Layla asks: I KNOW that there is $ to be made online through blogging, affiliate sales, and also through developing and selling my own info products. I'm having some struggles though. There is sooo much information out there.
Where do you start? What is step 1, 2, 3, etc.?
I have 5 sites up. I know it is best to start with one, so that is what I'll do, but I have all these thoughts in my head, that I can't get organized into logical sense. What is best to do first?
Is there a step by step guide that states what to do and in what order? i.e. set up email accounts (one for each site or all to the same email?), setup affiliate logins, write blogs, write articles, join niche minded forums, write reviews of amazon books (is this even important & if I do, do I use an alternate identity, so I have one for each site I'll end up setting up?), write blog posts!!! I know this one is important... and, where do I get blog readers?
These are all great questions. And Layla is not alone. You may be feeling overwhelmed too, and wondering if you're on the right track with your efforts to make money online. Even I get overwhelmed with all the options & tasks at times!
First, take a step back and analyze what it is you're doing exactly. Are you really building an online business, or are you simply chasing a million little ways to make money online? There's a BIG difference.
To answer the questions above, we'll start with the step-by-step guide...
There is no one guide that will teach you how to create an online business from scratch. The reason is because every business is as unique as the person that created it. They all start with an idea (which is your part). The publishing model or marketing method you use has more to do with who you are reaching and what you are trying to achieve in that market. There is no right or wrong, or one-size-fits-all method to starting an online business.
Most guides will teach you a very specific model or strategy. This may be something you can use in your online business, or it may not be a match for what you're trying to achieve. For example, if your model is creating info products then you should have no interest in the latest greatest "make money with Adsense" guide.
According to Wikipedia, an entrepreneur is "the type of personality who is willing to take upon himself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome". Starting a business online is still starting a business. Unlike a job, a franchise or an MLM - a business doesn't come with a handbook.
Once you know your objective, you can study models and marketing strategies that will help you meet that objective - and even come up with (and test) creative combinations of your own. But in the end all of the risk and responsibility is on you, as the business owner.
Information itself cannot overwhelm you. It does not have the ability to interrupt you, to insist you read it, to persuade you, or to appear on your screen and place a priority on itself. We choose which information to consume - when, where and why.
We each have to take personal responsibility for our "information overload" issues. I get overwhelmed with the sheer number of options and ideas myself. It takes a lot of self-discipline to stay on track, and see a business through to profit.
But if we go back to the definition of an entrepreneur, we know that it's on us. That we have to take full responsibility for the success or failure of our business venture. No matter what others are doing, what's going on in the industry, what you bought that you shouldn't have, or how a certain guru won't answer your email... at the end of the day, your business is your responsibility.
How Many Websites Or Blogs Do You Have?
As we close out 2010, with just a few short weeks left, now is a good time to take stock of the number of domains & sites you own. If you have "5 sites up" and you don't yet have one domain that is making a profit... it's time to choose ONE and focus on that project exclusively until it reaches max profit potential.
I would be completely overwhelmed too, if I were working on five different websites or blogs. Especially if they were all different models in different niches. You really don't want to spread yourself that thin. Especially if you don't yet know what works and what doesn't.
I know you've heard "experts" talking about their multiple niche sites (myself included). But keep in mind that each project was given full attention in the beginning, and the people that successfully run more than one business... can afford to outsource - a lot. That's not something you do in the beginning, as you're not yet in a position to assume the risk or expense.
Getting Organized & Creating A Strategy
The first step in creating an organized strategy is to know your goal. You come up with a business idea, which has a specific objective. Once you know the end goal, you can work backwards from there to create a strategy to achieve that goal.
Some people like to create mind maps, others use lists. Again, there is no right or wrong method. Once you know what you need to do, and in what order, you simply discipline yourself to get up every day and work through your list and work toward your goal. Once you do this, you'll find there is much less distraction - and less potential for Information Overload.
In the first link I shared below, you'll find a 10-step checklist to follow that will get you started in the right direction. You definitely want to do things strategically, and not just be all over the board doing a million little things that may or may not even be necessary - depending on your business model.
What To Do First
There are some things that you should do, regardless of your model. Obviously you must choose a niche (a topic) and a market, and decide how you are going to serve that market. You'll want to register a domain name for that business.
Once you register your domain name you should set up profiles or accounts at a number of places, including: Gmail, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Even if you aren't planning to use Gmail or YouTube right away, you want to secure your alias or business name at these sites. You may choose to use them in the future and find the name is already taken. I learned that lesson the hard way. 😉
Related Posts You Should Visit:
(I hand-picked these for you)
- How To Make Money Online For Beginners
- Using a Pen Name or Alias
- Writing Web Content... With A Purpose!
- Questions From A Struggling Affiliate Marketer
- WHY are you doing this the hard way?!
- “You Are Exactly Where You Want To Be”
- What Is The Best Internet Business Model?
- Staying Focused When You Work Online
- Staying On Track – From Start to Profit
If you're overwhelmed with your online business, and not yet making money online, consider the points in this post and also take some time to study the posts I linked to above. Now is a great time to analyze where you are, and where you want to be as we head into the New Year.
Next, see: What's Holding You Back From Your Goals??