As most of you will remember, I have asked you to send in your 'little' Internet story - examples of how you've taken some of the information you've learned from us and applied it to your own business.
Almost as soon as I sent out this request, I was literally overwhelmed
with responses. It's really rewarding for me to know that the information we work so hard to put together for you is being turned into profits by so many of you!
And, as promised, I've read through each and every e-mail that you sent
in, and I've selected the five most inspiring Internet stories to share with my readers.
Now, this was no easy task! I spent days going through your entries, and
was impressed by just about everything I read! But in the end, I could only choose a few to publish in this issue of the newsletter.
So please read through the Internet story below and
think about what steps YOU would have to take to bring YOUR business to the next level.
The "next level" for you may be actually getting a web site up and running, or it may be growing your monthly revenues from $80,000
to $150,000. The point is that there is something that EVERY business can gain by reading through the successful Internet story below.
Internet Story of Success #1: Dr. Mani Sivasubramanian
Thanks for the invitation to share my small success Internet story.
I've been your subscriber since 1996, and one thing I've heard consistently from you is to AUTOMATE EVERYTHING. I loved your thinking: "Would you rather work on your business 18 hours a day, day after day?
Or would you prefer to create a business, put it on auto-pilot, then move on to either marketing the daylights out of it, or creating another income stream?"
Recently I put it to use - and got a 'small' success.
It was when I released my new content related to profitable blogging (web
logging). The title of my creation is: "Blog Profit Ideas Exposed - 33 Quick Tips Blog Publishers Can Profit From.
Thanks to the valuable lessons in automation I had learned from you, I
was able to plan the entire process from scratch to run on autopilot
after the creative part was over. I wrote the eBook, packaged and formatted it, set it up for download, prepared the marketing material, set up EVERYTHING on autoresponders, and then announced it to my list and on some forums.
Amazing response followed.
I got a 21.7% response rate to my list mailout - the highest I've EVER
had in the past. 52 sales resulted from one list of 550 subscribers,
making it almost a 10% SALE conversion.
Then the next wave began, when my affiliates started promoting it to
their lists. I raised the price by $10 and still made sales.
Forums started buzzing about it.
Affiliate gurus noticed it on their radars - and helped spread the word.
Allan Gardyne, Phil Wiley, Rosalind Gardner, and many others told their lists about "Blog Profit Ideas Exposed."
In all, I've made 92 sales in a month - you DID say you wanted to hear
about "small Internet story successes!" :-)
But to me, this is what's most exciting:. After creating the process, I
have been tied up with several other things, including a major project to raise funding to help children with heart defects receive life-saving operations - The Heart Kids Blogathon --
I've planned - and am putting together - 2 membership websites, formed
two joint ventures on other topics, and several other things.
Because the Blog Profits project is running on AUTO-PILOT.
Just like you taught me to do it!
Thanks for that wonderful advice, I really am reaping enormous benefits from the hours and hours of time saved by meticulous planning and careful execution at the beginning.
I'm sure several others with limited time to spend on their online business will find similar benefits from following your suggestions.
And even if they do have time to spare, it can be put to more productive use by automating their business process.
Thanks for everything.
Internet Story of Success #2: Greg Rouse
Hi, my name is Greg Rouse and I make my living as a teacher. As you know
teachers don't make a lot of money, so I decided to start a web site on the side based on a unique idea I had. The web site is called www.WildernessTrip.com and it's a free online guidebook, where we photo-document outdoor trips with interactive maps and detailed route descriptions.
We had been up and running for a while, trying the whole advertising thing (which wasn't working), when I decided to order your IMC course to get some ideas on how to make this whole idea profitable. Well the book is incredible and I've only begun to tap into it and use all the great strategies it details.
One of those strategies that I've begun to utilize is the strategy of starting a free newsletter. Our newsletter notifies subscribers of new
trips that have been added to the site, along with a wilderness tip or skill each month. The results we've begun to see are to the tune of a 100% increase in traffic with each release (WOW).
When my subscribers get that newsletter each month, they just cannot resist looking at all those new trips. This technique has not only increased return visitor traffic, but it has also helped our credibility with our return visitors by showing continual growth and making us into a resource for outdoor information.
Now I do have to say, when we first started to do the newsletter it was
pretty easy, but soon it became a huge hassle having to manage all the names and addresses, along with meeting the deadlines each month. Then we decided to follow your advice (wish I would have done it from the beginning) and order your Mailloop software... What a difference it made!
It took a couple of days to get the hang of the software and then we
automated the whole thing. No more having to mess with all the management stuff, the software does it for you. If someone signs up, unsubscribes, or changes e-mail addresses it's handled. One feature I really like is when a new subscriber signs up they get last month's newsletter automatically sent to them so they can know what to expect.
This not only cuts down on unsubscribes by familiarizing them with it
(some people forget what they sign up for), but it also builds anticipation for the next mailing.
The other feature I especially like is how we were able to spend a few
weeks this summer preparing a years worth of newsletters, so we can now just automatically release one each month - that's slick!
What does all this saved time mean? Well, it's allowed us the time to
research and find out what our customers want, which translates into new ways of making our web site profitable. That's why I'm excited to announce that we will be launching our new e-commerce end of this venture in the fall and because we've only begun to utilize a few of the concepts from the book on how to benefit from your subscriber base, the future looks great.
Internet Story of Success #3: Catherine Bracken
Thanks for the opportunity to share my story. I have employed many of the
techniques in your Internet Marketing course to grow my online needlework supply business over the last 6-8 months.
However, by far the most effective has been the use of autoresponders
to deliver a highly informative article about needlework stands (frames). Needlework stands are complicated and expensive ($30-$300), and our customers often ordered accessories that didn't fit the frame, sometimes leading to expensive product returns.
The new 9-page article takes the customer through all aspects of selecting a needlework frame to suit their needs, and includes links to
products we sell. I introduced this article in May through one of our opt-in newsletters, and now feature a link to a pop-up sign-up box on our homepage. Every day, 1-5 people request the article.
Based on your suggestion, I use an autoresponder to deliver the article
rather than just posting it on the Web. Using e-mail management software, I then send a series of messages about needlework frames, ending with a special offer (coupon or free shipping). The first day the article was available, I sold an expensive stainless steel frame and 2 large wooden frames.
Our sales of frames have gone up more than five-fold. We went from selling a few small frames per week and maybe one medium or large per
month to selling small frames every day, medium stands every week, and even the largest, most expensive ones every month. My site is now the single largest retailer of quality handmade wooden needlework stands according to the manufacturer.
The medium and large stands are drop shipped, so our labor costs are almost zero, and our inventory storage costs are zip! Gross margins
on this product, even after I discount the price, are about 35%. It took about 40 hours to research and write the article, rewrite the related product page on the web site, create the autoresponder series, add products to the database so that we could offer the full range, and negotiate delivery terms with the vendor.
It now takes about 30 minutes per week to fill those orders, and the amount of problem orders has gone down because our customers are better
informed. What a great result!
Internet Story of Success#4: Gregg Gillies
Thanks for this great opportunity to share with others what it's like starting out and the things you can do to move your business forward toward an amazing amount of success.
My site, www.buildleanmuscle.com, has been "live" for not quite
three months. However, it already has an Alexa ranking of 170,009
and keeps moving up.
After reading the interview with Eric Weeks, I really got into researching all the ways to optimize my site pages for good search engine rankings.
The fact that Eric specialized in search engine rankings for his marketing and pulled in over $800,000 in business really made its mark on me.
The interview with Willie Crawford led to two changes on my homepage. One, I mentioned my newsletter right away, with a link to the signup page. Two, I used a testimonial for my eBook right on my site's homepage, highlighted in yellow, with a link to my eBook's sales page.
The click-through rate to my eBook's sales page from the home page has gone from 7.1% to 15.9%. In addition, my newsletter sign-ups have gone
from an average of 8 - 12 a week to 20 - 30 a week since the change.
I have combined your advice of having a back-end product with the interview with Douglas Boisvert. Douglas uses eBay in his marketing. I've written a report based on my eBook and sell it on eBay. This is now generating leads and newsletter subscribers. And instead of paying a service to get me subscribers to my newsletter, I am pocketing a few bucks each time I generate a lead.
Finally, I've combined a past article of Corey's with the interview with
Rosalind Gardner. I've chosen to use the option you mention about building a content site and getting quality traffic. Now, I don't charge money for advertising. Instead, based on the interview with Rosalind, I have chosen a few high-quality companies that I affiliate with and sell their products from my web site for a commission.
This can be done. For those that are tired of hearing about all the people getting rich and wondering why it's not working for them, it can be done. But it does take work and the right knowledge.
You provide the work and let Corey provide the knowledge. I can't recommend the book highly enough. As you can see, it's provided a wealth of knowledge to me in my marketing efforts to get my new Internet business up and running.
A few months ago, I didn't have a web site. Just the other day, I had my
first multiple product sale day and pocketed $102.66 in profit,
while I was sleeping.
I hope this is something you can use. Thanks for giving a beginner
the opportunity to share my experiences as I work to get my business off the ground.
Internet Story of Success #5: Jullieanne Whitney
I know you don't know me from Eve LOL! And my success story is not as great as others, but to many people, they see my story as a huge success.
You see, 3 years ago I didn't know how to turn a computer on, and had
never seen the Internet. The first thing I found was online games and that to me was so cool. Then one day...
I found myself searching the 'Net looking for a way to make money because
I had "heard" people actually doing it. I was forced to stay at home to stay "on hand" for my special- needs son. Anyway, I found a "scam" and got all excited about it. Well, it was a scam indeed.
BUT, while I was looking for ways to market the scam, I came across these
"online newsletters" or "e-zines". Right then and there I KNEW that was something I HAD TO DO since I love to write! AND... guess who's e-zine I found rather quickly and read faithfully ever since?! Yes, YOURS.
So, I started - with no money and no clue. I used a free list provider until that could no longer meet my needs. However, by that point I was generating an income from advertising sales. I was tickled pink when I made my first solo ad sale for a whopping $5.00! I ended the first year with $20,000 from sales and affiliate programs. This year? Perhaps double. Not bad at all - I would NOT be making that working full-time outside the home!
Soon after, I started my "Ezines-R-Us Directory" & Ad Placement
Services. In under 2 years, the Directory has grown, and continues
to grow with over 160 Publishers and 1.5 Million Subscribers.
My own e-zine has grown to over 12,000 readers!
Needless to say, everything fell into place rather quickly, and to this
day, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of starting your own e-zine or free newsletter. But it's not about the size of the list - it's about building relationships and trust. Once you've got that, hang on for dear life because it's your life line to success on the Internet.
Well, I'm glad I wrote this. I look back and surprise myself even!
Final Thoughts about Internet story
The thing I have always loved about the Internet is the way it gives EVERYONE a chance to easily build a successful business.
Every one of the people whose stories you have just read are "regular people" who took a chance - and have been able to make a real difference in their lives.
You may have ambitions to make millions of dollars a year online, or
you may just want to bring in enough money so that you can stay at home with your children. Either way, the first step is to GET STARTED -- exactly like the five people you've just read about did.
Mani, Greg, Catherine, Gregg, and Jullieanne aren't Harvard MBAs. And they aren't likely to make the cover of Fortune magazine. They're just real people - like you and me - who have recognized the tremendous potential of the Internet as a way to earn an excellent living.
I really enjoyed writing this, as it has given me a chance
to reconnect with my subscribers. In fact, I enjoyed it SO much that I've decided to add a "Internet Story of Success in the Month"
And remember, I don't care how "small" your success is! If you started
a site that is "just" making $400 a month - and this allows you to plan a vacation with your family - that's a HUGE success in my books!