Ned the Newbie Discovers that STEP ONE to Starting an Online Business Must come before STEP TWO

James Mann

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I had an appointment with Ned The Newbie the other night to talk about his dreams of wealth, online business and Internet marketing. Like most Internet marketing newbies, Ned thought a web site would be found automatically by product hungry people willing to buy whatever he decided to sell.

Here is how that appointment went. . .

Ned: Good evening Mr. Mann, I am so glad we are able to meet. You have me pretty excited about a step-by-step solution to online business success.

Do you really think you can point me in the right direction?

James: Welcome Ned, great to meet you in person, and please call me James.

Have a seat Ned, relax and let me get us both some water.

Ned: Thanks James and water sounds great.

James: So, you're Ned the Newbie? After our phone conversation I feel like I know you already. As a matter of fact about 4 years ago I was you, well I was in the same position as you. Ready, willing and able, to start an online business and more than a little confused and frustrated.

And to answer your question. Yes I am sure I can help you understand the journey and adventure you are about to take. I have already helped numerous people start their journey into online business and they are doing great and learning more ways to earn multiple streams of income. So relax Ned.

Ned: Now I am even more excited. James, I hope you don't mind, but I brought all these eBooks I have printed about ‘starting a home business online’. Just so you know what I have been reading.

James: Thanks Ned, That is quite a list you have, but I don't think we will need these tonight. How have they been working for you so far?

Ned: Well they haven't. How did you know. Oh, hold on I know. If they had worked I wouldn't be here, right?

James: That's right Ned. But that doesn't mean they are not good eBooks. I have seen and read a few of the ones you have here and they are great information products.

If I have learned anything about people in the more than 17 years of teaching, it would have to be that the greater majority of people need to hear the same thing 3, 4, 5 and even more times before it starts to become embedded info.

So what happens is that people jump from one thing to another hoping for that magic fix so that they can start earning an income immediately.

The strategy that they are using works just fine, but they don't give it enough time and attention to see it work.

Ned: That's exactly it. I read most of the material but I was just getting more confused and stressed out trying to understand it all. I think I have information overload.

James: Ned, I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I messed up when I started my first online business, and being a teacher makes it even worse. I always tell me students to ask questions, but when it came right down to it, I thought I would do just fine on my own. Man did I feel stupid when I finally realized that I was not practicing what I had been teaching for almost 20 years.

So let me say it here and now and I really mean it.


Ned: It makes me feel better knowing that you have been where I am sitting right now.

Okay my first question: Can I start learning right now?? (Big Smile)

James: Ha, you sure can, but one more thing first. It is important that you follow closely. If you start to get lost ask for better directions or ask me to slow down, but what ever you do, don't let me continue until you are satisfied that you know where we are right now.

Ned: Oh you can bet I will stop you and ask lots of questions.

James: Any step-by-step solution starts with the first step and you should never go on to step two until you have completed step number one. You should also understand what step one is. Don't just follow instructions blindly. You just end up at step 7 without a clue.

Plus it just makes sense to get the first step right, otherwise you are off in the wrong direction immediately and you probably would not even know it.

On top of that, if you are paying money for a product that will make your marketing life easier, but you don't follow directions you are just throwing money out the virtual window.

(I was holding the printed eBooks Ned brought while I said that. )

Ned: I feel kind silly for wasting all that time and money.

James: I am not trying to make you feel bad Ned. I did the same thing but I spent a whole lot more and waited much longer before seeking help. I really just want you to understand without making you buy anything that is not necessary.

On to step one then.

Before you ever spend a dime or build that first web site you have to know who is going to buy what you are selling. That is your target group or target audience.

Knowing your target group, those people that want what you have, will give you an idea of whether you can make money or not.

If your target audience really wants something but has no money you are wasting your time, and time is money.

Write that down Ned, so you have it to read over and over.


Step One is: Knowledge is POWER. Research your target group.

Before you ever spend a dime research your target group so that you know your prospects have the means to purchase what you are selling.

Don't go on to step two until you have done your homework or you, like so many others, myself included, will start wasting your time and money, again.


Ned: Time for my next question James.

This is the point that I get tripped up on. How do I find all the information I need about my target group?

James: (Smiling) How did I know that you would ask me that question?

This is the point that messes up so many Internet marketing hopefuls. It is also the reason more than 80% of businesses fail.

Lack of research.

So you can see that it is extremely important to get step one right.

Start asking some questions:

Who else sells these or similar products and how are they finding their target group?

Let me give you the secret to step one in my step-by-step solutions. Are you ready?

Ned: Oh yeah.

James: Know how to use a search engine to find more information about my competitors and you will soon be able to write your own ticket for anything you want. It is all about researching. Knowledge is only POWER once it becomes yours, so learn what you need to learn in order to be ahead of 80% of other marketers.

Finding and researching successful competitors will give you plenty of food for thought when you start digesting the keywords they use to draw their target group like moths to a flame.

A quick tip to help you master using search engines for target group research success. . .

Take the time to read the Advanced Search section on each of the major search engines, it will be time well spent.

The advanced link is usually right next to the search box.

Ned: Yeah, I really struggle with finding what I am looking for on search engines.

James: You and millions of others, that is why the success rate for online business is so low. They are defeated before they ever begin, while the winners are doing their research and gaining unbelievable wealth for the time they spend learning.

Are you really starting to see where Internet marketing newbies go wrong? Once you are convinced that this is where most fail you can start researching your target group until you know them in depth.

Ned: Now that you pointed this out I have to say that I already knew it. I just figured it wasn't as necessary as it really is.

James: That is exactly it and now you are ready to actually begin step one.

The more you learn about your target audience the better chance you have of success. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, but. . .

. . only if you use it.

Step Two, after your research is complete, is:


Well Ned and I went on for a while longer and we had a few more visits after that and you will be happy to know that Ned the Newbie finally learned to ask questions and follow directions.

James Mann, owner/operator of

Learn how to start your own online business by pre-planning. Take our FREE 7 Day eCourse on search engine optimization for your web site.


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