Everyone is building, or changing, their site these days. Tim, Jeff, Akin, Nicole - everyone is doing something with a web site. But do you really need one?
The answer is yes - with a caveat. In today's marketplace, whether you have a web site makes as much of an impression as whether you have a business card. Some people will be put off if you don't have a site.
But what if you can demonstrate an effective internet presence without having your own site?
Karen Loch and I had lunch earlier this week, and this was part of the conversation. Karen is also a copywriter, lives here in Toronto and just had her second baby. A healthy boy named Patrick. Congratulations, Karen and Nick.
Karen is getting back into the swing of writing and we were talking about whether she should get her site up and running. She already has a network and contacts, and she can generate leads without having a site. So, I asked her which is more important RIGHT NOW: getting her site up, creating her own info products (needing micro-sites), or generating some cash flow?
Karen's answer is: generate cash flow first, then her site, then write some info products.
How do you generate cash flow without a site? The same way Wal-Mart sells all kinds of things without making any of them. You sell things made by someone else - affiliate marketing.
Let's say you want to sell the e-book Writing E-Books for Fun and Profit. There is already a micro-site in place for this e-book at http://www.ctcpublishing.net/cmd.php?Clk=2428680 . Yep, that's my affiliate link.
I can write a blog post, send an e-mail to everyone I know, and run a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign to send traffic to that link and generate sales. The sales get added up every month and then I get paid my affiliate commissions. Simple - I'm generating cash flow.
Now Karen also wants to build her e-mail list while generating the cash flow. That's a good idea, and everyone should be thinking the same way. But how do you do it?
Again simple. Write a little bit of content for a squeeze page - a page that gets squeezed between your PPC ad, blog post, or e-mail, and the sales page for the product you are promoting. The content should give people a peek at what they'll find on the sales page, and ask them for their name and e-mail address to continue.
Now you are building your e-mail list and generating cashflow through affiliate marketing.
I've skimmed over a bit of tech stuff when it comes to setting up the squeeze page, connecting it to your e-mail manager, and making sure everything works the way you want it to. Let's be clear - I am NOT a tech dude. Johnny Meehan is the man who answers all those questions for me. If you want help, post a comment here and I'll help by introducing you to Johnny.
Yes, you do need a web site. It will enable you to provide online inquiry fulfillment, it allows you to put up all of your micro-sites (landing pages for products), and it adds to your credibility.
But it does NOT have to be the first thing you do - or even the second.