How to expand my business?

22 replies
Hi everyone,

I am a medical student and I started selling a medical subject course a little less than a year starting in April 2013. I have got a friend with a niche website related to memory and I sold the course only on his site.

Here are the number at the end of April 2014:

The sales page has around 4000 hits.
I made 71 sales and a gross revenue of around $3500. Each unit is selling $49 a piece.

I did no promotion, no PPC, no SEO, nothing. I just put up a sales web site of mine and had only this friend as an affiliate. He did no promotion too. I just set up the sales page on his site and did nothing more than that.

I generated around 200 leads.

I am using e-junkie to process the sale.

I originally sold pdfs files version of the course only but I'm reinvesting the money and creating a membership site complete with videos, questions, etc.

I am planning on expanding this product to clickbank and using SEO and PPC to drive more traffic to the site.

Can you please share any ideas on how to expand this business further?

I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you.
#business #expand
  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    I did no promotion, no PPC, no SEO, nothing
    Well you already answered your question. Do the opposite and you'll get better result.
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  • Profile picture of the author yanminis
    Thanks for the help Adie. But you suggest I start with what?

    I'm a medical resident and my time is very limited. I know that SEO takes a lot of time and I'm no expert in PPC.
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  • Yanminis,

    Find out where the traffic is coming from. Find out more details about the buyers. Then:

    Use these details to improve your product and your sales page. Use these details to develop other products and your sales pages for these products. Use these details to develop an opt-in offer so as to capture emails of most viewers who don't buy your products outright. Also:

    Use these details to develop a follow-up email series where you could provide more value and subtlely promote your other products and / or niche-related affiliate products. Use these details to set up a Facebook page and a Youtube channel and a Twitter account and a LinkedIn account, and post interesting videos and buyer testimonials among other relevant content in these social networks, and place links in your website to your Facebook page, Youtube channel, Twitter account and LinkedIn profile. Next:

    Use your site and social network details and have your business listed in Google Places, Bing Places for Business and Yahoo! Local for Small Business, and also in local offline / online business directories in your target local markets. Then:

    Set up a fixed monthly advertising budget for a 3-month test campaign that won't leave you in a complete state of poverty. Use the details above to create compelling ad copies with enticing videos and a test ad campaign on Facebook, Google and Bing. Also:

    You could implement PR and advertorial placements in local offline and online PR directories, news media repositories and other relevant online / offline publications like local niche magazines in your target local areas.

    If you don't have time to do the things above, then you can contract this project to a reputable company with experience in implementing such campaigns...
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  • Profile picture of the author yanminis
    Thanks a lot Marc. You have given me a lot to chew on.

    I already have the details of the buyer type: Medical students who are struggling in the course I created. And they are only buying my product through the one affiliate I have.

    So the best bet for you is to develop another product instead of increasing the market share?
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    • Yanminis,

      Originally Posted by yanminis View Post

      So the best bet for you is to develop another product instead of increasing the market share?
      No. What I recommend is to widen your market share for your product, all while also developing other products that will provide supplemental benefits neither found in your existing product nor elsewhere.

      You can either create new products by using the details that you already have and promote these new products along with your existing product while expanding your market share, or create new products later on when you have more data regarding new viewers and buyers of your existing product and focus at the moment on widening your market share for your existing product...
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      • Profile picture of the author yanminis
        Originally Posted by Marx Vergel Melencio View Post

        No. What I recommend is to widen your market share for your product, all while also developing other products that will provide supplemental benefits neither found in your existing product nor elsewhere.
        And what do you think is the best way to widen the market share?
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        • Yanminis,

          Originally Posted by yanminis View Post

          I already have the details of the buyer type: Medical students who are struggling in the course I created.
          Originally Posted by yanminis View Post

          And what do you think is the best way to widen the market share?
          This is just one advertising campaign out of many that we have tested for our clients to be effective in generating traffic and sales:

          Use Social Lead Freak or another similar software to find active niche-related Facebook groups with medical student members. These may include medical student organizations, associations, fraternities, support groups and so on of universities and graduate schools in your target local areas. This software will also allow you to gather the UIDs (user IDs) of those Facebook group members, and you can also use this software to gather the UIDs of Facebook users who have participated in niche-related events and activities that have been posted in Facebook (find events and activities that are most likely participated by medical students in your target local universities and graduate schools). Then:

          Use these UIDs to create a custom audience in Facebook Power Editor. If you for example find fifty active niche-related Facebook groups with medical student members of universities and graduate schools in your target local areas, each with around 500 members, then you have a custom audience of around 25,000 members, many of whom could most likely be medical students of universities and graduate schools in your target local areas. Next:

          Create compelling ad copies with videos and testimonials. Post it on your Facebook page. Then:

          Create a Facebook ad campaign. Keep in mind to set a fixed monthly budget that won't leave you in a complete state of poverty, i.e. $5 per day at $0.025 per click to get a maximum of 200 clicks per day or 6,000 clicks per month for $150 / month would be decent. Use the posts in your Facebook page as Facebook PPC / PPM right column and news feed ads with your custom audience as your target audience. Do additional filtering work on your custom audience, i.e. Age, gender, desktop or mobile users and so on...

          That's it...
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  • Profile picture of the author yanminis
    Thanks a lot Marx. This is the kind of info I'm looking for! I'll try it out and get back to you with the results!

    Any other ideas you may have besides the facebook one?
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  • Profile picture of the author Zarathustra333
    I would suggest doing direct mail. You can buy some highly customized lists and target just med students (or whatever you target audience is). Just throw a special offer on a postcard and direct them to your website.

    Offline marketing is still very much alive.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanminis
      Originally Posted by Zarathustra333 View Post

      I would suggest doing direct mail. You can buy some highly customized lists and target just med students (or whatever you target audience is). Just throw a special offer on a postcard and direct them to your website.

      Offline marketing is still very much alive.
      Thanks a lot Zarathustra333! The problem is that most of my customers are in USA and I live in another country. So direct mail is not the way to go for me right now. I want to use every online opportunity available before going offline.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Originally Posted by yanminis View Post

    Hi everyone,

    I am a medical student and I started selling a medical subject course a little less than a year starting in April 2013. I have got a friend with a niche website related to memory and I sold the course only on his site.

    Here are the number at the end of April 2014:

    The sales page has around 4000 hits.
    I made 71 sales and a gross revenue of around $3500. Each unit is selling $49 a piece.

    I did no promotion, no PPC, no SEO, nothing. I just put up a sales web site of mine and had only this friend as an affiliate. He did no promotion too. I just set up the sales page on his site and did nothing more than that.

    I generated around 200 leads.

    I am using e-junkie to process the sale.

    I originally sold pdfs files version of the course only but I'm reinvesting the money and creating a membership site complete with videos, questions, etc.

    I am planning on expanding this product to clickbank and using SEO and PPC to drive more traffic to the site.

    Can you please share any ideas on how to expand this business further?

    I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Thank you.

    If you want to expand but have no time for PPC, SEO, etc, etc... then why not replicate what has already worked for you?

    Meaning, find another affiliate like your friend. Approach them, show them your conversions and make them an offer to promote your product to their list.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanminis
      Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

      If you want to expand but have no time for PPC, SEO, etc, etc... then why not replicate what has already worked for you?

      Meaning, find another affiliate like your friend. Approach them, show them your conversions and make them an offer to promote your product to their list.
      Thanks a lot Mike!

      I lucked out because I was already offering free information helping students on my friend's forum and it was because of the demand that I decided to create an infoproduct.

      I'm having trouble looking for other affiliates in the same niche. Others have told me about clickbank. Do you know of any places where I can get affiliates to promote the product?
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  • Profile picture of the author Karol Z
    Promote your business on youtube by creating a high quality video advertisement. Hand out some review copies of your product and tell the reviewers to post videos on youtube. Purchase banner ad's on websites relevant to your product.

    Three ways you can guarantee an increase in sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanminis
      Originally Posted by Karol Z View Post

      Promote your business on youtube by creating a high quality video advertisement. Hand out some review copies of your product and tell the reviewers to post videos on youtube. Purchase banner ad's on websites relevant to your product.

      Three ways you can guarantee an increase in sales.
      Thanks a lot Karol. I love your suggestions!

      I'll keep your idea about creating a high quality video advertisement and handing out review copies to youtubers. Any examples of high quality video ads you have seen?

      I'm thinking of starting off on PPC or FB ads before turning to banner ads. Thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Actually START doing some marketing. Lead off with some paid advertising and test new things out. Have you analyzed your niche?
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    • Profile picture of the author yanminis
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Actually START doing some marketing. Lead off with some paid advertising and test new things out. Have you analyzed your niche?
      Thanks a lot Randall!

      Can you give me any concrete steps on how to test with paid ads and what to test out?

      I've got the numbers for the following countries: 40,000 medical students in the US; 6,000 in the UK, 10,000 in France. I've already sold to other countries besides the US with a ratio of 60% US and 40% outside. If I can capture 1% of the market for these 3 countries with only this product, then the sales will be in the mid 5 figures yearly.
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  • Profile picture of the author himanuzo
    Dig many traffic sources...

    There are a lot of websites which have high traffic, to expand your business then you need to diversity many traffic sources.

    Social media is a must to expand your own business.
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    • Profile picture of the author yanminis
      Originally Posted by himanuzo View Post

      Dig many traffic sources...

      There are a lot of websites which have high traffic, to expand your business then you need to diversity many traffic sources.

      Social media is a must to expand your own business.
      Hi himanuzo what traffic sources? Which websites?

      How can I use Social media? Which one or all of them?

      Thanks anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author yanminis
    Hey guys, I thank you for all your messages but I'd prefer to get actionable, specific guidelines instead of generalisations.

    I found only two great tips from all your messages, one from Marx on how to use facebook and the other from Karol.

    Cheers. Yan
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  • Profile picture of the author cheehien
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
      Originally Posted by cheehien View Post

      Increase traffic to your website is equals to expand your business. Some will cost you money, and some will not. Below you will find many legitimate ways (ranging from free to costly) to boost the number of visitors to your website.

      1) Supplement your original content.
      • Leverage available free content from sources with Creative Commons licenses that support your website message that readers will share.
      • Find for-fee products that will allow you to fully use premium branded content that is legally allowed to be shared.

      2) Offer free, original, and quality content on your site. This is the most effective means for increasing traffic to a website; offering people something that they cannot obtain elsewhere, or at least, not to the level of quality that you are offering it. Ways in which to ensure that your content is of higher quality than competitors or is unique include:
      - Creating content that is helpful and useful. Simply cobbling together information from another website will not generate traffic. You need to offer visitors the information they need to achieve a goal, solve a problem, be entertained, find out quality news or have a good laugh.
      - Keep it fresh. For repeat visits, it is crucial to provide regular updates to the website, especially in frequently viewed zones. Add fresh content every few days if possible; at a minimum, weekly.
      - To have a fully functioning and successful website, you need to make sure your tags are in place and your links are not broken. You also need to submit a sitemap.xml file to Google to have your website show up in Google's search engines. There is a tool that inspects websites just in case you missed tags and links and it creates a free sitemap.xml file. It gives you results in minutes.
      - Outsource article writing. If you hate the thought of generating content yourself, or your team is not writing-savvy, consider outsourcing this end of the task. Depending on the length, content, specialization and quality required, prices can start as low as US$5 per article. However, don't neglect attempting to write your own work - who better than you knows your own business, hobby or club and can express precisely what needs to be said? Just sit down and start writing an article. You may be impressed when you're done!
      - Add video to your landing pages (VLP - Video Landing Page) that is informative and relevant to your site. Respected studies show that good video can improve conversions and page ranking more than most any other item you can add to your pages.
      - Use landing pages for fast fulfillment of your PPC advertisement.
      - Launch some contests. It'll draw you instant traffic. You can Goggle search some free sponsor program and do such contest frequently.

      3) Improve your search engine ranking by focusing your content on keywords related to your topic. This is called search engine optimization and will help people find your website when they're searching the Web. Make sure the keywords flow naturally with the text and when you are brainstorming for good words, ask around for words that come naturally to people of all ages when looking for your type of site. To help you understand better, realize that the keywords not only go into headings and page names but also into "meta tags". "Meta tags" are the software code that website visitors do not see but search engines do. Finally, don't overdo the keywords; over-stuffing keywords will result in a very low search ranking for your website. Also, be very careful not to place key text inside graphics; search engines cannot pick up graphics.

      4) Trying to get more backlinks on your website this may help to increase the traffic
      - Get a proofreader. Poor spelling and grammar reflect badly on the services and information being provided; avoid unwarranted negative judgments by getting the writing in order prior to publication online.
      - Avoid content generators. While these were once the delight of a fledgling web industry, they are no longer useful. Putting your own team's creativity online is what is useful.
      - Never copy and paste from another website - Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines are too smart for this nowadays and will detect copied and unoriginal content, sending you to the bottom of the pile

      5) Use social media. Post compelling content and you'll soon build a loyal following. Follow and share with other users, who may reciprocate and follow you. Keeping up to date with social media and finding time to post can be tricky, but it's well worth it. Let people talk and become part of a community and they'll promote your content for you. This will save you a great deal of time, and they will share much further than via conventional strategies

      6) Get linked. This is a very important part of website management. Exchange links. Trading links with other websites that are closely related to the subject of your website can bring you more website traffic. These are two-way links because you must provide a link to them, too, and linking to low-quality websites can threaten the credibility of yours. Only link to sites that are dead on topic, and truly help your visitors.
      • Instead of trading links, you could also trade banner ads, half page ads, classified ads, etc.
      • Be sure to not be too excessive with your link exchanges and do not make this your entire link building method. Google webmaster guidelines specifically says to not engage in link schemes including: Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging ("Link to me and I'll link to you.")

      7) Advertise your presence. Besides using links, you must make use of numerous other ways to increase web traffic. Sit down and write a list of all the ways you can think of to get your web address noticed and clicked on. For example:
      • If you have money - consider pay per click. The big search engines like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft provide schemes. But find out first how to limit your expenditure to the level you want.
      • Use e-zines. Make your own that relate to your website and form a regular reminder each issue for people to visit your website. Submit all the free e-zine directories on the internet.
      • Submit your articles to e-zines, websites and writing sites that accept article submissions. Include your business information and web address at the end of the article. This is a good way to create one-way backlinks to your website. This is the most effective way to get listed on any search engine. Usually, the more relevant links you have pointing to your site the higher you will rank.
      • Go beyond the electronic medium and into the print medium. Advertise in local newspapers, business brochures, magazines, nationwide publications and mail-drop literature. And don't forget the perennial favorite, the good old Yellow Pages™ - printed version naturally!
      • Small business cards left in cafés, on signboards, exchanged at meetings etc.
      • Use local resources such as clubs, libraries and community centers for non-profit website awareness raising.
      • Participate on message boards. Post answers to other people's questions, ask questions and post appropriate information. Include your signature file containing your website's URL at the end of all your postings.
      • Start your own online discussion community. It could be an online message board, e-mail discussion list or chat room. When people get involved in your community, they will regularly return to communicate with others.
      • Use word of mouth. Tell everyone you know about your website, give out business cards to passers-by in the street, and so on. You might even want to run a guerrilla marketing program!
      • Use your car, especially if your website is area-specific (e.g. a website detailing local events or selling local services). Get some vinyl decals or bumper stickers created and turn your car into a moving advertisement, literally driving traffic to your web site!

      8) Give freebies. Who doesn't like a freebie?! Online freebies are commonplace and they leave the visitor wanting more when they are well written and informative introductory materials. Consider such freebies as:
      • Giving away an eBook with your ad on it. Allow your visitors to also give the freebie away. This will increase your ad exposure and increase web traffic to your website at the same time;
      • Holding free online classes or seminars. They could be held in your website's chat room. The idea of "live" information will definitely entice people to visit your website. You will become known as an expert on the topic.
      • Giving visitors a free entry into your contest or sweepstakes. The prizes should be something of interest or value to your visitors. Most people who enter will continually revisit your web site to get the results.
      • Letting visitors download free software such as freeware, shareware, demos etc. You could even turn part of your site into a free software directory. If you created the software, include your ad inside and let other people give it away.
      • Targeting specific groups who might worry about using the internet with free classes in using it on your site - senior citizens, busy workers etc. might find these convenient and alluring.
      • Offering free online services or utilities from your website. For instance, they could be search engine submitting, copyrighting, proofreading etc. The service or utility should be helpful to your target audience.
      • Giving free consulting to people who visit your website. You could offer your knowledge via e-mail or by telephone. People will consider this a huge value because consulting fees can be very expensive.
      • Offering a free start-up package that has a finite time; enough time for the customer to practice with your online product and like it enough to pay for continued use.
      • Sending out free CDs, DVDs etc. that contain starter packs or teasers to encourage the customer to use your site more.
      • Offering free screensavers or templates for business cards, cards, writing paper etc., anything that a customer can print out

      9) Be patient. Search engines need a lot of time to index a new website and domain. They need time to index all your content; it's worth the wait and should be factored into your website profitability and/or popularity timeline. In the meantime, continue to add high quality content to your website and keep it up to date and relevant.

      10) Use all of these free techniques to increase traffic to your website: USFreeads.net, twitter.com, bloggvertise.com, drop flyers, chat rooms, forums, Youtube, Myspace and Google Groups.

      Nice copy-n-paste job...

      How to Increase Website Traffic: 16 Steps - wikiHow
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  • Profile picture of the author yanminis
    Wow Cheehien! Thanks a lot!
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  • Profile picture of the author Wademcm
    Just a quick one, but reinvest some of the sales money into a little marketing, or simply start an affiliate program through junkie and email some other website owners, send them a free copy to review and promote...
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    Wade McMaster • https://wellbuildyourblog.com
    I build, design and grow websites in WordPress, and show others how to as well!

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