A good friend of mine used to say this…”You’ve heard that the goal is to work smarter, not harder, right? Well I say the goal is to work LESS!“
Jeff was an accomplished man and very wise. He saw the Internet for what it really is … a tool that offers the ability to set up a business that runs on autopilot.
And Jeff achieved his dream, seeing his online business earn over $250,000 almost completely on autopilot. Every time I spoke with him he would remind me how lucky we both were to have discovered how to do business online. “Not everyone finds it, no matter how hard they try” he would say. “They get distracted and forget to do the little things, the simple things, that really work.”
And he was right.
In the years since my meetings with Jeff I’ve worked hard to automate my business so that I could focus on what I wanted to do, not what I had to do. It’s been an interesting journey and I’d like to share five truths I’ve learned from the process.
The wonderful thing about working online is that there are tools that can almost completely automate your online business, saving you time and money. And the more you automate the more free time you create too, so it’s a win-win!
But sadly these tools are promoted in such a way as to make us think that just owning them will help us make the money. Not true of course – you and I both know people who’ve had Aweber accounts for five years and don’t have a list or aren’t making money from the list they do have.
Likewise, there are many people who know how to build blogs, and have in fact built dozens of them, but still aren’t making any money from blogging.
I think a huge misunderstanding about making money online is this.
… it’s not the million dollar launch or being #1 on Amazon for a day that creates true freedom.
It’s having a business that creates multiple streams of Internet income that creates true time and money freedom. From small and steady streams a giant river can flow.
If you can create a marketing system that creates $400 a month you can duplicate that success in as many markets as you want. Not only that, you can extend and expand that $400 into much more over time.
I fully believe, based on my own experience and that of my consulting clients, that the following is true …
Automating your business so that you can have many small flows of income is the thing that most people should be working on more than anything else.
So here are five ways that you can automate any online business, whether you are an affiliate marketer or you are selling your own products.These are not the only ways to automate but they make a good start. I do each of these in my own business and recommend you give them a try as well.
1. PAY PER CLICK AUTOMATES YOUR PAID TRAFFIC
Let me say straight up that pay per click can be a pain in the neck. Too many courses are still spewing out strategies that worked in 2002 but simply don’t work today.
Even so, far too many have written off pay per click as something that “used to work”. Or something that is not “affiliate friendly”. Others believe you can’t send pay per click traffic to a squeeze page so they have given up on this method.
All are, in my view, incorrect.
The fact is that pay per click still works wonderfully well. And today you have far more options when it comes to pay per click than the mighty Google. Facebook saw to that.
The beauty of pay per click advertising is that you can set it and forget it.
The key is to create an account with your preferred provider and establish a fair bid price, which is what you will pay for every visitor they send you.
Once you have done that, you can tell your pay per click provider how much you will spend and they will keep sending traffic to your site until they reach your budget amount.
What could be better than that?
Now you are getting the traffic you need for a price you choose and at the rate you choose.
Notice here that you are calling the shots. If you want to pay $1 per click you can do that. If you want to pay 10 cents per click you can do that too. Few other methods of marketing online put you in the driver’s seat this way.
All you need do now is log in to your pay per click account once a month and make sure things are going well, and make any adjustments you want.
Super easy traffic control. Profitable too!
One more word on this - I’m not saying that pay per click is the only way to automate advertising buys. Solo ads, banner buys, links and more can be automated once you find the sources you want to use long-term.
2. AUTORESPONDERS AUTOMATE YOUR FOLLOW UP
If your site is wildly successful, you will convince about 2% of first time buyers to buy now.
But what about the 98% – the ones that don’t buy today?
You’ve got to remind them to return and buy.
And the way to do that is by using an autoresponder.
Email marketing is still the most powerful form of online advertising, and it can begin working for you today!
How does it work? It’s quite simple actually.
First you need a landing page. Some call it a squeeze page but any page will do actually. Your blog will work perfectly.
Next you need to drive all the traffic you can to that page and not to the sales page of the product you are promoting. It takes courage to do it this way, but it works.
By the way, I would never ask you to do anything I don’t actually do so feel free to check out the home page of my top two sites and you will see me practicing what I preach.
Now make a list of the top ten reasons why someone should buy from you. Then make each reason into a short email message. This is your basic follow up message sequence. There are many more things one can do but this is a real way to make a strong start.
Those who do want to learn more – your best prospects by the way because they have self-selected - will get your ten messages over time and be prompted to return and buy.
This is TRUE marketing automation.
If you aren’t doing this now, you ARE losing money.
3. BLOGGING AUTOMATES YOUR CONTENT
Whether you love them or hate them, search engines are here to stay. Only email is used more often than a search engine by the average person using the Internet.
So we have to be aware of search engines and learn how to get them to send us highly targeted traffic so we can build our lists, sell products and more.
And that means blogging.
When it comes to getting traffic from search engines I believe there are two major factors that anyone can use to their benefit. For the sake of full disclosure I will readily admit that I’m no Danny Sullivan and don’t pretend to be a Search Engine Optimization expert.
But I do know online publishing and do know how to make money by publishing online, so here goes.
The two big factors when publishing online are:
- Publish only high-quality unique content that will be helpful to human readers in your niche market.
- Publish often
That’s it really. If you write articles for humans instead of search engine spiders and publish often you will do well over time.
So what does this have to do with automation? Everything.
The beauty of blogging is that you can enter an article on your blog today and decide when it gets published as far into the future as you want. You could literally set up articles today to be published a week, month or year from now.
If you do this the search engines will love you because you are always publishing new content. And new high-quality content is the lifeblood of the search engines.
They will find you and like you and they will send you free traffic.
Now that is a win-win-win! You win by getting traffic. The search engines win because you give them the new content they need. And the people who come to your blog win because your helpful articles show them what to do and what to avoid!
4. CLICKBANK AUTOMATES YOUR AFFILIATE PROGRAM
Clickbank is a company through which you can sell your product and have affiliates too.
Selling through Clickbank is easy and fast. I sell all my products through Clickbank and have for years. I’ve been blessed to be a top affiliate and top vendor in Clickbank for many years now.
The best part of working with Clickbank by far is how they manage your affiliate program for you. They literally do all the work.
- They provide the form you need to sign up affiliates.
- They track clicks and sales.
- Best of all … they pay your affiliates for you.
Want unlimited flows of super targeted traffic free?
If you have a strong affiliate program your affiliates will send you all the traffic you need. The more you work with and reward affiliates the more they will reward you with highly targeted traffic that buys!
Motivated affiliates can send you all the traffic you need to succeed.
5. VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS AUTOMATE YOUR SUPPORT
You have heard the term ‘virtual assistant’. A virtual assistant (VA) is simply a man or woman who works from home, has a specific set of skills and will work for you for a fee.
In the old days, we had answering services that would answer our phones and take messages. This was a win-win because your phone was answered by a live person and the message got through.
Now fast forward to the 21st century and discover the power of virtual assistants.
These well-trained individuals work at home and, thanks to the power of the Internet, can do almost any task you need done.
They can …
- Answer your phone
- Answer emails
- Do your article marketing
- Post to your blog for you
- Set appointments for you
- Find people for you to interview
- Run a forum for you
- Do light programming
- Run a support center for you
- And more
You will lose some personal touch by using assistants, but if your goal is to work less, it is a very cost effective way to go.
My favorite resource for virtual assistants is VA Classroom.
The big question …
Should you automate your business to the point where you no longer have to work every day?
If you set up a solid plan and follow it closely that is a question you will need to answer, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now.
Only you can decide how much automation is right for you, and how much you want to personally interact with clients and others.
I chose long ago to keep working in my business even though I could walk away anytime thanks to my automated systems and VAs. I love people and love working with members and consulting clients.
By using these methods you can work alone, make a full time income, and have the free time you want to enjoy life to its fullest.
And THAT is a beautiful thing indeed!