Internet Marketing: The Basics – Where to Start

I am preparing a new email sequence for a list that will include many new aspirants to internet marketing. In doing so, I am thinking about the essential truths I can share with them, as an older brother or uncle might.

Many who are exploring internet marketing are doing so from a position of need, meaning that they have little in excess resources to apply to the game. The good news is that it is possible to learn virtually all you need for free if you set your mind to it. There are some inescapable expenses which include computer/internet access, web hosting and an auto-responder.

The critical first step, the crossing of the Rubicon for many emerging marketers – passing from thinking about it to doing it – is the acquisition of an auto-responder service. This monthly cost represents a financial commitment that is purely business oriented. It is potentially a very powerful and lucrative tool, if you put it to good use. As you will never stop hearing, the money is in the list. And the list is on the auto-responder or it’s not worth having.

The hardest part of any list is the first several hundred list members. It’s often slow going at first, which is all the more reason why you want to start building your list as soon as possible.

As your list grows, your ability to grow your list does as well. Joint venture opportunities begin to present themselves. One big break through for me occurred when I learned about Ad Swapping. I was able to multiply my list from 1500 to nearly 7500 in less than a year.

Even now I participate in a swap group at Ultra Swaps. Once you have a list of 500 or so, you should focus on doing swaps.  But I digress.

The real message I want to share is, you are probably not in business until you get that autoresponder set up.  Once you do, you will need to learn how to maintain it and make it work for you.  You could wait till you got that all figured out, or you can take a plunge get the service and learn as you go.

I am a strong believer in taking the plunge. You ain’t never gunna know it all.

Get your auto responder, start paying a monthly bill and make it justify its cost.  Yes you will need to learn and do a lot of other things to make it work.  But you need to do that anyway, if you are going to be in business online. This just gets you off the dime and on your way.

Now I actually have two different auto-responders, which isn’t necessary.  Of the two, I would recommend you go with Aweber. If you are already with one of the other big names, don’t worry, most of them do a great job as well.

Once you start with an auto-responder company you are pretty much signing on for life, so it’s good to go with a quality service.  It can be hard to migrate lists at a later date.

[tags]UltraSwaps, aweber, autoresponder, internet marketing, adswaps, business online,auto respond email, autoresponder emails, autoresponder services[/tags]

What’s the Easiest Way to Make Money Online?

I recently got asked again about the easiest way to make money online. Now my feeling was the asker was looking for a sure fire, push button way to get rich quick for no investment on their part.

I’ve puzzled over how to advise newbies many times in the past, and despite my feeling that he wasn’t serious I took the time to answer and I am sharing it here. In the process I am introducing a new product by Ken Sar and Leon Klepfish called List Catcher. I think it may be a real shortcut for many starting out, and even established marketers.

Here’s my reply to my wishful thinker.

You need a product to sell, and a list to sell it to. It’s that simple.

To do it online you need to have an auto responder. There is no way around that. This is the tool that captures and allows you to automate emailing to your list.

Once you have an auto responder, you need a product, but more importantly you need to have a squeeze page. That’s the page you send people to. It is a very simple web page, but it must be hosted somewhere. Usually that means you must set up a hosting account with a hosting service. this is your second ongoing cost. Normally, it also means that you need to buy a domain name, which is cheap, but also an expense. These three ongoing expenses are essential. If you’re not willing to invest in these, there is no way you are ever going to be successful on line.

However, with the program I mentioned to you in my last email, you can avoid the second two for a while. You will eventually need to get all three.

The program I mentioned also costs, but it will save you a lot of time in getting started.

You will still need an auto responder.  I recommend you go to aweber and set up an account there.

Then go to the List Catcher Service and join there program.

They provide you with a professionally designed squeeze page that offers people a free product. When they get the free product they are offered a second paid product. Most will not buy it, but some will.

To make this work you will need to set up a free account with Clickbank. Once you join the list catcher program they will take you step by step through the sign up process. It’s easy.

To make this all work, you need to learn how to send people to your free offer on your squeeze page. There are lots of ways to do this, many of which are free. The easiest is using Twitter and Facebook. I also like to do article marketing, blogging and occasionally I will do Pay Per Click advertising. There are also a lot of free traffic exchanges which can be used to send people to your offers. Generating traffic is a key skill that you need to learn.

It’s easier to learn when you actually have someplace to send them. So as I see it, this program that gives you a series of products and squeeze pages makes a lot of sense. You can start promoting these and learn how to do traffic. Once you are successful here, you can spend time learning how to set up your own web sites, create your own products, etc.

Making money online is not easy. It takes time and you need to learn a lot of different skills. The most important part of the equation is the act of starting.

The List Catcher program allows you to short cut part of the learning curve, by not needing to learn how to do your own squeeze pages, and not having to create your own products. It does require you to get an auto responder, and then to learn how to generate traffic. But for now you can skip getting web hosting and learning how to manage your C-panel and create your own squeeze pages.  They also provide you with a series of profitable click bank products you can sell, so you have a constantly expanding inventory you can promote over time.

As the saying goes, there is no free lunch. It will take some monetary investment, a significant amount of time, and a commitment to persevere.

My only question is, do you have the willingness to take action?

[tags]Leon Klepfish, Ken Sar, List Catcher, aweber, make money online, getting started online,[/tags]

Are you in Business without an Auto Responder?

If you are in business and online you need to have an auto-responder. If you are in business and don’t have a web page or any web presence at all, you likely still need to have an auto-responder.

If you had to choose between having a web site and and auto-responder but not both, I think you would be wiser to choose the auto-responder over the web presence.


Because an auto-responder allows you to develop a relationship with your customers and prospects.

This is especially important in long term sales processes that take weeks or months to complete. It is also important in retail transactions where the customer is in and out. Particularly if you want to develop repeat business.

A restaurant, grocery store, dentist, nail technician or any other business that wants to keep in touch with their customers should be investing in an auto responder. The goal is to follow up with prospects who happen across your web site and are not yet ready to buy, or to keep in touch with existing customers to encourage them to return more often and to increase their purchases when they visit.

For retail businesses, who do not rely on a web site to communicate with their customers, the secret is to put an offer on the sales slip or cash register receipt.

Offer a coupon, or other freebie for people signing up for your message service. Then stock your auto-responder with a series of evergreen messages to drip on them at a proper interval to keep in touch.

Many businesses plan on doing some sort of customer follow-up on a routine basis, but this good intention plan often gets sacrificed to more urgent endeavors. That’s where the preprogramed value of a series of auto-responder messages shines. The messages will go out as scheduled and you don’t need to do anything special once it’s set up.

You can though periodically send a broadcast message to announce special sales, send holiday greetings and similar messages as well.

The combination helps to make the routine messages appear more personal and timely.

In my opinion the premier auto-responder company has been Aweber for many years, however as they have grown I fear they have also raised their rates and shown some growing pains. They are however easy to use, have great staff support (most of the time) and a lot of neat features. While I’ve become less ardent in my support, they are still a top flight company and worthy of consideration if you are looking for an Auto-Responder company.

There are two other choices I could and do recommend however. If you do not already have a hosting company I would suggest you check out UMC the Ultimate Marketing Center. For a low monthly fee you get not only an auto-responder company but also web hosting and many other services such as an affiliate management service. This would be my top recommendation for people in the internet marketing arena. Your get unlimited web hosting on their c-panel run system plus the auto-responder. It’s not as fully featured as the Aweber platform, but darn close.

It took me a bit of time to figure out their system and I would rate the Aweber system a tiche more user friendly, but with a little bit of effort you can master their system in no time, and save a bundle over having both a hosting account and an autoresponder fee to pay every month.

If you have web hosting already, and just want an auto-responder and want to beat aweber’s higher prices I recommend Traffic Wave. They have a $17.95 price point that stays at $17.95 no matter how large your list grows. That may not seem important when you are starting out, but it will in time as our list grows. What’s also worth checking out is that they appear willing to allow you to import names from other lists. I haven’t actually done this myself, so I haven’t checked out all the details, but this would be a huge relief if you were to decide to move from one auto-responder to another.

I actually use all three of the above services. Which is good and bad. Good in that I am diversified against the occasional glitches that affect everyone. And good in that I use them for different purposes and it helps me keep some things separate. Bad in that I sometimes have to loads the same message in multiple places when I am doing a broadcast I would like to go to everyone.

[tags]autoresponder,autoresponders, auto-responder, aweber, ultimate marketing center, trafficwave, traffic wave[/tags]

Practically Perfect Products To Promote

A week or two ago, I wrote a blog post I called a Provocative Suggestion in which I promoted a new system called Affiliate Silver Bullet.  In addition to my blog post, I have been emailing people who have opted in to one or another of my auto responder lists. Actually, I have the message queued up as one of my follow-up messages.

Today I got a message from one of my readers who wondered if it would be effective for new people who don’t have a large list to mail to.  A fair question.

And my answer was that it certainly is easier to promote things when you have a large list, but that you can’t let that get in the way of identifying a product or series of products to promote while you are building that list.

One of the benefits of the Affiliate Silver Bullet is that they have already chosen quality products for you to promote. That’s a bit more important than you might realize at first. The product they have included are proven winners, with quality you can be proud to present to your list, and with sales material that actually converts.

But what do you do, if you don’t already have a sizable list?  You start building one.

The primary advantage of Affiliate Silver Bullet that makes it so much more desirable than its predecessor “Clickbank Pirate” is that you can send people to your own auto-responder list.

I have a separate list in my Aweber account for each of the five Affiliate Silver Bullets I have set up so far.

That means you can build your list by promoting the products in Affiliate Silver Bullet.  Each bullet has a freebie associated with it that you can promote on safe lists, or by any other means.  When people opt in for the freebie they join your list.

Once they are on your list, you need to send them emails.    Writing quality follow-up emails is a skill in it’s own right. This is also handled by Affiliate Silver Bullet.  With each bullet you get a series of professionally written emails that will drip on your new list members until they buy, automatically.

Combined that means you have a selection of quality products, a series of valuable giveaways to offer to prospective members to get them to opt into your list and a series of professional emails to follow-up with them. All of which you can set up each week in just a few minutes.

Your job is then to concentrate on how you will drive traffic to the free offers. Now granted if you already have a large list, it will only take a few emails to promote the individual offers.  So yes, someone with a large list will have an initial advantage.

But for those without a large list, you now have all the back end pieces you need to allow you to focus on learning how to and then driving traffic to the free offers.

It does take traffic to be successful.  There are many ways to drive traffic. Article marketing is just one that I use.  I am writing articles relevant to each of the Affiliate Silver Bullet products. Not about the products, and not pitching them but about the topic. If the silver bullet is on bloging, I write an article about blogging and put one of the two links in my resource box to the freebie for that Silver Bullet product.

These articles will be referring prospects within days of being accepted by the directories and will send traffic for months and years to come.

I’ve also set up some simple blogger blogs, often using the same content as my articles with links to the freebie. Here I’ve found that the Blogger SEO Annihilator script I got from the first month of  Jeff Dedrick’s Automated Traffic was a great value.  It helps get them optimized for search engine results.

I’ve then built on them with Squidoo lens and Hub pages to send high authority back links to the blogger posts.  I get some traffic from the Squidoo lens and hub pages, but more importantly raise the blogger posts to the top of the search engines for my keyword terms.

This combination is just the start, but a powerful start, to driving a ton of free traffic to these Affiliate Silver Bullet products.  Add to that any safe list, traffic exchange or other traffic you can generate and you have a system that will send you traffic and ultimately revenues for years to come.

Don’t expect miraculous overnight riches with this approach. But by concentrating on building the traffic generation aspect and linking it together using multiple tools, you can develop a cash machine that send you clickbank checks on a weekly basis.

The bottom line from my point of view is this. You need a quality product to promote, with sales materials that sell. You need a freebie to get people to opt into your list, you need quality follow-up email messages to get the whole thing to convert into dollars for you.  You could do it all yourself, or you could let Affiliate Silver Bullet do it for you.  If you let Affiliate Silver Bullet solve your product, freebie and follow-up needs, you can focus your attention on the key skill you need to learn to be successful online and that is traffic generation.

That’s why I think Affiliate Silver Bullet is an appropriate starting place for may new and intermediate level affiliate marketers.

[tags]affiliate silver bullet, aweber, squidoo, hub pages, clickbank, [/tags]

Global Fields in Aweber, A Powerful Tool

I use Aweber as my auto responder. This tip is specific to Aweber but similar features may exist with your service if you use something other than Aweber.

Two global fields are set up for you automatically. One is called the Contact Address and this is where your mailing address goes that is at the bottom of all your messages, both broadcast and followup.

The second is your signature message, which in most cases is blank unless you put something there. In addition to these you can create and name up to 25 additional global fields.

This post will describe how to make use of the Signature Message. Once you learn how to effectively use this one feature, you will know how to use the others. And I predict you will want to as well.

The global fields tab is fourth down under the My Lists Tab. Once you click on it you will see your contact box, your signature box, and a Custom Global Fields Creator form.

Anything you write in the Signature box will appear in any of your messages anywhere you insert the following: {!signature}

So when you are preparing follow-up messages, instead of putting your standard salutation and signature lines at the end of the message, you just type in {!signature}.

What ever you have in the signature box in global settings will appear in the email when you send it.

The advantage is that while your follow-up emails are evergreen, so they can be sent at any time, your signatures need not be.

This would permit seasonal messages, which is a nice touch. Or if you are a marketer like me, it could include not only a signature, but additional text including a mini pitch for the product of the day.

Currently, I am promoting a free call this coming Tuesday evening on Pay Per Click Advertising by Chuck Mullaney. It should be a good call, and the price is right.

So I changed the text inside my Signature Box to the following:

Best Wishes,

Earl Netwal

Free Traffic Seminar
Don’t be Intimidated by Pay Per Click
Tuesday 9PM EDT
Sign Up Now, as My Guest


I start with my traditional closing salutation of Best Wishes,  I follow with my name and a brief spiel or post script about the call.

I then added a dashed line underneath to serve as a demarcation.  If I had a PS in the message I would put them under the dashed line.

This allows me to add a little pitch to each of the followup emails that may be going out to my various lists.

Now since I have several different niches that I am in contact with via email from my aweber account I can create a separate code and follow-up signature for each of my lists.

In addition to inserting the {!signature} tag into my broadcast messages, I have begun using it as a standard signature to many of my broadcast messages as well.

This is not the primary thrust of my messages, and in some cases I may not want any diversions from the main thrust of my main message.  In those cases I would just use my normal signature as I always have. But in many other cases, its a nice way of keeping an upcoming event in front of your list even while you are primarily addressing them on another topic.

And as I mentioned earlier, it can be a great away to add seasonal flavor to your canned messages during holidays, etc.

Instead of having to change closing salutations on all your different messages, by altering the text in this one box, all your emails set up with the {!signature} code will reflect the new message. You could change it daily if you wanted.

By the way the call on Tuesday is at 9PM EDT and you should be on it, if you want to learn how to effectively use pay per click to drive low cost traffic to your sites.

I welcome you to sign up for free as my quest. And if you don’t have an auto responder yet, you are missing out big time. If you are new to the game, you need to know that you need an auto responder more than you need a web site.  Check out Aweber now.

Your Auto Repsonder: The Heart of your Business.

Do you have an auto responder yet?

If not, why not?

The most basic requirement for success online beyond the prerequisite decision to start an online business, is to acquire a professional auto responder service.  This is the second of my series of break through posts. Getting an auto responder set up is a critical break through step in building a successful internet marketing campaign.

You can’t spend much time online without coming across one of the basic mantras of online success, the “money is in the list.”  While there can be exceptions, it is for all practical purposes a truism.

The surest prescription for long term success online is to build a list of customers and prospective customers. This is true whether you are marketing from a brick and mortar setting or exclusively online.

I farted around for some time before I finally caved in and agreed to spend $20 a month with my auto responder company . While I learned stuff during that interim period, I squandered a lot of opportunity.

If you are just starting out, and are serious about building business online but have not yet acquired an auto responder service let me advise you to do it today.

There are hundreds of things you need to learn before you will be truly successful online. You can’t afford to wait until you know everything to take the preliminary steps essential for success.

There is nothing as fundamental to your success as having a tool to house and manage your business list. You can get by without a web site or blog better than you can get by without an auto responder.  It won’t be the only thing you need but it is so basic, you cannot afford to let time slip by.

Once you have signed up you will need to learn how it works. That will take some time. I taught myself with the tutorials on the site. And that was fine for then. However, I discovered a lot more about the advanced features of my particular service when I took a formal course offered by Bob the Teacher  some time later.

While everything I learned in the course I could have learned in the tutorials on the site, the discipline of taking the course forced me to actually do so step by step. And so I do recommend it, although it’s not necessary if you do your homework on the site.  I used to recommend Bob’s individual courses. The autoresponder course for example was $67  but it’s now cheaper to join Bob’s Internet Marketing Success Library even if just for a few months to take advantage of the auto responder course and the many others he teaches.

Now understand that having an auto responder doesn’t get you to your destination. It’s just one of the essentials.  You will still need to learn how to drive people to your auto responder, entice them to sign up and then learn how to effectively communicate with your list members.

Anyone who told you internet marketing would be easy lied to you.  But it is possible, and it is worth it, but you must make the decision that you are going to go for it, and then prove that step to yourself and the world by seting up your autoresponder and putting it to work.

We will discuss additional steps in future posts.