Everything you need to be successful online (hint: it’s not that much, actually)

For the past months (I’d say since I started writing to my e-mail list and working on this blog), I’ve been getting questions from people who would like to have a successful online business, but don’t know where to start.

Some people are looking to quit their jobs; some are just looking for an extra income source.

It’s hard to give just one piece of advice, since there are a few moving parts involved, but I’m going to try to simplify here, so I’ll say you just need 3 things:

  1. The proper mindset
  2. A (hungry, if possible) market where there is money to be made
  3. The technical aspect

From that short list, number #2 is probably the easiest to grasp: you need buyers, who are interested in what you are selling (be it your own product, an affiliate product or maybe just your website where you have ads).

Number #1 (mindset) is simple but not easy (never confuse those concepts): you need to believe in yourself, be confident in your abilities and be ready to fail (often). If I had to pick one thing, it would be the ability to keep moving forward even when you can’t see any progress.

In this post I’d like to talk about the technical part, but just the basics, for anyone who just wants to set up a website and set up a product for sale (again, it can be your own product or an affiliate product; if it’s your product there are a couple of extra steps, but not that much actually).

I’m going to assume you are going to sell your own product for this example. If that is the case you will just need:

  1. A website (WordPress is your best friend), for your sales page and deliver the product.
  2. A payment processor (ie, a way to collect people’s money)
  3. An autoresponder (a way to collecte people’s email address and contact them, to follow up with promotions, etc)

That’s all!

And actually, you don’t really need the autoresponder (but it’s highly recommended), so just 2 things ūüôā

Once you have mastered those 3 you can expand and use stuff like Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube), paid traffic, SEO… to get extra exposure/traffic, but you take this as a bonus; you will need to have your offer first.

Can you see what I’m doing here? I’m breaking the whole process in small, manageable steps, so it’s not so scary any more, even when you are a real beginner.

If you have never built a WordPress website, here you can learn how to go from no hosting/no domain/no website to a full website in 8 minutes (in the 1st video)

For a Payment processor, you can use a very simple one like JVZoo, which is seller and affiliate friendly. When you add your product, you just need the following things:

  • The product name
  • The price
  • The delivery url (the url where your users will go to get access to your product).

After you create the product, you get a button (html code) that you need to place in your website for people to purchase.

And finally for an Autoresponder, if you are just getting started, Mailchimp is free in its very basic version (once you start getting some success, you’ll want to upgrade to the paid version or switch company for advanced features).

Obviously, each step can have a few sub-steps, and you can make the process as complex as you want (you might also want to build a membership site, where members pay you a certain amount on a monthly basis to be a member – that’s my favourite revenue model, by the way).

In future blog posts I’ll expand on every step so you can get more information, but I’m keeping this post short on purpose, so you just get a general overview (but this is the whole picture, there is not much more than this).

Also, if you would like some step-by-step, newbie friendly training on all the steps (the training is not mine, but gets my full thumbs up), check out my review of Kevin Fahey’s IM Newbie here.

 

If you don’t even know where to start…

I¬†regularly get questions from my readers asking “Raul, I want to be a successful internet marketer, but I don’t even know where/how to start”.

Well, let me tell you, we all have been there.

I’ve wasted countless hours (and dollars) trying to learn the basics, setting up a simple website and/or “fighting” with my autoresponder.

And honestly, the only way to get through that is to get your hands dirty and work on it.

I wrote a post in the past where I discussed doing vs training, and whereas I am a firm defender of rolling up your sleeves and making your own mistakes (and learning from them, hopefully), sometimes some help can be good.

I have spent a couple of weeks looking for the best training for someone who is a complete newbie, and would like help getting started from scratch, and after some consideration, I have found something that is:

  • Good
  • Cheap
  • Reliable

And the Oscar goes to…

Kevin Fahey’s IM Newbie¬†

These are the reasons I picked this product (after going through several of them):

  • Kevin is a reputable marketer, with proven experience in teaching
  • Something very important that many people overlook, he has experience making money using what we teaches (not just selling courses)
  • The content is solid
  • Everything is well explained, step by step, in good detail but it’s not overwhelming
  • It costs less than 10 dollars (at least at the moment of writing this)

What are you getting?

30 videos in 6 modules, which are:

  1. Hosting & Website Setup
  2. WordPress
  3. List Building
  4. Social Media
  5. Traffic
  6. Conclusion / Bonuses

As you can see, Kevin covers the main aspects of an Online Business:

  • How to create a website
  • How to build a list
  • How to get traffic

Plus, live webinars are offered to solve any questions you might have.

All in all, if you are a complete newbie, I think this is a no-brainer, with unbeatable value for money.

However, if you are an intermediate or experienced marketer, you will benefit very little from this training program, since it is mainly aimed at newbies and people who are just getting started.

Click here to join Kevin’s program and¬†learn the basics

Doing a live case study

My initial idea was to do a live case study setting up an Adsense site (since I consider it one of the easiest ways to get started making money online, as you don’t need to do anything), but I found out about this super-cheap yet great product called WP Funnel Profits¬†so I thought we could do a live case study together on how to¬†set up a ¬†squeeze page, start growing a list (from scratch) and make some affiliate sales along the way.

So I have purchased the product (see the proof here)

and I’ll be recording (on video plus here on the blog) everything I do to get some sales.

These are the main steps I’ll be doing

  • Put the squeeze page online
  • Modify it so the leads go to your own autoresponder
  • Set up an e-mail sequence with multiple promotions
  • Drive traffic to the squeeze page using multiple methods.
  • Track subscribers and sales

And of course, I will be answering any questions along the way that you might have.

You are not required to purchase the product, however it might help you since you can copy and duplicate the same exact steps I will be doing (plus, at this moment it’s just $9.95, so your bank account should not suffer too much).

You can get it here if you are interested

See you along the way!

PS. Full disclaimer: this is supposed to be a training and a learning experience. Don’t assume that by copying every single step I do, you will get rich straight away. Bear in mind there might be many people¬†who will be trying to do the same, at the same time. However, I can guarantee you this: if you are a beginner or intermediate marketer, you will learn a few things (if you are and advanced marketer this might not be for you, since I will be explaining everything step by step, in a very basic way).

PPS. In order to give everyone a chance to purchase the product (if they want to do so), I will start the live training next Monday (april 10th).

 

The best tools for Keyword Research

When it comes to finding great keywords for your website (it does not matter if it’s going to be an Adsense website, Amazon… or even your own store), you need to do proper keyword research.

To do this, you will need to use a¬†proper tool; some of them are free, others are paid. Here is a list of all the ones I’ve used in the past

Free Keyword Research Tools

Adwords Keyword Planner

To use it you need an Adwords account. The great thing is that it’s free, and gives you most of the information you need about search volume and estimated CPC. However, it does not give you any information about Keyword competitiveness (meaning how hard it would be to rank that specific keyword).

Price: free

Link

Google Trends

It gives you information about what people are searching for right now, along with historical information. Very useful tool if you want to be up to date with recent searches/events and stay ahead of competition.

Price: free

Link

Ubersuggest

It has some extra information that the Adwords Keyword Planner does not provide. You can search in Google Search, Images, Shopping, Youtube, News… Recently adquired by Neil Patel (currently, it reads: New free features coming soon)

Price: free

Link

Keywords Everywhere

This is a browser addon (available for Chrome and Firefox) that gives you the ability to get better results from other websites (Ubersuggest, Soovle, Answer the Public, Majestic Anchors, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Keyword Shitter and Moz Open Site Explorer).

Price: free

Link

Paid Keyword Research Tools

KeywordXP

It helps you find ¬†keyword variations, long tail keyword research, competitor analysis… Plus it will check for available domains, and other goodies like title generator (from your original keyword), trend reporting, etc.

Price: $67 (basic) – $97 (Pro)

Link

Market Samurai

Until I found Long Tail Pro, it was my favourite tool. I have spent hours using it, and it’s still pretty good. You can use it to find related keywords, SEO competition (top 10 results in Google), etc. Plus, it has a monetization tab that allows you to search for products to promote based on your keyword.

It also has a rank tracking option, so you can check how your site ranks for specific keywords (very useful feature).

There is also a “promotion” tab where you can find websites where you can add¬†a backlink to your website (not that useful in 2017, to be honest, but can give you some hints)

Price: $149 one time (there is a free trial)

Link

Long Tail Pro

I left the best (at least in my humble opinion) for last. In many ways it’s similar to Market Samurai, but it’s the fastest tool out there.

If you are serious about keyword research you will love Long Tail Pro.

The best feature (aside from how fast it is) is what they all “Custom Keyword Difficulty”, which is a number that lets you know how competitive that keyword is (ie, how hard it would be rank it according to the top results in Google). This alone is priceless (as it will save you hours of research).

Price: $25/mo (starter), $45/mo (pro),  $98/mo (agency) (there is a 7 day free trial)

Link

 

Final Veredict:

If you are just starting out or keyword research is not a big necessity for you, use the Adwords Keyword Planner (free). If you need something more serious, Long Tail Pro is your best friend.

Marketing 101: What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM)

Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the easiest to overlook.

These days we are bombarded with everything: information, ads, products…

So you get a small chance to attract a visitor, whether you are using an ad, or driving someone to your website.

You get 5 precious seconds in which the potential visitor / customer will decide if he/she wants to keep listening to what you have to say, or simply leave.

IF you want them engaged, make sure you are answering straight to their main question: What’s In It For Me?

It does not matter if you want them to subscribe to your online newsletter, purchase your next product, read your blog post, like your Facebook page…

Just try to get in their head, see their pain and problems, and see if you are answering THE question.

Because, don’t forget, marketing is about THEM, not about YOU.

My next project, a viral page

This week I started a new project: a viral page (in spanish).

What is a “viral page”? Hard to describe, but in my mind, it’s a page that depends on social/viral traffic (as opposed to SEO).

So it will be full of “trigger-happy” stories, hoping that people will share them on Facebook/Twitter.

The idea is to monetize them initially with Adsense, and then move on to other offers (affiliate offers, CPA…).

For content, I have hired two part-time writers from Upwork. Aside from their monthly salary, these are the initial expenses

Hosting: using my current Bluehost VPS server, if/when traffic starts growing I will consider moving to a more powerful server

Domain: $9 in Godaddy

Theme: $59 in Themeforest (Bimber Theme)

Logo: $5 in Fiverr

I will be using Facebook to promote the posts that I add to the site.

I’ll keep you posted monthly on income-expenses, and lessons learnt.

There are 2 sides to have in mind

  • Traffic
  • Conversions

For traffic, the only initial source will be Facebook ads.

For conversions, I will need to check the best offers. Adsense is probably a good way to get started, but there might be other sources of revenue. I’ll also keep you all posted on this.

Which products should you promote as an affiliate?

So you already know how to find products to promote. Great!

However, you must have realized by now that there are literally millions of things to promote.

So how do you choose where to start?

In my opinion, there are 2 approaches to it

  1. Follow your passion
  2. Follow the money

Follow your passion

The great thing, if you choose a niche that you are passionate about is that it will be easier for you to write about it, and you will understand the products, the language, etc.

However, if there is no money spent in that niche… You are wasting your time ūüôĀ

Follow the money

People will spend a ton of money in certain niches (ie, dieting, which is a multi-billion niche), and virtually none in others (ie, online tattoo designs). So it’s good to know beforehand if there is money to be made or not before you decide to promote something in that niche

 

Obviously, the best situation is when those two categories converge, and you are promoting products in a niche that you are passionate about AND there is money being spent.

But if you have to choose one of them, I’d go for the money, even if I sound like a total capitalist.

 

You also have another choice

  1. Virtual Products
  2. Physical products

Virtual Products

These are things like: ebooks, courses, software…

The great thing about them is that since there is hardly any cost in producing extra units, the commissions are higher.

Physical products

Since producing them has a cost, the commissions are lower. The advantage is that physical products have a higher perceived value. Plus, the refund rates are lower.

So which one should you promote?

Honestly, there is no clear answer to that (at least, not from my side). I have made money selling software, courses, Amazon products… So there is money involved in all of them (I wasn’t very helpful with this one, was I?)

 

Ok, let’s assume you have taken a decision for the¬†niche and the type of product.

You SHOULD take into account “Mum’s rule”. Do not recommend/endorse anything that you wouldn’t recommend to your mum.

Yes, you can make money in the short term promoting crappy products, but in the long term your brand will suffer, and your followers will not trust you.

Ideally, you should also test any product that you promote. That will give you extra credibility, plus an edge since you can do a better review (and recommendation).

Also, you need to know your audience, their needs and wants (and pain), so you can recommend what’s best for them (and they are likely to purchase).

 

Hope that was, at least, a bit helpful and gave you a hand to find your next product to promote.

 

 

I want to be a super affiliate, where can I find products to promote?

Once you decide you want to promote affiliate products, comes the next question: what should I promote?

Luckily, there are products to promote in almost any niche, so you don’t even need to have your own product to make money (after you master the niche, you will make more money if you decide to create your own product, though).

So how can you find products to promote?

Here are some tips and ideas:

Affiliate Networks

This is possibly the easiest way to find programs. The network lists all the products, and you can choose which one to promote (no need to go searching in multiple sites).

Some of the best affiliate networks are:

Clickbank

Only sells digital products. They have been in the game for a long long time. Used to be one of the biggest ones but some new players are quickly taking them over.

Link

JVZoo

Also focused on digital products. Although you can sell any kind of products there, there are mostly products from the Online Marketing industry. It’s great for affiliates since you get instant commissions (if you get approved by the seller).

Link

e-junkie

I always thought it is a funny (and weird) name. It makes very easy for people to sell their own digital products.

Link

Zaxaa

A relatively new site, it’s getting some traction lately

Link

CJ (previously Commission Junction)

One of the biggest networks. You can find almost anything here, from digital to physical products.

Link

Rakuten Affiliate (previously Linkshare)

Very popular network with a lot of programs (less than CJ though)

Link

Tradedoubler

Very popular in Europe, it has over 2000 advertisers. It focuses on the european market, so not so many products for the USA.

Link

Awin

A merge from Zanox + Affiliate Window, they are also very big in Europe.

Link

Shareasale

Now purchased by Awin, it has more than 4000 affiliate programs (some of them are only offered here).

Link

The big ones

Amazon

Unless you have been living in a cave for the past 10 years, you have probably heard of Amazon. They have multiple websites, in different countries: USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Brazil, Italy, Spain. If you want to promote in different countries, you will need to join from those specific countries (for ex, amazon.es for Spain, etc)

The great thing is that they are really good at selling, so your main job is to drive visitors to Amazon and let them do the sale.

Link (for USA)

eBay Partner Network

They don’t take in everybody (you need to fulfill certain conditions), but it can be a great source of income.

Link

Affiliate directories

These are sites that aggregate offers from different networks, so you just need to enter the name of the offer or the product, and it will tell you where to promote it, plus other extra information.

Some of these sites are: oDigger, Offervault, Affplus

CPA Networks

CPA stands for Cost Per Action, meaning you get paid when the user performs a specific action. Sometimes it will be a purchase, but other times the visitor just needs to enter their e-mail, or register to a website, and you will make some $$$.

Some reputable CPA networks are

Peerfly, Maxbounty, Affiliaxe, Mobidea, Mundomedia

Google

Remember the saying? Google is your friend. If you enter in google:

product name + ‚Äúaffiliate program‚ÄĚ

chances are you will find what you are looking for.

Why SEO traffic is not free traffic

There seems to be this understanding in the Online Marketing community that you can have either paid traffic or SEO traffic, the later being free.

And while it’s true that once you are ranking for a specific keyword, you don’t need to pay for that traffic, that does not mean that getting there was all free.

If you are going to do SEO, you will need to invest time, and probably money too.

And all that work can be wiped away if Google changes its algorithm, or decides that they don’t like your site anymore.

The thought process for many people goes as follows:

  • They find a specific product to promote, or a specific niche
  • They build a website targeting related keywords
  • They do SEO work to rank better and get traffic from search engines.

At this point, one of these things will happen:

  • The page will never rank, so all work is wasted
  • The page will rank ok, but it will not convert (ie, no sales)
  • The page will rank and convert, so money comes in

So assuming that there is a 33,33% for each possibility (which is a lot to assume), most chances are you won’t make money (or not enough).

What you should do is, instead, as soon as you get your page up and running, send paid traffic to it. Then see if the traffic converts. If it does not, tweak, and see if you can improve things.

If money is coming in, NOW is the time to do SEO work, once you have proven that your business model works. Try to rank for some keywords, and make money out of that extra SEO traffic.

If you start doing SEO before you know if you have a profitable site, you could be wasting time (and money).

In the past, when ranking in Google was a matter of throwing a few backlinks and repeating your keyword a few times in the post, it was not so painful, but in these competitive days we are living, you will need to put extra work to rank.

Just saying ūüôā

A more complex, yet more profitable way to make money online

Yesterday I wrote about a very simple way to make money.

However, that was a bit of a “machinegun” approach, meaning you shoot everywhere without aiming.

If you want to try something similar, but better, try this instead:

Focus on one niche, learn about what sells, what kind of problems the potential customers have, etc.

Then buid a website (can be very simple, 5 to 10 articles), and -very important- build a list. You can also promote affiliate products in that page (put a couple of banners in the sidebar).

Now, instead of direct linking using PPC to the merchant’s website, direct people to your website. You will need to test with review articles, linking to your homepage, etc.

Whereas if you direct link to the seller you will get 100% to go to the sales page, if you use your page as a bridge, not every visitor will click and visit the sales page (assuming you are doing affiliate marketing).

BUT you will be building a list (ie, an asset, which is a business in the end) along the way, learning what sells, and learn about the niche.

You will position yourself as an expert, people will go to you for advice, and even when this means more work, you will end up selling more.

And what is the natural next step?

Once you know the kind of products that sell, and have made some money as an affiliate, the logical, natural next step is building your own product.

All in all, this is a better long term strategy than the machinegun approach (PPC direct linking).

Once you build a list, even if the PPC company bans you, or some of the products you are promoting as an affiliate stops selling, you still have your list, and can promote other products, sell your own products, etc.