Are you ready to blog for profit? Inside this post you will find the next section of my “Monetize Your Blog Challenge”
If you spend countless hours staring at your computer screen trying to get your website to bring in more business, I can definitely understand your frustrations. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being the guest expert on Pam Perry’s Branding Superstar University Teleclass series. Every week Pam has an expert on to share smart business tips and I talked about how to have a website like a superstar.
After getting a few wonderful responses from the call and Pam graciously giving me the recording, I decided to post the replay below along with a few key recommendations on how to fix your website, especially if you are struggling with traffic, visibility and sales.
Before I share the replay and a few key tips, let me first say thanks to all of you who were excited about having me on the call. And a special thanks to the young lady who sent me this message:
“Thank you for the critique and the tips. I am the one with the website about dreams. I am so pumped about pulling my website together. I have been attending online seminars and read marketing books, but I could never figure out why my website wasn’t working until tonight. I really appreciate the valuable information you provided.” -D.
Fix My Site Do’s and Don’ts
1. The first question everyone wants me to answer is, “How do I drive more traffic to my website?” Myy response is always “Don’t let website traffic be the first and only thing you focus on.” If your website or blog is struggling to bring in a return, sending more people to a space that’s not working for you will not work. The right question to ask is, “What’s wrong with my website and how do I fix it?”
2. This past week I was reading a blog post on social network for women entrepreneurs, BBWO and came across an interesting link someone posted. Unfortunately the link did not work and at the time it didn’t occur to me to post a comment to inform the blogger that her link wasn’t working. I did like most people do; closed the page and move on to something else. Sharing your business via blogs and or social networks is a great way to drive free traffic, but most people aren’t going to tell you if your links are broken.
This is something we talked about on the call (replay below), always check your links. Broken links mean wasted opportunities for new leads and to impress new people. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure you take the time to go through your website and make sure everything is working currently. I go to tons of websites where the biggest errors are on the social links, which often times don’t work.
3. While I understand some folks like to keep their websites clean and simple, studies have shown that content rich websites like SistaSense and just about all the sites I enjoy building for my clients are actually good for business. Magazine style wordpress sites (for example), allow you to wow your readers with featured content, videos, downloads, offerings and more in a way that keeps them engaged and on your website longer. You don’t want new visitors to visit your website and leave in a few seconds, which means you do want to work on making your site content rich and engaging.
4. Make sure your website isn’t ugly! Seriously. The reason I focus so much of my design skills on creating Pretty Professional Websites is because the honest truth is the only people who sell well on ugly websites are internet marketing gurus who know how to persuade people to buy regardless of looks or actual quality. If you are not a marketing guru, do make sure that your website is properly branded, has an up-to-date design and is well organized.
I offer a 5 Hour Fix My Site Service for those entrepreneurs who are on a small budget, but desperately need to cleanup their websites look and feel. When people look at your site we want them to see that you are professional, on point and have profit potential. People don’t want to buy from sites that are not visually appealing and look like they are not making any sales. One of the things I’ve learned as an online entrepreneur is that people become more comfortable with buyer your products when they can see/feel like other people use and value what you have to offer.
5. Think about one website that you really like. Write down a list of those features you like/ enjoy most on that website. Do you have any of these features on your space? If you do have these features, are you using them correctly? How well are they working for you?
How to Have a Website Like a Superstar (audio replay)
Listen to the audio above, leave a comment if you have questions and if you would like me to fix your website, click here to learn more about my 5 Hour Updates package.
Recent Projects – Redesign Examples:
I am definitely not in a position to tell anyone to quit their day job, but I decided to write this in response to a request that I recently received:
“Great guide it is definitely a keeper. My business has grown. I took your advice and started working different venues and shows and overall this has been successful. Yet, my dilemma is this I want to leave my job of 10 years because it is not where my joy resides and I feel staying here is only blocking my blessings. My joy comes from the people I touch and make feel good by creating (my t-shirt line). I need a 3 month plan to make this a reality. I know I can do this. I am confident in myself and my product. Help!” -A.
Wanting to leave the 9-to-5 world and live your dream is a feeling I know all too well. Did you ever read my 5ive to Fabulous Transformation story? I define my 5ive to Fabulous Transformation as:
- Turning a $5 dream into a fabulous business.
- Leaving the 9-to-5 world and creating a world of your own.
- A way of life and the lessons you learn while you live it.
Key Transitioning Recommendations to Keep in Mind
Create a Financial Cushion
It’s hard to build your best business when bills need to be paid. Desperation can often lead to poor judgment and devaluing the business, so the first thing you will need to do is create a financial cushion that would replace the funds from your current job. Sometimes aspiring entrepreneurs (usually recently laid off), come to me looking for a business they can easily start up and generate money from within 30-90 days. My response is usually the same, “start ups don’t pay up right away.”
When I started working at home I had a small savings to rely on and at one point I also took out a small personal loan, which helped balance out a slow period until things picked up. Whether its creating a savings, getting a personal loan, or having someone (spouse, family member, etc) to assist in taking care of your primary bills, you need to start with a financial cushion.
Monitor Your Spending
When I was featured in Ebony Magazine, the story was really about the reasons I and many African Americans have chosen to migrate back to the south.
When I decided to work at home full time, in addition to building a starter savings I also decided to relocate. The cost of living in North Carolina is significantly lower than it is in NY and NC is actually one of the top 10 states in the country for women business owners. The first month I worked at home I brought in about $500 in sales, so with a savings and minimal expenses I had could stretch much further.
I’m not telling you all to move to NC (smile), but I am saying you need to realistically think about how much money you need to maintain your lifestyle. Can you cut back on anything or completely remove certain expenses all together? Don’t wait until you’ve left your job and end up in a financial bind to make these decisions, think about them now. And sure to read my ‘Wealth Building‘ series, my tips on Keeping More of the Money You Make, plus listen to my “Money Mindset” System to get a better sense of the techniques that I use to monitor my money.
Have a Clarity Session
Watch my clarity video on setting your profit and sales goals. This video is definitely an eye opener for those entrepreneurs who know what they are passionate about, but aren’t clear on how much their start up currently brings in, can potentially bring in, or they need to bring in to maintain a thriving business.
When I was working a 9-to-5 I could put money into my business without really analyzing the ROI (Return on Investment), because my paycheck took care of the bills. When there is no longer a 9-to-5 paycheck, you’ve got to be clear on how much money your business can bring in on a regularly basis to meet your needs and profit goals.
Create a Marketing and Sales POA (Plan of Action)
When you leave the 9-to-5 world, unless you have a sizeable cushion to hold you over for at least 6 months, you need to make those first 90 days count by creating a Plan of Action: strategies you can use to promote your business, drive traffic to your website and ultimately bring in a steady stream of customers.
You can start by watching my Plan of Action video below from my 1st She Rocks the Web Workshop to help point you in the right direction.
Also take a look at my tutorials on:
- Boosting Profit and Sales
- How to Startup and Stay in Business
- How to Keep Customers Happy and Coming Back for More
- How to Work with Customers Who Need You, but Can’t Afford to Pay You
Master the Art of Maintaining Sales in Your Business
Once you officially become the BOSS, it becomes your job to keep things steady. If you’ve ever taken a look at the SistaSense Marketing Formula, you’ve seen that I talk about turning tens into thousands; different methods I use to daily generate income from $10 sales to $100+ sales and build an income of approximately $4500 monthly.
Depending on your financial needs and goals, the numbers for you need might be different from mine, but the idea is the same. A big part of your business time should be devoted to building a list of ways to keep your income steady.
How do I keep my sales steady? I do a combination of the following:
1. Create and sell low price point products that require minimal expense or time to maintain. These products sell well among people looking to try out my offerings without investing too much. They also work well among customers with small budgets.
2. Create and sell high price point products because you need fewer $100+ items than $1 and $10 items to reach thousands of dollars in sales revenue monthly. High price point offerings like my web design services get me to my sales goals faster.
It takes more time and work to close clients when your price points are higher, so for this reason I use a combination of low price point offerings and passive income opportunities to supplement my primary income as a web designer.
3. Create passive income projects that you can use to balance out your income. I have a range of passive income revenue coming in from affiliate programs, Adsense, and subscription-based offerings that I add to sistasense for additional profits. Participate in my Monetize Your Blog 31 Day Challenge to review different ways you can tap into additional income streams online.
Within this short guide I’ve included additional videos and how-tos that can help you create your 3 month exit strategy from the 9-to-5 world and get started on a plan for your work at home future. Remember that you can always schedule a call with me if you’d like for us to sit down and personally discuss your unique situation.
In the spirit of entrepreneurship take a look at this post on AwesomelyLuvvie.com: The Most Delicious Resignation Letter Ever!
She wrote, “When you know it’s time to quit your job and move on to greener pastures and whatnots, it can be hard to write the letter of resignation. Finding the right words takes time. And do you type it or write it out? Wells, this dude in the UK found the best way to quit his job.”
Click here to read her full post. This is creative, interesting and all about taking a minute to appreciate those risk takers who dare to dream and pursue their passions via entrepreneurship.