Psychology Of Success: Part 1
How my passion for making profitable websites started and what I learned about myself
I have several websites that I try to maintain and write (what I thought were) helpful articles. In the past, no matter how hard I tried, the traffic for each website I own never prevailed one (1) thousand visitors a day, which adds up to about 30,000 a month. As you can imagine, with the average click-through rate of about 0.30%, I was able to have about 121 people clicking on the Google ads on my website every month. This equates to roughly $36.23 in monthly AdSense revenue per site.
None of these things are easy to do. Stop fantasizing, and get to work.
After browsing some blogs with the advice on how to make money online, I realized that I was just like the people who posted comments on those blogs, saying that their revenue is so little they can barely afford food for their cat. It occured to me that there were things that I was doing wrong. I started to think about what those things were and how I could improve the way I build my websites. I tried to look at my websites objectively and ask questions such as:
If I were to visit this website, what would I find that was interesting about it? and
Would I be able to learn anything from the information posted on this website? To my surprise, I realized that there really isn't anything special that I was doing that even I would find interesting! I was astonished to find out as to why I haven't really been paying attention to these questions. It seemed so obvious that my websites really didn't offer much of anything to anyone. Now that I asked myself these questions I began to wonder why I even started to make websites.
Looking back in retrospect, I now see how common my situation was. But at that time, it seemed like my whole passion to create these sites was simply blinded by Google AdSense revenue that I imagined it would bring. It made me feel very upset that I could allow myself to be so selfish, as I started to realize this truth. So I dug deeper into these questions and continued to analyze myself even further with the same amount of ferocity. I knew there were answers to these things. Eventually I have spotted the key points because after a while my websites started to gain more traffic, although it did take a lot of time and tremendous efforts. I had a completely different mindset now. In this section, I would like to share with you these key points that I learned from, so that you can too overcome these basic psychological traps anyone can fall for so easily.
To be successful at building a website that brings value to the visitors (which is knowledge and resources) and to the site's owner (which is passive income) requires a certain way of looking at things. This type of psychological knowledge and perspective can be applied to just about anything you want to start doing, even anything aside from creating websites.
During all of this time making my first websites (which actually spanned over several years, I think about 5 years or so) I was somehow subconsciously aware that there must be something else. Something I couldn't grasp at the moment, that if I did would make me much more productive. I knew that as long as I continued to learn by doing, these things would eventually occur to me. My journey into the world of website development resulted in a journey of personal development because I wanted to learn what I was doing wrong. I now think that for me personally, it has taken a long time to understand these things, because I tend to be stubborn and have too much focus on one and the same thing. I have a feeling that many of my readers are capable of grasping these concepts at a quicker pace. But it's just me. Just because it seems that someone else is more successful than you are, you need to also look at the time it took for that person to become successful and the amount of work that has been done by that person.
Success guidelines — what to do
I'd like to not advertise any simple solutions because I don't believe that they exist. Don't get me wrong. This is not the complete list "to-do" of what will make you or anyone else successful. This is the list of things I learned from experience of working with websites that remain a constant factor of my work ethic to this day. I believe this list can be applied to staying productive in many other areas of one's life.
- 1. Your reason for motivation must not be money. It must be focusing on how you can help people find what they are looking for.
- 2. You need to develop strong determination to physically accomplish the work. Find ways to fight any symptoms of procrastination, and repeat them.
- 3. Knowing exactly what results to expect from your work will help you not be disappointed. This requires experience.
- 4. Learning what works and exactly why and how it works. This should be the primary focus of all work you do.
- 5. Despite the bullet above, allow yourself to go crazy and experiment with obscure ideas. Some of them will turn out to be very effective. Avoid spending much time on them.
- 6. Using tools to help you do the same, repetitive work. For website development this includes setting up autoresponders and using statistic-tracking software.
- 7. Being inventive and original. Don't write content off the top of your head, just to include "keywords" for Google to pick up. That's not going to work. Instead, do thorough research, plan your content and organize it. There are things you can do to become a better writer for the web, it's not the same as writing for a newspaper or a magazine. Don't just use statistics software, use website statistics sites that show you videos of your visitors sessions if you want to get a good grasp of exactly what your visitors are doing, instead of playing the guessing game.
- 8. And finally... the most important principle: Have fun with what you are doing.
Success guidelines — what not to do
- 1. Do not spend too much time working on the same thing. Focus on work ethics and the physical production of work. You can always fix things up later that don't look decent in retrospect.
- 2. Do not set goals you cannot reach, start with small goals and see if you can achieve them first.
- 3. Do not allow yourself to think you cannot improve, that your intelligence and abilities are set in stone. This usually occurs when facing obstacle or because you start feeling that all the hard work is not paying off. This is very common. Despite the strong desire to quit out of idea that you simply cannot do it, keep on learning new things and producing new results.
- 4. Do not try to become rich in 24 hours. Or even a year. It happens only in a small number of cases and it is usually short-lived (Remember the one million dollar homepage?). What you want to do is to become constant at doing things that work. This is the key to gradually building value. How successful you are at spotting and figuring out what works (and why) will define how much sooner you will be able to build value and become recognized by masses of people.
- 5. Do not forget to take a break from work. It's easy to become obsessed with big dreams, but work is not everything.
In addition to the advice listed above, thinking objectively, in a practical sense, allows you to see greater truth about your work. Otherwise emotions and personal preconditioned thinking can easily blind you. Thoughts, for example, such as: "I am more intelligent than most people, so I wouldn't be able to learn anything from them". I hope I will be able to convince you that that this kind of logic shuts the door to personal progress. Something that is necessary, in order to achieve something of great value.
It's interesting that while making websites is the kind of work you would expect only technical or "computer-savvy" people to be able to do, there are so many other things unrelated to websites in any way that one needs to understand in order to achieve success. When I realized this, I started to focus on thinking about the psychological aspects of success. Logically it seemed to sound like the right direction to take. I knew there had to be some basic things other people have done research on and for the first time I was willing to learn from others. I finally accepted that I could learn from another person, which in itself is a terrific progress in personal development.
Before I discovered this excellent way of thinking about things in order to improve my efficiency I'd like to say that I had already named this section of my website Psychology of Success. It seemed like a title that explained exactly what I was going to write about. When I used the External Google AdWords Keyword Tool to see if there is any interest in the phrase "psychology of success", I noticed that there were about 6,600 people on the average that entered the phrase into Google each month. Although it's not that much and only adds up to about 220 a day, it didn't stop me from doing it—I knew the type of information I'd write would be original and would come from my personal expreience. If I could only share it with others, who were interested in learning from it, quite a few people would find it helpful.
To see the search engine competition for the phrase "psychology of success", I entered it into Google and looked at the top search results. I noticed that the first result was "The Psychology Of Success; Part 1", a link that led to an article written on EZineArticles.com. By the way, I think that EZineArticles.com is not a very reliable source of information. It seems that every time it pops out in my search results the information on the site looks like it has been written by someone who was in a terrible rush, someone who wanted to profit from the ads posted all over the website. That kind of thing discourages me to continue paying attention to a particular website. I think that the only reason EZineArticles is such a popular website on Google is because they have so many articles. It is a quantity over quality kind of thing, something I try to do the opposite of when I write content for my own websites. I can only imagine what the EZine success would be, if only every article was of supreme quality that explained helpful ideas and not random, unresearched material.
I pressed the Back Button on my browser and found out that the title of the second search result was "The New Psychology of Success". It looked interesting, so I decided to check it out as well. It was a quick article posted on the blog hosted at the domain name openculture.com. I know it sounds like I am trying to put websites down to make myself sound like I think my website is better! I assure you it is not my intention. But there are many examples out there we can learn from. For some reason that blog didn't appeal to me or caught my interest either, I don't know why, it was just a feeling. In the article posted on that page, however, I found a link to a lecture by Dr. Carol Dweck and her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (affiliate link) . It is when I started to listen to it, to my surprise, it talked about exactly the things that troubled me while trying to make my websites to become profitable. Of course I didn't think about it in the same exact context, but what Dweck was talking about made sense to me.
Based on this new perspective, I decided to create a poll that evaluates people's opinions on the subject of their own mindset. You can find out what your mindset is by simply answering one question on the form located in the second part of this tutorial: Psychology of Success - Part 2: Do you have a Fixed Mindset or Growth Mindset?. Over a period of time it would be interesting to see the results. I have a feeling that there will be more people choosing the same answer a lot more than the other. We will see about that, only time will tell.