At 16, I realized I was too young to get a high paying job, so I did the next best thing… I started a business.
But making $5.75 an hour picking up trash wasn’t enough to market my business, though. The only solution that I could think of was SEO because if you put in the time and effort you can get the traffic for free.
It’s also the main reason I fell in love with it… it gives the little guy a chance to compete with the big guys.
And over the years I wanted to pay it forward and help out all of the entrepreneurs and small companies so they can do the same… succeed without having to spend a lot of money.
And of course, my front-end developers as well as my dev-ops team Netlabs, which ran me $22,700.
Then if you add on miscellaneous costs, such as support, design, and project management, I was out another $11,450.
All in all, I spent $247,218 during the month of January 2020.
Keep in mind that my costs are continually rising. As the tool gets more popular, it costs me more.
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One of the big reasons for the server expenses is scrapers.
Believe it or not, a lot of companies are scraping our data and continually rotating up IPs and creating fake accounts, which increases our server expenses. Especially when you consider that they are researching vague SEO terms or domains that aren’t cached in our system.
Now the purpose of this post wasn’t to make you feel bad or guilty (unless you are scraping me). I just wanted to be transparent about my situation.
Originally, I was hoping that I could convert a portion of the Ubersuggest customer base into agency clients but as we continually move upstream and work with bigger brands, the conversion rate from an Ubersuggest visitor to a paying consulting customer has been low.
As that didn’t work out the way I wanted, which I learned around 11 months ago, it became harder and harder for me to eat the costs as they continually grew and I didn’t have a way to pay for them other than to dip into my own savings.
So, I started searching for solutions, such as turning Ubersuggest into a non-profit and raise money from foundations to help support the cost. I tried that for 5 months and I didn’t gain much traction.
I also tried to see if I could get sponsors for the tool who would help cover the costs, but that didn’t work out well either. Instead, many of them offered to buy the company for millions of dollars (some in the 8 figures) but I didn’t want to sell it as I knew their goal would be to turn it into another $100-a-month tool, which didn’t sit well with me.
My goal in life is to help people generate more traffic. And I believe Ubersuggest can get better results and give you a fighting chance.
I also want to continually make the tool better. For example, why can’t SEO be automated? If you can have self-driving cars, there is no reason why you can’t automate SEO through artificial intelligence and machine learning.
But with the rising expenses, I was left with 2 options… either shut the tool down (which isn’t an option for me) or figure out a way to cover my expenses.
In the long run, I can’t keep sustaining the loss of $247,218 a month forever, especially when that number is climbing (that’s roughly 3 million dollars a year).
My team and I came up with an interesting concept that we think is fair and hopefully, you won’t be upset about it.
Remember how I said only 14.3% of people register to view more data but 85.7% never register as they were happy with the free data?
Well, nothing will change for 85.7% of you.
As for the 14.3% who register to create projects and track keywords, you can still do that for free. But if you want to add more projects or track a lot more keywords, you can upgrade to a paid plan.
The same goes for keyword research. If you want to view even more data, you can pay for the blocked data. Or if you want to analyze thousands of pages on your site through the site audit, you can also upgrade.
Don’t worry though, I am still following my original mission.
I promise to always keep Ubersuggest affordable (and mainly free). I decided to take the Netflix/Amazon approach and try to make the cost super affordable (as my goal is to only break-even).
On top of that, I made it a 7-day free trial.
You’ll also find that the pricing varies per country as my costs vary per country. In regions like India and Brazil when someone registers, creates a project and tracks keywords, my expenses are substantially lower than if someone from the United States registers and creates projects and tracks keywords.
The same goes for labor. My support team in India and other regions costs substantially less than the team in the United States or the United Kingdom.
If you also pay annually, you’ll get 2 months free so you can save even more money.
And as I mentioned above, I want to stick to the original mission, which is to help people generate more traffic without having to spend a lot of money.
There will always be a very generous free plan and I am hoping that I can break even by charging for a portion of the application.
I’m sorry that I have to start covering my costs, but I hope you understand at the same time.
From my projections, it will take me roughly 6 months to break even, so I am going to be out a decent amount of money over the next 6 months… but that’s life.
I am not looking to recuperate my original investment and I don’t mind that being a loss, but once I break even on a monthly basis I will continue to either open up more stuff for free or consider lowering the monthly pricing if possible.
Again, I am really sorry, but I hope you understand that it isn’t sustainable for me to spend $247,218 a month indefinitely.
I am open to hearing your thoughts or ideas. I also want to let you know I appreciate everything you have done to support Ubersuggest and my site.