Do You Suffer From Listophobia?

49 replies
It took me a while to start a list and then I stopped because of two things.

1. It wasn't really a niche I was interested in

2. I didn't feel I was qualified to dole out advice

But later, I thought about it more deeply and I think there was a third and, perhaps more important, factor.

I didn't want the responsibility.

Having a list is a lot like being married. You are developing a long-term relationship and you are constantly being evaluated and/or judged. The main difference I saw between marriage and a list is that a list is like serial polygamy. Trying to be married to thousands of different people is a balancing act that will drive you insane, if you let it.

Now, I am comfortable with the idea of listbuilding because I have discovered a niche I know a lot about and I am not going to tear myself apart trying to please people. I know where I stand and if people are not happy with me they can always unsubscribe.

So what makes/made you hesitate about building a list?

Martin
#listbuilding #listophobia #suffer
  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    I felt pretty much the same you do/did. I'm just starting to build my list. It's coming on slowly but surely.

    Glad to know I'm not the only slow to get started list builder.

    George Wright
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      George,

      From talking to others I gather it a pretty common problem.

      When the maxim 'The Money Is In The List' is constantly hammered into people's heads it can push them into doing something when they are not ready and be a traumatic experience for them.

      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Martin,

    This is a good topic to talk about as some of us who have been around a while still have our own little obstacles and don't feel comfortable coming out here and talking about them.

    I had this same experience when I had a niche site getting plenty of traffic and after hearing 'The Money Is In The List' constantly hammered I decided to get that traffic to opt-in.

    Well, needless to say it changed the dynamics of the page with conversions and all but also I now had people from this niche writing me emails and asking me about other things within the niche.

    Where once this was a completely "hands off" operation now I am studying up and spending time relating and writing and it became work.

    Not that I'm against work, it's just that I was not prepared to take on a whole new job.

    Then when I thought about coming here to talk about it my first thought was that everyone here was going to jump my butt for whining about "the work involved".

    I am sure there are other issues that we "veterans" could start to explore when it comes to our hang ups.
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    • Profile picture of the author Troy McDonald
      I've worked with lots of people and here is what I've found over the years:

      1. Don't know how to build a list. (This sometimes really means, I don't know how to build a list "fast", as "fast" as I want it.)

      1a. This can also lead to building a list "the perfect way" and so analysis paralysis steps in and no list is ever built.

      2. They feel they have to build a list in a niche they really don't have any interest in. (An on occasions it's rally a matter of the way the are framing the niche. Example: "I don't want to build an Internet Marketing list.", What about an Internet Marketing list that deals with how to market cake decorating? "Oh, I never thought of it like that."
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  • Profile picture of the author Haltingpoint
    I've fallen into the analysis paralysis trap. The funny thing is I do B2B lead-gen for a living and have no problems there. Yet with my own things, I struggle to get a site up because I'm so used to having a team of developers.

    I guess my conundrum is that I don't want to spend the money on something like Aweber until I know I have enough traffic where I'll be able to build my list. I guess for now I can try to implement PHPList and once I have a decent sized one I can port it over to Aweber...
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    • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
      Originally Posted by Haltingpoint View Post


      I guess my conundrum is that I don't want to spend the money on something like Aweber until I know I have enough traffic where I'll be able to build my list. I guess for now I can try to implement PHPList and once I have a decent sized one I can port it over to Aweber...
      I strongly recommend that you think long term.

      When the time comes to "port" your list to one
      of the top autoresponder providers, you'll find
      that they require every single one of your
      subscribers to reconfirm their subscription.

      You'll lose a significant number of subscribers.

      Hosting your own list management may save you
      a few dollars in the short term, but long term you
      will be better off setting up your account as soon
      as you start list building.

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author Haltingpoint
        Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

        I strongly recommend that you think long term.

        When the time comes to "port" your list to one
        of the top autoresponder providers, you'll find
        that they require every single one of your
        subscribers to reconfirm their subscription.

        You'll lose a significant number of subscribers.

        Hosting your own list management may save you
        a few dollars in the short term, but long term you
        will be better off setting up your account as soon
        as you start list building.

        John
        Thanks for pointing that out, I had forgotten that requirement. I guess I'll wait until my site is 100% ready to launch, using PHPlist to test forms and such and then I'll sign up for Aweber.

        Question...if for some reason this product isn't successful enough to justify the cost and I decide to cancel my subscription while I build up my next product, what happens to my lists? Do they store them indefinitely? Or do they get deleted, requiring me to reimport them and ask everybody to opt-in again?
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        • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
          Originally Posted by Haltingpoint View Post

          Do they store them indefinitely? Or do they get deleted, requiring me to reimport them and ask everybody to opt-in again?
          You're right with your second option.

          You'd need to download your subscriber
          records to retain access to them.

          John
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          • Profile picture of the author Haltingpoint
            Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

            You're right with your second option.

            You'd need to download your subscriber
            records to retain access to them.

            John
            Ok--that solves that dilemma then!

            To Freddie regarding your question on ad-sponsored lists...let me ask you this question in response:

            Is the value of what you are selling via your email campaigns more or less than the value of Aweber? If you currently have people signing up for your list, and have had success, would you prefer to lower your conversion rate by having them click through to someone else's product through those ads?
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            • Profile picture of the author freddie_fireman
              Originally Posted by Haltingpoint View Post

              To Freddie regarding your question on ad-sponsored lists...let me ask you this question in response:

              Is the value of what you are selling via your email campaigns more or less than the value of Aweber?
              I'm a newbie to list marketing, so I don't really know. I imagine with small lists, the Aweber overhead could be an issue.

              Originally Posted by Haltingpoint View Post

              would you prefer to lower your conversion rate by having them click through to someone else's product through those ads?
              I think I could stand some leeching while I'm testing out ideas and getting a feel for responsiveness. Once I sort the winners from the losers, paid service won't be an issue.

              For example, I'd like the option of building small highly-targeted lists as well as the 1% CTR megalist.

              Just wondering if there were any gotchas with the free service.
              Signature
              Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows. – Sun Tzu, 600 B.C.

              freddie fireman
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              • Profile picture of the author Haltingpoint
                Originally Posted by freddie_fireman View Post

                Just wondering if there were any gotchas with the free service.
                I guess the big gotcha is that you potentially give another IMer access to your hard-earned list subscriber and they will potentially add them to their list and now you have competition on selling them products.

                If I fought that hard to get subscribers to my list, you can rest assured I would never allow for any sort of leaks at that point. Either go with a free system or a cheap paid one (there ARE cheap alternatives to Aweber...do some searching on the forums), but never an ad-supported one. Just my .02
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

    I know where I stand and if people are not happy with me they can always unsubscribe.
    Martin,

    That's one of the wisest comments on the topic of
    list building that I've seen posted on this forum in a
    long time.

    Yes, knowing where you stand, having an opinion and
    being yourself means that your readers will see you as
    a real person.

    Taking a stand and having an opinion on the things
    that are important to you will resonate with the
    subscribers who matter.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author fxmmorale
      Hi,

      The problem for me when I first got started was that I didn't want to deal with people online. I was working for a company in the automotive business that relied heavily on phone contact as well as daily interaction with customers face to face. After work I would be so burned out that I didn't want to talk to or deal with anybody when I got home and forget about answering the phone.

      But that was when I first got started. Since then I've learned that if my business is going to become a real business online, the time would come when I would have to establish a customer base and develop the confidence to take care of them for long term success.

      The fear of not knowing what to say or how to respond to questions or requests was a big problem that was handled by getting more serious about my research and how I could help someone. Today the "list" is not huge but it is steadily growing.

      What I've learned in all my years working for various companies is that, you give the best of what you can give and for those who don't like it or appreciate it... they can always take their business elsewhere, no love lost.

      Cheers,
      Nando
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

      Martin,

      That's one of the wisest comments on the topic of
      list building that I've seen posted on this forum in a
      long time.

      Yes, knowing where you stand, having an opinion and
      being yourself means that your readers will see you as
      a real person.

      Taking a stand and having an opinion on the things
      that are important to you will resonate with the
      subscribers who matter.

      John
      John,

      Learnt it from a redneck in a cowboy hat.

      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    There's another thing that isn't often discussed
    when it comes to list building..

    What type of list are you building?

    I have several lists in niche markets which I set up
    to deliver follow up messages to people who didn't
    make a purchase on their first visit. I wasn't looking
    to start an ezine.. I simply wanted to increase my
    sales conversion rate.

    Not every list has to be an ezine or newsletter.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author freddie_fireman
    Are the ad-sponsored lists at getresponse an option for newbies? Or are the ads/other restrictions just too obnoxious?
    Signature
    Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows. – Sun Tzu, 600 B.C.

    freddie fireman
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Francis
    list is quite good actually i think you schould keep it for profits
    Signature

    Have a good PPC campaign with good ROI but don't have the capital to make use of it ? PM me.

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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Ashworth
    I've been building a small but relatively loyal list for a few months now in a new niche - I get replies and click throughs to various links I post - so believe the outlay for an Aweber account is worthwhile even for the smallest list builder on the tightest budget - it's an investment after all.

    It's like anything and everything in life - even if you don't know it all you have to start somewhere and list building is no different. We all make mistakes, say the wrong thing or add the wrong follow up email at the worst time and learn from it - but if you don't try you don't learn I guess.

    As for ad-supported systems - I'd avoid them at all costs. It has to be your own list however small it might be to begin with.
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  • Profile picture of the author tomw
    Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

    So what makes/made you hesitate about building a list?
    The simple fact, based upon 20 years in the on and offline marketing business, that there are far easier ways to make money online than things like product generation, dealing with customer support and wasting our time developing prospect relationships.

    It's far easier to make the big bucks through automated systems and employing a great media buyer to drive traffic to them than it is to convince a bunch of newbie suckers to buy a $20 WSO or $97 ebook or two (which is what so many around here and in the IM field base their "business" upon.)

    There is so much crap presented on forums and in ebooks about marketing written by people that know little or anything about how marketing or the internet really works.

    The money isn't in the list. It's in understanding what you are setting out to acheive with your business and how to market most effectively. If your business is set up to focus on labour intensive activities like product generation, listbuilding and permission based conversion tactics then good luck trying to compete for the big prizes.

    For example, in our case, for just one campaign during a two week period over the Christmas school break more money was made online by putting highly targeted ads and CPA offers in front of teenage girls on highly targeted "Hannah Montana" and "The Wizards of Waverly Place" type themed web presences than some of the alleged "marketing experts" on this forum make in a year.

    No list. No customers. No hassle. No brainer.

    The simple fact is that if people care to look at the bleedin' obvious and lift their heads from reading WSOs or ebooks and stop believing (and acting upon) nonsense from forums they'll do so much better, so much quicker.

    The last thing we will ever do is to build a list and try to sell it self-generated products. For us, it's just not worth the time or trouble when there are so many other much easier and much more lucrative models to devise and implement.

    The truth is that more and more *real* marketers are entering the online game (and have been for a long time) and we're pretty good at what we do.

    We're marketers *not* merchants. This is a fundamental difference that few people seem to fully grasp.

    For example, we don't care about or engage in menial tasks such as social media, article marketing, writing blogs or any other time and money inefficient traffic generation tactics. We simply hire the right media buying company to do it for us. Nor do we care about wasting months creating products and lists. We simply do what marketers do and market other people's products. Just as we have always done. The beauty for us now that we're online is that rather than taking a percentage of our clients' 7 or 8 figure marketing budget over the course of the financial year, our earning potential in the same period is almost limitless.

    Again. No list. No customers. No hassle. No brainer.

    Thomas
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
      Originally Posted by tomw View Post


      No list. No customers. No hassle. No brainer.


      Thomas
      Tom,

      Quote of the year. I'm going to nick it

      Steve
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      Not promoting right now

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    • Profile picture of the author Haltingpoint
      Originally Posted by tomw View Post

      We're marketers *not* merchants. This is a fundamental difference that few people seem to fully grasp.
      Thomas, as someone who worked on a major beer brand at the top interactive agency in the world that had a media budget in the millions, I can certainly appreciate your perspective.

      That said, I think there is a misunderstanding on your part as to why these people do what they do. For starters, they may not have the marketing background you do. They are new to the space and this is their point of entry.

      Also, not everybody here is an "internet marketer" in the standard sense. There are plenty of copywriters, graphic designers, developers, etc. People you would outsource things to. Could they make a lot more money with a lot less effort with your approach? Possibly--if they had the know how. But would they love doing it for a living? Probably not. They do what they do because they love it and they enjoy that line of work.

      Finally, I'd be curious to hear how you started in the online space...what sort of a media budget did you have?

      In my experience, using a media firm is really only worth it when you are a certain size because they have their own costs and whatever volume discount they may be able to bring to the table may not make up for it. Plus, it is a HUGE risk for someone starting out. It takes a lot of up-front cash that frankly most people don't have, and if your buy doesn't perform well, you're screwed. Likewise if you pick a scummy firm who just buys whatever crappy banner spots they can and tries to wow you on the number of impressions.

      Article marketing and similar tactics can be a great way to help someone bootstrap their way up to bigger budgets, and test the waters to learn what sorts of things convert and what doesn't.

      So before you come on here and casually state in so many words that everything people on here have worked towards and spent their time on is a waste and that they are idiots, please respect the fact that not everybody has your background, your experience, your connections, your start-up funds, or even your goals.
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      • Profile picture of the author tomw
        Thomas, as someone who worked on a major beer brand at the top interactive agency in the world that had a media budget in the millions.
        Ditto many times over.

        That said, I think there is a misunderstanding on your part as to why these people do what they do. For starters, they may not have the marketing background you do. They are new to the space and this is their point of entry.
        No. There was no misunderstanding on my part. I simply presented the other side of the coin, which is generally more time and cost efficient than the infoproduct route. Its easy enough to supplant media buying for ppc such as Adwords and invest the time to research and set up one's own campaign.

        Also, not everybody here is an "internet marketer" in the standard sense. There are plenty of copywriters, graphic designers, developers, etc. People you would outsource things to. Could they make a lot more money with a lot less effort with your approach? Possibly--if they had the know how. But would they love doing it for a living? Probably not. They do what they do because they love it and they enjoy that line of work.
        Anybody can make a lot more money with the approach I laid out. Actually, most people become "internet marketers" to achieve the "internet dream" of large automated income streams so that they can "work from the beach" if they so choose. However, they get sucked into the "find a niche, create a product, build a list" mentality believing that making money online is a ton of (complex and frustrating) work and get discouraged. The truth is that it isn't.

        Finally, I'd be curious to hear how you started in the online space...what sort of a media budget did you have?
        Actually I started in 1989 and was part of a team that devised one of the first true blue chip brand corporate consumer facing websites as a junior employee at Saatchi & Saatchi. We outsourced the development and as the more senior guys took almost no interest in the web at the time, I was given the (lowly) task of designing the front end.

        In my experience, using a media firm is really only worth it when you are a certain size because they have their own costs and whatever volume discount they may be able to bring to the table may not make up for it. Plus, it is a HUGE risk for someone starting out. It takes a lot of up-front cash that frankly most people don't have, and if your buy doesn't perform well, you're screwed. Likewise if you pick a scummy firm who just buys whatever crappy banner spots they can and tries to wow you on the number of impressions.
        Yes, you're right. I do have the resources now as I own a group of creative agencies. However, I worked my ass of to be in this position. Something that the vast majority of people that decide to pursue "the internet dream" are simply not prepared to do.

        Article marketing and similar tactics can be a great way to help someone bootstrap their way up to bigger budgets, and test the waters to learn what sorts of things convert and what doesn't.
        Yes this is one way. A very labour intensive route with a long learning curve. Another is to open one's eyes, do a little research, observe how major players do things and follow suit.

        So before you come on here and casually state in so many words that everything people on here have worked towards and spent their time on is a waste and that they are idiots, please respect the fact that not everybody has your background, your experience, your connections, your start-up funds, or even your goals.
        Actually before *you* come on here to ingraciate yourself with the masses by attempting to position yourself with authority and showing hostility to someone that has been around the block, knows what works and what doesn't and helped an awful lot of people get to where they want to be (even through the infoproduct route) I suggest that perhaps you get to know some of us before attempting any further posturing.

        And...welcome to the forum.

        Thomas
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
        Originally Posted by Haltingpoint View Post

        .
        So before you come on here and casually state in so many words that everything people on here have worked towards and spent their time on is a waste and that they are idiots, please respect the fact that not everybody has your background, your experience, your connections, your start-up funds, or even your goals.
        Haltingpoint,

        Thomas didn't say that people were wasting their time and were idiots. He was pointing out a more lucrative business model.

        The way I interpret his post is that if you follow the classic niche/product generation/listbuilding model you can make money but you will be like a minnow swimming with sharks.

        I don't have his background either but to me, that is the wonder of the WF, having somebody with his experience giving us a glimpse of the infinite possibilities online.

        It is also about perspective. I used to be impressed when people hawked products/systems promising "Make $5,000 A Month Online". Now, I'm thinking, if I am impressed by that, I have no ambition.

        Yes, $5,000 a month would be nice, but, if you add in medical insurance and stuff, it's around what you would get for the average job.

        That is not to say you shouldn't implement a hybrid system. Start out the classic way and use your profits to learn/use PPC. I have shied away from PPC but now I am convinced it is something I have to use to get the financial freedom I am looking for.

        Martin

        P.S. Thomas. When are you starting your coaching programme?
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi Thomas,

          Interesting stuff. Any chance you could elaborate a bit more on this point please -

          Yes this is one way. A very labour intensive route with a long learning curve. Another is to open one's eyes, do a little research, observe how major players do things and follow suit.
          In particular, the last part starting 'observe', and specifically - 'follow suit'. What I mean is, if someone doesn't have the experience, or the finance -

          a) in what areas specifically can they literally 'follow suit'?

          b) in which areas should they adopt a different approach (due to their limitations) and what are the key differences that allow them to 'bridge the gap'?

          When I read parts of your post, EG -

          The simple fact, based upon 20 years in the on and offline marketing business, that there are far easier ways to make money online than things like product generation, dealing with customer support and wasting our time developing prospect relationships.

          It's far easier to make the big bucks through automated systems and employing a great media buyer to drive traffic to them than it is to convince a bunch of newbie suckers to buy a $20 WSO or $97 ebook or two (which is what so many around here and in the IM field base their "business" upon.)
          ...I imagine that a lot of people do what they do because if they look at what you have described, they see heavy-hitters operating, for example using adwords (which is an auction that CAN be dominated through sheer purchasing power) and they look at themselves and feel wise in leaving Goliath to it. So instead, they ask themselves what they have in their 'toolkit' that they can use to lever themselves into an advantageous position in a market.

          And I would then imagine that many of them think to themselves that the heavy-hitters have superior automation, manpower, capital and access to up-to-date knowledge. So what do THEY have? Personality? Knowledge that can be delivered to other 'little guys' in a manner that makes sense and actually works for them?

          I can see why people shy away from things that are 'above their station'. In many scenarios, this is wise. If you read any of higher level PPC training (higher level in the IM sphere) much of the talk is about how to bully and dominate by sometimes taking a loss purely to bankrupt small fry who enter a market. So it's not unusual for the 'little guy' to think small in order to avoid that scenario and stay under the radar - similar to someone who avoids position 1 on google SERPS due to the unwanted attention and sometimes underhand tactics that this position will attract.

          People want to think big as long as it's not foolish for them to do so. If they haven't had years of marketing study and experience, then they may be aware of their own limitations and feel that they are maximising their chances of a decent level of success by avoiding thinking too 'big'.

          It's a bit of a conundrum from my perspective and I would guess it's also one that many others are a little stuck on.

          What are the key factors that can allow someone to 'step up'? I reckon most of them are capable of thinking big, but faced with experiences of losing the farm when they have tried this, and then finding that they actually make slow but sure progress by toning down their ambitions a little, how can they develop the confidence to move forwards more quickly?

          I see it a little like those online roulette betting systems that are based on increasing bets in line with a strictly followed pattern that guarantees that even when a loss happens, a small profit is made and the system goes back to the start again. It's totally tedious.

          But if anyone has tried this system and at some point wavered from the strict betting pattern, they will know that what happens is that as soon as discipline is lost and they up the ante by placing more than the system suggests, it only takes one incorrect choice and everything is wiped out - back to square one completely, or more likely, out the game without 'bus fare home'.

          To summarize - how does one 'up the ante' without destroying all of the hard work that took time to build up, due to the slow compound rates experienced early on?

          What is most important to do, and to avoid, in order for people to be confident, without being over-confident?

          I hope this makes sense

          PS Come on Rafa!
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          Roger Davis

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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
            Roger,

            Good thinking.

            If we can get Thomas to explain everything here step by step we won't have to join his coaching programme.

            People want to think big as long as it's not foolish for them to do so. If they haven't had years of marketing study and experience, then they may be aware of their own limitations and feel that they are maximising their chances of a decent level of success by avoiding thinking too 'big'.

            It's a bit of a conundrum from my perspective and I would guess it's also one that many others are a little stuck on.
            Me 'big' stuck on.

            Martin
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        • Profile picture of the author tomw
          Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

          P.S. Thomas. When are you starting your coaching programme?
          LOL! Never!!!

          I recently flirted with the notion of creating an infoproduct detailing some of the things that we do, but then I woke up (aided by our friend Roger!) and gave myself a short sharp slap upside the head!

          We live and breathe our principle.

          No list. No customers. No hassle. No brainer.



          The best advice I can give you is to look at how advertising agencies work. Maybe research deeply into this.

          It's pretty simple at the core: control or divert attention flow.
          Apply it online: control or divert traffic flow.

          Step 1. Forget about searching for people with a problem or looking for a solution to it.

          Step 2. Find traffic with purchasing power or pester power.

          Step 3. Segment.

          Step 4. Determine what each segment wants to buy, based upon needs, wants, interests or trends.

          Step 5. Find appropriate products and become an affiliate (or a reseller.)

          Step 6. Find out where each segment hangs out online.

          Step 7. Determine which are the most popular hangouts, by following the traffic, where it comes from and where it goes afterwards.

          Step 8. Analyse the competition by observing their methods and following their traffic.

          Step 9. Create a better method or saturate with an imitation.

          Step 10. Target the best hangouts, place method and divert the flow of traffic to your offer.

          Step 11. Repeat ad finitum

          Step 12. As soon as you can demonstrate sufficient capability, conversion and know how to control the flow of traffic, negotiate better commission rates with your networks and combine traditional pay per sale with cost per action or cost per acquisition offers. Wherever possible stack them into the same campaign and negotiate a slice of the backend action.

          Step 13. Rub hands and cackle like an evil genius.



          Thomas
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          • Profile picture of the author ExRat
            Hi Thomas,

            Thanks for that. Allow me to play devil's advocate and try to 'throw it back at you' for the purposes of widening the discussion - NOT to argue, or because I think that I know best!

            I have seen an opposite point of view to this presented many times in this forum and elsewhere. It goes like this -

            1. Find a market that is already buying.

            2. Reverse engineer the product (EG an info product) and create a better version.

            3. Launch the product with an affiliate program.

            4. Promote the affiliate program (either with high commission or 100%+ commission and focus on back-end.)

            5. Build a list on the back-end and upsell.

            Looking at your model, and comparing it with this, these are the reasons why the model I have presented here is often touted as being better (particularly in terms of the 'little guy' stepping up).

            a) possibly more work, but can be done on a smaller budget (little guy friendly)

            b)
            Step 1. Forget about searching for people with a problem or looking for a solution to it.
            By reverse engineering the competitor we find his advertising channels (which leads us to the market) and the solution is already there in his product - we just have to tweak it, uniqueify it and better it.

            c)
            Step 2. Find traffic with purchasing power or pester power.
            The affiliates do this part. They are paid only when a sale occurs (not up front unless it's 100%+).

            d) Steps 3-7 are null and void, except segmentation which is done on the back end.

            e) For step 12, this same approach can be applied on the back end with proven buyers. With the exception of finding offers and writing follow-ups, there is no burdensome work at this point.

            Please refer back to the first paragraph - this is not to argue, but I'm trying to establish -

            1) which one actually involves more work

            2) which one is more likely to be profitable

            3) which one involves more risk

            4) {KEY} - which one is more suitable to the 'little guy' who wants to be a 'big guy', but is wise enough to know it will involve risk, capital, work and vision.

            We have a mixed audience on this forum from little guys all the way up to big guys, and in line with my first post, it is clear that in general, big guys have usually got themselves in a position where they can afford to pay to find out what doesn't work. The little guy, in general, is often looking for a way to step up, is willing to put mind, body and soul on the line in order to do so, but is stopping in here on the way in the hope that a big guy will drop some nuggets that will apply to him, but is also aware that they cannot afford to set out down a path that turns out in 3 or 6 months to have been a fatal error.

            Cheers

            PS Nice job Rafa. Pure magic. Hard cheese Rog.
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            Roger Davis

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            • Profile picture of the author tomw
              Hey Roger,

              I didn't mention the little guy stepping up in my OP. But what I will say is that when starting from scratch the simplest way to look at this is through how one uses the time resource.

              Either,

              spend months developing an infoproduct and learning how to market it.

              or,

              spend it looking at how things are marketed in the wider web world in more mainstream markets, copying, adapting, testing, learning.

              I guess it boils down to the age old factor of knowing what your time is worth. Months of time to develop a product converted into a cash value could easily and more profitably be used to buy traffic, for example.

              Do you put all your time (and hopes) into an infoproduct that you eventually end up praying will sell, or spend the time *really* learning what people want and how to give it to them?

              The most basic difference in terms of "upping the ante," again, is looking at how we do things at ad agencies.

              For example, "the little guy" becomes an affiliate for a particular product. He spends his time building a site, writing articles, blogs, social media stuff, maybe some PPC to drive traffic to *his* site and prays for a few clickthroughs and purchases.

              How would an ad agency do this?

              We would simply research the market and the traffic flow, create our own ads or more engaging and interactive hooks for that product, employ media buyers to place them on relevant sites and redirect traffic to the merchant's offer.

              In effect, we create traffic toll gates or maybe, more appropriately, junction boxes.

              So;

              We don't create sites. We create ads and traffic junction boxes.
              We don't do organic traffic building and rely on prayers.
              We buy traffic at the most relevant hangouts and divert the flow of traffic to the things that we are marketing.

              It is so simple but so many people over complicate the process, probably in order to sell their infoproducts.



              Making money online is about one thing and one thing alone: control or divert traffic flow.

              How one chooses to do this is entirely up to the individual. In my OP, I simply presented a way that *we* do it to play at a higher level. You need money, sure, but the returns are exponentially higher than through many of the other methods that we have tested over many years.

              Thomas

              P.S. I have to go out until this evening but I will expand further if you like. Maybe via email.
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              • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                Hi Thomas,

                Thanks for your detailed replies, much appreciated. I will clean and tidy the inbox in anticipation of the welcome arrival of a golden nugget or five. Toodle-pip!
                Signature


                Roger Davis

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                • Profile picture of the author keyaziz
                  I definitely think you need confidence in yourself and what you know to be able to implement in a different direction to what the IM world tells you to do.

                  I delved into IM long before we decided to start up a little website for my boyfriend's passion of metal/guitar. I mean everywhere it says to follow a passion and I knew this would be something he would enjoy as opposed to finding "work". The thing is though we tried to do it the IM way...my boyfriend is still in a cringey state over the website currently - but it was a lot worse.

                  We had the white background as opposed to the dark background now (and before I get another PM I would just like to say it converts better this way . However....the past few weeks we have been talking about it.

                  My boyfriend KNOWS his market - he lives and breathes metal and guitar. He is constantly asked for advice on various forums he is a part of on tone etc and even production...but we have been following the guidance of the IM world. I think that has hindered us more than anything.

                  So we are now in the process of changing it into a website - getting completely away from the IM world as much as possible and making it better. Something my boyfriend can live with and one we know will be more successful. It does well, but it definitely WILL do better by going with what my boyfriend knows and straying from the IM world. It will be more enjoyable as well.

                  On top of that I modelled my own project of what the IM world was telling me to do - I did follow other successful people - the problem is I was following tackiness and I should have had more respect for my product and myself. I have had the opportunity to be enlightened and its made me have more confidence in what I have to offer and what I really want.

                  Yes, it would be nice to have a little more money - but at the expense of pride and my subconscious desires - I would rather be poor!

                  I think now that I have had time to put things in perspective I really feel more comfortable and more confident in where IM can take me.


                  I don't want to cringe anymore - neither of us do.

                  I am not saying that all IM is tacky and rubbish - lots of it is really helpful, I just should have been a little smarter about it.

                  And as for list phobia..we have a list but we haven't really used it. My boyfriend just gets lots of emails asking for help or about future products anyway. We aren't sure about lists - we like to be able to let people know good things or helpful tips etc but I dont think it will be a money maker for us at the moment.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizmakr
    Looks like you summed up my feelings, I will have to get the niche I know and work from there.

    Regards,
    Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Suddenly..

    I get the urge to completely ignore my product creation ideas, sit in my home office.. double my adspend for this year... and enjoy the easy money x2..

    I honestly question my need for a challenge...what I can't figure out is why...
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      Originally Posted by JayXtreme View Post

      I honestly question my need for a challenge...what I can't figure out is why...
      Jay,

      Because you'd be bored just counting money. When you've seen one pile of ten million pounds you've seen them all.

      Plus, the real challenge is Step 13. I've been practising cackling like an evil genius for years now and I still sound like Mike Myers.

      I recently flirted with the notion of creating an infoproduct detailing some of the things that we do, but then I woke up (aided by our friend Roger!) and gave myself a short sharp slap upside the head!
      Curses to Murgatroyd!! That do-gooder ExRat is always foiling my evil plans.

      (Throws white cat off lap in fit of rage).

      Martin
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    • Profile picture of the author Kenneth L
      Originally Posted by JayXtreme View Post

      Suddenly..

      I get the urge to completely ignore my product creation ideas, sit in my home office.. double my adspend for this year... and enjoy the easy money x2..

      I honestly question my need for a challenge...what I can't figure out is why...
      It's a great point.

      But I don't see why it has to be an either/or...

      You can do both if you want.

      Since doubling adspend requires nothing more than raising bids and/or bidding on more keywords it won't eat up much of your time.

      If you feel that doubling your adspend can make you twice the money...then it should be a no-brainer...and irrespective of your decisions to create any additional infoproducts.

      Something worth thinking about!

      Best Wishes,
      Kenneth
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    There is no need to measure your self esteem by you list's evaluation to you.This is not a real relationship it is a virtual relationship with a pre-loaded set of email messages, 50% of which are pitching a product to enable the sender to earn commission.

    The list is merely a database of names you have created, about which you have some knowledge regards their interests. Using this knowledge you load a series of emails into an autoresponder with information and recommendations which may interest them. If they like what you say, they read them, if they like what you offer they buy. If they don't like either they unsubscribe.

    There really are no personal self esteem issues involved in this at all as there is no real relationship. There is a danger of becoming too precious about "my list". When what the list is actually just a database of captive recipients for your copywriting efforts.
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  • Profile picture of the author TiAndrine
    Great poll Martin!

    Similar to you I have also gone back and forth. I like your "marriage" comparison to it as I am a bit over a year into my first marriage. As I have heard it said upon ones' wedding day, "...and now it begins." Wow is that ever true! What a grand adventure!

    Your right Martin that list building is an intimate relationship for me, being who I am. Currently my challenge is to set up my list via this medium of the computer/internet in a way that I will most enjoy it. Of course what niche is a key part of this but I am learning that for myself it is the frustration with the limits of the technology. Now learning more and more about video, audio etc. has me excited again to return to my list building.

    I must admit being a bit hung up still with doing the technical end of setting up a site, etc. etc. Not that I can't do it, more like I don't want to. It seems to be a learning curve that takes all the fun out of why I get excited to build a list in the first place. I most likely will benefit by JVing with someone who enjoys doing more of the technical end of it as I personally thrive connecting with and assisting others when this medium of the communication is helped along by someone else.

    Anyone interested in such a JV arrangement? My focus now is upon an interview site in the relationship advice market. Assistance in webmastering a site while I do the interviews is what I'm looking for to assist each of us in our list building Enjoyment.

    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author Stallion
    I'm a listophobic because I think it's just a waste of time now. It may work today, but I see it as a method that is dying. More and more emails are getting in the spam filters, more and more people are becoming immune to selling in email,, and the most important, the government just has to change a few laws and you're out of luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author CPA
    Interesting point but this wifes actually make you money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Haltingpoint
    Thomas,

    It appears I misinterpreted the tone of your post and potentially read a little deeply into certain aspects of it. Apologies for the accusation and I hope we can continue the discussion and put that in the past.

    Back to the topic at hand...it appears your method is essentially:

    1. Find successful products that provide the margin and mainstream buying power you need for the ROI you desire
    2. Conduct market and channel research to learn enough about the audience and competition to present a brief to the media firm
    3. Have them create a proposal of banner placements for sites frequented by your target when they are in a buying phase
    4. Attempt to out-do the competition by having better/more engaging creative
    5. Direct link said banners to the merchant's site via your affiliate link (or redirect it to cloak the affiliate link)
    6. Profit
    Does that sound about right?

    If so, it would appear you leverage the creative services of your agencies (something that can be outsourced effectively if one has the creative direction in-house). I guess this is something that would be available to us smaller fish...Flash developers are cheap on freelance sites if you have the bulk of the creative idea fleshed out with storyboards.

    That leaves the media component and the research component.

    Would I be correct in guessing that Hitwise and its ilk plays a large role in your research phase (or your media firm's)? If so, would you mind sharing ballpark costs for your research that you conduct? I wasn't as involved in the execution of the planning aspects on the agency side so I'm not familiar with their costs.

    That said, there are plenty of low-cost research tools available for keyword research and such to give people an idea of what words are relevant, etc.

    Now, on to the media component...

    Do you happen to use one of the big firms like Starcom? That is where it gets tricky for the little guy. The big guns won't speak to the little guys and the little guys would need the volume discount a firm like Starcom brings to the table to make their spend cost-effective.

    In any event, would you mind sharing how you got started in terms of the strategy you outlined above? So you have your agency background, but how did you get into making your first buy for your own offers? How much was the buy for? In essence, when you started going down this path, it sounds like you didn't start small, however I'm trying to get a gauge on just how big you started--I think that would add a nice piece of perspective to the readers here.

    Thanks for your insights and again, apologies for misinterpreting the intent of your initial post.
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  • Profile picture of the author JNFerree
    Martin,

    I would be very helpful to me in my List Building efforts if I could learn how to create an 'attractive' email capture form vs. the vanilla looking generic Aweber form using their creation wizard routine.

    I enclose a screen capture of what I consider a professional use of this technique and one I would like to emulate.

    I've gone through a variety of Aweber video tutorials to try and discover how to do this, but to no avail.

    Insights on how to do THIS seemingly simple task would be appreciated.
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    • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
      Originally Posted by JNFerree View Post

      Martin,

      I would be very helpful to me in my List Building efforts if I could learn how to create an 'attractive' email capture form vs. the vanilla looking generic Aweber form using their creation wizard routine.

      I enclose a screen capture of what I consider a professional use of this technique and one I would like to emulate.

      I've gone through a variety of Aweber video tutorials to try and discover how to do this, but to no avail.

      Insights on how to do THIS seemingly simple task would be appreciated.

      Hi JNFerree

      Have a look for the action pop up.. you'll like the options it gives you and with a little work it can provide exactly what you demonstrate in that picture

      The creator of the action pop up is a member here and it is a great product that you can integrate with your AWeber forms...

      Peace

      Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author tom42357
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      Originally Posted by tom42357 View Post

      I guess one of the biggest reasons I don't want to be a list guy is I don't want to be thought of as a snake-oil salesman.
      Tom42357,

      I think you are on the wrong lists.

      Don't give up on listbuilding because of that.

      You have obviously had some bad experiences. Please don't let them embitter you.

      Remember that every marketer will try to sell you something. The important thing to bear in mind is the balance between the purely informational posts and the sales pitches. Unsubscribe from the guys who do non-stop sales pitches and pay attention to the more helpful ones, particularly those who demonstrate working knowledge of the product they are recommending.

      Many of us go through what you are feeling now and if we cannot work through those feelings we will make our lives a misery and, more importantly, fail in our aim to be successful marketers (which will then create more misery).

      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author teazers4
    Wow, there's certainly is a ton "o" info in here to digest!

    I can see almost everyone reading this thread and second guessing what they've done and how they're going to move forward.

    As Tom42357 stated, you see the same regurgitated message come form the "Big Guys" usually in the "make money" niche because they know we're numb to the process and are constantly looking for the Golden Ticket to success.

    But I think to be really successful with a list, you have to be passionate about your subject and have a real keen interest in helping others that share your passion. It has to be somehting you WANT to do rather than something you HAVE to do.

    In the long run there will be a satisfaction in helping others and a success in monetary terms.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author Recruitment Nick
    With regard list building it is exactly because I don't want the responsibilty. Or didn't as I am just getting around to trying email marketing now.

    The idea for being responsible for constant quality content that will have people interested was something that did worry me a tad. But that has proven ridiculous as I have been writing hundreds of articles a month for both myself and other people recently... and I am very confident of my knowledge in certain targetable niches.

    But I think it is something many people have to work up to, gain the confidence in themselves and their ability to both hold an audiences attention and to consistantly produce informative information. It is one thing to do it for some articles on a site, quite another to do it time and again for a list.
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  • Profile picture of the author longdrv4u
    I felt the same way about giving advice and helping others but after making many mistakes and some good decisions I am comfortable giving a hand to someone starting out .
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  • Profile picture of the author PatDoyle
    The hardest part about the list for me is what kind of content to send out. I don't want to duplicate what is on the blog, but it's hard to think of anything else (otherwise I would have posted that on the blog already)

    ... I'm still learning about list building by trial and error...
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      Originally Posted by PatDoyle View Post

      The hardest part about the list for me is what kind of content to send out. I don't want to duplicate what is on the blog, but it's hard to think of anything else (otherwise I would have posted that on the blog already)
      Pat,

      Why can't you duplicate what's on your blog? Send it to your list first and then post it to your blog.

      "Want to get all the news and special offers on my blog before everybody else? Sign up here."

      Alternatively, when you post on your blog, send your list even more information on the topic.

      I believe there's a WordPress plugin where you can limit access to certain posts to members only (paid or unpaid).

      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Folks,

    There's more than one type of list. Not every list
    needs to be an ezine or a newsletter.

    There are many niche markets where my only
    purpose for having a list is to boost my sales
    conversion rate through post sale follow up emails.
    The emails are all delivered atomatically through
    my autoresponder.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author Kamran
    The keyword is Ego. Keep your ego out, give good info to the list, but it doesn't have to be something that you made yourself, it can be well written PLR, and with the good info, promote your product or an affiliate product. Of course, you cannot expect astronomical results that the gurus show, but you will definitely make some extra sales than you would if you do not have a list.
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