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What digital entrepreneurs can learn from Joe Budden

In an age of streaming, Joe Budden talks about how an older entertainment artist was able to make the transition to digital.

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I usually don’t mix entertainment with digital marketing but a few days ago I saw something unique and interesting.

On the Joe Budden Podcast, the star of the podcast had a major announcement. A MAJOR partnership with Spotify.

The New York Times describes him well.

Joe Budden has the No. 1 podcast on the iTunes music podcast chart — five slots ahead of the NPR standard-bearer “All Songs Considered.” The Joe Budden Podcast With Rory and Mal is produced at a friend’s house in Queens.

Mr. Budden had a brief taste of mainstream success as a rapper with a Top 40 hit in 2003 before his career stalled. Now he has become a kind of volatile elder statesman of hip-hop, holding forth on his podcast, social media and YouTube before an audience of millions.

His soliloquies and tirades, whether a careful examination of a rap diss or a nuanced defense of XXXTentacion, the controversial young rapper who was murdered in June, lend him a credibility he never quite had as an artist.

Mr. Budden is now banking on a new partnership with Spotify to expand on his success. Starting this fall, his podcast will stream exclusively on that platform. (He plans on still uploading videos of the show on YouTube.)

The goal, according to Courtney Holt, head of studios and video at Spotify, is to “develop out not just this show, but other shows in the future.” When asked why he thought Spotify was the best home for his show, Mr. Budden said simply, “They weren’t afraid of me.”

Now as interesting as all that is, the really interesting part to me was his podcast from a few days ago.

Joe talks extensively about how the music industry had metrics about his value as an artist and that value was $250,000. He chose to walk away from the traditional music industry and start a podcast.

He talks about the challenges he and his friends had with starting a podcast for FREE with no guaranteed listeners and how they had to do episode after episode in faith that something would happen.

He talks about the persistence that is needed as a digital entrepreneur and even more importantly, the power of saying NO even when it’s not easy.

It’s a rare discussion about the persistence needed to be a digital entrepreneur, how to avoid bad deals, to understand how new technologies affect your industry and adapt accordingly and finally how to win.

He and his team now have a multi-million dollar deal with Spotify. Inspiring.

If you want to learn about how hard work and persistence online can pay off for you and your business, watch the episode below.

I have started the video below at the relevant sections. He is an entertainer so there will be some profanity and it might not be safe for work language wise.

Enjoy.

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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Digital Marketing Tip – 4 tips for finding and approaching a mentor

Unfortunately however, in my opinion, the topic of mentoring is grossly misunderstood.

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Finding a mentor

No matter what business you’re in or how successful you are, you should have mentors and you should be actively mentoring people who are trying to learn from you.

I have been fortunate enough to have picked up both mentors and mentees over the years and it was an active process that has helped me immeasurably as a digital marketing professional over the years.

Unfortunately however, in my opinion, the topic of mentoring is misunderstood.

What is a mentor?

The dictionary defines a mentor as “an experienced and trusted adviser.” I believe that while that is technically accurate, it’s a minimalist definition of a very important word.

A lot of professionals have an older person who will meet with them for lunch or dinner once in a while, give them some tips and shoot the sh$t for a little bit. That in my opinion is not a mentor. That’s an older professional who will meet with you once in a while.

The analogy is somewhat like meeting a member of the opposite sex for lunch or dinner once in a while and saying that’s a boyfriend/girlfriend. That’s not how it works.

My definition of a mentor

My definition of a mentor is I believe a little more accurate for what most of us need. A mentor is “an experienced and trusted adviser who is INVESTED in your success.” the operative word here is INVESTED.

A real mentor is someone who has bought into your goals and dreams on your behalf, is an advocate and would be PERSONALLY invested in the outcome of your journey, one way or another. Basically, a mentor is a personal connection to your goals.

Real mentors are hard to find because it requires WORK on their end and the truth is, most people are busy, they usually only have time for things that are really important.

So, here are four tips to help you find and approach a mentor.

Understand your strengths and weaknesses

You need to be really honest with yourself and understand what you’re good at and where you need improvement. If you’re great at marketing but suck at sales, you should be spending time trying to find seasoned sales professionals to learn from.

While it’s awesome to network and meet as many professionals as you can (“you never know”), since time is limited, you need to be efficient with your outreach.

Understand your goals

Where do you want to be long term? Where are you in your journey and what questions do you have about getting to the end zone? If you don’t know or haven’t given this serious thought, how the heck can anyone help you?

Without a clear sense of direction, you will keep meeting well meaning and sincere people who will give you advice that will swing you back and forth and leave you no better off than when you started. Not their fault, it’s yours for not having a goal.

Communicate clearly

Share the points above with someone you want to mentor you so that it’s clear how they can add value. This has a bunch of benefits.

First, it shows them that you are a serious professional who thinks things through. Second, it gives them a clear picture of who you are and what you are looking for so they can start thinking of a roadmap they can share with you early.

Third, it gives them the opportunity to sincerely say no if they’re not a good fit. Maybe they can refer you to someone who can be a better guide for you.

Be respectful

If that person agrees to meet with you, they are doing YOU the favor. Be grateful. Send emails thanking them. Pay attention to what they say whether or not you agree.

Don’t argue with that person but try and raise your points or objections respectfully. Once again YOU need them, not the other way around.

That doesn’t mean you have to do what they say, after all you are ultimately going to do whatever YOU decide. It does mean that you should make sure they feel like they were heard and their input was valuable.

Make it easy

In marketing, one of the ways to get someone to review your products (and hopefully endorse them) is to make it easy. Provide a writeup of the product, images and everything they need to share it. This is a more effective way of getting your product or service reviewed.

Likewise, for a mentor, do your homework and make things easy. Offer to drive out to meet near where they are. Offer to buy lunches or dinners. Provide a clear synopsis of what you want to discuss.

Give them credit whenever you can. Show that you are someone worth endorsing and mentoring and try and make it a no-brainer for them to want to partner with you for your success.

The bottom line

Finding a mentor is actually like finding a job. You have to do the research and be focused to find and keep that person’s attention. If you treat the process as seriously as it deserves to be treated, you will see results.

Let me know what your experience has been with this in the comments below.

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13 steps you need to follow to build a profitable high traffic technology blog – Part One – Intro

In the next series of blog posts, I will walk you through the steps I used to build a high traffic, profitable independent Windows blog.

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13 steps to building a profitable high traffic technology blog

I teach a lot of digital marketing topics but the the information I am about to share with you is by far what I get the most demand for.

How to build a profitable, high traffic technology blog

There are over 1.2 billion websites on the internet and hundreds of millions of those are WordPress. Every day, millions of people come on to the web for the first time and millions of people realize that they can try and make money online as well.

In that vein, every day millions of people realize that they will fail at making money online for 2 reasons.

  • It’s a real skill – NO BS – There is a lot of learning involved. Most people will never put the time in required to learn how to build an online business properly.
  • It take a lot of work – Anyone who owns a blog knows that it’s a labor of love. It involves late nights, long days and lots of business development to get a blog or online business anywhere near decent.

Most people simply do not have the propensity to learn and the patience to fail until they succeed.

As a result, the amount of people who know how to create a successful online business like a technology blog are very few. The amount of us who are able to do it solo are smaller still.

Why create a technology blog?

Technology blogs are awesome if you like technology. Depending on your background and the niche you choose, it can be the most fun you ever have in your life.

In many cases, you get to write about something that is fun, has millions of people interested in it and you can quickly become a leader and influencer if you do it right.

In addition, creating a tech blog is still (in 2018) very profitable if you do it right. You can make a six figure income if you are strategic from the start.

That’s part of the reason why I am writing this series – to give you a roadmap to putting together your own profitable technology blog.

Online Business Roadmap

In fact, a lot of the lessons in this series will be helpful for whatever online business you decide to start (if you choose to do so).

My experience with technology blogs

I am fortunate to have done something only very few people have ever done – I created and ran a profitable, high traffic independent technology blog for years.

Some interesting anecdotes:

  • I started a Microsoft Windows technology blog in 2007 that took off and made me a sweet six figure income annually as a hobby.
  • My blogs got over 50 million visitors and close to 100 million page views.
  • I became an authority figure on the Microsoft Windows platform because of my blogs.
  • My newsletter email list grew to over 80,000 people (costing me over $750 a month to host).
  • I became a Microsoft MVP for Windows because of my technology blogs.
  • I got to cover Microsoft events as a member of the Press because of my technology blogs.
  • The President of Microsoft’s Windows Division responded to criticisms I made from my blog.
  • I made a ton of money and built a lot of great business relationships because of my blogs.
  • I built a large social media fanbase because of my blogs.
  • I learned more than most people will ever learn about digital marketing because of my blogs.
  • Because of the volume of web traffic I was dealing with, I learned more about web hosting and web infrastructure than most people can ever imagine.
  • I also learned how to monetize blogs in multiple ways as a result of having a steady traffic stream.

High traffic technology blogs literally changed my life.

Of course, to get to that point, I failed at building a lot of websites and wasted a lot of money like a rock star! Goes with the territory.

But after several years of figuring it out, I came up with a blue print that I was able to replicate over and over again to make money.

That’s what I am going to share with you. For FREE. I’ll share the mistakes I made and give you the 13 steps I discovered to building the framework for a high traffic profitable technology blog.

Tomorrow, I’ll walk you through the first step – how to pick a technology niche to focus on. You’ll learn about how to figure out what technology to cover, what subjects don’t work and my exclusive belly of the whale strategy.

Don’t miss out. Sign up for our newsletter below to get updates on this series.

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