Greg Elfrink

December 19, 2016

We have arrived at the end of the year. How did you do?

We hope all of our readers met their goals, increased their traffic, and experienced explosive growth. If you haven’t, that’s okay too — this post is going to help you get there. Whether you are a veteran or a newbie, by the end of this post you will have seriously “level upped” your marketing knowledge.

Knowledge is one of the most powerful gifts around. Thanks to the internet, you don’t need a four-year degree to get your hands on some powerful knowledge. The internet is a vast ocean of information that can teach you how to improve your business.

Of course, there is a problem with using the internet. Because it’s a vast ocean, it can be hard to find the best information.

Below you will find some of the best thought pieces and case studies published in 2016. Some of these are motivational — inspiring you to imagine what’s possible — and others will give you real actionable advice on things you can implement today in your business.

Use these lessons to help you make 2017 your best business year yet.

The Best Content in Online Business – 2016 Edition

Motivational

It feels right to start with motivation.

Motivation is something every entrepreneur needs to drum up constantly. This is especially true after a long season of working tremendous hours to make your business dreams come true.

This time of year, many like to rest on their laurels, which is going to make January feel like a rude awakening.

Hopefully, this isn’t you and you have stayed motivated throughout December. However, if you didn’t… well, we’ve got you covered to get yourself back into the “groove” of things as the New Year approaches.

Here is a list of some of the most motivational pieces of content we discovered in 2016.

Mike Rowe – Don’t Follow Your Passion

The famous host of Dirty Jobs, amongst other projects, created this great video. In it, he discusses how people shouldn’t follow their passions but rather follow opportunity. The internet is growing every year, and with every year comes new opportunities for those willing to pursue them.

CloudLiving – The $10k Challenge

Follow Tung Tran, the creator of AMZ Affiliate Bootcamp, as he shows you everything he is doing to build one authority site that makes him $10,000 a month. Super in depth case study with great content that is updated frequently.

Techwyse – 121 Free Marketing Podcasts to Listen to

Techwyse is a company that helps people turn their online marketing endeavors into actual profitable campaigns. They put together this great list of free podcasts that is a “go-to” for any marketer who wants to level up their game.

Check it out here (he mentions our podcasts on this list, which you can also check out here).

Taking an Amazon Affiliate Site from $0 to a Selling Price of Over $25,000

In this case study, our friend Dom described his journey over at HumanProofDesigns.com where he built and sold a niche site. Dom walks us through every step, from how he created the site initially to how he grew it and eventually sold it.

Turning T-Shirts into a $73,000 Payday

It was an honor to see a couple of our clients featured on a news site about their side hustle. These two entrepreneurs took a t-shirt selling business and made it into a small empire — which  is when they decided to flip their empire with us.

You can read their full story here. Altogether their little t-shirt business has made them over $150,000.

The Bulk Buy Hosting Case Study

Want to see a case study in the making?

Our friend Kevin is doing some awesome stuff over at Bulk Buy Hosting. Through his methods he has built an SEO empire and has sold over $300,000 in online businesses. You can read every part of his case study from start to finish. Using Kevin’s proven methods, you’ll soon have a website up and running. In addition, his service is a great offer for SEOs looking to make their PBNs more manageable.

$40,000 a Month from ONE Amazon Affiliate Site?

Nichepie.com has done something pretty amazing. In an industry where it often takes six to even seven months to see your first few affiliate checks rolling in from a niche site, Luqman Khan was able to create a website that had $4k in earnings in just four months’ time. Now, his behemoth of a website is earning him in the $40k per month range, all within eight or so months of being in existence.

If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will!

Check out his case study here.

Marketing

Marketing is the bread and butter that makes our businesses work. Without a good sales machine and marketing funnel in place, your business will be just another bit of information lost in the internet’s ocean.

Good marketing gets you found, then lets you make a bunch of sales. Get better at marketing, and you’ll get better profits.

Profiting from the Longtails

Mike Bradford, the owner of Nichesiteazon.com, is a great blogger on Amazon affiliate sites and his various journeys. In this post, Mike talks specifically about using SEMRush to find the best longtail keywords that he can easily rank for and from which he can still profit in a big way.

Why Your Affiliate Site Isn’t Ranking

Is your website flatlining? Maybe you have reached a certain point, but your rankings are going nowhere no matter what you do. It can be something that would make you want to pull out your hair. No worries — Charles Floate’s post will help you out. He walks through some of the most common issues that stops affiliate sites from ranking. The best thing is, almost all of it is on-page SEO, so this works no matter the color of your hat.

Level Up Your Content Game Big Time

Want to create ridiculously cool content? Then you should read this Ahrefs post. It is one of the best pieces of content I read all year, and it really inspired me in terms of content creation. This goes way beyond just ordering content from a content farm.

This style of content can get you literally thousands of links, press attention, and make you need to upgrade your servers due to increases in traffic. Plus, it is a super fascinating case study about how to create link bait-worthy content.

17 Untapped Sources for Backlinks

When it comes to creating opportunities to get a high quality backlink, Brian Dean is one of the best people in the industry. If you are looking for 100% pure white hat style link building, it is hard to beat his content. While this post wasn’t written in 2016 (I believe it is from 2015), it has been updated and is still relevant today.

Creating Killer Landing Pages Even if You Can’t Code

Charles Ngo is a master of using paid traffic. He has run countless affiliate campaigns, scaling traffic to the moon and back with whatever platform he uses. When he talks about creating landing pages that actually convert visitors into subscribers (or traffic into customers), he’s always someone worth listening to.

Check out his guide if you want to learn more about creating capture pages for your business.

Painless Guide to Facebook Ads

Speaking of paid traffic sources, everyone knows that Facebook is the elephant in the room. The amount of traffic they can drive to a business is staggering. However, running an effective campaign that makes a profit is a whole other ball game. It can be difficult sorting through what works and what doesn’t, and it’s painful knowing you’re spending your hard-earned money through the entire process.

That is where our friends over at Performance Marketer come in. They have a free guide for anyone looking to maximize their business using Facebook ads.

Three AdWords Mistakes to Avoid

Google AdWords is one of the most complex and most rewarding networks to learn to advertise on. The team over at Digital Marketer is constantly experimenting with and tweaking new marketing methodologies, and it’s worthwhile to pay attention to what they have to say on the subject.

Check out their post here on how to avoid critical mistakes with AdWords.

20 Vertical Guides Across 14 Industries

This is an interesting round-up post where Wordstream shows off the best practices across several different industries. One of these industries might be yours; either way this is a worthwhile post to read. You can often take what is working in one industry, and then apply it to your own with some astounding results.

Check out their guides here.

The Guts of Business

Beyond motivation and marketing, there are the actual operations of your business. If you are looking to expand or scale your business, you will likely need to hire more hands to help you out.

The more effective you get at leveraging other people’s skillsets, the larger and faster your business will grow.

The Three Key People to Every Business or Project

Jon Haver is a machine when it comes to productivity, especially with how he systematizes everything he does. In this post he breaks down the three key roles that every project needs in order to be fulfilled.

This is a great read if you are just starting to hire others.

How to Hire and Build a Team Using Upwork

This is another post from 2015 (and a second by Jon Haver to boot!), but the team-building practices he lays out here are just as relevant today as they were when first outlined. In this article he mentions Odesk, now known as Upwork, which is a website that helps businesses find and hire skilled freelancers.

A Bookkeeping Solution for Online Businesses

If you are looking for people to help keep your books organized, then check out Bean Ninjas. They are a bookkeeping company that is intimately familiar with online businesses, and we had the pleasure of sharing the sponsorship of DCBKK with them this year.

Visit their website to check out the services they offer.

Outsource Your Quality Control

For our Amazon FBA entrepreneurs out there, you should not be packaging your own products. Instead, outsource the quality control to someone else. This instantly makes your business more valuable because there is more of a system set up that a new owner can plug themselves into.

Besides, it is taking up a lot of your valuable time that you should be using researching new products!

We recommend FBA Inspection as a service that many Amazon FBA sellers have had success with — check out their site here.

Buying and Selling Online Businesses

This is our bread and butter here, and there is a lot about buying and selling online businesses for most entrepreneurs to learn. Every business should be built to sell from the start. The more you can do this, the better off you will be when the time comes. One of the best ways to do this is through thinking about how you can systemize everything you do.

How can you turn your daily tasks into procedures that anyone can do after reading said procedures? Or even better, how can you automate it so no one needs to do it?

Find the answers in these excellent pieces.

What Business Model Are You?

For those just starting out in the online world, you might be thinking that buying a business is a “shortcut” to earning money online. While it certainly has advantages over starting from scratch, there’s a certain amount of work that must go into any business. Nothing is 100% passive, after all.

That means you should be aware of what kind of business model you want. Some models are going to require a lot more daily, weekly, and monthly work than others.

If you’re unfamiliar with all the business models out there, check out our 11-part series covering the most popular online business models.

An SEO’s Guide to Flipping Websites

Matt Diggity is one of the most advanced voices in SEO. We had the pleasure of being invited to his retreat in Chiang Mai where we got to hang out with other high-profile SEO marketers from around the world.

Matt and Justin recently co-wrote this piece discussing how SEO site owners should prepare themselves to sell their business. While this is super helpful for people doing SEO, it is also valuable for anyone to read who is looking to sell their business.

The Definitive Guide to Broker Terminology

If you’re new to buying and selling businesses, you may feel there is a ton of jargon and terms flying totally over your head. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the better you’ll do. That is why we put together an entire glossary of broker industry terms that can help you understand the nomenclature better.

The Due Diligence Framework

One of the best episodes from our podcast covers what it means to really “dig into” researching a potential business purchase. By the end of this podcast, you will have a checklist you can operate from that can help you pick winning businesses and avoid buying a lemon.

One of the biggest takeaways from this episode is to look at due diligence as a deselection process. Look for ways to disqualify a business faster, so you can move onto the next deal. Applying a few good filters, can significantly speed up your process and help you find the perfect deal.

How to Effectively Negotiate When Buying an Online Business

When buying a business, there is a lot more to negotiate beyond just price. Many people don’t even realize that they can negotiate. Learn this skill and you will get better deals on your assets, increasing your bottom line.

You can check out our post on negotiating here.

Did This List Help You?

There is a ton of excellent knowledge out there. This is just a small sample.

All of these posts can help you get to that next level in your business, yet none of it matters unless you take action. No blog post, guide, tutorial, or motivational video is going to make you do the things you know you need to do.

It is likely you already know what you need to do.

All you need to do now is take action.

If this list helped you, feel free to share it with your friends, so they can join you in making 2017 their best year in business yet.

Photo Credit: erika8213


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  1. […] I actually just did one of these on the Empire Flipper’s blog here. […]

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