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Thread: How do you build your online business?

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    Loko's Avatar
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    How do you build your online business?

    Most of us Netbuilders are here – I think – to learn and earn money on the internet. We probably all had our failures and successes. The community here is really great and generous, lots of information kindly shared by various members can be found. Having tried out a few projects myself, I recently changed my strategy into -hopefully- something better. I would like to share my thoughts and would love to hear your story too.

    I started getting interest in the online business in 2006 and until 2008 was mostly reading and only doing some small efforts intermittently about domaining and developing sites. By late 2008, I joined Netbuilders and since then I've spent almost every day reading, learning and building a few sites, most of them never finished however.

    Only after some developing efforts, I realized that some projects just didn't work for me. Probably because of a combination of a lack of knowledge and not enough interest about the subject. The solution was -and has always been- right there in front of my nose, but I didn't see it before. Successful people often say that it made them successful because they liked doing what they did. So I decided to cancel all my developing projects for the time being in order to start building on just one site about a subject I like and also have knowledge of. This strategy seems to have some advantages:

    • To have a solid basis of knowledge and experience on which I can continue building my site.
    • Shedding fruitless projects creates more time to learn and try out things about building and SEO. I have more time to do other things as well.
    • Writing articles is a lot easier and faster because because of knowledge about the subject.
    • I have valuable contacts in the industry I'm writing about.
    • I know which channels to access in order to stay updated and current.

    The site I am building now is about a subject in the long tail of traveling. I'd like to stick around this neighborhood until the site is more stable and subsequently work my way upwards of the tail, there's a long way to go. I always liked long tail subjects and find it fascinating to learn about people's interest. It gives rookie developers like myself a place to start from while keeping all options open for further expanding.

    How do you materialize your online ventures? What worked for you and what didn't?

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    Aquarezz is offline Master Net Builder
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    Pretty awesome man, to start, I wish you good luck

    What do you mean with materialize the online ventures? And for me not that much worked, only the things I was good in and that gave me kind of a better reputation on the net - like my successfull proxy list proxb.com - the success of ProxB probably came because many people on DigitalPoint knew what I was doing, I wasn't lying to the owners, showed them traffic screenshots, it wasn't all just for the money but also for other's benefit and learning purposes but ofcourse, best of all because I was a real proxy niche lover. All I could think of was proxies -- even when I went sleeping.

    So I can't agree more, that you should create things yourself that you're interested in. But there is also the point that other niches might be better, but that's where I think outsourcing comes in place. At the moment I'm selling all my sites, but later on I'll build some websites, and when it doesn't fit my interests I'll do 10% of the content myself on the sites and outsource the other 90%. Hopefully it works..

    Good luck with your travel site man!
    |Nico Lawsons

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    Loko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarezz View Post
    What do you mean with materialize the online ventures?
    In other words -and I quote Will here: What do you do to build your online empire?

    Sometimes it takes some time to figure out what works for us and what doesn't. It's good to see that we all have different interests and capabilities. It really doesn't matter whether you build a site around French Knitting or trying to sell tickets to the moon. When you are motivated and have a plan you're already halfway to make it work. It is no different for proxy adventures when you're all into it. It wouldn't work for me since I don't know anyhting about it, heck, the moment I joined Netbuilders, I didn't even know what a proxy was On the other hand, it is interesting to build sites around different subjects and learn about it, it's all part of the journey. And yes, outsourcing can be a solution too.

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    Money is the great motivator in the online business. It's great to be interested in the subject. But the problem is that most times the hobbies don't pay the bills. So, we have to work the day jobs to pay for the the hobbies.

    I think the best thing to ask yourself before getting into a project is whether there's enough financial gain to compensate for your time.

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    Loko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogart View Post
    I think the best thing to ask yourself before getting into a project is whether there's enough financial gain to compensate for your time.
    That of course, is one of the first questions to ask yourself when building a new project.

    On the other hand, if you have hobbies you might think that there's no way to monetize it. But I find it hard to imagine a hobby or interest that cannot eventually be turned into something profitable.

    We can use the example of French Knitting, which can be a very relaxing way to spend time for some (only shows organic results by the way). When you have knowledge and experience about this, you can start a blog. The blog can be used to sell products, accesories and ready made products. When the blog is stable you can side step in the tail to other similar products or try a level higher. Yes, you may face fierce competition but you can pick a place somewhere in the tail with less competition -suitable for your experience- and then work your way up and expand into a bigger and/or more related sites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loko View Post
    That of course, is one of the first questions to ask yourself when building a new project.

    On the other hand, if you have hobbies you might think that there's no way to monetize it. But I find it hard to imagine a hobby or interest that cannot eventually be turned into something profitable.
    I have a hobby that's worth 50k+ should I decide to sell it. There's even some revenue. Now, I can turn the hobby into an online business but I really have to ask myself do I want to distract myself? I can make a lot more money doing something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loko View Post
    We can use the example of French Knitting, which can be a very relaxing way to spend time for some (only shows organic results by the way). When you have knowledge and experience about this, you can start a blog. The blog can be used to sell products, accesories and ready made products. When the blog is stable you can side step in the tail to other similar products or try a level higher.
    Your idea about going local was good with the taxi page. I just made $500 for a few hours work using the idea. What I did was to build out a small website with content. Spent a few hours doing some link building and was able to sell the page to a business. There happy because the are getting business and I'm happy with a few bucks. I could have gone the route of selling them leads but there's too much trouble with tracking them.

    French Knitting is a good niche where someone good drive traffic to a fabric store or even a fancy chocolate shop. I would like for a buyer that had some interest and then build out the site.

    Some of the issues with local businesses and small businesses are that they have been burned in the past or they don't "see" the need for a webpage. Once they getting calls and making money, they become more interested. If you can offer a payment plan, you are sure to make the sale.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loko View Post
    Yes, you may face fierce competition but you can pick a place somewhere in the tail with less competition -suitable for your experience- and then work your way up and expand into a bigger and/or more related sites.
    Competition is good. I follow these two rules

    1) Go where the money is. -- This shows me that money can be made there. Even the crumbs will make you happy. In a less competitive niche, the whole pie may be less than the crumbs.
    2) Iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another - Being in a competitive environment will sharpen your skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bogart View Post
    Some of the issues with local businesses and small businesses are that they have been burned in the past or they don't "see" the need for a webpage. Once they getting calls and making money, they become more interested. If you can offer a payment plan, you are sure to make the sale.
    Many if not not most local businesses where I live have a poor web presence. A surprising amount of business do not have a website at all and using their internet providers' or hotmail like email adresses. I analyzed local advertisements. They just don't see that they can get more customers with minimum investments. I'm trying to sell the domain of the taxi site, a better keyword domain except the cctld doesn't exist, but no one seems interested.

    I like your idea of payment plans and showing traffic/calls. That's something solid and better understandable for business owners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loko View Post
    Many if not not most local businesses where I live have a poor web presence. A surprising amount of business do not have a website at all and using their internet providers' or hotmail like email adresses. I analyzed local advertisements. They just don't see that they can get more customers with minimum investments. I'm trying to sell the domain of the taxi site, a better keyword domain except the cctld doesn't exist, but no one seems interested.

    I like your idea of payment plans and showing traffic/calls. That's something solid and better understandable for business owners.
    The strategy that I used was to build the website and rank it before I set the price. There's always that chance that the business owner won't agree to buy it. I think most of the time you will make the sale. Because, they are already making sales and have nothing to loose.

    What you can do to minimize the loss is to put the site on a generic domain. This way you will be able to use it for adsense or sell the site to someone else.

    I like the idea that Shoe is using to rank a site and get paid for the leads or a comission. In most cases this is to hard to track. So a fast sale would be the best case.

    The problem that I see with a Taxi site is that the service is a "small ticket" item of usually around $10 for a cab ride. Taxis also plaster stickers and cards everywhere. So it's hard for them to see where the sales are coming from.

    Services that can make sales of $500+ are great businesses to start with.

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    ezyweb is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    I think the most important thing is taking the first step. You're bound to make mistakes along the way and thats how you're going to learn
    Build a Web App - build your own profitable web app and earn a passive income

    Packing Cubes - how I stay organized on the road.

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    I think that building a online business is like any other venture,you need:
    determination,ambition,motivation,intuition and you also need to take risks and good old hard work

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