If you are just getting started with online business, there are certain things you should think about. You know, I believe many people do not fully realize the scope of what is involved with internet marketing. But that is understandable because if you don't know, then you don't know. However that lack of relevant foundation only makes it a lot harder. When you stop and think about it, creating a successful business on the net is quite a challenge for anyone. You have all the normal parts of your work and life to deal with. Then you make time to sit down at your computer and work on this stuff. There is such an incredible amount of information about making money online, starting a home business, etc. Then you know all too well there are so many individual offers and promotions to try this and that. It is extremely easy to get sucked into something that looks just great in the sales copy. Plus, when you are new to this and trying to make your way, a lot of times almost everything looks great! Seriously, if you believe everything you read in every sales letter, then you are setting yourself up for a hard road. You can become easily... so very easily distracted and move from one thing to the next. That happens to far more people than you realize. I asked myself the following question with you in mind... What are the things you really need to learn before starting to move forward with making money online? Honestly, I can write a book answering that one question. But I will try my best to distill the answers into something more manageable for both of us. I will tell you something that may come as a surprise. But just know that the following is based on my own personal experiences and similar beliefs of other highly successful people. The one thing that will either make or break you in business is that which goes on in your head - in your mind. But when you think about it, that statement is true for any other pursuit in life. Your success, as defined by you, will be determined by the collection of beliefs and attitudes that is your psychological make-up. There are two very basic choices people make regarding that point. People either have awareness and are willing to adapt and move forward. Or, they choose against adapting and usually stop moving forward. Perhaps they lack that awareness and therefore will not adapt. But they also may suspect something in their mind is challenging them, yet they ultimately choose to ignore it. The end result is they do not adapt, or address the internal issues, and those internal issues result in full stop of forward momentum. They stop and give up. Ok, let's move into a few important areas involving mind matters. I'll cover just a few of the more important internal challenges that you may or may not discover along the way. It's possible you already have found yourself staring in the face of them. But that's ok if you have. You can learn to adapt and continue moving forward. I'll tell you, personally, that you can gain immensely by recognizing the value of certain mind qualities. The key phrase there for you is, recognizing the value. I'd like you to zero-in on that phrase because doing so can help you, tremendously. It can help if you "allow" it to help you, help yourself. You must recognize the value because doing so will make you more aware of the role they play in business and life. They can propel you to any heights you deem worthy of pursuing. Moving forward... because we are always moving forward each day. Right? One of the most important qualities you must have is the ability to focus on your business. Recognize the value of focusing on what you need to do every day. Any business, on or off line, takes time to build and make profitable. It's kind of funny, in some way, because starting an online business is a lot like starting a relationship with someone. Here's what I mean... You all know this happens because it's a univeral experience. In the beginning we are all high and happy with the relationship. But as time passes, that wonderful excitement changes to something else. It changes to the 'everyday' aspects of normal living. And it is the same with starting a business. You're excited about it and full of hope and optimism. And then... Right! The same thing happens. In time that changes to the everyday routine of doing what you need to do for your business. That is when you need to be able to have "sustained" focus on your business. What else is extremely important? If you do not know where you are going, then how will you know where to go or what to do? That is why you must establish business goals. You can and should make short and long term goals that are "realistic." Be honest with yourself and avoid setting yourself up for failure due to unrealistic goals. I will not mislead you by saying any of this is easy. Starting, building, developing and making a business profitable is not an easy thing to do when you are fresh out of the gate. When you know nothing and are trying to figure out what in the world you need to do. You need to recognize the value of committing yourself to doing what is necessary to become profitable - to succeed. You also need to recognize the value of making sacrifices as you work to become successful. I want you to zero-in on recognizing the value of these things because when you do that, then you will have a deeper understanding. You will naturally lay a foundation for yourself that will prepare you for success in business. There is tremendous power in having awareness and understanding. But the answer to my question also includes the more mechanical aspects of "doing IM." Here is a short list of things that will give you a stronger foundation for moving forward. You can take the following and build on them, add to them and make your skill set more valuable. As a sidebar... if you have the money to outsource everything, then that changes your game a little. But personally, there is great value when you know what is involved with online business building. If you don't know, I could easily sell you something you don't need and overcharge you for it. Right? You won't know the difference at all. That is why you should understand what is going on. Here is a short list of basic IM skills that will serve you very well. 1. Making basic websites and getting a blog up and running. If you can make a basic website, then you will know how to make a landing/squeeze page. Going beyond that, you must know how to do basic edits to sites and blogs. Yes, of course I realize there are templates all over the place. What you do is your choice, but personally I have always believed in the value of being unique (yeah I know this forum and my blog at euserreviews are not unique yet but that's another story lol). If you can make changes, revisions, and edits to sites then you can make them unique. 2. Writing skills and copywriting - arguably one of the most important skills to have in business. I'm not necessarily talking about being a copywriter, but I am talking about "knowing and understanding" the principles behind it. There is a huge basis that involves marketing and human psychology. You must have some knowledge or basic understanding of what is going on in the minds of your market(s). Yes, there is universal human nature. But there are differences among markets and demographic categories. You will become much more effective when you know what is happening, why, and just how you can talk to your market in "their language." You must have the ability to talk to them in their language. If you cannot do that, then you will not be able to establish rapport. There will be no strong or meaningful connection. In short, you are swimming upstream all the way. Learn the basics of copywriting, or do even more in-depth study, because it will serve you well. You will make more money. Study and learn what makes for effective headlines and article titles. They are related and contain similar principles, but they are not the same. You will make more money knowing how to write good ones. Avoid the temptation of 'swiping headlines' from yesteryear that perhaps helped to make someone millions. It's a judgement call. But just know that times, societies, and people are dynamic entities that constantly change. Learn what made those swipe file headlines work so well. Then, apply those principles to your own unique headlines and titles. What are the differences between writing for the offline and online audience? There are huge differences. If you mix them up, then you will be disappointed with your results. You will also benefit from understanding the "typical" online reader. When you know what they tend to do online, plus other characteristics, then you can talk to them better. 3. Market research is hugely important for many reasons. The most important reason is your ability, or willingness, to do accurate market research. It will determine if you make money, or not. You will need to know how to perform good market research when evaluating a niche or any market. "Should I promote this product? Can I make money online with this product or service? Is this a good offer? Will I make money?" All extremely important questions you must answer correctly if you have any shred of hope to make money. I will not pretty-up my comments about that. You must know how to do market research. But it is not merely doing market research. You need to know how to do it; where to do it; how to analyze demographics and know what it all means to you. 4. Another terrible mine field that has slaughtered more people involves keyword research. The most important aspect of this area concerns the different categories of keywords. What I mean is people use different "expressions" with the same product or service name when they search. They search using different terms depending on where they are in the overall "process." There are research oriented keywords, gathering information keywords, comparison shopping keywords, and "I know what I want to buy and I'm ready to buy it" keywords. You know which category is the best one for you to pay attention to. However, if you are making sites that are primarily monetized with contextual ads, not that they are solely for the purpose of making money with contextual ads (TOS hint) - even though they are "only" for making money with contextual ads... then your choice of categories expands. Right? So the buying keywords may become less important in those situations. There are even some markets that contain no buying keywords. There are some markets that do not buy. But they exist online. It all depends on your goals and intent. People have made tremendous amounts of money without directly selling anything. You can make six figures a year and never sell a thing. 5. The last important point in this area concerns your perspective and approach to your markets. Interesting term there - markets, when I'm really talking about people. It's very easy to lose perspective when you're working at home and your view is only the monitor screen. But stay with me because this isn't wishy-washy stuff. This will have a direct bearing on your success, or lack of it. I subscribe to very many email lists, and the truth is at least 95% of them totally miss the mark. Completely and utterly fail. The majority of them are nothing but pitch fests. Immediate sales pitches as soon as I confirm the optin. What a total waste of effort. All of those "marketers" are ignoring the time-tested principles that the entire internet business structure rests upon. Either they ignore it, or (doubtfully) learned it and forgot. If you use email list marketing, then the single most important thing you can do is build a positive relationship with the people on your list. You do that by focusing on them, first. They are in your particular market, and that means they have problems that are unique to that market. So what you do is simply help them with their problems. Give them solutions and information that are valuable to them. That is where your market research will save your day or leave you face down in the dirt. When you focus on their needs by helping them, then you will plant the seeds of trust and credibility. Also consider that people tend to "do things" with people they like. So they will be more likely to "do business" with you if they generally like you. That doesn't mean you have to try and be their best friend. Just help them and avoid any negative feelings by "selling to them." You give them valuable information and engage in "pre-selling," and you let them make their decision. (They will anyway.) But make them feel like they are in control by not selling to them. When your pre-selling is right, it's the smoothest marketing machine you will ever witness. People will want to buy from you, and they will feel like they are in control and "carefully thought it out" and "objectively weighed all relevant points." Fine, that's great. But it is your positive relationship - trust, positive feelings, and credibility - plus your well-crafted pre-selling that sold them in a non-selling manner. Unknown billions have been made by not selling to people. Learn to pre-sell and build relationships. Concluding thoughts: Don't do this if you don't like business. Be extremely careful if making a ton of money is your only goal. That is a fail mode because it is not enough to keep you going and it never will be. That will not have the goods to enable you to get through the times when you really want to quit. You must search for deeper meaning in all you do. Realize and remember you need to have awareness of what's going on within you. What I said earlier about 'mind matters.' You will not change yourself overnight, or anytime soon. But you certainly can cultivate or work on developing successful habits. If you know some of your personal challenges, then do not ignore them. Work on them, know how they can affect you, and keep up the effort to work "with" them. If you work against them, then you are only working against yourself. Inner conflict. What a show stopper that is. 1. Make a plan for what you want to do with short and long term goals. 2. Decide how to get from point A to B. 3. Take action every day no matter how small it is. Do something every single day. In time you will naturally become more productive and will do more. 4. Work on your mind matters and do not be hard on yourself. 5. Be grateful and positive every day. 6. Mistakes will happen. When they do, analyze them and move forward without getting upset. 7. Success is a process and the result of certain habits you build over time. You know tough times happen to all of us. Those times are especially challenging, and it takes a brave and courageous heart to keep moving forward. To keep moving forward when all you want to do is pull the covers over your head. Make your circle small. When you know you have work to do, make your circle small. Only look far enough beyond your nose to see just one thing that needs to be done. Only one thing that you can pick to work on. Write an article; write one paragraph of an article; make a graphic; bookmark a site; choose images for a video - pick one thing and then do it. Then simply do one more thing. Keep repeating that, and the magic that exists in your mind will happen. That is how you keep going when you're frustrated, unhappy, depressed, or whatever is challenging you. Those who attain success in any field of endeavor possess certain mindsets, attitudes, and habits. They are all in common with each other. You most certainly have the ability to build and cultivate the exact same habits and mindset. Thank you for your time.