The 20 Laws For Online Product Income Success

This post is directed 95% towards product sales online (not content based). You can earn an income with content based websites (blogs etc.) and we only touch on it for a second to make sure we hit all the forms of income. To emphasize these laws primarily refer to product websites.

Law #1 – There Are Two Markets: There are two distinct markets. The masses and the rich. If you’re looking to make money you have to make a decision on which market you will cater to. The masses will focus on anything that does not require them to do any work and the rich will look for status symbols. This is overly simplistic but it’s a good starting point. Trying to target both markets is extremely difficult as they have business models that are largely unrelated (an exception may be the shiny new iPhone). Products that sell to the masses typically have *lower* margins with high volumes while products that sell to the rich have *high* margins with lower volumes.

Law #2 – Sell the Dream to the Masses: If you go down the masses route you’re going to sell them with the following tactics: 1) external motivation like Tony Robbins – “Unleash Your Inner Beast with This Product” or “Fire your Boss!”, 2) magic pills that will fix their life – “This solution has doctors hoping it will be banned!” (modafinil/provigil is one of the latest fads), 3) minimal work for sudden riches – “work from home and earn $100K tomorrow with no work!” and 4) celebrity endorsements – “XYZ celeb uses it!”. The theme here is that they are not responsible for their own actions and there is always some “hack” to getting what they want (without building any skills). When you’re selling to the masses do not put anything logical in the sales pitch. Keep it emotional and make sure your product works. Sure you can get away with bad products but that just leads to non-recurring income.

Law #3 – Sell the Prestige to the Rich: Get rich by selling them on the status of the item. The product can be largely the same but it needs to be *exclusive*. The best example is black and white balls and other such “filters” for rich people to go and meet. The cost is practically the same just sell those tickets for hundreds of dollars a piece! Another great example is the classic “bottle service” experience. No doubt about it that pricing alcohol 300% above its market value is going to be profitable. Notice, these can be done online, offer exclusive “packages” to people.

Law #4 – Three Ways to Earn: There are three primary ways to earn money: Paid Traffic, Niche and Content. Paid traffic requires you to purchase traffic from Facebook/google and more importantly other sources (we can’t give you more than that). Niche websites rely on a specific product that has enough “keywords” to generate ~30K views a month (you’re selling a product). Content websites have an enormous number of ways to make money (selling books, ads, affiliate partnerships, consulting etc.).

Law #5 – Paid Traffic is a Faucet: It’s either on or it is off. There is no “time for money exchange” this is because you’re either paying to target a specific group and sending them to a website.. or you’re not. This is why you can go from $0 to suddenly making $10,000 in a day (or losing money!). Think of it as a faucet, you turn on the traffic and it converts or it doesn’t. Assuming it is converting you must keep the faucet on until it loses money. No customer left behind.

Law #6 – ~30K Monthly Views is a Living Wage: If you’re selling a product (niche, not a content website) then you should be able to generate a living wage off of 30K organic visits a month. Assuming you convert at 2% that would be 600 sales. If you’re doing 600 sales at just $5 in net income that is $3,000 a month. Sure it is debatable if this is a living wage in a place like New York but you can certainly live in many parts of the world off of a niche site doing $3,000 in net income a month. The key here is a 2% conversion rate.

Law #7 – If You Do Content Build a Brand: We don’t do content websites (this blog is a hobby) however if you want to do it you must build a full platform. You must build a massive following and never lose their trust. You can then expand your website into multiple directions (consulting, products, affiliate sales, etc.). The only problem with this (and why we avoid it) is you must constantly be “on”. Letting a website die will kill the returning visitors. If you go this route it is essentially for life since they are hoping to increase their interactions with you over the long-term. (others can chime in on the long-term strategies here since we don’t focus on it).

Law #8 – You Don’t Need to Be New: There are millions of products out there that are largely the same. There is no reason to create a product that is vastly different. Take an existing product make a couple of tweaks to the product and kaboom you have a new item to sell. This eliminates the need for a “light bulb” moment. 100% unnecessary for generating income online today. Coke and Pepsi are not that different and the gym equipment you see (45lb plates) are not different (slight change in shape).

Law #9 – Execution is Everything: If you have a solid product there is no need to make it perfect. We’d take a product that is the 3rd best on the market with the best possible sales and marketing over the #1 product in the market with terrible sales techniques. Logic never sells. Stick with having a clear execution (sales) strategy. Once your product is good you’re going to live and die from execution. The worst feeling is when you create the product and someone does it better than you later (after you give up). This has happened before and is a life lesson.

Law #10 – No Partnerships: Pretty simple for online sales. There is no reason to have a partner. You can pay someone (a major company) to help you with practically anything you need. You can make hundreds of thousands of dollars (even a million) without having a partner (ever). Partnerships are only good when you’re not making any money and are awful when you start making money “Who’s pulling the most weight?”. This is human nature, so there is no point in doing partnerships for a basic online venture.

Law #11 – Singular Focus: If you’re serious about earning a living online, you cannot have multiple projects running at the same time. It is comparable to pouring water. If you pour water into 100 different swimming pools none of them will be full. The water will evaporate and you’ll be stuck with nothing. If you constantly fill one (maybe 2) pools with all the water you have (every single day), you’ll see progress and eventually it will be functional. Spreading yourself thin is death in online sales because someone else is going to be 100% focused on that market.

Law #12 – Debt Needs a Return: Debatable we know… But… We view debt as an immediate return profile. If you are going to take on debt for any venture you should see a positive return in the first month (immediate cash flow). If you borrow at 5% for a venture and don’t see a positive return every single month you’ve made a big, big big mistake. You’re going to be eating into your cash flow which will kill your long-term opportunities.

Law #13 – You Need Liquidity: The last thing you want is to be cash strapped. If you find out that market XYZ is giving you the best return… you want to buy as much traffic from that demographic (buy every single one of those users!). There is no exception to this rule (none). You must have cash on hand to throw at the right demographic otherwise you’re going to miss out on an opportunity someone else will jump on. For the Real Estate guys, this is like not having money for a deal that you absolutely would love to have. Someone else will find it and buy the asset before you get the chance.

Law #14 – Always Available: You need to have a system that tells you if something is going wrong. Lets say you’re set up to constantly run traffic while you’re sleeping because it is profitable. This is great… Until it goes negative. You do not want to be asleep for 8-10 hours while the traffic is giving you a negative return. Have an alert set up so you’ll be immediately woken up if the returns are largely negative for an extended period of time (lets call it 2-4 hours).

Law #15 – A Fool is Born Every *Second*: There is a never ending supply of fools in the world. The saying is a fool is born every minute but after years of seeing terrible (shady) campaigns work… We’re increasing that to every second. Those emails that say a “nigerian prince” is ready to send you money… They work! Yes people are still fooled by spam even in 2017. It’s amazing but true and we should never underestimate the number of fools in the world.

Law #16 – Always Build Contacts: Keep a soft touch relationship with anyone who can help you. While we recommend going solo, you’ll have questions and if you pay someone for the answer (and it works) you should keep that person in your phone forever. Continue to do this for years upon years. Never under any circumstances do you waste their time. A simple hey how is it going 1x a month is more than enough.

Law #17 – You Don’t Need to Be “Smart”: The vast majority of people are risk averse. As an example, people are “scared” to like our current Facebook page even though we get 2 million visitors a year. That is quite a lot for a hobby blog and we have no doubt every single reader is less than 2 handshakes away from someone else who has read or seen this blog. What does this mean? It means if people have a risk tolerance that is extremely low, the number of people willing to become Entrepreneurs is extremely low as well! If someone is risk averse but has a bunch of skills you need, you just pay for his skills… There are many people who get rich that are not bright, they just hire people smarter than them to do what they cannot do.

Law #18 – You Will Hate Loss of FreedomThe one thing that we’ve seen in common with people who earn a living online? They hate losing their freedom. Many people who make money online will say they would rather earn $40K alone online than earn $200K in a corporate job. They are not lying. This may be some sort of personality disorder but it is a personality trait we have noticed. People will walk away from a career that pays more in exchange for their freedom.

Law #19 – The $50K Rule: It costs about $50K to start your own item. That’s our own rule for keeping cash in a checking account at all times. We’re not sure what industry you’re looking to crack into, but… We’ve found around $50K is enough to go into a new direction. Under no circumstances do you put yourself into a position where $50K is not readily available in liquid cold hard cash (no revolver no nothing).

Law #20 – Everyone Will Hate You: No one will be happy for you. If you make $200K a year in a corporate position people will be jealous. If you make $200K a year working off your laptop? They will hate you. In the first position they can laugh behind your back and say “you’re still being told what to do”. In the second position… They will loathe you and hope you will fail. Live off that energy!

Concluding Remarks

If we were to outline the most important items here it would be as follows: 1) if you are earning money you buy all of the traffic from the demographic until you have tapped it out, no sleep for you if it’s pouring in, 2) choose your demographic be it the masses or the rich, 3) niche sites are ideal for people looking to learn the basics, 4) do not work with anyone, partnerships end in tears, 5) you don’t need to be smart and 6) always have $50K in cold hard cash to go into a new venture.

Importantly, for those that are serious about developing multiple streams of income and a high net worth, we can recommend Personal Capital. The Company offers *free* software tools with the following four key features: 1) ability to avoid losing money by tracking all fees associated with an investment product allowing you to choose the best possible fund for your future, 2) portfolio analysis where your risk profile is stacked up against your current age and retirement goals, 3) in addition to these free tools, you can also track your net worth and path to becoming a millionaire and 4) when you hit $100K in networth you’ll receive a free one time consultation with an investment professional at Personal Capital. After linking up all of your accounts you’ll be able to sit back and watch as your net worth goes up and your fees remain minimal over the next several years. We strongly believe that Personal Capital is the premier personal finance software tool when compared to its competitors such as Mint.

Comments

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Then they wouldn’t be able to earn $200K off of you when you go to a four year college loaded up on debt.

      Instead of relying on education (what you’re taught to do) real education is done alone.

      Education as it stands today is a “hedge” (if you can get it cheap) not the real way to get rich.

  1. WalkFastTalkSlow says

    Cool post!

    One thing: “When you’re selling to the masses do not put anything logical in the sales pitch”

    think that’s a bit too strong. Sure people buy mainly on emotion but it’s almost always worth peppering in logic…

    Like in the close…get the feels going (painting the dream / twisting the knife) then put in logic…

    As you know people need reasons to justify their (emotional) purchases so they can sleep at night knowing they “did the right thing” or explain to their wives/buddies/ brother-in-law why they spent $$$.

    The emotional part they’ll keep to themselves.

    “See your buddies jaws drop when you start raking in six figures as an online marketing consultant from the comfort of your own home! Try now for just $497 (pays for itself after just half a week of consulting!)”

    Would go as far as to say you guys do something similar when persuading people to spread your blog!

    You want your blog audience to grow…

    So have started FB Q&A, knowing you’ll get more traffic…

    Then uuse logic to justify it – “FB Q&A allows more room for larger questions” – “Only risk-lovers like us on FB!”

    All the while this blog still maintains its exclusivity by looking like it doesn’t want extra traffic from ‘regulars’! (#law 3)

    Or I’m just overthinking things 😉 Great post – love readiing about paid traffic from you guys!

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Absolutely fair points! Some of it is over simplified (such as no logic). Certainly need a reason to buy we think most mess up by catering to logic.

      Should be emotion first then justification second.

      Once emotionally primed they just need a “reason” to say yes at that point.

    • Mike says

      Love this.

      Logic applied illogically. See it everyday.

      Personal favorite. Guy has wife and kid he can’t afford. Guy buys new luxury sedan – he can’t afford. Because he “just wants to make sure they’re safe on the road.”

      Right. Because a 2017 BMW is the ONLY safe vehicle on the road.

  2. WiltChamberlain says

    “The theme here is that they are not responsible for their own actions and there is always some “hack” to getting what they want (without building any skills).”

    “If someone is risk averse but has a bunch of skills you need, you just pay for his skills… There are many people who get rich that are not bright, they just hire people smarter than them to do what they cannot do.”

    What distinction would you draw between building your own skills and paying someone else for the skills you want but don’t have? I.e., what skills must you learn and what skills do you outsource?

    • says

      Learn transferable skills. These are non-outsourcable skills (think sales, not programming) and I’m sure if you search “Wall St. Playboys Transferable Skills” you’ll find what you’re looking for.

  3. YoungWebDeveloper says

    This post is GOLD! I made most of the mistakes mentioned above, losing a lot of money.

    My takes (that’s my short personal experience, but I think it could be helpful for you guys that are just getting started):

    1) 100% confirm that pure logic never sells. At first I didn’t really believe this and felt a little dumb writing copy like a 10 years old (hahaha) but it really works. Also, add some emoticons, CAPS LOCK and exclamations (!!!) if possible (__personal experience__, they convert more).

    Also, I agree with WalkFastTalkSlow. You should mainly use emotions but you should also help people justify their purchase.

    2) Building content is boring and takes a lot of time but you don’t have to necessarily write long form stuff. You can actually create just a Facebook page and share stuff from other pages (or, take their stuff and and reformulate it). It takes me 1-2 hours a week of writing and scheduling for the week and I’ve built a good converting following with this method. In my experience that’s enough to start building your brand.

    (A good tool to create appealing, viral images is Canva.com but it depends on the niche. I have noticed that with 40-50 years old the images should be UGLY while young people prefer good graphics)

    3) Singular Focus -> this is the MOST IMPORTANT in my experience. I’ve started doing online sales while leaving my job, becoming a freelancer and with just a few €Ks of cash. Big mistake, I can’t count the sleepless nights. Taking care of your health is really important during times like these and I would probably not do it again this way!

    Please keep in mind that I am just a 20 years old that likes failing at stuff too much!

    Hope this comment adds some value to the conversation. Thanks for your awesome posts.

    Cheers

    • John says

      I’m also 20, building a content brand with an ebook.

      Awesome comment, I’d love to see your copywriting examples

  4. YM says

    No one will understand what you do. Or how you do it.

    Better off… just tell em you run a fitness blog for fun that pulls in a few extra bucks a month.

  5. says

    I’ve built my semi-passive income streams up over the past year to where I’m making over $3K per month and most of the work is outsourced.

    Now it is time to move a step up and create an actual business that sells a product.

    There is plenty of misinformation when it comes to specific ways to sell a product.

    This post talks in more general terms – which is the type of advice that most likely works. People who tell you exactly what criteria they use to choose a market and tell you the marketing strategy, usually make money selling their method.

    That’s why I think a large part of success in business comes to applying general advice from great sources like WSP, books etc. and using your own thinking to come up with the specifics.

    I’ve found that selling physical products comes with extra complications that we don’t have as affiliates. 2 years ago, these hurdles would have put me off this biz. Now, I realize that barriers to entry are a good thing because it keeps competition lower.

    I think I have a niche market for myself locally. There’s no blueprint for what I’m trying to do. If there were, the gap in the market wouldn’t exist anymore.

    Thanks for the regular posts lately!

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Well said, no one is going to give away their business for free and if there is a gap then nuances are up to the owner to figure out.

      Broad strokes help in terms of avoiding big mistakes (such as not having cash on the balance sheet!)

  6. says

    Great points in this article. Currently I am in the content tier because I enjoy doing what I do. I’ve been hearing about niche sites for some time now and this article has piqued my interest. I’ve been sitting on two domains in case I ever wanted to go down the niche route. My niche site will be focused on fixing low testosterone.

    Regards,
    Dylan Madden

  7. says

    Regarding Law #10. I am guessing that you refer to a business partner that has equity in the venture. If that is the case, then yes you are right. You can operate on your own but be prepared for a shitload of work.

    Now, with regards to partnerships in general, they are extremely crucial for your success. I don’t know a single product that gained traction without a partnership.

    Example 1: You might be selling organic meals subscription for rich people. If you don’t partner with famous athletes or celebrities that can promote your service, you will struggle to generate traction.

    Example 2: You are a blogger and you want to increase your traffic. If you don’t partner with similar websites that have higher traffic than you and can promote you, you will never reach their level.

  8. Roark says

    “Law #10 – No Partnerships:” —

    I wish I knew this when I started. Getting out of a partnership is painful, costly, and will drain you. I made excuses for almost a year with my partnership. I was scared to leave because we made $MM. Getting into one is incredibly easy.

    HUGE mistake. I don’t want to think of how much time I’ve wasted in the last year or how much money in opportunity cost. Constant stress, huge biz mistakes, etc….

    I will say this – without my partner I would have never made it in the business. We kept each other going at the beginning when we were horrible at everything. 3 years later? Things have changed so much. After the first 3 months – I should have ended our partnership.

    If you want a partner to get into a project, then I recommend just sharing information and competing in a similar niche, but make it slightly different. As soon as you start profiting keep quiet about your entire process, but support them enough so they can succeed.

    Or better yet – don’t create a partnership.

    • GT3RS says

      How about for non-online ventures like a tech company? E.g. one person focuses on sales, marketing, etc while the other guy just builds it? Neither have both skill sets, so they compliment each other. I’m in this spot right now. Considering partnering with an engineer who is very smart, but having some doubts about working with the guy. Thing is, I can’t make the product myself and the product must be serviced after it’s sold so there needs to be a developer in house.

      • Zimensky says

        If you’re like me, you’ll get tired of being chained to someone else very quickly. Sad but true.

      • Roark says

        I would hire an employee, and make sure you have plenty of documents/security measures so you own all the tech.

        Business partners can essentially be employees.

  9. Lion says

    I think you guys made a mistake with niche site and paid traffic. They’re pretty much the same thing since you’re paying and driving traffic towards the niche site. Unless you’re doing it organically which can take forever.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Debatable, sure some niche sites can use paid traffic.

      We separate it becuase we think you only use paid traffic for big opportunites. Niche stuff can be done organically. Difference in preference

    • Kenny T says

      If you find a good niche to target, and know how to do basic keyword research, you can build a niche site organically in your spare time.

      Its really not a huge time sink and at that point you end up with an asset that’s earning you $1K-$3K per month with very little further effort required to maintain that.

      Not something you should be doing full time, but a great way to cut your teeth and learn the basics of online business.

      With paid traffic, your just running traffic to an offer, (or pre-sell page that leads to an offer) and optimizing your ads and landers to make you more money than your spending.

      There’s no need to have a niche site to run paid traffic. A website with a few fast loading html landing pages is all you really need.

  10. NT says

    Hard to pinpoint where to place the insecure non-target college student market. Many are not what you would call the masses, but they also aren’t rich either.

  11. says

    Phenomenal article guys. From my limited experience for the last 3 years building online business, I say that you’re right 100% with everything.

    What makes me even more jealous is that you nailed it so hard while you’re not making money from it, (at least publicly).

    Keep it up, we need more of that!

  12. NT says

    Firstly amazing post!!!! One that rings true for me is the don’t pour water into 100 pools.

    Another comment:

    “It costs about $50K to start your own item.” – Key point here is “own item”.

    You do not need $50K to sell someone else’s product, even via paid traffic. There are ways around working capital issues – see high limit credit cards on the payables side and daily/weekly AR days on the receivable side :). Not for the faint of heart.

    Again, awesome post!

  13. SP says

    Interesting point on the 50k.
    I would assume, if you go completely digital, then that the cost of entry would go down tremendously.
    Or at least the cost to create the product would be significantly reduced.

    • Zimensky says

      Nice I do that too.

      While were on the topic of archiving I’d like to give a huge shout out to some of the old posts on this site. Some true gold if you dig a little bit.

      And another even bigger toast to the playboys for giving so much to the world. They just cant help it!

  14. says

    Long time lurker, first time commenter here. I’ve been earning my living in digital marketing for almost 10 years now. If you’re serious about starting to make money online then I highly recommend checking out this free course (don’t need to give an email, create a login, or anything else) from the BuSo community: https://www.buildersociety.com/forums/digital-strategy-crash-course.25/

    Builder Society (BuSo) has several digital marketing legends leading the community. The mindset and attitude of is also very similar to WSP. I’m probably not the only one here who follows both sites. It’s the best public marketing board by a tremendous margin.

    I’ve become a jack-of-all-trades, master of AdWords. At a minimum, you will need to know the basics of everything: coding, web design, psychology, sales, marketing, PPC, SEO, SMM, copywriting, etc.. Happy to answer any questions you guys might have.

    Back to grinding.

  15. says

    >This may be some sort of personality disorder

    LOL, no respect for the white-knucklers in the audience? Still, if an offhand comment like that puts someone off of being self-employed, better now than further down the line when it’s harder to change course.

  16. says

    You guys obviously have a book on the horizon 🙂

    Not that I’m complaining, good literature is hard to come by. I’m not yet at a level where I can stop reading this blog yet.

    I wish you wouldn’t spill the beans about PPC though, that’s my bread and butter.

    I wish there was a CanaryWharfBoys alternative.

    Daily posts coming?

  17. legend says

    Partnerships debatable. Im very dictatorial so was against partnerships and still am.

    Unless you have bulletproof agreements that protect you and your biz partner(s) against each other.

    One of my biz had that situation and best decision ever to do it right from the start.

    Biz partner and I loaded 25k each so yes 50k to start new biz.

    Very quickly became one of the hottest mass market offers around.

    Multi million gross sales in 3 months.

    Wont give any further info.

    Great partnership because we are both absolute killers and love to do what the other hates.

    Singular focus should be #1

    Building a team is the hardest thing.

  18. randex says

    Long time reader, have recently been killing it with PPV and a proven sales funnel and we net 100k euros last month doing 5k+ euros every day. Last month we lost payment processing and have not been processing for a month. This has been fixed and we are ready to go again.

    Whole system is in foreign language so it’s been eye opening because the market is completely non-English speaking: the ads, funnel, support, content etc.

    Only issue is the 3x guys who approached me wanted 25% each. I agreed at the start and respect their brain investment but they make a lot of problems now (threats, want to be directors, want access to accounting etc.) and I was able to claw back to 40% and put them at 20% 20% 20%.

    But at the end of every day I am giving away 60% of the profits to 3 guys who wouldn’t cumulatively total my IQ.

    I can run it on my own now and I should net 100k EUR myself monthly. It’s truly autopilot because as I mentioned I don’t speak or read the language.

    Should I cut them off, put them on wages, or just continue at 40 20 20 20 and run it in another geo alone?

      • randex says

        My thoughts exactly – 2 of the staff I got from freelancer anyway, total freelancers and it’s simple for them (sales).

        So there’s 8 guys in the team – 3 “partners” + 1 me and another 4 guys who are on NDA contracts with me. None of them are on paper or anything, it’s just a friendly division based on them getting me into this. So even if I put the 4 NDA agents on, they’re on NDA anyway so they can’t really get pissed off.

        I’m 24, these guys are goners, 30-40+ with families. The 3 guys cut themselves off today anyway saying “bye, let us know when you want a good team”, just hurling insults, saying I don’t know how to run a company etc. etc. when these guys are all on the way out themselves.

        Since I am losing money every day I’m not running the campaign, it would either be in my interest to put them all on separate contracts or go back to before. I just know they’ll act up if we go back to the same model as before. They worked pretty hard last month, 1200 hours between them. But their dreams are too big, for every 100k profit I am literally giving away 60k.

        I think I could make everything work by telling them I have someone doing emails now (customer service), accounting etc. and just offer them a salary type rate. So I’ll pay them a bit to do less (keep them happy) and just keep on my own path. They work hard lol… but nothing I can’t get a team of freelancers to cover.

        If I give them less work to do, I could drop their rate completely based on them having nothing to do OR just kick them out. But they’re on the street if they stop working, pretty desperate.

  19. RE says

    How do you avoid partnerships and get the benefits of an llc? A single member LLC is not a safe option, in my understanding.

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