This Month completes an amazing 12 month transformation for me . Though I had been trying Internet marketing for 14 months before joining this forum last year, I had never managed to make any money online.
I had spent money on various courses, tried to apply the information, and always came up short, If only I had know then what I know now, and that is the reason for writing this.
Between September 2009 and the end of December 2009 I was able to generate sufficient revenue that I made the big step to quit my Job and go full time from January this year. The 8 months since have been intense but rewarding, and July was my first 100k+ Month and while I won't hit that in August (35k of that revenue was from a new product launch from a company I promote ) I know that what i am doing will only continue to improve.
I want to show others what I have learnt to be important and to highlight the path I would have taken with the benefit of hindsight.
If you are new to I.M, then I want to save you time and more importantly, money and the pain and frustrations I went through. I wish I could have read this post a couple of years ago. If I can stop even one of you making the mistakes that I made, then this post will have been worth the time.
So let's get to the nitty gritty
Firstly : Check my number of forum posts - in one year , not many, why ? because you don't make money sitting on here, you make make money taking action and getting things done, if you spend all your time on forums looking for what you should do, you will never get anywhere. I limit my time on here. I schedule my work time, and usually only visit this site at the end of the week. Even if I need to reply to this thread, I will still only do it at the weekend, when I visit. NOTHING will get in my way of working, including coming here to reply to questions. I will reply but it will be once a week. The rest of the time my focus is on my business.
This post is not exactly short, so let me set out right here, the ONE main thing that took me from losing money to making money.
I started to build a list. - Yes ,the reason for a 100k month in July is because for a year my focus is about the list.
The hardest thing in this industry is to get yourself to start doing, and stop reading,but with that said, let me first tell you what you should read.
First go read this thread... it's OK I'll wait...
Written over a year ago now, It's about time it got a bump and still the best thing I have read on here. It actually got me to sign up on the W.F. after lurking for more than 12 months, I signed up simply because I wanted to get in touch.
Be sure to read not only the post but the thread too, as there is some excellent replies to questions, and the best thing is that info is right there for free.
And you know something else ? this week Filsaime and Farrel launched affiliate 2.0 for $1997 as if it is some magic new way of working, and you can read the same thing in the thread I just sent you to from a year ago. There is no secret to list building and building a relationship with a list.
OK, so what else should you invest in ?
Here are 2 books to buy
1 Cashvertising by Drew Eric Whitman ( google it ). This book explains the life force 8. In effect how we, as humans are hard wired to react to certain things. This book has helped me target how I write campaigns. When I started to apply the life force 8 rules my sales and conversions increased by over 30%. It's also a key factor in how I do well with facebook.
2 Ultimate Sales Letter - Dan Kennedy. will cost you around 10 bucks, and is all you need. Just solid straight forward advice in how to craft your pages to make you money.
those 2 books willl probably cost you less than 20 dollars, and are better than any goo roo course you will buy. They will help get you where you want to go.
Use these books to learn to think for yourself.
I spent 5 days this week, free writing my thoughts on what else I think is important, so after editing them into a form that makes sense to more than just me, here they are.. I hope they are of use to you too.
Asking for the details about same niche someone is making money in, or same traffic source as someone doing well makes no difference, it won't help you make money just by trying to copy what someone else does.
It's rather like 2 chefs making the same recipe with same ingredients and same recipe instructions, you won't get two identical dishes. each will have the character of the person making it. One will have a better palate for taste than the other, and it will be reflected in the dish. Marketing is no different. You need your own secret sauce.
I can tell you that Facebook makes me good money, and that all my facebook traffic is first sent to a page to get them to be a subscriber. You should take that information and then build your own mousetrap, that fits YOUR MARKET and YOUR IDEAS.
making mistakes doesn't matter , I make mistakes every day, just about every new campaign I try fails, but I know its process of elimination, you only fail when you quit.
doing cpa offers ? , build a list , build a list, build a list. It Was My Game Changer
email submits are a waste of time - if you are going to spend your time trying to get people to submit their emails, then at least do it for your own benefit. The companies who do these offers scrub like hell, so your better of capturing the details for yourself , but overall, its just a lame way to try and make money. Easier and bigger fish to catch out there.
There is only so much time in a day use it productively. Since going full time, I find I do have to fight with myself to keep from wandering, but I have learnt what I am good at and where I am best utilising my time and skills.
learn a market and find where you can fit in to the market, every market has its own language, its own rhythm. If you research a market, you know the prices of the products, the costs of clicks, the pain of the market.
As an example, look at this place. the language = cpa, ppc, bum marketing, seo, IM. cpa networks, squeeze pages, landing pages. ppv etc
product prices go from $7 up to $1997, with avg of $67- $97.
you know the guru names,Kern, Walker, Deiss,Jenkins, and the names of their products.You know if you look at ppc for the keywords for internet marketing and make money online, you will see the ppc market is expensive. From that you would learn what an optin will cost. And reading this forum, you can learn about the pain in the market.
Which webshost ? is wordpress good ? which theme should I use, I can't make money, google slapped me.. no sales, no traffic.. do backlinks work etc
You see ?
This is how markets are, and I don't even sell stuff in the make money market. My point is , that if you do want to make money in a market, you better understand it a little more than just grabbing the html banner from neverblue and sticking it on a blog page.
Google ppc for search is tough , quality scores are a big problem now we have reached the point that even for paid traffic you have to build sites that google likes, many keywords are also too expensive to compete on now for small marketers.
You better be sure the time your going to spend doing internet marketing is going to be bring you profits, so research your markets properly.
I have certain markets now where I spend for the long term development on SEO as I can't afford to buy the clicks, but I know the niche is profitable. I don't expect to see results for 7- 12 months.
I would advise you to choose a market with a back end potential what i mean by that is choose a market that you can sell to more than once. You can't make much money trying to sell a clickbank ebook for acne anymore because keywords with volume are too expensive to buy for selling a one off book. For those who were doing this 6 years ago, when the keywords were 5 cents, then of course fortunes were made, but those words are not 5 cents anymore. If your paying 35 cents + a click, you better have a decent back end.
look to build a business. I am now investing in domain strategy and the SEO process for the long term. That means I am building websites in the niches I have had success with.
You have to commit time and effort so don't be afraid to make mistakes as I said earlier most campaigns fail. The important thing is to be measuring it.
Your budget determines how you can do this.
I may spend $200 for a 100 clicks on one main target word to see if it has potential.
when I started I spent $20. and went for 40 cent clicks, but I still had a system to measure if it would work. But to put it into perspective for you, I would often need to do 20 trials to get a winner. That means you need to be prepared to lose money. Those 20 trials would still be in one market, not 20 different offers, just so we are clear on that.
Now I am fortunate I can afford to lose bigger.
I lose money testing new things, but most people don't understand keywords that make people buy.It does not matter if it's SEO or PPC , you need to understand this rule. Most people fail because they simply do not understand how to identify buying keywords
marketing knowledge is the most important skill to acquire . anything else you can learn fairly easily.
my advice is to spend time learning about marketing. learn about people, their emotions, what makes them act. learn the language of communicating with your marketplace.
learn what you need to understand to get people to take action. Thomas Watson Sr of IBM said it best when he said "nothing happens until something is sold " That is the same for what we do. CPA networks do not exist unless somewhere something is sold. If everyone sends the network crap leads, then the offer will go away. Send good leads, that a company can convert, and everyone wins.
CPA marketing does not mean you have to sell crap. plenty of good companies and offers are out there for you to work with.
I don't follow the crowd
I have got to a point of making my own lead gen deals.I always sell a back end, for example capturing an auto loan lead, or a payday loan lead, I will follow up with the free credit report trial. A large amount of the applicants would be declined, so you have a good chance to let them find out why, and what they can do about it. Same would go for mortgage leads. This is an easy way to make more sales from the same user, think of some that would work for your market.
It is easier to work in markets you have an interest in or know about. What do you know ? what do you like ?
finance is probably the exception to that rule. you don't need to be passionate about insurance to sell it, but you do need good content. make a guide for people, not everyone will click through at the time to fill out the offer, so offering a guide enables you to get their email details the more names you capture, the more money you will make long term.
It is simply a numbers game if you capture some of those customers, you have a chance to still make money of them. You have worked hard to get them to your site, the least you can do is try and get their details while they are there.
So what is the take home message from this rather long post ?
Build a list and approach this as a business if you want to quit your job somewhere down the line.
Why build a list ?
Look at every goo roo launch, every single one get's you on a list, so why do you think that is ? They may be selling you some fancy scheme, but their own marketing efforts will tell you far more about what you need to do to succeed, than the product they are pushing at you. I would not have done the revenue I did in July without a list.
What helped me go from losing money to making money ?
Here are some resources that I have used.
I did have money to invest in doing paid marketing when I started, but I realise many people don't, so here is my tips there.
Paid can get you there quicker, but the model is the same, it just will take longer with free, but plenty of people do well without spending on paid traffic.
No matter if you use free or paid methods, if you get your initial research wrong, you won't make any money with either method.
For example to get sites ranking in the search engines,you are most likely looking at 4 months on average. If you understand that, and are on the right keywords, then you will still make money, it's just not an overnight thing. The problem is most people quit after a few weeks or a couple of months because they think it's not working.
Building sites to rank TAKES TIME. If you keep the mindset of 4 months and not 4 weeks, you have a chance of success. If you thinks there is a fast short cut, chances are you won't be around here next year.
If your wanting to do CPA, but don't have money to buy traffic, then check out Kensters rags to riches guide . He gives you some great ideas of how to start with free methods.
Need to understand SEO for getting free traffic without paying $2000 on guru launches ? then get Daniel Tan's WSO's on this forum. and if you are using wordpress, use his seopressor plugin for your on page SEO optimisation. All his stuff is great value.
And finally If you have money to invest , then my advice is get a coach. I hired Dave Ward after reading his thread, and I still use him as my mentor today. What I have paid him, in relation to what I have made, makes it a no brainer for me.
The simple way I looked at it was, what is better for me ? $2000 on a guru product launch, or 2 months of personal mentoring with Dave who has 15 years internet marketing experience working on MY business, and MY problems with real solutions for MY circumstances ?. The answer was simple, but we are all different and you have to get what works for you. You and your Mentor have to be a good fit. In my case I needed someone to help me cut through the noise of this business. Only once I did that did I really move forward.
So that about covers it for now. As I say I will be happy to reply to questions, but don't expect them before next weekend.
I just want to end with A final thank you to Kenster for the inspiration to do this post.
I hope it is of use to some of you.
Update Sept 4TH 2010
First let me say I appreciate all the Thank You messages. I am also pleased that so many of you have felt it has helped you with your own continued journey.
Second, to those of you who have pm'd me about coaching, sorry but I don't do coaching or mentoring, and have no intention of starting, so please don't ask me. I am still building my own business. I did mention above that I still have my own mentor, but as I said you need to have money to invest if you want to apply for his inner circle coaching, so don't waste your time or his by applying otherwise.
If you are new the market selection is the most important area to spend your time on.
Have a great week.
Update Dec 11th 2010
Coming up to the end of my first year as a full time marketer, December is currently looking to be my best yet, but it is still early days. Facebook is proving more a pain since Mr Greens FB ads software I used was banjaxed ( right after poor Mr Green bought it ) Other than that everything else I wrote about in August remains the same.
Also nice to see my post has at least got one guy on the right road, well done Stian !
Update Feb 5th 2011.
Replied in the thread to some great questions from Trevor, you can find the questions and answers here http://www.warriorforum.com/ad-netwo...ml#post3311125
Update Nov 5th 2011
Replied to list building question.
Update June 9th 2012
replied on list building question in main thread.
Wrote this post almost 2 years ago now. How many of you are actually building a list ? Staying in this business long term DOES require one. Build a business.