I’ve been studying and implementing Internet marketing strategies for a little over a year now. “Internet marketing 2014,” may sound a bit premature since the year’s not over yet, but I wanted to write this post to let you know what I’ve learned in my first full year as an Internet marketer.
I got started as a MOBE licensee in late September of 2013, and started marketing after I attended my first Home Business Summit at the end of October.
How I got Bit by the Internet Marketing Bug
I’ve been online and building websites since 2010. At first it was a hobby and I blogged about whatever I felt like writing about. I’ve always wanted to have an online business but didn’t know how to go about building one. I started doing research on affiliate marketing, blogging, building authority sites, SEO, and found it fascinating.
I was bitten by the Internet marketing bug and have spent thousands of hours studying and implementing what I’ve learned.
What I learned by Connecting with Experts
I sucked up all the knowledge I could find and made connections with successful marketers who could teach me the strategies and skills I needed to learn. I met once a week for lunch with John Chow and Oscar G. and a group of dedicated marketers at a Meetup group. They were generous with their knowledge and shared all their best tips with me. This meeting was invaluable and I learned much faster than if I were trying to learn it all by myself.
I learned how to use Leadpages to setup squeeze pages, sales pages, and video pages, and how to integrate them with AWeber. I learned how to write followup emails and how to use a shared code to import a series and modify it to my needs.
I learned how to setup Linktrackr so I could easily switch out links and track my clicks and performance of ads. I love this software and it’s made my life easier in so many ways. I even got featured as a testimonial on their testimonials page which is nice, since it passes along some “link juice” to my site. How did I get this? I emailed the owner about some questions I had which he answered. I told him how much I liked the software and offered to write a testimonial. He said yes, and that’s how it happened.
What I Learned from Masterminds
I joined several Facebook Groups and masterminds where I learned other traffic strategies. I learned how to run Facebook PPC campaigns and was getting business opportunity subscribers for .60 each. I haven’t run Facebook ads lately, but I intend to start launching some new campaigns soon. I’m going to find offers that are 100% compliant so I won’t have to worry about getting ads rejected due to being in the make money online niche.
I think the Facebook ad platform is extremely powerful, and I know there’s plenty of money to be made if I find the right offers to promote. I want to learn from guys like Peter Parks who are actually doing big things with Facebook.
What I Learned about CPA Offers Using PPV Traffic
I’ve learned how to do run CPA offers using PPV with Lead Impact and Traffic Vance. I’m going to write a whole post or page on what I’ve learned and hope to help others figure out how to run campaigns. By launching CPA offers with PPV, I’ve learned a lot of valuable skills, such as:
- How to do research on offers to see what’s converting
- How to research good URLs and keywords to target
- How to spy on the competition to see what’s working
- How to setup tracking and launch a campaign
- How to optimize my bids based on the data I get back
- How to build PPV landing pages with Dreamweaver and Photoshop
- How to test and when to kill an offer
- I was able to get into the main CPA networks like Max Bounty and Peerfly, and was able to get into Traffic Vance
It’s been an amazing learning experience and I’ve actually gotten a couple of campaigns profitable, which is a big accomplishment. I’m going to be launching some new campaigns later this month which I’m excited about. I’ve made some great connections with people who are successful affiliates and continue to learn from them.
What I learned about Keyword Research and SEO
I’ve learned how to do solid keyword research and SEO from the team at Nohatdigital. Our five week PTC, or private training course was like a crash course in SEO. We were taught how to build out three sites based on keywords that have a chance to rank for on page one of the SERPs. The goal is to build these into authority sites.
The first two week were spent on doing keyword research using the Google Keyword Planner and the MOZ Pro keyword difficulty tool. After we identified the keyword sets we would be targeting, we entered all of them into a content planner for writing our articles.
We spent the next three weeks building out 7,500 words of content on each site using their recommended on page SEO techniques. I’ve always wanted to learn keyword research and SEO from someone who knew what they were doing, and these guys are amazing. The cost of the PTC is $2k and I feel it was a great investment and well worth the money.
I’m also enrolled in the next PTC course that starts on November 9th. This course is a 15 week course on building a real online business. It was offered to our class as a bonus since they were changing the structure of the course. So me and my PTC class mates will get two courses for the price of one. Thanks Nohatdigital!
How to Turn a Deaf Ear on All the Noise
I’ve been pitched by most every new business opportunity that gets popular with marketers. I don’t even pay attention anymore as I’ve come to view them as noise and distractions. When people tell me I need to look at these programs, I politely say no, and go on with my work and projects. It’s not that I’m closed minded, but I don’t want to be in businesses that require me to recruit or build a downline. I’m not saying I’ll never be in one, but for now it doesn’t interest me.
Why I Dislike MLM and Network Marketing
My girlfriend and I have an Isagenix business where we had 50 people in our group and we were making about $400/month at one point. We worked it hard for a few months, got people to sign up, but most ended up dropping out and stopped their autoship of products. Was this because we were bad leaders? I don’t think so. I think it’s just the nature of the MLM and network marketing business.
Most people aren’t going to continue to pay $200 a month for an autoship of protein powders and vitamins no matter how good the products are. To make money in MLMs like Isagenix, you have to be 100% committed, a product evangelist who promotes all the time to everyone you meet, and make it a way of life. Believe me, I’ve experienced the enthusiasm of these zealots first hand and it’s not fun being around them.
Who wants to sit around at a family barbecue listening to a true believer educate everyone on the superiority of the ingredients in their protein shakes?
It takes too much time and energy to build an MLM or network marketing team, so for now, that business is on hold. I also got tired of making presentations to people about the products. I like the products and continue to use them daily, but I won’t be selling them to friends anymore.
I paid $1k to be part of a high-end mastermind group and coaching program where I thought I’d get some personal coaching and help. The total cost was $5k, and the $1k was my initial payment. While I learned a lot from the webinars, video instruction, and the Facebook group, I got no personal coaching and dropped out of the group.
What I Hate About Internet Marketing
I’m no longer going to pay for FB group coaching like the $5k mastermind group I was in. If there’s no direct interaction with a coach who can teach me exactly what I need to learn, I’m not interested. It’s one of the things I’ve come to hate about Internet marketing: buy a course for $2k, watch some videos, get on a webinar, and if you get stuck post in the Facebook group or put in a support ticket.
The other thing I hate about Internet marketing is programs that prey on newbies and hold out the carrot of making a ton of money fast with very little work. These kinds of promises and claims make the whole industry look bad and it’s no wonder Facebook and Google try to keep advertisers in this niche out of their ad platforms. I’m not saying it’s right, and in fact I disagree with their heavy handed policies, but that’s a subject for another post.
What’s the Best Thing that Happened?
The best thing about my first year as an Internet marketer is the friends and connections I’ve made with some very cool and smart people. No matter what kind of technical or marketing problem I have, I know someone I can turn to for answers and advice. If you’re not reaching out and making connections with other marketers who are smarter than you, how do you expect to learn anything?
I think I also have a good idea of who and what to follow. In the beginning, everything seemed important because I knew so little. I’m not saying I know it all after only a year, but I think I’m much better at sorting through content and what people are teaching and recognizing value vs. nonsense.
My Results for My First Year?
Did I make any money from all these activities? I did, and I’m happy with what I made for my first year in the business. I made most of it from MOBE and earned a 400% return on my total investment including the license, traffic expenses, and software.
I won’t publish income figures because I don’t think it’s anyone’s business. I’m not trying to recruit you into anything or sell you anything, so I don’t need to prove anything to you. I mean that in the kindest and gentlest tone.
You wouldn’t go up to someone in any other occupation and ask them, “how much money did you make last year?” Would you? So unless I’m doing a case study I won’t be publishing income reports or flashing big checks. That’s another thing I should have listed in what I hate about Internet marketing section.
At some point, if I do a PPV case study, I will publish numbers because they’re relevant to the case study and we can learn from them.
Plans Going Forward
My plans going forward for the next 12 months are listed below:
- To build out my authority sites by becoming a master of high quality content creation and to earn revenues from affiliate commissions and advertising.
- To continue to improve my skills with paid traffic using Facebook, Google Display Network, and PPV.
- To develop my own products and start selling them on my sites.
- To build out an effective sales funnel with recorded webinars using either Ontraport, Infusionsoft, or another solution.
- To help as many people as I can by coaching and starting a business to do SEO and paid marketing for small business owners. I love marketing and enjoy helping others get results.