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Archive | December, 2021

Effective Article Marketing as an Affiliate

You’re an affiliate marketer, or you want to be, and you want to have the best possible chance of effectively marketing the products you’re promoting as an affiliate. It makes sense to turn to content to do that.

Effective Article Marketing as an Affiliate

Writing and posting great content on the web is an effective way to promote products as an affiliate. When you write content, you’re going with the natural flow of the web. It’s what people want and need.

It’s learning how to write effective article content that’s important. Then, you have to know where to post it, how your audience will respond to it, and how you can make that sale.

What Article Marketing Is

Article marketing can mean a variety of different things, so let’s simplify it. It’s basically just writing an article for a particular audience with the intent of promoting a particular product.

In some cases, you’ll write the article to address a niche topic or sub-topic more generically—you’ll address the issues, problems, and solutions surrounding a topic and then you’ll point to an affiliate product in a resource box that can help the reader. That’s the sort of article you’d write when you’re restricted as far as promoting directly within the body of an article.

In other cases, you’ll write an article that directly talks about a particular product you’re promoting as an affiliate. You might review the product, talking about its pros and cons. You’ll help the reader make a buying decision. Your goal with an article like this is to pre-sell the reader on buying the product.

When you pre-sell in an article, you’re targeting those who are on the fence as to whether they’re going to go ahead and buy. They want just enough information to know whether the product is right for them. Your article will give them the answer that, yes, they should buy the product.

You’ll use the power of persuasion and your understanding of who the reader is and what they really want at their core so you can make sales of the product that you’re an affiliate for.

Promoting products as an affiliate via article marketing isn’t about writing dry, boring articles and praying someone clicks your link. It’s about understanding your reader and doing a good job of moving them toward the buying decision – whether you outright talk about the product in the body of the article or not.

How to Write Articles to Make Sales

Now, let’s talk about how to write great articles so you can make sales as an affiliate with article marketing.

First, research your audience. Who’s most likely to buy the product you’re promoting? What do they really need and want? What are their emotions? What’s most likely to impact their buying decision?

You can learn more about your audience on forums, social media, through blogs, and more.

After you’ve gathered some information, consider where you’ll be posting the article. The way you’d write an article for an article directory that doesn’t allow direct promotion of products in the body of an article (only in the author’s resource box) is different than the way you’d write an article for your own blog or website.

In some cases, you’ll write two articles. You’ll write the more general article for the article directory and you’ll write the more specific, product focused, article for your own blog or website. You can link that article directory article or guest post article to your product review and specific pre-sell article.

For a more general article, choose a hot-button topic, problem, or desire the people in your niche have that directly relates to the product. You’re not going to specifically address the product at all at this point.

Write a great, attention-grabbing article title. Write an introductory paragraph that’s filled with emotion and will really draw the reader in. Give them great tips and hints throughout the body of the article. Trail off in the conclusion… leading them to your author’s resource box where they can click through to learn more about the exact product that will be the answer to their prayers.

By the way, that sort of article style is mostly geared toward the “problem/solution” type articles and products. If you’re selling a physical product on Amazon your approach will be a little different. If you’re at all confused or unsure, visit an article directory like EzineArticles.com and take a look at some of the top related articles there so you can get a feel for what others who are promoting similar things are doing.

When it’s time to write a specific product-focused article, you’ll introduce the problem people have, lead them to the product, talk about the pros and cons of the product, and guide them to the sale. You can give a call to action at the end for them to go ahead and buy the product because it’s the best there is and will help solve their needs perfectly.

You need to include your affiliate link in your product review article, of course.

Article Marketing In Article Directories

What are the most popular article directories for the niche you’re targeting? Go ahead and find the answer to that question. Then, take a look at the types of articles others are successfully posting on these sites.

You’ll have your own style, of course, and you’ll want to test and tweak as you go, but this kind of digging can really lead to some great insights on effective article marketing.

Write several articles on your topic, all pointing to a squeeze page or a product review article on your website. You’ll put this link in the author’s resource box that is typically allowed on article directories.

Usually, you’ll have to write many articles over time to really build your traffic up to sufficient levels that will produce consistent sales for the products you are promoting.

Article Marketing Via Guest Blog Posting

A much more effective method these days is contacting highly trafficked blogs in your niche and asking if they accept guest posts. Many do – they love the hands-off way they can get great content for their website visitors.

Write an article that will be effective and interesting to their audience. You’ll generally be allowed to include an author’s resource box just as you would with an article directory.

Link to your product specific post on your own blog or website or to a squeeze page. You’ll either ask for the sale right away within your product review or you’ll give people more information once they enter a name and email, and you’ll work to get the sale once they’ve joined your list through your email follow-ups.

Blog owners only want great content that will really help their audience so make sure you focus on writing high-quality articles that add real value, else nobody will want to publish them.

Article Marketing Via E-Newsletters

Another way to make sales as an affiliate using articles is by submitting content to e-newsletters. Are there popular email newsletters in your niche? There are many out there that accept submissions. Do some searches or ask around to find them.

You can write great content that will be sent out to hundreds and potentially thousands of email subscribers in your niche. As with other forms of article marketing, you’ll want to point these subscribers to your own web properties to make sales of products you’re promoting as an affiliate.

Succeeding With Article Marketing As an Affiliate

In conclusion, article marketing isn’t like it was years ago where all you had to do was write hundreds of articles for an article directory to make sales.

These days, you have to be more strategic about it. In the end, it’s all about creating high-quality, helpful and sometimes entertaining content that will really resonate with your audience. Implement some of these tips and you will surely gain more exposure, traffic and sales through your article marketing efforts.

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How to Choose a Product to Promote as an Affiliate

Affiliate marketing is exciting because there are so many possibilities. You can promote digital or physical products in your niche. You can even promote services. That opens up a lot of opportunities to earn a fantastic income as an affiliate. It also opens up the need to make some decisions.

How to Choose a Product to Promote as an Affiliate

If you had your way, you’d be able to promote anything and everything. People would be buying from your links left and right. Well, it just doesn’t work that way. It’s important to be strategic about the things you promote. You can’t and shouldn’t just promote anything and everything. You should only promote the things you know your audience will need and want, are of high quality, and suit the way you want people to view your business.

That’s right—you only want to align yourself with certain products and/or merchants. It’s not a good idea to promote something that’s of low quality just because it will potentially earn you a good commission. You might end up with a lot of refunds on your hands. More importantly, people will have a lowered perception of you and might not put much (or any) stock into your future product recommendations.

Things are so different, so much better, when you apply a certain set of criteria to the things you choose to promote. Ask yourself:

    1. Will this product solve a problem or delight my customers?
    2. Is this product of high quality, so as to have a low refund rate?
    3. Is this product priced fairly to the customer, even considering my affiliate commission?
    4. Is this product, and the creator of the product, something and someone I’m proud to associate myself with?

In addition to those questions, you have to find the product in the first place. There are so many out there. It’s hard to know where to look.

How to Find a Great Product to Promote

First, decide what type of product you’re interested in promoting for the promotion you’re doing right now. If a physical product suits your goals for now, you might look for a product to promote on Amazon. Or perhaps you want to promote something on ShareASale or Commission Junction.

Browse around. Look at the affiliate networks you’re already approved for. If you’re not already approved by relevant affiliate networks, like those mentioned above, then you may want to preemptively apply for approval. Most affiliate networks require you to already have a website to apply with, so you can submit your current website or quickly create something with WordPress. Most of your affiliate promotions will likely stem from your website so that will help you get that out of the way so you can then freely start promoting.

Keep in mind that some affiliate merchants might check out your website or blog before giving their approval, so it should be ready to be viewed. That doesn’t mean you have to have a ton of content on the site, but it should certainly be more than the default “Hello World” post that WordPress starts you off with.

You can do a simple Google search. Search for the type of product you’re interested in promoting along with “affiliates” or “affiliate program.” Try different keyword variations until you find what you’re looking for. Sometimes, you’ll find great, high paying products you can be an affiliate for that are high converting but not at all saturated because not as many affiliates know about them as compared to a product on Amazon.

If you’re interested in promoting a digital product, then you might search through products found at places like Clickbank.com or JVZoo.com. There are many digital product based affiliate programs out there.

Just as you can with physical products, you can search for digital products you can be an affiliate for. Search for keywords related to your ideal product along with “ebook” or “course” or whatever it is you’re interested in.

Write down the products that interest you. You might even come across some services that interest you and are available for affiliate promotion.

If you haven’t already, apply for the various products and networks that interest you. You’ll want to apply early because it can sometimes take awhile for approval. In the meantime, you can apply your list of criteria so you can make the final decision as to what you want to promote.

Will This Product Solve a Problem or Delight My Customers?

First ask yourself if the product truly serves the needs of your customers. At this point, you should have a pretty solid idea of what the people in your niche need and want. If you’re new to your niche, then I recommend you pause and get to know your audience more.

What are other people promoting successfully in your niche? What do your potential customers talk about on social media and on forums? What are other leaders and authorities in your niche recommending to their followers?

Put the customer first. It’s easy to get swayed by a shiny looking commission but you’ll do a lot better over the long term if you really consider the customer first.

Ideally, the product will solve a desperate problem they have. That way, they’ll be eager to purchase the product, landing you a commission. If the product is very high quality, this creates a win-win situation. They’ll have solved their problem and you’ll earn money.

Other products are for pure enjoyment or entertainment value. Is the “wow” factor there? Will people be really eager to buy the product you’re interested in promoting? Do your due diligence to make sure this is the case.

Is This Product Of High Quality?

Ask yourself how high quality the product is. There are certain products out there that are really attractive on the surface. They might have a fancy sales page or shiny exterior. But, when you open them up, they’re just a mess. They’re not helpful to anyone except for the product’s creator whose pockets are getting lined with cash because of gullible customers and either gullible or shady affiliates.

You don’t have to own every product you promote. In some cases, it’s a very good idea though. Ask for a review copy if it’s a digital product. The author might be reluctant to give review copies to unproven affiliates, though, so don’t be annoyed if they say no. You should just go ahead and purchase a copy if you think you’ll be promoting it.

At the very least, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the product and find out more information about the product.

Search around on Google. What are the current reviews like? Today’s web customers tend not to be afraid to share their opinions, both good and bad. Take that to heart. Hopefully the product you’re considering will still be very high on your list.

Is This Product Priced Fairly?

Now, consider the price. There are some products out there that are way overpriced and are only that way because the product creator is over compensating for affiliates. They’ll charge $2,000 for something for the sole reason of giving the affiliate half.

Now, you might view that product as actually being worth $1,000, even if you’re getting half. That’s fine. It’s just a judgment call you’ll have to make for yourself.

It’s not just about fairness—it’s also about conversions. Will you make more sales of a $10 product given your current customer base or will you make more sales of a $100 product that has more features and benefits? Think about it. Figure out which type of promotion is likely to land you the most commissions while being fair and enticing to your customers and readers.

Is This Product Something I’m Proud to Associate Myself With?

The products you promote should be something you’re happy to associate yourself with. Is the product you’re considering part of that equation? Does the product creator have a good reputation?

Your reputation is very important and you don’t want to risk it for a little bit of money. You want to build a fantastic reputation because your readers have come to really trust you. They know that if you’re recommending it, that it’s a great purchase.

Making the Choice

You have some decision making to do. Hopefully, this process doesn’t intimidate you at all. There are so many products out there that it can be overwhelming. You don’t want to make the wrong choice.

The great thing is that, after you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be a natural. You’ll be able to apply these criteria without giving it nearly as much thought. You’ll pick great products left and right, earning a great income as an affiliate and delighting your customers as a result.

And of course, you’re not limited to just one product. The product you choose to recommend today won’t make or break you. Far from it! You’ll promote many products over the months and years, getting closer and closer to what your customer base will be thrilled with and buy like crazy.

You’ll repeat some promotions and end others early. You’ll go with the flow of the new products that are coming out. You’ll promote the classics over and over again. You’ll develop a reputation as someone who promotes the best, most helpful, most exciting products around.

And speaking of promoting the classics, that’s something that many affiliates neglect. Many, especially those who are promoting digital products, only bother to promote products that are brand new and “hot”. You should keep your eyes out for evergreen products that people are constantly looking for, and consider adding recommendations and reviews for them in your autoresponder sequence. You’ll have far less competition that way, and separate yourself from the crowd of “me too” affiliate marketers.

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10 Secrets of Highly Lucrative Video Marketing

I started to compile a bunch of stats to show you how popular video marketing is becoming. And then I realized – the last thing you need are more stats about how video is taking over the internet.

10 Secrets of Highly Lucrative Video Marketing

The fact is, if you’re not using video yet, you’re losing customers, clients and revenue.

Consumers love video. They watch video. They ENJOY video.

They even enjoy video when the video is selling something, as long as the video still entertains and informs.

So how can you use more video in your business?

And how can you make those videos perform as well as possible in getting your viewers to take action?

Here are ten tips to get you started in the right direction:

1: Make your video is about the story, not about the sale.

Anyone can slap up a sales video and put it on YouTube. “Buy my product!” But will it get views? Not likely.

Instead, tell stories and deliver value. Let’s say you’re selling a course on how to do marketing for chiropractic offices.

It’s tempting to tell the viewer why your course rocks, why it’s exactly what they need, and how it’s only available for a limited time.

But what if you make a series of short videos, with each video providing one powerful marketing tip just for chiropractors?

I guarantee those videos will be watched and shared among the chiropractic community.

You’ll establish massive credibility. And of course you can politely refer them to your website at the end of each video.

These videos won’t sell your course for you.

But what they will do is make it far easier to get the sale.

Think of it as romancing the client…

First you take them out on a date or two or three…

And THEN you close the sale.

Your success rate will be much higher than if you try to close the sale while the two of you are still strangers.

2: Make the first 10 seconds the BEST 10 seconds ever.

One stat says that 20% of viewers will click away from a video within the first 10 seconds.

Now you’ve got to ask yourself – why would they do that?

They came to watch something, yet they leave almost immediately.

There could be a few reasons:

  • Your video doesn’t appear to be what they expected. If they are coming from a link that says, “Free iPad!” and your video is about growing organic veggies, you’re going to lose them. Continuity is key here.
  • You have a long, boring, “Look at me!” intro. You’ve seen those intros where it’s 30 seconds of how great the company, video creator, brand or whatever is. The problem is, no one cares but the person who made the video. Lose the long intro.
  • You dilly dally around. Taking the first minute of the video to finish setting up your recording equipment is a major no-no.
  • You don’t start out with a bang. You want to get right to the meat of the subject by quickly introducing what’s happening and then making it happen.

Think about movies back in the 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s – they all had long boring intros filled with lots of credits and no action.

Now think about todays’ movies – from the first moment there is action; something that captures your attention and makes you want to stay tuned to find out what’s happening, why it’s happening and what’s going to happen next.

When it comes to writing fiction, teachers often tell their students to lop off the first page or two, because they’re usually full of long, boring intro stuff to set up the first scene. But when you lop that off and start with the action, BOOM – the reader is captivated.

Videos are the same way. Start with the good stuff and let it just get better from there.

3: Don’t be so serious.

Your video might be to inform and instruct, but that doesn’t mean you have to sound like a boring, stuffy college professor.

Find ways to inject fun and humor into your presentations. This doesn’t mean to inject knock-knock jokes that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. Instead, find the humor in what you’re teaching or talking about. It’s always there, you just have to look for it.

Now I know that when you get in front of a camera, if you’re like most people you get nervous. And when you get nervous, you might not be able to find the humor in anything, except perhaps your own nervousness.

Three things I can tell you – if you practice beforehand in front of a friend, you’ll be surprised at the funny things that come to mind. Go ahead and try your humor on your friend and listen to their feedback. They’ll tell you which ones work and which to leave out.

Second, when you’re filming, continue to think of the camera as your friend. You’re just having a friendly conversation, regardless of whether it’s you on camera or you’re using slides.

Third, have fun. If you’re having fun then the viewer will likely have fun as well.

4: It’s good to be human.

No one really likes someone who is perfect, or even someone who comes across as perfect. That’s why it’s okay to make mistakes on camera.

If you are nervous or if you do something wrong, just acknowledge it and move on. For example, you drop something you were showing the viewer. Laugh, pick it up, make a joke about your nerves or your butterfingers or whatever, and move on.

It’s a funny thing when we admit to the audience that we’re human and we can laugh at our own foibles – the audience begins to like us more, and they root for us, too.

I even know people who purposely make a mistake or do something clumsy, just so they can get the audience on their side.

It’s a truly effective technique when done right.

5: Tell embarrassing stories about yourself.

As an extension of the last point, use yourself as an example of what not to do. Let’s say you’re teaching dating tips. You want to tell the viewers what not to do. Instead of saying, “You should never, ever do this or that because it just annoys the other person,” say this:

“I was once on a date and I made the dumbest mistake possible. What happened was…”

And then go on to tell a story about yourself doing something stupid or wrong or whatever.

Notice that now instead of lecturing the viewer, you are sharing a valuable story about how you goofed up.

This does a couple of things…

It teaches the viewer in a way they will remember, because people remember stories much better than lessons.

And it’s yet another opportunity to show just how human you are, and make the audience like you even more.

But what if you never made that mistake yourself?

It’s up to you, but I see no harm in telling the story from your point of view anyway. Again, it’s a highly effective teaching method, and everyone loves somebody who can laugh at themselves.

Just look at comedians – they are continually telling audiences about the stuff they’ve done that wasn’t too bright. And audiences love them for it.

6: Optimize your videos for search.

Here are a few tips for doing just that:

If you can, host your video to your own domain first, before uploading it to sharing sites. This has the potential to get people to link back to your own domain, which will also help your overall SEO efforts.

Enable embedding on your video to increase the likelihood of receiving inbound links.

Add your videos to your sitemap to give Google information about your video. This gives Google useful metadata that can improve Google’s ability to include your video in search results.

Use tags for the relevant keywords. Write full descriptions and add a unique title.

And remember this: If it has a box, Google needs you to fill it out in order to help you rank.

7: Educate your audience.

Some of the best videos you’ll ever make, that your prospects and clients will love, are videos that teach your viewers something useful.

Whether it’s to get a result they want, show them how to best use your product, or provide useful tips, people enjoy short ‘how to’ videos that teach them what they want to know, when they want to know it.

Which of course means you need to be found when they are looking. To do that, go back to #6 and make sure your video shows up in the appropriate SEO searches.

8: Let your customers speak for you.

Social proof is best done by your customers on your behalf. For example, you can ask customers to film themselves talking about how they use and love your product.

Case studies are an excellent way to showcase your product while teaching your audience how to achieve the result they desire.

Your customer might talk about their buying decision, what might have stopped them from buying, and why they went ahead and got the product.

Next they might talk about their results of using the product, what specific features they like, and the biggest benefits of using the product.

A good customer testimonial or case study can be worth an entire sales letter when it comes to converting new prospects into customers.

9: Add a call to action

Whatever kind of video you’re making, don’t forget to add a call to action at the end. It might be to visit your website, go to a landing page to grab a free report, check out a sales page or whatever.

Just remember that your videos should be 90-95% great content and just 5-10% sales.

10: Add a video to your landing pages to increase conversions.

Naturally you’ll want to test this out, but odds are you’ll see a nice bump in your conversions on your landing page if you add a short video.

The video should quickly introduce yourself and let them know what they’re getting when they subscribe. Make it friendly and fun for the viewer, and try to inject a little humor.

Most of all, give one very clear and immediate benefit of subscribing to your list and grabbing your free offer.

I know a marketer who never sells anything on his videos. All he does is provide helpful tips, tell silly stories about his industry and act as a helpful friend to his viewers.

And his sales are through the roof. Why? Because people love him and trust him.

Video isn’t hard. What’s difficult sometimes is relaxing enough to simply be ourselves and lend a helping hand or tip to the viewer.

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Simple Money Making Method Never Fails

Marketers have used this technique for years to make a nice little side income.

Simple Money Making Method Never Fails

And you can do this as often as you like, too.

All you do is register promising sounding domain names.

Or snap up existing domains when they’re dropped, using one of the expired domain tools.

The trick is to offer them to your own list. Don’t try to sell them on Sedo or GoDaddy because you probably won’t do all that well.

But if you offer them to your list, or even run a WSO for them, you’ll probably sell more easily.

Let your readers know these are domains you’d planned to develop yourself, but now you’ve decided to sell them instead.

And YOU set the prices.

You can use a domain valuation tool, or just decide on values yourself.

Set them at different prices, based on how valuable you think they might be. Your readers will seldom try to negotiate, but if they do, that’s fine.

A domain is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it. And the beauty is, scarcity is built right in. After all, there is only one of each, period. So selling them is pretty easy.

You can buy aged domains for $10 when they’re dropped, and sell them for hundreds of dollars.

The trick is to sell them to your list or in a place like Flippa.
Choose domain in all kinds of niches, not just Internet marketing.

Just about everyone will read a list of domain names to see if there’s something in there they want. Buying domains is often an impulse purchase, and marketers just can’t help themselves.

Here are three domain valuation tools that are free:

http://domainindex.com/

https://www.estibot.com/

https://www.domaining.com/valuate/

Just keep in mind that these tools are only guessing. Frankly, your guess might be better than theirs, since you know your list and what they value.

When you email your list, let them know the email is going out to thousands of readers (if that’s true) so they know they better be quick. First come, first served.

You might also make suggestions for the types of websites that could be built on each domain. Not everyone has the imagination or business acumen to figure out how to use a domain.

You can either send out one big list of domains a few times a year, or send out smaller lists more often.

If you’re only offering, say, 5 domains at one time, you can write a good paragraph or two on how each might be used, what similar domains have sold for and whatever you think will help sell them.

Or take the easy route and just make a list and get it out there.

And don’t be afraid to ask for premium prices, either. You might be surprised at how much people are willing to pay for a domain they just have to have.

True value is always in the eye of the beholder.

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How to Double Conversions on High Ticket Items with One Sentence

Believe it or not, a single sentence can literally double the conversions you get on your higher ticket items.

How to Double Conversions on High Ticket Items with One Sentence

Yes, this sounds too good to be true, but once I reveal what the sentence is, you’ll understand.

Now mind you, do not try this with low ticket items. You’ll hate yourself in the morning if you do.

Then again, if you have a lot of time on your hands, it’s your decision as to whether you try this on a $50 item or not.

In my experience, not many marketers are doing this – probably because they’re either too lazy or they simply have no clue how powerful this can be.

Okay, are you ready for the sentence?

Here it is…

“Please get in touch with us personally if you have any questions.”

That’s it.

Simple, right?

Then you give them options. It could be a dedicated email address, a phone number or a chat box.

The key is to make it a soft invitation, no strings attached. You want to be clear you’re not going to strong arm them once you get them on the phone.

Here’s why it works so well:

You’re asking for a lot of money for your high ticket item. Maybe that’s $300 or $3,000, I don’t know. But whatever it is, it represents a sizable investment for your customer. It’s not like they’re buying a $10 ebook.

So naturally they’re hesitant. They need just a bit more of a push to take the plunge.

And for some of them, simply knowing they can get in touch with you is enough. This tells them you are indeed a real person with a real business and this is a real product.

They relax. They have more confidence in you. And they order.

For others, they have a legitimate question that you either forgot to answer in your sales material, or you did answer it but they didn’t see it.

In either case, they really want that answer before they buy. With these folks, you will often be off of chat or email or the phone in less than 5 minutes. Sometimes in less than 2 minutes.

Then there’s the third type of person. Their only real question is, “Are you for real?” because they want to know what happens if they have trouble with your product. Are they going to be able to get in touch with you? How quickly will you answer? And so forth.

They need reassurance that you’ll still be there in a month if they decide to use your guarantee. They might even get in touch with you more than once just to make sure.

There is a fourth type of person in this scenario I need to warn you about. This is a tire-kicker, and they will likely waste your time. The problem is, you don’t know at first if they simply need reassurance, have real questions or they’re just bored and looking to chat.

If you suspect they’re just wasting your time, you can politely tell them you have another caller and you have to go. But generally this isn’t a problem, especially when you check your numbers and realize your sales have about doubled since you offered customers the opportunity to get in touch with you.

One last thing – which communication method should you offer them to get in touch with you? That’s totally up to you. Ideally you want to offer all three – phone, chat and email. And if you have a virtual assistant helping you out, you can do that.

We’ve found that offering all 3 choices has the biggest impact on sales.

But if it’s just you, then you might want to limit the choices to just the one or two you’re most comfortable with for now. You can always add another method later.

The main thing is to let your big-ticket prospects know that you are in fact reachable. Even adding just a dedicated email address with the invitation to get in touch can make a definite impact on improving your sales.

And if you make just one more $1,000 sale per month, it’s worth it.

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The Two Things You MUST Have to Start an Online Business

Did you know you can outsource pretty much everything you need to start an online business? Everything except for your idea – that’s got to be yours.

The Two Things You MUST Have to Start an Online Business

And overcoming fear. Only you can do that.

So let’s say you come to me, wanting to start an online business.

You’re a blank slate, in that you don’t have a clue where to start or what to do.

No worries, because someone who is a blank slate actually holds a tremendous advantage over someone who already thinks they know it all, when in fact they don’t really have a clue.

So you come to me and ask what you should do.

And I stuff a pad of paper and a pen in your hand, and I tell you to go somewhere quiet and think.

Because you’re going to brainstorm like you’ve never brainstormed before.

You’re going to write down every idea you get. Good ones, bad ones, stupid ones – even the ones you KNOW for a FACT you cannot possibly pull off.

You’re going to write them all down.

“I want to teach a cooking course to people who currently can’t boil water.”

“I want to build an app that tells people where the vacant parking spots are in New York City.”

“I want to build a community gardening site for people who live in southern Florida.”

And so forth.

Be vague.

Or get specific.

Just brainstorm your heart out.

Speaking of which, watch for those items that feel especially near and dear to you, and put a little star by those.

And then keep writing.

You’re going to start your business on YOUR idea – not on what’s necessarily gone before or what other people are doing.

Lose all preconception of what will and what won’t work for now. That comes later.

By generating your own business model without worrying about what anyone else is doing, you’re freeing yourself up from comparisons, crappy advice and self-doubts.

Your business model can be anything you can imagine.

Naturally once you’ve narrowed your choices down to a handful, you’re going to do some research to make sure there is indeed a market for what you’re proposing.

But I’m going to discourage you from spending a lot of time looking at any potential competitors. Ignore what they’re marketing, how they’re marketing it, how they’re advertising and so forth.

Because that is where people learn to fear their own idea.

“This is already being done, so I’m too late!”

“This company is already doing a good job of covering this market, there’s no room for me.”

“Their idea is different from mine, so their idea must be the right one and mine must be wrong.”

And so forth.

Thus, you’re eliminating one type of fear that plagues all new marketers.

But there is a second fear you’ll need to overcome – the one that creeps up on you when your friends say, “What, YOU’RE going to start a business? HAHAHA!”

Or maybe your friends are supportive, but you lack confidence. “What if people hate my product?”

Yup. There’s a real heart stopper. And you cannot outsource overcoming those fears.

So how do you deal with them?

For me, I just acknowledge them rather than fight them. Yes, I’m afraid. No, I’m not going to let it stop me. So Mr. Fear, you go sit in that chair over there while I work. And if you get bored, feel free to fly out the window.

Believe it or not, this attitude works. When you stop letting fear take hold of you, when you stop feeling like you’re trapped in its icy grip, when you just acknowledge it and do the work anyway, then fear tends to get real quiet. It takes a seat and watches for an opening. And if you don’t give it one, eventually it just leaves the way it came.

Ignore what’s going on around you. Put blinders on, manage your fear and above all else, stick to your idea.

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How to Make $5,000 a Month without Your Own List

Okay, I love working with my own list, nurturing it, emailing it everyday… but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. So when I run across a business that makes good money without having to nurture a list, and it only takes a few hours per week or month, I figure it might be worth sharing.

How to Make $5,000 a Month without Your Own List

Mind you, the $5,000 a month figure is somewhat arbitrary.

You could make less or more, depending on how good you are at this and how many deals you do a month.

And perhaps the best part of all is you’re providing a very valuable service to new marketers looking to start their own online business without having to worry about the details.

Here’s how it works as told to me by someone who has been doing this for months now…

You’re going to be creating unique, ready-to-go sales funnels that are proven to convert.

No worries, you’re not doing this from scratch. Far from it. Instead, you’re using PLR – the kind that provides everything ready made to build a sales funnel.

The key is to make everything in the funnel unique, even though you’re using PLR.

So you find some good PLR that fills a real desire in the marketplace.

Rename everything and create new graphics, too.

You can even go in and change the coding on the plugin, if that’s what you’re using. Just hire someone to tweak it, maybe adding a new feature.

If you’re using written PLR, hire someone to flesh it out a bit more and change it up a little.

Then you create a squeeze page to offer something for free in return for the visitor’s email address. It could be a report, book, plugin, etc. Remember to use PLR that includes giveaway rights.

Focus your effort on making this offer as irresistible as possible. You might need to rewrite the sales page to do this, or hire someone to write it for you.

Next you create an upsell offer. This can be a high quality PLR course. Again, rename it, and create a new sales page that converts. Charge a fairly low price for the upsell – between $19 and $39.

Yes, you might need to invest some money in copywriting and even setting this up if you don’t want to do it yourself. But if you shop around, you can probably get it done for $200 to $500, depending on how much you do yourself.

Now that you have your funnel set up, buy 1,000 clicks from solo ads or Facebook. Send them to your squeeze page and through the funnel.

You’re doing this to prove the funnel works, as well as to start building the list.

After 1,000 clicks, if you get a 40% opt-in rate, you’ll have 400 subscribers.

If 5% of the subscribers buy the upsell, and the upsell is $30, then you’ve brought in $600.

This can cover your costs or come close to it, depending on how much you spent.

You can then buy more traffic if you like, building the list and testing and tweaking the funnel.

But you don’t have to. If you want to stop at this point, you can.

Or continue on and build the list bigger, either one.

In either case, when you get to the point that you’ve had enough testing, tweaking and list building, it’s time to flip the funnel and make the real money.

You’re selling a funnel that comes complete with a list of several hundred subscribers that’s already generating profits on the upsell, which means it’s proven.

And just as important, your funnel is unique, too. It has its own proven squeeze page, its own proven sales page, its own lead magnet and product…

…it’s a complete one-of-a-kind proven sales funnel.

You can sell this for $3,000 or more – sometimes a lot more – on Flippa.

The fellow who told me about this averages about $5,000 a sale. Some sites have sold for more, some less.

And he does two of these a month by outsourcing the work.

Frankly, I don’t think he personally invests more than 5 hours into each website.

So it’s a very lucrative side income, so say the least.

The key here is to pick niches with ready-made markets – niches where people are already spending lots of money.

You’ll want to find the best PLR you can get your hands on.

Make everything unique.

And practice.

The first time my friend tried this, he only cleared a few hundred dollars.

The second time, he cleared over $2,000.

Now he averages about $5,000. So practice and experience do count.

Perhaps best of all, there is no customer support. Once he sells a site, it’s totally out of his hands and he’s on to the next one.

So it’s great for somebody who doesn’t like to email a list day after day, build a relationship with readers and so forth.

If this is something that interests you, spend some time researching which sites are selling well, and also where to find the best quality PLR.

Once you know those two things, everything else will fall into place.

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Old School Marketing Yields 7 Figures

Marketing methods might change, but people don’t.

Old School Marketing Yields 7 Figures

Not really.

I know a guy who consistently makes seven figures in his business without studying the newest, latest and greatest online marketing techniques.

Instead, he studies traditional “offline” methods that have worked for decades, not just weeks or years.

His customers love him and his products sell like crazy.

For example, he knows that people need to see an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine as many as 7 times before they buy.

So he uses retargeting – those ads that seem to follow you from website to website – to make sure he gets seen enough times to make the sale.

He knows from old school marketing that people do business with those they know, like and trust.

And when they want to make another purchase, they again go back to the person they know, like and trust.

So he does everything he can to treat his customers like family and earn their trust.

Of course he uses technology to automate everything, but that doesn’t change the fact that he loves his customers and lets that love show in every communication.

He also keeps a list of VIP clients and treats them accordingly. He’ll create a personal video for a single client, or send them a gift or snail mail letter. In fact, he does one of these every single day for his VIP’s, which might account for how well he sells BIG ticket items in the $2,000 to $5,000 range.

He looks out for customers much like a best friend might. When he sees something that he believes is a scam, he warns them away from it. When he thinks of something that will help his customers, he shares it the same day.

He visits client’s websites and leaves comments. He answers emails, and I mean he actually answers them himself if it’s a VIP client.

Online really is the same as offline, in that we are dealing with PEOPLE. Funny how we tend to forget that sometimes.

If you had a store with people walking in the door, you would hopefully see them as people. But online they can turn into faceless email addresses, which I think is why so many online marketers struggle.

They forget that online marketing is actually a PEOPLE business.

So grab an old marketing book and start reading. Ask yourself how it applies to the internet.

You might be surprised at your results.

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Your Customers Are Not Always Right

You get a negative comment, or worse yet, a nasty comment on your blogpost… What do you do?

Your Customers Are Not Always Right

You could take the time to answer it, or you could just delete it. It’s up to you, but I look at it this way – I don’t have time for Negative Nellies. They’re upset because they don’t agree with my point of view, or I misspelled some words? Frankly, I think there are more important things to get upset about. Disease. Hunger. War. That sort of thing.

My life is too short to get bogged down by people who have nothing better to do than gripe. Yes, I know that sounds harsh to some people and you might not agree.

But think about this: You get an email from a jerk. I mean a real wanker. You read it and what happens?

Most marketers will dwell on it. They’ll think about it, let it darken their mood and even ruin their whole day. That night they’ll lose sleep thinking about that Negative Nellie. Maybe they’ll take 20 minutes to craft a well-worded reply. Maybe they’ll even try to change their business to suit this stranger with the potty mouth.

I remember my first negative comment. I felt terrible until I realized what I was doing to myself. How could I let a total stranger dictate how I felt? How could I allow myself to waste a day feeling miserable because of a lousy email?

So here’s what I did – I deleted that person from my list and blocked him from subscribing again. And you know what? I felt terrific.

I fired my subscriber. Think about that. It’s YOUR business. YOU decide who you do business with. If I hadn’t deleted that subscriber, odds are he would have written again. And again. And again.

I don’t need that. I have a family, and a business and a life. Complainers and whiners are fortunately few and far between. But they are out there and they would love nothing better than to troll your blog and email account and ruin your day.

It’s up to you what you do. But I can tell you this – firing the tiny number of Negative Nellies that cross my path has been one of the best business and personal decisions I’ve made. It frees me up to feel positive, stay positive and be productive.

It’s your business. Dump the wankers, focus on the other 99.9% of your wonderful readers and customers, and I guarantee you’ll love yourself for it.

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Does Length Matter? 7 Tips for Getting Your Videos Watched

There was a time when it didn’t matter how long your videos were because people were happy to watch almost anything online, if they had a fast connection.

Does Length Matter? 7 Tips for Getting Your Videos Watched

Then came the video deluge, with millions and billions of videos all competing for eyeballs. “Make it short! Make it snappy!” was the cry of the day.

These days people watch all lengths of videos, as long as they are interesting. Think about Netflix and the other movie and television services – viewers stay glued to those videos for hours at a time, which is great training to watch your videos, too.

But that doesn’t mean you can bumble and stumble and ramble on. Here are seven tips for getting your videos watched and acted upon:

    1. Continue to favor short videos. If you can make your video shorter while still delivering the same content, do it.

    2. Don’t get crazy with the intros. Have you ever clicked on a video only to get a 30 second intro before the actual video started? Did you stay for the whole 30 seconds? Most people don’t. Start your videos off with a bang, delivering immediate content to get the viewer hooked.

    3. Don’t bury your lead. Burying the lead is an old newspaper term for hiding your biggest point somewhere in the story, instead of leading with it. If your video is going to show them how to double their profits, start with that – not with how you grew up on a Kansas wheat farm.

    4. Use energy and enthusiasm throughout your video. Steven Wright the comic can get away with speaking in a dry, monotone voice because he makes it funny. The rest of us need to inject plenty of energy to keep viewers watching.

    5. Don’t hide your call to action at the end. No matter how great your video is, not everyone will watch it all the way through. If you want them to click on something, try inserting a clickable annotation within the first few seconds or at least within the first minute. People in a hurry will appreciate this.

    6. Do you have a long training to present? Break it up into a series of shorter videos.

    7. Have you got a great speech or show to share? Don’t break it up. Instead, allow your audience to sit back and enjoy the full experience of it.

The best rule of all – never, ever, ever be boring – not even for a second. If you can follow just this one rule, your videos will be viewed and shared like gangbusters.

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