There are literally thousands of guides or courses about how to get rich online, but when all is said and done, the basics are pretty easy … just be sure not to overlook the simplicity in it.
Build a List
You’ve probably heard this over and over again, but if you aren’t building a list, you’re losing out on a lot of money. I heard this when I first started out and didn’t take it seriously. When I did start building a list, I was doing it as an after thought. When I was lucky, I would maybe make $20 to $50 from it every now and then. It certainly didn’t seem worth my time.
Later on, I started making a couple hundred dollars here and there, and then eventually it just grew from there. By the time I really did see a value in the list, I realized how I shot myself in the foot earlier by not paying much attention to my list then, not trying to really even build one, and using either my own autoresponders or crappy free providers that ultimately lost me money (not only were the deliverability rates crap, but when I transferred to a new autoresponder, I lost a big portion of my list…).
Having said that, if you’re serious about making money online, you need to invest in a good hosted autoresponder service like GetResponse (my favorite one — excellent deliverability, easy to manage, good support, etc.). I’ll repeat that for those who still don’t get it — you NEED to invest in a good hosted autoresponder service like GetResponse.
Once you have your list (even if it’s a tiny list of 50 people to start with), you need to give them good offers if you want to make money.
Yeah, you heard me, I said good offers — not necessarily good content. Too many people online say that you need great content before you can make money. That’s bullsh@t if you ask me. There are hungry consumers out there wanting to hear about the latest products and offers and could care less about your rambles … I mean … content.
More on the offers part later in this post…
Have a Website
You’d be amazed at how many people have goals of making bajillions of dollars online, but they won’t even have a website … and will often say that they never have any intentions of wasting time on creating one. The vast majority of these people will never make money online … or at least not more than some pocket change every now and then.
Sure, there ARE ways of making money online without a website. In fact, maybe I’ll do a post on a few later, but that’s besides the point. If you’re real serious, you need to at least try to improve your skills or outsource it. You can find guys for like $50 these days, so you might as well take advantage of that.
Or try going to www.blogger.com and setup a free blog. It’s easy, pretty good for SEO, and can look professional.
If you’re more serious, try getting a dirt cheap hosting account at a RESPECTABLE host like 1and1.com, Hostgator.com, etc.. For like $5 a month, you can get a free domain name or two, cool software (even a free website builder), and tons of extras. If you can’t invest $5 a month in your business, you should really reconsider your goal of making $8,093,248,523,084,230,984 online by tomorrow morning.
Once you have a website or blog, you can use it to sell your product, post affiliate links or reviews, communicate with your potential customers, or just post content so visitors can find your site. Free traffic from Google is always a great thing, but you need a website with some content on it first.
Have OKAY to GOOD Sales Copy
Right now some of you are probably thinking “WTF?!?! Did he just say ‘okay to good sales copy’ and not GREAT SALES COPY?!?!” Yeah, you heard me. I said okay to good sales copy.
To be honest, copywriting is over-rated. Not many people have the balls to say that, but it’s true. Now, before you go up in arms saying that sales copy is important, I’m in total agreement with you.
The fact of the matter is that 90%+ of the sales copy you see out there SUCKS balls. You don’t need awesome copywriting to convince people to buy from you — you just have to be able to know how to think like your potential customers.
If your sales page looks crappy, that can be an immediate turn off. If you seem too full of crap or too confusing, that will also lose sales. All you really need are a few things: a decent headline that not only grabs attention but that also sums up what your offer is all about in a few seconds, a good summary of what they’re buying, showing why your product really has value and why it’s better than the others (try to think of this from THEIR perspective and not YOUR perspective), and a decent offer when all is said and done making it seem unique or better than what else is out there.
If you have okay copywriting skills, you can make a lot of money online. Even a good headline with some bullet points summarizing the product can make some good money if the product and offer are good.
If you can do great copywriting, great, take a cookie! But the truth is that not many of those high priced copywriters are really all that great. I’ve seen $3,000 to $5,000+ sales copy be outperformed by “okay” sales copy that took someone 15 to 30 minutes to write up and then maybe 30 minutes for a graphic designer to touch up a bit.
Have a Great Product or Offer
I know people will disagree on this too, but I’m going to say it anyway and stand by it 110%. Sales copy is over-rated — a great product or a great offer (note that you don’t need a product to sell) naturally will get buyers as long as you can show them the value and why/how it’s so great.
Most top marketers will say that a crappy product with great sales copy will outperform a great product with okay sales copy. I disagree. I think the reason why crappy products with good/great sales copy make more than some great products with okay sales copy is just because the first one was probably promoted more or the marketer had a greater pull than the other. For instance, most marketers saying that probably have a huge mailing list and tons of JV partners to mail for them regardless of how crappy the product is — of course they’ll outperform a great product with zero pull.
To see if you have a great product, see what sets your product or offer apart from everyone else. Try to see how yours can be better and make it as competitive as possible. Try to go the extra mile and make your product/offer one that people would jump for if they heard a 10 second ramble about it or one sentence explaining it. If they get excited with that little of information, you probably have yourself a winner.
I think this is one of the most important parts of making money online, even though it’s often the least thought about.
Of course, once you have the sales page, product, etc., you need the traffic. Now, part of this can be solved with having a list, but let’s assume that you haven’t built your list yet. There are really two main ways of getting traffic to your offer — paid methods and free methods.
The main paid method that a beginner or intermediate marketer should focus on is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising (Google Adwords is my favorite) or banner ads. We’ll talk about some other paid methods in another post that aren’t used as much. If you don’t have a great product or an okay to good sales page, don’t bother doing paid advertising — you’ll only waste money. If you have a great product and a decent sales page, then you want to focus on keywords that are more likely to be buyers compared to just lookers (”fish training guide” will be more targeted than “fish” or even “fish training” if you’re selling a fish training guide … assuming you can train fish…).
Banner ads are also something else where you don’t want to spend the money unless you know you can convert. Once you know that, find relevant sites in your market that offer banner ads (Google Adwords also has a feature for this in your Adwords account…) and go at it — look for the deals and steals.
As for the free methods, they can include article marketing, content writing, forum posting, etc. as the more popular ones. You can target the more relevant keywords for buyers, which are also less competitive the majority of the time, for your articles or content writing for your blogs, article directories (I recommend only submitting to one or two article directories like ezinearticles.com), offer to write articles for other sites in exchange for a link, etc.. Forum posting will help you find a targeted audience if you go to forums on the topics in your market(s). Put your website in your signature file, mention it in the forum in a non-spam-filled-way, etc. — you might be surprised at the amount of traffic you can get this way.
You can also try to hunt down people who have given an indication that they’re looking for your type of product and contact them directly (more worthwhile if it’s a higher price point) … again, one very awesome marketer showed me this in great detail, and I’ll reveal his name later on a post devoted to this method. Again, it’s not always about the quantity of traffic — quality counts.
If you’re not making money online, be proactive about it. Try to look for new opportunities out there, look for what others online are asking about or interested in, and see how you might be able to solve that for them. If you have a product that’s more than $5 profit to you, take some time to find potential customers that might be interested in your product (I have to give credit to another marketer for helping explain that to me better — more on that in another post soon). Go out there instead of just waiting for sales to come to you.
Look for Opportunity
Lastly, I think it’s incredibly important to always look for opportunities online. If you come across a great product that isn’t promoted, see what you can do to take it to the next level. If you come across someone willing to pay a ton for a particular product or service — see what you can do about that! And if you come across a random niche, market, unanswered questions or unresolved issues from others, try to act on that.
Opportunities are everywhere — you just need to be a little proactive about it.
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