November 30, 2007
I use “Popularity Contest” to help determine which posts are the most popular to my audience. Every once in a while I like to go back and review the most popular posts. Here are some of the most popular articles from the past 90 days. If you haven’t read them, this is your chance. If you’ve already read them, you might want to go back through the posts and figure out why each one is popular…and how you can create similar producing posts on your blog.
Think about the secret I’m letting you in on here…you’re finding out what types of articles people most love reading and linking to.
November 28, 2007
My monthly print newsletter goes into much greater detail than this blog. Every single issue has been 11 pages so far and contains a step-by-step system to success.
The only way to get an issue was by being a paid monthly subscriber on the day it is sent for print and mailing. If you’re not a subscriber already, make sure you make that decision today by clicking here. The price is only $19.95 per month and you cancel at any time. No long-term committments required. If I don’t knock it out of the park every month, I lose.
Until today, being a subscriber was the only way to get the issue, but a large number of new subscribers have been asking for a way to get back issues. So I’m making a special to get the back issue of the print newsletter. You can get any of the back issues for only $35 each or the whole set of 6 for $150. After this special, the price will be at least $50 apiece for any of the back issues or $250 for the set. You can order the issues you want or all of them at: http://www.monthlymentorclub.com/backissues.html
The $35 apiece price lasts until 9 AM Eastern on November 29th.
June covered How to Increase Your Website Income By 200% to 300% This Week.
July covered Getting Started With Blogging and Free Traffic Building.
August showed how to Create a Winning Sales Letter With the Right Research.
September gave 10 Quick Strategies to Boost the Profits of Any Online Business.
October outlined the The Dream 100 Strategy.
November was about The Internet Lifestyle Plan.
To order any of these issues, visit this page today…
If you’ve been wanting any of these back issues, this is your chance to get them at a discount before I raise them to the normal price. If you’re not a subscriber to the Monthly Mentor Club, what are you waiting for?
November 26, 2007
You’ve designed your powerful offer, but now you have to get over the next hurdle. Why should anyone believe you? You probably heard the same statement I heard when I was growing up, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You would think that people would jump at the chance to get a totally free lunch, but no one believes you. Everyone of us has been lied to and cheated enough times by other businesses not to believe everything we hear or read. People will think you have some ulterior motive to whatever you’re giving away or that you’re not telling them the whole story.
If you don’t believe me, try this test. Put a classified ad in the paper. Tell people to send $10 to a fictitious business name at some PO Box. Tell them you’ll send back $100 bills to everyone who replies. See how many people take you up on this offer if you don’t provide them with any other information. Would you reply? I’ll bet you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t believe it no matter how good the offer was. You’d need a lot more proof before you’d take action.
Whenever you make any great offer, you have to tell your prospects and clients why you’re making this offer. You’re giving away a free lunch, but why should I believe you. What’s your angle? Here’s a novel concept. Tell them the truth!
Tell them you’re giving away free lunches because your restaurant is brand new to this area. You know that a large percentage of people who try your food will love it. They’ll say it’s the best Mexican food they’ve ever tried. They’ll become regular customers. So instead of requiring the customers to bet on your restaurant, you’d take all the risk. They get a free meal and you’ll only profit if your food is so good they can’t resist coming back in the future.
You may be holding a grand opening sale with prices so low you won’t make a dime. The reason why you’d be willing to do this is to generate customers who you know will come back once they see just how high quality your items are. You may be having a car sale with every car priced under invoice because its tax time and you have to pay extra for every car still on your lot. You may be having a private sale for your clients because you know how much they’ll appreciate it and you just received 75 new dresses from France – and you know they won’t last long once they go on the floor.
The more you tell, the more you sell. Tell your prospects and clients the whole story. You may be having your sale because new inventory comes out next month. You have $100,000 tied up in the current inventory and you’re letting everything go for 50% off of what people would have paid only 1 month ago. Tell them how high quality the items are and how you love to keep selling these same garments, but you have to make room for the new inventory. Your loss is their bargain.
For a continuity offer, you could simply say you have all these tree trimming workers who you have to pay 40 hours a week. You often end up with large surges of business at specific weeks of the year. By offering your clients the 4 times per year deal you’re able to schedule your workers to more consistent hours. So you’re willing to charge much less for this deal since you save money on it yourself.
Below are 8 possible reasons why you could be making such a wonderful offer. You’re not limited to just these methods. They are simply idea generators. Every offer must include a unique benefit, scarcity, and a reason why. If you get these items in place, your ad copy is already mostly written for any sales piece. Neglect these steps and the best copywriter in the world won’t be able to produce for you.
Reason Why #1: Grand Opening or Generating New Customers/Clients
It’s the grand opening sale or the new customer/client drive. You’re making your incredible offer to generate new clients for your business. You understand the value of every client in your business, and you’re willing to make their first purchase an experience they’ll remember. You’re willing to lose some money upfront and invest in them. Once they try out your “product/service” they will have to come back for more. They won’t get a deal like this anytime soon.
Reason Why #2: Customer Appreciation
You appreciate your loyal customers. They’re the ones who have made you successful in your business. You’re making this deal available only to your best clients as a thank you for shopping or doing business with you. They shouldn’t share the letter, postcard, or coupon you’ve sent them with anyone else. It’s exclusively just for them. You may have just received one hundred new items into your inventory and you know how much they enjoy high quality widgets.
Reason Why #3: Need Surge of Income
Your business needs a surge of income. You’re making this offer available to generate the income you need to do ____________. It may be something in your personal life such as paying for your eighteen year old child’s college education. It could be your wife wants a new kitchen or your husband wants a fishing boat. It may be that your business needs a new truck or to expand its location.
Reason Why #4: Going out of business or Clearing Out Inventory
Going out of business sales and inventory clearance sales are extremely profitable. These are powerful “reasons why” that appeal to all bargain shoppers. Clothing stores sell seasonal merchandise or fashions while car dealers sell off last year’s models. All types of stores clearance off discontinued products. If you mess up and order too many of something, you can hold a liquidation to clear out that inventory. Be honest with your customers/clients and tell them why you’re making the offer.
Reason Why #5: Inventory tax time
Inventory taxes (or inventory time) are coming up. Whatever you don’t sell, you’ll pay additional taxes on. If people buy now, you’ll pass on the savings to them. A variation on this could also be that you just were hit with a large tax bill because your accountant made a mistake. You must pay the bill immediately or you’ll face stiff fines and interest. Your customers save from helping you out quickly.
Reason Why #6: Scratch and Dent Sale
A mail order company may sell products which were returned for a discount price. The appliance dealer had a poor delivery person who put small dents in several items which now can’t be sold at full price. The furniture store had heavy winds and a hole in the roof let rain in causing slight damage to several items. Some items at the retail or clothing shop may not measure up to their exacting standards.
Reason Why #7: Need Testimonials and case studies for new product/service
You may have hundreds of testimonials in your overall business, but you’re launching a brand new product/service. You want to get a “test market” of people using it and giving you feedback. For people to receive this special offer, they must give you back feedback on the exact results they get from using it. The “marketing test” reason why is another variation of this. You’re making the offer as a marketing test because a marketing coach named Terry Dean suggested it and you simply don’t know what kind of results you’ll get or how busy you’ll be.
Reason Why #8: You want to Celebrate
It’s your 30th anniversary. Your daughter just graduated college. Your dog had its first litter of puppies. Your girlfriend said yes when you asked her to marry you. The high school team won the state championship. The Indianapolis Colts won the Superbowl. It’s a celebration. You’re excited about what happened and you want to share it with your customers by giving them a special, “She Said Yes” event. This technique makes you seem more real and personable as a business owner.
November 23, 2007
Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the US. It’s probably one of the least commercialized holidays. It doesn’t come with a load of candy like Halloween, and it doesn’t support all the retailers for the year like Christmas. For most people it consists of getting the day off work (or the full 4 day weekend), eating turkey with the family, and watching football. The power shoppers also plan their Friday early morning attack on all the After Thanksgiving Sales preparing for Christmas.
Sometimes people even call it “Turkey Day” instead of Thanksgiving. People eat their big dinner and then veg out. Most of the time we don’t spend time really thinking about how thankful we are for what we have and for those around us.
Now is the time we use the word “Thanksgiving” but everyday should be a day of giving thanks.
Does your wife know how much you appreciate her?
Does your husband know how much you appreciate him?
You might say, “Of course they know it!” Men are especially bad at this. I’m especially bad this at times. When was the last time you really told your wife how much you appreciate her and how much she means to you? When was the last time you told her how thankful you were that she was in your life?
The same truth goes for the women as well. When is the last time you really told your husband how much you appreciated having him in your life?
How about your children? When is the last time you told them how much you love them and how proud you are of them? When was the last time you said thank you to your kids for being who they are?
I could continue you on with your friends, your coworkers, your boss, your pastor, and anyone who regularly influences your life.
Have you ever noticed how expressing your appreciation to others cheers up your mood. It’s hard to stay depressed when you’re saying thank you. It’s hard to have a bad attitude at the same time you’re thinking about what means most to you.
Sometimes we focus on what we don’t have. We look and compare ourselves or our lives with others who have more instead of expressing appreciation for all we already have.
People who go around talking about what they don’t have, the breaks they didn’t get, or how everyone else has it so much easier are NOT fun to be around. If you’ve been doing that, STOP. Instead think of everything you do have. You may have your health. You probably have a roof over your head since you’re reading this on a computer. You may have family that cares about you…even if you don’t always get along with them.
Instead of thinking about what you don’t have, think about what you do have.
What are you thankful for today?
Who has made a difference in your life?
I’ve been talking a lot about action lately. Let’s continue that theme today. Pick 3 people who have made a difference in your life in someway. I don’t care if you have to go back to your 3rd grade teacher. Write down three people who have made a difference to you that you’re really thankful for.
Call them up and tell them how much you appreciate what they’ve done for you. Then send them a thank you card in the mail.
It’s an easy action to take today.
Then begin making “Thanksgiving” part of your life everyday and every week. Take a few minutes each week to say thank you to someone who may not be expecting it.
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your life…and watch the difference it makes in your emotions and your life. You may just be surprised.
November 21, 2007
People talk about the 80/20 rule quite a bit.
20% of your customers produce 80% of your profits.
80% of your problems come from 20% of the customers.
20% of your activities produce 80% of your results.
Let’s talk about this in regard to how you’re spending your time. Since 80% of your activities only produce 20% of your results, and the other 20% of your activities are producing 80% of your results…wouldn’t you be better off concentrating only on the 20%?
Let’s say someone works 12 hour days. It’s almost unbelievable to me that people work that much, but I’ve spoken with MANY who do so. Sure I could understand and have done a 12 hour day right before a vacation or on the last day of finishing a project. But working that long every single day? That’s the surefire recipe for a breakdown, both physically and mentally.
Applying the 80/20 rule to their 12 hour days means the 80% is 9.6 hours and the 20% is 2.4 hours. If we cut out the 80% that isn’t producing very well for them, we would only have 2.4 hour days. Now there’s a schedule I like.
Something I often suggest to my coaching clients is to make an activity log for the next week. Every day, simply list all the activities for the day and how long it took you to do them. At the end of the week rate each of those activities by how well it is building your business.
You’re going to find you’re wasting way too long on certain activities.
You may find, like many of my clients these activities include:
- Reading too many blogs (Limit the number you subscribe to)
- Subscribing to Internet marketing newsletters that sell you the hot new thing (I quit all Internet marketing newsletters and suggest the same for you).
- Answering Email All Day (no more than twice per day and shoot for once per day or less)
- Surfing the Forums (I can’t think of a bigger waste of time if you’re not there for the purpose of generating traffic by participating)
- Calling Someone without a Specific Plan in mind (you can waste an hour with no results – keep it short and planned)
All of the above are activities people do to make them FEEL like they’re working instead of doing any real work. They also consume your day.
What are you personally doing that is wasting your time?
What do you do to replace the real work of your business?
Usually these are activities that consume much of your day…and don’t show any real results at the end. They are part of the 80% producing only 20% of the results.
Next ask yourself which activities really bring in the cash.
For example, for me, these cash producers include:
#1 – Writing (used for the blog, new products, and article submissions)
#2 – Copywriting (sales copy for my sites, tests, and emails)
#3 – Product Development (recording videos and doing interviews to create products)
#4 – Business Development (creating systems for others to do the work – could also be listed as the real #1 cash producer but I love the writing part the best)
Where do I waste my time?
I asked myself this question lately and had to answer I had slacked on following my own email rule (answering no more than twice per day max which I do for the coaching clients). So I am pushing myself strictly back to this.
I’ve also allowed myself to check the comments on this blog too often. So for the time being I’m turning off blog comments. For me they are part of the 80% that’s not really producing the results. This is a test though as I will be monitoring traffic and response numbers to see what the result of turning off the comments will be. While there are many regular readers to this blog, it does not receive a large amount of comments constantly. Trackbacks of course will continue to be enabled…and I will test a post or two by opening up comments on those posts only at times.
Be honest with yourself…and figure out where you waste your time. What parts of your business are the 20% producing 80% of the results? Which parts are the 80% only producing 20% of the results? What can you eliminate or outsource immediately?
November 19, 2007
Wow! The new site I posted last week received a 26.7% sales conversion rate from the blog.
That’s right…a sales conversion rate of 26.7% of the unique visitors into buyers. That wouldn’t be abnormal at all, maybe even a little low, for a sign-up rate for a free list offer. But we’re talking for a paid product. That’s an excellent conversion rate even if the product is only $7.
In case you were wondering, I’m talking about the “Virtually Foolproof Method of Choosing Slam Dunk Markets” released last Wednesday.
Of course that conversion rate is from the visitors to my blog. These are almost always going to produce the highest numbers.
What about the overall traffic conversion rate?
In the past 5 days it has generated a 21.7% conversion rate from all traffic…including from the current affiliate traffic (all buyers have the ability to promote it for 100% commissions directly to their Paypal account for immediate payment).
I’m expecting the conversion rate to go down a little more as I’m now beginning tests on much lower quality traffic to the site…as it has done an incredible job on conversion.
If you’ve purchased the product, you’re already signed up as an affiliate. All you have to do is use the same Paypal email you purchased with in the code below:
Replace YourEmailAddress@yourwebsite.com with your Paypal email used to purchase. You get 100% of this sale and 50% of the orders for the upsell on the next page.
If you haven’t purchased it yet, then the above link will NOT work with your email. Only purchasers can promote it (or else people would try to steal their commissions).
You will automatically be signed up as an affiliate immediately after purchase.
You may be wondering where I came up with the ideas for some of the portions of this test.
I tested several conversion enhancing ideas from Ryan Healy’s blog post about his 7.14% Conversion Rate here.
You’ll notice the design of my sales site at http://www.chooseyourmarket.com follows the same model as his pretty closely. The I’ve been using the picture with caption up top (which you’ll notice from his post he got that idea from me). I’ve also been using a byline instead of a “Dear Friend,” type intro for years on many letters, but I modeled the way he did his byline when I put the “By Terry Dean” on this one.
One of the major things I noted from his site was the use of the HONESTe Online Logo right beside the order link. When I checked out their site, I liked their setup and the fact they didn’t charge such an expensive rate to be a member like many of the other services such as this. So I signed up with them through Ryan’s site…and tested them on the page.
Whenever you hear something like this, you need to take action on it immediately.
I will be doing some more tests on the logo itself and will report on the percentage increases later on. Look for updates on this in the future…along with reports of what the conversion becomes on low quality traffic being sent to the site. To date it’s been very good quality traffic, from my blog and other sites…and from affiliates doing promotions.
Some future tests will include adding testimonials (which have already started to come in including such things as “This is the absolutely best money I’ve spent on any Internet marketing product” and comments about how the unmentioned Step-by-step guide and Flowchart in the transcript guide are worth way more than the price of the product itself) along with some other ideas I have in mind.
November 16, 2007
Here are some links to other great posts from around the Internet this week…
Web Design Special for 48 Hours or 5 Customers
I’m often asked for referrals of someone who can do website design for them. Well, James Alenteal is a website designer who puts together direct response websites for people…and I would highly recommend him. Check out his special this weekend…
4 Steps to More Sales in 7 Days or Less by Ed Rivis:
It’s a very simple 4 step approach to generating sales quickly. I want you to notice he goes OFFLINE to generate high quality leads fast. Definitely a good basic outline of what to do to generate sales quickly.
Links from Blog Comments:
When you leave comments on a blog that includes the no-follow attribute, does it really mean the search engines don’t follow the link? Well…according to this test Jonathan Leger has done, it appears all the major search engines are still following the link to some extent. Very interesting for those who spend time commenting (or have a team to do so).
Good for a Laugh from Bob Bly
Sloppy writing leads to confusion. An over-the-counter sleeping pill says “drowsiness” may be a side effect of taking the pill. I’m going to agree with Bob on this one. I sure hope drowsiness is a side effect of the sleeping pill.
Banks + Debt = Evil
Never doubt whose side the banks are on… its not your’s. Interesting article on banks and debt…and some of the tricks banks go through to get even more of your money.
The Blogger’s Guide to Team Marketing
Discusses the importance of networking and joint venturing with other bloggers to build your blog traffic and exposure.
Richard Lee: Uncensored!
Richard covers the fear of putting out your first product. I’ve been there. You either have been there or will be there. Get over it and get with the program of making money online.
November 14, 2007
One of my coaching clients has entered and profited from 17 radically different markets successfully in the past 2 years.
Yes, that’s right. I said 17 different markets. Not just 17 different products….17 different audiences. This means his lists do not crossover in these markets.
He quietly enters a market…peeks inside the heads of customers and competitors…and builds an irresistible marketing machine.
And he does it over and over again in different markets.
I got him to do a 65 minute interview with me where he shared his system of finding profitable markets, examining from the inside out, and then making sure he was going to be successful before he ever entered the market.
We even get down to the nitty gritty where we discuss some ways to estimate just how profitable a market will be…and we compare the difference between niche markets and general interest markets. How to find the right one for you (hint: some of his businesses are actually of each type).
Find out more here:
The price is only $7. I know this is ridiculously low…and you may be wondering just how valuable it is when I’m sharing it for this price.
It’s simple really. If I can help you find a profitable market for your business…you’re going to have more money to buy my other products and services such as my Email Mastery, Blogging for Fun and Profit, and Internet Mastery courses. You’ll also have the right focus when you join one of my coaching programs.
Once you see just how much you can learn from this simple low cost product, you’ll be first in line for all my other offers. I’m building a list of buyers…instead of just a list of subscribers.
This is not a 24 hour or 48 hour special. I haven’t decided how long I will personally offer this report. I might leave it up forever based on test results.
So why should you jump on it now? There are two reasons. The first is there is a 100% commission affiliate program on it for the moment (not promising if I will leave it this high). Only buyers can participate in the program. You can promote the product to your list for as long as I have it available from my site and you keep all the money.
There are also reprint rights to the report being offered for a limited time at the current price of only $35 (again only offered to buyers).
The 2nd reason why you should take advantage of this now is because of how much it will save you by helping you choose the right market. If you’ve ever chosen a wrong market (sometimes referred to as a niche), you know just how costly of a mistake that is. Save yourself the time…the frustration…and the expense by knowing exactly what to look for…and how to compare different markets.
The price is only $7.
November 12, 2007
When Blogrush first came out, I put it on pages on this blog to test it. It has now been out long enough to see the stats and the numbers coming in from it.
In my opinion it just isn’t worth the space and loading time it takes on this blog. On some posts it does generate a few visitors, but it has never been anything that great. And the clickthroughs on posts appear to be going down contrary to what we’ve heard from the managers of the system.
From my last 10 posts, I have a clickthrough rate of 0.001. Or less than 1 tenth of 1%. With only 1 clickthrough per 1,000 impressions, Blogrush just isn’t producing.
As with everything else in Internet business, it was a test…and this one turned out not to be worth the space. There was a lot of hype around the blogosphere about this, but it’s easy to see why. Since you earn credits from people you refer, bloggers wanted to be the fastest and quickest to recommend something with all their heart.
While that may get you the most referrals in the system (and the traffic that goes with those referrals), I’ve always found it much safer to take the time to test before throwing out blanket recommendations. You can see my original post about it here.
This same “Hype” occurs with almost everything in the Internet marketing field it seems. Something comes out and everybody wants to be the first to say how wonderful it is…and make bigger promises than the person before them to get the most money during the “launch process.” It’s why I’m so wary to recommend very many Internet business products. They almost always end up with promises much larger than real life.
I do like the concept behind Blogrush though. I want to be able to show you posts coming in from other blogs here, but I want more control over them. I’m very picky about what I represent and recommend to others naturally. And anything on this site becomes a recommendation to my visitors. That was the other element I didn’t like about Blogrush. There would be posts showing up that were full of hype that I definitely wouldn’t have recommended.
The “What Others Are Saying” plugin will be tested on the site sometime this week in place of Blogrush. Pat Doyle is running it on her blog, and I really like the looks of it. It allows you to choose the blogs and RSS feeds you’re displaying on your blog.
It hasn’t been tested directly by me yet though, so don’t consider that a recommendation either…
Update: I tried to install the “What Others Are Saying” plugin on this blog for a little over an hour. Unlike all the other plugins I’ve used it did not install correctly following the simple instructions…so I choose not to spend any more time on it. At a future time I may decide to hire someone more technical to do it, but for now it is not being added.
November 9, 2007
The title of this post comes from a cartoon I recently picked up on DVD, Meet the Robinsons. It is their “tagline” and the moral to their story…to keep moving forward.
It is about a 12 year old orphan named Lewis who can’t seem to get adopted or get his numerous inventions to ever work. It has it’s funny parts although most of the movie is over the top.
There is one scene in the movie that I love. Young Lewis tries to fix the Peanut Butter and Jelly squirt gun, but it ends up making a mess all over the place. He apologizes…while the Robinson family starts cheering wildly for him.
“What a wonderful failure!” they shout, explaining to Lewis that we can never learn without trying. Failure can be a learning experience when you allow it to be that.
You’ll also find another character in the movie who has a failure…and allows it to haunt them the rest of their life.
It’s a movie about persistence…something so many people are lacking in today’s world of microwave ovens and stories of instant success. The difference between those who make it and those who don’t is often a stubborn determination to keep moving…keep working…and keep testing. I’ve often said I failed my way to success by finding everything that didn’t work first…and then building on what does work.
The movie concluded with this quote from Walt Disney…
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things – because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. We’re always exploring and experimenting.”
Sounds a little like Internet business to me…