A couple of days ago, I mentioned a challenge that I was going to present to myself and to the readers. The challenge was to follow a step-by-step plan to add an extra $1,000 per month to my business (or an extra $12,000 per year to my income).
This 30 day challenge is based around the old saying, “The money is in the list” and the commonly told statement that “one subscriber on your list is worth $1 per month to you“. We’re really going to put these statements to the test this month.
I talk to a lot of marketers and I hang out in a lot of the circles that some of the most well-known marketers in world hang out in. One thing that I’m constantly hearing is that email marketing is getting harder and harder and people just aren’t making as much money with their mailing lists as they used to make.
Over the next 30 days, I’m going to attempt to go from zero subscribers and absolutely no name recognition to a list of one thousand subscribers and an asset that will generate $1,000 per month or more.
I’m going to do this by creating a free product that people opt-in for. I’m going to use a pen name so that no one knows that it’s me giving away this product and I’m going to register a brand new Aweber account so that I can show proof that I’m starting from scratch.
To generate traffic to this opt-in page, I’m going to purchase paid traffic from a couple different sources and attempt to build the list as fast as possible. Once my list passes about 500 subscribers, I’ll talk about how to leverage the existing subscribers to grow the list with a couple free methods but the majority of the traffic will be a result of paid advertising methods.
I will monetize this process in a few different ways.
First off, I’m going to put a couple affiliate links inside the free report that I give out. After reading my free report, if anyone wants to grab any resources I mention, I will receive an affiliate commission.
I’m going to monetize my thank you page, first with an affiliate link and possibly later with my own product. So as soon as someone opts-in for the free report, there will be a screen that says something along the lines of “Thank you for opting-in! Your free report is waiting for you in your inbox. In the meantime, I recommend checking out this product to help you with X.”. If I have time within the next 30 days, I may create my own product as an upsell after the opt-in so that instead of making only 50% of the sale, I’ll take 100%…
Finally, I’m going to monetize the list that I’m building by promoting affiliate products in the followup sequence. So once someone is on my list, they will be added to a daily followup sequence that is a combination between free training and help and an occasional resource that I can use my affiliate link with.
That’s the whole process right there.
To recap… Create a free report to give away in exchange for an email opt-in. Create a squeeze page to send people to. Use paid traffic sources to send loads of traffic to the squeeze page. Make money from affiliate links within the report itself, make money from affiliate links on the thank you page, and make money from the followup sequence once people are added to the list.
That’s the business model…
In theory, if I can add 1,000 subscribers to this new list, I can add $1,000 per month to my business.
Ok… So here’s the step-by-step / play-by-play that I’m going to put in to action.
1. During this first week, I’m going to spend some time creating my free report. I’m not going to reveal the niche to you yet because I want this to work without bias. Within this free report I’m going to include recommended resources and use my affiliate link for those resources. The report won’t be long… Maybe 5-7 pages in total. We’re giving this away for free. We want it to be extremely high quality and give loads of value but we don’t need to write an entire book. It’s going to be great detail and great quality but very “to the point” as well. I recommend picking a niche that works online for the traffic sources we’ll be working with. (i.e. WordPress how to, coding, graphic design, traffic strategies, the basics of how to use the internet, etc… Something that shows how to do something online). Make sure you have knowledge in this area. Don’t go attempting to teach something you know nothing about.
2. During this first week, I will also generate a squeeze page for this free product. The squeeze page will be very simple at first but I will do some split testing once we start sending traffic to it (more on split testing in a future post). To make things really easy, I will probably just use Optimize Press to make the squeeze page look amazing and have it online in a matter of minutes. You can also use The WP Cash Cow method that I’ve taught in the past and that I teach inside The WordPress Classroom to create your squeeze page. If you don’t want to use either of those, you can always do a search on Google for “Squeeze Page Template” and work with you find. For me, I love Optimize Press. (Note – You will also need hosting and a domain name to get started. I recommend using Hostgator if you are just getting started.)
3. During this first week, I will create a “Thank You” page. This will be the page that people see immediately after opting-in to my mailing list. On this page I will inform people that their free report is on its way and to check their email. I will also use this space to promote some sort of related affiliate product. Everyone who opts-in to my list sees this page (whether they use a garbage email or not). This is valuable real estate. When I dive in to split testing, I will probably split test the offers on this page as well and see what makes the most money. Again, for this page I will probably use OptimizePress but really, any WordPress page will probably do just fine.
4. During this first week, I will create a brand new Aweber account that’s 100% empty. I will create a “Thank You” email that links subscribers to where they can download their free report. (I’ll upload the free report in to my WordPress installation and just direct link it in the email). I will also write the first two or three followup emails that subscribers will see the first few days after joining the list. They will probably be helpful hints and tips to make the subject of my free report even easier to grasp but I will also throw in some affiliate links in here and there.
5. After this point, I will begin generating traffic to my squeeze page using paid traffic methods. My preferred paid traffic methods are 2nd tier PPC networks like 7search, Ezanga, and Adbrite, PPV networks like TrafficVance and LeadImpact, and solo ads (paying to mail out to someone else’s mailing list). I will attempt to keep my costs below $1 per opt-in. If we are assuming that one opt-in is worth $12/per year ($1 per month) we can probably actually allow leads at a cost higher than $1 per opt-in. However, to keep the math simple and to maximize profits as much as possible, I’m going to work towards a goal of less than $1 per opt-in. This will make more sense as I start showing examples of my tests and campaigns.
I may spend upwards of $100-$200 per day on some of these campaigns with the idea that I will generate more than $100-$200 per month from the leads that these campaigns generate. $100-$200 per day in theory should add an extra $1,200 – $2,400 per year to my business. Spending this kind of money on traffic can definitely be scary when you’re first starting out. Feel free to build upon these theories and methods as slow or as fast as you’d like. Personally, I’m willing to spend $1 to make $12 back as much as I possibly can…
6. Once I’ve built my list to 400-500 subscribers, I will experiment with Adswaps… Adswaps are basically leveraging your existing list to grow it even further. What I’ll do is I’ll find other people that have similar list sizes to mine and ask them if they’d be willing to mail their list and tell them about my opt-in page in exchange for me mailing my list and mentioning their opt-in page. We are essentially sharing each other’s leads and growing both lists even larger. I’m not a huge fan of adswaps because there are a lot of people out there who offer really sub-par quality products for free. If you start doing adswaps, make sure you opt-in to the other person’s list first and see what they are giving away. If you promote other people’s freebies and they are complete crap, you’ll start to hurt the relationship that you are building with your own list which will do more longterm damage than it will do good.
7. Towards the end of my 30 days, I expect I will have at least 1,000 subscribers. At this point, I will pick one product that I really like and support and do a large promo for it (2 – 3 mailings about 1 product). At this point, hopefully my list is responsive enough that I can generate a good amount of sales from this promo. I will tally up the sales from this promo as well as all the affiliate sales along the way and report back. If I made over $1,000 from all of this in the next 30 days, we can call this a success. If I don’t, we’ll play it be ear whether or not we call it a success or failure…
I’m going to have to be real careful with my reports over the next couple weeks. I don’t want to give away my product or my pen name to people following along. This needs to stay completely unbiased so that I can prove that anyone can do this starting from scratch.
It’s going to be a fun journey and, if it works, there’s no reason I can’t continue to duplicate the process. There should also be no reason that anyone else couldn’t duplicate the process as well. It may take a little bit of funding to get it rolling, however, in the grand scheme of things how many businesses can you think of on earth have overhead of less than $1,000 per month and profit margins of over 1,000%?
You can play with SEO and free traffic methods but, for now, I’d like to show people how to create income almost immediately. With free traffic methods, you could be talking months before seeing your first sales… With paid traffic methods, we’re probably talking days (if not hours) before your first sales…
I hope I explained this all clearly and I’ll be posting frequent updates. Make sure you’re on the mailing list (below this post) to ensure you receive all the updates on the progress.
If you have ANY questions at all, ask them in the comments. I’ll do my best to clarify anything you want and to make sure that anyone can follow along.
More Posts In This Series:
1. Add $1,000 Per Month To Your Business in 30 Days
2. One Thousand Email Subscribers in 30 Days
3. Creating A Free Report And A Simple Squeeze Page
4. Traffic Generation And Challenge Hiccups
5. Your Questions Answered And More Stats
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