Step One: Determine how much you are worth....
Sounds easy enough, right? The problem that most marketers face, especially when just starting out is that they don't value themselves near enough. Think I am kidding?....Do a quick time inventory on all the things you do. Now, take a look at what you make. Divide the number you make by the amount of time you spend.....I imagine that most of you will look at that number and be disgusted with it. Most of you would be better off working at Wendy's or some other fast food joint.
Beginner Marketers and Bloggers have a real hard time with this. They work 20 hours, get one sale or make a few cents with adsense and somehow consider this to be a success b/c they did for for F-R-E-E. It isn't.
If you decide to go with the free route, understand that what you are sacrificing is your time. And sometimes, you may be better off paying for help than doing trying to do everything yourself.
Write down on a piece of paper exactly how much you would like to make a month. Keep it reasonable and attainable. Frame it and put it next to your computer. Hopefully, you will be changing this number soon....
Step Two: Choose a system
There are more ways to skin a cat when you are trying to build something online. People get lost in the methods and tend to over focus on them. Article Marketing, SEM, PPC....all of these are models to get traffic to your offer....nothing more and nothing less. There isn't a magical solution to this. There isn't really anything groundbreaking about it. Once you have read one model, you can pretty much be guaranteed that anything you read regarding the model will pretty much be the same.
With all the models, the focus is to get targeted traffic to your offer.... That's it. If you can get targeted traffic to your site, then you should make money. I say should, because there are other variables at play, such as needs and demands as well as how freely available it is on the internet (and even then, you may get sales).
Step 3: Find a Market, Scale it and LIVE there
If you are a niche marketer, then chances are good that you have a huge range of niches that you are involved with. And chances are that your knowledge on the niche is not that great because you are spread so thin.
I understand the premise behind this. You think that if you throw enough shit against a wall, something will stick. And it does from time to time. But if you really want to attack a niche..and I mean attack it like no other...spend a month building content, adding to your offer, living in the forums of the niche or all in all building authority in the niche.
It is a bit more time consuming than simply grabbing unrelated PLR and spinning it but in the end what you have are multiple funnels coming from all over and eventually siphoning into your offer. And it will pay off...
The really, really good marketers will spend so much time on a niche that they actually become their own competitor because they will have so much stuff out there.
Just to use a fellow warrior as an example, Steven Wagenheim will spend the time to build a hundred articles on a particular niche. All of his articles will siphon in long tail traffic of the niche to his offer. Will all of them work for him? No, of course not. But just by living there, Steven gives himself more of a chance to grab and saturate the market with his name (or persona) everywhere.
To use myself as an example, I actually do quite well in the pregnancy market. I have been able to dominate the SERPS with web 2.0 traffic and article marketing, social bookmark sites that get ranked and mommy forums. All of these eventually go to my offer or opt-in...
So, what I wind up having when I am attacking a niche is something like this-
50 or so articles on whatever niche I am in
20 or so web 2.0 properties
a couple hosted domains for opt-ins with different offers that are consistently being tested
a domain for redirects
Does it take time? Sure. But does it work? Well, it depends on what you mean by work. Last month, my offer in the pregnancy niche was seen nearly 5,000 times and accounted for a little under $4,000 via clickbank and ebay and another $100 or so bucks via adsense (from parasitic blogs).
Oh, and as a caveat, it has been doing this for 6 months and all the while, I have moved to other niches.
And speaking of offers...
There is some misconception into clickbank products and conversion rates....
Some will convert really well....others will hardly convert. A lot of this depends on the conversation you are entering (keyword intent), the intent of the visitor (are they searching for free information and is the offer enticing enough compared to their interest) among other things.
If someone is not used to paying 30 something dollars for a book in real life, a mid priced ebook would require a lot of convincing for them to see the value in it.
If you use a redirect straight to the sales page, then you can expect lower conversions. It is just part of the business. How low? I have seen some as low as .25%. That is a lot of eyes reading your stuff and thinking "uh....maybe I should keep looking..."
If you use a capture page, you will generally get better conversions because you can establish a relationship with the person via email BUT it will take more time away from you from doing other things....
If you go this route, you will need to spend time building an opt-in page with a great offer and may have to offer a bribe for them to subscribe. Typically, the better the bribe the better the conversion rate BUT....
...if you give away a shoddy piece of PLR garbage, understand that you are likely doing the work for nothing. Giving away trash, even if it is free, won't reinforce a relationship between yourself and your customer.
...Then there are the autoresponder messages. There is an art form to this. The key is to give away enough to inform them and make them feel like the time it took to read your message was worth it but not enough to not get them to click on your offer....
This will all take time BUT if you are attacking one market at a time, the results will be worth far more than simply throwing up a mess of pages on different niches in the hopes that someone will randomly buy.
So, what is the difference? I have seen conversion rates as high as 35% solely from my lists. The idea is that if you can establish credibility AND if you can expose them to the same offer multiple times AND if they are sincerely interested, then your chances of grabbing them is a lot higher than a random one time visit that came from a redirect in your bio box in EZA.
Of course, this is all moot if you aren't keeping meticulous records on what is working and what isn't. In some cases, a redirect will outpace an opt-in. You can't know unless you can test and track.
Other times, you may stand to make more by simply monetizing a page with adsense....
One last thing
Because you are attacking a single niche and getting to actually know the niche, you can also move from being an affiliate to actually being a product owner. Because you have spent time within the niche, you could possibly create a product that rivals your competitors. Since you have spent time in the niche (and in the forums of the niche), you should have a good bead on what they are looking for. This will put you at the top of the food chain with affiliates pushing your offer for you (you may or may not want to go this route....sometimes PPC is better than paying affiliates...you will only know this if you test)....
I haven't done this with the pregnancy niche..yet...(I typically focus on alternative remedies and have written stuff for that niche though)
Anyway, that is what works for me. I think that most marketers can't focus for longer than 5 seconds on a niche before moving on and because of this, wind up spinning their wheels.
Internet Marketing doesn't have to be that Hard, folks....you get what you give.
If you give a bunch of spun articles and crap, then chances are you aren't going to get much. You will just be creating more wasted time for yourself....