Day 1: Creating the report/e-book and squeeze page
So the first thing you need to do in order to start building a list is to create a free report/e-book to give away and a squeeze page to give it away on.
First of all, you need to create a report with useful information to the subscriber. Of course you can create an audio or video gift as well, but a report is often the easiest to get started with.
Step 1: Discover what your potential leads want
To discover what people want, watch what they are already buying. People will most likely seize the opportunity to get free information on something they are already paying for.
Make sure that when you make the report, you focus it on the product you are trying to market and make sure the information is actually useful but not complete unless the subscribers buy the affiliate product you are promoting.
Reviewing the information from the product’s table of contents or sales letter is a good method of selecting material for your report.
Just make sure the material you select is information you know your leads will want to have (and are willing to pay for). Remember, your prior research on what people are already buying (via monitoring social sites and forums) should help you in your material selection.
Use one of the following methods to write your report:
Partially explain how to do something, but don’t give out all the details.
Here are a couple of examples:
You give incomplete information on how to create something by not giving significant details on what to do in the individual steps.
You give a brief how-to on how to do something but leave out information on some of the steps (and leave out useful diagrams or images).
Give significant details on one part, but leave the rest of the information to be discovered by buying the product.
Here are a couple of examples:
Giving troubleshooting suggestions without actually showing how to really solve anything, which means the subscriber has to purchase the product to find out more information.
You provide beginning information to the subscriber but leave out the remainder of the information, which will encourage them to buy the product to have the rest of the information.
Give brief suggestions without all the significant supporting information.
So you could create a report about your product with just enough tips and suggestions included to make people want to find out more information.
Once you have a general idea on your niche or the general product direction. It is time to dream up of a nice name and create your domain with it.
I recommend Bluehost for affordable and reliable hosting.
Step 2: Outline the Product
You must next outline your product to help organize your ideas.
The size of your report (roughly between 2000 and 4000 words) will depend largely upon what you are writing about and how much information (or I should say how little) you think you need to give out that will spark enough interest in your leads to pursue a purchase.
Your outline will be simple. Just have an introduction and conclusion, and let the body points of the outline become the tips or steps you want to share. If you’re only doing a portion of a process, then make a note of which ideas you will keep and which ideas you will leave out.
it helps keep you on track, you can even assign approximate word counts to each section. For instance, you picked three main sections for your outline, and you want to make your word count no more than 4000 words. You can assign 1200 words to each main section and save up to 200 words for both the introduction and the conclusion.
Step 3: Time to write that report
Now that you’ve spent the morning researching for your report, it’s time to actually write out the real report, which won’t take too much time if you stay on task and don’t procrastinate. However, if you’re pressed for time or just don’t want to write the report yourself, you can always hire a freelance ghostwriter from Odesk.com, Elance.com, or Fiverr.com to write it for you.
Also, make sure to add a promotional pitch for what you’re selling towards the conclusion of the report (this can also be done during the introduction or body of the report if appropriate).
Here’s an example of how to promote your offer at the end of your free report:
“After reading the report, “Five Tricks to Becoming a Master Golfer,” you tapped into some knowledge that only begins to explain the process of how to master your golf swing.
In order to really enhance your golf skills and play like a real pro, you need to discover one of the best kept secrets in the world of golf, [Include name of product here.], by going to [Insert link here.] right now!
If you act within the next 24 hours, you can get the bonus report [Insert name of report here.] at no additional cost!
Click here for more details before this offer runs out!”
Use a PDF converter to convert the report to PDF, and upload the completed report to your website.
Once you’ve got your report done, it’s time to move on to creating your squeeze page. Basically, your squeeze page exists to entice your visitors to signup to your list so they can receive your free report.
Some people tend to overcomplicate this step and really mess it all up. The key to a successful squeeze page is to keep it simple. There are really only three essential components of a squeeze page:
- Headline: Bold and centered text highlighting your free report
“Free Report Reveals How To Reverse The Effects Of Aging!”
“Not Certain if it’s Time to Buy a New Car Engine? This Free Report Will Help You Discover The Most Common Signs of Needing To Replace Your Car’s Engine!”
“Newly Discovered! Free Report Shows the Three Ways to End Your Weight Loss Plateau!
- Call to Action: What is it that you want your visitors to do?
Obviously the main action you want visitors to take is to signup to your email list, so tell them exactly what to do.
Tell them to, “Enter your email in the form below to gain free instant access!”
That’s it. Just tell them to enter their email so they can receive your free report.
- Optin Form: Make it easy for people to signup to your list
We’ll go through how to do this later when we cover autoresponders, but basically the optin form is where people will enter their emails and click on the submit button to join your list.
Make sure it is clearly presented and easy for people to signup.
So let’s recap quickly.
Day one’s goal is to create the report and squeeze page by writing them yourself or allowing a freelancer or ghostwriter to do it. Once these are complete, you can start day two’s tasks.
Day 2: Make Your Offer look Valuable yet providing Value
Since you are marketing an affiliate offer, you’re going to be facing a fair amount of competition from other affiliates. Your task is to convince people why they should purchase what you’re offering versus what your competitors are offering.
The sole purpose of creating a list of interested subscribers is to help you establish a relationship with potential buyers so you are able to stand out when being compared to other affiliates offering the same product.
The rationale behind this is most people choose to purchase from people they trust than from a person they don’t know.
When the relationship you have with your subscribers is not enough, then it’s time to highlight what makes your product more valuable than similar or identical products others are offering.
You do this by providing your list with bonuses for buying through your link.
So for example, you could offer a free recipe book on smoothies to someone who bought a book on meal replacement dieting, or offer 24 hour customer support on a software program you are promoting.
That way, you will convince your leads that purchasing the affiliate product from you is more beneficial because of the extra bonus material you provide.
All you need to do to create your bonus is to use the same research information you used on Day 1 to create your report and choose another relevant subject to write on.
Once you’re finished with the bonus report, you are ready for day three.
Day 3: Time to Setup Your Autoresponder
So by now you should have:
- A free report you give to people who signup to your list
- A squeeze page inviting people to join your email list
- A bonus report for people who buy an affiliate offer through your link
Now, you need something to manage your list and help you build a relationship with your subscribers. That’s where setting up an autoresponder comes in.
Step 1: Get an Autoresponder
There are two primary ways to manage your email lists– running your own setup on your website or buying a third party program to manage your list for you. Third party programs tend to be better because they are more likely to ensure your email messages won’t fall in people’s email spam folder and will go into their inbox instead.
All of these are good services to start with, so go with one of them.
Review the help section to get everything you need to set up your account – Keep these instructions handy in case you need to refer to them later.
Pay close attention to the instructions on how to copy and paste your email subscription code to your squeeze page.
Now paste your code to your squeeze page so that the email subscription form is now visible on the page.
Now, you’re ready to create your first email series
Step 2: Writing Your First Email Series
Once the autoresponder is in place, you can upload your first set of emails.
The primary purpose of the emails is to market your product, but you will be accomplishing this through relationship-building emails that will provide subscribers with useful content while showing them the value of purchasing from your affiliate link.
Only a fourth of your email should be tailored to the actual marketing of the product. The rest should be useful information or tidbits.
Determine how long your series needs to be.
Studies show that people are more likely to respond to you after about seven contacts. This means your autoresponder series should be between 7-12 emails.
The time period you want to send these emails out is up to you. You can have them going out every day or during a course of weeks, months, or have them linger on for an entire year so that the emails are going out without you having to manually run it.
Material spanning longer periods of time (like months or a year’s worth of material) needs to be material that is considered timeless and is always relevant regardless of what time frame we live in.
You can take the time today to create the minimum number of email messages needed to kickstart your autoresponder. Or, you can choose to write some of them now, and spend the next couple of days writing the rest of the emails until you reach your intended goal for the entire series.
You will need to make sure the first three or four messages are sent out daily if your goal is to make a sale within one week.
Here’s a sample setup for a 7-message series:
Email 1: Mailed as soon as subscribers joins
Email 2: Mailed a day later.
Email 3: Mailed a day later.
Email 4: Mailed a day later.
Email 5: Mailed two days later.
Email 6: Mailed two days later.
Email 7: Mailed three days later.
Use the research material you collected when you created your free report as a guideline for writing your autoresponder emails.
This will ensure that people will like what you’re putting in your messages; if they appreciated your report, then they will respond to your email messages, too, which in turn will translate into them liking the product you’re promoting.
If you’re wondering why you need to send a free report and would prefer to just send the autoresponder messages instead, then take into consideration your overall purpose: to market your product. If you eliminate the free report, then you eliminate another valuable opportunity to market your product. Also, think about those leads who may potentially share their report with others not a part of your list. This means the door could be open for even more leads.
It is to your advantage to utilize every selling opportunity available.
Here are some suggestions for what type of material you can use for your autoresponder.
Selling a diet product: You are giving free information on 3 ways to keep losing weight once you hit a plateau in your regular dieting program. You can discuss each way over the course of the autoresponder series. Try introducing them during the first email and take 2 days a piece to discuss each way—totaling 7 days.
Selling a product on better business communication tools: You are giving free information on writing better thank you letters. You can discuss different thank you letters for different purposes each day.
Always make sure your autoresponder series is highly relevant to the type of product you’re marketing or else it would be pointless to market a product not related to what you’re talking about.
Where can you insert your marketing pitch in the autoresponder emails?
At the beginning:
Example: “Today you’ll discover 3 ways to offset the weight loss plateau. But first, let me tell you about [Insert product pitch here.].”
At the end:
Example: “I hope you enjoyed today’s strategy. But before you do anything else, why don’t you take a few seconds to look at this: [Insert link here.]This information will give you detailed methods and insider tips on exactly how to maximize the anti-plateauing strategies we are talking about.”
In the P.S.:
Example: P.S. Have you taken a look at [Insert name of product here.]? If you haven’t, check it out now to get insider tips on maximizing the anti-plateauing strategies we’re talking about!
You can also opt to provide a preliminary selling page to inspire your leads with a product overview and bonus offer to those who will use the link to purchase the product.
Another approach is to create a preliminary selling page right inside the initial email in which you take time to discuss the product’s overall benefits (and any bonuses you choose to offer) to your subscribers.
The next task is to begin getting your squeeze page out there to automate your marketing plan! You will learn to do this by exposing your squeeze page to as many people as you can in the next day’s steps.
Day 4: Promoting Your Squeeze Page
Today’s strategies will help you build your list quickly and easily.
Tell People You Already Know
These are the people who already know you and will more than likely be amongst your first customers, which is why they should be the first people you show your
squeeze page to.
Incorporate as many strategies as you can to get your information in front of what is considered a “warm” audience:
Email your friends and family about your report, and have them share the links with other people they know.
Share your report with your social media friends (Twitter.com, Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, and Ning.com).
Create a blog promoting the free report.
Use your forum and email signature to share a link to the squeeze page.
Inform your existing lead list about your report.
In each one of these scenarios, always remind people to repost your messages or just share the link with their contacts.
Promote Your Squeeze Page On Related Sites
Find several blogs, and forums where you can comment and contribute so you can gain a following in your niche.
Most times you will also be able to create a signature where you can link back to your squeeze page, so every time someone reads your posts or comments, they can also click through to your squeeze page as well.
Day 5: Start Doing Ad Swaps
Day 5 can be a repeat of Day 4 activities where you promote your squeeze page on various social media platforms, on blogs and forums, but you can also do this next task: locate several ad swap partners.
All you need to do is find someone who’s involved with your niche and set up an agreement to exchange ads, which will allow you to promote their material to your subscribers while they promote yours to theirs. Both parties will benefit from this agreement because it will allow each of you to increase your list size. The bigger you become, the bigger exposure you’ll get from ad swapping with bigger marketers in your niche.
Two methods for discovering ad swap partners:
- Put it out there in an ad that you’re open for doing ad swaps. You can use WarriorForum.com to submit your ad under their “Joint Venture” subforum. Also, you might want to spend some time and search through ads already posted to see if someone in a similar marketing niche is soliciting for ad swaps.
- Join Safe-Swaps.com and get in touch with potential swap partners. You’re going to see there are 100s of people looking to swap in order to build their lists, and the great thing about this site is you can see testimonials for people so you know if they have a good list or not.
If you don’t find any potential swap partners in your niche, you might need to find them by asking people who are members of forums you network with which newsletters they read. Also post on your social media sites and your personal blog the desire to have an ad swap partner.
You can also just Google it and use this formula for your keyword search: [name of your niche] plus “ezine” or “newsletter.”
Example: “Organic housecleaning newsletter” or “Organic housecleaning ezine.”
Once you find several newsletters in your niche, just signup to those lists yourself and contact the owners about setting up an ad swap.
After securing your ad swap list, personally email them with an explanation of how you want to do the swap.
Here’s a template you can use…
Subject: [Name], I have a personal offer just for you…
Dear [First Name],
Would you like to have a list of [name of niche] subscribers who would love to become a part of your list?
My name is [your name] and I’m responsible for operating [web link/name] site and newsletter. I thought it would be nice if we could increase our subscriber lists by doing an ad swap since we both have an audience in the same niche. This means I’ll post your ad to my list in return for you posting my ad to yours.
This proposal is mutually beneficial because it allows us both to increase our lists and potential sales at no cost! All it requires is a few minutes of your time to take advantage of this offer.
If this sounds like a good offer for you, please let me know so we can discuss the particulars. I eagerly await your response!
P.S. If you want, I can have your ad in circulation within 24 hours if you want to send an ad now.
Day 6: Distributing Your Content
Day six should begin as a continuation of marketing your squeeze page using Day five’s strategies.
What you could also do is distribute content to other blogs and related websites.
Below is a list of recommended article directories:
These article directories will generate website traffic in 3 significant ways:
They promote indirect traffic. When you place a link back to your site at the end of each article, you are helping with your overall SEO, which will help your site rank higher in the search results. You can use Google Keyword Planner to help you come up with the right keywords to place into your articles (at least 3 times per 100 words).
They promote traffic from within the article network. It’s possible for visitors to these sites to enjoy reading your article and want to click on your link to see what else you have to offer. This happens a lot in directories like Squidoo.com and HubPages.com, which tend to be more community-friendly.
They promote traffic when they get shared or reposted. You can enjoy reaching an even wider audience when your selected directories allow other newsletters and blogs to share your material.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing your articles.
- Have a savvy title. Use your knowledge of making sales letter headlines to craft your title.
- Make sure the article’s content is closely related to your affiliate product. Your goal is to attract people who are interested in your niche. So you want to make sure your articles attract the same type of people who would want to buy what you’re selling.
- Making your articles closely related to your free report is an excellent way to make sure the article’s content attracts the right audience. Then, all you have to do from there is direct people to your squeeze page for more details.
- For the most simple way to create articles, just allow parts of the report to become independent articles with their own introduction and conclusion. If you need to add more information to satisfy a word count limit, then do so.
- Use your byline to market your squeeze page. Your byline is one of the few spots where you will have permission to promote yourself when submitting articles. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have a pitch added that promotes your free report.Here’s an example: “Want to see how to really make weight loss techniques work even when you plateau? Click here for an exclusive report—at no cost!”
You can also search for blogs in your niche that allow guest posts. This is a great way to get your content directly in front of people who are interested in what you have to offer.
If you make use of all you’ve learned thus far, you should be well on your way to making a sale (if you haven’t already landed your first customer)!
Now, you have a sound system of securing your first sale within the next 6 days.
Now, let’s do a checklist of how this program works:
Day 1: Creating The Report and Squeeze Page. This was where you did the research to start building your list of subscribers
Day 2: Make Your Offer Look Valuable. This was where you learned how to set yourself apart from the other competing affiliates to generate more leads.
Day 3: Time To Setup Your Autoresponder. This was where you established a relationship with your leads while securing a sale.
Day 4 and beyond: Marketing The Squeeze Page. This was where you employed a variety of techniques to gain as many leads as you could to generate sales!
Use this basic technique and add your own twist to it. Make it unique to yourself and bank in.
If you apply all of the above strategies, you will have success in automating your business to make money even when you sleep, but of course, you will need to put in lots of hard work.
However, you won’t have the successful business you envisioned if you’re just sitting there waiting on something to happen.
You can take this opportunity to make this work for you now. Build on your online income strategy and you too can be one of those happy affiliates receiving near passive income.