My first year of online marketing was pretty tough. I worked more than 40 hours per week on my websites, ebooks, and various other projects. Luckily, I did make money the very first month which was enough to keep me going and keep me believing. But if you add up the total hours that I worked and the total amount of money I earned, I was certainly making less than minimum wage. That's right: I would have been better off working at a fast food restaurant!

Perhaps you have decided to tackle online marketing. Maybe you've spent countless evenings studying and reading, and trying to develop a game plan on how to get started. Or maybe you plunged right in, and started marketing without really understanding what needs to be done in order to make a profit online. Or maybe you spent thousands of dollars purchasing guru books and surefire "black hat instant profit" tactics that ultimately failed and left you with nothing but a hole in your wallet.

Would you like the answer to online marketing? Would you like to know exactly what it takes to make money online? I'll tell you, and I'll sum it up in three words: pain, solution, focus.

Let's talk about pain. You're probably reading this article because you desire to make money online, and the reason you want to make money online is because you want more money. Exactly why you want more money is your pain: Do you need to buy a new car? Do you want to put your kids through college but can't afford it? Do you need new clothes? Want to stop renting a low-budget apartment and want to buy your own home?

A simple definition of pain is the problem that (in this case) pushes you to attempt to make money online. While your pain can be solved with money, someone else's pain might be time management or small business accounting solutions. Unless you can define exactly what someone's pain is, you are going to have a very difficult time profiting from your interaction with them.

Now let's talk about solution. We've already defined your ultimate pain: you need money! If I want to make a profit from you, I need to find a solution for your pain of not having enough money. When I find that solution, I present the idea to you and if it appeals to you, then you will take action and purchase the item (or services) and I will make money in the process. Pretty easy, huh?

The last of the three words is where every online marketer stumbles and falls flat on his or her face: focus. That same word has plagued me since the beginning of my online marketing career! There are so many viable and real methods to making money online that most marketers diffuse their energy by working on too many projects at once.

Personally, I know at least twenty "full proof" methods for making money online. But that is exactly where the problem lies: if I work on all twenty methods, then I am only going to have 5% of my energy focused on one project or idea. And somewhere out there on the internet is a guy or girl focusing 100% of his or her energy on the same idea. Guess who's going to come out on top and be successful with that one particular method?

Sure, I'll see results from my scattered efforts, but I will only see minor results. Maybe I'll make $5 a day from those diffused efforts whereas the marketer who focuses 100% of his or her time on ONE idea is going to make $100 to $500 per day on the same method.

Want to make money online? Find a solution to a common, world-wide pain, and then focus all of your attention on presenting your solution to your customers. Make those three words your primary goal and you will make money online, guaranteed.