Mornings are by far my least favorite time of day. At least for the most part.
To give you an idea, I usually start working (when I actually work) at around 9PM and oftentimes push through till about 3 or 4 in the morning. People have given me all kinds of advice over the years on things I should do to become a “morning person” like “everyone else”, but it just doesn’t work like that for me.
No matter how early I go to bed or how many coffees I gulp down upon getting up, my brain power never truly kicks in until after sundown.
This is perhaps why, when growing up, I was the most useless kid on the farm. I hated those early mornings and looking back, I am certain the morning world hated me too for getting out of bed before noon. Hehe 😀
Sunrises To Behold!
These last couple mornings have been different though. I have been trying to wake up super early a few days in a row now to try and capture the beautiful sunrise over the ocean here in Bali, Indonesia. This is the best shot I have gotten so far.
You can’t really capture the beauty with an iPhone camera while still half asleep, but that is a heavenly view to wake up to nonetheless. And want to know the best part? My wife and I wake up to beautiful views like this almost every morning!
Chances are you couldn’t care less about traveling the world or seeing and enjoying the finer things in life, so let me ask you this: what exactly are your dreams? What would your ideal day to day lifestyle look like?
Living the Dream
I like to think that my wife and I live a pretty awesome lifestyle (she just confirmed that we do, hehe). I am not saying that to brag or show off, but I will say this: there honestly are very few things we would do differently if all limitations were to be removed.
We both love our dream life and you know what? We are no millionaires!
So often when I talk to people I hear them say things like “You are so lucky. I’ll start living the dream once I’ve made my first million” or “that’ll have to wait until I retire” etc. But why?
Truth is, I did not get lucky. All luck was against me and life knocked me down hard – almost daily – for 2 years straight, but I refused to stay down. Failing literally wasn’t an option for me, so I kept getting up – time and time again – and tried again. As Jon Bon Jovi would say “Success is falling nine times and getting up ten.”
Well said sir!
Looking back though, a lot of those “knockdowns” could have been avoided if I had started out with a specific end-goal in mind. Sure, I had huge ambitions, but if someone had asked me what I wanted out of life or what it would take for me to consider myself “successful”, I would not have been able to give an answer.
I wanted success, but had absolutely no idea what that would mean for me. So the lesson I learned is…
Become Very Specific with what it is You Want!
Things like “I want a million dollars” etc are not clear at all. We all want those things (most of us at least) but why do we want them?
Is it to pay off old debt? Have more free time to enjoy with family? How about: having the time and money freedom to travel the world? Those 3 were/are my big ones!
The key for me was to figure out EXACTLY what I wanted out of life. I don’t have everything figured out yet and I am constantly re-adjusting as I go along, but truth is: the clearer we become with exactly where we want to go, the easier it will be to figure out exactly what it will take to get there.
It is one of those “ask vague questions and you’ll get vague answers” scenarios. We have got to become very specific!
I am writing things down almost every other day now. Why? Because it helps me become super clear with what it is I want. There is just something magical about putting things on paper.
Which leads me to my next point…
Staying Laser Focused!
This is extremely hard to do if you work online. Especially if you are a new(er) entrepreneur in the “internet marketing” niche. If it isn’t facebook, it likely is another new “shiney” product that is distracting you, and probably wasting a ton of your precious time. I am talking from experience here. Been there – done that! 😀
Every single day I get half a dozen emails – all recommending a bunch of new product launches. I am not going to comment on the quality of these products because everyone is entitled to their opinion, but let me just say this: unless you have a way of making all products you buy work for you (as in – they help you reach your end goal), stop wasting money on them.
Most internet marketing startups fall into the trap of buying every product that promises instant riches but fact is, they will very likely not work for you – especially if you do not follow-through and implement them. I say this because I have been there.
I spent literally thousands of dollars on these shallow products – hoping that “this will be the one that will do it for me” but all they ever did was frustrate me with information overload. Nothing ever worked on a worthwhile scale – no matter how positive I felt about it.
All those product launches I bought into were a waste of my hard earned money, and more importantly, a waste of my time. Especially in the beginning when I was just starting out.
Was all the information within the guides useless? Were all the plugins and software useless? No!
They had their purpose, but for me, they were the wrong things to focus on.
Example: Every now and again I have someone emailing me, telling me of all the plugins or guides they bought and yet are still not making a dime online. If you focus on buying new products, your wallet is not going to get any fuller. In fact, keep it up long enough and you will dig yourself into a lot of debt like I did some 3 years ago.
There are some pretty cool guides, software, and plugins out there that automate tedious tasks or make things overall a lot easier, but they – in and of themselves – will not make you money in the long run. You need to follow a solid business model – where you provide value in exchange for money – if you want it to work for you in the months and years to come.
Let’s face it: Do you really need the latest guide on how to outsmart Google? Do you really need the hottest piece of software that uses “loopholes” to get you top search engine rankings?
The answer is “NO!”
You really do not need any of the flashy guides and gadgets to make it online. Would some of them come handy? Sure, but again, you do not NEED them to start out with.
Starting Over From Scratch
If I were to lose my business overnight and had to start from scratch, there really would only be a handful of products/services I would invest in to get me back on my feet.
1.) Domain Name:
First thing would be a domain name. I can get a decent .com domain name at NameCheap for about $10 USD per year. Very affordable and – in my opinion – a must have if you want to build a strong/lasting business online.
Next, I would head on over to HostGator and sign up for a simple hosting plan. Again, for just a few dollars you can get a fairly decent hosting package with them. I currently have a dedicated server with them that I host the majority of my sites on, but when starting out, their smallest package should do just fine.
I love HostGator for their affordable “No BS” approach to hosting and their 24/7 support system. I have been with a few hosting companies over the years and when it comes to customer service, HostGator simply is the best in my opinion. You can literally talk to someone there in a matter of 2 minutes if you need to. This can come super handy if you are in the middle of something time sensitive like a product launch.
You will also want an autoresponder like AWeber or some of the other ones out there. I myself have my list hosted at MailChimp.
NOTE: I have nothing against AWeber (or any other autoresponder service provider for that matter). I used to have my lists with them back in the day, but they were a bit pricey for me at the time and I was not too comfortable with some of the “permanent account banning” horror stories I heard but all that could have changed by now. I don’t know. I only pick on them and use them as an example because I am somewhat familiar with them.
At the end of the day, it does not matter where you get any of the just mentioned services from, as long as they are reliable, easy to work with, and fit into your budget. The point I am trying to make here is: those are about the only 3 necessities (in my opinion) that I would invest in to get me kickstarted online and to be 100% honest with you, with those 3 services alone, you can make some nice cash if you are willing to do a little bit of manual work yourself.
Example: A few months back I tapped into a rather obscure niche, bought a domain name and set up a wordpress blog on the domain. I then – without even changing the original template on the blog – started adding content to it that I myself wrote specifically for it.
Throughout the content I recommended an affiliate product and before long, I started getting natural search engine traffic to that blog. I did not get hundreds of unique visitors a day, but at 1 out of 17 visitors buying the product (which averages about $75 per sale), it adds up very quickly.
I was faithful for the first 2 months and added a piece of new content to it every week or so, but I will confess that it has been about a month since I last touched it. Either way, that blog consistently earns me anywhere between $500 and $800 USD per month. Yes, that was after all the crazy Google updates!
Food for Thought: I have been going through some indepth “real estate investing” training material over the years and just recently started going through it all again (as I can see myself getting more and more into that within the next year or so), but here is an interesting observation I made: a real estate property that cashflows as much as one of my sites does, is considered to be an awesome investment.
The monthly income from real estate properties is not really scalable. My sites on the other hand are VERY scalable. All I have to do is find ways to drive more targeted traffic to them and my monthly income will increase.
This was just something cool I came across and I am by no means degrading real-estate investing. In fact, like I said, I will be getting more and more into it myself over the next year or two.
Rinse and Repeat
You say “$500 to $800 per month is not much, Konrad. Show me some real figures!”
It isn’t much, but who says I can not rinse and repeat the strategy? Which is exactly what I have been doing for a few months now. Not all sites perform as good, but some perform even better. All said and done, it all adds up very quickly!
Truth is: there are still millions of untapped obscure little niches that can be very profitable. Just expand your horizons a bit and you will find dozens of them.
Anyhow, it cost me $12 for the domain name, and assuming I did not already have a dedicated server, it would have cost me another $6 per month for hosting. Aside from some good old fashioned manual labour by me, that was it!
Just to clarify, I didn’t even add an optin form to that site when I originally started making money with it, but I have since gone ahead and added it in the footer of the blog and started building a mailing list in that small niche as a result. The list – in case you did not know – is the true asset/cash machine that I can tap into over and over again. I have not mailed that list once so far though, so again, still lots of room for me to grow the revenue from that simple blog!
Let’s back up a bit: Let’s say all you really want at this point is to quit your dayjob and in order to do that, you need to replace the income it currently gives you. For the sake of this demonstration, let’s say you would need to make exactly $5000 per month.
Let’s divide that by 30 to figure out exactly how much you need to make per day to achieve that goal.
$5000 / 30 = $167
Now, if your average commission is $75 per sale (like mine is in the above example), how many sales would you need to make – on average – per day, to reach your goal?
$167 / $75 = 2.2
That means you would need to generate – on average – a little over 2 sales per day, to make your desired $5000 per month. Is that doable? Absolutely!
TIP: If you want to earn bigger commissions, look into small niches with products outside of the crowded internet marketing community.
Next you would need to figure out exactly how many similar sites you would need to set up to reach your targeted number of sales. I think you get the idea though.
Once you get some statistics going, you can very easily break down your averages and figure out the exact number of sales of sales you need to generate, the exact number of unique visitors it takes to get those sales, etc. You can literally remove all the guesswork and – like I said before – break it down to a simple science.
Make Success a Science
I am not very good with numbers. In fact, I failed math in high school (ironic how I ended up working for a leading bank later on, isn’t it?) but these kind of calculations excite me. Why? Because it makes what appeared to be impossible, all of a sudden possible!
Once you become very clear with what it is you want, you can become very clear with what it will take for you to get there. You can’t “hope for the best” if you want to make it big. You got to get very specific!
When NASA sent astronauts to the moon, they didn’t just shoot the rocket up and hoped they would land on the moon somehow. No, they calculated every move to GUARANTEE a safe moon landing. Calculate every move you need to make to guarantee your dream landing!
I can already hear someone snare “Konrad, I don’t want to set up dozens of these little authority blogs” and that is cool. I don’t care how you plan on making your money online (or offline for that matter), break it down to a science with doable/actionable baby steps and then power through them.
Outsource Dreaded Tasks
Another objection you might have is: “I suck at writing” etc etc. My response is, “then outsource it”.
Find someone on fiverr who will gladly do for $5 what you don’t want to do yourself.
We are capable of making enormous dreams come true once we break the process of achieving them down (into actionable baby steps) and follow through with them.
You really do not need any fancy tools/guides/software to make it online. You do however need to become very specific about your dreams/goals/desired outcomes and even more specific on what you will do to achieve them.
Please let me know your thoughts and or experiences in this regard and be sure to recommend this post in your social circles. 🙂
Konrad, are there other autoresponders you know of that are not very expensive? I want to find one, but even mailchimp charges for autoresponding.
My wife tried GetResponse but was not impressed – likely because they immediately suckered her into a paid subscription plan that was for way more than she would have needed. I do believe they have some kind of free trial though. Don’t quote me on that.
Other than that (as well as the ones listed in the post) I really am not too familiar with the different ones out there. Sorry,
I stand corrected: she just told me it was iContact she tried. I apologize for the misleading info. But there you go… yet another one to check out 🙂
Thanks for bringing this post to my attention, Konrad. I really like your “baby step” approach – it’s too easy for me to get trapped by shiny objects, rather than focusing on the real game.
I envy you in Bali: that’s where I honeymooned. It’s a beautiful place, with beautiful, gentle people.
I, too, used aWeber in the past, but switched to the GVO autoresponder because of cost. I now have everything with GVO except for some sites that are still registered with GoDaddy, which I plan to move over before their next renewal. It has saved me a bunch of money and I’ve been very happy with their service. I’ve learned a lot from GVO Academy, too – being free, it’s a real bargain!
Thanks again for a very informative article.
Glad to hear from you and thank you for the kind words.
Very inspiring post. Glad to see you travelling to Indonesia, do you enjoy your trip? By the way, I’m Indonesian, in city not too far from Bali, in Java exactly 🙂
I’m still struggling to make consistent income online. And your post reminded me to stay focus with my goals. May I ask a question? Which business model should a newbie like me take to start make money online?
Thank you very much,
Very cool. Indonesia is beautiful and we have had a really good time here.
In regards to picking a business model: it really is up to you. It depends on what your strengths and interests are. It sounds like you have had some success already. Maybe look at how you could expand on that? Familiarity is always a good place to start because you already have the feel for things.
I myself started out providing SEO services because I was already familiar with selling my services online. Once I figured out another business model that worked for me, I slowly shut down the “services” to fully focus on the new direction I wanted to go.
Not sure that helps,
Thank you for your suggestion, currently I am focusing on a project and I hope this project can be a milestone for my bigger online success.
Enjoy your vacation in Indonesia 🙂
Great post on the tools. Can I ask you if the niche is IM related?
Actually, not at all Internet Marketing related. It was a health and beauty niche.
I see wide open niches right left and center though and am constantly tossing the bait in different waters to see which markets are worth going in to. The results would amaze you
That was my second guess. tossing bait? CPA then. Yes, it is an area I am laser focused on now.
As in internet marketer you don’t need to be a millionaire to live an awesome lifestyle. My wife and I moved from UK to Penang, Malaysia and live in a condominium right on the beach. And it costs much less to live here than UK!!
Right you are Ken. Glad to hear from you!
My wife and I have been to Penang a couple times now. In fact, we are leaving Bali and going back to Penang this week again. Not sure yet for how long but might just bump in to you 🙂
It is a pleasant city for sure – and very affordable!