Please Critique My Plan for 2009 in Affiliate Marketing

49 replies
Hello Warriors:

I am looking for your expertise as my wife and I are doing our business plan for 2009.

Please critique our plan.

We will be building niche sites to do some affiliate products also.

We will systematically use this method and sequence:

1.) Digital Product or Physical Product to Promote that converts well...test briefly with PPC if necessary.
2.) PLR in niche
3.) Wordpress Blog
4.) Automate Content
5.) Article Marketing
6.) Social Bookmarking
7.) Review Site of Other Products
8.) Microblogging (Twitter)
9.) List Building
10.) Market By E-Mail
11.) Niche membership site
12.) New product to sell
13.) Sell off niche with a track record.

We are open to any suggestions in this progression in affiliate marketing.

We are also interested in anything you have to say about listbuiding.

If this works the logical progression would be to come to IMarketing

1.) Create blueprint product for newbies
2.) Create a membership site
3.) Sell the membership site.

We realize that we may be all wet on this, so we are open to your thoughts and expertise.

Obviously attracting people when you do not have a reputation is the problem as well as building the list in each niche.

Our system for blogginig is the Firepow system.

We have begun this process in quilting:
how-to-quilt.org

and it learning to play the guitar:
http://learnmyguitar.com
http://reviews.learnmyguitar.com
http://auctions.learnmyguitar.com

So far though to date we do not have a list in either niche. We will begin to execute this plan in each niche beggining Jan. 1.

Charles
#2009 #affiliate #critique #marketing #plan
  • Profile picture of the author KateD
    Your plan looks good. For me, I like to list down each individual task, and then check them off as I go.

    It's good that you are really thinking this through. Planning is a good thing (although so few people do it).

    KateD
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
      Charles, It looks like you have a very extensive list there.

      The only thing that I would caution you about is to take it step by step and make sure that one task is complete before moving onto the next one. Unless of course you will be doing plenty of outsourcing.

      Also, you can kill 2 birds with one stone in many cases by finding products to promote that also allow you to build a list at the same time such as the quilting and the learn to play guitar.

      So, your funnel might look like this...

      1. Get good PLR report to offer as a giveaway
      2. Find viable products to promote as an affiliate
      3. Set up website with opt-in form
      4. Set up website that is fully monetized
      5. Social bookmark
      6. Set up mini-network around each niche
      7. PPC or AM to drive traffic
      8. Evaluate progress
      9. Make necessary changes
      10. Ramp UP

      Once you get these things in place and running smoothly you can then move on to other things in the same niches if they have proven to be profitable. Some of the things that you might consider at that point are....

      1. Long term membership sites - memberships that consistently have new content added.
      2. Fixed term membership sites - membership sites that run for a specified amount of time which allows you to never have to come up with new content
      3. Possible site flipping

      Also, one other thing that you might consider if your niches are profitable is to actually have your own product created in one or both niches that you are involved in. Especially if you know that they have proven to be profitable on more than one front.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    Okay, here is my take on this whole thing.

    I wrote a book, a long time ago, called "The Complete Internet Advertising
    Guide." It went over every single form of promotion online that exists.

    But...I myself NEVER use all those methods for a particular niche, product
    or whatever.

    Why?

    Because of 2 main reasons.

    1. Not all the methods may be cost or time efficient for that particular
    niche or product. For example, using safelist promotion is worthless for the
    dating niche. The target market is all wrong. Conversely, PPC for the make
    money niche, unless your whole funnel can justify the cost on some of
    the higher priced keywords, isn't worth it...in my opinion.

    2. Ease of coordination and tracking. The more you do, the more you have
    to keep track of. And I'm not just talking about your clicks. I'm talking
    about split testing sales pages, landing pages and so on. You don't want
    to continue doing something that isn't going to perform for you. With so
    much going on, in your model, you have a lot of work ahead of you to
    track it all.

    It's a great plan on paper. My concern, depending on how comfortable you
    are juggling all those balls, is how well you'll be able to manage all this.

    What is your plan for doing that? How are you going to implement each
    part? Are you going to make sure you have each piece in place before you
    let it fly, or are you going to to put pieces into action a little bit at a time?

    If so, what pieces are you going to put out there first.

    I suggest you make a schedule for each task and work on making sure
    you finish what you have to finish before you move onto the next thing.

    As long as I've been doing this, I'd hate to have to tackle a plan like yours
    all at once. I got dizzy just reading it. It's very ambitious.

    If you feel confident that you can put this together without losing focus
    and without getting confused (not to mention without forgetting critical
    points to each part) then I say go for it. If you don't feel confident, I'd
    say to take it slowly.

    But in theory, it looks good. Without actually analyzing the whole thing in
    detail, I can't say for sure, but it looks good for the most part.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    Wow, Charles. This looks like a lot to start out with. I would narrow your focus to only one method such as niche sites or membership sites. Focus on your targeted plan, then expand. There is a great gal, Amy Bass who has an ongoing WSO on niche building. You may want to contact her for advice on how to get started.

    You don't need to reinvent the wheel. The wheel has already been established for you. All you have to do is follow the plan of someone who's already successful and lay out their outline in your business plan.

    I hope this helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author imaddict
    Originally Posted by Charles Harper View Post

    If this works the logical progression would be to come to IMarketing
    How is that the logical progression?

    The logical progression is to stick to the niche and become a BIG fish in a small pond. Create other related products to sell to the people you've brought in as customers (it's irrelevant that you're the affiliate for the front-end).

    Why would you want to jump to a new market where you'd have to start from scratch again when you have something that's making you money and with the potential to get (much) bigger?
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  • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
    Steven gave some excellent tips

    I think that you've got a great plan here. The most important thing (as I'm learning) is creating a process and sticking to it. Creating tasks like this where you know you're going to do "X" next is incredibly helpful, and can keep you from getting sidetracked.

    With that being said, make sure you leave some room for flexibility, as not all niches are the same. Some will take off right away, some will need more coaxing, etc.

    I think you should go full force with your plan, and you'll likely find things that you can adjust along the way. For now, don't over-analyze because what you're doing WILL work. You know a lot about IM and these steps are proven. All you've got to do is put the blinders on and make it happen.

    You're awesome Charles! I have no doubts that you and your wife will pull this off. Your step-by-step plan of action and motivation will ensure that will happen.



    (PS. I've always wanted to learn how to Quilt!)

    EDIT: I wanted to respond to other thoughts as I took too long typing this to see them I don't think this is "not" focusing, I think this is all about dominating a niche. It might take a while, but these are the steps we see proven time and time again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    It looks like a well laid out plan; you will figure out as you go along, which steps are producing the results you need and which aren't. You do have Google Analytics or something like it, right, to show you where traffic is coming from?

    One question - what does "automate content" mean?
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  • Profile picture of the author Sylvia Meier
    Looks like a very well laid out plan. One thing you may want to try to do is build multiple front ends in the same main niche to start your sales funnel (like various things about guitars, such as choosing a guitar, beginners guide etc.) and then have a back end that can incorporate all the main products so that you have many low cost products feeding into your higher cost products.

    Other than that I would say best of luck and do your best to stay on your goal. Do something to actually visualize it, print out something you would buy with the extra money or anything that will help you to actually reach that goal. And remember to celebrate the small goals too, they keep you going that much better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leanne King
    Hi Charles,

    I think it is great that you have your plan together. I couldn't see it ... and perhaps I missed it but do you have a funnel together ie create product with OTO's, different style of delivery for products etc, upsell/downsell, affiliate products to promote to the niche etc as this could all add to your bottom line.

    All the best for 2009!

    Leanne
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    • Profile picture of the author Kat Bartone
      Hi Charles,

      You've got some really great comments from people far more successful than I. Nonetheless, I'd like to share with you my first impressions.

      Your plan does seem ambitious, and I'd hope that as you begin to take action, the implementation will not be so overwhelming as to cause a loss of focus. I would try to structure the plan into logical, sequential, achievable steps.

      A question about this:

      11.) Niche membership site
      12.) New product to sell
      13.) Sell off niche with a track record.

      I'm not sure I understand how the new product to sell fits into the flow of the rest of this plan.

      Also, in both models you've mentioned, your last step is to sell off. Have you considered just keeping the niche or membership sites as an ongoing income stream? Certainly flipping the sites you've developed is one business model, but both models that you've listed don't necessarily have to lead to selling.

      In whatever model you choose, perhaps one interim goal may be to eventually begin to outsource some of the tasks - so that you're not just trying to build an income, but to build a business. With respect to this process, I've found the following thread particularly inspiring:

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...completed.html

      I can see from that post that Michael is really ramping up his business, and taking it to the next level through outsourcing. Not always possible or appropriate, but good to think about.

      I have a couple of additional thoughts to share with you, probably via PM, and likely in the morning - gotta get to bed for the night.

      Take care, talk soon.

      - Kat
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  • Profile picture of the author Tenzo
    Charles, that's a pretty comprehensive list. Overall, I think it's well done. I agree that it may have to be tweaked on a "per niche" basis, but that is always the case.

    Two things stood out for me right away. You start off with the product-but I assume you have a research phase as well? I also found it interesting that you were planning on selling off the sites. Are you planning on holding any for recurring income?

    Overall I think it's a solid plan. It is aggresive, but once you're a few niches in you should have things fairly systematic. Thanks for sharing your outline.

    Warm regards,
    Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
    Hi Charles

    My only comment is this...

    You've got a big list of "stuff" there. Most of it is good "stuff". But it's NOT a business plan. It's just a list of "stuff".

    What is your business model? Can you draw it on a napkin? What's the big picture? How do you get customers into your funnel and where do they progress from there?

    Don't be fooled into thinking that by doing a lot of "stuff" you'll magically make things happen. There are plenty of people doing heaps of "stuff" and they're just treading water. It's a VERY common problem.

    Chunk up and look at the big picture.

    Hope that helps
    Kyle
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
    Originally Posted by Charles Harper View Post

    Hello Warriors:

    I am looking for your expertise as my wife and I are doing our business plan for 2009.

    Please critique our plan.

    We will be building niche sites to do some affiliate products also.

    We will systematically use this method and sequence:

    1.) Digital Product or Physical Product to Promote that converts well...test briefly with PPC if necessary.
    2.) PLR in niche
    3.) Wordpress Blog
    4.) Automate Content
    5.) Article Marketing
    6.) Social Bookmarking
    7.) Review Site of Other Products
    8.) Microblogging (Twitter)
    9.) List Building
    10.) Market By E-Mail
    11.) Niche membership site
    12.) New product to sell
    13.) Sell off niche with a track record.

    We are open to any suggestions in this progression in affiliate marketing.

    We are also interested in anything you have to say about listbuiding.

    If this works the logical progression would be to come to IMarketing

    1.) Create blueprint product for newbies
    2.) Create a membership site
    3.) Sell the membership site.

    We realize that we may be all wet on this, so we are open to your thoughts and expertise.

    Obviously attracting people when you do not have a reputation is the problem as well as building the list in each niche.

    Our system for blogginig is the Firepow system.

    We have begun this process in quilting:
    how-to-quilt.org

    and it learning to play the guitar:
    Learn To Play The Guitar
    Consumer Product Reports / Guitar Lessons
    Learn My Guitar Auctions

    So far though to date we do not have a list in either niche. We will begin to execute this plan in each niche beggining Jan. 1.

    Charles
    Charles, unless you're going to outsource some of this stuff, it sounds like you're trying to do a little bit of everything. What is your main goal? To build a list? A membership site? A popular blog? To flip sites?

    This is what I would do. Others may disagree.

    Decide on one main goal and create your plan around that. Focus on traffic and conversions. Become proficient at one traffic generation technique at a time. Test and tweak one offer at a time until it works well.

    In most niches, there are hot button topics which everyone wants to know about. Find out what they are and put together a squeeze page with an irresitible free incentive to get people to subscribe. Often you can review the headlines and bullet point from the top selling sales pages and give away a sample of what they're selling for free.

    Redirect visitors to an offer after they subscribe to offset your time and cost of generating traffic. Make sure that they're anticipating more information after they click submit. This can often be as easy as making the submit button "Submit and Continue" or creating a redirect page that says "your information is being sent, click here to continue." You don't want them to think that you just want them to buy something and you're not going to send the information they signed up for.

    From there, you can do all of that other stuff to drive traffic to your squeeze page - PPC, blogging, link building/SEO, article marketing, etc. Again, try to become proficient at one at a time. Be a specialist and not a generalist who knows a little bit here and there. Your main goal should be to build your list.

    Once you have a list, keep giving them what you know they're interested in. If you're doing this, people will generally not opt-out and you'll have many opportunities to promote products to them based on their interests.

    From there you can do many things:

    - Create and launch your own products
    - JV with other marketers once you've promoted their products
    - Create a forum and make it popular by featuring hot button forum topics in your emails
    - Start a membership site
    - Sell the site and the list
    - Offer coaching or consulting
    - Offer paid webinars or training sessions

    Once you have a list, you have free traffic for anything you want to do.

    Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Schramko
    Hi Charles,

    After two years I have learnt one thing is vitally important.

    Spend a lot more time on your research.

    Make sure you have a very clear and strong filter that helps you screen the winners.

    I learnt this from recruitment where getting the wrong staff could cost you a fortune. The best time to sack an employee is before you hire them.

    Same with this business.

    You need to select the top things to invest your effort into.

    One great product / market can make more with just one or two of your steps than doing all the steps for a mediocre product / market.

    So what do I look for?

    - Buyers
    - Recurring income
    - Volume
    - Margin
    - Scalability
    - Vertical Integration
    - Leverage opportunities
    - Evergreen markets
    - Passive systems
    - List building potential
    - Scope to create my own products
    - Ease of traffic


    That is my research crtiteria.

    Best of luck!

    Regards

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author Debbie Songster
    Charles
    The first thing I'm going to tell you is make sure you have both Internet Explorer and Fire Fox on your computer and make sure you test your sites using BOTH browsers.
    I had a look at your quilting site - quite cute! - and the links don't work in Fire Fox.
    It all works fine in IE but in FF the links in your adsense, categories, recent posts, pages and the Amazon listings in the middle line - all don't work.
    The links under "personal favorites" with Amazon work but your adsense ads don't.

    As for your plan
    Jeremy has given some good advice.

    I see your model is affiliate marketing with a possible progression into creating your own product?

    I'd like to see you fine tune the list you created.

    Creating an online business involves 4 major stages
    1. research - finding a market / product - whats selling - create your keyword list in this stage as well
    2. Creation - putting together the infrastructure - website, affiliate program, payment processors, etc
    3. Monetization - how will it make money
    4. Promotion - what will you do to get buyers to this niche

    Take these 4 and develop a plan under each. Then post it again and lets see what you have.
    Then you will have a plan
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  • Profile picture of the author Amy Bass
    My question is, after going through all of that... why would you want to flip it and start again from scratch?!

    Don't sell the golden goose. You want to keep getting those golden eggs each month. If you find a niche that progresses very well from blog to product to membership site you should hold on to it and maintain the income.
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  • Profile picture of the author AgencyScripts
    You can either make a bunch of small sites with a simple, but effective
    funnel (sales process) that grow on their own with SEO, and other
    terms.

    OR

    You can focus on one BIG site in ONE niche, and work on it all the time
    and grow that.

    but hey? Who I am to say what you want to do. Just try a few things,
    and see what has produced the most results and what was the most
    enjoyable thing for you to do, and keep doing that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Devan Koshal
    Looks good, just make sure you dont jump around between projects and your fine.

    Devan
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  • Profile picture of the author MaryT
    Step1 = TRACKING every action taken on your website

    Mary
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina M. Rideout
      Hey Charles,

      Great plan, as I always think an outline for goals is always better than not having a plan at all.

      I am not going to repeat what others have said as they all have some good points.

      I would assume you chose your niches based on your knowledge base or a subject you are passionate about as do most people.

      1.) Digital Product or Physical Product to Promote that converts well...test briefly with PPC if necessary. --- An Ebook or Report perhaps

      2.) PLR in niche --- PLR -- Are you considering offering them for sale? I would advise you to keep your content for yourself until you become more established.

      3.) Wordpress Blog -- Always a good idea. Google loves WP,

      4.) Automate Content -- I know what you mean -- Smile

      5.) Article Marketing -- Oh ya

      6.) Social Bookmarking -- Oh ya

      7.) Review Site of Other Products -- For sure

      8.) Microblogging (Twitter) -- Always a good plan

      9.) List Building - Natural part of product offerings

      10.) Market By E-Mail -- Again a natural part of the plan

      11.) Niche membership site-- Alot of work, would wait until your sites are established, and you build upon your base, as you will need lots of content to keep your members happy.

      12.) New product to sell -- New Product Development - Keep the ideas rolling

      13.) Sell off niche with a track record.- Nah, once you have put all the work into these two niches, I bet you will want to keep them.

      Time Management --- It is very important that you and your wife keep a set schedule. I don't know if you both work a real job, or if you are working full time online, but each and everyday you will need to stick a daily work plan, as though you are working a regular offline job.

      Believe in your project and yourself. Let your sites grow slowly and naturally.

      Keep a diary --- Then you can share your experise with others -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. "Smile"

      Go get umm!!

      Tina
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Kenny
    This is a great plan but you must use caution.

    Make sure you collect test results and document everything so you can fiine tune your Blueprint.

    My advise would be to take baby steps and get proficient in each area as not all steps will be as lucrative between niches.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jack Duncan
      Charles,
      First, I want to really congratulate you for doing some planning and getting started!

      The easiest way to climb a mountain is to consistently put one foot in front of the other.

      You're well on your way.

      Here's my 2 cents (and that + $1.99 still may not buy you a Starbuck's cappuchino)

      1. Be the right JACK.

      The common saying is:

      "Jack of all trades, master of none."

      but some have said the original plan was for the phrase to be:

      "Jack of all trades, master of one."


      You can make a good living if you are practicing the second version...but the first one is NOT desirable.

      The Lithuanians say it best in their version:

      "For the man who has 9 trades, his 10th is starvation."


      Take your list of tasks and find out which one you will be the MASTER of. Then determine how to monetize THAT task.


      2. Always remember the BIG 80/20

      You've got some really good steps in your task list. You've obviously been working hard at learning the different skills!

      I learned Pareto's Principle the hard way...80% of what you do will only translate to 20% of your profits...but 20% of what you do will make up for 80% of all your profits.

      I'll explain.

      I own a retail store. We design, manufacture, produce, and sell our own physical products online.

      When that business was started, I had the "grand idea" that if your web presence was "pretty enough", people would just automatically fork over cash to you. (DUMB>>>DUMB>>>DUMB)

      So, I spent hundreds of hours working on web design, layout, and all things "pretty".

      The business nearly failed...and what I learned, was that "design" was firmly in the 80% pile...in other words, that thing I was spending nearly all of my time on was actually only resulting in a VERY SMALL percentage of my sales. (I learned this by accident, when our HTML coding was broken and the design was completely messed up...and SALES STILL CAME IN!)

      Now...for every market, different things make up that 80%.

      Let's take the quilting market.

      You may find that creating a membership site for quilters turns out to be the best thing you ever did...It's firmly in the 20% pile.

      But later, you may discover it to be a total BOMB in the guitar market...firmly in the 80% pile!

      No two markets are the same...because they are made up of people (of which no two are the same!)

      In a nutshell:
      What looks good from the plane window, looks different from the street corner.

      The only way to KNOW for sure if something is in the 80% pile or the 20% pile is to TRACK everything down to the $ per hour.

      So, your list may end up looking like this:

      1.) Digital Product ($398 per hour) or Physical Product ($27 per hour) to Promote that converts well...test briefly with PPC if necessary. ($2 per hour)
      ...

      You simply have to be able to track your sales to each task and divide by the time it takes to perform that task.

      which leads me to #3...

      3. Know WHEN to quit.

      Not IF but WHEN.

      Have the proper mindset going in that SOME of the things you have outlined above are going to FAIL. (That's perfectly FINE and Normal!)

      For instance, you may find that:

      8.) Microblogging

      Is a total waste of your time.

      DROP IT.

      Don't be so stuck to your SYSTEM that you let the squeaky wheel lose you the race.

      It can be tough to admit that something you have worked 100 hours developing is a total failure...but there is no glory in letting that take down all the other things that have worked so well...simply because you have a checklist that you need to adhere to.

      Realize at this point, everything is just ink on paper and give yourself permission to CHANGE, REMOVE, or DISCARD anything, at any time.

      Remember:
      The business plan was made to benefit Charles, not Charles was made to benefit the business plan.

      ---

      You're going to do great!

      Just keep up the good work, take lots of notes, and keep focused on that bottom line.

      We'll be cheering for you at the finish line,
      Jack
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  • Profile picture of the author borilbogoev
    Nice blueprint! I like it. Now you need the plan with a list of doable tasks and deadlines.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Hendry Lee
    The first time I see your list, I'm skeptical. If you don't have a team, that is too much to handle by yourself. That depends on what you mean by "WordPress Blog", or "Twitter" though.

    If you plan to create an authority blog, and you are to use social media (SU, Digg, etc) to get traffic, you need to write very good content. Each piece may take 2-6 hours to write.

    I think it is Dereh Gehl who said that most successful online business owners start with one or two marketing tactics, but they make sure they do them extremely well. (I paraphrase here)

    Carried out well, email marketing is going to make you a fortune. Blogging allows you to create a community around your niche. Once you are an authority, it is easier to monetize.

    Perhaps you should be more specific and plan how many of them actually fit into your schedule.

    Good luck! Seems like you're already on the right track by knowing so many tactics and strategies.
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    Hi Charles,

    I think I have a little bit different idea of what you are doing here. I personally think that it's not too much...at least not the first list (1-13).

    Take that second list and throw it away. By the time you get to that point, you may have a completely new idea as far as what direction to go.

    So, for the first list above, I would get started right away establishing yourself on forums and blogs throughout those two niches. Then start getting your content together. You are going to have to have a great deal of content to pull this off with the maximum results.

    Here's where I don't think it's too much. And it totally relies on the fact that you and your wife are soulmates and can work seamlessly together!

    Take your list of things to do and sit down with your wife. You should each decide which of the items you are going to handle. Once you split the list up, you only have 6 or 7 things to really become a master at. Many of the things in your list I get the feeling that you are already approaching expert status in.

    As time goes by, you and your wife will cross-train each other simply by carrying on conversations in your off-time.

    I honestly think you and your wife could pull this off with flying colors as long as you both communicate! But like I said, don't think past your first list (1-13) above until you have two successful niche sites going.

    I would not sell them, rather start anew with two new niches until you have 6 niche websites that are running smoothly and bringing in a respectable income. That will probably be about the maximum you and your wife can handle while providing good customer service and maintaining any kind of membership sites. Then, if you want to sell them, cycle through and sell two of them while you create two new ones. Then keep the gems and lose the PIAs.

    If someone that already has a successful niche website looks at that list, I am sure that you would agree it is not entirely impossible for someone to complete...and Charles has his better half to step up and cover half the battle.

    Good luck, Charles. I have a lot of respect for you and if you need anything re: article marketing, just send me an email!

    Allen Graves

    p.s. To answer your other question, yes...you and your wife may use the same author account since you are working within the same business.
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    • Profile picture of the author naruq
      Charles in addition to what you listed, I would market offine in magazines or trade journals that match your niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Hey Charles,

    You have some great advice here. This is the one thing that has brought me in a nice monthly recurring income.

    KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid :p

    Enough said.

    Ken
    The Old Geezer
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    Thanks to everyone for responding. I will probably spend the day getting ready to re-orient this into a task oriented plan.

    One thing that I probably should have mentioned is that I expect to get one thing down and move to the next. I do not intend to do them all simultaneously.

    This has been the most valuable thread for me ever, and I would like to again sincerely thank you all for posting.

    Charles Harper
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Hey, Charles!

      I think you have a very comprehensive list and have gotten some very good ideas from this thread.

      I start small and then branch out instead of doing everything at once. I am not saying that is the best way, but it helps me stay focused.

      Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    I pretty much agree with the comments that your list is
    too long and you probably won't be able to implement it
    as it's not managable. Another point, and I don't wish to
    be negative, but if you plan on selling the domain/website
    then the name must have value. How-To-Quilt.org just
    doesn't make the cut because it's hyphenated which is
    perfectly fine if you intend to keep the thing but not if
    you're going to attempt to sell it. Please keep this in
    mind for your future niches.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Monetize View Post

      Another point, and I don't wish to be negative, but if you plan on selling the domain/website then the name must have value. How-To-Quilt.org just doesn't make the cut because it's hyphenated which is perfectly fine if you intend to keep the thing but not if you're going to attempt to sell it. Please keep this in mind for your future niches.
      So, a website with a list and a successful track record of making $500...$1,000....$2,000 a month has no value if there are hyphens in the domain, lol? Really?

      Ummm, yeah, might want to re-think on that one a bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian Seth
    Good luck for Your plan. i think that once You go through some of the points in Your plan Your plan will change. So my advice to You is to keep an open mind and allow the plan to change if You feel it would be benefitial! Best of luck!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    I don't see why everyone is saying that this is too much. It's very feasible for two people to make this happen if they are truly ready and motivated to make it happen...especially if the content is outsourced. I say go for it!

    Am I the only one that believes this? :confused:
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by Allen Graves View Post

      I don't see why everyone is saying that this is too much. It's very feasible for two people to make this happen if they are truly ready and motivated to make it happen...especially if the content is outsourced. I say go for it!

      Am I the only one that believes this? :confused:
      Not at all!

      I think he and his wife can do this and more - I was just giving my input.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dean Shainin
        Hi Charles,

        My comment is not as much about your plan as it will be about the content you put on your sites. Your plan sounds workable to me and much depends upon the time YOU and YOUR partners have to put into it.

        I'm working on improving my guitar skills and in fact was looking for videos and tabs on what's called 'pentatonic scales". And I even signed up to about 3 e-course while doing so. One thing I noticed is that you might want to be careful with the type of YouTube videos you put on your site for this type of niche. When I checked out one of your sites I was confused as to what it was about. I'm thinking it was because of the very first video.

        Another thing I would do is to emulate a couple guitar teaching sites that are doing things the right way. Giving free lessons with tabs and when someone wants more they need to sign up which builds your lists.

        Here is an example of one site that does this very well...
        Tasty Riffs
        http://tastyriffs.com/metpent.html

        Another vital aspect I've noticed is that I can instantly tell if someone will be a good teacher or not. The fella in the above example is very clear lesson. Straight to the point and explained in full detail with tabs.

        I can't stand some of the YouTube videos of kids or adults trying to teach when they themselves can't play the guitar very well or simply do not know how to teach and or their guitar set up sounds like crap and it drives visitors away from the site within seconds and most will be sure to never come back.

        Here is another example of a site to look into the style and the way they give some free lessons before signing up. This site might give you some ideas as well.
        http://www.guitarconsultant.com/sitemap.html

        I think it's really wise to kinda get into the minds of your potential customers and kinda find out what they will and will NOT be looking for.

        With all the work it sounds like you are going to do on the marketing end of things I'd be sure to do plenty of research on the good, bad and downright ugly guitar teaching sites and emulate the good ones.

        Cheers,
        Dean
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  • Profile picture of the author Tenzo
    I don't think the list is to long at all-in fact, it basically contains the steps that are always suggested to people. I wonder what people think should be cut from that list? No social bookmarking if you are building a list? You can't create a product if you are using articles for traffic?

    Ultimately the list will be fleshed out as systems are developed. What are the steps taken to build a list? What social sites are used for bookmarking, and is it manual, automated, or outsourced? It will also get more efficient as it is repeated in new niches. But it certainly isn't to much.

    Regards,
    Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author Joanne Greco
    I wanted to just jump in and say thank you to Charles for starting this topic and to everybody who took time to answer. It's a great thread with lots of useful information.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kelvin Brown
      Hi Charles, as other have mentioned you have put together a good lists of tasks for each niche or site. But, to me it does not look like a business plan.

      Of the list I agree that those are great tasks to complete. Again like others have said, that can be a lot of work. One thing to look at is completing a few of those tasks, and it they are working then you can begin those tasks for additional niches.

      You say you and your wife, but you do not include info on which skill sets you have between you and who is responsible for what. IN a business plan, I would expect to see your skill sets, time frames for reaching certain levels, income projections, etc.


      Now on a technical note, I looked at the blog you listed, learning guitar. The one thing that stood out was all the youtube videos. Personally, I would consider that to much leakage, going back to youtube. One or two videos is fine, but you seem to have a lot ov videos.

      Kelvin
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  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    Charles

    good to get your thoughts down but it looks like a things to do list which leads you to your business plan

    As it has been pointed out several times you need to focus on what your business is.

    I see what you have listed as the means to getting it done.

    In the end test what works and focus on that, I have written many list like this and found what started off was not what worked after testing.

    Ed
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  • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
    wow.. what a thread.. and so many of my friends in here.. Hey Guys

    thanks for PM'ing me Charles

    Heres my take on it..

    simply put.. doesnt matter how good your plan is, its only ever going to be as good as your niche. and the product your pushing in it..

    the biggest mistake a LOT of people make is getting into IM with a product already. then trying to push it..

    similar to what James said

    Its all about Research

    and it really is, the better your research right at the get go, the easier what ever plan you have in place will be, and more profitable thats for sure..

    people flog dead horses trying to get their biz to work and focusing on niche there is no need for, it really pains me to see this, they could put much less time into another more profitable niche and be experts in their field already.. but due to poor research at the very beginning they end up frustrated and no or little income coming in.

    forget your plan..

    for now just focus on researching. and become an expert in this Now!.

    Its like fishing.. once you find a good catch, having this niche/product will then enable you to formulate a plan "around" this niche

    tips on niche research..

    see my vid tut's on niche research here, theres a bunch of them. and take it from there

    the difference starting out with a bad niche, to a brilliant one is incredible. can be the difference between money coming in and more importantly a bright outlook on your online future , and a year of total frustration and financial stress... stress from family and friends at you not succeeding online etc, its just massive.. so become a niche research guru first and take it from there.. btw. you can become a niche research guru for free tons of info out there..

    hth's

    Pete
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  • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
    btw did I say Niche enough in the previous post? LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    Thanks again to all who posted. WF blog is private to my contacts only (all of you all are, I believe).

    I know you all have better things to do than to read my dumb diary everyday (if you did, your opinions would not necessarily have been as valuable) I will be tracking my progress there in the form of a diary.

    I will probably not be posting in the general forum(s)/WSOs as much as I need to get on with my plan. I have decided to limit my participation to questions for a while until I accomplish something worthy of presenting input. I will of course read the War Room like religion. Less posting and activity in the WF in general will give me opportunity to close my beak and learn from these dudes who are attaining little successes and sharing them free.

    Hey, maybe that will be me this time next year!

    Please stop by the blog every so often and drop a comment or so I would also like to how you are progressing, too.

    Charles
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    • Profile picture of the author Kelvin Brown
      Hi Charles,

      Your blog is not private. One of the advantages often talked about is how quickly your WF blog is spidered.


      Kelvin
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      Kelvin Brown

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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Deegan
    Hey Charles, there is tons of good advice already in this thread so something I say may have already been mentioned to some extent.Your plan is moving in the right direction, but here are somethings to think about that can help improve your plan.


    First I would clarify your model. I'm going to assume you are focusing on affiliate marketing and do not want to be a product developer within a market, at least initially. Next, are you looking to become an authority within a niche or a smaller player in a large pond? This is the whole going wide vs deep argument and both methods work, you just need to pick what's right for you.

    As Ron said, you need decide on a primary goal to build your strategies around. Is your main goal to build an opt-in list and build a relationship with your visitors or are you focused on getting the sale ASAP?

    You need to be clear on this for multiple reasons. Some markets are well suited to list building while in other markets it's a complete waste of energy. Also certain types of traffic generation and marketing strategies can vary depending on your goal.

    For example if you are building a list and want a relationship with your readers you should concentrate you traffic strategies on methods that lend themselves to this type of user interaction. For example, things such as video, viral reports, being active in your niche communities and utilizing social media.

    If your goal is to get traffic to make one off sales then you would focus more on things like getting backlinks, seo, etc. Obviously you still want to incorporate these things into either model regardless of your goals, but you will have to prioritize due to time and energy constraints. Focus on making sure that you're maximizing your time and effort for the best roi in every aspect of your business.

    Personally I would put most of my energy in traffic generation and conversions. Try to master at least 1 form of traffic generation. Another area of importance that others have mentioned is doing proper market research. If you're going to put in the work you want it to be worth the effort.

    I'm going to repost James's research criteria since it's pretty much on the money. You should consider the factors below even for markets you're just testing. The reason being is that if the market you're testing proves to be strong you may at some point want to become a more serious player. It can also help you later if you are going to employ an exit strategy.

    - Buyers
    - Recurring income
    - Volume
    - Margin
    - Scalability
    - Vertical Integration
    - Leverage opportunities
    - Evergreen markets
    - Passive systems
    - List building potential
    - Scope to create my own products
    - Ease of traffic

    This brings me to another point. Set timelines for projects. This allows you to assess what you can do with a specific amount of time and energy. When you decide how much effort you want to put in a single market it dictates a lot of what to look for when doing market research, creating your content and planning your traffic strategies.

    Lastly a few more things.

    Try and make everything you do work twice as hard for you. Learn to be a master of repurposing content.

    Simplify where possible. Also learn how to create and use systems and processes for the different aspects of your business. If possible create systems on everything, things like creating content, building sites, each individual traffic generation method, etc. This way when you need to repeat a task you have a formula to follow.

    Systems are important, because if they are built correctly the outcomes are predictable and measureable. They can also be improved and optimized. This is crucial if you decide to start outsourcing, it allows you to evaluate someone's performance since you know that if they complete a task correctly they should achieve a specific result or outcome. If they don't get the right results then odds are they are doing it wrong or something in the process changed.

    Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author John S. Rhodes
    Obviously I am late to the party. I agree with about 95% of the
    feedback thus far. Great stuff, absolutely.

    Here are some of my thoughts...

    1. You talk a lot about how you plan to do work. But, I'm missing
    the bigger picture. I'm missing your goals. I will assume you've
    got a "mission" in mind? You know WHY you're working so hard?

    2. You mix short term and long term activities in your description.
    What I mean is that you talk about making cash immediately and
    also long term. I would spend time mapping out your cashflow and
    re-investment strategy better.

    3. You don't talk much about who you're going to work with. For
    example, do you plan on doing extensive networking, doing JVs,
    and outsourcing? We try to plan out the "who" in our business
    plans. It keeps us focused on what we're good at as we move
    forward. And, it let's us know when to spend money.

    ~ John
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  • Profile picture of the author vertical
    Hi Charles

    Just roll with it for now. As you go thru the year you'll make adjustments as you learn new things. Take the time now to flesh out your weekly and monthly goals and have faith that even if you don't get the results desired right away, It all adds up and will help you be successful.

    Good luck
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  • Your plan looks good Charles. I'd say you and your wife are definitely on the right track. Please keep us posted on your progress. I'm sure you'll do well.

    Peace and Blessings!
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    • Profile picture of the author warriorkevin
      HI Charles,

      there is a ton of good advice in the responses, but I wanted to add something that has been on my mind that relates to this.

      It is the new year (in case some one her didn't know and I too make and re-evaluate plans, goals, objectives.

      Something that is missing and important - at least to me is milestones and measurable objectives.

      What I mean is - it is very easy to have an objective of I will do 'x' or I will learn this, or I will go there.

      But something I learned in my studies (I am a board certified, licensed OT as well as Entrepreneur) is measurable objectives and outcomes.

      You can't say in the hospital that the goal of therapy is that Charles is going to use his right arm again with full recovery. We set measurable, viewable objectives and goals.
      Charles will weight bear for 30 seconds on his elbow/forearm with support.
      Charles will reach with an extension of 60 degrees in the right elbow to touch wall.

      I know I am getting boring now, but my point is how will you know when you have achieved your goals.

      These are different for each person, niche, objective, but they are really (IMHO) where people get lost. They try something and move on to something else and then try something else and then cant figure out why they make no progress.

      It is similar to the testing mantra. Testing tells you what you did right and what you could do better. Measuring tells you when you are ready to move to the next step or step up your efforts in other areas perhaps.

      ANyway, without getting too boring some ideas, are
      100 backlinks in 3 months
      250 subscribers to the list in 3 months
      10 purchases a week in 3 months

      these are vague and may not apply to you exactly, but the point is decide on an acceptable first level of measurable results in a particular time frame.

      Then re-evaluate those milestones/objectives regularly to see if you are on track - and to GET YOU BACK on track.

      Then you can decide what steps to take in your list.

      THe list is great - now apply time frames, and measureable goals to them.
      And as someone else said, be ready to move on if all else fails.

      Don't fall in love with the product.

      Just my 3cents

      K-
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  • Profile picture of the author Omar B
    Hi Charles,
    Thanks for posting this awesome thread! I haven't finished reading it yet but I've taken away a wealth of information. As far as your plan, it looks symetrical as if you are trying to present the biggest platform possible. Take this with a grain of salt as I am just starting out, would being more of a specialist be better? I'll be watching to see how it works out. Thanks again!
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    Very Respectfully,
    Omar L. Branch

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