How To Make More Money With Less Web Pages

Masako from emailed me the other day and it reminded me of myself many years ago…

Here are snippets of our email communication…

[quote]I was wondering if you could give me a weekly to do list? I am a little bit lost at this point and need clear step by step guidance about what to do next.[/quote]

World Klass RunnersMy reply to these questions is almost always the same…

[quote]What are your goals for your website in the next 3 months?[/quote]

Masako’s reply was…

[quote]My goal for the next 3 months is to start making some kind of money so that I can reach my initial goal of making $2,000/month (at least) in a year. Thanks.[/quote]

That’s where I asked Masako if I could share this, because my reply is something everyone can benefit from.

But, before I get into that, let me first cover something I think most people forget…

You are building a business!

A business is when you have customers who pay you money in exchange for a product or service.

You want your business to be reliable, consistently profitable, and to be sellable (even if you think you will never sell it).

In my old model train business, the sellable part was the system of recruiting, helping and motivating affiliates (my traffic strategy), the sales page and the membership site.

It was a complete system of leveraging traffic generated by other people, converting that traffic into paying customers, and then extracting as much money as we could from each customer…

There was a distinct sales funnel and each touch point of that funnel was measured and tweaked to maximize conversions.

It’s this level of systemization that made the website attractive to buyers. But, in the beginning it was set up like that to satisfy my goal… which was to have a $10,000/month business that required less than 2 hours/day of my time.

So, back to Masako’s goal of $2,000/month

A quick look at and you will notice that Masako is monetizing with Google Adsense ads and Amazon products. While there is nothing wrong with that, a quick calculation shows that Masako will need about 4,209 visitors a day to earn around $2,000/month.

That is an incredible amount of traffic generation for very little return.

As I teach my coaching clients, the critical research part of a profitable online business is to identify how you can make money from the niche. You then make your decisions based on the potential average customer value.

When I originally looked at the model train niche I knew the worst I could do was to earn $17/sale from an affiliate product. But, if I created my own ebook I would make $27/sale and if I created a membership site I would make over $100/sale.

Same effort, but hugely different results.

At $100/sale you only need 20 sales to make $2,000. My sales page was converting at nearly 10% so that’s only 7 visitors/day.

4,209 vistors/day versus 7 visitors/day for the same profit…

Which would you rather have?

I’m using Masako question as an example (thanks Masako), but I see hundreds and thousands of people making the exact same mistake… There is no well thought out monetization strategy behind what they are doing!

They end up blogging for years and earning less than a $1 an hour… When they could have a MUCH simpler business with amazing profits.

So, what should Masako be doing to achieve her goal?

1) Identify how to get paid at least $50.00/sale in the niche. If there is nothing out there, can you create something (like a membership site) that will get you there?

2) Identify where the targeted market hangs out online. Facebook is a good place to start and a Facebook ad will get you a big chunk of targeted traffic.

3) Create ONE landing page with a CTA (call to action). This could be a squeeze page, a presell page or a Facebook page.

4) Send the targeted traffic to your landing page and measure what happens. If you get 100 people landing on your page and 10 click through, then you have a 10% conversion rate.

5) Improve your results. Tweak your ad and landing page so you improve your landing page conversion.

That’s it… Simple!

I explain more in the video below…

[leadplayer_vid id=”51BF1A78C6C33″]

Watch the video on YouTube “How To Build A Profitable Online Business

Got any comments, questions or feedback? Please leave them below…

  • Hi Ian,
    This is a great post dissecting a real website and discussing a real problem or problems. I have learnt a lot from your analysis of Masakos site. Many thanks.
    Cheers Alison

    • Ian McConnell

      Thanks Alison,
      The response to this post has been good, so I have a few more lined up.
      Have Fun, Ian

  • Masako Houghton

    Hi Ian,

    Thank you so much for your constructive analysis on my blog. I really appreciate the fact that you even made a Video to make it clearer! I will implement your advice and give you an update. Here is my plan of action for this week;

    1. Find affiliate product(s) or service(s) of my Niche that will give me a high yield close to $50.

    2. I will remove google adsense ad on top

    2. Buy face book Ad to drive traffic to my site

    3. Post at least 2 articles



    • Ian McConnell

      Thanks Masako,

      I have been indirectly involved in this niche before and you will struggle to find an affiliate product with an average profit of $50. You will probably need to create one, just like I did with model trains. You should brainstorm ideas of how you could create a subscription based product. Coaching (copy my presell page) is the easiest one to start with.

      Your ad should go to a landing page (presell, optin, etc.) which would then convert into a sale of your product. That way each touch point can be carefully measured and improvements made.

      The posting of at least 2 articles is probably not necessary. I’m assuming you are doing this in the hope of getting them ranked in the search engines, which would hopefully bring some organic traffic… hope marketing doesn’t work. Some people get lucky, but you need to create your own luck.

      This is done with an ad to a landing page to product sales page.

      I look forward to your update.

      Have Fun,

  • Owen

    Great tips, Ian. I agree totally with you with your adsense and amazon store advice.
    However, once you build your mailing list using fb ads,bing and yahoo ppc,social media etc, you can sell banner ads,sell affiliate products via e-mail marketing and then create your own product or even a membership site. However, it takes time to do all this stuff and there are no guarantee’s. Your method of driving traffic via ppc to presell pages is definitely a more guaranteed method.
    Today, the best model I think is an e-commerce store.

    • Ian McConnell

      Thanks Owen,

      Blogging, membership sites, ecommerce stores, eBay stores, kindle books, etc. are all just strategies. They ALL work, but only a VERY small percentage of people actually make any money from them… mostly because people don’t understand basic business fundamentals.

      If you are in the running niche (like Masako for example) your business plan should include the FUTURE implementation of a blog (news for subscribers), an ecommerce store (physical product sales), a membership site (recurring income), a kindle book (lead generation), an ebay store, etc. etc.

      But, before implementing any of that, you should first do a quick test to confirm you can actually make money in the niche.

      You do this with a quick ad to landing page.

      Invest an hour of your time and about $50. IF you make money, only then do you roll out your strategies one at a time, making sure you are profitable at EVERY stage, before going to the next.

      There are only ever 2 factors that you need to succeed with any of those strategies…

      Traffic & Conversion… That’s it!

      Traffic – buy ads. Quick, simple, economical and measurable way of getting quality targeted traffic.

      Conversion – test a presell page first. Measure and then test a squeeze page with a five day follow up (daily). Which ever puts the most money in your bank account is the one you keep.

      Within 30 minutes, almost anyone could have hundreds of targeted visitors landing on their presell/optin (using OptimizePress). Within 24 hours you will have enough data to decide whether to proceed or not.

      No guessing, no wondering, no assuming… just cold hard data to make a good business decision…

      Have Fun,

  • Owen

    Great advice, Ian. I agree. Lots of the marketing guru’s don’t suggest this. They just find the right keywords with x amount of searches and a few other factors and start a blog, niche site, kindle, e-commerce etc. I think your suggestion is quicker and more definite and by doing that there is less time wasted.
    Taking Masako’s running niche for example, to test the conversion, what would Masako have on her presell page and her squeeze page?

    • Ian McConnell

      Thanks Owen,

      It’s all about validation… Validate stage 1 (presell to product) before going to stage 2 (optin to follow up emails to product). Validate stage 2 before going to stage 3 (addition of income streams), and so on and so forth…

      As an example, let’s assume Masako wants her business to be about coaching people who have never run before. They want to be able to run 5kms in the next 6 weeks.

      This was me about 12 months ago… I was overweight, I was always tired, I was unfit and I felt like I was in a big rut.

      I watched a video about the benefits of running – increased metabolism, weight loss, fitness, stronger bones, improved mood, etc… I was inspired and the next morning I was up early, ran about one kilometre and walked the next kilometre.

      The next day I woke up sore, so I decide to skip the run that day… The next day I woke up, felt a little better, so I pushed nearly 2kms. My knee started to hurt at the one km mark, but I pushed through… You can probably guess what happened! I hurt my knee and couldn’t run for the next 6 weeks!!

      I needed Masako to coach me!

      But, I’m the other side of the world to Masako, so how does she coach me??

      Via email…

      I pay a weekly fee to get access to Masako’s (expert) email autoresponder sequence that coaches me (daily) to achieve my goal. Every day I get a new email that says… “Hi Ian, today I want you to walk for 5 minutes, then jog for 2 minutes, then walk for 5 minutes…”

      The next day’s email would be… “Hi Ian, how did you go yesterday? Did you remember to stretch. Stretching is important because of…. Okay let’s get back to your running… Today I want you to walk for 5 minutes, jog for 3 minutes…” etc.

      That becomes Masako’s product. It consists of daily emails for 6 weeks. Masako only needs to complete email #1 before selling the service. That will take about 30 minutes to set up using Aweber. The next day Masako writes email #2, the next day email #3, etc.

      The emails are set up as follow up messages, so once Masako has finished all 6 weeks of messages, the product is complete. New members will enter at day 1 and automatically be delivered emails 24 hours apart until week 6.

      Masako could charge $9.99/week for this service, paid via Paypal (10mins to set up). 6 weeks at $9.99/wk = $59.94 average sale. That price is a no-brainer for people like me that just hurt themselves and achieve nothing.

      So, now Masako has created a product in less than an hour with an average sale price of $59.94.

      To sell it, Masako would first test a simple presell page saying… here’s what I got, here’s what it will do for you and here’s where you get it (Paypal button). This should take about 2 hours to set up (model someone else’s)…

      To get traffic, Masako would set up a Facebook ad with a daily budget of $5 targeted to 40 to 50 year old males living in the US, english speaking, etc. (or something similar). This should take about 10 minutes to set up.

      The funnel is… FB ad to presell to Paypal to customer optin (to receive emails).

      Total time to set up is 1hr for the product, 2hrs for the presell page, 10mins for the ad and about 30mins for the customer optin… Total of 3hrs 40mins (8hrs if you are slow) to set up stage 1 of Masako’s business.

      Within 2 days Masako will have enough visitors to tell if the idea will work or not. It might require a few tweaks to improve conversions, but Masako will have useable data to validate the idea.

      If Masako can make a sale or 2 a day, she can then scale the business with a Google ad, bing ad, etc.

      Masako will be building a list of paying customers (the best ever) which she can survey and ask how she can improve her service. Masako will also be giving advice on running shoes (hint: affiliate link), running apparel (hint: affiliate link), etc… how well do you think those affiliate links will convert? Answer: Incredibly well!

      That’s it… Easy? It is easy, but us humans LOVE to over complicate things!

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Have Fun,

      • Masako Houghton

        Hi Ian,

        I was so stoked to see your million $$ advice! Thank you so much. I should also thank Owen for digging down your previous comment : ) I am super excited to have clear tactics now to implement. I will take action right away and keep you guys posted!



  • Leo

    Hi Ian

    I love your laid back, real-world grounded business approach.

    You and Shane are the only online business coaches I follow now. Dropped all the others because I got sick of the bullshit and misinformation.

    I like the way this post took an example site of a real person and the way you critiqued it. Ensures we learn something truly valuable.

    Also like the way you give detailed replies to people who comment. Tells me something.

    Once my new project has reached a greater level of completion I will seriously consider becoming your coaching client. And I don’t say that to every coach! 🙂

    Seems your approach is working.



    • Ian McConnell

      Thanks Leo, that is a very nice compliment which I appreciate.

      I look forward to coaching you one day. You are in a very interesting niche ‘grief resolution’ and an accomplished author on Amazon I see… Well done!

      Have fun,

  • Owen Shackleton

    Thanks for the detailed explanation.

    Again on the example above,do you show how to do all the tech stuff in your coaching program?

  • Ian McConnell

    Hi Owen,

    Yes, I do a Skype screen share where you can see my computer screen (or I see yours) and I talk you through every single step. I also answer your questions there and then (live, just you and me).

    It’s also recorded so you can go back and review the video at any time…

    Have Fun

  • Hi Masako,

    I haven’t heard from you in a long time. How is your online business going?

    Did you want to comment below and give us an update of what you have implemented and what you are going to implement next week? I can then give you some feedback.

    We are all keen to see you succeed.

    Have Fun

    • Masako Houghton

      Hi Ian,

      Thank you so much for checking in with me. Though I haven’t implemented anything conspicuous yet (except removing Adsense on the top. The one on the sidebar seems to show running related Ad sometimes so I left it.) Here is the list of things I have done so far:

      1. I have signed up with Paypal (So I can take payments for my product).

      2. I have been researching what the competitors are offering & charging with their coaching services.

      3. I created a draft of my squeeze page.

      I have the following questions for you:

      •I use one of the free WP themes on my website and it seems to be working fine so far. I know you and everyone else recommend to use premium theme. Do you think I will encounter some problems if I keep using this theme? Or should it be OK as long as this theme allows me to do the things I need to do?

      •I am not sure how exactly the sale process works if I were to set up a Coaching by e-mail service as you suggested. Am I correct on the sequence below?

      1. People purchase my product by entering their information on Paypal form I place on my Squeeze page.

      2. Paypal then informs me that I made a sale with the customer information such as Name and E-mail (Or do I need to collect that info separately?)

      3. I then, manually place customer e-mails to E-mail Sequence for Coaching service at Aweber?

      I also signed up and requested to promote running -related products at Commission Junction but I haven’t heard from them. Do you know if their (Vendors on CJ) affiliate selection criteria is pretty strict ?

      Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!!


      • Hi Masako

        Well done on the work you have done.

        Just to explain… The ads will be running related for you, because you’re browser activity is running related. For your readers it will be something completely different. For me it was a bank ad which I would never click on… This is because of Google retargeting.

        But, if you are making good money on that ad then you should leave it.

        Your theme is fine and the sales funnel I suggested was FB ad to presell page to Paypal to customer optin (to receive emails). There is more detail in my reply to Owen above.

        An example of one of my presell pages is my coaching presell page. I have a FB ad that drives traffic to that presell. If they click the Buy button it takes them to Paypal where the transaction is completed and then Paypal sends them back to my website which tells them to subscribe as a customer. This then triggers my autoresponder email messages.

        You should have heard from CJ almost instantly. You should probably call them.

        Have fun

  • Masako Houghton

    Hi Ian,

    I just wanted to give you an update. I have been firming up my online coaching product. I am thinking about having two products. One is simply an e-mail coaching program to run 5K and the other is the premium coaching plan which includes not only running schedule but also healthy meal plan and muscle toning body weight exercises to further enhance running. I have a question. For body weight exercises, I would like to have video links for demonstrations. Is it OK to use someone else’s Youtube videos? or Will it be a problem so I should make my own? I know people use someone else’s youtube video on their website (like your declutter website) but I was not sure if I can still do that in my coaching product. Looking forward to hearing your advice.


    • Ian McConnell

      Hi Masako,

      Your plan sounds good… You want to roll out your email coaching program very quickly, make some money, and then roll out the premium program.

      If there is embed code available (on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) then the owner wants you to share their videos on your website, Facebook, etc.

      If you want to put those videos behind a paid membership then it’s probably a good idea to ask for permission. This also gives you a good opportunity to create a relationship with the channel owner and possibly ask them to create custom videos just for you.

      Have Fun

  • Masako Houghton

    Hi Ian,

    Thank you so much for your concise, timely advise as always. You never disappoint me with your reply. Yes, I will stop procrastinating and put my basic coaching program out there first as you recommend and see what happens. My goal is to get that done this week. Thank you!

    Have a great weekend!