Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Huge Difference...

There is a huge difference between...

...signing up for a few affiliate programs on the net and slapping up some banners on a web site -- and then sit still, hoping the sales will be pouring in (they won't)

... and creating a real business on the net with passive income as the final goal, where affiliate programs are the whole, or part of, your monetization model.

Creating a real business takes a lot of work and planning. You need to have the right motivation, the know-how, the tools, the stamina.

I've just finished reading Mark Joyner's new report "Confidential Internet Intelligence Manuscript". He is only selling it until March 31th, and then he's pulling it from the market.

It's a 86 page booklet (pdf) business plan for your heart. I recommend it if you're serious about building an income (on the net or otherwise -- but the report is specifically geared towards the net).

You can grab your copy here


Saturday, March 12, 2005

Where Is The Money?

After you've put up your website, and you're ready to sell whatever it is you're selling -- Transformers toys, or an ebook on How Fish Think, or software that will reform the world, or your services as a professional programmer, you sit back an wait for the traffic.

There will be no sales without traffic. No customers - no sale. Of course.

To prevent the no-customer-scenario, you've done all the right things:

- you've written heaps of great content pages that will bring you targeted customers from the free search engines, like Google. (More on this in a later post.)

- you've even bought some related keywords that you don't have content pages for on Google AdWords, and you've optimized your AdWords campaign, just like Perry Marshall told you how to (more on this later, too.)

Traffic starts coming. You're modest, expecting a conversion rate of about 2%. That is, for every 100 unique visitors to your site, you expect that two, only two of them buys. You've done the maths, and know that if 2% buys, you'll be in the positive.

So they come, they seem to look around. Then they leave, and they never come back. After 1000 unique visitors, you have a sale. So your conversion rate is 0.1%.

You take a long, hard look at your website. It is easy to navigate. It looks professional. The call to action (buy) is clear. The sales copy is good.

So what is going on here? You're getting the visitors, so you know people are interested in your niche. Why don't they buy?

What do you mean, "list"?

So you start searching the net again. And all people seem to say, is "the money is in the list". In the beginning, it sounds like a strange, enchanting mantra. It sounds true, but what does it mean?

Yeah, Sten, what does it mean?

Well, it means that most people do not buy the first time they visit a website. And usually, they never come back! There's sooo many sites out there, why go back to yours?

So you need a way of getting them to come back. You need to have more shots at selling to them than one.

The normal, and easiest way of accomplishing this, is through a mailing list. When someone visits your site, it is easier to get them to sign up for your free email newsletter, than to buy anything.

So they do, and you can email them every fortnight, giving them good information on the topics in your niche; and then you ask them to buy. And every two weeks, you get to ask them. So instead of a visitor to your site either buying, or not buying, you have chance after chance to sell to them. Maybe they just didn't have the money the first time around. Maybe they were'nt sure yet. Maybe this, maybe that.

So you build a list of potential customers, or leads, as they are called. If you want to be extra savvy, you have a second list where you transfer the people who have already bought from you. It is easier to sell to these people, and you can keep them happy by giving them special deals and so on.

Okay, so you have a list, or hopefully two. But let's start with the first one. You have a list. It grows, and you find other ways of growing it as well. You send your AdWords-visitors to a web page that "sells" the newsletter instead of your products. You grow your list, because that is where the money is, isn't it?

Yes, and no

"The money is in the list" is partially true. You need that list. No doubt about it. But what you do with that list is also very important. It's like Craig Perrine (the ListProfitSecrets-guy) says in his new blog: "List don't have wallets. People do."

You can read his blog entry here.

Have fun,