Getting Started In Internet Marketing
I am continuing to relate my marketing adventures to you in hopes it will serve to inspire and instruct those who are still teetering on the fence of self-doubt as to whether they should ply their knowledge into actual sales. Although it is valuable to learn from experts in marketing, it might also be illustrative to read about others in various stages of process in order to meet readers where they are at in their new journey in online sales.
I related in my last post about creating my first product, a video tutorial series; Video Editing Simplified but I felt the need to purchase another web domain name so I could eventually sell some marketing related products. These types of products would not mesh with a video editing themed blog, so I chose http://www.stompondebt.com as my new vehicle for this purpose. This forced me to learn and relearn several steps, such as purchasing a web domain, choosing a host and transferring the domain to the host company.
Like anything in life, sometimes you have to take a few steps back, before you can go forward. For instance, I originally decided to place my blog in a separate folder on the website (/blog). My reasoning was that people would first land on my sales page, and then they could advance to the blog site. After taking the time to install WordPress on the “/blog” folder, I decided that I would have more options if I put the blog on the landing page. That meant figuring out how to uninstall my previous WordPress and install it into the “/public.html folder which would then make the blog the first thing people would see when navigating to the site. I think this will be a permanent fixture in my marketing activities. Once you set something up, you will find out either you have done it incorrectly, or you think up another, hopefully better way to present your products. This translates into time and forethought. After all, selling requires you to get into the mind of your potential customer and that takes practice and trial and error.
It might be helpful for readers if I boil down the steps I took to get my site set up and a product ready for sale. Sometimes you have to hunt and search the Internet in multiple places to find the exact steps to do anything. Finding one page that spells it all out is very valuable. Therefore, here is my attempt to get you to bookmark this page. Here is an overview of my marketing progress.
1. Write down a list of possible domain names. Keep in mind the best ones are simple, easy to spell and self-explanatory as to the purpose of the website. Go to http://www.godaddy.com or the equivalent and search to see if these sites names are available. Once you find one you are satisfied with, buy it for around $8 to $12 a year.
2. Find someone to host your site. I chose Host Gator, which is what Jeff Wellman recommends. This cost me $95 a year for the “Baby Plan” which offers many features for the price. Then I had to transfer the domain name from Go Daddy to Host Gator. I called the Host Gator support for information on this and they were very helpful.
3. Using the user name and password sent to you by Host Gator (or other host site), sign into your website, called Cpanel, organize, and prepare your website. There you can install WordPress to create a blog, create folders for images, sales pages and other elements you will need to make your site fulfill your visual needs.
4. Set up the WordPress blog site (another set of user name & password) and decide how you want your blog to look, including personal logos and other specific elements. Write some articles about your niche to encourage readership. Install a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plug-in to enter keywords and a summery to make search sites find you easier.
5. If you do not all ready have a product for sale, you can use your blogs to host affiliate ads so you can make money selling other people’s products that match your interest.
6. Begin the laborious process of creating your own product. This could include video tutorials, PowerPoint lessons or an actual physical product.
7. Once you have something to sell, upload your digital products to your server in a special folder. Use a program like Filezilla (an ftp upload program) to connect to your website. Create a sales page and Thank you/download page specifying all the benefits and advantages of your product. I use the very popular KompoZer application to create web pages. This is a free program that can be found on the Internet. Be very detailed as to what the customer will receive, guarantees, etc. Once you are finished, download these two pages to your server in a dedicated folder, like “/sales” and “/myproduct”. If you are like me, your pages will undergo several revisions as you incorporate more elements and a better pitch.
8. Create a free account at Clickbank if your product is digital in nature. Go through the process to submit a project proposal, get the code to link a buy button to your product. Now it’s time to test, test, test. The purpose is to make sure the customer can click on the buy button and land on your product pay page on Clickbank. Clickbank can provide you with fake credit card numbers to enter into the forms. Once the payment process is completed, you should land on your thank you download page. This page will have links to all your products your customers have purchase. Make sure you test all the links to make sure they work. Give detailed instructions to customers on this page on how to download each product. Assume your customers know nothing about computers; it will keep your product returns down to a minimum. Once you are certain that your sales page is set, the download page is perfect and your product description to Clickbank is written properly…then go through the requirements of Clickbank products to see if your pages comply. Then and only then submit your proposal for evaluation by the Clickbank folks. If your product is approved, you pay $50 to activate it. If not, they will explain why it is not and you should correct your pages accordingly.
9. Rejoice if you are approved, maybe grab a bag of chips and munch away. Now it is time to construct your ads in Clickbank that will allow others to see what you have for sale. This is free and allows you up to five ads. Once again, this process requires approval to be accepted. I was rejected a couple of times in my ads. Be warned you cannot use any trademark names in the keyword and there are other rules, but they were polite and worked with me.
Whew, that’s the overview and now my product is for sale, but I am constantly tweaking it here and there to try to get it noticed. This is the part of marketing that cannot be easily taught…it may be more of an art. The art of convincing others to part with their money. I think we are all learning that…even the experts!
Harvey Poling jr.