If you're like I was when I first started out in Internet Marketing, you're probably wondering how to be successful. I didn't know much about being online. I had no idea about how to get a web page up and running. I had no idea how to drive traffic to it, once it was up. I had only about $50, and I didn't know anyone--no one at all!
What I did was find the most successful people online, and I tried to figure out what made them successful. I mean, there had to be something they all had in common. So, I researched people like Alex Mandossian, Jay Abraham, and T. Harv Eker, and several other people. When I was finished, I realized that the one thing they had in common, the single most important thing, was that they had huge lists. They had enormous lists of people that they could call, write to, or email any time they wanted to. They could offer them valuable information and products and make money whenever they needed to make it. It became primarily important to me that I start list building.
Remember, though, I said I didn't know anyone. I had no idea where I'd get a list, and I'm betting that you don't know where to get one, either. My method was by joint venture, through List Crusade, which got me tons of subscribers. The secret, though, the most important secret is to always be list building. Even after you have a gigantic list, you should still be list building.
You may have secrets of your own and are already list building, but most new people are probably wondering where to find people who will be interested in what you have to offer them.
First, you need to define a niche. What do you like? What's important to you? Maybe you're a gardener? A parent? Are you into crossword puzzles? When you're not at work, what do you like to do? Maybe you're into sports or you might like NASCAR. And then, maybe you just like to shop at the mall on the weekends. Whatever. Each of these activities has list building potential. Find the people who like to do what you like to do, and they're your target market.
So, now you're wondering where to find these people, no doubt. Ten years ago, this wouldn't have been true, but today, we have the Internet. You won't have to go to fifteen garden club meetings to talk to other gardeners. Of course, you can if you're passionate about gardening, and you probably do belong to an offline group or two, but you probably don't stray far from one or two groups of friends. Yet, with the Internet, you have a whole world full of gardeners and people interested in gardening to approach!
Your first step might be going to Google Groups at http://groups.google.com. Type in "gardening," or whatever niche you're searching for. The results that come back will be for a bunch of newsgroups, which are available in Usenet, another part of the Internet, separate from the World Wide Web. But you can still access them through Google. You can also use a stand-alone newsreader, like Outlook Express or other software like Forte's Agent to access them.
Just be sure to read through some posts before jumping into any group. If you post something that isn't pertinent to the group or ask a dumb question that's been asked a zillion times before, people won't be very kind. Try to find one of the more civilized groups, where you'll have a chance to interact easily with the group. Then, be sure to include the URL to your squeeze page in your signature. If you make some interesting comments, people will want to know more about you. They'll go to your page, and may even join your list.
You can also online forums that are centered around your niche. Go to regular Google, and plug in "gardening forums." You'll find a whole bunch of forums where gardeners hang out. Forms are similar to Usenet groups, but most of them are moderated. Just don't go into a forum and start posting, until you've read through a bunch of posts and have introduced yourself. See what the people are like, what they're interested in. When you find a forum that fits in with your needs, and you're comfortable, start posting. Post every day and become a "regular." When you post interesting ideas or information, people will want to know more about you. They'll probably click on your link and may even join your list.
Your offline friends aren't immune, either. Send them to your website. If you're interested in the same things, they'll probably join your list, too. They may not even realize that you write a gardening newsletter. If you're part of an offline group, maybe the moderator could announce your site at a meeting.
Anyone who's interested in the same thing that you're interested in doing online belongs to your target audience. Whether they're online or off, they're still in your target audience. Never stop list building. These people will be interested in your offers and information. You wouldn't try to sell hockey skates to beauty experts, right? Find people who are interested in the same things you're interested in. The beauty of it is, once they find out about your list, they'll probably want to be on it, too.
Tellman Knudson, CEO of OvercomeEverything, Inc., is a master list builder and well-known for his first project, List Crusade. Tellman teaches you his system for explosive list building at MyFirstList.com