I’m good for picking percentages out of the air. I mean, I do it often – not that I’m especially good at it!
I’m guessing that less than 1/1000th of 1% of all websites provide enough income to enable their owner to rely solely on that income.
I’ll go a step further… Even among very motivated people that focus a lot of time and energy on creating a successful website with the goal of reaching the online American dream – there’s still less than a 1% chance of success for them too.
Why am I saying this?
Reality. I’ve been involved in starting many sites and businesses online. Some successful and most, not. I’ve spoken to many that are in the process of starting their online business and I only know of a couple that are succeeding. The ones that are succeeding are professional developers or internet marketing experts that understand the game and the level of dedication and focus to a niche area or idea necessary to succeed.
Most people – don’t understand all the pieces of the puzzle that need to be assembled to create a successful online endeavor. But, the great American (worldwide) dream of creating a website that’s so successful that you quit your day job is widespread. And, it should be. What a concept! It’s worth doing everything you can to get there. But, do it smartly.
Most people too don’t understand the amount of time and effort it takes to put into an online venture to make it successful. I still meet lots of people that think it’ll take just a couple of months of effort.
In the past – and there are STILL marketing people saying this… one could build a website, get it ranked in Google in a couple months and be selling $5,000 in widgets every month.
All of these marketers telling eager online entrepreneurs they can do this today are lying. There are so many lies flying around. I’m calling “B.S.” to a good percentage of what I hear from internet marketers and successful bloggers that have turned internet marketer to promote some get rich quick with a blog idea.
They’re selling the dream – but the dream is gone. It was gone at least 5 years ago. Reality now is that it’s probably a complete waste of your time to attempt to create a website that gets more than 500 visitors per day on average.
Marketers are still selling that dream because… well, because that’s what they’re selling. They’re telling you that even people with a moderate level of understanding and writing ability can take whatever they’re selling and turn it into traffic gains and sales on any site. It’s an amazing dream and the sales are strong for these types of products even in this economy.
I’m disgusted to see that people with the good intention of bettering their lives and increasing their independence are losing their cash to already successful web personalities with no morals.
The truth is – you probably cannot and will not ever be able to create a website, blog or page that will gain such huge amounts of traffic that you’re able to make anything substantial as a result.
I’m calling it as I see it. That’s the truth. When I say “probably”, I mean 99% of people trying cannot. Will not. It’s beyond them. Maybe it’s beyond you too. Don’t be ashamed to admit it – the game is crazy competitive at this point.
I think it’s foolish to design a site entirely focused on gaining traffic. I want to give you a reality check and I hope I can get you to take a serious look at what you’re doing and make a change in your life today.
If you’ve tried for more than 2 years to create a website that does really well in the search engines, in Digg, in Stumbleupon, whatever it is – and you’re not currently making more than $500 per month from your efforts I want you to take a real good look at all the time you’re wasting.
And I want you to refocus your energy.
Forget about traffic. Forget about SEO. You don’t need it. Really! I’m serious – SEO and gaining rank in Google – unless you’re already there – is not worth your time. You are spending countless hours of unpaid time and more than likely it’s going to waste.
This post is not about negativity – and “I can’t”. It’s about, refocusing on something that is MUCH easier, and has a much higher probability for success than what you’ve been attempting.
Google is no easy nut to crack. Though I’ve cracked it more times than a squirrel at a peanut farm there is no guarantee I’ll continue to have that success forever. Or maybe not even in 6 months. Google is VERY difficult to crack at this point in time. That’s the truth that those selling the dream aren’t telling you. I’ve been doing this for 10 years. I still find it difficult – and it demands constant learning to keep up with changes.
I’m charging people truckloads of money to get them ranked in Google because they find that if they’re not spending a bunch of money to have a professional do it for them – it’s beyond them.
If you don’t want to spend a truckload of money – what in the world are you going to do?
Most self proclaimed experts are telling you that you need to build a site that over time just gains thousands of new visitors daily and this traffic buildup, once it occurs will enable you to sell whatever it is you’re hawking.
This self proclaimed expert is going to tell you the better option. A reality based option.
I’ll be doing a series of posts about alternatives to traditonal high traffic web sites because that goal is unrealistic anymore. Most of you will never reach that goal. It’s time to focus on something more obtainable.
The reality is that very, very few people will gain the kind of traffic to their website they’ll need to make enough money to quit their traditional job.
But, there’s hope!
The positive point of today’s post is that you can still be very successful online. However, you’ve got to go about it in a different way than what you thought.
Traditionally people did (and are doing) this:
- 1st – Think of an idea for a site that will bring a million or more people in a year.
- 2nd – Create this site.
- 3rd – Add Google Adsense or some other ridiculous solution.
- 4th – Market this site.
- 5th – Market more because it’s not successful
- 6th – Market more and more because for some reason you’re not making more than $100 per month.
- 7th – Think, “I must need to build a different site with another focus. My first site wasn’t a good topic.”
- 8th – Revert to 1st step above.
Many people continue this cycle over and over and over… coming up with small successes but not really getting anywhere at all. They might do this for 10 years.
Where are you in the process above?
What you should be doing instead to really maximize your chances for success is this process:
- 1st – Take a look at all your interests, hobbies, things that get you excited. If you aren’t aligned with what you want to do for a business, for a career, you’ll never keep it up. Don’t follow something because it’s profitable… jump into something you’re interested in or don’t jump.
- 2nd – Find a need online that fits that interest. You have to solve a problem or create a better way to do something. There are needs online that are going unmet. What can you find to fix?
- 3rd – Create a product… an e-product that answers that need perfectly.
- 4th – Create one or two web pages that explains everything about your e-product and answers every question possible that a customer would have – primarily – how can this help the customer accomplish something or solve some problem?
- 5th – Market that idea to everyone you can find online – writing emails, leaving comments at blogs that can use your product and offer them a split of profit if they sell it for you. This is called the “Affiliate game”. Sites that sell your product are your affiliates. You are the content producer, content owner, developer, whatever you are. They are the affiliates that already have traffic that took them 3-10 years to create and that would take you the same or longer.
- 6th – Create a website where you explain all about your product, and how website owners can become affiliates for you and sell your products on their sites.
- 7th – Create more e-products that are related to the first and start to build a library of e-products focused around some niche.
The hardest part of doing anything online is getting visitors to arrive at your site. That’s the hardest task and it will remain the hardest thing to accomplish forever. It’s almost impossible now.
Why? The competition. It’s everywhere. It’s world-wide now. China is competing with you now. Israel, Russia, India, Africa all want their piece of the traffic. It used to be that people around the world were just surfing and looking at everything out there – now they are building e-commerce sites and trying to get ranked on English keywords just like you. The competition for Google keywords is getting fierce and will only get worse.
Instead… align yourself with those that are already getting 500+ visitors per day to their sites. There is serious and real potential there. Why? Because there are millions of them! In your niche there are at least dozens, if not hundreds of thousands of these sites that already have traffic that will cost you hundreds and thousands of hours to recreate.
Instead, create an e-product that they can’t ignore and you’ll be living the Otis Redding song, “Dock of the Bay” before you know it.
I didn’t mean to say that it won’t take time. Being realistic about online success is something you must understand.
Forget about any level of success for 2 years.
Seriously. Just put it in your mind that you won’t have success for 2 years. Instead, focus on your e-products. Create them. Revise them. Focus them on your target audience. Constantly ask yourself how you can make the products better and tweak them until they’re selling like hotcakes.
Focus on building your relationship with vendors that will sell your products. Focus on optimizing your product description and answering every question a buyer could possibly have about your product before hitting the “Pay Now” button.
Focus on finding the best affiliate program for your e-product. There are affiliate networks like E-junkie.com, Clickbank.com, Google Affiliate Network and others that can put your products in front of thousands of sites that can pick them off the shelf and, with some code on their site – begin selling your e-products in just minutes after being introduced to them.
Focus on finding the right price point for your product. It might vary wildly. We sold some of my friend’s Thai Food Cooking e-books for $40 before selling them for $10.
Her cookbooks made the same amount of income at $40 as they did at $8. Strange yes? These are things you’ll find out as you optimize your products and sales process over time.
Yes, you should build a website. You should brand that site and your e-products.
The website should almost be a side-effect of the e-products you create… not the other way around.
Re-focus your efforts in this way and more of you will find success. I’m sure of that.
Best of Life!
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(Photo Creative Commons from Flickr user, “laverrue”)