Paul Tranter Please see our site for the up to date portfolio
From this point forward I am going to be bringing in some outside help from other internet experts who really are making a fantastic living on the net. I have a standard interview I send out which the Internet’s top marketers are happy to fill in.
Because there’s something in it for them. I use one of my greatest techniques to optimum effect, the contra-deal. I’ve covered this in The Wealthness Blog but this is a perfect example of how it works.
I can’t possibly be expert in all aspects of making money on the net and there are many people out there who specialised in certain areas. To get them to share their experiences with me I offer a mutually beneficial arrangement – I’ve reproduced a copy of the letter I send out in order for you to study it and use the same approach when building your business (change to suit):
We run a large online business and run a site which is going very well TheOmnisciencePrinciple.com – we have taken on over 2000 members in the last 3 weeks alone.
My reason for writing is that we are looking for individual experts in their field to submit articles on various forms of Internet marketing which is the core interest of our subscribers.
This is a mutually beneficial proposition as it will give your Pay Per Click expertise and products exposure and our people will receive some solid information from an expert in the field.
If this is something of interest then please get back to me at your earliest convenience to discuss details and to gain a free look in the members’ area to see the quality and plethora of information we provide
Webmaster GAUK Media
No road is long with good company
As you can see this is a great contra deal as both parties benefit.
My online success was noticed by the late Corey Rudle (amongst others!) and he asked for an interview. I reproduced it here first to give you a candid in site into my Internet businesses and some background into how we’ve become so successful, so quickly. Read it then continue to journey with me on this road to personal prosperity from an incredible medium, The Worldwide Web.
I enjoy nothing more than watching YOU use the tools we create to emulate our achievements. The interview questions I now send out to other top business people were put together by Corey, a marketing great, when he interviewed me for his site.
I think they cover pretty much everything you need to know about the interviewee’s business and systems … and as I said I thought I’d start with yours truly!
Here you’ll get a real insight into how I got started. You’ll see it has been a real struggle but through sheer tenacity I became successful. Who know’s, one day I might even be interviewing you!
Interview With P. Tranter GAUK Media
This was done just a couple of years ago on my way up the ladder before I launched The Cash Club.
I had great success with Government Auctions UK, one of my first sites and it came to the attention of Corey. As you’d expect I have come a log way since then through Internet Unlimited and rolled out many other businesses on the back of what I learned at that time.
It’s incredible reading this back now and it really hits home just how far I’ve come in such a short time. The really interesting thing is just how focused I was back then and how I knew EXACTLY where I was going (millionaire mind-set and visualization techniques covered in The Omniscience Principle). In the interview I mention many of the techniques that have taken me to the top. Systems that you must use.
I hope now you are beginning to appreciate my sincerity and understand that I did achieve Total Personal and Financial Freedom through the success formula I am sharing and not by cobbling together a load of old shite and selling is cheap…
Bing, bing bong … cash is genuinely coming in from all over the place as I’m writing this:
Q. Can you tell us about how you first got started on the Internet. What was your first web site, and how did you grow/expand from there?
A. Government Auctions UK was the very first site I developed; a very simple concept. It’s a complete listing of every auction house in the UK and people subscribe to search it. We include a lot of up-to-date information about upcoming auctions across the UK but also include reports on all aspects of making money at auctions.
Terry Dean has recently collaborated with a couple of top marketers written a book on paid-for databases/membership sites and he can’t praise them highly enough. They are one of the biggest things on the Net right now (still are!) and we plan to roll out our subscription template to other businesses in the near future.
Government Auctions UK was set up at the end of 1999. Originally it consisted of basically an e-book that was sold for under £10. The book gave purchasers a starting point from where they could enter the secretive world of Government Auctions.
It was pretty basic yet contained everything someone would need to get started. A bit like passing your driving test, you get a licence then the real challenge of learning to drive properly begins.
However, the book proved to be successful and we were getting requests for more and more information. People wanted something grander than just a starting point.
It was this demand that persuaded us to develop the site into something much more comprehensive…
It was originally put up to see what would happen if you just threw a web page on the net and left it. It was a real slow process at first and has only really taken off in the last 12 months or so. It had started to make reasonable as it got picked up by the search engines money so we decided to really get behind it.
I had a successful off-line publishing company also that took up all our energy and resources but couldn’t ignore this new phenomenon called the Internet.
We began to explore the possibilities and the more we understood the concept the more exciting it got; we moved our whole operation over in January 2002.
Off-line we had focused on business and personal development products, which suit the net so the move simply meant turning them into digital information. The main business was ‘The Vanguard Alliance’ which promotes an extremely popular business and personal development plan called ‘The Omniscience Principle’.
The main advantages in moving to the Net were the ease of product delivery and cost effectiveness. Marketing offline is far more expensive – it costs approximately $775 to mail out 1000 flyers, yet we can hit our entire 100,000+ e-mail database at the touch of a button for nothing these days.
Government Auctions UK was the first site in our portfolio and we’ve learned a lot from it. It paid personal bills, which meant we could concentrate fully on developing the rest of the businesses.
Initial expectations were high for Vanguard (now shut down) but it was hard to get the ball rolling at first. We thought it would be a lot easier than it is to sell online – we thought we would just build a website and people would come … they didn’t!
Seth Godin (online marketing guru for Yahoo!) sums it up best with his quote: “it took ten years to become an overnight success.”
Our operation is beginning to snowball now with the development of a wide reaching portfolio of sites, but we did not hit our initial sales targets for last year for Vanguard, the people simply didn’t come.
Much of last year has been devoted to lead generation and building traffic, as we believe these to be the fundamental keys to on-line success – as with mail order you’ll get nowhere without growing a customer database.
In June 2002, Terry (Joint Venture partner) and I launched a new site; freenetleads.com and things began to pick up.
Freenetleads is the site I developed to harness the power of MLM which I cover in The Omniscience Principle.
The new site took off like a steam train and within the first week melted the server – we upgraded and took 11 million hits in the first month!
Freenetleads boasted almost 100,000 operators and this figure was growing steadily each month.
It enabled anyone to build their own databases and we now have some key operators duplicating our success in building opt-in databases by offering our FREEnetleads programme.
Freenetleads has taken care of building good approachable lists; in fact FNL was up to 10x more responsive than anything else we’ve tested. Our next project is to continue our growth by developing a new traffic site – we had a great concept, which we are now in the process of patenting, Toolbar Traffic.com
During this time Government Auctions UK has made its way to the top of the search engines and been slowly expanding due to the strategic use of other great business building techniques (newsletters, pop-ups, contra deals, linking…)
We now have all the elements in place to hit this year’s targets more easily. We have two final projects to complete before we have all the elements required for a well balanced, rounded Internet Marketing business. The first I mentioned earlier, our traffic site – the second is ongoing and is what I call a ‘Mini-net’. (This is now materialized into the upselling techniques we use).
This plan also involves building websites that appeal outside of our chosen field. One of the most important rules in the business and personal development field is to never pre-judge; an entrepreneur can come from any walk of life!
We are coming up with ideas that have mass appeal and are fun to use. Good examples of which is Drivers’ Revenge and Free Money Loophole
Drivers’ Revenge is an absolute scream. It’s free to use and allows you to put the details of idiot drivers and what they did to upset you on the Worldwide Web!
Talk about getting your own back!!!
The plan is to then follow up with a newsletter carrying sponsored ads for our main businesses and the site will carry links to our other sites fulfilling a number of functions (link popularity for one).
Q. Do you own any other web sites?
A. Here are some of the main sites we now have running, as you can see we’ve been busy. Remember, we came on the web 12 months ago without the slightest idea of how the web worked or even how to get a site on a server!
Our latest site is Netbook Publishers, a breakthrough concept utilizing our click and sell™ technology – this site allows anyone to be set up in seconds selling e-products and we also pay out residual commissions.
Other sites in our portfolio are rich and varied:
- Results Tracker
- Beat The Camera
- Free Money Loophole
- Government Auctions USA
- Hot Property Investor
Q. What compelled you to take the plunge and start your own Internet business?
A. The biggest factor was the freedom it offered and the opportunity to make a lot of money without the fear of being crushed by overheads – nothing can compare with the advantages of doing business on the net providing you have the right products and strategy.
Q. Can you give us a feel for the size of your sites?
A. Government Auctions UK currently has @ 4,000 paying subscribers and should yield @ £100,000 (profits are @ 90%-95%) this year at current growth, but is expected to grow exponentially as this year develops, along with associated sites such as properties4auction and the soon to be launched Government Auctions USA. Overall we have a couple of support staff and several freelance programmers.
We are extremely reluctant to take on staff and as a result probably do far too much ourselves. This will be sorted this year but we are keen to outsource most of the work we can’t handle. (Which I now do).
We would rather have software written to take care of as much work as possible than take on staff and their associated problems.
We try to do as many contra deals as possible, which gives the people who do work for us a vested interest in our success. There is always a deal to be had and if we can’t find one we’ll invent one!
Even this interview is ‘a good for both of us’ deal. The Internet Marketing Center gets something out of it, so do we; you can find win, win situations everywhere. We have done deals with Mike G (banners go MLM), Traffic Swarm, No More Hits, Ken Arthur (Affiliate Showcase), Jim Edwards … and that’s just January 03.
Membership to our various sites is currently at @175,000 overall but they have only really been going 12 months.
Q. How long did it take for you to start making a profit online?
A. The sites have been pretty much making a profit from day one, albeit a tiny one in the beginning!
That’s the beauty of an Internet business, which many don’t seem to grasp – although you may not make the ‘millions in months’ everyone promises from the net, you can make a small, on-going profit to supplement income. It costs virtually nothing to keep a site up, but if you just keep chipping away and learning, eventually it’ll work. (Our bigger sites now have heavier overheads, mainly due to the traffic and server costs)
Compare that with an offline business where you just don’t have the comfort to relax and learn – if you’re not turning over hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds a month you can’t pay the overheads and you sink. (More about this in The Omniscience Principle!)
Q. How much time and money did it take for you to initially get the first site up and running?
A. About £100. All you need is a web site and a good idea!
Q. Did you design the site yourself, or did you hire a web designer to do it for you? Can you tell us a bit about this experience?
Having precisely zero web building skills I had to hire a web designer and that was fine. In fact we had to use them for most of our work in the early days. I was brought up in a time when computers didn’t exist and as a consequence never learned how to use them – at the age of 32 I went back to college and was taught the basics of Photoshop and publishing software.
When I came to the net I learned html skills but this was painful as I self taught. I now develop all my own sites. (Several years on and we now sub-contract all work out to freelance designers across the world, it’s quicker and allows me to concentrate on the marketing).
When I first used the web designers it didn’t cost much and sometimes I got the work free. The secret is contra deals; you can’t beat them!
Q. Who is your target market? Where can your visitors be found online?
A. Target market is basically anyone who wants to make money from the Net.
Q. How much traffic are you seeing to your sites (unique visitors vs. repeat visitors)? And where is your traffic predominantly coming from?
That’s a really difficult question because of the spread of our portfolio; it’s in the tens of millions a month and comes from a variety of sources – the biggest traffic producers are search engines and our affiliates.
Q. What are you doing to collect the opt-in e-mail addresses of potential customers?
A. We run a free newsletters, pop ups, pop unders … (We still do however, pop ups and unders have been replaced by dynamic HTML drop ins).
This is a tried, tested and successful technique used across our entire portfolio. Other often innovative and lucrative techniques, can be found in at our Vangard Alliance site (Now The Cash Club!)
Q. How often do you make a point of following up with your leads and previous customers? What sorts of offers do you typically follow-up with?
We follow up intensely on all our businesses and our auto-responder software takes care of that for our members and us.
Q. In order of importance, could you please tell us about the top 5 marketing strategies that you use on a regular basis. What percentage of time does each take? And what kind of return does each produce?
A. Without a doubt answers A) and B) combined are the number one marketing strategies from which all others build.
A) Is to grow an opt-in database. FREEnetleads has been the cornerstone of our overall success and that of many FREEnetleads members. Comprehensive details of how to grow a responsive opt-in list using our system can be found at the site (The Cash Club). Government Auctions UK™ has used the newsletter to build its list which is a technique we use across the board along with other offers. View
Nothing has come close to FREEnetleads though! (This was superseded by 241 Leads)
B) Traffic! – A list will give you a basis from where to begin your marketing but it has limitations. You only get a ‘one off’ hit and each time you advertise a product or service to it, response diminishes, it’s natural. Traffic will give you a flow of customers and this is where Government Auctions UK™ is so successful. We have actually built in traffic generation programmes into our businesses so members automatically get a kick start to their business from them. Go to Toolbar Traffic
C) Next we follow up courteously but relentlessly. We have found that follow up can increase sign ups by up to 50%. All our programmes have follow ups built in for our members. (Still as true as ever).
D) Great products!!! – We have set ourselves the target of only supplying the very best products we can find or produce, and services we can achieve. I feel customer satisfaction is as important a strategy as any of the others. Offer the very best and people WILL hear about you and track you down. (Still as true as ever).
E) We than use a multitude of techniques, which combine off-line, as well as on-line strategies. Many marketers ignore the massive off-line customer pool but because of our publishing background we understand and utilize it intimately. All our techniques are shared with our members.
Q. How much emphasis do you place on search engine placement & optimization?
A. A massive amount – Search engine placement cannot be underestimated and as we said earlier is the cornerstone of Government Auctions UK™ success. This site will soon be valued at @£1 Million and that is solely due to the highly targeted, responsive traffic from search engines. (Now worth in excess of £2 Million – $3.75 Million).
Q. Have you ever bought online advertising (i.e. banner ads, e-zine ads, pay-per-click search engine campaigns, etc…)? If so, what kind and were the results successful?
We have used all the above with varying degrees of success – frankly there are many cowboys out there and will rip you off at any chance and we’ve found it a minefield.
We know about the advertising business and if we struggle what chance have others got? You can’t ignore the use of any of these media but we have found better lines of attack that work for us.
Here is a summary of our experiences:
Banners have had their day. Click throughs are running so low as to not be worth concentrating on. (We still use banners as they do bring limited traffic)
E-zine ads work, and work well sometimes, but you need to understand the advertising business. You need a strong ad and the right e-zine. We provide advertising material for all our sites so members don’t have to worry about it. (We found contra-mailings effective when approaching ezine editors)
Pay-per click works for us but again you need a strong understanding of it. (see your The $ Million Cash Club Marketing Recourse for information) Terry (Marketing) took time out to get to grips with PPC and as a result it works for us, but you can easily lose money with it!!!
We are currently looking at, and testing guaranteed sign ups but not looking as good as promised (what’s new there then!) Postscript – They’re crap, don’t go near them!
Q. Do you promote your sites offline as well?
A. Yes, as mentioned previously the off-line customer pool is massive and should not be ignored. The net should be viewed as just another weapon in your marketing armory. You can collect names and addresses whilst list building through your online forms and you’ve got perfectly targeted mailing lists ; lists that’ll be hotter than anything you could buy anywhere: People who are Internet savvy and who are interested in your products.
A follow up mailing through the post really cements your credibility, suddenly you’re a real company doing real business and this cannot be underestimated.
We provide hundreds of ways to tap into this market, sites like Drivers’ Revenge are designed to appeal off-line. Look at the Drivers’ Revenge Parking Ticket and you’ll see what I mean – people do our promoting for us.
Q. What have you done to automate your sites?
A. Everything humanly possible!
Q. Could you please tell us about four online tools or web sites that you’ve found to be powerful resources for marketing your business or locating e-business strategies and information? What are they and how have they benefited you?
We have made great use of the latest conferencing technology with Vanguard and use the virtual training rooms with great effect. You can talk live to dozens of people at a time and make presentations – and it’s all free. Knocks the socks off Teleconferencing! This technology has incredible potential (We’ll be looking at this again for The Cash Club)
We use Alexa a lot for comparing other people’s traffic against ours!
The single greatest resource for locating e-business strategies and information for me has been Google.
We use Google’s site submission tools to get indexed.
Q. Could you tell us about the top 5 software products that you’re using to automate your sites? What are they, and how much time have they saved you?
A. Software is a fundamental part of our business and the time savings from it are incalculable.
Our e-mail and autoresponder software is invaluable. We simply couldn’t run our business without it. The great part is that it runs our member’s businesses too. You’d need to contact me for more details of what we use as we’ve had a lot of customization done.
Q. How many hours per week do you spend running your business versus growing it?
A. @ 70% growing (Still the case but @90% growing as I have agencies who run the admin)
Q. What unique challenges exist for companies in your market?
A. I would say that our market has to be the most hotly contested on the Net. The competition is intense. You have to be constantly on your guard and be searching for anything to give you the edge.
Q. What are some of the challenges you have personally experienced building and growing your sites?
A. The biggest challenge has been the technical issues across the portfolio. What can seem the simplest concept ends up becoming a major programming challenge.
Government Auctions UK is currently under fire from a company called, ironically enough, Imaginative Technologies! They’ve copied the concept to the letter but produced a totally inferior product and manipulated their search engine listings to be almost indistinguishable from ours – then undercut us!!!
They have even registered an almost identical name. Problem is they’ve not copied the look and sales copy of the site so we’re having trouble claiming copyright. We have written to Nominet (.co.uk registrant) as this is a blatant attack on our business but this is the kind of thing that will happen as you become successful.
The major problem is that people sign up to their site thinking it’s us and are disappointed as it’s crap! This affects our reputation which is not good.
Q. What would you consider to be your major achievements?
A. The greatest achievement overall is getting to a stage where the Net provided a sustainable, passive income that simply paid the household bills. (I consider this to be the holy grail of success. Once you hit an income that will sustain your lifestyle you’re away. You then have the freedom to build your business WITHOUT the constant pressure household bills bring – we now enjoy helping others emulate that goal through The Cash Club – Now The Wealthness Blog)
Q. What do you think has helped to make your sites so successful?
A. Without a doubt THE ONLY THING that has made any of my businesses work is ‘determination’. I never gave up without the right result.
Q. What is the biggest mistake you have made since launching your first site?
A. Believing the hype!!!
I really did think it would be easier than it is and think that is the mistake most people make. (And still do!)
Q. Could you tell us about a “light bulb” moment that you’ve had? A moment when you’ve thought to yourself, “If only I’d known that earlier…”
A. I have them every day!
Here are a few:
Understanding the importance of search engine traffic, understanding optimization, understanding pop unders and pop ups, understanding what HTML is, understanding what a hyperlink is, understanding how to get a site on a server, how to protect your servers from international hackers and criminals!
Q. What major mistakes do you see other Internet entrepreneurs making?
A. Believing the hype!!!
It goes downhill from there.
Most give up before they have even got started – It could take several years to get a site working – SO WHAT, there’s no better way to become independent.
Q. Where do you see your sites one year from now?
A. We would like to see Government Auctions UK sold. Our other goal is to achieve 1 Million members and subscribers across our portfolio. (GAUK not sold and we have well over the 1 Million subscribers – pity they’re not all paying!)
Q. What advice do you have for beginners who are interested in selling over the Web?
A. Don’t believe the hype and commit to what you set out to do … and complete it!!!
If you don’t finish what you embark upon then what was the point of starting it in the first place? and what a waste of time to achieve nothing. There are fundamental strategies to making it on the Web and there are absolutely no shortcuts, despite what they all say.
Work hard, learn, test what you’ve learned, move on and NEVER GIVE UP – You have to make it eventually even by sheer coincidence!
(Still good advice!)
We continue to develop new and innovative systems to help all on-line marketers and supply all the tools necessary to grow their businesses.
Unlike many ‘gurus’ who make huge sums from writing and selling ‘How to’ books on Internet success, our philosophy dates back to something we invented several years ago – The Omniscience Principle.’
I know my fate. One day my name will be associated with something tremendous – a crisis without equal on earth, the most profound collision of conscience, a decision that was conjured up against everything that had been believed, demanded, hallowed so far. I am no man … I am dynamite. Anon.
It’s all about learning intimately the successful systems then developing physical tools to enable other to duplicate that success.
To this end we’re continuing to create some of the best sites, services and commission structures on the net.
I hope you enjoyed that and it has helped you cement your determination to succeed – how ever long it takes!
Each month I’ll try to bring you cutting edge stuff and contemporary information that’s working for you to study and benefit from