I haven't been very active on the forum the last week or so. I just wanted to drop by and share something with you. I think it will help some people out. It is a new approach I am taking to make money using the things that I have learned online.
The Light Bulb Effect
You’ve probably seen it many times. A cartoon figure thinks and thinks. Then, all of a sudden, he has a new idea. A light bulb appears, fully lit, above his head. Often times, the cartoon figure points at the light bulb indicating the “bright idea” he just had.
The line of work we marketers partake in requires the light bulb effect. We are always thinking of new ways to make money online, different ways to promote our products and services, and innovative techniques that will allow us to stay ahead of the game.
During this month, I have been able to come up with something that has actually already put cold hard cash into my bank account.
Making Money with Affiliate Programs
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make a lot of money in a very short period of time. The only downside to affiliate marketing is, it is mercurial.
Nevertheless, people still do it because it can be very profitable. The most profitable ways to make money with affiliate marketing are the most unconventional ways. Whenever I read an article or a forum discussion about affiliate marketing, it almost always, highlights the same methods over and over again. You are probably familiar with these methods. Blog marketing, E-mail marketing, Article marketing, and SEO.
All of these methods are great. They still work and they will continue to work. However, everyone and their grandmothers are using these methods. The best way and the only way I would approach affiliate marketing is by offering an irresistible offer to a target market with little/no competition.
My Business Plan
Big web hosting companies have always been generous to their affiliates. Especially, HostGator. Did you know you can earn up to $125 for every paying client you send them? Can you believe, it does not matter if the client buys their smallest plan (which is $7/month, no contract) or their largest plan, you will still make $125 for each referral?
I am not very surprised by this. A sales rep from HostGator, whom I just finished talking to, estimates they have 400,000 paying clients. In 2009, they published an article stating they had 200,000 paying web hosting clients. They are growing fast and they have plenty of money to spend.
There is a lot of money to be made by utilizing HostGator’s affiliate program. The problem is, the competition online is unbelievable. It would be very hard to make any real money within a reasonable time frame by promoting web hosting services.
After what I can only estimate to be about 15 light bulbs turning on in my head, I found a work around. This strategy will allow me to accomplish two things. First, it will provide potential clients with an irresistible offer. Second, it identifies a target market that does not have a lot of competitors. Actually, the business plan I am proposing should have virtually no competitors.
HostGator, Offline Businesses, and Me
I am going to target the local businesses in my city. Specifically, every local business that does not have a website or that has a website that looks like it was made 10 years ago.
My proposition to these offline businesses will be simple. I will create a custom 3 page website for their business and get it indexed in the search engines. I will do this for free. Plus, for piece of mind, I will happily sign an agreement that will abide by these terms. No catch. Just a free professional looking website for their business.
* The website design will not be a unique, built from scratch, website design that costs well over $500 to create. I will be using wordpress and a premium wordpress design. I will customize the pictures, the logo, and the content of the wordpress design to suit each business best.
During my proposal to them, I will explain the process of getting a website online and the offer I have from HostGator. In case, they are still hesitant about the offer or if they want to look at other web hosting providers, I will throw in a free $100 Google Adwords marketing campaign for their website. The catch is, they must sign up with HostGator because HostGator is offering the free $100 voucher which is necessary to run the free marketing campaign.
I am offering offline businesses a free website and free marketing. In return I ask them to sign up for a web hosting account which is necessary if they want their website to be live online.
That’s the gist of it. My goal is to get 150 clients on board in the next 1 month and a half. This shouldn’t be very hard since I am giving away websites for free.
Of course, I still need to work on my marketing strategy. How I approach the local business owners will determine how many conversions I will get.
Upselling to Make Even More Money
After everything is set and done I will approach my clients once more to offer them additional internet marketing services. This will be after I have completed the free $100 Adwords marketing campaign. I will show them the data the marketing campaign has compiled and sell them on additional marketing services. This way I can build a passive income from offline clients by driving real local viewers to their website and ultimately their business.
There is a lot of money to be made offline. Especially when you have already provided your potential internet marketing clients with a free website design and a free $100 Adwords test trial.
Note: As I test this offline business model, I tweaked the offer a little bit to help me make even more money.
The point of this post is to give you guys a different way of making money online. With the right approach (towards local business owners) and dedication, you can make a nice income from this.
Thank you for reading. Let me know what you think.