Like others in the upper echelons of Internet marketing and affiliate marketing, I'm asked one question by Internet marketing and affiliate marketing 'newbies' more often than any other:
"I can't seem to make money online - What am I doing wrong?"
When my Internet marketing mentoring students ask me that, I can give them a detailed breakdown specific to their online operations - but they're paying top dollars for my time investment, and I only mentor those who already have a viable presence online. So what about those new to Internet marketing - what advice can we offer them?
Time constraints prevent anyone from checking into the current operations of everyone starting out in Internet marketing, and after 11 years of being online full time it's easy to forget how frustrating even the simplest of Internet marketing activities can be to the neophyte.
So in response I put together this list of '21 Internet Marketing Success Steps' to try and help guide both those new to Internet marketing and those with some Internet marketing experience who find their online marketing profits stalled or declining.
Pretty much ALL Internet Marketing success breaks down very similar to:
1) Choose affiliate or your own products;
2) Build some type of web presence for it;
3) Get targeted eyeballs to that page or blog post;
4) Start building your list from those targeted visitors;
5) Use every free method to bring more people to the site;
6) Use your list to bring people back to the site and to new sites;
7) Add related backend offers to your site;
8) Set up an affiliate program and get others pushing your site;
9) Put about 30% of what's coming in back into getting more visitors;
10) Participate in giveaways to build your list and visitor numbers;
11) Find related products for new sites and do 1 - 10 with them too;
12) Attend live IM events, for knowledge but mostly for networking;
13) Convert related PLR resources to unique products to put online;
14) Set up a backend linking all your sites together & automate the processes;
15) Build e-mail e-courses to make available in each niche/area you cover;
16) Outsource much of your visitor acquisition;
17) Do Joint Ventures with other advanced Internet Marketers;
18) Outsource your product creation;
19) Evaluate and improve your automated backend efforts;
20) Speak at industry events & seminars;
21) Give back - mentor others to help them achieve their dreams.
For most people starting out it's safe to assume the following as averages other Internet marketing newbies have achieved...
First sale: 2 - 6 months.
First steady trickle of sales: 4 - 12 months.
Full Time Earnings: 2 - 5 years.
Those Internet marketing timelines can be influenced up or down by the amount of time and money you can put in, your background experience, your focus, and mostly by the amount of concentrated, continual effort you put into following your plan in a tightly-focused manner.
The 3 Biggest Biz-Killers...
1) Lack of focus (too many different, unrelated activities).
2) Giving up too soon (lack of perseverance).
3) Half-hearted effort (It takes a lot of time and/or a lot of money - you have to be willing to invest one or the other (or both) on a constant basis for the first few years at least. Everyone I've met at our level or above has a passionate commitment to their Internet marketing business.)
Do an honest appraisal of your Internet marketing efforts to date. Are you following the above steps in order, or jumping around? Starting at #1, how far into the list can you go, confident you're performing that task diligently?
Re-evaluate your plans based on what that tells you, and use that current limitation as the guide to what you need to learn more about, to focus on more, to put more effort into - and to eliminate anything else you're doing that is straining your focus and your money and time constraints.
Decide what your goals are online. A few extra bucks? A steady inflow to help with the mortgage or to get a new car or a cottage? Enough to do this full time? Or sustaining a level that lets you achieve all your dreams and desires?
Each level is being achieved right now by people online - just know which you're after so you can gauge the amount of time and effort you have to commit to your desired level of Internet marketing success.
Don't be swayed by stories of meteorical rises online - while they do happen, they're extremely rare. Usually they don't make all the details public - I know a lot of 'overnight successes' who spent 3-5 or more years in the trenches first - just no one knows that. And others who put 6 or 7 figures into their Internet marketing businesses before you first heard of them.
And watch out for people who had one or two big launches 3, 5 or 10 years ago and are still teaching that same system - Internet marketing practices change too quickly and too drastically for that info to still be accurate. When evaluating advice you get on Internet marketing, always think to yourself:
"Yes, but what have they done lately?"
If the answer is 'nothing new in the last 6 months', take the advice with a grain of salt and stay focused on your own path, only using the bits from it that fit in with your own Internet marketing strategy.
After all, only YOU know where YOUR biz is right now, and what YOUR end goals are, right?
The best advice I've seen in this biz is to focus on making your first buck. Not a lot, just your first buck. Achieving that shows it can be done. Then focus on making one more. That shows it wasn't a fluke - it can be repeated over and over successfully.
That eliminates one of the biggest stumbling blocks to building your own Internet marketing business by showing that a) it can be done, and b) YOU can do it. Then just use the 21 Internet marketing Success Steps above to build your business by continually repeating that process in larger volume for larger returns, and you're on your way!