The internet marketing lifestyle is one that millions of people would kill for, yet very few actually achieve. Working from home, creating your own schedule, pouring out creative energy to build your empire, and doing things as a renegade who sticks it to conventional society… these are ideals that create a romanticized notion of how online marketers do business and live.

The truth of the matter is that:

  • most people who turn to the internet to make money will give up within about 3 months
  • most people lose more money than they make when they try to work from home (investing in programs, trainings, coaching, and various opportunities)
  • most people quit because they are totally overwhelmed and flabbergasted by how much vast internet marketing actually is and how much there is to learn

Just about every internet entrepreneur I have known has had to face some serious inner doubt that they have what it takes to make it ‘being their own boss.’ Being an online entrepreneur is a groundless path-nobody telling you what to do (we all strive for this, but many find this to be very challenging if they aren’t naturally self-directed), no stable paycheck, no set schedule, and so on.

Inevitably the question arises, ‘What is the best way to grow my online business?’  So many online marketers get that feeling like they are drinking out of a firehose; there is too much information to absorb, too many details to implement, too many viewpoints to assimilate.

I, for one, have always been a quick learner.  I never had to try that hard in school.  I could absorb information easily and I have a natural ability to read about twice as fast as the average person.  But even with these abilities, I have been totally humbled by how much there is to learn about online marketing.  Every day, my skills and knowledge grow… and I don’t ever see this coming to an end.

The most important point when you are starting out is to dig one hole deeply.  It is so easy to try and learn it all:  copywriting, landing pages, opt in forms, twitter, facebook, squidoo, article marketing, PPC, video marketing, autoresponders, affiliate marketing, social bookmarking, blogging, ebooks, membership programs, hub pages, SEO… oh, and don’t forget split testing, analytics, list building, ezines, link building, sales funnels, keyword research.. and on and on and on.

In order to really enjoy massive success online, you really do want to learn all of these concepts and strategies.  BUT it is NOT helpful to try and learn it all at once.  Give yourself at least one year of steady learning before you will have a foundational grasp of each of these aspects of online marketing.  So many online marketers are decent at a lot of different things, but masters at none.  Become masterful at one core strategy, and then move on.  Which strategy do you start with?  The one that puts you in total control of your content:  Blogging.

Blogging is, in my opinion, the most important online marketing strategy that you can master because you are 100% in control of every word you write.  As you set up your blog, I highly recommend that you brand yourself (You, Inc.), especially if you are into network marketing, coaching, or social media marketing.  People want to get to know you and connect with you before they buy from you.  Don’t worry about copyrwriting or Google AdWords yet.  Just start creating content for your blog based on your passions, interests, and gifts.

That alone will give you a solid marketing foundation.  A lot of bloggers create online success just by being themselves and offering good value.  If you are brand new to online marketing, begin by setting up a wordpress blog and post some content there every day for 60 days.  Don’t worry about anything else.  Just be consistent.  You can blog about the things are you learning (I do this all the time) or about insights you have gleaned through the course of the day.

The key point here is to just be yourself.  Market yourself first… build skills later.  If you do this, you’ll enjoy the ride so much more and there’s a much better chance I’ll see you a year from now still loving what you are doing.

What comes next?  That depends on your interests and goals.  If you want to start generating traffic and leads to your blog or website as fast as possible and you have a marketing budget, take the time to learn Google AdWords.