Email Marketing

By Jeff K / June 3, 2019

Email marketing helps you attract and bring in the right type of customers.  It connects you to people who are already interested in what you may have to offer.  Creating a list is a vital part of running a successful business.

Your email list is a traffic source you have control over.  You can reach out to them at will and make offers and get sales.  It’s like a money switch you can turn on whenever you want to.

The power of email marketing should not be ignored.  Email marketing may not be as glamorous or exciting as other methods of reaching out but it is reliable and consistent at bringing solid ROI.  Understand that it is your own private distribution channel. That’s powerful stuff.

Email Marketing Best Practices

The goal of marketing isn’t just to make a sale. The ultimate goal is to establish trust. People will not buy form someone they don’t trust.

If you have an email list, and if you don’t you should begin building one immediately, the subscriber needs to trust you. Building trust will convince others to take your advice and follow your judgment before they spend their money.

Do not let desperation cloud your judgment.  As an affiliate marketer hyping up a product to the point where it is not believable is an easy trap to fall into. If you do this, your prospects will pick up on it and you will lose all credibility.

online shopping

Many times, marketers in the make money online (MMO) niche have one goal… sell, sell, sell. Emails are sent out daily, or multiple times per day without a thought of the quality of the product. Most of the products in this niche are poor quality and seldom deliver on their promises.

Once your subscribers have been burned once, very often a huge chunk of them become weary and shy away from trusting you. They’ll be much less likely to buy what you promote. You’ve lost all credibility… and the root cause of this is greed. This is the biggest pitfall for so many marketers.

Bombarding your audience with offers to make as much ‘easy money’ as possible is a very short-term strategy.

Once you lose the trust of the subscribers on your list, they get jaded fast and just stop buying. So, the list becomes useless because it stops generating money. The only way to keep getting sales is to keep adding new leads on your list.

Be Selective

By selectively promoting good offers and providing a balance of value and offers you will retain the trust of your list. If your approach is only to sell, you’ll turn off the subscriber. If you take the slow and steady approach, the lifetime value of your customer will increase considerably.

Your list will have a high retention rate, and when you promote something, people will believe you and respond in a positive way. Industry statistics show that it’s 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

So, be sensible and treat your list like people instead of numbers. People join lists or visit sites to get information and value. If you can provide that while promoting products, you will get the sales and win the hearts of your audience

Email Marketing Automation

An email autoresponder is a service that sends out emails on your behalf that you have created ahead of time to start a relationship with your email list.  It is said that beginners make their money on the front end while experts make their money on the back end.

The whole point of getting people to your lead magnet, or opt in page is to collect their email address.  The main goal is to sell enough product on the front end to support the acquisition of the member of the list.

How to Sell Online

Say you pay $100 weekly on advertising to acquire people to join your list. Your only goal here is to sell enough of your initial offer to make your $100 back.  If you do that, you can grow your list rapidly, by scaling up. Any money you make on the front end should be put back in to your advertising to gain more prospects on your list.

Selling online stats

If you can achieve this sort of balance, you can grow your business fairly quickly.  The key is in establishing the relationship with your email list. This is the key to your success.

The first thing to do is to choose a platform for your email auto responder.  This allows you to send out emails to hundreds, or thousands of people at the same time. The initial sequence of emails over a specific set time period is triggered as soon as someone opts in and signs up.

Once your auto responder is in place everything is automated for your list for as long as you want your initial sequence to go on.  I can’t stress enough that the whole point of the initial emails is to establish a relationship and build trust with your list.

Setting up your initial sequence be sure to have time between emails.  I first started my sequence sending an email daily. This can drive people away and make people unsubscribe from your list.

Build Trust With Your Email List

Your email list is a vital part of your survival as a business and the important thing is to keep the people that join happy.  You can keep people from unsubscribing by giving them tons of value. Don’t always have something to sell.

trust building within business

Especially in the beginning. Trust building should be the focus of your initial email marketing sequence. After you have built a relationship through the initial sequence, then offers and sales can be implemented.

Remember, on the other end of that email is a person, not just a number on your list. Keep that in mind when you are creating your emails. People love getting interesting, funny, helpful things in their mailbox.  As long as that is what you give them, they will be more receptive to your offers.

If you keep your list happy, they will continue to buy from you and can be taken further up the value ladder. Having two value emails in a campaign, followed by a pitch email is a good rule of thumb.

A value email is anything that can help your prospects in the given niche. For example, if you are in the camping and outdoor niche, then perhaps information on how to survive a bear attack, another would be tips on keeping raccoons out of your food rations, things like that.

Our Email Platform of Choice – Aweber

aweber logo

In this article I am going to use the Aweber platform for all our emailing needs.  It’s the platform I use and am familiar with. There are lots of different platforms to choose from but Aweber gives us the best bang for the buck.

Not only is it easy to use, but it is also very reliable as far as delivery goes in our experience.  According to Aweber will integrate easily with just about any platform you are using such as WordPress or Click Funnels.

Integration with other platforms such as Click Funnels is more straight forward.

Setting up Your Auto Responder in Aweber

Your auto respond sequence is set up once you have created a list.  This sends out emails on your behalf to your list at any interval you choose. Remember, don’t just send out pitches, add value and make the people on your list WANT to open your emails.

Ok, now the basics out of the way now let’s talk about tags.  Think of your email list a someone reading a choose your own adventure book. They can be moved from one idea to the next based on their interest. This is accomplished with the use of tags.  For instance, once someone signs up for my opt in form they receive a series of introductory emails. At the end of that sequence they are given a tag to identify that they have completed the introduction.

cardboard tags

By using a tag, I can broadcast to the portion of my list that has completed the initial sequence without emailing the portion that is still going through it.

Other aspects of a prospect can be identified with tags.  You can identify where that person signed up from like Facebook instead of your website.  If you have opt-ins at different locations, you will want to identify where the list is coming from.  You can set it up with tags, or by having separate lists for every opt-in variable.

Conclusion

Whether you are just starting to get your business off the ground, or have an established brand the importance of email marketing cannot be overlooked. It is a vital part of any business.

If you are looking for additional training and would like to know more about getting started with email marketing, hubspot academy has a free training course you may find useful.

If you have found any of this helpful please leave a comment below. I would love to hear if you have any other tips or tactics that others may find helpful.

Affiliate Marketing- A Case Study

By Jeff K / May 3, 2019
research

We all have seen those videos on YouTube how to make money affiliate marketing with the promise of $100 payouts a day, and others claiming $10,000 per month. The thing is that if you watch and pay attention, it’s the same few people making those videos. The claims are that anyone can do this sort of thing.  Well if that’s the case then why isn’t there more than the same 10 or so personalities making these claims.

I am putting myself in the hot seat and attempting to become one of those that show up in your video suggestions when you search affiliate marketing.

In the Beginning

It all began when I realized I wanted something different in my life.  Call it a midlife crisis or an awakening but something in my life shifted.  I became obsessed with self-help videos, and audiobooks. I used to avoid reading like the plague but now find great joy in a good book that can help me better understand something and make my life better.

Starting square of a board game

This self-help addiction l had lead me to realize that there had to be more to life than going to my job 5 days a week.  Living for the weekend and just surviving. Like the books I was reading encouraged that we are here to thrive, not just survive.

With that in mind I set out to make a change.  I began to scour the internet for something to help me escape this “trap” of work, home, sleep, repeat.  I wanted to thrive! That’s when I came across Wealthy Affiliate. This is a platform designed to take anyone that has an idea or passion and turn it into a viable business.

Make Money Promises True or False

I thought what the heck and began my free trial.  I knew nothing going in, but the training started on square one which was exactly what I need.  It took me through choosing a niche all the way until I had a website and began to create content for it.  Then I became an amazon affiliate and had related items on my site where if someone made a purchase I would get a very small commission.

I signed up for the annual plan with Wealthy Affiliate to give this “making money affiliate marketing” thing a true run for its money. Proving this to myself was what I was committed to. I created content for 4 months on a regular basis.  The traffic to my site was not exactly flowing in and I began to get discouraged.

Beware of Shiny Object Syndrome

Still on my self-help kick and looking for new opportunities I came across Shopify.  This seemed like a no brainer. You get a domain and a store front, sync up with a supplier in china and sell anything you can imagine.  At this point I stopped creating content for my original website on wealthy affiliate and began my new store.

I had it all set up and running in a matter of days.  Finally, I had found my way out. This would be my new ticket to financial freedom.  I would start making sales and my life would have purpose. Well, after a few ad campaigns on Facebook and google I began to run out of money and patience.

Learn Before You Leap

Learn from my mistakes.  Don’t start to buy ads on Facebook and google until you know what you are doing.  Be sure to research before you begin. Ads are a quick way to burn through your budget with little to no results.

man leaping through a building

I realized that I didn’t want to keep going into debt behind a product I was not passionate about.  So after 2 months I gave up on my store and it was back to the drawing board again.

This was and has been a major problem of mine.  Lacking focus, and kind of being all over the place.  I knew what my main goal was, but getting there was another story.

At this point I was feeling extremely discouraged.  All the promises I had seen on YouTube and other media outlets made me feel like giving up and just accepting the fact that things are just going to be the way they are.

Another Ah Ha Moment

Then I got another idea.  I went back to my original website that had been in limbo for 2 months and instead of just making a blog post and sell items through affiliate links, I would turn it into a store as well.  I used a plugin through WordPress and it turned my blog into an ecommerce store as well.

Now…. Now I thought I had it all.  Something I was passionate about and a storefront.  So again I continued to create content. Checking my google analytics daily to see how much traffic I was getting.  As I created content the numbers were slowly increasing.

The problem was I still had no sales.  So I did the next logical thing and became a seller partner with Amazon.  I thought that if I could see my products there, they would take care of the traffic.  After signing up I realized that by the time I sold something and paid amazon for their service, and PayPal for their service I was going to be losing money on every sale.

Fail Again

I immediately shut down my amazon sellers account (not the same as the affiliate account).  If you do plan to go that route and sell through Amazon, be really sure of your numbers and your profit margins.

Again I began to look around and research on the internet for clues to building a successful online business.  After consuming video after video I noticed a common theme. Most people claiming to make money online did it in one of the three “evergreen” niches.  These never go out of season hence the name evergreen. They are:

–          Make money online

–          Health Fitness and Weight loss

–          Relationships

If you were to create content for any one of these topics you could surely make it in the online world.  So again, I changed gears and set out on my quest. My end goal has not changed, that is what has kept me going through all of this.

Just Give Me A Reason

Let me just add a quick side note – your WHY is the most important thing when you set out to accomplish something.  It will be the driving force when things don’t go as planned. Keep that in mind when you set out on your own journey.

I know I drive my wife crazy because it seems like I am jumping from one thing to another.  The thing is just like Tony Robins said you can do everything right, but if you are headed east looking for a sunset you will never reach your goal.  You must know when to pivot, not quit just make changes and recognize when you need to change direction.

I made up my mind to pivot and start another new website.  The one you are reading this article from. If I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made, then it was worthwhile to write this.  I decided that this time I am going to attack my problem from three different fronts.

Coming Out Of My Shell

I started a YouTube channel where I am going to track my progress on a daily basis.  Explain exactly what I had accomplished that day and give an honest report of what my finances look like from week to week.

Claims of $100 per day isn’t all that great if you pay $90 a day for traffic.  This blog post you are reading now is a result of me trying to find my way. A blog is the foundation of your business.  It allows you to get your message out. It is also great at getting consistent traffic to your site and the things you offer others.

Content marketing such as a blog is a business model that takes time to build momentum and attract an audience, the same as any of the others previously mentioned. By providing helpful content it builds over time.

slow moving snail

This is definitely not something that will change your life overnight, but it does set a solid foundation for the future of your business.  That’s the reason I am doing this again. Building another website from scratch, hopefully helping others along the way.

The other thing I am doing this time around is starting a Facebook group.  I want to build a community of marketers so we can all learn from each other.  What is working and what is not. We live in an abundant world. There is no competition, only collaboration.  When we work together we all learn and grow.

Conclusion

That’s what I have done.  I changed direction once more and am here to help you find your way as well.  Trying to make money with Affiliate marketing is a simple concept; however, it is not easy. There is no get rich quick in this business.  You get out what you put in… sometimes.

Continue with me on my journey and check back frequently to see if a normal guy can truly make it in this business.  Then perhaps the saying will be true… “if I can do it, anyone can.”

Please leave a comment below, not only does it help me with my google rankings but I would love to get your take on affiliate marketing.  Your struggles and triumphs may help others out as well. Never give up, pivot when necessary and continue to build your own online escape plan!

Internet Affiliate Marketing

By Jeff K / April 30, 2019
make money online

So you want to dip your toes in the water and see if this whole internet affiliate marketing thing is for real.  Being skeptical is natural. The question is, is it possible to make money online in 2019?

This is the question I have been asking myself as I set out to find the answer.  Has that ship sailed or is it still possible to make a living online? Before I begin to answer this question, let me first give you a little background.  I am a 40-year-old whose computer knowledge is mediocre at best. Come with me on this journey to answer this question. If I can do it, certainly anyone can.

My biggest problem with this whole thing is when doing research for this article it was very difficult to decipher the people who are truly making money from the ones that look like they are making money.  You can make things appear any way you wish on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

I needed to dig deeper into this world to see if it was truly possible.  There are so many paths to choose, my head was spinning. Start a YouTube channel, start a blog, sell products, become an affiliate marketer. The list goes on and on.

Make A Decision For Success

The problem with choices is that most people freeze at this point and never make one.  They just go back to their lives and continue to complain about the things that never change.  If you really desire to make a change then make a choice.

That’s what I did.  I made a decision to try my hand at affiliate marketing.  It sounds easy in theory. There is no dealing with unhappy customers.  The only thing to concern yourself with is sharing great products and helping people make good decisions about the products they buy.

I went through my normal routine before making a decision. Usually researching something to death, then make my move. Knowing my limitations and that I would need some training to enter into this endeavor, after all I had no coding experience or computer programming skills.

Since you are reading this, you can see that even a normal guy like me can build a website and create content once given the proper tools.

My training was hands on step by step.  I went at my own pace. I used the wealthy affiliate program as my mentor, teacher and guide through this unfamiliar path.

Why Did I Choose Wealthy Affiliate?

This was the perfect stepping stone in the evolution of what I was trying to accomplish.  You see I already had a 9 to 5 day job, and was sick of the same routine. Like most people, I wanted out of the rat race.

change your life with wealthy affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate gave me that opportunity.  My journey began with the free, one-week trial, and before I was done on the first day I already had a website, my own piece of internet real estate.

I knew that if I wanted to succeed as an affiliate marketer, training would be the key.  The training and community of support is second to none. There is a 7 stage training course, and if completed you will be well on your way with a viable business.

After the training course is complete there are live training webinars at least once per week to keep you up to date with the ever changing online world.

There Are No Shortcuts

This is by no means a get rich quick scheme.  There is nothing quick about it. If you are looking to make money fast, then this is not the place for you.  However, if what you desire is building a solid foundation and a business for yourself then you are in the right place.

So I began my journey with the training.  A step by step course designed to help even a new comer like me succeed.  My process was not as fast as some of the others who had joined the same time I did.

That’s the beauty of it all, you can work at your own pace when time is available for you.  This was what I was craving most of all. Living life on my terms and not what my employer told me my life had to be.

Another bonus with choosing this program was the fact that there is a whole community of like-minded people all over the world that are there to help you when you need it.

A proven system is laid out in front of you to follow.  The training will lead you to success. Once you become a member, all the tools you need are in front of you.  The membership includes hosting for up to 25 websites, and 25 site rubix sites for a total of 50 websites.

Included with the membership is a subscription to Jaaxy.  This is a priceless tool for doing keyword research. Don’t worry if these things sound foreign to you right now, it all comes together in the training.

How It Works

The whole program is designed to help you succeed.  If you follow the training it sets your website up to get consistent traffic.  At that point you begin to turn that traffic into customers and begin to make revenue streams.  As I stated before, this is not something that happens overnight.

The great thing about all of this is the fact that as of this writing there are over 4 Billion people online, according to internet world stats and this number continues to increase every year.  That means there are 4 billion potential customers waiting for you to help make informed decisions.

You could begin to see results within a month or two depending on your willingness and drive.  Consistency is the key here. Follow the teachings and you can’t go wrong.

Why Not?

The main reason I chose Wealthy Affiliate for my transformation from someone with a job to a business owner was the fact that if I wanted to get an online presence, I would have to find a hosting company anyway.  Their network is fast, reliable, and secure. So by going this route I was not only getting a hosting company, I was getting a priceless education as well.

I recommend you at least check it out.  Its risk free. That’s what I did, and now I’m hooked.  The earning potential is infinite.

The fact is, we live in an abundant world with unlimited possibilities.  Something as simple as writing a review of a product and helping someone make an informed decision can make you money.  It’s a win win for everyone.

Full disclosure: if you do happen to click on the link and join I will make a small commission from your membership.  That’s how the whole thing works. It’s a truly beautiful system. Helping others fulfill their dreams while at the same time making yours come true.

Whether you choose to use wealthy affiliate or not is up to you.  Do your own research and see what you discover on your journey.

In Conclusion

The answer to the question, can you still make money online in 2019 is a resounding yes.  Just understand that it isn’t like winning the lottery. You get out what you put in. So if you are ready to live life on your own terms and quit making someone else rich, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

I wish you the best of luck.  If you have any questions or comments, I would be happy to answer them if you leave them below.  The future is in your hands.

Cheers,

~Jeff

How to Make Money Online – Free

By Jeff K / April 27, 2019
US C-note 100 dollar close up

Living the dream of making money online.  Quitting your job and telling your boss to put it where the sun doesn’t shine.  This does not have to be a dream. Anyone can get started making money online for free.  Below is the best method to get started and begin living your dream.

Getting Organic Traffic

If you want to make it in this business, then you have come to the realization that the key to success is traffic.  You can have the best products, the best offers and still not make a dime unless people see it. In order to set yourself up properly you need to implement a strategy based on three main platforms.

Just like a tripod has stability, this approach will help you accomplish the goal of organic traffic in a much quicker way.  Each leg building on the other creating a solid foundation and a steady flow of traffic to your brand.

If done properly you will have all aspects of your business covered, each leg building off the next. The organic traffic will be steadily increasing on a daily basis.  Another key to remember is consistency. This three leg concept is easy to conceive, but without consistency it falls apart.

Leg One – YouTube

stable tripod

When you are first getting started this may be your best bet for organic traffic.  Videos are relatively easy to make and put up. You can start building out your channel today.  The beauty of YouTube is that even if you don’t have a huge subscriber count and are just getting started, your video could show up next to some high ranking video with tons of subscribers.

This is the power of YouTube. Once you have some videos out that give value and help other people solve a problem then you can incorporate your videos into your blog posts and other posts on social media.

According to Search Engine Journal (2018), search results having a video thumbnail double your search engine traffic.  Wordstream (2018) claims a 157% increase in organic traffic with video in SERP (Search Engine Results Page). With stats like that, video is a no brainer for driving traffic.

One other great thing about YouTube is the fact that you can (at least for now) link to anything you want in the description below the video.  This is amazing and really lowers the barrier to entry to anyone that wants to become a You Tuber.

playing youtube on an iphone

I know that most people don’t want to be on camera, and that’s ok.  You can make videos without showing your face. All you need is screen capture software and your voice.

Don’t get caught up thinking you have to compete with others that have some amazing intro, or theme music.  If you put out helpful, valuable content people will watch.

Leg 2 – Facebook Groups

There is no question social media is a powerful tool when it comes to getting traffic to your site and brand recognition.  According to Animoto (2017) 64% have been influenced in their buying decision by watching a video on Facebook in the past month.

That is a huge number considering that by 2020 there will be an estimated 1.69 billion people using the social media platform according to statista

Forget about Facebook fan pages, they are a thing of the past.  The best way to get your message out to highly targeted traffic for free is by starting your own Facebook group, or leverage an existing one.

Leveraging an already existing group you will be held to their rules.  This may be the best way to get started, but I recommend starting your own group to have maximum control

Starting your own group allows you to start building your own pool of people similar to an email list. You can sell to or make offers to this group whenever you want.  You are building yourself a powerful asset that can bring you sales whenever you choose. Your group, your rules.

Leg 3 – Blog

freelancing blogging on a laptop

Do not underestimate the power of blog posts.  They still bring in traffic from search engines and again when done on a consistent basis are a powerful traffic building tool.  A blog builds a solid foundation for your brand.

A blog will increase inbound marketing efforts and help to build brand awareness.  It also allows you to get out beneficial and relevant information to your audience.

According to the most recent inbound marketing statistics 61% of marketers say growing their organic presence is their top priority.  Also, including a relevant video in their blog post increases organic search traffic by 157%.

Just that last statistic alone shows how powerful this 3 leg strategy is.  By simply adding your own video to your post you will get a boost in search, and possibly more views on your video.

Another interesting statistic is that organic search and SEO (search engine optimization) is 5.66 times better than paid search ads.  This is a very uplifting statistic for small businesses and people who are just getting started.

If you’ve never written a blog post before there is excellent training at Wealthy Affiliate.  They have an in depth course that takes you through step by step and helps you to build a solid foundation for your website.  It is the best way to get your “online education”.

Traffic First – Then Cash

night blur of traffic in and out of the city

Once you have all three legs up and running and have steady traffic flow, it’s time to monetize.  This is the fun part. Most of the heavy lifting is done and traffic is flowing in. Now is the time to place ads on your site with google AdSense and begin to promote affiliate offers.

One of the best offers I have come across is the one offered by click funnels.  It is a complete business in a box that you can drive traffic to and make 40% commissions on.  They are even giving away your dream car if you reach 100 sign ups.

money in a suitcase

This is not the only one out there.  Check out sites like click bank, and jvzoo.  They also have very attractive affiliate offers.  Most of these give you a trial period to see if they are a good fit for you.

Conclusion

Making money online for free is simple.  Yes, I said simple, however it is not easy.  It does take work to build anything worthwhile.  Following this strategy will give you a solid foundation and a leg up on the competition.

The best way to get started implementing this approach is to find the thing that you would enjoy the most.  If you love to shoot video, then start there. If writing is your thing, then the blog is the place to start.

Begin with the most enjoyable and work on it for 7 days consistently.  Then, move to the next leg that is most enjoyable. Repeat this for 7 days as well.  If done consistently, by the time you get to the third leg you will have built up some momentum and will start to see organic traffic trickling in.  Once that happens it will give you confidence that what you are doing is working. I know I’ve said it more than once but consistency is the key to success.

I would love to hear your take on this whole approach.  What has worked for you? Are you struggling to get traffic on a regular basis?  Please comment below and share your success and failures. Keep building your online escape plan!

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