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17 October 2009

Three Critical Success Traits Shared By "Mom & Pop"

Recently, I became a member of this new private web site, SecretsToTheirSuccess.com, throught Internet Marketing Center that shares the Internet marketing secrets of real people, just like you and me, who are earning $100,000+ per year with their own Internet businesses.

Just to give you some background, I'll tell you that every month, this site shares two new real-life stories of successful "Mom & Pop" type sites, providing in-depth interviews with the site owners and asking really tough questions about the exact steps, strategies, tools, and software that these people have used to build and grow their sites to their current success.


For example, two success stories that I just finished checking out are:

Real-Life Case Study #1
— Robert Clar

See exactly how Robert Clark turned his $275 a week paycheck into a highly profitable online business that takes him only 2 hours each day to run... while earning him over $250,000 a year in profits!



Real-Life Case Study #2
— Ken Calhoun

Ken grossed over $98,000 in sales with his Internet business in 2000 (his first full year online) and then tripled his sales to earn over $300,000 last year almost all of it profit, all from his beachfront condo in Hawaii.


... as well as many other "real people" just like you and me who are creating a fortune on the Internet.

If you'd like to check out these success stories for yourself right now, and personally discover these "No BS" examples of real people making real money on the Internet, then click here now to get the exact step-by-step details of how they're doing it!



Obviously, reading these interviews is a really powerful way to guarantee the success of your own web site, because you're getting a personal insider's tour of real sites, run by real people, that are making real money!

Anyway, as I was reading through the latest success stories, I couldn't help but notice that, despite dramatic differences in the business models they use and the products and services they sell, these successful web site owners all share three common success traits" that played a major role in growing their online sales to $100,000 to $600,000 a year...


Success Trait #1:


First of all, one of the reason's why they're sooooo successful NOW is because they didn't let their lack of knowledge stop them. Despite the fact that many of them had no computer experience, never mind experience using the Internet -- and despite the fact that many had never owned a business before -- they just plain got started and didn't worry about making everything "perfect" the first time.


Remember, I'm not talking about rocket-scientists here. These are regular people, like you and me, who started running their web sites out of their own homes and are now making $100,000 to $600,000 a year with their sites.


And believe it or not, almost all of them were making a profit from day-one! Sure, they weren't all making buckets of cash right away; but their profits increased quickly as they continued to improve on what they started with.


Success Trait #2:


I've already mentioned that these successful web site owners didn't worry about making everything "perfect" right away. And this is important, because rather than overload themselves by trying to become Internet marketing gurus BEFORE they got started, they just dove in and focused on one marketing strategy at a time, working extremely hard to maximize their profits with one strategy before moving onto the next.


This is a trait that really amazed me because even though these successful web site owners are earning substantial incomes from their web sites, they ALL talk about how they plan to snowball their profits and sales even more by strategically adding another strategy... and another strategy... and another strategy... to their web sites, one at a time.


Success Trait #3:


Interestingly, the one point that kept coming up again and again, sometimes two or three times in a single interview, was that all of these successful site owners confess they could have been earning a MUCH bigger income MUCH faster had they only avoided the costly mistakes started educating themselves sooner.


And that's probably the most critical trait these success stories share -- they've all committed to educating themselves about the most profitable marketing strategies and techniques.


In fact, I could literally go on for pages and pages reeling off the hundreds of invaluable marketing strategies, techniques, tools, and software recommendations that these people share in their interviews, based on their own real-life experiences and commitment to educating themselves.


However, I know it will mean much more when you hear, straight from the horse's mouth, these...


"No BS" Examples Of Real People Making Real Money on the Internet...


If you want to automatically skip the failing promotions, and start learning the tested, proven strategies that real businesses have already proven to be enormously successful, then I'd highly recommend that you visit Secrets To Their Success to take a private tour of "Mom & Pop" web sites that earn $100,000 to $600,000 a year and discover the exact step-by-step strategies they have personally used to generate these massive profits!


You will instantly be exposed to extremely successful netrepreneurs like...


Real-Life Case Study #3



Andy's site is generating an impressive $50,000 in sales per month... and even Andy's a bit surprised to discover that his $600,000 a year online income is the result of his own self-proclaimed vain quest to reverse his own hairloss!

Real-Life Case Study #4

— Ellen Cagnassola

Ellen is a work-at-home mom who produces homemade, personalized glycerin soaps. Discover the strategies she used to expand her offline business onto the Web, and how she gets big companies (like Johnson and Johnson) to distribute and sell her soaps for her... earning a hefty online income at the same time

Real-Life Case Study #5
— Kelly Monaghan

Kelly Monaghan has quite literally built a $200,000+ Web business around his lifestyle. While he's bumping across Tibet in a jeep or white water rafting in Nepal, his four successful sites continue to bank his sales and profits....


When I first came across Secrets To Their Success I was shocked to find REAL successful people just like you and me who were willing to give away their most coveted Internet marketing secrets.

So if you want to skip the failing promotions, I highly recommend that you claim your position now! and learn the "No BS Strategies" these real people are using to make real money on the Internet!

13 October 2009

Effective Squeeze Page Strategy

When it comes to marketing, squeeze page is normally use by direct marketers. Iternet marketers borrow copywriting techniques from offline direct response marketing to promote their product.

By the end of this article, you will learn an advanced method of using squeeze page to increase your sales.

What is Squeeze Page?

Squeeze page is a single web page (landing page) with the purpose of creating an opt-in email list for suspects (people in your target marketplace), prospects (people who have responded to your marketing but have not purchased, and customers (people who have purchased something from you.); that means NO exit hyperlinks should be placed on this page. The goal of the landing page is to obtain the visitor's email address. Any additional information could distract the user to navigate to a different website.

Any internet user that subscribes to a mailing list is highly targeted because they have agreed to get information from product and service you provide. Internet marketing requires building an opt-in list for subscribers. Even if you don't have your own product yet, it very important to have a squeeze page. Yes! It is very important.

You might ask yourself, "how can I build a mailing list if I dont a have a product to sell or promote? It doesn't make any sense". I'll tell you, it does make sense because the concept is to build trust, relationship, social influence and share your experience with your subscibers.

Consistent follow-up creates a predictable and profitable stream of prospects and customers that buy. Your "follow-up" is building sequence of communication on the previous messages you've sent to your subscribers. For instance, you might start your second letter by saying, "10 days ago I sent you a letter..." Small businesses that capture leads and follow-up with them enjoy higher conversion rates and a higher percentage of referrals than those that don’t.

I will give you more tips on follow-up's but let's leave that part for now and focus more on how to build your money making list. This is where you need to invest time and money to achieve a better sales result. It is part of your online business assets. Any little mistake could cost you a lot. So, you need to be careful. Below are some good tips that will help you.

Your Template should look Professional

The worst mistake to make is to put up a shady template and expect people to subcribe to your mailing. Impress your visitors with a good looking template including your layout. Every point in your webpage should uplift the brand value of your product.

Use Coloured Text

If want to draw visitors attension to a particular sentence, use red. It is often where the eye looks first. But avoid using it repeatedly

Videos, Images and Audios

There are different ways an internet user could be influenced. Most of them happen to be influenced by visuals. So make it a point to include at least one video and few images concerned with your product or offer. A demo display of your product could dramatically increase your chances to capture his lead. If you can’t make a video, insert an audio about your product.

Assure Personal Privacy

Internet users are very cautious about giving out personal information and email addresses, some don’t want to share. Gain their trust by reassuring them that their email address and any personal information will be secured by you. Let them know that they will only receive a certain number of emails per month.

Offer Choices

Democracy is a beautiful thing. Giving your subscribers choices of what they wish to receive from you gives you the control to provide to your customers. This also gives them satisfaction of not having to sift through irrelevant material.

Deliver on Your Content Promises

Make promises on what they should expect to receive in their emails from you and deliver (literally and figuratively). By letting the recipients know what they will be getting in their emails from you for signing up they will want to open the emails—to see what you have to offer.

Keep it Simple

The easier it is to do something, the more likely it is someone will do it. If signing up for your email list is as easy as typing or writing their address - you will see many more addresses signing up.

Note: If you don't have a niche or an affiliate program, I will advise you to do so because it will be a lot easier for you.

11 October 2009

How To Cover Your Assets

There is this paraphrase from the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" published in 2002 by Robert T. Kiyosaki. This paraphrase differentiates the rich folks and poor folks. He says,


The difference between rich folks and poor folks is that rich folks acquire assets, while poor folks acquire liabilities.


What he said is very obvious but it is a line you should think about. A lot. To make sure you do, you're going to take record of your online assets as you read this blog.

The reason is a surprise. It is not mine, but yours. The surprise you'll get when you see just how many resources, skills and assets you have at your disposal. Most of which you haven't thought about before. Before you can list them, you need to know what they are. Consider: There is a difference between assets, resources and skills.

For instance: An affiliate program is a resource. Recruiting affiliates is a skill. Your affiliate force is an asset. An asset is anything that has real commercial value or that generates cash directly. Keep that in mind as you make your lists. What are the main assets you might want to develop for an online business? The most obvious are:

  • Completed Products
  • Domains
  • Sales letters that convert
  • Effective landing pages
  • In-demand content
  • Your opt-in list

Let's start with the obvious.


Get a notebook or open a document in your text editor or word processor. Create headings for each of those categories, and get typing. List each asset you already control, in each area. "Control" means that you can use it for your own benefit. You don't need to "own" it. If you're a member of a group and can advertise to that group legitimately, that's an asset. (Access is considered an asset, rather than a resource.)


Create a separate document for assets you need to get or build. Create another for resources that are necessary to getting or building those assets. And another for skills you need to have access to in order to make it all happen. You don't need to master the skill yourself in order to have access to it. If you have a staff member who can do web design, you have access to that skill.


Access without ownership can often save you a lot of time and money that you can use for other things. Learn to think like this. You'll find that both your business and your sanity benefit greatly. You'll also find that you have a lot more opportunities than you thought. Start your listings now!

Okay. If you're that eager to read more of my deathless prose, it can wait. But at least start them now. List the main ones for each group from memory. That should only take a few minutes. If you don't start now, you might as well close this page. There's almost zero chance that you'll finish them later if you don't do the basics while you're reading this.


Now for the not-so-basics.


Keep in mind, this is far from a comprehensive list of possible assets. Literally anything that makes you money or increases your available resources qualifies. List them all. List everything that occurs to you. If you think of it, it has value, real or potential. Any idea you have thought of put it down. Don't throw away assets because you don't understand how to use them yet.


Inbound Links: This is an area that creates a lot of dispute with more advanced individual. Some think that any link is good, while others think you need to be selective, to guard your reputation with the search engines. To make it more confusing, the impact varies with the search engine you're talking about.


My advice is simple. Don't go out looking for links from places that seem to exist only for that purpose. If the link makes sense relative to the content of your site, and it's not just a publicity stunt to get more links, it's probably a good thing.

How do you find out who's linking to you?

Try IBP's inbound link optimizer. IBP have proven their software receives a top ranking from nearly every company they have worked with. It is very easy to enter your detail to begin immediately. Just type in your domain name or relevant keywords at the link manager and watch the magic happen.


You don't need to list every site that links to you, but you might want to list the top 10 or 20. The big thing is to know how many links point to your site, and to have an idea of where they're coming from.


I won't go into strategies for getting links here, but I'll give you one suggestion. Look for places that link to sites like yours. Axandra's demo version software to search for sites similar to your's. I'm sure you can find plenty of sites that cover the same topic, or related topics, that you do.


List the domains and go back and do the same search outlined above. Think about ways you can get your site listed on those same pages. This is also a very effective way to find people who are promoting affiliate programs with products similar to yours or in related fields. Try this. It's an eye-opener. And quite the little goldmine.

Effective Text And Graphic Ads: This one is simple. What's working for you right now? If it works to sell your product directly, you can use it in more places, or give it to your affiliates to use to sell more of your products. More importantly, you can use it to find out what your prospects really respond to. That's the best way to build even better ads in the future.


Search Engine Listings: To find these, use google webmaster tool, yahoo site explorer or SEO Chat indexed page tool. That will show every page that is listed which includes the domain name you specified. This doesn't show you where you rank for people searching on your keywords. It just lets you know which pages have been indexed.


Finding where you rank for your targeted keywords is easy enough. Type them into a search engine and see where you show up. Be aware that you'll rank differently in each search engine. That is getting into search engine optimization, so it's probably best to stop there.


Your Network: This is the big daddy.


It is possible to run a business with nothing but a good address book. Yes it is possible but I don't recommend it. And it is a lot easier to run a more "regular" business profitably if you have access to people who will help. Your network consists of anyone that can help that would tend to respond positively to communication from you.


Some examples:


  • Your subscribers
  • Your affiliates
  • Your professional associates
  • Your contractors
  • Your clients/customers
  • Your advisors and mentors
  • Your mastermind group

List everyone by name who fits any of those categories, except your subscribers and your customers. You'll notice that "personal friends" wasn't one of the categories. There is very likely to be some overlap between your network and your friends. Maybe even a lot of overlap. That's good and normal. Just keep in mind that being friends with someone does not mean you want to do business with them. Or that they want to do business with you. If they do, great. Just make sure that the business doesn't interfere with the friendship. This is an area that is tricky to give advice on, because every relationship is different. You don't have to mix the two, but being friendly never hurts.


Build your network. There is nothing more important to your long term success or enjoyment of the business.


You have learnt something new today. Go. Practice! I'm working on mine.

7 October 2009

Marketingtips.com Review


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  6. Automate your business to be "hands free"


  7. Here is a small sample of what you will find within this amazing Course...


    • How to use powerful automated research tools to quickly multiply your hobbies and interests into HUNDREDS of potential business ideas!


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Recommended Internet & Web Marketing Books

How effective is Internet Marketing?

I believe the jury is still out on this issue. Entire fortunes have been bet upon the Internet and lost because the business community is still trying to figure out what it takes to succeed online. Some people have, in fact, made their fortunes on the Internet. There is always someone who gets rich in every field. But if history is any indication of which the most likely online winners will be, keep in mind that most of the gold rush fortunes were made by the people selling shovels and pans. The miners usually ended up broke.



The publishing world is in a mad rush to get onto the Internet for many reasons, but the potential for getting rich is not one of them. Protecting intellectual property rights and developing effective marketing tools are the two chief reasons large publishers and authors are now involved with the Internet. The Internet is fast becoming the most popular entertainment medium of all time.

When it comes to eBook, it is very easy to distribute on the Internet. In fact, if you want downloads in the tens of thousands, just offer your eBook for free. Free eBooks are downloaded approximately 20 times more often than those offered for sale. But eBooks brings some inconveniences. Many people don't want to read books on a computer screen (although most people who spend 20 hours a week online read the equivalent of several books every week). But just because people download free eBook doesn't mean it is not that important. There are success stories on best selling eBooks. Internet Marketing Center is one of them and there Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet, version 2009 is what any internet marketer needs to succeed online. I strongly recommend their service.

It is high time you started taking advantage of internet marketing and learn important techniques that will help you succeed online. I have carefully chosen some internet marketing books that will extend your knowledge in internet marketing.

Here is what you get from these books I recommend:

  • Web marketing ideas

  • How to determine your online audience

  • Internet marketing strategy

  • Market research resources

  • Promoting your site online, without being tacky Analyzing results, and drawing the right conclusions

  • Hiring a web company without getting burned

  • How to create a good call to action

  • Understanding search engines (spiders and directories)

  • Using HTML codes, CSS and Script

  • Building a profitable website

  • Improving conversion rate and so on
Claim Your Position in Inernet Marketing Now!

2 October 2009

The Ira Glass Guide to Link Baiting

Link bait is described as a natural way to build links on a particular content or feature. It will often attract a large number of readers or viewers. Wikipedia defines link bait as “any content or feature within a website that somehow baits viewers to place links to it from other websites.” Google engineer, Matt Cutts defines link bait as something “interesting enough to catch people’s attention.”

And really, they’re all right. In its most basic form, link bait is content that is designed to inspire readers to link to it and/or share it with others. But no matter how you define it, the most critical component of any link bait campaign is to generate the desired response: linking.

There are subdivision on link baiting. These are Informational hooks, News hooks, Humor hooks, Evil hooks, Tool hooks and Widgets hooks. But I won't go into a detailed explanation for each of them. Believe me, it may put you off.


The video below is based on Ira Glass storytelling. He is the host of NPR’s This American Life, and in this video he lays out how to produce compelling video, audio, and text content. Notice his use of the word “bait” for those who think link bait is only about controversy.



Here is a list of ideas from Jim Westergren:


  • Make a valuable resource (lists, special reports, history of, how to, etc.)
  • Interview (e-mail/phone) prominent people and publish it.
  • Build a useful tool
  • Write an interesting article
  • Run a newsworthy ‘event’ such as a contest
  • Test something new that has not been done before
  • Be the first in doing something on the internet
  • Write something controversial
  • Be the first to write the latest news in your niche
  • Be the first to expose a scammer
  • Disagree with an authority
  • Write some funny humor
  • Make an interesting picture
  • Be the first to research and document something
  • Make a theme, plugin or piece of software
  • Make a tool that others can put on their sites but that links to you
  • Make a joke about a known person
  • Make a resource that is just in time for a major event
  • Write an outrageous theory and back it up with logics
  • Write useful comments on something that is happening
  • Give something valuable for free
  • Coin a new acronym in your niche and get people to talk about it
  • Become an expert in your niche and write valuable information

28 September 2009

Internet Marketing Resources

Blogging Resources

Movable Type: This is a popular blog software engaged to build a community of readers and customers. In other words, if your business model is really built around your blog, you might consider this one - it is very extendable. But don't forget to read the installation guide.

SquareSpace: It allows you to use their software free for 14 days. You can import and export your files to many popular systems. There overview will give you a better scope on how squarespace software works.

WordPress: WordPress is a very popular blogging software. It is a self hosted blog program and it delivers some good features when compared to blogger.


Nucleus CMS: is an open source content management blogging platform with many features and plug-ins available to grow your online business.


TypePad: You will generate revenue by using their affiliate program including raising money for a cause you care about with widgets like DonorsChoose. Similarly to WordPress, they will host your blog at a price.


Drupal: According to drupal, they have an open source content management platform. Equipped with a powerful blend of features, Drupal supports a variety of websites ranging from personal weblogs to large community-driven websites.


Market Research Resources


The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) - is the trade association for online advertising. With over 480 million members, it's run by the leading media owners and agencies in the UK Internet industry.


The aim of The Direct Marketing Association - is to maximise value for members whilst maintaining and enhancing consumers' trust and confidence in direct marketing.


The Institute of Direct Marketing - is Europe's leading body for the professional development of direct, data and digital marketing. Founded in 1987, the IDM is an educational trust and registered charity.


Vox Pops International was established in 1988. They where the first company to use video to conduct and communicate market research. You will get opinions from research videos and consumers that will help improve your online business.


Thanks for visiting. I apologise the list is incomplete at the moment. However Learning and Tool resources are still left out. I promise to update this in my next blog.

25 September 2009

Have You Lost Your Online Bussiness?

Have a look at this question I just received from my facebook page:

If you had to do it all over again, starting today, with your current knowledge, but with no established website and not even one name collected, what would you do?

The person who sent that question also shared with me that he had spent thousands on Internet marketing material, from SEO stuff to list building material.

Well, that is a GREAT question, so I decided to answer it for everyone...

I am going to tell you about a business plan that is almost a "can't miss". It won't buy you a Ferrari overnight, but if you follow it you will end up with a very solid business. And you might get that Ferrari... eventually.

And this isn't theory - this is a business model that every successful internet marketer have used (and I have friends who have used it) in all kinds of different markets. Everything from hobbies, to humor, to "how to", to "make money online", to professional services... on and on.

Let me call this business a "content site"... but I really need to come up with a more clever name. In any case, let's walk through the basic steps.


1. Pick a niche or topic. Hopefully you have one. If you don't, I can't tell you how to pick one right now... but maybe in a future newsletter.

2. Pick a domain name and put up a website. This doesn't have to be complex. In my next blog i will point out some site that will give you some help if you are a newbie.

3. Start publishing good, solid content about that niche on the website. Why? Because content brings search engine traffic, links from other sites, and word of mouth traffic. These days, the quickest and easiest way to do put up content on your site is with a blog. Blogging software can be very cheap (ie, free) and easy to set up.

4. Continue to add additional content to your site - at least on a weekly basis. Write additional articles on the niche and submit them to article directories. This will keep the search engine spiders coming back, and will get you more traffic and links.


5. Start building an opt-in list from day one. Do this by encouraging visitors to your site to join your opt-in list... in other words, "sell the opt-in". Publish to that list on a regular basis. Send them good content without a bunch of ads. Encourage feedback, try to create a dialog with your readers.

6. Send a survey to your email list asking them what they want to know. Use their answers to come up with a list of potential products to sell them. You can even run a second survey, giving them a short list of the potential products and asking for their favorite.

7. Create a product based on the feedback from your readers... and then sell it to them.

8. Keep your empire growing - continue to add content, continue to publish to your email list, continue to solicit feedback and comments from your readers. Continue to sell them the products that they tell you they want.

9. Sit back and enjoy your business and the rewards it brings you. :-)

Now obviously, that is an extremely condensed version. There is simply no way to lay out every detail in this blog. But don't be fooled into thinking that this plan is too simple to work.

It has been working for years, and it will continue to work. And it will build a real asset... a web business that will continue to throw off cash for years to come.

This isn't a plan for a one-hit-wonder, or a flash-in-the-pan that will be gone from the search engines in a couple of months.

The only real problem is that it does require work. This isn't the type of thing where you can take a $97.00 piece of software and have it build your business for you.

But if you want a real, sustainable business... well, take a close look at that plan.

19 September 2009

How To Identify Your Niche - Part 2


Listening.

Listening provides the foundation on which your activities must be based, if they're to be as successful as you'd like them to be. And there's a lot more to it than you might consider at first.

For example, split-testing are forms of listening. You're listening to preferences - one expressed through multiple options and the other through a binary choice of accept/refuse an offer.

You need to listen to both individuals and markets. While you do, remember: Individuals sometimes lie. Markets never do. Also keep in mind that you can tell a lie, but you can't DO a lie. Actions are always true. On the flip side, your interpretations of those actions could be completely wrong.

You'll often see threads on discussion forums about various marketing strategies. For example: People complain about pop-ups, screaming to everyone who'll listen that they'll kill your business, because "everyone hates them."

Big clue: People who dislike a thing are far more likely to complain about it than people who like it or who don't care either way. And a lot of the people who say they hate them will respond to them if they're presented in the right way.

The same thing is true with many sales techniques. One time offers, continuity programs, big red headlines, quantity limits, bonus packages, and just about everything else that someone could gripe about.

The only thing you should rule out completely is the unethical. While ethics, as they relate to business, are primarily about truth and choice. If it's clear, true and doesn't literally force people to do what you ask, it's very likely just fine ethically.

Yes, there are exceptions. Hiding unexpected terms in unlikely places can be fraud, even if they're clear. Claiming that people should read every word on every linked page isn't going to fly with government regulators. Be up front about your terms and your product. If you feel like you're being sneaky, you probably are. And that's not a sign of being on clear ethical ground.

Always Test:

Spend the time to learn how to do split-testing. It's a pretty simple process, that amounts to showing differently presented versions of your offer, and counting to see which version they respond to most strongly.

There are a lot of commercial programs you can get that will make this an easy process. They range from £8 to over £500, and cover a vast expanse of capabilities. Start with something simple.

The main things to test are your headline, your offer (what they actually get), your guarantee, and your price. Never assume you know what the results will be.

I've watched two of the smartest marketers in the world guess a headline so wrong that they were stunned when the final answer came in. (Out of 8 tested headlines, it pulled 2/3 of the total "votes." Neither of them had picked it as being a contender.)

The great thing about this process? The world's dumbest marketer could have done the same thing and ended up with the same result. Testing eliminates a big chunk of the need for experience.

I have actually done surveys to see which of 8 product ideas would be the most "in demand," and had the one I thought would be first come in dead last, while one I thought would be ignored finish in the top two - and way ahead of third place, at that.

One of the most expensive mistakes you can make is to fail to test a broad range of prices. It's very common for people to assume that a lower price will sell more copies of a product. That isn't always (or even most often) the case. Sometimes a product will sell better at a much higher price than you might have even considered for it.

Don't sell yourself short. When in doubt: Test. When you're certain: Test anyway.

Treat every opinion as a piece of data to be figured into your decisions. No single opinion, no matter how well-informed the presenter, should be allowed to make a decision for you.



And to repeat a very important point: People who dislike a thing are many times more likely to say something about it than people who like it, or who really don't care either way.

The last thing to mention is that the right answer isn't always contained in any one thing you learn. If there's a conflict between what someone says and what they do, believe what they do. Then consider why they said otherwise. That might give you clues to something more effective.

If you hear a lot of conflicting opinions or data, look for options that fit them all. You may not find them but, if you do, they'll be worth the effort to test. And always consider that sometimes the important things are hidden in what people don't say.

17 September 2009

How To Identify Your Niche - Part 1


My blog on how to build a profitable niche market, I mention offering product to people who already want them. But I did not specify how to create the product you are offering them. Surveys are one way of knowing that.

Very little can give you as big a head start on success as knowing what people really want.

So..

Learn To Do Surveys - Properly.

Doing a proper survey right is beyond the scope of this blog. Just understand that you can bias your results if you aren't careful. Do some reading. It's not hard to get the knack for this.

Learn to do online research. Dig into keywords. Study your competitors. Dissect businesses, and learn what works for them and what doesn't. Sign up for the lists of other marketers in your field. Read the influential blogs and other publications.

Look for trends. Not in opinion, but in actions.

Constantly open doors for feedback. Ask questions in forums, or just read what people have to say in response to the questions of others.

Create systems for your subscribers, prospects and customers to tell you what they like, what they dislike, and what they want.

Here's a key point to making the most of your feedback, however you get it... Don't just listen for the most common responses. Listen for the responses that sound the most desperate!

The most desperate ones, the ones that talk about real pain, are the ones that will turn a profitable promotion into a monster. Those are the ones that can kick your conversion rates up by multiples instead of fractions.

Those are your relevant points for building a profitable niche.

They're also the things you should focus on for your higher-priced back-end products and services.

15 September 2009

35 Important Directory List

This list contain some important directory. These are website, SEO, article, forum, and blog directories. Depending on the directory you choose to submit your content, there are free directory list, paid directory list, reciprocal directory list, and article list. Some of this directory list contains directories that accept deep links. Deep links are inner pages of your site, for example: site.com/inner/page.html. This can be handy if you want extra links to a particular page or want to promote individual products.

Tehnorati is the only blog directory that has a page rank of 9.


PageRankDirectory Url

5
3
4
5
5
5
4
2
2
2
3
3
2
5
1
1
5
6
6
4
4
6
5
1
6
5
6
6
6
9
1
4
5
3
2

http://www.skoobe.biz/
http://www.bloggeries.com/
http://www.ebusiness-directory.com/
http://www.bloglisting.net/
http://www.svguia.com/
http://www.investhz.com/
http://www.blogadr.com/
http://www.seofriendlinks.com/
http://www.getinsearchengines.com/
http://www.web-link-directory.com/
http://www.forumshowcase.com/
http://www.theforumfinder.org/
http://directory.whichforum.com/
http://www.articledashboard.com/
http://www.archiveofarticles.com/
http://www.articlesezineplace.com/
http://www.buzzle.com/
http://www.ezinearticles.com/
http://www.webarticles.com/
http://www.articlesfactory.com/
http://www.content-articles.com/
http://www.goarticles.com/
http://www.articlealley.com/
http://directory.seoexecutive.com/
http://www.ezilon.com/
http://www.freelinksdirectory.net/
http://www.greenstalk.com/
http://www.incrawler.com/
http://www.dirsense.com/
http://www.technorati.com/
http://www.affiliatecashdirectory.com/
http://www.affiliatemarketinglinx.com/
http://www.affiliateseeking.com/
http://www.2searchblogs.com/
http://www.blogzoop.com/


14 September 2009

The 7 Things You Must Include in Everything You do Online

To create leverage, there are 7 things you can include in your actions. You want to incorporate at least two in everything you do, and more if possible.


Those things are:


1. Sell product
2. Generate subscribers
3. Recruit active affiliates
4. Generate targeted traffic
5. Generate links
6. Create product
7. Build your network


As an example, suppose you are arranging an affiliate-based approved mailing by a website owner or newsletter publisher. Rather than just giving them copy to mail (or letting them create their own), you might offer to do an interview with them that relates to the topic of your product.


They could offer the audio recording of that interview to their subscribers as a bonus for ordering your product, increasing profits for both of you. You each get to use the interview for other purposes, with the agreement that neither of you will give it away free.


If you plan this right, you can arrange a number of these interviews that cover all the major aspects of your topic using interviews with experts. This is a much easier deal to arrange than just asking someone to do an interview and spill their guts for nothing.


This shows real respect for their knowledge in addition to making them money, so it helps build the relationship with these individuals. That means a lot more in the long run than just saying, "Hey. I'll give you 50% to promote my stuff." And, since the deal promotes them as much as you, it's much easier to get them to continue the offer indefinitely instead of stopping with a single commission-based promotion.


So, with a process like this, you're looking to: drive targeted traffic, sell product, create product, build your personal network, recruit active affiliates and generate links. Plug a few places into the process where people who don't buy can sign up for your list, say through an affiliate-branded mini-course that promotes your product, and you've got the Grand Slam.


This is really just an example of building a better offer.
Promoting your site with articles? Do a very in-depth version that will serve as a lead generating report or a chapter of a book. Then use a shorter version that still offers useful information as the submitted piece.


Want to get to know some of the players in a specific niche market? Create a product that includes them or points to their sites. Introduce yourself, give them a review copy to let them know what's being said, and take it from there.


Look at everything you do and see how you can connect at least two or more of the goals listed above into the process. Spend a half hour on that right now, and I'm sure you'll find lots of ways you can put this idea to work to increase your immediate profits and long-term growth. If you're not sure where to start, start anywhere. Got a product? Pick one of the 7 things and ask yourself, "How can I do more with this process?"


Repeat it for each thing on the list. Then go do it. When you're done, pick another part of your business and do it again.

13 September 2009

The 5 Things it Takes to Succeed Online

Before I get started, I should point out that parts of this may seem basic to some people. The key to getting the most from this manual is to remember that none of these things exist independently of the others.

Without putting at least most of them together, you won't have a business at all. And that brings us to an important distinction. That's the difference between a business and a succession of money-making projects.

If you're doing projects and you stop, the money stops. Immediately. If you stop because you're sick or you have a family emergency, stopping the money can be very inconvenient indeed.

A business, on the other hand, can keep going with someone else at the helm, and the money can keep coming in. It's entirely possible, with some models, for the business to keep generating cash automatically for months or even years, without any need for regular oversight.

Which do you want? A succession of projects, or a business?

That's a question you need to answer for yourself. Either way is fine, but you need to
understand that there is a difference, and it's important.

'Nuff said on that.

Please also keep in mind that this blog is intended to show you what you need to do and to learn. It's waaaay past the scope of the thing to teach you how to do every part of what's covered. That's for later.

As you probably guessed from the title of this blog, there are five things you must have for a truly successful online business. They are:


1. A product that delivers value
2. A site that communicates that value effectively
3. Visitors that already want what you're selling
4. Leverage
5. Focus

The last two I listed are usually not found on internet marketing. They're ignored by
the majority of people who try to start a business online. They're also what makes for real success.

Let me explain each of them, in order.

A Product That Delivers Value

This one is easy, as long as you remember that value is defined by your prospective customers. Not you.

I don't care how "cool" you think widget-whackers are. It makes no sense to try and sell widget-whackers to people who have no idea what a widget is, or why it should be whacked.

If your product solves a problem that 100% of the people in the world have, and 0% of the people in the world care about, it's not providing value. And if it doesn't provide obvious value, it won't sell.

Value is defined as "what they want."
  • Not what they need.
  • Not what you think they need.
  • Not what you think they should want.
  • Not what you're sure will make them happy.

What they want.


The more powerful the want, the more you can charge for fulfilling it. And the happier they'll be to pay you for it.


Whether you create the product yourself, or have it done to your specifications, you must make sure it provides value your market wants.


Find out what they want, and give it to them.
It's that simple.


A Site That Communicates That Value Effectively


Communicate benefits. For those of you who are new to the whole thing, you may be confused about the difference between a benefit and a feature. That's likely true even for most people who don't know they're confused.


Don't worry, it's a lot simpler than most people make it sound. In fact, it was the content of the shortest issue of this blog.


Benefits exist in the head and the heart. Everything else is a feature.


Yeah. I thought it was an important enough point to make that the whole issue.


Keeping that definition in mind, remember: People buy for benefits. They rationalize the decision with features.


You may think that doesn't apply to you, or your market. If you think that, you'd be wrong. Like most things that have to do with human nature, this hasn't changed in a Very Long Time.


When you create a product or write a sales letter, you should do so with one thing in mind: Giving people things they perceive as benefits. Things that make them feel better or that make them feel better about themselves.


Everything else is fluff and mummery.


Your site must be built and written around the goal of communicating to your visitors that you have the answer to a question they're already asking.


"How do I get this condition or this state that I want?"

A Side Note, on Roses and Aspirin


There are two kinds of sales: Roses and aspirin.


A "rose" sale is something that appeals to their opinion of themselves, or that promises to make them feel good by making someone else feel good about them.


An "aspirin" sale promises to solve a problem that causes them pain. It's a "feel better" thing.


A "rose sale" is fun, but it's too easy. There are tons of people who can make you feel good about yourself, who can appeal to your ego. The money in a "rose sale" is sometimes as good, but it's up against more competition, and it doesn't inspire loyalty.


On the other hand, an "aspirin sale" means you've fixed a problem. You've removed pain. That creates a much more loyal customer. Someone who trusts you implicitly and wants to deal with you again in the future.


It's also a bigger ticket sale, most of the time.


If you can communicate both - appeal to their ego AND eliminate pain - you're golden. Try to do that in every sales letter you write, or have written for you.


I strongly recommend that you learn the basics of writing effective sales copy, even if you intend to have someone else write your letters and ads for you. That way, you'll have an idea of what's needed before the writing starts, and how to tell if it's good when it's done.


If you understand how to communicate benefits, you'll be able to explain them to your copywriter, and to "see" them in the finished copy.


Some experienced salespeople often confuse benefits with features. To make it easier:

If you can touch it, it's a feature. If you feel it, it's a benefit.


Benefits are all about feelings. Removing bad ones or adding good ones.


Features are the things that make benefits happen. People only care about the features if they don't already know the product will work.


People don't need to be told how aspirin works, because they know it does. Conversely, they do need logical reasons to justify spending thousands of dollars for the feeling they'll get from owning that new 60" high definition TV.


Which brings up another point: Features don't always even have to relate to the benefits the prospect is looking for. As an example, how about that new 60" high-def system?


I've never seen an ad that talked about any of the logical features that lead to actual benefits. They talk about the "big, bright, crystal-clear picture."


That is not a benefit!


It's barely a feature, unless you have vision problems. You just don't need a 60" TV.
A big-screen TV is a toy. A large, expensive, very cool toy.


There's nothing wrong with toys. You just need to realize, if that's what you're selling, that the appeal to logic doesn't have to be real strong. People can justify their toys just fine without it.


It's all about benefits. All the time. That's what you're promoting. That's what they're buying. That is a critical thing to understand, and it's a lot easier than most sales trainers and copywriting courses make it seem.


Visitors That Already Want What You're Selling


Here's a little secret about people involved in the "Internet marketing" field: One out of four would eat their own young for an extra 15 visitors a day.


Fortunately, the rest are really cool, so you've got decent odds of getting out of it alive. If you think I'm kidding, watch the things some people will do to get you to visit their site, or sign up for their list.


Some are deceptive. Some give away the farm to get a glass of milk. Some beg, some borrow and some steal.


Some make a planned effort to only talk to the people who already want what they're offering. Who do you think is going to make more money and have more fun?

Some people will tell you that any traffic is good traffic. That is not true. I've seen businesses fail because they had too much of the wrong kind of traffic. More common are the businesses that fail because they didn't have enough of the right kind. I have never seen a business fail because they had too much qualified traffic.


No matter what you're offering, you need to have a plan to attract the people who already want it, and to get them to your site at a price that creates a profit.


That's much easier if you create the product in response to an existing demand for which you've already identified traffic sources.


Traffic is the place where your math skills will be most important. You need to watch your "visitor value." That's the amount of income generated, on average, for every person who lands on your site. You need to know what it is for every traffic source you pay for, so you can judge the best places to put your money. You need to know what it is for free traffic, so you can gauge where your time is best spent. And you need to track it over time, to make sure it's staying in the profitable range.


If you're planning on working on only "free" traffic generation, make sure you remember that your time has value. Decide what value is acceptable as a return for that time.


If you're concentrating on promoting affiliate products, you need to consider "earnings per click"(EPC). How much money do you make, on the average, every time someone clicks on your affiliate link? Basically, that's your "visitor value" for a visitor you send to someone else. The math is simple, but you have to do it.


This is why you'll hear so much about testing and tracking. You need to know how you're doing now so you can compare it to how you do in the future.


How else can you expect to improve?


When you consider the value of traffic generation, you need to keep in mind that some traffic generation techniques pay over a longer time than others.


The worst kind of traffic technique is one that happens only once, and can't be duplicated. This can be profitable, even very profitable. This is stuff like press releases, articles that get printed in newsletters but not on websites. If you do that sort of traffic generation, make sure you have a way to get at least some of those people into your affiliate program or on your customer or subscriber list.


This is not to say you should avoid this kind of traffic. Not at all. It can help provide the boost you need to make some money and get the staying power to work on other methods, generate other products, or pay for more consistent traffic.


If it's effective at generating subscribers or affiliates, it's worth making time to keep doing it. But it should not be your main focus.

There are ways of generating traffic that keep working, long after you've stopped working at them yourself. Free (or paid) ebooks or reports that contain links to your site. Articles posted on other sites that contain links to your own. Viral systems that get people to spread the word about your site on their own.


Or an affiliate program. You pay people for every visitor to your site that does something specific and measurable. Signs up for your list, buys your product, or asks for information on your services.


The more attractive you make it for other people to send you traffic, the more traffic they'll send you. And they'll keep doing it as long as it's profitable for them to do so.


Paid traffic is another option. This includes various systems like pay-per-click, banner ads, CPA networks, and even more odd sounding items. The benefit of paid traffic is that most of it can be expanded. If it's profitable, you can buy more of it.


That can be a very fast way to build a business, if you know how to properly measure and track changes in the value of that traffic. But this not for those with small budgets.


The best traffic is that generated by your own subscribers and customers. They know you, trust you (if you've treated them right), and have a demonstrated interest in your subject.


The best way to build a solid base is to build a list of people who're interested in your offers, and treat those people well.


If there's one thing you get from this lesson, it should be this: Know who your perfect prospect is, know where to find them, and know what they want to get before they'll give you what you want in return. After that, it's all about creating systems to repeat the process.


Leverage


Leverage is a simple concept. You arrange your strategy to get more results from a given effort than would normally be expected.


Leverage is one of the most talked about things in business, and pretty much everyone gets it wrong online. Well, it might be more accurate to say that almost everyone gets less of it right than they could.


Let's take a simple example: You write an article and submit it to various newsletters for publication. If it gets picked up, you could get a decent amount of traffic from it.


  • Write it as a 5-10 page report, and offer a condensation of the report as an article. Then suggest that readers go to your website for a report giving more details on how to do what you've just told them they need to do. Give it as a bonus for subscribing to your list.

  • Include a link to your product, and give the article to your affiliates to use on their sites or in their own mailings. Let them put their affiliate links in where yours is in the original.

  • Same as above, but get people to subscribe, and track the affiliate who sent them. Give that affiliate credit for ALL sales of your products made to the folks they sent your way.

  • Have a plan that allows you to use the same report as a chapter in a product.

  • Sell reprint rights to a branded version of the report, with a link to your site or
    product. Also, include a link (not too obvious or disruptive) that tells the readers they can also distribute the report. This makes the report an even better tool for your affiliates to use to generate sales, since their version will be distributed by the folks they give/sell it to.

  • Make sure there's something in every version that points people to your list, and gives them a reason to subscribe.

There are other techniques. Lots of them. This is just to give you the basic idea. For a list of the most important areas where you should look to apply leverage, keep an eye out for the next blog: Visit the The 7 things you must include in everything you do online.


Leverage isn't only a matter of which techniques you use. It also means making the most of how you use them. You want to work at improving every step of the process.


Let's say you have an article that you've promoted to 100 publishers, and 10% of them use it. Each of them has 3000 subscribers, and 10% of those click through to your site. Of those, 3% end up buying. That would be 90 sales.


If you can improve each of those things by 10%, you end up with 110 publishers, same 3000 subscribers each (you can't control that), with 11% clicking through and 3.3% ordering. That's 119 sales. A 32% increase.


Not bad. That sort of incremental improvement can make a big difference in your income. But it's not leverage.


Think about how this can build on itself if you make those improvements part of a multichannel process that re-purposes that same content over and over again in different ways.


Before you create any content or promotional piece, whether a simple banner or classified ad, an article, viral report or free online service, think about how you can use it in different ways to get more from your effort. Then think about how you can make each of those ways more effective.


I promise you, you will be surprised at what you come up with. Both in terms of ideas and increased results.


Focus


You know what this is. You've been there. But you may not have the words you need to repeat the process on demand.
Hopefully, this will provide you those words:
Focus is wanting something so bad that you measure every action against the answer to one question:


"Does this move me closer to what I want, faster than whatever else I could be doing?"


Focus is the thing that separates the successes from the almosts. It's sometimes the hardest thing to get and keep. And it's as easy as knowing what you really want and gauging your actions based on the answers to that one simple question.