Membership Sites and Valuable Content

March 30, 2009

Today I want to continue with our last post about membership sites. Last time we covered how you can do a fixed term membership site instead of the traditional membership route. What about content? Most people believe you have to create all the content yourself? Is this true? Is it even the best way?

Here’s another excerpt from Overnight Membership Sites and Residual Income Formula.

There’s a big myth going around that content creation is hard, that it takes up a lot of time and that a membership site will literally eat up every spare second of your life. For some people, sadly that is true. But it doesn’t have to be the case if you learn how to work smarter not harder.

The bottom line is content does not have to be time consuming. There are many ways to speed up the process, there are many places where we can get content that is already created. There are many ways we can outsource every step of the way so that you literally just become a manager and you don’t actually do any of the real work. You also don’t have to be an expert at anything yourself.

You don’t have to spend time learning the ins and outs of a new niche and becoming an expert at that set of content. You just don’t have to do it. There are hundreds of thousands of experts out there who have really high-quality content and they’ll be happy to give it to you. I’ll show you exactly how you can get it from them. Your only obligation in your membership site is to provide what you promise.

There are many memberships out there and all they do is provide an interview every single month. That’s it—one interview. You can get an interview recorded within an hour, have it edited and uploaded to your site within two or three hours. That can be your entire workload the whole month. It really can be that simple. So don’t get stuck in this thought that you need to have a fully-featured membership site with a forum and reports and software. You just don’t have to do that.

You can make a very nice living with very simple sites. I can’t stress that enough. As you’ll see as we go through this presentation, there’s enough free content to create a million membership sites. I’m dead serious about that. There is so much premium-quality content out there it’s just not funny. Once you’ve gone through this module, you won’t have content problems ever again. I promise you that.

What I’m going to do is show you how you can work smart, work less and make a lot more money.

At the core of our Overnight Membership Site Content Module is the Publisher Model. This is where you collect, publish and market information. You’ll notice I didn’t say “create” information. There’s no money in content creation despite what some people will tell you.

Just ask any author. Most authors are completely broke. The truth is the money is made in marketing the content. Unless the content you’re dealing with is marketing content, then there’s a really good chance the author has no idea how to market their content.

There are a number of ways we can use the Publish Model. We can partner with or hire experts. You can find authors and other experts who have proven themselves and have years of experience and are very talented. You can hire them for dirt cheap or you can partner with them and give them a percentage of the website sales. It all depends on how you want to structure things.

You can also republish existing content. When we get in to some of the free content you can get, I’ll go into this in a lot more depth. For now know that there are literally millions upon millions of pieces of content out there that you are able to republish without any expenses whatsoever. You can also publish your own content.

That is if you are a content creator, you can publish your own content. This might sound a bit strange but it’s more about a mindset thing. You have to have the mindset of being the publisher. You’re not the content creator; you’re the publisher. You’ll see I have the business owner mindset here. That’s what I like about the Publisher Model. You get to look at content for what it really is even if you’re the creator.

Content is just a single piece of the puzzle that has no real value unless you actually have the marketing systems in place. By publishing your own content, you’re still the content creator, but your mindset is about being the publisher so your focus is more on the marketing and business side of things and treating content for what it is. It’s a commodity.

It’s replaceable.

The other really cool thing about the Publisher Model is you have unlimited niche options. You don’t’ have to be an expert of anything. You don’t have to waste weeks of time studying and learning and reading books and becoming that expert. You can literally hire or borrow or find experts and enter any market you want very quickly. So there are a ton of benefits to using the Publisher Model even if you have your own content. We’re going to focus on that a lot as we go through this module.

Let’s take a quick look at the different types of content you can add. Now this is just a small list but I hope it gives you an idea of the variety of ways you can add value to your site. One route I see many membership sites fall in to is providing either a single type of content like articles, audios or videos. Or they provide a whole bunch of stuff without any real thought to its usefulness.

Now the content might be good but it’s not in a format that helps your members actually implement it or get some use out of it so then they’ll get frustrated and eventually they’ll leave. It is important to provide content that your market wants but also content that they need. The funny thing is often the content that is simplest to create has the biggest value you to your members.

For example, a simple checklist can take a complex subject and break it down into simple, actionable steps. That can be the different between information overload and someone actually implementing your ideas. In the same way, templates, spreadsheets and lists can often be created in just a few minutes yet they can save your members hours of time.

Time is money. This represents a huge value to people. Simply by providing quality content in a useful format, you can make your membership site an invaluable resource for your members. Ultimately, that will make them stay longer, refer more people and make you more money.

Want to know more about how to set-up and run your own membership site using other people’s content?

Check out Overnight Membership Sites and Residual Income Formula available here.

Discover how anyone can create their own automated niche membership sites using free content virtually overnight.

Which Membership Site Will You Start?

March 26, 2009

Almost every long-term information business I work with eventually gets some type of continuity or membership site in place. They’re just too profitable to ignore!

The only question is which kind of membership site is right for you…and your business?

For many they choose a membership site where new content is added in each month for an indefinite time. The easiest way to set these up is often by using a WordPress site for content management along with a password protection script to keep the content members only.

Or another type of membership site which is becoming very popular the last few years are fixed term membership sites. Instead of the membership site lasting “forever.” It is limited in time such as the next 12 months only. Once you get through it, the class is finished. You may have upgrades or advanced versions but those are offered separately.

Below is some more information on fixed term membership sites which I pulled from Residual Income Formula…available as a bonus with Overnight Membership Sites (including full membership software).

A Fixed Term site only runs for a specified amount of time. Members remain members for whatever amount of time you specify – usually 3, 6, or 12 months. Once you get your amount of time figured out, you can build lessons around that time frame.

You would deliver original material for the specified amount of time and then the membership would end after the last piece of content has been delivered.

For example, if your niche was on how to improve your golf swing, you could break down the tutorials into a weekly format so that people could get a “course” type style.

If you wanted, you could solely use an autoresponder like AWeber to deliver your messages – meaning people would sign up for your mailing list and you’d send them their weekly lesson automatically.

These types of sites are low-pressure and nice to start out with because of that.

The benefits to running a Fixed Term site include:

– Easy to Set-up
– Low Cost
– Less Content Needed
– Doesn’t Require Constant Updating
– People Feel As If They’re Getting An Inexpensive Class
– Not Tied-In if it Bombs

You can see from the list above why this would be a great way to start out. All you need to do is create content for the specified amount of time (or pay someone to create it for you) and then set the site up so that the content is delivered to each member on time.

Besides being so great for YOU, these sites are also wonderful for both the members and for attracting members.

See, when members are looking at your sales page, they might be put off when they see an indefinite membership fee. They might think, “Man – I’ll forget to cancel that and be billed $19.95 for the rest of my life.”

With a fixed term membership, though, people know there’s a “light at the end of the tunnel.” They won’t be charged indefinitely.

Also, they feel as if they’re taking a class and being delivered quality information every single day, week, or month (whenever you deliver new material).

Conversely, you could go another route – say, delivering recipes on a weekly basis every week for 12 weeks.

If you go with the class-style format, odds are that you’re going to retain members for a longer amount of time than you normally would. People won’t want to quit in the middle because people hate to feel as if they haven’t finished something. It’s basic psychology. They also might feel as if they’re going to miss something if they leave. With a traditional membership, it’s easy to leave and have the option to come back later on.

Quick tip: To help with retention on fixed term memberships, you can end each lesson by previewing what’s coming in the next lesson. This will create excitement and/or intrigue for what’s coming up and it will cause people to stick with the course.

There are a couple cons to this type of site.

The first one is that the membership eventually ends, so you won’t be getting lifetime income from a member.

That being said, since retention is usually higher with fixed term memberships, you’ll probably make more money with those types of customers to begin with – but that’s not necessarily the case.

To think around that, you could easily can turn a Fixed Term membership into a constant income by upselling the member on a more advanced site.

For example, if you have an 8-week course on the Lemonade Diet, toward the end of the course you can try to upsell the member on a Yoga site that has videos for Yoga. It would be a logical transition – first they got their diet in order, now they can go to health.

The other con to Fixed Income membership sites is that you have to constantly market your site to attract new members since every membership only runs for a limited amount of time.

Want to know more about how to set-up and run your own membership site (both fixed term and traditional)?

Check out Overnight Membership Sites and Residual Income Formula available here.

Discover how anyone can create their own automated niche membership sites using free content virtually overnight.

10 Common Email Mistakes

March 23, 2009

Are you making any of these 10 common email marketing mistakes? Any of which can cut your income dramatically…

1. No Empathy

Use stories to let them know you understand and care about their situation. You’re not just a guru above them, but you’ve also been there. You put your pants on one leg at a time. In addition, those same stories allow you to share emotions while holding their interest.

2. Wishy-Washy

Take an aura of authority. You are an expert at something. Act like it. Look through your email to see if you’re being wimpy in your suggestions instead of directing your readers to the best actions.

3. Robotic

No emotion. No excitement. Or possibly you go all the way the opposite direction with exclamation points everywhere. Instead of being a robot, be a real person. This means you share anger at times, sadness, etc. Some of my BEST emails have been written when I was angry at something. Let your emotions shine through on your emails to build relationships with your readers.

4. Paragraphs Too Long

Keep your paragraphs short and inviting to read. I look for 5 lines or less on the paragraphs, often shorter. In many cases you want to have ONE sentence or one line paragraphs to keep the reading very simple to go through. The moment someone sees a paragraph with 10 lines it looks difficult to read.

5. Links Too Late

I’ve tested and found the same link multiple times improves clickthroughs. Get one of those links above the fold in the first screen for maximum response. On the same note, you’ll find the first link in an email almost always outpulls any other links when you test (that’s an almost always – not 100% of the time).

6. From Address

Many people look at the from address BEFORE the subject line. Make sure you’re using a real person’s name instead of a company name. This also shows just how important your reputation is to your readers. They’re looking for publishers who give them content and value…and not just a load of sales pitches.

7. Salesperson

Part of the value of using personal life stories is to develop a friendship with your readers. The last thing you want to be seen as is just another salesperson trying to sell the product launch of the day. This doesn’t mean you can’t sell or participate in product launches. It just means you need to be different and more personable than the routine email they’re receiving.

8. No Multimedia

This isn’t required and you don’t want to do it on every email. There should be emails though where you use additional relationship tools such as LINKING to audio and video presentations. You’re going to find you can take relationship building to a whole different level when you add in video presentations along with the your normal emails (note I’m suggesting you link to the video instead of putting it in the email).

9. Boring

Even delivering just content, content, content can get boring. Use some humor. Be entertaining. Act exciting. There is an old saying in business that your clients will forgive you of almost anything except being boring! Then they’ll just ignore you.

10. Inconsistent

Be consistent in your follow-up. Don’t send one message this month and 8 the next month. Be someone they can rely on whether that’s sending an email every work day or only once every two weeks. Your subscribers should know they can count on you to deliver good quality info on some type of regular schedule.

Comment Spammers Seem to Love Me

March 19, 2009

Has anyone else noticed the new form of blog comment spam occuring?

To make sure we’re on the same page, let’s define comment spam.

In Wikipedia it is defined as, “automatically posting random comments or promoting commercial services to blogs, wikis, guestbooks, or other publicly accessible online discussion boards. Any web application that accepts and displays hyperlinks submitted by visitors may be a target.”

Basically it is someone posting comments on your blog with NO intention of being part of your blog’s conversation while adding zero value. They simply post a comment (automatically or manually) just for the link back to their site.

Posting GOOD quality comments on blogs IS a practical way to generate some incoming links and traffic, but you MUST be a part of the conversation. Get involved. Add some value. Give a real opinion on the article. Ask a real question, etc.

Now onto the issue of the newer form of comment spam…

Instead of just spamming your blog with an obvious ad which instantly gets deleted, they spam your blog with what looks like a “more normal” comment…or they praise just how wonderful your site is.

In other words, the spammers tell me just how wonderful I am.

For example, here is a common one:

“I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.”

How nice?

They found my blog on Google. They added me to their reader. And they’re looking forward to reading more in the future…

How do I know this is spam?

I copied that whole paragraph. Then I entered the paragraph as my search phrase in Google.

Here is what comes up…

WOW!

Look at all those blogs who approved this spammed comment.

I caught them this time, but we can see from the Google search a lot of others did not (there are likely similar spammed comments we didn’t catch around here).

How about this one:
“This post is really a must bookmarked for me! Thank you so much.”

Seems innocent that they’re going to bookmark it, but notice how the first sentence is worded a little strange. Do a search on Google and bingo…EXACT same comment on multiple blogs (although not nearly the volume of the first one)

Google search shown…

How about this one:
“Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.”

Wow…sounds real innocent.

But back to our trusty Google search…

The exact same phrase used 17,000 times on Google.

So how do you determine if something is likely blog comment spam or if it is a real comment?

1. Real comments are obvious. They mention things that are IN THE ARTICLE. They stay on subject with the post and the comments before them.

2. Real comments do not have links all over them (OK sometimes they do have a few links but we delete them out if we approve them).

3. When in doubt, copy and paste the comment into Google.

7 Reasons Coaches Can’t Make a Living Online

March 16, 2009

This article is specifically written for my readers who call themselves life coaches or business coaches. It’s about the 7 major mistakes I see coaches making online.

For those of you who aren’t coaches, I want you to consider how you can add coaching as another income stream in your overall business model.

The majority of coaches I meet are awesome people…with great background stories, enthusiasm, and skills. They love working with and helping their clients. Their coaching produces real results for their client. Yet their income seems to hit a ceiling. They can’t hit their breakthrough. It seems like they’re on a hamster wheel constantly running in circles without ever getting ahead.

Go through each of these and really examine your practice to see if each element is holding you back. In every coach I’ve consulted with at LEAST 2 of these roadblocks were holding them back. I expect the same is true for you if you aren’t at the six figure level at least.

Road Block #1: You Are a Generalist

Too many coaches try to be a jack of all trades. If you were to ask them what they could help you with, they would answer anything and everything. Ask them who their customer is. Their response…everyone. Here’s a key principle online. You can’t reach “everyone.” That’s too expensive.

It’s much easier to choose an easy to target group of people you can help achieve specific results. For example, do you help female executives improve their love life? Or maybe you’re a Christian life coach targeting those who want to improve their spiritual life? Or perhaps you’re a business coach that only works with dentists?

Let’s see just how specific we can become. A lot of business coaches work with any type of business. You can become even more specific than that. For example, maybe you work only with solopreneurs. Or you become more specific and you only work with real estate agents. Or perhaps your target market is real estate agents who want to become million dollar producers while generating leads from the Internet.

Your customers aren’t sitting at home thinking, “I sure need a coach.” They’re thinking about specific results they want to achieve. They want a better job. Their business needs to earn more money. They want to lose weight. They want a better family life. They want to figure out their perfect career.

Road Block #2: You’ve Never Defined Your System

What exactly do you have people accomplish? What is it you do for them? Results like, “You feel better” or “increase your happiness” are a tough sale because you don’t actually “see” them accomplished. You can’t measure these results. Therefore it’s tough to justify the fees you charge.

Once you’ve figured out the end result you’re going after, now you need to work backwards from that to figure out the steps required to reach that goal. You’re seeing that model throughout this course. We discuss the end result and then we start working through the required steps. The SAME model can be followed with your one-on-one coaching clients. Where are they at now? What is the end result (or goals) they’ve already stated? What steps do you need to help them work through to reach those goals?

Your goal is to figure out the required steps to reach the end goal. It might be 5 steps you take clients through. Or possibly you have a 12 step program (think about how AA and other well known “coaching” groups have systematized their program). Here’s a quick tip. Having this organized system will not only make your coaching much easier for people to understand and join, it will also be much easier for you to deliver. You’re not rethinking the strategy each time. You’re simply applying what has already proven itself to work to each new client’s circumstances and lifestyle.

Road Block #3: Limited to Hour Based Income Only

Here’s a biggie. When I say coaching to many people, they immediately think one-on-one coaching in person or over the phone. Sessions must be held every week or at least 3 times a month. That’s what coaching is to them. Anything else must be something other than coaching. Wake up! The first coaching program I ever ran was a group based program with 20 clients over the phone. We met once a month over the phone in a group teleconference call.

Let’s look at this from the view of your income. Let’s say that you currently only follow the one-on-one coaching model. You also don’t want to work more than 30 hours total in a week. Since you have to take care of your business along with doing marketing, this means you’d not be billing for more than 15 to 20 hours at most (15 hours is more likely with all the other aspects of running your business). If you earned $100 an hour, that means your income would be $1,500 per week GROSS if all your time was booked.

Remember any advertising, website hosting, and outsourcing would have to come out of this money. Let’s take out at least 4 weeks of vacation a year. Your maximum gross income would be $72,000. Let’s be very conservative in our expenses and say you only spent 25% of your income on marketing and other expenses. This leaves you with $54,000 before taxes.

That’s an OK income that beats many coaches, but it’s not even a liveable income in many cities of the US. To increase it means you have to work more hours (doesn’t fit the lifestyle we want), increase your rates (always a possibility but you have to decide if its right for your market), or leverage our time for additional income.

Instead of only working one-on-one with clients, what if you put together a 10 person coaching group? You could actually drop your rates (we’ll use the example of $50 an hour now). With each person paying $50 per hour, and 10 on the call, you’re earning $500 per hour. Your group meets twice per month so this group is worth $1,000 a month while only taking 2 hours of your time. Set up a couple of these groups and now you’ve greatly increased your monthly income while still having more than enough time for all your individual clients.

As you market your practice online you’ll discover there are people out there who desperately NEED your services, but they simply can’t afford to pay your rates (even if you are this low cost). They need another solution. The quickest and easiest solution to put together is have someone interview you about how you help clients achieve such amazing results (you do produce amazing results for your clients, don’t you)? This interview can then be sold as a downloadable mp3 audio or as a CD.

Road Block #4: Not Generating Enough Leads

Not every lead will say, “Yes. ” In fact, on the internet you’re doing well if you can “sell” 1% to 10% of your leads into some type of offer. In person of course you can generate better numbers than this, but most of the coaches I’ve worked with want to create a “lifestyle” business where the majority of their leads are eventually being produced automatically for them online.

In addition you often find you have to “warm” people up to buying from you online. For example, let’s say the initial fee for working with you is $495. You’ll find very few people will show up at your website and click an order button for that service unless you provide them a lot more information first (such as a free initial call OR a teleconference call). And if you simply put your phone number there telling people to call you, only a small percentage of visitors would even do that (like 1% to 5% depending on how “warmed” up they were to what you’re offering).

What to do? What I’ve proven to work is some type of online freebie you give them immediately if they sign up for your email list. Put it behind a “squeeze page.” This is a simple web page where you’re asking people to subscribe to receive your freebie. For example, check out http://www.theterrydean.com. When you go to that page you can either subscribe or leave. Yes, there are a few links to required website elements such as a privacy policy at the bottom, but the whole emphasis is getting people to give me their email address. Then you can follow up on them with content to prove your value to them before they make a purchase.

Road Block #5: Limited Selling Skills

For some coaches I just said a dirty word, “selling.” The word carries a bad connotation. They might have even been told by previous instructors they don’t have to do any selling. You have to break this mindset. Selling isn’t bad. No money exchanges hands until something is sold. If I go to the grocery store, they have sold me my groceries. If there wasn’t someone selling groceries in my area, I’d be in a horrible situation!

What you’re really reacting poorly to are the tricks and deceit some salespeople have used. They might have lied to you about the product. Or they used “hard sale” approaches that made you feel totally uncomfortable. It’s the “pressure” you’re reacting to instead of the selling itself. You don’t have to become that kind of “salesperson” but you will have to learn how to authentically sell your services to your audience.

Even if you want people to sign up for your freebie by email, you’re still going to have to “sell” them on this. Ten years ago you could have just put up a page that said, sign up for my free email newsletter. Not true today. If they’re going to exchange something of great value (their private email address and time), you’re going to give them something of even greater value. This means they have to be “sold” on signing up for your list by telling them what your freebie will do for them. How does it benefit them?

Road Block #6: Not Recognizing your True Value

What is the true value of what you offer? Without fail almost every business owner and coach offers their services at too LOW of a price starting out. I know. I understand. You want to get clients and you feel that a low price is the way to bring in clients, but here is what most people are missing. If you charge Dollar Store prices, you only end up with Dollar Store clients.

Let me ask you this. Let’s say you visited two websites of Internet business coaches. The first one charges $50 an hour and says they can get back with you within hours. The second one charges $500 an hour and you have to register for time to speak with them. Which one do you think is better at marketing their own internet business? Which one is more successful?

If you’re on a really tight budget you might say that you couldn’t afford the more expensive guy, so you have to go with the $50 person for now. But even look at that kind of statement. You’d go with the lower cost for now until you get a little results and can afford the more expensive service. In your mind, you immediately see the more expensive service as better.

If you’re worth more, charge more! I can just hear the complaints from a few readers, “But if I charge more, some of my potential clients may not be able to afford my services.” That’s right. They may not be able to afford your one-on-one services, but that is only ONE way of offering coaching. They can afford your group program or they can afford the ebook your offer.

Road Block #7: Doing It All Yourself

Obviously being a coach is a perfect solopreneur profession. You don’t have to hire any staff to start this business. You can start with a minimum amount of investment as well. But it’s a major mistake to believe you have to do it all yourself. While I don’t have any employees in my business, I outsource quite a bit of work.

There are two types of work you outsource in a business (and coaching is a business). The first type of outsourced work is specialized work. For example, you might not know how to design a website. You could of course buy software and spend the next month learning this, or you could outsource your website design to a professional. The same goes for accounting. You can hire an accountant or you can spend all the time required to learn this.

When you actually count up how much it costs you to learn that subject you’ll find you’re much better off hiring someone else to do the job. Even if you’re pricing your services at only $50 an hour, if it takes you 40 hours to learn how to put up a basic squeeze page, you’ve just invested $2,000. You could have probably had it done for $300 or less.

The second type of work you want to outsource are repetitive tasks. For example, writing regular articles to submit to article directories or customer support for your downloadable ebook. There are writers out there you can hire for a low cost per article who will write articles on your subject and submit them. You will find that your ebook customer support issues are often centered around few basic questions such as people losing their download, not being able to open it, or even forgetting what they bought. Once you’ve answered all these questions you can hire someone else to take care of the customer support.

As soon as you can afford it (your business is producing more than the minimum you need to survive), get yourself a virtual assistant. Depending on who you get to be your VA, you’ll find they can do a lot of the basic tasks (like editing your site or writing articles) to designing graphics…or even managing your affiliate program eventually.

Footer Ad Test

March 12, 2009

Quite a few subscribers have been contacting me about the footer ad I’ve been testing on this blog recently.

It has been set to appear once every ten visits (there are a ton of options built into it to set it for whatever you want including testing different ads). On the visit where it appears you’ll see a little ad slide up from the bottom offering you the ability to subscribe to my list.

To all those who’ve asked about it, I’ve only been able to respond that it is just in the testing phase and was not available for purchase at the time. Graham Cox simply contacted me and sent me a copy to try it out during its beta testing phase.

He is releasing it today as Ultimate Footer Ads.

Some of the features it has are:

– Works with virtually all autoresponder services – including Aweber, GetResponse and Email Aces.

– Fully customizable Ads- including the headline, call to action, font style, font size, colors and more!

– Create and add your own custom graphics templates – simply drop your template into the script directory and it will automagically appear in your admin panel, ready for you to use.

– Unlimited Domain License – profit exponentially by using UFA on all your sites.

– Two different Ad Types: Standard (clickable) Ads and Opt-In Ads – redirect traffic to your offers or generate leads. Or rotate both types…it’s up to you.

– Total Control of how often your ads display – multiple options for how often return visitors see your ad, including ‘Always‘, ‘Never‘ and ‘Once every X visits‘

– Split Test Multiple Ads – Test 2 or more ads to exponentially boost conversions.

– Rotate Multiple Ads – Show different ads to return visitors and test different offers.

Find out more by clicking here…

The normal price is $47, but you can get it for $27 till March 19th through my link (the page still says $47 but make sure it says $27 when you get to the order link).

How has my test worked out? So far this little footer ad has produced an extra 159 subscribers…and that is using a GENERIC version that comes with the kit.
A couple of people even commented that they didn’t think it could work because the version I used didn’t even tell you what you got for free when you subscribed.

But I didn’t want to spend much time in setting it up to try it out (basically about 10 minutes to install it and used the graphics which came with it). That is a much more fair test of the software than me getting some custom designed graphics done for it.

Since I’ve seen how many subscribers it has produced I will eventually get some graphics designed for it. I have no doubt this will improve the results. In addition I’m going to test it on more sites.

Is it for everyone? No. Obviously if your site isn’t generating very many visitors yet, it won’t work for you. No traffic means no one sees the ad. But if you have a decent amount of traffic this is less intrusive than a popover…and it’s worth a test.

Try it out for yourself…

Remember the price should show as only $27 when you get to the order form (instead of the $47 on the sales page).
Read more

Coming Up With Product Ideas

March 9, 2009

Do you have trouble coming up with good product ideas?

That’s a complaint I hear sometimes from clients, but it’s often simply because they’re being too hard on the ideas they have.

You already have a lot of potential product ideas. It’s likely you’re simply “deleting them” before giving them a shot. Instead you simply need to sit down and make a list of all the possible ideas you have.

The first step I start with is making a list of all your current skills. What are you good at? What do you have job experience in? What have you accomplished in life? What do others rely on you for?

You don’t have to know more than everyone on the subject. You simply need to know more than 90% of the population about the subject. What if you’re just creating a “beginner” info product on the subject (if you’ve been doing anything for a while you likely know much more than the brand new beginners)?

Don’t stop there. It’s often easier to start with something you have an expertise in, but you don’t have to be an expert. You simply have to have a desire to learn more. Remember over the past week I’ve covered how you can get started with your first information product simply by interviewing other experts.

What if you still don’t have any ideas? Take a trip down to the library or a local bookstore. Go through the best selling non-fiction books. Then go through the magazine sections. What all topics are coming up. What are the titles? What about the titles of articles in the magazines? There are an abundance of ideas to come up with for your new products.

When Glenn & Sharon Livingston, Fred Gleeck, Mr. D., and I did our Infoprofits Truthprints recording, we spent over an hour on how to come up with product ideas (and how to check them for possible profit potential).

When we created this product, one of the bonuses was a series of blueprints I put together to go with each section.

Here is a PDF for the Product Idea Blueprint/Truthprint (right click and choose save target as to download it to your computer)…

You’ll notice on this blueprint that I mention how we did a “paradoxical exercise” to come up with more product ideas.

It’s a simple exercise. We just spent a few minutes coming up with product ideas that WOULDN’T work. In other words, we came up with all kinds of products that we knew there was NO WAY we could possibly sell them in a million years online.

While the exercise was simple, it wasn’t that easy for a couple of us. No matter what the idea was, it seemed one of us could come up with someway to sell either that product idea OR something very similar to it. A lot of times it was simply from changing the angle or the target market for the product.

The next step in an exercise like this is to turn the ideas around into good ideas. We were doing it naturally from having so much experience online.

If you’re still stuck for ideas, go through this exercise.

If you’ve followed all ten of the steps for coming up with ideas, you should have at least a full page of possible ideas now. The next steps are to go through and pick ones that have already proven to be successful online.

I have no desire to be a trailblazer or a pioneer. I’m not looking for challenging markets. I’m looking for a market others have already proven to be successful in selling to. Go through the next 6 steps on the blueprint to determine if others are selling successfully to that market, and if they are a natural fit for follow-up products (in other words my goal for choosing any market is to make sure from the beginning I can sell multiple products to the same group of customers).

Check out some of the other blueprint sheets included with the full Infoprofit Truthprints course:

* Secrets to the Million Dollar Mindset
* Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up Your First Adwords Campaign
* Adwords Optimization for Advanced Users
* How to Achieve a Top Quality Score In Any Market
* Running a Profitable Content Network Campaign
* Research Your Market
* Finding Your Prospect’s Emotional Marketing Compass
* Copywriting Preparation Guide
* How to Write Winning Web Copy
* Using the Right Tools and Team Members
* Free Traffic Explosion
* Create Your Profitable Product Funnel
* Beginner’s Guide to Professional Speaking Success

Twitter Power

March 4, 2009

It seems everyone is constantly raving about all the social sites and just how vital to your business they are. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, I’ve been running tests on them…and I have to say the majority are greatly over hyped in value.

Some of them are very good resources for contacting potential JV partners or generating a few incoming links (we want those links for the search engines). The majority simply generate unqualified traffic that doesn’t convert and doesn’t buy.

There have been a few exceptions.

One of these is Twitter. In my tests on Twitter I noticed a profit pretty quickly. While most of the time you point to good valuable resources and content, you can tweet about some of your offers. And these tweets have converted into sales.

So the one social site I recommend to everyone now is Twitter.

I don’t have any materials about it yet as I’m still in the learning process. I’ve seen quite a few materials come out on Twitter, but none of them have been good enough to recommend until now.

This past week I received my copy of “Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time!” by Joel Comm.

It’s excellent!

While many books in the internet marketing field are self published, Joel’s new book is published by John Wiley Publishing, a major business book publisher. And it shows in the presentation from beginning to end (although I did notice some typos so far).

Instead of trying to go into detail about each element of the book, here is a list of the chapter titles to show you how every major element is considered and covered from a beginner’s point of view:

An Introduction to the Social Media Landscape

What is Twitter and Why Is It So Powerful

Getting Started the Right Way on Twitter

Building a Following on Twitter

The Art of the Tweet

The Magic of Connecting With Customers on Twitter

Leveraging Twitter for Team Communication

Using Twitter to Help Build Your Brand

Leveraging the Power of Twitter to Drive Behavior in Your Followers

Beyond Twitter.com: Third Party Tools You Will Want to Know

Building Powerful Solutions on Top of the Twitter Platform

Play Nice: Legal Considerations

Putting It All Together: A 30 Day Plan for Dominating Twitter

Power Twitterers

As of right now, I haven’t finished the book yet (it’s 245 pages including the full index at the back). I’m looking forward to getting all the way through it soon.

If you want to grab your copy, pick it up from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Twitter-Power-Dominate-Market-Tweet/dp/0470458429/

Right now Joel is also providing a 4 Week Online Social Media Bootcamp as a bonus which you can register for here:
http://twitterpower.com/workshop/

Neither of those are affiliate links. If you’ve ever considered using any type of social media…I’d recommend Twitter first.

Joel’s book is the best resource I’ve seen on Twitter so far.

When I checked the price on Amazon, it was listed at $16.47 so you can’t beat that price.

If you’re not using Twitter, you’re leaving money on the table. It’s as simple as that.

If you’re experienced with Twitter, you may want to only skim over the first couple of chapters to get into the meat later on in the book as Joel does start from a raw beginner’s viewpoint.

If you want to grab your copy, pick it up from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Twitter-Power-Dominate-Market-Tweet/dp/0470458429/

Google Analytics Installed on Your Blog

March 2, 2009

One of the basic elements of tracking your traffic is knowing your numbers. On this video I show how to get Google Analytics installed and tracking your blog traffic along with some simple explanations of the various elements built into Analytics.
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