Success Starts With Learning The Basics

Too many times, beginners get caught up with purchasing the latest ‘shiny new object’ when all they really need is to learn the basics first.

They try to make money with the latest Facebook App or the latest WP plugin before they even get a simple website up and traffic.

Internet marketing is not a race. Although you might feel like you need or should be making money fast. Believe it or not (and ask anyone) it takes time and a lot of hard work.

Start wth the basicsStart with learning the basics. Learn to walk before you run. You’ll be able to go far with just some simple website building and marketing skills.

Here is a simple lesson about the basics of creating an internet business and online marketing. Learning these skills, you can build yourself a successful internet business.

Step 1. Find or create a product you want to sell online.

This can be a product you’ve created or someone elses you can promote as an affiliate. Ultimately, you should be aiming to create a product of your own. I love and recommend the digital info-product business. It’s how I make 95% of my money online and it’s awesome because it’s 99% fully automatic. No shipping, no products to constantly create. I get paid instantly and my customers download it anytime like clockwork – even when I’m asleep.

Digital products are easy and cheap to create too. Ebooks, audios, articles, videos, graphics, templates, software – these are all examples of hot selling digital products. And once you make them, you can sell them over and over again. Find what people want to buy and create a simple digital product about it. Internet millionaires have been made by following this simple business model.

Step 2. Build a website to act as your 24/7 online sales person.

Don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise. You need a website if you want to be a successful online marketer.

I know newbies get hung up on website set up because of the find it difficult to learn the technical stuff like FTP, domain names, hosting and Autoresponder systems etc. but it’s this basic skill that once you learn, you’ll be able to use to take your internet business far.

To sell your product, set up a website, write a sales letter and place your order button on it. Copywriting is also one of those important fundamental skills you need to learn to be successful as an online marketer. If you really want to get rich, learn to become a good copywriter!

If you’re selling online as an affiliate, create a website centered around that particular niche and position yourself as an expert in that field. Using WordPress makes it easy and quick to build an affiliate site. If you have good helpful content and can build solid traffic to that site using SEO and/or viral marketing, you can make money from recommended products on your site.

List building/marketing is a proven strategy for making sales on demand. It’s easy to build a list at your blog or on your sales letter. Use a pop-up, embed your opt-in form in the web  page itself, or use a squeeze page. When you build a list, you can follow up with your subscriber and recommend products to them -yours and others’ as an affiliate.

Step 3. Integrate an affiliate program to sell more of your products.

This will only work if you’re selling your own product or a product you have resell rights to. There are several sales and download management software scripts you can install on your website that will automate the whole sales and delivery of your digital products.

I like and use the RAP script because it has a ton of features like:

* instant payments to affiliates,
* auto-optin of your customer to your autoresponder,
* multi-product management from one domain, etc.

RAP isn’t not the cheapest sales/affiliate management script but you only need to buy it once and you can use it over and over on any number of domains. The other advantage of using a self-hosted script is that you have complete control over your website and affiliate program. You also save money because you don’t have to pay fees for listing products ora percentage of every sale.

There are a ton of web-based affiliate management services online such as Clickbank, JV zoo, Mooshpay and Paydotcom. The benefit of using these is that you can tap into an already existing JV network. Your product can get spotted and promoted by affiliates who bring you sales.

Step 4. If you don’t have your own product, yet.

I say ‘yet’, because having your own product should definitely be in your plans. You simply need a product to dominate your niche.

If you’re not selling your products from your website and doing the affiliate marketing thing for now, your main job is to get traffic to your affiliate links (merchants order pages). There are several ways to get traffic (as discussed below) but most affiliates go for search engine traffic.

Last year, I started a couple of affiliate blogs and SEO optimized them for Google traffic. It’s a fairly complex game but the rewards are great when you’re on page 1: hands-free, non-stop traffic. Not to mention it’s highly targeted.

The basics of SEO are simple and easy to understand but usually basic SEO will only get you so far. It’s the little extra secret tactics you apply that get you above your competition. I learned from one of the best affiliate/SEO marketers Andrew Hansen how he makes simple $300/day affiliate sites, so I recommend you check his course out if you want to learn affiliate marketing.

Step 5. Market your website.

In other words, get traffic to it. This is the fuel which will power your business. These are some ways to drive traffic…

* SEO (search engine marketing)
* Video marketing
* Social networking (Facebook etc)
* Article marketing (write and submit to article directories)
* JV marketing (swapping ad space on your website or in emails etc)
* Affiliate recruiting (as we talked about in Step 3.)
* Paid ads (PPC, banner ads, ezine solo ads etc)
* Forum marketing (place your links in your sig)

There are many more ways than this to market your website but it really comes down to your budget and amount of time you’ve got. For free traffic, I suggest article marketing, SEO, JV and affiliate traffic. If you want to pay for quick targeted traffic, then ezine/email solo ads are the way to go. I don’t have a lot of experience with PPC but it’s something I’m looking into.

Extra cool tip: With the traffic you generate, send it to a squeeze page so you can build a list. (works for affiliate marketing too ;)).

6. The final secret. In the end, the secret to it all is just going out there and doing it. You probably know all the things I already explained above – but they won’t help you if you don’t take action on them! 90% of success is a result of simply taking action! (10% inspiration, 90% perspiration)

Work out a plan and then break it down into small jobs. Work and aim to complete those small jobs in a time frame you decide. If you just do one small but significant
task a day, you will get a lot accomplished every week. Doing the basics leads to big things.

Stuart StirlingTo your success!

Stu Sensei

Is Your Refund Rate High? Congratulations!

Wow, it’s been too long since my last post! While I’ have been a little lazy on the blog here, I’ve still been busy learning.

I’ve been reading, watching video, listening to audios, and checking out (spying on) what other marketers are doing.

In one video I watched that was of a copywriter giving a sales page copywriting critique, the presenter was talking about “refund rates”.

And something that made my ears perk up was when he said something like

“If you’ve got a low refund rate, you’re sales copy is not aggressive enough.”

Weird huh? Now naturally, we’d think that low refunds are better for our business.

But his point was that if our copy doesn’t create a mad buying frenzy, then it’s too weak.

So I’m not saying hype up your copy for a crap product to the point that you get 100% refund rates.

You product needs to deliver but what your copy needs is to do is get more people excited and take action now. No matter what, a percentage of people are going to ask for a refund anyway.

But what more aggressive copy is going to do is increase sales conversions which is a good thing but the negative will be that it will lead to more refunds.You’ve just got to make sure the proportion of refunds is not going to result in a loss of profits overall.

If you can crank up your sales conversions by 2% which increases your refunds by 1%, you are still 1% ahead.

Just something to think about if you’re currently getting low refunds and thinking you’re doing a great job.

There is always room for improvement. So get out there and start selling like a maniac!

Stuart “Sensei” Stirling

p.s. Agree? Disagree? Leave your comment below.

5 Reasons Why People Won’t Subscribe To Your List

Has this ever happened to you?

You’ve got a website, your auto-responder is filled with messages and you’re sending traffic, but no-one is subscribing to your list…

So, what’s the problem?

Note: If you don’t have the kind of list building system described above, you should get one…but one that converts…which I’ll show you how.

Every serious marketer is, or should be on the hunt for more subscribers.

Obviously, the more subscribers or leads you have the ability to contact, the more you can guide them down your sales funnel and turn then into paying customers.

That’s the ideal marketing system, but sometimes it’s easier said than done.

Here are some of the bigger reasons why people won’t join your list in the first place, which is the first step of the sales funnel…

1. Your ‘Bait’ is Not Juicy Enough

By bait, I mean your offer or ‘bribe’ is not desirable. This has to be the #1 killer of any list building campaign’s conversions. A lot of people think that if it’s free, everyone will want it. Not so. To get people’s attention, and their name and email it has to be something of high perceived value that they can’t get anywhere else.

For example, a free video, report or email course which reveals a little-known technique or “how to” training usually sparks interest which sucks your visitors in.

If it’s something they can actually use, like software or materials to save them time or money, it might even pull better.

2. Your Traffic Is Not Targeted

I talked about how important it is for high conversions to get targeted traffic.

1000 targeted visitors will always convert better than 1,000,000 non-targeted visitors.

3. They Don’t Know You From Adam

Credibility is so important for doing business online. If people don’t know you, then chances of them trusting you with their private contact details is slim.

The best way to get credibility is to share some proof that you are trust-able and what you have to share will actually help them.

You might share some good content with them before the need to optin. Video can be good for this, but if you don’t have video, share a short story in writing. Another great way is to get testimonials from your current subscribers/customers and show them on the optin page.

4. Your Copy Is Bland

Good copywriting is essential to pursuade your visitors to optin to your list. Copywriting is the power (or art) of selling with words. If your words are weak and uncompelling, it will show in your results.

The basic formula for a well copy written “offer” starts with a headline to attract attention, give them some teaser copy to educate them on what you have and how it will benefit them, and then explain what they have to do next to get it, also known as a “call to action”.

5. You’re Not Using A Squeeze Page

The best type of website to use for effective list building is by far a “squeeze page”.

If you’re not using a squeeze page, and using the typical “business” style website with a sidebar, banner graphics, articles and a little optin form in the corner, then don’t expect a high optin rate.

Squeeze pages work best because you are only giving your website vistor two options. Either they subscribe or they don’t.

List building is kind of like a science. There are formulas that work, and ones that don’t.

Hopefully now you have an idea on how to improve your subscriber rate, and if you’re not building a list yet, you’ll know how to do it well when you start.

To your success,

Stu “Sensei” Stirling

How To Breathe Sales Back To Your Tired Ebook

Do you have an ebook that you worked hard on and sold like hotcakes at launch, but is now dying a slow painful death?

I did, and I’m going to share a few tips on how I brought life back to it and get the sales going again!

After a great and powerful launch back in 2007, sales and conversions of one of my best selling reports on starting an internet business – Crush Your Job were way down almost to a grinding hault.

The report is choc-full packed with timeless online business building strategies and methods that will never grow old so I wasn’t about to see it die yet.

I think this type of thing happens all the time to ebook publishers – the sales boom when the product is new and then after a few months, (sometimes weeks) sales disappear into thin air almost like a magic trick!

It sucks when that happens…because what about all the hard work that went into creating the product, setting up the site, getting affiliates and then launching it?

If you have an ebook or a product that you think is too good to let die and want to put some spark back into it, like I did with Crush Your Job, here are some of the things you can try that brought it back to life:

Step 1. Freshen Up The Ebook Content

Although Crush Your Job content will be useful for a long time, I (and James Brown the co-author) decided to tidy it up.

There wasn’t much to freshen up, but if your ebook is full of links to other websites, it’s a good idea check to see if the sites are still up.

Also, if you are teaching some kind of “how to” method, make sure it is still relevant and still works!

Step 2. New Website Graphics

The old graphics on Crush Your Job really didn’t do the product justice. They seemed to be fine 2 years ago, but you know how styles of graphics can get old real fast!

If you didn’t know already, people do judge a book by it’s cover…especially if they don’t know you.

Good NEW graphics make it look new and fresh again. I got my mate Dee at minisiteguru.com to make a new set of graphics for a little over $100. Great investment…and the site looks a million bucks!

Step 3. Freshen Up The Sales Letter

My copywriting skills are much sharper now than 2 years ago, so I spent about 30 minutes editing the copy.

The most significant change I made to help conversions was write a new headline. I tested this one against the old one for the first few days of “relaunch” and saw the new headline get 3 times better conversions!

Step 4. Run An Affiliate Contest

In effort to spark the site back up, I invited affiliates to help promote the site with a mini “re-launch” and ran an affiliate contest to reward affiliates.

I wrote up just a simple page with details about the contest. The date it starts, the date it ends, the prizes and then the link to the affiliate sign up page. I also added reminder blurbs on the affiliate tools page about the contest, and contacted affiliates regularly throughout the contest.

Affiliate ContestI ran it for 5 days and offered $100 to the affiliate who made most sales in the first 72 hours and then another $100 to the most sales referring affiliate over the whole 5 day contest.

Once I got some affiliate on board, I just sat back and watched the sales start back up again!

The Result From My “Crush Your Job” Re-launch Case Study

After the 5 days, I had over 100 new customers with confirmed email addresses, a dozen happy affiliates who got instant commissions (thanks to the RAP script) and a few dollars in my pocket after covering all the costs!

Was it worth it? Definitely!

Sure I didn’t make a fortune out of the re-launch, but it was a heck of a lot easier than creating and launching a new product, plus I was able to save one of the best online business guides from a fiery death and get it in more people’s hands who want help to quit their job and make a living online!

Actually, as I write this, the sales are still coming!

Stu “Sensei” Stirling

ps. What do you think? Doable for your “oldie but a goodie” ebook too?