Shiny Object Syndrome

pitfalls

One of the easiest things to do, when you’re looking for a solution to make money online is to jump into the first business opportunity that comes your way.

Yes, you do have to make the jump at one point or another, however, not all business opportunities are going to be profitable for you and not all businesses suit your personality.

I know some person think of a business opportunity as mere vehicles to get what they want, but honestly if you’re working a business that you hate then it’ll be ten times hard for you to stick at it.

In this article I wanted to, discuss some of the pitfalls and things you should avoid when choosing an online business.

Pitfalls

One of the biggest problems with online marketing is that there is just so much hype, and sometimes it can be difficult to know what will work and what won’t work. Most of the time people find themselves drawn into a new business venture based purely on the marketing of the product as opposed to sound business as principles.

One rule of thumb is never trust marketing hype. One such hyped out online business is called Project Payday.  Sure you might make a few bucks, but the underlying business model is flawed because it depends on cheating the system.

Yes, most products will be hyped up to a certain degree, however, if it doesn’t follow good business practices or is based on loop holes then steer clear of them.

For example, I recall one product saying that they were able to rank in the top position in Google because they had found a loop hole that they were exploiting. Whether it worked or not was an entirely different matter, because the principle was based on a shady technique.

You see, the thing about loop holes, especially the ones that have been heavily promoted is that they soon get closed up. So you can imagine that if you spent your time creating your business based on this loop hole that eventually you won’t have a business.

Do your research

So before you get involved in any business it is essential that you go into it with your eyes wide open. So what I’m saying is don’t base your decision on the marketing hype a lone – do your home work on the company. Look for reviews, find feedback about the company from people who have experience.

If you do your due deligence then you’re committment will be stronger as well, given you know from the research you undertook that the opportunity is sound. Otherwise, you’d be second guessing yourself as you start to develop the business.

Don’t jumping from one thing to another

I like to call this shiny object syndrome, where you flip from one business opportunity to the other.

As the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the ohters side.

Well, that seems to be the case with online businesses opportunities as well. There always seems to be a better business opportunity just around the corner. And you know what, there will always be a new more glamorous, easiest business opportunity over the horizon. But if you jump from one thing to the next then you’ll never develop the potential of any business.

Things To Avoid

Alway avoid loop holes. As I mentioned before, don’t base you business on loop holes because eventually loop holes get closed up and if that is all your business is based on then eventually you won’t have a business. In business there is no “silver bullet”, there is just lots of hard work and dedication.

Avoid fast track businesses. Some businesses say that they will do a co-op advertizing scheme for you that will help generate leads for you on autopilot. What I’ve come to understand is that there is no such thing as getting leads for nothing. Plus, if you are no longer part of the advertising scheme, then what happens to your business. Yep, that’s right you won’t have one.

It would be more productive for you to develop your own methods of generating leads so that your business is dependant on your skills alone. Sure, you can outsource some of these tasks, but the method should be dictated by your own personal tests.

What To Look For

Like any good player in the NBA or NFL a coach or a mentor is imperative to succeeding online, if nothing else than to give you encouragement and to see the potential in you that you can’t see yourself.

We’re all familiar with the story of how Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile because what his coach told him. If you’re not familiar with the story then it goes something like this.

No one in the history of running ever broke the 4 minute mile, in fact a lot of people who had come close, thought that it was physically impossible.

Roger Bannister thought it was physically impossible, until his coach said to him that he could do it. Whether Roger believed it to be the truth or not didn’t really matter, but the fact that his trusted coach said that he thought he could break the 4 mintue mile was enough for him to have even the tiniest belief that it could be done.

And that’s all he needed because from there he broke the world record.

But the most extraordinary thing happened after that, a lot of other runners started to broke the 4 minute mile also. Once they believed it was humanly possible to accomplish they also did the impossible. So having a mentor that sees the potential in you, who has walked the path you’re just starting to travel can be a worthwhile investment.

Community

Find other people like yourself and build a community around like minded individuals. Success breeds success, and being an independant online marketer can be tough on your own. Sharing your win’s and failers with others can be such a rewarding experience. Especially your failers, because it will help you to put perspective on it.

I remember having a really bad day at work one day and as I thought about it, I felt as if I was the only one travelling this path, until I met up with a friend of mind and he told me about the day he was having and it made my day feel insignificant compared to his. From that point I felt a whole lot better.  Not sure if I made him feel any better about his day, but it’s interesting how sharing your failers can have such a profounded effect on you.

Stay consistent

Consistency always pays off in the end. Find the things that work and just schedule time day in and day out and get them done. As you continue to do the things that lead towards success, success become inevitable. You just have to have enough faith that what you’re doing will eventually get your there.

It’s a whole lot easier to do, if you’re working with a sound blueprint. If you don’t have a blueprint developed for you, then you have to have a lot of faith that what you’re doing will lead to success.

Final Thoughts

Success is never built upon loop holes or instant gratification, instead it’s built upon hard work, consistency,  and following a blueprint that works.

Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

R.I.P-affiliate-marketing

So this is a question that comes up all the time.

I have heard people ask this just about every year and the answer is no, it’s not dead, but it has changed.

And like any business you have to change with it or go out of business.

So the business model hasn’t changed at all.

You as the affiliate are still the one who introduces folks to a product or service and for your efforts you earn a commission if that person decides it’s what they want.

So that part hasn’t changed, but I guess that thing that keeps changing is the method in which it happens.

We have seen a lot of affiliates bit the dust in recent years, paritcularly over the last 3 or so year when Google unleashed the penguin and panda algorthimic updates. And as a result many affiliates who had poured their heart and soul into their online business also saw it disappear overnight.

Which is why so many affiliates ask the question is affiliate marketing dead. And since a lot of affiliates were choosing to promote a product or service by ranking pages in the search engines, a lot of them were hit.

Organic Traffic

As I mentioned eariler, a lot of affiliates lost their entire incomes overnight, due to the updates and many cut their losts and went on to do something else, however there was a number of affiliate who were left untouched and these are the guys that we all should take lessons from.

A number of blog owners were unscathed from the updates and when I analyzed the reasons why, I saw that they didn’t have any or many backlinks, but many of them were authority blogs. So that was something that set them apart from all the affiliate sites that were crushed.

These authority sites seemed to rank regardless of backlinks and a closer inspection revealed that they seemed that their power came internally. Almost as if they were self powered.

Imagine that, not having to do any backlinking at all, and ranking for just about any term you want, purely because Google saw your website as an authority in your niche.

Well, seems this is possible, but not without a lot of hard work and perseverance. Of which most people run away from.

This has caused those who are trying to game the search games to lcontinue looking for that silve bullet to rank webpages as opposed to creating your own power source to rank on demand.

Paid Advertising

Google a few years back decided to ban affiliates altogether from using Google Adwords, which limited the PPC market somewhat and saw affiliates move towards other paid advertising streams like pay per view (PPV) and other small PPC platforms like Bing and Yahoo.

However, Google soon realized that they had made a huge mistake limiting Google Adwords from affiliates and is now encouraging affiliate to come back once again.

They are offer free advertising coupons to encourage affiliate expenditure.

A little late.

So it is starting to look like affiliate marketing might start to take off again.

What has been your experience?

Please leave me a comment below.

Online Marketing 101

marketing-101

Okay, so I didn’t go to college to get a marketing degree, so granted, I’m no expert when it comes to teaching anyone the in’s and out’s about marketing, but what I have come to realize is that one of the main goals online is to appeal to a certain group of people.

Around a decade ago, when it was a little easier to game the search engines, you could put up a website and write a whole bunch a content and target anyone and everyone out there.

Like the now famous saying goes, from the movie Field of Dreams – “build it and they will come” , was certainly true back then, because it was relatively easy to get placement on the primative search engine.

However, search engines have become a lot more sophisticated these days, but not only that, people who use them are typing in more sophisticated keyword phrases.

You see, as we evolve and get better at using search engines, our search phrases become more targeted as we learn what phrases bring back the best search results.

So not only are the search engines bringing back more user friendly content and content that is more specific to our needs, we are also adapting to the search engines and better defining our search phrases.

It’s A Dance

You could say that is it kind of like a dance between them and us.

The search engines learn what we (as humans) expect to see in the results and we adapt our search phrases to hone down on our search.

So all of this brings us back to targeting a specific group of people. Some may call it a niche, some call it a pocket of people and some an audience, but either way you look at it, it call comes down to identifying who you want you website to appeal to and then designing your website to cater for that market.

So as the search engines and searchers (us)  start to collaborate and do this back and forward dance, search becomes more and more specific.

As such you have to become more specific.

Learning how to do this can definitely be a challenge, but what I have come to realize is that all of this can be taught and therefore learnt.

You just have to find the right mentor and training program to be able to take advantage of it.

How To Identify Your Niche

This seems to be a place where most people get stuck, primarily because they’re not sure if their choosen niche is of any use or will actually make them any money at the end of the day.

But what I have been told is that you can literally make money in any niche.

Even the most obscure of niches.

Whilst I am new to all of this, I just have to take their word for it, until such time I have enough data to suggest otherwise.

Most mentors say that if you can make money in just about any niche then why not look at a niche that you have a passion for.

That makes sense, because why not turn your passion into a business.

I mean wouldn’t it be cool to create a business on a hobby?

Lot of people do it, and instead of going to work, you’d be doing something that you really love to do.

Most people love their hobbies, but can only spend a couple of hours on it in their spare time. Imagine, do it as a job.

Steve Jobs

I remember watching a video on Youtube from Steve Jobs who said that you have to be passionate about your business, because business is hard.

Most people give up when the going gets tough, but if it’s something your passionate about then you’d stay the course.

Idenitfying your niche is important because all your other design decision steem from it.

For example, what your websites layout should look like.

All you have to do is look around at your competitors to understand what design options they’ve chosen and why they’ve chosen it.

Some of the design options they choose can actually offer a lot of insight into how you could structure your own website.

Therefore taking note of what happening in the online world could pay big dividends at the end of the day.

What’s Your Competition Doing

Always do a little research in the marketplace to understand what your competitor is up to.

You need to ask the important questions, the why questions.

As in why have they structured their menu a certain way, why have they place only certain menu items a certain way.

The way they designed their website could not only provide you with the insight you need to create your own design, but it can also help you to resolve some of the same issues lyou’ll come across in your business.

For example, you might find it difficult to get people signing up for your newsletter.

So what you can do is, look at a similar website in your niche that has this already setup and look at the language they use to get people to sign up for their newletter.

You could also look at what they’re giving away in their newsletter also and maybe copy them.

So if they give away an ebook then you could do the same.

I like to also add an About Me page so that people can get to build a connection with you.

Building A Real Business Online

creating-a-business

No matter where you are in the world or at even the time, building a online business is possible.

In fact, do you remember the saying, make money at home in your PJ’s, well funnily enough it is a reality.

However, it is not as easy to do as what most online marketers seem to say it is.

A lot of what they say is just plain old hype.

Seems as if anyone and everyone is a guru.

That’s one of the pitfalls when it comes to building a business online.

Offline Businesses

Offline businesses on the other hand, are somewhat easier to setup than online businesses, because there is always a very clear path on how one might go about achieving it.

For example, if I wanted to mow lawns for a living then I would buy myself a lawn mower, a weed eater and a van and tailer and then knock on doors until someone paid me to mow their lawns for them.

That’s a pretty straight forward business plan.

Similarily, if I wanted to have a hair salon, then I would rent or lease a hair salon premises and then get clients to come in and I would cut their hair.

The only real problem with owning a offline business is the, cost to get it setup.

In reality it could cost you anyway from $10 to $15K to get setup. And I would guess that this would be a bare minimum.

That’s not taking into consideration the cost of marketing or signage.

You could probably add on another $10K for that.

All of that even before you got your first client. Some might call that a huge risk, but others would call it an investment.

Online Business

Owning a business online does have costs associated with it too, however, these costs are far less costly.

In fact, you could setup a business for virtually no money in comparison to an offline business.

All you’d really need in the earliy stages is a domain name, which is around $10 dollars, and some hosting, which can cost anywhere from $1 – 2 dollars per month or upwards of $40 – $50 dollars per month.

Then it really is just a case of developing the right audience.

So why aren’t more people successful owning an online business.

Well, one answer could be that there is just so many crap programs out there that finding the right information can prove fruitless at time.

But never fear, there are some programs that are legit, that just about anyone can afford.

If you’re looking for a way to make money working from home online, I recently discovered a website called STEALTHSECRETS.COM that looks as if they know what they’re talking about.

There you’ll learn everything you need to about affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to make money on the Internet and it allows everyday people, moms and dads, to be able to earn a living part-time or even full-time.

Learning affiliate marketing can be a tough career to get into especially if you’re just starting out.

There is certainly a lot learn, but with a good coach and a blueprint to work with, you’ll be able to create a long lasting business.