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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 list it.

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 to do.

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 at: http://www.AffiliateShowcase.com/?42508

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 programs do.

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 information about Paypal at: https://www.paypal.com/row/mrb/pal=6RX2VTH33ZRD4

Join the member-only, Warrior community at: http://www.warriorpro.com/cgi-bin/w.cgi?2602

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 at: http://www.CBmall.com/join.asp?storefront=rwil02

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 doing it!

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

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