The following is a guest post by Patrick Meninga of Make Money With No Work. He recently sold his flagship website for $200,000 dollars.

Hi there! My name is Patrick and I recently had quite a success with my website in spite of the fact that I have no real business prowess or formal training.

I admit that I got a bit lucky in what happened to me, but I want to share the lessons that I learned along the way so that all of you may benefit from it. But first, here are the numbers:

I built one authority website over the course of four years. The site earned roughly $500/month in its second year, $1,000/month in its third year, and over $2,000/month in the fourth year. An unsolicited buyer approached me and bought the site for $200,000 during the fourth year.

The website had 1,500 articles on it at the time of sale and with my publishing speed this works out to approximately $900/hour that I earned for creating the website.

As I pointed out, I am not some business guru, and mostly got lucky. However, here is what I learned from my success:

The need for premium content

When I first started out in my Internet marketing career, everything I read seemed to say “write quality content.” So I attempted to write high quality articles for my website.

What happened though is that I soon found websites that truly amazed me with what I would call “premium content.” These were articles that I bookmarked because they were so detailed and useful to me.

Over time, I realized that what I was producing for my own website was not good enough–it was “quality,” sure, but was it really remarkable and amazing stuff? No, I had to admit that it was not. So I raised my standard.

I set out to create one–just one–premium article that was so useful and detailed that it could pull in organic links on its own. It took me several days to create, but I finished this piece of “premium” content, and then I shared it with other people.

The response was fantastic.

This was the way to build a successful website, I realized. Not with “good enough” articles, but with outstanding articles that people bookmark, share with others, link to, etc.

Action item: Raise your standard of quality by carefully polishing an insanely detailed and useful article for your readers. Make this your new standard of quality for on-site publishing.

The need for real networking

Early in my Internet marketing career, getting cheap, manufactured links was fairly effective in boosting a website in the search engines. As time went on, such tactics have lost much of their effectiveness.

The new world demands real world networking and a smarter approach. Instead of cheap anchored backlinks you should build real site authority by forming real relationships.

This means:

* Leaving value added comments on competitors websites and having a real conversation with them.

* Emailing competitors and offering to help them out however you can with their online business.

* Eventually pitching the idea of a guest post to these contacts.

Notice the progression there: you do not just email someone and ask for a link to your website. Nor do you just send them a completed guest post and expect publication.

Take time to craft and build a relationship first. Show genuine interest in what they are doing. If this sounds like quite a hassle and a heavy time investment, it can be.

But it will also be one of the main things that separates a dead website from one that becomes profitable. You need strong links, and networking is the way to get them. Action item: Try to publish at least one guest post per month until you have reached your income goal.

Volume matters

Following the formula outlined here is essentially dummy-proof. Real networking that leads to guest posting combined with premium quality content is a sure win.

Keep doing both of them and eventually your website will be profitable.

It takes time for all of these “success factors” to kick in. When you get a good link to your site from a guest post, it does not change your rankings overnight. It all takes time.

Building up a large volume of articles is one way to scale up your income.

For example, when my flagship website had 300 articles on it, it was making about $100/month. Later on, when I had 600 articles, it was making $1,000/month. And when I went really nuts and had written over 1,500 articles total, and the site was earning over $2,000/month.

Notice that the growth was never linear, but obviously, the number of articles on-site made a definite difference in the monthly earnings.

Action item: Have a daily publishing quota. I advise three articles per day, every day. This will result in better numbers than mine in under two years.

That’s it – focus on income growth!

There are many actions you can take each day when it comes to Internet marketing. What you need to ask yourself is this:

“Will this action I am about to take result in future income?”

If the answer is “no,” then why are you doing it?

Here is what I had to focus on, every day, in order to avoid distractions and stay on course to build a profitable website:

* Publishing quality content on my website.

* Building quality links to my website via networking.

That’s it. Everything else was a distraction. If you want to grow your online income then you need to focus on these essential actions.

Action item: Streamline your workflow into the following two ideas: Publish quality content daily and publish one guest post each month. Keep it up for a few years and you will have a full time income online.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments!