What I Did Without a Plan

Many people ask me how I manage to make money on the internet. Friends only tend to see the success, of course, they are not generally aware of the seven years of continuous effort I put in to get where I am today. The thing is, it looks easy to them when they see the income that comes into my account passively and they look at what I am now doing – which is essentially, blogging – and think that they too would be prepared to write one post per day to get the same return.

The thing is, I did a lot of foundational work before I finally got round to blogging. When I started, I had no real plan, so I just decided to get cracking doing everything I could to get my site noticed. In no particular order, here are some of the things I did to promote my main site:

  • Built my Main Site Using FrontPage/Expressions Web (Not Recommended)
  • Wrote Lots of Quality Articles for the Site
  • Translated them into 12 different Languages (More Pages/little extra work)
  • Joined Adsense/Put it on my Site (Instant Cash – cha-ching!)
  • Put Google Site Search on the Site (Highly Recommended)
  • Tried Some Affiliate Programs (Most were very poor)
  • Tried Adwords (Could not make it work for me)
  • Wrote a Lot of Books (I love writing!)
  • Created my Own Products for Sale (Did I say I love writing?)
  • Created my Own Banners
  • Paid People to Write for Me (Articles & Books)
  • Outsourced Graphic Creation for my Products (Not my Strong Area)
  • Outsourced Voice-Overs for My MP3 Products (Found a Great Guy!)
  • Started an Affiliate Program (Using ClickBank it was Very Easy)
  • Wrote an Affiliate Marketing Course for My Affiliates
  • Bought PLR for Many Other Books (to use as Give-aways)
  • Gave Lots of Them Away for Free (for traffic & links)
  • Gave Master Resale Rights Away to Some (for traffic & links)
  • Sold Master Resale Rights With Others (for traffic & links)
  • Made Some of them Rebrandable (as affiliate tools)
  • Submitted to DMoz Directory (Recommended)
  • Built Links using Article Marketing
  • Built Links using Forum Marketing
  • Built Links using Social Bookmarking
  • Submitted my feeds to RSS Directories
  • Submitted my site to Web Directories
  • Did a Bit of Reciprocal Linking (Not Recommended)
  • Started a Directory of Related Sites
  • Tried some Joint Ventures (Difficult to find Quality Partners)
  • Tried Newsletter Advertising
  • Did a Press Release
  • Tested Various Price Points for My Products (Recommended)
  • Tested Various Product Bundles (Recommended)
  • Tested One Time Offers (I don’t like them & don’t use them now)
  • Tested Up-Selling and Cross-Selling (Not doing it presently)
  • Tried a Few Blog Carnivals (Not great results)
  • Used Various Article Distribution Services (Was not Overly Impressed)
  • Started the Inspiration Newsletter (Good Move!)
  • Created our Free Courses
  • Created my Blog (Another Good Move!)
  • Created my Video Section (Just for Fun)
  • Started My Own Channel on YouTube
  • Created Our Resource Section (Good Move)
  • Started a Forum (Hard Work with Moderation and the Spammers)
  • Forged Strategic Partnerships with Related Quality Sites (Recommended)
  • Studied/Learned Copywriting (Another Good Move!)
  • Created Approx 12 Other Sites just to Try-out My Ideas
  • Created a Blog Network (Again Hard Work with Moderation)
  • Created/Launched the eWriterPro Viral Campaign (Success!)
  • Added Tell a Friend Scripts and Buttons (Recommended)
  • Added Social Sharing Buttons (Little Effort for the Advantage)
  • Submitted to Feedburner (Recommended)
  • Submitted to Technorati (Recommended)
  • Syndicated My Content to various Sites
  • Accepted Every Offer to be Interviewed
  • Accepted Every Offer to Write for Someone Else’s Product
  • Did Some Guest Blogging
  • Stopped Looking for the Magic Key

I may have missed a few things out. Not intentionally, but my memory is not perfect. In addition to the above, I also bought many programs and books online to continually study how to improve my marketing skills and, in the process, I continually honed my approach. In addition, I tried bundling, re-bundling and selling my products in various marketplaces to see which bundles sold best. Along the way, I got taken for a ride and scammed a few times. It was all a part of the learning. I also made some fantastic business contacts and friends too. It has been seven years of solid effort.

What I would say to anyone just starting is that there really is no trick to doing well on the internet. Just create a good quality site that delivers value to your visitors and then get yourself linked into as many quality sites that are relevant to your niche as you can. Keep expanding. Just do it a step at a time and eventually, you will achieve your goals.

Of course, I now finally do have a plan. How I wish I’d had one before I did all of that work ;). The thing is, it is difficult to create a plan when you don’t know the way. That’s the problem with which so many people wrestle at the start. But, in the absence of a plan, at least have a vision and then stay focussed. The key is action. Keep moving. Notice what works and what doesn’t, then do more of what works and drop the things that don’t deliver.

Every day make sure you take a step toward your main goal – best as you can – and in seven years, who knows where you’ll be?

6 thoughts on “What I Did Without a Plan

  1. Will Edwards

    Hi Robin

    All links from outside sources can benefit you, but my advice would be to focus on quality and relevance. If you can build links bearing those two things in mind, either via article marketing or any other strategy, then you are on the right track.

    And good luck,

    Will 🙂

  2. Robin

    Hi Will, I am really impressed with your clean and straight to the point writing and I am really motivated with your blog as I have just started into the area of Internet Marketing and may be after 3, 5 or 10 years I may make few dollars a day and the credit for my future earning will 100% go to you.

    I am not a very good writer, but I love writing in my spare time. As, you have mentioned that article marketing / dsitrubution didn’t work for you. Should I drop submitting articles to article directories? In anticipation of a reply from you.

    Robin.

  3. Will Edwards

    Hi Anish

    Thanks for your kind words about the site. The answer to your question is ‘yes’, though I cannot say when. I fully intend to expand the free books section to at least 10 pages from the current 6, so keep an eye open.

    Best wishes,

    Will 🙂

  4. Anish

    Great website, mate. I love your books! I’ve read them all and found them to be quite motivational. 🙂 Do you plan on releasing new eBooks in the future, by any chance?

  5. Larry Lewis

    What an awesome article. You really have just laid out the plan that you used to build your online business. No flanel, just brief precise points. I found my way from Warrior Forum, where i read an interview you did. Saw you mention one of your achievements was being on google page 1 for personal development. Curiousity set in, i checked my own blog, and on uk version there i am too. I have no idea how, but that has inspired me even more, so thank you.

  6. Mike Saul

    The thing that many people don’t know about plans is that whether they know it or not there is always a plan.

    You either plan by design or plan by default. The former is a structured, well thought out way to attack your business model. The latter is the same as a chicken running around with it’s head cut off. Uh oh, my head is cut off! now what? Let’s run around and go nowhere fast until we finally drop.

    Most everyone is familar with the “90% of all businesses fail” stat, but I read a great article about 8 or so years ago that said if you have a well thought out, WRITTEN business plan, you are 10 times more likely to succeed than someone who doesn’t.

    What’s so strange is that designing a business plan shouldn’t take more than a day at best, so why doesn’t everyone do it?

    Just my 2 cents, and I love the blog.

    Mike

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