A Note To The
© 2003 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,
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
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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
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
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
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:
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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
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:
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
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 at:
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
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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:
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