Link Building For Newbies!

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Aug
10

Why Build a List?

Pretty soon into your internet marketing career you come across the saying that “the money is in the list.” It refers to the fact that perhaps THE single most important thing you can be doing w hilst you build your online business is building an email mailing list of subscribers who are interested in whatever niche you are operating in. When you start to think about it it’s easy to see why having a mailing list is so important… It is often said that the single biggest cost in a business is acquiring new customers. Finding people to buy your products is DAMN hard, time consuming and can cost a lot of money. It makes little sense therefore to go to all that time, effort and expense, only to sell o ne thing to them and then never deal with them again. If you have an email mailing list you can sell to those people again and again. By communicating with them on a regular basis you will over time build a relationship with your subscribers and as they c ome to know and trust you more it becomes easier to sell them higher ticket items.

If you’re selling a particular item which, let’s say, costs $500 it’s pretty difficult to sell it to somebody who doesn’t really know you. If this is the first time they h ave come across you they don’t know if you are trust worthy or whether your product is good or crap! List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 5 Now imagine that this person has been your subscriber for a couple of years and they’ve bought five or six lower priced items from you over that time. Be cause those items were lowly priced (let’s say in the region of $10 – $20) then it was easier for them to make a punt on you because the financial risk just wasn’t that great. What those products showed them was that they could trust you and that the product s you sell are of good quality. When you then come to sell them that $500 product they will be much more likely to buy from you knowing that they like what you sell and that they can trust you. If you are a newbie internet marketer get it into your head now that you MUST be building a mailing list. It’s the single most important thing in your online business and most internet marketers seem make their money this way… A mailing list gives you money on tap. Once you have a list you can literally send out an email promoting a product and see an instant amount of sales.

You can either sell your own products or promote products as an affiliate (ie. Other people’s products which you earn a commission from when you sell them). Another thing about having a mail ing list is that it gives you the ability to make money in your sleep. You often see that claim splashed about on hyped – up sales pages BUT having a mailing list really DOES give you the List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 6 ability to make money whilst you are in the land of nod and dreaming a bout whatever you dream about  … Here’s why. When someone subscribers to your list you can set it up so that they are automatically sent a series of pre – written emails at pre – defined intervals. This could be a handful of emails sent over a period of a few weeks or it could be hundreds of emails sent over YEARS. There really is no limit.

Once an email is added to your auto responder sequence it stays there forever. So you can add a sales email to your sequence once and then sell that product over and over a gain for years to come. I think that’s enough reasons for building a list  … let’s get on with it… List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 7 Choosing an Auto responder Email Provider The first thing you will need to do is to sign up for an account with an auto responder provider. An auto respond er gives you the ability to capture and store your subscribers details and then send out emails to those people. There are many different providers out there – some are free and some are not. I would highly recommend a paid provider however since the free ones can get shut down without warning. A paid provider also usually provides more reliability, better delivery rates, more features (e.g. click through and open stats) and such like. There are two main providers that you may have heard of: Aweber and G et Response Which one you go for is up to you and they both have their good and bad points. There are of course other alternatives too. For the purposes of this report I’m going to talk you through things with Aweber because that is the provider I happen to use. Once you have decided on your provider, go ahead and sign up for an account. List Building Basics… For Newbie Internet Marketers 8 Set Up Your List Please note that the following instructions relate specifically to Aweber but if you are using a different provider it shouldn’t be too dissimilar.

Log into your Aweber account and click on the ‘My Lists’ button at the top. From there click on ‘Create a New List’ Next you will see a screen which asks you for the ‘Basic Information’ about your list. Fill this out and then move onto the ‘Personalize Your List’ screen and make any changes as you desire. The above is pretty straightforward so I don’t think there is great need to talk you through it in detail. The one thing I would say is to make sure you call your list name something distinctive (ie. Never choose the default list name) so that you can easily identify your list. Trust me, when you have multiple lists later on this is pretty important! List Building Basics… For Newbie Internet Marketers 9 Finally you will see the ‘Confirmed Opt – In’ screen. This is where you edit the email that is sent out to new subscribers after they have filled in their details. The email asks subscribers to confirm their subscription and check that we have the correct details. This confirmation is called Double Op – In and you can turn this off and make your list Single Opt – In should you so desire. It’s probably best to leave it as Double Opt – In (the default setting) however as this can protect you from spam complaints and helps to weed out some of the unresponsive people from your list. It’s good practice to edit this email and make it more personal. The default message is: Subject Confirm your subscription. We received your request for information from the LIST NAME group. Before we begin sending you the information you requested, we want to be certain we have your permission.

CONFIRM BY VISITING THE LINK BELOW: http://www.aweber.com/z/c/?xxxxxxxx Click the link above to give us permission to send you information. It’s fast and easy! If y ou cannot click the full URL above, please copy and paste it into your web browser.

If you do not want to confirm, simply ignore this message. I would probably change the first paragraph so t hat it says something like: Thanks for requesting my PRODUCT NAME report. Before I send this to you I want to be certain that I have your permission. Please click on the link below and you will be taken to a page where you can download your report: On th e ‘Success Page’ field you simply enter your download page URL: This is the page on your website where people go to in order to download your freebie. Don’t worry if you don’t yet have one because you’ll probably create that later – j ust don’t forget to go back and change it! Once you’ve done that click on ‘Messages’ at the top and then click on ‘Create a New Follow Up Message.’ List Building Basics… For Newbie Internet Marketers 11 This is where you create the first email which your subscribers are sent after they have confirmed their subscription and are properly opted – in to your list. Follow the on – screen instructions to do this. Your first email will probably something along the lines of: Hi {First Name_Fix} Thanks for grabbing my Gardening Secrets (replace with your report name) report. Just in case you missed it, you can download your report from the link below: INSERT DOWNLOAD PAGE URL HERE I hope you enjoy the report and learn something from it. I’ve got lots more great information heading your way, so make sure you keep an eye out on your inbox  In the meantime, if you have any questions or want to get in touch please do get in touch. I’d love to hear from you! Speak to you soon List Building Basics…

Simply select the interval (ie. How long after the previous message you want the email to be sent) List Building Basics… For Newbie Internet Marketers 13 Create Your Bait In order to persuade people to opt in to your mailing list you need to provide them with some sort of incentive to do so. I call this your ‘bait’ because that’s effectively what it is! Your bait will be something you give away for free in exchange for the persons name and email address. This could be a product such as an eBook/report, video, short course etc. It could also be something as simple as you creating a regular email newsletter which is packed full of information. Your bait must be something good. Just because you are giving something away for free doesn’t mean that it can be any old rubbish. People are very protective about giving people their email address and in order for them to do so they must really want what you are giving away. It is important that you understand the above point because it’s absolutely crucial to your success! Gone are the days when you could cobble something together in half an hour and people would rush to grab the freebie. There was a time when you could probably do this but not any more!

Your freebie ‘bait’ needs to be good for two reasons: 1. To persuade them to join your list in the first pl ace 2. To keep them there! Your freebie needs to initially grab their attention and convince them that they want it. This means that it needs to be something covering a topic they are interested in or are in need of. It must look appealing (we’ll cover that in the next step – ‘Building your squeeze page’) and it must be easily accessible. Once you’ve persuaded them to grab the freebie it must cut the mustard once they actually have it. If your freebie looks great on the surface – but once they’ve grabbed it and start reading it they discover it’s rubbish – they will probably unsubscribe pretty quickly! Create or source a product? Your bait can either be a product you have created yourself from scratch, or it could be something you have sourced – for example a PLR report or a Resell rights report. If you can you need to use something which looks unique. I say looks unique because it could be a PLR report which you have repackaged and changed the name of. That’s absolutely fine! The important thing is that people can see that you are the only person they can get this freebie List Building Basics… For Newbie Internet Marketers 15 from. If you and two hundred other people are also giving away exactly the same report (with the same name) then it just isn’t as appealing to people! Choosing a topic The topic is very important because that’s what ultimately will persuade people to want your product… The key is to ask the question “what do people in my niche really want to know?” If you can find this out and then give those people the info for free you will be onto a winner. How do you find out what people really want to know? In truth it’s actually pretty easy. You just need to have a sniff around and look in the right places!

Clickbank A good place to start is the Clickbank Marketplace. Go to http://www.clickbank.com and then click on ‘Marketplace.’ Once you are there simply select the niche you are looking at and browse through some of the information products which are already for sale. List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 16 Look at which products are the m ost popular in your niche and ‘borrow’ ideas from them. Don’t copy – but there’s nothing wrong with creating an information product on roughly the same or similar topics… Let’s say you’re operating in the internet marketing niche and the top selling product in the Clickbank Marketplace for that niche covers the topic of ‘marketing through Twitter’. If we then create our own product covering Twitter and give it away for free then it’s likely that plenty of people will want it – and hence it would be good op t – in bait. Forums Another fantastic source of product ideas is internet forums. If you Google “your niche + forum” you should be able to find the main forums in your niche pretty easily. Take a look at the topics within the forum and identify the main things that people are talking about.  What are the main topics people talk about? You will often see certain topics coming up again and again – and that’s a great sign of a topic which we could use to create an information product about!  What questions a re people asking? What problems do they have? Once again you’ll often see certain questions coming up over and List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 17 over again.

Sometimes they will be answered and other times it can seem like nobody has the answer. If you can provide people with solutions then you have a potentially hot topic for your bait. Let’s say you’re operating in the Internet Marketing / Make Money Online niche. One of the biggest forums in that niche is http://www.warriorforum.com so I would go to the forum and take a look around. Pretty soon you can see some reoccurring questions / topics which people are asking. – How do I get started making money online as a newbie? – How do I make money online quickly? – Topics related to blogging. – Topic related to social media marketing. – Topics related to affiliate marketing. – Topics related to list building There are lots of other’s too but hopefully you can see that by spending a couple of hours looking around you should get several product ideas. Blogs Blogs are good places to generate product ideas because you can easily gauge how popular a topic is by looking at the number of comments the post receives. A blog post which has lots of comments clearly made an List Building Basics… For Newbie Internet Marketers 18 impact on it’s readership – whether that is i t touched a nerve or it gave people info they were looking for.

Choose your idea and stick to it! Once you have decided on your topic you need to either create or source the product. Whatever you do just make the decision and stick to it! It shouldn’t b e taking you days, weeks or months to decide on your freebie product idea. Spend a couple of hours researching, decide whether you are going to create the product from scratch or source it from somewhere else (e.g. use a PLR product, resell rights product etc) and then go out and do it! List Building Basics… For Newbie Internet Marketers 19 Build Your Squeeze Page A squeeze page is a simple one page website which explains what you are giving away and then has a box where people can enter in their name and email address if they want to grab it. Example squeeze pages Most squeeze pages seem to follow a similar format. You can see some examples below: List Building Basics… For Newbie Internet Marketers 20 What makes a good squeeze page? As you can see squeeze pages vary slightly. Some for example use graphics, whilst others are mainly just text and a n opt – in box. Some squeeze pages bullet point what people will learn from the freebie, whilst others keep the wording much shorter.

You’re probably wondering which type of squeeze page works best… Unfortunately there isn’t a type ‘which works best.’ The results you get depend on many different factors, including the market, the traffic you are receiving, the product etc. If you are inexperienced I would probably advise using graphics since they do some of the ‘selling’ for you and the copy (text) doesn’t need to be as well written. If you are relying solely on the copy then it can be harder (unless of course you are an expert copywriter!) Your squeeze page will have several elements:  Headline . This explains the main thing people will learn from the prod uct and the effect it will have upon them. For example “Discover How You Can Send Your List Building Into Overdrive By Unleashing The Incredible Power of Adswaps”  Bullet points. These expand a little on what information is contained within the product. Aim for around 4 or 5 bullet points and keep them short. Cut out any information which doesn’t need to be there.  Opt in box. This is where people enter in their details and are added to your list. You can either ask for only their email address or their name AND email address (doing this will allow you to personalize e-mails.)

When people click this they will be added to your list (although they will still need to confirm). I highly recommend that you change the words ‘Submit’ to something else s uch as ‘Click Here for Access’ or ‘Click Here To Continue’ as it will boost your opt –

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in rates. It’s always a good idea to add a line to your squeeze page to reassure people that you will treat their details with respect. Something along the lines of the following will be fine. ‘I highly respect your privacy and your details will never be sold, rented or passed on to anyone else. I hate spam as much as you do!’ There are many squeeze page templates available online which you can use as a starting point. An example would be Point and Click Squeeze Page Inserting Your Opt – In Form The final step of creating your squeeze page is inserting the opt – in form. Go to your Aweber account, make sure the correc t list is selected,
and then click on ‘Web Forms’ at the top. Click on ‘Create a New Web Form’ and then follow the on screen instructions.

If you can, have both First Name and Email Address fields. Some people find that having just an Email Address field increases opt – in rates but of course the drawback is that you can’t personalize people’s emails by adding their name into it. 2. Make sure you change the ‘Submit’ button to something more attractive – e.g. ‘Get Instant Access Now’ or ‘P roceed To Download Page’ 3. Be sure to choose an eye catching template which matches the design of your squeeze page. 4. Make sure you add in a Privacy Statement Once you are happy you can proceed to the next step – ‘Settings.’ In the ‘Thank You Page’ field cl ick the drop – down box and select ‘Custom Page.’ In the new field that appears enter in the address (URL) of

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your One Time Offer (OTO)/upsell page. When you are happy with everything, move onto the next step – ‘Publish.’ Click on ‘I will install my form’ and some code similar to the below will appear in the box: List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 24 Don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it looks. You simply need to insert this code into the place on your squeeze page where you want your opt – in box to appear. If you a re using a simple HTML editor such as Front Page or Kompozer, simply open your squeeze page in HTML view and copy and paste the above code. List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 25 Build Your One Time Offer (OTO) or Upsell It makes sense to monetize the list building process. Ok, so the purpo se of building a list is long – term wealth and the opportunity to build a relationship with subscribers – but there’s nothing wrong with making some quick money whilst we are doing it! When people opt – in to your list it is the perfect time to sell to them. Some people will probably disagree with that but in my experience it happens to be true. Think about it for a second…

When people opt – in to your list they are hot about YOU. They have seen your freebie product on your squeeze page and they have taken th e trouble to hand over their name and email address to you – so they MUST be passionate about this subject. When people hand over their details to you it also removes certain psychological barriers and they are more likely to trust and buy from you. So – by presenting them with an offer as soon as they opt – in we should be able to generate some quick sales. List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 26 I’m sure you’ve seen OTO pages in action yourself… You opt – in and then on the very next page (after you’ve filled in the opt – in form) you are present ed with a page that says something along the lines of: “Thanks for subscribing. I’ve sent you an email asking you to confirm your details – but first please check out the below special offer which I think you will be interested in.” You then see details of a special offer. This is usually a discount on a product or a bundle of extra value products. Here’s an example: The key here is to make sure that your offer is highly related to your freebie offer… List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 27 So if your squeeze page is gi ving away a free product on the subject of blogging, make sure that your OTO product is on the subject of blogging too.

This makes sense since they are obviously interested in blogging or they wouldn’t be seeing the page in the first place. Your offer cou ld be your own product (ideal) or it could simply be a link to a related affiliate offer. Have a look on the Clickbank Marketplace for related products that you could promote as an affiliate. Make sure it’s a good product and highly related to your offer. If you wanted to provide extra value to your subscribers you could contact the product owner and see if you could negotiate a special discount on the product for your subscribers. Many owners will be happy to organise this for you if you can assure them yo u will be sending plenty of sales their way (remember when you promote as an affiliate they make money too!)

Your Download Page You need to create a download page so that when people have opted – in they can download your freebie. The web address ( URL) of your download page will be what you enter in as your ‘Success Page’ (see the earlier section of this report – ‘Set Up Your List’) This means that once someone has opted – in and confirmed their subscription they will be taken to your page where they can download their free product. You also put a link to your download page in the first email of your autoresponder follow – up sequence, just in case they missed the first link A download page as simple as the following would be fine: List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 29 If you so wish you could also put another related offer on this page. Once all pages are complete, upload them to your webspace. When everything is done it’s good practice to visit your squeeze page, opt – in and check that everything is working correctly. Go through t he process as a new subscriber would and check that you are seeing the correct pages and that the person is actually being added to your list in your Aweber account.

Drive Traffic To Your Squeeze Page Once everything is ‘live’ and you’re ready to start accepting new subscribers you can begin to think about driving traffic to your squeeze page – after all if nobody ever sees what you are offering you’re never going to build your list! In truth traffic generation doesn’t have to be that difficult. Below are some ideas (although remember that this is by no means an exhaustive list): Solo Ads and Adswaps If you can afford to invest a little money into your list building activities then solo ads can be an excellent option… A solo ad is simply where you pa y someone to email his or her list advertising your offer. Typically a solo ad will cost maybe $50 – $100 and for that amount you will often be guaranteed a certain amount of clicks. This means that you can generate an instant surge of traffic to your squ eeze page and see your first subscribers joining your list within minutes of the solo ad being sent. List Building Basics… If you can monetize your list building (see the earlier section of this report) then it is possible to pay for your list building and maybe even generate some profit. If you can’t afford to buy a solo ad then adswaps can provide an excellent alternative. With an adswap you simply find someone else with an email list and then agree with them that you will promote their squeeze page if they promote yours. In order to arrange an adswap you need to have a small list already – so consider buying a solo ad to generate your first few hundred subscribers and then conduct adswaps from there. There are several things which are key to your success with both of thes e methods: 1. You need to make sure that the other person’s list will be interested in your offer. There’s no point in buying a solo ad from someone who’s list is in the dog training niche if your squeeze page is offering a ‘make money online’ type product. 2. Consider the quality of their list. How did those people become their subscribers? Where did they come from and what subjects are they interested in? 3. If it’s an adswap, you need to swap with somebody who’s list is of a similar size to your own. There’s no point emailing your list of List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 32 2,000 subscribers if their list is only 500 people – that’s not a very fair adswap! Forum Marketing Forums are excellent sources of traffic if you use them in the right way… Find forums in your niche and then start making use ful contributions to that forum. By that I mean answering people’s questions, getting stuck into topics and providing value to other people on the forum. You can include a link to your squeeze page in your forum signature (providing the forum allows that of course) and then when people see your posts they will click on your link.

Viral Marketing Viral marketing has gone out of fashion but it’s still an excellent source of traffic. You could put together another free report and then include links into it back to your squeeze page. Another option is making a video and then linking to your freebie at the end. Blog Marketing You could start a blog – or you could simply post comments on other people’s blogs and then include a link back to your squeeze page. Both are excellent methods to try. List Building Basi cs… For Newbie Internet Marketers 33 Conclusion Building an email mailing list is absolutely essential if you’re serious about your online business – and hopefully this report has given you a pretty good outline of how to get started. Having an email list allows you to sell to the same people again and again – and it allows you to build relationships with those people and build up their trust so that they will more easily consider buying high – ticket items. The key to building your list is offering good fre ebie ‘bait’ to persuade people to opt – in to your list. Your freebie must be something which your target market REALLY wants and which provides them with great value. So there you have it – happy list building!

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