Membership Sites Take Work

It seems that everyone is singing the praises of membership websites these days. Creating a membership site online is a great way to create passive income without being tied to your computer day in and day out. That’s not to say these types of websites don’t take work – quite the contrary actually.

While membership site ownership takes a lot of the hassle of working for an hourly wage in a service business or for someone else, you still have to put in some leg work. A membership site owner could easily say that’s all they do, however there is so much more involved in the process if you want your site to be successful.

Let’s take a very popular membership site idea seen more and more on the Internet these days – PLR Memberships. These memberships sell content in various forms such as articles, blog posts, sales pages, and more to Internet marketers and other website owners. The most common PLR membership is a monthly one where members receive new content each and every month.

Many mistakenly think the owner of a PLR membership site simply sits back and rakes in the payments each month. Not quite. Here’s just part of what all the owner is responsible for on a monthly basis.

• Plan ahead as to what members will be receiving months ahead of when they will actually get it.
• Write or have writers create the PLR content for each month.
• Review the content and edit as needed.
• Upload the content to the website.
• Notify members of the content’s availability.
• Handle any customer service issues (of which there WILL be).
• Handle all payments, refund requests and other billing disputes.
• Continually market the membership (you do want it to grow don’t you?)
• Constantly thinking of ways to improve membership to stay ahead of the competition.

Like I said, that’s just a partial list of what all is involved in running a successful membership site. If you think you can create a membership site, throw some content up and sit back and spend your checks as they come in, unfortunately this is NOT the case. Marketing a membership site alone can be time consuming to say the least, if not planned out and done correctly.

If you’re thinking of starting your own membership site, I encourage you to take the time to really find out what all is involved. Think your plan through before jumping in with both feet. You’ll be glad you did – no matter which way you choose to go once you’ve looked at all the steps necessary to not only create but grow your business.

Backend Sales Strategies are Like Riding a Bike Once You Learn, You Never Look Back

Remember when you first learned to ride a bike? Remember the many fears you faced? Falling off… Crashing into something… Failing. But, I bet what you remember in even greater detail is the incredible feeling of success that you felt when your parent finally let go. You were free! No more training wheels and no more fear. You were on your way.

Backend sales can be described in a similar way. Oftentimes, internet marketers and online business owners are fearful of the follow-up. They do not want to seem overbearing or pushy. So, rather than capitalize on opportunity, they fall flat on their face with fear. They lose a potential additional sale, and revenue, because of their fear to offend.

But what if you could eliminate that fear rather than become a victim of it? What if you could sell to your customers without actually appearing to do so? And what if they actually liked it?

With backend sales, you have to take off the training wheels. You know your business, you know your product, and you know your customer base. Now its time to put all of that knowledge to use, because once you do, you won’t ever look back.

There are many options to explore when deciding which backend sales strategies you will employ.

For instance, you can populate your shopping cart with items of interest. Or, you can send a follow-up communication to all of your customers each time they make a purchase.

But what’s most important is that you are doing something to take advantage of this opportunity.

Backend sales are quite possibly some of the most lucrative, most reliable sales you will ever make because they are sales you are making to customers who already know you.

These customers are already your bread and butter, so why not expand on that? Sure, new customers are great. In fact, new customers are essential to the growth of your business.

But you will never get anywhere if you don’t take care of the customers you already have. Customers like to feel appreciated, valued and everyone always likes a good deal.

So, if you incentivize your offerings, they are most likely to take the bait.

After you have taken the training wheels off and decide to ride into success, your backend sales strategy will basically run itself.

You see, once its in place, you will have to simply manage the data, not babysit each client. That is why it is so important to invest in a quality e-commerce solution that will provide you with a reliable auto responder and robust database system.

So, take that leap of faith. Trust in the quality of your products. Help your business succeed and focus on selling on the backend. Once you do, you won’t ever look back.

Affiliate Marketing Creating Your Own Products

Most affiliate marketers eventually decide to create their own products. Believe it not it’s not that hard to create good information products for your target market. Once you get a good following your market will start asking your advice about issues, and soon it will become clear what products or services are needed for your target market. The only thing you will need to do is create the informational product, software that solves a problem, or other product that fills the needs of your market.

The simplest product to start with is an information product or an eBook. You can write it yourself or you can hire a writer to write something based on your outline and concept. If you hire someone either edit it yourself or hire an editor to ensure that the information is accurate and well written. Also always check everything you buy from a ghost writer for plagiarism. You can use programs such as copyscape.com and also grammarly.com to check that the work is original.

In addition to having the book written you’ll need to invest in graphics for inside the book, and a three dimensional book cover that will work hard to sell your eBook. Spare no expense making your product look as good as it possibly can. Choose graphic artists who are good at their craft and not just the least expensive and you’ll be the most happy about

Next you’ll need to invest in some kind of shopping cart that handles affiliate sales, or you can use a service like ClickBank instead, or both. You’ll have to look at the pros and cons of each service to decide what you want to do about that. If you plan to have many products it can be more than worth it to use a shopping cart system that is an all in one shopping cart with an affiliate marketing module.

After you’ve created the product, you’ll need to not only promote your new product, but also promote your affiliate program. In order to do this you may consider offering your new product to some well-known affiliate marketers free so that they can review it and possibly recommend the product. In addition use every marketing channel at your fingertips including: Article Marketing, Blogging, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click.

Once you have some testimonials create a great sales page, great banner ads, and unique and relevant content, and then market this product the same as you would if you were promoting someone else’s product. You can put your product on several different affiliate networks aside from your own. The more affiliates you have promoting your product for you the more money you will earn.

Hopefully you’ve built up your email list with trusting ready-made hungry audience ready to buy your new information product. Learn all you can about product promotions, marketing funnels, and affiliate marketing and you’ll be very successful with your own product creation. Once you have an army of affiliates behind you, your business will practically be on auto pilot. You won’t have to work as hard but right now you will have to work maybe harder than you’ve ever worked before getting your affiliate marketing business off the ground. Nothing will be more satisfying for you than creating, promoting, and earning money off a product you created yourself.

Who to Follow on Twitter

Knowing who to follow on Twitter is important in your marketing efforts. You want to follow those who are of interest to you. You want to follow those who are of use to you and your business. Your hope is that they will in turn follow you back, if they aren’t already following you, thus opening up the lines of communication between your business and your audience.

There are several tools that can be used to make these efforts easier and more streamlined.

  • Mr. Tweet – Show the influencers and followers you should follow and suggests you to enthusiastic users relevant to you.
  • Just Tweet It – A user directory for Twitter organized by genre to allow for users to easily find other Twitter users to connect with.
  • Retweet Rank – Retweetrank lets you find rank of any twitter user. With the rank, latest retweets of the user are shown and an RSS feed can also be grabbed for the same.
  • Twellow – A directory of public Twitter accounts, with hundreds of categories and search features to help you find people who matter to you.
  • TwitteRel – By using Twitterel.com you can make your life a lot more interesting, we thought of a way to connect to other twitter users who share the same interests as you do.
  • Friend or Follow – Who are you following that’s not following you back? Who’s following you that you’re not following back?
  • Twitoria – Twitoria is a web app that tidies up your Twitter friends list by revealing inactive friends that haven’t tweeted in a long time so you can unfollow them.
  • Topify – Twitter application that improves Twitter’s email notification and allows to follow and reply to direct messages by email.
  • Tweepler – A Twitter application that allows you to organize followers.
  • Twimailer – Tired of shallow e-mails from Twitter when someone follows you? Want to know more about the people who are following you? Twimailer is a free service that delivers that information right to your inbox!
  • TweeterTags – Get the most out of Twitter by finding the right people to share the conversation: Tweeter Tags makes it easy to declare your interests and find new, like-minded friends. Have a question you need answering? Find relevant people on Twitter to ask.

How To Launch and Manage a Successful Affiliate Program

Every successful affiliate program is connected to a successful product. Whether you are selling
a widget, a service or both, your business is the very foundation for your success and when that
foundation is strong, the sky truly is the limit. That is why you should take advantage of every
opportunity possible to let the world know about your business and just how great it is.
Launching your own affiliate program is the perfect way to do just that.

With a great business under your belt, you may have already considered the idea of launching
your own affiliate program. Well, the good news is you are already off to a great start. You have
a product that you believe in, that you know sells and that has the potential to be profitable. All
that is missing is more customers. How do you obtain more customers? Through that affiliate
program you have been waiting to launch!

No one knows your business better than you do, but you can quickly and easily employ a team of
affiliate marketers who can reach hundreds, even thousands more potential customers in a way
that is cost-effective, efficient and proven to work. All you have to do is provide the materials
and they bring in the sales. If it sounds easy, that’s because it is.

When launching your own affiliate program, it’s a good idea to start with high-quality software.
You will want to purchase affiliate management software that will allow you to create a one-
stop-shop for both you and your affiliate marketing team. You should be able to create and post
important information like your terms and conditions, your affiliate agreement, and any and all
creative marketing materials that you would like your affiliates to use when advertising your
business. This is how you will control your brand as well. In addition, you will want to purchase
software that offers a commission tracking functionality and other services like auto sign-up and
automated management of all affiliate work. Robust affiliate management software is the best
way to ensure your program will not only be successful, but easy to manage so that you can
focus on growing your business, not babysitting your marketing efforts.

Once you have created your program, you will want to attract affiliates who are familiar with
your line of work, who know and understand your product and who have access to your target
market. Having hundreds of affiliates is only beneficial if they are quality affiliates. In this case,
quality is more important than quantity. However, don’t underestimate the power of numbers.

In fact, a successful affiliate program inherently is a numbers game. The trick is to gain the most
valuable affiliates as possible so that they can reach as many customers as possible and therefore
maximize your profit. If you value your team and manage them well by paying them on time,
rewarding them with high commissions and offering incentives and bonuses on a continual basis,
you will reap the benefits of a successful affiliate program and your business will become an
even greater success.

Keyword Research: Don’t forget the obvious!

While there certainly are effective keyword research tools to use when trying to develop an effective and appropriate keyword list for your website, it is critical to perform research beyond these specific Internet tools in order to be most effective.

You will first need to develop a basic list of keywords that you think are “obvious”. In other words, if you sell cars, you would create a list of words like “cars, automobiles, trucks, car sales, etc.” But, beyond the obvious are terms like “trade-in value, car repair, foreign car reliability, etc.” It is critical to think “outside the box” when approaching your keyword list.

Sometimes, we forget to look in the most obvious places when trying to develop our keywords. For instance, a thesaurus can be an incredibly useful resource when trying to generate an effective list of keywords.

A thesaurus, while limited in its capabilities, does provide the ability to find multiple synonyms for the keywords that you think might be appropriate to employ. Rather than depend on your own limitations, take the time to research synonyms that you may not have otherwise thought of.

You may also want to take a look at the competition. Your competitors will most likely provide you with some of the best keywords out there. Be careful not to directly copy their approach, as this won’t do you any good when trying to top the rankings within your industry, but researching competitors keywords can be a great launching pad as you develop your keyword list and implement an effective, competitive SEO campaign.

Finally, beyond the thesaurus, competition analysis and keyword research tools, you must be strategic. You must invest time and energy into carefully selecting keywords that are realistic to top and will be most effective for targeting your audience.

Think like a customer, not a business owner. You may want to ask family, friends, peers and colleagues, even customers, what they might search for when looking for your business services and/or products. They may come up with very different keywords than you ever would have on your own. Sometimes it can be difficult to step outside of your own thoughts about your business because you eat, sleep and breathe what you do. But what others have to say in terms of keywords is usually much more useful and effective than anything you could ever think of.

Also, think like a search engine, not a website owner. While keywords are subjective, they must also be technically strategic. A search engine, although wise, is not a human. So make sure you are aware of current rankings, popularity of search terms and attainability of keywords. This is where those keyword research tools really do come in handy.

And finally, manage your keyword and SEO efforts on a weekly, if not daily basis. Keywords are like children. They require constant care, management and direction. So take your SEO efforts into your own hands and make sure your keywords are effective and working for you as well. You must be committed to this process if you want it to succeed.

Awesome Tools to Monitor and Manage Your online Reputation

Understanding what types of tools are out there to help you monitor and manage your online reputation is the first step to taking control of your online presence. If you’ve never concerned yourself in the past about how you’re perceived across the Internet those days are over. Take control using these tools.

Google

You’re probably not surprised that Google would be the first suggestion when it comes to managing your online reputation. Every person who has a Google account has a Google Dashboard. On that Google Dashboard you can see Data Tools. If you click on the options for Me on the Web you will find some astonishing information about yourself.

Within Google’s Me on the Web you can also set up an alert to be informed each time someone mentions your name, email address, or other keywords that you choose. This is a great way to be informed immediately when a discussion is taking place about you, your brand or your products and services.

If you have more than one Google account it’s important to check out all the information in all accounts that Google has compiled about you. Correct what is wrong, and hide what you don’t want visible to the public.

Social Media

There are paid and free tools you can use to manage your social online reputation. Paid tools like Naymz can help you understand how much influence you have across social media accounts and help you establish your brand as well as help you earn influence to increase your online reputation.

But, you can also use social media free to search for information about yourself, your product and your brand. Some social media accounts let you set up alerts too. A paid option to monitor when someone mentions you is called mention.net. You might like to check that out for easier results than doing it all yourself.

It’s important to do searches on all social media accounts to find out what’s being said about your business. If you have the option don’t forget to turn off personalized results. You want to know what other people are seeing and those search results could be very different when search engines personalize results geographically and otherwise. Using a service like Tweetbleep can really help too.

One final tool that has to be mentioned is HubSpot’s Marketing Grader. This can help you understand how you are doing as an online presence and a brand with your marketing efforts. Simply go to the website and sign up for Marketing Grader. You’ll get a report that is useful from the start to let you know how you’re doing in various areas like blogging, social media, seo, lead generation and more. They’ll give you a grade out of a 100 possible points and ideas to improve.

The larger the Internet gets, the smaller our world becomes. It’s imperative today to monitor and manage your online reputation using whatever tools you can to ensure that prospects and consumers get a true picture of your offerings. By ignoring your online reputation you might find out that the results you expect from all the hard work you do online are less than expected.

Three Steps to Profitable Online Sales Funnels

In the world of internet marketing, there is always an opportunity to step back and see exactly what’s happening with your business. When you started this venture, you most likely had the idea of making money in mind. Without the appropriate tools and methods, achieving this status of profitability can be a difficult endeavor.

#1 Traffic. Your sales funnel normally begins at the moment when a prospect chooses to opt-in when they reach your capture location. This is your sign-up page or box where the person viewing the website decides to input their personal information to be added to your list. Without this critical point among your web pages, you have no opportunity to build either a list of potential customers, or develop the sales funnel. Viewers of your website will just visit and then turn to someone else’s page for what they are searching for.

The desired result is for people to visit your site and stay long enough to leave their contact information. This results in them agreeing to receive further communication from you via email autoresponders. Whether your preference is pay-per-click, e-zine articles or any other lead attraction techniques, once a prospect gives you permission to contact them, your sales funnel has begun.

However, in order for you to achieve this goal you need to master attracting people to your website. Any internet marketer must learn this critical skill from the beginning of their online venture. Generating traffic to your capture page is vital to the success of your business.

#2 Consistent Communication. Keeping your prospects interested and confident in what you have to offer is the next task on your sales funnel agenda. If your correspondence through email autoresponders is lacking substance, your chances of losing them as future customers are high. Your goal from the beginning is to prove to your customers you have something of value to offer them. Once you are known, trusted and well liked by your prospects, you raise your chances of them returning in the future.

Frequent follow-ups with quality updates for your list not only helps to prove you have quality information for them on a regular basis, but will help you to weed out those who aren’t really interested in your online business.

#3 Marketing. Marketing to your prospects begins after these relationships have been formed. This is where you start to promote more of what you have to offer to your prospects. You are still working on maintaining their trust as well as providing them with valuable information they have begun to wait for with a state of excitement. They are starting to wait anxiously for your email autoresponders to arrive with something new and interesting for them.

The more interest and excitement you can spark in your prospects, the more they will put into their business. This, in turn results in positive results for your own online business as well.

All of these steps bring you to yet another step in your sales funnel. You potentially now have both front-end and back-end sales. Both streams are working towards your sales funnel becoming the profitable internet business you’ve strived for from the start. Now with your list of prospects growing, you can stop to take a deep breath. The difficult first-steps toward success have been taken.

5 Steps to Launching Your Own Affiliate Program

You have heard that an affiliate program can help grow your business, how beneficial it
can be and why it is a good investment. So you are convinced, but how do you get
started? Launching an affiliate program can take your business to new heights and these
five steps will help you get there.

Step 1: Choose your software.
Before you begin creating your affiliate program, you will need to decide which affiliate
management software is right for you. Take the time to research the different programs
available to you. You will need to take a look at product reviews, user recommendations,
and if possible, reach out to other business owners who have used programs you are
considering in order to get the most accurate feedback. The affiliate management
software you choose will be an extremely important investment as you begin your
program and later, manage it in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Step 2: Create your program.
Once you have selected your affiliate management software, you will need to make some
basic decisions about what it will look like. Begin by writing the terms and conditions of
your affiliate program. Decide whether you will offer a two-tiered or multi-tiered
structure. In addition, you will also need to write your affiliate agreement, which will
outline what is expected of your affiliates and what they can expect from you. While it is
not always necessary, you may want to consider hiring an attorney to review your terms
and conditions and affiliate agreement to ensure you have covered all of your bases.

Step 3: Build your team.
The only way to grow your affiliate program and build a team of affiliate marketers is to
let them know you are out there. The best way to do that is to list your new program on
various affiliate directories online where affiliate marketers can find you. And having
already selected a robust affiliate management software program, you can rest assured
that once they find you and are directed to your site, they can easily sign up and
automatically receive the tools they need to get started.

Step 4: Offer incentives.
Not only are you competing within your niche to make your business succeed, but you
will now have to focus on offering an attractive affiliate marketing program with plenty
of incentives in order to build a team of dedicated, profit-producing affiliate marketers.
With competitive commissions, potential for growth and the occasional opportunity for
bonuses, you can attract affiliate marketers who know how to work hard and produce
results. And while not every member of your team will turn out to be so motivated, you
will want to do all that you can to attract those who are.

Step 5: Equip your team for success.
Make sure that your affiliate marketers have the tools they need to properly market your
business. Provide them with materials such as banner ads, ebooks, articles and sales
letters. In addition, offer to share educational materials with them and make sure they are
on top of the latest industry trends, marketing strategies and affiliate marketing tactics.
When they succeed, you succeed, so you will want to stay on top of their efforts

3 Tips To Avoid Duplicate Content

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, there are some definite mistakes to avoid. One of the most common mistakes website owners make is to publish what’s called “duplicate content.”

What is Duplicate Content?

Google defines duplicate content as, “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Most of the time when we see this, it’s unintentional or at least not malicious in origin: forums that generate both regular and stripped-down mobile-targeted pages, store items shown (and — worse yet — linked) via multiple distinct URLs, and so on. In some cases, content is duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or garner more traffic via popular or long-tail queries.”

What’s The Penalty For Duplicate Content?

Typically, a loss of page ranking or having that particular piece of content ignored. If you’re trying to improve your page ranking in the search results, duplicate content isn’t going to help you accomplish it.

The Simple Solution?

1. Avoid duplicate content easily by writing and publishing original content.

2. When using PLR, Private Label Rights, make sure you’re purchasing it from a reputable company and that the content is limited to a specific number of users. Always take a few minutes to make the article unique. That may mean altering keywords, changing headlines, adding a few quotes or tidbits of data. You can even add a personal touch and share a story related to the article topic.

3. Learn how to repurpose your own content. For example, if you have a 60-page eBook you give away, that content can be segmented into smaller articles or blog posts and repurposed with a little fine-tuning.

Duplicate content troubles are easy to avoid. Spend time planning your content strategy including choosing your niche keywords and keyword phrases, and create fresh content. Your duplicate content worries will be a thing of the past.