If you are nearing the grand age of 50 or you have crossed over the threshold like me this financial independence road map can lead you to happiness in 7 simple steps. The truth is, you are being misled if you believed that the ideal path to financial security was:
Go to school, graduate, get a good job for a good company, save for retirement, retire comfortably, travel and enjoy your golden years.
You may be in for a big surprise one that might come upon you when it is already too late. The surprise is this…. about 5% of the people following that path ever achieve a comfortable retirement.
YES! the reality is that a whopping 95% of well-intentioned, hard-working people, who worked their butt off, now rely on social security, inadequate pensions or family assistance.
If you don’t believe it, look around at the people you know who are retired or getting close to retirement. How many of them are financially secure? If you do know any people who are financially independent, chances are they did it on their own!
You Have to Do it on Your Own
Unless you are one of the 1 in 180 million people who hits the lottery or inherits a fortune from some rich old relative there is just one way you will ever become financially independent you have to do it on your own.
This financial independence road map may sound like a monumental task, but thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever. In this article, I will show you a proven plan in 10 simple steps I call the financial independence road map.
You will admit that when planning for retirement you have to take into consideration that the life expectancy of retirees has increased. So with the rising cost of living it requires more now to sustain you through retirement. So if you plan to enjoy your retirement years you have to do something about it now.
If you have been doing the same thing over the years and getting the same results it means it is time to try something new. You could quit you and spend more of my life doing what you want when you want. If it didn’t work, you have nothing to lose you could continue doing your job/savings plan. So why not have a more serious look at the financial independence road map and take on the challenge.
Are You Up for the Challenge of Trying Something New?
What if I told you there was a way you could make enough money to sustain you through your retirement years without a regular “nine to five job”, would you want to know about it? Wouldn’t become job-free and financially independent be a life-changing accomplishment? I mean, you could actually enjoy your life and do what you wanted to do with your time.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Well, it is possible, and I am enjoying that benefit right now. I have not yet attained my goal but I am well on my way. As my “paying forward” contribution I am going to share this method with you since someone took the time out to do the same thing for me two years ago. In this article, I will show you the exact steps I took, the same steps anyone can take to become financially independent using the Internet.
If you have doubts, that is normal. In fact, before I start my online business I was very sceptical because I was scammed more than once out of my hard earned cash. So I can understand your apprehensions, but take it from me I am just a normal hard working woman who has found a way to retire more comfortably and wants to share it with you.
I have helped many people to change their lives. However, I have come to realize that most of the people who I have introduced this financial independence road map to have started on the journey and then gave up while others are sceptical or fearful to give it a try because of the following reasons:
Myth #1: I don’t have the time it takes to start or grow an online business
If you work a regular nine to five job you can find the time and better yet if you want to find the time you will. Whenever there is a pressing issue that you have to make time for you know exactly what to do. When I started my online business I worked 40-50 hours a week plus I had a family to take care of but I found a couple hours a night to get a business started. I used my commute time to record ideas in my notebook and on my phone.
I brainstormed during idle times in the day. If you want something bad enough, there is almost ALWAYS enough time to make it happen. Burn the midnight oil for a few months and see what happens.
Myth #2: I don’t have the money it takes for a new business
That is a poor excuse. The cost to start an online business is very cheap. Website design no longer costs thousands of dollars. In fact, I can show you a program where you can start a website for free. Not only for free, but you get world-class training also on how to build your business.
Myth #3: I’m not an expert at anything
You don’t have to be. I was a secretary but I wanted to retire with a retirement fund in place so I decided to start a business on the Internet and started researching every aspect of it. The point is, you can become an expert in almost any topic that interests you.
The internet has a world of information and it is all at your fingertips. Take a topic that gets you excited and become an expert. It’s fun to enrich your mind and even more fun to enlighten the minds of others!
Myth #4: Someone is already doing what I want to do so it is useless trying to compete
This is one of the worst excuses, yet one of the most common I see. Many people think that if an idea is already being implemented online, that they “missed the boat”. What they fail to realize is that if their idea is being done, then it may be a successful idea, and something worth pursuing! Remember, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of sites doing similar things on the web.
Heck, if I had this attitude I would not have started I am sure I am not the only person online writing about how to make money online, but you are on my page now. Its the same with everyone there is enough space and market for whosoever wish to enter the market.
Myth #5: The only people making money are people telling others how to make money
Another one I hear a lot — usually from someone too lazy to ever succeed. Sure, there are a lot of so-called web business gurus offering advice on how to make money online. But in the grand scheme of things, these businesses comprise FAR less than 1% of ALL businesses online.
Your business online is what YOU want it to be — always remember that. If you want to be an online business guru, do your research and join the fray. But only do it if that is what you truly want to
do, not because it looks like the only way.
Myth #6: I’ve tried plenty of business opportunities with no success — it’s just not for me
Maybe it’s not. But chances are, your failure is from chasing different business opportunities, instead of building your own business from the ground up. That includes setting up a website of your own, growing your own opt-in list, communicating with and helping people, networking with other businesses in your niche and MAKING it happen!
Myth #7: I’d need a top search engine ranking to get anywhere and that’s almost impossible
I’ll agree that it MAY be almost impossible to get a top search engine ranking in some niches. But the fact is, you do NOT need a top search engine ranking in order to succeed on the web.
Effective marketing is all about using MULTIPLE strategies, and many strategies work FAR better than search engine positioning.
There You have it
So there you have it. Some common myths about online business that are keeping literally millions of people stuck in that J-O-B (Just Over Broke).
If you’re not on your way to generating profits online, you may find that you believe one of those myths. Don’t fall for it. Don’t let a false belief keep you from one of the best opportunities in centuries — an online business of your OWN.
Of course, it is perfectly normal to have a few questions before you start.
Here’s how to get the most out of this article
- Read it in its entirety
- Do not quit your job yet – wait until your income surpasses your regular paycheck.
- Do not tell anyone about your ideas — save that for when you’re making money.
- Once you’ve read the plan go back to the very beginning and start your project.
- Complete each step one at a time.
The Financial Independence Road Map – 7 Simple Steps
Step 1 – Choose a Niche
Well, I will tell you up front this financial independence road map that I am introducing to you is called Affiliate Marketing. So the first thing you have to do is get comfortable in selling something. I’ve come across lots of people who want their own high-income business on the web but do not want to get involved with selling.
What do I tell these persons?
You are afraid of selling, you can become a freelancer and work from home for companies or individual. This is just like a nine to five job but you do it from the comfort of your home.
However I want you to keep the big picture in mind you want to make money to supplement your retirement income and in order to do that, you need to find a way to do work once and make money over and over for years to come.
If you do not like selling, don’t worry. I’ve found that the Internet can make selling completely effortless that is why so many people make money from selling on the internet. The Internet lets you be a sales “genius” without ever having to pitch a thing in person. Online, the actual act of selling is as simple as setting up a few automated tools and letting them do the work.
If you are uncomfortable with selling just tell yourself that you are not taking the person’s money they are actually paying you for a service. Customers are making the conscious decision that what you have to offer is worth a trade for a certain amount of their cash. This is the basis on which business works.
Better yet, I like to think of my selling as helping people make smart, informed decisions. The best salespeople I’ve seen online adhere to that same policy, and you can too. These online sales “experts” aren’t at all like what many people would think they would be like. In most cases, they’re just regular folks like me!
So now that you know you have to sell something to start moving toward a high income, let’s get right to the other part of this question…
Exactly what do you sell?
I have learned that the number one seller in the world has always been, and always will be valuable and relevant information. This is where finding a Niche comes in – You are going to think of a group of people you want to help and identify a product/service that will the useful and relevant to them. You will then provide them with information that can solve their problem or answer their questions as well as sell them this useful product.
The easiest and quickest way to discover your ideal niche is to answer this question…
I enjoy talking about or helping people with?
That is your strong point. Maybe there is money in it.
Take a moment right now and reflect on your life experiences. Consider all your favourite hobbies, past work experiences and your interests. Is there knowledge you have gained over the years that might be valuable to a niche market? If so, you may have a niche product or service in you.
Let’s say you have no specialized information in your head. Then start thinking about all the people you know. Do they excel at anything in particular? If so, you could interview them about how they became so great at what they do.
Once you’ve have considered a few ideas, here’s how to do some quick research to see if there may be money in your idea… Go to this keyword research tool and enter a few words related to the ideas you have in mind. The tool will then show you the number of times people have searched for those words in the last month. When entering you are entering those keywords, think along the lines of what the people you are targeting may be searching for. This will give you an indication of what your niche market(s) bear for interest.
If you find a decent amount of interest, say a few thousand or more combined monthly searches on keywords directly related to your idea, then you may be in a solid niche.
Next, consider what specific information or help those people are looking for, and think of ways you can offer that help. Remember to keep a potential customer’s mindset as you go along.
Finally, visit your favourite search engine and search the internet using some of those same keywords. Click to the websites that come up and see how others are offering help in that area.
What products or services related to your idea are available on the internet already? If you see some, that’s a good thing! Don’t worry so much about competition, the internet is huge and there is room for new players in nearly all niches.
Now that you know a little about how to choose a niche, let me explain a little more about the actual process of filling a need with a product or service.
Step 2 Identify a Product to Sell
Once you’ve found a niche market in your area of interest, the next step is to create or find a product or service to sell. When deciding what you’re going to sell online, you can choose from the following two strategies, or choose both…
- Creating a Product or Service
- Selling Existing Products and Services
While I feel that choice number one gives most small businesses the best chance at success, it takes a bit longer. But let’s break down each of the options above, starting with choice number one...
- Creating a Product or Service
If you have information to share or have the ability to research and gather information on a niche topic (everyone has that ability!), you can make money using this model. For centuries, people have been making money selling information and related products and services, and this fact will continue forever.
It all boils down to helping people save time and money avoiding learning something the hard way — through research of their own. Basically, you do the research (or share what you already know) and sell the results. The better the information and services, the higher prices you can demand.
With a global audience online, you can create and sell just about anything. If there is a market for it, you can build a business around it.
For example, let’s say I was a dog lover and into house dogs. If I wanted to make a living in that niche, the first step I would take would be to find out exactly what these pet owners are searching for.
Do they want to learn new tricks for their dogs? Do they want to know the best house dogs to buy? Maybe they would be interested in a simple ebook on how to potty train my house dog or best exercise for my house dog. I think you get the idea. You find a niche that interests you, see what people are searching for and fill the need. Now let’s consider an angle for those of you who do not have the time or inclination to “create and sell”…
- Selling Existing Products and Services
It is also possible to earn money online selling existing products and services. This is called Affiliate Marketing. Every time you make a sale you earn a commission. There are affiliate programs in just about any niche you can imagine. Whatever niche you plan to develop your business around, you’ll more than likely be able to find affiliate programs you can join.
I know first-hand how profitable this model can be. You see, in addition to selling my own products and service, I often promote products as an affiliate. In fact, every month I receive checks from the affiliate programmes I promote. These affiliate checks are from merchants paying me commissions on sales I made for them.
If you want to give this business model a try, you can create a free account with this awesome program that has taught me so much.
It contains the best training on affiliate marketing you can browse, start your own website, meet some helpful people who are making money online and willing to help others.
Since there are a lot of techniques you’ll need to become familiar with in order to succeed as an affiliate marketer. For instance, one thing many people do NOT understand is that if you plan to go the affiliate marketing route, you will need a website of your own (all that is covered in the training).
Your website will be the hub of your business. The place where you share information about your niche, establish credibility and grow an opt-in list. It is as essential to an affiliate based business as it is to a business selling their own products and services. So let’s get into how to put up a site of your own.
Step 3 Create Your Own Website
No matter what you plan to do online, you absolutely WILL need your own custom web site. And don’t worry, I’m about to show you how to accomplish this sometimes daunting feat without paying a lot of money.
Get started now by starting your free website and see how great your site can look!
Step 4 How to Get Your Target Audience to Your Website
Now the real fun begins. Getting visitors to your site so they can give you money! As a marketer who spends very little on advertising, I pride myself on utilizing only the most effective low-cost and no-cost traffic sources available online. I’m happy to share those traffic sources with you so you can try them yourself. They all work very well and cost very little if anything.
Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN
The search engine Google.com, the web’s top search engine delivers a high quantity of high-quality traffic to my sites. There are no big tricks to top ranking either, at least not any that will work in the long term, and that is what should be most important to you.
Then make sure your site is properly optimized with the right keywords for your niche. The rest happens by getting a high number of quality links to your site from other sites. The more quality links you attain, the better the ranking your site receives. It’s that simple.
Yahoo.com also delivers quite a bit of traffic to my websites. But search has changed quite a bit recently at Yahoo, and with those changes comes a cost to webmasters. If you have the budget, consider using their SiteMatch service. Or at the very least, use the FREE URL Submission Yahoo now offers:
MSN.com is also finally making a dent in the search engine market, and they are making a concerted effort to expand in that area. In fact, I’ve already seen traffic to my sites from search.msn.com grow steadily, especially recently. If you have not added your URL to their search engine, take a minute and submit your site for free at:
One note about search engine traffic too many people put all their eggs in this basket as far as website traffic goes. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you must have top search engine ranking to succeed online.
That is far from the truth. Conversely, a top ranking does not mean automatic success. Many businesses are surprised when they get a top ranking and it does not amount to a windfall of traffic and sales. The most successful businesses on the web rely on a combination of traffic sources.
Getting lots of incoming links to your site is important. Not only will traffic arrive via those links, but a site with lots of incoming links does better in search engines than sites with few links.
The best strategy I’ve used to get links starts with content. You write articles based on your niche, post the content at your site and share the content with other webmasters.
There are lots of websites in need of decent content. Supply it and you can benefit greatly – your links will grow continually with no effort on your part. And the beauty of this strategy is that only sites in your niche will use your content.
This means your links will be high-quality links from sites in the right neighbourhood. This goes a long way with the search engines.
I highly recommend this no-cost strategy to other grass-roots web marketers. The traffic you get from this strategy is immediate as well as long-term. And it can go a long way in establishing your expertise on your topic of choice.
If you are not using this strategy, try it! Visit an article directory and submit your best, current articles. Make sure the article is helpful and includes a small footer at the end, about the author. Here’s a short list of article directories:
You can and should also submit your articles to ezine editors in your niche. This can expand your reach exponentially.
A perennial, top traffic generator for me is “repeat visitors.” You know, people coming to my site who have already been there before. The importance of getting repeat visitors is something you used to hear marketing experts talk about a lot.
Lately, it seems that the value of repeat visitors has been overlooked. Yet repeat visitors are usually the people who end up making purchases at your site. There are lots of ways to get these valuable repeat visitors.
You can and should also submit your articles to ezine editors in your niche. This can expand your reach exponentially.
Step 5 Autoresponder
This step will teach you not only how to quickly build an email list, but how to make money with the list. The secret is to grow relationships with people by way of opt-in “series” email marketing. Opt-in series email marketing is a secret weapon many big name marketers prefer not to talk about much. Bet they all use it.
This is easier than most people think. It starts with a freebie. You simply GIVE AWAY something at your website. For example, on this website, I have an excellent book I wrote “Newbie’s Guide to Making Money Online ” Subscribe now and get your FREE copy right now. It helps you reach your goals. And it helps me get to know more people.
Here’s exactly how it works. You put together an attractive and irresistible freebie and offer it to everyone who visits your site. When your visitors claim their freebie, they are required to enter their first name and email address. They then are subscribed to your series of personalized, scheduled email messages that you have pre-written.
The best type of series is one that offers free valuable help and information about the subject they were looking for help on in the first place.
A well-written email series will form relationships with your best prospects, something that holds more value than most online businesses realize.
Perhaps the best part of this strategy is that once you do the setup work, everything is completely automated and personalized. That’s right, the email messages sent to your prospects, address them by their first name and many people really think you are sending them a personal message. It’s quite a powerful idea and it’s no wonder it works so well.
The technology behind this is called a follow-up email autoresponder service. For this service, I use Aweber, which is a very excellent autoresponder. When used properly, and with a bit of originality and flare, this email marketing strategy can be one of your top sales producers. It is all done on auto-pilot.
If you want to make money online, you MUST take advantage of technology that can automate and empower your relationship building.
Step 6 Email Marketing
If you have yet to experience success in business, chances are, you have no
idea how important a good sales letter is. In fact, even with my early success, I didn’t know the true potential of sales letters for years until I joined Wealthy Affiliate.
The first thing you need to understand is that even a perfect sales letter webpage might only close one sale out of every 50 or even 100 website visitors. That’s just the nature of the web. There are tons of people who almost never buy anything. They only want free information. And that’s OK. Because there are people who will invest their money in you or your product if you can convince them that you can help them save time, save money or make more money.
So not only do you need a solid product or service, you need a way to convey that message to them. A well-crafted sales literature does exactly that.
Here are the strategies I use which work very well. Many of them I have learned along the way and many I developed or tweaked into my own formula.
- Write like how you speak. People are more comfortable when they read something and get the feeling that you are chatting with them.
- Use a powerful headline that literally forces them to continue reading. The headline is your best shot at keeping them around. Make it bold and bright and keep out the hype. Think of what would make you stick around and read more then take it a notch higher.
- Appeal to their emotions! Rather than tell them what your product or service is, tell them what it will do for them.
That’s the difference between telling about a product and appealing to emotions. Emotions are what make people act. A few of the most common emotions you can appeal to are, frustration, the desire for money, the need to be accepted, the need to feel beautiful, and well, you get the idea. Every good product or service solves a problem for the potential customer, and that problem can be tied to an emotion.
Step 7 Generate Cash
Once your website is up and your opt-in list is beginning to grow, it is time to start endorsing products. This is the real secret to high powered affiliate marketing.
While you should not overdo it, endorsing a product once a month or once every couple of months, can really increase your income.
What makes endorsement-based affiliate marketing so powerful is that if you’ve taken the steps I’ve described so far, you’ve cultivated relationships with your opt-in list members. Relationships are based on trust — trust that you’ve earned since each visitor wandered into your site and asked for more information.
Now that you’ve tried a product and can vouch for its effectiveness, you can share your opinion with your readers and tell them exactly why you think it would be wise for them to consider the product you are endorsing.
If you’ve matched the product with your audience well, and it helps them with something you know they need help with, the sales will pile in. And it’s a blast when you see a “you’ve earned another commission” email come in every 5-10 minutes for 3 days straight!
Here are a few tips that will help you earn more money with this strategy…
Tip: Be sure to personalize your message so that you address each recipient by their first name. Personal messages work far better than “dear subscriber” messages.
Tip: Rather than sending the entire message in the body of an email, consider sending just a short teaser email that brings to a web page where you share all the details. This creates intrigue and curiosity and can get more people to respond. Also, shorter messages usually have less of a chance of getting gobbled up for email filters before reaching the recipient.
Tip: Don’t overdo it with endorsements. If you start recommending a new product or service every week or even every month, your messages will lose their effectiveness.
Tip: Make sure you actually try the product or service FIRST before endorsing it. Only endorse high-quality products.
Tip: Try to negotiate a special deal for your subscribers, even if it means parting with some commission. Subscribers appreciate this and respond more favourably when they are getting preferential treatment.
As soon as your web business starts earning, you need to focus on the financial aspects of wealth building. I’m no expert on the topic of investing, so this section will be brief. But I have learned a couple extremely important facets of investing over the years, and I want to share them with you now.
How to Grow Wealth
First, in order to accumulate real wealth, you must form a plan to eliminate your debts. In most cases, you’ll pay far more interest on your debts such as credit cards and loans, than you’ll earn on any investment strategy, so wiping out your debt should be a top priority.
The other important financial lesson I learned is that you must invest a portion of your income every single month. Yes, you need to start today, even if you still have debt.
OK, there you have it. My financial independence road map a 7 Step Plan to your financial freedom and happy retirement.
It’s a proven plan that can work for anyone. But you have to act. That is the step far too many people never take. Don’t fall into the trap of complacency. Life is too damn short to spend it doing things you don’t want to do.
Why not let your mind wander a little right now and dream of what it would be like to not have to go to work every day. In this new age, that dream is already becoming a reality for more people than you can imagine. Why not become one of the “lucky” ones.
You have the financial independence road map. What you do from here on is up to you. GET STARTED!
To your success,