Building An Online Business: The Four Cornerstones Of Success

The Four Cornerstones To Building An Online Business
Tips For Building An Online Business After 10 Years Of Making Money Online

While reminiscing over his working life, and the last 10 years of building an online business, here Dean Holland reveals the four cornerstones that you must have in place to be able to successfully build your own business online for the long term.

“Ten freakin’ years! I can’t believe it…

Good morning everybody. Welcome to another episode of The Drive. It is Dean here of course, en route to Internet Profits HQ. It is raining, it’s cold and wet once again. Welcome to England, ha ha!

So yesterday…

Had A Big, Sudden Realisation

So I was doing a… actually let me just explain this.

Ten Freakin' Years Of Making Money Online!
Ten Freakin’ Years Of Making Money Online!

Every day, Monday to Friday, I go ‘live’ in our Certified Partner private community Group. This is basically a private Facebook Group exclusively just for our Certified Partner Program…

And so, every day I go live in that Group and I just give some advice and share some stuff to help, inspire and motivate the Partners to grow their businesses and achieve better results. All that good stuff.

Yesterday, I’m doing my daily live broadcast in there, and I said something about the date. And I was like, “What date? What day does that fall on actually?” And I looked on the calendar on the computer while I was on the live.

Even though I knew what year it is, I’d not had this realisation yet… That I left my job in 2009. However, that was eight months after my first sale online, which happened in 2008 – specifically I think was October or November.

So, not exactly 10 years to the day. But this year marks over…

A Decade I’ve Been Actually Making Money Online

Dean Holland The Drive Episode 147
Dean Holland’s “The Drive” Episode 147

A whole decade, it’s pretty insane isn’t it? I don’t think I’ve done anything for a decade, like job-wise or careers or anything like that.

I think the longest ever job I held was for maybe three years, four years perhaps at most. From the age of 16, when I left school – I didn’t go to college or anything – I went straight to a full-time job working as a waiter at a little roadside restaurant/cafe type thing.

And from there, I trained as a cook, or as a chef – whatever you want to call it. Then I left there, within two or three years I think, to actually start my very first own business, which was in mobile catering.

Did that for a little while, but then that went wrong because I actually got robbed by three guys! They robbed my stuff, generators and equipment. And that petrified me. I’d never had an experience of being robbed like that.

So I actually sold the mobile catering trailer, and went and got another job in a pub pouring drinks. Did that for three years maybe… And that’s when, incidentally that’s when…

I Discovered Many People Were Building An ONLINE Business

I Got Robbed By Three Guys And That Petrified Me
I Got Robbed By Three Guys… That Petrified Me, And I Sold My Business

…and making money online, somewhere around those years. And there’s been more jobs. As I’m saying this, there’s been more and more jobs that I’ve completely forgotten about that I did. I worked in a wood factory putting together cabinets and drawer units. Then finally for a construction company was the last job I actually worked at, that I recall.

And yeah, I was eventually able to make that very first affiliate commission in 2008. Now the thing is, over the years a lot has changed – a lot y’know, if I look back.

The majority of people that were kind of ‘industry leaders’ in the ‘make money online’ space, affiliate marketing, internet marketing, building an online business space, back then.

Most Of Them Don’t Exist Anymore

There’s like a rare few that are still around. Which is crazy, thinking about it. Because it’s pretty exciting that I can say, I’m one of them. I wasn’t absolutely crushing it back then – I wasn’t an industry leader by any means.

But I was making money. I was able to leave my job in 2009 and do this full-time. So, it’s now over ten years of actually making money on the internet. Really, when I think about all the different things that have changed – a lot has changed like…

Advertising Costs Have Changed…

…different methodologies have changed – the way in which people are doing it.

I Left My Job In 2009 To Work From Home Full-Time
Things Have Changed Since I Left My Job In 2009 To Work From Home Full-Time

But despite all the changes, what’s bizarre is – the fundamentals of what has to be done still remain.

It’s strange. Like, most people get caught up selling and buying what I would say are ‘gimmicks’. Y’know stuff that, yeah, it helps people – it can serve a purpose. But most people don’t need all those gimmicks. They need

The Fundamental Skills For Building An Online Business

They need to understand WHAT they need to do, WHY they need to do it, and HOW they need to do it.

It’s kind of like, imagine you go to college or university to study to be a doctor. You couldn’t do that job just by being sold like, I don’t know, the stethoscopes or whatever it’s called, to listen to people’s hearts. Those would be like tools – things that would help you with the job.

But what you needed to learn first was the skills. Like how to diagnose people. What are the conditions, the ailments, the symptoms. What are the medicines, what are the cures. You’d have to learn the fundamental skills to be able to do that job first.

And only then, the tools, or what we’ve now described as ‘the gimmicks’, would assist in helping that person do that job. So online, it’s really no different.

These Are The Four Cornerstones You Have To Focus On

SoloPreneurs Need The Fundamental Skills For Building An Online Business
SoloPreneurs Need These Four Fundamental Skills, Not Marketing Gimmicks

One is traffic generation, right? You have to be able to get people to websites. Whether that’s your own websites, your own offers, or affiliate offers. Methods to get website traffic have to be accomplished. You have to learn a way of doing that.

Second of all, you have to learn how to build an email list. You have to learn how to build that list.

Thirdly, you have to learn how to consistently follow up with that audience. Like, if you’re not following up with your traffic and with your email list every day… The simplest way of course, when you’ve got someone on your list, is you email them every single day – you communicate with them.

There is, of course, following up via retargeting as well. Which is having specific ads shown to people that have previously landed on your particular websites. So you can do that – you can retarget.

And then finally you’ve got sales. That’s conversions, like sales conversions, monetisation.


  1. Traffic generation
  2. List building
  3. Follow-up
  4. Monetization / sales / conversions

…those are the four areas for building an online business. And it doesn’t matter how you dress those up, they are going to remain. Those will always be exactly the same.

What Was I Doing Wrong During Those First Four Years?
What Was I Doing Wrong During Those First Four Years?

Like, it doesn’t matter if I go back five years – they had to be done. Doesn’t matter if I go back ten years – those had to be done.

Really now, when I look back, when I first discovered people making money online back in 2004. And obviously it took me four years to make that first sale. When I think about it, the things I was doing wrong back then, during those four years…

I was buying gimmicks. But I wasn’t learning how to drive traffic. And I wasn’t building a list. Therefore I had nobody to follow up with, and I had nobody to make sales to.

So, if you want to know…

The Four Things To Focus On To Build Your Online Business

…those would be it.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this. ‘Like’ and share this message if you feel others would benefit from it. And please comment if you’ve got some value from this, and share your experiences too.

You know, it’s amazing. Ten years in and I’m still here, and the business is growing and doing amazing. And life’s amazing because of this. So…

I Want To Help As Many People As Possible…

And if you enjoyed this message, ‘Like’ and share it with others. And I will of course see you in “Simple Business Plan Template: Keeping Your Business As Simple As Possible” – another episode of The Drive. This is Dean Holland at Internet Profits signing out for today.

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Matthew Brewin

Hey, name's Matt. I'm a blogger on, Certified Digital Marketer, and Partner at Internet Profits Ltd.

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