How do you get a quarter of billion visitors a year?

Matthew Inman. Before I watched this video I didn’t know who he was, but I did know what theoatmeal.com was, as I’m sure you do as well; and if you don’t know check it out!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve watched an interview; I’ve been so busy building my niche site, but when I read the title to that video I had to watch it. I had and idea that theoatmeal.com got a lot of visitors, but WOW! a quarter of a billion? That’s 250,000,000. I’m sure some of you Internet marketers would do anything to get that kind of traffic.

If you asked Inman how he does it, he’d probably say: create awesome comics that people want to read, but you and I know we don’t know even know how to draw stick figures if our life depended on it. So here are some other lessons I learned from this interview that David Siteman did with Matthew.

Create stuff and sell it

Inman said that about 80% of the money the website brings is from the shop and only 20% came from advertising. There’s a lot of stuff you can buy on the site like mugs, stickers, posters, shirts, signed prints and other cool things. He goes to say that the top sellers are the ones that are useful to people. A good example of this would be his grammar pack that has posters such as “When to use i.e. in a sentence,” “How to use a semicolon,” and “10 words you need to stop misspelling.” and he mentions that it’s useful because people can learn from them.

The takeaway here is to create stuff that is educational and interesting at the same time, that can build you 1000 true fans quickly.

You get rich slowly

We take a look at the oatmeal and we see how they’re getting so much traffic in such short time, but we need to realize that for some of us that success will come slowly. People that come to a site won’t buy something on the first visit. As Inman puts it, it’s going to take more than 10 visits for one of these loyal readers to actually purchase something.

It’s our jobs to keep them coming. Yea it’s hard. But you need to have patience and keep them coming even when you’re not seeing traffic growing. You need to keep hustling and not get frustrated because of it. One thing I learned from Corbett is to write epic shit; this turns your readers into evangelists of your blog. Slowly you can get rich.

Keep your eye on the ball

When Inman decided to really focus on creating comics is when his hard work started to pay off. One particular post by Hugh Macloud talks about how you should make art everyday taught me that you should always be, well, creating shit. If you focus on a plan and just follow the plan you can see the results from that investment.

When we analyze the success of theoatmeal.com it keeps taking us back to publishing interesting content that keeps readers coming back for more.

Oh about the quarter of a billion visitors a year and how to get that many, I can’t really tell you, but if you ask Matthew or watch the video at hubspot then you’ll see how he did it; for now I guess I’ll continue putting out posts like these that can guide you there.

 

Two reasons why I think people don’t make money online

I’m really curious to know why people don’t make money online right now; the question just popped into my head and I figured this would be a useful post for some of you.

The reason I think I can talk about this is because I myself struggled to make a dime when I first got started. I tried everything out there. Which was actually one of the reasons why I didn’t make a penny for the longest time.

It all starts when you read a book or ebook or maybe a post about how to make money online. Then you either keep looking around the web for other resources. Eventually you say to yourself, “Shit, they’re all saying the same shit,” and you go and buy that $47 product that promises to have the secret.

You read through everything or watch the videos, and still you say, “But it’s the same shit that the other guy said for free.” Yup, that’s how it all goes, and so you then realize you’ve been reading all the right stuff, but you haven’t really been applying anything. You decide to buy a domain name and start blogging about how you’re going to make passive income.

A few months later you know a ton of marketing and blogging information and you decide since this whole affiliate marketing thing isn’t working why not try selling my services. That doesn’t work either. Still months or maybe even a year has passed and you haven’t made a penny online. Why? Why is it that people don’t make money online?

They lack the mentoring or knowledge

Ask yourself this: “Would I build a house without the necessary tools or knowledge?” Hell no! Well, why would you go and build a business or blog without first acquiring some knowledge about it and finding a mentor or joining a beginners course?

When I first got into this business I was all over the place, as I sorta explained in the beginning. There are so many ways you can monetize a site, it’s crazy. Everyday someone figures some crazy way to do it. I tried making blogspot adsense sites at first; I tried writing for sites like infobarrel about stuff I didn’t know shit about, and ehow, squidoo and all those web 2.0 sites. I was crazy enough to try cash gifting, which I regret immensely, but if it wasn’t for that, I would’ve never learned how to earn money online legitimately.

Anytime I receive emails from people asking me what would I do if I was just a newbie and I didn’t know anything about Internet marketing, blogging or niche sites, I tell them to just join some kind of mastermind course. It’s better because at least you get the basics and you have a foundation to go from, when you’re done with it. Unlike reading a new post in some site where everyday a blogger or whatever talks about a different idea and you’re trying to do a new thing everyday.

They don’t have the right tools

When I change the brakes on my car I need certain tools and materials to get the job done. For example: I need a jack, wrenches, brake pads, gloves, hammer, and some other tools I can remember, but I think you get the point. What tools are you using? None? Seriously, you gotta be using something. I’m not trying to say that tools are extremely important, but they are a piece to the puzzle of earning more online.

A tool is only intended to simplify, make more efficient, or provide additional functionality in your journey to earning money online.

What about you?

What do you think is the problem and how can we help those that are struggling? Do you think everything is a scam?

If not, what tools, bloggers, resources have help you succeed in your journey as an Internet marketer?

Oh don’t forget to share this post on Twitter. I appreciate it a lot if you do.

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A Barrier Impeding Lifestyle Design for Us

live-without-fear

vive sin miedo by smeerch

 

So you wake up one morning, and it’s one of those mornings you hear that voice saying, “I hate Mondays, Mondays, Mond…” “I don’t want to go to work, but I gotta pay the bills.” “Every day is the same grind, over and over until Friday comes” and you start looking at the clock in the office “Four more hours, two more, 15 minutes” pheww…

Finally it’s the weekend! I don’t have to go in to work tomorrow, or get yelled at by my boss for the next two days. Sound familiar? Sounds like this guy needs lifestyle design.

My story was quite similar; nothing exciting, just the same routine lifestyle every week, except that instead of being a 9-5 it was a 9-9. It suckeddddddddddddd….

I don’t know what kept me going back the next day, certainly it wasn’t the money. At first it was fun. You know, new job, new boss, POSITIVE people, and all that good stuff that comes with a new job. After a while, it was just a grind.

Most of us dream of having the dream job right after college or building a business, but little do we know that we’re about to go through some tough shit.

We won’t have that dream job.

That business idea never comes to us.

We’ll have a ton of debt from college. (I have 24k.) If you didn’t know that, now you do.

And life won’t be as easy as we thought it was going to be.

You know what’s the great thing though? We CAN change all these assumptions and do the opposite of what we think life is going to be. You can have that dream job you’ve dreamed about-if you know the right strategies. Fighting debt doesn’t have to be hard, you just need to sell all your crap. And you can start an online business and start making thousands a month.

So why don’t we do it? The way I picture it is this way: you’re at a fork in the road, a road to your left and one to your right. One road is the Shitty Life and the other one is the Good Life. But one thing stops us from going either way and we stay at the fork. We get fearful and we start having doubts.

Fear

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s okay to have fear, it actually makes us human. Have you ever heard that big ass dude say he’s not afraid of anything? Trust me I bet he’s afraid of something; probably an itty-bity spider, but he’s afraid to say it. Oh he is afraid, isn’t he?

Most of us have something holding us back, some sort of fear. The mistake we make is letting it linger for too long, sometimes until it’s too late and then we kick ourselves and say “I wish I would have…bla bla blah”

What we need to do is realize that fear is good; yea sometimes it stops us from doing stupid things. But we should not always allow it to creep up and stop us from doing something that could change our life. You and I are human, we can’t be perfect, we will fail, we’ll get rejected, and that’s okay. But we shouldn’t let fear be the barrier to our success.

We need to beat our fear, once we do we see there wasn’t anything to be afraid of in the first place. I was afraid of roller coasters until I got on one. Now I love them. Lachlan was afraid of bungee jumping, look at him now.

Beating the “Oh another Monday”

I remember sometimes when I was a kid someone saying, “Kid, enjoy your life while you’re young, because once you become an adult, you need to get a job and pay bills and be responsible.” Man did life as an adult sound miserable. Yea I’m cool with the whole thing about paying your bills and stuff, but where in the hell did it say that life had to suck when you’re older?

My point here is that you don’t have to live Monday to Monday or from one 9-5 to another 9-5 all your life. Starting a business is possible nowadays more than before. But you need to start taking risks and confronting your fears. If you’re not afraid of next week being the same as this week, then you’re comfortable where you are. If you don’t have any goals written down, you are not challenging yourself.

What Lifestyle Design has to Offer?

Is lifestyle design for you? I don’t know. It might be, if you don’t want to keep dreading going into work everyday and counting the hours and minutes until your break or the end of the day.

The pros about lifestyle design: Ability to create a hands off online business that generates a part-time soon to be full-time income, ability to work anywhere (coffee shop, home, library, oversees,…etc…), freedom of time, ability to become a travel hacker, and the power to work as much as you want, not have to.

The cons:People think you’re crazy for thinking such things, and….I can’t think of any other ones.

If you don’t know anything about lifestyle design yet or think its a bunch of bologna or you just don’t trust Colombians, that’s fine just go ask some of my friends on the web:

Tim Ferriss from the four hour workweek, he’s basically the man when it comes to LD.

Pat Flynn from smart passive income, makes more money on the web than you can imagine

Corbet Barr from think traffic, built a lifestyle business in only 18 months

John Chow, designed his lifestyle through blogging

Naomi Dunford, will help you market your business, the best fucking way.

Robb Sutton, built a full-time income blogging about bicycles.

David Risley, who’s been doing it for 10 years now.

Chris Guillebeau, who travels the world and still is able do business in any corner of the world.

Sterling and Jay, who make a living teaching other how to make a living online.

What now?

Now is the time to decide whether you’re going to do something about it and challenge yourself and do bigger things, things that scare you, or keep living the shitty lifestyle. They don’t even have to scare you, they could be things you’ve just been putting off.

I challenge you today to go do just one thing. It can be something simple. For example, if you’re a blogger, go write that awesome guest post that’s going to grow your site’s audience by 100 readers. If you’ve been wanting to start blogging, go buy yourdomainname.com. If you’ve been wanting to get a raise or change jobs go do it, don’t live in fear anymore. If you’ve been wanting to travel around the world, don’t wait for retirement.

What’s your fear? Don’t be AFRAID to say it in the comments.

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Here’s what some entrepreneurs said about fear

heroic destiny

David Crandall

My fear is that I’ll reach the end of my life, look back, and regret. Seeing failures in my past doesn’t bother me that much (I’m old enough to be able to look back and see those now). But looking back and wondering what could have happened if I had done something…now that is a fearful thing.Failure? Phshh! Regret? Be very afraid. 😉

delel onibalusi
Dele Onibalusi
My only fear is the future, I don’t know what it will bring and I’m
always doing my best not to be controlled by it.
james schipper
James Schipper
The fear of failure is cliche because it’s the one everyone has!

Actually, I think more accurately, we have a fear of uncertainty. EVERYTHING would be easier if we could know the outcome in advance. There are all kinds of cliches about that:
“Hindsight is 20/20”
“If I only had a crystal ball”
“What would you try if you knew you could not fail?”
Those are sayings for a reason! The only thing we really don’t know is what is going to happen. It’s easy to know what has already come to pass. It already happened! It’s over now, so we know what happened.
Whether our business idea will take off, our blog will be ridiculed for it’s amateurish design, someone will call us names, or if we’ll get run down by a milk truck while crossing the street tomorrow are all things that could happen.
While we may not hide at home in fear of that milk truck gone rogue each day, we all have fears in one form or another. In most cases, the fear turns out worse in our heads, and never ends up as bad as our imaginations build them up.
And they are always related to that uncertainty about something. You can’t know everything. You can’t know the future. Make reasonable amount of preparation (you’ll never be 100% prepared), and just give it a go.
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Another quote popular for very good reason 😉
robb sutton
Robert Sutton
Fear of success can be just as debilitating. With success comes responsibility and accountability to others. You have to be ready and willing to take on those tasks as your dreams come true.

Why do we do things that we know won’t get us anywhere?

To be honest with you guys lately I’ve been lazy. I haven’t posted in forever; that’s obvious if you check the date on my last post. But you know what, it okay to be lazy sometimes. Even though I’ve been slacking tremendously, I’ve been putting a lot of time to one of my niche sites and it’s finally hit the second page of Google for one of the keywords that I’m trying to rank for.

I wasn’t even planning to make this post today, but since I feel so bad about not doing it, I figured I would start at least a post about why I’ve been so lazy. Actually, as I’m writing this post I’m also researching about why we humans are this way. Why we all want something, but we don’t do it. It’s a question that has been bugging me for days now and I figured if it’s screwing with my head, it might be with yours, too.

Why don’t we do things, even though want to do them?

Why do we? I know that when I write a post hundreds of people (I hope) will read it and benefit from in some way. I know that my blog will get more traffic, which equals more readers and once again hopefully more subscribers. But why is it so hard to just do it?

On the search for answering this question I found I wasn’t the only person that asked the same question. The problem isn’t lack of information, you and I know if we want to learn affiliate marketing we could read a book on it or get a course. There’s enough information about any topic out there in books and the web. We know what to do, but we still don’t do it.

Most times we just go ahead and do the opposite or keep doing exactly what we were doing. We keep writing posts that don’t entertain, engage or educate readers. We keep eating food that’s not healthy for us, and we invest hours into other shit that doesn’t grow our blog.

“To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.”–Mark Twain

Content is what matters in a blog, so why do I skip the most important element to a blog? What I found out can help me change that…

I criticize my work too much – I must be real with you guys, sometimes I delete or just leave full posts in queue and let them stay there for days. I finish writing a post and re-read it, then I start asking myself questions whether I think it’s a good post or not, and I second guess myself. I start thinking what people are going to think about the post. “This post sucks!”, “what a waste of my time”… These are all thoughts that cross my mind and fear kicks in of posting. It’s not good to be our own worst critics.

The instant gratification syndrome kicks in – I would rather write a short post in some article directory that I know is going to drive traffic to my niche sites and make me money than take half a day researching, writing, and editing a great post here for you. We all want what we want…NOW!!

What BJ Gallagher recommends we do – 5 Things we can do to change the habit

1. In my case it’s become a habit not to post very often, which is not what I want to do. I really wish I could post more often. By creating a habit of writing a paragraph to get my rolling or separating a time slot in the day dedicated to just writing can create a habit. Training myself with love can create a habit faster.

2. I’ve been using words in my vocabulary that don’t relate to action. By eliminating words like try, should, ought to can help me get rid of the negative vocab. Using more motivating words will create better results. Examples: “I’m going to write a post right now”, “people love reading my posts”

3. Sometimes I start thinking it needs to be a 1000 word Goliath post to add some value to you, but I’ve realized that a single link to an interesting article or tool can still be useful and simple to do. It’s starting that counts. By setting the goals much smaller I can guarantee myself success.

4. I know for a fact that not having a friend, coach, or mentor pushing me will not help me get at least a post a week. It’s a fact that if you have someone reminding you of your commitments, it helps. Don’t do it alone. Find someone willing to hold you accountable.

5. Finally, the last one, if not the most important. BJ Gallagher tells us that success is about progress, not perfection. Being a perfectionist myself, it’s hard to hear this, but it’s important that I know this so I can start moving in the right direction. From now on as I did with this post, I’ll write at least a sentence or a paragraph every day, and pat myself in the back and remind myself that I’m taking the right steps in the right direction. Remember that to get to the top of the building, you need to walk one step at a time, you don’t just jump to the tenth floor do you?

Obviously these are just a few reas0ns why our brains work in a certain way. Last I’m not the guy you want to get your advice about psychology from, I’m just restating things I’ve learned about why I do things according to psychology.

So now that you know I’ve been slacking, do you have any other advice or ideas to share about your own experience and how you have changed?

As I typically do at the end of each post, if you think this article helped you in some way, share it with others if you will, who knows it might help someone else too.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share your own opinions on the comments section.

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