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3 Reasons You Aren’t Full-Time and What to Do About Them

3 Reasons You Aren’t Full-Time and What to Do About Them

This is a guest post by Nate at IMfuse. I think he offers some great advice on some of the more motivational aspects of being to becoming self-employed full-time.  As a caveat, obvsiouly being self-employed full-time is not for everyone.  However, these are certainly some great points that can help many of you stay motivated.

I’d be willing to guess that anyone reading Spencer’s blog who is actively engaged in building niche sites outside of the time commitments of a “real job” has aspirations of developing that part-time work into a full-time reality. Most of us begin this journey because of the vision and hope associated with developing a successful online business that has the power to change some part of our lives through increasing our income, providing us with location independence, or freeing us from trading an hour for a wage through passive income.

I feel very fortunate to have been able to scale up my sites to a full-time income and I’ve been able to walk away from holding a “real job”. As with most internet marketers who make the leap, there have been successes and failures, challenges and rewards. Running your own business isn’t for everyone. There are inherent risks in any type of business and as Spencer has mentioned several times before here at Niche Pursuits, building niche and authority sites is no different. However, if you do want to eventually take the plunge and can accept the risks, I wanted to share what I feel are the top three challenges for aspiring full-time internet marketers and how you can begin to tear down those walls.

Challenge #1: There Isn’t Enough Time

For anyone wanting to scale their sites up to a full-time income, the single biggest challenge is time. Perhaps you have a demanding day job, friends, family, children, and a host of other commitments. How do you find the time to put in the effort to take your sites from earning a few extra bucks a month to providing enough to cover the bills? In my experience, building and growing a business, even on the internet, is most often anything but “passive”. If you want to keep growing and earning more revenue each month, you’re going to need to be effective with the time that you do have to work on your sites.

The Solution:

The most critical element of my success in going from part-time to full-time was effective management of my time. I worked a little on my business every day of the week while I was making that transition. But it wasn’t working on my business every day that made the difference. It was knowing exactly what I was going to do each time I sat down at my computer.

I laid out a schedule for each week prior to the beginning of that week. For each day of the week, I had a set of specific action steps to take. In the early days, it was broken down into “types” of actions, for example, writing content, link building, keyword research for new sites, etc. By grouping these types of actions together, I was much more effective. If I sat down to write content for site A, it was much more efficient to also write content for site B once I was in that “creative” frame of mind than to start building links for site A.

Know exactly WHEN you are going to sit down and work on your sites and exactly WHAT you are going to do. The schedule kept me on track. It held me accountable. Instead of watching TV in the evenings, the schedule told me I had a “job” to get to. Of course, you have to have some time for fun or you’ll burn out on it, but schedule in what you know you can handle and then hold yourself accountable for those time slots.

Additionally, never include activities like checking email and reading your favorite internet marketing blogs during this scheduled time. I used to start my niche site working sessions with a quick email and Twitter check and would burn an hour before realizing it. There are far too many tasks like this that can be done on a mobile device at other times throughout the day to litter your action time with them.

Challenge #2: Doing It All and Not Running a Business

One of the biggest mistakes I see beginning and part-time internet marketers making is not treating their activities as a business. When we see our internet marketing activities as a “hobby” that may or may not pay off down the line, we lack the serious belief and focus required to truly feel that the sacrifice now will be worth it later on. In order to go from “dabbling” to full-time, you need to commit to treating your niche sites as a business. I’m not saying that you need to run out and file for an LLC, I’m referring simply to a state of mind.

The Solution:

This creates a range of potential complications that can prolong the journey from part-time to full-time, but the area where it impacts that process the most is in not re-investing in the “business”. Now, I’m a proponent of executing most of the activities associated with building, ranking, and monetizing your first couple of niche sites on your own so that you can learn the fundamentals of the process. However, once you’re ranking and earning through your first few sites, the most efficient and effective way to scale up your income is to keep creating new sites. And if you want enough sites to provide a full-time income, you will reach a point where you simply cannot create all the content and build all the links.

I got comfortable early on with taking a portion (sometimes up to 50%, but even now up to 25%) of my earnings and re-investing them into content and link building for new and existing sites. Learn how to effectively outsource on a small scale with some test projects and over time, you’ll learn the ropes well enough to apply it to most of the activities required to run your sites.

Challenge #3: Lack of Confidence and Knowledge

The biggest hang up I had when I was debating whether or not I should make the leap to full-time was always doubting whether or not I had gained the necessary skills to become successful. The internet marketing industry changes rapidly. Google makes algorithm changes and we spend hours trying to find a guru who can make sense of the latest chaos. It causes us to doubt our instincts and the foundation of knowledge we’ve built. This constant doubting can keep us prolonging the journey indefinitely.

The Solution:

Throughout my time in internet marketing, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that the only constant is change. The internet is an incredibly dynamic landscape where information is created and then shared worldwide in seconds. It very much goes against the grain of traditional professions like accounting or law where the old standards evolve over years and decades. Face it: you’re never going to know everything there is to know about this industry. And you know what? No one else does either. We’re always trying to evaluate the changes happening around the internet at any given time and all we can do is inform ourselves and set aside time for professional development each week.

For the last year and a half, I have dedicated Friday afternoons to catching up on trends and news in internet marketing and thinking about how that might affect my business. But I don’t dwell on it. For the most part, I keep doing what I’m doing and modify that with a tweak here or there, making one measurable change at a time.

Regarding confidence, again, running your own business isn’t for everyone. However, the one realization I had that gave me the push I needed was that nothing is permanent. Even in the most stable corporate environments, there are no guarantees that our job will be there tomorrow. Make peace with the unknown and you’ll develop much more confidence both in your day job and in building your own business.

I would also highly recommend engaging with other aspiring or current full-time internet marketers through a private community or mastermind group. I was fortunate enough to be part of a great four-person mastermind group early on in my journey and having the opportunity to exchange ideas and share concerns was vital in reducing the time it took me to go full-time.

The road to “full-time” isn’t easy. But if you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices, put in the time, and commit to continual professional development, you can increase your odds of success. I can tell you that in the long run, it’s all worth it.

Nate is a full-time internet marketer with both niche and authority sites. He is a member of team imFuse, a site dedicated to providing actionable information for niche and authority site builders. You can subscribe to the imFuse newsletter and get the first three videos from their premium Niche Site Video Training Series for free!

14 Comments for this Post

  1. Matthew Paulson

    Matthew Paulson

    First Post :-)

  2. semir

    semir

    hey there(second post) haha
    fraiser cain said search engine traffic could disapear in with in seconds. if you are relying on google for traffic, then google owns your buisness not you. google has all the rights to put your site down…. plus the other risk…is negative seo.
    with all these risks….i am amazed if somebody is trying to be a full time niche site builder. it is very risky. just my two cents.
    and all the tips above are very good and i realy thank spencer and the guest blogger-nate from imfuse.
    and i wish i read in detail about success ful niche sites created and had all the traffic from other traffic sources like youtube,pinterest,forums,comments….etc and also about product creation like membership sites, ebooks,softwares.
    these can bring full time income. and are much more safer than niche sites.
    thanks spencer and nate
    tell me your thougths on this
    bye

    • Nate

      Nate

      Hi Semir,

      Glad you liked the post!

      Yes, as Spencer has mentioned several times here on his blog, relying solely on niche sites which are built around organic search traffic is risky business. Most of the full-time “niche marketers” I know have also diversified into other income streams to mitigate against that risk, whether it’s authority sites, product creation, or offline consulting. I went the same way. As soon as I built what i considered to be a “full-time” income from niche and small authority sites, I began working on other projects to help diversify my income.

      One caveat here: I do feel it’s important to concentrate your focus on one type of income project at a time. Don’t wake up one day and say “I think I’m going to build niche sites, iPhone apps, an authority site, and write an eBook”. While you may have the mental ability to concentrate your efforts on different projects at once, it’s tough for most of us to work effectively and efficiently if we’re spread across to many types of projects at one.

      Nate

      • James

        James

        Hey Nate –

        Those are some great points you make there. I plan on doing the same. Firstly establishing a solid income from one type of income project and then diversifying the income.

        I am actually like you said not to do working on multiple projects at a time right now. However I am not working on a crazy amount of them. I am only doing a couple niche websites and authority sites. I can handle it though as I am working on specific tasks each day and completing them. Progressing on to the next projects as well.

        Once I finish updating my niche websites to have multiple pages each instead of just a couple I’ll focus 100% of my attention to my authority sites (2) and my blog. I think I can focus enough to do at least a couple posts on each site per week. Maybe even 1 post per site per day.

        Anyways – thanks for sharing again Nate.

  3. James

    James

    Third Post!

    Thanks for the great guest post Nate. It is an inspirational post to transition from part time / hobby like work to full-time.

    I think that is everyone’s dream like you mentioned who are creating niche websites right now.

    Why make someone else rich when you could be working for yourself and making yourself rich? Make your own hours, own schedule, work anywhere in the world you want. Sounds like a great dream.

    We just need to focus and make sure we get the work done that needs to get done in the small timeframe we have and go from there.

    Thanks for sharing this great post.

    • Nate

      Nate

      Thanks, James!

      You’re right. The most important factor in your success is taking action.

      Nate

  4. Daniel @ MyFinancialFreedomChallenge.com

    Daniel @ MyFinancialFreedomChallenge.com

    Hi Nate,

    Good post! You helped give me that little bit of extra motivation to ramp up my authority site project. You really got me thinking, and i JUST came up with a new even more ambitious strategy for my authority site.

    I wrote a post about it on my new blog if your interested!

    Daniel

  5. Nate

    Nate

    Thanks, Daniel! I’m glad this post got your fired up! :-)

    I just checked out your post and I’m glad to see that you’re going to be moving forward with your authority site. I think you’ll do well adding that much content.

    Best of luck!

    Nate

  6. bryan

    bryan

    Spencer, thanks for the post, i have the issue, when i sit in from of my computer i end up burning the entire night with non-related readings and videos. I really need to start scheduling myself 30mins to an hour of just working on my sites. but then again i am still just testing and not taking it serious. non the less, very inspirational when i consider going full-time eventually

  7. Vin

    Vin

    Nate,

    You lay out some very important points here. I think most people who aren’t able to make it to full time suffer from the hobbyist mindset.

    It really is important to take a step back and find ways to increase the size of the business in order to be successful. Just because you’re busting your ass 24/7 working IN your business, does not mean that you doing yourself any favors.

    There needs to be a plan laid out. Goals need to be set. The business needs to grow incrementally and continue to grow until goals are met.

    • Nate

      Nate

      Vin,

      You hit the nail on the head. Determining your goals and putting together a plan to reach them is what will drive the strategies you need to scale your business to meet those.

      For anyone with aspirations of reaching full-time income numbers, adapting the mentality of working “on” the business early in the game is critical. That’s not to say you can’t continue working “in” the areas you enjoy to a certain degree (which for me is writing content), but to scale up an online publishing business, you need to get comfortable managing the processes and re-investing your earnings into the outsourcing to grow.

      Nate

  8. Lewis LaLanne

    Lewis LaLanne

    Challenge #1 is HUGE. It could be said that if this isn’t handled, failure is inevitable. I look at it from the angle, not of managing time, but rather managing yourself. Managing your tendencies and bad habits that keep you from doing what needs to be done.

    For instance, working full blast for the 2 hours you’ve set aside rather than working for 45 minutes and getting distracted by surfing, chatting, and texting for the other 75 minutes.

    And then when you do sit down to work we always have to be conscious of the fact that all activity isn’t created equal. The key when you have limited time is to make sure you’re doing the 20% of the activities that bring you 80% of your results. And what makes this tough is when it’s not the pretty stuff like having conversations on Facebook but rather is writing an auto-responder campaign that could fall flat on it’s butt feeling rejected.

    You’ve done a marvelous job of addressing these challenges Nate and if someone can find a partner to help them and take some of the load off, this process can move along far faster. Especially if your partner compliments your weaknesses. :)

    • Nate

      Nate

      Thanks, Lewis. You bring up great points.

      One of the biggest keys to my productivity has been breaking those “bad habits” and sitting down to work on very specific tasks without distraction. Those tasks are evaluated the day before and sorted by priority (in Omnifocus) and the next day’s “work time” is dedicated strictly to those tasks which will move a project forward. Emails, social media, and other information streams wait until later in the day.

      Additionally, you’re spot on regarding the types of tasks that we have to work on as full-time internet marketers. As much as I enjoy creating written content, infographics, video training, and podcasts, a large part of my time has to be spent managing other aspects of the process which are responsible for putting food on my table. As you stated, it’s not always the sexy stuff that drives traffic.

  9. Sunil l Expedited Wealth Building

    Sunil l Expedited Wealth Building

    Nate – very true. it’s easy to get distracted and thus important to have a pre-determined schedule and more importantly to stick to it. outsourcing though is the single biggest reason I have been able to expedite success

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