Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Future Of Free Internet Marketing

So here we are on what is officially the end of the Thirty Day Challenge - Day 30. Today there was no real lesson, per se, but Ed did a video explaining a little of what the future holds for those who stuck it out and made it to the end - or should I say the beginning - or is that the end of the beginning? I'm not really sure but anyway, Ed went into a little of what would be happening in the coming weeks, months.

But isn't the challenge over? Isn't that the whole point, it runs for 30 days and then that's it for another year? Well, in past years, yes, that would have been the case, but Ed and Dan have decided to carry on with this project because they could see the potential to be had in having so many thousands of people stick around and listen to what they have to say. Not only that, but these people got to put into practice what Ed and Dan taught and saw the results for ourselves - so we know this stuff works and therefore we know these guys know what they're talking about, you know?

Ed explained that they would be keeping the Thirty Day Challenge site up as it was, with the forums and training all accessible to whoever wanted to register. They would be getting some volunteers in to help moderate the forums, and keep them going as "action forums", as Ed put it. That just means that the posts that are put up there are quality, they have content and they are about taking action. There's no griping or trying to sell stuff, like in other marketing forums. The stuff in the 30DC forum is the good oil, and it's the sort of resource that can be tapped into forever, because as new techniques and tools come the way of the 30DC'ers out there, they'll post about it in the 30DC forum. It's developed into a real community, with everyone having that one common connection.

So Ed talked about where we go from here. He said that over the coming weeks and months he would be making the occasional blog post along with Dan, that would slowly but surely go into the ongoing process of Internet Marketing. As Ed put it, this last 30 days was all about testing. From here, we move away from using third party platforms and products to make our money, and get into creating our own products on our own domains, and reap all the rewards. But that will come over time, in dribs and drabs as Ed and Dan can find the time in between their regular day jobs working on the Immediate Edge and other marketing ventures. Some of the subjects touched on for the future was List Building, Product Development, Domain Registration and Pay Per Click Advertising. Now, obviously these subjects don't fall under the "free" ethos of the thirty day challenge, which is simply why they weren't included in it. But beyond the free testing phase it's now time to start investing a little bit of money into your niches in the hope that it will get you more money coming back. Basically, if all the 30 days of testing showed you that you have a niche that pays, then it's time to move ahead with it, but to do that you'll have to spend a little too.

List building, for anyone who doesn't know, is when you get people to sign up to your newsletter. This can be done any number of ways but usually involves offering the potential signer something for free in exchange for their name and email address. Obviously, the bigger your client base the more chance you have of making money, and if you can target your client base when you feel like it, by sending out an email, rather than waiting for them to stumble on your page at random, then the more chance you'll have of making a sale. So capturing email addresses in vitally important when it comes to making real money.

Product development is pretty self-explanatory. This is where we create something to take over from selling the affiliate product we had been trying to sell in the past, through Clickbank or Amazon or somewhere else. To create our own product means that we are no longer getting just a commission of the sale, but the whole sale price. From there you can actually put your product on sites like Clickbank and have other people sell it for you, thereby generating even more revenue.

Domain registration is where you move from using third party platforms such as Blogger, Squidoo, Tumblr, whatever, to registering your own domain name that will have something to do with your niche - and buying some space on the web that you can call your own and therefore decorate the way you want. The reasons why we haven't done this already are explained previously - but to recap it's all about Google seeing your site as ugly and not ranking you very high. If you are using a third party platform for your content then you already have a leg-up, as these sites are already viewed favorably in Google. When you go out on your own, however, it's a cold cold world, and Google will generally sandbox you for a period of time while they figure out what to do with you. But now that we have tested and worked on backlinks and social bookmarking we know that we can work our own sites - as long as have a product/niche that people want to spend money on.

Pay Per Click advertising is just that, advertising that you pay for as people click on it. It's usually handled by Google Adwords, and by paying a certain amount of cents per each time someone clicks on your ad, you can generate a monster load of traffic. What it all depends on is how competitive your keywords, which is reflected by how much you need to spend to get to the top of the search results.

And I'm sure there will be more to come as well...

What Ed is mapping out will eventually look something like this:

A map of the whole internet marketing network for one niche

It's a confusing looking beast, I know. Some of it I understand, but most of it is a complete mystery to me. But I'll continue to document my way through it and hopefully it will all be explained in time.

Well, there were times when I wondered whether or not I'll get through the whole challenge. It was a HUGE amount of information and work to accomplish. Even though I'm a stay-at-home Dad doing this I still found it difficult to keep up every single day - I don't know how people who have 9 to 5 jobs coped! My hat is off to everyone who got through the challenge. I truly believe that Ed Dale and Dan Raine hold the future of Internet Marketing in their hands, and the 30DC was a sampler of that knowledge. The testing phase that Ed himself goes through with each new niche. That's a high recommendation in my book.

As with any sort of training, the first time round is the hardest, as it's all new information to process. The second time around the process is a little easier as you're being reminded. By the third or fourth times you've got the process down and can get through the majority of the training in next to no time. The market research phase of the thirty day challenge went on for days, and rightly so - there was a lot to explain. Now that we have the understanding, we need only touch on the notes as we go through to remember what we had to do the first time around. Next time I probably won't need notes at all. So as of today I'm moving on to my next niche and starting the thirty day challenge process again. I've put a call out for some more team mates and have had a few replies and even joined a couple of social bookmarking groups on Facebook to help with the networking. I'll be keeping the niche to myself at least for the time being, but suffice to say that this time around I'll be challenging myself by tackling a niche with more competition that what we've been told to go for in the thirty day challenge. The reason for this is that I believe the first time around it was very important to start small, but with each crack at the process we become more comfortable with it, and I believe the things taught to us by Ed and Dan can be used on any size niche, whether it be to make $10 a month or $10,000 a month. Ok, so I'm not going after the health market or anything, not even the wedding market - it's only my second go with the process and I ain't that comfortable with it yet. I'll explain more in my next blog, when I start detailing MY experience of going through the process, rather than mostly going through what Ed has told me.

If you haven't tried the Thirty Day Challenge then I fully recommend you give it a go. It's completely free and has a mountain of information that WORKS! You really have nothing to lose except some time. If you follow their steps as they teach it you will make money. If I can do it as an Internet Marketing neophyte then believe me, anyone can. Hell, even kids took the challenge and they made money. If you're at all curious about Internet Marketing as a way of quitting your day job then I say try it out and see for yourself. Don't listen to nay-sayers who are jealous or spiteful that this information is getting put out on the net for free when they're trying to charge you an arm and a leg for it - do it, and thank me later.

So where do we go from here? The sky is the limit.

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