Have Systems In Place
I’ll let you in on a little secret. The key to running a successful online business without running yourself ragged is to have systems in place for everything. You’ll be surprised how much time you’ll save each week and how much more productive you’ll be once they are in place. Let’s take a look at a couple of different types of systems you may want to implement.
Document your systems and create checklists for them as you start to create them. They will come in handy over the coming months and years.
Your systems for product creating will depend on what your products are and how you will deliver them, but some of the things you may want to document in the form of a check list are:
- Topic Research
- Creating An Outline
- Writing or Recording the Info Product
- Editing and Formatting
- Uploading It To Your Site
- Creating Sales and Download Pages
- Creating Marketing Materials
In addition, it’s a good idea to create a template you can use for all your short reports and ebooks to make sure they look consistent across the board. This will also make your job a lot easier when it comes time to format your product.
Templates and calendars will make your life so much easier when it comes to content creation. Spend a little time each month creating an editorial calendar for your blog. Figure out how often you want to blog and what topics you want to cover. With that in place you’ll never sit down at your desk with no idea what to write about.
Having templates in place is also helpful. Look at what content you create on a regular basis. Is it a newsletter, short reports and eBooks? Make templates for them. Most of your formatting will be taken care of and you don’t have to start with a blank page.
Make your social media interactions faster with a system in place. Figure out how often you want to post and during what times. When will you post your own content, when will you ask a question or make an observation and when will you share other people’s posts? Having a schedule in place allows you to work ahead when you need to and just like the blog schedule it helps you get things done faster if you know what you’re writing or sharing ahead of time.
Website Maintenance And Security
Here’s a biggy. How are you keeping your site safe and secure? If you’re using a CMS like WordPress to run your site, you want to make sure it’s updated regularly. Backups are also a must. Schedule both those on a monthly basis and review your sites regularly to make sure everything is safe and secure. Set an alert on your phone or add the task to your calendar each month.
Do you have systems in place for handling customer service requests? Having a page with Frequently Asked Questions (and your responses of course) is always helpful. You can point customers to the page and be done. A list of “canned “responses to common questions will also save you a lot of time. Personalize them as needed, but have the bulk of it ready to copy and paste. Having these systems in place also makes it much easier to outsource customer service down the road.
Having these systems in place helps you run your online business more productively, but there’s an added bonus to getting them in place. Once you have a system set up, it makes it easy to outsource that portion of your business to a Virtual Assistant. As you grow and there’s more work to be done than hours in your day, you’ll appreciate being one step close to outsourcing.
Create Passive Income Streams
A good way to make sure your business stays profitable for years to come is to spend at least some of your time working on passive income streams. Passive income is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it.
An example we’re all familiar with is the interest you earn on your savings account. You don’t have to do anything other than letting your money sit in the bank. Of course you’re not going to get rich from having a few thousand dollars sitting in the bank. But thankfully there are plenty of different ways to create passive streams of income online.
Let’s look at a few of them. This is by no means an extensive list. I’m sure you’ll start to come up with other passive income ideas as you read through these examples.
Blog Posts With A Strong Call To Action
Write some evergreen content. Optimize it to get free search engine traffic and then wrap it all up with a strong call to action at the end. That call to action could lead readers directly to an offer for an affiliate products, one of your own products, or even better, to a list that you can then monetize further.
Monetized Emails And Free Reports
Speaking of lists and emails… write a series of emails that are monetized, again either with affiliate offers or offers to your own things. Heck, you can even send your readers to more free content on your blog that has AdSense ads on it.
Build your list using free reports that are monetized as well. Then take it a step further and invite them to share the report. You of course can share it far and wide across the web as well. As your report gets read by more and more people, they will find their way back to your site and the offers you’re making in the report itself.
Write Some Books
Let’s not forget an old favorite. Write some books and publish them. These can be physical books or Kindle books. Self-publishing has made it easy to do both and it has the added advantage that you get to keep the majority of the income you make from your books.
While the books generate passive income, they also help establish your authority and broaden your reach.
Create Your Own Digital Products
You can also create your own line of digital products and sell them through your own site or places like the Google and Apple App stores. The beauty of digital products is that you create them once and can sell them over and over again.
Yes, there’s a little customer service work to do and the occasional update to write, but for the most part, digital products are pretty hands-off once they have been created.
Setting Up Your Own Affiliate Program
Once you have your own products set up, set up an affiliate program as well. Others will do the marketing and selling for you for a percentage of the profits.
Recommending Other People’s Products
Of course you can work on the flip side as well. Find a few related products to your own, sign up as an affiliate and recommend them to your own customer base. It’s a quick and easy way to increase your income and once those emails are written (or you’ve included the affiliate products in your own products or on your download pages), you just sit back and watch the sales notifications come in.