So here you go... 9 of the biggest breakthroughs that helped me to make REAL money online...
1. You MUST learn how to drive your own traffic (don't rely on affiliates)
The idea of having a massive launch and making a few million dollars is a pipe dream for 99% of internet marketers. And for a lot of people it's actually not even a good fit for their business.
In my opinion, the more you have to rely on external factors for your success (i.e. other people) the more problems you're going to have. There's a reason the biggest marketers in every niche are very good at using paid traffic sources. It's easy to scale, and it's easy to control. Unlike launches or SEO, where you have a lot less control over what's going on...
2. Split testing is the BIGGEST thing that separates the winners and losers...
Among my friends who are all successful with internet marketing, the number one thing we usually end up talking about is split testing and conversions.
What most people who fail at IM don't realize is that almost every single campaign is going to fail the first time you try it. I don't think Ive ever had a banner or landing page be successful on my first try. The real money is made when you increase your conversions over time by split testing new copy, buttons, images, appeals and colors. This is the name of the game if you want to make REAL money online.
3. You will FAIL more often than you succeed
One of the biggest "mindshifts" I've had when it comes to my business is I have really began to see failure as a good thing. The more often you fail, the more you'll end up finding a BIG, BIG winner. This applies to everything - traffic, pricing, offers, landing pages etc...
4. Usually right when you're about to quit is when your business EXPLODES
In the summer of 2010, I was living with my girlfriend at the time... She was starting to get fed up with my "up and down" income and success with online marketing. I had a really great 2009 that basically paid for a lousy 2010, but she was starting to think I was never going to be successful again...
I knew we were very, very close to getting our product conversions dialed in. However, everyone around me was doubting me. My girlfriend, my parents...
After months and months of her harping on me that I should get a real job, and my bank account down to about 2 months of rent left - she decided to leave me. There were other problems in the relationship, but my career turned out to be a major one.
Well, with 2 months of rent left and nothing to lose, I quickly hit a sweet spot with our product conversions and traffic, and I made over $400k in sales in the last 5 months of 2010.
Most people would have given up at this point. Don't give up if you know there's success right around the corner.
5. Focus on ONE thing and master it...
When I started making really good money, my main focus was Facebook Ads. We were killing it with Facebook ads, and went from spending $50 a day to over $4000 per day in just a few months.
I didn't mess around with SEO, or article writing or media buying. I wanted to make money with FB Ads, and once I figured it out, I did everything I could to dial it what I was already doing.
One of the biggest problems newbies have is jumping from new idea to new idea. I see it every single day and it really sucks to see it. Most newbies will buy 4 products before they ever even attempt to use 1 one of them! Trust me their is SOME value in products, but there is a lot more value in doing something and learning from it.
6. Understand that making money and selling is a GOOD thing, and you should not be ashamed of it.
I grew up in a middle income family in Ohio, that has a very blue-collar work ethic. My dad works in a factory and my mom has worked various jobs from waitress to teacher to government worker.
One of the biggest hurdles Ive had to overcome is the idea of being comfortable with making a lot of money. When I grew up, I thought $50,000 a year was a ton of money.
When I first started making good money, I felt slightly guilty that I was making all this money.
Then one day I realized that by making good money, Im actually able to help more people around me. This idea that you're "robbing" other people of money if you make too much of it is completely wrong.
Every time my business grows I get to help more people. I help the people we sell our weight loss product to. I help my employee by being able to raise his salary. I help my freelancers by being able to hire more of them. I help the charities I routinely donate to by being able to donate more money.
Always remember that when you make more money, you'll help out more people around you.
7. Once your business is doing well, look for ways to make more money on the back end.
Once your business has some legs, there are TONS of ways that you can make a big difference with just some small changes.
Things like upsells, continuity, selling similar products, affiliate offers, consulting, coaching etc... are all easy ways to help your customers and make more money in the process.
Your back end sales are where almost EVERY business is severely lagging behind (I admit to being at fault here as well)
This is especially important if you are driving paid traffic. The more you can spend to get a customer the more chances you'll have for increasing your profits.
8. Don't re-invent the wheel. Find what's successful and create a similar product with a different angle
Working in the fitness/diet industry I get tons of trainers who come to me with new ideas for a diet product all the time. Most of these people think they have the greatest idea ever, yet they don't realize the market has NO interest in it.
Every market wants certain things, and you really can't change what they want. All you can do is find out what they want and then sell them products that fit those needs. Sounds simple, but way too many people try to re-invent the wheel and skip over this simple, but crucial advice.
9. Don't burn bridges and relationships within your niche
Early in my career, I got into a spat with the biggest guy in the diet/fitness niche (on Clickbank). I used a campaign of his on FB, and then proceeded to deny it and turn it into a big ordeal. It was stupid on my part, and I've apologized numerous times to him about this over the years.
However, that little dumb mistake I made has made a few of his friends in our industry weary to work with me. And really it was all for a dumb mistake on my end.
I can tell you firsthand, I have plenty of business friends who would trust me with their most secret business info. They know I'm an honest guy, and I take this business very seriously.
However, in that regard I have learned a lesson the hard way. Remember internet marketing is a VERY small world, and most people know each other. If you burn a bridge today, I can assure you it will come back to haunt you in one way or another.
Don't let your ego get in the way when you're wrong, and don't go out of your way to try and put someone else down. There's no benefit to it, and you're just going to make things worse.
I hope this helps someone who is just getting started, or someone who feels like they are on the brink of "breaking through".
If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment or question below.