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The Most Important Post You Will EVER Read

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

The title says it all!

Today’s post will be the most important thing I’ve ever written on this blog.

So do me a favor…

…Spend five minutes to read the entire thing.

It will change the way you look at blogging and how to run an Internet business.

The people who truly *get* this will be one step closer to their dreams of online success.

To paraphrase a famous movie quote:

This blog post is kind of a big deal.

So let’s jump into it with two quick stories…

Story #1 – A Lesson from a Seven-Figure Affiliate Marketer

Back in 2006 I was struggling with my affiliate marketing.  I worked hard and invested lots of money in my business.  But nothing was working.

By October I was at my breaking point.  I knew if I didn’t make things *work* in the next month, I had to give up and go get a ‘real job.’

During this time I met a guy on the Warrior Forum who was killing it with affiliate marketing.  (I’m talking over a million dollars in yearly earnings.) After sending him a few emails, he agreed to spend a half hour on the phone to coach me. 

Like any newbie, I started the call by barraging him with dozens of questions about how to be a successful affiliate marketer.  Finally, he cut me off saying:

“…Stop right there Steve!  Let me ask you a simple question: ‘What is your offer?’”

That one stumped me.  So I said:

“…Ummm.  I have lots of offers on my email list.  In fact, I’m promoting three different affiliate products to subscribers.”

He replied:

“Okay, you have an email list?  That’s great!  Then that’s the answer to my question.  Your offer is your email list.  It’s not the products you promote or any of that ‘personal brand’ nonsense. 

What people care about is how you can help them with a particular problem.  And they’ll love you if you can do it in a succinct, easy-to-find manner.  Simply give them lots of value upfront in a free PDF and you’ll build a loyal group of followers who will buy anything you recommend.”

That statement literally changed my life.

I took action right after I hung up the phone.  I wrote a lengthy report in my niche that solved the major problems people had and I then designed ALL of my marketing around promoting this free offer. 

As they say: The rest is history.  That one piece of advice led to an amazing breakthrough in my Internet business and personal life.   In fact, I think it’s the single reason why I’m able to write this post today instead of sitting in a cubicle somewhere…hating life.

Okay, that’s the first story.  Let’s move on to the 2nd

Story #2 – My “Jerry McGuire” Moment

I’ll begin with a startling admission…

I don’t make that much money from this blog.  While I’ve had lots of success with my other websites, I haven’t figured out the secret to making money from blogging. 

This is something that has been on my mind a lot lately.  We’re talking many sleepless nights; tossing and turning; worrying about a solution.

Then late on Friday night I had an epiphany similar to the Mission Statement scene from Jerry McGuire.

I realized that you can create blogging success…Even success with any Internet business…by answering…

Let me explain–>

Everything you do online should be designed around an offer.  Specifically it should be a free offer that you give away in exchange for a person’s email address.  You make money by giving high value content through email while subtly recommending quality premium products.    

I’ve known this for five years now.  Yet I forgot this important lesson as a blogger.  Frankly, I’ve done a crap job with offering a free offer that people really want.  And I think this has directly impacted the income I’ve generated from this particular site.

I didn’t sleep much on Friday night.  Maybe an hour or so.  What I did do is write down two simple diagrams that provide the basis for the “most important post” claim I made with my title.

Let me explain…

The *Problem* with Most Blogs…

Most bloggers (or Internet marketers) make a huge mistake with their content.  They provide too many options with their design.  The end result is readers often suffer from paralysis from analysis.  Too many options means most people don’t know where to go on your site.  And they usually leave because they’re not told what to do.

Case in point.  Here is what my site looked like before today…

Right now, I get traffic from a variety of places:

  • Social media
  • Search engines
  • Guest posting
  • Referrals from other sites
  • Repeat visitors

This is great because my traffic is pretty diversified.  The problem I’m having is people are clicking all over the place because they don’t know where to go:

  • Banner ads
  • Affiliate promotions
  • Other blog posts
  • My (old) lead magnet
  • ….Or they leave because they’re not interested

The point is simple.  I forgot the lesson I learned five years ago.  My offer isn’t any affiliate promotion…or banner ad…or even the premium course I wrote six months back.   My offer should be a free report that truly helps people.  And everything I do online should revolve around this offer.

The people who have real success online understand the importance of value exchange.  They’re not afraid to give away the good stuff upfront because they’ll ultimately get more in return.

And another important lesson I forgot is…

…Your Blog (or Website) is ONE Content Channel

It’s fun to blog!  You write whatever pops into your head.  Then people tell you how much they’ve enjoyed your post.  With blogging you get instant gratification whenever you want a warn & fuzzy feeling inside.

Unfortunately it’s easy to forget that blogging is a business.   With any business, your goal is to get people to take one specific action.  My goal is to get people to download the free report I’m about to offer (more on this later.)

To that end, I’m now in the process of designing my “Steve Scott brand” to look like the following:

Like before, I’ll get traffic to my blog.  The difference is my design will push people towards grabbing a free, high-quality report.  That means no banner ads or extraneous navigation.  And it also means I’m going to limit the amount of affiliate links within blog content.

The important thing to note is my blog will become ONE content channel.  It will join the other online presences I’m putting together – YouTube, Amazon Kindle, Viral marketing, and iBooks.  All of these will push traffic towards the free offer.

What’s the lesson here?

The secret to a successful online business is to answer those three simple questions:

  1. What is my offer?
  2. How am I getting traffic?
  3. How do I convert traffic into income?

Without a doubt, it’s insanely important to design a free offer that wows people.  From there, you should design your entire online presence around getting people to check it out.

Frankly, blogging in its traditional format does NOT convert readers into subscribers.  (Trust me, I’ve tested this…a LOT.)  That’s why you need multiple content channels.  You should still have a blog where you provide engaging posts.  But you need to supplement a blog by going after different content channels.  These will be the best way to reach ALL of your target audience.

What’s Next???

I urge you to do the following…

  1. Write a killer piece of free content.  Read my article on creating lead magnets for more on this.
  2. Design around your entire online presence around promoting this free offer.  In other words, be on many different content channels.
  3. Create a killer email sequence that blends more awesome content with recommendations of great affiliate offers or your own products

Seriously.  Those three action steps will forever change your online business.

Now…Here’s what I’m going to do.  Perhaps you’ll join along :-)

#1. I’m writing a report that details 111 tips for affiliate marketing success.  It’s about 20,000 words full of useful content that will make a difference in people’s lives and hopefully change the way they think about this business model.  This will done by March 1st.

#2. I’m redesigning a very clean, straight-forward blog that recommends this report.  That means you won’t see any other advertisements, offers, or unnecessary clutter.  Till then, I’ll stick with the  minimalist look you see right now.

Sidebar: By the way…a couple of people asked about CommentLuv.  For some reason, it’s been crashing my comments in the last week.  This will be fixed when I do the blog re-design.

#3. I’m opening up multiple content channels.  I’m about one week away from releasing my first Amazon Kindle book.  After that, I’ll work on YouTube, iBooks, and anywhere else I can find.  All of these channels will be designed to drive traffic to my free report.

Like I said…this is what I’m doing.  Maybe you’ll find it useful to do the same for your Internet business.

How Will Steve Scott Site Change?

To be honest, I spend too much time blogging and doing blog-related activities.  This means I’m not out there, testing new things, and creating dynamic content that really makes a difference in people’s lives.

So something has to give…

…From now on, I’m going to only post once a week…maybe twice if I get a guest post or something quick to say.

Instead, my time will be spent testing out cutting-edge Internet business models. 

I’m doing this because:

I DO NOT WANT TO TURN INTO SOMEONE WHO ONLY MAKES MONEY ONLINE BY TALKING ABOUT MAKING MONEY ONLINE!!!!

Sorry for screaming there.  My point is it’s easy to fall into the trap of blogging about making money online, without trying things that work in other markets.

Yes, my posting quantity will be less.  But I think the overall quality will dramatically increase.  It will be my job to find out what’s working now and then report back to you with the good stuff.

Your Thoughts?

I’ll admit this post might fly in the face of what you’ve been taught about ‘blogging success.’  So you might disagree with me.  That’s okay.  I would love to hear your thoughts about what I’ve discussed.

But before you post a comment, I want you to ask yourself a simple question:

“Am I getting the kind of results that I want from my blog or content site?”

If not, then maybe it’s time to shake things up.  Maybe it’s time to change what you’re doing online.  Maybe it’s time to do something a little different:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

-          Albert Einstein

What are your thoughts???

Take Action. Get Results.




P.S. Struggling with your Kindle books? Don't know how to get started on Amazon? Looking to generate an additional stream of income?

If so, click here to grab my free report "44 Answers to YOUR Kindle Publishing Questions"


{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Joseph Ratliff

Simplicity. It’s genius Steve.

As humans, we tend to want to imagine that some things HAVE to be more complicated than they are, and so we over complicate these things to DEATH.

DEATH = dead business

Instead, simplify.

Love the post Steve, and yes, I agree… this should be your most important post. In fact, I would include it in this report you’re currently writing.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Joseph,

YOu are so right. If you are not growing your business in the right way it is dieing. There is really no alternative. Just grow or die, it is always doing one of those two.

I really think simplifying the message and providing a lot of the value I give in articles in email instead is the best way to make that happen.

Thanks for the great comment.

Reply

Murray Lunn

Hey Steve,

I’m glad to see that you’re doing this because, quite frankly, we all need to get off our asses and finally start moving our blogs toward something. I’ve been stalling for faaaaaar too long but I’m finally back in the saddle again.

We let our blogs get too much to our heads. We start to build an audience and then we make this flip where we’re trying to appease people rather than play with our site like we did prior to the lime light.

Lately, I’ve been toying with my blog design, content pieces and how I interact with individuals. Can’t say that I lost a huge chunk of my audience but I don’t want my blog to be some stagnant – post x on y and then build links type of blog – I want to do what I want, learn as much as I can from it and move onto other projects too.

I think I’ve finally found out the direction for my blog after these last 2 years; it’s gonna be awesome once things start rolling out and it will add a secondary source of testing for my other authority blog.

I’m looking forward to what you have in store – you’ve got BALLS to basically drop out a lot of the things you’ve been working on for ages to take a new direction – few bloggers do this so all the best to ya buddy!

Reply

Steve Scott

Murray,

I know what you mean about letting your blog become stagnet. I feel sometimes I have been doing article “just because”. Now I hope they are still good and quality and mean something… but I don’t feel like they are really moving me forward in the way I would like.

I have long been a proponent of delivering a lot of qaulity in email…yet I haven’t really done that at all for this site.

You are so right… it is certainly time to stop talking about what we are going to do and actually get out there and do it.

I am looking forward to seeing the direction you are taking your blog too. I will certainly be watching! :)

Thanks for the awesome comments and encouragement.

Reply

Ralph

Steve,
There seems to be an innate piece of human nature that drives us to make things complicated. Even when you discover that once, six months from now you will need to learn it again. You are either blogging for fun, in which case you can do anything you want, or you are blogging for income (or followers). For the latter you need to manage your traffic. Success isn’t an accident even if it might look that way to an outsider.

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Ralph,

You are so right. The funny thing is that you can KNOW you are overly complicating things yet you still go on doing it. I think sometimes we work with blinders on.

I appreciate the long term support you have always given me! I hope you are doing well!

Reply

Bob

Steve, you are right…it flies in the face of what EVERYONE (supposedly, but not really) says about internet success…but I’ve always had a gut feeling that “everybody” was wrong.

I’ve only been trying to make this internet thing a money-maker for 2-3 months, since a previous commenter on this post (Hi Ralph!) and I had a long phone…Skype, actually…conversation and he told me to quit hiding my talents under a bushel, that I had spent 3 years learning the hard way how to do specific internet related things THAT WERE SALABLE!

I thought he was an idiot…sorry, Ralph…but after thinking about it decided he might be on to something, so…

I’m putting a product together and wondering, “What now?” What “everyone” says doesn’t feel right.

Your post both validated my distrust of “everyone’s” thoughts, but I think pointed me down the right path. We’ll see.

And by the way…you are right about something else as well…there is WAY too damn much blogging about blogging. Ideas are great, but everything needs a concrete foundation. Specific physical action how-to’s, be it about blogging or being a quality babysitting.

Reply

Steve Scott

Bob,

First of all, glad to have you drop by.

Ralph is so right too. If you have a particular “genius” that is certainly what you should be be trying to get out there to the world.

As for what everyone says… well everyone is not always right. It is the people who march to the beat of their own drums that lead the way to new techniques.

(of course these are also the ones that can get horribly lost…so it is a crapshoot)

But to really succeed I think it is important to learn the “popular” ways, and then make an educated decision on how to strike out on your own path.

I have been doing this for quite a few years and i built my business off of a strong email marketing push (in a different niche) I simply don’t know why it has taken me this long to decide to simply and do what has worked for me elsewhere.

As for you comment about concrete foundations… Ab-so- luuuttttelly there is way to much “rah rah” talk in this general niche. I have always believed in actionable tips, experimentation and really showing what actually works and what doesn’t.

Anyway, thanks for the comment and hope to see you here again.

Reply

Darren

I thought there was something wrong on your site when I came here. LOL. It definately looks a lot cleaner. I remember reading about this type of strategy before. I’m pretty sure it was from you. It’s about time you take your own advice. LOL…
It seems like we always tend to stray away from what we should be doing and some times have to look back through our old notes because we have lost focus on what our main plan was in the first place.

Great work. I’m sure you’ll hit it out of the ballpark. Looking forward to the new books.

Reply

Steve Scott

Darren,

Probably too clean for now. LOL.

But there isn’t much point in playing around much more until I get it the way i want.

IT IS about time I take my own advice. Email marketing has always been my real strength. I talk about it a fair bit here and I use it extensively in my “other” niches. But I just havent done much with it here.

It is time to change that.

Thanks for the well wishes!

Reply

Mae

This is a very inspiring and comprehensive post, Steve. Thanks for sharing. I agree that we should focus on offering value to our audience. We should not give them an unpleasant experience online. And I really like what you said about value exchange; to give the best offers and in return you get something even better.

Reply

Steve Scott

Mae when you really strive to give your visitors/customers the best experience and information it can really pay off. The online world can be an equitable one. Treat enough people, “right and they do the same for you.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Reply

mitz

Hi Steve
Interesting approach and it definitely will work as I use some of these methods… But there is a big difference as I have not monetized my email list.. I do make money from blogs and websites, all various business structures.

I never started blogging about blogging until I had been in this business for 5 years and to tell the truth, I thought everyone was full of Sh**! Anyway now that I do this too I can see the potential in this niche. But the one thing I had to do was narrow the niche down… Blogging about blogging is a huge subject so I stick to building Wordpress websites to make money, and nothing else! Still huge but working for me.

I think concentrating on affiliate marketing through your list is a great niche for you! Also the free report is a great idea.. I have three or four now that generate traffic and sales for me. I am looking forward to your changes and to see how it all works for you.

Reply

Steve Scott

Mitz,

For sure, narrowing ANY niche down is essential. But for this one…it is about a must.

I can see where a wordpress blog would have a lot of potential for up front sales. (Themes, hosting, pay plugins). Since I do not consider myself a wordpress “expert” that is an area i never ventured into. But I do see the potential.

I have actually had a series of free reports too. I have had …well 4 now. But i want to make one that is even more useful and perhaps something people will “look” for

Anyway, thanks for your great comments and I appreciate your dropping by!

Reply

Ming

Steve,

Absolutely agree with you to use the blog as a content channel and convert the visitors into subscribers. I love the way you have the graphical signature at the end of every post that lead to your product. Perhaps lead to a squeeze page with your product on the backend?

I still need to check back one of your old post regarding the signature to mimic that. This has been a few months already yet I haven’t implemented what I would like to do for my blog….em…guilty…

Reply

Brankica

I am so loving this. I recently moved away a bit from what you are talking about ;) not still there yet like you are, but I am getting there. Love it, love it, love it.
The funny part is that I recently removed my free ebook for my subscribers because I want to see how that works out. Why? So I would not get people to subscribe just for the book and then go away the same day. I am also trying and testing some stuff and I am loving what you are doing. Clicky too.

Anyway, where the hell is the search box, I was going to go through some of your old articles, man !

Reply

Jeevanjacobjohn

Hey Steve,

Lot of things to learn from this blog post :D

Your blog post has reminded me to take some action – particularly with my lists. I do have a eBook to give – about networking strategies, which is also what my blog is about. But, I don’t really have an autoresponder series to go with it. Instead, I do a weekly tips thing – a tip a week – write about something that my subscribers can do to improve their blog (or something related to networking).

I don’t have much on the sidebar (just search bar, like box and top commentators). I used to have the opt-in box in the sidebar, but I moved it to the footer). I guess I also need to work on tweaking traffic and pushing everything to my eBook, like you mentioned.

Thanks for the awesome post,

Jeevan Jacob John

Reply

Steve Scott

A tip a week is a pretty good way to keep your email list active and engagaged actually.

YOu show them that most of the emails to be opened from you are ones that are really worthwhile and engaging.

Gla you got some further ideas from this… as well as possibly some encouragment to revisit your list…which I think can be a positive option for just about anyone.

Reply

Mk Akan

Steve,

i was really thinking about something like this lately for my blog….The major goal of my blog is to build an e-mail list. i had recently removed link within widgets and now have optin forms in about 3 places…i guess i have to remove some more distractions….thanks for this…

Reply

Steve Scott

MK,

Glad to hear you are on the same page basically. It is so easy tp pile on the the distractions. But they just take away from your primary goal!

Reply

Adem

I agree that an email list is one of the most powerful things you can have and I know that when I receive emails from blogs I have actively signed-up to then I will be more likely to buy something from that email.

It’s also important to protect yourself from the whims of search engines as your traffic could drop at any time so keep the list up to date to ensure you always have a revenue stream

Reply

Steve Scott

Adem,

You definitely make a great point. Keeping an email list engaged and active (by sending tons of good free tips and actionable messages) and you can have a “partner” who will buy things for life rather than one and done sales

Reply

Ana Hoffman

Go for it, Steve – excited to see all the changes coming!

Streamlining our purpose is imperative; something that I still need to work on…

By the way, I’ve been having trouble with CL as well last week. Did you tell Andy about it?

Reply

Bellaisa

I have a great piece of content already written. I’ve just been putting off proof reading it and getting it up on my site. Crazy? Probably. I wasn’t sure why I was sitting on it for so long – but now I know. I needed to read your post first to get a plan into action about what I was actually go to do with it when I got it up.

So thanks. You inspired me with this post and you may have even changed my future success – who knows?

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Bellaisia,

Glad I inspired you a bit to get rolling on your content! It can take a long time to get things “right” but hopefully we will all get there someday. :)

Reply

Rana Shahbaz

Excellent post Steve and very important lesson to learn for any business regardless of online or offline. “What is your offer?”

Thank you for sharing :)

Reply

Patricia

Hi Steve

You are already successful as a marketer and it looks like you are now taking your blog to the next level.

Woo hoo I’m sure you will figure out what’s best for this blogging platform to grow your business even more.

I had to take a step back last year and completely redesigned everything. I also blog hop a lot less and concentrate more on building my business.

After all, that’s what I started out aiming for … just too easy to get side-tracked and caught up in things related to blogging, but not to building a business!

Patricia Perth Australia

Reply

Steve Scott

Thanks Patricia,

I appreciate the support and the kind words/wishes.

Takeing a step back and taking a critical look at things…like YOU and I have been doing I think is a good thing.

It really is so easy to get sidetracked and do things “just becuase” even though you know they are not necessarily in your best interest when it comes to making a profit.

Anyway, I hope you business -new and old- continues to really kick butt in this new year.

Reply

John Garrett

Wow Steve, this is bad ass.

I can see I need to start really thinking of a great free offer to use as my foundation.

But I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of unique offer I can make that can actually help people and also lead into my own business. So far it has been a bit of a mystery, so more thought must be given.

This post is an excellent road map so I will definitely be bookmarking and keeping this in mind!

Reply

Steve Scott

John,

You have so much artistic talent I would think it would not be to difficult to come up with an excellent free offer.

Two great ones pop right to my mind.

1. create a step by step guide on how to draw “comic” figures that those of us without talent could use

2. if it doesn’t take to long to draw a caricature, you could offer an gravatar sized caricature personalized for each person

Of course neither of those might be “right” but both sound like very interesting ways to get people excited about joining a list and personalizing it a little bit.

Just an idea…

Reply

Peggy Baron

Hi Steve,

Thanks for being so transparent and sharing your new direction. I appreciate that. You’ve got me all inspired!

This reminds me of an ecourse I took from Michael Ambrosio way back when I was first starting and it didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time. I think I need to go back and reread it with a more experienced eye.

Thanks,
Peggy

Reply

Alan | Life's Too Good

Way to go Steve,

I’m sure whatever free offer you come up with is going to be awesome – looking forward to it!!

Your article does kind of doubly hit home the often quoted mantra ‘the money is in the list’…

take care & best wishes,
Alan

Reply

Steve Scott

Though it is WAY overused… and I don’t like the way it depersonalized people that are on your list… it is really a true statement (the money is in the list).

It has to be done right, of course. It is not just about offer after offer, but making email an extension of your blog (with good timely information) if done right…it is very powerful…I just don’t know why it has taken me this long to make a strong push at list building.

Reply

Jens P. Berget

Hi Steve,

What you’ve said just open my eyes and even though I know that I’ve been doing things wrong for a while, I haven’t been focused enough on doing any changes. I sort of know that I need a high quality free lead magnet, but I have been focusing on too many other things as well. And, once people subscribe, I haven’t had a strategy to how to get them to start buying. I’ve been to busy being all over the place, instead of focusing on what really matters.

To me, what you said seems to be an awesome strategy that most people can do and it should definitively work.

I’m looking forward to see what happens next at your site and to learn a lot more from you :)

Reply

Rick Mueller

Steve,

I really enjoy your completely transparent coaching style and look forward to your affiliate marketing success report (don’t hesitate to expound heavily on niche research, competition / analysis). :-)

Your point though of a minimalist style blog site makes me wonder if a newcomer to your site would view it as incomplete or unprofessional perhaps, since most blogs are exactly as you described – populated with sidebar ads and distractions? Another split-test item I suppose. In the end, I’m sure you’ll come up with a winning formula.

Thanks.

Rick

Reply

Steve Scott

Rick,

YOu make a good point. Until I finalize my site it does and will look a little bit “incomplete” no doubt about it. But hopefully when I get my repost done and finish a redesign it will look a little bit better..just cleaner than previously.

It will certainly be something I will split test and find out for sure. :)

Reply

Marcin

Hey Steve,

I see that you’re implementing what you’ve already mentioned in your email ;) Good luck with your plan and…I’m joining you. I’ll follow almost the exact same strategy. However, I find it difficult to decide what niche I should choose. How deep should I dive into my niche?
For example, should I go after online business ideas & marketing or something more specific, like youtube marketing? I’m afraid that if I select a narrow niche, my list will have small potential…
I’ll appreciate your reply!

Reply

Steve Scott

Marcin,

Think of it like this… the larger you go the more potential you have… but also the more work and time you have to get anything back from it.

…And the amount of competition and potential may be both far greater than you realize.

I would even say that youtube marketing is a pretty big topic. There are thousand s of people doing it and more getting involved every day. Without and research i bet there are a ton of people with sites long those lines now.

Ultimately it is very important to really research your set of primary keywords before you get started and make a decision based on potential vs. competition.

But in general I would say that MOST people do not get specific enough. YOu want to make sure there IS potential traffic…but becoming an “authority” in narrow niche is far easier than one that is too wide and competitive.

Without any specifics…I hope that helps.

Reply

Cristina Ansbjerg

It makes sense. It’s like you’re applying your own concept of Most Wanted Response blog (MRW), which, btw, fascinates me.

I agree with you, blogging is time consuming but not only because of writing. Other tasks suck your time faster. Sometimes I think bloggers are like jugglers throwing up four or five balls and catching them again. Only bloggers have SEO stuff, content creation, design, engagement, comment reply, fixing tech problems, etc, instead of balls.

I look forward to your new report.

Cristina

Reply

Steve Scott

Cristina,
You hit the nail on the head. This IS MWR.

All of these are things I have known and followed in my main niche for years… but for some reason have never really done very much with here. (particularly email marketing)

It is time for that to change and hopefully it will be a change for the better. We shall see.

Reply

Daniel

Great post, Steve.

I had to go over the article twice as you have certainly packed a lot of useful info there.
I found myself chucking after reading your statement about not wishing to end up being ” the person who makes money online by talking about making money online”.

In many ways this is how quite a few websites and blogs operate, and many of those sites are making decent money.
Though I am way off where I wish to be regarding my online(Blog-website) goals, the one golden nugget that seems to always be floating around in my mind is, ” You need to have a decent amount of targeted traffic”
The emphasis being on ” targeted traffic”

Reply

Steve Scott

Daniel,

Targeted traffic is key… and maybe that is my excuse as to why I haven’t developed a better email marketing system until now. (Even though I have known for years it is important I haven’t -done- much with email list)

But I am finally getting a share of that targeted traffic so maybe that is part of the impetus…to convert some of the traffic.

Thanks for the great comment..I appreciate you dropping by!

Reply

Mack Michaels

Steve – at first I thought my browser wasn’t loading your page properly.

I read what you said and then hit the tab to my site and SHEESH. Crowded. Blaring. Noisy. Jarring. Back to yours and Zen.

First up I guess a redesign is on my immediate future’s cards. (red face moment coming up: I just noticed I deleted my list-maker from the side bar)

Second up, wow. You’ve opened my eyes to what I’d forgotten – simple message, simple path, keep it obvious, keep it easy.

Truly looking forward to your redesign and when you share with us in detail the facts and figures of your stats uplift!

Cheers
Mack
(the other one)

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Steve Scott

Thanks Mack,

I loved the zen comment…it made me chuckle.

Too much going on can certainly cause more paralysis than action. I really believe that…now I just have to finish a few things up and get to proving it. :)

Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

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Tom

Steve,
I do not think that your site is too cluttered and doesn’t give the visitor a direction. I found a lot of interesting articles which I saved as PDFs for later reference and implementation. So, looking forward to what the ‘cleaned-up’ site will look like.

Btw, a very interesting quote from Einstein :)

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Steve Scott

Thanks Tom,

Right now it is clean…maybe even too clean. But hopefully when the redesign is complete it will be even better… we shall see.

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James

Thanks Steve, that really helps a lot! I have been working on my own projects, and coming to similar conclusions. Glad to see it reinforced. Just finished up a 100 page ebook that is going up for giveaway on my new blog too. Taking down the affiliate banners, (haven’t really seen enough sales through them to make it worth wasting the space anyway) and focussing my guest posting as well as my own blog posts on preselling that offer rather than random stuff about whatever is trending on twiiter or Google+ at the moment.

I think a lot of us have fallen into the Blogging about IM habit, and let other niches slide that could be doing us a lot of good.

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Steve Scott

James.

I am also glad to see that you are coming to some of the same conclusions. IT sounds like you have a really good plan. ;)

I enjoy blogging about IM and sharing what I know/do. But at some point I have to make a profit from this or I am just wasting time that could better be spent on making sites that do turn a profit. As I am sure you agree.

Good luck withb your 100 page ebook! I am sure it will rock!

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James

I do agree with you on that. I spent a lot of time not making money because I was helping others make money. Had a few people that I was helping making more money than me. Realized that I got to practice what I preach if I want to be taken seriously. finished writing the book over the weekend, now just doing some editing. plan to have it online in a couple of days…

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Steve Scott

Just putting the finishing touched on my (newest) one too. It is important to have something out there. But it is also important to have it be something that people really want…and is actually worthwhile. As I KNOW yours will be. Good luck with your new ebook James…looking forward to seeing it.

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Sergio Felix

Hey Steve,

I would never disagree with you on this matter because I actually think you are SPOT ON with everything you said man.

I decided to shut off my previous blog because I realized I was spending all of my time trying to write and I never had time for anything else.

Right now, I’m starting to get that feeling again (of wasting time) but the good thing is that some important guys on the IM industry are actually starting to see me as a “you might have something good there” kind of guy and I intend to exploit this as much as I can.

I think almost everyone is re vamping their strategies as we speak and honestly, we shouldn’t be so scared to change.

Change is good, because it either improves or decreases your results.

If you stay the same and are not happy about it, then change is a must. You said it better yourself with the Einstein quote.

I’m positive the outcome of this is going to be quite an improvement Steve and I wish you the best with your Kindle release as well.

If you need any help (as in me writing a review on Amazon about it) by all means let me know and I’ll be more than glad to do it.

Take care and I’m looking forward for your new optimized site, I know you’re going to crush it.

Sergio

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Steve Scott

Thanks for your comment Sergio… it means a lot.

I will certainly take you up on writing a review of the product once i put it out. I will probably put out a general, “I would appreciate a plug” to everyone. But I am sure the people who take action on it will not be legion… so I will appreciate that.

Again thanks for the kind words and great comment.

-Steve

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Lea

Thanks for the post. I don’t have any ads or anything on my blog and now I’m glad I don’t. Now that I think about it, when I go to other sites that have ads all over, I don’t know where to go first and end up leaving with out anything.

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Steve Scott

Lea,

Yeah I think that paralysis is a common occurrence when it comes to “busy” websites. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

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Linda

Steve the article is really awesome …you have really provided us such good information and many things are happening around us but we dont recognize it …This is definitely an eyeopener for all the writers and blog owners ………thanks for the informative post

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Tom Ewer

Hey Steve,

I like the sound of everything you’ve got going on here. And I really like the minimalist design – screw the new one – keep this! ;)

It’ll be really interesting to see how this pans out – can’t wait to find out!

Cheers,

Tom

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Steve Scott

Sometimes I hate technology…

Joseph Archibald tried to leave a comment that I thought was awesome; but he kept getting an error message. Argh. Anyway; here is what he left. (Plus be sure to check out his blog for some AWESOME tips about SEO and building niche sites: http://JosephArchibald.com )

Here is the comment he left…

Hi Steve, the one thing that “hit” me from your post here is that you appear to be making your blog into “sales pages”. I think that is a large key to success! I see you have now taken out the sidebar – there are no distractions for your readers. That’s cool!

I remember reading a Glenn Allsopp (ViperChill) post about why blogging is not such a good idea in terms of making sales. He was talking about actually creating a blog via email. Thus it was very much focused on value – offering value to his subscribers, without the add-on distractions that you find on a typical blog – categories, related articles, blogroll, products offered in the sidebar, etc.

Glenn is often cutting edge, and I thought this concept was one of his best!

On to another but related matter, if I may.

I was watching a movie last night – a popular and very recent movie, can’t even remember what it was called (that’s old age for ya ;-) ). But I heard words in that movie along these lines… “He’s a blogger? What is a blogger? Is that something to do with sport?”

Seems to me that even though internet marketing has been around for quite some time, we are just on the verge of the BIG TIME!

I remember as a kid, I used to go and watch my local football (soccer team) in Edinburgh, Scotland – play their game. Those guys were earning an average wage back then – in the 1970′s. After the game, they’d all go down the local pub and get drunk. How times have changes in just a few decades!

All of a sudden, these guys who are playing soccer are earning millions each year. Not because these dudes are smart. Not because these guys are particularly skilled in life, other than kicking a ball on a grass playing field. Why it that so impressive?

Its because the media got hold of the game and started to “push” it big time.

I sense that the same will happen with the internet. The same will happen with the guys and gals who are successful with their online businesses.

Thus its very wise to start now and never give up on your dream if you are intent on working online.

Even though internet riches are no where near as much as those guys and girls who are in the top level of many sports, I think we are just around the corner and sooner or later, we’ll hit the big time!

Sorry that I went on at length. I wish you well!

Joseph

http://JosephArchibald.com

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Matt Steffen

Great post! I run a New Jersey Marketing Company, and instead of using the word “offer” we use the word “benefit.” And you’re exactly right. People don’t have great memories, so they want to know 1 great benefit, and move on. So many marketers try to sell their kitchen sink all of the time. Crazy!

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Classier Corn

Hi Steve,
Very useful advice!
I think you are on the right track.
Simplicity wins in the long run!

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Adam

Ah liked this a lot. I’ve been doing the lead magnet, but just reading this sparked some other ideas I could use to promote it. Gotta make it the central focus more rather than just something they can grab. Sweet article dude!

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Rob Cubbon

Great post, as always, Steve. And I couldn’t agree more with having an offer, a list and keeping it simple.

It’ll be interesting to see the effect of your site redesign has on time on site, page per visitor, income, etc.

I certainly prefer the more minimal look. I’m glad you got rid of the dark green background.

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Dan

Really glad I found this write-up, it really opened my eyes as to how my efforts should be structured so I focus on the most important thing in my business – My list, My relationship with my customer. Once you have it set up this way you can never be at the mercy of Google again. I would maybe add 2 items on the Lead Magnet side of the equation though. Those would be webinars and podcasts using webinar bridge to capture anyone who attends to your list.

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Steve Scott

Dan,

You are surely right, webinars and podcasts are some great extra ways to get those signups. They are not something “I” have done a lot of, but every different format converts different types of people, so it is wise to get involved in all of them.

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Daca

Hi, Steve
it’s nice to see that beside all the success you already have, you still invest so much efforts in order to improve your work even more. It’s amazing. So, first, I want to wish you luck with these plans.
Still, I have to disagree in one thing. I don’t find that old look was confusing. In fact, each post had links related to specific topic, and those links would usually guide you to other, usually even better post. So, this would sometimes take too much time, but just because you want to read and learn more, not because you don’t know where to go. :)
Thanks for great tips, as always.

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Steve Scott

Daca,

Thanks for the contrary opinion, I do know that there are certainly some reasons the old style IS good. It is all balancing the positives and negatives. Once I get the site the way I like it, I will probably run some split tests and come up with a more concrete idea. Maybe adding a better “related posts” at the end of each article could help that. Anyhow, I really appreciate your input, have a great day.

Steve

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Daca

Hello again Steve,
It isn’t that I don’t agree with you, it’s just that I think that the old one was great too. That was just a compliment for your work. :)
As for the new look and strategy, the most important thing is that you are satisfied with it, so, you have my support!

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Springsteen Fan

Just stumbled upon your site and love it!

So I assume you have some killer affiliate products that you’ll be selling thru your list?

I’m in the HIGHLY competitive ticket business and I’m working on offering my visitors something different that they don’t get at the other ticket sites.. To be honest, it’s not complete just yet.. but I know if I don’t differentiate myself from the pack, I’m dead.

Alright, well I’m off to get your 111 Affiliate Marketing Strategies.

thx, dee

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Alan

I got inspired by reading this post. Have you any method to get over the laziness?

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