Today I couldn't find a suitable topic to write on, so I decided to answer some of my subscribers' questions instead!
When signing up for my Nuttiezine newsletter people ask all sorts of questions; in fact, all the six questions that follow have been asked by NuttieZine subscribers during sign up! However, I felt even non-subscribers could benefit from the answers, so I am sending it to my entire list! Hopefully you would find it useful; if not, trash it! ;-)
I had to be selective when picking up the questions I want to answer. Three things to note here:
a) I hope you understand that it is not possible to give detailed answers to every question since I am limited by space (the last thing I want to do is to turn an email message into a long boring tome)! So I gotta be brief and to the point!
b) Almost 60% of the questions asked were not very specific; many of them appeared as if the person either just typed them aimlessly or in a half-asleep state! ;).
c) Without knowing certain particulars about the asker, I can only offer generic answers!
QUESTION 1: Kamak K. asks:
I am good at making landing pages fit for Google quality score. Made a little money in IM. I wish to know how to drive free targeted traffic to my landing pages.
ANSWER: Kamal, before you think of "targeted traffic", you need to make your pages "targeted" for traffic: meaning that you need to do some onsite optimization. That doesn't mean that you should fill the "meta keyword" tag with lots of keywords in the hope of gaining a high SERP; frankly, Google places little importance on "meta keywords" anyway.
On the other hand, the title of your webpage is VERY important. The title should be catchy enough to attract visitors to your website like magnet, and keyword-rich enough to make sense to search engines! For example, if yours is a "lead capture" page, the title should contain the "benefits of optin" (for the purpose of attracting targeted prospects) as well as your "niche keywords" (so that search engines could rank your website appropriately).
The "meta description" tag is optional; you may "leave it empty" or use it to describe your website's benefits in two or three lines. But whether or not you fill in that "meta description" tag, it doesn’t matter to Google, which would usually pull the "meta description" for your website from the body of your webpage content! ;)
You would also need to have a solid system in place to capture and funnel the traffic properly; otherwise, all your incoming traffic would go waste! Ideally, this system should be built BEFORE you start driving traffic to your webpage, especially if you are paying for traffic; otherwise, you would be incurring losses without even knowing it!
So what should a "system" be like? It doesn’t have to be a perfect one. We all live and learn. You could begin by making visitors optin to your list using "freebies" or "content" as baits, and then show them an upsell offer (more popularly known as "One Time Offer" or OTO). If they decline the offer, you can take them to the freebie download page.
On the other hand, if they take up on your offer, you should provide downloads for both the paid AND free products! Once they get in your list, the followup messages should contain a mix of offers and content; remember that overdose of any one thing could be bad for the health of your list! ;)
I hope you have already completed the above steps! As for getting targeted traffic at no cost, if you are short on money then Angela's backlink WSO might be your best choice. You pay only $5 per month for links that are probably worth $500 ;-)
Angela's links would pretty much cover you up so far as:"free targeted traffic" is concerned: blog commenting, social bookmarking, blogging, etc.-you would get all from those packets!
Most of the sites in Angela's packets are non-IM sites; so, if your website is in the IM niche, you would get very little direct traffic from the websites themselves. But that doesn't matter as these backlinks would help rank your website high in Google and you would get targeted traffic from the big G! For me, it is traffic that matters, whether it comes this way or that way, as long as it doesn't come through the "black hat" way! ;)
Along with that, you can do some article marketing. Submitting softwares to freeware and shareware directories is also an option. Don't panic at the mention of "softwares"; if I can create "softwares" without knowing how to write even one line of programming code, I guess anyone can do it.
This ebook by Chris Rempel pretty much explains the article marketing and freeware submission method, though he lays more stress on the freeware method and his article marketing method is anything but conventional (hint: die-hard bum marketers might be severely disappointed)! ;-)
Another good ebook (you can read it when you have outgrown the Lazy Super Affiliate ebook I recommended above) is the VIP conduit ebook, by the same author!
You would also need Promosoft or a similar software submission tool for using this method. A couple of things to note about Promosoft: a) While the tool is good, the customer service is pretty much dismal. You might have to wait as long as 1 or 2 weeks to get an answer.
I highly recommend you use credit card instead of Paypal to buy the tool; that way, if you don’t get the license on time, you could do a chargeback. I DID get my license, but after a lot of back and forth between the Plimus customer service, the develab staff and me. I hope you have better experience with them. Like I said the tool is pretty good, so maybe the trouble is worth it?
b) It won’t submit your softwares to the biggies, such as Upload.com (CNET) or Tucows; you would need to submit softwares MANUALLY to these sites, and it could take anything from one to several months for them to approve your stuff (unless you upgrade to a paid option).
Promosoft would however submit your softwares to the "minnows", but believe me, there are so many of them that it would be stupid to ignore their worth. In fact, these "minnow" freeware directories have gotten me both free traffic and search engine rankings. It would be equally stupid to submit your softwares manually to hundreds of sites! This is where Promosoft comes in!
Like I said, you could start with Angela's backlinks and scale it up from there!
Another great way to get targeted traffic is the WSO forum. Nowadays, I hardly use it to sell stuff as the results have been quite dismal for me, especially in 2009. However I use it successfully as a lead generator tool! ;)
I have been doing Internet Marketing for around 1 year. I have made money consistently but not quite the kind I would leave my day job for, although work has been very slow lately and I would like to make a full time go of it.
I am a musician and a MMA enthusiast with a background in welding and Ironwork. I have 3 wonderful children and a strong desire to succeed as an Internet Marketer.
I know I am missing a few small pieces to this IM puzzle…what are they!?
ANSWER: Anthony, maybe I am blind but where is the "puzzle" to begin with? You are one of the few fortunate ones whose passions can make them big money! Do you know how big and lucrative the "music" niche is? Since you are already passionate and knowledgeable about the subject, I don’t think you would have any problem marketing in it. Your next step is to find "holes" in this niche and "fill in those holes" with your products. Hope that makes sense! ;)
QUESTION 3: Frank A asks:
How to use video effectively?
ANSWER: Good question Frank, but unfortunately, your question is not very "specific" as to what you want to use video for. ;) Assuming that you are asking about "how to use video effectively for marketing", one thing I would like to tell you is that just like with content, it is generally good to follow the golden rule of "give first and take later".
A visit to Youtube.com and a search for keywords such as "internet marketing" there would generally show up a bunch of promo videos on different products. Some of them are well made, but most are just 'blatant pitches" and those videos seldom get any appreciation from the viewers.
I would admit that I am myself new to video marketing, but as a rule I usually post tutorial videos in directories like Youtube. With sites such as Youtube the marketer's aim should be to prove his expertise by "teaching" people in a way that they are compelled to visit your site wanting for more!
Do "promotional videos" have a place? Sure they do, but usually they fit best within salespages. When people visit a salespage, they are usually in a buying mood and expect you to "teach" them about your product's benefits; as such, they don’t mind watching promotional videos in salespages! However, when people visit sites like Youtube, they either want to be entertained or educated; very few indeed wish to be sold to!
Anyway, that is my humble opinion. As I already said, I am still new to multimedia marketing and right now, that is how I feel about the whole thing. Hopefully it helps you Frank. You can always do what you are already doing, but I hope it won’t hurt to test my advice at least ONCE! :)
QUESTION 4: Rebecca M asks
I am fairly new to IM. I have a couple of websites up but they are not performing well. I am not very techie. I need to learn more about blogging.
ANSWER: Hi Rebecca, we all have to start somewhere! ;) To be frank, most of us are "untechies" in some or other areas. However, being an "untechie" should not be an "excuse" for not making money online.
While I know the basic stuff about internet marketing, I cannot do programming, or read and understand CSS and PHP; for these tasks, I have to take help from Nathan (one of my subscribers).
You could take a leaf out of the life of my one of my subscribers Angela Edwards – probably you already know about her because her WSO is very popular and I keep recommending her backlink building services now and then! But a little known fact about Angela is that she too is a "self-confessed untechie". That hasn't however deterred her from making a decent income online. Take a look at the WSO section and you would notice so many people using her name to boost their own WSOs! :D
In short, you should focus on what you are good at and outsource the "techie" stuff. At the very basic level, you just need to be good at marketing and writing (esp. copywriting). No need to become a web designer, programmer, or a blogger, etc., all rolled into one! If you are good at writing, you could joint venture with a fellow "techie" to setup the blog for you and you write custom content for him in return. This is just an example!
I just wish I hadn’t spent so many years learning "techie" stuff. While I am proud of the fact that I don’t have to depend on another person for basic day to day stuff, I believe that if I had channelised my time and energy into marketing during all those years, I might have been…
Anyway, still if you wish to learn about blogging, the following free report (written by one of my top writers who also happens to be a blogger) should help you out! Note that there is no "techie" stuff included in it; all you would learn about is how to write "sticky content" that would drive hordes of visitors to your blog!
That is the very first step to blogging – writing good content. I am not saying that if you simply post good content on your blog and sit on your a**, the visitors would come on their own; but it is equally true that if visitors have nothing worthwhile to read as soon as they land on your blog, they won’t even think twice before pressing the "back" button, because they have so many other better options!
So content comes first, then traffic, then more content and more traffic! ;)
QUESTION 5: Bob M asks:
I'm a lawyer – hope you won't hold that against me. I provide a service setting up LLC's and corporations for small businesses. (I've been doing this for 20+ years. The niche has become so crowded with companies like Legal Zoom that I find it hard to compete. So my question is do you have suggestions for a smaller company trying to compete in a crowded niche on the internet. By the way, I've been thinking of offering special deals to ezine publishers who mention my service. They can earn some money themselves or they can pass along the savings to their subscribers. What do you think of that?
ANSWER: Hi Bob, frankly speaking, competition pretty much exists everywhere. Offline, whether you do a "job" or build a store, you have tough competition. The situation almost similar with online marketing, except that the online competition is tougher because it is so easy and cheap to setup an online business, not to speak that there are indeed very few legal hassles to go through when setting up an online business (as compared to setting up an offline store). At least that is how it is in my country!
People say one should try to find "little lucrative niches" for they are easier to capture and dominate but frankly, I am yet to find a "little" niche that is lucrative enough to make me stick for long! Almost all profitable niches I have worked in have stiff competition. From what I have seen so far, a niche can either be "small" or "lucrative", but (usually) NOT both!
So instead of being afraid of competition, a marketer should brand his business in a unique way, with his unique product offerings, unique customer service, and unique approach to sales and marketing. There is no "PERFECT" way to do this: you just need to find a "demand" and "fill it"; or, you can also market a similar product using a whole new approach.
For example, a lot of lawyers here are corrupt and dishonest (hint hint)! Some are so corrupt that they make money both from their clients and the opponents of those clients! :D
Jokes apart, we internet marketers are in need of someone qualified enough to generate "authentic" legal documents for our websites. Unfortunately, due to lack of suitable options, we either have to use sub-par "softwares" or free online services for this purpose, both of which hardly meet our requirements. If you have a fair knowledge of international business laws, and could offer this service at an affordable rate, I think there would be a lot of takers. A similar service is offered by Netlawman!
Building barriers to entry is the key to beat competition, but since your niche is fairly crowded, it would take time, depending on what approach you use to market your product/services.
It is great you have taken the first step of recruiting affiliates, and there is nothing better than recruiting your own subscribers and customers as affiliates since they are already familiar with your business. I don't know how much commission you pay to your affiliates, but if possible, you may want to pay your affiliates as much as 90-100% commissions on the front- end product, assuming that you have something to sell in the backend (it can be a high ticket item such as coaching, or a low ticket items such as tools, ebooks, text/multimedia ecourses, etc. :)
If you have lawyer buddies, online or offline, you could joint venture with them for quicker profits!
QUESTION 6: Elizabeth C asks:
I have "very" basic skills – so much to learn & very confused. Been trying to post some instant pay (Paypal)affiliate links on Twitter but no sales yet. I lost my job and have no money to invest in anything right now. Internet marketing is what I really want to do but I don't have many skills that are needed to be successful-yet :)
ANSWER: Elizabeth, we all have to start somewhere, eh? ;) I saw your Twitter page and it looks good. The very first step to successful social networking is to make your profile "social". So, as a starter you need to mention your full name in your twitter profile instead of just initials.
After that, you should describe yourself in a few words. For example, you could say about your unique marketing approach that separates you from the rest, or (if you have not reached that level yet) your "superpower", your interests, the one characteristic about you that make you proud about yourself – it could be anything such as honesty, sincerity, loyalty, or even "bad" stuff like "being prone to arguments or fighting"! ;-) (just kidding)
Once your profile is done up, you can start following and interacting with people, posting useful and not-so-useful stuff (occasional promotional links are also okay, as long as you don't look like an "amateur spammer")!
You may also want to setup your profiles at a few other popular social networking sites such as Linkedin, Facebook, Ryze, etc (by the way Ryze gives you "dofollow" links)!
Comments please! :)