When the lawyers come knocking

I worry occasionally about the exposure of my websites to legal action. I found this useful:

Just throw them at the wall

Websites are like pop songs: publish and see. Or as the old saying goes: throw them at the wall and see what sticks. I think I have been finessing my ideas too much. Now I'm just chucking.

Internet, I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life

The world is full of those chasing fame and fortune on the Internet. The glittering lures of e-commerce, Adsense and cult hero-dom draw them from far and wide, looking for easy money, good hours and groupies. It is not like that.

See my recent article on IT Career planet

The perils of web on-demand publishing

I recently wrote a book and decided to publish with Lulu as a leading brand. When i received my proof copies the quality was unacceptable. Now I am trying createspace (Amazon) to see if they can do better.

The blogging bubble

Blogging is developing into this incestuous industry of bloggers writing about blogging and each other. The resulting spiral has the industry rapidly disappearing up its own fundamental orifice.

Fuelled by the vanity of everyone having their own soapbox, a money engine is emerging where blogging is seldom about anything useful or relevant outside of its own onanistic world. Bloggers are all busy selling advertising and affiliate programs to each other. Their content is on how to blog, or how to make money from the internet which usually involves ... wait for it ... blogging.

A website is never finished, which suits me

A website is a creative process, but it is not a work of art. You don't hang it on the web for people to look at. It is an ongoing story, an organic process, not an object. Better still people expect it that way. It can be unfinished and readers will be happy with that. They look forward to the next step in the journey, the next stage of growth.

On track to be a millionaire in 2010?

That's the question a friend asked me. I replied that "on track...to 2010" might be too strong a term but it is still not impossible.

The cold slap of IT operational work

After most of two years spent at home pottering with Web enterprises, it comes as a shock to spend three months of high-stress 50-hour weeks back at the coal face.

Quitting my corporate job was a lifestyle decision. There were times in the past two years when I wondered if I had gained anything in lifestyle, but that was because the change had crept up on me gradually. It is only now, stepping back into the maelstrom of IT operations, that I realise just how pleasant working from home really is.

How not to counter comment-spammers

Well, here's a little lesson. I got annoyed at a comment spammer and so I bit back. I got two negative feedbacks from readers.

My business VMOSA

The same colleague I mentioned previously asked me about my VMOSA: vision -> mission -> objectives -> strategies -> action plans. Here's mine:

Opinion websites: blog or forum? Five reasons why my blog is staying as a blog

One of my blogs, The IT Skeptic is often more of a forum, with much to-and-fro banter on the comments. A colleague asked why I didn't turn it into a forum since it was already starting to look a bit like one.

Will your weberprise survive your day job?

Much as I would love to work at home full time on webpreneurial activities, the money just isn't there (yet). So I'm back on 2-3 months fulltime contract to make some serious money. With commute, I'm losing about 60 hours a week. Since I resist compromising lifestyle (time with my son, wife, chores, projects and hobbies), that puts enormous pressure on the Two Hills weberprise.

Test marketing with Adwords

I've started testing my sites with Adwords.

I put $100 in my Adwords account and ran some adds for ttjasi.com. Result: about 300 visitors and $8 in AdSense revenue.

Web hosting; you get what you pay for but you don't have to pay much

Nobody in their right mind runs a production server at home. Sure I have a desktop machine here at home (do my development on it), but you are viewing this page off a server in Utah. Secure building, 24-hour monitoring, UPS, daily backups... You can't supply that at home for the prices these guys charge.

Look after the pennies... then look after the pounds

I aim to have a million bucks in the bank in three more years. To do that I need a big business success. But in the meantime I have a family to feed. And ...gasp... I just might not make that million. So don't bet it all on one number.

If you love your business set it free

Actually, "if you love your life set your business free". the sooner you can decouple your business from your own hours, the easier it is to grow it, and the sooner you can enjoy life.

We spoke before about the importance of revenue not being related to your personal hours by "independing" a business; making it independent of you.

Get into business to get out of business

Entrepreneurs and small business people often end up with the business as a millstone around their necks. If you are in business because you like working, fine. Otherwise, make sure you go into business for the sole purpose of getting out again.

The first principle of getting rich is to not be directly involved

Most people who set out to make serious money make a fundamental mistake: they include their own hours in the model. That is, revenue is proportional to the work they personally do.

There are people who get rich on their own time: lawyers and media stars spring to mind. But the first group have to be really smart, and work really hard for years; and the second group have to be born with some talent and then get really lucky or sleep with the right people. Either way it is hard to arrange, so keep your hours out of it.

Portfolio entrepreneur

The portfolio entrepreneur, and the variant "serial entrepreneur", knows that failure is the bass-line beat of entrepreneurship. The secret of success is to fail well and fail often.

Be a grocer not a prospector

The internet is the new Wild West. There are fortunes to be made, but there are many more hopeful fortune-hunters than there are fortunes. The people who made money in a goldrush were not the miners. They were the merchants who sold shovels and jeans.

For every prospector who hit paydirt and retires rich, there were a thousand who find just enough to keep hope and body alive for another year, and another thousand who gave up or died.

Another analogy is rock-stars. For every Jimmy Hendrix there are a million wannabe-guitarists hacking away getting nowhere.