Starting a business vol 4

In volume 3 we talked a little about building the website and finding a payment service. Lets take a look at getting a little publicity for the service and our first subscriber.

Seeing as none of the four partners had any experience with marketing whatsoever, the next bit was probably the hardest. It also remains the hardest part, but we’re learning as we go. As I have stated in one of the previous volumes, our budget has remained tight from the very beginning so it was of utmost importance to have whatever marketing course we took cost a minimal amount. Of course the first thing we started looking for is a way to publicise the company for free.

There are a few free news sites that can be posted to, so we posted a news release of sorts to those, and we began a viral marketing scheme. Anyone who has ever created a successful marketing plan will tell you that it does no good to spend a bunch of money if nobody knows your name afterwards. Of utmost importance is that you name is seen and recognized. We took care of the seen part as best we could with what we had. Every signature for email or forum that any of us have has the URL for distroofthemonth in it. Everytime we could suggest DOTM without spamming, we did. And in the end, we had moderate success with it.

Much like any other site like ours, we began looking into ways for the site to make more money for us to help us with early expenses. We added Adsense from Google. If you don’t know what that is, Google it. 🙂 We also started a Adwords campaign through Google shortly after and the Adsense seems to pay for the Adwords at this point. Of course with more traffic to our site, more clicks on the ads and more Adwords ads we can buy. It becomes cyclical. A self-sustaining, if inefficient, marketing campaign.

At this point we were several months into the project and had been live for about one. All four of us were beginning to wonder if we were going to become a massive failure. We had no problem generating hits for our site, however, we seemed to be having a problem parting those visitors from their money. It turns out we shouldn’t have worried, because within two months of going live we had our first subscriber and we haven’t looked back since(well, maybe a little).

At this point in this series, you have caught up with us. We are currently planning our first mailing to our subscribers on October 1st, 2005. The product is ordered, mailing is taking care of, and at the moment we’re just tying up the loose ends. When we’ve completed the first mailing, I’ll post something for vol 5.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.