Here are some lessons I learnt from a year of Internet Marketing and Making Money Online. One year ago I didn’t have a clue what I was doing online. I was still working in my previous job but kept having these urges to make money online. I had two main goals – the freedom to choose, and the ability to pay off my parents’ mortgage.
A year on and I’ve achieved one goal and well on the way to achieve the latter. However, I have to say, that it has been one heck of a learning curve. And in the early days I can still remember almost quitting a number of times simply because of the overwhelming amount of conflicting information there is out there. It really is tough as a beginner on your own in this industry.
So, a year on, it seems fitting to take a look back and put together some lessons to help other “newbies” who are no doubt struggling to figure this business out. These lessons will really make the difference so make sure you read them all…
1. The Money is in The List
You’ve probably already heard this before but it’s so important that it’s worth reading again – trust me! If there’s on thing you take away from reading this article, make sure it’s that you must go and build your list…
I could actually come up with 10 or more reasons why building your list is so essential to this business but from a really logical point of view, it all boils down to main benefit…Building your list increases your value per visitor.
And it is so important to increase your value per visitor because free traffic is notoriously hard to get (in abundance) and paid traffic costs a lot. Of course, the higher your earnings per visitor, the more scope you have for running profitable paid advertising campaigns and when you can start purchasing traffic to scale your business up then things will simply take off.
2. Collaboration is Highly Effective
Finding business partners, joint venture partners…Call it what you want, but there is no doubt that it really makes sense to work collaboratively to help achieve your goals. This is especially true in the early days when money is tight and you have to leverage your own assets to help get what you want.
Let me give you an example. When I first started out, I didn’t have much knowledge in the way of internet marketing at all. However, I was very good with computers and typed at over 100 words per minute which meant I could write articles in the time it takes to boil a kettle.
I realised that this was an asset that I could use to help get me a mentor of sorts so I went to one of the more popular internet marketing forums and asked if anybody would teach me in return for me writing articles for them. It was one of the best moves I ever made because shortly after a guy contacted me (a seven figure internet marketer) and taught me a lot that I could never have learned on my own.
If you’re going to take this approach there’s two bits of advice I’ll give you: Firstly, make sure you have already done 50 – 100 articles and quote that in the forum post so everyone can see that you mean business and that you’re an action taker. Secondly, make sure your attitude is in the right place. Understand that this business requires a lot of work when starting out and make it clear that you’re not looking for a get rich quick scheme.
Beyond mentoring, collaboration is highly effective for traffic generation strategies too. When building your list (which of course you’re planning on doing having read point 1!) you can really get huge amounts of traffic by finding adswap and joint venture partners.
One guy took his list from 3,500 to 10,000 subscribers just through the power of joint ventures such as these – this is incredible growth. Don’t forget – they say that one subscriber is equivalent to approximately $1 per month (so you can see how powerful this is).
3. Find a Mentor
I’ve touched on this in the previous post but there’s nothing more valuable than having somebody help point you in the right direction. You will only need to chat to your mentor for 30 minutes every week or every 2 weeks over Skype, but this kind of expertise will really make the difference to your business.
If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t actively seek out a mentor from the very beginning – it was a couple of months until I found a mentor by offering to write articles. The problem with me is that I’m too damn stubborn and want to do everything on my own. This is a fool’s attitude – learn from my mistakes and save yourself months.
4. Testing and Tracking is a MUST
If you ever want to improve in this industry you need to be constantly testing and tracking everything that you put out there. This game is all about numbers and let me tell you, you’ll be constantly surprised by what works and what doesn’t – you can never know for sure.
I started out predominantly by using articles to drive traffic to my web site and it was only through a heck of a lot of testing and tracking that I managed to really understand how to write powerful articles, and articles that got the visitor to click on my link in the resource box.
The great thing is that now I’ve gone through that learning process I can pretty much guarantee a click through rate of over 30% for each article I write. When I started out, my click through rate was 5%!
Beyond article writing I like to split test my web sites (to see what converts the best), my email marketing (to see which emails get the most clicks) and I like to track each of my traffic sources individually to see what’s working and what’s a waste of time.
Google Analytics is a good first step, but really you need something like GoTryThis or Prosper 202 to really get to the level of detail that you require.
5. Your Mind is your Most Powerful Wealth Creation Magnet!
I know what you’re thinking – “Geez, not another mindset guy!”. I know, I was like that when I first started out, but I can categorically tell you now that reprogramming my mindset has changed my life.
And it’s more than just “not quitting” too!
It’s all about advertising to yourself your goals and dreams strongly and often enough so that they start to feel real. I use creative visualisation techniques to achieve this – there is a great book called “Creative Visualisation. Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create what you Want in Your Life” by Shakti Gawain (over 6 million copies sold!) that teaches you how to do this effectively.
Beyond this, it’s about making yourself as productive as possible because when you’re holding down a full time job, you’ve got a partner and perhaps kids then you may only have an hour or two to focus on your online business.
Here are some techniques that I use to make myself as productive as possible:-
- I have daily rituals that are in line with my long term goal and I do these at the same time each and every day. One of my current daily rituals is to write 3 articles per day at 10am in the morning and have them finished by 11am.
- Once a week I’ll focus on things that I’m grateful for because this has been proven to raise happiness by approximately 20%. The happier you are, the more you’ll get done – strange, but true.
- I have an accountability partner who will chastise me if I’m not pulling my weight. Every day I have a quick 5 minute chat with a partner of mine who comes down on me like a ton of bricks if I haven’t got the stuff done that I needed to get done.
Let me just say quickly that if you try and implement these things into your life then you’ll probably fail unless you realise this: It takes the average person 21 days to adopt a habit and before you reach this point you’ll experience a period of homeostasis where you’ll find it REALLY difficult to maintain your new schedule. Expect it and just make yourself work through it because once you’ve got to around the 21 day marker, things will get easier!
One Final Thought
This business is absolutely incredible – once things start taking shape, they really gather momentum quickly. You’ll find that earning your first $1,000 online is one of the hardest things you’ve ever done but thereafter it really doesn’t take long to scale your income up to heights previously unimaginable.
This article is written by guest author Paul McCarthy from paulmccarthy.co.uk. If you’d like to learn how to make a full time living working from home, then sign up at his site and he’ll teach you personally for free. You can also do guestblogging and share your martketing ideas.