First of all let me start by mentioning a few things. This is NOT a guide to making fast money, and I am NOT an Internet marketing guru (contrary to what my username says). If you are looking to make a quick buck, this is not the thread for you. This thread is focused on those who are trying to create a sustainable business/career out of Internet marketing. I have compiled some of the more prominent lessons that I learned though out my first year in Internet marketing. Hopefully they can help some people. Here we go (These are posted in no particular order of importance): Stop complaining. ? Honestly, I hate even having to mention this, but I see so many ?whiners? far too often. Only you are accountable for you, and nobody cares about your income besides you: simple as that. Blaming Google, and others for your problems will get you nowhere. Be productive and bounce back from hits, no matter how hard they may be. Every business takes a hit, and no one is successful 100% of the time. Dealing with failures appropriately is just as important as becoming successful. There is nothing more annoying then someone who cannot take accountability. Diversify ? I don?t mean this in terms of SEO diversification. I mean this in terms of how you are making money. If all of your money comes from AdSense (or some other revenue stream), you have a higher chance of getting hit then if you have multiple revenue streams. Use multiple monetization methods, marketing methods, and conversion methods. Treat Internet Marketing as a Business ? This one is huge. I see so many people who are just trying to make a quick buck on the Internet, and forget that Internet marketing is actually a business, and should be treated as such. Make sure you are creating sustainable business plans. Creating a business plan that consistently brings in $2000 a month is far more valuable then following a method that brings in $5000 one month, and $0 the next. Here are some sub points: Be professional ? Professionalism is key in business. I don?t care if you are dealing with someone from Fiverr or a multi-thousand dollar client: be professional about it. You are building your reputation and others will pick up on your etiquette. Proper methods of contact ? Skype ? You will NEED to make a Skype if you want to be dealing with other people. Skype has become an industry standard for global communication in this industry. Professional Email Address ? Use an email address that sounds professional. If your email address is [email protected] Sustainability: Think about the future ? Where will your business be next year? If you don?t know, then think about it. Businesses that fail to plan years in advance will always fail. Period. Create plans that will stand the test of time. Try to outsource your plans in order to free up your time so you can focus on new plans. Define your goals ? It is impossible to accomplish anything if you don?t know what you have set out to do. In fact, this is where a lot of huge companies fail. Set goals that you can reach so that you know what you are working for. Create plans/Get organized ? Organization in business is crucial. Clearly define your business plans. Personally, I recommend writing them out so you can see what they look like on paper. Of course, you will need to modify these goals and make changes as time goes by (known in business as ?controlling?) Track your progress ? Of course, this part comes after you set goals, and create business plans. I also mean this in a technical way. Make sure you know where all of your money is coming from and why. That is the only way you will be able to make educated decisions. Create tracking systems that allow you to monitor the progress of your work. Google Analytics is very popular for tracking website traffic. Set up subids when creating campaigns for CPA/affiliate offers. If you don?t know exactly where all of your money is coming from, chances are, you are wasting a lot of time. Think for yourself ? While it is great to learn from others, you really need to think things over for yourself. Remember, this is the Internet, and anyone can say anything. Just because someone has a lot of rep on BHW, does not mean that they are a reputable person in real life. In fact, a lot of the biggest moneymakers have low rep because they are out making money instead of posting on forums. When reading a method, think if it will actually work. Just because something works on paper, does not mean it will convert in real life. Also, keep in mind, that no one is giving away their best methods, so you will have to create your own methods to get the real money. Learn from others, but don?t count on them to make you successful. This leads to some other sub points: Be careful as to who you work with ? Once again, anyone can talk a high game. If you have learned anything from IM, you should know that you can say anything on the Internet. After all, when you make an affiliate site glorifying a new diet product, do you really have any credibility? Have you even tried the product? No, but you hype it up to sell it. So, think really hard about who you work with and why. Do they bring something to the table that you can?t? Will you make more money working with them then you would without? Is the person a reliable business partner? Play your strengths ? Not everyone is good at everything. Learn what you are good at and improve that skill over time. It is also important to recognize your weaknesses. You can turn these weaknesses into strengths by outsourcing, or compiling a team of specialists. Don?t quit ? IM takes a lot of hard work. Whoever told you that you could make a quick and easy buck was lying. That being said, you really can make a lot of money with hard work and dedication. The key is just sticking with it. When I started, I worked WAY harder to make smaller sums of money, than I do now to make bigger sums. You WILL get the hang of things, and ANYONE can make good money if they have the drive. Think about it; if other people can be successful in Internet marketing, why can?t you? Don?t count your money until it is in your pocket ? A big downside to a lot of Internet companies (CPA, AdSense, Affiliate etc.) is that they can be flaky, or terrible with payments. Some CPA companies don?t end up sending your checks and AdSense will often lower your finalized payments. I?ve had AdSense finalized earnings come in almost $1000 lower then what was estimated. My advice is to only count money that you have been paid. Don?t start spending money that you don?t have. Until you receive a check/payment, revenue streams are just numbers on a computer screen. It is unfortunate, but it is reality. Adapt ? Business is constantly changing, and you WILL need to adapt. This could include adapting to a new Google update, or learning how to market on a new social network. The sooner you adapt to changes, the more successful you will become. The first people to market on social networks like Pinterest and Instagram were the people who were making the big bucks. Similarly, those who found out how to rank after the Penguin update were well off as well. Focus on one project at a time until it is successful ? When most people enter the world of Internet marketing, they will try out tons of methods. This is okay. I actually believe that this is a great way to start learning about the different areas of IM, and to see what your strengths are. However, after exploring some different areas for a bit, it is important that you settle on one project. Focus all of your efforts on making that project successful before moving to the next one. To this day, I still have so many half-completed projects that were a waste of both time and money. Reinvest your profits ? Business is not about making a quick buck so you can live a lavish lifestyle. You need to invest in the future of your company/business. Reinvest your money into scaling and new ventures. Sure you can buy a fancy car, but what if you spent that money on scaling your ideas? You could have enough to buy multiple cars in a year. I am not saying to never spend your money, but I am saying to continue investing in your business. Just because you make a lot of money, doesn?t mean you need to spend a lot of money. Trust me, I know it is tempting to spend a lot of money when you first start generating profits, but reinvesting will pay off much more in the long run. This leads to a very prominent sub point: Scale ? If you have a great idea that is making money, scale it until you maximize it?s potential. If you are making $1000 a month with a method, increase productivity and make $2000 the next month. Scaling is by far one of the best ways to make money in Internet marketing. Simply put, stick with what works, and keep doing it until its potential has peaked. The best way to learn is to do ? Reading methods is great, especially when you are starting off. It is great to learn about IM before diving in. That being said, the best way to actually start learning is to start doing. Start trying methods and getting your feet wet. The lessons you learn from this will be far more valuable to you in the long run. Here are some quick sub points: There is nothing wrong with making mistakes ? Mistakes are great because they show you what not to do. A lot of people become scared of failure, but when you fail, you just narrowed out one thing that does not work. Don?t be afraid of making mistakes. Just don?t make the same mistakes twice. Don?t be afraid to spend money ? This is business. I know I keep stressing that point, but it is true. In business, you have to spend money to make money. If I asked you for $10,000 and told you I would give you $20,000 in a few months, would you do it? Of course! That is a great return. It takes money to make money. The point is as simple as that. Be smart about your spending, but don?t be stingy. You never know what investment will be the one to make you big money. Don?t be afraid to spend money on things that will advance your business and increase productivity. Let's get some constructive conversations going! Feel free to add new points to this thread or comment on previously posted ones.