The Top Reasons you want Recurring Revenues

Recurring revenues are the lifeblood of your business. It does not matter what business model you have right now, what matters is that you make recurring income each month that you can count on and that hopefully, grows with each passing month and year to come. When you can count on your income growing each month and year, you know you’ve done something right. The top reasons you want recurring revenue streams are:

Work Once — Most recurring revenue streams are work that you do once, and keep getting paid for later. Such as eBooks, niche websites, and affiliate marketing. All of these require you to do the work once, and then you can get paid months and years later for your efforts today. Nothing is more fun than seeing money in your PayPal account for something you did two years ago.

Passive Income — Many types of recurring revenue are what is called passive income. That doesn’t mean you don’t do any work, but it does mean that you can keep earning on the same item. For instance, if you have a niche website or blog, that has some affiliate products, and Google AdSense as the revenue streams it can become almost automatic. Once you get the traffic up to a certain point, if you leave it for say a two week vacation, or a six week period of time off due to birth, death or illness you’ll still make money on the site.

No Limits — Unlike trading hours for dollars there is truly no limit to the amount of money you can make with many recurring revenue streams. Once you write an eBook and start selling it, you can sell it as many times as you want to. You can’t sell as many hours of Virtual Assistant time as you want to, because there are simply only so many hours a day. The same can be said for Graphic Design or any type of service business. While you love doing it, there are built in limits.

Avoid Burnout — We all need to take breaks. In the current service provider business model there is no room to take a break. How would you like the freedom to close down your business every holiday? What about taking month long vacations during the summer? Heck, how about taking a trip to a warm climate when the weather gets too cold at home? The possibilities are endless and having a recurring revenue stream allows you to be more picky about taking on clients so that you can truly do what you love.

More Saleable — The more passive and recurring income you have the more you can sell your business for later if you choose to do so. If you learn to separate yourself from your business model a little bit then you can eventually sell the business so that you can retire or move o to the next opportunity as you wish. A business that is named right, and has recurring revenue is just more salable than a services business with a good client list, without.

7 Tasks Online Business Owners Can Easily & Quickly Outsource

As an online business owner, you’ve probably heard the term “outsourcing” more than once. Outsourcing is a great way to expand your business while freeing up your own time and saving money too. But, what exactly can you get help with in your business and how will it help? Keep reading for seven tasks that can easily and quickly be handed off to someone else allowing you to focus on more important things in your business and personal life.

Content Creation – Ahh the basis of all websites, content is a necessity if you want your prospects to actually find you on the Internet. Hiring a ghostwriter to produce content such as articles, special reports, eBooks, and more is one of the best ways to grow your business and free up your time.

Article Marketing – Submitting your articles to directories is very time consuming but another necessity to grow your business. You can find a virtual assistant who specializes in article submissions for very little costs.

Graphic Design – The majority of people aren’t born with the gift of artistic ability. If you’re one too, outsourcing graphic work is a god-send. No more spending hours trying to put together a professional looking graphic that turns out blurry or just plain stinks.

Technical Tasks – Technical stuff isn’t my best friend. As a matter of fact, many online business owners have a fear of the techie side of their business and for good reason. In one click you can lose it all if you don’t know what you’re doing. Save yourself from the possible heartache by hiring someone who specializes in this area to maintain your website or create software for you.

Bookkeeping/Tax Preparation – Most of us dislike the numbers side of business (unless of course your business is bookkeeping). Unless it’s the numbers making it into our pockets we just don’t have an interest in the figures. Save yourself a lot of heartache at tax time and hire a bookkeeper. Then when your accountant asks for your annual information you can simply hand it over!

Customer Service – Many online marketers have a hard time letting go of this part of their business, but in all actuality it serves more than one purpose. You no longer spend an entire day replying to or checking your email. Even better, you aren’t emotionally attached to the responses you might receive. When you’re that close to the action words can hurt. If you let someone who is not so vested in your business, you’ll only see the things necessary for your input. Let the haters have their say, now you don’t have to let it get you down.

Website Design & Maintenance – Do you have a vision for your website, but have no idea how to make it real? Let a professional handle it. No need to learn every little detail in order to keep your site maintained or even created from scratch.

These are only 7 of the many, many tasks that can easily be outsourced to someone else. Take a minute to think of the things you could use a hand with or just want to be relieved of in your business and start researching people who can help you get them done. Once you start removing things from your plate, you can then focus on the things you enjoy doing in your business – the things that an owner should be centering their attention on.

Making Video Marketing Work for You

You’ve decided to make a video this time, to help sell your product. If you’re nodding you’re head in agreement, I’ve got three words of advice: “Just do it!”

It doesn’t matter if you have the latest software or a top-of-the-line camcorder. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve made a video before. The truth is, teens and pre-teens are uploading home-made videos to YouTube every day – and getting views that would make many marketers drool with envy! There are 3 main keys to making a video that gets views:

1. Keep it real. Your honesty and enthusiasm are what will help sell your product – not whether or not you can out-direct Quentin Tarantino
2. Promote it. Create a buzz. You can bet that’s what the “kids” are doing – telling all their friends, announcing the video using YouTube’s “Share” feature, talking about it on Facebook, leaving comments on other similar or related videos in their YouTube group…
3. Make it interesting. It can be as flawed as all get out, production wise, but if it’s interesting – even if you have to stand on your head and juggle with your feet – it will get views.

(And if it’s interesting enough, it may go viral!)

Here are some solid tips to help you get started…

The Most Importing Tip For Making a Successful Video – First Time

1. Use a storyboard or rough script. If you’ve never made a video before, chances are, you’re going to either ramble on, using up precious seconds – and rambling will tip your video firmly over into the “boring” camp – or miss out vital information. Using a storyboard or rough script will help you:

• Stick to the point

• Include everything you need included

If you are a “visual” learner, use a story board – quick, scribbled thumbnail sketches (“stick people” are fine) showing each point in “frames” (think of it as a comic book page).

If you do better with lists, use a rough script. This is not the sort of script you read word for word – doing that would ensure you ended up with a “wooden”, deadly dull video. Rather, just a reminder of the key points you need to include (such as your call to action, and website URL).

Shoot your video, edit, upload to YouTube – and promote.

The important thing to remember in all of this is… yup, you got it: “Just do it.”

How Pinterest Adds Value to Various Industries

Almost any industry can benefit from adding Pinterest to their social media marketing mix. It doesn’t matter if you have a business that is local, national or international you can use Pinterest to engage your audience, get more traffic to your website or into your store, and ultimately to boost sales.

Here are some ideas of how to use Pinterest in various niche industries:

Real Estate — Pinterest is a no brainer when it comes to real estate. Any agent already knows that a picture is worth a thousand words. But pictures with links to more information in specific categories is even better. You can create many different categories of boards, such as a board providing links to tips for new homeowners, or a board showing pins with each member of your office, and more. I’m sure you can develop many ideas from here.

Travel — Using Pinterest to promote your travel business, or even your travel blog can do wonders for your business. Imagine the various boards you can create and all the pins that can go on each board. A quick brainstorm might be: Board with the category “Warm places” that you promote during cold weather. Each pin can be a different tropical paradise that links to a special you’re having for that location. Another board might be travel tips for the lone traveler. Only your imagination can stop you now.

Service Based Business — Yes, service based businesses can use Pinterest too. Pinterest is an excellent way to develop leads both local and multinational service businesses — from virtual assistants to bookkeepers. First, create a business account for Pinterest, then create different boards in all the categories you provide services. Create a compelling image with a few words that will compel users to click through to find out more. Link to all the solutions you provide your clients.

Marketers — Obviously, Pinterest is a boon for marketers because managing your clients’ Pinterest accounts can actually be a new avenue of money making via social media. You can offer to set up Pinterest accounts for other business owners, as well as keep them updated with relevant content. What could be better than that? Start with your local area with your ideas and move on from there.

Direct Sales — If you sell a product of any sort, you can market your wares on Pinterest. Do be sure to check the terms of service for your particular company, but essentially you can create a board for each category of product that your company promotes. Also think outside of the box for your boards to fit in with your niche. If you have sell makeup, for instance, you can give makeup tips. One board can be all about eye makeup, another can be about curing particular skin problems. I’m sure you get the idea.

Bloggers — Almost any type of blogger can use Pinterest to increase readership. It works especially well for blogging that involves some sort of visual element like arts, crafts, cooking, fitness, etc… Create boards for each category of your blog, and always include a top notch graphic as well as a “pin it” button on your blog. You can use the button yourself to place it with the appropriate link on the right boards in your Pinterest account.

10 Mobile Seo Secrets

It was inevitable. Along with mobile websites, comes mobile website SEO. But is it really so different from “regular” SEO?

Here are 10 tips to help your mobile website soar in the Search Engines…

1. Top of the list – make sure you create a mobile Site Map. This piece of XML code is directly from Google Webmaster Central, and Google recommends that, for once, you avoid Sitemap Creation tools.




http://mobile.example.com/article100.html


(Whatever you do, don’t omit the tag, or your mobile site won’t be crawled.

2. Each mobile Site Map must have a name that is unique – but “URLs serving multiple markup languages can be listed in a single Site Map”.

3. If you use the Google Sitemap Generator to create your Site Map with, Google cautions that you will “need to create a separate config file for each Mobile Sitemap.

4. Don’t use huge titles. “21 Tips for Turning your Hamster into a Money-Making Machine While Helping Him Lose Weight” is just not gonna cut it, for a mobile site. Think “short blog post headline, instead. Keep it really, really simple.

5. Don’t forget to submit it to Google webmasters, just as you would with a regular Site Map.

6. When it comes to mobile blogs, if you’ve set them up properly with the right plug-ins, SEO isn’t such a problem. But do remember that if you don’t submit your blogs and websites to mobile directories – you’ll be invisible. All the SEO in the world won’t be able to help you, if you don’t seem to exist!

7. Keep an eye on SEO Principle.com, which reports all the latest SEO news from Google (specifically, from Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team. (Also check out the YouTube Google Webmaster Central channel for the latest SEO news.) Cutts is the guy with all the facts and figures: He reports more than 4 billion mobiles world-wide to only 1 billion PC’s. Says Cuts about the planned expansion of Google’s Search features: “…mobile is going to be a big part of it.” (Again – get in on the leading edge!)

8. Drive traffic to your mobile website with a YouTube video – with your mobile site URL and a call to action prominently displayed. If you’ve ever used Google’s mobile web index, it should strike you that most of the results are YouTube pages. This may not be a sure-fire SEO strategy for ever – but it sure seems to be working, right now!

9. Check out the W3C Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 page, at http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/#d0e1099. You’ll find out all sorts of helpful data, including “keep your pages under 21k” and tips for SEO

10. Meet Googlebot-Mobile, a very special bot that looks for “mobile-friendly” sites, and includes them in Google’s mobile web index. So far he hasn’t been doing a very good job – but then again, maybe countless people aren’t bothering with those all important Site Maps.

Googlebot-Squarepants, er, I mean “Mobile”, is a lot slower than other search bots, according to SEOprinciple.com, taking about 2 weeks to complete a “rotation”.

When all is said and done, mobile SEO is still in its infancy. By all means follow the tips I’ve included here – but first and foremost, you need to concentrate on make your blog useful, interesting – and worth coming back to.

Effective Time Management for Small Business Owners

Effective time management secrets for small business are only secrets because most business owners start out with the idea that their business is so unique, so different, and so special that they are going to break the mold. They’re not going to do things the way everyone else does, they’re going to just do what feels right at the time. Many businesses function fine with this method of operation for a while. But, either success is never achieved, or accidental success happens, and the business owner is unprepared for success, and thus fails.

For a business to enjoy long-term success, it’s important to practice effective time management skills. If you don’t have time management skills, it’s important to develop them because without the right skills everything can get out of hand. But, as you learn the secrets to time management you’ll also learn that you can’t manage time, but you can manage yourself. After all, ultimately, you are the one who chooses what to do with your time.

Create a Goal — Write down your plans in concrete terms. What is your ultimate goal this year, or month or week? What do you want to accomplish? Write it all down in very specific detail. One really good method for writing down goals is to use a flow chart. Starting with the end-result, and work your way backwards to today.
Make a Schedule — From the flow chart fill in your calendar with a daily schedule of tasks that will enable you to reach your goal. Each day simply by looking at your calendar you’ll know the “must do” tasks of the day that will help you reach each and every goal.
Use the Tools — There are many tools available to you for time and task management such as Google Documents, Dropbox, Central Desktop, Basecamp and other project and file management systems. No matter what kind of business you own there are tools that can make your life easier and help your business run smoother.
Delegate — Even if you do not have a single employee you can delegate tasks to family members or consider hiring someone or retaining a contractor to help when you get really busy and need the extra help. In addition, don’t forget that outsourcing household tasks is just as helpful as outsourcing tasks that are directly business related.

Managing your time as a small business owner can be challenging but it is not impossible. You can create more free time for yourself, as well as more organization during working hours if you take the time to do it. Try keeping notes for an entire month of each daily task that you do, writing down how you do it, what tools you use, how long it takes, and whether it is an income producing or non income producing task. Once you’ve separated out non income producing task from income producing tasks it’ll be easier to find items that are easily delegated, outsourced, or automated. If you’ve kept good notes about the tasks, you’ll be able to hand it off to someone else easier.

Planning a Year’s Worth of Direct Mail Campaigns

Planning is everything when it comes to successful direct mail campaigns. Experts say the conversion rate of direct mail is only 1% and while others debate this percentage, it just doesn’t make sense to waste precious advertising funds without careful planning and proper execution.

Online business owners are at an advantage when planning their direct mail campaigns because they can plan their blog posts and website content simultaneously. Content is king when it comes to bringing in web traffic and if you have a direct mail campaign along with website content that all relates together all at the same time, you will appear to be a powerhouse to your new prospects.

Step 1: Grab a calendar and make a wishlist. Identify seasons, holidays, or other important times of the year that you might want to tie in to a direct mail campaign. An environmental group might want to plan a campaign around Earth Day (April 22) while a matchmaking site might want to schedule something near Valentine’s Day (February 14).

Step 2: Adopt ‘retail timing’ and schedule carefully. You know how the department stores are moving in the winter parkas in the summer months while you’re still looking for a bathing suit that fits? That’s an example of retail timing: thinking ahead a few months and anticipating what your customers will want and need.

Also consider that it takes time to develop dynamic artwork and compelling copy plus the actual printing and mailing of the campaign pieces. Unless you want to incur overtime and rush charges, ask everyone involved how much time they need for their own part. Add two to three days to account for emergencies and you should have a decent working schedule that everyone can meet.

Step 3: Edit your events calendar. As you can probably see, there are lots of holidays and seasonal events that occur every year but not every online business has the budget to run campaigns around each event. Pick and choose carefully. Think about who your audience is, what they need and what you can offer them. Move some of these events to next year’s calendar.

Step 4: Ask for help. Small business owners especially have a hard time asking for help and often feel a task is more cost-efficient if they do it themselves. When it comes to direct mail campaigns, asking for help is paramount if you have a limited budget. A direct mail expert can advise you how long the campaign should be, how to save money, and how to buy a list properly without wasting money.

Step 5: Coordinate other marketing efforts along with the direct mail campaigns. Submit articles to article directories that relate to the campaign’s theme. Add written content, audios, or videos to your site related to the theme. Share other people’s videos that relate to the theme. Your online followers will see the theme emerge and your new visitors who received the direct mail campaign will recognize the theme when they visit your site for the first time.

Don’t get overwhelmed with your planning. You don’t have to plan 365 days’ worth of content. Start small and plan 2 direct mail campaigns along with some blog posts, see how the execution of these plans works and then proceed with more planning.

Target the Right Audience with Your Contests

Online contests can be a fabulous way to boost your email list subscriber numbers. However, it can also be a way to get a lot of useless freebie seekers on your email list too. There is nothing great about having a huge email list full of uninterested people who do not want to open your emails, or answer your calls to action. So, aside from building your email list, you want to build it with targeted, willing, wanting participants who want to buy. To do this, you need to ensure that your contest attracts the right people.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you have, online, offline, or what genre the business is in. You need to have people you can contact who are interested in your product. In the marketing world, these are called leads. Your email list is full of leads. Leads who can either be interested in what you offer, or not. Getting the people who are interested is part of the challenge of creating an effective email marketing list.

To get the right people to sign up with online contests your contest needs to solve a problem of your target market. Or, in the case of a contest, potentially solve a problem. There may be people who want to try your products or services but don’t think they can afford it, or don’t trust you yet. Having a contest gives many people the opportunity for them to learn more about you and your product. Even if they don’t win, you’ve got their email address which will enable you to educate them more, and when someone wins they’ll become one of your biggest fans and brag about their winnings to everyone.

The above is why I highly suggest that your contest prizes have something to do with your products and services. You don’t have to give away the very best prize, although that is a great idea to at least give away your top and most expensive product in your funnel along with the rest to one lucky winner, you don’t have to, you can start someplace in the middle of your funnel. But, if the product is not good enough, and is just a freebie that many people use to get sign ups, then it won’t work as well. Make it special and you’ll get more participants.

Combining a contest for potential buyers with a separate contest for your affiliates is another good way to boost your email list with contests. The prize for your affiliates can be something like a free iPad, Kindle or other exciting device. Your affiliates will promote for you like mad if they have a chance to win a prize like that. In addition to the prize incentive give your affiliates plenty of marketing collateral such as graphics, prewritten emails, blog posts, and that type of thing. Encourage them to rewrite the mails and blogs to sound more like them and to avoid duplication issues.

By following the suggestion to keeping the prize targeted toward your audience, offering them something that solves their problems (which all your products and services should accomplish) you’ll ensure that the people who sign up for your email list via the contest promotion are truly interested parties.

JV Partnerships Boost Contest Results

When planning your online contest consider bringing in partners. This is usually called a Joint Venture Partnership or “JV” for short. You do not need to form an entirely new business, you just work on the project together to completion. You can bring in one or more people to do the contest with you. It is usually better not to choose people who are in direct competition with you, but rather choose people who promote complementary products and services to your target audience.

Each JV partner should contribute a prize to the winner. This will make your contest much more lucrative. You’ll have more prizes and be promoted via more venues including to their market, and vice versa. There is something in it for everyone. There are many ideas of how you can promote your contests such as hosting a webinar, blogging, vlogging, podcasting, guest interviewing, article marketing, social media and more. In fact, you should probably use an all of the above approach.

JV partnerships boost contests results by expanding your reach. You’ll have access to each partner’s market, and possibly established email lists. You can do this in a variety of ways and is up to each individual and how they want to set it up. However, you do it, more hands make for light work. It does help to find other individuals who have different skills from you. If you have someone good at project management, make them the lead. Someone who’s specialty is graphics they should be in charge of graphics and so on.

It is important to:

* Learn Online Contest Laws — Every state and country has different laws and regulations about online contests, it is imperative that you educate yourself and follow the laws to avoid any potential issues.
* Define Your Objectives — Your objective, in this case is to build your list. Ensure that all your actions reflect that goal.
* Create Strategy, Goals and Tactics — Create both short term and long term goals on a time line and the strategy and tactic that will enable you to meet those goals. Be very specific about who will do what, and when.
* Decide on the Contest Type — There are many contests types from photo contests, to brag in a video about my product contests. You decide what type of contest will best serve your target audience.
* Choose Prizes — The best prizes are your actual products and services. This will ensure that your sign ups are actually your target market. If you give away something that doesn’t actually serve your target audience you may obtain more list members, but they won’t be targeted, they’ll be freebie seekers.
* Create the Rules — Ensure that the rules are clear to your contest and ensure that all valid entries follow the rules. Keep good records of these actions.
* Develop the Collateral — Develop all the marketing collateral that you need including graphics, online copy, blogging content, article marketing content, and so forth. If you plan to have a webinar to launch the contest, preplan all aspects of the webinar so that you will be ready.
* Get your Websites Ready — With the larger influx of traffic that you’re garner from an online contest be sure that your technology is ready and works. Don’t forget to evaluate your hosting plan to avoid any crashes.
* Follow a Path to Launch — From these items create a timeline to launch day. Then create actions and tasks for each day after Launch. It’s not over once you launch. That is just the beginning.
* Measure Results — As you launch and go through the contest to completion measure the results against your goals and expectations. This is the only way to know if you’re successful or not or to figure out where you did well and where you can improve.

Once you’ve done one online contest to boost your email list, you’ll want to do more. Once a year is a great plan to consider. Most organizations have membership drives each year, why not you? Getting the fresh email list members will revitalize your business exponentially. Remember, the “money is still in the list”.

How Often Should You Produce New Content?

Producing web copy for a site is something, which if done correctly, takes some time to create. Many copywriters know the value of well-written copy and are constantly changing the copy on their websites to keep up with the demand of their targeted audience. The question is, how often should you produce new content?

It all depends on the type of content you are talking about and how well it is or isn’t performing for you. Let’s take a closer look.

Sales Copy Content

There are a few factors in determining how often you should change or produce new content. If you follow your rankings on any of the popular search engines and you see your rank drop, then you may want to freshen up your content to help move you back up the ranks. Creating keyword rich articles that can be distributed throughout cyberspace will help to increase your rankings and put you back in the spotlight.

If your site offers something for sale, it is wise to change the content up when you have a new offering such as a free or discounted offer. There is no need to completely re-do your entire website as this may confuse dedicated visitors when they come to the site in search of something they had found there before.

Obviously, if your site is doing well in attracting new visitors and subscribers, you probably won’t need to change your copy. However, it wouldn’t hurt to tweak it here and there to keep it fresh and on the search engines radar.

Tweaking the sales copy on your site and performing maintenance is suggested. However, if you’re one of the lucky ones whose copywriting produces quality leads and your sales are through the roof, then leave it and think of the old adage “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Blogs or Informational Site Content

If your content is in blog form, it is imperative to your readers to have fresh content an either a daily basis or every other day. A blog is something where readers want and wait for new content to be published. You need to keep this content as current as you can so in order to keep and increase your readership.

As for informational sites and article marketing techniques, the more information you can give visitors and potential customers, the better. Search engines love fresh content and so does your audience. Keep the quality content they’ve come to know and love coming and they’ll keep coming back again and again.