One of my strengths as a person is that i am fiercely analytical. On top of that, my professional life has been everything but a smooth sailing. This unique combination gives me an opportunity to examine what has led to both my successes and failures in online business.
Some of you who know me personally know that i have been working for myself since the age of 18. This makes me a Grandpa in the online marketing industry with 7 years experience.
Over this time i have had years where i have absolutely killed it (Making six figures), then years where i have been totally unmotivated and achieved very little.
So after much introspection and delving in to my past, i have come to the conclusion that the two most important things that have contributed to the successes i have had had are clarity (A clear plan) and hard work (Taking action).
The Power Of Clarity
Napoleon Hill always used to talk about “definiteness of purpose” and having a “burning desire”. Definiteness of purpose is quite simply having a plan.
It is having the end in mind and having a clear visualization of what you want to accomplish. You aren’t indecisive and switching between a million little things and giving up at the first roadblock. You are taking steps towards your end goal each and every day.
In terms of websites and internet marketing, this means you must know your niche. You must know what type of website you want to build, where you are going to get traffic from.
Personally, the last 12 months i have increased my income over $5000 per month. I have done this by religiously implementing a very simple plan. It included writing (And outsourcing) content and building links.
I made a gigantic list of a 1000 different keywords i wanted to rank for and then i went about creating content methodically.
My plan was simple. Create lots of content and build lots of links. It doesn’t have to be complex.
As time went on my plan evolved. I integrated strategies to get traffic from other sources than SEO. For example Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. I also developed my sales skills and my ability to build rapport with my visitors. I learnt about email marketing and building lists.
But at its core, my business was about getting customers from Google via SEO and maximizing the amount of money i made per customer.
The formula itself is in-fact very simple. I am not the first person to write about it.
The costs of getting started were negligible – A WordPress theme and an exact match domain. So why is it i succeeded and other people failed?
It wasn’t because i was passionate about my niche (Come on give me a break), it was not that i knew some ranking tricks that all my competition did not know. It was that i took continuous action towards my goals.
But before we get on to the power of hard work, i am sure you are asking the question, “So Andy, how do i make a plan?”.
Well personally i have never been one for writing things down and planning things out in detail. I have tried it and personally it does not work very well for me. What has worked in every situation where i have had a successful website, was that i visualized what it would look like before it existed.
- I knew what the design would look like.
- I knew what content i would be creating.
- I knew where i would be getting my customers.
- I knew how i would brand the site.
- I knew how i would convert visitors in to subscribers or repeat visitors.
Then after that, i would look in to the actual logistics of things:
- I would research where i could get links.
- I would look at what my competitors are doing.
- I would look for edges and creative ideas that would allow me to beat my competition.
- I would find out how much i could make per customer (Sometimes you need to start to find this out).
You see, after doing all of this i would have a pretty clear idea of what i would want to do. I would know if i wanted to create authority sites, mini sites, Youtube videos etc. I would see how all of the sites would slot together and help me dominate a niche completely.
And the funny thing is, as soon as i started taking action towards these goals, my vision would become more clear and develop even further. Unknowns at the start would become unknowns as i made progress. The progress motivated me and inspired me to take further action.
And all of this would be in my head. I would have the end in mind and a pretty clear idea of what i would want to accomplish. And unless you do this, you wont be able to apply yourself and get things done. You wont be productive. You will procrastinate and most of all, you wont be able to capitalize on the power of hard work.
The Power Of Hard Work
Lets face it, nobody wants to work hard. If most of us had our way we would be chilling on a beach somewhere, living in luxury without having to work another day of our life.
The sad thing about human nature is that people always want a loophole, or a trick, or some easy way to get what they wan’t without putting in the effort.
Life does not work like that. Sure one in a million people win the lottery, or strike it rich with there first every business venture, but the majority of people, success is achieved by hard work.
The good thing about the business model i outlined is that it is hard. 99% of people wont do what it takes to become successful.
Now i could have easily left this blog post here and wrapped things up, but frankly, i was curious as to why some people are capable of hard work, sustained effort and capable of dealing with massive adversity, whereas some people give up at the first hurdle.
I did a lot of thinking about this and the only thing i could come up with is, those who succeed have faith that what they are doing is going to work out.
Maybe this comes down to education and experience (I know what it takes because i have done it before), but the first time you make it, you have to break through a barrier. The primary components of this are as follows:
- Cultivating faith. Being able to take action without 100% certainty it will work.
- Having fun/enjoying what you do.
- Not being too invested in the outcome. Process focused, not results focused.
- Understanding the reality that failure is inevitable at some stage and is only permanent if you let it be.
Personally i think all the other things are secondary to cultivating faith. Something incredible always happens when you just decide to do something and are willing to keep going until you are successful. But getting to that point is never easy. It is one of those things you can rationally get your head around, but you still trip yourself up all the time with constant doubts, which leaves to procrastination and lack of action.
What about you? What are your experiences with this? What has motivated you to take massive action in the past? And if you haven’t (Don’t worry we have all procrastinated at some stage), what do you think were the reasons for not succeeding?
Let me know in the comments, I am interested in what you have to say and whether other peoples experiences mirror my own.