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The SIM INSIDER REPORT is dedicated to helping readers succeed online while saving time and money with cutting-edge tools, tips and strategies for internet marketing, online advertising and website promotion.
IN THIS ISSUE
==> Tip of the Month
==> Tips, Tools & Resources
==> Feedback & Contributions
==> Food for Thought
First, a warm WELCOME to all new subscribers.
This message contains somewhat sensitive information, but I feel it's important enough to discuss.
I've been hearing from lots of folks who have been struggling with getting their business going online. If you are in that group, rest assured you are not alone.
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TIP OF THE MONTH
Top 10 Myths Keeping You From Hitting the Online Jackpot
by Jim Daniels
I'm now in my 10th year of doing business online. Wow, it's true -- time flies when you're having fun! While going over some stats this week I discovered one shocking statistic...
Since starting my business online, I have answered more than 100,000 emails!
As many of you know, I still answer all my email personally. And this fact has one great side-effect... If anyone in the online business arena has a grasp on what's keeping people from success, that person is me. ;-)
Today I want to share with you the 10 most common myths that are keeping people from earning their slice of the Internet cash pie.
Without a doubt, one or more of the following online business myths, reside in nearly every potential business person's head, while they contemplate starting their own Internet income stream.
Here are the myths, exposed and shattered...
Myth #1: I'm not smart enough to have my own business.
Perhaps. But doubtful. True, online business is NOT for everyone. But I do feel that it IS doable for ALMOST ANYONE, including 99% of the people reading this newsletter right now. If you have an average level of intelligence and a desire to learn, you can grow an income stream from the web. You just have to do it the right way, and that means you CANNOT chase business opportunity after business opportunity. You have to build something of YOUR OWN. Something of VALUE. Something that will help other people. It's all about sharing something with other people. That's the seed that can blossom into profits via affiliate programs, your own products or services, advertising revenue and many other income streams.
Myth #2: I don't have the time it takes to start or grow an income source online.
Working for "the man" can eat up quite a bit of your time. Add in a significant other, maybe a family, a commute and what do you have left? For people working 80+ hours a week to make ends meet, starting a business MAY be impossible. But for most folks working full time jobs, it IS possible. I worked 40-50 hours a week plus I had a 2 hr. a day commute 10 years ago. I had a significant other and a baby on the way. But I found a couple hours a night to get a business started. I used my commute time to record ideas onto a small cassette recorder. I brain stormed during idle times in the day. If you want something bad enough, there is almost ALWAYS enough time to make it happen. Burn the midnight oil for a few months and see what happens.
Myth #3: I don't have the money it takes for a new business.
That's doubtful. The cost of online business really can be dirt-cheap. Ten years ago it was FAR more expensive to start a business online than it is today. Website design no longer costs thousands of dollars. In fact, you can do it for less than $50 if you are willing to do the work yourself. Even if you have to hire someone you can have a pre-designed website template modified for a few hundred bucks. There are also monthly services available for the cost of dinner out, that handle all your needs such as web hosting, growing an opt-in list, following up with prospects, accepting orders and even starting an affiliate program. None of these services were available ten years ago. Now they are cheap and more effective than ever.
Myth #4: I'm not an expert at anything.
You don't have to be. I was a phone guy. I decided I wanted to start a business on the Internet and started researching every aspect of it. Before I knew it, I knew more about the subject than everyone I knew. People started asking me questions and it soon dawned on me that I was now an "expert" on Internet business. So I decided to help more people by writing a book. The point is, you can BECOME an expert in almost any topic that interests you. The world wide web contains a WORLD of information and it is all at your fingertips. Take a topic that gets you excited and BECOME an expert. It's fun to enrich your mind and even more fun to enlighten the minds of others!
Myth #5: I have nothing to sell.
You don't need anything to sell right away. You can start by promoting existing products and services in the niche you choose. Chances are you will not be the first person entering that niche. And chances are there are already products or services for sale in that arena. You can promote those existing products or services on a commission basis, via those merchants' affiliate programs. While you're doing that you can be developing something of your own to sell!
Myth #6: Someone is already doing what I want to do so it is useless trying to compete.
This is one of the worst excuses, yet one of the most common I see. Many people think that if an idea is already being implemented online, that they "missed the boat". What they fail to realize is that if their idea is being done, then it may be a successful idea, and something worth pursuing! Remember, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of sites doing similar things on the web. Heck, if I had this attitude ten years ago I would still be working for the man. After all, I'm not the first guy to come along offering business advice. ;-)
Myth #7: The only people making money are people telling others how to make money.
Another one I hear a lot -- usually from someone too lazy to ever succeed. Sure, there are a lot of so-called web business gurus offering advice on how to make money online. But in the grand scheme of things, these businesses comprise FAR less than 1% of ALL businesses online. Your business online is what YOU want it to be -- always remember that. If you want to be an online business guru, do your research and join the fray. But only do it if that is what you truly want to do, not because it looks like the only way.
Myth #8: I've tried plenty of business opportunities with no success -- it's just not for me.
Maybe it's not. But chances are, your failure is from chasing different business opportunities, instead of building your own business from the ground up. That includes setting up a website of your own, growing your own opt-in list, communicating with and helping people, networking with other businesses in your niche and MAKING it happen!
Myth #9: I'd need a top search engine ranking to get anywhere and that's almost impossible.
I'll agree that it MAY be almost impossible to get a top search engine ranking in some niches. But the fact is, you do NOT need a top search engine ranking in order to succeed on the web. I'll submit right now in writing, that a top search engine ranking can be grossly overrated. In fact, I have a site that has a top ranking in a hotly contested market, with THE top keywords. How much traffic do you think that top ranking brings the site each month? 10,000 visitors? 5,000 visitors? Try 300. Yes, search engine ranking, like ALL marketing strategies online and off, does NOT stand up well on its own. Effective marketing is all about using MULTIPLE strategies, and many strategies work FAR better than search engine positioning.
Myth #10: I'd need a big advertising budget to get any results.
Wrong. The web is a PERFECT medium for implementing grass-roots strategies such as joint ventures, networking, opt-in marketing such as email newsletters and follow-up series', commission-only marketing such as ebay and affiliate programs, ad co-ops, and more. These strategies are dirt-cheap and amazingly effective. In fact, BEFORE the web you could get away with the argument that an advertising budget was needed to get results. The web changed that long ago and it continues to be true today.
There you have it. The top 10 Myths about Web Business that are keeping literally millions of people stuck in that J-O-B (Just Over Broke). If you're not on your way to generating profits online, you may find that you believe one of those myths. Don't fall for it. Don't let a false belief keep you from one of the best opportunities in centuries -- an online business of your OWN.
. . .
Copyright © Jim Daniels
Have you ever wished you could make a living from the Internet? (There really is no lifestyle like it, unless you were born into riches.) If you answered yes, come to make-a-living-online.com and I'll show you the exact steps you need to take to make it happen.
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TIPS, TOOLS & RESOURCES
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FEEDBACK & CONTRIBUTIONS
Proven Strategies Can Kill Your Business
by Michel Fortin
In John Reese's Marketing Secrets Forum, a forum in which I am the senior moderator, member John Jarowski posted a really important question. He asked, and I'm paraphrasing John for the sake of brevity:
"When a new strategy is taught by some 'guru', everybody seems to copy it without tweaking it. This dilutes their effectiveness and puts me off tremendously. I would think that using any 'new' marketing strategy is a lot less effective once it gets diluted by lazy marketers who want to do cookie cutter style marketing."I agree. And let me tell you why this is true, and share with you important tips on how to avoid this.
First, a case in point. When I wrote John Reese's famous million-dollar Traffic Secrets copy, and formatted it using copy, colors and tested conversion strategies, I started teaching these techniques (some openly, some to my coaching clients only).
The problem is, either you started seeing Reese-like salesletters popping up all over the place, or a ton of people would be asking me to redo their salesletter asking for the same thing. "I want a John Reese letter," they'd exclaim. They did so, partly because they (erroneously) believed it would bring them the same amount of sales, and partly because they knew that this style has been tested and proven to sell.
(Keep in mind that the sales copy, on the day of the launch, had very little to do with the success of Traffic Secrets. It had more to do with John Reese's brilliance, and John's application of Jeff Walker's product launch formula, which was still unknown at the time.)
The unfortunate consequence is, everyone started to copy the style, the colors, the headline, etc with their sales copy. And this led to another problem: people start getting desensitized. That style used to be the highest converting salesletter format online. Now, it's gone down a lot. Why? Because everyone sees the same thing. They hit a website with a blue background and red headline, and immediately think "Salesletter!"
And then they leave.
I think there's a lot of power in learning from what marketing experts teach. But when they teach it, doing so supposes that the techniques work like gangbusters because the author is teaching from experience. This then becomes the springboard for their proliferation -- and eventual dilution -- as people tend to copy the techniques.
However, since what "gurus" teach is mostly from their own success and their own experience, shouldn't that tell you something? You bet.
I'm not against experts and gurus and successful marketers teaching what helped them in their success. That's the basis of pretty much the entire information marketing industry. But why do people have to wait until the techniques are taught to start applying them?
My best tip on this is this: don't wait until "the course comes out," and everyone buys it and starts to copy it. Follow what my friend Armand Morin teaches as the better marketing strategy...
When John launched Traffic Secrets, a few jealous people were whining and complaining about John's success. Whether it was the price, the strategy, the salesletter or the launch itself, they were not happy -- and, among others, resorted to the idea that it would never work for them, and that it would only work with John because "he's a guru," with a lot of money, a lot of partners, a lot of affiliates, a lot of whatever.
But instead of bitching about it, why couldn't they simply stop, pause and observe how John did it? If they only paid attention to how John Reese created one of the most successful product launches on the Internet, they could have learned a thing or two about how to make money -- rather than complained about it.
So be observant. Watch people around you. Check out other marketers and how they sell, even with non-marketing products. See how they successfully roll out campaigns, launch products, advertise, write copy, etc. Don't wait until they come out with a course on "how they did it." If you can (and you can if you open your eyes a bit more), you can observe and learn before everyone else does the same thing after the marketer sells a course on how she did it.
For example, when John came out with Traffic Secrets, even before Jeff Walker launched his Product Launch Formula, people should have watched John, observed what he did, taken a ton of notes, and tried it themselves before everyone else and their neighbor did. (But you, on the other hand, shouldn't stop there. You should do one extra thing, and I'll come back to this shortly.)
Armand told me (and many of his audiences when he speaks) that his best product ideas and marketing tactics come from simply observing what kind of questions people ask, especially at seminars. He'd listen to what kind of problems they had and what kind of solutions they wished for. Even when someone asked a speaker at a seminar, "How do you do this?" Armand would think to himself, "Ah, there's a potential product idea right there."
You should do the same.
(Armand wasn't the only one, by the way. When I worked with Corey Rudl, I learned that he taught this technique as well. In the early pre-Car-Secrets days, Corey used to go on the car and automotive forums a lot... not to post necessarily, but to surf the forums to see what was being asked and what people were looking for. His first kit car products, then Car Secrets Revealed book and then Marketing Tips course, became the eventual result.)
Sure, the rule is to learn what other people want, and then give it to them. And this applies to all marketing, all marketing strategies and all industries -- not just Internet marketing. Simply observe and see what other people are doing as well. If they're successful, then take notes. And then try them out yourself.
My own forum at the Copywriters Board was created for this reason (among many others). It's a fertile ground for getting ideas for my own copywriting products and marketing strategies. Blogs are just as helpful, too. People read, comment, ask, etc.
But don't just stick to forums and blogs. While mailing lists are fantastic sources for market research (and you should definitely have your own), you should join other people's lists, too. Watch what they're doing. Read what they're saying. See what they're selling. And learn how they're selling it.
In fact, buy other people products (not just their "how to" products but other products that have nothing to do with marketing or information). And watch how they work. See how they follow up and upsell you. "Read between the lines," so to speak.
In short, be a sponge.
Now here's the extra step I mentioned earlier. Secondly, if you're going to "copy success" (rather than "create mediocrity," as the adage goes), then try to be a little more creative. This is where you shouldn't be lazy. Apply what you learn in a unique way. You don't have to be entirely unique. Perhaps just do it a bit differently. Rather than becoming a cookie-cutter marketer yourself, add a unique twist. Or apply it in a different way.
Granted, people are lazy. That's not the problem. What happens is that, while people learn from other experts because they are lazy, they become even lazier. They want to learn new successful strategies, not so much to do what is successful but to stop them from (you guessed it) working hard.
Duplicating success should stop you from guessing. (And to me, guessing is working harder.) But it shouldn't stop you from working smarter. In other words, sure you can save yourself a lot of hassle by copying the gurus. But that doesn't mean no work. It's the false sense of security people get when they buy such courses, thinking that, if they copy others' successes, they don't have to do any work.
And therein lies the problem: people tend to wimp out or become too lazy. They expect overnight riches. That, in itself, is not the problem. The problem is that they expect overnight riches without any work.
I believe you can work less by copying success because you save the guesswork and gain a solid base to work from. But it doesn't mean you stop working altogether. It does requires a bit of effort, a bit of brain power, a bit of creativity, a bit of differentiation.
And that's my biggest qualm.
People should work smarter, not harder. But because any ounce of work seems hard to them, they tend to resort to buying courses with the sole aim of duplicating proven strategies to the letter. When too many people do this, it causes the eventual dilution of the strategy.
Being lazy will never change. But if you want a leg up on your competition, if you want to increase your chances of success with an already skeptical, cynical marketplace (such as Internet marketing), then observe what's going on around you instead. Learn from other people's success before they teach about their success. And then, whether you apply what you observe or what you learn from their "how to" courses, try to make it unique.
Don't duplicate. Differentiate.
About the Author:
Michel Fortin is a direct response copywriter, author, speaker and consultant. Watch him rewrite copy on video each month, and get tips and tested conversion strategies proven to boost response in his membership site today.
. . .
If you have a promotion tip to share (or an affiliate program that would be of interest to the rest of us) or if you have a web design tip, or a specific question, please feel free to post all tips, questions, or answers to posted questions here and I will add your email or URL with it. It's FREE promotion!
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
What Is Pay-Per-Click? When To Use It And When Not To
The only way to really guarantee top placement is to use pay-per- click advertising.
(This is an advertising mechanism in which you pay for every click of a potential customer.) Most search engines offer this on a bidding basis, and if it generates more money than you spend on it, it can be sound business advise. In most cases, you would DO THIS LAST - after you optimize your web site and implement other promotional techniques.
If you do an effective job with your website optimization and promotion, you may already come up top naturally and not have to use pay-per-click for several keywords. (This is especially true for MSN or Yahoo.) Or if you choose to make a big (temporary) advertising campaign while you are optimizing (and have the money for this), then you may consider this.
Some keywords will cost more than others, depending on competition. Some will generate more paying customers than others. Do the math as you go along. Figure out the return on investment. This is seldom a one shot deal and often takes a few months of tweaking to get the optimum pay-per-click bid amount for the different keywords.
YOU WILL FIND SEO COMPANIES THAT GUARANTEE YOU TOP PLACEMENT FOR YOUR FAVORITE KEYWORDS. THIS IS HOW THEY DO IT. They use pay-per- click as part of the package and point to the pay-per-click listing, showing you your top placement. The natural links are normally much cheaper in the long run, since once you achieved a top ranking without pay-per-click you will have a steady stream of customers without having this kind of per-click fee.
Google is of course an exception. For the first year you will not likely rank for most of your desired keywords despite any valiant efforts on your part. During this period, I would encourage using Google's pay-per-click (AdWords). Although Google is the slowest to recognize your natural ranking - it will give the greatest return in the long run. While you do this - use the information they give you while you manage your pay-per-click keywords. See what is used most often - and what gives you the most sales (conversions). They have tools to help you with that.
ANY SEO FIRM that promises or guarantees top placement for competitive keywords is either selling you pay-per-click or is being boastful. Be wary with your money. You don't need an SEO expert to sign up for pay-per-click. You may use one to help you find the right keywords or perhaps to handle optimization techniques.
If they are selling you a package, pay-per-click is often a justifiable part of it. However, don't let such a promise be a decision factor in selecting an SEO expert.
Copyright © Robert Fuess
Robert Fuess is a veteran website designer who specializes in
making dynamic search engine optimized websites.
http://www.SpiderwebLogic.com | http://www.SchoolAndTeacher.com
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