As you (hopefully) have already discovered, making money online isn't difficult, but it does take some knowledge and the ability to put that knowledge to work. I'm going to outline a rather simple and straight forward system that I believe anyone can use to make income. It can be scaled up as large as you like, depending on how much time you want to put into it and what you want out of it. And it's easy enough for even new marketers to do. Mind you, this is not my invention, but rather a system that has been working for many marketers for years. It's not a shiny new bauble - instead, it's a proven method that brings home the paycheck week in and week out - if you put in the time and effort required. Ready? Let's get started. 1. Choose your niche. I'm going to make it easy for you here by recommending that you choose one of the following 3 niches: Money and finance, health and fitness, or relationships and dating. All three are evergreen and bring in a ton of money. For purposes of this training, we're going to focus on health, because I believe it's truly the easiest of the 3 niches in which to make money. True, there's plenty of competition, but that won't really be a factor for what we're doing. That's because people who are desperate for a health related solution such as alleviating pain or losing weight are ready to make a purchase now. Google "most common illnesses" and you'll find acne, allergies, ADHD, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bad breath, bursitis, etc. And that's just a few from the A's and B's. $320 billion is spent on prescription drugs in the U.S. alone each year, and that doesn't include over the counter medications and remedies. This is a HUGE market full of desperate buyers. So forget selling granny square patterns or children's bedtime stories for now - focus on where the money is. And if you want to focus on money or relationships, those are always hot, hungry markets as well. 2. Choose a product to sell. This is going to be your OTO after they opt in to your squeeze page. Most people will tell you to create your free report, then create your squeeze page, and then find an OTO to offer after they opt in. This is good advice. After all, they found your squeeze page, they filled out the form and they pressed the button - they are eager for a solution to their problem! Logically this is the time to offer it to them. But I do things just a bit differently. I find the product I'm going to be promoting as my OTO first. Preferably I also find a second, similar product to use as my back up, in case the owner of the first product pulls it (yes, it happens.) The reason I find the product first is because I want to tailor my squeeze page and my free report to that EXACT topic. For example, if my OTO is how to cure adult acne, I will write my report on ADULT acne, not teenage acne. But if I had done things the way most people do, I could have had a report on teenage acne and an OTO on adult acne. Sure it's the same problem, but it's two entirely different markets and my conversion rate on the OTO would have been terrible. That's why you want to find the product you're going to be promoting as your OTO first. What product should you choose? Here are criteria to look for:
Low price - something less than $15 is ideal because it becomes an impulse purchase. And that's exactly what you need here, because you haven't yet established a lot of credibility with your new list member.
Excellent product - you've got to buy the product and make sure it really delivers on whatever it promises. This is no time to be selling junk. Actually, there is never a time to be selling junk.
High conversion rate - okay, this is a no-brainer. You want a product that converts really well so that you're making money.
The ADVANCED ALTERNATIVE to promoting an affiliate product is to create your own product. The drawback is you need to create it or hire someone else to do it for you, either of which takes time. The benefit is you keep 100% of your sales, rather than splitting them with a product owner. The CHEAT METHOD to creating your own product is of course to use some high grade PLR. If you are using your own product, here's a trick I like to use: At the top of the sales page, let them know that their free report is on its way to their inbox. This builds consistency and credibility and shows them they're at the right place. 3. Next you're going to create something to give away to your new niche. Here's the key - you're not going to slap together any old report or re-purpose some PLR. Instead, you're going to create something so awesome, people would PAY YOU to get it. Best of all, you don't need to reinvent the wheel or come up with some brilliant insight to do this. Instead, you're going to let others do the research for you. Head over to Amazon and search for your niche in the book section. Write down titles that grab your attention. Search inside the books and look at the table of contents. Take notes. Now do the same with magazines in your niche. Look at the headlines on the magazine covers - these can be a goldmine. You'll need to change them to accommodate your exact niche (and not plagiarize) but that's easy. You want to pay attention to what the hot topics are and what headlines are used to sell those topics. Next, visit other websites to pick up more ideas and information. This entire research process should take you about an hour or two, depending on how much time you want to put into it. Outline the information you're going to present, and then either write your report or record it, your choice. Don't want to write it yourself? Then outsource it. It only needs to be 10 to 20 pages of solid, useful information - don't write a book. As you go through this process, always keep in mind what you'll be promoting for your OTO, so that your freebie is 100% consistent with that product. This will give you the highest conversions on your OTO. 4. Make your squeeze page. Hopefully you garnered 1-5 smoking hot headlines during your research. Use these on your squeeze page as the main headline and bullets, let them know they get the report for free for opting in, and that's it. Don't make this complicated - less is more. Create excitement and curiosity. Again, if you don't want to make your own squeeze page, you can always outsource it. A word to the wise: Once you begin using your squeeze page, test it. Test headlines, test colors, test the call to action - just TEST. The more you test, the better conversions your page will get, the more you will make. Doesn't testing seem boring? Let me ask you this - does doubling your conversions and thus doubling what you earn seem boring? Don't think about it, just do it. IMPORTANT: If you're using double opt in to build your list, customize the page they land on after confirming their subscription. At the top of that page, let them know their report is on its way. Then either direct them to your affiliate page if you're promoting an affiliate product, or place your sales letter on this same page. This gives them a second opportunity to purchase your offer. 5. Get some professional articles. These articles have got to be outstanding, so unless you're a brilliant writer, I would suggest hiring this out to a professional. Or getting very high quality PLR. Remember when you did your research in magazines and books? These are your very best clues as to what to write about and even how the title should read. Keep in mind: If you see something on the cover of a current magazine, that likely means it's a hot topic now and will make an excellent topic for one of your articles. Number of articles to write: At least 2, although 30+ is better. If you're on a budget, start small and get more written later. The articles should be magazine quality. They should immediately capture attention and rivet the reader all the way to the end of the article. Add your resource box to each article. This is your call to action where you promise the reader your shiny new report if they simply visit your totally awesome (squeeze) page. An alternative to sending them to your squeeze page is to send them to your blog or website. Be sure to have a sign-up form on every single page of your site, offering your free report. Variation: If you're sending your new traffic straight to your blog or website, make it for "members only." This means they have to opt in to get to your website and read the content. Yes, this is also a great way to list build. I recommend testing between the squeeze page, straight to the website with opt-in forms and making your website member's only to see which one converts the best. 6. Find blogs in your niche. You're looking for blogs that match your niche really well, that get lots of traffic (bare minimum - 10,000 hits a month) and that are open to guest written articles. If a blog doesn't meet all 3 of these criteria, then take a pass. I suggest using Technorati for your research. As you probably know, Technorati monitors the best blogs and makes it easy to find ones in your particular category. Go to the top left of the page at http://technorati.com/ and click on "blog directory." Now scroll down and look at the categories. If you're working in the health niche, you'll be happy to see there are 22,388 possible blogs to choose from. Steer clear of any corporate looking websites - it's nearly impossible to break into those. Find the sites run by individuals that get a lot of traffic. Make a list of possibilities, and do further research on each by checking where they stand on either http://alexa.com or http://compete.com. [One note here: The higher traffic blogs might be harder to break in to, but they're well worth the effort. If you are more comfortable starting out with blogs of 10,000 visitors a month and working your way up, do it. After all, those 10,000 hit blogs may well be getting 100,000 visitors or more soon, and if you're already established there, so much the better.] Also, visit each blog you're considering and look at the bylines. Are all of the articles written by one author? Or does this blog accept submissions from others? While it's not impossible to get your article on a blog that is generally only written by one person, it's far easier to get it published on a blog that regularly uses guest authors. 7. Rubber meets the road. Remember the articles you had written? You're going to contact these blog owners and give them your articles. Give each blog owner 2-3 articles, and only give each article away once so that each blog owner gets completely unique material from you. Why give each blog owner 2-3 articles instead of just 1? Because you're proving that you can consistently write great articles. Also, what if the one article you send them is on a topic they don't want to cover? Or maybe they just did an article on it? By sending more than one article you give them a choice and you also greatly increase the odds that they will publish at least one article for you. Here's how you give the articles away: Contact these people. Do it through email, through Facebook, through Skype, whatever. Better yet, contact them through all of those methods at the same time. No, you're not spamming them. You are HELPING them. Send them a very friendly, upbeat message that includes the following points:
You've been reading their blog
You love what they write
You've written exclusive articles just for them
The articles are free - they can do whatever they want with them
No strings attached
You would like (LOVE!) to be a guest writer on their blog
If they would publish one of your articles on their blog with your author's box to help you get exposure, that would be totally awesome
What you've just done:
You've made contact and you've GIVEN them something right off the bat, no strings attached. What happens when 99 out of 100 people contact a blog owner? They WANT something. But you are GIVING something, and it's something totally cool, too: Well written articles that are perfect their blog.
You've got a new contact in your field. Do you think s/he might want more articles? And maybe they will even promote one of your own products? It could happen, and it starts with this initial contact.
You've solved a problem for this new contact - you've given him or her high quality content. If you're a blog owner, you know how hard it can be to create new content week after week. Having help is always much appreciated.
You've got some serious link juice going. You're contacting BIG blogs with major traffic, many of which will be posting your articles. Think Google will notice? Absolutely!
You've got traffic. FREE traffic. Highly TARGETED, raving fanatical traffic visiting your website.
You are building a LIST out of this traffic. A list of highly targeted people who think you must be an expert because you write articles on important blogs. Traffic that reads your stuff. Traffic that BUYS your stuff.
You are making money immediately with your OTO. Remember, you've got a low priced and highly targeted OTO after your squeeze page. This product is something directly related to the issue you wrote about in the article and in the report.
Total cost for this list building/product selling business? If you do everything yourself, it costs you nothing but time. If you outsource the squeeze page and articles, it might run you a couple of hundred dollars, more or less. What do you do now? Rinse and repeat. Continue writing articles (or having someone write articles for you) and continue contacting new blogs. Write more articles for the blogs on which you've already been published. This works. Don't reinvent the wheel - just do it. The downside is you will find a few blog owners who simply won't publish your stuff. That's okay. Most times they will tell you that they won't, and then you can take those same articles and offer them to a different blog. Killer Tip: A variation to sending them 2-3 articles is to send one 3-part series. It's got to be totally researched, relevant and on a hot topic. If you get them to publish this (generally over the course of 3-5 days) you will see even more traffic than you would from getting one regular article published. Now let's talk hypothetical numbers just to get a feel for what this system can do for you: You contact one blog that gets 250,000 visitors a month. 25% of them read your article (that's kind of a low number - you might get more.) Of those who read your article, 40% click your link, and 50% of those get your free report (meaning they joined your list.) That's 250,000 times .25, which is 62,500 people who read your article. How cool is that?? Just imagine for a second that 62,500 people read your article and see your byline - you're already an expert and they haven't even clicked on your author's resource box yet. Of those 62,500 people, 40% click your link. That's 25,000 people going to your squeeze page. I don't know about you, but when I think about getting 25,000 HIGHLY targeted people to my squeeze page, my heart beats a little faster and you can't wipe the grin off my face. Of those, we're hypothetically saying that half join your list. I know some of you are thinking that number is high, and for the typical squeeze page it is high. But in this case they've just read your article on a high authority website and obviously liked it. They already know why they are coming to your page (to get your super-duper hot report on a topic they're really interested in) and so you unless your squeeze page totally sucks, you can expect to get a higher than average conversion. Half of 25,000 is 12,500 new people on your list. People who have read your article. People who think you're pretty hot stuff. People who are now going to read your report and KNOW you are pretty hot stuff. People who are far more likely than average to open and read your emails. 12,500 people from one article. Okay, true, you had several articles written and probably sent 3 of those to the blog owner, who maybe only published one. Still - is that a good return on your time and money or what??? And if you only do 1/10th as well as our example? Then you still have 1,250 highly targeted new subscribers. Not bad. To those skeptics who think that only the "big dogs" can make money online, I hope I have just given you something to think about, and more importantly - a plan of ACTION. It's now or never, so why not roll up your sleeves and put this to work? One more number I want to throw out here: Suppose you got 12,500 new subscribers per month. Maybe you did it with one article, maybe it took you 20 articles. Whatever. Each month you do what it takes to get 12,500 how new subscribers. Assuming a high attrition rate of 20%, how many subscribers would you have by the next year at this time? I'll leave you to do your own math on this one.