In the last few articles we have been talking about curation and making money from your efforts.
If you missed the first two articles please take a moment to read them.
They lay a strong foundation for what comes today. There is also an important action step in the second article.
You can read them here. They will open in a new window for your convenience.
Today we want to look at the big picture. In the next few articles we will fill in the blanks on what is covered today.
Stephen Covey famously said to "begin with the end in mind". I believe that's true and so want you to see the end goal before we dig into the nitty gritty.
I am a visual thinker and so like to see everything on one page as often as possible. For this reason I mind map almost everything I do.
Today I’d like to share with you my mind map for a curation business.
This is the same process I have used online and it’s the process I used to teach consulting clients as well.
One of the best things about this simple business plan is that it is step by step.
If you follow the steps you build a business. If you skip a step you will likely lose profits.
Best of all, each step is easy to do. I will cover each step in this free Quick Course on curation.
As you will see in the graphic above, there are six simple steps.
Let me cover each briefly today. Each will be covered in depth before the series is over.
The first step in the process is to choose your topic. You will be creating a web presence about this topic so that searchers can find you and so that your audience will have a place to call home.
Don’t laugh - if you do this well your site will become the one that your audience wants to visit frequently.
You will become a trusted resource for your readers.
A welcome friend, not a pest who is always pitching the next great thing.
If that sounds good to you, read on.
In article 2 I gave you a bit of homework. I asked you to identify your passion; to identify the niche from which you want to profit.
If you did that work please have that niche in mind as we move forward.
One word about niches, profits and passion. I often suggest to people they follow their passion and make a business from that.
I’ve been asked why I suggest that so let me explain.
There are three reasons I feel that following your passion will pay off more handsomely that just trying to “make money”.
ONE - Because you are passionate you won’t quit.
When you encounter challenges (and you will) your first thought will be “how can I solve this problem” and not “how can I get out of this thing”.
TWO - Because you are passionate you will have natural knowledge about the topic.
Let’s say golf is your passion. If it is you very likely play golf, watch golf on television, talk with friends about golf and you might even read some golf magazines.
This means you have a base of knowledge to work from and that gives you a huge head start.
THREE - Because you are passionate you will like the customers you make.
Please don’t discount this. It’s all too easy to build a successful business and have nothing in common with your customers other than the fact that you sold them something.
I heard Frank Kern say once that one reason he made so many changes (personally and professionally) is that he woke up one day and realized he did not like his customers and would be happy if he never heard from them.
Not a happy way to work.
If you are trying to make money with a topic that is foreign to you then you have none of these advantages.
Learn Curation from Charlie!
Your content problem is solved!
Once you have chosen a topic it’s time to do some research into that market.
This is a simple process that includes five easy steps.
My next article covers those steps in detail so I won’t cover that here except to say this.
It’s easy to do. You don’t need geeky skills and you won't have to spend money to get the information you need.
The curation business model is not about you being a great writer. If you love to write or make videos or create other forms of content that’s great. It will only help.
But it is not necessary at all.
Curation is about gathering together great content.
It’s about assembling together the best of the best and presenting it in a way that helps people who visit your site.
They visit, they find what they need, they like how you present it and then return. Simple.
They won’t care at all that you did or did not create the content. They will care very much that you saved them time, helped them get an answer they needed or helped them solve a problem.
We will cover exactly how to do that in an upcoming article. I will cover the tools I like and use as well.
For now do this - if you have chosen the topic you want to curate make a list of all the sites you know of right now that deal with this subject.
No need to go digging. Just make a list of the sites you know or have visited lately.
The next step in the curation business model is to publish the content you have gathered.
This publishing can take many forms, including ...
There are also sites like paper.li that specialize in helping you curate content.
I’ll cover those in my resources post as we travel through this series together. I’ll make specific recommendations as well as sharing what I’m doing.
You’ve heard it so many times you’re tired of hearing it by now. But it is still true and, in fact, more important today than ever.
You need a mailing list of your own to really succeed online.
I’ve written about this before so no need to cover that here.
But the logic is immutable. People who visit your site will want to hear from you and email is the #1 way to do that.
- They will want to know when you have new content.
- They will want to communicate with you personally if you offer that.
- And they will buy from you because they now know you, like you and trust you.
Now for the part most people like best - making money from all this work.
There are many many ways to do this.
The three I’m going to focus on are these ...
- Your own promotions
- Joint ventures with others
- Ads on your site
In each of these areas there are specific dos and don’ts. We will cover those in an upcoming article.
Today is about seeing the big picture.
Today is about taking the next step.
There you have it - six simple steps that can help you build a real online business. Not some pie in the sky “make $10,000 this week with no experience” bull but a real business.
- A business that can support you and your family.
- A business that earns profits every day even if you don’t work that day.
- A business with true book value; one that can be sold or passed on to your heirs.
This is a business model that can build such a business. And believe me when I tell you that owning such a business is a beautiful thing indeed!