Perhaps selling products that other people made was not what you had in mind when you heard about internet marketing. Perhaps you have aspirations of being a successful blogger. Or maybe your plan is to use internet marketing to create a successful blog or website for your existing brand.
So how exactly does a blog make money? And how can you get on that gravy train?
As we briefly alluded to earlier in this book, the answer is that it makes money by building an audience and more specifically a targeted audience. Hopefully, you’re now already seeing all the ways that you can make money from an audience once you have it.
If you have a successful blog, then you can quickly start to make lots of money from the readers of that blog by using any of the aforementioned business models: sell them a PLR product, sell them affiliate products, sell lots of affiliate products, or use it in order to promote a service.
The best thing about this though, is that running a blog will also allow you to develop a relationship with that audience and to help them get to know you.
If they are regularly reading your advice and ideas, then they should have first hand experience of just how knowledgeable you are and how useful your advice can be for them. Thus, when you come to sell something to them, they will be ‘primed’.
Once you get to that stage, you are a thought leader and you’ll even find that other brands will want to promote their products through you. This is where people will start to pay you to promote their products, or where you can start getting paid to display PPC advertising.
If you run a business already, then you should consider making it your aim to get to this point. Once there, you will find that a lot more people get to learn about your business and will trust you enough to buy from you.
This is the basis of content marketing – one of the most powerful and important types of internet marketing.
Why You Should Always Sell
Building a huge audience takes time though. If you’re looking for the fastest way to start earning money online and only investing a small amount of your time each week, then creating a blog is not it. Blogs with thousands of daily views are either lucky, or they took a while to get to that point.
This makes it folly to try and set up an online business and make money purely from PPC. Because that’s the strategy that a lot of first-timers will try to use.
Google AdSense is just like AdWords except it goes onto websites – websites like yours! People will be willing to pay 20 or 50 cents to show their ads on sites like yours and Google will help them to do that for their share.
You might get 10 cents for each click therefore or you might even get 1 cent or 0.01 cent in some cases.
And what’s more, is that for every thousand people who land on your site, you can realistically expect to get 1-5 clicks. The point is that it will take you a long time to reach the point where you can make a living from this kind of business model alone.
And more important to consider, is that when you use this kind of business model, you are positioning yourself at the bottom of the pyramid. Google is paying you to show those ads because an advertiser is paying them more.
And that advertiser is only willing to pay Google more because they have a way to earn more from those visitors – chances are that they’re selling them a digital product for several hundred dollars. And you’re earning a few cents.
If they weren’t earning more from those visitors, then they wouldn’t be willing to pay you for them. And each time someone clicks on one of those ads, you are losing them as a customer and sending them away from your brand. This is the opposite of good business!
Selling your own product or an affiliate product or a service is by far the superior way to earn and to keep people engaged with your brand.
Building Trust and Offering Value
Unfortunately, here is where a ‘business mind’ can actually be a bad thing.
Because a lot of people think that in order to run a successful business blog to promote a product or service, they have to stay strictly ‘on topic’. The same goes for social media; they think they need to write posts about their business, about their product and about the industry.
I’ve encountered this countless time. One client I worked with had an EPOS software (electronic point of sale) and I suggested they write posts about small businesses, about productivity and about technology. But they only wanted to write about how EPOS software could save businesses money.
Now here’s the question you always need to ask: who is really going to read that? If all you’re doing is blatantly promoting your own product or brand, then who is going to want to tune in every day to see what latest thing you’re writing about?
Instead, you need to ensure you are providing value. You need to give some useful or entertaining information away for free so that people have a reason to keep coming back. Only by doing this can you create an interested audience that you will then be able to sell to.
So, the best way to be successful with a blog is to write about things that your audience will be interested in. Be consistent and be passionate and only plug your products and services when the time is right. This will help you to get shares, to find people subscribing to your blog and more.
Growth Hacks for Quickly Growing Your Audience
This all takes time though. Lots of time.
And this series is all about making money and being successful at internet marketing in the shortest possible amount of time. So, if you want to accelerate your progress and start growing your audience even faster, what do you need to do?
One answer is to use ‘growth hacks’. These are simple techniques that you can use in order to grow and promote your website that don’t involve gradually waiting for it to spread by word of mouth.
One of the very most powerful and popular examples is to use something called ‘influencer marketing’.
Simply, influencer marketing means that you are going to leverage the power of an existing influencer: someone who already has a lot of sway and a big audience in thesame niche (or a related niche).
If you can find a YouTuber who has 500,000 views on every single video, then all you need to do is to message them and get them to mention your website or blog in their next video.
If you can get them to do this, then you can potentially generate hundreds of thousands of visits to your website that very day. This can transform the success of your business over night.
Of course, the hard part of influencer marketing is finding the influencers and then convincing them that they should promote you.
One way to get around this is to offer to pay them for their time. Another option is to find an influencer who is easy going and doesn’t mind giving you a shout-out (some are just having fun and happy to help!). Or potentially you could offer to do something for them instead.
How about working on a project with them? If you have a skill that you can offer, then you can somehow help to boost their success and at the same time they’ll be likely to shout you out.
For example, if you know how to make apps, then get in touch and offer to build them their very own app. In all likelihood, they’ll be excited and complimented and as such, they’ll promote the app which you can split the revenue for 50/50.
If you struggle to get an influencer to listen, then one great strategy is simply to hire them for something. If you can find an influencer who offers any kind of consultation or who sells a product, then order that from them and they will then be obligated to respond to you.
Yet another great option is to meet them in person. Once you’ve actually made contact in one of these ways, then you’ll likely find that they’re much more inclined to listen and to help you out. It’s all about building genuine relationships and connections.
Another good option for a growth hack, is just to find that perfect route to market and often if you can create the perfect blog post and promote it in the perfect location, then you’ll find that you can get a huge influx of traffic from just a single link.
The key is to make your post interesting and unique enough that anyone in a certain SubReddit or forum will be sure to want to read it. If you can do this well, then you can generate thousands of clicks and several of those might be interested to subscribe to your feed or maybe even to order a product there and then!
Your Super-Fast Guide to SEO
This would not be a book on internet marketing though if we didn’t at least touch on SEO. SEO is ‘search engine optimization’, which for all extents and purposes really means ‘Google optimization’.
The idea behind this is that you are making changes to your website and creating links to your website and in this way, you are going to make your site more likely to show up in the search results when someone looks for something related on Google.
Unfortunately, this is not a particularly quick tool when it comes to marketing your site. SEO takes a lot of time and there is never any guarantee that it is going to be effective. You can put a lot of effort in and still find that it doesn’t work.
But if you create a systemized approach for your SEO, then you can find ways to speed up the process: for example by making new post once a week, or even by outsourcing the process.
Essentially, Google works by looking for content that matches the search terms that people are looking for. When someone searches for a specific phrase, Google looks for the content in its index and then shows them the sites with the most relevant content.
In order to add new sites to that index, Google uses ‘spiders’ – programs that trawl the web by following links. Google also looks at each link as a testimonial – and the better the site that links to you, the more weight that testimony has.
Your aim then, is to fill your site with high quality content that Google will see as being relevant and it is to get the most important and biggest sites to link to you. Once again, this often means working with influencers.
Don’t try to trick Google. Don’t try to spam Google. Don’t try to ‘keyword stuff’ (repeating the search phrase in your content over and over again) and don’t pay people to share your links. Google is smart enough to catch you out and you will be penalized.
Instead, focus on making your site into the kind of high quality site that the key influencers will be happy to associate with. Does your brand look as good as the top competition on the web? If not, then you need to work on that!
But what you do need to understand is that from Google’s perspective, getting one of the ‘right links’ can completely change the game and is worth countless ‘low quality’ links. To get those right links, you need to understand who it is that Google trusts.
The answer? Google trusts sites that are authorities. That means .gov domains and .edu. It means older sites that have been around for a long time and sites with recognized brands.
If your site gets a link from a site like that, then you will get a MUCH bigger boost in much less time. But what’s more, is that if you get a link from a site that has a link like that, then you’ll still get a very big boost. Consider this a little like ‘degrees of separation’.
Another tip is to look for sites that Google features in its news section. If Google puts a site there, then that’s a very good sign that it trusts the brand. Focus your time on building these links and delivering quality and your SEO will be twice as effective in half the time.