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A Note To The Complete Beginner
Copyright 2004 By Willie Crawford
After being in business online for over 7 years, I often need a whack
upside the head to remind me that not everyone understands this
online stuff the way that we do. In fact, there are tens of thousands
of people who venture online regularly, exploring ways to make a
little extra money. Some are looking for ways to eventually quit
their jobs and work full-time from home.
Since I have been living that dream-life for so long, it sometimes
takes me a second to answer questions from complete beginners.
I'm talking about people who not only haven't built their first
website, but aren't even sure what type of product or service they
want to sell. They just know that they want to make some extra
money and have heard that the internet is an easy way to do it.
How would you respond to a complete online beginner who comes
to you seeking advice?
Here's what I tell them and why...
First of all, there are a lot of scams, hyped-up promises, and just
plain "ways to lose your money." So you do need to look before
you leap. You can't be too careful!
Secondly, building a business online is just like building a business
offline. You need to decide "what you are going to sell in your store"
before you open the doors. So you need both a plan and a product.
Most people will advise you to build a website around a personal
interest. That way, while the business is slowly "building up steam,"
it will be easier to keep motivated, and it may even be more fun!
The easiest way to get into business online is through what are
called affiliate programs. These are programs where you sign up
and then you earn a referral commission from selling other's products.
Online, these products are very typically books, software, etc...
things that have a low production and delivery cost. Software and
electronic books can be delivered as a file that's downloaded
directly to your customers' computers. So it has very little real
delivery cost. Therefore, the person selling it can afford to pay you
a hefty commission for helping them sell their product.
I generally recommend that beginners join a few affiliate programs
and then begin telling others about them... referring others to the
site. This is also where beginners hit the first snag. Who do they
tell and how?
People like me have a mailing list of well over 100,000, and over
200 active websites. I can tell people about products and services
through my mailing lists. I can tell people about products and
services on my websites, which are found through the search
engines, articles I write, and affiliate referrals. However, the beginner
doesn't have immediate access to these resources.
So how does the beginner attract people to his products or
services? First, you need a website. It is possible to market online
without one, but a website gives you a "home-base." It's a place
that you can center your operation around, refer people to, and
use to branch out.
You DON'T necessarily need to have a website designed for you
since many affiliate programs do offer them for free. You DO need an
affiliate website that you can modify to make it different from all of the
other sites promoting the same product(s) or services as yours. If it's
identical to thousands of others, the major search engines won't
You also need to build a mailing list. This is a list of people who
have contacted you and given you permission to stay in contact
with them. For many online businesses, people join your list
by subscribing to your online newsletters. You send these
people your regular newsletter, and over time, develop a relationship
with many of them
It's very important that you understand that people buy from
people that they KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. A newsletter
allows you to share information and resources with your
subscribers, and eventually causes them to feel this way
about you. You have to earn their friendship, trust and admiration.
You do this be doing things to help them succeed. It's that simple.
The easiest way to build a list is to have a signup form on
most pages of your site, and ask people to join your list.
However, they won't join unless you give them a good reason.
Even though your newsletter may be free, you still have to
sell them on the value of joining your list. Your potential
subscribers have so many choices of free ezines, that they
won't sign up JUST because you ask them to. Tell them
the benefits of being on your list.
So... you need a list, a website, products to sell, and some
guidance from people who are actually doing what you want
I currently have 4 resources I recommend to beginners who
contact me. I honestly believe that these 4 resources give
them the best start... the best probability of building a
successful online business. Those resources are:
1) I recommend that they subscribe to my free 20-lesson
Internet Business Success Course. This is a course that
I put together which contains some of my favorite articles
and resources. It explains a lot of things they will need to
master to succeed in an online business. That course is
available at: http://WillieCrawford.com
2) Next I recommend that they join Affiliate Showcase. At
Affiliate Showcase they can get a free website that, in words
right from the site:
"An AffiliateShowcase site is a website of your own -- an
affiliate program search engine that you own, you customize,
and you fill with your own affiliate links. And then you watch
it grow all your affiliate checks."
You get this site... that you send people to. When they buy
the products or even get their own Affiliate Showcase site,
you earn a commission. At the same time, for a small upgrade
fee, you can FULLY-customize the site. You can put your logo,
your picture, links to your favorite sites or programs, etc.
It puts you in business real quick - real cheap. You can see
my Affiliate Showcase site and get your own - in just minutes
Affiliate Showcase has a complete affiliate training program.
You can join in on conference calls several times a week
where you are trained by experienced marketers in how to
set up and promote your Affiliate Showcase business. You
are not left to figure it all out by yourself as many affiliate
3) I also recommend that they join the Internet Marketing
Warriors. The Warriors is an online community with the most
active members-only discussion forum that I am aware of. At
this site, you can actually brainstorm your ideas with other
members and they will give you their honest feedback. The
Warriors range from complete beginners to those earning
millions a year.
I recommend that they get the Warrior Pro Membership.
This membership will cost them $25 per month, but
gives them a number of great benefits including a place
to build their next website. In fact, they get a number
of pre-designed, template websites that they make just
a few edits to and they are all setup to sell some products,
and keep all of the money. For this they do need a way
to process credit card orders, but Paypal is the perfect
solution for that.
Paypal is a service that allows anyone in many countries
to send and receive money via email. You can find out
more about Paypal at:
Join the member-only, Warrior community at:
4) The other thing I recommend for beginners is a Clickbank
Mall. Clickbank is a "third-party credit card processor" that
allows many merchants to set up an affiliate program without
having a merchant account. It also recruits and manages
affiliates for them. Affiliates sign up as Clickbank affiliates and
can then search the Clickbank database for products to sell.
The Clickbank Mall allows anyone to literally link to the entire
Clickbank database. When a visitor to your site searches
for a product using your search box, and they make a
purchase, you earn a commission. It only takes a minute
to set up and you can use it on as many of your websites
as you want to. You can get more details on Clickbank Mall
The 4 resources mentioned above provide a very good
education and get the new online business person off to a
great start. They don't spend a fortune getting setup and
they start earning money fairly quickly. From this very
solid foundation the newbie is then ready to teach other
beginners how to safely get started.
This short note provides the complete beginner with a plan
... a very good starting point. Then it's just a matter of
Willie Crawford has been teaching others how to build an on-line
business since late 1996. Frequently featured in radio, magazine
and newspaper articles and interviews, Willie teaches the average
guy what the top marketers are doing but seldom talking about.
Willie provides detailed how to information in his newsletter,
through his personal coaching, and at his annual how to workshop.
Learn more at: http://InternetMarketingHowToWorkshop.com