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February 14 2011

Free Traffic Wiz

Written by / Posted in internet crew / 20 Comments

The following post is written by Vinay Patanker. Great guy, and an up and comer you should keep your eye on!! He has allready hit a few good runs, and I predict more to come.

What they don’t Tell you about Becoming an Information Marketer

Creating an info product is an exciting process and a road that many internet marketers take. They fit well into IM business models and are great for building lists, personal branding and of course making money. But, there is more that goes into creating and marketing an info product then meets the eye. The hardest and longest part is not creating the product itself; it’s the process that surrounds it.

I want to share with you the process I have taken to create my first info product, both to teach what I have learned and to get advice from all the pros that read DKs blog.

A Bit About Me

I started my first ‘niche site’ back in 2007, a site that never made any money, maybe $100/year from Adsense. I never gave it any love because I was making 6 figures in my day job as a head-hunter, and it didn’t seem to be the best return on investment.

Back then I knew nothing about internet marketing. Just that those bastards Mr Page and Mr Brin made a crappy (read awesome) website in college and are now multi billionaires. So I figured, all I had to do was make a website and people would come. Boy was I wrong.

I didn’t know what page rank was or what backlinks did. The first type of ‘marketing’ I ever did was add a paragraph to Wikipedia for my niche with a resource link at the bottom. This was very useful for both SEO (although I didn’t know it at the time) and traffic generation. That lasted about 12 months until they pulled the link.

My IM career stagnated on a few sites making no money until 2009 when I got the travel bug. I went backpacking around South East Asia for 5 weeks and it changed my life. I came back wanting to get out. I had more fun in 5 weeks spending $20 a day than in the last 2 years slaving away. I made a decision to quit my day job and spend 6 months travelling.

Time to Get Serious

I had about 8 months to prepare for my big lifestyle change, and during that time I got my hands on the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. This triggered a massive light bulb – I can travel AND make money??? Sounded like heaven.

From that point it was determined. I was going into the online world. I knuckled down, found a product and built an ecommerce store – just like he told me to. Luckily for me, the ecommerce store actually made money and still is today.

As I started learning the various ways to market my e-commerce store I came across the IM community. Here I started learning about SEO, social media, PPC etc… Currently, I was driving traffic (about 90%) from PPC and not very well either. And as we all know, PPC hurts your bottom line big time. So I set out a goal to flip that statistic from 90% paid to 90% free.

After lots of learning and hard work I reached my goal. I did it through SEO, Social Media and by writing content. No secret bells and whistles, no automated software (although there are a few tools I use these days to help me out) just banging out the basics.

New Streams of Income

As I learned about marketing my e-commerce store, I applied the techniques to my niche sites. I also joined a few lists, which lead to joining more lists and after a while found myself hopping from one ‘greatest opportunity in the world’ to another. Yet the only thing that was really making me money was my ecommerce store. And the only business model that I saw that really seemed viable, almost passive and sustainable through the long term was to build a list. So I decided to build a list in the online space that I knew best – ecommerce.

I created my first info product, a free 7 day video course teaching people how to build an online store. A consolidation of information I had learned over the past year. While it’s free, I promote a bunch of affiliate offers through the course so it does make a little money, but the main focus is to over deliver to my list and build trust with them. I started getting great feedback on the course and found that making video was easier than expected.

Bring on the Info Product

Then came monetization. I felt the best thing I could do was to add a paid product into my auto responder sequence. Everyone seemed to be doing it and it was a truly passive form of income – the ultimate goal for any traveller. I created a survey using survey monkey which I added to the auto responder sequence for the course (in aweber), asking people what they thought and what they would like to see more of.

The most common request was how to market and drive more visitors to their e-commerce store. Decision made.

So the planning began. The biggest achievement I had done for my e-commerce store was to switch it from paid to free traffic. It was a long process for me to learn things like SEO and Social Media and I felt that people new to the e-commerce space would benefit from this. As I built the course and started showing it to friends, I got great feedback, even from those who were experienced marketers. And so Free Traffic Wiz was born.

Because of this, I decided I would position the course for both Internet Marketers and E-commerce store owners. The big benefit in this is there are more affiliates in the IM space who can help me promote my product. I believe that this is something that many new marketers shy away from due to high levels of competition. Instead they want to focus on a small niche market of sorts. I think I first got wind of doing the opposite to this while listening to a webinar with Eben Page and Anik Singal. They talked about the advantages of a big market which included having many affiliates to help you promote, proven business models, customers who spend money and most importantly business owners making money.

Since then, this concept has been drilled into my head over and over and after returning from Affiliate Summit, I don’t think I’ll ever enter a niche in the information space that isn’t related to health, wealth or relationships. At least not as a cornerstone of my business.

The Creation Process

I first started the project with high level mapping of the course overview. I started off with a good old pen and paper and mapped out the high level modules and some of the sub modules. I started transferring the content to Powerpoint where I could go into more detail on each subject. I also created relevant Viso documents to accompany the course.

To build the course, I used Camtasia and a cheap headset.

I recorded voice while going through the Powerpoint Slides, Visio documents and doing live screen casts of various websites and tools I use online. Pretty standard format.

Note: if you’re thinking about making your first info product, don’t get caught up in getting your design, sound or video perfect. Sure it’s nice to have professional video and studio quality sound, but people do not go through educational courses for entertainment. They want to be educated. If your content is solid, they will be happy. Even if your delivery is second grade.

I didn’t need much to get things going. I hosted it using Hostgator and built the site in WordPress using the Optimizepress theme for my sales page and membership site theme and DAP for the membership security. It took me a little while to get my head around some of this stuff but they all offer video training and there are people you can contact for support if needed.

For payment processing I used PayPal initially then Clickbank as the product evolved. Clickbank is great because it handles affiliates and refunds for you saving loads of time. Plus there are loads of affiliates that will naturally help promote your product.

I finished it off with process maps and resource documents made in Word, saved as PDFs to accompany many of the videos.

The Offer and Sales Page

This is without a doubt the hardest part of creating an info product. How do you position it? How do you price it? What is your USP (Unique Selling Point)? Upsells? Bonuses? How do you word the sales page? Video? What is your story? What are your benefits?

3 tips I can give here which helped me build Free Traffic Wiz.

1.     Read read read. Seriously, read everything you can get your hands on and read from different sources. Read books from marketing, read emails from marketers, go through info products. READ OTHER PEOPLES SALES PAGES!! I use Evernote with the Firefox plugin, and whenever I come across a sales page I like – [ctrl+a] -> [right-click] -> [send to Evernote]. If you do buy someone’s product, make sure to save each page in the process. The opt-in, the sales page, each up sell page and the thank you page.

2.     Test test test. Testing is key. I use Google website optimizer and Hyper Tracker to track conversions and split test. Although Shoemoney’s new product Link Control looks like it will blow Hyper Tracker out of the water. There is plenty of material out there on testing, but the two things to test first and foremost should be your price and headline.

3.     Get help. There are plenty of people out there much smarter and more experienced than me. I know and understand this. You can hire copywriters, JV brokers, sales page designers and more. Getting someone who knows what they are doing can be a game changer.  I have just hired someone to re-do my sales and I hired a JV broker as mentioned below.

Testimonials

Once the course was up, my first attempt at a sales page was complete (basically a mash up of a bunch of other peoples pages) it was time to start testing and gathering testimonials. The easiest place to do this is forums. Sure, it was easier for me because I have a product in the IM space, but you can do this on any forum really.

My first step was to post an offer on the Warrior Forum. The Warrior forum is one of the biggest forums in the world and it is targeted to the Internet Marketing space. They have a section that allows users to post up what are called Warrior Special Offers – basically a market place to sell stuff. The great thing about WSOs is that there is traffic and buyers readily available. You need to be a premium member and pay $40 to list it, but you should make back much more than that.

The next step was to find reviewers. A couple of weeks before posting my WSO, I kept track of users who had responded to my questions and who were experienced members on the forum. As soon as I released my WSO I contacted them directly and offered a free copy of the product to review. This turned out to be great social proof for the product plus it started giving me testimonials. This is also a great method as these people may have influence or know affiliates that will help you out down the line. This method can be utilised in any niche.

Testing

Testing is hard on the Warrior Forum because you don’t have control of the site and you can’t split test. The way it works is I post my offer for $40 then as other people post their products, my offer is pushed down the list. Once it gets to the 4th page, I can pay another $40 and ‘bump’ it back to the top. For the first 4 bumps, I played with the headline each time I bumped. This was the extent of the testing on the WSO.

Once I had gathered testimonials from the WSO I transferred them to my main sales page and started testing the main sales page. I drove traffic through Facebook Ads, MSN PPC and solo ads. Testing the headline, offer, auto responder sequence and more. This is an ongoing process which I am still doing at the moment.

Affiliate Recruiting

I think on any introductory info product, recruiting affiliates is the most important factor. I want to emphasise think because I am only going off what I have seen in the market, read and been told. This is my first info product so I don’t know for sure.

I know there are people out there who make an absolute killing off info products without recruiting affiliates. They use main stream marketing such as infomercials and media buys on the front page of MSN. But for me to try that, I would want to make sure I had a refined product. My sales process would need to be flawless and I would need to have conversions mapped down to a key. I would want to know the exact long term return I got from each customer so I could tell if a campaign will work or not. I’d also need a large budget to make it happen.

For someone like me who is a little cautious about dropping five figures on 1 days advertising, affiliate recruiting is a more attractive option. By having an affiliate promote my product for me, I am not putting up any money of my own. Instead I am obtaining what is known as ‘risk free traffic’. This is because I don’t pay for it unless I make a sale.

The big thing about recruiting affiliates is that it has nothing to do with internet marketing. I can’t make a website and put up some PPC ads expecting affiliates to come. I have to build relationships with people, get out there and meet people, have a conversation, get drunk! (last point optional but preferred). This can scare many internet marketers off because it’s not what they signed up for. But from many of the most successful launches I’ve seen, it has been the affiliates that made it a success.  Thus for me, the number one priority of this product was to make it as attractive to affiliates as possible.

How am I planning to do this?

1.     Create a high converting offer

2.     Make affiliates look good to their lists

Affiliates want to make money, period. They do this by promoting high converting offers and by maintaining their traffic/subscribers. I can’t tell you how many lists I’ve unsubscribed from recently because they keep pumping me with push button software products that promise the world. As soon as I get an email promoting one of those products, I’m gone. Sure they might convert well up front, but are they best option for a long term business? I’ll let you decide on that one.

Bring out the Big Guns

Now seeing that I am a newb to all of this (info products, bad ass sales pages and affiliate recruiting) I decided to bring in some help.  At first I didn’t even know that there were people out there who did this kind of thing, but I eventually came across the forum http://www.jvnotifypro.com/ which is a forum for affiliate marketers / info product creators who are looking to launch products and find affiliates to help them out. On there I found a number of people offering services like JV Broking, Affiliate Management, Launch Management etc… Prices and services vary greatly from fixed costs to revenue shares, but it’s a great place to check out if you are considering releasing an info product.

Eventually I made a decision to hire a JV broker which is essentially someone whose job it is to partner you with affiliates to help you promote your product. Like any other form of broker (eg real estate broker) their value comes from the connections they have. Obviously you should find someone who operates in your specific niche. For me, I was looking for someone first and foremost who had good connections in the industry. You can’t buy good connections so this alone is worth its weight in gold. Secondly I wanted someone who was very experienced with the whole sales process so they could help me optimize my offer and make it as appealing to affiliates as possible. Sure you can do all of this yourself, but working with someone who has done it before and who has connections is a big advantage in my eyes.

Finding Super Connectors

I recently read Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferazzi. In this book on networking, Keith talks about finding super connectors to grow your network as quickly as possible. Super connectors are those people who just know everybody (*cough* DK *cough*). Your JV broker should be a super connector. I can see how building a relationship with a super connector could dramatically impact your affiliate recruitment strategy. Don’t just approach them begging for their help, and make sure you are willing to reward them handsomely for their services. Sure, you may create your product hoping to bank a cagillion dollars (I know I did) but I quickly realised that making $1 AND getting a buyer lead is a nice situation to be in. Compared to say paying $2 for a freebie lead which is what we mostly do…

I was lucky enough to win Shoemoney’s Crazy Affiliate Summit West contest leading me to Vegas and meeting DK plus a bunch of other amazing people. This was great, because not only did I meet awesome like minded people who I am sure I will be friends with for many years to come, but I also met potential affiliates and super connectors like DK. I think I will be attending many affiliate summits and other events in the future.

Next Steps

So that’s where I ‘m up to. I’ve had great feedback on the product and am working on optimizing the sales funnel and speaking with affiliates. I just had a new sales video made which I am pretty excited about. Making a sales video is hard and my first one was… how you say? Shit… I need to get some pretty girls involved like DK I think 🙂

In terms of my launch, I plan to do what Anik Singal calls a rolling launch. Instead of one of those bad ass Jeff Walker product launches I will be taking a slower strategy where I recruit a few affiliates, test their results, optimize, recruit a few more and repeat the process. I am pretty open with the product, and want to make sure affiliates have full transparency something that doesn’t happen in many launches. The main goal as mentioned above is to give as much value as possible to my affiliates and their readers.

This is the approach I took. I am new to all of this and have tackled it to the best of my knowledge and ability. I have tried to create the product with as much integrity as possible to make sure I don’t damage my brand and to build the foundations for a long term business.

What do you think about my approach? Any suggestions on what I could have done or what I should do moving forward? Do you think I should have created a blind push button Clickbank product?

If you are interested in learning how to generate more traffic to your website, blog or e-commerce store, check out Free Traffic Wiz. Or if you are interested in making some extra cash, check out the affiliate information page.

If you do wish to promote the product, drop me an email letting me know that you heard about it from DKs blog so I can show him some love.

Cheers,

Vinay

Email: vinay [at] freetrafficwiz.com

Skype: vinay.11

  1. ottnott said on February 14th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Whenever I read these “how I did it” or “how I’m doing it” stories, I think about the pioneers.

    On the internet, the Pioneers of whatever is commonly done now were the people who were doing it 3 years ago.

    Makes me wonder what the Pioneers will be doing three years from now.

    Reply
  2. purposeinc said on February 14th, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    @ottnott This is why I just love guys like Vinay. There are soooo many people I see who buy products about how to make money online, but so few that actually have the balls to follow through and pull something like what he has off. It is a solid product that will help those who buy it if they use it.

    Reply
  3. Mike said on February 15th, 2011 at 6:40 am

    A really good article that opened up my eyes!! Ive never thought about this before!!

    GL and thanks for sharing.

    Thanks
    Mike

    Reply
  4. purposeinc said on February 15th, 2011 at 9:21 am

    As of yesterday, this story has been picked up all over the world, and was even seen by one friends mother in Bulgaria, and all the major U.S. media. The story always starts with Playboy.

    Yesterday I spoke with the L.A. Department of health, and they still don’t have a single confirmed case of Legionelles. We will see what all of the testing shows up over the next week, but as of now there are two statements I heard of someone saying, someoney saying they were tested and came up positive for having been exposed to Legionelles, but so far nothing confirmed.

    In the U.S. now you just need a rumor for a news story, you don’t even need a single fact.

    Reply
  5. Vinay said on February 15th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    @ottnott: thanks!

    Yes, it will be very interesting to see how things progress in the future. the internet is a fast moving place and is still in its infancy as an industry so many exciting things to come I am sure!

    Reply
  6. Vinay said on February 15th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    @purposeinc: Thanks DK! Appreciate the kind words as always.

    Reply
  7. Rob Toth said on February 16th, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Rock and roll Vinay.

    Just to add on a tip for any DK blog readers: (likely an obvious one but worth stating as a reminder)… build relationships wide first, then deep.

    Get to networking events, connect on facebook/twitter, join email lists … whatever needs to happen to get known by a higher volume of peers in your industry. Get YOU and YOUR brand known by many.

    But then, don’t forgot to go “deep”. The relationships that you know you should be really cultivating… put in an actual effort to keep in touch with, add value to and build friendships with a select “A list”.

    Having 500 industry peers know who you are and know a bit about you is great but it’s the dozen or so very close alliances and friendships you build that will hand you a built in support network and mastermind to allow you to grow faster.

    Vinay great read!

    Reply
  8. purposeinc said on February 16th, 2011 at 9:15 am

    @Rob,
    Yeh, that is what Vianay did. Not only did he connect, but after we met he has literally been on the phone with my staff each week to follow up with some things that he is doing to help us.

    Reply
  9. Olivia said on February 16th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Thank you for a very insightful read. Just what I needed as a beginner in the IM world. More power to people like you and DK for leading the way for us. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Vinay said on February 17th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    @Rob, Thanks! Yes, great advice. I have picked up some good tips from you on all of this.

    @DK Thats how we roll 🙂

    @Olivia, thanks for the kind words. Hope it was valuable for you.

    Reply
  11. Hotdogman said on February 19th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    You are so the man, Vinay. Get a good scale to weigh all the cash you are going to make.

    As someone who has gone through both of Vinay’s products, I must say they are both top notch. I have started using some of his traffic tips and they appear to be working!

    See you next year in Vegas.

    Reply
  12. mcleguip said on February 20th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    This is a great article you have here. These are the kinds that motivates me to work harder.

    Good luck to you, Vinay. And keep up the good work.

    Warmly,
    Marriane

    Reply
  13. Haydee Corbilla said on February 21st, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Keep it up.. Hope this article will help more internet marketers learn how the business goes.. 🙂

    Reply
  14. labelle said on February 24th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    everytime i read something about how things started most especially how one earned a million staring from 5$ it really keeps me going.

    moral boost.

    Reply
  15. Ingrid M. Pena said on March 3rd, 2011 at 9:40 am

    great article Vinay! the internet has made the world a smaller place for everybody. Making all the people that live in it connected in someway or another, and this connectivity make businesses grow bigger and faster.

    Reply
  16. Ronald S. yu said on March 3rd, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I think the point of all of this is handwork, resourcefulness and innovation. About what I read i better read it more carefully. And learn from it. Thanks and more power.

    Reply
  17. karenC said on March 7th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    It’s good to at least have a knowledge about internet marketing and product launching. I must say, there’s a not more to learn. I hope I can keep up to the fast innovations going on. I need to read more more more articles! thanks for sharing this— Ill have a a second read to fully digest this info 🙂

    Reply
  18. Vinay said on March 9th, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    @Hotdogman – Thanks Rob. Looking forward to hanging out again!

    @mcleguip – Thanks for the kind words!

    @Haydee Corbilla – Thanks! best of luck!

    @labelle – Keep plugging away, you will get there.

    @Ingrid M. Pen – very wise words.

    @Ronald S. yu – “handwork, resourcefulness and innovation” are all EXTREMELY important skills. glad you brought that up.

    @karenC – yes there is lots to learn. all you can do is put in the work and be open to learning new things. but another important factor is to not get distracted with everything that is going on. You need to put in the time and focus to achieve anything. jumping from one place to the next wont get you very far…

    Reply
  19. ivy said on March 15th, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Thanks! I learned a lot thru this blog. I once opened a store online but my marketing strategy didn’t work so I decided not to pursue it.

    Reply
  20. Brian Metzger said on March 24th, 2011 at 2:16 am

    Nice post by Vinay. Excellent example of digging in and learning from a variety of players, like Anik, Eban, and Walker.

    I connected to this post in several ways. I do ecommerce, affiliate, and now am doing local marketing training course to local businesses that will be rolled out like an info product (the whole prelaunch, launch, etc.). Going through many of the same steps.

    I will add this – The most important thing Vinay mentioned is JV affiliates. Partnering with people with similar sized lists and helping each other. It is also why Tim Atkinson brought in Andy Hussong (the JV manager behind John Reese successes) for his Commission Overload launch rolling out right now.

    Another up and comer, Brendon Burchard ( great person, a fellow Montanan, but lives in Oregon) has a best selling book on Amazon.

    Just released – The Millionaire Messenger.

    And all his promotion was done through affiliate relationships.

    No book tour, no fancy ads, no ppc.

    Even more, Brendon covers the same space as Eben
    (become a guru- become an expert).
    Brendon was approached by Eban to
    pitch the guru course to his list.
    Brendon initially felt that seemed overkill
    ” they (his list) just heard about my expert academy,
    why would they want to buy “guru blueprint”.
    But Eben told him that people buy multiple books on the same topic all the time.
    This convinced Brendon to try it, and to his surprise,
    made quite a bit of affiliate sales from his list.

    Reply
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