Managing Your Biz

Putting A Price On Your Website

Time to sell your website?  Or just curious to find out what it is worth?

Here are some tips on how to price your website:

Step One.  Document your traffic.  How much traffic do you get on a daily basis? How many page views?  How long do they stay on your site?  What is your search engine ranking?  All of this information is vital to a potential buyer. The more traffic you have and the higher your search engine ranking the higher you can price your website.

Step Two.  What is your revenue?  From advertising?  From sales?  How much money does your website make?  It’s important to look not only at your most recent sales and advertising profits but to also look at past numbers.  What percentage of growth has your website seen in the past six months?  Year?  Lifetime?  This is important because it not only demonstrates trends; it also demonstrates growth potential and profit potential – both very important to a potential buyer.

Step Three.   What are your revenue options?  How is the website currently making money and what profit options have not been explored or implemented?  For example, if you’re currently participating in AdSense and making money there, perhaps another revenue option is to sell advertising space.  List possible revenue options.  The more opportunity to make money, the higher the value of your website.

Step Four.  How much competition does the site have?  Who is the competition and what are their sites worth?  Ideally the perfect website would have zero competition and tons of demand however that is never the case.  Who is your competition?  How long have they been in business?  What are their revenue streams?  Where do they rank on the search engines in comparison to you?  This information not only helps to value your website, it helps potential buyers see the possibilities.

Step Five.  Consider using a website valuation tools found online.  They typically ask for monthly traffic, ad revenue, sales revenue and expenses.  They’re a great tool to use as a starting point to price your website.  Valuation tools do not know your audience, revenue options, nor do they know your competition.

Finally, if after all of your steps you find that your site is worth a bit less than you want to sell it for, there are a few steps you can take to increase its value.  These include SEO strategies to improve ranking.  Add advertising revenue to your site.  Tweak the navigation and/or layout so it’s easier to use and more appealing to visitors.

Often simple adjustments can have dramatic effects on the value of your website.  If you’re ready to sell your site, it pays to take the time to follow these steps and take the time to optimize your site for maximum profits.

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General

Making Sure People Find Your Site

When it comes to owning and operating a successful online business there are three very important words – Search Engine Optimization.  It’s how people find your website because if they can’t find you, they can’t buy from you and that after all is what business is all about.

Step One:  Understand what search engines do.  Search engines are essentially programs which index all of the pages on the internet.  When someone enters a phrase into their search engine of choice, that search engine searches their database and displays their results.  Different search engines store what they index differently.  For example, Google stores a portion of the webpage and Yahoo stores every word on the page.  How they store this information affects the results.

Your goal as a business owner is to achieve the highest results possible because people typically only look at the first couple of pages

Step Two:  Finding Your Keywords

Keywords are the words your prospects use to find your products, services, and information.  Keywords can be one or two words, for example, “Miami vacation.” Keywords can also be a phrase of many words, for example, “Miami Family Vacation On a Budget.”  With more than 80% of internet users researching purchases online before they spend a dime, the right keywords make all the difference.

To find the right keywords:

Brainstorm ideas.  What words do you think people use to find your website and your products or services?

Take advantage of keyword research tools like WordTracker and the Google keyword tool to do a bit of specific keyword analysis.

Step Three:  Placing Keywords

We mentioned in the beginning that search engines scan the internet and index web pages.  They look in a few key places including:

* The Title,
* The Headers,
* The Body Content
* The Meta Tags.

Step Four:  Add Content

Content is what the search engines search.  Therefore it pays to upload relevant and keyword optimized content on a regular basis.  It’ll motivate the search engines to index your site and those pages thus pushing you up on the search engine rankings.

Here are some of the types of content you might consider using on your site:

* Articles
* Special reports
* Interviews with an industry expert
* Product reviews
* Discussion forums
* Blog posts
* “How to” guides
* Tips lists
* Training courses

Step Five:  Get Links

Search engines typically skip listing websites if they do not have relevant incoming links.  A link is a website address which someone can click on to go to another site – in this case your site.

There are different types of links.

Standard link – typically considered a direct link which looks like a basic website address – www.yourwebsitehere.com

Text link – link where the website address is embedded in the text.

Deep link – a link to an internal web page, for example an article published on a website, rather than the home page.

In order for a link to provide value it must be both relevant and credible.  Meaning, the site linking to you has a lot of visitors and a lot of incoming links the search engine will give credibility and weight to the value of that link and it must also be in a website which shares a common interest or complimentary subject matter to your website.

Take these five steps and you’ll be well on your way to making sure people are able to find your website.  It’s one of the most powerful business building strategies available.

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General

Your Website: Is It Really That Important?

The goal of any business is to make money.  To do that the word has to get out about your products or services.  One way that you let people know you exist is with a business website.

Some ask if a business website is truly important.  The answer to that question is found in the advantages of the website to increase business profits.  A business website is an advertising tool you would be unwise to pass up.

Advertising offline is how businesses tell others about their products.  You run newspaper ads, use billboards (if you can afford that), direct mailings, and flyers – to name a few.  The more visible you and your product are, the more people you have a chance to attract.

A business website does the same for online businesses and home businesses that want to move into new markets.  Think of it as your online billboard, but this one is more affordable.  Using a business website, you get to showcase your products in the most flattering light possible.  Anyone who visits will see the best you have to offer them.

Business websites work for small as well as larger businesses.  Websites can be set up to run an online store, answer questions for customers, provide useful content, and gather information from customers.  All of these things you have to do yourself with a brick and mortar business that has no website presence.

Business websites allow for the streamlining of almost all processes pertaining to your business.  You can send electronic invoices to clients, pay business expenses online, and pay any contracted employees.  The paper trail is a thing of the past with virtual businesses.  But, if you did need a document, they can be safely accessed on your computer or flash drive and printed.

Business websites allow for 24-hour shopping.  Showcasing your products at a trade show or flea market allows you 8-10 hours a day to attract customers and make a sale.  With a business website, anyone in the world can view your products on your website and purchase what they want.  It could be three o’clock in the morning where you are but your store is open for business half way around the world where it is later in the day.

For brick and mortar businesses and virtual ones, a website adds credibility to your products.  A potential customer can see and get all the information they need about a product before they buy.  Posting customer testimonials helps, too.  For brick and mortar, a website shows that you have taken the next step in your business growth.  Now, the customers who spread the word about you to their friends have a place to direct them to that doesn’t require getting in the car and driving somewhere.

A business website is a great asset to any business.  With so many web hosting companies, setting one up is easy to do and it gives you an online presence to increase the visibility of your business.

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General

Choosing A Good Domain Name

The name of your business is one of those decisions that feels monumental.    It represents you, your passions, your goals and your new life.  Additionally, the name of a business is a powerful marketing tool.  Jane’s Store may feel right to the owner however it doesn’t communicate the benefits and uniqueness of the business to potential customers.

Step One:  Give yourself time to come up with a business name that feels right and fits your business niche or theme.  Your domain name will let your visitors know what your website is all about even before visiting your site.  In other words, give away as much information in your domain name as possible, leaving no room for your visitors to guess what your website is selling.

For example, if your name happens to be Jane Smith and you own a shoe store then www.janesshoes.com would be much more appropriate and informative than www.janesmith.com.  Try to keep your domain name within a range of 13-15 characters, as shorter domain names tend to stick in people’s minds.  It also makes it easier for them to type out your web address in their browsers without misspelling or leaving out characters.

Step Two:  Use Strategic Keywords
When you are able to place your keywords into your domain name, it helps increase your search engine ranking because your domain name is one of the primary places the search engines like Google and Yahoo look to when indexing websites.

Avoid using any extra characters in your domain name like apostrophes and hyphens because they affect rankings and they’re more difficult to remember.

In addition to choosing a name that fits your business and utilizes strategic keywords, there are a few more considerations.

* Make it easy to remember.
* Make it unique.
* Make it easy to spell
* Make sure it is available

A quick note.  You might be wondering if a .com is the best type of site to have.  It is the easiest to remember and offers more credibility.  Other options are .net .org .tv .us and so on.  Because your business will be internet based, having an extension that is easy to remember will serve your business better.

Once you’ve chosen a domain name, your next step is to register your domain.  Be 100% ready to register when you sit down to your computer.  Domain names can be snatched up quickly and you will want to capture your ideal domain name as soon as you know it’s available.

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Crissy Says

What Are You Going To Do Today?

I’m going to ask you a question. You can get mad if you want. I hope you do. When people get mad, they take action. So here goes “What are you going to do today?” I’m serious.

What are you going to do today?

As you know, I’m talking about your business. I want you to do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do. I want you to get out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve been thinking about but haven’t done.

You could buy a domain or learn how to use WordPress.  You could send out a press release. You could contact a popular website or blog owner that reaches your target market and ask them if they would like to team up on a project. You could write an article and submit it to a reprint directory. You could buy a quality headset, download Audacity, install the Podpress plugin and start a podcast (yes, it is really that simple).

You could do anything you set your mind to.

But you gotta’ do something. Because if you don’t, no one else will do it for you.

This is your business.

Make it awesome!!

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Crissy Says

Marketer’s Mojo:There Is No Reason NOT To Be Attending This Event!

If you are reading my website, you probably have some kind of business.. or you at least want to have one.  After all, this is a business info focused website! More than likely, you want to know how to market your business online…. Does that sound about right?

Now, I have anohter question for you…. How would 4 days of training from people who are making their living with an online business sound? No hype. No “make millions overnight” kind of stuff. I’m talking about real women who are really earning money, working from home. Real women who will give you real advice and real insight… not some cheesy mumbo jumbo that doesn’t even make sense.

It kind of sounds too good to be true, but this event is happening. It’s the Marketer’s Mojo Virtual Conference. It’s taking place February 16 -19. The best part is that it is virtual – all the training will be done via phone. If you cannot attend a session, don’t worry. All of the calls will be recorded and, as long as you registered, you will receive the recording.

There will be 20 speakers at this event (including myself!), teaching you a wide assortment of things, such as how to network with social media, publicity tactics, how to turn your manuscript into a book, how to write for the web, create additional income streams, connect with your audience (my topic!), and more.

The cost to attend this virtual conference is $97 and I think that is well worth it. I know several of the speakers and have learned many things from them already. I am super excited to hear from the people I am not familiar with, too. I love learning new things and I know I am going to pick up a lot of tips from this event. Plus, I am an audio junkie. I love the fact that I will be getting all of the audio from this event. 20 hours of business info, loaded onto my iPod. Talk about awesome!

I hope you will be registering for this event. There will be so much to learn! AND there is a 100% money back gaurentee if you are not satisfied. You have nothing to lose – and so much to gain!

To register, visit: https://marketersmojovirtualconference.com/crissy

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Crissy Says

Indie Biz Chicks Isn’t Afraid Of Shameless Self Promotion…. Are You?

There are some people out there who don’t believe in self promotion. I may get some flack for this one, but I don’t care. This is my website and I’ll write what I want….

In my opinion, when it comes to your business, you better NOT be ashamed to promote it. I mean, if you’re not going to promote it, who is? The marketing fairy?

If people don’t know your business exists, how are they going to buy anything from you? And you want to make money from your business, because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t have bothered to make a business out of it, right? Otherwise, you could have left it as a hobby…

I’m not saying you have to turn into an annoying media-crazed moron who walks around in a sandwich board that says “LOOK AT MY BUSINESS!” … But I am saying you do have to tell people (in moderation, of course!)

Here are some nice, socially acceptable ways to promote yourself:

Social Media – There is a social media platform to fit just about every personality type out there. You can take your pick between Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. Better yet, combine a few of these for maximum exposure.

Signature Lines – There are probably a lot of signature lines in your life… From your email to any message boards / forums you belong to. So why not use that space to display a little info about your business?

Videos – You know YouTube is popular. You probably get a bunch of forwarded emails from people, telling you about some super funny clip  that you just have to watch… Did you ever think about how much traffic YouTube could bring you? If you have a crafty business, create a few videos of yourself creating a craft project. Do you have a recipe blog? Video tape yourself cooking one of those recipes! Have a content site that explains how to use technology? Use a screen capture recording device to record your actions on the computer and make a video of them. Submit these videos to YouTube, Vimeo, and other video hosting sites.

Viral Reports – Create a 3 – 5 page report on something your website readers would be interested in and then use social media to distribute it all over the web. Just make sure your website address is in the report so the people reading it can find more of your information!

Think Globally, Act Locally – Yes, this is a line that environmentalists have been using for a long time…. but it applies to your business as well. You want to keep an eye on the big picture by using the internet to market your business all over the world…. But don’t forget to hang a few fliers in your own neighborhood.

See? You can do these things and no one will laugh at you behind your back or think you are a weirdo. You have to pay your bills and buy groceries, just like everyone else.

Don’t be afraid to be successful!

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Crissy Says

Kirtsy: You Should Be Jumping On This Bandwagon!

According to Gwen BellKirtsy is like Digg, but with a vagina. I snagged that from her Twitter feed.  I thought it was cute and it does a pretty darn good job of explaining what Kirtsy is… well, I guess if you know what Digg is…

For those of you that are in the dark and are wondering what in the hell I’m talking about, allow me to explain. Kirtsy is like a social news network. People can submit stories they think are news-worthy. When someone clicks on an item it receives a “vote.” The most popular stories are displayed on the left side of the screen, with editors picks on the right side.  You can visit Kirtsy and easily get up to date on all the latest and greatest.

I like the fact that Kirtsy is very women-centric. Nothing against guys, of course. But in my opinion, I think it is more than okay for there to be a social news site that caters to women and their interests. I think it is pretty fantastic that idea of Kirtsy came up between three women on a conference call during the Super Bowl in 2008.

Of course, this is a website about marketing. So you’re probably wondering why I’m going on and on about this Kirtsy thing…. Well, you can use Kirtsy to market your business! First, you need to register. Then, start submitting links. Look at the stories that are on your website or blog… Are they news-worthy to other women? (hint: the term “news-worthy” can mean many things… basically, ask yourself  “do other women care?”)

If your submission gets published onto the site, Kirtsy readers will have the option of clicking on your headline to read it. That will send them to your site. This process has the potential to send you a lot of traffic.

You can further participate by adding other users as friends and by voting for other stories. Remember, the more active you are, the more people will take notice of you. This will increase your chances of people clicking on your links.

Kirtsy isn’t going to replace your need for other social media, such as Twitter or Facebook. You still need to market your business through them. Adding Kirtsy to your marketing plan is like adding another course to your dinner.

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Crissy Says

You gotta’ treat it like a business

I received a question from a reader… This person had started a relatively new website and was wondering if they really needed a newsletter. They figured they could slide by for now, as not many people knew about their website yet and it was mainly friends and family who were visiting it. And so, they asked me my opinion….

The answer is “Yes. You do need a newsletter.” In fact, you need a newsletter sign up area on your website the day you launch it into cyberspace.

Why am I so adamant about this?

Because most of the people who view your site will never be back.  For those of you who have never heard that before, I hate to be the one to break it to ya, but it’s true.  You need to have a newsletter sign up area so that you can get their name and email, which will allow you to send them updates… which will hopefully bring them back to your site.

I don’t really care if your website is 2 years old or 2 minutes old. I don’t care if the only person who knows it is up on the web is your Aunt Millie. A potential customer could stumble upon it by accident. Do you really want to kiss their business goodbye because you don’t feel you need a newsletter yet? Or do you want to collect their name and email address and turn them into a life-long customer?

Listen, the simple fact of the matter is that when it comes to your business, you gotta’ treat it like a business…. From DAY 1.

If you don’t, know one else will, either.

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