6 Things you Need to do Before you Buy Another “Bright Shiny Object” Online

I have a confession to make. Many years ago before I ever got into the business of blogging, running an online content store and owning several niche blogs, I was seriously attracted to “Bright Shiny Objects”, in the form of Internet Marketing products.

You name it and I’m sure I could tell you about it. From ebooks that promised outrageous success online within 30 days to paid monthly membership site subscriptions that promised to teach secrets strategies you could not find anywhere else, I bought into it.

As you could imagine this ate into a great deal of my valuable time and money which I could have much better spent on my own business. Of course not every bright shiny object that you or I purchase online will be worthless.

In all fairness I have to say that many of these online courses and ebooks did provide me with some pearls of wisdom and great tips that helped my education of Internet marketing evolve.

The real problem was that in the beginning, instead of making money weekly I was spending money weekly. Don’t get me wrong, I was still learning, but every new product I saw made me want to buy it and learn more.

Do you find yourself spending a lot of time buying and reviewing Internet product offers that randomly show up in your email in-box?

I think many Internet marketers are innate learners with a hunger for knowledge. You think you can improve yourself, increase your income and stretch your knowledge on an ongoing basis. And you absolutely can, but without constantly spending money on bright shiny objects.

Because there just comes a point where you have to take what you’ve learned and start applying it to your business, otherwise what’s the point? It’s somewhat of a wakeup call when you stop and think how much you’ve spend in a month on your business vs. how much profit you’ve made.

So this is why I strongly want to share these 6 things you need to do before you buy another “Bright Shiny Object”, aka Internet product:

#1. Carefully read the sales page of the bright, shiny object at least twice. Don’t skim the sales copy or the bullets, but actually read the whole page. I’ve seen sales landing pages with a few thousand words on them, half dozen sub-headers and tons of cool graphics that can instantly turn anyone into an impulse buyer. But that is what these ads are designed to do. This is exactly what makes it so bright and shiny and that is why you need to carefully read it to see if this is what you really need

#2. Find an honest review of the bright shiny object. This could be tricky, because if the product has an affiliate program, many marketers may be promoting it as “highly recommended” just to get an affiliate commission and that’s not cool. A better way is to Google the product name with the word “reviews” in the search box to see if you can find a fair and honest assessment of the product.

#3. Visit www.imreportcard.com and sign up for a free account. Once you’re logged in, see if the creator of the bright, shiny product is listed and has a good track record of delivering stellar products. Along with the top sellers, IM Report Card also lists the top 25Internet marketing products and services to help you make smarter buying decisions.

#4. Verify that the bright, shiny object has a money back guarantee. Typically a product’s sales page with tell you clearly if there is a money back guarantee. I know from experience that there are many software products that do not offer refunds, so it helps to confirm how and if refunds are handled. Also, if all sales are final, can you get support form the seller.

#5. Contact the creator of the Internet product directly. Even after reading the sales copy twice, you may have questions about what the product can really do. Whether it’s a study guide or online software program, it doesn’t matter what the sales page says if the product doesn’t help you personally. That’s why it’s always a good idea to ask the product owner what the product does, to confirm if it’s right for you.

#6. Request a review copy of the Internet product. If you are an online business that regularly publishes digital product reviews, you may be able to get a review copy of the product if your intention is to write about it on your blog. Be sure to let the product creator know that you are doing an honest, unbiased review and also provide traffic stats to your site. If you have strong website traffic and the product is genuinely good, the creator may be more than happy to give you a review copy of it.

So the next time you think you need to spend money to make more money, stop and consider if you really need to do so.

 

How to Make More Affiliate Sales

Are you a struggling Amazon Associate or affiliate marketer trying to make more affiliate sales? Are you new to affiliate marketing or simply just not getting enough sales results? It’s important to understand the strategy of promoting affiliate products.

Whether you are promoting a digital product or trying to make more Amazon affiliate sales, selling affiliate products online takes a lot more than simply adding a banner add to your blog post.

dreamstimefree_198174© Anatoliy Babiychuk | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Don’t get me wrong. I think banner ads are great add-ons for blog sidebars and page footers, but they should not be your main method for driving affiliate sales within your content. If you are looking for better ways to convert your online readers into buyers, then you need to go the extra mile to earn your affiliate marketing revenue. So let me share with you some strategies to give your affiliate marketing a boost to make more sales.

Be personal and give an honest online product review

It’s definitely easier to share first hand knowledge of a product with someone to convince them to buy it, rather than to simply write a standard description of its features.

For example, let’s say you want to promote a beauty product as an Amazon affiliate. One thing that many affiliate marketers overlook is to promote the things that they already use and like. Whether its a bicycle or a beauty product, it’s so much easier to promote what you already know.

Affiliate Marketing Sales

                     © Twmedia | Dreamstime Stock Photos

If you want to write an honest affiliate product review, choose a product that you would buy for yourself, would like to own or already have good experience in using. Obviously, it’s not practical to buy hundreds of dollars of products and test them all out. So try to start with what you know. For instance, if you have been researching a product that you are considering buying, be sure to include that research in your review.

In addition to being honest, reviews should be personal and told from a first person point of view. Keep the tone casual as if you were telling a friend about  it. Here are some examples:

  • When I researched all of the reviews of this product, I was blown away to learn that most buyers repeatedly said…
  • The instructions that come with this product are explained very well, but the one thing I wish they would have included was…
  • After taking this study course, I started implementing the strategies I learned and within two weeks I started seeing…

I just think the casual tone and keeping it real go a long way in grabbing your readers attention and making them feel like you’re talking to them and not at them.

Create Related Content that Compliments your Affiliate Product

Another great way to add value to your reviews is to have additional content on your site that compliments the product you are promoting. If you’re reviewing a product on your blog, you can write additional blog posts that are closely related to your main affiliate product and link to those pages as well.

For instance, if you are writing about a particular kitchen faucet, you could create more content on how to clean your faucet or how to install your faucet.

If you are using WordPress and want to add article links at the bottom of a blog post, you can use a free WordPress plugin called Related Posts by Zemanta to help you automate this and boost your page rankings. Zemanta is a cool plugin because you can link in other articles within your own site or link to articles on external sites.

Here’s a sample screenshot of the plugin in action at the bottom of a Feng Shui blog post. As you can see, not only will Related Posts by Zemanta link in your complimenting content, but it will add a nice thumbnail to the related article too!

zemanta

Use more photos, graphics and videos on your website to promote your affiliate product on social media

More photos, videos and graphics on your website will bring you better reader engagement. Why? People like to look at visuals when they go online to research or buy a product.

Now more than ever, social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, (just to name a few), have practically reinvented the way people share information online. It’s all about visual engagement and if you have something to look at on your site that’s interesting, people will be more inclined to click on it to find out more.

If you only have one stock photo of your affiliate product and not much more, consider buying a few stock photos.

I like to use Istock and as a customer, they also occasionally email me free images I can use as well. But if you’re on a tight budget, you can also add free images to your affiliate product content by looking for related images.

I’ve had a lot of luck finding nice topic related photos at Dreamstime in their free section. For example, you can find generic photos of people at the gym to promote a specific health product. There are also a lot of food photos to promote cooking and recipe sites.

Using related pictures that compliment your affiliate product, not only draws your reader in, but also creates a visual in their mind as they read. Just be sure to use the photo credit attributes to link back to the appropriate photographer when adding stock photos to your article.

Another thing you can do if you don’t have the actual product photograph or are limited to one, is to make a graphical chart of its “Pros and Cons” or a simple Infographic.

You can use a program like Microsoft Paint or PowerPoint. Or, if it’s a software or digital product you’re promoting, take a screenshot of it by using the “Prt Scr” button on your computer keyboard and save it as a jpg to upload to your website.

As you can see there are a few strategies you can use to make more sales promoting your affiliate products. If you’ve written any product reviews lately, but have not made any sales, go back and see how you can improve them. Can you add more visuals or include more personal opinions? Is the tone of your writing casual and easy to relate to?

If not, take a look at how you can revise your affiliate product review.  Don’t be afraid to get creative with it and see how your sales conversions increase.

 

Promoting your Business with Social Media Tools

Using social media tools to develop an effective online marketing strategy for your business is a low-cost way to become more successful online. Only recently have social media to0ls become a crucial component to the advertising and marketing world.

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© Tiberius Dinu | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Unlike the traditional marketing tools of yesterday, where a business simply presented their messages on static websites, social media engages potential clients through two-way communication.

As any business owner knows, it takes time to answer questions directly from potential and existing customers; and posting to social media sites manually can be an all day chore.

But social media tools offer the unique opportunity to gain insight on all potential and existing customers by automating the task of going social and helping you better engage your audience in your message.

If you are new to the social media world, it helps to understand the very basic principles of online promotions and advertising before ever developing a successful campaign using Twitter, Facebook, and blogging sites.

Becoming engaged with followers takes time as you develop your online messaging and reputation.

Using any type of social media tool is much different than traditional advertising, such as print ads. Before television commercials, radio announcements, and newspapers advertising, messaging was only a one way conversation.

social-media

However, social media marketing is what really opens up possibilities of conversation, word of mouth and information sharing.

The people that are likely to follow you on Facebook and Twitter or become a fan of your blogging site are there because you are offering a lot of value.

Instead of simply promoting your business, you are providing valuable content and rewarding each one of your potential customers for their loyalty in following you across your social platforms.

You do this in a variety of ways, such as offering specials and discount coupons that your online visitors find useful.  Uploading useful content is a crucial component to a successful social media marketing campaign.

This includes writing articles, blogs, white papers, and updating the content to all of your social media sites. In addition, you are likely posting quality links that help all of your online visitors locate the value added things they are looking for.

This is accomplished with effective search engine optimization strategies for Google, Bing, and other search engines, as well as using social media tools to reach more visitors.

Overall, while social media is a virtually free, using social media tools for automation and tracking typically have some cost associated with them.  Here are a list of social media tools that can help you boost your overall traffic and engagement.

 

5 Ways to Present Curated Content to Your Readers

curatedThere are two steps in the process of content curation. The first is to find great content that your audience will love. Sources for great curated content include news feeds, alerts, other blogs and press release websites. Another great technique for building great content on your site is to use Private Label Rights articles  and combine that re-written article with your own expertise, opinions, experience or insight to truly customize the content.

If you can take a piece of information and put your own spin on it, you will then  have something unique to share and discuss with your audience. Which brings me to the next step. Once you have great content to share with your readers, there are many online ways to share content. Here are the top five ways to share curated content and get the word out to others.

Your Blog

Curating content on your blog expands your audience, gives it better search engine rankings, and helps you keep posting fresh content when you’re low on ideas. When you’ve been doing a blog for a while, it’s easy to run out of steam or come down with writers block, but that’s where curating content comes in handy. Curating content for your blog helps you create original posts that your audience is interested in, as well as a way to keep open conversation going with your readers. One advantage is that you don’t have to be an expert on a topic to find existing articles to curate on them and comment on them. So don’t be afraid to curate on your blog

Facebook Fan Pages

Facebook fan pages offer an even more “social” place to publish curated content. If you create a Facebook fan page that highlight sub-topics within your niche, you can even create a separate tab for each specific topic and build your social network out. Find content to share via Facebook and post it directly to your page, or share content from other sources. Articles, videos, and images all work well. And if you have great curated content on your blog, always feel free to link back to it from your social page. Just msure that you use your pages as a means of interacting with your audience and not just publishing. Don’t run them on autopilot. When there are comments, questions or other activity on the page, respond and engage with your audience.

Infographics

Infographics are really nothing more than curated content presented in a graphic form. You take content from various sources and create a graphic that presents this content to your readers so that they can take it in at a glance. Infographics are especially good for taking complex ideas and breaking them down into a more easily digestible form. Online tools and templates are available that help you make creating infographics easier. Once you create the overall design, it’s only a matter of plugging in the content and then tweaking to make it more visually appealing.

Email Newsletters

Curated content offers a great way to keep your email subscribers informed and entertained. It takes much more than promotional offers to keep them tuned in. When you send your subscribers a steady stream of fresh content that’s helpful or interesting to them, you stay on their radar and establish your reputation as a valuable information source. One of the best ways to choose the right topics for your emails is to come right out and ask your list what kind of content they’d like to receive from you. Your subscribers will also give you feedback in the form of analytics. Watch open rates to find out which content is most interesting to them.

Social Curating Sites

Sites like List.ly and Pinterest are social media networks designed for curating content. These are wonderful because they allow you to find and publish content in one place, as well as interact with other users. Look for sites that are loaded with features that help you customize your content curation. No matter where you publish, always remember to add something of your own to the curated content. Just sharing a link on Twitter isn’t content curation; neither is copying and pasting sections of someone else’s article to your blog, even if you give them attribution. Try using your curated content as the basis for explaining your opinions, giving insights on a new topic, or exploring the opinions of others.

How to Add More Subscribers to Your Email List

iStock_000021337330MediumA list is only as good as the subscribers that are on it and even more importantly, how many subscribers that are on the list.

If you suffer from a lack of subscribers, there are ways to add more subscribers to your email list and make sure those names are high quality subscribers.

Quality is often better than quantity, but it certainly helps to have a large list of subscribers, even in different segments of your business.

So, how do you get more subscribers to opt-in to your list? Here are a few proven methods to add more subscribers to your email list, that are also high quality.

First of all, the best place to add contacts to your subscriber list is through your website or blog. You can do this by writing quality articles that attract new visitors to your website.

Drive clients to your website through targeted, content-rich articles.

These can encourage people to opt-in to your list by way of a well-placed content on your website.

Make your list accessible.

If you have an opt-in on your website, make sure that it is easy to find. Don’t put your subscriber form several pages on your website in a hard to find spot. As a call to action, the opt-in page should be the first thing your readers see.

Make the process of opting-in easy and seamless. There are multiple applications that let you integrate the opt-in process. Use software to make life simple and easy for you and your subscriber.

Try networking.

Many successful marketers build their lists through networking. You can try to pass out business cards and other literature at your local coffee shop, at a bookstore, at church, at a community event, at the market you go to when purchasing groceries.

There isn’t a place that is off limits. Anywhere you meet people has the potential for marketing. You can also sign up clients when you are out and about by using your portable device.

Try signing people up using your iPad, tablet and even a smartphone.

Make opting-in an easy process for the people you meet. If you’re talking to someone in person about your business, your opt-in page should be easily accessible from any mobile device. Open your site up on your cell phone and show them how see how easy it is to opt in.

Use social networking religiously.

Most people take advantage of social networking today. If you aren’t already using Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest and other popular social networking sites, you should be. The more social networks you participate in, the larger your subscriber list will be.

You will also improve the quality of people that subscribe to your list. People become loyal followers of those they regularly hear and see online.

Start posting daily or weekly to Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube.

When people become accustomed to seeing you online, they will want to hear more of what you have to offer, and start subscribing to your feeds. So get into the habit of using all your social channels whenever you have an update to share.

These are all effective and simple methods for building your list, that take only minutes to implement. Try these tools and see for yourself how easy it is to build your subscriber list.

Want to learn how to grow your email subscriber list even more? Subscribe now and get 40 hot list building tips.

 

How to Generate More Leads with Social Media Strategies

Social networking conceptWith Internet networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube growing with users, social media has become one of the best platforms for generating leads and growing your business.

Whether you have an online or offline business, social networking has accelerated the personalization of the Internet and has created greater opportunities for businesses looking to generate new customer leads.

Along with generating leads, social media sites give us the opportunity to create a brand, manage our reputation and leverage free advertising by word of mouth.

In today’s competitive marketplace, utilizing social media strategies for ongoing marketing is the ideal low-cost advertising tool that helps you gain a further reach to grow your audience.

Ultimately, the quality of your product or service and the demand for it, will determine its’ success in the marketplace. But by simply putting a bit of effort into social messaging, the possibility of getting greater exposure to more potential customers can open up significantly.

Social Media Strategies to Increase Business

Social media is used by everyone today and not just for socializing. In fact social media networks offer a powerhouse of marketing opportunities when used with the right messaging and intent. I always like to keep a few tidbits of new information in my social pipeline to share, but it doesn’t always have to be about selling.

Whether you want to talk about new product features, promote a contest or spread good company news, these few simple strategies will help increase your social visibility.

Have a Strategy for your Website

The first thing to do to generate leads using social media is to have a strategy for your main business website. If you’re going to invest the time and expense of developing a website be sure to include the following:

  • Information that is relevant to your audience and not outdated
  • Unique landing pages with specific calls to actions such as joining a mailing list or filling out an information form
  • Engaging content in the form of videos, podcasts, photos or slideshows
  • Social Media sharing buttons that make it easy for visitors to spread your message

In short, having a variety of high quality content that engages readers and can easily be shared with others is the first step to maximizing your social media efforts.

Promoting your Website with a Blog

Your main business website usually is a platform to present your products and services. It may be factual to give people a clear overview of what you do. Or, it may be set up like a catalog of information or an online store. But regardless of what your business website is about, you can definitely benefit by promoting your site with a blog.

A blog is a bit more conversational and can open up dialog between you and your visitors by giving others the opportunity to leave feedback and comments. Blogging allows you to give reviews on products, talk about your business and voice more of your own personal opinions. But it also gives you the voice of the customer to truly gain insight into what your marketplace wants.

Include Visuals in your Social Media Strategies

One of the surest ways to get your message across and gain attention is with pictures. Just about everyone posts pictures on Facebook and Twitter, but the Internet has even more opportunities to make a visual impact. LinkedIn has become a huge platform for B2B networking and job hunting. But did you know you can also upload pictures and graphics with your message?

A big trend you’ll see a lot of on LinkedIn is to show data with infographics which are ideal for sharing on other social networks as well. Another social site that has grown rapidly is Pinterest. And while you may think of this site as a place for sharing your favorite things, many product manufacturers use Pinterest to showcase their consumer products and then link them back to their sites.

Increase your Online Presence with Article Marketing

Every opportunity you use to create a web presence creates more opportunities for social networking. That’s why I like article marketing. Publishing an original article exclusively on a article directory like www.ezinearticles.com not only puts your article on a high ranking site, but also give others the opportunity to share it with readers on their website.

For an even further reach, publish several original articles onto an article directory with a signature box and link back to your website and increase your traffic even more. Just having a few additional articles like this can lend itself to more exposure and opportunities to get recognition on social networks.

So while it doesn’t take a great deal of time to generate more leads and exposure with social media, it does take a few simple strategies and some good content to share to get things rolling.

 

 

4 TopTools to Track Email Campaign Success

emailDo you know how successful your email campaigns are?  Do you track your email campaign success rate after you send marketing messages to your list?

If you want to understand how successful an email marketing campaign is, then you have to track the progress of the email marketing campaign.

Measuring your email campaign success does not have to be a difficult progress. In fact, thanks to many online email applications, you can pretty easily measure the success of any email campaign.

If you listen to any advise about email marketing, understand  this; you can gain valuable insight into your customer list by regularly tracking the success of your email campaigns.

Tracking email campaign success will help you better understand the return on your investment, what strikes interest in your readers and how well a message is received via email.

When you track the results of a campaign, you will be able to better understand what email methods worked well, and which didn’t so that you can repeat the results that worked, and modify a campaign that was not successful.

Failing to track an email ad campaign results in an inability to determine what is working for you, and what isn’t. With so many online measurement tools available today, why leave your email campaign success up to chance.

Here are four valuable tracking tools to help you achieve email campaign success!

Aweber.com

AWeber is a full service autoresponder company so it allows you to track your email campaigns performance. You can track who opened your messages, which links they clicked, how much profit a campaign generated and how many people unsubscribed among other important details. You can also segment your list and separate emails to different groups of people. AWeber is my first choice in email marketing!

Google Analytics

Google Analytics does so much but also has advanced segments that can be used to track visitors that click from  your emails to your website. This will come in very handy to track behavior and preferences. This feature is extremely helpful if you also have Goals set up in Google Analytics.

GetResponse.com

This is another popular full service email autoresponder. Get Response tracks metrics over time, including the day and hour of the week subscribers take action on emails. It allows you to group subscribers based on the time-of-day preferences, allows a one-click segmentation of groups and sub-groups of email messages, allows you to send out and compare two messages to see which message has a better response rate.

Litmus Email Analytics

Litmus allows you to track who read your emails, who deleted your emails, who used a mobile device, whether clients printed or forwarded emails, and locate where your clients are. Also lets you consider email content in other languages, and time zones.

You can group clients according to use and other demographics. Any one of these email marketing tools will help improve the results of your email campaign. Try one or try them all to see what type of result you get the next time you initiate an email marketing campaign.

Want to learn how to grow your email subscriber list even more? Subscribe now and get 40 hot list building tips.

 

PLR Amazon Fitness Review Articles – Great for Summer!

As today is the official first day of summer, I want to remind everyone about my PLR Amazon Fitness Review Articles.  This is a great time of year to freshen your website content with relevant Amazon fitness health topics that readers are looking for that  will monetize your site and drive traffic for more Amazon sales.

Two girls exercising (one doing a push-up here) and walking their dogs at Cayucos State Beach two-girls-exercising-cayucos-beach1
mikebaird / People Photos / CC BY

The first article pack includes 5 Amazon fitness review articles:

  • P90X2 Beachbody Workout (471 words)
  • Zumba Fitness Exhilarate (485 words)
  • Insanity Workout PLR (502 words)
  • TurboFire (447 words)
  • Xertube Resistance Band Review (450 words)

The second article pack includes 12 Amazon fitness review articles:

  • P90X Beachbody Workout (427 words)
  • P90X2 Beachbody Workout (471 words)
  • Zumba Fitness Exhilarate (485 words)
  • Brazil Butt Lift (477 words)
  • Insanity Workout PLR (502 words)
  • 10 Minute Trainer (456 words)
  • Rip 60 Workout PLR (421 words)
  • Shake Weight Dumbell for Men Review (423 words)
  • Kettleworx (451 words)
  • TurboFire (447 words)
  • ChaLEAN Extreme Workout Review PLR (419 words)
  • Xertube Resistance Band Review (450 words)

Now’s the time that everyone wants to get healthy and look good. I personally am a big fan of P90X workout because it’s so versatile without heading out to a gym.  Having taken many Zumba classes in the past, I know nothing revs up your metabolism like Zumba, with dance-like moves that are fun and burn the calories.

For strengthening, I also use Kettle weights and Kettelworx has taken all the guess work out of using kettle weights to get great workout results. So as a user of many of the workout reviews I market,  I’m personally vested in sharing this Amazon Review Fitness PLR content with others that are passionate about fitness!

To learn more and grab a 12 pack or 5 pack of fitness articles, visit my content store here!