1. Start now. The temptation for anyone who’s making money on the internet is to read, read, and read some more. You may believe that you have to wrap your mind around every possible technique before you get started and if you follow that path, you’ll still be reading 2 years from now. You have to get started and get started now. Most of the people that I talk to feel like they can’t handle another failure in their life and that makes them freeze up.
I have had TONS of sites fail and honestly that’s one of the biggest reasons I do as well as I do. You might think you’re different – you hope that you can hit a winner every single time. I’m getting a lot better at that because I’ve had lots of losers. At this point I’m pretty dang good at knowing what will work and what won’t.
Honestly I get a little tired of people who try to piggyback off of what I have learned through my failures. I try to impart all of the knowledge that I can and one of the most fulfilling things in my life is getting emails from all of the people who have found successes through what I have given them. That said, there is no substitution for trying things for yourself, even if that means failing a few times and no matter how many times I tell you what works and what doesn’t, you won’t have a firm belief until you have done it yourself.
The funny thing to me is that there really isn’t any risk for failure here. The total start-up cost for a niche website is under $20. If $20 makes you freeze up I would honestly take a hard look at what you’re spending money on. I sometimes have people email me saying that the cost of hosting is a huge risk for them. Are you freaking kidding me? $8 per month is a huge risk?
I guess what people are telling me is that they can’t afford to have cable television or a cell phone because obviously those should be lower on the priority list than investing $8 in your future. What you’re really telling me is that you’re afraid of failing. You have to get over yourself. Sorry for the extreme bluntness but that’s the honest truth.
If you asked me, the people that are really failing are the ones who are still researching. You’re afraid to put effort and money into ‘yourself’ but are perfectly fine wasting loads of time ‘researching’. To me that is the epitome of failure. Moving forward is the only way to get things shaking.
2. Focus on building search traffic, primarily from Google. There are thousands of traffic sources that you’re going to read about. I’ve seen course after course promising 10,000,000,000,000 visitors in less than 6 seconds using Digg, StumbleUpon, and other sites like these. I can tell you that with these traffic sources you will need a lot more traffic to make money, and that’s honestly no exaggeration. Making money online is a lot easier if you have a steady stream of traffic that you don’t have to work for anymore, and that’s how it is with Google traffic.
There’s no substitute for grabbing a visitor that actually has a need. People go to Google because they want to find something specific. They want to learn something, or they want to buy something. There you are to provide them with advice on what they’re looking for.
On the other hand, StumbleUpon and Digg users are trying to pass the time. They’re trying to feed their information addictions. If you think their traffic has a lot of value, I know for a fact that you’ve never tried to sell anything to them. These people also don’t provide much value to the people that are advertising on your site because they don’t buy much and will move on just as quickly as they found you. Twenty seconds after they hit your site they’ll be four sites away reading about the newest tech gadget.
My honest opinion (based on thousands of hours of trial and error) is that you will have to get over 100 times the social traffic to make the same money you can make from search visitors.
The first thing you have to convince yourself of is that traffic is not created equally. You might spend months chasing a big Digg only to find that it doesn’t do that much for you in terms of monetary return once it finally comes. On the other hand, relatively small amounts of search traffic can lead to a lot. We get probably 1/10th the traffic of John Chow and make just as much as he does. Why? Because almost all of our traffic is from Google and we monetize that traffic really well.
3. Focus on small niches. It’s about 100 times easier to bring in profits when you aren’t competing with the big dogs that have large budgets and SEO teams.
This month I found some crazy niches by looking around Sitepoint and honestly they are by far the easiest niches I’ve ever come across. I’m not going to tell you exactly what they are but I will tell you that they are related to the food industry. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to do well with stuff that isn’t related to marketing.
Mark and I talk all the time about how well we could do in a less competitive industry, in fact we’re working on entering some other markets. It’s beyond me why a person with no experience would want to start a site that competes with all of the marketing giants that are out there.
Honestly I’m having a ton of fun lately taking a look at funny little niches that I would never think would be money makers. Watching the sites that go up for sale on Sitepoint is probably the highlight of my day because I get to see very unique and interesting methods and niches for making money online.
I personally don’t care at all about what topics I make money from. Some people will actually do better if they build sites based around passion. Honestly, that isn’t the case for me. My passion is the chase and making money online for me is what keeps me driven. If that money comes from marketing information or online recipes, it feels the same to me. If you can develop a passion for the chase, you will open yourself up to nearly endless possibility.
4. Improve your keyword research ability. I have done a lot of experiments lately where I have been able to produce a LOT of income, within a really short period of time. This only happens because I know exactly how to pick the right keywords. I don’t mess around with keywords that are too difficult and I don’t waste time using keywords that don’t pay. I know that my keywords pay before I use them and I know that I can rank for them, too.
Our membership program teaches you how to do world class keyword research. I can promise you that after you become a member you will understand exactly how to pick winners while getting rid of the losers. Once you can do that, your ability to produce income will grow to the moon – you won’t waste time going after keywords that won’t pay you down the road.
5. Stop reading blogs. Lately I’ve had a few people ask me what sites I actually read and the honest truth right now is that I only read two sites: Grizzly’s How To Make Money Online For Beginners and Vic’s Make Money Online with the BloggerUnleashed. Almost all of you are learning too much technique without enough implementation. You might feel like you don’t understand enough yet to get going. That’s because of all of the contradicting information you allow yourself to consume. Every time I write stuff like this people email me in a panic asking how I stay on top of everything if I don’t read other people’s sites. I didn’t learn by reading other sites in the first place – you shouldn’t either. I have tested literally every idea I’ve ever written about and that’s how I learned this business. Why the @#$% would I read a bunch of people every day that have done less testing than I have?
The honest truth is that I don’t trust what most of bloggers say because my experience tells me otherwise. Most of what the big bloggers will tell you worked for them – because they have a lot of talent with the written word and because they work relentless hours. Most of you worship these guys without realizing that they have to continue to work 20 hour days to maintain their incomes. My good friend Griz on the other hand will probably make $35000+ next month, even if he’s on the moon or in a coma. He’ll work a lot because he enjoys it, but he won’t have to. His work will get him even more growth in his niche website business.
People that are successful in making money with the internet aren’t reading freaking MMO blogs all day long. They are doing keyword research, starting new sites, and having fun doing it. If you think the ‘high’ you get from reading good content is great, wait until you have a $100 day with a site. Better yet, wait until you have a $1000 day on a site.
I read Vic and Griz because they are true practitioners of a style that most people can execute and my style has a lot of similarities to them. I’ve learned from both of them and honestly I can’t say that about most other sites. I’m a full timer and honestly I average less than 10 minutes per day reading other blogs. If the thrill of chasing money isn’t enough to overpower your info addition, you might want to consider walking away.
For me the fun is in actually getting what I’m chasing and to me, theory is mostly worthless. I could honestly answer over 90% of the questions I get with ‘it doesn’t matter’. Most of the theory you guys are trying to learn is worthless, in fact in all actuality it’s a chasm that costs you money because it costs you time. I was born with a practical mind and theory only appeals to me when I can see a way to benefit. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I don’t give a rats about what’s written on other sites – 90% of it doesn’t matter. If you can pick keywords, write content, and link build with efficiency, you’re going to make truckloads of money in your lifetime.
To many of you, the theory matters much more than the implementation. Interestingly, these personality traits are ingrained into some people and those of you that are built this way have some life-advantage over the rest of us. You are more likely to be highly educated, for one. However, you also have some distinct weaknesses that you need to be aware of. In order to produce maximum entrepreneurial progress, you have to suppress your theorist itch long enough to act. Since the action isn’t natural to you, you need to set specific goals and make sure to complete them. There’s nothing at all wrong with this but I’m not going to act like things that don’t matter do. What matters most in this business is the action and if that offends some people, so be it.
6. Learn to target keywords with post pages. If you can pick solid keywords and write about them effectively with posts, you will be well on your way towards success online. Creating money on the internet might seem hard at first, but the truth is that if you can target keywords well with posts and sites, it becomes very easy.
Most of you have probably read a lot about blogging so you post simply to post. You’re supposed to right?
Sorry ya’all but most of these bloggers are leading you astray and they’re doing it in a big way. There’s no need to post to just post. It doesn’t do a dang thing unless you’re targeting a new keyword, or supporting a keyword targeting page you already have.
Almost every day I get emails from people wanting to know how often to post on their sites. I usually respond asking why they’re posting in the first place. They usually say that they’re supposed to. I usually say ‘according to who?’. Then they tell me. I then say ‘who’s that?’.
Guys do you really want to be a blogger in the traditional sense? Do you want to be tied to posting, posting, and then posting some more? This honestly makes no sense whatsoever to me. I post on The Keyword Academy because I know that I can make a difference for people, and because I have a system that makes me money. Trust me, every post I write has a purpose – I do not post to post. Most of my sites sit there for months at a time with no updates. They are already doing a good job providing solid content so why would they need to be updated? If I think of a way to make the site better I’ll update the site, but I don’t update to just update.
Now is when the theorists come in to tell me that Google LOVES updates and if I don’t update I can’t get ranked. Oh really? Have you tested that little theory of yours? Maybe you should explain to me why I have multiple sites that are sitting at #1 in Google even though they haven’t been updated in like two years…
The honest truth is that Google likes the sites that they determine are of the highest quality. The sites that are linked to the most are the sites they will see as being the highest quality. The easiest way to prove that your site is a quality site is by getting good links. Some people send me relentless questions about SEO and the honest truth is that links account for at least 75% of the game. You theorists should know that ‘updating’ accounts for a small part of Google’s ranking algorithm and most of the other things you obsess over are probably in the same boat. Sites that sit in super competitive niches probably need to be updated periodically but sites in non-competitive niches can often go for years with no updates.
Getting ranked in Google is actually REALLY easy. You have to write a post or create a site homepage about the topic/keyword you want to rank for, and get anchored links from relevant sites/pages – done.
The people who belong to our paid program don’t struggle to get links nearly as much as most people do. We have tools in our system that help people to connect with each other and we also have many members who have article directories where you can post articles (and your links). The bottom line here is that most people make this game a lot harder than it really is, because they don’t have any solid tools that they can use.
7. Start a bunch of sites. You’re going to have sites that work better than you had hoped, but you’re also going to have sites that don’t work as well as you had hoped. People sometimes email me wondering what’s going wrong with their site. I almost always ask how many sites they have – they say that they have one.
Guys you aren’t going to learn anything by having one freaking site. In the last four years I have built a few hundred sites. I’m sure that some of you are thinking that you couldn’t possibly create that many sites but honestly that’s ridiculous. If you build one niche site each week for the next four years you’ll have over 200 sites and long before you get there you’ll be killing it.
Yesterday Mark and I were talking about people we’ve met and how terrifying failure is to some people. People totally freeze up at the thought of losing. If you want to hedge your risk, start a bunch of sites. If you have 20 sites that go after easy niches, I can all but guarantee that some of them are going to work. Each one will cost you $10 for the domain and the total hosting cost will be $8 per month if you use Host Gator.
Guys I could tell you that it’s ok to use Blogger for making money online. Griz does this and does it well. I don’t do that myself because I see my sites as real estate investments and I can’t really sell them if I don’t own them. My best three sites together could be sold for about $500,000 right now and selling for that price within about two weeks is pretty realistic. I have no problem with Blogger at all but the sale wouldn’t be an option if I had started those three sites on Blogger. To me it’s a little easier to run things with a business-like perspective if I own all of the properties and it’s that simple to me. With $8 per month hosting that you can run unlimited domains on, I find it hard to believe that anyone can’t find a way to make that investment. I spend at least $20 per month on Mountain Dew and I would be shocked if a single one of you couldn’t free up $8 per month.
8. Work with persistence. I’ve met a lot of people that are making money online and the ones that are making big money could never be forced to quit no matter what. They work until they win. The problem with most of the people that I’ve met is that they seem to believe for some reason that reading/researching is working. It most certainly isn’t.
People make it because they enjoy the chase and are willing to pay the price. I can admit that for me it wasn’t always as easy as it is now, but in all honestly I love trying to find topics/niches/keywords that I can make money with. I’ll spend all freaking day doing it, and I’ll like it.
For a long time I thought that what I wanted was to hit it big and stop working but I’ve realized that for me that isn’t at all the case. As it turns out, this work is really fulfilling and exciting for me and I don’t think I could walk away from it if I tried. Sure it will be nice to have some big payoffs at some point but I can almost guarantee that two days after I sold every site I had I would be plotting to set up some new ones.
At this point I know with a certainty that I can make sites work. Sure, sometimes they don’t work out how I planned but for every 10 sites I set up, at least a few will do quite well. I’ll persist until some start to take off better than others and I’ll then focus on the ones that are doing well. I repeat this again and again and have lately started to shortcut the process somewhat by buying sites that are already producing. Please keep in mind that for me this is a recent development and that most of by business has been built up the hard way – from scratch. I owe almost all of my very healthy income to working with persistence, often WAY before the payoffs came.
When I started CourtneyTuttle.com I had a blind belief that I could make it work. I honestly didn’t know how it would happen but I continued to work believing that I could do it somehow. The story is pretty funny because I started out with a solid knowledge of SEO and for a while I got enticed by some of the other social sources that are out there. I chased those for a while and found out that even when that traffic comes, it’s very hard to make money from. About a year later I figured out that I had to go right back to my roots, which is getting ranked in Google. As soon as I did that I started to make legit money with the site. There are two morals to that story, first that Google traffic is king and second that if you have supreme persistence, you will eventually win the day.
Making money with the internet isn’t the easiest thing ever to learn, but it isn’t rocket science either. Chances are, many of you know enough now to be able to do really well. My offline friends are a lot more willing to follow my advice because they have seen what I have done and they haven’t been corrupted by thousands of blog posts. Since they act instead of wasting all of their time, most of them do a lot better than most people that read my sites. Interesting, isn’t it?
I find it interesting that brand new people can read our keyword crash course ebook and make a lot of money with it while so-called experienced people don’t. Obviously this is 100% mental – the more you learn, the more you think you don’t know. This paralyzes you and unless you can recognize it you’ll become an indefinite lurker. Don’t continue down that path.
You know what to do. It’s time to stop reading and start acting.