Probably the most important step to making money online is the desire to do it. The internet, contrary to so many of the headlines we see, is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. Strong internet incomes are achieved the same way brick and mortar incomes are achieved–via hard work, long hours, and dedication to making money online. To make money online, you must be willing to work hard, often long hours, study the latest material on marketing and traffic generation, and be willing to stick with it before you start making the big money online.
• In order to make money online, you must develop a basic understanding of why people buy. The psychological motivations of internet purchases are much the same as offline purchases. People buy things online because they feel the purchase will make them feel younger, sexier, happier, or because it will make them rich or well-liked.
• You must find or develop a product that is well-suited to making money online—it must primarily meet the emotional needs of people online—making them feel younger, sexier, happier, rich, or well-liked.
• To make money online, you must learn everything you can about marketing, both offline and online. You must understand what makes people buy; you cannot simply cut and paste from templates to get good at online marketing.
• You must be willing to test everything you do. Many times what you do online is in massive quantities, unlike some offline marketing. You might send out a million emails, or purchase a thousand PPCs, or receive hundreds of visitors a day. You must be able to identify which types of visitors make you money or you will fail. In many marketing campaigns you run, you will have segments that are profitable and segments that are not. If you cannot identify which are which, for the purpose of eliminating those that are not profitable and increasing spending in areas that are, you will fail.
• You must be willing to reinvest much of your initial profits back into your business. When you first begin marketing, you are excited and you are willing to spend untold hours, until the wee hours of the morning, placing inexpensive classified ads and requesting links with directories and other web sites. However, once you have a thousand subscribers, you will be more focused on conversion rates and your web site and have less time for low-cost traffic generation. You will need to develop a budget for more expensive (and usually higher-quality) traffic. Although it is not always the case that paying more gets you a better lead, it is generally the case that paying less gets you an inferior lead.
• Last but perhaps the most important. You must be willing to stick it out. The first few months you may not make much money online, but you knew that going in and you are excited about the internet riches about which you dream. After a few months of 80-90 hour weeks, you become tired and can become tempted to quit. If (and only if, note) you have been testing every ad you run and every response you receive, you will be able to start making smarter decisions and become profitable over the next few months. But if you burn out and quit, you lose everything you put in. Don’t give up!