What I Did Right When I First Started Online

Following my discussion on the Internet Marketing Mistakes I Made When I First Started Online, today I shall share with you what I did right when I first started online.

I hope my experience can help shorten your journey to online success.

Here we go…

1. Understand The Principles Of Success

I always find reading boring until I discovered a section called Self Help in the bookstore. Since then, I became a self help junkie, reading all kinds of books and attending all kinds of seminars on success, communication, sales, wealth creation, mind power, brain power and even spirituality.

All these readings eventually led me to quitting my job, starting a few brick-and-mortar businesses and failing at every one of them.

If I had given up my dream then, I may now be another skeptic of success philosophy.

But when I turned to online business, everything I’ve learnt began to apply. Be it the law of giving and receiving, the theory of delayed gratification, the concept of focus equals to power or the idea of think and grow rich, all the principles of success that I’ve learnt are now the foundation of my online business.

Personally, I think such foundation is very important because it keeps me focused on what is really important in building a successful business (or even building a successful life), instead of simply chasing after the money.

2. Learn Programming

Many gurus suggest that a marketer should focus on driving the business and should outsource other technical stuff such as website creation to others. For me, I prefer to learn and do it myself.

I’m not trained in HTML, PHP or Javascript, but I make it a point to learn enough so that I can communicate with my programmer at the same level and do minor programming or debugging work when necessary.

The advantages of knowing about programming are as follow:
i. I can save money on simple programming work, since I can do it myself.
ii. I can respond faster to any bug report and system improvement.
iii. The more I understand about programming and its strengths and limitations, the more ideas I can come out with.

3. Build Something

The idea of affiliate marketing sounds great – making money selling other people’s product, with no worry of customer support. Hence, many internet marketers started as an affiliate.

But what I do differently from other affiliates is I will make sure that in the process of promoting as an affiliate, I build something that belong to me.

The idea of building something is very broad. You can build a list, build a reputation, build a traffic funnel, build a network of people or build a virtual real estate.

For example, if I want to promote a forex product, instead of simply posting adwords to send traffic to the product or building mini site specially for that product, I will create a forex content site or even create a forex web service. I’ll promote my own website instead of promoting the affiliated product directly.

If the product that I’m promoting is discontinued, I can always promote other similar products. The most important thing here is I’m spending my time to build something that will give me traffic in long run.

4. Go Passive

Let me ask you a question. If you can spare 1 month of your time, would you spend that month doing something that will earn you $5,000 in one go, or do something that will earn you $200 every single month?

Some people told me that they’ll choose the $5,000 option, and they will repeat the process and earn more $5,000 every month. After one year, they would have earned $60,000!

But for me, I will go for $200 every month. I will repeat the process to earn more of such income. My first month may be merely $200, but if I spend 1 year to build the same kind of income, I would have established $2,400 every month by the end of 1 year, and $24,000 every month after 10 years. After 10 years, I can stop working and still earn $24,000 every month, whereas in the first case, once you stop working, your income stops.

You may think this is an ideal situation and things may change. You are right. There is no real passive income. However, with such income, I can stop working for weeks or even months and my income will still be pretty stable. More importantly, I don’t have to worry if I can pay my bills next month. This gives me peace of mind to continue building even more websites and earn even more.

Different people prefer different ways of doing things. What I’ve presented above is what I THINK I’ve done right. You may have different experiences. Whether you agree or disagree with me, leave your comments below, so that others can decide what is the right thing to do for them.

34 thoughts to “What I Did Right When I First Started Online”

  1. Thank you for another great post in your blog. Since I am an affiliate of LeadsLeap and if I choose to use your blogposts, won’t that be detrimental if I do repost to my own blog and everyone else also uses it, wouldn’t that affect Google, as using something others use as well?
    Just curious, as I always try to use original content.
    Thanks and take care, will continue to promote LeadsLeap!…:)

    1. You are right. The right way to do it is to write some comments about this article in your own blog, and send the traffic to this blog, via your affiliate link, if they want to read the full article.

      You can quote a few sentences from this article, but not the full article.


  2. Point number three is huge! I am so glad you mentioned it Kenneth. As a matter of fact this is exactly what I am in the process of doing right now.

    I figure… with a blog, a website and an autoresponder I can create something that is truly my own. As you say, it makes your life so much easier if there comes a time where you have to change directions or switch gears.

    Keep up the great work Ken. I will be looking forward to your next post.

    Bill Darton

  3. I love reading your posts. Simple, effective. No fluff. Yes, passive income rocks & it is very important to “build” something that we have full control – like double-optin mailing list, blog or virtual real estate :)

  4. Hey Kenneth, sounds like you did some things right to me! That passive income technique is a smart step and can really solidify your income. I was just reading a discussion about site flipping. I’m sure you know what that is but to be clear in my point it’s basically the strategy of building up a site with traffic, backlinks, rankings & all – and then reselling it for a profit. But then coincidentally – even prior to reading this post – I start thinking about your #4 passive income analogy. Why would I take the time & energy to build a site up with steady traffic and income and then sell it to someone else for a lump sum? I have heard about site flipping and know a lot of people make nice money doing it, but I have always had mixed feelings about this in the back of my mind. What do you think about site flipping?

    1. The scenario is like selling houses as a developer. Why sell houses when you can develop houses and rent them all out, and earn passive income?

      I’ll leave it to you to decide which is better. But for me, I’m a farmer. I prefer to milk cow.


    2. One reason to build and sell websites is simply to accumulate enough cash that you can actually do something with it. It’s usually faster than trying to build and then promote a site to the point where it’s actually making money for you.

      When I build and sell sites, I usually do it because I’ve found an excellent keyword with lots of traffic and little competition but I can’t locate any “decently” paying enterprises to monetize it with. I can build a quick WP site, promote it for about a month and start getting traffic to it. Then, I’ll be able to sell it for some cash. It takes me about 30 min to build the site and I spend a total of about two hours promoting it over the next month or so. I then sell it for around $400 if I’ve promoted it enough to get somewhere on the first 4 pages of big “G”. Not a whole lot of work, right? Ok, if I do about 5 of these a month, I’ve got myself around $2,000 per month, if I continue to do it on a month-to-month basis.

      There are a lot of established businesses out there with products that they can monetize with and make good money on these sites. I’ve done all the initial work for them and they’re willing to pay for it because they’ll just build on what I’ve started. It’s a service.

      However, if I find keywords with little competition and lots of traffic AND can find some excellent monetization (very rare these days), I’ll go “passive” on it and hold on to it and promote it for the long term.

      Selling sites, to me, is just a way to accumulate my investment cash.

  5. Hey Kenneth, you’ve very clear highlight the essential elements to online success.

    I am an affiliate who decided to ‘Go Passive’ at the first step of my online journey. But lost my way in “Building Own Traffic” for over a year.

    In the early days of my online journey, I solely promote my affiliate links, opt-in to the program owners’ list. That’s wasted time and energy. Anyway, it’s my precious learning lesson and I glad you put it in here very clear.

    Although all four elements must seriously taken, I think to “Understand The Principles Of Success” is the foundation that new affiliates must keep it reminding to yourself. Then the other three will follow.

    Thanks so much Kenneth.

  6. Thanks so much Kenneth for your great insights on how to make the most money in the situation between the $5000 now approach or build the $200 each moth for 12 months and have $2400 every month
    and after 10 years $24,000 per month.
    I will definitely agree with you 100% on the later of the two.
    Have a great day…Don K.

  7. Joined this site awhile back and never really have done anything online. With all the advances in technology … this site can be a great tool.
    Keep up the good work. God Bless!

  8. This is one of my favorite posts to date Kenneth! There are many roads on our online journey we will take as we mature with our business and we learn and do all the things we need to in order to do the things we plan to do. For myself everyday is farther down that road and I Love the journey and plan to never stop learning. Thanks for the great post!

  9. Kenneth:

    I somewhat agree with your four actions of “what you did right” when you first started your internet marketing journey towards finding online success.

    Surely, Understanding the Principles of Success will serve to expedite the development of your strengths and skills – the maturity of your personal growth traits – those necessary to weather the many stresses and strains of traveling down the bumpy road ahead; consequently, you learn to be creative for finding new problem-solving methods for being innovative, mainly so you can reach the highest level of the goals you’re seeking.

    But we must realize that everyone is going to have different perceptions on what success is. How do you define success? Is it by how much money you make, or is it by how much you enjoy doing what you are doing? I define success by how happy I am. If you are happy, than you must be successful.

    By the same token, how many will agree on just what the Principles of Success are? You never say what they specifically are, but rest assured that they can be argued over until the end of time. Again, it’s a matter of perception.

    I do, however, totally agree with you on learning programming. You don’t have to be an expert, but you should at least learn enough to be able to make simple changes and understand basic formatting commands and scripts. Not only will it save you a lot of money, but it will also save you a lot of time too.

    I learned HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) by myself, over the internet and for free. You can find all kinds of sites that gives you examples of HTML for basic formatting for websites and webpages. I also learned some Java script, which is used for flash and/or animations of text & images – and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) in the same way that I learned HTML.

    There are several other programming languages, each one designed for various types of applications. Each one takes some practice, but none of them are super difficult to learn. If you do have some problems, you can always find someone online who is more fluent than yourself and you can just ask them to help you.

    I’ve done it many times. Once you learn some programming for building websites, I guarantee you will not regret it and you’ll find yourself much more confident in your online abilities and in what you can do by yourself!

    By learning HTML or some other language, you’ll find it that much easier for being able to Build Something. I think you developed a sound strategy in building something while promoting a product or service. That’s one cool thing about blogging – it makes it super easy to build something. I think it also helps to exercise your creative ability by pushing you to think a little more abstractly than you normally would in searching for a related path or idea to build something that keeps pointing to you.

    For me, being passive brings about many subjective thoughts, but if that means playing it safe by investing in something that grows slowly, consistently and produces income from a small investment, how can you lose? As a newbie, you’ll be taking on enough risk just from ignorance, so having a safe investment certainly can help level that playing field until you get more experience. I did not do that, but I certainly wish I had.

    To make up for that, one thing I did do right was to compliment others and help them find their strengths, rather than point out their weaknesses. It’s always easier to criticize, but the payoff for complementing is far greater. I don’t do it expecting anything in return and I make sure it’s sincere. In any case, it’s always received in good spirit and leads to more participation and higher productivity.

  10. That is good food for thought. I like the idea of focusing on business growth and the long term income rather than the “here and now.”

    I have benefited a lot from your posts. Keep on writing.

  11. I’d like to add one further tip, which was something I got SO wrong when I started!

    Keep control of your own list. I sent my prospects to a company I thought I trusted, and now they’re mailing that list with a business I do not promote and I have to start again. OUCH!

    Even if you use an auto-responder company to maintain your list, keep a downloaded copy, just in case!

  12. Excellent tips, I have not long started online and it was quite frank overwhelming for me at the start.

    Now I try and keep things simple, and it seems to be working for me.

    I guess the best thing I done right was testing and tracking without knowing my numbers I dont think I would have come as far as I have so far,


  13. I think You are right about making a steady $200 per month compounding (like a banks interest)ever year. When you are not working the work is still going on, THAT’S GREAT!
    You are no doubt talking about List building which is one of my weak points ( i am sure many others as well). I have found an autoresponder that will start anyone out for free for the first 100 email address you collect. which gets people like me motivated (somewhat) to pursue the email list building thing. I have included a link here in this comment by clicking on my name, it should take you to the audio responder.
    This helps us who have no funds for advertising get at least 100 people on our list without having to pay for the autoresponder. At least until we can make some money to pay for it. NOTE: once your email list gets big you will have to pay more money. So, make sure the offer you are offering gets you some cool cash to pay for it.

  14. Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need, thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful.

  15. It appears that spammers can get through here in spite of the protective measures.

    I wonder if they realize that I will never click on their link.

    Perhaps a review of target marketing would be helpful.

  16. I never found the need to learn programming until I felt I was restrained by what I knew. Yes, building affiliate marketing sites can be done very easily with no programming needed, but the functions are limited. I can also save money on hiring an external web design company too!

  17. an amazing site even though I’m still a newbie but from the phenomenal testimonies coming from this system,with dedication and hardwork the sky should be our starting point.thanks….i also need more insights on how to go about it to maximize all the earning potentials

  18. Sounds very interesting.. I like the way you described the topic with such clarity. This is something I have been thinking about for a long time and you really captured the essence of the subject.

  19. It makes all the difference how well you know your own product or service so you make your offer as credible as can be and let your customers follow you in your success … if you really have some thing to point to and are not just trying to earn affiliate commissions using marginal tools … better get yourself onto solid footing first! :)

  20. The topic is very important and relevant for every day. We always face in life with such a problem. I’ll tell you a secret – we hope for a man. And who and what manages the man, give yourself a question. Answered or not? No prescription open. Circumstances govern or we are circumstances. I understand Kenneth very well. He understands everything most closely. He is in the movement of love and success will always be with him. Thanks to his love, everything turns out to him. Take a neighbor like himself, so says the bible. And now think how we love ourselves and how we love our affiliates. To love yourself is not to do badly. It will come by itself if you give an occasion. Are you already interested? Then you need to start with yourself. Then there will be a result.

  21. Thanks for sharing knowledge in your post.
    The folks that are consistenly making a sizeable earning every month have refined the process that they may have been working with for years. Lists are important, virtual real estate is important, and many have mastered – Presentation.

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