Before you worry about getting people to see your website you need to have something to sell on it.
The system you use to engage your website visitors and present your offers to them is known as a sales funnel because it ‘funnels' your prospects through your online ‘selling machine'.
If you're intending to sell digital products, your sales funnels should always have the following components:
- a high quality digital product which helps people to solve a problem eg. improve their online income, get more website traffic, improve their fitness, train their dog or grow better vegetables. The product just has to match the target market or ‘niche'. Identify a common problem. Create or suggest a solution which, in the case of digitally marketed products, can be instantly downloaded or accessed via a password protected membership site. Get paid either 100% if it's your product or a portion of the sales value if it's an affiliate commission (usually about 50% for digital products such as software and ebooks).
- a lead capture page (aka. a squeeze page) for gathering email leads to whom you can email follow up messages for the product(s) in your sales funnel and any future products or affiliate promotions. If you want your online business to grow you must never send people who aren't already on your prospect list to an affiliate link.
- a sales page or a sequence of several sales pages which present your prospects with urgency driven opportunities to buy your product and 1 or more further products which compliment and add extra value to your main product presented as ‘upsells' and ‘downsells', usually in the form of ‘one-time-offers'. Purely for the purpose of example, lets say your main product is a video guide on how to install a WordPress blog. Your upsell product could be a professional WordPress theme to make their blog look good and a training video on how to optimize a WordPress blog for search engines. If they don't buy the upsell your downsell could be the training video without the theme.
- a series of follow up email messages which create more opportunities for your leads to buy your products.
Once you have each of these components in place you have a sales funnel.
Good sales funnels are the best way to make money online as an internet marketer simply because they convert more website visitors into leads and paying customers than any other type of online content.
However, before you start promoting your funnel you need to test drive it to make sure your visitors are redirected through your lead capture page and subsequent offers correctly. You also need to check that the affiliate links or payment processor links eg. Paypal buttons on your offer pages work properly.
By the way, one of the best tools I've found for putting together good online sales funnels is called Online Sales Pro. It gives you the ability to create high converting lead capture pages really easily and that's the main skill you need to make money online
Once you're confident that your funnel is ready for traffic, you can start advertising it. If you have a good sales funnel and you advertise it to the right people, you will make sales. By measuring your advertising results you can determine whether you achieve a positive ROI (return on investment). Once you have a sales funnel which consistently achieves a positive ROI, where you make more money than you spend on advertising, you can scale up your ad spend and your income. That's basically all that's involved in creating a profitable business selling digital products. Although it does require commitment and practice to perfect all the skills you need to produce good sales funnels and identify effective advertising sources.