Internet Marketing 101 - Announcement

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Internet Marketing 101

Here is a brief overview of my Internet Marketing course for beginners. As announced elsewhere earlier, I will be providing it for free. As the focus will be on Objectivists and Objectivism-friendly people, I will also be doing a course in parallel for the general public. The core principles and procedures will be the same, but the examples and approach will be different.

I believe that our neck of the woods offers an exciting possibility to practice the principles of capitalism in a very successful manner, but there are some peculiarities of this subculture that should be discussed and dealt with to optimize the results. And by results, I mean money in your pocket in exchange for a fair value to buyers.

The underlying procedure of all successful marketing is:

1. Find some stuff to sell,

2. Find people who want to buy it,

3. Sell the stuff to them, and

4. Sell them some more stuff.

Items 1 and 2 often get interchanged, meaning first find what people want to buy, then find some of that stuff to sell to them.

No matter how sophisticated or hidden or secret a process is, if it doesn’t boil down to this procedure, it will not be a successful business model. Even if you are making money on pay-per-click ads, this only means that someone else is selling stuff and you are helping him. In this case, you are just a cog in his machine. The business owner is not you, but the business model is identical if it is a successful business.

Here is something very serious for Objectivists and people attracted to Rand’s works. We are going to have to become salespeople and not prime-mover type genius creators to be successful Internet marketers. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, in reality that impedes a person from being both, but the principles are different and they must be understood if a person is to become competent.

Essentially, a creator deals with himself in relation to reality. He will be more concerned with principles governing the thing or service he is building than with people. A salesperson, though, deals with people as his playing field. He moves goods and services to and from people. If he gets the principles governing people wrong, he will simply not sell anything.

Note well that a salesperson is not a social metaphysician in his morality, but his metaphysical “thing” is people. This tends to rub people who long to become creators the wrong way. But let no one tell you differently. It is possible to be a highly competent salesperson and still be a good guy. The salesperson’s focus is social, but his integrity is still individual.

I am particularly sensitive to this issue because I have caught myself trying to apply metaphysical “thing” principles to people and people principles to things. It doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. There is one exception: the most general principles are the same for things and people, such as the fundamental axioms, but existence, identity and consciousness don’t tell you how to sell stuff to people. They just tell you that principles exist that do work if you discover and implement them. So we will be using a lot of people principles in this course.

Let’s look at finding some stuff to sell. You can sell other people’s stuff or you can sell your own stuff. I will teach you how to identify the best stuff to sell on the Internet (and create, for that matter), but for the sake of this course, I want to use something from someone else.

I want you to be able to look over my shoulder as I teach you each step of the way, and you will see the results as they happen. If I were to create something at the start, you will be focused on creating and not selling. So watch me build a sales structure with someone else’s products as I teach you what I am doing. You will see what works—what makes money—and what doesn’t. We will discuss the hows and whys of both as we go along.

What should we sell? I have been mulling over this for some time, but I recently had a great idea and I fully intend to run with it. I will be using the works of Nathaniel Branden and related items. Incidentally, Nathaniel has no idea I have this planned (although he will probably find out before too long). I decided on Nathaniel’s works for several reasons.

1. They are successful, so there is a proven market.

2. There are two customer profiles and two markets: people interested in self-esteem psychology and people interested in Objectivism.

3. Nathaniel’s works are not only available from him, they are sold commercially by large retailers.

4. As they are mostly books, the commissions are not very high.

The reason this last item is important is that, for learning purposes, if a whole lot of money is on the table, it will be distracting. I expect some people to copycat the lessons, and that actually will be great. There is a growing market for Nathaniel’s works and the number of people getting on the Internet is skyrocketing, so there is no way to glut this market. This will be a win-win situation for all.

But with a lot of money involved, strong competition will inevitably develop and some people will even get tempted to resort to dirty tricks. Later, you will be able to use the things I have taught you on high-ticket or high-profit products. I will even teach you a dirty trick or two. Then you can compete to your heart’s content.

As to what you can expect to learn, I will hold nothing back from the core ideas. Obviously, I will sell the advanced techniques as advanced courses. But with what I will give you, you will have a solid base from which to make a success out of your own Internet marketing activities.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me be upfront. I will be offering for sale some tools and products as we go along. I will make commissions on such sales. But you will not need any of those items to be successful. They will make your life easier, and some of them will make your life a whole lot easier, which is why I am offering them, but I will give you all the information and where to get all the free tools you will need to do everything you will learn during the course.

Here are some of the basic topics I will cover.

1. Basic Internet ideas.

2. How to get organized and make a plan and work routine.

3. Places where you can make money as you are learning. Since these places never pay much, you will also learn how to cross-purpose your work there with your own projects. But the small money is great for morale.

4. How to research a market and profile customers.

5. How to find products.

6. How to identify and spy on competitors.

7. Copywriting, including sales copy, presell copy, reviews, storytelling and psychological triggers.

8. Keyword research and use.

9. How to set up a sales site (and other sites) on hosted resources like free blogs and free websites.

10. How to set up a sales site (and other sites) on the server side, including all the nuts and bolts from obtaining a domain and hosting to ftp and building a minisite.

11. The money part: how to set up methods of taking orders, processing payments and delivering products, and how affiliate commissions work, including how and where to sign up. Most of all, how to get paid!

12. How to set up an autoresponder account and organize email campaigns.

13. Different methods of attracting visitors to your site.

14. Search engine optimization, on site and off site.

15. Article marketing, podcasting and video marketing.

16. Web 2.0 stuff.

17. Outsourcing.

18. Product creation.

By no means is this all-inclusive. I sincerely believe that what you will learn will blow your mind in addition to putting some good money in your pocket.

If some of the stuff above is not familiar, don’t worry about it right now. You can rest assured that all the lessons will be in plain English. If I have to use jargon, I will explain the term simply and mention the explanation several times until it becomes familiar to you.

I have been frustrated by many of the explanations I have received during my own studies because of information overload. For example, it isn’t enough to say, “Go sign up for an account,” if you are talking about signing up for 30 accounts. (Sometimes you will need to do this, but don’t worry. It’s a lot easier than it seems if you do it my way.) Each site has information and fields in different places and this leaves you feeling overwhelmed and irritated if you are doing it as a beginner. So I will guide you through these processes and point out where stuff is and what and why you need to do certain things.

Also, another beef I have had with my studies is that often you read a step-by-step plan, but there is no discussion of how difficult the steps are. Some things are a breeze. Others require a lot more focus. Some even require practice. So after I give you a plan, you can expect a discussion of the more difficult things, what you need to do and how to make that particular task easier.

As a last comment, I will not be giving this course here on OL, although I will be discussing it here. At the other site I am preparing, user comments will be allowed, but they will be moderated. I don’t like this idea too much, but I see no other way. The purpose of the course will be money and learning oriented. The controversies and hostility typical of all Objectivist sites will simply derail the lessons. However, positive comments, requests for explanations, etc., will not only be welcome, they will be encouraged.

I will have some other goodies as the ideas and lessons develop. You can expect this course to start sometime in the middle of next month (maybe toward the end). I have no doubt you will learn how to make a lot of money on the Internet. That’s exactly why I am doing it.

I hope to see you there.


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  • 1 month later...

Just so everyone is aware, I am a bit behind in finishing a present project and writing and loading up my autoresponder sequence. I expect about a 2 week delay.


But it's coming and it's gonna be great...


And here I thought you've been using an autoresponder for years.


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One's "stuff" to sell can also be a "service", not just products.

I've successfully sold both and the basic principles of marketing apply to each.

Best wishes on your venture, Michael.

Edited by Las Vegas
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  • 3 weeks later...
Hurry up. I am the current victim of this f'ed up economy and could use a few money-making ideas. Ginny

There are plenty of money-making useful ideas Out There. The question is whether the goverment will stay out of the way so that they can be implement. Just keep in mind that our physical capital is intact and so is most of the intellectual capital. The only thing that can thwart that is government policy.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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One's "stuff" to sell can also be a "service", not just products.

I've successfully sold both and the basic principles of marketing apply to each.

Best wishes on your venture, Michael.

I would be interested in this, although I too have a service, and not product I am selling. However, it isn't specifically an Objectivist service - I write resumes when not on a recruiting project. However, I do my best to apply Objectivist philosophy in my career and business.

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[...] The purpose of the course will be money and learning oriented. The controversies and hostility typical of all Objectivist sites will simply derail the lessons.

Your latter characterization is undeniably correct, as is the implication that such sites end up quite far from being "learning oriented."

With the virtues that Rand and her outlook were intended to cultivate, I find that situation to be nearly infinitely sad. That is, in lost potential, as against what this philosophic outlook could be doing to broadly improve "living on Earth," to borrow Rand's own descriptive phrase.

Michael, I have to think that a separate Objectivist-oriented version of your efforts isn't going to get anywhere near the return you're clearly anticipating. That is, in the time you devote to shaping it.

A rationally-based course meant for the general public will have its virtues become evident to those sharing Rand's outlooks. And those who don't yet share those outlooks will benefit from their being present.

Methinks that Objectivist-types ought to deal with more real-world phenomena that aren't phrased or framed in terms that they're familiar with. The proverbial splash of cold water in their faces.

You could, of course, be using an Objectivist-type audience for a trial run, or as a useful subset of the public for trying out techniques or strategy. I just have to wonder whether aiming a version of your product at such an audience, for any reasons other than instrumental ones, is going to add much to the success of what you are doing.

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I am not aiming at anything more than being helpful in a time of crisis where I found something useful that I was able to learn. I understand the mentality of Objectivists as I am one, so I can address some issues that might be more useful to people of this bent than general courses. There's an old saying that you write the best book when you write about what you need yourself. I believe this applies to a course of this nature.

This is my purpose. I have no Objectivist guru ambitions. I do not expect a great return. This is seed planting in Johnny Appleseed mode. You plant it and see how much grows.

What is delaying this is that I am finishing a project with my IM partner that hit a snag (something I needed to flesh out properly to be able to offer it honestly to the paying public). I have encountered the solution and am in the process of finishing the product. Maybe a day or two more, then I can move my focus back to this thing.

Unfortunately the paid stuff has to take priority over the free stuff in my life at this moment.

One advantage to the delay (which I can see but others cannot right now, but will become evident to them when it starts) is that during this time I made a decision to find free alternatives to everything people will need. And I have found some excellent stuff. I even found a free (somewhat klunky, but definitely usable) alternative to Roboform.

It's all coming to your neighborhood computer soon!



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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

The time is getting near for me to be able to fulfill this promise.

(I know, I know... as the Voice of Conscience echoes in my mind, "Better late than never but better never late.")

For an appetizer, here is a post I made on another thread. I am duplicating it here because I want all this information in the same place.

Full disclosure. This is an outline of the original Goobert system by Michael Campbell. You can buy the new version with a lot more bells and whistles and other money-making stuff for about 50 bucks at his sales site: GooBert 2.0 - The most powerful social media marketing method ever devised.

btw - I am not an affiliate and I will not make a commission if anyone buys it. I am simply grateful to this dude. He rocks and I highly recommend his system.

I'll put something together for you guys a little later.

I have to write a report as a freebie (ethical bribe) for my mailing list, so I will use this opportunity to get the ball rolling. I'll let you guys have it when I do it.

Here's the outline, though. If you don't understand something right now, don't worry. I didn't either when I started. Ask and I will either explain or point you to a tutorial.

Step 1
- Choose a niche (which means specialized area) where there are lots of people searching, they have strong problems or passions, and they spend money. There is some keyword research work here and some other research--but you actually can start from scratch if you are in one of the high volume areas (money making, relationships, pets, health and a few others). The key is to narrow down the niche (ex.: "Dalmatian puppies" instead of "dog training"). btw - Philosophy sucks as a market.

Step 2
- Choose products for you to sell as an affiliate (at this stage, stick with Adsense--which is just ads, Clickbank digital information products and CPA offers). This part needs a little study, but it's not rocket science.

Step 3
- Get a Google account. Set up Google Alerts with some of the main keywords (receive results once a day) and send the feeds to your Google Reader. You will look at the Reader every day. This will be your work routine, since it will pull targeted information from all over the web.

Step 4
- Set up a blog (start with Blogger since it is very newbie friendly and you already have your Google account). Get your info up (with picture or avatar), including the privacy page that Google Adsense requires and a contact page. Don't forget to put your ads up.

Step 5
- Go to the Reader and start examining the information from other sites as it comes in. When you find something interesting for your niche, grab a short excerpt or so from the content and post it on your blog, being sure to provide a link and proper credit. Ideally, in the post, you should comment before the quoted paragraph and after.

Step 6
- Where possible, comment on the site where you got the excerpt from. Many blogs allow you to do this. In your comment, include a link to your own post (the one you just made in Step 5) or your blog's normal URL. Be careful to make an intelligent comment--and not just spam ("Great post!" and other garbage like that). Good intelligent comments (they can even be short) will cause the readers of that site to become curious about you. Some of them will click on your link and visit your site. This is where your traffic will start coming from.

Step 7
- Bookmark the
on the site you just commented on (do not bookmark your comment). You will need to set up some social bookmarking accounts (at least 10) to do this. It's a pain, but at least it's free. Note--in general do not bookmark your own blog. It is far better for the spiders to get to your site traveling through the site you left a comment on--don't worry, the spiders will find your link. (There's a reason for this, but it is a bit technical. At any rate, you will get far better search engine results this way, which will bring more traffic.)

That's it.

Just keep reading the Reader every day, posting on your blog, leaving comments on the other sites and bookmarking the respective articles there.

After about a month or so, if you are active in posting and commenting on other blogs (say quoting and commenting on 5 or more different sites a day), there should be enough traffic coming in to drive you nuts and you should start gaining a reputation. You will be everywhere since the Alerts will be feeding new targeted stuff to your Reader all the time.

Obviously, there's a hell of a lot more you can do with this (including video, Facebook, Twitter, and a ton-load of more stuff), but that's the skeleton.

May those of you who understood some of this go forth and prosper. Even if you hate me later. Do good things for yourselves and those you love. I'm fine with good karma-points.

Frankly, if I had known about this system before OL, there might not be an OL. A forum is the hardest source of commerce on the web, and like I said, philosophy sucks as a market.

But OL grew and I have grown to love it...

(Maybe I am paying for my sins. :) )


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It's funny how this stuff works. I just wrote about Michael Campbell and he just released a bunch of his former stuff for free. (Unfortunately not Goobert, though.)

I didn't know he was going to do that.

But since he did, I highly recommend anyone interested in Internet marketing to get his stuff (PDF files) while it is still up.

Here's the link. Revenge of the Mininet Download Page

Nowadays, people work with a variation of the mininet called a linkwheel. I believe the principles Campbell uses are more sound, but it is true that you now have to adjust this method in your mind to Web 2.0 sites like Squidoo, Hubpages, etc. You can even put video in this system. It is well worth learning. What you will find today came from there.

There are two free reports you can get on that link that I cannot praise highly enough: "Jiggling the Web" (which is for more intermediate marketers) and "The Ultimate Heatmap for Ad Revenues." This last report will tell you where to put you ads on your site for the best conversion.

But even the ones I praise just a little less highly are wonderful.


Print out.

Study by reading each in full focus at least five times.

You will get it. If I can get it, I know you can.

Also, if you sign up to his newsletter, you get some great information, not just sales pitches.

(Once again, I am not doing this for a commission. I really do admire this dude. I just want to give back some of what I have received.)


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