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Editorial

13 Steps You Need To Follow To Build A Profitable High Traffic Technology Blog – Part Two – the belly of the whale

This is part two of my blueprint that will help you begin the process of building a high traffic profitable technology blog.

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So in my last post in this series, I talked about some of my experiences with some of the successful high traffic websites I actually built. This is part two of my blueprint that will help you begin the process of building a high traffic profitable technology blog.

So you want to build a technology blog that will actually pick up steam but before you actually get started, you have a few pivotal decisions to make.

After trying to build tech blogs randomly and failing, I figured out the best technique to use when preparing to start a technology blog.

I call it…

The Belly of the whale strategy

The Remora Fish

Have you heard about the Remora fish? They are really fascinating.

Check this out:

Remora are small fish with front dorsal fins that have evolved to enable them to adhere by suction to smooth surfaces. They spend their lives clinging to a host animal such as a whale, turtle, shark or ray. It is probably a mutualistic arrangement as the remora can move around on the host, removing ectoparasites and loose flakes of skin, while benefiting from the protection provided by the host…

Wikipedia

Now what the heck does that have to do with digital marketing? In this case, everything.

When you decide to start a tech blog, you want to make sure that you become the Remora fish.

You need to find a large technology company that has the following:

  • Millions of customers
  • Millions of fans
  • Lots of promotional/advertising money
  • Complicated software that is relatively hard to understand
  • Complicated software that people want to understand
  • A topic you are (somewhat) interested in

Once you identify that software company and decide you want to become an evangelist, you stick with them and monitor everything they do and figure out how to make money off their scraps.

I say “scraps” but remember, in many cases, these are multi-billion dollar companies. If you do your homework, their scraps can set you up for life. But more about that later.

It becomes a win-win situation.

  • What does the company get from you? They get an evangelist who is spreading the gospel of their software to the world.
  • What do you get? You get money, some level of “fame” and the ability to build your own community.

If you execute this properly, it becomes a mutually beneficial win-win situation.

The not so obvious mistake

The majority of bloggers who start technology blogs look at successful blogs like ZDNET, CNET and The Verge and think they can replicate those types of online publications.

You can’t. You simply can’t.

It’s real simple, those blogs are run by COMPANIES with TEAMS of writers and editors who can pump out 20 to 30 stories a day in different categories.

In addition, since they are so established, they pretty much will eat up the top 10 search engine results of almost anything they decide to cover.

It’s not fair but that’s just how it goes. So what should you do?

Real simple, you have to pick a niche.

What is a niche?

A niche is simply defined as a specialized market.

You see, in 2018, there is simply no market for “a tech blog”.

Technology Blogs

There are tons of general tech blogs out there

People know where to go for those and most of the people you want in your audience already know where to go to get general technology news.

You need to think about something more specific than technology to focus on if you want to carve out your own reliable section of the multi-billion dollar tech news industry.

You want to drill down and get really specific.

I’ll get more specific.

Here’s an example from my experience.

I wanted to start a technology blog and I focused on Microsoft.

Microsoft was a fantastic company because they made software that BILLIONS of people used, had a (relatively) great reputation and had lots of fans and customers. It was in many ways, a great whale to latch on to.

Remember my criteria?

  • Millions of customers
  • Millions of fans
  • Lots of promotional/advertising money
  • Complicated software that is relatively hard to understand
  • Complicated software that people want to understand
  • A topic you are (somewhat) interested in

It fit the bill perfectly so I thought I found my niche.

Niche -> Microsoft

Now at this point, the problem was, Microsoft make a TON of software and hardware. Windows, Windows Server, Surface, The Cloud, Surface, Azure, IOT and on and on.

Since we talked about not being a generalist, I realized that I didn’t have the resources to cover all these sectors so I had to drill down and pick a subset of the software that Microsoft makes.

Each of their business units has millions of customers (and potential readers of my blog) so it was hard to go wrong. At this point it was a just a matter of my preference so I chose Windows.

Niche -> Microsoft
Sub Niche -> Microsoft -> Windows

Looking good at this point but Windows had multiple versions on the market at the time (Windows Vista, Windows XP etc) and I knew that I couldn’t handle all that information so (in 2007) I had to drill down one more level.

Niche -> Microsoft
Sub Niche -> Microsoft -> Windows
Sub Niche -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Windows Vista

At this point, I decided that I would build a blog about Windows Vista and that crowd would be my crowd. That audience would be my tribe and I could focus on just one software package.

One decision made.

Thumbs up

Why is drilling down so important?

Drilling down is critical for three major reasons.

FOCUS

First, it gives you the ability to focus. You can avoid running down many other rabbit holes and getting distracted if you find the right technology niche.

USER DEFINITION

Second, it allows you to define your readers, visitors and (hopefully), future customer. Once you identify your audience, you can start creating a concrete business plan about the types of goods and services you can sell in the future aside from your daily informational content.

SEO

SEO is critical. Identifying what niche you are attacking allows you to create a concrete content plan that you can use to optimize your organic audience acquisition down the lane.

This is critical.

If you’re thinking about starting a technology blog, think about what product you want to focus on. Does it have millions of interested readers? Is the company large enough to latch on to? Do they qualify as a whale? Do they have lots of informational resources out there?

These are some of the things you need to think through before you actually pick a topic.

Think about this step for a while. In the next post in the series, I will walk you through how to write a baby business plan for a technology blog and help you figure out all the things you should be planning for EARLY.

This information will save you a lot of time and money so stay tuned.

Onuora Amobi is VP of Marketing at Learn About The Web. He has an extensive background in both Online Marketing and Enterprise Technology solutions.

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Digital Marketing Training

13 Steps To Building A Profitable High Traffic Technology Blog – Part Three – the baby business plan

This is part three of my blueprint that will help you begin the process of building a high traffic profitable technology blog.

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Baby business plan

This is the third post in the series.

In part one, I talked about some of my experiences with some of the successful high traffic websites I actually built.

In part two, I shared a little about my belly of the whale strategy, a methodology I use to identify potential software niches to get into.

This is part three of my blueprint that will help you begin the process of building a high traffic profitable technology blog.

Today I want to share with you the importance of creating a business plan but not a regular business plan.

I call this…

The Baby Business Plan

Anyone who has written a business plan knows that to do it properly, it’s exhausting and requires a certain level of expertise and sophistication.

There are businesses and vendors who specialize in helping entrepreneurs write business plans. They are that complex.

Here’s the problem.

For most online entrepreneurs, at this stage in the process, that’s too much work. It just doesn’t make sense.

IMPORTANT – I’m not trying to say that entrepreneurs don’t need a plan, I’m saying at this stage, digital entrepreneurs don’t need the formal rigor of an exhaustive business plan.

You need a baby business plan.

What is a Baby Business Plan?

A baby business plan is a scaled down vision of your plans for your business. Simply put, you need to think about how this website or web based app will make money.

This is different from a real business plan because at this point you simply don’t need all that complexity.

So, let’s get to the meat and bones.

What are the elements of a Baby Business Plan?

A Baby Business Plan has 9 elements:

  • Business name ( and URL)
  • Business concept (Full description)
  • Technology components (list and price)
  • Labor costs to start
  • Ongoing labor
  • Marketing plan
  • Marketing costs
  • Monetization plan
  • Maintenance costs

Like I said, this is a scaled down version that you can put together real quickly.

Let’s do a quick example. Let’s do a Baby Business Plan for a fake domain – http://myloveofstamps.com/.

So if I was the entrepreneur, I would create a plan that looked roughly like this.

  • Business name: My Love Of Stamps (http://myloveofstamps.com/)
  • Business concept (A website that will bring together fans and stamp collectors all around the world. We will have forums, lists and …..)
  • Technology components:
    • Hosting: WP Engine
    • WordPress
    • Thrive Themes
    • etc. etc.
  • Labor costs to start:
    • 99 Designs web design – $899
    • Web Development to build – $500
    • Outsourced SEO – $200
    • 100 articles writer: $1000
    • etc. etc.
  • Ongoing labor:
    • Monthly writer – $400
    • Monthly SEO – $50
    • etc. etc.
  • Marketing Plan:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest
    • etc. etc.
  • Marketing costs
    • Facebook ads $50/month
    • Twitter Promo: $20/month
    • etc. etc.
  • Monetization plan:
    • Adsense on site
    • Stamp ebook that we will develop
    • Amazon ads
    • Stamps.com affiliate
    • etc. etc.
  • Maintenance costs
    • WP Engine $35/month
    • Clicky Analytics $9/month
    • etc. etc.

And so on and so forth…

Baby Business Plan – The format

Real simple. Word or Excel file. No presentation no graphics nothing too formal.

At this point you just want to have something that is a living document that you can continue to update as needed.

Why is this step critical?

Simple.

Because a lot of online tools are free or cheap and easy to use, it’s really easy to get started on an idea and build a proof of concept that can turn into a real site quickly.

This step helps you avoid two critical mistakes:

  1. Overspending on an idea that you have. Once you have all these costs listed you can start to plan and make sure you actually have the money to support this business.
  2. Validation – sometimes an idea sounds good in theory but when you actually write it out you start to see that it makes no business sense or requires too much money to be a viable business.

This step is a good step to keep you disciplined and focused. You need to write down you plan and start to internalize and share it with friends or people you respect so they can pick it apart and criticize it.

Better for an idea to die here than after you have spent lots of hours and lots of $$$ on it.

In the next installment in the series, I’ll show you how to quickly get a logo done.

Let me know if you think I missed anything here.

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Editorial

A Failure of imagination – Apple release new iPhone XR iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Apple have taken the easy way out, avoided innovation and are dependent on incremental upgrades

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Apple iPhone XS

I have an iPhone and I love it so I absolutely hate to be THAT guy.

I hate to be the guy who’s going against the grain, who seems to be contrarian where others celebrate but unfortunately, this is one of those articles.

Apple released their new iPhones today.

They released three new models – the iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

The new iPhone XS and XS Max are priced at $999 and $1,099 and start shipping out at the end of this month. The iPhone XR starts at $749 and begins shipping out in October.

Apple iPhone XS

Apple iPhone XS (Image Credit – The Verge)

The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch OLED display with a 2436 x 1125 resolution. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch OLED display with a 2688 x 1242 resolution. The iPhone XR, which you can basically think of as this year’s lower-end offering, has a 6.1-inch LCD display with a 1792 x 828 resolution.

At the end of the day, the screen size is the main difference between these three new models.

  • The XS is smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus but the screen is as big as the screen on the 8 Plus.
  • The iPhone XS Max is as big as the iPhone 8 Plus, and its screen is larger.
  • The iPhone XR has a larger display than the iPhone 8 Plus, while its overall size is just slightly smaller.

The iPhone XS and XS Max have dual rear 12-megapixel cameras and improved True Tone flash, and a front 7-megapixel camera. The iPhone XR, as the more budget option, has one 12-megapixel camera on the back, with True Tone flash.

All the new phones are powered by a new seven-nanometer A12 Bionic chip which can handle 512GB of storage. The iPhone XS and XS Max also have faster Face ID, True Tone display, and 3D Touch. They have support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 video.

The iPhone XS and XS Plus come in gold, silver, or space gray. The iPhone XS starts at $999 for the 64GB option, and has 256GB and 512GB options as well. The iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099, with the same storage options. The 512GB option goes for $1,449.

The Apple iPhone XS Promo Video

My opinion

Unfortunately, this is just more of the same.

Apple have made a larger phone, added more storage and made the camera better. The phone OS will be improved as well but that is really all that happened.

As someone who has an iPhone 7 Plus, I will upgrade at some point but the truth is there is STILL no rush.

I have been waiting for a compelling upgrade from Apple that would force me to head to the store and/or pre-order a new phone and the truth is, this isn’t the one.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 seems way more exciting from a consumer point of view because of the screen, the pen and the TONS of innovative new features they bring to the table.

When Steve Jobs died, there was a fervent argument among the faithful that innovation at the worlds most valuable company would start to slow.

Unfortunately I fear this is the case.

The most exciting features of the iPhone (IMHO) are FaceID and the upcoming multi-user FaceTime. Beyond those two features, it seems like Apple is just keeping up with the competition.

Let’s be really clear, these are REALLY GOOD PHONES.

But unfortunately, Apple is in a Michael Jackson type situation where they seem to be unable to do anything better than their greatest hit.

Apple continues to live in Steve Job’s shadow and unfortunately, his genius is really the anchor against which the company’s level of innovation will be measured. Using that yardstick, the company fails to measure up.

Preorders for both phones begin on September 14 and ship on September 21st in select countries, with rollout in other countries to follow.

What do you think? Will you buy an iPhone XS?

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Editorial

Elon Musk interview with Joe Rogan – a deep conversation about AI and more..

Joe Rogan gets a really interesting interview with the Tesla and Space X founder and CEO

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Elon Musk Interview

Elon Musk sat down with Joe Rogan in a wide-ranging interview for his Joe Rogan Experience podcast broadcast live Thursday night on YouTube.

The interview included the two men drinking whiskey and smoking weed.

It’s a really amazing and deep interview where he talks about the hyperloop, VTOL aircraft and artificial Intelligence.

Worth watching if you want to learn something new and deep about the future of the web.

You can watch this below…

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