New Website: Blog Time
Once your blog is properly set up, everything should run smooth. Running a blog is nothing like running an eCommerce website. If your blog is selling ads, then your customers will want to make money off their paid advertisements that are displaying on your site. If you don’t have paid advertisements from specific companies, then Google Adsense can provide a sweet source of revenue. We’ll talk about Google Adsense in another post.
1st thing is 1st, write fresh content and write a lot of it. Your blog posts have to be informative and “wow” your audience. You have to get a Facebook Like, Tweet or a Google +1. My way of saying thanks to an author is by liking, tweeting, or +1’ing their post. Sometimes I leave a comment to say thank you and give feedback or comment. Never write short posts that are only 1 or 2 paragraphs long. I say this for two reasons. The 1st one is that Google is less likely to index subpar writing. The second thing is that people will hit the back button faster than you can say your pitch. So if a lot of people find your blog post through Google and hit the back button, Google can tell that nobody likes your story. They will devalue your blog post by rightfully lowering its rank or completely removing it from their index. To have a healthy blog, your visitors have to be enticed enough to learn something new. People will read your posts all the way to the end if it helps them find a solution their problem.
The most time consuming activity when running a blog website is writing high quality original content. If written well, your blog post will be linked to by other authors from different websites. This happens a lot to me and brings even more people through these “referral sites”.
Here is an example of writing a real kick ass post: Are Your Titles Irresistibly Click Worthy & Viral?! This person took the time to write valuable content and got great response. A post like that would take me about 8 hours to write. The good thing is that most blogs don’t need a post like that everyday. If you are able to write a similar post that has high quality and original content, your website will have a much easier time ranking and getting links.
There are many ways to tell if your blog is doing well. You will need Google Analytics to uncover the strength or weakness of your blog. The following are dimensions in Google Analytics and should be applied.
New Website: New vs. Returning Visitors
New Website: Engagement
Page Depth –
I want to share a story with you so you can get an idea of what to do when approaching a professional webmaster to sell them ad space on your blog site.
In order to command a high price, you must have the right audience for the person you are going to approach. I am approached a couple times a week by new bloggers who want to sell ad space to me. Many say they want to offer their services anywhere from $100-$500/mo. The 1st thing I ask myself is, “Should I take $100 from my Google Adwords advertising budget which gets me a 20% conversion rate? This guy has showed me nothing! Okay, I’m marking the email as SPAM.” This is exactly what my thought process is. “IF” you were to show an advertiser snapshots of what your blog site is doing, then it’s something to backup your pitch.
The minimum amount of time I would suggest for a blogging website is about 2-5 hours per week per article
I cannot emphasize on how important it is for a blogger to write high quality kick-ass content! If writing about a particular topic is your passion, you will have an easier time building a following in your industry. This will lead to repeat visitors. Not only can you sell ad space, but you can EASILY sell a few products on your blog or maybe even a subscription.
Trust me, selling ad space on your blog can create another stream of income in addition to your regular job!
New Website: eCommerce
I specialize in eCommerce. It is near and dear to my heart. Running an eCommerce website is a lot of hard work and it can be very time consuming. There are many parts to building a professional eCommerce website. Most of the functions only need to be setup once and won’t need to be touched again.
In the beginning, building the site is fun! You can see how large companies operate their online businesses because many of them use the same eCommerce software shared on this site (Magento Commerce).
Creating Products – This encompasses writing original content for “each” one of your products. Even if the whole world knows the features of an iPhone, you cannot expect to rank in any search engine if you do a simple copy and paste for all your product pages.
Answering Questions – Answering emails is super easy now, especially if you have an Andriod phone. I literally speak to my phone and it types out my emails and text messages. Don’t believe me? Just watch this and pay attention at 1min 17sec:
New Website: Buying a Product
The 1st time buying is the hardest because sometimes new buyers have to register a new account and get a seller’s permit which is issued by the state you are living in. A seller’s permit only apply to people in the United States. Later on, I will give you the wholesalers and manufacturers I have worked with in the past so you don’t have to risk losing your money or never finding the right connections. Buying wholesale and reselling at retail is awesome ESPECIALLY if you are doing it in the comfort of your own home (and you get a tax write-off). Once you become comfortable with your wholesalers and manufacturers, ordering is almost automated. Buying products directly from China is a breeze if you know who to contact. But watch out for scam artists. I have trustworthy contacts in China to whom I would send $10,000 at a lump sum and all my products would show up at my front door. Yes, you will get all their contact information later.
Packing – You’ll be surprised to know that you can get many things for free! Any of the major shipping companies would be glad to give you their boxes if you use their service. One of the best things I have ever done in packaging is to pack ahead of time. Once a customer placed an order, the packing slip was printed and placed on the package. Many times a customer would get their package in 2 days, max 3 days.
Advice: If you have a kid, make them work for their allowance! I’m not joking! You can take a tax write-off even if they are a minor!
Shipping – Even if you are a stay at home mom, there is no excuse for not having the time to do shipping. USPS will come to your front door and pick up all your product no matter how much you have. All you have to do is print out the shipping label and slap it on the package. If you dream of running a real business from home, be careful because you may get what you wish for. If an eCommerce website is built the correct way, you will never need to leave your own house.
There is a big hoopla about how great UPS, FedEx and DHL are. I use USPS because they are the CHEAPEST and offer the same thing. UPS and FedEx used to always call me to try and get my $20,000/mo in shipping charges. They were never able to touch USPS’ rates. Even when I shipped to foreign countries, I still used USPS. Why you ask? Because once the package gets to that country, UPS, FedEx or DHL would take over the delievery. I don’t know why, but choosing USPS was still cheaper than using any of the other 3. Here is an example. When I shipped Sony PS3s to Brazil from San Diego, California, I sent it via USPS. The customer would receive the PS3 from UPS. Tracking information works all the way until the customer receives the product.
Refunds – Ughhh, Returns… Many people are not going to like what I say here, but the customer is <u>not</u> always right. Some of them are straight out shady. Handling returns is easy and you can expect about 2% returns whether it’s your fault or the customer suffering from buyer’s remorse.
In the beginning, you can expect to spend 10+ hours per week building out an eCommerce website. Once everything is built the right way, you can expect to only work 2-5 hours per week processing orders for a small site.
The objective here is to win, but even if you lose you can deduct 100% of anything business related (50% for meals and entertainment). We’ll talk about taxes later. For right now, you must build so people will come. Remember, this is 2-5 hours per week to run an eCommerce store. Marketing an eCommerce store will require a lot more hours, but thankfully, you can get people in other countries to help out. I’ll give you my contacts later.
New Website: Static Site
Building a simple 5-10 page static website is very easy. Static means There really is no maintenance on these once they are built out. Typical static sites are service oriented. Dentists, plumbers, lawyers, accountants, auto repair shops are examples of sites that only service their customers. They don’t sell anything on their websites. Putting ads on their site would look unprofessional. Once a static site is build, nothing changes. Typically there is no search feature on the website. There is nothing dynamic on these sites, but that can be the beauty for a small business owner.
I find that business owners who have sites like this are almost always local. They cannot serve anyone out of their city. Many of these websites are built in WordPress or in HTML. Planet Marketing is a good example of a static site using WordPress as the CMS.
You can expect to spend 0-2 hours per week maintaining a static website once it’s built out.
New Website: Forum Site
Running a forum can be the most time consuming of all the types of websites. Building a forum can be more time consuming than building an eCommerce website or having a successful blog. Depending on the objective and demographics of the forum, it can be extremely interactive. I once joined a forum (Xenforo) that had very tight members. They were almost like a cult! It would be a dream to have members like this who are avid learners in web development and marketing. Blogs are great platforms, but to me, it seems to have more of a one-way type of communication. The reason I join forums is to ask questions and to help people.
Answering Questions I have known companies that hire full time employees just to answer questions. Getting moderators is also a great way to get some help answering questions.
Fighting SpamSetting up filters can help fight spammers, but some still get through. The good thing is that forum moderators and even members can flag these posts. Most forum software can ban people and IP address. One way to clearly keep spammers from posting links in topics is to make everything a rel=”no follow” so search engines don’t give the spammer’s link any credit.
Writing Topics Writing great topics is the reason people stay at forums. For many forums, there are many newcomers who sign up, make one post and never return. But for others, forums are a place where people can help each other.
Once a forum is built out, it would take a minimum of 10+ hours per week to write quality topics and answer questions from members. Get quality moderators and associates to help out.