Time and time again I see fledgling internet marketers, and businesses fail.
It’s rarely down to a lack of commitment, desire, or skill.
Instead, one simple element seems to escape being taught or realized by so many, and causes failure.
Failure itself shouldn’t be feared, and you should bounce back from it, but let’s face it most people who fail at something, quit that thing.
What then is this missing ingredient?
Quite simply: it’s a problem.
Say what now?
What I mean is that your business (website, e-book, whatever) should focus around a problem, and whatever it is you sell or promote should actively assist people in resolving that problem.
You see, it’s rare to find a successful business founded on a new and novel idea that does not actually solve a problem.
For example, a friend of mine made a plugin that would help marketers and others add training to the admin area of a website. The idea was great; the reality was not so great. You see, he thought that people would have really got into the idea, but people simply didn’t know they needed the product (there was no problem), so it didn’t sell.
Sure, it could have worked with some aggressive marketing to generate the idea that there was a problem, but the marketing costs to actually create a market for the product were astronomical, and the earnings wouldn’t have covered the costs.
This is why an existing problem is the best problem.
Instead, I see cats
Now, when I see newbie marketers, most often affiliate marketers, they get told: Go blog about something you are passionate about.
As it stands that’s not bad advice, especially for someone starting out as it makes it easier to handle the content.
What happens though is people fixate on the blogging part instead of a marketing site and they end up with a blog about cats (or cars, or drills, or whatever).
And it’s just a blog: the articles are way too personal or too random to work as a marketing tool.
Again, what should be happening is that people find a problem (start with just the one, branch from there) and should be actively writing to help people resolve this problem.
Can you write about your topic? Sure you can!
Can you write about it from a personal point of view? Most definitely!
Can you ramble on and talk about stuff without helping fix a problem? Absolutely not!
This applies to businesses as well: if your focus isn’t to help someone with something, then people simply won’t care about you and what you offer.
Working a problem
How then can you work a problem to your advantage?
Let me use an example to help, I’m going to use a popular and basic niche of “dogs”.
First off, the niche of dogs is way too broad: a lot of people still trip up with this. By making the niche too broad, you end up not targeting a specific set of people and thus cater to no one.
Therefore if your niche is broad, narrow it down. Let’s look at dog training.
This is better, and of course you can narrow it further, but for this example we’ll just run with it.
At this point most affiliate marketers would be running off to find keywords to write about. That’s fine, but I would like to inject a stage here: problems!
What then could be problems related to dog training? Here’s a few just off the top of my head:
- Dog keeps peeing everywhere
- Dog keeps pooping everywhere
- Dog is aggressive to children/adults/other dogs/trees
- Dog chews the furniture
- Dog constantly sniffs crotches
- Constant barking
- Dog humps everything
Not only do these make great article topics, but they are real world problems that you, yes you, can answer and help people with.
Once you have as many problems as possible, then you can carry on with your normal process, such as generating keywords.
Problems need resolutions
This list of problems you generated can be turned into some great articles, but to really break away from just blogging you need to generate a resolution for as many of the problems that you can.
For example, if you write about an issue with a dog pooping everywhere, it should describe the issue and describe a solution (training most likely).
Using your own voice and your own anecdotes is ideal, but remember that the focus should always be on the person reading the article and their issues.
The solution you provide should be a product or service that you can refer to (as an affiliate), or even your own product – basically it should be a way to generate cash from your hard work, while solving someone else’s issue.
For example you could refer people to a dog training service like Cesar’s Way, which has a nice little affiliate program attached to it. Or maybe there is an e-book on ClickBank that could help people.
Your niche will likely be different, but hopefully you get the idea.
A million and one problems
Unless you have a very weird niche, there is usually an infinite amount of problems happening: either new issues come up or new solutions to old problems (e.g. robot vacuum cleaners being a new way to clean the inevitable dog hairs!).
Your journey should be one of looking for problems and solutions that relate to your niche, every single time you want to add content to your site.
I doubt you’ll have issues with content for a while!
Forget the “Blog”
As an internet marketer or entrepreneur, a blog on your website is a powerful tool, but let’s not get caught up with the blog aspect.
Think of a blog as less of a live journal type thing, and more of an ever changing marketing tool.
You should always be seeing your article list as a dual purpose conduit: to help people with a problem (most likely multiple problems) and to make money while doing so.