Monthly Archives: April 2013

Podcast: Janis Pettit on Business Building

janis pettit 150x150 Podcast: Janis Pettit on Business BuildingJanis Pettit is an entrepreneur and business coach who started out as a stage and television actress in New York. She made the decision to leave that world and start a corporate training company that launched her into what she does today. A few years later she opened a restaurant which she took to seven figures a year while also receiving critical acclaim for the food and ambiance. These experiences led to her having her own cable television show. Eventually she left New York and moved south to Raleigh, North Carolina. This was where she finally became a business coach, helping people from around the world to create a lifestyle that suits them by using their experiences to create a business and attract the ideal clients for what they have to offer.

Part of what Janis does is to help people live their passion, and we talk about this in great detail during the podcast. Without passion, your business will just become another job! Being honest and authentic in your life and your business is the first step to rewarding relationships and success.

Janis describes herself as a serial entrepreneur, and her experiences are crucial to how she approaches her coaching clients and business. She is the kind of coach I wish I had met when I was first online. It would have fast-tracked my business building in a great way. She reminded me that even though we have achieved great success, many people do not believe they can do the same thing. Her programs teach people how to dig deep to find the talents they can turn into a business.

We also speak about the power of speaking to build a business. There are so many ways to do this, and we discuss coaching, teleseminars, webinars, personal conversations, and speaking in person for organizations and at live events. Learn more from Janis in her Big Results in 90 Days program.

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Attending Live Marketing Events – How To Avoid Damaging Your Reputation And Credibility

 Attending Live Marketing Events   How To Avoid Damaging Your Reputation And CredibilityI have been attending live marketing events for years, and have now been to lots of them. When I say ‘lots’ I mean that I have been an attendee or a speaker at more than fifty live marketing conferences and seminars since 2008. During this time I have learned so much, including how to behave and carry yourself when you are at a business conference.

You must remember, first and foremost, that you are there to build your business. Even though there will be many opportunities to socialize over the course of the event, your goals must remain to be the focus of what you are there for and wish to achieve. It’s not your cousin’s wedding or your neighbor’s barbeque; these events are meant to help you further your knowledge and to reach new heights in your overall business plan in a much shorter time frame than you could do on your own.

With that said, here are three things that I observe regularly when I am at conferences and seminars across the United States:

Drinking Too Much – This is the number one way to ruin your reputation in a business setting. Even if you would normally have a drink when out with friends, keep it to a minimum while you’re at a conference. I have business associates who like to drink wine in the evenings, so I always graciously accept one glass and then sip it slowly all evening. This makes me ‘one of the group’ without having to compromise my beliefs or defend actions later on.

Sloppy Personal Appearance – We all judge a book by its cover, even if we think we keep an open mind in this area. T-shirts with witty phrases and controversial pictures give people a negative opinion of you right away. I visit several cities regularly, such as Austin, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia, and have shirts I purchase at the airport or the hotel gift shop with the name of the city on them. I typically wear these on the night I arrive to show my support for natives of that city. Also, clothing that gives you the ‘disheveled’ look is simply not acceptable. If your pants are made of a material that looks like you’ve slept in them after a few hours, leave them at home and choose another pair for the conference!

Sharing Sensitive Personal Values And Beliefs  – A business conference is definitely not the place to share personal stories in regards to race, religion, politics, sexual orientation, or previous employment, even if there is a point to your story. I have seen people embarrass themselves by sharing personal information with a group that would have been best left for a private conversation. If you even suspect that it might be ‘too much information‘, keep it to yourself unless you are only sharing it with one other person who may need to have access to these intimate details. Also, be careful not to be overheard talking about others or about anything that could be potentially hurtful to another person. My voice tends to carry, so I try to save anything sensitive in nature for a time when I am not in a public area, and to steer clear of gossip altogether.

When I brought these three points up to one of my students his response was to cite examples of what others were doing. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. You must take full responsibility for your choices and actions. Remember when your mother said something like, “If everyone else jumped off the building, would you line up to be next?” She was right.

Instead, use these events as an opportunity to present yourself in a professional and positive way. Choose clothing that fits you well, is made of materials that breathe, and that stays looking good even after sitting for long periods of time. Drink in extreme moderation, or not at all. Only share stories that will build your reputation and show you off in a positive light later on when repeated to others. Yes, everything you drink, wear, or say is likely to be repeated to others, so make sure it will help you to achieve your goals instead of stopping you in your tracks. Make the most of attending live marketing events and it will be reflected in your credibility and your bottom line.


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Podcast: Michele PW on Freelance Copywriting and Marketing Strategies

Michele PW 142x150 Podcast: Michele PW on Freelance Copywriting and Marketing StrategiesMichele PW (Pariza Wacek) is a direct response copywriter and marketing strategist who has written sales copy for some of the biggest names in the industry. She started writing professionally in 1992, and in 1998 she started her freelance copywriting business. I love learning from Michele on a variety of topics from improving my writing to structuring my business. She’s also a dog lover, so it’s a perfect fit!

On this call we discussed how she got started working as a freelance writer, and then decided in 2003 to build a business based on her expertise and knowledge and finding new clients online. This took her from what she described as a ‘feast or famine’ existence of working either eighty hours a week or not at all to having a business that could grow over time and give her more options and opportunities. She recommends that all solopreneurs take a look at what they are doing to see what’s right for them. It was also at that time that Michele began attending live events and hired a coach to help her move forward in a big way.

I know you will enjoy this call, and be sure to sign up for a special complimentary package she calls her ‘$Ka-ching!$ Copywriting and Marketing Business Kit’. She also offers website critiques and a variety of products and services geared at helping you to grow your online business in a way that makes sense for you and your goals.

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How To Create An Authority Site

membership1 150x150 How To Create An Authority SiteCreating An Authority Site

Today I’d like to talk about how to create an authority site. Are you doing this in your niche? Look at the top sites in your niche (or any niche, for that matter). Most likely these sites all have at least one thing in common: their designs look very slick and professional.

I know, you might be on a budget as you start building your authority site. And you might be tempted to skimp on the design. But don’t do it.

You only have one shot to make a good first impression, so you need to make sure your site’s overall design leaves the impression that your site is:

  • Professional
  • Trustworthy
  • An authority/expert site

You might be tempted to just buy a web template, WordPress template or something of that nature. But I wouldn’t advise it. Ideally, you should get a custom design created by a professional web designer so you can integrate your brand into your site’s design.


Prepare Your Overall Plan

The next thing you need to do is plan your overall site. That is, what features will it have? How will you share content?

Perhaps you’ll share content via a blog. If so, will you enable comments? What categories will you have on your blog? Will you interact with your readers via any other means, such as on a forum?

If you’re not sure what all topics and categories to include on your site then you need to revisit the top sites in your niche (and the general market) to see what they include.

You want to cover the same angles, and see if you can’t come up with angles and topics that they’re not covering. In other words, you want to create a site that’s even better than the competitors’ sites.

While you’re visiting these top sites, take note of what makes them different from the other sites in the niche. You’ll need that bit of information to help you with the next step, which is to develop your USP.


Develop a USP

When visitors and prospects come to your authority site, somewhere in the back of their minds they’re going to be wondering what makes your site different from and better than all the other sites in the niche. And your visitors aren’t going to spend a whole lot of time figuring it out for themselves. This is why you need to tell them what makes you different.

This factor that makes you different is called your USP, or unique selling proposition. It’s what separates you from your competitors.

The interesting thing about a unique selling proposition is that it doesn’t actually have to be totally unique. Instead, you just need to be the first among your competitors to stake claim to the USP.

Example: Folgers states that their coffee is “mountain grown” coffee. But the thing is, virtually all coffee is mountain grown. However, Folgers was the first one to use this claim, so it became their unique selling proposition.

So let’s look at an example from an authority site: Their USP (and slogan) is, “Better Information. Better Health.

This accomplishes two things. First, it tells readers why the site is better than other similar sites (because it has better information). Then it shares with the reader the benefit (better health for the reader).

One of’s competitors is, which of course caters to the narrower niche market of those seeking health information for kids and teens.’s USP is, “The Web’s Most-Visited Site About Children’s Health.” That’s what sets them apart from the competition, but it also serves as a powerful form of social proof.

Yet another competitor is Their USP is, “Vital Information With a Human Touch.” Thus they’re telling visitors that the information isn’t just being provided by nameless, faceless usernames online. It’s real information provided by real people.

Now it’s your turn. What USPs are your competitors using? And how can you set yourself apart from all of them? Is there:

  • Something unique about your information?
  • Something unique about your site?
  • Something unique about you?
  • Something unique about your visitors?
  • Something unique about what your information does for visitors?
  • Something you can claim to be the “first” in?

Whatever you decide, sum it up in one short sentence. Make sure it answers the question, “How is your site different than the competitors’ sites?” or “Why should your visitors seek out your site rather than going to your competitors?”

Now you’re ready to create a brand for your business.


Create a Brand

Earlier I mentioned that you want a custom, professional-looking site that incorporates your brand. In other words, you don’t want a “me too” site that looks like everyone else’s site. And so that your overall business doesn’t just blend into the abyss that is the World Wide Web, you need to create a brand that helps set you apart from your competitors.

A brand is NOT just limited to creating a logo or a slogan.

Rather, a brand is about creating a feeling. This is the feeling that you want your readers and prospects to have while they’re on your site. And everything on your site – from the colors to the overall design to the way you write your content – will help contribute to his feeling.


  • A site about babies might want to convey a feeling of love and nurturing. (Indeed, run a search for baby sites, and you’ll see that the top sites use warm, soft colors and overall convey a nurturing, loving feeling.)
  • A bodybuilding site might convey a feeling of power.
  • A site about finding one’s soul mate might convey a feeling of romance.
  • A spiritual site might convey a Zen-like feeling of peace.
  • A site about wealth-building might convey a feeling of power or sophistication. Or if it was aimed at women, it might convey more of a feeling of security and family.

You get the idea.

Once you know the overall feeling that you’d like your site to convey, then you need to build your entire site around this feeling. This includes:

  • Integrating the brand feeling into your site design (colors, graphics).
  • Designing a logo and slogan which support your brand.
  • Creating content that helps support this brand. This includes your articles as well as pages such as your “About” page.
  • Making sure other facets of your business, such as the way you answer customer inquiries, also support your brand. For example, if your brand is all about revving people up and making them feel motivated, then make sure the way you answer emails conveys this same motivational feeling.
  • Integrating your brand into your domain name, if possible. Ideally you should choose a .com domain name. You may also seek to choose a name which tells people what your site is about while also being brandable – like WebMD, for example.

In other words, it helps if your name isn’t too generic, like [NicheTopic].com (e.g.,


Quick Recap

At this point you have a niche picked out, and you’re designing and planning your site. You’ve scoped out your competitors to find out what they’re offering, so that you can offer something even better. You’ve even planned out the general categories of information that you’d like to share.

What do you think about this method of building your online business?


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Podcast: Juho Tunkelo on Direct Response Copywriting

DSCN0905 225x300 Podcast: Juho Tunkelo on Direct Response CopywritingJuho Tunkelo is a direct response copywriter and conversion optimization expert living in Helsinki, Finland. I had been following Juho for several years and finally met him this summer while visiting my family in Finland. He’s warm and funny, and I spent several hours with him, his wife (who also does some writing online), and his two children in a town called Hyvinkää. We talked about many things, including the difficulty of learning the Finnish language, his favorite iPhone apps, and his summer cottage.

I asked Juho what it’s like to be an online entrepreneur in Finland, a country that is based on relationships formed in the workplace. He told me that this is indeed an issue for him, and that is what led to him taking a part-time job at a company where he handles a variety of assignments, writing and critiquing the sales copy and helping them with traffic and conversion for their sites.

During this podcast he explained how he came to get started with direct response copy writing, why his English is almost flawless, and the role of SEO and conversion tactics in what he does every day. Juho also shared tips for anyone wanting to become a copy writer and spoke of meeting Gary Halbert, one of the greatest in this field, before he passed away in 2007.

Juho is a consummate professional who does a thorough job of getting to know the product and its creator before ever writing a word of copy. If you would like for him to do a critique of your sales letter, contact him through his site.

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My Online Marketing Breakthrough Challenge

challenges1 My Online Marketing Breakthrough ChallengeThis is my sixth full year working full time online, so I knew that it was finally time for me to shake things up if I was going to have a major breakthrough and move on to the next level in my business. Luckily, my friend Dennis Becker decided to start an online marketing Breakthrough Challenge recently in the Earn 1K A Day Forum I am a part of, and I was excited to get on board with this.

I just attended and spoke at the Earn 1K A Day Seminar Dennis hosts each year in Las Vegas. This event is inspirational in that everyone shares their story as to how they got from where they were when they began their business to where they are right now. The success stories are ones that we all learn from. You can find out more about Dennis Becker with his ‘Five Bucks A Day‘ training.

For my Breakthrough Challenge I am going to take my idea for The Weekend Marketer and expand it as much as possible over the next twelve months. This concept is based on a book I started last year on becoming an entrepreneur and being responsible for your own economy. That book moved very slowly, and then I had the idea to share my experience of being a ‘weekend marketer’ during my first seven or eight months online. These are my ideas, so far:

  • to finish my latest book, The Weekend Marketer, by no later than October 15, 2012
  • turn this information into a four part online course to be taught during October
  • to have at least 12 other online marketing trainers host me on a webinar to share this course (2 have already agreed to do this)
  • speak at live events throughout the world with this as my topic
  • seek media attention and coverage for me as an expert on this topic

I want to become known as the expert in this area, and want as many people as possible to be able to change their lives the way I have been able to change mine by starting out part-time and building a profitable online business. I want to bring nationwide, and then world wide, attention to the idea that we must be responsible for earning money in away that does not make us dependent upon others and to the current state of the economy.

I’d love to hear your ideas on this. Am I thinking too big? Too small? Leaving anything out?



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Podcast: James Schramko – Podcast Host and Entrepreneur

DSCN2803 300x225 Podcast: James Schramko   Podcast Host and EntrepreneurJames Schramko, podcast host and online entrepreneur, is my guest this week. His main site is at Super Fast Business. He’s an Aussie, and we spoke while he was on holiday in the Philippines. I had finally met him in person while we were both attending the Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Francisco earlier this year.

James and I have known each other informally since joining Dennis Becker’s Earn 1K a Day forum. James has been there since the very beginning, and has been awarded the coveted ‘Member of the Month’ designation twice. He believes that this forum is successful because Dennis puts his heart into it, and I agree with that wholeheartedly.

We talked about the podcast James hosts, and he has had more than half a million downloads since it began. It’s now at almost seventy thousand downloads each month, and he attributes that not only to his web site but also to the Joint Ventures he’s done with his co-hosts over time. He has several podcasts, and that’s the model I am following by now hosting two different podcasts for my target audience.

Our interview took an interesting turn when I asked James about his books on Amazon I had located. In this case, he was not aware of having any books available there. It turns out that someone published his content without his permission and he will be following up on that. We must always ‘Google’ ourselves to see how and where our name is showing up for the world to see.

James sees the Internet as a marketing ‘channel’, and transferred many of his offline business skills into an online business to benefit from massive leverage only available to those working online. According to Peter Drucker, the purpose of any business is to attract and retain customers. James started out with affiliate marketing before moving on to his own products and services as a long-term approach to business.

He recommends working on your mindset to raise your level of confidence. Once you know where your talents lie, improve upon that and build a sustainable business.

James and I also had an interesting discussion about attending live events that you won’t want to miss. We must think globally instead of locally. Listen to this podcast to learn more about how James Schramko has built a global online empire.


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Podcast: Teresa Miller: Publishing Expert And Online Writer

DSCN1393 300x225 Podcast: Teresa Miller: Publishing Expert And Online WriterTeresa Miller, publishing expert and online writer, is someone you want to know. We had been following each other online for the past year or so, and we finally caught up in person at the recent Earn 1K A Day Seminar in Las Vegas. I was speaking about how to make huge profits with a tiny list at this event, hosted by Dennis Becker, and it was while I was on stage that I realized just how special Teresa is. Her son, Airman Sean Miller, recently graduated from the Air Force basic training program. I decided while I was speaking that I would devote my weekend to promoting one of Teresa’s great courses to help her pay for her trip to the event. This would allow me to be my own Case Study on how what I teach really does work.

In our podcast she shares that she met her husband while they were both in the Air Force, something I did not know, and how proud they were when Sean decided to follow in their footsteps. I want to publicly say thank you to Teresa and her family for your service to our great country.

Teresa has started a forum and membership site for writers of both fiction and non-fiction writing called the Publishing Advantage Group. She has been writing professionally for many years and is the right person to guide you on your way to writing and publishing your own work. I know you will feel a connection with her, just as I have, when you listen to our call. It takes a village to become a successful writer, and Teresa is someone who will stick with you and give you the best and most up to date advice on what your next steps should be.

Subscribe to my entire Podcast Series on iTunes to receive all of my interviews at absolutely no cost.

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Holiday Niche Sites: Passive Online Income From Mini-Sites

pumpkins 300x200 Holiday Niche Sites: Passive Online Income From Mini SitesEven though we’re still having to deal with double digit temperatures here in southern California, thoughts of the upcoming holiday season are on the minds of those setting up niche websites to take advantage of holiday shoppers on the Internet. According to the National Retail Federation, it is estimated that consumers will spend approximately eleven billion dollars just on Halloween this year, and more than a third of that will come from online sales.

Several of my students have asked me what kind of sites could be set up to earn extra income, and the ones I’m going to discuss here certainly fit the bill. The idea is to always be thinking ahead to what people will be interested in, and one of the very best ways to start getting used to this type of thinking is to set up sites related to the holidays, also referred to as ‘holiday niche sites’.

We’ve all seen how the retail stores, and even the grocery stores, bring out the holiday merchandise earlier and earlier each year. They are doing this for good reason; the sooner they put it on the shelves, the sooner we all have it in our minds to start planning and purchasing for that holiday. I tried to resist this marketing strategy one year and ended up going to several stores the week before Easter, only to find that everything I wanted to make my traditional Easter baskets had already sold out. Now I am one of the first in line to buy what I need sooner rather than later.

Right now I am setting up two new sites for Halloween. They are simple, three page websites that will be used to recommend costumes and other accessories that are sold on Amazon. The idea with these is that people searching online for specific Halloween items, such as costumes, masks, makeup, and more will be able to find my sites as a solution to their problem.

Always remember that you are a problem solver first and foremost if you are going to achieve success as an online marketer. If someone has been invited to a Halloween costume party with a political theme (remember that this is an election year) and they wish to dress up as one of the candidates, they are much more likely to at least begin their search on the Internet.

We are all busier than ever before, so it just makes sense that we want to save both time and money by seeing what might be available before we head to Target or to the mall to find what we need.

Start by purchasing a domain with the name of the holiday included. An example might be something like This domain would be very specific and let people know what to expect to find there.

Set up a WordPress blog and add some royalty-free graphic. These are pictures that we are able to use on our sites without having to worry about copyright infringement. Add some content by writing about your topic and keeping it relevant to what you will be promoting. Make sure you are an Amazon affiliate and find some items to promote that are related to what your site is about.

Once you have set up your site let others know about it. Add it to your signature line in your emails, talk about it on Facebook and Twitter, and tell all of your friends to share it with their friends as well. Between now and Halloween you will have built up a nice following, made some money, and have a site that is ready to go for next year. Over time Google and the other search engines will list your site, allowing people who type in the keywords of what your site is about to find it more easily. That’s really the best thing about holiday niche sites; once you set them up the first time they are already primed for the same holiday the next year.

I’ve been teaching a course on this since 2011, and you can see that Mini-Site Training here. If you sign up now you will be included in all future training on this topic at no additional charge.



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