I’m sometimes asked questions like “how many websites do you own?” or “how do you monetize your websites?” so I’m writing this blog post to talk about that a bit.
I don’t see myself as a website owner or someone who exclusively uses one type of monetization. Here’s how I really view my business model:
I own my very own personal venture capital firm in which I use my own money to invest in assets (like businesses and real estate) in niches and industries I can add value in. Sometimes I start a business up, sometimes I buy a business (or a part of a business, as in the case of a stock market equity). I add value as much as I can (usually through content creation or topical expertise); and if I can’t add value directly (as in the case of equities), I make sure I know enough about the business to trust that someone else is adding value.
These assets are monetized in different ways: Some are brands built into one or more websites that get advertisements put on them; others are monetized with services that I deliver (or I co-deliver with someone else); others with ebooks; others with affiliate offers; etc. As much as possible, I try to monetize each asset in multiple ways. Real estate is usually monetized with rental (and the bonus of appreciation when I sell). Equities I buy tend to be appreciation only (I like dividend-paying equities but I also love to speculate in junior resource stocks).
This mindset is freeing. It means I can work in a variety of industries that interest me, and I can build the kind of business where I see a profitable opportunity. I’m not tied to a specific kind of brand, niche, or monetization model. It also means that I have a big picture in mind: Some brands make a lot of money and others make a little bit but I can evaluate them on their own merits and grow my overall “empire” in the way that I want to.
If you run more than one brand, maybe this kind of “personal venture capital firm” mindset will work for you to help give you the right perspective?