What is List Building and Why Should I Do It?

Email lists are a tried and true way of marketing your products and services to many people at once. It’s an easy way to get the word out about a sale, an event, product updates, etc.. to as many people at one time as possible. Essentially, it’s a database of your clients’, potential clients’, and interested parties’ email addresses.

In order to build up a large number of people on your email list it is important to do some marketing that is focused on building up the list. There are a lot of ways to do this such as:

* Pay per click marketing — You bid on keywords to promote your advertisement and when someone clicks on it, they click through to a special landing page that you made for them in which they then, hopefully sign up for your email list.
* Online contests — You play a game in which a prize or prizes are given to winners of the game. To play the game, participants must enter their email address, which signs them up for your email list.
* Freebies and giveaways — You offer a free eBook or eReport in exchange for the target’s email address, which signs them up for your email list.
* Making a sale — By making a sale, everyone who buys is and should be automatically entered into your email database as a current customer.

Now that you know the various ways to build your list, why should you do it? The fact is, email marketing, no matter the strides social media has taken the last few years, is still the very best way in which to market your services. Not only that, if you ever want to sell your business, having a large and responsive email list is a huge component in being able to demand a higher price!

By having an email list you’ll be able to sell your products and services to your audience. This is not SPAM. So many people worry that having an email list, and then sending them emails is the same thing as SPAM but it’s not. If you sign up to received something, technically it is not SPAM. If you sign up to receive something, and you get something awesome, then you’re going to be more likely to purchase from them than the next unknown entity. Therefore, you want to build your email list so you can show them how awesome you are, and make lots of sales.

The great thing about an email list is that pretty much any time you want to, you can give yourself a raise. You can promote a product or service via your email list, and if you’ve done the work to build your list full of your target audience, you’ll make sales. Maybe you want to use your email list to ask something else of your audience, guess what you, you can do that too. You have a huge audience that you can activate at a moment’s notice.

Another awesome fact about having a solid email list is that it will also increase your website stats if you promote each new blog post or podcast to your audience. We all need reminders, and by using the email list as a way to remind your readers about your new post, you’ll get more readers, more commenters, and if each post you make has a call to action, more action. If you want more traffic and more sales, the email list is the best way to do it.

Consider having an online contest today to promote email list sign ups. You won’t be sorry that you did it.

Five Tips to Manage Time in Your Business

Managing time as a business owner can become a high priority. To maximize profits, a business owner should spend more time on income producing tasks, and less time on non income producing tasks. To this end, is helpful to:

1. Focus on Generating Income — Separate your tasks into two separate lists, those that produce income and those that don’t. You want to set up a system that enables you to spend the right amount of time doing income producing tasks while making it easy to do the other tasks, which while they may not produce income still need to be accomplished.

2. Set Goals — The time-management success secret for any business owner is that there is no real secret, you can’t really manage time, but you can manage what you do with your time. Having daily, weekly, monthly goals written-out very explicitly is an important factor in effective time management for a business owner. If you don’t know what needs to be done and what you’re working toward, you will be just flailing around with no direction. What is your ultimate business goal? What one goal do you want to accomplish this year? What are the steps that you need to take to achieve the goal for this year? Will that goal enable you to get closer to your ultimate business goal?

3. Create a Plan — Another time-management success secret for business owners is that you must have a written plan. Just like you need a map to go on a cross country trip, you need a plan to achieve your business goals. The best way to create an accurate and workable plan is to start with the end-goal and work your way backwards toward today. But, making the plan does more than just help you reach your goals, it helps you to manage your time effectively while arriving at your destination healthy and happy. Having a business is an exciting journey in which to take part, but if you have no plan and are so harried that you can’t breathe it will feel more like a nightmare.

4. Schedule Everything — The truth is, you can have all time-management success secrets for business owners written out and planned but without creating a schedule you can’t get hold of the time in a helpful way. In addition to focusing on income generating tasks, setting goals, and crafting plans of action, it is imperative, for ultimate time management, that you schedule everything. Schedules can be adjusted, but if you make it a rule that you only reschedule for truly important reasons and emergencies, you’ll find yourself with more time. Time to do what you want to do with your business, as well as with your family and friends.

5. Track Results — This is one of the most important time-management success secrets for business owners. Once you create a plan of action and start implementing it, track the results to see if you are accomplishing the goals you’ve set out to realize. If you’re not seeing the results that you want, rework each aspect of your goals and plans. Evaluate your calendar to make sure you’re making the most of each day.

Each Share Lives Forever: Keeping Business & Private Life Separate

Social media activities are one of those things, like a digital recording or photograph that can never be completely removed. Comments on discussion boards, photographs, and even “likes” can sometimes be deleted, but screen shots can be made, and a digital record can still be found online.

Now of course, you’re not doing anything illicit or wrong on social media. You’re just being yourself, sharing funny photos with friends, making the odd comment on politics, or issues of the day. Sharing recipes, and updates about the kids is fun. Nothing wrong with it – and the random occasional photo your best friend tagged you in where you’re dressed funny and drinking a super sized beverage — that isn’t too bad either.

Or is it?

The thing is, when it comes to business it’s important to realize that not all of your clients or future customers are going to want to see every aspect of your personal life displayed on social media. Others may want to take a look, but they might also end up accidentally offended or turned away from you. They might take something you “liked”, commented on, or forwarded wrong. Some, you will actually become true friends with. But, if you keep your social media accounts separated between personal and professional it’s really better.

The best way to make social media work well for your business is to become super focused. The only way to really be focused is to keep accounts separate. When you create separate accounts for your business you can create your profile, posts, and updates with your target audience in mind. Nothing goes out to your audience that doesn’t have a reason to go out, and a purpose as well as a call to action.

You will no longer have to worry that your personal life will accidentally offend someone if you set up your personal accounts properly using the security setting options. Often, you can even block your personal account from being searchable at all by the public. But, do keep in mind that free social media accounts can do pretty much whatever they want and change the rules mid stream so always post and comment on anything with thought.

But separating the accounts will be a good start to keeping your personal life and business life separate. Also just being more cognizant of how what you do can leave behind a footprint long after you think online. Even if you’ve made mistakes in the past, you can clean up the trail by ensuring that you only post thoughtfully.

Take the time to occasionally do a Google search on yourself and your business. Look at what pops up so that you’ll know whether you’re projecting the type of image you want to online. By taking the time to practice thought before posting, plus using proper security features provided on each social media account you’ll soon create the image you want to project and if you had anything you didn’t want to project before, it’ll be buried.

A Dead Simple Follow-Up Idea!

I just thought about something concerning my last post.

I’m going to give you a ‘nudge’ in the right direction that could easily bring in an extra $500 to $5000 per month, if you don’t mind some old fashioned hustling.

Let’s say you purchase the “Developers” license (available as an upsell) for something like this software I mentioned.

Here’s a quick way to make that investment pay for itself in spades…

Pick a popular offline niche. let’s say something like “dentists” or even “realtors”.

Now you setup a WordPress blog, install the plugin and add some related content.

You don’t even need to write it yourself. This is where you just pick up some PLR or special reports with resale rights to use as content & incentives.

Then you turn around and call on 10 businesses in the phone book or just take a walk around your local business district and show them what you’ve got.

It’s easy, you don’t have to explain the whole thing…

Just get them to visit the site, enter their name and email address and click the “submit” button that will give them the free referral link.

On that same page, you’ll see a couple of social media buttons.

Just tell the guy with the credit card/check book to share it to his Facebook page or Twitter/LinkedIn account and let him watch how the message spread virally when he checks his stats the next day**.

(**This gives you an excuse to follow-up)

Then offer to turn the site over to him for “$xxx,xx”.

(Don’t forget to offer upsells like personalizing the site, signing them up for an autoresponder account or whatever else they might need to get the most out of their new viral referral system.)

How much do you think you could make by setting up viral lead-generation sites like these for offline niche businesses?

Businesses in the offline world live or die by referrals.  You can be their hero and make some stress-free cash with just a couple of hours setting this up.

PS — Don’t forget about the power of simply hiring some college kids to actually run this thing for you like a business.  It’s ridiculously simple to setup these sites and kids are more than willing to go calling door to door for some spending cash.

Monetizing Your Mini Site

Mini sites can be powerful moneymaking machines. Once they’re in place, they can bring in money without you lifting a finger. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before you start counting those dollars, you must first find a way to make them.

A well crafted mini site is focused on a specific niche. In order to monetize it, you must offer something that appeals to that niche. There are several ways to accomplish this.

1.Create Your Own Product

Creating an information product is one of the most lucrative ways to make money with a mini site. A simple ebook can sell for $20 or more, and an ebook series or online course could net you hundreds of dollars. If you’re good at writing, this could be the perfect moneymaking opportunity for you.

But you don’t necessarily have to be an accomplished writer to sell your own info product. You could purchase some PLR content, do a little rewriting and adding on, and sell it as something unique. If writing is not your thing, maybe you could put together an educational video series.

2.Buy the Rights to Someone Else’s Product

For those who don’t have the time or inclination to create a new product, this is a great way to start making money quickly. You can buy master resale rights to reports and courses that others have written, sell them, and keep 100% of the profits. There are even packages available that include a sales page and graphics, so all you have to do is upload the files to your hosting and promote the site. For a one-time investment, you get unlimited moneymaking potential.

3.Join an Affiliate Program

If you want to get started with a minimal investment of both time and money, affiliate programs are definitely the way to go. You simply promote other people’s products, and when a sale is made, you keep a percentage of the profits. Your only investments are the time and money it takes to set up and promote your mini site.

Whether you’re bursting with creative energy or just want to find an easy and inexpensive way to make some passive income, there is a mini site monetization method for you. If you have just a little knowledge about setting up a website, you can be up and running in no time. If not, it’s not hard to learn. Its one of those things that literally anyone can do.

5 Tips for Choosing Effective Marketing Content

Content marketing is the best way to get information to your clients or customers. This is also the perfect way to gain the trust of your customers and increase your sales. The problem is choosing the most effective type of content and presenting it in an attention getting manner. Here are some tips on choosing the most effective content for your content marketing.

1. Point out the competition’s mistakes. People, in general, want to avoid painful experiences as much as possible. Pointing out all the ways your competitors fail to make life easier for your potential customers works to your advantage. Top ten lists on this kind of thing such as “10 most common mistakes” or “10 things you don’t want to do” are especially effective in driving people to you, rather than your competitor. I’m not saying you should specify or point fingers at specific competitors here. That’s not professional. Instead, use general statements and point out what makes your company better than others.

2. Give out industry “secrets.” They are not really secrets but if you let people think they are then their trust in you grows. Create content with bulleted lists showing how to do things faster and easier or how to make something work better. People love lists about things because lists are easy to filter through and pick out those points that pertain to them specifically. They also help people retain the information.

3. Organize it for them. One of the biggest hurdles for some people is the organization of certain things. Do the work for them by giving them plans and ways to organize things to make their life simpler. If you can make something straightforward and easy for someone, they will appreciate it and repay you with their business.

4. Answer common questions. When you’re discussing a common problem or situation, people tend to have the same questions. By providing the answers before someone even asks the questions, you make them feel more comfortable. It gives them the impression your company truly cares about them and their needs because you’ve taken the time to learn what they want or need.

5. Latest trends reports. This is a way to help your clients and customers keep up to date with the latest information from your company. This type of content lists the newest information or technologies and explains them in an easy to understand fashion.

Effective content marketing is all about continually giving the client or customer whatever information they deem useful. It demonstrates to prospects your company is paying attention to the needs of their clients and responding in an resourceful and expeditious manner. If the frequency and/or quality of information begins to slow down, your client base will begin to find another source of information, taking their sales dollars with them.

Making use of a freelance writing service is a good way to fulfill the needs of consistent and effective content writing. By using writers to help create your content, you can easily continue to provide fresh, new content. Once you have the articles, reports and other documents, offer them to your customers freely through email or a blog. Not only will your customers thank you in replies and comments but, more importantly, with their continued loyalty.

How Do You Find a Good Assistant for Outsourcing?

If your business has reached the point where you have more work than you can handle, it could be time to start considering outsourcing. Outsourcing is the term used when you assign certain projects or tasks to freelance workers who are not regular employees of yours.

You can outsource a one-time situation, on occasion or on a regular basis with a contract. Many small-business owners, especially solo-preneurs have found outsourcing to be a valuable way to extend their ability to cover all the tasks that need to be taken care of in their business.

So where do you look for outsourcing? There are many different sources of freelancers available on the Internet. Each one will have a wide variety of freelancers and services. Most include various categories of work such as content creation, IT work, graphics work, video or audio content creation, accounting, sales etc.

Here, some things in keep in mind as you look for the perfect person to help you accomplish all the aspects of your business.

• Ask for recommendations or testimonials from previous clients. Like most situations, testimonials are likely to only speak to the positive. If a freelancer has several testimonials readily available, however, it does speak to their consistency of work.

• Do they have a website? Look at the site and noticed the detail involved. Are things spelled correctly, laid out neatly, easy to navigate? If an individual doesn’t put the time into their own website to make it look professional, they may not be the best choice for your business either.

• Look for feedback. Many on-site freelance work sites allow an employer to provide feedback to a contract worker after the job is completed. Generally speaking, this feedback is not accessible by the freelancer for editing, so this should be a reliable source of information.

• Ask for referrals from people you know. Check with your colleagues and find out if they do any outsourcing and what services they use. If they have had good luck with a particular source or service, they should be happy to share the information.

The list is actually quite endless. Of course finding the competent, quality freelancer you’re looking for is a little more complicated than simply clicking on a website. Take the time to do your homework, ask around for recommendations and take it slow when you first start out and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect person for your needs.

Building Your Business On Just 15 Minutes A Day

I think we’re all guilty of overestimating what we can get done in one day, and the number of projects we can work on at any given time. Writing a book in a week sounds fine, for example, until you realize that you’ve got a million other projects on the go at the same time! On the flip side, some projects can look so huge that you just never get started. You keep putting it off and putting it off until you decide you’re just never going to get around to it.

There is one way to feel like you’re making progress even when you don’t have much time to work on a project: by dedicating just 15 minutes a day to doing something that’ll take you closer to your goals.

This is enough time to actually see some progress each day, but not too much time that you won’t be able to fit it into your already busy schedule. You may be thinking that projects will take too long to complete if you only give them 15 minutes per day, but they’ll take even longer if you never start! That 15 minute block is a way to motivate yourself, to keep you working consistently, and to help build momentum until you see something through to the end.

How To Make Sure Those 15 Minutes Are Productive

The best way to make sure you get the absolute most done in those 15 minutes is to know what you’re doing. If you’re writing a book or report, make sure you write an outline so that you can dig into any section whenever you have time. If not, spend one of your 15 minute chunks of time breaking down any project into smaller, more workable chunks. It may not seem like it, but this really works to make things easier on you, so don’t skip it!

It also helps to get into a routine: if you have 15 free minutes in the mornings, set this time aside for your new projects. Or, if you’re the kind of person who constantly seems to be on the move, keep a notebook/ smartphone/ eReader etc. on you so you can work on your project whenever you get a chance: at the doctor’s office, while waiting for a friend, sitting in a taxi and so on.

It also helps to let someone else know your goals. A partner or friend can help to keep you accountable, or you could even post daily updates on a blog and get others to join in. Whatever works for you!

Does It Really Work?

When do you feel the happiest and most successful: when you’ve been thinking about doing something for a while but are trying to get the motivation to actually start, or when you stop thinking and start doing? Even if you’re not doing much, you know you’re doing something. That should be enough for you to stop beating yourself up and to start feeling proud that you’re taking action on your goals.

Remember – every single person can find 15 free minutes in their day. There are no more excuses!

Getting Sponsorships for your iPhone apps

iPhone apps are a great way to extend your market reach and create a new revenue stream. iPhones are the most sold mobile device and in fact are outselling personal computers. More and more people are using mobile devices to communicate, work and play. Getting into the iPhone app marketplace is a next logical step to anyone who is serious about making money online. Whether you’re a service provider, Internet marketer, or bricks and mortar business creating iPhone apps can be a great way to extend your market reach, offer new services and products, and make more money.

You can make money in a few different ways via iPhone apps such as via pay per click ads, directly charging for your app, or by getting sponsors for your iPhone app. You can embed advertisements into your iPhone application that activate on a random basis when a user uses the application. You can presale the sponsorships. Simply write to any company or business about your app and offer a sponsorship opportunity. A good idea for sponsorships is to solicit anyone who has a product or service that is complementary to you but not a direct competitor. Even large companies sponsor iPhone apps so if they’re doing this, then it is a good sign that it is a legitimate way to promote a product or service.

If you’ve created an app where your users can be notified of new video and watch the video on their iPhone your potential sponsors will be delighted with the idea that not only will users see their advertisement on the web via computer, but also users will be notified remotely of a new video and encouraged to watch right from their iPhones. This provides an added incentive for advertisers that can’t be ignored.

Many businesses will be interested in sponsoring your iPhone application especially if they don’t have the technical knowhow or interest in creating their own iPhone apps. Who you market your sponsorships to will depend on who your target market for the application is, and what your motives are behind having the app. But, I’m sure you can see that the opportunities are endless when it comes to iPhone apps and earning money via sponsorship of the iPhone apps. If your iPhone app is especially exciting, new and useful some sponsorships go for as high as $25,000 so the sky is truly the limit when it comes to iPhone apps and your ability to earn extra revenue with them.

How to put your keywords to work

We all know what keywords are, how to find them and why they are important. But are you sure how to use them? Here are a few ways that you can apply keywords to your site in order to make them work for you and improve your ranking.

Optimize your content. Keywords will only be helpful to you if they appear organically within your site content. What does that mean? It means they must be part of your copy without seeming forced or out of place.

For example: Take the keyword phrase “terrible twos”.

Organic –> “The terrible twos can be extremely difficult to manage.”

Inorganic –> “A difficult toddler who has the terrible twos might be in the terrible twos stage.”

Believe it or not, search engines (particularly Google) are smart enough to recognize content that is inorganically loaded with keywords. Weaving keywords throughout your website content takes time, expertise and strong writing skills. If you are not equipped to do this, consider hiring a professional copywriter who is well versed in SEO and able to write quality keyword-driven content for your site.

Meta Tags. Meta tags are the information that is included in the header of your website on each page. Viewers to your website can not see meta tags, but they can be viewed in HTML. They provide information to browsers as well as search engines which ultimately impacts your rankings. If your meta tags are named correctly, they will help with your SEO efforts.

Meta keyword tags should always: include keywords that you have specifically chosen to optimize; be separated by commas, not spaces; only appear once; and are frequently updated and continually managed.

While keywords can be put to use in many ways, content and meta tags are a great place to start. Conquering these two aspects of keyword SEO is an essential piece to the puzzle and will help to ensure your SEO campaign is a success.