Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:59 pm
Hi to all,
A friend of mine who has watched SBI! develop since the beginning emailed me a few interesting observations about it the other. I'm not sure why(!) but he'e always thought-provoking. And this one, in particular, caught my attention...
I would be curious to know if any of your success stories could map out the key milestones along their journey to the 'tipping point' that were indicators of being on the right track.
And, subsequently, if they could be beacons for people unaccustomed to sustained effort to watch out for so they don’t lose motivation along the way?
It's a really interesting question/observation. The 2nd paragraph is spot-on. Building any business, SBI!-based or not, online or off, isa "sustained effort." It is the OPPOSITE of GetRichQuick or Wix's #ItsThatEasy.
And it's hard for many people to, in fact, SUSTAIN.
After 15 years of doing SBI!, we know that those SBIers who fail get discouraged and give up at a few critical junctures. It's true for all online solopreneurs, but with some differences.
Here are the "danger areas" to watch for, followed by the events that should prove very encouraging. I guess you could almost think of it as pain-gain-pain-gain-pain-gain-... well, you see what I'm getting at.
"Danger" first. We'll call them...
1) failure to choose the right niche (or to spin/slice/dice a niche just right)
SBIers are most likely to give up here than other solo's, for
an obvious reason...
Most folks just get started with a pre-conceived niche and
domain name. It may set them up for a sub-optimal outcome
and carries a greater chance of failure, but at least they
move forward faster, right? )
After all, SBIers have to brainstorm, narrow keywords down,
compare with other possible niche choices, make sure that the
niche monetizes well enough to deliver your goals, etc. At
times, a first choice may fail because it's too big or too
small, or perhaps there's no strong monetization options.
So you have to cycle back and rethink it. It's NOT easy, but
it is do-able... 100% under your control. Nevertheless....
THIS is THE #1 reason for SBIers to give up. It's not even a
factor for most everyone else. That said, we will reap the
It's sad to lose someone for this reason because THIS, of
all the steps, is the part that is 100% under your control.
Just keep it at, getting better at using Brainstorm It! and
at thinking about your niche, until you're sure.
The rest are all "shared" points of failure (i.e. both SBIers and not)...
2) failure to establish a voice and create standout content. Folks who don't read MYCPS! really carefully, who don't work being the best communicators they can be, limit themselves.
3) failure to build your very own "Brand of One" (through your content/voice and social media, etc)
The above two are tricky to realize. Unless you ask for
outside eyes, you may think you're doing fine, even if it's
flopping. Solution? Ask your Personal Network for their
blunt and honest opinions.
SBIers have a better shot at recognizing this and getting it
right because they are acutely aware of these heavily
emphasized concepts. But it's still a good idea to get
fresh, impartial eyes on your content.
4) failure to generate sufficient traffic - waiting for it to start is murder. And closely associated...
5) a drop in traffic - an inevitable event once you do have decent traffic, it's rarely due to Google nowadays (assuming you are following the Action Guide). So the good news is that we're back to the same old answer for this... "just keep working through it." As long as you've got the first 3 right, it will come back. Still...
It can be really discouraging for traffic to come back.
6) failure to monetize sufficiently to reach your goals (whatever those may be). If you did DAY 4 right, this should come when the traffic does. But what if it doesn't?
OK, so those are the main tripping points.
Thinking on these "Tripping Points" led me to "Tipping Points." These events keep you excited and moving forward. But, as I replied to my friend...
There’s no SINGLE tipping point. There are actually several milestones. When they DO happen, they revitalize you, moving your forward in the journey.
Here's where those occur...
1) nailing down the master keyword list = your talking points, organized into tiers. You can see your future site in your mind’s eye. You’ve done your homework, know you’re on the right track.
Getting through DAYS 2 and 3 feels great. You're ready to really get going. The big difference is that you're also prepared.
2) the monetization plan - DAY 4 verifies that your niche is monetizable and HOW you will monetize. You proceed from here with confidence that IF you build the traffic, the dollars will come.
Knowing this is a strong motivator for the days to come.
3) domain choice and registration Completing the domain name is almost magical. It’s like naming your first-born. You now have a baby that you are starting to love.
Then comes a period of doubt. You are creating your first 30 pages. You are seeing little to no traffic. It seems like a lot of work for nothing. You worry until...
4) your first search traffic comes trickling in I still remember being excited by my first visitors to PennyGold (which was a content site, but used “black hat” tricks at the time) and to Nori’s [Domain Private].
"Hey," you think. "This works."
I literally thought that even though I already knew it from our database. But when it's personal, it's totally different. AND uplifting.
That first SMALL trickle is BIG time, because you realize that all you have to do is...
The other "traffic boost" is the month that you notice, after a traffic drop, that it's coming back. Getting used to the fact that traffic is not a straight line upward is as much a sign of personal growth as it is of business success.
There'll be ups and downs. As long as you've done the steps the preceded this correctly, the overall TREND LINE will be up. That's the tipping point that counts.
5) first social media channel getting engagement It feels totally useless to post/tweet/burp/whatever at first. You MUST put out great material even though no one sees or engages.
If anything, it’s more unnerving than waiting for search traffic because it’s immediate. And the immediate response is zero.
Then one does engage, then 5, etc.
I’ve learned a lot in this area, having figured out Nori’s 3 main accounts. FB was easy I basically fired the twit who was doing it for Nori - mediocre does not work. OK, there's more to it than just that...
But seriously, if you put out mediocre content in social, you die painfully. It's better to put the time elsewhere than to waste is on "routine."
Same is true for all the channels. Each has its differences, of course. I did figure out both her Twitter (which had no engagement) and Insta (which had very low following/engagement). They took off, I gave them back to Nori as I get back into SiteSell full-time, and she has blown me away now that she gets it.
I can summarize the "to do" in 2 words, but we're writing up entire AGs for each of these social sites (and Pinterest)...
"Be great." (If that's disappointing, wait for the SMAGs for the DAY by DAY details. )
I needed to actually do it myself because most articles were, for the most part, written for other social media people. We needed to show "real" people in "real" niches - we’ve started work on the SMAGs (Social Media AGs) so we can make social success as replicatable as SBI!’s AG success.
But I digress. Here's the thing...
Doing social is super-lonely at first. But when you see it start to catch, it’s a blast. It's very much a meritocracy and it's do-able. If you're great, you almost don't need to do anything else. You'll catch on.
For everyone else, we'll show you how to build a social presence with the best Social Media channel for you.
6) Finally, making your first dollar. Same reason why it's so exciting - if you can make $1, you can make $2. Then you reach the point when you’re making "only $2K per month," for example, using passive monetization.
So you grow dissatisfied with ads and affiliate income. In a sense, you become more respectful of your traffic (it’s rare for solopreneurs to build traffic to SBIer levels, but we should never take it for granted and waste it!).
So you switch and decide to take back control of your monetization. Nori's income is now is 98% sponsorship and Anguilla Card. Blow up your income with your own products..
i) Sponsors call Nori now, but it was work at first. She’s adding 2 more this week at $1000 per month (both asked HER). After the set up, it’s low-time work.
ii) Your very own product. Totally control your business. No Google rules, no affiliate program can screw you.
THAT is the final evolved milestone. From here, your growth and income is limited only by your willingness to add staff or, at a minimum, outsource.
The positivity of controlling and growing your own income is addicting. From here on in, if you are willing to outsource some of the work, steady growth is in your future.
BIG BOTTOM LINE
For every Tripping Point that brings some to near-despair, there is a Tipping Point that reassures you, invigorates you. You move ahead with new energy.
The biggest Tipping Point (for most, I would guess) is that initial bit of search traffic. It feels like the one that is most out of your hands. But if you've done the first 5 DAYs well and if your content is solid, it truly is under your control.
Seeing the first few visitors is your confirmation of that. It's also your motivation to turn on the blasters and go-go-grow!
Bookmark this post. If you're at a Tripping Point, comes back and read it. You'll get through it. If things are going unbelievably well, though, remember too that the trend line will pull you back to a "median"...
And a steady upward income trend line is more than enough to do well online!
Best of luck (although luck is a factor that you don't need)! 🍀
All the best,
P.S. You thought I'd forgotten to ask? No way...
What do YOU think? Have you seen yourself in any of the above Tipping or Tripping points? Others? Would love to hear your comments!