A Simple Plan

This is a T-shirt I have and it’s called a simple plan. I love it because what I do on the internet is based on a very simple plan, in fact I even call what I do building STORMS or Simple To Operate Revenue Machines.

So a simple plan based on Simple To Operate Revenue Machines.

So what is this simple plan and how is it deployed?

The simple plan is to create as many STORMS as I possibly can and the way to build STORMS starts with it’s on Simple plan within A Simple Plan.

The simple plan within the STORMs is to write 10 simple articles and to deploy them via WordPress to the world.

These 10 simple articles will change your life.

You will probably be asking how can 10 simple articles change your life?

Let me tell you a story first, it’s a good one and will help set the stage.

A good friend of mine (lets call her Shell) had quit her day job and began selling jewelery on trade me (thats a New Zealand site similar to Ebay) to pay the bills.

Shell’s done a lot more than just pay the bills, though, as she’s become her own boss and now works about 70% less than she did when she was “employed.” And her income? Oh, maybe tripled.

Although Shell’s only been at it for about 3 months now, she’s really improved her quality of life substantially (and that of course means her husbands as well).

However, despite her initial success, Shell realizes that she can accomplish more (she is like that, driven to succeed). The problem is, she’s not quite sure how to go about it.

Late last week, I was over at her house (her hubby does the most amazing BBQ’s and was cooking us a shoulder of Wild pork on the rotisserie), and she wanted to know if I thought her jewelery business could benefit in any way from having a Web site. For instance, could she build an online storefront that would help her reach customers outside of Trademe? (You guys know my answer already don’t you)

In theory, owning a Web site provides a nice platform from which to build an audience and raise the profile of your business.

In practice, however, most Web sites end up becoming useless bits of digital real estate, hardly worth the price tag that accompanied the original domain.

As I was thinking about a response to Shell’s question, I began to realize that a majority of people out there simply don’t understand how to approach business on the Web.

This is precisely why so many sites become “useless bits of digital real estate.”
And let me tell you now, It’s not about technology — it’s about value.

So, where do most people go wrong?

People think they need the latest, fanciest gizmos and technology however Innovation happens so fast on the Web that it’s easy to become blinded by feature-rich technology and software.

We are constantly hit with messages of “the next big thing,” and so we naturally assign value to what we perceive to be breakthrough innovations.

Subsequently, we begin to think that in order to conduct a successful online venture, we must include all this new and excellent functionality that has become available thanks to new technologies.

God help you if someone thinks you’re so 2009, right?

The problem here is that our perception of value on the Web has been skewed unnaturally.

It is true that there is value in new technology. For a company like YouTube, there was unbelievable value in their product.

But here’s the real mind twist:

The real value on the Web lies in the content, not in the technology that helps us produce it.

Think about this… Do you really care how that Monkey Peeing in it’s mouth was delivered to you on YouTube, or do you just care about the video itself?

The value lies in what your content is, not how it got there.

So what does this mean for my friends Web site and her jewelery business?

It means that a bunch of artsy fartsy technology driving a state-of-the-art, online storefront would be a terrible waste of time.

Thanks to the incredible rate of innovation, anybody can go out and get a remarkably functional online storefront, in fact it would cost about $20 per month. This fact alone drives the potential value of a Web-based store into the toilet.

In other words, If you want to go buy a 3 bedroom home down in Tokoroa, you might expect to see a cost of about $150,000. If, however, you wanted to buy a 3bedroom home within the fringe of Auckland City you might expect to pay $1,500,000, if not more!

The bottom line is that there’s not a whole lot of residual value in things that:

* are not scarce
* are not unique

It’s true that some companies and programmers actually need to focus on technology, because that’s where their value proposition is, its what they do.

However your stored value lies in your content, because it’s the one thing you can bring to the marketplace that is both scarce and unique.

And I say It all starts with 10 simple articles.

So, again, how can 10 simple articles change your life?

These articles will become the foundation for your Web site (right now my wife is writing 10 Articles for a site called Child Friendly which is another STORM) — not to mention the future of your business.

Smart marketers certainly know the value of 10 articles on a niche topic, and I truly believe that there is absolutely nothing better you can do for your business.

By writing 10 simple articles on a topic that you love (your Niche), you’ll effectively:

1. Create stored value in your site.
2. Add equity to your business.

So say you stick with writing articles on that topic for a year, and by the end of that time, you’ve accrued 100 articles (thats right, about 2 per week or maybe 2hours per week). At the end of the year, you will own a Web site that is chock-full of detailed, current, and relevant articles on your subject, and you’ll likely have a very targeted (and interested) audience who have all opted to come along for the ride.

And if you never believe anything else I say, make damn sure you believe this:

Google loves Web sites like this.

In my friends case, if all she had were an online storefront and a slick interface, anyone could step into her market and compete against her with their own storefront. In essence, there would be no residual value in her site because anyone could replicate what she already had with their own products…

But they’d have one hell of a time trying to compete with her content.

If she had 100 articles and they had none, it would be a joke. The bottom line is that in any topic, whoever controls the information flow around that subject holds all the power.

By writing articles on jewelery (handmade in her case), my friend can establish herself as the preeminent source of information on that topic. She could build a valuable Web site and a targeted, interested audience at almost no cost. In as little as 9 or 10 months, she could create so many channels through which to make money that it would be utterly ridiculous.

At that point, hers only problem would be figuring out how to further capitalize on all the opportunities that she’d created for herself.

And it all would have started with 10 simple articles.

See. Too Easy