February 29, 2008
I’ve noticed I read quite a few different blogs, although I’ve been cutting down those numbers lately. Because of all this reading, I want to help you out by hand selecting a few of my favorite posts over the past month from the blogs I regularly read.
Must Read Post #1: How I Ranked in 5 of The Top 10 Search Results in Google
Are you using press releases to grow your online business? If not, why don’t you start. In this post, Christine OKelly shares how she had 5 of the top 10 search rankings using press releases. And she only spent $2.99 to submit the press releases. Pretty good ROI on less than 3 bucks!
Must Read Post #2: Do Questions Work As Headlines?
Ryan asks a question in this post. I’ve seen the same results many times…especially with emails. Rephrasing your headline, subject line, or blog post title into a question can often have some pretty amazing results.
Must Read Post #3: Do You Have the Courage to Earn a Half Million Dollar a Year?
Look, it’s a question (see post #2 above). This is about an old Eugene Schwartz ad that ran for quite a while. Instead of making a straight claim you may not believe, it asks a question which put the results back on you.
Must Read Post #4: If You Don’t Know It, How Can You Expect Your Customers To?
How could you not read a post where the first sentence says, “Computers are destroying everything!” This is about the real reason your customers are buying from you…not just the “normal” reasons most people think of.
Must Read Post #5: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose
As you already know, I recommend reusing your content in different ways. This short post by John Jantsch shares 10 ways to reuse and recycle your content to get more bang from everything you create.
Must Read Post #6: Work On Your Business, Not In It
Jonathan Leger talks about how “80% of my time was used up handling support requests.” It’s another simple article about outsourcing your work and why it’s vital for you to outsource elements of your business starting today.
Must Read Post #7: How to Stop Checking Email on Evenings and Weekends
Quit checking your email all day! Yes, I know watching those order notifications coming in can be exciting, but it’s destroying your productivity. Here are 8 tips to help you manage email quicker from Tim Ferriss.
February 27, 2008
The intern program is working like a charm.
Promotion is being done for my sites automatically by the interns…and the interns are learning how to build their own businesses. I opened it again today quickly (note the link has now been removed).
This is a 2nd version of the intern program where I’ve dropped the number of procedures and videos. I’ve also compacted it to be a 28 day intern program (less than one month to learn how to promote your own internet business). Which program is better (the longer one I released previously or this shorter one)? I don’t know until we test it and see the results of the program in action in the intern’s businesses.
If results from last time are any indication I expect I will remove this link very shortly. It’s likely that I will simply add a link someone in the navigation of this blog to the intern program in the future to eliminate huge sign-ups all occurring at once from a post.
Intern programs are run in a lot of different industries. For example, if you haven’t seen the movie “Pursuit of Happyness,” I’d highly recommend it. Will Smith stars as a salesman who is having a lot of trouble offering bone density scanners. His wife works double shifts to help stay afloat. Eventually he ends up homeless at one point in the story. And through it all he has a child to take care of.
Why do I mention this movie? It’s because he gets the opportunity to enter a competitive stock broker intern program where 20 candidates go through a 6 month full-time unpaid intern program. Only one of them will be hired at the end…and it’s stated multiple times during the movie that you can’t even apply credit towards working at another firm.
That’s tough. At least with the intern programs you see available to help people learn how to start an internet business you are being provided knowledge you can use in your own business. You can even walk away at any time and still have all the knowledge you gained up till that point.
If you haven’t seen the movie though, I definitely recommend it. He goes through a lot in the story, but he is committed to success. How many of us can say the same?
After the public launch of the intern program, a few people have asked me if I created the idea of having interns. The answer is no.
Internships are common in many fields.
James Brausch is the first person I saw run an automated intern program in the Internet marketing field. I’ve worked with many others who have had interns working with them, but he is the first one I noticed who used videos exclusively to train his interns. I own several of his procedure products including Submit to Blog Carnivals, Rewrite Headline, and Blog Commenting (there may be one or two others).
Another product I own is Robert Phillip’s “45 Ways to Run a Money Making Online Business Practically On Auto-Pilot.” It included all the procedures from Robert’s intern program. It generated a few ideas I hadn’t thought of as possible procedures to test in my own business.
The procedures in my intern program cover things like submitting articles, finding JV partners, creating videos, writing press releases, copywriting, etc. All the procedures will be made available at some future time in a paid product if you don’t have the time to be a free intern (it definitely isn’t for everyone).
The link to the intern program has been removed as we had a large number of signups very quickly again…
February 25, 2008
Jay Abraham was one of the people I originally learned from when I came online…and I’ve continued to buy his products throughout the years. I first learned about doing Joint ventures, the lifetime value of a customer, and unique selling position from him.
In this 10 minute video he shares how to use Amazon to help you put together winning ads. I found it very unique and had to share it with you.
I originally noticed the video on Rich Schefren’s blog.
February 22, 2008
Have you read the E-Myth yet? If not, why not?
The basic premise is that most entrepreneurs are not entrepreneurs at all. They’re technicians who have a skill who decide they should become business owners. They’ve had an “entrepreneurial seizure.” Because they’re good at the skill, they think they’re be good at running a business.
They concentrate on their skill, but they never learn how to put procedures and systems in place to run their business.
Again…this is basic material. I wouldn’t represent the book as anything advanced. It’s to show you the basics. The problem is most people who think they’re building a business don’t operate with these principles in mind.
Here’s the real definition of a business…
“A business is an income stream that works without you.”
If you’re working 60 hours a week to do all the work in your “business,” you don’t really have a business at all. You have a job. It may or may not be a good one depending on whether you love the job and it pays you appropriately.
Take a look at how McDonalds or any major franchise operates. Every single element of the business is written down. All the procedures and systems are in place. When someone pays the fee to become a franchise owner, they are trained in the all the systems. What are they really buying for the $45,000 + 12.5% royalties (initial franchise fee as reported by The Franchise Mall)?
You’re buying proven systems. The rest of your investment $506,000 to $1,600,000 will be for setting up all the systems in place.
Here’s where many people make the mistake.
They advertise that it’s EASY to get setup and put systems in place. It’s not easy. You put together a system. Then you continuously improve that system. It takes a lot of time and work to create proven systems. That’s why franchises cost so much!
If you think that starting an internet business is expensive, you should spend a little time investigating franchise opportunities. Want to start a cleaning business? Merry Maids will offer you their systems for $19,000-$27,000 + 5% – 7% royalties. Perhaps you’d prefer to train and board dogs? From At-Heel, that will only be $47,500 + 5%. How about a business with College Nannies and Tutors? The franchise fee is only $25,000 + 5% royalties.
Maybe the Internet is more your style. For $49,700 + 10% royalties, WSI will set you up as an Internet consultant with all their systems.
When I decided I wanted to do business coaching, the first thing I did was investigate some of the major business coaching franchises. ActionCoach is one of the most popular. Their initial fee is $30,000-$50,000 with a monthly royalty fee. Another major one I took a look at was Growth Coach. Their initial franchise fee is $28,900 plus a monthly fee.
Please note all the franchises above are previously reported numbers. Any of the prices or opportunities may have changed. I’m not making an endorsement for any of them. Do a search for them and contact them directly to make sure you have accurate information.
Why didn’t I choose either of the coaching franchises? It wasn’t because of price. I don’t think any of the businesses above are too high priced. Real systems are worth that kind of money. The reason I didn’t join the coaching franchises is they were too limited in your “territory” and didn’t cover the internet well enough in my opinion (my specialty).
Don’t think it’s easy to put systems together. If it was easy to have working systems, good franchises would be a dime a dozen.
When someone first starts moving from being a “job owner” to building a business, their work often increases. While they’re doing their normal work, they’ll also putting together systems they can use to hire out or outsource their work. That means additional work in the beginning for the eventual payoff of cutting down their “job hours.”
That’s all well and good, but most job owners say…
“But You Can’t Turn Everything I Do Into a System”
Why can’t you? Let’s take a few things that would seem hard to systematize. How about copywriting? That is part science and part art as most people describe it. Yet we have a lot of training companies that teach you how to be a copywriter. In addition, many top copywriters have proteges and students who they source work out to.
For example, Michel Fortin is an incredible copywriter. He’s written copy for me before. Notice that if you go to his copywriting services now, he has a “crack team of copywriting specialists.”
What else would be really difficult to systematize? How about coaching business owners? That means you’d have to know how to run a business, set up systems, do copywriting, etc. It doesn’t seem that could be a system, does it?
Yet, I showed you a couple of franchises above. John Jantsch certifies Duct Tape Marketing Coaches. The PBCA trains business coaches as well. Michael Gerber who wrote the E-Myth trains his own group of coaches as well.
You may say, “But Terry, you personally coach people one-on-one right now.”
That’s right. I do. But do you think I plan to do that personally forever or that I’m creating systems for it while I go along? Remember how I said it isn’t always easy to create systems. It takes time.
You might be involved in every single element of your business today. Start creating procedures for each element one at a time. It won’t happen overnight. It might not always be easy. But that’s what businesses do. For me, I have to create systems. I’m a horrible long-term employee. Go ask Little Caesars, Sears, or that satellite dish company whose name I forget. If they remember me, they’d probably say I was a poor employee. I get bored and roam off to do something else.
Are you creating yourself a business or just another job?
February 20, 2008
Using long tail keywords in your blog posts and website articles is one of the most profitable strategies you can implement for your business.
Many of the posts on this blog are targeting these kinds of phrases. Not all of the posts are targeted towards search results. I’d have to estimate around 50% are in one way or another.
When I first started my online business in 1996 I didn’t focus a lot on search engines. When I did though, we concentrated on big heavily searched terms as they were easy to rank in.
But back then there was less competition for keywords – unlike today when the competition for a keyword phrase can be fierce for some niches.
In October 2004, Chris Anderson, Editor and Chief of Wired Magazine coined the term “long tail”. In his article Chris explained that all the items in the long tail totaled more than the items in the high demand area.
So just what are long tail keywords? They are multiple word phrases searchers type into the Search Engines. Similar to a short question they are comprised of 3 to 6 words. No, they don’t have a large quantity of searchers every month but those that use the phrases become highly targeted visitors.
The best free keyword research tool for mining long tail keywords is the SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool. Just enter the keyword for your chosen topic and the SEO Book will generate the long tail keywords you can use for your articles and blog posts.
Once you’ve picked a phrase to write about make sure you use the long tail keywords in your title. There are a lot of other ways to boost your search engine ranking, but concentrate first on the title (that way incoming links will also be using your keyword search term). Build up a collection of these keyword phrases on your blog, and you’re now collecting targeted traffic from many different terms.
I checked my stats last month…and Google Analytics showed me as receiving search engine traffic from a total of 1,379 different search engine phrases over the past 30 days. Each one only had a few searches at most, but they add up.
Think about it this way. You target your main blog towards a higher traffic term. Your website article topics and blog posts can be directed towards the smaller segment of searchers who are using phrases instead. And let’s not forget that these visitors will be highly motivated to buy your products since they’re more targeted to the terms you’re using (no discussion of conversion rates should ever be held without identifying where the traffic is coming from).
You can see that the output from the SEO Book search can be a constant source of good topic ideas for your site. Go through and produce a long list of potential topics for your target market. Then revisit the site regularly as new terms will keep being added all the time. At a conference called Searchology last May, Udi Manber, one of Google’s VPs of Engineering, said that 20 to 25% of the queries that Google sees on any given day are queries they have never seen before.
That’s a pretty incredible statement when you think about it. This means as a blogger or article writer you’ll always have something to write about if you run long tail keywords searches often.
One question that should come to mind about this strategy is “What about competition?”
While it’s true you won’t have as much competition for the long tail keywords there is a way to insure you stay at the top of the rankings.
Write an article that’s directly related to your blog post. It must contain high quality content. Then in your Resource Box tie the article to your website or blog post. When you’re finished submit your piece to article and ezine directories.
This strategy will generate incoming links to your website and/or blog that will build over time guaranteeing you a high rank for a long time to come.
Using long tail keywords brings -
* Highly targeted traffic
* Motivated buyers
Creating a loyal readership for your online profit and success.
February 18, 2008
Have you ever met a wanabe entrepreneur?
You know the kind of person that talks about opening a business but never gets off the fence and does anything.
Or the one that finally takes the dive, starts a business, but can never quite make it work. He spends all his time reading books but never really does anything.
After talking with these folks over the years, I have concluded these people just don’t believe in themselves.
They don’t believe they can actually become a success so they just keep doing what they’ve always done never moving forward.
And, they always have excuses. They say…
- I’m too old to start a new career.
- I don’t know enough to be in business for myself.
- I won’t be able to handle it, I don’t know enough.
- I can’t afford it.
- I will never be able to get financing.
- It will take too much time.
- Dealing with all the details will be too time-consuming.
- I don’t have the spare cash.
- It is just too expensive.
- The economy is too unpredictable.
But, this is just nonsense and there are big benefits in working for yourself…
Potential Upside in Working for Yourself
- You don’t have to deal with a boss
- You set your own hours
- You set the rules
- You can do what you enjoy doing
- You have job security
- You no longer have to fight rush hour traffic
- You will have financial freedom
- You will feel fulfilled
- You will have more time for your friends and family.
- The profits are yours.
- You can use your gifts and talents.
- You can save on costs.
- You will have more time.
- You can conduct business the way you want to.
So why do these wanabes throw-up these objections and obstacles? I think that the real crux of the problem is they don’t really believe in themselves. They are stuck in a cycle of negative thinking that prevents them from achieving anything. This negative thinking destroys their dreams, blinds them to opportunity, and literally stifles their success.
This type of thinking can derail your success. What helps me is to stick these…
9 Principles for Success
1. Set Goals.
Set aside any negative thoughts and write down the goals you would have for yourself if your success is a guarantee. Think about the role you will play in achieving these goals. What you need to learn to get there and map your course. Layout a systematic plan and follow it.
2. Become A Problem-Solver.
There is a solution to every problem. Never believe any problem is unsolvable. Even if the problem you are facing feels impossible at the time do not surrender to this type of thinking. Can’t never did anything.
Stay away from negative thinkers, they will derail your progress by supplying you with all of the negative reasons your idea won’t work. This type of thinking will derail your progress.
3. Be Confident.
If you believe you can’t achieve something, you probably won’t. You must transform your thinking. Train yourself to believe you can achieve and you will.
4. Be a Possibility Thinker.
Think big! The only thing holding you back is you. If you train yourself to begin “thinking big” big things will begin to happen for you.
Challenge yourself to:
- Never label anything as impossible.
- Never let problems stop you from taking action.
- Never think that just because you don’t know how to do something doesn’t you can’t.
- Don’t let this stop you.
- Never let the fear of failure prevent you from trying.
- Never discard an idea just because you don’t know anybody that has done it that way.
- Never decide something is impossible because you lack the time, money, brains, energy, talent, or skill.
- Never toss away an idea because it’s not perfect.
- Never pass up something because you might not get credit.
- Never quit.
5. Don’t Worry About Failing.
Everybody does at one time or another. It’s hard. Failure can be embarrassing.
But, remember that trying to do something great and failing could be one of the best things you have ever done in your life.
Failure is not failure to meet your goals, but the failure to reach as high as you possibly can.
6. Take Action.
Just get started…TODAY! The biggest problem people face is inertia. Don’t be a dreamer…be a doer. Don’t talk big a do nothing. The world is full of dreamers, there aren’t enough people who will move ahead and take the real steps towards their goals and achieve them. Stop making excuses for not starting!
7. Be Enthusiastic!
Enthusiasm is the fuel for your success. It’s fine to layout your goals and set aside your negative thoughts but you must ignite your enthusiasm to truly get some momentum. Don’t block yours.
How do you get it? Fill your mind with a positive mental attitude!
8. Maintain A Positive Attitude.
So if enthusiasm is the fuel and having a positive mental attitude is how you generate enthusiasm, how do you maintain the positive mental attitude?
1. Say something positive to every person you meet.
2. See something positive in every situation.
3. Force yourself to always think “It might work.”
4. Become a champion of the “why not” club.
5. Act on all positive ideas.
6. Expect positive practices.
7. Be positive about things.
8. Apply positive thinking to all things you can control.
9. Do not allow negative thoughts to derail you. Re-fuel your positive thinking periodically.
9. Never Give-up.
Positive affirmations will give you holding-on power.
1. Do not allow yourself to feel defeated.
2. Force yourself to be tough-minded and believe you are.
3. Feel confident that there are resources you can use to support yourself.
4. You are strong…believe it.
5. Strive for victory. Turn your worst times into your best.
6. If you are truly dedicated, you will eventually win.
Just remember it’s all about your attitude…
February 15, 2008
I don’t do a lot of endorsements for other people’s products here, but one I must mention is Jimmy Brown.
Recently I purchased his “Small Reports Fortune” and “SALES Army Secrets” along with a few of his other offers. His products are excellent. They’re packed with content and specific action steps to take immediately to build your online business.
And what’s most interesting is his sales model. He follows the lesson of give first to prove your worth by providing free downloadable reports on each of his products.
For example, here are 3 of his free reports:
(Right click each one and choose save target as)
He even has a sense of humor as you can see from his marketing comics section…
Note: The above links are affiliate links.
February 13, 2008
I work with 20 clients one-on-one by email and phone (it varies up or down a little). Currently my slots for phone clients are booked up (there is one position actually available but I’ve already offered it to someone who specifically requested it), and my email clients are also staying very booked.
Basically, email coaching clients can email me Monday through Thursday and I respond to them within 24 hours. On weekends, they can send over an email and I’ll answer it sometime on Monday.
This includes questions they have about how to create their own products, how to test their offers, how to grow their lists, and even which software programs to use. A couple of email clients are a member simply so they get access to send over websites and emails they want me to take a look at and review for them.
In my business currently, my time is being spent with coaching clients, creating new products, and writing ad copy. Coaching clients have been taking more of my time recently…so the price is being increased.
The current price is $400 a month. On Friday morning I’m raising the price. The new price will be $500 a month.
Phone coaching, if and when it comes available again, will be $1,000 a month.
Any current clients or clients who get in before the price increase will keep their current price for as long as they’re a paid member.
Early on in January I mentioned there would be some changes coming to the coaching program. I’m prepared to mention one of these changes now.
Anyone who is a member of my Monthly Mentor Club print newsletter will notice that the login page lists it as the silver membership program. The reason is I’m putting together a higher membership section for my one-on-one coaching clients. When this is finished (may be another month or two), they will have access to videos, audios, and other online tools to download.
This way I can provide access to immediate training information to all coaching clients on site. There will be other changes coming down the road including a written assessment and a required one hour consulting call to start clients off (which will have a cost in addition to the monthly fee).
If you’re interested in joining my one-on-one coaching program before the price increase, click here now…
One question I have for you my readers is whether you’d be interested in a group option in between one-on-one coaching and the print newsletter.
Possibly a twice monthly open teleconference where we review sites…or just help with your business plans? Feel free to leave your comments on that in the comments section. I don’t know if this is something I’m going to do. I’m just asking for your feedback if you’re interested.
February 11, 2008
Some people think you can setup an affiliate program and just wait for the sales to roll in. It doesn’t work that way. The best affiliates…the ones you make you real money…have to be contacted. The easiest contact method of course is by email. The key with email is to be convincing, and keep it very concise. Don’t ramble!
Get to the point and make your benefit rich pitch as quickly as possible (I learned this after reading through thousands of joint venture emails and figuring out exactly which ones got my attention).
Here are 8 rules of JV emails:
1. Personalize the email. Use their name and also make a quick mention of something about their site, something you thank them for, and what makes them outstanding (a little flattery never hurt).
2. Keep it short. Four page emails get deleted. You’re writing to busy people, so keep it short and simple. Edit your email ruthlessly down to the essentials.
3. Get to the point. Copy the media style of Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Tell the whole story in one paragraph of two sentences or less at the beginning.
4. Use specific numbers when possible. What conversion rates has your site tested at? What kind of profit per visitor can they expect? Remember to keep this updated as the number will go up when using endorsements.
5. Remember the two motivations. They want more money and they want to look good to their audience (help their audience). You need to mention both.
6. Offer a free copy of your product. Any good marketer will always want to see your product before recommending it to their list.
7. You do it all. Have tools ready to go. Offer to work with them and help them with whatever they need in the promotion.
8. Provide contact information. This includes your email and phone number (cell phone). Make it easy to contact you.
Example JV Email
Here is an example JV email I’ve used before:
I’m a subscriber of your _____________ newsletter. I noticed on your site that you promote ___________ products (put the name of someone’s affiliate program in that blank).
I would love to do a joint venture with you on my brand new product at __________________.com. This product is totally unique in the marketplace because of ____________.
My normal affiliate program for this site pays out 50% commissions. Instead of normal affiliate commission, I’d like to offer you a special deal. I’d like to pay you 65% of the money on this product. It sells for $97, so this equals $63.05 per sale.
Plus, you’ll receive 30% commissions when those customers buy other products I have available. As an example, if you refer 50 customers, you’ll earn $2,910 immediately. You’ll also continue earning 30% on backend sales to these customers.
My conversion rate on this site is a very high 2.8%. I also capture 33% of the emails of the people who visit the site and use a complete system to follow-up
on them for additional sales.
My affiliate program is tracked by a third party at http://www.netofficetoolbox.com and you can login at any time to check the stats and any commissions owed.
The sign-up page for the program is at: http://www.directlinktosignup.com
If you’re interested, give me a call on my cell phone at 000-000-0000, or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. If you’d like to try out the product, simply shoot me an email or give me a call. I’ll send you out a copy immediately…no charge of course!
This article is an excerpt from my Email Marketing Mastery course that shows you step-by-step how to build your email lists, grow your relationship with your subscribers, and make winning offers to your list. Find out more here…
February 8, 2008
The February print newsletter will be sent for print and mail on Monday, February 11th at 9 AM.
This month I’m covering the topic which has proven to be the most popular time and time again…email list building.
If you want your issue, subscribe now:
In 11 print pages, you’ll discover:
- 4 Types of information products…and why the majority of information producers are creating the least profitable one (and no, I’m not talking about ebooks).
- A secret strategy for growing your affiliates by hundreds or even thousands overnight (it’s a one paragraph quick tip on page 3 on the newsletter).
- Surprising results from my popover tests on this blog. Find out which variable ade the biggest difference in recent tests…beating the headline.
- 3 Best ways to generate subscribers for your ezine, blog, or ecourse…99% of bloggers don’t even use the #1 strategy.
- The key to building joint venture relationships…and the strategy that’s working best this month for getting through to decision makers.
If you want your issue, subscribe now:
All subscribers immediately receive several very special online bonuses including the “Thousand Dollar Marketing Makeover Guide” which includes the exact assessment I’ve used to analyze and boost the profits of one-on-one phone consultation clients. This 58 page guide gives you an assessment to analyze your own business (don’t cheat yourself by skipping over it) and then exactly how to improve in each of the areas covered. It’s like having your own consultation…at a price of only $19.95.