I tried to make the title of this post as confusing as possible, because that’s how most business plans start out. You have this wonderful idea, but you have to make sense of it all. How are you going to monetize it? What’s your long term plan?
Too often we think of websites as a quick and easy way to make money. We look past traditional planning and decide to “wing it” as we go along, figuring that your ideas will come to you with time. The important thing is getting that idea up and running right? Wrong.
Before you build, before you recruit help, you have to have a long term plan. You have a great idea? So does everybody else. Why doesn’t every great idea make it’s creator a millionaire?
Well obviously it’s never easy starting an online business, but I happen to believe most people (as I once did), go into online ventures without thinking long term. Hence the idea of planning backwards from the start. Your end goal is to make money, so why not let that be the driving force behind everything that you do.
When I started building websites I would get an idea, work countless hours to build up traffic to a site, then sit and rack my brain as to how I was going to make money off all those visitors. I had arrived at the end goal, but now had become my own worst enemy.
Your model has to start with the end goal, what is going to make you the most money. Everything will be driven by that force, and should be centered around it from the start. Your subject, conversion methods, user testing, keywords, articles, site structure, SEO, social media, rich media, and the list goes on.
People create and create and create. And then at some point down the line try to figure out the financial gains to be made. Too often you will find that unless you plan to make money from the start, you won’t make much money at all. There’s that old saying I can’t seem to get out of my head, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Well the same can be said of internet marketing and online business development. Plan ahead, think ahead, and you will get ahead.