This is part four of my Living The Dot Com lifestyle series. It’s based on a presentation I gave at Third Tuesday Vancouver call how to run a million dollar business on two hours per day. Previous posts: Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.
Automate, Delegate, Eliminate
Many business owners take the “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” attitude. I used to be like that. But then I discovered that isn’t owning a business. That’s owning a job. That’s the business owning you. Your business is supposed to free you, not imprison you. There is no way you’ll ever live the Dot Com Lifestyle if you have to babysit your business. This is where automation, delegation and elimination comes in. You want to automate as much of your business as possible. The ideal is to have it run itself without you having to be there. When you achieve that, you’re on your way.
Because it requires constant updating, a blog is a bit harder to automate than an affiliate site or sending traffic to a landing page. This is why I recommend new bloggers to pick a topic they’re interested in. From a profitability standpoint, blogging is the least profitable thing I do because it takes the most time. This is time I don’t mind spending because I love blogging so much – it’s not a job, it’s a hobby. The hobby only includes writing the blog posts. Almost everything else is automated, delegated or eliminated. Here are some examples on how this is achieved.
The Email Auto Responder
Email is one of the best way to build up a relationship with your readers. This is where a service like Aweber comes in. Aweber allows you to automate your email sign up and delivery system. The importance of email cannot be underestimated. My biggest mistake when starting this blog was not capturing the emails from the beginning. Had I done that, my list would be three or four times the size it is now and the blog would be pushing $100,000 a month instead of only $40,000.
If your blog doesn’t have a way to capture the emails of your readers, then you need to set up a system now. Many new bloggers complain that Aweber cost money but they’re not seeing the big picture because they’re being penny wised and pound foolish. Believe me, not having an email list is costing you far more than the small fee Aweber charges. And once this is set up, it’s fully automate so there’s no more time input on your part.
Paid Writers and Guest Bloggers
I sub out all ReviewMe reviews to Michael Kwan. The blog also welcome guest posts from other bloggers. This saves me time from having to write the posts myself. Many of the really big blogs like Engadget have an entire team of paid bloggers updating it. The owners doesn’t post anything. Because this blog has my name on it, I’m not in a position to do that. But that’s OK since this blog is what I do for fun. However, should there ever come a day when I consider blogging a job, I will remove myself from it.
Automated Ad Sales
Thanks to programs like OIO Publisher Direct, I am able to automate my ad sales and eliminated a dedicated sales person. I don’t go out to find the advertisers. I let them come to me. If an advertiser ask about my rate, I just refer them to my advertising page. They can view all my ad options and prices there. They can also order the ad there as well.
The other way to automate ad sales is with PayPal subscription. Instead of you chasing the advertiser to ask them to renew, sign them up with PayPal subscription and PayPal will take money out of their account every month until either you or the advertiser cancels it.
Delegate The Stuff That You Can’t Do
I am not a designer and I can’t code worth a damn. You should never let “I can’t do this” stop you. Find people who have the skill sets you’re looking for and delegate the work to them. Unique Blog Design handles the design work for this blog. Matt Freedman did the coding for Twitter Follower.
How do you find these people? This is where networking comes in and it’s the reason I love attending networking events. The next person you meet just might make you a million bucks. That is, if you apply Rule #4.
The Dot Com Lifestyle means having both time and money. Automating, delegating and eliminating helps you achieve that. Remove yourself from the process by automating as much as possible. For those things that can’t automated, then either delegate it to someone else or eliminate it completely.