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Where Do I Invest 1st in Online Business?2591

Member morningstar private msg quote post Address this user
I feel as though every day I go to learn the next step I need to take in getting my company off the ground I run into dozens of other people who are ready to take care of writing my sales page for me, ... for a fee, they will redesign my website, ... for a fee, they will create the life that I love, ... for a fee

And then there is the advice that the first investment should be in a cleaner so I don't waste my time cleaning the apartment and so in that I buy time, ... for a fee.

I'm still new at sensing what is the best move given ROI, so I turn to you.

When you were first starting out, what was your first largish investment in your business?

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience
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Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
My first "largish" was purchasing advertising. I am an illustrator / cartoonist. To get my work in front of creative directors at advertising agencies, art directors at graphic design firms, editors at book publishing companies, designers at book packaging firms, publishers at magazine companies and so forth, I purchased ad space in three specific well-known (at the time) "source books".
These source books were published and distributed annually to all recipients mentioned above, throughout the United States, Canada and parts of Europe and the Orient.
One book was sent to 18,000 recipients, another, to 12,000 different professionals and the other was around 25,000 different creatives. One directory was called RSVP, the other was Los Angeles Workbook (but distributed nationally and into the Orient)and the other was The Graphic Artist's Guild Directory Of Illustration. These 3 books were well known (a couple still are) and page space even in the 1990's was costly. This was pre-internet, so these books had a great "go-to" shelf life and art directors loved them. A couple were as thick as (back then), the NYC phone book. Of all three books, the combined ad space cost over $10,000 which included my cost making "transparancies" of all the work I wanted to appear on my pages in the directories. I recall those alone, were $125.00 each (relatively cheap in those days), and I still recall the name of the company I always used (Jellybean Photo Labs)...a fast and proficient company who handled all your original art and color cartoons with care. All this being said, this was one of my first big ad investments as a kid. One of the books prompted a call from a holding company in Japan. They liked my cartoons enough to want to negotiate using them on various promotional items (apparel, cups etc.) but then that big earthquake in Kobe struck and I could never get a hold of the owner of the holding company I was in touch with....faxes were never responded to, phone calls back to her wouldn't get through etc. I often thought of her but the with the passage of time new opportunities came along and now here were are, putting all our portfolios online and hoping for the best.
Granted, my work was jammed into a mix with dozens of other artists throughout those books, but now online, my work is literally "homogenized" amidst the tens of thousands of other "professionals", literally begging people to use their work for nothing in exchange for "exposure", and believe can die of exposure! It would be so cool to hear other's first "largish".....thanks for listening
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Member morningstar private msg quote post Address this user
@DansCartoons Thank you so much for sharing. I can only hope your contact in Kobe managed to find a new path, though sadly what I know of working with Japan is that they do not just disappear the honor of fulfilling a contract to the end far outweighs even the benefits they may or may not get from the deal in the end.

Where can I view your work these days?

To everyone else, I can't wait to hear more of your experiences.
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Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
@morningstar without blatantly abusing my privileges here on this wonderful forum, I won't put my web link here but simply ask you to Google "DansCartoons"...also hit "images" and all my stuff will visually appear.
I have published my own lines of regional comic books, went to local bankers and received "business loans" for the actual publishing and production of over 25,000 books once.
All as a 30 year old kid. Age isn't the factor, it's what you want to do, how bad you want that.
Hope my work makes you smile!
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Member KathrynLang private msg quote post Address this user
@morningstar Well - "large investment" is relative But I did make a HUGE leap when I decided to work with a website designer several years back - and I have since invested countless hours redoing what they did.

Live and learn.

My learning . . . have a very specific plan about what you want to do, find people that can help you determine the best way to do it, and then find people that will fit those ways (with a specific and written guarantee).
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Member morningstar private msg quote post Address this user
@KathrynLang Thank you, I have been futzing with my site myself, I think I finally got something that is good enough that I can be proud of for now. So, that I am not investing in beyond the basics. I am considering paying someone to help me write my sales pages.

Specific and written guarantee is good advice. I think it falls under the category of common sense things I know intellectually, for some reason I haven't internalized and so logic and common sense often seem to fly out the window just when I need them most.

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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

I taught a class to a group of MBA students ... long story but fun to tell ...

The short version is this ... after abt 4 months my best students were getting 3000-5000 Organic visits to their website of various niches (they decided) ... and ALL of them got these results on a black and white default WordPress template.

The investment - $9.99 for the domain name and $7/month for hosting and NOTHING else.

First 4 months that is ALL you need and nothing else.
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Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew So easy it sounds! Now, if you look at my site, why am I not getting that 5000 organics?! UGH! I was just quoted $900 to put two links on a PBN which is very solid according to a developer I know who launches many sites and does this for his clients who it helps......
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

Give me the $900 and I will add quality content that on YOUR site that will perform longer and get you closer to that 5000 organics.

I haven't dug thru your site ... but my bet is your content is not searchable nor targeted enough to get the results you want.

But then I have been wrong before. Once.

Once I thought I was wrong but I was really right. 8-)
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Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
I have quality content in the form of images...cartoons. There are actually over 5000 different images available....each has been tagged with various keywords and in WooCommerce, each image has a separate description. Not sure why that is not working since I've gone even further and keyworded my images when I saved them in Photoshop (by naming each for their specific category)
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Member morrnel private msg quote post Address this user
Hi @morningstar,
I looked at your LinkedIn, Facebook, website and Instagram. You have many excellent skills in your talent stack.
I don't know who you want to be, what you want to do or who you want to do it for. If you know, I don't see it. I'd figure those out first.
Then, I'd figure out if anyone is willing to spend money for the services you choose to offer by talking to several people. What's your Minimum Viable Product or Service (MVP).
If I were to spend money, I'd figure out those things so you can tell your story.
Good luck.
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Member teddy private msg quote post Address this user
@DansCartoons, your site is B2B, right? These customers look who ticks the most boxes. You should check competitor's sites.
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user

I am confident I can solve this problem for you. Join the classroom and let's talk.
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Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
@teddy, not sure what you mean about "These customers look who ticks......" Hi @Belew....what link will take me to your classroom? I have been blogging EVERY day since March10th I believe....hasn't given the site ANY traction. Most posts are around 300 to 400 words....a few have been 800 to 1100 words - ugh
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Site Admin Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Here's the link to become a student.
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Teacher SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
@morningstar I am in a similar position as you. I have invested in hiring someone to do small tasks but it hasn't always worked out.

@Belew is right, if you generate great content it will be online forever. It will bring visitors to your site, then you design your sales funnel.

At the moment, I am re-designing a site which has over 800 blog posts. The content is already there attracting new visitors, now I have to take the next step and construct a sales funnel which is irresistible!

I am wondering how I should spend money now I have got the site to this stage to further enhance its monetary capabilities.
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