Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Internet Marketing - That's NOT How You Do It!!
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
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.
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