The Golden Key of Success
The Extraordinary Power of “FOCUS”
The real opportunities to make money using the internet are endless – unfortunately, so are the scams. In fact it doesn’t take very long before most people become overwhelmed with all that’s being offered out there, and they either give up or they begin hopping from one scheme to another without ever building anything profitable. One of the primary goals of this eBook is to come to the rescue of the dazed and confused.
We’re going to take a look at some of the most significant ways you can earn money online. In fact most other ideas are just variations on these central themes. Any one of them can be very lucrative if implemented properly. Now it’s very important for you to understand that you have to learn to walk before you can run. Start out by mastering the basics, and learn what is proven to work before you try and get too clever on your own. You can waste a lot of time trying things that really have no hope of being very successful. You’ll also waste a lot of time and energy “reinventing wheels”.
Later on your MOST profitable ventures might well be brand new ideas that you came up with all by yourself. But first learn the basic principles and skills – and learn them well.
Let me encourage you, there is PLENTY of money to be made even in these first steps, if you learn to do them right. Copy what successful people of integrity are doing. (Don’t worry – I’ll introduce you to some of these folks in the pages of this article.) All of this leads me to say something very important. We’ve all seen the ads claiming that you can retire next Thursday as a millionaire having done next to nothing at all.
Let’s be very clear right now: anyone who promises you instant wealth and for little or no effort is LYING! Every time. Period. The sooner you stop falling for that nonsense, and resolve that you’re prepared to invest some hard work and steadily build your income streams, the sooner you’ll start to realize the returns (and the accompanying lifestyle) that you’ve dreamed about.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS ARTICLE
I’m going to share with you a lot of great information. I suggest you sit down with a cup of coffee to read through it carefully. Be ready to make notes as you go. I’m going to make another suggestion. Read the whole book BEFORE you start any new projects or ideas. The reason will become clear when we get to chapters 5 and 6. I’m going to teach you to zero in on just ONE thing at a time. It’s important for you to understand the ideas in this eBook and THEN choose your focus. In fact, by the time you’ve read to the very end, I predict that you very well might be choosing to DROP some of the present activities you’ve previously started.
I can’t wait to get to Chapter 5 with you! THE GOLDEN KEY of success is so simple and obvious, and yet it is profound. And not grasping it is the #1 reason so many people fail to make money online. Chapter 5 and onward will pull everything together into a do-able system for you.
But first we have to lay the foundations of understanding. We need to look at the “Pillar” Income Streams you can choose from to start building your business online.
A special word to those that are already very familiar with ways of making money online: The material we are going to cover in Section II is the “meat” that, if you take action and put it into practice, could literally change everything for you in your business. So I would understand if you skimmed over the first section because you already know much of these foundational lessons. But honestly, I recommend that you do NOT skip over these first chapters lightly!
Even if you have been exposed to these opportunities for a while, and are tempted to think you have nothing to learn, it can’t hurt to come back and think afresh about what each of these methods have to offer you.
One more thing. Please, if you have any questions as we go along, shoot me an email at email@example.com
OK, got that cup of coffee? Let’s get to it!
SECTION I : INCOME STREAMS
CHAPTER 1 : Auction Sites
The name that most naturally comes to mind when we talk about Auction Sites is the giant eBay. Everything I’m about to say might just as easily be applied to other auction sites, but from here on we’re simply going to refer to eBay, and use it as our model, because eBay is just about as big as all the others put together in terms of auction business. It’s the granddaddy of them all, and quite honestly the tools and resources they provide give you the very best chance of success in building a profitable business.
Above all, what makes eBay the obvious choice for anyone wanting to sell online is their unmatched volume of traffic. Millions of people search eBay every single day of the year. This matter of traffic is one of the most basic issues you’ll be confronted with in any online business – no matter what kind of opportunity you pursue. Just think about this. If you have your own website offering items for sale, you can spend a truckload of money trying to drive traffic to it – because unless you do, you have no chance of making sales. eBay eliminates the need for all that. eBay brings the traffic right to you.
There are very few people left now who still have the image of eBay as a big yard sale, with everyone’s junk out on tables. If that’s what you do think, you need to go on over and take a good look around the site. You can find anything and everything for sale, including a great deal of brand new product being professionally marketed by both small and large companies who have established their presence on the site as a major part of their business strategy.
The key is, if you want eBay to be a significant income stream, you must think of it and treat it as a business.
Literally hundreds of thousands of people are making good (even fulltime) incomes on eBay. If you choose to do so, you can too!
- It’s one of the fastest ways to get earning on the internet. If you have something to sell, it’s a fairly safe bet that you can be banking your first profits within a week or two of startup.
- Most of the hard work is done for you. Very little technical knowledge is required; if you can surf the net and get your email, you probably have enough computer savvy to begin basic selling on eBay.
- You need to find a stream of product(s) you can sell for a profit. (This challenge is hardly unique to eBay, however. There’s no business in the world that doesn’t require a product.)
- You’ll have to handle the packing and shipping of every item you sell.
THE EBAY “BACK END”
One of the most unrealized facts about eBay is that it has enormous potential beyond the immediate profit of selling the product you have listed. Did you realize that you can actually make customers out of people who never even bid on your auctions? How? This is the “back end” of eBay. It’s an incredibly powerful concept.
If you choose to build an income stream through the power of eBay, then mandatory reading for you needs to be Jim Cockrum’s book “The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay”. Jim fully explains how the “backend” of eBay can be a windfall for you. eBay is a great option for building a solid income stream on the internet. It takes hard work, but it has already afforded a lot of people the opportunity to get out of the rat race and take control of their future in their own business. It also has great potential to serve as the hub of an online business that extends much further. More about that in chapter 6 when we talk about The Power of “Synergy”.
For now – take another look at eBay! It’s just the first of the great income streams we’re going to consider. Each one can be a pillar of profit for you.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES – EBAY
“From eBay Zero to eBay Hero” (Download)
– by Mike Enos
This resource is awesome, and it’s a FREE download from our site! Mike has
made a fortune on eBay, and teaches it better than just about anyone.
“77 Tips for Buying & Selling on the New eBay”
– by Skip McGrath.
Another FREE resource. Skip and his wife Karen are fantastic people. I call their
site a “no-spin zone” – just great, honest help. Apart from being eBay
Powersellers, Skip is a published author off the internet. Look for his outstanding
books about eBay at your local well-stocked bookstore.
“The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay”
– by Jim Cockrum.
You can sign up to get Jim’s great newsletter for FREE. His book will cost you
something (it’s priced VERY reasonably!), but it is “the Bible of the backend”. I
promise you that you will see eBay in a whole new light after you read it. Jim is
brilliant and inspiring. (He still owes me a few nights of sleep when I couldn’t put
his book down!)
1. Think about what you want from building an online income. What are your goals?
2. Surf on over to eBay and have fresh look around. See what people are selling. Check out some of the eBay Stores people have opened. If you were to choose eBay, what kind of products do you think you might enjoy selling?
CHAPTER 2 : Affiliate Marketing
“Affiliate Marketing”. Does that term make you sit up, and your heart start beating faster? Or are you very skeptical about it? I can completely understand both reactions. On the one hand, Affiliate Marketing is without a doubt an exciting opportunity that anyone can claim a part in. Did you know that in 2006 (the most recent figure we have), more than $6.5 BILLION was paid out in commissions to Affiliate Marketers? And the numbers have only climbed since. That’s a big pie – wouldn’t you like a slice?
On the other hand, all those recruitment pitches we endure on the net have a tendency to make us jaded, right? Every one of them wants to sell you their particular method of marketing, and typically they promise that you’ll (a) be wealthy overnight, and (b) you really won’t have to do all that much to make it happen.
I want to give you a more balanced and realistic picture. Affiliate Marketing is not as easy as those unscrupulous sales pitches would have you believe, but neither should you write it all off as just an empty bubble. Let’s start at the beginning:
WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
It’s actually a very simple concept. Individuals and companies want to promote their products without paying out for advertising costs to get every new customer. (Remember what we said in chapter 1, the biggest issue for ANY online business is GETTING TRAFFIC.) So they offer a commission to anyone who is prepared to drive traffic to them.
Some companies are prepared to pay their Affiliates for every lead they generate, although there are admittedly fewer who do this. The industry standard is now to pay a commission per actual sale. The commissions vary from 5% through 95% (in the case of some digital information products) of the sale price. The average is probably somewhere around 30% to 40% – but you can certainly find many programs that do offer higher than that.
When you think about it, Affiliate Marketing is a Win-Win-Win situation:
- The Merchant wins because they ONLY have to pay for actual sales (no risk of expensive ad campaigns that do not generate enough sales to be profitable.)
- The Affiliate wins because they have an opportunity to sell products without outlaying money for inventory, or having to ship product. In fact, once the referral is made, the Affiliate’s work is done. Nothing to do but cash the checks!
- The Customer also wins because they were directed to find the product they wanted to purchase (aren’t we all thankful for retail sales people when they save us time by pointing out what we need?)
And that’s it. Simple! Right?
Well, I said it’s a simple CONCEPT. That doesn’t mean it’s always as easy in practice.
- If finding and driving traffic wasn’t a challenge, the Merchants wouldn’t even need Affiliates. They’d get the traffic for themselves, and save the commissions. Driving traffic is certainly a skill. Fortunately, it’s a skill that you CAN learn. But you are going to have to be prepared to do that – dig in and learn your trade.
- To make this a significant income stream, as you go on you will probably need to develop at least some understanding of html code (the language that web sites are built from). Now, don’t let this put you off. It may sound daunting, but a lot of today’s tools make it much easier, and you don’t need to know everything at once.
- You need to go into it understanding that it is a very competitive market.
Hundreds of new people every day set out to make it in Affiliate Marketing. But if you work hard over the long haul, and are persistent, you will leave the competition behind. Unfortunately for many of them, they have bought the lies and exaggerations and expect everything overnight. In this game the real rewards come to those who last.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO INVEST
Keep in mind that to be successful, you MUST treat this as a real business. Compared to a traditional “brick and mortar” business offline, your overheads are going to be insanely low (almost negligible). After all, that is surely one of the biggest attractions to most online opportunities.
Nevertheless, there are some costs:
1. Some money for the right tools.
Now, there are a lot of things you CAN invest in, but the essentials are actually very few. Let me mention the two most important:
FIRSTLY: Web Space. You can actually get started without spending a penny, but even if you don’t get it straight away, you are going to want to have a web site of your own.
DO NOT make the mistake of falling for someone’s offer to “give” you your own completely pre-built web site stocked with 1001 products. (And for goodness’ sake DON’T PAY OUT MONEY FOR ONE OF THOSE.)
With a couple of exceptions, such web sites are pitifully ineffective. NO web site can come “pre-packaged” with traffic, so you still have to drive it there, and you’ll be working very hard to get customers essentially for someone else. That’s how they make their money.
When you set up your own web site, YOU can choose which products to promote, and how you want to present them. The good news is that, as an Affiliate Marketer, your web site does not need to be elaborate. In fact, that can work against you. Successful Affiliates have professional looking, effective, but simple sites. A lot of Affiliate sites are actually just 1 or 2 pages. They are called “minisites”.
Blogs have become hugely popular with Affiliates, and they are the simplest of all sites to set up and maintain. Web hosting has become very inexpensive. You should be able to set up for as little as $10 per month (or even less). Don’t be daunted because you don’t know how to build a web site. Some web hosts now provide templates and tools that really do make it possible for ANYONE to have a site.
SECONDLY: Don’t wait too long to invest in a good “autoresponder”. This is a software program that manages an email list for you.
The thing you will hear most in online business is the saying, “The money is in the list”. Your ongoing success will depend on growing a customer base. A basic principle of sales is that it’s always easier (and cheaper) to keep an existing customer than to have to go and find a new one. The sooner you start building your contact database the better. Autoresponders are the ONLY way to go for this.
Now, for both web sites and autoresponders there ARE solutions out there that are completely free, and you might be tempted to start out using these services to minimize your initial outlay. I don’t want to say that’s wrong – the idea might have some merit. But weigh it very carefully. Sometimes “free” can end up being very expensive!
For example, if your “freebie” web site is full of ads placed there by the provider, (a) they are distracting to visitors and (b) they make you look very unprofessional. If your “freebie” autoresponder fails, and you lose the list you’ve spent weeks (or years) building, you won’t think it was such a good deal after all!
2. An investment of time and persistence.
Be prepared for this very real cost also. You will need to work hard, especially in the initial stages when you are getting set up. But this is what you will be paid for later on. “No pain, no gain” is ALWAYS true. You only EVER reap according to how much you have sown.
And be prepared to hang in there when others give up. That’s ultimately the difference between the winners and the “also rans” in this game.
3. Some time and money to learn.
You want to avoid two extremes in this. Firstly, if you buy every eBook, every piece of software, and every tool you read a review of you’ll go broke! But also you’ll become so completely confused and overwhelmed, the information will be a harm instead of a help to your business. A teaspoon of good advice TAKEN is better than a bucket full of excellent advice that you’re drowning in and can’t DO anything with!
The other extreme is to not ever invest in your own growth. Now, it’s true that there’s a lot of material out there on the net that costs nothing – but you usually get what you pay for too! Be prepared to set a modest budget for learning.
For my part, in this eBook I’m trying to steer you in the direction of a sensible amount of GREAT resources.
WHAT IS A “SUPER AFFILIATE”
You’ll hear that term thrown around quite often. It’s one of those things that means something different to everyone. However, the figure that seems to come up repeatedly as a bench mark is around $10,000 per month. When someone is earning at that level and above, they will be referred to as being in the ranks of the “Super Affiliates”.
Are there many such people? Yes there are! And it is their existence that keeps fueling the dream for others to rise to that level. YOU can get there! You’ve got to believe in yourself, and be willing to work hard and long. But PLEASE do not fall for those “overnight” schemes. (Have I said that enough times yet?)
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES – AFFILIATE MARKETING
“The Super Affiliate Handbook”
– by Rosalind Gardner
For sheer inspiration, and down to earth advice, you can’t go past Ros! This
woman with no previous business experience now pulls down $435,000+ per year
as an Affiliate. Not too shabby!
There is no doubt in my mind that Aweber is THE BEST autoresponder on the web
today. Check them out. You can test drive them for FREE.
Site Build It!
Are you really nervous about your ability to put together a web site. SBI will
change all of that! Click the link to go watch their video.
1. Whatever online business you choose, are you ready for the commitment it will take to be successful?
2. What budget are you prepared to allocate both in time and money? How many hours per week can you give to work it?
CHAPTER 3 : Information Products
Information products are now BIG business on the internet. Every day hundreds of new products are released, and there seems to be no end to the appetite of online consumers for them. This is a very exciting phenomenon.
In the previous chapter we were talking about the opportunities in Affiliate Marketing. A good percentage of THAT business is in representing and promoting all of these information products we’re going to talk about now. So this is the other side of the industry. The “production” side if you will.
Now, when I talk about “Information Products”, it’s likely that the first things that come to your mind are eBooks. But that is hardly the limit of what we’re talking about. People are producing and selling information in the form of:
- reports (short 20-30 page eBooks)
- interview transcripts
- lists and directories
PLUS, there are also:
- VHS video tapes
- Web Templates
- Printed books and manuals
- Photograph collections
- Plans & building instructions
And the list goes on! You will find all of these products being created about every conceivable subject. In addition to covering big markets like “How to Sell on eBay”, there are products now available for all kinds of small niche interests (in fact these can be some of the most lucrative ideas, because the information is usually specialized and the competition is much more limited).
Here are just a few of the simple titles that we’ve come across online recently that are selling like gangbusters!
- “How to Make Headbands”
- “Baby Safety Tips: How to Keep Your Baby Safe”
- “Digital Photography Secrets”
- “The Truth About Building Muscle”
- “Pizza Recipes”
- “Video Chess Tutorial”
- “Recycling Gold, Silver & Platinum Scrap for Profit.”
- “Make Money in Swing Trading”
- “How to Make an Easy $6K-$10K / Month on eBay in FASHION!”
Just think about the benefits of choosing information as your product to sell:
- An information product can literally cost NOTHING to create. With a little work, for example, you can write an eBook or a report, or compile a list, or record an interview, and abracadabra … you have a product that can be sold over and over and over again.
- Most types of information product are (or can be converted into) digital format. As such they can be set up for instant download by the customer, and this can be completely automated so that you can be selling and delivering items even while you sleep, vacation, or just work your day job!
- There is no need for large product storage areas. If your information is digital, it is simply stored on the hard drive of your computer.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND INFORMATION PRODUCTS TO SELL?
You have TWO options here:
1. You can purchase products online that come with the rights for you to resell them.
This kind of product is available all over the internet. Google the search phrase “resale rights”, and have a look and see for yourself how many eBooks are available.
Now, there are several types of resale licenses available. Watch out for these terms:
- Resale Rights. You are licensed to resell the product to customers and keep the profits of all sales for yourself.
- Master Resale Rights. You are licensed to resell the product, AND to pass on resale rights to your customers. So they in turn can resell the product. (Reminder: You own the Master Resale Rights to this very eBook that you’re reading. See page 2 for license details.)
- Private Label Rights. You are licensed to edit the information yourself as you see fit. You can put it into different formats. After altering it, you can even put your own name on it as author. In other words, you have purchased the right to use the product as “source” material to create your own information product.
This leads us to consider your other option. Rather than only purchasing other people’s information products to sell, you can:
2. Create your own information product.
Now you might think that you don’t have the ability to produce your own information product. After all, you’re not a writer.
Hold on! There’s always more than one way to get a job done. Before you get all worried about creating the product, just take one step at a time. What you need to begin with is an idea for a topic that you think people might be interested in paying to have some good information about. So what are your own interests? Do you have a hobby, or a special skill that you’ve learned in your lifetime?
Start brainstorming about it for a while, and you’ll be amazed at how many topics might occur to you that you do have some knowledge of. Then you can think about how you’re going to turn that into a product. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired to write after all – just start making some notes, and see what happens. But there are other alternatives.
You can simply purchase an eBook with Private Label Rights (as I mentioned above), and use it as the basis for a new product. Make it your own by adding and editing, and then it’s your eBook. Or perhaps you could interview a well known expert in your chosen field. Simply record the interview and then have it transcribed – either type it up yourself, or pay a service to do it for you. Or you could have the recording itself prepared and edited for sale as a CD.
Another alternative is to hire a professional to take your idea and “ghostwrite” an eBook or report for you. It may cost you up to several hundred dollars, but if your idea is good and it has a market, these costs could be recouped quickly, and after that you will own the product and so all subsequent profits are yours. Did you know there are online entrepreneurs who are building a great business selling their own republished versions of old books and other materials that have now passed into the Public Domain.
Is that legal? Yes it is, providing you follow the rules. I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the basics of copyright law as it pertains to Public Domain properties, but this could provide you with some great opportunities.
HOW WILL YOU SELL YOUR INFORMATION PRODUCT?
Here’s where it gets exciting!
There are, in fact, several different business models you can use to make money with information products.