It’s All In The List (PART 2)

In part 1 we covered the basics of why we should build a list. Now we will discuss autoresponders and the role they have in our list building efforts.

So, a autoresponder answers emails on cue but today’s autoresponder services go far beyond simple software. They are more geared towards providing communications solutions to businesses that can be automated to take care of the more mundane tasks such as scheduling emails, forwarding emails and even reporting and tracking features. Some of the better ones will provide services geared towards the on-line marketer such as:

  • web page creation, including landing pages and thank you pages.
  • Templates for eye-catching newsletters and emails.
  • Split testing.
  • Database tools to manage your list into sub-lists.
  • Heaps of tutorials and videos so you will be up and running quickly.
  • Specialty services for advanced marketers which varies from service to service.

There are numerous businesses online to take care of your list for you, so I am only going to touch on the most popular. You should do your due diligence in researching to find the right one for your needs.

Aweber

Founded in 1998 by Tom Kulzer, it has grown to become one of the leading email marketing companies. Apart from the regular services that you would expect to get, they also have extra features for advanced marketers called AW Pro Tools. In Aweber’s own words, these tools:

“Send out targeted broadcasts to specific segments of your audience based on what they’ve clicked on in your prior emails – which makes your subscribers feel like you’re having a one-on-one conversation with them. Send out a special tracking link in your emails that lets you move or copy someone to a new list when they click. You can bypass the extra optin and bypass the confirmation link. As far as your subscriber knows, they just clicked a link”

As you would expect, these come at extra cost but when you get to that level of marketing, it would be invaluable.

Getresponse

Also founded in 1998 by Simon Grabowski, and has grown rapidly over the years and is available in 19 languages and serves a growing base of customers, currently 350,000 strong. They have all the standard features, with a friendly and personal approach, they offer extensive training when you sign up but do not have the Pro Tools like Aweber, they are a bit cheaper for the novice marketer to get started with though

Sendlane

This one is the new kid on the block, being established in 2013, it was set up for internet marketers by very three successful internet marketers. It has all the standard features of the others, but boasts ease of use – geared towards the non-technical minded. Making it easy for marketers to get on with marketing and not getting bogged down with the more technical aspects. Like the other two, you can sign up with them for nest to nothing for one month, with a list limit of 2,500 before having to upgrade if you go over your allowance for that month. With the other two requiring you to upgrade your account if you exceed 250 for the free time period, it is pretty generous.

So there is a brief run-down on what I consider to be the top three to have a closer look at, for the new internet marketer.

It’s All In The List (PART 1)

No not that sort of list! I’m talking about a subscriber list, read on..

You’ve probably heard it many times before that “the money is in the list”. Well having a subscriber/customer list is an asset to any business. It allows for direct communication without the expense of marketing campaigns and it is targeted at people already interested in what you have to offer.

So what is a list? It’s a database of people who have subscribed with their email, either by opting-in to a offer or is a customer who has purchased from you. You can then build a relationship with them by email so that they get to know, like and trust you. Once some form of trust has been developed, you can then recommend products or services to them that are relevant to their needs. This is the whole idea of email marketing, build a list and market to that list. So, you can see the importance of having a list, it’s an asset that, if looked after, will grow over time and can be an important part of your income.

How do you build a list? You could have an opt-in form on your website to collect people who might enjoy what they read on your site and want to keep informed about any new content. The most popular is the free give-away or Lead Magnet as it is more commonly referred to. This is where you send prospects, or “traffic” as it’s more widely known in the industry, by setting up a page on your website, commonly known as a Landing Page or Squeeze Page, that has a free offer of some kind. People then leave their email address in exchange for the give-away, which are then instantly added to your list. There are many ways to go about building a list, but those two are the most newbie friendly.

Where is this list? List management is handled by an Autoresponder, which is a computer program that automatically answers email sent to it and stores the addresses in a database. I’ll be covering these and how they help us with list building in part 2.

Overwhelmed? Things Not Getting Done?

Sometimes we know what to do but just can’t get ourselves to do it, why is that? There are a lot of reasons that lead to procrastination, but one of the most common is a lack of focus. Having a million and one things to do clouds our brains and causes us to feel overwhelmed but if we can get more focused on what’s important, a lot of that stressed feeling falls away and helps motivate us to get things done.

Having a daily to-do list can help organise our schedule so we can focus in on what is really important. We can prioritise the tasks in the list into categories so we can get to see what needs doing first. Starting with the most urgent ones at the top with the least important at the bottom.

A lot of successful people claim that starting the day off well is crucial to getting things done and having a productive day. One thing that I have seen recently was a saying: “If the first thing you do each morning when you wake up is eat a live frog, nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day”. Not something that I would want to do but it illustrates a point – look at your list and find the most difficult task and do it first. It usually the one your most likely to procrastinate on, but if you get it out of the way at the start your day, it will give you momentum an energy to accomplish more.

Of course for the long term there is more to it than that, you will have to look at what habits are causing your resistance and replace them with more productive ones. But we’ll talk about that later. For now I think I have pointed you in the right direction, just take it one step at a time.

So are you up for a challenge? Watch the short video below, take the challenge and see how much more productive you become in your business.

Eat that frog! by Brian Tracy

What are your best productivity tips?

Let me know down below.

The Bump In The Road

One thing I’ve found in this line of work is that when things are positive and ideas are flowing, it’s almost like there’s no stopping you. But sometimes when you go to the computer to write, you find yourself staring at a blank screen with no idea what to write about. Call it whatever you like, but trying to either write about something you know or getting ideas to research when the “well is dry” can be frustrating. I don’t know why it happens but I have some ideas to help you get started when you find yourself in this situation.

  1. Have an idea bank. I often find myself coming up with some great ideas when I’m doing other things. So I quickly jot down the key points or whatever the inspiration is. I also have a small voice recorder that I use when it’s not practical to write notes but if you have a smart phone, you could utilise the voice recorder app on that. Either way when you get an inspired idea, record it some how or will find yourself wandering “now what was that great idea I had “.
  2. Just start writing something, even if it’s on an unrelated topic. It gets the creative juices flowing and more often than not will lead to an idea that you can use. It also gets rid of that blank space in front of you, which, sometimes, can be all that it takes to get inspired.
  3. Occasionally we just seem to have a writers block and nothing seems to come to mind. Spending ten or more minutes having a browse at what others are writing about may lead to something you can use. Now I’m not saying you should go and copy someone else’s work, but just by looking at the topics others are covering may lead to an idea or you may have a different view of that topic. Usually you can find something to help motivate you to get the job done.
  4. What about all that PLR you’ve got sitting around your computer doing nothing. Seemed like a good idea at the time but you haven’t had an opportunity to use it yet. Well now is the time! Use that as inspiration or you can rewrite it putting your own spin on it.
  5. Your articles are for helping educate people who are interested in your niche, so they don’t have to win a literary award. We tend to be our own biggest critic and it can impact our creativity. Remember the last time you felt extremely positive? It may have been after a challenge or a time when had to push yourself to get something done. in these peak moments, we feel that anything is possible and our creativity flows. So lighten up, don’t be so hard on yourself and you may find that ideas start coming again.

So there’s a few tips to help, they have certainly helped me. Try to keep ahead of it and have some articles ready to go so that when you have those dry spells, you won’t get stressed and that is the biggest creativity killer.

Are there any favourite strategies that you use or have heard about?

Let me know down below.

Simple Tools That Will Increase Interaction On Your Blog

There’s been so much made about interaction on social media over the past few years that a reminder is in order: this isn’t the only place you want interaction. With all of the integration we use in our campaigns, it can be simple to overlook the comment section on our blogs. We’re used to having the discussion take place on social media when we share the content or feedback happening in forums if we’re a part of them, but overlooking your blog comment section isn’t a healthy marketing decision.
Blog Comment Sections are Vital to Validity
I can’t tell you how many times I click on a link to a blog, scroll down and see zero comments. To me, this is a big indicator as to just how successful, engaging and helpful the blog is. If I don’t see a discussion, most times I won’t even read the blog. If people are talking about something, I want in on the conversation and most people do, it’s in our nature to gab and be social.
But even worse is when I get to an interesting blog, see a discussion taking place and then have to jump through hoops of information sharing just to leave a comment. Yes, as a marketer I understand why we want people’s emails before they comment, but as a member of the Internet community, I can’t stand it. If it’s not easy for me to leave a comment, I often never come back to the blog. And that’s a great idea for all of us, don’t just think about your marketing techniques from your own point of view. Think of them from the point of view of your readers. The last thing we want to do is put
up barriers between us and interaction. Making it hard to comment on blogs with outdated tools and systems does just that.
Two Tools to Make Commenting on Your Blog Easier
Here are two powerful, free tools that will tear down those communication barriers and help you get more interaction on your blog. You’ll soon see that once you get the ball rolling with a few comments, your blog will become a hotbed of activity, ripe for plucking out some more targeted leads.
1. Google+ Comments. Google+ is making some huge strides in the social networking field, but they’re also making some headlines with their comments. Mega-giant YouTube recently switched over to using Google+ comments, making them now the big dog in the yard. Using them for your blog is simple, if a person is already logged into their Google account, Gmail or Google+, all they have to do is comment. Of course, you have to host your blog on Blogger for this to work, but the big upside here is that they will be able to share your blog with their circles when they comment, thus increasing the reach of your blog.
2. Livefyre. This is a live commenting tool that updates continuously, adding comments from social media networks to your blog comment section. People can discuss comments on social sites right on your blog, bringing all of your social networking right into your comments. Plus, the comments can be shared on other social networks and as those branch off into discussions, they’ll also show up in your blog comment section!
Implementing these tools will create a jump in activity, interaction and even traffic. All that’s left for you to do is create the killer blogs that make people want to tear each other’s throats out (we all know that’s why we read the comments)!

Worth a look:

Livefyre.

Commentluv

QSC – Week 2 Challenge

 

The week 2 challenge for the QSC was to make a video. Not a screencast, but a proper talking head video.

Seemed like a easy straight-forward task but the more I got into it the more I realised that it was going to take more time than I thought. To look as natural as I can on-screen I needed some confidence (and not the bottled kind). I needed to know exactly what I was going to say, rather than spin something on-the-fly.

I thought about what I wanted to talk about and proceeded to write an article. Now, I have read enough theory about things of this nature but never had the chance to put it into action, now was the time. We tend to write differently than how we speak, so I went over the text changing things to be more readable. Note: if you want a really great resource on this, Len Smith’s Promo Video – Make Talking Videos With Ease on Udemy is excellent. Add this to your wish list and wait for Udemy to have another one of it’s promos -they have them often. You’ll pick it up for much cheaper.

Once the editing was finished, I pasted it into the teleprompter software and made the final adjustments. I ran through the script a few times to get familiar with everything and I was ready to start recording. Quite a few takes later I was satisfied with what I did and uploaded to Youtube.

The take-aways I got from all this is that it looks easier than it is and obviously would become easier with practice, so it is probably a good idea to start doing more of these to get that practice so I can enjoy it more. Secondly creating videos can be a lot of fun, I can see why people post so many on Youtube.

I would like to mention the screen casting software I used because I was blown away by the amount of features and functionality it has. The software is Screencast-O-Matic. There is free web-based version you can use, and I have used it a few times before, but the pro version (for only $15 per year) is fantastic. It has all the editing features of software costing many times more and the support (heaps of how-to videos) is well done. There are 3 types of videos you can make: screen only, screen and webcam and webcam only. It also handles all of your uploading to Youtube or any of the other major platforms as well. I simply can’t praise this software enough, especially for the price.

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’1′ hide_title=’1′ hide_fullscreen=’1′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhV8EOryfo4[/responsive_video]

 

Worth a Look:

Udemy

EasyPrompter

Screencast-O-Matic

Gravatar (mentioned in the video)

 

Free Graphics Tools For Your Website

They say content is king but images can make your articles more appealing and attract more views. Today I want to talk about some great free tools to jazz up your pages.

An eye catching logo makes your brand stand out. Logogarden helps you design logos with ease. With a drag and drop interface, you simply choose a category, then select a design, add text and then use various tools to enhance or modify your graphic the way you like it. You then get to download a low resolution jpeg (perfect for the web) of your logo for free. You can also pay for a higher res version, but you don’t need that for online display.

If you’re looking for an image editor to remove backgrounds or to enhance pictures then Picmonkey is a great free online editor. Just as a side note, if you need to remove backgrounds from photos on a regular basis, the best that I have found is Clipping Magic. It is quick, very easy , free to use ( check it out it is brilliant) but unfortunately will cost you a subscription to download your modified image.

Creating great pictures has never been easier with Canva . I used it to create the pic for this post and it only took a couple of minutes. With a drag and drop interface like most of the online graphics tools out there, it’s quick to learn and easy to use.

Having a great selection of ready-made photos is a time-saver. Pixabay has a good selection of royalty free, public domain pictures. It has a great search feature which makes finding what you are looking for a breeze.

So there’s a few goodies to get you started making some really cool graphic for your site. I think that they are some of the better ones out there. Do you know of any good ones to add to the list?

Let me know down below.

QSC – The First Week

Week one of the Quick Start Challenge is over and I’ve set up my website and started to blogg. It was a bit of a learning curve with WordPress, I’ve had very little previous experience with it. Not that it is a difficult platform because it isn’t, but like a lot of things, it takes time to get to know what your working with.

There are a lot of advantages with WordPress though, for creating blogs on a regular basis, it’s as easy as logging in and you’re all set to go. No coming to grips with HTML code or creating a new page from scratch with a visual editor like Dreamweaver or whatever. So it’s very fast that way.

Themes are another great feature. Rather than coming up with a design on your own, you can use a template which is a pre-designed website. Themes can also have a lot of features built in as well. For example, the theme that I’m using, from Thrive Themes, is designed for the internet marketing niche. It has templates for landing pages, sales pages, thank you pages and more. It also has some really cool widgets for increasing conversions, list building, etc. I haven’t starting using any of those yet, but it’s only early days at the moment and the reason why I chose Thrive, is that I don’t have to concern myself with any of the technicalities of developing these things when the time comes. It’s all taken care of now and of course, it will save me heaps of time later.

If a theme doesn’t have a particular feature you would like, chances are there is a plugin for that. Which brings me to the next advantage of WordPress – plugins! For many this is a big positive because it can do so much to add functionality to your site like search engine optimisation, automate your website, enhance security or just add cool features. At the time of writing this, Wikipedia reports that there are 38,500 plugins available and many of those are free to use.

So there you have it, my take on WordPress. Because of my coding background,I didn’t like it to start. It just didn’t seem to have the freedom that coding has, but I’m coming around to it. I can see the long term benefits for saving time and ease of use, etc, so I’ll just have to accept what I consider to be disadvantages.

What do you think? What are some of the best things about WordPress? What have been your challenges using it?

Let me know down below.

Worth a look:

http://whatwpthemeisthat.com/

https://thrivethemes.com/

https://wordpress.org/

Somewhere To Call Home

Before you can start working on your website, you’ll need some web hosting – that is, a company who will rent you space on one of their servers that is permanently connected to the internet.

There are plenty to choose from, many are good but it is always a good idea to get a recommendation from someone you know and trust. Some things you might want to consider when looking for a web host:

Reliability is on the top of my list.

Price is always a major consideration. However, just keep in mind that most companies will give a good discount the longer you sign up for.

Usability is important, now I’m no expert on hosting but the cpanel software is what I’ve used and I find it very easy to navigate my account with.

I’ve used a couple of hosts so far, one of them is a free service. These hosts just get you to put a powered by Hostcompanyname (hyper-linked back to their site) on your main page and they usually have a traffic limit that is pretty low, so not a recommendation for our needs.
The other one I use is Hostgator and have found them to be reliable so far. I’m also currently looking at JVZOO Hosting, mainly because I’m signed up as an affiliate. They give their affiliates free hosting for a month, so I’ll have to put them to the test and give them a try.

The cpanel software is the front end to your hosting. It’s pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t go into it here. If you have any problems with it just contact the company’s support and they will help you out. This is also where you install WordPress from. If you haven’t done this before, it might be best to watch a Youtube video on WordPress installation first.

One of the tools I use for managing files on the web server is WinSCP. It’s a free FTP client for Windows. It is very easy to use and allows for quick editing of scripts, etc.

So what web host will you choose? Any thoughts on who’s the best?

Let me know down below.

Worth a look:

Top Ten Hosting Companies

JVZOO Hosting

Hostgator

Lifetime.Hosting

It’s All In The Name

www-751513_640A domain name is the what sets your website apart from the rest of the internet. So what makes for a good name?

For some their own name may make a good choice, for others a more catchy or memmerable one may be better.

A few tips for choosing the right name:

1. Make it easy to remember and keep the spelling simple. Think about sites like Fiverr for example. If you heard someone talking about it in a conversation or on a podcast, you would be hard pressed finding it if they didn’t spell it out. Memorable names can make it easy for people to find you again if they want to return some time in the future.

2. Make it unique. Trying to stand out and not be confused with other similar names.

3. Have it inform your prospective customer what your site is about.

4. Extensions such as .com or .org are always the preferred ones as they seem to rank better in the search engines. Other ones, and there are many, aren’t as common and are more likely to get people confused or get your domain mixed up with another.

5. Hyphenated names and numbers are also a no-no. Keeping it simple and easy to type are the key points here.

There are many places out there to register your domain with, even the hosting sites will do that for you. However, when I was starting out it was recommended to me to always keep name registration and hosting separate. Not sure why now, like many things, I’ve forgotten. But that is what I have done and it has served me well. I use Namecheap for my domains. They have never let me down and have always had me up and running very quickly.

If you look at my domain name, Cashedupcow, you will see that it fits the criteria above. Not that it was intentional or that I used any particular formula. It just popped into my head one night, a flash of inspiration, and a new idea was born 🙂

Worth a look:

Namecheap