NOTE: This is the author’s eleventh teleseminar report from the “Seminars with the Experts” series hosted by Hilary Stewardson.
In January 2006, it all started with a simple four-point strategy and the discipline to make it work:
- Write an e-book that people want.
- Put up a website that offers the e-book for sale.
- Drive traffic to the website.
- Rinse and repeat above cycle.
Sean Mize used the above formula to establish his Internet Marketing presence. Nothing special, right? However, his traffic generation method of choice raised eyebrows. Instead of using pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), or video marketing, Mize turned to article marketing.
By writing five articles daily and submitting them to the best article directories on a consistent basis, Sean Mize’s traffic steadily grew along with his expert status and marketing credibility. After incorporating list-building into his marketing equation, Sean’s income results took off. His regular release of e-books in the competitive and crowded Internet Marketing niche, coupled with a laser-focused approach to relationship marketing has proven popular with his subscribers.
Why Article Marketing Works.
Mize feels that article marketing is misunderstood by most people, and its effectiveness severely underestimated. In response to those who consider it out of place in today’s fast-paced digital environment he offers its core premise:
Article marketing is first and foremost a traffic generator. Period.
Commit yourself to optimizing all aspects of your writing (i.e. Niche selection, Keywords, Title, Body, Resource Box) so that readers take you seriously and want to come back for more.
Doing It Yourself, for Yourself.
Some consider Sean Mize’s use of article marketing stealth, cold, and ruthless. However, nobody can deny his results. In two years, Mize claims that 80% of his five-figure list has been build through article marketing. Needless to say, he continues to write for traffic. Yes, it can be time-intensive and expensive (e.g. ghostwriting), but there is no such thing as genuinely “free” traffic.
Mize is skeptical about article generating and submission software tools. You cannot automate article marketing, but if you commit to a well-planned and disciplined approach, the results can be phenomenal. Consider article rewrites for uniqueness and multiple submissions; instead of outsourcing Mize suggests taking the time to do it yourself, then test and track the results to make tactical adjustments.
“Affiliate Marketing is a Crutch.”
Sure, people can make money – even a steady income – by promoting other people’s products. However, Sean Mize’s philosophy focuses on building Me Inc.; after all, if you are prepared to devote time and energy (and money) for others, why not capitalize on those resources yourself?
Making your own products establishes credibility like no other activity. An original contribution within your chosen niche can build your reputation and income concurrently. Digital product creation in particular is well-suited for new entrepreneurs (short start-up time, low overhead, no physical inventory issues etc.). Yet before embarking on serious projects, ask your list subscribers what they are struggling with in their businesses, and what you can do to help them move forward.
Sean agrees with using ethical bribes, i.e., free reports and e-books, to obtain a prospect’s contact information. However, he reminds us to use “Thank You” pages that offer subscribers a quality product immediately after they opt in to your newsletter. Embrace the concept of product funnels to enable you and your subscribers to build mutually beneficial relationships.
Two Internet Marketing Curses to Avoid.
Mize defines Internet Marketing experience by the amount of revenue a person has generated through legitimate and quantifiable online activity. In fact, if you do not presently make a consistent $10k per month, Sean considers you a beginner!
So how do people graduate to the next level? For starters, Sean suggests that you minimize:
1. Information Overload. It is a disease that will sap your productivity and innovation. Seriously, you cannot read every book, join every coaching program, or follow all the experts out there. Therefore, limit your instant messaging and e-mail activity to one daily session. Be severe about the number of lists you subscribe to. Ask yourself: Is this relationship valuable to me? If not, unsubscribe…FAST!
2. Social Networking. Still too early to judge Web 2.0’s effectiveness as an income generator. However, Mize is a healthy skeptic of its usefulness. Without conclusive proof that solopreneurs can use Web 2.0 properly, and its reputation as a tremendous time waster, better stick to reliable traffic methods like article marketing that work for your long-term growth.
From Article Marketing to an All-round Skill Set.
Once you have mastered article marketing-based traffic generation, Sean Mize suggests that you take a serious look at the other Internet Marketing pillar.
Copywriting is essential for long-term, online income. Reports of its imminent death are exaggerated. As a core Internet Marketing skill, we all need it. Yet, hardly anyone truly gets it. So, even if you plan to outsource, learn how to distinguish good copy from bad. Ideally, develop your own skills by purchasing templates and observing what successful marketers’ do. Test your early results, then decide if outsourcing is right for you.
Sean has largely foregone traditional joint ventures (JV) in favor of ad swaps with marketers with whom he shares a common outlook. Apart from being a “free” way to gain new leads, Mize prefers this networking method over live seminars and conferences. The high attendance cost and preparation time associated with events should motivate folks to proceed cautiously when invitations come. He does, however, approve of hands-on workshops that motivate participants to act.
Sean Mize has integrated article marketing, list building, and product creation like no other in Internet Marketing today. Nothing comes easy, but if you are averse to the latest fads and willing to try a legitimate method of traffic generation, follow Mize’s blueprint for success:
- 1. Drive traffic to your squeeze page with article marketing.
- 2. Build your list and create relationships.
- 3. Create products that satisfy a hungry audience.