Interview with Corey Rudl - one of the best Internet business marketing experts.

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Interview with Corey Rudl:
The Secrets of an Internet Millionaire (Part 3)

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So simply attracting lots of general traffic isn't necessarily a good thing?

General traffic is fine, but traffic targeted to your specific niche market is much, MUCH better. In my experience, finding a niche and selling to it is the single easiest route to profitability online. If you are trying to sell books or CDs online, forget it -- will crush you. Those markets are gone.

However, if you target your market to a specific interest -- say gardening, hunting, cars, or whatever -- it's easy to find people online with an interest in those things. All you have to do is find what that market wants and give it to them. I have a lot of clients that make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year who just started their businesses a short time ago and almost all of them make their money by having specific products that go over well in a very targeted niche market.

Check out a newsletter I have called -- your readers have got to check this site out. It is cool because it shows how people that were in low-paying or dead-end jobs are now making it huge online now, working their own hours and making profits they couldn't even dream of before. We interview 2 new people every month that are making between $30,000 and $2 million in profit online each year.

Check out the site and you'll see what I mean. You can learn so much by reading about how they started their businesses from scratch not too long ago and made them successful by targeting a specific niche market. For example, one interviewee makes over $1,500 a day selling a plan to bald guys on how to regrow their hair. And another guy sells tools to make wire jewelry and makes $40,000 a month!

These products would be a flop if you sold them at a local storefront because the market in a local area is way too small to support them. But on the Internet, you have access to a global market that can support extremely obscure products and ideas… and be very profitable!

Corey, I wanted to ask you about search engines. How important are they to the marketing beginner?

When you are starting out on the Internet, search engines are a very cost-effective way to drive traffic to your site. But as your business grows, a good advertising campaign, joint venture, or affiliate program will outperform your search engine rankings every time -- guaranteed.

To start with, you have to make sure that people are actually looking for your product or service online. I hate to see people starting out on the Web who automatically put all of their time and resources into search engine submission when, in reality, their target market isn’t even looking for what they have to offer in the search engines.

If you want to find out if the search engines will be worth the effort, there are a few great services online that I show you in my course that will actually tell you approximately how many visitors you will get if you have a top ranking under your keywords in the major search engines.

I tell people to type five of their top keywords into one of these keyword popularity services and if your keywords are not getting more than at least 1,000 searches every single month, it is probably not worth your time.

Also, you should never make the mistake of relying on just the search engines to drive traffic to your site. Although they can be an extremely valuable source of traffic, they are constantly changing their rules. If you get into a situation where you rely solely on a couple of good rankings in the search engines for all of your traffic, and then one day the search engines drops your ranking, you could be out of business literally overnight. Believe me, I've seen it happen more than a few times.

Make sure you have multiple sources of traffic to your web site so that if you lose one, you are not out of business!

Pay-per-click search engines seem to be a great place to test market products on the 'Net.
What should people know about using a pay-per-click strategy for their site or product?

The pay-per-click search engines can be a great way to get traffic to your web site but, once again, only if your target market is actually looking for you in the search engines. They're great for testing your offer, testing your site, testing your price, even testing your product to see if it will work.

Success through the pay-per-click search engines is all about basic math. If the traffic they drive to your web site makes you more money than it costs to buy those clicks, then they are a great investment. Unfortunately, many beginners pay way too much for keywords, never actually calculate how much they can afford to spend, and end up losing lots of money.

I should also mention that you can't expect to enter a couple of your top keywords into the pay-per-click search engines and start making money -- that is very rare. To be successful, you need a list of at least 100 - 500 keywords and phrases. You can really make pay-per-click search engines pay off by bidding on lots of less popular keywords that are actually more targeted than general search terms.

For example, do a search for "mortgage" on the most popular pay-per-click search engine and you'll see that to get that top listing, you'd need to pay $7 per click. That's WAY too much. Instead, bid on lots of less popular terms like "discount mortgage" at $0.51 per click or "Internet mortgage" at $1.15 per click.

What is the most important thing someone needs to do when starting out with a marketing project?

Test, test, and then test again. Never stop testing everything. You want to test your advertising, styles, colors, etc. Test your offer, test your price, test different types of advertising. The key is to test small. If it works, apply it to everything you know.

Start small and test. It is pointless to spend all your cash on a huge ad campaign when you have not proven that your web site can sell a product. And you must be able to track what is going on with your web site. I'm shocked by how many people don’t know their "visitors-to-sales ratio" -- how many visitors you get daily compared to how many sales. If you don’t know this, how can you try different things to see what improves your sales?

Can you give an example of this?

Sure. Let's say that your site gets an average of 500 visitors a day and you sell an average of 5 products a day. Your "visitors-to-sales ratio" would be 100 to 1. (In other words, for every 100 visitors, you can expect to make 1 sale.)

Now that you know this, you can start testing different things. Let's say that you decide to test a new headline and find that you now sell one product for every 50 visitors to your site. You've just doubled the profit potential for your site! And you never would have known unless you had taken the time to track the activity at your site. I teach this in much more depth in my "Insider Secrets" course.

Listen to this: Back in the early days of marketing my "Car Secrets Revealed" book online, I decided to try out a couple of new slogans. I had a hunch that the one we had been using wasn't targeting the right people. Anyway, after a couple of days of testing, I discovered something that literally changed my life.

I had been marketing the book to car owners, assuming that most people who owned a car would be interested in the book. Well, one of the slogans was targeted towards people who were thinking of purchasing a new car, not to people who already owned one. I just about hit the floor when I saw the results from the test on that slogan! Our sales had literally increased 400% overnight!

If I hadn't always been testing things, even back in the early days, I would never have realized this. That's the power of testing. It has allowed me to build an incredibly successful business.

Based on your experience, testing probably thousands of different strategies, what are the two most powerful ways to market your business on the Internet?

The answer is very simple... affiliate programs and opt-in e-mail marketing.

First off, affiliate programs are the single most cost-effective, least risky way to do business on the 'Net. Affiliate programs are like having an army of joint venture partners out there working for you twenty-four hours a day.

With an affiliate program, it's easy to recruit hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people to promote your product, and you do not pay them a penny unless they make you money! I started one of the very first affiliate programs on the Internet, even before, and I currently have over 60,000 affiliates, so I'm speaking from experience here.

For those who don’t know what an affiliate program is, this is how it works: Basically, you get other sites that share your target audience to link to you. Those links are tracked by special software so that if anyone clicks through the link and buys your product, you give a commission to the referring site.

The great thing about affiliate programs is that they are pure profit machines. Because you only pay your affiliates when they send you a visitor who actually buys something, it's literally impossible to lose money! Even if they drive 10,000 visitors to your site, you don't pay them a dime unless someone buys.

That sounds great. But managing a large affiliate program is a huge job, isn't it?

Continue to part 4

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