Today I want to connect a few dots for you because this is something that is driving me INSANE already.
My disclaimer is that even though I know first hand I won’t stop this nonsense myself, a little contribution won’t hurt anyone and if it benefits at least ONE person, then my job has been done here.
If you are still working on fail mode, meaning you’re not earning anything online, haven’t sold anything, haven’t produced anything and still wondering why you’re not making any money yet, then this is EXACTLY for you.
I spent my last week watching real freaking long videos and I’m not talking about 15 or 20 minute long videos, I’m talking about massive more than two hours suck my entire life kind of long videos, but I learnt a lot from them.
I’ll just give you the raw information with all the filler text trimmed out.
Let’s dive in!
1. You Can Make Money Without a Blog
I was watching the Underachiever videos (it was some marketing conference held 6 or 7 years ago in Australia) someone in the public asked a question that it seemed blatantly stupid for me, the question was something like this:
What should we put in our root domain as a page, maybe an “about me” page?
The answer was from Frank Kern and he said something like “yeah, you don’t need to actually put something there”.
“Actually, most of the sites we run, don’t have anything on the root domain, yet they make us a shitload of money. Fill them up with squeeze pages and landing pages and that’s all you need to do”.
I know in advance that this was held 6-7 years ago and that the industry is constantly changing but this rang a few bells for myself.
Buy a domain name that you think can be used to sell any niche products. Fill that thing up with squeeze pages, write a great email campaign per offer and worry about driving targeted traffic to each one of your squeeze pages.
From there, it’s just about split testing, tweaking, optimizing and fine tuning for greater conversion, no need to blog!
- Get a testing .com domain name.
- Get a hosting account in case you don’t own already one.
- Create a logo and put that in the front page (extra points if you add a support e-mail)
- Fill that with squeeze pages (I use Optimize Press but you can use anything you want)
- Write a great 5 to 7 day e-mail campaign sequence for each offer.
- Drive targeted traffic to the offers (visitors either opt-in or don’t)
- Use PayPal as your merchant account (don’t even spend any money on Clickbank or any others just yet)
- Tweak conversion and when you have some good numbers, rinse and repeat with similar products.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- If you feel confident enough, take it to Clickbank and create material for affiliate promotions and JVs.
- Launch it as a WSO in the Warrior Forum for 1/4 the price.
Not that complicated right?
2. E-Mail Marketing is More Important Than Blogging For Closing The Sale
Okay so you found a free course on Internet Marketing or even worse, you bought an Internet Marketing course and the first recommendation is to go get yourself a domain name, a hosting account and a blog installed so you have your own little piece of the Internet.
Are you aware that MANY people will buy all these resources first and then their email service second?
In some cases they actually will say something like “oh there’s no point for me to start capturing e-mail addresses just yet, I know nothing about -insert any topic here- so it’s pointless.
Here is what I see as the problem:
You’ll start up with your own first name + last name domain name, install a blog, then say to everyone (maybe less than 5 people) how you have the right mindset and why they should follow you.
So far, so good, right?
But then you’ll have to know in advance than in order to make ANY sales from affiliate marketing (because you don’t have anything else to sell yourself) is very far from happening.
If you ask around what’s the problem, the answer you’ll get is to keep yourself accountable, be consistent, persevere and that time will reward you for your hard work.
That is actually correct, but if you wanted to make money in your first or second month, then this is not the way to go.
You need to define what you are a rockstar at (apart from blogging, writing, internet marketing or making money online) and try to take your experience to the next level on your blog.
See what defines yourself and what keeps you apart from the rest and exploit it.
- Be as true and honest as you can.
- Brand yourself as the expert but don’t leave e-mail marketing for last.
- Even if you are told you should become an Internet Marketer, don’t do it, find your unique voice first.
- Focus on what your passions and hobbies are, and aim for that first than anything else.
- Don’t settle for e-mail marketing alternatives, use only the best and above. (I use Aweber)
- Get started capturing e-mail addresses from day one, even if all you can say is “Hola!”.
3. You Can Make Money With 3-Page Sites
I learnt this from several different people (Frank Kern, Kim Roach, Glen Allsopp)
All you need to have in place, is a sales page and a download page (I would say a squeeze page comes in handy too).
And yeah, you don’t even have to deal with wordpress or any other stuff, you can just use plain simple HTML here (assuming you have the skills for it) and roll with it.
The idea behind this approach, is to have a very compelling offer on a sales page with a buy button and if they choose to buy, a download area and that’s basically it.
I have been reading all over the internet, that the most ugly squeeze pages are the ones that convert the most.
I haven’t tested this yet, but there’s a fine damn good reason for that.
Scammers have been hiring actors for so long, that any perfect voice you hear, any perfect sales copy you read, any perfect looking site you see, makes you doubt almost instantly if you’re not going to end up buying some crappy product that haves a great package on the outside.
Write something that you believe it can fix a few problems for people and offer that on a single page using PayPal.
If you have a blog, add that under your “Products” tab or on your sidebar area so if people want to learn more about you, they have the chance to buy something made from you.
- Create a product yourself and don’t make it perfect, just get it done.
- Create the sales page and include the common questions as bullets and benefits. (I can’t talk about writing sales copy right now, let’s address that for another post!)
- Include an exit pop up in case they don’t buy, but make it pretty and include a completely FREE course on the same subject but much more limited in content.
- Spread the content in n-days with e-mail marketing making your offer even better each day.
- If they decide to buy in the end, add the FREE content as a full PDF or even offer it as a brandable report with their own affiliate links.
- Don’t forget to include a strong guarantee before they buy and keep it valid!
4. You Want To Have A Membership Site But You Don’t Have The Money For The Plugin
One thing that I have always liked, is doing step by step kind of courses.
I just LOVE these kind of trainings because it doesn’t feels like work at all, it becomes fun and if you have a progress bar or keep unlocking stuff up, it just sucks you right in.
Well, the same thing happens with a Membership Site that drips its content for you.
If you can’t afford paying for a WordPress membership plugin (WishList Member, Digital Access Pass, etc) that keeps your content protected and safe while administering your membership levels and such, you can always test this thing out with e-mail marketing.
- Install wordpress on a new domain name or a subdomain on your main domain solely for this membership purpose.
- Decide for how long are you going to deliver content for this membership (don’t make it infinite, set a graduation day!)
- Write the full e-mail campaign sequence and make sure everything is in order (links are correct, etc)
- Set your email campaign to drive traffic to specific non-listed pages.
- Install the exclude pages plugin and exclude all the “protected” pages on your wordpress installation.
- If you’re using video, you can use YouTube and unlist all the protected videos.
- Select the payment frequency (installments) on Paypal.
- Create the paying button and off you go!
- Same as above.
- Use Optimize Press.
- Use Vimeo Pro for protected videos or Amazon S3 + Easy Video Player v.2
- Use WishList Member to administer protected content and members.
- Create affiliate materials (banners, emails, swipes, etc)
- Have a support/help desk ready.
- JV with some alike Internet Marketers.
- Create buzz everywhere (warrior forum, press releases, blogs, other forums, etc)
- Launch the product over the span of a week or so.
- Achieve MASSIVE success.
5. Stand On Your Own, Be Unique
I always put as an example one or two Internet Marketing friends but this time I can’t, because I have too MANY marketing friends already that are struggling now.
They all have what it takes:
- a blog
- deliver free value
- have bought all the tools already
- have enrolled in a few marketing courses before
- do their social media right
- they do have e-mail marketing in place and with a nice provider
- and they do have (or used to have) a few buy buttons here and there
If all these friends of mine are doing everything right, or at least, like they are supposed to, what is it that is stopping them from having some cash flow going on?
I am sick of seeing this and I can tell you they are sick of being in that position too.
So what is IT?
Let’s (just for the fun of it and as a hint too) pretend I open a coaching program and I get 10 students.
I tell them they have to register a domain name, a hosting account, install wordpress, and all that yadda yadda.
Then I say, write a little introduction, something personal, how you plan to make it happen for you, what you expect of this course, etc, etc.
Until here, everything’s apparently perfect, right?
Then I tell you, start giving great content away, study about marketing, and well, nurture your list!
If you just decided to get into Marketing, bought my course and then received this kind of advice, you would definitely think “I’m not good for this” or “This thing doesn’t even works, I should of listened to my neighbor Pepe” and you’ll quit in less than a few months.
I have seen this EVERYWHERE.
It doesn’t matter who the coach is, taking action is something that we have to deal with and accept that not everyone is going to endure our training.
There’s another factor here, have you ever seen someone who is a professional sports player, becomes a coach and then completely SUCKS at coaching?
It’s the same exact thing with Internet Marketing, not because someone makes a lot of money makes them a natural born teacher, it is far from that!
Anyway, to get back on track again, let’s pretend I start all over again and we have our new 10 students.
I first give them an introduction of what Internet Marketing is at the core level.
How they can take advantage of the Internet, what makes people buy, how they can run a real online business from their computers at home, etc.
Then according to each ones capabilities, you draw a path for them to follow (you don’t HAVE to coach them personally, an algorithm -or a mind map- can do this perfectly fine).
From this point and on, all there is to it, is to focus on what their niche is going to be, what their product is going to be and how they are going to deliver it.
There is NOTHING else to worry about, but this.
Does this seems like a better option to you, where I would have 10 students, working their asses off, but extremely happy, trying to find their unique voices, having maybe someone who teaches guitar, another who teaches how to make scrapbooks, another one who teaches how to run a marathon for seniors, etc, etc.
Instead of 10 students, who are all writing about the same topics (which they may even hate) getting stuck a lot on every technical detail they encounter, and then getting so tired and sick from this that when they choose to quick, they are being called QUITERS!
I don’t think that anyone who has succeeded online a little bit can claim themselves to be a coach, a teacher, a mentor, or whatever they claim to be, much less charging for these internet marketing courses.
Playing with people’s lives and money, shouldn’t be something to be taken lightly.
So what’s YOUR call on this, scenario 1 or 2?
6. Don’t Assume Your Knowledge Is Common Sense
I bet my ass and two corona beers you’re going to be shocked by this.
If you know a couple of things more than someone else, you already may be seen as an ‘expert’.
You don’t have to be the best guy ever on the whole planet to become an expert.
As Corbett Barr addresses on his new blog Expert Enough, you just have to know enough to become dangerous.
I recently helped a good friend of mine, migrated all his blog from an old hosting account, to a new hosting account.
I honestly thought everybody knew this!
On another scenario, another good friend of mine which is a hardcore blogger, didn’t know what was the deal when adding more domain names to a regular hosting account.
I almost fainted when I saw that update on Facebook.
Can you see the possibilities here?
I honestly thought that EVERYTHING I knew related to blogging, maintaining a site, cpanel, wordpress and the like, was common sense already to everybody.
I thought this mainly because my readers happen to be very good internet marketers and bloggers already, so what the heck could I even attempt to teach them?
Well, apparently, it’s more than I thought and I bet you’re on the same frequency, maybe you just haven’t realized this.
Here’s a very fun list with specific topics:
- Adding more domains to your same hosting account.
- Creating e-mail accounts and forwarding.
- Protecting your files from leeching
- Optimizing your MySQL databases for performance
- Installing multiple blogs with wordpress
- Backing up wordpress the easiest way
- Creating your own custom widget for wordpress
- Building your own landing pages with wordpress
As you can see, the possibilities are endless for each topic, e-mail marketing, graphic design, webinar, audio&video marketing, etc.
Can you imagine how much could you do if you didn’t limit yourself to Internet Marketing?
7. Don’t Sell Info Products, Sell… What?
Again, in one of the videos I watched this last weekend, John Reese formulated the following question to the live audience offering to give away some money in return for the answer.
He asked “what are we selling online?”
There were many, MANY answers, but only one (apparently) answered correctly.
The answer was TIME.
Not info products, not solutions, not answers, TIME.
The reason -he says- we sell time is, because whenever someone is looking for something, they are willing to pay in order to get the answer NOW and it just makes sense!
If I want to know how to make a freaking blog that engages its audience, instead of reading the thousands of articles that thousands of people have written about it, I just go to the source, as with an authority blogger, buy his course and I instantly have what I need.
No need to be wasting all my time and efforts on searching for what I already want NOW!
A very quick scenario…
Me, more than 10 years ago, I wanted to learn how to solo on a guitar, I already knew all the notes on the guitar neck, already knew some scales and many chords, yet I still, didn’t know how to play a damn solo on my own.
I didn’t know how to connect one thing with another!
I had to pay someone to teach me what I was missing and everything suddenly clicked.
I invested some money and then I gained TIME. (or I saved time, however you want to look at it)
Tip: Whenever you are going to create something, think on what would be the absolute faster way to make it accomplish what it says for your customer.
In return, you’ll have a very happy buyer and instant credibility for your more to come products.
So for a recap…
- You can make money without a blog
- Focus more on E-mail Marketing than Blogging (if you want to make money)
- You can make money with 3-page sites
- You can run a membership site (sort of) without DAP or WLM
- Get rid of your competition by finding your own unique voice
- Value your knowledge
- Sell time
I hope this helps.
PS. This was an experiment of free writing, I did stop a lot and I also went back and forth to correct stuff so I obviously need to practice this a lot more but it was a nice experiment in the end.
PPS. I had a lot more to talk about here but this got way too big already, so maybe for another post.