The Value Revolution

or

Internet Marketing Made Simple -- The ONLY 3 Steps You Need To Know To Promote Anything To Anyone Online


In this article:

==> The only 3 steps you need to know
==> What Web 2.0 REALLY is about
==> The dumbing down of the Internet
==> Should you hire out article writing to 3rd world countries?
==> What happened to all the ezines?
==> Is Web 2.0 a barrier to entry?
==> What's the future of Internet marketing?
==> Do you have an advantage over big companies?
==> How do you know which products to buy and which to skip?
==> What's social bookmarking about? Do you need it?
==> Is user generated content an opportunity for you?
==> What's all this talk about interactive web sites?
==> Whatever happened to viral ebooks?
==> How big companies are trying to put the squeeze play on

This is a long article. I have a lot to say. But there is a big payoff if you take your time to read it. You may wanna print it out.

Let's see if I have this straight.

You wanna make a few bucks online. You got retirement staring at you. Or a stack of medical bills to pay off. Or a job that any mindless idiot could do.

Most of all, you wanna call your own shots. You want freedom. You want independence. And you hope online marketing is your ticket to that new world.

And you have your choice among:

  • Butterfly marketing
  • Web 2.0
  • Social bookmarking
  • Blogging
  • Bum marketing
  • Article writing and promotion
  • Organic SEO
  • Google cash
  • Google PPC
  • Video marketing
  • Link exchanging
  • Afffiliate programs
  • PLR
  • Creating your own product
  • Mass site control
  • Adsense
  • Reprint rights
  • The list goes on and on
  • Flipping web sites
  • Flipping Squidoo lenses
  • Hub pages, Propeller, and Connotea
  • Click flipping
  • Domain name portfolios

Whew! That's a LOT of things to do to make money. I thought the idea was to work LESS, not more!

All of the above things are good. They all work if you work them right. Which IS the fly in the ointment, isn't it?

When do you have to even figure out all the above, not to mention DO some or all of 'em.

I mean, I don't have a job. I read a good chunk of most days. And I STILL can't keep up with all the new developments in all the areas.

Let me put the above in the context of a very simple formula anyone can understand and follow. Then, it'll help you zoom in a little more on which of the above you wanna spend time on and which you don't.

There are three basic steps in this game, in spite of all the hoopla over different methods.

Here is the short form:

  1. Get traffic
  2. Get emails
  3. Send emails

Here is the same formula in a more elongated method.

Step one: Get people to your web site or name squeeze page

Step two: Collect email addresses

Step three: Send out emails

In case that looks a little familiar, it IS the same exact formula I presented in the Amazing Formula years ago. The same thing STILL works, which is more than I can say for a LOT of methods that people have sunk money on over the years.

I could add a fourth step onto there called the KSL. In other words, when you send out those emails, you're usually sending people BACK to a web page that has a sales letter on it.

Or, if you're following trendier models, you parse out your sales letter over time on your blog. It's STILL a sales letter. It's just delivered in CHUNKS.

Back when I got in this game years ago, you only had THREE steps to make money online:

Step 1: Click button one on Net Contact—that was the one that stripped email addresses.

Step 2: Write your email.

Step 3: Click send.

Well, a lot of thing have changed since those days. But the main difference is simply in step one. Instead of stripping email addresses off of web sites, you have to collect them by enticing people with free offers.

Oh, and now, you don't just send out offers. You send out content too. That's why I'm taking my time to write you this ezine each week. So you have an reason to stay on my list and read my offers.

Now, most of the methods in the list above are different ways to get people to your web site. Social bookmarking, Squidoo lenses, inbound links, link exchanges, bum marketing, blogging, article marketing—all those are ways to accomplish step one via organic traffic.

Organic traffic is the LEFT SIDE of the search results. The non-paid results. The lure of free organic traffic is great. And the methods that it takes to get it are a lot of work and never stop!

Here are my guidelines to help you get on a path that actually works for you and gets you somewhere:

Pick one method of getting traffic to your site and develop expertise at it.

Buy all the reports and ebooks on THAT method, instead of buying a little about a lot of methods.

If you wanna do article marketing, then FOCUS just on that until you get great at it.

Ditto for organic seo or affiliate marketing or whatever you choose.

My friend Kirt Christensen is a great example of this. He is an expert at pay-per-click marketing and puts all his effort into that.

Evaluate the high end product launches in terms of your chosen model.

So if your method is ppc marketing and the next big product launch everyone promotes is about article marketing, you might wanna think twice about dropping your grand on it.

On the other hand, if your chosen method is PPC, I think your investments in the latest products on that topic that are within your budget are very wise expenditures.

Remember that organic traffic is a fast moving game.

If you play the game, Google keeps changing the rules.

But Google does the same on ppc marketing (pay-per-click). Just not as quickly.

Affiliate marketing is built on relationships, and thus is less high tech.

It's great if you're a networker. Not so good if you have no people skills or charm.

Like it or not, the game is STILL an email game.

Yes, I do know of people who make more money by going for the immediate sale than the email address. But for the most part, email still rules.

When CanSpam came along, everyone moved to doing Google Adsense. It seemed less risky. The idea was to monetize clicks and sell them to Google. Which was OK as long as Google let you build thousands of crappy pages disguised as content and would spider them.

But Matt Cutts ain't that dumb. Anyone who thinks they're smarter than Google over the long haul needs a serious dose of brain enhancing vitamins.

In any event, things have settled now. Adsense still works if you play the Game at a higher level. And email is still the killer app -- in spite of the hassles of email deliverability and such.

I'm shocked to see the move away from ezines. In the old days, there were tons of them. A lot of them crappy, just like "made for Adsense" web sites. I don't really miss the crappy ezines.

I miss some of the good ones.

It seems to me that the long shadow of CanSpam still scares people away from email.

What I HATE about Internet marketing is that at the end of the day it gets boiled down to what the least talented, laziest people in the entire world wanna do.

So instead of quality ezines, we had people sending out crap. I mean, brainless articles and tons of ads.

Nothing morally wrong with it. I'm just talking marketing here. What are the odds that something like that is gonna be evergreen?

OK, so you'll make some coin in 6 months before Google zaps it again for the umpteenth thousand time. Now where are you?

Now, we have people churning out articles in 20 seconds using software and flooding article directories with 'em. (Is there really longevity in that model?)

Where is the art in it? Where is the craftsmanship? Where is the love for the topic and the customer? Where is the soul? The passion?

In the viral ebook heydays, we had people writing the worst possible content in an ebook, giving it away for free then bitching and moaning on the forums that it didn't go viral.

Your brightest, most talented or hardest working people offered catchy viral ebooks that contained true value. And oddly enough, the ebooks did well.

Others tried to remove their brain from the equation, offered pure junk, then were shocked at the lack of results.

There is NO LIMIT to which people won't go to take a great method and dilute it down to the lowest common denominator then dilute it even more into pure JUNK.

It's the dumbing down of the Internet.

Thus, big companies try to look for any edge and a way to rise above the noise.

Which leads me to a discussion of Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 is about interactive web sites that make it easy for people to create and upload user generated content.

Web 2.0 is the answer of big business to the dumbing down of the Internet by people who wanna make the quick buck without regard the eco-system they're participating in.

Listen: creating, building and managing interactive web sites is not a piece of cake. The people who do it effectively have FULL TIME programmers on staff.

I laugh when I see Web 2.0 programs that in the end teach social bookmarking and putting a forum on your web site. It's a joke.

Make no mistake -- Web 2.0 is about BIG companies trying to create high end interactive solutions that become a "barrier to entry" for the smaller guy and gal.

Having said that, I'm sure that over the next year or two people will create software that makes creating interactive web sites easier.

I think the DREAM of user generated content sites is amazing. Maybe it'll come into fruition where smaller entrepreneurs can pull it off.

Still, I believe the stuff that really kills it will involve custom programming and a team of programmers.

I know from personal experience it's a heck a lot harder to get people to create and submit user generated content than you'd think.

And even then, someone has to review the user generated content, police it, etc. But user generated content is a cool idea. If the killer app comes along and it helps you build your list, foster relationships and, in the end, sell stuff, I'm all for it.

Where does this leave YOU?

1. Don't be part of the dumbing down of the Internet

Yes, you can make money by having articles of no value to anyone written by someone in a country most people never heard of for $1.00 each.

The lure of easy money beckons all of us. Even the smartest and most talented, who coincidentally, are usually the only ones swift enough to make these strategies pay out.

Are you building something that lasts? Or building on quicksand? I hope you're going evergreen. Or as I'm fond of saying EverRed.

2. Take pride in your content and craft

If you hire out articles, see if you can get articles created that actually offer VALUE.

3. THINK about the model you're following.

I say that Internet marketing is STILL about getting traffic, building your list, and sending out email.

Hopefully, done with more skill than in the past. Hopefully those emails aren't just pure, unadulterated JUNK purchased from the lowest cost PLR site a human being can find with articles written by people in third world countries with no passion or interest in the topic.

Now, you have the new Web 2.0 interactive web sites. Where it can be argued that people participating in the communities will take the place of outbound email.

Still, the FIRST thing those communities do is try to GRAB your entire freaking address book from hotmail, yahoo or gmail and send out what?

EMAIL trying to suck your buddies into the community.

So tell me that email doesn't still rule.

Oh, and if you think it's gonna be cheap and easy to build a community people love and participate in without a programmer, I wonder what you're smoking.

People who think that REALLY and TRULY don't get it.

Web 2.0 is about BIG COMPANIES trying to squeeze out the little guy by creating complex interactive web sites that are a barrier to entry for anyone who can't afford pricey programmers.

4. There is STILL one edge. One advantage.

Creativity.

Craft.

Love of people.

Love of work and information.

Meaningful work.

There's no big business that can replace the SOUL of the Internet with interactive programmers.

That SOUL is people who LOVE a TOPIC. Who LOVE the people involved.

And who CREATE value that is highly desired by those participating in that community.

Web 2.0 is about creating a platform for users to generate and contribute content. Cool stuff. But high end programming. And the monetization for entreprenuers who aren't "going public" is up in the air in my mind.

I think the verdict is still out on whether or not small, undercapitalized entreprenuers can play that game.

In my mind, if you play a Game, you gotta have an ADVANTAGE to win. Does the smaller guy or gal have an advantage over the big guns in the web 2.0 world?

I'm not so sure. But I'm NOT against it. If someone comes out with the killer app that faciliates user generated content -- and if there is a way to MONETIZE that model for a 1 to 10 person business -- then I'll jump on the bandwagon.

To me, web 2.0 is like insurance against the collapse of email. If stupidity reigns and email dies (highly doubtful) as a medium, interactive web sites would still provide a PULL to gather an audience.

Where the mom and pop infopreneur has an advantage is in CREATING know how that fills the wants and needs of a tightly defined audience or audience.

And in building a relationship with 'em via email.

Let's talk about relationships.

There, you have an advantage over the big, impersonal company where employees come and go with rapidity.

You have an edge. An advantage. That's the Red Factor.

Now, to bring this article full circle, how is it you're gonna turn that coin online so you can make what you wanna make, have the freedom you want, sock away a little dough for retirement or pay off those nasty bills?

Step one: Find that market and get those eyeballs to your web site or blog or interactive community.

Step two: Get their name and email by offering something enticing.

Step three: Follow up with emails that offer value and build trust and relationships. Somewhere in there you need to sell something in the process of that conversation.

When that new email with the new magical product hits your email box, you can ask where it fits in these 3 steps.

And you can choose one traffic method in step one to start with and become an expert in. After you master that, you can layer on another.

Start with one.

OK. For a long email, in the end, it's still simple. Find that group of people. Find out what they want and desire. Where they hurt.

Give 'em a reason to get on your email list.

Send 'em emails that create value and sell stuff.

Everybody stands for something.

I stand against:

  • Brain dead junk
  • The dumbing down of the Internet
  • Marketing models that aren't evergreen
  • Taking the easy buck regardless of the eco-impact
  • Methods that spread brainless junk all over the Internet to turn some coin
I stand for:
  • Soul and spirit in marketing
  • Creating value
  • Building relationships
  • Selling stuff in the context of creating value
  • Simple models you can understand and actually succeed with
  • Email marketing

It's a revolution.

I call it the value revolution.

If you wanna join the revolution, if this article helped you, would you please help by spreading it around? Post it on that Squidoo lens or blog.

Stick it on that web site of yours. Send it to a few friends.