by Paul Barrs
I responded to a question the other day that I though deserved publication. The question related to someone who was feeling demotivated and was not able to ‘make sense’ of all the websites that he had running – of which (I got the impression) none were successful.
Here is my response -
You need to take a full morning / afternoon / or evening out and sit down with a pen and paper (yes actually use the old fashioned hand writing technique).
Write out a list of all your domains and then underneath each one, answer the following questions…
1. How much money did it take to get this site Online?
2. How much time have I invested in it so far?
3. What is this domain’s primary purpose? ie. ad traffic income, eBook sales, lead generation etc.
4. Has it yet generated more money than it cost to produce?
5. What is the profit / loss so far?
6. If this were another person’s website and they PAID ME to review it for them.. what is the number one thing that I would say was missing from the site in order to make it more successful?
7. What is the number two thing?
8. Can I add / fix those two things in less than two hours?
9. Do I honestly believe that by doing those two things that this site will make more money this year than it cost to build / run etc.?
10. Should I keep this site / or do the number suggest I should dump it?
Friend, you need to get honest with yourself. We are all in business to make money – don’t believe your own BS if you try and tell yourself otherwise. It’s business or charity. Which is it.
Here’s a phrase my old mentor taught me… “The numbers tell the whole story.”
I haven’t even asked you about the numbers. What would you say if I did?
- How many unique visitors did each site get last month.
- Was this more or less than the month before and so on?
- How many people subscribed to the “list”?
- How many of them downloaded the free report?
- How many of them clicked the links IN the free report?
How can we possibly tell you what to do when you don’t have the numbers?
The numbers tell the WHOLE story.
- Paul Barrs
PS. Here’s the key. Each website you create has one month to produce profit (or attain it’s purpose). If it doesn’t then leave it and move on to another. Learn from your past mistakes and try again. But don’t dwell on it. Not everything you do will work.
Then, after a reply – (Part Two)
Remember, I also said that not every site succeeds.
When i used to do this for other people I had a 100% money back guarantee – that their site would make more money within 6 months directly through online generated leads / sales than it cost to set up and run.
Now, for a 3-page mini site that was fine, but I was doing site for $10 – $20 K which required *many* weeks of development.
You’re thinking right now.. exactly, that proves my point.
Yes, it does… AND it proves mine.
“Make more money than it cost to set up and run…”
These days for a mini site selling a simple eBook or going for ad revenue, you can set it up in a day or three and it won’t cost you more than 20 bucks. If you can’t see the results that show that that is going to come back to you (over the next year) within the first month, then I say “why flog a dying horse”?
These days you don’t *have* to set up large sites to make money and generate traffic.
However, let’s say that you do… in a “more competitive niche” – fine… launch it with Joint Venture partnerships and pay it off in the first night!
(I’m assuming you’re selling a product)
If you’re not selling a product then perhaps you’re after lead generation – fine, get traffic to it (buy it if you have to, but factor that into your cost) and test measure that your page conversions are sufficient.
… Then the argument – “Yes, but how much is each lead worth?”
Well, you should know. That’s what market research is all about.
In a newsletter that I was running a few years back I was able to determine that each subscriber was worth to me $5.26 a year (determined by the number of sales made per promotion / click through / sales etc).
We should be able to do to the same with our website visitors. If it take 500 visitors to sell one $97 product then each visitor is worth 19.4 c (0.194 x 500 = $97.00).
So it would be OK to spend less than 19.4 c to get your visitors there – but not more.
Therefore with a site having such figures you’d need to work on increasing that conversion ratio – could be the headline, could be the graphics, could be the product name, could be the ??? and so on.
Back to my site that had a $5.26 subscriber value; meaning 100 subscribers was equal to $526 in sales each year. Well, I had 8,500 – do the maths. It was a profitable site.
But the larger the numbers isn’t always the answer; another site had only 1200 subscribers – but each had a value of $23.00.
By the same token I’ve set up sites that cost me no more than $20 – and they’ve not made that back in a year!! Why on earth would I want to keep at them??
The key is… when you know the numbers you can make more informed decisions.
- Paul Barrs