The very first thing you need to know about making a living online is this:
ITS NOT GOING TO BE EASY!
Most people wont tell you that.
That’s because you are mostly speaking to or reading stuff from people who are trying to sell you something. These people are not going to tell you that this stuff is hard because they want you to buy whatever it is they are selling.
But that is the truth… so don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
The online business models themselves are not hard to understand. But the process of putting them into action and getting them to work is hard.
It’s mostly about competition.
There are just too many people out there trying to make an income from online marketing. To make money at this you have to be noticed. You have to be found.
So who are you up against? The good news is that you wont have to worry about 90% of your competition. These are the people simply aren’t good enough and/or don’t try hard enough. They are not the problem. Its the next layer that is a problem.
These are the people who do understand what they need to do. They work hard and put the right infrastructure into place. They see a little success and keep on trying. They also tend to reach a certain level of success and get ‘stuck there’.
They don’t have (or can’t figure out ) that ‘little extra something’ they need to separate themselves from this layer and climb up to the next one.
Those that can find a point of differentiation and apply it successfully move up the top level. They are the successful online marketers who make great money and become well known.
Natural selection ensures only a few winners rising to the top and making good money.
The rest fade away and disappear.
This post is about what separates the winners from the losers. It’s about what you need to do and how you need to think if you want to win at online marketing.
The first thing to do is look deep inside yourself. How badly do you want this?
Are you doing this because:
(a) you heard there was easy money to be made online and you’re sick of working a day job? or
(b) you see this as a serious and difficult challenge with a tremendous upside potential if you stay the course?
If (a) sounds like you – think very seriously before investing any time or money at attempting to make a living online. There’s no easy way to make good money fast online.
It’s not that the techniques are particularly hard to implement, but you will have to work your butt off to get where you want to go… to achieve financial freedom. You will also have to find your own ‘point of differentiation’ that gets you noticed and separates you from the crowd.
You must also accept that there’s no instant gratification and that it’s hard to predict when there will be any. All you can count on is that there will be gratification at some point if you follow proven strategies diligently and stay on your path.
Proven Strategies and Models
What are proven strategies? Proven strategies are those you see practiced and talked about all over the web in the world of online marketing. Mainstream things like blogging, email marketing, content marketing, eCommerce and affiliate marketing. Or lesser known things like domain investing/flipping, Kindle book marketing or product creation.
When you’ve chosen your strategy commit to it. The single biggest cause of newby failure is jumping from one strategy to another every time they hit an obstacle in their path.
Remember these are called proven strategies because that’s what they are. And because they’re proven you must embrace delayed gratification because you know you can win if you stay on the path.
But don’t expect results quickly. Wait for them to happen in their own time as a result of your efforts. If you’re expecting something and it does not happen you get disappointed. So don’t expect anything. Just do the work.
You need a clear understanding what work means in this context. You’ll probably have to re frame what you understand as ‘work’.
For example you might decide to do a blog post every Tuesday and then stick to that schedule. Thats ok.
But a whole lot better would be to do a blog post every day… or even 3 blog posts.
The more you get done every day… the closer you get to your end goal.
It’s too easy to slip into a work routine happy with and stick to it without questioning the process. It’s called getting comfortable and it will delay achieving your vision.
You should not be looking for ‘comfortable’ at this point. You must build momentum and a sense of urgency driving you towards your end goal. Dig into this hard and push yourself to and beyond your limits. Make the abnormal normal.
But also work smart. Analyze what is most important and do that stuff first.
Assets are important. Assets are things you build which continue to push your business forward over time once they’re built. Blog posts are a good example.
Your website will be your most important asset. Your website is your point of contact between you and the world. Between you and potential customers.
So get good at the important stuff quickly. Learn how to write.
You’ll find your writing skills improving rapidly if you spend time writing. This is part of the process of becoming a content producer as opposed to a content consumer. It’s another milestone on your journey to online success.
This will be one of the biggest hurdles you face. Any online business sinks or swims depending on traffic. Lets face it… you’re doing this online because you want it to be found. But just being online is no guarantee you’ll get found.
You need a concrete plan to get traffic.
Ok… so you have a website/blog up and running. How’re you going to get it found?
Start with SEO. You should always have an SEO process running on your site with the right plugin. (Yoast is best)
SEO is not going to bring you any traffic in the short term. But if you optimize some of your posts for some low volume long tail keywords you can get search traffic surprisingly quickly. Grab the ‘Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension and you can find these keywords very easily. It will show you search volume and competition data for any Google search term and give you ideas.
SEO optimize your site for search with the Yoast plugin.
Don’t wait for Google to find your new site.
As soon as you have a few posts up – head over to Google Search Console and tell them about your site. Once you’re verified you’ll be indexed remarkably quickly.
Here’s a big one. Stay away from paid advertising unless or until you know what you are doing. I know what it’s like… you’re producing content and maybe even have a few offers up on your site. But nobody is coming to your site to read your content or look at your offers. You need some feedback. You need traffic.
Paid advertising seems to be your only option. So you dip your toe into the water…
Big mistake. Advertising is a whole new discipline and the big online providers make a killing from inexperienced hackers who try and do it without any knowledge.
You will burn yourself with paid ads if you have no experience. 100% certain.
It will be a traumatic experience. You will spend more than you intend to on campaigns that don’t perform, and you will hold onto ads which should be killed. You will spend far more than you anticipated.
Paid ads have their place in online marketing, but now is not the time and you risk derailing your progress towards profitability and a successful business if you get involved with ads at this point.
Stick to the plan and make every effort to build organic traffic to your website and offers. It can be done so stick at it until you succeed.
Focus on One Other Free Marketing Strategy
This is also a big one. As a new marketer online, there’s always a temptation to dump a marketing method that doesn’t perform right out of the box and try another one. This goes all the way back to our discussion about delayed gratification. Its important to choose one free marketing method and stick with it till you know it backwards and it is producing results.
Look at it this way… all well known methods work because if the didn’t, they would disappear. So choose one of these methods and stick with it until you get some results. When you’re profitable and making some money, you can try new methods and expand your efforts into a second marketing channel to increase your profits.
I’m going to recommend one here and you would do well to use it because its amazing. If you take anything from this post it should be this… Use Pinterest. Pinterest is without any doubt the most effective free marketing platform that exists right now.
I can’t go into the detail of how and why Pinterest works so well here… that needs a whole post of of its own. But take my advice here and explore Pinterest now. It could be the turning point in your business…
I hope you find something in this post to push you towards the point in your journey where more money is coming in than going out. Much of this is based on my own experiences and mistakes I made that cost me a lot in terms of wasted time, money and effort. I hope I can save you some of that pain.
These people mostly have authority sites and are in this for the long haul. The strategies embrace hard work and an ethic of service and providing value to potential clients before attempting to sell anything to them.