How to Build Wealth Online Amidst Financial Chaos – The Opportunity of a Lifetime
March 18, 2009 - Written by Gyutae Park
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you know that the world is under a large-scale global recession. Countless companies are scaling back and hundreds of thousands of people have already been laid off from their jobs. It’s scary out there, with no end in sight.
So what are you to do? It seems like the widely followed career path of “going to a good school and getting a stable high-paying job” has come crashing down. No one is safe in this economy and no one can help you – not even the government. There’s only one thing you can rely on right now… and that’s yourself.
There is one bright spot amidst all of this financial chaos. The Internet is still going strong and developing at a rapid pace. Online companies like Google are maintaining healthy profits despite the recession and there’s a huge opportunity for independent webmasters to make a killing with their online businesses.
Take advantage of this opportunity of a lifetime. Rather than waiting for someone to bail you out or hoping things change for the better, take matters into your own hands and build something marketable for yourself now. In a few years, you will reap what you sow.
During the Great Depression, radio and print advertising was still relatively new but thrived as the emerging new medium for business. Small companies back then like Chevrolet and Proctor & Gamble were able to take advantage of this and flourish even in turbulent times. Here’s a hint: history always seems to repeat itself…
What can you do today to innovate and build wealth using the Internet as your platform? Below are my tips for action. Stop whining, start building. The time is now.
5 Steps to Online Success and Wealth During Times of Recession
1. Build your knowledge base – learn something
In the Internet/information age, knowledge is king. The more you know, the more you can do. Find a topic that you’re passionate about and read everything you can about it on your slack time. For example, if you want to be a computer programming whiz, study PHP, MySQL, and all of the other popular coding languages and sharpen your skills. Same goes for anything else (e.g. SEO, investing, basketball analysis, cars, gossip, whatever). Again, the more you know about a specific topic and the better your skills, the more you can do and better market yourself as an expert. This is key for personal branding online and will help you to build connections and establish your business.
2. Build a following and expand your network – establish your reputation
Expanding on my first tip of building your knowledge base, you also need to grow your personal network and establish your reputation in the industry you’re working in. It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. Having a few key connections can mean the difference between success and failure. Just ask venture capitalist and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki. His latest project, Alltop, isn’t earth shattering by any means, but he’s been able to significantly grow its userbase by calling in favors and leveraging his huge pool of followers. That’s really all he needed to tip the scales in his favor.
Take a look at my article on how to be a top online marketer in 2009. As the web becomes more social, personal branding will become increasingly important in order to build successful online businesses. Make friends, both online and off, and use social media to establish yourself as an authority in your field. Be active on niche forums, engage in conversation on Twitter, and answer questions on Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers. There has never been such a powerful channel to network and build connections on a mass scale like social media. Use it. It’s one of the biggest advantages you have over bigger, but less mobile corporations.
3. Build an authority website – pump out tools and content
Once you build your knowledge base and your network, coming up with an online business idea should be easy. Based on your passions and your analysis of market needs, develop a website of some sort with a solid business model. Create useful tools and resources and pump out unique content on a regular basis. If you’re strapped for cash, you’ll have to do this all yourself. Otherwise, outsource the content development to other experts and do what you do best (whatever that may be).
I know what it’s like to create content. It can be very draining and difficult, especially in the short term when you can’t see immediate results. However, blogging here on Winning the Web has been an extremely rewarding and profitable experience for me and I recommend it to everyone. Blogging is by far the best launching pad to start off your business. And no, I don’t mean blogging for ads.
4. Build links for traffic and SEO
Links are the currency of the web. They represent relationships, traffic, and improved SEO rankings. There are a ton of creative ways to build links that will lead to long lasting benefits. I won’t go into tactics here, but be sure to read some of my link building articles if you’re interested in learning more.
Link building is a slow, but very profitable Internet marketing practice that leads to long term success. A few quality links today could mean a #1 ranking in Google and loads of free traffic tomorrow. Keep building.
5. Build your brand and market share – buy advertising for cheap
The good thing about building your business during a recession is that you can buy advertising for amazingly low prices. While everyone else is scaling back and cutting their marketing budgets, you should be ramping up and spending everything you can to increase market share and “buy” customers. In fact, with such low demand these days you can pretty much get anything business-related for cheap – including advertising, office space, superstar employees, etc. Now is the time to get in, when everyone else is getting out. Buy ads on Adwords, Facebook, StumbleUpon, blogs, etc. The fact that there’s less competition out there will help you tremendously.
As you can probably tell by now, the theme of this post is “build”. Be proactive and create something valuable for yourself online during the recession. Sure, times may be bleak right now, but when things turn back around (and they will eventually) you’ll have a giant nest egg that will create long term wealth for you for years to come. The Internet is the new medium of business and recession or not, it’s the wave of the future. Build now before it’s too late and you miss the opportunity of a lifetime.
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