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Editorial

The ONE skill most digital entrepreneurs do not have

After many years of mentoring digital entrepreneurs, I find that there is constantly one core skill they do not start with…

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Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of being a digital marketing mentor to a lot of MBA students and entrepreneurs.

I have always loved being able to help people who are just discovering what the internet can do for their businesses and how thinking asymmetrically can create growth and profits online.

In the process of mentoring a lot of these awesome people, I started to see a common trend and it profoundly affected me and has made me rethink everything about the way I teach digital business.

The internet is awesome.

It’s made it possible for an entrepreneur or a small team of people to create websites and online applications that compete against much larger businesses. This because they have mastered some skillset that is in demand and have figured out how to share it profitably with the rest of the world.

I used to believe that when entrepreneurs are starting to learn about starting an online business, they needed to learn everything about business, tools, terminology and technology.

While those are all important, there is one critical skillset that is often missed when people are learning to build digital businesses.

The ability to write properly and eloquently.

Frustrated writer

I have been stunned and shocked to see people who can master every other component of digital marketing be so intimidated by a blank screen or sheet of paper.

Lots of entrepreneurs are terrified of writing. They love building products, selling products, tinkering with website elements, landing pages and doing everything else but they are scared to actually learn how to write compelling content.

The irony is, they love consuming content from other writers!

My story

When I built one of my successful online businesses, it was based on Microsoft Windows. I realized that to really understand how to create compelling content around software, I had to learn how to write. Even about a topic I was only peripherally aware of at the time.

So I did.

I wrote over 7,000 articles in less than 8 years.

I wrote on websites, syndication sites, on financial sites, press releases, landing pages, editorials and more.

I started one article at a time and did it so much that it became second nature. I was edited by tough editors at sites like Seeking Alpha and had to rewrite content often to get it published. It was tough starting out but I learned.

Eventually, my content was so compelling that my website had 50,000 daily visitors and in 2010, I received a Microsoft MVP award for the Windows Desktop.

Build Conference Anaheim

Me at the Microsoft Build Conference in Anaheim California – 2011

My ability to write got me into conferences where I met most of the popular technology writers I had always admired. I was a member of the press pool at Microsoft events – because I learned how to write.

That business made me close to a million dollars based on my digital marketing abilities BUT at the end of the day it all came down to one thing.

The ability to write and express myself.

It’s critical.

I learned this the hard way

When I would walk entrepreneurs through digital marketing basics and eventually get their sites up and running, I would find out that they either didn’t know how to write or hated writing.

That changed the way I teach.

Now I start off with a basic digital writing and copywriting class.

Once my students are able to write somewhat decently and properly, only then do we move to keyword research, idea validation etc.

My advice to entrepreneurs starting out

If you have an idea for an online business, you should take a writing class. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a product or a service, you should learn how to write.

You should head to online resources like Udemy and search for “writing”.

Yes, you can hire a copywriter to do some things for you but the truth is, even the best copywriters can’t replace you.

Customers and clients are drawn to YOU. 

They come to your site, connect to you on social media and respond to your content because it’s YOU. This is true for every kind of business and it’s also why the most effective way to sell professional services online is with your blog.

The blog allows customers and visitors to see how you think and figure out whether your values are compatible with theirs. If they like how you think and express yourself, you’re more likely to make that sale or convert that visitor.

Also practice writing!

“I’m not a good writer!” – that’s a common refrain I hear.

No one starts out as a good writer. No one.

Some people do have natural talent but even that takes honing and practice until it’s perfected. Write one hundred articles in a month and I GUARANTEE you that the first and last article will be dramatically different.

The bottom line

The ability to express yourself is one of the most critical skills you can develop as an adult. It’s what gets you the VC money, what gets you the raise at work, the first date with a significant other and what gets your content to convert.

Learning how to write can change your life. I know this because it changed mine.

If you don’t know how to write, learn and if you’re a good writer, practice. This skill is often the difference between success and failure online.

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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