July 30, 2009
Here’s an article from Jimmy Brown on how to create content that leads to sales. In it he shares the 2 keys to creating good content…and then multiple ways to get those done.
How to Create Content That Leads To Sales
By Jimmy D. Brown of “Affiliatenaire”
If you look at the average site for any given affiliate, you’ll likely find a boring, tasteless smorgasbord of prefab content that was created more for search engines to read than it was for real people to read.
While that make aid in rankings, is it really going to do any good once someone sees the site listed and makes a visit?
What every affiliate needs to learn is simple -
** CONTENT IS KING ***
It’s content that leads to sales, not a strategically designed website that search engines temporarily find meets their ranking criteria.
So, let’s talk about that.
There must be a reason why some content is very good and some content is very bad; why some information is so enthralling that you can’t stop reading while other information is the cure for a sleepless night; why some
words cause you to frantically take notes and some words cause you to take a break.
There must be a reason.
There is. And that reason is this – Quality writers approach content creation as a craft.
To be sure, some writers are just naturally gifted. They swing words like Tiger Woods swings a 5-iron. They can spot a good paragraph like Warren Buffet spots good investments. They write like Tom Hanks acts. Even though they practice their art form, it comes easy to them.
Then, there are those that swing words like Jimmy D. Brown swings a 5-iron. Paragraphs are like Black Tuesday. Their writing is the equivalent of the acting in a kindergarten cantata … and they aren’t nearly as cute and lovable as those 5 year olds. Content creation is a struggle.
The good news is this: by focusing on two key components all writers can create the kind of content that generates interest and demand.
Whether you’re writing ezine articles or paid products or anything in between, there are two components that you need to develop in writing your content.
Before I explain how to weave both of these components into your content, let me first explain the reality of why these components are necessary in the first place.
People read for two basic reasons -
1. They want to be ENTERTAINED.
Many people read because they enjoy a good story. They settle into their favorite chair and John Grisham whisks them off to the courtroom
for a legal adventure or Sue Grafton captivates their mind in a “whodunit” or Nicholas Sparks unlocks the emotions with a love story. Or, maybe they head to the bathroom with a copy of National Enquirer to read about a three-headed alien who’s been dating Lindsay Lohan, whatever, they read to be entertained.
2. They want to be EDUCATED.
There are other times when people read because they want to learn something. That drain beneath the kitchen sink is leaking again; a dormant website needs traffic; mom is coming to her house for Thanksgiving. Whether it’s a do-it-yourselfer looking to improve his home or an internet marketing looking to drive visitors to her site or a young wife looking to impress her mom with a mouth-watering turkey, people read to be educated.
So, those are the two basic reasons why people read.
There will now be a test. Close your books. Put away your notes. No talking or looking at anyone else’s paper.
What are the two reasons why people read? (No peeking!)
If you said “to be entertained” and “to be educated” then you get to continue. If you said anything else, it’s time for an XBox 360 break or a stiff cup of java or whatever it is you do to get your mind in gear.
People read to be entertained and/or educated. And when it comes to the art of sharing information as a part of your business, including BOTH parts are important.
Listen to me carefully. This is the “ultimate” mastery of your craft -
To teach readers something desirable to them in a way that they find enjoyable.
That’s the goal. Put a great big bull’s eye right there. And fire away.
So, let’s talk about some specific practices for each of these two components. How can you make your content entertaining? How can you make it educational?
Content Component #1: Entertain. There are many, many ways to make your writing a form of entertainment. Briefly, let me point you towards 6 methods of engaging your reader and making the consumption of your content an enjoyable experience for her…
A great way to keep your content flowing is to use a few analogies. That is, you compare one item to another item. Sure, I could have said earlier “writing is easier for some than others”. But, with just a few extra words I instead said, “They swing words like Tiger Woods swings a 5-iron. They can spot a good paragraph like Warren Buffet spots good investments. They write like Tom Hanks acts. Even though they practice their art form, it comes easy to them.” Honestly, which is a better read?
A little chuckle goes a long way when it comes to the enjoyment factor of reading. Most everyone likes to laugh. (My apologies to those of you who don’t enjoy laughing. You may skip this and go immediately to the section marked “Don’t Have A Sense Of Humor”). Earlier, I built upon the analogy of Tiger Woods by comedically adding, “They swing words like Jimmy D. Brown swings a 5-iron.” By affording them the opportunity, you naturally make the reading experience more enjoyable. Does this mean you should make every attempt to be Jay Leno? Of course not. It just means when you have a chance to say something in a funny way do it. Don’t use too much humor and stay away from offensive humor, but by all means insert light-hearted fun when applicable.
Another idea is to organize your content by using an “acronym”. I’ve used many in the past: “How To Keep Affiliates A.C.T.I.V.E. In Your Program”, “How To S.E.T.U.P. A Web Site” and “How To I.M.P.R.O.V.E. Your Writing” are just a few. In these instances, the words “Active”, “Setup” and “Improve” were used to reveal the various parts of the content. Not only do people love them (I’ve always gotten great feedback), but it also allows you to have something original that is uniquely yours.
In a recent paid report I wrote, I opened with a story about me selling Grit newspaper back in the early 1980′s and I tied it into the fact that this was an early form of the modern affiliate program model. A good story always engages the reader. Especially when it is relevant to the point being made. Keep them short (don’t launch into the great American novel – this isn’t Hemingway for crying out loud!) and lively and they’ll only enhance your writing.
Opinions are like noses … everyone has one. So, why not share yours? To be sure, you may want to steer clear of any controversies that might damage your reputation and business, but don’t be afraid to get personal when you write. Many times I’ve mentioned my faith in Jesus Christ in my content. I’ve jumped up on my soapbox and preached about using integrity in your business dealings. I’ve gave my thoughts on a variety of issues that were relevant to what I was writing. And, you know what, it always gets the reader more involved in the process of consuming information. Either they agree or disagree (sometimes strongly) with what I’m saying, but they continue reading because editorials are interesting. Share your thoughts.
A simple way to get someone reading deeper into your content is to make a statement of something you’ll be sharing later in the content. It’s so easy to do. If you read back to something I wrote earlier in this article, you’d find this statement: “Before I explain how to weave both of these components into your content, let me first explain the reality of why these components are necessary in the first place.” Do you see how that works? I set the table for what I’d be revealing shortly. I whet your appetite. Consciously or (more likely) subconsciously, you got the point that something desirable was coming later in the article. This isn’t a new concept. Think about every newscast you’ve ever watched: “Coming up later in the hour, we’ll show you how…” and “Up next we’ll share…” Building interest breeds enjoyment — especially when you deliver the goods later in the content.
So, those are just a few ways you can “entertain” your readers and make the consumption of your content an enjoyable experience.
But, what about the other component? How do you “educate” them? Let’s take a look.
Content Component #2: Educate.
Certainly writers of all shapes and sizes know that the essence of “educating” a reader is to explain the subject matter in a way that can be clearly understood. That’s a given, right?
And certainly there are many ways to do this effectively. There isn’t a standardized formula that all content must adhere to in order to get it right. However, I do believe that there are three basic parts that should be included in virtually every piece of content written as far as those involved in selling information.
* Action Steps .
If someone is intent on learning a process, they want to know the necessary steps involved in completing it. For example: If I want to learn how bake a cake, I don’t want a list of ingredients with the instructions “Mix these together”. I want a detailed, chronological list of what to do, step-by-step. Certainly, not all content is a “tutorial” (The very lesson you’re reading isn’t in step-by-step format) but, when applicable, always explain things in chronological, reasonable steps. Preferably, in 9 steps or less to avoid the appearance that the process is too difficult to be accomplished.
Two of your favorite words as a writer should be, “For example”. The missing element of most information products and associated content that I’ve read is the use of “examples” and “ideas”. Most people present some information and then leave it to the reader to figure out how to apply that information for their own use. That’s usually not a good thing. Instead, it’s important to provide as many different examples, case studies, ideas, etc. as possible to give the reader a good idea of how to accomplish what you’re suggesting.
For example (Hmmm, bet ya didn’t see that coming, huh?): I could have simply said, “You need to entertain your readers” and “You need to educate your readers” and left it at that. Instead, I’ve been giving examples and ideas for doing each of these things. More than just information, readers crave application. They want to see the content in action; they want to see how they can use it themselves.
Everything you write should have tips included. Everything. Tips come in many shapes and sizes: keys, tactics, techniques, ways, methods, options. As many of these as you can include in your writing, the better. All it takes is for one good idea that you’ve shared to satisfy the reader. If you share 10 ways to do XYZ and number 7 clicks with the reader, they’ll love you. It doesn’t matter what else you write in the content, they are happy because they learned something useful.
Tips are the information publisher’s best friend. A veteran might read your material and already know 99% of what you’ve written, but that one tip on page 47 just floored them and they are esctatic. Share as many different tips as you can. Your readers will thank you later. Well, the grateful ones will.
So, there you have it, the two key components of your content.
Don’t forget the goal with these:
To teach readers something desirable to them in a way that they find enjoyable.
When you begin to build THAT kind of content into your websites and blogs, you’ll have a site that will do more than impress the search engines, it will impress those who arrive at yoursite and take a look around.
Never forget this truth: search engines don’t buy what you’re selling. People do.
Jimmy D. Brown is the author of “Affiliatenaire“, teaching you how to create big-time affiliate commission checks in only 1-3 hours each week. Discover how you can get cash in the bank without a website, experience or even an idea! Click Here to Visit Affiliatenaire Now…
July 27, 2009
The dream business for many online marketers is affiliate promotion.
You don’t have to handle or ship any products. Customer service is handled by someone else. You don’t need a merchant account.
If you promote continuity programs as an affiliate, you can earn money for months or even years to come for promotions you do today.
No wonder so many are excited about affiliate marketing. Today we’re going to cover a few of the keys to making money with affiliate programs.
Affiliate Income Key #1: Control the affiliate links.
Let’s say you do all your promotions and you do “direct links” to your affiliate link. Perhaps you send out articles, participate in free traffic networks, or employ some social media steps.
What happens if that affiliate program changes their links for whatever reason (perhaps they install new software)? Or what if that product stops selling (products do go out date)? You now have links all over the internet that don’t work.
Or what if the product you’re advertising simply doesn’t sell well enough? Again you’re stuck with the work you’ve done.
The easy solution here is you always control the affiliate links. This can be as simply as setting up redirect on your own site.
For example, here is a redirect for Glenn Livingston’s 17 Adwords Cheat Sheets: http://www.mymarketingcoach.com/cheatsheets.html
Or I sometimes get a domain to promote an affiliate link also. For example, here is a domain being used for his service (can you tell I like his services): http://www.TerrySaysPPC.com
Both of those take you through my affiliate links. And if he ever changed links or I found a better program I could easily change either one of them to point to a new site. In addition to the above, you could also use “affiliate link cloaking” software, ad tracking software, etc. all to control your affiliate link.
Affiliate Income Key #2: Build a real affiliate business.
What do I mean by this? I’m talking about the same type of strategies I recommend for other types of internet businesses as well.
Don’t rely on just making money one time from one affiliate market.
Instead build out an authority type of site in a niche. Then use that to recommend a primary affiliate program plus other affiliate products and services which are related in the market.
One of the best ways to build out a site like this is through using WordPress…not just as a blog but as a content management system.
Many affiliates are building out sites in WordPress. Pull the dates off the theme you’re using. This way you can make more of your content evergreen (visitors won’t know how long ago it was written). Focus many of your posts on search engine terms you want to rank for. Run an incoming links campaign to get incoming links and help you rank well on the search engines.
I want to not only earn income long-term from my work, but I want to generate traffic from my work long-term as well. It isn’t about just making a few quick hits. It’s about building up your authority site in the market. Become a traffic source for these affiliate programs you’re promoting.
Affiliate Income Key #3: Build a LIST.
This one shouldn’t come as any surprise. The money is in your relationship with a list.
Use that blog site and your other affiliate promotions to build YOUR LIST. Then use your list to promote great quality products and services with affiliate programs.
The strategy I often talk about of squeeze page and then immediate offer can be used with an affiliate strategy. Create a freebie such as a PDF collection of some of your best posts on a subject (that you created for Key #2 above). Or purchase private label rights to an ebook you can give away.
This is the immediate gift for when someone subscribes to your list. After someone subscribes make them a special offer. This can be for an affiliate product, but add a twist. On this subscribe thank you page (they just subscribed to your list) you’ll offer them another special gift for purchasing from the affiliate program today. It could be another product you own rights to which you give them when they purchase from the affiliate program.
Or it could be an INTERVIEW you do with the affiliate program owner.
That interview method can be used to even create a majority of the content you give away on your site. Interview product developers and then give those interviews away as a method of driving traffic to your affiliate links. You could even create your automatic email follow-ups on your list members to link back to these interviews (which promote the products).
Affiliate Income Key #4: Add Something to the Conversation
If you’re been paying attention to Google Adwords lately, you’ve probably noticed they’ve “slapped” some of the affiliate review pages. Previously they went through and slapped direct affiliate links.
They are getting rid of pages which don’t add value on their own. You need to be thinking about how you add value to the overall conversation.
This means you don’t want to just republish the content created by the affiliate program managers. You want to create something that you “OWN.” This could be the interviews I mentioned above. Or it could be articles you write. Or online videos you create.
Think of yourself as a publisher. Perhaps you’re a radio host doing audio content. Or you’re a magazine publisher with your online magazine (your WordPress site). Your goal is to produce content on the subject that builds an audience. You teach. You entertain. You inspire.
You’re the HOST of your own site and media empire. Create this platform, and then use it to recommend products you know your audience will love.
Affiliate Income Key #5: Have Your Audience’s Best Interests in Mind
Doing all the above forces you to think about your audience’s want and needs. If you recommend poor products, you’ll lose your subscribers. If you only recommend those you can stand behind 100%, you’ll build trust…and through it more long-term sales.
This is NOT a quick hit strategy of taking the money and running. It’s about building up that long-term audience and value.
It’s not about just grabbing a few links to high paying affiliate programs. In fact when you’re following this model you’ll find you want to do a majority of the other strategies we talk about here…survey your audience to find out what they want, write good copy for your affiliate special promotions, and do jvs for building your list and traffic.
You’re building up a REAL asset…a business which could be sold if you choose. This new site and list you’ve developed has automatic traffic from the search engines. It has a growing list. It has income coming in automatically from the affiliate programs you’ve recommended.
This means you could cash out and sell it if you want. It’s likely you’d never want to, but you could. Because you’ve built a real business…based off of affiliate programs.
July 23, 2009
I spent this past weekend at Glenn and Sharon Livingston’s home in New Hampshire. On Saturday Sharon held an Emotional Marketing workshop where she covered how to use archetypes to help uncover the hidden buying emotions.
On Sunday, we basically turned the recorder on, and I interrogated Glenn about Adwords for the majority of the day.
It was incredible. Expect to see us release this product within the next few weeks.
Glenn covered much of the step-by-step system his PPC management service uses to:
- Find the most important keyword phrase and phrases for profits.
- Create an In Depth Free Competitive Intelligence Dashboard to show the mindset and language of the market.
- Setup your Google account right from day one – to maximize clickthroughs and sales.
- Tactics for Coming Up With and Testing Ads in your Market
- Advanced Techniques for Increasing Clickthroughs and Reducing Cost Per Click.
- How to Expand Out Those Keywords Into Other Forms of Advertising such as SEO.
Both Glenn and I were worn out when we finished.
While I loved every minute of it, the parts I found most useful to me personally were about choosing the right “limited” number of keywords to profit from and then setting up the free competitive intelligence dashboard.
One of the lessons he shared was that often PPC marketers use TOO MANY keyword phrases.
That’s right. When he said that, it surprised me quite a bit.
Over the past year he has personally reviewed over 100 different Adwords accounts. In addition, his PPC company now has 21 employees working on accounts (they do more than just PPC now). The ones which have done best during the recession have been using a fewer number of keywords than the average.
This is counter to almost everything else I’ve heard. We’ve been counseled for years to go after long-tail search phrases only.
Yet, that is not the approach he recommends today after seeing the results in all of these accounts. Those who focus on a tighter group of keyword phrases are doing better.
All those keyword phrases are dividing our attention instead of creating a laser like focus for our overall business.
Glenn shared how we should focus on a primary “bullseye” keyword phrase for our business. All your other keywords move out from this core phrase.
It makes perfect sense in other elements of our business. For example, if you have a blog, you can only have one title for the blog (the title tag on your blog is a key element to search engine positioning). You can only have one domain name for your primary site. You want a unique selling position for your business which can be easily explained (not a dozen things you can’t quantify).
Instead of doing this though, most Adwords advertisers look through all the potential phrases in keyword tools. They say, “I like this phrase…I can make some money here.” Then they say that same thing to 100+ other phrases that may or may not have any relation to one another.
This brings us back to that opportunity cost I always talk about. There are a LOT of ways to make money online with your business. But everyone of them means you have to leave out other opportunities. You can’t do everything at once.
Doing hundreds of keywords from day one means you can’t FOCUS on everything you must do to make your campaigns successful (testing ads, refining campaigns, and advanced techniques). Even doing several dozen keyword phrases when you’re starting out can overwhelm you.
Plus you’ll find the visitors from all these different keywords might have a totally different way of thinking…meaning your core selling approach may not work for all of them.
Obviously the course isn’t ready yet (we will try to get it up asap).
Why am I writing this then? It’s as much for me as it is for you. This weekend drove home the FOCUS lesson I’ve been sharing so much lately.
I’ve been making this mistake PERSONALLY in some of my own Adwords campaigns. So it’s not me saying, “You all need to do this.” It’s me saying, “I’VE GOT TO DO THIS.”
Focus. It’s amazing how often this comes up in internet business. The point is being driven home again.
I’ll cover a little more on what I learned from all of Glenn’s Adwords expertise over the next few weeks.
July 20, 2009
It’s EASY to over-complicate the internet.
Blogging, Tweets, Social Media, Stumbleupon, Delicious, Digg, Search Engine Optimization, Authoresponders, RSS, Email Lists, Affiliates, Mp3, Videos, Youtube, Article Submissions, Publicity, split testing, multivariate testing, linking, domain names, html, pay-per-click, permission marketing, banners, reciprocal links, deep linking, FTP, unique visitors, stickiness, conversion rate, clickthroughs, bounces, popovers, slideins, forums, ezines, sig files, viral marketing, keyword research, niches, surveys, title tags, above the fold, shopping carts, continuity, bookmarking, blog carnivals, etc.
I could have written the list above for pages, but I’m tired of writing it.
Have you ever been CONFUSED about internet business?
If this was a live event, we’d see hands going up all over the room.
There is so much information available that you can’t possibly study it all…not to mention DO it all.
You’ll find that the people who do best as beginners are those who simplify. Instead of trying to do everything (and wearing all the hats they may eventually wear as an internet business owner), they focus on a simple method they can understand.
Choose one method and DO IT.
Method #1: Articles
You’ve probably heard of the “BUM marketing method.” You can search that phrase on Google to find out more. Basically instead of trying everything to build traffic, simply write articles. Write an article. Promote an affiliate product. Submit it to article directories.
Become more advanced by doing some keyword research on the Google Keyword Tool. Use those keyword phrases people are already searching for in your titles and throughout the article.
Visitors see your article. Then click through to the site you’re promoting. You make a little money OVER TIME (this method takes a lot of articles and time to build momentum).
Improve the results of it by getting your own domain, buying rights to a product you’re allowed to give away free, and use it to build your list. Then promote the affiliate programs AFTER people join your list.
The idea behind this method is simply its simplicity. You can expand by writing more articles, hiring a writer to produce them for you, or adding in other techniques (such as getting them on your list first).
Method #2: SEO
Do keyword research. Find a keyword phrase that has a decent number of searches, but isn’t TOO competitive. Here is a SIMPLE method of determining if it is tough to capture. Search the phrase on Google. Is everyone of the first page results using the entire phrase in their title? If they are, it’s going to be tough to rank.
Then visit some of these sites and see what their Pagerank is (you’ll need the free Google toolbar for that). If you all 4′s, 5′s, and above…tough competition. If you see mostly 1′s, 2′s, and 3′s, it is looking much better.
I could get much more complicated with the competitive research, but let’s keep it simple. We want a phrase that the sites aren’t all expert competitors.
Put up a WordPress site focusing on that primary keyword phrase. Go back to the Google keyword tool to find all the similar keyword phrases Google recommends…and create your posts on these subjects. Follow the strategies on SEO as given in these 2 articles and an upcoming 3rd one about linking building.
From your blog, promote an affiliate program or a series of affiliate products that you would honestly recommend.
Method #3: Your Own Product and Affiliates
Put together your own product on a subject. For your very first product, I’d recommend doing an interview.
Put it up low cost such as $10, $15, or $20. Use a script such as RAP to handle affiliates and pay you through Paypal (this is an affiliate link).
Contact potential affiliates and give them 100% of the money from this front end offer. You’re primarily using it to build a list of BUYERS which you can offer other products and affiliate programs to.
Produce content and provide this content to bloggers and ezine publishers in exchange for a link (which they can even use their affiliate link).
Notice how I didn’t say anything about doing a big launch process for it? You can do that on the next one once you build a few relationships. Keep it simple.
Three Strategies You Could Use to Get Started
The above are simply 3 strategies you COULD USE to get started online. I could make any of them more complex and go into further detail on them. The key here isn’t how DEEP we can get. It’s getting started and keeping it simple at first. Once you get “out there” expand on your knowledge and IMPROVE on what you’re doing by studying the method more intensively.
The key is as much getting started and gaining momentum as it is “doing things right.” Nobody does everything right from the beginning. If you choose to do articles, a few of your first ones might not even make any profits. Then you write the one that does. This is how you learn. You see the difference. You duplicate what you did on the “correct” one. You grow.
July 16, 2009
How would you like to listen in on private conversations with some of the most talented and successful lead generation experts in the world?
Would you love to attend an event where you can hear from some of the top Internet lead generation experts?
How about if it didn’t require you to step foot outside your door?
And even better…it didn’t cost a penny?
Recently I was invited to take part in an event like this by David Frey and Maruxa Murphy.
Thirteen top lead generation experts sharing their strategies with you…for free…at home. It’s called the “Lead Generation Telesummit.”
It’s all about generating more leads, adding more subscribers, and making more sales.
Discover strategies such as:
1. One major website tweak that can bring you thousands of leads effortlessly
2. How to put your lead generation on autopilot, using complimentary tools you can accesss on the internet.
3. The little-known but extremely powerful method for bringing a flood of leads to your site quickly
4. An unusual way to make your leads jump at an opportunity to spend thousands with you (again and again)
Here’s a list of the current speakers:
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming
Yours Truly – Terry Dean
All these calls take place July 20th to July 24th. The times are 11 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM EST.
My call will air on 3 PM EST on Wednesday the 22nd.
No purchase is needed to listen in to these calls.
After you subscribe you will receive an opportunity to purchase the recordings and a transcript of each call for a discount price. These recordings will be available later at a HIGHER price.
But you don’t need to purchase ANYTHING to receive all the benefits (you do need to be there at the call times though).
July 13, 2009
Fear…we all experience it at some point or another.
I watched my wife, Julie act terrified all weekend. She was nervous…kept checking the computer…and wondering what was going to happen.
Something she has thought about since she was young was working in the medical field. A few years ago she finally decided to act on this and went to school to become an RN. She graduated right before we moved down to Florida.
Last Thursday she took her NCLEX test to be licensed a nurse.
You could see the anxiety on her as she left to take the test. When she came back, it was worse. Now she was in terror. She had only received the minimum number of questions on the test: 75. On the NCLEX test, you receive between 75 and 265 questions. The computer keeps testing you until it reaches a conclusion of whether you pass or fail.
Her having just 75 questions means she passed very well or failed very badly.
Since she felt the test was one of the hardest ones she has ever taken, she was thoroughly convinced it was option B: failed very badly. It takes 2 business days to receive the results online. Since she tested on Thursday that means she didn’t see results until today.
The good news is that she passed of course. She is a licensed Florida nurse.
What does this have to do with you? Everything. We ALL experience FEAR at some point in an online business. It’s SCARY learning new technology and stepping out where you’ve never been before.
The question isn’t whether you’re going to experience fear in your online business. It’s simply how you’re going to react to it.
If you’re standing in the road and a truck comes barreling straight at you…the correct response is to get out of the way. Don’t allow the fear to paralyze where you stand there staring at it.
For Julie she was very nervous about her test for the past several weeks. This meant she studied her butt off all day long many days. She went to a Sylvia Rayfield test preparation class. She did everything she could to prepare. Then the date of the test, she showed up.
I remember when I published my first website. I was terrified. What would people say? What if no one ever purchased? What if this never made a dime?
Same experience when I sent out my first email to my list. What if everyone hates it? What if they ALL unsubscribe? What if they send me nasty hatemail?
My first product…ditto. What if everyone hates me and my writing? What if no one buys?
What if…What if…What if…
There is a right and wrong action to fear.
The right reaction is to confront, do all you can, and go forward anyway.
The wrong reaction is to be paralyzed by it.
Over the years I’ve worked online I’ve seen dozens of people who never went forward. They were paralyzed by fear instead. They were afraid people wouldn’t buy their product. They were of course right. If you have a 3% conversion, that means 97 people out of a 100 are not buying! It’s not about those who don’t. It’s about those who do.
Are you afraid someone will send you a nasty email when you publish to your blog or your email list? They probably will. I’ve received many angry letters over the years. I think some people enjoying being angry! I’ve unsubscribed people from my list before because they sent me an angry response every week. Then they get angry because you’re not sending them email anymore.
Someone will complain about your product. The key here is to identify real constructive criticism you can use…compared to just people complaining because they’re good at it.
Many people say FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Are you afraid of that angry email…so you don’t send out any emails? If so, get over it. Get your first one and join the club. It won’t “hurt” you.
Every NEW experience will be scary. You have to overcome it and keep moving forward anyway. The only person not having to deal with fear on some level is the one sitting in the same routine day after day, and year after year.
Keep moving forward.
And congrats Julie…
July 9, 2009
What’s your return on investment?
A lot of times people only think of this in terms of money they invest, but even more important is what your return for the time you’re investing in an activity.
Are you tracking everything in your business…both money and time spent?
If you’re not, you’ll never find the profit leaks which are occurring a daily basis. What caused me to think and write about this subject was when I spent time in my shopping cart running sales reports. I was looking at the sales numbers by product over the past year.
The numbers didn’t surprise me. What I found was that while every product has been profitable, some simply weren’t worth the time invested.
Once I looked at the profits of each product and compared it to time I spent creating the product originally (I had to look back at some of my old daily calendars to estimate this at times), the ones with the absolute best profit to time ratio fit into several categories.
1. The “group” type products have resulted in the best return on time investment.
The #1 reason these have been a great ROI is they were created in no more than 3 days time total (and that’s including flying to and from where I recorded them). The sales copy took longer than this, but that is true no matter what the product.
2. Continuity programs have resulted in a good return also.
While I have to spend time on my own personal newsletter every month, the SALES COPY part is only done once (and then tested and updated) instead of having to constantly produce new sales pieces. Once you count in my profits from promoting OTHER people’s continuity programs, the ROI gets even better (since I’m not DOING their product). Plus with continuity you have to factor in the additional purchasers make because of the long-term relationship with you.
3. Set it and forget it products have done well.
One of the best examples of this is a Christian product I sell at http://www.NewChristianFinance.com. It is NOT a big seller, but Clickbank sends over a decent check every pay period…and I haven’t touched it in more than a year now. Zero…zilch…nada. Most of the sales are from affiliates who find it on Clickbank. Not a big winner, but I’ll bet you can understand why I’m putting more of these types of mini-projects together. The key here is to do projects that DON’T require regular updates. Adding in time to update the product would reduce the ROI.
How Does This Apply To You?
The above were simply from looking at my sales numbers by product. You have to always remember everything has an opportunity cost. If you spend 20 hours on this project, then that’s 20 less hours you could have spent on something more profitable long term.
You can also look at the time you’re investing in each business activity.
How much time do you spend on forums? How many sales has that resulted in for you?
What about your social media activities? Maybe you’re not after direct sales there. So how many JVs have you put together (and resulting profits) from the time spent?
Writing your blog? How is the investment coming along (this one takes some time till the investment is returned so look it long term like over a year invested).
When you take a serious look at the real numbers, you may be surprised. You may also find you need to reinvest your time in a different direction. If one area is producing much better for the time invested than other areas, expand it. Reduce the losers. And what works best for one person MAY NOT be what works best for you in your niche. That’s the big roadblock many people run into.
This is why you must look at your test results and your time investments…not everyone else’s.
July 6, 2009
As you know, I often concentrate on slow and steady business building methods. Here’s how to grow your lists each day. Here’s how to earn more money this month than you did last month. Here’s how to improve your conversion for greater results from all your marketing.
What about when you want results…NOW. Not next month…and not one week from now?
Since the money is in your relationship with a list, what about when you want to grow your list FASTER than ever before. Out goes PPC as it is expensive and it takes quite a bit of time to get a campaign optimized for great results. Out goes just the basic free giveaway for building a list. You have the enticement but not the marketing.
In comes the JV.
Whether it’s to make money with immediate sales or build a list, the QUICKEST way to profits is through some type of JV deal.
You find those in your market who ALREADY have your future subscribers and customers on their list. You come up with a deal or a value trade that is a triple win (the subscribers win, the JV partner wins, and you win). Then you run the deal.
It could be as simple as participating in a free teleconference. For example, one recent group teleconference I participated in added 300 subscribers in less than 24 hours at no cost whatsoever. If each of those subscribers is worth $1 a month to me, that is an extra $300 per month for my business for the one hour I spent on the call.
Or it can simply be creating a new product which you price at a low level such as $10 to $20. You give away 100% commissions and use software such as Rapid Action Profits to pay the affiliates immediately through Paypal. In this case, you wouldn’t just be building “free subscribers,” you’re adding BUYERS which are worth MUCH MORE MONEY to you.
I’ve put together a list of 7 QUICK JV List Building Strategies. I’ll be sharing them on a special teleconference call tomorrow at 2 PM Eastern (1 PM Central – and so on). That’s July the 7th.
Here is a quick list of some of the other teleconferences which will take place in this series on list building (please note that I don’t know all the speakers and can’t comment about what they will discuss).
- July 21st – Michael Savoie @ 2pm Eastern
- July 29th – Debra Thompson Roedl @3pm Eastern
- August 4th – Pat Marcello 6pm Eastern
- August 11th – Guido Nuusbaum -3pm Eastern
There is to be another list building call on July 14th but the speaker is still up for discussion at the moment by what Michael Kehinde told me.
July 2, 2009
Here is a feature article from Nick Bokhonok who has been creating web projects, Internet marketing and SEO tools since 2000. His expertise is helping people generate good quality backlinks to their site…which is an absolute requirement for getting top search engine rankings in competitive phrases.
In December 2008 Nick released Free Traffic System – free community where bloggers can build backlinks, get free content and push their sites to top pages in search engines. Because of the value provided, this community has grown to over 10,000 members in this short period!
This is Part 2 of the publication which was started here. We are explaining how to make sure that SEO companies do not cheat you and do exactly what you pay them for. In the first part of this publication we explained how exactly SEO companies can cheat you on keyword research. Now the time is to talk about other types of SEO services. In an upcoming 3rd part we’ll talk about the off-page part of optimization (link building).
I will mention here that I want to make sure you don’t understand the prices Nick mentions below. The big keys to SEO come not as much in the on-page optimization, but also in the off-page and the link building (which can be very time consuming). You’ll also notice he doesn’t list a price at all for “writing” of the page itself. This is where the most involvement is on the page.
I agree with Nick completely on the fact that it’s quick to do all the meta tags. If you’re being charged high fees for those elements, you’re being cheated. Plain and simple. And if those factors are ALL an SEO company does for you, they’re missing it BIG TIME.
Onpage optimization (also known as onsite optimization) is about making your web page fit specific standards that are encouraged by Google and other search engines. We will not go into all details of these standards. In a nutshell, they are simple – your page must be “readable” to the search engine bots, in nice simple code.
This is like feeding birds in the park: if you give them crumbs – they eat them with pleasure, but if you throw them bread that is wrapped up in paper and double wrapped up in something else – poor birds will go crazy trying to get to the food.
The same with search engines, if you build your site with the help of site constructors (also known as Content Management Systems or CMS) which wrap up your text into huge piles of clumsy programming code – then search engine bots will have big troubles trying to “read” and index your text.
That is why before we go to the nuances of onpage optimization, I would recommend you to ask your SEO companies what site engine/site constructor/content management system they are going to build your site. And – by the way – if the choice of site engine is in your hands from the very beginning, then make a wise choice so that your text is readable and the CMS has at least basic SEO features included.
My personal choice over the last years is WordPress. And Terry’s blog which you are reading right now is also built on WordPress. It does not mean that this is the only site engine that is OK for SEO, but more and more people choose WordPress today, because lots of SEO tools are automatically inserted into this site engine.