Monthly Archives: October 2014

It’s A Wonderful Life

It's a wonderful life!It’s A Wonderful Life

This week I played a game of ‘What if?’ in regards to my choice to leave my previous life behind and come online at the end of 2005. If you are familiar with Frank Capra’s 1946 film, which starred James Stewart and Donna Reed you know that it tells the story of George Bailey (portrayed by Stewart) as a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others. On Christmas Eve he contemplates suicide and is then connected with his Guardian Angel, Clarence. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community would be had he never been born.

Although my life has not been nearly as dramatic, I did have moments in 2005 where I questioned the work I was doing and wondered if I would ever have the time and the money to help others the way I had always intended. I had worked for twenty years as a classroom teacher in the public schools of Los Angeles, while simultaneously working as a real estate broker and residential appraiser. I was about to celebrate my fiftieth birthday and felt as though I had squandered the best years of my life by working ten to twelve hours a day, six or seven days each week for all of those years.

So this week I asked myself ‘What if?’ What if…I had made other choices?, been afraid to risk my financial security?, not connected with the people who would teach me how to get started? I went back over that time day by day in my mind, and this is what I came up with…

I wake up one day in April of 2005 and realize that I want a new life. I have absolutely no idea how this can happen, but I believe I must make an effort to see what’s available. I begin reading, attending seminars, and talking to people about the possibilities.

In the summer of 2005 I met another real estate appraiser at a building site about twenty-five miles north of where I was living at that time. The area is called Santa Clarita, and that day I put down a deposit on a new home that was to be built that fall. I have no idea how I will be able to see this through but I have faith that if it is meant to be, I will find a way.

In December of 2005 the home is ready, and I spend the first two months of 2006 putting together the financing so that I’ll be the new owner. In March I begin moving in.

I realize that I want to completely change my life, not just the location and setting where I live. This requires me to stretch way out of my comfort zone as I begin to explore the world of online marketing and entrepreneurship. At first I reject the idea of coming online because I honestly feel like I have nothing to offer anyone else. I work on my ‘inner game’ until I believe that I can make a difference in other people’s lives with the work I will do.

In April of 2006, after learning as much as I possibly could about online marketing for the past six months I finally earn twenty-one dollars and sixty cents from the sale of an affiliate product, an eBook on dog training. I then believe that I can be successful as an online entrepreneur.

This sets in motion a chain of events that would lead to me deciding to resign from the school district in June of 2006, and to begin turning over all of my real estate clients to others who were working in this area full time. By July 1 of 2006, I was unemployed and unemployable.

This is when the hard work began and I was Continue reading

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Becoming An Expert and Authority

expert authority 300x217 Becoming An Expert and AuthorityBecoming An Expert and Authority

I have said many times that it is possible to become an expert and authority in your chosen niche in about ninety days. You may question the validity of this statement, but I have experienced it within my own business and in that of dozens of my students over the past several years.

Most likely you have spent years developing the knowledge that made you the person you are today. You are unique in your thoughts, actions, and perspective in regards to your niche topic, so why not maximize the return on your knowledge by leveraging it gain authority, credibility, and even celebrity status in your marketplace?

Everything changes when you adopt this strategy to your business. Once you are seen as an authority, or expert, in your particular field, it can open up the door for a variety of business opportunities like speaking engagements and even book deals that can grow your business and fuel your success even more.

These are the three ways to jump start your success:

  • Write every single day on your chosen niche topic. This would include blogging, writing short reports, and a full length book.
  • Talk about your topic with live presentations, online webinars, podcasts, and interviews.
  • Teach your topic to others through live and online courses and with ‘how-to’ books.

Becoming an expert and authority in your field will make the difference between so-so success and incredible success!

Please share your own experiences with us by commenting below.

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How To Create Digital Products Fast

online product creation 300x262 How To Create Digital Products FastHow to Create Digital Products Fast

One of the best things you can create and sell to your audience is digital information products. Digital products can be in many formats today – from text to audio to video and anything in between, or a combination of all of the above. The thing that all digital products have in common is once you’ve created the main product there is no incremental increase in costs. In fact when it comes to digital products, your costs go down the more you can sell. Once you learn how to create digital products fast, the sky is the limit on what you can achieve as an entrepreneur.

If you can develop digital products for your audience, and through product and packaging design make more sales, your profit potential is unlimited. You won’t need a factory, a warehouse, or even a post office to ensure that your audience gets your products. You simply need a digital delivery method, a checkout method and top-notch design to ensure that your audience notices your product over other products.

 

Anyone Can Create a Viable Digital Product

If you have an idea, a skill, or knowledge of interest to others, you can earn money from digital products. Digital products are a great way to sell information, courses, eBooks, coaching programs and more. With digital delivery you can sell your products for a lower cost. And the truth is, anyone who can teach something to someone, or give information to someone about what they know, can create and successfully sell digital products.

 

Information Products are Inexpensive in the Long Run

The most expensive part about selling digital products is creating the product itself. You will need to invest time and effort into preparing a product or a series of products for your audience. You may need to invest in technology, talent or labor for various parts of a digital product. The biggest investment will be either money, or time if you do it all yourself.

 

Common Digital Products

The one type of digital product you’re probably most familiar with today is Kindle eBooks. Amazon has revolutionized the publishing industry with their Kindle Direct Publishing platform, and what’s more, it costs Amazon practically nothing in terms of manpower to host and house their publishing house. It will cost you absolutely nothing either to publish to Kindle platform in terms of hosting the files or selling your book. You can earn from 35 to 70 percent of the cover price.

Usually, self-published digital booksellers actually earn more per book than they do with traditional publishing. This is because there is no cost for printing, and the cost of file transfers is really very small – almost nothing. It’s all digital with no physical product so it’s all server space, which is inexpensive when you own your own servers like they do. This is why the percentage they take covers it.

 

You Can Earn High Profits Selling Digital Products

Imagine if you can have a multiple six-figure business just by sending your audience digital files – nothing physical at all. Not even a paper invoice is required. There are no set manpower needs and the sky is the limit on what you can produce in terms of information for your audience to digest and money you can earn, and at the same time your expenses are super low. What could be better than that?

If you would like to get started as an online entrepreneur creating digital information products, the training I highly recommend is called Product eClass. Download your complimentary Special Report ‘From Zero to Done in 2 Hours‘ and you’ll be on your way to becoming a digital information product creation machine.

 

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Content Syndication Strategy

Content Syndication StrategyContent Syndication Strategy

One way to increase your reach with your content is through content syndication. Content syndication licenses your content, or parts of your content, to be published on other platforms and can help lead new audiences to your website or blog. Content syndication can help you build a larger fan base, bring more publicity, improve SEO, and allow for more widespread sharing of your content on social media.

I started doing this without even being aware of the power and leverage it was giving me back in 2006. I wrote articles for the article directories, distributed groups of my articles and blog posts as short reports, and jumped on board with social media as soon as it appeared. These days my content marketing strategy is a huge part of my overall business plan.

Choose the Right Content Syndication Strategy Partner

Syndication isn’t about duplicate content; it’s about forming a relationship with a partner that will help push your content out to their audience while providing a link back to your website, giving you more credibility and perhaps also putting you inside an advertising network of sites so that you can share revenue. Some examples of sites that do this well are SheKnows.com, StyleList.com, BlogHer.com and WomensForum.com.

Know Your Niche

Part of choosing the right syndication partner is to understand who your audience is, and what your niche is. If you have a technology blog, you don’t want to syndicate on a food network and vice versa. Ensure that you choose a popular, legitimate, and well-run network so that it will pay off for you in terms of increased traffic and revenue.

Syndication Networks Legitimize Your Content

There are syndication partners in every niche that accept applications for participation in their network. One popular one is outbrain.com. Outbrain is focused on finding great content for their audience. It revolves around using the content on your site to recommend other content to your audience that resides on your site and other people’s sites, depending on which plan you choose. When you sign up you put the code on your site, as others have it on theirs, and you each have an equal opportunity of recommending the others’ content.

Syndication Offers Monetization Opportunities

As you can tell if you’ve looked at some of the recommendations, these syndication sites are advertising networks. While recommending your content to others and sending them deeper into your site, you will also share in ad revenue that the network sells based on having thousands of smaller sites banded together. This makes advertising sales more lucrative for even the small publisher.

Build Your Traffic Up First

To syndicate your content, work hard to build up your traffic. The more traffic you have, the more leverage you will have with the networks you apply to. In the syndication game, traffic is currency. There are many ways to increase your traffic, as I have written about in numerous posts to this blog.

Know Your Syndication Goals

Do you want to drive traffic? Do you want to provide education? Know your goals so that you can choose the right network that will help you reach those goals.

Work on Your Content Strategy

To be accepted by legitimate syndication networks your content needs to address your audience, be honest, not be spam, and look professional. Professional content has compelling headlines and benefits for the reader whether they choose to sign up for your list and buy from you or not.

Understand the Different Types of Syndication

There are free and paid syndication. An example of free content syndication is SlideShare.net. Then there are advertisement-supported networks as mentioned earlier. Finally there are licensed syndication networks like Outbrain.

Once you have worked out these issues and understand your goals, you can work on your content syndication strategy. Before joining any network, read all the fine print. You want to ensure that you never break the rules or contracts to make the most of a syndication network.

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The Recession is Over – 4th Quarter 2014 Recovery is Here!

Recession is OverThe Recession is Over!

Are you ready to have an excellent 4th quarter? The recession is over. Yes, you read that correctly. The economy in the United States and abroad is now back on track as we make our way through the recovery process.

Are you taking full advantage of our economy’s recovery? The time right after a recession ends is historically the best time ever for your business.The recession affected us more deeply than any hit on the economy since most of us have been alive, and now we have the opportunity to grow at a steady pace to build a business that will thrive. If you have used the recession as an excuse to not grow your business over the past few years, it is my opinion that that excuse is now null and void.

The 4th quarter of 2014 officially began on October 1. This time of the year is very important for many types of businesses. Retail, Fortune 500 and even my own online marketing business all make a big push in the 4th quarter. People are once again in the buying mood.  We have some of the most profitable times – Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas shopping – all occurring during the 4th quarter.

So, what will this mean for you? No matter what type of business you are in, hold your head up high and know that you are making a difference to many people’s lives. Whether you have employees or hire independent contractors, as I do, the fact that you run a business allows them to earn a living. Gather your workers together and share your thoughts and ideas for what the 4th quarter can mean to your company. This will be the first year in many that sales will be on the upswing across the board, and that always feels good to be a part of.

Make sure to have enough inventory on hand. All of my physical products are sourced here in the United States, but that may not be the case for your business. Contact your suppliers now to be sure they can meet the need for the next few months. If you import from China, Taiwan, or anywhere else make sure to have all of your paperwork in order to ensure shipments get to you as quickly as possible.

If necessary, ask your bank to extend or increase your credit line so that you will have enough available to purchase what you need. I have experienced the banks loosening up in this area as our economy continues to improve. It is much better to have more than you anticipate at this time of the year, especially this year.

Also, make sure that you have an Internet presence, no matter what field you are in. We are all super busy, so the web is usually our first stop when it comes to searching for what we need.

Here is what I am recommending when it comes to having an online presence:

  • Use a domain name that readily identifies your company
  • Make sure your site is simple to navigate
  • Start collecting the names and email address of visitors
  • Follow up with people who visit to see what they need
  • Make customer service an even greater priority

This coming year is your opportunity to begin anew with a clean slate. If you are still in business after what we all went through over these past six years or so, celebrate. Know that you have achieved something worth noting and that there are many good years ahead of you. Have the vision to start planning now for the future.

Be sure to connect with a local networking group or a service organization to stay abreast of what’s happening locally. I have been a member of Rotary since 2006 and the relationships I continue to build through that group have been a true blessing for my business. Go online to see which groups and meetings will be convenient for you each week.

Know that being an entrepreneur or small business owner is a powerful position to be in these days. With the right information and perspective you have the ability to change your life and the world with your ideas, innovations, and more. I’d love to hear from you on how you made this 4th quarter of 2014 the most lucrative and successful quarter you have ever experienced.

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Search Engine Marketing – Affiliate Marketing

sem3 300x168 Search Engine Marketing   Affiliate MarketingSearch Engine Marketing – Affiliate Marketing – Part IV of My Four Part Series

To conclude this four-part series on Search Engine Optimization, let’s explore how you can use affiliate marketing and pay per click advertising to generate traffic for your site.

Improve Your Search Visibility by Getting Affiliates to Promote Your Site

Another powerful tool at your disposal is affiliate marketing. You can get affiliates to advertise for you or increase your revenue by advertising on your site for other businesses which sell related products.

There are many affiliate programs available on the Internet. Some are better than others. Before settling on one affiliate program to improve your marketing and traffic, do some research to make sure you are choosing one that is worthwhile.

When evaluating affiliate programs, these are some of the criteria you should take into consideration: its pay rate and payment schedule, its business philosophy, and above all, the credibility of its product. You should never advertise for a product you don’t believe in.

The most popular affiliate programs offer incentives and training to their affiliate partners. Training may be done through the use of newsletters and informational articles addressing the important aspects of Search Engine Marketing which help increase your business. These companies are happy to share information because they know that loyal affiliates increase profits. In return, you learn how to streamline your business marketing strategy.

Some affiliate partner options to explore include full service companies like clickbank.com and cj.com. If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, check out Nanacast.com or amember.com.

Certain affiliate partner companies will set up websites dedicated to affiliate marketing. These websites use unique SEO content to increase sales for both you and the affiliate.

Explore Search Engine Advertising

Pay per Click (PPC) Advertising

Pay per click advertising provides free upfront advertising (in most cases). You only pay when your ads get clicked on or other action is taken. The benefit to this type of advertising is to gain ad placement in key areas where large numbers of people will view them. Search engine advertising should include some pay per click placement as part of an all-around approach to business growth.

There are several different applications involved with pay per click advertising. You can employ it with affiliate marketing campaigns for you and your partners, in paid searches and with bidding on search engine advertising. Pay per click is a broad term which covers many different aspects. You don’t necessarily get paid for every click. Let’s examine these more closely for further explanation.

Keyword-Based Pay per Click (PPC) Programs

Big search engine companies like Google and Yahoo feature pay per click programs offering wide exposure on search engine result pages (SERPs). When using these programs, choose relevant keywords for your website and/or products to create short concise ads which will grab searchers’ attention.

Pay per click programs offer a field for testing out your keywords before you launch a major SEO campaign. Use different types of keywords in ads to gauge the responses. Start with broad keywords so you get an idea of the types of keywords searchers are using. Expect to get clicks, but due to the broadness of the keyword, all of those who click through may not be the kind of traffic you need to generate buying customers.

Pay per click ads are short. The exact word and character limits depend on which program you use. Here are some to try:

  • Google AdWords
  • Yahoo Advertising
  • Bing Ads

Each ad contains a line for a title, a description, and a URL link. There is not a lot of room to make a memorable first impression. It is vital to put your targeted keywords in both the title and the description. Also, be sure to include action verbs like ‘open’, ‘click’, and ‘try’, so that searchers know an action on their part is required.

The included URL link directs searchers to your landing page. This is where I will further explain the significance of landing pages, as promised earlier. As any Internet surfer knows, it can be frustrating to have to click through several links just to find the page you want to access. Ad links that lead to a homepage tend to lose potential sales and customers, because the process of getting to the specific product becomes too involved. Again, I cannot stress enough the shortness of searchers’ attention spans.

A landing page is the page on your website where the product or service you are selling will appear and be explained to visitors. If you are selling seeds, the landing page for those seeds should contain pictures of the seeds you are selling. Your landing page can be from your virtual store, and should provide the per-unit price and a ‘buy now’ button to encourage easy sales. Direct links are the best way to entice and interest searchers.

Within the pay per click advertising programs, you first choose your keywords, then complete your ads, and finally, you will bid on those chosen keywords. The price you quote will represent the most you will pay for the ad with those keywords to appear on the search results page. You will not actually pay for your advertising until your ads are clicked on the page.

You should always use a mixture of popular keywords and phrases to attract your targeted traffic. Longer phrases work to narrow the searchers to those who are definitely interested in your particular product or service. You may not see a significant increase in traffic, but you should see sales improve.

The Final Word on Search Engine Marketing

As you have learned in this article, Search Engine Marketing is a broad term which encompasses several Internet marketing tools for attracting traffic and increasing sales for your business. No one specific tool will bring success. In order to have a good recipe for business growth, you must include a sampling of all the different ‘ingredients’.

Use a combination of all of the tools I have mentioned: search engine optimization, keyword research, link building, affiliate marketing and pay per click programs. These different factors all work together to bring the successful results you want from this type of marketing campaign. Search engines are essential advertising tools, since just about everyone these days uses search engines to find what they are looking for instead of just random surfing.

Follow the advice in this article and use the tips and tools you have learned about here to devise a Search Engine Marketing plan to get your business growth started. Remember, that nothing in sales or marketing is static and no one plan will bring optimal results forever. It is a good idea to review your plan regularly and tweak it as necessary to ensure your products or services remain in high demand.

I certainly hope my four part series of posts on this topic has been informative. Please let me know if you have additional questions or comments.

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Search Engine Marketing Online

sem2 Search Engine Marketing Online Search Engine Marketing Online – Part III of My Four Part Series

Today, in the third part of my series on Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing Online, I will provide tips for both off-page and on-page optimization which will help you improve traffic to your site.

SEO Checklist

Traffic generated by free search engines can do wonders for your website. The many benefits generated by these free searches include traffic growth to your site, new subscribers and increased sales. However, you cannot just sit back and wait. It does take some effort to improve your search engine rankings. This checklist is a convenient guide to steps for increasing your ranking, and the traffic that follows.

Off-Page SEO Tips

The following outside factors affect your search engine rankings. It is very important to consider these things when growing your business, as they affect the popularity of your site. Covering these areas will help you your chosen keyword phrases rank higher in the search engines.

  • It is vital to generate excellent content. This will affect all of the following:

v  How often your content is shared on social media. Search engines use this information to evaluate the quality of your content.

v  The amount of time a search engine user remains on your site. You don’t want a searcher to find your site and then click back right away. This signals the search engine that your site may not be relevant for that keyword or phrase.

v  The number of links to your content. It’s important to have good content so that people will link to it. Beware of the outdated practice of self-linking. Search engines can detect quality links, so these harm, rather than help.

v  It is very important to have an active social media presence and always encourage viewers to share your content on social media. You need to be seen all over the web if you want Google to take notice in a favorable way and increase your rankings.

  • Follow these tips to make sure you have quality engaging content to attracts search engines and customers:

v  Each page should cover only one unique topic.

v  Be sure your site is set up with clearly marked, efficient navigation, so that all content can be easily found by both visitors and search engines.

v  The use of attention-grabbing headlines is the best way to let visitors know they’ve reached the right place and entice them to read more.

v  Your content should always be easy to read. Attention spans are short, and few people will take the time to read a long block of print. Use short sentences and paragraphs and keep your words simple.

v  For the same reason, it’s important to use subheads and bullet points to break up your copy. Easy to scan print will keep viewers engaged.

v  Images are powerful ways to attract viewers and help tell your story. Articles with photos and other images always help attract and retain attention.

v  Socialize! Connecting with other website owners in your niche is beneficial to everyone, because friends are more likely to recommend and share your content with others.

On-Page SEO Tips

In addition to making a good overall impression on the worldwide web with your content, you should also pay attention to optimizing each page on your website. The following list includes a number of things you can do to improve your rankings, but be careful not to overdo it. Also, make sure the optimization feels natural and makes sense. You don’t want to put off your visitors, and search engines are savvy. They will catch on to any attempts to ‘game’ the system.

  • Try to make sure all content is at least three hundred words long. There may be occasions when this is just not possible, but it is a good guideline to follow. Search engines are looking for a meaningful amount of content.
  • Use tools that are available online for keyword research. You want to find phrases which generate considerable traffic, but don’t have too much competition.
  • Make sure you put this keyword phrase in both the title of your post and in the title tag. At the same time, it’s important to work it in naturally so that the title reads well and appeals to visitors.
  • Also put your keyword phrase in the description tag for your post. Make sure the description includes the phrase, and is also interesting enough to make people want to read more.
  • Your keyword phrase should be incorporated into your site’s URL. For example: best-party-themes.html.
  • Use ALT tags to add the keyword phrase and any useful description to images on your page.
  • Make content easier to scan by using H2 and H3 tags. These are also good places to include your keyword phrase and variations on it.
  • It’s a good idea to include your keyword phrase in the first paragraph of your content. Also try to sprinkle some variations on it in a few other places within the body of your content.
  • Providing a link or two out to related pages on another site will mark your site as a hub of useful information.

It’s important to track your rankings to see how implementing these tips affect your traffic. Inevitably, it will take some tweaking as you progress until you are happy with the results. But it does take some time before search engines update their listings, so make sure to give any changes enough time to gauge their effect before discarding them for something else.

Tomorrow’s post will wrap up this series on Search Engine Optimization. Stay tuned for my final words of wisdom.

 

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