Goals Update

Back in July I talked about tackling a larger project then the links directory. While the directory was an interesting venture, I thought I would take on the task of building a forum or community. While it took a couple of weeks to purchase the domain I wanted, the actual setting up of the site went relatively smoothly. Of course the hard part only started once the site went live, since a forum lives or dies by its membership. Forums require constant monitoring to make sure that people are not joining just to spam other members with ads for Viagra and the likes. I have had to ban 6 new signups already due to spam. Even as I launched the site, I was thinking of additional ideas for the site in order to attract more members, as I am hoping to grow the forum. Currently the site is just over a month old, and already has 70 members.

I now have a way greater appreciation of what it takes to setup and run a forum. It cost way more then I thought it would to get the project this size off the ground, and I am not sure that I will be able to monetize the forum for at least a year so there is no way to recoup the money at least not in the short run, but in the long run, I think the forum will pay dividends. In the meantime, I will wait and see.

Directory Startup Costs

So after reading my last post your ready to create your own directory, but are wondering about the costs.  Well I will tell you.  There are really two types of costs to a directory site.  The upfront costs and the ongoing costs.  The upfront cost includes things like the cost of the script and inital domain purchase.  While the ongoing costs would be things like the yearly domain registration fee, hosting fees and the like.

If you wanted to create a similar directory site, your only upfront cost is the $49.99 for the directory script.  There was no domain purchase price since I did not purchase the domain on the secondary market, I hand registered it. Buying a domain off the seconday market can be expensive, but might be worth it if the domain already has traffic especially if it is Type-in traffic.  I choose to use one of the domians I had on hand for the project.  I had hand registered it a couple months back, and had just had it parked since.  For being a new domain, it was still getting about 20 type-ins a month.  Not a great deal of traffic, but worth the registration fee.  Back to the costs.  My ongoing costs with be the year domain renewal fee and hosting which would be about $28.00/yr or less.  To break even in your first year, the site needs to bring in about $78.00 or 6.50 a month.  Of course once the upfront costs are covered, the site will only need to bring in $2.35/month to break even. Which should be doable, but only time will tell.

First Directory

It is really amazing how fast time flies. It has already been over a month since I set my goal of creating a least a one site a month for the next twelve months, and I am happy to say that the first site is live. While I was planning on creating a car related site for one of the domains I owned, I decided that it would be better to setup a directory site instead.

The site is a directory of related sites for a niche I am already involved in and is closely related to one of my e-commerce stores. As I mentioned before, I was seem to have accumulated quite a few hobby related domains, and I thought this would be a good way to monetize one of them. While I am not expecting it to take off right away, I think that as time goes on it Will get more and more sites listed and the revenue it generates from advertising will grow. For the first couple of month, the site will show mostly Adsense since it will be hard to attract advertisers to the site while it is still stuck in the Google’s sandbox. Once it is listed in the search engines, I should better be able to monetize the site.

I looked at a couple of different directory scripts, before I decided to go with a directory script programmed by Simon over at eSyndiCat.com. The more I looked over the script the more I liked it. It had all the features I was looking for, and at $49.99 for a single site, the price was right. Even better was the fact that they offer an unlimited version for an extra hundred bucks. There is even a free version that is worth checking out if you want to try before you buy. So if you are planning on building a lot of directory sites, this script is worth checking out.

How much do you really need?

While talking with a couple of friends we got on the topic of how much money would be enough to quit our day jobs. Would $50/day be enough? Maybe $100/day? For me I figure it would be somewhere in the middle, but then I got thinking. We were only looking at one side of the coin so to speak. The other side is our monthly expenses. It is truly amazing how much money we spend without even thinking about it. Take my Starbucks addiction for example.

Our daily trips to Starbucks or even eating out a couple times a week are all a major drain on the old pocket book. If we want to quit, we will need to watch our expenses more closely. Let’s take my morning coffee for example; my morning venti caramel macchiato costs $5.14 ($4.80 + tax). It is a reward I give myself for getting my ass out of bed and making it to work, and while it does not seem like much, when we total it up weekly (25.70) or monthly (~$111) it really adds up. My daily caffeine fix costs about $1336 a year! So if I was willing to give it up, I would need less money to live on and I might only need $72.00/day instead of the $75.00 I originally figured.

You need to ask yourself two questions. How much do I really need, and what am I willing to give up to achieve my goal! Once you do that you will realize that your goal is close then you thought.

Goals for my Blog?

Back in May, I talked about my goals for “becoming an internet entrepreneur “. What I did not touch on was my goals for my blog, partly due to the fact that I did not have any goals for my blog. Do I need to have goals for my blog? After all it was created as a way to help other learn how to create multiple streams of income using the internet, and to document my own progress in my achieving my goal of freeing myself from my cubicle.

Not having a goal for my blog has not really been a problem, but after reading thru a post on the Problogger website, I have decided that I should come up with a couple goals for the site. Incase you have never heard of Problogger , it is a blog devoted to making money online with your blog. It also has suggestion on how to increase your readership as well as tons of helpful hints on blog layout and monetizing your blog. Defianetly worth reading if your have your own blog and are trying to figure out ways to monetize it.

There are really only two goals I would like to set out of myself for the next six months and as luck would have it they are both very closely related. First, I would like to increase the frequency with which I post new material, and second, I would like to increase readership. In 6 months I should hopefully have achieved my goals and will be able to set new ones for 2007. In the meantime if you have any topics that you think could or should be discussed, please let me know and I will do my best to cover them.