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When starting or launching your own website as an entertainer, the standard method that is widely-taught by many of the business-gurus can have something lacking.
Don’t get me wrong; the starting-out model that is taught by experienced gurus who know what they’re talking about and who adapt with the internet is a great and practical method for building an online information-retailer business, or a forex-trading business, and many of the methods taught are powerful and effective… There’s just one problem though: Although you do want to impart at least some information, and maybe eventually even possibly sell some, doing so is not the main aim of your website. Your website is going to be the online-representation of you, and you – if you’re a solo act – or you and your group – if you’re a group-act – are the brand and also the main focus of the site.
- I must add here that in creating this article I gained a lot of my source-material from a pillar-post article which was written by a friend who I look up to as a kind of online genius in a way; by the name of David Risley from Florida USA. Indeed I am a student of his Blog Marketing Academy.
David would be the God of Blogging were I not an atheist. I’ve often suggested that he be deified anyway, and he certainly knows his stuff. The thing is that he writes for the business community, and he has a logical and methodical disposition which he carries into the excellent content that he writes. Having said that he hasn’t discovered some long-lost hidden secret formula: What he’s done is used common sense to work things out for himself and set them out in a logical strategic manner that gives real results – rather than barely managing to break even, shortly before burnout and a nervous breakdown.
As an artist and a writer and producer of music I totally get his drift, but since he’s producing pure business rather than art of any kind, it leaves me in a kind of quandary. Personally, although I find his writings both powerful and valuable, I also have to inject what I call an “art factor” into the sterility and cold light of business in order to be able to relate on an equal footing with a level playing field. – That’s what I’ve tried to do in this article.
Business Goes Online
David has an online information-retailing business as an online-business coach who teaches how to create your own successful online business, and he makes a living from it which looks after himself, his wife Malika, and his 2 kids; Elyana and Nathan. He’s living proof that it’s possible to make a really good income online in the 21st Century.
Since more and more is happening online as time goes by, it would seem obvious that pretty much every business will eventually trade online, maybe as well as offline. – And that’s definitely going to include your entertainments business.
Maybe you consider yourself an entertainer but you don’t yet have a business? Follow the guidance below and you soon will have.
So let’s do this: –
You want to start your site as a business; because that’s what it is: The online hub of your entertainments business. As an entertainer or group of entertainers, you are a business. This means that you’ll need product to sell… Because unless you have a product – 1 product or more – you don’t have a business.
I don’t intend to yatter on ad-infinitum about this subject while comparing hosting accounts. I don’t need to write reams on the subject. I’ve already done my homework and I’m going to recommend that you use the hosting provider that this domain uses.
I’ve been a webmaster for pretty much 10 years at time of writing, and in all that time I’ve never seen a better host than SiteGround. < – Click that link to find out more about SiteGround web hosting. – You can even get a free domain, and if you have an existing website, a free site transfer too.
We’re not going to achieve that by content-creation alone, even if we go at it Hell for leather, + share on social media, guest-post, SEO-optimise the life out of it, and keep blogging, blogging, blogging. Doing so will have some effect; but it’ll lead to burnout and ending up on the wrong side of the 80/20 rule.
There is a way to achieve good results; but before we concentrate on that we have to instigate something rather important in entertainments; that being cosmetic appeal.
Yes I know your web-guru probably told you not to bother about appearance at first, but you’re an entertainer. What entertainer goes out on stage without make-up? What theatre-owner puts on a gig with no internal decorations, no lights, no effects?
In entertainments; cosmetic appeal is as much a part of attracting eyeballs as anything else, and without it you’re going to make things rather difficult for yourself.
– So at the same time as you’re preparing to start up your business, you also need to see to the glamour-aspect. – Because this is your performer-pitch to the world; more initially than ever. You’re presenting your new entertainments business idea to the world: You’re hoping to attract interest, prospective partners and customers, investors, and finances.
There’s a reason a flower looks its best when it has just fully opened: It’s so that it can be more attractive to pollinating insects which will invest some of their time in sampling the product (nectar in this case) while aiding in reproduction and allowing the flower’s host plant to expand and multiply. In the same way the brighter and more colourful, more attractive, your initial pitch is, and also the initial appearance of your website – regardless of whether its a single page to begin with, or whatever size it is; the more it’s going to leave a good impression if it’s done right when coupled with the business aspect.
As a side-note; don’t concentrate on cosmetic appeal to the exclusion of everything else, but don’t neglect it either.
– And now we come up against another problem:
We can have the best pitch ever on the best website in existence; but if nobody sees it it’ll just be totally wasted effort.
What we need is traffic, and initially at least, advertising.
Are you feeling an inclination that this might end up costing you money. If you have that idea then you’re right. If you wanted to do any kind of business without paying out a dime/cent/penny/small-denomination coin in your currency, then you’ll probably fail. If you wanted to get into the entertainments business for free with or without a launch-plan then you’ll almost definitely fail…
So I’ll be blunt: If you want to do it all for free, without spending any money at all, then good luck and goodbye.
The function of a business is to make money, not to avoid spending it.
If you’re still here then you’re one of the less than 50% of start-up entertainers who realise, rightly, that you have to speculate to accumulate. – Particularly in the entertainments industry. Well done – you’re on the right track and you definitely have a chance.
How do we go about getting traffic then?
Well these days traffic is everywhere, loads of it. The problem is that most of it isn’t moving in your direction; not initially anyway. The good thing is that there are stores everywhere which sell it to you. Those stores go by name such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Yahoo… and a lot of others too. We live in a “pay to play” environment – to borrow a phrase from a marketing guru – So the easiest way to get traffic is to buy it.
“But that means that I can’t get it free!”
Correct. – see above.
“Isn’t it easier to buy followers rather than to buy traffic? I mean if you buy followers they already follow you.”
Wrong: They haven’t even heard of you, and many of them are bots and scripts anyway.
Don’t buy followers for 2 reasons: –
- It’s dishonest to artificially and falsely inflate your follower count. Your real fans will lose all trust in you if they ever find out that you did it.
- Bought followers don’t follow you and many times aren’t even biological lifeforms.
Do buy traffic. – Don’t buy followers.
But we won’t even be buying traffic just yet. – We have other things to accomplish first: We’ve on the face of it got a blank page, no business, and no product still.
Before we begin building though we need to plan things out in detail. The first thing we need to consider is to decide our niche.
That’s easy – right – entertainments yeah?
Be more specific. Specify it down as far as is reasonably practicable: For instance, in my case I wanted to sing. What did I want to sing? Initially electronica-based pieces, 80s – like music. – But I wanted to mainly sing original music rather than do covers. I also wanted to sing other genres too.
Who was going to write my songs? I was.
Who was going to produce my music? I was.
– Therefore, in my case, I wanted to be a
I also had to ask myself: What do I need in order to achieve that?
A studio, microphones, sound equipment, lighting, computers, instruments… All that lot isn’t cheap – but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are ways of building a decent home studio and kitting it out with equipment that will produce professional-sounding results for under £1000UKP. Doing so is, however, beyond the scope of this article.
Once I have all that I can use it to create my first product, but first I still need to think about my niche: I’ve decided that I want to be a singer/songwriter/producer. – That’s how I’ll brand myself, and because I’m a geeky person with a longstanding background in electronics and technology I can use that as an angle on my music career. – That will set me apart from other musicians and will be a large constituent part of my USP: My Unique Selling Point.
Your experience will of course vary: Again I suggest that you pick your individual unique specific niche area within the entertainments sector, weigh up what you’ll require in order to achieve that, write it down, and become all of it.
Remember that as you do so you’re doing it with a view towards building a business, so you’re you’re looking for a MARKET, as every business needs a market. A market is a collection of people with purchasing power who are all looking for a similar product.
When you at last create your first product, and subsequent products too, you’ll be looking to arrive at a product/market fit. What do I mean by a product/market fit? – Well it’s quite easy: When a sector of the market is interested in purchasing your product then you have a product/market fit.
Do you really want me to draw you a diagram? OK then; I will: –
* Product/market fit means that you have to fit the market… not make the market fit you.
This is a gem of a quote; one that you’ll find very valuable. If you try to force a market you’ll be disappointed. – But if the market’s already there and you can satisfy their need by providing them with a solution to their problem, then you have product/market fit, and your business will boom as a result of that.
Because you’re an entertainer you’ll be looking for a market who are seeking entertainment, and in that market specifically seeking customers who are looking for the type of entertainment that you provide: People who are seeking a solution to the problem of needing to be entertained in the way that your personal brand can provide such entertainment. That is a perfect product/market fit, and those people will become your customers, your fans, if you perform well.
…And you can build your website around that: A website with cosmetic appeal that is geared towards advertising your personal brand, of which you yourself are a large part. A place where you can interact with your customers, your fans, and discover what else they want you to provide for them in the way of entertainment, and eventually provide for all of their needs.
You’ve got yourself a domain from SiteGround web hosting and you’ve installed WordPress on it. Why WordPress? Because WordPress from wordpress.org is the best, the most stable, the most versatile, CMS (Content Management System) in existence on the internet today. – Take that as a fact from me: I have around 10 years experience as a webmaster, and I know people who have even more: Double that in at least one case.
You also know that you’re going to have to invest in this project. Don’t fret about this though; because if you play your cards right and this project takes off properly it will literally fund your growth and generate more profit than you are spending on funding. You won’t be just throwing money at it without any return, because you’ll have a sales funnel in place to cover your overheads by generating an amount of money that will mean that the money you spend on traffic will be utilised to build your email list and generate even more sales as a result. – Therefore if you get this right you’ll be profiting while growing, rather than paying to stay afloat.
Furthermore you know exactly which sector of the entertainments industry you’re targeting, what you’re going to be blogging about and the kind of content that you’ll be featuring on your site.
Most of all, as a part of the above you’re starting to compile a business plan as you work your way through all of the preliminaries. When you launch this baby it’ll be more than a “start up and hope” scenario – You’re already planning with the intent to hit the ground running with this creation.
Now that we have a clean, blank, canvass to work from: A new installation of WordPress on a good host. – Plus we have some solid ideas about what we’re going to do, we can move on to the next steps.
We’re approaching the point at which marketing gurus will advise you not to bother about cosmetic appeal – just concentrate on the business-side; but nevertheless we as artists, entertainers, should make a good job of cosmetic surgery on at least one or more pages to begin with; those being the page that we are going to be using as our shop-front (That being the Home Page), plus any pages on which we will build a landing-page…
Keep the cosmetics minimal on a landing-page though: We don’t want the arty designs to distract the prospective customer from the text of the pitch.
We’re using a businesslike launch strategy while applying the cosmetic trimmings as necessary as we go. Were not going to be setting up the whole site at this point in time. – It isn’t the proper sequence of actions to do so right now.
What we need to begin testing product/market fit is a few landing pages. The thing is that the standard WordPress themes aren’t suited for landing pages in most cases. – So You need a dedicated solution for that.
Folks who are technically challenged might find that Lead Pages are a good solution. They’re a good company and their biggest strength is that they make it easy to create beautiful landing pages without any geeky stuff involved. They aren’t the cheapest thing around, but I’ve already spoken on speculating to accumulate and making those initial investments above; so there’s no need to labour the point any further on that.
Optimize Press is another solution; this time a fair bit more geektastic. This solution operates on top of WordPress, but it is specifically designed for landing pages. Once you get the hang of working with it, you’ll find it to be much more flexible. There’s no recurring fee associated with it. Buy it on and own it forever.Considering what it is capable of, it is a tremendous bargain. – An absolute no-brainer.
Few if any of my landing pages to date here at bugger all on dot TV were built with Optimize Press, even though I have it installed as a plugin on the site. Personally speaking I find Optimize Press’ angled and optimised design and appearance far too sales-y-looking for an artist’s website; and I designed my own stripped-down templates for landing pages as a part of my existing theme: A unique custom-built-entity, based upon the framework of the TwentyFifteen theme which was originally designed by the WordPress Team.
You yourself might like to design your own theme.
I know it’s a challenge that takes quite some time to complete; but at the end of it you’ll have a custom-built theme that does exactly what you want and need it to do in exactly the way you prefer it to do it.
Do be advised, though, that you’ll need to be able to write PHP, HTML, and CSS, before you embark on the project. If you don’t already have a knowledge of all 3 then it may take a number of years to learn what you need to know.
A lot of people equate market research to keyword research. That comparison wouldn’t have been all that far out around 10 years ago, but times have changed: there’s more to it these days.
Now it involves internet-surfing, asking questions, interacting with people as potential customers and/or partners – while at the same time making a note of everything.
What in particular you’ll be trying to ascertain are the following points:-
- Where is your target market hanging out now? What blogs do they already read? What news sites? What musical journals?
- What kinds of questions are they asking?
- What are the main genre’s and styles that they’re interested in and buying?
- What social media groups are they using?
- What are their basic demographics?
You’ll learn a lot of this by looking at summary data on various sites, as well as by getting involved in that market directly, interacting, reading. Doing so is important because: –
- You’ll discover what kinds of lead magnets you can create to place on your landing pages in order to attract your target market and get them onto your list.
- Secondly you’ll discover what kinds of offers – musical and product-based – which you can create that they’ll want to buy.
- You’ll also get some idea of what makes them tick and be able to deduce from that their likely triggers and turn-offs so that you can always stay on top of the conversation and direct them funnelwards.
We still haven’t written a blog post or actually created a page yet. That’s because we’re still in the preparatory phase. – You wouldn’t build a house, move in, and then think about building the foundations and inserting the damp-course would you? – In the same way you don’t want to construct your website before doing the groundwork first. – Many people do just that, and they end up with their site falling flat on its face.
This first funnel will be aimed at getting people onto our emailing list. – Because if we can’t get people to subscribe to our email list, we have nothing to build upon. Your email list is a big part of your market leverage. It is what gives your new business extra fizz and makes you less dependent on paid advertising.
I use AWeber because I and many others think that they’re better than most of their competition, plus they’re getting better and better still as time goes by.
My advice would be to avoid Mailchimp. The reason: You’re going to need email automation – which you won’t get with a free Mailchimp account – and if you’re going to pay for it – which you’ll find you have to do, like it or not, AWeber is way way better than Mailchimp: Easier to use and far better all round.
The next step is to create your first lead magnet, with an aim towards attracting people to join your emailing list. The trick with this one is KISS: Keep it simple stupid. – You don’t need to give away a massive offer in order to tempt people to subscribe. In fact doing so could end up being counterproductive. Just give away a .pdf that has a subject to do with entertainment, your entertainment if possible – the entertainment that you provide. – Or a track if you’ve already composed/written one.
Please please do not offer something huge. On a course I once went on – only a couple of years ago in fact – the tutor suggested that you offer “All my music FREE. – Forever!” After suggesting you make that offer, he then advised that, to satisfy the offer, you could deliver songs that you’d written and had gone years out of date in a slow drip-feed. – On seeing that, plus other things that were equally as ridiculous, such as suggesting that we offered something like “If you’re not satisfied I’ll give you double your money back”, I insisted on a refund of my rather substantial over £500 UKP fee that I’d paid – which was eventually returned to me.
Please don’t do anything like that: not only does it stink of con-artistry, but it’s far too much to offer at this juncture.
- A squeeze page to offer the lead magnet.
- A “thank you” page for customers to view once they opt in for the offer.
At this point we’re still not launching the site itself as a site; but if you create a temporary squeeze-page on your cosmeticised Home Page, then you’ve opened for business and made a start.
If you already have a site running but want to do this while you already have a site in place than no worries.: There’s no need to redirect your homepage. Simply have your squeeze page on your domain somewhere, since we’ll be directing an ad to it in due course.
We’re creating an online business initially. – The website will eventually form a loose shell around it.
You need to be able to analyse the figures from now onwards in order to see how your business is performing and to make judgement calls.
I recommend you sign up for Google Analytics (This is free. ) and then set up the code site-wide on your entire site. Either hard-code it yourself, or check out the MonsterInsights plug-in (Which is also free!) and it can make this quite easy for you.
I would also recommend that you install your Facebook tags on your site, so that you can begin building a retargeting audience. This is yet another point of leverage for your business and will allow you to gain increased returns on any paid traffic you send to your site.
I also recommend you read David Risley’s article:
Lastly I recommend that you install the SkyStats plugin. It’s a great plugin for tracking your metrics on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and many other places that you’ll need to keep tabs on.
So we now have a Home Page which is temporarily set up as a squeeze-page, and a thank-you page that people who opt-in for your initial offer and are put on your mailing list get redirected to.
How’s the initial squeeze-page performing? ‘Probably not a lot of activity or sign-ups yet; but don’t worry: We’ll sort that shortly. One or two people may have noticed something stirring and taken an interest even if only out of pure curiosity. – It may be an idea to nurture such interest if it exists and if possible.
The Cramp in the Style
I’ve written 14+ pages – screens of text – to this point; which is quite a lot more than the original material that I’m rewriting. In fact it is at this point that I could read between the lines and detect a rush to get the article finished in the original source material. That’s what happens when you try to crack something off in a single day: It shows in the copy – and that’s a fact whether it’s a blog post, lyrics, a musical score, or anything else come to that.
In 2013 I devised an industrial song-production-line method that relied on several huge databases. I found that I could create a single draft each day, and that I could produce a song per week. 2013 was my most productive year to date musically, but it became like a microprocessor-factory, with few products compared to the total potential output being fit for more than the trash.
I have and commonly use a method with writing that I could never do with music: I write it, correct it, rewrite it, proof-read it, come back next day and rethink pieces of it, rewrite it again… If I did that with music I’d have probably produced 2 singles in the 4 years or so that I’ve been doing it professionally.
I’m wandering way off the track, I realise; and there is – would you believe – method in my madness… Because the next thing to do is to set up the associated social media accounts.
…And in a way that also appears to be wandering off track and becoming off-topic for this here article, and in a manner of speaking it is. – But it’s a good idea to reserve your brand name on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus… wherever you think you’ll be active. Set up a page for this new business on each of them. Other than that there’s no need to do much with it at this point. We just ensure we have the names we want reserved and secured.
…And still we continue to do very little with the website itself as it is perceived by the audience – such that it is. I hope you’ve done basic cosmetic surgery on the WordPress theme at this point, and that you’ve made it look attractive without overdoing it, as well as made it look unique. Leave no doubt that an entertainments website that means business is kicking off here.
You might like to post a bulletin that a new entertainments site is forming on your domain, and even maybe hint at in on your regular social media channel(s).
Let’s turn on the traffic tap. Rather than letting it be a few drips and a little trickle that won’t get much business done and that will hit your Home Page and vanish, sending your bounce-rate soaring; we can instead laser-focus a plentiful stream of targeted traffic by channelling paid traffic right into the sales-funnel.
Set up your first paid ad, on Facebook would be a good place to start, and when interested parties click that ad they’ll be diverted directly to your squeeze-page that you’ve already set up on your website.
I’m not going to go into how to set up a Facebook ad here. There is absolutely LOADS of information on YouTube about it, and I really do want to finish this article before I get much older.
Don’t start throwing money at it like there’s no tomorrow in the hope of some mega-tsunami of respondents at this stage. – Keep the budget small, seeing as we still don’t have a full monetisation-strategy in place: We want to test the lead magnet and the funnel, not flood them in the hope that they work.
Remember that you’re in control of the traffic-valve that is on Facebook. You have to pay a nominal fee for more traffic, and you have full control over the type and amount of traffic that you get. You switch it on, you switch it off, you regulate it.
At this point run maybe a few hundred through the process to test the system. The more people out of those few hundred you get signing up to your list – the better it’s working. You’re hoping for a 30%-40% conversion rate on the opt-in. This figure might seem rather high to some people, but it’s actually a pretty easy conversion rate to get if you are indeed targeting the right audience with a lead magnet that is right for them. < -- That’s the key to it all: that is product/market fit.
The very act of tweaking your lead magnet until you get very close to that target conversion rate will teach you a lot about your market and about making adjustments… Until it works. Once you get a product/market fit that works; a lead magnet that’s converting a decent proportion of the particular type of traffic that you’re buying – then that’s a major piece of valuable information – a golden nugget – for you – because it gives you the system to successfully acquire leads in a predictable manner. – And that’s huge!
If your lead magnet doesn’t reach the threshold of a 30%-40% conversion rate on the opt-in, then you adjust it until it does.
If it’s not converting at all, or very little, then you may well need to go back to the drawing board and change the type of traffic and/or and the nature of your lead magnet. – Because there’s an obvious mismatch and it’s sticking out like a sore thumb.
On the other hand, if it’s working but you’re not hitting the 30% conversion mark, then give everything a tweak and see if you can increase the conversion rate. Maybe you could make the lead magnet title more interesting? ‘Give it a better headline? ‘Perhaps use better copy on the squeeze page?
You should also pay attention to another big factor which is a part of your new business’ metrics; that being your cost-per-lead: The way to look at it is like this: The higher your conversion rate, the cheaper each email subscriber will be. – You’re paying X$ for Y amount of traffic and converting Z% to leads. – So the higher Z% is numerically speaking the more value you’re getting out of the X$ you’re paying… Innit?
Make sure your ad is compelling and that it’s getting a decent click-through rate. – Amount of clicks or hits on the offer within the ad in other words. Your CPL (Cost Per Lead – The higher Z% is numerically – the greater the percentage of visitors that you’re converting into leads that is – the less your CPL.) makes a lot of difference to your targets on the monetisation side, in order that you can hopefully at least break even on this start up operation at the end of the day.
Now that you have a lead magnet that works, it is time to craft an offer for the people who’ve signed up to your list. This means that you will be doing business by attempting to sell something and generate sales on your website before you even begin fully creating it. – Imagine that!
Please don’t jump in where angels fear to tread and spend a fortune and a long time making some huge super-duper all-singing, all-dancing product that is untested: Such as creating a new 24-track album for instance, and then hope it sells. – In fact I suggest you create an offer for something which doesn’t yet exist, and you will only create it IF it sells.
An idea would be perhaps to schedule a live online performance; a ‘You-Show’ – a series of ‘You-Show’s even, and advertise it in all the relevant & correct places with sales on your website: A pitch, and ‘tickets available’, squeeze-page.
If it sells – even if it makes limited sales – do it – and record the show or shows as you perform them. – or you could simply pre-record the show or shows and release to the paying audience as they’re complete.
If it doesn’t sell then call it off, give refunds if/where necessary, and try something else.
The source material I’m using says the following: –
“Go back to all your market research, all your interactions with your market. Take everything you know about what they need and want, what they’re struggling with, and what would most effectively deliver the transformation they seek in a predictable way…. and sit down and CRAFT an offer which includes it. “
Yes; there’s another reason we did market research back then. – Because you found out what your target market – your prospective fans – want in the way of entertainments, including entertainments that you can provide, whether you’re a singer, a comedian or comedienne, a magician, an actor or actress, whatever.
What do your audience need and want? They want you. They want entertainment. They want you to entertain them. – And because you’ve done your market research you’ll know a lot about your prospective audience, how they tick, what they like, their style of entertainment…
– You’ve probably seen this illustration on my website already: –
That’s the transformation that this website attempts to achieve in its visitors, in order that they’ll return for more and to get new entertainment from the site too.
Your mission, your transformation, is somewhat similar: The only difference is that the words “This Website” are replaced with the word “You” (And the smileys are your audience.).
‘Hardly rocket science eh?
*Design the offer to fit your market, not the other way around.*
There is a lot of power and flexibility that comes with selling something BEFORE you make it. + You can always make adjustments to the offer along the way in order to increase sales and arrive at that sweet spot: The perfect product/market fit. Then, you make the product which fits the sweet spot, and your audience will love you for it.
Now create a sales page for the product you’ve just crafted (above), and then put that sales page into your funnel – swapping out your “thank you” page for the new sales page. – So now traffic enters your funnel directly from your paid traffic source, as before, and if they sign up for your list they get offered your product immediately they join.
Test out the new, edited, funnel: Turn the traffic back on – a few hundred people from your targeted traffic source – and see what the conversion rate is on your product.
In an ideal world you’ll get around a 10% conversion rate on the sale. – Which means that 10% of the 30 to 40% of people who opt-in at step #1 of the funnel will buy the product offered at the new step #2. – That should equate to around 3 to 4 sales for every 100 people/traffic.
10% is an arbitrary figure in reality. If you convert at less than 10% and still break even when taking your CPL into consideration then that’s cool. Ideally you’d be looking at 10% conversion of the signees or greater though. If not – well you know the drill by now: Tweak and optimise everything.
At the end of the day the goal here is that this funnel – this simple funnel – can predictably attract qualified leads and put them on your email list without ultimately costing you any money. Ideally, you’ll MAKE money while you do it. – And this, I might add, is only the first of many funnels you’ll be creating as time goes by.
…Get ready for it; here comes that EUREKA! moment.
‘See it was worth the wait huh. – At this point you’ve already created an email list which is still being built up – AND – you’ve generated your first sales. – You have an online business! – All this without doing much in the way of website-building at all.
You are now FAR AHEAD of the vast majority of bloggers &/or website owners/webmasters – who are still struggling with all that – even if they managed to start it off.
Now its time to begin building your empire, expanding and growing your popularity, your fame. – Making yourself less dependent on paid traffic while building up a stable fan-base. Now is the time to build your website – because now you’re doing it with vision. – You have a lead magnet which works, so now you know what your opt-in forms will be offering. + You also have an active sales funnel which sells at least one of your products. Eventually you’ll have more than one: More than one product and more than one sales funnel. – But the one is a great start. – For now it’s your site’s function to send people into that sales funnel.
Build your website now. Use all your available resources, within reason, to cosmetically and functionally/practically enhance it. Make it great and make it stand out. Create an online-emporium where people will want to be and will feel comfortable in.
Speaking of building a website, there is something which is a really important part of the content.
When you start creating content for your website – posts & pages – ‘blogging’, do so strategically. Most bloggers churn out content in synchronisation with the calendar. – And yes it eventually leads to burnout and a loss of quality.
A far more effective and more productive strategy is to concentrate on pillar posts; particularly at first.
Pillar posts are major, developed resources about outstanding topics of interest to your target market. A pillar post is a bigger deal than a typical blog post. Pillar posts are super posts. They take much longer to create. As such they’re well worth regularly maintaining and updating as time passes.
Spread the word when you post a new page or post (Especially when you publish a new pillar post.): –
- Email the new leads you’ve acquired through your funnel and let them know about it.
- Share news of the posting across social media .
- Create new paid ad campaigns direct readers toward the new post or posts.
The last one of those 3 points above is the root of a great strategy. To implement it you will need to be quite focused with those blog posts, so that the pillar posts themselves effectively add people to your funnel. This time, rather than asking for an email address first before you add the prospective customer to your funnel, you’re presenting them with a high-quality, high-value, blog post or page – which in turn funnels them into the sales process.
If you keep up this strategy by adding more pillar posts, more products, and more lead magnets, so your site will in turn be diverting a larger percentage of a larger traffic flow into your sales funnel. It’ll begin to appear that you’ve created a perpetual motion machine, as your business grows on what seems like autopilot, perhaps even without any longer even having to rely on paid traffic for your leads.
You’re launched. – A profitable business with customers and an online hub in the form of your website/blog. You probably won’t get huge numbers at first; but as long as you are initially generating enough profit to cover your ongoing monetisation-strategy it should grow from thereon out. Your product/market fit is now sorted, and you know that everything is working as it should.
Now it’s all to do with scaling it up: Create new pillar posts, products, lead magnets, sales funnels, and email-autoresponder sequences with your email list provider (As I stated earlier; I recommend AWeber). Keep on expanding, keep on growing.
Finally I’ll remind you that all the above won’t happen overnight: it’ll take weeks to years for it to happen; depending upon how much in the way of time and resources you can put into it.
If you’re disappointed by the above and were hoping for a ‘magic bullet’ to fix all your problems without any cost to yourself – well it probably won’t be too hard a job for you to find somebody online who’s offering something similar to that. As for whether their product will live up to that claim and will deliver what it says on the tin; well I very much doubt it.
Launching and growing a high-traffic website/blog and online business from scratch is NOT something you can do for free and not have it take years. You need strategy, methodology, financial input, dedication, common sense, time, and patience.
Above is the strategy and methodology laid out for you. Only you can supply the other requirements. As an artist you want something that works and that leaves you time to concentrate on your art in addition to business – without feeling wrecked just from business alone – whether profitable or not.
The usual way that people wanting to create an online business go about it can work and build traffic, but it takes forever and everything you’ve got – often just to simply break even at the end of the day. – That’s why most give up… even before they‘ve got paid for the Adsense ads they have plastered all over their site.
If you want it to work and not take forever, the answer lies in being able to operate in a “pay to play” world
by starting a business first, then the website.
One last thing: –
* This end-piece isn’t scheduled, nor is it listed in the contents/navigation-menu at the top of the page; but this massive article that I paraphrased and derived from original source material… Well the original source material was – as I stated earlier – by one David Risley; owner and coach of Blog Marketing Academy.
I want to say that I couldn’t have created this article without consulting, adapting, and paraphrasing David Risley’s work. – And I’ve got to hand it to him: The man is a genius.
I really really do suggest that you follow the link; because knowing David Risley can at times be like having your own personal solution to a whole lot of problems, and your own personal answer to a lot of complicated questions.
Without wanting to inflate his ego to any massive proportion if he should read this; well I’m just going to say that having myself known David for years, it’s a lot better for me to know David Risley than not. – I suggest you follow the link and get to know him yourself.