Developing The Art of Detachment To Increase Results

What I’ve been trying to accomplish this summer and build a little bit of muscle on is: Detaching. What I’m finding is that my results GROW the more I disengage online.

Yes I’m still blogging and churning out new content daily. I just do it in a more time efficient manner (timestamping & pre-publishing). But I’ve cut way back on emails, blog/forum reading, stats checking and overall fooling around.

By decreasing my online time to eliminate as much ‘noise’ as possible, here’s what’s improved:

  • More purposeful, more focused, more results oriented
  • Goals are clearer, less fuzzy
  • Content quality and visitor response (more subs, more links, more traffic)
  • Picked up offline hobbies that are satisfying and give me pleasure (remember those?), yet haven’t done in many moons
  • Time to read more books and gain a wider perspective on a variety of issues (for all kinds of areas: marketing, online business, and other interests)

Believe it or not, you don’t have to follow every blog in your niche. You don’t have to stalk competitors to see what they’re up to. You don’t have to hang out and chat on forums, blogs, emails, IM. You don’t have to know every new SEO tidbit. You don’t have to invest your time into every latest and greatest.

By detaching and removing myself from the online world, I find myself blossoming :shock:. I’ve stopped talking talking talking and absorbing all the noise and tossing around what ifs and ideas, and am now just *performing*.

Here’s the game plan:

Figure out what you want. What you really, really want. Is it money? Is it freedom from a job? Or is it freedom in general? A lot of people dream of owning their own business, but what they don’t realize is that many times the business they’ve bought or developed is just another job. Except with longer hours, more responsibility, less benefits (medical/dental, paid vacation, pension, etc.) and a financial stress that you would not believe. I’ve been there and done that and I’m not interested.

So what do I want? I want to earn money online in a manner that’s as hands-free as possible. If I’m not plugged in, I still want to earn. If I don’t touch a webpage in 3 months, I still want to earn.

Realistic? Possible? The bulk of my online earnings is doing it already, so I’d say yeah :P.

What I Know Isn’t Working Right Now (for me):

Affiliate product sites. Actually I’ve known this for well over a year or so (maybe even two) and that’s why I haven’t developed any new ones. All that’s been happening is a steady culling, flipping sites to SEDO (parked domains) or replacing product pages with actual content (original and on theme). These can sit and age until I decide to use them for some other project. Or flip in the future and earn a buck or two.

I do have some steady performers on hand and they’ll sit and ride it out until the bitter end. I know they don’t have a future, but I’m happy to keep them going until things change.

Aren’t affiliate product sites best suited for my goals? Not really. Links die and expire regularly and need to be checked constantly to be effective. Organic search results are harder and harder to come by. Add to that a new(ish) policy by Commission Junction to kill accounts that don’t remove expired links fast enough, cookie blockers and wipers and adware–it all adds up to too much hassle (for me).

What I Do Know Is Working (for me):

Developing content that people find value in. I know, blah blah blah blah blah. But it’s true for me and this is what I’m riding everything on. Reader loyalty development (ie. subs), linkability, timeless content choices (content that is interesting today as well as 10 years from today), originality.

Long Range Plans:

A mix of monetization methods that include affiliate products (as advertising, not main content) and other ad serving methods.

Product creation and development. This is something I’ve talked about here before and it’s something I’m still very much interested in. Unfortunately it seems I work in negatives, I always know what I *don’t* want rather than what I *do* want. Meh. But I know to suit my goals best, I don’t want to develop:

  • Software (far too much involved with customer support)
  • Web Dev Services (hosting, web design, scripts)–again far too much hands on is needed
  • Blogging (err? Right now I’m using blogging as a platform or stepping stone, but it’s not long term for me)–too hands on again
  • Service Based (paid memberships, etc.)

Product creation doesn’t mean you have to step into shady circles. You don’t have to create and package dated information to be consumed by those who just don’t know any better or those you seduced into a trust relationship. But at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with recognizing that there are many different levels of knowledge out there and serving well a less knowledgeable market is perfectly kosher.

Steps To Take (Suggestions):

  • Figure out what you want. Do you enjoy working with people, blogging hourly or keeping busy with customer support and interaction? Or do you prefer a more removed and detached presence online? Then map out your plan accordingly. Build toward that goal.
  • Set an amount of online time (daily) and stick to it. If you give yourself two hours online each day, you’ll be sure to work effectively. If time needs to be stretched, allow it only for critical situations (like new product development, new site development, etc.).
  • Set email filters. Check emails daily for the ’emergency’ folder. Things like site monitoring notices, affiliate accounts, Paypal notices, blog comments. Inform friends that you’ll be checking emails weekly.
  • Remove instant messaging services or only logon weekly or 1/2 hr per day.
  • Detach from forums (posting and reading) and blog reading.

And the big one: Stop working on sites that don’t have a future or don’t show any promise for monetization or serve a purpose for long range plans. Stop fiddling and creating work for yourself and just do what’s necessary to keep things growing.

This isn’t going to work for people just starting online or who don’t already have a base to work with. Everyone has to put in the 8hr – 12hr days to learn the ropes (both the good and the bad). But for the rest of us, learning to work effectively, fine tuning our goals and training ourselves to always ask: Is what I’m doing going to improve my results, get me closer to my end goal? may just be the ticket to get us there.

If what I’m saying here resonates with you, and you enjoyed the books Go It Alone and The E-Myth Revisited, you’ll definitely find some great direction with The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (not an aff link).

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I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.

6 thoughts on “Developing The Art of Detachment To Increase Results

  1. Thank you for that.

    I think we’ve all faced it. Working towards something – be it money/freedom, with an idea in mind, but never really a plan. I’ve found that I’ve really cut back on my online work – because I want to do things online that I actually “enjoy” – which for right now far outweighs the monetary gains – but that’s apart of the goals I have. I want to start having fun. Look at it as a long term project – but have fun with it. I want to enjoy it rather than dread the next project.

    So thank you… again. I’m off to check out those books ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thanks for your insight on your working philosophy.

    I personally find that becoming a bigger part of the net is more fun and relaxing. So I’m kind of opposite, but I used to be like you. However, I felt cut off from others and it was no fun.

    Now I’m a blogger/entrepreneur who is connected to the internet world. I know tons of people. I’m not the lonely blogger.

    So that’s kind of an opposing view for you.

    Thanks,

    Jason

  3. Terry, thanks for this post. I’ve been finding that I want to do that too. There are days when the site I have that requires nearly daily blogging seems overwhelming. I’m working on other things that only require once a week updates and one that may require even less.

    I’ve no doubt that these sites will take time and effort to build. I’ll still keep up with the site that requires that I blog daily for as long as I can stand it, however my focus will be on sites that only need updating from time to time, with advertisements and such that don’t have to keep checking ALL the aff links ALL the time!

  4. Thanks Terry, very inspiring. In my experience, the one single thing that makes a big difference is to focus. Then to focus, and then well, focus.
    Many times we have multiple sites and even multiple domain names waiting for a better day where we will do something with them. The moment I started paying attention and devoting 100% of my time to one site, it started producing amazing results. The challenge is to pick the right place to focus on and then not let go…

    Jay
    *edit*

    PS. By the way, I see you are not fan of selling software… I’d beg to disagree with you on that one ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Not only is a plan useful but knowing the right resources to use can also come in handy. I would really love it if I ddin’t have to spend so much time surfing the internet to find information about online marketing for my small business. There’s search engine information, affiliate information, networking groups, bulletin boards, advertising sites, plus the specialized information I need to research for my business niche. I don’t have time to research everything and still build my business. It would be really wonderful to find a print resource that would do the work for me, such as the magazine, Online Marketers Monthly. This is the perfect magazine for the small business owner. Check it out!

  6. Absolutely agree – I don’t bother with most forums or blogs these days. Dipping your toe into the blogosphere every now and then provides much more signal than daily exhaustive readings. 2c.

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