We’re probably all familiar with email scams suggesting we send our bank details to receive lottery prizes, collect unclaimed inheritances and all manner of other scams. But a new one to me was the “Windows key and R” scam. In case you hadn’t come across
I was very sad today because someone unsubscribed from my list. It wasn’t so much that she had “gone”, but I felt that I had let her down by not providing what she wanted from me. The comment she left me was: “This takes too
Building a list of customers and prospects is the most important part of any business. It can’t be repeated often enough. NOT building a list from “day 1″ was the biggest mistake I made when starting my business online. So while I am trying VERY
One of the most frequent questions online marketers ask about is free traffic methods. I have found a really useful resource with good advice on free traffic methods for you; but first I want to remind you that free traffic is something of a myth,
Some of my friends have noticed I haven’t been around here much recently! The reason is that a few weeks ago I became an independent affiliate for Empower Network and have been spending my time on that blog rather than here. Although – like many
Just a quick post today to let you know about a recommended Adsense plugin that’s available free at the moment. This was triggered by a post I read on Josh Spaulding’s blog warning about a problem he experienced. And if it can happen to someone
You wouldn’t think that a failed advertising campaign would give me cause for pleasure would you? Here’s what happened. Some of you know that, as a strand of my Hair Mineral Analysis business, I sell Simply Naturals Sizzling Minerals. They’re great products and the customers
The comment she left me was: “This takes too much time and money and isn’t for beginners”.
My first instinct (which I actually did) was to email her to apologize for not meeting her needs, and I attached some completely free training that I’d already got lined up as my next newsletter. I was quite dejected.
Then I changed my thinking.
- I had produced a survey for my readers asking: “How Can I Help You?” By process of elimination I am fairly certain she hadn’t filled it in to ask for what she wanted.
- If she has learned, by reading my posts, that she doesn’t have a big enough desire to commit herself to building an online business, I’ve probably done her a huge favor by saving her time and money. So long as she doesn’t follow the “bright shiny object” trail….
- Everyone was a beginner at some time. I don’t think any one of us started out online infused with a free drip-feed of Internet Marketing knowledge. We learned it the hard way, bit by bit!
A classic example of this is the image posted here in this blog. Whether you think it’s “neat” or completely amateurish, I’m actually proud of it – because it represents a huge advance in my online skills. I produced it using Logo Creator, a piece of software that I bought a few months ago – at the stage when I couldn’t even produce anything with Paint!
I spent a few dollars, and over the last few month some hours working with the software and learning, so each time it got just a little easier. Then today I went into the software and suddenly realized that I had created the “Fired Up” logo (which I used in a broadcast to my list about “Learning as we go along”) in just ten minutes.
To some here that will be no big deal. But it’s a big deal for me, and shows just how much progress I’ve made in that one weak area of mine as a result of spending a little money and a little time.
But back to my dilemma of the lady who left my list, and what I could have done better.
The people who DID fill in my survey ranged from Complete Beginner to Advanced. So i’m learning that it’s actually quite tough to meet everyone’s needs. I’d be really interested in comments from people more experienced than I am as to how you pitch the level of your newsletters. Please comment at the bottom of this post.
Incidentally, most of my blog posts are happening elsewhere these days so I’d really welcome anyone to join my newsletter, which normally comes out about 3 times a week. You can subscribe free here.
Building a list of customers and prospects is the most important part of any business. It can’t be repeated often enough. NOT building a list from “day 1″ was the biggest mistake I made when starting my business online.
So while I am trying VERY hard (and mostly succeeding) to stay away from “Bright Shiny Objects” – I’m a sucker for ways to get new subscribers onto my list, and have presented a few of them to you before.
While these previous offerings are excellent (and I’m still using them) I’ve found a few problems with them:
Some try to convert you to their own business, or at least sell you something else
One of them was really, really good but SO complicated I kept “losing the plot”
So I was very pleased to find a new, free, system Get Paid To Build Your List that I’ve been using very successfully for a couple of weeks now. I won’t try to explain it, because the video below and the training when you take a free account does that far better than I can.
But wait – “How can you get paid if it’s free to join” – I asked myself, and I’m sure you’re wondering that too. Of course there’s an optional paid upgrade for anyone you introduce and it’s from that upgrade fee that your commissions are paid (even to free members). But the neat part is that YOU choose how much you want to pay to upgrade, with the lowest price being $10.
Click to watch the video and I hope you’ll give it a try.
Just a few points to watch out for:
- There is a $5 admin fee for any upgrade, so if you take a $5 upgrade you pay an extra $5 admin fee, bringing you to the minimum of $10. I feel that is still very reasonable – given that you can stay a free member and use the system for as long as you like. Although you can upgrade to higher levels whenever you wish, bear in mind that the admin fee is payable every time you upgrade to a higher level – which is fair enough, as the admin work needs to be done for each upgrade. But don’t make the mistake I made and plan to upgrade $5 in steps of $5 or you’ll double your costs.
- Another slight failing at the moment (in my opinion) is that you can’t pay for upgrades with your earnings, so you’d incur payment processing fees every time. I hope this will be fixed in the future.
- To benefit fully from the paid membership you will need an auto-responder account. But, if you’re a serious business person you know that anyway! PBL handles a far wider range than most similar systems I’ve seen. Take a $1 trial of Aweber here. I have never regretted moving to Aweber having tried at least three different systems.
- In case you hadn’t guessed, this is targeted at the Internet Marketing community.
I feel those are only minor glitches compared to the value of this clever system where you can get paid to build a list.
PS In a very short time PBL will be bringing out their “version 3″ which includes an optional way to get traffic from adverts on their site. It will cost a modest monthly fee, and bring with it an excellent way to earn a monthly income. Again, excellent training videos when you open a free account at Paid To Build Your List.
One of the most frequent questions online marketers ask about is free traffic methods.
I have found a really useful resource with good advice on free traffic methods for you; but first I want to remind you that free traffic is something of a myth, because you will have either spent time or money in generating it.
Perhaps you have spent money on:
- Pay-per-click(PPC) where you can easily overspend unless you keep a close eye on budgets
- Buying solo-ads – select your supplier by recommendation from someone you trust
- Paid-for advertising (such as Facebook ads, text and banner advertising)
- Traffic exchanges – spend a little time surfing these yourself and consider what you think about how this traffic is generated and therefore what you think of its value
Then – when we start to investigate free traffic methods – you will soon realize that you pay for this kind of traffic with your TIME. Of course sometimes there will be reasons why you have more time than money, so this is your only choice.
Remember that there are some tasks that it’s more efficient to pass onto an acknowledged expert rather than scrabbling about trying to learn yet another new skill. No-one can be a master of every traffic method.
With those caveats out of the way, as promised, we’ll get onto …..
Free Traffic Methods
Instead of producing information in this post that can easily go out-of-date, or is just my opinion, I have chosen to direct you to an Internet Q&A forum where some of the most skilful online marketers gather to pool their knowledge. This will give you access to a broad range of discussions between these very experienced marketers, and be updated as new ideas surface.
This is one of the most helpful free resources I’ve come across online. Not only can you join free, have your questions answered and/or give answers yourself, in addition by joining in with the forum topics you will earn credits that you can use to advertise on the forum or even exchange for free software.
Of course the forum itself is one of the free traffic methods you can take advantage of. When you have participated at even a low level you can post with a signature that will promote your business in this forum which is rapidly building up to become a high traffic and well-respected authority site.
So whether you are:
- A new-comer looking for answers
- An expert with answers and advice to contribute
- Somewhere in between
- An experienced marketer with a relevant service to promote….
…..this forum has a benefits you will love You can join free here.
To return to the topic of the post, free traffic methods is just one of many recent questions being discussed on the forum. To read the answers, click on: What’s your best source of free traffic? (opens in a new window). Before you read the answer, be sure to register, and the more you participate, the more points you accumulate.
The other clever twist recently introduced is a WordPress plugin I’ve added to this blog and you’ll see underneath this post that it is generating “related questions” – and potentially taking visitors into the forum where they may stumble across your advert or signature.
If you think this is a helpful forum, someone else will too, so do your friends a favor – please “Share” this post.
Some of my friends have noticed I haven’t been around here much recently!
The reason is that a few weeks ago I became an independent affiliate for Empower Network and have been spending my time on that blog rather than here.
Although – like many before me – I initially dismissed Empower as a scam, the more time I spend studying the business the better I like it! Especially with the version 2 coming out soon that will be targeting the blogging product more than the opportunity.
I know many of my readers dislike Empower – and I initially felt the same until I saw the videos my sponsor showed me, which changed my mind. If you have an open mind too, please request more information here.
I haven’t gone over to the “dark side”! I’m intending to promote it ethically, because funnily enough I think its bad reputation is partly due to some bad promoters that have been less than transparent about the costs etc. When you join, the first thing they do is make you go through their Compliance training and they show their “Typical Earnings” and “Income Disclosures” all over the place.
Why the Change of Plan?
My WordPress blogging and commenting and all the hard work I’ve put in just haven’t done me any good traffic-wise at all and I’m totally fed up of getting stuck with slow loading sites / technical issues that take forever to resolve, or I can never fix. I spend longer on technical problems and trying to get traffic than on the blog content which must be crazy.
I’ve nearly run myself ragged trying to blog, fix problems, promote etc, as well as do my off-line business – yet I still get more traffic to a migraine blog I haven’t touched for months than to either my JoyHealey.com or HairMineralAnalysisReview.com that I flogged myself over (until recently when I’ve completely lost heart).
So what will be different?
Why not have a look for yourself? Click here. I hope you’ll find the posts interesting – especially those with “done for you” videos! They’re a real God-send for regular blogging when I’m short of time and are prepared for us in the team that I have joined.
My new approach will actually utilize a lot of what I have learned in these groups with Sue and all of the lovely friends I have met here. But on top of that I will be working within a team that provides additional training and – pure delight – “Done for you videos and graphics”.
Most days one of our team leaders records a video that we can (optionally) post on our blog, adding our own experiences and thoughts on what he has to say for our content. Many of you here know I go pale at even the thought of making my own videos, but I really love writing!
The other thing that will be different is that I shall try out their paid marketing, which is only available to our team when we upgrade to higher levels than the basic $25 a month. That’s because the team in which I am working takes you through a business plan showing that the economics of trying to make this business profitable at the $25 a month level is unlikely to work – or VERY difficult.
In my heart I already know that, because I’ve spent so long trying to fund my own blogging from the occasional affiliate sale and it just seems impossible. It was actually refreshing to hear someone else say it – I thought it was just me being a failure. I can’t put more time into blogging because my off-line business takes a lot of time, and that’s what pays the bills.
So, in future just as I pay for professionals to do my hair, teeth and service my car, I’m now feeling that I need to get help with my marketing. I’ve tried the DIY approach until it’s literally made me ill (I had to take almost a full month off earlier in the year I felt so terrible) and it’s silly to risk your health for any amount of money, let alone the few pence I earn blogging here!
I haven’t taken the higher paying route yet as I wanted to get a bit of content on my blog first, change its “look” and get my auto-responder set up properly. I’m almost ready to go.
What Will Happen To This Blog?
Well for all the time I’ve put into it my results/traffic have been negligible, so it’s irrelevant really. For the moment I’ll just keep it and post occasionally – if only to remind myself how slow it is compared to the Empower blog.
If you prefer me not to comment on your blogs once I have my new links in place on this blog, just let me know via the contact me page and I shall aim to respect your wishes. If I forget and leave you a comment, just don’t approve it. I will understand. (Promise I have no wish to be a nuisance, because we have our own FB groups and commenting groups that I can use.)
As an aside, the new Empower Network blogging platform is available on ANY domain and very customizable so you may be totally unaware as to whether you are commenting on an Empower blog or not! Some people use the platform purely for blogging (your $25 a month gives you up to 10 blogs). Other people CHOOSE to pay the $19.95 per month merchant fee to earn commissions selling on the platform to others.
The commission you earn varies – it’s 100% on some sales you make, other sales you pass up-line. Quite a complicated plan (click here to see details of Empower Network compensation plan), but makes complete sense once you understand it! The company pays its costs and earns its revenue from the $19.95 affiliate fee, and of course from being an affiliate in its own right.
Empower Network after a couple of months
After a shaky few weeks when the version 2 platform had a few more “challenges” than I had hoped for, things are settling down again. The bugs are being fixed and tons of new content and training are being produced.
I’ve been on holiday, had family events and been hugely busy, so haven’t done a lot of promotion of Empower yet. But I’m enjoying the training and the simplicity of the new blogging platform. I think I had let my WordPress blogs drive me, instead of the other way round, and I’m finding the Empower blogs easier to use and faster too.
No regrets whatsoever! Get more information here.
Just a quick post today to let you know about a recommended Adsense plugin that’s available free at the moment.
This was triggered by a post I read on Josh Spaulding’s blog warning about a problem he experienced. And if it can happen to someone as experienced as Josh, I feel a little better about the Adsense problem I had and posted about recently!
Obviously, having been banned by Adsense (LOL) it’s not an offer I can take up, but thought some of my other blogging friends might be interested. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve always been very happy with tools that come linked to Jonathan Leger’s name.
You wouldn’t think that a failed advertising campaign would give me cause for pleasure would you? Here’s what happened.
Some of you know that, as a strand of my Hair Mineral Analysis business, I sell Simply Naturals Sizzling Minerals. They’re great products and the customers who buy them from me come back month after month, so it’s a business I have great hopes for. (Currently as of July 2013 it’s UK-based, but will be world-wide in the future.)
Bearing in mind my happy experiences to date, when head office offered distributors a chance to participate in a customer-finding exercise, I was pleased to join in.
However, after three weeks I was feeling very disappointed with response, having only had one lead. More money down the drain? Has anyone EVER made money from a paid advertising campaign? I guess someone must have, but it’s never been me!
Imagine my delight when I got an email from head office saying that they were so disappointed with response rates themselves that they would be absorbing the cost into their general marketing budget and RETURNING MY MONEY! How decent is that? Have you ever had any-one send your money back after a failed advertising campaign. (Probably someone will have, but it’s never happened to me before.)
I am so pleased to be associated with Simply Naturals an honest Management company. You can learn more about their Sizzling Minerals flagship product here. Their honesty literally made my day today.
I’ve been threatening to do it for months….. what? Get new business cards for my Hair Mineral Analysis service. So then I just kept bumping into “business card” stuff day after day (including Angela, of course!) – finally culminating in someone offering to display my cards on their front desk. But I was so embarrassed by the old-fashioned and cheap look of them that I felt a re-design was in order. Here are two I’ve produced myself….
This is possible card 1:
and its reverse…..
And here’s possible card 2:
and its reverse…..
Which do you think looks best? (Slight changes may be made to the wording, and there are others voting too!)
Apologies to Vistaprint for temporarily borrowing their business card images. I WILL be placing an order once I’ve thought about it!
(As an aside, if you the marketers among you are wondering where Simply Naturals fits into this, they are a follow on product AFTER the test.)
Please comment and let me know which card you prefer. Thanks.
Regular readers may have noticed that I have been blogging a lot less frequently of late. What a trial this last few weeks has been! My disaster recovery plan has been tested to the limit, together with my patience.
The unusual bad health that I mentioned last time struck when I was struggling to meet a time-critical deadline in my off-line business. My newly appointed assistant (yes, I finally got some help with my paid work!) quite understandably didn’t want to come near me for fear of taking the bug back to her elderly parents, so I was left to struggle on alone. She was still “in-training” so taking her work home wasn’t sensible this early in our association.
Meeting the client’s deadline wouldn’t have been impossible if my PC hadn’t decided to fry itself.
The good news was that I was a very few weeks within the expiry date of a warranty for a free repair. The bad news was that it was a “Return to maker for at least a week” type of warranty. Unwilling to wait that long I paid for a new power supply (as that had blown) and an overnight repair.
More bad news; that didn’t fix it so the choices were: send away or buy new.
If I hadn’t had the warranty AND the time-critical job outstanding I might have taken the plunge to buy new, but I didn’t have to time to install everything from scratch, so instead I sent the PC away and began working out how to get everything going to do the paid job on my laptop.
One of the complications that threw me badly was that I couldn’t get any printer to install (even with lots of help from an online technical support forum), so I ended up installing the printers on a little notebook and emailing anything I wanted printing from the laptop to the notebook. You couldn’t make it up.
I have skirted over MANY technical issues that drove me to distraction, but at least I finally got a skeleton system going. The thing that really saved the day for me was that I had my client’s data (and my own, obviously) backed up on a Cloud system so I could pull down what I needed from there to my laptop.
Before taking the plunge with a Cloud backup I had been taking backups onto a removable hard drive, which was better than nothing, but these were the main drawbacks I found:
- It slowed my PC down while it was happening, and took quite a long time
- The disk kept filling up so I couldn’t guarantee to go back as far as I wanted to
- In theory I should have taken two copies and kept one always off-site in the unlikely event of fire or burglary – but my memory is not good and I kept forgetting.
Finally I decided, about a year ago, that I had chanced my luck for too long and with the technology available for just a few dollars a month I MUST do it. Thanks goodness I did.
Does Your Cloud Backup Actually Work?
Choosing the system wasn’t a piece of cake, and in fact I couldn’t convince myself that the first system I used was actually backing up my whole system. I tried to restore a file that was supposed to have been backed up, but it wouldn’t come back.
Technical support treated me like an idiot and wouldn’t believe me even when I sent screen-shots showing why I felt I had problems. After a lot of hassle I got my money back by the simple method of tweeting every 30 minutes in their Twitter group (or whatever the term is) “I still can’t restore my files, please give me the refund I have requested.” That did the trick I can’t take credit for that tactic. I copied it from another unhappy customer in the same group. He recommended me to SpiderOak, a system that not only worked, but was easy to understand.
The point of the above digression is to remind you to TEST the restore procedure before you need it.
Cloud Backup System
All the fore-going blurb is a way to get round to saying thank goodness I had a cloud backup program (SpiderOak) and had done a sync of essential day to day files to my laptop. Files I use daily are copied onto the cloud and then synchronized with my laptop. This means that I can just take my laptop away with me and be confident that important files are already there. And of course it meant that when my PC fried, those vital files were already on my laptop.
In addition to this I was able to download my time-critical job from SpiderOak onto my laptop and carry on with it, finally meeting the deadline. You can take a free trial of SpiderOak here. I use the paid service because it is backing-up a frightening THIRTY YEARS worth of bespoke software as well as all my current live client data.
Angela has found and is very happy with another Cloud backup system (Egnyte) which is a little less expensive if you want to explore them too. It sounds good. But having tested it in disaster mode, i wouldn’t leave SpiderOak for the few dollars a year difference.
So after much stress, finally the PC came back with its guts replaced (power supply, main board and memory) and I was relieved to find that it fired up and Firefox even opened with all the tabs that were in use at the time of the crash. Probably even some of your blogs!
What is YOUR Disaster Recovery Plan?
Moral of the post – is YOUR disaster recovery plan in place? I will admit this experience actually uncovered a few holes in mine, which I’m plugging, but overall I survived. I’d love to hear your comments on the plans you have in place.
Just think about everything you do online and how you would do it without access to your normal PC.
Last time I was on here, I was replacing my Adsense ads with Qadabra – which was all going well until there was an advert that wasn’t using my Adsense ID. I’d been high-jacked and I couldn’t see how to get rid of it.
Thanks to Tim Bonner who read my post last time and kindly offered to have a look for me, but in my work backlog I managed to miss his comment
Happily I am a member of the Internet Marketing Review which is a support group for Internet Marketers. As well as being a huge resource of ideas and information, I can ask as many questions as I want on a wide variety of topics. So when I got “stuck” I posted a question in there and Pete, their blog expert, very kindly logged into my site and found the rogue Adsense code in a file called adsense.php in the section “Appearance > Editor”. Once that was changed I could put my new Qadabra code in there instead and all was well.
So, big thanks to Pete at IMR for fixing my problem, and teaching me something new. If you’d like to learn more about the group, you can have a 2 month trial here. Yes, it costs money – but I’m gradually accepting that there are certain resources that I need to pay for as a business overhead.
Another of those is SpiderOak, a cloud backup that really saved my bacon last month. Angela has written about cloud backups after she heard my woes, so I’ll save my unfinished post until next time as Angela appears to have found another service provider that she’s very happy with and written a very comprehensive post about using their service!
The rest of the time since my last post has been very much spent in catch-up mode – plus wilting in the surprise summer that has hit the UK. We Brits complain when it’s cold and then still complain when it’s hot!
Actually I’m not really complaining as I’d been missing the sun so much for such a long time. I don’t even remember having a summer in 2012. I’m pleased to see the sun and have taken some time off to just relax. That’s my way of saying I’m so hot I can’t face any work at the moment. No doubt we’ll all be freezing and working hard again soon.