Reseller Hosting – Hosting for profit
Not many people want to share this information because it is a real money spinner. The only reason I am ready to spill the beans is that I have built up a great clientele and thought it was time to let you in on the secret.
I have been active on the Internet for the past ten years and have never paid for any hosting for my websites by using the programs and strategies I am going to lay out in this workshop for you. I now run around 150 sites and use these programs myself and never pay a penny for hosting.
WEBHOSTING: is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more Web sites. We will be talking about you becoming the hosting provider in this workshop so it is important not to get this confused with buying a normal hosting account. Of course you will use your own hosting for your sites.
When you go to these sites click on the reseller hosting tab. This will allow you to add unlimited domains for one small fee and also resell to others. The plain plans for around $5 to $6 will allow you to set up many domains on one account but you cannot resell through these smaller packages.
Finally as you start to see the potential of this market you maybe lured to think it is money for nothing. While it is an excellent way to make a lot of extra residual income the secret is in the service. Try and read our important steps before making your decision. Backing up files and sites and providing excellent service will bring you more clients and if anything happens you will be ready.
I have a number of reseller accounts and the tendency is to set and forget. Well a few years ago one of my old hosting companies went out of business and all the clients started to email me because their sites went down. I tried to contact the company but to no avail. Believe me when 60 customers get on your back you can feel like curling up and dieing but it happens.
IMPORTANT: Contact your customers once a month and remind them to back up. This is also a great way to introduce any new products you might have to release and also to send them some articles or information to help them.
Don’t make it a big selling frenzy. Just be open and caring.
The outcome was that I did not loose one customer and in fact I got more referrals because of my great service. I was able to get most of the sites back up and running in a few days.
The point is there are plenty of great reseller programs around but business is business and sometimes bad things happen.
Service in the hosting business is KING!
I simply went out and got another reseller package and sent them the new instructions and most had their sites back up in a couple of days.
You could even backup the sites yourself once a month as an added service. Believe me service like this pays big dividends plus lots of businesses will pay for the service. You need to back their sites up off line on a dvd or storage device. Get in touch with us if you want to know ways to do this.
Always be on the lookout for additional products to help your customers and try them out yourself before suggesting them.
Some other good things to provide your customers are tutorials on how to utilize their hosting more efficiently. Because we are mainly looking at UNIX plans they can have php and mysql programs for free in a lot of cases.
Be pro active.
Before we get going there is one last thing to discuss before we get into the mechanics. Keep good accounts. Always make sure you have scheduled when a package is coming up for renewal and advise the customer. Again it is all about providing excellent service. All the services I suggest have this built in or it can be added on.
Customers and Promoting – Add Value
Lets be honest right up front. Web Hosting is a great business however it is also very competitive. I am going to share with you how I have built a great hosting business.
Tip One – Don’t try and compete with the big guys.
There are literally hundreds of people selling hosting however there are niches where you can get a lot of customers. Local businesses, local papers etc. Lets face it people like to have some one they can reach and talk to. This also means you can charge a premium price.
Example: A local politician wanted a new website and knew I provided hosting so contacted me. He already had a site but wanted to change it to a Content Management site. He paid a premium price for me to transfer all the current information and set it up. I used Word Press blog as a CMS which is free. I contracted someone to copy his site graphics into the blog and then I copied and pasted all the information across. Why was he willing to pay so much more.
I simply offered a service which his current hosting company did not. It was costing him a fortune every time someone did something on his site. I simply charged what the other company was charging and added a little for the time to install and copy the software, and buffered in some training how to use the program. Another very happy customer. I used Camtasia to make some training videos for him and his staff which meant it was a hands free project. I use these now for all my new customers.
Tip Two – Add value to your hosting.
Learn some of the more advanced systems like forums, Word press, photo galleries etc. Things that people may want. You can do it all to a test site to show them before going live. Many of the added features can be auto loaded through plugins which you will find in this package.
If they just want a plain website you can add streaming audio by using our product at http://www.mp3soundstream.com ifthey want a sttic site. Take their audio and compile it for them and offer to embed in their page. This can be a great money spinner as most people still think it is only for big corporate sites.
Offer to take their brochures and convert to pdf. You can pick up an older version of Acrobat at auctions etc. There are also some good free ones around. Here is a good one http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator. Also read my post on PDF creators. http://theimclub.com/compare-free-pdf-writers/
All these additional services and tools mean you can increase the cost from very basic hosting to 10 and 20 times what you would get if you just sell hosting like everyone else. Learn how to stand out from the crowd.
Tip Three – Find a local graphic artist. There are plenty of budding artists and web graphics people around. Universities, school children, at home mums that will do it for very reasonable prices and then you add on your commission. I have used a young uni guy I found a couple of years ago and we have developed a great relationship. I think I have almost paid for his uni course. He has also introduced me to some other great people.
Tip Four –Advertise in local places. I have found most of my customers locally. I did this through small ads in local papers, handouts to local businesses and as I started to get a few going they referred the rest. This has also given me other work creating eBooks and pdf documents for them. I am also now getting computer work that I use some of those uni students for. Businesses pay quite well for good service and advice. Find a good computer hardware wholesaler locally and do a deal for computers etc and add on your commission.
Tip Five – Offer spotters fees. Many of my customers have come through people just getting to know that I am local and offer good service. I offer a spotters fee depending on what product they buy. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising in this area.
Tip Six – Offer your new hosting package to your current customers. Many of you will already be selling other products etc so this is another service you can upsell to current customers. You may have friends with businesses so you could also tap into their data base of customers by offering to share the profits. If they do mail outs to their customers see if you can add a small brochure. It doesn’t have to be anything to spectacular.
Tip Seven – Check out the local competition. Look in your local yellow pages and find any companies offering the same sort of products. You will find they charge a small fortune selling what you can do for a lot less. They have probably ruled the local market for years. A friend of mine was quoted $7000 for about 10 pages and a few multimedia bits and pieces. It would also cost her about $50 every alteration etc and more for new pages. I told her to come around and I would have a look. We installed a CMS Wordpress sytem for her and built her first 10 pages and now she does all the work herself. She has become a customer for life and pays her hosting every year. We saved her $6000 and she could not be happier. Naturally she has referred quite a few customers our way.
Tip Eight –Thinking outside the square. A great way to find customers is to use your local library or community centre. In many cases they will let you run free courses and have internet connections already set up. Our local library has a small room with 6 computers that will let anyone run a course and use their equipment as long as you do not sell anything.
Run a courses on web page creation. How to use goggle adwords and adsense. How to add graphics, audio or how to set up a family photo site. How to set up a blog. There are so many of these you could do for free and of course they will want hosting which you can provide. The secret here is not to sell the hosting but to offer it as a service. Again word of mouth will spread you name far and wide.
If you do not know how to do some of these things then learn them. There are plenty of tutorials in this program you can copy or base your own courses around. You can then put the tutorials on a cd and give it to them for free with a link to your hosting page.
Tip Nine –E-Commerce. Find a couple of good ecommerce solutions and help your customers set these up. Most have affiliate programs you can use to make that little bit of extra income. You will find plenty in this course.
Summary – Providing hosting is a great revenue generator because it is recurring and in most cases if you keep up contact and provide training in your newsletters people will do most of the work themselves. Actually this is your aim to make them self sufficient except for your hosting which they will need.
Always see what competition is available locally and I am sure you will find that by using the above tips you can sell your packages for a lot more than you would get just by selling online and competing with all the other hosting companies. Remember to always be on the look out for additions products and services you can add to the package to add value.