The Prosperative Blog

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?

Read More

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?

Read More

Show, Don’t Tell

Many people focus on the wrong thing when producing content. We’ve all done it. When you’re trying to understand the complexities of codecs, file formats, recording formats, audio levels, lighting levels and all the other technical details, it’s easy to get bogged down in the “How”, rather than the “What”.

(Even worse, you might get bogged down only trying to make money rather than sharing quality information!)

The “What” is your content. What you’re actually talking about and covering in the video. The “How” is how you made the video – what equipment and software you’ve used.

In the video below (it’s only 10 minutes long) I cover a couple of examples to show why the “What” of your content is way more important than the “How”. When you’ve finished watching the video please leave a comment – better still let us know about your own videos. We’d love to check them out!

 

Whatever system you use to create videos, focus on your content first. When you have that part right you’ll be surprised how much user engagement you can get, even with relatively poor video quality. People watch video for the information they’re searching out – at least for the kind of videos we’re talking about in Internet Marketing.

Videos can help to sell products. They can help you to generate more revenue. It’s unlikely that video is going away any time soon – isn’t it time you put the power of video to use in your business?

For those who would prefer to read what I was saying, here’s an approximate transcript. The comments I read out are not transcribed here, but you should get the gist of the entire video:

This first example is a video review of a techy gadget. That’s a popular type of video on Youtube – it doesn’t have to be just physical tech gadgets of course.

You can review software products, digital items, courses, places, events – you name it, there’s probably someone on Youtube wanting to find out more about it. As an affiliate it’s a great way to promote an item with a detailed and ethical review of that item.

This channel – I’m hiding the details because I want to use it as an example rather than homing in on the particular video maker – has a very large number of subscribers. You can see the channel has nearly 200,000 subscribers – clearly they’re doing something right. I’ve watched the video. It’s only 8 and a half minutes long. Near the end is a small amount of sample video footage created with this device.

That’s where the problem comes in. The sample video – which is really what most people would come here to see – does not show that the item is any good.

There is a disconnect between what is being said (“it’s a great gadget for smooth video”) compared to what is being shown. All that does is frustrate people. They come looking for an example of how good this device is because they are thinking of buying it.

They are shown poor quality video samples, but told it produces much better video. If that’s the case, why not show the better quality? Why not take the extra few minutes to add some extra sample footage to this video? Don’t tell me that the steak in the kitchen is better than the one you just served me – give me the good steak! This channel creator definitely puts a lot of work into the videos.

That just means it’s a little odd to cut short what could be a great review for the sake of a small amount of extra work. Ultimately this video fails because it tells us, rather than shows us. Here’s a couple of reactions.

Notice that the channel creator argues back – that’s also interesting because the commenters are telling him how they could improve his content to keep them happy. That’s great feedback, but he seems to take it personally.

Let’s read them …..

When you’re looking for reviews, don’t you want the good and the bad so you can make up your own mind? Don’t you want to see some kind of proof of what is being said? So in this case the lesson is “show, don’t tell”. Some of you might have heard that as one of the basic story telling maxims – and never forget that you’re telling a story in your video, even if it’s a true life story.

Let’s find out why that’s important before we move onto the next video.

Wikipedia…

Now here’s an interesting one. The actual video isn’t important so much, since it’s just talking about what kind of equipment would be “perfect” for making videos. Since everyone has a different opinion, that argument is going to last forever.

Let’s take a look at the comments though and how this content creator reacts to negative feedback.

Reading comments…. Asking for ideas from the audience. What a concept! But it shows a willingness to engage with the audience and look at the follow up response! Great, right? What’s the lesson here. Well I guess it’s a simple one. So many people feel that they can’t produce quality content without an “if only”.

“If only I had a better camera”

“If only I had a better computer”

“If only I had a better face/speaking voice/accent/age/house/background….fill in your own blank”!!!

The medium – how you deliver the content – is the least important part. A great story is still a great story if it’s printed on a page, turned into a Hollywood movie, or told to someone over a campfire – let’s say!

Don’t focus exclusively on the how of delivering your content.

Focus first, second and third on what that content is – what does it offer the viewer or reader. If you haven’t yet made videos you really should start. And the best place to start is by examining what you want to share with the world. Once you have that right, you’re good to go. Have you made any videos? Why don’t you share them with us? We’d love to see them!

 

Read More

Make Your Videos Even Better

If you’re not yet making and using videos in your online business, you should be. There’s no question that they help to engage your subscribers and customers more effectively.

In this post I want to talk about some simple lessons that will help you make better videos.

Why should you listen to me anyway? Who am I to tell YOU how to improve your videos?

Actually in this case the advice is based on a magazine interview with a big-name director: Guillermo Del Toro.

Before we get into the advice part, let’s consider the fact that all around you are lessons in how to improve your video making. All you have to do is pay close attention to adverts, films, news programs. Look for elements that appear regularly. Examples include

  • Is music used?  When? What volume? Does the volume change?
  • Are on-screen graphics used? When?
  • Do images and audio match?
  • Is the audio crisp and clear, or is it muffled and awkard to hear? How does that relate to the experience you have watching?
  • What techniques are used on shopping channels and infomercials to get you to buy? Do they show price before listing the item features? Why would one channel show price and an informercial leave it as long as possible to show price?
  • Are the presenters “known” to the audience, or total strangers? How does that affect how they have to present their message?
  • Are “experts” interviewed by another person, giving conferred authority to the interviewee? When is that technique not used?

It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. If you look for the techniques and strategies used you’ll see them used time and again. You’ll learn to spot them a mile away. At that point they become second nature for you.

So what does Guillermo Del Toro have to say?

Interviewed about his love of computer games, Guillermo raised some points that relate directly to the user experience.

He’s talking about video games, but video is video, so let me quote his points and then draw the lessons from them.

I hate bad voice actors…I can’t stand it.

Now of course you may not like the sound of your own voice – most people don’t when they hear it recorded. The real issue is surprising. Poor quality audio quite simply makes the video look worse! It’s not intuitive at all, but good quality audio makes a video look better.  Sound affects the viewer perception of the image.

Weird, right? But for as little as $40-$60 you can make sure your audio is crisp, clean, clear and convincing.

So rule #1 is make sure you sound good, to look good (even if you’re not on camera yourself).

If you’ve ever watched a Youtube video with poor quality sound, you’ll know how annoying it can be even if the video itself is great. So pay attention to sound for better visuals.

Rule #1a is sound effects and music can enhance the quality of your audio enormously.

Pick the right “feel” of music and you’re more than halfway home.

Of course you have to be careful to make sure you have the rights to use music you choose. You can’t just download the latest hit from the internet and do what you like with it. You have to use music that gives you permission to use it in your videos.

Make sure you always check your usage rights in all assets, whether visual or audio.

What’s the second thing Guillermo talks about?

I hate cutscenes. I like gaming (the visual). I don’t want you to cut away and show me a junky little film in the middle.

Wow, this one takes a bit more dissecting. Remember he’s talking about gaming and I’m talking about video making. But let’s examine what he means.

As you watch a video there comes a point (hopefully, if you’ve done your job right) where your viewer is immersed in what you are saying and showing.

They are “in” the video. If you have some kind of visual disconnect within your video, you spoil the experience for your audience. Think of adverts in the middle of your favorite show, just at the good bit. They cut to commercial.

Does that please you? Or does it frustrate you that you have to wait for the resolution to the cliffhanger you just saw? For most people that enforced cut is not what they want.  It’s a nuisance.

So the lesson here is to avoid having a cognitive disconnect with your audience. Stay on message and do not jerk your audience out of the narrative structure that you’re trying to create.

We’re aiming for a smooth journey (99% of the time – there are exceptions) from point A to point Z. Whether that’s establishing the need for your product to the purchase point, or training how to boot up software to using it, the flow should be logical.

Nobody likes traffic jams, right? A disconnect in your video message is like a traffic jam. Unwelcome.

Disruption is powerful, but it needs to be handled carefully. Unless you know your particular video requires it, don’t break the viewer’s concentration. Don’t drop a stupid little segment into the middle of an otherwise great experience for your viewers.

An example of that is the mid-stream ads you sometimes see on Youtube channel. Just as you’re getting to a point you want to pay attention to, boom, a break and an advert. Thanks, Youtube – not!

These are just two points to pay attention to when you’re making videos. There are many more besides these, but these are pretty key points.

Let’s recap:

Keep the audio crisp and clear. Your video will look better!

Keep to the point. Your audience’s attention won’t wander away!

You don’t have to use video for everything. I haven’t made a video for this post, for example. In my case it’s because it would be difficult to make good audio today – I have construction work right outside my home and the audio would be terrible. It’s likely to be another week before that’s finished.

But when you do create video – and you should almost certainly create more than you do already – please pay attention to at least these two points. Those alone will put you ahead of the vast majority of amateur video makers.

 

 

Read More

Increase Your Happiness

In this blog post I’m going to tell you how to be happier. It’s really simple.

working hard is hard workWork Smarter, Not Harder – because working hard is hard work.

There, easy advice, wasn’t it?

What, you want more details? Ok, let’s jump right in.

A couple of days ago I was making the tutorial videos for our new service, TextSuite. It’s the next generation content creation machine. That’s not hyperbole, that’s simply a statement of fact.

In looking for the best way to demonstrate the incredible power of the tool, I found an article on the BBC.co.uk website. It was the perfect article for me to demonstrate TextSuite with. But…it was also a provocative (to some) and thought provoking article about happiness.

Let’s just take a side road for a moment. You’ve all heard that content is king. You’ve heard it for years and years. It happens to be true. But if you ever worked for a king you’d probably find it a very stressful, tiring and demanding job. Producing content that is king is hard work. Yet you have to produce and keep producing it to keep the search engine mega-kings happy. That’s before we even consider your site visitors!

So how does this relate to the article on the BBC website? I’ll summarize it for you, but you can read the full details a bit later.

  1. Many of us, particularly in the developed countries are “time poor”. In fact it’s been described as a “time famine”.
  2. Even those with deep pockets and healthy bank balances don’t seem to like to spend money to have work done for them.
  3. When scientists conducted tests, they found that spending money to release time created more happiness and less stress than spending money on “things”.

It’s probably not a huge shock to most of us. Having more time to do the things we love is something we all pretty much agree on. What we don’t all agree on is the best way to do it.

We’ve seen people spend a fortune on web hosting, powerful computers and even training courses. But for some reason many people will not pay a few dollars to save themselves hours of time. In fact some people will earn less in an hour than they could generate by spending that same amount elsewhere.

You want to do well in the search engines? You need content. 

You want to have time with your family? You need to work less.

You want your visitors to stick around on your site? You need great content.

You want to choose the life you lead? You get the idea – work smarter, not harder.

The mythical “make money while sitting on a beach” scenario is something many aspire to. It tells us what people really want out of life. Time. Time to do the things you want to do – not the things you have to do to survive.

So if you need great content on a regular basis, how do you produce it currently? Do you sit and painstakingly research everything from scratch? Do you steal other people’s content unchanged and hope nobody will notice? Do you plan great content, but never get around to producing it?

What is your story? Does your strategy work for you?

Over the years we’ve found that outputting – actually publishing – huge amounts of content has a simple result. It produces revenue. It’s hardly a secret. But we do have an edge, because we use the tools that we create. When we create a tool we tweak it to give us as much power and ease of use as we want. We want to work smarter, not harder too!

TextSuite is the culmination of more than a decade’s experience of content creation and automation. I’m producing this content using TextSuite and at the foot of this article you’ll see the demonstration article I created.

Let’s revisit that whole scientists and happiness thing. How does that fit into what I’m saying here? What the scientists discovered was that spending a small amount of money to have a small task done (thus releasing time) reduces stress and improves happiness.

You know you need to produce lots of content. You know you have to do it regularly. You probably stress about it. You are not alone.

So let me pose a question to you. If you could spend a small amount of money to help you create great content faster, more easily and more often, would that help reduce your stress levels? Would it help you achieve your revenue goals by publishing content? Would it be something that could make a difference in your life beyond the cost itself?

The scientists would tell you “yes”. They ran the experiments on a number of simple tasks that people don’t like doing. Offloading them, or making them easier, lead to increased happiness.

Beneath this article is the article I created using TextSuite.

As you’ll see when you read it, it’s a unique article that currently does not exist anywhere else on the web. The content itself is unique.

  1. It was easy to do – so I was more likely to do it.
  2. It was prompted by an online article. That gave me inspiration without too much sweat equity!
  3. It used just one of the many tools within TextSuite, so I can repurpose it in the future.

I don’t know your particular story. But I do know that those who buy services that save them time – and then use those services – have more time to do the things they love, or more time to do more of the things that earn them money.

It’s your call. You can save a few dollars and do everything yourself. Or you can take the advice of the scientists who have demonstrated how to improve your life. Use money to buy time so you can release your own time. Use money to make your life easier, not with “things”, but with services and tools that free your time.

Very few of us these days would consider walking 5 miles to the store. We go in our cars. We buy cars to be able to go farther, faster, with less effort. It just makes sense, doesn’t it?

So why do so many people struggle to do the things they need to do online?

That doesn’t make sense – not when investing a few dollars and cents make much more sense.

Think about that the next time you’re struggling to produce content for your sites. There is a solution. And August 1st you’ll learn more about it.

Click here to read the article that inspired me.

Here’s the plain text article I created using TextSuite:

Although it sounds amazing, it’s now claimed that spending your money can increase your happiness. Read on to find out how and why!

An experiment was conducted with a simple goal. To see if spending money to save time (on boring tasks) could make someone happier than spending that money on material goods instead.

As most of us know (and psychologists tell us) stress can create anxiety, depression and unhappiness.

But even if you’re already well off, you may feel hesitant to spend money on having things *done*, instead of on *buying* things.

Surveys suggest that if you free up your time, you’re more likely to be happier. Paying for jobs to be done to save you time may very well improve your satisfaction in life!

Quality of Life

In countries where income rises, something slightly weird happens. It even has a weird name. There’s a thing called time famine. People are literally starved of time and it’s stressing them out. They have no quality of life.

So a test has been carried out to see if spending money actually does work to make people happier 🙂

The test actually included millionaires, as well as every day people. The survey looked into how often people spent their money to release (or buy) time.

It seems that fewer than 1 in 3 of us (or those tested, anyway), regularly spend money to save themselves time. Rather than spend the money, they put up with having limited time for themselves.

Here’s a key fact though: Of those who did spend money on having tasks and jobs done, they scored more highly on life satisfaction.

For two weeks a test was carried out, although the small scale of the test means it’s not conclusive. It is, however, interesting.

The test group were given a simple instruction. For one week, spend a small amount (around $40) on something that would have the effect of giving them more time. Some would pay for lunch to be delivered to them, instead of going out. Some paid local kids to do small jobs for them. Some paid for cleaning. They were all small scale tasks, not costing a great deal of money.

For the other week, the group were instructed to buy “things”. That could have been a book, some clothes, drinks, anything that was material.

What do you think the results were? It’s probably no big surprise that spending to buy free time made people feel less stressed.

Think about that for a moment. Instead of stressing over doing the laundry, you could pay to have it done and spend the time with your family in the park. Or go sailing, painting, playing sports – whatever your free time activities are.

So nobody can create time. We all have 24 hours in a day. But money can be used to buy someone else’s time to free up some of your time. It seems like it’s a pretty effective strategy.

If you hate doing something, or just get stressed out about it, is there someone you could pay to do that task for you? If you do, it might just remove that stress from your life. Scientists who tested this seem to think that’s a good way of using money.

Many people feel like they have a second job when they get home. There is so much to do in the average household, especially if you have kids. That can be a powerful stressor.

But if it’s true that using money to can increase your happiness, isn’t that a wonderful thing to know?

After all, would you rather have another $40 item cluttering up your house, or would you rather spend time doing exactly what you love? I know my answer. What’s yours?

Read More

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

Read More

Produce more Articles – Rank higher in Google!

That’s right, the more articles you can produce, the higher you can rank in Google! If you remember, last year we were getting a LOT of top 10 rankings in Google by simply providing articles to website owners in the niche of the site we were promoting.

The site we used as an example was CabbageRoses.net which remains in the #1 spot in Google for its primary keyword, “cabbage roses” as well as many other related keywords.

Though we haven’t been talking about that method much, it is working as well as ever and we have subscribers who, to this day, are achieving top 10 ranking after top 10 ranking!

The reason I bring this up today is because we are coming up on a big launch on August 1st. The launch is for TextSuite.com which we believe to be the ULTIMATE content tool and it is PERFECT for this method. To be clear, this tool is perfect for just about any method that requires lots of quality content in just about any niche, but this particular method of building links will be much easier with this tool.

Here’s the method in a nutshell:

  1. Start doing Google searches for keywords in your niche. Compile a list of emails and contact form URL’s of sites in your niche that rank for those queries. If they’re ranking on the first few pages, a link from those sites would be valuable, no matter what metrics you look at to determine authority.
  2. Send a short email to each one of them, telling them you’re interested in providing a unique article just for them and all you require is a link to your site in a short, “about the author” section below the article.
  3. For those who accept send them a quality article. Most will not be overly concerned with it being a masterpiece. They just like fresh, unique content on their site.

What currently stops many people from performing this process is all the work involved in producing all that content for all the people. That problem will disappear August 1st!

You can select a template article (see example below):

Once you’ve used the template to create your article you can then spin it in order to produce multiple unique copies of that article that you can give to multiple different sites, producing multiple links back to your site:

Because these tools are created for speed and simplicity, you don’t need to mess with spintax or any other complicated features. You just load up your article, write up a few variations and you have multiple versions of your article ready to send out for BACKLINKS!

You don’t even have to write the article yourself…

You can pull an article from the built-in PLR database or from ArticleBuilder, which TextSuite is integrated with.

Of course, I’ve only mentioned two of the tools within TextSuite. There are also the research, rewrite, and formatted article tools. You also have the option of pulling from our huge database of PLR articles and ArticleBuilder content if you don’t want to write anything yourself.

Whether you use TextSuite once it launches on August 1st or not, I do hope you’ll start using this method to get quality backlinks to your site, if you’re not already, because it is a very powerful method!

To Your Success!

 

 

 

Josh Spaulding
Senior Strategies
Prosperative, LLC

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More
1 2 3 4