by Alast
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Okay, so I feel a little comfortable posting this as I know (of) most regulars around here.

Please keep things somewhat serious.

I graduated highschool last year (in December -- Australia) and have been an aspiring online business owner since I was 16~. I love all the aspects of it: working wherever I want, being my own boss, being able to talk with customers (I really do love this aspect - having the ability to communicate with people on a personal level really does excite me).

When I first started, I was finishing year 11. I did a huge assignment (a subject dedicated to it) and managed to get an A- for it (I had the courtesy of referencing Alexa Smith throughout). During this time, I was starting my very first affiliate business. I knew basically nothing about business when I first started; thinking I'd become wealthy by entering the IM "niche" and buying ads or whatever (I didn't know what I didn't know).

Moving forward, I've been in four different niches since then. The first two I gained a bit of traffic, but made no sales. The third I didn't even begin syndicating my articles (did I mention I try getting traffic with article syndication?) and with my most previous attempt, I was published in roughly 50-100 places, and made a grand total of two sales (I got more traffic from my first two business attempts).

When I first started with my online business and became familiar with it all, I was sure I'd have an income by the time I graduated high school. Even if it was a few hundred a month.

Right now, three months after finishing school, I've hit an all time low. I don't know how to describe it: disappointment, and even apathy. I've literally worked for the last 12 or so months more than full-time hours, and have made a grand total of about $400 -- $50 in product sales and the rest for my writing itself.

I haven't told anyone this, but for the first time in years, I cried. I simply don't know what to do. I know this isn't a counseling forum or anything - nor do I want people to think of it like that. I want some genuine advice.

Should I bother continuing?

All my friends are in university or have a job. My plan was to save as much as I could from my business(es) during my year off, and then maybe travel or go to university with my business(es) with me. But obviously that's not happening anymore. The only money I have is what I made offering whiteboard animations during Christmas on Fiverr (2013 Christmas). It's what's been paying for my hosting, domains, and whatnot. So far I have lost about $500 on those expenses. Not to mention the books I've purchased, as well as DOE.

In total, I was published in probably 200+ places. Only two produced more than 100 unique visitors. I've been published in magazines, newsletters, blogs, ezines, news websites... and simply don't know what to do. I've been told by some people my articles are fine, and other people (one person in particular) doesn't like my articles. I have such conflicting thoughts that I simply don't know what makes for a good article anymore. It's almost like I'm now trying TOO hard to write a good article, to the extent it comes out poorly.

I have selected a new niche, and have almost written 10 articles. But the more work I do, the worse I feel. Thinking it's just some vicious cycle. And what makes me feel worse is seeing other people having no problems with it whatsoever. The two people who've done article syndication publicly that I know of, were making sales within two weeks. Of course, I'm happy for them, but really don't know where I've gone wrong.

I'd also like to add that I'm terrified of just getting a job. The friends I frequently contact are working for their parents' business. I don't have that luxury, and have a terrible fear of the interview stage (I had one when I was about 15). I also feel I'll feel even worse to have such high ambitions about my business (something people were excited for me about) only to go and become an employee (I've actually looked around: the jobs are scarce where I live).

I have no perspective on anything - never traveled (something I really want to do). And the more I read threads in the main forum, the worse I feel. Mostly because people are only willing to pay $5-10 per article (this is just an example of why I want to avoid that place - I think I've developed their mindset in some cases), and I'm avoiding going in there anymore because of how bad the quality there is.

I'm in such a bad predicament. Never had a job, never traveled, but probably worked harder than most people.

To conclude, I'm going to share a link to my previous business where I made two sales (publications became scarce after sending to about 1500 of them).

www.marathondriven.com

If you see anything obviously wrong with it, I'd love to hear about it. I've stopped writing there. The publications using my articles were providing dismal traffic, and the others either didn't respond or said they were going to publish my article, and just didn't.

I intend on continuing with my current (5th) niche. I'll probably give it 2-3 months, and if nothing happens from there, I have no clue what I'll do... at all.

tl;dr: I'm stuck, feeling like a failure, and really don't know what to do.

Daniel
  • Profile picture of the author WalkingCarpet
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    Always go for a University degree if you can afford it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cali16
    Daniel, it's difficult for anyone to provide advice as none of us know what your current financial needs are. I'm assuming you still live at home so don't have to worry about rent, utilities, food, etc (correct me if I'm wrong).

    Here's some suggestions to consider (and these are just my thoughts off the top of my head - others will likely tell you something entirely different):

    Set up a profile at Elance and maybe Guru.com for writing, animation, etc - whatever skills you can offer. Start bidding on jobs like crazy. Yes, it's going to be competitive and you may feel discouraged when you get underbid by people from third world countries or see jobs for dirt pay. But you'll find some gems. Get your feedback score built up a bit and then you can be more selective. Get some money coming in from that at least part time.

    Spend part of your time looking for a job. Yes. A job as an employee working for someone else. Doesn't have to be full-time. A part-time job will provide some cash flow (and good work experience) as well. You say jobs are scarce but I suspect if you network and really put some time in looking, you'll find one. You're young; it doesn't have to be a job you work the rest of your life. But there's nothing wrong with working for someone else. Yes, interviewing is scary but you're not going to be interviewing for executive level management positions.

    (If you're genuinely interested in going to college, then start making plans for that. I wasn't clear from your post if that was actually a goal, so I didn't focus on that as much.)

    As for IM; I'd say you need to rethink your entire strategy. But that may need to be put on hold for now - it might do you some good to take a break from it for a while. You can always come back to it in a few months. What you're doing obviously isn't working. Maybe it just needs some tweaking, or maybe you need to consider entirely new strategies. Perhaps save up some money to hire a reputable coach or mentor in an area that interests you at some point down the road.

    Get some cash flow coming in. Once you're working (either at a job or doing freelance work or both), dedicate a set amount of time each day to IM (e.g. 2 to 3 hours). Look into some other options (than what you've been doing) for making money online, and then pick one and work on it consistently. When you find something that works and is working consistently, then scale it up as time and funds allow.

    You're young; you barely have any real world experience yet - and you won't get that sitting behind a computer. You don't have to figure your entire future out today either. But now that you're out of high school, it is time to make some adult decisions and take responsibility for your life.

    One last thing - you say you "love all aspects of being an online business owner". I suspect you're seeing that through at least slightly rose-colored glasses. If talking to customers on a personal level is something you really enjoy, an online business might not be the best fit.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alast
      Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

      Daniel, it's difficult for anyone to provide advice as none of us know what your current financial needs are. I'm assuming you still live at home so don't have to worry about rent, utilities, food, etc (correct me if I'm wrong).
      I'm still living at home, yes.

      Set up a profile at Elance and maybe Guru.com for writing, animation, etc - whatever skills you can offer. Start bidding on jobs like crazy. Yes, it's going to be competitive and you may feel discouraged when you get underbid by people from third world countries or see jobs for dirt pay. But you'll find some gems. Get your feedback score built up a bit and then you can be more selective. Get some money coming in from that at least part time.
      I have done this sort of thing through oDesk. I really don't enjoy this type of freelance work. And to be honest, freelancing doesn't interest me at all. It's how I started, but I'd much rather make sales rather than competing against thousands of other people on jobs.

      Spend part of your time looking for a job. Yes. A job as an employee working for someone else. Doesn't have to be full-time. A part-time job will provide some cash flow as well. You say jobs are scarce but I suspect if you network and really put some time in looking, you'll find one. You're young; it doesn't have to be a job you work the rest of your life. But there's nothing wrong with working for someone else. Yes, interviewing is scary but you're not going to be interviewing for executive level management positions.
      I've considered it. I've also considered finding a real, online job. For experience in particular. But where I'm from, there really aren't many jobs at all. It took my dad over a year to find a job when he lost his older one, and everywhere I look (online) isn't suitable for me.

      As for IM; I'd say you need to rethink your entire strategy. But that may need to be put on hold for now - it might do you some good to take a break from it for a while. You can always come back to it in a few months. What you're doing obviously isn't working. Maybe it just needs some tweaking, or maybe you need to consider entirely new strategies. Perhaps save up some money to hire a reputable coach or mentor in an area that interests you at some point down the road.
      This method is the only one that interests me. myob, JohnMcCabe, Alexa Smith and a few others' are the reason I'm still trying it. I know the method works, I'm just not sure why I'm having such bad luck with it.

      You're young; you barely have any real world experience yet - and you won't get that sitting behind a computer. You don't have to figure your entire future out today either. But now that you're out of high school, it is time to make some adult decisions and take responsibility for your life.
      I thought "starting a business" was an adult decision.

      One last thing - you say you "love all aspects of being an online business owner". I suspect you're seeing that through at least slightly rose-colored glasses. If talking to customers on a personal level is something you really enjoy, an online business might not be the best fit.
      Customer service is just one of the many aspects of running an online business.

      I like to write. I like to set up websites. I like the idea of building a subscriber list and having them go through a series of emails. I like the fact I can literally take my business with me wherever I want. I like the freedom it gives. I like the fact I'm not put on some "maximum" income. I like that I get to make my own decisions.

      I'm not into some "get rich" scheme. I understand that a lot of this stuff would be tedious for most people. But it's something I really like to do.
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      • Profile picture of the author Cali16
        Originally Posted by Alast View Post

        I have done this sort of thing through oDesk. I really don't enjoy this type of freelance work. And to be honest, freelancing doesn't interest me at all.
        With all due respect, I am truly sorry I wasted my valuable time trying to offer anything helpful. Your entitled attitude is your problem.

        As for "I don't really enjoy this...". Grow up. Seriously. You're all of 18. Unless you want to continue leaching off Mom and Dad, then you will likely need to do some work for a while that you don't enjoy. It's called earning your dues in life.

        Btw, starting a business isn't an adult decision when you haven't a clue how to start a viable business.

        Good luck. You're going to need it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alast
          Originally Posted by Cali16 View Post

          With all due respect, I am truly sorry I wasted my valuable time trying to offer anything helpful. Your entitled attitude is your problem.

          As for "I don't really enjoy this...". Grow up. Seriously. You're all of 18. Unless you want to continue leaching off Mom and Dad, then you will likely need to do some work for a while that you don't enjoy. It's called earning your dues in life.

          Btw, starting a business isn't an adult decision when you haven't a clue how to start a viable business.

          Good luck. You're going to need it.
          Hmm... I'm really not sure what either of us did wrong there. I appreciate your advice and had no intentions on coming across as negative.

          I think you've painted some picture of me - presuming I'm a typical teenager without wanting to work for my money when I'm the complete opposite. I don't think I'll try justifying anything right now, but hope you understand that it's not that I "don't want to do some work that I don't enjoy," it's that I don't want to quit my business endeavors.

          I'm actually surprised and disappointed by that response. Patronizing and completely uncalled for. Surely we all learn somewhere, right?

          Just to clarify: I worked on oDesk and a few weeks, but was burnt out from writing and made roughly $200. It's not entitlement if I choose not to compete against people competing for $2 articles. I consider it to be common sense.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Originally Posted by Alast View Post

            I think you've painted some picture of me - presuming I'm a typical teenager without wanting to work for my money when I'm the complete opposite. I don't think I'll try justifying anything right now, but hope you understand that it's not that I "don't want to do some work that I don't enjoy," it's that I don't want to quit my business endeavors.

            I'm actually surprised and disappointed by that response. Patronizing and completely uncalled for. Surely we all learn somewhere, right?
            Hey Alast,

            You come across to me as a young articulate person exploring what to do with his life and I find no foul in anything you have said. So rest assured nothing you said had to be taken in a negative light. That wasn't your fault. I think the misunderstandng arises because some people took your post as an invitation you wanted to be told what to do but I think you want to explore what to do subject to your own personality and what you want out of life. Nothing wrong with that . Its a great thing.

            The next thing I say will sound strange.

            I think that you should accept that you have failed and will continue to fail. Given the failure rate in Internet marketing I think most people would do well to admit they are going to fail because admitting you are going to fail raises the question in your mind of what you must do different to succeed. So rather than be all depressed about failure embrace it and take it as a check mark. You know what doesn't work. You are ahead of the game (especially in your teens). Some people are in their 40s before they realize what they are doing will never work.

            Anyway you came to get suggestions(not to be bossed) so I will offer mine up. I suggest ditching the IM you have been doing and maybe all that you see being done here .At your age you should be thinking of conquering the internet and the world not writing articles on it for some dollars.

            If I had to do it over again and was your age at this time in history I would think about OWNING a part of the internet. How do you do that?

            Learn programming. its what the entire web you are on is based on. Its in demand world wide. It will feed you for life, sets you apart from the crowd and allows you to bring any idea you have to the reality of the web as the owner of that idea. Just like IM it can be done anywhere in the world.

            Yeah I know.

            the prevailing response to the word programming is its hard but it no longer is and never in history has there been so much online resources to learn it and with newer languages its at times pretty simple. Languages like Ruby read in many cases like english and common sense.

            You fail and most Imers will fail because they have no value add to the internet and they are trying to stand out with text and graphics. the web is now filled with Billions of pages of that. Its a recipe for failure. most will get lost in the web and seldom get readers. Think about conquering the web not just putting more text on it and your chances to stand out and blow up big go way up.

            Just my suggestion.

            P.S. the suggestion to get a job is not necessarily what I would agree with. My son recently expressed the desire to learn programming when he gets bigger. If he gets into it and works on his programs and learning I would not want him to leave it and get a job as a teenager. It all comes down to what your family thinks and your own personality. No forum poster can know thats a good move for you and your family.
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            • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
              Looking at marathondriven.com, why should anyone subscribe to the free report?

              There is no YOU. Who are you? Why should anyone listen to you?

              I assume this is a niche you know something about. I'd stick a picture of you at the top running a marathon with a headline saying something like this teenage marathon runner already has a lifetime of experience. Let me help you reach your goals.

              You are solely seeking signups because a report is free, without being specific about what is provided, maybe with a quote from the report or a testimonial. You need to dig deeper into what people want and then offer than to them.

              .
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    4 or 5 different niches. Scared to even try to get a job. Want to do this but it isn't working for you. Yadda Yadda Yadda

    For the first thing, one of your problems is that you have no idea what you love to do yet. You've got no idea who you are. You're intent on chasing the dream. You need to get serious and do what you have to to support yourself while chasing it.

    This is called a fact of life. Maybe if mommy and daddy made you live on your own, hunger would clear your head a little bit.

    The fact is, that if you aren't making it in business, and can't go to school, you need to get a job. How you find other options when you have no money coming in is unrealistic. I'm afraid Cali is right. You're not facing real life at all.

    If you aren't able to make a business work, maybe you need to work for someone else to see how businesses work and then you'll be able to figure out how to transfer what you're missing onto your online endeavors. You still need to eat until you figure it out.

    You stress an interest in travel, and also that there are no jobs where you are. So - get into tourism. Go somewhere and work in tourism - a hotel, a restaurant, ski resort, boating. You'll be face to face with customers every day - you'll learn how they tick. You'll learn something about how the business is run from the inside.

    You'll get to see the region (a lot of tourism industry's give their employees free use of their activities). You'll gain new perspectives that will broaden your ability to write captivating material.
    You'll make money, and while your online will be in your spare time, you'll be learning things that will put you in touch with who you are and give you insights into how to run a business of any sort. How do you run a business if you don't have clue one what work is? Serious.

    I know a lot of people who took the route of working in tourism when they were young specifically so they could travel a little while deciding which direction to take in life, and I don't know anyone who didn't really enjoy the time they invested in it. Kills a lot of birds with one stone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      You may "know" a 'system works' - but if you can't make it work for you, how good is it? It hurts YOU to become defensive or rude when others post advice in reponse to YOUR questions/complaints. Sometimes complete strangers see something in what you write that you my not think is important.

      Sometimes people with years of work and life experience might have advice that will help someone of your age and inexperience - if you only receive the words in the helpful way they are intended.

      I like to write. I like to set up websites. I like the idea of building a subscriber list and having them go through a series of emails. I like the fact I can literally take my business with me wherever I want. I like the freedom it gives. I like the fact I'm not put on some "maximum" income. I like that I get to make my own decisions.
      I'm not being rude here - but READ what you wrote above.

      You like the IM "lifestyle" - you like the IM "dream". You are more practical about it than many people are as you don't expect riches but it's still a dream.

      I think IM should take a backseat to LIFE for you right now. Others may disagree as there is the common "you can do it" mindset...but you aren't doing it right now. You worry about disappointing others - but there's maturity in deciding what is not right for you at this time and changing the path you take.

      What I sense is a desire to do well "in IM" but a total lack of passion for any particular field or subject or product or target market. I think you need to totally eliminate some things for now. You say you like to write - but don't like freelance writing. Doesn't that say you like to write as long as it's not putting real demands (deadline/subjects) on you?

      I know a lot of advice here centers on "affiliate marketing" but the effort required to build that type business is often understated on this forum. I can feel your frustration and there is no magic IM bullet to give you. Perhaps the mature decision is for you to drop IM for now or pursue it as a hobby and get on with your life.

      You would like to travel - there are not many jobs where you live...why not go somewhere else to work? Go where the jobs ARE - and experience life on your own for a while. Take a chance - take a leap. You are young and unencumbered by spouse/kids, etc. It's frightening to step outside your comfort area of family and location but you see your friends moving on - and you need to do the same in your own way.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Daniel - I just reread your reply.

        My impression is you are frightened. You've considered working online as a safe way to earn an income. You mention competition for a job - but the competition online is equally fierce.

        I don't think you are delusional or lazy - but I think IM has become your "comfort zone" in your mind. You can choose what to write and where you write and not have to go out and compete in the offline world.

        Problem is you have to transition into survival mode. Unless you plan to live with your family forever you need to take some chances and this is the time in your life when you need to spread your wings. You need to make life decisions based on where you ARE - not where you thought you would be - or where you wish you were.

        Maybe you need to pursue higher education if that's possible - or train in a trade if that's an option - or move to where the jobs are. The status quo isn't working - you have to move forward from there.

        kay
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        • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
          You may like to read my recent post. It provides a completely different way of viewing it all. Something I have been musing over of late myself

          If the 97 percent of people who fail online figure is correct then you can work your socks off, even become quite knowledgeable and still get nothing. so take a look.

          You will need little bits of seed money for this which you can earn online or get a job for the time being but just to that end.

          http://www.warriorforum.com/off-topi...ve-income.html
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          The only thing to fear is Lanfear itself.

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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Originally Posted by Alast View Post

    Okay, so I feel a little comfortable posting this as I know (of) most regulars around here.

    Please keep things somewhat serious.

    I graduated highschool last year (in December -- Australia) and have been an aspiring online business owner since I was 16~. I love all the aspects of it: working wherever I want, being my own boss, being able to talk with customers (I really do love this aspect - having the ability to communicate with people on a personal level really does excite me).
    Frankly, you didn't have to say any of the above. It is a GIVEN!

    When I first started, I was finishing year 11. I did a huge assignment (a subject dedicated to it) and managed to get an A- for it (I had the courtesy of referencing Alexa Smith throughout). During this time, I was starting my very first affiliate business. I knew basically nothing about business when I first started; thinking I'd become wealthy by entering the IM "niche" and buying ads or whatever (I didn't know what I didn't know).
    Unfortunately, the above might be flattering to Alexa, and I am sure she would love to hear it, but it doesn't mean much.

    Moving forward, I've been in four different niches since then. The first two I gained a bit of traffic, but made no sales. The third I didn't even begin syndicating my articles (did I mention I try getting traffic with article syndication?) and with my most previous attempt, I was published in roughly 50-100 places, and made a grand total of two sales (I got more traffic from my first two business attempts).
    Being in Niches can be deceiving, and you have actually explained a few of your problems! But onward...

    When I first started with my online business and became familiar with it all, I was sure I'd have an income by the time I graduated high school. Even if it was a few hundred a month.
    Yeah, that is the problem with so much. they work it down to a formula, show you all they can, and important stuff may not even be mentioned.

    Right now, three months after finishing school, I've hit an all time low. I don't know how to describe it: disappointment, and even apathy. I've literally worked for the last 12 or so months more than full-time hours, and have made a grand total of about $400 -- $50 in product sales and the rest for my writing itself.
    Yeah, I can understand that.

    I haven't told anyone this, but for the first time in years, I cried. I simply don't know what to do. I know this isn't a counseling forum or anything - nor do I want people to think of it like that. I want some genuine advice.

    Should I bother continuing?
    I don't know enough about you to understand how much I might have expected that, but it is understandable.

    All my friends are in university or have a job. My plan was to save as much as I could from my business(es) during my year off, and then maybe travel or go to university with my business(es) with me. But obviously that's not happening anymore. The only money I have is what I made offering whiteboard animations during Christmas on Fiverr (2013 Christmas). It's what's been paying for my hosting, domains, and whatnot. So far I have lost about $500 on those expenses. Not to mention the books I've purchased, as well as DOE.
    YEP! The internet is special here ONLY because of scale, being virtual, and cost. Otherwise, it isn't really any better than physical. A banner on a web site, or in a store, would probably pull about as well, relative to traffic.

    In total, I was published in probably 200+ places. Only two produced more than 100 unique visitors. I've been published in magazines, newsletters, blogs, ezines, news websites... and simply don't know what to do. I've been told by some people my articles are fine, and other people (one person in particular) doesn't like my articles. I have such conflicting thoughts that I simply don't know what makes for a good article anymore. It's almost like I'm now trying TOO hard to write a good article, to the extent it comes out poorly.
    Yeah, the quality, or what the customers think of them is not the KEY. It may be a part, but there are LOTS of great articles out there. SOME people read EVERY BLASTED DAY! And MOST don't make a PENNY because of it.

    I have selected a new niche, and have almost written 10 articles. But the more work I do, the worse I feel. Thinking it's just some vicious cycle. And what makes me feel worse is seeing other people having no problems with it whatsoever. The two people who've done article syndication publicly that I know of, were making sales within two weeks. Of course, I'm happy for them, but really don't know where I've gone wrong.
    It feels like a vicious cycle, because you are concentrating on only one part. OK, people like niches because they figure they will draw traffic and people will buy. As more come to it, they may have to be better than those that came before to get the SAME results. It happens, but it is getting harder.

    I'd also like to add that I'm terrified of just getting a job. The friends I frequently contact are working for their parents' business. I don't have that luxury, and have a terrible fear of the interview stage (I had one when I was about 15). I also feel I'll feel even worse to have such high ambitions about my business (something people were excited for me about) only to go and become an employee (I've actually looked around: the jobs are scarce where I live).
    Your first response made it sound like you weren't this way. In a way, EVERYONE has their own business. It is simply that those that have a job only have ONE customer. ALL CUSTOMERS demand a cost, and cease doing business if they don't agree. So if you can't handle 1-25(the average number of interviewers for a job), how could you handle hundreds?

    I have no perspective on anything - never traveled (something I really want to do). And the more I read threads in the main forum, the worse I feel. Mostly because people are only willing to pay $5-10 per article (this is just an example of why I want to avoid that place - I think I've developed their mindset in some cases), and I'm avoiding going in there anymore because of how bad the quality there is.
    AGAIN with the cost. My step mother writes articles, and has others writing articles on her behalf, and charges in the tens of thousands for them! I had a friend once, a couple actually, that wrote TECHNICAL articles for a living. He must have been VERY successful! 9 kids and counting, ALL HAPPY, a nice wife, a nice home, and TONS of free time! He worked at home. But people in many places are like you and, if they can get it for $5, THEY WILL!!!!

    I'm in such a bad predicament. Never had a job, never traveled, but probably worked harder than most people.
    That you have worked so hard is debatable, on a number of fronts. ALSO, living at home, you aren't in that bad of a predictament.

    To conclude, I'm going to share a link to my previous business where I made two sales (publications became scarce after sending to about 1500 of them).

    Marathon Driven | Maximize Your Marathon Potential

    If you see anything obviously wrong with it, I'd love to hear about it. I've stopped writing there. The publications using my articles were providing dismal traffic, and the others either didn't respond or said they were going to publish my article, and just didn't.


    I intend on continuing with my current (5th) niche. I'll probably give it 2-3 months, and if nothing happens from there, I have no clue what I'll do... at all.

    tl;dr: I'm stuck, feeling like a failure, and really don't know what to do.

    Daniel
    Try looking at it from the customer's side. Speak about what THEY want, and concentrate on IT! Your site may get more traffic and clickthroughs, and you may make more article sales. Your site effectively IGNORES your articles. What you want to entice them with has to be ABOVE the fold! Magazines and newspapers do the SAME THING, and place enticing stuff ABOVE the fold! That is the part the customer, OR PROSPECT, FIRST sees, without doing anything.

    BUT, as I said, that isn't what you want! That is a means to an end. Lets go back to when amazon first started. How did **I** find out about them? How do I think MOST found out about them? I mean I didn't see a TV ad! I didn't hear a radio ad! I didn't even see a BANNER!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I was minding my own business, going to sites I went to because they had CONTENT I was interested in. ALAS, they had pieces missing, so they had a link to a page to get books on the subject. Guess where THEY went! YEP! AMAZON! Back then, amazon had the SAME problem YOU do now! They pulled in money, so they PAID for the traffic, through their affiliate system. The other sites provided the traffic to amazon based on what the customers were reading, and the customers went there to read that content.

    THAT is your problem! Think of the customer, and refer them to content they will pay for. The more control YOU have of that content, the more likely the money will go into YOUR pocket. But the internet means EVERYONE can do this on an equal level, via infrastructure, so YOU HAVE TO COMPETE.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author mikren6
      Run down to the local library and grab a copy of "ME, Inc" by Gene Simmons (or buy it). It is a quick read and might just be the thing for you since you're young and live at home, he makes some great points in the book.


      Actually, I think anyone would find something interesting in the book.


      I wish I read a book like this back when I was living at home, my whole up bringing was go to school/college and find a good job working for others, a very hard thing to break from 40 years later.


      I'm not saying "NOT" to go to school, nor does Gene, you just have options on top of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
    Alast, I haven't read the entire thread, but I have visited your website. There's something you must know: one of the products you're promoting, namely Break Your PR, has an alternative sales page, which is a sales leak.

    Also, I don't know if you bought the product or not, but I did a while ago and it was poorly formatted and very short for a $97 product. I can't tell whether the information in it is good or not, but someone paying $97 will expect more than 37 (?) pages.

    Update: it seems that the alternative sales page is now gone, but not because it was removed by the owner, but because the domain name expired.
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    The best thing you did was posting here for advice, why?
    Here you will get the naked truth, and you are probably not going to like it. If you had posted this in the MF you would get the usual BS from the yahoos and fakers because most of them either have something to gain or are trying to inject themselves as "experts"...


    Originally Posted by Alast View Post

    I like to write. I like to set up websites. I like the idea of building a subscriber list and having them go through a series of emails. I like the fact I can literally take my business with me wherever I want. I like the freedom it gives. I like the fact I'm not put on some "maximum" income. I like that I get to make my own decisions.
    Daniel


    That ^^^ may as well be the anthem for the MF crowd along with i hate my day job, my boss is a mean SOB, the "man" is keeping me down etc. etc.

    There is nothing wrong with a steady income (Day Job), it pays the bills and at your age you still have your whole life ahead of you... Yeah it would be great to live the "online dream" but for the vast majority that's all it will ever be just a dream...

    If it's still something you want to pursue then do it when you have a firm foundation (financially), get a job or go to UNi and once you can support yourself then go into IM part time if you must...
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    Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

    ― George Carlin
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Daniel,

    You're young, time is on your side here. Just to give you some perspective, when I started my online business I worked a full-time job and worked on my business another 40-50 hours a week. It took two years at that rate before I was able to go full-time with it. If I was single I would have took the full-time plunge sooner, but I had a family to support - it needed to prove itself over time.

    The kind of success you're talking about is not easy or everyone would be a blazing success.

    A person doesn't have to work as many hours as I did, but it allowed me to fail faster. Failure is not a personal thing and shouldn't be internalized as such. Failure is a learning opportunity, so don't be afraid of it or discouraged by it.

    If your plan and actions don't equal acceptable results, what can you learn from it? Don't be like the bullhead who just rushes into the next thing - actually stop and analyze the entire process and results and learn what you can. Sometimes we have to step back a little ways to gain perspective.

    You mentioned you were published in 200 places and only two produced useful results. What did you do next? Did you concentrate on the two and forget the rest? Is that how you got the 100 unique visitors, or if you'd have concentrated on those two sites might have you turned those 100 visitors into 500, then 1,000? Just something to think about.

    Are you researching these niches to see if there is a demand for what you're offering? I could work myself to death promoting a website about teaching fish to swim but there won't be anyone looking for that information so it would be doomed from the start.

    Are you promoting your sites only through article marketing? Personally, I wouldn't put all my eggs in one basket. When everything you do is hanging by one thread, the crash won't be pretty if that thread breaks.

    Someone mentioned that one of the products you were promoting didn't seem like a good product for the price. With any product or service you create or promote, be sure you're providing value. We don't succeed just because we want to . . . we succeed because we want to fill a need or desire at a price or in a way that the buyer is satisfied with.

    It has to be "win/win" not "I win." Put yourself in your buyer's shoes. Would you be happy with the product at the price you paid? If not, find or create something else.

    Think about creating your own product at some point. Give review copies to important people in the niche and offer them a generous commission (at least 50% but more would be better since you're trying to break into the business) to promote it.

    Give them access to the product with the invitation, don't make the access hinge on their agreement to promote it - they haven't seen it yet, so they wouldn't know if it's something they want to promote or not. There's nothing quite like having dozens of people promoting your product for you.

    You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders. You ran into "life" and it doesn't always work like we want. It's OK to be disappointed at times, but don't let the disappointments define you. You define the disappointments by how you respond to them. Much of life and success hinges on one thing -- your attitude.

    Feed your mind. It's the secret to everything you want.
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    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author Alast
    Thanks for the responses guys.

    I have decided to put my online businesses on hold for now. I'm going to get a job, save my money and travel Europe (hopefully) at the end of the year. Depending on my savings is how I'll decide if I attend university next year. If not next year, I'll most certainly be going the next.

    By doing this, I'll get away from IM for a while and actually get paid for my work, whilst learning how to deal with customers and whatnot. I've come to the conclusion that right now, getting work experience and contributing to society is more important than making money online; albeit a difficult decision to accept given my stubborn personality and the time and money invested in this. It could be worse. I could still be trying.

    Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Alast View Post

    To conclude, I'm going to share a link to my previous business where I made two sales (publications became scarce after sending to about 1500 of them).

    Marathon Driven | Maximize Your Marathon Potential
    You should have split test that traffic, maybe 15 ads times 100 unique traffic, then weed out the low performing copy & narrow down to the 5 best performers. Repeat with more traffic... Tweak... Repeat...
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    Hi
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I think you are making an excellent decision. It's possible that after getting more education, working for a while and getting a dose of "real life in the real world" you my look at working online again.

      If you do I think you'll be surprised how much a bit of life experience will add to your potential online.

      Good luck to you.
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      Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog.
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