Down And Dirty Internet Marketing Basics In 2009 Part 2
Down And Dirty Internet Marketing Basics In 2009 Part 2
Continued from Down And Dirty Internet Marketing Basics In 2009 Part 1 so please read that first.
The ONLY Sure Fire Way To CRUSH Google, Twitter And Any Other Site
Well, not so much crush and dominate but rather respect and play by their rules. From a practical point of view it is more simple to learn what these powerful sites want and then work within their guidelines than it is to continually do battle with them and have your sites and articles deleted. It’s not difficult to write short, informative, non spammy articles for WordPress, Weebly et al, which means your anchor text links stay intact and you can build some meaningful long lasting authority for your website.
Real blackhat stuff, (not the junk that people class as blackhat to perk your interest), is incredibly technical and takes a lot of testing and a mammoth effort to keep on top of ever changing search engine algorithms and policy. Having thousands of websites for testing is all in a days work for the blackhatters so, as mentioned in Part 1, you sure won’t buy the results of these strategies for a few bucks.
The thing to bear in mind is that as an Internet marketer, using the social media web 2.0 sites and hosted blogs for product promotion, (and this is the whole point of writing yeah?), you always run the risk of having your articles either flagged or deleted. This is because of the human moderation factor – eek!
Even on Internet marketing friendly portals like Squidoo your competitors can, and do, complain about your lenses and cause a little grief whilst things get sorted out. So, expect a few knock downs and don’t get discouraged.
Guru Product Launches. This is what you can generally expect nowadays.
You get offered a high ticket product for free and you pay the shipping and handling. This, so far, has always been linked to a forced continuity payment product like a monthly newsletter. The details of the forced continuity may or may not be adequately explained upfront and some top end marketers have been accused in the forums of “obscuring” this information.
OTO’s / Upsells. You will then go through at least 2, (maybe even 7 or 8), One Time Offers and upsells. As an example, the latest ButterflyMarketing launch where you just paid the shipping and handling for BM2, had the initial OTO for $1997 and if you skipped that you would be given a second offer for $697. Free Bonuses are generally linked to a paid product as an upsell.
Cancellation Woes: Make sure you write down the cancellation requirements for the products when you see them because after your credit card has been processed it can be difficult to find this information. Sometimes the only direct reference will be some text as you are going through the OTO / sales process, and almost nobody writes this down at that time. After that it will be a matter of going through the support system which can be really frustrating even with the established marketers. A further point to consider is that if you have purchased multiple products through the OTO system you will probably have to cancel each separately so it can get confusing.
A personal observation on the physical products received. Two very recent product launches by huge players in the IM niche produced what I considered as being total trash. Both were about monthly forced continuity programs, (no criticism implied), and are basically an Internet Marketing club with monthly magazines and / or videos physically sent to your home.
The dvd’s from IM company No. 1 are so poorly organized and presented, it is a physical pain to have to listen to them – and this had information from industry experts I respect. The second sent a “magazine” which I was going to have to pay around $30 for every month and it looked like something printed up in a school on draft print settings to save ink. Worse, the information was a joke. There is no way you would go to a newsagent and pick this off the magazine rack and pay $30 for it. This is a classic example of clever copywriting, over zealous hype with a massively inflated perceived product value.
Bookstores & Newsagents. The competition for physical Internet marketing products is growing all the time. The bookstores are well stocked with printed books and DVD’s costing less than the monthly subscriptions being offered online. The magazines catering for the online business niche give way more choice than being tied into one or two marketers for hundreds of dollars per month.
Marketing Spin. Despite the spin, hype, numerous OTO’s and millions of dollars being made, the bottom line is that the products were less than desirable and it showed me that the line has now definitely been crossed between ‘old fashioned’ good hearted, (but profitable), marketing and ruthless, ‘squeeze every dime from you‘ corporations. I am a little sad this is the way things are going online but as long as we recognize these online corporations for what they are and don’t blindly follow the ‘good ‘ol boy’ mantra they want us to believe, we can stop blindly following their promises and start thinking for ourselves.
There are definitely more and more people becoming disgruntled, and even disgusted, with the big marketers. I have blogged about this subject previously, Scams Snake Oil And Angels, but the comments from a recent post by Michael Fortin called Don’t Fry Your Customers With This Tactic shows that people are not being beaten into submission to accept the high pressure sales tactics but actually quite the opposite is happening. They are aware of the tactics, resent them and are actually avoiding having anything to do with the hyped up product launches. The following is a post on Michael’s blog, link above, demonstrating one lady’s ‘tiredness” of the whole process.
So, huge mega-launches, drive-by marketers, one-hit products, jaded feelings… Lois isn’t alone in feeling like this as hundreds of forum posts will attest to. For me, I think the take away is that WE must focus and remain in charge and responsible. If our credit card comes flying out every time someone mentions “pay only for shipping, free $2,000 product”, we really have lost control of our senses.
Mind Control Is Freaky Stuff. Mind control and manipulating the herd mentality is a very real and prominent part of online sales. We make it sound better by calling it “marketing psychology” or something similar. People will probably take offense at me saying this but the truth is that marketers know full well that the vast majority of their huge lists are never going to have an online business and the marketing machine just keeps churning out “one-hit products” as Lois would say. This is a fact of online business life and anybody really trying to build an online business should take a close and realistic look at what they are doing and decide if they are a follower or a leader.
Leaders do not buy every product that comes out. Leaders are able to focus and make reasoned decisions. As a drug addict will always find money for drugs or a smoker will always find a reason why smoking is good for them, followers will always find a reason why they need the latest product and they almost always find the money to buy it. For them, this is going to be THE life changer… at least until the next product launch starts.
Remember we have to be leaders and not followers and it’s not all that difficult to make a few simple changes to our thinking.
The true cost of free? I am not convinced of the argument that just because you pay twenty or thirty bucks for shipping then you would be a fool for not getting the product. Just looking around the forums you see people saying “Why are you complaining, it’s free”. This isn’t actually true.
If you are leader instead of a follower you will realize that nothing from the top marketers is free and they are not in the business of doing you any favors. There’s always a back end. Nothing wrong with that as long as you sincerely understand it. Nobody, you and me included, are going to have a product launch or have a system set up where we are giving away freebies with no profit motive attached.
Even if we have paid a minimal sum for shipping we still have to invest a lot of time in learning these products and they may or not be a good fit with our business. There sure as heck is no way you can ask questions before a launch because every product is touted as the latest universal cure-all and the usual stock reply from support is to buy now because they always refund if the product isn’t suitable.
I mean, how many more list building, Twitter and traffic products do we need? And, it’s not just the hard drive being filled with endless unread products! We now have to find space in our ever crowded basement / attic / garage to house the physical products they are shipping to us!
I thought this was meant to be progress and we should be saving the planet but maybe that only happens on Thursdays and Saturdays 😉
Product Launch Tech Glitches. This may just be me being cynical but has anybody noticed during quite a lot of product launches there almost always seems to be a technical glitch? The reason for me writing this now is that just a couple of days ago I was listening to a social media phone-in where there was a product on offer which had, like every product launch, a strictly limited number available. Anyhow, people tried to sign up as soon as the link went live but there was a technical issue. Now, just like the other product launches, the product is no longer supply limited but available to everyone as a “special favor” because of the tech problem. As I said, maybe it’s me or perhaps I’ve missed this strategy somewhere!
Web 2.0 Social Media Marketing – is it really necessary?
Of course not. It’s the latest craze and everybody is pushing a Web 2.0 product but there are thousands of people quietly working away online in a few niches with an Adwords campaign who want nothing to do with Twitter or Weebly!
I know the wags are going to say “but they could make more profit if…”. Sure they could but here’s the thing, they are thinking for themselves, are making the amount of the money they are happy with and living the life they choose.
Social media promotion is not just a matter of finding nofollow bookmarking sites despite the wild product claims. I have written another post on this topic to be live soon so I’ll keep this short but the “bookmarking only” strategy is short sighted and ineffective if you want to build a lasting authority business online.
It takes a lot of time and organization to set up your social media promotion strategy effectively and can easily develop into total chaos if you do not implement and maintain fairly rigid action guidelines. Be aware that social media promo is not a quick magic traffic button.
Just because we don’t follow a gurus advice to the letter doesn’t make us dunces. Why do we never hear the stories about the guys making just enough money to live the life they want? Why has everything got to be about big houses, big cars, multi million dollar product launches and seminars? Nobody seems to be interested in the people happily making a few grand a month and go fishing 3 or 4 days a week.
I think it’s important for people to climb out of the rut of having gurus dictate their every thought and action. Subconsciously they are trying to emulate an impossible dream which only leads to stress, frustration and, in most cases, failure.
The Absolute, Unequivocal, Top Of The Pole, Ultimate
Internet Marketing Top Secret Formula just for you!
(and Shhhhh! don’t tell anyone OK)
Learn from an expert but think for yourself.
- Don’t Get It Right, Get It Going!
Clean out your email and RSS subscriptions to give you a focused mind. It’s like having a clean desk.
Find a profitable niche. This is keyword and trend research. It’s obviously worth spending time to understand this and if possible buy suitable software to cut down on the boring repetitive work. If you share information from your research with anybody you have effectively killed the profitability of that niche or made it much harder for yourself to turn a profit.
Grab a related domain name using your key phrase and set up a basic website or blog and a means to be paid.
Build a list. A major part of your business thinking should be how to get people to sign up for your newsletter, RSS feed or Twitter. Use all 3 to cater for a wide spectrum of people. Some people love Twitter but hate newsletters so give options.
- Deep linking to your second and third tier website pages is really important.
- Work toward having your own product and affiliates but start with Clickbank affiliate products for quick cash.
- For instant traffic learn how to use PPC effectively and realize this requires a fair amount of cash upfront. Be aware that when learning the ropes it is possible to lose a lot of money if you are not careful.
- Use article marketing and include Ezine Articles and Go Articles as a minimum.
Web 2.0 Social Media Promotion. Do NOT get hung up on the latest nonsense telling you how great social bookmarking is. Use it as part, (like a small part), of a social media strategy. Just to name a couple of the important sites to consider using as promotion would be WordPress and Weebly, but any hint of marketing and your sites will be deleted.
You have to know how to work the social media sites effectively.
Be aware that the vast majority of eBooks on the subjects of bookmarking, Twitter and social media promotion are, yet again, PLR or scraped content.
There are surprisingly few people who understand the concepts behind effectively marketing with social media. Michelle McPherson and Paul Colligan are 2 real experts that immediately spring to mind.
- Be aware that gurus are not always right which is why you have to test for yourself, think for yourself and make your own decisions as a leader not a follower.
- Outsourcing work will quickly become a necessity for your projects.
- Understand that your customers really do not give a hoot about you and the fact you like peanut butter. They are only interested in the WIIFM principle. It is a natural reaction for everyone so don’t take it personally.
- Keep away from the “Sell it cheaper than anyone else” mentality like some of the bozos on eBay. All you do is ruin what could be a good product and profit earner for everyone. Consider that if you sell cheap you are perceived as cheap.
- Remember that if a “system” is free and easy to do it will be mostly ineffective because everybody will be doing it. The mass implementation of these strategies leave huge and obvious footprints for the search engines. Social bookmarking is a case in point. Systems that have cost and take some effort are obviously the most effective.
Subscription Affiliate Products. I thought I would add a couple of paragraphs here as an affiliate payment just showed up in my inbox a few minutes ago and it always spreads a warm glow. Finding a suitable continuity product really is an efficient business model. The pitfalls are choosing people who don’t pay, are late paying or generally make things awkward for their affiliates. You would perhaps be surprised how many of these people there are floating around.With Clickbank now offering subscription payments try to choose your product from there if possible as they handle all the payments.
The product has to be good so check the forums and Twitter to see if there is an above normal amount of complaints. Any product will always have detractors, this is normal, but you will easily judge the perceived worth of the product by what people are saying.
Once you choose a product you have researched and know it to be profitable, then go the extra mile by buying a related domain name and taking the time to promote it properly using the guidelines as mentioned above. If this is done right the first time, it truly is easy money as the ongoing maintainance is minimal. As a very general rule people pay subscriptions for 3 or 4 months and then move on, but if your promotion backbone is in place you should be gaining more subscribers than you are losing.
You really need to know the product you are going to promote and you should either buy it or request a complimentary copy. If you are just starting out the chances of the big guys wanting anything to do with you is remote but if you contact most product owners with a reasonably well thought out promotion plan and open a dialogue with them, more often than not they will happily give you access to a copy and loads of help. Maybe even an inflated commission if you can hit a target.
Worth Remembering. It has never been more important than right now to realize the importance of fortifying your niche. If you just have a few articles with anchor text links knocking around and are complacent, your future competition is already at your gates with a battering ram. Once you see your niche is making some money then take action to set up an effective promotion backbone and either spend a few hours a month or outsource to get some fresh content to continually build your authority.
Wrap Up. The reason behind writing this post was nothing more than an uncomfortable feeling about the growing number of people that are being mass manipulated and as I mentioned previously it is sad to see the Internet going the same way as corporate industry with people being no more than a number on a support ticket.
I am not an evangelist or someone who lives in the past. It is important to be a realist and be able to judge the state of play within your industry and make sure you are not being treated as a fool or just a wallet. It is too easy to become a follower and this develops lethargy because the thinking is being done by someone else. People are anxiously waiting for the next release of the free videos, free audios, free reports and free strategies and seem unable to function past that level.
We have now reached the stage online where it’s all strictly business thank you very much and that wouldn’t be so bad if the information given approximated the truth, and the products even performed to a small degree of the wild claims.
Truthfully, few will make a fortune online and even getting past the $100K barrier is incredibly difficult for most people, but does that really matter? To me an online business attitude was always about helping other folk get out of the corporate rut so they could make enough money to at least have a reasonable life which was debt free.
I am absolutely convinced that almost anybody can make a few thousand dollars a month online even in todays over crowded marketplace. Technorati tells us that 2 blogs are created every 3 seconds. Not all of these are commercial blogs in the niche you want to dominate, but even though the ability to make an income online is growing more competitive every day it is still possible.
We are heading more and more into developing sub-micro niches, (like pets | dogs | poodles | grooming | nails | pink | LOL), and the longtails are growing longer. It is becoming ever more difficult to find commercial longtails with a reasonable daily search volume so we have to adapt and find 2 or 3 where 1 used to suffice. Everybody knows about SEO and there is no need to buy any information on niche research anymore because all the techniques have been given away as free products or we can search YouTube.
Remember from Star Trek we learnt to be leaders, not followers.
The phrase is to “Boldly Go” and not “Blindly Go”