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How To Make Money Online

By Yaro Starak
45 Comments

I was at the World Internet Summit (WIS) a couple of Sundays ago when it was held on the Gold Coast, an hours drive away from Brisbane (my home), on the coast of Australia.

Brett McFall, co-host of the WIS, was up on stage doing the last formal presentation of the event. During his presentation he had a diagram of what he does to make money online in its simplest form.

All subjects have a macro and micro view, that is a view from the very top, the “big picture”, and the micro view, which looks at all the tiny elements that go together to make up the big picture.

You can drill down most subjects to a near-infinite number of micro views, taking each element and breaking it down to its components and then doing it again to those elements. This can repeat until you hit base elements, at least according to science (metaphysics can take you a little further, but let’s not go there now).

Internet marketing is no different and Brett’s diagram of what the macro view of what he does inspired this blog post. I’m going to break down how Internet marketing works in it’s simplest form, so you know how people make money online.

Ready?

Here it is…

Internet Marketing Macro View

I drew this diagram myself, so you better be impressed.

Step 1: Squeeze Page
Step 2: Email Follow-up
Step 3: Sales Page

This essentially is the macro view of a typical conversion process that makes people millions of dollars from the Internet every single day. I woke up today to a $497 sale of my Blog Mastermind course, which was generated by this exact process.

Obviously there is a lot more to actually making this work, so it’s necessary to add to the picture somewhat, and there are also many derivatives of the process. In its simplest form, this is all you need to understand and if you can grasp this, you have the keys to making a ton of money online.

Let’s Break It Down A Little Bit

If Internet marketing is new to you, that diagram might confuse you more than it helps, so here’s a little clarification.

Step 1, the Squeeze Page, is designed to capture information in exchange for an incentive, or an ethical bribe as it is sometimes called. You give me your name and email address and possibly some other contact details, and the right to follow-up with you via email, and I’ll give you something in exchange, usually information like a free report or email course.

You can read a more detailed breakdown of the Squeeze Page in my definition post – What Is A Namesqueeze Page?

Step 2, the Email Follow-up, refers to the emails you send to the people who signed up at step one. The usual process involves providing more information and a brief pitch about the product you have on offer. Follow-up emails are about establishing rapport and trust by delivering more value, conditions necessary before a purchase is made. This is often called the “pre-sell” stage. The emails also direct people to the sales page, where the final step of the process occurs.

Step 3, the Sales Page, is the last step in the conversion mechanism, presenting the final “pitch” for the product on offer, delivering information about its features, benefits and including many other psychological triggers designed to convince the prospect to buy. Sales pages also contain the transaction element, the part of the process where money is collected.

What You Need Before This Works

This basic three-step framework for success online is great, but we’re missing something crucial, what comes before it – Traffic.

Without some means to get people to visit the Squeeze Page nothing happens, the process can’t even begin. It’s all well and good to understand and to even create this process, but unfortunately most people don’t have an effective way to drive people into the machine that pumps out the money.

Traffic can be a complex subject and in this article I’m into simple, “macro” solutions, so let’s not go too in-depth here (there are many articles about traffic in my archives if you need more help).

There are basically three methods to build traffic -

1. You can buy it

Pay Per Click marketing is the most popular, most effective and the quickest example of this method. Banner advertising, text link advertising, sponsored reviews, co-registration leads and any time where you pay money to advertise, fall under this category.

2. You can build it

Any form of content production that attracts people from search engines, direct links between sites and word of mouth, is using this method. As bloggers, we rely on this technique, it is the foundation of my current business success.

3. You can borrow it

Affiliate marketing is the primary example of this method. This is a popular traffic method because it is very quick, the traffic can be very targeted and the cost is usually nothing – you pay commissions only when you make money.

What About Stores Like Amazon, They Don’t Use This Process?

You don’t see stores like Amazon.com or any “traditional” online retailer, using Squeeze Pages or long Sales Pages do you?

There’s a common argument, especially from those who hate the long form sales page and swear they will never buy from them on principle, that they are not effective because if they were, more “normal” stores would use them to sell online.

There’s some truth to that claim, but of course everything falls within a context so it’s never safe to be too rigid in your assumptions. Smart marketers use what works best and don’t exclude anything just because someone else says it doesn’t work.

Online super-stores like Amazon, specialty stores like Zappos, or even smaller stores that sell a handful category specific individual products, tend to follow the traditional “e-commerce” model. The long form sales page isn’t applied, instead a shopping cart exists with product descriptions, customer feedback ratings and reviews, similar product listings, and so forth.

Today’s “product page” inside an e-commerce site draws on the same principles that the long format sales page relies upon, especially social proof in the form of feedback from people who have purchased that product before. I doubt though, that you will ever see a long, text-laden page used to sell your average pair of Nike shoes, it just wouldn’t make sense or fit the expectations of the consumer.

What you do see now at most well-constructed e-commerce stores are email opt-in forms and follow-up email processes, like newsletters and product recommendations. Although the structure might vary, e-commerce stores benefit from establishing a process that captures user information, builds rapport through frequent email contact points and relies on sales-page like triggers when it comes to making a sale.

Although the formats on the surface might not look the same, the principle for any online conversion process relies upon the same fundamental truths. The three-step process so beautifully expressed in my diagram above still applies, even if some of the elements are moved around and don’t look quite the same on the surface.

What your conversion process looks like depends heavily on what you are selling and how many other things you are selling along with it. For a store like Zappos it would be ridiculous to apply a long form sales page for every single shoe they have for sale.

If you are selling commoditized products, in other words you have a large product range of very similar products that aren’t differentiated heavily based on unique attributes that require a lot of words to distinguish, then a shopping cart is generally the best practice approach today.

Bear in mind e-commerce stores rely on traffic just as much as any web business, however often their traffic sources are much more focused on Long Tail breadth, rather than short tail specificity. In other words, their success is not dependent on sales of only one superior product, which could be the only product sold, instead they can sell fewer amounts of hundreds or even thousands of different products and do very well.

The strategy behind an e-commerce super-store like Amazon is about volume and choice, not specialization and superiority of a specialty product. Those last two elements can play a part of the selling process for any individual item, but Amazon, the store itself, represents thousands – even millions of items – and is not dependent on selling any single item for success. Thus the conversion model is different.

Also relevant is the type of product being sold. Some items are more tactile and require visual representation in order to sell. Information products are about intellectual content, and thus generally sell better if more copy (words) are used to describe it.

You must take into context what you are selling, what else you are selling around it, how customers expect to be sold a product like that, and of course, what performs best based on your own tests, when setting up your conversion process. When you haven’t got a clue, don’t reinvent the wheel, see what processes people in your industry currently use to sell products similar to what you are planning to sell, and replicate what works.

Going Beyond The Sale

This article has essentially only touched on the Front End of the Sales Funnel. There’s a lot more money to be made taking it further into the Back End.

That being said, the Back End actually relies on the same conversion process as the Front End, the only difference is the type of product being sold and the perception of that product in the view of the customer. Emails are still used to build rapport and establish buying conditions, and a Sales Page is used to make the sale of higher priced, more specialty products.

In the case of e-commerce stores, the Back End doesn’t usually go much “deeper” in the sense of selling higher priced items to more targeted customers, instead they tend to move “horizontally” selling more products of a similar price and status.

For example, pitching a book on growing tomatoes to someone who already purchased a book on growing onions, rather than going deeper, selling a more expensive home gardening kit to someone who purchased a book on growing onions. The latter can happen too, if the store has the inventory scope and marketing sense to do so, but most e-commerce stores do not.

Information Marketing Is The Best

In my opinion information marketing is the best online business to be in because it doesn’t come with the inventory management challenges of an e-commerce store. What I teach and what I do is more relevant to those of you looking to make use of the basic three step process I laid out at the start of this article.

If you can set yourself up with a Squeeze Page, an email follow-up sequence and a Sales Page, and then drive some traffic to that process using blogging, Per Per Click marketing or affiliate marketing (or all three!), then you have what you need to get started building your list. Of course you also need a product to sell, but that’s not the topic of this article (Membership Sites are the best products to sell in my opinion).

If you’re just starting out today, think about what market you could begin to focus on and then go to work and build your first Squeeze Page. That is one of the best ways to begin building the foundation for a successful business and is a very quick momentum building step you can make literally in one day.

Good luck!

Yaro Starak
Internet Marketer

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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45 Comments

  • Yaro,

    A fine post, as usual – What’s your view of other method of traffic generation, such as from paid-to-click sites? Are they worth trying?

    About information marketing – yes, it’s a more formidable option compared to the product-based e-commerce, like you mentioned. The keyword is “no-overhead” :)

  • Hey Yaro,

    Good info and I love the diagram, that simplifies it real well.

    Man where was I when that conferrence was on? I live on the Gold Coast and I missed it.

    Bummer. Hope to meet you one day man.

  • So when is it best to use the long sales pitch? This is an interesting topic and I enjoyed contemplating the ways of using the strategy. In relation to traffic, are the TE’s of any value to the online business that is selling information packages?

    Wynn Currie

  • I’ve been using this exact method for a while now and it works fairly well, the only problem is promoting the site and getting traffic!

  • Very worthwhile article. I would have to agree that information marketing or affiliate marketing are the best because you as the seller don’t need to move a physical product. I could only imagine selling a tangible product if it was as an affiliate.

    “Smart marketers use what works best and don’t exclude anything just because someone else says it doesn’t work.” This is very true. Too many people dismiss certain ways of marketing before trying them out.

  • Jon

    Hi Yaro, your content is getting better all the time… you should really publish all this stuff in a physical book!

    Jon
    http://WoodMarvels.com – Create Unique Memories

  • Hi Yaro

    Once you’ve done the whole process once, you look back, and yes it is actually the same as the simple diagram.

    What holds people back is trying to overcomplicate the process, and creating barriers so that you can blame “technology” or anything else so that it’s not their fault.

    Currently 5000 people are about to get butterfly software that will automate the process, but I know for sure that 5000 people won’t use it with the simple diagram above.

    Andrew

  • Nice article title and an interesting read. Looking at the diagram makes everything seem so simple.

  • I have attended a lot of internet marketing seminar too. Agreed that the most biggest task is to get good and targeted traffic. Applying all the knowledge I have learned to some of my sites and blogs

  • Interesting article, as always. Way to go!

  • Good post, I like the simplicity. I think that for those of us who are still in the starting out stage we get overwhelmed by the amount of detail that some people go into trying to describe how to make money. It just seems like so much detailed work sometimes (I know it is, but when it is on your terms it is much easier to do). A simple explanation like this is a good way to start.

    I have always wondered about the validity of the long sales page. Is it just me or do most people read the first page and then just skim the rest down to the price and the sales area. I know that I will decide if I am going to buy the product or not based on the first one or two paragraphs. Is the rest of the sales page really necessary?

  • Making money online should not start with selling information products. Most people have no idea about writing an influential sales copy and they are not ready to spend $500 to a freelance copywriter.

    Making money online should start with get paid to programs or article writing or affiliate marketing or something similar. Once the noob knows that internet is a gold mine, then it would be easy for him to build up his internet empire.

    I may be wrong, but that was my opinion. What is your idea about this Yaro?

    Do you think one can be successful starting with squeeze pages and information products?

    Deepak

  • Your diagram and what follows is very informative and inspiring. Thank you.

  • Great post!

    One question: in term of driving traffic via content production, what do you consider as good amount of traffic in term of unique users and page views? Let’s say someone just starts a new blog, and he wants to set some traffic goals so that he can start selling information product. What should be the initial goals for him?

    thanks.

  • I think the key point in your post, that most people just don’t seem to get, is the fact that marketers use the Macro view to sell you on their idea of product, and then introduce the Micro view after you are already in…and it simply scares and overwhelms people who thought they had a shot at it up front.

    I’m not saying there is anything unethical about that, because there really is no other way to do it, but it can be frustrating and disheartening for the consumer nonetheless.

    Thanks for those stellar diagrams.

  • Hi Yaro,

    When you break it down like you did, the process seems so simple, and really it is. So long as you are consistent with your efforts, anyone can make money online.

    Matt

  • I love the diagram!

    Yaro, excellent job in putting online marketing into terms that are easy to understand for those new-comers to the rapidly growing online marketing industry.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Great post! I also didn’t hear about the World Internet Summit this year, so I missed out…. I know it’s on every year because you’ve mentioned it in the past on your other posts. I’ll have to make sure I don’t miss out next year’s one and register early.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Yaro,

    I am a big contributor to your forum and I have also just subscribed to your feed. I love your knowledge and input and look forward to being a regular here. Thanks!

  • Good Post yaro ,and diagram is easy to understand . I am using PPC method for driving traffic and its showing good improvement in sells

  • To so many people that question is a fairly tough one as at the moment there are an awful lot of people online who are not making money online. In fact it is true to say that there are a great many who cannot even earn enough to cover their daily bills. Let alone give them a lifestyle that many dream of. So not only is it difficult for them, it makes it extremely difficult for their families as well. Working at the computer for many hours at a stretch is not an easy task especially when there is a whole world outside and it is passing you by.

  • Hi Yaro,

    I have just subscribed to your blog profits blueprint and I have to say it is by far the most informative and well explained thing I have ever read.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Hello Yaro,
    again a really helpful post! What do you mean will be the most important technique to get the most readers to a blog? Commenting or writing articles? I follow your amazing blog and wish you all the best
    Good luck
    Maik Jaeckle

  • Hello Yaro,
    Great information. I have heard Brett McFall speak before, and he has so much useful information. Only have one question, where do you host the squeeze page? And do you outsource to have someone write your squeeze page?
    Love hearing Brett speak, and love how you have broken it down into three easy steps, with your groovy drawing.
    Thanks
    lisa from ourpathtoprosperity.com

  • Very interesting article. I understand this process but I am always curious just how many sales one can expect to make.

    Tim Ferriss dives into this idea and claims that a sustainable income can be made of it. Although he suggests testing the market through Adwords and landing pages I can imagine that many of these products get zero interest from anyone.

    Any thoughts?

  • Nice Post Yaro,
    I was wondering if you could go into more detail about affiliate marketing and what it all implies and what you need to do to get it set up? Other than that the post was very informative.

  • [...] he’s ready to share his secrets with you. He has put together a post that outlines exactly how to make money online today. The process is simple. The challenge is getting to work well and work [...]

  • Hey Yaro,

    great diagram! Are you a graphic designer? Lol..

    I enjoyed your simplified explanation of online marketing, but you missed some key points like traffic and lead generation.

    Oh, and congrats on your $497 sale. It makes a good breakfast, doesnt it?

    Leo Saraceni

  • CJ

    I am one of those folks who despises the long sales page. Here I am, trying to be an Internet Marketer, and I hate the most popular method of product presentation!

    I have NOT, however, decided never to buy from them. But what I HAVE done, is learned how to skim the page–even faster than I do when just surfing the ‘Net.

    The long sales pages are teaching us bad habits, habits they REALLY don’t want to encourage.

    I’m going to find some other way to present the sales page.
    CJ

  • wonderful post.. Inspiring me to do more..

  • Great post. I’m about to start email marketing for my company, but never considered a “squeeze” page. Thanks for the info, it’s really given me something to think about!

  • Hi Yaro,
    A great contrast between the conventional business model and the information model. Great content. Just want to identify within this model that it is absolutely crucial and perhaps a higher chance of dominating, establishing yourself as the big fish in the small pond. “Inch wide, mile deep” niche

  • Thanks for simplifying the process. The post is very nice sum up!

  • Hi Yaro,
    again an amazing posting about how to make money online. I own a blog about Internet Marketing and follow the same steps.
    I have a Squeeze Page where I collect email addresses for Back-End-Sales and all prospects are getting in exchange for their details my brand new ebook about website traffic for free.
    This makes my free report viral and brings me more and more visitors to my blog every day because I put in this FREE reporter a lot of links to it.
    To make money online it is true to sell information products. To create a blog about a topic the way you are teaching it. Writing postings every second day and commenting on other blogs.
    I find your work very helpful to beginners and advanced people.
    Follow you here
    To your success
    Maik Jaeckle

  • Your drawings are crooked, but they get the message across. Defining the difference between traditional e-commerce and this model is very illuminating. I want to create my 1st squeeze page now!

  • The first step for almost anybody who wants to make money online is to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing. This is a good first step because it teaches, by way of experience, the basics of internet marketing. It’s also good for the beginner because you don’t have to spend time or money creating your own product or spending lots of money on a good sales writer.

  • Haha Yaro, you’re pictorial diagram is so cute. But its really true and thats just about it.

  • You really know how to explain things making them easy.

    Anyone starting on the Internet will profit tremendously from this articles.

    Franck

  • Yaro, Great post I love your site. I just watched a free video on this exact same concept and yes if you think about it is really all that simple. I often tell myself everyday the good old saying of KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid.

  • Wow! Good job on the diagram Yaro. Building traffic to websites is really challenging. For me, I rely on content production for this works for me at the moment. Hope to attend Internet Summit one day…Thanks for the insights!

  • A very good post. Giving a macro picture makes whatever micro steps a lot easier to understand and later implement. Thanks for sharing.

  • 3 simple steps to start online business;

    1. Product
    2. Website
    3. Traffic

    To Your Success
    Bryan Hee

  • The classic sales formula (The one which Yaro described.) usually works. However, you have to look at other factors. For example, you must look at the type of traffic your getting. You also have to promote a product that people want at the present time. Finally, your squeeze page, email, and sales page should look professional.

  • It’s incredible these days how many ways there are at making money with on the internet. As the internet swells as more people come on it everyday, so is it that more and more different types of opportunities are being created each day.

  • Thanks for the tutorial. There’s also no selling income, actually selling your blank space for ads.

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