I see a lot of new internet marketers asking questions about the on forums about how to make money online and in many instances it seems they are jumping ahead of themselves. Before worrying about how to make money, there are 10 questions new internet marketers must be able to answer ‘yes’ to before they should start considering the more advanced subjects that are the realm of full-time internet marketers.
1. Are you fully aware of the difficulties of working online? One of the most fundamental errors that new internet marketing wannabes make is holding on to visions of getting rich quick. It just doesn’t happen that way and if you believe it should you are setting yourself up for serious frustration. Making money ‘on autopilot’ is a nice thought, but in reality it only happens when you’ve been able to put in the hard work to build a successful business. This is equally applicable to offline businesses.
An online business is something that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s hard work and demanding and fiercely competitive and stressful. You will need to be 100% committed to your business, have a solid plan and strategic advantage sorted out and plenty of knowledge of the ins and outs of the business before you start or your competitors will slaughter you. I know I would if you tried to come up against me and there was any weakness in your business.
2. Are you making a full-time income before you quit your job? One of the best ways to test your resolve and ability before you put your house and grocery budget on the chopping block is to start part-time and hold down a full-time job. It won’t be easy but this will help prepare you for the ‘real world’ of online business.
Consider Mike Filsaime, one of the most famous contemporary internet marketers became successful while he was a well paid full time car salesman. He quit his job only only after he was making over $10,000 per month and was getting more from his online business than his full-time job. There’s a lot to learn and you don’t want to be learning when you need to be earning. Do you know HTML, scripts, website building, autoresponders, PPC, SEO, etc.
3. Have you stopped signing up to every new information product and started ‘doing’ more than endlessly reading? There are hundreds and thousands of information products available online for free as well as paid and they are good when you first start researching. But after you’ve bought a couple of ebooks of programs and subscribed to a few good newsletters, that all you need. Now stop researching and start working. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, there are no magic formulas in internet marketing. It’s hard work and determination and willingness to do what other people won’t do that puts you at the top. It’s no different from being in the offline business world.
4. Have you realised that there is no ‘secret formula that the gurus won’t tell you’? That is, have you learned to recognise that internet marketing is marketing and marketing is spin and exaggeration? In the beginning you can be forgiven for buying a new product because it made wild promises that seemed plausible based on the evidence presented. But there is no ‘secret’. It’s specialised knowledge and a good business strategy that make you succeed. If you’re still being sold by the spin then you’re not ready.
5. Have you decided on which internet marketing method you will pursue exclusively to start out? There are a lot of choices here. Are you going to write an eBook and sell it through affiliates? Are you going to build AdSense sites, or become an affiliate yourself and get people to subscribe to a list? Knowing your exact method is what is going to give you focus when things get tough. I once heard someone talking about how you need to be able to explain your entire business model on one side of a napkin before you are focussed enough to succeed.
6. Do you have online friends? This is important in the online world because sitting at home on your computer writing articles or emails or creating AdSense sites becomes lonely. Very lonely and boring. And unless you’re a member of a good forum where you’ve gotten to know some people then you are going to find the hours are going to be very slow and difficult. There’s nothing like getting an instant message from a friend in the business to ask how you’re going to keep you going.
7. In the same vain as 6 above, do you have a good mentor? This is essential if you want to succeed. Ultimately, it should be someone who is experienced and successful at what it is you want to do. Someone who is willing to share their knowledge with you personally and answer your questions. You might have to pay for this but it’s worth it if you do. There are some questions that you’re just going to need answering by someone in the know and unless you want to get numerous useless answers from other newbies in forums then you need to know someone who will give you their skype username and allow you to call them at all times.
8. Do you have an organised system for the administrative side of you business? Don’t kid yourself. You are going to have to keep copious records – domain names, hosting accounts, email accounts, user names, affiliate links and accounts, bank accounts, credit cards, etc. etc. There is a lot of paper work involved and while this can be kept pretty organised on your hard drive (don’t forget to back it up!) you need to have a paper system for taxes and potential business audits. I mean, you didn’t think you could earn $10,000 per month and not get noticed by the tax authorities did you? Oh, and get acquainted with a good accountant and lawyer. You’re going to need them.
9. Can you stay positive and optimistic even in the face of disappointment? This is just one of those essential emotional elements that all successful entrepreneurs have learned to develop. It’s simply not going to be possible to stay ‘up’ all the time, but you need to know how to ride out the bumps without losing hope, confidence and, well, the plot. This is where the majority of new internet marketers give up.
10. Do you have a good personal reason to do what it is that you want to do – even if it means you would make no money from it? This is a tough one. The primary reason people are in this business is to make money and that’s the absolute worst reason to be doing something. There’s very little passion that you can put behind the idea of just making money for money’s sake. And you need passion to compete with the big boys of internet marketing. They are in it for reasons that go beyond making money. Maybe it’s just replacing a job you hate, or being able to spend time with your family, but preferably it should be something that actually relates to your product or service. It’s the ‘why’ behind your emails promoting an affiliate product. Why that product, why the email, why buy through your affiliate link. The more you can add here the more work you’ll do and the more successful you’ll be.
If you’re able to answer these questions with a resounding yes, or even a squeaky yes, then you are probably ready to start researching more advanced issues regarding internet marketing. It’s not an easy life, being an internet marketer. In fact, when I first went full-time on the internet I was working twice as hard as I was in my full-time job for half the pay (yes, remember you will lose your entire full-time income when you quit and you will miss it).