You can make money via advertising space on your website. If the site becomes very popular, advertisers will line up to put their ad or banner on your page and give you a monthly stipend for that exposure. This can happen with traditional websites and with blogs too. That’s just another way that you can exploit the website you have to create income without doing much additional work.
You can make money by putting up search engines that pay for every time that someone searches your site. You can also set up a membership area where special content is given to members for a monthly fee. You can offer discount coupons on your site to your offline businesses and reduce the cost of printing offline, thus creating more money in your retail budget. There are many ways to make money online that are different than what you currently know.
Be very careful when you start listing affiliate offers in your lineup of products and services. Your reputation is on the line, even if you’re not the one providing the product and are just the salesperson making the offer. The best offers to put up on your site are those that you have some experience with or have a good deal of confidence in the person selling them. You don’t want to put up offers that end up resulting in fraudulent claims and/or that make your customers unhappy. You will be the one that ends up with the blame, not the unknown product creator or provider. Your site is representative of your good name. Take pains to keep your reputation as clean as possible and listen closely to customer feedback on affiliate offers. Remove any that fail to live up to their rhetoric.
3. Not Expanding Money Options
Selling products and services is just one way to make money online. You may even find that it’s not the biggest portion of your income if your site gets very popular. Try to expand your moneymaking capabilities so that you aren’t limiting yourself to a brick-and-mortar model of selling only a product or a service. People make money online in many different ways. It’s important to understand these models and to implement them to expand the ways to increase your income potential.
When first getting into affiliate marketing, you will see many pay-per-click or pay-per-sale models available to choose from within your affiliate network, the most popular being the Google AdSense PPC program. These offers depend on people coming to your site and clicking on the links you set up. A pay-per-click (PPC) offer will pay you at most a few dollars for the click, and usually a few cents for each time a person clicks a link. A pay-per-sale will pay a percentage commission that depends on the affiliate offer, but is much harder to generate due to the action requested, completing a sale. Along with PPC offers, there are cost-per-action (CPA) affiliate offerings that can generate income from your site. These offers pay out much better than PPC and only ask that a specific action be taken by the visitor, which can be to fill out a survey, add their email to a registration form, or opt-into a newsletter. The action can also be a sale, but there are many CPA offers that are looking just for sales leads, not for actual sales. These are far easier to market on your site and lead to more income because a visitor isn’t being asked to purchase anything, but just to complete some action that will eventually put money in your pocket, even though it’s not directly obvious to the visitor.
6. Having No Sales Pipeline Outlined
Even with all of these offers lined up, if you don’t have a plan for what to present first, it can get rather confusing, for both you and for the prospective customer. Online, you need to plan out a sales pipeline and always keep some offer in front of your prospective client. You should know what they’ve seen before and what they’re going to see next. You should plan out and understand how demographics will affect your pipeline too. Once you have an email list with people’s names on it who have agreed to be marketed to, it’s up to you to make sure that they hear about you and your business on a regular basis. It’s not like a regular retail store where they might take the chance to go to your site to buy some particular item. Instead, they will be hopping all over the Web, and unless you repeatedly pull them back to your site, they will soon forget all about you. The sales pipeline thus serves two purposes: it’s informational and it’s for sales.
7. SEVERAL DIFFERENT CONTACT LISTS
For all of your sites, you might have one master contact list that sends out information emails about where you are and where your business is headed. It can discuss business interruptions and other procedural things that have nothing to do with sales. They can be entertaining, but are generally used for the purpose of relaying vital information that everyone on all of your lists needs to know.
After that, each site should have its own contact lists, and they should be categorized based on demographics. If you have a three-tiered group of products and services, low-income, middle-income, and high-income brackets, then you should separate people’s email addresses based on that information and market different products from those categories to the right group. If you don’t know what demographic they belong to, just stick them in the low-income bracket until they actually buy a product and give you a better idea. Every now and then, offer them a product from the next grouping to see if they bite. Then, if they do bite, move them to the new list and market those products to them regularly.
8. PLAN THE SALES PIPELINE ALL YEAR
You should now have a good idea of when you are sending out emails, to whom you are sending out emails, and what products and services are being offered in your email campaigns and online. You should know when a holiday promotion is in order and what you plan to do about that to generate income. It seems like a lot of work, but it will make the operation of your website smoother and more profitable in the end.
9. Not Promoting Your Site
We talked about the false expectation that if you build it, they will come. Putting out several money buckets to monetize the site for when visitors arrive is just the first step. You also have to heavily promote the site to get visitors to show up. As a single person online, you don’t have the same resources to advertise a massive campaign on television, radio, and in newsprint. Instead, your choices are going to be limited to what you can do online. Prime the pump by starting to toot your own horn as quickly as the sites go up. Have a marketing campaign set up to go with content to distribute; then when the site goes live, you can start the promotion. Here are some simple methods that you can use to promote your site online.
10. SET UP EMAIL SIGNATURES
Set up different email addresses for each website and add an automatic signature that promotes the site or a recently featured product or service, CPA offer, or anything else that can make money for you. Now, when people email the site and you respond, the signature is inserted and automatically promotes something of value to you and to your customer.
11. SEND OUT PRESS RELEASES
Write up press releases for all new products and services that you are offering and make sure to go online and add them to press release sites. You can buy a service that will take one press release and post it to multiple sites. As long as you have your Web address and what you are offering, it’s a great way to promote across the Web and to gain more traffic to your site.
12. WRITE INFORMATIVE ARTICLES
You can also submit informative articles to article directories for free. If you write up a great article and it gets lots of attention, it can bring loads of traffic to your site. In the resource box included with these articles, you are allowed to post two links. Choose what you advertise there carefully and be sure to stay within the terms of agreement of the site for those links.
13. UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
Use an automatic service like Ping.fm to send out status updates on new offerings to all of your social networks. This way, you centralize those functions, but still get the word out to everyone.
14. Not Tracking Results
After all this work, you probably will have some idea on whether your strategies are working on not by tracking the bottom line. That’s just the very basic way of tracking your Internet marketing success. The three main things you want to track to tweak further for better results are traffic, conversions, and marketing effectiveness.
Your website will track traffic by way of the unique visitors and hits to the site, along with other statistics. While that’s a good way to know how popular your site is, it tells you very little about where your main streams of traffic are coming from. Taking a further look, you see what countries give you the most hits and which sites as well. If you’re testing a specific promotion, however, it doesn’t really show up unless you take the time to use a URL shortener that will track how many specific hits to that link showed up on different days. Include techniques to view traffic and analyze it in as many ways as possible.
Conversions typically refer to converting a visitor into a customer. However, if you are using CPA offers, you may just be converting them into someone who completes an action that delivers money to your pocket. You may want a free area where people subscribe and convert from an anonymous visitor to someone with an email account. There are numerous conversions that can show you how well your site is doing and where it needs more work.
17. MARKETING EFFECTIVENESS
When you do email campaigns, wouldn’t it be nice to know how many people opened your emails and clicked your offers? Using a system like Aweber.com, you can automate your sales pipeline and also track the effectiveness of your email campaigns, down to the emails and links that got the most attention. This helps you to start to recognize what works with your audience and what doesn’t.
Split testing is another way to test the marketing effectiveness of different sales pages. This can be done with email marketing too, but it’s often used with Web pages. The idea is to set up two different versions of a sales offer and send half of the traffic to one Web page and the other half to the other Web page. The one that has a better conversion rate is the better advertisement, even if all that was changed was a title or the position of a “Buy Now!” button.
18. Going It Alone
The worst thing a budding Internet marketer can do is to go it alone. Whether it’s trying to do everything manually and not using tools to make the process more efficient, a lack of networking, or a failure to listen to the experts who went before him/her, going it alone is a sure recipe for distress and high disappointment. There is a steep learning curve, but there are so many tools, forums, and experts out there to help lend a helping hand that it’s really sad when someone tries to do things the hard way.
19. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ONLINE TOOLS
We’ve discussed a number of tools as we went through this short report. There are many others just waiting to help you out with the job of automating important everyday tasks. Once set in place, they free up time that you can spend elsewhere, raising your productivity. It may take a bit of time to learn how to implement the tools, but the sooner you learn and implement them, the less time you will waste doing things manually from then on.
20. NETWORK ALL THE TIME
The Internet has facilitated the ease of meeting new people online. You will want to frequent Internet marketing forums, like the Warrior Forum at www.warriorforum.com, and contribute to the group. You can read some of the same issues that you are having and how people are resolving them. You can post your own questions and get answers from experts online.
The same is true with social networks. You can attract people who are in your niche and see what they’re doing to build their online businesses. Befriend or follow as many Internet marketers as you can, watch how they promote themselves online, and then just copy them. Often, by viewing what they’re doing, you’ll get some great ideas to implement on your own sites.
21. LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS
Go where the experts are and listen carefully. Don’t just listen, but also do. Go out and implement some of what they’re promoting and see if it really works or not. Some things will work for you and others won’t, but don’t blame it on the tools or the experts. It could just be your audience or niche is far different than what those methods were used on before. Always customize everything you hear to your own sites and niches. Take into account that everything you hear has value, but you will be the one to decide exactly how it can work with your Internet marketing practices and sites. By carefully discriminating between what works and what doesn’t for you personally, you keep tight control over the information out there and learn to sift the gold out of the sand very quickly. If you can find someone who truly excites you and understands your niche, see if they offer a mentoring or coaching program. These types of programs can be expensive, but they can literally catapult you into action and help you achieve in one year what it might take a few years otherwise. Just be careful to choose reputable coaches and to always keep your eye on the results.
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