Tag Archives: marketing

The Portability of Internet Business

Photo from flickr - anyakaWell, it’s been over a week now since I arrived back in the good ol’ USA, and I have to say that it was a great trip.   Every time I visit China I discover new and fascinating experiences that make the trip just that much more rewarding.

While we were enjoying ourselves in China, seeing the sights and experiencing the sides of Beijing that normally only the natives are privy to, my internet business was still perking along as if I had never left.

My product & affiliate sales continued right along just like clockwork.  This is one of the biggest perks of having of an internet business.  Portability!

Back in the day, I owned a ‘brick & mortar’ business.  It was an electronics repair shop.  The income was pretty decent, but the problem was that there was no freedom to go with it.  It wasn’t unusual to work 15 hour days.  When all the bills were paid & given the number of hours I worked, I was usually left over with less than what I would make on an equivalent day job.

I was one of those people that got caught in the classic self-employment trap of the day.    I took my skill and turned it into a ‘business’.  The only problem was the the ‘business’ was really a J.O.B., only I was the boss.  If I wanted to get paid, I had to work alot of hours & be at my store everyday.

Taking a vacation was unheard of.  My business would have been tanked in a week.  Looking back, I now know that a freedom system could have been built into my business, had I thought about my core desires in the beginning.

What I love about online business is that you can start a very profitable business for almost nothing compared to a traditional brick & mortar type.

Creating a freedom system is also very easy compared to the latter.  Online business procedures can be automated in many ways including software & outsourcing.

For example, for digital software products, you can set your autoresponder & thank you page to automatically send the download info to your customer after they pay for their product.  This is the basic concept of ‘autopilot income’ that you hear about so often.

Affiliate marketing is another such example.  As an affiliate marketer, you are providing a service to your visitors.  You are recommending products that may benefit the visitor and referring them to the vendor.  In return, you are automatically paid a commission when they purchase the product.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world as long as you have a laptop & an internet connection, you are in business.  You can be living in Brooklyn, but sitting on a beach in Maui with a laptop and a wireless internet connection and monitor your business anytime.

Never before has starting a business been so inexpensive while giving you exposure to potentially millions of people. Never before has it been so easy to just pick up and go anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection, and still run your internet business.

Home no longer has to be a fixed location.  Home can be anywhere that you are.

Like any type of business, building an internet business takes effort, practice & time.  Many things will fail before seeing any impressive results.  Don’t buy into the ‘automatic riches with no work’ B.S. out there.

It takes focusing on one objective and seeing it through until you succeed.  You must take your online business just as seriouly as an offline business.

Once you accomplish success in your online business, you can take your ‘office’ anywhere.  You have achieved portability.

Making the decision to start your internet business is the first step.  Taking action on making your dream a reality is the second and most vital step.  As your business grows, start outsourcing & automating the repetitive procedures so that freedom is part of your formula.  If your business can run without you, then you have attained true freedom.

That’s what being an online entrepreneur is all about.  Without the freedom principle in your business, you are just working another J.O.B. minus the boss.

If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, then make today the day to declare your freedom!  Join the ranks of the portable lifestyle and discover what you have been missing.  It all starts with taking that first step, and then never looking back.

The Answers to Those Magical Numbers

Well, as promised, I’m going to elaborate on the magic numbers in the last post.  Firstly, to Robert Plank I have to say nicely done!  You nailed them.  The one that stumped you (number 1) is the same one that stumped me.

Here’s the answer that James twitted back to me:

1 represents focus. There is only one of anything that is really valuable. Life, wife, self, mission, today, moment, etc.

Man, so true on all counts! Remember how I have been pushing the concept of focus in the last few posts?  That’s why I felt a little dumb when he came back with 1 representing focus.

At the same time, it further validates the importance of focus as a key element for success in your online business.  Now let’s put these elements together.

86,400 – We have this many seconds each day to spend or throw away as we please.

If you decide to spend your seconds wisely and get the biggest bang for your time-bucks, then you will invest some of it in defining your vision and your financial goals for your business.

You have to know what you want & were you want to go.  Just think if you just set off for some foreign city that you’ve never been to before without a map, a plan, or any idea where you were going to stay, or go to when you arrived?  It would be pretty tough to get around & accomplish anything if that was your mission.  You could wander aimlessly for ages, so why would you do the same thing with your internet business?

Let’s say your financial goal is $1 million in a year.  For such a large number, it’s logical to break that down into digestible pieces, so that we can make this more ‘real’.  Of course, just starting out you may want a smaller starting goal, such as $100, 000 in a year.  That’s only $274 bucks a day!  Pretty doable once you have a few decent products and a real business going.

Yes, it’s true – instant wealth with no work in the beginning resides in the realm of the tooth fairy or winning the lottery.  If this is where you are, wake up & start creating your future now so that it becomes the present that you want.

So, $1 million a year is broken down into bite size pieces so that you can get a realistic goal of what you need to make each month, week, day, etc.

Here’s a breakdown, taken from Robert Plank’s comment in the last post:

114.20 = amount per hour you would need to make 24 hrs a day to make $1 million per year
2,740 = amount you would need to make per day to earn $1M per year
19,231 = amount you would need per week to earn $1M per year
83,333 = amount you would need per month to earn $1M per year

The other two numbers are simply a reflection of what is, and the choice that has to be made as to where you want to reside.  This depends on how badly you want it.

98 = 98% of the population watches TV and works for someone else
2 = 2% of the population actually gets stuff done

If you aren’t already, and you decide that you want to be a part of the 2% club, then remember that all of the numbers above (including escaping from 98) are really only going to be feasible with the magic number 1 – focus.  This must be the center point in the wheel.

Focus on your vision and take the action to bring it into physical reality.  The keys to the kingdom are there for the taking.  All you have to do is look, lift your hand, take them, insert & turn.

P.S. – Robert Plank has some really cool software products & great online marketing advice.  You can check out his blog here:

http://www.robertplank.com/

86,400

86,400… Millionaires, future millionaires,  & CEO’s know exactly what the number 86,400 means.  They know the value and importance of this number.  98% of the sheeple population don’t.  If you find yourself still caught in the 98 percentile mindset, there’s still hope.  You can sign up for my blog announcements in the right hand corner of this page.

Okay, if you don’t know the significance of 86,400 then it is probably a good idea to continue reading. 86,400 is the number of seconds in a 24-hour period. Each and every day we are all allocated the exact same number of seconds, whether we are rich or poor, handicapped, healthy, young or old, the one thing we all have in common is the number of seconds that we have in a day.

So why is it that some people are able to accomplish so much during their 86,400 seconds, while others seem to fritter away those seconds and accomplish absolutely nothing? Is it because they have the mindset that tomorrow they will be given another 86,400 seconds to again play with as they choose?

Perhaps it is this very notion that their ‘bank account’ will be replenished at the stroke of midnight with another 86,400 seconds that encourages people to be frivolous with their time.  Suppose we changed this example to money, and we were all given $86,400 to spend anyway we pleased every day, and then at the stroke of midnight our bank account reset back to $86,400 to be used again the next day.

I would be willing to bet that many people would be spending money right and left on every frivolous pursuit imaginable. After all, you would have unlimited wealth $86,400 at a time.  There’s one major difference however between time and money. Yes, it’s true that time is money, but with that said, money can be replaced, but time cannot.

Once time has been spent, it is gone forever. There is no way to regain wasted minutes that could have been used in some constructive way, such as building your path to freedom, or spending it with a loved one or spouse, and kids if you have them. It’s easy to forget that we all have a limited number of years on this rock, which we are living out every day, 86,400 seconds at a time.

Suppose you were told that in a week you would be dead? yes, dead… deceased, shucked the mortal coil, worm food, feeding the tree, assuming room temperature, etc. Would you live out your remaining days differently? How would your priorities change? Would you look back and say to yourself — “Gosh, I wish that I could have watched a heck of a lot more TV”. . Or maybe this one — “Gee, I really wish I could have worked more hours & spent even less time with my family”! Of course you wouldn’t!

Now let me ask you this; why would you do things differently if you knew that you only had a week?  Maybe those things that we would be doing differently, are the very things that we should be doing now!

Do you find yourself in the position of still wishing for more freedom to be with your loved ones? To really accomplish something? If so, maybe it’s time that you redefined your real goals. Maybe you’ve already begun on that road to building an online business, but you find yourself working long hours for little results because you haven’t properly defined the element of freedom into your vision.

Defining exactly what your vision is which you intend to accomplish is extremely important to successfully reach your goals.  Maybe your goal is building a freedom system.

Most people never succeed because of one fatal flaw, lack of focus. I don’t mean to harp on this one issue so often, however I really can’t stress enough the importance of focus.

Unless you define your goal, focus, and take action on building your online business so that you can attain the freedom that you deserve, you will continue to fritter away countless seconds, minutes, & hours – day in and day out.

Use your 86,400 seconds wisely every day and you will soon discover that this more efficient use of time will have a compounding effect, and will add up very very quickly. Changing this one little aspect in your mindset can make the difference between success and happiness, or the steady downhill slide straight into regretsville.

10 Traffic Strategies To Kick Start Your Online Business

traffic to your website pic

Whether you have your own products, or you’re an affiliate marketer, or both, we all can use traffic.

You can have the greatest website and products ever created, but if nobody is there to see it, then it serves no value to your internet business.

On the same token, targeting the right kind of traffic is essential. 50,000 visitors to your website aren’t worth much if you only make one sale from it. 500 visitors on the other hand, can be pure gold if you generate a high conversion rate from them and turn them into repeat customers.

I’m going to cover some free strategies as well as some paid strategies that may work for you.

Free Strategies

Article marketing – The obvious one of course. Submitting to article directories and Ezines will get traffic to you every time. Well, if it’s a decent article anyway. Be sure to write your article as an informative piece. Avoid writing things that have a ‘sales pitchy’ ring to it. Nothing puts up the defenses quicker that the ol’ pitchman routine.

Forums & Blogs – Offering useful comments on forums & blogs related to your market can be a great way to generate traffic. For forums, you should be a member and contribute some posts as well. Many forums will let you put your link in your signature as well. One way to find good blogs & forums is to Google for “Your Keyword” + “blog” or “Your Keyword” + “fourm”.

You can step it up a notch by adding the keywords “do follow” or “Comment Love” when searching for blogs. This will give you some link juice back to your website, by posting on “do follow” blogs.

Long tail & Web 2.0 – Google for keywords in your market. Find out what results come up and form long tail keywords out of them. If you’re an affiliate for Sanyo LCD TVs for example, then a long tail keyword could be something like “Sanyo DP46848 LCD TV”.

Somebody searching for this term already knows what they want. They’ve done their research and they are ready to buy.

Make some Squidoo lenses which tells the visitor briefly how great this television is. Include a link to your blog. If you don’t have a blog, create one. Even blogger or wordpress.com is ok.

Take advantage of all the different types of web 2.0 sites. Propeller, StumbleUpon, twitter. Link everything in a circular fashion back to your blog post (or affiliate landing page if appropriate).

Remember, for these types of visitors, they are already in “buy” mode. Don’t try to sell them again with a review or worse yet, a sales page. Instead, direct them straight out to Amazon, or wherever, via your affiliate link and snatch the sale.

Paid Strategies

PPC (Pay Per Click) – Google Adwords is the first that most people are familiar with. If you are using Adwords with marginal results, try some targeted placements ads via the content network. Find some high traffic websites in the Google content network related to your market and target your ad directly at the visitors who are on that site. For example, a Google ad for Widget.com could look something like this – “Hey Widget.com readers, check out why everyone wants the mighty widget wizard”. Be careful to specify web pages that are very targeted to your product, otherwise you’ll burn through your daily spending limit in minutes with nothing to show for it.

A lot of people don’t consider the Google alternatives either. Don’t be so quick to write them off.Yahoo for example, in my own experience will often convert at a higher rate than Google. Less traffic, and clicks, but with much higher conversions in many cases. It’s always worked very well for me.

ClickRiver.com is the PPC network for Amazon. This can really pay off too if you do it right. Know the authors & titles of the books in your target market so that you can also use them for your keywords to get your ads to show up in the best converting areas.

Press Releases – Surprisingly, Many people underestimate the power of press releases. Between a web 2.0 strategy and press releases, you can really nail some pretty lucrative markets with very little investment.

PRWeb is the best in my opinion for doing press releases. Start out with the $80 option to get the standard visibility. If you’re already profiting, try the $140 option which includes the social media visibility.

There are sources for submitting free press releases too, but they’re not all that effective compared to PRWeb.

Banner Ads – Banner advertising can work pretty well, especially if you have your own product. Don’t have any banners & you’re not artistic? You can go out to http://www.20dollarbanners.com and have a great looking banner custom created for… you guessed it, $20.

eBay Classified Ads – For $19.95 / mo. You can stick a classified ad on eBay. This could work well for some markets. Remember too that ebay-ers are the buying type of visitor.

Facebook – Facebook offers paid advertising as well. One cool thing about Facebook is that your ads are targeted by demographics. Facebook can be especially good for CPA type offers.

Offline advertising – Believe it or not, offline advertising can be very effective. This is another largely ignored area. You could rent a mailing list & send post cards with your online info with link to your store or products. Also, you can run classified ads, magazine ads in an article format, radio ads, or even have someone distribute flyers & business cards. There are many possibilities in offline marketing.

Buy an existing site with some ranking & traffic. Sometimes you can simply find a website that someone hasn’t done much with, but it has some age and some traffic. Email the owner and offer them $50 or $100 bucks. You might be surprised.

You can also check out the domain auctions at GoDaddy.com.

In any paid strategy, be sure to keep track of how much your cost is to acquire a sale or lead. Google analytics is decent for tracking and it’s free. The bottom line, if you’re making a profit – its good, otherwise its bad. In which case you need to either change your strategy or find a better market.

There’s one other essential element to making these strategies work. Taking action! You have to get out there and do it.

Try mixing different paid with the free strategies for maximum impact. If you’re strapped for cash, use the free strategies and then expand into some paid options.

Once you find something that generates a profit, even a small one, then it’s time to scale up and run with it! This is when marketing gets to be really fun. So my advice? Go out there, and have some fun!

48 Hour Special

As promised, I am now offering a 48 hour special on Xingla Pro 3.

This is the latest version of Xingla Pro which is a high powered Blog Carnival Submission tool.

If you have a blog and you want to crank up your traffic, plus increase your search engine ranking, then submitting to blog carnivals should be a part of your online strategy.

If you’ve submitted your posts to blog carnivals, you know how time consuming it is.  You also know the benefits as well.  That’s why you either outsource it or put up with doing it yourself.

Did you know that this is also the perfect tool if you have a blog carnival submission service?  Oh, you don’t offer a service to your customers?  Well this could be the perfect time to start one.   Most people are looking for a monthly recurring income or membership model.   This tool can make it a reality if you use it.

Or you can continue to dream about how great your online business will be ‘someday’.  Someday when you feel confident enough to do something.  Someday when that perfect system comes sailing in on a silver platter…  Surrrre.

Of course you know that ‘someday’ will NEVER happen if you just sit around and keep waiting for it.  If you’re a ‘someday’ person, this product isn’t for you.

Xingla Pro is for anyone who is serious about monetizing their internet business.

You can get Xingla Pro 3 for only $75 until Thursday at 5:30pm EST (which is GMT -5) January 8th.   After that the price will increase to $147.

That’s nearly half price and remember, upgrades are always FREE to Xingla Pro customers, even if it’s a major upgrade.  You never have to pay again for the latest version!  Did you ever see Bill Gates do that?

The link at the end of this post is only for my blog readers.  If you go out to the Xingla Pro website, you will need to come back here to get the discount.

For the next 48 hours, you can get Xingla Pro here:

http://kunaki.com/sales.asp?PID=PX00ZGQ7KH

Submitting to Blog Carnivals Can Be Painful

pic from www.halfpixel.comLast year when I first started submitting to blog carnivals, I often wondered if it was worth it to go through all the tedious work of looking through the list of several hundred blog carivals to find the ones relevant to my blog post.

To be effective, the best way was to start at the beginning of the drop down list and scan through each listing until you find a blog carnival relevant to your subject matter.  Select it, fill out the form and click Submit.  Then repeat the process until you’ve made it all the way through the list.  Usually, it took me about an hour to do the whole list.  I kept coming back because the results were really making a difference.

The problem was that since I didn’t want to outsource it (outsourcing time consuming tasks is good by the way), I would have to muster up the ambition and time to do it.  That didn’t always work out so well.

I finally reached the point where I thought to myself “there MUST be a better way, Ugggh!”

When looking for a solution for this problem, I made the most logical move… I Googled it.  I searched for “blog carnival submitters” and a zillion variations of it.  I found a number of blog carnival submission services & some weren’t half bad.  Robert Phillips was way up there on my personal list.  I was pretty surprised that there was no software to handle this task though.  Heck, even if I had a submission service, I would find this very handy!

Well, being that programming is one of my favorite past times (I know, I’m a geek), and making money is another, I did the next logical thing… created my own blog carnival submitter!  Anyone following my blog for a while is likely familiar with Xingla Pro.

This is my favorite piece of software that I have written and I’m quite proud of it.  Today I just officially released version 3.

Xingla Pro 3 has some exciting new features that weren’t available before.

For example, Xingla Pro 3 now has a Quick Finder search feature.  Before, you still had to troll through the entire drop down box to build your list.  By saving your list, you still saved a ton of time with Xingla Pro 2, but I was still haunted by the tedious process of building the list itself.

Now with the Quick Finder, you can type in a keyword relating to the type of carnival you are looking for and it will list out all the available blog carnivals for that keyword!  Then you can simply select and add to your new list, or your current one.  Yesterday, I built a list of 23 carnivals relating to “internet business” and “making money” in under a minute.

The next thing that I felt the new Xingla needed was some way to let you know when you had dead carnivals in your list.  Blog carnivals come & go, and before you know it, you have a list speckled with dead blog carnivals.  You might think you have a list of 30 but maybe only 22 of them are still active.

This is where the “Check Inactives” feature comes into play.  Now you can simply click a button and it will instantly scan your list for dead carnivals.  You will then be shown a list of the dead carnivals and asked if you want to delete them.  Pretty cool stuff if I don’t say so myself.

Other new features include a smart dupe checker to warn you that a carnival already exists in your list if you happen to be modifying your list with new carnivals.

After filling out the form fields, you can now simply press the ‘Enter’ key to begin the Auto Submit process.  Previously, you had to be careful not to do this or the “Submit” button would activate from within blogcarnival.com.  Anytime I fill out online forms, just by shear reflex, I hit the ‘Enter’ button as soon as I’m ready to submit.  Adding the ability for Xingla Pro to auto submit upon detecting the ‘Enter’ key press was a natural evolutionary step.  It’s a convenient alternative to clicking the ‘Auto Submit’ button.

The Auto Update feature has also been improved.  I noticed that in some Windows configurations, people were not always able to update smoothly.  Now it should be a breeze for everyone.  Xingla Pro checks for updates in the background when you start the app.

Also, I’ve had numerous requests to to have an affiliate program for Xingla Pro.  As of today, Xingla Pro 3 now has an affiliate program with a 50/50 split after merchant fees.  At the moment this is a $47 payout.

Finally, Xingla no longer requires the Microsoft dotNet Framework!  I rebuilt Xingla Pro from the ground up in an entirely new programming language that is Win32, and doesn’t force its users into installing the dotNet Framework if they don’t already have it.

Some of my customers didn’t have the dotNet Framework on their machines which made for a long beastly install as it auto downloaded from Microsoft and configured itself. Afterwards, it required a restart of their PC just for good measure.  It kinda reminded me of the classic double glove slap… Wap-Bap!

Xingla Pro has a sleek new look, and my testing indicates that it’s rock stable.  If you have a blog, or are running a submission service, you should check out the video on the sales page here:

http://www.KeiferSoft.com/XinglaPro

BTW – Next week I’ll be raising the price on Xingla Pro to $147.

The Ten Commandments For a Stable Internet Business

10 Commandments for a stable INTERNET BUSINESSThe ten commandments in the Hebrew bible is something that if followed, can certainly help promote harmony in our lives and in the lives of others.  It can be considered a basic road map of principles on which to live our life.  Life doesn’t come with an owners manual, so often times we learn the laws of cause and effect the hard way.

Stick your finger in the fire and you get burned.  Guidelines for our lives can help us avoid some of those un-pleasantries by heeding the advice given by others.  The learned ones who have been down that path and have made the mistakes so you don’t have to.

Well now, I give to you the Ten Commandments of Internet Business.  There was no trip to the mountain top with a burning bush.   No golden tablets zapped out by a divine presence. Just something to help guide and keep you on the right hand path.

1. You Shall Take Action

Action is the key to everything. If there were ever a magic formula, it could be summed up in one word, ‘action’. Poverty is merely the visible manifestation of inaction.

 

2. Diversify Your Income Streams

Never depend on one source of income. Once you have a stable source of income such as from your own product, diversify into other markets. Also, add affiliate income for digital & physical products, as well as CPA to your repertoire.

 

3. Diversify Your Traffic Sources

Never depend solely on one source of traffic. SEO is great, but then you’re at the mercy of the Search Engines. Same with PPC (Pay Per Click). Add other strategies as well (Blogs, forums, articles, E-Zine advertising, banner ads, CPM, etc.).

 

4. Forsake Not Your Customers

Supporting your customers is one of the single most important elements of your business. If customer service gets to be too much of a bother for you, just start ignoring them. They’ll all go away eventually. Oh, and so will your income.

 

5. You Shall Not Offer Junk Content

The quality of your content directly reflects the quality of your products or service. Going that extra mile for good quality content will pay for itself forever. If your site is full of scraped, auto-rewritten content, then your visitor will immediately pick up on it and go elsewhere.

 

6. You Shall Not Enslave Yourself

Define your goals before you go into business. Is it more freedom that you want? If so, don’t get caught in the enslavement trap by trading your own skills for money. You’ll find yourself working 15 hour days for a paltry income. Outsource the work. Collectively, you can get thousands of hours of work accomplished in a week instead of just 60+ and killing yourself to boot. Leverage & scale = profit and more profit!

 

7. You Shall Not Bear False Info to Your Visitors

Never mis-lead your visitors with hyped up information, false promises and fake testimonials. This kind of stuff will catch up to you fast, and will ruin the one thing that you can’t fix… your reputation.

 

8. You Shall Not Spam

This one should be obvious. Not only is e-mail spamming illegal, it can get complaints filed against you that can get your domain suspended. Also, spamming the forums & blogs accomplishes little more than pissing people off.

 

9. Honor Your Mentor

If you have a mentor or marketing coach, listen to what they have to say and carryout their advice. You may sometimes think that they are wrong about some strategies, because they don’t fit comfortably into your perception of how your business should work. Just remember that he/she has already been to the mountain and back, and you are still the grasshopper preparing for the journey.

 

10. You Are Commanded To Prosper

Sometimes it seems that society has made ‘rich’ a dirty word. It’s OK to be wealthy. Don’t settle for a mediocre existence. Think big! Don’t limit your ambitions to making just enough to pay your bills with a little left over at the end of the day. Be set for life. Our cup was not meant to be empty, or simply to be filled. It is meant to be continuously running over with all the prosperity, joy and good health that the universe has to offer.

 

Don’t miss out on the wonderful things that surround us in life. Follow these guidelines for your Internet business, and success will be yours for the taking.