Have you ever had the thought that the people who are succeeding online know much more than you know?
I have thought that (and sometimes still do) and I have to tell you … in most cases it is not true.
Here is why I say that.
In my years online (just over 15 years as I write this) I have been blessed in three primary ways.
- I have made a full time living online all that time, supporting my family out of what is in my head.
- I have spoken one-on-one with over 3000 individual members and clients. Some doing well. Many struggling to make their first sale.
- I have made friends with marketers who are doing very well – I mean millions per year well.
All of this experience leads me to one conclusion.
MOST people know more than they think they know.
But many of them are not doing what they know to do.
I fall prey to that all the time. In fact, I had a conversation with my wife about this very thing this morning!
You see, knowing more will never put a dollar in your pocket.
Doing more will.
In fact, you could know everything that every top marketer knows and still go broke.
I have actually seen this happen. Some of the most spectacular failures online (I won’t name names as that would be rude) are people who know SO much.
But rather than staying with what works they are off on a quest to learn more.
All of this leads to an important question. One I have been asked many times.
What does a person NEED to know to succeed online?
Here is my answer. Make a mental checkmark next to the items you already know, but might not be doing as well as you’d like yet.
Have A Specific Goal For EVERY Promotion
SO many people tell me they want to “make money online”. Sometimes they NEED to make money online.
I get it because I have been there. I was so sick that I could not leave the house for long stretches of time. I had to work online because I simply could not have held down a job.
So I get wanting, and needing, to make money online.
But I can tell you this – without a specific written goal it just might not happen.
Why would I say that?
- Because you can’t hit a target you can’t see.
- Because a goal anchors you to reality.
And perhaps the most compelling reason – without a specific goal you will not be able to measure success or the lack of success.
I had a client tell me once they were disappointed with an ad they had run.
“I wanted to make money on this ad but didn’t. What did I do wrong?” he asked.
So we went through the steps. It went something like this …
Me: “What was your goal for the ad?”
Him: “To make money.”
Me: “How much specifically?”
Him: “A lot.”
Me: “What did you pay for the ad?”
Me: “Did you make any sales?”
Him: “Yes, three sales.”
Me: “What do you make per sale?”
Him: “$85 per sale.”
Me: “You DID make money! You made $105 and have three new customers!”
Him: “I guess so but I thought it would be much more!”
Do you see where I’m going with this?
He DID make money but did not FEEL like he made money because he did not have a goal.
So set a goal for every ad, every promotion.
And remember, not all goals are financial. Building your list or gaining more authority are important goals.
Choose A Profitable Niche
I’m asked about choosing niches every week. It seems to be a confusing issue, and I understand that.
For me, choosing niches is about two things.
- Do I have experience or passion for a specific topic?
- Am I WILLING to do the research necessary to make money in this niche?
To be clear, I do not need to have experience or passion to profit from a niche. But it does help.
I believe almost anyone can succeed in almost any niche for three reasons.
- Advertising platforms like Google and Facebook make reaching a tightly targeted group easy and cheap.
- WordPress turns any person with a burning desire and good work ethic into a professional publisher.
- Tools and methods like curation and guest posting relieve the non-writer of the burden of writing as much content as in “the old days”
- The explosion of products to sell, in almost any niche, makes monetizing a blog easier than ever.
Promote Top Quality Products
If you want to make a few bucks online you can grab some product somewhere and run an ad and might do okay.
But if you want to really succeed online, and build a real business of your own, you will need a rock-solid commitment to quality.
That means promoting products that you …
- Believe in.
- Have used or tested.
- Provide great support.
- Meet a real need.
- Are durable and sustainable.
I see SO many people spending money promoting products that just will not stand the test of time.
They fall for the hype of the lastest “forum offer” and lose sight of more old-fashioned values (yep, I’m old fashioned) like serving clients or caring about quality.
We all fall for the hype from time to time. I get that. But if we have an underlying commitment to quality we will quickly sniff out the great products and only promote those.
And when we do that, we are building, not just earning. There’s a huge difference there.
Publish Helpful Content
I hear that in academia there is a phrase “publish or perish”. I say I hear that because I never went to college.
But I have graduated from the school of hard knocks, and can tell you this.
Everyone needs to be publishing helpful content if they want to succeed online.
Everyone? Yep, everyone.
The world has changed and we all have to get over it. Today you either publish helpful content or you better have a BIG ad budget in your pocket.
- Because big ad platforms like Facebook WANT you to send new visitors to content.
- Because your competitors ARE building authority with content.
- Because content marketing is almost completely FREE to do.
- Because customers expect to be nourished before being sold.
- Because it flat out works.
The good news is that you don’t need to be THE expert or have a big name. Every big name you know online today started out the same way … helping people for free until they could require money for that help.
This is how the world works. Work it to your advantage on your blog today.
Build Your List
How many times have you heard “the money is in the list”? Lots of times!. I know. I’ve heard it, and said it, a thousand times too.
So you see, we DO know that we should do this. But are we doing it?
Many, if not most, are not. And that’s sad because it’s quite easy to do.
Just put a signup form on your blog in three locations to get this going.
- At the top right of your sidebar.
- Under every post you make.
- Inside the body of the post.
Doing this with widgets is a snap. Getting the right code from your autoresponder is easy too. If you are stuck, let your autoresponder company help you make the form. That is why you pay them.
Let’s recap. Here are the five main points. How many did you already know you needed to do before you read this article?
- Set a specific goal.
- Choose a profitable niche.
- Commit to quality.
- Do content marketing.
- Build your list.
If you are like most of my clients, you know to do most of this. But life gets in the way. Shiny objects arrive in your inbox with their countdown timers and massive bonus offers.
The only way to fix it is this – make your own list of “must dos” and review it every day before you begin working online.
Before you read your email. Before you do anything else.
There is a simple and fun way to succeed online. Getting clarity about the BASICS of what needs to be done, and mastering those basics, is priority #1 if you find yourself confused, unsure and feeling frustrated.
You can do this. You CAN succeed online, have peace of mind and have fun along the way. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.
Because making a living online doing work you love (and work that helps people) is a beautiful way to live indeed!