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Four Foundations For Lasting Success

We’ve been talking about how to make this year your best year ever. Now it’s time to look at a very important piece of that puzzle – building on a solid foundation.

In part 1 we discussed mindset. Incredibly important that. It seems you agree from the kind comments we received.

In part 2 we discussed having a commitment to excellence. Promoting excellent products. Using excellent methods. Providing excellent value.

The commitment to excellence is the surest path to building a long-term business and loyal customers.

And this is exactly the goal we are going for … to build a durable business, a long term business. A business that succeeds now AND succeeds in years to come. A real business you can sell or pass on to your heirs.

Not a flash in the pan but rather a business that becomes a real asset for you. If that is what you want, read on.

Today we look at the four foundations for building a business that stands the test of time.

I have been self-employed for about 30 years now. I’ve made my full time living online for about 12 of those years.

In all that time perhaps the greatest truth I have learned is this …

To achieve success online it is vital to build on a solid foundation

This is an important, if not popular, message.

Important because it’s true. Always has been. I believe it always will be.

No matter how much the “4 minute workweek” or “1 click riches” folks tickle our ears, the fact remains that success takes work. It takes time. And it takes endurance.

Old fashioned attributes like learning and hard work and sacrifice are not popular today. But they are what great business are made of, online and offline too.

“Every year we see this, every year the same thing—no matter how avant garde, no matter how trend-setting these haute couture collections are, they never forget to include the pearls…”

Since the European courtiers of the Renaissance sported them in their elaborate costumes and wigs, pearls have had a dazzling role to play in high fashion. Classic movie actresses like Audrey Hepburn and TV moms like June Cleaver immortalized the classic Tahitian Necklace fashion and beauty of the pearl necklaces they were never without, and set their place in our popular culture as simple, elegant style. Today their popularity continues unabated, and pearls are owned by women of all ages, and all walks of life.

Of all the people I know who have succeeded in business 100% failed on some level before they became successful. And the successful ones I know work very hard. It’s just how life works.

So if you have failed at making money online so far, take heart.

Your failures to date are a blessing in disguise. They are an education.

Although sometimes painful, the losses you have suffered in your online business can only make you stronger and wiser if you don’t lose heart.

Success really does require the right foundation. A strong foundation made up of the things that work in the real world.

The idea of building on a solid foundation is as old as time itself. Even the Bible speaks to this in Matthew 7:24

The greatest teacher of all time contrasted the wise man as one who build on the rock while the foolish man built his house on a foundation of sand.

The same is true in business – the stronger the foundation the bigger, and better, the house can be built.

So what are the keys to building your business on a solid foundation?

I believe there are four…

  • Content marketing
  • List building
  • Email marketing
  • Social media

Today I will share an overview of each.

Foundation 1 – Content marketing

When people hear the term “content marketing” they usually have two reactions.

  1. What is content marketing?
  2. I’m not a writer and don’t want to become one!

These are natural responses. But not to worry, content marketing is actually simple.

So what is content marketing?

Content marketing is the process of making high-quality helpful content available to to public free.

Simple really.

Here are a few examples.

  • If you have a blog about baking cookies you are doing content marketing.
  • If you have a site that helps people connect with others you are doing content marketing.
  • If you write articles that inform and inspire you are doing content marketing.
  • If you publish a book about organic gardening, or lowering blood pressure, you are doing content marketing.

You see, content marketing takes many shapes.

There are really only two key factors when it comes to content marketing.

  1. The content must be helpful.
  2. The content must be easily accessible.

Let me stress again, this is a simple business model. That’s what makes it fun! And so profitable.

But what about question 2 – the one about not liking, or wanting, to write?

Here’s the beauty part. You don’t have to write at all!

For this situation there are two solutions.

  1. Become a content clearing house
  2. Curate content on a specific topic

We’ve spoken a bit about curation so let me direct you here for more.

As to becoming a clearinghouse let me direct you to the best examples I know.

Drudge Report

Instapundit

Let me encourage you to look closely, because these sites are hugely profitable.

I saw the owner of Instapundit interviewed recently. Interesting guy. Works alone. Loves his site. Gets 6 million new visitors a month.

Think you could make money with 6 million new visitors a month?

Content marketing works. It is, in my view, the best choice for almost everyone wanting to make money online. The lifeblood of the Internet is information. People don’t care where they get it, they care THAT they get it and it’s helpful.

You can do that!

Foundation 2 – List building

List building and content marketing work beautifully together. Not all content marketers want to build a list (see Drudge) but many do. A few examples are Copyblogger and Chris Brogan or John Chow.

So why would you want to build a list? Simple – to reach more people and make more money! Both good outcomes.

The goal with content marketing combined with list building is simple – to find your audience and let them get to know you.

This is why the combination of content marketing and list building works so well.

  • High quality content will bring people to you without you having to go out and “drive traffic” to your site.
  • Building a list and following up with them will bring them back to consume more of your content.

As they get to know you, like you and trust you they will buy from you. Everyone wins!

Foundation 3 – Email marketing

In my years online perhaps the #1 “dream” that people have shared with me is this.

To own an automated business that earns money every day without their involvement and one that sets them free financially.

Welcome to the world of email marketing!

When you combine email marketing with content marketing and list building you create the “perfect storm” of an online business.

Your content feeds the reader with what they need – clear concise content that makes their life better.

If they like your content they join your list without being “forced” and look forward to your updates.

NOTE: Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with using a “forced” opt in when selling things. But we’re talking about content marketing now and for that offering an opt in without forcing it works best.

Because they now know you and like you (from your content and updates) they will trust you and buy from you.

While it’s impossible to cover email marketing here (I do that at Follow Up Selling Systems) let me share some keys for success with email marketing.

  • Steady, consistent contact that includes helpful information beats “blasting” offers every day
  • Respect the reader and the reader will reward you
  • Use alternate methods of contact – Don’t just send plain text or HTML email. Send video, audio, surveys, gifts and more.

Much more can be found at Follow Up Selling Systems

Foundation 4 – Social media

I have a confession to make – I don’t like social media very much. I think that many of the social media companies are arbitrary in their rules and don’t protect the consumer very well. And I find social media very time consuming if one is to do it well.

But that does not mean I can’t use social media to help even more people than my sites or newsletters can reach. So I do.

My personal experience with social indicates there are two ways for most people to use social to their advantage.

1 – Make it your main marketing method

.. OR ..

2 – Use it to broadcast what you are doing in your business.

Seth Godin uses the second method, as do I. Rather than sharing what I’m having for lunch, or making offers that are exclusive to Facebook (nothing wrong with either) I choose to notify those who prefer to follow me on social instead of email.

Again, not judging – just saying these are viable alternatives.

All that said, I do believe that a person who focuses on social media and works the system can and will succeed with this method.

Here are a few tips to help you succeed with social IF you use the method I use, to broadcast.

1 – Share nuggets from your content marketing efforts.

Rather than just broadcast “there is new content” take some of that content and make tweets or posts from it.

2 – Be transparent about not responding to people via social.

Gary Vaynerchuk is good about this. You can see his Twitter feed here. He has over 1 million followers and is very open about not replying to them via Twitter. But he does offer a way to contact him, and that matters a lot.

3 – Hook your social accounts together with your email autoresponder, like Aweber, and blog so you can publish once and have everyone notified.

This turns out to be super easy to do. I teach this inside Follow Up Selling Systems and it’s a huge time saver.

So there you have the four foundations for lasting success online.

I want to be clear that these are not the only important things one can do online.

Nor are all four of them necessary. You can succeed using one if you do it very well.

It’s clear that people are succeeding by using only on of these four foundations while others do equally well using some combination of the four.

Here is the most important point of this article

But the key point, the thing I hope you take away is this.

Mastering these basic marketing methods is essential before you move on to techniques that are less proven, less powerful and create shorter term results.

I’ve spoken with hundreds of people who have said they spent $5000, $10,000 and even $50,000 on information products and “one click wonders” and never made a dime.

But they also admit they never wrote an article (or outsourced one written) or run a solo ad, built a list or done the other things that really work.

Ironically, chasing getting rich quick ended up getting them broke.

If we were meeting in person and there was one thing I could leave you with it would be this – choose one foundational method and really commit to it.

Do it with all your heart and never stop.

Don’t get distracted by “shiny objects” and fake screenshots and claims of quick riches.

Be the tortoise, not the hare. Run your own race but don’t be a pioneer.

Let those who have money to lose risk their money on new and sexy marketing methods while you quietly rake in all the cash you want using methods that are proven, reliable and scalable.

If you do that I believe that THIS year will be your best year ever.

Charlie Page Signature

Charlie Page
 

Happily married for 44 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and creator of over 16 membership sites. You can see all Charlie offers using this link Click Here

  • Ellis Tremus says:

    Thank you Charlie motivating!!!

  • […] I know you have heard how easy it is to succeed online. […]

  • […] I know you have heard how easy it is to succeed online. […]

  • […] Use proven business methods […]

  • Robert says:

    Thanks for this useful and common sense information Charlie. It’s always nice to be reminded that the straightforward and proven methods work fine if we just apply some consistent elbow grease to them.

  • Julia Gifford says:

    This is very good information. I have been online, for a very long time. But, I have never given up my dreams to generate income from home. This article was very inspiring for me. Made me take a look at my goals, that I write down, and hope to accomplish. Thank you, so much, for sending this to me. I enjoy reading your emails. But, this one is at the top!

  • Jeff Moreau says:

    Hi Charlie, Another great article form you. I saw an earlier post that your lifetime to DOE is closed. I didn’t know this. I will say this, I would of joined DOE had you had a payment option. Burning $197 just wasn’t there the last few years.

    Hope that your 2014 is a great year.

    Jeff

    • Charlie Page says:

      Hi Jeff,

      The DOE is not closed but we did close the Lifetime level some time back.

      As to the price – I would guess you have spent more than that during the time you have been considering the DOE. Most people who wait to get the DOE tell me they wasted *so* much time and money (more than the DOE costs) while waiting.

      I respect that our price is not the lowest in the land. I know too our value is very high, and getting higher all the time.

      I hope you can join us soon.

      Charlie

  • Sheila LyonHall says:

    My 2014 Greeting and Prayer: “May the New Year arrive with Great Gusto … relentless in its delivery of Peace, continued Prosperity and Phenomenal Joy for you and your family. Happy New Year, Charlie!” Shalom!

  • Lisabelle says:

    Thank You Charlie for a wealth of information that is useful. Happy New Year 2014

  • Joseph Juhant says:

    Hey Charlie, I sure am glad a friend gave me your link,I was one of those people buying the shiny objects until about a month ago..It’s a new year and I plan on joining..I finally found what i’ve been looking for..Thanks 🙂

  • […] Key 1 – Mindset Key 2 – Commitment to excellence Key 3 – Building on a four firm foundations […]

  • Timo Lampikosoki says:

    Hi Charlie,
    thank you for an awesome post.
    This year we’ll put emphasis on social media marketing.
    I highly recommend Hootsuite in this; makes your marketing efforts so much easier 🙂

    All the best,
    Timo

    • Charlie Page says:

      I second that recommendation. Although I’m not super-active on social I do use and like Hootsuite for automating the process.

  • Daniel says:

    Hi Charlie,Great Stuff,i also share and agree with the idea of building the foundations to a great Success,no matter what it costs!

  • Grace says:

    Hello Charlie,

    My name is Grace and I have subscribed to your updates here. I have thouroughly enjoyed reading your articles. The thing that impresses me the most about your content is the way you bring the word of God into the secular business world. Not many can do that.

    But knowing where your resevoir of inspiration and encouragement for your articles comes from puts me more at ease knowing that what you are saying is and can be trusted. Thank you for that.

    Grace
    Newsletter & Ezines Editor at BellaOnline.com

    • Charlie Page says:

      Hi Grace. I love the Bella community! Thanks for writing in. The Lord is such an integral part of my life it just kind of comes out. I do try to not be preachy but try to share openly what I do and believe. Thanks again for your kind comment.

  • pippa says:

    there is nowhere on your website that says if $197 is a monthly, yearly or once only subscription, and this is the only place I could find to post it. In another letter for $199 is lifetime membership is that for the same thing? Speedy answer appreciated, as I would like to sign up (especially interested in solo ads) but need to know which one if different and for how long. Regards Pippa Wiles

    • Charlie Page says:

      Sorry about that Pippa. The cost for DOE membership is $197 per year. The Annual membership is the only membership level we offer. We stopped selling Lifetime memberships almost a year ago now. I do have this offer running now in case you are interested. Click here

  • Zack Lim says:

    Hi Charlie,

    Thank you for sharing great content again.

    I agree with you that the way to go forward is to focus on building a strong foundation for the internet business. Imagine the strong foundation of the business if all the 4 foundations are applied.

    I am looking forward to your article on how to start content marketing.

    Zack

  • panicos varnava says:

    Hi Charlie,
    As usual another high quality article and thanks for sharing your experience with us that are new to this game. I learned to my costs that the ‘magic button’ doesn’t exist and if I could give one piece of advice to a newbie it would be to avoid chasing that dream.

    Let me give you an example; when I first started, I made about $300 really quick by promoting a clickbank product using solo ads for traffic. This was down to beginners luck, it gave me a fasle sense of security thinking this is easy, so I flitted around like a butterfly promoting this and that, spent a fortune on solo ads and got nothing back. It was then I realised the importance of building a solid foundation, and as you say you must first learn to walk before you can run.

    Have a great day
    Panicos

    • Charlie Page says:

      It’s true that early success can lead to a false sense of security in some cases. I’m happy you did succeed with that solo ad but sorry that other solo sources did not create the same results. There really is no cookie-cutter solution but we can learn from our experience, both good and bad and become better marketers.

  • Alex says:

    One of the best presented and simplest articles I’ve seen on the basics of online marketing. Where were you when I was a confused beginner?

    🙂

    Charlie, I hugely enjoyed the series of articles you wrote on Curation – will you be adding any more?

    • Charlie Page says:

      I will be adding several more to the curation series and in fact creating a free course for readers. That will happen just after my current offering (which opens today) is over.

  • Four Foundations for Lasting Success – Internet marketing for the … : My Exit Splash Review And Bonuses says:

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  • Dan says:

    Thank you Charlie. Nice article. Drove home some good points. (stop chasing the next push button wonder.) Do what works.

  • earl says:

    Charlie,
    I have been a member of the DOE for a year, and read all of your articles. The thing is I get lost in all of the for sure systems that come along. I am thinking I should opt out of all of the other successful marketers and just concentrate on your solid advise.
    Just trying to get focused, so I can actually see a dime put into my account.

    • Charlie Page says:

      Focus is good and very important. I’m adding new material to the Directory of Ezines all the time so keep up with the site for sure.

      As to opting out of other marketers, that needs to be your call. There are some great marketers online and some that just blast their lists to death.

      If someone is bringing value to you then stay with them. If you are getting lost in all the email offers they send then either opt out or change addresses to an email address you only check once a week.

      That one tip alone can be a huge time saver.

  • Kebabope Morapedi says:

    Excellent share Charlie,hype marketing sells unfortunately it robs many the real chance of making it online and with your tips above i think you have sent the message straight home.I will use this tips in my business.

    Thanks again.

    Kebabope Morapedi

    • Charlie Page says:

      Hype can make the sale but hype can never make a customer. And customers are SO much more important (and valuable) than sales. Thank you for your comment.

  • Guy says:

    Welcome back Charlie,

    Good advice as always. I’ve had my fair share of chasing shiny objects and although I haven’t gone broke I’m not getting richer so I’ve made sure I’ve purged everything unnecessary and I am just focusing on three of the four fundamentals you discussed using FUSS and DOE methods and resources. I can truly appreciate that it will take time but it will build a stable business for the long term and one that can be continuously built upon. Patience is the key! It’s not so much that it’s hard work as it is dedicated effort to stay focused and belief in the system. Continually learning from your efforts is also vitally important to make necessary adjustments. Lastly, make sure to interact with the people and organizations that you deal with and learn from their experiences. You’ll be surprised to learn just how much they’ll help if you simply ask!

    All the best Charlie, I hope your doing better.

    • Charlie Page says:

      Great points Guy! Thank you for being a member of both Directory of Ezines and Follow Up Selling Systems. I’ve got some great things planned for people who are members of both and will be announcing some of that this week.

      Great tip about asking for help. Most serious business people want to help customers and asking is a great idea.

      I’m feeling much better thanks. The things we are doing are working and I’m back to work with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement. I believe 2013 will be our best year ever!

  • Anthony Kpodo says:

    This is a vintage Charlie Page expose’ brilliantly executed. Here is so much education and food for thought. To say anything further will dilute the great stuff. “Be like the tortoise…”

    • Charlie Page says:

      Thank you for your kind comment. I’ve been using the tortoise approach for many years (decades actually) and can tell you it really works. The great thing is that one can be a fast tortoise too.

      Success does not need to take a very long time. But it does require focus and massive action based on something more than just hoping things will work out.

      Thanks again.

  • Hilmi says:

    How can we do good content helpful to wold? where can I find them?
    The good content means good product how well I create it for peoples?

    • Charlie Page says:

      You can either write great content, hire it written or use curation to provide great content. It all depends on your skills, desires, budget and time. It starts with focusing on a topic.

      I have a few articles here on the blog about that if you’d like to read them. Just search the word “focus” and you will find them.

  • Bruce Desrosiers says:

    Hi Charlie. I bought my first solo Wednesday, The mailing started last night. My stats show 32 clicks and 8 conversions.
    I never did that on the safe list’s I tried. And I tried about 50 of them!
    I decided that 2013 is going to be my breakout year and thanks to the D O E it looks like I’m off to a good start.

    • Charlie Page says:

      Congratulations! 32 clicks is a great start. And 8 conversions is a 25% conversion rate which is a great starting point as well.

      There is such a huge difference between solo ads and safelists. Huge. Safelists just don’t work.

      Now that you have taken action you will have established a “control” – something against which other lists and solo ads can be measured.

      Now that you know some of your numbers you can begin to refine the selling process too in order to increase conversion to 50% or more!

      Well done!

  • scott says:

    charlie,

    excellent, just excellent. your focus on the fundamentals is refreshing and relevant to me at the moment (i had shiny things all around).

    thanks!

    • Charlie Page says:

      Thanks Scott. I focus on fundamentals every day and it works so well. Not only does it create positive action but it’s a huge time saver because there is no need to even consider the shiny object.

      Appreciate your comments.

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