How to Build a Highly Productive Online Business

Are you doing more work but getting tiny undesirable results (income)? Do you know that only 20% of your online tasks produce 80% of your results (and income)? Do you know the only 3 core activities that contribute 80% results (income) in any online business? Are you unintentionally spending 80% of your time on the business activities that only always contribute 20% results? Read on to discover what these most 3 most important activities are, why they are that important in any online business and how best you can structure your business to ensure that you are giving these 3 activities the priority attention they deserve.

Are You Spending Enough Time On Your Most Productive, Critical Online Business Activities?

Do you know that the 80% of results (and income) you get from your online business come from only 20% of the activities that you do? The people that get more outputs (the bottom-line, sales and income) do so because they are spending most (80%) of their time on the few activities that bring the most results.

What if you knew exactly what those 20% critical business activities are, wouldn’t you rather spend more time on them? The purpose of this post is to show you exactly the  3 most important activities in any online business.

It’s Not About How Much Time You Put Into Your Business BUT How Much Results Your Business Is Producing…

Is your blogging time and efforts showing results? Is your online marketing business producing the desired results – in money and in products? It does not matter how long you work at your business daily, what matters is the END RESULT, which determines the level of income you will generate. How productive is your business?

Staying productive is what differentiates struggling marketers and the other 97% who barely or never make it.  Although one can easily get drowned with the entire activities required to get the business going, the simple truth is that not all activities make big contributions towards the end result.

Getting buried in activities that produce small results will never make any significant income for you, even if you get busy 24 hours, all week long.

The secret of top income earners lies in knowing what to spend lots of time on and what to spend the least time on.

The 80:20 rule says that only 20% of your online business activities produce 80% of your income AND 80% of the tasks you do in your online business only contribute 20% of your income every month.

Let me break it down for you:

  • The CRITICAL activities that will make your business successful are only FEW (20%)
  • There are 3 Core activities that make up that CRITICAL FEW

But here’s the problem. What if you do not even know what the few core critical activities are? What if you’re doing them not enough?

Identify The 3 Critical Online Business Tasks That Will Bring You The Most Business Results

Those 20% are only 3 sets of activities, as you’ll discover them in this post. Your productivity and how high an income you generate depends on spending your time right on every kind of activities.

Now, how do you know the 80% activities that make the difference? How would you know if you are not over-spending time on those activities that bring only but a small result, and less time on those that should have brought big results.

In project management activity scheduling, the impact of completing an activity and the (weight of) risks of not completing it within a defined timeline is what is used to prioritize activities in a work breakdown structure. That is how project managers are able to reduce risks and costs from any project, while increasing the outputs.

So, in the same vein always ask yourself, “what is the risk on my income this month, if I do not social bookmark this review post”, “If I do more social bookmarking and less of blog commenting, would that reduce or increase my income this month”?

If you have a blog and understand the basics but are struggling to find time, motivation or focus – Blog Wise is for you.  One of the most common obstacles to successful blogging among our readers is simply finding time – so we sat down with 9 prolific and successful bloggers to find out how they not only blog successfully – but balance that with busy work, family and social lives.

The 3 Core Activities At The Center Of Every Online Marketing Business

The 3 critical core business of every online marketing business is centered on: Offer, Traffic and Conversion and so each income generating activity falls under one or the other.

“Efficiency, which is doing things right, is irrelevant until you work on the right things.” ~Peter Drucker“Productivity = creating value and delivering it to people. All other busywork is unproductive fluff and should be minimized” ~ Steve Pavlina

Being busy is not the same thing as being productive. If you are busy filling your peak productivity time with the low producing activities, you’ll simply be a broke busy-man, not making much money. In order to make significant income, you need to spend 80% of your time doing the business activities that contribute 80% of income; and spend 20% of your time on the things that bring 20% of income.

Those three key activities produce the most results towards the overall income goal of any business. It’s either that you are:

Online Critical Activity #1 – Contents / Offer

Creating free pillar contents to offer your blog readers or contents for a paid product; also includes creating contents on other people’s websites (guest posts) and article directories; includes creating lead generation free reports as well as contents for your email subscribers.

Online Critical Activity # 2 – Traffic:

This involves generating traffic to your contents and building backlinks.

Online Critical Activity #3 – List/ Conversion

Converting the traffic to customers through building email lists and building relationship with that list.

Anything short of those 3 core online business activities above should not take priority because they do not contribute much to your business’ revenue. Spend more time on the things that matter most if you want to get extraordinary results.

Some activities just do not produce results or even cost more than the time you put into them. Therefore you must identify where every business activity falls into, and then prioritize the activities so that you do the most productive tasks first and also spend the most time on them.

Separating the “High Impact” From the “Low Impact” Activities

Let me ask you two questions that could be a test for whether a business activity is high or low impact.

  • Can you spot any “Must Do Activities” in your business activities – those that would hurt your income if you do not do them? (High Impact, High Cost of Not Doing Them)
  • What are the activities that you can forgo and your business or income would still go on fine? (Low Impact, “Nice To Do Activities”, Low Cost of Not Doing Them)

The “Must Do, High Impact” kind of activities have immediate or short term impact on your business or income and that’s the reason you should do them first. The “Nice to Have”, Low Impact/ low risk activities have a medium to long term effect on your business, and sometimes no impact at all.

Do you now see why you should put the High Impact activities at the top of your priority?

How long do you spend on your low impact activities such as social media chats such as Facebook-ing and tweeting, although useful, are not high impact activities because the risks of not doing them are relatively low. You may want to do these kinds of activities only after you have completed all your planned income generation activities.

Next Steps: Your Action Items

I want you to get more tangible results in your business and To help you with an actionable steps to translate this post to actions in your business, here are quick steps:

  • Categorize your daily ‘To Dos” into the above 3 critical online business activities
  • Also create a Miscellaneous category for things outside those 3 categories (low impact activities)
  • Spend 80% of your daily work hours on activities that fall under those 3 core activities

Be sure to identify the common productivity killers in your daily business hours and deal with them fast. Here’s a post to help you with identifying and avoiding the top 9 business productivity killers.

Thanks for reading and before you go, I’d like you to do 2 things for me:

  • Share It: If you liked this post, please share the love – share it on Facebook, Twitter, Stumble it, Digg it, Email it…
  • Comment: I’d love to hear it from you on strategies you use to get things done and get big results in your business OR how you plan to go about implementing these online business productivity tips.

I’ll see you on the comments side.


P.S: This post is extracted from my free eBook on “peak productivity tips for online marketers”. Want to learn more about increasing productivity, outputs and income in your business?

19 replies on “How to Build a Highly Productive Online Business”

Hi Tambre:

Good to see you around:) You’re welcome.

Glad you found the post useful to your work on your editorial calendar makeover. Sometimes we can easily get sucked up into some distracting shiny things around the web AND once in a while it helps to get back on track and using a simple system to prioritize what really matters to our business bottom-line.

Once again, thanks for coming around and I wish you a happy weekend:)


This is good stuff!

I agree on your list – although I have to say that I have to work more on the conversion part 🙂

Also, I would like to add building relationships to this list – building true relationships with your audience, connecting and involving them.



OK … I just realized that the relationship part was actually on your list – as part of the conversion 🙂

Anyway, I agree … this is the 20% of tasks you should focus on.


Hi Timo:

🙂 Glad you discovered where the relationship building part was in that post.

Yes, 20% make a lot of (80%) impact. Imagine, even with doing less than 20% of the high impact tasks, we can get good results – that means we can get tremendous results from FOCUSING on the 20% that really matters. I also noticed one of your posts on this principle – seems we’re use same strategies:)

Let’s keep in touch, we sure can learn a lot from one another. I see you started your video series – I’m following it.

Happy Friday.

Hi Timo:

Good to see you around. Thanks – glad you like the productivity tips and happy that you’re going to be working on your conversion – seems like we’re targeting similar goals. I’m also now working tightly on my conversion; we seem to forget about it, in the chase for new traffic.

Thanks for adding relationship building – that’s a crucial part of conversion of traffic already generated. Glad you reckoned with that:)

Again, thanks for coming by, I really appreciate your visit, Timo.

This is really a terrific post and it’s so true that we do get caught up in doing those things that don’t really move our business forward. Sometimes out of fear, we don’t do the most important things and waste our days doing the busywork, like you mention. I love creating, writing articles, creating products or videos, but if no marketing ever gets done, then I’m sitting here with lots of creations…and no dollars! I’ve found that I need to prioritize my day so some is spent in all three of the high impact areas you mentioned above. Thanks for this great reminder.

Hi Pat:
I’m happy to see you on my blog – welcome. I’m glad you found value in the post.

You’re so on point there – if we write contents and ignore the marketing of those contents either because we are busy on the wrong things or over-Facebooking/ over-Tweeting, then the effort defeats the main purpose (i.e. generating income). Every time counts and so we need a system of operation to prioritize and balance out what we do in business/ pleasure based on their impacts (dollar-wise, as you say).

You know recently, I found myself slacking on my Daily Method of Operation and currently getting back to working productively, realizing that when I made the most money was when I used priority to do the most important tasks first and only doing any other afterwards – those efforts are still making me income and so I need to get back on track.

I’m just reading your post: “Conscious Entrepreneurs Believe To Achieve Goals”. Will leave you a comment:)

Thanks Iloyd. I’m glad you like the information and hope to see you around some more:)

Just read your 12 points for thinking like a champion. Excellent tips and detailed plus you also had an audio on that – great blog you have there.

[…] So many people see a top blog getting tens or hundreds of thousands of visitors monthly and how the blogger is making thousands of dollars simply from promoting affiliate products. So, they come up with the impression that since this blogger is getting a lot of traffic, and that traffic must be the reason for his success. Thus, they make up their minds that traffic is all they need to be successful as bloggers. […]

Great post!(I know I say that often here)

I needed this so much today. As I get deeper into the blogging world, I’m finding it’s easy to get distracted by(and spend lots of time in) low impact activities.

This article has motivated me to clearly identify and tweak my high impact activities and spend more time doing those! Thanks so much, my friend!

I’m glad you found some nuggets in this post, Steve. Thanks for stopping by, and especially for leaving a comment – most appreciated.

It’s a good thing that you’ve used the tips to identify those low impact activities that (although very many, 80%) only together contribute 20% of income. It’s very necessary to spend a few hours do this – the 97% who don’t always remain newbies and never see the light at the end of IM tunnel.

*Your ‘what’s your story’ post was another motivational one – I loved it. Reminds me of the need to think what we want to be and quench the small ‘negative voices’ in one’s head.*

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