January 21, 2018, 02:33:37 AM

Author Topic: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business  (Read 2460 times)

Chris Stelzer

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In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« on: December 14, 2011, 03:31:04 PM »
I'll just get right to it. My name is Chris Stelzer, I'm 26 years old and I'm a long time TSP listener and once I found out about 5MWJ I became really motivated to start my own online business. Before I committed to the online model, my plan was to become a sustainable farmer/rancher. Owning my own business was a huge part of this decision. I will be going to Missouri to do an internship on a farm/ranch starting January 1st, 2012, then I will move on to another ranch until the end of July 2012. This will be some great experience!

However, I have started a daily podcast about sustainable agriculture and I love it! So far I have 15 episodes, and a few videos up. On average I'm getting 5-10 (LOL) visitors a day. I've only been doing this for the past 3 weeks. I'm really antsy about getting more traffic to my website. I also want to monetize the site with advertizes as soon as a I can because my internships will require an incredible time commitment on my part, and internet availability will be limited as well. On one hand I feel like I'm being WAY too impatient, but on the other I feel like I need to really start promoting my podcast and my brand. I have some interviews coming up with some experts that have a lot more social capitol than I do, so hopefully through link juice they will drive traffic to my blog. Is it too soon to being monetizing my website? What advice would you give me?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Chris
Agricultrual Insights a blog dedicated to sustainable agriculture and grazing.

rudyk

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 03:50:52 PM »
If you're not building a list, go out right now, get an aweber account, and start a list.

Seriously, go do it.  No joke!

Now that you have a list, write up a special gift to 'bribe' folks with to join.  It will help.  As long as it's solid and useful.  For an example of an opt in bribe, check out the one I have on my blog (see sig)

Then, focus your efforts on building rapport with your audience through your podcast and blog posts.

I'd personally avoid putting much in the way of ads up on your site until you're able to have consistent access to update your site and podcast.  Produce content and build rapport as best you can.  If you don't have much traffic and put ads up, you won't make much, so it's really not worth worrying about.  Focus 100% on building your Tribe, to channel Godin for a moment.

Hope this helps...
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toptec

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 09:47:02 PM »
I disagree with the bribe, the stats show (I don't know where I saw them) that you will get people to sign up, they get the free eBook and ether unsubscribe or don't ever develop into a good customer.  I know I do it, I have a junk email account just for such things.
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rudyk

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 10:24:54 PM »
My stats show the opposite.  My attrition rate is miniscule.  And my lists growth rate went up several fold when I actually gave them a reason to subscribe.

Part of it may be niche related though ... I know that stuff like Internet Marketing has a ton of what you describe.  In any case I've never seen stats that say that your net growth rate doesn't go up.  I'd definitely be interested in those numbers if you can find them.  But in my experience your net growth (which is what you care about) goes way up.  And I've got lists in four or five different niche markets that exhibit the same behavior.


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The_Outdoor_Podcast

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 10:55:56 PM »
Take it from me.  Don't worry about monetizing right now.  Im impatient too and I wanted to rush into it.  I put up affiliates and it flopped.  I then went into physical products and it flopped.

I've taken all affiliate links off my site and am in the process of redoing my store.

You need to focus on building your brand and building community with your audience.  I've been podcasting now for 11  months and I can see a huge difference in my audience over this time period.  They need to trust you before they will buy from you.  Trust is gained through community.

I also recommend that you give away a lot of free content and let your subscribers see what you are about and the quality of content you are capable of producing in addition to your podcast.  Create a few free eBooks and just give them away to your people as a token of your appreciating to them.  Also keep telling them how much you appreciate them, but be genuine about it not fake or it will blow up.

I think it'll take you close to a year or more to really build rapport and community with your people, and you'll see it.  I've done a lot of giveaways over this year to help promote my brand and to reward my subscribers.  I've done what I can to show my listeners what I'm about and what I can produce.

I just recently gave away a free eBook and had some remarks that I should sell it.  I believe that my people are now getting to the point where they trust me enough to purchase my content.  I'm in the process of creating some content that i'm going to sell to them, but I regret getting into the affiliates and stuff like that way too soon.

Get a facebook fan page and twitter account both with your brand and begin to grow and build your community.


Ian

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2011, 10:07:43 PM »
I totally understand where you're coming from, but I would suggesting being patient with it and going 6 months or a year before you really start pushing to get advertisers. My priority right now would be to look for internships that will make it easy for you to keep blogging. Maybe approach potential employers with your blog when you apply for the internship - tell them that you are developing this blog on sustainable farming, and want to use it to educate people about what you are learning to do. Any halfway decent farm would (I expect) be happy to work with you to do that - and they might very well become your first major sponsor down the road.

In the long run, it seems to me that building your knowledge and skills is the most important thing to do right now. That is what will give you the ability to produce useful and insightful content for a long time to come. If you sacrifice a hands-on education in favor of pushing the blog too much now, I think you might end up burning out. Having the blog as a side thing while you intern will (I think) be hard work but more rewarding personally and set up a better base for financial stability down the road.

Chris Stelzer

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 11:59:32 AM »
Thanks guys, you have given me some sage advice and some things to think about. I guess the overall message from you all is; be patient. Which is good advice.

Ian,

Thank you for your advice. I do think that getting that hands-on experience right now is the key to my long-term success. I think I will work my ass off during the internships and build my site/brand/content daily, which is a bit of a contradiction to what you suggested. However, after I've completed them, I'll have the time and experience to take my website to the next level with monetization. If I do feel I'm getting burned out, maybe I'll step back from the blog a bit, knowing that the key to long term success, like you mentioned, lies with completing my internships. Thank you.
Agricultrual Insights a blog dedicated to sustainable agriculture and grazing.

Josh

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2011, 04:48:11 PM »
Remember Jack's challenge: keep at it for 6 months. By then, people will be asking for stuff. Give it to them.

You may want to start building info products now based on the topics that you're covering. That way you have them ready when people start asking for them. And if they don't ask for what you have prebuilt, you have that much more experience making products.

BillFoster

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 04:53:06 PM »
I plan on starting a monthly contest for "new subscribers" to build my list. I might swap a banner for merchandise or just come out of pocket for it.

Has anyone used the banner for merchandise route before, or have you heard if it is a good business practice?
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Chris Stelzer

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2011, 07:58:48 PM »
Remember Jack's challenge: keep at it for 6 months. By then, people will be asking for stuff. Give it to them.

You may want to start building info products now based on the topics that you're covering. That way you have them ready when people start asking for them. And if they don't ask for what you have prebuilt, you have that much more experience making products.

This is a great idea, thanks Josh. I'll start working on some eBooks and have them ready for release when people start asking for them. I'm getting really excited!
Agricultrual Insights a blog dedicated to sustainable agriculture and grazing.

chefkeithsnow

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 07:11:55 AM »
Most folks are right..it takes time..there is no secret pill...I built content for 3 years before anything good start happening...I even turned down a book contract (and the cash) because my agent told me to wait and I would get more...it took serious discipline to turn down that check...but she was totally right...after 18 months another publisher offered 4 times more and my book wound up to be a big success...

so be patient...while you are building your brand study others who have the business you would like to have..then figure out how to build it.....I would be looking at successful small farmers who are able to sell their products direct and building a great life in the process...there are countless examples...I visited with 13 farmers for my TV show and found some of them doing really, really well...!!

Best!

Chef Keith Snow

shaddess

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Re: In need of help/advice on monetizing my immature business
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2012, 02:37:15 AM »
I am very new to the online marketing process, however, I would suggest putting your business out there in as many social networks spots as you can.  I just finished doing my first youtube video tonight which has a brief ad for my blog and hints at my plans for a podcast.  Both my blog and youtube channel are specifically designed to market a future product; the podcast.  In my case, the video is intended to be funny with a small into segment that makes my presence known to the world.  best part is, it isn't costing me anything to put up the video's or host it.  It's all on youtube!
If you have a video camera or decent webcam, i would say give it a whirl.  Put yourself out there and do so in places where people are looking for fresh new faces.  There is a huge personal market for people who are chomping at the bit to say "Yeah, I know that guy, I saw him first."
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