SEO tools group buy

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Just subscribed to a SEMrush guru account shared with other people.
It comes at 11$/mo. Compare to the lowest tier semrush has to offer (100$+vat) it's a no-brainer.
It's handy for starters, since there's a limit to the number of daily reports that you can get on an account, no matter how many users.
So I doesn't really apply if you're a more hardcore user, because other people on the same account may hit the keyword limit before the end of the day (and before you even touch the tool, which happened last night).
After all, is only 11bucks, so you can't really complain :D

Anybody else is using a tool with a group buy account?
 
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If you don't mind sharing your research with other people then go ahead I would say.
 

Cash Builder

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I use a group buy for Ahrefs, about $14 a month I think. I don't really worry about others seeing my research because I don't put my sites into the tracker, and I delete all reports once I've downloaded them.

I'll definitely get the full version once the finances are there, but for now it's a lifesaver.
 
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If you don't mind sharing your research with other people then go ahead I would say.
tbh, I don't really track anything in semrush, just use it for kw research on the go and to get content ideas.
I see other people are ok tracking their sites and what I guess are their clients sites. It's either because they don't realize what they're doing or they just don't care.

I use a group buy for Ahrefs, about $14 a month I think. I don't really worry about others seeing my research because I don't put my sites into the tracker, and I delete all reports once I've downloaded them.

I'll definitely get the full version once the finances are there, but for now it's a lifesaver.
Do you have to install a chrome extension to use ahrefs?
 

Michael

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Ballsy topic to start on a forum where one of the owners own a large sem tool.
 
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Ballsy topic to start on a forum where one of the owners own a large sem tool.
It kinda crossed my mind.
My flatmate is also trying to convince various SaaS companies to get him highest tier accounts so he can split them and share them among buyers.
He's trying to be legit, Buzzsumo recently said no to him, while other companies were pretty much ok. His focus is mostly on social media tools accounts that he can repackage and resell to local businesses.
So, forgive the naivety :wink:
 

CCarter

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Ballsy topic to start on a forum where one of the owners own a large sem tool.

l1U3Sgf.gif

There are multiple falsehoods in this statement:

#1 Besides the obvious part of not owning the forum, I actually love seeing people talk about all the different techniques used to get around systems. It's like Google employees like Matt Cutts that used to read Wickedfire for the latest SEO techniques we utilized. When we heard Matt Cutts' grandfather died we sent him flowers (NSFW = I think WF Should Send Matt Cutts Flowers) and Cutts tweeted about them: https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/263744902570053632

Sm5wWr0.png

That moment may have been one of the highlights of Wickedfire especially the listening device joke, but for the smart people on the forum they realized they were in fact being monitored by Google. SEO discussion on that forum declined dramatically from that moment. All serious SEO discussions went to Skype chats.

In the early days of WF there was a huge influx of SEO topics that stayed for years all and affiliate marketing talk ceased. However when the SEO chat exited it left a huge void in conversations - and death came to WF. SEO talk was declining for a while, but that one act of acknowledging that Google was indeed monitoring that particular forum accelerated the decline because the smart people didn't want Google reading about their techniques and then using that to monitor and eliminate them from the search engines.

#2 It's pretty easy to discover new ways to monitor and stop bad actors, examples:

Solution A: I never knew about disposable aka 10-minute email where people can sign up for email addresses that last 10 minutes to confirm the account and then never use that email again. I discovered that during a group buy talk. I then went and queried one of my systems and found a good chunk of people used these disposable emails to sign up, and out of all the accounts that signed up only 1 signed up as a paid member. It came out to 99.9999% did not become paid members and over 95% never came back after the 3rd visit. That told me those people were just clogging up the system and their accounts were continuing to use resources for no reason. After some research I came across this updating list of disposable emails: https://github.com/andreis/disposable/blob/master/domains.txt

Bam, that problem is instantly solved. And all you have to do as a SAAS owner is download the raw file once a week for the latest updates.

Solution B: Another problem are people in 3rd world countries committing credit card fraud by using proxies/VPNs within the USA and credit card within the USA to sign up for the service. To think outside the box on this one you realize there is always a vulnerability from the user side. You know what almost NO ONE uses a VPN connection or proxy for? To view their emails. So a simple solution to figure out where the user is actually located is to create an email pixel within the account confirmation email that the user needs to click to activate the account. The second they open the email - even before they click the email link - BAM now you got their actual IP address. If the user's account is a USA IP, non-USA confirmation IP, and USA proxy to utilizing the SAAS there is a high chance that the user will commit credit card fraud.

Over the years Stripe has also implemented a similar technique to stop credit card fraud in it's path. Using proxies/VPNs to bypass system is something I learned on forums by reading what people use.

Solution C: People creating their own VPN setup or using hosting companies as this proxies to get around any country restrictions. You'll see people use Amazon AWS, Cloudflare, maxCDN, SoftLayer, Azure, Level 3, and a ton of other cloud based services and then VPN into those services and use those IPs to connect to your SAAS. That's an easy solution to solve, These services all list their IP ranges in an effort to stop abuse of their system for this exact purpose:


^^ These are 5, I've found thousands (Why would hostgator be logging into my SAAS? Doesn't make any sense - also you can utilizing something like MaxMind to get the ISP of the users' IP - and if it's coming from a hosting company - BLOCK). Simply IP filter those IPs out when the user attempts to use the login page and you've just eliminated a ton of bad actors. Again a technique that I learned about after reading bad actors using these techniques to get around SAAS filters and using group buys.

Solution D: Is this person a real user? There are systems like Clearbit that SAAS owners can use to figure out whether the person has an associated twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social profiles to map identification about the user. If a SAAS owner really wanted to stop fraud they can create a flag on users that do not have the "normal" profiles since they might be suspicious accounts.

Solution E: Group buys are probably the most easiest to detect since the users logging into the account all come from different IP address, different countries, and utilizing different browsers. That's pretty easy stuff to detect. Even Suzan's portal method can be detected using one of the above techniques I already mentioned. Will most people implement these techniques in their SAAS? I doubt it, but it's possible.

--

Those are just 5 solutions that are devised by simply reading forums on the techniques people utilize. I've employed nearly 100 different techniques and solutions to find bad actors. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF POTENTIAL WAYS TO STOP BAD ACTORS. But all this is like being a chef in the kitchen and you are creating layers upon layers of hardening techniques to eliminate bad actors.

LvF5mXn.gif

What's ironic is there is almost zero talk about the different techniques SAAS owners use to detect bad actors since it would create opportunity for the bad actors to get around the SAAS's filter. But people don't consider the other way around - when bad actors publically state the techniques and even the exact SAAS they use (SEMRush in the the OP's case) and for some reason think SEMRush or (Google in SEO's case) they the SAAS owners don't read forums? I mean I've got Google alerts for whenever one of my brands is mentioned online - I would expect at some level other SAAS owners do too.

Can good people get caught up in this soup - sure, but very rare if you eliminate/stop the easiest techniques. Example: the disposable email block - doing the research we found that 1 out of a 1,000,000 users fell into the trap and used a disposable email then became a paid account. 1 in a million - unfortunately blocking accounts that abuse and waste resources is worth the risk at that level, even 1 out of 1000 it is still worth it. To put that in perspective there is a 1 out of 606 chances of me dying in a car accident which are greater than a disposable email user signing up for a paid account based on my own analysis - so yeah I'll take that chance.

But anyone determined to get around a system can still get around it with enough patience. As well any SAAS owner determined to protect themselves from specific bad actors with enough patience can do so. It really depends on who has the most patience to solve the problem at hand.

So what's the latest, browser plugins/extensions? You should probably Google whether websites can detect browser plugins/extensions of users... You'll be surprised.

Another solution is to use what's said on forums about your SAAS as feedback. For example in SEMRush or Ahref's situation it sounds like there is a market for lower tiered or pay-per-use plans where users pay with allocated credits to get what they want and nothing more. I personally try to use feedback from users to improve the service when the ideas merit it (it's all a part of great customer service).

The only problem I might have had is the fact that there are people on this forum that are building SAASes and real businesses, so creating a group buy thread tells a portion of users on this forum to go fuck themselves - which after spending months or years building a service/business is a kick in the groin. But if you guys are silly enough to state the techniques and the exact services you are using group buys for and ways to get around the systems... Lets just say - SAAS owners like myself love threads like these. :smile:

Good luck bros, and Carry on...
 
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l1U3Sgf.gif

There are multiple falsehoods in this statement:

#1 Besides the obvious part of not owning the forum, I actually love seeing people talk about all the different techniques used to get around systems. It's like Google employees like Matt Cutts that used to read Wickedfire for the latest SEO techniques we utilized. When we heard Matt Cutts' grandfather died we sent him flowers (NSFW = I think WF Should Send Matt Cutts Flowers) and Cutts tweeted about them: https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/263744902570053632

Sm5wWr0.png

That moment may have been one of the highlights of Wickedfire especially the listening device joke, but for the smart people on the forum they realized they were in fact being monitored by Google. SEO discussion on that forum declined dramatically from that moment. All serious SEO discussions went to Skype chats.

In the early days of WF there was a huge influx of SEO topics that stayed for years all and affiliate marketing talk ceased. However when the SEO chat exited it left a huge void in conversations - and death came to WF. SEO talk was declining for a while, but that one act of acknowledging that Google was indeed monitoring that particular forum accelerated the decline because the smart people didn't want Google reading about their techniques and then using that to monitor and eliminate them from the search engines.

#2 It's pretty easy to discover new ways to monitor and stop bad actors, examples:

Solution A: I never knew about disposable aka 10-minute email where people can sign up for email addresses that last 10 minutes to confirm the account and then never use that email again. I discovered that during a group buy talk. I then went and queried one of my systems and found a good chunk of people used these disposable emails to sign up, and out of all the accounts that signed up only 1 signed up as a paid member. It came out to 99.9999% did not become paid members and over 95% never came back after the 3rd visit. That told me those people were just clogging up the system and their accounts were continuing to use resources for no reason. After some research I came across this updating list of disposable emails: https://github.com/andreis/disposable/blob/master/domains.txt

Bam, that problem is instantly solved. And all you have to do as a SAAS owner is download the raw file once a week for the latest updates.

Solution B: Another problem are people in 3rd world countries committing credit card fraud by using proxies/VPNs within the USA and credit card within the USA to sign up for the service. To think outside the box on this one you realize there is always a vulnerability from the user side. You know what almost NO ONE uses a VPN connection or proxy for? To view their emails. So a simple solution to figure out where the user is actually located is to create an email pixel within the account confirmation email that the user needs to click to activate the account. The second they open the email - even before they click the email link - BAM now you got their actual IP address. If the user's account is a USA IP, non-USA confirmation IP, and USA proxy to utilizing the SAAS there is a high chance that the user will commit credit card fraud.

Over the years Stripe has also implemented a similar technique to stop credit card fraud in it's path. Using proxies/VPNs to bypass system is something I learned on forums by reading what people use.

Solution C: People creating their own VPN setup or using hosting companies as this proxies to get around any country restrictions. You'll see people use Amazon AWS, Cloudflare, maxCDN, SoftLayer, Azure, Level 3, and a ton of other cloud based services and then VPN into those services and use those IPs to connect to your SAAS. That's an easy solution to solve, These services all list their IP ranges in an effort to stop abuse of their system for this exact purpose:


^^ These are 5, I've found thousands (Why would hostgator be logging into my SAAS? Doesn't make any sense - also you can utilizing something like MaxMind to get the ISP of the users' IP - and if it's coming from a hosting company - BLOCK). Simply IP filter those IPs out when the user attempts to use the login page and you've just eliminated a ton of bad actors. Again a technique that I learned about after reading bad actors using these techniques to get around SAAS filters and using group buys.

Solution D: Is this person a real user? There are systems like Clearbit that SAAS owners can use to figure out whether the person has an associated twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social profiles to map identification about the user. If a SAAS owner really wanted to stop fraud they can create a flag on users that do not have the "normal" profiles since they might be suspicious accounts.

Solution E: Group buys are probably the most easiest to detect since the users logging into the account all come from different IP address, different countries, and utilizing different browsers. That's pretty easy stuff to detect. Even Suzan's portal method can be detected using one of the above techniques I already mentioned. Will most people implement these techniques in their SAAS? I doubt it, but it's possible.

--

Those are just 5 solutions that are devised by simply reading forums on the techniques people utilize. I've employed nearly 100 different techniques and solutions to find bad actors. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF POTENTIAL WAYS TO STOP BAD ACTORS. But all this is like being a chef in the kitchen and you are creating layers upon layers of hardening techniques to eliminate bad actors.

LvF5mXn.gif

What's ironic is there is almost zero talk about the different techniques SAAS owners use to detect bad actors since it would create opportunity for the bad actors to get around the SAAS's filter. But people don't consider the other way around - when bad actors publically state the techniques and even the exact SAAS they use (SEMRush in the the OP's case) and for some reason think SEMRush or (Google in SEO's case) they the SAAS owners don't read forums? I mean I've got Google alerts for whenever one of my brands is mentioned online - I would expect at some level other SAAS owners do too.

Can good people get caught up in this soup - sure, but very rare if you eliminate/stop the easiest techniques. Example: the disposable email block - doing the research we found that 1 out of a 1,000,000 users fell into the trap and used a disposable email then became a paid account. 1 in a million - unfortunately blocking accounts that abuse and waste resources is worth the risk at that level, even 1 out of 1000 it is still worth it. To put that in perspective there is a 1 out of 606 chances of me dying in a car accident which are greater than a disposable email user signing up for a paid account based on my own analysis - so yeah I'll take that chance.

But anyone determined to get around a system can still get around it with enough patience. As well any SAAS owner determined to protect themselves from specific bad actors with enough patience can do so. It really depends on who has the most patience to solve the problem at hand.

So what's the latest, browser plugins/extensions? You should probably Google whether websites can detect browser plugins/extensions of users... You'll be surprised.

Another solution is to use what's said on forums about your SAAS as feedback. For example in SEMRush or Ahref's situation it sounds like there is a market for lower tiered or pay-per-use plans where users pay with allocated credits to get what they want and nothing more. I personally try to use feedback from users to improve the service when the ideas merit it (it's all a part of great customer service).

The only problem I might have had is the fact that there are people on this forum that are building SAASes and real businesses, so creating a group buy thread tells a portion of users on this forum to go fuck themselves - which after spending months or years building a service/business is a kick in the groin. But if you guys are silly enough to state the techniques and the exact services you are using group buys for and ways to get around the systems... Lets just say - SAAS owners like myself love threads like these. :smile:

Good luck bros, and Carry on...

This script is a killer! :smile: https://www.blocked.com/
 
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When you are just starting and dirt poor you do what you have to. I remember buying ebooks/courses in 2008 and always demanding a refund even if I did like the material.

But don't focus to much on cost cutting measure like this that don't scale. Focus on getting enough revenue that these types of expenses are no big deal. If you need to continue this kind of stuff for more then a few years then I'd suggest seriously evaluating how and what you are spending your time on.
 

eliquid

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I think a better use of your money/tool would be to discover how to get more out of something you pay for so you can pay full price for it and keep it as your own.

Here is what most people do:

Buy SEMrush, SERPWoo, Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic and then use it for 2-3 months for their projects and cancel/refund for whatever reason. 95% of the time it's because they can't afford it, but let's face it.. there are lots of reasons they can't afford it.
When I buy a tool, I can tell myself I can't afford it. But I insist on at least attempting 3-4 times to make money off it while using it for whatever I bought it for.

Perfect example below as I don't mind telling this story...

I created a another SaaS after creating SERPWoo. None of you have probably heard of it and I am not giving out the name here. At it's peak it was doing 4 figures a month and it is 95% automated for me. I still own it to this day and it is still profitable. Its nice "side" income that's passive and I basically use it for vacation money.

So what is it and how does it apply here?

So found a tool I needed personally for some scraping projects. I bought the tool and told myself I really couldn't afford it, but then I devised a way I could afford it... I built a SaaS around it. Yep, I bought a DESKTOP tool ( could have been an online tool though like Ahrefs ) and developed a SERVICE around it and had 40+ people using it and paying me monthly for this new service. I've made thousands off this tool and own it and still make money monthly on it.

Did I created a service exactly just around what this tool offered me? No. I added a tad bit more to it, but you get the drift, right?

When I couldn't afford SEMRush back in the day, I simply bought it and used it for what I needed. I then went around and offered people competitive research on their competitors for $10 a report. I never told them I was just using SEMRush and I didn't feel like I needed to. These people wanted research and I provided it for them. Today, you could call this a "Fiverr gig".

I still do this to this day ( no, not the SEMRush gig ) on various levels actually for different projects and needs. Some of the fraud stuff CCarter is talking about above, actually came from a SaaS I was making for payment processing fraud protection. This is totally separate from SERPWoo that I actually had a personal use for before I thought up this payment fraud SaaS. Then it got used in SERPWoo some that spawned a few other new ideas. The only difference is, I wasn't going to charge my own company for it's use and we went in a few other directions too for this tactic.

In the example fraud scenario above, I had a personal use for a service I wanted to buy. I used it personally and it was expensive, but I later found I could use it in building a tool to protect users from merchant fraud/payment processing. My first customer was SERPWoo, but I had several others waiting on me to finish it out fully, ready to pay me monthly for it's use. I'm putting 1 tool that I bought for 1 purpose to multiple uses that I could make money off of to offset the cost of the tool to begin with.

The point is, when you buy something.. just don't look at it for one use. Ask yourself, "How many other uses does this have? How can I get more out of it?".

That's how I created the whole Acai/Colon craze back in the day as well. Same thought process.

I look for an upside when I purchase, if I don't get an upside, I tend to stay away.

Always be looking to get 300% out of something, not just what you originally bought it for.
 
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l1U3Sgf.gif

There are multiple falsehoods in this statement:

#1 Besides the obvious part of not owning the forum, I actually love seeing people talk about all the different techniques used to get around systems. It's like Google employees like Matt Cutts that used to read Wickedfire for the latest SEO techniques we utilized. When we heard Matt Cutts' grandfather died we sent him flowers (NSFW = I think WF Should Send Matt Cutts Flowers) and Cutts tweeted about them: https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/263744902570053632

Sm5wWr0.png

That moment may have been one of the highlights of Wickedfire especially the listening device joke, but for the smart people on the forum they realized they were in fact being monitored by Google. SEO discussion on that forum declined dramatically from that moment. All serious SEO discussions went to Skype chats.

In the early days of WF there was a huge influx of SEO topics that stayed for years all and affiliate marketing talk ceased. However when the SEO chat exited it left a huge void in conversations - and death came to WF. SEO talk was declining for a while, but that one act of acknowledging that Google was indeed monitoring that particular forum accelerated the decline because the smart people didn't want Google reading about their techniques and then using that to monitor and eliminate them from the search engines.

#2 It's pretty easy to discover new ways to monitor and stop bad actors, examples:

Solution A: I never knew about disposable aka 10-minute email where people can sign up for email addresses that last 10 minutes to confirm the account and then never use that email again. I discovered that during a group buy talk. I then went and queried one of my systems and found a good chunk of people used these disposable emails to sign up, and out of all the accounts that signed up only 1 signed up as a paid member. It came out to 99.9999% did not become paid members and over 95% never came back after the 3rd visit. That told me those people were just clogging up the system and their accounts were continuing to use resources for no reason. After some research I came across this updating list of disposable emails: https://github.com/andreis/disposable/blob/master/domains.txt

Bam, that problem is instantly solved. And all you have to do as a SAAS owner is download the raw file once a week for the latest updates.

Solution B: Another problem are people in 3rd world countries committing credit card fraud by using proxies/VPNs within the USA and credit card within the USA to sign up for the service. To think outside the box on this one you realize there is always a vulnerability from the user side. You know what almost NO ONE uses a VPN connection or proxy for? To view their emails. So a simple solution to figure out where the user is actually located is to create an email pixel within the account confirmation email that the user needs to click to activate the account. The second they open the email - even before they click the email link - BAM now you got their actual IP address. If the user's account is a USA IP, non-USA confirmation IP, and USA proxy to utilizing the SAAS there is a high chance that the user will commit credit card fraud.

Over the years Stripe has also implemented a similar technique to stop credit card fraud in it's path. Using proxies/VPNs to bypass system is something I learned on forums by reading what people use.

Solution C: People creating their own VPN setup or using hosting companies as this proxies to get around any country restrictions. You'll see people use Amazon AWS, Cloudflare, maxCDN, SoftLayer, Azure, Level 3, and a ton of other cloud based services and then VPN into those services and use those IPs to connect to your SAAS. That's an easy solution to solve, These services all list their IP ranges in an effort to stop abuse of their system for this exact purpose:


^^ These are 5, I've found thousands (Why would hostgator be logging into my SAAS? Doesn't make any sense - also you can utilizing something like MaxMind to get the ISP of the users' IP - and if it's coming from a hosting company - BLOCK). Simply IP filter those IPs out when the user attempts to use the login page and you've just eliminated a ton of bad actors. Again a technique that I learned about after reading bad actors using these techniques to get around SAAS filters and using group buys.

Solution D: Is this person a real user? There are systems like Clearbit that SAAS owners can use to figure out whether the person has an associated twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social profiles to map identification about the user. If a SAAS owner really wanted to stop fraud they can create a flag on users that do not have the "normal" profiles since they might be suspicious accounts.

Solution E: Group buys are probably the most easiest to detect since the users logging into the account all come from different IP address, different countries, and utilizing different browsers. That's pretty easy stuff to detect. Even Suzan's portal method can be detected using one of the above techniques I already mentioned. Will most people implement these techniques in their SAAS? I doubt it, but it's possible.

--

Those are just 5 solutions that are devised by simply reading forums on the techniques people utilize. I've employed nearly 100 different techniques and solutions to find bad actors. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF POTENTIAL WAYS TO STOP BAD ACTORS. But all this is like being a chef in the kitchen and you are creating layers upon layers of hardening techniques to eliminate bad actors.

LvF5mXn.gif

What's ironic is there is almost zero talk about the different techniques SAAS owners use to detect bad actors since it would create opportunity for the bad actors to get around the SAAS's filter. But people don't consider the other way around - when bad actors publically state the techniques and even the exact SAAS they use (SEMRush in the the OP's case) and for some reason think SEMRush or (Google in SEO's case) they the SAAS owners don't read forums? I mean I've got Google alerts for whenever one of my brands is mentioned online - I would expect at some level other SAAS owners do too.

Can good people get caught up in this soup - sure, but very rare if you eliminate/stop the easiest techniques. Example: the disposable email block - doing the research we found that 1 out of a 1,000,000 users fell into the trap and used a disposable email then became a paid account. 1 in a million - unfortunately blocking accounts that abuse and waste resources is worth the risk at that level, even 1 out of 1000 it is still worth it. To put that in perspective there is a 1 out of 606 chances of me dying in a car accident which are greater than a disposable email user signing up for a paid account based on my own analysis - so yeah I'll take that chance.

But anyone determined to get around a system can still get around it with enough patience. As well any SAAS owner determined to protect themselves from specific bad actors with enough patience can do so. It really depends on who has the most patience to solve the problem at hand.

So what's the latest, browser plugins/extensions? You should probably Google whether websites can detect browser plugins/extensions of users... You'll be surprised.

Another solution is to use what's said on forums about your SAAS as feedback. For example in SEMRush or Ahref's situation it sounds like there is a market for lower tiered or pay-per-use plans where users pay with allocated credits to get what they want and nothing more. I personally try to use feedback from users to improve the service when the ideas merit it (it's all a part of great customer service).

The only problem I might have had is the fact that there are people on this forum that are building SAASes and real businesses, so creating a group buy thread tells a portion of users on this forum to go fuck themselves - which after spending months or years building a service/business is a kick in the groin. But if you guys are silly enough to state the techniques and the exact services you are using group buys for and ways to get around the systems... Lets just say - SAAS owners like myself love threads like these. :smile:

Good luck bros, and Carry on...
You could teach a course for a year on what Ccarter just dropped.
 
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Another solution is to use what's said on forums about your SAAS as feedback. For example in SEMRush or Ahref's situation it sounds like there is a market for lower tiered or pay-per-use plans where users pay with allocated credits to get what they want and nothing more. I personally try to use feedback from users to improve the service when the ideas merit it (it's all a part of great customer service).
I've emailed a couple of times SEMrush asking about a lower tier orconsumption plan and they never got back to me. They have tremendous customer service (yes, I've used them in the past : it used to be affordable, but the spike in price made me look for an alternative, though I only stumbled upon it)..

The only problem I might have had is the fact that there are people on this forum that are building SAASes and real businesses, so creating a group buy thread tells a portion of users on this forum to go fuck themselves - which after spending months or years building a service/business is a kick in the groin. But if you guys are silly enough to state the techniques and the exact services you are using group buys for and ways to get around the systems... Lets just say - SAAS owners like myself love threads like these. :smile:
Agree with pretty much all you've said but totally disagree here.
If what you say about "creating a group buy thread tells a portion of users on this forum to go fuck themselves" is true, then about 90% of the manufacturers this side of the planet would have shut their plants years ago when china started flooding the market with cheaper goods.

Seen a lot of people that share the same Saa subscription, I'm pretty sure we all know somebody at an agency that still torrents most of their software and assets (While charging clients 1ks of £s), as I have seen plenty of people around here ready to pay peanuts per hour in exchange for virtual labour.
My point being : IMers can be pretty tight with their wallets when it comes to their online businesses, so they can squeeze those costs so they can brag about their ROI on skype with friends and relatives :wink:
This is just part of reality and any industry will have it's bottom-feeders. Up to the players at the top to improve the game.

@CCarter kudos to your attitude. No ranting, only productivity.
You have bumped the topic with a couple of serious hints that could spark the next SaaS coming out of this forum.
 
Last edited:

CCarter

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Up to the players at the top to improve the game.

They are: there are always consequences - equal and opposite reaction to an action. Example Adobe - everyone was pirating their software and they realized if they switched to the cloud and tightened control they'll have less piracy. They reduced the cost to $9.99 a month and BAM money in the bank. Adobe saw the problem and switched the newest photoshop and their whole creative suite to monthly subscriptions. This switch is going to continue with other software makers. The cloud creative suite with the monthly subscription is now Adobe's #1 revenue source: Adobe sees ‘record’ $1.4B revenue in Q2, stops disclosing new Creative Cloud subscribers

A company spokesperson tells VentureBeat that Adobe made the change to focus on annual recurring revenue. Adobe says its Digital Media business, which includes both Creative Cloud and Document Cloud, ended the second quarter “with $3.41 billion of annualized recurring revenue, a net increase of $285 million.”

Adobe’s Creative business specifically drove $755 million in revenue last quarter, up 37 percent compared to last year. Meanwhile, Adobe’s other big cloud business, its Marketing Cloud, was responsible for $385 million, up 18 percent from last year.

So what torrents and piracy has done is made the players at the top switch to a monthly subscription model. It sort of like DLC for Xbox and other game consoles. Instead of paying one-time $60 for a game, now you'll be paying some $10 a month forever...

Ownership is gone, now you are renting access - consequences of all our actions, instead of the software maker dying by death of a thousand paper cuts they've turned that around onto the consumer.

agLOs0q.gif

One day someone is going to wake up and have their whole life as a subscription model, food delivered, games, music with streaming services, access to the internet, and all their software. At some point though - a straw will break the camels back. The pendulum is swinging back to software makers - but that comes with "not-so-great" news for consumers, in the long run they pay a lot more money for everything.

It's a good time to be a software developer - a consumer, not so much.
 

CCarter

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More on Adobe Adobe’s Record Revenue Proves Successful Business Transformation Is Possible

Adobe has managed to pull off something here that most companies continue to struggle with. It completely changed its revenue model and lived to tell about it. In fact, it learned that it can make more money with a subscription model than it did selling boxes.

Yet we still see company after company scuffling to make this kind of change. Adobe could easily have said it didn’t want to alienate its loyal user base by introducing a new way of buying and selling software. It could have gone half way and kept both models, but by making a bold move, it has actually grown its business quite substantially setting those revenue records.

And lest you think they are living off the good old days of licensing revenue, three quarters of their current revenue is coming from subscriptions from Creative Cloud and its other offerings. They have made a transition in 2.5 years where they have a 3:1 ratio of subscription revenues to other types of revenues. Imagine Oracle making that same transition that quickly.

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You can even see it in the stock ticker:

ZY1zWmF.jpg


Adobe is on the SAAS model. I'm on the SAAS model... Maybe you guys aren't seeing the curve ahead but you are missing the boat if you haven't jumped on board yet.

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Another thing to consider, maybe Ahrefs and SEMRush have kept increasing their prices because of "group buys"?
 

MightyOwl

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I created a another SaaS after creating SERPWoo. None of you have probably heard of it and I am not giving out the name here. At it's peak it was doing 4 figures a month and it is 95% automated for me. I still own it to this day and it is still profitable. Its nice "side" income that's passive and I basically use it for vacation money.

I think I was one of the first customers for it . And it worked pretty darn well!
 
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It's a good time to be a software developer - a consumer, not so much.

Adobe could easily have said it didn’t want to alienate its loyal user base by introducing a new way of buying and selling software. It could have gone half way and kept both models, but by making a bold move, it has actually grown its business quite substantially setting those revenue records.

Glad it's working for them but, I'm hanging on to my paid copy of CS5 for as long as I possibly can.

EDIT: In regards to this thread. We do this to ourselves, this is why we can't have nice things!
 
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They are: there are always consequences - equal and opposite reaction to an action. Example Adobe - everyone was pirating their software and they realized if they switched to the cloud and tightened control they'll have less piracy. They reduced the cost to $9.99 a month and BAM money in the bank. Adobe saw the problem and switched the newest photoshop and their whole creative suite to monthly subscriptions. This switch is going to continue with other software makers. The cloud creative suite with the monthly subscription is now Adobe's #1 revenue source: Adobe sees ‘record’ $1.4B revenue in Q2, stops disclosing new Creative Cloud subscribers

A company spokesperson tells VentureBeat that Adobe made the change to focus on annual recurring revenue. Adobe says its Digital Media business, which includes both Creative Cloud and Document Cloud, ended the second quarter “with $3.41 billion of annualized recurring revenue, a net increase of $285 million.”

Adobe’s Creative business specifically drove $755 million in revenue last quarter, up 37 percent compared to last year. Meanwhile, Adobe’s other big cloud business, its Marketing Cloud, was responsible for $385 million, up 18 percent from last year.

So what torrents and piracy has done is made the players at the top switch to a monthly subscription model. It sort of like DLC for Xbox and other game consoles. Instead of paying one-time $60 for a game, now you'll be paying some $10 a month forever...

Ownership is gone, now you are renting access - consequences of all our actions, instead of the software maker dying by death of a thousand paper cuts they've turned that around onto the consumer.

agLOs0q.gif

One day someone is going to wake up and have their whole life as a subscription model, food delivered, games, music with streaming services, access to the internet, and all their software. At some point though - a straw will break the camels back. The pendulum is swinging back to software makers - but that comes with "not-so-great" news for consumers, in the long run they pay a lot more money for everything.

It's a good time to be a software developer - a consumer, not so much.
God I was gonna bring adobe up as an example : one of the guys that I know that works at agency down the road (one of the biggest in town, non-nationwide) claimed all their adobe software was torrented up until I mentioned that you can now pay on a monthly basis (conversation cuz I really wanted him to try Affinity webdesigner and mentioned how cheap it is even compared to adobe monthly plan)
They emailed adobe, got an offer and grabbed it.

I totally see where you're going when you're saying everything should be as subscription ad I definitely agree, both as a consumer and as entrepreneur.
We just recently started buying from an organic farm nearby and we roughly pay 15£ per box of fresh local organic veggies.
For me it's convenient, saves me a ton of time and provides a ton a value.
I'm pretty sure as long as you can always provide on par value, consumers will always be fine with your business choices. But I guess you're talking about software mostly, even though a ton of value is provided say by simply offering cloud apps vs self-hosted.

Another thing to consider, maybe Ahrefs and SEMRush have kept increasing their prices because of "group buys"?
Really? Is it such a widespread phenomenon? Does it affect your work at the moment, or is purely a nuisance in thhe order of the zero-point-something of your customer base? I think SEMrush pretty muche doubled their pricing just because they could and they wanted to. I wouldn't be surprised if it was part of their initial strategy (provide tons of value for cheap, once you have them hooked up we can raise the bar).
But once again, I'm just guessing here.

[OT] Are you based around Switzerland? I've lived in Sankt Gallen for a bit and lived near Varese, minutes from the swiss border till last year.
Love switzerland, I'm really ashamed I find very hard to have a social life on par with the one I have here in England, otherwise I'd move back there (still on the list of things to do, lol).
TBH honest, social scene is kinda drying up over here a bit (and I'm supposed to liv ein the coolest town around... according to the top10 lol).

Adobe is on the SAAS model. I'm on the SAAS model... Maybe you guys aren't seeing the curve ahead but you are missing the boat if you haven't jumped on board yet.
Well I'm guessing it's time we stir a bit the conversation about group buys towards talking about Saas model.
I'm pretty happy to have seen 0 info-products so far (=less BS to sift through) about starting and running an SaaS, while probably Dan Norris comes pretty close to it with it's 7day startup book.

It's definitely a model that you can go after even if you're not a coder, but I guess the real barrier (beside obviously execution) is just about finding and assessing the actual need for a new tool (or another tool in an already served market).

I've seen this guy on reddit in the last few months : serving an already served niche, just building its customer base a little bit differently, with a sprinckle of good timing and a bit of piggybacking on @localcasestudy own success and Saas company.

I can also come up with plenty of examples of non-techie building either a tech (while I'm not particularly interested in the topic) or a non-tech SaaS company (say, designpickle or kapa99, for example? They've simply given a different angle to outsourcing virtual/creative work for smaller businesses)
 
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So what torrents and piracy has done is made the players at the top switch to a monthly subscription model. It sort of like DLC for Xbox and other game consoles. Instead of paying one-time $60 for a game, now you'll be paying some $10 a month forever....

Torrents rely on a hoarding model that is becoming increasingly outdated. I'm not a gamer, but I assume that $10 Xbox subscription gets you connectivity features that are integral to modern gaming. And why pirate the latest episodes of Vikings when you can get it on your phone via Amazon VOD, the same Amazon membership that gets you access to Amazon's spooky-new A.I.-driven grocery stores.


Another thing to consider, maybe Ahrefs and SEMRush have kept increasing their prices because of "group buys"?

Some SaaS businesses move up in price to ditch B2C & focus more on B2B. The lower SaaS tiers might not be worth the support cost - onboarding 100 $10 accounts versus onboarding 1 $1000 enterprise account. Even if you were targeting B2B from the get go, it helps having a B2C tier to beta test and help spread the word. But jumping up to B2B can also mean having to jump back down if you can't make up for the lost customers.

btw, Ahrefs hasn't raised their price, though they could for all the features they're adding. It's the only high $ service I currently keep active as it replaces Buzzsumo, Semrush, Spyfu etc.
 
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Trooto

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I have a lot of experience with Adobe and their product line, and whilst they may have kept their customers' money for now, I think their customers' loyalty has gone forever.

It was always clear that moving to an SaaS model was great for Adobe - but the promises they made to get their customers to change were never kept. One of the pitches they used was that software would be updated more regularly with quick bug fixes and new features. This hasn't happened. I use their video production software daily, and After Effects in particular has taken pretty big steps backwards over the last 2 years.

The issue for Adobe is that when they switched to SaaS there wasn't an alternative for their products, so everyone had to follow. But now they are getting squeezed by cheaper, perpetual software from below, and cheap/free versions of higher-end software from above. They have whole areas of their product line that are rendered pointless because bigger, more established players are giving away their software. I'm waiting for one development to occur in the video editing arena, and I will be in a situation to replace every Adobe product I use for $100 one-off payment plus $200 a year in subscriptions. And for video I will be using the same software Hollywood uses. I know I'm only one guy, but I am a professional that relies on rock-solid software - and they aren't delivering.

I think where the graph @CCarter showed may not be telling the whole story, is the bit just before his arrow where things started moving up was where they introduced their Marketing Cloud product - a big diversification for them that was probably great news from an investor's point of view. Obviously Creative Cloud has kept that momentum going, but I thought it was worth noting.
 

eliquid

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btw, Ahrefs hasn't raised their price, though they could for all the features they're adding. It's the only high $ service I currently keep active as it replaces Buzzsumo, Semrush, Spyfu etc.

I guess that depends on how long you've been a customer.

Ahrefs is more expensive today than when I bought a plan originally.
 

CCarter

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btw, Ahrefs hasn't raised their price, though they could for all the features they're adding. It's the only high $ service I currently keep active as it replaces Buzzsumo, Semrush, Spyfu etc.

I am not sure where you got that Ahrefs hasn't increased price:

When they launched Starter package it was $9.45 a month (May 2011)
Their lowest plan in August 2011 was the Starter package at $11.99 a month (Aug 2011)
Their lowest plan in 2012 was the Basic, it was $49 a month (2012)
Their lowest plan in 2013 was the Professional, it was $79 a month (2013)
Their lowest plan in 2015 was the Lite, it was $79 a month (2015)
Their lowest plan in 2017 is the Lite, it is $99 a month (2017)

All this is available using archive.org, here are some of the screenshots of the just biggest changes (Mind you the CSS files are screwed up cause they weren't cached by archive.org):

may_2011.png


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aug_2011.png


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may_2012.png


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apr_2013.png


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dec_2015.png


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2017.png


Ahrefs has been increasing their prices about every 2 years or so.

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I think where the graph @CCarter showed may not be telling the whole story, is the bit just before his arrow where things started moving up was where they introduced their Marketing Cloud product - a big diversification for them that was probably great news from an investor's point of view. Obviously Creative Cloud has kept that momentum going, but I thought it was worth noting.

In the VentureBeat article I linked to it stated Adobe's #1 revenue source is the Creative Cloud with $755 million in revenue in the last quarter (of the article June 2016), versus Marketing Cloud at $385 million:

Adobe’s Creative business specifically drove $755 million in revenue last quarter, up 37 percent compared to last year. Meanwhile, Adobe’s other big cloud business, its Marketing Cloud, was responsible for $385 million, up 18 percent from last year.

Sauce: Adobe sees ‘record’ $1.4B revenue in Q2, stops disclosing new Creative Cloud subscribers

Adobe's Marketing Cloud was intro in October 24, 2012 - several months before the May/June 2013 arrow in the stock chart. The part where Creative Cloud is almost double the revenue of Marketing Cloud - it's safe to say it's the main reason for the stock increase.