Create a Product in 55 Seconds For Free

speedIf you still have not launched your own product, and you have not at least tried to get any copywriting gigs, maybe you are cut out for affiliate marketing. When you're somebody's affiliate, you don't need your own product, all you need to do is send traffic to a page, people order and you collect a commission.

But the mistake most affiliate marketers make is: not having a list.

Here is the simplest way I can describe it. You need a list of buyers so you can drive them to your offers.

Even when you freelance, you keep a client list so you can follow up with them later for repeat business.

You need a page to build up that list (for people to subscribe) and a way to drive traffic to that page.

It's simple: Traffic... List... Offers.

You need to setup a squeeze page. Use your copywriting skills to sell them on your newsletter. Have a headline, subheads, bullet points, maybe some testimonials, a guarantee ("I hate spam as much as you do...") and a call to action (a form to subscribe to the list).

An even better way to get people to add themselves to your list: offer a bribe, like a free report.

Don't have a report? Here's how to make one in under a minute. First, you need to choose a niche... a previous job, hobby, or skill. Something you like.

How to toilet train a cat, cure yeast infections, how to build muscle mass, run a car on water... all niches.

Go to a free article site like EzineArticles or GoArticles. Type in your niche keyword, like "toilet train cat" ... and pick out 7 articles.

Most of these article sites allow you to copy and use the articles, as long as you leave each person's resource box intact.

This means you can copy the 7 most informative articles, paste them into a Word document (keep the resource boxes intact), convert it to a PDF, and offer it as a special bonus for signing up, in addition to your usual updates.

That information is freely available around the web, but you compiled it into one source - YOU did the research - and you aren't charging for that free info.

Get an Aweber autoresponder account, write that squeeze page (sales letter with an opt-in form below), stuff that PDF into a zip file, upload it, link to that zip file on the thank you page after people sign up.

That's how you build a list... the easy way.

Filed in: Product CreationProductivity

Comments (33)

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  1. Brilliant! I’m going to create my next free report exactly this way.

  2. Remember when we did that live in front of an audience for Roderick? That was awesome. I think we blew people away.

    Also, I heard you got beat in bowling by a girl! 🙂

  3. Sahara says:

    Your marketing is brilliant. I am inspired as much by HOW you sell as I am by WHAT you sell. Thanks…

  4. Muryal Braun says:

    Great Idea! I plan to use this one with some of the great material I find on my blog topic.

  5. And if you don’t like the idea of having other people’s links in your PDF, find/buy a report with PLR, sticl *your* links in it and offer that instead.


    Nick 🙂

  6. Hil says:

    thx Robert!!!! I needed that 😉

  7. Scott Thrall says:

    Great down and clean way to get moving. So many leave so much money on the table when they do not capture names and email addresses.

    If I might add, that freebie you give away. You could write a paragraph or two to introduce yourself. This is to make you a person to your prospective reader/customer start developing that vital relationship.

    Later you could make a sq…oh thats another entry…

  8. Yep, great way to get going fast and easy.

    One question though – why put the PDF into a ZIP file. It is likely small in size. Why wouldn’t you just put the PDF on the download page? Am I missing something? (I put PDFs on my download pages all the time w/o a problem….wondering the advantage of a ZIP if it isn’t to make the file smaller)



  9. Robert Plank says:


    The point of the zip isn’t to make it smaller (I always compress with ZERO compression anyway), it’s to make it easier to download. (It usually opens the PDF up right there instead of saving if you direct-link to the PDF.)

  10. Aaron Dwyer says:

    Hi Robert

    What a great idea, I haven’t heard it put that way before, and I will use this technique today.

    Why do you ZIP up the PDF? Seems an unneccasary extra step for author and consumer?


  11. Scott Thrall says:

    Hey All, please zip your PDF’s it just makes it easier for your customers to save the report. Which gives them the opportunity to look at it over and over again.

    If you leave it in PDF form chances are good when it opens in the browser window they will not save it.

    Your reports are like a store, the longer a customer is in the store the more comfortable they become and more likely to make a purchase…

  12. Aaron Dwyer says:

    Scott / Robert

    Thanks for answering the question about ZIPping.

    The pro is it’s dead easy for the author to make it downloadable, rather than installing a script or .htaccess modification to make the PDF ‘save as’ only instead of opening in the browser. (sounds like Plank product there, go 50/50 with you Robert, I’ll build it, you put your name on it. hehe 🙂

    The con is, it adds an extra layer for the consumer, some people wouldn’t know what a zip file was or what to do with it. However it’s much easier these days with Windows / Mac having native ZIP support.

    Comes down to customer education. Educate them in how you want to do business. They are fast learners when taught right. The ones that don’t want to learn, get left behind, or expelled from the class. That’s my take anyway.


  13. What seems to be a hangup is, once they sign up about 3/4 of the sign-ees never make it to the verification of the email. If you have selected double opt in in the first place with AWeber they don’t give you the choice to go back to a single opt in to get more people into the funnel.

    I know it is a question of quality vs quantity, but sometimes it seems like getting validated signups is as hard as threading a needle…nearly impossible!

    Liz Nichols

  14. Aaron Dwyer says:

    Add on from previous comment.

    Also if you have more than one file associated with the content, then ZIP file is the way to go. Especially if you expand the different formats of your content. Audio / Video etc.

    So even if you have to show a small video on what to do with the ZIP file to get your content out, it’s good to get your customers used to getting info from you in that format.


  15. Nifty! Great example of how so many people make things harder than they have to be. If you’re a member of the Warrior Forum, use their WSO section to build a list. Works very well. Give away a report in exchange for an email address.


  16. Scott Thrall says:

    Yes John that is one other way to add to your list. But do we want to limit ourselves to just one way? And if we bring people not familiar with Warrior Forum and get them curious…well it could benefit more eh…

    Of course thats assuming we are talking about the IM niche…

    gee is IM a niche anymore? heheheh it sure has a lot of different sub-niches…

  17. to Liz,

    Verification is a big part of the process, and the easiest way to boost your signups is get more of the people opting in to verify (hey, they’re already there, showing interest, right?)

    aweber offers some pretty good information on how to boost verifications, just poke around there for videos and tutorials.

    The simplest thing to do and do this right now, put information on the subscribe page that explains the process, what the email will look like, what -exactly- they need to do, why this step is necessary, what will happen when they do it, and remind them that whatever the ‘bait’ was you offered for signing up is, you’re not going to be able to send it to them until they verify they are in fact wanting to get it. Also helps to add an extra ‘bonus’ mention on that page that tells them you’ve got another goody or two waiting for them after they verify.

    I usually do this with just text, but I really, really need to do a short welcome and explaining video instead. I’ve read that it boosts verification significantly.

    Hope that helps.

    Robert, great little tip there for those struggling for ‘bait’.

    Another thing you might do is using a PLR report that you’ve tweaked, is create an audio version in MP3. This is a nice ‘extra’ bonus to mention on the verification page.

    Be well, live well, die last,

  18. Liz says:


    If 3/4 of your signups are not verifying their emails then the problem is on your end. That’s an awfully high number and I have never seen such a high number of unverifieds before. You are either doing something to scare them away or you are not making the process clear enough for them.

    With such a high number though it sounds to me like your lead magnet (the thing you are giving away in return for the optin) is not strong enough. If the free product you are offering was more desirable then people would be ‘bothered’ to go through with the rest of the signup process.

  19. Hey, Robert – some great stuff as usual and good comments, especially doing the explanation for the double-opt in. Some of the local biz folks I target are not very PC or internet savvy – just getting them switched from their AOL accounts to the domain email is a leap! For me, persistence, value and patience is the key.

    Has anyone split-tested video/no video submission forms?

  20. Mary says:

    I know the big boys like Russell Brunson & Frank Kern etc all seem to have firm proof that video is the way to go.

    I read a report about Google & videos recently (& watched a Google business meeting in the back of Google’s training video section,) & they were talking then of expanding their network…hugely…to cope with the proliferation of video usage.

    Another report stated that 72% people preferred video to text.
    Am just going live soon as I get Aweber hooked up, so I’ll see for myself!

  21. JanPaul says:

    Another point is to make sure that people don’t sign up with email addresses like Yahoo, because a lot of mail never gets delivered.

    Then there is a product called cbbonusdomination. Many affiliates make the mistake to build somebody elses list, because the productowner sets up his optin page that way. Using cbbonusdomination is a good way around such a setup.

  22. Hi,
    great idea… I’m going to try it now.
    I’m a new blogger and always trying for traffic to my blog. I was thinking about how to take advantage of whatever traffic I get to get a list. Your idea is excellent.
    I’ve bookmarked your blog so I can read all posts.

  23. Helen Raptoplous says:

    Robert, I really appreciate how much you share to help all us newbies out, it is just AWESOME!!!! I LOVE the idea of putting multiple articles together to create a free report, what a unique idea to create something quick and fast and yet still give a lot of value! Plus, you are helping spread the name of others who have helpful information. I wonder if they have affiliate programs and I get involved would I be able to change the link in the resource box to be my affiliate link to their site?
    Again, thank you so much for sharing this simple and creative idea!!! You rock Sir Robert!!!

  24. Kevin Baker says:

    Hey Robert,

    A little sneaky way to create free reports. BUT I confess its exactly what I do too.

    Great post as always. Keep them coming.

    Oh and whats the story behind the bowling defeat by a girl??


  25. Great post Robert, that’s so true. They are too many sources out there to not create a product, most information as you explain you don’t even have to write yourself, as long as you convert it into a PDF, audio, video, webinar etc you can have a product out quick.

  26. Jeff Link says:

    This idea is Willie Coyote, genius pure genius. So simple to do yet often overlooked.

  27. Robert, anyone I share this idea with thinks I am a genius… thank you for allowing me to be great with and idea I learned from you. xoxo

    PS: my site is so new there is only a blank blog in it… but because what I am learning from you I will have it ready to build a list, have a product, have an affiliate program by Sunday… and it’s Thursday… my lightening fast friend: you are da man!

  28. Robert, I think that this is a great method, especially for breaking into niches other than the Internet Marketing one.

    My only concern is: do people ever rate this type of information less highly than other reports once they download it? If so, can that lead to a less responsive list?

    Does anyone know if this has been split tested, i.e. giving different types of free reports, then subjecting them to the same list mailings and comparing the responsiveness of the two lists?

  29. Read Michelle Schoen’s twitter post about spending 5 hours on your site today and thought I’d check you out, Robert Plank. Very impressive! Great post, great comments, i think i’ll schedule your site in tomorrow for my 5 hours! Thanks for all!

  30. Robert Redl says:

    Thank you Robert for this tip. It is really practical and easy to follow.

  31. Rob Konrad says:

    Hi guys,

    I think you’re missing out on one very important thing you can do with .zip files:

    Include a file called YOUR_BONUSES.txt (or something like that) and add some links to partner prodcuts (of course, don’t just add some affiliate links – try to find items where your customer gets value from a free … something … and you get commission for each signup on those).

    Easy money, and if done right a “nice surprise” for your customer.


    Cheers from Switzerland,

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