Thank You Guys!

In 2010 quite a few people made an impact in my life and influenced my decisions in many ways. The cool thing is that these people were individuals just like you and me. They didn’t have any super powers, or were any kind of celebrity status (okay maybe for us blogger they did).

The whole reason I’m talking about them is NOT to inspire you or sell you their beliefs, although it might anyway. What I really want to do is thank them for doing what they do, which is- Help others live the life they want and encourage them to take action. At least that’s what they’ve helped me do.

So who are they?

Chris Guillebeau – If I had to describe him in three words this would be it: a nice guy. Chris is the author of The Art of Non-Conformity; it’s a book now but it started out as a blog. I recommend you read them both, especially if you want to know more about how to live your life the way you want, not how others expect you to. In the Internet world I’d say he’s one of the few honest people talking about ways to leverage the power of the Internet. I first read “279 Days To Overnight Success,” which is a great FREE ebook he wrote, and I was sold on his ideas. I think Chris is a great example of someone getting paid to do what they love like traveling and writing. If you’re looking for a remarkable person to teach you how to dominate the world talk to him. Don’t be shy to visit his home chrisguillebeau.com or hit him up on Twitter @chrisguillebeau.

Corbett Barr – Believe it or not, he started 18 months ago and now he’s making a full-time income online and traveling the world with his wife. Watching Corbett grow his blog has been really cool because seeing someone start from the beginning and get to the top makes you a believer. ThinkTraffic.net, which is one of the site he built and became profitable only a few months after starting it, has been a big hit and it’s an example of how you can make it online. On his About Me page he really hit a note with me:

“I write this blog to help you real­ize you’re not crazy for want­ing more from life and your career.”

It really is cool to know that there’s people that have the same ideas as you. I guess it really is a small world after all. If you’re one of those crazy, or not so crazy, people that wants to build a business doing what you love doing, I suggest you stop by corbettbarr.com it might just change your life or teach you something new.

Pat Flynn – As I said earlier all these guys are just people like you and me. Pat was an architect and he loved it. But the economy hurt him like a lot of us in the 9-to-5 world, which probably was a good thing any…more about Pat. When I first started reading his blog I didn’t quite understand all this Internet Marketing stuff, but I found out this FREE info he was putting out was extremely valuable, while others were charging for it. I took that as a sign of honesty and ever since he’s been one of few that I trust. He’s quiet the expert when it comes to passive income, don’t hope to find any get rich quick schemes when you visit his blog. Don’t take my word for it just go to smartpassiveincome.com as see for yourself.

Glen Allsopp – Although he’s a really under the radar guy, he’s earned a lot of respect online. I can tell you about him, but it’s easier for you to read his bio. Glen puts out the best articles about online marketing, plain and simple. His site is called viperchill.com check it out if you can.

I want to thank you guys for all the work you put into 2010 and everything you share on your blogs. I’m sure it’s helped a lot of people besides me. I figured I would thank you all before the year is over.

Who are some of those people that have inspired you or influenced you to take action and do things you love and make a living while doing it?

I know there’s more people out there doing awesome things, like Tim Ferriss, Darren Rowse, Gary Vaynerchuk, and more. But I want to meet others that are closer to us, the beginners the ones that are just getting started with our online businesses. If you have someone share it in the comments and thank them if you will.

In 2010 quite a few people made an impact in my life and influenced my decisions in many ways. The cool thing is that these people were individuals just like you and me. They didn’t have any super powers, or were any kind of celebrity status (okay maybe for us blogger they did).

The whole reason I’m talking about them is NOT to inspire you or sell you their beliefs, although it might anyway. What I really want to do is thank them for doing what they do, which is- Help others live the life they want and encourage them to take action. At least that’s what they’ve helped me do.

So who are they?

Chris Guillebeau – If I had to describe him in three words this would be it: a nice guy. Chris is the author of The Art of Non-Conformity; it’s a book now but it started out as a blog. I recommend you read them both, especially if you want to know more about how to live your life the way you want, not how others expect you to. In the Internet world I’d say he’s one of the few honest people talking about ways to leverage the power of the Internet. I first read “279 Days To Overnight Success,” which is a great FREE ebook he wrote, and I was sold on his ideas. I think Chris is a great example of someone getting paid to do what they love like traveling and writing. If you’re looking for a remarkable person to teach you how to dominate the world talk to him. Don’t be shy to visit his home chrisguillebeau.com or hit him up on Twitter @chrisguillebeau.

Corbett Barr – Believe it or not, he started 18 months ago and now he’s making a full-time income online and traveling the world with his wife. Watching Corbett grow his blog has been really cool because seeing someone start from the beginning and get to the top makes you a believer. ThinkTraffic.net, which is one of the site he built and became profitable only a few months after starting it, has been a big hit and it’s an example of how you can make it online. On his About Me page he really hit a note with me:

“I write this blog to help you real­ize you’re not crazy for want­ing more from life and your career.”

It really is cool to know that there’s people that have the same ideas as you. I guess it really is a small world after all. If you’re one of those crazy, or not so crazy, people that wants to build a business doing what you love doing, I suggest you stop by corbettbarr.com it might just change your life or teach you something new.

Pat Flynn – As I said earlier all these guys are just people like you and me. Pat was an architect and he loved it. But the economy hurt him like a lot of us in the 9-to-5 world, which probably was a good thing any…more about Pat. When I first started reading his blog I didn’t quite understand all this Internet Marketing stuff, but I found out this FREE info he was putting out was extremely valuable, while others were charging for it. I took that as a sign of honesty and ever since he’s been one of few that I trust. He’s quiet the expert when it comes to passive income, don’t hope to find any get rich quick schemes when you visit his blog. Don’t take my word for it just go to smartpassiveincome.com as see for yourself.

Glen Allsopp – Although he’s a really under the radar guy, he’s earned a lot of respect online. I can tell you about him, but it’s easier for you to read his bio. Glen puts out the best articles about online marketing, plain and simple. His site is called viperchill.com check it out if you can.

I want to thank you guys for all the work you put into 2010 and everything you share on your blogs. I’m sure it’s helped a lot of people besides me. I figured I would thank you all before the year is over.

Who are some of those people that have inspired you or influenced you to take action and do things you love and make a living while doing it?

I know there’s more people out there doing awesome things, like Tim Ferriss, Darren Rowse, Gary Vaynerchuk, and more. But I want to meet others that are closer to us, the beginners the ones that are just getting started with our online businesses. If you have someone share it in the comments and thank them if you will.

A Little Secret Project I’ve Been Working On

If I confuse you with this post—my bad. This post will have a little bit of everything. I’ve been away for a while I know, but it’s absolutely your fault guys. Why do I blame you? Well… I’ve been working on a little project for all you guys (more on that later). I think you’ll like it and forgive me for disappearing for so long…

…Before I go back to work I just wanted to keep you posted on what I’ve been up to and give you a little something-something.

So what have I been doing? I’ve been looking at what I do and what I want to do in the future. I’ve been reading a lot of my favorite blogs a lot. But mostly working on my first e-book (my little project), it’s been a really exciting experience. Due to it’s something that I’ve wanted to do, but really never put the time, effort or thought into it.

I don’t know why but I’m going to assume there’s a lot of people that have been in the same situation as me, so I figured why not give you an idea of what I’ve gone through in the process of producing the 10,000 words I’ve put on paper so far.

But before we move on…

What’s an E-Book for those who don’t know?

If you ask Wikipedia this is what you get:

“An electronic book (also e-book, ebook, digital book) is a text- and image-based publication in digital form produced on, published by, and readable on computers or other digital devices.”

But this is not just an e-book. This is my story and what I’ve done so far and a little-tiny-bit more than that. It’s my own personal way of saying and writing about a particular topic. It’s a lot of hours of work, more like days and sleepless nights. OKAY, OKAY no need to exaggerate. Sorry I get out of hand sometimes. But in all truth I have put some work into this tiny little project.

Why am I writing it?

I’m not writing it because everyone on the web says “you need to give something, to get peoples’ emails—so I can get RICH” that’s not the type of person I am. The biggest reason I did it was because I got some friends that were interested in the topic and I thought, hmmm how could I explain to all these people what they’re asking me. Oh I know, let’s write it down on a piece of paper and make copies and mail it to them. Ah NO! that would take forever. Aha! I’m going to write an e-book and that way everyone can read it on the web too. Cool that’s exactly what I am going to do. (BTW, that’s the conversation I had with ME)

Shit that happens when writing an e-book

Man, where do I start? I’ll tell you something about me, I’m restless. I don’t even know how I can sit down and write a paragraph, let alone 1,000 words per day. What’s the secret?  Having a big enough WHY, I mean big-big-big WHY. Anyone can write an e-book, the how is not a problem. You just read How to Write a Good eBook – You Know, the Kind that Doesn’t Suck and you do it. But if there’s not a big enough reason WHY you’re doing it, it’s not going to come thru.

  • You won’t feel like doing it—damn flipping lizard brain!
  • Nothing will come to you when you sit down to write
  • Your mom will call you and ask you for a favor (okay, maybe it will happen to you)
  • You’ll think, ah!!! no one will read my stuff
  • The computer will crash
  • You’ll forget to save that last 1,000 words you wrote

Moral of the story—shit will happen!

Knowing all these things gets rid of all your fears if you’re going to write one too. When it’s all set and done I know it’s my will to finish this e-book no matter what happens in between. Like someone once told me “its life” what can you do. Here’s the things I’ve done to swerve around the STUFF that happens:

  • Woke up early in the morning to work on it (5:45 a.m.)
  • Went to bed after I’ve actually written 1,000 minimum
  • Followed a schedule everyday
  • Gave myself a break on the weekend
  • The thought that I need to ship soon

Just those five things have helped me be more productive when writing it especially the last one. Don’t let “the resistance” as Seth Godin calls it stop you from doing what needs to be done. Just start something, even if it starts with “once upon a time” or at least entire paragraphs, then you’ve started.

It took me a long time to put this together, but here I am finally telling you about it. Hopefully so I can feel pressure of finishing, because if I don’t I’ll look like an ASS and nobody likes looking like that.

You’ve been talking about this e-book, but what is it about?

Basically it’s a manifesto, a guide, and a little more. I think it will help a ton of people understand this “online thing” as I call it. So many people are confused about it, and so many ASS****** are trying to get peoples’ money by promising shit that isn’t true. The point of this is to help people with no idea of how people make money on the web. I say it how it is, and I don’t hide anything. It’s basically my journey to location independence plus how to DIY.

Hope that explains why I’ve been missing for so long. I’m gonna be more active for the next few weeks that’s for sure. Mostly sharing work great people on the web are doing. Until the next time… take care and keep an eye open for what’s coming.

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What Does a Real “Effing” Business Look Like? and How To…

I’m sick of all the crap

I know you might be thinking I’m pissed off or something because I’ve used “effing” on my title, and I’ll be honest, I am a little. And I think you would be too. The people out there that are on my side know what I am talking about. For those who read this post, please don’t think this is some kind of rant, because it’s not. I just want to make it clear that you don’t need to start a blog on blogging, Internet marketing, or how to make money online to actually make money online. I am just going to show you some markets that can plug into and maybe think of ways to make the income you want online.

Wilson, I am flipping tired of seeing all these “make money online products;” show me how to really find an “effing” business to get into.

Okay, let’s get right into it. To not go that far, let’s look at a real business I found recently through Entrepreneur magazine (yes, I still read magazines) and get my entrepreneurial juices flowing; and I recommend anyone that wants to start a business to read it. Anyhow, the name of the company is Ciclismo Classico. Basically, what cicliscoclassico.com does is provide the most authentic, unique and exciting biking and hiking tours and vacations.

So you can maybe get an idea of how Lauren Hefferon started this business, just listen to what she told Entrepreneur.com:

“I found a niche that I knew very well, and knew that I wanted to be in business for myself, so I made the leap.”

That’s basically what you hear me, and every marketer online, tell you to do. – Find a niche you like and know about.

Moving along; looking at what this entrepreneur did, and that was find a market, NOT a product, like some people will tell you to do online. The adventure travel market actually is a 50 billion dollar market, so you know there is a way to tap into it, and it shows that the market BUYS. Going into a market of proven buyers is essential; after all, if you’re starting a business to make a little profit, at least, while providing excellent value, that’s what I hope, your desires are.

You need to have a niche and be passionate about it!

I used this business because it’s really a great example of niche marketing. This company focuses only on one type of adventure; bike tours. The benefits of this are that the company and the clients get to connect on a personal level because they have similar likes. When you are passionate about something that you like, and you decide to start a business relevant to that, it’s easier to know your market; all the market research is YOU.

Here’s my “effing” advice

Turn your passions into a business. Everyone has something that they like doing a lot. Something they do in their spare time, for free. A hobby, a fear, a problem – SOMETHING! If you still don’t think you have something, here are some markets that you can jump into.

Online Boutique

Market: Vintage shoes and dresses

Size: Don’t know exactly how big; just know that this website below made $50 Mil last year.

Example: http://www.modcloth.com/

Passionate Cooking

Market: Food producers

Size: Around $70 billion

Example: http://foodzie.com/

The opportunity is out there

As you can see these are real businesses making real profits online. You don’t just have to go into some market that you have no passion for to make money online. There is a lot of opportunity to make a difference on the web; we just need to have a remarkable idea combined with something people want and a little love for the niche.

If you need help with coming up with something that you’re passionate about, I liked to offer my help for FREE. Call me, text me, tweet me, or just email me. I’d like to help you get started on your real “effing” business (sorry for the foul language) I just get to passionate when I’m talking about this.

Anybody that’s with me share your thoughts, tell me if you’re not tired of the make money blogging, make money this, that, etc… Let me know on the comments below. What do you think? Is it cool to keep doing what everyone is doing?

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A Muse that Generates Cash Flow and Frees Time

The two main currencies that make everything possible are cash flow and time. How many times have you heard, “You need to have a muse, or passion to be successful online” or something like it? I know that’s all I heard when I was first getting started online. It was hard, sometimes annoying, NOT knowing what I wanted to do.

When you first get started online all you want to know is…

How do I make a lot of money online, right? How do I monetize? Money, money, money…

That’s all we want.

When we should really be focusing on is how to generate an income stream and free more time for ourselves.

I’ll repeat that:

Generate Cash Flow and Free More Time

What I want to do is explain the simplest, fastest, and most affordable way that anyone with any experience online can do what I do.

In my mind the best way is to do it with affiliate marketing. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you own a business and you don’t have to spend any time on it. You don’t have to run it. And that’s what location independence is all about.

You could make a lot of money with a franchise or any sort of physical store, but that’s not what I want to do and if you’re like me you don’t either. And I’ve done it, and it’s not what I had in mind; I didn’t want to be in one place at all.

I’ve started a series that I have to still finish, here are the two parts that you should be reading as soon as you’re done with this post to get your career going with affiliate marketing if your goal is to one day not have to worry about money.  Just imagine what you would do, if you didn’t have to consume time with customers? That’s the kind of vehicle affiliate marketing is:

1. Readers Who Want to Know How to Earn Money Online

2. Readers Who Want to Know How to Earn Money Online | Part 2

These two articles can help you find your muse and show you how to convert it into cash flow.

So the next thing is TIME. I think one of the best things that has worked for me is the act of eliminating. What I mean by this is getting rid of the TV, iPhone (I gave that to my girlfriend), and even my car too. I haven’t really gotten rid of them, but I’ve forced myself NOT to use them for most of the week.  I’ve learned to spend the majority of my days on work that matters and that gives me the best results. Of course there has been a lot of trial and error in the past year, but I guess that’s how I’ve learned.

If you can identify what it is that you’re wasting your time on each day and eliminate those tasks, I guarantee you that you’ll start seeing results too, if you use that time wisely on your business, blog, or whatever it is that you do that brings in the cash.

Other habits and time wasters you can eliminate, to free some time:

  • Checking your email 10 times a day
  • Using twitter to often with no agenda
  • Pointless breaks and naps
  • Mindless web surfing

Have you found your muse yet? What steps did you take? What tips can you give us that can helped you create more free time?

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6 Mistakes and Lessons Learned from Buying an Affiliate Website – One Year Later

NOTE: This is a guest post from Mike Ziarko . I have never accepted guest posts on wilsonusman.com, but I made an exception for him once. (and because Mike is a great person).

Mike ZiarkoWilson Usman’s recent series of posts about Readers Who Want To Know How to Earn Money Online got me thinking recently that with the arrival of August comes the 1 year anniversary of my own entrance into internet marketing and that there’s probably a lot of readers out there who are in the same boat as I was. As cliche as it might sound, it really is hard to believe that it’s been one year since I was unhappily working at my 9-5 job. I remember surfing the internet in the odd hours of the night for months on end trying to find the right kind of internet business to get into. This isn’t a post about how one year later I’ve turned an affiliate site into an empire, because that didn’t happen. This post is about the mistakes I made and the lessons I learned from having jumped into a world I knew very little about, and how you can prepare yourself for the challenges that lie ahead. We all have to start somewhere.

Did my affiliate make back what I paid for it? Nope. Do I regret having spent a good amount of money on a niche that I knew nothing about? Hell no. Did I learn a heck of a lot? Oh hell yes.

In August of 2009 I bought the domain and web site carinsurancequoter.com on Flippa.com for a price that most would be shocked at for a complete newbie to pay. I desperately wanted to get into the game and hit the ground running, so I took the plunge.

Great domain and great niche right? Wrong. If you’ve been doing this awhile you’ll know that’s one of the most highly competitive niches on the internet. That’s lesson-learned #1.

 

1) I got into a niche without doing the proper niche market research. Car Insurance quotes are insanely competitive because there are 11 million searches per month just for car insurance. Car insurance quotes gets close to a million. As an affiliate you’re competition with the companies your advertising for keyword ranking in Google. I’ll stop at saying its impossible, but there are much easier niches to get into. Lesson learned: Do your research and make sure your getting into a market where there is high demand and low competition.

 

2) I didn’t get my feet wet enough (ie. I didn’t do enough of the work myself). I outsourced everyone and wanted to be the Virtual CEO by just pulling the strings every now and then.. It doesn’t work that way. If you want to be king pin you’ve got to get into the trenches and learn about WordPress code a little (for example). Not saying you need to be a ninja, but you should be an apprentice. Get a holistic understanding of areas like web design, Google adwords, search engine optimization, and social media marketing. Why? Because having that knowledge means that when you do have the ability to hire someone, for example, you know how to call the shots because you know what to ask for. I spent hundreds on getting articles written that I could have written myself. I came close to spending thousands on SEO when my site clearly wasn’t ready for it and I had no idea what SEO really was and how it worked.

 

3) I didn’t really care about car insurance. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk is about cashing in on your passion. I’m passionate about internet business and marketing but let’s just I don’t dream about car insurance at night. I’ve been told before you decide to go in any niche, even if its truly not what your passionate about, at least be mildly interested. It will payoff in the long run.

 

4) I decided to learn as I went along. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with learning by doing. I actually went knee deep and threw myself into it by naively going into an area I didn’t understand. But I knew nothing about affiliate marketing at that point. What I should have done was taken some of the excellent internet marketing courses out there so I could be better prepared. I hear great things about Internet Business Mastery and Niche Profit Classroom, and I’m currently taking part in the 30 Day Challenge.

 

5) There’s no such thing as turnkey. Building an affiliate site takes time, effort and patience. Over time you will get better at it and end up creating more with less time and effort, but thats not until you’ve become good at it. Don’t ever expect that you’ll be rolling in profits your first time out. That’s the mistake I made.

 

6) I didn’t set any limits. I didn’t set limits on how much I want to spend, so I ended up spending too much money on things like Adwords, Facebook ads, etc. Even though it was money spent on experimentation, setting limits would have kept me more focused and ensure I don’t blow my budgets out of the water. Set yourself a limit on how long it will take to profitable. If your niche is working out after 6 months, leave it and come back to it later.

Don’t get me wrong, my affiliate site is not a failure and actually does earn me more than I put into it. Looking back at my mistakes I made I’m glad I made them and I’ve learned some very powerful lessons and that’s what I came out with in the end result, I came out with an experiment (or prototype, or crash test dummy, whatever you want to call it, ) and not an extremely profitable business. And I think that’s what every person who wants to make money online should do – go out and there and build an experiment and have fun with it, without blowing the bank. Above all, just learn from it.

If you’re thinking of getting into the web business game, just take the plunge and do something. Chances are you might lose a bit of money, or build a site that doesn’t work despite having done all the research. The point is to get started, and you’ll already be halfway there.

Mike Ziarko is a full-time creative web design and marketing consultant, internet entrepreneur, and blogger. He muses about entrepreneurship and online marketing on his blog Mike Ziarko Musing, and when he’s not working he enjoys speaking in third person. If you learned something from this blog post you’ll probably learn more by subscribing to his blog.