Idea to Sale

 

128 Step Checklist

The goal with this checklist is to give every flip an idea of how far along the project is, and at every moment to know what is the next logical step. If your goal is NOT to sell your website, you can still find a lot of value of using these steps to grow your audience. Keep checking sheflipswebsites.com for information on how to do each step and share with the Website Flipper, a closed facebook group.

Step 1-13 Claiming Your Flip

 

The first 13-steps are dedicated to the long-term planning and reserving your claim of the web for your website flip.

How to get a website started is a huge hurdle for some beginner flippers. I assure you there are a ton of online resources. I will be updating this list periodically with step-by-step tutorials of how to accomplish each of these.

1

Idea

2

Name

3

Clear Purpose

4

Market Definition

5

Viewer Persona

6

12 Things (post types to be known for to create consistency and theme)

7

Domain

8

Hosting

9

SSL Certificate

10

Email ( or email forwarding)

11

Plan: List of Keywords to rank for

12

Media Kit Outline

13

Plan: End Game Target #’s before Sale

 


Step 14 – 24 Social Media Set Up

 

Flipping websites has changed a lot since the days of sitting on a popular domain name and waiting for a business wants it bad enough to buy it from you. In website flipping, you do the hard (fun) part of building out your idea and finding an audience. Website flippers create the audience for a domain, which sets its value. Social media is the way to build and engage an audience with a website and also earn a higher SEO ranking. A big part of a successful website flip is to prove that you have a loyal and dedicated audience across a few social media channels and that you are getting traffic to the URL.

At first, once you have your domain purchased; go onto the social media platforms like Facebook and claim your business pages. After finishing the branding portion, go back and fill in the profile information.

If some of these social media channels don’t make sense for your audience, or if there is another channel where your audience is hanging out, like Quora, please skip the ones that don’t matter to you, and add the ones that do. I am not a twitter fan, but I love Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Often, I’ll make a strategic choice which platforms I’ll add content to, and which platforms I claim and automate.

Check out ifttt.com for automation formulas to automate parts of social media engagement, especially for platforms that you don’t like.

I include video media because it is an SEO goldmine. A lot of social media platforms are currently favoring video content and making it less expensive to boost or easier to share. If it’s not your thing, or you can’t do it well, skip it. For two of my current flips, video content is a large part of the strategy, for another, curating other peoples videos is how I plan to gain a following. There are so many options.

 

14

Facebook Profile

15

Twitter Profile

16

Instagram Profile

17

Pinterest Profile

18

Youtube Channel

19

Google+ Profile

20

LinkedIn Profile

21

Visual and Content Plan for Facebook

22

Visual and Content Plan for Instagram

23

Visual and Content Plan for Youtube (video)

24

Video intro for video

 


Step 25-34 Website Setup

 

There are a lot of themes available, and even more plugins. The following is my list of things to remember for every single project. It’s a mix of best practices, and “while your at it.”

Exclusively on WordPress, I work with a premium theme called Divi. I am not exaggerating when I say, that this them is what got me passionate about WordPress and web design. I started using Divi with my very first website that I was paid to build, found great support in the form of online communities and mentors, and have been regularly impressed with the quality and consistency of the updates to this theme. To the developers of the Divi theme, thank you, I owe a lot of my livelihood to the awesome tool you have built.

Back to work. Changing a theme down the road can be frustrating and messy. While a lot of bloggers recommend starting on something free and then paying for theme later, I recommend starting out with a tool that is either familiar, or a theme that is highly rated, and you can find a lot of support with.

Also, if you know that you are going to support other features or media types, like an online store, or a podcast; now is the time to add those plugins and features. I recommend including these parts now so that adding the feature don’t look like an afterthought, or is overly disruptive to an established blog.

25

Install WordPress onto hosting

26

Add Google Analytics

27

Add meta description & title

28

Add rich snippets, design search in engine results page

29

Add SEO plugin

30

Add a Cache plugin (for speed)

31

Add a login attempt plugin (security)

32

Install your theme

33

Install a plugin for social media sharing

34

Set up a RSS Feed

 


 

Step 35 -41 Email List Building

 

An email list is still one of the most important currencies of the digital marketing World. A lot of pro bloggers that have been doing this for awhile typically report that the biggest mistake they made at the start of blogging is not building an email list sooner.

What’s great is that starting this process won’t cost you any money. I use MailChimp which doesn’t start charging for its service when you have a significant list or are looking to do some special features.

My recommendation is to come up with an email list building plan very early on in the process and add to it frequently.

The best advice I’ve heard when creating a campaign is before you hit send to your network, ask; is your content going to make your viewer insanely happy? That’s a high bar, but it is what it takes to grow and engage a list without people sprinting for the unsubscribe button because your emails are too heavy-handed in the sales department without bringing value.

Yes, a trip wire is the ultimate sleazy digital marketing term ever, but here is a new perspective. You are going to be as successful with this flip as the amount of value you can bring to people. You need to get feedback on the content you create through people saying “yes, I want what you created so much, I’ll pay you cash for it.” or “I want what you created so much I’ll give you permission to send me emails.” Your email list is an indicator of the value you provide.

35

Create MailChimp account

36

Add a List

37

Start a Campaign

38

Create a content giveaway

39

Create a tripwire for content

40

Develop an Email Newsletter or Campaign

41

Integrate Newsletter Signup in Website

 


Step 42-51 Visual Branding and Logo Design

 

Visual branding and user experience are at the core of all the website flips that I do. Creating a consistent visual brand and using the pieces to grow across different platforms is my jam.

One piece that is unique to my view of how branding works is the support of The Cocktail Pitch. Unlike the elevator pitch, which is a definition of your business in a short paragraph (the length of a standard elevator ride); the cocktail pitch is a more useful approach to building the brand of a company. Jeff Bezos famously said, “Brand is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room.” An elevator pitch assumes you are in the room to give the spiel, a cocktail pitch crafts the pieces that can train a person to pitch for you. It is a summary of what you do and your value. That’s it.

She Flips Websites Cocktail Pitch: She teaches people online how to make and sell websites.

If someone said this verbatim, I’ve made it; my brand is a success. So now, everything I build for the brand has to support that cocktail pitch, so that is clear and useful.

By the way, you don’t have to be an Adobe guru to create a brand. Go onto canva.com and whip something up. It doesn’t need to be fancy; it just needs to grab and hold your audiences attention and be consistent.

 

42

Brand Board

43

Cocktail Pitch: Simple sentence definition of website

44

Logo for website

45

Favicon

46

Color board with hex codes

47

Fonts with links and css

48

Icons + Support Graphics

49

Banners

50

Image library / filter section

51

How to write, copy guide on voice

 


Step 52-61 Web Design

 

There are some patterns in building websites that need to be followed in order to create a usable site that people don’t click away from immediately from. I’m going to focus on structure in this part, but, I believe the following is the baseline for a website that can be fully marketed and serve users. In other words, when you have these components, your site is a minimal viable product (MVP).

Privacy policies are not fun to make, and yes, no one really reads them. Search engines do read privacy policies, and if your site collects any information, including a contact form or email sign up, your website should have one.

Core content. Learning more about what search engines find valuable and rank higher, there is a movement in SEO going from a lot of small posts to more detail posts in long-form blog posts. My suggestion is to make core content at least 2000 words and preferably 3000. Not every page or even blog post need to be this long, but there should be some more in-depth articles on your website.

A word of advice for flippers. If you are building a site with the intent of flipping, you might be tempted to leave out the personal aspect of who you are. I recommend against leaving out the information and story of who you are because that info is human interest. We are curious creatures and if we like your content, we want to be able to put a face to the writing. Your personal touch does not make your site any less flip-able. You can provide a transition period to the purchaser of the site to show them the ropes and ease out of the day-to-day maintenance.

 

52

Home Page

53

Blog Page

54

About Page

55

Contact Page

56

Privacy Policy Page

57

Sidebar design

58

Design Footer

59

Core Content Page #1

60

Core Content Page #2

61

Core Content Page #3

 


Steps 62-65 Make Money NOW Plan

 

There are many reasons not to wait until your site is “finished” to go out and make money or to promote it on social media and start gaining a following.

First, I want to clarify a viewpoint on money, because, this is where a lot of people get weird. There is a simple equation of how to look at money, and how to get more of it.

Money = value provided x distance of your reach

So, you want more money? Provide more value to someone, and to more people.

If you wait to try and make money when everything is ready, you aren’t running through the process of creating content of value, and finding and expanding your sphere of people that find it valuable.

You can provide value. Have confidence in yourself as a unique view. The World is moving away from the days when our focus is only on celebrity. Anyone with a smartphone and wi-fi connection can do this.

In this age of social media where the World is connected, you can find a sphere of people who love what you create and find it to be valuable. So, have some confidence in yourself. Know you are worthy. And do it.

Money is just an indicator of how well you do those two things. So, charge for your value.

There are a lot of ways to make money from websites:

Create a product, affiliate advertising, Adwords, placement ads, influencer marketing, sponsored posts, courses, communities and so many more.

It boils down to two things:

  1. Charge your audience for extra value
  2. Charge businesses the value of getting in front of the audience you created

Simple, right? No need to get all squirmy talking about money. Go and do it, and don’t be wired.

Each income plan takes time, so if you are short on time, feel free to reduce the plan to just one or whatever you need. If you don’t plan on making money from your site now, make yourself your income plan. What I mean by that, is work on growth goals for an audience. My suggestion here is that don’t decide to monetize your website just a few months before selling. Buyers want to see a few months of income to feel confident in the stability and patterns of your site.

62

Make Money NOW Plan

63

Income plan #1

64

Income plan #2

65

Income plan #3

 


Steps 66-72 Blogging

 

As your website gains more views, and you have more interaction with your audience, blogging becomes less overwhelming.

Looking at blogging from a planning standpoint, there is a way to approach the organization of blogging to set you up for success.

If you have your 12 Things List handy, you can refer back to that as inspiration on topics.

Create a template for your blog posts. A favorite type of content of mine is one that has repeatable themes and elements, but fresh filler. Maybe there is going to be at the end of every blog post “three things” or every blog post is five photos that tell a story. Think about how your content can be unique, not only in what is created but how it is presented.

Getting started. In addition to your three core content pages, craft three first blog posts. The goal in having three of everything is to show that this isn’t an abandoned site, that there is more info coming, and to keep readers on the site long enough that’ll remember that the site is a good source of content.

Setting up automation and systems at the beginning is a great way to ensure long-term success. Have a system for once you post a new blog post, where that content gets promoted too. Maybe it’s an evergreen content piece where you want to repin it every few weeks because it does a great job of driving new traffic.

Be willing to evaluate your content for what it is good a doing. Does one blog article have a crazy high number of email subscribers? Maybe another blog is converting instagram to affiliate sales at a rate of 10%? Find out what each blog post is good at and see if you can use that in creating new content or enhancing current posts.

 

66

Categories

67

Editorial Calendar

68

Blog post template

69

Individual blog post marketing plan

70

Blog post #1

71

Blog Post #2

72

Blog Post #3

 


Steps 73-78 Seo & Usability Audit

 

Being able to look at your website how a human does and also how the leading search engine Google does, is a particular skill. Best advise ever given to me about organic SEO (the SEO you don’t have to pay for) was that if you organize your information so that it is clean and simple, and code it so a blind 12-year-old can you the website, Google will love you.

What do I mean by a blind 12-year old? It is easy to get absorbed in how pretty a site looks. Sometimes “pretty” can make a website confusing and unusable. Thinking about the blind 12-year-old will make you logically organize information. So, have valuable information towards the top of the page, use alt tags in your image descriptions, and keep the copy easily readable ( a sixth-grade reading level is enjoyable for most of us to read in, even if we are capable of dissecting Proust).

 

73

Alt tags on images define article

74

Homepage shows what site is about

75

Featured Image / Video on every post

76

Metadata on every page a piece of crucial content

77

Sitemap

78

404 page

 


Steps 79 -87 Starting to Build an Audience / Making Money

 

Because earning your first $100 is cause for celebration! Remember seeing the first dollar framed in a family owned store? Much more will come, but the first $100 is so important because it validates that you have built something valuable enough that people will pay.

Many times after new entrepreneurs flip from “just build it mode” to “make money mode,” they get frustrated that they didn’t try to make a smaller amount earlier.

So with that said.

“Boil a cup of water before you try to boil the ocean.” –unknown

79

First $100 income

80

First 100 facebook likes

81

First 100 Pinterest followers

82

First 100 Instagram subscribers

83

First 100 Youtube views

84

First 100 Twitter followers

85

Update Media Kit

86

Update Marketing Strategy

87

Update Make Money Plan

 


Steps 88-96 Quarter Way to Audience / Financial Goal

 

When you are a quarter way to your audience goals, you most likely have the hustle part down pat. You’ve established a rhythm, you have the hunger to grow, and trying different things.

Advise from going from 1/4 way into the goal to halfway there: organized yourself, create systems. Identify channels that work and double down.

88

Quarter Way to Average Monthly Income Goal

89

Quarter way to goal facebook likes

90

Quarter way to goal Pinterest followers

91

Quarter way to goal Instagram subscribers

92

Quarter way to goal Youtube views

93

Quarter way to goal Twitter followers

94

Update Media Kit

95

Update Marketing Strategy

96

Update Make Money Plan

 


Steps 97-105 Halfway Way to Audience / Financial Goal

 

This is amazing. By now, you are feeling the love. You have an audience that you interact with all the time. They love your content. Hey, maybe you have even gotten your first piece of hate mail (it happens).

How can you go all the way to your audience and financial goals? My advice is to engage with your audience by involving them with the direction of the content. Feature readers, host giveaways, rock Q&A’s and be available.

 

97

Half Way to Average Monthly Income Goal

98

Half way to goal facebook likes

99

Half way to goal  pinterest followers

100

Half way to goal instagram subscribers

101

Half way to goal  youtube views

102

Half way to goal twitter followers

103

Update Media Kit

104

Update Marketing Strategy

105

Update Make Money Plan

 


Steps 106-114 Three Quarters Way to Audience / Financial Goal

 

This is amazing. By now, you are feeling the love. You have an audience that you interact with all the time. They love your content. Hey, maybe you have even gotten your first piece of hate mail (it happens).

How can you go all the way to your audience and financial goals? My advice is to engage with your audience by involving them with the direction of the content. Feature readers, host giveaways, rock Q&A’s and be available.

 

106

3/4 Way to Average Monthly Income Goal

107

3/4 way to goal facebook likes

108

3/4 way to goal  pinterest followers

109

3/4 way to goal instagram subscribers

110

3/4 way to goal  youtube views

111

3/4 way to goal twitter followers

112

Update Media Kit

113

Update Marketing Strategy

114

Update Make Money Plan

 

Steps 115-121 At Audience / Financial Goal

 

You have made it.

Just because you have reached your audience and the financial goal does not mean that at this moment you have to sell your site. There is an option to become a failed flipper and a successful blogger. Keep your site, or sell it. There are no rules.

If you are planning to hold on to your site, I would suggest creating a new growth plan that gets you excited and jazzed. The exercise of going through these last 121 steps takes grit and focus; there is a tremendous amount of excitement that goes along with that. Keep the enthusiasm up by celebrating, and also by setting your sights higher.

If a sale is in your future, now is the time to package up all your information, and get it ready to present to future buyers. You have something valuable. There are very few people on this Earth that can create and grow an online business as you have; you have attention, now you can turn that into a sizable profit.

 

115

At Average Monthly Income Goal

116

At goal facebook likes

117

At goal Pinterest followers

118

At goal Instagram subscribers

119

At goal Youtube views

120

At goal Twitter followers

121

Update Media Kit

 


Steps 122-128 Selling Your Website

 

There is no formula yet for figuring out how much a website is worth.

In a business evaluation, the general formula is a business’s yearly profit after expenses multiplied by 2.5. I haven’t seen the numbers for websites follow any model of 2.5x. You can follow auctions for websites on flippa.com and see if you find a way to estimate value.

So how much is your site worth? What somebody else is willing to pay for it.

As you are starting your flip, and growing it, perhaps making a good amount of money. My suggestion is to pay attention to who is spending money on your site. If one advertiser is doing well advertising on your website, they could be a great potential buyer of the website.

Ethics. I care a lot about the community that I build with my site. It would be awful to sell my email list and all the content to a company that has known spammy sales techniques. It wouldn’t make sense to sell my websites to companies that had different ethics and views on contribution because the audience would all disappear once the sale was complete. I am looking for a culture match, a value exchange and meeting of the minds with my buyers.

A fan. Someone who has received value from the site and is looking to buy an established online business is undergoing a gold mine using already profitable and viewed the website.

122

Find a business broker

123

Gather all site information and financials

124

Create a presentation for buyers

125

Create a list of ideal buyers

126

List for sale on flippa.com

127

Let your audience know that you are considering a sale

128

 

Reach out to affiliates successful advertising on the website


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