I've been working for myself since 2000....quite awhile in "internet years",
and I've made money in so many different ways.
This is what I PERSONALLY am doing to help grow and protect my business for YEARS to come...I'm thinking a DECADE down the road from now.
- Every product I promote will be my own. Affiliates to promote it are fine...but everything I put my own energy into will be 100% owned by myself. And I will rely on my own efforts, not affiliates, for the vast majority of income.
- Every product will be OUTSIDE of the "Make Money Online" niche.
- SEO: It's becoming very clear that Google and others want REAL results, they want the product owners, and real reviews, not the affiliates. As the years go by, this is only going to become more and more of a reality. That means SEO will focus on getting REAL links such as honest to goodness product reviews from real bloggers who blog because they love it and enjoy the niche, not for the money. It means getting product exposure in print newspapers, magazines, etc...It means Facebook and Google+ are going to be very important, my products will have to NATURALLY show up on both of these social media platforms.
- Put referral traffic, rather than SE traffic, as a top priority.
- Every action I take I must be thinking long term ("how can I profit from this next month, or next year", not "how can I make money tomorrow").
Again, this is just for me personally, and it does not mean that I'll never promote another product, continue to build/support the products I have, or go into IM, etc.. This is just for my CORE BUSINESS, the bread and butter, what I rely on for my full time income.
I'm also not saying this is what everyone should do...not at all. It's just what I'm doing.