Automate Your Online Business in 5 Easy Steps

Automate Your Online Business in 5 Easy Steps by Charlie Page

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 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.

Directory of Ezines

Follow Up Selling Systems

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.

Then set up a form on your site (your autoresponder company – like Aweber or GetResponse will show you how) and invite people to learn more.

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:

  1. Publish only high-quality unique content that will be helpful to human readers in your niche market.
  2. 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.

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!

 

 

    • Happily married for 40 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and owner of The Directory of Ezines, Follow Up Selling Systems, Common Sense Blog Blueprint and other membership sites.

      Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

      • Pingback: Three steps to happiness | CharliePage.com

      • Joseph Juhant

        I enjoyed reading this article and looking foreword to the next email you send..Keep them coming Charlie

      • Pingback: Three steps to happiness CharliePage.com

      • Pingback: Five Ways To Spot A Great Product — Common Sense Internet Marketing

      • http://thehealthyfitness.com Sheng Skimins

        Hi Charlie,
        Thank you very much for this great blog. Everyday, I like to read your blog as it helps me to generate new idea for my business. I was doing affiliate marketing, but I find it’s difficulty to only promote other people’s stuff. So I start my Jewellery business. Now I become more smart than what was. I think online business is great, but I’m not sure if I can do solo ads to promoting my Jewellery website (it’s coming soon) which is my new business.

        Thanks
        Sheng

      • http://workfromhomewow.net/do-you-need-bathroom-renovations-help Workfromhomewow.Net

        I?m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Great blog and outstanding design.|

      • http://www.grammyscorner.com Phyllis Thomas

        I enjoyed the article immensely. Each of the five tips make sense to this newbie and is very encouraging. There’s so much to learn but articles like this one really helps one to see the value in listening to and learning from those who have walked the walk. Again, thanks.

      • Auli EKMAN

        Wonderful Tips ! As I begin my business and a new member of DOE, this will help me to get started correctly. THANK you Charlie !

      • http://www.homebizlink.com Joe Reinbold

        Some great tips.

        Thanks Charlie

      • Pingback: How Does Article Marketing Work? | CharliePage.com

      • Pingback: Automatic Income! | CharliePage.com

      • Pingback: Four Tools That Can Change Your Life | CharliePage.com

      • Pingback: Five Ways To Spot A Great Product | CharliePage.com

      • Pingback: Online Marketers: The Lesson of the Conditioner Bottle | CharliePage.com

      • http://www.yourhealthyhomebiz.com Sarah Clachar

        Charlie,
        Excellent post – I’m turning it into my checklist as I start to work hard on my FREEing internet businesses. Thank you for creating such a simple, proven guide.

        BTW, I’ve been so pleased with the surprise sales that come with autoresponders. It something to realize that while you created something years ago, it can still feel like a fresh conversation to a new subscriber. And the beauty of it is that you can keep building on it. I’m currently shifting some of my focus from blog posts, to integrating them into a foundational autoresponder series – using your model.

      • http://www.multi-level-marketing-website.com Charles Holmes

        Great post Charlie. I need to do a better job with the PPC aspect for my business. I got the Google Slap and now rely on Facebook for all my PPC needs. I’ve used Adbrite too, but don’t enjoy their services as much as Facebook.

        I like the idea of automating everything. Even though I make a good income now, and will make more in the future, I could never imagine walking away from my business. I would definitely simplify things and have a VA to help me with the less important tasks.

        Thanks for sharing.

        Chuck

      • Pingback: Happy Groundhog Day — CharliePage.com

      • Peter Sweeney

        Thanks for the sound advice.Tis is a blog I will return to time and time again.

        regards

        Pete

      • http://earnmoneyonline-101.com Dita

        Hi Charlie,

        I am back reading your posts. (thanks for the reminder email). I enjoyed this one. I am truly the one who needs automation. Just seems I am scattered all over the place. I hope 2012 will be my turnaround.

        Regards

        Dita

      • http://www.ebizoracle.com Tom

        Thanks Charlie!

        Great article, and Im looking forward to your next:)

      • Tim Pond

        Hi Charlie,
        awesome tips!
        Tip: doc sharing sites are getting millions of eyeballs each month…
        You really should outsource many of your tasks. I recommend Fiverr.com.

        Thank you,
        Tim

      • zoulikha

        Hi Charlie,

        I appreciate that you are sharing with us all your knowledge in internet marketing.

        I really want to be trained by you. I need some one who can guide me step by step, and I will do all my best
        to reach what I want to. I do have a lot of information about internet marketing, and I do not know where to start.

        I appreciate your help Charlie.

        zoulikha

      • Linda Basta

        Great post as usual, Charlie.

        Thanks

      • http://innovationexplained.com Steve Sponseller

        Thanks Charlie – we all need a reminder to get back to the basics and focus on automating our businesses. It’s easy to follow the “latest shiny object” and lose track of the fundamentals. Thanks for keeping us well-grounded!

        Steve

      • http://www.learnhomebusiness.com S. Kumar

        Hi Charlie,

        Excellent post! Just the way I read you way back in 2011!

        I have followed all the four steps you mentioned till now. Except PPC:-)

        Never paid a single cent in Ads. And this too comes from someone who has
        completed 10yrs in online business.

        BTW, I still read your emails faithfully.

        Congrats on your 10+ years :-)

        S. Kumar

      • Paul Warner

        I think this was an excellent post, although I must say that “pay per click” is pretty scary to me. We are so inundated with this continual pounding of this deal or that deal, or do it this way, do it that way, that come the end of the night, or on the weekend I have nothing left mentally to want to even read this stuff, so finding a way to be sufficiently satisfied with what I am doing, both in the developmental and financial side of things and getting it to the point that it is somewhat automated, is truly a goal of mine. I do not have the mindset to take the continual battering that we take every single day, including Sundays which I hate, and holidays, and the only way to get away from this stuff is to automate what I am doing, so that I don’t have to concern myself with the latest new software, or a top secret method that the gurus will get mad about, if they find out you told me.
        Paul

        • Charlie Page

          As I mentioned, pay per click is only one example of how to automate online advertising. There are many ways to do this.

      • http://marketsecrets.biz MarketSecretsBlogger

        I watched a webinar that mentioned the difference between an entrepreneur and an opportunity seeker who ends up being a manager and the major thing separating them was AUTOMATION. The ideal Entrepreneur automates things in order to work on more projects and do more of the things he/she loves in life!

        One thing that i do have a concern on based from experience in it is the dangers of ppc advertising and it would be great if you could give a tutorial post on that Charlie..

      • http://kirkhamsebooks.com Sensei J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc.

        How are you protecting your work if you’re selling through Clickbank? They have the worst no questions asked screw the vendor return policy I’ve ever seen..

        • Charlie Page

          By providing very high quality products that do what they say they will do and by supporting our customers. Clickbank does have a liberal policy but when people love what you sell they don’t ask for refunds in the first place.

          • Rocky

            Totally agree Charlie. I have less than 1% refunds through Clickbank.

            Selling a great product that overdelivers and truly solves the problem the buyer was trying to solve means people don’t want a refund.

            I’ve seen some real rubbish sold on Clickbank over the last year or so; obviously they are going to have a high refund rate for that kind of thing, but if you have a great product at a fair price, you can do very well.

            Cheers

            Rocky

          • Gordon Appleby

            Charlie and Rocky are right. Not only should you not be afraid of a liberal refund policy, you should embrace it. It builds incredible trust, credibility and rapport, and closes a LOT of sales. My refund policies were very liberal (risk reversal, not just elimination), and in the 14 yrs of full time info-marketing before selling my company in April, my refund rate was about 1/10 of 1%. Here’s how I did it:
            1. I worked hard at building relationships. If they know, like and trust you, they’ll be more forgiving when you do screw up (& we all do).
            2. I accepted responsibility & fixed any problems quickly, cheerfully and without hassle.
            3. priced my products fairly. Charge what it’s worth, but don’t stick it to your customer and then expect loyalty and happiness.
            4. I happily over-delivered in value. It was a point of pride with me.
            5. I used simple “stick” campaigns to prevent “Buyer’s Remorse”
            6. I NEVER made my live events pitch-fests. 1i sold a lot of back end products, but the extreme focus was on delivering the content they had already paid for.
            6. Don’t EVER say anything in your sales copy that isn’t totally true. Don’t even insinuate. I have no problem with hyperbole…I have a BIG problem with lying, even a “little” one.

          • Charlie Page

            Well said. I especially like point #5. If you are going to teach, teach. if you are going to sell, sell. Leading people to believe you are going to be sharing, or teaching, and then it’s nothing but a pitch is just bad business.

            Thank you for sharing.

            Charlie

      • http://www.start-online-business-guide.com Kanute Fleming

        Excellent post, Charlie,

        I think the biggest obstacle for people to automate their business like you describe, is the whole lot of work and time i take to put it into work. Then of course a system like your F.R.E.E.D.O.M. comes in handy, but I think the price tag may be a bit scary for many starters.

        Regards,
        Kanute

        • Charlie Page

          Here’s the thing. People put in the same amount of working trying the “latest and greatest” unproven tricks as they would spend doing the work once and creating a system that will actually work. As to the price, we do a lot for members – build and host squeeze pages, give them fully turnkey marketing packages that include a 25 message follow up series and much more. This is not some site we built once and now sell again and again. We add to the site on a regular basis. So I feel the price is very fair given how much work we do for members. If you are like most of our members you have spent far more than the price of membership on things that don’t work. We’ve all been there. All I’m saying is why not buy something that is proven to work instead?

      • Ioan

        Hi, all from you is very interesting and must to follow…I hope this week to subscribe at your “Freedom”…thanks and all the best for you! Ioan=John.

      • http://www.MyAffiliateMarketingOnline.com Zack Lim

        Hi Charlie,

        Thank you for sharing your many years of experience in internet marketing.

        Sometime we are so involved in the business that we forget that we can outsource the tasks that is repetitive. The biggest advantage in automating the business is having more extra time for oneself.

        Thanks for the reminder that time is more precious than money as we can always earn back the money but we cannot earn back the time.

        Looking forward to your next great article :)

        Zack

      • http://finchmorapedi.com Finch Morapedi

        Hi charlie,
        And the beauty of blogging is ties with everything else SEO,Social media,video,article marketing etc.

        I could’nt agree more.NICE work here

        Regards

        -Finch

      • http://www.businesscontentplr.com Sharyn Sheldon

        Hi Charlie,

        Thanks so much for this reminder that I need to automate more tasks in my business. It can be a little time-consuming to set up some of the automation (like training virtual staff), but so rewarding. The biggest benefit for me is taking some of the clutter of mundane tasks out of my head, freeing up my mind to focus on more strategic ideas.

        Great post!

        Sharyn

      • http://personal-spiritual-growth.blogspot.com Lee Wise

        As always, Charlie, I appreciate your thoughts and advice from many years experience!

        Good to hear that you are back in your home! (At least that’s what I thought).

        Have a blessed weekend,

        Lee