Headsmacking Tip 001 - I Should Treat My Websites Like a Business - Stevie Tee

Headsmacking Tip – 001 – Treat My Websites Like an Online Business

Doh!This is the first post in an infrequent feature I thought up last night, just as I was dropping off to sleep. Headsmacking tips, tips that you read that make you smack your forehead and go “Why didn’t I think of that”, or more likely “Yes, you’re right – I knew that, but I’ve never really applied it”.

This first tip is simple. The internet is full of people looking to make money online, with as little work or expense as possible. Those kind of people are destined to fail. If I’ve learned one thing over the years, the projects I have undertaken that have been successful have taken one of 2 things – A shed load of work, or a significant investment.

If you get yourself into the mindset of treating your online presence like an online business then you are one step ahead of the competition, because that means you have the attitude to succeed. I’ve mentioned on here before that I started my first affiliate website in 2006, DVD Bargain Alerts, was born out of frustration. I had been looking for ways to make money online for a couple of years, but as with most people back then I became obsessed with eBay, which worked for a while, but it was draining, what with packaging up the items I was selling (I had a small xBox Parts business), and taking them down to the post office every lunch break.

This was a business in the conventional sense, In that I was buying Xbox’s whole then breaking them down into their component parts and selling them separately. I was lucky to make a little profit while I was doing this, some days I’d make money, other days I’d have a back room full of unsold XBOX Power supplies (I’ve still got stuff in the Attic), but the point is I wasn’t afraid to invest in the XBOX’s upfront knowing that the pay-off would come later when the carcass was sold off individually.

This mentality helped a lot when I started DVD Bargain Alerts, I didn’t spend an awful lot of money, in the beginning but there was certainly a great deal of learning to be done. I spent about 6 months closeted in my office learning everything I could possibly learn about setting up a website from scratch, learning how to code PHP and learning which Content Management Systems were most appropriate for me. At the time it was all about forums, so DBA was set up with a phpBB forum (which is free), but I wasn’t happy with it just being a forum so I learned how to add a portal to the home page and contacted medifusion (who are the team behind www.find-dvd.co.uk) and integrated their API into the site, while at the same time I was active on DVD and Shopping forums trying to promote the site. Looking back it was quite intense and I would regularly burn the midnight oil trying to fit everything in. And this is exactly the kind of mindset a bricks and mortar entrepreneur has – except in addition to that they are often taking many more financial risks.

I’m not suggesting that you go out and remortgage your house to set up your website, don’t get me wrong, but slow, sensible investment, spending money and time that you can quite clearly afford is the best way to make your online endevours grow. For some of my projects I have been as guilty of failing to do this as the next man, but by the same token I have also shelled out a few thousand pounds on ebooks and membership sites as well as the odd coaching session in an effort to further my knowledge and keep me in the game. And right now the internet landscape is changing. Google is trying to make the internet better, by weeding out the thin content affiliate sites that have flourished for the last decade, making it difficult for them to rank for anything, so it pays to build as good a site as possible, if only to future-proof it from further google algo changes.

For example if you want to build a site that reviews laptops, then try and get hold of the laptops you are reviewing and do a video review. This is great content that is unique to you and google will likely love it. What? Expensive? Sure is, especially if you can’t blag a free laptop for review from the manufacturer. But hey, if you have the money you could always buy the laptop, review and then sell it. That way you’d make most, if not all of your money back. And the affiliate comissions you earn from writing that review will do the rest.

For me this is a great example of treating a website like a business. Am I doing it? Not yet. But I intend to start doing something like it very soon, and when I do I might even document it on this blog. If anyone wants to read about it….

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Posted under: Headsmacking Tips

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