It took me about 8 years to understand this and as soon as it struck my mind like a revelation, I thought that I owe you all to write about it. I was having a business plan discussion with one of my friend who also happens to be my cousin he said: “One thing is obvious!”
I said: What?
He said: Man money is really in the list! You have to build a good list of subscribers if you want to survive in online marketing otherwise google is going to wipe you out one fine day with its penalties for no reason.
I said: I don’t understand why would google penalize you for doing nothing wrong? I mean you must have offended google’s emotions in some way or the other (though it doesn’t have emotions practically but yeah its algorithms have made it quite smart you know).
He said: You know, only good content doesn’t matter. You have to promote your content in a way google loves, otherwise, you know, you’ll be nowhere in search engine results.
I said: I don’t buy the idea of google being the only source of traffic, I mean it is I admit but you need to understand that google is not the ONLY source of good traffic.
He said: I’ll ask you once you will be penalized for no reason.
The conversation was over but I kinda bought his idea for a good amount of time.
Now back to the point I was trying to make and it may be a bold statement for a comparatively newbie of internet marketing but believe me “Money is not in the list!”.
It is a half-truth we have been continuously bombarded by all gurus of internet marketing. What is the other half then? you might ask. Well, I think you should write my next statement somewhere where you put your important things related to online marketing and that statement is:
There is no money in the list IF it is built to make money only.
That’s a complete equation which took me 8 years to figure out.
I recently had a privilege to listen an interview of Derek Sivers of CDBaby.Com taken by Ramit Sethi and it was full of excellent information on how most of the businesses that took off were initially started as a passion to solve a problem which the founder had.
You know Derek Sivers was a musician who wanted to distribute his music to people but no one was interested in helping him with his distribution of albums unless he had signed a contract with Big Boys which was nearly impossible for Derek at that time.
What Derek did was, he started a website through which he started taking orders online and sending CDs to people who ordered. He solved a problem which was personally effecting Derek and he was quite pissed off with. So, once his fellow musicians saw how he has come over this obstacle, they requested him to sell their records on his website too, he said “Sure, why not?”
Then something strange happened, people started emailing and calling Derek and requesting him to put their titles too and that was the point when he decided to make it a business because it was becoming increasingly hard for him to cope up with so many requests.
He started CDBaby.com in 1998 and sold it for $22 Million eventually in 2008 I guess. Why he sold it? well he states in the same interview that he made CDBaby.com so robust and complete that he felt he had nothing to contribute and it felt for him like a painter who paints till the final stroke and then starts a new painting.
What made Derek money?
Three things I would say.
Passion of Music
Why? because if he had no passion, he never had the problem he had and eventually there would have been no CDBaby.Com.
Encountering an Extreme Pain
Well, getting people listen to their music is the ultimate dream of musicians and that was the biggest pain point for Derek when he couldn’t get his music to people and declined from everyone in the market.
Coming Up with A Solution NOT FOR MONEY but for HELPING
This is the biggest thing to understand, once you come up with a solution to genuinely help yourself or someone else money flows automatically.
So what have we learned today?
Money is in WHAT?
Money is in the list of people you have helped.
What do you guys think? Please leave a comment.
P.S. This is true for almost every business which took off with a passion to solve a problem.