7 successful online traits

I’ve been working in internet marketing and SEO since about 2000 and there are several skills I have learned that have been instrumental to my success.

As I moved into teaching people how to flip websites I kept hearing the same concern over and over again, “what do I actually need to know to be successful online?”

I get that most people don’t want to spend all day every day learning how to be a web developer but these 7 skills are absolutely necessary if you want to earn good money on the internet.

1. SEO

I’m a huge advocate of SEO. SEO is amazing because if you can get to the top of Google, you can get free targeted traffic to your website all day.

And because those people are searching for what you offer, that traffic will convert.

But how do you master the art of SEO? There are many resources out there that will teach you SEO. I’ve personally been doing SEO professionally for 14 years and the person I trust the most to give you the most up to date information that is working right now is Brian Dean at Backlinko.

He gives no nonsense training and backs it up by data. In other words, he’s not guessing.

One strategy that I invented myself and have been seeing a lot of success with is what I call building link maps. This in essence is the art of doing link building and then building links to those links (link stacking) in a strategic way so they become more powerful.

2. Email Marketing

It has been proven over and over again that nurturing leads through email will dramatically increase your conversions. People like Ryan Deiss teach very specific methods on how to do this.

There are a few good email marketing platforms that will make your job a lot easier. Here are the tools I actually use:

Aweber – I use them to collect email addresses and send out follow up emails automatically.
Mailchimp – these guys have pretty much the same features as Aweber.
Lead Pages – these guys have pop up windows to collect emails that have been tested and proven to increase subscribers.
SumoMe – similar features to Lead Pages but they do have other tools as well.

In my own businesses, I have seen email follow up increase conversions over and over again and in many different niches. This is something that will mean more to your bottom line than anything else.

3. Evaluating Potential

If you’ve ever spent any time over at my Prosperly blog, you know that I love buying undervalued websites. I am only able to do this if I can evaluate the potential of a website and understand that it is actually undervalued.

Even if I’m not buying a website, if I’m starting an online business from scratch it is the same principle. I always look at what the market looks like, and then I look at what the competition is doing online. Are they proficient in SEO? Do they understand basic internet marketing principles?

When those key indicators match up, I know the potential is there and I feel confident moving forward. If the competition is extremely knowledgeable and deeply embedded in the industry, I will typically move on.

On the other hand, when I find a website that is trying to sell donkey socks, I am able to filter that out quickly because believe it or not the demand isn’t there.

4. Backend Website Administration

I hesitated including this one in this article because, let’s be honest, you started falling asleep as soon as you read the heading for this section.

The reality is, if you really want to be successful online you must get a sound base in html. You must learn how FTP works. At the very least you need to become a WordPress master.

You also need to become proficient in working with images. I use a program called Fireworks from Adobe, but many people use Photoshop as well.

If earning a living online is something you are really serious about then you need to learn how to be a webmaster. Youtube tutorials need to become your new best friend.

5. Increasing Conversions

The only thing better than getting more targeted traffic, is taking the traffic you already have and getting more of those people to give you money.

The reason this is so great is because it is completely in your control. If your website converts at a typical 1%, all you would have to do to double your revenue is to increase conversions to 2%. Easy.

How do you do it?

Split test, split test, split test. Also known as A/B testing, this means you show one version of a page to half of your visitors and show another different version to the other half. Then you see which version generated more sales.

I bought a website with traffic one time and just made a few (but significant tweaks) to the site and in less than 30 days the monthly revenue jumped by 968%.

Google Analytics offers a free AB tool in their software. There are other paid options but I will typically just use Google’s AB tool.

6. Pricing

If you don’t price a product or service correctly, this can quickly put you out of business either because you’ve overpriced your product and don’t get any sales or because you’ve underpriced and can’t cover expenses.

You must learn how to arrive at the perfect price so that you maximize revenue and customers. After all, it is so much easier to sell to a previous customer than to a new one. Maximizing number of sales along with revenue is extremely important for the long term growth of your business.

This goes back to the testing part of this article. You need to test different prices to see which one performs better. This is not something you should guess on. There is too much at stake.

Get the price right.

7. Monetization

When I am looking to buy an undervalued website, one of the first things I look at is whether or not I can monetize the website in a way that will either greatly increase revenue or at least give me a good return on my investment of time and money.

Any site can be monetized by putting Google ads on it, but to me that is short sighted thinking. It has been my experience that Google Ads have generated the lowest amount of income on websites that I have owned.

So you need to learn what people want and what they will pay for or how to find good affiliate programs that are worth promoting.

For example, I used to run a website that was a directory of lawn care companies in the US. I sold advertising on the site and didn’t make very much money ($30-$100 a month). I had awesome traffic from SEO and knew I should be making a lot more money than I was.

I created a “how to start your own lawn care business kit” packaged with everything a person would need to know to start their own lawn care business. I priced it $97 and people bought like crazy.

Once I started selling the kit, the website made me from $30k-$50k every year.

It was a powerful lesson on monetization. I learned that I should always be trying to come up with new and better ways to monetize websites that I owned.

So those are the 7 traits I think are most important to master if you want to be successful online. Am I missing something that has been critical to your success? Leave it in the comments below.