The following is a guest post written by Patrick Meninga of The Freedom Blogger. He recently built and sold his flagship website for $200,000.
I want to tell you about the mindset required to create wealth on the Internet. The actual mechanics of building successful websites are actually pretty basic: you put up useful content, gain authority, build links, get readers and subscribers, and so on.
But what the newcomer fails to understand in the world of Internet Marketing is just how important it is to have the right attitude, the right mindset.
Let me describe for you the attitude that allowed me to build a six figure website.
Being Hungry for Freedom
Like many people, I had a day job that I worked 40 hours a week at, and I was miserable with it.
It was not so much the hours themselves, nor was it the job itself. I could deal with the actual job. But the grind of doing it so consistently was wearing me down emotionally. I wanted to come home each night and start a business that could eventually set me free, and even gathering the energy to try to do that was very difficult.
My day job was sapping my strength to pursue a better life.
Worse, I fell into the trap of spending money to feel better about myself. “I work hard, I deserve to reward myself, right?”
Wrong attitude. At some point, I realized that if I could create even a modest online income and combine that with sensible frugality, then I could purchase my freedom and some day walk away from my day job.
Eventually, the pain of grinding out a living by sacrificing 40 hours of my time each week became to great for me to ignore.
I wanted something different for my life, so I set out to create a business.
The Creationist Mindset
At this time in my life, I was exploring different business models on the Internet. How could I use the Internet to make money and build a real business?
I noticed that many business models relied on exploiting inefficiencies. For example, say somebody wants to buy a book on Amazon. They do a search for the book and they land on a personal website, one like you or I might create. We are recommending the book and so the person clicks through our affiliate link and buys the book on Amazon. Because we sent the customer to Amazon, we get a tiny slice of the revenue. Do this several times every day, and you can build a decent income from it. Some people make a living this way.
While some affiliate models do add value for the buyer, many businesses on the Internet do not. They simply game the system to get clicks and build up tiny amounts of income, over and over again, without adding anything of real value to the Internet.
I considered such business models and decided that they probably did not have much sustainability to them.
I wanted to create something of value, something that would last for a long time, something that the search engines would be proud to send their searchers to, over and over again.
And so I discovered the “authority website.”
An authority website is a “real” website, one that has a real person behind it, and it is a website that actually cares about the topic and the visitors. It is not just a collection of words about a topic. It is not just a bunch of keyword-targeted articles with boring walls of text filling up the site. The author behind the site must actually care about the people who interact with the website.
I set out to build such a website in an area that I had some expertise in. My ideas were original regarding my topic and I could actually make a difference in the lives of my readers.
I was building the site in the hopes of income, but my focus was not to extract income at any cost. Instead, I used more of a “creationist mentality” to focus on building the most helpful and useful website that I could.
Volume matters, and if you build a huge website, you will likely make some money.
But, the authority website model says that quality and usefulness is even more important. The website that I built and eventually sold off for six figures was built with genuinely helpful articles that will stand the test of time.
Writing a spammy review of a red toaster is not going to build a sustainable business.
Instead, create something of value, something that is so useful and helpful to people that they refer their friends to read it too.
Bake in quality right from the start. Say “I want to publish something amazing on my website today, something that helps people.” That is the right mindset for this business.
Questions such as “How can I extract more money from my website visitors?” or “What scheme can I use to make an extra 5 dollars per day gaming cheap ad clicks?” are not part of the right mindset.
One attitude leads to real wealth, the other might lead to some quick cash that will fizzle out.
Creating Ultra Premium Content that Sells Itself
This million dollar mindset is about going above and beyond what your competition is doing. Look at competing websites in your niche and study their content carefully. Look at several of the top websites (as ordered by Google searches).
Now, take a mental snapshot of all of that content you just examined, and figure out how to beat it.
Figure out how to make your own content that goes way above and beyond what your competitors are offering.
Maybe your new content will be more in-depth. Maybe it will be more detailed. Maybe it will need to be offered in more formats such as videos or eBooks.
The right mindset is one that says: “I am going to set my standard of quality above all existing content on the web right now for my topic.”
The right mindset says: “I am the authority of this topic, so my content naturally has to be the absolute best, most useful, and most helpful content on the entire web regarding my topic.”
When you adopt this mindset, be sure to pace yourself and start very slowly.
Say: “I am going to create the best single resource article about a certain subject that I possible can.”
Then, spend weeks polishing a robust resource article. Publish it.
Then, do it again.
The first few articles you publish will take forever to create and polish. You might think to yourself “I will never be able to build a large authority website at this rate.”
But focusing on quality like this remains important, and eventually you will find your process speeding up by a large amount. What used to take you 10 hours will now take you 2 hours.
Focus on creating ultra premium quality with each and every article, and let your speed increase naturally over time.
Don’t rush it, websites have to age anyway in order to gain trust with the search engines. This is not “get rich quick.” Rather it is “build passive income slowly and surely.”
Make sure your content is oozing with quality and value, and methodically build up your online empire, one quality article at a time.
Sustainable income is your goal, not rapid growth (that can be taken away at the drop of a hat due to poor quality).
Concentration Rather than Diversification
Everyone who talks about building passive income online talks about “multiple streams of income.”
I don’t buy it, and neither should you.
Why not? Because the truly wealthy know the power of concentration. Warren Buffet is famous for arguing against diversification, saying that he prefers to pick a small handful of winners instead. Obviously, his track record speaks for itself. Concentration is a powerful strategy.
With online business ventures, this idea is especially important, because there are so many potential distractions. The Internet Marketing world is full of “shiny objects” that all promise to be the road to easy money.
Don’t buy any of it.
My suggestion: start a single website in a profitable niche, and focus exclusively on it for several years.
If you have five or ten websites, how many of them do you think are going to sell for six figures? None of them!
But if you have one website, and carefully nurture it and care for it for several years, you may well get a healthy income along the way and a huge payday at the end like I did.
Newcomers typically recoil in horror at this advice, saying “how can you put all of your eggs in one basket? That is just stupid, you could lose all of your income in an instant if Google decides they don’t like your site!”
But look at the reality:
I poured all of my energy into one website, and it created a very healthy income for me for years and eventually sold for six figures. In the meantime, many people who had diversified with several niche websites saw all of their income evaporate at the same time because Google’s algorithm updates keep raising the bar as far as quality is concerned.
The power of concentrating your efforts on one website means that you are building something extremely valuable that will therefore be very durable. Google is not going to ignore a well built authority website that is oozing with quality.
When you diversify you run the risk of watering down what could have been a great website into many smaller mediocre websites.
Overcoming Setbacks with a Long Term Perspective
95 percent of everyone who attempts to make money online will bail out “before the miracle happens.”
This is because of spam.
The problem is that it takes so long now for the search engines to start trusting legitimate content. This is because so much new web spam is created each and every day, that the only practical solution for search engines to deal with it all is for them to put everyone on a probationary waiting period.
What this means is that it will likely take you longer than you want in order to become profitable with your online business.
But this is also an opportunity. Nineteen our of twenty people will drop out of the race before they see success. This gives you a clear opportunity to press on and be rewarded in the long run.
In addition to this, Google likes to shake things up from time to time with algorithm updates. Your website may have extremely high quality content, but still suffer occasional setbacks due to these shifting winds.
The solution to this uncertainty is to take a long term perspective. Look at Internet Marketing as your long term hobby, one that will likely pay off very well for you some day. But do not count on your $150 dollar AdSense check each month to pay for your utility bills.
Rather, a year from now you may be averaging $600 dollars per month, but fluctuations could still dip this as low as, say, $250 in a single month.
And a year later — provided you are still working hard at it — your site might be earning an average of $1,500 per month. But again, an algorithm update or seasonal fluctuations in your niche might put you as low as $900 or so.
If you follow the principles in this article and demand premium quality content for your website, these fluctuations will matter less and less to you.
Deep down, you will know that you are building a valuable long term asset, and that the value you are providing to people will pay off well in the long run.
Don’t worry about how much income you will make next month. Instead, worry about how much your site will be earning 2 years from now. Your actions today — and every day — will dictate how much that future income will be.
Focus on Daily Output with a Quota
This is perhaps the most powerful mindset that you can adopt for this business.
Let us assume that you have a website right now that is getting a trickle of income. It is still fairly young, does not get much traffic, and it does not have many articles on it. But you are seeing a small trickle of income based on what you have built so far, and you want to grow that income in order to achieve freedom and liberation.
Here is the mindset you must adopt in order to make that happen:
Make a pact with yourself that you will publish 3 articles each and every day on your website. Period.
Each article must maintain premium quality. Each article should target unique long tail keyword variations: in other words, don’t duplicate the ideas or concepts from previous articles written.
But this has to be a hard core commitment.
This has to become the most important thing in your life, period.
Say to yourself: “I do not crawl into bed each night until I have my 3 articles published on my website.”
Sound tough? It is challenging. But if you can find the discipline to make it happen, amazing things will happen.
Do this for a year straight and you will have the foundation of a strong online income.
Do it for two years and you will likely have a website that is worth six figures.
Of course, this makes a few key assumptions, but none of them are really deal breakers if your are truly hungry for liberation:
- You picked a profitable topic that is not too competitive.
- You picked a topic that you have some expertise in and can write prolifically about.
- You do some promotion on the side in addition to your on-site publishing.
- You are willing to be patient and let the site age in order to gain trust.
- You are willing to wake up early or stay up late in order to write articles each day.
You should be getting a strong glimpse into the “million dollar mindset” at this point: Create a single website, make it premium quality, shoot for high volume, take daily action, and work like a dog at it.
Achieving the Dream and Selling it Off for Six Figures
So how do you cash out and sell your website for six figures?
Easy. Stop worrying about it, and instead focus on income growth.
My intention was never to sell my website to begin with. I only worked my tail off in order to grow the monthly income.
I wanted to be able to quit my day job, so my focus was always on pushing the monthly earnings higher and higher. I wanted to buy my freedom, my liberation from day job tyranny.
In doing so, I created an extremely valuable website that naturally could sell for six figures. An unsolicited buyer approached me, simple based on the quality, volume, and success of the website.
So my advice to internet entrepreneurs is simple: do not necessarily aim to sell out. Instead, aim for income growth. This will lead to a naturally higher asking price for your website.
The million dollar mindset is about creating huge value for other people, and then profiting from that value as a secondary result. Your primary goal has to be the value creation, the premium content, the expertise and insight that you bring to your particular topic.
That is what separates the winners and losers in the world of online businesses.
Change your mindset to one of value and creation, and you can earn big money online.
Patrick Meninga is the author of The Freedom Blogger. He recently built and sold his flagship website for $200,000 dollars.