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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

Don't kid yourself...

You want to get rich with your blog? Maybe you think Adsense will let you retire? Sorry, it's not going to happen.

Get Off the Free / Cheap Trend!

If you’re looking for the same regurgitated advice that every other internet marketer gives you, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Recently, I’ve seen a trend that I think is a dangerous one.

Several top internet marketers are dishing out advice on how giving out free or VERY cheap products on the front end is the way to go. I completely disagree with 95% of that and think it will actually hurt more people than it will help.

Sure, their logic might make sense upon first glance:

Cheaper Price / Free = More Customers = More People to Sell on the Backend To

But let’s take a closer look at that…

Let’s say that you send 2,500 visitors to your site and convert a whopping 40% on your free offer (that’s a fairly high percentage even for a free offer — I’m being generous). That’s 1,000 “customers” and $0 profit.

Now, let’s say that you have a $97 product in the backend or as a one time offer. Those 1,000 “customer” never bought from you and are classified as freebie seekers as of right now. A 5% conversion rate on them might be very optimistic, but let’s assume that you get that 5% conversion rate. That’s 50 sales, or $4,850 for you.

Kind of sad for 1,000 “customers” — that’s only $4.85 each, which again is pretty optimistic.

But let’s assume that you want to take advantage of your paying customers now and you offer a $497 one time offer to your 50 paying customers. Since these are paying customers, they’re conversion rates will probably be a bit higher. So let’s say that 10% convert. That’s 5 sales, or $2,485.

We’re at $7,335 so far. Now I know what some of you are saying … the money’s in the list, and you have 1,000 “customers!!!” Well, not really. We have 50 real customers and 950 freebie seekers. Even if we doubled our paying customers, that’s still not much. You probably won’t make $1 per month per subscriber for a freebie seeker, so you might make a few hundred to maybe even several hundred dollars a month off that list if you’re good.

Now, I know some marketers offer a cheap “trial” of say $1 or so with a forced continuity in the back of $50 per month or so. You might think that this would be a better model even if only half of the original 1,000 “customers” bought. The problem there (and most marketers won’t tell you this) is that most forced continuity models will have a much lower conversion rate even if the original offer is cheap or even free. The few exceptions to this might include free/cheap trials to software, tools, services, etc. where the buyer expects to pay a decent monthly fee if they like what they get.

So what about the other guy…

Higher Price = Fewer, Higher Quality Customers = Higher Priced Backends to Sell To

Let’s take a closer look here.

Let’s say that you get your 2,500 visitors to your site and only 3% convert instead of the original 40% on a $297 product. That’s 75 customers or $22,275. We already have 3x more than the other model even BEFORE we include the backends.

Since these are proven buyers and higher quality, we can focus on bringing them higher price point backends. The backend should at least be the same price point as the front end if not more. So let’s just say that we do $497 on the backend. We should expect at least a 10% conversion on that because these are proven high price point buyers who’ve already bought from you (I’ve gotten as high as 66% backend conversions at similar price points). That’s about 7 to 8 buyers (7.5). Let’s just say 7 - that’s $3,479 extra. On the higher conversion end, you could easily top $20,000 extra.

However, with those 7 very high price point buyers, you can then go on to offer an elite one time offer or upsell at $1,000 or more and grab a small percentage there as well.

We’re already hovering around $25,000 on the low end. But it just gets better. Now that you have 75 decent buyers and several elite buyers, they’re worth significantly more to you and far more likely to buy higher price point products in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. They’re also more likely to purchase some subscription programs at decent price points as well — probably worth far more to you than the prior list.

You can take this logic to the extreme and focus on even higher price points from the start or high monthly subscription products.

The key here is to have something that provides value and that people want. If someone wants something bad enough, they’re willing to pay for it. That’s a key to remember.

In addition, offering free or cheap products can always frighten off some of the normally high price point buyers too. And we’re not even getting into the quality of free/cheap vs. paid/high price point products argument yet — we can save that for a later time.

So before you jump on the bandwagon of the free front end trend, give it some thought. You might be shooting yourself in the foot.

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How to Get Rich Online

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.

Traffic

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.

Be Proactive

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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Awesome example of controversial viral marketing

One thing I learned after participating in several internet marketing forums is that you simply can’t please everyone regardless of how politically correct or polite you try to be — some people just want to be angry and pissed for the sake of being angry and pissed.  If you help them out (for free giving them your own time), some will b@tch and moan because you didn’t help them even more.

And the funny part is that the more you try to conform to everyone else, the more you’ll just blend in and not stand out.  That’s why it’s not always a bad idea to stand out and create a little controversy every now and then.

Recently, one such site did just that.  If you’re a racist, bigot, or prejudice, you’ve probably heard of t-shirt hell — a cool t-shirt site selling t-shirts that more often than not cross a few lines (but sure are hilarious).  Now, before you get your panties in a knot, the site doesn’t just pick on any particular group — they’re equally prejudice and racist towards everyone.  :)

But here’s what they did…  A few weeks ago, the owner of the site announced that he was shutting down the site in a few weeks.  He said that they were closing and not selling out or anything like that, despite how they could easily sell it to a corporate entity for millions.  He went on to talk about how he was sick of all the haters against him and his shirts and how everyone just needs to get a sense of humor, so to “stick it to them,” he was closing his doors forever.

Then when the day came to close, there was an announcement that it was all just a joke and that he’d never close because of some humorless people trying to shut him down (another “in your face” statement).

Here’s the cool part.  The controversy that his “closing announcement” made got around the internet on several blogs (both for the site and against it), but it generated them a TON of sales.  If I read it right, it went from selling 3,000 t-shirts a week to over 100,000 t-shirts in those few weeks time.

Even the bloggers talking crap about the site helped him generate more revenue, which is an important lesson to learn.

Any type of news or publicity for your site is better than no news or publicity.

If he was just like all the other sites, trying to conform to what everyone thought was normal and right, he’d probably be going out of business for real.

Now, I’m not saying that you need to be some obnoxious freak to generate sales, but sometimes you do need to go against the rest of the crowd and not be so worried about not doing what everyone else is doing.

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Can’t Make Money Online? No BS Reason

I’ve done a lot of thinking lately on what I want to do with this blog.  When I first started online, I wasn’t making any money.  Despite doing a TON of research, testing, etc., I was having a hell of a time even making a few bucks.

When I finally did start making money, I was trading hours upon hours of time for $20 here, $50 there, and maybe $100 or so every now and then.  I looked around in forums, read reviews of other products, bought a few guides and software programs, and everything just seemed to show me that there was no way to make money online (at least not enough to make me excited).

Then it all changed.

I decided to stop reading so many forums on internet marketing, I stopped doing what everyone was doing or telling me to do, and I started just playing around to test things on my own.  It was shortly after that that I made some pretty cool discoveries:

  • The majority of advice given online is from people who have no real clue what they’re talking about.
  • Forums are full of even more people who have no real clue what they’re talking about (with the exception of a few good posts here and there).
  • Some methods that people claim work are complete and utterly ridiculous.
  • Some methods that people claim don’t work actually work incredibly well if you know what you’re doing.
  • It all comes down to knowing how to sell and WHAT to sell, and since most people don’t know what to sell or how to sell it, everything they try will suck (regardless of the products, guides, tools, or whatever else they buy, even though they’ll blame everyone except their freakin’ selves).

You have to think on your own, learn from your own mistakes, and be able to critique your own business.  It is only then that you can truly benefit from the loads of marketing guides and software programs out there (assuming that they’re good to start with).

After I starting fending for myself, I quickly had days where I’d make more in a single day than I would in entire months prior to that — and I did it with very limited knowledge and resources.  I had crap for a mailing list, didn’t know a soul in the world who would promote for me, and I started with barely any money to invest.

I’m not going to throw out ridiculous numbers or any crap like that, but since then, things have only gotten better.

That’s why I’ve been thinking about this blog so much and exactly what I want to do with it.  I started out being pessimistic with making money online, but I eventually turned that into my full time job (and loving it).

I want to debunk some of the common misconceptions out there, as well as tell you how I made money even on methods that others say don’t work.

I also want to review a few products every now and then, and I’m considering doing it even without using any affiliate link.  Too many whiners tend to bitch and moan anytime an affiliate link is used … probably because there are so many money whores out there looking to promote anything that pays them even a nickel … but I’m definitely not one to give up my soul for a freakin’ nickel (that would require at least $5 … just kidding).  Then again, if I don’t use an affiliate link, some bastard will probably accuse me of getting compensated in some other way if I write a good review, so maybe I’ll just say @!?* it and let the whiners whine.  What do you think?

So starting from this point on, you’re probably going to see some great money making methods here, definitely some controversy, and when everything is all said and done, with any luck, I might also get to piss a few people off.  :)

Oh, and I’ll be sure to update this blog at least every few days or so.

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*Crickets*

Hey all, still here.  I’m working with the new owner to get everything transferred, so CGR will resume shortly.

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