Posted Saturday, September 25, 2004
Ask any expert and they’ll tell you that there are two keys to a successful internet business: Solve A Problem and Get Targeted Traffic.
1. Solve A Problem
First of all, you must have a product, or products, that solve a problem. Millions of people search the internet everyday, and hundreds of thousands log on for the first time everyday, all searching for answers to various problems.
These problems can be on anything from how to improve your golf swing, to how to make dog biscuits, to how to improve your teaching. They can be software products, information products, or hard goods. In the end though, the most successful internet entrepreneurs are those who have created products that solve a particular problem.
The best news is that you can actually find out what products people are actively searching for through programs like Wordtracker (http://www.money-teacher.com/wordtracker.htm). These programs will actually enable you to flush out niche markets based on keyword analysis. There are many articles written on the subject of niche marketing that will help you learn the tricks of finding that perfect market. Here’s one from my own newsletter: (http://www.money-teacher.com/newsletter006.htm).
However, once you have found that niche market, you need to make sure your product(s) solve a problem. Remember, people will pay you money to have their problems solved.
2. Get Targeted Traffic
Unfortunately, once you have your niche market and your product that solves a problem, you are not guaranteed success.
You need to drive traffic to your website (or, of course, a website you are affiliated with).
But more importantly you need to drive "targeted" traffic to your site.
Making money on the internet is not just about bringing mass numbers of people to your site. It does you no good if your visitors are not buying anything. You need to bring "targeted" traffic to your site. You want people to visit your site who are already interested in your niche market and people who are already looking for a problem to be solved. (A problem that your product has the answer for.)
There are many ways to bring targeted traffic to your site. One of the easiest is to simply buy it. That’s right you can actually pay list building companies to have people opt-in to your free newsletter and then use your newsletter to drive traffic to your site. Most list building companies charge roughly .29 cents per lead and you can purchase hundreds of leads per month. These are double opt-in leads (meaning people had to sign up and then confirm their sign up—therefore they are more motivated to receive your information).
For example, one way I drive traffic to my website is through my newsletter, The Money Teacher’s Home Business Tips Newsletter. I set a monthly budget and pay a company like ListOp (http://www.money-teacher.com/listop.htm) to get me subscribers for my newsletter. ListOp then automatically delivers these subscribers to my GetResponse autoresponder (http://www.money-teacher.com/getresponse.htm) where they begin to receive my newsletter without me every clicking a button.
However, buying leads is only one way to get targeted traffic, and it is definitely not the best way. One immediate problem is that most of these list building companies deal only with building lists for internet marketing newsletters like my own. However, if you are truly going to be successful by solving problems within a niche market then you will probably want to stay away from internet marketing. I am not saying it is impossible, in fact, people like Stone Evan’s have made it much easier to get started in internet marketing (http://www.money-teacher.com/pluginprofitsite.htm), but your competition is extremely tough. The other problem with building a list through these list building companies is that you have to pay for it.
Fortunately, there is a place where you can find people actively searching for solutions to specific problems in very specific targeted niches. And the best part is it won’t cost you a penny to get them to visit your site.
I can not stress this enough. These are people actively looking for what you are selling and it is completely free. And, best of all it doesn’t have to be in the field of internet marketing. You can find these people no matter what your niche product is.
Ok already. Here it is: Forum Writing.
That’s right “forum writing” is single must effective way to drive the most targeted traffic to your site and to your products. There are literally thousands of forums on the internet covering every topic imaginable.
In fact, the good forums will actually email you when someone replies to one of your posts. That’s right, forums are now emailing me, telling me that there is a person in my specific niche who wants to discuss a problem that they need solved. It just doesn’t get any more targeted than that!
For those of you who don’t know, a forum is basically a discussion board that revolves around a general topic (or product). Many of these forums are then broken down into categories and sub categories. For example, since I am a teacher who has written ebooks on teaching strategies I frequently visit several different teaching forums. I answer questions on the forums and often use those answers to lead people to a free give away on my site. Or, sometimes I just let my signature file do the work for me (A signature “sig” file is a byline that is attached to the bottom of all your posts. Your “sig” file usually consists of a few sentences and a link to your site or product--very similar to the resource box at the end of this article.) In some forums where advertising is accepted you can be more blatant and basically have a classified ad for your sig file, it all depends on the forum itself. Either way though, a sig file will absolutely bring targeted traffic to your site, especially if you did a good job of helping someone out.
Look for tips on how to get the most out of forum writing and how to find the best forums in "The Most Targeted Traffic You’ll Ever Get (Part 2)."
About the Author
Adam Waxler is a middle school social studies teacher and ebook author. Adam also owns and operates The Money Teacher web site and publishes The Money Teacher’s Weekly Newsletter. (http://www.money-teacher.com)