I've been seeing a lot of the posts and conversations lately, and decided to make this post almost as a refresher, mainly for beginners. (FYI- To me, a beginner is someone who isn't making money online, or not very much. Sometimes I get this "I've been online for 3 years!", but at the end of the day, if you're not doing what you're here to do-- make money-- then you're still a "beginner".)
With all these launches going on and buzz surrounding new things every day, it's SO easy to get lost in the confusion, especially for people just looking for something to help them get off that "square one". Maybe that's getting their first sale online, cracking their first $100 day, or even their first $1,000 day.
You get lost in the confusion. That's where I found myself many many times over, and when I did, here's what I made myself do: go back to the basics.
So, what I'm going to tell you here is just that. Forget the new course on whatever and stop reading all the hype emails you get (and I know you get as many as I do). Just stick to the basics, which work WAY better than anyone will say they do.
Follow This Outline Below, and DON'T over-complicate it. "Making money online" is hard only if you look at the whole picture at once rather than taking it step-by-step and breaking down exactly what you need to do. None of these steps by themselves are hard, but they can be if you make them:
1.) Find a market to go into, then pick a niche in that market that people are looking for.
Not sure how this is done? Two ways I'd recommend:
- Go to Clickbank and scan through the various topics, looking for products that are selling well. When you select a category, in some cases Clickbank will give you sub-categories as well. Pick one that interests you. In most cases, a product found here will be a 'niche' product already.
- Go to Amazon.com and look through the magazines. These all represent broad markets (in most cases), so keep digging until you find a sub-niche in that market. You can do this by clicking through the various topics, and it will give you new magazine titles within those narrowed-down topics.
Broad Market= Health & Fitness
Sub Niche of that market= Acne Cures (found through Clickbank by searching: Health & Fitness > Remedies)
Tip: This generally goes pretty fast. I found that one above in a matter of minutes. If you're not sure you have a viable niche, then verify that there's products for it using Clickbank, or Google search "your keyword + affiliate", with the goal of finding affiliate programs for products in your niche. These are going to be the products that you'll promote to your list that you're going to build.
If that checks out, then you have a viable market. No sense in entering a niche that has no products you can promote, as that normally indicates that people aren't necessarily willing to buy information in your niche. Nor does it make sense to enter a niche that no one is searching for, so to find out if they ARE searching for whatever niche you've picked out, go here: https://adwords.google.com/select/Ke...rceLegacy=true, and type in your "sub niche" keyword to search traffic volume for.
For me, it was "acne cures", and I found that there are numerous keywords that all get relatively high amounts of searches each month, both locally and globally. If you use the above link to check the keyword searches, you can also view Adwords PPC competition by dropping down the "View Columns To Display" field. (If you don't have a budget for PPC, then don't worry about this!)
At this point, I'm going to stress that you don't over-complicate things. And don't be discouraged by a lot of competition, especially in the search engines. You're not going to be ranking websites organically or anything, which is a whole other beast that is counter-productive to what I'm trying to show you here (how to get started fast), and if you're going to try, there's many, many more rigorous steps involved.
With this, just make sure there are products floating around in the niche you've picked out, and that people are searching for information in your niche. Once you get in front of a computer and actually do this, you'll be surprised at how fast it can go.
Total Time: 1 hour
Total Cost: $0
2.) Find a problem people in that niche are having.
Once you have the niche narrowed down, do a search for "your niche + forum" in Google. Find the top forums from that niche/industry and check them out. See what people are talking about or what they're having issues with. This is basic market research, and goes remarkably quickly. You're just scanning for a problem; any problem. In fact, while in the forums, you can usually find hot topics just by looking at the threads with the most views/responses on it. I've gotten so many ideas and money magnets from doing that.
Once again, don't over-complicate this or make it more difficult than it is. Just find a damn problem people seem to be having.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Total Cost: $0
3.) Google Search that problem to find the answer.
Literally, go to Google and type in the problem people are having. In the above scenario, I went to Google and searched for: "how to get rid of acne", and found this site: How to Get Rid of Acne - howtogetridofstuff.com
Done. You're now an expert on acne cures, or near enough. People are looking for this information too, and you're going to give it to them in step 4.
Total Time: 20 minutes (at the max)
Total Cost: $0
Note (in response to some replies to this part of the thread): The reason this works and is easy is because you're not selling the information you're finding here; you're giving it away. You're essentially doing the research for other people, and people always want the work done for them. When it only takes a name and email to get it handed to them, most of them will give you that.
4.) Set up a squeeze page to give your newly acquired information away.
Yes, you'll need an autoresponder. You can try Aweber for 1 month for only $1, which is all you need. If you don't have any squeeze page templates, Google search "free squeeze page templates." After doing that, I found these ones, which seem to be decent enough for me: Winning List Building Templates from Tellman and Shawn
(Side note: Why are these templates decent enough for me? Because they're from Tellman Knudson and he not only uses them himself, but he also makes a ****load more money than I do. Whether these are awesome templates or not, by using these for the time being and getting something out there, I'm going to outpace everyone that does nothing or that keeps looking for a 'better' template. Don't reinvent the wheel.)
Then, if you don't have a program to edit HTML templates, download NVU, a free HTML editor, from NVU.
(You'll notice that when you're in doubt or need help, I'm recommending you Google search your problem. Not only will you probably find your answer, but you'll learn how to solve problems by yourself instead of ranting on forums about how "it's not working for you".)
With the above templates from Tellman, he already includes the sales copy that he's personally tweaked and gotten to convert. All you do is change a few things here and there, customize it to your niche/information, and you're done.
Don't make this take all day. Perfectionists are broke for a reason, and making something grammatically correct and "just right" won't drive hungry flocks of visitors to your page. Keep in mind that although you're going to feel productive after this, absolutely nothing you've done thus far will put money in your pocket. So don't take all day, there's profits to be made yet.
Add 7-10 follow up messages into your autoresponder, including one that goes out right when they opt in that gives them a link to either download your information, or that takes them to a "Thank You" page where they download your information (if you don't have one of these pages, it's conveniently right underneath the Squeeze Page Templates from the link I included above (from Tellman Kundson)).
Then, I'd personally pre-set one message to go out the following 2 days in a row after they opt in. You want to establish an initial contact with your list and reinforce that connection over the following 2-3 days to get your foot in the door.
As for the remaining 6-9 messages, set the emails to go out every other day, and in each email include your affiliate link (which you should probably have a redirect for, or link cloaking) to that affiliate product we found earlier. This is the first way you can monetize your list. Don't worry about the other ways until you have a list with which to monetize.
Total Time: 2.5 hours
Total Cost: $1*
*If you don't have a domain and hosting, you can use Weebly for the website for now. It's free, and you can either choose a template for the website, or add in your own HTML. In that case, you'd copy all the HTML from your squeeze page (in NVU, just click the "Source" tab at the bottom left of the window), and copy all the lines of code. Then in Weebly, paste that in the HTML editing field. If you're unsure how to do this, just submit a support ticket there and they'll tell you how to do it. It's not hard, just slightly technical.
If you want a website of your own, I'd recommend a .info domain since they're only $.99 now at GoDaddy, and Hostgator has hosting packages that start at $4.99/month (to get coupons for this, Google search "Hostgator Coupon Codes". Easy, eh?). So, if you go this route:
Total Cost: $6.98 ($1 + $.99 + $4.99)
5.) Drive traffic to your site. (Or, put your URL in front of people from your niche.)
This is where everything normally falls to ****. People get so hung up on "traffic generation" that instead of actually doing the work that will drive visitors to their site, they squawk about how it's not working. It also doesn't help that most of the 'gurus' make traffic into some huge, multi-faceted ordeal that only their latest product can alleviate.
But, the underlying thing here is that getting people to your site is where the dirty work comes in. You have to put in time for this, which surprisingly most people won't or don't want to do. They want to make money, but won't spend the required time to do it. Instead they search for the magic button, which as the people that have put in the necessary time already know, doesn't exist.
What I'd like to say is this: forget the term "traffic generation". When I did, I stopped having issues with it. Instead, think of it as putting your URL in front of people from or looking for information on your niche. Sounds easy enough, right?
So, grab a beer (or pepsi, if you're under age) and get to cracking. Here's some ways to do this:
- Google search "your industry + forum" to find related forums in your niche. Forums are potential jackpots, since they can be full of like-minded people that want what you have. Copy the headline from your squeeze page and paste it into the signature you're normally given on the forum (found in your Profile, normally), and link that back to your squeeze page.
Then go into the forum threads and post relevant comments, or just respond and engage people. This isn't tough, and I shouldn't have to tell you to not be one of those spammy douches people all hate in forums.
- Go to EzineArticles.com and search for your industry. For this example, I'd search for "acne cures." See what people are writing about, and just rewrite their articles. Hey, information isn't exclusive and you won't get brownie points for playing fair.
(Note: Notice I didn't say to "copy" the content. I don't condone that, nor should you. This has proven to be a point of contention for some readers of this thread, so if you have a problem with this, here's a solution: either pick a familiar topic you can add value to, or spend a day just reading about your chosen topic. If it's "acne cures", like in this example, spend a day reading about various cures online and/or visit your local bookstore and read some books on it over a cup of coffee or something (perhaps even an iced blueberry coffee from Dunkin Donuts.. Yes, you can enjoy this step). Take notes and use those notes to create articles. But even still, guess what? You're just re-writing other people's content anyway, so we've more or less come full circle here. At the end of the day, just make sure you're creating articles; it's purely for traffic regardless.)
Shortly thereafter, whichever route you go, download Brad Callen's free Article Submitter software (not sure where it is? Google it.) and submit your article to every site you possibly can. Then do this 2-3 more times each day. (What, you thought it would only take a few minutes? Not if you want to make money it won't.) Also, see the "Advanced Breakdown" portion below for more on this..
- If you have a budget to use toward marketing, I'd go to Yahoo and sign up for their Sponsored Search program. It's their version of Google Adwords, only I find I get cheaper clicks from their sponsored searches. I'm not claiming to be a PPC expert, but I've tested and spent a lot of money trying various things, and from my own experience, I get cheaper clicks on Yahoo's Search Marketing.
Total Time: As much as you have
Total Cost: Between $1 and $6.98
Here's an Advanced Breakdown of what you can do for more traffic (this is a goldmine for traffic generation):
- Write an article. Or 3, or however many you want.
- Submit that article/those articles to the top Article Directories, for which you can use Brad Callen's free Article Submitter Software. (Hasn't let me down yet.. You just load your article content in there then go down a list submitting them to the various directories in the software.)
- Download Techsmith's Jing, a free screen capture software.
- Turn your articles into videos using Google Presentation (a free Google Document program, similar to Microsoft's Powerpoint), and capture the video + audio using Jing. You'll need a microphone for this, which can run as little as $10.
- Sign up for a free Tubemogul account and submit your Jing-created video to the various video-sharing websites in TubeMogul. You can do that, or just sign up for the $1 trial at Traffic Guyser and get the video, article, social bookmarking, and postcast submissions all automated and syndicated.
Total Cost: Between $1 and $7.98 (providing you have a microphone)
(Notice that this series of steps can be completely free, excepting the microphone and/or $1 trial to Traffic Guyser.)
If you do this Advanced Traffic method, it's going to be time intensive. I've whittled it down to about 1.5 hours, all said and done, but setting up the software and registering to the various sites they store for you (which you only have to do once) will take a solid chunk of time, maybe a couple days. But after you do that, your daily input for driving traffic to your site is very minimal.
...And that's all I got!
Don't over-complicate any of this. You're building a list around information people want, and giving it to them by using a squeeze page and traffic. Easy enough, but it can get VERY complicated when you start adding things to it. So don't add anything to it.
Both myself and some highly successful friends have done this repeatedly in more than a handful of niches, and can honestly say that the only way it won't work (at least to get you that first sale or more) is if you do nothing or don't want to work for it. In which case IM isn't for you anyway.
Hopefully this helps some people, and as I said before, it's meant to be a break from the confusion, geared towards helping people get out of the rut or get off that "square one" they tend to get stuck on.
PM me if you need help with anything
Good times, all.. Thanks for reading!