2016 was the year that I transitioned fully from the corporate jail cubicle to 100% online business and income. However, the part of the story that never is as glamorous to tell is the few years of struggle beforehand. I penned a couple of worst-seller eBooks—I think between the two of them, they’ve maybe sold fifteen copies total.
It wasn’t because they were bad products, they were actually quite good, but there was no demand. A hard lesson to learn after pouring heart and soul into a book. However, it’s important to illustrate the point that it’s not always what it appears on the outside. While a new reader to my site would look at it and call me a lucky son-of-a-bitch for catching a break with online business, the reality is that he hasn’t seen the thousands of hours poured in behind the scenes.
With that being said, here’s some differences between in-person and online business that will hopefully give you a realistic outlook on trying to break free of the rat race.
1. Brand Is Always An Easy Sell
This is true in-person, and to an extent, online. In college, I worked at a “high-end” audio company whose name aptly told people to Buy Other Sound Equipment. Even though the products themselves were at best mediocre, it didn’t matter. The name sold that product based off of the name alone more times than I could count.
People would just walk in and say, “So, you guys are the best. A, B, and C person told me so. I want a $300 pair of headphones please.” And that was that. They wouldn’t even try them on in a lot of cases. It’s the low-end equivalent of buying a car without bothering to take a test drive. How many car companies can make a sale like that? You could probably count the names on two hands.
The point is, the name behind a product is everything. When you’re doing smaller-time online business, you have no name. You cannot ever expect people to buy just because you are you—you have to prove yourself and sell whatever it is you’re selling. Speaking of…
2. Selling Is A Different Animal
When I worked in that audio store, it wasn’t just the brand that made things easy. It was being able to analyze the tiniest of details about how a person was feeling based off of the words, gestures, and triggers from me. I look back now, and realize that this sales job was what gave me a leg up in regards to game. I was able to apply that same system into having success with girls—and that’s what game is, when it boils down to it. Selling yourself to her.
Selling in the flesh is much easier because you can read a person, and have an intimate, face-to-face conversation with them. When you’re dealing with online business, you’re miles apart on all levels. They might be from a different country and 10 hours ahead. They might have zero interest in your offering because they found you “cold”. It’s the equal of someone who was “window shopping” at the speaker store—it was infinitely harder to turn that person into a paying customer than the example I used above. Even if they had more money than sense.
What I learned: Sure, you can write good copy and try to hit those same emotional triggers that you can utilize in person, but it’s never going to have the same effect. When it comes down to it, we as humans have a need for face-to-face interactions. It’s why the majority of people (granted, there are some weirdos) actually do go meet people from online dating. If you have the skills, selling to someone standing in front of you will always be easier than someone across the world on an LED screen.
3. Health, Wealth, Relationships
The three evergreen products, always. But there’s a problem with the fact that they’re not evergreen. What could that problem be? Products like these will always be in high demand. Everyone wants to get ripped. Everyone wants a million bucks. And everybody wants to have sex. You might be able to add travel to this list, but in many cases it’s because people have dreams of heading to the beaches and having sex with exotic girls, such as Brazilian women. The problem then becomes is that everyone puts out a product centered around these three core topics.
I’m not saying it’s impossible, because ROK itself is a good example. It is important to note though for those starting out, that breaking into these fields is going to take significantly longer. If your goal is a blog, it’s going to take several years of consistent publishing (think 3x a week minimum) and a lot of networking and self promotion before you’re making a comfortable income. And to be frank, most people don’t have the mental fortitude to get through that—I’ve seen it countless times.
Of course, if you have a massive ads budget and an understanding of how that industry works, you can accelerate that process. However, those with those skill sets are generally going that route with massive, high-end products rather than trying to start a general information and advice blog.
What I learned: Information products don’t sell in brick and mortar shops, whereas online business is chock full of them. If someone gets dumped and wants to get ripped, do you think an easier sell is in person, where they can see the home gym in action, or an eBook? Physical products are often easier to move.
4. Start Small
The best advice I can give is to start small—my niche site UkraineLiving.com is an excellent example of it. I took photos, information, and content that I got from my time in Ukraine and turned it into a mini little guide. I wrote 30 or so posts, and then turned them into an eBook and threw it up on Amazon. It’s nothing special but it became a best seller, and as of writing this—is still the #1 book about Kiev on Amazon. It doesn’t sell much, but it makes enough pay for a date or two abroad every week.
In regards to that website—I picked out good keywords, and the site is closing in on cracking the top 1 million sites in the world. It makes a little bit of money every month, but the real value is in what I could potentially sell it for. I recently had the site evaluated for a cost, and it came back at about $2,000. I estimated that I’d spent 30 hours working on the site at that point, so that comes out to $66/hour. Not too shabby.
Now, it’s important to get expectations into check on this. Guys like Pat Flynn have been pumping niche sites for years now. In most cases, they aren’t going to make you rich. They will, however, be a nice little piece of the pie in the grand scheme of things. Many times it’s just a matter of doing the work.
What I learned: Diversification is important, much like investing. Putting all your eggs into one product, one site, or one idea that may not pan out is a bad move. It takes guts to keep trying new things, but eventually things begin to pay off.
5. Always Solve A Problem
This is the best advice I can give is to always solve a problem. A website that just provides entertainment, but no problem-solving, is a website often doomed to the grave of abandoned blogs. Of course, there is a breaking point to this once you’re big enough and can sell ads at a premium price. However, until you reach that point you’re bound to be frustrated.
Focus on solving the problems that people face in their lives. In the case of my Ukrainian website, it’s all about helping people who want more information on Ukraine. Sure, there’s plenty of great articles scattered throughout the internet, but time is money. In my case, I saw an opportunity to compile all the information I’ve gained about Ukrainian women, the language, culture, and more into one site. Someone looking to book their first trip to Ukraine could make that site their one-stop shop as opposed to haphazardly throwing information together from multiple sources.
What I learned: If you solve people’s problems, the sky can be the limit. However, if you push your own problems off on other people, you’ll never reap the rewards (and rightfully so). And let’s face it—everyone in the world has problems. That’s the only lesson about demand that you need.
To see the growth of the site mentioned in this post, check out Ukraine Living. What key ingredients are missing from your dating life? Learn how to build a harem like the kings of old with Kyle’s book, King’s Code. To learn more click here.
Read More: The Pitfalls Of Being A Digital Nomad