How to Build a REAL Online Business: A FREE Multi-Part, No-BS Blueprint for Succeeding Online

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There are many ways to make money online. However, one of the easiest ways to do so is to build a community of like-minded people and then to market to that community. Sounds simple, right? I mean, pulling together a collection of people with similar interests can't be too difficult, right? Well, yes and no.

The series of posts that you are about to read is an EXACT BLUEPRINT for building a REAL BUSINESS that's scalable, fun to run, easy to run, offers value, and generates a REAL INCOME. You will find very few (if any) eBooks/guides on this forum that rival this information.

This is A LOT OF INFORMATION. To make it easy to consume, I'm going to break it down into multiple posts.

Feel free to touch base if you need help implementing what you are about to read.


STEP #1: Identify and Assess
If you make a mistake when identifying a profitable niche, nothing else will matter. That said, the very first step you want to take is to "Identify and Assess". You'll need to "Identify and Assess" your potential audience and you'll want to "Identify and Assess" your potential niche.

Audience
Identifying a profitable niche is critical to your success. Building a website and getting 5000 visitors per day is great - unless those visitors are 10 year olds. I mean, how many ten year olds have money to spend online?

What you'll want to do before anything else is identify an audience that you'd like to target. You'll want to be sure that the audience you are targeting has money to spend; otherwise, your traffic will be useless.

A good audience is one that is passionate about a particular niche, is socially active online (willing to click on stuff, like stuff, and share stuff), and is also willing to spend money. For example, dog owners would be a good audience because they are passionate about their dogs, they often enjoy and share photos and videos about similar dogs, and they typically spend lots of money on their dogs.

Niche
After you've identified a solid audience that you'd like to target, you'll want to "Identify and Assess" a niche that appeals to that audience. For example, you might want to focus on Akitas (a dog breed). By targeting Akitas, you will have established the foundation of your business, which will be a website about Akitas.

Your website will cover everything about Akitas - nutrition, photos, videos, training, funny stories about Akitas, etc. You will present yourself as an authority on Akitas and you will market your website to Akita owners or people interested in Akitas.

Questions & Answers
Think about the following questions and answers as you complete the Identify and Assess phase:

Who am I trying to reach?
Before doing anything, you need to have an idea of what market you are trying to reach. Are you targeting Moms? Dads? Pet owners? Singles? Married Couples? Figure out WHO you want to reach before working on the HOW.

Does my target market have money to spend?
If you target a market that, on the whole, has no money to spend, monetizing your site could be difficult. Make sure your target audience is an audience that can be monetized.

What niche is my target audience interested in?
Once you've figured out WHO you want to reach, decide what niche you will use to reach them with. It's just like fishing. First, you decide what fish (audience) you are trying to catch. Then, you figure out what lake (niche) to fish in.

What niche-related products can I promote?
Once you've figured out your audience and niche, you'll want to identify what kinds of products that you can promote to your audience when it comes time to monetize your business.

Is my chosen niche social-friendly?
If you are going to be relying on social media to build your audience and to drive traffic, you want to stick with niches that are "social-friendly". Back acne and other embarrassing problems are NOT social-friendly. Make sure you operate in a niche that people will not be embarrassed by.

So, that's it for PART ONE.

Your takeaway for today is simple:

Figure out WHO your target market will be and decide on a niche that interests that market segment. With that info in hand, think about products/services that would be of interest to your market segment.

Keep an eye out for the next part, in which I'll cover building a website that visitors will actually WANT to visit and will actually TRUST.
#blueprint #build #business #multipart #nobs #online #real #succeeding
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisniel
    Thanks, @wolfmmiii for valuable tips.

    I don't know about others but I usually start a project with great enthusiasm but after working for a couple of days/weeks get lost. I mean as soon as I go deeper to learn anything (ex - Email Marketing) I keep reading stuff related to it. and because of competition and failure stories, mind changes always.

    This thing I need to change.

    @wolfmmiii have few words to talk on this?
    Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    BE SURE TO HIT "SUBSCRIBE" ABOVE


    There are many ways to make money online. However, one of the easiest ways to do so is to build a community of like-minded people and then to market to that community. Sounds simple, right? I mean, pulling together a collection of people with similar interests can't be too difficult, right? Well, yes and no.

    The series of posts that you are about to read is an EXACT BLUEPRINT for building a REAL BUSINESS that's scalable, fun to run, easy to run, offers value, and generates a REAL INCOME. You will find very few (if any) eBooks/guides on this forum that rival this information.

    This is A LOT OF INFORMATION. To make it easy to consume, I'm going to break it down into multiple posts.

    Feel free to touch base if you need help implementing what you are about to read.


    STEP #1: Identify and Assess
    If you make a mistake when identifying a profitable niche, nothing else will matter. That said, the very first step you want to take is to "Identify and Assess". You'll need to "Identify and Assess" your potential audience and you'll want to "Identify and Assess" your potential niche.

    Audience
    Identifying a profitable niche is critical to your success. Building a website and getting 5000 visitors per day is great - unless those visitors are 10 year olds. I mean, how many ten year olds have money to spend online?

    What you'll want to do before anything else is identify an audience that you'd like to target. You'll want to be sure that the audience you are targeting has money to spend; otherwise, your traffic will be useless.

    A good audience is one that is passionate about a particular niche, is socially active online (willing to click on stuff, like stuff, and share stuff), and is also willing to spend money. For example, dog owners would be a good audience because they are passionate about their dogs, they often enjoy and share photos and videos about similar dogs, and they typically spend lots of money on their dogs.

    Niche
    After you've identified a solid audience that you'd like to target, you'll want to "Identify and Assess" a niche that appeals to that audience. For example, you might want to focus on Akitas (a dog breed). By targeting Akitas, you will have established the foundation of your business, which will be a website about Akitas.

    Your website will cover everything about Akitas - nutrition, photos, videos, training, funny stories about Akitas, etc. You will present yourself as an authority on Akitas and you will market your website to Akita owners or people interested in Akitas.

    Questions & Answers
    Think about the following questions and answers as you complete the Identify and Assess phase:

    Who am I trying to reach?
    Before doing anything, you need to have an idea of what market you are trying to reach. Are you targeting Moms? Dads? Pet owners? Singles? Married Couples? Figure out WHO you want to reach before working on the HOW.

    Does my target market have money to spend?
    If you target a market that, on the whole, has no money to spend, monetizing your site could be difficult. Make sure your target audience is an audience that can be monetized.

    What niche is my target audience interested in?
    Once you've figured out WHO you want to reach, decide what niche you will use to reach them with. It's just like fishing. First, you decide what fish (audience) you are trying to catch. Then, you figure out what lake (niche) to fish in.

    What niche-related products can I promote?
    Once you've figured out your audience and niche, you'll want to identify what kinds of products that you can promote to your audience when it comes time to monetize your business.

    Is my chosen niche social-friendly?
    If you are going to be relying on social media to build your audience and to drive traffic, you want to stick with niches that are "social-friendly". Back acne and other embarrassing problems are NOT social-friendly. Make sure you operate in a niche that people will not be embarrassed by.

    So, that's it for PART ONE.

    Your takeaway for today is simple:

    Figure out WHO your target market will be and decide on a niche that interests that market segment. With that info in hand, think about products/services that would be of interest to your market segment.

    Keep an eye out for the next part, in which I'll cover building a website that visitors will actually WANT to visit and will actually TRUST.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
      Originally Posted by chrisniel View Post

      Thanks, @wolfmmiii for valuable tips.

      I don't know about others but I usually start a project with great enthusiasm but after working for a couple of days/weeks get lost. I mean as soon as I go deeper to learn anything (ex - Email Marketing) I keep reading stuff related to it. and because of competition and failure stories, mind changes always.

      This thing I need to change.

      @wolfmmiii have few words to talk on this?
      I hear you man. Been there done that!

      I used to start projects then for some reason...start to look for reasons...excuses not to put in the work.

      Excuses be like...too saturated...too many failure stories ect.

      But all of this BS was just stuff I was believing so that I wouldn't have to put in consistent effort.

      And the main reason why I was sabotaging myself over and over by coming up with excuses was because I was harboring an 'unconscious' self limiting belief.

      So in a nutshell my conscious mind was saying yes I want to become successful but my unconscious mind was saying the complete opposite.

      The unconscious mind is the final decider so to speak.

      Things didn't change for me until I finally found these deep seated beliefs that were holding me back...and really look into why that belief was there.

      Most people who are struggling online have self limiting beliefs holding themselves back but instead of looking for the problem 'inside' of them...most will blame circumstances Outside of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    I know it sounds cliche but "Just Do It".

    You are going to strike out sometimes. It's virtually unavoidable. So what? Learn from it. Along with strike outs will come a few singles, some doubles, and maybe even a triple or home run every now and then.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

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    Figure out WHO your target market will be and decide on a niche that interests that market segment. With that info in hand, think about products/services that would be of interest to your market segment.
    Interesting way to approach it. Most start with a Niche and then look at the Audience. But I think this is a definite solid way to go about it. Whats that saying about skinning a cat
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    The problem with starting with the niche is twofold....

    What happens if your chosen niche largely appeals to a group of people with no money to spend?

    Secondly, what happens when there are limited monetization options for said niche?

    By figuring out who your market is first, you make things much easier on yourself.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

      The problem with starting with the niche is twofold....

      What happens if your chosen niche largely appeals to a group of people with no money to spend?
      I'd add, even if people have money to spend, have they demonstrated a willingness to spend money on that niche interest.

      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

      Secondly, what happens when there are limited monetization options for said niche?

      By figuring out who your market is first, you make things much easier on yourself.
      Depends on the options. If there are too many options, you start running into the paradox of choice, which leads to either a shotgun approach or paralysis by analysis as people seek the "best" option.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

      By figuring out who your market is first, you make things much easier on yourself.

      So true . . . and here's why:

      Demand in the marketplace for a solution to a common problem is created by people, your audience, and that demand over time can change. These are the people that exchange their money for (hopefully) your solution.

      People will move in and out of your audience as their interests, appetites, and problems change. That's why it's critical to understand and know who you serve ... and especially to know what they are seeking.

      Niches, products, and services don't pay you for your effort - it's the people you help that control your financial future. It's the people in your audience that press the buy button and everything begins and ends with them.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author peterparker1997
        What is the procedure to create a site
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        • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
          Originally Posted by peterparker1997 View Post

          What is the procedure to create a site
          There is no hard and fast procedure. What's important is that the website look professional and that it be brandable. How you get there isn't as important.
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

      The problem with starting with the niche is twofold....

      What happens if your chosen niche largely appeals to a group of people with no money to spend?

      Secondly, what happens when there are limited monetization options for said niche?

      By figuring out who your market is first, you make things much easier on yourself.
      yes picking the right niche is the most imporatant part. .

      But it would mean picking one, most people get stuck in this part. Any never get around to doing anything. :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Regional Warrior
      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

      The problem with starting with the niche is twofold....

      What happens if your chosen niche largely appeals to a group of people with no money to spend?

      Secondly, what happens when there are limited monetization options for said niche?

      By figuring out who your market is first, you make things much easier on yourself.
      This is the number one reason as to why there are some many threads on the forum from the newbies as to why they fail

      Great thread W should be a sticky

      Jason
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    STEP #2: Build Your Website
    Stop relying exclusively on Google to bring you traffic. Instead, rely on social media to bring you traffic. As such, you have to make your site enticing. Your site has to be "fun". If it's not fun, people won't stick around nor will they "like" it or "share" it with friends.

    In addition to being "fun", your site has to be branded properly. A website called "underwaterdigitalcamerasforsale.org" is just not appealing. You have to change your mindset and use a name that's brandable. A domain as simple and unique as "blueakita.com" is one that would work. It's catchy, it's brandable, and it's niche-related.

    Domain Selection
    As I mentioned above, branding plays a critical role in attracting visitors and, in turn, making money. That being the case, you need to make sure your site is well-branded and stands out.

    Branding
    When you build out your website, you'll probably want to hire out your graphics/logo design if you aren't well-versed in design. Why? You are presenting yourself as an authority. An amateur-looking site does nothing to make you look like an authority. You'll want a nicely designed logo/header graphic that represents the content of the site and what your brand is about.

    In addition to properly branding your website, you'll also want to do the same for all of your social media properties. You want to keep the look and brand consistent across all online real estate so people remember you because if they don't remember you, they aren't going to share you with others.

    Design
    Along with professional (or at least aesthetically pleasing) branding, your website should be well-designed. It should be easy to navigate and the information should be nicely laid out. Categories should be used to properly separate out content so visitors can easily find what they are looking for.

    Make sure that whatever photos or images you use are properly sized and are of high-enough resolution that they aren't pixilated. Again, you need to ensure that the design looks professional. Improperly sized photos and poor quality photos make your site look amateurish. I suggest using a service like 123rf.com for your image needs. It costs a buck or so for each image but it is well worth it.

    Folks, the design aspect of things cannot be overstated. When you are done building your site (or having it built for you), let someone you trust look it over. Maybe it's the OCD in me but a site should look "geometric". If your post is 300px high, your sidebar shouldn't have 50 ads that make the sidebar 2700px high. Little things like this make a HUGE impact on the site aesthetics, whether you realize it or not.

    Content
    People will become long-term fans only if you provide good content. I mean, it's the lifeblood of your brand. You can have the most beautiful website and brand but if the content is terrible, it's all a big waste. Don't skimp on it.

    When creating content for your website, you want to present it in a fun and unique way. Remember, your knowledge of the niche you are operating in is what sets you apart from your competition. Readers will be coming to you for your expertise. Make sure you give them what they are looking for.

    Your site (and brand) is not going to flourish if you insist on posting spun content and 300-word half-articles nor is it going to succeed if all you post are walls and walls of text. There is a happy medium. You just have to find that happy medium.

    To keep your readers engaged (and pageviews climbing), publish longer articles that span multiple pages. If you can split a 1000-word article into 3-4 pages, you draw your readers in, maintain a high on-page time, and reduce bounce rates. The longer you keep someone on your site, the more opportunities you will have to market to him. You'll also want to break up the content types. Instead of posting all articles, be sure to publish other content such as photos and videos.

    Keep your readers engaged!

    Once your site is fully fleshed out with significant content, move on to the next step of building a social media presence, which I'll cover in my next post in this thread.

    Questions & Answers
    As you build your website, keep the following questions and answers in mind. They will help you build a better business.

    What kind of website do I want/need to run?
    Does your niche require a "Pinterest-style" website or does it require more content? Make sure the style of website matches the niche and the content you are publishing.

    What should my domain name be?
    Your domain name needs to be a BRAND, not a keyword. I acutally prefer to use "regular" names, myself. A fictional name backed by a fictional online persona works just fine. For example, maybe spin up a site/brand called TiffanyJones.com that operates in the "baby shower" niche. Forget adding keywords to your domain. You are not trying to rank your website, you are building a brand. Using a brandable persona works.

    Should I hire a graphic designer?
    You are relying on social traffic so your site needs to look good. When building your site, you need to HONESTLY assess your graphic design skills. If you can't create nicely-done graphics and logos, consider hiring someone to do so. It can literally mean the difference between success and failure because, generally speaking, people don't like ugly sites.

    What theme should I use?
    When building your site, you'll need to settle on a theme. Make sure that whatever theme you use matches your niche and content type. If you are running a magazine-style website, use a magazine-style theme. If you are running a photography website, use a Pinterest or portfolio type theme.

    It's CRITICAL that you convey a professional appearance and brand. Visitors aren't gonna stick around for some amateur-looking site with poor content.

    In my next post, I'll cover the social media aspect of things.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

    What you'll want to do before anything else is identify an audience that you'd like to target. You'll want to be sure that the audience you are targeting has money to spend; otherwise, your traffic will be useless.
    To be honest I see that as a first step to failure. I've learned to go another route. Start out with a solution to a need REGARDLESS OF NICHE. As i looked back at my most profitable ventures it didn't matter what the niche was . it mattered whether i was adding something new and needed to the world.

    I can't tell you how many people I have seen on here with the idea that they are going to pick a niche and be the best in it and establish themselves as an authority yada yada yada. then they will slap on an affiliate link or ads and bank

    Guess what? If you don't have a unique value add who really cares? tens of thousands of doctors are potentially "authorities" but its the ones that come up with something new that distinguish themselves that you hear about.

    In a very real sense it doesn't matter squat if that solution is for ten year olds who have no money. Their parents do. If its a real need and a real solution you just got a big "up" in marketing if your site addresses it. gaining traffic is all about people linking to you or mentioning you. Does anyone link to something old thats just one in a sea of ordinary?

    Number one fail of IMers I see over and over again is thinking - "because its the net I don't have to come up with anything new and unique that solves a problem. Instead I'll just put up a whole bunch of content and (allegedly) establish myself as an authority in my niche"

    its been done over and over again by many people here who yep ended up failing.

    So number one step?

    have an idea that actually fills a need and solvess a problem - add something to the world.

    if not go get a job and live happily ever after
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      Start out with a solution to a need REGARDLESS OF NICHE.
      Before you devise a solution to a need, you have to identify a need. Before you identify a need, you have to identify a segment of people who have that need. This is exactly what I'm referring to when I say to identify a market first.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

        Before you identify a need, you have to identify a segment of people who have that need.
        Not true - 90% plus of us find a need when we experience the need ourselves not from picking a niche first.
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        • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          Not true - 90% plus of us find a need when we experience the need ourselves not from picking a niche first.
          Exactly. So in this example:

          Joe is a dog lover. Joe owns a beagle that misbehaves. Joe trains his beagle to behave. Joe starts website about training beagles.
          • First thing that happened: Joe identified a target market (possibly subconsciously): people like himself
          • Second thing that happened: Joe identified a niche (misbehaving beagles / dog training)
          • Third thing that happened: Joe decided he would sell his dog training to people like himself (product)
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    Good thread.

    I think that Mike has shared something valuable here. Even though people can use either way, Mike's point is something to be considered about which comes first. I think either way could work but the difference is real vs. artificial.

    Mike's way is more natural. I lost 50 pounds and have kept it off for 3 years while increasing muscle tone and reducing fat due to my XYZ formula I came up with because I was sick and tired of being fat. This person has something unique, something potentially valuable, knows it works, etc.

    This method can work for any age group, any sex, any fitness condition, etc.

    The other way is what we see here, day after day after day.

    I saw a thread the other day that said the guy was planning on opening a dog website (forget what it was) and he wanted to know what dog owners needed or wanted.

    He likely heard that pet sites were good money. So, he has his market according to the plan. Now he's going to niche it down to Maltese because his sister has one and it is really cute and he knows a lot of people with Maltese.

    Now, he comes and asks "is there any dog or Maltese PLR available?" or "I don't know what to write on my Maltese blog" or "Has anyone ever used this Maltese ebook I found on Clickbank? Is it any good - I'm thinking about promoting it because the gravity is high" or "what do Maltese owners want to learn about?"

    The first guy has something he can build a website about because he knows his target market and he knows his stuff works. He can easily create (or have created) blog posts, training programs, ebooks, newsletters, videos, an app, etc. because he has something valuable.

    The second guy has a good market and has niched it down and will probably fail miserably just because he doesn't have a real solution to a real problem. While the first guy may fail too, it won't be for the same reason.

    So, before you find a market or niche it down have a valuable, helpful, workable, realistic solution. That solution could be about how to get high rankings or lose belly fat or make money with earthworms, or how to run a newspaper.

    And, I don't think the solution has to be a new product necessarily. It can piggyback off of another successful product. For example, let's say you are a fan of Dave Ramsey's finance radio show. You have all his books. You know it works because you are getting out of debt and putting money in the bank. You can write tips, gotchas, warnings, extra info that helped you to get through Dave's step 3, etc. You'll know what to recommend in addition to Dave's book because you are using the stuff yourself.

    Then, you can decide who your market is. Who needs to lose 50 pounds? Can they pay for a solution? How bad do they want it? Are they buying these things now and not succeeding? Why? How is mine different?

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

      Then, you can decide who your market is. Who needs to lose 50 pounds? Can they pay for a solution? How bad do they want it? Are they buying these things now and not succeeding? Why? How is mine different?

      Mark
      What you said here makes my point and you didn't even realize it. In this example of yours, you ALREADY decided who your target market is BEFORE you decided to target people who need to lose 50 pounds.

      I lost 50 pounds and have kept it off for 3 years while increasing muscle tone and reducing fat due to my XYZ formula I came up with because I was sick and tired of being fat. This person has something unique, something potentially valuable, knows it works, etc.
      You also did it in the quote above. The second you say "I lost 50 pounds", you have identified your target market - overweight people like yourself. The entire sentence structure starts with the target market and ends with a product. Target market first. Solution second.

      I mean, were you thinking of skinny people when you decided you were gonna build a website around weight loss?? Of course not! You decided FIRST that your market was gonna be overweight people. Your internal thought process didn't go:

      hmmm... I want to sell weight loss products. Should I sell them to skinny people or overweight people? I think I'll sell them to overweight people.

      Instead, it went more like:

      Overweight people typically want to lose weight so I think I'm gonna sell weight loss products to them.

      In your own example, you demonstrated exactly what I was saying.

      All that said, there are multiple ways to skin a cat and people should do what works for them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post


      lost 50 pounds and have kept it off for 3 years while increasing muscle tone and reducing fat due to my XYZ formula I came up with because I was sick and tired of being fat.
      Thats the key point. Solutions are most often found by people who have a problem and are creative. It does NOT come from identifying a niche first but living your life , keeping you eyes open and being creative.

      Lets be honest - most people set themselves up for failure because they start really at first with one problem that has nothing to do with adding anything to the world

      I want to make money

      Then they go to Wolmii's first step - what niche can I make some money and then they go to okay - "what way can I get the money in that niche" then - "okay maybe solve a problem."

      they then believe whatever they come up with solves a problem (in many cases that may not even be real - like ahem ...creating another authority site when others already exist hence no problem is being really solved).

      Its a setup for failure...its been tried by many people and it doesn't work for most people.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    LOL
    You guys are cracking me up tonight...
    Seems to me a bunch of over inflated egos on here who are basically saying the same thing but somehow have convinced their own selves they are saying something different than the other person
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by discrat View Post

      LOL
      You guys are cracking me up tonight...
      Seems to me a bunch of over inflated egos on here who are basically saying the same thing but somehow have convinced their own selves they are saying something different than the other person
      I was actually gonna add a line that I think we might be arguing semantics but was too lazy to go back and edit it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by discrat View Post

      LOL
      You guys are cracking me up tonight...
      Seems to me a bunch of over inflated egos on here who are basically saying the same thing but somehow have convinced their own selves they are saying something different
      Lol...if you don't understand something just ask D...nothing is more amusing than someone who doesn't understand a difference claiming (due to their own ego) everyone else seeing a difference just doesn't; get it or is ego driven. Uninformed hubris is hilarious

      I'll give you the 411.....again. There IS a real difference and its fundamental to what we see on WF every week for a very long time. Probably one of the top 3 biggest problems in IM

      Focus - How many times do we see in the traffic related forums people start out with a niche because they think they can make money from it - every day. Wolfmii even used a classic over worked example - dog training (if I get one more person PMing me about a dog training site I'll barf). yep they started with a niche that makes money and then tried to come up with a problem to solve.

      Not how creativity works. the human mind more comes up with solutions when the person is faced with a problem thats a problem for themselves in their own life - regardless of niche. They live it without focusing in on niche first. Also works tremendously at credibility and authority. People who have lived through a problem and solved it have the empathy and communication that bleeds through to the end user.

      Proof is in the pudding. the choose a niche first has been the mantra for years in IM and yet the overwhelming majority of Imers come up with failure. Try something else.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Mike, I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the two of you are closer than you think. Wolfmii is talking about a concept - choose a niche. You're talking about the process - choose a niche because of assumed potential for making money.

    When people have asked me how to pick a niche, or what my opinion is on a niche they're considering, I tell them to first look at their own life. What problems have they overcome, or seen others overcome (up close and personal)?

    Once you have those in mind, you can move on to the technical stuff, like how many people in the niche, do they have money and are willing to spend it on the niche, how easy the niche is to reach, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Mike, I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the two of you are closer than you think. Wolfmii is talking about a concept - choose a niche. You're talking about the process - choose a niche because of assumed potential for making money.
      .
      Nope thats not what I wrote at all.

      When people have asked me how to pick a niche, or what my opinion is on a niche they're considering, I tell them to first look at their own life. What problems have they overcome, or seen others overcome (up close and personal)?
      I hear you John but by that point they are already in "let me pick a niche so I can make some money mode." they then fit the solution to what they know and 9 times out of 10 its no solution to any real problem. Its just another website - haven't you seen that? I am sure you get people Pming you to look at their site and ideas - maybe even more than me - and thats mostly what I see.

      A real serial entrepeneur knows he is going to have a bunch of ideas he will never make a dime from. He realizes thats the process - problem comes up and he thinks - theres got to be better and then as he does that while going on with life he/she will hit on one that makes some money, He doesn't care about niche. The people you describe are in a niche already - make ME money - that so dominates this board

      A really good accessible way for the average person of getting ones head around the real difference is watching a few hours of a show like "Shark Tank". You will see a long line of people who came upon their idea for business from a need in their life without any previous focus on marketing niche. They weren't trying to find something to make some money first (which kills creativity) and they many times end up being more passionate and more credible because of it. Once you decide you start looking for a niche you are ten times more likely to try and jam your experience into the solution and neither understand it or really offer any solution.

      So truth is we are FAAAR apart but Wolmii is more in the mode of today's internet marketing. For most people however that mode hasn't worked besides the fact that people who go down that road don't create anything of any great value. They mainly make their money our of MMO by enticing others how to MMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Thanks, Mike...

    We may not always agree, but I know I can count on you for a civil debate.
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Thanks Jason.

    I'm calling it an early night tonight so I'll add Step 3 tomorrow. In it, I'll cover social media.
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  • Profile picture of the author maxsi
    Good tips....
    high ticket products are one of the best ways to make $20K per month or more

    they are earning $50K, $70K and more...
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Sorry it took longer than promised to get this next post in the series up. I've got a handful of websites I'm building for clients and I had to get some of that work done before getting to this.

    STEP3: Build a Social Media Presence
    Now that you've decided to break your reliance on Google and SEO for traffic, you have to ensure you get the social media part right. Otherwise, your site will fail. This is not a "build it and they will come" project. You are going to have to attract your visitors via social media.

    When establishing a social media presence, you want to ensure that all of your social media properties are branded identically to your website. What this means is that you'll have to modify your website header graphic/logo so that it fits properly with whatever social media profile you are establishing.

    For example, if your website header graphic is 975px x 150px, you are going to have to resize it to 851px x 315px (or whatever the current "proper size" is today") to use it as a Facebook cover image. That DOESN'T MEAN that you should simply take your website graphic and resize it so text is squished and the graphics are all screwed up. It DOES MEAN that you should take your header graphic and create a new, properly sized one using the same elements.

    Don't shortcut things. A 975px x 150px header is going to look awful if you simply resize it to 851px x 315px. Put some effort into things.

    Facebook
    Although there will be exceptions, Facebook will often be your primary source of traffic. As such, you need to get it right, starting with branding. Now, that said, it's really not difficult to "get it right". All you really need is a cover image and a profile pic. For the cover image, simply take your website header graphic/logo and use it as a "template". Using the graphics editor of your choice (I prefer Adobe Elements), create a new image that's 851px by 315px (or whatever the current recommendation is). Design your cover image so that it matches your website header graphic or logo.

    Since this is a guide on establishing a brand and not a tutorial on Adobe Elements, I'm not going to get into the detail of doing the actual graphic design. That said, you get the point - your Facebook branding should match your website branding.

    As for a profile pic, I always suggest using a professional headshot. Since you are trying to establish credibility, using a REAL headshot is the best policy. However, if you don't want photos of you on the internet, that's cool. Go out to 123rf.com and download a professional-looking headshot and use that as your online persona. Problem solved.

    Twitter
    Although I, personally, am not a big Twitter user, many people are. As such, you'll want to follow the same process you used with Facebook to build out a branded Twitter presence. Like you did when creating your Facebook cover image, make sure you create brand new Twitter art that matches your brand. Stretching your existing graphics is going to distort them. Size it based on whatever the recommended image size for Twitter. You'll also want to use a good headshot as your profile pic (like you did with Facebook). People trust others more easily when there is a real person attached to the entity.

    In addition to a branded header and quality profile pic, I also suggest changing the default background to something more in line with your brand. The default options that Twitter provides are not all that great so you many want to spend a few dollars on a decent background image for Twitter.

    Pinterest
    Pinterest is a good choice if your target demographic is mostly women AND your niche is "photogenic". If you are promoting laptops to "twenty-something" men, Pinterest is probably a waste of time and money. However, if you are promoting handbags to women, Pinterest can be a traffic goldmine!

    If you decide that Pinterest is a social media presence that can help your brand, go ahead and setup an account, taking care to brand it to match your website. Consider setting up your boards to match your website categories.

    YouTube
    YouTube is very similar to Pinterest in that it's either a gold mine or a bit time waste. If you've chosen a niche that lends itself well to video promotion, by all means, get cracking and setup a YouTube account that matches your brand.

    If you don't realistically see yourself needing to create any sort of videos for brand promotion or for website content, skip it. I would suggest, however, that you at least setup an account branded with your business name so you don't have to worry about anyone cyber squatting your name on YouTube. This same bit of advice also holds true for any other social media properties you may be considering.

    Linking it Together
    Now that you have all of your social media properties created and branded, you'll want to interlink them all somehow so people know where to find you. What I typically do for clients when I build brands based on this advice is use the website as the hub and, using a widget or other coding, link out to the social media properties from the website itself in a prominent manner.

    Not only does linking everything together present you as an authority to the average reader but it also gives your visitors more ways to reach you and you more ways to reach your readers.

    Questions & Answers
    As you build out your social media presence, you'll want to figure what platforms to use and out how to integrate them into your brand and website.

    Which social media platform is right for me?
    Understanding which platform is best is the key to reaching your target audience. If your target audience is hanging out mostly on Facebook (usually the case), then make Facebook your primary social media platform but don't ignore others like Pinterest and Twitter.

    How can I integrate my social media platform into my website (and vice versa)?
    Are there plug-ins that will allow me to display my Facebook posts on my website? Will they let my audience "like" my posts? Think about what tools are available to you that will allow seamless integration of your website and social media platforms.


    Your key takeaway from this step is that you need to leverage social media an when you do, the branding has to be consistent. In the next post, I'll discuss the art of building a responsive fan base via Facebook ad campaigns.
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Just finally finding some time to put this together. Sorry about the delay. In this installment, I'm gonna touch on growing a fan base or readership.

    STEP #4: Run Facebook "Like" Ads
    Now that you have your foundation (branded website, lots of content, matching social media accounts, etc) up and running, it's time to begin promoting your brand to establish your readership. I almost always use Facebook for this. Even with their recent "reach" algorithm changes, Facebook still represents the best way to build a following.

    If you followed my advice in STEP 1 of this post, you should already know what audience you are trying to reach.

    Knowing who you are trying to reach is critical because mistakes will begin costing you money in wasted advertising. So, if you don't know who you are trying to reach yet, now is the time to figure it out.

    Choose an Ad Type
    Although many "gurus" will tell you to run a "Website Clicks" campaign to bring in immediate traffic to your site, I'm going to tell you it's a bad idea. It's a bad idea because such a campaign does nothing to build your Facebook following. Sure, it gets people "in the door" to your website but what happens once they leave? Will they ever come back? Can you ever reach them again?

    Running a "Page Like" campaign allows you to reach people where they are - on Facebook. Instead of asking Facebook users to visit your site, getting them to "Like" your Facebook page allows you to get your page content in front of them on a daily basis, slowly establishing a relationship and building their trust. The more quality posts they see in their feeds, the more likely people are going to start visiting your site via the links in those feeds. As your Facebook fan base grows, so will your traffic.

    Some of my own sites/brands have Facebook pages with as few as 1500 fans. However, those 1500 fans sometimes generate 2000+ pageviews per day. It's a simple strategy that works consistently. Now, your mileage may vary but, for me, the best bang for the buck is the "Page Like" campaign.

    Create the Ad Graphic
    Once you've decided on a campaign type (we'll use "Page Likes" for this example), create an ad that provides a call to action that matches your campaign type. Many people who are inexperienced with Facebook advertising simply use the default graphic (usually the cover image of the page) when creating a "Page Like" campaign. Doing so is a bad idea because it doesn't tell the reader what to do. People NEED to be told what to do.

    Instead of using the default cover photo that's provided, create a separate Facebook ad image that includes most of your brand's elements (colors, graphics, fonts, etc) along with a STRONG call to action such as "Like Us!". The difference between using the default image and a custom-designed add can mean the difference between paying $.05 per "like" and $1.20 per "like". Which would YOU rather pay?

    NOTE: I've also had success using the free images that Facebook provides, depending on the niche. So, give those a try as well - especially if you aren't adept with Adobe Photoshop and such.

    Target an Audience
    Now that you have an ad that looks professional, think about how you want to reach your target audience. Facebook gives you the ability to target people based on broad or precise interests. What you want to do is target people who you feel are most likely to "like" your page. Otherwise, you begin wasting money.

    I have found that the best way to target people on Facebook is to target those who have already "liked" a site similar to mine. For example, if I'm trying to build a following for a fishing website, I would target people who have already shown an interest in fishing magazines like In-Fisherman, Florida Sportsman, Bassin Magazine, etc. Since these people already like fishing magazines, they are more likely to follow me as well.

    What you will want to do is create multiple ads and split-test them. What I typically do for clients is create an ad that targets men and an identical ad that targets women and then let it run for a few days. I keep whichever one yields the best results.

    The same type of split testing should be done for different age groups to.

    After some good split-testing (and with good ad copy), you should be able to get your cost down to under $0.10 per like quite often. Of course, the niche will also influence this as well. Either way, you will want to split test. Once you've decided on the best demographics to target, get rid of the poor performing ads and keep the ones that work best.

    Set a Budget
    I'm not going to get too much into budget since your budget will be largely dictated by what capital you have available to you. What I WILL say is that I've generated close to 1000 Facebook fans for clients inside of 12 days on a budget as low as $5 per day. It can be done.

    Let it Rip!
    OK, so you've created an awesome-looking site, you've published outstanding content on the site, you've shared lots of quality content on your Facebook page, you know who you are targeting, and you've got a quality ad split-tested and ready to go. Good. Go ahead and set your daily budget and let your Facebook ad(s) run. I suggest setting a start and end date so you don't accidently forget about it and cost yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars.

    Keep an eye on your ad performance. As long as you are happy with the results, let it run so your fan base grows. As your fan base grows, so does your pool of potential customers.

    Questions & Answers
    Paid advertising can get expensive if you don't plan it properly. Planning requires you to answer a few key questions before getting started.

    What is my advertising budget?
    Look, it take money to make money. Obviously, the more money you have to invest in brand promotion, the better. However, I've built successful brands on an advertising budget of just $4 per day so you don't need to dump thousands of dollars into advertising. That said, you are going to want to ask yourself how much you can afford to spend and stick to that number. If you only have $4/day to spend, that's fine - it will just take you a bit longer to establish your fan base than it would if you had $100/day to spend.

    Do I need to hire a designer?
    You'll need to ensure your ads are well-designed with proper calls to action. As such, you will need to honestly asses your design skills and hire someone to create your ads for you if you don't feel you'll be able to create well-designed ads.

    How do I target my audience?
    Paid advertising can get expensive if you don't target properly. Facebook offers fantastic targeting options. You just have to know how to use them. What I do when creating a campaign for a client is figure out who the "big fish" are in the client's niche and then target people who have shown interest in those "big fish". I also split-test to ensure I am reaching only those people who will most-appreciate my content.

    If you've been following along, you should now have a website, a vibrant Facebook page, and with this installment here, an active bunch of Facebook fans who visit your site regularly. Keep an eye out for my next installment.
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