Monthly Archives: January 2005

Probably the best piece of advice I will ever give you…

Let’s face it, setting up a website business is pretty easy when you compare it to, say, opening a shop or restaurant or other ‘offline’ business. It doesn’t cost a lot of money and if you are prepared to learn, you will probably be able to do most of the work yourself. Even if you prefer to hire people to do the work, you can do this very cheaply by using one of the many ‘freelance’ sites that exist exactly for this purpose.

With this in mind, probably the best piece of advice I will ever give you in relation to your Internet business is this:

‘When you are making money with a website, keep your mouth shut!’

In other words, don’t go telling everyone about your site and how much you are earning. Don’t share this information with your ‘friends’ on the forums you visit each day, don’t tell your friends in the offline world, don’t tell anyone that you can’t trust 100%.

Why?

Because the world is full of copycats – people that cannot come up with their own original ideas but who are happy to rip off other people’s ideas for their own financial benefit.

Now of course, this happens in the offline world too but far more work and money is involved in opening a new restaurant just down the road from another similar business that is already doing well. Even if you could be bothered with the work and could afford to do it, you would still have to face your competitor every single day knowing that you have basically done something that could have had a huge impact on that person’s income and the quality of life enjoyed by their family. Most people would not want to be in that situation.

Online this isn’t the case. It costs next to nothing to throw up a new site and it is unlikely that you will ever have to face the competitor that you have ripped off.

This means that people do it all the time, so I repeat my comment above, if you have a business online that is making money, keep it to yourself.

Now of course, I am guilty of breaking my own rule in some respects – to the right of this sentence is an advertisement that states a monthly income which is available for everyone to read. This is because there are exceptions to the rule…

Part of my own income is generated from the Internet marketing industry and the competitiveness of this industry means that to have any chance of success, you must already have achieved a degree of success in other areas online. Often, the mark of success is the level of income your businesses are generating.

Here’s the thing though, I own several online businesses that no one in the Internet marketing industry knows about and they generate just as much income for me as my ‘public’ businesses. Some of my closest friends don’t know about these websites!

These sites quietly generate income and several are in completely untapped markets with little/no competition. If I were to reveal the markets, I would be flooded with competition in hours.

I am not alone – most successful Internet marketers keep their cards close to their chests – why wouldn’t they? It is daft to start shouting about what is making you money as this simply tempts the copycats out and into the game. Making a success of any business is hard enough but to invite competition is crazy!

If at some point you decide you want to venture into the Internet marketing ‘how to’ industry then do as I have done and make a couple of your sites high profile but keep the big money earners a secret.

Which brings me to another point – a lot of people first try to make money online in the Internet marketing arena and this is a big mistake. This is an incredibly competitive area and there is just as much money to be made in other markets and most of the time it is, quite simply, a heck of a lot easier…

Think about it, in the Internet marketing industry you are usually pitching to other people that have a much higher awareness of sales techniques than ‘normal’ people. You are used to pop ups, autoresponders, newsletter lists, free ebooks etc and know that they are all designed to get you to spend money. Thing is though it works but how much better would it work in an industry where the customers don’t have the same level of awareness? I can tell you – a LOT better.

What do you want to achieve in 2005?

Welcome to the New Year everyone 🙂

So what do you want to achieve this year?

– To start your own business?

– To lose some weight?

– To give up smoking?

– To quit your job?

– To spend more time with your family?

– To live a healthier lifestyle?

The statements above are some of the more common goals that people set themselves at the beginning of a New Year. This time of year is traditionally the time when we make ‘New Year Resolutions’ – those little promises to yourself that are usually forgotten about by the middle of January (if not sooner)!

So what can you do to ensure that your resolutions are not just a distant memory by Feb 1st? Well, everyone is different and I can’t promise that the same techniques will work for all but one of the best ways of staying on track is to put some proper planning in place and that usually means writing things down.

It is all too easy to think to yourself ‘Yup, I’m going to lose a few pounds by March’ but if that is all you do, you will almost certainly fail. You need to take action and one of the easiest ways of forcing yourself to do this is to work to an action plan. Let me explain…

With any major goal that you want to achieve, it should be possible to prepare a plan of how you wish to achieve the goal and over what timescale. To take the weight loss example above, you may have decided that you need to workout three times a week and cut out various foods if you are to achieve your target weight. Therefore put this down in writing and monitor yourself on a weekly basis to ensure that you are actually doing what you are supposed to be doing. If it helps, stick the entire plan/calendar on your wall or fridge so that you can’t help but see it everyday.

If you want to start your own online business, you will need to be dedicating a certain amount of time to this each day, let’s say two hours. So draw up a plan that covers the next few months which details exactly what you want to have achieved by the end of each week/month, for example:

Week 1 – Prepare basic template for website

Week 2 – Learn how to use a basic HTML editor

Week 3/4 – Design and build actual website

…and so on.

Of course, the above is a very simplistic example and your real plan will probably be far more detailed but the point is that having a plan to work to WILL help.

Many people like working to lists – that is, they like having a list of outstanding tasks to do because they enjoy ticking the jobs off once they are completed. Working to a plan is very similar because you can ‘tick off’ each milestone as you pass it.

One thing that I wouldn’t recommend though is spending too long drawing up the actual plan. I once worked for a company and was involved in a major project that had various timescales etc that had to be worked to and the Managing Director asked me to draw up a project plan in a particular format. Now this format was incredibly detailed and it would have taken me about a week just to prepare the plan. I felt this was wasted time and as the project leader, I refused to prepare the plan in the way that he wanted and instead spent a couple of hours drawing up a much simpler ‘check list’. He wasn’t impressed but I guess he was just one of those people that prefers to spend their time planning rather than DOING. The end result was that the project was completed on time and without too many problems but had I spent a week on unnecessary planning, we would have probably ended up a week behind schedule.

So plan your actions by all means but don’t turn the actual planning phase into a project all of its own. People can sometimes be reluctant, even scared to take action and therefore drag the planning out as long as possible in order to put the ‘hard work’ off.

Don’t let this happen to you and be sure you plan in the right way – don’t use it as an excuse not to take action in the first place.

Planning won’t guarantee that you achieve your goals but it will certainly help and will definitely give you the edge over the majority of people that simply don’t bother…