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Startup Costs Associated with Starting an Online Blog Business

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For most people, starting a blog is something they usually jump right into and don’t give too much long term thought to. However, if you are blogging with the sole purpose of making money online and creating a business that you can potentially sell down the road, this is definitely something you need to prepare.

Before we get started with the costs associated with starting a blog business, we first need to cover the concepts of how to make money with a blog and instantly stand out from the crowd in the process. Keep in mind, anyone can start a blog for just a few dollars — all it takes is a domain name, a shared hosting account and a free installation of WordPress. The real money comes into play when you start looking at content creation, advanced SEO, social media management, aggressive outreach/marketing… and also building a successful team of individuals around you. Once you start lining up all of these factors, costs can really add up quickly.

With all of this now in mind, you might start thinking that you will need some outside funding or capital to actually get the ball rolling. For times like these, you have plenty of options — especially if you already have an active business in place. There is no longer a need to walk into a local bank and beg them for their best loan rates possible and needing them to actually approve your business plan or idea. Now, most of this can be done online and you can even use these business loan calculators to give you an idea on how much money you might be able to get your hands on.

Now that we covered the basics of what you might need to consider when running a legitimate blog business, it’s time to break down the different areas of focus and the associated costs for each.

Site Design

As mentioned earlier, WordPress makes the process of starting a website or blog pretty simple. Right out of the box it will allow you to go live with your site and start creating content right away. At the same time, WordPress also provides access to a world of Themes and Plugins that allow you to customize pretty much anything on your site. However, if you want to stand out from the crowd and look as professional as possible, you are going to at least need a premium WordPress theme, or a custom one to get the exact look and feel you are looking for. In most cases, a premium WordPress theme will cost around $50-$100. A completely original and custom WordPress theme can run anywhere from $500 to $5,000 depending on complexities and the designer you go with. Before jumping into a new site design process or hiring the first design agency you come across, be sure to read through this guide on starting costs for site design.

Content Creation

Content creation is something that many bloggers will take upon themselves. For the most part, this makes perfect sense — however, if you want to blog with the sole purpose of making money and turning it into a legitimate business, you will need to have a lot of content going live on your site and it’s going to need to be in the highest quality possible. The good news is that most of this process can be outsourced, whether that be an individual that you hire directly, or through any freelance writing job sites (like TextBroker or Contentmart). The important thing to keep in mind is that a typical article with 1,200-words, and written by a native English speaker, will likely cost you in the $80-$120 range starting out. With such a hefty price tag per article, it’s important to make sure that you are going to get the most out of each article you are paying for.

SEO and Marketing Services

When it comes to creating a blog with killer content that actually ranks in the search results, you will need to have an aggressive outreach and marketing campaign. This means always scouring the internet to find new opportunities for guest blogging, infographic sharing, media mentions and getting featured on other relevant sites within your industry. For the most part, SEO and link building is a full-time and manual process — which also means it can get quite costly in the process. In addition to the setup and design of your site, along with the content that will need to be created on a daily basis, the SEO and Google ranking aspect of your blog will likely also cost a few thousand dollars per month. This is more on the aggressive side, but it’s necessary to compete against the other billion active sites on the internet today.

If you plan to sell any products or services through your blog, this will likely be an additional marketing cost as well. PPC advertising in Google, media buying on other industry sites and social advertising through Facebook Ads can quickly add up to extra several hundreds of additional spending. It’s important to also realize that there might be a ‘floating’ period during the time when you have to pay for your advertising before getting paid by any customers or merchants. This is another reason to consider your options for getting some type of funding to make sure there is always a positive cash flow within the business.

The Difference Between a Blog and a Blog Business

As you read through this article, you might be thinking — what’s the difference between a regular blog and a blog business?

Well, for the most part… many bloggers are just creating content and letting it get shared around or rank wherever it ranks. This is why the typical costs of starting a blog are quite low. However, when running a ‘blog business’, it’s all about having a business model and goal for all of your content before it even goes live. A perfect example of this would be a financial review site or an entertainment blog that releases new content daily and knows how to use social media and YouTube to drive massive traffic back to the site (while monetizing visitors through premium ad placements). Blogging is a serious business, and while most sites you know are probably from individual bloggers who work on their own, there are many WordPress driven sites that are valued at several millions of dollars and run my big agencies and companies in the process.

Srish Agrawal is an entrepreneur, branding consultant, and angel investor. He is also the Founder & CEO of A1 Future Technologies, which includes sites like Logo Design Team and Infographic Design Team, and has helped over 25,000 clients improve how they look online.

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AdPushup Review: How AdPushup Helps Publishers Grow Their Ad Earnings

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As a publisher, you produce content because you want it to be seen. Generating traffic for that is the first aspect here. At the same time, you also want to optimize the ads on your site in order to maximize your monetization potential. Hence, figuring out how to monetize the traffic becomes the second aspect.

You can’t just be tossing up random ads anywhere hoping for the best to happen. It takes the right tools with the right technology for the job. AdPushup, one of the fastest-growing revenue optimization tools out there, has been doing exactly that.

Upon trying and testing, I learnt the platform uses automated A/B testing and machine learning in order to create ad layouts that convert. In this post, I’d like to present my thoughts on how I think the platform helps publishers optimize their ad stack, while overcoming common challenges and growing the bottom line.

A Detailed AdPushup Review and How to Use Push Notifications

The objective of AdPushup is quite clear: optimize the ads on a website in a way that they drive the maximum revenue. To accomplish this, AdPushup offers technologies that have been known to ad tech for a while; and are now rapidly gaining traction amongst publishers.

Here’s a glimpse of the technology features that I’ll further discuss in this post:

Conversion Driven Ad Layouts

In my experience, one of AdPushup’s strongest USPs is the Ad Layout Optimization tool.

Being a publisher, you may have a sense of how to make your site look good. But do you have proven data to back your decisionsーwhere should your ads go, what type/format should you choose, and what next after the ads are in place?

If you’re anything like me, you’d want to interact with an easy-to-understand visual interface, than bury yourself elbow-deep in HTML, PHP, or CSS. The Ad Layout Optimization tool offers a point-and-click interface to help laymen like us create new ad units and layouts by ourselves.

Beyond that, the algorithm leverages machine learning to optimize the ad layout through ongoing A/B testing. As a publisher, the more work you can automate, the more time you invest in creating great content!

The Need for Demand

As much as advertisers seek premium, targeted inventory for their ad campaigns, publishers also want their inventory in the right hands. Moreover, header bidding helps garner better value for the inventory. As a result, a lot of inventory-owners are getting started with header bidding.

Upon researching, I came across the demand partnerships AdPushup has to offer to its publishersーindustry-names like IndexExchange, Media.Net, Rubicon, Sovrn, DistrictM, Pubmatic among others. As a publisher, it helps me develop some faith in investing in this practice knowing that my inventory is in safe hands.

Counter to Ad Blockers

In a report by Statista, as of 2019, 25.8% of the Internet users in the US are using ad blockers. That’s like 1/4th of my traffic not being able to see my ads. In my view, this is pretty much enough to cause some serious FOMO around ad impressions to any publisher. 

The adblock recovery solution by AdPushup acts as a remedy here. The solution first detects the users who might be using AdBlock. Next, adhering to Acceptable Ads, only shows user-friendly and non-obstructive ads. The best part is, users get to have a last say about whether they want to see the re-inserted ads or not.

But why would users agree to see ads again, when they had them blocked in the first place?

You see, users don’t hate ads. They just hate disrupting, annoying ads. The adblock recovery solution only shows ads that pass the Acceptable Ads Standards’ eligibility and qualify to be called ‘acceptable ads.’

With AdRecover, AdPushup helps publishers recover revenue that would have otherwise been lost, while adhering to high UX standards. The net result is more money in your pocket without having to look for new revenue channels.

Ads that Are Seen

Most of the Internet is flooded with display ads. In an environment where users take seconds to decide to either engage or disconnect with a site, poorly placed ads are very likely to go unnoticed. The industry calls this phenomena banner blindness.

AdPushup provides innovative ad formats as a solution for publishers. Their library includes formats like in-image ads, in-view ads, docked ads, and sticky ads, along with native. These ad formats are unique and help improve ad viewability and CTRs.

Managing Everything on Your Own

Along with the various ad optimization solutions offered by AdPushup, it also has a consolidated app manager. Meaning, you get an interactive interface where you can manage your inventory and take charge of your actions.

For example, if you’re using header bidding, you get to see the option to add/remove demand partners. Or, while using the ad layout editor, you can simply create layouts and see the A/B test results populating in the panel.

The best part is, you get constant guidance from AdPushup. Whether it is about creating layouts, or you need advice with header bidding, the support guys with their professional ad ops expertise lend you a hand at every step. Being a fully-managed platform, they also take on the complete legwork on your behalf.

This empowers publishers with more flexibility, making AdPushup more publisher-friendly. It’s a great fit especially for novice publisher who may otherwise be intimidated by the complex or technical requirements of ad optimization.

Do you use web apps on your computer? These are designed by keeping the end-user in mind, and the AdPushup platform works in much the same way.

In addition to the visual layout editor, you’ll find features like AdRecover—anti-ad-block solution which we just discussed.

Next, the AMP-conversion feature makes it easy to convert web pages to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). The point is, it’s both easy and powerful for you regardless of your level of technical expertise.

In the case you are working with closed networks that don’t participate in header bidding, the Ad Mediation feature leverages machine learning to determine which network is likely to bid the highest. 

Many publishers underutilize their ads. Hence, a feature you might enjoy using in the app manager is Innovative Ads. Through a simple step-by-step wizard, you are able to build ad units for high-value placements. The biggest key with AdPushup is to look for the big wins along with the improvements to maximize your earning potential.

What’s more? With AdPushup, you can manage multiple sites under one account. This saves time, making it much more accessible for you to dive deep into the intricacies, and understand what brings you dollars and cents in through the front door.

Seeing the Performance at a Glance

When you log into your account, you are presented with a clean and robust dashboard. What’s great is that you can not only look at your estimated earnings for each individual web property, but also for your account as a whole, right at the top.

This includes comparing yesterday’s earnings against the same day of the last week, comparing the last 7 days versus the previous period. I personally found this quite convenient and effortless.

Similarly, you can review a graph that compares your performance with AdPushup versus your original setup, paying specific attention to your page RPM. Again, this is true for your account as a whole and for individual websites. You can also choose between date settings like yesterday, the last 7 days, the last 30 days, or this month.

Below that, (not shown in the screenshot above) you’ll get to see a pie chart showing your revenue by networks, helping you decide where to focus and how to align your efforts.

The main navigation in the left sidebar is easy enough to understand, showing an interface packed with data in a tidy manner. Reviewing individual sites is straightforward, including viewing individual reports and managing individual sites—accessing AP head code and managing blocklist.

Getting into Detailed Reporting

What we discussed above was the dashboard. The reporting on AdPushup is further more detailed. You can choose reports based on the site, device, network, page group, page variation, and more. Furthermore, you can choose an interval, add filters, review page views, look over ad eCPM, and so much more in reporting data.

If you’d like to analyze the data even further, reports are easily exportable in Excel format. With this data, you can make informed decisions about which opportunities to pursue.

One approach that I find particularly appealing is being able to generate a report based on the revenue channel. This reveals how each channel performed on each date in terms of ad eCPM, impressions and net revenue. (Probably one of the most important things publishers are after.)

This kind of report should reveal your greatest areas of growth, as well as shed light on areas with the biggest potential upside. What are you overlooking? What revenue channels are improving or falling over time? Are you even on the right path of monetizing your ads?

Final Thoughts

As a robust monetization tool for publishers, AdPushup comes powered with an intuitive user interface, deep reporting options, and several features to elevate your monetization to a whole new level.

With quick integration, continuous optimization powered by machine learning, and a convenient payment schedule, I find that this is the kind of utility you want to have in your arsenal if you want to really raise your bottom line. If you’re not already using AdPushup, you’re leaving money on the table.

Have you really optimized your ads yet? I think it’s never too late to get started.

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Build Your Online Business with Marketplace SuperHeroes

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Have you ever wanted to run your own online business, but you weren’t sure what to expect or how to get started? The incredible thing about the online world is that you don’t need to be a big, recognizable brand yourself, nor do you need to develop and produce your own unique products. You can leverage all the systems that are already in place and start turning a considerable profit, but you need to know how to do it. And that’s what Marketplace SuperHeroes (MPSH) are all about.

The guys over at MPSH focus on helping their members create a 5-7 figure income stream selling low-competition, high-profit items on Amazon. And the cool thing is, they don’t just teach people to sell in the US – they work on “multiplying” sales and profits, by selling products in the US, UK and Europe, making this a global business model.

A Step-By-Step Comprehensive Guide

Approaching the world of online business can feel daunting and intimidating at first, and rightfully so. But that’s why Marketplace SuperHeroes was developed. Their flagship Core 2.0 Program is an online video course that you can follow, one step at a time, and get yourself moving towards building a successful, sustainable business that continues to make money while you sleep.

When you sign up to The MPSH Core 2.0 Program, you gain access to a number of different products, including Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Core 2.0 Program, as well as a number of bonus products such as Fuel Your Empire, The 1K Per Day Roadmap, Invincible Importing, and 30 Minute Legendary Listings. For the purposes of this review, we’ll focus mostly on MPSH Core 2.0 Program (Phase 1).

This is where you really get started with the Marketplace SuperHeroes Core Program. It has been divided into six convenient modules, that you make your way through, taking action after each module. Don’t skip any, as each module builds upon the one that came before it, and so forth.  There are also helpful building blocks at the end of each module, to make sure you’re ready to move onto the next one. Realistically, you can start your business at any time, building on the knowledge and guidance as you make your way through the program.

As you open the first module, you’ll see that it is further subdivided into a number of parts. Each part comes with a brief write-up, along with a main video. Most videos are around 10 minutes in length, making them easily digestible. Conveniently, audio versions and transcripts are also available for reference, in addition to the videos themselves.

A Closer Look at Module 1

The basic structure of module 1 is mirrored throughout the rest of the MPSH Core Program. The introductory video in each module gives you some sense of what you can expect to learn in that module. That’s also where you’re introduced to your hosts.

After the introduction, you dive into the first video in the module. For example, for this first module, we learn about how you can get the most out of the system. The video course is largely structured like a PowerPoint presentation with voiceover narration. The presentation can include screenshots and screencasts, as well as more basic text-based slides as part of the deck.

At the root of it, Marketplace SuperHeroes is training you to be a successful global seller on Amazon, selling products that you can reliably source and resell in Amazon’s online marketplace. The objective here is not to become a big brand yourself or to grow into a massive company that requires significant management. Instead, it’s about creating a business and system that can generate reliable profit, day after day, from the comfort of your home, on your own schedule.

The videos explain why Robert and Stephen believe that Amazon is the ideal environment for such a business, like how it already has such a strong brand presence and how customers know they’ll get quality support. Each module wraps up with a longer analysis video where the guys provide a deeper dive into the content. Think of it like a post-show discussion or podcast episode about a TV show or movie you just watched.

Key Concepts to Begin

I won’t dive too much into the finer details here, as you really need to make your own way through the entire course to appreciate how much you can learn and apply to your own business. However, I will touch on a couple of key concepts that provide a sort of framework for the type of Amazon business you can expect to build by following this blueprint.

First, they describe the Rule of Five. If you can decide on five products that you can sell in five countries, selling five units per country per day at a $5 net profit per unit, you’re well on your way to online success. That works out to $18,750 per month or $225,000 per year. Remember that this is net profit, not total revenue. The Rule of Five really illustrates the power of multiplication and simple scale. They also mention that you should look for at least a 30% profit margin (they call it POR, or Profit on Return) for the products you choose to sell.

Another key concept is what they call the B.E.S.T. product strategy. This describes how you should go about choosing which products you want to sell. B.E.S.T. stands for Boring, Established, Scalable, and Tangible. In other words, you’re not looking for trendy products that could be a flash in the pan or brand new products that have not yet been adequately tested in the market. Instead, boring is best. These are the products that people will keep buying, outlasting fly-by-night trends.

The 4S Product Gauntlet

Another huge component to how Marketplace SuperHeroes guides your path to building a successful online business is the 4S Product Gauntlet. The 4S’s stands for Search, Shortlist, Select, and Source, and it’s the four-step process that goes into deciding which products you should sell on Amazon and how to get them. This ties into the related tool, which accompanies the online course.

As you can see in the provided screenshot here, the navigation is simple and logical to follow. The four “S” steps are all listed along the left column, so you can work your way through them one by one. There’s also a “Goals” tab at the top for working out some of the numbers you’d like to achieve. For the 4S, it’s easy enough to add products to your list for research purposes.

Remember that product research is an ongoing process, so while the starting objective is the Rule of Five, recognize that there is always room for improvement and refinement too. The videos explain how the 4S Product Gauntlet works, as well as how you can implement that strategy using the provided tool.

Become a Best Seller

This is all just the tip of the iceberg. As you work your way through Phase 1 of Marketplace SuperHeroes Core 2.0 Program and into Phase 2, you’ll be guided through a series of other concepts and frameworks. These include business structure, purchasing and importing, listing optimization, and international expansion. It’s critically important to understand these sorts of logistical matters, as they are part and parcel of running a successful online business.

Marketplace SuperHeroes really is a comprehensive guide to starting your own Amazon seller business. You are provided with hours of video content presented in a format that’s easy to follow and understand. It’s just up to you to put those lessons into action.

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How to Drive More eCommerce Sales and Leads with Marketing Automation

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Something that you’ll learn very quickly, or at least that you should learn very quickly, is that it pays much more handsomely to work smarter rather than to work harder. If you want to run a successful business, particularly in the realm of eCommerce, you need to get out of the mindset that more hours worked will necessarily lead to more dollars and cents; it doesn’t. Instead, it’s much more about the effectiveness of those hours worked. The more you can automate and outsource, the more hours you’ll have free to focus on higher level, more executive tasks like strategy and positioning.

To that end, Flashy can take your eCommerce business and elevate it to the next level with advanced ecommerce marketing automation and email marketing. It’s positioned as “the smartest way to understand your visitors and customers,” giving you the opportunity to get the results you desire. Let’s take a closer look.

The Flashy Approach to eCommerce

There are a multitude of tools out there that you can use for different facets of your overall marketing plan. You might already use an email marketing platform for your email newsletter, for instance, and another as a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, and another still for optimizing website pop-ups or push notifications. Flashy brings all these components together as an all-in-one eCommerce solution.

One of the more profound and remarkably common challenges that you’ll find with eCommerce is that all of these moving pieces don’t “talk” to one another in the most effective manner. Each platform might maintain its own user list, for example, and you don’t get to capitalize on cross-referencing that data for maximum impact. Flashy overcomes this, because it’s an all-in-one system.

Indeed, the best and most effective forms of automation marketing are heavily reliant on customer and visitor data. The more specific data you can gather on any individual user, the better positioned the system can be in providing just the right message at just the right time. Flashy monitors and saves each and every interaction, crafting a unique customer journey for optimized conversion and the best customer experience.

Email Marketing Platform

Let’s take a look at some of the individual components of the Flashy platform. First, there’s email marketing. You can start with any number of the delightful themes and templates as a starting point, which you can then customize to best suit your specific branding and messaging.

Built right into the Flashy platform is a dynamic, yet easy-to-use email editor with drag and drop functionality. This makes it really easy for you to move the elements around to suit your particular needs. No coding experience or knowledge needed. And the emails are already mobile optimized, so you’ll know they will look great whether your subscribers are accessing them on their smartphones or computers.

Continuing with the mantra of leading with data to optimize the automation, the email platform offers robust and deep segmentation for your contact lists. You can segment your list based on a number of attributes, like geo-location and gender, as well as by actions, like purchase history and website visits. For instance, you may have a special message crafted specifically for a customer who has visited the “women’s jeans” page, is over 22 years of age, is located in Canada, and was last seen more than 30 days ago.

With a personalized message, delivered based on this segmentation and on the specific triggers you define, you give yourself the best shot at increasing leads and sales. You can track all of this through real-time campaign analytics, giving you key insights into who opened the email, who clicked on the links, what they did when they got to your website, and more.

Marketing Automation Platform

Really, the biggest benefit that you’ll see with Flashy is when you take advantage of the marketing automation component of the platform. You can set up the automation to be as complex or as simple as you like, as segmented or as generalized as you like. These specific workflows are really easy to understand and adjust, because they are all visualized in a drag-and-drop editor.

You can customize and segment these types of automations down to the individual customer, giving each and every one of your contact as personalized an experience as possible. For example, you might set up one series of automations that are targeting cart abandonment. From there, you may have one path for customers who have a cart value over $100 and a different one for under $100. You might set up an automation for customers who are subscribed to your emails and have opened them, but maybe they haven’t clicked on any of the links inside.

That one-on-one interaction empowers you to deliver just the right message at exactly the right moment, all happening automatically behind the scenes as you work on other aspects of your business. The deep segmentation and filters available to you are outstanding, from email and website activity to purchase history and customer lifetime value (LTV). Drip campaigns are all a part of this too.

Smart Popups, SMS Marketing, and Push Notifications Too

As alluded to earlier, Flashy isn’t just about email marketing either. The all-in-one eCommerce solution also empowers you to connect with customers in various other ways, including smart popups on your website, SMS marketing to their phones, and push notifications to their desktop and mobile devices as well.

Just as you saw with the marketing automation and email marketing, the smart popups are equally intelligent in their execution. Again, you can take advantage of advanced triggers based on specific activity, like scrolling, purchase behavior or exit-intent. These popups can also be populated with dynamic content based on specific customer activity too. If they browsed around on Product X, you might automatically suggest Product Y.

This improves opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, as well as a chance to reduce cart abandonment and grow your email or SMS list.

Pricing Plans Starting at $0 Per Month

The monthly pricing plans for Flashy depend on the package you want and the number of contacts you wish to manage.

What’s remarkable is that you can literally start for free with the starter plan and 250 contacts. That includes basic marketing automation, unlimited emails, and both email and SMS marketing for up to one user. More features are offered in the Professional, Master, and Enterprise plans, like smart popups, CRM, more users, unlimited history, a custom domain, and more. For context, the starter plan with 1,250 contacts is $13 per month, going up to $251 for 50k contacts and $394 for almost 100k contacts.

No matter the type of eCommerce business you run or the number of contacts you wish to manage, Flashy has a plan for you. And with advanced marketing automation to free up your time and to drive more sales and leads, it’ll pay for itself multi-fold in no time.

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