Do You Have a Marketer’s Mindset?

Before you get started in this industry, you have to analyze your own mindset to see if you have what it takes to be an online entrepreneur from conception to fully-functional success operation. It’s not enough to say you want to make money or be your own boss.

Everyone wants those things, but not everyone can achieve those goals. It takes a special person. You don’t have to be a workaholic or be willing to engage in questionable marketing tactics. You just need to have a few characteristics that are common to most successful Internet marketers.

This industry requires deep commitment. If you’re the type to change jobs with your moods, then stick to a 9-5 gig. You’re building a business and it takes time, effort, and tweaking to make it work.

Perseverance and a positive attitude can make or break an entrepreneur. You’re going to have down times. Every marketer does. Something will go wrong – whether it’s a freelancer who didn’t deliver on time and threw off your launch date or a JV partnership that fell through. If you panic and shut down, you’ll tarnish your reputation as a true professional.

The great Internet marketers don’t fly by the seat of their pants. They believe in being meticulous planners. They make schedules and plans for their day, week, month, year, and even further down the road.

They plan every step of a launch before the product development even begins. They plan every single detail they can think of. The more meticulous you are with your plans, the fewer things there are that might go wrong.

To become an authority in your niche, you need to exude confidence. Even if you’re worried, anxious, or unsure of yourself, what you project must be that you have it all together – you can’t be paralyzed by fear.

Are you willing to be a student for life? No successful marketer gets to the top and stops learning this industry. That only means you’ll eventually become the prey of another hungry marketer who’s stayed on the ball with up-to-the-minute solutions and practices in your niche so that they can become king of the mountain when you let your guard down.

You have to know how to get from point A to point B on your journey to achieving financial independence. Do you know what you’ll say when your in-laws or spouse questions your “career?” If you’re a fearless marketer, the inquisition won’t bother you a bit.

If you aren’t sure how to develop a blueprint for your success, don’t know how to set and achieve goals, or have a mindset that’s not in sync with that of victory, then work on those things before you quit your day job and set off on this voyage. You want to be mentally prepared for the ups and downs along the way.

Digital Download Dollars

Whether you’re an affiliate marketer or a product owner, you get to choose how much you get paid to promote something. As a product owner, obviously you set the price. As an affiliate, you seek out products that have a good commission.

Digital downloads usually have a much better payout than tangible goods. Of course, if you’re promoting a high-ticket tangible item, you might make more – but it could be harder to sell to the general public, too.

A digital download is a text, audio, or video file that buyers can download instantly onto their hard drive and access immediately. Instead of waiting until tomorrow afternoon to run to Barnes and Noble, they log in at 3 o’clock in the morning when they can’t sleep and download a book on the topic they want.

A tangible book that costs $14.95 in a local bookstore can sell for $49 and up on the Internet as a digital download. As an affiliate, your commission will probably be higher, too.

If you promote a tangible book on Amazon that costs $14.95, and you get 7% of that, you’re only earning a little over a dollar. But that $49 digital download – an eBook about the same topic – offers you 50% commission, giving you $24.50 per sale!

It’s not hard to see which one pays better. As a product owner, you can create eBooks to compete with tangibles. You’ll charge a lot more, but you’ll be able to pay your affiliates a lot for their efforts, too.

If you’re not a writer and prefer a different type of product creation for your digital download, you can choose to create a series of MP3 files – audio tutorials that teach your topic to a paying audience. The public loves information they can digest on the go using their iPod or other electronic gadget.

You can also use a tool like Camtasia and create video productions as your product creation tool of choice. Some people prefer to watch a lesson rather than read it. With both audio and video digital downloads, your price point can go beyond the borders of what text info products can pull in.

Combine all three media elements and you may be poised to market a high-ticket digital download that takes in upwards of $1,500 for a single sale – something affiliate marketers will jump all over.

Defining What It Means to Be an Internet Marketer

There’s no PhD you can strive for to be in the Internet marketing industry. You have to learn as you go – on your own – soaking up information along the way. The first thing you need to know is what it means to be an Internet marketer, because it isn’t always clear to everyone.

Let’s start with what Internet marketing is not. It’s not being a con artist. It’s not being a spam king. It doesn’t just mean selling on eBay or having your own website and products.

In reality, Internet marketers can pick and choose from a whole host of options available to help them make money. Your opportunities are virtually endless, and include one or more of the following:

  • Selling digital downloads (information products like eBooks)
  • Promoting other people’s products for a commission (affiliate marketing)
  • Selling on eBay or other auction sites
  • Running a membership site
  • Selling your online services (writing, graphics, etc.)
  • Owning a website that sells dropshipped or wholesale items

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Being a newcomer to Internet marketing, you might be worried that you don’t have anything to sell. That’s okay – most people don’t start out with anything, and you never have t stock a tangible inventory if you don’t want to.

Internet marketing creates no gender or age boundaries for you. There are teenagers who have launched multi-million dollar companies as budding Internet marketers whose ideas sprung to life and catapulted them to instant success.

You don’t have to do anything unethical or shady to succeed at Internet marketing, and in fact, launching a respectable business with a solid reputation is the secret ingredient that will allow you to hatch an empire on the ‘net to fulfill all of your dreams and those of your family.

Creating a Minisite

The word “minisite” can refer to a number of different things. Some people call small niche article sites minisites, but that isn’t the general use of the word. In Internet marketing, the word “minisite” is generally used to refer to very small websites that are set up to sell a product – usually an eBook or other digital download.

Most minisites are only 1-5 pages. Some of them are only a single sales pitch page, plus perhaps a thank you page for after the customer orders. Others have a contact page, a terms of service page, a frequently asked questions page, or other general pages.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll just work on creating a single page minisite, and we’ll cover only the design – not the sales copy. Most minisites have several key parts. They usually have a header and footer, although some have only a header, or may have neither.

They also have a sales letter of some sort, which is used to sell the product. Finally, they have an order button that is clicked when a customer wants to purchase the product. Some minisites also have an eCover, which is a computer-generated image that mimics what the product might look like if it was a physical product.

For example, if the product is an eBook, the eCover might look like a hardcover or paperback book cover (sometimes a spiral notebook, too). If the product is a membership site, the eCover might be a membership card. Software products usually have a 3D software box as their eCover

The first step in creating a minisite should be creating your eCover, if you intend to use one. Most people create their eCovers with Photoshop, because most eCover action scripts only work with Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop, you may need to create it from scratch, or have it made for you by a professional graphic designer.

After you have your cover design, you’ll need to create a header. Although some marketers don’t use headers, most do. A well-designed header can draw attention to your headline, and it can make your site look more professional.

The header should contain your product’s name and a tag line – like a one-sentence blurb that tells what your site’s about. It should also contain a photo that’s related to your niche, and it might also contain a small version of your ecover – all tied into a theme for your demographic.

Let’s say you’re creating a minisite to sell your dog-training eBook. Your header would potentially contain a picture of a woman pointing at a dog, and the dog sitting down. Then the text on the header might say something like the following: Dog Training 101: The Ultimate Guide to Training Your Puppy or Adult Dog!

Don’t make your header too large. If the header is so large visitors can’t see the headline without scrolling, it’s too big! It should attract attention to the headline, not hide it. Headers are generally between 700 and 800 pixels wide and 100-200 pixels in height.

The footer is usually the same width, but about half the height of the header. It may only contain the product name or logo, but may also contain an image or copyright notice. Finally, you need an order button that draws a lot of attention. Your button might contain your eCover, plus a brightly colored button and a call-to-action, such as “Click Here for Instant Access!”

If you have the money to invest, you might consider ordering a minisite package from a professional designer. For about $300, you’ll get the header, footer, eCovers, and sometimes extra banners that you can use for off-site promotions.

Cloaking Your Links to Protect Your Commission

Link cloaking is a very important part of affiliate marketing. In a nutshell, link cloaking is a way to protect your affiliate commissions from being stolen. It’s not totally foolproof. Smart individuals who are well-educated about the matter can still figure out how to keep you from getting your commission.

 

Most people won’t go that far, so cloaking your links will prevent most commission loss. How do people steal affiliate commissions? Have you ever hovered over a link and noticed that the link was an obvious affiliate link?

 

Some people type in the parent domain instead of clicking the link as a way of making sure the owner of the site gets paid 100% for the sale. Some people falsely believe that if they buy from an affiliate link, they’ll have to pay more for a commission mark-up.

 

Some people actually do it for a different reason. If you’re promoting a ClickBank product, especially to other marketers, many of them know they can insert their own ClickBank ID and get what’s usually a 50% or more discount on the product.

 

This is a different type of affiliate commission theft, because the person doing it gets the affiliate commission themselves, rather than just making sure you don’t get it. Most people don’t do that, of course.

 

Most people are pretty honest, and don’t mind giving you a little affiliate commission in exchange for recommending a good product to them. But it’s enough of a concern that you should take steps to prevent it.

 

You can easily set up your own link cloaking system. What you would do is set up a directory on one of your domains. Most marketers use the domain of their own name, as in bobsmith.com. They typically have a subdirectory called /recommends/.

 

Then in that directory, they create a new subdirectory for each product. It would look something like this: http://www.bobsmith.com/recommends/awesomeproductname. In that directory, they place a very simple PHP redirect called index.php.

 

Whenever they send someone to the above link, the script will redirect to your affiliate link. All you have to do is create a file in Notepad or your favorite HTML editor and name is index.php. Then paste the following information into the file and upload it to your directory:

 

< ?php header(“location:http://affiliates.programhere.com/5555”); ?>

 

There are a number of link cloaking scripts available. Most of them are relatively easy to install and use. There’s a big benefit to using a script rather than doing it yourself. Using your simple redirect, there isn’t an easy way to check how much traffic you’ve sent to your link.

 

Most link cloaking scripts allow you to add new links very easily within an administrative area, and then each link is tracked so that you can see how much traffic is going through the link. If you use your own file, the only way to tell how much traffic you’ve sent is through your affiliate stats, which may be inaccurate, or through your web server’s stats, which may be clunky to use or hard to understand.

 

Another way you can do it is to use a link cloaking tool, such as Go Try This. This lets you enter the raw affiliate link and name your link whatever you want as an extension of your domain. Then you can log in and check stats to see how the top 10 links are performing using a diagram and bar graph.

Cash-Generating Keyword Research

Your keyword choices are critical to your success in nearly any online business model. Whether you’re pursuing PPC, blogging, VRE and AdSense, or any number of Internet marketing opportunities, the keywords you choose can make or break your success.

Keywords are important for several reasons. First of all, there’s traffic. If you choose the wrong keywords to target, you’re probably not going to get nearly as much traffic as you’d like. Whether you’re using PPC or search engines to get your traffic, your keywords are going to affect your ranking and link performance.

Another reason why keywords are so vital is the fact that you need targeted traffic. Ten thousand visitors coming to your domain via the keyword “books” is probably going to be worthless compared to 500 visitors who come via the keyword phrase, “Harry Potter books,” if that’s what you’re selling.

Someone who is searching for “books” is probably just browsing. They may not even be interested in buying anything – they could be interested in selling books, book bans, book publishers, and more.

But someone who is searching for “Harry Potter books” is probably ready to buy something right then and there. So it’s not enough to just get a lot of traffic – you need a lot of traffic that’s willing to take the action you want them to take.

Whether you’re looking to sell eBooks, promote affiliate products, get leads for a CPA offer, or just get sign-ups to your list, you want targeted visitors who are likely to be buyers now or in the future.

Once you’ve chosen a niche you’d like to pursue, you need to research the keywords you’ll use. If you’re writing articles, you’ll need to choose keywords to use in the titles and text. If you’re building niche websites, you’ll need to use keywords in the domain name. If you’re buying PPC traffic, the keywords you choose will likely be one of the biggest factors determining whether or not your campaign is profitable.

WordTracker is a very good tool for researching keywords. If you can’t afford to get a paid membership there (even for a day), they have a very good free keyword tool at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com.

Google has their own keyword tool, but they don’t show you numbers. They only give you a general idea of the searches a keyword gets, as indicated by a colored bar: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.

First you’ll want to enter a base keyword for your niche. Let’s say you’re targeting the golf niche. You might enter “golf” into the keyword tool of your choice. Then the keyword tool will show you a number of related keywords.

You might come up with “golf clubs,” “golf tips,” “golf swing,” “golf bags,” “golf carts,” and “golf courses.” This is a short list of more broad terms. But you’ll want to generate a warehouse of keywords that you can use over the coming months and years, so grab them all!

Building Your Income with Blogs

Blogs are a fantastic way to make money. They perform well in search engines, they’re easy to promote, and they can offer very sticky content. If you blog often, and you’re good at what you do, you could develop a pretty large following of readers who subscribe to your RSS feed and read your content on a daily basis.

One of the biggest keys to success with blogs is posting in them regularly. If you don’t post regularly, you probably won’t get much traffic, and people won’t return. Posting frequently also keeps your content fresh, and search engines love fresh content.

The more often you post, the more often the spiders will visit your site. And every time you post, you can ping your site at the various ping locations. This can also bring in more traffic.

Another major key to blog success is creating sticky content. This means you have to write posts that people will actually be interested in reading.

Readers probably don’t care what you had for dinner, unless you’re John Chow or you’re running a food blog. They want to read about stuff related to your niche. If you’re running a blog about golfing, at least 75% of your posts should be related to golf. Preferably 100%.

You should talk about golf courses you’ve recently played on, tournaments you’ve watched, and clubs you’ve tried. You might occasionally post about family matters, or your dog, or your favorite restaurant as a way to connect on a more personal level with your readers, but most of your posts should be on target with your niche.

Blogs are great for people who sell services. If you’re a graphics designer or writer, having a blog is a good way to keep in touch with your clients. You can offer updates on your schedule and availability, current prices and special offers, and when you’ll be taking some time off.

You can also post samples of your latest work. If you have a number of clients subscribe to your RSS feed, you’ll be able to keep in contact with them so they’ll order from you more often.

People also tend to follow blogs more carefully than websites.

Don’t start a blog with the intention of letting it sit dormant and earn money. It probably won’t work. If you’re going to start a blog, you need to be prepared to commit yourself to growing the blog, posting often, keeping it updated, and not giving up on it.

They offer multiple selling opportunities – from text links woven throughout the content to image ads like banners you strategically place in between blog posts. The sidebar can also be utilized as affiliate or direct sales revenue space.

Make sure you take the time to transfer your blog over to your own domain instead of hosting it within the blogging community. This makes it more professional to the person who lands on your website and lends credibility to your efforts as the go-to person in your niche.

Building an eBook Empire

While there are many ways to build a business online, building your own eBook empire is one method that creates long-term residual income that’s truly an automated “set and forget” system. Of course eBooks provide many perks up front.

You don’t have to stock any inventory. You can keep overhead costs low (no publisher and agent cuts like there are with print books). You have an endless supply that can be purchased at any time of the day or year.

But they also offer many benefits that aren’t so obvious. While a tangible book in Barnes and Noble might sell for $14.95, an eBook on the same subject could sell at anywhere from $49-99 or more online as a digital download.

You don’t have to be a professional writer to launch your own eBook empire. The writing is very different for an online audience – more like you do every day via email than what you learned in a college-level English class.

Tiffany Dow, author of Building an eBook Empire, used to ghostwrite for dozens of top Internet marketers on a freelance site. Then she discovered how profitable her eBooks were and decided to learn the entire process of launching those eBooks herself.

Needless to say, she quit ghostwriting and now goes head to head with the very people who used to pay her $1,000 to write a 50-page eBook and make that money back in a period of two days. You can find quality freelancers to create your products for you at a fraction of the price, and turn around and launch it with your name on it – and it’s not only legal – it’s standard protocol in this industry!

So what does it means to launch an empire of eBooks? You start with one, and then branch out – branding yourself as the go-to person for that demographic’s needs. You don’t write one definitive guide to wedding planning.

You write one about picking the perfect wedding gown, another on wedding flowers, one on honeymoons, and so on. Each smaller, niche idea that you drill down into gives you more selling opportunities.

There’s a step-by-step process for developing an eBook – which begins with finding your niche and ends with the launch of your powerhouse affiliate program. You want to have an army of virtual salespeople out there pulling in profits for you while you continue adding another building block to your empire with a follow-up product idea.

You can use many free and low-cost tools to launch your first and subsequent eBooks online. It isn’t a business opportunity that requires a large investment of money, but you do need to commit some time to ensure it’s properly launched in a way that bolsters your reputation in the community.

Branding Your Name on the ‘Net

Branding your name (or your pen name) is very important on the Internet, no matter what niche you’re in. You need to establish yourself as an authority in your market, because people trust authority figures.

They trust their recommendations, they trust that their products will be of good quality, and they trust that they have integrity. It also lends credence to the buyer that you’re a real person – not just some nameless, faceless entity trying to sell them something on a static, automated website.

You should put your name on everything you create. Whether it’s a membership site, an eBook, or something as small as a PLR article pack for sale – you should put your name on it. Getting your name out there is so essential to your ongoing success.

Think about all of the marketing gurus you’ve heard of. Some of them you may not have heard of yet, especially if you’re new, but chances are you’ve heard of at least a few of these. Have you heard of John Reese, Mike Filsaime, Frank Kern, Dan Kennedy, Joe Vitale, Willie Crawford, or the late Gary Halbert?

If you’ve been in marketing long at all you’ve surely heard of at least one of these people. People know and remember the names of these people because they put their names on everything they put out.

Their names are all over the marketing forums, their eCovers, their headers, and everything else they do. They work very hard to brand their names, because their names become the brands. People buy their products simply because their name is on it.

Buyers think that the product must be good, because the person is so well-known. You should do the same thing with your name. Always use the same name on everything you do within a particular niche.

You may not want to use your real name for whatever reason, but your name needs to be a “real name.” A nickname usually won’t cut it in most markets, but sometimes it works – like in the case of Travis “The Bum” Marketer or the “Rich Jerk.”

If you’ve signed up for forums under a nickname, ask the moderators if they can change your name to your real name or pen name. You might not want to tell the moderator’s it’s a pen name. That’s up to you.

Keep getting your name out there any way you can. Host teleseminars, JV with well-known people if possible, and offer to help create content for well-known people in your niche in exchange for a Bio Box that hosts your name and link to your website.

Offer to be an interview subject for someone. Be a “guest author” for popular websites and blogs in your niche, and create 100% original content for them. Never stop branding your name. Even when you’re as famous as Donald Trump, the king of name branding, don’t stop.

Donald still puts his name on everything he does. His name appears in huge, bold letters on his books. He names buildings after himself. Think of Trump Tower, Trump Taj Mahal, and Trump Plaza. His name is all over everything.

Not only is it a matter of pride, but it keeps his name everywhere. You may never be as famous as the Donald, or even as famous as John Reese, but you might become known as the king or queen of your own little niche or for a particular slant that grows in popularity.

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