Interview with Corey Rudl: The Secrets of an Internet Millionaire (Part-One)
Discover the secrets of an Internet millionaire in this exclusive interview with online marketing guru Corey Rudl. Corey is the author of the #1 best-selling course, "The Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet" and is probably one of the most recognized names in Internet marketing today.
In the following interview, Corey reveals how he grew his business from a one-man show in his parents' basement to four online businesses that attract over 1.8 million visitors per month and generated over $7.6 MILLION in online sales last year. Corey reveals exactly how he did it, and details precisely what entrepreneurs need to be doing TODAY to be successful online.
Hi Corey, and thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. Maybe the best way for us to begin is for you to tell us a bit about yourself and your company, The Internet Marketing Center.
Sure. Well, first off, I am the President and CEO of The Internet Marketing Center, which you can find online at www.marketingtips.com. We specialize in showing people how they can drive tons of targeted traffic to their web sites and how to turn that traffic into sales and profits. We provide all the information you need to learn how to market your business online, in the form of home-study courses, books, video and audio tapes, and more.
What really sets us apart from all the other marketing courses, though, is that we give you the concepts AND the software tools you need to promote and automate your business on the Internet. And we do all of this based on our own real-world tests and experience, not just theory. In other words, we do it and prove it BEFORE we teach it. This is how we are able to guarantee your results.
Actually, that brings up a good question: Why, exactly, is your "Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet" course so successful? Aren't you leading this market space?
Yes, we are by far the leaders in educating our Small Office/Home Office audience in how to make money on the Internet.
The reason the course is so successful is because we practice what we preach. We generated about $7.6 million in business last year, all online. And that's not to mention the tens of millions of dollars we have helped our clients generate. We have over 70,000 affiliates and
we get over 1.8 million unique visitors to our sites every month, all on a shoestring budget and all from scratch. So we are actually using all the methods that we teach.
Would you hire a poor stock broker? Of course not. If he cannot make himself rich, how's he going to help you? Would you hire a personal trainer that is not in good shape? No way! If they can't do it themselves, how can you be sure that what they are teaching you is not garbage?
People know our reputation and they know that the stuff we teach in the course actually works. We walk people through every single step they need to follow to be successful marketing their business on the Internet -- even if they don't have an online business yet.
We also have a few big Fortune 500 corporate clients. They're attracted to us because most of them are so caught up in red tape that they don't get to see the guerilla marketing tactics used to generate immediate revenues like small businesses do. We're just now starting to see the big corporations picking up some of the things we were recommending two years ago!
So the key to your success is practicing what you preach?
Exactly. Another big reason we're so successful is that we take all the risk. Our guarantee is simple -- if you don't make money from what you've learned in the course, then you pay nothing. You can return it anytime for a full refund for any reason. Even if you decide you don't like the paper it's printed on, we'll give you all of your money back. And you know what? We get nearly zilch returns -- and that speaks for itself.
Don't take my word for it, check out the testimonials at our site.
We publish only one percent of the testimonials we receive, but you can see that it's not people saying "Oh, it was great," but people saying they "Made an extra $70,000 already this year," or "Traffic increased by 400% in 30 days." That's what counts -- results. That is the scoreboard at the end of the day.
And we really do cover everything in the course you could ever imagine. We teach you everything from A to Z; everything from starting up from scratch with nothing to how to drive traffic to your site, right down to
setting up your site to convert visitors to more sales.
You'll learn how to maximize your exposure on the search engines, how to automate your entire business, how to build pop-up boxes, and hundreds of other things. We even give you templates and ideas to copy from us to ensure that nothing will go wrong!
That reminds me of a funny story... A couple of years back, I thought of trying to get my course on the reading list for an Internet Marketing program being offered by a top university. I had some meetings with a few of their senior marketing professors, hoping to get "Insider Secrets" into the hands of all their Internet Marketing students.
They finally came back to me and said, basically, "Thanks, but no thanks." Now, I was shocked! Why wouldn't they want their students to have the #1 Internet Marketing course as part of their education? I wouldn't let the professor leave my office until she told me.
It turns out they were actually scared that if their students read my course and found out that it cost less than two hundred dollars, they would feel ripped off by the school, which was basically charging them thousands of dollars for the same information!
That's quite a story! It just goes to show that "traditional" education isn't always the best way to get the BEST information.
Corey, could you tell us a little bit about your own history and background? How did you get started marketing online?
Well, I won't go too far back as I don't want to bore you, but my first online venture was way back in 1994. I had written a book called "Car Secrets Revealed" and had been trying to market it offline. After wasting a lot of money on magazine and print ads, I took a friend's advice and decided to try selling it over the Internet. Those magazine ads had eaten up most of my cash, but I did manage to scrape together enough to get my first web site up and running.
I did everything myself -- built the site in HTML 1.0, learned how to use FTP programs, figured out how to build a banner, and things like that. Those were the days when Netscape 1.0 had just come out and there was no such thing as secure real-time online ordering. It was all so new and exciting!
I was glued to my computer 24 hours a day testing all kinds of wild and crazy marketing ideas to see which ones worked. And I can tell you that 95 out of 100 ideas failed, but the ones that did work, worked like crazy! Within 18 months I had the #1 best-selling car book online... and it's been #1 ever since!
When people started seeing that my counter had logged over 1,000,000 visitors at CarSecrets.com,they started asking how I was marketing it. They wanted to know how such a simple and basic site was generating so much traffic, and if I could teach them how to do it. Before too long I realized that I wasn't able to teach people everything I knew during a one-week consulting contract.
So I decided to "brain dump" everything I knew into a course, which I called "The Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet." It taught just about everything I knew with real-life examples of exactly what I had tested, what worked, and what didn't. That was what set my course apart from every other Internet marketing course out there -- that I had actually tested and proven my techniques. Other courses were just teaching fluff and theory.
By promoting the course with the exact same techniques I was teaching, it became the #1 best-selling Internet marketing course online within three months. Since then, it has been through four new versions -- it needs to be updated regularly as the Internet changes so fast! But through all this time, it continues to be the #1 best-selling Internet marketing course online.
Because we're so far out in front of the curve as to what's working and what isn't, we have also been able to develop some of the world's leading Internet promotional and automation software. Basically, we developed software that we needed for our own business. We made sure it was the best and then made it available to our clients. This has helped us become one of the world's leading Internet marketing companies helping small to medium businesses drive traffic and make more sales.
So, what specific suggestions do you have for someone interested in getting started marketing on the Web?
Wow! That's a huge question and, to be blunt, there's no way I could answer it in just a few minutes. In fact, that's why I wrote a 1,000-page course in the first place... There are literally hundreds of tips and suggestions for building a successful presence online. There is just so much to know if you want to do it right the first time. However, there is one tip that is more important than any other...
Get educated. Don't think you can put up a web site and have traffic appear from out of nowhere. It does not work that way. Spend the time to educate yourself about how everything works. Research your market or idea and learn how to identify a niche market on the Internet. Create or market products that solve other people's problems.
Another thing to look at is your competition. How big are they? What are they doing right and wrong?
Learn from people who practice what they preach -- find people that you KNOW are successful on the Internet and model yourself after them. Don't try to re-invent the wheel and don't listen to people who cannot prove that they have done what you are trying to do.
There are so many "wannabes" out there who write books on web site promotion but don't even have a successful Internet business themselves. Find someone who you know is successful and use them as a mentor -- that's what I did. I had mentors, too.
Why do you feel that so many people who attempt to create an income on the Internet fail to do so?
Whoa, another loaded question! There are so many reasons, but here are the main ones. Bear with me, this will be a long answer:
Deciding on a product before finding a market is a big one. This is probably the most common mistake. If you are asking "What is a good product to sell online?" you are making this mistake right now! You need to decide on a market first.
The Internet makes it very easy to find people interested in a specific category like gardening, hunting, aeronautics, accountants, or any other interest group. Just about any group is easy to locate and target online through web sites, newsgroups, e-mail discussion lists, e-zines (electronic magazines), etc.
You have to make sure you have a captive audience, then find out what they are having a common problem with. If you can come up with a product or service to solve that problem, you have a guaranteed successful business. It's really that easy -- that's how all my businesses were built.
You don't even really have to "sell" it, because you already know they want it before you launch your web site. And since you already know exactly where your customers are, it's easy to target them. I mean, it's a no-brainer once you think about it.
Now, let's turn that situation around for a second. Say scientists had found a cure for the common cold. You'd become a millionaire selling it online, right? Well, not necessarily! How do you find people that are sick online? You would have to market to the general Internet community to try and find the 1 out of 10,000 people that are sick that day. It would cost a ton of money to market to 10,000 people just to find one qualified buyer!
And to make matters worse, if you are selling this over the Internet, by the time you ship them the pill through the mail, they'd probably be over their cold! So by choosing the product instead of the market, you can actually fail no matter how great your product is.
Your course has a lot of information about generating traffic. Is that a big hurdle for online businesses?
Many people think they can build a web site, submit it to the search engines, and the buyers will come. The logic is that there are hundreds of millions of people online surfing around and that some of them are bound to stumble onto your product. Wrong! Search engine ranking is more competitive than ever.
Yes, there are secret ways to get high rankings in the search engines and we spend more than 40 pages in our course showing you how to do it. It is probably one of the most complex marketing techniques out there. There are lots of different options for grabbing high rankings. You can do it all yourself, or you can buy really good positioning software, or even hire specialized companies to do it for you.
The course even recommends which positioning software you should be using, as there is a lot of junk out there! The same with Search Engine Optimization companies -- most have no idea what they're doing. So my course shows you how to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
The real key is to know what your potential buyers do online. Are they searching online for a specific term? Are they visiting specific web sites all the time? Are they subscribed to topic-specific e-mail lists or e-zines? In other words, you need to know where your target market is "hanging out" online. If you can find where your potential buyers are, this is where you should spend your marketing and advertising money.
That is why I said before, spend your time getting educated, learning everything, and researching your market and product or service. Spend your time and money driving them to your site and then show them how your product solves a problem they have. Marketing is everything online! You could have the best product in the world selling for half of your competitor's price, but if you cannot get the word out, you don't stand a chance.
What are some of the big psychological obstacles for online entrepreneurs?
Number one in that department is definitely procrastination. I cannot tell you how many people I've met who have really great ideas and plans, but so few of them actually do what they say they are going to do. So turn off the TV, stop using your new baby as an excuse, stop going for drinks after work with friends, and take the time to get serious about your business! You will have plenty of time for all the rest when the big income starts rolling in.
Let's be honest here... We're all good at justifying excuses to ourselves. I've even done it a few times myself! But there really is no excuse for not following your dream. You're only hurting yourself.
The second biggest psychological obstacle is fear of failure. Never fear failure. Heck, we fail every day. The key is to fail small. In fact, your ticket to success is failing regularly! Every time you fail, you're eliminating bad ideas and getting closer to the things that work.
If you aren't failing, you are not learning. We test new ideas, new prices, new marketing strategies, new looks, new products every month! Most of them fail, and we expect that. And we don't call it failure, we call it testing.
We are just looking for the five winners out of every 100 small failures we have, because what we learn from the winners we apply to everything we have. Here's a perfect example: We don't even send out an e-mail to our opt-in list without testing at least four versions of the e-mail to see which one performs the best -- that is how much you have to test. Some pull in 200% better results than others with small changes, so it's definitely worth it.
Speaking of results, what kind of results should people expect when they are just starting out?
Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. This is another huge psychological barrier faced by many new entrepreneurs. Some people expect their business to be successful immediately and their dreams to come true overnight. It usually doesn't happen that way.
An Internet business is like any other business -- it takes work. The only difference on the Internet is that you can automate a lot of repetitive chores... and you can test and roll things out WAY faster than an offline business could.
Things generally start slow -- that is to be expected. But when it snowballs, it snowballs VERY fast! And you really have to be prepared, because the Internet moves at seven times the speed of offline business. If you do things right, you can easily grow 700% faster than any offline business just due to the speed of business on the Internet.
Think of it this way: if you had just 30 people a day sign up for a newsletter, that adds up to over 10,000 subscribers in a year. This means that your company now has a database of 10,000 highly targeted leads to market your products to. If you were to purchase a list of 10,000 targeted leads (who have never even heard of you before and may not be receptive to your product), it could easily cost you up to $5 per lead.
So just by attracting 30 new people a day, you've created an asset that is worth around $50,000. Sometimes, even if it seems like things are moving slowly, you're actually building something great! I hope that makes sense.
Continued Part 2.....
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