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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 five – WordPress Hosting

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

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Wordpress Hosting

This is the fifth 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.

In part three, I talked about the importance of putting together a baby business plan.

In part four, I described the importance of not wasting time on a logo.

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

Today I want to recommend WordPress Hosts to you.

What is a WordPress Host?

A WordPress Host or hosting company is simply the company that hosts your WordPress website files. There are a ton of companies out there that do web hosting but here is everything you need to know in a concise package.

To cut a long story short, there are 2 ways to deal with hosting for WordPress if you’re new to building a business.

  1. The dumb way – get regular hosting and figure out all the tweaking and maintenance.
  2. The easy and efficient way – with managed hosting.

What is WordPress Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting is exactly what it sounds like – hosting that is managed for you. God I wish I knew this when I started 15 years ago.

You see, a WordPress website has more parts that need maintenance than most people understand.

When you’re building an online business, you need to worry about the following:

  • The WordPress installation
  • WordPress version updates
  • WordPress environments
  • The database
  • FTP/SFTP
  • PHP
  • The theme
  • MySQL
  • Plugins
  • Performance
  • The CDN (if you’re savvy enough to manually install one)
  • Hacking and security
  • Images

and more..

When I started out building websites, I had to learn how to manage all this stuff at once and ended up paying contractors to handle one thing here, then another thing there etc. etc.

It adds up and even worse…

It’s a massive distraction from your business!

Most people don’t want to know this stuff and more importantly, don’t need to know all this stuff.

That’s where a good WordPress Managed Host comes in.

The role of a good WordPress Managed Hosting company

It’s real simple, a good WordPress Managed Hosting company will have one goal and one goal alone – to keep you protected from all the bullshit you don’t have to worry about.

They help you with the install, troubleshooting becomes their problem 100%, they worry about performance, security is all their business, on and on it goes.

At the end of the day, they allow you to focus on your business.

While there are a few good hosting companies out there, I only have one recommendation.

Wp Engine

WP Engine – Link here

I’ve been on their platform for years and can’t say without equivocation, I couldn’t stay in business without their company.

They are reasonably priced, they have 24/7 chat support, they have the most pleasant staff in the industry and they look after their customers. In addition, their control panel makes site management on the back end a breeze.

You can learn more here.

A managed WordPress company allows you to stay focused on your core business and that is invaluable.

It’s really that simple.

Head to their site and sign up for a reasonably priced hosting package and you’re in good shape.

WP Engine plans

In the next article, I’ll show you what WordPress Themes I recommend for you to get started quickly.

Enjoy!

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Digital Marketing Training

13 Steps To Building A Profitable High Traffic Technology Blog – Part Four – your logo

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

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Logos

This is the fourth 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.

In part three, I talked about the importance of putting together a baby business plan.

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

Today I want to teach you how to get a logo for your business.

What is a logo?

Simply put, a logo is a symbol or other design adopted by an organization to identify its products, uniform, vehicles, etc. You are obviously familiar with some of the more famous ones.

famous logos

The importance of a good logo

Logos are relatively important for an online business but their value is misunderstood by most online entrepreneurs. A lot of people starting out in this business obsess about the logo.

  • What color should it be?
  • What size?
  • What tagline?
  • What image?
  • Vertical or horizontal?

I brought a friend along to help you.

The Rock It doesnt matter

As my friend the Rock just told you – NONE of this matters.

If that sounds like anathema to you I’m wagering that this is your first Rodeo and you still have time for all that quaint nonsense.

Let me be clear. At this stage in the game, your logo does not matter one bit.

What this does not mean

  • Doesn’t mean you should have an ugly logo.
  • Doesn’t mean you should pay ZERO attention to it.
  • Doesn’t mean that you should not have one at all.

What this does mean

  • Does mean that you should acknowledge this task is low priority.
  • Does mean that you should spend no more than 2 days on this task.
  • Does mean that after 2 days, your logo concept should be “good enough”
  • Does mean that this is a task that you should come back to.

So this begs the question..

Should I buy a logo or design one myself?

Great question – easy answer.

If you have the skills, put one together in less than 48 hours. If not, buy one.

This begs the next question..

How much should I pay for a logo?

Great question – yet again another easy answer.

50 dollars.

No more than 50 bucks is what you should spend on a logo because quite frankly, anything more is a waste of money.

This begs yet again the next question..

Where should I get this new logo designed?

I would have given you a different answer a month ago but I found  a really cool place where you can actually get your logo design for cheap.

It’s called BrandCrowd.

This is a really cool service where you can buy or alter really cool logos for reasonable prices.

While you can spend more than $1000 to buy a logo, that would be dumb. Pick something cool, modify it and keep it moving.

I did this in 3 hours for another site I’m building – https://www.laptopvideoreviews.com.

Laptop Video Reviews

 

This took 3 hours and cost me $45. Logo done. I recommend BrandCrowd because it’s really easy to use and simple to get a good logo done.

Summary

When you start out in this business, a logo can drive you CRAZY and you can spend months trying to get the right colors and branding and sizes etc.

FOCUS ON YOUR BUSINESS!

Don’t get distracted because here’s the secret – you can always double back and get a better logo later. It’s better to have a viable business and a crappy logo than a beautiful logo and a failed business.

It’s simple.

In the next article, I’ll show you what WordPress Themes I recommend for you to get started quickly.

Enjoy!

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Editorial

Who approved never get Hulu as an ad slogan?

I’ve seen some DUMB ad campaigns in my life but Never Get Hulu is by far the worst one I have ever seen in my life.

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Never get Hulu

I was watching the Emmys last week and then an ad came on.

It had a ton of celebrities who were serious and telling me to listen and pay attention.

They start to talk somewhat comedically about a bunch of things I should never do – never fly first class, never get a king size bed, never get a walk in closet etc etc.

At this point, there are hints of comedy creeping in…

Until the final punch line “..and most importantly Never Get Hulu”.

My wife and I are marketing professionals and immediately looked at each other thinking the same exact thing.

Who at Hulu gave the green light to this ad?

Why would you get people’s attention and use the words “Never” and your brand name in the same sentence? From a marketing perspective this seems extremely stupid.

Yes, it gets people like me writing about this and talking about it and sharing the ad. Got it.

HOWEVER, it imprints very negative keywords next to your brand name into people’s psyche’s forever.

Never Get Hulu.

I absolutely don’t get it but hey what do I know, maybe they know something I don’t so I should probably take their advice.

I DEFINITELY won’t get Hulu.

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