certification. About half of the job postings related with Google Adwords on Upwork ask specificaly for certified professionals. Also, to keep myself sharp it is good to keep learning!

So, what is next?

When creating my google partner profile I noticed that the only publicity about my Certification I can make is sharing my certificates. That is about it. If I want to use a google partner badge, I need to meet several additonal requirements. One of these is registering my company as a candidate to become an official Google Partner. To become a Google Partner, you need to show expertise in various advertising fields and a 3 month ad spent of at least 10.000 usd.

If things go well this may be something to opt for.

My Google Adwords Search Certification

AdWords Search Certificate valid trough 4/3/2019
For now passing the first assessments to obtain my Google Adwords Search Certification is fine enough. This will help me manage more Google Adwords accounts and build my portfolio as advertising professional.

You can hire me directly to manage your Google Awords Campaign or use the Upwork escrow platform to handle the administration.

I noticed there were some words left to reach 300 in this posts wordcount. I am not always going to be compliant, but it would be nice if this message gets indexed well. Because even though Advertising is great, there is nothing like good old Organic Traffic.

AdWords. The Symbiosis between Client and own Developments

It is incredible. The things I learn from my clients. I apply what I learn doing consultancies in my own projects. Visa versa, the things I learn doing developing my own endeavours are directly improving my clients results in every following assignment. A great example is Google AdWords.

I hated paying for advertisements. I was radically against it. A few months ago, I compared it with using cancerous pesticides. Now I have seen the other side and doing well form the start. How different is that with Facebook Advertising. A steep learning curve, problems with installing Facebook pixel in WooCommerce and only access to existing clients. AdWords is much more intuitive.

I am not saying there is no learning curve with AdWords. Perhaps it is just because I am playing over a decade with AdSense, the publisher side of Google Online Advertising Vehicle. It helps to know how site publishers think and the other way around it is important to understand the advertiser’s perspective. For that reason, I finally accepted the Google coupon they were sending me occasionally during the last 10 years.

First impression of Google AdWords

The initial set up was dead simple. Only in a later step you get access to the full interface, that may be a bit overwhelming at first… You know what, I am not going to write yet another AdWords Tutorial here. It is easy to find good tips on implementation and optimization. The most important factors I found are the advertising strategy, ad copy, exact keyword bidding, account organization in ad groups with few related keywords, Click Trough Rate and Quality Score. Ofcourse, the landing page and product offer has to be spot on and in sync with your ad copy.

The most important factors to consider with Google Adwords are advertising strategy, ad copy, bid type, ad group organization, CTR and Quality Score
I did not exactly register my time invested in setting up and optimizing my first campaign. I can assure It occupied me during the last two weeks. If not logged in I cannot stop thinking on keyword optimization, audiences and so on. The good thing (for you) is that I passed through his process, so the next time I set up a campaign it will be straightforward.

Successful campaign for my digital product

At this stage I am still figuring out and optimizing various factors. A/B tests are ongoing, but for some keywords I have steady double digit Click Trough Rates with my ad copy. The product page itself has gone to some zillion revisions to optimize sales, but from the start, Google AdWords, is a profitable channel to target new site visitors that are highly interested in buying. For this single campaign it is. I can not wait to write ad copy for AdWords and set up campaigns for others. I am really exited about it and that is why I wanted to share my first steps into AdWords.

Do you think I should become AdWords Certified? I wonder how many customers really care.