Venturing into the world of online marketing ten years ago literally changed the course of my life. Here’s my story and tips to help you write your own… ?
? Where It Started
I was staring at my computer screen in the center of a busy corporate office in San Francisco, as I had been doing for over five years, when suddenly, I had an epiphany…
? “Why am I working for someone else?” This thought seemingly came out of nowhere and it persisted.
While I couldn’t necessarily complain about my Silicon Valley journey up to that point, I began to realize I not only wanted but needed more freedom.
The thought of living that lifestyle started to die that day and new desire quickly emerged. I no longer saw myself going through that same endless wheel for the rest of my life.
There had to be more, right?
There was more than I imagined! ?
I proceeded to finish that day as I always did but took something home with me that I never did before; the realization that I AM not stuck working for “the man.”
I clearly remember thinking to myself, “I have the power to take my life in any direction I want.”
? Leaving the Corporate Grind for the Freedom of Online Marketing
My life truly changed that day. The desire for more FREEDOM would not let up. I had a “great career,” but it was no longer conducive to a happy life.
Pardon my French in advance, but the corporate world also stressed me the fuck out! ? I knew it was time to say goodbye.
I soon began spending all my free time researching how to start an online business, and I eventually came up with my own “master plan” to start a website.
And that’s what I did… ?
And so after my real-life version of “The Office” finally aired its last episode, I filed my last TPS Report and branched off into the exciting world of online marketing.
? Are You Ready to Build an Online Business via Digital Marketing?
Whether you want to escape the rat race completely, create a new income stream or simply build a website for fun, I’ve got some proven strategies that can help you catch up to and surpass your competition.
Here’s what worked for me… ?
1. Start an online business on a topic you are passionate about!
I believe one of the primary keys to my success was this. There’s no way in hell I would have been successful if I weren’t passionate or at least very interested in the subject.
So my first piece of advice to you is that, pick something that you are actually interested in! I’m telling you, it will make your journey so much easier.
Of course, building an online brand is still going to take work even when passion is a motivational force, for after all, almost nothing in life comes easy. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?
However, I can tell you from personal experience, out of the many projects I’ve launched or attempted to launch over the years, they all “failed” because I failed to start them with passion.
I chose mostly willy-nilly ideas because I thought they’d bring me in money. You see, money was my primary driving force, not passion. It was a means to an end type of approach here.
I’m not saying your projects won’t work out for you if you have no passion, but from personal experience at least, passion was the key to my successes.
It sounds cliché as hell, I know, but it’s true. My advice then? Start with passion! ?
2. Niche down!
Niching down is crucial in today’s insanely competitive online landscape, especially when it comes to affiliate marketing. Things were different when I started my first website nearly ten years ago.
So, this is my second piece of advice for you. If you choose a subject that is too broad, it might just be your Achilles’ heel. Niching down will ensure you can compete.
I can’t stress this one enough. Find something you are passionate about of course, but then niche down in that field. This will greatly improve your chances of success. I can almost guarantee it.
Niching down is also a great digital branding strategy that will compliment your digital marketing strategy. A ‘laser focused’ brand allows you to more easily fine-tune your value proposition.
At the end of the day, niche down! I started a successful fitness brand back in 2011, but because it is too broad now, it ultimately got killed by stiff competition.
This brings us to my next point…
3. Find a need and fill that need!
You can niche down all you want but if there is no demand for your product or service, your supply will be futile.
This goes for anything when it comes to selling, and it doesn’t matter if you’re selling a product or service.
Start out by researching your potential target market first. This will drastically improve your chances of success.
There has to be a group of individuals searching for a solution to a problem. This is where your product or service comes into play.
You must find a need before you can fulfill that need. Start there!
4. Create epic content!
There’s simply way too much “cookie cutter” content on the Internet. Set yourself apart by producing awesome content, whether it’s written, video or other.
For example, begin with a compelling (but accurate) headline to entice a potential reader. From there, describe how your product or service solves a particular problem of theirs.
You see, people are generally looking for practical solutions to their problems, so let them know what you can offer them.
Once you get your readers to react, reel them in with a proposed solution! ?
Go ahead and establish yourself as an authority problem solver and make shit happen for your audience!
And when it comes to written content, don’t forget to write long-form content. Studies show that long-form content almost always outranks short-form content in Google.
Five hundred word generic articles just won’t cut it anymore. Back in my days this would often work just fine, but in today’s world, good luck.
And, if you must source content ideas and information from around the web, for God’s sake please don’t blatantly plagiarize another person’s work.
At least learn how to copy and paste without plagiarizing, if you do end up sourcing from other websites. Also, always do it sparingly, ethically, and source your information.
? But most of all, when it comes to producing epic content, don’t forget to utilize storytelling. As Joe Lazauskas, once said, “Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel.”
Proper storytelling should grip the minds and pull at the heart strings of your potential customers. Shoot for an impactful story that is customer focused and emotionally engaging.
Following the above tips should have you producing great content in no time. And remember, practice makes perfect. Your content skills will improve in time so be patient with yourself.
5. Backlinks, backlinks, and more backlinks!
When it comes to ranking a website, backlinks are king today just as they were yesterday. Trust me.
You always hear that content is king, but even if you write the most amazing article that blows away all your competition, no backlinks means nobody will likely ever see your content. Screw that!
In fact, neglecting my backlink building efforts is one of the primary reasons why my once successful fitness brand ‘died out.’ I got complacent.
My income was “completely” passive at the time so I decided to spend a few years enjoying life to the fullest, which to me at the time meant doing nothing work-related. Big mistake!
Learn from my mistake… Don’t ever neglect your website, especially your backlinks… EVER!
? The Bottom Line
After ten years in online affiliate marketing, I’ve learned quite a lot. But you know what else I’ve learned? The learning never stops!
However, there are definitely things you need to do if you want to build a successful online brand.
And in case you’ve already forgotten, here’s a recap of some things that worked for me…
- Build your brand around a subject you are passionate about
- Niche down; your efforts will likely be futile if not
- Find a need and fill it; supply needs demand
- Write epic content and focus on long-form
- Don’t neglect your link building efforts
These tips aren’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to being successful with your online marketing; however, you may be heading down a long road if you neglect them.
I hope sharing my own very personal online marketing journey and tips help inspire you to achieve your own online digital marketing dreams!
So, what do you think about my journey and tips to start an online brand? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. ?