partnerships

How to deal with broken partnerships

Over the last 18 months, I have been attempting to break through with a second SaaS Application to follow up RankMyKeyword.com. The idea I had was to bootstrap it by teaming up with a fellow web designer and web developer to create a robust team each containing a person specialized in a critical aspect of a successful SaaS app; a marketer (me), a web designer, and a web developer. It seem, at the time, like nothing could possibly stand in the way of creative genius. Heck, I even registered the domain triopreneur.com to coin the term as I assumed it would rapidly become the next “thing” in the entrepreneurial community like “solopreneur”, “micropreneur”, and “sidepreneur”.

What I discovered is that the more people you add to a bootstrap, the more likely you’ll fail. Looking back, I think it comes to where people are at mentally. Not everyone is ready to dedicate so much “free time” to something that may or may not work out and when you mix in family and day time jobs, you get varying degrees of commitment. That is not to fault anyone, but it has severely changed my mindset back to doing it solo or with one other person as a partner.

I am not against partnerships, rather I think they are vital to the creative process. The more brainpower the better the product and that is something that I’ll never stop believing in. The problem is, sometimes peoples priorities change and after two consecutive failures due to the human factor with the second one being on the cusp of something special, I needed to recommit myself to the idea of working on side projects.

Fortunately, I found a couple of quotes to get the motivation going again.

“There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” ~Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote

This quote gave me the feeling that though a lot can go wrong, the changing the world (my world especially) is worth the endeavor.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~Thomas Edison

The failure part is such a drag, but with each failure I have increased my experience and knowledge, thus making me a better entrepreneur and business person.

So after reading the ebook The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping, I decided it was time to try something that did not require web design or web development. That way, if a partnership disintegrates, I will be left with something I can finish with my own creative energy and expertise.

Once again, I am teaming up with a friend who has expertise and experience I do not possess. However, this time, I can control whether or not it is ultimately another failed attempt at something special. The thought has reinvigorated me after five months of expecting the worse only to unfortunately see the worse come to fruition.

Ain’t being an entrepreneur grand?

seo-backlinks

How important are backlinks to your Google rankings?

I am a huge fan of MozBlog and, in particular, their whiteboard Friday’s. To me, they are the SEO Mecca for anyone in the industry. Google also pays close attention to what they say and recommend because they are such a leader within the SEO industry. Because of that, they sometimes gloss over reality in order to avoid angering Google, but overall they offer excellent advice on how Google’s algorithm works and also where they think Google could be trending with their future algorithmic updates.

When I sat down for this post, I went looking for an old whiteboard Friday post from earlier this year that talked about the value of links within Google’s algorithm. It’s a hot button topic within the industry between borderline black hatters from forums like WarriorForum and white hat purist from Moz. I’ve frequented both areas to keep me well informed between how things should work and the way things actually work. The white hat tactics definitely work, but only if you have thousands of dollars each month to dedicate full-time staff towards “doing it right” and the real world of much smaller budgets along with the pressure to get those rankings at any costs. There is little in between, unfortunately and I’ve had to do SEO both ways in order to meet certain demands. Obviously, I prefer the right way to the cheap way, but the real world doesn’t always care about the right way… Read more

saas-application

Mistakes to avoid when building your first SaaS application

One of the hardest things I have ever done was getting a Software as a Service (SaaS) Applicaton built and working. In fact, after nearly two full years, my first SaaS app, Rank My Keyword, is still in development and is pretty close to being ready for re-releasing to the public. However, had I not made so many mistakes along the way, it would have been rocking and gaining income for over a year now. As this project finally wraps up, I am already looking ahead to additional SaaS apps, while making sure I avoid those horrendous mistakes I made with the first one. If you too are looking to create a SaaS app for yourself, you would do well to listen to what I have to say here. Read more

google-plus

Why you may not realize Google Plus is awesome

I am a pretty huge Google Plus fan, even though almost none of the people I am connect with on Facebook are using it. Most of the active users in my circles are professional connections or other bloggers and I seriously consider that a damned shame considering how awesome Google Plus is. In this post, I’ll go over some of the features Google Plus offers that make it obliterate anything Facebook offers.

The good news is that Google+ is growing rapidly in 2014 after three years of very disappointing growth numbers. The joke of it being a ghost town is becoming more and more an exaggeration each month. I think a big part of that shift is due to several major functionality releases from 2013, most of those are actually on my list here for why Google+ is awesome. The numbers paint an interesting story too. Read more

blogging-tips

5 blogging tips for structuring a post for SEO

I have been blogging actively since 2007 and have learned a lot about SEO along the way. In fact, my blogging evolved into a career of doing SEO for a living. From sports blogging for Mile High Report to blogging for my current employer at I-Tul Design & Software, there are basic strategies for organizing a blog post that go a long way to building long term residual traffic from it. You will notice these blogging tips are all met within this post as well.

Many SEO professionals say you should focus on a specific keyword and write posts around it, but I’ve always hated that line of thinking. It is much better to pick a topic to write about and just write it. If you blog regularly, you will end up targeting more than enough keywords over time and Google will send you residual traffic for years to come. My blogging tips today will be focused more around writing in a way that maximizes the blog post for your readers, while optimizing it for Google’s algorithm as well. The first is far more important to your blog’s health and success than the second, but without the second it is difficult to capture new readership. Read more