How To Get (Free) Instant Website Traffic

Have you ever felt the thrill and excitement of seeing traffic rush to your website or an affiliate link and sales quickly follow?

Let me tell you, having the power to direct traffic to any site you want, when you want (for free) and then seeing sales pour in is one of the most rewarding and satisfying things about running an online business.

So what is this magical method of driving traffic instantly, for free?

Well, it’s no mystery at all actually.

Instant traffic without cost is possible when you have a ‘list’.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘list building’, it’s what us marketers call the process of collecting names and emails of potential customers and emailing them with offers.

The beauty of emailing  your list is that your subscribers will get your email, potentially open it, read it and click on a link to your website or website you recommend.

The result: Instant Traffic!

And you know what happens when you mix traffic with a good offer…yep, sales!

Seriously, in the same time it takes to make your favorite bowl of instant noodles, you can actually see sales flow into your inbox or paypal or whatever!

Hopefully now you see the power of having a list that you can email.

“But hang on Stuart, I don’t have a list…how can I get traffic quickly?”

Never fear! Emailing a list is not the only way to get traffic.

There are hundreds of ways to get traffic to a website…I’m sure you already know a few ways.

You can buy it, trade it or steal it 🙂 (More on those three another day.)

But where so many marketers go wrong is that they are in too much of a hurry to make a sale and forget about building a list first.

They waste traffic by sending visitors straight to a “pitch page” without capturing it first. i.e. not building a list.

A small percentage may buy on the spot (0.1% – 2%) but the remaining 99% of that traffic is gone forever.

Don’t make that mistake!

Build a list first, it may take a little time at first, but you’ll be able to get that INSTANT traffic and sales and more of it – whenever you want it!

List building and email marketing is nothing new.

But it’s still up there with one of the most effective, cheapest (can’t beat free!) and simplest ways to send traffic in an instant to any site to promote and sell anything online.

To your success,

Stuart Stirling

Aka “Stu Sensei”

Setting Up Your Online Support Desk

If you’re selling digital products, or any product online, a support desk website is highly recommended.

I finally pulled my finger out and got a dedicated support desk set up this week after doing internet marketing and selling digital products for nearly 4 years without one.

Something I should have got around to about 3 and a half years ag0 😉

How NOT To Manage Support

Up until now, I was managing (receiving and sending) the majority of my customer support requests directly from my email inbox.

You can probably see the many problems with this.

eg. Lost emails that get either get mixed with spam and I accidentally delete them or emails that never get delivered full stop.

I sometimes had customers complain, telling me they had tried to contact me once or twice already without a response. Of course, this is not good for business.

Customer satisfaction is a top priority for me, and should be for you too if you care about your business.

Having a dedicated support desk, and not just an email address says a lot for your credibility too. When your customers see you care enough to have a quality support system in place, they feel more secure about dealing with you online.

Easy To Outsource

Another benefit for having an online support desk is that it makes outsourcing the task so easy. This is something I will be doing very soon.

I spend way too much time sending customers new download links for digital products (any marketer who uses RAP or $7 secrets script will know what it’s like). Customer support is not a task for the entrepreneur.

Out time would be MUCH better spent on developing products, writing copy and networking with other entrepreneurs – things that take us forward in our business.

Stuart Stirling Support

Best Support Desk Option

After looking around for support desk software, I finally decided on the free, open source system, OS Ticket.

It’s simple enough for even me to use, and I could install it via my cpanel’s fantastico on my website…and it’s free. Quick, easy, free – just what I wanted.

The only complaint I have about OS Ticket is that there isn’t a Knowledge base or FAQ where customers can search for and check info before submitting a ticket. But seeing as though the majority o my support demands at the moment are for new download links, FAQ’s aren’t going to help with that much.

A Domain Name Or Not?

I set up my support desk on a new domain, StuartStirlingSupport.com.

You can do this too – something like YourNameHelpDesk.com which gives a nice image and helps with your credibility. But there is always the option to create your support desk on a sub-domain or in a new directory on your existing domain. i.e. www.YourName.com/support

Either way you choose, a support desk website is going to help you avoid clutter in your inbox and give your customers a better experience.

To your success,

Stu “Sensei” Stirling

Secrets of a 56.2% Conversion Squeeze Page

It’s not a typo – the secrets of a 56.2% conversion rate squeeze page. It might sound like I’m pulling your leg, but in all honesty, this is what one of my recent squeeze pages is converting at as I type this post.

high conversion squeeze page

This kind of conversion rate is not unheard of in the IM circles, but many aspiring internet marketers would give their right leg to achieve this level of conversions from their squeeze page.

So how did I do it?

I’ve been creating squeeze pages for several years, so I have a good feeling for what works and what doesn’t. Here are a couple of secrets that I’ll let you in on.

1. An Offer They Can’t Refuse

2. The Right Traffic

No, there are no secrets about a magical headline or a super cool video that I used. In fact, there was no video and I hardly spent time writing the headline.

The main things I made sure of was to get the offer right – something of high perceived value, and then send the right traffic to it.

And by ‘right traffic’ I mean visitors that are going to know exactly what is expected of them at the website. In other words, pre-sold visitors.

These are the two ingredients of every successful internet marketing offer.

But it’s surprising how some marketers don’t pay much attention to them.

They throw up any old offer and then send rough traffic from ad blasters and wonder why they get 1% or less conversions.

In a later post, I’ll shed more light on “how to create an irresistible offer” and where to find the right “pre-sold traffic” to send to your squeeze page.

For now,  I’ll leave you to think about your own squeeze page and if the way your sending traffic is getting you the conversions you want.

To your success,

Stuart “Sensei” Stirling

Listbuilding Survey

Yesterday I asked a some of my subscribers to complete a survey about List building.

I wanted to gauge people’s awareness and interest in list building. It was a simple survey, just 7 questions. The results were pretty interesting.

I made a short video summarizing the survey questions and I also reveal the survey results.

Watch the Survey Results Video here if you haven’t seen it yet.

In short, here are some of the things I learned from the survey.

  • Many people are already building a list!
  • List building is popular
  • Video is the most popular way to learn
  • One-on-one calls are not as popular as I thought
  • People are still struggling with the basics

In the very near future, I want to put on a 3 or 4 week interactive workshop for a small group of 20 or so serious marketers who want to build a solid list of their own. I have been adding 50 – 100 subscribers a day for the last year and I’d love to show you how to do it too.

Please let me know your thoughts about the video, the survey results or about the list building workshop I plan to put on.

To your success,
Stu Sensei Stirling

How To Start A Successful Internet Business

Selling stuff via the Internet (commonly known as Internet marketing) is a great business to be in! Billions of dollars are spent online each year by consumers and that number is growing bigger every year.

Maybe you’re eager to get into the IM scene and start an Internet business for yourself, but before you jump in, there are a few things you need know about.

And these are four most important online business fundamentals you need to know, in my opinion.

– How a business works
– How to sell (receive money) and deliver a product online
– How to get web visitors to see your offer
– How to grow your business

I’m going to try to answer these 4 big questions for you to give you an outline of what an online internet marketing business is made of.

1. How A Simple Online Business Works

In my short internet marketing career since starting in 2006, I have learned a lot about what makes an online business profitable and what makes a business un-profitable.

These are the 4 main things that make up the guts of a good solid online business:

1) You need a product or service you sell
2) You need a killer sales message (USP-Unique Selling Proposition)
3) You need a way to get paid
4) You need a way to deliver the product or service to the customer

That’s basically it – a simple online business structure described in a nutshell. Pretty simple right?

Other basic principles (or ethics) to make a successful business to take note of are: The customer is always right. Customer service with a smile goes a very long way & under-promising and over-delivering on your offer goes even further.

2. How To Sell, Collect Money & Deliver Your Stuff

The engines that runs all the selling and product delivery for your business is typically a website. Unfortunately, for a lot of newcomers to the internet, setting up a website is where most get lost and give up.

Websites can be as complex as the Starship Enterprise or as basic as a bicycle in terms of functionality.

As long as it does the few basic functions of displaying your sales pitch and then collecting the money you ask for your product or service, that’s all you really need.

A sales message doesn’t have to be any amazing masterpieces to work either. A good sales letter can be nothing more than a short description of your offer with instructions on how your customer can get it.

Which brings them to the next part – an online merchant account to take orders via credit card, debit card etc. It’s not everyone’s favorite, but I recommend www.Paypal.com to manage online payments. It still is a popular choice for many online business owners.

After your customer goes through the order process, they then need to be able to download or sign up for access to your product. For this, you need is a separate “thankyou page” where your customers are forwarded to after payment.

On this thankyou page, you can have your download link if you sell downloadable products, or a form to collect their name, email, shipping address etc. if you’re selling a physical product. Services like Paypal can redirect your customer to any page you specify for you.

Luckily, there are website systems you can set up to manage this type of e-commerce website. I have been using the RAP script for quite some time with great results. It offers all the functionality I need and more to sell my digital products online with security and automation.

3. Getting Customers

Once you have your online “store front” ready to take orders, you now need people coming to your site. This flow of visitors is called TRAFFIC!

The best advice I can give for traffic generation is this: USE THE RIGHT BAIT IN THE RIGHT LAKE!

In other words, you need seek out where those people who want your product are hanging out and don’t waste your time anywhere else.

If people are searching on ebay looking for what you sell, advertise it on ebay.

If people are searching Google for what you are selling, get your website ranking high in Google with SEO (search engine optimization) and so on.

The wrong way to go about traffic generation is to buy a bunch of cold, un-targeted leads just because you think 10,000,000 random email addresses for $100 is a bargain.

Go where the right crowd for your offer is. Seek out where your TARGET market spends time online and go after them with your advertising!

4. Plan For Long Term Success

For real success, we need to be in this business for the long shot. We need to have a long term vision and plan it.

The truth is, it takes time to build a real business. If you are too worried about making money now, you might give up before you get anywhere.

Everyone starts at the beginning and works their way up. It can take more time for some – and less time for others. It’s a combination of learning and doing and being patient while doing both.

But the most important thing to do is to actually start doing what you learn. That’s why I created the Newbie Start Up Guide, so as to help beginners take the short cuts to getting up and running online with a simple internet business.

Internet marketing is a constant learning experience. For me, my long term plan is to grow my business bigger and better while learning as much as I can. I try to be constantly thinking of and creating new products and offers to fit my customers needs to help them achieve success with their online ventures too.

To achieve this, it means thinking ahead, setting goals and working towards them with the big picture in mind. That with a positive attitude and determination, it’s almost impossible to fail with your online business.

Stu Sensei

New Office Let’s Me Work In Style And Comfort

I decided 2010 is going to be a breakthrough year for me; one where I’ll step up my game and get more serious about taking my business online to the next level.

One of thing I was opened to since reading HomePreneur by Jimmy D Brown, is that in order to excel at business, especially a home based business, your work space is one very important aspect home based entrepreneurs often overlook that affects your work productivity.

When I first got started with my Info-product business in 2006, I had just the basics; a low powered PC (tiny processor, 256MB ram, 80GB hard disk) running Windows XP in Japanese! with a tiny 15″ monitor, sitting on a tiny desk with a tiny chair…but I did have my internet connection.

The great thing about Japan is the Internet speed here. It’s one of, if not THE fastest broadband providers on the planet.

That setup was enough to get a fair amount done, but over time, things just naturally got too small. My little 80GB hard disk was filling up fast with a ton of large software apps like Photoshop, Camtasia, Skype, Open Office Suite, Microsoft Office etc. Not to mention all my files that I downloaded or created, were weighing my poor machine down.

At the end of 2009, I knew I couldn’t make the progress I wanted for my business with my setup the way it was so I bit the bullet and made it a point to do a whole office space make-over with a new desk, new chair, and best of all, new PC!

I got my new high-back executive chair and desk at the local second-hand shop for 9000 yen (about $100US) which was an absolute bargain! The PC I ordered online from the DELL website.

The specs are as follows for all you tech savvy geeks out there. Dell Studio Desktop, 20″ monitor, Windows 7 Ultimate (English OS), Intel Core 2 Quad processor (6MB cache, 2.66Ghz), 4GB RAM, 500GB Sata HDD, wireless keyboard and mouse (which I’m still getting used to) and the list goes on.

The price for this was just a smidge over 9,3000 yen (about $1050US) which is comparatively cheap. I don’t care too much about price, because I see it as an investment.

This will help me get more done with more ease, in less time. After all, my PC is my major tool I use for my business so it needs to be sharp…I don’t want to be waiting around for a program or file to load.

You’ll also notice how I keep a desk diary on the desk. In that I write my to-do list and other notes I need to remember. Some things you can’t see in the photos are a calendar right above my monitor on the wall and a small whiteboard on the wall to the left.

These help me keep organized so I can get things done and not waste my time when I sit down to work.

Now, I’m all set up for a killer 2010. I’ll be able to fly through my work in comfort. I’m not saying you need to spend $1000+ on new computer stuff for your business too, remember I was using a $700 second hand computer for almost 4 years! But if you can afford it, it sure helps.

Stu Sensei

4 Steps To Better To-Do Lists

A successful business is an organized business. As you know, working from home as an entrepreneur, there is a lot to organize and do everyday to run and grow our businesses successfully.

But despite all the things you have to do, you probably have days where at the end of it, you think to yourself….“I got jack squat work done today!”

Sometimes there are just so many things to do that we run around like we’re on fire and don’t get any productive work done.

We’re all over the shop, doing little bits over here and little bits over there but never getting any real solid work done.

That’s where a “To-Do” list becomes a life (and time) saver.

A “To-Do” list gives us direction and helps us focus on the most important tasks of the day.

Have you ever used a “To-do” list? If not, why not?

If you are, then you’ll know how this simple little system can have big payoffs.

Here are my tips for using “To-Do” lists in for my home internet business.

Step 1. All you need to make the most basic to-do list is a scrap piece of paper and a pen.

But you probably won’t want scrap paper littering your desk. Instead, invest in a whiteboard you hang on your wall or a weekly planner you keep on your desk, like me.

Some people might use software or have a “to-do” list file on their computer, but I find that a real thing I can look at anytime is much better.

Step 2. Then you write down all the things you want or need to do.

They can be things you need to do today, tomorrow or this week. Write them down in any order for now.

When you can see all the things to do in front of you, you can free up space in your head. it might sound silly, but that’s how I feel.

I can see what I have to do at a glance so I don’t have to think about it constantly. I know which tasks are most important too, but sometimes I will circle or highlight ones that are a high priority.

Step 3. Then, keep it nearby. Don’t forget about it. When you get distracted, look at the list.

You might not want to do some of the tasks. If they seem too daunting, break them down into smaller tasks.

When you think of a new task to do, write it on the list.

Step 4. When you complete a task, put a line through it.

This is when you feel a little warm feeling of accomplishment and a little less weight off your shoulders.

When you have your work set out in front of you, and not all jumbled in your head, it makes getting work done a heck of a lot easier.

If you’re not already using a To-Do list, try it and see how much more productive you can be with your time.

Stu Sensei