Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Building an online business empire

Real estate, stocks, bonds, and other paper assets happened to be the investment most preferred some years ago, but now most people tend to create assets online. There are many reasons why so many are looking to build online properties, some of them include,


  • It takes very little investment but gives you high dividends
  • There is very less need for manpower
  • Almost everything online can be considered an asset, your blog, Twitter account, facebook pages, myspace account and every where else where you have an influence on people.
There are two ways web entrepreneurs increase their net worth, by creating assets and investing or buying assets. You'll have to use both of these methods wisely to build an online empire. As a web entrepreneur your ultimate goal is to build your business empire, create an attractive portfolio and sell it on the mainstreet.

Every blogger works day and night to build his blog and turn it into a successful business, but many of them fail or hardly cross the accredited investor mark. The reason is that most bloggers think like bloggers, not like investors and they try to build their blogs, but the key is to grow your business not your blog.





Creating your online empire
It takes a lot of hard work, time and investment to create your online empire. Once you cross the first milestone that is the accredited investor mark (An investor with a net worth of 1 million or an annual earnings of more than $200,000) the rest is pretty easy as you have plenty of availability for loans and other fundings. Most successful entrepreneurs say that the first million is often the toughest. In this post I've included everything necessary for starting and growing your business.

Funding your business
Finding money for starting your online business is a tough part, even though you wont need a lot of money. There are several ways i used to fund my first blog, I first went to my parents who were ready to buy me a hosting space and domain name, then i had some money in my personal savings, with a bit of money in some revenue sharing sites. Totally it added up to $120 including the hosting and domain name costs. I started my site created content, promoted it and monetized it. My first blog gave me enough fundings to start many more blogs, but due to improper planning I lost a lot of money an had to start Dumb Little Blogger on Blogspot.

Reinvesting income
Once you get some traffic and put up some ads on your site you'll get some income, this initial income is crucial for the growth of your business. But if you can see above I messed it up with my sites income and had to loose everything, reinvesting your income should be done strategically (Read my post on Reinvesting your blogs income ) and should be implemented according to a plan. I spent all my income on starting new blogs and that was a bad idea, i should have started one new blog and should have spent rest of my money on promoting my first blog. That bad move was something I repented for months.









Buy/Create websites
An effective way to grow your online network is to expand your reach to new and untapped niches. As i mentioned above it is not wise to keep developing or buying new sites. Know your capacity, create or buy a site, develop good content, promote it and monetize it. If your ready to buy a site its better if you use platforms such as Flippa


Go social
On the internet every social account has a value, every networking site is capable of some income. Many people monetize their Twitter accounts and charge up to $200 a tweet. I recently came across an article on DoshDosh called '10 Ways to make money with Myspace' in this article Maki has clearly described the use of Myspace for generating income. As I mentioned above every social account is like a virtual real estate.








Generate passive income
Once your blog begins to grow you should make sure that your investment is working faster than you are. You may create a hell lot of assets online, but all of this should not result in you working harder and harder as your network grows. Passive income means an asset that generates income with or without your presence. For example authors earn royalties for years with just one book and they literally have no work once their book is published.


Generate brand awareness
Most people get Google in their mind if they think about Orkut and if Orkut wasn't part of Google it would never have made so much fame. If the Envato Network starts a new blog, it would get instant fame as all of us know the quality of Envato. If you find McDonalds and another fast foods restaurant with the same quality you'd obviously prefer going to McDonalds as it is much more popular. This is the game of brand awareness. Once you create 4 to 5 blogs you wont be associated with any of those blogs, you'll be associated with your networks name. If your blogs give out good quality content, your reputation increases, you'll find more funds and sponsors for your existing and new blogs. Once you get 3 to 4 failures you'll have to be ready for some troubles, your sponsors loose trust in you, your investors may pull out and eventually your going to end up in financial problems. Sometimes even when your blogs get really popular your network will have no identity, to solve this problem you can create social accounts in your networks name, put banners on your site and write posts informing your users that your part of this particular company.







Finding capital
After the first round of funding you use to start your business, you'll need another round of capital to expand your blog. This can be used buy more equipments, hire employees, expand your niche and if you want to rent an office space.The first round of funding was very simple and was the best for raising small capital, but when you are in need for a second round of capital your business should be incorporated, you should have a business plan and well organized system of working. Reinvesting income does not come under capitalizing, you can reinvest your personal dividends though. You can start off by getting selling equity, but make sure you don't loose a controlling stake unless your running under serious need for money, another good way is to take a business loan, but too much can result in the fall in your company's value. You may have chances of loosing your house and all personal wealth if your unable to pay back your loan.


Collaborations and partnerships 
If you have ever seen my first site, you'd observe that I was the only author at the beginning, but after some time I had another author. We both worked together, we wrote posts on a daily basis, we took care of the expenses together, we promoted and also shared the revenues among ourselves. This proved to be pretty beneficial to our blog, it increased its productivity, promotion became more efficient and of course my blogs income increased. There is a need for good planning and legalizing some aspects. This can lead to many disputes among your partners and maybe you may plan to sell or shut down your blog.


Outsource and grow
Now your blog is big, earning full time income and has already created an awareness among your niche community. I think its time to outsource your work and go for a long holiday. If not for a holiday you can outsource some of your works to concentrate on others. You can't keep writing articles for all your blogs or keep posting links for search engine optimization, you'll have to concentrate on managing your business, your investors and your customers. Outsourcing may seem like more expenses for the first 4 months, but then you'll immediately see your productivity increasing on the other aspects.







On to our users
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