The equation is simple:
TRAFFIC + CONVERSIONS - COSTS = PROFIT
In the above example, for the CONVERSIONS component you need to ensure that your sales copy on your web page is converting. The best way to do this is to model your sales copy on proven sales techniques. The best way to do that is to study the experts.
Look on Clickbank and find the products with high gravity. This is an indication that a higher number of affiliates have sold that particular product in the last 8 weeks. For that to happen, the sales page MUST have good copy.
Once you find the products, goto their sales pages, and look at the elements they contain, and then model your own sales pages using the same techniques.
What kind of headline do they have?
What kind of sub-heading do they have?
What kind of language is the sales letter in? Conversational or business?
What kind of bonuses are included?
Do they include P.S's?
What is their price point?
What graphics, video and audio do they include?
Do they include testimonials? How are these formatted?
As you can see from the above examples, this is a simple process of copying what you know already works. No need to reinvent the wheel! This will all help with the CONVERSION aspect of the equation.
For the TRAFFIC component, you need to increase this to as high a number as possible with as little input of your time and money. The more money you spend, the higher the COSTS component of the above equation will become, thus reducing the PROFIT component of the equation. There are many ways to get traffic.
Some good free ways are...
Optimise your website for high volume AND long tail keywords. This way your site will show up in Google and MSN etc. and get you free traffic. This of course takes time and can be a bit of hit and miss depending on your competition. The good thing is once your website is optimised, it shouldn't require much work to keep it optimised.
Another popular method is social networking and bookmarking. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and other sites like this all allow you to share your website with others on the net. The problem with this is it takes time, and you need to constantly submit your site, vote for it, click on it, make friends, update pages, and once again this can be a bit hit and miss.
Video marketing is another popular traffic generation strategy. Unless you are a budding Steven Spielberg, you can be up for production costs up front, and once again, you are taking a gamble at whether your video concept will be popular and well received by the audience at YouTube and the like.
Article Marketing is another very popular traffic generation method. The great advantage here is that you aare only investing your time. You get to share your expertise in your niche, and increase your credibility as an expert in your field while driving traffic to your sales page. Once again, it can be a bit hit and miss, and less and less articles are getting picked up by Google due to low quality, and perhaps them being phased out to make way for Google's new Knol service.
PPC or pay per click is a quick and easy way to get started. By far the most popular service is Google's Adwords service. This is a great way to test your sales copy, or to test a product idea, but can be expensive, especially in the competitive niches, and you need to keep a constant eye on your costs to make sure they don't blow out.
I have used and continue to use a combination of all of the above methods. About 3 months ago I started doing press releases for myself and my clients. Unlike articles, I was able to optimise my press releases to ensure they reached the top of google.com/news EVERY time. The releaes do drop off after some time, but not after getting a minimum of at least 500 hits. This is higher than any of my articles have achieved. So the press release provides a spike in traffic. The other advantage is that you can include yyour URL anywhere in the press release, and an email address and contact phone number. If you make your release really interesting with a great hook, you might get picked up by the mainstream news channels, and I can only imagine what would happen then! It hasn't happened for me yet, but I will continue to use this tactic as one of my primary methods in my traffic generation arsenal.