Feb 152015
 

Jaggerware LLC

About Us. Jaggerware LLC is a small family owned software company. We write Mobile phone apps and manage Internet Marketing web sites.

Susan Jaggers is the CEO and is a mom with four kids. We’re giving this web site thing a try to hopefully help offset some of the HUGE college bills coming our way. Susan has a BS in Computer Science from Texas A&M (Whoop!). Her husband Stephen is also a Texas A&M grad with a BS in Computer Science (guess where we met). Susan runs the business and is the only person on the company roster. Stephen does some technical odds and ends along the way to try and help when he can.

Our Ventures to Date…

Jaggerware LLC has been in business since 2009. Since all of the work is done with free time, it’s slow going. But, we do have some small successes. The Android Apps have been better than the Internet Marketing sites. But, we’re still trying.

Android/iPhone Apps

Math Wizard (Android)

Jaggerware LLC was created to try and take advantage of the HUGE Android and Apple IOS app market. Our first venture was an application called the Math Wizard. We created the Math Wizard as a way of learning just what it takes to put together a great app. The Math Wizard was written for the Android OS. When it was released in 2009, very few apps were already out there (compared to now). We were so excited when it was first published. We knew nothing about marketing (still don’t know that much). It took a while for the app to take off. I think we sold 3 in the first 3 months. Maybe a dozen the first six months. Then we saw some real growth. When we had sold $60 worth in one month (we got about $1 per sale), we thought we were going to be rich!! We’ll years later, that was the best month ever. We think to many other apps started showing up and we dropped off the top of the App Store search pages. We still get about $10 a month or so. But, our dreams of retiring and buying vacation homes with the proceeds are long gone. If you’re reading this on an Android phone, download the free version Math Wizard Lite. It’s a “lite” version that has reduced functionality to just give potential buyers of the Math Wizard an idea of what the full version can do. We are very proud of the app. And, even though it doesn’t stuff our bank accounts, we do think it’s a very nice tool that early elementary age kids can use to master their Math Facts. If you do download the app, please make sure you go into the options to see how well the app can be tailored for exactly what you child needs to work on. If you have the right age kids, do give it a try. We think it’s well worth the 6 quarters (of which Google gets 2 of them) that it will cost you.

Chopsticks

This is the second app. The idea with this app was to learn more about creating an app where users of the app could play a game against each other. Many hurdles occurred along the way. When you’re trying to keep from spending much (any) money, you try to become creative with how to implement your app with regard to player vs player interaction. The hard part is how do you get the users to meet. If you don’t have an external server (expensive) that is keeping track of players and joining them. Then, it gets difficult. The first iteration of this was to create a web site that accepted HTTP requests and use PHP with a MySQL back end to keep track of the new users. This was actually something that we got pretty much working. But, we were using a free web hosting company (Zimic). And, we weren’t confident that they wouldn’t have a problem with using their site in this way (although their TOS didn’t specifically forbid it). Also, we found that Zimic would sometimes go away for a weekend (or two). This didn’t seem like a good solution. The good news was that it took us long enough to implement the “free” version of “player vs player”, that new companies came along that offered SDKs with user capabilities, and other options. Scoreloop ended up being the SDK for us. Chopsticks was ported from using the “free” framework to using the Scoreloop SDK. Unfortunately, there are many “nits” associated with getting this app into good enough shape where we feel it can be released. And, since it took us long enough to port over to Scoreloop, we also were able to see what the Math Wizard was able to earn on a monthly basis. In a word demoralizing. Chopsticks seems very close to being able to be released. But, every time we go back to it, it’s still very far from being the type of product we want to put our name behind. UPDATE: Scoreloop went out of business. So, all of the hard work to get Chopsticks to work with Scoreloop was just a big waste of time. We do still plan to finish this app. The current plans are to remove all of the Scoreloop integration, and try and release it without the “player vs player” functionality. It does have a “player vs computer” function that works really well. So, we may try to release a version that just has the “player vs computer” function. The “player vs player” function was working fairly well when Scoreloop went under. If we find an alternative that is provided by someone that doesn’t look like they’ll go under, we might resurrect the “player vs player” functionality.

But, we’ve been distracted by something else with bigger potential…

Affiliate/Adsense Web Sites

We’ve created three web sites trying to get into affiliate marketing. We got into this because I was up late one night and saw one of those web videos that talks about how you can quit your job and just watch the money roll in with web marketing. I had pretty much had one of those days at work and was really liking what I was hearing. Since it was late, it was too tired to stop listening. So I got intrigued enough to look into the world of affiliate marketing. I have to give credit where credit is due. The video ended up having me go through Kyle’s “free” training at Wealthy Affiliates (WA). The training there had enough information there to convince me that there was “money in them there hills”. The more I learned about WA, the more I was convinced I didn’t need to pay Kyle “premium” money per month to get the job done. I had started to pick a different “keyword” for my first site and was just about to go crazy filling that site out when I stumbled upon Spencer Haws.

I have to say Spencer seems like a genuine guy. His main web site is Niche Pursuits. And, if you are thinking about getting into this business, I highly recommend reading through his site. Especially the Niche Case Studies. Spencer (and Perrin; see case study 2) have convinced me that money can be made. And, they show all the steps on how to do it (including the mistakes). Just read through one or two of the posts there, and you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly just how genuine these guys are.

Anyway, back to my site. I used the “free trial” version of Spencer’s Long Tail Pro tool to find my first site. I keep going back and forth on whether this site is truly “good” in terms of keywords. When I compare how long it’s taking me to rank on Google to the two Niche Site Affiliate Case Studies, I have to think the keywords are not as good as I originally thought. But, I read in many other places where it can take up to 6 months before you truly rank where you’re supposed to rank. As I write this, I’m 8 months in. And, am pleased we have made our first sale. I don’t have any illusions that our site is as good as Perrin’s A Penny Shaved (there’s another link for Perrin to put me further behind 🙂 ). But, we feel like our site on the surface is (don’t look too close) close enough to be doing better than it was.

We have also created a Google Adsense account. Right now AdSense is earning more than the Amazon Affiliate links. But, it’s too early to tell for sure which will be better.

Additional Sites

We now have six sites. Three were originally PBN (Private Blog Network) sites. But, Google has come down hard on sites that use PBNs. On September 18th 2014, Google slapped our three money sites with a “Thin Content” penalty. Perrin’s shaving site mentioned above was hit on the exact same day. According to Spencer and Perrin, their theory is that even though the penalty was “Thin Content”, that the content didn’t have anything to do with it. What was more likely is that these were all Amazon affiliate sites that were using PBNs in an attempt to get better Google rankings. After many attempts to remove the penalty, it doesn’t seem like it’s possible. So, the alternative is to just move the content to another domain (updating it along the way). And, to not use PBNs anymore. So, we’re in the process of basically starting over with our three money sites. And, we’re going to convert one of the PBNs we created into a money site. The other two PBNs were not good enough content and didn’t use great keywords. So, they will just fade into oblivion.

Conclusion

2014 was NOT the breakout year for Jaggerware LLC. Internet Marking is quite a bit more difficult than we thought it would be. We’re not convinced that money can’t be made. But, it’s seeming more and more like you need to be a social butterfly to gain the popularity that is needed to draw in traffic. Everyone says “content, content, content”. And, we do believe you do need content. However, it seems you need to make a lot of friends to be able to garner the backlinks you need. And, to get others to promote your great content. It’s possible you don’t need all of that. But, that seems to be the wall we keep running into as we try to work through this maze of Internet Marketing.

UPDATE: While what I said above might still be true about the social part. Spencer had a recent podcast at Niche Pursuits where he interviewed someone named Claire Smith (she deserves the link) that has some very interesting strategies that don’t include making friends to get backlinks or relying on any real social talents. Now we’re talking. So, this podcast has given us hope with a new strategy. We’ll see if it works!

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