After reading a shared post on Facebook this week I was inspired to write about a very valuable lessen I learned a few years ago and have been benefiting from ever since.
The best and worst thing about the internet is that it’s always changing, it’s constantly evolving and in marketing terms we’re on the forefront of the latest technologies are we’re able to harness the great power it holds. This is what gets me up every morning and looking forward to learning new things and developing my own techniques.
Unfortunately this is also the reason why great selling channels can disappear overnight, why a great source of traffic can dry up in a blink of an eye and why we have to make sure that we spread the risk and ensure we protect our business from these risks.
Let me give you a few examples of what can happen. Many people have made millions by creating product based or affiliate websites that are optimized for organic search traffic and Google has obliged and sent a solid stream of traffic to these type of sites, I have owned these in the past and some have become the authority site in their niche and I have enjoyed allot of success with them.
They can make some site owners literally thousands a day on complete auto pilot with little or no input from the owners. This is as good as it gets until Google decides to update their search algorithm and millions of sites drop into cyber oblivion and the traffic just stops, their income also stops as abruptly as the traffic and their once golden site or sites are now pretty much worthless. This happens on a fairly frequent basis and if this is your only source of income you’re up a certain creek without any means of propulsion.
Let me give you an eBay related example, about 4 – 5 years ago I had a very successful fully automated eBay business selling info products of all different kinds. Business guides, ‘how to’ guides, car maintenance guides you name it I had a info product to help you. These guides sold very well on eBay for just a few pounds and were delivered automatically after purchase via email. This was a PowerSeller account with over 900+ feedback and life was good until one day eBay decided that some sellers were using this type of product to manipulate feedback by selling items at 1 penny and simply exchanging positive feedback. For this reason eBay pulled the plug on all digital products being sold on eBay and so my perfect passive income disappeared along with many other eBay sellers.
Facebook is another recent example, when they introduced their ‘promote your posts’ feature a great deal of online marketers lost as much as 75% of their free traffic. This stuff just happens and if you have a great source of traffic, or sales or products you can’t always guarantee that they will be available tomorrow or next week or next year so we need to plan for the worst and make our business stronger and better as a result.
This is the first lesson I learned and is something that I believe is in my top 5 all time important lessons learned online:
DO NOT RELY ON JUST ONE SOURCE – This can be a traffic source, income source or product source, if you do you are leaving yourself vulnerable to said source stopping and thus becoming sad and bitter. (not good)
We can spread the risk by simply ensuring we have two other sources of traffic, income or product, that way if one dries up we are still in business. This is generally a good idea because even if you have a good source of traffic having two more sources means more traffic which is a good thing in any case.
BUILD A LIST – This is a something that has tripled my income over the last few years, if you build a customer list or a list of prospects then you can really insulate yourself from outside factors as you will have your own source of repeat business and sales. A customer is so much more likely to buy from you again as they have already shown you a commitment and you also know what you are interested in as they have just given you a big clue by buying something.
Keep in touch using an email newsletter, offer them relevant deals on related products or services and you will get more sales. What’s more, if Google was turned off tomorrow you would still have your own dependable community of targeted traffic to sell to and interact with thus preventing the sadness and bitterness. (a good thing)
In order to build a decent sized list we need to use a list hosting and mailing service, this is because if you try to email a few hundred or thousand people from you own mail client you will be accused of spamming them and that can get your internet shut down so not a good idea. A list hosting service allows you to enroll subscribers properly so that they click to agree to be on the list and therefore cannot shout spam as they have volunteered to be on your list. They also have some great tools to help you email out and track your stats. I use Aweber Communications they are in my option the best on the market and only $19 per month after a 30 free trial.
BUILD A COMMUNITY – Once you have a list If you then link that in with a few different sources of traffic from social media channels you will never be ruled by just one master, you will have a protected and more profitable business as a result.
So if you’re rocking Facebook right now make sure you take a little time to tweet or pin some images on Pinterest. If you’re the tweet king then maybe you can build a Facebook like page and interact with a totally different community.
This stuff doesn’t need to dominate your time, just 5 – 10 minutes each day or every other day would be enough to build some traction and as you start to interact with other users they will help you build visibility and that’s when things start to build momentum and you will have yourself another great traffic and sales channel.
You can make a start right now by liking this article or tweeting it using the social buttons below. 🙂