Sam (AKA the Social Yeti) is one of the WordPress and Social Media specialists. Sam runs several online enterprises, he is the person responsible for bringing this community of writers, bloggers, WordPress, SEO and social media specialists together to create bizzebee.
Sam is a dedicated family man who lives in the south of England with his wife 4 kids, 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 water dragons, 3 Geckos, 5 tortoises, a bearded dragon and a Snail.
You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Read more posts by this author
The days of the old ‘Buy My Shit’ style emails are long gone and it’s about time. Email marketing has been the big thing for years and is still the best converting marketing method around. With that in mind, you have to wonder why so many marketers and newbies send their loyal email subscribers emails that are short and basically full of crap.
I have been in this industry for many years now, with many of those as a beginner opting in to loads of email list from big ‘guru’ marketers offering what I thought were ground breaking reports and information. I was often wrong, the reports and videos were usually pretty useless. What was more annoying were the emails that I would receive later.
They said nothing, they had a distinct lack of words and information but all seemed to tell me about some new amazing software or program that their brand new best friend who lived overseas somewhere who had developed a way to make $1000 a minute while loafing around in their underwear. Probably wearing them on their head as they dance around partying 10 foot away from the laptop, I mean that is how amazing these software and programmes were! Or so I was led to believe.
Interestingly all of these secret products were being sold via Clickbank or JVZoo and were being promoted by loads more marketers who had also suddenly become best buddies with this new special underwear wearing wealth generating dude.
Now these guys who send you and me these emails are making money from their email lists, after all that is why they build them and there is nothing wrong with making money from your list, I am sure you have heard over and over again the saying ‘the money is in the list’ well it is true, kind of. The money is actually in the relationship you have with your list.
You do not monetize a list you monetize your subscribers and the biggest harm you can do to your list is upset them by sending them too many ‘buy my shit’ style emails without giving them any form of help, advice or ideas. In fact it is a downright disgrace that you should even think that it is ok to pitch to your list all the time.
It is disrespectful to your subscribers to see them as simply people to fleece with software and programmes that you have never tried or know to be any good.
When someone signs up to your newsletter or they hand over their email for information they are expecting it to be good. And that is what you should give them, to think differently is pure madness. You should see every new person on your list as a new love interest and every email you send them is the online equivalent to a date.
You would never turn up for a date with your dream person in your work clothes, unkempt and dirty would? No of course you wouldn’t, you know that you would probably upset your date and never seen them again.
The subscribers on your list have trusted you with their email address and expect to get help and advice from you, not to be sold to all of the time otherwise they will hit unsubscribe and run for the hills. Of course you want to make money from your list, that is why you have built it but you really want the maximum returns from your list and reduce the risk of list burn out. Remember it took time and money to carefully grow your list, why would you want to burn it out quickly and have to start building another list creating more hard work and expense for yourself? You don’t!
You will also need to get used to Email hosting, which is a service in which your email messages and associated files are all stored on a server, you can find the best platforms for hosting. When you receive an email to your website’s domain address, the email is routed across the internet and stored on the recipient server.
So what can you do to reduce the risk of annoying your list subscribers and prevent earl list burn out?
Send out a newsletter that gives useful doable advice and tips for your niche once a week, once every two weeks or once a month. Include a roundup of the latest posts on your blog as well.
Create special subscribers only reports and send them an email giving your subscribers access to the report stored somewhere on your blog.
Create subscriber only videos that are embedded onto your site in pages that are only visible to your email list by sending out an email to them.
Every now and then create a review of a product you KNOW is good and worth the money, send the review to your list. Never promote products you would not personally use. You can damage your reputation if you promote things that are simply rubbish.
Not promoting the same products that other marketers are doing at that time can help build your reputation just as much as promoting those you think are really good.
Now after all this, remember the people on your list are likely to be on multiple lists and they will see what the ‘new magical product’ is that everyone is promoting.They will know when a new product launch is imminent, sending an email that explains why you are not promoting it or basically ignoring it will make your subscribers realise that you are not there to simply promote the standard useless ‘get rich quick schemes’ and that you care for them. That is very powerful these days with many list subscribers believing that marketers are less than helpful and only out to fleece people.
I take my car to the same mechanic that I have used now for over ten years, he might be dearer than others and probably cannot always accommodate me as quickly as others but I don’t know because I have never looked around to see if I can get work done cheaper or faster and the reason is because he has always looked after me and been good.
On several times he has looked at the car when I thought something was wrong and he has not charged me for it, I have even took him a bottle of wine to thank him for doing something for free which was his way of thank me for being a loyal customer. But I am loyal customer because he looked after me, it has become an on-going circle and a very powerful relationship.
This is what you need to achieve with your email subscribers, to build a healthy relationship with them where they want to open your emails when they arrive, where they want to buy from you and choose you over other marketers and you will not do that by sending out too many ‘buy my shit’ emails. Don’t believe me, try and see what happens.
The internet is a great place to make money, the technology we have around us in our homes and the use of the internet means that walls and boundaries no longer exist like they used to, much of the problems you get with an offline business do not exist in the new online world.
Let us take a quick look at the offline business of the traditional local shop.
Small shops were the heart of local communities in towns and villages of the UK , they relied on the custom of that little community. People from the surrounding streets and the occasional passer-by were the only customers who they could really only sell to.
They had to have stock on the shelves for them to be able to sell; orders had to be taken on the shop premises and maybe in writing before the invention of the telephone. Delivery services were not cheap for the smaller business who could ill afford vehicles or staff to do the rounds.
If competition came along and opened up another shop near by then trade could fall and earning money would become even harder. If you did not own your own shop premises the landlord could up the price of rent to match the upward trend in society and today councils charge a business rate which means you pay for the privilege of running a business from a property?!?!? I know! You get nothing for it.
You often had to be brave with a huge set of dangly bits to take risks and turn your small business into something like the size of Tesco.
Competition and the cost of running a business could destroy small business and has in some places destroyed more than one or two shops; bigger stores with plenty of spare capitol would build bigger super stores with more stock that wiped out many small businesses. Having a traditional off line bricks and mortar business can be very tough.
Now the online world is a lot different, depending on what your business model is the start-up costs can be very cheap. Being online can have a lot more benefits for businesses, the three biggest ones are
You can take the cash up front for the product; many offline businesses still work on the rule of work/service first then payment later. This is not the case online.
The rent/rates are a lot less than offline businesses. Selling things like eBooks and access to websites requires very little storage costs. The cost of hosting a website can be as little as $3.96 a month.
An online course of videos and eBooks requires no manufacturing costs. Once a video is hosted it can be watched by many at the same time.
You can sell your products to anyone, at any time anywhere in the world and no longer rely on just the local community to buy your products.
Online courses are big business for many companies, educational companies like Stonebridge used to send out books and question sheets as part of distance learning programmes that they advertised in magazines and papers, slowly they are moving their catalogue onto the web, using online advertising and social media they are now starting to turn many of their postal programmes into online only programmes.
The cost for them is not particularly cheap because of the size of their business and the amount of information they need to get online as well as the functionality the site needs but when you consider the amount of books they needed to print and send out along with the question sheets that went with them, the envelopes and postal costs that is required for each person.
Now they only need to have the book online once that is accessed by everyone as a PDF document that can be downloaded to anywhere. A PDF document is like an Amoeba, it replicates itself when someone downloads it. There are no manufacturing costs so once their programme books are converted into PDF documents and placed online then they are done.
Question sheets can be printed off and filled in at home and sent in or simply filled in online and emailed to the course tutors taking away the cost of paper, printing and posting.
Now the example of Stonebridge is a big one, they are a big company selling a lot of courses. You could simply sell one course and the website needed would not need to be as big as Stonebridge’s. A simple WordPress site can easily house enough video tutorials that can be accessed by enough people to make you a great monthly income.
If you know how to do something that others don’t then you can create a series of video tutorials showing exactly what to do and then charge a monthly fee for people to get access to them. If you think creating videos is hard then you should think again. You do not need to create a Hollywood style movie. As long as they are of a good clear non fuzzy quality and easy to follow then they are likely to be good enough to sell.
Software like Camtasia can be used to create screencast tutorials, it is quite expensive however if you want you can use a cheaper software called screencast-o-matic which costs only $15 for the year or does have free version that will record 15 minutes of video.
Most people have smart phones or tablets these days that are capable of recording video for face to face speaking, laptops come with built in webcams if not cheap plugin webcams cab be bought for less than $20 and software like Camtasia will record what the camera sees and convert it to MP4 video file.
An intro can be made by computer animators found on sites like Fiverr.com for a few dollars which will add branding and higher perceived quality to your videos. Again when this short video animation is created, you only need it once, you add it to your raw video files when editing your recordings by simply importing it.
Membership sites are called the wall of cash because members were normally billed at the same time of the month usually the beginning or end which meant the membership site owner would receive a flood of cash into the bank account like a wall of water.
If you were earning roughly $2000 a month from your day job, you would need to work a full month to earn that money but with a membership site you create the work once and then each month you receive money by paying members continuing the course.
5 videos each month over a year is 60 videos, if each video was around 10 minutes long and let’s assume you spent 20 minutes editing them then all each video takes 30 minutes to make. It would take 30 hours to make all the videos which is less than a full working week so if you add another week for creating the website a few PDFs and etc the full years course could be made in 2 weeks!
If you charge just $25 a month per person, you only need 80 members; we are not talking about thousands. How hard can it be to get 80 people to become members when there are millions of people online each day?
Not all memberships need to be video course, people buy magazines like garden magazines which are a monthly subscription, online memberships can be online magazines, one members only website was for lovers of gardening and the owner charge $5 a quarter or $15 for the whole year and what is impressive is not only can you find gardening information for free everywhere, the site had 75,000 paying members. That is over $1 million in subscriptions a year. Wouldn’t you like just a fraction of that? I will leave you to think about that. J
As a blogger or online business you will no doubt have heard about the need to write guest posts and to have these articles shared across the web on other high ranked websites and blogs. The idea is that you get…
Links back to your site
Exposure in the eyes of new people
People clicking through to your site there and then and hopefully becoming new regular readers.
What a lot of people do is when they write a guest post they generally link back to the home page and/or use an anchor text which is also linked to the homepage. After some recent updates, a very well known Pheonix SEO Agency discovered that Google does not love the anchor text system as they once did, they are now looking for a more mixed up natural looking link web.
The anchor text used to be the keyword that you wanted your site to be ranked for. For example if you wanted to be ranked for the keyword social media expert advice, that keyword phrase would be added to the bottom of every guest post that was published and then hyperlinked back to your home page.
It is highly recommended that you now mix up your keywords so that you were being rewarded for other relevant keywords and a natural looking link web, in fact Google would now penalise you for trying to rank for the same one anchor text especially if you tried to do it by posting loads of guest posts around the same time.
In Google’s eyes you are not being natural, and when we say natural we mean that the average Joe Blogs internet user who wanted to link to an article on your site would not put a link in those exact same keywords, and you certainly wouldn’t expect 30 or 40 different sites to do the same! Google would instantly know that you were engaged in some form of link exchange which is against their terms and conditions.
Guest posting does fall under the bracket of link exchange, you are offering content to another site that is looking for content in exchange for links back to your site. It is unnatural and Google do not like it, they have tolerated it as it is a lot better than normal link exchanges and practices.
The other issue is that if you just link back to your home page again it will not look natural, for example, if you wrote an article about mental health issues in teenagers yet your site covered modern life, someone who read your article and wanted to share its message would link directly to that article and not your home page. They wouldn’t want to send their friends to your site and leave them guessing would they? No they would send them to the post itself and that is what you should do too.
When you write a guest post write it about a similar topic to one you have written about on your site and then link to that article. As this post is about link building, guest posting and SEO I could now link to one of several articles and pages instead of my home page. Makes sense right? That is what a normal reader would do. So why wouldn’t you do the same?
Not only does the article have a relevant topic it would have similar keywords and by linking to your article on your site you are strengthening that keyword on your site and strengthening your position in the eyes of Google.
So now you have more natural looking links pointing back to pages on your site from your guest posts, you have relevant topics using similar keywords and a variation of anchor texts including words like ‘To read more go to…’ as opposed to just the generic keyword based anchor text.
Now you can strengthen your links even more, and make them look even more natural in the eyes of Google. So let’s say that your article about mental health issues in teenagers has now been linked to by a teenage blogger concerned about similar issues, a reader of their blog reads their post which links to your article and decides that they want to link to that article from their own blog by writing a short post about the mental health issues teenagers worry about.
Their link which links to the post that links to you has now created a natural link tier; your original article now has a link that is 2 websites deep relating to the same topic. With a bit of luck they will have used very similar keywords and possibly linked using the same exact phrase.
Whether they have or not doesn’t matter a lot as you now still have a natural link tier of a relevant topic. This is much better than having a just a link on some link farm or directory pointing at your site or guest posts. Relevancy is the key to natural looking link webs and mixing up the way it is linked through is very important too.
So as the title says Guest Posts to Guest Post For SEO Link Love you might have guessed where I am going with this. When you are creating your guest post campaign and start writing a lot of articles to be published on other high PR sites, you write some shorter similar and less detailed posts which you get posted on some further sites which will link not to your site but to the guest posts you have written.
You can offer these to some lower PR sites a few days or weeks our main guest post has been published and by doing so you are now creating a traceable natural looking link web that goes at least 2 websites deep. If you wish you can do another level by writing another few posts that link to your guest posts, even add some shorter posts to the web 2.0 properties which are free to create.
The idea is that you create a simple natural looking link web by doing exactly what Google is wanting. You are mimicking the behaviour of ordinary internet users and using it to your advantage.
Some marketers like to set up special funnels to funnel readers to a chosen ending, for example, a guest post about Facebook marketing will be linked to a bigger and better guest post on Facebook marketing that leads directly to a page on their website that has either a better article which then recommends a Facebook marketing product they are promoting from places like Clickbank or a squeeze page of their own.
Not only are there SEO benefits for creating 2 tier guest post links but using the ‘to read more…’ or ‘to learn more go to…’ incentives they can lead interested people to a potential sale.
So do you think it sounds like a good idea to send a Guest Post to a Guest Post?
People hear that they can make money from blogging, well they hear that they can make great money and so they decide that they will give it a go, after all, you can create a website for as little as $60 a year. When you consider the costs of many business start ups that is a great price.
The big problem is when people start to fill their sites with content. They do not know where to start; they write a few sentences and hope that will do. At the beginning it will be hard when you are trying to find your feet. Your first posts will likely be short and not great, overtime they will develop, you will evolve into your own writing style and your posts will be better in many ways.
That is if you care, many people do not care and some do not know that they should care. Your site visitors and readers are important; you should care what you give them, if they do not like your articles and posts then they will not come back and traffic is important for your site. Returning readers is what you want, when someone returns that means they like what you do and they want to read more new stuff. This gives you a reason to carry on and can really keep your motivation at a high.
So, how do you write the perfect article?
Firstly you need a topic idea; one of the best ways to get ideas is to keep reading other people’s blog posts. You will find plenty of good ones and you will learn some new stuff. When you find some articles that you enjoyed reading and learned from then bookmark them and write down the titles in a note pad with a few bullet points and facts that you think are really important. You can also Get Educated Online from the comfort of your home, so you can have the right pointers and facts to work on this, it is easy and fast.
Another great way to find post ideas is to carry around a notepad and jot down notes when you are watching television, chatting to friends or going for a simple walk into town. You will be surprised at what ideas you can get from everyday moments that can be turned into a relevant blog post.
Once you have a list of ideas and post titles take a piece of paper for each one and start to flesh it out with bullet points and ideas that you want to include in the post. When the ideas start to flow look for possible videos on YouTube that could be included as part of your post, also do a Google search for other articles for more information.
Now you have an idea of what to write about it is time to open up MS or whichever programme you use and start typing. It is advised to write in one of these programmes and not directly into your blog, you can edit and play with your post as much as you like and depending what plugin you use when you copy and paste the article you can keep much of the formatting from Word that you cannot get when using the blogging editor directly.
Once you start writing, keep writing and allow the words to flow, don’t stop to edit sentences, just keep writing while the words are flowing. You can edit and re write parts as you read the post after writing.
A good post can be re read and re written several times as an ongoing process, the idea is to make your posts as perfect as possible for your site visitors. Occasionally grammatical errors and spelling mistakes will pop up in a post now and then but the idea is to eliminate as many mistakes as humanly possible so that they are only ‘now and then’.
You need to respect your readers and site visitors and they will not appreciate sloppily written articles crammed full of errors and mistakes. You will also have many readers from different backgrounds and countries who will have different levels of reading skills and understanding of language so your posts need to be understandable by most people.
You should write your posts as if you were writing for a child or a new beginner. Not everyone will understand deep technical language, avoid adding big complicated words to sound clever, trust me it will have a negative effect on your blog readers.
Unless you are blogging about quantum physics or biology then you cannot avoid using words that are big and complicated but then your readers would expect that and need to know the proper terminology if they are learning from you.
If you are planning to incorporate any pictures with your post it is a good idea to put in picture markers as you write. As an example, you know that you want to include a picture of a people walking through a shopping centre, when you get to the area of the post you want to place the image add the markers…
[Picture 1: People Walking Through Shopping Centre]
Similar markers can be placed for any videos you want to add to the post. I would add the information similar to that of the picture marker and if I had the embed code I would add that in brackets underneath so I have the code and I knew exactly where to put it when I come to add the post to my blog.
A post needs to be helpful, useful, educational and factual but that doesn’t mean your post should be devoid of personality. Far from it, your posts need to have personality and they need to feel as if they are written by you and not a robot. Adding thought and opinion is good as long as you do not go overboard and become insulting or controversial. Some controversy is good but it can be dangerous if done wrong.
Ideally you should write as if you were talking to a friend of a friend, imagine you were at a friend’s house warming party, there will be people who you know and you will meet people for the first time, people that your friend knows really well but you don’t.
During the party you talk to these people but you wouldn’t talk to them the same way as you would your close friend. The slang and obscenities would be kept to a minimum until you knew them better but you would also be friendly. That is exactly how you should write.
Of all of the writing tips I would recommend it would be to be yourself, add your personality and write as if you were talking to a friend and make sure the people who have read your posts leave knowing something they didn’t know before.
Compile, Publish & Profit. The Easier Way To Make Money Online
I am sure many of you have heard of the world famous Chicken Soup For The Soul series of books by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, I wouldn’t be surprised if you many of you have read it. The books are collections of inspiring stories that have sold over 100 million copies worldwide and now has around 200 titles in the series.
What I like about this story is that the book itself is a collection of other people stories and not a book that had to be ‘thought about’ in the traditional sense. The information was there in front of the writers, they did not have to go the rough the character or story development that fiction writers normally need to do or the incredible amount of creative writing that a fiction writer would do.
Yes they needed an outline on how they wanted the book and they had to write the book, they couldn’t just copy and paste vast chunks of stuff from papers, they needed to write it out in their own way (I believe it was written by ghost-writer!) but most of the work is done for them.
Another excellent and popular book is the Darwin Awards, a collection of strange deaths and accidents by stupid people, things that could have been avoided and would have been avoid by normal sane people but those who clearly were short of a few sandwiches of a full picnic did some extraordinary things to create their own demise.
The book gets its name from Charles Darwin’s theory that a species gets stronger as the weaker genes die out. The people in the book are the weaker part to humanity and when you read it you can see why. Here is one such example…
(15 July 1999, Tennessee) Seven firefighters from the Sequoyah Volunteer Fire Department, located in rural Hamilton County north of Chattanooga, decided to impress their Chief by surreptitiously setting fire to a house, then heroically extinguishing the blaze. The men apparently hatched the plan in order to help Daniel, a former firefighter, return to duty.
Unfortunately, Daniel’s career plans were irreversibly snuffed when he became trapped while pouring gasoline inside the house. Surrounded by smoke and flames, he was unable to escape, and died inside the burning house on June 26.
His six accomplices are facing 87 years in prison for conspiracy, arson, and burglary. – www.DarwinAwards.com
What struck me is how successful these two books and many others are and how many similar sites online are popular, sites that are full of other peoples stuff whether it is inspiring stories, quotes, public domain books or even pictures.
There is a huge business here using other people’s stuff, probably one of the fastest ways to make money online is to become a collector and editor of other people’s stories or work. Much of this can be niche specific, for example, if you love graffiti art, you could create a book or series of books full of photos documenting different countries or cities on your travels.
OK so you need a camera to take the pictures but this is the digital age, a picture can be taken and shared there and then. The artwork itself is the main interest to others and that is already done for you. You are not writing or painting for several hours are you?
There are websites where people share their own graffiti pictures, saving the site owners a lot of work, they focus on the maintenance and running of the site. There are also sites where people upload their own written stories again leaving the site owners to focus on running the site.
There are so many different ways that you can create books, eBooks or websites using other people’s content or stories. You might need to send out the odd email asking for permission to use things if they have not be sent to you by willing people but I tend to work on a rule of thumb, if something has been published in a newspaper and it is factual then you are good to go.
You might need to send a courtesy email to make sure it is ok to use someone’s name but generally you cannot copyright fact and if you wanted to write a book about serial killers you would not need to ask permission to use the facts or details as they are well documented in all of the press and in now part of the history of society.
Books on true crime have always been best sellers; again the reason is that the information is there in front of you to take and re package in your own way. It is factual and cannot be copyrighted by anyone. Even writing book about celebrities can be lucrative, look at how many unofficial books are out, if they stick to the facts of what is already known then they are usually safe.
If however you started writing about possible affairs with no true facts then you are touching upon slanders ground and then you can be liable. Simply stick to the facts.
Compiling information for your website has never been easier, we have the internet crammed full of great stories that we can search for, we search from our smart phones, we can copy and paste information into word documents ready to edit and re write.
We can access the internet with our phones and tablets and can do research while sat on the train or bus, we can book mark websites to go back to when we are ready. We have T.V. that can be recorded onto hard drive, paused live or rewound, if you missed shows you can re watch them online with things like the BBC iPlayer and then if that isn’t enough there is the good old newspaper.
An old fashioned pen and paper can be handy to have on you to write down reminders of where you saw stories so you can go back to them later or ideas that you have had for your website.
With the book The Chicken Soup For The Soul, money was made by selling the book, there is still opportunities to sell books, but things have changed these days, you can still sell physical books but there is a big slant to eBooks with the growing popularity of the Amazon Kindle and similar devices. I even have a Kindle app on my phone allowing me to read eBooks and PDFs anywhere anytime.
EBooks can still be sold for a regular price even though many are being sold cheaper than physical books and to be honest it makes sense, physical books need to be made and distributed, eBooks do not and they also allow many people the freedom to become author and publisher without the need of the big publishing companies.
If you decide that eBooks are not for you and wanted to focus on a website instead, money can be generated by selling advertising space, growing an email list and promoting products that might be of interest to the people who regularly visit your site. It is possible that you could create a club and charge for a subscription creating an online membership site. People love being part of a network of like-minded people and they well pay to be part of what they love.
If people will pay to buy magazines about model railways or hairdressing each month then why won’t they pay for a similar online magazine? The main thing that I wanted to get across today that is very possible to create a business and generate huge profits from using other people’s work and stories while making it that little bit easier for you, it has worked beautifully for Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and many others so why cannot it work for you?
Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business, traffic = people, they are the footfall of the cyber high street and you want as much as you can to visit your website and join your email lists.
But you don’t just want any traffic you want plenty of good traffic, you want what we called highly targeted traffic, this is people who are looking for the exact same stuff you have on your website and selling.
It makes sense really, you wouldn’t want to build a website and email list about cooking meat and butchery and have your site visited by vegetarians, you know they will not sign up for your newsletters or buy your products.
There are plenty of different ways to generate traffic to your site, from SEO to paid advertising. The one I want to discuss with you should in theory be a great one and that is the method called solo ads.
A solo ad is where you pay someone who has an established list to send out an email with your details in it. It could be an advert or a written email recommending your site, product or newsletter. Prices vary from person to person and normally you pay with a guaranteed click rate. The bigger list owners can charge more especially if their list is a good quality list.
You would buy a solo ad from someone who is in the same market as you so for the example above with the butchery website you would look for someone who was also in the meat industry, but someone who was in a slightly different yet complimentary sub niche like BBQ lovers and specialists. Sometimes list owners will not offer solo ads to someone in the exact same niche to prevent losing subscribers.
Again it makes sense, a person can subscribe to a newsletter for BBQ techniques and equipment as well as list about how to cook and prepare meat but if they subscribed to two newsletters about BBQ techniques and equipment the day may come when they decide that they do not need both and chose one over the other. Email list owners do not want to risk that so they may not sell you a solo ad if you are in direct competition.
A list swap is like a solo ad but you do it for free because you also send an email to your list recommending the other persons site, product or newsletter. You would do a list swap of same numbers, for example, if you already had a list of 200 people you would do a swap with a list owner who also had 200 people. Sometimes bigger list owners will do a swap and send an email to only 200 people on their list but usually it is like for like.
List swaps and solo ads can be arranged by joining sites like ListSwapper.com, WarriorForum.com & MyPrivateSwap.com
Now this sounds really good but you do have to be very careful, like all industries there can be some very unscrupulous people about. Some people will knowingly sell you a solo ad or do a list swap with you using a really rubbish list. In the past some people have built up huge lists very fast by using companies like AdFly which, in all honesty, dupes people into signing up.
AdFly places ads between a link and its destination, when someone clicks the link and expects to see a video but a big ‘Click Here’ button or ‘sign up’ form appears they often do what they are told thinking it is part of getting to the video or page. It usually isn’t.
These lists are often full of people from the Asian continent who are not interested in your offers, the reason many come from certain parts of the world over others is that it is a lot cheaper to advertise there so building a big list very fast is also very cheap.
It is also very fair to say that some nationalities are less cynical than the Western world and may not understand the art of Copywriting and also have far worse living conditions then the rest of us so when they are sent an email offering them life changing riches or products they are more willing to click the links and sign up. When they see your offers, they are very unlikely to buy, some countries do not use PayPal or issue credit/ debit cards like ours, many cannot even afford the product so the decision is made for them whether they wanted to buy or not. In truth, these lists are useless.
So I think you know where I am going with this, dodgy marketers will sell you a solo ad for say $60 to a list of people who may click and sign up for your newsletter or promotion but will hardly buy. In the long run this will cost you more than your initial purchase price as you will increase your monthly costs with Aweber or whichever autoresponder company you use.
There is also ‘List abuse’, it sounds harsh but that is what it is called and it is seriously frowned upon in the industry but it still happens, normally in the make money niche but there could be others in different niches who do it. List abuse is where someone who wants to build a good quality list fast and cheaply will create a list using the same method as mentioned above, they will then go to the list swapping sites and offer to do a list swap.
They know that their list is crap, this is often referred to as the extreme list, but they offer it up anyway and when they do a list swap with someone who has spent a lot of time and money cultivating a list they then take people away from that list to join their ‘new list’ that they are building via a different opt-in form.
While they are now building a new clean list the other list owner is now having his list polluted with people who really are not interested in his products or are not likely to ever buy. The practice is really disliked but it can happen so you should be very careful who you do your swaps with.
The problem is how do you tell? Some list swap sites will have feedback and reviews but these can be unreliable, after a swap, a list owner may get 200 new sign ups, write a positive review but not realise for a few weeks or months that all of his new leads are rubbish.
The reason they build a big list cheaply is that it gives them the edge, if you are just starting out and have only a list of 50 you are restricted to who you can swap with and what you can charge for sending out a solo ad, it can take time to get up to big list using normal list building methods. If you build a dodgy extreme list quickly you can be in and out with a new clean list or a few extra dollars fairly quickly.
The other thing to be aware of is how many solo ads and swaps has a list owner done, a list owner might have a few thousand subscribers on his list but if he send out a recommendation to other peoples products, newsletters or offers every day or week and nothing else useful they can soon destroy their list. People will get fed up of the adverts and simply stop clicking through and many will just not open the emails. Doing a list swap or paying for a solo ad is a very daunting thing, it is recommended that you do your research and go in with your eyes open!
Many years ago, the Co-Operative was a common way people built businesses, in the UK the Co-Op group became a household name, it is owned by its members and has over 6 million of them.
The group comprises a family of businesses, including: food shops, travel, financial services, healthcare, funeralcare, legal services, motors and online electricals.
The organisation grew from a small unit of tradesmen during the industrial revolution who were struggling to buy food; they were being pushed into poverty thanks to the new developments and advancements in technology which was taking away their work.
They came together to open up a shop to sell food and supplies at affordable prices to people who were struggling. Every member put in money and then they took out their share of the ‘Divi’. The ‘Divi’ short for dividends is the profit, the money that is left after all the expenses are paid for.
There have been many different types of co-operative set ups, in the building trade, companies have been created where several different trades have joined together, each putting in the same amount at the beginning and then taking out an equal share of the dividends of the business.
This idea is a great one because a building firm that wants to build houses will require many different trades. A house build will include bricklaying, woodwork, plastering, electrics, plumbing and roofing with Gryphon roofing phoenix so it would be ideal if at least one person from each of these trades came together to create a co-operative group meaning they are able to build a house quickly and with ease without needing to bring other people. These trades are very different from each other yet they compliment themselves beautifully.
So how does this relate to building an authority site? Well, there is big money to be made with websites, John Chow makes an average $40k a month from his sites and who wouldn’t want a slice of that? But before you get too excited, there is also a lot of work involved in creating a successful website.
Bloggers will spend a lot of time creating content whether it be written posts, videos or infographs. Then there is the technical side of having a website, keeping the site secure and keeping on top of any hosting or broadband issues that will one day arise.
A successful website needs traffic, without traffic a website will fail so there are the traffic generation methods to be worked on which includes running social media campaigns, guest posting campaigns and even advertising campaigns.
If you are planning to generate money from your website by selling advertising space then you will need to organise advertising for clients and invoicing them each month. If you were thinking of making money from any form of affiliate marketing you will need to source good products to promote and keep changing them if the products are no longer available or they are not generating you any money.
If you decide to create your own eBooks and products then again there is plenty of work involved in getting these things made and ready to sell. Shall I go on? I don’t think I need to say much more to make you realise that there is a lot of work involved in building a website.
I haven’t even touched on things like keyword research but what I will say is that Google loves content, and the more quality content you post on your website and put out onto the internet will be seen by the search engines. The more people that share your posts and link to them the faster your site will grow.
This is really good for you but guess what? Creating content is not easy, even if you really love the subject matter with a passion, doing it for months on end can get hard. This article could take me well over an hour to write or maybe two. Some posts have taken me up to 5 hours to write especially if I have plenty of images to modify or screenshots to make and add relevant links.
Creating content can take a big chunk of your time so imagine trying to create all of that yourself as well as doing all of the other jobs I mentioned that comes with having your own blog/website. This is where the co-operative comes in to play.
As we know a website can grow faster when more content is added and when that content is shared, when a website grows faster than normal it will get results quicker. Makes sense really, the faster you drive your car the faster you will get to your chosen destination.
So with that in mind, if you want to grow a website quickly and start getting results fast then maybe you should consider creating your very own co-operative team. This team would include people who have expertise and skills that you do not, but which compliments yours perfectly.
For example, if you were a writer like me, and knew that you could create a lot of good articles but were not a big fan of meddling with WordPress themes and plugins, it would be a great idea to join forces with a person who loved tinkering with WordPress.
Add to the mix someone who was great at creating videos and slideshows, someone who was great at social media postings and viral marketing campaigns and maybe another writer or two, you would have built up a team that would churn out great content for the website without getting burnt out, the social media networking will be going on while you were writing, and the WordPress/ website issues were being dealt with and worked on by one of the team.
In many cases, lone bloggers will work on the website maintenance and issues late at night, lone blogging can rob you of a lot of time. With a team you can get a lot of that time back. The main important thing to get clear at the beginning is to get everyone to agree that you all put in the equal amount of time, effort and investment and that you all take out an equal share of the profits when they start rolling in.
If Pat Flynn can generate over $50,000 a month from doing most of the work himself, imagine what a good team of friends can do when they put their minds to it. It would be a bonus if everyone lived near to one another; you could have a great time meeting up once a month to discuss workload, growth and ideas, failing that, a group Skype chat. This itself can help alleviate some of the issues of loneliness that can come about from being a lone blogger.
People are proud and want to achieve things on their own merit, maybe for the glory or just to have the spoils all to themselves but do not go thinking that this will be easy, it might take a while and while you are at it, don’t go overlooking the possibilities and results that can come about by creating a co-operative with likeminded people.
It could be just what you need to grow that site, give you more freedom, reduce the stress and achieve the results you desire a lot faster. Now doesn’t that sound like something worth considering?
If you intend to make money online one of the first things you should do is start to build an email list. If you have not yet heard the saying ‘the money is in the list’ then you have had your eyes and ears shut, it is probably the first thing all internet marketers will tell you.
When you have an email list of people who are seriously interested in your websites niche then you can promote to them similar products and generate money. The bigger the list the more earning potential you have. If your list is made up from highly targeted people who are interested in the same niche as your website then you again increase the chances of selling them relevant products. So it is important that you try and build an email list of people who are only interested in your niche. So how do you do that?
Creating an email list is a simple process really; you give away something of value in exchange for a person’s email address. The idea is simple; convincing the stranger to hand over the email address is the hardest part. To get your site visitor to hand over the details you need to give them something of real value. Here are five of the best freebies you can use to generate leads for your email list.
Free Reports/eBooks – For years people were giving away free reports & eBooks, at one point it seemed everyone was giving away a free report, they became pretty thin and useless. Many were re hashed material found in hundreds of other reports or simple off the shelf reports made from PLR content. PLR means Private Label Rights; you buy the content and can then re use it as your own or as you please.
Reports and eBooks can be written by outsourcing the work to writers on sites like Elance or Odesk.com for reasonable prices. Ideally you want to create the best eBook you can crammed full of useful information that makes it worth the lead handing over their email details. The bigger and the better is the way forward.
Free Video/ Video Series – This is an excellent give away, if you know something that people will find helpful like SEO then you can create a video or a series of videos that are very easy to make and then offer them as a freebie in exchange for email details.
Screencast video tutorials are made by using software like Camtasia, this is pretty expensive but there are free online software like ScreenCast-O-Matic.com that allows you to create 15 minutes of free video.
Normally 15 minutes is long enough for video tutorials, you could record a long one in two parts and use free software like Windows Movie Maker to stitch the two halves together to make a longer video if required or for the incredible price of $15 you can use the full version of ScreenCast-O-Matic that allows you to record longer videos and edit them in the editing suite.
Sales Page Templates/Themes -This is another popular freebie, if you have created a sales page that converts well like Zac Johnson did with his CPA sales pages you can give away the HTML template with images and headlines that can be easily edited with free HTML editing software like NVU.
If you haven’t been using any sales pages yourself you can always pay someone to create some based on other popular pages and give them away or even have a WordPress child Theme modified to your own specification and give that away for free in exchange for name and email details.
Sales pages, templates and Themes help the newbie to get started; do you think people would not give you their email details to take you up on that helpful offer?
5-7 Day eCourse/Online Course – This is similar to the video course and can in fact use video tutorials as part of the course. For this you offer a short trading course over a set period of 5 or 7 days and you send the new sign up an email with a new part of the course.
The email can contain the course material or you can set the course material on pages on your website and then each email will contain the link to the next part online allowing the new subscriber to study the next section.
There are for’s and against’s with both methods, I personally prefer to have the course online and send the new subscriber to the online pages, you can do so much more on a website page than you can within an email. It is more acceptable to put more content on your website than cramming it all into an email and you can add affiliate offers to the online page easier.
Competition – This one is a really good one but also a very tricky one to pull off, you create a competition like ‘Win a Free Website’ where people who want to try and win have to hand over their email details to enter.
The prize has to be chosen carefully, if you offer an iPad as a prize but your website is about healthy eating, it is very possible that your email list will have people on it who are not interested in your website content and only entered to try and win an iPad. These people will cost you money by being on your list and you will not make any money from them. So it is advised that you carefully pick a prize that is congruent with your website niche and content.
I know I don’t have to tell you but people like quality and value so the better the free product is the greater chance you have of getting people’s emails. Most websites hire a Custom Newsletters Service which is a free weekly series of tips, ideas and advice.
People have been known to sign up to newsletters with ease because they do not feel like they were bribed, it could be worth offering your free eBook or video series as a ‘Thank You’ for people signing up to your newsletter, this way it feels like a bonus and not a bribe, people like that.
Internet marketing has developed many ingenious techniques to manipulate people into handing over their names and email addresses and this has in turn created a lot of cynical people. With marketers promising the world then giving away poor quality freebies after they received the email, it can leave a sour taste in the sign ups mouth, but getting an email address by a non bribed sign up and giving them a quality thank you gift can have a very powerful effect on them. That is something I think you should consider while you are developing your free gift.
Please feel free to share, pin and tweet out the infographic below!
As we know Google have recently done another update and several people are reporting changes in their rankings. I cannot say for definite whether they had been doing any unnatural link building or not, sometimes when Google do an update, good sites are affected and then they are returned to the original place if not better when the dust has settled.
When you consider that good sites are being affected even if it is just temporary you realise that you cannot risk being punished by Google by doing anything slightly fishy. Google want to give people quality content and it is their search results that we want to be ranked in so what is the best way to keep them happy? Create good quality useful content and plenty of it.
There are many benefits to creating quality content, if it is useful then people will share it and promote it for you. They will share it on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. They will link to it from their own blogs and reference your work creating a natural link network. Google loves natural link networks and they love quality relevant content, none of that spun article rubbish many people use.
So, if you write a proper post of 1000 words or more what happens? You naturally create long tail keyword phrases that are relevant to the post subject. You cannot help but write sentences that will develop into and include long tail keywords that you can be ranked for.
Imagine you wanted to rank for the keyword phrase ‘Ice Cream Parlour’, while writing the post you can easily have sentences that have ‘the best ice cream parlour’ ‘the best ice cream parlour in Lincolnshire’ ‘the best tasting ice cream’ etc. All of these phrases could be searched for and you can become ranked for these if the article you write is of a serious and informative nature unlike the spun articles people use.
If you have other articles on your site that match the content and other people share your posts and reference them with connecting links you could easily find yourself ranked in Google for keyword phrases you didn’t expect. Sometimes keyword research can throw up keyword combinations that when added together in an article can be hard to understand. Writing a proper post will generate proper good relevant keywords that Google will love.
I remember writing an article about people having a certain type of mindset and I used a man I called ‘Ibiza Bob’ as my example. The article was about people wanting to do something but instead of doing anything about it they sit around and moan. Ibiza Bob always wanted to go to Ibiza but couldn’t afford it, he blamed the Government and the economy as the reason as why he could never afford to go yet he spent most nights down the local bar, drinking smoking and having a kebab on the way home.
For 20 years or more he wanted to go to Ibiza and for those 20 years he spent his money on beer, cigarettes and food, if he really wanted he could have stayed in 1 or 2 nights a week over a year or two and have enough money to go to Ibiza for a long enjoyable holiday… but he didn’t.
After I wrote the post I notice that I was getting traffic for keywords like ‘the story of Ibiza’, I was on the first page of Google for that keyword phrase for quite some time. The people searching were not really my targeted audience but they were coming and I was ranked. The actual post had very little to do with ‘the story of Ibiza’ but Google rewarded me without my intention.
What happened was that I spent time to write a long quality post which generated a series of natural links which were being picked up and ranked by Google. I was not in any way trying to manipulate Google by engaging in keyword stuffing or article spinning. I was just writing about a topic that I was interested in and knew about.
Obviously I wrote a follow up post that talked about my findings and reinforced the keywords, this time the post included the keyword phrases that Google had ranked me for which were not originally planned keywords in the first post. Again this was a long written piece from the heart and mind and not designed to have keywords stuffed into it.
Keywords and Google have a natural tendency to attract each other and if they are generated naturally in a long well written piece then they will have more power. With Google’s recent updates they are looking for the relevance and quality and that is what your articles will give them.
Now we are not saying do not do any keyword research or include relevant keywords that your research gives you, far from it, I want to get across that you will generate good quality keywords when you write a proper full article, keywords that Google will pick up on.
Sometimes you should not fear or worry about your articles having or not having keywords in them, the main thing you should concentrate on is to create good quality useful articles and plenty of them. Patrick Meninga did keyword research, when he had his chosen keywords he went to work creating loads of articles that he placed on his site and shared with other sites as guest posts.
These articles were connected passing relevance to each other and when he had finished he was ranking for more keywords than he had planned. He wrote the posts himself, they were not spun nor were they outsourced on the cheap, they were written from the heart as he knew the subject matter well. As he wrote the articles the long tail keyword phrases wrote themselves.
It is natural and cannot be avoided, that is the beautiful thing about the English language, well any language really, whatever it is you are writing about, the subject matter cannot be described without creating other good natural keyword phrases. Go and give it a try, write something big and useful about any topic and then look at the keywords that are formed. You might be surprised at how keyword rich your articles can become naturally.
The internet really excites me and it should you, the reason it excites me is because it is full of so many great opportunities to make money from your own home.
There are so many different business models from drop shipping, affiliate marketing ecommerce sites right up to making money selling your own designed T-Shirts on CafePress, promoting your own music and even renting out websites.
Yes that is right, I did say renting out websites, a website is in many ways a virtual property. Like a bricks and mortar building in a street in a town, a website has a location. If you own a website that is similar to the best shop on the busiest street which in the cyber world means being at the top half of the first page of Google for a certain keyword, your website could be worth a lot to the right person.
Imagine that you owned a website that was at the top of the first page of Google for the keyword ‘professional plastic surgeons in Scotland’ (A random keyword I know, I couldn’t think of anything better) Someone somewhere in Scotland who was a professional plastic surgeon may not realise how much traffic that keyword was getting but when shown that they are missing out on potentially thousands of pounds worth of business, they then would see a value in paying you to add their details to your site and ‘rent’ the site and its location from you.
We have all heard of internet marketing and how people like Pat Flynn and John Chow regularly make thousands of dollars each month from blogging and recommending relevant products, with so many niches online now there are so many markets to choose from.
A keen gardener could set up a website and start selling his own eBooks from his site or even make his site a subscription based site similar to an off line magazine. Membership sites are incredible things and have made a lot of people very wealthy. People will pay to be a member of anything as long as you offer a service they need and believe is worth the value.
People will pay to access training videos for things like yoga or football, whatever ideas you come up with, the chances are there are people around the world who will happily pay for it. The world is changing; the internet has opened the world up for people who have never met to work with each other.
Twenty years ago the idea of someone like me having graphics, videos and articles created by people in countries like India and the Philippines was simply not thought of but now I can have a pick of thousands of great people around the world who are willing to do some work for me. I can also do work for others, I can write for clients around the world as long as I have an internet connection.
Teenagers today who are creative and motivated have every opportunity to travel the world funded by an online business and a small laptop or maybe even just a tablet. Cafepress.com is a website that has grown and now has several localised versions of itself like Cafepress.co.uk, Cafepress.au and many more. The great thing with the Cafepress is that they are an online printing company which allows people to upload their own designs and create a shop selling T-Shirts, Hoodies, baby clothing, notepads, mugs and the list goes on.
They have created several very successful home based businesses where young designers have been able to introduce their artwork to the world. There is no need for the designers to search out printers or buy the printing equipment themselves which would cost several thousands of pounds, they can create designs and add them to their CafePress shops, using marketing techniques they drive traffic to the shops and when a sale is made CafePress do the rest.
CafePress will print the items and they will send them to the customer on your behalf. They take out their costs for the manufacturing etc and then at the end of each month they pay you your share. You set the price of your merchandise so what you make on top of each item you design is down to you.
TuneCore.com is a similar set up to CafePress except they deal with digital music. You create the music, you pay an annual fee and they then distribute your music as digital MP3s to big sites like iTunes, Spotify & Amazon. You keep the rights to your music and you keep all 100% of the profits made.
With most people now having access to some great recording software or music software like Audacity, Sound Forge, Cake Walk and Reason, people can create and record quality music from the comfort of their home and share it with the world via sites like TuneCore.com. Again, music can be created via laptops and tablets anywhere in the world allowing the music lover to travel the globe and earn a living.
OK so it will not be as sophisticated as the equipment in big studios but laptops are far more sophisticated than the machines bands like altern8 and the Prodigy used to create legendary rave tunes back in the early 90s. There is no reason why someone cannot create a stunning album using just a laptop or a tablet these days. Electronic music pioneers like Kraftwerk would have dreamt of machines like those we have today.
I mentioned earlier the system known as drop shipping; this is another system that requires very little physical work. It is a form of affiliate marketing but you promote physical products usually based around the same niche. For example, a young skateboarder could create a website around skateboarding, filling it with videos and pictures of his friends skateboarding he could then have several pages selling skateboards, parts, DVDs and clothing which are from other people’s companies.
He himself would not need to touch the products himself, the order is processed either by the company or he forwards on the order once it has been taken and they send out the product. The companies will send out any money earned at the end of each month or whatever the agreed time frame is that they use. (Please note I say ‘he’ just for ease, I am not saying that there are not any female skaters out there who would be entrepreneurial and open up their own drop shipping site. I am sure there are plenty.)
Using free networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube it is very easy to find a potential worldwide following of people who love the niche you’re in. Music, skateboarding and graffiti for example have followers and lovers in virtually every country you can think of.
It is the same for gardening, opera and even knitting, there are people who love their hobbies and have access to the internet, if you can get your website address in front of these people and give them excellent content and service then you increase your chances of growing a successful business.
Stop and think what you can do online, if you are good at art you could design T-Shirts like the CafePress example or you could do website graphics for people around the world. If you are good at writing you could write website content for people, do product reviews, write eBooks & reports and even become a self-published author selling your books on Amazon Kindle store.
We might be facing hard times with a global economic recession and crisis but the Hilton hotel empire was built during the great depression when Grandpa Hilton went around buying up hotels cheap that were forced to close due to lack of business.
A recession is not bad for everyone and times are changing, many of the companies that are closing these days are closing because of the change in how we shop and buy. The internet has killed of some localised businesses and created a breeding ground for thousands of newer home based global trading businesses, businesses that you and I can quite easily create and profit from.