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Social Media Marketing for Dummies – An Alternative

I’m writing about an addition or alternative to the book Social Media Marketing for Dummies, that you might find as helpful as I have. It goes without saying that the Social Media Marketing for Dummies book is excellent, they always are. However, what I really

Looking for a Job or a Business?

Who Does NOT Want To Start An Online Business? Sometimes I am guilty of assuming that everyone wants to start an online business (if only!) when actually they are looking for a job. In fairness to myself, my mailing list is clearly labelled “Start Your

Using Internet Marketing Training Course

Bit of a rant today, but the positive message is how I used some training to fix something that made me cross! As an aside: We’ve probably all bought online courses before. It’s one thing to buy them, but USING Internet Marketing Training Courses we’ve

Hosting and Auto-Responder Package

I have been working with my son Russ to set up an additional income stream for him, working online, helping small businesses set up a blog on a combined hosting and auto-responder package. Our site is SystemicsLtd.com – this is the bespoke software company I

Disaster Recovery Plan

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 Disaster…. The unusual bad health

Internet Marketing Support Group

One of the services I have mentioned briefly before, is my membership of the Internet Marketing Review support group. I have been a member for so long now that I almost take it for granted, but I shouldn’t as it is such an essential part

How to Predict Your Next 5 Years

How would you like to predict what your next 5 years of life will be like?

According to Jim Rohn, it’s easy – just look at the last five! Does that fill you with delight or with horror?

Speaking to a group of teenagers, Jim defines the passage from childhood to maturity as the time when you take responsibility for your own life.

Two Signs of Maturity

  1. Don’t apologize if you do well
  2. Don’t complain if you don’t

10 Reasons For Failure

It’s easy to blame:

  • Government
  • Taxes
  • Prices
  • The weather
  • Traffic
  • Your car
  • Your relatives
  • Your neighbours
  • The economy
  • Your community

Watch the video to find the real reason for failure – because it’s NOT on the list above.

Those things happen to everybody else too – it rains on the rich, their cars break down, their relatives maybe even shun them.

It’s not what happens to you that determines the quality of your life, but what you DO with it.

So what will you do to change your life tomorrow? Because unless you change something there’s every chance that the next five years of your life will rub along pretty much the same as the last five.

Changing Your Fortunes

With an unusual few spare minutes the other night I was browsing online and bumped into the videos of the late, great Jim Rohn and they were too good not to share, so I hope you’ll enjoy a coffee as I bring you some of his best over the next few days. This first is about changing your fortunes by changing yourself.

Despite the appearance of CDs in the middle of the video there is nothing for sale here, so just relax and enjoy his unique style of teaching.

Jim’s hypothesis is that “Getting Rich Is Easy” – there are just 3 things you need, and it’s the third one that’s what many of us, including me, have been missing up to now.

I really recommend that you watch the whole video – it’s only just over 10 minutes and well worth your time. His delivery is so entertaining.

However, if you’re really short of time, in the story he relates, Jim’s fortunes changed when he found a teacher and realized that for the desired improvement in his life, HE (Jim) had to change – not the economy, nor his family, nor the government, but Jim himself.

Or me, or you, if we’re looking for an improvement in our lives.

It’s Easy? Tell Me More!

The “easy” part comes from finding something “easy” – where that’s defined as finding something that you can DO easily – but the trick is to then work hard at it.

Do it every day, day in day out. For you and I that might be blogging, or creating videos, or podcasts.

But the real lesson of the video, and where most people go wrong, is that

  • What is easy TO DO every day
  • Is also easy NOT TO DO

So everyone can start off blogging for a few days, or even weeks. But it’s EASY to neglect the easy things you can do and easier to let them slip, and that’s the difference between success and failure.

To take a simple analogy of health:

  • It’s easy to take a 15 minute walk every day to improve your health
  • But it’s easier NOT to take that walk

Neglecting to do the easy things regularly enough is why most people fail to have what they want out of life: health, wealth, whatever.

How Will YOU Change Your Fortunes?

I have changed my “Struggle on and do-it-yourself” approach to being willing to take shortcuts by paying for training with people who can teach me the skills I need to learn.

What are you willing to change, so that you can change your fortunes?

Russ and the Cave House

fired-up_webTalking of Plan B

Recently I wrote about my younger son who damaged his wrist badly, working on his own business – and how that had reminded me of the need to have a Plan B in place, in case your main source of income falls apart.

Incidentally, thanks for the good wishes for Matt’s arm. I saw him last weekend and it’s healing well, but having seen the pictures of the wound when it first happened, it just reinforces how lucky he has been!

However, Matt isn’t my only entrepreneurial son!

When Plan A Falls Apart

My elder son, Russ, had a great job as a Network Support Engineer. He’d been there for 7 years and worked his way up to quite a responsible position in the company, with a suitably generous remuneration.

Then disaster struck, and his whole team was made redundant when the company decided they could contract those skills out to lower paid staff working outside the UK. Russ tried to get more work, but his knowledge is in a very specialized niche, and the right job just didn’t come along.

So – he amazed the whole family by selling up everything in the UK and buying a “cave-house” to run as a guest house in Spain. Taking with him his three lovely ladies – two of them WELL under three years old!!

I haven’t mentioned it before because (although he’s a fabulous cook) I wasn’t sure how they would fare with the tasks they have had to learn in just a few short months:

  • Selling current UK property at a distance to finance the new property
  • Negotiating a Spanish property purchase
  • Satisfying Spanish self-employed legalities (proof needed to get onto the booking site he is using)
  • Learning enough Spanish to “get by”
  • Sprucing up the “two apartment cave house” to a high enough standard for guests
  • Getting to grips with the Spanish plumbing system
  • Presenting the property attractively to guests
  • Taking online bookings and payments
  • Assessing the competition and price-testing
  • PLUS settling the babies into the new health and clinic system
  • Oh – and potty training the elder one at the same time
  • Last but not least – still supporting my computer network at a distance!

There are probably far more jobs than I’ve mentioned, but those were just the few objections I put up when he first mooted the idea.

So Has It Worked?

It hasn’t turned out to be the “walk in the park” I think he’d imagined. Quote “I’m so busy I barely get chance to shave”.

But against all predictions of doom, the bookings are coming in. The first few clients have checked in, stayed, then left -  having parted with money happily, and – even better – promising to come back!

And The Connection to Internet Marketing….

… is NOT that all his bookings have been generated online! Because some of the newer ones are coming from “word-of-mouth” recommendations.

The connection to Internet Marketing applies if IM would be a new business to you.

In which case, the moral of Russ’s story is that starting any new business, whether it is online or offline, will involve you in learning new skills. As my logo says you’ll be “Learning as you go along”. (As an aside: Doing logos is something I couldn’t do just a few months ago – so that’s a skill I have had to learn.)

When job prospects in the UK looked bleak, these two young people didn’t sit on their back-sides holding out their hands for benefits. They have launched into something completely unknown to make a better future for their family – and they are MAKING it work, learning as they go along.

The Risks of Starting an Online Business

Compared to the high risk strategy above (which to be honest still leaves me quaking at night), starting an online business is way down on the scale of low-risk.

It’s a business (I assume that’s what you want?) so you’ll need to spend a little money:

  • Domain name
  • Hosting and auto-responder – save money here
  • Maybe a little advertising to speed things up
  • Training to get yourself started – sample course

Then apply yourself diligently, a few hours per day (or even per week) and focus on your new business without deviating. As Russ and his family are now doing.

I WAS going to put “If it all goes pear-shaped you haven’t lost much” but NO, that’s for losers! I will re-frame that…

If it takes longer to be successful that you had hoped, you haven’t risked the food bills or the housing costs – DON’T even think of doing that!!

The on-going costs of an Internet business are low enough that you can continue steadily until you get there, and every blog post you make is another step along the way.

Please comment below. Which would you prefer? The low risk of starting an online business, or Russ’s “burn your boats” strategy? Hint – I’m still in the UK with my online business, so no prizes for guessing which I chose. But “good on yer” to my “Spanish” family LOL. They are working for their dream and I am SO proud of them.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

WhatIsAffiliateMarketing

Image produced by PPL Productions

Affiliate marketing is a great way to start an online business with minimal risk.

To learn how to make a profit from Affiliate Marketing click here.

The stages are:

  • Choose a niche – popular niches are Health and Weight Loss, Wealth (and Making Money), Romance, Pets, Hobbies
  • You may even be advised to find an sub-niche, if your product has wide appeal. For instance not just “Dogs”, but “Puppy training for spaniels” so that you can better target your clients
  • Find a product in that niche – make sure your product author will give you plenty of promotional materials to help you make sales. One of the stumbling block for many would-be entrepreneurs is that they can’t produce good promotional banners, videos, squeeze pages, marketing copy
  • Join as a affiliate – this will probably be free
  • Receive a personalized link to promote the product
  • Drive targeted traffic to your offer
  • Acquire a lead / sale. Be sure to capture the prospect’s contact details in your OWN contact data-base in case they don’t buy the product first time. If you have their details you can then follow up with the same product again – or perhaps they would respond better to a similar offer?
  • For this you will need an auto-responder.
  • Receive your payment!
  • Rinse and repeat – with a different product

What is the best type of product?

The auto-responder I use is the perfect example of an affiliate marketing product, because it’s an essential service to any online marketer and bills a monthly fee. Once your customer has built a list using his / her auto-responder they are very unlikely to leave. It’s just too much hassle.

So, if you chose a company that treats them right, you can have a customer for life.

Just a few regular monthly customers can mount up to a very nice repeat commission check, all for work you did once that pays you over and over again. Click here to learn more.

Need Help With Affiliate Marketing?

At its simplest, affiliate marketing can bring cash into your bank without no website, no product, not even your own idea. Or…. you can learn far more powerful tips that the experts use.

Can you set aside 1-3 hours every week to complete a simple task? For step by step training on affiliate marketing click here

Review of Copy and Profit Blueprint

Review of Copy and Profit BlueprintThis article presents a review of Copy and Profit Blueprint, a course I bought from Neil Stafford, owner of The Internet Marketing Review. Neil has been producing quality information marketing products for over 12 years now, in the Internet Marketing niche, and also in many other diverse and interesting niches. He practices what he teaches!

NB I bought this course from Neil BEFORE I started my coaching with him. The quality of this course was one of the reasons I continued on to the coaching program with him.

What reminded me to do this review is my experience using the course that I wrote about a few days ago, when I had to make some quick changes to one of my online businesses.

Who Is “Copy and Profit Blueprint” Aimed At?

This is a comprehensive course that will benefit anyone who wants to produce and sell information products online.

It is advertised as “Beginner Friendly” and it is definitely detailed enough that complete beginners will be able to get their own product online right from scratch.

However anyone who already has a product online will also benefit, because I defy anyone to read this mammoth work and not pick up extra ideas and tips. If you’re in this latter category I bet you’ll find yourself wishing you had this course when you started out. I know I did.

But the good news is that the course includes plenty of things you can do to improve the profitability of any existing business – so you’re sure to pick up many new ideas. Of course there’s nothing to stop you following the advice in the course to create and market as many new information products as you like to complement an earlier offering. In fact this is a very sound strategy if you really want to sky-rocket your earnings.

What Will You Learn?

The course contains 3 blueprints:

  1. How to create your own information product to sell – 95 pages
  2. How to build a list of eager beaver subscribers to buy your products – 94 pages
  3. How to drive traffic to your site to get subscribers and sales – 98 pages

PLUS eight additional “Quick Profit Bonuses”.

Rather than me tap my fingers to the bone on the keyboard, the easiest way for you to find out the contents of the blueprints and bonuses is just to flip over to the Copy and Profit Blueprint website where you’ll immediately see in-depth descriptions of what you will learn.

Don’t imagine that these are light-weight courses! Each module could stand alone as a course in its own right. In fact Blueprint One was originally sold “standalone” for £97. It has now been updated and is “just” the first of the three blueprints.

Initial Impressions and Presentation

WhoIsNeilStaffordThe course is attractively laid out and presented well. There are instructions for navigating your way through the dashboard, with a welcome video from Neil.

It’s produced as pdfs that you can download and save for future reference. Neil suggests that you print the course (and in fact this is what I did – because I like to make margin notes, use highlighter and put sticky tabs on pages), but make sure you have a good supply of paper and a big ring binder to put it in!

When I say 90-odd pages per blueprint, this isn’t one of those courses where huge fonts and double spacing are used. (Do those authors think their customers are stupid?) It is genuinely packed with content in a sensible and readable typeface.

How To Use The Course

According to the “Bing” online dictionary, a blueprint is “a plan of action or a guide to doing something”. Note the inclusion of “action” and “doing”. You will benefit most from this course if you actually work through it and implement the steps as you go, rather than just reading it – which could leave you over-whelmed by the sheer volume of information.

Let’s just look at blueprint 1 (product creation). Using just ONE of the methods suggested I brain-stormed ideas for a new information product and in a couple of hours I had come up with an outline of 20 bullet points. Then the next afternoon I fleshed them out, ready to produce the product.

The initial work – idea generation – is done and, having created the product (which you can sub-contract out) you’re ready to move onto the important phase of finding prospects and turning them into customers. All of which is covered in great detail.

What Could Have Been Better?

After my first “read” I wanted to return to check some points of interest, but was disappointed to find there was no index. There is so much content packed into each module that it’s difficult to keep track of everything. Not to be defeated I grabbed a pen and paper and made my own by quickly leafing through the course again. If I’d had my wits about me I would have typed my index into a Word or Excel document for easier reference!

What Support Is There?

If you have problems downloading your product, lost passwords or similar, Neil’s company has a well staffed help desk and I’ve always had prompt replies to any queries I’ve raised.

However if you’re hoping to ask questions about your product developmentand get feedback from Neil or one of his team, this isn’t included. That’s a deliberate policy to keep the price down and accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

If you think you would benefit from a place to ask questions and get a wide range of topics, the perfect complement for the Copy and Profit Blueprint is The Internet Marketing Review Support Group where you will get interaction with other members on the safe as you are, and the personal attention that CAPB doesn’t provide.

Don’t like it at all? You have 45 days to evaluate it and if you feel Neil hasn’t delivered on his promises to you, just email to ask for a refund.

Value For Money?

Even if you’re only looking at the volume of information presented, this is a winner.

If you look further and try to put a value to any single one of the many ideas, tips and tricks that you’ll learn….. well, any one of them could generate you hundreds of extra sales. Multiply that by the number of different approaches you’ll learn, and you’ll quickly see that it’s impossible to quantify the value that this course could add to your business over the next months and years.

penguin-update-webMake no mistake – while Penguins and Pandas come and go, and social networks change their rules with alarming frequency – the basics of presenting information, attracting prospects, and sales psychology are ever-green.

The information in this course will be as valuable in years to come as it is today. Click here, or the image below to check out the wealth of information that’s available to you for one affordable price.

UPDATE July 2014:  I can’t promise it will still be there, but I just checked the site again and if you read through and look for it there’s a Fast Mover DiscountClick here.

copyandprofithdr

PS This is a highly addictive course – you’ll refer to it again and again, and pick up something new every time!

 

Using Internet Marketing Training Course

Review of Copy and Profit Blueprint
Bit of a rant today, but the positive message is how I used some training to fix something that made me cross!

As an aside: We’ve probably all bought online courses before. It’s one thing to buy them, but USING Internet Marketing Training Courses we’ve bought often gets forgotten after the first flush of enthusiasm. And there’s little wonder if you don’t have success with a course you haven’t applied!

Regular readers may remember that I am working with Neil Stafford as my coach, and one of the courses we have access to in our training is Copy and Profit Blueprint.

I’m part-way through reviewing it, so watch this space for my forthcoming review.

Another “Challenge” Hits Me!

I’m enjoying working with Neil in the limited time I have available, however, as always seems to happen to me, life gave me a business side-swipe again last week:-(

I have been very proud of the fact that I one of the first online systems I set up makes me regular sales, world-wide, in the complementary health market-place. Most of my clients are outside the UK.

I’ve done my best to provide a good service and have had regular repeat clients, especially from certain countries.

Banned From Worldwide Trading

So imagine my irritation to find that I am now banned from selling this service in those countries. Why? Because, despite selling at RRP (Recommended Retail Price) my price is lower than suppliers in other countries, so clients in those countries were buying from me, instead of from the more expensive suppliers in their own country. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?

Is that my fault / problem?

Well, apparently it is and “they’re bigger than I am”, so I have to “roll over and conform” or lose my supplier. So much for free trade and eCommerce!

I was tempted to just change my supplier and sell a different product, but the one I sell is the one I believe is the best on the market.

Yet with a single email “head office” has wiped out the value of my customer list – I’m no longer allowed to sell to most of them. And they rendered useless, work I have been doing for three or four years now.

Giving Up?

I was so upset that my first reaction was just to shut down the website or put it up for sale.

I took the problem to Neil, my coach, and he suggested I change my site to sell an affiliate product instead, rather than waste the traffic and work. This sounded like a good idea, but when I hunted round for affiliate programs for the same service I hit the problems below:

  1. Those selling the same product ALSO had the same country specific ban
  2. One affiliate program selling a similar product by a different supplier didn’t pay commission on this product, only on supplements
  3. They also didn’t guarantee other products (e.g. supplements) would be delivered world-wide for the price on the site because of import duties etc

Reviewing the Original Online Business Model

If I’m honest, the original business model has a bit of a problem…. it’s not entirely automated and relies on me being available to receive a physical sample from a client and send it to a laboratory in the USA. This isn’t always convenient, and if I’m away I have to pay an assistant to check for the arrival of samples and post them off.

This isn’t worth the cost for the few orders I get from the reduced number of countries I am now permitted to trade in. Most of my clients are in the “banned countries”.

Also, the “back-end” sales (of supplements recommended by this service) have dropped off because clients now order direct from head-office and rarely bother to include my name to receive commissions. There is no “proper” affiliate program running for this company.

So there was SOME merit to the giving up option.

But it annoyed me enormously that all the work I have done would be wasted, or someone else would get the benefit of it, and probably offer me a derisory amount of money for the site.

A Better Solution

What I needed was to sell an information-only product that could be delivered with no intervention from me. But it was SUCH an unusual service that I haven’t come across an information product, so that seemed another non-starter.

Until I remembered that I had actually written one of my own :-)

The pre-ban-service gave away a free eBook (26 pages long) which encouraged people to buy the test and got them onto my “list”.

Originally I was selling this eBook for a few dollars, and then, a couple of years ago, I was “taught” to give it away free so that it would do the job of selling people on the service.

What if I were to start charging for the eBook again…..?

  • It’s a lower price for people to pay than ordering the test outright, so they may be more likely to send a small sum of money as a test purchase
  • In the eBook I can explain the country ban and direct people to their local (more expensive!) suppliers. I try not to be too scathing!
  • If eBook purchasers are in countries I AM permitted to sell to, I reduce the cost of the test by the price of the eBook that clients have already bought

As an aside, I have altered my sales pages to make absolutely sure anyone (who reads them) knows they have ordered a downloadable PDF eBook rather than a physical book, as one irate customer recently thought.

Using Internet Marketing Training Course

So I applied the information in the Copy and Profit Blueprint course to do all this, and have now changed my sites to SELL the 26 page book that I used to give away free, and I give away a shorter “Report” that “pre-sells” the eBook.

The single paragraph above, of course, doesn’t actually do justice to the whole process, which is explained in great detail in the course, with brain-storming tips and marketing ideas.

So USING this Internet Marketing Training Course (plus an afternoon’s work) has saved me from “giving away” a site and product I had worked hard on for several years.

Looking for a Job or a Business?

Who Does NOT Want To Start An Online Business?

Sometimes I am guilty of assuming that everyone wants to start an online business (if only!) when actually they are looking for a job.

In fairness to myself, my mailing list is clearly labelled “Start Your Own Online Business”, so if they sign up for it, is it any surprise that I will be emailing about Internet business tips and ideas? Obviously supplemented by the usual “Comment on life as an Internet Marketer”.

No, this article isn’t to say that people have been complaining about my emails. It’s more reflecting on the fact that very few people DO anything. I have paid for professionally written emails and titles, plus two different auto-responders that claim to offer excellent deliverability.

Yet open-rates are dismally low, and action rates even lower! And that’s being honest.

So Why Is No-one Interested?

I have three possible theories:

  1. People are so blitzed by emails for ways to start an online business that they’re “blind to them”
  2. They have tried a few, been burned, and given up
  3. People do NOT want to start an online business, they just need some instant cash, and would be more likely to get it from a job!

Number 1 – I can sympathize with, and every so often I have a blitz and unsubscribe from a batch of email lists – marking as JUNK those that don’t have a proper unsubscribe link.

Number 2 – Well, you have two choices. You can give up and get off the lists; seriously, there’s some quite reasonable stuff on TV – so they tell me. Or do something different. I think it was Einstein who said:

Of course, if you read on you’ll find my suggestion for “something different….”:-)

Number 3 - I think this is the most common reason. People find themselves with an emergency cash flow problem from: loss of job, big bill to pay, pension shortage…. whatever.

magic-compSo they think “Blimey, now what, how will I pay the mortgage”?

And then they think…. “I know, I’ll start an online business (sub-text… and be rich by the end of the month)”. As if by magic!

In my opinion the problem these people have is that they don’t need a business – they need a job, because they need money and they need it now – not in the year + it takes to grow a reliable online income!

When you are completely flat broke is NOT a good time to start an online business. If you have a little money to invest in your online business, possibly, but flat broke NO!

Start a gardening or car-cleaning business (using tools you already have and knocking on doors) maybe…., but if you have no cash whatsoever to put into domain, hosting, training or advertising I think you’ll struggle badly* with an Internet business. *I actually think it’s impossible, but I don’t want to appear TOO negative.

Make a Fast Income Online?

So when people tell me they want fast income, I tell them to put their efforts into getting a JOB instead, because income online is not fast – despite the hype you’ll hear. If it was, everyone would be driving fast cars and living the life of Riley (whoever he was).

That is NOT what they want me to say, but it is meant kindly, because making a sustainable income online is not a fast way to wealth – or even just to security. A few years ago you could sling up an affiliate website, throw a few dollars at it in PPC advertising and – if you were lucky – make a decent return. Try that these days and – unless you’re very savvy – your budget will have gone in a puff of smoke. A slightly different kind of magic to what you were hoping for!

So Have I Got An Answer?

Well, I have a credible suggestion for people who really need a job (for extra cash quickly), but think they want a business. They can have both with Drop Ship Domination. Start with DSD the “Job” and use the income from that to build a business – IF you really want a business.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a job in the conventional sense at all. You will be self-employed, liable for your own taxes, no benefits, no guaranteed income, no holiday or sickness pay. Well – all the features of a business really. The difference is that YOU will determine your level of income. If you put in the hours, follow the training provided and attend the getting started hangouts, you can make a good income. I’m in a Facebook group and see people doing it all the time. It’s for distributors only, so these aren’t posts prove the income to outsiders!

Yes, there’s a catch – it involves work, but so does any job. And if you think a business doesn’t involved work……  ask any successful entrepreneur if they got where they are now without working for their results! (Then run….)

What is Drop Ship Domination?

DSD the “job” involves finding products to sell on Site A (eBay), sourcing them from Site B (various) at enough of a price to make a profit and getting them “drop-shipped” from the supplier at site B to the customer at Site A.

Then “rinse and repeat” as they say.

Does it take effort to find these “deals”?  Of course it does! Are there people who are putting that effort in and turning a profit? You bet there are. Below is a trade my sponsor made (posted with his permission). $65 for 20 minutes work – and he’ll probably spend 2 minutes re-listing the item and make the same profit again.

dsd-results

DSD has turned out to be like a JOB for many hard-working people who saw what was on offer and ran with it! BUT, they are choosing the hours, venues and times they work – not a boss.

Every-day people are KILLING IT with DSD sales, when they treat it like a job and put the time and effort in!  80% are in profitruss-sales in their first month.

In a smaller way my son has been doing some buying and selling too (see image on the right), and so have I.

I used the DSD training to generate eBay profits of about £300 – which has has more than covered the monthly subscription for the tools and training.

However, I already have an offline business that is like a “job” to me, so, having seen the concept proven, I don’t have the time to devote to the “job” side of DSD.

The business side I AM interested in, and – due to developments I heard about at a UK meeting last Sunday – I will be scaling that up in the autumn, when I’ve completed some commitments in my off-line business.

Looking for a Job?

If you have time to make the DSD “job” work, and just $19.95 a month to pay for the tools and training and support, give it a try; watch short video here.

PS They even include cash-back offers so you can claim back enough money to cover that $19.95 to get you started!

How To Attract An Audience

While some people enjoy blogging for pleasure, most of my readers are also using their blog for promotional purposes – and after just a few weeks they will start wondering how to attract an audience for their articles.

Eventually you may decide you need to use paid traffic, but in the early days, while you’re building your blog content, here are some tried and tested methods presented in the form of an infographic.

01-5WaysAttractAudience

There’s not a lot I can add to such a comprehensive source of statistics!

Except just to remind you that your “actions to focus on” – as I see them are:

  • Mobile Marketing – is your blog theme responsive? (Ready to view on tablets and mobile phones)
  • Email – are you building your list consistently? This should be your number one focus from day one of your business.
  • Search Engine Optimization – Although you need to bear this in mind, write for human readers rather than search engines. If you write for search engines the danger is that your writing will ready badly and any human readers will quickly leave. The search engines won’t love you either!
  • Blogging – This will bring visitors in time, but be prepared for a wait. If people are kind enough to comment on your post, reply to them and return the compliment by checking out their post.
  • Guest Blogging – Excellent way to find new readers.
  • Video Marketing – Search engines, and readers, like videos. Your visitors will probably stay on your blog longer to watch the videos – which is a factor which will improve your status in Google’s eyes (allegedly!) They may enjoy the video so much that they share it. This is something I’ve not been good at – but it occurs to me that I can use videos from YouTube – so watch out for some personal favorites over the weeks to some.

Which of these activities have you found most helpful?

Are there any you’d like to share? Please feel free to add your comments and suggestions below.

Feeling Blessed Today

work-planbSometimes, when you’re slogging away at the keyboard, while everyone else is watching Wimbledon, or the World Cup (if they’re still “in it”!), or just chilling, you can be forgiven for wondering if it’s really necessary.

Yes, that extra income from starting an online business would be really useful – but…… the regular income is ticking along fine, you’re comfortable enough. Perhaps you should be satisfied with whatever you’re lucky enough to have in life?

Then out of the blue a sidewise swipe slap across the face reminds you just WHY it’s always worth having a Plan B.

Mum… I Just Got Back From Hospital…

Earlier in the week I was sitting tapping away on the keyboard, minding my own business when the phone rang and it was my younger son – pretty shaky – which is unlike him. He was bearing the scary news that he had badly gashed his arm in a work accident, and had just got back home from hospital.

He is self-employed and his occupation is such that a damaged arm could end his whole career/business. Here in the UK there’s no sick pay if you’re self-employed, and he could hardly sue his “boss” (himself LOL) for compensation.

Thankfully “someone up there” was looking after him, as, despite him needing 10 stitches and 5 injections, there seems to be no lasting damage to his tendons and muscles. However I think he’ll have a nasty scar to remind him to take things a lot more steadily in future. (Plus interminable nagging thoughtful reminders from his frazzled wife and mum.)

It’s when something like this happens that I am reminded exactly WHY I work extra hours when I could be slobbing in front of the TV instead.

I suspect my usual readership on this blog are fully aware of this, and most are already beavering away – so I’m largely preaching to the converted here – but in case you need motivation to “keep going”, or if you’ve just stumbled across this post by chance…….

Why You Might Need a Plan B

I firmly believe everyone should have a Plan B in place, in case our main source of income suddenly dries up.

It needn’t be caused by a work accident – Matt’s accident just triggered the thought for this article. Your challenge could be caused by

  • Pension failure
  • Redundancy
  • Death or incapacitation of someone who helps pay the monthly bills
  • A sports injury or
  • Broken bone from falling on some mud in your own garden – like I foolishly did a year ago while rushing about like a headless chicken! Happily the bones didn’t break :-)

I’m already working on my Plan B, and so are most of my regular blog visitors. Are you?

If not, are you SO confident of the future that you feel no need to think about alternatives? If you are, I’m genuinely pleased for you and congratulate you for “having all your ducks in a row” – is that a UK-ism?

However, if you feel that you, or someone you know, could benefit from some forward planning to get an alternative (or additional) income I strongly encourage you to take action right away. There are many ethical ways to start an online business, some of them explained on this blog, some on the posts of fellow bloggers who comment on my other articles.

Pick something you can do alongside whatever your main source of income is. Don’t “give up the day-job” – that would be crazy. But take a little time every day to build your Plan B. Even one hour a day is better than nothing.

I hope you won’t need it in “emergency mode”, but starting an online home business can also lead to a very nice additional income, for more of the good things in life.

Working With Neil Stafford

neilstaffordIn an earlier post I hinted that I had found a new focus for my business, but I didn’t want to say too much until the details were tied up. “It” was all finalized a couple of weeks ago at a two-day conference in a London hotel.

I am now pleased to announce that, going forward, I will be working with Neil Stafford as my coach. Neil is a well respected Internet Marketing publisher and trainer based here in the UK. He is an in-demand speaker at many UK and international events.

Neil and I actually first got to know each other about 15 years ago when we both wrote for the same business networking magazine. It was an extremely popular print-based monthly publication run by Shirley, an early business mentor, and one of the nicest ladies I’ve come across in the Home Business world.

desert-island-webShe ran an honest and extremely successful business. Then one day she took us all by surprise, by announcing she was closing down her magazine and took herself off to (I believe) a Greek island somewhere, never to be heard of again – well – not by Neil and I!

I hope Shirley is enjoying a happy and relaxed lifestyle “somewhere” because I have a lot to thank her for – including introducing me to Neil!

Over the intervening years Neil’s and my paths followed different routes – I took my complementary therapy business online, then entrepreneurship took a bit of a break for the usual family challenges that take over when bringing up two sons. Now having safely delivered them into the care of two lovely ladies (one each LOL) I have been finding my way back into online business.

KTS Publishing

Neil on the other hand went on to build up a huge online publishing empire (KTS Publishing), with a formidable number of impressive Internet Marketing courses and training programs to his name. He also practices what he teaches, as he has cornered the market in some fascinating “non-IM” niches, so his methods really work.

imrstackfrontcoverFrom time to time over the intervening years our paths have crossed. Sometimes at Internet Marketing conferences, and other times when I have purchased his training courses. We have always kept loosely in touch as I am a long-term member of Neil’s Internet Marketing Review help and support group. Unusually, for an Internet based community, Neil also produces a “members only” print publication.

Recently I heard that Neil was looking to work more closely with, and coach, a few individuals to expand his, and our businesses. I applied, and was delighted to be among the few to be selected. And I do mean few – I’ve been “selected” before, only to discover that the “few” meant “few hundred”. Not with Neil. When he makes a promise he honours it and has a reputation for over-delivery and reliability.

Going Forward

To start with I will be getting familiar with Neil’s products and reviewing them, although some I already know from previous purchases. Going forward he will be coaching me in developing and taking to market my own Internet Marketing products – something I’ve always shied away from in the past! I still find the thought of that “scary” but, perhaps it’s time to stretch that confidence zone a little.

What Will Change Here?

Not a lot to be honest. My usual posts will be supplemented by reviews of some of Neil’s products, and progress reports of my own products – to keep me accountable and on my toes,

I am not an employee of KTS, so I’m free to promote other products as well as Neil’s. These will still include the tools I have found helpful in my online business and the combined auto-responder and hosting starter pack “Host Then Profit” from GVO. And if I see a short-coming in the KTS products I review, I will disclose it. Neil wants it that way too.

Looking forward to learning, and sharing, lots in my journey working with Neil Stafford. Busy time ahead!

From: Joy Healey

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