Every now and then, I come across this curious phenomenon. Especially when talking to people wanting to start their online business, and make some serious cash with it.
I don’t know what it is… but it seems increasingly people are wary of using the best online tools and by tools I mean services. Even best-of-breed stuff such as Aweber (which by the way I have been using since 2004 and never felt a need to switch).
Maybe it’s the will to be 100% sufficient, some of the time it’s due to real concerns such as translating the user interface into some other language.
But I’d say most of the time it’s just plain old mistrust of environments you cannot control, by definition. And the curious psychology of not wanting to pay some small fee every month, even if it’s just ten dollars or something negligible like that. Go figure.
Sometimes, after some discussion the entrepreneur I’m talking to will end up realizing using tried and tested services will have it’s advantages. Such as with email; delivery rates and marketing-friendly policies.
Other times, I just end up shrugging and saying: sure, you CAN do it all but it’ll cost you more upfront. Perfectly fine. So if you’re one such person, don’t feel bad. If you have a good reason to do it that way, you can. Here’s a setup I’d personally recommend you start with.
On with the tech! We’ll go over every baseline need you’ll need to cover.
#1. First off, whatever you do, you’ll need a blog. Download WordPress for free, ad install it on your own domain, anything else is just silly and a waste of your time.
(For domains, I’d recommend GoDaddy, and Hostgator for hosting. (These two you basically cannot help but buy as a service, unless you’re buying servers and really going crazy 🙂 ) This runs you about $20 to start and $10 monthly.)
If you’re inexperienced with blogging and just want to get started quickly, I recommend the excellent Become a Blogger course by the Brisbane dynamic duo Gideon Shalwick and Yaro Starak.
There’s a reason I recommend you start with a blog though. It’s not just for the sake of keeping a diary or even to show off your expertise. Your blog is a baseline for the rest of your online business and it’s also where people will likely first get exposed to your stuff. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Not strictly necessary, but to make managing your blog a breeze, and maximize its search engine friendliness, I’d recomment the Thesis theme framework. That’ll run you some $87.
#2. Next, you’ll need to have people signing up to your email list. If you want to do this 100% independently, then the software you’ll need is Autoresponse Plus. That’ll be another $197 dollars.
#3. Finally, you need to start thinking about selling a product of your own. And for that, the essentials would be Wishlist membership software and Optimizepress for easily creating those snazzy looking opt-in pages, sales pages and managing a product launch. These two run you $97 each.
Both integrate directly into WordPress. See now why I recommended you to start with a blog? Now you can use that baseline to leverage it into a recurring money stream, straight from what you already know and have invested not only money but your time with.
As for payment processing, that’s the part of this I really don’t recommend you do by yourself. First, it’s tricky and time consuming, and second, you don’t want to have it rob your attention – stay focused on providing the value to your customers.
I could add a couple more things but this is just about it.
So what’s the total?
This setup costs you a one-time combined amount of $478 dollars. Plus hosting costs and payment processing which you do NOT want to handle yourself.
So that’s the minimum cost of complete independence on the internet! When you combine this with the minimum cost of buying a ‘package solution’ or a CRM suite, let’s say, it’s clear that this option I laid out for you will be about ONE TENTH of the alternative. Plus you’ll be 100% in control, not some consultants or customer service.
If indepence and online business is where it’s at for you, I recommend you to take the first step and set yourself up. When you do that, you’ll see the next peak from the one you first climb onto.
I promise you, the sights can be breakthtaking! 😉
PS. Yes, some of the sites listed may or may not have some copy written by me. Please do not think that dilutes the message here one blueberry bit. If you want to be 100% independent, here’s where you start. And yes, if you click on some of the links in this post and order something, I just might get paid a tiny, tiny commission and enjoy a quick espresso on some dastardly cold Helsinki morning on your behalf. In the event that happens, I promise to think of you warmly.
PS. Almost forgot. While tech might be important, it’s NOT everything. To go with this setup, also consider the Internet Marketer’s Declaration of Independence. It’s a fun little thing (yet truthful) piece I wrote a couple of years ago, and it’s still as valid as ever. Go on, claim your independence today!