We recently wrote an introduction to this subject (Internet Marketing for Beginners – The Ugly Truth) which listed 10 “Top Tips” for the work-from-home novice. Now let’s provide some more detailed information on them before we go into a detailed one-per-article explanation of each (and how to implement it and benefit most from it):
1) Three Over-riding Rules From the Beginning
It’s a simple set of rules you need to print out and stick on the wall next to your monitor. More detail later but, in summary, absolutely commit yourself at the outset of your research period to:
- Buy NOTHING!
- Only join free sites (and be very choosy)
- Ignore upsells and One-Time Offers (OTOs).
If you’re following the techniques we teach in Section 4, you can come back later for upsells and OTOs if you really think they’re worth it. The claim “you’ll never see this page again” is only for the gullible.
2) Understand YOU are the Enemy
Randomly searching, signing up for mail lists, downloading freebies, getting sucked in by outrageously clever sales pages – everyone does it, and everyone suffers as a result. You end up with total information overload, a disk full of junk, failures on your first attempts, and a despairing belief that you are “not the type” to succeed in this business (except you keep on trying, making the same mistakes, emptying your wallet or filling your credit card, and in the end become completely overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of it all). We’ll teach you how to control yourself, how to avoid all of this, and how to concentrate on fighting the real enemy – there’s enough of them out there without you being their leader!
3) Set a Research period, with a Deadline
Decide a sensible date (a month or two out) you want to launch your business, and set yourself strict rules on learning only what you need to launch that business. If you find yourself reading a sales page promising to have your “cash-pulling business” up and running in 27.5 seconds and you start thinking “this looks good”, slap your face and go for a walk. You want a plan and a strategy that will work for you, and you are not going to get that by falling for genius copywriting promising the world. Keep reminding yourself of the saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is“. You don’t yet have the benefit of having seen a hundred similar sales pages. And when they tell you the offer is expiring at midnight (another much vaunted technique for sucking your cash), don’t believe it. In 99.9% of cases, that same page will be telling that same story a week (and sometimes a month, or more) from now. In the rare case where it might be true, it doesn’t matter – they’ll sell it again soon, while there will be a hundred other similar opportunities turn up in your mailbox in the following days or weeks.
4) Learn SMART Research, and avoid Information Overload.
If you, like most beginners, have a single email account you are in deep trouble. Once you start signing up for information, freebies, downloads and the like you will collapse under the storm of emails you start receiving daily.
We’re going to outline a very special technique for handling that email bombshell so you can get what you want, get rid of the rest, avoid having to be terrified of opening your email client each day, and sill collect the goodies you want and the information you really need.
5) Mottos to Live By
Another set to print out and stick on the wall:
- It won’t go away at midnight, or when that (usually) fake clock finishes its countdown…
- If it sounds too good to be true… it usually is
- If you believe there’s only 100 83 47 25 12 3 copies left, you’re probably wrong!
- Never buy without exiting the sales page first – they’ll almost always make you a better offer.
- “You’ll never see this page again” is rarely true, and easily beaten.
- Ask yourself “Why does this person want to make me a millionaire?”
6) Understand The Tricks of the Trade
Yes, the tricks they are playing on you! Violent attacks on your emotions, probably when you are at your most vulnerable, to make you believe there is an Internet Marketing Millionaire’s Heaven and you are about to claim your cubicle in it for just a few dollars. Be rich for the price of a night out! Invest the value of a couple of Big Macs and get ready to order your Ferrari! Oh, and now we have your money for that, buy this super-deluxe platinum version and get really, really rich really, really fast. It’s a no-brainer!
How do they sucker you?
- Extraordinary (often extremely expensive) copywriting
- Appealing to your emotions, not your business sense
- Sometimes, with pure lies.
- Urgency, countdowns, “Offer ends soon”, “Price rises dramatically soon”
- Free web sites for the non-technical, as if a thousand near-identical traffic-free sites will make anyone but the seller any money. (Not to mention the hefty referral fee they usually get from the web host you have to sign up with).
- For every good product or system, there are a thousand Internet get-rich-newbie-bunnies trying to make their “system” sound better. You need to see a huge selection of these offers before you’ve learned enough to separate the good from the bad.
7) Free Stuff Now! Forced Continuity
The big thing these days is member sites, where they get to charge you every month. Some provide exceptional value in constantly sourcing new products for you to sell or learn from (these sites are often easily picked from the crowd because they have a free membership option – you don’t get access to all the best goodies, but you do get to look around to see if it’s worth spending the upgrade cost).
However, the most common way of sucking you in to forced continuity these days is the never-ending string of “Get this wonderful product Free!” (their cost is covered by the shipping they charge anyway). Your free product includes a bonus membership or monthly newsletter, and there’s a huge reliance on inertia – that you’ll just let the monthly charge keep coming off your credit card without really noticing. Quite often you’ll be so buried in information overload that even when the newsletter does arrive you’ll put it on the shelf “for later”.
When we sign up for one of these schemes, we put an alarm in our phone’s calendar for three (or six, if we really want to see the “bonus”) weeks later – it says “Cancel XYZ product today, before they charge me the membership fee”.
8) Formulating a Plan
Once that decision is made – select your target market. Note we use market in the singular? The only way to really get traction is to have a pure, driven focus on your selected market. Then the plan becomes:
- Do Something
- See Something (as in a result, be it success or the failure that teaches you where you went wrong and how to get it right second time around).
- Be persistent. Push that market and watch it grow. It doesn’t have to turn over $10,000 in the first month, even $100 will do – as long as your persistence grows that income on a month-to-month basis until you consider the initial project a successful starting point.
- Do it again. Once you have figured out how to make this work, feel free to pick another market, even another style, and launch a second project.
- Be persistent! Go back to Step 1 and start the process over and over again as your first project(s) provide the financing for growth. They can pay for Google AdWords campaigns. They can pay for outsourcing. They can feed your momentum until you really are earning the “kiss the job goodbye” money you wanted.
Okay, let’s go back to point 1, “Do Something“. Remember, it is based on your well-researched decision during the period that you didn’t buy into get-rich-quick schemes or fall for “anyone can make a fortune” sales letters. Once you’ve made the decision, it might be time to buy things, but there’s a distinctive set of rules here too.
- Only download/join/buy content that first with your market choice decision.
- Don’t be in too much of a hurry to slap money-earning items all over your site. You need traffic before you can have sales.
- Start your site with content. Build a reasonable selection of meaningful content before you do anything else.
- Once you have the content, chase the traffic. (Yes, much more on that, as with everything else we’ve summarised so far, later).
- With content and traffic, introduce the monetization (maybe that’s sales, maybe it’s advertising, maybe it’s both of those and a number of other related income-producing streams).
9) Carrying Out the Plan
There’s some repetition in this tip section, because it is just so important.
First, as we’ve said, pick a single plan/product/approach and stick to it. Most people get into trouble by falling for every new scheme that hits the wires, throwing up a site for it, and moving on to the next big thing before the first even gets off the ground.
Carry out your plan with three simple steps:
1) Make your choice and run with it – Do Something
2) Work hard at producing a result – See Something
3) Keep at it, don’t be distracted – Be Persistent
After that, Step 4 is as simple as lifting the number two choice from your research and then “Go to Step 1” with it.
10) Mailing Lists – Building and Nurturing
Later we’ll cover the squeeze pages and sign-up forms that will help you build a mailing list. After all, as the sales emails will keep telling you, “The Money is in the List”.
That’s really only half the story. The money is in the content that builds the list, and keeps them coming back for more. And it’s important to nurture your list – give them good information, and give it to them only when it arises.
People who bombard their lists with every Affiliate offer under the sun (and even use the same publisher-provided emails you’ve already seen from 10 other people today) give us great joy – as we click on the unsubscribe link, we smile in recognition that we have achieved another reduction in tomorrow’s collection of spam.
People very quickly learn who is sending them useful material and who is sending them a “make me a buck please” emails. If you aren’t providing us with value in your emails, you’re dead in the water. So as you build your email list, remember this:
- Would you consider this email useful if you received it?
- Does it have (or point to) useful content, or is it a pure money-grab?
- Are you flooding your list, or only mailing if you have something to say?
- Use your list wisely, test against portions of your list, and occasionally use it to give them a completely useful, no-strings-attached bonus.
You can read more tips – and expect honesty – at the Online Business With Matt blog.