Time to amp it up and throw out some power tips to increase your online business.
If you've read my previous post, Beginners Guide To Internet Marketing, you'll know I covered many of the basics when it come to making money online.
Don't go any further if you have not read the previous guide.
Unless you're already a rockstar in the space.
In that first part, I kept it simple for a reason. I did not want to overwhelm you with too much at once.
As humans, we often tend to over complicate things. We sometimes make them "seem" more difficult than they really are.
Of course I am NOT saying you can work an hour a day and make a million. If that was the case, everyone would be rich. And you probably wouldn't be reading this because I'd be sitting on some beach or some topical island sipping fruity drinks.
I am only trying to say, don't make it harder than it already is. When you do, you limit your opportunity for success. You can set yourself up for failure, even if your intentions are good.
You're smart, I know you can do this.
And I know you can create a business that pays you well.
Or you can greatly improve what you've already built.
So, it only stands to reason, there should be a guide for some more advanced tactics. Not that I am a guru or anything, just what I've learned along the way, mistakes I've made over the years, that I want to pass on.
And no worries, these are all things you can handle.
After all, you're a marketing powerhouse, right?
So let's get to some simple ways you can jazz up your biz and add some OMPH to what you're doing.
Let's get to it...
If there was one skill that could have the biggest impact on any business, it is without a doubt, copywriting.
Think about it for a moment...
Most everything we do is really about selling is it not?
If you look at every part of your website or blog, almost every part has some sort of promotion to it.
Let’s take a closer look...
Post or Article Titles - This is what get's your visitors attention, or it doesn't. And frankly this is one of the most important parts of your blog. If your titles don't grab them, so they want to read more, they are gone and might not be back again. They don't read your content, they don't see your advertising. So it only makes sense to test your post titles.
Actual content - Okay, content is for learning, teaching, information, but honestly, every post you create should have some call to action, some promotional links or blurbs. If not your leaving money on the table. Not saying you need to turn your posts into banner or link farms, just saying you should be selling. Remember, if you're not selling your not making money. I am not saying you should split test your content, though you could, but all your call to actions within the content could and should be tested.
Engagement - If you want to build a following for your blog or website, as you should, there should be plenty of calls to action for your visitors or readers to engage with you or your content. It could be as simple as "What do you Think?", or, better yet, "What do you think about ________?" It's amazing how many bloggers end their content with nothing. Why? Engagement shows you have other readers, other visitors, it probably even re-enforces your authority and expertness. It builds trust. With all that, your visitors will be more likely to click your promo links or banners and more likely to BUY.
Social Sharing - We know social media is SO important these days. In my opinion, it is somewhat the new SEO, surely the new traffic sources. The new linkbacks (called social signals). Here again, you need to ask people to share, even tell them to share, maybe give them a good reason to share. Sometimes visitors need a little nudge or reminder.
Gotta make that money right? How else you gonna buy your bling? It's why we are all here banging away at the keyboard.
Of course we will be talking about ads and promotional links.
Sadly though, it seems so many marketers drop the ball in this area.
Simple. By not testing their ads.
Been guilty of it myself.
It's all about Conversions.
This is where the rubber meets the road.
Doesn't matter how much content we put out, how many hits we get to our sites, if that traffic doesn't convert into hard cold cash, we not going to be adding much to the bank balance.
As I've already said, copywriting is the selling part, so in essence it is also what converts our site visitors into paying customers. Whether they buy your product or an affiliate product your promoting, nothing goes into your pocket until they pull out the credit card or login to their pay pal account.
Obviously, the key to conversions is testing and tracking.
If we are not testing and tracking our advertisements, we have no idea how well, or how badly our ads are doing.
And to be honest, from my experience, most banner ads don’t get jack for clicks.
Not saying all banners are low converting, just saying many of them are. Just from my own testing. And of course it depends on what your promoting.
The BIG problem is that most marketers just slap up banners without a thought. Either they don’t think about how they “might” convert, or they don’t care.
Been there, done that.
You might be asking, what makes for a high pulling advertisement?
While there is not one perfect ad for every niche, market, product or service, and there are many variables, here are a few things to test or what to look for when choosing your ads.
- Animated images - These types of ads help draw the visitors eye to the ad itself. It grabs their attention, and that's half the battle. Ad blindness be gone. Color can also have an impact on clicks.
- Emotional text keywords - If you know your market, you'll have a pretty good idea on which keywords will help to get the clicks. If you not sure, here's a simple way to get the best keywords, visit the salespage for the product. Not saying to "steal", just get ideas. If your promoting a good converting product or service, the salespage is likely to be loaded with selling words and phrases.
- Banner click buttons - Many banner images come with some kind of call to action, or some kind of button. This is another aspect you can test, such as different text on buttons, like "Click Here Now", "Free Report", ect.
- Position - It's no secret that ads perform differently depending on where they are located on the site. You could test different locations to see what gets the highest click-thru rate.
I know most of us don't create our own ads, so the above can be used as a guide when choosing banner images from say affiliate promo material.
That leaves us with...
- Promotional Text Links - Something else that should be tested and tracked. Both the link text and the position can and should be tested. Just changing a word can have a huge impact on conversions, I've seen it happen.
Now, I don’t want you getting all frazzled, thinking you need to become a copywriting ninja to make any money.
Not saying that at all.
I am only saying, you could increase your earnings if you started learning how to create copy that works and to test everything you can. Even if it’s a little at a time. Even if it's little tweaks here and there. Little changes can make a big difference.
I think the problem is that copywriting can be intimidating to many, and this is the reason why most people don't learn it.
My Friend Sherman Smith has some good copywriting tips for you here:
Okay, enough on that. Let's move on...
Shall we talk more about money?
Another key to generating a healthy flow of cash online is income diversification.
As they say, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Especially when it's getting close to Easter.
Seriously though, it's never wise to rely too heavily on one income source. Or promoting one product or service.
What happens if that one source of cash disappears?
Your scrambling to find a replacement and your losing money till you find one.
Same goes for not promoting only one platform or market place. What if, for example, your selling only Clickbank products and something happens to your account? Not saying it's going to happen, but just in case, you need to cover your you-know-what.
This also applies to payment processors, depending on only one solution and it's not longer usable puts you in a bind. Cuts off the money source. No bling for you!
Over the years I've seen it all, affiliate programs going belly up, payment processers not processing any more. Sadly I've also lost money in some of those situations.
Don't be like me.
This section is pretty simple, so I won't go into great detail.
At the very least have backs ups lined up, for that "just in case" moment.
Speaking about money...
Think out of the box
Have you brainstormed and thought of every way you could profit from your site? Cover all the affiliate programs? Selling your own products, such as Ebooks? Maybe a membership section? What else can you do? Course you know the super easy way to have your own ebooks and reports... Private Label Rights.
Here's a great inspiring story about thinking out of the box when it comes to filling your pockets with some dollars when you're selling your own products from my friend Richard Martin:
Let's face it, there is NO shortage of things to sell online.
That's the easy part.
Just with affiliate products alone, you'd have to live to be a 1000 to even come close to running out of stuff to promote.
Doesn’t even matter what market or niche you're in, there is a product or service for most everything you can think of.
Did you know you can sell elbow grease? Seriously.
But, the most important part of your business is going to be traffic.
You could have amazing content, killer products or services to promote, but if no one comes by your site, how much are you going to make.
When I use to do work for offline clients who wanted a website, I always told them the same thing. A website is like a store out in the woods, no one knows about it until you build roads to it.
Your smart, you know you need visitors to make money.
But you need to be careful...
I hate to admit it, but I've been guilty of being lured by the sweet siren song of google search traffic.
It can be very addictive.
It can be very profitable.
It is NOT long term. I don’t care what any SEO guru says, search engine traffic is far from sustainable, and not very reliable.
My last good run was about 4 years, and that was abnormal, compared to other years in my business.
Of course I am not saying you should not try for search engine traffic, you should, I am only saying, don’t depend on it too much.
I say that, but I know some of you will fall prey. I know because I’ve been there.
Google has slapped me around so much over the years, surprised I don' t have permanent black and blue spots. No they are not liver spots, I ain't that old!
I've seen my traffic disappear overnight, along all the sales it was making.
Sure you can see where I am going here.
To build a business that generates a stable (as close to stable of possible) income, you need to dip your toes into as many traffic sources as possible.
Yes, I know that sounds like common sense, but don’t be like me and put your business in the hands of only one or two traffic sources. Believe me and hear me now, it WILL come back to bite you.
Back in the mid 90's, I was using a particular traffic source. I built these little mini sites and submitted them. I was like money in the bank. Every site I created and submitted made money, every single one.
Until this particular traffic source changed their entire business model and my lonely sites were no longer welcome.
Ouch. No Bling For You!
Sure you can guess what happened to my income.
The part that relied on that gold traffic spout was gone pretty much over night.
In this section I just wanted to emphasize that you're playing a losing game if you count on one main source of visitors.
What's the solution?
Traffic Diversification. Your eggs in many different baskets.
Some ideas to spread the traffic out:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Following and Sharing
- Viral Reports and handouts
- Blog Commenting
- Listbuilding - Email Marketing
- Blog Subscription boxes
- Link Trades (done in strict moderation)
- Blogger Social Sites
- Video Marketing and Sharing
- Content Locking
- Document Sharing Sites
How many of these do you use? Hopefully you use more than one or two.
Of course it's not the end all, be all list of traffic spots, but it's what my tired brain came up as I type this. It's more than enough to get you thinking.
Don't forget to think out of the box, like how you can re-purpose your content. For example, when you write a blog post, you could easily and quickly create a PDF of it, and put it up for download, or upload it to document sharing sites.
Henry Ford was quoted as saying:
[bctt tweet="“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”"]
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”
― Henry Ford
It's so incredibly true and many people don't think about it.
I get it. I live in the real world too.
Sadly we are surrounded by negativity day in and day out.
I rarely watch the news myself. It's 99% BAD news and around here, they even use scare tactics to try and get people to watch their doom and gloom, scare every one about everything, crap content.
Don't think many people realize they are being radiated with the negative content.
Not saying you need to bury your head in the sand. Just be aware and maybe limit yourself from those negative channels in life.
The point I am trying to get to, is that you HAVE TO believe in what you're doing. You HAVE TO believe that you will succeed.
If you think you won't succeed, you won't.
Simple as that. I've proven that one many times. My wife is a witness to many of those events. I even got her hooked.
I've also proven that if I think with an abundance frame of mind, that's what I attract.
Ya, sounds like I am getting into all that Law of Attraction stuff, and I kind of am.
To me, it goes a little beyond that.
I've found it to be three basics concepts:
- Believe in yourself and what you're doing
- Positive mindset
- Taking action
Sounds so simple, yet SO powerful. Don't take my word for it, try it yourself. Try it for every a week or two, you WILL be amazed. And when you make those millions, don't forget my island.
Here's a great post about Mindset by my Friend Carol Amato: Mindset Is A Terrible Thing To Waste
There is a saying, that "No Man Is An Island', and this could not be more true when it comes to making money these days on the interwebs.
I am an example that you could be a one-man-band and build a business. I say "could" because I don't believe it's as do-able these days.
While it might still possible to be a loner, you'll get much further ahead if you are more social.
It's hard to get around that aspect of the internet.
That means you need to have profiles on all the social networks that make sense and are worth your effort. At the very least you need to hit Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Like I said, use the ones that make sense, that give you a return on your time investment.
There was a big story not long ago about Copyblogger dumping their Facebook page. Not that facebook doesn't work, it just did not give them enough of a return.
Don't go dumping your FB account, just make sure your getting something back from your time spent.
Most importantly, you need to engage on the social sites. I know from experience, just having a social account and even adding followers, does not translate to traffic of sales.
There needs to be some engagement with people on those platforms. Again, it's not like you have talk to every person you have in your circles, or retweet every tweet, just make the effort to make connection. I guarantee it will come back 10 fold.
And have some damn content on your social accounts! Sorry to use such strong language, but it amazes me how many people add me, I check out their account and there I NOTHING there.
Why would I want to follow you, or be your friend when you are literally not providing anything?
Not going to happen. No follow for you!
It's really pretty easy. Find some interesting content? Share it. Read a great article? Share it. Read a good social post? Comment.
It's not rocket science folks.
I'll be the first to admit (raising both hands), that I've neglected social media for far too long.
Sure, I had all the accounts, I even build up followers and friends. But with little engagement on my part, I wasn't seeing much of a return.
I am not the social guru, so I'll end it with, get started and engage on social media.
You'll find an interesting video interview about "Being Everywhere" on social media by my friend David Leonhardt:
Wanna know the fastest way to grow your business?
Invest and Reinvest.
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I've made in my business over the years, not putting money back into it.
You know that for any business to succeed, it needs to grow. Without reinvesting in your business, your business probably won't grow, at the very least it will be slow growth.
Actually I probably should have named this section, invest as well, huh?
I say that because it's amazes me, how many people I see who don't even want to pay for proper hosting, let alone tools or services that could help grow their business.
How do they expect to generate an income on line?
It's not likely to happen.
I understand being broke, I was there many times over the years.
I get it. I still remember it.
And yes it's very tempting to use free stuff.
I get that too.
But... and it's a VERY big but...
If you want any chance of making money online, you have to put some money into it.
Do you want to make cents or dollars?
You have to invest AND reinvest.
That means, stop using free hosting or free blogs and get a real paid host.
Free will only get you so far.
Free is for someone who needs a hobby. Paid is for those who want to build a real business that makes more than their job, so they can be their own boss.
That means putting money into to your business. Or putting money back into your business.
You could set a threshold. Say, using 20% of your profits to reinvest in your business.
Here's an example. You're doing email marketing. When it starts making you money, use some of the money to buy say solo ads to grow your list even bigger. Use some of that money to buy ad space, to grow your list even bigger. Use some of that money to pay for tools that will help increase your earnings from your list.
That is just one example. The same could be applied to most any model.
Let's make it even easier...
In its simplest form, or formula, making money on the internet comes down to this:
Website + Advertising + Traffic = Income
Yes I know, there are some variables to that formula.
But that has been a major point I've been trying to get through.
If your business is not working, if you're not making money, you just need to look closely at each part of the equation above. Well, you should be testing and tracking anyways.
You need to investigate the variables.
If you have a website or blog and you have ads on your site, the next step is to know if you're getting traffic. If you're getting traffic and not making sales, then you look at the conversions of your advertising.
Of course you need to get enough traffic to convert in the first place, but I think you see what I mean.
As I've said, it does NOT have to be complicated. Follow the above formula and inspect each part as it relates to your business, website or blog. As you narrow it down, your more likely to see what is not working.
Well, there you have it. My version of an Advanced Guide To Internet Marketing.
I have not covered every single aspect to generating cash online, but between this and the Beginners Guide, you should be off to the races and have NO excuse if you're not making money.
One last thing is that you should always be learning. That is not a license to keep buying every single shiny new object that comes out, don't even think about it, but do further your education and you'll continue to increase your earnings.
I also created a PDF, if you want to download this post for later reading. Link below:Advanced-Guide-To-Internet-Marketing [bctt tweet="Get Your FREE copy of the Advanced Internet Marketing Guide"]
What are your thoughts? Do you have something to add? Feedback? Bring any snacks?
I'd love to hear what you have to say, leave a comment below.
And don't forget to share this on your social networks by clicking the sharing buttons. It would be appreciated!
Title Experiments Free - Split Testing post titles on your wordpress blog with this free plugin.
Blog Post Headline Analyzer - Free tool that will analyze your post titles and even give you suggestions.
Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer - Another free tool that analyzes your headlines to determine their emotional marketing value, or EMV.
Ads Pro - Powerful wordpress advertising plugin. I'll be honest, I am just trying this one, so I am not going to say it's the best, just yet. I've actually had a hard time finding a good plugin. But it's worth checking out.
Google Analytics - Free tool you can use to test just about anything. From pages to content to squeeze pages and so many other aspects of your website.
Byte Of Data - My Buddy David Hartshorne's blog that is loaded with all kinds of tools and website stuff that can help you kill it online.