Social Networking Secrets of Super Affiliates

Social Networking Secrets of Super Affiliates

Every time someone new enters the world of Internet marketing, they pose one question to seasoned veterans of this career: “What’s the fastest and easiest way to make money?”

Of course, affiliate marketing is usually at the forefront of the various options because it requires no product creation – just promotion. So countless men and women jump into that income stream, not quite understanding that it, too requires a healthy dose of strategy and hard work.

There are many ways to earn as an affiliate, including paid options where you boost your posts or fork over funds for top positioning in a niche. But none of those is quite as powerful as being able to truly engage your audience on top social networking sites.

Super affiliates are those who look at their audience as a long-term investment, not a one-time visitor who happens to stop by and purchase something through their link.

They’re the ones who cultivate a list and form a relationship and bond with their audience – even if (for starters) they’re only promoting other people’s products to their customers.

When it comes to affiliate earnings, social platforms can be potent in terms of profits – but just signing up and having a presence isn’t enough. It won’t cut it if all you do is post links over and over again.

Let’s look at five things that set the Super Affiliates apart in terms of making the most of their investment of time and branding efforts on these platforms.

Tap Into the Best Networks for Your Niche

Before you start slapping content up everywhere, you need to be choosy about where you talk about your promotions. Not every site is perfect for every niche when you’re an affiliate.

Could you be on al of them?

Of course.

But when it comes to choosing between Pinterest and LinkedIn when you’re promoting the cooking niche, there’s no comparison. LinkedIn is a great social networking site for entrepreneurs in the make money or financial niche, among others.

But Pinterest is unparalleled when it comes to sharing recipes and cooking strategies. It’s where your audience is – and the platform allows you to share beautiful, eye-catching images that result in multiple clickthroughs.

What else is Pinterest good for besides cooking and recipes?

  • The beauty and fashion niche
  • The parenting niche
  • The fitness and diet niche
  • The self help and motivational niche (and more)

Pinterest allows you to link out using your affiliate links, but as a Super Affiliate, your goal isn’t just to get the click, but to capture the name and email address of the person so you can get many clickthroughs from them over the coming weeks, months and years.

Facebook is another top social networking site. While some of the younger generations are leaving for hot spots like Instagram and Tumblr, it’s still one of the top sites for socialization.

Super Affiliates know something newbies don’t – you don’t go on here to spam your family and friends with affiliate links. Instead, you create pages that cater to your specific niche audience, and then you build your page up into a thriving community.

Twitter is a short but sweet social networking site. At 140 characters, you’re limited in terms of promotions – but not by how often you can post, how many people you can reach, or what media format you can include.

While you might not personally prefer Twitter as your social platform of choice, it can’t be ignored that this is where many consumers go to follow inspirational leaders of a niche.

From dietary advice to self help and more – Twitter lets users connect and get quick updates from people who post about their topics. Super Affiliates know the difference between spamming anonymously and interacting wisely.

Google Plus hasn’t gained mainstream traction yet, but there’s no denying its power in the SERPs. While many of your niche audience may not yet be on G+, it’s a good idea to participate there regardless – because each post gets indexed in Google and the Super Affiliates get the clickthroughs.

Still, it’s great for many niches – and there are live hangouts, groups and more that you can be part of to help you network your way to extreme Super Affiliate success. 

What about the other social networking sites?

There are dozens upon dozens of them. And you should know where your audience is mobilizing. If they’re going to Instagram in droves, then get there, set up an account and integrate yourself with the community.

But if there are no participants (aside from G+), then spend your time elsewhere – even if that means going to forums for your topic or interacting as a participant on other peoples’ blogs where your name is hyperlinked back to your affiliate site, but your engagement is genuine.

Manage Your Socialization Time Wisely

A true Super Affiliate must spend all day on social networks, right? They have huge followings, answer peoples’ questions and respond to others’ posts. But the reality is, their socialization takes up very little time in their day.

They simply have a plan going in, and you’re about to learn what that is.

Prepare your posts ahead of time for each social network. If you wait to write out your messages until you’re already logged in, then you run the risk of getting distracted and sucked in the stream of other people’s posts. 

Log in and post your message first. You want to achieve that goal of helping drive traffic to the offers you’re promoting or the website you want people to visit so you can capture their information.

Look for any direct or private message alerts and respond to those. When someone takes the time to personally reach out to you, then as a niche leader (affiliate or not), you need to reply back.

They might be asking a question about a product you’re promoting, but whatever the communication, there’s a process going on of relationship building – and that breeds loyalty and trust in your recommendations.

Like comments on your previous posts. If you’re on Facebook or G+, then you can +1 or Like the comments other people have left on your shared posts. This lets them know you appreciate their participation.

Write one follow-up response that addresses each person who replied. Some marketers spend too much time developing a lengthy reply to each and every person.

They want to be acknowledged, but that doesn’t mean you have to write a paragraph to each person – especially if you’re just saying “thank you” or otherwise showing them appreciation.

Seek out a post based on a similar topic by someone you don’t yet interact with and comment or reply to it and Follow, Circle or Like them. This is networking at its finest.

By interacting with them first, on something they shared, you’re not being spammy – and they will often see what you have to offer. Their followers will see your interaction, follow you to see what you like to share on the social network, and sign up to follow you as well.

After your tasks are complete, click out until the next time you need to share something. During your workday, it’s not the time to sit scrolling forever through a Pinterest page (it never ends).

You want to pop in, do your tasks, and leave. Later, after the workday is over, if you want to relax and go in and spend more leisurely time engaging with others on things that may or may not be relevant to your niche, then go for it – but Super Affiliates don’t mix work with pleasure.

Increase Engagement with Questions and Teasers

Sometimes, an affiliate will sign up enthusiastically to a social network. They’ll post tons of great content and nobody ever responds. It might be that you’re not positioning your content to gain traction with any comments.

Remember, most people are lurkers. Unless you specifically have a call to action of some sort, chances are they’ll read your good information, nod in agreement, and scroll past.

Asking questions is one way you can get people to start commenting. Every Super Affiliate knows that posts like Facebook posts that get more action get seen by more people, and ultimately garner more success.

Teasers can be combined with questions to get people talking. Let’s use an example in the weight loss niche.

Let’s say you are an affiliate in the fitness niche. You wrote an article on your blog titled, “5 Best (and Worst) Pieces of Home Gym Equipment.” Your blog post will of course identify five poor decisions and five that you’re hoping to convert into sales.

So when you share this on your fitness Fan Page on Facebook, you might say something like this:

“I am shocked to see one of my pieces of home gym equipment listed as one of the worst buys (it’s #3 on the list), but after researching it, I have to agree. If you had to pick your #1 favorite from the list of the BEST which would you choose? I’ll reveal my choice tomorrow.”

This is something that does three things:

  1. It gets people to click through on your post because you’ve given them a teaser – and they’re curious about which one you owned that was bad.
  2. It encourages them to share their opinion. People love sharing their $0.02 – even on mundane issues – and you invited it.
  3. It reminds them to come back the next day for your reveal – where even more conversations can take place.

You can also invite your readers to share their own expertise. They love providing insight. So let’s say you listed the rowing machine as one of the most under-appreciated home gym equipment pieces.

You could ask, “Has anyone ever tried #6 on this list – either at home or in the gym? Seriously considering buying one, but the one at my local gym isn’t the good kind, so I want your opinions.”

You don’t always have to be the absolute omniscient leader who has every answer. Make this a community and get feedback from others, too. If even one of your readers has tried it and gives it a good word, then it helps convert your post into a sale.

Boost Likes and Shares with Attention-Grabbing Media

Text is awesome. It conveys messages, delivers strong calls to action – and helps build bonds between you and your readers. But while regular affiliates are out there slinging words, Super Affiliates know the power in adding something more.

Images are very important to social networking success as an affiliate. It’s been proven that they get more engagement than text-only posts. That means comments, Likes, shares, and Retweets – all go up when pictures are involved.

If you’re linking to one of your blog posts, then try to make sure you have at least one image in the post. At the time you log in to share on Facebook, for instance, it will grab the image from your blog post and automatically share it with your Fans alongside the hyperlink.

But you can always upload an image directly to the social network, too. Images can be used free (from sites like Or, you can purchase stock images from sites like or

Another thing that goes over well – especially on G+ and Facebook – are memes. Memes in most affiliate niche marketing are inspirational quotes. The company Hasfit is great at this.

It’s a company who has a website with free workouts. So their Facebook is a mix of tips, videos, memes and more. Here is a sampling of some of their meme quotes (and each one has their URL at the bottom so that when it gets shared by people who have “Liked” their page, everyone knows what site to go to:

  • What I Want: To Be Known as the Fit Friend
  • Train Insane or Remain the Same
  • I Don’t Have to Exercise; I Get to Exercise
  • “I Don’t Have Time to Exercise” Is the Grownup Version of “The Dog Ate My Homework.”

These are all inspiring and motivational memes that get shared hundreds of times. If you’re an affiliate for fitness gear, then this is the type of thing you want to share to get traffic back to your site.

You can use tools that help you create memes. Make sure you’re careful about stealing images because even though it’s online, that doesn’t mean it’s free for you to use.

Images aren’t the only thing that work well in social networks. Super Affiliates like to use video. Regular affiliates make the huge mistake of going to YouTube, finding someone else’s affiliate video, and using that in their own blog and social posts.

All you’re doing there is working for the competition. What you want to do is use video that promotes your own site. Here are some ideas on how you can use video:

Record yourself giving tips or advice. If you’re promoting juicers, then you can make a quick 2 minute videos about making your favorite recipe with a specific brand of juicer.

If you’re too camera-shy to be on video, then you can use a screen capture tool like Camtasia or the freeware version of it. You can go to for instance and talk about a product as they’re looking at the screen.

You’re not reading the product listing, but you’re using it as curated content to give your own opinions about it. So for instance, let’s say you were promoting mixers.

You know for a fact that one mixer can’t handle pizza dough. But it’s listed as one that does. You can go to that listing and warn your viewers about your experience, and then show them one that truly does handle it (of course with more in depth discussion) – and let them know you’ll include the link below the video.

Another thing you can do is create a PowerPoint presentation and record that, adding your audio narration to it. And some people even pay for a cartoon drawing video where the narration is done alongside fast drawing of relevant pictures.

For example, if you were talking about how you were once a scrawny young man, the cartoon might draw that – and then you say you went to a bulked up muscle man – it can “erase” the scrawny cartoon and draw a muscular man in its place.

You can share images in your blog post, but also in the social networking sites themselves. Just make sure you always include your URL in text on the screen so that when those ordinary affiliates go grab a video to use in their promotions, you’ll be the one that benefits from their mistake.

Leverage the Activity of Your Competition

So many small-minded affiliates are focused on their own activities that they never give thought to the competition unless it’s in terms of jealousy or spying. Spying on your competition can be smart marketing, but so it networking with them.

These sites are called social networks for a reason – they’re meant for the sharing of ideas and the communication between like-minded individuals. Whether you’re on Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus or Facebook, you want to follow and engage with people who are pitted against you in an effort to convert sales.

Super Affiliates aren’t stingy – they’re smart. They seek out competitors to share audiences because it becomes mutually beneficial to partner up (even if it’s just in public conversations) where the audience can see two niche leaders interacting.

On Twitter, start by looking for leaders in your niche who have more Followers than you do. Don’t just follow them back – start engaging with their Tweets. Look for those who actually get into conversations on Twitter – because those will eventually benefit you most.

For example, if you are in the coffee niche, find another coffee connoisseur to engage with. Now if you looked for someone into coffee, for example, you might someone like this guy: and instantly you’re thinking, “113,000 followers? Bingo!”

But look at several things:

  • He’s not following anyone back.
  • He doesn’t interact with anyone

He’s not a genuine niche leader. So how about someone like Starbucks? Starbucks is a brand, and it’s certainly okay to interact with them – but a corporation of that size isn’t going to be helping you with engagement.

But here is someone who would: – plenty of followers, regular conversations, expertise, and friendly. So just size up the people you plan to follow and interact with for those criteria.

The last thing you want to be doing is logging on and trying to interact with people who don’t respond. What a time waster!

On Facebook, make sure you’re logged in as your Fan Page before you go liking other Fan Pages. Once you’re there, like on the Hasfit, for example, you participate in the conversations.

Super Affiliates are never spammy. They’re stealth. They know the difference between saying, “Hey everyone – come see my page!” and “Oh I love this running quote you posted. Reminded me that it’s time for a new pair of running shoes!”

When people see your comment, they see your fan page name – so make sure it reflects your niche perfectly, such as, “Marathon Maniacs” or something that reeks of fitness enthusiasm.

When you think of social networking, think of it in terms of cross-pollination. You’re the busy bee out there spreading ideas and making things grow – only instead of flowers, it’s branding and profits through ideas and conversations!

Tapping Into YouTube Search Traffic

Tapping Into YouTube Search Traffic

If you’re looking for free, organic traffic, you’ll want to rank high in the search engines. But one thing many marketers overlook is the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

Next to Google, it’s one of the best ways to generate traffic that won’t cost you a penny.People love watching videos – sometimes more than they love getting information from text.

You can find videos on YouTube in just about every niche online. This is a great place for you to generate a following and send traffic to your blog and product offers.When it comes to video creation, many people are intimidated at the thought of putting themselves out there.

But you don’t have to record yourself on screen unless you want to.You can use a simple screen capture tool such as Camtasia or Camstudio to capture the screen and record a PowerPoint presentation or other items as you talk in the background.

When you make your videos, they don’t have to be long, drawn out presentations.Most consumers prefer bite sized information instead. That means keeping your videos between 3 to 5 minutes in length.

You may have too much to say in that short of a time span. If this is the case, then you can create a series of bite-size videos that cover the span of one larger topic.Make sure you brand your videos with a URL that links back to your site.

In addition to the wording on the screen, you also want to verbally invite your viewers back to your website by mentioning the domain name.Instead of just telling someone to visit your website, you can encourage them to go to the site for a free download offer.

Send them to your landing page and get them on your list so that later, you can funnel them to your products, affiliate offers, and blog posts.YouTube videos come in handy because they don’t simply stay on that site.

You can embed them into your blog post and allow others to do the same. Many of your competitors will grab your video to embed into their own blog posts, giving you free traffic.

You can also share the links on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. When people watch and enjoy your content, and their friends and family members see it on their accounts, they can then share it with others and the video you produced will go viral.

Things to Think About Before You Start Blogging

Things to Think About Before You Start Blogging

The blogosphere, made up of countless blogs from all over the world, is one of the most popular faces of the Internet.  It’s not just for teenagers anymore.  Several years ago, most blogs were run by kids who just wanted to keep in touch with their friends, or people who just wanted to talk about their daily life. 

These days, almost everyone online has a blog. 

Chances are, you have one – and if you don’t, you should.

Stay at home moms like to blog about their daily lives and raising children.  CEOs of major corporations own blogs about the latest happenings at their company.  Many celebrities run blogs, and they blog about their upcoming events, movies, and roles (not to mention scandals). 

And marketers have blogs about every niche imaginable!

I’m confident to say I myself am part of the blogging culture.

Blogging is a great way to reach out to the people on the Internet.  They can touch millions of lives, and spread your message like no other medium.  You can say almost anything you want, and there will be an audience for almost every niche!

You can run a blog just for fun.  If you want to talk about parties you attend, restaurants you eat at, places you go shopping, or where you go on vacation, someone will probably want to read about it. 

Even if the only audience you have is your close friends and relatives, you’ll have fun and be able to say whatever’s on your mind.

More and more people are turning to blogging as a way to make money.  Some people just want to make a few extra dollars for spending money, but others are actually making a full-time income with their blogs. 

A few prominent bloggers even boast of making hundreds of thousands of dollars with their blogs (a la Perez Hilton, who parlayed his blogging fun into thousands of dollars in ad money each month, which delivered him his own TV show, podcast, and clothing line)!

There are plenty of ways to make money blogging.  Whether you’re a college student who just wants to make a little extra cash for pizza and clothes, or you’re a serious marketer who wants to make a small fortune, it’s totally possible with blogging.

Blogs are big, even if they’re small.  Some blogs get millions of hits per month.  Blog traffic has been growing steadily for several years as consumers gain confidence from peers rather than trusting hard hitting sales pitches they find on the web. 

With more and more people jumping onto the blogosphere bandwagon, it probably won’t slow down within the foreseeable future. If you’re thinking about getting into blogging, it’s a good idea to get started now. 

It generally takes a few months to begin building up a following.  And you really need regular visitors if you want to make money with your blog.  You should work to gain subscribers to your RSS feed, because those people will come back often to read your new posts.

And remember to lend your own unique voice to your posts.  One of the most important nuances in regards to why blogging is such a major global phenomenon is the fact that people really enjoy reading unique voices on certain topics. 

They crave the differences in personalities.  It’s refreshing to read information that has personality and isn’t stale or stuffy, which means it’s been translated by a single editor so that every voice is uniform. This is why columnist pages in local newspapers are so popular.

Your unique voice is the most important part of getting regular visitors to your blog.  If you want to see examples of this, visit some of the most popular blogs you can find.  You’ll see that one thing these blogs have in common is the fact that the bloggers make engaging, funny, or original posts.

That’s your key to making it big in the blogosphere!

Before You Blog, Build a Blueprint

A lot of bloggers put together a blog without any real plan for how they’re going to promote it or monetize it.  Putting a blog together without a plan is like trying to build a house without a blueprint. 

It’s possible, yes. But the end result is probably going to be shoddy, and the whole thing could fall apart at any minute.

You should create a solid plan of action before you even buy the domain.  You need to develop a strong blueprint before you ever get started.  Waiting until after you’ve already set it up and are getting traffic could mean a lot of extra work going in to correct mistakes. 

Changing themes and adding plugins after you’re already getting traffic could interrupt your traffic.  Sometimes new plugins and themes can temporarily break your blog, which could mean a loss of traffic (and money) until you’re able to fix everything.

The first part of your plan should be choosing a niche, of course.  Part of choosing a niche is finding products you can promote.  If a niche has no products available, you could create your own. 

But if there are no affiliate products available, it could be because there isn’t enough demand there for a product.  In this case, you’d have to do some careful market research in order to determine whether or not a niche is truly viable.

What’s your purpose for blogging? 

Do you have your own product you want to promote? 

Do you want to promote affiliate products? 

Do you want to just put AdSense or CPA offers on your site? 

You need to ask yourself questions like these so that you’ll know how you intend to monetize the site. If you plan to promote affiliate products, you should test the products yourself before you promote them. 

If you don’t, your visitors could end up being very upset if you promoted a product of really poor quality and they bought it because they trusted you.  Even worse, what if you end up promoting something that turns out to be a scam?

You don’t necessarily have to purchase every product you wish to promote.  If you can prove you have a decent amount of traffic (and sometimes if you just ask), you may be able to get free review copies of some of the products you’d like to promote. 

It doesn’t hurt to ask.  Even if you don’t have any existing traffic yet, you can write to the owner of a particular affiliate program, tell them what you’re planning to do, and ask if you could get a review copy.

Some people won’t give you a review copy.  Plenty of marketers get requests for review copies from those who just want to get a copy of their product for free.  So if you run into a skeptic, or someone who’s been burned before, you may get turned down. 

In this case, it’s probably best to just go ahead and buy the product if you really want to promote it.  If it’s a scam or a really crappy product, just ask for a refund.

You can also consider using a donation button on your blog.  If you can’t find any good products to promote, and you don’t have the time, money, or ability to create your own product, you can still put up a donation button.  If your blog is very good, you may get donations.

Or, you can always sell ad space on your blog.  If you start getting a substantial amount of traffic or you get a very high PageRank in Google, you could charge a lot of money for a link on your blog.  You can also get paid for making posts on your blog that review other sites.

Should a Blog Topic Be Broad or Narrow?

There are two schools of thought regarding blog topics.  Some people believe your topic should be very focused, because you can bring in a flurry of laser-targeted visitors.  Plus, you have less competition in smaller market segments.

Another group of people believe that anything worth doing is worth doing big.  They believe that the only way blogging can truly be worth it is if you’re bringing in massive traffic, and the only way you can achieve that level of traffic is by being very broad – casting a wide net, so to speak.

For example, you might have a sports blog that has broad appeal.  You could talk about baseball, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, and golf.  This would give you a much more broad appeal, and the potential for larger traffic. 

But since there would be so much competition, it might take a lot longer to get more traffic coming in. Plus, the way I see it is, if I’m interested in golf, I really won’t care about the other parts of the blog, so the value of it plummets in my eyes.

But let’s say you choose golf as your broad topic. Even this is broad, although you just segregated it from the other sports in existence. There are many things you could write about golf – vacations, apparel, clubs, courses, techniques, etc.

You could choose an even more targeted niche like women’s golf or senior golf.  This is a smaller segment of a small niche.  This means you could get traffic faster, because there would be less competition.

 Less competition means you have the potential to rise faster in the search engine rankings.  Of course, women’s golf would get far less traffic from the number one spot of Google than the combined traffic of all of the other sports niches, but the chances of that traffic converting into a sale will soar.

So basically, it boils down to how you feel about your abilities.  If you believe you have the ability to get one large blog to the top of the search engines rather quickly, then you might be able to handle a broad topic blog. 

If you don’t believe your abilities are up-to-snuff, then you might want to stick with a smaller niche at first. Remember, you can always start other blogs later.  You could either build a network of small niche blogs, or you could start out with one broad blog and then start multiple sub-niche blogs later.  You could then link to all of your smaller blogs from your large blog.

You could also start with the smaller blogs, get them to gain some popularity, and then start a large, broad blog later.  Once you start the larger blog, you’ll have several smaller blogs already getting traffic and already having PR that can link to the larger blog to get it started.

If you already have a lot of SEO experience and you’re confident in your ability to pull off some great search engine rankings quickly, then starting with a more broad blog might be a better option. 

You can still get some of the benefits of having a smaller blog by having categories for each of the smaller niches on your broad topic blog. One last thing to keep in mind is that your traffic will be less targeted if you run a broad blog. 

If you have a site about skin care, you may get a lot of traffic that’s just looking for information about the best lotions or skin creams.  But if you start a blog about something specific, like acne, you’re more likely to get people who are ready and willing to buy something.

Where Will You Host Your Blog?

A lot of people start out by hosting their blog for free at one of the common blog hosting companies.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it’s a much better idea to host your blog on your own domain if possible.

Let’s take a look at WordPress. WordPress is a very popular blogging platform.  You can host your blog on their servers, or you can download the software and host your blog on your own domain.

There are a few reasons why you should host your own blog, rather than hosting your blog directly on  For one thing, WordPress doesn’t allow you to promote affiliate links on their domain. 

So if you want to make any money with your blog, you can’t host it on their server, you’ll have to host it yourself. Another reason why you shouldn’t host your blog on WordPress is the fact that you can’t use the variety of plugins and themes that you could use on your own domain. 

WordPress is very limited as far as the functionality, so don’t expect to have anything really cool on your blog if you host it there. You can find free WordPress tutorials to help you get started with your blog.

Now let’s look at Blogger.  They do allow commercial blogs, so you can post affiliate links there if you want.  But they’re also against what they deem as “spam blogs” or “splogs.”  If they decide your blog is spam, or they decide it’s “too” commercial, or they just don’t like it, they can delete it for any reason. 

There goes all that hard work you put into it!

You have to agree to those terms and conditions when you sign up.  That means that even if you don’t actually break any rules, they could still delete your blog if they chose. That’s a pretty powerful motivator.

It certainly wouldn’t be a very pleasant thing to build a blog up to several thousand hits per day, only to have it deleted (and trust me, I’ve heard these horror stories).   You’d lose all of that traffic, all of those backlinks, all of your reputation and your search engine rankings. 

Imagine it all being wiped out overnight.  That’s not a good thing.

It’s like having a fire rip through your brick and mortar store and you don’t have any insurance to rebuild.

Another very important reason to host your blog on your own domain is that it gives you credibility.  If you host your blog on your own domain, you’ll appear more professional, and more like an authority figure in your niche. 

People will automatically assume you’re more serious if you’re hosting your blog on your own domain, rather than putting it up somewhere for free. If you do decide to host your own domain, the first thing you’ll need to do is choose a domain that contains a few keywords related to your niche. 

If your blog is about house cleaning tips, then try to get  If that’s not available, go down your keyword list and find the next best thing.  Then register the domain.

Next you need to find a host for your blog.  You might want to choose a host that has Fantastico, which is a program that sits on the server and allows you to very easily install WordPress (and other scripts) without having to create and manage MySQL databases yourself.

Once you have hosting, you just need to go to your domain registrar and set up the name servers to point to your new host.  Your hosting company’s support should be able to help you with this.

Blogging Is Big Business

More and more companies are starting blogs, and many people are even forming their entire companies around blogging.  Customers really love blogs because they’re generally full of great (free) information, they offer a personal touch that generally isn’t found on a standard corporate website, and they’re not usually full of a lot of hype and hard sell tactics.

Another reason customers love blogs is that they offer a great medium for interaction.  Visitors can leave comments and receive responses to their comments.  This helps build loyalty to your blog and your company, and readers really enjoy this level of interaction with someone they consider an authority figure. 

It helps them feel like they’re really being listened to, and like the company really cares about what they have to say – even if that “company” is an entrepreneur like you! Blogs are a fantastic way to build loyalty. 

You can reach your audience in a very personal way, must more so than with a standard, stuffy stagnant website.  Readers expect to see some personality coming out in a blog.  If you really let your personality shine through, you can build a following that will subscribe to your RSS feed and come back often, eagerly waiting to hear more of what you have to say.

This is a great way to brand yourself and your business.  Since you can get more personal with a blog, people start to get to know you a bit as a person.  This makes you seem more real, and people begin to trust you and your messages more. 

For some reason, people trust websites with identifiable people behind them.

Remember, when you’re blogging for business you should stay somewhat professional.  It’s probably best not to post about your aunt’s cataract surgery or your grandma’s cat that died.  You can get a bit personal – after all, that’s what really makes you stand out. 

But most people who are reading your blog are there to find out information about the niche, seeking solutions to their needs.  Keep your posts on topic, but get personal by providing your own voice within those entries.

Provide valuable information within your blog posts.  People aren’t going to keep coming back to your blog over and over just to read about the new products you’re releasing, unless you’re releasing some really revolutionary stuff. 

They’re going to want to read industry news, tips and tricks, special strategies, and other important information for free.  While it’s perfectly fine to blog about new product releases, it’s also important to keep providing helpful information to keep your readers coming back.

Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that your readers are real people.  You know what you enjoy reading in a blog, right?  You want solid information – something useful.  You probably don’t mind the occasional sales pitch on a blog full of great information, but you’d be pretty annoyed to reading nothing but pitch after pitch.

If you’re running a business blog, it’s important to keep your readers in mind.  Give them the kind of quality information they’re hungry for, and they’ll keep coming back for more.  In fact, the more you give them for free, the more loyal they’ll become, and the more likely they’ll be to buy from you in the future. 

Blogging is all about informing and educating.  If you can do that, your visitors will form a bond with you and they’ll be sure to spread the word about your blog so that your URL goes viral and it attracts an even bigger following within your niche.

Blogging can be very lucrative, not to mention it enhances your overall branding and networking on the ‘net.  Here are the steps you need to take to get started RIGHT NOW:

1.) Pick a niche topic (my advice is to go narrow).

2.) Find a domain and buy it.

3.) Set up your WordPress blog using your Fantastico host.

4.) Pick a theme online – Google free WordPress themes and you’ll find millions you can upload.

5.) Set up your blog for categories, ad space, and stick an opt-in box in it to begin building a list.

6.) Start posting to your blog using keyword relevant titles and entries.

7.) Start bookmarking your blog and sharing that link to get it moving in the viral direction.

8.) Test the conversion of various products you promote on your blog and switch out those that aren’t working well for you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog report. Feel free to pass it around and share it with others you feel it might help!

Using Infographics for Your Content Marketing

Using Infographics for Your Content Marketing

One of the parts of content creation that are often forgotten is the marketing part. If you don’t market the content that you create, you won’t get as many views as you should – which means you won’t get as many sales or conversions. Thankfully, you can use infographics for your content marketing.

  • They Look Great – Well-made infographics look nice and catch the attention of your audience. This means that your audience is more likely to read them, as well as click through to read the rest of your content. Visually they are simply more pleasing and get more attention.
  • They Can Go Viral – If you play your cards right, there is potential for the infographic to go viral. They might not go as viral as the funny cat memes you see (depending on your topic), but within your audience community you may get a good conversation started.
  • They Explain Your Content Better – Sometimes data-centric content is hard to understand in only text mode. But when it’s put into a story in infographic form, it brings the information to life so that your audience can understand it better.
  • They Build Brand Awareness – If you watermark your content correctly and brand it so that it’s noticeable as yours, you can build extreme brand awareness. One way to do that is to host the infographics on your own website and allow others to embed it on theirs.
  • Search Engines Like Them – Google likes images and if you name your infographic properly with a keyword-rich file name, people who do searches for the information will find your infographic and your website. And if search engines like them, it means that you’re making a mistake not to use them.
  • You Can Build Your Expertise Quotient – When you can compile information that you’ve learned in an expert fashion, it will boost your expertise status to your audience. You’ll look more professional, and people will start to know you as the person with the information in your industry.
  • You’ll Get More Traffic – When you use infographics to spread information, you’ll get more traffic to your website – which will help you sell more products or get more clients for your services. The reason is that it’s easier to explain concepts faster with images than with just text.
  • Get More Engagement from Your Audience – Infographics can induce discussion among your audience in a way that pure text won’t. The reason is that people learn things better when also presented visually with images over just text and numbers. You can create discussions, make people think, and more – all with visual graphics that explain difficult concepts.

You can improve your content marketing by using infographics to help explain the content you create to your audience in a clearer way. The more ways you show your audience the information you want them to know, the better. Visually appealing infographics can help get the word out better, since they’re more likely to be shared.

Using Instagram to Attract an Audience

Using Instagram to Attract an Audience

Instagram is a highly visual site where you can brand yourself as a leader in your niche. It implements a variety of images, video, and text. You can use a mixture of these, but every post will need either an image or a video to accompany the text.

This social networking site is a great way to get free traffic to your blog and offers. The best niches for Instagram are those that are visual in nature, such as food and diet, travel, and inspiration.

An image that you post doesn’t always have to be of some thing or someone.It can be of an inspirational or motivational quote or a cartoon or meme that people can relate to. While posts can’t be shared as easily as they can on Facebook, there are tools that can allow people to re-post your Instagram shares.

Therefore, you may want to brand your URL on the images themselves.Make sure when you post to Instagram, you are using hashtags to help your posts get found and shared among the population.

Hashtags are strategic keywords that people use to identify a topic, person, or place. When a consumer wants to find posts on the topic, they type in a pound sign and the keyword like this: #keyword. You’ll want to use a variety of them related to your topic in each post.

For traffic purposes, you’ll want to have a link in your bio. This is shown directly below your image on your profile page within the site. Instagram does not allow you to post links with every single post that you share. Therefore, you can change the link in your bio periodically if you wish.

Bangkok, Thailand – June 6, 2016 : Apple iPhone5s showing its screen with Instagram and their other applications.

One thing you may want to do is have a link in your bio to an opt in or landing page. This way, you capture the consumers’ name and email address and can contact them in the future and send them to your blog and offers.

Instagram also has another feature known as stories. Here, you can engage with others on a different level. Using the story, you can share images or videos as well as stream live from within the site.

Regular images and videos will be shared for 24 hours with your audience. But when you go live, you get to choose whether or not you want the video to stay up for 24 hours. Make sure you are branding your domains at this time so that you can reap the rewards of the free traffic potential of the site.

What to Look for in an Email Autoresponder System

What to Look for in an Email Autoresponder System

An email autoresponder is one of the first tools that you’ll need to buy as an online marketer. Most newcomers mistakenly wait until they have a large following, but building a list is something that you should do from day one.

So which email autoresponder tool should you invest in? Many people start with free. There are free tools that allow you to build a list, but they aren’t always what’s in your best interest.

In exchange for allowing you to build a list, they often insert advertisements into your emails.Not only that, but you are limited in the number of subscribers that you can have.

Whenever possible, it’s always best to start off with a paid email autoresponder that you can afford. The first thing you want to look for is reliability. You want to make sure that all of your emails go out in a timely fashion.

Whether you’re emailing about your own offer or as an affiliate for someone else, it’s important that you be able to compete on schedule whenever you need to. You don’t want to set an email to go out at 11 AM EST only to see it delayed for several hours.

You also want an email autoresponder that doesn’t have a reputation of having their emails go straight to spam folders. You want your messages to get through to the recipient who has signed up for your list.

Some of the best companies that will help your messages get delivered are Aweber and Get Response.Whichever company you choose for your email autoresponder, they should have a good support system in place for your needs as a customer.

That means they have help available at all hours, along with in-depth tutorials that teach you how to use the system.While free email autoresponders may not be the best option, you don’t have to pay more than necessary for good service.

You want pricing that’s just right for your budget. You can find tools that charge a fee based on the number of subscribers you have.That means someone who only has a list of 5,000 subscribers would pay less than someone with a list of 25,000 subscribers.

That way, you will hopefully be recouping some of your investment through your subscribers and offers as you level up to a higher price point. Many of the autoresponders have a free trial so that you can see whether or not the system is easy for you to use, so make sure you take advantage of that.

Advertising Versus Social Networking on Twitter

Advertising Versus Social Networking on Twitter

Twitter is a social networking site that’s popular around the world. What’s unique about it is that users can post Tweets or short messages of less than 140 characters. Users can ‘follow’ brands and marketers that they like to see these updates.

One of the benefits of using Twitter is that information can be Tweeted in real time, meaning you can share the latest news about what’s happening in your niche right now.

Ads or Networking – Which Works Better?

Many marketers wonder what the difference is between advertising and social networking on Twitter. The simple answer is that advertising on Twitter allows you to carefully target a select group of users and present them with an offer to interact with your brand.

You get to pick that audience and the message you want them to see. You can vary your message according to the different audiences that you’re targeting.

You can focus on getting your message out to Twitter users who may not have been exposed to your brand yet. For example, you might create a Tweet about your eBook on clean eating and pay to have this Tweet promoted to other Twitter users.

Then users who see your Tweet will have the option of clicking through in order to buy your product. But social networking on Twitter is all about selling your products organically.

You post information that’s useful and focus on building a relationship with your followers. For example, one of your followers asks about the best green smoothie recipes, so you Tweet a link to your blog where you have recipes for smoothies and an eBook that you’re selling on clean eating.

The follower who asked the question then goes to your blog and loves what she reads, so she goes on to buy your book and even Tweets about it to her followers. This is social networking at work helping your business grow.

Now unless you paid to promote that Tweet about green smoothie recipes, your followers are going to be the only ones that ever see it. If you’ve already built a large following of Twitter users who love what you’re doing, then you may not need to use advertising to get a lot of buyers. 

This is where building a personal relationship with your followers can come in handy. Because your followers trust you, they’ll gladly promote you to their own followers, resulting in even more growth because those people will then want to follow you.

One important thing to keep in mind if you’re trying to decide between social networking or advertising is the amount of time you have available to dedicate to Twitter.If you decide to sell your products through social networking, it can take awhile before you see results from your Tweets.

This is because you’ll be focused on building relationships and it does take time to get users to follow and trust you. But advertising doesn’t take as much time for you to see the results because you’re skipping the relationship stage and moving straight into the selling stage.

Remember that different audiences respond to different tactics, so you’ll want to consider that before deciding between the two options.If you pick the wrong audience, you can offend people when you promote something to sell if that audience is one that prefers a relationship-based interaction.

Building Your Twitter Community

Like all social networks, Twitter has active communities in a variety of niches. If you want to get the word out about your online business, then you need to find followers who are in your niche or are interested in the information or products within it.

You can start by looking at influential people in your niche. For example, if you run a fitness blog and want to grow your brand, then look for influential fitness bloggers who are already using Twitter.

Follow these users and look through their Twitter profile to see who they follow (and who follows them) and follow some of them. Bloggers who are in your niche can often turn into affiliate partners if you take the time to interact with them.

Once you’ve followed all of the influential bloggers, then start looking for the enthusiasts in your niche. Enthusiasts are often fans of your favorite bloggers and love the niche you’re in.

They may or may not be making money from their hobby but they are passionate about it and they would open to the idea of making money this way.Connecting with the enthusiasts is important because these are the people that will happily tell their followers and friends about you.

They don’t care if you’re a big brand or a tiny one. They just want to Tweet about their niche and find others who feel the same way. While it can be tempting, don’t follow too many Twitter users in a short period of time.

Spammers will often follow thousands of users each day and then post annoying and obnoxiously repetitive Tweets. So to avoid looking like a spammer, try to follow just 20 to 50 new users each day, maximum.

If you want to grow your follower base in a hurry, you can use advertising. This is called Twitter Promoted Accounts. When someone logs in to Twitter, they’ll see your profile and have the option to follow you.

Beside your profile will be the word promoted.  That’s Twitter’s way of letting users know they’re being advertised to. The good thing about promoted accounts with Twitter is that you only pay for the people who actually decide to follow your account.

That means that if you decide you’d like to promote your account on Twitter but no one new interacts with your account, then you don’t have to pay Twitter. However, given Twitter’s algorithms, it’s unlikely that you would promote your account and not get at least a few new followers or some ReTweets.

Keep in mind that Twitter allows you to choose who you’d like to promote your account to by interest or location. This is helpful if you want to target only knitters in Chicago or work at home moms across the globe.

Another way to find new followers on Twitter is to search for Twitter chats online. Most niches have a regular chat once or twice a month. Participating in these chats is a great way to build connections and grow your following.

For example, there’s a popular chat on Twitter called #RunChat. At 8 PM EST on the second and fourth Sunday of each month, runners get together on Twitter. During winter, they might discuss the best gear to use to keep warm when running outside.

If there’s a new gadget or product release that helps runners, they might talk about that, too. You can join these chats by Tweeting as usual but adding #RunChat to the end of your Tweet.

Then other users that are following the run chat hashtag will see your message and respond. This is a great way to use your own list of subscribers for a live interaction and more exposure of your community and leadership skills.

Promotional Tactics that Work on Twitter

Whether you decide to use advertising to boost your Tweets or plan to go the organic route, there are some promotional tactics that work well on Twitter. You can use these tactics for a variety of products and services.

The only thing you want to be careful about is posting status updates that are too similar, too often. If you do this, then you’re probably crossing the line between promotional and spammy.

You don’t want to get a reputation as a spammer on Twitter because it will make it hard to build an engaged audience. Many marketers and businesses plan a Twitter launch campaign.

You’ll want to plan this several weeks before you release your new product to get the most exposure. Start by posting that you’re working on a new project to release soon. Don’t post too many details initially, because your product may change a lot between the creation and launch phases – plus, you only want to share teasers to keep the people hooked.

When you’re a week from the launch, then begin Tweeting little hints. You don’t want to make it so obvious that users can easily guess what you’re releasing. Instead, you’re trying to make them curious so they’ll be paying more attention to your Tweets than usual.

A day or two before the launch, you can post a picture of yourself hard at work. If your product is content based, then take a selfie with your laptop. If your product is audio-based, then take a selfie as you’re editing some audio tracks.

When the actual release day comes, you’ll want to post repeatedly about your new product. One way to do this without annoying followers is use to a variety of content to share information.

For example, if you’re releasing a premium WordPress plugin, post a picture of your plugin on a live website. Create a Vine video showing the settings page of your plugin. Then post this video to your Twitter account.

ReTweet messages from users that are talking about your product and be sure to thank them.  By sharing both the creation and launch stages with your followers, you’re letting them feel like they’re right beside you.

This is important because users that feel a connection with your brand are more likely to ReTweet your content and share it with their followers. Another promotional tactic that works well on Twitter is a Tweet to unlock campaign.

In this case, you post a special discount for one of your products on Twitter. The catch is that users only get the discount if you get a certain number of ReTweets. This encourages users to ReTweet your message, resulting in more followers for you.

But you want to be reasonable about your Tweet to unlock plan. Unless you’re a celebrity with millions of fans, you probably won’t get one hundred thousand ReTweets. Instead, shoot for a smaller number like fifty or one hundred ReTweets.

You can also encourage users to follow you on Twitter in exchange for exclusive discounts. This is a great way to motivate followers to make a purchase from you.

Try to offer coupons regularly for the best results.

You could start by having twenty percent off Tuesdays with a special coupon that your followers can enter during checkout to get their discount. But you should also disable coupon codes after a short amount of time, like twenty-four hours.

This adds a sense of urgency to your Tweet.  You want your followers to feel like they’re going to miss the discount if they don’t use your code right now.

Use Analytics to See What’s Working

Whether you do or don’t advertise on Twitter, each user has an analytics section. This means that you can look at your Twitter stats for the past month. Your analytics dashboard can give you valuable insight into your Twitter campaigns if you’ll take the time to look it over.

Twitter will show all of your Tweets for the past month and you can see which ones were most popular and which ones received the most responses. Look for patterns as you examine this data.

Maybe your Tweets that have questions in them get 25% more views. Maybe your Tweets that contain a link to a photo never do well and are generally ignored. This is data that you can use to build better Twitter campaigns.

Once you’ve looked through your Tweets in the last month, examine your Tweets for the past few months. This will give you a good idea if certain topics are always popular or if your discount coupon is really boosting sales as much as you had hoped.

Your analytics dashboard can also show you how many clicks were made on your links. This can let you see which links your followers were most interested in and can help you see what types of Tweets prompted your followers to take action.

You’ll also be able to see how many ReTweets, replies, and favorites that you received. These numbers usually only make up about 5% of your Tweets. That means for every hundred Tweets you send, you’ll probably only have 5 followers interacting with your content.

Another thing you can use analytics for is to gather data about your followers. You can learn about the top interests that your followers have and use this information to your advantage.

For example, if you’re a fashion blogger and you notice that a lot of your followers are interested in photography, then you could do a blog series on photography tips for fashion bloggers.

You’ll also be able to see other accounts that your followers are interacting with. This can be a great source of new people to connect with. If you’re not already following these other users, then you should be.

Once you click the follow button, look at their recent content and pick one Tweet to engage with. You can favorite, ReTweet, or respond to this Tweet. When you do this, you almost guarantee that the other user will look at your profile, too.

Twitter analytics may not keep data on all of your Tweets. But that’s okay because you can use the export your data into a file that you can look over later.

For the best results with Twitter, you don’t want to focus on just one part. Many marketers find that it’s best to use a mixture of advertising and social networking to gain followers and interactions on Twitter.

A Guide to Handling Your Internet Marketing StartUp Costs

A Guide to Handling Your Internet Marketing Start-Up Costs

When Internet marketers are polled about their biggest frustrations, you can always count on the newcomers to list start-up costs as one of their top concerns.

It’s a valid one, too – because unless you know exactly what you want to do and the best way to get there (which newbies don’t), you could end up spending a small fortune and have nothing to show for it.

There are many reasons who people are so anxious about start-up costs. One is because when many people go into Internet Marketing, they’re already at a place of desperation.

Another reason is that friends and family are skeptical and uninformed about online marketing, so they’re carefully watching you spend money and reminding you of how long you’ve been waiting for a return on that investment.

You need to have a plan going in. It doesn’t mean you have to know exactly what you want to do yet, but there are minimal preparations you can make before you end up with less money than you came in with.

There Are Options for Starting 100% Free

It’s a myth that you have to “spend money to make money” with Internet marketing. Some people say this because they have something to sell and they want you to buy it.

That said, you don’t want to be so tight with your money that you prevent yourself from growing a formidable business the right way. Have a nice balance of common sense here.

Understand that you’ll eventually want to put some money on the table if you want to take this serious. If you’re just playing online and thrilled when a dollar happens to come into your PayPal, then that’s fun and you can continue that – but that’s not considered a true entrepreneurial spirit.

If you’re in a dire financial situation and you have to make this work, but don’t have a penny to your name, then you’ll be happy to hear there are options for you.

Here are a few examples:

  • Kindle publishing – 100% free
  • Affiliate marketing on Squidoo, Zujava, Hub Pages, Bubblews, etc. – 100% free
  • Offering services – 100% free

Now those may not be the exact things you planned on doing online for the long haul, but if you want it bad enough, you’ll get started however you can, get some money coming in, and then morph that into something you do want to do.

There are no excuses for procrastinating and waiting until you have mega bucks to invest.

The Right Time to Take on This Kind of Commitment

Sometimes, you don’t have a choice. You get a pink slip from your boss or you end up with a medical disability and you’re floundering from home wondering if those “envelope stuffing” offers in the back of a magazine are really viable.

Fortunately, Internet marketing can work for you in a pinch – but you have to use common sense, shop smart, and work off of a plan. You can’t just log on and buy everything on a whim hoping for some push button magic moneymaker.

It doesn’t work like that.

If you have a choice, then the right time to commit to an Internet marketing career is after you have taken some time to educate yourself about the business – and saved up a bit of investment money that you can use.

You want to have some time to develop your business, and that means you need time to:

  • Educate yourself about the industry
  • Research who you can trust and build relationships with them
  • Create products
  • Provide services
  • Learn the technical ins and outs of the business
  • Implement courses that you buy
  • Answer emails and handle customer support

This could be before you leave for work each day, on your lunch hour or after work and on weekends. Or, it could be a fulltime gig for you if you’re retired or unemployed with a savings.

Why are we talking about the time commitment? Because if you don’t have time, then it becomes a money problem. You’ll start trying to throw money at anything that can pay off fast for you.

Knowing What Kind of Costs You Can Expect

How much do you need to save up? What will you be buying? Let’s go over some options for newbies and what you might need to pay for as an online marketer if you’re finished with or don’t plan to take the free route.

  • Courses

If you’re not educated about online marketing, then you may want to buy courses that teach you what you need to know. For example, if you want to publish on Kindle, then you might buy Kindling or another Kindle course that shows you the ropes.

There’s plenty of free information online, but it’s a convenience to get content that’s organized and more detailed from people who have experienced success in a particular area.

Courses range from free or low cost ($7) to mid-range $37-97 courses to those that are priced in the thousands of dollars range. There are boiler rooms where sales people will call you based off of a low investment you make – and pressure you into maxing out your credit cards because you won’t want to pass up on this fantastic offer.

  • Domain name(s)

Domain names will be a necessity for certain things. You need to be in control of your business. It’s great to use sites like Squidoo to make affiliate sales, for example, but you might wake up tomorrow and find that your entire account has been locked.

That won’t happen when you have your own domain. And domains are one of your cheapest investments that provide you with a certain amount of authority in your niche.

Some domains, such as dot info domains, are less than $2 per year. Others, like the most popular dot com addresses, are only around $11 a year – but even then you can usually find a monthly coupon code to cut that in half or more.

  • Website hosting

Hosting is what keeps your site live and online. You can get hosting for one site, or unlimited domains. It too is dirt cheap – but it’s a monthly payment of anywhere from $4.99 to $11 a month, depending on which service and plan you use.

  • Advertising and traffic

Some marketers never pay for traffic and others only use paid traffic. You can go either route, or a combination of the two. Free traffic can be generated from sites like Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, etc.

Paid traffic can be found using solo ads, AdWords campaigns, and other avenues. Costs can vary – and you can do things on a small scale (like send a solo ad to a small list) and then grow it over time.

  • Tools

There are tons of tools you’re going to encounter on a regular basis when you’re a new Internet marketer. In fact, many of the courses you take will make it sound like you won’t succeed unless you buy the tools.

You’re going to have to be discriminating. Consider what you really need versus what’s a luxury item as you’re starting off on this journey. Keyword tools are a good example of this.

You can pay hundreds of dollars for some top-notch keyword tools. You can also use free keyword tools that get you started. They may not provide as much in-depth detail as the paid ones, but that’s okay – it’s enough to get you rolling.

Email autoresponders are another option. You can use free tools like MailChimp if money’s truly an issue. Or, you can use Aweber’s $1 first month trial option and then ay $19.95 a month after that.

  • Graphics

You’re going to want graphics for your website (a minisite package, for example). Those will include the background, header, footer, and even eBook cover graphics if you put out your own info product.

  • Services

As your business grows, or whenever you encounter something you don’t know how to do, you’ll need funds to outsource to someone else. You might outsource technical tasks – or time sucking tasks like writing.

Prioritizing Your Spending

There are a million opportunities being thrown in the faces of newbie marketers.  You’ll be told by everyone that you have to have certain courses, tools, and other items.

You have to prioritize what you want to spend money on according to what’s most important – and in what order. For example, you don’t want to spend money on a domain until you know what kind of business you want to operate.

Make a list of items you really think you need and items you want, and then put them in order of importance based on timeliness – at what point in your career do you need to have them?

You may not know this right away, but as you educate yourself about Internet marketing, you’ll have a better idea of when to invest money. Also, make sure you stick to a budget.

Don’t let experienced marketers with hard-selling boiler rooms pressure you into charging up your credit cards or getting into debt. You should save up for what you need and then pay it without anchoring yourself down in debt.

Make sure that as you begin profiting, you start re-investing some of those earnings back into your business. You want to keep up the momentum and put your efforts on track to grow your success.

Alternative Options to Help You Move Forward

Partnering with people to get ahead faster is one way you can cut costs and increase your productivity. You really need to be careful about who you partner with, though.

Find someone who has opposite talents of what you have. For example, if you can write well, and someone else can handle technical tasks, that might make a great pairing.

Barter with others to get what you need and want when you’re just getting started. If you see a course that you want, but you don’t have the cash, why not contact the owner and see if they need anything you have to offer?

If you can write, offer some free pages of content in exchange for a copy. If you can do graphics, provide them with a free minisite or ecover as an exchange. Don’t be too proud to make an offer to help build your business.

As you start growing your business, remember that speed and satisfaction aren’t the same things. You might find ways of profiting fast, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy with that business model for the long-term.

Be willing to reevaluate your business model over time as you start making money and have the means to branch out and do something that will truly make you content.

7 Elements of a Good Branding Campaign

7 Elements of a Good Branding Campaign

Becoming an online marketer means you have the added weight of trying to connect with your target audience in an often sterile, faceless, nameless environment.

Many consumers are used to dealing with nothing more than a domain name and product image online, but if you can go the extra mile and build a brand and a connection to your customer, you’ll easily be able to dominate in your chosen niche.

There are basically seven elements you can incorporate into your brand building strategy. We’re going to go over all of them and then you can analyze your own efforts and see where you’re doing things right, and where you need to step up your game.

The Right Name

When you’re working online, you walk a fine line between developing a catchy name and one that’s easily findable and recognizable. By recognizable, we mean a name where the reader instantly knows what your business is all about.

For example, look at the comparison of these domain and business names and see which one you feel is a better option for online marketing:

  • versus – First of all, who uses the word “yelp” these days? Secondly, dog barking is a more common phrase than yelping, so your search traffic volume might be a bit higher. At the very least, people won’t have to winder what the site is about.
  • versus – The first name is vague and odd. Billowing usually describes smoke, but the whole domain name is confusing at first glance. The second one is blunt and obvious to the consumer.

Does this mean you can’t have a catchy, non-obvious name? Not at all. But if you decide to go that route, and choose something where it’s not obvious, then you need to be prepared to increase your branding even more so that people associate the name with what you want them to.

Ideally, you’re going to want your domain name to be the same as your business name – so you want to keep it as short as possible. The more opportunities for mistakes that there are, the higher the chance someone will typo and not be able to get to your site.

Your name doesn’t always have to be a company name, either. You can use your personal name and brand that if you want to. Many marketers do that online – and it works just fine!

Look at people like:

  • Tony Robbins
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Dr. Oz

Those are all brands – but they’re built around a person’s name. And just because you don’t have your own TV show or aren’t putting on global seminars, doesn’t mean you can’t brand your name, too.

A Well-Branded Design

Your online design will say a lot about who you are as a company and a brand. Let’s take the IM niche as an example first. You can land on two blogs – one has ads crammed into every space on the blog.

You have sidebar ads, ads under the header, pop-up and exit ads, text hyperlink ads, and more. Your whole experience is spent dodging pop-ups and being blinded by flashing banners.

The other blog is clean with content being the main focal point. There might be a little bit of advertising going on, but they don’t draw attention away from the content – the simply supplement it.

Just the design and layout of your online site tells a lot about your intentions. Blog #1 is out to make money by pushing whatever they can on you. Blog #2 is there to serve.

You want your design to be obviously related to the niche, just like you’ve done with your brand name and domain. If it’s in the diet niche, for example, then you might incorporate these into your design:

  • Fresh, clean colors (motivational, not dark)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • A tape measure
  • Images of happy, smiling, trim and fit individuals

You can have something created specifically for you – not a template – if you hire a good graphics designer. They can also make sure that everything you use design-wise online matches, so that you’re branding across the board. That includes:

  • Your blog theme
  • Your squeeze page
  • Your Facebook cover
  • Your Twitter background and profile header
  • Your Google Plus profile…and more.

Think about how you want your brand to come across. Do you want to be fun and silly or serious and professional? Your design and graphics should reflect that.


A tagline is your motto of sorts. It’s what you want to be known for. It’s typically worked into your WordPress blog profile so that search engines pick it up, but it also can be integrated into your graphic design.

For example, your header image on your blog can include your tagline, as can your Twitter profile’s background or your Facebook cover image. What should your tagline say?

It should be a reflection of what values you hold dear – of what your business or products will provide to the customer. It’s how you act and how they should perceive you.

Here are some examples of taglines:

  • Think Outside the Bun – Taco Bell – This tagline urges people try something different. They’re saying they’re unique. Better. More qualified.
  • Just Do It – Nike – No excuses. This company is all about serious athletes, not part-time procrastinators.
  • Because I’m Worth It – L’Oreal – Gives off an air of upscale indulgence, even though it’s not from a spa – it’s an over-the-counter product.

Think of a tagline – the shorter the better – that you can use everywhere online to help brand your business with the right mindset. It’s okay if you don’t cater to everyone – in fact, it’s better to weed out your non-audience.

You want to attract the right people to your brand. If you’re sarcastic, you want people who appreciate that – not people who will constantly complain about that to everyone online.

What Will Your Voice Say About Your Brand?

Your voice will say a lot to the public online about what your brand is all about. You’ll be creating conversational content online – not sterile, college papers for your readers.

Will you be argumentative? Call people or competitors out? Will you be gentle and motivational? Maybe a mix of the two? Figure out what you want your voice to be like online.

This may mean you have to tone down your personality. For example, if you’re usually sarcastic but online, it comes across as rude, and you don’t want that, then you can change it. Or, you might have to ramp up your personality a bit if you’re typically shy and reserved.

Secure Your Brand With Heavy Socialization

If you don’t brand yourself online, someone else will brand you. You never, ever want to leave that up to chance because people are actually more likely to speak up when they have a negative experience than when they have a positive one.

There are at least six areas where you have to socialize your brand online. Let’s start with your blog. It’s up to you to engage in conversations with your blog readers. Ask them to leave comments and then respond to each one.

Try to secure some guest blogging opportunities where you go out in front of another blogger’s audience and build a relationship and brand yourself in front of them. Again, carry on conversations with them in the comments section.

In your niche’s forums you can brand yourself online. First, do it by posting and commenting with very valuable, helpful commentary. Don’t post a lot of “me too” posts just to get your post count up.

Make sure you use a signature file with your site links and your tagline, so people instantly know how you tend to perceive your business and how they should, as well.

Get a Twitter account for branding purposes. Twitter allows you to brand in several ways – with your 140-character Tweets, where you can share your voice and message – but also with your background image and header profile graphic on your Twitter page.

Use Facebook as well. Facebook can send you a ton of traffic – and you get to interact directly with your audience and let them share your branding message with their own contacts.

YouTube is excellent for branding purposes – or any video platform for that matter, but YouTube is the most popular one. You can get on camera (or at the very least use screen capture and record your computer screen while you talk and give them audio of you).

Sometimes, hearing your voice and seeing your mannerisms can say a lot about your branding – things that plain text on a computer screen just can’t convey. It works both ways though – if you’re monotone and boring, then it might damage your brand, so make sure you practice.

Google Plus is a great tool rising in popularity. They’ve built a platform perfect for branding. You can use posts like Facebook, but you can also do live hangouts with your prospects and customers and let them interact with you in a live video setting.

Branding Through Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tool that your customers allow you to use to brand yourself to them. They’re giving you permission to access their lives on a regular basis, rather than you having to wait for them to contact you.

You want to stay in touch often enough that they don’t forget you, but not several times a day where you become an annoyance. Email them whenever you have something worth sharing.

It helps if you position yourself as a marketer who is always on the cutting edge of your niche. It’s very easy to do – you just keep an ear to the ground and know what’s coming out about your topic.

Sign up for Google Alerts for keywords in your niche. Check on Google daily to see what the buzz is. Type in your niche, such as “ant aging” and then click on the News category and maybe the blog category, too – to see what’s being said that day.

You can then use a news story or other blog as curated content (where you take a snippet, link back to the original article, and add your own commentary about it).

Branding campaigns are on-going efforts – not something you’ll set up once and then abandon once it’s done. You want to evolve with whatever social web 2.0 sites get launched, and remain aware of where your target audience can be found.

6 Easy Ways to Cash in Online

6 Easy Ways to Cash in Online

Most people come online looking for an easy (and fast) way to make money. Many are in the throes of desperation, and without being able to find work offline that sustains their families, they turn to the online marketplace for opportunities.

To say that making money online is easy would be a lie. It’s not a point blank fact for just anyone. It requires the individual to possess certain mindset skills – such as determination, clarity, fortitude in the face of setbacks, and more.

You have to be willing to pursue your business model(s) like it’s your prey and not let the self doubt that everyone eventually feels overpower you. If you can harbor a mindset that supports, instead of defeats you, then you’ll have a much easier time of making money than the rest.

Some people think desire is the only personality trait you need to have, but it’s simply not enough. You can want something a lot, but unless you know how to face every obstacle that you will encounter, you won’t cross the finish line.

Understand that success in online marketing requires you to put yourself out there. That means you need to get past your fear of people thinking you’re not good enough, not pretty or handsome enough, and don’t possess leadership qualities they’re looking for.

Think of it this way – there’s always someone out there who knows less than you do. There are people who don’t know how to send an email, people who want to grow a garden but don’t know the difference between fertilizer and top soil, men and women who would like to pick up golf but couldn’t tell a driver from a 3-iron.

If you ever have any doubt about your qualifications, just focus on these people. They want someone to lead them. Now let me ask you this – would you rather be led by someone who is so far past you, they’ve forgotten what it was like to be a newbie?

Someone who forgets to fill in the gaps of information because it’s been so long ago for them, they just assume everyone knows that stuff? Probably not. You want someone who has the skills and ability to plow forward ahead of you, while keeping in mind where you’re at in your journey.

This is what your target audience will want from you. They want you to guide them. And not everyone will want the same guidance. It’s okay to weed out your non audience. Some people learn better in different ways – audio for one person, video for another, text for someone else.

There are those who like to watch things unfold, people who need hands on tutorials, and some who have to have direct one-on-one hand holding through it all. You’ll be matching your best skillset with the needs of your audience, and letting the others find the best person to teach them, if it’s not you.

We’re going to look at 6 easy ways to cash in online – providing you have the mental resilience to go for it. It’s okay to discover that one business model isn’t right for you. But don’t narrow down the list so much that you pigeon-hole yourself into one area because it’s risky for your financial security to have all of your eggs in one basket.

Tangible Affiliate Marketing

Tangible affiliate marketing is a wonderful way to start online for zero to very little investment. It’s perfect for those who don’t want to be the creator of a product and for those who don’t have a lot of start up money for their online pursuits.

You can promote a wide array of tangible (physical) products online, but it’s best for someone who still wants to position themselves as the expert for that niche. People will want to get buying advice from someone who knows what’s best for them.

So if you get into a niche just because the products have a high price point, yet you know nothing about electronics (for example), your audience won’t be able to trust your recommendations.

Tangible affiliate marketing is basically looking at the marketplace and making recommendations for your audience based on their specific needs. That means you have to uncover their needs on your own, using keyword tools, common sense and research on consumer reviews and more.

So let’s take gaming headsets as an example. The best person for the job would be someone who games. This person would know that there are all different kinds of needs and wants gamers have in their headset design.

  • Some will want headsets that don’t give them a headache from being too tight.
  • Some will want headsets that fit nicely with glasses.
  • Some will want headsets that block out all outside noise.
  • Some will want headsets that don’t make their ears and head sweaty.

You wouldn’t know that kind of stuff if you weren’t a gamer – you’d probably just go on hints like, “cheap headsets” or “bestselling headsets” and in order to truly be successful as a tangible niche marketer, you have to prove to your audience that

Tangible affiliate marketing can be an evergreen, year-round business, seasonal – or both. You want to think in terms of how consumers shop. So obviously, toys would be an evergreen niche – because people buy toys for birthdays and “just because” all year.

But from September through the end of December, there’s a huge boost in how many toys are sold because of Christmas shoppers. So this is a dual tangible niche – evergreen and seasonal.

Dieting is the same. Diet products are sold year round. Treadmills, workout DVDs, nutritional supplements and more sell all the time – but right before New Year’s resolutions, there’s a big spike in sales. Likewise, right before Spring break and summertime when people want to slim down for their beach attire.

Now if you chose a niche like “Christmas décor,” then you’re pigeon-holing yourself into a seasonal gig. Yes, you might sell the occasional odds and ends at other times of the year, but it’s a primarily seasonal niche.

Tangible affiliate promotions are mainly done on Amazon, but that’s not the only place you can sign up to sell. Many Amazon Associates were very disappointed to see their state be put on the no promo list, and many lost their entire business because they put all their eggs in one basket.

You can sell through Commission Junction, Share-a-Sale and many others, too. Go to a website for a store you want to promote, such as Walmart or Look at the bottom for a partner’s link and sign up with whoever they’re affiliated with.

Consumers love to get advice from an outside source before they go shopping. The sheer number of items for sale can be daunting, and if you, as an affiliate, take time to compile “best” lists or lists of items for a specific purpose, it’s very helpful to the shopper.

When you start promoting on Amazon or other programs, you’ll want to have a plan of action. Don’t have one site that promotes anything and everything. Have a theme of some sort.

It could be home goods, electronics, or something narrower such as kitchen appliances, toys for toddlers, or electronic gadgets for golfers. You want to become an authority site for your target audience.

Launch a blog to review the products. You can do a mixture of text and video, and even include some unboxing videos where you showcase the new purchase on camera and give your thoughts off the cuff.

Remember that your goal is to get the reader to click through on the link – but that doesn’t mean you lie or gloss over obvious criticism of the product. Consumers are savvy, and you want to cater to their needs with honesty.

Digital Affiliate Marketing

If you’re the type of person who loves interacting with an online audience, then digital affiliate marketing might be right for you. It’s not as hands off as tangible promotions are.

With digital products, there’s more of an emphasis on it being a solution to a problem, rather than the specifications of what the product includes. Of course, readers do want to know what’s included, but more importantly, they want to know if this digital download will be the answer they were searching for.

The types of people who buy digital downloads want instant gratification in terms of getting the information. They don’t want to wait and drive to a bookstore or order something via Prime on Amazon.

They’re seeking information on a whole host of topics – everything from health and weight loss to success and mindset – even dating and gardening can be on the digital promotion frontier.

They want the info now, and they’re willing to pay a little more to get it. That’s an attractive reason to promote digital products as an affiliate – because instead of a few pennies on a tangible book on Amazon you might get $20-100 or more on a digital course that your audience loves.

As an affiliate, one of the great things about promoting tangibles is that it’s often more interactive and supportive than a tangible item is. If you promoted a Tony Robbins book, there’s no guarantee your buyer would ever get to actually ask him a question.

But often, with digital downloads, the support is just an email away, and many product creators have blogs, webinars, and fan pages where they’re constantly rubbing elbows with their customers.

A digital download promotion can come in many forms. It can include:

  • A simple eBook
  • A membership site
  • A software program
  • An audio product
  • A video product

There can also be a mixture of the above items. And don’t forget coaching programs, too! You might be able to promote a coaching service and earn a commission off of that live interaction.

Digital promotions are typically year round, evergreen niches, but there’s one exception. There are some niches where timing does matter, such as gardening by the season, dieting for New Years’ resolutions or Spring Break, or the Survival niche whenever something happens on a financial or health scale that threatens to wreak havoc on citizens.

But as you’ll notice, all three of those digital niches are also evergreen – they just have certain times of the year when sales might spike. A topic like “nail fungus,” however, wouldn’t have a spike – it would just be year round.

When you promote a digital product, you’re not just promoting the information itself. You’re promoting the person selling it. So you have to be very careful to align yourself as an affiliate with trustworthy sources.

As a digital affiliate marketer, you want to familiarize yourself with the launch of products in your niche. This means getting on notification lists for JV (joint venture) opportunities. You can check launch calendars and sign up on the list of the product creator to find out more details and get access to tools that other affiliates might not have.

You can also check affiliate platforms like ClickBank, JVZoo, Warrior Plus and other places to see what’s recently launched so that you can get in early on a launch, if you didn’t know about it beforehand.

There are different schools of thought about when you should promote digital products. Some people think you shouldn’t promote often, while others say every email should have a promo in it.

That’s up to you – only you will know the preferences of your list. While the tangible niche doesn’t always open itself up to subscribing, the digital one typically does – especially if your free opt in gift is enticing enough, and your newsletter is valuable enough to keep them.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the value at the forefront and that way no one will be disappointed to where they feel like you’re spamming them or using them as a cash cow to milk whenever they feel like it.

Your digital promotions will be done in three places. The first is your blog. You’ll be able to conduct thorough product reviews of the digital products and explain the pros and cons of each one.

You can have banner ads, text links, and more on your blog. This is a great place to participate in what’s known as a launch jack. When you jack a launch, you’re positioning yourself to take a large portion of the traffic for that product.

So for instance, a few weeks before a launch of a product, you can begin blogging about it and using the title in your blog posts. The day of the launch, since people will be looking for information online about it, they’ll come to your review, and then head to the sales letter.

You can also promote directly inside your emails to the subscribers who join your list. You never have to send them to your blog from that point, just directly to the product’s sales page.

And of course, social media also offers a place for promotions. Twitter and Facebook would be the two most-used social media sites for text-based promotions, but you can also try Pinterest for images, and YouTube for videos.

Digital affiliate marketing is a great business branch to combine with tangibles. Not only does it provide you with increased income, but it also helps your target audience get more out of their search for solutions to their problems.

You might be in the stress niche, and find that you can promote stress relieving tangibles on Amazon, with meditation or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) products in digital format. The two go hand-in-hand nicely.

As a digital affiliate marketer, you want to have a strategy that makes you a leader in the niche, even if you don’t have a product of your own. That means you need to gain respect for the products you promote (as well as the people).

Ask for review copies, or purchase the product yourself so that you can review, instead of simply promote it to your audience, sight-unseen. Giving a thorough review builds trust with your audience, but only if you’re honest about the product’s potential shortcomings.

As a digital affiliate marketer, you might be able to include a bonus, depending on the platform. That way, if the customer buys through your link, they get an additional freebie.

This works well on JVZoo, where the bonus can simply be uploaded by you and downloaded by the customer inside their purchase area. Make sure your bonus is relevant and pairs well with the product being sold.

Digital Product Creation

Some newbies mistakenly believe that digital product creation is reserved for those who are already big names, who already have a following, who have certain upper level degrees or experience – but they’re wrong.

Anyone can create a digital product, and it’s often the launch pad for some of the better known experts in a niche. It’s what puts them on the map. And this can be intimidating for some people, who feel shy and uncertain of their abilities to lead others.

But digital product creation is very lucrative. Not only do you earn money from the sales that you generate with your traffic skills, but you also recruit an army of affiliates who go out getting more leads for you to convert, so your earnings expand.

It’s great for anyone who wants to teach in a niche. You don’t have to have a degree, a set number of years’ worth of experience, or anything else. As long as you have an idea and slant for your product, it’s a green light situation.

So what does a digital production endeavor look like? Well first of all, it can be anything you want it to be, as long as it’s online content. The content can come in the form of:

  • An eBook
  • A membership site
  • A video course
  • A podcast

…or a combination of those items. So you’ll want to start with whatever format you enjoy most and are experienced with. Sometimes, you have to look at what you’re good at (and not as good at).

For instance, if you “um” and “ah” a lot, then podcasting probably isn’t the right choice for you, unless you work on your verbal skills. If you make tons of typos, spelling or grammatical errors, then text may not be a good fit.

A digital product is going to teach your readers something – educate them about your topic. So if you’re into diet and fitness, you might teach them how to adhere to a Paleo diet plan.

If you’re into survival, it might be how to prepare for 72 hours, or a year. If you’re tackling the dating niche, you might teach men how to pick up women, and so on. You want to have a solution to the problem your target audience is experiencing.

You can launch digital products that are evergreen or trend-based. If you go with a trend product, then you have to jump on the topic quickly and get it to market before your competitors do.

If it’s a seasonal product, then you’ll need to prepare well ahead of the date, and give yourself enough time to recruit affiliates, and give them enough time to plan for your launch – at least 3-4 weeks’ notice.

Play your cards right in your niche, and you can launch one digital course after another. This is why specific “one problem, one solution” courses work so well. Instead of trying to cover everything in one course, you have it broken up into multiple selling opportunities. Plus, it makes it easier on your audience to digest and implement.

You can sell your digital courses on many platforms. Here are a few of the more popular ones:

  • ClickBank – this is a digital platform where they handle all of your affiliate payments for you. They have a healthy seller base where all sorts of niches are represented (not just online marketing), such as home and garden, parenting, self-help, and more.
  • Udemy – this is a real education-based platform where you list your online course and recruit students from within. Your course has to have at least 30 minutes of content, and 60% of that has to be video.
  • JVZoo – this is a great place for affiliates to find products to promote to the Internet Marketing and other target audiences. When you list your product, affiliates can find it in the marketplace and apply for approval to promote it.
  • Warrior Plus – this is similar to JVZoo in that it caters primarily to Internet Marketers, but also has other products for sale. This is mainly connected to the Warrior Forum as a place to host your sales letter.
  • Your Website – this is hosted on your own domain, and you can connected it directly to PayPal to take payments. There are various programs you can invest in to host an affiliate program where you pay the affiliates yourself. This option does not give you a built in list of customers or affiliates as the other platforms do, so it takes more work.

Why would you want to go this route, instead of just promoting products as an affiliate? There are many reasons, including the fact that maybe you have something unique to say – or you don’t like what’s being taught to people by others.

It’s also a great way to become a published author in digital form, and it provides a level of residual income that you don’t necessarily have with promotions as an affiliate, or with services provided to others.

To get started, you’ll need to decide on a topic you want to teach first. Then pick a specific slant. You’ll want to choose a format. Remember, if it’s going to be hosted on Udemy, then it must contain a good portion of video.

Give yourself time to create good content. This is your reputation on the line, whereas with affiliate promotions, it’s not as much your reputation as it is someone else’s. There’s not set amount, just create enough to thoroughly teach the solution.

Have someone proof it or test it for you after you get it uploaded onto your chosen platform. You want to make sure it’s all in perfect working order and that there are no glitches.

Then begin recruiting affiliates and start work on your follow up product, because digital product creators often develop a series or set of info products they can sell to the same target audience over time.

Kindle Publishing

When you have a story or information to share with the world, you want to get it out in the easiest way possible. Sadly, that isn’t by going through a traditionalpublishing house- and it’s not because your work doesn’t have value.

It’s because agents and editors are the gatekeepers of the traditional print publishing world, and it’s a business that’s based solely on a few peoples’ opinions. But, we all know those opinions can miss the mark.

An example of this is J.K. Rowling, author of the extremely popular Harry Potter series. She struggled to get any publishing house to take interest in her work and yet, her writing was top selling material.

So if you’ve been told no, or if you just want to see your work in print, there is a better way – and that’s by using Amazon’s Kindle publishing method. If you’ve always had a dream to write fiction, then you should go for it.

Life is too short not to chase after your dreams. Thankfully, Kindle is a wide open door that levels the playing field when it comes to writing. All you need is a little know how to get it done.

Of course, there are a few things you’ll need to learn about writing fiction if you want to have a successfully selling Kindle book, but plenty of authors have done it and are making a lot of money since they took that leap into the digital publishing world.

Fiction isn’t the only way that people can benefit by turning to Kindle publishing. There are plenty of nonfiction books published as a Kindle edition, too. The program is perfect for anyone who has some insight or wisdom that they want to share with others.

This is usually useful information that has a waiting audience willing to pay to get that information. It can range from topics like how to set up a garden to getting started in dog training and more. There are so many things that people want to do, but they don’t have the knowledge.

By sharing what you know, you can reach a greater audience, establish yourself as an expert and boost tangible or intangible sales. Going through Kindle publishing is the perfect venue for any would-be or established entrepreneur who wants to make money online.

It’s so easy that Kindle publishing can be used by beginners. But it can also be used by anyone who already has an established business and is just looking to expand. Kindle has all sorts of ways that their books are promoted and that’s half the battle – the marketing of it all.

There are so many people in the world who had their dreams dashed because traditional publishers said no. Here’s a little tip that you might not realize. The odds that the actual publisher ever even saw your work is slim.

That’s because in every single publishing house, there are assistants or interns who go through the manuscripts, or slush piles, as they’re called. These assistants, often fresh out of college and with very little publishing experience, decide if the work is worthy of being seen by the editor.

It’s the same setup at most literary agents’ offices. An intern will make the decision. While that doesn’t seem fair, the reason behind it is because agents and editors see hundreds of manuscripts each day.

Since they’re only one person, it’s only natural that they would need help. Knowing what goes on behind the scenes, it’s easy to see why your manuscript didn’t get the attention that it should have received.

So if you’ve been rejected, take heart. The odds are very high that the rejection had nothing to do with your work – but that the person who saw it wasn’t experienced enough to realize that it should have been passed on to an editor, or it just wasn’t that one person’s personal preference.

Publishing is a very subjective business. You have to have a thick skin and a mindset of determination to make it. That’s how Kindle publishing can be an answer to all of your dreams if you have the perseverance to go for it.

Self-publishing on Kindle simply means doing the work that a publisher would normally do. It means that you have complete control over the content of your book. When you go through traditional publishing, the entire event is a series of approval requests.

You have to get the approval for the manuscript from an agent or editor. He or she will come back to you with suggested changes. Some of these suggested changes, you’ll be urged to make.

Other changes will be non-negotiable. From there, the book will go through a round of edits. The editor and the copyeditor will get back to you with anywhere from a page to several pages of changes that you must make.

Most people assume that an editor or a copyeditor fixes all of an author’s grammar mistakes or content mistakes such as a plot problem. But that’s not true. Authors are given a list of what needs to be fixed and then it’s up to the author to fix them.

Some of these fixes, you won’t agree with. But more often than not in traditional publishing, you won’t have a choice but to make these changes. The rights that you sell to a traditional publisher gives them certain rights to make changes to your work.

It’s usually in the contract that you’ll work with these edits. Once the editing is approved, then you’ll move on to formatting. You won’t get a choice in the formatting style or which preferred grammar rules the publisher likes.

Next, it’s time for the cover. An author can have input on this, but again, he or she doesn’t get the final say. The reason is because the cover artist contracts with the publisher, not with the author.

So when it comes to opinion, yours will be considered lower than the editor’s opinion. If you happen to receive an advance from a publisher, that advance is paid toward earnings the publisher thinks the book will earn.

Some publishers will make an author pay back an advance if the author doesn’t follow the rules listed in the contract. The advance will also go to offset the author’s expenses in the event there’s a book tour set up by the publisher.

If there is a book tour, the author isn’t in charge of deciding this. It’s subject to approval from the publishing company. From start to finish, everything about traditional publishing takes you out of the driver’s seat.

With Kindle publishing, you don’t have to get approval for anything. You’re the one in control. That means that unlike traditional publishing, you get to publish your book with as many or as few pages as you want – even a short, 15 minute story is viable!

It means that you can publish as many books as you want, unlike with traditional publishing, which often demands a series – even if the author had no intention of creating an entire series.

The great thing about Kindle publishing is that you will be published in digital format. So people will receive eBooks when they order. But, authors also have the option of using Createspace so that their books can be print on demand.

That gives customers who prefer print books the option to buy, as well – so you reach a bigger audience. One of the most often asked question by writers looking to become authors is wanting to know when the process is complete. The answer is that the process depends solely on the writer.

You are the one who will decide if it takes you two weeks, a month, several months or years to see your publishing dreams come true. One of the things that will determine how long it will take is your writing speed.

Writing is like any other job in that you need to show up at a regular time every single day and make some progress. You’ll have to let go of the desire for perfection, which is something that causes a lot of writers to freeze.

Just get the words down on the paper or in the writing software. You can go back and edit and tweak, but you should always finish the story first. Remember that you can fix something that’s badly written, but you can’t fix something that’s never been written.

Some writers will sit down and start writing, allowing the words and ideas to flow from the action itself. Other writers can’t work that way. They need to warm up, so they do some prewriting first.

What prewriting does is get the creative juices flowing. It can jumpstart you into writing mode. Freewriting can also help. This is an exercise where you simply write about whatever topic comes to your mind in order to loosen up your creative thought process.

Brainstorming is a method that’s long been used by writers. This can help writers figure out all of the ins and outs of a plot. It can also be used to help when a writer has written himself into a corner.

When you use brainstorming, you think about your story. Some writers will simply write down their thoughts as they’re brainstorming – while others will type them into a document.

But the purpose behind either way is to generate ideas about your story. This can be a new idea or expanding on an idea that you already have. You can brainstorm to fix a plot hole or to help you reach a conclusion about the story.

If you’re writing and you feel completely blocked, brainstorming can help. If you do reach a point where you feel the story has nowhere to go, it means that you’ve written yourself into a corner.

You need to back up and see where the story veered off track. You can start thinking, instead of your characters doing or saying one thing, what if they did something else? Brainstorming can jumpstart a stalled story, but it can also lead to the creation of new ones, too.

That’s because this method allows you to look at your story from a different angle. Some writers choose to brainstorm alone, while others enlist the help of fellow writers. This can be helpful, because sometimes writers are too close to their own work to be able to see it differently.

When you submit your work to the Kindle publishing program, it won’t take anywhere near as long as traditional publishing. In traditional publishing, a manuscript that sells in March, is often not even released until the end of the same year or the beginning of the next one because of how it has to go through those approval steps in the publishing house.

Publishing through Kindle is amazingly fast. The guidelines state that your book will usually be available all over the world in as little as one to two days. However, it usually only takes a couple of hours until you receive the confirmation that it’s gone live.

If you don’t receive a confirmation, it means that something could be wrong with your book and needs to be fixed first. When you want to use the Kindle publishing program, you’ll need a great looking cover for your book.

You don’t want to skimp here, because a cover can make or break your book. How long it will take to have a cover made for your eBook depends solely on the cover artist that you use and how much customization must be done.

Many cover artists have pre-made covers that you can look through, and if you choose one of those, your title and author name are placed on the cover and the files sent to you. The more intricate work that you want done, the longer that it will take.

Ecover artists can use stock photos, which the author pays for as part of the cover price – and once the stock photo is chosen, your cover will be made. If you choose an ecover designer who’s in high demand, you may end up on a waiting list.

Many nonfiction eBook covers can be designed by the author himself as long as he has a good graphic program and a little bit of knowledge. But working with a fiction cover is different. You don’t want one that ends up somewhere on the Internet on a list of worst book covers.

You’re ready to publish your work once you’re done with the editing process. Go to the Amazon’s Kindle publishing link when you’re ready to publish. The link is

You can build an author page using Amazon’s Author Central by using this link.

This is a great marketing tool because readers like a personal connection. You can use your author page to put up a biography about yourself. You can include your professional author photo and link the page to your author blog.

Author Central is only a tool, so you really need to make sure that you have your own domain. The reason for this is that an author should have as much control over his work as possible.

So have your own domain name and don’t use a free site. This looks unprofessional and if someone complains about your site, it can be closed down while the owners of the free hosting decidewhether or not your site should be permanently closed down.

Throughout the entire process, and as you grow your line of books and series on Kindle, you can publish your book using your vision – and get paid quickly for your efforts. You don’t get that same option with traditional publishing, where it becomes about someone else’s vision.

Sadly, so many writers think of traditional publishing as the holy grail of writing – that once they’ve had an acceptance at a big publishing house, fame and fortune are headed their way.

This isn’t the case. There have been numerous stories of publishers cheating authors out of money. You can check this yourself simply by doing a search on whichever publishing company you have in mind plus the word lawsuit.

Or you can type in the name of the publishing plus the words “not paying authors.” Another thing that can happen with traditional publishing is either a folding line or a resigning editor.

When a line at a publishing house folds, if your book doesn’t fit into any of their other lines, it’s shelved. But because you signed a contract, that doesn’t mean that you get to take your book elsewhere.

It means that because you sold the rights to your book, they can let it languish there, unpublished and there’s not a thing you can do about it unless you have a clause in your contract that reverts the rights back to you.

Most publishing houses will revert rights to the book back to the author after a certain number of years. So say that you received an advance of $75,000 but the line folded and you can’t get the rights back for five years.

That means that advance that looked pretty good for one year just became $15,000 per year. Not even poverty level. And if the editor leaves, it’s up to the company to find you another editor – one you might not want to work with, but will have no choice – because of the contract you signed.

Most authors who are with traditional publishing houses still work a full time job. Not because they want to, but because they have to in order to pay the bills. For every book that’s sold, the profits are divided and the author is the last one to get paid.

The publishing company takes the lion’s share of the profits. The author gets what’s left over after the publisher is paid. How much the author will get paid will depend on the royalty break down in the contract.

For example, some authors earn 8% of the cover price of a book that’s placed in bookstores. So a book that costs $3.99, the author only sees about .32 cents. This royalty payout changes depending on whether the book is in hardcover or paperback.

Digital copies are paid differently as well and usually at a higher rate because the publisher’s overhead is less. The royalty payments are also determined by where the book is sold.

Books sold in the United States earn a different royalty rate than books sold in foreign countries. Kindle is a good business model to add to your online marketing efforts for several reasons.

Not only can it help brand you as an expert, but it creates a stream of passive income for as long as your book is for sale. And you get control over the money in a way that you don’t have with traditional publishing.

Using Kindle to self-publish fiction or non-fiction books can fulfill your dreams, help you increase your income, and lead to other opportunities that leverage your expertise, like speaking engagements.

When you’re ready to use Kindle publishing, there are some specific things that you’ll need to decide. The first thing that you need to decide is whether or not you’re going to write fiction or nonfiction.

One thing about choosing one or the other is that there are writers who do both. However, while there are some similarities between the two, such as making sure that you research if you’re mentioning a real place or event, they are very different animals.

The next thing that you need to so is to pick a genre. A genre simply means a category. It’s where the book will fit. For example, horror is a genre. Suspense is a genre. So is chick lit.

Some advice about choosing a genre is to pick one that you personally enjoy, ones that you read.If you love to read horror stories, then you’ll enjoy writing about them. If you absolutely hate romance novels, you won’t like writing them.

And you want to choose a genre that feeds your passion, because writing can become a fulltime career. There’s a lot to be said about the actual writing process. You’re going to hear a lot of conflicting advice about which process is the “right” way.

Here’s something that you don’t want to forget. The right way is the one that works for you. If it helps you get the words down, then that’s the one that you should use. If the process causes you to be unable to write, then don’t use it.

There are two main methods that writers use. They either outline or they don’t. Either one of these methods is correct. Your personality will be a determining factor. If you’re someone who enjoys making lists and you like knowing where you’re going and having bullet points and subheadings, then using an outline would be good for you.

In fiction, outlining is just another word for plotting. There are plenty of authors who plot. Then there are those who don’t. Authors who don’t plot or outline write off the cuff. Another word for that phrase you’ll run across is the word pantser.

It means writing by the seat of your pants. You have no idea what’s going to happen next in your story because you haven’t looked ahead at the plot. With that type of writing, the author is often surprised at the way the characters will behave.

Some authors like writing this way because they don’t want to know how the story ends. They want to be like the reader and learn the story as it unfolds. There are valid writing pros to both methods.

If you have an analytical mind, it’s highly likely that you’ll find writing off the cuff more difficult. All writers must have the time to write. If you don’t make time, you won’t find it. You need to learn to treat writing as a job, with times that you’re supposed to show up and produce a word count.

It takes a lot of discipline to sit down every day and write. You need to have a goal. If you want a book done in thirty days, then take your projected word count and divide it up by 30.

That’s the amount of words that you have to write every single day. If you miss a day, then you have to double up the next day or divide the count that you didn’t get by the remaining days and tack those extra words on.

An editor is an absolute necessity. The person who thinks they don’t make mistakes writing is only fooling himself. When you’re writing, it’s easy for the mind’s eye to add words, thinking that you wrote them in.

It’s easy to transpose letters. These little mistakes pull a reader out of the book and reviewers expect a book to be edited. Books that go up unedited often receive the harshest reviews.

Make sure that you get a professional ecover made. If the ecover is ugly, it can turn away potential readers. The ecover reflects the book. If readers see a bad cover, then they’ll often think that the writing must be equally as bad. Always make the best impression with your book that you can make.

Once the book is edited and you have the ecover, check the formatting for any last minute issues. Sometimes, writing programs will add an extra blank page between chapters and you’ll need to take those out.

Once you’ve gone through all of that, it’s time to submit your document for publication. Then, you can take a deep breath and start on the next book. Have a little celebration for your publishing event and keep your momentum going.

Freelance Services

Freelance services have become a booming business online for many new entrepreneurs. This is because it’s easy to do work for someone who is launching their business or maintaining an already successful one, but much harder to start your own from scratch.

Entrepreneurs online often end up in over their heads. They need help, but working for yourself means you can’t call an assistant in your office and delegate tasks. So these people primarily outsource to people like you.

Freelance services are great for people who want to jump right in without building their own business. You don’t care about the glory and fame – you just want to get paid and enjoy what you’re doing.

You have to be able to take orders from people. Even though you’re working from home, a client isn’t too different from a boss. They will have specific tasks for you to do, deadlines, and quality concerns about your finished product or service.

What does freelancing entail? Basically, there are two ways to go about getting clients who pay you for the tasks they can’t (or don’t want to) do. You can put the word out there that you’ve launched your business, such as a website listing or advertisement.

Or, you can be proactive and go out bidding on project listings. There are all sorts of websites that allow clients to create an advertisement to hire freelancers for things like content creation, website building and more.

When and if you’re awarded the job, you’ll need to abide by the client’s chosen process. Some will pay upfront and expect delivery on a certain date. Others will pay in increments – as each milestone is reached for the project.

There are always new projects being awarded on a daily basis. Some will be quick, short-term projects that take you an hour. Others might be (or develop into) long-term, on-going freelance projects.

There are many places you can go to find freelance work. You can set up your own website, which would tell a little about your services and prices, and possibly give examples of your work.

You can also go to established sites that serve as a go-between for clients and freelance workers from all over the world. Don’t be intimidated by those who underbid you.

Some countries have a lower cost of living, but because they’re often not from countries with English as a first language, clients would prefer to pay a little more to hire someone who does speak fluent English.

To find these sites, look up freelance marketplaces on Google, and if you want something specific, add that, too – such as “writer for hire” where you’ll be more likely to get results about sites that pair freelance writers with buyers.

Don’t forget word of mouth, too. This is very powerful. If you know online entrepreneurs, make sure you spread the word that you’re making yourself available for hire. If you don’t know any, there’s something else you can do.

Approach some marketers with a free test run of your services. You don’t have to offer to write an entire eBook, but whip up an article on a topic of their choice. That way they can see the quality of what you offer.

Freelance service providing gives you a great opportunity to get started making money online without having to put money into an online business up front. Instead of having to pay for everything, you get hired and get to work.

There are a few things you want to have in place before you begin freelancing. First and foremost, you want to have the tools you need to complete the job. The last thing you want to do is launch a service and get hired to do something you can’t create.

You should have a price sheet for the various services you’re offering. If you don’t know what to charge, compare your services to others to see what a beginner would charge and then go along those lines.

A profile is very important, whether you’re signed up to work on a freelance site or creating a biography page for your own domain. Let the prospective clients know what you can do for them.

After you set up a profile, create a portfolio. You don’t have to have a portfolio of actual work done for others. If you’re writing, whip up a couple of one-page samples on various topics.

If you’re creating logos, then create a few dummy company logos just to show the style and abilities that you possess. If you’re building websites, create a demo one for your clients to browse.

Coaching Services

Coaching people on the Internet has become an advanced strategy of making money online – but one any beginner can master easily. What makes it more advanced is that many entrepreneurs don’t feel qualified to call themselves a “coach,” so they steer clear of it.

Coaching is perfect for anyone who has the ability to inspire and motivate others. You don’t have to be an expert or have a PhD to be an online coach. You just have to want to help others and create a game plan to do it.

It’s especially good for those who have overcome an obstacle or achieved their own goals and now want to pass on what they’ve learned to others. For example, if you lost 100 pounds, you might want to coach others on how to do that, too.

Coaching can come in many forms. You can be a group coach or an individual coach. You can coach through emails, through face to face online video streams, or through chat or membership programs where a back and forth communication is possible.

The best thing about coaching is that you do it on your own time. So you could effectively launch a side business of coaching, even when you already had another fulltime job in the offline world.

You could have set hours that your coaching clients could schedule with you, whether you prefer days, evenings, weekends, or all of them mixed in together. You can set the coaching calls as long or short as you want them.

In fact, you can charge by the half hour. So your pricing strategy could be $97 for a 30-minute call, and $179 for an hour, giving them a discount if they order a longer time. You can also sell packages for your coaching calls, like a set of 5 calls for $397 to get more cash coming in quicker.

Coaching can be done from the comfort of your own home. You can use a myriad of tools at your disposal, from phone and email to Skype or Google Hangout calls. Live video is a great way to cater to your clients, and you can record the sessions for them to refer to at a later date.

Why coach individuals or groups when you can simply create an eBook or membership course and have a hands-off approach, instead? Many people want the security of some hand holding as they go through a process.

They want to be able to ask questions and get answers, and instead of you simply allowing that as a free perk of them buying your eBook, you can add it on to – or use it to replace – an eBook product.

The first thing you’ll want to do when you launch a coaching business is do a little spying on your competition. See what services they offer and at what rates. Craft something that works well for you in terms of your knowledge and convenience.

Set up your website and begin participating online in places where your service can gain traction. Run advertisements to let people know about your service. And make sure you give people a free, one-time consultation to get them hooked and make sure you’re both a good fit for each other.

The best part about cashing in online is that you can apply each and every one of these money making methods to your business. In fact, it’s recommended that you not put all your eggs in one basket.

Start off with one route you feel most comfortable with, most skilled at, and then add on one branch of your business at a time. For example, maybe you’re a great writer who loves the anti aging niche.

Start by creating an info product of your own and then add on tangible affiliate marketing. Later, partner up with other info product creators as a digital product affiliate. And perhaps publish on Kindle and find a way to get coaching clients to pay you for your one-on-one advice.

As you start to gain a foothold in your chosen market, you’ll want to begin delegating certain tasks so that you can expand your empire. There’s simply no way you can get it all done yourself once your level of success grows to a certain magnitude.

You might even choose to hire a virtual assistant who acts as something similar to a secretary or employee, even though they’re still technically solo entrepreneurs, themselves!

As you go through these options, you might find a couple that you really enjoy. And some may flop for you. Perhaps your heart’s just not in it, or you don’t yet grasp the concept.

That’s okay. Don’t let it affect you. Many entrepreneurs find methods they let fall by the wayside over time because they either don’t enjoy it or don’t fully feel like they’re good at that method.

One of the best things you can do is invest in your education about these money making methods. For instance, if you want to be a freelance writer, learn all you can about improving your writing.

If you want to coach people, spend time reading about how to read people and motivate others to succeed. These skills will serve you well, and it takes the place of a standard degree that is typically required with a job. You will have a self taught education to tack onto whatever formal training you already possess.