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Online Business Success | The Michael Dunlop 7 Step System

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Online Business Success – What You Need, When To Do It & How To Do It

Last week one of my neighbors asked me what I did for a living? I had to smile, after living in my apartment almost 9 months and clearly living an unconventional lifestyle (young, successful, working from home, international travel, lots of play) it is clear that at least some of my neighbors have been wondering what I do.

That said, I am not entirely sure my reply answered my neighbors question. (I am trying to imagine what he may have said to his wife after our chat) That is the thing about being an online entrepreneur – and an evidently successful one at that, most people still don’t really get what we do.

Saying you are an online marketer draws big blank stares I find. Same for being a blogger. Saying that you are an Entrepreneur is even worse because it just leads to more questions and what I explain what I actually do you can almost see the questions marks above their heads. (I am tempted to say I am a successful dyslexic writer – but not done that yet)

This said you could say my neighbors question inspired today’s post. After saying I was a Blogger who wrote about Internet Marketing and his subsequent questions about how that made me money I realised there was some definitions that I have not shared here below – indeed I worked out that I now have a 7 Step System for Online Business success.

The shortened version of this System is the basic strategy of:

Create a Blog – Become an Authority in your niche – Launch a Product

I could add an Eighth Step — which you could actually say is the first step in this system:

That crucial first step is: INSPIRATION - because frankly if you are not inspired nothing I write here is going to be that much help to you.

Actually, on the subject of Inspiration I did just want to share with you something that inspired me today (Author Unknown):

“This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind…let it be something good.”

This is something I challenge myself with every day. I’m not saying every day I succeed in accomplishing what I wish to – but I am pleased to say that more days than not I do. I sincerely hope it is the same for you.

Don’t let life pass you by no matter what your age, your background or your experience to-date.

It is my hope that and this 7 Step System for Online Business Success means that today is one of those days when you do something good.

The Michael Dunlop 7 Step System

Step 1 – Work Out What You Know

The biggest problem people have when they come to me wanting advice on starting an online business is, they just don’t know where to begin and what niche to go into. My usual reply is to tell them to go for something they know a lot about and are passionate about. But these days I also add another crucial point? Whatever niche you get involved in must have evidence of PROFIT / MONEY – people buying products and information. To give you an example of something I would not get involved in in order to make money: PLAYING ONLINE GAMES.

Now I love online games and I know a fair bit about it, but I would never start a website about online gaming because content becomes quickly dated and typically a lot of information is already available for FREE. Of course if I could come up with an idea for a new online game and had the resources to develop the software it would be different – but that is not the case and my experience is that Online gamers are more interested in Cheats and such like and rarely will pay for it. This is

Whatever you do, don’t try to make money online talking about your mission to make money online, it’s been done to death and it sucks!

Profitable Web Niche’s Include: Health, Fitness, Dating, Business Opportunities, Betting, Investing, Forex, Cars, Computers, Parenting, Languages, Self-Help and Travel.

Once you find what niche you are going to go into, you can start your blog.

Step 2 – Start a Blog

A blog is so important to every online business, it’s the cheapest way to bring in new leads, customers and build a solid brand. I have spoke a lot in the past about creating a blog, check out this 30 day guide!

Here’s my earnings break down: 30% blogging, 30% email marketing (which is built via blogging) and 40% my own products which again really comes from having a successful blog. So you can see that with out a blog, really I wouldn’t be making to much money online at all and even if I was, I would be strictly relying on affiliates to bring me traffic, if they go, I go.

Step 3 – Build Your Online Brand

Having a great website isn’t good enough, they need to know who you are and what you represent. If you ever want to sell your own product, or anyone’s, you need people to trust you. Some marketers can sell 1000’s of crap products because their brand is so good (perhaps not so good once people buy the product).

Here’s the simplified version of how I build my brand: Create great content, really help people and make sure before they leave my website that they know my name is MICHAEL DUNLOP and that they need to come back.

40% of people who visit my website, visit My Story page. They get to find out who I am, how I have done what I have done and how they can do it to. This leaves an AWESOME impression. Create a “My Story” page and make sure you bring a personal touch to every blog post.

Step 4 – Build Relationships

When I started I didn’t know much about making money online so instead of teaching people what I didn’t know, I got others to teach. What I mean is that I went out and interviewed 100’s of the top internet entrepreneurs, I would interview them over Skype so we spoke over the phone and I had their instant messenger contact which meant I could contact them when ever I liked. The other thing I did was I did top lists, such as Top 50 Influential Bloggers. This seriously puts you on the map, when they see you getting 1400 retweets and 100’000s of visitors to an article, they now see you as an authority.

This type of content is great, you don’t have to do much, makes you look an authority, you get lot’s of traffic etc… The most important part is that you now have a connection with the people you interview so when you go to launch a product (which we talk about further down in this post) you can ask these guys to promote and for their opinions on your product.

Besides these techniques, there are no better networking opportunity then getting yourself to an event related to your Niche – In my case a good example of a superb networking event for me is Yanik Silver’s Underground Online Seminar

Step 5 – Create Your Product

Now that you have taught people for free, built up value and genuinely helped people, you will want to consider creating your own product. That is something I have only done relatively recently. I was always getting people wanting me to do private consultations or to assist them with their websites. These were people who loved all the free stuff but also wanted to shorten their learning curve by hiring me direct or buying a PAID product – and that was the reason I launched my own paid products (in addition to promoting other people’s products as an affiliate).

This is something that is always worth remembering – even after you create your own products, some people will always want a Premium Version of your product or a VIP version. Make sure to offer it in addition to the lower priced option.

There are so many ways to go about creating a product, depending on your industry and following, one may be more successful then others. You really need to decide how you can best help people, so for example you may have an exact system so in your case you would be best writing a eBook or doing an course. Here are some examples of types of products:


You write a educational book on how to do something and sell it as a download online, usually in a PDF format. Examples Include: Truth About Six Pack Abs & The Ultimate Freelancer.


I quite like the formal of reports, I think they are really valuable, quick to read and more importantly, quick to produce. Examples include: Soon to be release Rocket Fuel Food Report (100 foods to give you more energy) and Bullet Proof Openers (117 ways to start a conversation with women).

Online Courses

This structure is become more common as people like to learn by video as they get to see example how it’s done instead of guessing from written material. Examples include Mobile Monopoly and Become a Blogger.


I’m quite fond of software products because you don’t even need to create them yourself, you can get a programmer to do the work so you can spend your time on marketing. Software is good because people can see it working before they buy it so refunds are kept to a minimum, however you do have the issue of support. Examples include PopUp Domination and Wishlist Membership.

The above 4 strategies are the ones I consider best when it comes to your initial product creation.

Quick Tip: Don’t niche your offering down too much. For example if you are in the weight loss niche having a product targeting Men aged 80 or over who want to loose weight using boxing exercise might be stretching the niche a bit too much ;-)

There are not many 80 year old men who care about losing weight and those who do, probably don’t want to start boxing. A better product would be: An over 50’s guide to losing weight. This is still niched but highly targeted and you still have a billion people who could be interested.

Next you need to decide how you are going to price your product, most people decide on a price by pulling a number out of the air. I have no idea why but the following price points convert best: $37, $77, $247 and $1997 – using these numbers you can decide what you would offer for which price and how you would deliver it. For the most part, you can have a simple download link for your product but if you are having an online training course, a membership area is preferred and for that I would recommended Wishlist Membership. Depending on your price point, you may also want to consider shipping a physical version of the product to your customer. It adds value and lowers refunds. You could of course offer both.

Step 6 – Launch Product Internally

There is a lot you need to do and think about when creating a product and if your doing it for the first time, you probably want to save yourself some embarrassment and do it internally so you can make sure you get everything perfect before you role it out to 1000’s of people. You need to make sure you have all of the following:

  • Sales Page
  • Download Page
  • Support Area
  • Affiliate Pages
  • Terms & Use

I go over how I did my internal launch in this article about launching a product.

When selling any product online you need to use an online checkout on your sales page – with a link to the checkout. Customers can then pay however they like. (Paypal, Credit Card etc). The checkout company will then pay you either instantly or more typically monthly.

Recommended checkout software include: Clickbank, Nanacast and PayPal.

Step 7 – Officialy Launch Your Product

Now that you have had an internal launch, you can prove to potential affiliates that:

  • The Product Converts
  • The Product is Loved
  • You are an Authority

The most important ingredient for a successful product launch is affiliates. The problem is that if you are launching a product for the first time, you haven’t got much of a chance of getting good affiliates and this makes perfect sense. Think about it this way – a Fitness coach comes to me and asks me to promote his product launch, 99% of the time I won’t reply because I don’t know who he is but if I was to, I would ask:

“Who are you and what other things you have done online”

He would tell me, I’m a personal coach at this sports club or something else that means absolutely nothing.

Affiliates need to be sure what they are promoting is going to be good on a few levels:

Author is known (that’s why you blog, to build a brand)
Sales Page Converts
Affiliate Offer Is Rewarding

While blogging you want to take this time, not only to prove yourself to your readers but also to other people in the industry with products and authority.

Before launching my own product, I got involved in the product launches for a few guys such as Yaro Starak, Gideon Shalwick & David Risley. Then when it was my turn to put together a product, they responded by helping me out on my launches because I had proven to them I had authority.

A huge launch comes down to one thing and that is your affiliates, if you want to have the biggest launch ever and make the most money, get the most affiliates. Start by contacting:

  • Other bloggers in your niche
  • Your customers
  • Other product owners
  • People you interviewed
  • Your readers

Launching a product is fun, making more in a day then most make in a year is just mind boggling. Most launches last 7 days and so it’s vital you take full advantage of all that traffic you get!

If I didn’t do some of the following things, I wouldn’t of made half the amount of money I have made on my launch, so make sure to apply these:

Scarcity Suggestions: 300 Sales Limit, Time Limit Till Closing, Time Limit Till Price Increase

Conversion Boosters: Discounted Exit Popup, Prelaunch Content, Upsells

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