Traffic, Traffic, Wherefore Art Thou Traffic?

Internet marketing and money making traffic generation has taken another beating by Splork as he lifts the lid on traffic generation for making money telling it like it is right here: Sewage Islands in the Stream. I was going to write all this as a comment in his blog, but hey, content is expensive when I write it so I’d rather have it here in my own blog. Splork gets a useful link instead.

If you’ve just headed off over there and been courteous enough to actually come back, then here’s my take on this way of thinking.

With regards to generating traffic and monetizing it, the old adage of “throw enough shit at the walls and some of it will stick” actually works. But Google is just one wall. A big one I will grant you, but there are other walls sitting there right in front of you all but its amazing how many people are ignoring them, while concentrating totally on Google.

Yahoo and Bing are fun to mess with cause they count all those itty bitty nofollow links that Google ignores (most of the time but not all of the time). Bing traffic converts way better than anything else, cause most people that use it do so cause it came pre-loaded with their dinky new netbooks thanks to rich uncle Bill cornering the pre-loaded OS market (okay, mac users… oh who cares, there’s only 2 of them anyway). This is pretty common knowledge anyway.

But Splork went too far. Look what he’s done now, telling his 8 readers about Hubsquid traffic! Dammit now they’ll all go out (at least 5% of them will, anyway) and spam the hubsquids to kingdom come and we’ll all suffer. Damn him for letting the cat out of the bag! Can no one keep their big mouth shut on this Interpleb? Is nothing sacred?

For God’s sake don’t let on about how profitable spending 10 hours a day in the Warriors forum really is or they’ll all veer off in that direction like a shoal of demented minnows. And then they’ll ALL start spending their time making WSOs and Google will hate Slpork for taking all the marketers out of its index and leaving nothing for its algo-tinkerers to do. But the aftershocks will be worse…

There will be wholesale job losses and a flood of brainy people joining the ranks of the unemployed… then they’ll all start reading Warriors and learn how to get rich quick making… WSOs… the self fulfilling prophecy cometh and the world will end in 2012 cause Google will implode and the entire surface of the earth will be dragged into the vortex it created…

Man, drinking too much coffee and writing in blogs is a dangerous mix…

The long and the short of it that you can monetize any traffic, although you’ll have a tougher time squeezing any out of social traffic from the likes of twitter, facebook etc. but you can make a little and if you can generate enough traffic from those sources, a little can turn into a little more. The main source of monetizable traffic remains the targeted organic search traffic that comes mainly from Google but also from Yahoo and Bing as well as the lesser search engines. Social Hubbers and Squidoo folk may follow links in your mini site pages and find your main site and a few of them might even be enticed to click a link or buy an affiliate product, as long as its a real one (I mean something that Amazon et al would sell and not some junk ebook from clickbank).

But that’s as much as I’m saying here, cause I’m not giving away everything I know with regards to making money online. At least not the stuff that works right now. Once it gets to be common knowledge, its effectiveness will have died and then I’ll probably write about it, just like the other clever chappies who drip feed their loyal followers some of what they know every once in a while. It keeps people interested and gives them something to try, then come back for more.

There’s more to all this than meets the eye, that’s for sure.

List Building and Autoresponders

Following on from my last post Make Money or Save Money?, where I looked at several honest methods of making money by actually saving money ( you have to read it!), I’m going to turn my attention back to one of the oldest and still most successful ways of making money online.

List building and doing it using the favourite tool of the Internet Marketer, the autoresponder.

We’ve come a long way in the last year or two in the general mode of thinking when it comes to list building. It is something that has been around for a very long time and will probably still be around after all the current fad make money techniques and search engine subterfuge have died away.

The reason that “the list” is where the money always was and still very much is, boils down to one major fact of life. Trust.

If you are trusted, then people are more likely to buy something from you or something you recommend than from someone they don’t trust. Trust has to be earned and one sure-fire way to earn people’s trust is to keep in contact with them and prove to them that what you are selling or recommending is giving them true value. People hate to be ripped off, but the flipside of the coin is they love to be shown respect and honesty. The honest Internet Marketer who can prove their integrity and honesty to a wide group of people gains their respect and will be seen as someone who deserves their loyalty and trust.

Many Internet Marketers who fall over and blow it are the ones who build up a huge list then rip the people on that list off by selling them crap, or trying to sell them too much too soon. Greed is the common denominator in many an Internet Marketer’s downfall.

So where does that leave someone who wants to be successful, make a lot of money the honest way and keep doing it if they can’t sell a ton of products to their list constantly and often?

Well, it means using the benefits of having a large list to make money but not being so greedy and hasty as to go at it too quickly and with products that are not 100% value for money. By all means build as large a list as you can and give them plenty of free stuff. Everyone loves something for nothing and the more free stuff you can give away to your list that has value for them (even though its free) the more the people on that list will trust you. If, every once in a while you throw in something that your list will have to pay for, as long as you explain how it will benefit them and give them more value than the money they would spend on buying it, then you should be ok and will not alienate anyone from your list.

Be honest and tell them if there are any aspects of the product you want to sell them that might detract from its value to them. Or highlight specific areas that the product will help them and those that will not help them. If they know exactly what they will be paying for before they open their wallets, there is much less chance they will be asking for a refund a few days later and sending you an unsubscribe email!

So this then leads me on to how to build your list.

The most important aspect of building a list is having a good autoresponder. An autoresponder is a software package that enables you to harvest the email address of anyone who opts-in to your free giveaway or promotion package and then sends them whatever emails are necessary for them to download your freebie as well as generating a series of follow-up emails as you define over a period of time.

By using a good autoresponder, you circumvent the possibility of being accused of sending spam emails. That’s because firstly, the person willingly gave you their email address and secondly, the subsequent emails send out contain an “unsubscribe” link should they wish to opt-out and no longer wish to receive any further emails from you. This is infinitely better than using your own host’s autoresponder service. That’s because any accusations of spam activity must be investigated by your host which could mean your account being suspended for the duration of the investigation. Meaning all your sites go down for an unspecified length of time. Which could be disastrous for your business.

So where do you get a good autoresponder?

Well, there are several good ones on the market of which some are free and some must be paid for. It stands to reason that the autoresponders that are paid for are going to be better in many ways to the free ones. They will contain several important features not available on free autoresponders and will be much more robust and reliable. One such offering comes from iContact Email Marketing. iContact is a simple to use email marketing, surveying, autoresponder and blogging tool. It allows small businesses, non-profit organisations and associations to communicate easily online with their customers, prospects and members. Its worth checking out as their monthly rates are highly competitive and the additional services that come with the package are substantial.

Of course its a matter of personal choice and there are other autoresponders around, so the honest way recommendation, as always, is to look at all of the available choices and weigh up the pros and cons before deciding upon which is best for your business.

Remember, once you’ve built up a solid list of email subscribers, you don’t need to keep trying to sell them stuff, otherwise you’re just using them as milking cows and people will not tolerate being treated as such. So there are lots of other ways to make use of your list while keeping in friendly contact on a reasonably regular basis. There are always free offers that you can direct their attention to – as long as you have checked them out yourself first and are happy they are not thinly veiled opt-ins for scams.

You can also direct their attention to other money making possibilities that you have affiliate links to, such as online writing sites like Constant Content that will pay them for selling their articles, or online job offers from legitimate companies.

Just as long as everything you recommend to your list is honest and trustworthy, you’ll keep the people already there while continuing to nurture it as it grows. From which you will make money, honest!

Terry Didcott
The Honest Way