Build Your List With Online Contests

Online contests are great ways to build your list. If you’re not sure what a list is, or what I mean, it is a collection of email addresses that you use to promote your products and services using a special emailing program like Aweber or Mail Chimp. It is considered “permission marketing” because the people who give you their email address are giving you permission to market to them.

There are a variety of ways to get permission such as:

* Pay per click advertisements — You purchase keywords to promote your website, sending those who click on your advertisement to a special landing page in which they submit their email address.
* Selling a product or service — Once you enter a business relationship with someone you are permitted to put them on your mailing list to promote business.
* Giving away a product or service — Often this is done in exchange for the email address and it is understood that the potential client or customer is trading his or her email address for the free product or service.
* Having a simple signup — Online you put code on your website that allows someone to sign up for more information or a newsletter. No need to give away anything, have a contest or a sale. If they enter their email you can market to them.
* Online contests — A fun way to collect email addresses for marketing purposes that can result in a lot of sign ups fast in which you conduct a game where people win prizes, or one major prize.

Online promotions are expanding exponentially for all types of businesses. It doesn’t matter if your business is online or offline; online contests can boost your visibility a great deal and increase signups for your email list fast. To have a good result with a contest your prize should be bigger than a typical giveaway. In fact, the prize should be the largest one you can afford to give.

By giving away something large of value to the winner, you will create even more buzz about the contest. Plus, a larger prize will make your contest practically promote itself! For instance, if you have a contest that requires the participants to get votes, then they’ll be sharing it with their friends, and so forth. You’ll not only get more entries, but you’ll get voters who also provide their email address to you.

If you make the prize your own products or services, all the better. By giving away your product you’ll also probably create at least one customer for life. If the product is good, and I’m sure it is, the recipient will tell people it’s good, and they’ll buy your other products and services too. Plus, if you give away your own products are services in the contest you’ll be appealing only to your target audience. By giving away something else like a Kindle or something, you may attract only freebie seekers. Save those type of contest giveaways for your affiliates and offer your own products and services as the big prize on list building contests.

Top Five Benefits of Outsourcing For the Online Business Owner

If you’re an online business owner who never gets to rest, then it might be time to start looking for contractors to whom you can outsource various aspects of your business. There are many benefits to outsourcing for both you and the contractor, you may not have considered upon first glance. One reason is that, on the books, outsourcing looks like an expense, but in reality, outsourcing is a very lucrative investment.

Big business knows that outsourcing works, this is why they do it. It’s proved time and again that having an entire call center on site does not pay, therefore many businesses that take orders outsource their order processing to a firm that only handles order processing. In addition, some businesses also outsource order fulfillment and even their entire manufacturing process and focus only on marketing and product development. Other firms even outsource those items. With today’s advanced technology, it’s easy to outsource almost every aspect of your business even if you’re a solo entrepreneur running an online business from your kitchen table. The top five reasons that you should outsource are:

Maximize your efficiencies – This can be summed up by saying that you should do what you do best, that makes you the most money, and let others do what they do best and makes them the most money. If you are earning money as a Life Coach, why should you involve yourself in writing, bookkeeping, data entry, sales page creation, bookkeeping, affiliate management, and other positions that do not bring in as much money as your core product, in this case coaching? If you outsource the tasks that aren’t earning you the most money you’ll free up more time to make more money doing what you do best.

You lack the skill – In your business you’re not going to be able to do everything and know everything so sometimes you have to seek out an expert. If you’re not a web designer then learning web design might be outside the scope of your expertise, leave the web designing to the experts. Of course you should tell the web designer what you want the website to do, and look like, but outside of that, let it go and let the expert do what they do best and you go on your way and do your thing. You’ll both be a lot happier. By outsourcing something you lack skill in you’ve actually added that skill to your repertoire even if you’re not doing it yourself.

Grow your business – The fact is, as a solo online business owner, if you don’t outsource eventually your business will not be able to grow further. If you’re happy with working your fingers to the bone and never getting any sleep, and having your spouse angry at you for not spending enough time with the family every day, then that’s fine. However, if you want to have a good quality of life and grow your business you’ll outsource, at the very least the mundane everyday tasks that you dread doing the most. If you want to grow, you’ll let go and go for it.

Return on Investment (ROI) – While a contractor appears to be an expense on the books, hiring a good contractor is a real investment. Not only will you save time allowing other people to do things they’re good at while you do what you’re good at, you will see an increase in your over all income if you use the time saved wisely. Think of it this way: If you currently earn $75.00 performing your core work function for your business, and you pay a Virtual Assistant $25.00 an hour to perform a task that does not earn you money (data entry, calendar management or other tasks) that frees up another hour for you to earn $75.00. This is a net increase of $50.00 for your business every hour you free yourself up to perform your core money making function.

Create more joy – If you’re not getting enough sleep, and you’re working yourself to death, you are not enjoying life to the fullest. Think back to why you started your online business. Most people started their online business to have more time with family, more flexibility, and to earn more money. Via outsourcing, you truly can have it all. You can spend a day at the park on a beautiful day while your Virtual Assistant completes important tasks for you. What could be better than that?

The Most Important Factor to Remember about Going Mobile

You may be eager to start making money with your mobile – but until you’ve got it properly set up, optimized and tweaked – and visible in mobile web directories – that would be like putting the cart before the horse.

One of the most important tips about mobile websites that no one ever seems to give you, however, doesn’t involve learning Tiny XHTML, figuring out what WAP means or studying every mobile operating system ever invented. It’s much more basic than that.

Don’t overcomplicate things.

You really don’t need to become a professional mobile web designer. There are simple 1-column templates for mobile blogs, plug-ins to help your existing one adapt (or at least show up in a readable form) and even virtual, on-line mobile site builders (some of them free!)

The truth is, the rest of the world is way further ahead with mobile technology than the U.S. If this surprises you, let it spur you on to finally create that mobile website.

Your Mobile Site is Live

Once your site is live, don’t waste time – start monetizing it immediately.

– Create a free application, then offer an upgrade to a paid version (with fantastic customer support
– If that sounds too hard, drive some traffic to your mobile site with article marketing, paying particular attention to your resource box, of course
– If you’ve got something to say about going mobile, write an article on the subject, and submit it to A1-Optimization, a directory popular with webmasters (submit it to their Mobile category).
– if you need information yourself, check out the subjects in their Mobile category yourself

Positioning yourself as an expert on mobile technology – not dishonestly, but making the most of your own diligent and proactive learning curves – can help increase your authority more quickly than you’ll ever know. (Just be honest, and don’t pretend to be more expert than you are: The key is to be helpful, not clever.)

The Hidden Advantage about Going Mobile that will Help You Make More Money

The most important monetization factor in going mobile isn’t selling ringtones or monetizing with ads – it result from staying connected…

– With your target customer
– Your industry
– The latest trends
– The latest opportunities

By operating your business from your mobile as well as your PC, you’ll be able to keep on top of things as they happen. What you may be surprised to find is… instead of overloading you with yet more cyber communication, being able to deal instantly with or note things quickly through your mobile – or respond to a frustrated customer or missing order – actually seems to relieve the burden of cyber stress. And taking fast, instant action can help break you of that deadly online marketer habit: Procrastination.

(You are far more likely to become distracted on your PC than on your mobile! Mostly because when you’re out and about, you just don’t have the opportunity to waste away 3 hours without even realizing it.)

The more you stop to think about it, there’s every reason to go mobile with your websites… and no reason to stick your head in the sand. Because mobile technology isn’t going to give up and go away.

How To Achieve Your Goals

There is, unfortunately, no set formula for knowing how to achieve your goals. Goals are funny things: although they are generally there to help make our lives better, they can soon become overwhelming and things we come to dread. This is why it’s important to think carefully about the goals you set and the way you go about achieving them. Here are 5 steps to increase your chances of success.

1) Make Them Realistic – When you set goals, they have to be realistic. To help make sure that they are, make goals that are actionable and measurable. For example, instead of saying you will lose weight this year, tell yourself that you will lose x pounds by March, by walking to work every single day. This kind of goal is specific enough to achieve, and is the first step in knowing how to achieve your goals.

2) Make A Plan – Once you know what your goals are, you need a plan to make them happen. The last point touched on this fact: if you can make a solid plan for a goal then you know it’s a realistic one. This may mean breaking down goals into smaller steps you can take every day or every week. For example, if you want to de-clutter, you might target one area of your home a week. This will help to prevent overwhelm.

3) Set A Deadline – If your goal has no deadline then you’ll just keep putting it off. If you want to know how to achieve your goals, you’re going to have to set a date by which you want to meet all of them. We all know things may eventually change, but setting a date in the first place is the best way to make sure you put in some real effort.

4) Take Action – Although it sounds obvious, a goal will never become a reality unless you take action. So many of us make goals every January only to forget them a few weeks later. Don’t let this happen to you! Start working on your goals immediately, even if you’re only taking small steps to make them happen.

5) Keep Track – Now you’ve started taking action, it’s important to keep track of how you’re doing. Keep yourself accountable by taking an honest look at how you’re doing to meet your broken-down steps, and change the way you do things if you think it’ll help. Realize that everyone does slip up from time to time! But measuring your progress can help you to keep going.

Knowing how to achieve your goals is one thing, but it’s up to you to put things into action. Make this your year!

[CASE STUDY] How To Get 138,000 Facebook Comments In A Flash!

When you’re not just ‘stealing’ penny clicks from Google AdWords it’s always useful to have other web traffic tactics to fall back on.

So, with that in mind, I was reading a post on a marketing forum when I ran smack-bang into the following headline…

“This Image Created Over 138,000 Comments On Facebook … Feel Free To Copy it!”

Great headline (which I’d love to dissect here but that’s a post for another day) but what’s even more impressive was the content of the thread…

If you’re a registered Warrior Forum member then you can read the full thread yourself right here.

In a nutshell, here’s what this tactic achieved on Facebook:


Impressive. Anyway, here’s what matters to you and exactly what this guy did…


This is the simple graphic responsible for generating over 138,000 comments on

All that the marketer in question did was re-post a graphic that Oprah’s O.W.N. network created.

A simple “feel good” word puzzle with a little blurb encouraging readers to post the first word their eyes pick up from the jumbled letters.

No plugins. No apps. No incentives.

This should probably be considered “marketing 101″ but almost no one sees it. It’s less about the image and more about the way we’re all hardwired to react.

This tactic taps into basic human traits hardwired into our very core. The kind of thing that master manipulators and seduction experts prey on. (Yes, I’m talking about political campaign executives and breakfast cereal companies)

  • Entertainment
  • Emotion
  • Motivation
  • Curiosity
  • Social engineering

When you know which buttons to push you can get people raving about you or railing against you on every social media platform on the planet…all the while promoting the heck out of your website or links for free!

If there’s enough interest in this topic I’ll return to it later and start writing some mind melting stuff about social engineering and manipulation that will leave your legs wobbly.

In the meantime, do you want to create a word puzzle just like the one in this case study using your own words?

Here’s a link that will help you to do just that (free).


EDIT: If you use the tool free tool above to create a word puzzle for your Facebook fans then feel free to add a comment below linking to your page and/or post back with the results of your own tests.

FYI – I decided to open this post to comments after I tried this experiment myself on one of my special interest Facebook pages. I simply hid hot-button words relating to my niche and asked my fans to post a comment when they found one. Result? My word puzzle resulted in the most comments I’ve ever received on any Facebook update for that page.

Video Marketing and Pre-Launching – How Video can Increase Your New Info Product’s Visibility

Video marketing is one of the new ways that companies can market information products and it can be a great way to market products that are in pre-launch. You may have noticed an increase in websites that offer streaming video. With this increase has been an increase in the number of applications and elements that you can add to video. Video can be a great way to get in free marketing and they can be embedded into your blog or your website and you can create links that can be placed all over the web or even in emails.

Videos are not difficult to create and can contain a wealth of information. You can put in animation or screen shots in addition to creating commercial style videos or even demonstrations of products and services. This works out as a great marketing tool.

Videos are significantly more likely to draw attention than other forms of marketing. This is because they are engaging on a number of levels. You want to create a desire for your product and that means that you must present both yourself and your product in the best possible light.

There is no better way to do this than through video. It allows individuals to be engaged both in an audio and visual manner. This accomplishes several things. First, your customers and visitors are more likely to watch a video than read a sales page. This means you increase the awareness of your information product.

The second thing that videos do is to create a larger impression making it easier to remember. This is exactly the sort of response you want especially during a pre-launch. You want customers to remember the product, especially in times where there may be a several weeks or even months between the time you begin advertising and the time that the information product is actually launched.

Other options that go along with video can also be podcasts. These are generally interviews so they will need to be from individuals who have found your product helpful. However, this usually requires some sort of beta testing. So, creating either videos or podcasts that involve these types of interviews usually also involves a significant amount of preplanning but can be easily included in pre-launch strategies.

You are definitely going to want to consider video and podcast interviews for information based products. People like to know that the information they are receiving is going to be useful and there is no better way than to supply testimonials from individuals who have had the opportunity to try the product. Getting testimonials from people is generally not difficult if you offer the product to them for free in exchange for their opinion. Once they have read your information product, simply plan 10-15 minutes to record an interview with them.

Videos are a great way to bring attention to a product and create a lasting impression. This is why they are one of the best ways to promote an information product in its pre-launch phase. Video can also be embedded or linked through websites, emails and blogs making them highly versatile.

How To Redirect Visitors to your Mobile Website

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most user-friendly sites on the mobile web – and that’s great news for those who are going mobile with their websites, because it means people can right-click on links in Twitter – and be automatically taken to a mobile version of your site, if they’re accessing it from Twitter.

The best way to accomplish this is to set up redirects, so that whenever a user is detected on a mobile, it goes straight to the mobile version of your site. There are several ways to do this, all based on detecting browser screen size.

The easiest method I’ve seen comes from, and involves inserting a small piece of JavaScript code on your main website, “anywhere between and “. (I’d recommend right at the bottom of your page, so as not to interfere with search engine bots and site SEO.) I tried the piece of code provided – and it worked! I don’t have permission to reproduce the code – I only found it today, and there’s been no time to contact the blog owner, but you can find the article with the code snippet at the following link:

Treat Your Mobile Website like A Tweet

So you’ve successfully redirected them to the mobile version of your website – now what?

If you’re re-writing a shortened, condensed version of your main website, treat it like a Twitter tweet: Just hit the high points, and strip out all the filler. (One thing Twitter has done for us since its inception: Turned us into effective self-editors!) Think of your mobile site visitors like Twitter users, and you’ll increase your targeting automatically: You have about 2 seconds to get to the point, and half that again to show them where they want to go.

Don’t use bottom of the page or sidebar navigation – simple tabs at the top will do the best job (and people are becoming used to looking there for them.) Make sure your type fonts are large enough, and easy to read (Verdana and Arial are two of the most popular), and avoid “high tech” color combinations with dark backgrounds (unless your demographic is between 18 and 26): Most people find them hard on the eyes.

Make your site easy to bookmark – and remind people to do it (your “call to action”.)

Above all, be consistent with every element. After all, you’d find even Twitter confusing, if the colors and layout changed every time you visited.

Don’t worry – you’ll soon get into the habit of “thinking mobile”. But until then, remember this maxim:

Keep it short… and sweet.

The Value of Membership

Membership marketing is an extremely valuable tool for online business owners and internet marketers. It is a great way to create customer loyalty and establish a reliable revenue stream that will help your business grow.

But the value of membership marketing is often times misunderstood. The true value of membership marketing is not the additional sales. It’s not even the cash. The true value of membership marketing is all about the customer.

I know what you are asking. Isn’t the money the ultimate goal, and therefore the “value” of creating a membership site and membership marketing program? Yes, of course there is value in the revenue gained from membership marketing and yes, of course that is the ultimate goal. But the value of the program itself is all about gaining new customers and hanging on to the ones you already have.

Once your customers become members, you have automatically secured “x” amount of dollars. They have agreed to purchase a membership and because of your attractive, discounted offerings, they will most likely produce additional, reliable revenue for you as well by buying your actual products. This is essential.

However, what happens when their membership expires? How do you keep them your customers coming back for more?

The key to customer renewal is… you guessed it! Value!

You must entice with value, deliver value, and entice with value again.

For example, when initially trying to entice a customer to become a member, you may offer a free product as a perk to signing up for your program. People love free stuff! Don’t you?

Once you have made this promise, you then must deliver on it. In other words, make sure you provide them with that product as soon as possible so they know you can be trusted. And finally, reinforce your value by enticing members with value again. Offer them a discount on their next purchase should they choose to renew their membership with you. You may also want to take that opportunity to upsell them to the next membership level, where the discount is even greater.

Incentives are absolutely critical to gaining customers and renewing memberships. Nothing says value more than quality products and service and when you are offering a great deal on great products, your business will succeed.

The incentives you offer should add a high perceived value to your customers without costing you much if any resources at all. You may want to offer a set discount for membership renewal, exclusive free bonus materials for returning members only, or both! Just be careful not to give away everything for free. You must be strategic when offering incentives.

There are many reasons membership marketing is valuable. But customers are at the heart and soul of what makes this so true. Without customers… or even better, members… there is no revenue stream. And without a revenue stream, your membership site has no value. Therfore, the true value of membership marketing is the customer.

How to write an effective product review

Writing effective product reviews for your product review website is one of the most important aspects of your product review website. If you leave information out of your review, your readers probably won’t return, and the search engines might not pick you up in the first place. In order to have a successful product review site you need to have visitors, return visitors, and the only way to do that is to give the readers and search engines what they want.

Keywords — Study your niche so that you know what keywords to focus on for each item you review as well as for each page in your site. You can only do this by knowing who your target market is and why this product will help them solve their problems and make their lives easier. If you don’t know the answers, do research to find out.

Know your target — if you don’t know who your target audience is, you won’t be able to pick products, services, or anything that your target audience needs. You must know your target audience’s fears, desires, and wants so that you can anticipate the types of products and services they will buy.

In addition to choosing accurate keywords and knowing your target market you need to include particular information for each review for it to be effective. By including similar information about each product or service you won’t miss facts and you’ll be able to get each review up faster.

Create a checklist that includes:

Product Name — If the readers don’t know what the product is called, then they’re not going to know what to buy. Make it easy. Link to your affiliate link with the product name right from the start and then again throughout your review.

Product Cost — Always include the president cost and any coupon numbers you can get the vendor to supply. Never hurts to ask a vendor if they can assign a special product coupon code just to you, especially if you believe you will send many sales their way.

Promises Kept — The product you are reviewing likely has a sales page or brochure of some kind. Tell your audience whether they lived up to their hype. Be very specific about what they lived up to and what they did not live up to. If they made claims or promise where they missed the mark, say so.

Your Opinion — End your product review with your opinion about whether the product is worth the price. This is your chance to state how you feel about the product and how you think your target market will feel about the product. Close with what you’ve already told them, and give your honest opinion and review of the facts.

How To Attract more Viewers for your Videos

One of the simplest ways to attract more viewers lies in not ignoring a small but larger-than-you-likely-realize segment of your potential market: Namely, those who are still on dial-up. While admittedly a small segment of the global population, their business can boost your sales more than you might think possible.

One of the strongest reasons? You’ll be providing a service 98% of all other video marketers ignore – making your videos much easier to load and view for those to whom a 5-minute video load can often equal over an hour of waiting time.

“Get over it. Get high speed”, is something you hear on forums, if those on dial-up dare to complain about load in times. But the simple truth is, there are those in rural areas all across North America for whom dial-up is still the only available service. Perhaps a tower has not yet been built, or geographic conditions just don’t facilitate signal.

It’s not always about these viewers being “stubborn” or “cheap” – most of them would kill for high speed!

How can you make your videos accessible to those on dial-up?

1. You’ll speed up dial-up viewers’ load in times considerably, if you provide a simple “low fidelity” option. And your high speed viewers can still access your high fidelity version

2. Keep your video segments short. It’s much easier to load in a 3-minute video than an 8.27 minute one. In fact, 3.46 minutes seems to be the cut-off time at which video views drop by half (as you’ll quickly discover, if you spend a day browsing view rates and marketing video lengths on YouTube)

3. Allow purchasers to download video series you are selling in individual zip files, rather than one huge one. It can easily take 6 hours to download a 78 mb zipped video file containing 12 “lessons” for someone on dial-up… and chances are, they’ll sit through that (on the rare occasions they’re dedicated – or foolish – enough to try, only to find that their rural phone line couldn’t sustain the download… leaving them with a corrupt, inaccessible file to show for all that effort. (Nothing is more frustrating!)

4. Let them know your video files are “dial-up friendly”. Mention it in your sales pitch; on your web page; in your blog… or even in your signature! (What’s the use of creating short, low fidelity videos – if nobody knows you have them?)

Believe me, the sort of gratitude you’ll get may not propel you towards a six-figure income, but these dial-up viewers will get high speed eventually – and you’ll have earned their loyalty and dedication for life!