Whether you have a blog, a website, an ecommerce business, or an ebay store, if you are online, I know that you want to be successful. Today I want to share what I know on how to be successful online.
I must have read over 100 articles with the same headline on the Internet over the years, and I am sure you have too. Each author presents the discussion from his or her own perspective, commonly shaped by their own experience, or lack thereof.
And despite these articles being extremely lengthy, and some very technical in nature, in my opinion the true answer to how to be successful online often gets lost in the vast jungle of words. The process is rather logical and straight-forward, and one that can be condensed to 5 simple steps.
Those that have achieved success online understand that this simple methodology. Where I see folks fall short is in the development of the right mindset and understanding what it takes to succeed online.
Here is my attempt to spell out the process in 5 steps without getting too much into technical jargon, specific business models, or one of the many ways to make money online.
What do your constituencies want? Do you even know who they are? If you can objectively answer those two questions without pondering much, then you have figured out the most difficult part of the equation.
So many entrepreneurs go wrong right off the bat. They offer what they think people want and need, and this is often something they are personally interested in themselves. But see, it is not what you want to offer. Rather, it is what people want isn’t it? If you can grasp this simple concept, you are well on your way to success online.
Summary: Know who your audience is. Understand your audience’s pain points (what do they need, what are the struggling with, how can you help them?)
This one simply builds on the previous. Once you understand your audience and their struggles, wants and needs, you can now determine how can you best address this gap. What do you have to offer? What can you provide to make their lives better?
The beauty of the Internet is that “needs” can be fulfilled by simply providing information. Therefore it is very much possible to help your audience with your words, which are a result of your knowledge, expertise and experience.
However, you have to decide how you want to present that information. Do you want to write about it on your blog? Do you want a niche content website instead? Do you want to create and sell an ebook? A DVD? A YouTube video? Or do you want to do all or any mixture of that? Have at it. There are no limitations online. The cyber world is your sandbox.
Summary: Address your audience’s needs in the most effective way you can
Technology is a critical part of how to be successful online. If you are going to be operating online, you MUST leverage technology and work in the most efficient manner possible. One of the other beauties of the Internet is that it allows you to establish automated systems that WORKS FOR YOU, not the other way around.
We are fortunate to be living in a time where advanced technology can make the most intimidating tasks rather simple and user friendly. Based on the avenue you decide to distribute your product, services or information on, learn the relevant technology and tools involved that can help you materialize your vision.
Need validation? No need to go far. Just have a look at me. I have never took a single computer class in college, or thereafter. I am not a programmer. I am a bean counter! But with some simple easy reading before bedtime, some practical experiments, trial and error, I am able to put together successful online businesses.
How? Thanks to the wonderful automated tools I use to build my online businesses. Most all, if not all, are simple point and click, drag and drop type tools that even a 9 year old can use. The best part is that none cost an arm.
There is a lot of good stuff that’s free online, and a lot of other good stuff that doesn’t cost much. Take advantage of this as much as possible. I have personally never spent more than $299 for a single technology tool or software.
Summary: Identify and get the technology tools you need
I struggled whether to list this as #1 or #4. But whatever, this piece goes without saying and is a preliminary requirement of success not only online, but in life. If you don’t have the drive and desire, there is no way you will realize your true potential. There are just too many pretty distractions out there competing for your attention.
Summary: Either you want it or you do not. There is no maybe
T stands for trust, and this is where your patience and persistence will be tested. You will be tried over a LONG period of time before the Internet Gods such as Google send their robot readers to “spider” or “crawl through” your website. They do this so they can come to know you, understand what you are trying to do and then hopefully start trusting you.
This is the part that takes the longest. But if you are at this stage, the good news is that you have gone through quite a bit by now to condition your mind and hone that desire to succeed inside you. You have gone through the proper research channels and are ready to dedicate time and effort to your online endeavor so it can take-off, grow and flourish.
There are ways to expedite building trust through search engine sitemap submissions, search engine optimization (SEO) and proactive internet marketing strategies. I will discuss these in detail in upcoming posts. But for now, let’s move on to building trust with your other visitors, the human beings.
The best way to build trust and credibility in the online space with real people is by having your own unique voice, establishing and honing relationships. If you have a shopping website, you can do this by establishing a blog. Similarly, websites can establish an Email newsletter program (RSS is similar for bloggers) where you can stay in touch with your readers.
In the blogging space, in addition to email and RSS notifications, Facebook and Twitter are two other means to “stay in touch”. The underlying purpose in implementing any of these capabilities is constant and recurring exposure and relationship building with your audience, who are the actual human beings sent to your website by search engines.
I don’t have any website or blog without at least one of the capabilities mentioned above. The more avenues you have the more exposure you will get. The more exposure you have the more other people will talk about you, link to you and refer you to others. It is a viral effect that feeds on itself.
Summary: Build momentum through exposure, developing and nurturing relationships with your audience.
I hope I have been able to meet my objective, which is to deliver a brief and overly simplified overview of the methodology that has helped me achieve success on the internet. This approach works for all models of online business.
Whether you plan on making money from advertising revenue, affiliate marketing, selling your own product, or one of many other ways, this methodology conditions the mind for success in all cases.
Shortly after launching my blog, I developed a comprehensive report on how to go from $0 to $1,000 a month in residual income in just 180 days or less. This report focuses on establishing a passive income business model online.
This model is one where you work hard establishing your online business once, and then watch is grow and earn month after month thereafter. This model primarily incorporates three monetization, or revenue streams to making money online. You can download this free report by subscribing to my email newsletter on the top right of this blog.
Is there any advice you’d like to share on how to be successful online?Previous: Striking the Right Work-Life Balance – Are YOU Killing Your Soul?
Just read a blog post about how Google is changing their algorithm yet again. Google keeps moving in the direction of supporting sites with truly original content. Sites that would be able to stand alone and be valuable even if you removed every commercial reference. This goes to your “T-factor”. If you’re just trying to sell someone something, then your going to find yourself left behind.
Lee – Welcome and very true
Sometimes we get so tied up with SEO and other minutiae that we forget about the most important reader of our website; the human, not the search engine spiders. We should write/build for the human, and later optimize as much as we “reasonably” can for the machines.
A very good post with important steps. The T-Factor is the most difficult step as it needs patience and persistence. At this stage you may ask yourself if you should go on or not.