Aug 312011
 

This blog has been silent for several months now. Not because I haven’t been working – more so because I just having been writing anything down. Things have been a whirlwind and I write this while sitting in my new apartment, back in Beijing.

I began eiconnectlink in Helsinki, took a 5 week trip around europe, stopped back home in los angeles, and now have returned to china to continue my Chinese studies.

You might ask, how can you do all this? how can you support yourself? what are you going to do when the fun is over and it’s time to re-enter the “default” world and get back to work. Admittedly I’m having a bit of a quarter-life crisis, but while i’ve been doing what I want the past 3 years, i have not been sitting idly by.

Nor was I idle the previous 5 years when I started and successfully ran my previous web business.

I know i’m not alone in the dream of becoming “location free” in my life. I just read 4-hour work week and it seems like it was written specifically for me. Or at least about me.

I have managed to get myself into a life predicament. I want to keep studying chinese, i want to be free to travel, i want to have a flexible schedule, but i also need money.

Most of my efforts the past year fizzled out unspectacular when amazon yanked its affiliate program in california (where my permanent billing address is). With the end of the affiliate program, they also yanked my account, along with 10,000 others.

I decided the real money wasn’t going to be made as an affiliate anyways – rather it would be easier to make money selling my own products.

Let me re-iterate. I’ve done it before. I started a web business from scratch in 2002 and ran it successfully until 2009 when the world called. I probably could have figured out how to work remote, use skype and whatnot but instead i just bailed.

Now i realize perhaps i can restart my business. I can use all that i’ve learned the past year working as an affiliate marketer, researching social media like crazy, consuming more information then one person can possibly hope to process, and putting all that to work – restarting a new, leaner, meaner, and more portable web business.

A web business that allows me the freedom to be wherever the fuck i want, and work whenever i want. By the way, local time in Beijing while I write this is 5am (and no i’m not a morning person).

So those of you who are still with me, or new folks who want to bear witness to the steps needed to start a successful web business, start checking in. This blog is going to shift purpose and act as documentation to the process.

Now, I’ll leave you with step 1 for now. You need something to sell. Read about internet marketing all you want, but if you’re not SELLING something, it is IMPOSSIBLE to make any money. For a few months that didn’t compute for me. I was doing “research” and working on “learning.” Bullshit – you need to start doing.

How cliche and trite and blah it sounds but it’s true. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re doing something just because you read some great SEOmoz article today. I could talk to you about social media til the cows come home but can i use it to make me money?

When i ran my previous business there was no social media. Maybe there was friendster and myspace but those were not really viable marketing tools in my eyes at the time. eBay and google adwords were what delivered results. My business was build on those two marketing tools alone. The rest was a knack for closing sales on the phone.

So a product. To start a successful e-business you need a product. Digital or whatever works. For me, it’s selling stuff. This complicates things a bit but it’s what i understand. Stuff has inherent, built in demand. I need to convince you to purchase my Stuff and not someone else’s. I don’t need to generate demand around a product no one knows exists. I’m not techie enough to make some kind of program people want to buy. I like stuff. Most people like stuff. Amazon sells a whole lot of stuff and they seem to be doing alright.

Next entry we’ll discuss what stuff i’m going to sell.