Making money online is hard, but building a sustainable online business is even harder. Is it true? Well, not quite, if you know the secrets.
Over the years, I have seen a couple of marketers who made quite a bit of money online and then quit internet marketing totally. Some of those whom I asked said they find it hard to maintain the income. Eventually, they got tired and gave up.
Like it or not, internet marketing is NOT a job. You can’t expect to be paid months after months, with increments every few years. If that’s what you are looking for, go get a JOB (a.k.a Just Over Broke).
Whether you are doing affiliate marketing, Adsense marketing or providing online services, internet marketing is a business, which means you need to keep on promoting your website or your income will drop. That’s where most ‘once successful’ marketers fail.
I started earning full-time income from the internet since 2006 and it’s been 4 years now. 4 years isn’t long, but I guess the fact that I’m still around and one of my flagship sites, LeadsLeap.com, is still doing well after 3 years, I think I’m qualified to share with you some tips on how to build a sustainable online business.
The Secrets Of Building A Sustainable Online Business
Let’s keep it simple. To me, there are only 2 secrets. 1) Passive income. 2) Passive traffic.
1) Passive Income
I’m sure you are familiar with the term ‘Passive Income’.
Passive income can be built in 2 ways:
i) Selling something with recurring fee, such as MLM, membership program, subscription-based services, etc.
Study your business and ask yourself if it has a passive income model. If it doesn’t, the money you make is just as good as winning a lottery. And you should rethink your business model.
For example, if you are an affiliate marketer in the Forex market, instead of promoting a Forex ebook, you should focus on promoting Forex membership programs. If you are a Forex expert, instead of writing a Forex ebook, you should create a Forex trading system. I believe you get the idea.
ii) Selling a one-time-fee product, but with continuous flow of traffic to make this income recurring.
If you happen to be in an industry that is hard to create a membership program, you will need to have continuous flow of traffic to your website so that there are people buying your ebook or clicking your Adsense ads all the time.
The question is, with so many traffic strategies available, which one should you focus on in order to get this continuous flow of traffic? This is when you need to understand the concept of Passive Traffic.
2) Passive Traffic
Many marketers talk about passive income. But very few marketers talk about passive traffic. To me, passive traffic is more important than passive income. It is an extremely important key to building a sustainable online business.
Passive traffic refers to traffic that come to your website without your active involvement in promoting your website for a few months. If you have an effective passive traffic system for your website, you can at least take a few weeks of break to do something else, such as developing a new business, instead of having to worry about traffic every day.
Is List Traffic Passive?
Thanks to the hype of list building, many people thought if they have a list, they are going to be rich. But the truth is, most ‘once-successful’ marketers have got a huge list, yet they quit.
List traffic is not truly passive. It is what I call recycled traffic. Your list’s interest in you and the product you offer may die sooner than you think, depending on the niche you are in. Hence it’s a good habit not to count on your list as a form of passive traffic.
Passive Traffic You Should Focus On
The first passive traffic is referral traffic. Having a referral system in your website is essential, but not enough. Referral traffic has to be nurtured. You have to give enough reasons for your affiliates to promote your products and services, else you can assume they won’t!
The second passive traffic is search engine traffic. But there is a catch. As you know, the main thing about search engine traffic is link building. To get consistent search engine traffic, you need consistent growth of backlinks to your website. That will be a time-consuming task for many marketers.
Last but not least is advertising traffic. Advertising traffic is not truly passive, but once it’s set up and tested, it can work for some time without much involvement from you. You may have to monitor the conversion regularly, but it’s not an everyday task.
The best thing that can happen is to build a ‘passive income system’ with a ‘passive traffic system’. This is what I strive to achieve in all my online businesses and probably the reason that they can do well for years.
In this post, I mentioned that referral traffic has to be nurtured. In my next post, I’m going to discuss some ways to nurture your referrals. Stay tuned!