How To Start a Money Making Membership Site – Part 5

Marketing Your FTM Site

As an Internet Marketer, there is one simple truth that I am sure you already know – no matter how expertly written your copy is, how attractive your graphics are and how incredibly valuable your content is, none of this matters if you aren’t putting it in front of the right eyeballs.

This section, then, seeks to address this very issue. By the time you are done reading it, you will know all there is it to know about driving targeted traffic to your site and getting your first few subscribers.

And, better still, we are going to break with tradition here and start our examination of traffic methods by discussing a method that most beginner marketers are loathe to use – Pay Per Click.

PPC Marketing

Most marketers are terrified of investing into PPC, and for a good reason. When you’re selling an e-book at $47, your profit margins aren’t just slim – they’re dependent entirely upon the quality of your copy. If it doesn’t convert at least at 1%, you will usually find yourself losing money with PPC – especially when operating in highly competitive markets, where cost per click can easily exceed $1.

In this chapter, I am going to show you the trick that experienced marketers use to make a profit with PPC, even with insanely high costs per click.

In competitive markets, profits are made not on front-end sales, but on the back-end. For instance, let’s say you’re selling a $47 e-book in the weight loss market. Assuming 1% conversion rate and $0.50 Cost per Click, you will be spending $50 to bring a 100 visitors to your site, and only generate $47 in revenue.

On the surface, it looks like a losing proposition, right? Not quite. You see, while you might be losing money on the initial sale, you can still make a healthy profit by selling additional products to your customers, whether in the form of OTOs or list promotions.

For example, according to the math above, each customer costs you $50. If you sell them an e-book for $47, an OTO for $37, an affiliate product for $27 and a collection of weight loss videos for $57, you’re actually making an impressive $168 from a customer that only cost you $50 to acquire. That’s a healthy $118 profit right there!

$168 is your customer’s lifetime value – and this is exactly what makes membership sites so special. As we discussed earlier in this series, the lifetime value of a membership site subscriber can be almost $500 over the 12 month period – and that’s not including any of the additional monetization techniques that I will share with you later in this series!

You can literally spend hundreds to acquire each customer and still make a profit!

This is exactly what makes membership sites so easy to promote via PPC. Since the value of each customer is so high, you can invest as much into PPC as you need and still make a healthy profit.

Fundamentals of PPC Marketing

Entire books can be written – and, indeed, have been written – on the subject of PPC marketing and how to get the most clicks at the lowest price (I strongly encourage you to check out Perry Marshall’s Definitive Guide to Google Adwords – it is by far the single best e-book you will ever read on the subject).

With that said, there are some simple techniques you can use to make your PPC campaigns profitable. First of all, bid on low-competition long-tail keywords whenever possible. Not only are they usually less expensive, but they also bring paying customers more often.

For example, someone who types “basket weaving underwater” into Google might simply be looking for general information on the subject. In comparison, someone running a search on “how to learn how to weave a basket underwater” is clearly looking for a step-by-step guide to doing just that, and is therefore more likely to pay money for this knowledge.

Secondly, always remember the concept of Quality Score and how it can impact your campaign. Quality Score is one of the main factors that determine how much you have to pay per click; the higher your QS is (on a scale of 1 to 10), the lower your CPC will be.

Therefore, to maximize your profits, you need to maximize your QS – as doing so will often enable you to get better ad positions at lower prices.

The exact formula used in calculating the QS is kept secret – but it is known that it factors in variables such as the content of your landing page and the quality of your ad.

The first factor – that of the landing page – is essentially a check to see whether the page that the reader will visit upon clicking on your advertisement is relevant to the keyword they searched for.

For example, if they’re looking for information on basket weaving and your site is full of content on pet care, your Quality Score will suffer.

In addition, Google will also penalize you if your landing page is too short. This is why sales letters can sometimes be cheaper to advertise than squeeze pages – the latter are short by definition, and Google doesn’t like that, not one bit.

However, if you do want to use a squeeze page to warm up your traffic somewhat before redirecting them to your sales letter, here’s one trick you can use – place all the essential information above the fold (for example, the headline, the benefits and the opt-in form) and fill up the rest of the site with testimonials.

Although most people won’t read them, you will still give Google spider bots enough “meat” to avoid being penalized for having an overly short page.

The quality of your ad is, in turn, based on two major factors – clickthrough rate and relevancy. Clickthrough rate is the percentage of Google users that click on your ad when the search results come up; relevancy is the extent to which the wording of your ad is relevant to the keyword they entered.

In general, a clickthrough rate of above 1% is the bare minimum you should be aiming for; anything less than that, and you will find yourself penalized by Google. To maximize both the CTR and relevancy of an ad, try to make sure that the text of the advertisement contains the keyword – or the key phrase – that the user searched for.

Here’s another neat little trick you can use to boost your CTR – write unique ads for every single group of keywords you bid on. For example, let’s say you’re bidding on two keywords – “how to weave a basket” and “underwater basket weaving”. Instead of simply having one ad that reads “Basket Weaving Course”, create two unique ones, each relevant to its respective keyword.

For example, one ad would read “How to Weave a Basket” while other would state “Underwater Basket Weaving”.

This will boost your CTR immensely – not only does it make the ad look relevant, but Google will also bold the part of your ad that is identical to the keyword the user searched for, making it easier for your advertisements to stand out.

Article Marketing

Article marketing is one of the most effective – and also the least expensive – form of marketing your site. Better still, you don’t need to be a professional writer or master wordsmith to craft winning articles that will drive thousands of targeted visitors to your site.

As you probably know, EzineArticles is the definitive article directory out there. Although they’re pretty strict in terms of what content they accept, you really can’t beat the traffic that your submissions will generate.

Broadly speaking, there are two ways to get the most out of EZA – search engine optimization and sheer quantity. The former means submitting articles optimized to appear on the first page of Google results for a specific keyword; the latter simply means dominating the entire directory listing with hundreds of article submissions.

SEO Articles

Depending on how competitive your niche is, optimizing articles for search engine placement can be difficult. For markets such as weight loss, it is not uncommon to discover that all lucrative long-tail keywords have already been taken.

If, however, you decide to go down this route, then remember that your keyword should not appear more than 3-4 times in your article body. Anything more than that, and you risk having your submission declined automatically for keyword stuffing.

Additionally, make sure that you also place the keyword somewhere in your article title. Very often, this means having to get a bit creative. For instance, let’s say you’re optimizing your article for the “lose weight for the summer” keyword. Some examples of title optimization can include:

  • “How to Lose Weight for the Summer in 7 Quick Steps”
  • “Lose Weight for the Summer in Just One Month”
  • “How to Lose Weight for the Summer Vacation”
  • “Beach Body Secrets – How to Lose Weight for the Summer”

As you can see, the trick is to be as creative as possible with your title and keep looking for ways to seamlessly integrate your keyword into it without disrupting the flow of the sentence.

For this reason, some keywords are easier to write around than others – which is why SEO can get pretty difficult in competitive markets, where every single good long-tail word has been taken and the remaining ones either get absolutely no traffic or cannot be easily integrated into the article.

By the way – if you want to do keyword research, whether for your articles or PPC campaigns, I strongly encourage you to use Google’s free keyword tool.

It used to be the case that Google didn’t display exact search volumes for each term, making this tool all but useless; but ever since Overture shut down, the Big G has changed its tune and turned it into a relatively useful tool.

One caveat, however – take everything you find through that tool with a grain of salt. Google’s results are notoriously inaccurate – especially insofar as cost-per-click estimates are concerned. However, they’re still good at getting a relative picture of how much some keywords get searched in relation to others.

Sheer Volume

This technique is pretty straightforward – instead of relying on SEO, you simply dominate your relevant article category by submitting more articles to it than anyone else. With 150 articles listed, this is exactly how I came to dominate an extremely competitive category on EZA – and I’m getting about 50-60 unique visitors from it every day. Assuming 1% conversion rate, that’s an easy sale every two days!

If you decide to follow this strategy, then remember that the key to making it work is consistency. Submitting one or two articles every day is much more effective than submitting all of them in a lump, because each article will get featured on the front page on each day of the week.

Also, here’s a little trick that a lot of people don’t know about – if you’re a Platinum author and your articles get approved in around two days, try submitting 4-5 articles on a Thursday. You might get lucky and one of these articles will get approved on Friday night, meaning that it will stay on the front page the whole weekend.

One of my articles once got around 2,000 views in this manner, netting me approximately 500 visitors in just two days.

Which, by the way, brings us nicely to the topic of optimizing your CTR and getting the most of your articles.

Boosting Your CTR

There are three little-known tricks that I have personally used to massively boost clickthrough rates on my EZA articles.

Firstly, write customized biography boxes for each article, and make them as long as possible. The idea is to trick the reader into thinking that the biography box is actually part of the article. In doing so, you will avoid situations where the reader stops because they know they’ve reached the end and that what follows is little more than promotion by the author.

Secondly, seamlessly integrate your biography box into the content of your article. For example, let’s say you’re writing a piece on how to win your ex back. Instead of ending the article with a few summarizing sentences and inserting a completely irrelevant biography box, write the latter in a manner that complements your article.

For instance, start the biography box with a paragraph on how winning your ex back can be made easier by taking certain steps, and only use the next paragraph for your link plug.

This seamless integration eliminates the disconnect between the body and the biography, and ensures that the viewer keeps reading well into your biography box, as opposed to leaving the article after the closing body paragraph.

Lastly, always phrase your biography box to highlight the benefit that the reader will get out of clicking on your link. Truth be told, no one cares if you’re an expert in this and a PhD in that – it’s boring, it’s unoriginal but, most importantly, it offers absolutely no value to the reader.

Instead, you can phrase your biography box in the following manner:

“How would you like to lose 5 kilos in seven days and never again feel embarrassed of slipping into that bikini? Click here to read the truth about weight loss from an expert fitness coach.”

The first sentence immediately explains the benefit to the reader – if they follow your link, they will lose weight and finally get that summer body they’ve always dreamt of. The key is to appeal to the reader’s emotions, not reason –every woman feels mortified of bikinis if her body isn’t 100% perfect.

The second sentence contains a simple call to action (“click here”) and establishes your credibility by saying a few words about your background – just enough for your readers to take you seriously.

Forum Marketing

Forum marketing has become rather difficulty lately as more and more forums started prohibiting commercial or otherwise self-serving signature links.

In most cases, only IM-related forums still allow those; all other communities either ban you for doing that, or ask you to pay an advertiser’s fee.

So what do you do if your FTM site isn’t IM-related and you can’t market it simply by adding a signature to your forum posts?

First of all, make sure that the forum you choose to post on is worth your time. The Internet is full of abandoned communities that have been overrun by spambots. Here are three sites that I routinely use to find forums in my own niche markets:

Once you’ve shortlisted around 6-8 forums that you feel are worth posting on, spend some time researching how their members interact. Once you’ve gotten a feel for it, start building your reputation as an expert by responding to questions, appeals for help and general requests for feedback.

Luckily for you, if there’s one thing you will always find in abundance on any forum, it’s hundreds of people complaining, asking questions and looking for support and guidance.

All you have to do is track these questions down and start answering them, seemingly without asking for anything in return. Don’t post links to your site, don’t offer to refer them to a site that offers more information – just be a valuable member of the community trying to help out fellow forum members in need.

Building your expert reputation is the key to forum marketing. Since signature links are no longer an option, your next best chance is to become a genuine expert in this topic, so that people start coming to you for guidance and support. And before too long, you can start discretely recommending your site to them in PMs (of course, only when someone asks you for help first). Since forums are tightly-knit communities, if your site offers genuinely value to subscribers, word will spread, as forum members start recommending your site to each other.

Video Marketing

Video-sharing sites offer you a free, easy way to drive traffic to your FTM offering – although, of course, you can make it expensive if you so choose by hiring professional video producers and actors.

In its simplest form, a marketing video consists either of you talking into your webcam and providing a solution to some kind of problem or, alternatively, a recording of a simple PowerPoint presentation with voiceovers for additional effect.

Although, for the purposes of this chapter, we shall concentrate solely on YouTube, keep in mind that it is not the only video-sharing site out there (although it is, by far, the most popular one). However, since most such sites generally feature similar user interfaces and functionality, you can use the technique I am about to show you with just about any video-sharing site out there.

Despite what you may think, search engine optimization and video marketing are two sides of the same coin. You will get the most traffic to your YouTube video (and, by extension, to your site) if it appears at the top of Google results for specific long-tail keywords (which isn’t all that difficult to achieve, since Google often awards high SERPs to YouTube videos).

This means that you really need to do your keyword research before producing and uploading a video. In many respects, YouTube is a mini-Google in and of itself – it’s got millions of competing content, and SEO is one way to make sure that your video stands out from the crowd.

Once you know what topic – or long-tail keyword – you want to aim for, it’s time to get the actual video produced. As suggested earlier, it needn’t be anything complicated – very often, simply recording yourself talking into a webcam will do the trick. Remember, though, that no one likes blatant sales pitches – so, in a 5-minute video, keep the first four minutes advertising-free and concentrate on providing genuinely valuable information to the user.

By the way – I strongly encourage you to stick to the 4-5 minute limit instead of producing a 2-hour documentary. Remember, the attention spans of online audiences are notoriously short – and, unlike e-books, videos haven’t got a table of contents to cherry-pick what you do and do not want to watch. As a result, uploading an overly long video will simply cause frustrated users to fast-forward through content looking for information that’s actually relevant to them, resulting in your own advertising message being diluted in the process.

If you really find yourself with more material than you can comfortably talk about in a 5-minute video, break it up into several parts instead or, better still, release several such videos, each optimized around a specific keyword. Not only will you still provide valuable information to your viewers, but you will also capture more long-tail keywords!

When working with a video site, always remember to create a channel first. You want to make it as easy for current viewers as possible to see what other content you have to offer. More importantly, you can add a link to your site on your channel page, thus helping bring even more traffic from each video you upload.

Before we conclude this lesson, let me give you one final tip that will save you tons of time and lots of frustration.

DON’T FOLLOW EVERYTHING I HAVE SHARED ABOVE.

Yes, that’s true. If you try to follow every trick that I have shared above, you WILL fail. Instead, great marketers stick to just one or two techniques and repeat them until they start seeing the conversions. And once they start seeing the conversions, they do them more often.

So pick any one or two techniques and then just stick to them until you have tested them thoroughly and optimized them fully. Only then, move to the next one. You will thank me later J

What’s coming up next week?

Top Internet Marketing Technique That Brings A Flood of Customers EVERY TIME You Use It – Guaranteed! Next week we will look into the top internet marketing technique that almost every guru uses and that can bring tons of free customers every time you use it. Stay tuned.

If you have missed the previous lessons of this coaching series, don’t worry. You can start from lesson 1 and study at your own pace. Simply visit http://www.MemberSip.com and enroll for the free coaching. You will receive many more tips and tricks that I share with the subscribed readers only.


16 thoughts on “How To Start a Money Making Membership Site – Part 5”

  1. Buzzlord says:

    Wow great article. Those sites that allow you to find the biggest forum are perfect!

    1. You should read last 4 article of Deep as well …

      All 4 are simply great and you will learn a lot.

      1. Benjamin Cip says:

        Every articles are well written. I highly advice you to read every part of this serie

  2. Brian says:

    Thanks for the post, John. I’ve found article marketing to be the most effective form of marketing, but also the most time consuming.

  3. Hi John,
    Great article you have here.
    Beside doing this blog how much PPC do you do these days? Are you heavily doing this now since you have a lot of cashflow that you can use to drive traffic?

    Also, when starting a campaign, free trials for example, besides doing PPC, do you also do other things like article marketing, video, seo and all that stuff or you simply drive traffic using PPC?

    Thanks a lot,
    Eugene

  4. Sensonize says:

    Excellent write up Deep…keep it up 🙂

  5. Dino says:

    Awesome post, but really long indeed. Shorten it abit.

    Dino | Dinono.com

    1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

      I agree with you Dino. If you read the previous part1-4, you’ll feel the same. But you’ll learn something new from these tips. 🙂

      Deep Arora have written great articles here.

      Regards,
      Lee

  6. Kalvster says:

    Bit long, but some good information in there!

  7. fas says:

    I think PPC marketing will loose you money before you start to earn some.

  8. Ms. Freeman says:

    This post is way too long to read in one sitting, let alone the previous posts as well.

    I’ll be back when I schedule my vacation LOL 😉

  9. money online says:

    vary valuable guide john, i have problems with ppc…..too much cost and low income, thank you for adcvice

  10. I agree with what others said, great content but way too long for reading it in one go. So I bookmarked it and will get to it later today 😉 SY

  11. EarningStep says:

    solid post , sure this is the next step from previous part.

  12. videostar says:

    Interesting read!Very useful info!The post is good in the form it is done!

  13. videostar says:

    I have re-read the post again!Each step is really important for the work to be done.

Comments are closed.