It's nearing the end of the year and many of you are thinking about what you accomplished and what you're going to do for the next year. After all these years in this forum I still see people frustrated because they put in a lot of work (in some cases) and they aren't making a dime.
At the beginning of this year I got inspired and wrote about those who were thinking of quitting:
Now I'm inspired again because I've been reading quit a lot of posts where people want to know if this really is possible. Does it really work? Some want to know how much others are making so they can get that social proof that it's doable.
Hey, I get it. I almost quit this whole IM thing; but I'm glad I took a step back and persevered.
I've made money a lot of different ways, licensing, brokering deals, affiliate marketing, adsense, using PPC to buy clicks and sending those visitors to different kinds of blogs and websites, etc. But guess what has made me the MOST cashola?
Just one caveat, this is my own personal marketing bias and by no means and I'm stating that this is the "best" way or most efficient way of making money online. However........
Nothing has made me and my partners more money than creating and marketing our own products and services.
There are many different schools of thought here, as well as a divergent views in terms of business philosophy. A millionaire affiliate marketer is going to advise you that affiliate marketing is the way to go. "None of that creating your own products hassle," they might say. And in some ways they are right.
I'm not going to get into mindset here, so setting that aside, the reason why many do not make money is because they are not SELLING something. So that means you need to have something to SELL and then you need to OBTAIN enough eyeballs to get the numbers to where you want them.
Eric Louviere made a great post sometime this year where he stated, "if you're making 1,000 a month then you have a 1,000 system. If you're making 10,000 a month you have a 10,000 a month marketing system."
It was so SIMPLE, but it was very insightful.
When I first started out in the late 1990s I was totally CLUELESS on anything web-related. I did it the hard way. I taught myself basic web design. I had to relearn how to write sales copy for the web. I invested tons of money on infoproducts, seminars, and botched up business experiments. I was so clueless that I really believed that if I built it, they WOULD come.
No one came.
They didn't even knock on the freaking door.
So after years and years of niche diving, keyword plucking, playing pay-per-click musical chairs, I finally figured it out:
1. I asked my circle of friends AND strangers what their passions and hobbies are. Believe it or not, my 101 other ways of find new niches have never come close to keeping it that simple.
2. I followed where the money was. I would use Wordtracker or Google's keyword tool (almost ANY keyword tool would do) and investigate no less than ten variations of the keywords in that niche. If I saw people / companies buying ads in those niches, I would jot it down as a niche to test.
3. I'd pick about 8 to 12 niches and narrow them down to 3 semi-finalists.
4. I would then go to the top competitor's in that niche and join all their newsletters. I would buy their products and take notes on their price points, up sells, how many responder messages they had, etc.
5. Ultimately I would have a free report or audio to give away for free because obtaining their e-mail address was the single most important thing I was focusing on. Why? Because now I could stay in touch with them. RSS feeds follows the same logic. Get them to subscribe to your feed. Don't just put the button there, POINT them to it. Give an incentive.....
6. I would find and market affiliate products first to see if I would break even. If I could break even then I KNOW without a doubt my OWN product would make a profit (it's minus the affiliate commission).
7. Once I had a winner I would IMMEDIATELY begin creating more products, reports, audios to cross and upsell them. This is how the multi-millionaire marketers are doing it and they don't have to call you at home to try and sell you a 10k coaching course. One of the Warriors here makes 500k a year from one product (keep in mind he started out small and began buying advertising and he slowly ramped it up).
8. Getting the word out. Buy advertising and test it until it works or you have to move on. On a tight budget? Keep on reading.
9. Press releases still work, you should release one at LEAST once a month. Make sure you learn how to do it right first.
Fellow Warrioress Dana Wilhoit is pure genius when it comes to press releases:
By the way, I don't know Dana personally but her website taught me a thing or two about publicity. And her service is top notch.
10. Radio. An untapped goldmine. If you're not afraid of some hard work and rolling up your sleeves, Alex Carroll is the man at Free advertising on radio talk shows for publicity!
11. Article / Content Marketing. Use the search feature in this forum or even Google and you will find the likes of Tim Gorman, Dean Shainin, Steven Wagenheim, Allen Graves, and many, many others who can teach you the basics to get you started.
I've got nothing against BUM marketing because it works, but article marketing has changed quit a bit over the past few years so I have not found it as effective as it once was. If you combine article marketing with press releases, video marketing, etc. you'll be amazed at how much traffic you'll be getting in 3 to 4 months.
12. Here's another secret: Don't stop creating quality products. Marlon Sanders taught me that when I first got started. I didn't believe him at first until I found myself banging my head against my coffee machine, realizing that one or two products in a competitive niche wasn't cutting the mustard. Now keep in mind this could be a monthly membership site. Personally, I don't create a membership site until I've got a proven winner, but hey that's just me.
Kevin Riley and Eric Louviere are two great Warrior examples of this.
13. Don't be afraid to scale up. Now, what does THAT mean exactly? Does it mean putting on a few pounds? Heck no. It means that you should reinvest any of the money you make. It's one of the fastest ways to grow your business; I see a lot of newcomers who start spending their new found cash on things when it should be used to buy more content, more advertising, etc.
We've built quite a company on this outline I've just shared with you. So I know it works. My team of mentors passed it onto me and now I'm passing it onto you. It's not easy, but it is simple.
And by no means is this is the only one we use. There are so many different ways to do this. Some of you are doing it with autoblogs, others with adsense, and offline marketing is really big right now. But this is the main outline we use for any niche that we market infoproducts too. The 20/80 rule definitely applies here.
I hope you have one or two takeaways from this. Don't quit and/or step back, take a breath and getting prepared to work harder than you ever have before (and smarter too!).
Happy Holidays to all of you.
P.S. For those of you that aren't seeing results yet, how long have you been at this?