Build Your Own Website Starter Kit is Born

Written On Day: 172
Cabinet

Time to blow some dust off this blog.  It has been over a month since my last entry.  Many things could of happened to explain the lack of blog posts:

  • A terrible accident with the lawn mower– all my fingers scattered in the backyard.  I tried typing with my elbows but found it very uncomfortable.
  • A friend gave me a dog as a present.  The dog cannot deciede where he wants to be.  He wants to go outside, then back inside, then outside, then in, out, in, out, in, out.  My days are spent opening and closing the door. 
  • I could not see the words on the screen through my tears.  Tears that formed every time I looked at my AdSense revenue.
  • I stumbled over a tree root and hit my head on a rock.  When I woke up I experienced a  instance of perfect clarity and reason in which I realized that this website was a big waste of time.  So I quite this blog and went back to watching TV reruns.

All these are possibilities but none of them is what happened.

The Website Starter Kit

About a month ago, just after my last post, I was walking across a parking lot carrying a bag of potatoes and a big chuck of cheese when I suddenly realized that I know a lot more then I give myself credit.  I know things, things that other people do not know, things that I could sell them.

During dinner as I munched on my baked potato I started to formulate what was to become the ‘Build Your Own Website – Starter Kit’.  A complete package composing of a few ebooks and website templates.  The ebooks would explain to the beginner everything they need to know to start their own money making website:

  • How to create a website
  • How to setup a web hosting account and domain name
  • How to decide on a Niche
  • How to write content for your website
  • How to get traffic to your website
  • How to setup AdSense and generate revenue
  • How to become an affiliate and generate revenue

As you probably know ebooks about this topic are plentiful.  Ebooks about ‘making money online’ are offered like trinkets in a Mexican resort town.  So I needed to differentiate myself somehow.  That is why I also created a special template that comes with the ebooks.  It is a complete website template  – the same one used my howthiswebsitemakesmoney.com.

A person who buys my Starter Kit will get all the information they need to be able to understand the ‘make money online’ business and they will get a website to apply their knowledge.  All they need to do is add their own content and make a few stylistic changes to make their website unique.  What took me months to accomplish on my website, doing all the research and creating the website, can be done in a matter of days with the Website Starter Kit.

I loved my idea the instant I came up with it.  So for the next month I sat at my computer and punched away.  I could think of nothing else but my Starter Kit.  If I have a flaw then this is it – I can only focus on one thing at a time.  I had to complete the entire package before I could write another blog post.  Even though my traffic started to suffer – where once I was averaging about 70 visitors a day I was now averaging around 45.  The blog was calling me but I was not listening – must finish the Starter Kit first.

The ebook ended up being 5 main parts and over 200 pages.  I am so glad that it is finally complete.

One of my biggest fears is the blank page and everyday I had to confront it, 200 times in total.  And on top of that some parts of the ebook were extremely boring to write.  Specifically the tutorials on how to use the website template.  The tutorials are step by step screen shot based guides.  So I had to do every step, take a screen shot, format the image and then place it properly into the document.  Hours spent fiddling with margins and padding just to get the images to appear properly on the page.  There are 80 images in the ebook – 80 instances of grief and frustration. 

But that is the past.  It is all done now.  The past me suffered but the present me will benefit.  Now all I have to do is sell it.

The Damn Button

You have probably had this experience or something similar.  You buy a large shelving unit from IKEA,  you are a handy person so putting it all together will not be a problem.  Following the instructions and using the special tools you put the cabinet together.  You are almost done – everything goes without a problem, all that remains is to put on the last little cabinet door.  So far to build the entire cabinet has taken two hours.  But now the stupid little door just does not go on.  For the next 3 hours you try everything to get the door on.  It just does not fit properly – the fu*king thing won’t close.  What started out as a pleasant Saturday afternoon project turns into a red faced cursing day in hell.

That cute little button you see at the top right corner of every page on this website was my last cabinet door.  The entire Starter Kit went relatively well.  The ebooks, the templates, the landing page all went quite smoothly.  All were done in calmness and in a state resembling nirvana.  Sometimes I whistled while I worked.

The little button was left for last.  Such a simple thing – make a little button and place it in the top right corner.  I did not even consider it as a task.  It was just something I needed to do after I was done the Starter Kit – put the ribbon on the Christmas present.  I allotted 30 minutes.

Now looking back I am surprised my laptop lived through the ordeal.  If I would of expressed my frustration in a physical manner the laptop would be on the floor scattered in a million pieces, the bottoms of my feet would be full of computer parts lodged under the skin.  But fortunately I am able to keep my feelings of hate and disgust safely to myself.

Website Starter Kit

It ended up taking 3 hours to put that button where it is.  Sometimes it was on the top left corner, sometimes it was in the middle of page, sometimes it moved around when I re-sized the browser window, and worst of all, sometimes I could not find it anywhere on the page.

But now like the cabinet door which now opens and closes perfectly, the button sits where it should.  It does not move, and looks the same on all pages and on all browser versions.  There were some good things that came out of the experience.

  1. In CSS I fully understand the difference between absolute and relative position.
  2. To make absolute position work on a <DIV> tag the container in which the <DIV> tag sits must have have the position element set as relative.
  3. browsershots.org is a great website to check the browser compatibility of your website.
  4. For the little cabinet door you need to use number 13 screws not 18.

First Two Starter Kits Are Sold

If you have been keeping an eye on the number (total revenue) on the homepage then you must of noticed the recent large increase.  For the first 160 days this website managed to make $150 and then in a matter of days it jumps to over $400 hundred dollars.  Looking at the revenue graph you can barley see the Adsense revenue for the last 30 days – the Starter Kit and hosting Affiliate sales dominate the graph like four skyskrapers in an native African village:

Revenue has a big increase

The explanation is simple – I sold two copies of the Website Starter Kit.  The two sales of the Starter Kit completely overshadow 6 months of AdSense earnings.  Am I excited?  No.  These two sales did not come easy.  I had to invite a couple of my friends over for dinner, fill them up with alcohol, and then spend the night persuading them to buy the kit.  Being my friends, and drunk, they capitulated.  The day I put the kit up for sale they bought it.  The money is real, but the sale was forced.

If I could get you drunk and force you to buy the Starter Kit I would.  But unfortunately I cannot.  Selling to you and other visitors is a lot harder.  I will be excited when someone buys the Starter Kit through the traditional method: Loving this website, wanting one of their own, clicking the landing page button, reading the landing page, clicking the buy button.

You can find the website starter kit here.

  1. June 22nd, 2009 at 22:09 | #1

    Roman. This is a great idea, but sadly I can’t see the button and the post about the kit doesn’t contain a single link to the product!

    I hope you don’t mind a little criticism, but all this work will be wasted if you don’t focus on blogging to increase your traffic. You’ve said your visitors are down to 45 per day – those numbers are just not high enough to get sales of the kit. So please go back to posting and getting the traffic up, and you should see some sale start to come through.

    Good luck with it!

  2. roman
    June 23rd, 2009 at 11:22 | #2

    @Mike CJ
    Thanks for letting me know about the blasted button. I have re-checked the code and found the problem. It should work now.

    And yes, I will need to post more. As soon as the button leaves me alone I will have lots of time for blog posts.

  3. June 24th, 2009 at 09:08 | #3

    I admire how much work you put into this project. I have so many product ideas but never get round to it myself! Sounds like a great idea offering a template, and I wish you success with making sales.

  4. July 11th, 2009 at 14:22 | #4

    I have to admit I am really tempted to buy your starter kit (if I plan to design a static website, too). First, just to help you along your fascinating project. Second, I really like your writing style (I am a non native speaker too and I admire your english skills!). Third, your product seems to really have some added value and you do describe the merits of your product really well. Great job.

  5. Zoie
    July 10th, 2010 at 04:54 | #5

    I enjoy your blog and humor and won’t be unsubscribing soon… like I have with everyone else that’s constantly trying to sell something in EVERY SINGLE email. I sure would have liked a link to the “Starter Kit” though. It was the “unsell” like the “uncola” kinda. Really like your stuff.

  6. July 15th, 2010 at 01:32 | #6

    Roman. This is seriously a great site. You have packed it full of great information and I love how honest it is. I have been back quite a few times. I leave a “tip” each time for all your hard work, by clicking all the adds (I guess that is how it works). I just started a blog, for fun, a few days ago. I have a TON to learn but maybe someday it will make a few bucks. Your site has given me a benchmark as to what to expect (not much at first). This is a great site for newbies like me. Just wanted to let you know, I appreciate your work and I will be back. I always leave a “tip”.

  7. roman
    July 15th, 2010 at 07:11 | #7

    Hello TekkBlog,

    I am glad that you enjoy the site and find value in it.

    Unfortunately leaving a ‘tip’ by clicking on the ads does not help me, it makes things worse for me.

    When you click an ad the advertisers, who pay for that ad, expect that you are genuinely interested in their product. They create the advertisement and place it on my website hoping to attract interested customers to their product. So when people arrive at their website from my website they expect that a certain percentage of people will end up buying their product. Its a win-win-win situation. I win for getting paid, the advertiser wins by selling a product, and you win by getting a product you want.

    The problem occurs when people click the ads with no interest in the product. What happens is that the advertisers will notice that people that arrive to their site from my site never buy the product. Noticing that visitors from my site never buy the product the advertiser will not run advertisements on my site. Which makes sense, why would they want to pay for advertisements that do not give them anything in return.

    When you simply click on the ads with no interest you lower this website’s rate of return for the advertisers and they could choose to not advertise on my site. That is bad for me.

    Google explicitly states that it is against their terms to ask visitors to click the ads or to highlight the ads in any way that results in uninterested visitors clicking the ads.

    Google does it part to prevent this kind of ‘false’ click. Google can see who is clicking the ads (based on IP address) and if it notices any unnatural behavior, like the same person clicking all the ads every few days, Google will not pay me or charge the advertisers.

    So, please, no ‘tips’. Just enjoy the site.

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