Hint, it’s a tool you use everyday.
“Web design” is not just pretty pictures, colors and features that look amazing, but have minimal functionality.
It’s user experience.
Yes, it’s true the team over at Facebook and other hugely popular website agonize over details like color and link position and what not… and it is true that design should enhance your content, but design is more about the experience you create for someone visiting. It’s the mini journey you take them on. If you do this well enough, even a website with a lackluster design and no products apparently for sale can make hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How? Keep reading.
You will learn…
You will learn the edge behind how socialtriggers.com makes money and the actions you can incorporate into your website (or future website). Social Triggers appears to have no products for sale, has no advertisements and offers no service. Just a lot of content on the front end with no ability to purchase anything, even if you wanted to.
So I read this article by “Victor Pride (it’s a pseudonym, I know his real name but will respect his privacy) about how blogs can make money forever. His experience with his publishing is that blogs done right, with the right passion and purpose (as well as enough content, he’s prolific in the amount of content he has produced over the years) can make money forever by acting as mini niche websites with each page on your website ranking for a variety of different search terms.
With multiple rankings, this becomes a steady source of traffic over time. If that traffic (visitors to your website) likes the content they found, they will go deeper and explore your blog further. This action on the part of your visitors, particularly if they’re using the chrome browser sends the right signals to Google that your website is of high quality, engaging and is providing a good experience to those who visit (here’s a video explaining this concept more detail). As such, you will rank better if people will fall in love with your website, and it compels them enough explore it deeper. This continues the cycle of positive growth.
He claims to be pulling in tens of thousands of dollars a month, and with enough traffic this is completely possible with the right mix of product sales, making an offer in your blog posts that get a lot of traffic as well as using affiliate links and having affiliates promote your product. I’ve made a couple hundred dollars from this blog post comparing Blue Host and Host Gator for example, and thousands of dollars from this blog post about how to tell if a guy likes you. Sound crazy? Well boys and girls, with enough targeted traffic, it’s possible. Really.
This is one type of business model for a website. It’s not particularly sophisticated but it’s simple and can work. That is, building an authority website on a fairly broad topic, ranking for search terms that get traffic, and search terms that include someone looking to buy something or solve a difficult problem… and then converting that traffic into customers or loyal followers who help you achieve your goals. I’ve talked about this strategy before with regards to making an income with AdSense, but the same concepts can be applied to your own products or products you love and support as an affiliate.
Keep in mind though, A BLOG IS A MEDIUM and a website alone is not a business. A business is a business. Start a blog, but only to use it as a high leverage tool to help you reach an audience and customers for some sort of skill you have already. The guy behind the hugely popular men’s website, boldanddetermined.com is a talanted writer, but more importantly he hes a skill set people are willing to pay for. Being in insanely good shape, providing leadership for young men, and showing his readers how to craft a life of your dreams (because he’s living the life of his dream, not just talking about it).
Now, let’s talk about a more interesting way to make a million+ dollars with a website.
Social Triggers and Email
Did you know that Derek and social triggers sells the following?
By looking at the website you would have no idea. That’s because his model is a combination of what BoldandDetermined.com uses. That is, getting a lot of traffic from search engines and YouTube and then converting that traffic into email sign-ups. Which is how SocialTriggers.com is designed. With opt-in forms at the top of every page, in the side bar, at the bottom of squeeze pages as well as pop ups. It’s obvious that SocialTriggers.com is the start of the sales funnel and that getting traffic to convert to email is priority #1 apart from content creation.
The Pathways to Create
People don’t mind clicking and don’t mind scrolling either. So long as you’re guiding them on the hunt for what their looking for. Clear pathways help people do just this with an intelligent layout, good organization, and walking people through things step by step. Like is done here on my tutorial for how to make a website.
Let’s take a look at some pathways used currently (and previously) on Social Triggers.
Pathway 1) Free video in sidebar about making more sales >>> copy for the opt-in page >>> user gives email >>> compelling video to check your email >>> private page on Social Triggers for the 30 min video >>> up-sell for “Yes Engines”.
Pathway 2) E-book pop-up offer about getting more subscribers to your website (using bounce exchange) >>> copy telling the user to check their email NOW, not later >>> deliver the ebook >>> an email series using scarcity to get you to sign up to a blog that converts.
The sophistication about the multiple pathways and the attention to detail that has been put into them makes each opt-in form it’s own journey to a unique product. Derek and his team has customized the offer an end product down the sales funnel that makes sense regarding the original offer.
For example, it’s pointless to have a front end give-a-way about how to get more traffic to your website, then at the end of the sales funnel to offer a program about how to start a blog. Why? If someone already has a website, they’re not the least likely in purchasing a product that shows them how to start a blog (because they already know how to do that)
What You Can Do – Sales Funnel 101 For Dummies
1) Step one, figure out a product to sell. Two ways to come up with a product is either through validation or to launch a simple version of your product or service and see how people react. I prefer the launch approach as it’s more valuable to see what people will do more than what they say. With the launch strategy however, don’t spend months on a product. Spend a few weeks. Put something together (a service or a product) and launch.
2) Once you have found a product or service that sells reasonably well,create a pathway using an email list sign up to increase sales. On the front end, offer a free video or 30 page ebook to compelling people to sign up.
Now it’s time to craft a sales funnel. Basic sales funnel structure for beginners:
A sales funnel begins by attracting prospects to your website via search engines, social media, and your own personal out reach strategy. The next step is to capture the attention of those prospects with a compelling free offer. From this point, some prospects are converted into buyers who purchase and entry level product at a price point of around $10 to $60 dollars. The sales funnel continues by then moving the buyers onto a new list with the goal of fostering a better relationship with people who have demonstrated that they are willing to spend money to solve their problem.
The end goal is to offer more specialized and specific products and services to this ever decreasing group of people.With the person or company maintaining the list constantly refining, testing, and optimizing the list to get the best results.
Experience The Sales Funnel First Hand
Step 1: Create an email account just for email lists. It’s a great way to learn from the experts as well as a way to always have great content on hand to check out.
Step 2: Sign up for some email lists to get a feel for how they work and how the publisher is using them. Some publish massive, monthly emails. Others build out auto responders to lead up to a product offer, and some don’t make an offer at all and instead use their email list not as a funnel, but as a tool to drive traffic back to their website. Study and observe. Make a decision on what would be best for your website and digital presence.
Step 3: A classic email list is the one by DoubleYourDating.com. An email list for men that sends out high quality, emotionally driven email after email with a subtle push of a low priced book. Once you purchase the book, you’re then sold on higher priced audio and video courses and so on. Check this one out even if you have no interest in the topic.
Social Triggers has a lot of edges.
It’s unique selling point of mixing psychology and marketing as a way to stand out and get attention. The site has multiple opt-ins, each with it’s own pathway to a specific product. It’s a powerful example as to how essential email is for an online business, particularly one that sells information.
Of course people will be more likely to buy after receiving free, high quality material. It demonstrates the author understands the problems you face and better yet, has the solution you need.
Of course it also makes sense to lead off with a website, that has a free offer, that gives away a free newsletter, which then makes an offer for a low priced product, which then leads to a more specific, higher priced product. People who buy, are more likely to buy from you again.
A website is not a business. It’s the front end of money making machine. It will become your best sales person if you’re able to get the right traffic. Then, once the traffic is in place, it’s time to build the second part. The back end that everyone overlooks.
For more, check out my beginners guide over at email marketing: building your mailing list.