Optimum Google traffic is light for some

Novella, holiday house Wellington
Non-scalable businesses don't want too many enquiries. For them, light traffic from Google may be perfect.

I've got two contrasting businesses.

One business is Contented.com, which is scalable. We do one thing only: provide self-taught, self-paced online training courses in writing for the web. With our first version, now all but retired, you could start training to write for the web immediately. With Version 2.0 (coming any day now), 1,000 people could start immediately. For that matter, 2,000 or 10,000 people could start immediately. There'll be no limit. No classes, no teachers, no timetable, no classroom (just web-based training courses) and mainly hands-off administration and e-commerce.

We've barely marketed Contented courses up to now, but word of mouth has made it a success. When Version 2.0 comes online we'll buckle down and start marketing in earnest. We'll beg, urge, and persuade millions of you to take our brilliant courses in writing web content.

What a contrast is Novella, my other "business"—quote marks indicating that it barely qualifies as a business. Novella is a furnished apartment in a quaint old art deco building in Mount Victoria, Wellington. I rent it out short term. It's occupied about 85% of the year. I rely entirely on the internet for marketing, through my own web site and one accommodation portal, holidayhouses.co.nz.

I don't want too much traffic. Only one person (or couple or group of 3) can occupy Novella at a time, obviously. The perfect number of enquiries for me is very low. Too many and I'm answering emails and phone calls constantly, mainly saying No, Sorry, Novella is occupied at the time you want. This in spite of the calendar provided by HolidayHouses.

So I never update my web site, except when the rates change. I cancelled my account with second accommodation portal. And I receive just the right number of enquiries from a stream of uncannily lovely people.

Business advice focuses on scalable businesses with the potential for very large profits. That's fine, that's good, that's Contented. But Novella earns more than I'd get if I sold it and invested the money. It's more fun. It's useful and good. It's salutary to remember that the world is full of such nice little enterprises serving their purposes.


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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