There are many ups and down.
I can say most of the time, at the beginning, hustling a lot. I mean, trying so many thing just to make money.
Here, my thought in IM.
1. Yes, you can make money. I never going to work and yet can afford to spend my money on the best education for my kids. (3 kids go to private school and I paid their school fee lumsum every year, instead of monthly).
2. Money is in the list.
3. Money is in the niche.
4. Gaming the system, not last. ie, blackhat, greyhat stuff. They work, but temporary.
5. I mentioned above money is in the list, but to be exact, an engaged list. You have to learn how to write what your list want to read, and then what you want them to listen. The flow is, Give first, take later.
6. Talking about Tools. Autoresponder. Just stick to the reputable company, ie aweber, getresponse, mailchimp etc. Same goes to many other tool. Webinar as GoToWebinar/WebinarJam. Hosting as to bluehost, hostgator etc.
7. Cheap don't last. In 2013, if I'm not mistaken, there was an offer on JVZoo, that sold unlimited space, for Lifetime for cloud storage. Like, dropbox, but Lifetime. Turn out, it didn't last even few months later.
8. Lifetime? It BS.
9. Mostly, you will end up paying more, of wasting your time for product that said "The cheapsest in town" kind of tone.
10. Learn personal financial management. It helps to sustain your money.
11. Pareto Rules of 20-80 is true for IM.
12. Consistent is important to success. Instead of jumping from niche to niche, it helps to stay focus.
13. IMHO, you make more money if you create your own product.
14. Affiliate. I started to make more money in affiliate, after launching my own product. I think it because, after launching a product, people see you as an authority in the niche. So, whatever things you say, they trust. (please don't abuse the trust)
15. Somehow, people had their BS detector. Don't BS others. Sooner or letter, they'll know.
16. IMHO, this is the flow for any business I see.
- first level : Make just enough money for survival (food, home, cloth etc)
- second level : Make extra money that you can afford cool stuff (vacation, car, house etc)
- third level : Make money that can make you money (example. Have $10 million in saving/investment that give you 5% pa, you will have $500k without doing anything.)
17. Plan to exit. Begin with end in the mind. Even you are passionate at one thing, one day, you'll lose interest in it. It is human thing, that we need new challenge . So, plan when to exit. Or, when to upgrade your business to new challenge.
18. Be graceful and humble. Don't act cocky even you can make a lot of money. You'll never know, when you'll start from bottom again.
19. Help millions, get millions.
20. Read books.
21. Experience is your best teacher.
22. Instead of make money, build buisness.
23. It doesn't need to be just US or Canada or UK or Tier 1 country to build online business. As long as you can find market that want to spend on you, you can make money wherever you are. Like myself, my english not good, so I make most of my income from my own country, Malaysia.
I have a lot in my mind about IM, but I guess that's it for now.
Still, this is my oppinion based on my experience so far.
Thanks for reading.