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27 Secrets of Internet Marketing Success

January 7th, 2009 by Bob Bly

If you are an Internet information marketer or aspire to be one, here are some rules that can help you maximize your online revenues this year:

1?Do not produce information products on widely diverse topics. Instead, pick a narrow niche. Then make sure every information product you produce is related to this niche.

2?Build a large opt-in e-list. Market your information products by sending e-mail promotions to this ?house? list.

3?When selling e-books and other downloadable info products, tell customers they can keep the product even if they request a refund. Saying that can boost your orders up to 21%.

4?Choose domain names that are easy for you and others to remember. Example: for an e-book on writing, producing, and marketing your first e-book, I chose

5?To get more people to join your e-list, offer prospects a subscription to a free online newsletter on your central topic (e.g., gardening, relationships, or whatever your info niche is).

6?You can also build a list with a one-shot free offer, such as a special report or e-book. But a free online newsletter is better, because it creates an expectation on the part of the subscriber that they will get e-mails from you on a regular basis.

7?Offer multiple payment options for your customers: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and for electronic products, ClickBank.

8?Charge a shipping and handling fee equal to the actual cost of shipping and handling. Do not add a mark-up or try to make money on the shipping and handling fee.

9?Even if you sell a physical information product, have a downloadable component the buyer can get immediately. Today?s online buyers crave instant gratification.

10?Have a separate micro-site or landing page for each information product you sell. This is essentially a long-copy sales letter posted at its own URL.

11?Adding short online video clips to your product landing pages can increase orders 10% to 20% or more. (For instructions on how to create and post short videos online, visit

12?Write books for traditional NYC publishers ( to build your reputation as an expert in your subject matter. Online information buyers prefer to buy info products from those they consider gurus in their fields, and they put book authors in this category.

13?The easiest and most profitable info product to create and sell online is an e-book. Start with a 50-page e-book (about 15,000 words) on your core topic. Sell it as a downloadable PDF for $19 to $29 or so.

14?The quickest info product to create and sell online is a one-hour audio CD. You simple interview an expert in your subject over a conference line for 60 minutes, then duplicate it on CD and sell it for $29 to $39.

15?Write articles to promote yourself as an expert in your field. Get them published in the appropriate trade journals, consumer magazines, newspapers, and e-newsletters read by your target market. Retain all rights to your articles by typing ?first rights only? in the upper left corner of page one of your manuscript.

16?Compile collections of your published articles (6 to 10 articles per collection) in PDF documents. Offer these ?special reports? as free bonus gifts when selling your paid information products. Online buyers love to get free bonuses.

17?Develop a line of related information products in your niche topic in three price ranges: low ($50 and below), medium ($50 to $300), and high (above $300).

18?Make sure the information products in your product line appeal to all 4 modes of learning: reading (e-books, reports), listening (audio), watching (video), and experiential learning (live workshops and seminars).

19?When a customer asks for a refund, give it immediately and without argument even if you disagree with their criticism of your product. If you spot an individual who continually orders and then requests refunds on every item, block their IP address from your shopping cart and remove them from your e-list.

20?Run your Internet marketing business with a software product that gives you all the functions you need (e.g., shopping cart, auto-responder, reporting) in one integrated system rather than require you to buy and integrate separate software packages for each function (see

21?Know how much money the average name on your e-list spends with you per year; e.g., if you gross $500,000 a year and have 50,000 total online subscribers, your average revenue is $10 per name per year.

22?When you advertise to add new names to your list, do not pay more to acquire a new name than that new subscriber is likely to spend with you during the next 4 months. Therefore, if each subscriber is worth on average $10 in sales per year, you want to pay no more than $3 or $4 to add a new name to your e-list.

23?Find successful Internet marketers who sell to the same niche market you do. Reach out to them and cultivate a relationship. The goal is to build a small list of top affiliates with the potential to sell respectable amounts of your products to their lists.

24?Offer a standard commission of 50% of gross revenues to all your affiliates. The smaller the commission, the less interested other marketers will be in promoting your products to their lists.

25?To determine whether there is sufficient interest on the Internet for you to publish an information product on a topic, use to see how many times per month key words related to that topic are searched on Yahoo/Overture. If there are fewer than 10,000 searches per month on Yahoo/Overture for your topic?s key words, the market may not be large enough to justify producing the product.

26?When you are in a used bookstore, look for old books on your niche topic published in 1923 or earlier. The copyright on these books has almost certainly expired, which means you can repackage and republish the content as an information product, without payment to the author or even his permission.

27?Become a lifelong student of your information niche and acquire as many credentials in the topic as you can; e.g., if you sell information products on real estate investing, take the test for and acquire a real estate license in your state.

Do you agree with the items in this list? Are there any you can add?


This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 at 8:16 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

78 responses about “27 Secrets of Internet Marketing Success”

  1. dianacacy said:

    I would add a link to an instructional product on writing landing pages, and emphasize how the marketer needs to be up on what works and what doesn’t – and why.

    Having a blog is helpful. A link to a report on how to effectively use your blog would be good.

    Learning about Private Label Rights (PLR) might be helpful too. But that’s confusing to some people – a report on what they are and how to benefit from using them would be needed.

  2. Bob Bly said:

    What do you mean by private label rights? Do you mean licensing of other people’s content?

    For landing pages, look at:

  3. Heather Lloyd-Martin said:

    Hi, Bob,

    These are great tips. I would add a word of SEO warning for #10 (create a micro-site.)

    Micro-sites (I’m thinking of a site five pages or less)typically won’t position well in the search engines. The reason is simple: If your micro-site has, say, three pages, and it’s competing with resource sites containing a hundred page about the same topic, the major resource site will gain the best positions.

    That’s not to say that micro-sites aren’t useful or valuable. Many companies use (and love) them as part of PPC campaigns. Or use them for other forms of direct marketing. Just don’t expect any organic search positioning.

    If a company is thinking micro-sites, I always ask if it would make more sense to build a specific landing page (plus additional content, whenever needed) on their main site. This way, companies drive traffic to their main URL, and the main site has an opportunity to position for those keywords. Plus, it can be a great upsell opportunity – if I came on on X search term because you have what I need, I may surf around your site to see what else you have. 🙂

    Thanks for such a great resource!

  4. Bob Bly said:

    Thanks, Heather. Long-copy sales letters selling a single product, which you are calling micro-sites, do not rank high on Google as you note, although I thought it was because they contain sales copy rather than content. A small but growing number of Internet marketers build parallel content-rich sites for higher rankings, and then drive traffic from that content site to the specific product site.

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  6. dianacacy said:

    Hi Bob,

    Sorry about the long wait. Used up my “personal time” allowance and couldn’t get back.

    Yes, I believe we’re thinking the same thing. I know Jimmy Brown and Alice Seba are offering these right now, and they are using the term PLR Rights.

    Not sure if they would work with affiliate marketing well though. I do know some are offered with permission to break them up and use them. This would help save time for creating blog posts.

    And yes, that was the landing page product link I was thinking of. I think it would fit into #10 perfectly.

  7. Note Taking Nerd #2 said:

    Hey Bob,

    When I showed up and saw the number “27” my first reaction was “too many”.

    My mind started thinking about how I didn’t have time now to hunker down to read a report.

    But I started reading anyway and I’m glad I did.

    You’ve done a masterful job of making your point concisely. No blather here. Each tip pulled me into the next because they were money.

    The way you’ve written this how I like to see my checklists.

    Some checklists only list the activity but nothing else. Even though you don’t call this a checklist I think of it as one.

    Thanks Bob,

    Note Taking Nerd #2

  8. Raphael said:

    Thanks for the great tips Bob.

  9. Gregory and Shelina said:

    Thank you for a great list which may actually help us to keep going. We do so many things that its hard to pull it into one niche such as the first human creation in the galaxy, angelic symbols, handmade galactic medallions and even channeling with Jesus and Mary where we have The Jesus Opal apparition. So we made a blog called where we talk about galaxy, angelic, scientific,inspirational and soul mate things. Sometimes we call them ‘The Greatest Secrets’ but its hard to get past religion when the name Jesus is mentioned even though that was not his intention so we made Some people brand their name but it seems hard to start out that way. Anyway we have alot of work to do. Thank you again for your helpful article.

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  13. Online Marketer said:

    Excellent tips. #19 is often overlooked, but your online reputation is very important, so treat your customers right.

  14. Anne said:

    I notice those are really tips on helping you achieve the most out of internet marketing, a great read for all level of seo people

  15. Chad Flick said:

    I wish I would have found this blog a long time ago. 🙂 I’ve just added you to me Google Reader page, and look forward to your future posts!

  16. Norio said:

    Just came across this blog this weekend and I love it. You cut through the crap and give us the goods. Best IM blog ever. Keep up the great work, we’re loving it 🙂

  17. Secret Of Success said:

    Great tips Bob..

    Hope those secrets can help me becoming a success IM 🙂

  18. Bob Bly said:

    Norio: if you liked this post, check out Terry Dean’s IM blog – a straightforward approach, no fluff, great content.

  19. Dan Boyle said:

    Great post as always Bob.

    I just want to add the importance of video now. I guess this really depends on the particular niche you in… but… most people love to watch as opposed to read.

    Creating a little TV show or video ezine can help get more subscribers. I give a tip that I’m about to test… using a live ezine utilizing Ustream.

    I’ll have find a way to share results as they happen.

    But just wanted to though in there how video is fast becoming the almost future of the Internet.

  20. Bob Bly said:

    Dan: I agree (see point #11). We are added short videos to our landing pages, one by one, with good preliminary results.

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  23. Angelo Gon said:

    Wow, great tips !


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  25. Paul Cooley said:

    Great tips Bob! Defiantly great advice for today’s business.

    Keep up the great work!

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    Thanks so much for the great tips. I have come up with several great ideas just while reading.

    Take care

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