32 Things I Wished I Knew When I Started Working Online (Part II)

Part II: The 13 Supporting Blocks to Success Online

9. Doing Affiliate Marketing Without Reviews

A sort of a pie graph shwoing labels like OPINIONS, COMMENTS, REVIEWS, and GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK on blue, red, green and neutral backgrounds respectively
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Reviews

The way I did affiliate marketing was to copy the information (especially the email swipes) the affiliate marketing companies sent me and paste them on my blog with lots of affiliate links and all sorts of banners for colour effect.

What I ignored was that duplicate content would never be indexed by the search engines. What I needed was to give it my personal touch so that it became unique content.

Another fact was that Google does not like content splashed with affiliate links. The objective of the search engines is to find useful content for readers. People want to learn first how to solve their problems before looking for resources to do so.

All a banner does is to promote a product. But images are supposed to enhance content, break it up to make it easy for visitors to read, not to detract from it.

Product reviews give readers the pros and cons of a product or a company. This is a way to provide value.

10. Be the Breaker of News

A drawing of a folded newspaper with the inscription NEWS on the  top right hand corner.
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Breaking News

I’ve just learnt this from Will Nicholls in his guest blog strong>6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Blog and decided to implement it for my blog under a “Breaking News” page.

My blog is in the affiliate marketing niche, and when new products are released I will publish a post about it. Will says all you need are some images, the press release, a little personal summary and then post it to your blog’s social media feeds. He claims this brings an instant spike in traffic. I just wished I had started this years ago.

To stay ahead of the game (that is, to follow the latest movers, shakers, and thinkers), Will advises to find out who already breaks news in your niche. In my case this is the big affiliate marketing blogs. You need to download an RSS reader called RSS Bot for MAC, or many others, such as Feedly or rssbot.software.informer What Will loves about this is that it pushes notifications straight through to his Mac laptop when websites he follows publish posts. What this means is that he is always at the ready to publish news as it is broken.

11. Invest in your Business to Invest in Yourself

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Invest in yourself

Taking a short online course with Webcolleagues was what enabled me to get into blogging and affiliate marketing. Unfortunately I took it to be the alpha and the omega while continuing education is the key to success.

In fact, as suggested by the course, I had signed up as affiliate with ClickBank, PayDotCom, Rakuten Linkshare and Commission Junction and pasted those companies’ banners all over my website and waited for the money to come in.

After about a year and a half, I received a cheque for $75.28 and wondered what happened. I didn’t even know I could go to my CB back office and check!

Today I suspect the sale came from my CBProAds site promoting products from ClickBank. In effect, I had registered as affiliate with CBProAds, copied the information from the site, added my affiliate link and pasted it on my blog. That might have attracted someone miraculously.

But I could not properly take off in blogging and affiliate marketing until a review I had read made me register for the Wealthy Affiliate training.

You need to invest in yourself too.

Click Here!

That $531 Affilorama course by the Internet marketing guru Mark Ling sounds expensive to you? Do you know the heights it will take you to? What about many others you’ve been holding back on? Go register for them now!

You don’t have money? Beg and borrow…to attend conferences, seminars, webinars, to make sure you are at the top of your business and in your personal life.

Attend events, buy books, register for courses, if you want fast-success, about generating traffic, conversions, email marketing, mindset, etc.

12. Help Others to Help Yourself

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Help

When you quit your 9-5 to work online, who are you trying to help? Yourself, of course. But concentrating on yourself to the exclusion of your target audience is a huge mistake newbies make.

“If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want,” Zig Zigglar.

At the beginning of my dot.com journey I ignored that golden rule. All I thought was how can I succeed, what can I do to succeed, never how can I help my blog visitors to get what they want.

Ask yourself, why should somebody spend time on your blog if it doesn’t offer them what they want? And if people are not visiting your blog (meaning no traffic), where will your business go?

Now, I mind the customer’s perspective more than mine.

Help others, and they will help you succeed makes sense a lot in online work.

13. Brave the Storm and Use a Full Screen Splash

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Full screen splash

Subscribers are the lifeblood of your blog and getting them through email subscription is an absolute necessity.

A weekly newsletter of a digest of your posts sent to your readers can do the trick.

You can collect email addresses using pop-ups, prompting users to download an eBook. These work well because they lead to a definite increase in conversion.

But have you tried a full screen splash?

Of course, you’ve been told not to use them because they temporarily detract a visitor from your content and thus annoy them. This is true. But a blogger who uses a full screen splash affirms they’ve only registered three complaints out of over 20,000 impressions. Two of those were from users who hadn’t enabled cookies in their browsers and so the splash was showing every time they visited the website.

So if you want to see your conversions go through the roof, go ahead and instal a full screen splash using the OptinMonster*. You definitely would be happy you did.

14. Build Your Traffic with Autoresponders

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@

If the money is in the list, we can also say that the traffic to build that list comes from the autoresponder.

Someone who signs up to your mailing list is looking for more information from you. In addition to your ‘same old’ newsletter each week, they must receive something else otherwise your open rate will drop.

This is where your autoresponder comes in. I use Aweber. Others prefer MailChimp.

Set up a chain of six emails, with one being sent out every month, that look at different aspects of problems a blogger and/or an affiliate marketer might face.

The first email you send a subscriber will be the welcome email, introducing them to the website and preparing them for the ‘follow-up editions’ of the newsletter they’re about to receive. Don’t forget to include some links to articles to get them started.

The following five emails should follow the sequence you set in the first email. Make the final email a survey asking your subscribers what they’d like to see next.

Make sure you link to popular articles of your blog. These articles in turn should link out to many other relevant posts. This way you send your new readers through your archives, ensuring that they don’t miss the older, but still useful, posts.

15. Use Paid advertising to promote your Articles and grow your Business

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Advertrising

Everybody knows advertising is the lifeblood of offline businesses. The story isn’t different with online marketing.

But proceed with caution!

Online advertising can swallow your savings if you don’t know how to go about it. What you need are small investments to test the waters and when they’re conclusive, you scale up for more success.

You can use social media advertising (Facebook, StumbleUpon, Twitter) to promote different articles on your website. Don’t just dump your articles and run, but ask a question or encourage users to comment, plus, share, like, stumble or tweet the posts. This increases engagement and makes your posts to end up in more people’s feeds, leading to organic traffic which doesn’t cost you a dime.

With highly engaging adverts with targeted USA and UK audiences on Facebook for example, you can spend only $0.01 per engagement. These few dollars spent every day on advertising will keep your posts in your reader’s feeds and drive traffic through to your website, which will then convert into newsletter subscribers to build a list, and you could be the next internet sensation!

When I started out online I wasted a lot of time on twitter, facebook, traffic exchanges, and other traffic sites looking for some free traffic. What I should have done was find the resources to invest in paid traffic like SoloAds, Facebook Ads and another one or two others to promote my content, grow my subscriber list, and sell more products and services.

This is because paid traffic is the fastest, best, and most predictable means for you to cash in big online. And this you can do, without the usual Google, Facebook, cold leads calling or blogging, or SEO; but simply your content, affiliate business and e-mail list.

16. Use the Latest Tech Equipment

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Technology equipment

When I started working online in 2011, I had a 2006 HP laptop computer I had bought secondhand. I changed the Windows XP Professional software only last year when the machine began to slow down terribly.

I got Windows 7 installed on it at a moment Windows 10 had appeared. That brought me only temporary relief.

I’d banged my computer keys so much that some letters, especially I, L and N have wiped off. Then A, E, O, S and W began to follow.

When these letters show clearly on your keyboard, apparently you pick them instinctively. But let them be gone and sometimes you’re left wondering which letter is found where. At times, I’ve had to proceed by trial and error.

Think of the hours of time I could’ve saved by investing in an up-to-date computer!

Instead of figuring out what I needed to run my business most efficiently and effectively, and budget for the investments in technology, I chose to be cheap which, of course, hurt my efficiency.

17. Outsource Non-core Tasks Early and Systematically

A map of the world in a bright green background with the inscription OUTSOURCE from which black arrows point to the 6 continents.
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Outsourcing

If it is not ignorance, often it is lack of money, which keeps us from delegating tasks to others. But delegating tasks doesn’t mean hiring a full-time Virtual Assistant.

All it means is for you to STOP handling the stuff that you can outsource on sites like Fiverr, oDesk, EnvatoStudio, and PeoplePerHour.com.

These include Audio Editing, Graphic Design, Setting up Autoresponder like Aweber, Setting up Your Membership Site, Tech Stuff, Video Editing, etc.

Someone online can carry out these tasks FAR better and more affordably than you can even suspect.

Simply put, don’t preoccupy yourself with stuff that don’t form part of your core business, so that you can work more efficiently and productively.

18. Read Steven Pressfield’s “Do The Work”

Brown cover design of the book "Do the Work" showing a man shovelling sand.
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Do the Work

I got this one from Stephanie St.Claire in her post 11 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business and I’m thumping myself for not knowing it before.

Stephanie said the biggest challenge you will come across with your business is your own resistance. Sort of, you will be your own enemy.

So she advises that you read Steven Pressfield’s “Do The Work” before studying anything about marketing, social media, money, or time management. These are some of the gems Stephanie says you’ll be treated to:

“Our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace, or the emptiness of our bank account. The enemy is resistance. The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why he can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”

“A professional distances herself from her instrument. The pro stands at one remove from her instrument – meaning her person, her body, her voice, her talent; the physical, mental, emotional, and psychological being she uses in her work. She does not identify with this instrument. It is simply what God gave her, what she has to work with. She assesses it coolly, impersonally, objectively.”

Why didn’t I know this so forcefully before?

19. Spend 20% of your time learning, 80% of your time DOING

Put image of doing here

Although N° 11 advises you to beg and borrow money to attend conferences, seminars, webinars, attend events, buy books, register for courses, dedicating all your time to this and to reading other people’s blogs is a form of preferring your comfort zone (See N° 25 in Part III) to doing the work.

“It’s not just about ideas. It’s about MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN. Do It!” The Great Business Project.

In order to get ahead, you must act. The craftsman is only appreciated through his work. Work does not result from learning more, but by trying your hand at whatever you had set out to do, even if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

“You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great,” The Great Business Project.

Learn you must, but doing should be the far greater part of your work. So become a PRODUCER and not just a CONSUMER.

“But you have to do what you dream of doing even while you’re afraid,” Adriana Huffington Co-Founder, The Huffington Post.

This is because the doing part is what will grow your business. Besides, the best way to learn about a business is just doing it.

“CHANCES OF SUCCESS:
‘I won’t’ – 0%
I can’t’ – 10%
‘I don’t know how’ – 20%
‘I wish I could’ – 30%
‘I want to’ – 40%
I think I might’ – 50%
‘I might’ – 60%
‘I think I can’ – 70%
‘I can’ – 80%
‘I am’ – 90%
‘I did’ – 100%”

Action speaks louder than words here becomes action achieves more than learning.

20. Provide far Greater Value than You Charge

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Proivde more value than you receive

Mike Dillard and Robert Hirsch constantly remind that you have to provide 10 to 20 times more value to your customers than you price your products and services.

The blogger Ankur Agarwal claims that’s what he’s done and created “Million Dollar Offers” on the “fly”…. One of the last businesses he took from ZERO to $1MILLION in less than 18 months simply by always asking himself, “How can I make the person who is buying my product or service feel like this is the best damn offer they ever got?”

His advice?

“Master creating Irresistible Offers and you will write your own paycheck for LIFE!”

21. Simplify your Business to make it more Powerful

A very simple armchair with 4 legs and the rest in one whole
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Simple armchair

That said, don’t complicate your blog, business model, home-biz, payment system, products, services. Everything.

Do you remember N° “17. Outsource Non-core Tasks Early and Systematically”?

Years ago I used to embrace everything I bumped into on the internet: guest blogging, content creation, promotion of web-hosting companies, promotion of all conceptual ad sites, promotion of traffic exchanges (which made Google Adwords to refuse my application for membership), promotion of web magazines, promotion of web directories, promotion of advertising sites, promotion of social marketing sites, promotion of affiliate sites, promotion of survey sites (I felt proud seeing their blinking banners on my site!), promotion of PTC companies, promotion of Get Paid To Do Something sites, promotion of referral sites, promotion of traffic generator sites, search engine promotion and a whole bunch of other stuff…

Do you see how long the paragraph is? No doubt confusion was my lot and I got nowhere.

Now I stick to what I can safely handle: blogging and affiliate marketing.
So my advice to you here is focus. And focus. And focus once again.

This is the secret sauce behind every successful entrepreneur.

“Focus on building the best possible business. If you’re great, people will notice and opportunities will appear,” Mark Cuban – Addicted2Success.com

When a year ago I bumped back to online work and stopped chasing a thousand different ways to make money online and focused on only 2 – that’s when I really began to make it.

So instead of joining 5-10 different home businesses and being a Jack of all trades and master of none, join one or two and actually FOCUS to make them work.

May you embrace these supporting blocks to consolidate your success online!

I know I haven’t covered all the bad experiences one can have building their online business 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.

Akoli
Your personal guide to securing your future online

Click here to go to Part III

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