Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog

19Mar/11Off

Starting From Scratch: How to Find and Fill Holes

I recently created a new board on my forums at JLForums.com. The purpose of this board is to find out what my readers want me to write about that will help them in their online business.

I've gotten a lot of questions from a lot of people, so there's plenty of material to work from in my future blog posts, but the question that stood out to me the most, that was asked in different ways by different people, was basically this: "If you had to start over again, from scratch, what would you do to earn a living online?"

Let me start my answer to that question by being very specific: I am a software developer, both by trade and in heart. It's what I love and what I'm good at. So, specifically, I would start from scratch by creating software tools that help people in some way. I am particularly fond of software that helps automate processes that people are used to doing manually, so I would probably go in that direction.

You're probably not a software developer (though if you are, let me tell you, there's a lot of room for you in the world of online business). But that doesn't mean you can't follow many of the same basic steps I would take to create and sell a product. The path I would take applies to just about any kind of money-making business -- online or off.

So let me go through the steps, one at a time:

1. Do what you love.

Confucius said, "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." So that's your number one priority. Whether it's creating useful content on a subject you're passionate about, or creating software tools, or fixing cars -- make sure it's something you love to do.

It's true that loving your work will make you happy, and in the long run that's vastly more important than wealth. Would you rather die happy in modest surroundings or die miserable in a palace?

But there's also a practical reason for loving what you do. Simply put, if you love to do it, you'll get really good at it and go the extra mile that usually results in success. You'll think about your work, plan for it, find ways to improve it. You'll do this because it's fun for you and you enjoy it -- but that kind of dedication results in success.

Success is not something that usually happens by accident. Love what you do and you'll seriously improve your odds.

2. Find a hole and fill it.

Once you've discovered your passion, the next step is to research a problem that people are having that your work helps to solve. It doesn't matter if you're creating a completely new concept or product or just improving on what's already been done. Either can result in great success.

Let me use my first successful web site as an example. Way back when I first got started in Internet Marketing, I built a site around something I love -- old time radio shows. At the time there were all kinds of sites that had the odd link to an MP3 file where you could download a show, but there wasn't a good place that categorized and collected all of these disparate links.

I saw the hole and filled it. My site made it easy to find hundreds of shows in a dozen categories all from one easy directory.

Right about that time Google came out with its AdSense program. I saw my opportunity and jumped on it. That site went from earning zero to between five and six hundred dollars a month. All from one site that I had built using a script I wrote to find and index links to these old time radio shows.

You see? It started with things I loved: programming and old time radio shows. I used my two loves to create a product that solved a problem people were having. And I've been doing the same thing ever since.

So how do you find out what problems people are having? In a word, forums! There are discussion forums on virtually every subject imaginable. So find the biggest forums where your passion is discussed, be it old time radio shows, rose gardening or physical fitness.

Forums are full of people posting about the problems they're having. You know the old adage that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"? Or perhaps the one that goes "nobody ever notices when things go right"? They're true!

Most of what you read on forums are from people who are posting about problems. And those people are a goldmine of opportunity. They're telling you exactly what problems need solving, what holes need filling. Create a product that helps solve that problem and you've got a business on your hands.

3. Advertise, and don't be afraid to search for partners.

So you've found what you love to do, you've discovered a problem you can help solve and you've created a product around that discovery. Great! But you won't earn a dime if nobody knows about it.

So the final step in my "from scratch" business plan is to advertise your product. Whether your "product" is just an informational site that you earn advertising revenue from, or whether it's an information product like an ebook or a physical product you ship, you'll need to get the word out.

How do you do that on a shoestring budget? Ask for help while offering value to the person you're asking.

Take my old time radio site for example. There was a site, maintained by an individual, that listed off a bunch of other sites where you could go to find old time radio shows. I used to visit that site frequently, which is what gave me my idea to catalog all of the shows in one place so people wouldn't have to go hunting all over these dozens of sites.

After making sure my own site was the best it could be, I contacted the owner of that directory and asked him to take a look at my site as well. If he thought it was worthwhile, I asked him to include it in his list. He looked at it, liked it, and did so. Would you believe that more than half of my traffic came from the link at that site? The rest came from the search engines.

I gave value to the site owner because my site was worth linking to and made his directory more useful. And in return he gave me a link that drove a lot of traffic to my site. It was a win-win.

When dealing with a product that you sell, rather than an informational site, it can be even easier. If you create a great product that solves a real problem, and if you set yourself up as a vendor at a major retailer like PayDotCom or ClickBank, affiliates will do all of the work for you.

But you have to have a great product that converts well, so it pays to do some real testing in advance of creating your affiliate program. Make sure it will sell first. Otherwise you'll lose the affiliates right out of the gate -- often never to promote your product again.

When dealing with affiliates, you also want to as generous as possible. I won't give less than 50% of the cost of my software to affiliates. They deserve that because they're doing the hard work of promoting. If you have a physical product you might have to give a lot less than that, but if you have a digital product then it just doesn't make sense to be stingy. That, too, will drive away affiliates.

You can still find partners when selling a product, though. Let me give you another example from my early days of making a living online -- the one that really kick-started everything for me.

Back in 2005, there was a way to get your web site indexed called "blog and ping." It was pretty simple: post to a Blogger blog with a link to one of the pages of your web site, and that page would get indexed really fast -- often within 24 hours or less.

Well there was a guy who created a video on how to manually do this. He was selling his video and doing pretty well with it. I sent him an email and said "Hey, I can automate that. If you want to sell it to your list I'll split the profits with you." He was all for it.

I was not prepared for the success of that system. In 2004 I had earned around $60,000. That year I made almost a quarter of a million. All because I saw a hole (the manual blog and ping process was tedious, but effective) and filled it (by automating the process with software).

So don't be afraid to look for partners. Don't be afraid to ask. The worst they can do is ignore you, or maybe write back a nasty email that takes only one click to delete. But it might lead to a very successful joint venture.

Summary

So let's recap. If you're starting from scratch, first find your passion. What is it you would love to do for a living? What are you knowledgeable about and interested in? Then go in search of problems people are having within your area of expertise. Create a product to solve that problem and find people to promote it for you. Be generous to affiliates and don't be afraid to look for partners.

I've continued to repeat this process with all of my tools and have seen success after success because of it. There have been some failures, sure, but I just count those as learning experiences.

Here's to your success!

Please post your thoughts and questions in a comment below.

Related Internet Marketing Q&A

Comments (110) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Great article, Jonathan.

    I have a bunch of your programs. Each is great for what it does. I don’t use them all at the moment, mainly because I am still exploring the capabilities of a few key ones.

    However, as I get to use more of the features I move on to add another.

    And the value is superb. They work flawlessly, do what I want and never give a problem.

    Thank you

    Michael

  2. Fran
    Dragon is now fantastic. I have been using dictation software for more than ten years and the last two versions of Dragon (10.1 and 11) have finally made it worthwhile.

    However, it is far from perfect unless you strike it lucky. Or do what I do: buy from Lunis Orcutt at Knowbrainer.com because he gives fantastic support and has great microphones at good prices. Plus he tests everything and if you have a problem the forums and phone support will sort them out. He recommended a mic that matches my speaking style and it cost less than $100. Accuracy went up dramatically. I pay a little more than buying Dragon from others, but the support is more than worth it.

    If it weren’t for him I would give Dragon a “needs improvement” rating. Nuance’s support is poor, random and inaccurate by comparison.

    All the best
    Michael

  3. I’d heard about the article spinner software for a while and I wasn’t sure if it was really that good or mostly if I needed it. Today I watched the video and found out the name of the creator of the software and that’s how I got to this site. I had no idea i would find so much helpful information here including this article about “Starting from scratch…” Which is kind of my main reason I decided to give IM a shot. I really like doing this and hopefully I’ll be abl to profit well enough out of it. BTW, I ended up buying 2 of his products with this visit today. Thanks a lot Jonathan!

  4. I’m a huge advocate of following your passion as well, so I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said here.

    I actually transitioned into doing something I love 1½ years ago, and it has been a joy. A lot of work, but a lot of bliss as well ;-)

  5. Sometimes we are sort of pushed into our passions due to circumstances beyond our control. But I totally agree, passion can be the motivation needed to get you over the top of the hill so to speak, especially when it comes to some of the more mundane task required in the IM business.

    Your suggestion about not being stingy with affiliates is very true. I just decided not to promote a quality digital product because the commission was 38%. The low commission P’ed me off.

  6. I think you’re actually a really lucky guy that two of your passions aligned to fill such a much needed hole in the market at such an opportune time. I feel like those kinds of situations don’t bop us all on the head in such an obvious way, especially in the online world where it seems like every nook and cranny has been filled with every possible doodad and whatsit you could imagine.

    I think these days working with your passion online either takes oodles of talent or mountains of creativity. Looks like you’ve got a lot both!

  7. Hi Jon

    Nice article on sharing your real experience! Guys and gals, please don’t buy another get rich quick scheme ebook or course.

    Solve other people’s problems — and this will take time and hard work — and make it known that your product/software can solve these problems, and you have a business.

    Nice.
    Welly Mulia

  8. Hi Jonathan,
    I enjoyed the article, but my problem is that I have too many passions and not enough time to give each one the attention it deserves while keeping my day job! And I’m too chicken to retire and just focus on those things I really love – web design, writing, and creating art. Hopefully, one day . . .

  9. Jonathan, spoken with the voice of experience.

    I am not 100% certain I agree with you about doing only what you love. For example, I have sites on subjects I knew virtually nothing about– but I DO love researching niches, building the sites & providing unique content & value to my visitors.

    Your post fills in a lot of specific details on the old “lather, rinse & repeat” adage and outlines a very specific, successful marketing strategy. Thanks for clarifying my thinking. Come to think of it, I guess I DO agree with you on the principle of doing only what I love– researching, building sites & providing unique content.

  10. I wish I had been an Air Force Chaplain. To late, I’m 66 so I’m going to have to do something else. I certainly wrestle with WHAT ! Help for those in debt? Practice living counsel like Zen Habits? I’m at a loss, but then I’ve just started this new journey, so maybe things will sort out after a while. I know better than to be paralyzed by indecision, so a choice must come soon.

  11. One should search out what one can do and apply it to solving wants and needs. At first people may not appreciate what one is doing but if CONTINUED and SUSTAINED, one becomes associated with that “thing”. Gradually, thia same people will refer other to you to help out. You can cahrge a fee to meet their needs and viola! You are in business.

    Secondly, I strongly believe in synergy. Two, three or more people can lift a heavy load easier than one person alone. People should not be afraid to seek for help where their strengths cannot carry them, even if they have to pay for the service, else they suffer untold hardship alone.

    @Jon, Clickbank and Paypal do not accept people from my country and very many people would want to buy online products but are denied. In this case have else can we pay for your products that we desire to buy?

  12. You are right on the money Jonathan, especially with number one; doing what you love the most and have the most knowledge at!

  13. I’m a web developer and trying to build the next “big thing.” As a web programmer, it’s also helpful to have a business sense.

    What if you want to build the next Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc? Do I need to create a business model, diagram, and send them to venture capitalist to fund my project?

  14. Unfortunately no one talks about this and I’m glad you are Jonathan. Here are the facts. You need PPC if you are starting out unless you have a gem of a keyword with little competition and OR you get tens of thousands of page views a month.

    For PPC you need to reach a scale for the market to pay you back. You need a budget of $500-1000 a day to break even. You need clicks that are under a dollar. You need a product that is at least $30 dollars and you need 4% conversions to make a 10-20% ROI. This is a scale that 90% of people aspiring to become internet marketers fail to reach. If you can reach that scale and above, you can make a good living online with your site.

  15. I’m stuck in your 2004 and want to get to your 2005!. I had a guy tell me what you said “Do what you love and the money will follow”.

    I’m a PHP developer and have found focusing on a certain niche is the way to go. Be it shopping carts, content management, or writing plug ins for WordPress, that is the way to go.

  16. I do admire good people like yourself that care what their subscribers think and open up with personal experiences like yours.

    I worked for 43 years for employers, thinking all the time that I was lucky to have a job! The only problem was that although I always had jobs that I enjoyed it meant I was too busy earning a living to make any money!

    Now in retirement I am too busy trying to make money online to supplement my pension that my time is not my own again! Having a skill or a trade that can be utilised in these exciting times is a bonus or at least being young enough to retrain and re-skill and to work on your own business and not in it.

    The internet is the way to go for a work at home lifestyle if one has imagination and is software developer like yourself, having carved out your own niche, I am still searching for mine at age 6… Loss of RAM does not help either!

    Anyway thanks for the Forum access and the emails I always look out for yours, amongst the 600 or so IM emails I get every day pushing products that promise a different lifestyle by lunchtime!

  17. With regards to software development, which model do you feel is best:
    1. Desktop software with online authentication and auto-updating provided via the Internet.
    2. A web-based / ASP model?

    What language(s) and/or platform(s) do you develop in?

    • That really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. I have both desktop and web-based products, because different tools are more suited for each platform. I also have hybrid products that have a desktop interface that works with a back-end server.

      I will say this, though: people seem to value desktop tools more. They “get something” for their money — something they can download and install on their own PC. There’s something psychological about that. But I do quite well with both.

      For desktop development I use Visual Basic.NET, for web-based tools I use PHP with a MySQL back-end database.

  18. That all sounds fine to me, but what I want to know is how do people do without all the distractions because I know it is all there… mainly I discovered that just focus, focus, focus on one main thing and quite buying stuff… maybe in the future when you have your business established would be great, that is just where I stand… plus what your saying is fine and just adding to it.

  19. As my second comment after reading every one, I surely agree about the passion, however, I am somewhat frustrated at the lack of discussion on the current state of many or most internet marketers, especially Clickbank marketing products. The standard is now to lie and exaggerate to fulfill an emotional purchase and deliver nothing like what the pitch claims.

    Jonathon, in my opinion, is an exception, and of integrity.

    Before you think it is just negativity or sour grapes, I have sold millions solely online and brought that company public and a search on my name, if asked, will prove it.

    In todays environment, unless you have a happy buyers list, newbies will be up against prolific untruthfull pitches beyond what one could imagine. This seems to be the accepted standard.

    • This post isn’t really about the current state of (un)truth in internet marketing, so I wouldn’t expect much discussion along those lines. However, you use me as an example of a person with integrity who is an “exception.” My advice to you is to go make yourself an exception too!

  20. Great post Jon! I would add, sometimes by reaching out to help someone else, with nothing more in mind then to be of service, can have a big payoff where you least expect it. I offered to help clean up a web site, make it more readable for its English intended audience and in the process established a friendship with a great foreign-speaking programmer whom can do development work I couldn’t accomplish on my own. In today’s world these sort of transcontinental businesses opportunities are everywhere. And the thing is, you don’t have to have a masters degree in English.. only to be able to speak it and write it better then the person asking for your help!

  21. As many people have pointed out, this information is not new or earth shattering, but I agree with what Stew Kelly said: “However the idea of solving somebody’s problems in an area you love to work in seems to be the obstacle preventing many people from achieving their dreams.”

    This is my problem. As far as I can remember, the only thing I enjoyed was reading. How do I solve someone’s problem with a ‘reading hobby.’ More importantly how would someone make money from such a passion. Some passions (like creating software) lend themselves well to turning into an income, while more obscure passions may have a hard time doing so.

    Right now I’m unemployed, hardly have any food to eat and facing eviction from my apartment, so from where I’m at, any niche that I’m mildly interested in and that can provide me with an income would be welcome.

    I know that money does not buy you happiness, but poverty does not buy you happiness either. Let’s face, no matter what your passions, you still need money to live (unless you inherited some). So if you can’t make a living doing what you love, then you definitely need to look at another niche.

    If someone can show me how to make money from my love of reading, I’m all for it. Anyway Jonathan, thanks for this post. Just so you know I always open and read your emails, but this is the first time I’ve decided to make a comment on your blog, mainly because people keep preaching to “do what you love and the money will follow.” Easier said than done.

    Regards

    • According to the Google Keyword Tool, the phrase “book reviews” gets 301,000 searches per month, and the phrase “book review” gets 1,200,000 searches per month. That’s what I’d call a HUGE market for your passion.

      As for your current circumstances, I have been where you are at — broke, not enough food, unable to pay the rent. I had to make some tough choices, move back in with my father for a while (I was young, 20). But I still dreamed of doing what I love and pursued it until it happened. I hope you can do the same.

    • If you love reading, then I supect you should be able to do some writing based on what you read. You can do book reviews as well. Do find sites that can pay for your skill. Yes, you should do what you love, someday, it will start bringing in the money.

      Dont give up.

  22. I think passion plays a big part in success, but one tends to gain passion also when the money comes in. I think having an interest in a subject also comes into play, because not everyone’s passion will make money. I think Jonathan himself is a great example. I don’t believe as a young boy he dreamed of being a software developer some day, or that it was his passion. Jonathan found a niche and figured out how to develop the software. The money started rolling in and I’m sure he thought “hey, this is pretty cool”, he then had an intense interest in the subject.. The rest is history. To me the real test of a passion is if you had to pick an occupation and not get paid for it what would you choose? I doubt any of us would choose to sit in front of a computer or develop software…Just food for thought.

    • Actually I’ve been writing software since I was 8 years old. I fell in love when my parents bought me a trs-80 from a garage sale. I wrote my first commercial software at 14. It’s always been my passion.

  23. Hey Jonathan…Fabulous article… lots of great content, good points all around and easy-to-follow steps for anyone to master. This is really solid stuff! Thanks

  24. Dear Jon
    I am very passionate about Astrology. Can I make any money with that? How do I start? Thanks. I always read your e-mails. You are brilliant. And I wish I were as smart as you are.

  25. Do you think passion has to be involved with a niche site that you know nothing about but has opportunity? Passion of the actual niche, not the process of creating one and earning an income.

    • If you just love to build sites or are really into seo then the subject matter isn’t as important, but for most people I’d think the subject needs to be the passion.

  26. John,
    Great Article and very informative. With so many Fake Guru’s out there, it’s really good to find some shooting straight from the hip. Mike

  27. The more that You know, The further You will go…..educate Yourself all You can.
    It’s never by accident people like Jon Leger rise to the top of the pile. This is not a race, Learn all you can from decent trustworthy people like Jon. When the student is ready, The teacher will appear.

  28. For me I have the hardest time with step 3. Sure, I do SEO and some article marketing, but I don’t really go out there and promote my site and product. I’m not sure why I’m reluctant doing so.

    I do have a product in CB and it sells okay, but there are not a lot of affiliates promoting … something I think needs changing. Thanks for your post. I like you blog because you talk about what’s working and not working for you. I find it very helpful. Thanks Jonathan

  29. The partner part is what made this post unique for me. I haven’t been focused on that portion of my business but I am going to try my best to overcome my fear of ‘control’ and possibly JV here in the near future.

  30. Jonathan,

    Like most people here I thouht this post was great.

    In your post you mentioned that you would have outsourced your help desk sooner. Amin Motin your HelpDesk Moderator does a great job and quickly responds in a very professional manor.

    BTW….Thanks for filling holes!

    Kim

  31. Loved the post, love your products (have several!). But I’m just curious about one detail – you said to put a product on clickbank, but to test it before you open it to affiliates. How do you test it?

    • One way is to use AdWords to send targeted traffic to your sales page. If you don’t have the budget for that, writing and submitting a bunch of related articles to EzineArticles.com should generate enough traffic via the link in your bio for you to know if your product can sell.

  32. Jonathan , looks like you have some experience :) . Definitely you have to do what you love in order to succeed online mainly because it requires a lot of perseverance. Niches are many out there waiting to get nailed!!.
    but definitely, one thing that you have to know if doing business online is SEO.
    Thanks for the great share.
    BTW your software works really well even in Spanish

  33. Great Post…it was right along the line with my thinking on a Idea for a site and a piece of software that will make things easier for internet marketers.

    Question: I have a idea for a piece of software that would be valuable to internet marketers that are successful with providing great information and products. How would I find someone I could trust to share this with and to see if that person would be interested in either developing the software or get me going in the right direction…I don’t think this piece of software is all that complicated…just something that would benefit the internet marketing crowd..

    Best Regards
    RonnyG

  34. Everybody goes on about passion which makes me think of a football supporter, not kindly I may add! I am getting on a bit (74) but I just love work and business life but the subject is just too wide to be called specialist or a passion. This is probably why I am still working a 10 hour day and dont make any money. Ce La vie

  35. Hello Jon,
    I wondered where you got your start. Thanks.

    I disagree with the adage of do what you love. Most people who are ADD actually avoid doing their favorite things. I believe a large percentage of the online internet marketers are ADD.

    For most people once they start making good money at something they will come to love it. I am more of a believer of follow the money….

    But whatever works.
    Rick

  36. I would work on one website only instead of making thousands which are way to hard to track and follow.

  37. Very thoughtful post John. What you have written here can be applied to online or offline. It can even be applied to ones career. If you you do something that naturally inspires you, is in demand (and you would be surprised that most things do meet this) and you connect well with other people it can help but bring about fulfillment and wealth.

  38. Jon – awesome post. Sometimes we need to just step back and have someone remind us of the “big picture”. There’s so many things to do in Internet Marketing, especially if you’re doing everything yourself, that’s it’s too easy to get caught in the details. Who was the one who said, “Do what you love and make it pay. “

  39. Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom.

    I notice that one person has mentioned that you have provided the ‘same old’ information and that you have not answered the question. In reality, the answer to this question has never changed – it is the mindset of the person wishing to get into this line of business that has always been the one thing that has to change.

    Sometimes we need to be reminded of these things, because we, as humans, tend to forget, and we also tend to make things far more complicated than we have to. At the end of the day, if we follow your example, the majority of people will succeed – it is the doing of things that makes you succeed, not some underlying secret waiting to be discovered.

    Cheers.

    • OFS,

      “it is the doing of things that makes you succeed,” Just in that little quote, you said a mouthful. But I would add …doing specific things. There’s so much out here on the internet (and in life) that takes our attention away from the things we are passionate about that we tend to get sidetracked.
      Often I’ve thought, “This program, software, course etc. will help me develop my “passion” and I’m off on another road away from my passion. That “we” I was talking about in the first paragraph was me. But I don’t think I’m alone in getting sidetracked.

      Kim

  40. This is a universal truth. Find a need and fill it. Since you are a software developer, have you ever considered developing software that Monitors and makes suggestions on what steps to take next on SEO? (a checklist that keeps you on pace for SEO activities?)

  41. Your insights are always so enriching. Yes, without passion all things else will likely to fail over time. And regarding the promoting of items, any idea if I am selling an actual product like costume jewellery, what are the channels I can get affiliates? What are the equivalent sites like ClickBank for actual products to get affiliates?

    Thank you.

  42. So sorry Jonathan,
    what would you do if you had to start again?

    would it be doing what you love – aka software programming?

    how would you do it differently?
    I’m guessing you don’t get much programming time in these days, with marketing, more outsourcing management.

    what would you change?

    do you wish you’d branched more outside of IM?

    OH and let me ask a question lots of people are asking…

    “What do you do if you don’t think there is any maoney in what you love?”
    I hear that a lot!

    • Actually I wouldn’t do very much differently, except that I would have hired somebody to run my support desk much sooner. That was a massive time and stress saver for me.

      Otherwise it’s like the instructions on the shampoo bottle: “rinse and repeat” :D

    • Dear Peter,
      “What do you do if you don’t think there is any money in what you love?”

      I believe what you love doing should continue to be done. If it is cooking or baking, contiue. Even if no one pays you for what you do, as far as it benefits others, someday someone will apprecaite you and say “thank you” or “what a great meal”. Money should not always be a motivator when it comes to doing what you love doing. The motivation should be that you are helping people out with their needs.

      Cheers.

  43. Great post Jonathan.

    People have become convinced there is a magic bullet system out there and if only they could find it, they’d make money online.

    As you pointed out, plenty of opportunity still exists. However the idea of solving somebody’s problems in an area you love to work in seems to be the obstacle preventing many people from achieving their dreams; and that is intriguing.

    I don’t know if it is the education system that destroys our self-confidence and convinced us risk taking is bad (teaching us to conform to get a “job), or our minds have so closed down from the malware socialization in our brains we don’t dare to dream anymore.

    Online discussions from people that have broken through self-imposed limitations and achieved success are important.

  44. Hey great formula….I am interested in adsense. Before the auto partnership, Did you make the $64000 that year with just adsense on your radio show directory?

    • No, I had a (ack!) J-O-B until the fall of that year, and I sold AdSense tracking scripts that I developed due to my success with AdSense on the OTR site and (at that time) AdSense’s dismal lack of decent reporting.

      • Oh, and did you notice that I found a problem (lousy AdSense reporting from Google), solved it (using my programming skills to create the scripts) and then marketed it? Interesting, no? :D

  45. I often get the same requests form others trying to build an online business ans the suggestions that you offer are real and it works. Working with something that you are passionate about is the key to success.
    Cragar

  46. Another brilliant post Jon

    If you’re passionate about what you’re doing then I think that is conveyed to your public.
    One of my passions is horse racing and especially the statistics of the sport.

    Just my thoughts
    Eliot

  47. Thanks as always for an instructive post Jonathan!

    I think a lot of us come to Internet Marketing via the ‘hey I know how to fix this problem’ route, and can often create a great product/service on the back of realizing we have a solution that others would love to have.

    Personally I have found it’s product number two onwards to be the stumbling block, particularly if your ‘passion’ is a ‘one trick pony’…

    That said, I have been making my living for 3 years online now so I’m certainly not complaining, just commenting that rolling out from the initial product was difficult for me.

    Needless to say your software The Best Spinner and Instant Article Wizard have helped enormously.

    All the best,

    Steve

  48. Hey Jon

    Simple and direct, an informative post as usual from you. What you described is what many of us know but actually doing the things to achieve them is the difference between actually doing something with ourselves or complaining that another “guru” is scamming us.

    You’ve always been straight with us and backed up your results with specific tests you’ve performed. It’s up to us to take this information and apply it ourselves which I have done and hopefully everyone else who reads your blog does!

    Anyways, if you can talk more about building a team to support doing what we love…

    Regards,
    Mike

  49. What advice would you give someone who has a great idea for a software tool but dosen’t know how to make software.

    • Hello Dean,

      All you need to do is look for a competent programmer out there with a track record and engage him to write the programme for you. There very good freelance software developers to choose from. This is called outsourceing!

      Cheers.

      Theluvia

  50. Excellent formula for success in the online world, Jon! If you do what you love, you are also more likely to provide real quality and value – exactly what Google is looking for.

  51. Hi Jonathan,

    What a refreshing read :)
    I’ve followed your progress since I came upon you with $7 secrets, and you always seems to have something interesting to say (and software to sell).

    So it was interesting to read about your earlier efforts.

    I hope your post inspires people to “take action” – as that seem to be the missing ingredient for so many I try to help!

    But yes – taking action on things you are passionate about is always easier than having a J O B!

    Here’s hoping you’re still as passionate today as you were back then :)

    Regards
    Randy

  52. Nice points Jonathan! There you have business in nutshell. I would also add following:

    When you do what you love – you know what you are talking about, because you want to be expert in that area. That’s why I couldn’t think to find niche marketing from area/thing I don’t care/know anything about. I think, content wouldn’t be real me

  53. From time to time I lost the will to continue with internet marketing but I’m very thankful to you, because you every time wake up this desire in me to continue and hopefully one day I could leave my daily job.

    Thank you very much!!!

  54. Great post, Very true. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Use what you know and make sure you love doing it.

  55. I thought this was going to be another post about getting into local SEO and FB marketing. hahaha! Enjoyed reading your post Jonathan and thanks so much for creating such wonderful pieces of software. :)

  56. Jonathan, good article :-)

    Probably not what a lot of people were expecting, as the temptation is to want a specific ‘what’ to do – like ‘become a ClickBank affiliate’ or ‘write an ebook’.

    As you have so rightly said, the most important thing is to first find what you would love to be doing, where your true passion lies, rather than just looking at ways to make money and ending up doing something you dislike.

    Thanks.

  57. Hi Jonathan… EXTREMELY well written! I appreciate the time and thought… and passion :-) that you’ve included here. I’ve done quite a bit of writing on these topics, too… especially about following your passion. In fact, passion is a better way to describe this topic, in my opinion. I ‘love’ cooking and ‘anything Victorian’ and ‘classic cars.’ But I have a vivid passion for publishing… from the print world up to Kindle. This is what drives me. So, I understand totally about the pathway you’ve described, and where your starting point would be, to set things up again after a crash in your business.

    Question: Do you allow article reprints on people’s sites? (Like the directories allow.) With a proper bio box of course. I could send some traffic to you, as this article would be so perfect for a site of mine.

    Thanks!
    Leanne

  58. Thanks for an informative blogpost Jon. Well worth the read. The path you described is exactly what i have done with my site. Getting my passion online. I thought – Why not help people online like i do IRL.

    Now im in the process of getting traffic to the site. Thanks for your great tools and programs to make that a whole lot easier.

  59. Dear John,

    Thank you for the lovely post.

    I think one the problem and solution you have identified is do something you like and find how you can feel the hole in that particular niche.

    Alot of people would like to do something according to their interest but they often have very little in sight or ideas on how to monetize or benefit from their passion.

  60. Jon thanks once again for a very motivational post. It is true that when you are passionate you will become dedicated and once you are dedicated then you will be highly focused. For most people they lack the focus to follow through with the things they want to do and I totally believe it’s beacuse they never had a passion for what they were doing. It’s funny how this can be applied to any aspect of your life. Thanks for the post.

    James

  61. Would love to hear from somebody sincere like Jonathan, how to compete with the wild claims by many of the Clickbank or such marketers. I have earned more than a good income on the internet, but just will not lie to make a living.

    Is it just me, or do consumers need to be hyped before they will buy? Conjured up trust and salvation seems to be more important than features and benefits.

    What say you……

    • Lee,

      Unless you have a following (a big list) features and benefits don’t attract buyers. If Jonathan said, “I have a new software that will [add a feature] and you will [add some benefits], I’d have to look at it, just because it was Jonathan. If someone I didn’t know or trust made such a bland statement, I’d probably just wiz by the ad.
      Headlines have to grab the attention of the reader and the copy has to speak to the blissful imagined future when the reader gets the product. Like it or not that’s just – What Is. Anything else is, resisting the raising of the sun…;-)

      Kim

      PS: I feel your pain though. LOL

      • Thx for response. Yes, my fear is that as you say “has to speak to the blissful imagined future when the reader gets the product” is for most the human condition. This is sad, as many marketers, choose to lie to create the “imagined future”.

        35yrs ago as a Radio Shack salesman, they trained that the customer does not care what the “Loudness control” did buy rather how it might improve their image in the eyes of their friends. Maybe I am just a Geek.

        Nonetheless, I did several million in product sales solely on the internet a few years back without exaggeration and lies. Since then, the lies seem to have squeezed out many honest opportunities.

        It also seems this topic is seldom discussed. I was surprised at response. Your the brave one.

        Personally, I choose to resist the “raising of the sun…)

  62. Great post as always, Jonathan!
    I love the way you talk about your own experiences to make a point! :)

  63. You are indeed a good heart and want to care for others. People who are beginners like me feel very helped by the inspiration and your work. It may be true that those who give, it will get larger than what was ever given. Hopefully the internet world is advancing and healthy.

  64. Fantastic post Jon, and thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to do what I love.

    Had you not started Cash-4-Links, I would have never become the writer I am today. You gave me a chance to get into writing and to find out how easy it comes for me.

    I have known that I enjoyed writing for a very long time, but did not realize that I could actually make a living at it.

    Was an accountant for way too many years and could not see a way out before I became a fan of yours..

    Thanks again Jon,

    HoneyJo

  65. Ultimately, the initial steps for starting aren’t that much different whether you have the money or not. If you don’t enjoy what you do and don’t have/produce/serve something that people want/need, you’re doing it wrong. Even if you’re not good at it at first, you’ll find a way to get good at it to make it your career and life’s work.

    Good post Jon.

  66. What you wrote to me to be motivated, I’m still looking for something that is right for me to make as a road that can accept my existence in the online world. I want to exist here, I use your own software to simplify my goal. Thank you for providing some enlightenment in your writing.

  67. Great post Jonathan, and yes… forums will help any online business big time.

  68. Jon,
    Perfect post and some great content on the forum too.

    For sometime now, I have a a thought about a software tool, or call it a process automation if you will, which would incorperate one or two of your existing arsenal, plus a completely new methodology – would you hear me out and talk about it?

    This would help every business with backlinks, the content would be pretty much unique using your the best spinner, and everyone on your list would want to be a part of it – guaranteed!!

    You have my email address – it’s in your hands!

    Best regards
    Darren

  69. Jonathan –

    Well written! There has become so many different “things” that people can do that it’s getting more and more confusing for the new guy.

    When will they learn that it’s not the *things* that make the difference between success and failure – it’s you!

    And that’s what I love about the article above… it starts with the “you” factor and then moves outwards. Nice.

    Paul Barrs
    PaulBarrs.com

  70. Thanks for sharing this very important lesson with us. I have found this advice to be hugely helpful. I would love to have your talents, as providing automation tools is a very much easier road to follow when looking for a hole to fill, rather than not knowing where to look or how to look for something that you will enjoy.

  71. Jon- Kind of disappointed with your answer on this one. I thought maybe you were going to put some meat on the bone and actually answer the question, instead of offering the same old.

    • The problem with getting super specific is that the exact details will vary wildly from one product to another (web site versus software versus info product versus physical product). The principles, however, are the same, and that’s what I endeavored to express in my blog post. I’m sorry it didn’t meet your expectations.

  72. I think it is best for me to make SEO skills just an additional skill, I would go back to programmings.

    Thanks for the inspiring post.

  73. Great post Jonathan! All 3 points are crucial to success! If one is missing it can be very frustrating.

    The most important however like you said is love what you do. This is what will drive you on a daily basis. 8)

  74. Thanks for going into details. I specifically like #3. I remember starting that question in your forum :)

  75. Great post Jon. That’s wonderful advice for everyone wanting to start a business, and it applies to both online & offline businesses. Especially, newbies can avoid a lot of pitfalls if they can just follow this advice.

  76. excellent post. You describe exactly the types of things I love to do (automate things), but alas, a programmer I am not. Regardless, I am passionate about setting up systems and finding ways to make things quicker.

    thanks for sharing.

  77. In just three points, you precisely summarized the right way to success especially in online marketing…an eye opener in the midst of information overload which is victimizing pro and amateur entrepreneurs…thanks a lot!

  78. First thank you for sharing the good news about: In case you were wondering, together we were able to raise $39,375 for the Interurban Railway Museum! They were positively ecstatic! It literally saved them.

    If ever there was a case of Win/Win this is it! I’m thankful for the opportunity you gave us to make such a good buy of products that I really wished to have while achieving such a worthwhile result! It’s great to know that it worked!

    My goal is now is to focus on writing articles for passive income while promoting a couple of blogs too. I still want to get Dragon Speaking to add to my tools and I would appreciate any advice you or a commenter might have on that.

    Fran

  79. Solving problems has always been the way to success but searching them out in forums is something I haven’t done. Along with the many tools I’ve purchased from Jonathan Leger that help greatly in finding a good Niche searching through forums is now on the list of to do items. But, to be honest, I really like “Answer Analyst” for finding problems and answers. :-)

  80. Thanks so much, Its always nice to get some wisdom, instead of a pump of products. I think automation is a great place to start today, and tomorrow only because new sites and new strategies are always coming out.

    I am a firm believer in creating is way more easier than competing. Great post as usual.

  81. I’m not seeing any relevant posts in response to this particular thread. Your question was generic. Spice it up. The problem is that online marketing and those that endeavor to do such really don’t know what they are doing and often quit a couple of months in to their endeavor. I like your software but make one for Mac. That is what you can do. What would I like to see other than the aforementioned? Less vague comments. Let’s all get to the point. This online marketing adventure isn’t that difficult. There is no easy way to do this but it does become difficult to make money for newbies. Most get turned off in the beginning. This is good and bad. I enjoy making money online. I’m not that smart. However, I’ve been studying all of you online marketers and I’m about to slap all of you with some wisdom on how to make money. JL, you rock. Just sayin’….DC

  82. Thanks for your tips. Work seriously and keep passion are definitely important to the success in internet marketing world.

  83. I think finding a niche that I was passionate about working on was key to me. When I first started I was trying adsense in many random niche but their was only one (health) that I really enjoyed writing about. I was able to eventually reach $100 a day mostly because I enjoyed writing in that niche so much. My domain was actually built around a keyword that ended up failing but because I was able to write a lot for that niche my inner pages started ranking and gave me a lot of traffic.

  84. I followed that advise from the start of my business John and as a web marketer I love what I do and even better I get paid for it.

    I see too many people trying to escape their job etc only to create another job for lack of insight and planning.

    If you can do what you love then it will keep you young fit and healthy no matter how many hours you do it.

    Do something you hate and the stress, aggravation and work will kill in you in the first hour. Maybe not physically but emotionally.

    Quentin

  85. Yes good post. Although I have to say there is a lot of deeper knowledge behind what you said. Maybe some specific action steps to help people discover what they love, find an un-met need, and how to recruit partners and affiliates? But all in all, nicely written. Thank you Jonathan.

  86. Hi Jonathan,

    Great article and so true. Thanks for sharing and making it so simple for us to analyze. I know that you are already am aware of it but I just wanted to say it again that the products you have created are all awesome! Thanks again for the great value that you provide in your niche.

  87. agreed with the passion thing. When i first started I was wasting all my time making sites about weight loss and my heart wasn’t really in it. I’ve always wanted to be a gamer blogger. Now My youtube is starting to get a following and my sites are starting to get money.

  88. I’m interested in learning about forums, forum SEO, and how to use forums in combination with a blog to improve Google rankings for the blog.

    Thanks!

  89. Yes, I definitely think that passion is really really important too. :)

    Most people started doing their online business in order to get away from the things that they hate. So there’s no point if you still hate what you’re doing. :P


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