About the Milestones in Internet Marketing:
Internet Marketing is a tough business - I'll say that again - a tough business. But it's also more fun and rewarding than anything else I've ever done in terms of business and/or a career.
I have been having some thoughts today about what the specific milestones in internet marketing are - the different levels of achievement that someone can reach - and I would like to share those here (a couple of days ago I realized that I had reached another one, which was a very cool experience).
1. Making the first dollar - This I think is officially the first milestone (another "sub" milestone could be realizing your first internet traffic). This is when one is very likely to become addicted to IM (internet marketing). I remember this milestone - it was a bit on the thrilling side. =) To the best of my recollection, this happened for me a couple of months after I actually started learning internet marketing the right way.
2. Making the "second dollar" - by this I mean the second sale. Now at this point you know that you're on your way.
3. Making a regular income - gosh, I hate to base this all around money, there are actually more significant steps ahead but this is still a very nice one. It was at this point that I knew for a fact that I could cause the income to grow. As a note, I'm not talking about "big money" here - but a regular inflow of money - some coming in pretty consistently.
4. Getting good at it - I think that the "getting good at internet marketing" step actually comes before someone realizes it, because it always comes prior to making a lot of money. It is at this point that the income starts to steadily increase, but usually someone isn't getting wealthy at this point - unless they're very very lucky. =)
5. Being able to make internet marketing your own - This is a very cool step. It is at this point that you know IM so well that you can "bend the rules" - in other words you know how to treat individual campaigns differently based on their needs - and you can do this because you know how - no need to ask someone for advice or the sequence of various steps that need to be taken. For example: A marketer knows that their campaign on "fuzzy bears" would not do well with a pay per click campaign, but that it would do well with specific types of web pages (let's say Squidoo lenses) because of the particular audience and how the pages could be laid out. The marketer also knew that it would be easy to write articles about "fuzzy bears" because there was a wide number of topics on it, so the campaign would be organic, based around article marketing. As a note, this milestone happened for me only about 6 months ago.
6. Knowing that you know internet marketing - (This is the internet marketing milestone that I just accomplished by the way.) It might not sound too different than #5 above, but it is. The other day I was doing a bit of reading on the subject of "how to put a campaign together with Wordpress sites" from a couple of marketers that I consider to be extremely skilled and knowledgeable. I realized as I was reading that there were actually some errors in a couple of ideas that they put forth as advice - then I realized that I realized it! (lol) At that point I knew that the best person to give me advice was me and that I could completely "trust myself" with any type of campaign and do it right. (This could also be called the "be able to control" milestone - you can completely control the success of your own campaigns.)
7. Unstoppable - This is my next step. At this point in time some of my campaigns are still not up to where they should or could be - but it takes time, and it's coming. When you work the "internet marketing game" right, toward the beginning the income increase is constant and gradual, but if you're optimizing your web pages correctly, handling the campaigns correctly, they do eventually gain a momentum to the point that they sort of "take off" on their own and fly out of the nest.
OK - my thoughts for the day.
If you are reading this and want to achieve these milestones yourself - my best advice to you basically consists of two things:
- Please please please please learn internet marketing the right way. Really learn it as a subject, just like you would study in college or courses and take that knowledge and apply it as you go. And - don't learn it from someone who says that they can get you rich fast selling their product per their instructions - you won't get rich and they won't teach you how to do it for yourself - it will be for them, not you. The best place to learn it online is from Wealthy Affiliate University. That's very important - don't expect success first before knowing the subject.
- Persist - don't give up because you don't see "tons of money rolling into your bank account overnight while you sleep" after the first week - or the first months for that matter. Internet marketing simply does not work that way. You'd better be pretty tenacious (as well as willing to work your butt off) - and if you feel yourself starting to get weak-kneed about it, take a look around the forums for people who are doing well. Stay inspired, keep your goals in mind.
Double pinky promise. =)