Why I haven't had much success in IM for the past six months

by mounds
30 replies
A little while ago, I made the decision that I suck at making money outside of a job. There could be no other explanation. Look at this list of failed ventures that I'd tried:

- recording personal development audio files and pushing them on E-Junkie
- recording hypnosis MP3's and selling them from a website
- opening an online coaching practice
- selling poplar sticks for biomass on a website
- attempting Amazon to eBay arbitrage
- opening a PLR store
- writing excellent articles for good money
- selling my own books through Amazon Kindle
- starting a personal development blog

All those attempts and minimal success. Out of that entire list, the only thing I made some cash on was selling about thirty articles ($175). If you could put IM'ers on a scale, ranked by success, it would look something like this:

Guru --> Advanced IM'er --> Intermediate IM'er --> Newbie --> Petrified Wood --> Mounds

I'd become a professional dreamer; able to see in my minds eye where I wanted to go, basking in the glory of finishing a project and reaping the benefits, and not actually accomplishing anything. I had become proficient at not starting what I finish.

On the rare occasion that I did start something, I chose to step down from the shoulders of giants, pulled out my hammer and chisel, and tried to reinvent the wheel. Because I love metaphors, this is how it went down:

I read online how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Expert chefs wrote books about how it's done, and all I had to do was follow the instructions. Blinded by my hubris, I threw the cheese in the pan first. I watched, aghast, as the cheese did not magically turn into a sandwich, but instead into a sticky, burnt mess that not even the most desperate of bachelors would eat.

Instead of accepting the profound realization that procedure and sequence are important, I made the aforementioned decision that I just suck. With that decision, IM was off my radar.

...and in the darkest of hours, shined a light.

I started to notice how great it felt to finish things, whether it was a course, a book, or a chore. By simply committing to one thing at a time, I was getting things done.

I decided I would finish one (1) item on my list of flubbed projects. I had written 2.5 articles for my first ten-pack of PLR articles and decided to start there. That same day, I sent three off for review and received my first testimonial. Today (one week later), I finished that first ten-pack. Oh baby... the motivation is spectacular.

I could have summed up this entire post with three words: lack of focus. The spectacular fails, the limiting decisions, and the burnout can all be chalked up to that simple concept that seems to plague every IM'er on this forum.

If I've learned one important thing about focus, it's that it takes practice. Even when you are not working on internet marketing projects, try to stay focused. At work, in conversations, while doing chores, whatever. It's one of the greatest investments of your energy that you can make.

-Tim
#months #past #success
  • Profile picture of the author Ashley Gable
    Its easy to see why you did okay with the articles. You are a very good writer.

    Lack of focus is what got me in the beginning too. For some reason it is very easy to succumb to the idea that things will sort themselves out. Or that only a small amount of work will yield an extreme outcome... at least in the beginning.

    By the way, have you ever thought about getting into copywriting? Its a lot of work but you already have the ability to add personality to your writing. Might be worth a look if you actually do like writing.

    Ashley
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    • Profile picture of the author mounds
      Originally Posted by Ashley Gable View Post

      By the way, have you ever thought about getting into copywriting? Its a lot of work but you already have the ability to add personality to your writing. Might be worth a look if you actually do like writing.
      I'm actually quite fascinated by the concept of copywriting. I'm looking forward to writing copy for my own websites, and offer the service once I have some experience.

      -Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author James Vang
    Seems like you're a pretty fast learner compared to most internet marketers mounds. It took me 3 years to learn what you learned in six months.

    But the great thing is like you said; once a person learns to stay focused they really are on the path to success. Most people would be amazed at the results they can get if they just stay focused, follow a strategy diligently and don't give up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Suthan M
    Great.

    You already figured out your strength and weaknesses- which makes it easier for you to move on to what really works.

    Don't sweat it out about failing numerous times. Ask the guy who invented lightbulb- he totally shares the same feeling wit ya.

    Just don't give up, and keep taking action, learning and making much better informed decision on your biz everyday.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Originally Posted by mounds View Post

    the only thing I made some cash on was selling about thirty articles ($175).
    Tim,

    Maybe this is what you can do really well with. If you can make that $175 for the articles, you can make a few grand every month.

    Maybe this is what you should focus on.
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    • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
      With writing skills like that, you should be doing quite well online and offline.

      As for the failures in IM and the lack of focus, this is the issue with many "would be" business owners, online and offline.

      Most people have many money making ideas. Even inventors who have invented fantastic items that the public would love have failed due to lack of focus.

      One thing that we stress in our international business network is that you should go with your strengths and get a team of other people to help out in the areas that you are weak in that are their strengths.

      Have you ever thought to joint venture with someone who is exceptional at online marketing of others people's products to get you the writing assignments and you just write?

      Have you ever thought to just sell your writing on fiverr.com or odesk.com?

      Just some ideas.

      Would you be interested in working for someone writing?

      PM if you are.
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      • Profile picture of the author mounds
        Originally Posted by TopKat22 View Post

        Have you ever thought to just sell your writing on fiverr.com or odesk.com?

        Just some ideas.

        Would you be interested in working for someone writing?

        PM if you are.
        I actually got my start on Fiverr, and quickly found that it wasn't financially feasible. I find the PLR business model attractive because I can set my own pace, and the potential to earn a reasonable amount per article is there.

        Thanks for your offer! I'll have to get back to you on that.

        Originally Posted by Will Edwards

        Have you ever thought about selling PLR to those hypnosis MP3s? If the products you created are good quality, there's definitely a market there and indeed, you could contact me if you ever decide to do that.

        Will
        Hey there Will,

        I considered adding hypnosis MP3's to my PLR packs, wherever it made sense. The niches that I'm most familiar with are personal development, self-help, and personal finance. Hypnosis tends to fit in nicely

        I'll drop you a line if and when I start doing that. What sorts of niches are you after?
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    Have you ever thought about selling PLR to those hypnosis MP3s? If the products you created are good quality, there's definitely a market there and indeed, you could contact me if you ever decide to do that.

    Will
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  • Profile picture of the author timchuks87
    No BS there, you've said it how it truly is for most IMers, though very few would admit to it as they stay consoled with steals of $21.99 sales on CB once every month or something like that.

    I agree with @TopKat22. You're a good writer.

    What ever comes up next, focus more on getting the word out than setting up the property itself. Promotion is key.
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  • Profile picture of the author HawkPrecision
    Brilliant post! You learned what took me a year to learn. Very applicable even beyond internet marketing. You don't get results when you're jumping from one system to the next. Make a plan and stick to it like super glue(Emphasis on the super part).
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    • Profile picture of the author Craig McPherson
      Tim,

      You are a natural writer, young man. Honestly.

      All you need is a massive dose of self belief and your career as a writer is set.

      I can see this

      Guru --> Advanced IM'er --> Intermediate IM'er --> Newbie --> Petrified Wood --> Mounds

      turning into this

      Mounds --> Guru --> Advanced IM'er --> Intermediate IM'er --> Newbie --> Petrified Wood
      Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author mixerbarcoe
    Seen as your good at writing how about sticking an ad up in the warriors for hire section. I'm sure you can definitely make money from your writing skills. There's people making thousands a month from advertising in there.
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    Coming Soon!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Suze Thomas
    I actually don't see this as such an unusual expereince. You tried a bunch of things and most haven't worked (so far). And you can write, for sure, so why not go deeper into that niche? The best advice I got was to pick a horse, and ride it to exhaustion.
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    • Profile picture of the author Danny McConnell
      You're doing well. After a year online, I have learned all the things that you have save one.

      That last one.
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      • Profile picture of the author Morganzolar
        Hi

        Great advice, I only started IM about 1 month ago - so you've saved me 11 months of trial and error (I've been trying to multitask and not completing anything too)!

        Thanks alot, I'll use your advice from now on!

        MZ
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        What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve!

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        • Profile picture of the author mounds
          Thanks for all the compliments on my writing! It's nice to hear some external validation once in a while

          @jbsmith - Thanks for your tips. I've done a bit of offline business, and having a customer list was a great way to getting sales. It's not surprising that it works online as well.

          @Craig McP - Lol, when I reach that level, I'd be sure to look you up. Thanks for the encouragement.

          -Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Tim - so glad you posted this... everyone who has "made" it to some level in IM went through what you have written about here.

    Finding the match between what you are good at and what works online is likely the #1 issue people deal with when starting up their online businesses.

    It sounds like where some of what you did went south was in the marketing - so understanding how to a) Position to your target market in a highly effective way and b) Reach your target audience in a BIG way so you get lots of people who want what you are selling are the two magical skills that make or break online marketing.

    With PLR, you have the benefit of knowing your audience's audience. That means you can effectively target them.

    I still think there is potential for reaching that audience yourself with your own courses, ebooks and infoproducts, but that is something YOU have to badly want to do...

    In the meantime creating PLR bundles/products for a very busy market is certainly a great way to build up a presence and income.

    Here's a hint...the REAL earning potential with PLR is in the list...that is the more you build a list of those interested (subscribers) and those buyers (customers) of your PLR, the more valuable you are...you can then continue to sell more to them and even publish other's content to your exclusive PLR buyer's list...nothing wrong with that!

    Best of luck

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author sshusain
    You are on right track. But make sure two things be persistent and focused. And when you market a product at this stage believabilty is the key for success.

    S Husain
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  • Profile picture of the author whatihave
    Banned
    Have patience, persistence and be consistent.

    Don't give up!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
      Learning to focus was tough for me at first, too. A couple of basic rules that I set for myself really helped.

      1. Identify the main things which you tend to waste your time on, and don't let yourself do them. You'll get bored of sitting there not letting yourself do anything, and, all of a sudden, some of the productive things you should be doing will start to seem more appealing. You won't have to motivate yourself to do them.

      2. Start as early in the day as you can. For some reason, the realization that I haven't been awake very long and I'm already being productive gives me a big psychological boost that tends to continue throughout the day.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mauricio Lopez
    You have just described what 95% of all begining IM'ers suffer from. Lack of planning or giving up to soon and moving on to the next big thing - never giving it a chance to see it through harvest. ( I myself was guilty of this at one point as well )

    It wasn't until I made it my decision that I wasn't going to quit or except defeat that things really started to change.

    This is the formula I used - Try it for yourself if you'de like:

    Create a list of top 10 goals you would like to achieve.
    Circle the one that would make the greatest impact on your life.
    Create a list of all the things you must do to reach this goal.
    Make a decision rain or shine that you will never quit until you reach your goal.
    Set a date for completion.
    Take Action - Start NOW.
    Celebrate all the small victories on your way to the top.
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    Originally Posted by mounds View Post

    A little while ago, I made the decision that I suck at making money outside of a job. There could be no other explanation. Look at this list of failed ventures that I'd tried:

    - recording personal development audio files and pushing them on E-Junkie
    - recording hypnosis MP3's and selling them from a website
    - opening an online coaching practice
    - selling poplar sticks for biomass on a website
    - attempting Amazon to eBay arbitrage
    - opening a PLR store
    - writing excellent articles for good money
    - selling my own books through Amazon Kindle
    - starting a personal development blog

    All those attempts and minimal success. Out of that entire list, the only thing I made some cash on was selling about thirty articles ($175). If you could put IM'ers on a scale, ranked by success, it would look something like this:

    Guru --> Advanced IM'er --> Intermediate IM'er --> Newbie --> Petrified Wood --> Mounds

    I'd become a professional dreamer; able to see in my minds eye where I wanted to go, basking in the glory of finishing a project and reaping the benefits, and not actually accomplishing anything. I had become proficient at not starting what I finish.

    On the rare occasion that I did start something, I chose to step down from the shoulders of giants, pulled out my hammer and chisel, and tried to reinvent the wheel. Because I love metaphors, this is how it went down:

    I read online how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Expert chefs wrote books about how it's done, and all I had to do was follow the instructions. Blinded by my hubris, I threw the cheese in the pan first. I watched, aghast, as the cheese did not magically turn into a sandwich, but instead into a sticky, burnt mess that not even the most desperate of bachelors would eat.

    Instead of accepting the profound realization that procedure and sequence are important, I made the aforementioned decision that I just suck. With that decision, IM was off my radar.

    ...and in the darkest of hours, shined a light.

    I started to notice how great it felt to finish things, whether it was a course, a book, or a chore. By simply committing to one thing at a time, I was getting things done.

    I decided I would finish one (1) item on my list of flubbed projects. I had written 2.5 articles for my first ten-pack of PLR articles and decided to start there. That same day, I sent three off for review and received my first testimonial. Today (one week later), I finished that first ten-pack. Oh baby... the motivation is spectacular.

    I could have summed up this entire post with three words: lack of focus. The spectacular fails, the limiting decisions, and the burnout can all be chalked up to that simple concept that seems to plague every IM'er on this forum.

    If I've learned one important thing about focus, it's that it takes practice. Even when you are not working on internet marketing projects, try to stay focused. At work, in conversations, while doing chores, whatever. It's one of the greatest investments of your energy that you can make.

    -Tim
    Focus is vitally important to success, but it does take more than that. My guess is, like many of those trying to make money online, you were trying to use strategies that were never going to work for you. It is hard to make money if you are not good at what you do.

    As a writer I know my skill set and I don't try to take on jobs that just don't fit with me. I also don't try to do things I am not good at like graphics or web design.

    I think focusing on what you know you can do best is something every successful IMer has to learn at one point or another. It sounds like you are finally in the right track. Good Luck!

    Benjamin Ehinger
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  • Profile picture of the author erob
    After a couple of months of IM myself I too have learned that focus is the key to anything that you want to accomplish in the world of IM. It is so vast that you can get caught up trying to make money on a thousand different projects and not have any success with any of them. I have recently narrowed my focus to list building and affiliate Marketing. I am focusing on making these two things a success before starting any new projects.
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  • Profile picture of the author Damielle
    By the way, have you ever thought about getting into copywriting? Its a lot of work but you already have the ability to add personality to your writing. Might be worth a look if you actually do like writing.

    Ashley
    I agree, I think you should definitely stick to writing and make some more money until you find another way to make money then rinse and repeat.

    The good thing is that now you know what will make you some money and won't have to chase down every method that promises riches,which is the problem most beginners face
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  • Profile picture of the author Maurice365
    First I think you should focus on one thing. Find something that's proven to work and go with that. You seem like a very good writer so I would suggest article marketing. Don't give up though. You're not a failure until you quit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wechito
    We all (of at least most of us) have gone through that -although we are not capable of saying it as beautifully as you did. So, I think your words will be very helpful for those that are having a hard time trying to make a living online.

    As for your concern, with your writing skills you should be able to easily conquer a world where content is king. Just go for it. Think about a business model, create a business plan and follow it until you accomplish your goal.

    My best wishes.
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  • Profile picture of the author deploytraffic
    This post is both discouraging and encouraging at the same time! Thank you for posting.
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    • Profile picture of the author Silent Warrior
      I started reading this post and about half way through I was like, "Wow! A grilled cheese sandwich would be really awesome right now."

      So many people get so excited and then ultimately depressed and frustrated when they decide they want to try internet marketing. I know I did. I suffered from the same 'Shiny New Object Syndrome."

      Its extremely important for people realize that starting an online business is as real and can be as challenging as starting a brick and mortar offline business. Its easy to be fooled into believing in push button profits. The good news is that the business gets easier, but only if you take the same time and effort you would take to do anything worthwhile in life.

      No one has the ability to become a guitar wizard or kung fu master overnight. So no one should expect instant internet riches. Again, I've made the same mistakes. I've tried everything under the sun. I've bought thousands of dollars worth of Clickbank products and WSO's. I've purchased products and then gone out and bought something else before even downloading the first thing I bought.

      This is a great thread. Its important for people to realize that they can be successful. But it will take time, it will take focus and it will take determination. When people find their niche, find what they're good at and share it with others, the money will come. And it will be more rewarding.

      Ok, now I'm going to make that grilled cheese sandwich!
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  • Profile picture of the author kaper7
    Almost one succeeded without first failing in this business so what I can say to you is simply a quote i once heard somewhere:
    If you fall 7 times, get up 8 times!
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