Part 1: Creating websites on autopilot
Have you ever felt jealous of those people who take holidays and don’t worry about their business continuing to run smoothly? Or the ones who spend all their time doing the parts of their business they enjoy, and minimal time on the rest? Maybe you think they have a big team of outsourcers working for them in remote parts of the world. Or maybe you just think they’re lying and really working 24/7. Actually, none of those scenarios are totally true. The reality is that successful people do work hard, at least at the early stages of building their business. And they rarely have the budget for a huge team. Their solution is a combination of creating repeatable systems, outsourcing and automation. Many times it’s “semi-automation”. They follow these three rules:
- Automate as many tasks as possible
- If it can’t be automated, outsource it
- If it can’t be outsourced, decide whether it’s worth doing at all
What’s left are the core value-added parts of your business that either you or a highly-skilled member of your team must do. In this report, we’re going to look at the first rule – automation. Which parts of your business can run on autopilot or made much easier with technology, including
- Website Creation
- Sales Funnel Management
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Analytics and Testing
- Website Maintenance
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management Tools)
As you read through this report, keep a pen or pencil on hand and note which of the parts of YOUR business you can automate. You can use the included Automate Your Biz: Action Plan to take notes, and to plan your next steps. I’ve also put together a list of popular tools that other people are using to automate different processes in their business. You’re certainly not going to use all of them, but it will give you some ideas and a starting point for finding the right tools for you. You can always reference the tools I’m currently using at https://loraleehutton.com/my-tools. As soon as I’ve put something through it’s testing phase I add it to the website list as soon as possible. Take your time! This isn’t something you need to implement overnight. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. Keep asking yourself questions as you go through your work day to see where you can streamline, systematize & automate. Your business will continue to grow and you’ll have more free time to enjoy life. To your success, Loralee Hutton
One of the nice things about running an online business is that so much of it can be automated. Think of all the tasks you have to do each day. Many are repetitive and tedious, wasting your time and energy. When you automate, those tasks take care of themselves and you can focus on more important things.
The Benefits of Automation
The main benefit of automation is that it speeds up and streamlines your work. When you get rid of time-draining tasks, you can focus on more important things. I ask myself throughout the day, “Can I streamline this? If so, how?” There are both routine tasks and ‘thinking’ tasks that require more concentration and critical analysis on your part. When you can put some of the routine tasks on autopilot, you can spend more time on the value-added tasks.
Automation eliminates human error. You’ve probably been up at the wee hours finishing tasks that need to be done and only half awake doing them. When tasks are completed by software programs and online services, these mistakes disappear.
Finally, automation is important because it allows you to scale your business. If you have an ecommerce store and you have to take each order manually, a sudden increase in business can overwhelm you. An automated sales system allows you to keep up.
Tasks You Can Automate
There are tools that allow you to automate nearly every aspect of your business. Once you start using them, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is and you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them. Common tasks that can be automated include:
- Website Creation. Automation allows you to set up websites quickly using templates and content management systems.
- SEO. A great deal of the everyday work of search engine optimization can be done through automation.
- Content Creation. Although content can’t be created solely through automation, there are tools to help you cut corners. You’ll get some suggestions in the separate list of Popular Tools for Business Automation.
- Sales Funnel Management. Your sales funnel can be maintained and monitored through automation so that you can focus on analyzing and improving it.
- Email Marketing. Profitable email marketing isn’t possible without automation to manage your email lists and send out broadcast messages.
- Social Media. Dashboard tools and other programs help you easily manage multiple social media accounts.
- Analytics and Testing. Websites and marketing campaigns can be split tested and analyzed using various tools.
- Website Maintenance. Tools and programs help you update your websites when they need it.
- Finance. Automation allows you to take payments and manage financial tasks so you don’t have to do it all manually. (including paying yourself)
What Can’t Be Automated
There are some things that should never be automated. The main one is your marketing strategy. You need to be in charge of your long-term goals and the measures you take to achieve them. It all needs to be thought out by you.
Relationship building also can’t be done by machines. With social media and other online marketing channels, it’s as important as ever to be real with your customers. Automated responses and replies can work, but you need to be clever so that you don’t end up back peddling later.
Fundamentally, content creation should not be automated. It needs to be fresh and original. The same goes for content curation. There are software programs that find content for you but you should always look at the content yourself before sharing with your readers to make sure it’s relevant to them.
Of course, automated systems aren’t perfect. You need to learn how to use each tool for automation and this takes a bit of time upfront. However, the time you save in the long run makes it well worthwhile.
I started creating simple wordpress websites for people last summer. And I noticed I was doing a lot of the very same things during the website setup process. Adding the same plugins, making the same modifications to the way themes were set up. Adding widgets to the exact same area of the website. So, I went in search of a way to shortcut the time sequence and found a premium plugin that would ultimately “copy & paste” my standard website.
I took the time to document the steps I took (my system) and made small improvements each time. And what used to take upwards of 4 hours now is done in about 55 minutes. That’s a huge time savings for me. If I build one of these per week for the entire year, I save 156 hours (3 hours saved x 52 weeks). That’s a full month’s work! (Phew… I deserve a vacation, don’t you think?)
A good part of it was done by streamlining & a bigger chunk of it done through automation.
Can you see now why I want you to invest the time in looking at your own systems?
Creating websites on autopilot – automation for website creation
Creating new website for your online business is a time-consuming task, but there are tools to help you automate the process so that you can set them up quickly. This frees you up to focus on more important things, like your marketing strategy, building relationships through social media, and creating content your readers will enjoy.
Content Management Systems
Content management systems (CMS) allow you to set up websites without creating them from scratch. You don’t need any knowledge of HTML. When you use a CMS, you simply plug in your content and you can create sites almost instantly. They give you templates and wizards to make it quick and easy.
For example, for your site design, many systems have a multitude of templates to choose from. There are also template directories that offer ready-made website designs either for free or at a premium. You can use a template permanently or as a basic foundation to which you add your own design later.
Plugins are small programs that automate various website tasks. Plugins help you do things like remove spam comments, manage blog comments, automatically tag posts, add social media and social bookmarking options, and so on. For the sites you create, you can have a set of chosen plugins that you automatically add to
However, plugins should be chosen carefully. Too many unnecessary plugins can slow down a site and may not “play well” with other plugins. They also must be maintained over time when updates are released, so this is something else to keep in mind, especially when you update your WordPress software. Not all plugins work with all versions.
Why You Shouldn’t Automate Content Creation
Content is one area of your business that can’t be automated. There are several reasons why this is so. First, duplicate content (content that was published somewhere else before, such as on a directory), won’t help your site’s SEO. If it has been published elsewhere, the search engines have already indexed it. They most likely won’t index it again on your site.
One shortcut site owner’s use for content is article spinning. This means taking an already published article and rearranging its wording so that it’s ‘unique.’ This is done through software programs called “spinners”. The problem with this method is that it often produces articles with awkward wordings that are obviously fake. The search engines look down on this practice and your readers can tell the difference between real and “spun” content.
Another shortcut method for creating content is called curation. This is where you pull together content from various sources and present it to your readers, adding your own opinion, ideas or information. Adding to the curated content is important because it tailors the unique combination to your audience and adds value to it.
There are software programs that find relevant content for you based on keywords and other indications given by you. However, you can’t run these programs on autopilot. You need to act as editor and review all of the content the program gives you. Make sure that it’s relevant to your readers and you can add value to it.
Building Sites from Scratch
When it comes to website creation, automation provides an easy shortcut that allows you to get sites up and running fast. But it is good to learn site to build a basic site. Learning how to create a site from scratch helps you build sites exactly how you want them. You can customize your site to meet your specific goals, and while the energy is flowing from a new business idea.
- Focus on what you do the best, and automate the rest
- Why you need to Automate Your Biz
- Creating websites on autopilot – automation for website creation
- Automating Your Website’s Search Engine Optimization
- The sales funnel – automating your sales process
- Automating Your Daily Email Tasks
- How to automate your social media marketing
- Automating Your Marketing – Analytics & Testing
- Website Maintenance on Autopilot – How Automation Helps
- Managing Your Online Business’s Finances Through Automation
- Day to Day Tasks
- The 5 Biggest Automation Mistakes
Part 2: Automating Your Website’s Search Engine Optimization
Automated Tag Creation
Your site’s Meta tags tell the search engines what kind of content they’ll find there. When you add a page or post, you need to enter these keyword and description tags to help search engines index it. There are tools that will do this without you lifting a finger. They automatically detect relevant keywords and fill in the tags for you. This speeds up the process of publishing content considerably.
Widgets and Plugins
Widgets and plugins are small programs that enhance your website. There are widgets and plugins specifically designed to boost your SEO. They perform functions automatically that help to optimize your site.
For example, there’s a plugin that shows your site’s most popular posts or pages on the main page’s sidebar. This gives an SEO boost to both your site’s main page and your posts.
Social media tools that make your site’s content easier to share are also helpful. These are tools such as the Facebook ‘like’ button that allow visitors to instantly share your posts to their friends and connections. This generates automatic backlinks to your site, as well as getting it more exposure.
Managing Your Comments
Comments boost your site’s relevance in the eyes of the search engines. They show that your site is an active community and worth sending searches to. There are tools that make it easier for readers to leave comments, and the more comments you have, the better your SEO.
Replying to blog comments shouldn’t be automated. You need to give your readers real replies that show there’s a human being behind the site. However, automation tools can make this easier. There are dashboard tools that allow you to manage blogs and reply to comments easily. Automated notifications let you know immediately when there’s a new comment so that you can moderate and reply.
The most important off-site SEO factor that determines your site’s ranking in the SERPs is backlinks. When links lead back to your site from other relevant, high-traffic sites, this tells the search engines that you’re offering something of value.
Searching for backlink opportunities is a time-consuming task but there are programs that can do it for you. Query generators are programs that use search terms to find sites, blogs, directories and so on that are good for backlinks for your site. Link prospecting tools take it to the next level. They work like query generators but give you more detailed information about sites so you can decide whether or not to link to them.
Finding backlink opportunities can be easily automated but you should always check out sites before you get links from them. Backlinks from link farms and other suspicious sites will actually hurt your site’s SEO.
Updating SEO Automation Tools
SEO automation tools can become outdated. There are some that Google and other search engines don’t like because they consider their operations spammy. When considering an SEO tool, do your due diligence and make sure it’s not going
to get your site penalized. Make sure that you update the tools you choose to use.
When considering an SEO tool, do your due diligence and make sure it’s not going
to get your site penalized. Make sure that you update the tools you choose to use.