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Decluttering Your Online Business

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Here's another guest blog post by my bud, Susanne Myers of EasyLinkLove.com My allergies are making me nuts, so she's stepped in again to help keep my blog active. That's why it pays to have REALLY smart friends! 🙂

ok. Turning this over to Susanne. Enjoy her brilliance!


Decluttering Your Online Business
By Susanne Myers from AffiliateTreasureChest.com

A few days ago Nicole invited me to share some of my big takeaway lessons from 2010 with you. One of the things that made the biggest impact on my online business was decluttering. Not only am I more profitable (which is nice), I’m also a lot happier and less stressed without all the extra sites, lists etc. to worry about. That’s why I’d love to share a little more about decluttering your online business with you so you can make this the most profitable year for your business and most importantly improve your quality of life – since that’s why we started these businesses in the first place.

Take Inventory

Start by getting a better picture of all the different little parts of your online business. What websites do you own, what domains? What products are you promoting as an affiliate? What products do you have that you’ve created yourself or have resell rights to? What PLR is collecting dust on your hard drive? What lists do you have and how are you doing about following up with those lists and monetizing them. What other income streams do you have?

Take some time to answer those questions. In fact, I recommend you take out a notebook and write them down. It’ll help you determine what pieces of your online business are worth keeping and what parts are ready to be pruned off.

Where’s The Money

Next it’s time to take a look at what sites, lists and products are currently the most profitable. Chances are that if something is already making you money you can spend a little more time and effort on it and make even more.

At the same time keep an eye out for things that can be a bit of time sucker but don’t really make you much money. This could be a newsletter you spend a lot of time publishing that doesn’t really pay off as well as you’d hoped or it may be a time intensive membership site you are maintaining. It could also be a site you’re updating regularly.

Don’t forget about mental clutter. I had several sites in the past that were making a little bit of money here and there, just enough to pay for hosting.  I wasn’t spending any time updating them, but they were always in the back of my mind and kept me thinking that I should do something with them to make them truly profitable. It was mental clutter that kept me from focusing on more important parts of my online business. I ended up selling a few of the sites and giving some away or closing them down.

It gave me a lot of focus and clarity getting rid of some of these sites. The same holds true for lists and products by the way.

Where’s The Love

Of course money isn’t the only thing to consider. You should also be doing things you love to do and work and what you enjoy. Take a look at the projects, sites, products and lists you have left and strike a balance between things you know will be profitable and things you know you’ll enjoy working on.

Time To Declutter

Now it’s time to sit down and make a list of what you should keep, what you should expand upon and most importantly what you should plan to get rid of this year. Here are the types of things you want to look at:

  • Domains – Decide what to keep, what to let expire and what you could potentially sell.
  • Websites – Decide which ones to keep, which to close down, sell or give away.
  • Lists – Decide what lists are worth keeping updated and which ones to delete.
  • Products – Decide what products you should continue marketing and which ones you should retire or turn into free giveaways.

Of course you won’t get all of this done in a matter of days. For now, come up with a plan, and then take care of what you can right now (deleting lists or not renewing domains for example). Then work on a few of the other things at a time over the coming months.

And now I would like to invite you to visit my blog www.AffiliateTreasureChest.com where I write about all things affiliate and internet marketing. Take a moment to sign up for my blog updates and let’s make 2011 our most profitable year for our online businesses.

0 Comments

  • April
    Reply

    Susanne,

    What a great article! I spent much of the fall in 2010 “streamlining” my online projects in preparation for 2011. When I evaluated where I was I found I had been authoring 6 blogs! I’m happy to report I’m down to 2 blogs and 3 weekly columns for other sites. Phew!

    Thanks for sharing such valuable information ;D

    • Susanne
      Reply

      Hi April,
      glad you enjoyed the article. Good for you on focusing on your most important business assets. Don’t forget to keep tabs throughout the year on what’s working for you and what isn’t.

  • Tricia
    Reply

    What a great article. I actually printed this off and I am going to do some of this decluttering my business.

    I could not agree with you more about the decluttering the mind. I do have a few sites that always just kind of sit at the back of my mind and make me think think think about them all the time.

    • Susanne
      Reply

      Thank you Tricia. I’m glad you found it helpful and even printed it out. Can’t wait to see how much your business will grow this year with all this new found focus.

  • Kathleen
    Reply

    Great Post, Just what I needed to start the new year off ! I will be busy for a while now, I just need to break free of my time wasting habits of email and social site all day time grabbers, lol. I guess they will still be there tomorrow,lol.

    I am going to make a declutter effort! Thanks Kathy

    • Susanne
      Reply

      good for you Kathy!

      You’re making a very good point btw about all those other daily time-wasters like
      – constantly checking email
      – checking stats
      – unproductive time on social media sites
      – surfing the web aimlessly

      Yes, there’s a time for all of them, but they can also quickly eat up way to much of your time. What I like to do is start my day off with something productive. Then check email – take care of what I need to, then turn email back off while I get back to working on projects.

      For social media and general browsing, I like to set a timer and only let my self spend 10 minutes on twitter at a time for example.

  • Mary
    Reply

    Thanks, Suzanne. I like your post. January is the best month of the year for decluttering in my opinion. Most of us have those domain names or ideas that we were totally excited about but did nothing with (yikes!) and now is a good time to determine yea or nay.

    The hard part for me is figuring out whether something is worth putting the time into and staying focused on what will actually bring in income. I really like your point about choosing things that you love and enjoy. I never mind putting time into something I enjoy. Happy new year and thank you.

  • Diana
    Reply

    Great article. I’m constantly having to declutter my computer and had begun to delete some duplicate information and pdf I know I’ll never get to or read.

    I am a compulsive saver. MY Favorites tool bar is maxed out and I keep deleting some every week.

    One of my projects is to get a handle on my saved information and organize it to use as reference.

    It’s good to know…I’m not alone.

  • Suzanne Holman
    Reply

    Susanne, this is great guidance in getting more clarity in your online business!
    I love these suggestions… great for our brains to have less static running around in there.

  • Michelle Schoen
    Reply

    You are so right about freeing up your mental clutter too. So many things that you think need to be done just sit in the back of your mind putting you in a paralyzed state that none of the really important stuf gets worked on.

    One other thing to add to the decluttering list is your e-mail subscriptions. I am down to only being subscribed to about 5 lists instead of about 50. Now I know I will only be getting content and offers I really care about instead of just a mailbox full of things I delete before reading.It is a VERY good feeling to go into your inbox and see just a few e-mails instead of a hundred.

    • Susanne
      Reply

      Great point Michelle and definitely something we all need to do regularly. I’m off to unsubscribe from a bunch of lists right now 🙂

  • Patti Stafford
    Reply

    I have a lot of decluttering to do and we just moved over the weekend so getting my blog and business off the ground will be a bit delayed. We still don’t have Internet service and if you’ve ever moved you know how time consuming it is, so maybe it’s a good idea we don’t have Internet at the moment.

    Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to following your blog as well.

    Blessings,
    Patti

    • Susanne
      Reply

      Being unplugged can be great – I’ve had some of my best ideas when our Internet was down and I was just sitting down with a notebook (the paper kind) and a pen jotting down ideas.

      Come up with the plan now and then once you’re back online, put it to work.

  • Aaron
    Reply

    Thanks very much for sharing this great article Susanne, now I’m going to review all my websites:)

  • L.M.
    Reply

    I have been really laser-focusing on exactly what needs to be done instead of all the distractions of being online. I think it is really hard to stay organized online when you are pulled in 100 different directions. I’m also trying to focus on one website at a time and really focus on writing my content. I got caught up for a long time on aesthetics, design, plug-ins,stats, etc. instead of writing the content that those sites needed. I feel much more productive now instead of flitting all over the place and this in turn helps me to be more organized. It’s sort of like a brain decluttering.

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