How to Stay Focused and Handle Frustration When Doing Internet Marketing

As an avid forum poster, I often see posts about how other people have finally quit their jobs to pursue internet marketing. This is great news for them — to finally be their own boss, to have the entire day for themselves, and to start their own business.

On other days, I’ll also run into posts that talk about the difficulties and frustrations of making money online. These are people who have either recently started out or are people who have been at it awhile and haven’t seen the results they have hoped for in the beginning. It usually boils down to a “mentality issue” they have. One that I do see often is a lack of focus and consistency. For example, many people in internet marketing will post something like this:

How Do You Keep From Going Nuts?

How do you sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time, all the while staying focused and productive?

I have to say that this seems like the most difficult thing for me.

Basically, I have never been good at focusing. I had terrible grades in high school (much better in college, thank you adderall) due to the fact that I could never sit long enough and focus on words on a paper. Yes, I know, we all have ADD, but for me it has been a real challenge and I’ve come along way.

But now I find myself getting very frustrated because when pent up too long and working too hard , I begin to get restless, anxious, etc. At times, normal situations where I am supposed to be having fun, I find myself distracted. I’ve tried going out and having fun, exercising, etc and find these to be helpful but I think that I need to take some bigger steps to keep a fairly normal life.

So, with all this in mind, how do you stay mentally healthy and productive while spending extended hours in front of a computer screen?

ConquistadorO, WarriorForum.com

I think many people who start out (or are still doing this) have this problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re an IM veteran like John Chow making six-figures a year or a newbie making a few cents a month from AdSense, we all get the distraction bug from time to time.

The great thing about internet marketing is that anybody from a 16-year old high school teenager to a 50-year old retired construction worker can enter IM, but that’s also like a double-edged sword. Not everybody will have the focus and discipline to pull off a successful business.

I’ve been interested in productivity for a long time and narrowed my niche down to focus.

Questions that I ask are what makes a person able to sit down and write a 6000-word article for five hours straight, compared to a person who has trouble leaving a relevant comment on a blog that takes five minutes to read? Why is it that a person can buy a product and implement it for seven days, while another person can buy a product and totally forget about it after receiving a “seven-minute high” from watching a video clip guaranteeing them $3,000 a month?

These were the questions that I was interested in, not just for internet marketing, but for any kind of work in general.

I can relate to this because as a graduate student, I also faced similar problems with focus. One day I was fed up and decided to go online to search for information regarding how to focus better. However, the search engines listed websites that I felt were irrelevant to focus and had many distracting ads that were counter-intuitive to helping a person focus better.

I decided that I could create an resource, not just one article or a web page, but a website that would be solely dedicated to helping people like ConquistadorO stay mentally healthy, become more productive, and focus better.

Some of the websites that I saw had been there for a decade and if I wanted to see something new out there, then I would have to do it myself and not wait for someone else to create a website on focus. So that’s what I did. In March of 2011, with no budget and no identity, I launched a website to help people focus better.

Just like everybody who begins IM, I had many challenges as well. There are too many gurus out there who want to sell you an “easy way out.” If you’re not careful and you have a credit card, you can be easily swayed into buying product after product, eventually realizing that a month has passed and you’re just stuck in the same place without having gotten anything done.

I think one of the reasons the majority of people get stuck is because starting your own business seems easy and even fun on the surface, you don’t realize how many “hats” you have to wear along the way. Here are some examples of different things you will most likely have to be good at:

Content Building

  • Creating articles, posts, podcasts, or videos for your audience

Product Creation

  • Creating or using someone else’s product that fulfills a market’s needs, designing a sales page, and making graphics for product

Website Design

  • Choosing a website template and tweaking HTML or CSS to make website look more appealing

Search Engine Optimization

  • Doing on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and building backlinks

Website Promotion

  • Going on web 2.0 sites like Google+, Facebook, Twitter and building relationships with people in your niche

In the world of IM, at one point or another, you will have to be a creator, a designer, or a promoter. There are so many things that you must be that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to do two, three, or all of these things at once. I think this is where people run into most of their frustrations. People are desperate to see results, so they will rush the process by dividing their attention to doing multiple things at once and end up getting nothing done.

When I realized I wanted to buy hosting and a domain name in March of 2011, I began writing nothing but content for the site in the beginning of February.

During March, I set up my website and did web designing. I have always seen myself as a writer, and definitely not a website designer, so looking at any type of code scared me, but I learned by asking experts in forums like WordPress.org and my theme’s forum. Most people are helpful if you just ask.

In April, I researched everything that I could about focus and finished writing an e-book on it. I was able to add it to my website and proud that I was also able to get it out there.

Since May and June, I’ve been trying to do SEO and website promotion including blog commenting, forum posting, and now guest posting.

Sitting down and focusing is difficult for everybody, even more so now since technology is more advanced, making information more easily spread to the world at faster speeds. But like anything else, it takes practice. You are not given a skill by reading a book.

Although I can’t speak for everybody, here are some tips I’ve learned along the way to help me focus better and to help beginners or people who are struggling in IM:

1. Be exactly clear what you want to get out of internet marketing. It could be making $10 a day in passive income or $5,000 a month in passive income; it could be becoming the best blogger in the world in your niche or moving away from your home and not being financially dependent of your parents.

2. Identity your situation right now. Be as honest with yourself here. The closer you are to the truth, the less resistance you will encounter when achieving what you want. For example, I’m a graduate student who is on summer break right now. I realize I will not have this time come September so I know I have to work extra hard now to prevent frustrations that I might face in the fall.

3. Break down your goal in realistic segments. By realistic, I mean taking a chunk of your goal that’s not so easy so that you feel nothing when you accomplish it, but not so hard that it’s impossible to do. You have to find that balance in between. For me, I dedicated one month or about 30 days to either content building, product creation, website design, or SEO.

4. Focus on doing one thing at a time. Once you’ve broken down your goal, the tasks ahead of you should be less intimidating and doable. Get rid of all distractions, and just pay attention to one thing until it’s completed. You’ll be tempted to try and multitask, as it’s part of human nature, but remember that studies have shown multitasking to heavily reduce one’s efficiency. If you fall off track, don’t beat yourself up. Just gently go back to what you were doing. Again, like anything else, this will take practice.

5. Focus on your progress. Progress is everything. People complain because of what they don’t have, but aren’t grateful for what they do have. If you are always worried about what you want in the future but don’t have right now, that is a 100% formula for frustration. Any type of progress you’re doing today is looking at what you have in the present moment and that is a 100% formula for satisfaction. Aim for progress and aim for growth because these are the things that remind you of how far you’ve gone and how much better you can get.

As long as you know where you are right now, know where you want to go, and take action every single day, you’ll eventually reach your goal. You may fail many times, you may have to changes courses, and you may take longer than you first expected, but at least you’ll have results backed up with your actions, and not another story to tell people.

I hope my experiences will help other newbies out there who are currently facing difficulties and frustrations trying to succeed in this crazy world of internet marketing. Stay focused and continue taking action.

Hulbert Lee is a graduate student who has a secret obsession with internet marketing. But at heart, he is a writer, and he hopes to help others learn how to focus better so they can achieve success in the world of IM. If you have time, please visit his website over at http://howtofocusbetter.com/.


66 thoughts on “How to Stay Focused and Handle Frustration When Doing Internet Marketing”

  1. You offered some really good information here and I know that a lot of people really do get stuck with trying to wear multiple hats. It took me two years to even come out with a product of my own because you get stuck in stages of doing so many things that you either forget or get drained within a couple of minutes. What I have done or suggest that people do is write out a blogging business plan so that they have a clear understanding of what they are trying to accomplish.

    1. Virtual Tour says:

      I’m still stuck on getting my own product out there. Though working from home does motivate you more to work on it!

      1. Hulbert Lee says:

        Working at home definitely helps, but it can also be easy to get distracted at home. Hopefully this article will help you stay focused so you can effectively work on promoting your product. Good luck!

        1. Erwin Miradi says:

          Yeah true. Working at home is full of distraction. I prefer somewhere more quite, without the TV!

      2. To create your own product a good idea is to do a series of interviews with people in your niche and then offer it as a product then also have those interviews transcribed into a MP4 so people can place them on itunes and listen to them while they’re out and about.

    2. Kevin Kimes says:

      One of the biggest reasons we tend to get stuck on certain projects is fear.

      Most people fear failure on some level, and moving toward completion of a project creates the option to fail. We don’t want to face the possibility that our great project might fail.

      We can’t fail if we don’t finish the project, we can just keep working on details or letting ourselves get distracted.

      I still face this every day. The first step is to realize that’s what’s happening.

      We’ve got to fail in order to succeed.

  2. Brock Blohm says:

    Couldn’t agree more here. IM can be quite frustrating at time. It’s important to keep the end-result in your focus the entire time. Especially if you are a beginner. It can be extremely hard to maintain focus when you are just getting started as you are trying to learn so many valuable piece of information all at once.
    Breaking everything down and taking it one step at a time is important – just like you said. Great post!

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      Thanks Brock, I’m glad the post helped!

  3. Virtual Tour says:

    It can get very frustrating working at home. I have personally worked at home for the past 6 months. Took the leap and love it but it’s very hard when you only have yourself as motivation. Being your own boss takes a lot of patience in ones self. You also have to know that 99% of the time, things don’t go according to plan!

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      I know exactly what you mean. People love to be their own boss, but it takes a lot of patience and self-discipline to be able to focus on your project and see it through to the very end. Most of the times, things don’t go according to your plan, but if you have the end goal in mind and do something every day to get there, eventually you’ll arrive at your goal. Thanks for posting twice!

      1. Virtual Tour says:

        Anytime man, thanks for the great article. I think a lot of people overlook the frustrating part of working at home… They think it’s all amazing and nothing else.

      2. Kevin Kimes says:

        One thing many people don’t realize about being their own boss, is they still have to be a boss!

  4. Skye Diaz says:

    My problem has been busy with two kids under age of 3! Yup a 2 year old and a 9 month old. I’ve been trying to get a blog going for almost 2 years now, and has keep coming back to it, re-doing it, took forever to find a WP template… (something always didn’t work right and i would get super frustrated!). But now, I want to really focus and do it since my 2nd baby is now older (even though it’s still super busy around here). I just wonder if my time to blog is when my kids are really older like over 5 years old… or at least both are in school.

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      Hi Skye, I’m glad you were able to post your problem here and hopefully there are some things in the article that may help you out. Again it’s about taking small steps. I don’t have kids myself, but I can imagine how difficult it can be to manage time. However, if you can just focus on doing one thing a day, you’ll always be making some sort of progress that will give you more momentum to reach your goal. I hope things work out for you. Good luck!

    2. Erwin Miradi says:

      It sounds really tough there Sky. But the fact that you’ve been trying to go on for 2 years is a wow. Because most people won’t think of blogging when they’re in your situation. Best of luck, Sky.

    3. Kevin Kimes says:

      Just blog after they’re in bed, or at nap time. 🙂

      1. Erwin Miradi says:

        That would be the time for us to sleep or nap too. 😀

  5. we should have some concentration on our work it will help to get succeed

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      I agree, focus and concentration are some needed factors for success.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        I agree. Simple yet powerful advice. If you focus no matter what frustrations you face, you will succeed. Focus is a very powerful force.

      2. Erwin Miradi says:

        I agree. While I also agree that focus is a lot harder to do when frustrated.

  6. fazal mayar says:

    internet marketing is hard without a plan and hardwork because you will go nowhere without those 2.

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      That’s true. Having a plan and implementing it with hard work will bring you far in internet marketing.

  7. internet marketing is the best place were we can earn a lot if we are in right direction

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      I agree that it is one of the best places to earn money from. Although there are a lot of other places to earn money, there is really no limitation with how much you can earn with internet marketing.

  8. It’s really great article Lee. I think this will help every for doing IM. Thanks.

  9. Its very useful for internet marketers

    1. Yeah internet marketers should be happy to know this.

      1. Hulbert Lee says:

        I hope so Letter Samples. Do you have a name?

  10. Abhik says:

    Splendid!!!
    Yes, we sometime really need to control our frustration.

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      Thanks Abhik. I hope the article can help people to this more often, since IM can be a frustrating experience for a lot of people starting out.

  11. I read your entire post it is too good and I like this most your information is too useful for me and internet marketers also, I hope in future you will be provide to all member of this site such type good and useful information.
    Thanks!!!

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      Thank you so much. I’m glad you liked the post!

  12. Erwin Miradi says:

    Nice info. There’s a lot of frustrated internet marketers will find this post useful.

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      Thanks Erwin. It was intended for frustrated internet marketers who have trouble staying focused.

  13. Internet marketing is the best method to earn some money

      1. Hulbert Lee says:

        Hi Sara, I don’t think a business plan is necessary for internet marketing. It might help, but I think it’s more important to just have an idea and take action on it.

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      You said that already!

  14. A very well thought of article. Thanks John for sharing your views and definitely helping me in clearing my mind about IM and related aspects. Keep them coming my friend.

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      Hi Pranay, I’m glad you liked the article. Thank you.

      1. Virtual Tour says:

        Yeah Hulbert, great job!

  15. fas says:

    Very well said, we tend to try to do lots of things at once and dont complete anything.

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      Yep, it’s part of human nature. Hopefully, this article will remind people to do one thing at a time so they can get more of their tasks completed.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        Yeah, especially the human nature of Internet Marketers. We all want to take on so much because we are all so entrepreneurial. However, by focusing on one thing at a time, you can achieve so much more success.

  16. PPC Ian says:

    Fantastic post. At one point or another, all internet marketers are going to encounter frustration, no matter how much money you are making. It all comes down to how you handle that frustration.

    1. Hulbert Lee says:

      Thanks Ian, that’s why I made this post — to help guide internet marketers who are encountering frustration.

  17. Internet Marketing is loved by all to earn money through internet

  18. Setting attainable, measurable goals is probably the best advice I’ve seen for avoiding burnout and staying focused. Too many people set a huge goal like, “Make $5k per month” right off the bat, rather than stuff they can accomplish this week or this month. By keeping goals attainable but setting bigger and better ones as you knock those out, you can actually starting seeing some real progress quickly.

    Nice article, Hulbert!

  19. Kavya Hari says:

    This is one of the accurate info to all internet marketers. Thanks a lot for sharing your post on here 🙂

  20. john mervy says:

    Working at home definitely helps, but it can also be easy to get distracted at home. Hopefully this article will help you stay focused so you can effectively work on promoting your product. Good luck!

  21. Whitney says:

    This is extremely helpful..thank you so much for posting this 🙂 I have had terrible trouble focusing, although i’m slowly learning to do it better and better. I think that’s many people’s main problem with succeeding in internet marketing. Good luck to all those who are just starting out, thank you so much for posting this!

  22. drezebella says:

    This is the thing thati was looking for, thanks. Focus on certain really stress me out. Nothing is easy then.

  23. being patience are more important in internet marketing

  24. Essays says:

    Content building is one of my favorite activity. It helps me to drive more traffic. It also boost your SE ranking.

  25. Amani says:

    I am making few cents a day and getting tired of it. However stories about others success stories do motivate me to keep going. After all, I am new to the internet business compare to JC.

  26. Technary says:

    Focus and Patience is the key to success in this field i guess!

  27. who2india says:

    I believe I would concentrate on content and content only in the beginning, then would go for other things as well, nice guide to decide path.

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