2010 Pre-System Training Ken McCarthy

Traffic is the easy part – Ken McCarthy

Traffic is the easy part

If you ask the average Internet marketer what the most important thing in Internet marketing is, most will say: traffic!

The gurus take advantage of this by pushing one new loony traffic scheme after another.

Are they right?

Is traffic THE most important thing in Internet marketing?

Let’s take a hard look at this…because frankly, if you get this one thing wrong, it’s practically impossible to succeed.

So onward…

It’s called media buying

In the real world of marketing and advertising (as opposed to the make-believe one sold by the Internet gurus), advertising is broken down into:

* research
* creative
* media buying

RESEARCH is figuring out who to sell to, what to sell and how to sell it.

Smart companies invest in research BEFORE they commit time and dollars to running ads. This is the approach we teach at the System Seminar.

CREATIVE is creating the ads. Pretty straightforward.

MEDIA BUYING is the relatively simple and straightforward process of buying ad space or TV and radio time so that your ads have a place to run.

“Traffic” in Internet marketing is nothing more or less than online media buying.

Reality 101

A good media buyer can be worth his or her weight in gold.

They know all the outlets, they can negotiate good deals, they’re aware of “off radar” opportunities…

All good things.

But at the end of the day, it’s a mechanical function.

“Take this ad, put it here, pay this much…”

Here’s the bottom line:

Without a business model and an ad that works, media buys (including Internet traffic buys) are worth ZERO. In fact, they are worth less than zero because they cost you money.

It’s the business and creative strategies that make things happen – NOT the media buy and not the “traffic.”

Look at it this way: Without oxygen, you can’t fly a plane, so oxygen is, in fact, essential to flight.

But it’s the engine and the fuel that gets that plane off the ground.

Traffic is the oxygen. Yes, you need it, but traffic (like oxygen) is not exactly a rare commodity.

A winning creative campaign plugged into a business model that makes dollars and cents is the fuel and engine.

The ONLY way you’re going to get your plane (or your business) off the ground is if you’ve got an engine that works and fuel (business model + creative.)

It’s a jungle out there

So why do the Internet gurus rattle on and on about “traffic?”

Six months ago, it was Twitter. Twitter traffic was going to be the “solution” to every business problem… Now, apparently, it’s Facebook.

Give me a break! These people know they’re selling smoke – but they don’t care, so you need some tools to defend yourself.

Here’s a reliable guide you can use to dissolve the latest “traffic fad” junk the second it hits your inbox.

I recommend that you cut it out and paste it above your computer…


Traffic + conversion = profits

On the one hand, if I can make the conversion work, I can make the traffic the pay.

On the other hand, if all I have is traffic – “free” traffic, social media traffic, SEO, whatever – and I can’t convert it profitably and on the scale it takes to build a business, I have nothing.

Traffic without conversion = ZERO

Conversion without traffic = POTENTIAL

Traffic + conversion = PROFITS


What the heck is “conversion?”

Conversion is a term from direct marketing that means a “measurable response.”

In smart Internet marketing, EVERYTHING is about measurable response.

* An opt-in is a measurable response…

* A download is a measurable response…

* Watching a video is a measurable response…

*A click through is a measurable response…

*A sale is a measurable response…

Conversion is getting a prospect to take a specific action you want him to take that leads him closer to making a purchase.

The whole game – the WHOLE game – of Internet marketing is:

– Converting readers to clickers (click through)…

– Visitors to action takers (opt-in, download, buy).

Successful Internet marketers tracks these things.

Tracking tells them what media to get, where to get it, when to buy it and how much to spend.

Buying, or otherwise, acquiring traffic, without this information is flying blind.

The greatest conversion secret

There’s a group of people out there who are experts in the art and science generating maximum conversions.

They’re called….

<drum roll please>


Copywriters are people who write ads (also known as “ad copy” which is why they’re called “copywriters.”)

These are the guys and gals who put the words on the page that inspire people to click… download…opt-in…and buy.

The surest method I know for getting rich is to connect a sound business model with a skilled copywriter.

But notice, please, that you need BOTH.

The world’s greatest copywriter can’t turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse.

Now, here’s something that few people realize…

Veteran copywriters from the real world – as opposed to make-believe gurus from the Internet world – are also VERY good at creating and
improving business models.


Because they’ve seen the inner workings of hundreds of businesses…they actually get “under the hood” and tweak the mechanics…and SEE the effect their work has on their client’s profitability.

Bottom line: If you want to improve your conversion (and profits), it’s COPYWRITING that you want to focus on NOT the latest guru-hyped
“traffic-scam-of-the month.”

Masters of conversion

These days it seems everyone and their brother is a copywriter.

That’s understandable because skilled copywriters are very well paid – for obvious reasons. They can actually make or break a business.

But calling yourself a copywriter and charging as if you were a copywriter is not the same as BEING a copywriter.

That’s why I’ve always taken great care who I endorse in the field of copywriting.

I’ve had three copywriters TOTAL speak at the System Seminar: Gary Halbert was one of them.

When I endorse books and home study courses, I talk about John Caples, Claude Hopkins, Vic Schwab, Eugene Schwartz, David Ogilvy, Gary Bencivenga –  and the real practitioners who acknowledge these giants – and that’s it!

Selective, very, very, very selective…

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

This year, at System Seminar 2010, we’re putting a special emphasis on copywriting AKA conversion AKA the fuel that makes the money-making engine run.

…So I’m bringing in two real giants of the field who have…never appeared at a System Seminar before…never appeared in the same venue before…and are rarely, if ever, seen in live trainings.

The FIRST GIANT has been writing ad copy and designing sales systems for as long as I’ve been alive: 50 years. (I was born in 1959 and that’s
the year he started his direct marketing career.)

He has worked with David Ogilvy, Eugene Schwartz, Joe Karbo (“The Lazy Man’s Guide to Riches.”)

In fact, he sold his massively successful direct marketing business to Ogilvy and then spent eight years teaching Ogilvy’s people worldwide how to do direct marketing right.

The SECOND GIANT has been writing ad copy and designing sales systems for over thirty years.

Along the way, he’s written over a dozen books on sales and advertising and is known in the business as “a copywriter’s copywriter.”

For decades, serious ad writers have hung on his every word, grabbing up his books as soon as they’ve come out and making sure they don’t miss his columns.

REAL heavyweights…with REAL verifiable track records…who work with REAL business…

Together for the first time ever.

You can get started right now

If you’ve read this far, you know two things:

1. Conversion is FAR more important than traffic or media buying tricks.

2. Copywriters are the world’s best converters.

Now, you can learn directly from two of the real giants of the field – and you can get started now with a free Master Class from the System Seminar.




2010 Pre-System Training

Timothy Seward – Pay-per-click: The Secret Weapon

Pay-per-click: The Secret Weapon

Timothy Seward and his company ROIRevolution provide pay-per-click account management services to over seventy companies.

His clients spend anywhere from a few thousand to over $500,000 a month on their media buys.

And all this traffic is carefully tracked, tested and optimized for maximum profit.

In this call. Timothy and Ken get into the “nuts and bolts” of what it takes to run pay-per-click ads profitably.

Listen to the audio of my interview with Timothy below:

Or click here to download

2010 Pre-System Training

Greg Davis – CPA Marketing – Fact, fiction and profitable reality

CPA Marketing – Fact, fiction
and profitable reality

Greg Davis has spent millions of dollars on Internet advertising and has tracked the conversion stats on millions of page views.

In the process, he’s learned what it’s like to rack up five figure profits in a single day.

But not that long ago,  he was struggling to make his ad buys pay at all.

What made the difference?

In this fascinating call, System Seminar 2010 faculty member Greg Davis blasts some of the myths about CPA marketing and shares hard won online conversion tips that will help you sell more regardless of what business you’re in.

Listen to the audio of my interview with Greg below:

Or click here to download

Ken McCarthy

The next ten years in Internet marketing

The next ten years in Internet marketing

We end the decade today.

If you’re wondering what the next decade is going to bring for Internet marketing, consider this:

At the end of the last decade…

* Dotcom stocks were heading straight up in one of the biggest orgies of manic stock buying the world has ever seen

* Banner ads were selling at massive (and irrational) premiums

* Pay-per-click advertising (then offered by just one company, was considered an oddity

* Yahoo was the 800 pound gorilla in Internet media

What a difference ten years can make


* The NASDAQ still hasn’t come even close to recovering its Year 2000 heights

* Banner ads are sanely priced

* Yahoo appears totally hopeless

* Pay-per-click advertising (mainly in the form of Google AdWords) has taken over the world

Crazy times

I was there ten years ago.

Actually, I was there seventeen years ago (1993) when I started making my first tentative experiments online. I had the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of witnessing and participating in the birth of a new medium.

But all was not sunny in Internet Land.

By 1998, I reached a point of total bafflement at what was going on in San Francisco and Silicon Valley in the Internet industry I helped pioneer.

People I knew to be hopeless idiots and in some cases outright scammers were being helped by New York investment banks like Goldman Sachs to loot billions of dollars from the stock market by selling shares in companies so loony that they defied belief.

That year, the fall of 1998, I voted with my feet, said “bye” to the Bay Area digerati crowd (who thought I was nuts) and moved back east to the sleepy, beautiful and then low-priced Hudson Valley to wait for the inevitable.

A year and a few months later, New Year’s Eve 1999, I watched in amazement as Internet shares that were already insanely priced went straight up.

Then it all fell apart

By the end of 2000, Internet companies were vanishing in droves.

Companies valued at hundreds of dollars per share were selling for pennies…if they were still in business at all. And as the months progressed, the implosion became more and more severe.

When I went back to San Francisco in 2003 after having been away for nearly five years, it was like a neutron bomb had hit the place. The buildings were still standing, but the people – and the companies – were gone.

In the middle of the wreckage, I did something that a lot of people thought was crazy. In 2001, I started working on a new Internet marketing training. In 2002, I launched it.

It was called the System Seminar.

The turn around

I created the System Seminar with a simple premise…

In spite of the crash of bogus Internet companies, the Internet itself was as solid as a rock – and it was going to grow, this time for real.

How could I be so sure?

For the same reason, I was willing to risk substantial time, money, energy and my reputation for sanity by putting on the first web marketing conference ever (November 1994, San Francisco.)

This time around though, things were going to be different.

The big change

The big change – and we built it right into the very first System Seminar – was that Internet advertising was going to be based on careful calculations of ROI (return on investment.)

In a way, this was nothing new. Old school direct marketers have been tracking the profitability of their ad buys for decades.

But this was a brand new concept to many on the Internet.

It’s hard to believe now, ten years after the fact, but it’s true. Before the System Seminar, only a handful of scrappy Internet entrepreneurs were tracking anything besides “hits” and the cost of banner ads.

I’m not going to take credit for the massive sea change that’s taken place in the last ten years

But I will take credit for being the first to put it on the line to teach this approach as the only one that makes sense for Internet marketers when nearly everyone else was still talking about “branding” and “mindshare.”

The big change – Part Two

In 2002 (2001 actually if you count our early beta trainings), the System Seminar was the only place on earth where you could learn an integrated approach to Internet marketing…

…One that combined smart online media buying and careful results tracking with “old school” smarts like direct response copywriting and list management.

From the very beginning, our focus was on pay-per-click. We even mentioned Google AdWords at our first seminar, even though it had only just launched and no one really understood how it worked yet.

Fast forward a few years and two of the attendees at that first System seminar (both then total PPC “newbies”) wrote what have become the two definitive books on the subject (See Perry Marshall’s “Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords” and Howie Jacobson’s “Google AdWords for Dummies.”)

Thanks to its PPC revenues, some say that Google is poised to take over the earth.

Not so fast Google

Here’s what absolutely won’t change in the coming decade:

* The Internet will continue to be a central part of hundreds of millions of people’s lives. If anything, it will become even more central as the Internet solidifies its position as the “central switching station” for all media: text, audio, video, buying, selling, communicating, chatting, gossiping etc.)

* Consumers will continue to seek VALUE in their purchases and if my crystal ball is working, they will be even more militant about getting value for their money in the years to come.

* Advertisers – the ones who are going to survive that is – are going to become even more sophisticated about tracking their results and making sure they get the best possible value for their money.

What this is going to look like is smart Internet marketers diversifying away from Google AdWords.

AdWords will continue to be an important part of the mix, but anyone who is not taking energetic, aggressive steps to free themselves from dependence on Google for their traffic is going to have cause for regret.

Strategy for System 2010

I’ve been writing ad copy since I was in high school and started paying the rent with my efforts back in the mid 1980s.

I am a serious student of the game.

Copywriting is the switch that turns raw traffic into money.

I don’t know how to state it forcefully enough but here goes: Traffic is worthless without masterful conversion and conversion is just a fancy word for ad copy, so in a very real way the whole game of Internet marketing boils down to copywriting.

In all the noise about Twitter, Facebook and other “mindshare building tools” a lot of internet marketers have lost sight of what matters in Internet marketing.

To bring us all back to reality in 2010, I’m bringing in two Big Guns of the copywriting world to System 2010 – both multi-decade veterans who write real ad copy for real companies selling real products to real people. Both master teachers…

But don’t take my word for it. They’re both published authors with their books continuously in print: Bob Bly from the US and Drayton Bird from the UK. Google them.

The other piece of the puzzle: traffic

Great copywriting, as important as it is, is not enough.

You need the second part of the equation: traffic.

I’m a big fan of SEO, article marketing, JVs, viral marketing and all the other “free” ways you can drive traffic on the Internet. Over the years, we’ve offered scores of trainings and master classes on these subjects.

But none of these methods can hold a candle to the simple, reliable method of simply buying the traffic you need.

If you want to maximize your potential on the Internet, buying traffic is where it’s at.

Here’s why:

Buying traffic lets you turn on the traffic you need right now, not weeks and month from now.

If you’re already a traffic buyer you already know that Internet traffic is the Eighth Wonder of the world.

You can buy a little, test it, amplify what works and turn off what doesn’t.

It takes skill, know-how and paying attention, but knowing how to buy Internet traffic comes as close to money-on-demand as anything on earth.

Why it’s so hard to get good information about traffic buying

Two facts:

1. There are no “old” traffic buyers. Not yet, anyway.

Most of the traffic sources that matter today (like pay-per-click) weren’t even around ten years ago.

2. People who are good at traffic buying generally don’t teach.

Traffic buying is a demanding and lucrative specialty. Taking time away from the main event to teach it to others is not something most traffic buyers ever think of doing, let alone are willing to make the serious effort to do.

That’s where the System Seminar has a major leg up over every other Internet marketing training.

Just as people like Perry Marshall and Howie Jacobson were motivated by their experience as System Seminar students to document and share what they learned about AdWords, the new generation of System-inspired Internet marketers is ready and willing to do the same with what they’ve learned about the nut and bolts of buying traffic today…in 2009, soon to be 2010.

Our System 2010 traffic faculty

For the first time ever, we’ll have traffic buyers on this year’s System faculty who have spent (and continue to spend) and track millions of dollars of their own money on Internet ad buys: Greg Davis, who specializes in high volume mass appeal consumer offers and Ben Moskel who specializes in a highly competitive niche where traffic costs are at a premium.

Both are real-world experts in uncovering new traffic sources, testing them, and figuring out how to make them pay. Their knowledge is not theoretical – and you won’t find it in any book or course. It’s based on the market as it is right now.

To round out our faculty, Google-certified Timothy Seward of ROI Revolution who guides the purchase of tens of millions of dollars a year in traffic for over seventy companies, will share his perspective on what’s working today, where things are headed, and what it takes to maximize the profits of an Internet business.

Steal this seminar

If you’re reading this before January 1, 2010, you have the chance to get all this cutting-edge knowledge at a bargain basement price.

Every year, we make the System Seminar available to people who can make an early decision to get a bargain price.

If you’re an Internet marketer and you’re already buying traffic for your business, System 2010 will be some of the best time and money you’ve ever spent.

If you’re looking to make the leap into Internet traffic buying, System 2010 will:

a) show you what’s really involved (no sugar coating),
b) cut months if not years off your learning curve, and
c) help you get where you want to go faster without making expensive mistakes.

The fact is one wrong move in traffic buying can easily cost you several multiples of the price of System Seminar 2010. (You may even be making an expensive traffic buying mistake right now and not even realize it.)

Our traffic buying faculty has already made most of the big, dumb, expensive mistakes so you don’t have to.

Even more important, they’ve dug up traffic sources and refined tracking methods that are practically guaranteed to improve your bottom line.

Early Bird Registration

How much for this hard won, can’t-be-found-anywhere-else knowledge?

For the multi-decade experience of two master direct response copywriters with hundreds of campaigns each under their belts…

For the rough and tumble know-how of two master multi-million dollar traffic buyers…

For the insights of one of the sharpest Internet campaign advisors in the business, certified by Google…

And for the insight of yours truly, the guy who’s been at this now for seventeen years, consistently finding you the right people at the right time for your next right move?

Check it out.

You may be pleasantly surprised at how affordable all this is when you’re an early bird.



P.S. Happy New Year!


Drayton Bird – System UK Part One

Conversion is more important than traffic


Drayton Bird – System UK Part Three

Pick the Winner

Faculty Interviews - 2009

Dr. Karl Blanks and Ben Jesson

More money from every click

What happens when you combine a rocket scientist with an Internet marketer?

You get one of the best conversion agencies on earth.

One of only a few Google-certified advisors based outside the US, specializes in showing businesses of all kinds how to get more money – a lot more money –
from their traffic through better conversion.

One thing though. To work personally with Karl and Ben your business needs to be doing at least $10 million a year in sales.

Karl and Ben were stars at our UK Intensive in London and I asked them to make the long trip and join our All-Star faculty in London.

On this call they share the low cost, and sometimes even free, methods they use to boost their clients’ profits and bust some of the “guru” myths about what it really takes to succeed in Internet marketing.