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Archive | June, 2018

How to Create a Product That Sells

Notice the headline doesn’t say, “How to Create a Product and Sell It.” Frankly, that’s exactly what most marketers do – they create a product without any thought to what the market wants, and then they try to figure out a way to sell it. Result? Most times: failure.

Howto Create a Product That Sells

To create a product that sells, you want to first identify a niche that’s hungry, and then offer them whatever it is that they are hungry for. The hard work is in finding that target audience that is ready and eager to buy.

Once you’ve done that, creating the product is the easy part, as well as the fun part because you know in advance that you are about to make money.

So how do you identify a hungry niche?

Here are keys to look for when investigating a possible market:

Are they in pain? Are they seeking relief from that pain, and are they willing to pay for that relief?

Do they have a problem? If so, are they willing to pay to get the solution to that problem?

Are they seeking a specific pleasure? Are they willing to pay to receive that pleasure?

My advice is to focus as much as possible on the first two. While people are certainly willing to pay for pleasure, they will part with their money far faster to relieve pain or solve a pressing problem.

If you find competition in your prospective niche, it’s a good sign that there is money to be made, so don’t think you’ve got to find some great undiscovered niche – it’s not likely to happen. If there is no competition, realize that it’s probably because no one is buying.

Now then, you are going to allow your market niche to define your product. In other words, rather than creating the product and finding the market, you’ve now found your market and you’re going to create your product to satisfy the specific needs of that market.

Let’s say you’re targeting retirees who want to make extra income online. What do you know about your niche? You know that generally they’re not as computer savvy as teens and twenty-somethings, that they’re going to be more receptive to building long term income rather than something that’s supposed to make them rich overnight, that they’re likely to be more skeptical when it comes to making money from home, and so forth.

Thus you are going to target all of your marketing and your products using the information you gather from your research on this niche, and you’re going to always have your prospects in mind when you’re working on your business. You might even imagine a couple of your best prospects right there in the room with you as you’re creating your product and your marketing materials.

Let me give you a head start on finding a niche that’s just dying to purchase your product.

The three biggest, hottest and hungriest mega niches are…

1. Health, fitness and weight loss
2. Making money
3. Relationships, dating and personal development

These are excellent starting points, but of course you’re not going to target the ENTIRE health, fitness and weight loss market. If you’re trying to market to everyone, you are marketing to NO ONE.

Thus you’re going to drill down to find the specific group within these niches that you want to market to.
Examples: College women wanting to lose weight. Stay at home Mom’s wanting to earn money. People married over 10 years wanting to put the spark back in their marriage.

And you could narrow it down from there. The point is, once you have a hungry niche, you extensively research and even interview that niche until you know exactly what they want, and then offer it to them.

Do you see the difference between guessing what people might want, and KNOWING in advance what they will pay for? It will save you time and frustration while growing your bank account 10 times faster than guessing ever would.

Is Your Website LOSING You Business?

Did you know that promoting too many different categories of products or services from one website can result in fewer sales?

Is Your Website LOSING You Business?

Let’s say you have an SEO service, a website building service and a Facebook page service. Someone comes to your website looking to get a professional Facebook page built for their business, and finds all kinds of info on website building and SEO. He leaves.

Next he goes to a website that offers JUST Facebook pages. He buys.

What happened? Your website didn’t cater specifically to what he was looking for, so he kept searching until he found a website that did.

Solution? If you sell distinctly different services or products, you might want to consider building micro sites for each one.

And don’t be confused by the term “micro site.” A micro site might contain hundreds of pages of information – the key is that all of the information is targeted to one very specific micro niche.

And different products and services aren’t the only reason to consider building micro sites. If you cater to distinctly different customers you’ll also want to consider using micro sites.

For example, if you have an accounting service for both individuals and businesses, you will get more new clients by having two different websites, each catering to one of those two specific markets.

If you sell information on making money by blogging and on traffic generation, you might consider having two distinct micro sites,

Micro sites are effective for several reasons…

You’ll get a better conversion rate with micro sites because you appear to be the authority on that specific service or product. You are suddenly the expert rather than the jack of all trades. And you are speaking directly to the prospects who want that specific product or service.

Second, it’s easier to get your websites ranked high in the search engines when they are dedicated to a specific niche.

Third, you don’t have all your eggs in one basket when you’re using micro sites. Imagine if you offer products in 5 different categories, all within one field. If you decide to sell off a portion of your business – say, 3 of the 5 categories, you can do it without harming your other two categories. Remember, websites are assets – in both the good and bad sense of the term. So not only can you sell some micro sites and keep others – should one of your websites run into trouble (falls out of favor with Google, for example) your other websites will remain unaffected.

To make this micro site technique work, you’ll need to be committed to writing plenty of great content on an ongoing basis if you want to rank it high in the search engines.

Choose domain names for your micro sites based on keywords, not based on your business name. For example, if you own a big garden center in Portland and one of your specialties is miniature roses, then PortlandMinatureRoses.com will have an easier time ranking high in the search engines than JudySmithRoses.com.

By all means add a blog to your micro sites and blog regularly if you like because it can only help. The more good information you offer, the better you’ll rank and the more likely prospects are to see you as the expert they’re looking for.

Bottom Line: Micro sites attract targeted customers Isn’t that what we all want more of?

Your (Second) Most Powerful Business Marketing Strategy?

Regardless of what niche you are in, there is no doubt that building a list of prospects and customers who know you, like you and trust you is your most powerful business marketing strategy.

Your (Second) Most Powerful Business Marketing Strategy?

So what’s the second most powerful business marketing strategy? It’s up for debate, but I’d like to suggest the following:

Writing a book in your niche to give away to your prospective customers.

And no, I don’t mean a 20 page report, although that’s far better than nothing. Nor am I suggesting you write a “book” that’s nothing more than a cleverly disguised sales letter, although those can be useful as well.

Let’s stand in our prospect’s shoes for just a moment. Let’s say you live in Chicago and you’re looking to invest a substantial amount of money in marketing your brick and mortar business online. Obviously you don’t want to hand the work over to just anyone – you want someone who clearly knows exactly what they’re doing and can deliver the results you seek. Someone who will get customers streaming through the door and the cash register ringing non-stop. Bottom Line: Someone who won’t waste your time and money.

A fellow drops by out of the clear blue and offers to do your marketing. You’ve never heard of this guy and you’re cautious. You do some research, ask your fellow business people, and locate 3 more small business marketing types who all say they’re experts at marketing small businesses online. They even have references. Still, you’re cautious.

Then one day you’re at a friend’s place of business when you spot a book on his desk. The title immediately grabs your attention: Effective Online Marketing For Small Businesses In The Chicago Area.

It’s not a snappy title by any means, but you don’t care. You’re riveted. You want to know everything in the book and you especially want to know who the author is and can you hire him.

And all you’ve seen so far is a book title. So why are you so interested in hiring THIS guy? Why does he stand head and shoulders above all the other small business online marketers you’ve already spoken to?

First, he’s an author. And like it or not, author’s carry a mystique and an air of credibility virtually untouchable by any peers who haven’t authored a book.

Second, not only did he write a book on marketing your small business online – he wrote about marketing your small business online in the area in which you live.

It’s akin to having the name Abdul Anderson and finding a book titled: What Abdul Anderson Should Do Right Now to Solve His Problems. Tell me you wouldn’t pick that book up in a heartbeat if your name was Abdul Anderson!

Okay, you’ve got the point. When you write a book, you’ve got instant star attraction and a ton of perceived credibility. People are no longer asking, “Can I see 5 references?” They’re not asking, “What if you can’t do what you say you will do?” They’re not asking about your guarantee, how long you’ve been in business, and all those other questions.

Instead, they’re asking how much you charge and when can you start.

And this isn’t just for marketers working with offline businesses – this is for almost anyone offering a service or even a product.

Imagine someone comes to your website – has never heard of you before or been to your website before – and there on the home page sees the book that you’ve written. Do you think you’ve just scored some serious credibility with that new visitor? Absolutely.

Or what if you’re sending traffic to a squeeze page to capture their email address. Do you think offering them the e-version of a REAL book that is currently being sold on Amazon will increase your conversion rate? You bet!

Back to marketing to offline businesses – if you hand a prospect a copy of your book, do you think you’ve increased the odds you’ll close them on a $5,000 marketing package? Of course.

Your book should contain tons of dynamite information and no sales pitch. Yes, it’s fine to refer them to your website, but the main focus should be on educating your reader. The more you tell, the more of an instant expert you become in your reader’s mind.

Make the book comprehensive, covering a great deal about your particular niche. Don’t be afraid of telling too much – generally when a prospect realizes how complex your service is, if they can afford you then they will hire you rather than attempt it themselves.

Include your contact information, including phone number, address and of course your website. Realize that people hang onto books, and even if they don’t need your service right now, they might refer back to it in a year or even in 5 years, so don’t change your contact information unless you absolutely have to. The book you give to someone today could result in a $20,000 sale 5 years from now, but only IF they can easily find you.

Make it easy to read. Just like a sales letter, you don’t want page after page of fat paragraphs. Use plenty of headings, bullet points and space to break it up.

And by all means edit it. Get someone else to read it over and tell you if there are any errors or places where it’s difficult to follow. You want it to read as professionally as possible because it is a direct reflection of you and your business.

If you are giving away the e-version of your book on your squeeze page or website, by all means either give them a link or a screen shot that shows your book on Amazon. Anyone can SAY they are giving away a $19.95 ebook, but when they see that you really do charge that much on Amazon, your free gift suddenly becomes much more valuable in their eyes, increasing the likelihood that they will opt into your list AND read your book.

Do encourage your readers to review your book on Amazon. The more reviews you get and the better reviews you get, the more credibility you build up. After all, if you see a book on Amazon with 1 or 2 reviews, and another with 50 reviews, which seems to be the more popular? People tend to be followers, not leaders. That’s why they look for social affirmation that others are reading and liking your book. You might even offer a free gift for every unbiased review you receive. Just be sure not to offer a free gift for every POSITIVE review you receive, or you will lose much of the credibility you’ve worked to achieve.

Is writing a book hard? Yes and no. For some people it’s extremely difficult, not because they’re not intelligent, but because their intelligence lies elsewhere. We all have particular skills we’re good at and others that we really should leave to the “experts.” So if you don’t like to write, consider hiring a ghostwriter to write your book.

If you’re going to write it yourself, set a deadline by which you’ll have it finished, and then decide to write 2 to 5 pages a day, every day. If you’re writing a 200 page book at 2 pages per day, you’ll be finished in 100 days. At 5 pages per day, you’ll be done in just 40 days. See? It doesn’t take long if you stay consistent.

The secret to writing a book? Write your table of contents first. This will become your outline, and it’ll break the book up into manageable pieces. It seems like a daunting task to write 200 pages about your subject, but 10 pages about one particular facet of your niche is a breeze.

For your book cover design, I recommend hiring a professional. People really, truly do judge your book by its cover. Sure, you can create your own, and if you’re a graphic artist then maybe that’s the way to go. For the rest of us, we put too much time and effort into our book to make do with our own amateurish cover. So do some research and find a professional book cover designer with a portfolio you like, and spend the extra money to get it done correctly.

Once you get your book finished, I believe you’ll find it’s the second most important tool in your marketing arsenal, right behind your list of customers and prospects. Your book has the potential to generate more business for you than perhaps a dozen full time sales people, and through the power of the Internet it can be working for you 24/7, making you an instant expert and the go-to person in the eyes of your prospects.

5 Ways to Boost Sales on Affiliate Products

Whether you’re doing product reviews or simply sending traffic to an affiliate page, here are 5 ways to capture attention and get your prospects seriously interested in purchasing the product you’re promoting…

5 Ways to Boost Sales on Affiliate Products

1. Use screen captures. This might be of the vendor’s website, the product itself, the download page, etc. Anything that helps your reader to see themselves on the page and buying the product.

2. Use a benefit picture. Depending on the product, you might be able to find a photo that depicts a benefit of using the product. For example, if it’s an herbal supplement to provide energy, then a photo of a leaping, jumping or a somehow energized person may boost interest.

3. Use product pictures. If it’s a physical product, by all means use photos provided by the vendor or ones you’ve taken yourself. If it’s a digital product, only show the e-cover or product images if they look highly professional.

4. Show the data. Are there tables or charts on the sales page that present a good case? You might place one of these in your write up or your review.

5. Make a video. This is perhaps the best one of all – make a short video of you USING the product. If it’s a physical product, show it off and if possible use it in front of the camera. If it’s a digital product, take screen captures of you using it.

Small things make a difference, and product images sell. Try a few of these conversion boosters in your next affiliate promotion and I bet you’ll make more sales for your efforts.

What Should Go into Your Autoresponder?

There is so much disinformation on this that I just have to weigh in. No doubt you’ve been told or read that you should create a fancy autoresponder sequence where each email builds upon the previous email. And that if you make it fancy enough, and complicated enough, you can get prospects to take any action you like, blah blah blah…

What Should Go into Your Autoresponder?

But guess what? You don’t know how people are going to respond to it. You can make a prediction, but your guess might be 180 degrees off. So now you’ve come up with an elaborate system that accomplishes nothing.

More importantly, building a sequential series like sections of a story might have worked 10 years ago, but these days I guarantee that even your best customers will not read and digest every one of your emails. Some of your emails won’t even get through, and many will be lost in a sea of OTHER emails from other marketers.

No matter who you are or how famous you might be, not every message of yours will get read. Remember that. Thus each email needs to stand on its own and not rely on the reader having read and remembered something in a previous email.

So what should you place in your autoresponder sequences? Here are some ideas that flat out work at getting a response…

1. Send people to your blog. If you’ve got a blog with great posts full of good information, write up an email for each blog post and place it in your autoresponder. This only works for evergreen information and blog posts that don’t display a date.

2. You can even tie each blog post to a product you’re promoting. For example, “Here’s a great product that teaches you exactly how to get traffic. And before you get that traffic pouring into your website, you’ll want to make sure your page is optimized for the highest conversion possible. Here’s a post on how to do that.”

3. Don’t send your readers to your blog every day – break those messages up with other messages.

4. Emails that convert well. You send a broadcast email to your list and the response is phenomenal, or just plain good. So what do you do? Most marketers forget about it. But the smart money says to copy and paste that email into your autoresponder series. And yes, it’s okay to send out repeat information. Some of your readers will never see it the first time, and others who did see it will appreciate the reminder.

5. Send them a question. Yes, in the autoresponder series, send them an email that asks an either/or type of question. For example, “Which do you value more – exciting new diet news or easier fat-burning exercise techniques? Reply back with one or the other in the subject line.”

6. Then follow up with both. “Are you one of those who wants the latest new diet news? Well check this out!” “Are you one of those who said you want exercise techniques that burn fat? Look at this!” You’re hitting both (in two separate emails) regardless of which they answered.

7. Personal stories. You’ve got a ton of stories to share with others, you just don’t realize it. And so long as you can relate those stories to the interests of your readers, by all means share those. Anytime you can show that you are a real person with a real life and real challenges, you’re that much closer to forging a bond with your customers. After all, just like you, they want to do business with people they KNOW, like and trust.

As you can see, building an autoresponder series isn’t a cookie-cutter science. Best developed, it’s an authentic and organically developed series of follow up messages that help you create deeper connections with your subscribers so that you can build meaningful business relationships through building trust and connecting the value that your products offer with the needs and aspirations that your subscribers actually have.

Are you up to the task of building a great autoresponder series? I hope so because once developed and refined, your autoresponder follow up emails can work on autopilot for years to come helping to tirelessly deliver more sales and profits for your online business.

Build a Strong Mailing List in 30 Minutes

Okay, so I spoke in an earlier article on the importance of having a list. Not that it’s good to have, but that you MUST have a list if you want to achieve long term success online.

Build a Strong Mailing List in 30 Minutes

I’ve noticed the thing that really stymies a lot of would be marketers is how to set up this whole funnel thing that gets you the list. Because it has to be really elaborate and it takes a lot of time and work to get it all set up, right?

Wrong. Too many people are over complicating it. Here’s what you’re going to do, and hang with me so you don’t get lost…

First, you’re going to create a squeeze page.

Second, you’re going to grab your autoresponder code and add it to your squeeze page.

That’s it.

Seriously. Building your list really is this easy.

“But I don’t know what to put on the squeeze page!”

That’s easy – a great headline and 3 to five short, snappy bullet points.

“But I don’t have a free gift to give them for subscribing.”

Seriously? There are PLR products all over the Internet, any one of which you can adapt into your own product in about 30 minutes.

Or you can create your own report – simply find the burning questions people ask the most in your niche and answer them.

OR, forget giving away a freebie. Instead send them to your sales page.

“I don’t have a sales page!”

Then send them to the sales page of an affiliate product you’re promoting.

Seriously, so many marketers make this so darn difficult when it should be the easiest thing in the world.

Your highest priority right now is getting your squeeze page up and running. NOW. Later you can create your own super-duper extra special freebie to give away if you like, but in the mean time you can be collecting names.

Think about this – you decide to create the ultimate free gift. It takes you a month to create that gift. Sure, you thought it would take 3 days, but darned if the project didn’t stretch out for the entire month.

In the mean time, had you set up your squeeze page right away, you might have captured 10, 20 or more names a day while you were creating that ultimate freebie. But you didn’t create the squeeze page.

Result? You lost 300 to 600 or more subscribers that should have been yours.

See what I mean? Just put up the squeeze page, and then no matter what you’re doing online, be sure you’re sending people to that page. Send out tweets, advertise it on your Twitter profile, place it in your signature file on forums and in emails, advertise it (paid and unpaid) on Facebook, etc.

And once you get started building your list, you’re going to find that it’s easy. It’s not the big deal you thought it was. And even better, it’s addictive because as you see more and more subscribers coming in, you’ll be looking for more ways to drive targeted traffic to your squeeze page just so you can watch those numbers increase daily.

The important thing – the really important thing, is to target your list. That is, if your niche is on hot rod cars, be sure that your squeeze page is geared towards people who love hot rods.

For example, if you’re sending them to a sales page after the squeeze page, then the sales page should be promoting an excellent product specifically on hot rods. You want the people who opt into your list to be heavily into your niche, whatever that might be.

And everyone always thinks they’ve got to give away the farm to get someone on their mailing list, but think about this – if you’re sending them to a sales page after they opt in, some of those people will buy. Not a huge percentage, but if it’s a good offer for a good product, you’ll get sales. And the money you’re making from those sales can actually PAY to send traffic to your squeeze page.

Now you can advertise on Facebook in solo ads or where ever you want, and the more you advertise, the more sales you make, the more you can advertise. It’s all self funded so you’ve got your list building system on autopilot, and it took you 30 minutes to set up, plus the time it takes you to set up your advertising.

What about shortcuts? You know, like co-reg lists, safe lists, harvesting, renting lists – aren’t those easier ways to build your list? And the answer is no, absolutely not, because they don’t work. Not only are they unresponsive, but in many cases you’re spamming and you just don’t want to do that.

That’s why you want to build your own list of people who get to know you and who open your emails just because they see your name and they want to know what you have to say today. Build this and you’ll have a real asset. In fact, in online marketing I don’t know if I can think of a better asset than a responsive list, because you can go to that list anytime you want and send them an offer or even ask for their help on something and they will respond.

And if you’re just starting and you don’t know where to go to get traffic to send to your squeeze page, start with the forums. Google your keyword along with the word ‘forum,’ and find all the forums in your niche that allow you to have a signature line. Don’t blast out your squeeze page info; that’s not what you want to do. Instead, enter conversations and help people and become the go-to person in that niche. If you’re on these forums every day for a week, you can become an instant authority.

Just be real, help people, don’t hype anything, and let them click on your signature line in their own time and they will. Because you’re helping, because they see you as someone who really knows something about what they want to know, they’re going to want to know more about you and they’re going to want to get your updates.

These will be some of the most responsive leads you get – they’re absolutely golden – so treat them well and they will stick with you for years to come. And then once you’re good at forum posting, add something else to your traffic driving arsenal to get even more traffic to your squeeze page, like social media or advertising.

Find what works for you, get good at it, and then add something else. Do you see how easy this is? We try to make everything so hard and it’s really not. Just get started, get going and you’ll find out for yourself just how easy it is to build a list.

How NOT To Be a One-Hit Wonder

I mentioned in a previous article that you don’t want to become one of those many one hit wonders that make a big splash on the Internet and then vanish – but how do you make sure that you’re not? Because it’s really easy to say you won’t be, but the fact is that no one PLANS to be a one hit wonder; in fact it happens when you DON’T plan.

How NOT To Be a One-Hit Wonder

I’m going to offer some tips here for ensuring that your success is not the flash in the pan variety, but rather the type of success that continues to pay off day in and day out for years to come.

Really what we are talking about is becoming what you might call a “repeat success.” Because isn’t that the opposite of being a one hit wonder? There is nothing at all wrong with that initial success – it’s repeating that success over and over that gets you the outcome you’re seeking. Sort of like being a one hit wonder a hundred or even several hundred times. And when you view it like this, you see that it becomes easier.

The first thing I’m going to recommend will sound too easy, perhaps, but it’s extremely important that you try it out for the next 21 days. I say 21 days, because psychologists say it takes that long to make a new habit. Plus, it gives you the proper chance to evaluate the results and see that what I’m telling you is profound, to say the least.

Okay, are you ready? The first thing you need to do to ensure you have ongoing success is to pick a number from 2 to 5, and then do that many things in your business everyday.

Let’s say you are a super busy person with a full time job and a young family, so you don’t have much time to devote to your online business. Your number is going to be 2, because you’re only going to have time to do 2 things a day. If you’re working online full time, your number is 5. And if you’re in between, you can determine the right number for you.

Now then, every evening you’re going to make a list of the most important things you need to accomplish the following day in your business. If your number is 2, then write down the 2 things you want to do. If your number is 5, then you’ll list the 5 things.

Obviously, you’re not going to choose 5 really big things like “build a new website,” “create a new product,” etc. Instead, you’ll break down your tasks so that they’re manageable and doable in the time allotted. And then you’re going to do those things, no matter what. As in, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS.

Doing the things on your list take priority over your favorite TV shows, eating out, etc. These things are as important as brushing your teeth and sleeping, and once you realize that then you’re not arguing with yourself on whether or not to do them, you’re simply DOING them.

I told you this would seem too simple – does it? Because this one technique will do more for you than almost anything else. Certainly it will allow you to accomplish more than any self-help seminar you could attend, or any time management tool you could use. The list technique is not new, it’s old and it’s proven and you know what else? It flat out WORKS. So if you’re not already doing it, then I encourage you with all my heart to start using this method now, today, right this very moment.

A word of caution – I see students of Internet Marketing get very excited and say something like, “I am going to do TEN things every day!” But this is a trap. What happens is you get burned out and in less than 21 days you’re not doing ANYTHING in your business because it just became too overwhelming, too time consuming and too much like WORK. And isn’t that what so many of us are trying to escape, the drudgery of WORK?

So don’t fall into that trap. If you have lots of hours in your day then choose the number 5, do those 5 things in the morning and early afternoon, and then TAKE THE REST OF THE DAY OFF. That’s right – do not allow yourself to get burned out because you will find that your biggest asset in your business is actually your enthusiasm for the business.

Also, do take a day off. Not 2 days, at least not in the beginning, because if you take 2 days off those 2 days often become 3, and then 4, and then you’re not doing anything. But you can take one day off and go do something totally unrelated to your online business, and come back refreshed and re-energized the next day.

My second tip for ensuring you have long term success is so simple, and yet few people understand the power of it. Ready? It’s to FINISH WHAT YOU START. If you start creating a product, finish it and then promote it. It’s not finished until you get it out there and promote it. If you’re writing a blog, set a schedule and keep to it. True, your blog will never be “finished,” but if you stop writing then it’s as good as an unfinished project.

Look, I probably sound like your parents on this one. “Son, you’ve got to learn to finish what you start.” Why do you suppose your parents said that? Frankly, they probably said it because their parents said it, but there is a terrific amount of wisdom behind that thought.

First of all, if you don’t finish what you start then you have wasted your time and energy on that project. Second, you receive nothing in return for your effort – you can’t make sales and earn money on a product you didn’t finish.

Third, unfinished work breaks you down psychologically. Having unfinished tasks in your life is like having pesky little green goblins sitting on your shoulders tapping you on the side of your head and telling you that you’re a failure. Why? Because an unfinished project is a failure. It’s a constant reminder of something you intended to do but didn’t follow through on.

One note: If you’re in the middle of a project and you realize that it’s the WRONG thing for you to be doing (for whatever reason) then by all means bail out. There is no sense wasting more time on something once you’ve realized your project has little hope of success.

Careful planning and research should minimize the instances of this happening, but there are times when things aren’t in our control. For example, you’re writing a series of promotional emails for an affiliate product that suddenly gets pulled from the market. Best case scenario – re-adapt the emails to another product and move on.

Which brings me to my next tip for ensuring you are not a one hit wonder – success loves SPEED. If you are quick to move from idea to implementation, you’ll seldom have a project that goes unfinished or doesn’t pan out.

For example, if you’re writing code for a plug-in on a piece of software today and you get it finished next week, you can start selling it. If it takes you 6 months to write that code, and the software is obsolete in 5 months, you’ve wasted your time.

Not to mention the fact that speed also reduces competition, at least initially. Using the plug-in example, if you’re fast you can get that plug-in on the market 2 weeks ahead of any competitor, rather than weeks behind the competition. Again, success loves speed so when you get a great idea, don’t sit on it, ACT on it. NOW.

Next is your mailing list. Yes, you need to be building a list. I don’t care what kind of marketing you’re doing or want to do, what your product or service is, etc. It doesn’t matter, because everyone who enjoys long term success online is growing a list.

In fact they have TWO lists – a list of buyers and a list of interested prospects. And whatever else you are doing, you need to be building that list and sending them offers. This is KEY to long term online success. I know you’ve heard this before, but if you’re not aggressively building your list then you’re just not “getting” it and it’s high time you start.

I don’t mean to sound like a drill sergeant on this, but it’s simply not negotiable. Unless you want to be some flash in the pan marketer who creates a product, sells a few hundred copies and disappears off the Internet, you MUST build a list and never stop building that list.

The reason you can never stop is because some people on your list will lose interest in your niche, or they change email addresses and don’t tell you, or any of a number of reasons they are no longer a viable prospect, and so you always need to be adding new prospects in order to continue to grow your business.

Now some folks will say that you don’t need a list because of social media, to which I’ll vehemently disagree. Social media is an awesome tool to help you build your list, and I highly recommend you spend time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube if it’s helping you build your list. But you still need a LIST of people who know you and like you so that you can send them emails and yes, SELL them stuff.

You’ll find that the majority of your income comes from emailing your list and either letting them know about your own products or suggesting an affiliate product on which you earn a commission.

The best thing you can do when it comes to list building? Build quickly, aggressively and without hesitation. What I’m saying is, find all the best ways that work for you to build your email list and then be relentless in using those methods to build your list even bigger and stronger.

Look at it this way – if you add 10 subscribers a day to your list, in a year you will have 3,650 subscribers. But if you really focus your time and resources on list building and instead of adding 10 subscribers a day you add 100 subscribers a day, in a year you will have over 30 THOUSAND subscribers.

This is a profound difference in just a year. Multiply it out over 3, 5 or 10 years, and you can see how worthwhile it is to be aggressive in your list building.

Of course quality matters as well. A list of buyers is worth far, far more than a list of prospects.

I’ll tell you my secret for quickly building a list of buyers: Create a product that sells for $5 to $10, and then give away 100% of the commission to your affiliates, paid immediately via PayPal. You’ll find software that automates this if you look for it. By paying your affiliates 100% commission that goes straight to them, they have a huge incentive to promote your product. And YOU get to keep the prospects and market to them time and time again.

The marketers who DON’T build a list? Those would be the one-hit wonder people. They do something, make some money, but don’t stay in touch with their customers and prospects. And the funny thing is, they left the lion’s share of the money on the table because it’s in the FOLLOW UP that you make the REAL money.

Think about this – you sell a $17 product, get a list of buyers and prospects, and then do nothing. Or you never bothered to gather the list in the first place. So whatever you made on your $17 product is ALL you are going to earn.

But if you captured the email addresses, you can continue to market to these folks for days, weeks, months and even years to come, earning thousands of dollars more in affiliate commissions and by selling your own products.

And the last bit of advice on how NOT to be a one hit wonder? Focus. That is, choose a niche and focus on that niche at least until it’s earning you a steady stream of income. Once you hit that level, if you think you want to try a second niche, go for it. But using a scatter gun approach from the beginning to enter 2, 5 or 10 niches all at once is only going to yield you minimal results at best because your energies are so dispersed.

In other words, you can get a tiny bit of success in several niches simultaneously, or a whole lot of success in one niche – your choice. Personally I prefer to devote all of my time and energy to just one niche, and I’ve found it pays off quite well.

And by niche, I do mean NICHE. Weight loss is not a niche. Weight loss for women over 50 in the Dallas area is a niche. Or weight loss for work at home moms. Or weight loss for diabetics. The more narrow your focus, the easier it can be to reach your target audience and to get them to purchase because they feel you are speaking directly to them.

So don’t choose the “make money” niche because you’ll discover it’s too vast and too broad. Instead, choose the; “part time work for high schoolers” niche or the “supplement your social security with a profitable hobby” niche. See the difference?

I know I’ve given you a lot of tips here. You might want to go back and review (then implement aggressively), because it’s equivalent to rocket fuel for your business growth.

3 Ways to Make $10 an Hour Online

We didn’t start online businesses to make 10 bucks an hour, right? Our goals are obviously much bigger. But here’s what new comers need to know that only seasoned online pros can tell you – you’ve got to start somewhere.

3 Ways to Make $10 an Hour Online

There are three key components to that sentence – “You have got to start somewhere.”

First of course is “you,” because nobody is going to do it for you.

Second is “have got to start” – if you haven’t started to make money online, now is the time. Not tomorrow. Not next month. NOW.

And third is “somewhere.” Meaning you’re not going to start out making a thousand dollars an hour or a million dollars a year. It’s not going to happen. You start out making maybe 10 dollars an hour, and you move up from there.

I’m not saying you can’t move up fast – you can. But you have to START where ever it is that you’re able to start, and for nearly everybody it’s making a few dollars an hour and working from there.

For those who don’t want to work your way up, that’s no problem. Close this site and go find a get rich quick scheme or 2 or 20. Then get back to me when you’re rich (should be next week sometime, right?)

You might even get lucky and find yourself a one hit wonder. You know, like those musicians who get a song on the charts – and then can never duplicate their success so they just fade away. It’s almost worse then never getting success at all because then people say,

“I know that song, who did that?”

“Oh yeah, that was Jo Blo and the Tweektonics.”

“Whatever happened to them?”

“They were one of those one hit wonder bands. I think they’re playing airport lounges now, and the lead singer is the cook at Ma’s Take-in-Bake.”

Whoop-de-do. 5 minutes of fame and the rest of their life is a punch line.

I see that happen in online marketing. Some newbie makes a product that sells a few hundred copies, they get some money in their pocket, and then they just fade away, never to be heard from again.

Who the heck needs that? But it’s the get rich quick mentality that makes failure like that happen.

For the rest of us who have the common sense to know you don’t win a marathon by starting on the finish line, let’s get started.

And one more thing: As you begin making money online, a funny thing happens. You get addicted. You get to where you want to make more, and you do. You want to find ways to leverage yourself and your work, and you do. You want to find methods to make a lot more money in a shorter amount of time, and you do. But it all starts at the beginning – making a few dollars an hour and then working up from there.

Method #1 for making $10 an hour online – freelancing.

Maybe it’s freelancing writing articles or blogposts. Or building backlinks, or putting up websites, or whatever. Pick out that thing you do the best, and offer it as a service to others who either don’t do it as well as you, or would rather hire you than do it themselves.

What’s that? You don’t have a skill worthy of hiring out your services? Then get one. You’re going to need to master these skills to get good at online marketing anyway, so pick something that really appeals to you, then research the heck out of it for 10 hours. In 10 hours you can learn more about any topic than 99.9% of people know.

Then advertise your service on sites that let you sell services like Fiverr. Start out working for cheap, get some clients and some testimonials, and gradually increase your pricing.

Find faster ways to perform your service, and even hire out the work to someone else. In other words, LEVERAGE what you’re doing to increase your hourly rate.

For example, if you’re getting paid $5 an article and you write 2 articles an hour, you’re making $10 an hour. Get faster to where you can write 4 articles and hour and you’re earning $20 an hour. Hire someone overseas to write the articles for you for $2 apiece, and you’re earning $3 an article for simply reading them over and doing light editing. If you can edit 10 articles and hour, you’re earning $30 an hour. And so forth.

Of course what is the problem with all of this? You are trading time for money – something that by itself will generally not get you to that magical six figure per year income.

Unless, of course, you not only hire out the work – you also hire someone to take the orders, edit the articles and fill the orders. Now you have a completely hands free system for making money, and it all started with you earning $10 an hour and working your way up from there.

Method #2 for making $10 an hour online – writing and selling PLR.

In our previous example we were writing articles for others. Of course in freelancing you can choose to offer any service people are willing to pay for – writing articles was simply one example.

But what if, instead of writing articles for one person, we write a packet of 10 to 15 articles on one specific topic using the best keywords for that niche, and then SELL that packet of articles to fellow marketers for their own private use?

Now you can sell the same articles over and over again. If you sell that packet of 15 articles for $10, and you sell 15 packets, you’ve earned $150. If it took you 5 hours to write the articles, you’ve now earned $30 an hour. Of course, if it takes you less time, you earn more per hour. And if you sell more packets, you’ve again made more per hour.

There are PLR writers who do exactly this. They write packets of articles, offer those articles either on their own websites or a popular internet marketing forum, and do quite well.

Can you outsource the writing of the articles? Of course you can. And with PLR, you are not limited to just articles – you can write blog posts, reports, ebooks, make recordings, videos, etc. You are also not limited by how many times you can sell each PLR product you create, unless you choose to set a limit so as to create scarcity.

So now you’re naming your own price, and you’re creating a bank of products you can continue to sell for as long as you choose. And you’re also creating a loyal following of buyers because once your buyers see that you offer good quality at a good price, they will come back time and time again.

Maybe your first PLR product only sells 10 copies, but then your next one sells to 10 new buyers and 5 of your previous buyers, and your next one sells to 10 new buyers and 10 of your previous buyers, and so forth. Every time you offer a new PLR product you’ll have more customers who already know that you put out great stuff, and so they’ll snap it up in a heartbeat.

Plus, as new customers arrive they’ll see your previous PLR products and purchase some of those as well. So that packet of 15 articles you wrote 3 months ago is still selling a couple of copies a week, and if you’re putting out new products every week, you’ve got more and more to offer and thus more and more to sell.

Leverage this by outsourcing some or all of the writing, and you’ve not only created a method to earn $10 or more per hour – you’ve actually got yourself a nice little business where you are in control, you set the hours and you set the prices.

Do you see how you are progressing from a freelancer to a service provider? And it really is that easy, but the first step is you have to actually START. And that’s the step that trips most people up. The second step of course is that once you start, you keep going. You’ll find the more you do, the more you want to do, and it just gets easier as you go because you’re building momentum and you’re seeing success. Plus as you go you’ll get more and more testimonials, which will make it all that easier to make more and more sales and even to charge more money for your work.

Again, getting started is the hard part, yet it can be easy if you get started right now before you have a chance to put it off. There is nothing stopping you because if you have time to read this, then you have time to start your freelancing business or even jump straight into your PLR writing business.

Method #3 for making $10 an hour online – Write an Info Product on How You Did It.

Did you get started? Are you now making $10+ per hour freelancing? Or writing and selling PLR? Then your next step is to write your own case study on how you did it, and sell that. For example, you might title your report, “How I went from $0 to $10 an hour in one day, and now earn $30 an hour doing simple work online.” Or something like that (perhaps a bit shorter.) Then sell your report in a niche forum or on your website, ClickBank or where ever you choose.

In fact, no matter what you’re doing online to succeed, once you get good at this you can always write a report detailing what you did and sell it to make easy, extra money.

In our example, if you price your report at $7 and sell 50 copies, you’ve made $350. The cost to run a special offer in a popular niche forum is normally less than $100 so you could net $250 for something that probably took you 3-5 hours worth of work. That’s $50+ per hour, PLUS you now have 50 additional buyers on your list that you can sell to again and again.

More tips – whatever service you’re offering, be sure to offer it with a twist. If you’re writing articles, use a spinner to give them multiple versions of each article, or use a program to transfer them into video, or blast the articles to article directories. If you’re doing backlinking, don’t just offer a standard package of one type of backlink – offer a package that includes multiple types of backlinks so it looks far more natural to the search engines. And so forth.

Your service could be something as simple as creating videos using any of the video programs out there. There are programs that make videos that look like Hollywood trailers, and others that make videos that look like home movies. Do your research, find a program you like, and offer the service. Sure you might spend some money on software or access to a special website that produces these videos, but then it’s as easy as ‘plug in and create’ to fulfill your video orders.

Now I know a lot of people are going to want me to outline a detailed step-b-step plan on exactly what you should do to earn your $10 an hour and work up from there, and I’m not going to do it.

First, I’d have a hundred people all competing against each other and complaining of the competition. Second, it’s not about me telling you what to do – it’s about you finding what you’re best suited for and following that path.

More to the point, this is where you do your research and you find something that resonates with you, and then you learn everything you can about it. Set aside 10 hours and just learn, learn, learn. Then you’ll know more about your topic than most people, and you’ll be ready to offer your service. And it will truly be YOUR service, not something you copycatted from a step-by-step action plan like a hundred other automatons.

This isn’t just about earning $10 an hour – this is about you stepping out of your comfort zone and stretching yourself just a bit. This is about you taking your first steps without the aid of a hand railing, and it’s the best way to get started and realize just how simple all of this is if you’ll only just DO IT.

Are We Goal Setting All Wrong?

Has anyone ever told you to set goals? I know, silly question. People are always telling you to set goals because goal setting can and does work. But has anyone told you there is a right way and a wrong way to choose those goals?

Are We Goal Setting All Wrong?

For example, you want to earn $10,000 a month so you set a goal to reach that $10,000 mark. So far so good, right? Actually, no, because this is what’s known as a “static” goal rather an action goal. Static goals sap your motivation because they’re focused on outcomes that are, for the most part, outside of your control.

Bottom line – they seldom work.

Imagine you’re in your living room and the house is a mess. You set a goal to to have a clean, straightened, neat house in the next 2 hours. You visualize your house being clean, you look at pictures of your house taken when it was clean, you write down your goal, and 2 hours later? Your house looks exactly the same.

Why?

Because you didn’t DO anything. You took no action because it was a static goal, not an action goal. “Have a clean house” has no action tied to it.

But what if you reword that goal to the following:

“Straighten, vacuum and clean the living room, kitchen and dining room.”

Do you see how you are firmly in control of whether or not this goal is achieved? And now you’ve got a goal with ACTION in it. You could even break this goal down into several smaller, action oriented goals to make it even easier to achieve.

So let’s look at how action goals can help you in your business:

Instead of setting that, “I earn $10,000 a month” goal, how about…

Week 1: I create my first product on ____ (subject)
Week 2: I set up the website, sales letter and emails to promote this product.
Week 3: I contact my list to offer them my new product, I write 3 guest blog posts on this topic to promote my product, and I contact 25 potential affiliates and joint venture partners and ask them to promote my product.
Week 4: I create my second product.

If you’re using static goals you’re going to get frustrated. Still using the $10,000 a month goal as an example, it’s going to take you an investment of time and effort to reach that goal. In fact it could take months to get there, and if you’re not seeing results in the mean time, you’re likely to get frustrated and quit. Not to mention the fact that the goal has no action tied to it, and so you’re likely to “wait” for it to happen – which it never will if you’re not taking the right actions to achieve it.

By setting action goals that take you to where you want to go, you are always achieving, you’re always making progress, and you’re constantly being revitalized by the achievement of each action goal.

You might want to set some action goals right now, before you forget. I think you’ll find it becomes an addictive habit that pays off often and exponentially.

21 Great Ways To Find Blog Topics

When you first start writing a blog the ideas come from everywhere and they seem endless. After all, you’re (hopefully) writing about something you know and love, something that is dear to your heart.

21Great Ways To Find Blog Topics

But what happens after that initial burst of writing frenzy, when the ideas dry up and you’re faced with a blank screen?

Here are 21 ways to find new ideas that inspire you to keep writing. And no matter what methods you choose, you’ll always want to keep a log of your ideas so you don’t lose them before you can write them. Remember: The idea you think of right now that is so outstanding you can’t possibly forget it – is the idea you could quickly forget.

Google Alerts. If you choose only one of these 21 methods, then without a doubt this is the one to pick. Whatever your niche is, pick your best keywords, go to Google Alerts, and ask it to send you the best stories every day. Then use these as inspiration and research in writing your own blog entries.

Read your competitors. You never want to copy them, but you will find plenty of ideas of your own simply by reading their blogs.

React to someone else’s post. Did you read a post that you have a strong opinion about? Do you perhaps disagree? Vehemently? Write your own post giving your own point of view. You’ll find the words pouring out almost without effort, and because of your passion your readers will post more replies and send you more social media love as well.

Ask yourself what’s missing. When you’re reading other people’s stuff, ask what they left out, what they missed, or what is going to come next. Both finding the less obvious or predicting the future can make for great posts.

Read totally unrelated material, and then ask yourself how it relates to your own niche. This can provide out-of-the-box thinking that totally rocks and again provides you with social media love.

Find the pain. Your readers have problems – what are they and how can you help?

Do interviews. Get in touch with others in your niche and ask to do a written question and answer interview. You email the questions, they write back the answers, and you’ve got a blog post. How easy was that? If they have a product, let them plug it – if they have an affiliate program, sign on as an affiliate and earn a commission from your post. Talk about easy content and easy money. Even if you make just a couple of sales, you’ve now monetized that post.

Talk about how your view has changed. If you’ve been writing for your blog for a good while, go back and read some of your original posts. Do you still agree with what you wrote, or has your perspective changed? If you think differently now, write a new post referencing how you felt then versus why your views are different now.

Did you make mistakes in your niche? Talk about them. Your readers want to hear that you’re human, and they want to know how you overcame your problems or lived down your naivete or foolishness.

Write something funny. Who doesn’t love funny writing? If you’ve got a unique viewpoint on the humorous side of your niche, by all means write it down. It may be one of your most popular posts ever.

Debate. Do you have strong opinions? If so, can you find someone with equally strong opinions who disagrees with you? Posts written by two people presenting opposite viewpoints can be fascinating, and they tend to get a huge response from their readers.

Make a prediction. Go ahead, lay it on the line and predict something that’s going to happen in your niche. People love to know what to expect, and if it turns out you’re right, be sure to remind them of your original post by writing about it and linking to it.

Sit for ideas. Find a quiet spot, get comfortable, clear your mind and ask yourself, “What should I write about?” Just relax, and the answers will come. Keep pen and paper handy, you’re going to want to write this down.

Exercise. Go for a walk, jump up and down on a trampoline, whatever. Just get some exercise, get the blood flowing, and let the ideas come.

Hold a contest. Why not? Ask the best open ended question you can think of in your niche, and invite readers to respond. You choose the winner, and provide the prize. Or you can let your readers vote for their favorite.

Write a story. Make it an outlandish fairy tale or a modern day drama. Just relate it to your niche and use it to teach a concept. Who doesn’t love stories?

Look to your blog comments. Read the comments you get and find questions you haven’t answered or ideas you haven’t thought of, and then write your post based on those.

Do a product review. A real one. Not one of these reviews that sells the product, but rather a review that tells the truth. Mind you, this is a two-edged sword. The more honest you are, the more your readers will love you and the more your fellow product creators may hate you if you didn’t like their product.

Do a book review. Get the latest books in your niche from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and review the books.

Be ridiculous and see if anybody notices. Write a completely tongue-in-cheek piece about something in your niche, citing outlandish facts and using bogus experts – then see what happens. Some readers will catch on, others won’t, and you’ll get some great reader comments. Then make a second post letting them know it was a farce.

Use guest bloggers. Perhaps the easiest solution of all is to allow others to do your blogging for you.

Now take action! Apply some or all of these blogging tips and you’ll never run out of interesting things to write and post about.

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