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  >    >  Virtual Meetup Summary on Starting a Blog or Business and Breaking Free!
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Hey guys! Thanks so much again for attending today’s virtual meetup! So great to see you all again! As usual, here are the notes and announcements from today in regards to starting a blog or travel business:

Annnouncement #1: I am now offering personalized daily ongoing support to help you market and research your business or blog. I will meet with you daily or however often you’d like and we will work together to really get you off the ground and to plan each step with a goal and purpose! I will provide mentorship and personalized support for all of you for 2 months. A 50% discount is offered for  virtual meetup attendees only! Remember the promo code I gave. If you forgot it, just message me or email me at info@purplehoodadventures.com. Here is the link for the 2 month mentorship! https://purplehoodadventures.com/product/virtual-ongoing-personal-travel-and-business-assistance-2-month-subscription/

Announcement #2: Just because we are all physically quarantined doesn’t mean we have to be mentally quarantined! I’m now offering 10 session signups for private virtual travel sessions which include things like cooking classes from dishes from around the world, world crafting, virtual hikes, private travel destination info sessions, etc. This is now 50% off through Easter Sunday only! I’m SO excited for these!! Here is the link!! https://purplehoodadventures.com/product/virtual-travel-fun-private-group-2-month-membership/

Announcement #3: Next virtual meetup will be on Sunday, April 19th and the topic will be hikes around the world! Sign up here: https://purplehoodadventures.com/meet-us-in-a-virtual-location/

 

Here are notes from today’s discussion:

-We talked today about the importance of adding your own touch to things. No matter how saturated the market may seem, YOU will ultimately make it successful. Don’t be afraid to be a personal part of your business. Go the extra mile for everyone you serve and help and let your passion and your real voice show through because THAT is what people want to see and what is going to separate you from just any old business or blogger in it for the money!

Planning: Make a general business plan and do a cost analysis. These don’t have to be extremely complicated, but you should consider some of the following information before starting:

-What is your niche? Do you have a unique idea or are you simply looking to build something similar to what’s out there? Note that although it’s great if you have a unique idea, it’s OK if you don’t! Chances are there will be someone out there doing what you want to do 10x better (at least before YOU get started!) but you’ll work on making that specific product or service better or more unique in its own way For example: My business is about travel AND entrepreneurship and creativity. Maybe your blog will be about foods from around the world or specifically focused on budget travel.

-Your budget and the fixed costs (known frequently occurring expenses like website subscription) as well as the variable costs (costs which are expected to change like marketing that month). Do you plan on hiring people down the road or will you be doing 100% of the work? Think about it you might need a business loan to get your feet off the ground.

*Note: Always save for unexpected costs!! If you have a surpluss of income from your business, it may be tempting to spend it right away to build even more, but always have a back up just in case something goes wrong! You’ll thank yourself later when something unforeseeable like a pandemic happens and you’re still going strong!

-Think about your specific plan on how you plan to make money if that’s what you’re looking to do. What will drive income? How much can you expect to make in a month? Think in terms of monthly income and not yearly.

-Look into legalities and licenses to make sure you bases are covered. Are there state laws? Do you need to hire legal support?

 

 Research your competitors: See how they’ve set up their website. Is there something missing that you’d like to have on your site?
Talk to previous or current employees about what they like about working for that business (i.e. think about Uber. Is there something the drivers all wish would happen? If so, maybe you could find a way to incorporate something like that in a similar driving service business).

-Look at Adwords (where advertisers bid on certain keywords in order to appear in searches). There are specific things you can do to research your competitors on what Google Adwords they are using. Check it out! https://www.spyfu.com…­

 

Building a website:

Some popular platforms people use are the following:

1. Wix (outwardly user friendly but may not be conducive for more complicated websites)

2. Squarespace

3. Wordpress.org (the one everyone talks about where you can customize it and add plugins)

4. Wordpress.com (less customizable but simpler I believe)

*Think theme of your site if you use Wordpress. Theme is what you’ll actually be working with on Wordpress. Find a theme that really resonates with your blog or business. I use Backpack Traveler theme. Divi is another popular one but expensive. Astra is another popular free one.

*Note: if you use Wordpress, you’ll need a host like Host Gator or Bluehost or what not.

*Lon Kaufman is a member of Purple Hood Adventures Cleveland group and he is a Wordpress guru. He helps design websites and will help you with tech support. He’s great! Here is his demo site: travel.marketekom.com

*You don’t HAVE to have a website to start a business. Some people just use social media. I would recommend a website for those who are blogging, however!
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Popular social media to market yourself with: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Affiliate marketing: This is where you are able to sell products or even blogs related to your own content on your own site. If a site visitor clicks on that product and buys it or uses it, you will get a percent commission for that product.
Some affiliate sites I personally use are:

1. cj.com (this is the Commission Junction that I showed you guys and it’s the most common one out there)

2. commissionfactory.com

3. viator.com

4. partners.agoda.com

5. booking.com

6. clickbank.com

7.tripadvisor.com

8. Amazon affiliates program

How do you use affiliate marketing? You can place links in your blog, widgets and even search boxes through simple HTML and Java Script code directly on your site.

After you’ve fully developed your site and your niche and after you’ve finished your budget plan and special branding, get the word out there! It’s time to go live!

Some ways:
Social Media
Word of mouth and fliers (one of the rare free ways!)
Business parnterships and relationships with customers-go that extra mile to build your reputation!
Hashtags, SEOs (Search Engine Optimization) and Adwords to attract the right people directly to what you have to offer
Here is that link to a site I found to talk more about some of this (and no they’re not an affiliate of mine but I wish they were! Just a lot of good information!) https://www.searchenginejournal.com/local-seo-guide-15-marketing-techniques-to-promote-your-business-online-by-steven-macdonald/51823/#close

For more information about all of this, listen to one of my podcasts which talks about all of this in depth as I interview a member of my Cincinnati meetup group about her journeys and as we discuss the ins and outs of beginning your business: You can find this in episode #8 on this page: https://purplehoodadventures.com/purple-hood-adventures-podcast/

In sum, be patient with yourself! Set aside a small amount of time every day. Even if it is only an hour, you will thank yourself! 🙂

Some other ideas for starting a business are podcasting, tour guiding like my friends in New Zealand, being an independent travel agent, anything! The sky is NOT the limit! Remember. YOU are what will get you there! You have it in you and all you have to do is start! I’ll be there to help with anything you need!

Thanks again everyone and hope to see everyone on Sunday the 19th! 🙂 Have a good evening!

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