John Reese on the Competitive Nature of Internet Marketing

I recently read John Reese's PDF announcing the launch of his new Income.com site. In the PDF he talks about how competitive internet marketing will become in the coming 5 years, and stated what are the two main ingredients to large sustainable profit in that type of marketplace. The first is on the concept of optimization:

The key to dominating any market online (now or in the future) is simple. It comes down to who has the highest average visitor value and who has the most traffic.

That is part of the reason I need to increase the price point of my ebook. There are only so many times you can see other marketers repackage and resell your information at a higher price point using aggressive affiliate marketing before you change your price point to more accurately reflect value.

I recently started a site with a friend of mine. Off the start it was frustrating doing all the tweaking needed to learn, but my friend so broadly believes in the concept of optimization that our site will probably out-earn older versions of its format by 400%. 4x the earnings on the same number of pages gives you serious capital for marketing investments and content production.

John's other tip is that when people land on your sites "Are you truly making someone's life better?"

I think that second point is one that is easy to miss if one is too shortsighted. Creating sites that are helpful / of significant value is something I want to work hard on, and has been core to the brand ideas behind my last couple major domain purchases.

Published: May 2, 2007

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Comments

Greg Howlett
May 3, 2007 - 11:26pm

John Reese is correct. However, it is interesting to see how these two factors are related. A high visitor value will allow companies to pay more (ie. bid higher) to acquire traffic.

What this actually means is that increasing your visitor value is actually the key to the future success of your online efforts. We have been focusing on this principle for the past year. In our market, CPC bids are higher than our visitor value, so we sit on the sideline in the CPC wars.

I expect that we will see our competitors wise up in the coming years and bid lower, and I also expect our visitor value to continue to increase. The more these two factors move in our favor, the more traffic we will be able to obtain because we will have higher rankings in the CPC search engines.

Brad
May 4, 2007 - 3:53am

Yeah-

Everbody wants to "optimize" their site, but nobody wants to write good content. Many a seaches on google wll prove that writing good content ALWAYS gets you ranked higher than shit content with good "optimization".

Invest time and money in good content and make SEO an afterthought and you will be on your own island soon enough.

Brad

Martha
May 4, 2007 - 9:16pm

Brad: You made the comment that if you focus on high quality content in favor of SEO you'll basically win the game every time. That is sooooo refreshing. I'm an expert at off-line PR, but new to the online world and have been asking SEO and internet marketing "experts," this question. Can't seem to get a straight answer. Seems to me, there's so much out there to read online, that the "best medicine" is to have very valuable content. But I've gleaned that that is almost directly in conflict with SEO ratings. Do you have firsthand experience with this? It is the most brilliant morsel of info I've heard in a while .. and I just attended an expensive internet marketing conference.

MrMike
May 6, 2007 - 2:27am

'John's other tip is that when people land on your sites "Are you truly making someone's life better?"'

good ex. stevepavlina.com

Alec
May 7, 2007 - 2:18am

Hello Aaron,

Don't change your price point.

A huge part of your success was being honest and offering good value. You are not in the snake oil group.

In my opinion, you would do better to add some backend products like the videos LB talked about or getting your free tools to actually work and charge something for them.

But I agree it's hard to see complete scumbags making hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars on badly made and plagiarised content.

If you can't beat them, join them somehow doesn't sound like you.

Kyle M Brown
May 2, 2007 - 2:50pm

Got an email from John yesterday and downloaded the ebook yesterday. Have not had a chance to look at it yet though. Hearing a lot of good things about it.

martin Edic
May 2, 2007 - 3:26pm

It's pretty hard for me to get excited about reading a 53 page pdf in which he constantly talks about how great he is and how successful he is. If your two insights are the secret sauce you acquired through reading this thing thanks very much for saving me the effort!
Frankly I'm tired of having to constantly sit through extended sales letters to get to valued content. The SEO world seems to think that writing a twenty page letter filled with bold type and exclamation points, pictures of big checks and numerous dollar signs is the only way to sell advice- these people are snake oil salesmen (and women).
Fortunately you don't seem to subscribe to this approach with SEO book.

Scott
May 2, 2007 - 4:51pm

Hey Aaron,

I couldn't agree more with you. I think often times people believe they can build a site around a specific theme or nitch and make money. While this is somewhat true, unless you are really creating something that will "make someones life better" and really add value to what that person is searching for, it's going to be difficult to make "serious" money in the long run.

I've taken this approach with the last few sites I have built. Not only do I think they will make "serious" money but it also feels good to create something of value to my target market.

Scott
iSearch Media

Patrick
May 2, 2007 - 6:27pm

So after how many pages of talking about his great achievements does the story actually begin?lol

LB
May 2, 2007 - 7:29pm

I wouldn't say it's necessary to increase the price-point of your book.

I've achieved more success by lowering the price of my ebook and using it as a lead generator for back-end video products, consulting, etc. That's where the real money is.

Most large direct-mail businesses function the same way.

just a thought...

Patrick
May 2, 2007 - 7:46pm

Despite my somewhat sarcastic post, I have to say the pdf was a good read.

More people will probably rush into the market, but just because more people will rush into the market believing they can make a killing without learning much about the web, doesn't mean it's gonna be as incredibly competitive as he says.

I know some people who are like 'I'm gonna sell t-shirts online! I'll make a killing on the web!'. However the same people will not even bother learning html...let alone SEO,PPC,usability,marketing.

However, I really like the 'does your site make the user's life better?'. That's a nice phrase to ask yourself everytime you come up with a nice idea hehe

sorry for hijacking

Richard
May 2, 2007 - 10:53pm

I'm surprised at how your posts these past few months have been about the pricing of your Ebook.

I read your book, and its good stuff, but nothing I couldn't find on my own by doing a little research and subscribing to a few blogs that already contain all this information.

I have seen other printed books available that go for half your current price and contain basically the same info.

if the market does become more competitive, SEOs are going to have to keep up through reading daily news as they happen real time, not on a book that was written a couple of years ago and gets monthly updates.

Richard

TheReflex
May 3, 2007 - 12:18am

I hope it is better than his $1,000 Traffic Secrets course he put out a couple years ago. So bad I sent it back within 1 week for a refund. Major hype - mediocre info.

Alex
May 3, 2007 - 12:29am

Could you talk more about what you mean by "optimization"

May 3, 2007 - 12:31am

Hi Alex
Optimization as is the following

  • increasing the amount of qualified traffic to our site
  • increasing how well that traffic converts
  • increasing the amount spent on each purchase
mikey
May 3, 2007 - 4:19am

Just wanted to make a counter arguement to Richard's comment.
Because I disagree strongly.

Yep - if you know what to search for - you can find 70% of Aaron's book online... somewhere.

But you don't know what you don't know. Having 330 pages of densley packed, very informative material in one place is such a time saver.

Every time recently before I get on a flight, I print 50 pages off in the lounge & re-read it for an hour.

Aaron, I absolutely think you should change (or at least experiment with changing) the price point. Isn't marketing all about perception after all?

With the reviews you have & Brian's sales letter - why not!

Mike Campbell
May 3, 2007 - 2:29pm

I disagree with Richard as well. My time is worth more than sitting in front of my computer trying to find all this information, plus Aarons thoughts and insights are worth the price alone. The price is peanuts compared to what I have learned.

Alexander
May 3, 2007 - 3:39pm

Reese need to renew his info about costs of living. I even think he don't know where Romania located. Romania and a lot of other countries don't more allow $250 a month cost of living. It is probably for students of low courses:) As well as $75/month rent! It's like this $250 and more actually.

I have read up to this point and don't read further, I hope everyone understand why.

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