[Real-Talk] 19 Things You Need to Do if You Want to Be Successful

19

19-wide

I don’t usually repost stuff.

Actually, I never repost stuff.

But there’s this one short article I stumbled upon at Business Insider that hit a complete home run with me and I knew I had to share it with you guys.

The article’s so true.

It’s so accurate.

It’s so relevant to anyone who’s doing anything that can be considered “business.”

It’s so spot-on if you’re facing any kind of challenge right now.

It’s exactly the kick we need to keep us going and help us achieve great things in our lives.

That being said, the original presentation of the article did suck a bit – guess nothing’s perfect. So if I’m going to repost anything, I want to step the game up a bit and give it some top-notch presentation!

Honest note. If there’s anything you can read this week that’s going to have a significant impact in your life, it’s this.


19 hard things you need to do if you want to be successful

 

(1) you have to  make the call you’re afraid to make

(2) you have to  get up earlier than you want to get up

(3) you have to  give more than you get in return right away

(4) you have to  care more about others than they care about you

(5) you have to  fight when you are injured, bloody, and sore

(6) you have to  feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter

(7) you have to  lead when no one else is following you yet

(8) you have to  invest in yourself even though no one else is

(9) you have to  look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have

(10) you have to  grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off

(11) you have to  deliver results when making excuses is an option

(12) you have to  search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts”

(13) you have to  make mistakes and look like an idiot

(14) you have to  try and fail and try again

(15) you have to  run faster even though you’re out of breath

(16) you have to  be kind to people who have been cruel to you

(17) you have to  meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled

(18) you have to  be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong

(19) you have to  keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you

 

You have to do the hard things

The things that no one else is doing …

The things that scare you …

The things that make you wonder how
much longer you can hold on

 

Those are the things that define you

Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.

The hard things are the easiest things to avoid

to excuse away. to pretend like they don’t apply to you.

The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things
that smarter,
wealthier,
more qualified people
don’t have the courage – or desperation – to do.

Do the hard things.
You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.

(Here’s the source. And let me just say, I’m so jealous it’s not me who came up with this post.)

Please share this list with whoever can benefit from it. They will thank you for it. I honestly believe this.

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[Real-Talk] 19 Things You Need to Do if You Want to Be Successful | NewInternetOrder.com

Hey You! You’ve Lost Control in Your Business. Here’s Why, and What to Do About It

control

So you’ve been working on your online business, testing different things, playing with new methods…overall, just trying to make things go a little better.

Inevitably, however, comes the day when you will start having doubts.

 

Don’t deny it.

YES, YOU WILL EXPERIENCE THIS.

It happens to everyone.

 

Pat Flynn’s recent hit – Let Go – is basically about the path from panic to profits and purpose (his own words).

let-go

Corbett Barr – the creator of Fizzle (and the killer of Think Traffic) – has his own two cents to share about overcome self-doubt too.

fizzle

Almost every big name out there faces this. If it didn’t hit you yet, it will. Sorry for being the bearer of bad news.

I did go through this too, by the way. A number of times. Probably a lot more times I’m comfortable admitting.

 

The thing with doubts is that they are not always that relevant to the reality we’re in. Sometimes, we’re simply worried about things that don’t make sense.

Other times, we’re worried because we don’t feel like we’re in control. We’re worried that we’re only a victim of circumstances and everything we do is kind of reactive or even accidental in nature.

not all worries are real
For example, why are you trying to utilize a certain promotional method in your business at the moment? Is it because it’s part of your overall yearly plan of action or something? Or did you just see it somewhere on the internet and decided to give it a shot? If it’s the former, then cool, you rock! If it’s the latter, then welcome to the party, you’re just like the rest of us…

 
 

The goal: re-gaining control

 
 

Re-gaining control is by far the most important thing on my list for 2014, and I think it should play a role just as strong on yours.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’ve been doing okay, but I feel that taking this to the mysterious next level won’t happen if I’m not in control of my projects and my actions entirely.

So here’s my plan and the approach I’m taking to make it happen. A big part of this is mindset-related, so proceed with caution if you’re more about the direct go-do advice.

 

clock

Taming time

 

Working in the computer era is very confusing and very difficult, even though we don’t have to deal with hard physical labor all day. But maybe that’s exactly the problem…

 

Here’s the deal. If you’re a construction worker then your work and relaxation environments are very separate and distinguishable. Basically, if you’re at a construction site, you’re at work. If you’re sitting in your chair at home, you’re relaxing.

I know this sounds drop-dead basic so far, but bear with me.

Now, when you’re working on a computer, or even worse, the internet is your main work tool then you’re pretty screwed. That’s because distinguishing work from relaxation is virtually impossible.

construction
For example, picture the following two scenarios:

  1. Work. You’re sitting at your desk, looking at your screen, browsing through the admin panel of yourdomain.com and typing a message.
  2. Relaxation. You’re sitting at your desk, looking at your screen, browsing though someone’s profile at facebook.com and typing a message.

These are essentially the same environments. I mean, the difference for your conscious brain is obvious, but for your primal brain, it’s not obvious at all. This small change – the specific website you’re on, makes it really confusing for your brain to determine if you’re at work or trying to relax.

For ages, we’ve only been doing physical work, and our brains got used to that concept. That’s why physical workers have no problems at all relaxing after a day’s worth of hard work. They can switch in a matter of seconds due to the environment change. We cannot.

 

This whole probably a bit boring story brings me to one conclusion. And it’s this:

If we want to tame our work time entirely, which is the first step to re-gaining control, we need to start using our main work tool (our PC or Mac) for work only.
 

This means no relaxation time by your computer. No YouTube, no Facebook, no video games, etc.

And I don’t only mean the obvious, which is avoiding distraction during your work time. I actually mean not using them at all for relaxation purposes.

Once this habit is set for good, our brains will learn, adapt, and eventually let us be in control when we’re working.

So, the big question is what to do when you want to relax with some internet entertainment by your side? Considering my strict rules regarding your work-PC, the only solution I can see is using an entirely different device for relaxation.

For example, if you want to relax, you can take your iPad, or your spouse’s tablet and sit in this nice chair by the window, instead of remaining at your desk.

 

plan

Planning long term

 

The other building block to re-gain control in your online business is getting into the habit of long term planning.

We all know the basics of constructing a plan. What you do is pick a goal, write an outline on how you’re going to achieve it, and then start executing it. But short term planning doesn’t protect you from falling victim to those one-off techniques and methods that you’ll stumble upon on the web almost every day.

 

It’s just that even despite having a good plan, you are likely to find yourself in a situation where you’re chasing after the new cool method that someone has described on a blog somewhere. So the solution I advise for this is practicing the art of long term planning.
Here’s what you do:

  • Focus on handling the tasks that you’ve planned for first, before going after anything new and exciting.
  • Whenever you do come across something interesting, ask yourself if it has the potential to make the execution of your main plan better or faster. If not, then don’t even bother testing the thing out.
  • In general, focus 80% of your time on executing your core plan and handling the tasks specified in it, and only 20% of your time testing new things.

Being on the top of the mountain and knowing every new technique out there is very trendy these days, but try looking at it from an old-school perspective… Let’s take Nike as our example. Do you think that the overall man-hours spent in that huge company is on new technique and idea development, or on simple sneakers-assembly? Since we do have Nike sneakers in the stores all over the world, I guess it’s the latter.

So there you have it. These are my two main methods for re-gaining control. And I really do intend to implement them as soon as possible.

The benefits can be huge. I’m sure of it. No one has ever gotten to the next level by just going through the motions and dealing with their business on a day-to-day reactive basis. The real success is about being in control of your business and your career as a whole.

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Hey You! You’ve Lost Control in Your Business. Here’s Why, and What to Do About It | newInternetOrder.com

9 Minutes of Inspiration That Will Change Your Life

Big title, right? How can I possibly deliver on such a statement?Well today, I bring you Rocky. Or Sylvester Stallone if you prefer to use his real name.

Sly is one of THE action film heroes. He seems to have been around since forever. My entire childhood was filled with his movies. I saw all the Rocky movies, all the Rambo movies, and now I’m enjoying the new Expendables movies probably more than I should.

Sylvester-Stallone

But Sly’s career, like everyone else’s career, had to start somewhere, right? By the time I was old enough to be able to watch movies and have fun doing so, Sly was already a huge star, so I couldn’t experience his story firsthand as it unfolded.Little did I know that Sly is the person with the most inspiring success story in the history of ever.

In short, if you’re a person chasing your dreams…be it online business, music, writing, or any other personal development or professional development project, Sly’s story is something you can relate to – something that will fuel you for months if not years to come.

More than that, it will also keep you going in the time of doubt, regret, and even questioning your purpose in this world.


Here’s my version of the story as told by Tony Robbins during one of his somethings (the original video is around 9 minutes long, hence the title of this post):

Sly and his story

His whole life, Sly knew what he wanted to do. Since he was very very young he wanted to be in the movie business, period.

Not just TV, movies.

His goal was to inspire people and show then what they’re capable of and how to overcome unbelievable obstacles because in his own life, he felt like he did just that.

When he was born, he was pulled out by the forceps, that’s why he looked the way he did, why he talked the way he did.

Sylvester-Stallone-2
I knew why I wanted to do that and I wasn’t gonna settle for anything else. [...] I was trying to get jobs, it didn’t work out really well. They looked at me and said ‘Hey, you’re stupid looking, do something else. There’s no place for you in that stuff, you’re never gonna be a star in the movies. You’re insane, no one’s gonna want someone who looks dopey and talks out the side of their mouth.’

He got “no”
…after “no”
…after “no”
…after “no”

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
I was thrown out more than fifteen hundred times of agents offices in New York.

There aren’t fifteen hundred agent offices in New York.

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I know, but I’ve been there, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 times.

 

One time he visited an office and stayed there until successful. He would not leave. He stayed overnight. The guy came back the next morning and Sly was still sitting there.

The guy said “Fine, come in here” and he sat down and gave Sly his first movie.

 

Well, what character are you playing?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I was in it for about 20 seconds, I was a thug that somebody beat up.

 

He did like three movies like that. Never got anything. Kept going out.

Rejection, rejection, rejection.

He finally realized it wasn’t working. So he changed his approach.

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
I was starving by the way. I couldn’t pay to even have heat in my apartment. My wife was screaming at me every day to get a job.

Why didn’t you?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
Cause I knew that if I got a job, I’d get seduced back and I’d lose my hunger. I knew that the only way I could do this if it was the only choice, as if I’ve burned all other bridges, cause if I got a normal job I’d be caught up in that rhythm and I’d feel okay with my life, so my dream would just gradually disappear. I wanted to keep that hunger, that hunger that I thought was my only advantage.

My wife didn’t understand that at all. We’d have these vicious fights. It was freezing, I was broke, we had no money. So I finally went to the public library one day cause it was warm. I didn’t want to read anything. So I went in, New York Public Library. I was hanging out there and I sat down in this chair and somebody left a book there. I looked at this book and there were poems, Edgar Allan Poe.

I started reading it and I got totally into Edgar Allan Poe so I know everything about him.

poe

He goes on for another 20 minutes telling about Edgar Allan Poe, he knows everything…how he died, what it was about, what really happened, and so on.

 

What did Poe do for you?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
Poe got me out of myself. He got me to think about how I can touch other people, not worry about myself so much… Maybe decide I become a writer.

So I tried to write a bunch of screenplays, nothing worked, nothing worked.

I was totally broke. I didn’t even have 50 bucks.

Finally, I sold a script. It was called Paradise Alley. It was a movie I made many years later but I sold it and I sold it for a hundred bucks. But a hundred bucks is a ton of money, and I was so thrilled. I thought I’m on my way, but it never led me to anything.

I kept going and going and going and so finally, we were so broke… I hocked my wife’s jewelry. That was basically the end of our relationship. She hated my guts so much.

But the story doesn’t end there as Sly continues…

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
The one thing I loved most in the world was my dog. I loved my dog because he gave me unconditional love, unlike my wife.

So, what happened was, we’re so broke that to survive, I couldn’t even feed my dog.

So I went to a liquor store, it was the lowest day of my life, I stood outside the liquor store trying to sell my dog to strangers. I was trying to sell my dog for 50 bucks.

Finally, this one guy negotiated with me and bought my dog from me, my best friend on Earth for 25 dollars. I walked away from there and I cried.

“It was the worst thing that ever happened in my life.”

Sylvester-Stallone-2
Two weeks later, I’m watching a fight between Muhammad Ali and Wepner, this white guy that’s getting bludgeoned, but keeps on coming.

I got an idea.

I…as soon as the fight ended…I started writing. I wrote for 20 straight hours, I did not sleep. I wrote the entire movie in 20 hours straight. Right then, saw the fight, wrote the movie, the whole thing, done. I was shaking at the end, I was so excited, so I really knew, I knew what I wanted, I knew why I wanted it.

So I went out and started to sell it to agents, they all would read it and say ‘You know, this is predictable, this is stupid.’ So I wrote down all the things they said, and I read them the night of the Oscars when we won.

 

The greatest revenge is massive success.

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
I kept going, trying to sell it, trying to sell it, I’m going broke, I’m starving. Finally, I meet these guys, they read it, they believed in the script and loved it. They offered me 125,000 dollars for my script.

Oh my god! You must been out of your mind.

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I was. I said just one thing though,
“Guys, you got the deal based on one thing.”
“What’s that?” They said
“I gotta star in it.” I told them
And they went “bffft.” They said “What are you talking about? You’re a writer.”
“No, I’m an actor.” I said
“No no no, you’re a writer.” They said
“No no no, I’m an actor, that’s my story and I’m Rocky. I gotta play it, you know, I gotta be the head person, I gotta be the starring role.”
“There’s no way we’re going o pay 125,000 dollars, take some no-name, stick you in that, throw our money away. We need a star.” They said

ryan

They wanted to have Ryan O’Neal play Rocky.

Sylvester-Stallone-2
“No way, Ryan doesn’t know Rocky, I’m Rocky. We do this whole thing, right.” They said “Well take it or leave it.” I left the room. I said “If that’s what you believe, you don’t get my script.”

 

Here’s a guy with no money, none, totally broke, offered a hundred twenty-five thousand dollars, more money he’s seen in his lifetime and he walked away.

And he said they called him a few weeks later, even brought him back and offered him a quarter of a million dollars not to star in his own movie. He turned them down, 250,000 dollars. They came back and their final offer was 325,000 dollars. He said “Not without me.”

They finally compromised and they gave him 35,000 dollars and points of the movie. Cause they said “If this is gonna happen, then you’re going to take the risk with us and the bottom line is we don’t think it will work, but at least we won’t spend as much money on you.”

 

What did you do with 35,000? It’s not a quarter of a million, but that’s a lot of money when you don’t have 25 bucks.

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I went to that liquor store for three straight days and hoped the man with my dog frequented the store cause I wanna buy back my dog.

What happened?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
Third day I was there, this guy walks by and I see him and I can’t believe it, there’s my dog. And I looked at him and said “Sir, remember me?” The guy was looking at dog and said “Yeah yeah, I love the dog.” And I said “Look, I was so broke, I was starving, he’s my best friend, I’m sure you love him too but I gotta have him back, please. I beg of you, I’ll pay you a hundred dollars for the dog, I know you gave me 25 but I’ll give you a hundred.”

The man said “Absolutely not, no way, it’s my dog now you can’t buy him back.” I kept pushing. He went 500 dollars for the dog. “-No.” I said “1000 for the dog,” the guy said “No amount of money on Earth is ever gonna get this dog for you.”

What did you do?

Tony
Sylvester-Stallone-2
I knew my outcome, I take massive action and got my dog! I just kept changing my approach until I got him.

What did it cost you?

Tony

 

Sylvester-Stallone-2
“Fifteen thousand dollars and a part in Rocky.”

 

And you know the dog in Rocky, Butkus? That’s Sly’s real dog. So he puts his dog in the movie, and he puts the guy in the movie.

The production of the movie was a million dollars.

 

It ended up grossing 200 million dollars when it was launched.

 

What happens next we all somewhat know. Sly rises to huge international stardom…he becomes the man we know today.

We can do whatever we want, guys.


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9 Minutes of Inspiration That Will Change Your Life | newInternetOrder.com

So … Where Are All The People At?

Here’s an interesting comic strip:

Where Are All The People

So the question is: Are you in the same situation as Richard? Waiting for an audience that isn’t there? Or providing a product that’s simply not attractive to an existing audience?

3 seconds to answer

This is actually a trick question because even if that is the situation you’re in, you’re almost certainly not aware of it.

Unfortunately, only time can tell if that’s the case or not. And I regret to admit that I’m speaking from experience here. I have a track record of releasing things that were nowhere near what the market needed. There was either no market at all or the market that was there wasn’t interested in the products. (This goes back to my web design business -related career.)

The cause of “boiled potatoes” -like failure

(“Boiled potatoes” -like failure … That’s a thing now, by the way.)

In my case, the cause of failures was the initial excitement about the projects. In other words, be very cautious of any situation where you start thinking something along the lines of:

“Wow this thing has to work, I mean, it’s the most brilliant thing ever!”

or

“Why isn’t anyone doing this?! If I get started now, I can take over the whole market!”

…or any other similar excitement-driven thoughts just like these.

Although excitement around anything you’re planning to do is a helpful success factor, oftentimes, it can blind our ability to have an objective opinion. Also, it can exaggerate our expectations and even make an average idea look like a winning lottery ticket.

So, here’s what you can do to avoid the aforementioned “boiled potatoes” -like failure. The following list is a result of some of my soul-searching, research, and current practices. Even though the sub-headlines might look fairly general, I urge you to bear with me and read on as some of the info inside might surprise you.

The power of research

Nothing, I repeat nothing is a more powerful tool/principle when building your online business than the habit of researching before anything else.

When you look at it, the whole thing is actually really simple. Here’s a cheat sheet:

So you have a brilliant new idea? Research if there’s any audience that could be potentially interested in it.

So you think you have a solution to a common problem? Research if there’s anyone who has already solved it.

So you think you know how to write articles with an interesting spin? Research if the crowd is right for this kind of content (something described by Greg in his post on freelance marketing).

So there’s no one doing what you are planning to start doing? Research if there was anyone doing it in the past, and if so, research why they stopped.

So you think you can do a given task better than someone? Research if there’s any actual need for doing the thing better.

Etc. Etc.

In a nutshell, don’t ever base your product/business decisions on your own impression or belief. Research is the tool that will answer every question with raw data.

Stealing ideas and executing them better

lock

I’m one of the few men who believe in stealing ideas and even openly admitting it. And no, this isn’t a clever intro that I’m just about to flip into a pretty standard advice. I really mean it. Steal ideas. Execute them better.

The reason why I don’t feel bad about my attitude is because the ideas themselves don’t matter. It really is the execution that turns an average project into a success.

And we don’t have to look far for examples. The most popular operating system out there – Windows – has been designed with an idea-stealing principle. Almost everything you see in Windows has been initially dreamed by another company/individual. What Microsoft did is took that thing and made it better.

And better is the real keyword here. Simply stealing an idea and executing it in the same manner, or even making it poorer will get you nowhere.

Stealing ideas that already proved to be good (ones that aroused some interest and so on) makes your research much easier. You can look into the current audience, find out what they really need, what they struggle with, and then design your improved solution.

Getting expert advice

Although an idea might seem great after the initial research, it can still turn to be very difficult to execute due to some technological limitations or budget-related ones.

If you just want to start your online business with a good yet cheap to develop product, you really have to get some expert advice on it.

Now, since you’ve done your research at this point, listing some experts by name shouldn’t be a problem. What you should do now is contact them and ask for advice.

Some common worries:

  • Why would anyone pay attention to me? Well, most people, even the brightest and most noble ones, still like to be referred to as experts in a given field. Most of the time you will get an answer if you ask a question from an apprentice-to-expert standpoint.
  • What if they steal my idea? No one will even think about stealing your idea, really. And even if they do, remember that it’s the execution that matters, so they won’t be able to do anything with it anyway.

Sniffing around

This step is about reaching out to influencers and your prospective high-volume users.

In short, what you have to do is some more researching and coming up with a set of contacts that are likely to enjoy the thing you’ll possibly be developing and then ask them some questions.

Mainly, ask them if they’d be interested in a tool/service/______ that would do ______ and help them with _______ for $X/free.

The exact tone of the message is up to you. But, the idea is to get a yes or no and preferably some feedback regarding the possible improvements or the things that those users would really need in relation to your product.

This phase – sniffing around – lets you arrive at the basic structure of your minimum viable product.

Developing a minimum viable product

mini-product

Basically, a minimum viable product is something that takes care of the main need of your average user. Just one need or problem. At this stage, it’s really not about developing something that will be all things to all people.

Personally speaking, not having a minimum viable product was the cause of my early failures.

Therefore, one important thing I want to emphasize here is the following. The minimum viable product is not about something that does one simple thing just for the heck of it. It’s about something that does one simple thing that is essential to your user base. Finding and solving this thing is where success happens.

Once you have this covered, you can build on top of it and end up with something that’s massively valuable to your audience.

There’s quite a lot of info on minimum viable products and their creation on the web already, but I promise to publish something of my own too. This will be a kind of a case study as I’m in the middle of building such a thing myself. I hope we can all learn during the process.

In the meantime, that’s all for now. Feel free to let me know if you ever found yourself in a “boiled potatoes” -like situation.


So … Where Are All The People At? | newInternetOrder.com

How to Write a Blog Post – From Start to Finish, as Shown on This Cut-Out-’N-Keep Blog Post Blueprint

How-to-Write-a-Blog-Post

 
Okay, I don’t intend to pretend that I’m some kind of a blogging guru who’s just gracefully provided the only proper blog post blueprint along with his fail-proof advice on how to write a blog post. Not at all.

This blueprint is just one of the possible approaches for writing blog posts, but it is my favorite one. The reason why I’m sharing it is because I believe it can be helpful to other bloggers too; especially when faced with a writer’s block of any kind.

The one thing the blueprint is not going to help you with, though, is finding a specific idea for your post, this is still on you, sorry. Anyway, without further delay, here’s the blueprint. It’s available in 5 main formats:

mm an infographic,
doc DOC,
odt ODT,
mm MM (FreeMind mind map file),
html WordPress HTML (you can copy it straight into a new post on your blog and take it from there; Text editor, not Visual).

 

Here’s the screenshot of what the whole thing looks like as an infographic:

Blog Post Blueprint

How to use it

Of course, this is up to you, but here are my three favorite ways of using the blueprint:

  • printing out the infographic version and keeping it somewhere next to you for a quick glance when working on a new blog post, or
  • grabbing the WordPress HTML version and importing it into the New Post screen when working on a new blog post, or
  • getting the mind map version, planning a new post there, and then writing it inside WordPress.

When it comes to the writing process itself, start by finding the main idea for the post and take care of the remaining core details:

main-idea

Keep the guidelines in mind when coming up with those. They will help you to craft a nice reader-friendly post in the end.

guidelines

Next, it’s time to brainstorm over a headline and create a rough outline of the post:

headline

When you have this taken care of, it’s time to settle on the introduction for your post. I put that much emphasis on introductions because apart from the headline, the first few paragraphs of the post are crucial for its success, so they should always be your primary focus when learning how to write a blog post.

The tested introductions I encourage you to use are based on the following frameworks:

introduction

Next, it’s your writing time. Keep the aforementioned guidelines in mind when going through the writing process.

write

When you’re done writing, have a look at the set of finishing touch questions. There are no “correct” answers to those questions, but the sole habit of even asking them and then making “some” changes to your post afterwards will make your work noticeably better.

The last step is about preparing your post for publication. First up – optimization:

optimize

This is where you should include some links to your other articles, as well as to other sites on the web. Finally, wherever it makes sense, try to use your main keyword in various places inside the post (in subheadings, ALT tags for images, the text itself, etc.).

edit

Next step – editing. In other words, making your post properly laid out, with good flow and clear transitions between paragraphs. It’s also a good moment to add some images to the post, “youify” it (use the word “you” more), and substitute every “he” or “she” with “they.” This is a trick I use to not make any assumptions about the reader’s gender where it’s not necessary.

proofread

Lastly, proofread. Check your spelling and make sure that you don’t have any silly errors like the wrong use of their/they’re/there. Basically, this is where you make the post readable.

Okay, that’s pretty much it for my advice on how to write a blog post. I hope this blueprint will come handy to you next time you sit in front of a blank screen with your creative hat on and some post writing intent.

By the way, feel free to share this template with your blogging friends or anyone who could benefit from it (this is all under the CC Attribution-ShareAlike license). Every tweet counts! :)

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How to Write a Blog Post – From Start to Finish, as Shown on This Cut-Out-’N-Keep Blog Post Blueprint | newInternetOrder.com

How to Mess Up Your Online Business in Just 7 Simple Steps

puffIt’s funny how easy it is to mess up something that you’ve been building for months or even years. Although maybe funny is not the word I’m looking for… Peculiar – that’s the one!

Anyway, today it’s all about taking a broader look at our businesses and our personal behavior as online entrepreneurs. All this so we don’t have to witness our efforts go down the drain one day.

Quite surprisingly, most of the serious business-related problems are of internal nature rather than a result of some external happenings. In other words, WE are the most common reason of our business’ failure. It’s not the competitors, the market, the audience, or whatever else you might be thinking of.

This list is exactly about these internal problems that lead to the failure of your online business. In short, it’s how we can prevent ourselves from ruining our businesses.

1. Thinking you’re unique

I don’t know who am I stealing this expression from, but one of the most predictable aspects of human nature is that we all think we’re unique. And even more predictable is the fact that when you were reading the previous sentence, you got the impression that it was still about other people because you are truly unique nonetheless.

Well, here’s the thing. We’re all much less unique than we think. And the same thing goes for our businesses.

Chances are that no matter what your business offers, other people already came up with a similar idea in the past. More than that, they are probably still here figuring out how they can outperform you. So, the only way you can succeed is not by thinking how my business idea is going to make me win, but how my execution of the idea is going to make me win.

This is an important mind shift and it actually makes us much more aware of the situation we’re in. Once we abandon the idea of being unique, we can focus on other much more important down-to-earth aspects of running a business.

2. Tomorrow

Time flies. Like hell it does.

Chris Rock – one of the best stand-up comedians of our time (my opinion) said one interesting thing:

“When you have a career, there are not enough hours in a day. But when you have a job, there are too many hours in a day.”

Even though the way he says it still makes it funny, it’s as true as it can be. And the quiet killer in this whole thing is the mindset of doing things “tomorrow.” And I don’t mean that consciously planning things to be done at a later time is bad. No. I mean that treating the practice of postponing things as a way of solving them is nothing but walking on thin ice.

Tomorrow never comes. If you want to get something done, get it done today.

3. Too much focus on education

We obviously need some business education. But the keyword here is “some.”

Information overload really is a plague these days and it’s really REALLY easy to get completely lost in consuming yet another blog, another article, or another e-book. And you do all this without actually taking any action along the way.

This is something I was guilty of doing at the beginning of my career. I felt like a shark in a suit… like I knew everything there is to know about business. The only problem was that I had nothing to back up my “expertise.” I’m quite embarrassed to admit that it took me way too much time to get out of this mindset.

Anyway, in short (catchphrase definition):

Disregard education, take action.

Which brings me to:

4. Pursuing the next big thing

This was my other problem some time ago (damn it, I don’t know what I was thinking back then).

Basically, anyone who’s just getting into business or is experiencing some sort of difficulties in business later on (in general) is very prone to any “magic-bullet solution” that’s being advertised to them. This is a consequence of focusing too much on education. Quite simply, by going after a lot of information every day, you will inevitably stumble upon some magic-bullet solutions sooner or later.

The simplest way of not getting tricked into believing that this particular thing is going to save your business is to ask yourself a question: Does it sound too good to be true? If so, then it most likely is.

5. Acting like you’re a big shot

In any business, no matter what your niche is, you will come across different types of people. There are people who are just starting out, people who already have a position on the market, people who actually are big shots, and a small number of top players – the rock stars.

Now, for some reason, almost anyone who’s somewhere in the middle of their journey thinks that they’re a big shot already (it probably has something to do with the idea of being unique). And sadly, I can see this happening all the time.

Just to give you a simple example, if you’re a little guy, writing to Darren Rowse and asking him to exchange guest posts with you won’t probably play out all that great. Another similar scenario is reaching out to Neil Patel and offering an email marketing cross-promotion.

The thing is, if you’re just starting your pursuit of online business greatness and you want to do something with the big guys, you will have to offer them significantly more than what you’re asking for in return.

6. Disregarding your peers

I wish I knew this earlier, but growing together in a small mastermind group or even with a close business contact is significantly easier than doing it alone. Whatever stage you’re at, find your peers, reach out to them and propose some kind of cooperation that will benefit all of you. Create a syndicate or something, I don’t know.

The idea is that once you are all big shots, you will have a great team to do business together, instead of having to look for new contacts from scratch.

7. Believing; without taking action

Last but not least, I want to tackle this “law of attraction” bullshit. And I don’t even have the energy to elaborate on this. I just have one thing to say, here goes:

If anyone thinks that all they need is to believe in success then it serves them right…

Here’s a better idea, one that actually works: Don’t think. Do.

Okay, I should probably apologize for making this sound a bit negative. But I’m really sad to see people who can’t find any results in online business purely because they spend way too much time researching things, planning things, believing things, learning things, buying things, content-marketing things, thinking about things, postponing things and so on.

As counterintuitive as this might sound, sometimes doing things first and thinking later really is the superior way.


How to Mess Up Your Online Business in Just 7 Simple Steps | newInternetOrder.com

Online Business Battle: Artists vs. Scientists

A while ago, I received an email from a man by the name of Aldo Baker. He was promoting an infographic titled “The Modern Marketer: Part Artist, Part Scientist” and asking me whether I’d be willing to share it with you through my site.

Although 99% of such email gets an automatic “no” or, more often, no answer at all, this one got me thinking. Is online business art or science? Or maybe, a little bit of both?

First of all, let me give credit where credit’s due; here’s the infographic that Aldo wanted me to share (so mission accomplished, Aldo):

artist-scientist

Now let’s answer the main three questions:

  • Are you an artist? Or
  • Are you a scientist?
  • And finally: Which is best?

The concept of twofold nature

Actually, this concept of twofold nature is commonly known in the business world; mostly when we’re dealing with partnerships where two co-founders build a company together.

I think that this happens naturally rather than as a deliberate arrangement. But as it turns out, many partnerships consists of two completely different personas: the creator and the person that gets shit done (or at least tries to get it done).

The creator is the creative mind (duh) of the business. They have a lot of ideas, a lot of new projects on their mind, a lot of new ways to expand the business and so on.

The executor is the person who takes it upon themselves to turn ideas into an actual reality. They are the ones with some kind of methodology, with a productivity system, with tactics and so on.

Such partnerships are often much more effective than one-person businesses. The interesting thing is that venture capitalists seem to have understood this a long time ago. Quite frankly, if you’re looking for some funds, you are more likely to get it if you have a co-founder. As it turns out, it’s a lot easier to succeed if you have two sides of the spectrum of personas covered – the creator and the executor, or in other words, the artist and the scientist.

So, which are you? You must be able to determine your persona especially if you’re running a business on your own.

Are you an artist?

Before I can attempt to tell you which persona is best, let’s list some symptoms of each “condition.” Therefore, you might be an artist if you:

  • focus on what to do,
  • like to list the opportunities,
  • tend to brainstorm hundreds of ideas all at the same time,
  • like to get into every new project on the horizon,
  • like to get into every new promotional method,
  • like to join every new social media site,
  • prefer to act on impulse,
  • like creating new content,
  • enjoy reaching out to new contacts,
  • feel a bit unorganized at some times,
  • prefer to work at different times of the day when you’re in the zone,
  • get a lot of inspiration from regular everyday activities,
  • like to consume content (posts, advice, books, etc.),
  • buy things because you like them.

There’s probably a million more traits like these, but I guess we can stop here and switch to the other persona.

Are you a scientist?

You might be a scientist if you:

  • focus on how to do things,
  • like to execute on one opportunity at a time,
  • tend to break down individual ideas in detail,
  • like to finish projects you’re already a part of before getting into new ones,
  • like to test and examine the promotional methods you have,
  • like to master social media sites one by one,
  • prefer to act based on data,
  • like measuring the efficiency of content,
  • enjoy growing existing relationships,
  • feel too organized at some times,
  • prefer to work on a fixed schedule even if running your own business,
  • get a lot of inspiration from how others do they work (mentors, peer, etc.),
  • like to consume only the content you need for a specific purpose,
  • buy things because you need them.

Do you see the pattern? Even though the artist is not as obvious as sitting in front of a blank canvas and painting some flowers, and the scientist is not the one with the calculator, a clear picture starts to present itself.

To put it simply, artists in business like to think that they can only succeed if they try a thousand of different things and then see what works. Scientists like to get into just a handful of things and perfect them until they bring success.

So, I’m sure that by now you can choose sides…

Which one is it?

For me, I’m the scientist.

Which is best?

I’m really REALLY sorry for giving you this sort of answer because I know that a kitten dies whenever someone says this, but IT DEPENDS.

You see, the kicker is that if you’re 100% scientist or 100% artist, you are doomed to fail.

An artist without at least part scientist will never execute plans as effective as possible. In most cases, they will find themselves jumping from one idea to another until the end of time.

On the other hand, a scientist without at least part artist, will always miss new opportunities and will not be able to move on or kill a project when a better one presents itself.

So what to do, then? Be a Jack of all trades?

The answer is simple (yet not easy). Here goes:

  1. Identify your persona.
  2. Start researching the other persona.
  3. Spend at least 25% of your time doing the things the other persona would do.

For example, since I’m the scientist, I know that I have to review the list of activities for the artist and focus at least 25% of my work time doing things the artist would do.

Now, I have to be honest with you … this is a theoretical concept, but it seems to be an accurate one considering the fact how business partnerships work and how every investor is more likely to work with partnerships rather than solo-preneurs. Also, every business preacher says that business is both art and science, so it kind of makes sense that you should learn how to be both if you want to succeed.

That being said, there’s also the short path – find yourself a counter-persona and make them your business partner (probably a good topic for a separate post).

Anyway, what’s your opinion on this? And most importantly, are you the artist or the scientist?


Online Business Battle: Artists vs. Scientists | newInternetOrder.com

Content Creation – Probably the Most Underrated Skill in Online Business

content

Here’s the thing, there are very few successful online businesses that don’t focus on actively creating and publishing content on their sites. Content is probably THE success factor on the internet these days. If you want to get popular, build your brand, and so on, blah blah, you need content.

And it’s not like I’m discovering a secret here, everybody who’s been around for more than a couple of months knows this.

Also not surprisingly, there’s an awful amount of advice available for people who want to learn about creating content. However, is “advice” really what we need to get off the ground and build our online presence?

In my opinion, single pieces of advice can only help us once we have some pillar or structured knowledge in this area in which we can always include additional information here and there. But when we’re just starting out, there’s not much we can actually do with a cool piece of advice on how to achieve X with our content.

For example, content creation is never as simple as just preparing coffee, sitting in front of your computer, jotting down some lines of text just like that and then hitting the publish button and hoping for the best. I mean, I tried it and it didn’t work. What you need is a lot more thought put into the whole process.

For instance, consider answering the following questions:

  • Why do you even want to publish content?
  • What’s your strategy?
  • Do you have any work methodology?
  • What’s your take on the niche you’re in?
  • Why do you think people would choose tuning in to your content over others?

I know that these questions seem basic. Wherever you look, there’s always someone who tries to tell you that knowing all these is crucial for some reason. And let me tell you that I had my doubts too. So when I first got started with websites and blogs, I decided to simply write about the things I knew without giving it any actual thought regarding the “reason why” and “how” I want to do this. The result was simple: nothing.

Some of my posts got popular, others didn’t, but it never led to anything. Only when I began paying attention to the overall picture is when things started happening.

Not to bore you anymore with my story, let’s get straight down to business.

Currently, I’m creating a number of resource/hub pages on this site – hubs that take one specific skill (or area of expertise) and explain it from start to bottom in an easy-to-grasp way. Today, I’m happy to announce that a new hub for content creation has just been released:

It describes all of the above and takes you through the whole process in a structured manner. Yep, it’s from start to finish. Additionally, just like any other hub on this site, it’s kept up-to-date so you’re free to come back and check for new info.

I welcome you to check it out and let me know what you think. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them here.


Content Creation – Probably the Most Underrated Skill in Online Business | newInternetOrder.com

Leveraging the Obesity Epidemic to Design a Profitable Online Business

clip_image002Hold on, before you go, let me tell you why this might just be the droid post you’re looking for. As you know, this blog is about creating a profitable online business. A couple of days ago I got an email from Matthew offering me a guest post on doing just that in the weight loss niche.

I was probably half way through the post but I already knew that it’s going to be a great addition here. Matthew really knows his stuff and presents a real and well researched stance on weight loss as a great business area for online entrepreneurs. Tune in.

Enter Matthew

What is an epidemic? It’s a disease that has affected a large number of people in a population within a small period of time. When the disease affects almost every individual in the population, then it becomes a pandemic.

Today, obesity is an epidemic predicted to become a pandemic within the next few decades. What does this mean for entrepreneurs like you and I? Well, apart from the fact that, according to the statistics, you who are reading this article are most likely overweight, it also means that obesity has created a huge need for a solution.

And since a need for a solution is what drives the demand for every successful product in the market today, the high obesity occurrence is what gives many weight loss products their current high earnings potential. Is the demand for weight loss products high, indeed?

As you drive through the city where you live, you will see closed businesses, houses for sale, and gas prices that are astronomical and you know people have to be very choosy with their money. However, the amount of money that people are willing to spend on weight loss products steadily increases. Weight loss purchases are more and more every year. Just take a look at the information below and you will see how much of an increase there really is, and how you can take advantage of that to make money.

The War with Weight is Truly a $60 Billion Market

All over the world people are gaining weight. According to the World Health Organization between 2005 and 2015 there will be a continued increase of overweight adults from 1.6 billion to 2.3 billion. In the same period, the number of obese people will grow from 400 million to 700 million, globally.

And with that kind of overweight and obesity rise it is no wonder more and more money is being spent on weight loss. The total amount has surpassed $60 billion annually. This is because obesity causes a host of other diseases (i.e metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, etc.) and therefore the medical expenses for obese people are significantly higher than these of normal weight people.

What is even more astounding to me is that smoking is now second to obesity on the list of preventable death in the United States. Smoking causes cancer – an expensive disease. Yet, obesity is more expensive. The U.S. alone is now spending $190 billion on medical expenses to treat obesity, Reuters reports. This accounts for 21% of US health care costs, according to Cornell statistics. At the rate Americans are going, the cost will increase to $550 billion by 2030, says a CBS News report.

The frenzied growth of obesity in the US is reflected on the fact that while in 2000 there were no states with obesity rates higher than 30%, by 2010 twelve states had obesity rate of 30% or more. Today, 35.7% of American adults are obese. This number will be 42% in just 18 years from now, researchers predict.

So if billions of dollars are being spent on obesity there has to be a way for a person, who sincerely wants to help people become healthier, to capitalize on this money making opportunity in a legitimate and ethical way.

How to Get Your Share of The Pie in the Weight Loss Market

There are many ways one can capitalize on the growing weight loss trend, but in this article I will elaborate only on the one I am most familiar with: Affiliate Marketing. It is one of the fastest ways to make money online today. It’s not the easiest, but it works fast.

This is because as an affiliate marketer you connect with businesses that are already successful. That means you don’t have to create a product yourself. The product and the market are already there for you. In other words, you take advantage of an existing trend – a proven product that sells successfully in a thirsty market.

As an affiliate marketer, not only do you not need to create your own product, you don’t have to market a product either. You don’t have to keep a stock, pay employees, handle shipping, answer phone calls, respond to lawsuits, etc. All this is taken care of by the merchant you are affiliated with.

What’s more, to succeed as an affiliate marketer in the diet niche, you don’t have to be a dietitian or a health professional.  Your job is only to endorse the product. You do need to become a master in SEO, though, so that people will get to see your endorsement and  click on your affiliate links. This is a two-step process.

1. Identify Successful Weight Loss Products

It’s important that you associate yourself with the big players in the diet industry. That is, companies that have a proven record of success. Some of the top weight loss programs are Weight Watchers, Medifast, and Nutrisystem.

These companies have been offering weight loss solutions in the form of diet food (meal delivery, meal replacements), digital products (online weight loss tools) and one-on-one support (advice from dietitians, meetings with other dieters) for over three decades. They have helped millions of people lose weight and keep it off.

You don’t want to associate yourself with fad products. The weight loss industry is notorious for its deceptive, short-lived, magic diet pills and cabbage soup diets that become popular for one year or two before they fall into oblivion.

Stay away from products like Acai Berry – a product that is associated with scientifically unsupported health claims, and diet pills like Hoodia – a supplement proven to be 70% counterfeit. They are destined to live a short life, as the snapshots from Google Trends show below:

clip_image003

The Hoodia Bubble. The photo shows how the number of searches (demand) for the term: “Hoodia diet” changed over the years. It peaked in 2007. Today, the Hoodia market is obsolete.

clip_image004

The Acai Bubble. The photo shows how the number of searches for the term “acai for weight loss” changed over the years. The Amazonian berry appeared all of a sudden in 2009.  The acai diet was a total fad. Today the interest for Acai berry to lose weight is almost extinct.

clip_image005

Weight Watchers – a stable product. The photo shows how the number of searches for the term “Weight Watchers,” changes over the years. The product enjoys a steady demand with only seasonal fluctuations.

2. Create a Website

In your website you will provide information that relates to the products you are affiliated with. Thousands of people query Google every day to find information about fitness and diet products. I will give you an example. In my website, I have two pages were I review the Weight Watchers program and the Nutrisystem meal plan.

Here are some keyword phrases that people type on Google before they land on these two pages of my site, based on my Google Analytics account:

  • Does Weight Watchers work for men, too?
  • How much will I lose on Weight Watchers
  • How does Nutrisystem work?
  • How does Nutrisystem compare to Weight Watchers?

All you need to do is align yourself with the well-known weight loss programs. People needing answers to their questions about weight loss go online every day. There will be questions as basic as “how do I lose weight” to more focused “did Weight Watchers work for you” to “if I take Solo Slim will my tongue go numb.” Every question and the way you handle it is vital. People trying to lose weight will spend their money on something they feel has the potential to work for them.

In my website, I try to answer all questions that people might have about the merchants I am affiliated with. My goal is to be as objective as I can. If a product has a disadvantage, I make sure I mention this so that the reader will be informed. If your intention is to help people make an informed decision, your effort will be appreciated. People will trust your opinion and they will rely greatly on you for choosing the product that suits them best.

The more questions you sincerely answer, the better. You can use Google’s Keyword Tool to find potential topics people are interested in or you can use common sense. For example, I recently published in my site a real testimony of Jackie, a lady who lost weight on Weight Watchers. I did that simply because I know that potential customers want to read other people’s experiences before they decide on a certain weight loss program.

For every merchant you are affiliated with, here is some information you need to provide in your website:

  • Describe the product in detail, its history, why it has been created, who is it best for, what it can do for your readers. Break down how the programs works. Does the program incorporate shakes, or real meals? Does the program include going to meetings?
  • Compare your merchant’s product to other similar products. In what ways is the product you are featuring better than others in the industry?
  • Put yourself in your visitor’s position and understand what concerns you would have if you were looking for a solution to your weight loss problem. How would you feel? People often want to avoid spending time researching a product. They want somebody who will tell them what to do, believe it or not. This is where you come in answering their questions, explaining to them the benefits of the product, the various options, the pros and cons.
  • Are there any scientific studies that support the effectiveness of the particular diet pill or weight loss plan? Are there any side effects? Is the product appropriate and safe for a specific class of people (vegetarians, diabetics, etc.).
  • People love to hear real life success stories about a product they are thinking of spending money on. Put together reviews on the products you are endorsing showing potential customers the great (or not so great) experiences others have had using those products.

The weight loss industry is booming and with it the opportunity to make money online. Your goal is to help people identify what you honestly believe works. If you have tried the product yourself and has worked for you, then all the better. Give your readers the information they are looking for so that they will make an intelligent decision. You will be rewarded with affiliate commissions.

The weight loss market wave is strong and still far from the hitting the shore.  The question is, are you willing to ride it?

About the author: Matthew Denos is an internet entrepreneur who studies the weight loss market, its profitability, and the opportunities it offers to open minded webpreneurs.


Leveraging the Obesity Epidemic to Design a Profitable Online Business | newInternetOrder.com