I came across this excellent article recently, and since I can not add anything to it, I would like to post this here with the author’s permission.

Written By: Guest Author, Miles Baker

When I first signed up with ClickBank back in 1999 I had no idea I would eventually build a successful online business using its services. I’m sure the founders of ClickBank didn’t realize how large and successful its business platform would become either. Thanks to ClickBank I was able to quit my job over a decade ago and have since worked from home part-time while making more than a typical full-time income. Looking at my experiences over the past 12 years it’s amazing how much I’ve learned and how much has changed. It’s given me some interesting insights and definitely a unique perspective.

I’d like to share with you 12 insights I’ve gained over the past 12 years. Things I wish I had known in the beginning but took time and experience to learn. Leverage my experience and use these insights to guide you as you build your own online business over the next 12 years and beyond!

Perseverance – Overall this has been the most important factor in my online success. If you’re going to succeed online, especially in the long-term, you have to stick with it. You have to try out new things, test out different methods and never give up. I’ve seen too many people give up and quit too soon. When I started out I was determined to make it, nothing was going to stop me from making an income online, and eventually I did. Even to this day I have to continually overcome obstacles, but that’s how you have to view them, and that’s all they are. I like to think of it as climbing a mountain; if you want to get to the top you have to crawl over rocks, take detours, and sometimes head back down the mountain and take another path up. If you want long-term success there’s just no way around it, you must have perseverance.

Think Big – A lot of people online talk about niches and seeking out small, unexploited niches. However, I’ve seen many people go into niches that are too small to replace a full-time income. Although people can and have done well with small niches. In my experience I’ve always been more successful with larger niches. I’ve always had better success when my product, service, or website has appealed to a very large audience.

Always Keep Learning – After you achieve some success online you begin to feel like you know it all. It’s an easy trap to fall into. However, if you can humble yourself and take the attitude that you should always be seeking out new information from others (even if they’re younger or less experienced than you) you’ll continually find yourself learning new things you didn’t know.

Bi-Winning – Why be an affiliate or vendor when you can be both? Like most people, I started out on ClickBank as an affiliate. Eventually I became a vendor too. I learned very quickly that not only do you diversify and stabilize your income by being both an affiliate and vendor, but you can make more money too. Being both an affiliate and vendor allows you to cross promote. You can promote your own products through your affiliate channels and you can promote affiliate products on the back-end of your own products. It also gives you the ability to make money off your competitors! For instance,  whenever I get a refund on one of my products, I email that customer with a list of competitor products.  And yes, they are all affiliate links.

Opportunity for Income– Every page of content, every affiliate link and every ad is an opportunity for income. The more opportunities for income you have, the more money you’ll make. This doesn’t mean you should fill up your blog with as many affiliate links and ads as you can, it means you should create more blogs, more products, more services and more content, etc. Most of these methods are low maintenance once they’re set up, so you should strive to create as many opportunities for income as you can.

Fill in the Gaps – As you create more opportunities for income, you should also be filling in all the gaps for income in your current sales process. If you have a product you should be offering up-sells, setting up cross-sells with other vendors, and offering additional items for sale on your thank-you page. If you’re an affiliate you should be following up with customers that purchase through your site, using auto-responders to follow up with prospects, and up-selling wherever you have the opportunity. Filling in all the gaps was something I neglected for years but once I started doing it my income increased immediately.

Don’t Take it Personally – Early in my Internet marketing career I was very defensive. I would get into long email battles with people I didn’t even know! Looking back it was such a waste of time and my productivity suffered. What I’ve learned is that no matter how good of a job you do, no matter how much you try to help someone, there will always be negative people out there that will tear you down, criticize you, and try to sabotage your success. It’s not worth your time-wasting it on these types of people. Whether someone leaves a nasty comment on your blog, sends you an email rant, or makes rude comments in a forum, just ignore them. Sometimes people are looking for a fight, do yourself a favor by not giving them what they want and don’t take it personally.

Let Others Do the Work– Your only limited resource in your online business is time. The only way to have more time is to do less of something else. There’s no other way. Delegating work through outsourcing or hiring employees will be the only way to eventually grow your business. Start outsourcing anything you can have others do, such as graphic design, blog installation, programming, etc. Outsourcing is cheap, effective, and leverages your time so you can do other things. It may be a struggle for you to delegate work you know you can do best, but it’s something you’ll need to overcome if you want to take your business to its highest potential.

Ditch Your Inner Introvert– Working at home on the computer all day can definitely make you an introvert. One huge mistake I made for years was not reaching out and meeting other Internet marketers. Once I started getting out of my office and going to conferences and events everything changed. I made connections with like-minded marketers, learned more than I had in years, and made fantastic friends as well. Internet marketing is a people business and people are your most valuable resource. Get out from behind the PC and get social, you never know what connections you will make and how it may improve your business and life as well.

Automate – When I first started marketing online I used to email all my customers their download information manually. Yes, each time I made a sale I rushed to send an email to them with their download link as fast as I could. Eventually I discovered automated ways of doing this as well as many other tasks that saved me countless hours. The great power of the Internet lies in being able to let technology do the work for you. Many things can be done automatically, such as backing up your websites, customer follow-up, posting content to you website, and so much more. Whenever you find yourself doing any kind of repetitive task look to see if it can be automated in some way. Chances are it can.

Test For Success – I never ran an official split-test for probably the first 7 or 8 years I was marketing online. Mostly because it wasn’t easy to set up like it is now, but also because I was just lazy. After running numerous split-tests over the last 5 years, I’ve realized I must have left loads of money on the table by not split-testing. Split-testing gives you instant results to improve your website and it will provide you with definitive answers as to which versions to keep and which to get rid of. Just about every successful marketer I know split-tests and it’s available to anyone for free using Google Website Optimizer.

It’s No Secret – When I first started out with ClickBank I was convinced I had to either have some original amazing idea or know some secret marketing technique or loophole to make a lot of money. Eventually I realized none of that was true. You don’t have to promote the perfect ClickBank product, you don’t have to know special affiliate secrets and you don’t need a huge marketing budget to be successful. One thing I’ve seen over and over again is that taking consistent action leads to results and over time leads to success. There’s really no secret. I think Lyle Lovett says it best… “It’s funny, but the biggest secret to success is that those at the top just seem to work the hardest. The reason it’s a secret is because nobody wants to believe it.”

About the Author

Miles Baker has been marketing online since 1997 and has been a ClickBank client for over 12 years. He currently resides in Fort Collins, CO where he runs ClickScoop.com, an up and coming community for ClickBank Vendors and Affiliates.

 

 

 

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