As a person who has succeeded online for over 14 years, I am often asked what I would do not if I were starting over.
It’s a fair question, and one that deserves an honest answer.
So today I’d like to share with you five things I wish I had known on day 1 of my Internet marketing journey.
1 – Your List Is Your Number One Priority
Here is the bottom line. In my 14 years online I have never seen a single person succeed for very long without having a list of their own.
Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has succeeded online for more than a year.
I recently asked Michael Hyatt what he would do differently if he had it to “all do over again.”
He could have picked anything. He chose list building.
In fact, you can hear his answer right here.
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With a list of your own you have marketing power. You can serve your readers.
As Zig Ziglar famously said “You can have everything you want in life if you will help enough other people get what they want.”
There is no better way to do that than by having a list of your own.
2 – Content Is Not Only King
It’s much more than that. Content is the online embodiment of the laws of attraction and reciprocity all rolled into one.
High-quality content will attract your perfect audience. People who want to hear from you. People who need what you offer. People who will grow to like you, trust you and buy from you again and again.
When you help them they will help you, which is pure reciprocity.
Content marketing is powerful, and getting more powerful all the time.
- Six consecutive years of double-digit growth.
- $144 Billion dollar industry in 2014
- Expected to be $313 Billion in 2019
Want to go where the customers are? Go with content marketing. Want me to help? Click below.
2 – Consistent Effort Outperforms The Heroic Push
In the Old Testament the book of Zechariah says this is Chapter 4 Verse 10. Emphasis mine.
“Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin”
Too many people today despise their day of their small beginnings. They want the big list, the big web site, the big presence.
There is nothing wrong with wanting these things. But we get into trouble when we begin to resent not having them.
In other words, having your eye on the prize (which is a good thing) can cause you to overlook the opportunity right in front of your face.
As my Scottish attorney would say “Take care of the customers you have now and you will never need to try and find new customers. They will send new customers your way.”
I have found this to be true. While we are not perfect we work hard to provide the best products, the best customer service and the best experience possible for every customer. Not just the 20,000th customer.
When it comes to your work online, consistent effort outperforms the big push every time.
Put another way, posting to your blog every day will outperform the big JV you hope to land someday.
One reason that is true is because you can control your own efforts. You can’t control how others behave.
If I had a dollar for every time I was ripped off in a “joint venture” I’d have a lot of dollars.
What should all online business people be doing every day?
Here is a core set of activities that pay off big time.
- Post to your blog every day, or write a post for your blog to be published later.
- Send a recommendation to your list every day, or write one for later.
- Track results every day and see how you can improve them.
- Research how to reach new audiences every day.
If you do these things every day I truly believe you will be amazed at the results you get over time.
4 – There Is No Magic Button
Perhaps like you, I fell for the magic button garbage in the beginning. The “no effort, no learning, fast results” lie was just impossible to ignore.
I know it sounds odd to say this, but I was fortunate in one respect. I was too sick and too broke to chase the “magic button” lie very long.
I had a family of four to support and was forced to coldly cleave to only the things that worked.
That’s how I became a member of the Directory of Ezines!
And then, 18 months, later, that’s why I bought the company!
The DOE works and always has. No magic buttons, just real results if one follows the proven process.
I speak with people almost every week who have lost $5,000, $10,000 and even $50,000 chasing the “magic button” solution.
It’s heartbreaking to talk with them. But I do it for one reason. I’ve been in the trap and I know the way out. My duty is to serve.
5 – You Do Not Need To Buy Everything
I know this sounds crazy coming from a guy who sells things online for a living. But it’s true. You don’t need to buy everything.
I spoke with a wonderful lady a few weeks back who had four different autoresponder accounts.
And yes, you guessed it, she had no list at all. She was not using the four accounts, she just had them because so-and-so said they were good.
My best advice is this.
- Make a list of the things you need to do in your business.
- Write down next to each item one tool you need to get the job done.
- Start using only those tools and nothing else.
If you take this step life will be easier. None of us need five word processors or three ad tracking tools or four ways to analyze traffic to our sites.
But what we do need, what we desperately need, is simplicity and clear thinking.
There you have it – my list of the five things I wish I had known on that fateful day so long ago when I told my wonderful wife we were “going to make a living on the Internet.”
It’s been a great journey. Thank you for being part of it.