What Successful Internet Marketers Know (But You Don’t?)

Last week, I shared with you in part one of the series, how a personal consulting client of mine, Tom, was struggling with “analysis paralysis”, and that the fear of doing something wrong in his online business endeavors resulted in him doing nothing. My suggestion was that just starting to do something is often the hardest thing, but it is better than doing nothing. And we really just need to make a start.

Be sure to read part one before continuing to read this article.

The concept that everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and you can learn and modify as you go along, was a big relief for Tom. But it appeared that this was not Tom’s only problem as I was soon to discover from the series of questions he started asking me.

  • Do link wheels work?
  • What will happen in the next Google update?
  • Will [insert name] software still be as effective in the next Google update?
  • Is blog commenting still valuable for backlinks?
  • Does email marketing still work?

When I started talking to Tom about a proper business strategy, I could sense some boredom with his glazed over look. You see to some people a proper business strategy may not sound “sexy” enough. In fact, it may sound too straightforward for some people to think that it is the answer. Tom kept pushing me for “the secret” so I finally gave it to him.

The Secret To Online Business Success

I told Tom to focus on delivering great information, helping people solve their problems and establishing proper relationships with your readers to the point where they really value and respect your opinions. Nothing too fancy. No trickery or exploiting a loophole I found in Google’s algorithm, or a piece of software that “blasts” thousands of blog comments, and no sinister way of convincing people to buy stuff.

And this is the big difference between a business strategy and tactics. A business strategy is the bigger picture of what you want to accomplish with your business. I look at it as the things that never go out of fashion. If you follow the above mentioned business strategy, you don’t need to worry about the latest Google algorithm update, linkwheels or if email marketing is dead. You are building a proper sustainable business. You have a long term strategy and I think a lot of Internet marketers are missing that aspect.

Tactic can be the things you use to accomplish the strategy. They are short term and can chop and change. They can be important, and using good tactics can certainly help, but without the framework of a business strategy they are useless. If you know what is working now, then sure go ahead and employ some of those tactics. Use them knowing very well that you may need to use something else in the future, but that it is just a means to an end of your bigger goal.

It is very easy to get caught up in the next “new thing”. Especially in the Internet marketing space. A lot of “new things” and a lot of products marketed in the Internet marketing space are concerned with tactics. Small little things that may work for a while or push button software that promises thousands of dollars. And I think this lack of strategy is why many people fail in their Internet marketing attempts, a focus or obsession with tactics when there is no bigger framework or business strategy.

A common scenario for many an internet marketer could go something like this:

  • Read about a new tactic that promises the world (what a bargain at $37)
  • Purchase new tactical product
  • Implement new tactic and find out that the results are less than what was promised
  • Give up or get distracted by the next new tactic

Hands up if that sounds familiar?

When I first got involved in Internet marketing, I used to spend a good majority of my time on forums. And while I am an advocate of learning, I must admit it is very easy to get distracted by the next “shiny object” that promises to stuff my pockets full of cash with no effort on my part. And I admit that is how I used to look at my online businesses. Like a “quick cash scheme” type of thing. Not that I ever did anything dishonest, but it was more my mindset towards them, my attitude and energy I put into them.

You would never run an offline business like that. You would always have a strategy and bigger picture goal. But for some reason we may not apply this type of thinking to our online businesses. Everything changed when I started to look at my online efforts as proper businesses. When I decided I wanted to have a more sustainable business model, establish proper relationships with my clients, be a respected “authority” in my reader’s eyes for that certain niche and have repeat customers.

If you put in the effort to buy a domain name, set up a website, write content, create a product or promote someone else’s, and set up an autoresponder series, then why not start looking at your website as a proper business and not some get rich quick scheme? I am not saying you can’t get rich quickly with a proper business, I am just saying why not also aim for some sustainability.

By the end of our consultation I think I may have made some progress with Tom. It took some reassuring that I had not held back any “secrets” to online success though.

The Take Home Message

The two lessons to take away from these past two posts are firstly “get doing”. That may mean buying a domain name to get started on your online business or creating a product to sell online. There is never a better time than now, seriously you have so much to gain and really nothing to lose. Don’t waste another week or even a day wondering, “What if I…?”. Just do it.

And secondly aim big with your online business. Have an idea of exactly what you want it to achieve, set proper business goals and have a proper business strategy in place. With a strong business framework you don’t have to be overly concerned with tactics.

Yaro Starak



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  • I believe that the single most important thing which makes 95% of new online entrepreneurs fail relies in 2 words “information overload”. People are always thirsty for new ways, tips, techniques or tactics to achieve faster success. Well guess what, there isn’t any, because it has been always the same whether online or offline. If you want to achieve success with your blog:
    1- Don’t open your Email inbox (too many distractions and fancy offers) or any other thing that could deviate you from your actual work.
    2- Get a blog up and running.
    3- Start filling it with useful content.
    4- Promote your content using very old school and simple methods (social media, video…etc) or even start promoting it to your inner circle of friends and family.

    After 4 or 5 months of doing just this, you’ll be amazed of the results you’re going to achieve. One final word is that i believe that every person reading this post right now, has all the tactics needed to build a successful business online, so no more distraction and YES more work

    • I totally agree with you, the best way to succeed in any business is hard work and being consistent and of course this apply in online marketing too!

  • You make some great points here. I have not considered taking my personal blog to the next level but with the last update I am now a PR2 which isn’t much but it’s something. So I am starting to look at it a bit more seriously. I am also thinking of making a less random and more targeted. I don’t have so much of a getting things done issue as I have with having to many ideas and not being to organize them.

  • Great post! I’ll definitely bookmark your blog and come back often. I find your post very informative. Thanks for sharing…

  • I try to aim big! I’ve learned that people like doing business with people they like. As long as you can make a genuine effort to connect with people, hopefully they will see it as genuine and possibly choose me over doing business with someone else.

  • This is definitely helpful. I guess sustainability is really the hardest but will definitely pay off if being carefully thought of. And just recently I felt the effect of not being able to sustain what you have started. Now I know now what to do, and thanks to all the bloggers out there like you who unselfishly shares their brilliant ideas.


  • I will agree with Marice that This is definitely helpful. I guess sustainability is really the hardest but will definitely pay off if being carefully thought of.

  • hi Leevi, i thank you for the marvelousspoints you’ve made, its actually what beginners in online marketing go through. you have made a clarification there.

  • Just to add this, I think to be successful at Internet marketing, you must understand the essential secrets of Internet marketing. These secrets can allow you to achieve success by finding the right audience.

  • I agree. You need to have a vision of where you want to be in 1 year and in 5 years and stick to your plan. Build strong relationships with suppliers and customers and be able to adapt to changes when buying and selling and you could be on to a winner.

  • This concept of being a partner is vital. Working with people is much better than one person working for another – being open and honest is key. To gain trust, you must explain why you want to do something, as well as explaining why doing that thing could help the other company.

  • This story was perfect! It helped me a lot. I have a blog and always look for relevant information like this to apply and succeed as well. hugs

  • Being obsessed with goals or merely having great goals will take one nowhere. One should have a clear action plan to systematically execute and progress his/her way to achieve the goal. Only then a taste of success can be experienced.

  • Completely agree with your points.Expert internet marketer knows about market deeply they know the taste of customer and always do experiments.Gonna start link wheel that will really helpful for me.I read more about.It takes long time to be expert in
    this field.

  • jo

    the beginning of any online endevour is always the hardest,because of al lthe link building articel that people read out there.i think the more people read the more onfused they get,and then the more anxious and scared,its a vicious cycle

  • I am totally agree with your 2 mindblowing points -Get Doing and Aim big.

    As I personally have same thought but philosphy behind it is different

    As per me Get Doing means Unless and until you will not do anything how can you achieve or loose something. So without doing experiment of “Get Doing” it impossible to say that we get success or failure. So best thing is “Get Done” and check by yourself.

    And in second point “Aim big” as per me–This it the only way if you want to acheive or fulfill your SMALL AIM as facts and figure say that If You Wish for PLANE you get CAR similarly If you wish for BILLIONS you get MILLIONS. So in order to get CAR and MILLIONS we have to wish, dreams and make our aim bigger than this then only we get fullfill our small aims.

    Am I right?

    Anyway this is all about my MIND and my THOUGHTS. So thanks a lot for this wonderful post with unique way of thinking.

  • Excellent post Leevi – a topic that is often overlooked and taken for granted just because the internet eliminates all barriers to entry. many think they can jump in and out as they please. seems like there ought to be a risk factor such as loss of significant enough capital for one to take things seriously. this always boggled me. thanks again

  • You are spot on Leevi. Thanks for reminding me the best practices. There isn’t any short-cut at all to be successful in an online business. The strategy is as simple as that – Just give high quality content with helpful solutions to people – as simple as that. I was in the same boat as you were initially – hopping from one enticing tactic to another. I wasted a lot of time doing that, with marginal results.

  • I agree with the good points you brought out in this article. In my business I use what I call an Army of Success.. The Golden Knights of Business Success. I would like to share them with you.

    The Army of 15 Soldiers:
    1. Definite Purpose.
    2. Self – Confidence
    3. Iniative & Leadership
    4. Imagination
    5. Enthusiasm
    6. Self – Control
    7. Doing More Than You Are Paid To Do
    8. Pleasing Personality
    9. Habit of Saving
    10. Accurate Thinker
    11. Concentration
    12. CO-Operation
    13. Failure
    14. Tolerance
    15. The Golden Rule

    All efficient armies are well disciplined
    These are the 15 Soldiers of Business Success.
    Employ them well and your business will grow by leaps and bounds.


    • This was the first time I’ve heard of these soldiers. Thanks for sharing this with us Glenn.

  • Thanks to this post, now we know. LOL 🙂 I will be successful one day.

  • Great Information! Thanks for the articles. I agree with your point about the shiny new things…many people are afraid that they are going to miss the “silver bullet” to their marketing. But I always say to evaluate any tool by where you’re at in your business (growth-wise) and what your goals are. Not all tools are designed for all people (for the most part). This process gets easier when you have an overall plan for your business – you have to know what you want to accomplish…what do you want your customer to do? Then, strategize and plan tactics that support the strategy and the goal. When you have a clear idea of this, then it will be easier to walk away from the allure of the next shiny object that hits the market.

  • Information is ADDICTIVE! You take in one lesson which creates a desire for you to be better in another area and then that leads to….well we all get the idea. We should never stop learning new information but this shouldn’t paralyze us from taking action. I was guilty of having paralysis by analysis, but once I found something I was passionate about, I was compelled to take action and I’m always learning new things and re-evaluating the results of my actions along the way.

    I think it’s extremely important to find something you’re passionate about, take some time to learn about it first, and then create a business plan/goals list to start taking action. If you jump into something for the sake of making money online, without really thinking about whether it’s something you want to market, this falls apart pretty easily: less passion = less attachment = less focus. Without focus, there will always be other opportunities that seem “shinier” and more lucrative.

    Very very useful information in your article, Leevi. Thanks so much!

  • J

    Excellent post. I learned a lot. Also, there are a lot of excellent comments. I agree with David. Information overload is something to avoid. It is really hard. I now move emails out of my inbox into a folder I created so, I am not distracted by constant products.

    I also like Glenn Toler’s post. These are great steps.

  • for every successful marketer is essential to follow the up-to-dated info. I thinks this is the top reason for success – knowing the demand

  • I think the biggest hurdle to success, regardless of the business model, is to actually “do it”. I’m sure we all come up with many ideas in our lifetime that we think are great, but actually implementing any of them is the difficult part. So, you’re right, just do it.

    I also think that you have to be completely honest in your goals. You may think you’ll be happy if you meet ‘goal x’ when in reality you want to meet ‘goal y’ to really be contnet.

  • joe

    It’s hard to actually stop talking and just do it.

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