Creating a blog couldn’t be easier and yet more complicated in 2020.
There are so many different things to think about, and yet so many different platforms you can use to streamline the process.
Understandably you’ll already have an idea of what you want to write about, I, unfortunately, can’t help you with that, but what I can do is show you how you can set up a killer blog that will drive readers to your website.
We’ll take you through what you’ll need to get started, our five steps to setting your blog up, the best blogging platforms to use, how to get your blog discovered, and the do’s and don’ts of blogging.
But first, we need to establish what type of blog you want to set up.
What type of blog?
Firstly you’ll want to have a goal in mind. What are you aiming to achieve through your blog?
Do you want to pull in more users to your sales pages by writing about your brand, to increase its publicity?
Do you want to build a blog that promotes brands and products from other companies?
Or do you just want to set up a blog documenting your travels around the world?
In order to pick the right software for you, you’ll want to have a grasp before you start of how big this blog is going to be, whether you’re going to monetize it, and what type of blog it’s going to become.
For example, if you’re planning on building an affiliate blogging programme, where you promote other brand’s products and call readers to action to but the products, you’ll be writing a lot of content and will benefit from having a more comprehensive blogging system with lots of plugins to promote sales.
But if you’re looking to just set up a personal, or a personal brand blog talking about yourself and your brand, you may not perhaps need as many comprehensive features as you would if you were building an affiliate blog.
You may also want to build an online portfolio of your work, which could require an entirely different piece of blogging kit, as opposed to the traditional blog that hosts articles and journals.
What you’ll need to get started.
There are 3 key things you’ll need to get up and running.
- A blogging platform.
After you’ve identified the type of blog you want to set up, plus whether you’re going to make money from it, you’ll then need to pick a blogging platform tailored to your needs. Many people chose to operate on WordPress as it is one of the most comprehensive blogging systems going, but they forget platforms like Wix and Squarespace that are great for both helping you save and make money and are great options for those who are less tech-savvy and are new to the blogging game. Plus if you’re blogging for business, you might want to think about using LinkedIn for your business blog.
We’ll go into more detail on what blogging platforms are best for your needs shortly, but make sure to keep in mind your objectives and technical experience when choosing the right platform for you.
- A hosting platform.
Every website needs a web host to store their website’s information on the internet. A web host is an online service provider that will store your website’s information on one of its online servers. This will put your blog out there to the world. The best web hosts will perform a variety of functions for you, for example, Wix is an all-in-one package that will host your website for you, allow you to register a domain name, and has easy to use website design tools to help you start your blog.
Web hosting can be expensive though so make sure you pick the best value for money host that can cater to the amount of traffic you have running through your website. Check out our post on the 11 best hosting providers. [Insert blog link here
- A domain name.
I’m sure by now you already know what sort of blog you want to set up, whether that’s a travel, blog, a blog accompanying your online store, or perhaps an affiliate marketing product review blog. You’ll have a niche and an idea and now all you need is a name. Every website online has what’s called a domain name. It’s included in the website address at the top of your search bar, for example, our domain name is www.digitalsupermarket.com
You’ll need to register a domain name after you purchase a hosting plan, to enable customers to find your site quickly and easily. One good tip is to find a hosting platform like Bluehost or GoDaddy that will provide you with a free domain name when you register for one of their web hosting plans as domain registration can be fairly pricey. Pick a great domain name that is easy for customers to read and type into Google so they can find it easier online.
TOP TIP: To increase your blog’s search engine ranking, and to help more people find you on Google, try to pick a domain name that has either a .com or .co.uk ending. These domains often rank a lot higher in Google searches than .org’s, .net’s, and .info’s, and for that reason can be slightly more expensive, yet can help boost your site’s reach and credibility.
The Best Blogging Platforms For You.
There are a wealth of platforms out there catering to all your blogging or online portfolio needs. We have listed some of the main ones below shedding some light on what needs they service and why they might be a great option for you.
WordPress - The best software to give you full customisation.
WordPress is perhaps one of the most renowned blogging platforms in the world, running approximately 35% of the internet
. It’s favoured highly by professional bloggers because it gives you total freedom to do whatever you want with your blog. WordPress can help you build your blog using one if its search engine optimised themes, you can customise using its drag and drop website builder tool to create a stunning blog.
What’s more, is you’ll be able to use its professional blogging service to post your content online and take advantage of the hundreds of third party app plugins, you can integrate into your blog, to improve automation, add new features, and drive traffic to your site. The only downside of WordPress is that it can be quite technical and can take some time getting used to, but once you’ve got the hang of things, you’ll have great control over everything on your webpage.
- Full customisation
- Domain name registration
- Fully scalable
- Tons of third-party plugins and apps
- Technical and can take some getting used to
- Not the best if you’re not tech-savvy or are just starting out.
Wix - Best for monetizing your site.
Wix is probably the most streamlined and easiest blog providers. It’s so simple and easy to use, it’s therefore great for anyone just starting out in the blogging world. You can customise one of its stunning templates with Wix’s drag and drop editor, and then upload blog posts to your site by slotting in pictures, gifs, social media buttons, sidebars, and other widgets that will help your blog stand out.
One of the coolest features about Wix is its marketplace integration, where you can install a whole variety of third-party applications to your blog to provide your users with greater features and usability. Wix is the perfect all-in-one blogging solution to help you easily build a platform to amplify your business to the world, helping you to make more money, but it can also save you a lot of money as it’s cost-efficient plans roll up, web hosting, blog posting, and domain registration all into one product!
Check out our Wix review and our comparison of Wix and Squarespace for a deep dive into Wix’s main blogging features. [Insert link here
- Streamlined and easy to use blogging software
- Includes as a package, web building tools, domain registration, and web hosting
- Tons of third-party plugins and apps on the Wix marketplace
- Great platform to help make money and save money on its reasonably priced subscription plans
- Don’t get the same full control as you see with WordPress
- Locked into using Wix’s templates.
Squarespace - Best for creating visually stunning blogs.
Squarespace is very similar to Wix, in that it is an all-in-one web building and blogging platform that can help you build a blog you can monetize efficiently. It sets itself aside though through its better design and customisation features, making it one of the best platforms on the marketing if you’re looking to design a visually aesthetic blog. I’d recommend using this platform if you are a business operating in some sort of design, arts, or culinary industry.
Although it offers minimal template options, Squarespace’s templates are works of art and offer you great customization when building your blog. Plus Squarespace offers a great blogging tool that lets you schedule posts and customize your blog to suit more mobile audiences.
- Streamlined and easy to use blogging software
- Can build a visually stunning blog on Squarespace with its streamlined tools
- Excellent blogging features
- All-in-one web host, domain registrar, and web builder
- Can’t add third-party applications on Squarespace
LinkedIn - Best for blogging businesses.
Aside from setting up a blog on your own site, corporate entities can use LinkedIn to enhance and amplify their presence online. LinkedIn has more than 575 million users
, most of whom are professionals and members of corporate conglomerates, and you can use this social platform to target some of the most influential people in the world.
If you’re blogging about business this is the perfect platform to use a pre-existing community of people to enhance your social standing. You’ll then be able to build connections and followers on your profile who can easily share your blog on their platform through a couple of simple clicks.
- Utilise LinkedIn’s pre-existing community of business people to amplify your brand
- Target corporate directors and influential people directly through LinkedIn
- Check out what people are looking at on LinkedIn and tailor your content to that market
- Again you are confined within what LinkedIn’s platform will let you do, it’s not your site and you don’t have full customisation
Instagram - Best for the Artists.
Instagram is one of the biggest blogging sites in the world and without realising it, we are all technically bloggers in some way with our Instagram accounts, right? Ultimately for professional use, it is great for building a portfolio that has some form of visual or graphic eye-catching media around it. Instagram lets you post videos, photos, boomerangs, even write a blog in the photo’s caption if you wanted to!
Best of all, Instagram is free, and you can use its business software to link up your online store, to drag users away from your profile, using its product tagging features, and land them in your online checkouts. Our top tip for using Instagram is to post regularly and keep on the theme of your blog. Don’t go off-piste as you’re followers will catch on quickly and unfollow you. And with 1 billion people
using the platform each day, it is a great way to gain people’s attention and build your brand’s presence online.
- Best for the creatives.
- Totally free and easy to use interface.
- Access to a pre-existing community of people.
- Online selling capabilities.
- Again you are confined within what Instagram’s platform will let you do, it’s not your site and you don’t have full customisation
The Do’s And Don’ts Of Blogging
Here are a couple of top tips to bear in mind when building your blog to help you create an awesome, lead driven platform.
Don’t use complicated language too soon.
With that in mind, do include language that your target audience will understand. But remember they are still here to learn, so don’t drop people in at the deep end right away by using complex jargon off the bat. Define terms and spell it out in layman’s terms for people at the outset, and as the post goes on, then introduce more complex writing. Introducing technical jargon at the start of your posts is an instant turn off for most readers.
Don’t waffle - Keep it succinct.
People want to get to the punchline now. 43% of people
admit to skimming through blogs to get to the information they need, meaning to get your blogging site converting leads, you need to engage the reader early on and offer information succinctly throughout your post.
Plus don’t make your blog too long. Depending on what you’re writing, a lot of people will see large volumes of text and will switch off immediately. There is no set limit for what a good and bad amount of text is, that’s something you’ll have to figure out per your industry, but from my experience, the shorter, the better.
Don’t make headlines too long.
Also ensure that your headline is not more than 60 characters long. If it gets too long it won’t rank well in search engines and people just won’t want to read it. Check out this headline analysis tool
which will analyse the effectiveness of your proposed headlines.
Don’t plagiarise or use credited images.
Copying other people’s work is lazy and can land you in a lot of hot water in extreme cases if you breach a copyright regulation. But it’s also just unfair on the person who has worked hard or been creative to write that work. The same goes for images, people need to make a living from the content and photos they’re taking so don’t steal that off them.
Do write killer headlines.
People are like goldfish. You only have about 3 seconds
to get their attention. That’s why it is important to write catchy, funny, and enticing headlines to draw your reader in. One good way to do it is to use the “How To” and “10 Best” strategies. These sorts of titles telling people ‘How to set up a blog’ or ‘the ten best web hosting platforms’ are search engine optimised, lead winning titles that rank highly in Google searches. Try them out and see!
Do post regularly.
The key to creating a great blog that builds leads is posting regularly. Although it is not the best idea to post regularly. Ideally, you want to post 3-4 times a week to get the best influx of traffic to your site. You’ll also want to check out when’s best to post for your target audience, for example, if you’re in the FOREX market, you’ll want to post your blogs perhaps at 8 AM, before the markets open when city workers are on their staring at their phones on their morning commuter trains to the city.
Do share on social media.
Share your content far and wide on your social platforms. Everyone is on social media these days and its outreach is simply phenomenal. That’s why you should always share your posts to your social channels to get greater traffic on your website, and include share buttons all-around your blog to invite your readers to share your articles too!
Do use SEO keywords to drive more traffic.
In a nutshell, SEO keywords are the phrases people put into search engines when they are looking for information on a certain subject. They are how you get found on your website. Depending on what you are writing about, there is always a set of keywords relating to that topic that you can implement, to help you show up higher in people’s google searches. For example, people might regularly search in google, ‘what is the best compost for growing sunflowers?’ When you come to writing about growing sunflowers in your blog, you might want to use these words or incorporate this question into your blog somewhere, to help you rank higher on Google.
Do use call’s to action to take your readers to the next step.
If you don’t challenge your reader at the end of your blog to follow you on Instagram, or check out your sales pages, you’ll never get the leads or sales you are looking for. With that in mind, build compelling calls to action at the end of each of your posts, to pull readers into taking the next step. Check out our post on landing pages to see a couple of cool ways on how to implement calls to action on your site [insert link here
Do identify a target audience.
People will often tell you to write as though you were in the shoes of the person you’re looking to bring to your website, but it’s true! Identify what type of people you’re writing to, for instance, if you’re writing a business blog about FOREX trading, you’ll write with potential traders in mind who have one eye on the stock market and the other on your blog. Or if you’re a wedding florist, you’ll set your portfolio up to target those people looking to get married in the next year.
Leads, Sales, Results.
Blogging is one of the most influential marketing strategies in the world and the best bloggers can reap some awesome rewards for producing some truly awesome content.
It is fairly straightforward to get started and we advise if you’re a small business, or someone with minimal blogging experience, to try out Wix or Squarespace first before you jump into using more technical platforms like WordPress. Once you’re up and running remember our top tips on what to do and what to avoid when writing your blog. Plus don’t forget to think about optimising and adding useful applications to your site to help you build and grow your content. Check out these 39 awesome blogging tools
you can use to drive greater traffic to your site!
Found this article useful? Make sure you share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and let us know in the comments if you have any other useful blogging tips.
I want to use this thread to present the key findings of going through recent Wayland news releases. Everything shown here is public accessible. I have no intention to accuse someone of fraud or something like this, just asking questions ....
Feb 20 2019: Wayland Group Provides Corporate Update
I do not want to speak about the well below average generated revenues nor the revenue forecasts. Just as a side note: Ben had a forecast of ~ $15,000,000 for Q4 2018 (October – December 2018). The corporate update states $1,305,033 for Q4 2018 (< 10 percentage of the forecast). In addition, you cannot whitewash the 480% increase to the previous quarter.
“Wayland has also entered into an agreement to obtain additional funds to support the expansion of the Company’s global footprint and fund development of its flagship Langton facility. This agreement is with certain investment funds managed by Alpha Blue Ocean Inc. (“Alpha Blue”) a money manager based in London, United Kingdom with a strong track record of partnering with public companies and delivering meaningful value to their shareholders.”
Founder and CEO of Alpha Blue Ocean Inc. is Pierre Vannineuse (https://www.linkedin.com/in/piervan/
Ok let’s have a look at their strong track record:
JUN 21 2018
QuickCool AB (Publ) ("QuickCool" or the "Company") has entered into a financing agreement with European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund through its financial advisor Alpha Blue Ocean Inc.
See performance since financing: https://i.imgur.com/j7HxzPk.png
MAR 28 2018: CybAero and European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund (“EHGO”), advised by Alpha Blue Ocean Advisors Ltd, member of the Alpha Blue Ocean Investment Group (“ABO”), has now signed an agreement regarding a financing solution of up to SEK 52.5 million in the form of thirteen convertible loans, the first loan of SEK 4.5 million and the following twelve loans each of SEK 4 million.
Seriously? Just 3 months later:
June 22 2018: Sweden’s largest military drone maker files for bankruptcy
“CybAero had provisionally negotiated a financing solution with the Luxembourg-based European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund, or EHGO, to raise $6 million in the form of 13 convertible loans. The EHGO had hired the London-based Alpha Blue Ocean Advisors to mediate a deal. The first tranche in this solution involved a bridge loan amounting to $227,000.
Nasdaq First North rejected this first tranche arrangement and insisted that, in order for trading in its share to resume, CybAero needed to place a minimum of $114,000 in escrow on a authorized bank account. Moreover, Nasdaq First North launched an investigation to determine if the negotiated financing solution violated stock exchange rules.”
Also see: https://simplywall.st/stocks/se/capital-goods/sto-cba/cybaero-shares/news/will-you-be-burnt-by-cybaero-abs-stocba-cash-burn/
Feb 20 2018: MOLOGEN AG enters into financing agreement with Alpha Blue Ocean's European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund
See performance since financing: https://i.imgur.com/JXVJ7yq.png
19 March 2018: Cereno Scientific enters into a financing agreement with European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund through its advisor Alpha Blue Ocean
See performance since financing: https://i.imgur.com/CS7rq5y.png
10 Jan 2018: FIT Biotech's EUR 10 million financing agreements' share loan and first part of commitment fee related shares have been handed over today to Alpha Blue Ocean
See performance since financing: https://i.imgur.com/N0XhSQp.png
FIT Biotech Oy Company release 20.02.2019 at 14:30 EET
Liquidity crisis, request for a tranche and changes to financial calendar and date of the Annual General Meeting
Despite the financing agreement in force, Alpha Blue Ocean (”ABO”) has not paid tranches envisaged by the agreement since 12 November 2018. This has resulted in a liquidity crisis in FIT Biotech Oy (”Company”). The Company has today filed a latest request for a tranche with ABO. Unless ABO pays this tranche by 22 February 2019, Company will have to file for bankruptcy.
I think you are able to recognize the pattern. However the best is yet to come. Just google “alpha blue ocean death spiral”. Same type of financing for Element ASA – a Norwegian based mining company.
“The Induct Manager will demand a million dollar compensation from the "Death Spiral Mortgage Company" Alpha Blue Ocean Stock Exchange and Finance”
Why Would a Company Want Death Spiral Financing?
“A company that seeks death spiral financing basically has no other option to raise money to survive.”
Biotech Firms Run Away After Industry Party With Topless Dancers
Haha … Sean?
Also have a look after Pierre Vannineuse other investing company Bracknor IG. I did not check, but it possibly has a similar track record.
I could go on like this, but I think you got it. So this means “strong track record and delivering meaningful value to their shareholders.” for Ben?
Next news release:
Feb. 07, 2019: Wayland Group Receives EU-GMP Certification for German Facility
“Wayland Group is pleased to announce that it has received both Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Distribution Practices certifications from the national authority in the State of Saxony for the Company’s Ebersbach facility in Germany.”
Welcome to EudraGMDP EudraGMDP is the name for the Union database referred to in article 111(6) of Directive 2001/83/EC and article 80(6) of Directive 2001/82/EC. It contains the following information:
· Manufacturing and import authorisations
· Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificates.
· Statements of non-compliance with GMP
· GMP inspection planning in third countries
SCOPE OF AUTHORISATION
Name and address of the site : Maricann GmbH, Moritzburger Weg 1, Ebersbach OT Naunhof, Sachsen, 01561, Germany
Human Medicinal Products
IMPORTATION OF MEDICINAL PRODUCTS (according to part 2)
Part 2 - IMPORTATION OF MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
2.3 Other importation activities
2.3.1 Site of physical importation
2.3.2 Importation of intermediate which undergoes further processing
But where is the GMP certificate? Latest GMP certificates for Germany:
Just for their facility in Canada. Maybe the missing of the announced GMP certificate is because of the german tender process. Maybe not, who knows …
“These certifications provide Wayland with the foundation to start selling product into the lucrative German and other developing European markets …”
Oh really? Not in my view …
Next news release:
Jan. 31, 2019: Wayland Group Comments on Recent Promotional Market Activity
“Since September 1, 2017 the Company has engaged MJM Markets and Consulting (Toronto, Canada; Follow The Money Investor Group, o/a 2632436 Ontario Limited (Toronto, Canada); Harbor Access LLC (NY, USA); Investing News Network; M. Davis & Associates Capital Inc (Vancouver, Canada); ERPR AS (Oslo, Norway); BlackX GmbH (Germany); Tycona Media (Vancouver, Canada); DiePRBerator (Germany); Global Financial Network (Toronto, Canada), and Prosdocimi (London, UK) at various times to provide investor relations services, public relations services, marketing, native advertising or other related services including the promotion of the Company, its business and/or its securities.”
Really? What is your business model @ Wayland?!
Just to give you one example:
BlackX GmbH received 1,300,000 shares (each $1.50 = $1,950,000) for the creation/translation of pump articles. See: https://webfiles.thecse.com/CSE_Form_9_-_Notice_of_Issuance_of_Securities_BlackX_12Nov2018.pdf?4gdPoHHl03IN_5qafloB2.0FP4zHeqYb
For what exactly? Example: https://www.dgap.de/dgap/News/dgap_media/maricann-group-inc-mit-volldampf-die-zukunft-ceo-ben-ward-gibt-ausblick-ueber-hervorragende-entwicklung-der-wayland-group/?newsID=1110809
A template lacking in content with share price predictions of 3 to 5 Euro (4.5 – 7.5 CAD).
Next news release:
Jan 30 2019: Wayland Group Corporation: European Cannabis Giant Wayland is said to be in advanced talks to purchase and re-open the Voss Water bottling plant in Norway
The not named London based Norwegian investor in the last paragraph is probably Lars Christian Beitnes (also mentioned in the second paragraph). After reading his name in a Wayland press release again, I got excited. Again? Yes, I have done some DD about Beitnes when Wayland announced the first Malta LOI with Medican Holdings (USD$10.1MM for a recently created shell company in Malta) - see: https://www.newcannabisventures.com/maricann-to-pay-10-million-to-acquire-malta-licensed-cannabis-producer-medican-holdings/
I was glad when Malta Enterprise terminated this LOI “Malta Enterprise then contacted Maricann to request the Company make its own application, as their preference was to work through Maricann rather than Medican.“ – see: https://www.newcannabisventures.com/maricann-to-pursue-malta-medical-cannabis-license-independently/
Why am I shocked to see the name Beitnes and Wayland in a press release?
In my view Beitnes is far away from being a person you should do deals with. He is being accused to be part of several frauds/scams in the past/present and recently left as a Chairmen of Element ASA – see: https://www.dn.no/bors/element/lars-christian-beitnes/rikard-storvestre/avtroppende-styreleder-far-100000-kroner-i-maneden-for-radgivning/2-1-498862
Element ASA … wait … yea the norwegian based mining company who is the victim of the death spiral financing by Alpha Blue Ocean Inc.!!!
There is a long thread about him in a Norwegian stock community with everything mentioned why you should avoid him – see: https://forum.hegnar.no/thread/16282/view/0/0?page=1
Because of the length of the thread, see some highlights:
- Allegation of forex scam AstonMarkets / AstonForex - see: https://www.forexpeacearmy.com/forex-reviews/10709/www.astonmarkets.com?page=1&per-page=10
- Breach of contract Oxxy Group PLC and Merkur market – see: https://www.oslobors.no/Oslo-Boers/Regelverk/Merkur-Market-klagenemnd
- Swedish pensions authority has filed noticed in court holding Beitnes responsible for various losses Swedish pensioners incurred in the Falcon Funds bust – see: https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/business/business_news/90881/swedes_chasing_falcon_funds_pensions_in_malta_warn_norwegian_director#.XFLsdFxKi9L
- The Falcon Funds bust is a big thing. See also Malta Civil Court https://www.gov.mt/en/Government/DOI/Government%20Gazette/Court%20Notices/Pages/2018/09/CourtNotices2009.aspx. “By the present, the Agency, refers to your involvement inter alia as the final person in control, director and/or shareholder of Oxxy Group Polc, Rock Energy AS, Element ASA (previously known as Intex Resources AS) and White November Fund, in respect of which a number of transactions have been carried out to the detriment of the Sub-Funds and any other direct or indirect involvment in the investments made in the name of the Sub-Funds. It results that these Sub-Funds have suffered a loss, and there could be futher substantial loss, and this loss is, inter alia, the direct or indirect result of your actions and/or omissions, resulting from your negligence, and/or fraud, and/or carelessness, lack of skill and/or for your failure to observe the laws and rules applicable and also because of default in your obligations.”
- main defendant is MAX EMIL SERWIN searched for Gross Fraud by Interpol – see: https://www.interpol.int/notice/search/wanted/2018-91323
- more: https://www.expressen.se/dinapengafalcon-funds-grundaren-har-bytt-sitt-namn-igen/
- more: https://www.expressen.se/dinapengapension/nu-sprids-nya-bilden-av-efterlyste-affarsmannen/
- more: https://www.expressen.se/dinapengapension/forsvunne-affarsmannens-liv-i-londons-lyxkvarte
- Alpha Blue Ocean Death spiral: violation against security act – see: https://aksjelive.e24.no/article/OnOd63 and https://www.dn.no/marked/oslo-bors/finanstilsynet/abo/pierre-vannineuse-27-er-mannen-bak-dodsspirallanene/2-1-476012
- Misleading / false information of main shareholder of Element – see: https://e24.no/boers-og-finans/storaksjonaer-i-element-ga-uriktige-opplysninger-i-boersmelding/24520036 - said person has the same address like Beitnes
- Allegations against Global Vision Trading Ltd (Beitnes involvement) receiving excessive amounts for consulting from Element
- Scam alert for Frode Aschim of Element (responsible for the crypto currency project at Element for getting new money) – see: https://forum.ethereum.org/discussion/16441/scam-alert-ethwallet-co-uk-will-pay-anyone-who-can-help-me-in-recovering-my-wallet and https://www.elementasa.com/assets/uploads/pdf/Element-ASA_Corporate-presentation_October-2018.pdf
I know this is much content, but if you want to make your own picture of Beitnes just dig into this whole Element ASA debacle starting last year. Two auditors (EY & PwC) and the CFO left Element … Then Beitnes left as Chairmen but now serving as external consultant for Element receiving 100.000 NOK monthly. https://www.dn.no/bors/element/lars-christian-beitnes/rikard-storvestre/avtroppende-styreleder-far-100000-kroner-i-maneden-for-radgivning/2-1-498862
would be a good start. Or dig deeper into the Swedish Pensions Authority lawsuit against Beitnes.
Finally … just ask yourself why does Ben deals with such shady persons? Did Ben no DD on those guys or did he not want to … And that is just the top of the iceberg.
TO BE CONTINUED
Before you start, I apologize for it being so long. I had intended it to be only 500 or so words but as of typing this when I am done I am over 2300 words. Quite a bit more than my first thought, everything seemed to just flow so well on the keyboard. Hope you enjoy the read and can either learn something or can teach me something. Read ON! Introduction
A bit about me, my name is Josh Kirby and I am the founder of Phantom Asset Management or Phantom AM for short since that would make one long domain name. I am 20 years old and this is my 3rd business, the first two were web design/ dev agencies. First one I did solo then the second I did with a remote team of 8. I made some money off these but most of it was spent on living since I never really scaled it in a way to give me profit. I wanted to be the ‘good guy’ and pay everyone well, well I paid them enough to wipe out 80% of the profits. My total take from both web businesses is in the $XX,000 range. I started my first one at 14 then the second at 17. So not much total experience between them but I did learn a lot about marketing and cold emails. Cold emails were the main source of contracts over the years. I never found ads to be of much use. It felt like I was just paying for no return and likely that was the case since I only got 8.3% of total contracts from customers who said they heard of me through our ads. I did quit doing ads 1 year into the second business because of the poor return, I figured know when to quit and save the money to spend on other methods.
When I was young I was not very social and as a result once I moved to the concrete jungle we call cities, I became a hermit of sorts. I stayed inside and played games a lot, but I always had a thirst for knowledge. This resulted in me learning a lot of different things, what ever happened to be my special interest at the time (I have ASD, so I get really into these special interests more so than most). I learned about everything from military (childhood dream job that got crushed), to space and space exploration, to computer hardware, to programming.
So that is where I have ended up, I built an asset tracking and management SaaS that I am targeting at small business owners and individuals who have a lot of tech to keep track of. Though I am thinking the small businesses will be my main target, the individuals is more of a secondary thought. Project Story
A bit of backstory for this project, I have a ton and I mean a ton of computer hardware and cables. It is to the point a good section of my basement is full. I never could know what I had and if I was giving away the last of that cable or not. Never knew who I leant out cables and hardware to either. I knew I needed a software solution to this issue since Excel was not going to be an appropriate solution, so, I built what I needed then I focused on making it into a SaaS application when others said I should and showed demand for it.
Now if you have a look at it you will see the dashboard template is the same as another competitor in the space. This was by complete accident and frankly I hate that it is the same but at the same time I have decided that it will stay until it becomes an issue, or I just can’t stand it anymore. That is the likely one. I do have it in my roadmap to create a more custom dashboard template but that is for the future not today. Say 18 months down the line or so.
I know that some people will hate on me for using the same one and frankly that is fine since I know that I built most of this system for personal use and adapted it to a business. Some of the features are ideas that I had from talking to IT consultants and other small business owners. Each of them provided me with information that has gone into this project and I know each and every one of them is going to be happy with what is there or is coming in the next few months.
Speaking of coming features, if you can think of any that you believe should be in an asset tracking/ management software please say so. I would love to get feedback on what I have and what I can add.
I contacted him back about this and we talked and agreed that is what I would need. He gave me a price of $3000 to do it all up and a timeline of 6 weeks since he would be gone for a family holiday between now and when he could finish. Okay so more research (research is critical for a successful business), I found out that I could use the federal site and do it myself to save $1500, that was the price to incorporate through Rob. I did it myself after debating on it for 2 days and going over it with my father and friends who know business better than me. Then came the other stuff, I did that all online too for only $200 ish, glad I went that route instead of the other $1500 through the lawyer. I talked to a family friend who is a lawyer and he said that doing it myself would save me a lot and that it would not be perfectly suited to me, but it would be good enough till I get the business up and running and more importantly profitable. I agreed that I would be better off using the funds to advertise and grow the business instead of having perfect legal stuff when what I got protected me properly and government wise I was fine because the specifics don’t matter at first.
When incorporating you had to select the number of directors and while selecting only 1 seems like a good idea when I am the only one it doesn’t leave much room for growth and at the end of the day I want to grow this to at least a medium sized business and that involves bringing on more directors, so I chose the max range of 1-10 directors. The next choice was named vs numbered corporation, I chose numbered because the named cost more to start up and I can change it to named later once I got money coming in. You will notice a trend here of that I went cheap as possible where I could change things later to make it more prope to what I wanted. I only did this when the cost to make these changes would not be much money compared to what it cost in the first place.
So now I got the legal done I can do the banking, this is always an exciting time for me because I love money and knowing that I am opening an account to put profits in makes me giddy. I did have to make some choices here about how I wanted it set up, I am in Canada, so I will be paying taxes here and paying for expenses here too. So easy, put it in CAD and convert it right? Well no, simply because many services I need to use are in USD. I decided to open both a CAD and a USD account. I figured this would give me the most flexibility and cost savings on the forex fees, so I could hook up the bank accounts directly to services that correspond to their currencies. This should be the cheapest route I can do without much trouble. I would only transfer money into CAD for making my payments.
While we are on the financial stuff, charging taxes was something I could not get a clear answer on, no matter what I looked up I could not figure it out and accountants were either not willing to provide advice on an hourly rate (well other than one who said $295 an hour) or just didn’t contact me back. Taxes are an evil of life that we all suffer through, so I ended up calling the CRA to figure out whether I needed to or how I needed to. I knew I could not just apply it to all customers because why add 13% to the price when I don’t need to. I also thought I needed to add it only to those in my province. Well the CRA cleared that one up and I decided that for those who I had to charge it to I would eat the cost on it and sell to those at a “lower” price when I just put it as sold at lower price and I pay the taxes to make it so the invoices to all customers are the same. I shouldn’t penalize certain customers since they are in my province. Where I Am Now
Once this all got set up I get onto where I am now, marketing and sales. Marketing and sales has never been my strong suit, I am more technical, financial and operations. Because of this I am hoping that I can create enough momentum to make it, so I prove my business can generate customers from a conversion stand point. If I can do enough to make it so I make even a slight bit of profit I think I can find a way to hire someone who knows marketing and sales. I did at first think about a co-founder, but I just could not find one who I liked and felt like I could trust. I am hoping I can make some right hires when this grows enough to warrant that. And hopefully those hires can be almost as good as a co-founder. This choice also gives me a bigger share of the company to start with and allows me to raise more funding should I need it. I am not writing this post to advertise my company but to share my experiences and what I have learned. I welcome questions about the process and how it all came along for anything I didn’t touch on. Going Forward
My biggest challenges going forward are going to be marketing and sales as you would have guessed. I do also think that figuring out how to get cash flow positive soon as possible will be hard. I know I can only fund this for 8 months from launch. Any more and I have to get a “real” job and get back to working on saving up. Should I have saved more before starting this, well it would have been nice to have more yes but I think this will do well enough to support me within 6 months. My expenses are next to nothing, not that I expect to live high on the hog with 6-8 months either. Well not even for the first few years if ever. I just want to create stuff that people will like and be able to use to better their business or lives. Have any questions or comments?
My site is phantomam.com and my business email is [email protected]
contact me either direct through email or our contact us page found here
I do want to offer a discount to those who sign up through reddit, I am offering 50% off for life. That means you can try it for only $5 a month. To redeem this, I need to do it manually since I do not have coupons set up currently (features came before admin stuff). So, either email me from your email you used to sign up or message me on reddit with the email you used. I should have all discounts added within a day or two.
I look forward to all your comments and feedback! Thank you for reading and hopefully some of you enjoy my offering enough to share it out with others you think might find it useful. This has been a great learning experience and I hope to continue to learn more each day.
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