Discounts wreck your price integrity in consumers eyes as they start to lose respect/value for your prices over time. The negative effects impact you less if you:
- have tons of products (and only discounting some),
- regularly change your products (and discount “older” ones),
- or you discount products during launch but increase them after launch.
This is why it works when big retailers with many products or often-changing products can discount….but absolutely horrible and not recommended for a company with few products that stay the same (like APPLE).
As for throwing in more and more bonuses, I don’t like that idea too much either but it can work and still retain your premium pricing if the added value is just enough to feel like added value but not so much that it feels like you’re throwing products away to get sales (desperation).
Discounting to increase sales might work the first couple times but soon afterwards customers stop buying (losing respect for regular prices) and just wait for the next sale. If you’re gonna promote, promote features and value, not discounts!
Finding a good coder can take a ton of time and money.
The problem is not so much about getting the job done but finding a good coder. For the first job you ever post…always offer based on a fixed price. Over time after you’ve tried out many different coders. Just come back to the same one….and pay him his hourly rate…but have him give you an estimate number of hours beforehand. That way he feels free to get compensated for doing a quality job but he suffers if he ends up going over his own estimate.
In my opinion…this has been the best way to do it. I’ve used the same programmer for years and so glad that he does incredible work for a reasonable rate and the business side of our relationship is always smooth.
After getting bombarded by mentorship requests from people sending me PM’s asking for help like the one below:
My name is Billy and I’ve yet to to find success online but I know a lot about IM. I need a mentor to help me. I am willing to learn and start working and making money ASAP.
- And right off the bat, I want to ask, “Billy, you say you haven’t succeeded yet and that you already know a lot…can you tell me what you’ve tried so far?”
- I’m practically expecting him to say something along the lines of that he’s read a lot of IM blogs, bought some WSO’s, spent lots of time on WF, built one blog and kept it up for 6 months, before quitting. And if so…I’ll have to say that’s less than 1% of effort of the successful guys on here.
Let me just say this:
1. It’s very hard for me or anyone to mentor you if you have nothing to show for all the “knowledge” that you’ve acquired. We don’t know where you are, what your strengths or weaknesses are. We don’t know how to help you or even where to begin with. It’s not our job to build from scratch for you. You have to do it yourself and then we give you feedback along the way. If you haven’t actually done anything yet (regardless of how much information you’ve already read/learned)… then you’re basically on the same level as a guy who started yesterday. You’re basically at point zero.
2. If you’re not even currently working on your IM idea, then it would be foolish of me to invest any of my own time into your idea…and thus be spending more time executing on it than even you are doing. And to do that for free (without any commitment cost in time/money from your part)…not good for any mentor.
3. The very mentors who are excited to help you for free….will be excited because they see that you’re already well on your way to success and their reward is that they get to be a part of it. So if you want to motivate people to work with you, you have to give them something to be excited about…something to be a part of. Most mentors will not want to work with someone who has nothing…not because they don’t want to help you…but because they don’t see the point in committing to someone who hasn’t committed to themselves yet.
4. It’s very hard for me to help you if you don’t know what you want to do. There are a million ways to make money out there and I’m only experienced in very few. Unless you know for sure that you want to copy what I’m doing, it’s not a good idea for you to ask for my help when you’re starting from scratch. The hardest part is to figure out what you want to do. And once you figure that out, you can start your process and the mentors will give you guidance and feedback along the way.
5. Mentors (aka successful people) are very cautious of people who want shit for free. There’s a difference between a guy who’s been trying different things and only needs a few tips. Versus a guy who basically hasn’t done anything but wants you to teach him every step of the way. It’s ok if you’re lost and confused…but you need to have done something. Saying: “I’ve started these 15 sites and none of them made any money.” is a great way to start a conversation. Saying: “I have big goals and want to make a lot of money within X number of months but I haven’t started yet.” makes you sound like you’re not serious enough to commit and gamble off your own investment (time/money).
Adsense is the WORST WAY to monetize your website. I’ve used Adsense for years (and still do on my less-developed websites) and also sell my own products.
Adsense is by far the WORST OPTION in terms of monetizing a website. Of all the banner ads you could place on your site, Adsense might be the highest paying one but overall, banner ads are an ineffective way to make money.
The same traffic that makes $200 off adsense could have easily brought you $3,000-5,000 in product sales. I’m dead serious. Think about it….Google’s Adsense commissions are based on what the keywords are worth. The more valuable the content and visitor (meaning the more likely they are about to buy), the more commission you get. Which means Google is taking a cut out of the money you would have gotten yourself had sold something yourself.
Now if you’re too busy and don’t have time to make your own product, I suggest you become an Amazon affiliate and post up products with your referral codes. I would also suggest becoming a Clickbank affiliate as well. Those would be better than using Adsense. But yes, Adsense is better than nothing.
The first breakthrough is creating an online presence where you don’t have to spend all your efforts getting regular traffic (creating content, advertising, self-promotion). It can be on a website (SEO), social media (VIRAL CONTENT), or Youtube (SUBSCRIBERS). For me the best way is to have such great content that it sells itself and gets shared on its own.
Once you get regular traffic, you can stop spending time trying to get people onto your site and start spending time creating products for them to buy. The other benefit is that a site that is good enough to generate views on its own will most likely do a better job at selling products than one where you spend so much time/effort/money to get people on the site and then only have one chance at selling them your product.
Learn how to create relationships with your visitors. If all you’re looking for is customers, that’s freaken hard.
Should you be an affiliate or sell your own product?
- Being that I have my own product and make a nice bit of coin on it, I can tell you it’s SOOOOO worth the effort to make your own stuff. I can bet you all the other product-creators never regretted making the effort to sell their own stuff. You keep so much of the product revenue and make so much more money.
It also depends on how much money you want to make.
- Making $1,000 – selling an affiliate product is easier than your own.
- Making $10,000 – selling your own product is easier than an affiliates.
- Making $100,000 & up – I can’t see you making this much money selling an affiliate product. You’d have to sell many times as much revenue to take only a small chunk. So not worth it. And the effort you spent to be successful could as easily been spent to succeed with your own product.
If you want to make serious money, sell your own stuff. It’s that simple. And then let the affiliates work for you. 🙂
It’s really hard. Because there are so many things you have to do before you can sell to people. It’s because you have no credibility.
If Michael Jordan asks you to buy a pair of shoes, you do it. But if Joe Schmoe asks you to buy shoes, you say BUT WHY?!
If you keep telling people to buy and nobody does it, it’s probably because A) the product doesn’t help them, or B) they don’t trust you or trust that the product will help them.
And if you want people to trust you to help them, you need to start helping them in the first place. The first thing is you should be doing is helping people. Teaching, sharing, contributing, HELPING! If all you’re trying to do is sell, sell, sell, don’t be surprised if they don’t buy.
Your website should be helping them 90% of the time. And why? Well…because if you’re like most people, you have no credibility and no authority on the subject.
And so that’s why you have to spend so much time helping people. It’s the easiest and fastest way to build credibility. Whatever they need, whatever they want, give to them. Help them. And then when it comes time to sell, you have a much easier time. And in fact, you won’t have to sell at all…because they’ll be begging to buy from you! All the people you’ve helped will say, “Who do you recommend? Can you do this for me? I’d rather buy it from because I trust!”
Stop building sales-funnels and start building help-funnels. The more you can help people WITHOUT having to ask them for money, the faster you build your credibility.
Hahaha, I remember my first 3 months. I thought it would be easy to….
- sell stuff online — NOPE (nobody buys from you unless they know you…even if you’re way cheaper)
- become an affiliate — NOPE (nobody buys from you unless they know you)
- make money off Adsense — NOPE (I never made more than $50/month)
I gave up and started a REAL business…one with a valuable service/product…one with real customers. One that required daily interactions with other people and constant work to ensure everyone is happy (employees & customers). And then using that knowledge, I was able to become successful when I tried making money online again.
This is MY most simple and foolproof way to plan and create an online money-making machine. If you can do this, you WILL make money. I guarantee it, I’ll bet you all my life savings on it. Do what I say and you will make money with your blog. HAHAHA!
1. Start a niche blog using WordPress!
- preferably a niche where there is a high demand
- also a niche where you KNOW FOR SURE that people are willing to spend money
- a niche that YOU would spend money in (think of all the times you were cheap and what did you finally buy? be in THAT niche)
- make a simple site. NO ADS, NO ADSENSE.
- make sure your site uses SEO-friendly URL’s
2. Research your niche carefully!
- look up popular websites, other blogs, forums
- look up popular youtube channels
- for up popular social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter) in your niche
- find out what is popular, what people are buying, what problems people have, etc
3. Come up with 10 helpful super-informative post idea to serve your niche!
- It’s even better if you can come up with 20 titles first
- Don’t start writing anything yet, just come up with the titles for now
4. Research all the most commonly used keywords in your niche
- use Google Trends, Adwords Tools, Youtube Keyword (all free)
- if you don’t know how to do keyword research, look it up
5. Start writing your 10 or 20 super-informative posts!
- put the keywords into the title and body content (don’t over-do it!)
- release each post as you finish
- share casually on other websites, community pages, etc (the links better be so damn good that it goes viral without you having to spam everyone)
- Try to have all the posts fit into 3 or 4 categories at most. (the names of the categories should use the most common keywords in your niche)
- Your website goal is not to be super complete and comprehensive but only to solve people’s most critical issues. (your website will appear more useful to readers if you focus it this way!)
- Answer people’s comments right away
6. Start thinking of ideas for an ebook
- see what others are selling and what’s popular
- get your ideas from the feedback you get
- ask yourself what would YOU buy?
7. Write your ebook
- Make it solve problems for people.
- It doesn’t have to be the best designed or best written ebook ever made. (It will take forever if you try to be perfect.)
- Write only 50-100 pages at most.
8. Promote your ebook on your website and other websites
- promoting it on your website can be as simple as post a banner on the top right side.
- make a simple sales page with a soft sell. don’t try to list 100 bullet points of features.
- The ebook WILL sell if you’ve created the super-informative posts earlier. As those will sell your ebook for you.
9. Recycle the money you get into your website design
- once you make $200-300, then recycle it into a website design
- you can find designers on elance or odesk
- get a new logo
10. Start building your community
- put more attention on your facebook page
- be active on other websites that are related to your niche
20 posts & 1 ebook. That’s all it is. It can’t take you more than 3 months if you do nothing but this.
If you do anything more than that, you’re likely to get distracted and never finish. The sooner you follow this routine, the sooner you’ll make money. I wish I could write more to make this sound comprehensive but I don’t. The reason why 99% of internet marketers never make any money is because they focus a lot of time on all the things that don’t matter and ignore the things that do matter.
Later on, you’ll find out why this formula works so well.
Shit that doesn’t matter that much in the beginning:
- Marketing (Logo/domain name) – nobody cares as long as you give them what they want
- Professional appearance (writing skills/design) – nobody cares as long as you give them what they want
Some people haven’t decided between the two as a source of income. Here are some comparisons you can make for ebooks vs videos:
+ cheaper faster to make
+ can seem more valuable and personal to prospective buyers
+ can be edited to make a highlight reel
– require costly cameras, videos, lighting equipment to look professional
– harder to send to your customer whether online or offline (files are big, hosting space, transfer rates, etc)
+ doesn’t require special tools to make (just a computer)
+ can be distributed through many places (your website, amazon, etc)
+ can be rehashed and re-labelled to sell under different titles
+ can be translated to other languages easily
+ can seem more valuable (100 page ebook feels like it has more information than a 60-minute video)
+ doesn’t require you to be a good speaker or comfortable on camera
+ can be outsourced since nobody knows if it’s you who wrote it or not
– takes far more time (writing, editing, also layout if you want it to look really professional)
– can be inefficient for explaining certain types of information
Personally I would recommend for you to do both as it offers all kinds of value for your buyers.