Thursday, 15 December 2011

One of Those Days




I'm having one of those days.

I was supposed to be making some new video's for a friend....but my attnetion just couldn't span that far.

Instead, I've been messing around looking for cool text that I can use on Facebook Fan pages.

So far, I'm pretty impressed.

Having an amazing and eye catching landing page for you Fan Pages really is essential. It helps to create a welcoming feel to the little community. That first impression matters. You HAVE to let your visitors know that they have found what they are looking for before they hit that back button and go looking elsewhere.

Statistically, most people are going to buy from sites that appear to be professionally built so by having that little extra works in you favour, it sets you apart from the other.

Okay, enough from me, had better get back to it!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Most Purchased Items Online

What are the most purchased items on the Internet? The biggest sellers, the most frequently bought products that are sold online? "If I wanted to start an online business... WHAT SHOULD I SELL ONLINE?"

HA!! Everybody changes the subject when you ask that question. Today, I've got some numbers for you. Not just numbers, but some data about WHO is buying those items... because there's no sense selling hotdogs to vegetarians. You want to target these niches, hone in and cater to their every need.  Excited? So am I....

These numbers are a little dated, but still very relevant.

PLEASE READ THIS POST CAREFULLY BEFORE MAKING RASH DECISIONS


But it's not enough to know what was bought...who was buying it. 
To help you create targeted campaigns, please read on.
  • Among internet users, the highest percentage shopping online is in South Korea, where 99% of those with internet access have used it to shop, followed by the UK (97%), Germany (97%), Japan (97%); the US is eighth, at 94%.
  • In South Korea, 79% of these internet users have shopped in the past month, followed by the UK (76%) and Switzerland (67%); the US is at 57%.
  • TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION: The 4th favourite shopping category online - More than 70% of Indians and more than 60% of Irish and UAE internet users said they bought airline tickets and/or made reservations on the internet in the last 3mths.
  • 1 in 4 users have bought DVD's or video's in the past three months. Specifically, The UK = 44%, Sth Africans = 38% and in fifth place the USA = 31% of users had purchased DVDs or video's.

But think about this. The countries who are purchasing the most items, may not be spending the most money. Have you worked out that by selling books, you may make a a couple of dollars per sale, but as an affiliate for an airline company, you could make a whole lot more money with a lot less work. 

You still need to do some research of your own before you can tailor a business campaign that will fulfil its potential. Smarter not harder. Having said that, I would rather have $10 in the bank than nothing at all. 

You still have to set yourself apart from the crowds of marketers out there who are better equipped than you and who are in no mood to share their cut of the profits. So how can you target crowds effectively? 

If you read my two previous posts, you'll see that women make up the majority of shoppers. You'll also see that women are very susceptible to impulse buys (sales, time limits, etc). And you'll see that both men & women prefer to buy from sites that look professionally built.

Read these posts carefully, because there are gems of valuable info in both of them.

What DO Female Shoppers Want? (How to target shoppers effectively)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Internet Marketing: The Age Of Female Consumers


Fact: Women are the world's most powerful consumers.
If you are marketing anything to anyone, you are likely to be marketing to women.  Women: 
  • influence more than 83% of consumer purchasing decisions, 
  • buy over half of all new vehicles,
  • make up 40% of business travellers. 
This is the age of female consumers. It makes sense then to know you market. This post is going to shed some light on female consumers - I've checked the figures, I've crunched the numbers and I'm going to share some insights with you.
Why Do Women Shop Online?
I asked my Facebook friends about whether or not they shop online, what they shop for & what is holding them back. Not surprisingly, their answers were parallel with statistics. 

Women will shop:

  • to save time
  • to get a better selection
  • to research a product (they are shopping for info, not necessarily a product) OR
  • to be educated about their choices
  • to get better value
  • for anonymity
  • it makes sense logistically - there is no local store or it's easier to buy online & have delivered directly to the giftee.
How Much Shopping Do Women Do?

I've mentioned some percentages above, but in case they don't mean anything to you, let's think about this another way. After sleeping, working and spending time with family women spend time online. Of all the things that take up our time, spending time online ranks number four. Keep in mind that that figure is for ALL women - single urban women will spend more time online than the newlywed with twin babies.

One study undertaken a few years ago found that 41% of women preferred to shop online. Many of these women scoffed at the myth that women love to shop; they griped about the indifferent sales staff, the arduous task of finding the right size, the right colours and long lines behind undertrained cashiers. Many retailers have forgotten that they not only need to help customers in to the stores, but also to get out of them with minimal fuss.

Some Facts To Bear In Mind
Interestingly, women are more brand-loyal than men, particularly to companies they feel support them and the issues that concern them. (Remember my last post about women wanting to feel understood?)                      
Women love descriptions and not just the description on the back of the box - they want to see the product in context (the bedspread on the bed, with the lamps & the lighting) and they want to hear from other women who have used that brand, service or product.


When selling to women online, keep in mind that trust is a huge obstacle to overcome. We do this in many ways. We provide photo's of ourselves on the Contact Page or in our Bio box, we can create video's and we can...now pay attention...provide honest and objective opinions & descriptions. We want to be that woman's smart best friend.


Women in the 45-55 age group are most likely to impulse buy because of a limited time offer, free delivery or a sale - this age group makes up 55% of impulse buyers.


About 47% of men and women will buy from websites that appear to have been built professionally. Don't panic. It isn't hard to achieve a professional look, even if it's your first time. There are many website builders (e.g., Webs.com) which you can use to create a great looking website. Think classic. Think black & white or something chic. Go and check out the competition and see how other websites have been built.


Well that's it from me but I'm going to be spending this month looking into online shopping trends and statistics, the most commonly purchased items on the internet, where the money and more so come back and join me soon. :P

What Do Female Shoppers Want?

Whether you are article marketing at Squidoo or creating your own online e-tail business, women make up over 60% of online shoppers and it's important to understand what female shoppers want from an e-tailer. Today's post is about tactics, about strategy. Not about what...it's about how.

Firstly you need to understand that men & women have very different ways of shopping. There are somethings that are still fall into the "men only" realm - for example even after a woman has found her dream car, she will still consult her husband, boyfriend, father or brother.

Online, women do a lot of pre-shopping, a lot of narrowing down the options & seeking info so they can make informed decisions. As long as you keep one major principle in mind, you will cover a lot more ground. E-tail, Internet Marketing, selling things on eBay... whatever it is you are striving for, you have to bear in mind the age old principles of marketing (I've included a few examples in todays post) and that it doesn't matter whether you are online or off, the same principles apply.

Granted, selling clothes online is a little different from opening a brick & mortar store, but women go into both of those stores with the same questions, with the same budget, with the same needs. It's your job to ensure you meet those needs and those questions are answered and what better way than to understand what exactly it is that female shoppers want from an online e-tailer.

To help you on your way, these are the top 10 things women want when shopping online. If you can provide these things - and really understand them - then you've got spunk kid.

What DO Female Shoppers Want?

1) The big picture. Female shoppers want to be able to compare brands, they want to pre-buy. They want to be able to see all their options and access details about those options when the time is right. 

2) Control over what they interact with. As a webmaster, your opinion no longer matters, it's all about what your visitors want. As an e-tailer, you need to be able to give women control over what they see & how they see it. When a woman decides, "Hey, I wanna compare ALL of the lamps," or "You know what, I want to see all of the pinks shirts with short sleeves," then you need to give them that. 

3) Details, details. Big picture be damned, this woman has changed her mind! This woman wants details - not the description on the back of the box. Details - women want the side view, they want pictures that get incrementally bigger, they want to see the item in context, they want to read a thorough narrative about the item. They need details and if you can't provide them at the right time, they will go elsewhere.

4) Experience by proxy. Men don't care about what other people think. But women do. Female shoppers want to hear feedback from other shoppers who have tried that service, brand or product. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful stuff, it instills trust in your business and gaining trust online is something that we all work for.

OFF TOPIC: Did you know, that if my friend recommends you, then you could change me up to 50% MORE than my friend? And I would accept it, because my trusted friend gave you his seal of approval. If my friend said you were cool, then you must be awesome because my friend doesn't lie, my friend knows what he's talking about, my friend is clever & experienced & because I trust him, I trust you likewise. Word of mouth...it can make or break a business in its infancy.

5) Pause - This is a brief intermission. Women have a tendency to pause & play. It may seem like they are abandoning some part of the buying process...but oftentimes they aren't abandoning it. It was meant as temporary break. Consider this..."What? They emptied my shopping cart!! Didn't they know I was holding it because I was thinking about it?" 

Give your shoppers a chance to pick up where they let off.

6) SEO & Common Sense. One of the founding principles of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is user experience. When the search engines scrutinise your web pages, they will favour pages that have been designed to maximise user experience - pages that are rich in keywords (and descriptions), pages that have been linked to other relevant web pages (on site & off, your Home Page, your articles etc) and pages that are relevant to the visitors search. 

If you are using AdWords to advertise iPads, don't send visitors to your Home page, or your Electronics page...send them straight to the web page about iPad's. Be prepared for spikes in interest and make sure people can access the right page in as few clicks as possible.

All the offline principles of marketing apply.
Think of shops at Easter time...no retailer in their right mind would ask customers to walk through the entire store to find chocolate. The Easter eggs are on display, at the front, where impulse buyers & passersby can access them easily. If you apply real world marketing principles to your online endeavours, you can't lose.

7) Never, ever run out of stock. The fact is that the Point of Decision and the Point of Purchase are two distinct events. A female shopper may have reached the Point of Decision (and has chosen to buy something) before she even finds your site. 

There is nothing worse than going through the entire process of searching for products, gathering info, choosing what you want, thinking about what you want, deciding that you really do want it, finding a torch so you can rummage though your handbag, finally finding your purse & credit card, going through the checkout....and then the website is out of stock. You will not be thanked. Hide that webpage or make sure that visitors know you can't provide that product before they get to the checkout.

8) The Gift of Giving. Provide different options for gifting. Ask any woman - sometimes they just want to check another name off a list, sometimes they really want to make an impression. Consider having a basic gift wrap, and a knock your socks off gift wrap. Gift cards are still a very popular option for online shoppers, and they will always be.

9) The Log In Dilemma. Gathering data about your shoppers is a huge asset for web masters & e-tailers alike. Everyone wants us to log in. None of us want to do it. Handing over an email address means another 20 emails in the Inbox. It sucks. From the web masters or  e-tailers point of view, it means that we can gather shopping history, trends, dress sizes, demographics that allow us to create targeted websites, campaigns and sales. To work around this problem, most web masters will entice people into signing up/in by offering them something irresistible - a discounted price for members, a chance to win something luxurious...something of value.

All the offline principles of marketing apply.
Think of your local supermarket - many stores will offer a frequent shoppers card.
What is the purpose of this card? Every time you go through the checkout, every time you scan your card and earn your points, the retailer is gathering information about your shopping habits. From this info, they are working out which products to put on display, which products to stop selling and which ones are popular. 
In exchange for this info, they give you a $10 discount every time you spend $1000. Crafty, eh? Apply the same principle as an e-tailer. Give your shoppers something they want, in exchange for something your need.

10) To Feel Understood. What else to women want, other than to feel understood. We need to feel like our opinions and desires are being treated with respect. Provide shoppers with a (very brief) poll, or a chance to offer feedback...make it known that your site is based on user preferences. Make your female shoppers feel understood and they will come back time and time again.

Parting Words of Wisdom
Marketing is marketing...no matter where you are. If you're making decisions about how and what to sell then I suggest you think about how brick & mortar businesses accomplish the same. 

Magazines are an ideal business model - they make great use of the space on their pages (you have web pages), they use flashy pictures, and catchy headings (so should you) and they don't OVER sell - they offer heaps of info alongside their products, they show items in context, the offer product reviews. 

Retail stores have a design in mind when they stock the shelves. Some things are at face height, others are harder to find. Make sure your important (or most popular) webpages are easiest to find. 

Customer service needs to be impeccable, online and off. Whether it's going through a checkout, returning the wrong item, wanting a refund, or just making sure that the right order is delivered to the right house...any mistakes will not be tolerated - once somebody buys from you once they are very likely to buy from you again so take pride in customer service.

Nothing is without reason. Whether its that free tin of jelly beans that Dulux Paints hands out, or the Frequent Shoppers Card, making Fan Pages on Facebook, the font on the packing...none of it was left to chance. Every single decision was made very purposefully. It's your job to work out WHY did that company decide to do that? What are they doing that for? How has that decision influenced by desire to buy? 

And apply those lessons online. Good luck, leave me a message and tell me about what you're doing/selling online?

Monday, 28 November 2011

I Want To Make A Private Blog

How To Create a Private Blog or Invite Only Blog
There are a lot of reasons why you might like to make a private blog (that the general public can't find). Situations arise everyday - grief, trauma, unwanted diagnoses, accidents - in which we find ourselves screaming at the world. Having a private blog where you can go and vent your frustrations is not only therapeutic, it also acts as a diary of your progress. You can go back and read just how far you have come since that first day when you embarked on your journey.

Blogger blogs make having a personal and invisible blog very easy but I'm going to walk you through it...just in case.

I recently got a message from my step sister asking me how to create a blog but one that nobody else could read, unless they were invited. It took a message from her - a mother of two, awaiting a biopsy of a tumour in her lower abdomen the size of a sports bottle - to make me realise that she's not the only one - we all have a story to tell, but not all of us want to publicise that story to the world.

BEFORE YOU CREATE YOUR NEW BLOG
You are currently reading a Blogger blog. These are blogs are free to create and are hosted by Google for free. You can't lose. No, I'm not getting paid to say that. Creating a Blogger blog is a 3 Step process. Sign In or Up to Google. Name you new blog. And choose a template.

Before you get too carried away, I always suggest taking a moment to think about how you want your blog to feel. How do you want to present your blog, what is its purpose? Do you want to inspire or educate people, or write to (or on behalf of) a loved one? Will it be a Dear Diary of the latest news? Perhaps your blog will have a very raw or primal feel to it? Somewhere you can go & vent your true feelings.

It may seem irrelevant at the moment if you want your blog to be invisible to the world...but never say never. One day you may decide to let someone special in there to read about your life.

Thinking about the feel of your blog will also help you to decide on the name of your blog, the URL (the website address), the style of writing you use and the themes, pictures and fonts that you choose. Just give it a passing thought before you start. And then click here to Create a Blogger Blog. I'm going to walk you through the creation of your new blog. =)

SIGN IN OR UP
You'll need a Google account. If you don't already have one, follow the links to create one. If you do, then Sign In.

NAMING YOUR NEW BLOG
A URL is fancy talk for the full web address of your blog. NOTE: you can only choose the URL ONCE. So choose wisely. Never choose a URL that has more that 15-20 letters (or characters...you may use numbers too). You will want to choose something short and catchy, memorable, relevant & something that you don't mind rewriting hundreds of times.

The blog "title" however can be changed as required and it does not have to match the URL. For example:

Blog Title: John Smiths Journey to the Ends of the Earth
Blog Address/URL: http://johnsjourney.blogspot.com

You may need to try a few variations of "JohnsJourney" before you find a URL that hasn't already been taken. 

CHOOSING A TEMPLATE
Blogger provides a number of templates to choose from - you won't have to worry about choosing the colour of your text or the size of your title. The templates come in a number of colours and themes - all of which can be customised later on.

This is something that professional bloggers and web masters even struggle with. It's very easy to find yourself side-tracked by the overwhelming options for the layout and theme of your blog. Don't worry about it! This is a private blog, for your eyes only, nobody else is going to visit any time soon so choose something that is pleasant and later on, once you know you're way around the dashboard, you can go back and make it look amazing. I won't spend more than 5 minutes having a look through different templates & adjusting them slightly to my needs or tastes. And that's plenty, I can go back to tweak later on.

MAKING A BLOGGER BLOG PRIVATE
Last year, the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) had over 20 trillion web pages in their indexes. Over 1 trillion websites. The odds of somebody you know finding your blog is astronomical. However, you can change the privacy settings of Blogger blogs to make them invisible. Without getting to techy, the search engines will not index your blog - it's like having a private phone number that can't be found in the phone book. 

If you decide to hand out your phone number (or your URL) to just one person, or if you like the idea of Caller ID (where friends/family can become members to your blog and cannot access it without being logged in)...then Blogger blogs can accommodate your needs. They are very flexible, so lets get you over there.

1) If you are viewing your blog, in the top right corner click on the DESIGN option. The Design option used to be called Dashboard, because that is where it will take you.
2) Using the updated (the white) Dashboard, there are a number of options on the left of your screen. Later, you will use these option to create Posts, make Pages for Photo's or Video's, change your Template, or your Layout. Take your time to get familiar with your Dashboard.
3) Select the option called SETTINGS - you will automatically find yourself on the BASIC settings page, but there are also other options that allow you to change the timezones, language, comments, etc
4) Click on PRIVACY - if you answer No for both questions, you're blog will not be added to "the phone book" (the search engines will not let people find you)
5) SAVE CHANGES after you make them
6) Scroll down to BLOG READERS (and save changes if you make them)

Here you have a few options. If you select the ONLY THESE READERS option, you will be given the chance to email an invitation to some guests. These guests (your family or friends) will need to accept that invitation and sign in to visit your blog. 

ANOTHER PRIVACY FEATURE
In the event that you do choose to list your blog in the search engines, you may find that you come across that occasional spammy or offensive comment. You can moderate these comment, delete them or restrict who is allowed to post comments to start with.

On your SETTINGS page in your Dashboard, there is an option called POSTS AND COMMENTS.

You can accept comments from anybody, or only those from members of you blog (those guests that invited via email). Choose whichever options please you and don't forget to SAVE CHANGES if you make them.

And there you have it...
A brand spanking new blog, which nobody will ever find - unless you invite them to - ready and waiting for your very first post. 

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Promoting a Band

TungXsten - in the finals of Battle of the Bands.
Of all the things that I've promoted in the past, all the websites, the blogs, the PPC campaigns, the video's, the works...it's been an absolute privilege to help a dear friend promote his band known as TungXsten. When these guys got together and formed a band, they also created a brand. Recognizing that this is a brand like any other makes it easier to promote. All the regular rules on Internet Marketing apply.

It's been quite an experience working with TungXsten. Promoting a band really is something else. I think the modern equivalent of a demo tape these days is having a solid online presence. So it involves having a huge number of websites (and backlinks to those websites) working together to get your name and you sound out there.

So to cover a few basics, here are some great places to start:

Reverbnation.com is a website dedicated to helping bands get their sound out there - they have access to mailing lists and heaps of other cool tools that will help budding musicians. Make use of those tools. When you build a mailing list, make sure you keep in regular touch with fans - let them know where they can find you or that you have an empty schedule next Saturday if they want to book you.

YouTube: A few years ago, nobody over the age of 20 knew the name Beiber. This kid had been winning over tens of thousands of young fans via YouTube and adults just didn't know him. He was a nobody in the mainstream industry, but a god to teenagers everywhere.

The marketer in me would tell you to add as many tags as you can think of - as long as they are relevant. If you have a website, blog, a page at Reverbnation then make sure that you leave a link to it in the first sentence of your video's description. Don't forget about the option to make video replies. For example, if your band sounds like Kings of Leon, then upload your music video as a reply to one of their songs.

Some marketers will actually pay (per month!) to have their URL in the descriptions of high profile video's that see thousands of visits each day. You can ask friends & family to put your URL in their descriptions, even if it's down the bottom of the description; it will still count as a backlink and you just never know...

Facebook: Is not actually my strong point, but I've learned so much about my own fan Pages as I've been promoting the TungXsten fan Page. The trick is to think of your Fb Page as a secular website; that means regular content, music, video's and pictures, a landing page...and backlinks.

It took me a little longer than it should have done to realise that you should promote your Fb Page outside of Facebook (common sense really, we see the "Find us on Facebook" summons everywhere these days). That means that every web page you have access to, you need to link back to your Fb Page - your YouTube vid's, Twitter, mailing lists, etc. But this is something that you can also promote offline too; something that you can tell your workmates about, or mention between songs when your onstage.

Make regular status updates on Facebook. You don't have to bombard your followers but you do need to remind them that you're here, let them know when you've got a next gig or where they can find you how they can contact you.

Reverbnation, MySpace and CD Baby also have apps that are similar to the Facebook Music Player. Have a look around and familiarise yourself with the different options.

Twitter: The same principles that apply to Facebook also apply to Twitter. Twitter is a great tool to get your message straight into the pockets of your fans. Let them know where you're playing or how to get in touch with you, which sites they can visit for more details.

And that's just for starters...
These are just a few sites that will help you build a fan base and establish a presence online but ideally you'll want your band to have its own website too.

Think of each site like your business card - not a sales pitch, but a way of providing information about your comings and goings, your next gig, your entry into competitions or online contents.


Some things to watch out for...
One thing you want to think about is the way you present yourselves, how you want to be known. Your professional persona.

But more important than that, are some basic rules of internet marketing:

Backlinks - these are links that you leave around the internet that take people to your website (or Facebook, Reverbnation pages, etc) These are absolutely critical to getting your web pages found by Google. Build enough backlinks and when people search for bands in your area they will find you. Backlinks should be from as many different websites as possible, they should be one way links (which means you don't link back to that site) and ideally, they should come from high profile websites.

Keywords - these are the words that people type into the search engines. The name of your band is a keyword but you might also want to think about the type of people who would be searching for your music...and the way they would talk. What would they be searching for? Eg "rock bands in [the name of your city]" or "best rock bands from [the name of your state]"

A marketer will choose two or three keywords...and repeat them. A lot. You'll find those keywords in the names of articles and titles for webpages, in descriptions for YouTube video's. The marketer will associate their brand with these keywords. Your keywords tell the search engines like Google what your web page is all about so that when somebody searches for that keyword, the Google algorithm's will match your web page with their search.

Linking Your Sites - all of your sites need to be linked in some way to another. Each time you open an account somewhere on behalf on your band, you'll need to include your primary website in your bio or description along with any summons Find Us On Facebook to Follow us on Twitter. You will need to update you links and your descriptions from time to time.

Any questions?? I know I sure have some! One of the most difficult things to grasp about promoting your band online is that you will be entering the world of Internet Marketing - marketing is an ever changing world. There will always be new platforms to use. There will always be new opportunities to jump on. The good news is, that you have probably grown up in front of shopfronts, tv's and radios...you are already familiar with the concepts of marketing. Whether you are online or offline, the same principles apply, it's just a matter of having a go.

Good luck guys, I will be talking some more about promoting bands in the future, so stay tuned!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

OMGoodness! What A Month!!

Well better late than never, I finally got all my "One Things" out of my head and into yours. Don't know if I'm sad to see the end of the month or happy that it's over.

All in all, September was a pretty good month for me. Made some friends, made some money, enjoyed the extra productivity of having a brilliant schedule/to-do-list and Bookmarking Demon running my backlink campaigns for me.

Purchased a Kindle - spent far to much money on Dr Who books and lost far to much sleep savoring every word. Not a bad little gadget actually, and I hear rumours of a new model on the way...hmm, should have waited!

And best of all, Footy season is nearly over. Can you hear that? That's the sound of people hitting the back button. I think at times this is the only house in Australia that detests Aussie Rules.

I've learned so much this month, including a lot about Facebook marketing. I somehow never managed to jump onto that band wagon. I've been trying to figure out how to kickstart a "fan" page and it tooks me far to long until it finally dawned on me.

A Facebook page is just like a blog. It's an extension of your website. And once  I FINALLY figured that one out (duh!!) everything seemed to fall into place...all the normal rules of webmastery apply.

Content is King, of course...but not so much as to spam unsuspecting +1's.

Every good website has a landing page...so I've been discovering FBML and all the conflicting advice! I have a new landing page in place which IS working and I will be refining this next month

And of course, being a secular website means that it will need BACKLINKS. *Blushing* I'm downright ashamed to say it...but it never occurred to me to promote this page outside of Facebook. So that's been long and tiring work, setting off around the Internet with the Fb URL and dropping backlinks at every turn.

Of course the downside of this is that my case study seems to have taken the back bench. I have been fiddling around with it, and it seems to be seeing a trickle of new content, new traffic and new backlinks...but what it really needs is it's irresponsible webmistress to pay some more attention to it.

I intend to refine my choice of keywords and do just a little editing before going to town on a backlink campaign. It really needs doing because I'm going to be crunching the numbers to see whether or not an AdWords campaign wil indeed be beneficial...or will the cost outweight the profit?

We''ll see, and I'll be sure to share any progress when I finally get around to making it!

Thanks for joining me this month, I was fortunate to see some of familiar "faces" from the IMForum come and visit me here, and some of my Fb friends came by too...hi guys! The current plan is to enjoy the weekend, finish reading Dr Who (I LOVE that Kindle!!) and take a wary but well deserved break....

So I'm signing out for now, and won't be back till mid next week...unless I find something amazing that I just have to share!

Elizabeth Nesbitt

The "One Thing" #17

Earlier this month I gave you "One Thing" that you need to succeed as an Internet Marketer that seemed a little out of place. This "One Thing" is an extension of that.

Learn to Play Nice with fellow marketers.

You can do this many ways:

  • Send them some constructive criticism - I would rather have someone send me an honest "You've made a mistake" email than a testomonial. 
  • Send them a testomonial - they are great, but they don't help you to IMPROVE and further your business
  • Do them a favour - without being asked, no strings attached
  • Participate on their blogs/forums
Al these things are things you would expect from a friend and that's the point of this "One Thing" you need to succeed. Having someone to watch your back, offer second opinions, or collaborate with is INVALUABLE.

FACT: An author does NOT distribute books. Just like the publisher doesn't write them. A marketer is NOT a programmer. Just like the programmer knows he isn't a marketer.

THE POINT: No big project can succeed in the  hands of one man. When looking for JV's (Joint Ventures) or partnership, look for people who compliment your skill set - someone who has the skills or resources that you don't have.

On another note, remember than the more people who invest their time ad resources into your project, the more people who have an invested interest into seeing it success.

Example: When somebody stars in your newsletter, they tell all their friends & family to check it out. Another example? Affiliate marketing.

FACT: Internet Marketing is lonely work, in a cutthroat world, true friends are few and far between.

THE POINT: Nurture friendships with other marketers before you actually need them.

And trust me...one day, you will NEED them. Whether it's some techy troubleshooting with someone, or you need another set of eyes to proof read something that your are too involved in, the day will come when you need somebody to watch your back, share their experiences, and collaborate with.

The "One Thing" #16

Gather data and Guard it with your life

This "One Thing" follows on from yesterdays "One Thing" you need to succeed as an internet marketer but it is not exculsive to mailing lists. Data is an incredibly valuable asset to your internet marketing business - whether that's home based or otherwise.

The more data you have acquired, the more targeted your campaigns become - whether that's your mailing list or your AdWords campaigns. The more targeted your campaign, the less of a gamble you are taking.

You know that moment when you realize that an AdWords campaign isn't working? And you think to yourself "All that money I've just wasted!"? Well I remind you again that perception is everything....

Whilst getting my 4 yr old ready for bed, I planted a big squishy kiss right on his forehead. A moment later, when I turned back to him, I found him wiping it off again. looking extremely guilty he quickly reassured me

"I'm rubbing it in Mum,"

Btw, this kid is going to make a very fine husband one day with tact like THAT! It's actually an ongoing joke in the house. He always wipes it dry after a kiss and we joke around whether or not he's wiping it off...or rubbing it in.

The point is, that you haven't just wasted money on a failed ad campaign...you've bought data. Question is how to use it. How can you use information about what people DON'T like and tailor your next campaign to fit?

On another note...KEYWORDS...

Many of us have come to learn that it is the right choice of keywords and a large number of backlinks which makes or breaks a website, blog or article. Keywords are ESSENTIAL. Spend as long as you need researching them, finding the right one's for you. And record the data that you gather along the way.

Not just the keywords, their searches each month, the number of competition....but also the keywords that DON'T work or DIDN'T have the success you wanted or were expecting. It's al data.

But the real point that I want to make...and consider this your official warning... is that...

COMPUTERS ==> WILL <== FAIL 

Ensure you back up your files and your data before you learn that lesson the hard way. We all know that we "should" back up our system on a regular basis...but less than 20% of us actually DO IT.

The "One Thing" #15

Nurture your mailing list

This is such a big "Thing" that nearly qualifies as two "One Thing(s)". It was only after finally diving into the world of mailing lists that I started to see some steady income rather than dribbles of sporadic income.

My words of wisdom are to study it, earn everything your possibly can about creating and maintaining a mailing list. The most fundamental thing to remember is that people will sign up for free bonuses, but they will stay for valuable info.

I personally delete a tonne of unread emails each day but they few that I open are from marketers (or businesses) that I have come to KNOW will always have some good value in them - some new way of thinking about an age old problem, a report of free ebook attached to the email or just something that I know I will benefit from.

There is one particular marketer who includes a new joke in each email. His emails are a little hit & miss (sometimes I learn something, sometimes they're just affiliate links stuffed in between common sensical info) however I stay on the list because I know I need a laugh.

Emails with attachments are usually opened first. They might contain video's, pictures or an report, in any case, curiosity overcomes me. (Hint hint)

And that's kind of the point - whatever subject line you choose must be so enticing that the subscriber cannot resist but choose your email over the over 10, 50, 100 emails that find thier way into their Inbox each day. It is ESSENTIAL that you get the subject line right.

If you are too pushy, not pushy enough, if it reads like it's all hype, or isn't exciting enough...if you mention my Cb account, my PayPal account or several others...I'll delete you on the spot. In all fairness, the PayPal and Clickbank one's must be working because I've had HEAPS of them recently.

The timing of your emails is also an important factor that you will need to research on your own. Sending emails in that first week while the recipient is still on a high from the product they purchased or the freebie from your squeeze page is very effective. But be warned, the frequency of emails must be aligned with the niche to which you cater to. Sending Nana's emails about their health & wellbeing each day is going to constitute as spam in their eyes - just because we use the computer each day, doesn't mean your niche does.

Don't think of it as losing people when they unsubscribe. Perception is everything. You haven't lost a prospect...you've gained some data. There was a reason that person sent you a very clear message ("You aren't catering to my needs") but the question is how are you going to USE that data. If you look well enough, you might see that your unsub's have common demographics...so what could you change to make your email more appealing to those people?

Getting people to sign up is an art unto itself, most commonly aided by a free ebook or report. The more info you collect at this time, the more targeted your email campaigns can be. However (there's always a catch!), the less info you ask for, the more inclined people are to sign up. These days, a name and email is the norm but you can ask people to fill put public profiles etc later on.

There is so much to say about mailing lists - they are a great way to keep people updated about sales or services or just to sell follow on products - and not enough tie to say it all...

Get out there and learn it for yourself.

Monday, 26 September 2011

The "One Thing" #14

I have in past confessed my secret weapon of Internet Marketing. I have told you my dirty little secret. And yet here I am again about to confess how I turn a click back into a click through...

I Use Hookers

*Gasps* I know. And if I'm really honest with myself, I would have to say that they are one if the best "One Thing(s)" I've ever discovered. They turn a passerby into a reader. They make the world of difference to my Internet Marketing efforts.

Of course, the Hookers I'm talking about are just like the one that bought you here today. They are a title or a call to action that was so irresistible that it almost forced your eyes down the page.

If you can master the art of hookers (do NOT say that out loud!!)...then you also master the art of moving traffic where you want it to go. Leaving a great hooker with a call to action, or with a backlink, or as a title will draw people into your site and then send them to the next leg of their journey.

There are two main ways that I do this. I use humor or curiosity to pull at emotions.

However never underestimate pure shock value. Saying something controversial will bring people flooding in to see what the fuss is about - it can also lead to dozens of people commenting in you blog or Hub/Lens etc...although not all comments will be flattering!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The "One Thing" #13

True - I like to think that I can multitask, that I can take on many projects at once ans still find the time to maintain a steady drip of incoming backlinks and fresh content.

Fact - I can't.

This "One Thing" is doing 
One Thing at a time...

One of the methods I use involves opening multiple windows (one per task) and opening as many tabs as needed for each task. This let's me pace myself.
  • I can focus on one job at a time.
  • I do not close or visit other windows until the task is finished.
  • If I need to run out for half hour, I know exactly what I was doing when I get back.
  • I work faster, with less distraction and less interruptions.
Thinking back to yesterdays "One Thing" (about solving your own problems then selling the solution) I know that I'm not the only one who has faced this problem. I think it was called the Dark Room - an application for content writers (I'm afraid the concept stuck and the name didn't) which turned web pages into nothing but a black screen with green writing. No ad's, no sizes or fancy colours or bold fonts to be distracted by. Writers could go into the dark room, get everything out if their head and onto the screen then the "shiny things" - the fancy fonts - could be added later.

Great concept. And I mention it today because of the underlying principle behind it. One window, no distractions, just you and the screen. That is the way I try to work. And that's how you should work too.

You know I'm a fan of having a checklist of daily tasks. Especially if you can prioritize that list and have your most important tasks first then you are going to see a huge improvement in the amount of work you accomplish each day.

BONUS - Another work smarter not harder method (that analogy is a little misleading, isn't it?) is to work it fits and bursts of whatever action you need to do. For example, if you limited yourself to 15 minutes of making comments (backlinks) then took a 5min break, you'll also get more done. Just like when your laptop tells you that you only have 8min of power left in your battery before it will need charging...and you find yourself speed writing!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Icing & The Cake Of Affiliate Marketing

I recently stumbled upon a poll of affiliate marketers which unearthed a shocking truth that many of us must suffer from, but so few of us talk about. I had to pick my jaw up from the floor. The question itself was simple enough "Have you made any money from affiliate marketing?"

A huge 56% of affiliates haven't made a dollar! WHY??
It wasn't all together a unique question. In fact, I hear it quite often in it's various forms: Is affiliate marketing still profitable? Has the golden age of affiliates marketing passed us buy? Why does Google hate affiliates now? (They don't...they just hate the lazy affiliates)


The respondents had been quizzed about their level of experience. A fraction were yet to embark on their journey. Others had been in at it for mere weeks. Yet a large portion had been in the game for over a year.

Are you ready? A whopping 56% of people said NO! They hadn't made a single dollar from affiliate marketing.

What was most disturbing, was that these weren't all newbies. Many of these wannabe's had invested over a year of their life learning the ropes, building sites and blogs, publishing at article directories, building backlinks and page rank and a reputation...and they hadn't had a single sale.

Now I don't care whether or not you believe me when I say this (you're talking to a major skeptic here)....

But this actually had me lying awake in bed. If you learn anything about me, then know that I LOVE to dissect the causes of why things happen the way they do, why people are the way they are. Dissection. There's no better word to describe it.

I couldn't help myself - I wanted to know what was going on. WHY? What were these marketers doing (or not doing) that had led to such a spectacular failure? It was in bed that it slowly dawned on me. They had learned & studied the many pieces of the affiliate marketing puzzle...but they didn't understand that some pieces of that puzzle are bigger than others.

They were focusing on the icing...when they hadn't learn the recipe for a successful cake.

So that's what I give you today. I give you the recipe for a successful cake - a successful affiliate site. AND. And I teach you how to recognize the difference between the icing and the cake.

THE CAKE
A high converting product and low competition keywords. Seriously, this is make or break stuff. Get this wrong and everything that follows will be for nothing. I too have been guilty of telling newbies that any action is better than no action...but in hind sight, that's probably not the best advice. If you feel the need to spend a month researching different affiliate programs trying to find a well paying product with a high rate of conversion in a profitable niche, and another few weeks looking for that low hanging fruit (low competition keywords) then you take all the time in the world.

THE ICING
The "shiny things" I like to call them. Yes, first appearances do matter - but not as much as having the right product in a good niche. As long as your font is large enough to read, as long as you banners are somewhere people can see them...then let it go!

When I talk about the "shiny things" I'm talking about all the aesthetic things that really don't count for much - the plugins, banner placement, themes, the colour of the font in the H1/H2 headers. NOT IMPORTANT! Want to know how much time I spent making my first website pretty? Months. And it failed miserably. Want to know how long I spend "customizing" blogs/sites these days? 10-15min. Tops. Occasionally I will make some changes, but the prettiest site in the word won't make you a dollar unless it has substance. I would rather have an ugly duckling that converts.

THE CAKE
The Content of your website. Affiliates - Content Is King. The articles & info that you publish on your site must be your finest quality. Having said that, it does not need to be written by world class authors. It does have to be the finest quality that you can summon.

The content needs to be full of valuable info, substance, rich in keywords. It's there for a duel purpose of telling Google what your site is about and also to educate people - to give them valuable, sought after information that they can benefit from immediately.

THE ICING
The content you publish everywhere else. That is to say, what you publish at ezines, forums, Twitter, guest posts...anywhere other than your site. The first place you need to publish new material is on your site. After Google has indexed it then you can spin and publish elsewhere. One of the first posts I ever published here was about "writing for a reason" in which I outlined the different purposes that our content serves.

For sites other than your own, the content you make is there to provide a backlink. Nothing more, nothing less. Invest little more than minimum effort into it's quality - as long as it is mildly relevant and contains complete sentences...you're doing okay!

I was trying to think of an example to give you when the hubby flicked the tv on. There we watched as Rowan Atkinson made a guest appearance on Australia's Funniest Home Moves. Perfect! Here he was, on a show that was only mildly related to his latest Johnny English movie. Although he was very professional & presentable...by no means was he required to put his best comedic foot forward. The outcome of his appearance on that show has absolutely no impact on the success of his movie. Same principles apply to affiliates.

THE CAKE
Building a variety of backlinks from a variety of sources. I often use the example of Google being one big high school popularity contest. When the cool kid points the new kid and says "Hey! I like what you're saying" then the new kid finds himself instantly more popular. And so it is with Google. The backlinks we leave all over the web are there telling Google how cool we are. Let's face it, we are pretty cool, aren't we?  ;-)

This is where I see a lot of affiliates fall short. They have the keywords, they have a gift for writing, a high converting product...then they get distracted by banner placement and headers.

Learning the in's and out's of different backlinks and making them should be on your checklist of DAILY TASKS.

THE ICING
On page SEO. Shh - you hear that? That's the sound of hardcore SEO's hitting the back button. Let me clear this up. SEO IS important.. BUT..there is only so much it can do for you. If you are wondering if you should fiddle around with your headers or banner placement or your META tags rather than making some more backlinks....make the links!! Dedicate some time each week to on page SEO...but do NOT let it take your link building time away from you.

DISTINGUISHING THE ICING FROM THE CAKE...
Are you starting to see the bigger picture now? The biggest priority of an affiliate marketer is to find high converting product, low competition keywords, throw it all together with some quality onsite content and build a truck load of backlinks.

Everything else can be called the "shiny things"...the things that are taking your time and costing you money. If you are one of the 56% of affiliates that has yet to make a dollar online, this is your mission from now on.

If your product isn't converting, switch it out.

Go back to your keyword tools and find that low hanging fruit - the keywords with a high volume of searches and minimal competition each month.

Then get out there and make link after link - for an hour a day. See how many links you can make in a hour, try and beat it tomorrow. Don't spam - you do NOT want your URL associated with spam.

There you have it guys, I sincerely hope that has been able to clear some things up for you. Let me know what you think not just about all of the above, but about why or where you are going wrong in your affiliate business.

The "One Thing" #11

As any experienced Internet Marketer will tell you, there are many times when you could just pull your hair out. times when you realize that you've just been sending all your traffic through the wrong affiliate link. Or you realize that you DNS/IP addresses were redirecting traffic to the wrong site. (Yeah...I send people to the wrong place a lot!!)

For the most part, we learn to live with complications. We learn to work around the problems we can't solve and figure out other alternatives. But sometimes, just sometimes, we shouldn't. "One Thing #11 is

Make money by solving your OWN problems

Sounds a bit funny when I say it like that. What I mean to say, is that if you have something that you struggle with on a regular basis, then you can bet your bottom dollar that other marketers are struggling with the same problem.

 Therefore if you were to find a solution to that problem....

And that solution was something rather special....

Then you can bet your other bottom dollar that other marketers will want to BUY IT FROM YOU.

Not just other marketers either. This principle applies to everyone across the board. Imagine a time frazzled mother asks you how you cope with your young twins... she would be interested in seeing you white board of daily chores and how you ration out your time between the babies and the older kids. When you wash the laundry and when you have bath times.

If then, you as a marketer, as a person, as a parent, as a [insert job here] can figure out a time saving, a money saving, an eco friendly way or solving one of your problems, chances are that there are others just like you who would be very interested indeed.

NOTE: You'll notice that in "One Thing" #3 I encouraged you to make an extensive business plan, or a checklist of daily tasks (or both)...this is one example of something that is highly sought after by newbies everywhere. So whether you are selling home made soap or you're an SEO genius, keep track of what you do and when you do it.

It could one day become the most valuable thing you ever sell

The "One Thing" #10

This "One Thing" you need to succeed online is directed to affiliates but don't think for a moment that it doesn't apply to every internet marketer. This "One Thing" will help to:
  • Establish you as a provider of good value
  • Set you apart from other affiliates
  • Give prospects a reason to buy from you 
  • Give customers a reason to come back
  • Build your status as the expert in your niche
  • Build your status, period.
 Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Also sounds like a whole lot of work but it really isn't. Not once you get into the swing of things. Today's "One Thing" is to

Create Bonuses To Establish More Value

This is where you can really set yourself apart from other affiliates who are promoting the same product(s). How far you want to take this depends on the resources you have and the time you want to invest in this marketing tactic.

I have seen membership sites having a sales letter style page of bonuses offering more PLR ebooks than one could read in a life time. I've also seen other marketers telling me to send them my receipt number and they'll email a bonus report. This is only as difficult as you make it.

There are a few options then. You can ask for receipt numbers to cross reference with your own data before emailing a bonus or two. That's fine. It has a nice personal touch. But, it is time consuming to an affiliate with a time limit.

The alternative then is to have customers redirected to a download page after they have finished purchasing the original product. The great thing about this, although it does require a little more preparation, it is very set and forget which is ideal if you have your foot in many markets.

I reminded you in "One Thing" #9 that you have all those PLR ebooks and reports gathering dust on your hard drive - this is yet another use for them. Not all ebooks/reports will have resell rights or the master resell rights (which gives you permission to amend the content & include your affiliate links or links back to your site. Read the fine print.

QUESTION: Have you created an ebook of your own yet? Want to know how I create many of mine? I have a membership at Killer Content. Killer Content was created by a rather successful marketer named Socrates (this guy is a genius with mailing lists!) and it's his personal library of PLR articles which he has accumulated over the years. Membership starts at about $40 and there are literally 1000's of article arranged according to dozens of niches and hundreds of sub-niches. Can't praise this membership site enough - the training video's (40+ hours of them) are incredible.

In the dashboard Killer Content there is a feature which allows users to spin their choice of articles into an ebook or report. I can go through and turn each article into a chapter, rearrange the chapters any which way I please and publish in a fraction of the time it would take me to write from scratch. Seriously good value, check it out here.

Note: You cannot use the Ebook/Report Generator with a premium membership, you'll have to upgrade to gold. If that is the road you want to go own (I don't regret it for a minute) then I recommend keeping your eyes out for last chance pages (if you turn down the first offer, you will be offered the same deal at a smaller price).

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The "One Thing" #9

Keeping this one super quick today, which may be a relief for some of you!! One quick question before we get started...

How many products do you have gathering proverbial dust on your hard drive that have PLR rights?

IMer's seem to be hooked on these free ebooks and reports - I've even picked up software with rebrandable rights.

PLR - You Got It? Then USE it! 

Remember how I'm always prattling on about how you have all these resources at you fingertips that you might not even recognize as being resources? Like the example of the IM'er who was using spam to create content (true story, btw) PLR ebooks are one of those resources that you probably have in abundance...but aren't actually using. 

Recycling content is something that you should familiarize yourself with if you aren't already capable of this. Let's clear this up first - no, I don't mean duplicate content. I mean rewriting the same info in different formats (Q&As, Top 5's, Pro's vs Con's etc)

PLR =  Private Label Rights. It means that you can use preexisting content for any purpose you please. When you are reading the not very fine print at the start of the ebook's/report's you're looking for permissions to resell, master resell rights and distribution rights. 

If you do have permissions, then you can stuff them full of your own links (to your site or affiliate link) and start handing them out, give them to your mailing list, use them as a bonus when somebody buys from you, hand them out to anyone and everyone who wants it, might want it, or has a friends who wants it.

And one last reminder...it doesn't work if you don't DO IT

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The "One Thing" #8

Of all the cliche's, this one is in on my top 5 list - "Take Action!!" Absolutely hate it. But here I am about to tell you the same...

Do It. Do It RIGHT NOW!


For the past week I have given you "One Thing" each day. Many of them have their own little bonus or homework that you can apply each day...

How many of you have DONE THEM?? Tsk, tsk. Now you're just asking for an example!

Don't let a good opportunity pass you by...
How many of you have heard rumour of Google moving towards building hardware? The speculation has been going on for years. As I sit writing this post tonight, somewhere in the world, other marketers are taking action. They are seeking out info that few others know about, building backlinks, establishing themselves in the search engines and within the niche. Others are waiting to see how it all pans out before diving in.

And we see this all the time. There were keywords that didn't exsist this morning. Then a story breaks on a Currant Affairs and savvy marketers race to the computer, throw up a few web pages, monetize them with AdSense & affiliate products then run a quick PPC campaign. By the time people are opening their newspapers at breakfast and switching on their computers tomorrow, these marketers have positioned themselves to take full advantage of the new found keywords.

This techniques peaks in the morning as people open their papers, dies off at lunchtime, then picks up again after the 5pm news - it may only be profitable for a few days, (or weeks if you're lucky) but while everyone else is thinking about it, you are doing it.

BUT....

That's not really the point.

The point is that many new marketers get stuck in research mode. They think that they have to gather enough data and research keywords and test the market when in fact, their competition are out their DOING all the things they should be doing. Action. Take it. NOW.

In one of the forums I frequent, I have a beautiful signature: A diamond is just a lump of coal...that finished what it started.

The next time you buy some software, the next time you discover a new tip or trick, or discover a new service or have a lightbulb moment...apply it immediately OR position yourself so that you can start to apply it - open a new window, some tabs, load the pages you'll need to remind yourself of what needs doing tomorrow.

Actin. Take it. NOW. Get into the habit of DOING. Sometimes you just have to dive in head first and smooth of the rough edges another day when you understand the system a little bit better.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The "One Thing" #7

This one is a brilliant Internet Marketing strategy - that isn't really Internet Marketing! This "One Thing" will bust through Inbox's and stomp all over the competition. I was just telling the guys over at the IM Forum about how I.'ve been avoiding my Inbox recently. It's not like me. I usually can't wait until my designated time to get over there & find out if anything exciting has happened.

Truthfully, I know what's waiting there for me. Junk and spam that slipped through the filter, domain name and hosting bargain (if I act right now) and other marketers pushing their products on me. In short...crapola.

Everyday I go through and delete dozens of these crappy emails that find their way to me. How about you? Ever go through and delete unread emails?

On the other side of the equation, how can you make sure that your subscribers are getting the message? How can you cut through the Inbox and ensure that your message is being heard?

Send them some snail mail!!

If you think that sounds a bit odd then step back from the situation & think about it. If you send me an email and the subject line isn't enticing, is too pushy, is too good to be true, is full of !!!'s and things like "Paypal" or "Clickbank" or "$3083.48 in one day!"....

Then I'm going to delete it. Pronto. Without a second thought.

On the other hand, you send me a letter with my hand written name on it...and I'm going to tear that baby open before I reach my front door! So this works. This is how you can reach your market on a private & personal level, bust your way through the Inbox & get right into their homes.

BONUS TIP

Remember a decade ago when Dulux paints started handing out paint tins full of jelly beans when you bought a big tin of their paint? I picked mine up recently. This marketing strategy is pure genius! This tin of jelly beans is going to be INSIDE MY HOME for weeks - months even - reminding my family of Dulux.

However...the day will come when only the black jelly beans remain. So how does Dulux counter this sad, sad day and create an even bigger impact on the customer? They stuff a stuffed animal into the jelly bean tin too! That's right, we have a 30cm version of the Dulux dog...in all his glory.

This dog goes everywhere with my baby David - it's not even two weeks old and this thing is filthy already. It goes to bed with him, it sits on the bathroom floor during bath times, it has it's own chair at dinner time. It's gong to be hanging around for a long, long time to come. Every time he drags this thing around the shops with him, people see it, they comment on it, they love it! Which is exactly what the Dulux marketers had planned for it - more exposure and a bigger impact.

How does this help you? Think about it...your company name all over a little fridge magnet calender. It's gong to be on their fridge all year long, every time your subscriber gets hungry, they're going to see your name on the fridge. Every time they need to check the date, they're going to see your name You could do it yourself without blowing your budget - it's a magnet, some card and some ink cartridges for your printer.


GET OUTRAGEOUS
The more outrageous the gift, the bigger the impact, the more likely the person is to share their eventful trip to the letterbox with their friends - my friends, my family, my Facebook friends have all heard about this Dulux dog & Baby David.

I've heard of coconuts be sent for this purpose. I've heard of inscribed sea shells. I've heard of some fugly looking novelty items. Whatever your budget permits you to spend (remember to do this out of your profits, do not blow your budget on this "One Thing") make sure it's something that has your name (your product, brand or website) attached to it and it's something that's going to get talked about for a long time to come.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

"One Thing" #6

Send the children to bed. Lock the doors. What I am about to tell you will shake you to your very core of existence. Are you sitting down? Good, here it is...*whispers* "vampires are real..." It's true. It's undeniably true, there's documented fact and personal encounters with real life vampires. But the most shocking thing of all is that it's up to you and only you to...

Fight the vampires!!

The vampires I'm talking about are of course the Time Vampires, the Motivation Vampires and the Too Hard Vampires - these guys have the ability to suck you dry. They drain you wallets, they drain your confidence and they suck all the fun out Internet Marketing.

These vampires are very powerful - they effect all of us, across the board, no matter how long we've been in the game. So how can you fight them? Glad you asked!

The Time Vampires

Nothing fight Time Vampires better than "One Thing" #3 - having a solid plan. A plan or schedule of some sort will afford you the opportunity to work smarter not harder. We covered this in "One Thing" #3 so I won't go into details...but if you don't already have a solid plan, a schedule, a checklist of daily tasks somewhere that you an see it (like as your screen saver) ...then don't come crying to me. It's not an option. Do it.

The Motivation Vampires:
This technique I have to credit to Travis Sago - great guy & the original Bum Marketer. This technique involves starting something. That's it. Just starting it. Because that's often the hardest part, once we pass that step, we tend to follow through. Using the example of writing an article...

You know you have to...but you can't be bothered. So ask yourself "What's the smallest possible step I can take?" Instead of walking away from the job, turn the computer on and open up a Word document. Then what? If you really don't want to continue...don't.

Or...you could ask yourself "What is the smallest possible step I could take?" What is it? Write a title. Not so hard, is it? Take you a few seconds to think of & write down a title. You might find yourself so excited by that awesome title that paragraphs start flowing out if you. But...if you really don't want to continue, don't.



Or...you ask yourself "What is the smallest possible step I could take?" An opening sentence? Or some subheadings? It's just a matter or rinse & repeat. Each smallest step you take is one less step you have to take later on. You have given yourself permission to do the smallest possible thing, then stop....IF you can honestly tell yourself that you don't have it in you to go one step further.


The Too Hard Vampires
These suckers are perhaps the most fierce of all vampires. The are the masters of deception making mountains our of mole hills and the smallest of obstacles seem insurmountable. Too Hard Vampires creep into your dreams at night and tell you that you're not clever enough, not good enough...not deserving enough.

What these Vampires don't want you to know...is that they can be overcome with the power of thought. There are three ways to ward off Too Hard Vampires:
  1. Being a distant relative of Motivation Vampires, Too Hard Vampires can be fought off using the "Smallest possible step" approach. Take it one step at a time and keep moving forward.
  2. Instead of focusing on the cant's...focus on the can's. Pay a little less attention to what you haven't been able to master yet and a little more attention to what you ARE capable of, what you CAN do, what you HAVE mastered and what you are NATURALLY gifted at doing.
  3. Reframe the problem. If it's too hard to answer...ask an easier question. If you can't go over...go under. Instead of worrying about how you don't have enough money to buy new content, ask yourself where you can find 5 webmasters who will buy it - them share it with them, get them to pay for it then spin it for your own use.
These Too Hard Vampires are deadly to your dreams - be very cautious. Do not let them deceive you. The truth is, making money online is absolutely possible. People do it everyday. You are worthy. You are capable. You will do it. One step at a time.

Three Vampires, three techniques to overcome them. In short, these Vampires prey on the weak, the inexperienced, the unprepared. Guard yourself on a DAILY basis.

"One" Thing #5

The next one thing is full of potential...if and ONLY IF you actually do it. Todays one thing can help to establish your reputation, increase your click through rate, get people signing up, put money in the bank and more.

Todays "One Thing" is to


Use an eBook instead of a business card

A free report or ebook has so many uses - we use them:
  • as incentive to get people on our mailing lists
  • as added value when people buy something
  • as part of our viral marketing strategies
But they have a lot more potential than that.  When we use eBooks/reports like they, there are usually some strings attached - people have to buy something to get it, or hand over their email address. I'm talking about an obligation free, no strings attached eBook or report that you:
  • Attach to your emails when you send newsletters or emails to subscribers. 
  • Hand out to visitors, no strings attached.
  • Give to other webmasters (if you allow them to add a link or two - without removing yours or editing it in any way - then they have an invested interest in making sure they pass it on to their own mailing lists & visitors.
  • Give to anyone and everyone related to your niche
BUT...

But there is a trick to this. You MUST keep in mind that this is a form of business card - not a sales letter. Not a 10 page report about what you makes the best. Not about making money as such.

It's about exposure. About making a name for yourself - building your reputation. About sharing PROOF that you know what you're talking about. About building trust. About giving not taking. By all means, write about what makes you different from all the others, what products/services you offer & why people should use your products/services. But use this ebook to PROVE it.

Give, not take. Teach, not sell. Value, not promises.
I am yet to find a better example that Potpiegirl's DAM marketing report - in this report she shared her step by step method of Direct Article Marketing and encouraged readers to share it with everyone they loved...and then she reaped the benefits of having people sign up for the full course and of people's trust. 

If you haven't already read it, you'll be blown away my how much info she shares & that's EXACTLY what you want people to feel when they read yours. Give the reader something valuable that they can benefit from immediately and watch it go viral.

Friday, 16 September 2011

The "One Thing" #4

I'm excited about this one. This one is all about creating a "brand" out of yourself. When I talk about making a brand out of yourself, I'm talking about creating an online presence and letting people know who you are and what you do. You can do this with your genuine name, a pseudonym or just a catchy name - anything you want to be known as.

"One Thing" #4 is to...

SPECIALIZE IN SOMETHING

Or more specifically...become an expert of something. It's kinda hard when you're new online and there are opportunities everywhere you click, or perhaps you're not quite sure of all the opportunities that you have at your fingertips. But whatever you do, learn it...and learn it well.

I personally think that learning to write is a great first skill if you are in that position - there are so many different directions you can go, so many opportunities for someone who has mastered the art of writing. However it isn't the only way you can spend you time.
  • SEO, 
  • Video Marketing, 
  • Mailing Lists & getting people to sign up - for Facebook, Twitter, blog followers, YouTube etc
  • Building websites for other people,
  • Domain, blog or website flipping
  • Backlinking campaigns
  • PPC (Pay Per Click)
Are just a few skills that you can learn and sell your wisdom or your labor to other people. Be warned however - in most cases, each of these skills is a specialty. This is not something that you can learn half-assed. (Sorry...that's Aussie lingo for half heartedly) These are skills that you will need to study thoroughly and practice. They will require your commitment and patience.

Many new marketers stumble from one thing to the next without ever really grasping onto something that they can excel at. Start with the basics of Internet Marketing, master that skill or knowledge and then - if it pleases you to do so - move onto the next one.

The very stock standard things that every newbie encounters in their learning curve:
  • Keywords & how to make the most of them
  • HTML, META tags & othe techy basics (hosting, DNS, etc)
  • The art of article writing - PLR, sales letters, and a LOT of other opportunities come from this skill
  • Article spinners
  • Researching the competition
  • Getting to know Google - the way it scrutinizes sites and how it works
  • Understanding niches and how to target them
Dedicate your time to learning something and becoming an expert of it. Many new marketers but something or start something, discover it's too hard and move on. Stop moving on and master it.

Two tasks today then, depending on your background...

If you are an experienced Internet Marketer - make a commitment of an hour per day to becoming the expert of something.

If you're a newbie to the world of Internet Marketing - make a commitment of an hour a day to learning & mastering the skills required of IM'ing.