All Is Not Fair In Internet Business

Or the 80/20 rule, and who you REALLY have to focus on to succeed…

All the sales letters out there paint the “rosy” picture of the Internet marketing lifestyle, don’t they?

I am sure that most everyone that reads this article has at one point or another “fallen” for the carefully crafted words of an expert copywriter…and bought into the illusion.

This article contains a strong dose of reality people!

If you don’t want to see the real truth about Internet business, and want to continue to believe that there is some get rich quick, “make $23,594 in 60 days” program out there…keep searching. All of the sales letters will point you the way.

It is that very illusion that will keep feeding you the e-books, courses, and memberships that you will continue investing in until you realize there are no shortcuts to business…and eventually you will come back to this article to get your dose of the hard truth.


I was recently visiting a forum I frequent and found a post where the founder of the forum expressed his feelings about some whining taking place by some members in one of the sections within the forum.

To sum it all up, people were bitching and moaning about posts getting bumped etc… the details really do not matter at all.

The point is they were investing time bitching about making money with this one idea, instead of just shifting gears and moving on to something else in their business if they were having a problem. The lesson here is “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”


Guess what people? Business isn’t a fair and fluffy world for everyone!  Get over it!

On to another part of this lesson…

One of my coaching students was concerned about traffic to his sites. He was concerned because several of the methods weren’t working within the article marketing he was doing (which still works by the way). Almost frantic to the point of over-analyzing “why” most of his articles were not producing the traffic he would have liked (clicks to his blog).

But, he did produce at least one article that really rocked!

I mean seriously “masterpiece” quality.

This is an asset, or the first thing I look for when I have an issue in my business.

I look for use-able assets that I can convert into traffic, cash, whatever I need. Since I am a “massive action taker” when it comes to business, I am always in the process of creating these assets…and I do not allow little stuff like why articles are not working get in my way, because they won’t if I can just move on to another asset.

(you shouldn’t either, if you’re creating assets)

So I told my coaching student to take what he could from the article that worked, or his asset in this case.

Obviously, his readership liked what it found in this long article.

To date…this article has over 373 views on, 8 ratings, all 5 star ratings, and many positive comments in only two weeks.

If you happen to create an asset like this, find out what you did right, and do it again for Pete’s sake!

Over and over again.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a big proponent of the “fail as fast as you can, so you can succeed even faster” mantra.

But you have to decide when enough is enough, learn from your mistakes and move on. Internet Business life isn’t fair for everyone, and sometimes you might think you are doing the right thing investing hours and hours into writing articles or what not…

But it doesn’t always work that way people!

Learn why it didn’t work that way and move on as quickly as you can!

Now on to the big lesson for today…

Let’s move on to a big secret in business, one that will be hard to swallow for most of you, but I am going to reveal it any how right here (I normally charge quite a bit for this kind of advice).

At first, it won’t sound like any big deal, you have probably heard it a thousand times before, but bear with me…


Here it is…

About 80% of your revenue comes from about 20% of your total efforts!

On it’s face, you have probably heard of Pareto’s Principle. You have probably heard it a thousand times…but I bet that most of you have never taken massive action on it before. Honestly, only 20% of the people who read this post ever will take action.

Here is what I mean:

* If you work 40 hours a week on your Internet business…only 8 of those hours of work are producing 80% of your revenue generated. Wouldn’t you want to take that piece of advice and give your business an honest check up from the neck up, to see what 8 hours are producing that revenue, and do more of it?

* If you make $50,000 a year in net profits from your internet business… $40,000 of that revenue came from only 20% of all of the efforts you put into generating revenue for that Internet business in that year. Instead of bitching and whining on some forum about why your posts are getting bumped, why not concentrate on finding out more about that 20%, and do more of that instead?

* Instead of worrying about the 80% of the articles you write that are not generating the traffic you like, find the 20% that are, and copy that structure of article, topic nature, etc…

* If you have 100 customers (for the sake of simple math), and you now know that only 20 of them are making you 80% of your profits, which customers do you want to spend the most of your time with?

And really, that is the big secret here…

  • You should spend 80% or more of your valuable time with only 20% of your clients, the 20% who have followed your advice in your products, and used your copywriting skills, to make millions of dollars themselves.
  • The same 20% who invest in you again and again without question, who quite frankly feed your family and put a roof over your head.
  • This same 20% doesn’t complain about every little thing, because they know that if for some reason things don’t go right, you will make sure that they do…

Because you have created the time to do so by focusing 80% of your time and energy to only 20% of your clients.

Does that mean that the other 80% of your clients suffer?

Absolutely not. They receive polite and courteous attention, and you produce quality work or products for them, so they can benefit. They get 100% of you, for the entire 20% of your time you devote to them.

This concept might be a little hard to swallow for you, I understand that.

You might be thinking “Holy smokes Joe, it sounds like you are asking me to screw over 80% of my clients!”

But that is far from the truth actually.

You see, Pareto’s Principle can be expressed for this lesson in this way too:

80% of your clients really only need 20% of your time!

That’s right, about 8 out of every 10 of your clients are only going to use your services for one project, one consultation, buy one affiliate product from your recommendation etc… and that is it.

That does not require much time at all.

But 2 out of 10 clients will invest in your product or service for repeatedly, need multiple consultations, will invest in you for the 80% of the time you devote to them.

And those are the clients that keep you in business…Period.

There is a scary revelation that applies here as well…

About 80% of all small businesses fail within 5 years.

Which also means…

About 20% of all small businesses succeed after 5 years.

Could the 20% who succeed be the same ones that master the art of focusing on their 20%?

Are you going to at least start to think about who your 20% is?

If you don’t, don’t call me in 5 years when the money runs out.

Who is your 20%?

A New Problem Developing For Internet Marketers…

There’s no doubt…

We live in an age where there’s more information available on any one subject that it’s mind-numbing.

Also…with the development of marketing businesses on the internet, a new “foe” has entered the ring…market fatigue.

What is market fatigue?

It’s the saturation of book and product launches within any niche.  It’s not happening in all niches, but some niches are suffering market fatigue right now.

For example, in the “make money online” niche, there have been quite a few product launches, and when you combine the number of launches, then multiply that by JV (joint venture) partners promoting those products to their lists…you end up with inboxes stuffed with opportunity after opportunity.

People are getting tired of it…and that my friends, is market fatigue.

Does that mean the end of product launches?  No.

Does that mean you can’t successfully launch a new product in a niche such as “make money online”?  Hell no.

You just have to be real.

What do I mean?

Well, a variety of things:

  • You have to be authentic. No more direct re-hash of the latest product launch.  No more direct swiping of copywriting pieces when you don’t have the slightest idea exactly how to fit it into your sales letter.
  • You have to be yourself. Write from the heart, yes, actually work to build a product yourself (write a book yourself etc…) with your opinions and your true feelings.
  • Your product and business have to be based on some concept of helping people reach a real solution.  No theories, garbage, or untested opinions will work any more.  Don’t create a business to “make money”, instead create a business that serves markets.

There’s obviously a lot more to this, but this should serve as a primer.

More to come on this topic.

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff - Is your business real or will it just add to market fatigue?

Joseph Ratliff - Is your business real or will it just add to market fatigue?

How To Make Real Money Using The Internet Part 2

This is the final part of a two part post that should have been a small report I guess 🙂

Part 1 is here.

Continuing our “what it really takes to make money online” theme…

This whole internet marketing business game really boils down to one simple concept (and yes, it IS this simple)…

You need to think about how much value you can deliver to people to help them improve their lives first…before thinking about any profits you’ll make.

Most marketers are very selfish in their mindset to making money online.  They want that elusive “internet lifestyle” so bad that they will try to “game the system” or use all the blackhat tricks to make money using the internet.

Those internet business models don’t have long – term value…because they don’t serve people…instead they annoy people.

John Reese covered this thoroughly in his document “The Rebirth Of Internet Marketing”, which incidentally, is no longer available.

Yes, it’s from 2007, but really, the strategies that John makes reference to (as well as the strategies that I’ve pointed out in these 2 posts) are all evergreen concepts that will transcend any “marketing gimmick” that doesn’t serve people.

You can also download my Ramblings 2 Report (no longer available) which contains nothing but evergreen business strategies (105 pages of them) for you to enjoy.

(keep in mind, that blog is the one that “died” a short time ago, so I don’t know how long this download link will be active until I change hosting and change the link)

Anyhow…I think this concludes our lesson (for now).

Be on the lookout for posts on pricing, building systems for leverage in your online business, and much much more!

How To Make Real Money Using The Internet Part 1

Before you go getting all excited, I want you to know what this article is not:

  • It’s not about making money online fast (like within 3 minutes).
  • It’s not about “gaming” Google or any other search engine.
  • It’s not about making money “without work”, “with no selling”, or any other magic.
  • Most importantly, this is not the only (or the complete) answer…there are many ways to accomplish this.

This is an overview of how to make real money on the Internet (the way I have), the kind of money you can count on month after month without having to alter your business plan on a daily basis.

Contrary to what most of the over-hyped crap out there says about making money online…there are a few qualifications you must have before building a business of any kind (or be willing to make mistakes to learn from along the way), but especially when you use the Internet (because things move so fast online).

Sorry to break this news to you if you hoped this was the “next magic bullet”…

  • You have to be able to sell and understand what true selling is.
  • You must understand marketing, copywriting, and building businesses (not necessarily before you start, but you must gain that knowledge).
  • You must drill into your head that business is about the people you serve (your market)…this is probably the most important part of the whole understanding.
  • You must know “why” you’re creating a business in the first place. Many people miss this critical step, and end up like a fish out of water.
  • You must develop key relationships to grow your business.

More about these points will be covered in this article as you read.

Building a business using the Internet isn’t easy, it requires an above-average understanding of how people buy to be successful in a short period of time.

With that out of the way…let’s get to the meat of this post, shall we?

Based on my observations of the marketplace in online business, and discussions with my own clients (hundreds of them), I am going to frame these “how to’s…” first with “what most people do…” then with “what you need to do…”

Let’s get started.

What most people do:

Focus on the money, and the “quick buck”.

What you need to do:

Focus on the people in your market that you serve.  How can you help them add value to their lives.  This business isn’t about you…it’s about them, always.  The customer may not always be right, but even so, they can make or break your business.

What most people do:

Try to figure this whole business out before trying or testing anything.

What you need to do:

Test everything…try everything…fuck up several times and learn from those mistakes.  That will get you to success faster than trying to figure it out beforehand, every time.

What most people do:

Run their business like they are the only ones running it.

What you need to do:

Develop partnerships.  Not the “legal business” ones necessarily…but key joint venture partnerships that are mutually beneficial.  This means you must get over yourself, and get out there and talk to people (see next point).

Developing partnerships means quit sending templated emails to all the “gurus” and actually attend a seminar and network.  I can already hear the whining, get over it…you have to make personal contacts at some point, or you can count on flushing your business down the toilet.

What most people do:

Hide behind their computer screens because it’s comfortable and anonymous.

What you need to do:

Get over yourself. Put yourself out there.  If you want to be comfortable, and keep operating within your comfort zone, go bake some cookies.  If you continue to stay hidden and in your comfort zone, you’ll enjoy average or below-average results…continue to struggle from opportunity to opportunity…and never build a real business that serves people in a market.

Black hatters and those that game the system might disagree with me on this…but eventually, they’ll suffer too.

What most people do:

After they get some momentum going, they continue “plugging away” and seem to end up running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

What you need to do:

You need to remember two words that make the difference between piddly income in a business and millions of dollars…systems and leverage.

Once you get going, you need to automate parts of your business with people, leverage, and systems so you can begin to work “on” your business…instead of “in” your business.  The sooner you make this transition, the sooner you’ll experience a “breakthrough” in income…period.

People: Eventually, you cannot do this yourself, you will need to involve people in your business for it to grow.  Did I say hire employees?  Nope.  But you might actually want to.  Contrary to bad advice out there, the headaches with employees are minimal when you do things upfront in the process that minimize the chances (didn’t say eliminate, I said minimize) of getting the wrong person for the job.

Creating a vision for the employees to follow, not settling for the “next best” person for the job etc… (you’re in complete control of the hiring process, the results you get are a reflection on you).

Leverage: You must use the Internet for all it’s worth in terms of leverage.  Aside from the obvious ones like autoresponder accounts to send automated emails, and programs used to put your video marketing all over the place…who’s to say you can create and attack multiple segments of your market aggressively using multiple sites, with “marketing channels” set up to automate the selling process to each of those segments?

Folks, aside from legal, ethical, and moral standards…there are no rules. Get your message out there in as many ways as you can.

Systems: This is the part many people get wrong.  Setting up systems has to be done in a fashion where you could hand it off to someone else, and that person would NEVER have to contact you to ask a question about how to operate the system.

From procedures, to issuing various levels of authority to customer service staff so they can take care of customers…

You can’t lose sight of your business while creating systems…but you must create systems so you can see more of your business. –Joseph Ratliff  ©2009

I cannot cover the building of systems in this one blog post, but this will be continued again as an individual topic, as it’s that important.

A final bit of important advice about systems creating…only create a system that will provide leverage for you as a business owner, don’t create systems in your business just for the sake of creating systems.

Note:  This post got sooo long…I’m going to call this part 1.  Part 2 is now here.