It’s also one of the most valid.
One of the biggest reasons so many aspiring internet marketers struggle to earn even a single dollar online is due to the fact that they have no real plan.
All they know is that they want to make money online.
Like the South Park underpants gnomes I’ve referenced previously, many people have a 3-step plan for “success”, but part 2 is always missing.
You’re missing the “how”.
But figuring out the “how” usually isn’t the end of the problems. Figuring out the “how” will often help you get off the ground and get started.
But there is another critical missing link that can derail you before you make any significant progress with your project.
An example of my own failure to plan…
Some of you may have noticed that I’m now on my 3rd blog domain and site concept.
I started the first blog at the suggestion of Mark Thompson, who suggested in the WordPress Goldmine forum that everyone should have a “personal” blog to track their online activities, as a way to keep themselves on track and accountable.
As with most things I do online, I took the concept and immediately started changing it.
Before I knew it, I had created a concept that resonated with a group of people, but it almost immediately started to feel constricting to me. I wanted to talk about more than just passive niche websites.
That led to me bouncing the other way to start talking about authority web sites, which I dearly love, but within a matter of days, I realized that I was trading one straight jacket for another.
The one constant in my internet marketing career is that I have constantly moved around and made money in different ways.
Here are just a few examples:
- Adsense based sites (SEO)
- Affiliate products (SEO/PPC)
- Membership sites
- My own products
- Authority content sites
- PPC campaigns (search and content networks)
- …and more
I’ve made at least $25,000 using each method described above (more in most cases)
For better or worse, I love doing a number of different things online. It finally occurred to me that I would be of best service to others by creating a number of different business plans, based on my own experiences with each, that a person can use as the framework for building their own businesses.
It also made sense do it here, on my personal domain name, that I’ve had for 11 years and never fully utilized.
What makes this time different?
Two things make the venture different from the previous two:
- I have a written business plan including a series of products, funnels, traffic and monetization (the HOW)
- I understand my individual strengths and weaknesses, and I’m aligning myself with what I enjoy and do best (the WHY)
I believe that any business plan that includes the HOW but not the WHY is destined to either fail, or be a mere shadow of it’s potential.
And more often that not, the HOW needs to be something more substantial than “to make money” or “to get rich”.
There’s a very small subset of the population who are truly motivated by nothing more than money, but the rest of us need a bigger, more important reason for taking the plunge into entrepreneurship.
Don’t believe me?
I spent 4 months writing Article Bully in 2009. Well over 200 hours worth of work went into that project. During all of that time, I didn’t earn a penny, and there were no guarantees that the book would sell well enough to make it worth all the time I had invested.
In that instance, my “why” was even stronger than my “how”. I knew I had useful information to share that could help people, and that allowed me to persevere even though I had no idea what the ultimate payoff might be.
Here’s my WHY for Mike-Long.com
For years I’ve tried to determine how I could best help others over the long haul. I love teaching, but many of the types of online internet marketing courses I’ve seen just didn’t suit my teaching methods.
They usually teach one specific way to make money online, take months to do it, lock you in to a monthly fee, then send you on your way.
As usual, I want to do this differently. My WHY is to find a new, unique and effective way to help as many people as possible start to make money online.
Over the coming months, I will create a series of “Quick Guides” that will lay out a step-by-step business plan that you can follow to build a business that’s right for you. Whether it’s Adsense sites, Amazon sites, affiliate sites, using SEO or PPC, blogs, membership sites…
The list goes on.
The Quick Guides will be dirt cheap ($5 – $10) and will offer a solid framework to get you started.
If you want more in-depth information, Master Guides will be available that will go well beyond each Quick Guide providing a more “hand holding” level of instruction, including video, mindmaps, workflows and more.
The Master Guides will be fairly priced for what they offer ($24.95 – $29.95)
Finally, if you need that little extra “push”, want some one-on-one interaction and guidance with your chosen plan, or want a plan custom tailored and designed just for you, I will offer consulting services at an hourly rate. I haven’t yet decided what that rate will be, but my newsletter subscribers will be the first to know.
Mike’s Marketing Mailbox
My goal for the guides is to do an excellent job of explaining the HOW.
One of several goals I have for the newsletter is to help you understand the WHY.
We’ll look at the “why” from various angles. Not only will I discuss the “why” as it relates to the underlying reasons behind your business, but we’ll look at a number of topics within internet marketing, and attempt to see what lies beneath – why certain products or concepts work the way they do, and the motivations behind each.
The newsletter will be delivered every Tuesday. This won’t be an autoresponder and issues will be brand new each week.
The motivations I’ll offer to have you sign up are two-fold:
- You’ll receive my eBook – Internet Marketing Demystified – for FREE
- The content in the newsletters won’t be posted to this site until 30 days after subscribers have received it
So you’ll have first access to all of the content, and you’ll be first to be notified of any new products I create or discounts I offer.
With the above said, this will be a content dominant newsletter. I’ll talk about my products from time to time as I release them, and I may occasionally give you a heads up on an offer that I feel is unique and exceptional, but I can promise you that you will never feel as though you are being “pitched to death”!
I hope you’ll give Mike’s Marketing Mailbox a try. The first newsletter will be published soon.
I’m looking forward to helping as many people as possible to build the business of their dreams.