Online business models will always change, just as all business models change. Part of being in business is expecting change and adapting to it. But how do you react when the foundation of your business model changes?
Sink with no traffic? Lose profit buying traffic? Or switch to a model that was always going to be better.
Link Building Online Business Model
I started working online with information marketing. Write some stuff, sell some adverts. With a little affiliate revenue on the side, it’s a nice little earner. Not quite passive income, but it does allow you to work when it suits you.
Internet marketers sold their schemes to help budding entrepreneurs get started with their online business. The schemes had many differentiating factors, but one theme was common to most: link building.
For years, I worked to the mantra “create a page or create a link.” As long as I published a new page on one of my websites, or got a quality link from an external website, I was happy. Job done! Time to play.
Now, if everyone was like me, that was a win-win for all concerned.
- Write good quality articles
- Give value to people taking time to read them
- Associate with like-minded authors and publishers
- Ignore scammers and exploiters
But Google robots couldn’t ignore the abusers. The Google team saw their search engine robots exploited. The gaming scams would never stop, so the game changed. Link building turned from an aspiration to a curse. Was it Panda or Penguin that got me? Actually, I know a team that has all the answers, but that is for another time. What matters now, is recovery.
Link building was actually something of a chore. It’s easy to do it in a spammy way, but building quality links is harder. Now it’s useless, so let’s celebrate.
It’s time to throw off the shackles of link building, and embrace the joys of network building.
Networking Online Business Model
Under the link building model I worked hard to write quality content that repaid your reading time. Then I worked hard to build links from quality websites.
The first part doesn’t change. I still want this page to help you. I will author my pages to the best of my ability but, authors do not build business networks.
The networking model is different. Link building must now be natural. I will explain more about this another time. For now we must focus on what it means for the business model.
We must employ a social publisher, or learn to be one. For most of us, we are both author and publisher, but wearing different hats is essential in small businesses. In a small business, nobody says no to a task. They expedite jobs through systems on a personal level. The customer sees personal pride and corporate efficiency.
I learned that many years ago, and now I apply that learning to the new business model. I split my working day. I spend half a day as an author, after half the day networking as a publisher. The proceedings of current social publishing is quite new to me, but the principles are the same as all business. As I learn the new processes, I will compile my step-by-step guides, to make life easier for you.
What are the important principles of the networking online business model?
Online business networking is different to personal networking. Both are social, and must overlap. They should work together, but the approach is different. Inevitably colleagues and friends have blurred boundaries. You will find your own work-life balance. Just don’t assume that your enthusiasm for online business is shared by all your friends and family.
Think as a publisher. Become a social publisher.
I know I have to change. I must stop thinking that Shrewdies Google+ Page is Keith Taylor. I must redefine my role on my Google+ page, and think how I can use it for promoting my brand. As a publisher, my Google+ page is my social networking platform. I should only mention work authored by Keith Taylor if it adds to online business discussions taking place at the time. That’s something I’ve learned through relationship building and Google+ expert, Wade Hardman.
Through Wade, and resources he has linked out to, I am reminded that successful network building means putting others first. You build friends by being a friend, and you build online business networks by being a useful resource. Shrewdies Make A Website must become a better resource. It’s not about Keith Taylor, it’s about making better websites.
Now that you are reading this, you are at least on the fringes of Shrewdies Network. You might already be part of it. If not, I hope you will be. The link building is down to you. If you think this might help somebody, share it with them. If it won’t help, I haven’t done my job, so it is not worth sharing. You decide.