Tag Archives: Business

nichemarketingbullseyeYesterday I found a website that got me thinking.

It’s a niche website with a lot of unique content that is heavily SEO optimized. The business model was very simple – they have 4 CPA lead generation offers on each page and the goal is quite apparent: keep people on the site long enough with the content and drive them to one of the CPA offers. I imagine that the site is very successful at making money.

It’s a model that is simple, and a website that is not technically difficult to create.  However when I started to think about how to duplicate this business model for myself I found it to be a mountainous undertaking.

And so I’m going to ask you: If you needed to get 30,000-50,000 words of high quality unique content that would keep people on your website for 10+minutes how would you get it? The two options I could think of are:

  1. Pay someone to research and write the content for you
  2. Buy a website that already has the unique content on it

Both of those options could cost $$$.  Is there another way to get great content fast without spending so much money?  Leave a comment with your thoughts.

By the way…  the interesting  website I found that started this train of thought is NursingSchool.org.  How much do you think a website like that would be making?  How much would it cost to develop?

BIBusiness Intelligence is a multi-billion dollar industry powered by heavy hitters like SAP, Oracle, and HP. The problem they attempt to solve is to mine through the mountains of data created or collected by a business and find intelligent ways to present it or find patterns.

At the very simplest level, business intelligence starts with having data – lots of it – in files, databases, on the web, or inside applications and then pulling all that data together to make inferences on it. Ultimately displaying it in a simplified form in a dashboard that the CEO can use to make effective high level decisions. In big business with lots of moving parts this is invaluable since to make the best decisions you need the best information.

For small business owners the big enterprise solutions are far out of reach, but the competitive advantage of having this data presented to you in the right way is still huge.

That’s why over the next while I’m going to be posting some scripts as I build out my own business intelligence dashboard geared towards the internet marketer. As I go, I will post the scripts here for you to take and use for yourself in your business. Some of the scripts I have in mind include:

  • Get clickbank transactions
  • Get CPA report data
  • Website traffic data
  • Get PPC advertising data
  • Google Adsense data
  • Compute Profit & Revenue numbers
  • Ranking in Google/Yahoo/Bing SERP
  • Backlinks, Google Alerts, Blog Activity

Finally, when all these pieces are put together I will bundle it into one program you can run and use as your own business intelligence dashboard. By putting all this information in one place you will save time from opening 10 tabs in my browser to login to all these sites and look at the numbers. It will systematize many of your adhoc processes and make your decisions easier to make. It will take your business to the next level.

If you have any suggestions for additional functionality in this dashboard that you think would be useful just leave a comment on this post.

Keep up with the progress on this project over the next few weeks by subscribing to the RSS feed.

Looking to find a place to invest your money that will give very impressive returns when compared to just about any other investment product out there?  There’s a strong argument for buying websites as an alternative to stocks and an alternative real estate investing, or stocks if you want to grow your money. Here’s how it stacks up:

Website Real Estate (investment) Stock Market
Price Range $50 – $1,000,000,000+ $20,000 – $30,000,000 $1000 – unlimited
Cash Flow $0 – $100,000/month couple hundred/month dividends
Risk can be almost eliminated no tenant and you’re on the hook for mortgage payments/ bad tenants/ real estate market can crash managing risk can be tricky
Typical P/E ratio 1 ? value stock : 10 momentum stock : 30-50
Buying/Selling Cost 0% – 5% 5%-10% $0-$50
Work Involved none to full-time job moderate very little to full time

Price Range: A real estate investment pretty much requires you to get a mortgage.  That extra debt adds risk to the investement since if you fail to find a tenant for the property and can’t make payments you could lose everything in foreclosure.  Both websites and stocks offer entry points that are accessible without taking on debt.

Cash Flow: A website is a business and you are the owner which means that all the profit goes into your pocket.  With dividend paying stocks you are a part owner and the CEO will decide how much of the profit gets distributed.  Typically with a rental property you’ll make enough to cover the mortgage payment/repairs plus a small amount of cash profit.

Risk: Because you get a chance to negotiate the deal when buying a website it’s possible to greatly reduce the risk.  A good review of the working of the website and it’s history of profits will help identify solid businesses that will continue to perform in the future.  Thus risk is almost eliminated.  As for real estate, there is tremendous risk.  The property could be destroyed by fire or flood, bad tenants could cause your repair bills to increase or not pay rent leaving you to pay the mortgage.  Default on the mortgage and you risk a hit to your credit rating or even bankruptcy.  The stock market risk can be managed by diversification and using stop loss orders.  Even the best stock market wizards can only pick good stocks 60% of the time – it is impossible to know what the stock market will do in the future (legally).

P/E Ratio: The Price/Earnings ratio is a measure of the value of what you’re buying as it relates to the earnings it will provide.  A P/E ratio of 2 means that it will take 2 years worth of profit to pay off the initial investment.  Surprisingly the typical selling price of a website is around 1 times earnings that means that a website that makes $10,000/year will sell for around $10,000.  This is almost unheard of in other investments.  In real estate since returns on have historically matched inflation you can expect real returns matching just what you can sqweak out above your holding costs.  For stocks the high P/E means that you get comparatively less value for your money.  That means that you really depend on the stock price increasing in order to get a good return on a stock.

So what’s the catch with buying websites?

The catch is that you have to be prepared to run them or hire someone to run them for you.  There are many sites out there that are completely automated, but even those sites will require maintenance from time to time or additional promotion to grow the business.  A website is a business and it requires some amount of management to grow and remain profitable.

Where to buy Websites

The absolute best way to buy websites is to contact website owners directly and see if they would like to sell.  In many cases website owners have lost interest in their websites and are letting them whither and die and will gladly take your money for them.  In some cases you could quickly renovate the website by monetizing it and immediately turn a junk site into a cash machine.

Alternatively there are a number of places that will connect you to people who are actively trying to sell their websites:

Final Note

If you are looking for something to invest in take some time to consider an alternative to stock investing and real estate.  Websites are currently under-priced in comparison to those established investment categories.  There’s a huge potential upside and the downside risk can be limited.

Where is the value in the the work that you do as an entrepreneur?

I think the farther you can get from the commoditized skills the more money you’ll make.  A commoditized skill is anything that you can easily and simply abstract and have done else where.  Here are some examples of commodity skills:

  • Basic accounting
  • Website design
  • Customer support
  • Writing/Research

If it’s possible to use a service like Elance to connect you to people that will do the work cheaply and quickly, why would you want to compete in that space?

The real money is to be made in the skills that deliver the competitive advantage to your business.  At the highest level that is the strategy.

Being a good business strategist and knowing how to execute the strategy is like having a license to print money.  It’s a skill that I’m beginning to learn and will continue to try and master for the rest of my life.

Currently I’m doing a lot of the grunt work in my business.  I’m writing the reports, doing the research, designing the websites, and doing the promotion.  It’s a lot of work and it reveals a lot of inefficiencies.  The things that I like to do get done quicker while other parts get delayed and hold up the progress.

As the business grows more and more of that work will be taken off my plate and I’ll get to spend more time doing the higher value things like structuring offers, inventing product ideas, and networking with partners.  Those are the things that will really accelerate your income.  They are also skills that are hard to learn from a book or course.  You really need to spend some time in the trenches, make mistakes and continue on the path to mastery.

When it comes to getting your business profitable the 80/20 rule can be used as a guide to determine how you should manage your time.

What is the most important part of any new business?

Sales.

Time and time I’ve had to learn and relearn this while trying to get HalOtis profitable. I spent time working on designing the logo, getting business cards printed, having a custom t-shirt made, and working on products before actually proving that there was a market that I could sell to. What was I thinking!

All of that time was wasted.

Let’s look at some examples of how to do it properly:

Blog Posting
If you had spent 1 hour writing a post for one of your blogs, then you should spend 4 hours promoting it. Take the time to socially bookmark your post, leave comments on other sites for the link back, and perhaps write some more articles, Squidoo lenses, or post to other web 2.0 sites. Spread the word far and wide that you have something worth reading.

Internet Marketing
If you want to get into a particular market get to the selling as soon as possible. If you take a day to find a niche, build a website, and find a product to sell on it. Then spend the rest of the week only on sales. Drive traffic to the site, test the conversion of different pages designs, tweak the copywriting. If you can’t sell someone else’s product if you put in that amount of effort then consider finding another niche.

Business
Resist the temptation to build up your business. Don’t start by getting the accounting software, designing logos, getting letterhead, talking to lawyers, or doing the paperwork to register your business. Skip those things and develop a plan that will get you to the Selling part as soon as possible. You can get creative about this. Take pre-sales whenever possible and focus your effort on getting them. 90% of businesses fail in the first year… mitigate your risk by making sure the business will make money before investing in it.

This approach will have a much better success rate. If you want to be in business, and get rich, you must get over any hangups you have about sales and selling. In fact you should come to love sales.

Sales is the one place where you actually get to use that fun stuff you learned about in Psychology class. It’s a ridiculously interesting area to be an expert in, and the money is pretty good too. If you know how to make sales, then you’ll be an asset to every business you work for (or your own).