Follow and get good at a system that works.  Here is a system that seems to be universal in all markets and niches and at all times.

Keyword Research

Competitive Analysis

Building Your Site

Writing or Buying Content

Generating Traffic

Capturing Leads

Selling Your Products and Those of Other People as an Affiliate

Follow these steps in order because if you go out and buy a domain name before doing your keyword research, for example, you may be in the wrong ballpark and you certainly cannot win if you are in the wrong ballpark.   These steps must be done in order and repetitively in order to get proficient in the process and begin to make steady money on the Internet.

Some key points to keep in mind.  The fastest way to make money online is to have one specific customer in mind when you get started and in all the content that you create.  This is closely related to keyword research.  What phase of the buying process is your ideal prospect in?  Is he just looking for information and not even considering buying, in the review phase and actively looking for a solution to a problem, or my favorite phase, has already made a decision to buy and now looking for the best deal and for justification?

Furthermore, it always surprises me how many people start doing things online like blogging and search engine optimization before even attempting to see what is working for other people in the niche.  Type your targeted keywords into the search bar and find out what other sites are at the top of the SERPs.  See what they are promoting and what types of posts they have written.  Do as much research on your competition as you can, taking notes to find out what works for them and what doesn’t.  Don’t worry, after doing research for a while things will start to pop out at you as commonplace in the market.

These reasons make me say that keyword research and competitive analysis are the most important steps in making money online.

My favorite course that explains this process in detail and in my humble opinion will get anyone to their first dollar online the fastest is Super Affiliate Master Class by James Schramko.