Hey, So I wanted to add a seriously helpful post to BlackHatWorld. I've been in business for over 7 years now and it's been a pleasure doing business with so many fine clients, representing customers in all sorts of areas. I wanted to share a good chunk of what I have learned in the process of working towards my financial and business goals. 1. It's all about value I've found, above all, that value is king when it comes to selling. If you have a product with a price tag that is lower than the competition, with a final product that is worth more than the competition, then you're in the win. It's as easy as that. 2. Learning to write COPY feeds the FAMILY Writing copy (the process of writing text which helps you sell your product) is one of the most essential skills you can learn. If you're not good at writing copy, spend some time on the forums and learn this skill, or purchase eBooks. You can never learn too much about writing copy. From setting up the right advertisements using the right headlines, to your website having the right sales text to help you push your product, writing copy is a skill you won't live without in the long run. 3. Find a SUBSCRIPTION service or product As a lot of people here probably already know, having a monthly subscription-type system is the best way to gain a good monthly income. It's a lot easier to maintain an income level if you have customers who pay month after month for service. Personally I've just been tapping into this power recently and I wish I had started a lot sooner. My personal monthly service is simply website maintenance and editing, to where after a client pays for a website they have the option of staying on board to make sure they receive the updates and maintenance they need on their website. 4. Ask your CUSTOMERS what your next product is (more offers = more $) This is probably one of the most important things I can teach you. Read carefully: MORE offers means MORE money, in my experience. If you have a website with your own product, good for you. But you can make additional income having a blog where you review affiliate products that send you commission. You can make even more adding Adsense to your site and getting into a niche with a high CPC, some niches have a CPC of $5-$15 per click, and as an Adsense user you get about 68% of the revenue from this. But one thing is for sure, your CUSTOMERS are the ones who know exactly what they want. If you hear a request from 4-5 clients over the course of a few months, chances are that request will continue to come up. LISTEN to your potential prospects when they speak. LISTEN to your return customers. They're the ones who will pay your bills when you need it most. 5. List building is a MUST, but you can't rely ONLY on list building This is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. Everybody talks about email list building and how important it is. No doubt, it is important! But relying solely on email list marketing can be the death of your business. What happens if one day you no longer have a steady stream of opt-ins onto your mailing list? Well I'll tell you what happens: you promote to your list as long as you can and eventually it becomes stale because the list has either bought all your products or they're simply not interested. There's only so many clients you can pick up from this sort of marketing. So while email list marketing is ESSENTIAL, if you rely on ONLY email marketing, eventually you will find that you need some real traffic strategies to make it work. 6. Get off of Google, unless you're using YouTube videos, posts, etc. Google is becoming more and more difficult. Ranking is harder, more expensive, takes more time, etc. It's not what it used to be, which was virtually a buffet where all you had to do was spend the money and eat. As a guy who has spent THOUSANDS on SEO in the last year, I can tell you that it's MUCH better to try to rank videos. Make a YouTube account, keep it SAFE so it doesn't ever get banned, and send backlinks to the YouTube videos to get yourself the promotion you desire and deserve. Go after keywords that already have a YouTube video in the top 10 on Google. This way you can rank not only for GOOGLE, but for YOUTUBE. So you end up getting more networks covered for your money. Plus ranking a video is EASY as F*&*%. 7. Switch to paid advertising as soon as possible This has to be the most difficult thing to accomplish in marketing your website: finding PAID traffic sources that work for you. This is something I still struggle with today, but as I am working very hard getting my new businesses off the ground, I have found that paid advertising (mixed with writing COPY correctly) is the only way you can TRULY manage a business without EVER worrying about sinking. It is the most reliable form of traffic. The basics: CPC, CPM, media buys, maybe even solo ads (I've never have much success with solo ads but still). If you can find PAID promo methods that work, you'll be in a position that you can achieve all the income you need in order to survive long term with your business. 8. Work with people, not against people I think that a lot of people look at competition as the enemy. This isn't true. You can find a lot of really great opportunities simply networking with people in your arena. You might find that there are others willing to work with you. I can't tell you how many times I've struck big JV deals just by sending a simple email with a proposal/idea. Lastly, please comment on this thread if you have more questions. I want to answer questions as they come. Upvote/"Thanks" this post if you like this thread.