Monthly Archives: April 2013

Online Profits: Are You Disciplined Enough To Be Successful Online?

fall scene 300x199 Online Profits: Are You Disciplined Enough To Be Successful Online?Online profits are appealing to most of us who come onto the Internet to work, but it requires great discipline to be successful as an online entrepreneur. As I look back over my years working exclusively on the Internet, which began in 2006, I realize that I now have more discipline than I have at any other time in my life. I wok with people who would love to emulate my success, but most are not willing to do what it takes to build and sustain this type of business for the long term.

Time Management For Online Profits

It all begins with time management. We all have the same number of hours in the day, but the way we utilize that time varies widely from person to person. My recommendation is to make a schedule of what you need to work on within your online business. I know that I want to write two blog posts for this site every week. One is a post such as this one, where I share my information and knowledge on how to make huge profits with a tiny list, and the other one is related to the person I have interviewed that week for my podcast series. Typically I write the informational post on Tuesday mornings, and the one related to my podcast guest immediately after I have interviewed them. I then schedule the posts to go out on Tuesday morning and Friday morning, giving my blog the consistency it deserves and Google loves. The time involved here, including the writing of both posts and the podcast interview, is about two hours per week.

Which Activities Are Crucial To Your Business?

In addition to writing blog posts and hosting my podcast series, I also write articles for the article directories, short reports on a variety of topics, host free teleseminars twice each month, and create my own information products. I have a schedule that I adhere to in order to accomplish everything I need to do each week.

While I am traveling, which I do each month, I only write blog posts and send emails to my list. All other activities for my business are suspended until I return home. This schedule works well for me in terms of online profits because I have already built a foundation that makes sense for what I am trying to achieve.

Discipline – The Key To Online Profits

Finally, you must exercise discipline each day in order to achieve maximum results in your business. In addition to having a weekly schedule of the activities I need to complete, I also make a daily to-do list before I end each day. That list is the first thing I look at when I sit down at my desk the following morning. This gives me the flexibility to choose which tasks to work on right away, and which ones to leave until later. My ‘prime time’ is from around six-thirty to ten each morning, so as long as I complete everything I need during that time frame my business continues to move forward profitably.

The true test comes when you have a deadline to meet, such as creating a new product, writing a sales letter, or completing some work related to a JV project. This requires additional time, focus, and resolve to meet your goals and achieve the results you were hoping for. Managing your time, working on the right income producing activities and tasks, and having the required discipline will make all of the difference in your bottom line.

 Be sure to subscribe to my weekly podcast series by clicking on the link in the sidebar. It’s completely free, and you will be exposed to people and ideas that will help you to achieve your online business goals.

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Podcast: Stu McLaren of Wishlist Member

DSCN1652 300x225 Podcast: Stu McLaren of Wishlist MemberStu McLaren, Wishlist Member co-founder and CIO (Chief Idea Officer is how I think of him!), is a man on a mission. We were recently together in Las Vegas at a Mastermind we are both a part of for entrepreneurs.

Stu and his partner, Tracy Childers, started Wishlist Member as a solution for those who wanted to have an online membership site within their business. But Stu is about so much more than this. He was going to business school in his native Canada and playing on the varsity soccer team as well. They earned two national championships while he was on the team, making this a large focus for him. After his first year at university he did not maintain the grades to stay on the team. This, of course, was devastating for him, and led him down a path that would ultimately change his life.

Stu watched a video of someone named Doug Hall, founder of Eureka Ranch, where entrepreneurs brainstormed new ideas for their business. He applied what he learned from Doug, author of Jump Start Your Marketing Brain: Scientific Advice and Practical Ideas, to his school work and turned his life around. This was a turning point that changed the direction of his life

He became passionate about creative thinking and wanted to teach others about it. Stu started speaking to groups on this topic and wanted to bring this to the world by leveraging the power of the Internet. While at a conference on creative thinking he ended up in a session on journaling. This was eye opening when he realized he was ready to go out on his own as an entrepreneur immediately after graduation, instead of taking a job he would not enjoy. The rest, as they say, is history.

During our call we also discuss the challenges of becoming an entrepreneur later in life, and how that gives us the ability to help so many people to change their lives.

When Stu and Tracy started Wishlist Member in 2008, my dreams of having my own membership site became a reality. I now have several of them and enjoy the recurring income and benefits of this business model. It was truly the answer to my dreams. The idea for this came out of their own frustrations in trying to set up their own membership sites in the years leading up to this. It was a technological nightmare and they felt that it didn’t have to be that hard. The solution was found when they created a WordPress plugin to handle the entire process. Wishlist is now used on more than 42,000 sites and people like you and I can easily set up everything they need. They continue to make it better and better and add new features on a regular basis. I love the idea of recurring revenue in my business. It’s the difference between simply having a transaction and building a trusted relationship.

Stu encourages and challenges everyone to take a frustration or a problem and turn it into an opportunity. Focus on one idea and turn it into a business.

Every October they do a huge anniversary promotion to celebrate what they have created. Stu’s advice to you if you are new to membership sites is to watch the video with the 10 membership models to see how Wishlist Member can build your own business.

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Podcast Hosting – Build Your Online Business With Podcasting

podcast Podcast Hosting   Build Your Online Business With PodcastingPodcasting has been around for years, but the idea has really taken off for online entrepreneurs during the past two years. If you are not familiar with podcast hosting, they are audio recordings on a specific topic that you can subscribe to in iTunes and listen to through your computer or on your iPod or other mp3 playing device. They are almost always available as a free subscription.

I started podcast hosting in 2008, but soon lost interest in my topic (technology tips for newbies) and let it go by the wayside. During the next couple of years I subscribed to several other people’s podcasts to see what they had to offer, but many of their episodes were sporadic and seemed to get off topic easily. They would do five or ten shows and then disappear forever.

In December of 2011 I spent time with a group of entrepreneurs who were sharing how much new traffic they were driving to their sites and how many targeted prospects were finding them through their podcasts. I made the decision right then to commit to starting a new show and hosting it consistently, and sought out podcasting expert Kelly McCausey to learn exactly how to get started with her Smart Podcasting Skills course. Throughout 2012 I have released one new podcast each Friday with a new guest each week.

My podcasts are twenty to thirty minutes long and share insights from each entrepreneur’s perspective. I chose the half hour format because one hour seemed just too long when I wanted to listeners to subscribe and listen to the new episode each Friday. I also have a slightly different format in that I turn each one into a blog post and make it downloadable directly from there by using a free WordPress plugin called PodPress.

I have never seen anyone do what I am doing by featuring the podcast on both my blog and on iTunes. I believe that this marketing strategy is ideal for ensuring the most accessible means of finding my show. I also include additional information within my blog posts that make visitors even more interested and likely to check out the entire series and subscribe on iTunes. Each week more and more people are doing just that. On a side note, remember that the content you are creating with your podcasts can easily be turned into a product, a course, or even a book.

If you have been thinking about starting your own podcast series, there has never been an easier time to do this. Choose a topic you are knowledgeable on, set up your free account over at iTunes, and start podcasting. You can do each episode by yourself, interview guests informally as I do, or come up with your own format, and then enjoy the new stream of listeners and prospects who will find you when they are searching by keyword on iTunes.

Get started right away by learning from Kelly McCausey, the foremost expert in entrepreneurial podcasting. Sign up for my weekly podcast by going to Connie Ragen Green on iTunes.

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Podcast: Lisa Gergets on Amazon MiniSites

lisa gergets 260x300 Podcast: Lisa Gergets on Amazon MiniSitesLisa Gergets lives in a very small town in Wisconsin. Actually, she lives outside of this very small town. I first connected with her through our mutual friends Wil Mattos and Jason Fladlien during their recent auction. Lisa was offering a course on a unique approach to creating Amazon minisites and it was exactly what I wanted to learn.

Her online business was born out of a problem she needed to solve. Lisa had worked in the mortgage industry for eighteen years and needed to supplement her income to pay the heating bills During 2007 she started making fingerless gloves from old wool sweaters and she sold them for twenty to thirty dollars a pair. She set up a store on Etsy (a popular craft site) and marketed them to her Twitter followers. The gloves were extremely popular and sold well, but she got burned out because it was so labor intensive. During the Christmas season she even had her husband helping her. She realized that she was trading time for money, even though it was paying her heating bills all winter long.

One day on Twitter she heard about a course on how to set up affiliate sites using AdSense. This was in 2009, after AdSense had already gone through massive changes. The training she took taught her exactly how to set up these sites successfully, and she decided then that she wanted to teach others how to do this same thing. Lisa brainstormed with her husband and the idea was born that she would create her own course on creating niche sites. By now she had spent time building relationships with others on the Internet, and these people told their lists about her new course.

All of her products have come from something she has needed in her own business. This includes several plugins that she has had software developers create for her during these past few years. When she sees a need she is not afraid to pursue the right people to help her to achieve her goals. Lisa considers herself to be far more creative than technical, so it made sense for her to outsource this part of her business. The first plugin she had created was based on a free on that Amazon had offered and then stopped supporting.

Lisa says that she gets her ideas for new niche sites by looking through the advertisements in the Sunday newspaper and also by thinking about the products she wants and needs. She doesn’t over analyze or over think what she does. She describes this strategy as simple, but not easy. There is definitely work involved, and this can be an excellent long term strategy for anyone who wants to build a sustainable business on the Internet from their home computer.

She does all of the work on these minisites herself, except for the headers. I love this strategy because you have complete control over what you create, how many hours you spend building the sites, and just how far you go with this business model.

Her advice to new online entrepreneurs is to get started today with the training you already have, instead of always looking for something new.

I highly recommend Lisa’s training on how to set up your own Amazon sites. It’s called Amazon Minisite Mega Profits. You will be amazed at how much training and support she offers at an incredibly reasonable price point.

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Perfectionism or Excellence – Which One Will Best Build Your Online Business?

girl piano 300x200 Perfectionism or Excellence   Which One Will Best Build Your Online Business?It turns out that I used to be a perfectionist before coming online in 2006. I never thought of myself in that way, but on more than one occasion someone accused me of only being happy if something was perfect. As a classroom teacher, I thought that I always encouraged my students to do their best, and did not ever make them feel that if what they did was not perfect that I would ever think less of their accomplishment. If you have kids, you know that perfection does not exist!

But in my personal life it was a different story altogether. I was so hard on myself for the smallest things. I insisted on trying to be perfect when it came to cleaning my house, getting involved with my community, and working on projects. When I could not do something perfectly, I would simply give up. This led to a life filled with frustration and half-finished projects. I was too close to this to see what I was doing, even those who were closest to me tried to help me understand what I was doing.

The last straw was when I was injured at work and had to have knee (torn meniscus) and shoulder (rotator cuff) surgery within a few months of each other back in 2001. I was unable to work, to clean my house, and even to drive my car for part of that time. I threw in the towel and began to ask for help. This was so difficult for me in the very beginning. I can remember being at the grocery store and asking them to help me with a large bag of dog food. I began to go into great detail about my surgery and why I couldn’t lift the bag into my cart or into my car. Finally, the lady at the register said to me, “It’s alright. We want to help you with this.”

It was as though she had given me permission to ask others for help. It felt good to know that I could still get what I needed done, even though I could not do it myself.

When I came online in 2005 I saw that the biggest names on the Internet all had people helping them with various facets of their businesses. Back them I felt like I had to do everything myself because no one else could possibly do it as well as I could. I saw my perfectionism slowly creeping back into my life in a big way. This could have ruined my business had I not taken control and reframed it. Instead of insisting that everything be perfect, I made the conscious decision to strive for excellence in everything I did. This continues to be my business strategy and it serves me well.

What are your thoughts on perfectionism?

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Podcast: Dvorah Lansky on Virtual Book Tours

dvorah lansky 150x150 Podcast: Dvorah Lansky on Virtual Book ToursD’vorah Lansky is a bestselling author (Book Marketing Made Easy: Simple Strategies for Selling Your Nonfiction Book Online) and is passionate about helping authors market their books online. She has been innovative in this area, producing the annual Book Marketing Conference Online and this year’s Digital Publishing Virtual Summit, as well as being the founder of the Book Marketing Alliance and the Book Marketing Made Easy Academy. D’vorah coaches and trains authors around the globe in online book marketing practices. I have known her for three years now, and had the honor of mentoring her personally as she was developing her online business.

As she began to focus on marketing her own book, other authors started coming to her for help with the marketing of their nonfiction books. Her results are nothing short of amazing, and she is most generous in sharing her personal strategies with others. If you have written a nonfiction book and want it to move your business forward, D’vorah is the person you need to be connected with for stellar results.

We discuss virtual book tours, and how she first had the idea for this after our mutual friend, Nicole Dean, went on a virtual blog tour over a summer. I got involved as well, and D’vorah was the very first person who guest posted on my blog. This all led to the creation of virtual book tours, where you share information about yourself and your book on other people’s blogs. Authors have had great success with this concept, and D’vorah is the one who teaches you how to do this every step of the way. You can take your book on tour around the globe without ever leaving home!

She has a master’s degree in education, so D’vorah is able to teach you in a way that is unique and easy to understand. You will love the way she works with you if you get involved with her training, and I strongly suggest that you do. This combination of teaching ability and marketing savvy is what sets her apart from everyone else working online today.

D’vorah has also been extremely successful on the social media sites, connecting with business owners and entrepreneurs around the world to work with them directly as they market their books on the Internet and work to achieve best-seller status. I believe that she has a ‘sixth sense’ and intuition about marketing that is extremely rare in the world. You must have D’vorah in your life!

She has included me in her interview series, which she is now publishing as a book series. My interview is on ‘How to Make Money with Your Message’. This is another one of her unique and innovative marketing ideas that will help you to achieve your goals as an author and entrepreneur.

D’vorah Lansky is the ‘go-to’ person when it comes to marketing your book. Be sure to sign up today for your collection of Virtual Book Tour Tips.

Sign up for all of the calls in this podcast series by subscribing at no cost on iTunes.

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How Much Experience is “Enough”?

This is the second post in a series on eBook writing by my friend and colleague Jim Edwards. Ebooks are more popular than ever, and Jim is the ‘go-to’ person on this topic. Be sure to leave a comment if you have questions for him on how to write an ebook.

 

image001 170x300 How Much Experience is Enough?One of the biggest mental roadblocks most would-be authors encounter sooner or later in creating their own ebook is wondering whether they have enough experience to actually write an ebook or not. They wonder if they’re “good enough” and if readers will judge the answers in their ebook as “good enough.” In fact, I believe this question best summarizes the entire issue for most people:

“How can I identify a problem that I have enough expertise in to offer a potential reader a profitable solution, especially in an ebook?”

First, let’s define “profitable solution” and then we’ll move on to the experience part of the question.

A profitable solution is one that solves people’s problem(s). That’s it! If you can solve the problem for someone, then you can provide a “profitable” or effective solution. End of story. (See, I make things easy!)

Now, let’s move on to the experience part…

image003 300x280 How Much Experience is Enough?FACT: The VAST majority of people tend to discount their own experiences and elevate the importance of other people’s experiences. You can use this to your advantage with a simple shift in mindset.

If you understand that people tend to discount their own experiences and elevate those of others, then all you need to do is move forward! When you solve their problem, the vast majority of people will think you’re smart, take you at your word, and never question your experience – especially if your solution to their problem works reasonably well.

Finally, let’s address how to spot a problem people need solved.

Here are 5 areas where you can look for potential problems that you could solve for others quite profitably with an ebook (or special report).

Past Experience

image005 How Much Experience is Enough?Take a long hard look at your past experiences in your job, career, hobbies, passions or any other areas in your life. Again, most people tend to discount their past experiences because they don’t realize how much value they can mine from those things with just a little thought and reflection.

Problems Solved For Yourself

Think about a big problem you’ve solved in the past. Think about times in your life when something really bothered you and, when you solved it, you felt like shouting out to the world “Look at me! I DID IT!” Those types of problems can form the basis for an ebook because they show you have the experience AND you can produce results (solve the problem). Also, problems you’ve personally solved help you write killer sales copy because the story of your own struggle and the fact that you overcame it makes for a VERY compelling sales message.

Problems Solved For Others

image007 257x300 How Much Experience is Enough?What do others come to you for help in solving? What are you known around the office for when it comes to getting people out of a pickle? Again, people tend to discount their own experience and say “It’s no big deal!” But I’m here to tell you it IS a big deal and you need to pay attention! When others ask you for help, this is a signal that you may have found the basis for an ebook or special report.

Problems You Need Solved NOW

We all solve problems in our specific areas of expertise. Life is a process of solving problems. Think about a pressing problem you have right now that is driving you nuts. Instead of avoiding that problem, you need to get excited! Why? Because once you solve that problem you can turn around, package up the solution, and potentially sell it (or at least make an affiliate commission pushing someone else’s solution to the problem)! That simple shift from seeing problems as a pain in the rear end to potential profit centers gives you an entirely different outlook on life!

Questions You See Others Asking

image009 300x181 How Much Experience is Enough?In your travels around the Web – specifically on social media, blogs, and forums – pay attention to the questions you see others asking. Look for patterns. Look for huge amounts of pain. Look for problems that people need immediate answers to because they have a lot riding on finding the solution (in other words, it hurts a LOT). Often, seeing the questions other people ask will trigger you to think of or recognize a problem you can solve for that group.

So in the end, you basically have enough experience to solve people’s problems once you DECIDE you have enough. Also, finding a profitable problem to solve is very straightforward once you know where to look. So, as a wise man once said “There’s nothing to it but to do it!”

By the way, solving people’s problems based on your experience is just ONE way to create an ebook. I can show you multiple strategies for doing that! You just CHOOSE the method that fits your style best, and then knock it out. Fast, simple, and easy! Check out 7 Day eBook.

 

Jim Edwards

image015 How Much Experience is Enough?Selling online since 1997, Jim is an Internet Marketing Expert, Author, Elite Mentor and Coach

He specializes in helping individual entrepreneurs, small business owners and authors to understand how to use technology to build your online business.

Jim is the author of dozens of ebooks, hundreds of webinars, over 1,000 blog posts and articles.

His flagship ebook “How To Write and Publish Your Own eBook… in as little as 7 Days” – newly revised and updated with V2.0 – has been helping book and ebook authors create their own best-selling ebooks since 2001! Get more information about Jim and how he can help you get more readers, make more sales, and skyrocket your credibility here =>http://eBookWritingProfits.com

 

 

 

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Podcast: Carl Goldman of KHTS Radio

carl goldman Podcast: Carl Goldman of KHTS RadioCarl Goldman, KHTS radio station co-owner (with his wife, Jeri Seratti Golman, pictured with him), is an entrepreneur, a community leader, and a humanitarian. He is also my friend, and when I asked him to be my guest for this week’s podcast he was quick to agree. He and Jeri are second generation radio folk, which is extremely rare. They’ve owned the radio station, KHTS 1220, since 1990, and have been fixtures in Santa Clarita ever since moving here with their two young sons. When the earthquake hit in 1994 KHTS became the communication source for everyone living and working in the area. Carl is also active with the local Red Cross, and leads the SCV (Santa Clarita Valley) Disaster Coalition. All of this has led to his further involvement in the community, in politics, and beyond.

Santa Clarita, a city of 280K just north of Los Angeles, is unique in many ways, including geographically. This has made it possible for Carl to move into other areas that are so important to him and his values in terms of helping others in times of need. Santa Clarita has gone through eight major disasters since Carl and his family moved here in 1990, including fires, floods, and earthquakes. KHTS, along with the SCV Disaster Coalition, have become first responders in many cases.

Carl also discusses his involvement in Habitat for Humanity, which now has a focus of helping veteran’s with their housing needs in our city. Their biggest project, through Habitat for Heroes, is a village of 87 homes to be built exclusively for returning veterans. They have partnered with many local non-profits and groups, including College of the Canyons, Child and Family Center, Action Family Counseling, and the Sheriff’s Department, in order to better serve the needs of these young warriors. This is the first program of its kind in the United States.

We also talk about the opportunities for entrepreneurs that arise from community involvement. Carl recommends choosing a local non-profit that you are passionate about and getting involved, but to make sure its mission is close to your heart. He and his wife, Jeri, were passionate about helping the families of children with cancer after having neighbors with a young son who was going through this, and they were instrumental in the founding of the Michael Hoefflin Foundation to support families throughout our region who are dealing with childhood cancer. He shares that many businesses build a brand around their community involvement and take an active role in causes that resonate with them.

He describes the economy as a roller coaster, making it next to impossible to put together a five year plan. Many new businesses fail, so it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to have enough resources and contacts to be successful. There are small business development groups in many communities, and this is the place to start. The goal is to connect with the people who are willing and able to guide you in your business.

I asked Carl his thoughts on masterminding with like-minded people, and he said that he does sit down with others in the community to share ideas and information on a regular basis, and even does this with his competition. They do this informally, over lunch or dinner, and this is where some of the most effective ideas are born and nurtured over time.

Carl feels that it’s important to stay on the cutting edge of technology to stay ahead of the curve, and they are now finding that their traffic from wireless sources is increasing at a very fast pace at Home Town Station. He anticipates that within a year more than 60% of the radio station’s traffic will come from wireless sources. He also believes that ‘Google Places’ is a worthwhile use of your time to help your business grow. I would encourage you to check out the KHTS Home Town Station website to see more of what they are doing.

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Squidoo MiniSites – An Alternative to Hosted WordPress Sites

squidoo Squidoo MiniSites   An Alternative to Hosted WordPress SitesAre you looking for a way to create simple web pages to get started with income producing sites online? An alternative to going the ‘hosted WordPress site with your own domain’ route is to set up a completely free website on a third party platform. The very best choice for this is Squidoo. This free site is the brainchild of author, entrepreneur, and public speaker Seth Godin. In 2006 he and his team launched this site as a way for anyone with access to a computer and an Internet connection to be able to easily create their own websites at no cost.

Squidoo continues to be one of my favorite marketing strategies. This is where you can create a ‘lens’, which is a web page on a specific topic. This topic could be your local business, a course or eBook you have created, or a product available on Amazon you wish to recommend and earn money from. While I tend to set up my lenses strictly to promote my articles, my own products, courses, and books, and niche sites I create on a variety of topics, you can certainly do this to get the word out about a local business or to set up a site quickly based on your stamp and coin collecting hobbies you mentioned in your email to me. Anyone can become a ‘lensmaster’ on Squidoo, and this will give you a much better idea of how you want to proceed in the future.

Let us know when you set up a Squidoo lens so I can take a look. I recently set up a lens on baby monitors to recommend the one I believe is the best on the market. You can take a look at what I did at http://www.squidoo.com/sony-baby-nursery-monitors.

One of my students, Tatiana, has an idea for a business on helping parents to teach their own children to swim. She wanted to know how to find out if this would be a profitable niche. My recommendation here is to create several lenses on Squidoo to see which keyword phrases are most appealing to your target audience. Keywords are the words people type into Google when they are searching for more information on a topic, and your target audience would be parents who have decided that their child needs to learn to swim. Your goal is to find out if enough parents want to teach their own children to make your business venture worthwhile, or if they would prefer to have someone else teach them. By setting up lenses with keyword phrases such as ‘teach your child to swim’ or ‘swimming lessons by parents’ you will be able to do your research at no cost. A Squidoo lens is made up of many modules, so be sure to add the module called ‘Guestbook Comments’ where parents will be able to share their thought with you.

I recently created a beginner’s course on how to get started with Squidoo with Geoff Hoff. This training is called ‘Squidoo Minisites‘ and takes you completely through the process of setting up your first lenses and recommending affiliate products of various kinds on your lenses. During the first few weeks of release, many people have already begun to make great process as a result of this training.

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