Actually, there are lots of things you shouldn’t do but I’ll spare you the list except for one. Nobody likes being told what they should or shouldn’t do.
Today’s true story is funny and sad all rolled into one.
A woman buys a Maserati she can’t afford. Didn’t bother getting collision insurance. Why buy insurance for a six-figure car?
She smashes it up.
Her car repair bill is high (what luxury dealerships charge for repairs is outrageous but that’s beside the point).
The poor woman (literally and figuratively) can’t pay the repair bill because she spent all her money on the car.
She didn’t buy collision insurance so she was on the hook for the repairs that came in more than $85K.
Her solution: Lawyer up and sue the dealership.
In short order, she hired and fired four law firms. In the end, she represented herself.
So off to court she trotted representing herself.
She sued the dealership (mechanic) for hiking up the repair bill.
She also suggested, and this is the crazy part, that the dealership took advantage of her by selling her a car she couldn’t afford.
As you can imagine, the judge thought the case nuts.
Ruled against her.
Not only that, the judge ordered that she pay part of the attorneys’ fees of the parties she sued plus interest owing on the repair bill.
After the smoke cleared, she owed $328K.
Moral of the story: avoid buying stuff you can’t afford, especially stuff that has an ongoing cost attached to it and depreciates in value.
She’s not the first person to buy stuff she couldn’t afford.
It happens all the time.
It’s human nature to bite off more than we can chew.
Websites in the early days are like cars
They make nothing and suck up money and/or time.
Eventually, a site transforms from a money-sucking liability to an income-producing asset.
That’s a good turn of events.
But it takes time.
You have to stick with it.
Don‘t spread yourself too thin.
You don‘t want a fleet of sites in the red. You want a mix of income-producing sites and some newer sites you’re grooming for future growth.
Don‘t forget you can always go the one-site approach. Put all your effort into one monster and dominate the niche. When it starts earning, your monthly profits can be fantastic because you’re not financing money-sucking sites.
Regardless of which approach you take, focus on getting some big monthly money rolling in. That gives you options. Keeps you solvent.
Keep your costs down
Buy cheap hosting until traffic warrants otherwise. Don‘t keep buying new premium themes. That one you have from 3 years ago is just fine.
You don‘t need a fancy $1,000 logo (yeah, some designers will quote ridiculous sums for custom graphics – don‘t get sucked in).
You don‘t need a new $3,000 computer. A four-year-old $400 laptop will do the job.
Try to only spend money on stuff that will generate a return. In this biz, that’s content.
There is no secret bullet other than to consistently publish good content. Anything else is noise.
Seriously, all you need is $5 per month for hosting to get you to $1,000 per month or higher. In fact, that’s a great challenge.
I’d rather be solvent driving a humble 12-year-old Toyota Echo than risk everything looking good in a Maserati.
On the flip side, if you’re a high-roller investment banker or plastic surgeon pulling down 7 figures looking to dabble in websites, spend away if it makes it easier for you.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.