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Establishing a New Online Magazine in my First Language: Lessons Learned in the First 2 Weeks

28th May 2015

Two weeks ago, I finally took the leap of faith to start an online magazine in the business niche in my first language. I had the urge to do this since 2014, but for many reasons, I was hesitant. Why?

I have fear and doubts

Because I was afraid; I was afraid that people in my own country would recognize me. As weird as it sounds, I fear the publicity and exposure in my own country, but I’m hustling for exposure in US and UK market for my websites.

Then one day I watched video of one of the ‘virtual’ mentors I followed, Gary Vaynerchuk (sorry – I forgot which one!) He, already an epic entrepreneur and well-known social media guru, mentioned that in his keynotes, 80-90 percent of the audience didn’t know who he is (he asked this question directly to the audience,”Who in this room knows who I am?”)

Then I thought – if a prolific, well-known entrepreneur like Gary Vaynerchuk is still unrecognized by 90 percent of the audience, then who am I to feel afraid of the exposure and publicity?

Then I thought to myself: I have this good intention to enter my home country’s market, why am I afraid of doing so, as if I was doing something illegal?

Then I finally establish the business site, in local language, in mid-May 2015. The site is called Bisnismoo, and it’s basically offering the same thing as many of my sites are offering, only in a different language.

In the first 2 weeks of my site’s life, here’s my experience so far:

Starting up: Smooth, but..

Okay. Launching is not as nice as when I did so many times with my other sites. I have this burden, as if I bear the responsibility to do better than I did in the past. Not that I don’t want to work hard for growth, it’s just that, like what I mentioned above, I have this weird fear with me.

Entering Startup

photo credit: Mike / Flickr

I started off like what I always do for years:

  • Find great templates (this time, Fox, from ThemeForest)
  • Create logo and brand identity in general (I was using Fiverr, but this time, I use Tailor Brands‘ intuitive DIY logo design platform)
  • Host the site with HostGator (80 percent of my sites are with the hosting – so big shoutout to the reliable hosting!)
  • Install my one and only choice of CMS, WordPress.
  • And start customizing: Adding initial content (About page, initial blog posts, etc.)
  • Setup Facebook, Twitter, Google+ page and make sure everything adds up to the brand equity.

I chose to use everything in a local language, from the WP installation to the content.   Where the content is coming from? So far, 100 percent of the content is from my own sites, manually translated into my local language.  And yes, in term of duplicate content, this is safe to do (fingers crossed!)

Things started to roll with 5 blog posts, and I add 1 post per day, the ideal frequency in my case, as the site is aimed at offering not-too-deep content that is simple to consume by the audience.

What initial promotion that I do?

I want to speed things up, so I use paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter for Bisnismoo FB page and Twitter page, respectively.  So far, both are doing well, in term of fans and followers count.

I love social media because it sells stuff - Gary Vaynerchuk quote

I have yet to engage fully with the followers, but I can see my Facebook page attracts more potential engagement than Twitter.

How’s the conversion?

For Bisnismoo, ‘conversion’ refers to visits and newsletter signup at the moment – ads’ clickthrough is a bonus (yes, no matter how I reluctant to do it, I finally use AdSense.)  Traffic wise, Bisnismoo is growing slowly but steadily – getting dozens of new visitors every day.  It’s a bit worrying, to tell you the truth, for ONE reason I will explain in the next section.  I have several newsletter signup, too – so… not too bad, but it could be better, in my opinion.

It’s not like what I thought: I started out… crawling, learning to walk

Launching a US- and UK- targeted website is easier, in my opinion.  I have the infrastructure: Social media channels, forums, social/influencer networks, etc.  The problem is, all of those are in English, and what I actually need for Bisnismoo is channels and networks in my first language.

Baby and the teddy bear

The good news, I somewhat know what to do. The bad news, I have zero exposure locally, which means I don’t have local social media accounts, no PR distribution channels, nothing.  I feel like starting up all over again, building everything ground up.  Quite a problem, which means that I have to take the learning curve and the journey into the ‘wilderness’, but it’s exciting! I have the map in my hands, anyway 🙂

What’s next?

For sure, I aim to find more visitors to the site, and keep them as repeating visitors, most likely via Newsletter updates. I will also use the guest posting tactics to get the Bisnismoo brand out there.

Monetization-wise, I will find more creative ways to bring in revenue, other than AdSense ads and the likes.  Indeed, I position Bisnismoo as a business early on, so readers (and potential advertisers!) know what to expect.

Takeaway

It’s a humbling experience starting all over again back in my home country. It makes me appreciating the opportunity I have during my 8 years in online entrepreneurship even more than before.

Now it’s time for me to use Bisnismoo as my proving ground – my walk-the-talk moment – putting what I’ve learned so far into practice in a totally new market for me, which ironically, exists in my home country.

I will update you guys with some development somewhere in the near future. For now, let me say this to you: Online business magazine’s journey to success should be considered as a marathon, not a sprint. If you want to sprint, just start a viral site, instead.  As I’m still getting my feet and hands dirty with my own business viral site, BizEpic, I can’t possibly start another one, not knowing what will work or won’t work – just yet.  Patience is virtue, my friend!

So, wish me luck 🙂

Ivan Widjaya is the owner of AsepOnde.com, as well as the founder of several online businesses: PrevisoMedia.com, Noobpreneur.com and Uptourist.com. He runs his business from anywhere, anytime he wants.

Cute business woman

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