Archive for November, 2016

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s part of being human. The biggest failure when you do make mistakes is not to learn from them. Some people get so overwhelmed from their mistakes that it paralyzes them. Instead, using those mistakes as a basis to not repeat them will help your business grow.

Having said this, you should try to avoid mistakes whenever you can, especially if you have made them in the past. It’s amazing how many people will continue creating situations that they have to later try and rectify, especially when they know it didn’t work out in the past. Insanity is defined as doing the same things over with different expectations for the results.

If you want some guidelines on how to either avoid mistakes or learn from them, the first is to keep a journal. Whenever you come across a situation, record it in the journal along with any steps you took. Also, take note of whether you viewed it as successful or not. When time passes, we may run into those situations again and not remember it. The act of writing something down will help you remember it in the future. Besides, you will have a roadmap of steps to take or avoid should you not remember the circumstance.

Another way to deal with mistakes or potential ones is to seek the advice of trustworthy colleagues and friends. If you know someone who has dealt with a similar situation, consult with them about what steps they took to deal with it. If you find their advice helpful, consider doing something in exchange for that advice. Perhaps you can give them something relevant from your business, or you can refer business to them in the future.

The types of mistakes you want to avoid are ones which can get you in legal trouble. If you are unsure of taking some action, don’t hesitate to consult with an attorney on the subject. Seek one who is qualified in the area of law that deals with the situation.

In most cases, there is no avoiding making mistakes completely, so don’t beat yourself up too much when you do. It’s important to recognize that you have made them and take ownership of them. Passing the blame onto others is going to make the situations worse and is going to upset the people you are blaming. Owning up to your mistakes will keep the integrity of your business intact and will help you to sleep better at night.

Some newbies to the Internet Marketing world feel like, without a mentor, they’ll flounder online and won’t be able to make headway in this type of business. But that isn’t always the case.

The last thing you want to do is have a mentor whose only goal is to make money – for himself. You want someone who can look at your individual strengths and weaknesses and help you find a business model that will satisfy you personally and financially.

You may need an overall mentor for your efforts, or choose to hire a mentor who has experience in one specific area of Internet Marketing, like Search Engine Optimization or Pay Per Click Marketing.

Marketing can’t be summed up into one tiny, neatly wrapped package because there are too many aspects of marketing to make it that narrow. Don’t expect to learn everything in one session with a mentor. It’s not a topic where mastery happens in one sitting.

You don’t have to have a marketing mentor if you want to run your own online business or even several online businesses. You’ll make mistakes (even the top marketing gurus still make mistakes) and you may even have some total failures, but that helps you learn what to avoid next time.

Hiring a marketing coach isn’t cheap and you could expect to pay thousands over time for help from some of the best coaching experts. If you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in business awhile and it’s not taking off the way you’d like, you might not be in the position to afford a coach.

That doesn’t mean you can’t find free expert help to guide you on the path to marketing well. There’s a great deal of advice and guidance online for marketers in any stage of their business and it’s all free of charge.

You can find this advice and guidance online through marketing blogs, forums and even articles written by marketers who have already been where you are now. You’ll learn about which marketing tools to buy, which ones are a waste of time and money and what the hottest niches are today. All this will cost you is your time. Find a marketer who keeps a regular blog and covers the information you need to know. Check out the blog archives, too.

Having the ability to read is the only qualification you need to make your marketing business a profit puller. Put the effort into researching and studying what you don’t know but need to learn.

So many marketers have graciously shared the wealth of their knowledge online for free, but you have to do the work of unearthing the nuggets you need to succeed.

Affiliate Marketing on Twitter

Posted November 30, 2016 By Callie

Twitter is a really great place for affiliates to do some social networking because it doesn’t require a bunch of time for you to master – or utilize on a day-to-day basis. At just 140 characters (not words) per Tweet, there’s not much you could do.

Twitter is used by people of all ages, all around the world. While Pinterest is primarily used by women, Twitter is used by both men and women. It’s been around awhile, so it’s not a flash in the pan social site.

Decide who the Tweets will come from. Do you want your account to be from a person (your name), or from a brand you create for your affiliate marketing business, like “Toy Review Dad?” You’ll choose the Twitter name you want based on how you plan to promote on the site.

Create an account with the background, header and avatar. Too many affiliates register for a Twitter account and leave the pathetic egg image as their avatar. That’s just being lazy, so you’ll want to fork over the $0.80 it costs at depositphotos.com or use an original image and give your account a picture to represent you.

The header and background aren’t as important, but you can do some serious branding using that space – and you can often find a graphic designer on Fiverr to help you achieve that goal of getting your URL exposed on this space.

Link to your site with an appropriate tag line. In your header area, they give you a certain amount of space to write a little motto or tag line. You want to make your relevant to your niche. And make sure you include your website URL there, too! It will be an active hyperlink that people can follow to your offers.

Become a frequent, but not spammy Twitter user. You want to have a Twitter account to supplement your social marketing efforts, but you don’t want to clog anyone’s Twitter stream with endless promotions.

There are tools you might be tempted to buy that automate the process, but you should really keep control over your account manually and use it several times a day for a few minutes at a time so that you make better connections.

Reciprocate the kindnesses other Twitter users show. People will ReTweet your Twitter messages for you when they feel it’s something they want to share. This helps your links go viral and increases your chance of making a commission. Make sure you return the kindness for other people if they’re also marketers so that you’re not appearing selfish online. But at the same time, don’t ReTweet anything you find to be shady.

Follow people interested in the niche. You want to follow people who have talked about the niche you’re in on Twitter. Do a search on the site for keywords to find out who’s chatting about it. They’ll often follow you back, engage with you and ReTweet your messages!

Don’t Be Stingy with Promo Planning

Posted November 30, 2016 By Callie

One of the worst things you can do in your state of desperation is to rush things. But this happens all the time, and newbie marketers wonder why no one will promote their products for them.

A good promotion plan can mean huge monetary success to your online business. The first rule of promotion planning is – start early! Give yourself at least four weeks to plan and prepare – more if feasible.

Announce it to your JVs and affiliates so they can schedule, too. Depending on their time and efforts, they can create bonuses which will spur you on to even greater success.

And customers can plan for the promotion by setting aside some cash. Even small amounts are hard for some people, but if they want your product, they’ll save up for it over the course of a couple of weeks or a month.

You’ll want to build some enthusiasm for the promotion among everyone. Announce it on social media, blogs and any way you can to create some excitement among those who will likely provide the best results.

A little research of those who might benefit from your promotion is necessary to make sure you have a good idea of how many sales you might reap. Look for blogs and websites that offer similar products to yours.

Spend some time planning the promotion so it will be a huge success. Among the issues you need to remember are things like knowing your target audience. Existing customers (those on your list) are always a must.

They know you and are familiar with your products and are loyal. Other marketers who have similar audiences should also be informed about your promotion so they, too, can build excitement among their own lists.

Know your objectives. Pleasing your audience with a quality offering should be first on your list – not seeing how much cash you can rake in with whatever you slap up for sale.

If you do it with quality in mind, then the money and future customer loyalty will come. Offer a great and informative product for a reasonable price. Think about what your strategies will be.

Are you planning to promote on social media, with affiliates, JV partners, website, videos, webinars, podcasts or interviews? Will you have a commission contest? They’re all great ways to create anticipation for your promotion, but you need to assess how much time and effort to put into each or all of these that will be most advantageous to your promotion.

How are you going to put your promotion into action? This part of your promotion planning takes organization. Develop timelines (that should be met at all cost) for each part of your promotion and stick to them.

You can’t tell affiliates and JV partners that you plan to launch one day and then the day before, flake out on them and delay it for a few weeks. People have schedules for when they promote others, and if you’re lucky enough to be on it, you should respect their time.

A promotion plan should be carefully and extravagantly laid out so that you know every aspect of it and when it will launch. You’re offering a vision that you created to your audience and you want to give it every chance of succeeding – both for you, others involved in the promotion, and especially for your customers.

How to Make Money Off a $7 Product

Posted November 30, 2016 By Callie

If you start a business online, one of the things you’ll do is emulate the success and strategy of others. You start signing up to other marketers’ lists, begin learning how they convert through sales copy, and look at pricing strategies, too.

One of the most popular launches ever heard of in the Internet Marketing world was a John Reese launch for a product called Traffic Secrets, where he sold over $1,000,000 worth of product in 18 hours.

It was a high ticket product, so everyone assumed that’s the only place where big money can be made. But not all entrepreneurs take the same path. There are plenty of customers who want to (and can afford to) spend a very small amount up front.

One of the ways you can make money off of a $7 product is to have a great backend set up for additional sales. Seven dollars may not be much, but the addition of one or two upsells can make your income soar.

Pair that with the fact that once a person buys from you and sees the value you offer, they get and stay on your list – and you have a recipe for long-term repeat buyers. This can increase your bottom line nicely each year that they stay on and continue buying from you.

Many marketers go wrong with a $7 product because they equate price point with quality. They slap something insignificant up for $7, just to get the buyer on their list. The problem with that is, it becomes an indicator of what you’re capable of – and it won’t impress buyers enough to convert them for future sales.

Whether you’re pricing a product at $7 or $197, you should always create something that will wow your customer and over-deliver on your promises. That way, when you do develop a high end product – or at least something more moderately priced – they’ll buy without hesitation.

If you’re using the $7 pricing model as a way to rake in a lot of cash, then follow this strategy verbatim. First, make it a “no brainer” offer that’s for a topic or idea everyone’s interested in at that time.

Make the package or product very valuable – worth three to five times what you’re charging. Set up a two to five tier funnel of backend offers for upgrades. Set the commission level to 50-100% for affiliates.

Network with marketers who promote that type of offer. Send them launch date details, a review copy, and any other perks you can provide and earn your portion from their traffic and your upsell percentage.

There are two main ways to perform split testing—either by hand, or with the use of software.

When you perform it by hand, you simply need to leave one version up until you have a statistically sound number of results, say 1,000 unique visitors, and write down your conversion rate. Then put up the second version you want to test, wait until you have another 1,000 unique visitors, and write down the conversion rate for the second version and compare the two.

This is a fairly complicated process, because you have to monitor your traffic carefully to ensure you don’t let the test run too long or not long enough, and that you’ve accurately counted the conversions generated only within each split testing period.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to perform split testing. Software like Split Test Monkey make is easy to perform split testing on a hands-off basis.

There are two ways to do this. You can either do A/B Dynamic testing, which tests individual elements on the same URL, or split URL/web page testing, which tests 2-6 completely different pages. This is done using a rotator link that you’ll send visitors to, showing visitors different versions of the page. Cookies are used to ensure visitors will see the same version of the page if they return later, too.

This is the type of thing that would be practically impossible to do by hand, and it saves you a ton of time, in addition to ensuring more statistically accurate results.

Can you imagine how long it would take to test just one different version of the headline, one different version of the call-to-action, and one version of the price of your product? You’d have to test the original version for a few days to get your control results. Then you’d have to test your first variation for a few days. Then your second. Then your third.

It could take you a couple of months to get accurate results for this many variations if you do it manually, especially if you’re not getting that much traffic.

That’s why software like Split Test Monkey works so well. You don’t have to spend so much time changing out pages and tracking results manually. It does everything for you.

You can take a look at Split Test Monkey and see what all you can do with it here:

>> http://www.splittestmonkey.com

Other popular tools for split testing include:

>> http://www.optimizely.com

>> https://vwo.com/

> http://www.qubit.com/

>> https://en.abtasty.com/

>> http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud/testing-targeting.html

Running an online business can be a lot of fun and can be profitable as well. But it’s important that you make sure you are meeting all compliance requirements with governments. Many website owners ignore this at their peril.
If you capture emails of potential customers, in many countries, you are required to disclose what you intend to do with those emails. You need to let these customers know if you intend to sell their emails or any other plan you have for them. It is common to include this in your website’s privacy policy.

If you include testimonials, make sure that they are real. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on companies and websites that are fabricating testimonials. This should be common sense but make sure you get people who have actually used your product and are giving genuine feedback about it. Also, be aware that if you pay for these testimonials or give your product away for free in exchange for a testimonial, this fact must be disclosed as well.

If your business includes affiliate sales and you provide reviews of affiliate products you are selling, you must disclose that you have an affiliate relationship that may result in commissions generated. The FTC wants to make sure your potential customers understand your reviews may be biased based on the fact that you are receiving commissions.

It’s not the worst idea to run your policies by a lawyer who is familiar with compliance law. The internet is accessed by many people around the world. This complicates the scenario as you need to make sure you are compliant not only in your country but everywhere else your website may be viewed. Many countries are trying to implement similar rules but you simply never know when one falls outside those rules. Failure to comply can at best get you a warning and at worst levy steep fines for your business. Those fines will likely be more than any amount a lawyer would charge to help ensure compliance.

Of course, there are plenty of tricksters and charlatans who will use scare tactics to try and get you to purchase products and services that will help you keep compliant. If you have a budget for this, you will be better served to pay a lawyer as the solution will be specific to your business. Don’t leave it to chance. You may put your business at risk if you do.

How to Know When to Cut a Business or Niche Loose

Posted November 29, 2016 By Callie

Being an online marketer, you might struggle with wanting to quit at certain times during your journey. You might not want to quit for good, but you’ll be tempted to abandon various business models and niches along the way.

That’s normal for almost all marketers. It’s usually a combination of restlessness, distraction, and self doubt that cause you to second guess your choice and abandon it for something new and different.

But sometimes, the concern is real, and you don’t want to spend days, weeks or even months holding on to a struggling idea just because you refuse to be a quitter. It’s a fine line between leaving something alone because you know it won’t work, and making worst case scenario assumptions without any facts to back it up.

To combat any problems with cutting a niche or business idea loose, you have to plan accordingly. Before you get involved in a niche or business, conduct thorough research so that you’re not going in blindly.

You might want to find out what the search volume is like for the niche, how many digital and tangible items you can promote as an affiliate, how much products are priced at if you decide to create your own, and whether or not a business model has long-term success for many other marketers.

One you have your basic questions answered, you’ll want to go into it with a plan of action. You should know what steps you want to take toward your success. You can’t just slap up a blog and expect money to appear.

A plan of action requires you to spend time educating yourself about the niche or business model as well as taking action steps each day toward the finish line. So if your business model is to publish your own info product, then you’d need to complete that before chalking it up as a failure.

You can’t get halfway done and then call it quits because you won’t know if it could have been a profitable venture for you. But sometimes, you know halfway through that your heart just isn’t in it.

As long as you don’t use this excuse repeatedly, and learn to be picky about what niches and topics you pursue, it’s okay to occasionally let something go when you’re just not enjoying it.

After all, this is your online business and as a solo entrepreneur, you’re the one who has to make the decisions – and you should enjoy every minute of your business building efforts.

Split Testing Best Practices > Internet Marketing

Posted November 28, 2016 By Callie

Split testing can be a little technical, but as long as you follow the standard set of best practices, you should have little trouble.

Let’s take a look at the most important guidelines to follow:

  1. One Test at a Time – If you’re split testing manually, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you should only perform one test at a time, because you want to be certain which element it was that caused the increase or decrease in conversions. You can perform concurrent tests if you’re using automated software, because the program will detect which element was served and keep the results separate, but on your own, it’s not possible to run multiple tests simultaneously while getting accurate results.
  2. One Variable at a Time – Unless you’re using automated software that lets you test multiple variables in a very controlled way, you should only test a single variable at a time. For example, test two different headlines in a single test, but wait until that test is finished to test two different calls-to-action. Again, automated software will let you test multiple variables at a time, but keep in mind that the more variables you test concurrently, the longer it will take to get statistically accurate results.
  3. Test Small Stuff – A lot of people think only things like the headline and call-to-action are important to test, but even the smallest things can lead to better conversions.
  4. Test The Whole Thing – While sometimes a single element on a page can make a big difference in conversions, making an entirely different version of a page can also make a huge difference. For example, once you’ve tested a couple of headlines and found one that converts, you can then test that headline in a completely different version of your page’s design.
  5. Test Your Whole Funnel – A lot of people stop at testing the lead capture page or the sales page, but did you know that one lead page version might convert better, but result in fewer sales? It’s a good idea not only to test to see which version gets you the most opt-ins, but also which one results in the most sales later.
  6. Send Quality Traffic – A lot of people think it’s okay to just send thousands of untargeted visitors to a page for split testing purposes, but this isn’t going to work. You need to drive truly targeted traffic to your pages when split testing, because any sales from untargeted, low-quality traffic could be completely random and have nothing to do with the elements you’re testing.

Ask any online business owner what their single biggest asset is. Rather, ask any online business owner who captures emails from customers and potential customers. You probably have figured out by now the email list is the biggest asset of any online business.

There are tons of online businesses out there. Amazingly, many of them don’t capture emails of visitors and customers. Either they don’t know how to do it, or they don’t know that they should. Some businesses don’t believe in it. Whatever the reason, they are leaving money on the table, and lots of it.

As for people that don’t believe in doing it, they feel it is intrusive. But guess what? Visitors don’t mind leaving their emails when you give them something valuable in return. If you maintain that value coefficient for the duration of the list, you will find most visitors welcome the “intrusion.” Those that don’t will simply opt-out of the list.

If you are not familiar with how to capture emails, you have a couple of options: learn how to do it or hire someone who does. However, the option should never be not to do it, even though that is seemingly one option. There is plenty of information available online, and there are plenty of people who can get you going if you are not willing to do it yourself.

The concept is simple. You sign up for an autoresponder service. This is a service that manages the emails for you as well as provides you with the forms and other great features that help you in your email campaigns. The services are getting more sophisticated all the time. However, the more features they add, the more complicated the service becomes. The good news is you can use these services for basic functions like having customers sign up and confirm their emails as well as opting out.

Just having an email list is not enough, though. You need to load it with information that your list will find useful. A guideline is to include several emails that don’t contain sales pitches and then every five or six emails can include something sales related. This is known as nurturing your list and is a great way to keep the list members happy. Too many sales pitches are going to get them hitting the opt-out option. Although you can’t eliminate that, you want to avoid that as much as possible.