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Recently I became a single father of a very special 7 y/o girl (really special :0)). And since then I couldn’t help thinking what would I have done if I were to be one of the 9-5 employees. I run my own online business so I have the flexibility to be around my daughter’s school schedule, home works, field trips, concerts, events, play dates, doctor visits, and those wierd PA days (a real dilemma if you were to be a single parent with a job) … etc.
I also keep asking myself this question: what would I do if I get ruined for any reason? If I lose my business or if all my money making sites are hit by a black-n-white G-animal (SEOs know what I mean :-))?
I need a plan B ready and in place so that I don’t get any more surprises, especially that I have no family members around to help with my precious little angel.
So I decided to put a plan B, execute it and make sure it works. Not enough though, I have to come up with a plan C & D as well, just in case.
In this post I am going to share with you one of the plans I got ready for action. I call it an “instant business in a box” because it literally takes you from zero to a business owner over night. It’s not going to be an over night success though, but it is scalable and grows like a snowball the more you repeat the tasks in this plan.
The purpose of the following steps is to build what I refer to as an Online ATM Machine because it makes me money on demand (when I need money I do an hour of work, click a few buttons and money starts showing in my affiliate or merchant account).
This ATM machine is a list of subscribers who are willing to read my emails, and take my recommendations of other people products that I know can help them or buy my products that are designed to help them (don’t worry about this part yet, just keep reading and you’ll find it easier than you think).
To build this list of subscribers who are gladly willing to make me money while receiving a great value in the process you need 3 main things that usually cost around $20/month, but if you use the links and coupons provided on this page you’ll be able to get them for for a huge discount for the first month (so you can be making money before you get to spend any).
1 & 2. A blog (your own hosting, because non of the free blog services will allow you to do what I’ll be explaining in this post) and your own domain name (for the same reason). You can get a .com domain name from name cheap for as little as $3.99 the first YEAR, and host it on hostgator for $0.01 for the first month if you use this coupon dosclub2014.
If you are serious about building a long term business you can do all of the above in one step, save a lot of money, and get your domain for free in the process: iPage Web Hosting only $1.99/mo!!
3. An autoresponder. It’s a web based service that handles the list building, the database, and the email marketing processes. It’s a $10/month from iContact.com (one of the top 3 in the industry, and the least expensive) but for the first month it’s FREE.
So far the total cost is really tiny. Not bad for a start up.
First we need to build a simple blog that has an opt in form (registration form) that people can use to enter their names and emails to receive a valuable gift from your blog.
In hostgator you get in the control panel an smiley blue icon for a program called “Fantastico”. Click that button, choose wordpress from the left hand menu, fill the blanks and click a button. That’s it you’re done building the blog.
Before the step above you need to transfer your domain to your hosting, I can give you the method here, but it’s better to start a chat with a hostgator technical support member and let them help you do the transfer so that they’ll be responsible for whatever happens later.
Don’t worry it’s a straight forward process, just trying to simplify your part of the work and take the technical worries away from you.
Once you have a wordpress blog on your own domain start blogging about the subject you are going to be building your list about. It should be something you can help your readers with, at the same time there are affiliate products that can be sold to your readers that help them more.
By Affiliate Product I mean a product of someone else other than yourself that offers you commission for every sale they can track to you through a special link that they give you to use in your recommendation. You can find a ton of those products in a market place like ClickBank.com (sign up for a free account, and you don’t need to buy anything, just create the free account).
A blog post could be something you write, preferably a story from your own experience, or a video (from you tube) with a few lines that you write as a commentary. Publish a bunch of those and move to the next step.
Now it’s time to give your readers a reason to subscribe to your mailing list. Go to your clickbank account and find products related to your subject. Open those products and visit their affiliate page (usually listed in the marketplace or there is a link on the sales page).
You are looking for a “brandable pdf”. It’s usually a pdf file that they embed your affiliate ID in it and you get to give it away for free to build your list with it. At the same time when someone reads the file and clicks any link to buy the original product (the one that gave you the pdf file) the links will track to your clickbank ID and you get paid a commission for that sale.
After you get the file upload it to your hosting using the file manager -> upload -> browse then select your file from you computer and click the ok button and you’re done.
Now get the url of your pdf (usually it’s http://yourdomain.info/yourfilename.pdf if you uploaded it to the root folder in your hosting). Take this url to your iContact account and start a new list. Follow their instructions in the tutorial, it’s very straight forward.
When you get to the confirmation url copy/paste your pdf file url from the step above. In the “thank you” url you can choose iContact default thank you page or you if are willing to get more personal with your subscribers (recommended) build a “thank you” page and uploaded it to your hosting and use it’s url just as you did with your pdf file url. For now you can stick to iContact’s default thank you page.
At the end of this process you’ll be give an optin form code. Copy that and paste it in a “widget” in your wordpress dashboard, hit save, and you’re done.
Now you have a blog ready to collect names and emails in exchange for a great value (the pdf file).
A word of caution though. Some clickbank vendors copy their sales page and paste it into a word processor and convert it into a pdf file and give you that. This is what you don’t want to do. This pdf file is your first impression that you’ll give your subscribers, you’ve got only one shot. So make sure you read the pdf file and make sure it’s a great value. If it is not, write your own or if you have some money to invest hire an expert to write it for you, or interview an expert and give the audio file of the interview instead of the pdf to your subscribers.
Now it’s time to get people to visit your blog to get your valuable gift and subscribe to your list.
There are many ways to do this, but the fastest and most effective one is to get other list owners to tell their subscribers about your gift. And to do that you need to pay them money. To find the lists you google your subject and find websites that have optin forms on them. Contact those website owners and ask them how much it costs to send a “solo ad” to their lists (an email that you write with a catchy subject line). Get the offers and stat sending your solo ads. The cost could be any where between $50 and several hundreds, so you need to make sure your subject line and your email copy convert readers into subscribers.
The above could be costly if you’re going to use the trial and error rout. It also takes time until you have a winning formula (a good list owner with a good list, the best subject line, and the best email copy) so that you start to make money, which is not an instant business in a box, I know that.
To make it instant here are two important resources that provide you with a list of lists graded and rated based on their performance, and an emails swipe file that includes the email copies and the catchy subject lines:
They both come with more training on email marketing, so you can start from a profitable point and enhance your system as you go.
Also keep in mind that these two are in the “Internet marketing” niche.
Now you have a system ready to build your ATM machine, but it can only be built if you start doing it. So go back to the beginning and start building your business.
Please note that I am in no way recommending or preaching that you quit your job and start building this source of income. The only time you might be able to do that is when your system is making you twice as much as your current job and you have enough savings that cover you for at least a year. These virtual businesses are subject to changes that are out of your control, like new laws, affiliate networks and products disappearing from the market, and google algorithms changing 400 times a year.
Social media is a good way to go about it, especially if your blog is not about Internet marketing. First start with facebook posts every time you post something on your blog. Ask you friends to like/share if they like your blog. This will give you some exposure and you might start seeing subscribers or maybe money. Also tweet about it, Google +1it, and even Lineked in’it.
A second step would be to build a facebook fan page and invite your friends to join it. In the fan page you’ll be posting about every post you have on your blog (and every time you have a new post on your blog post about it on the fan page), and also sharing valuable things that you find on the web that helps your fans.
Also on the fan page you can have your opt in form. Offer your fans the gift you have on your blog before they even vist it.
To get more fans you can use facebook as the fan page, go to other fan pages and socialize (like, comment, share) and leave valuable comments. This alone can get you some fans. After showing your kindness to those fan pages message their admins to post about your fan page. You started the favor by sharing their posts to your fans, now it’s their turn to return the favor.
The solo ads method is the fastest and gives instant results. But if you don’t have enough to start a website there is no point to sturggle with it. You can earn more than enough with the method below so that you can start with the above techniques.
In this case there are other ways to make a small amount of cash that you can use to start this business model. One way is to take surveys. On clixsense.com you can take surveys, perform tasks, take offers, and visit pages in exchange of some cash (surveys pay up to $7, but most are around $1). Once you reach $8 you can cash out to your paypal account and pay for your domain and hosting, and the autoresponder is for free for the first month, so you’re covered.
I hope this helps you start immediately.
Just for the record this is a draft, I’ll be revising and adding more links and coupon codes later. Once I am done I’ll delete this paragraph or label it as done or updated.
Have a nice day fellow single parents.