What’s the safest and best way to earn online and run a proper digital business?

Our answer:

When you decide to either start a brand new business online or to expand your “offline” business to the Web, you will quickly become aware of the multitude of potential pitfalls. What was supposed to be free and easy, often turns out to be expensive and difficult. There are millions of people who set up their sites with the hope of either creating new income streams or increasing their existing ones.But the available statitics and polls assert that fewer than 10% make even a single penny, while perhaps only 1-2% make what would qualify as “respectable” incomes.

What complicates matters further is the fact the the Internet is full of would-be experts and “gurus” who provide both free and paid advice on “how to succeed online”. There is such a mountain of resources available (often mutually-contradicting) that an information overload is an almost 100% certainty for anyone who wishes to learn how it all actually works. It is thus really easy to be lead up a garden path. And so, what “should be” pleasant, easy, satisfying and rewarding – becomes a nightmare. Fortunes have been made on the Web – but even bigger fortunes have been lost.

Since I’ve been involved with this for quite a few years now, I can say with some authority, however, that it doesn’t have to be that way and that solutions exist. Almost anyone CAN succeed online as long as they do it “right”. And the online market is so incredibly huge, that there really is very little chance of the kind of saturation that would totally preclude you from succeeding.

The myth goes like this: (A) Have something great to sell, (B) Display it in an attractive way, (C) Get enough people to see it, (D) Sell like crazy. These four simple points contain DOZENS of fallacies and misleading statements and assumptions. The result is a glut of opportunists who “wanna sell anything” by hook or by crook, spamming, confusing and scaring away decent people. And once they finally fail, they bemoan the Internet as one giant scam machine! It takes one to know one.

  1. The number one rule on the web – like anywhere in the free market, which the Internet still to a large extent is – is to do something you’re good at, believe in, and love. If you provide a service or are selling a product or building a support group for something, if you’re not in love with your mission, you’re setting yourself up for failure. This is because the road to success isn’t smooth and when you hit low points, you will NEED your original enthusiasm to overcome obstacles and keep going.
  2. The second rule is to know what you don’t know. LEARN! You’ll need to spend a little time getting to know a few things on the Web, how they work, what should be done, etc. You might even try to do some of them yourself. But beware: you must learn to work ON your business, not FOR your business. This means, that early on you will need to know where and how – and for how much – to outsource the most tedious work. There is NO END to tedium on the web, and if you take it upon yourself to do everything yourself – you WILL fail.
  3. The third and final rule is: have “sufficient” funds to get started and enough to continue for at least 6 months. Yes, I know, there is a myth out there that you can make a fortune online for (nearly) free! Sure, you CAN. A number of people have done it. But if you don’t like million-to-one odds, you need to make a simple and conservative budget. You’ll know what it is after you’ve studied the above point 2. Typically, you’ll need NO LESS than $1000 to get started, but better to have $5-10k. And you’ll need $500 to $1000 per month for 6 months of CAREFULLY MANAGED funds to break even. If someone tells you that you can get by with $1000 TOTAL – please disregard them. Yes, it’s “possible”, but it’s also well and truly UNLIKELY. Especially if you’re a newbie.

If you consider the above amounts, they’re actually really small, when comparing them to an “offline” business. It’s also much easier to get started and to maintain your business online – if you know what you’re doing and if you’re following the above 3 rules. The above rules ARE THE SAFEST WAY to make a business work online.

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