The NO Fluff / NO BS BLUEPRINT for Turning Your PASSION into a Thriving Business

The No Fluff / No BS BLUEPRINT for Turning your PASSION into a Thriving Business

Ok – let’s get TO it:

The NO Fluff / NO BS Blueprint, baby!!

Wo-hoo!!

How can you turn a passion – almost any passion – into a thriving business?

The short answer:

“M” aka MARKETING!

I know…

…not what you wanted to hear.

But here’s the good part:

By marketing I do NOT mean pitching, pestering people, being sleazy or other yukky stuff.

Nope!

Marketing refers to:

GROWING A FOLLOWING of people who are passionate about the same thing as you!

Woa!

Sounds a lot more fun, doesn’t it?

And here is where BLING comes in:

Once you have a passionate following of people who love your niche and topic just as much as you do, you can easily monetize that following through books, courses, related products, etc.

… while – still having fun with your audience, providing awesome content, AND sharing your passion with them.

All – in – One!

Win-win for everybody.

Sound delish?

It sure is.

Now….

little ditty problem…

 – you might say.

HOW… – do you get that awesome following…?

If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

I gottcha.

And that’s where this snappy little guide comes in.

How DO you grow a following?

In a nutshell:

By using 1 or 2 of the unique, awesome platforms the internet has to offer:

– Blog

– Self-Publishing

– Podcasting

– Youtube

– ECommerce

– Social Media

…learning how to get noticed on each – aka “marketing” – AND how to keep your ardent followers engaged.

That’ it.

Pretty much.

Well, if it’s so easy why doesn’t everybody do it?

Glad you asked.

Because most never bother with “M”…

and without “M”:

Nada followers

and

Absolutely NADA BLING!

If you don’t know who “M” is, check this out (yep – click on the pic, it will open in a new tab…;):

Marketing: How to Chill with the M-Word

Now….before we go over the 7 steps…..one more thing.

Really important.

You need these 3 goodies in your bag:

3 Must-Have Ingredients

#1 – EXPERT TRAINING

That’s right.

You are “going back to school”.

Not a literal school and without exorbitant tuition fees, but if you want to succeed – and especially within the next 2 years – you better get your little booty trained, or it will be VERY tedious and SLOW.

“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want, copy what they do and you will achieve the same result.” – Tony Robbins

Expert training is the short cut.

In that context:

Big BOOBOO: The Lottery Mentality

It’s fascinating how many people enter cyberspace expecting quick riches and international fame.

All without training and just by “winging it” somehow.

You wouldn’t dream of working as a doctor, architect, plumber or cook without proper training!

Then why would you think it’s any different when building a business online?

The Good News…

Online training is:

– usually fun

much less expensive than college

much shorter time frame

– you start earning while you learn

Do a good course or two, apply what you learn, and you can start earning a side income very quickly. Sometimes within weeks, certainly within months.

It is also very reasonable – if you apply yourself – to generate a solid full time income within 1-2 years.

Or less than that…

I don’t know any other profession where you can say that!

Which brings me to ingredient #2:

#2 – The ENTREPRENEUR MINDSET

Another BIGGIE:

Whatever online venture you are planning – be it a blog, a self-published author, eCommerce, freelancer, consultant, etc. – you are now an entrepreneur!

Act like one.

Be a professional. Have a long term mindset. Clarify your Goals and then employ laser like focus and discipline to achieving them.

It’s not about who makes money the fastest. It’s about who makes it the “longest”. Meaning for the rest of your life.

THAT is freedom.

Treat this like your new career, because that’s what it is.

Commit to becoming the best you can possibly be – a top notch expert in whatever you do – and then don’t stop until you get there!

#3 – FOCUS on PASSIVE INCOME

WOA – take shelter….

Another biggie flying by….

Biggies everywhere now.

Whoops.

Ok –

FOCUS:

The internet has blessed us – yes, “blessed” us –  with an unprecedented opportunity to create passive income streams with very little investment, risk, or even time input.

What is passive income?

Traditional examples are:

* a pension

* rental income from real estate

* licensing fees

* royalties (books, music, etc.)

* interests and other investment income

In other words, money that keeps coming in without you having to work for it – aka NOT “trading your precious time for money”.

Cool?

You do the work ONCE in the beginning and then it’s mostly set and forget with just a little maintenance here and there.

The internet has GREATLY increased the options for creating passive income streams and made it much easier to build them. Here are the best known examples:

* Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing means: you recommend a product on your website, course, book, etc. and get a commission when someone buys using your link. This is THE bread and butter method to generate passive income and every successful internet entrepreneur uses it, regardless of platform or business type.

You can use it in conjunction with your business – or – make it an entire business of its own. You might have heard of “Niche Sites”? – That’s what I’m referring to.

Whatever you do, you NEED to become an absolute Ninja at affiliate marketing!

You can make SO much more money if you do – and it’s all passive income. Set and forget.

Don’t worry – this can be learned.

And you can start this even as a beginner. Like with everything online, there is a step-by-step system – a method – for doing affiliate marketing. And below I will share with you a resource to get you started easily and painlessly.

* Self Publishing

In particular on Amazon where you can leverage the awesome marketing power of the biggest store in the world.

I found Kindle Publishing the absolute fasted, most effective way to start generating passive income streams and grow a following on auto pilot.

For entrepreneurship, I’m referring to a series of NON fiction how-to books in your niche.

I get daily new subscribers and social media followers on autopilot, sell affiliate products and have been able to generate a full time income stream within just a few months.

It is incredibly powerful – IF – you learn the marketing part well.

There is “M” again….

You REALLY need to chill with her.

The cool part:

Once again, there is a step-by-step system that anyone can learn and follow. That’s why expert training makes SUCH a tremendous difference!

* Online Courses

Is like Publishing 10X –

IF – once again, you master “M” and learn how to crush it during a launch. This one’s more of an advanced technique. Not something I would start with, but definitely one of THE big money makers down the road.

* Softwares

Another advanced technique.

Requires a significant up-front investment since you’ll need to hire a programmer – and again – you better be an expert marketer by then to actually sell that bad boy.

So, not a beginner strategy, but a FUN thing to keep in mind for later. Also an App for your brand – wouldn’t that be cool?

* eCommerce

Not completely passive since you’ll be adding and changing products. But once you have a system down, you can have a VA (virtual assistant) do most of the daily maintenance and set up, and you just have fun with finding great new products and growing your brand.

* Memberships & Subscriptions – also not entirely passive since you need to create new content to keep members happy, but that, too, can greatly be automated and outsourced, allowing you to only spend a few hours or days per month, while growing a massive monthly income stream through membership sites.

Why Passive Income?

Like – duh….

🙂

Aside from the obvious, passive income streams can massively free up your time so you can focus on expanding and growing your brand.

Learn new things, add another platform (and again, become an expert) while not having to worry about bills being paid and having enough to live.

I feel ya there!

Need money right now?

Then you can start with a freelance option until your passive income streams are substantial enough to sustain you.

A great starter option is Virtual Assistant – aka “VA” in cyber cool.

Nope.

Not a secretary, though you can if you want.

You’ll be assisting business owners and solopreneurs with whatever special skills you have that can be performed remotely – from the comfort of your home. Often at your own hours.

It’s the latest rage and pay can be really good.

If you want a head start and land clients pronto, start by reading this article to see what’s involved.

Or – if you are ready to roll, but want some top notch training, this very inexpensive course will help ya crushin’ it quickly!

And this one’s for Pinterest VA – which is a great specialty to go into….

So ALWAYS keep your eye on Passive Income options as the long term goal. Then you’ll have the freedom to do whatever you want – when you want, how you want.

THAT’s Freedom!

Now……that you’ve been so awesomely prepared…

Let’s rock it with the 7 steps:

STEP #1 – Your Game Plan

This will be FUN!

And nope…

We’ll not write an stuffy business plan – goody, NO!

BUT…

Clarity and focus are important, so let’s set some basic goals.

Ready?

Here it goes:

1) Your Target Income

Wooo – that should be tingly…:)

What is your dream monthly income that would allow you to live comfortably without needing a day job and also cover extra expenses?

Pick a number.

It’s not final and you can adjust it any time, but it’s important to be specific and to write it down.

2) Your Time Frame

Pick an exact date by which you intend to reach that monthly income. At a minimum go with 1 year, maximum 2 years.

Again, pick an exact date.

3) Answer: WHY is this so important to you?

Yo…. – stop!

No thinking!

No rationalizing.

This has to be something that deeply touches you emotionally.

Gives you goosebumps just thinking about.

Don’t write what you “should”, but what your heart tells you. Be passionate.

Then write down all 3 in one sentence and keep it somewhere visible on a daily basis. I usually put a sticky note on my laptop with any major goal I set and the results have been nothing but phenomenal.

I don’t mean “positive thinking” or New Age fluff, though there his nothing wrong with those.

This little action brings one of the most powerful facilitators of success into the mix:

Laserlike Focus

Putting it in writing and having it in front of you on a daily basis keeps you on track. Keeps you focused and will help you prioritize when you get overwhelmed.

That kind of focus also brings serendipity into play in a way that is often inexplicable.

Opportunities come your way out of nowhere. You come across just the right resource or article when you need it. You connect with people who can help you along.

Some people call it “Power of intention” or “Power of the Subconscious Mind”, but labels don’t really matter –  the point is:

IT WORKS!

And I wouldn’t start any major project without that kind of focus.

To be super duper clear…..

This little hack will NOT do the work for you. Not at all!

If you are lazy, stop reading.

Seriously.

But it can make things a lot easier and smoother – and keep you on track.

FOCUS IS EVERYTHING!

Especially when building a business.

Defining your Passion

The topic of this Blueprint is “turning your passion into a thriving business”, so defining your passion is obviously another PRIMO factor.

If you already know what your passion is – great! You can move on to Step #2.

If you don’t, try the questions in this article to find some clarity.

And this book is absolutely AWEsome – one of the best business books I’ve ever read.

Evan Carmichael: Your One Word

You can probably guess what my “One Word” is….

However, don’t let the search stop you from starting your business.

It may take some time until you find your passion and it might really surprise you when you do. It certainly did for me – and it took me quite a long time to become clear on it:

Becoming a passionate entrepreneur and help others do the same. Teach internet marketing…..?

Seriously?

If anyone had told me this years ago, I would have laughed.

It never occurred to me, but I took action anyway, started with a travel blog, got into self-publishing and various other things – and eventually I just knew.

In the meantime though, I had become an expert at marketing and knew the workings of the internet like a pro.

It was then very easy to explode my brand right out of the gate.

Thank God I didn’t wait until I was clear on my main passion….

I also had no clue how much I would enjoy – truly enjoy – helping others in the creative process of building their business. And make if fun. An awesome adventure, rather than a tedious shore.

Who knew?

So if you don’t know what your passion is – GREAT! – it will be a fun exploration to figure it out and in the meantime:

START WITH SOMETHING!

Do NOT wait until you find your passion. Pick something and go with it.

Learn everything you possibly can on how to MARKET (see below), so that when you finally DO find your passion, you are ready to crush it and don’t need to start from scratch.

Definitely pick something you enjoy – a hobby – whatever it may be and use it as your practice tool. Like with everything in life, practice makes perfect, and it will help you breach the learning curve.

STEP #2 – Time to Niche Down

Niche down time, y’all!

Cool jellys!

What the booty is she talking about?

Well…

Another Biggie flying your way.

Here it comes:

You NEED to find a super specific sub niche within your field that you become a specialist in.

Let that sink in…..

Because it’s one of those things that will make or break you.

WHY?

Why bother?

Because the internet is supercrowded already and it’s almost impossible to get any traction if you are a jack of all trades.

It is MUCH easier to find customers and grow a following in a super specialized sub niche that you dominate.

Where you become the absolute go-to person that everyone refers to – and links to.

How?

If you love your niche, you already know most of the sub niches.

You will also have a pretty good idea of what is under-serviced. There may even be something you always wished was available, that’s really missing.

Be the one that fills that void.

Don’t have the skills or knowledge?

Learn them.

It’s usually not that hard and all the info and how-to’s you could ever want can be found in:

The 2 Great FREE Universities called

Google & Youtube

Yep – “G” & “Y”

Your 2 best friends

From now on.

They’ll help you become an expert in whatever you want and they’ll also help you with that iffy “R” word:

Re-search

Yuk…

Let’s make “R” more fun – shall we?

Here’s how:

To get ideas, start subscribing to relevant blogs in your niche and read the comments section. They can be a gold mine of information. Same with product or book reviews, especially the negative ones.

Find recurring themes that people keep complaining about or wish was available.

The key here is:

1) find an under-serviced sub niche

2) make sure that it’s something a large number of people urgently want (or you will be wasting your time)

“Pay attention to what people care about, and reverse engineer it”. – Gary Vaynerchuk

You can also create a poll for your friends on Facebook or in niche specific FB groups and forums.

Or you can ask an open question like:

“What is the #1 thing you are struggling with (niche specific, of course)”

or

“What feature/service do you wish was available, but isn’t yet?”

You will be amazed at the answers.

Things you never thought of.

In other words:

don’t ever assume you know what people want. You don’t.

Instead, always ask and keep asking.

Find out what people really urgently need, then provide it – and…

Enjoy a constant stream of dream followers, clients and customers on autopilot.

Keep playing with “R” for a bit. She means well. Give her a chance.

Keep fine tuning. The more thoroughly you do this step, the easier everything else will be.

It is the FOUNDATION.

#3 – Bread and Butter Basics: Start a Blog

B & B – Bread & Butter Basic.

Let’s do this:

If you are a new to the internet and the world of internet marketing, a BLOG is the easiest and least expensive way to get started and get your feet wet.

Plus, you will need one anyway – and a website. It’s the bread and butter part of any business.

This free book will help you set  it up.

Starting a Blog WordPress

This is actually the little book that started it all for me. My first #1 Bestseller (in those days, I still charged for it..;-) and my first experience in freedom. Since then it has helped thousands of people to get started with a blog and it can do the same for you. Have fun with it. It is my gift to you!

BooBoo Alert:

Don’t spend endless time over your domain name or the perfect design. I guarantee your design will change as you become more familiar with WordPress – and most of all, as you understand more about how to design a website based on marketing principles.

So, try to pick a name that contains at least one relevant term (aka “keyword”) related to your niche and get a decent starter design going.

This should only take 10% of your time.

The other 90%, devote to:

* learn the basics of Blog Style Writing

Here are some helpful resources:

Henneke’s 16 Snackable Writing Tips (one of the best writers on the internet and some great, easy-to-digest tips)

Headline Hacks (and everything else on that site….)

* continue with “R” and become really knowledgable about your niche.

Subscribe to up to 10 relevant blogs from your niche to get a sense of how they “do” it and observe different ways of running a blog successfully. Also observe their writing style, what appeals to you and why.

Not just blog posts, btw, but also how they write emails….

* Networking

SO important – and right from the start. Be sure to check out Rookie Mistake #8 HERE:

Be Cool...Grab the FREE Cheat Sheet & Let's ROCK your BIZ!

Beginner Internet Marketing

Whoopsi.....where should I send it? Tell me here:

Spam is BooBoo. Not HERE!

……so you don’t get yourself banned and ignored everywhere, but build awesome, productive – long term – relationships with your peers and major influencers in your field.

This little book has great pointers on networking and influencer outreach:

Take at least a month for this.

Write away, have fun with it.

And DON’t worry about followers and subscribers just yet.

You are in Kindergarden.

Enjoy this new adventure.

“Innocence is bliss” and there is no need to stress and put a lot of pressure on.

People will come when you are ready. Just chill for now.

Never lose sight of “P” though.

Your Passion!

And the reason WHY you are doing all this.

The beginning can be tedious and difficult at times, especially if you were not born with a tech gene (and couldn’t care less… 🙂

Focus on your passion, your end goal.

Know that good things take time and they grow slowly and steadily.

Not like weeds that shoot out quickly and try to squash everything in their way.

Don’t be a weed, yo..:)

Be a beautiful flower (I know super fluff…:)

And give yourself time to grow…..

And breathe…..

Difficulties, failures and frustrations will come and go.

That’s for sure.

Everybody passes through them. That’s part of life and certainly part of business.

You just take it one step at a time, build a solid foundation – and enjoy the journey!

Tom Ed, one of the coolest people ever,  left us with this priceless quote:

I’m not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward. – Thomas Edison

Nothing more to say….

STEP #4 – Get the Bling flowing…

BLING-BLING!

FINALLY – we get to the good stuff:

MUCHO BLING – and how to get it!

As a beginner the #1 strategy to master is:

#1 – Affiliate Marketing

I briefly mentioned AM in the intro:

You recommend products on your blog and receive a commission whenever someone buys.

A great source of passive income when set up right.

First, you’ll want to find products in your niche that you would be excited to promote.

Ideally, products you use yourself.

A great place to start is Amazon. Just go to their site and put in keywords related to your niche and see what comes up.

Are there any products you are genuinely excited about that you could see yourself recommending?

Are their prices high enough to earn you a decent commission?

What do the reviews say? (very important)

Once you find a few, I would recommend buying the product and testing it out for yourself.

Then write a review post, describing all the pros and cons and include your affiliate link.

First, of course, you need to sign up with Amazon’s Affiliate Program and then get a “hop-link” for each product.

That’s a url with your particular affiliate ID.

Whenever someone clicks on it, a cookie will be installed on that person’s browser and anything that person buys on Amazon within the next 24 hours will earn you a commission! – not just the product you are recommending!

This is great, though keep in mind that Amazon’s commission rate is overall very low and their rules are extremely strict. Violate them even once and your account gets banned forever.

This article will give you the gist of it.

And here are several free beginner guides from some of the top online Ninjas around:

NicheHacks – Ultimate Guide

ShoutMeLoud – Beginner Guide

Other well known affiliate programs are Clickbank, Commission Junction, JVZoo and Udemy (for courses).

Also, countless company owned programs like softwares or web hosting companies – and – the big, and very lucrative, arena of online courses.

That’s where the big money is with commission rates of usually 50%. (Yes, of the sales price…..)

Some will give you 30% which is still a nice chunk.

I wouldn’t go for less than that and like I said “industry standard” for courses – and most softwares – is 50%.

To be super duper clear:

If you recommend a $500 course and someone buys using your link, you will be making $250 – just like that!

WOA!!!

Yep, exactly!

The idea here is to automate the process by having the link in a review post or a banner in the side bar (or within a post) – and then – driving enough targeted traffic (aka interested people in your niche) to your site.

You don’t actively “sell” or talk to them, you just keep the traffic flowing in and have that course visible enough for people to find.

Once you perfect that, it becomes money on auto-pilot.

“While you sleep”….as they say….

Go it?

A “Resources” or “Recommended Tools” page is another great place for affiliate products.

Readers love them. Just be sure to disclose your affiliate status. You are required by law – well, the FCC….

Yep – I spelled that right. 🙂

NOT the FTC, but the FCC = Federal Communications Commission.

You can see a sample disclosure here and also in the footer below.

To find all the awesome affiliate offers in your niche, ask Big “G” for help.

Here is how:

Google your niche and the word “affiliate program” or a specific product you like with “affiliate Program” and see what you can promote.

Also, check review posts and resources/tools pages on the top blogs in your niche.

They usually list them ALL!

That’s a quickie way to find the good ones – and avoid the time wasters.

In the beginning…

I would pick 2 or 3, start with review posts and put a banner in the side bar or somewhere within your blog text.

Be sure to pick quality products you can full heartedly recommend.

People will trust your judgement and recommendation, so make sure you honor that trust.

Here are some great free beginner guides on Affiliate Marketingto get your creative juices flowing:

Neil Patel – Ultimate Guide

ProBlogger – 3 Ways to increase Affiliate Income for Bloggers

My friend Julia created a nice Affiliate Beginner Course. She is a stay-at-home Mom from Canada and built a 6 figure income from affiliate marketing over the years. Being the nice person that she is, and loving what we do here at SassyZenGirl, she agreed to give you a massive discount, so everyone can get started (she even helps you along the way):

Instead of $49.95, you can grab the course for just $19.95 by adding coupon code SAVENOW at checkout – WOW!

Grab it While you Can – She might raise it at any time!

In case, you are wondering how you can get that magic traffic…..

We’ll get to that in the next chapter and Julia will also cover it in her course.

Understand though…

This is – once again – not get-rich-quick. Growing an audience takes time. But start learning now, applying now and keep at it.

Give it a few months – until you’ll see your first trickles of affiliate income pouring it.

THAT – will be a deliciously exciting day!

Trust me, it will be worth the wait.

Even if it’s just $50 or $100.

It will be a major milestone.

And from there everything will get easier.

You might see others succeed much faster, but know that this has NO impact on who will be successful in the long run.

Don’t compare yourself to others.

Everyone’s journey is different.

The point is to get there in the end – and very few ever do!

The few that STICK with it.

The smart ones – who understand that good things take time and that the first year won’t be easy.

Who keep at it and keep growing no matter what…..

UNTIL THEY GET THERE!

Got it?

Never forget that.

And chill for now on the big earnings. It will probably not happen anytime soon.

Or maybe it will – and then it will be a wonderful surprise…..

What about Selling Ad Space?

That’s more of a Boo-Boo these days.

Not cool anymore….(though there are exceptions)

Here is why:

Sites with lots of ads tend to look spammy, and not just to visitors, but also to Google.

Meaning….

It can potentially harm your ranking, because Google’s algorithm has shifted focus much more towards quality. So you want to avoid anything that looks spammy – unless you are a major, high authority site.

(You are not, in case you are wondering….:) – not yet, anyway.

Also, payout is usually not very high – especially as a beginner, so these days cool bloggers focus mostly on affiliate marketing and product sales.

If you want to check it out though, one of the better companies is Mediavine.

And here is some more food for thought on the subject as shared by some of the top blogs:

SmartBlogger: 13 Reasons Why Blog Ads Suck For Monetizing Your Site

BlogTyrant: Don’t Put Ads On Your Blog

ShoutMeLoud: Can Bloggers Make Money Without Google Adsense

#2 – Sell your Products

Like – duh….

Obviously….

If you already have products, especially digital products, you can sell them from your blog. If you don’t, not to worry – you will soon….

If your niche lends itself to consulting or coaching, then by all means, offer that service.

While you should long term focus on passive income, freelance gigs are a great and quick way to generate money while you focus on improving your marketing chops and growing your brand.

And you might just LOVE coaching and consulting – like I do….

So even with solid “passive” income streams, you might continue freelancing just because you enjoy it so much.

Now – isn’t THAT a fun idea?

Your most important Asset

Get ready:

Drum Roll!!

Here it comes:

Your most important business asset will always be:

Your MAILING LIST

Wha’….?

Ya – I know you wanted something cooler.

But this is really it.

And don’t take it from me.

EVERY successful internet entrepreneur, blogger, or author will tell you the exact same thing.

Why?

Because that is the one PR asset you OWN.

Amazon might change their rules, so might Google, so might Facebook or any other social media platform.

Any other venue you use to connect with your following.

The only one you have complete control over (aside from your website), the one you truly OWN, is your mailing list.

So growing that, NURTURING that – will be one of the most important parts of your “E” – Journey (E for Entrepreneur)

BOOK 2 in my Beginner Internet Marketing series shows you many different ways to grow your following quickly and also has some tips for where to best place your sign up forms (Chapter 6).

To get ya rockin’ quickly, I created this video. It shows you how to quickly and painlessly set up a sign up form and connect with a mailing list provider:

STEP #5 – Learn to crush it: Marketing Basics

We talked about this before.

AT LENGTH.

So I won’t cover again why “M” is SO important.

Let’s instead cut to the booty:

What – of all the many forms of internet marketing – should YOU be focusing on right now?

Here is goes:

#1 – SEO

#2 – Guest Posting

#3 – Facebook Ads

That’s it.

For now.

Let’s have a closer look:

#1 – SEO

SEO (=Search Engine Optimization) is the science of how to rank in Google.

It’s absolutely CRUCIAL that you learn this – and learn it well.

Especially, for affiliate marketing.

It is mandatory that you understand how SEO works and what you need to do – including structuring your site and articles.

This is non-negotiable.

SEO also applies to Youtube (another formidable marketing tool), Pinterest, Amazon and various other platforms. While each functions a little different, the main principles are always the same – and you need to master them.

While this can be a tedious subject at first, my little Beginner SEO book (99c on Amazon) makes it as painless as possible and brings you up to speed in a short 90 minute read.

You’ll feel a lot better after that….

SEO Beginners Guide

That’s for starters.

Once you got the basics, I recommend subscribing (free) to Backlinko.com – the foremost SEO blog on the internet – with amazing tips and resources.

Definitely start with some of these articles, and keep reading at least one per week.

Onpage SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page

Backlinko: Link Building the Ultimate Guide

The Definite Guide to Keyword Research

They are massive – each an absolute treasure – and fortunately, well written and fun to read. (You can also observe Brian’s writing style as a superb example of how to blog REALLY well).

Don’t stress on learning everything at once, but get the basics and then keep learning.

Consistently over the next year.

You are in this for the long run, right…?

SEO is one area where that really applies!

Local SEO

If you run a local blog or business, ranking #1 for your town/area – in particular, the top spot in the Maps – will be a great traffic source for you.

This step-by-step guide by my top notch SEO Ninja friend Chris Walker – aka  “Superstar SEO” (really…. 🙂 – will show you step-by-step how to do it.

Before you do though – again, understand the basics first or this will all sound like Chinese. If you don’t know what “SEO” stands for or what a “backlink” is, read my little book first to get you up to speed – and then you are ready for the big guns.

Another great resource – once you are more advanced (really, more advanced…) – is Matt Diggity’s blog with some awesome – and well researched – tips. (But that’s for later….).

#2 – Guest Posting

Big, Big, Biggie, Folks!

You NEED this one!

Getting an article published on a major blog can be a tremendous boost for your business.

There is really no faster way when you first start out, so including this in your beginner marketing arsenal is a must.

Obviously, you need to be a good writer and know how to pitch – and – what to write about.

But….

Once again, it’s not as daunting as it seems.

There is, as always a system you can follow and in this case, I do recommend a course.

Actually THE course.

The one I found THE most important and valuable training I did during my early online career. My first year.

Fortunately, I took it right at the start and it was an amazing short cut for everything else.

Not only for guest posting, but just as importantly, the writing training I received that was absolutely invaluable.

It also shaped how I wrote my books – in a more conversational blogging style – and was largely responsible for my quick success as an author.

AND – I learned how to chill with “R”.

How to research viral topics. How to know what big blogs might be interested in and how to pitch them.

Without that course it would have been SO much more difficult and tedious.

And it would have definitely taken me MANY more months to get there – vs. the 4 weeks for my first major guest post on Goodlife Zen from the day I bought the course.

That’s right.

4 weeks…. (and that included going through the training).

So unless you like wasting time or want to spend months on this, this is a no brainer and you can get yourself started here – with a 30% discount no less:

Guest Blogging Course – with 30% Special Discount

oh – I forgot to mention….

The creator, Jon Morrow, is not only one of the top bloggers in the world with a 7 figure blog of his own, but….

He is also paralyzed from the neck down….an amazing, inspirational story….)

Here is the link again:

Guest Blogging Course – with 30% Special Discount

Guest posting is also hugely important for book and product launches, or to promote your services.

And….

If you ever want to get those super cool press credentials a la: “Featured on” or  “As seen on”….

This is how you get them: through guest blogging.

Or….

By spending thousands of dollars on a publicist.

Your choice.

To get you fired up….

Here are the requirements for guest posts on some of the most famous publications in the world:

Submission Requirements for Top Blogs like Forbes, Entrepreneur & Business Insider

Feel free and try to pitch them on your own….:)

Or just get the training – and get crackin’…

Your choice.

#3 – Facebook Ads

This might surprise you, but Facebook Ads are another must, also for your long term business.

You will definitely use them at some point and the most effective techniques are rather complex and take time to learn and really master.

So, start with something simple: “Boosting” your blog posts from your Facebook Fan page.

This little video shows you how:

What about Social Media???

You might ask.

And rightfully so. Everyone’s talking about them and telling you how important they are.

Well – they can be….

But you can’t do everything.

Certainly not learn everything all at once.

Remember FOCUS?

One of those really cool “F”-Words?

That’s what it’s all about and while social media can be an awesome way to grow your business, focusing on boosting a few posts on Facebook to start generating a following, is really all you need to do right now.

Unless….

There is one platform you absolutely LOVE and always hang out anyway.

In that case, sure.

Include that one.

It won’t feel like a tedious shore. You will greatly enjoy it, so go for it.

This little book will give you tips to get started.

Social Media Marketing Beginners Guide

BUT…

Absolutely do NOT neglect #1 and #2 – they are the basis.

The Foundation.

You absolutely need them and it will take you time to learn them well.

FOCUS.

Never more than 2-3 new things at once. Ideally just one.

REALLY focus on those.

Really master them to the point where some of it can be automated or outsourced…

And then move on to the next.

This is how you keep your sanity.

Another Big BooBoo

If you do the above, you won’t have to waste time on productivity and time management hacks.

Some of the BIGGEST time wasters on the internet currently.

Keep it simple.

Just 1 or 2, maximum 3.

And then steady does it.

Step by step.

Later on, you will definitely include social media – again, maximum 2-3 – but now is not the time. Nor are you fully clear about your branding or direction yet (which is CRUCIAL for social media marketing) and you want to give yourself time to gradually figure that out.

So, fly away, my angel….:)

into internet marketing heaven – bliss….

Learn to chill with “M”.

STEP #6 – Publish a Bestseller

Before you say “BUT”….

Hear me out…;-)

And, btw, strike the “B” Word from your vocabulary.

For like EVER!

It’s a total time waster and energy buster.

No use at all.

Especially in this context.

Cool?

Got it?

Good!

Now….

Publish a Bestseller…

YEP – YOU can do this!

Even if you are not a writer and have limited time – and NO – it does not take years. You can do it in 30 days. Absolute maximum is 90 days (set your calendar – really!)

Why is this so important?

Because Kindle Publishing offers several tremendous benefits – more than any other online method I have seen.

It’s business marketing on steroids.

Here is how:

1) the prestige of a published author, and in particular a bestselling author, is priceless! Potential customers and clients will forever look at you in a different way and instantly trust you more as an expert.

2) Kindle Publishing allows you to brand yourself as an expert in a non-intrusive way.

Readers who love your style and find your information helpful will be eager to hire you or buy your services.

No “selling” needed.

How cool is that…?

3) In addition, it’s an amazing list builder.

Remember your most important asset?

Your mailing list?

THIS can be the absolute fastest way to grow that sucker – and completely on autopilot!

Every morning when I look at my stats I’m shocked at how many more subscribers I have – completely on autopilot.

How is that possible?

Well, you can include a lead magnet (=freebie offer) in the book and if it’s a good one, interested folks will be happy to give you their email in return.

See how that works?

4) You can include affiliate offers in the books (except Amazon products – that’s absolutely forbidden). Everything else is permitted (within their content parameters, of course). When you mention resources you use in the context of explaining something, many readers will follow your recommendations and buy those products.

5)  It’s a great starter platform and list builder for adding a course later, which is the 10X version of publishing, in terms of income

6)  You are beginning to earn passive income streams from book royalties, especially if you also add print and audio.

The Method

Kindle Publishing has its own method. It’s own form of SEO if you will, and you need to learn that method to sell books, especially long term.

My little 99c Kindle Publishing book is a nice beginner guide if you are a go-getter and disciplined.

Kindle Publishing

Most of all, it will dispel any concerns or worries you might have in a quick 2 hour read.

Trust me – once you read that book, you will be convinced that you can do this, too – and within a maximum 90 day time frame.

So grab it now and don’t even think about uttering the “B”-Word.

Not even once….:)

STEP #7 – Explode your Brand

Once you have become a bestselling author, it’s time to really explode your brand.

There are numerous ways to do that and by this time, you will have a LOT more experience with Marketing in general, so adding a few more specific skills will be fun.

Especially, as your income can also now dramatically increase!

Remember MUCHO BLING?

Now is the time to crush it!!

Even to 6 and 7 figures. Why not?

Depending on how much time you put into the other 6 steps, you will by now probably be a year into your online ventures.

Maybe, you are super fast – and it’s only 6 months – good for you.

And maybe, you are heading towards year 2.

That’s cool also!

Time flies and a year more a less doesn’t make much difference.

Does it?

Not when you are talking freedom – and the rest of your life!

Always keep that in mind.

It’s worth spending the proper time and not rushing through.

You are in this for the long run and you want to be free.

And again….

Time flies.

How to explode your awesome Brand?

Well, first of all…be sure to check out this article to help you with your “branding”.

It’s not tedious or boring.

It’s actually a REALLY fun process!

Sassyliscious Brand Explosion

You can do this at any time during your E-Journey – even as a beginner.

And it’s good to revisit from time to time and make adjustments.

You and your brand – and possibly even your whole topic and niche – might change as you go through this process.

So enjoy this little gem…:)

Now to the HOW:

Ready?

This is really cool:

The secret to exploding your brand now is to your platforms.

Obviously, just a few and certainly not all at once, but over time, add several – one by one:

The first important one:

COURSES

Whatever you covered in your books, now turn it into a course and charge Premium prices for it.

Key here – as always – is getting the marketing part right. In this case, setting up an amazing launch and evergreen sequence that keeps money coming in while you sleep.

This is a very elaborate process and not for the faint hearted. So definitely not recommended for the total beginner.

Creating a course is the easy part.

Marketing it to evergreen success is where very few succeed – and often spectacularly – and most others fail.

For this, you definitely need training. And you need to learn from the best. The ones that make at least 7 figures from their course empire!

Whatever course you go with, be sure that at least half the course covers the marketing part!

Really – that’s SUPER important.

Also, with any course – NEVER buy one that doesn’t give you an unconditional 30-day Money back guarantee. No tasks to complete, no questions asked!

All the good courses will come with that – it’s a sign of quality – but you will occasionally see even a bigger name requiring – in the fine print – that in order to get a refund, you need to complete the course, apply everything and then prove to them that it didn’t work for you.

Seriously?

That’s not a guarantee, that’s a scam!

I recently had one such experience with a famous name in the social media world who ironically also presented a bundle of discounted affiliate offers as a “Course Bonus” without proper disclosure. Only my mentioning the FCC finally got me a refund (within minutes) after hours of excuses, refusals, and frustrating emails from her VA. Oh – and, of course, it was all my fault – the customer’s fault. A fantastic example of how NOT to treat customers EVER. Learn from Gary V…:)

Courses that I recommend will never pull that nonsense and if you want a pointer for course creation and marketing, this is THE #1 course worldwide in this field. With thousands of successful students in over 100 countries. You’ll thank me later…..

PODCASTING or YOUTUBE

People LOVE podcasts and they LOVE video (even on social media now).

Pick one of the 2 and grow your brand.

These are some of the best trainings available:

Become a Rockstar Podcaster

Crush it on Youtube

My Social Media book also has an 10K Chapter on Youtube and what it takes to succeed there (see below).

eCOMMERCE & ETSY

If you are into arts and crafts, then Etsy should be a main focus – and much sooner than step 7. Renea – one of the top sellers in this field – gives some awesome tips in her free video course.

Become a Handmade Titan

An eCommerce store a la Shopify is another great monetization option, especially by focusing on products related to your passion. This again, you can start much sooner than Step #7, depending on your circumstances. It can also be an alternative (or addition) to affiliate marketing and niche sites.

Just like with any other field, finding that super specific sub niche that you dominate, will be KEY to your success. Competition is HUGE and you will get lost in the masses, unless position yourself for success. Here is Neil Patel’s in-depth beginner guide to setting up your first eCommerce store.

Neil Patel: From Start to Profit

PINTEREST, TWITTER & INSTAGRAM

Now is definitely the time to fire it up on social media!

Pick 2-3 maximum and become a marketing expert at each.

This little book gives you plenty of starter info and resources for further growth.

Pick at least one of the two: Pinterest or Instagram.

Their potential to reach and grow an audience is amazing and Pinterest pins are also very easy to rank in Google (and… – those pins can link back to your site/blog… -> more traffic)

You already have a Facebook page from your blog boosts, but keep in mind that Facebook’s algorithm is extremely restrictive: only 16% of your followers (if you are lucky) will actually get to see what you post!

Yep – you probably didn’t know that, right?

It’s a competition.

For a place in your follower’s timelines.

All the other pages they follow will be competing with you and only very few are allowed through.

Why?

Because Facebook wants to make sure that users don’t get overloaded with constant posts and the FB algorithm favors active, quality pages with VERY active engagement (comments, likes, shares) – and on a consistent basis.

No matter how hard you try, you will never reach all your followers and a much more efficient way to build relationships and an excited following are Facebook GROUPS.

They are the absolute winner.

There is no other way you can interact with your followers that easily and naturally.

While your mailing list is your most important asset – because you own it – Facebook groups will be where the magic happens. Where you can really actively help people and grow a passionate following.

So I would put my energies more on a group (at least for Facebook) and then pick one or two more social platforms and really crush it there.

Give yourself at least a month or 2 to learn the most efficient techniques to grow a following on each. And then REALLY apply them consistently.

Once you figured out what works for you, you want to – once again – try to automate and outsource to some degree. Never completely, but enough to keep 90% of your time free for other things.

Social Media can be a big time sucker. That’s why I placed them more at the end.

But now is the time to really hit them.

There are genre specific exceptions as I already mentioned: like travel, where Instagram is more important than anything.

Or arts & crafts where Pinterest is an absolute must.

Just see what the main influencers do and what they consider the most important marketing tool in their arsenal.

It will become obvious pretty quickly.

Long term you can also consider softwares, an app for your brand and a membership or subscription site. You will know by then what will be most efficient.

It’s a nice carrot to look forward to…..

 

Final Thoughts

If you haven’t already, be sure to download the cheat sheet – so you can avoid all the trappings that befall most newbie (and seasoned) entrepreneurs.

Beginner Internet Marketing

What’s your Passion?

Whatever you do, do it with flair and never lose sight of your passion!

Cherish that awesome enthusiasm.

And the awesome – once in a lifetime adventure – you are on!

It’s a rare opportunity and congrats to you again for taking that first step!

You Rock!

In the beginning, there will be times where nothing seems to be working. When everyone seems to be successful while you can’t even make 10 bucks online.

This is normal – and you are not special….;-) – at least not in that regard.

I was there many times during my first year.

Yes, I got lucky, because Kindle publishing jump started my online income, but growth from there was difficult at times.

However, I HAD to make it work, because I was already traveling and there was NO WAY, I was going to give up my lifestyle or return to a “J-O-B”.

Absolutely, NO WAY!

So I stuck with it – even when it was frustrating and when there seemed to be SO much to learn.

And then…

Suddenly….

It got easier.

And then a lot easier.

And while problems will always be a part of life and a part of business, you DO eventually reach a plateau where things get a lot more comfortable.

So hang in there and start with that mindset.

Give yourself at least a year without constantly stressing on success and turning this into money.

There is a good chance – a realistic chance – that it won’t take that long.

Certainly a part time income.

But you will get there a lot faster – and the journey will be much more enjoyable – if you don’t pressure yourself so much and constantly expect results.

If you do what is described here, you WILL get there.

Eventually.

And then it will be on stable ground.

Remember, this is still a LOT less time than any formal education would ever take.

Always keep that mind.

You are going for the Holy Grail.

Financial freedom on your own terms.

And achieving it by doing something you love!

How awesome is that?

Think about it!

WHAT an amazing opportunity that we can even do this!

So:

Welcome aboard and I wish you much success and most of all FREEDOM.

You rock, my friend!

Over and out.

————————————————————————————-

If you are still breathing after this SUPER LONG post… 😉  (WOA – 8300 words!!) I’d love to hear in the comments below what your awesome BIZ plans are and where you are writing from? I’ll definitely read it and reply.

And join us in the friendly, fun & AWEsome SassyZenGirl Facebook Group to network with other entrepreneurs and share your journey together – we’ll see ya there… 🙂

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Beginner Internet Marketing

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4 Comments

  1. Gundi, this is an amazing resource. So concise and focused. I learn something new from you all the time! I’m sure I’ll re-read this multiple times to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I especially like that you teach us how to keep all of this FUN ;-)! Thank you!

  2. Wowzer! I was expecting a short note and you’ve written a whole marketing encyclopedia. And a pretty good one, too. Not everything I need to know but most of what I need to know today. It is enough to get me interested and show me there is something worth learning here and interesting enough it didn’t get the TL;DR rating.

    Thank you.

    Now, I have to begin reading it again. I’m sure I’ve missed some good stuff.

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