The 10 Master Keys To Internet Wealth

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The 10 Master Keys To Internet Wealth
The 10 Master Keys To Internet Wealth Graphic © Background photo – Pixabay (PD)

What’s on this page is a distillation of some of the most essential concepts I have learned over my 10+ years of internet business. Make a note of these tips/

1. Own Your Own “Real Estate”

People are often able to create small-to-moderate incomes through developing content and a presence on other people’s websites. A few make big fortunes, but in general the rule of thumb is that those who achieve great success online, create their own “virtual real estate” empire as opposed to contributing to someone else’s empire. Would you rather aim to get rich, or merely make a living while you are making someone else rich? Having your own virtual real estate can be like the difference between paying your earnings into the bank and owning the bank. Or if you prefer, the difference between having a slice of pie and owning the pie.

In the grand scheme of things, the greatest internet successes tend to be those who create a “world” of some kind in which others can participate in order to increase their influence, wealth, knowledge or success. The big, successful web sites have found a way to provide opportunity to a large number of people. The nature of the opportunity is of course widely variable but if you can assist others in creating their own mini-empire or expanding their options, you are on the right track towards creating your own maxi-empire. This is what sites such as Facebook, eBay, Plentyoffish, Etsy, Amazon, AirBnb and countless others have achieved.

Can you think of some more examples, and note how the key to their success is their ability to provide solutions to a large number of people? Now what can you do that will benefit the largest possible number of people?

However, don’t be daunted by the scale of the enterprises I mentioned; as the principle of building your own online real estate, rather than just building someone else’s, applies equally to small “web empires” as well as large ones.

The same goes for informational content that you create. If you post your content to other sites, they may attract traffic, but the site’s operator makes the lion’s share, whereas if you own your own real estate you can wake up, turn on my computer, check your stats and see how much money you made on auto-pilot, while you slept.

That’s not to say you cannot utilize other sites. But post the first paragraph there and then a link saying “read the full article” – so you can get the traffic for yourself!

Your own content can also link out profitably. There are many examples of people who have achieved financial success entirely through other sites – for example eBay or Amazon. If you are working this angle, then consider that ongoing, autopilot revenue to these pages might possibly be boosted greatly through having your own related content. In other words, create useful, highly related content on your own turf and then direct the traffic to your eBay or Amazon pages etc. And of course use social media sites to drive traffic to your own pages. Everything should ultimately be coordinated as part of the greater overall strategy.

It is of course also possible to develop your own internet real estate via acquisition, rather than by building everything yourself – and website sales venues such as are always buzzing with activity.

2. Dominate Your Niche. But How?

Here’s a question that gets asked all the time: Which is best, a big or a small niche? The short answer is “neither” – and almost everyone gives the wrong answer to the question because they are looking at it the wrong way. There is a better way of looking at the problem. I will explain. What’s your area of expertise?

It is very difficult indeed to dominate a large niche (typically the large niches are considered to be those that are prominent in the sectors of health, wealth and relationships: Niches such as dating, weight loss, making money online, adult entertainment, credit advice, etc. ) It can take very large investment and possibly years of work to rise to the top in one of these niches – and the “big boys” have several years head start on you. The rewards are great, but are proportional to the difficulty and not many get there. It’s simply too big a beast to take on in one go.

On the other hand, the trouble with small niches is that the amount of money to be made is typically smaller – so that even if you dominate them, you don’t make much money!

To solve this frustrating conundrum, I want to introduce you to two key concepts of empire building.

First is the idea that ‘success is skewed’. What I mean by this is that in any given field, most of the attention goes to the top performer(s). You can be 80% as good in terms of quality as the leaders of the field, and yet get only 2% of the attention. A minority of ‘winners’ take the pie, leaving the crumbs for the rest. This is a widespread phenomenon – in any market, big or small.

The second concept is to think of a larger niche as made up of many smaller niches. It’s the old parable of the bundle of sticks – impossible to break when tied together, but taken apart, they can be broken one by one.

To illustrate how this applies to internet success, let’s say that your area of expertise is dogs, and so this is the obvious choice of niche for you. The problem is, pet care is a huge and established niche dominated by big players – and so you have been stalling, not knowing where or how to start.

The key is to “niche down” until you can get a foothold and then expand outwards. To niche down means to go into a small category of a major niche. So for example, a good approach to the dogs niche might be to start with something like ‘dog collars’ (or perhaps one breed of dog). A much smaller niche; and one that it should be possible to achieve prominence in with some focused effort. If your focus is on training, not products, focus on one particular aspect of training. How to train dogs not to pull on the leash. Conquer this small area first with “the ultimate tutorial”, then expand.

Start small – really small if you have to. Going even more micro, what about “studded dog collars”? Scale down as “micro” as you need to go in order to dominate the topic. Once you have achieved some traction, traffic and revenue in that area, add another micro niche; for example take on “dog bowls” and work on that until you have broken through. You could then focus on other very specific aspects in a similar way. Can you see how even a specific niche such as dog care could be separated into a hundred smaller niches, each of which can be conquered one by one? Each success brings traffic and power which is relevant to all the other aspects of the empire – each successful page will give the others a helping hand. You will have to do your keyword research / headline research (see #6) to figure out what are the key phrases that generate interest in your niche. Then conquer one foot of the territory at a time by being better than the competition.

So the correct answer to the question, in brief, is: Neither big nor small – but to pick the biggest sub-niche you can gain traction in. Then expand sideways. Plan your campaign before you start, and if possible acquire a domain name / develop a brand that can encompass all your subsequent activities in the niche.

3. You Need An Audience

Whether it is building a powerful following on a social network, making videos that go viral, or creating an authoritative web site that builds a great reputation: You don’t get very far unless you stand out from the crowd. It’s a part of human nature not to “stick out” – but this strategy won’t get you very far online.

The fundamental way to build a following or audience is first to be worth following, and then to be visible.

If you provide services, information or products, the best way to stand out is through overwhelmingly high quality. Go big. If the best articles on a subject are weedy, made-in-five-minutes scribbles, pulverize them with a brilliant info-page full of useful knowledge, pictures and the like. What would YOU like to see online? What would impress you enough to share it with your associates and friends? Create that. If you find yourself referring back to your own content when you are seeking answers, you are getting it right.

If you provide entertainment, be entertaining. Turn it up to the max. You know the old saying, “In show business, nothing succeeds like excess.” A famous example was that of a cooking video by a previously unheard-of vegan chef, that got nearly a million youtube views in a week. It was the first video the user had posted and he went from being completely unknown to a virtual star in a matter of days. From zero to nearly a million views in one week. With a vegan recipe. While others carry on with 5,000 views, video after video…

So how, you may ask, was this possible? By excess. Dressed in full “black metal” attire, our chef proceeded to make vegan Pad Thai to a background of thundering drums, slicing guitar chords, growled instructions, exotic knives, black candles and deliberately comical pseudo-mysticism. It was pure theater – and if you could distill the essence out of the word “fun” and bottle it, Black Metal Vegan Chef downed it in one before making his video.

It was hilarious as well as educational; the chef’s crazy enthusiasm for both vegan cuisine and heavy metal, and their strange juxtaposition, was seriously contagious. He had a unique spin and made it work with a flourish. Within days it was picked up by the mainstream media – and the rest is history.

We now live in an age defined by what could be called the “cult of personality”. Even if you are not officially in the entertainment industry, attention-grabbing charisma is often the key to success. Just be sure to combine it with genuine expertise!

4. Avoid Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

“Bright shiny object syndrome”, is a known trait of those new to internet business. Perhaps a little intoxicated by the desire for rapid wealth, they are investing more energy into looking for short cuts than they are in building anything substantial.

The net result of this is that they will leap from one thing to another, trying all kinds of things out, but giving them up too early when it begins to look like too much effort; and not seeing anything through.

It is actually a form of “creative avoidance” – an unconscious habit of the imperfectly trained mind. Here’s the take-away: If you want things to be easy, you have to put the effort in first.

How many half-finished projects do you have? Pick one and stick to it. See things through to the end. Get off the forums, and try finishing one project before moving on to the next one. And if its not worth finishing, don’t start it!

5. Utilize the Power of Free

Much has now been written about the idea of using “free” to make money. Reason being, it can work exceptionally well when done properly. Google, perhaps the most successful online business in the world, provides a large suite of free tools and makes money from the advertising. They focus on going better than the competition, and then giving it away. It’s one of the curious paradoxes of life that the more you can give away for free online, the more you stand a chance of being able to make money while you sleep.

The concept also works on the small scale. Create content that is more useful, more entertaining or more informative than the competition, and give it away. If you can create free content that is of sufficient value, people will start telling people about it. People love to recommend things of particularly high value to their friends and associates. It’s a tribal instinct that isn’t going away. We find the best for our people, and are rewarded with the elevated status of being “someone who finds good things”. There’s a “tipping point” – one at which an item jumps out in terms of being exceptional value or quality, and causes people to share their discovery. This is what causes the “viral effect” and is what you should aim for.

One can see this trait playing itself out endlessly on Facebook every day. People are seized by irresistible impulses to share their favorite discoveries with their peeps. Note that this scenario benefits Facebook more than it does them – because Facebook provided the opportunity for them to do this (see #1) and owns the advertising space that people spend much of their day looking at.

However, it is possible for anyone to take advantage of this trait of human nature and feed people’s desire for things that are both great and free – simply by creating and giving away standout online content.

6. Mastering The Headline / Image Combo

This is a supremely valuable tip. The “combo” of headline and image is what ‘gets the click’ – or doesn’t. Very often, articles and videos that get tens or even hundreds of thousands of shares, have done so because the headline and image compelled many people to click.
The good news for you is that the majority of the hard work has now been done for you – and the data is freely available for you to study and emulate. You really can see what kinds of images and headlines work and this is one area in which I would counsel you not to try to reinvent the wheel.

Simply “do what works”. Always respect copyright of course – you can run into all kinds of problems if you don’t – but there is nothing stopping you taking a “slam dunk” headline, changing one word, finding / licensing a similar image and then making a better article or video.

You then have something which will predictably be highly competitive.

7. SEO and Link Building

The most successful pages in terms of search engine traffic, are typically those which are i) tightly focused around a keyword ii) provide a competitively large body of useful information about that topic and iii) have a large number of high quality incoming links. Think about how many Wikipedia pages top the rankings for their #1 keyword. You could say that Wikipedia pages “niche down” and become the foremost page on a particular topic, which brings in links. Then the pages connect to other pages and help the more difficult keywords to rank.

Keyword-focused pages may also pick up traffic for related phrases, but in general, pages that are built around one tight topic are those which reach the top of Google and the other search engines.

Entire web empires have been built this way. There are large and successful web companies which have been completely built upon keyword research. These seek out longer “question-type” phrases which get enough search traffic, yet are low enough competition, that it is easy to get to the front page of the search engines for that phrase wih minimal link building, and will provide a stream of traffic. The revenue is typically derived from advertising, and the article creation is generally outsourced.

It is perhaps unfortunate that this model has risen to prominence, as the model thrives on creating the maximum volume of articles for the lowest possible cost: Even major newspapers (not mentioning names) have stated that their primary goal is now content volume rather than content quality. This has had an overall negative impact on the quality (and uniqueness) of content available to the seeker online; however it also means that there is opportunity for better material to shine. A higher quality page will not only attract more natural links but will deserve its place in the rankings, leading to less problems in the long run. Rather than a “cut and run” strategy of creating the fastest, cheapest article you can, make it your goal to create the best article in existence on a subject; this strategy means your “content empire” will take longer to develop, but it pays off in the long term – for the simple reason that the vast majority are lazy and so there will not be very great competition. Also bear in mind that search engine algorithms, while not infallible, are ever improving in their ability to weed out garbage pages. The more parasitic you are, the more enemies you make – plain and simple fact.

8. Mind Your Own Business

Did you hear about the guy who put his RV on cruise control and then headed back to the living area to get a drink?

It’s an ultra-common fantasy to have a business that runs itself. It’s the dream of many entrepreneurs to set up a business that will enable them to tune out completely, to cast themselves adrift on the seas of whatever, with no worries at all because they are going to continue to get checks in the mail for evermore. Hey, money while you sleep, right?

While I can’t honestly hold it against anyone for wishing to be on a tropical beach rather than sitting at the computer, the reality is that even in a highly successful business or investment scenario, someone has to have an eye on the road. Otherwise, things start to slip. Money doesn’t completely take care of itself – and there are many who will attest to the experience of having become complacent after a little success, only to discover that things have drifted off course. Don’t be the one sipping the pina colada, oblivious to imminent disaster.

You must mind your business. If you’re not truly passionate about your business, not only will it be hard to motivate others, but you will sag in taking care of essentials – and it’s the essentials that create quality products, continued good service and delineate the bottom line.

A business of any kind will require a certain amount of attention. There’s no such thing as a business you can run while asleep at the wheel. Trust me, I’ve seen this scenario play out time after time. Even in that rare-and-desirable highly automated business that makes money while you sleep, you still have to check in with it. Like a car, you may have cruise control – but you have to keep an eye on the road, the tires, the engine, the fuel gauge… all kinds of things.

9. Everything Has A Rise And A Fall

Remember Myspace? No opportunity will continue to be profitable for ever – and this especially applies online. Even an auto-pilot-income web page has a lifespan before either it is no longer profitable or the competition overtakes it.

Many people who thought they were made for life ended up back where they started because they failed to plan for the future and were not prepared to transition into another profitable venture before the existing one ceased to be profitable.

Making money online can be like flying a hot air balloon. You have to breathe fire into it to get it off the ground – and that typically takes some crazy effort. Once it’s up there however, it will stay airborne by itself – for a while – and the best part of the whole business is when you can turn off the burners and admire the view (and the cash that is rolling in.)
However, just like a hot air balloon, once you turn off the fire, it starts to float down – and sooner or later you need to go back to putting in just as much effort as before.
Once you have had a taste of the “high life”, it can get hard. If you have had a couple of years of big automated income, working just as hard as you did before seems even harder, somehow.

But if you don’t do it… you will come back down to Earth with a bump.

10. Stay Focused

When you are working, work. Work all the time that you work. If you are doing internet business, chances are you will be spending a lot of time sitting at the computer. This makes you vulnerable to a great danger – “time vampires”.

Youtube videos. Facebook. Blogs. Funny pictures. Email. Comments. Messages. The internet is the land of a billion distractions. Each one might eat only a few minutes, but when you add up all the time you spent surfing the ‘great river’ of facebook or being entertained by youtube, it adds up to a colossal amount. As the saying goes – the people that get ahead, do so in the time when others are moving sideways. The same applies to “offline” distractions. What happens when your friends call and want to drag you out for the evening? Do you buckle to the pressure, or do you stay focused.

You’ve got to make sure you get a little rest and relaxation – but winning in business involves sacrifice; and one of the sacrifices is to cut the unnecessary and get on with the important. As the old saying goes, you must spend your time doing the things that are “goal achieving not tension relieving.”

The internet success game is a paradox; in that if you are highly successful, you might achieve the fabled auto-pilot passive income and be able to have a lifestyle of freedom. However, what it takes to get there is usually extreme hard work, sacrifice and effort. Internet success goes to the driven, the ones who can put in long days, day after day. They can stay in working on their materials while others are out partying. So you need a will of iron, a steel determination and an ability to keep driving, resisting the urge to sit back at ease. As someone said, “if you sit back and wait for it to come to you, it will never happen.”

It’s been said before – but is worth considering again: One of the traits of the highly successful is that they are addicted to learning. They don’t stop learning when they get out of college. So take it upon yourself to continue your education for the rest of your life. The greater your expertise, the greater your “chops” in your chosen field, whatever it is. Knowledge is a form of “inner wealth” and one that pays the most excellent return.