Many people have been attracted to the idea of making vast amounts of money in little or no time at all using this new technology we call the Internet.
It's a little bit like the California Gold Rush in 1849. A few people have made fortunes but most people have made nothing at all and many have lost money.
So I have to ask, is this for you?
Because it's not for everyone.
The honest truth that is most people fail. Sure, there are the one hit wonders and if you give them a chance they will talk your ear off about their success.
But they are the exception, not the rule.
Most people fail. And they all fail for the same few reasons.
Many people fail because they fail to provide value for others.
Every brick and mortar store you come across in a mall has to provide value to its customers. They provide this value with the merchandise that they sell and the prices they offer. Sometimes the real value is in their customer service or with their selection of merchandise.
In some way each of these stores provide value to the customer. And when they stopped providing enough value they go out of business.
This happens every time.
For some strange reason people have this idea that the Internet is somehow different. They think that the rules of doing business and providing value just don't apply.
But they are wrong.
To succeed online you need to provide real value to others. If you're not willing to do this then don't bother starting your online business.
The 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule basically says that 80% of your profits (or other successes) will come from 20% of your efforts. The trouble is that the opposite is also true: 20% of our successes or profits come from 80% of our efforts.
When it comes to doing business 80% of our time is mostly wasted.
The trick here is then to eliminate the wasted parts.
You can read more about the 80/20 rule here:<br />
Pareto principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Another common problem that I see has to do with getting traffic.
Many people seem to struggle with getting traffic to their website.
Assuming that your website provides real value to people there is a wide assortment of ways to get traffic.
These include: search engine optimization, RSS feeds, back linking, and social media.
There are a zillion blog posts and free e-books out there for you to read. Just go search for them.
To succeed you will need to become an expert at getting traffic.
One thing I should mention is not to overlook the power of repeat visitors. Give people a reason to come back and they will. Getting traffic from repeat visitors is frequently easier than getting traffic from people who are visiting your website for the first time.
Go where the hungry fish are
If you're trying to get traffic to your website one of the easiest ways to get traffic is to go where the hungry fish are.
Find places that are ready have a lot of traffic from people who are hungry for the information you provide and piggy back off of their traffic.
For example, if you have a website with valuable information about poodles then search for poodle forums on Google.
One of the main purposes of forums is for people to ask questions. These people are looking for information, and it just might be kind the information you can provide.
If you have a website but you don't have some sort of statistics to figure out where your traffic is coming from then you will probably fail.
In trying to get traffic you may try things like posting on forums, posting comments on the related blogs, using stumble upon, using twitter and other social media.
Not all will send you equal amounts of traffic. Not even close.
Some will send you lots and lots of traffic; others will only give you a trickle of traffic.
And it's not always the ones that you expect.
And so you need to track this.
I recommend using Google analytics but you can use whatever.
Just start tracking!
I've started dozens of websites and I have found that the 80/20 principle applies to sources of traffic.
80% of visits to any website are from 20% of the sources. And 20% of my traffic comes from 80% of my sources.
So let's say I had a hundred visits to my blog today I would expect that 80 of those visits came from just a few sources.
Use this information and focus on the sources that send you most of your traffic.
Conversion is Key
I've talked a lot about traffic but traffic is meaningless unless it converts. Conversion is Key.
If you're selling something then you need to find a way for your traffic to convert to actual sales. If you're trying to get someone to sign up for your e-mail newsletter you will also need to worry about conversion.
Now conversion is a tricky thing and there is a lot involved in it.
A couple tips for getting higher conversion on your website:
have a good headline
make sure your page loads quickly for the average Internet user
have someone look over your page
test different formats and see which one works best
find your competitors and look at what formats they're using, try to learn from the best
You need to become a master of conversion. It takes time but it's well worth it.
Are there certain things or tasks that take you a lot of time? Could you outsource these items for a small fee?
Look for ways to automate your business and not be a slave to it.
I recommend reading the four hour work week by Timothy Ferriss to learn more about automation and outsourcing.
A few weeks before my birthday every year I get a postcard from Marie Calendars. The postcard is simple. It simply says Happy Birthday and come in for a free piece of pie. And three out of the last four years I have made a special trip to Marie Calendars to get my free piece of pie with my dinner.
Marie Calendars built a following using this simple technique and got me to make a special trip to their restaurant that I otherwise would not have made.
You need to do the same thing for your business. You need to build a following.
You can do this using RSS and encouraging visitors to subscribe to your RSS feeds.
You can build an e-mail list and e-mail subscribers every time you post something valuable on your site.
You can build a following on twitter and tweet about each of your new postings to your blog or website.
The easiest way to get traffic is to broadcast updates to your blog or website to people that you know are already interested.
Construct a group
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has things that they love to do and things they avoid doing at all costs.
For me, doing of the technical stuff like buying a domain, setting up a web host, and messing with PHP to get everything working is the fun part.
On the other hand, things like copy writing and graphic design are much more challenging. They just don't come naturally to me.
To overcome this I have begun building a group of people that are interested in succeeding online and have different skills.
I have a couple friends that are very good at graphic design work. But they are technically challenged. And so we help each other out.
You need to construct a group of like-minded individuals with skills that complement yours. These people can be extremely helpful in assisting you with things that you are not very knowledgeable about.
I've a friend who is very good at making videos and posting them online. If I ever have a problem with making the video I know I can just ask him instead of spending hours upon hours trying to find the answer by myself.
Stick to 1 thing at a time
One of my own personal failings has been not sticking to one thing at a time.
This is something that I'm trying to change.
Pick one thing and stick to it. Don't be distracted by the next new and cool thing that comes your way.
If you are constantly distracted by things you will most likely never finish any project.
What do you think?
What's your opinion on this? I would love to hear it!