Friday, December 28, 2007
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas. Mine was spent with family and friends which for me is the best way.
One of my friends uses the Internet in a different way to make her income. Lorina Stephens has been a writer and artist for many years. She has published several "hard" books through mainstream publishers. From conversations with her she has had numerous road blocks and hassles with publishing community.
She decided to take a different route with her last book "Recipes of a Dumb House Wife". The title is tongue in cheek as she is a brilliant lady and she goes on to explain the title in the book. I have the book and have enjoyed many wonderful recipes.
But what is the difference? This is published through a print on demand printer. This is a small publishing/printing house that will print very small runs of books once they have all your information. This means that you can create a specialised publication at very little cost and have it printed in a book format. With small additional costs the company will provide it to the larger book stores.
For costs we are talking in the neighborhood of a couple hundred dollars investment for a far greater return.
So Lorina is providing a hard product, that is advertised on her website as well as through her publisher/printer. She did the original work of creating the recipes and writing the book. She also packages and ships from her office, but all the print work is done by her print on demand company. It is a great system. She will soon be releasing a new book too!
Graciously Lorina agreed to write an article for my website. You can read in her own words what she discovered about Print on Demand Revolution.
Monday, December 24, 2007
What do you get for 9 bucks these days. Well Affiliate Rescue is worth the money. I always cringe when I go to the payment page and click Pay This Amount. Have I just lost my money? Is it going to be the same old information? Could I have saved myself the money by rereading the books I have?
All valid questions and some times I have been stung. I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded this ebook. Good solid information and a price I can't say no to.
Essentially the fellow selling the ebook is using it as a lost leader to increase the members on his list. A valid tactic (remember though you can unsubscribe from the list at any time) The information in the Affiliate Rescue is good solid information. He does suggest using some techniques that I am not completely comfortable with (Gray Hat) but you could easily re-work them to be completely above board.
Getting Your Finances In Order
Redirecting Through Your Affiliate Link
Free Traffic Generation
Plus a series of bonuses directed to Niche Marketing and Forum Traffic Generation.
The Affiliate Rescue Ebook is 67 pages long and well worth the $9.00 price tag.
You can get more information at Affiliate Rescue.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Are you tired of always being "Sold" something?
Yes it is true you can make money on the Internet. You can barrage people with constant advertising using a shot gun approach hopefully catching someone.
Think of how frustrated you have been trying to find a little bit of information and having to sort through many pages of sales letters just to find the little piece of truth. The more information that all of us put up on the web the more the search engines have to sort through this.
The search engines are getting very good at this and are constantly evolving. When you set up your web pages always try to give some information of value. So many web sales pages I have seen just repeat over and over how good the particular product is. Yes it is important concentrate on the benefits of the products, but think of offering the person a snippet of the actual information in the ebook or product in the sales page.
Yes you are giving information away for free, but you are making your sales page worth more to a person. If you are selling something you believe in you should be able to provide a little insight into how good it actually is.
Provide the best quality information, and products that you can. Avoid things that dilute the quality of the Internet. New information, and solid information are very important. Many people are looking for the basics in what ever Field they are searching. The basics are often "tried and true" methods or foundations. Provide these first then move to more advanced information.
Google has implemented a quality score for AdWords. I expect web pages will soon be assigned quality score (this is the simplest forms) dependant on the actual information provided on the page. This will mean that simple sales pages will not rank well. The old saying "Content is King" the new saying will be "Quality Content is King".
Your website will evolve as you learn and educate yourself. Keep working at making it better and better and more people will respect you and your information and will want to buy from you.
My philosophy on Internet Marketing in a nut shell!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
More Information on Getting Free Traffic.
It has been said that traffic is the life blood of your website. This is true. If people don't see your website you have no way of letting them know about all your excellent information and products.
The best traffic is not always free but it is a great place to start. So how do you get your website known and start getting free traffic?
One of the best ways to get free traffic is to write articles and post them to article directories. This does several things.
First it allows you to show case your knowledge and talent on sites that already have high traffic. This puts you in front of many more people quickly. Publishers are consistently looking for GOOD content to place on their websites and in their newsletters.
If you look through many of the article directories you will find only a handful of well written informative articles. These are the type you should concentrate on writing as this will give you the most chance of getting picked up. The rest are simply return links to your site.
The return links are important as this will boost your sites popularity in the search engines. Note return links should only be placed in the signature of the article. The Meat of the article should have few or no links in it. This is not a sales pitch but useful information.
The more article directories you submit to (if they take your article) the more links back to your target page you get. Now if I was creating search engine algorithms I would rate these links as lower value that a link from a non-article directory, so you would need to make up with volume.
Once a website picks up your article then all their visitors can read it as well and click through to your website for more information. Once they get to your website then you can sell them or get them to sign up for your newsletter etc.
Many many people could see your information once you submit it to an article directory. Remember to always follow the guidelines or terms of service on each article directory.
You should research and write one article a week and place it on as many directories as you can. Some will take it others will not. Obviously if you are writing in a popular content area the directories are looking for new or informative information.
Less popular or more niche targeted areas stand a better chance to be picked up. Spend time researching your material. It is helpful if you are already an expert on a subject and can write off the top of your head. You may not always be able to do this so spend time researching.
If you create 1 article a week for a year on the same theme, after a year you will have 52 chapters to that ebook you always wanted to write and sell. Just package them together clean them up, make it flow and you have your book.
Your article should be 500 to 1000 words and I suggest creating it with no html except in the signature. Many of the sites I have submitted to with html in the write up I have had to go back in and clean every thing up again. Waste of time.
Spelling and Grammar are important check thoroughly. Remember this will be the first introduction to you and your website that many people will get. Make a good first impression.
I started learning about article writing almost a year ago. I bought an ebook called Turn Words Into Traffic by Jim Edwards, it worked and I started generating more traffic to my websites. Simple, easy to do. It does require a certain amount of discipline to sit down and write and sometimes you will have blocks but in all it is an excellent way of directing traffic to your website.
For article directories just Google "article directory" and start writing and you will start generating traffic.
Monday, December 17, 2007
What is meant by "Content is King"?
Content is the information found on websites and blogs. Primarily in text format but content can be pictures, audio, and video. Mostly the search engines are looking for text.
Search engines are trying to provide their users with the most relevant information to the searches. So the better the engines can understand your content and the more content you have, the better they can deliver to their users.
So the more you write about a topic and the more in depth you write about a topic the more information the search engines can index from your site. So the better chance your site will be returned in a given search.
The catch is that the search engines want your website to written for people not for search engines. They will also penalise you for having duplicate content as many other websites.
Pictures can not be understood by search engines. So the old adage that a picture is worth a 1000 words doesn't hold true for search engines. Use alt tags in your html to tell the search engines what the picture is about. Then it will count as content. You should also have a caption that your readers can see describing the picture.
Audio and video are a bit more problematic. Again a descriptive paragraph about each will help your content.
Content should be original and ideally written by you. New information is important. You should keep updating your content as you learn new things. Fresh content keeps the search engines coming back often to see what is new. This will keep you up dated in the rankings.
Without the actual content that people can sink their teeth into you get a web page that reads as "buy this product" over and over again. Not useful to people.
In part this is where social book marking comes in. The more people like your content the more readily they will bookmark your site. Sales pages rarely get book marked except by the sellers.
Research your niche area in depth and provide real information which translates into quality content for people to use.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Is the Money in the List?
I am sure you have heard "The money is in the list" over and over again.When I started Internet marketing I didn't really understand this concept. What was a list? How do I make one? How do I use it? All questions I had.
I was making some income from people coming to my website and learning things then clicking to my products and buying one of them that they were interested in. It seemed simple. What was this list business.
Well if we step back a moment and think how we use the web. I use it for gathering information. I visit many websites in a day just to find a nugget of information on a particular topic. Most often I may have to go through dozens of sites until I find what I am after. I have no intention of ever going back to those websites since I didn't find what I wanted (that is not to say they didn't have what I wanted, I just did not find it).
These websites have no way to get in touch with me and tell me that they actually have what I want. I am a lost customer to them.
Now a few websites will give me enough information about a topic that I know they know what they are talking about. Then they hint that they have more hidden material that they will give me access to if I give them my email address.
I don't like giving out my email address and possibly be sent tons of spam. If it is a topic I am interested in and I am pretty sure I will learn what I need I will grudgingly give my email address, after all it is free to join!
I am now on that websites list. This means that they can now email me with information that they think I would like. Some of the information (hopefully not all) will be products that I can buy that they think might help me. Admittedly I am a little sick of marketers only ever emailing me a list of products sometimes without descriptions that they think I should buy.
Instead include a piece of useful information with the email and then slip in the description of the product that you are trying to sell.
Once your name and email is on a list a website can use an Auto Responder to send you emails every couple of days. In its crudest form each day can be a sales pitch on their product with a different angle. The idea is to give a little more information each day to break down my resistance to buying the product.
Give the potential customer more and more information to convince them to buy. People usually handle small bites of information better than a huge long sales letter. It allows them to digest the information.
So the list allows me to keep in touch with my potential customers. I can send them information about products they are interested in. I can let them know about sales. I can let them know about new products I develop etc. It becomes more of a conversation instead of people reading endless sales letters.
So I started list building with a free auto responder. Trying to save money. Have you ever bought the cheapest tool to do a job and have been so frustrated with it when it broke, or stopped working, or when it just feel apart? That is how I felt with the free auto responder and list building tool.
Admittedly I was starting out and I tend to make a lot of mistakes when I start something. I ended up with a paid list building service and auto responder. The difference is night and day.
So now I can capture people's email and names and send them my newsletter, or updates, or suggestions for products. Very easily, I can tailor my broadcasts to all or part of my list depending on their interests.
If you set up an information capture and intend to market to your list remember to:
- Give information first, market second.
- Don't barrage people everyday with an email
- Don't hype things beyond belief.
- Do give a description of the product that you want me to click to for more information.
- Treat your list with respect. these people have given you a piece of their personal information their emaill address.
They really only want the information that they signed up for. If you try to sell to them too often it is like crying wolf. Eventually people just say oh its another offer from so and so. I'll just ignore it. If you add useful content to each email people will actually open them to see what you have to say.
So the paid auto responders that I recommend are:
My List building service is getresponse.com and I have been very satisfied. The cost is minimal compared to the service I have. Take a minute and check them out as they have some very good tutorials on what an auto responder can do for you.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Traffic is the key to the success of your website.
If you are trying to sell something you need people to sell it to. This is the traffic or visitors to your website.
In general the more traffic you get the more sales you stand a chance to make. For the reality on the numbers See The Sad Truth About The Numbers an article I wrote some time back on my website.
How do you get hoards of people to your site? Which is different from getting people to buy once they are there. First you need to have your website indexed by the search engines. Most search engines have a submit new website section on their front page.
The search engines will find you if you have links directing to your website from other places on the web. The more inbound links you have the better. The search engines think your site is more important if many other sites connect to it.
You can advertise in classified ads with your website linked in the ad. Make sure you read the terms of service for each classified ad site. Seach for "online classified ads".
Adding your comments in forums with a link back to your website in the signature area of the post will boost your links back to your website.
Writing articles with links in the signature portion of the article boosts your links back and creates an opportunity for people to copy your article to their website. The link in the article directory counts as one link back. If many people pick up your article and print it on their websites these links count again and again in your search engine rankings.
Now articles themselves also drive traffic to your site. When someone reads your article with your signature and link and have been captivated by your knowledge they will click to your site to learn more. Again the more people that pick up your article the more people will see it and the more traffic you will get.
A couple of the article directories that I like are
There are tons of others just search for "article directories" again read the terms of service.
Another way that is driving alot of traffic to websites is social book marking. Digg, Delicious, and Stumble Upon etc. These sites let you put a button on your site that helps people bookmark your site if they like it or find it useful. Buttons should be near the top (perhaps bottom as well) of each page.
You can start to see why it is important to be able to modify your website with a bit of html by your self. Each button the code is provided but you need to know where to place it on your website and how.
Another traffic source is from video. So far the main ways to drive traffic from videos is to put a link in the description of the video and put the address of your website as a water mark on the video itself. YouTube works well for this. There are other video sharing sites. Again just do a search.
The last way of driving traffic to your website is with pay per click (ppc) advertising, such as google adwords. These are the ads that you see at the right hand side of the screen when you do a search in Google. Every time someone clicks on one of those links the advertiser is charged a fee. Usually between $.06 and $3.00. This is very easy to set up. Google leads you through step by step. This technique is much more art than science. The science is all the steps that you go through to set up your campaign. The art is setting it up so that you don't go broke paying for each click.
To use Pay Per Click advertising I strongly reccomend reading some of the ebooks written on that topic.
Two Minute Profits and Google Adwords Secrets Revealed orSuper Affiliate Marketer's Secret Weapon
Getting traffic to your website and landing pages is really an art. You will have to try several different approaches at the same time to see what works. Internet Marketing is very much not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Does building a website scare you half to death?
Computer challenged at the best of times, let alone think about working with html code?
Well you are not alone. Many people struggle with these concepts. So lets assume that you want to make some money online. The best solution is to have a website of your own. And a better solution is to know how to build it yourself so you can go in and tweak it when you have to.
The easiest way by far to create your own website is to create a blog like what you are reading at the moment. It is Free Yeh! I generally like free things (although in future posts I will tell some of the free things I don't like). To set up a blog just set up an account with google and go to their blogger section. You can have a blog up and running in 5 to 10 minutes. Very Very easy.
Blogs do have their limitations, but to start definitely the easiest. You will be able to add links to your favorite things (such as affiliate links to make money), pictures, comments, video etc. etc.
For a blog to work effectively for you, you should post to it everyday. Doesn't have to be long, but something new each day. This tells the search engines that it is an active blog and they will start to rank it better.
To get past the limitations of some blogs a website is the next step up. In short you will need to chose and buy a domain name related to what you are trying to sell. Eg. www.go-fish.com should not be about motorcycle maintenance. Be creative but recognizable. If you are stuck and don't know what you really want to sell you could register your name.com . Not as good but will work for a start. I buy my domain names from http://www.domainsatcost.com/ very affordable!
Next you will need a place on the web to host your website. This is the computer or server that links to the net and hold all your information. I use two http://www.azhosting.com/ and http://www.domainsatcost.com/ I prefer azhosting for the versatility but domains has given me a large storage space, but it is not as intuitive to use. If you require lots of space (think video storage etc.) then Omnis at $6.95 a month is you best value for the money. They have a lot of options with their accounts including multiple domain names.
At first you may not need a large storage area, but remember if you are selling your own ebook they can take up 5Mb to 50 Mb of storage. You also need to keep at least 5 Mb free on your host for the general operation of your site. You can always increase the amount of space that you have as you need it (extra cost)
Once you have these things in place you can start creating your website. I use Trellian or Nvu. both are free and work well (see my website http://www.e-webincome.com/ for more information on Trellian). I strongly recommend get a physical book on html code. The one I use and is incredibly easy and cheap HTML In An Instant . This book has helped me figure so much out.
By following the book you can build a simple website very quickly. One Tip though that I got caught on recently. When you insert a link use the full address. So the link to the page on my website that has some extras on it is http://www.e-webincome.com/Goodies/goodies1.htm don't shorten the code to /goodies1.htm . This will become more obvious as you work with it. It helps prevent future broken links. Your can still use Goodies but the code is hidden in the html editor.
Trellian and Nvu are both what you see is what you get editors (wysiwyg). This allows you to see the page as it will look on the website as you add your text and pictures. You can adjust the code in another screen if you need to. Handy.
You can buy premade website with hosting etc. Some of these are very good but shop around and see what works best for you. A very good product is SiteSell.com . They literally do most of the work for you and host as well. A nice neat package especially if you don't want to mess with html code.
Carefully consider how you want to market your products and choose the website type that suits you. You can market without a website (ebay is one option) but you will quickly want to expand beyond that. Your website really is the foundation of your business. It is one thing that you have control over in an ever changing online world.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Selling Digital Products
All Internet Marketing is selling products of one form or another using the web as your sales medium. People who surf the web find products that they want to buy and hopefully buy from you.
Products could be hard goods such as clothes, dvds, furniture, machinery etc. Any physical product. If you are a manufacture of such a product often the internet becomes a secondary source for your sales. You will have to make or obtain your product. Then package it and deliver it to your customers.
Many transactions on ebay are this type of sale. A person sells a physical product, packages it and ships it to the customer. Essentially mail order sales with an electronic twist.
Ebay is a great place to get started selling items on the web. It is easy to set up, easy to operate, easy to collect money (Pay Pal). It is harder to make a living from ebay (many people are doing this though).
A little math. On ebay items can sell for what ever the auction brings or you can have a fixed price. Most smaller items will sell about the $20.00 range (as an example).
So lets say we want to make $30,000.00 a year income. This means we have to sell $30,000/365=$82.00 a day. Or 4 products for around $20.00. Every day. About 1500 products a year (this assumes that you have no cost for inventory, double the numbers if you buy wholesale). Now you think to yourself that sounds like a store. Yes the same pricipals apply. You set up an ebay store. Buy products at wholesale prices, sell at retail (or close to) prices and make a profit. You would still have to package and ship!
There are a number of drop shippers that can be found on ebay. Drop shippers warehouse, package, and ship their products for you. You just generate the sales. Obviously good for mass produce items such as electronics and dvds etc.
Instead of physical products the net is most useful for selling digital products. These products are ebooks or software that people can download right after payment. This is where clickbank comes in. Clickbank is a huge resource of information and some software. Again easy to set up an account and start selling Information Products. Clickbank has worked very well for me.
Essentially to sell a digital product you create a write up about the product with a link to more information or sales letter. When a person clicks on the link they are transfered to clickbank which makes the sale on your behalf. Then credits you with the corresponding portion commission on the sale.
If it is your product through your link you get 100% commission (less clickbanks service fees) if it is someone elses product you get the percentage they set. This is an affiliate commission. As you can see though no products to store, package, ship etc. Very clean very nice. You just add a bit of code to your website, blog, newsletter, email etc.
Commission Junction is another place you can sell products or services different from clickbank. This is affiliate marketing as well. You look through their vendors for companies that you have an interest in and you join to become one of their sales reps. Once you make a sale you are given a commission on each sale.
The art comes from creating sales information (webpages, letters etc) that convince your readers to click the link and buy from the seller. This takes practice and in future posts I will add some suggestions on how to accomplish this.
So my preference is to sell digital products or refer to a vender that is set up for shipping and packaging. I do sell hard goods on the net as well, but given the consideration of time and effort selling digital products is the best return.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Make Online Income with Clickbank, Commission Junction and others.The past months I have lost count of the ebooks and blog posts that I have read about how to be successful at Internet marketing. Each of the books has been sold as the New Discovery or Secrets Never Before Revealed.
Yes I did find new information in each book. I Also found a lot of repeat information. It boils down to some fundamental techniques and principles that are common across the marketing Field. Occasionally there are some new twists or added pieces of the puzzle. These just add to the picture.
The common threads that I have read so far are
- You need something to sell.
- You will need a website to sell effectively from.
- You will need to work at directing traffic to your sales pages.
- You need to capture a list of names and email addresses of people interested in your product so you can contact them in the future. (the best service I have found for this is Get Response)
- You need to provide lots of quality information .
- Clickbank is a major resource both for learning material for you and for products you can sell.
- Commission Junction (CJ) is one of the best affiliate programs for selling hard goods and other things as well.
- Articles Generate Traffic
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Generates traffic.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Generates Traffic
- Video Generates Traffic
- You need a Pay Pal Account to Process online transactions.
Each of these items I hope to discuss in future posts. The secret to the Internet Marketing is that you set up multiple streams, that is multiple websites, different products etc. So that there are many trickles into your bank account.
The next time you are presented with a clickbank proof of earnings on a sales page look very carefully at the numbers. You will probably see many different sales. This means that the person selling is having sales come in from many different products. All have different prices and commission percentages. The particular product you are interested in buying or selling may only be a very small portion of that income.
This is not a problem if it is a good product but be aware that this sales tactic can be used to inflate the appearance of the desirability of the product.
For more on clickbank see http://www.e-webincome.com/
Monday, December 10, 2007
Everyone and his uncle have jumped on this band wagon. There are people promising you fortunes if you buy their product. Remember the prospectors of the Klondike. The people who got rich were the ones selling the picks and the shovels, not necessarily the ones digging in the dirt.
The Internet is the modern gold rush. There is money to be made online. (I am starting to make a bit myself). You will have to buy a few tools (the information to get started) but much can be learned for free or very economically.
This blog and related website http://www.e-webincome.com/ are full of tips to help you navigate through the mountains of information that you will find.
Please don't jump on this as a get rich quick scheme. It is not! Does it pay? Yes it can. Do I have all the answers? No definitely not. I am just learning but at least can pass on a few tips.
There are many people like myself that are willing to help where they can. The truth is that the online world of marketing is big enough for everyone who is willing to work at it.
In the next post I will get into more of the nuts and bolts of Internet Marketing in what I have discovered so far!