Getting started online can be a daunting experience, but I developed a strategy early on that made a huge difference. I refer to it as the ’36 Hour Getaway’ and I continue to do this even now that my business has been running successfully for more than five years.
I recommend taking a 36 hour getaway at least once every quarter. Even if you have many family and work obligations, this is doable with the help and support of your family and friends. I am suggesting that once every three months you plan an overnight trip to be able to focus only on your business. When I first did this in 2006 I went to a Holiday Inn in Ventura, California. It was an hour’s drive from my house and they were having a special on the room rates because it was off season. I left on a Saturday morning around seven and returned home on Sunday night around seven in the evening. During those thirty-six glorious hours I focused exclusively on creating my first product.
When I arrived that morning it was too early to check into the room, so I walked down the promenade and out onto the Ventura Pier. There were just a few people there, and the sounds of the sea gulls and the waves crashing on the beach made me feel alive. I imagined myself a successful entrepreneur who visited here regularly, something I had never thought possible in the past. I sat down on a bench and began writing my sales letter for the product I was about to create. After writing about twenty possible headlines I took off my shoes and socks and walked along the sand, letting the salt water wash up on my feet. It was cold, but I was thrilled to be having this experience.
By the time I had eaten lunch at a little place two blocks from the beach and then checked into my room, I had written about ten pages of notes and had ideas that made me feel as though there had been divine intervention. I stayed in the room until I had to check out at noon on Sunday, and my first product, a four part teleseminar series on how to write articles and blog, was ready to go.
This was at the beginning of November and I made my first sale of my own product on Thanksgiving Day, just a couple of weeks later. I knew I was on to something and continued to use the ‘Quarterly Getaway’ to build my business, long after I had gone full-time on the Internet.
Are you already doing something similar to this? Do you see yourself implementing this strategy, if you are not already? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Willie Crawford has been working online since 1996, which means that he has seen it all and has become something of an icon in regards to Internet marketing. But the main thing people think of when they hear his name is: Joint Ventures. We discuss this topic in more depth on the podcast call. I first met him in 2008 at the Big Seminar in Atlanta, and we’ve been friends ever since.
After completing a career in the United States Air Force, Willie jumped in full time with his online business. He began selling a cook book, and his success with this led to his first speaking engagement in 2002. This live event, along with the people he met there, launched him and his career in a big way.
Willie and I discuss how he got started making money online, and the eBook that continues to help others do the same thing – 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day Online. I have used most of these techniques and strategies in my own business. I know you will learn much from this interview.
Are you a niche marketer? Niche topics in online marketing will build your business quickly. Coming up with fresh ideas for new content in your niche topics is an ongoing task. Years ago I challenged myself to come up with a new idea every day for one hundred days, and that list of one hundred questions and thoughts kept my business going strong during the first year. I would encourage you to do the same thing to build your online business.
For example, if you niche is yoga and meditation, some ideas you might add to your list could be:
- Why is yoga so popular these days?
- The connection between the practice of yoga and daily meditation
- Can you do yoga at home, or is it better to go to a studio or class?
- Types of clothing, mats, and other accessories
- Which types of music/affirmations are best for meditation?
These are just a few ideas for niche topics. You can see that the list is endless, and that you could easily come up with ideas every single day. The idea is to make this a part of your daily schedule so that creating new, fresh content is never an issue.
People around you will make this much easier. I have found that talking to someone who is not familiar with my niche topic generates even more ideas. Ask a friend or family member to spend fifteen minutes with you for this. Keep your notebook close at hand and just start talking about your topic. Then have then ask you questions about any part of it they do not understand or want to know more about. You will love how many ideas you are able to add to your list.
Now it’s time to turn each one into a piece of content for your business. I like to begin by writing an article on each one. Then I choose the best and most interesting ideas and go on to write a blog post about those. Finally I pick an area of my niche to write a short report on, using some of my previously written articles and blog posts as part of this report.
Think about using different formats as well. You could also create short videos and audio recordings so that your target market will get to know you better. Anything you can do right now to allow people to connect with you and build a relationship will mean a lot for years to come.
Start your list of a hundred ideas and questions on your niche topic and see just how far you can take it when it comes to creating content. This will build your credibility and visibility and increase your bottom line.
Share a few of your ideas here so that we can brainstorm as a group. My most recent niche topic is about the tools we need to get started online. I am thinking of questions and ideas around hosting, domains, keywords, WordPress blogs, and autoresponders. What else should I add to my list?
Sandra Martini does business in a very different way than most people I am connected with on the Internet. This is because her background is a unique one. She’s been involved with the marketing department for the Peace Corps and was one of five women who launched the AmeriCorps program in the United States. Sandy approaches new opportunities and challenges head on, exhibiting a work ethic she learned from her parents.
When Sandy made the decision to finally bring her skills and expertise online it’s no surprise that she was able to create a six figure business within the first six months. During this podcast she and I discuss how she was able to do this and how she helps others to do the same through her various proven programs. You can also visit her site to join her list to get to know someone I have the highest respect for on the Internet.
Attending live events as part of my continuing education was a big part of what I did while I was a classroom teacher, but it wasn’t until 2008, after I had already been working exclusively online for almost two years, that I first went to an Internet marketing conference to begin my continuing education journey for my online business. It was the Big Seminar, one of the largest events of its kind at that time. There were seven or eight different speakers each day during all three days of the event, and each one was selling a two or three thousand dollar package after they spoke for ninety minutes or so.
These events are not nearly as common these days, with people being more interested in attending workshops and seminars where they are actively involved in the learning process. Two people are the best at doing this – David Perdew and Dennis Becker – and I happen to be speaking at both of these events this summer. I am proud to be a part of the teaching process to help new online entrepreneurs, as well as those already established on the Internet, to move forward with their businesses.
August of 2011 was the first time I attended the NAMS event. Atlanta is a perfect city for this because it is somewhat easily accessible for people coming in from all over the world. David has set this up like a university, with several different ‘tracks’ for the students to choose from. The instructors – more than 40 right now – take turns presenting information on their area of expertise. This is a no-pitch event, so the only thing for sale is the next NAMS event. NAMS is held in August and February each year. This year it is August 3-5.
Anyone who attends through my affiliate link is entitled to additional training from me, as well as being able to network with me and our group on Friday night in Atlanta as part of my Roundtable Mastermind. I’d love to see you there!
Dennis Becker’s event is slightly smaller and held in Las Vegas each year. This year it will be August 10-12. This event – the Earn 1K A Day Seminar – originally began with Dennis inviting the people he knew the best to share their marketing strategies and tips with people who were just getting started. These people were all a part of his Earn 1K A Day Forum, where I have been a member for the past two years. Take a look at the speakers he has lined up for this summer and see if this is what you need to take your business to the next level. On Friday evening I’ll be having dinner with everyone who comes through my link as part of our Roundtable Mastermind.
I learned from my own experience that working from your home computer as you build your online business keeps you isolated from other small business owners and entrepreneurs. This leads to seeing your business in a bubble, keeping you out of touch with your prospects and clients. It also keeps you from the powerful interaction that comes with connecting with other like-minded people in person on a regular basis. Make the decision to attend at least one event every year and I’m sure you will notice a difference in your bottom line.
Karon Thackston knows about copywriting, SEO, and keywords. With over twenty years experience in this field, she was the person I most wanted to speak with on this topic. I first met Karon in person in Atlanta at the NAMS event a couple of years ago and we have been friends ever since. She has been a dominant force in helping NAMS to get prime search engine ranking over these past few years.
We discussed the best way to find your keywords – something we all struggle with as we build our online businesses – and why it’s so important to use a professional keyword tool for your research instead of just using Google’s free tool. Karon is a member of Wordtracker’s Expert Academy and writes for them regularly on the topics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keyword research.
You can connect with Karon at her site, MarketingWords, to see just how SEO copywrting can help you to grown your business and to join her list for even more tips and specialized information. This is an area you definitely want to be more familiar with as your business grows.
Karon is also an author and trainer, so be sure to check out her Copywriting Course to get started right away.
During the spring of 2007 I made the conscious decision to become a writer. I had been blogging and writing articles during the previous year or so, but needed to make a commitment that would change the way I conducted my online business. I strongly believed the way to do this was with article marketing. Tips on how to write and market articles were very common at this point, but I needed to do more than simply write articles that contained 10 tips on how to do something. That’s when I challenged myself to write 100 articles over the course of 100 days.
It was not easy for me to do this because I was not a writer at that time. However, I was determined to turn myself into a writer and made the commitment to write an article each day over the course of my challenge. Even though the article directories only required your articles to be 250 words at that time, I was still struggling to get my thoughts and ideas out of my head and on to the screen. Then something interesting happened right around the end of the third week; the writing began to flow more easily and it felt funny if I did not write each day. I was turning into a writer!
I completed my challenge in just 78 days, and immediately began repurposing what I had written into short reports, eBooks, online courses and training programs, paperback books, and books for Kindle (Take a look here to see what I’ve published so far). This gave my business the boost it needed to take what I was doing to the next level. By the summer of 2007 my business had grown to the point where other online marketers were beginning to take notice and reach out to me with new opportunities. Within a few months I was asked to speak at an Internet marketing conference.
The idea of an article writing challenge took off and many people began their own challenges. Even Ezine Articles went on to offer six HAHD (hundred articles in a hundred days) article writing challenges, and I completed most of them. By then my business had taken off in a big way and writing each day was a part of who I was and what I did each day.
To mark the five year anniversary of writing my first hundred articles in one hundred days I again challenged myself to do this. I was behind almost from the very beginning and I had to take a look at where my life is now compared to five years ago to see why this was occurring:
- My business has grown considerably during this time and requires a different level of involvement than it did previously
- I’m currently writing my 10th book and that writing is a priority each day
- During this most recent challenge I took several trips, including ones to Thailand and China
- Article directories now require a minimum of 400 words for each article you submit
Even with all of this I was able to write my 100 articles in 96 days. Meeting a challenge is important to me, as are all of my goals and deadlines for my business. To date I have written more than seventeen hundred articles with more than 700K views and you may take a look at them here. You can do the same thing if you are willing to work hard and focus on what you wish to achieve.
Are you writing and marketing with articles? What questions may I answer for you on this topic?
When I think of Nicole Dean PLR (Private Label Rights) content is what first comes to mind, but Nicole is about so much more than that. She has been online for more than ten years and has now become a good friend and someone I wish to emulate in my own online business.
In this picture, Nicole is in the middle, I’m on the right, and one of our mutual students, Adrienne Dupree, is on the left. This is another one of Nicole’s best traits – being someone who can share well in her business. That is extremely rare these days. Nicole is not only a savvy marketer and business woman, but also someone we all love to spend time with as well.
Nicole got her start as an affiliate manager for one of the biggest names on the Internet. During those years she worked hard, learned all that she could, and began building her own business. I was one of the newer affiliates who asked her questions about how to set up my affiliate promotions, and she spent the time with me to make sure I understood what I needed to do.
In this podcast we discuss how the 9-11 disaster played a part in her coming online when her children were very small, and how she continues to see life as an adventure every single day. We also discuss the role guest blogging has played in her business over the past few years. She even created an excellent training course on the topic of being a guest blogger, and you can pick it up for only seventeen dollars at Guest Blogging Secrets.
Nicole Dean is someone you want and need to know, and I know you will enjoy hearing our conversation here. You will pick up some tips and secrets that we share on how to build a successful and profitable online business in a way that resonates with your message and the lifestyle you want to achieve. And, if you haven’t already, please be sure to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link in my sidebar.
As I think back over the past few years I see just how much I have grown since becoming an online entrepreneur. I was not used to accepting failure in my previous life as a classroom teacher and real estate appraiser. Back then any little setback was devastating to my self-esteem and many times I would just give up. Nowadays I anticipate failure, learn from it, and course correct to keep moving forward. I was reading an excellent post on Geoff Hoff’s site that made me give this more thought.
An example I will share is my reluctance to write. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to write. I can trace this back to grade school, when I wanted to write something for our school’s newspaper. Back then I would allow myself to get discouraged very easily, and when one of the other kids told me my idea for a story was a stupid one, in front of several of my friends, I held back the tears and knew that I would never write that story to see what anyone else thought. This attitude, and lack of confidence, followed me through high school and into college. When one of the instructors said that my writing lacked depth, I dropped the class and gave up my dream of being a writer for good.
When I think back to this time, I see that I wasn’t even taking enough action to fail. Instead, I was giving up before I started. This is inexcusable in my thinking today, when I take every challenge when it comes to writing, and even teach my own students how to get started so that they can achieve the success they want and deserve in their endeavors as online entrepreneurs.
Are you failing on a regular basis? If not, then work harder, take more risks on a daily basis, and stretch outside of your comfort zone as often as possible. My life has changed in amazing ways because of my willingness to make mistakes, take chances that do not work out at all, and implement everything I learn almost immediately. You can change your life, and your bottom line, by embracing failure and making it work for you.