Wednesday, February 01, 2006

HOW TO BUILD AN ONLINE EMPIRE, STEP BY STEP

I found a really great post by a guy who calls himself "Mr. Unconventional" over in the Warrior's Forum. He calls it, "How To Build An Online Empire, Step-By-Step." It's damn good...

Mr. Unconventional writes:
HOW TO BUILD AN ONLINE EMPIRE... STEP BY STEP

ACT I

At first I would spend nothing but time doing research on my market. I need to find out what they want if I intend on selling them anything. (that "anything" includes marketing affiliate programs.)

For the product research I would start spending major hours online looking for peoples problems, wants and needs. You can find this info all over especially on newsgroups, forums, blogs and niche websites. The market is not important here, it can be in any market. I would compile a list of the most pressing questions and problems that my market has expressed.

I might even spend a hundred bucks or so at scriptlance, rentacoder etc. to have a research assistant help me dig up this info.

I would then find as many experts on the subject as I could and see if I could get the majority of those questions answered by a professional. This saves me time in hunting down all the answers myself, plus I would also have the opportunity to ask them if they would be interested in conducting an interview. This would add to my products value.

I'd probably create an ebook and set of mp3 interviews to start with. This gives me a price target between 50 and 100 bucks right off the bat and since it's all digital I will have a lot of leverage in terms of revenue.

Once I had a rough draft created I would start contacting some of the professionals I found as well as a few people from my target market. I'd be looking for testimonials and suggestions on improving the product. The market will tell me exactly what it wants so that I'm not wasting time, effort and money guessing.

Why guess when its so easy to know?

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Side Note - Do you realize how many online (or offline) businesses fail because they tried to guess a market? DON'T GUESS, KNOW!
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While I was waiting for the testimonials and reviews I would start getting everything that I needed in place to start selling the product. This includes hosting and all that other good stuff. I'd also start looking for affiliate programs that offered products and services my target market would be interested in. I can use these to boost revenue after the sale through my autoresponders.

I'm only interested in the basics until I can start generating some real revenue. Once I have solid revenue flowing I can upgrade, outsource etc.

BASICS :

1. $8.88 - Single Domain at namecheap.com

Staying focused on one product so I only need one website for the time being.

2. $19.95 - Aweber.com Account Single Month

Since I am limited in capital I will be using the bare minimum until I can start generating revenue. I will pay by the month instead of looking for a quarterly+ discount. I'd opt to pay a bit extra and only dish out 20 bucks right now because it leaves me more capital to advertise.

I'm choosing Aweber over anything else because they have the highest delivery rate online and have top notch support.

I'll also use this to deliver the product instead of spending more capital on download protection, ecommerce etc. Simple and effective. Hell if anyone really wanted to steal your product and start selling it they are going to do it regardless of what kind of protection you have.

3. $29.95 - Hosting Account For One Month

Sure I can get hosting a lot cheaper than this, but I'll pay a bit extra for hosting just to be sure my website is up when it should be. I don't need to deal with any headaches during any of my promotions and I'm happy to pay extra to get better service.

I would make sure this hosting account has cpanel with wordpress to make management a breeze and 24/7 support. (Wordpress will come into play later.)

4. $97.00 - Hypercovers.com Mini Site & Product Imagery

I would get a professionally designed web template and mock cover created. I want to focus on creating compelling copy and a quality product and not have to worry about design. This takes care of that problem. For a hundred bucks I can get a mini site template, ebook covers, order buttons, header footer etc. All I need to do is add in my copy, upload and I'm in business.

5. $19.95 - BYOAudio.com - Audio Management & Recording Service

Audio testimonials and a bunch of other useful tools to manage and serve audio from my site. Since this is a brand new product and I don't have a list, it's critical that I garner credibility. I can partially do that with quality testimonials.

I would actually purchase this first because I would use it to record my interviews too.

6. $97.00 - Affiliate Script (idev or post affiliate pro)

I would normally just use clickbank, but since they are going down hill fast I will use my own setup. Yep it eats up another hundred bucks, but affiliate sales are the heart of Internet marketing so this is a must have marketing vehicle that I cannot do with out.

Total Basics = $272.73

ACT II

Once everything was in place, tested and the sales process working I'd start up my pay per click advertising machine and start looking for joint venture partners.

Joint Ventures & Special Offers

I'd be focusing on offering special deals to forum owners, list owners, niche site owners etc. I'd also be offering a special price on my new package to various newsgroups, forums etc. (I would have a list of these top resources from my initial market research.)

I would already have created a PDF report that included high quality content and possibly even some of the content directly from my product. I would then turn it into a viral report that my JV partners and affiliates could use to brand. This can be done free with open office. Simply create the report in the editor and convert it to pdf. I would manually create the branded reports as needed instead of spending capital on software. It only takes a few minutes per report.

I'd also take some time to write a bunch of articles and press releases that can be shuffled around the net. This is marketing 101 stuff though so I'm not going to go into detail.

INITIAL MARKETING :

7. $300.00 - PPC Campaigns - Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing

I'd initially setup accounts with Adwords, Overture (YPN), and Findwhat. Once I had more revenue I would expand to other PPC services. This gives me near instant targeted traffic.

8. $200.00 - Newsletter Advertising

I'd first try to work out an affiliate deal with as many targeted newsletter publishers as I could find. Some obviously would not be interested. In fact, depending on the market, they might not be into affiliate program at all. I'd offer my product to them for free and seek an endorsement in that case and if that failed I'd
offer up some bucks to advertise.

9. $200.00 - Affiliate Recruiting

I'd head over to scriptlance, rentacoder etc and find an assistant or two who could start researching and recruiting website owners into my affiliate program. I would continue to increase the budget on this as more revenue came in. I'd still continue on my own seeking JV partners though.

As revenue came in I would increase my marketing budget and create a new account for R&D of new products. I would basically follow the same steps with these new products. Some of these new products would be big ticket items.

$27.27 - Left Over... added into PPC account.

Total Marketing = $727.27

Grand Total = $1000.00

That's how I would personally spend $1000 dollars to start a semi-automated online business that can quickly grow into an empire. There's a lot of other things I would do once revenue started flowing, but that's the basic plan I'd use and have used.

There ya go... now get out there and build your own Internet empire! You no longer have any excuses not to.

No further comments necessary!

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