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Old 19th June 2006, 11:53 AM   #1
casper
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Default my Small Business Builder website

Hi, my name is Casper. I've recently finished my website business-web.org .

The concept is simple; users with no programming/designing experience register at my website, add content to their account, select a layout and their website is finished. The accounts are free, although a small banner will be integrated in the layout.

My questions are;
- Should I allow linkbuildersites on my webservice? For example, business-web.org /DanaRankin has a small site with seemingly useless information and a page with 50 links directing to all of her referral accounts. Would I receive a small income from the ads on their account, or is the account worthless to me?

- Should I keep the service free?

- I would like to add a 'shop basket' functionality to the accounts, so they can set up a real ecomerce website. However, I don't want to be in the center of the financial transaction. The information must be send directly to the owner of the account. What would be the best way to do that?


tnx for the help, I've asked these questions on another seo forum but they didn't really respond..

Casper

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Old 19th June 2006, 02:36 PM   #2
Logan
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1) I wouldn't

2) Tough question. If free, do you have other sources of revenue related to free sign ups? You need to pay yourself.

3) The admin can be programmed (with your hard work) so that it can be used with Verisign, Paypal, Authorize.net, Bank of America, etc. You provide the programming for one or more gateways, then within the setup parameters their terminal service is requested and they input their relevant variables (i.e. User ID). Typically that's all that is needed, and then you are not in the transaction loop. Start with the most popular and then expand as demand is determined by people requesting it. If you are fond of helping, and want to get them onboard you simply add it then it is available for all. Or say you can custom program it, for a small fee, then provide it to all within your system. Couple approaches to adding functionality down the road.

Welcome aboard Casper

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Old 19th June 2006, 05:17 PM   #3
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As to your shopping cart application, talk to a reputable merchant processor about the setup.

If you set it up correctly (so that the particular processor can be easily linked), you should be able to work out something similar to association rates. With multiple merchants, you might be able to negotiate a discounted rate for each one based on the total annual processing volume. In other words, twenty merchants who do $50K annually would be able to receive the rates and fees offered to a $1 Million annual merchant. This would be yet another value and reason for folks to utilize your services.

FYI - you shouldn't have to mandate that your users utilize this service. It would just be an option.

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Old 19th June 2006, 06:29 PM   #4
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Jason, that is one approach. Quick question for you regarding it. How much could one expect to profit from that sort of setup? I'd like to know what you think in general. I've looked into it and it seemed to me that if you got revenue above $100,000 you could make 1% perhaps ($1000 .... $1mil = $10k, etc). Is that too low an estimate? If not, I thought when it comes to handling service/returns it is a lot of money flowing and work for not a huge incentive and a considerable amount of increased liability. Am I missing something?

Good point about that could be an 'option'. Regardless, it probably should be open so the consumer can decide to use their own or use a system 'default'.

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Old 19th June 2006, 07:03 PM   #5
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Hi, Logan!

I have to apologize as I don't think that I was clear in my suggestion. It certainly wouldn't be a good idea for Casper to manage the individual accounts. You nailed it on the head - the $$$ to liability ratio is way off the feasibilty charts.

What I am suggesting is that Casper may want to approach merchant processors about association rates. Quite often, an association or group will suggest that its members consider a particular processor. In return, and in consideration of the aggregate volume, the processor will offer rates that are lower than the individual members would expect to pay as single entities. Each merchant would be responsible for their own separate merchant account. The association or group's only role is negotiating the fees and choosing a merchant processor that their reputation can be trusted with.

I don't know enough about Casper's endeavor to say if this is a good fit, but I have seen it used as a successful marketing tool and featured service in other instances.

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Old 19th June 2006, 07:05 PM   #6
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No apologies needed, good perspective you are sharing! Thank you.

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Old 21st June 2006, 10:59 AM   #7
pageBuzz
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Default We Builder

Casper -

I took a look at your site and its nice. Did you use an existing program or did you write the code and do the graphics yourself?

I experimented with free hosting. But it was a headache and the downside was the spam that plagued the system. But that was a full website up to 50 pages and a much more developed platform.

I would like to point out that without domains or sub domains the pages will never get much traffic. If people build the page, it looks like you are serving them at your domain using a basic querry string. Unless they advertise the page for you, they might as well be hidden under a rock.

You will need to get a listing of the pages so the individual pages can be indexed in the searches. Otherwise the only person that view a page will be the person that built it.

You may want to consider serving html pages and having an index of the business pages. That would insure you get search traffic.

And watch the spammers. They will sign up, and post garbage to improve link popularity on their own website.

You will likely find that getting people to sign up will cost more than you can produce in advertising. But if you expand what you have and make it a complete website you could charge for the service and generate a solid recurring income.

But the site is excellent. Just giving you my 2 cents on marketing and management.

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Old 30th June 2006, 07:14 AM   #8
casper
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

I have created the website from scratch, it's all programmed by me
The designs to choose from are also done by me, except for two oswd designs.

I'm currently building a premium service which is an extended verion of the fre service. Once that one has been launched I will start the adwords campaign. I'm not going to invest in adwords to attract some free users.

Quote:
"I would like to point out that without domains or sub domains the pages will never get much traffic. If people build the page, it looks like you are serving them at your domain using a basic querry string. Unless they advertise the page for you, they might as well be hidden under a rock."
Thanks for the advice. I'm now adding a SEO tutorial to every activation email, to boost them into building links to their site. And I have added a sitemap to my webserver with all the available accounts, which is easy for searchbots.


Thx for the help guys!


grz

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