Slowing Down

Ask Leo! On Business is going to scale back a tad. I’m expecting to post about once a month for a while.

Given that I’ve been talking a lot about keeping a website “fresh” and “alive” in Google’s eyes, not to mention my readers’, I want to explain some of the rationale, especially as it would apply to any website. I also want to give you a bit of behind-the-scenes information about Ask Leo! On Business, and where it’ll go from here.

Monthly minimum

I consider a once-a-month website update a bare minimum. Anything less frequent than that I believe sends a signal to both Google and the website’s audience that the site is, for all intents and purposes, abandoned.

I’m not abandoning Ask Leo! On Business. It continues to have a very real purpose and strategy in the world of Ask Leo!

I strongly recommend more frequent updates if you can manage it. While I’d originally envisioned weekly, the starting pace for Ask Leo! On Business was twice a week, because readers said they couldn’t wait for the information I was planning to provide.

That’s excellent feedback. Always listen to your readers. That’s not to say do everything they say – it has to fit with your own plans and goals, of course – but do pay attention. Act when it makes sense.

Competing priorities

Your website is likely only a portion of your business. I argue it’s a more important aspect than many people acknowledge, but there’s no arguing that time and resources spent on your website is energy you choose to not spend on other things.

Your website is an investment in your business. Done well, it helps grow your business.

It’s a balancing act, to be sure.

Developing your website has an “up front” cost as well as an ongoing cost to keep it up-to-date and alive. Both are important to prioritize appropriately …

… and both are important to balance with the time, energy, and costs of actually running your business.

So it is with Ask Leo! I, too, have competing priorities, as well as ongoing costs for each of the websites I maintain (around 20, with perhaps half a dozen directly related to Ask Leo!), the books I write, and the other projects I take on.

I’m “dialing down” Ask Leo! On Business publication frequency specifically to make room for a couple of new projects I’ll be announcing on Ask Leo! in the coming weeks. (Be sure to subscribe to The Ask Leo! Newsletter to get announcements on all that. 🙂 )

Behind the scenes

In many ways, Ask Leo! On Business is a great example of setting up a website, publishing regularly, using a newsletter, and more. It’s a great example of many of the very things it talks about.

But on the other hand, it’s not.

Ask Leo! On Business was, and is, an experiment – a side-project to the Big Kahuna that is Ask Leo! itself. The experiment was to see if there was demand for this topic, and perhaps go further with a book and/or training if the demand was there. It was also an opportunity for me to simply say some things I’ve wanted to say for a long time that didn’t fit under the Ask Leo! umbrella.

What that also means is that as an experiment, it was, in a sense, competing for my time with a site that has over a million visitors a month. 🙂

As I write this, Ask Leo! On Business has just over 1,000 email subscribers, and the website is getting just over 1,000 visitors a month. That’s “OK”, particularly for a site and project that’s just over half a year old (I dreamed it up over last Christmas 🙂 ). But after this amount of time, it doesn’t represent the level of interest I was hoping for, or the level of interest that would make it a higher priority compared to other opportunities on my plate.

Of course, all that could change, and I’m keeping the site alive and my options open.

Your input

One effect of a reduced publication frequency is that your feedback is more important than ever. I want to make sure what I do publish here is of lasting value to you as you develop and maintain your own web presence.

To that end, I’ve updated the Ask Leo! On Business contact form. In fact, it’s now an example of using the very form technology we were just talking about. Rather than send you to Ask Leo!’s more generic ask-a-question mechanism, Ask Leo! On Business contacts are flagged so I can more easily identify them and prioritize appropriately.

Don’t hesitate to use it to let me know what kinds of topics you’d like me to take on here. There’s nothing that says I’ll only do once a month. If I get lots of requests, I’ll react to your input as before, adjust my priorities, and perhaps publish more frequently.

9 comments on “Slowing Down”

  1. Leo,

    I am one of your email subscribers to Ask Leo on Business, but I am not an active business site owner. I subscribe because I always learn from your sites, and this one is no exception. Ironically, one of the things I have realized from reading ALoB is that I don’t have the energy or impetus to create and keep up a successful full-on site at this time, and so I don’t waste time trying — info that is ultimately just as valuable I believe.

    I am retired with limited income (and energy, I’m afraid) but I have skills and >ahem< wisdom that I could share. My question for you would be: Is there a way for someone like me to have an internet presence, share my knowledge, and make some money in the process?

    I don't need a personal reply, but if I'm not alone in this, maybe it would be an issue for you to address in the future.

    Dan

  2. Hi Leo,
    Been a fan of yours for years…Thanks for all the advice, hearing back up, back up, back up has saved my bacon 2 times over the years. As I am in the planning stages of opening my business I have found your opinions and tips to be spot on. I will be in a brick and mortar service business in an area where none of my competition has a website (they just use Facebook), so as you have said just having a site will give me a leg up. As I have never designed my own site I have some trepidation to starting one, but your step by step lessons has helped give me some confidence and avoid some pitfalls. The most recent being my local SBDC pushing me towards using Wix instead of WordPress.
    The one question I do have is regarding my domain name. The domain of the exact name of my business is taken (5 letters) and I inquired how much they wanted for it and they said 20K!!! No thanks… Do you think that if I just use XXXXX1.com instead is a smart way to go or should I just expand it with a longer name. Instead of XXXXX1.com I was thinking XXXXXXredemptioncenter.com. I always thought shorter was better, but I wanted your opinion.
    You are one of the few sites that I trust implicitly, which is rare to find with 57 million opinions on everything floating on the web, so thanks again. I read both your newsletters religiously.

    • My expertise is in Windows troubleshooting, so you can take this with a grain of salt, but adding a number to the URL seems to me unprofessional and might even be confusing to people seeing it, For example, they might think xxxxx1.com is an alternate site to xxxxx.com. Adding a meaningful word look more professional, and more descriptive, although redemptioncenter seems to make it a bit long.

      Maybe Leo or someone else could pipe in on this.

    • Sorry for the lengthy delay. It’s been kinda busy around here.

      There’s no rule of thumb, I’m afraid. I’ve seen at least one organization do exactly what you thought of – XXXXX1.com. It worked ok. It’s perhaps more common to see the other – XXXXXredemptioncenter.com.

      Perhaps even more common is to grab XXXX.net or XXXX.biz (or other TLDs) if available – perhaps even to protect your brand. But then consider using it, PARTICULARLY if you plan for your domain name to be “transmitted” audibly (like radio commercials – unambiguous and easy to “get” is KEY in such situations).

      The good news in all this is aside what some people is a slight preference for “.com”, the search engines don’t care. They evaluate based on 200factors, and those are mostly about the content, not the domain name you happen to choose. So regardless of what you pick by-and-large they should all rank equivalently.

      With one exception: if there’s a specific keyword that you’re wanting to rank for, AND it’s type-able and unambiguous when typable, AND you expect people to type your domain in, then forms of XXXX-keyword.com can sometimes get you a slight (1/200th?) advantage.

      Good luck!

  3. Hi Leo.
    As a long time follower of ask Leo for over 10 years and business owner in Australia, I would like to say thank you for all your help over the years. Your way of explaining complicated issues in easy language is one of your greatest assets.
    Ask Leo on business has opened my knowledge of websites to the next level. Please don’t stop, but enjoy life too.

    Thank you from down under.
    Grant.

  4. Leo I’ve been a subscriber to the Ask Leo news letter for a few years now and though I don’t have a business or a particular idea or project to share and I’ve never thought about setting up a web site before when you mentioned the business news letter I signed up.
    The main reason for signing up for the news letter was curiosity and to learn something new. I knew from your Ask Leo news letter that I could learn something and I was right. You are very good at explaining things in a easy to understand way.
    I understand that you have to prioritize, there is so much time and resources and I look forward to what ever future articles that you provide on this subject. I’ve saved all the Business news letters to reread and who knows maybe in the future I might have an idea or a reason to have a web site and they’ll be a good resource to help setting one up.
    That being said now you’ve got me curious and I’m looking forward to what these new projects are that you alluded to. Maybe something new to learn.

  5. I’ve been following the Ask Leo on Business project with interest. I have an idea for a business/project, in fact I’m waiting on the patent office right now. My wife finished her master’s degree last spring and is starting a new job this fall. Add to that summer vacation season and the fact that we moved and are trying to sell our old house and I can understand all about competing priorities. I have fallen behind on reading the ALoB postings. I do have all the emails saved and I WILL get back to them, once life slows down again. It’s kind of uncanny how you started this project just as I was starting to think about the possibility of building a website, even more uncanny how you are throttling it back in sync with my availability time to keep up with it. Even if you decide to terminate the project, please keep the info available for a reasonable length of time. It has a LOT of value to me.

    Thanks for all you do,
    Dave