it's more suited to being a blog post than a discussion topic
My name is Scott Rankin and I have nothing to sell you today. In fact, I've never sold anything to the internet marketing crowd. I'm just a guy whose made a comfortable living with e-commerce and SEO and I'd like to share how I did it.
Why would I share my "secrets"? One, because they aren't really secrets. Two, because I want to give back to this forum. Three, because I cannot sleep and feel like it. So without further waiting, let's get started.
Traffic & Conversion
If you haven't figured it out yet, internet marketing comes down to get traffic and conversion mastered. That basically means you send traffic to a website that converts people into buying a product or service.
Many people dabble around with so many different ventures and that's not the idea. The idea is to get a product or service based website up and begin driving traffic to it, and eventually scaling everything up.
So now that you understand it's all about sending traffic to a website that converts, let's go into more detail.
There are many ways to drive traffic and you can learn all about them. My advice to you is to pick one and master it. I spent a lot of time learning a lot of different methods and got nowhere. I fell in love with SEO (more on that later).
Here are some popular methods: SEO, PPC, Affiliates/JVs, Social Media
You can put a line between them in terms of free traffic versus paid traffic. Don't try to master all of these, pick one and get to work.
You've got to sell something. This whole thing at the end of the day comes to selling something. The internet is just another media. So don't obsess over it, just realize you've got to sell something. I love physical products (more on that later).
Some of your options: Physical products, Info products, Affiliate products
There's no right or wrong way to go. All of these are huge industries and you only need a small slice to do really well for yourself. Don't over analyze this, pick one.
SEO + E-Commerce: What Worked For Me
So far I've just gone over internet marketing 101, but now I'd like to share what worked for me and how I was able to generate well over 6 figures in a relatively short amount of time.
What I figured out was there were a ton of niche markets with e-commerce type physical products that weren't competitive. They had drop-shippers in place so I didn't have to store/ship products and it was all automated.
The best part is some of the websites on the first page of Google had less then 1,000 backlinks. That's not much to compete with. You can register a fresh domain name and rank on page 1 within 6 months if you give it all you got. Awesome so far, let's move on...
How You Can Do The Same: Step by Step
- Step 1: Market Selection
And I'm not going to tell you to pick something your passionate about and build a website around it - no no no, my friend. It's much more then that.
You're going to be looking at keyword search volume, market competitiveness, and drop-ship suppliers.
Ideally I like something that gets at least 10,000 - 30,000 searches per month. Anything more then that and it becomes too competitive and anything less then that and it's not worth the time.
I also want to see a few people on page 1 with less then 1,000 backlinks. It's not always about quantity, but it's a solid indicator that I can compete effectively without spending years trying to rank.
Now since this will be a drop-ship operation, I need to find a supplier. Don't join any bogus directories that charge ridiculous fees. Google will be your best tool. Just keep searching for a reputable company. I've found that in just about any market there's a company for drop-shipping.
- Step 2: Website Development
I think the main reason more people don't have e-commerce websites is because it's not as easy as installing a wordpress blog or writing a quick sales page. It takes more work, but you don't have to do it.
There are folks all over the world who will design and develop an e-commerce website for you for less then $1,000 (sometimes much less).
If you aren't on guru.com, elance.com, etc then you need to be. Although you won't get treated like royalty by a freelancer trying to make a buck, you can get a website developed quickly and cheaply.
Be sure to use escrow, give clear details in depth before jumping in, and be nice to them. Treating people with respect goes along way, specially if they are under-paid workers in foreign countries. And it's good Karma.
- Step 3: SEO
You've picked your market, found your supplier, and even have a beautiful website up & running. Make any sales yet? Didn't think so. You need traffic, and lots of it!
SEO = 80%/Backlinks and 20%/On-Page
Let's start with the on-page stuff. Make sure you have keywords in your title tag, each page has unique content on it, and you have anchor text links for your desired keywords.
When it comes to backlinks there's no secrets. You want to get articles, directories, social bookmarks, profile links, blog posts, and maybe even some paid links (be careful). Having anchor text backlinks from reputable sites consistently for 6 months is the goal.
Some Final Words
People are making things too complicated, having way to much going on at the same time, and spending way to much time learning instead of doing.
What I've told you above is more then enough to get you going. You don't need every last detail. Because you'll make dozens of mistakes and learn along the way like we all do.
This method of building an e-commerce website and get traffic through SEO has provided me with a very comfortable income. And now I can scale it up by building more sites and hiring people to increase it and have my own little empire.
I'm not sure what you want out of internet marketing, or life for that matter. Maybe it's time, money, freedom, cars, houses, etc. I'll leave the joy in deciding that for you. All I'm saying is it's possible, it really is.
I hope people get some value out of this post. I'm happy to answer questions, just post them below instead of messaging me so everyone can benefit from them.