The Reality of Being an Online Business Owner

I wanted to talk about this very specific little part of my life. Well, I say little but to me, it’s not. To me, it’s a big thing that I’m extremely proud of but to most people, they don’t see the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff. As you may, or may not, know – I run an online book touring business for authors. I won’t go into masses of detail but for those that don’t know, a book tour is a virtual tour that goes around different blogs every day for 1 or 2 weeks and provides reviews, guest posts, excerpts and giveaways about the specific book. Doesn’t sound much, right?

The Reality of Being an Online Business Owner

Wrong. For those on the receiving end of the information, it may seem like the easiest job in the world. Just sending out emails and sending books to people right? Well yes, I do, do that but you’re very much mistaken if you think it’s easy or if you believe that’s all I do and for the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day I sit back and watch my blog tours unfold whilst I get all the credit (and the small income).

I’ve been running my business for around 2 years now. The first 3/4 of a year of that were hard. There was a lot of work being done for free – mainly to get my name out there and build up a hopefully good reputation before I started charging people properly. I couldn’t think of anything worse than charging people for a very specific service only to find actually, I’m out of my depth here and I can’t deliver. Therefore wasting this authors time and money.

When you’re a little, new business – particularly online – it’s hard to get noticed in a sea of millions. It’s hard for people to trust you and that their well earned money is going to be going to a good place by trusting you. It might sound like an easy job – a quick and easy way to earn a bit of money. But I didn’t grow my business from scratch with only a handful of people even knowing who I was and what I was doing to being booked up months and months in advance by doing nothing.

To me, social media is work. My business never sleeps: Day, night, weekends, bank holidays – if you see me tweeting about blog tours, if you receive an email from me or anything of the sort – that’s me working. I can’t afford not to and as I said, I didn’t grow my business to where it is today by sitting back and doing nothing for it. Yes, the relentless tweeting may annoy some people – but it’s necessary. That and the only million things I need to do in order for a book tour to run smoothly.

That includes a lot and I mean a lot of emails to and from the author. Gathering information about the book to then send on to my hosts for them to decide if they would like to take part in the tour. Filling the tour and organising using 20 or more people with their specific tour dates – trying to accommodate for everyone. Sending out the book to everyone and resolving any issues any hosts might have.

Then comes creating media kits and graphics and paying for banners. Sending all the necessary information out to each specific blogger – making sure everyone has everything they need and know when they’re posting. Then tweeting, sharing and more tweeting about the tour, about the reviews, about the giveaways. Trying to gather as much exposure as possible for this book. And doing this for usually 3 or 4 tours at the same time.

Of course, there’s still a long way for me to go. I would love to grow more and more, maybe introduce some new services to my business, increase my list of wonderful tour hosts and continue to expand to a wider audience. But that will only come about with hard workany small business owner will know that. And although not every understands what you do or how you do it, as long as you work hard, that’s all that matters.

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8 thoughts on “The Reality of Being an Online Business Owner

  1. We have always to have a book tour whenever we launch a new book, but never felt comfortable about undertaking one as it seems very complicated. So hats off to you, and when the next masterpiece (hhmmm) rolls off the assembly line, perhaps you would be interested?

  2. I have a very different type of online business but everything you said rings true. People think I just sit around typing things once in a while and counting my money. Not true. I do a ton of work, and yes, in the first few years much of that was either unpaid or paid very little. Thanks for the post.

  3. great post. Its your passion keep going and being consistent. Have you thought about adding affiliates to assist with marketing? Its a lot of work trying to market any business without investing huge $$$.

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