Wednesday, 29 June 2011

More Light Bulb Moments For Internet Marketers

I've been talking recently about thinking outside the square - how it isn't as difficult as those brain teasing puzzles my sixth grade teacher used to subject us to. I wanted to make sure you really get the hang of the this because it's a crucial skill that Internet Marketers need to practice. Until I learned to think outside the square, making money online was hard work - it still is. But now I have the ability to use every resource at my disposal including what I guess you could call borderline  "black hat" techniques.
What does it really take to make money online?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about dodgy or unethical techniques. But I am talking about misusing things.
For those who don't follow along at my personal blog, let's start at the beginning.

What does Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and hardened inmates the world over have in common?

Here in Western Australia, after doing away with a most inhumane old prison that was built in the 1800s by convicts for convicts, we have a specially designed, purpose built prison called Casuarina Maximum Security.  This is where we house many of the lifers and the scummiest of the scummy along with the baby faced 18 years old who once thought they were invincible.

There's all the usual electric fences and barbed wire and stone walls that would rival skyscrapers in addition to the multi-million dollar surveillance system that monitors every movement depending on where you are within the wall. Seriously, the camera's that overlook prisoners visitations with their families could read the ingredients on the back on your coke can from the other side of the room.

Not only is there a duty protect the outside world from these men there's also a duty of care to protect them from each other. Each block is surrounded by more perimeters after the Christmas day riot of '99. Each block is broken into wings that can also be locked down to contain inmates when trouble arises. But what you may not be aware of is the sheer magnitude of the drugs in prison "industry." I know what you're thinking.

How on earth do these inmates smuggle drugs past this security? How on earth can they can they be discovered drunk inside a maximum security prison? And I'll let you in on a secret - not every inmate is rotten to the core. Hundreds of people are sentenced to time each year who are otherwise fairly decent people - perhaps they've made the stupid mistake of being repeat drink drivers or just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. They're not exactly hardened crims. So how on earth would these average Joe's get some sugar for their cuppa from the day room downstairs after being locked in for the night?

Well they can and do achieve these impossible missions and their ingenuity is a valuable lesson for those of us seeking to make money online.

They do these things because they understand the same principles that Thomas Edison understood during his years of inventing. The very same principle that the Wright brothers understood when they were trying to conquer the skies. They understood the same principles that every successful Internet Marketer understands.

They focused their energies a problem with determination...

They re-framed that problem....

They assessed their resources accurately...

They misused their inventory.

Misused isn't necessarily a bad thing - as you're about to find out - it means they they used their resources for something other than what it was originally intend for.

So what if...

You didn't have to get all the way down the stairs to the day room past locked doors and surveillance systems for your sugar?

What if, you re-framed the problem and asked yourself a new question, one that was easier to answer?

Like...how can I get to the cell next door? Now that's more like it, right? The guy next door always has heaps of sugar. That's got to be easier, yeah?

But there's still the problem of locked cells. Each cell door has been reinforced and at face height you'll find a small perspex window. But on the other side of the cell is another window. A window facing the outside of the block. It opens, but only just.

So how do these savvy inmates use - or misuse - the resources on hand? They empty their laundry bags and dangle them outside the window before swinging them to the window next door.

The guy next door throws in a lighter or the sugar or whatever it was that was forgoten then swings it back. Clever, huh? The guards patrol and monitor the insides of the prison block. They use the windows on the outside. And what about if Christmas was coming and you wanted a little drink?

How about, instead of asking "How can I smuggle a beer past the multi-million dollar security system?" you asked a different question? An easier or more attainable question?

Like "How can I get some potatoes out of the kitchen?"

I've heard tale of these men making home brew in hollowed out pumpkins in the vegie patch! Hidden in plain sight! Very cool!

Er, I mean wrong...very wrong.

But clever - they re-framed the problem and the resources on hand. They took what they had and applied a different application to them

On the same note...

How on earth did those Wright brothers get that plane off the ground?

They re-framed the problem and their resources. You might remember that Wilbur and Orson used to build bicycles. It was this knowledge that they applied to their flying contraption that allowed them to soar the skies for a whopping 80 feet.

But there was more to it than this...

These men also knew something else that you don't...

They KNEW that there HAD to be a solution.

This isn't as simple as it sounds. How would you cope withrepeated failures? Would you be able to believe that there was a chance to fly even though nobody had really come close before?

Do you have any idea how many years Edison fiddled around tying to make that little filament of his bulb light up? Would you have been able to sustain your belief that it was possible for all those years?

WHAT HAS ANY OF THIS GOT TO DO WITH INTERNET MARKETING?

Now here's the light bulb moment.....

YOU have to learn to re-frame your problem.

YOU have to learn to re-frame your resources - no mean feat when you have the whole Internet at your finger tips.

YOU have to learn to "misuse" those resources for something they weren't necessarily intended for.

And YOU need to truly believe in the very core of your being that it is possible to succeed.

And it is possible to succeed, you know it's possible because you know that other IMer's have been there before you and made money online doing. It's absolutely possibly.

But do you know that YOU are capable of it? Because you are.

So next time you're taking inventory of all the things you have on hand that will further your online business, you remember to put your "brain power" at the top of the list because "thinking outside the square"..."re-framing the problem"...is the most valuable asset that you have.

Do me a favour and read the post called Spam - don't get mad, get even. It's the perfect example of how Internet Marketers can make money out of nothing!

Top 5 Mistakes New Internet Marketers Make

There's no way around it. There's a huge learning curve when you decide to try your hand at Internet Marketing. Let's put this in perspective.

How many dinners did you burn before you mastered your signature dish?

How many driving lessons did it take before you were confident enough to take your divers test?

How many girl or guy friends did you date before you finally got it right?

Don't let your mistakes discourage you. Mistakes are essential to growth. Mistakes mean that you are trying. That you are learning. That you are taking action. Mistakes are great when you look at it like that, huh?

Howevaaah...

There are some mistakes that you don't want to (nor need to) make when your learning the ropes of Internet marketing. This info is designed for the benefit of the affiliate and article marketers that have been following along, but the principles apply to all forms of Internet marketing. That's blog marketing, email marketing, marketing through your website...whatever.

These mistakes are of the ilk that could damage your reputation online with other marketers, your readers and the vendors that you're affiliating with. In the world of online business, your reputation is an essential key to making sales. If people can't trust you, they won't buy from you.

In no particular order (apart from the first two)

MISTAKE #1 - BUYING INTO SHORTCUTS
It would really be very easy to bankrupt yourself buying into every get rich quick scheme that we are fooled into believing is vital to our success. There is one affiliate service that I work with that which gives us affiliates a little more info about the vendor that Clickbank does. There was one product that I quite liked the looks of and I decided to find out what other software systems this particular vendor was selling. The first sales page included a video of a middle aged man who in no uncertain terms told you all how he was so gash darn rich he didn't care if you bought the system or not...but you would be the worlds stupidest marketer if you didn't.

Nice, huh? The second sales page was a letter from another middle aged man who explained that his search for online riches resulted in his wife kicking him out where he was reduced to living with his mother. That was until he stumbled upon the secret recipe to success which has repaired his marriage, made him father of the year, made him 50 ka-zillion-billion-trillion dollars per day, every day and cured word poverty. Phew!

I'm not saying this to tun you off buying these systems, They aren't all bad - I don't think I could survive without my Killer Content membership which came to me through a sales page - but I want you to re-think what you're buying. Magic glitches, loopholes, portals which mysteriously suction targeted traffic from every niche and do it overnight are more often than not bogus. The only thing close to a shortcut that I have ever come across are memberships like those at Killer Content and the reason they are different is because they are built around the old fashioned principles like...gee, I dunno...you have to work for your money! And...hmm let me think... Content is King.


And that's the point...your online business needs to be built on a solid foundation of quality content and SEO. When you invest in the get rich quick schemes that cheat the system, even if they do work, it's only a matter of time until Google figures out the latest craze and gives you a spanking. SEO, content and building a great reputation may take longer but the are fool hardy, long lasting and accumulate over time.

Older posts - Seriously? What Magic Loophole?

MISTAKE #2 - GOOGLE VS PEOPLE
Now if you've never been guilty of this one then I don't know what you're doing here. You're fresh out of the gate with a brand spanking new Clickbank bank account and a product that you just know is going to solve world hunger. So what do you do? You get out there and start writing 5 or 10 or 20 articles about it. You stuff them with keywords, you submit the URL to somewhere like Social Monkee (or another free backlink builder service) to start smashing backlinks out there and you go totally SEO on it's butt.

The page rank is there. The traffic is there. But it doesn't convert. Why?

Let's make this as clear as possible...

PEOPLE buy things...NOT Google

Why isn't it converting? There's no sustenance. People are looking for information that they don't already know. The content is there..you've used to right keywords and you've targeted the right mirco-niche but it's 500 words about nothing!

Older posts - A New Marketing Strategy For You ( Which also addresses our next mistake)

MISTAKE #3 - THE SALES PAGE ARTICLE
Let me make this very clear too...

People aren't searching for an eBook they've never heard of. Even if you are promoting something that ready will change their lives, they don't want to hear about it yet. It's almost a very tactful spot of fishing.

What's the one thing that every fisherman needs? A hook. A way of trapping the fish at least. Then you disguise that hook.

You find the stinkiest little bait for your niche and then what? You disguise that hook as a plump little dinner floating in the big bad ocean.

That's exactly what your articles should read like. You'll note that I described the bait as "plump"? Your content should be plump. It needs to be plump. When you hear the term "body of content" you should think plump.  Your articles should be so plump that other articles look anorexic by comparism. Pack them FULL of information that is relevant to the things your niche is searching for. Give them their tips, tricks and anecdotes and then your affiliate link.

It all comes down to this...They don't want to be SOLD something. They want to be TAUGHT something.

Teach your readers about their problems, establish yourself as an  authority and do so with compassion. You know my trick already - I imagine that I'm writing a response to my friends daughter. I care about her. I want her to have good, accurate info before she makes her choice. THAT's the sort of info that goes in my articles.

MISTAKE #4 - BLOGS & FORUMS (LEAVING YOUR FOOTPRINT)
Tell me this. How would you feel if I walked into your house and said

"Hey, nice house you got here...wanna buy some encyclopedia's?"

Hmm. I though so. I have always warned you about leaving behind comments that add to the info shared on the site you're visiting. Think very wisely before you go ahead and leave that comment "Nice blog...if you want to learn  about weight loss then my blog is (URL)" This is tantamount to me waltzing in to your kitchen and selling encyclopedia's.

Less work, bigger results. That's what we all want. Yes, commenting in blogs can be a good way to get baclinks

BUT...

Leaving a message for the sake of leaving a backlink is a waste of you time. It won't always make the cut.

Howevaah...if you can add something useful to the conversation that builds on the foundation of knowledge that the blogger was trying to impart along with your URL then people are enticed to click through and the owner is less likely to mark your comment as spam.

I have a site Ranked In (www.ranked-n.com) that you can use to create backlinks via comments or submitting articles. The articles in there seem to rank quite well and ring a trickle of traffic as peoiple click through.
.
Visit Ranked !n and create backlinks

FORUMS - Same rules apply. Make sure that you add the forum users experience, anything less is spam in my eyes but then again I do have some crazy, far out principles. Most forums give you the opportunity to create a signature. If your forum allows you to put you URL in your signature...great. But most forums don't. It's a great way to get your butt kicked out in record time.

I love forums. It's a great place to research my niches. Do not drop "Click [URL] for this and that" at every turn. Add to the conversation. Get involved. Learn from them. Teach them what you know. It'ds your reputation, protect it.

Another mistake I've come across on more than one occasion is seeing one post about "How I used this product to solve world hunger" and then another post asking about how to cure world hunger. A little common sense goes a long way.

MISTAKE #5 - CHECK YOUR LINKS!!
I know this seems like the most obvious thing in the world but it happens. You're in a rush to publish and you think your okay, you got this, it's definitely the right address, right? You make a few articles, they rank well, they start bringing in the traffic...but they don't convert.

If you're lucky, you might recognize this early on and check them. If you're a little slow on the uptake then you could be frustrating readers with an invalid link to nowhere. Or the wrong-where. Or at worst you could be sending your sales to another affiliate!

Been there, done that, totally have the t-shirt to prove it.

You must write the full URL when you're adding your link which looks a little something like this - http://www.mylink.com

Do not forget the http:// or your link won't work.

At some sites when you have the option to create links they might have pre-set the hhtp:// so you will only need to add the www.mylink.com part of the address. Don't take it for granted though, if you're unsure add the http:// then test the link.

SECONDLY - if you're promoting affiliate products then you should click the Buy Now or Download buttons. Don't worry, you aren't really buying it just yet. When you scroll down to the very bottom of the next page, you should see your affiliate link. It should look a little something like this...Then army understands this. The

So let's just re-cap this mammoth post
Top 5 mistakes the new Internet marketers make are:
#1 - Looking for shortcuts - there's NO SUBSTITUTE for quality content and SEO. Think time saving tools of the trade...not magic shortcuts, glitches or cheating the system.

#2 - Google vs People - When was the last time that Google bought something off you? There's no substitute for quality content that people are searching for. Useful Content + Basic SEO = Sales

#3 - Sales Page Articles - People do NOT search for an eBook that they have never heard of. It's not your job as an affiliate marketer to sell the product. You are a matchmaker - you take the product to the people. Don't worry about justifying the price. Let the sales page do that.

#4 - Leaving Your Footprint - If it doesn't add to the foundation of the article or blog post, then I call it spam. Leave some great info and readers will be enticed to click through AND the owner is less inclined to delete your comment. In forums, use your common sense. Don't forget that your readers need to trust you - build friendships,

#5 - Check You Links - It happens more than you might think. Don't forget the http:// part of the address (unless you're told otherwise) and don't foregt to clickthrough and see where thelink takes you. If it's an affiliate link, click through to the checkout and look down the bottom for your affiliate ID.

What The Hell Are HTML Tags!?

Not a word of a lie, this was the subject line of an email I received after I published a lens over at Squidoo. And I have to say, it's my own fault. I certainly don't want my readers here to miss out so here it is guys. All the HTML tags you'll need in your quest for online riches via article marketing or even for use in your websites and blogs.

Now unfortunately I'm unable to create an example for each of them with this system so there's going to be a little trial and error on you part until I figure out a way around it.

(Psst...is anyone listening? I'm actually out on the town at the moment and since the hubby is taking forever I thought I would email a post in...clever, huh?)

  • <b>Bold</b>
  • <strong>STRONG</strong>
  • <i>Italics</i>
  • <em>Emphasis</em>
  • <u>Underline</u>
  • <strike>strikethrough</strike> 
  • <br> is used to force a hard line return. Use this HTML tag to prevent the system from trying to wrap your short sentences together into one paragraph.
  • <blockquote>creates an indented paragraph</blockquote>
  • <XMP> and </XMP> are used to display HTML code if you want to show the HTML code instead of your system interpreting your code as HTML commands. Make sense? So if you write the tags as an example like mine are now, the system could hide them. Using XMP allows them to remain visible.
  • <OL> makes a numbered list </OL>
  •  <UL> tags make a to bullet point list </UL> 
  • <p> and </p> are the "create paragraph" tags. 
  • <IMG SRC> Image tags
  • <H1>, <H2>, <H3> -  these are the tags that you use to create headings Heading 1 is largest and depending on where you're writing, there are many sizes you can use--I think Wordpress has 6 heading sizes (?)
  • The <HR> horizontal line tag.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT HTML TAGS...

The most common mistake you can make is forgetting to close your tags. It's uber important that you remember to do this other wise that one word or sentence that you wanted to highlight gets lost because every word becomes highlighted.

It works like this: You want to make a few words bold so you're going to use the <b> tag. Every word you write after that tag is going to be bold too...unless you close by using this </b> tag. See what I mean?

That little  /  (forward slash symbol) is basically the cancel button.

<b>  means start bold
</b> means stop bold

Okay guys, off you go and in the words of Hugh Neutron (that's Jimmy Neutron's father for those of you who don't have little boys)...

"Haaave FUN with it!!"

Go ahead - I know you're busting to give it a try! The comments box below supports most of these tags so have a practice =)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Things That Every Sales Page Must Have

You know you're making progress when It's time to build your first sales page!! I was gunna...but I won't...you don't need congratulating. You need real proven methods to make a sales page that works. So here it is. Seven things that every sales page MUST have.

Once you understand these things, you can also go ahead and include the principles to your websites, your blogs, you Squidoo lens or any other webpage that you have control over, As a new, struggling Internet Marketer, I'm sure you've all seen enough sales pages to know what's required. But here you are about to make your first sales page and I thought we would break it down into understandable snippets.  So without further ado...

A GREAT HEADLINE
Obviously! But what makes a "great" headline? Your headline should capture the essence of the product (or service) that you're selling. It should trigger the imagination, some curiosity and highlight the number one reason this product is a must have asset - eg, "How a stay at how mum gets paid $50 ka-gillion a month to scribble patterns for textile companies."

Be warned,  many readers, once they realize they are on a sale page, hit that back button at the speed of light before reading anything other than the headline so creating a title that draws the reader down the page is essential.

LIST OF BENEFITS
Yeah, that all well and good for her...but how can I make $50 ka-gillion each month too?
Lists are usually made with big green ticks of approval or regular bullet form. They should include every benefit that you can squeeze out of this product whilst also creating an air of curiosity.

There are two things that encourage readers to click through above all else: humour and curiosity.

The list should include how those benefits can be applied to the reader.

PROOF (TESTIMONIALS)
You shouldn't underestimate the power of social proof. Including some testimonials from other happy customers. Trust is an essential part of making money online. Think about it. You wouldn't buy a used car from a dirty, dodgy looking salesman would you? But if you see that he or she was friendly and down to earth you might not give a second thought to the fact that there's another car yard across the road.

"But Elizabeth, this is my first sales page. I'm new - I don't have any testimonials. Now what?"

The most obvious solution is to call upon family and friends to review your product. There's better option too though. Hit the forums and explain that you are giving away a limited number of product XYZ in exchange for feedback. Be honest. Let them know that you intend to gather some testimonials.
Alternatively, you could run a short AdWords campaign and offer some heavily discounted ($1 or $2) copies of product XYZ in exchange for their evaluation.

You can set some standards this way too. Minimum [this many] words, maximum [that many] words. Answer this and that specific question.

A PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCE
You websites appearance reflects the goods and services you are promoting, right? So it's even more important to make sure that you have got am official, professional looking sales page. This is where the artist in me (little know tid bit - I got my start making money online by selling my art) is just screaming out for balanced looking sales pages. I like things centred or evenly balanced on each side - if there's a photo here, then a checklist there, type thing.

Information should be broken down from large blocks of text into 2 or 3 or 4 sentence paragraphs. White sales pages give a professional appearance but can seem a little dull. Bright blue? Not my cup of tea! In any case, it is reflecting the product you're selling. An off-white (slightly beige) background and a border around important text is fool-proof. Writing in 750 pixels and centring it also does the trick.

PRETTY AS A PICTURE
Once again, the artist in me is screaming out - this time...for pictures! I suppose we can trace it back to childhood where the odd illustration would give our worn our brains a rest from the volumes of information we were trying to digest. Coupled with the fact that a picture tells a thousand words and your reader want to see what he or she is getting (it's not like they can waltz into the shop for a better look) then pictures are certainly Essentail (note the capitale E) for every sales page.

From an artistic point of view, as far as apintings are concerned, there are very few photo-realists out there. Most artists do not paint every blade of grass now every strand of hair, and yet there are some incredible real likenesses out there. Why? HOW?  It's because when we view a picute that holds the most important parts of information - the tonal changes from shadows to highlights as well as suggestions of the details - then our minds fill in the blanks. Very few people even realize that Rembrant never used the colour blue!

What's the point??

If our minds eye can see hints of blue where there is none, then it means we are using our imagination. We take the image we see and we make it our own, we fill in the gaps between the leaves or strands of hair that are painted. This is exactly what we want our readers to do. We want them to fill in the gaps and see themselves benefitting from the use of this product.

A GUARANTEE
Guarantee's build the essential ingredient of trust with your readers. Guarantee's increase conversions - there's no doubt about it. If you're selling through Clickbank then you need to include a 60 day quarantine regardless. If you don't believe me then I suggest you go back and read one of my older post - Proven Ways to Make More Money - Convert More Visitors and try the 3 T's method to see what I mean.

AN IN YOUR FACE ORDER BUTTON
Any call to action should be blatantly obvious but the Order Now or Download button(s) on your sales page should be particularly prominent. That's the whole purpose of the sales page - you're going to be in trouble if you customers can't find it! Many IM'ers like to re-instate the benefits of the product by using that little yellow box with a dotted border to house the Order Now button - just in case.

ME MYSELF AND I
This one seems a little too obvious but deserves a special mention because it works. It works so well we should be using it everywhere not just our sales pages. The truth is, I'M using it on YOU right now (hint hint). Sneaky, huh?

That's right. I'm talking to YOU. I AM talking to YOU. And that's the point. I'm referring directly to the reader as YOU. Which is perfect because once again, the reader is filling in the gaps between my words. When I say "Find out how that person over there made $10 000 bucks last week," you turn a little green with envy.

But when I say "I can show you how to put $10 000 dollars in your bank account by the end of this week,"... what happens?

Show of hands...who thought of their account balance? Uh-huh, yeah...and who imagined what they would do if they had $10 000 to spend next week?

I could be selling you the world, but unless you can see how that could benefit you, then you're going to be one...tough...sell.

OPTIONAL EXTRA'S THAT REALLY SELL
No business like show business - Every one loves a video. Doesn't matter who you are or what you're selling. Video's sell. This is because you can SHOW your prospects what they're getting when they buy this product. It takes the faith out of a leap of faith. It's test drive. A trial run before they take that leap.

Free..."stuff" - I would like to say that every sales page should have free goodies to entice people into the sale...but it's not entirely practical when you're selling certain things. If you re-frame the question then there's always something that you could give away for free or at least for a few dollars. Even if you're trying to peddle 30ft yachts, people need life jackets. Fuel. A picnic basket full of cutlery and crockery.I bet if you really dug deep could find an insurance company to team up with - first! month free.

Maybe something a little easier on the pocket? Free video tutorials? A targeted article/report per day in your Inbox? 15 minutes phone call with the "expert" (that's you btw! lol).

Point is....FREE SELLS (even better than sex sells) and if you have a think you can always find something that will companion with the product you're promoting and will increase your conversions.

Okay, folks...that's it from me BUT before you race off to build your first sales page, I need you to do something for me. Go back to the post I wrote last week about the 3T's of creating webpages that sell.

Totally scientifically proven methods of making more money and converting more visitors and the best thing of all is that it won't cost you a penny. Seriously, you gotta be insane if you don't check it out - in which case...hiya! Welcome to the club =)

AND...IF YOU'RE REALLY SERIOUS (Because you only get one launch)
Then you need to check out how the pro's do it! If you really want sales pages that sell with minimum fuss on your part then you want to invest in something like Video Salesletter Creator. Great value and a great investment.

And even if you don't like the price... you HAVE to check out this video because there are some serious tips and trick of the trade right here in their own sales page.

Why My 11 Year Old Son Has His Own Blog! (And why it applies to YOU)

When I received my summons a few weeks ago, my heart sank. My sons teachers wanted to talk to me about "his progress"...or lack of it as the case may be!! He's a bit of a dreamer. A lot like his Mother! Sound familiar? He doesn't really know what it is he's meant to be doing so he isn't really doing anything - now i bet that sounds familiar!

So after ruling out other issues that could e effecting the way he learns, we decided to put him to work online. Yup. He's opened his very first wordpress blog and is the newest and proudest owner of any gaming site you have ever come across.

What do you care? Seriously, what has this got to do with you?

Alright, it's not like he's opened his own Clickbank account and made his first dollar within days, But, there are some underlying lessons that he is learning that can help you  too.

Not even 5 days old and he had 22 visitors trampling through his blog today. He's averaging about 17 per day. How awesome is that? And if we think about the fact that only 1-2% of readers will click through and buy something, if he was advertising something - Amazon perhaps - he would make his first sale this week.

Okay, now if that sale each week generated $25, you could go ahead and repeat the process and make $50 per week...see where this is going?

When the "guru's take you inside their Clickbank accounts, they aren't showing you the results of one website. You're seeing the results of dozens, sometimes hundreds of blogs, websites, articles and email lists that are all working side by side. This is the direction that you should be moving in. World Wide (Web) domination.

If you haven't already started a blog, then you need to read my older posts about Starting a Profitable blog and/or Choosing and Targeting a Profitable Niche and THEN go ahead and get started.

If you DO already have a blog, I'm wondering how long it took you to build up to 22 visitors per day?

I'm going to share with you what my 11 year old son has done to get that growing trickle of traffic after just a few days. Now you know this is going to be easy stuff because...come ooon...a kid is doing it. And not just any kid, a kid who has trouble focusing on anything other than how to get past that  impossible level on his computer game.

And there's you first clue. He's created a blog about something that he already has a broad knowledge about. (A computer game.)

This doesn't mean that it's going to be a successful blog as far as money making. But it will be successful because regular additions to blogs are important to Google and he's going to be motivated to make new posts.

More content equals better page rank. Better page rank equals more free traffic. More traffic doesn't always mean more sales...but  it sure helps!

Is he indexed? Absolutely. We did this by means of a few little tricks. Namely backlinks.

The first port of call was Social Monkee. He opened his free account and starting pumping out 25 backlinks per day since day one. That means that there's already 100 one way backlinks already floating around out there. It takes him a few minutes after each post to head over to the Social Monkee dashboard and submit his latest post. 25 quality backlinks in minutes - I love that site!!

The next port of call was call upon me. Coz what are Mum's for? I spent about 3 minutes pumping out an article about the game in question then submitted it to my own site, Ranked !n. The following morning (we work after school), although he still wasn't indexed, he already had 2 visitors from Ranked !n pay him a visit. Niiice!!

Now we aren't talking big numbers here, but you gotta remember that this blog is still hours old at this point.

One of the other little tricks that I like to do, is use the Google Reader to track my own sites. Any RSS feed will do. I figure that since it's Google tech that I'm using, it's like waving a big red flag saying "I'M HERE, CHECK ME OWWWT...INDEX ME!"

After a few days, I finally peer pressured young Cody into letting me make a Facebook announcement. Between us, we don't have hundreds of friends - not even a hundred. But it was just another way of bringing in the traffic, getting word out there and getting some syndication happening. A proud Nana made a comment, her friends see it. One of her friends is surprised that a kid has his own blog, she shares it with her friends. And so on.

Google crawls big sites like Facebook everyday which also means that the crawlers are reaching Cody's blog in record time.

And that's all well and good, he's indexed, he's got heaps of backlinks, but why would anyone want to stay on his blog after finding it? What's he writing about?

He's not the best speller in the world. He's eleven. But he does have the same advantage as every single one of you...

Watching over my shoulder.

A MENTOR.

He knows that he has to write about things that interest him. The same questions he asked himself when he fist bought the game in question, he knows his readers are going to be searching for the same questions.

He's writing useful content!

Cheats, glitches, reviews. And he's not just helping other kids decide if it's the right game for them. He's also targeting their parents too! Now that's one clever cookie.

Every headline of every post is rich in keywords. Every time he writes a bullet point list, he's using keywords.

All of his posts are arranged into categories. Every post has at least 5 tags attached to it (should be more, but he's gotta learn some lessons by himself).

Okay, so I'm a little biased. But gosh darn it I love this kid!

These are all the things that I have been teaching you right here. Things that I have written about in great length. This kid has overheard a few comments I make here and there at home and now he's applying SEO techniques!

I think I'm creating a monster!! If he keeps this up, he's not going to want to finish school because he's going to see the money to be made from right here in the comfort of our own living room.

I've been making a lot of posts about re-framing the problem this week. And here is another perfect example of what it means to think outside the square. Here I was sitting in front of his teachers desk thinking "What can I do to make him learn from these teachers? HOw can I make sure that he does the homework that he tells me doesn't even exist?"

It was only after I got home that I realized he doesn't have to learn from those teachers -- but he does have to show them that he knows what they're talking about. He might not practice is spelling or grammar via his homework -- but as long as he's learning, that's what's really important, right.

I mean who cares where you get the fertilizer from as long as the vegie patch is thriving.

And after a quick re-frame I stopped asking "How can I make him learn?" and started asking "How can I arm him with the skills he needs or better yet, how can I get him to teach himself the skills he's going to need in the workforce one day?"

That's what the re-frame (commonly called thinking outside the square) really means. Taking a difficult problem and turning it into an easier question.

So let's just re-cap what young blogmaster Cody has done to get some traffic flowing.




Until next time (looking into the way Google works)...good luck folks. Go and check out his work at Furon Invasion for yourself.

Turning a Free Blog into a Profitable Website

Making money online really can be as simple as a four step process. In theory, it sounds nice...but how do you actually DO it? HOW do you actually make things WORK so that they make money, and keep making money? Okay, first things first. Has everybody got their blogs up and running?

Remember one day, you will want to invest in your own domain name. Your own website even if things go really well. But for now, a free blog here at Blogger or at Wordpress.com will be enough to get you started.

What are the four steps?
1) Find hungry niche.
2) Get in front of your niche.
3) Stay in front of your niche.
4)Faster, stronger, higher.

You've heard me ramble on about finding a starving crowd before - it doesn't matter how expensive you hotdogs are, how bad they taste, or where you park you hotdog stand. Find a starving crowd and they will buy.

How do you get in front of your niche? With blogs and writing high quality content. Let's run over the definition of high quality one more time too. High quality means that it's the information that your niche is searching for.

If you're suffering from infertility, you aren't searching for some spammy eBook by name (you haven't even heard of it before), you're searching for information about what you can do, what you should eat, how to detox your body, how long you should wait until you seek a fertility specialist, how to find a decent IVF clinic with a decent success rate and so on.

Your aim is not to sell the product you're promoting - that's what the sales page is for. Your job is to take the product to the starving crowd and you do that by teaching them, by giving them the info that they are looking for.

You have your blog ready and waiting...how do you get your niche there? Walk on over to you content sites and write some quality, tagrteted articles. Not just some articles, heaps of articles. You're the authority on this matter aren't you? You should know heaps about it, shouldn't you? Or look at it this way. If you REALLY are the expert that your niche should be listening to, then you wouldn't have two or three articles about the topic of discussion.

You should have 10, 20 even 30 articles all directly targeting your niche, all with a backlink to your blog, all with an affiliate link to the sales page of the product you're promatong (there's no rule that says you can't give your readers a choice). Then what? Go ahead and write another 10 or 20 articles.

Getting in front of your niche? All to often we miss out on great opportunities. The signs are there. But we fail to act. What happens when a few ezinearticles of ours make a few sales?

Monday - 1 sale. Tuesday - nothing. Wednesday - nothing. Thursday - 2 sales. Now what?

Do we write it off as aanother failed campaign? NO!!
Now we need to get our arses in front of that crowd. Head on over to AdWords and start driving the traffic into that article or that blog post that is making the sales. You get your butt in front of the traffic and sit down on the road. By every means you know how. Build a mailing list, a Facebook page, Tweet about it. All of the above? Sure, why not. But the quickest and most effective means will be to Pay Per Click (PPC) with AdWords.

Alriiiight, now we're talking. That 3-4 sales a week is steadily working it's way up to 3-4 sales a day. Now what? Faster, higher, stronger.

There's nothing I hate more than brand new marketers wasting money on software that is designed to drive hundreds of visitors to their blog or sites usually by means of some band-aid solution rather than SEO or quality content. It's like handing a 12 year old the keys to a drag car.

Once you start earning some steady money from one of your campaigns, THAT is the perfect time to start investing in products that will allow you to work smarter not faster. Because that's what you're doing. And you're thinking...."I like the sound of this...but does it work?" Do some research. Find some other customers or members - chances are you can find some doing walkthroughs on YouTube. But the fact of the matter is, we don't have a problem spending $50 on a night out, but we hesitate to spend $50 on something that will educate us and teach us to be better webmasters or salesmen or SEO experts.

Your end goal in to establish a business. You're going to invest some of your winnings into a domain name, hosting, your own website. You can build a mailing list and start reaping the benefits of repeat customers.
Doesn't that make more sense than spending the last $60 in your bank account on starting a website in a niche that you don't KNOW is profitable? You're starting with something small and free then once it has proven itself, you are building on a solid foundation and working faster, higher, stronger.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Another Make Money Method - PLR Articles

Okay, I stumbled blindly aroung the Internet for far too long before discovering that I didn't have to write every article that I posted on my blogs. Nor every article that I submit to Squidoo, Ezinearticles, or GoArticles or any of the other content sites. Sounds cool, huh? Let's talk about PLR for a moment.

PLR is short for Private Level Rights. I can break it down even more and tell you that you can have somebody else write your articles and then YOU can sell them as your own.

Think about what this means.

What's the number one thing that every webmaster wants and doens't have time to do? Write quality content.

You spend a $200 on 15ish articles about your niche. You find let's say 10 other webmasters. You tell them all that you have 15 articles that they can have for $50 BUT that you intend to sell them to no more than 9 other people. Be honest. Let them know that they will be sold to others but that you are serious about service - a maximum of 10 people with have these artcles.

10 webmsters or bloggers times $50 each leaves you with $300 in you pocket.

You just got somebody else to write your articles AND another somebody else to pay for them.

If you want to use them yourself, you call dibs on our favourite content sites - Ezinearticles and the content sites don't like duplicates. If you want to put them on your websites they don't need to be changed. Or you could run them through an article spinner.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO WITH PLR ARTICLES?

SO glad you asked. You know how I've been talking about thinking outside the square lately? And how I explained that it's not really difficult to do so...you just need to re-frame the question.

Let's re-frame another question. Instead of asking "How can I make more money online?" Why don't we ask something like "How can you get more visitors to trust you?"

Trust equals sales. In fact, repeat sales is dependant on trust. how can you buld trust with your visitors? By giving them exactly what they want.

Free information.

You take you 15 PLR articles, spin them through an article spinner, arrange them in order and viola!! You have an eBook that you can use to squeeze people onto you mailing list.

I bet I can tell what you're thinking. You're saying "But Elizabeth, I'm so new to Internet marketing...I don't even know another 10 marketers in my niche."

This is why we invented forums. And there are hundreds of forums for webmasters, for affiliate marketers, there's Blogger forums, there's the forum over at WA (Wealthy Affiliate). Be polite. Be honest - if you say 10 webmasters then only give them to 10 webmaster.

Ok. You can go head hunting for someone in the Phillipines anbody to write for you. You can go ahead and check out one of the websites that sell PLR articles for a living. Hell...you can even write them youself.

OR...

You can check our my own secret weapon - Killer Content. I'm a Platinum member at Killer Content and it was worth every cent. If you have any wrodpress blogs, you can arrange for the Killer Content software to autopublish or publish at a pre-set time. This system has everything.

I have several wordpress blogs in each niche so I trickle a constant supply of articles (and  affiliate links as well as backinks to my other sites) out to the blogs all from the one Killer Content site. If it's not a wordpress blog, I spin, copy and paste...easy.

There's a spinner that is built in to the software as well as an awesome feature that allows me to turn my articles into eBooks and reports.

But the best part is...I go to the search box up the top, I type in anything for any niche and I get dozens if not hundreds of PLR articles that are an exact match to the search phase I use. There are literally thousands of articles at my fingertips and I can use every single one of them to add content to one site, or 10 sites or 100 sites.

In fact, it was Socretes (yes...that's his real name) who taught me what I know about PLR articles and the mountains of money to be made selling (and giving away) other peoples hard work. He's taken the very best of so many other "make money online" systems and  packed all those features into the one website. Watch the video. Hear his story. Fall in love with that voice. (Well...maybe that's just me!)I'm deadly serious when i say it - Killer Content is my secret weapon.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Spam - Don't Get Mad...Get Even

Content is King. It truly is. Without content that is rich in information there is little hope of getting ranked in that premium position in the search engines. This is PURE GENIUS and you must read this carefullyI have just spent the last 10 minutes laughing my arse off at an ingenious use of spam. This is what I have been trying to get across this last week - thinking outside the square.

Let's just cover this one more time because when I first started chasing the online dream I thought that thinking outside the square was waaay too hard.

I thought that thinking outside the square was something like this ===>

But it turns out that thinking outside the square is sooo much easier than that.

Thinking outside the square involves (pay attention now)

...seeing the problem in a new light....

Assessing your resources accurately

....then putting them to other uses...

It's about taking a difficult problem

....and asking an easier question...

It's all about a Re-frame


If you've been following along at my personal blog, you would remember the example of the inmates who use their laundry bags to pass goods from one cell to another during the night by swinging them on the outside of the block to their neighbor next door?

And how they make banned home brew in the pumpkin patch from the raw potatoes smuggled out of the kitchen?

They have taken the resources they have and found another use to do the things that were otherwise impossible.

That's the way Da Vinci did it...

That's the way the Wrights brothers did it...

That's the way Thomas Edison did it...

And that's the way inmates all over the world are doing it right now.

AND....

It's probably the way your competitors are doing it.

But Elizabeth...what has this got to do with spam?

I've just been going through another "make money online" product which includes a few hours of mp3 audio files. My ears pricked up at a passing comment made by one of the speakers who began to relate a story of an acquaintance. 

Yeah, yeah...she said, he said...I know. 

But it's the principle that's important here... not who said it or whether in fact it truly happened.

This particularly savvy Internet Marketer, webmaster and affiliate was frequently bombarded with spam.

What would you do? Day after day, what would you do with 20, 50, 80 spammy emails hitting your Inbox?

What could you do?

This ingenious marketer showed a little initiative and began to harness the unstoppable power of spam for his own benefit.

Can you guess?

Just because you're new to this whole re-framing the problem concept I'll give you a hint...

CLUE: What is the number one thing that every webmaster, every blogger, every article marketer can't get enough of?

CLUE: No...it's not money!!

CLUE: It was the first thing I mentioned at the start of today's post.

An assault of spam
PLUS
A never ending search for more content 
PLUS
 affiliate links
EQUALS
One very clever man!

Yup, he was taking his spam and using it to create content!! 

Gives a whole new meaning to that "Don't get mad, get even" chestnut, doesn't it? 

The thing about spam, is that something triggered it - a keyword for example. It's usually related to whatever it is you're trying to online. It's usually rich in keywords and strong calls to action. 

This is exactlty what it means to think outside the square.

To take a problem (content)...

And examine ALL the resources you have on hand (and that's a lot...you've got the whole Internet at your disposal)...

Then find a different way to use that resource.

This savvy IM'er was getting truck loads of fresh content delivered to his Inbox everyday.

This truly is outsourcing at it's finest!! lol

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Every Article Marketers Dream

Seriously, you have got to check out this bad boy! I'm excited about this one. I've been working online for longer than I care to admit and as a webmaster, blogger, article marketer, mother etc, I get to review a lot of products. This might sound like fun, but trust me...it ain't.

I've been using Article Demon for about two weeks now and I'm already seeing the results.

Let's start from the beginning. Are we all familiar with the humble article spinner? Basically, you copy an article into the software, you highlight different words and phases, you type in some synonyms which are surrounded by some fancy symbols then spin....

Then you take your {new|spun} articles and {publish|submit} them {on your website|into your blog|at article directories|everywhere}

If you have had experience with spinners before then you've possibly been burned. Many spinners just don't make the cut. Often, you have to add your own synonyms and those that do have a dictionary built in can't distinguish between the different niche specific synonyms. For example:

In the Education niche training means:
{training|coating|tutoring|learning}

In the Weight Loss niche training means:
{training|exercising|working out|etc}

This piece of software has so many features that I risk breaking a fundamental rule of article marketing...

Writing a "sales page" article!! Did I mention I was excited?

BUT...

You want to know what I've been doing with this Article Demon, right? Preferably before you go ahead and waste your money on another system that might not work.

Firstly, this isn't just some system It's a tool that you can use to build your status in the search engines, get a few more visitors flowing through to use site and build a business from the ground up.

Remember my illustration about your niche being like game a golf? You can try and blame the golf course if your game stinks but the truth is you could be on the best course in the world and still never reach the green...

Unless you have an understanding of how the game is played. I also went on to explain that you would never see Tiger Woods practicing his swing with a baseball bat - he probably doesn't even own one,right?

So what's the moral of the story? So glad you asked!

You HAVE to understand the rules of the game - you need to know how to target your niche, bring them to your site and keep them there. You need to have a game plan. You need to know when to use the nine iron and when to whip out your putter.

AND

You MUST have the right tools for the job. There is no need to have all those eBooks and reports and the dodgy software systems on your hard drive. You need to have the right system of websites or blogs that are funneling traffic from the search engines to your traffic site - a problem resource site - that then drives that traffic to your money generating site (your sales pages) - the problem solution site.

To do all this successfully, you need to have the golf clubs...not the baseball bat. You don;'t need ALL the tools, just the right tools.

I truly believe this is one such tool and I wanted to show you what I've been doing with Article Demon these last two weeks.

AUTOMATE YOUR ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS
I have been using Article Demon to slowly submit articles to about a dozen different article directories each day. I control what times and dates they are submitted.

BYPASS CAPATCHA
That's right..bypass the capatcha. There aren't many software programs that can do this for you. And if you were to end up having your IP address banned as a spammer you can use the proxy server to continue submitting your articles
AND this is the only software that I have seen that actually slows down the rate of submitting articles when antibot's are trigger (yeah...first night I got Article Demon, I put that one to the test!)

CREATE USER NAMES AND PEN NAMES IN 100 ARTICLE DIRECTORIES
I have many sites in about six different niches (they're the one's I nurture anyway) and I have multiple sites in each niche. I's common sense to have a different pen name for each niche. Article Demon will let you create and manage dozens of different names...
Sooo
You could submit articles with links to your site under your name...
And then under another name...
And then another.

You aren't restricted to the article directories that are pre-programmed either, you can add as many sites as you like.

I can manage all my niches easily and the project folder lets me keep track of whats been spun or publish etc (somebody remind me to show you how to take four or five of the spun articles in that folder and turn them into free report or ebook that you can use to build your mailing list - you don't need Article Demon to do this trick either)

INCLUDING...YOUR WORDPRESS  BLOGS
Yup...all my Wordpress blog got a healthy work out and I just copied and pasted some other articles to my other blogs the old fashioned way.

HAVE A SLOW STEADY DRIP OF NEW BACKLINKS
This one is most important. Google likes this one. We hear a lot of hype about driving hundreds of visitors to you site overnight and this just isn't the case. What we really need though is to create a slow buildup of backlinks dripping into our site a bit like building a castle out of lego - one block at a time. Once your backlinks are out there, they stay there, constantly dripping visitors into your site or blog.

It's not enough to just have backlinks scattered at random throughout the Internet. You backlinks need to be quality backlinks - made with the write anchor text in the middle of your articles and the end. They should be one way backlinks where ever possible.

THAT'S IT...I DRAW THE LINE!!
There are tones of other features and the best thing about Article Demon is that you don't have to buy it to check them all out - you can most of them right here.

Let's get down to business though. It's not very often that I recommend a product like this because the truth is, not all of them will benefit you. Not all of them are appropriate for beginners. For example, I have and use some of the techniques from other systems because they work. But I don't recommend them to you. Why? Because they're not appropriate for a beginner - they are the icing on the cake so to speak.

There's no point having the icing if you don't already have the cake.

Soooo... Article Demon...

Is it the icing or the cake?

Most definitely it's the cake. This is the start of a beautiful relationship. Thoroughly recommend this one guys

Seriously? What Magic Loophole?!

Come on guys...really? If these magic loopholes seriously worked why would they be selling them for only $49.95?? No. They aren't selling it of the goodness of their heart because they understand your plight. In fact it's plights like yours that are putting that $1068.45 per day in their ?Clickbank account.

What Russian hacker? Geez, there must be enough Russian hackers around to start there own social network. Just a thought (it only occurs to me now)...do you think they choose Russians because of the whole Cold War/Russians are spys thing that Americans have got going on? It's just that a whole lot of Americans are Googling make money online so you would assume that these "guru's" are targeting a niche that has a pre-disposition to believe that Russia is full of spys and hackers. It's not. Either that or my Step Mother is very convincing...

What One Push Button software? Seriously? If it were that easy would anyone be sharing it let alone for the measly price of only $39.95? Would big businesses be paying tens of thousands of dollars each day to employ people to do everything this sales pages promises?

Shoot you to page rank number one and super glue you in place? Not EVERY webmaster surely?

Drive thousands of visitors to your sites overnight? Come ooonn! If any site could do that we would be calling it Google.

It's time to let go of that dream my friends. Internet Marketing is not easy. Nothing worth having ever is. Internet Marking is not some get rich quick pipe dream. It's hard work that gets easier over time. Internet Marketing is not going to solve all you problems this month. And don't count on it saving you next month either.

BUT!

But if you continue to persevere...

And you KNOW that it is possible... (because it is)

And you deserve it just as much as the guru's who are making money off of your greed...

Then you can climb down out of the clouds and get to business.

Because that is what you are doing. You are creating a business. From scratch. You need a blog to promote yourself - not your products, not your business...you. Let's get your name out there and build an online reputation. This blog is your business card...not your a flyer.

You need another blog or website - a traffic driving site which you fill with high quality content that will get them in from the search engines and keep them there. High quality and useful content. SEO. Backlinks. Quality.

Where does this traffic driving site lead people?

To your money generating site. Sometime known as a sales page. Sometimes not. SEO...nah, not really. Backlinks? Let your affiliates take care of that. Quality? Abso-darn-lutely.

And just to spice things up a little...

Why not throw in a mailing list too. Got a squeeze page? Got a free report or eBook? Got a newsletter? No? Then you're going to need one. Soonish. It's on your to-do-list =)

A mailing list is an integral part of building an online business. It allows you to overcome one of the biggest obstacles that are preventing you visitors from converting into customers - trust. They don't trust you, so what are you going to do about it? You're going to send them the finest quality newsletter and emails you can muster. You're going to send them to your business card blog so that they can get to know you. You're going to prove yourself.

Internet Marketing...this whole making money online is easy thing that the guru's are teaching you. It's wrong.

Sure, it's easy for them...only because they are preying on those who don't know any better. I just told my expectant sister in law not one week ago that labor pains are different for everyone. The woman who was in that room before you felt them differently from the way you will feel them which is different from the way the next  women will.

What worked for the guru's might not work for you. (Not that they are all bad, I've found many gems along the way) Many of them are promoting a system that was flooded with competition 8 years ago. Or a system that they don't personally use. Or a system that is riddled with holes...it's like the system they use, only watered down for the public.

You need to forge your own way ahead, your own business, be your own man. Know that you're in it for the long haul. Find a half decent mentor if you will but ultimately you need to rely on your own knowledge, your own system, your own brainpower.

Questions? Or have I cleared that up now?

STOP PAYING STUPID TAX

Internet Marketing - That's NOT How You Do It!!

Having a mentor to show the way is in important part of learning any new skill, be that reading or driving or Internet Marketing. While so far we have focused on what you should be doing to make money online with Article Marketing or any other kind of Internet Marketing, I think it's time to have a look at what you shouldn't be doing. At least that's my story anyway and I'm sticking to it! This has nothing to do with the fact that I feel like a good ol' gripe tonight...honest! ;-)

This is going to be fun! I've got some horrific examples of articles. If you're wondering why all your many hours of hard work bent over the keyboard aren't converting, then you need to go through this information  carefully. It details some very common mistakes that new marketers makes and gives you instructions to writing articles, blog posts and webpages that convert

SPAM
First things first, let's get the boring stuff out of the way first. Spam. In my opinion, spam is anything that doesn't add to the visitors experience. If you want to go and hit the forums or blogs in your niche by all means go ahead.

BUT...

Make sure the comments you leave behind are appropriate. They must add to the users experience. There was a reason that people clicked through to read that blog or article. They were looking for specific information about something...can you add to that article? Do you do a better job of explaining it in your own blog post?

Then go ahead and prove it. Leave a great message right there and people will use the link you leave behind. Leave a spammy message and the webmaster will delete it the first time and ban you the second. It's that easy.

THAT FOUR LETTER WORD...SCAM
If you read yesterdays post then you already know that I came across some terrible Squidoo articles recently advertising an eBook called Pregnancy Miracle. We touched on the matter of using the hooker "Scam" to bring visitors in off the SERPs.

You should never use scam when promoting a product because it casts doubt on that product. Once said it can't be undone. Even if you use a headline like "Is [Product XYZ] A Scam?" then go on to explain what a great product it is, you have still caused the word scam to be associated with the product - it creates doubt in the mind of an already hesitant or skeptical visitor. Vendors are particularly strict about this point and can have you expelled from affiliate programs for shedding this doubt on their product.

You will also remember that I mentioned that there is no recovery from using this word. The article I'm thinking of began very critical - "people are telling you it works because they are trying to make money from your misfortune" and "just because it worked for her doesn't mean it will work for you" or "there's no way to verify these claims...anybody can put up a webpage about anything! - and then towards the closing paragraph there was a large shift in direction - "it's only $50 and if it does work it would be great" and "why not buy it and find out for yourself?"

After reading three modules about how eBooks are a rip off of false promise...this last paragraph doesn't convince me.


I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN
Perhaps it's just a pet peeve of mine...but if you don't know then shut your mouth because you have no idea. Sorry. Was that a bit much? Well that's what your readers are thinking.

If you can pull it off (meaning you really have been in that situation) then knowing is an important part of the 3 F's Marketing Technique - Felt, Found and Feel.

I know how I felt when I was in your shoes... (ramble about the situation)
But what I found was...  (a solution to the situation...the product you're promoting)
And now it's feels great to know that....  (I have peace of mind from that solution)

Take note of that Internet Marketing technique...it's a proven strategy that helps me convert readers that would otherwise be too skeptical to give it a go.

What irks me is when people who have no idea of the problem claim to understand the depth of the issue. Going back to another Squdoo lens about Pregnancy Miracle I looked up to the authors bio box which read a little something along these lines

I know what it's like to really want children because I have 2 of my own and I love them so much


Okay, hands up...who can tell me what she did wrong? Let's think about this.

She's selling a eBook that is targeting couples who are desperate to have a child. I don't just mean desperate, I mean they are desperate.

These women spend years of their lives, months after month trying to get pregnant and at the end of each month they lie in a crumpled heap on the bathroom floor grieving over another lost chance to conceive. They hate the holiday season because they have to spend time meeting new nephews or nieces. These women used to have a best friend of 20 years before this problem of infertility drove a wedge between them that couldn't be bridged. They watch coworker after neighbor after friend all getting pregnant at the drop of a hat. They want to walk over and b*tch slap that redneck in the shop who's yelling at her 2 year old.

They often have a history of one or two or six miscarriages or babies who were born sleeping (stillborn). They day dream about walking into a maternity ward and just taking one. At $10 000 a cycle, I have met women who have had nine failed cycles of IVF. They face financial ruin because they have mortgaged the home, sold the spare car, pawned all their wedding gifts and scraped every dollar of the sidewalk hoping that maybe, just maybe, this next cycle will be the one.

For somebody to come along and say something as insensitive as "I know how you feel because I have not one but two beautiful babies - they are just so gosh darn great,  I love'em sooo much"

Well? Need I say more?

Yes. Yes I do. You can avoid this problem by doing your research. You have to understand the mind set of your niche - the problems they face, what those problems are, way they view the world, what motivates them...you need to get inside their minds. This is why so many people suggest that you chose a niche that you already know - because you already have that level of understanding. (My strategy for choosing and targeting a niche is a little different).

Where can you find this information if you're not familiar with your niche? In their forums. You might think it's a strange way to do you research but it's there that you will learn the mindset of your niche, their problems and a constant supply of fresh idea's for new articles and posts. Cool, eh?

THE SALES LETTER ARTICLE
You have definitely heard me complaining about this one before! What I mean by sales letter articles are those articles that you could easily mistake for a sales page. They have been written firstly for the search engines and secondly for the product.

They have all the SEO and keywords and are stuffed with affiliate links, they might rank well...but there's no sustenance.

When a reader come to your webpages, he wants to find information about a problem he's facing - he wants easier, faster, proven ways to solve that problem. Yes, the product your promoting could very well be the solution to his problems but what he thinks he needs is information.

If you want to convert more of your readers then you need to give them want they want. Give them easier, faster and proven ways to solve their problems and then tell them that there's an even easier, faster, idiot proof solution on the other side of your affiliate link.

It is not your job as an affiliate to sell the product. You are responsible for the pre-sell. You take the product to the people. You are a matchmaker! You don't have to justify the price...let the sales page do that. Don't even mention the price. You don't copy and paste large chunks of the sales page into your article, or make bullet points as to why this product is so great.

YOU COLD HEARTED SON OF A...NEVER MIND
Let's look at it this way. If your brother, sister, mother or child came to you with a problem...would you tell them all about this great product that you're promoting? Or would you try to help them understand a little bit more about the problem, about other solutions that they may not have thought of?

Do you think the tens of thousands of users who log in to their computers each day do so because they want to be sold something?

Or taught something?

Here's the thing, you might have absolutely no experience at all when it comes to selling things but I bet you have a whole lot of experience when it comes to teaching things. Am I right?

Parents teach their kids stuff every day. Ever taught one of your parents how to check their email? Or write a text message? Or to use Facebook? How to find a video on YouTube? Ever taught your friends how to cook something? Or pronounce something?

It's a whole lot easier to convert a few sales a day from teaching rather than selling.

I like to imagine that I'm answering the question of my imaginary best friends daughter. I answer her question thoroughly, carefully, accurately; I care about this daughter. I want her to get the proper information she deserves.

THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON...
I can sum up this whole post in one short sentece.

You are writing for people

Monday, 20 June 2011

I Use Some Great Hookers (See the video)

This may be the best platform to make such a confession but too bad. I admit it. I use hookers. I use them everyday. It's like some sort of addiction for me. And it doesn't matter if you're an affiliate marketer, a webmaster, an article marketer, an blog marketer, an email marketer, a Christian, Muslim or Jew...you should use hookers too.

Has anybody ever told you that you have a dirty, one track mind? I'm not talking about those hookers. I'm talking about an enticingly irresistible title that you just can't click past.

Just like the one you just couldn't click past a moment ago!

Since my fingers are still bleeding from the last post I made for you guys about reducing the minimum bid on you AdWords account, I'm going to get straight to the point.

You're going to need a great headline (or at the end of your article when you're advertising affiliate links) to capture your audience and reel them in from the SERPs.  Something that stands out from the crowd. There's a fine line here. Your title should be rich in keywords without blending in to the masses. One of the most notorious and common hookers is that four letter word...

S.C.A.M.

I thoroughly discourage anyone from using this hooker - she's a tart and very hard to recover from. Seriously though, I came across a Squidoo lens a few weeks ago that was titled something along the lines of  Pregnancy Miracle Scam and it was a complete and utter train wreck to read. I actually came across a few really bad articles that night but that one stands out.

This particular article was really very forceful straight out of the gate saying something about eBooks that promise the world and deliver nothing, systems that worked for somebody else that might not work for you, but it only costs you about $50 odd dollars to buy and that the many people who claim that it might work only do so because they are trying to sell it to you and profit from your misfortune.

Towards the closing paragraph, there was a sudden shift in direction.

But maybe it does work and it's only $50. Surely it's worth  buying it and finding out for sure? By the way...I found this link that you can use if you want to check it out. 


See what I mean about being difficult to recover from? In order to draw visitors off the SERPs and into the article, the first paragraph has to be critical. How could you recover from that?

Not only that, the vendor of Pregnancy Miracle could have that author thrown to the wolves. Nobody wants to have their merchandise associated with a scam as you would realize if you read the Terms & Conditions at Clickbank when you signed up. It's one of those things that you can't take back.


So we know what not to do...the question remains. How do you make a great hooker?


Words are an incredibly powerful thing. If you haven't already seen this video then you need to check it out.





Pretty impressive stuff huh?

Words have the power to break hearts or heal them. Words have the power to incite people to action or to crush their spirit. Words have the power to make us laugh and cry. Words have the power to build trust or tear it to shreds. Words once spoken can never be undone.

How do you apply this to the headlines of your articles, your blog posts and your webpages? How do you create a headline hooker or a click here hooker so enticing that the visitor is almost forced to click through?

In my experience nothing works better than humor and curiosity. If you can combine them both in the same headline then even better. A fun play on words, a pun is an obvious way to make a hooker.

Curiosity also works wonders - it got you here today, didn't it? That and your dirty one track mind! As an example, let's assume that you were advertising a dog training eBook. (Underlined words would be your anchor text when you make your links)

Some Click Here hookers might look like this...

If you've been having this much trouble with your best friend then it's time to get a new one...
OR you could learn the secret dog training trick that I've been using for years.


The only thing worse that a backyard full of dog poo is a house full of **it. If only there was some way that every dog owner could learn to control an out of control dog.


What about headline hookers?

Who's a naughty boy then? Man vs Dog


This dog is driving me barking mad!!


(PS - Never advertise "dog" training. Think micro-niche. Target the owners of Alsatians, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles for more success)

Now you have a better understanding on the concept of a hooker you have got absolutely no excuse to ever write a boring Click Here ever again. In fact, if you want some homework you should go and change those links as soon as you're finished here.

As for the titles, get creative. Don't give the game away immediately, you want to string your readers along to get them through to the end of your article. If you have read some of my other posts about choosing or targeting a niche then you would know that I recommend magazines as a great model to follow when it comes to Internet Marketing. If you want some extra homework, run down to your newsagent and check out some of the hookers that the mag's in your niche use. They are a great source of inspiration.

AdWords - Reducing My Minimum Bid

I've had a few emails recently about minimum bids at AdWords skyrocketing and I thought we should get to the bottom of it. We're going to examine some common mistakes that people make and what you can do to bring those prices back down.

But before we get to that (no...it's not another illustration!) we need to understand the way that Google works.

Google pride themselves above all on user experience...as should you. If you're not adding to user experience then you're not converting either. People don't want to be sold to, they want to be taught to.

When the crawlers search your sites, they single out the landing page. Your landing page is critiqued for relevance to your advert and user experience. They grade you according to how much (they think) a visitor would enjoy the experience on your site.

Here's the thing, if you have a low score when it comes to user experience, Google AdWords algorithm will penalize you with a higher PPC on your minimum bid, sometimes overnight. The reasoning is, if your advert is displayed and the users don't get a great experience they become reluctant to use AdWords next time. You can't argue with that reasoning. So while they may be losing money in the short term, Google is ensuring a bright future for the webmasters who use AdWords responsibly and honestly.

Okay, crunch time. Let's take a look at the types of pages that will earn you a low user experience label and a high minimum bid for your AdWords ads.

THE EVER SO HUMBLE SQUEEZE PAGE
These are pretty obvious for the crawlers to recognize; huge title, the phrase SIGN UP  and FREE REPORT or FREE EBOOK, there are lots of bullet points and no external link. For obvious reasons, Google considers this a page with "poor user experience." There's no content and no other options other than to hand over your prized email and proceed.

THE "THIRD PARTY REVIEW" SITE
We have probably all thought of it before...one site that is home to all your affiliate links. These "sites" are usually consist of one page and the affiliates "review" of different products. The sole purpose is for visitors to click through and purchase - once again, there's not enough content for Google to consider this anything but a site with "poor user experience."

IF YOU THINK THAT"S BAD ENOUGH... THE ARBITRAGE SITE
So the last one was pretty obvious, yeah? Google has some of the best techies in the world and the algorithm used to crawl and assess our sites is not to be mocked - recognizing a few affiliate links is no trouble at all. So why anyone thinks they can get away with an arbitrage site is beyond me.

Arbitrage sites are in essence an AdSense ad farm - I wholeheartedly support Google's distaste for these sites and long for the day that they are banned or good. But that's just me, I've got some crazy, far out principles. The purpose of these sites is to make more money with AdSense than the webmaster is spending on AdWords. Visitors click on the AdWords ad only to be taken to a page that consists of AdSense advertising. If you looked up poor user experience in the dictionary you find yourself on an arbitrage site.

SALES LETTERS
Something every good marketer is familiar with - the sales page. A normal website consists of many pages so when Google stumbles across a single page then it's safe to assume that it's obviously selling something. Because a sales page usually contains a lot of content we can assume that the penalty comes from the fact that there are no external links. If you are creating a sales page, there really isn't any need to get too carried away with SEO. Your business should be set up so that your other sites and blogs all lead potential buyers to you sales page and once you have enough affiliates linking to it, you don't really have to worry page rank. But there are a few things we can do to bring the minimum bid of you AdWords ad's down and satisfy Google.


SOLUTIONS THAT WILL BRING YOUR 
ADWORDS MINIMUM BID DOWN TO A REASONABLE PRICE.

I feel a bit silly going through the solutions because if you have reached the point where you're using AdWords to pay for traffic then you already know the answers. However, knowing the theory and actually applying it ae two completely different things.  

The most obvious solution is quality content. When you're talking about squeeze pages and sales pages this might not be what you have in mind but here's the trick.

You link to content.

At the bottom of the page you add a few discreet links. A Contact Us page, an Info page or Privacy Policy...all the usual stuff. Of course these links should be unobtrusive because you don't want your visitors to wonder around to much but giving them options is going to bring down that minimum bid when it comes to your AdWords account. I also want to talk about a Content link in a moment.

Personally, I don't think a squeeze page should ever force visitors to sign up or leave. I know that defeats the purpose of the squeeze but I also think that we don't give people enough credit to make a sensible choice - we appeal to their sense of greed when appealing to their sense of logic is often just what the Doctor ordered. Depending on what's on offer, I prefer to give visitors a chance to either:

a) learn more about what they are signing up for or 
b) to enter the site regardless and given the opportunity to sign up again later. 


(Not the point, Elizabeth...stay on task!)

Quality content.

So a very small Content link on the bottom of your sales or squeeze page that leads back to your website and to some articles about the things your niche is looking for will serve you well as far as building trust, reducing the cost of your minimum bid at AdWords and increasing your rank. 

It's all about finding a balance...

What's more important to you? Getting that person to sign up straight away before they get want they want and you never hear from them again? Or are you patient enough to build a relationship with them knowing that trust is vital to making sales especially repeat sales?

If you like the sound of using the latter technique it's important that you use original content - don't go grabbing articles from ezinearticle's or other content farms. You can approach somewhere that sell PLR Articles and purchase some if you don't have the time to write them yourself. Go ahead and add you affiliate links to those articles, throw in some AdSense and voila! You have another monetized site to add to your list of assets. If you are using the "review" strategy then you can add those reviews to the bottom of each page.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO REDUCE YOUR 
MINIMUM BID AT ADWORDS?


For each and every advert that you make, you have the option of choosing a unique destination URL. Relevance is vital to Googles AdWords algorithm. The key words you choose should be prominent on your landing page. 

We're talking about relevance here. Remember that Google prides itself on giving users the best possible search results. If you're using an advert about quilting and taking people to a URL about dogs then you're going to be paying through the nose for those adverts.

Which leads me to the next solution for reducing your minimum bid at AdWords.

Tell me, when was the last time you went all SEO on your landing page's butt? If you read my previous post about proven ways to Make More Money - Convert More Visitors then you will be using my 3 T's technique. Using this technique means that you need to keep track of your keywords and update your AdWords from time to time. Every webpage undergoes changes from time to time and you should never neglect your SEO.

If you've been laboring under the impression that SEO doesn't apply to you because you are using AdWords or PPC then you need to guess again because you are sorely mistaken. You should always take organic traffic seriously...it's free.

AT THE END OF THE DAY
It's all about user experience. Stop thinking about your account balance and view your pages from a visitors perspective. Is it worth your time of day to visit this site? Has it taught you something that didn't already know? Does it contain information that you can start using to solve your problem straight away? Has it got a few pretty diagrams or pictures to keep you interested? Or a poll? Does the page interact with you?

You don't want to go and get all carried away with the "shiny things" because seriously, what would you prefer? A pretty website that didn't work and cost you hours of you life to build? Or a simple website that does convert?

That wraps it up from me today folks. I hope that clears things up for you. You know I'm always keen to hear your thoughts so feel free to drop me a line about your AdWords troubles and I'll see what I can do.