August 31, 2009
The majority of internet business owners at least give Adwords a try at some point or another.
Sadly, the majority of them fail to earn a profit. In many cases, they lose almost all their investment.
Why is this? Is there anything that can be done?
Of course there is. I’ve been discussing this quite a bit lately with Glenn Livingston and he has shared with me how the system he uses now differs greatly from what the majority are doing…and what he used to do a couple of years ago himself.
Here’s a video showing the normal process to his current process.
August 27, 2009
Google released their free Wonder Wheel a few months ago along with other advanced search options. In this short video I show you the basics of coming up with new blogging and other content related ideas using it.
Basically Google has given us a “mind map” layout for how they look at the keyword phrases we’re using. Now you can think of your keywords in the same format Google does – by separating them into related buckets.
Also note in the end of the video as I show you how to search videos, forums, and reviews…and sort the results by a specific time frame (such as the last 24 hours to see what is being said recently).
August 25, 2009
Here’s a way to learn the basics of being a profitable online infopreneur…while saving a child’s life at the same time.
Dr.Mani, the infopreneur/heart surgeon, has written an excellent book called
“THINK, WRITE & RETIRE : How To Turn Words Into Wealth – Easily!”
You may receive multiple messages today from online business owners about this book.
As you know, I rarely ever participate in any kind of launch, but this one is different.
First of all, it’s simply a normal paperback book you can buy directly off of Amazon for just $19.95. I LOVE books.
I’ve read the book (he sent me an advance copy). While it doesn’t go into deep detail of every issue for infopreneurs, it gives a very strong overview and basic system for creating your own online information business.
Dr. Mani has been online close to the same amount of time I have. During this time he has created dozens of profitable information products…and he can help you do the same.
If you pick up your copy today you also get a load of digital bonuses Dr. Mani has setup for you. For example, I donated in my “35 Easy Internet Profit Multipliers” to give you some quick tips to boost your online profits.
The second reason I’m asking you to pick up a copy of this book today is because ALL the profits from book sales go to fund a child’s heart surgery.
I don’t receive any affiliate income from this. Dr. Mani is donating his income from the book to sponsor a child.
So far his internet business has funded heart surgeries for 47 children. Let’s help make this another one.
When you buy a copy of “Think, Write & Retire” today, August 25th, 2009, you will not only get a nice guide to becoming an infopreneur –
You’ll Also Be Helping A Child Live
And to make that decision a ‘no-brainer’, Dr.Mani is throwing in some bonuses, gifts and goodies with a retail value of over $500 when you order his book on launch day.
The idea is to rocket it on to Amazon.com’s HOT 100 list, get more visibility for it, and in the process, raise more money for charity.
YOU can be a part of this event – order your copy from Amazon.com today, then pick up your gifts at:
August 20, 2009
Quit LOOKING for the niche that has no one in it.
It no longer exists. Sure you may have a found a market like that 5 years ago, but you won’t today. While some may take that as bad news, it is actually good news. Instead of going into a market blind, you can go into it after seeing what competitors are already doing.
A dream market isn’t one with no competition. It’s a market where the competition is profitable even though they’re not doing a very good job of marketing.
Bottom line…If you find a phrase that no one is advertising in Adwords on, it’s because no one is buying anything.
If the term was profitable there would be competitors advertising there. When you find a ton of competition on a term, it’s because people are buying stuff from the advertisers there. Someone may advertise on a losing term over a short period of term but when you see them keep advertising for months, they’re making money (or at least breaking even).
The reason there’s no competition is because no is buying.
The reason another business has a lot of competition is because people are buying stuff.
If someone how you find the one exception in a thousand, don’t worry. Soon it will have competition in it after you spend all your time pioneering the field.
Sorry I had to get that out of my system before I get to the rest of the article.
Here’s a very simple system for helping you pick your next market niche.
1. Find the Intersection of Passion and Profits.
Some people say you should simply do the math and find markets that offer the most profits no matter what. Other say, “Do what you love and the money will follow.”
The truth is in the middle. Sure you could pick a profitable market you hated and make money, but why in the world would you want to do that? Or you can pick one that you have no passion for. Then you’re just setting yourself up for boredom in the market. Again why?
In my view I don’t see the internet lifestyle just about money. It’s also about creating a lifestyle you enjoy which means you don’t want to just “tolerate” your business…you want to be connected to it.
On the other side of doing what you love, what if what you love doesn’t involve anyone spending money? Even if you don’t sell products and just sell advertising – someone needs to buy from the advertisers or they’re not advertising with you very long.
Start out making a list of markets you have interest in. Then do the research on those markets to determine which ones have the best chance of producing profits for your new business.
2. Do keyword research to find a phrase that has people looking for it.
My current favorite tool for doing keyword research is the Google keyword tool.
And don’t just consider the traffic on the specific phrase by itself. Look at all the related phrases and additional phrases which come up hooked into this phrase.
Business is really becoming even more focused. Since similar keyword phrases can have wildly different customers searching, it is important to also spend time looking at the PPC results (and free results) which come up under the term. An example of this is “headache” versus “headaches.” People searching for a headache are people who have one right now and want to solve it. Those looking for headaches experience them regularly and are looking for a solution or are students doing research on the subject.
Zero in your research and find a phrase that represents your business that you can build out from.
3. Use the Google estimator to make sure that phrase is worth ranking for.
You can find the Google estimator here.
Do estimates on the keyword phrases you find (notice I said to focus on a primary phrase first above and then expand out to the related phrases).
The more people are willing to spend for PPC, the more money is in the market (in general terms). They’re willing to spend the money because they’re bringing the money back in through sales (this is why I prefer to check in PPC even if you never planned to do any PPC advertising yourself).
How much are those phrases WORTH to the advertisers? That information can be very valuable to you in multiple ways (selling advertising, figuring out the income per visitor other sites are getting, etc.).
4. Check the front page of search listing to make sure it is practical to rank for these terms.
While you don’t have to rely on seo (just like you don’t have to rely on PPC), I’m using it as a core method in the majority of my marketing now. Personally I prefer it to just relying on affiliates (which of course is another possibility).
What do the top sites on Google look like? Do they have a large number of links coming in or a small number? Do all the front page listings use the keyword phrase in their title? Do you feel you can push your site up into the ranks for the terms you’ve chosen?
A quick way to judge the sites are the pagerank scores. Lower numbers mean less incoming links and that you’ll be able to rank here sooner. Higher numbers are much more difficult to rank for (and of course the PR ratings don’t mean everything).
5. Check the Adwords ads to see what people are currently selling to these visitors.
If every one of the big players in the market runs a membership site, you might need to do a membership site to be compatible. What if they are all sell software? Perhaps that is what the customers are looking for.
This really comes into play once you think about low ticket versus high ticket items. If everyone who can afford to advertise is running a high ticket coaching program and you simply want to sell an ebook, that’s probably not going to fly. Their customers are worth $1,000 plus and yours would only be worth $30. That doesn’t work.
The big question here is whether you’ll be willing to do what it takes to be profitable in that market (through your own products or through affiliate promotions).
Even better would be to track the Adwords results over a 2 month period to see who can afford to advertise continually on the keyword phrase. What is their business model? How can you create something similar while having clear point of difference or added benefit. Even affiliates today need to be thinking about how they can add value to the market – not just an affiliate link anymore.
6. Remember what People buy.
They want more money, more time, or to feel better about themselves. They want to fit into a group. They feel a sense of duty to those they serve (this can be best seen by firefighters, the medical profession, etc.).
Can you create a site that focuses on these? Can you add value to their lives by focusing on the above?
That’s why you see me talk so much about blogging in my approach. Even if you don’t become a “blogger” you can still use WordPress to build a site with content and value for the target market. In my opinion it’s the easiest content management software you can use.
Plus Google has shown they love WordPress sites and the way they’re setup.
Check my Blogging for Fun and Profit DVD series here to find out more about how you can build your site based off of it…
Find a market. Do your research. Build an authority site. All with the plan of how you’ll turn that traffic into income.
August 17, 2009
Ben Settle is an email writing maniac. It’s insane how he writes attention grabbing emails almost every day.
If you’re not subscribed to his list, you should be. Go over to his main blog site and you can see many copies of his emails. You can also subscribe to his list on the right side of the page.
No. That is not an affiliate link…just a link over to him because I feel you’ll get a ton of value just reading through the emails he has written (the link below is the one that was on the email I copied – not an affiliate link either).
I received permission from Ben to include a copy of one of his emails to comment on here (you can see many more on his blog page above as he appears to simply post his full emails as those blog posts also). This is simply a good representation of what I see coming into my inbox daily from him.
Subject: Fonzie Rumbles With The Gurus
From: Ben Settle
Yesterday’s bit about money-flashing goo-roos touched a nerve.
It also prompted the following question, too:
“Ben, how can you tell if someone’s legit besides the publicly
counting money thing? I have started noticing that sometimes the
better the marketing is the worst the product is. Any other tips?”
Well, I have a theory about this.
It’s a bit on the weird side (actually, more like the “retro” side).
But I have found it to be true 9 out of 10 times.
OK, well, it’s kinda like Fonzie from “Happy Days.”
The Fonz didn’t have to go around telling people he was cool. He
didn’t have to pick fights with people to show he was a tough guy.
And he didn’t have to brag about being with a million chicks
because, frankly, he always walked into Arnold’s with a hotty in
In other words, he didn’t have to SAY he was cool.
People just KNEW it.
Just like everyone knew Potsy was a dork.
Or that Ralph Mouth was a jackass.
Or that Richie Cunningham was a square.
And whether it was because of his reputation, his actions or the
“air” about him — when people said Fonzie was cool, there was no
Same goes with the goo-roos today.
The good ones don’t have to tell you how cool they are.
You just KNOW it.
Because if there’s any doubt their products will do what they
claim, they won’t just tell you how wonderful their stuff is…
they’ll PROVE it to you.
And not by flapping their gums, either.
But by demonstrating it to you via their knowledge, reputation, the
company they keep and, yes, a solid sales pitch that’s not packed
full of fluff, lies or exclamation marks.
Anyway, my point is, all you gotta do is observe.
It’s the best way to tell between the Fonzies and the wannabes.
P.S. Want to be “cool” with your sales and marketing? Then do what
the Fonz would do — grab your black leather jacket, hop on your
Harley, and speed on over to:
First of all, notice his subject line isn’t “normal.” And it’s tough to ignore. There is no benefit except a slight implied one on the “Rumbles with the Gurus.” Notice that the subject line wouldn’t have been as strong if it was just Fonzie because then it wouldn’t hook to our subject.
The main goal you can see him hitting here is CURIOSITY. What in the world is Ben going to say this time?
The goal of the subject line is simply to get people to open the email. That is all it has to do. It doesn’t have to make any sale other than to open the email. How can I ignore this “weirdness.” I’d be curious about it for hours afterwards.
From line is Ben Settle. It’s not a company. It’s a person – Ben – emailing you personally.
Notice how Ben creates new spellings for his words: “goo-roos.” He is working on an emotional feeling to the word and separating himself from 99% of the emails you’ll get today. You can tell Ben is different from the norm. He stands out.
Also take a look at the normal length of Ben’s paragraphs. Very short paragraphs…very quick moving sentences.
Pay attention to this paragraph:
“But by demonstrating it to you via their knowledge, reputation, the
company they keep and, yes, a solid sales pitch that’s not packed
full of fluff, lies or exclamation marks.”
He tells you that all the untrustworthy gurus pack their salescopy with fluff, lies, and exclamation marks. This is providing him with MUCH MORE credibility. Obviously, even though he never comes out an says it, he is one of those who demonstrate knowledge, reputation, and the company he keeps. In fact, it’s better because he doesn’t say it. He demonstrates it instead.
Have you noticed how it is all done in a story type format as well?
You’ll find that as a quality in most of the top performing emails from any expert you’re following.
I don’t know how well this specific email has pulled from Ben, but it is a good overall example of his style in my opinion. The biggest issues if you’re starting off with email writing to take away are:
1. The personal feel and style to it.
2. The emphasis on curiosity and getting you to open the email in a crowded email box.
3. His story and how he leads it into clicking his link at the end.
What else can you pull out of his email?
August 13, 2009
I regularly get emails that just about break your heart.
People have SPENT years trying to develop an online business…without any success. And they’ve spent thousands of dollars in the process. The highest number quoted to me was someone who told they spent over $30,000 on information products trying to succeed online over the past two years.
I’ve also gotten emails from people who need money quickly (such as to stop a foreclosure or something similar). To all those we’ve responded we can’t help them…because an online business is not a get rich quick cure-all. I remember one in particular who told me they needed $10,000 by the next week. That’s not going to happen.
There are many people who have bought internet business types of products…never to see a return on their investment of money.
The biggest reason for this I feel is wrong expectations. And this most definitely doesn’t just happen with online business!
We live in a microwave society. We want results yesterday. Think about any weight loss product. They’re based off of immediate results. In fact, most customers are looking for the pill which just melts fat away from your body without doing anything. Hey, if you find one that really works…I want it too!
The problem is…that product doesn’t exist (no matter what people may claim).
The “instant success” online doesn’t exist either. So quit looking for it.
In the imaginary world of internet business, everything works perfectly on the first try. Tens of thousands of dollars come pouring in just from putting up a website. And Google is desperately waiting in anticipation of the next website you start to send you a flood of visitors.
Just do _____ and you’ll instantly be in the highest tax bracket.
In the real world of online business:
1. Every product isn’t a winner. Some are duds.
2. Every site doesn’t generate thousands of visitors. Some are on the wrong subject.
3. Every salespiece doesn’t break sales records. Some don’t work.
Some times it takes some trial and error…even when you’re following someone’s complete system. The reason is everyone of us is different.
Plus what works in one market may not work in another. That’s why there are so many variations.
If you’re not willing to take some risks and some losses, you’re not prepared to be an entrepreneur.
Here’s another one I have to bring up. I’ve had a friend who told me he was watching TV and wanted to know if internet business was as easy as they presented it on the infomercial he saw. They told him, “You don’t even have to know a thing about computers.”
How far would you get if you didn’t know a thing about computers? Not very far I expect. Sure, you don’t have to know how to repair them or even what type is the best one. But you had better know something. You had better learn how to do email. You had better be comfortable using your web browser.
Although on this one I do have to mention there is a successful internet marketer who bought their very first ebook from me. After purchasing they called me in terror because they couldn’t figure out what happened to it. I calmly showed them how to use the “search” function on their computer and told them what the file was named so they could find it again. I trust they have gotten better since then. 🙂
Having the right attitude and expectations are vital from the beginning in this. It’s a rare occasion when anyone talks about their failures. That’s why we made sure to talk about some of ours on the Truthprints product (which by the way is the the best course in my opinion to give you a full understanding of what it really takes in this business).
Here are some basic expectations for starting out:
1. You’re not likely to make any money your first couple of months.
There are exceptions to this, but that is a general rule. It’s always the exceptions you hear about…the ones who do get a full-time income within a few weeks. But the majority of people go through at least a couple of false starts and take time to get income coming in.
2. You’re not going to have a 4 hour work week this year.
Yes, some people do get to the point where they have passive income or they have team members who do the majority of the work for them, but first you have to get the business running, profitable, and systematized. That’s not happening this week.
3. Your first few checks won’t be very large.
This is a biggie. As a beginner don’t ask how you can earn your first thousand dollar check. Ask how you can earn your first $1 check. That $1 check can multiply quite quickly. Do it once…and you can do it many more times.
So that’s the bad news. What about the good news.
The good news is that this is the best business in the world. This post is simply a reality check. It is a BUSINESS. Try to start your own restaurant with a $100 bill (the cost of hosting for a full year). Try to buy your own McDonald’s and see how far you get. Even the person who lost $30,000 hasn’t lost NEARLY as much as the average brick and mortar business person loses from a failed business.
You can start this business with no experience…at a low cost…and realistically create a part-time or full-time income over the next few years (sometimes within a few months).
August 10, 2009
It seems more people than ever are trying to get their start to a part-time or full-time income online.
In many cases this is because of all the economic problems and job losses occurring. For others though, they earn a good income already, but they’re looking for more FREEDOM in their life. They’re sick and tired of the daily grind of whatever job they’re in. In fact it seems like overall job dissatisfaction is a major issue today from people I’ve spoken with.
Here’s the sad news for the majority of those looking to make money online. Nothing is as easy or simple as some people make it out to be. There isn’t any magical system that instantly makes money for you while you sleep. You’re not going to get very far in an online business if you only want to work 4 hours a week starting out.
The reality is that you’re going to have to learn new skills…practice them constantly…and improve on them until you’re able to give real value to others.
That’s what this business is all about. Instead of hyping you up about how “easy” it is to to make money online, let’s cover some of the ways you could get your start online. And then I’ll make a few notes at the bottom for the key points I’m trying to share here.
1. Sell Information Products
Obviously I like this business. You have information others will be willing to pay for. I’ve heard the saying, “Everyone has at least one book in them.” Good saying, but that’s too much work for your first product. Instead I recommend for most they get started with interviews (either with someone interviewing them or them interviewing someone else).
For your first product, keep it simple. Often it is a good idea to sell at a low cost (such as $10) to build up a list of customers. At these lower prices, your copywriting skills don’t have to be as high of a level, and you find it a much easier “instant” purchase for many to make. Plus by keeping it simple, you can focus on several different markets creating items in each…until you find your BIG winner to push deeper in.
When people hear blogger, they think a full-time writer that updates every day or multiple times a day. That isn’t required for this. When I think of a blogger, I think of a webmaster who uses WordPress to help build a content website (no matter how often they update it if they update it at all).
The key to focus on here is to use keyword phrases people are ACTUALLY looking for. While social media is fully hyped up and it’s what everyone is talking about, the best quality traffic comes from long-term readers, other people’s blogs, the search engines, etc.
While you can use a blog to promote ANYTHING you sell online, there are many who simply sell advertising or post Adsense ads to their site (with this method its very important to choose a niche where people are spending a good amount of money on their Adwords ads so you can get a decent paycheck).
3. Article Writing
Don’t want to put up your own site? Write articles for other people’s sites. This are multiple way you can do this type of business. You could start off by writing articles for the article directories where you promote an affiliate program in your resource box (key here is to write on popular subjects and link to very profitable affiliate programs).
You can also write articles for sites such as http://www.ehow.com/write.html and get paid (its a very small amount but it is an online income). In addition you could develop a service for writing articles (think about all those bloggers and content sites which need a regular writer).
4. Produce Videos
Similar to the above. Create videos to post on Youtube and other video sites. You can start off by promoting affiliate programs. In addition, some of the video sites will pay you a share of the advertising profits if you can generate a good viewership to the videos.
It becomes an even MORE needed service to produce videos for other sites. As you develop skills to produce your own videos, you then expand out and sell your services to sites who need videos produced for them.
I’d feel I was leaving out a major opportunity if I didn’t mention eBay. I’m not sure on the stats, but overall I would expect eBay has more part-time home businesses involved than just about anywhere else. Start off with selling some of your own stuff. Expand out to selling specialized items to your customers.
I’ll bet you were expecting this by now as well. You can even run a local service where you sell OTHER people’s stuff on eBay for them. It seems every city has a least one person doing this if not a large number of them (even the tiniest little places). Become an expert at emptying out other people’s garages.
6. Virtual Assistant
Every successful business owner needs a VA at some point or another. They need help with their customer support, website changes, shopping cart setup, etc. We could make a huge list of all the services a VA can provide for you in business. Basically many entrepreneurs are solopreneurs. Instead of hiring staff, they bring in VAs to help them.
Offer your services as a VA to others. The more skills you develop, the more you’re worth as a VA (for example copywriting, web design, and seo is often paid on higher rates than many of the basic services).
7. Become a Software Expert
Love software? Provide support for online business owners through either installing some of the popular software programs being the go-to expert for deeper help. For example, you could become an expert at a shopping cart system. Then create services where you help people set up their business and products, their affiliate program, or their mailing lists.
You could become a WordPress expert setting up WordPress sites and plugins for customers. Or perhaps you learn how to setup membership software to do the same type of service. Remember software can be a major pain to setup when you’re a beginner. Create services to do this for others.
8. Offer Design Help
Here’s another area people need help. You’ve heard me often say I’m graphically challenged. If I want any nice designs, they must be hired out. If you enjoy graphics, then this is a potential direction for you to take. Create the graphics for other people. You can even get your start designing for some of the 99designs contests (you only get paid if you win).
How could this service be turned into a product? Simply create a series of web site templates, wordpress templates, etc. and sell those as a product. Another “graphic” type business would be photography where you take photos and sell those on a site such as http://www.istockphotos.com.
9. Consult for Offline Companies
Anyone who has been online for a while has learned all kinds of information about autoresponders, seo, blogging, etc. While you may consider yourself a beginner, you’re an EXPERT compared to the average public. Many people find helping local businesses get online as a way to finance the beginnings of their own business.
Wonder how to get started with this? The easiest way is to simply mention your services to any business owners you normally do business with. If they need a website you can do it for them. And if you’re wiling to do it, you can generate a number of client leads by doing a How to Generate Leads On the Internet 30 minute speech for local business organizations (they won’t pay you but you’ll get the opportunity to find business owners who need your services).
10. Become a Life Coach
I could have said “become an excutive coach, business coach, career coach, etc.” I think way too many people get excited about selling ebooks and other low cost items online that they forget about businesses where you can earn much more for your time.
You might respond, “But I don’t want to trade hours for dollars.” Of course you don’t want to long-term, BUT don’t discount services that people are willing to pay a premium for. This leads me into one of the core points I want to make with this article.
Develop a Sellable Skill
Doing the service will IMPROVE your skills for products you may create. In addition you can generate the cashflow you need today to invest long-term in your business for the additional passive income streams.
Notice all the above ways to make money online involve you developing a skill you could sell. When I talk about writing articles, you could sell those writing skills to others. Doing interviews and “editing them” is a skill you could sell. Some of the most successful business people I know are definitely good enough copywriters they could sell that skill even though they have never done so.
There is NO such thing as “push button” profits online. Anything you to create profits is going to require work…and you’re going to become an expert at dealing with at least one element of that work. It could be the design, the content creation, etc., but you will develop a skill.
You may ask, “What about those who hire out everything in their business?”
The funny thing is I don’t know anyone like that. I know a couple of people who don’t know any of the technical details of their business, but they are very good writers (for their sites and their emails).
You’ll find that developing persuasion skills are one of the core skills you need to develop to be successful in a business. Even those who do hire out the copy for some of their sites write some of their own articles, emails, etc. They have the skill to do so.
The skills you’re developing can help you produce the income while you build the more residual elements of your business. So don’t discount “trading hours for dollars” in your business. And this is besides all the other benefits you’ll gain from doing services (such as how coaching clients can help you create better information products out of the training experiences).
August 6, 2009
Currently my favorite web browser is still Firefox.
If you don’t have it, you can download it free here: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/
One of the reasons I like Firefox are all the add-ons you can install into the system. Yes, the others have a few add-ons, but not to the same extent that Firefox does. Below are a list of 10 add-ons you may find useful in your internet business.
Tool #1: SEOBook Toolbar
This one asks you to sign-up for their list to download it, but it is in my opinion one of the best SEO tools you can pick up for free. Here’s how I primarily use it. Anytime you do a search, you can check out the pagerank along with almost a dozen other details about every top ranked site WITHOUT visiting the page (you can do it right from the search page). HIGHLY Recommended if you do any SEO.
The biggest advantage I get out of the Google Toolbar is the ability to search from your browser and save your bookmarks for ANY computer (good for when you use a desktop and a laptop).
Not nearly as important as the above two, but it can help you speed up filling out forms online by saving normal responses.
Pull up Internet Explorer on a tab in Firefox. Main purpose for this is to check your website in Internet Explorer also to see if there are any issues.
Preset where each download goes on your computer when you right click it (useful for separating images, ebooks, etc. into preset folders).
Quick and easy access to upload files to your sites within your browser. I use Filezilla for uploads more often, but this one is built into the browser.
This helps you manage files you store on Amazon S3. I primarily use it for videos I want to display on my sites.
See what the linked page looks like BEFORE you click on it. Very useful to avoid some of those annoying Adsense type pages without real content.
Tool #9: Video Download Helper
Download videos from Youtube and a few other video sites to your computer in case you want to save and watch them later.
As writers we often take a lot of screen capture pictures. This tool can make it easier for those simple shots.
August 3, 2009
Many people comment that they have trouble writing their first few articles or blog posts.
Below is a video showing a very simple 7 step writing system anyone can follow…including a couple of title templates you can use to create your articles. I’ve taught this type of lesson before, but I’ve been talking a lot lately about producing content. Here’s your starter system.
Please note this video comes from the Blogging series…