Interview with Corey Rudl:
The Secrets of an Internet Millionaire
the secrets of an Internet millionaire in this exclusive
interview with online marketing guru Corey Rudl. Corey is
the author of the #1 best-selling course, "The
Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet"
and is probably one of the most recognized names in Internet
In the following interview, Corey reveals how he grew his business from a one-man show in his parent's basement to four online businesses that generate over $6.6 MILLION in online sales per year and attract over 1.8 million visitors per month. Corey reveals exactly how he did it, and details precisely what entrepreneurs need to be doing TODAY to be successful online.
Hi Corey, and thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. Maybe the best way for us to begin is for you to tell us a bit about yourself and your company, The Internet Marketing Center.
Well, first off, I am the President and CEO of the Internet
Marketing Center, which you can find online at www.marketingtips.com.
We specialize in showing people how they can drive tons
of targeted traffic to their web sites and how to turn that
traffic into sales and profits. We provide all the information
you need to learn how to market your business online in
the form of home-study courses, books, video and audio tapes,
What really sets us apart from all the other marketing courses, though, is that we give you the concepts AND the software tools you need to promote and automate your business on the Internet. And we do all of this based on our own real-world tests and experience, not just theory. In other words, we do it and prove it BEFORE we teach it. This is how we are able to guarantee your results.
Actually, that brings up a good question: Why, exactly, is your "Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet" course so successful? Aren’t you leading this market space?
Yes, we are by far the leaders in educating our Small Office/Home Office audience in how to make money on the Internet.
The reason the course is so successful is because we practice what we preach. We generate about $6.6 million in business every year, all online. And that's not to mention the tens of millions of dollars we have helped our clients generate. We have over 60,000 affiliates and we get over 1.8 million unique visitors to our sites every month, all on a shoestring budget and all from scratch. So we are actually using all the methods that we teach.
Would you hire a poor stock broker? Of course not. If he cannot make himself rich, how's he going to help you? Would you hire a personal trainer that is not in good shape? No way! If they can’t do it themselves, how can you be sure that what they are teaching you is not garbage?
People know our reputation and they know that the stuff we teach in the course actually works. We walk people through every single step they need to follow to be successful marketing their business on the Internet -- even if they don't have an online business yet.
We also have a few big Fortune 500 corporate clients. They're attracted to us because most of them are so caught up in red tape that they don’t get to see the guerilla marketing tactics used to generate immediate revenues like small businesses do. We're just now starting to see the big corporations picking up some of the things we were recommending 2 years ago!
So the key to your success is practicing what you preach?
Exactly. Another big reason we're so successful is that we take all the risk. Our guarantee is simple -- if you don’t make money from what you've learned in the course, then you pay nothing. You can return it anytime for a full refund for any reason. Even if you decide you don't like the paper it's printed on, we'll give you all of your money back. And you know what? We get nearly zilch returns -- and that speaks for itself.
take my word for it, check
out the testimonials at our site. We publish only one
percent of the testimonials we receive, but you can see
that it's not people saying “Oh, it was great,”
but people saying they “Made an extra $70,000 already
this year," or “Traffic increased by 400% in
30 days.” That's what counts -- results. That is scoreboard
at the end of the day.
And we really do cover everything in the course you could ever imagine. We teach you everything from A to Z; everything from starting up from scratch with nothing to how to drive traffic to your site, right down to setting up your site to convert visitors to more sales.
You'll learn how to maximize your exposure on the search engines, how to automate your entire business, how to build pop-up boxes, and hundreds of other things. We even give you templates and ideas to copy from us to ensure that nothing will go wrong!
reminds me of a funny story... A couple of years back, I
thought of trying to get my course on the reading list for
an Internet Marketing program being offered by a top university.
I had some meetings with a few of their senior marketing
professors, hoping to get "Insider
Secrets" into the hands of all their Internet Marketing
They finally came back to me and said, basically, "Thanks, but no thanks." Now, I was shocked! Why wouldn't they want their students to have the #1 Internet marketing course as part of their education? I wouldn't let the professor leave my office until she told me.
It turns out they were actually scared that if their students read my course and found out that it cost less than two hundred dollars, they would feel ripped off by the school, which was basically charging them thousands of dollars for the same information!
That's quite a story! It just goes to show that "traditional" education isn't always the best way to get the BEST information.
Corey, could you tell us a little bit about your own history and background? How did you get started marketing online?
Well, I won't go too far back as I don’t want to bore you, but my first online venture was way back in 1994. I had written a book called "Car Secrets Revealed" and had been trying to market it offline. After wasting a lot of money on magazine and print ads, I took a friend's advice and decided to try selling it over the Internet. Those magazine ads had eaten up most of my cash, but I did manage to scrape together enough to get my first web site up and running.
I did everything myself -- built the site in HTML 1.0, learned how to use FTP programs, figured out how to build a banner, and things like that. Those were the days when Netscape 1.0 had just come out and there was no such thing as secure real-time online ordering. It was all so new and exciting!
I was glued to my computer 24 hours a day testing all kinds of wild and crazy marketing ideas to see which ones worked. And I can tell you that 95 out of 100 ideas failed, but the ones that did work, worked like crazy! Within 18 months I had the #1 best-selling car book online... and it's been #1 ever since!
When people started seeing that my counter had logged over 1,000,000 visitors at CarSecrets.com, they started asking how I was marketing it. They wanted to know how such a simple and basic site was generating so much traffic, and if I could teach them how to do it. Before too long I realized that I wasn't able to teach people everything I knew during a one-week consulting contract.
So I decided to "brain dump" everything I knew into a course, which I called "The Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet." It taught just about everything I knew with real-life examples of exactly what I had tested, what worked, and what didn't. That was what set my course apart from every other Internet marketing course out there -- that I had actually tested and proven my techniques. Other courses were just teaching fluff and theory.
By promoting the course with the exact same techniques I was teaching, it became the #1 best-selling Internet marketing course online within 3 months. Since then, it has been through three new versions -- it needs to be updated regularly as the Internet changes so fast! But through all this time, it continues to be the #1 best-selling Internet marketing course online.
Because we're so far out in front of the curve as to what's working and what isn't, we have also been able to develop some of the world’s leading Internet promotional and automation software .Basically, we developed software that we needed for our own business. We made sure it was the best and then made it available to our clients. This has helped us become one of world’s leading Internet Marketing companies helping small to medium businesses drive traffic and make more sales.
So, what specific suggestions do you have for someone interested in getting started marketing on the Web?
Wow! That's a huge question and, to be blunt, there's no way I could answer it in just a few minutes. In fact, that's why I wrote a 1,000-page course in the first place... There are literally hundreds of tips and suggestions for building a successful presence online. There is just so much to know if you want to do it right the first time. However, there is one tip that is more important than any other...
Get educated. Don’t think you can put up a web site and have traffic appear from out of nowhere. It does not work that way. Spend the time to educate yourself about how everything works. Research your market or idea and learn how to identify a niche market on the Internet. Create or market products that solve other people’s problems.
Another thing to look at is your competition. How big are they? What are they doing right and wrong?
Learn from people who practice what they preach -- find people that you KNOW are successful on the Internet and model yourself after them. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel and don't listen to people who cannot prove that they have done what you are trying to do.
There are so many "wannabes" out there who write books on web site promotion but don't even have a successful Internet business themselves. Find someone who you know is successful and use them as a mentor -- that's what I did. I had mentors, too.
Why do you feel that so many people who attempt to create an income on the Internet fail to do so?
Whoa, another loaded question! There are so many reasons, but here are the main ones. Bear with me, this will be a long answer:
Deciding on a product before finding a market is a big one. This is probably the most common mistake. If you are asking “What is a good product to sell online?” you are making this mistake right now! You need to decide on a market first.
The Internet makes it very easy to find people interested in a specific category like gardening, hunting, aeronautics, accountants, or any other interest group. Just about any group is easy to locate and target online through web sites, newsgroups, e-mail discussion lists, e-zines (electronic magazines), etc.
You have to make sure you have a captive audience, then find out what they are having a common problem with. If you can come up with a product or service to solve that problem, you have a guaranteed successful business. It's really that easy -- that's how all my businesses were built.
You don’t even really have to “sell” it, because you already know they want it before you launch your web site. And since you already know exactly where your customers are, it's easy to target them. I mean, it’s a no-brainer once you think about it.
Now, let’s turn that situation around for a second. Say scientists had found a cure for the common cold. You'd become a millionaire selling it online, right? Well, not necessarily! How do you find people that are sick online? You would have to market to the general Internet community to try and find the 1 out of 10,000 people that are sick that day. It would cost a ton of money to market to 10,000 people just to find one qualified buyer!
And to make matters worse, if you are selling this over the Internet, by the time you ship them the pill through the mail, they'd probably be over their cold! So by choosing the product instead of the market, you can actually fail no matter how great your product is.
Your course has a lot of information about generating traffic. Is that a big hurdle for online businesses?
Many people think they can build a web site, submit it to the search engines, and the buyers will come. The logic is that there are hundreds of millions of people online surfing around and that some of them are bound to stumble onto your product. Wrong! Search engine ranking is more competitive than ever.
Yes, there are secret ways to get high rankings in the search engines and we spend close to 40 pages in our course showing you how to do it. It is probably one of the most complex marketing techniques out there. There are lots of different options for grabbing high rankings. You can do it all yourself, or you can buy really good positioning software, or even hire specialized companies to do it for you.
The course even recommends which positioning software you should be using, as there is a lot of junk out there! The same with Search Engine Optimization companies -- most have no idea what they're doing. So my course shows you how to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
The real key is to know what your potential buyers do online. Are they searching online for a specific term? Are they visiting specific web sites all the time? Are they subscribed to topic-specific e-mail lists or e-zines? In other words, you need to know where your target market is “hanging out” online. If you can find where your potential buyers are, this is where you should spend your marketing and advertising money.
That is why I said before, spend your time getting educated, learning everything, and researching your market and product or service. Spend your time and money driving them to your site and then show them how your product solves a problem they have. Marketing is everything online! You could have the best product in the world selling for half of your competitor's price, but if you cannot get the word out, you don't stand a chance.
What are some of the big psychological obstacles for online entrepreneurs?
Number one in that department is definitely procrastination. I cannot tell you how many people I've met who have really great ideas and plans, but so few of them actually do what they say they are going to do. So turn off the TV, stop using your new baby as an excuse, stop going for drinks after work with friends, and take the time to get serious about your business! You will have plenty of time for all the rest when the big income starts rolling in.
Let's be honest here... We're all good at justifying excuses to ourselves. I've even done it a few times myself! But there really is no excuse for not following your dream. You're only hurting yourself.
The second biggest psychological obstacle is fear of failure. Never fear failure. Heck, we fail every day. The key is to fail small. In fact, your ticket to success is failing regularly! Every time you fail, you're eliminating bad ideas and getting closer to the things that work.
If you aren't failing, you are not learning. We test new ideas, new prices, new marketing strategies, new looks, new products every month! Most of them fail, and we expect that. And we don't call it failure, we call it testing.
We are just looking for the 5 winners out of every 100 small failures we have, because what we learn from the winners we apply to everything we have. Here's a perfect example: We don’t even send out an e-mail to our opt-in list without testing at least 4 versions of the e-mail to see which one performs the best -- that is how much you have to test. Some pull in 200% better results than others with small changes, so it's definitely worth it.
Speaking of results, what kind of results should people expect when they are just starting out?
Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. This is another huge psychological barrier faced by many new entrepreneurs. Some people expect their business to be successful immediately and their dreams to come true overnight. It usually doesn't happen that way.
An Internet business is like any other business -- it takes work. The only difference on the Internet is that you can automate a lot of repetitive chores... and you can test and roll things out WAY faster than an offline business could.
Things generally start slow -- that is to be expected. But when it snowballs, it snowballs VERY fast! And you really have to be prepared, because the Internet moves at 7 times the speed of offline business. If you do things right, you can easily grow 700% faster than any offline business just due to the speed of business on the Internet.
Think of it this way: if you had just 30 people a day sign up for a newsletter, that adds up to over 10,000 subscribers in a year. This means that your company now has a database of 10,000 highly targeted leads to market your products to. If you were to purchase a list of 10,000 targeted leads (who have never even heard of you before and may not be receptive to your product), it could easily cost you up to $5 per lead.
So just by attracting 30 new people a day, you've created an asset that is worth around $50,000. Sometimes, even if it seems like things are moving slowly, you're actually building something great! I hope that makes sense.
If you could tell someone just one thing about how to be a success in marketing on the Web, what would it be?
That’s easy! Learn how to drive targeted traffic to your site inexpensively and the rest will all come. Once you've got the traffic, you can change the design of your site, you can test different prices, and you can even change products if your product isn't selling well. Without traffic, nothing you do will make your online business a success.
Now, don't get me wrong! You still have to sell a real product to real people for real money. You can't just build a site, promote it, and try to think of a way to make money after the traffic comes. That was what killed all of the so-called "dot-bombs" a couple of years ago.
So simply attracting lots of general traffic isn't necessarily a good thing?
General traffic is fine, but traffic targeted to your specific niche market is much, MUCH better. In my experience, finding a niche and selling to it is the single easiest route to profitability online. If you are trying to sell books or CDs online, forget it -- Amazon.com will crush you. Those markets are gone.
However, if you target your market to a specific interest -- say gardening, hunting, cars, or whatever -- it's easy to find people online with an interest in those things. All you have to do is find what that market wants and give it to them. I have a lot of clients that make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year who just started their businesses a short time ago and almost all of them make their money by having specific products that go over well in a very targeted niche market.
Check out a newsletter I have calledwww.SecretsToTheirSuccess.com -- your readers have got to check this site out. It is cool because it shows how people that were in low-paying or dead-end jobs are now making it huge online now, working their own hours and making profits they couldn't even dream of before. We interview 2 new people every month that are making between $30,000 and $2 million in profit online each year.
Check out the site and you'll see what I mean. You can learn so much by reading about how they started their businesses from scratch not too long ago and made them successful by targeting a specific niche market. For example, one interviewee makes over $1,500 a day selling a plan to bald guys on how to regrow their hair. And another guy sells tools to make wire jewelry and makes $40,000 a month!
These products would be a flop if you sold them at a local storefront because the market in a local area is way too small to support them. But on the Internet, you have access to a global market that can support extremely obscure products and ideas… and be very profitable!
Corey, I wanted to ask you about search engines. How important are they to the marketing beginner?
When you are starting out on the Internet, search engines are a very cost-effective way to drive traffic to your site. But as your business grows, a good advertising campaign, joint venture, or affiliate program will outperform your search engine rankings every time -- guaranteed.
To start with, you have to make sure that people are actually looking for your product or service online. I hate to see people starting out on the Web who automatically put all of their time and resources into search engine submission when, in reality, their target market isn’t even looking for what they have to offer in the search engines.
If you want to find out if the search engines will be worth the effort, there are a few great services online that I show you in my course that will actually tell you approximately how many visitors you will get if you have a top ranking under your keywords in the major search engines.
I tell people to type five of their top keywords into one of these keyword popularity services and if your keywords are not getting more than at least 1,000 searches every single month, it is probably not worth your time.
Also, you should never make the mistake of relying on just the search engines to drive traffic to your site. Although they can be an extremely valuable source of traffic, they are constantly changing their rules. If you get into a situation where you rely solely on a couple of good rankings in the search engines for all of your traffic, and then one day the search engines drops your ranking, you could be out of business literally overnight. Believe me, I've seen it happen more than a few times.
Make sure you have multiple sources of traffic to your web site so that if you lose one, you are not out of business!
Pay-per-click search engines seem to be a great place to test market products on the 'Net.
What should people know about using a pay-per-click strategy for their site or product?
The pay-per-click search engines can be a great way to get traffic to your web site but, once again, only if your target market is actually looking for you in the search engines. They're great for testing your offer, testing your site, testing your price, even testing your product to see if it will work.
Success through the pay-per-click search engines is all about basic math. If the traffic they drive to your web site makes you more money than it costs to buy those clicks, then they are a great investment. Unfortunately, many beginners pay way too much for keywords, never actually calculate how much they can afford to spend, and end up losing lots of money.
I should also mention that you can't expect to enter a couple of your top keywords into the pay-per-click search engines and start making money -- that is very rare. To be successful, you need a list of at least 100 - 500 keywords and phrases. You can really make pay-per-click search engines pay off by bidding on lots of less popular keywords that are actually more targeted than general search terms.
For example, do a search for "mortgage" on the most popular pay-per-click search engine and you'll see that to get that top listing, you'd need to pay $7 per click. That's WAY too much. Instead, bid on lots of less popular terms like "discount mortgage" at $0.51 per click or "Internet mortgage" at $1.15 per click.
What is the most important thing someone needs to do when starting out with a marketing project?
Test, test, and then test again. Never stop testing everything. You want to test your advertising, styles, colors, etc. Test your offer, test your price, test different types of advertising. The key is to test small. If it works, apply it to everything you know.
Start small and test. It is pointless to spend all your cash on a huge ad campaign when you have not proven that your web site can sell a product. And you must be able to track what is going on with your web site. I'm shocked by how many people don’t know their "visitors-to-sales ratio" -- how many visitors you get daily compared to how many sales. If you don’t know this, how can you try different things to see what improves your sales?
Can you give an example of this?
Sure. Let's say that your site gets an average of 500 visitors a day and you sell an average of 5 products a day. Your "visitors-to-sales ratio" would be 100 to 1. (In other words, for every 100 visitors, you can expect to make 1 sale.)
that you know this, you can start testing different things.
Let's say that you decide to test a new headline and find
that you now sell one product for every 50 visitors to your
site. You've just doubled the profit potential for your
site! And you never would have known unless you had taken
the time to track the activity at your site. I teach this
in much more depth in my "Insider
Listen to this: Back in the early days of marketing my "Car Secrets Revealed" book online, I decided to try out a couple of new slogans. I had a hunch that the one we had been using wasn't targeting the right people. Anyway, after a couple of days of testing, I discovered something that literally changed my life.
I had been marketing the book to car owners, assuming that most people who owned a car would be interested in the book. Well, one of the slogans was targeted towards people who were thinking of purchasing a new car, not to people who already owned one. I just about hit the floor when I saw the results from the test on that slogan! Our sales had literally increased 400% overnight!
If I hadn't always been testing things, even back in the early days, I would never have realized this. That's the power of testing. It has allowed me to build an incredibly successful business.
Based on your experience, testing probably thousands of different strategies, what are the two most powerful ways to market your business on the Internet?
The answer is very simple... affiliate programs and opt-in e-mail marketing.
First off, affiliate programs are the single most cost-effective, least risky way to do business on the 'Net. Affiliate programs are like having an army of joint venture partners out there working for you twenty-four hours a day.
With an affiliate program, it's easy to recruit hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people to promote your product, and you do not pay them a penny unless they make you money! I started one of the very first affiliate programs on the Internet, even before Amazon.com, and I currently have over 60,000 affiliates, so I'm speaking from experience here.
For those who don’t know what an affiliate program is, this is how it works: Basically, you get other sites that share your target audience to link to you. Those links are tracked by special software so that if anyone clicks through the link and buys your product, you give a commission to the referring site.
The great thing about affiliate programs is that they are pure profit machines. Because you only pay your affiliates when they send you a visitor who actually buys something, it's literally impossible to lose money! Even if they drive 10,000 visitors to your site, you don't pay them a dime unless someone buys.
That sounds great. But managing a large affiliate program is a huge job, isn't it?
The best part is that if you are using the right tools you can completely automate the entire process. You can be running a multi-million dollar company with only a few staff in the office. We have over 60,000 affiliates promoting our products on the Internet and it literally only takes us a couple of hours every month to manage our program using our AssocTRAC software. At the end of the month we hit a couple of keys, it prints out the commission checks, and we mail them to the affiliates.
There are no overhead costs, no employees, and no hassles. You only pay your affiliates when they bring you business, and the software does all the work for you. And the whole thing only costs about $45 a month to run! This would be absolutely impossible offline, but the speed and scope of the Internet allows us to do it at almost no cost.
When we built the second generation of AssocTRAC software, we compiled over 5 years of first-hand experience so that our customers could apply this powerful strategy to their business without having to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars and months of time it took us to develop it.
I could talk about affiliate programs all day as it is a huge topic but since we only have a limited amount of time, I'm going to recommend that if you are interested in learning more about how affiliate programs work and how you can start one of your own, visit our AssocTRAC web site. There you will find over 50 pages of killer strategies and ideas that will help you get your own affiliate program started right away.
Could you tell us a little about the second strategy you mentioned: opt-in e-mail marketing?
The second marketing strategy that every e-business definitely needs to employ if they want to be successful is opt-in e-mail marketing. And to get started building an opt-in e-mail list you NEED to be collecting e-mail addresses at your site. I can't stress this one enough. If you aren't doing this, you need to start right now!
Here's how it works: You need to offer every single visitor to your site a reason to leave you their e-mail address. It can be for a free newsletter, a free report, a demo version of your software, a contest... Any reason you can think of to get people to leave you their e-mail address.
If someone visits your web site and actually takes the time to subscribe to your newsletter by giving you their name and e-mail address, this obviously means that they are interested in what you have to offer. Congratulations! You have just captured an incredibly hot sales lead!
By simply following up with these people and e-mailing them quality information and facts, you will instantly build your credibility by developing the rapport that is needed to close sales.
The bottom line is this: Most people are simply not comfortable shelling out money the first time they visit your web site. Unfortunately, the Internet is a big place, so the chances of them finding you again once they leave your site are pretty slim. By capturing their name and e-mail address, you can guarantee that they will not forget about you.
What are some things that people should keep in mind when sending e-mail promotions?
First and foremost: The names and e-mail addresses you collect on your web site should be treated like gold and never abused. If you constantly e-mail these people with blatant advertisements and plugs for your products and never actually send them any valuable information, you will ruin any chance you have to sell to them in the future.
Also, opt-in e-mail is impossible
to manage unless you have the right tools and information.
In my "Insider
Secrets" course I have almost 100 pages of cutting-edge
information on this topic alone that will show you how to
build an extremely responsive opt-in list very quickly and
then show you how to follow up and sell to these targeted
customers again and again and again.
We use a powerful e-mail automation tool called Mailloop that automates all of our e-mail promotions. I personally started using this software over 5 years ago and it quickly became such an indispensable part of my business that I actually bought the rights to it from the developer so that my customers could benefit from all of its powerful features.
This software is so cool… It is like having your own personal e-mail secretary -- but it does not take any breaks, does not talk back, does not ask for vacation, and did I mention that it works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
It handles almost all of your e-mail: It subscribes and unsubscribes people automatically from your opt-in lists, it merges your orders into your customer database, it automatically sends out your promotions, it automatically responds to your customers' commonly asked questions, and much more.
It just leaves you with the e-mail that you need to handle personally -- it takes care of the rest. We use it every day to automate our business and stay in contact with our clients; it is solely responsible for generating over $100,000 a month in new business for us. You can check it out at www.marketingtips.com/mailloop.
Rapid growth and expansion can be a “good” problem for businesses. How can you handle your company's growth?
You automate. That is the beauty of the Internet. It is the first environment where you can truly automate your entire business. You can even run it from anywhere in the world -- as long as you have a laptop and a phone line, you are in business.
I'll never forget the day I was on a beach in Hawaii, drinking a Corona, when I decided to log on to the 'Net for a few minutes and check my sales. I discovered that I had made over $37,000 that day! This could only happen in today's online age!
When you are first starting out, keep it simple so that you can get up and running fast, but also realize that you'll need to automate soon after you start. We use software to automate most of the daily tasks like processing orders, managing e-mail, and such. Not only is the cost savings huge (one piece of software can literally replace at least 1-2 employees!), but the real benefit is that you don’t get caught up working IN your business instead of ON your business.
If you don’t automate soon, you will find that the mundane work will become overwhelming and you will be filling orders and reading e-mail all day long instead of growing your business. Be careful, because this is a real trap for so many people.
We teach a ton of ways to easily automate your business without a lot of work. We've tried a lot of things, and we show you what works and what doesn't -- and where to spend your time and money for the biggest growth and the biggest profits.
Unfortunately, we don’t really have time to go into this today during this short interview. But remember that you need to automate so that your business can run automatically whether you are there or not. It sounds complicated -- and it was 3 years ago -- but now there are inexpensive software programs and simple techniques that allow anyone to do it easily. I go through a lot of this in the course as it is a fundamental key to success. You need to automate before you can really grow.
Just as an example, my CarSecrets.com site practically runs itself. It automatically takes and fulfils orders, deposits the money in my bank account, takes care of most of the e-mail by autoresponding to customers, automatically promotes its affiliate program, and so on.
It generates hundreds of thousands of dollars in yearly revenue, yet I have an employee who spends less than 10 minutes a day running it. I have not looked at the site myself in over 2 years and it still generates a ton of money. That is the kind of business you want.
How do you stay up-to-date on an industry that is constantly changing?
We have a team of people who are cranked up on coffee at their desks, testing new ideas every day; we have to be ahead of the curve. We have to update our information and products constantly because the Internet changes so quickly.
The key to really exploiting marketing techniques is that you have to be using them before they become popular, because once people know about them, your audience becomes saturated, and they are not as effective anymore.
Pop-ups are a perfect example. We were using pop-ups way back before anyone else -- they were EXTREMELY profitable back then. As soon as people found out how great they worked, everyone started using them. Of course, as soon as every site had them, their effectiveness fell off quickly. I should say that pop-ups are still a great tool, but they are 50% less effective than they used to be.
Our job is to find the hot marketing techniques before everyone else picks up on them -- and let our customers know so they can use them and profit.
So, where do you see the Internet taking us in the future? How much additional business will be conducted on the 'Net and how important will the Internet be to the business ventures that our kids will be involved with?
Here's a fact: The Internet is becoming part of our lives more and more each day. Just about everyone uses e-mail now. If you want to know the weather, you check the 'Net. You check the 'Net for movie listings in your city, you use it to pay bills, you can use it to educate yourself on just about any subject.
Today there are university classes being held online for people around the world that cannot get to a classroom. There are pay-per-view movies that can be delivered to your computer in DVD quality anytime you want through a broadband connection. I mean, it might not be too long before we all say goodbye to the video store!
Nowadays, your sales force can access order and inventory data from their wireless handheld computers while at a customer’s location. Your fridge can automatically order your milk from the local grocery store for delivery when you are low. (I've actually seen this -- it weighs the area where the milk goes in your fridge and determines when to order more.)
The dot-com days are over, but the Internet has just begun! It will become more powerful and more useful as time goes on. It offers an entirely new level of communication and convenience, which gives home businesses the ability to compete with large corporations, not to mention the ability to run a business from anywhere in the world with next to no overhead or risk.
I personally know janitors and waiters that are making $100,000 a year now with their Internet businesses working only a few hours a day! If they can do it, you can too -- no excuses!
Any last words?
The only thing stopping you from making more money is YOU! You may read this interview and say, “Wow, that sounds great!” But unless you actually do something and take action -- at least get your feet wet -- you will stay at the income level you are at today. Do you think my first site looked great and worked perfectly? Of course not!
If you're thinking about starting a small business, just do it! Get your feet wet, make some mistakes -- once you've started, you'll never look back! And you don’t have to be a computer geek to figure it all out, you just need common sense and the determination to get it done.
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