REPOST: 5 Steps to Creating and Monetizing a Million-Dollar Online Business

Anybody can start an online business, but not everyone ends up victorious. If you have a unique product or idea, you can find a way to sell or trade it over the Internet. To boost your chances of success, start with a strategic marketing. Make a creative concept that can potentially help you stand out from the rest of the competition. An article from Entrepreneur has a few recommendations:

Jonathan Long isn’t just talking the talk — he’s taking readers inside his own online strategy.

If you believed every advertisement in your Facebook news feed selling the entrepreneurial dream, you would think that everyone and their brother is creating million-dollar online businesses while traveling the world or floating in their pool.

Now, I’m not saying every one of these courses is pure BS. There might be some solid actionable advice to be found, but instead of paying $97, $197 or $297 (you know those are the magic numbers) to some self-proclaimed internet gazillionaire, I’m going to walk you through the steps that are required to build a successful online business, in several articles here on Entrepreneur.com, starting with this one.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to secure an attractive domain hack: LAWYE.RS. It’s the only one-word “lawyers” domain hack available, and while I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it at the time, I knew it had potential to be turned into something very special.

The time has come to do something with this domain, and I have determined the strategy I will use to build this website out and monetize it.

Will I be successful? The potential to turn it into a multi-million-dollar business exists, but I could also fall flat on my face.

Here’s how I laid out the concept and monetization strategy for this new project. The same strategy can be used to help you develop any online business — it’s universal.

1. Identify a product or service that has a large market and that’s unlikely to decline.

I decided I was going to turn this domain into a law firm directory, and two factors played a role in this decision. First, there will always be a need for lawyers and plenty of law firms for consumers to pick from. There will never be a shortage of website visitors or law firms to monetize as customers.

Second, online marketing and online branding is on a consistent growth path with no sign of slowing down, so another platform for law firms to use for marketing and brand building will be welcomed.

When you create an online business in a niche that will never see a decline, you are drastically increasing the chances of building something that will generate revenue for a long time. I see too many people trying to start online businesses with only the short-game in mind. Instead, focus on building something with long-term sustainability.

2. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel — but you do need a unique component.

Building an online law firm directory resource isn’t going to win any innovation awards, but it can still be different than other available options. My main focus with this project is creating an online community and content platform — giving lawyers a platform to publish content on, which will be seen by industry peers and potential clients. The personal branding benefit and ability to be seen as a thought leader is the unique angle here.

When you create an online business, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you do need a unique selling proposition and a way to provide some level of value that isn’t currently available.

3. Identify how you can generate money.

There are several ways to generate money with an online business. You can sell your own products or services, re-sell products or services, sell information or courses, promote affiliate offers or sell advertisement space, for example.

For my law firm directory, user experience is a priority. The last thing I want to do is annoy visitors with banner ads and pop-up offers. They need to be able to land on our website and quickly find the information they need. So, the revenue model will be based around an annual premium listing upgrade that law firms can claim.

We will be building out the directory with every law firm in the U.S. Every basic listing will contain the firm’s name and address. For an annual fee, law firms will be able to claim their listing and upgrade to a premium listing, which allows for full contact information, a complete listing of all lawyers on staff, images, video, social media profile links and a link to their website. Also, they get unlimited inbound form-submit leads and each lawyer on staff will receive a contributor account, allowing them to publish content on the directory’s blog.

This monetization strategy allows us to keep the website free of advertisement banners and affiliate offers, keeping our user experience pleasant. It also provides several attractive benefits for our target customer, which is important if we want to convert a large enough percentage to turn this into a multi-million-dollar online business.

A lot of people get hung up on the monetization component, and while it’s an important piece of the puzzle, you need to remember that you can always pivot.

4. Lay out a marketing and advertising plan that will help reach your monetization goals.

Your online business is unlikely to take off without a solid marketing and advertising plan in place. Whether you are using simple public relations strategies such as HARO for securing press mentions or launching a six-figure campaign on Facebook, you need a detailed plan.

Our plan for the directory is a combination of email marketing and highly targeted digital ad buys. Automation is key here, allowing for more teamwork on the back end. A team of customer support reps, developers and editors will maintain the directory and continue to add new premium listings and blog content.

While the email marketing and digital ad buys will drive awareness, we also know that the content platform will help get the word out. As more lawyers sign up to contribute content and then share it across their networks through social channels like LinkedIn and Twitter, they will introduce our directory to their industry peers.

We will also be doing our own content marketing outreach with an emphasis on infographics and interactive media for maximum social shares and exposure within the legal community.

5. Seek out feedback directly from your potential customers.

Launching an online business without any feedback from your target customer base is foolish. You might have a great idea, but a gut feeling or intuition alone doesn’t mean it’s a viable business model. Taking the time to gather feedback and constructive criticism can help you avoid launching a dud and coming to market with a better product.

I spoke to countless attorneys and law firms before moving forward with this project. Taking their feedback and feature requests, I was able to create an offering that is highly desirable at a price-point that makes it affordable for any size law firm.

I sent emails and even picked up the phone and called random firms. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and listen to the feedback, both positive and negative. This step helped to polish the finished offering.

Final thoughts

Building a successful online business capable of generating millions of dollars in revenue requires a great idea and, more importantly, flawless execution. Everyone has ideas, but very few can execute them.

We are currently finishing the design and development of this project, which I will expand on in a future article, along with launch and growth strategies. To follow this project more closely, add me on Snapchat. My goal with sharing this project is to provide you with actionable advice that you can apply to help build your own online business.

The lifestyle and business of luxury yachting

Even during ancient times, men dared to conquer the open seas through an engineering marvel that changed the course of history – ship building. At present, the same idea of exploring the ocean or even just enjoying the freedom and fun that it has to offer has attracted people from different walks of life to invest in designing, building, and owning a more stylish and luxurious counterpart—luxury yachts.

 

Image source: northropandjohnson.com

 

Yachts come in different shapes and sizes. For instance, super yachts are designed to cruise islands and even countries on longer durations while others are just perfect for a day’s worth of recreation.

Many of those who are in the circle of owning this type of recreational vessel agree that it takes a lot of work, commitment, and money to maintain a luxury yacht. Even those who are engaged in the yacht charter business have pointed out some challenges that are unique to this industry.

 

Image source: businessinsider.com

 

For instance, if you are planning to own a yacht for business, there are several things that you should keep in mind.  Experts estimate that the cost of maintaining yacht is already 10 percent of the cost of its purchase. However, other facts can make this approximate non universal. So what makes operating and sustaining this complex floating machine costly?

The 10 percent covers fees for docking and maintenance. In addition, owners and charter businesses need skilled crew not only to properly man the vessel but also to keep it clean and everyone on board fed. However, fuel costs have the biggest price tag depending on the size of the vessel. At the America’s Cup 2017 in Bermuda—a well-known luxury destination and home to top financial companies such as the LOM Financial Group—it is typical for participants to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on their yachts.

The expenses may seem overwhelming but if done right, you’re in for a huge paycheck.

REPOST: You can now send your friends money inside iMessage

Tech giant Apple is integrating a new peer-to-peer payments service with its own digital wallet (Apple Pay), potentially creating a a killer feature that can eventually overtake existing similar services like Venmo and Square Cash payments. TechCrunch has the full story:

As part of iOS 11, Apple announced that users will now be able to send money to their friends via iMessage, and spend the balance via a virtual Apple Pay card.

The feature will be built into iMessage as an app, and essentially lets you send and request money with your contacts in one tap. The integration will also be able to do things like recognize when someone says “you owe me $10” and automatically prompt you to send them a payment.

Of course, sending money via iMessage isn’t new — companies like Square and Venmo already have iMessage apps that let you send payments via their platform. But owning the entire ecosystem is always what gives Apple the upper hand, and this time is no different.

Apple is integrating this peer-to-peer payments service with Apple Pay, which is what will make it a killer feature and eventually overtake Venmo and Square Cash payments. After someone sends you money, the balance lives on an Apple Pay virtual card stored in your Wallet app. While you can of course cash this money out to your bank account, you also can use the virtual card to pay anywhere Apple Pay is accepted, both in-store and online, without waiting a day for it to transfer to your bank account.

Essentially Apple is issuing every iOS user a virtual card that will hold a balance they can spend anywhere they want. It’s a brilliant move for Apple, since they (and any payments company) makes much more money when users hold and spend a balance instead of immediately cashing it out to their bank account.

 

Continue reading on this PAGE.

Revenue models: Advertisement-supported vs. Subscription-based

Several models of revenue generation have been instrumental in the success of big and small companies around the world. Since it is one of the key components in establishing a solid and promising enterprise, a reliable revenue model is most needed especially for early stages of startups.

There are the different types of revenue models depending on the products and services that companies offer. For instance, two of the most common methods are the advertising models and the subscription models. Each or a combination of both are the ideal choices for websites, magazines, newspaper firms, and a lot more.

Digital businesses and online media websites usually choose between advertisement-supported and subscription-based revenue models but as a business owner yourself, which one should fit best for your firm? This discussion might help you decide.

In definition, choosing an advertisement-supported revenue model requires a business or site to offer free content and services to customers and relies on advertising to make money. On the other hand, a subscription-based revenue generation means that your company will charge users for the services or content that you provide. Here are several pros and cons for each.

 

Image source: iash.org.uk

Advertisement Model

Pros:

  • Free content and services attract more users and reach a wider customer base.
  • A sizable number of users is attractive to advertisers who will pay to reach a large number of audience- specific customers to promote their own products and services.

Cons:

  • Advertising can be very costly. For TV ads, for example, production costs can go as high as $500,000 for national ads (or higher when there is a celebrity endorser) and placement can reach a similar amount for a 30-second prime-time spot on a national network.
  • There is a lack of ease in evaluating results. Measuring return on investment through advertising is nearly impossible to carry out.

 

Image source: business2community.com

Subscription Model

Pros:

  • Revenue generation is based on active customer engagement.
  • The possibility of attracting a loyal customer base will give your company a bigger opportunity to derive additional revenues in the long run.
  • Monthly or annual subscription sign ups means a regular and stable source of revenue.

Cons:

  • Leverage is limited and often, the only options are customer growth or cost reduction.
  • Higher emphasis on quality products or services, which can actually be a good thing. That means higher pressure on the company to keep paying customers happy.
  • Offers customers little control over which items they can buy (or otherwise).

REPOST: Bitcoin Tops $1,700, Hitting a New All-Time High

Are we entering the golden age of the Bitcoin technology? The rise in value for this cryptocurrency (virtual money) has been staggeringly swift. More insights from TIME Money:

Tsokur—Getty Images

Bitcoin continues to hit new all-time highs, and this time it has added $1 billion in market cap in less than 24 hours, according to data from CoinDesk.

Bitcoin prices as measured by the site stood at $1,718 as of Tuesday morning. The rise in value for the alternate virtual currency has been staggeringly swift. One year ago at this time, one unit of bitcoin was worth about $450. The value of bitcoin rose to over $1,000 by the end of the year, and then retreated to the low $900s in late March. Since then, prices have nearly doubled and keep breaking record highs, a phenomenal surge not seen since the fall of 2013.

Gold prices, meanwhile, stand at $1,225, which isn’t much different than they were one year ago.

The surge in bitcoin is being driven by a number of factors, according to Charles Bovaird, Lead Markets Writer for CoinDesk.

Some market observers have pointed to macroeconomic uncertainty in regions like Europe, where the fate of the European Union seemed increasingly uncertain leading up to the recent French presidential election, Bovaird explained in an email to Money.

Continue reading HERE.

Pretty penny: The three most expensive cities in the world

Recently numerous places have been popping up where travelers can go on ‘luxurious’ vacation for a fraction of the cost, and it’s all thanks to the Internet. Because of blogs and social media, travelling has never been more budget-friendly and democratized. With nothing as so much as the clothes on their back, they can experience everything that the city or country has to offer. Then there’s Zurich, Hong Kong, and Singapore, the three most pocket-boring cities in the world.

 

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. It is home to more than 3 million inhabitants and has the busiest airport and railways in the whole country. Living in the city is no joke for a single lunchtime meal which includes a drink in the business district and could reach up to US$26. Meals in fast food restaurants are significantly cheaper but still isn’t for the faint of heart for the diner will be spending 14 dollars on average.

Image source: myswitzerland.com

 

The second city on the list, Hong Kong, is an autonomous region in China. Upon examining its territorial area and the number of individuals who inhabit it, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Spending for electricity, heat, water, and garbage disposal for a month can easily reach US$200, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Image source: homejamesglobal.com

 

For the fourth time in a row, Singapore is the world’s most expensive city. For a single month, rent can exceed US$1,500, and that’s not even in the high-end neighborhoods. To live there, a person needs to dish out more than US$2,500 monthly.

Image source: absoluteinternship.com

 

Apparently, the aforementioned cities are wealthy cities. They are also relatively small (making real estate prices very high) and rely heavily on imported goods such as food and even water. When cash flow is robust, chances are prices are also extremely high. That means the likes of London, New York, Dubai, Tokyo, and even Hamilton in Bermuda (a well-known offshore financial center) can also be just as expensive.  Meanwhile, the world’s cheapest cities to live in are mostly found in poorer Asian and African nations, with the top three being Bangalore (India), Lagos (Nigeria), and Almaty (Kazakhstan).

REPOST: European markets are cheap – here’s how to invest (The Telegraph)

Europe’s current political climate is making quality stocks relatively affordable. Is now the best time to invest in this region? Know more from this article published on The Telegraph.

The forthcoming French election is one event scaring off investors

After what some have termed a “lost decade” economically, Europe now offers a potential bargain to investors willing to look through the political turmoil.

When the financial crisis hit, European markets fell to valuations cheaper than those in the US, and since then the American recovery has been stronger. The MSCI USA index has returned 82pc in five years in dollar terms, versus 28pc for the MSCI  Europe index – in pounds it’s 135pc to 64pc.

This performance has driven up valuations of American stocks while Europe now looks comparatively cheap on the basis of its “Cape” score – a popular valuation metric that compares share prices with average earnings over 10 years.

The US market has a Cape score (or “cyclically adjusted price to earnings ratio”) of 28, compared with 17 for developed European countries and eight for their less developed counterparts, according to Star Capital, a German investment firm.

Bill McQuaker, a multi-asset fund manager at Fidelity, said this disparity represented an anomaly relative to historic norms.

Continue reading HERE.

How To Start Investing And Be Organized About It

investment bankerIf you are tired of struggling with your financial life, it is about time to change that and allow the act of i
nvesting to turn your life around. It would require a lot of discipline and dedication on your end, but trust me that it is worth it. I have here some guides that would motivate you to start investing and actually become organized in doing it. I believe that a goal gets to be fulfilled with an organized thought and a disciplined lifestyle. You can apply that now with your investing plans.

Take a look at these tips that I have gathered from CNN Money, as to how you could make more money starting this year and not just depend on your salary’s pay.

 

  1. Get A 401K Plan: Companies usually offer this to their employees and I would suggest that you get it. This one actually is so far the easiest because your company would just have to set aside the money you will pay for it monthly. Any retirement plan that would just take money from your salary on a monthly basis is a good idea. If you want to do it independently, you can do it as well just make sure that the institution handling your money is legit.
  2. Extra Cash: Make use of your extra cash for investment. Don’t just spend some free money that you get on a new phone. If you can think of anything that would make it grow, do it. I’m talking about extra money like your Christmas gifts, allowances or anything that you have saved. Find a way to make it flourish even if it is just a small investment. Do not underestimate the power of a lemonade stand!
  3. Stay Updated: You can do this by having the latest apps in finance. I am not saying that you download them all, but one or two is suffice to keep you updated. Robinhood is a good app and it won’t charge you for buying a stock. And if you really want to start from the bottom all the way up (it’s less risky by the way), download Acorns and Stash and you can begin with an investment for as low as $5!
  4. Surround Yourself With Friends Who Are Into It: If you want to be a millionaire, you have to be passionate about it. One way to keep your passion burning is to always talk about it. This is why I suggest that you surround yourself with friends who share the same passion that you do. If you guys talk about your goals and aspirations in attaining some good portfolio in the market, then you are most likely to get it.

These are simple ways on how you could rewire your mind into being more organized and more motivated in your game plan in being an investor this time. 2016 is already looking good, don’t waste it! Star investing now!

 

 

Donald Trump And The Constitution

How come everyone’s hating on Donald Trump?

That is, except for my veteran ex-NSA neighbor.  I think he’s a big fan. Currently, my Facebook and Twitter feed is all my neighbor’s tweets about Donald Trump and how the guy is supposed to be on the right side of reason.  Now that’s a rare event considering that my neighbor usually just posts things once a month on Facebook, on average.  That’s why he managed to catch my attention this time.  I think this is something

worth investigating.donald trump

Okay, so Donald Trump, I first heard about him in the early 1990’s when I was just in grade school.  He was business scion with investments in the real estate, hospitality and entertainment industries. He was divorcing his first wife, Ivana, at that time, dumping her for his mistress, Marla. The tabloid story aspect was what caught my attention.  Maybe I was just too young at that time, still uninitiated to the harshness of life.  And so, the story horrified me.  My young mind couldn’t yet seem to grasp that kind of betrayal and infidelity.

The next instance that Donald Trump caught my attention was in 2004, when I saw him on TV on a few episodes of The Apprentice. I say “a few” because I couldn’t take watching the show for long.  I just graduated from studying accounting in college then.  Watching the apprentice made me feel both excited and worried about the corporate world I was about to enter.  Once again, Donald Trump made my stomach turn as I watched him ruthlessly evaluate each contestant and then end with the words “you’re fired.” Trump was the executive producer of that show and was paid $3 million per episode. His personal financial disclosure statement indicates that he made a total of $213 million for hosting the show.

After that, I never really paid much attention to Donald Trump.

Recently however, he’s been popping up in the news quite a bit.  And now, even my usually low key neighbor is ranting and raving on Facebook because of him.

Everyone knows that Trump suffers from a bloated ego. I would say he’s your typical jerk.  He doesn’t seem to have an internal filter and blurts out everything that comes to his mind, politically correct or not.   What I really find interesting, though, is that he doesn’t seem to care about what people think.  He makes his stand.  Period.  Regardless of the violent reactions his words may elicit.

Now, what he recently said about United States immigration has raised hell with the media and political establishment.  He’s been compared to Hitler and called a fascist. Barbara Walters asked him if he was a bigot. Even some of his own Republican party members are ripping at him.

Trump commented that Muslims should be temporarily stopped from entering the United States in reaction to what recently happened in San Bernardino, California – where a terrorist couple targeted a Department of Public Health office party of 80 employees, killing 14 people and injuring 22.

According to his critics, what Donald Trump proposed is appallingly unconstitutional. In a kneejerk reaction of first world magnanimity, the US media was quick to protect America from any oppressive ideas.

However, since my neighbor has been sharing all these posts about Donald Trump, I decided to click on a few of them.  From one of those posts, I gathered that, apparently, suspending admission to foreigners is allowed by the United States constitution where such admission would be detrimental to the nation’s interests.  President Carter did it during the Iranian hostage crisis.

Whether or not Muslim immigration is detrimental is one question.  But what I find crazy is how the media can make vigorous assertions about constitutionality, stirring up a firestorm, pulling all their hairs out, before they even get their facts straight.  Maybe they got carried away by the obnoxiousness of Trump, but I don’t think that’s enough excuse.

If I recall it right, President Obama also had some issues in the past regarding the unconstitutionality of certain of his acts. Like the issue about the use of drones and the issue where Obama would make appointees during Senate recess. But, I didn’t seem to hear any pots clanging over those.  How come the actions of the US President didn’t get that kind of media condemnation? He’s more powerful than Trump. If he and Trump were both fascists, the President would be the more dangerous one because he’s leading the country.  Trump is just a clown as of the moment.  He’s rich but he’s not in government, at least not yet.

Would someone like Trump do well as President of the United States?  Well, he’s proven that he can build his businesses, suffer a string of bankruptcies and then get back up to recover much of what he lost.  Forbes estimates his net worth to be around $4 billion as of 2015. He’s good at investing and running operating businesses.  Maybe he has a chance of helping the US economy recover as well.  And anyway his suggestion, turns out it wasn’t unconstitutional.

An Investor’s Guide to Short Selling

Believe it or not, but you can still invest on a stock that is about to decline. It may sound risky, but there are people who are doing it and are actually gaining money from it. This is a strategy called short selling. This short sellingtechnique is also applied when an investor wants his or her portfolio to gain some value when stocks are experiencing some bear market moments. It is basically a season when securities are declining and everyone is already having that negative outlook on the outcome of it.

This strategy in the industry of investing and finance makes a way for an investor to purchase something that is not owned by anyone. It is also a method where one could borrow an asset then selling it and even buying it again for a lower price just to return what he or she has borrowed.

This involves a seller and an asset that is declining in the market. Through this strategy, the seller would make the deal faster and short because it has to be bought back on the market. There would be a difference when it comes to the price when the asset was finally bought back and that would pretty much indicates how much money would a seller gain or lose from it.


You must know that this process is also coined as “selling short.” For it to take place, the asset or stock involved in the process of selling and buying them back must be something that is already bearish, which also means that its price is about to drop really low.

The questions is, why are there investors doing it knowing that it’s basically trying to make money from a declining piece. Well, the truth is, they do it as a back up plan and they use it for hedging. Speculators in the industry are also using it to capitalize from a bearing market, while hedgers use it for security in a way that it could secure their profit and even prevent them from losing money in their investment, I know that LOM’s brokers use this strategy as a part of their offshore bank accounts.

The hedgers are wise in this game, because they have this ability make their stock’s position stay long in the market. The money coming from these type of investors are amongst the active ones in the market and they are wise because they pick short positions from selected stocks to make way for their lost positions with others securities.

This technique is not for everybody. And of course, it is better if you have a good broker who will guide you through the whole process. It wouldn’t be a good idea anyway to just do it alone. It is also not something I would suggest that an investor should do all the time. In this case, timing is everything and a strategy that is well planned would help you gain profit from this technique. That’s right, this strategy also comes with another strategy that mostly savant brokers or experienced investors only know.