Starting Over – Part 5

By this point in the series, we have covered the first 2 weeks of what I would do if I had to start all over again without any of my previously created products, my mailing list, partners, or other resources.

If all goes well, by this point in the process, I’m already getting a few dozen new subscribers per day, and perhaps a sale or two each day of one or more of the affiliate products I’ve chosen to represent.

And all of this with an upfront cost of only $15.  (Many PPC ad networks charge you AFTER your ads have run for a month.  A few require a deposit to make sure you can cover these costs.)

As long as the affiliate program pays out before the PPC ad costs come due, we’re all set.  If not, that’s what credit cards are for.

In a “worst case scenario”, I might have to do some odd jobs in my local area to get the funds required to hold out until my new online business takes off and starts carrying the load.  A month or two at the most.

On day 15, I’m going to add a new twist to things.

As an affiliate representing other people’s products, I’m limited in the advertising I can do.  If I had a product of my own, I could recruit other affiliates to send people to my website and pay them a fixed percentage of any sales that result from their referrals.

So, at this point in the process, I’m going to map out a product I can sell directly.  I don’t have to create it just yet.  All I have to do is plan it out.

One of the easiest products to create in the “Law of Attraction” space is a guided meditation.  The script is usually under 3000 words, which is easy for me to write in a day, complete with editing and polishing to perfection.  Recording takes an hour or so, and final editing can usually be done in another hour or so.  Overall, about 2 days to create a quality guided meditation.

Guided meditations can also sell for $10 to $20, which makes them a low-priced product, easy for most folks to afford, and cheap enough so they don’t need much convincing to make the purchase.

While there are many online “gurus” who claim that low priced products are never as profitable as high-ticket products, I beg to differ.  With a low-priced product, you don’t have to spend a lot of time crafting a perfect sales letter, nor do you need to include a lot of “bulk” in the delivery.  Low-priced products are easy to crank out, easy to sell, and can be just as profitable on a “per subscriber” basis as a $1000 product.

As an example, whenever I’ve created guided meditations in the past, I’ve seen returns of $1 per subscriber in just a few days.  If I really had to, I could do a new one every week, so making $4 per subscriber in a month is theoretically possible.

If I were in a different market, I could organize a 1-hour presentation on my topic, record it as either audio or video, and sell the recording for $10 to $20 with just as good results.

To create and sell a $1000 product requires a much higher commitment of time and resources, and only a small portion of the market are in a position to purchase such a product.  Sure, you could target your marketing towards people who can afford such products and are inclined to buy them, but here again, you really need great marketing (or a great reputation) to pull it off.

If I had to start all over again, without depending on the reputation I’ve built over the years, I’d focus on low-priced products until I could develop my reputation again.

If you think about it, McDonalds, Coca-cola, and Domino’s have done well selling low-priced products.

Back to planning out my first product.

I would go one of two ways with this.  Either I’d find a weakness in one of the affiliate products I’m promoting — a hole to be filled — or I’d survey my list to find out what they would like to buy.  Of course, I could do both.

Up to this point, the only emails my new subscribers have been getting are the ones I’ve programmed into the autoresponder.  These daily emails have been introducing me and my ideas to them, so they feel like they know me.  Hopefully, this means they also like me and trust me, because these are the 3 conditions that lead to easy sales.

When I do a survey, I send out a broadcast email that goes out to everyone on the list right away.  In this survey, I let them know I’m thinking of creating a new product, that it’s going to be a guided meditation, and simply ask them what would help them the most.

This question may need to be structured a bit, to get them thinking along lines of what topic they need help with the most, what they like and don’t like about other guided meditations, and what types of backgrounds they find most appealing.

After brainstorming possible products on day 15, I’d spend days 16 and 17 creating the first one.  I have to remember the phrase, “It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It just has to be done” because otherwise, I can be a perfectionist and it would take weeks to get this thing done.

I can always go back and redo the product later if I have to.  Got to get the money rolling in first.

Day 18 is spent setting up a sales system for my new product, as well as some way to track referrals from affiliates so I can pay them for the sales coming from their efforts.

For this, setting up a PayPal account is the first step.  Depending on the affiliate programs I joined earlier, this may have been a required step.  If not, now is the time to take care of it.  It’s free, and payment processing fees are very reasonable.

As far as the technical side of handing sales, product delivery, and affiliate tracking, there are TONS of choices.  If I truly had to start over again, and didn’t have many resources to pay for software and tech support, I’d go with WordPress to manage the pages of my website, WooCommerce to handle the sales and digital product delivery, and an affiliate plugin (some are free), to track referrals from my partners.  WordPress makes installing the free plugins extremely easy, so very little technical know-how is required.

If I had more resources, I’d buy a copy of aMemberPro for $179, which I’ve used for years, and integrates everything (sales, delivery, and a basic mailing list manager) in one unified system.  It even integrates with WordPress, Drupal, and many other “Content Management Systems” I may choose to use for my website.

Setting all this up would take about a day, especially since I’d probably spend some time researching the various options, testing a couple out, and picking one that seems to work the way I think it should.  Part of the setup will be to define the opt-in page as an affiliate destination, so my affiliates can get credit for sending folks there.

I can also set what percentage my affiliates get as a commission.  50% is standard, but 75% would get more potential affiliates excited about sending more people my way, and in the early stages, the more people I can get onto my list, the better.  I’ll have other products to sell in the near future, so I don’t mind giving my affiliates the lion’s share of the first one.

One good affiliate can add 1000 new subscribers to my list in a matter of days.

Depending on the specific affiliate plugin I’ve chosen, I might also be able to pay my affiliates a fixed amount for each new subscriber they send me, without any commissions given on the resulting sales.  Since this is a new product, with a new sales letter, I’m safer paying a commission.  A pay-per-lead program can come later, if at all.

The way an affiliate program works, when my affiliates use their special link to send folks to my opt-in page, a cookie is set on the visitor’s computer, which stays there for a period of time defined in the affiliate software.  In most cases, I set this for 90 days, 180 days, or even forever.  The less well-known I am, the longer the affiliate cookie lifetime should be.  This lets my affiliates earn commissions on future products as well, and will encourage more affiliates to promote my free gift offer.

When the visitor comes back to make a purchase, the affiliate software checks for the cookie, and if it finds one, credits the referring affiliate with the sale.

All this is explained in the help files that come with the software.

Day 19 would be spent writing a basic sales page for my new product.  Although I’d love to have a week to make it the best I possibly could, I know I can crank out a workable sales page in just a few hours, so a full day is enough to make a good one.

Day 20 is where I write a few emails for my affiliates to send out to their list, announcing my free gift.  While many of them will prefer to send folks directly to the sales letter, I’ll make sure to point out that when people join my list, I can promote the main product many times over and get more of them to complete the purchase, and anyone who won’t sign up for the free gift probably won’t buy the product either.

With the sales page and sample emails done, I can start to contact potential affiliates and let them know about the new opportunity I’ve set up for them.

But since it’s been a week since my last rest day, it’s time to take another one, and start again on day 22.  Taking time away from my work can help my subconscious process what I’ve been doing, and bring things to my attention that should be addressed.