The Prosperative Blog

Category : General IM Tips

Setting up a Basic, Profitable Funnel

“Funnels” are all the rage these days in the Internet Marketing space, and for good reason – they work! Though the term “funnel” is a newer word, sales funnels are not new at all. Basically, a funnel is a series of steps that a marketer puts into place in order to get the most money out of the lead. A smart marketer will not push garbage on them either. Good products that really help people always end up making you more money in the long run, so it’s really a win/win!

With that being said, today I want to provide you with the “skeleton” of a funnel that is profitable, but not difficult to setup! There are many different ways to setup funnels. Some are more effective than others. There are various reasons to setup various types of funnels, but we’ve found this to be a very effective, simple funnel that is effective for a wide variety of applications.

A Simple, Proven, Profitable Funnel

This funnel is effective in generating the two most important results in Internet Marketing: email subscribers and sales!

  1. Produce something of value that is free and give it away in exchange for their name and email. The more appealing this freebie is, the more profitable your funnel will be, so put some thought and time into this! Find a product you can solve, or a pain you can relieve. A short ebook or report, a simple script or piece of software,  even a free video that reveals some sort of secret… these are all excellent choice, but it really could be anything that would entice people to opt-in!
  2. Send them an email series. Immediately after opting in you obviously want to deliver whatever it is your promised them.One day later check in on them with an autoresponder email… let them know you’re interested in their success. “Have you read the report?” Here are answers to some common questions people have at this point.” Things like this go a long way in starting to build trust, which is very important!Two days after that check in again with an auto-responder email. Make yourself available… “Just reply to this email if you have any questions.” But also provide some sort of new, free info in this email.Two days after that it’s time to sell! The more relevant your offer the more you’ll sell. If you gave away a free report (for example) titled, “How to Rank in Google in 30 Days” and you created a tool that helps them to rank in Google even quicker, or with less time or monetary investment, push it to them at a special discount! You can even push an affiliate product, but get with the product owner and work out a special discount offer. Special discounts and urgency (ie. 3 days only) are very important with any promo… they will seriously increase sales.

    One day later send another auto-responder email telling them that there is only X days left to take you up on the offer. Go into detail as to why they need it an what problems it will solve … and how great it will be when those problems are solved as a result of XYY product.

    One day later send a “LAST CHANCE” email on that offer letting them know it’s now or never!

    After that promo series is done you can add an unlimited number of promos. It’s always good to add some free content mailers between the promos, especially with fresh leads.

  3. Offer those who purchase a One Time Offer (OTO). Find another product that is very relevant to the product sold. It needs to be directly tied into the product sold. An irrelevant or somewhat relevant OTO will not convert. If the product requires credits, offering bonus credit at a steep discount is a great idea. If the product needs articles in order to be successful using it, offering something that will help them to produce articles… things like that. Again, put some thought into this… it’s important!
  4. Put the buyers through an Email Series! It goes without saying that you absolutely MUST collect the name and email of your buyers! They are your BEST leads. Most credible systems, like PayKickStart, do this for you (you just add your autoresponder details and select that option when adding your product).Put your buyers through a similar series as you do your free opt-ins, but you can generally be a little more “salesy” when buyers, since they’ve already shown a certain amount of trust in you buy purchasing your product.

So, the funnel starts with a cold lead opting into a “squeeze page” which is basically just a simple page with a video and opt-in form, that focuses heavily on the opt-in. The funnel ends in the subscribers buying multiple products.

To get people into the funnel promote the freebie offer at forums, get ahold of Internet Marketers with lists and give them some sort of incentive to blast it to their list. Run Facebook ads. Do everything you can to get eyeballs on that squeeze page!

It’s MUCH easier to get people to opt-in in order to receive a freebie, than it is to get those cold leads to buy.

It’s simple, but effective. Give it a shot and make more money online!

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More Money Making Methods

Yesterday we covered a brief outline of some of the fundamental ways you might make money on an ongoing basis.

If you didn’t see that post you can read it here.

One of the other important things you need to do-if you want to keep making money on an ongoing basis-is to be alert to trends.

Every niche has seasonality, but also has trends which occur from time to time where new possibilities surface.

As an example in our own experience we became aware some time ago of the extreme importance of video. At that time very few people made videos simply because they were difficult to do.

We started learning how to make videos for use on our own sales pages and we saw increased revenue as a result!

Beyond that we also saw an opportunity to make video creation easier for everyone else.

That means we noticed a trend, learned to take advantage of it ourselves and then turned it into a revenue stream.

You can do the same in whatever niche you may be involved in!

If you keep an eye on news items related to your niche and check emails of newsletters that you may be subscribed to you can often get a heads up about new trends before the general crowd notices the same.

As we explained yesterday being ahead of the curve allows you to put yourself ahead of the late-comers who join in well after a particular new technique has become commonplace. A little research done on a regular basis and an awareness of developing trends can pay dividends.

But what about having that kind of “trend” research come to you, rather than having to do a lot of work every day?

Personally I find Google Alerts quite useful: https://www.google.com/alerts

Example Uses:

  • Add your own name to an alert – if anyone is talking about you on the web you’ll find out!
  • Add your product or site name to alerts – you’ll see any discussions about them.
  • Here’s an interesting one, add the name, product or website of your competition. You’ll learn a bit about what they’re up to. If they’re up with the latest trends you’ll find out as soon as Google does!
  • Add in keywords related to your main topic (video creation in the example we mention). Discussions related to that keyword will pop up in your alert notifications.

There’s more you can do, of course, but once you start using alerts you’ll find you get timely information – you just have to act on it.

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How to keep making money online?

We have been making money online, as a group, for something like four decades or more!

In Internet time that is forever! In this email I’d like to go over a couple of the reasons why we continue to make money every month, every year and every decade.

If you look at the principles we will outline in this post you may be able to do the same, as well!

The first thing to be aware of is that nothing stands still. What that means is you have to modify your approach to online business as time, circumstances and people change. Now that is not to say that the changes are necessarily massive, but it does mean that you should be alert to changes when they occur.

As an example we have been emailing you about video creation over the past few months because it is a “big thing” and it is getting bigger every month. It would be foolhardy to ignore that trend and it would be wise to get ahead of the curve with the trend.

Those who are taking action now will see the benefits later. Those who try to join in later will always be playing catch up.

Video is massive because people are now consuming video more frequently than ever before.

There are technical reasons why that happens, such as increased bandwidth and better technology in terms of mobile devices. Whatever the reason behind it, smart marketers are taking advantage of it as much as they can.

In our own business we found that using video increased sales so it was a pretty easy decision to continue doing so.

Another thing to be aware of – and to do – is that you can and should reuse and re-purpose your content, services and products to fit different niches and sub- niches.

For example if you have content and a product to do with weight loss a lot of the core information will be relevant to teenagers wanting to lose weight as well as mothers who have just had a baby.

A mistake that we see many inexperienced marketers make is that they try to cover every niche with a single product.

Targeted focus is more likely to result in revenue!

What you should be doing is re-purposing your content and your products to serve the specific needs of the more niche markets. This is something we do ourselves by creating products that serve a very niche target market from our existing technology.

In that way we get the best use of the technology that we develop but best of all we managed to meet the needs of a larger group of people by doing so.

Another way to continue to earn money on a long-term basis is to take advantage of whatever ranking techniques are working right now. Whatever you have done in the past, even if it works well, may need updating because the algorithm for ranking is something that changes regularly. If you’ve ever created a website and had it rank well you might have found that the ranking slips over time.

Using the latest techniques to bring the rankings back, or get a boost in the rankings, means you have more site visitors which gives the potential for more revenue.
Another way to continue to make money on a long-term basis is to focus on those needs which are evergreen.

There are certain things which people will do today, tomorrow and probably the rest of time. In the off-line world it’s obvious that the need for food is not going away anytime soon and people will be buying food for evermore.

If you look at the type of entertainment that people enjoy, even now, books and music and films are still near the top of the list. These are evergreen offerings.

Do you think people will be wanting to lose weight next year and the year after? They will!

That’s what makes weight loss an evergreen topic. There are many, many more such niches.

In our own business we have seen that there is a clear and ongoing need for content. Most people are busy and don’t have the time to develop as much content as they need all on their own. They need some assistance to help them. That need hasn’t changed in the last 15 years!

We provide tools and services for people to use and generate content more easily than they can do on their own. If you think about what that means, it means that every month and every year new people trying to break into online business are going to need the things that we offer.

If you choose wisely you will be able to offer your products and services to new people every day for a very long time. Particularly if you use the latest techniques, such as creating video, you will be able to reach a target market which is likely to continue growing over time.

Although it can be difficult to choose a specific niche when you’re first starting out it is perhaps one of the more fundamental aspects of online business for all of us.

When you have chosen well you will be able to split your niche into sub- niches that give you a bigger reach on the web and the bigger chance to earn revenue and continue to earn revenue.

Tomorrow we will post part two with follow-up to the information in this one!

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Why our loss of revenue will help YOU!

So we “lost” a ton of money.

And that loss is something that can benefit you.

Before I tell you what the loss was, let me tell you why this benefits you.

If you try to do everything from scratch, it can take you a long time to learn “how” to do those things.

When you start from scratch you have to solve every problem yourself. And sometimes you don’t even know there’s a problem. Starting at the beginning with everything you do takes a lot of time, effort and energy.

It’s called reinventing the wheel. And you don’t need to reinvent the wheel…

…if you allow *other* people to make mistakes so you can benefit from those mistakes.

There’s a big “IF” there, but we’ll cover that shortly.

Let’s get to the loss of money.

One of the multiple streams of revenue that we enjoy is from Adsense. And we have Adsense installed on a range of blogs in different niches.

That’s multiple streams of revenue via Adsense.

If you’re not aware of it, Adsense is a way to make money passively. Once you’ve set it up (the right way) it can produce income for you with very little ongoing work.

We have multiple sites in multiple niches all monetized with Adsense. Once we have the content set up (we use high quality content) we don’t really need to do any ongoing work. There’s the problem. It’s incredibly easy to “set and forget” when you’re monetizing via Adsense.

And that’s what we did. We set up sites, added hiqh quality content (very important to have high quality!), added a nice theme, added some images and then….we sat back.

Money came in on autopilot. Over time the money increased. We’re talking about many thousands of dollars a month. All earned passively, once the site is set up.

Very nice, right?

But here’s where the money loss comes in. We sat back. And sat back. And…sat back.

And then we had a thought. What if?

“What if we experimented with different types of ads and different layouts?”

“Could we earn a little extra money?”

Grow your revenue

This is called optimization. And it’s hard work.

You have to change one element then collect and analyze the results, compared to the original results. If the results are better, you now have a new baseline. But you don’t stop there. You start another optimization trial. Rinse and repeat – right?

And we were delighted when we saw some small percentage increases in revenue. Success!

On the next testing we tried something that sounds easy, but boy it was not! We’re all pretty technical people here so we’re not usually fazed by technical issues. What we did was add in something called link ads underneath the header of our sites.

It’s not easy! Every WordPress theme is different and they all seem to have their code in different places. We had to work out – for each theme – how to integrate the “link ads” so they appeared in the right place.

What happened next was unexpected. And it’s the reason this blog post exists. We would encourage you to learn how to modify your own blog themes so you can use “link ads”. When you see the figures below you’ll definitely want to!

We tripled (yes tripled) our RPM earnings
RPM has continued to increase. It’s now $12 RPM – if you don’t know what a good RPM is, even $3 RPM would be nice to have. $12 RPM is fantastic!
We earned $133,815.40 *just in Adsense revenue* by using the new ad layout.

Oh, one other thing before I forget – we made sure that our sites were mobile responsive – very important!

Let me explain the significance of what I’ve just shared. With no change to the content (no new content on the site) we earned 300% more just by changing ads layout. That’s all we did. To show you the difference, look at the image below.

But to increase by 300% took us some time, trial and effort to learn how to make the change.

You can do exactly the same with your sites. You can test, tweak and improve. The time and effort you spend working out how to incorporate link ads will be repaid *every single day* after you make the change.

It was worth our time – it’s a worthwhile investment of your time.

What do those link ads look like? The screenshots below show you how they look on a desktop machine. For privacy reasons we’ve blurred any information that will allow the unscrupulous to go steal our content!

You’ll notice that you can’t really miss the link ads. They’re right under the header image. Anyone viewing that site is going to see those ads first.

That’s what we want – ads in their face.

We also added two ad units in the sidebar of the blogs (check the screenshot). One other change we made was to remove extraneous information from our sites.

We WANT people to see the ads and have nothing much else to click on – if the only clickable items on a blog are the ads guess what?

It increases the chance that someone will click on the ad!

The video below shows you an example of where we made the change to the coding of our site themes. Every theme is a little different. Your site may need code elsewhere. But once you’ve found where that code goes for your theme you’re set.

It took us probably a week or so to get that integration and code just right.

It will probably take you longer, unless you’re very experienced.

Is it worth the effort? Is making 300% more revenue every day for a one-time effort worth it to you???

It was for us.

Of course now we make sure we build sites with link ads from day one. We have a best practise formula that we apply to every site we build (for ourselves or for clients).

And you should do the same. Test. Experiment. Learn.

Then replicate. Or, to coin a phrase that you’ve heard a million times before….

Rinse. And repeat.

Adsense is still a big money earner, despite what some people believe. It’s also one of the easiest ways to start making money online without your own product, or doing massive product research. The reason is simple. Google knows what adverts to show to the people coming to your site. Google knows how to squeeze as much money out of traffic as possible.

That’s one of the reasons we let Google optimize which adverts show on our sites. But we give Google a helping hand by optimizing where those ads show!

And the results (as shown above) speak for themselves.

Build your site correctly and optimize your Adsense ad placements and you’ll never look back!

If you haven’t yet tweaked your Adsense ad placement, learn from our mistake – we increased revenue by 300%. How much extra might you make?

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Three Step Business Formula

Want a sure-fire way to run a real business?

Here’s the summary version!

Read on for full details…

If you’ve been involved in Internet Marketing for any amount of time at all, then you’re very well aware of the constant barrage of gimmicks that come your way.

Every so-called “guru” has a new “secret” formula for making money.

Amazingly enough, they come up with new “secret” formulas on a regular basis — quickly asking you to forget about the OLD secret formula and move onto their next shiny object.

It’s how “gurus” make their money.

But the reality is that there is NO “secret” formula for making money — online or off.

There IS a formula, though.

And it’s a simple one. So simple that you may not really believe it can be this simple.

Step 1. Find a problem that needs to be solved.
Step 2. Find (or create) a solution to the problem.
Step 3. Offer the solution to the people with the problem.

Sounds simple and logical, right? It is. That’s the fundamental formula for all business done in the world.

So let’s talk about each step just a little bit.

Step 1. Find a problem that needs to be solved.

Look, everybody’s got problems. All you have to do is look around the world today. We’ve got problems galore!

But when you’re looking to create a business, you’re not looking for just ANY kind of problem. You need to find a problem that can be SOLVED — by you.

And not just any kind of solvable problem, either. You want to find a problem that people are willing to pay money to solve.

The best kind of problems to solve are the problems whose solution will either save the buyer some money, make the buyer some money, or give the buyer more happiness. People have a lot less resistance to buying solutions that fall into one of those three categories.

There’s a reason why the weight loss industry in the United States alone is valued at over $60 billion. That’s $60,000,000,000.00 – annually!

Think about it: people need to lose weight because it’s better for their health and helps them feel good about themselves.

Solving the weight loss problem for people hits all three things that make a problem worth solving. It saves them money (fewer doctor bills from poor health) it makes them money (to be blunt, people live longer and have better quality of life, so they accomplish more in their personal and secular lives), and it brings them more happiness (they look better and feel better about themselves).

The problem you want to sell a solution for HAS to hit at least one of those three things. To recap, the solution to the problem should  either 1) save a person some money, 2) make a person some money or 3) give a person more happiness.

Of course, not every problem people buy solutions to hit one of those three markers. It’s just a lot easier to sell those kinds of solutions, so I recommend — especially when you’re starting out — focusing on problems whose solutions fall into at least one of those categories.

Where can you discover problems people are having? One great place is at forums and discussion boards for the market you’re looking to get into.

Whether it’s weight loss, home improvement, travel, internet marketing or whatever, there are TONS of discussion boards and forums where people routinely go looking for solutions to their problems.

If you hang out in those places, too, you’ll become intimately familiar with the kinds of problems people in your market are facing. If one of those problems falls into at least one of the three categories we’ve been discussing, you’ve got a problem worth solving.

Step 2. Find (or create) a solution to the problem.

So you’ve found a problem that, when solved, would make or save people money (or make them happier). The next step is actually implementing the solution to that problem.

There are two ways to go about solving the problem.

1. You can find a solution that already exists and sell THAT solution.

2. You can create the solution yourself.

There are pros and cons to both methods.

Using an existing solution is easy because you can use an affiliate link, refer your visitors to that solution and get a commission when they buy.

There’s no investment to have the product created. There’s very little loss to you if it fails to sell. You don’t have to write the sales letter. You don’t have to manage the customer. You don’t do support. It’s easy. Those are some definite pros.

On the negative side, you don’t earn as much money from the product sale — just whatever the commission percentage or flat rate is. You also lose control over the sales process: you can’t improve the sales letter, you don’t control the additional offers and upsells and the like.

You also risk losing the customer long-term once they go into the pipeline of the product you refer them to. You can get around some of that by trying to get the person onto your email list BEFORE sending them through your affiliate link, but you still don’t hold the trust of the customer as much.

After all, who’s medical opinion do you trust more: the doctor or the friend who referred you to him (even if the friend is very knowledegable)? If the doctor sets you on a path other than the one your friend says you should go on… which path are you more likely choose? It’s obvious.

In the same way, being the creator of a product builds trust in you and the other products you recommend to your customers. Rightly or wrongly, people think more highly of professionals who have published books in their field. That’s just the way it is. So keep that in mind when choosing the route you want to take to solve the problem.

If you go the affiliate route, you can of course find products at the big affiliate outlets like ClickBank or Commission Junction and the like, but don’t limit yourself to that. There are a lot of products that have independent affiliate programs.

So look for the BEST product that solves the problem and see if THEY have an affiliate program or reseller program FIRST. The best products will usually have the best conversion rates, so you want to offer the best.

Step 3. Offer the solution to the people with the problem.

Of course, unless you can get the people WITH the problem looking at YOUR offer for a solution, it doesn’t do you any good to have the greatest solution in the world.

And I’m not talking about just ANY eyeballs viewing your solution. You need to TARGET your customers.

For instance, if you were selling term life insurance in only the state of Connecticut, should you try to rank #1 in Google for the phrase “life insurance” or #1 for the phrase “term life insurance connecticut”?

Let me tell you: the time, effort and money involved in ranking for the broad phrase “Life Insurance” would be HUGE! You would need a massive team of people working on your behalf to make that happen.

But all you offer is term life insurance in Connecticut. So even if you COULD rank for that broad, high traffic phrase, only a very small number of your visitors would need what you’re selling.

On the other hand, it’s much easier (comparitively) to rank for “term life insurance Connecticut”, and EVERY SINGLE ONE of your visitors needs EXACTLY what you’re selling!

So when it comes to traffic sources, it’s often better to think SMALL than it is to think BIG. Small means targetted, and targetted visitors mean high conversion rates and less time and money spent acquiring new sales.

The same is true with Pay Per Click traffic like AdWords or Facebook. Narrowing your audience to ONLY those who REALLY need your product will save you money, both because the clicks will be cheaper due to lower demand AND because your conversion rate will be higher due to better targetting.

There are, of course, other sources of traffic, too. Driving visitors from YouTube videos or articles posted to related authority sites can also drive traffic to your offer — but it HAS to be targeted or you’re wasting your efforts, or at the very least not using your time very efficiently.

To recap, running a successful business — online or off — is a simple three step formula:

Step 1. Find a problem that needs to be solved.
Step 2. Find (or create) a solution to the problem.
Step 3. Offer the solution to the people with the problem.

Notice that I said it’s SIMPLE.

I didn’t say it was easy! It’s not easy. It times time, effort, skill and training to know how to accomplish each step in the most effective, productive way possible.

The difference between simple and easy is that “simple” means everyone could do it, but not everyone will because it’s not “easy” – it takes work. If you’re willing to put in some work, you can do this no matter what your previous education, experience or income levels.

The only thing stopping you from earning your share of the global revenue pie is…you. What action will you take today to start earning your slice?

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Google is behind the times!

Ever wondered how much time and energy you’d need to write 30,000 stories a month?

Recently, nearly a million dollars ($1,000,000.00) was spent on a new scheme to make it unbelievably fast and easy to achieve.

The claim is that the end result will benefit media outlets. At least that’s the claim and it will start in 2018.

The idea is not to do away with human input totally. But it is to make less human input necessary. And when you find out who’s behind it you may be astonished!

Google has funded a project to create about 30,000 stories (articles) a month, to submit to various media sites, using automation to create the content!

Yes, I said Google and I said 30,000 articles a month!

How many writers do you think you need to pay to create 30,000 articles every month? And how much do you think it would cost you to do that?

The team that will be outputting 30,000 articles a month consists of five people. No, that is not a misprint. I said five people. Do the math – that’s 6,000 articles per person per month.

Or, if you prefer, it’s 300 articles per person per working day. Working 8 hours a day that’s 37.5 articles every hour – one every 1.6 minutes.

It’s been claimed by the editor of a news agency that it would be impossible to produce this many stories any other way. Well duh!

In effect, he’s saying what we’ve always said.

Here’s what we’ve always said, in the plainest language possible:

Use modern tools to save time and energy.

Use your saved time to achieve more and do more.

When you achieve more, you can earn more.

Not rocket science, is it? And the fact that Google is getting in on the whole “automated content creation” trend should make it 100% clear that it’s “OK” to do it. You just have to be sure you use the right sources. Add into the mix a little human “curation” and what you have is quantity AND quality.

When all is said and done, isn’t that what you want? Lots of information, but GOOD information? Isn’t that what your site visitors want as well?

It could not be clearer – big money and big names are getting behind automated content creation.

I have a question for you. Can you tell that I used an automated content creation tool to produce the first half of this email? No?

There’s the proof that a small amount of human input can and does make the difference to the output.

So how did I do it?

You’ve already heard from Josh about how to help rank your sites in Google with content. He also showed you some screenshots of the next generation content creation tool we’ve been working on.

I simply used our own tool to curate some content from a news report about Google’s involvement in automatic content creation!

Everything we develop we use ourselves. That’s one of the reasons our tools are so simple to use – we don’t want hassle and inconvenience!

On August 1st you’re going to get an opportunity to access our next generation content creation tool – I can tell you without hesitation that you’ll be blown away.

TextSuite is the culmination of 14 years work by Jon Leger and decades of real world experience that Josh and I bring to the table.

TextSuite is simple, fast and easy to use because we don’t want to use anything that isn’t those things.

We’re fussy, we’re busy and we’re demanding! And we’re especially demanding of ourselves. 

We expect tools to make life easier for us. TextSuite has been built with that in mind, front and center.

The result is something that will benefit you every day of the month, every month of the year.

You already know that content is king.

But we know that most people are not used to producing huge amounts of content, fast.

On August 1st that all changes.

Your output will no longer be constrained by your input.

On August 1st TextSuite will put the power back into YOUR hands. You’ll be able to compete with people with deep pockets, assistants and experience.

Finally, the balance of power will be restored.

Keep watching for more details of TextSuite, because it is literally transformative and it’s coming your way August 1st!

p.s. Want to see a short video of this incredible tool? CLICK HERE

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The “Unlucky” Lucky Man

So, if you’ve ever been to a beach in Europe you might have heard of the so-called “Lucky Lucky man”. I don’t know where the name comes from, but keep it in mind for later.

These lucky lucky men walk up and down the beach all day long, trying to sell fake branded items like sunglasses, baseball caps, jewelry, perfumes – basically anything they think will sell to tourists.

Part of the “charm” of the experience is that you get to haggle them down from their initial price to a price you think is low enough not to refuse.

I’ll come back to the lucky lucky man shortly.

Right now I’m on vacation and there are several of these guys on the beach outside our hotel. But for a couple of reasons, this trip is not as pleasant as it could be.

The first reason is that I’ve been silly and managed to get heatstroke from too much exposure to the sun. Staying in a quiet, dark room with air conditioning on full is not so much fun as enjoying the sights and sounds of a new place. I have nobody to blame but myself for the heatstroke.

But the other reason is probably even worse. I’ve kept wanting to tear myself away from the sea and sand – and good company – to check emails and do bits of work and even to write this blog post!

I was planning to write this post last week, but being confined to bed delayed me.

Not the best way to get some rest 🙂

The reason I’m telling you this is that in my previous post I explained that there is a kind of internet addiction that hits many marketers and would-be marketers.

And it is not confined to newbies! Even 10 year veterans can find it very difficult to resist the lure of “activity”.

I certainly find it hard to resist the siren call of the computer. I’m sitting here in my hotel room writing this at 10pm and wondering if I have enough images!

So what’s the story about the unlucky lucky man? On our first day here we were on the beach and I was watching how one of these guys was working. He basically approached every single person as he walked down the beach.

The only way he could earn twice as much money was to do twice as much work, in effect.  And then I saw something that happened.

He approached a couple of tourists who proceeded to examine most of his merchandise and ask him tons of questions. As he answered them other prospects passed by.

At the end of the time the tourists told him they wanted none of his goods. No sale. His opportunity to sell to others had diminished by the 20 or so minutes he had spent on a failed sale.

The problem for this lucky lucky guy is that he cannot really work smarter. He has to work harder to earn more. Even if he used his best intuition about a tourist, he can never really tell if any particular one will buy, or how much they will spend. He has to spend the time with them to try to make the sale.

In the previous post I talked about working smarter, not harder. Sadly, many of us really do fall into the trap – over and over again – of trying to work harder when we really, really should be working way smarter. I’ll give you an example of that in a moment.

Have you ever fallen asleep at your computer? If so, you’re not alone. I have, on more than one occasion.

But my lucky lucky friend was unlucky because he got no sale, despite the time he put into his pitch.

His hard work did not pay off. Another time, another tourist and it might have paid off big. But he can’t really do any market research in such a situation. He simply has to work as hard as he can, to earn as much as he can.

And time, for all of us, is the one thing that you get an absolutely fixed amount of. You get 24 hours a day, same as me.

As for me, the constant pull towards doing “something” on the computer is very hard to ignore, even at those times when there really is no need to be in front of it.

The only way to avoid this trap, that I’ve seen work, is to be ruthless. I want to give you an example of that. Jonathan Leger is actually ruthless (he doesn’t know I’m writing this!) .

No not ruthless in an “evil corporate CEO” type of way. He’s ruthless with finding the most efficient solution to any problem. That takes hard work to find, ironically. But once he’s found that solution he then ruthlessly uses it and avoids wasted effort.

It’s actually an elegant solution, because it capitalizes on hard work to find the easy way to do something – and then rinses and repeats the easy way!

When you’re not sure whether a product or service will sell well, you could develop it fully and then hope for the best. Or you could be pragmatic and test the waters first, before you put serious time and energy into it.

Jon’s going to be doing that with a new service we’ll be offering later this week. Why spend a ton of time on a fancy website, management systems and back-end coding before we are sure enough people want it?

If interest is sufficiently high to warrant it, you put in the time and effort to make it work, then you streamline it until it’s a well oiled machine with extremely high efficiency.

The same is true of any of your internet marketing efforts. Many times you will spend effort and energy on something before you are sure it warrants it. Testing can help you to avoid making the mistake my lucky lucky man made – you can avoid trying to sell where there is no customer, or no customer who is actually interested.

When you do that, the time you save can then be reinvested so you can do more of what works.

You’ve heard this before, right? There’s a famous phrase:

“Rinse and repeat.”

Are you rinsing and repeating? If you are, you may just be luckier than the unlucky lucky man I saw earlier this week. I hope for your sake you put as much energy into working smarter, as you do into working harder.

The investment in yourself will pay dividends in the years to come.

 

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More Money Won’t Make You Happier

The reason for this blog post is a series of events that have changed what I do and more importantly, why. I’ll expand on that in a moment.

Here’s a very short introduction video (apologies for the occasional blurriness, I set the wrong settings on a new camera I’m testing out) :

As one of the team at Prosperative I hear a lot of comments from our members and general subscribers. Many of you work really hard to achieve your goals and that’s great. But my contention – after many years of experience – is that maybe we focus on the wrong goal sometimes.

Based on the things I hear from the people I speak to, I think it’s true.

So what might be the “wrong” goal? I think for many of us it’s that dream of “making money online”. Nothing wrong with making money. Nothing wrong with making lots of money.

But is that really the dream? Really?

Doesn’t that sometimes just drive you crazy, chasing and working for what is, when all is said and done, a dream?

Wouldn’t you really rather have the freedom to do the things you love?

Do you love travel? Photography? Fishing? Spending time with family?

All those things are activities that are end results. They are what money makes possible. You need (some) money to do them. They are what I would call true end goals. Money is merely the means by which you can have them.

For me, photography is probably my number one hobby. And it can be expensive, but what it creates is priceless. That first photo of your first child?

How can you put a price on that? Its value will increase with time.

The photo of a family member getting married? You have to be there to take it.

The last photo of a parent before they pass? How precious would that be as you grow older?

Fishing trips with friends? If that’s your thing you will remember the trip long after you forget how much it cost you to take the trip.

The money is just a means to an end.

Money is just a way to make other things happen – the good things that we all want deep down.

So what’s the point I’m making? Let me give you a little personal history before I get to that point. Whatever job I’ve done (I’ve had several careers in my life) I’ve always put the job first, second and last. I’ve done that because I thought it was the right way to earn the money to do the things I wanted to do.

The catch was – oh boy here’s the sting – in spending all my time earning the money I left no time to enjoy it.

How many times have I done that? Every time.

It’s frustrating to look back and see the same patterns play out. That’s not 100% true – if you generate patterns that work to enhance your life, those you want to keep seeing.

But you don’t want to keep seeing the “mistaken” patterns. Those are not welcome. No, you want to learn from them.

In the video I talk about an internet addiction.

Many of you have told us that you sometimes feel like you’re on a treadmill trying to keep up.

I want to ask a cheeky question: Do you sometimes value the attempt to earn a few more (or a few hundred/thousand) dollars more than you value your own time?

I’ve done that many times. I know some of you have too. I hear regular tales of people staying up until ridiculous hours, trying this new thing and that new thing. I hear tales of people who spend a fortune on buying every shiny new object, but won’t spend a cent on training that helps them work smarter not harder.

Life probably won’t be one long vacation for most of us. Frankly, I’d hate it if it were.

like doing what I do. I love doing what I do.

But I sometimes find myself doing more of it than I should, or need to do.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I’d get more out of life spending a few hours with family and friends than chasing another $100.  The money will be spent and gone soon enough. The memories of time well spent with family and friends will never leave you.

I’ve canceled so many family vacations because work “needed me”, back when I worked for “the man”. I’m ashamed to admit that. I thought I was doing the right thing.

I wasn’t. It was the wrong thing. The extra money I made is scant consolation for the loss of family time. I can make more money. I can never get back that time I lost.

Do I still make mistakes like that? Well not so much these days, but I do find myself slipping into addiction mode and wanting to do one more thing, or try one new shiny object. I know I’m not alone in looking up at the clock and wondering how Monday evening suddenly turned into Tuesday morning.

Be under no illusion – I think it’s important to work hard. But first work smarter. When the Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of your effort may only bring you 20% of your results, why not focus on the 20% of effort that brings you 80% of your results?

To do that you have to learn, test, analyze, adjust, rise and repeat.

When you look back over your life, do you think you will remember the $478.34 you earned with a particular affiliate promotion?

Or do you think you’ll remember the sunsets and barbecues you shared with loved ones?

Will you count your dollars, or count your blessings?

I have one final point for you to consider:

When you’re chasing making money online, do you have a very clear idea of what it is you want that money to achieve? Many of the people I’ve asked that question to struggle to give a comprehensive answer.

“So I can do what I want to do.”

“So I have freedom.”

“I want to fire my boss.”

All very cool – but why? Why fire your boss? So you are your own boss, or so you can vacation when you want to, visit with family when you want to – even just to kick of your shoes and feel the grass under your feet on a sunny day, when you want to.

The saying “time is money” works both ways. As I mention in the video, you can use your money to release time for the things you want. But you can only do that if you stop chasing money long enough to enjoy the time!

Finally, I will share this with you. Over the last few weeks I could have made some nice chunks of money spending all my time setting up various affiliate offers and emailing my own subscribers.

I didn’t do that.

What I did instead was comfort my daughter when she was assaulted (everything fine now and she wasn’t hurt, but of course emotionally distraught). At that point the thought of worrying about making money was completely out of the window. Who would put the mighty dollar before their own child?

I wasn’t sure whether to share that with you, but the truth is that I was able to be there for my daughter because I make enough money to be able to do so (working smarter so I have very flexible time). But frankly, what parent would even think about making money at a time like that? Even if you had a boss who was a real idiot about time off, you would put your child first, right?

Some things are self-evidently more important than making money. That was one of them.

I’ve entertained relatives and friends from the US who were attending a family wedding.

I cooked several very delicious (I’m biased!) meals for our guests.

I attended a family wedding and was able to give it my full attention and enjoy every second of it.

I created a special family video of the wedding, with a ton of special effects.

I danced with my wife many times.

And I “lost” the money I could have made if I’d put a lot of effort into the affiliate promotions.

Do I care that I didn’t make that money? No, not one bit.

The whole point of money for me is to enable me to do the things I want to do. During the last few weeks making extra money would have cost me a lot of time – a poor bargain.

What do YOU want money to do for you? The clearer you can answer that question, the less likely you are to fall victim to the internet IM addiction cycle.

Please let us know your story. We want to hear from you. Do you sacrifice to try to get ahead in this IM game? Are the sacrifices you make worth it to you? Or do you feel that sometimes it shouldn’t be this hard? Let us know.

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More Money – Less Traffic (Training Series 2/2)

increase website conversionsEarlier this week I published a blog post explaining my own personal revelation, about 10 years ago, that changed my business and multiplied my income. That revelation was that there are websites out there making thousands of dollars off of less than 100 visitors a day while others are making next to nothing off of hundreds of thousands of visitors.

In it I stated that there are three primary differences between these two different groups of sites that make up the gap in income:

  1. Niche Selection
  2. Monetization
  3. Conversion Optimization

We covered numbers one and two in that blog post. If you missed it, click here now to read it. Today I want to discuss number three, conversion optimization!

While it is true that good niche selection and monetization are the foundation of a profitable site, optimizing a site for optimal conversions is often times overlooked in favor of attempting to drive more traffic to the site.

Let me give you the example of a site audit I did a while back for a client of ours. This client offered a 1-on-1 personal coaching service. Her primary objective was to get phone calls. However, when I landed on her site her phone number was almost unnoticeable. I had to look hard to find it.

SHE is the product. Her knowledge and expertise is what people are paying for. But the only thing on her homepage about HER was a little block of text in the footer with a small image of her.

So, she is the product and receiving a phone all is the objective. Yet, she wasn’t getting phone calls despite some traffic. There was very little info about her on the homepage and her phone number was not noticeable at all.

This may seem obvious, but you may be shocked at how many sites I see on a regular basis that have similar problems.

What is the objective of your site?

If you could force every visitor to do something, what would it be? Your answer to that question should mold the structure of your site. If it is to call you, put a big “CALL ME NOW AT 1-555-555-5555” call to action in the most prominent spot, above the fold, of your pages. That call to action should smack the user in the face.

Do you want people to click your Adsense ads? Put a big Adsense unit directly below every post title, in the middle of your article and at the end of it. You may also want to consider using Adsense LinkAds in the menu area at the top of your site, which does look a little spammy, but can significantly increase conversions.

If your main objective is to build a list, show them a big popup a few seconds after the site loads, or, send the traffic to a squeeze page (basically a short “sales page” with nothing to sell… just an opt-in form rather than a buy button). Then add a static opt-in form in a prominent spot on the site as well.

These are only a few examples, but the point is to consider the objective and act on it, then test different locations, formats, calls to action, etc.

Page Speed

Another thing that can significantly increase or reduce conversions, which I think is also overlooked by many, is page speed! If your site takes 3+ seconds to load, you’re missing out. People WILL click back if it takes more than a couple seconds (I do it ALL the time).

It’s a fast paced world and people are busy. If you’re using WordPress install a good caching plugin like WP Super Cache. Do everything you can to make your site load faster. It REALLY does make a difference.

Mobile Optimization

mobile optimizationIt took me a long time before it finally smacked me in the face that for many niches mobile users have outnumbered desktop users. That means you must LOOK at your mobile site and optimize it.

When your site is loaded on a smart phone (look at more than just YOUR phone using something like MobileTest.me) what do you see? Check individual posts/pages and the homepage. If your main objective is ad clicks, are ads showing? Are they displaying correctly? Are they viewable immediately without having to scroll? Is there a bunch of wasted white space above the fold that is pushing the content down?

If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re seriously losing conversions in this day and age.

How targeted is your site content to your traffic?

The more targeted the better! How you do this will vary depending on your traffic source and means of attracting the traffic, but the more targeted the traffic, the better. If you can’t optimize the quality of the flow of traffic, you could optimize the actual landing page(s) to be as targeted to the traffic you receive as possible.

This may seem about as basic as it gets, but believe me, ALL KINDS of internet marketers ignore it and just focus on more traffic.

Choose a profitable niche, monetize it correctly, build a nice looking site with good content, get these four things right and you’ll be well on your way to making more money with less traffic!

Need help on your journey? If you haven’t already, click here to be a Prosperative member, where we’ll answer all of your questions and give you the tools to succeed!

To Your Success,

 

 

 

Josh Spaulding
Senior Strategist
Prosperative, LLC

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More Money – Less Traffic (Training Series 1/2)

I remember the first few websites I created back in 2004-2005. I was more concerned about getting traffic than converting the traffic I was already getting into revenue.

I didn’t build a list. I didn’t test. I was 100% focused on getting traffic. And though traffic is obviously crucial, I know now that my imbalance cost me a lot of time and money.

Conversion Rate Optimization So what have I learned over the years? Primarily this:

There are websites out there making thousands of dollars off off of less than 100 visitors a day. There are other websites out there making next to nothing off of hundreds of thousands of visitors a day!

There I was, fighting an up-hill battle month after month, trying to get more and more traffic, while most of it didn’t produce any income. It came in and went right back out, like water through a strainer.

What’s the difference between the two types of sites I mentioned above?

Three things primarily:

  1. Niche Selection
  2. Monetization
  3. Conversion Optimization

Today we’re going to discuss niche selection and monetization, which go hand-in-hand. In the near future I’ll be discussing the other two.

Niche selection is the first decision you have to make in the site building process and there are different monetization options for different niches, so they must be considered together.

This, in a sense, is the foundation of your site, so you need to get it right!

There are a few things you want to consider when determining the niche/market of your site:

  1. What are the monetization options?

    This is probably thmonetizatione biggest question you need to ask yourself! If you’re selling fidget spinners (a little toy that is very hot right now in the U.S.) for $5 a piece at low volumes, and your profit margin is slim, you’re going to make very little money. If you’re selling real estate leads on million dollar homes you may be talking thousands of dollars per conversion!

    This carries over to Adsense. If it’s a content site and your monetization is through Google Adsense, you could get a few dollars per click on a real estate site, but only 2 cents per click on a site that sells $5 items (for example).You also need to make sure there are good monetization options available! There are not good affiliate offers available in every niche. Adsense isn’t profitable in every niche. You can’t sell leads in every niche. Some sites just don’t have many good monetization options.

    KNOW what you’re going to be promoting before you build the site.
  2. How am I going to get traffic in this market / niche?

    You could always go with Google, but for the average IMer, SEO is harder than ever, there are no guarantees you’ll ever get much and it takes time.There are many traffic sources out there, but you need to know exactly what traffic source(s) you’re going to focus your efforts on and you need to know the quality of that traffic. Who are they and what are they looking for specifically? Do they have money? Do they spend money online or do they go down the road to their local store to buy what you’re selling?

    You need to consider traffic quality OVER traffic quantity. 100 visitors who are moderately interested in weight loss coming to your ketogenic weight loss site are far less valuable than 20 visitors who are specifically looking for info on ketogenic weight loss. You also want to consider how the traffic is going to interact with the monetization you’ve chosen. One monetization type may be better, or worse, for one particular traffic source. You NEED to consider these things.

    These decisions are very, very important and could mean the different between spending a few hours to make a few thousand dollars and wasting many hours to make little to no money.
  3. How am I going to either retain the traffic or get a steady flow of traffic without constantly working to maintain the traffic flow?

    If a thirsty retain website trafficperson plugs the hole in his cup, he can take a drink anytime he wants without having to run back to the sink after every drink. Build a list! That’s the #1 traffic retention method, and it works.

    Popups have proven to be the best way to do it for us. If you sell products get those buyer emails… they’re the best ones because they’ve proven to buy from you (they’ll probably buy again, but not if you don’t retain them).

    You don’t want to be the thirsty guy who has to walk back to the sink every time he’s thirsty because his water leaks out the hole in his cup every time he fills it up. Don’t be that guy.

Choose a good, profitable niche and the right monetization, and the foundation is set for maximum profits!

Click here for 2/2: conversion optimization!

To Your Success,

Josh Spaulding Senior Strategist Prosperative, LLC

 

 

 

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