Starting Over Again – Part 2

By the end of yesterday’s post, I had described what I would do in the first 5 days of having to start all over again, without any of my previous products, partners, or subscribers.

I’m writing this series of posts to help those who want to start a new business, but aren’t sure what steps they need to follow.  Since every situation is different, I can’t tell you what YOU should do — at least not without sitting down with you and getting to know you — so describing what I would do is the next best thing I can do here on the blog.

BTW – if you would like to have me coach you through a unique startup plan for your particular situation, contact me, and we’ll work something out.

To recap, day 1 would be spent centering myself and connecting to the Divine Essence within for guidance and help in manifesting a new profitable business.

Day 2 would be spent researching current questions and problems that folks need help with, as they relate to my areas of expertise.  In this, I would select a few products I could promote as an affiliate for commissions and bookmark the necessary pages to get pre-written marketing materials.

Day 3 would be where I map out a plan of action, and decide on the specific web pages and email messages I’ll use to build my list and promote the products I’ve chosen to represent.

Day 4 is where I create (or find) a free gift offer that will encourage folks to opt in to my mailing list.

And day 5 is spent setting up the actual webpages and emails in a mailing list management system, such as a free starter account at MailChimp, and a low-cost web hosting account and domain name with a company like HostGator, Bluehost, or GoDaddy.  About a $15 investment.

This brings us to day 6, in which I would start promoting my free gift offer and start growing my mailing list.

Advertising and marketing are the key ingredients to any successful business, and even more so online.  However you choose to advertise your website, it’s going to require an investment of either time, money, or both.  No way around it.

Even the magic of SEO (which stands for “Search Engine Optimization”), requires you spend a great deal of time attending to hundreds of details to convince Google and the other search engines that your website is worth recommending.  Free traffic is anything but free.

In the 15 years I’ve been in business online, the closest I ever got to actual free traffic was in submitting articles for publication and recruiting affiliates.  Recruiting affiliates does take time, although if you have a good product, a good offer, and a good commission for your affiliates, it doesn’t take a lot of time.

And while you don’t pay anything upfront to your affiliates, you do end up paying them after the sale.  50% commissions are standard.  50% may seem high to some, but compare that to not making any sales at all.  Some online marketers are happy to pay 100% commissions as long as they get to add people to a mailing list.  These marketers know they can make more money down the road, and that first sale is just the tip of the iceberg.

In our current example, I’m the affiliate, so I can’t offer commissions to anyone else to send visitors to my website.  That has to wait until I have a product I can sell directly.

There used to be tons of article directories, where you can submit your articles for publication, and ezine publishers would send your article unedited to their email lists.  While there are still a few, and this does happen from time to time, it’s a lot easier to contact ezine publishers and bloggers directly to get your articles published.  Either way, writing articles and submitting them takes time.

The quickest way to get traffic to your website is to pay for it.  Buying an ad.  There are several types of ads you can buy.

Banner ads are graphical billboards displayed on other websites to promote your website, and can be quite effective if they are well designed.  Anything over a 1% clickthrough is considered good for banner ads.

Text ads, such as you see on the right side of Google search pages, AdSense blocks on content websites, and in ezines, are another form of advertising you can buy and get quick results.

You could also pay bloggers to post something about your product or website.

Most advertising online is paid on a per-action (per-click, per-lead, or per-sale) basis.  Meaning, your cost of advertising is directly proportional to the success of that advertising.  As long as you know how well your sales system performs, there’s no way you can overspend for advertising.  Your only risk is when you have an untested system, as is always the case when you’re first starting out.

Old traditional advertising, where you pay a flat fee, still exists.  With this approach, if you get lots of response from your ad, your per-action cost is lower, but if no one responds, your ad spend was pretty much wasted.  It’s possible to spend a flat fee per month on banner ads, or a flat fee for a “email drop” where someone sends out your email to their list.  Do this only when you KNOW you have a high-performing ad.

In the current example of having to start all over again, I would choose to start with Google AdWords, because I can start getting traffic the same day, and with free tools provided by Google, I can test the effectiveness of these ads, tweaking them until they are profitable.

Luckily, I can run the ads for a month before Google asks for a payment.  Gives me time to make the money to pay for the ads, although with most affiliate programs, the timing may not completely work out.  Good thing for credit cards!  (In the example of losing all my money.)

Of course, the ads aren’t the only things I’ll tweak.  I’ll also adjust the copy on my opt-in page, confirmation page, and confirmation email to make sure I get the most folks possible onto my mailing list.  Google Analytics (or the freely available Matomo, installed on my own website) helps me see which pages need tweaking.

This testing phase will take more than a day, and is something I’ll have to devote at least a little time to each day until I know my system is profitable.  Maybe an hour or less.

Once I know my system is profitable, I can roll out my advertising to get everyone I can to my website as quickly as I can.

So, day 6 is all about setting up my first Google Adwords campaign, and getting the testing and tracking code in place on my web pages.  This shouldn’t take the full day, so I’ll spend the rest of the day adding a few more emails to my autoresponder sequence.

By the time I get to day 7, I’m going to need a break.  Take some time off, meditate, and reconnect with the Divine Self within.  Go for a walk, make love to my wife, watch a movie, whatever it takes to keep myself focused and positive.

Probably enough for today’s post.  Let’s continue this tomorrow.