Every year many people eagerly step into the dot.com arena, sprinting with glee for that glamorous title of a successful online worker to live that lifestyle or dream life.
Sadly, only a small percentage makes it past their dream, with the vast majority getting a knockout or losing on points and parting with their dreams and giving up the idea of making money online altogether.
I have been there and I know it.
When I started working online 5 years ago (oh, how time flies!), I knew nothing about blogging and doing business online (affiliate marketing), except with B2B.
Glitter overcrowded my mind as I dreamt of quitting my drab teaching job soon and running a great online business.
Full of optimism, I plodded along and learned what I could and sidestepped those that stumped me, promising to tackle them later on.
Soon I found myself oscillating between euphoria and despair, and slowly lost my enthusiasm as success which seemed a low-hanging fruit now got as far as a distant star.
I was a quick and eager learner, but it seemed that in online work there was some techy stuff I just couldn’t put my finger on. Moreover I get discouraged easily and give up all too soon and that was what took the best part of me.
Fortunately I bumped back fortuitously before it was too late.
Recently I have had the pleasure of pondering my beginning in blogging and affiliate marketing with It-is-easy-to-make-money-at-home
As with boxing, so with online work.
You need to have adequate preparation and the “coaching” from “the one who has been there before” to help you avoid taking those punches which will send you reeling to the canvas and make the referee of the blogosphere raise your hand at the end.
So, in this article, I’m going to tell you some of the things which, had I known them before, would have made me succeed online long ago. Hopefully they will help you avoid those pitfalls and grow your blog or succeed online quicker.
I’ve just started implementing these things a little over a year ago when I started affiliate training with Wealthy Affiliate to create this blog.
I decided to write it all down in a 32-list (this shows how little I knew!) post and share it with you to help you get new perspective on your own business. I hope it can, not only help you steer your business online a little easier than I did, but also give you the wisdom to hold on!
Part I: The 8 Foundation Steps to Online Success
1. Create Your Website on the Most Popular and Paid Platform
Years ago someone visited my first blog and commented that I could do better if I used a paid platform instead of the free blogspot one. Reason? He said people take you serious that way.
But I couldn’t heed his advice, thinking hosting the blog myself would be very expensive.
To create this blog, Wealthy Affiliate proposed WordPress, the platform preferred by more than 50% of people to create their websites. Registering the domain name with NameCheap costs me only $2.88 a year and I get top-notch secured hosting and world-class training and other useful resources from Wealthy Affiliate for only $47 a month or $359 a year.
What is paramount with a paid platform is that you are a master of your own website. You don’t run the risk of somebody shutting down your blog one day when you become successful.
“Don’t think what’s the cheapest way to do it, or what’s the fastest way to do it…Think what’s the amazing way to do it,” Richard Branson.
2. Write Quality Content
Having been trained to write and having published in local and American magazines, and teaching business English at the High School and Vocational Training School levels, I saw writing blog articles as a logical extension of what I had been doing. I didn’t in the least suspect that writing articles for blogs required a little more than writing for print media.
All the keyword research I did was for my blog Meta description. Period. I never did keyword research to find the keywords that my potential readers could use to find my blog articles. I didn’t know about SEO to write in such a way that Google and the other search engines would find my articles and index them.
Now that I use Google keyword research and Jaaxy keyword tool to write to attract people first and also get the search engines to send me traffic, the difference in traffic has been huge!
And mind you, traffic = success online! It goes without saying that the opposite is devastating.
3. Take Time to Build Relationships on Social Media
That’s the number one rule of networking.
You must first seek to help and build trust before even thinking of proposing a business to somebody.
Instead of that what did I do?
I meet someone on a forum, Facebook, Twitter or in the comment section of my blog and then immediately asked them to consider a business. No doubt, either they ignored my message or said they weren’t interested. Very natural, because that’s the way I react to similar offers myself, angry to see people push their business on me.
I didn’t know people buy online from those they know and in whom they have confidence. To reach that level I should learn more about the person, get curious about them and their business. Then build the relationship by sharing a useful article or a tweak or comment on what they are doing.
It’s only when you have a good rapport with somebody that you begin to sell to them.
“If people …trust you, they’ll do business with you,” Zig Zigglar.
4. Posting on Social Media
I had AddThis social media buttons installed on my blog and eagerly shared my posts on Facebook, Google plus, etc. But I didn’t add anything to my posts to encourage engagement. As one of the Wealthy Affiliate training courses advised, don’t dump your posts on social media and run, expecting people to take action on them. They won’t.
On social media, people have to be encouraged to take actions that you want from them. Do you want them to share your posts, like them, plus them, stumble them, or what else do you want from them? They must know, otherwise they move on and your social media campaigns suck!
So Embed Tweetable Quotes in some Posts to Prompt Sharing
Can you imagine a website without share bars now? They have become so common that people have grown accustomed to them. Like anything commonplace, blog visitors hardly see them now let alone use them.
This is where tweetable quotes prove useful.
Have you noticed a block with an important quote within an opinion article? What do you think readers would do if it was made tweetable? Tweet it, of course! Thus, your posts will see countless shares and entice Twitter users to your website.
To install the free app Click to Download from CoSchedule, just activate the plugin and write a shortcode where you want the quote to appear.
However be sparing in your use of this plugin. Use tweetable quotes only with opinion or discussion pieces. Like everything rare, an occasional use will make your visitors tweet the posts.
5. Build Your List. Build Your List. Build Your List.
“The money is in the list” is a saying I had read over and over without really understanding its full import.
The Opportunity you now have to build an Audience is simply crazy.
We are a spoilt generation: right now we have the possibility to reach more people than ever before in human history and at a fraction of the costs. For example, with email marketing and social media you can broadcast your message to thousands of people just with a single click.
It’s insane the reach we now have and the payoff is significant: you can build an audience and grow your business faster than ever before.
So where is the excuse not to build your audience?
Nothing, except lack of knowledge and inaction, stopped me from digging into this opportunity.
A blogger said that his bitterest regret is not building a list right from day one of his online career. “You could start it even before taking down your ‘Coming soon’ sign,” he said.
Another said not building a list must be tantamount to hating money.
I had accounts with Aweber and TraffucWave.net but I thought the best use was to build a downline of affiliates. And I paid for traffic share but all I got were a handful of affiliates. Worse, they were free ones. Finally I had to give up my two accounts.
What I should have done was hire someone to setup my opt-in box for me. For an email subscriber list is an online worker’s NUMBER ONE asset for making money online.
For a shortcut to building your list, go here to get DFY Traffic to jumpstart your lead generation.
6. Use Email Marketing, a Dream Way to Build Your Online Business
Email marketing is the easiest way to sell, make money, and build a lucrative online business.
True. Email marketing is a great tool that will allow you to build a six-figure business online WITHOUT being a world-class copywriter. You don’t even need to go through a complete e-mail copy course.
The secret to honing this strategy is to pen fun, personalized emails each day packed with value and send them to your subscribers. This could be lessons that you have learned in your online journey, your failures, challenges, successes, other people’s experiences. These make you to become the real friend, a trusted authority, the expert, the guru that your list follow religiously, and buy stuff from.
Your subscriber list buy from you based on the RELATIONSHIP that you’ve built with them. This’s why contrary to everybody else, Ankur Agarwak of dotcomdecoded claims that the money is not in the list, but rather in the RELATIONSHIP you have built with the list…“The value that you’ve provided, how you make them feel is the asset,” he says.
Each and every day ask yourself, “What’s the MOST Valuable thing I can share with my list?” Then write it. It’ll take only 30 to 90 minutes when you have the hang of it. Finally you only need to hit send to virtually print money.
That action of sending daily e-mail broadcast to your list is worth several $ per day to you…
The size of your list, though important, is not the main ingredient that will let you make lots of money from your list. It’s the quality of your list and your engagement with it.
7. Email your Subscribers several times a Week
If having a list is a good thing, emailing your subscribers often is better. For, as out of sight is out of mind, not engaging your list often is a sure way to lose them.
Thus, when with this blog, I started building a list and was not sending regular juicy content to it to help my prospects have the information to solve the problem for which they had subscribed to my email list, I witnessed a high rate of unsubscribed.
Email daily. This will make your list to expect something from you each day, increase the open rate and the action you want them to take. This will make them heavily patronize stuff you recommend.
Ankur Agarwal aptly compared email to talk radio. People will tune in each day if you educate, inspire, and entertain. The same ingredients are the way you build your fan base, following, or tribe. Make your e-mail super-responsive by writing in a way which adds value, which makes your list see you as a friend, trusted advisor and teacher.
ankur claims that just last year, one of his income streams IPAS2 netted a cash flow of over $634,585 simply by working 30 minutes a day just by buying traffic from Ipas2 to build his list and emailing them daily!
Emailing your list 5-6 days per week, you should expect people to unsubscribe or complain. That’s natural. Not everybody can stand receiving daily mail from you. But you should rather have few one-off visitors that you can turn into prospects who become RAVING fans and then loyal, raving customers who become evangelical converts than just mass numbers.
Build a list, but keep them busy with regular information from you so that they remain excited about you and your business.
8. Take Note of how you get Leads
At the beginning of my dot.com journey, I was so thrilled to have leads now and then that all I did was send them a welcome email and then copy their details into a “My Leads” file for a hypothetical future use. No lead ever replied my welcome mail and worse I let them slip into oblivion until I had a new business and sent it to them but no one ever reacted.
What I should have been doing was ask the “anonymous” leads how they found me. Was it a referral? Did they come from a social network? Was it Google who sent them my way? And then plug all the leads into an autoresponder and send them regular updates to keep them excited about my business.
The 80-20 rule says that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your prospects. Now, if you don’t know where your leads are coming from how can you pay special attention to them and market more there?
So monitor all your business data in one place with a tool like Cyfe.
May you take firm foundation steps to know success online!
I know I haven’t covered all the bad experiences one can have attempting to work online since each person has a unique experience. Why don’t you tell us about yours to give readers more ways to avoid heartaches and regrets?
Just go to the comments box below and leave your experience there. Thank you.
Your personal guide to securing your future online