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Lengthy - If you knew then - what you know now.advice? Lengthy.

41y/o experiencing life change..

     
8:40 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Folks,

I'm very new to the forum, and have the usual noobie fears of opening my mouth and sticking my foot in it, but here goes... The advice I'm soliciting is expected to be general in nature, as I have much self-study to accomplish. What follows is probably too much information for what I am asking, but I'm trying to be thorough. It's a long post, and for those that hang with me, your advice will be much appreciated.

My young family and I are looking to make major life changes. Namely, cashing out of our home, buying down in a new market, and using up to five figures or so to start a business or two. I've perused this forum for some time, I'm an IT manager that's never spent a week building web sites, but I understand the potential financial opportunities to be found here. Facing yet another contract expiration, I've decided that my future goals would be better served by going it on my own. Ultimately, my desire is to create a web-based business cash flow source that will allow me time to pursue my other goal of becoming a professional painter (as in portrait and gallery work). I will have several months with which to concentrate on learning and developing my future internet venture.

To start off with, my wife and I plan on developing an informational/ magazine-like website very specific to our situation, which is an emerging niche family lifestyle market. Using this website to generate revenue is one of my goals.

I am very interested in opinions on what would be the best business model for generating a steady revenue stream, without constant tweaking. I'm interested in those business models that would eventually give me the freedom to spend the time necessary to become the next Norman Rockwell!

I say this because I understand from reading WW posts that many of you work your tails off. And from my limited exposure to your posts, I perceive that many of you do quite well in your ventures. I do not wish or expect to short-cut my learning curve, and I don't expect unrealistic rewards for limited efforts.

But what I'm curious about is, what direction sounds most appropriate for my long term goals? As I discover Google's AdWords and AdSense, Affiliate programs, and dropshipping/retailing, I wonder, which of these models will have me up all night in front of the monitor two years from now, and which ones will allow me to wind them up and let 'em go?

Of course, I don't expect to have a turnkey, completely hands-off business, but:

*in ranking, which business models require more time vs. less?

*And how many hours per day do you spend in your endeavor?

Is everyone here a workaholic, or are there people like me looking for and getting that extra time with the family, etc?

Thanks ahead of time for your valued opinions.

Pete B

1:55 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I co-own an ecommerce company in the IT sector and it is a full time gig for 4 people thus far. I'm as tied to the business as I would be to a regular salaried position. I work around 50 hrs per week 50 weeks per year. I can suit myself to some extent, but i have to keep developing the business or somebody is going to nail us.

I think you are looking for the holy grail. a business that brings in good income with a modest amount of ongoing involvement. I've no doubt it is possible. Some kind of adsense site might do it, though, in my experience of running adsense, it is hard to get a good ROI on the time invested in it.

if you can create a community and get the community to create the content then you may well have a chance but that will take a lot of up front effort to get off the ground.

8:08 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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*in ranking, which business models require more time vs. less? - depends on the competition for teh keywords so its impossible to say

*And how many hours per day do you spend in your endeavor? - Again impossible to say, I can spend weeks working flat out night and day really erratic behaviour. Then again I wont touch the same site for months at a time.

I think if your oing to do this your going to need to work at it for teh averag working week to start with then sit back and see if its going in the right direction.

The problem with the web design/running sites is not only is a hobby that people enjoy but also pays money which is a side effect of running the site.

An infinite loop like it/earns money/like it more/earns more. so on

11:17 pm on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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<if you can create a community and get the community to create the content then you may well have a chance but that will take a lot of up front effort to get off the ground.>

Thanks Jack_Hughes, this is exactly what I am looking for.

Would a forum count as creating the content?

This is where my interest lies. How will the content created by our community translate into revenue, and from whom will that revenue come?

I guess what I'm asking is, let's make a big assumption and say that our niche is anxiously awaiting our arrival on the web. We appear, they visit, they read, absorb, and appreciate what they've found. They join our forum, and share their thoughts, ideas and opinions, subscribe to our newsletter, and most of all, come back often.

My wife is extraordinarily knowledgable in her endeavor, and we want to present this knowledge as information in a website (business model #1). There's a local, regional and national (if not international) interest in this knowledge.

What revenue mechanism(s) should I have in place to take advantage of this traffic? Is my revenue going to flow from affiliates as I review and recommend products they sell? Will the revenue come from the inclusion of AdSense ads? Are there other means I'm missing of translating all of these visitors and repeat visitors into revenue? I'm sure most people on the WW forum already understand these methods, this is where I have to apologize as a noob.

I'm invisioning a well developed, full of content website, including forums or message boards for the various regional localities, and periodic newsletters.

The competition is weak in my novice opinion, and the interest is strong in this niche.

I am basically wondering if I can achieve cash flow upwards of $3k per month using this model.

Hopefully I will look back on this as one of those laughable "first posts"...

Thanks,

8:11 am on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>Is everyone here a workaholic, or are there people like me looking for and getting that extra time with the family, etc?

I was always looking for the extra time with my family, but, to achieve that I had to become a work-a-holic, working 18 hours a days for 3+ years!

Today, I don't work at all. I get to spend all my time with my family, but, I almost lost them in pursuit of that goal!

I did nothing but sleep and work for a long time in their lives, now it has paid off, but, they hated me for doing it to them at that time.

I've often thought (in hindesight) that a more balanced approach would have worked better, but, I seriously doubt it would have! You have to achieve your goal, you have to be 101% dedicated, there really isn't any room for balance and winning.

Those that think they can do 50% work and 50% family will always fail. Those that do 101% work today, and 100% family tomorrow will win, provided the family stick around that long!

8:34 am on May 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Would a forum count as creating the content?

it might be part of it. though forums are notoriously difficult to monetise.

it is going to be tough. if you keep in mind what properties the opportunity requires, then you should be ok. but, there is every chance that your first, second, third go may not work...our first idea bombed big time. we blew all of the money we raised bringing it to market. then we had to thrash around to find something else on no money. we were lucky, we found something in six months or so but it could very easily have been different.

we have around 20 articles or so with adsense on them. it is amazing how much of a difference there is in the income of the various articles. so now i know where to put the effort into if i want more adsense income. but, i would never have known without doing the articles largely on spec with no real expectations that i'd get paid later on.