There are several ways to producing articles without having to write them yourself. Using a ghostwriter is one way, using private label rights articles you have bought is another option and doing an expert interview is yet a third way to compile article information.
Borrowing another writer’s article for use is yet another way to provide content for readers. Give the original author credit within the body of your article and fill in the rest with quotes from that author’s article.
This is a can’t lose situation for everyone. You don’t need to do the writing of your article, the writer who wrote the original article gets free publicity, and the reader gets the information that they want or need. Everybody wins.
Using public domain articles that are related to your subject is yet another way. Permission from the author to use their work isn’t necessary, but letting your reader know where the content originated will keep their trust. Don’t try to pass the words off as your own.
Use survey results from a self-conducted survey as an article. This does mean you’ll have to write a little, but compiling the results and turning it into a fast article isn’t very hard or time-consuming. You can create surveys through Survey Monkey at www.surveymonkey.com .
Use government provided information. Articles written by United States Government Authors are automatically in the public domain. The government is a prolific writer – on a wide variety of topics. Visit any United States Government website, and you will be greatly surprised with the amount of information that is free for the taking.
As you have seen, providing quality articles without writing a single word, or with just a bit of writing is possible. The information and means is there, use them.
Business service offerings and liquidity
“Being all things to all people” sounds good, but in most cases it reduces the liquidity of a business. Business liquidity encompasses the number of prospective buyers, the business valuation, and the amount of time required to market the then close the deal.
• The most liquid scenario is a co-located web hosting client base, with no data center, offices, or employees, and only one owner/decision maker. This type of business can be under contract to be sold within 48 hours. (Post ‘Letter of Intent’ due diligence, contract preparation, integration plans etc. all take a bit of time.)
• The least liquid scenario is a web hosting company, which offers design services, has offices, a data center, and offers related services such as access, marketing services etc.
Something I have seen many times is the owner/decision maker on the sell side has heard web hosting company valuation formulas and wants to apply that formula to his company. Inevitably the owner is disappointed when the offer comes up short in their mind, and passes on what actually is a fair valuation.
The decision to staff up and start offering web design services to complement the pure play hosting recurring revenue is a huge decision with regards to the effect on business liquidity. Of course design services can be a natural fit with hosting clients by helping to reduce client churn and up selling existing clients. However, the value of the revenue and cash flow generated from one-time design jobs is no where near the value of the recurring hosting revenue and cash flow.
Negatives of design departments when it comes time to sell:
• From the buyer’s perspective, acquiring the entire company and keeping the design efforts going is risky. It’s 50/50 whether the key design people will stick around after closing … regardless what they or the seller states. In addition, if you have to replace key people, the new staff will not have the relationships with the client base.
• From the buyer’s perspective, acquiring the entire company then canceling the design efforts is usually a risky decision as well. There are offices to deal with in addition to staff which needs to be let go … both time consuming and detrimental to the existing client base.
• My estimate is for every 20 buyers of a pure play hosting company, there are only 1-2 buyers for hosting design shop combo’s.
Internet Data Center:
Investing in an IDC may increase the value of the entire company by an enormous amount over time, but definitely reduces the liquidity in the short run. Typically smaller web host co-locate in the beginning, then at a later date acquire their own data center. In turn, the company will then offer space to other smaller host hence creating yet another service offering.
Owning an underutilized data center reduces the number of one type of buyer … the “cash flow buyer”, yet invites a new category of buyer, the “asset and cash flow buyer”. The later buyer is looking to both grow through acquisitions and make the swap from co-location to owning the data center. The less remaining capacity of the data center, the more of a cash flow type deal it will be, hence usually more liquid.