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Thirty Day Challenge Starts Wednesday!

July 30, 2007

Internet Marketing guru, Ed Dale, is launching a 30 day challenge where he will be helping you make money online in 30 days. What’s great about this is that it’s free to join in! Ed will be giving away awesome free information to help you learn how to make money online.

If I wasn’t already in the middle of launching a new product I would be signing up right away!

Anyway, you can click here to find out more and join the thirty day challenge!

If you do sign up, let me know if you would like to write a guest post (or several) about the program.

Smoke And Mirrors

July 29, 2007

The following is a guest post by cooliojones, the owner of My New Hustle | Make Money Online, a blog that chronicles conventional and unconventional methods of making money on the internet and in the ‘real world.’

Recently I was surfing through the internet, and I came across some information on how to make money online. This is a very popular topic on the internet, because just about everyone wants to make an extra buck or two with little to no effort. However, it’s that same feeling that leads millions of people to fall for the tricks of various internet marketers who capitalize off of the ignorance of the general public. As they say, knowledge is power, and the lack thereof can leave you powerless against these weapons of mass distraction – and penniless.

So how do you defend yourself against a seemingly endless onslaught of misinformation? Simply use some of the techniques that follow:

Stay Up-To Date…On Scams

Just like everything else – cars, computers, technology – your average scam artist has to stay current with the latest trends in order to survive in the marketplace. Hardly anyone still falls for the Nigerian Prince scam that asks you to funnel money through your bank account, or the promise of Bill Gates sending you money to help test a new system. Internet marketers are a savvy bunch, and unfortunately the legitimate ones often get a bad name because of the scam artists that mimic their techniques.

In general, stay away from anything that comes in a pop-up, pop-under, unsolicited e-mail or flying banner advertisement. These are intentional distractions that try to get your attention by any means necessary. Usually legitimate advertisers will use opt-in lists, static text ads on popular verified websites or normal banner advertisements found at the top, side or bottom of a webpage. ‘Peel-away’ ads – those that seem to ‘peel back’ the web page you are on to display an advertisement when you hover your mouse over them – are becoming popular as well, and are usually utilized by reputable companies, but check your sources to be sure.

Investigate & Verify Your Sources

The internet has made almost every aspect of life easier (yes, even taxes). You no longer have to solely rely on your friends and family after you see a late-night infomercial on the latest real estate shenanigan or read an advertisement about the latest get-rich-quick scheme. Getting the dirt on any prospective ‘opportunity’ is almost required these days, as it can save you from wasted time, embarrassment, and spending your hard on cash on illegitimate schemes. Get the name of the company in question, and do a search on Google or on RifoffReport.com to evaluate other users’ experiences with the product or service they are promoting. Look at the dates of the ‘money earned’ and see if it is current or old data from years ago. Finally, be leery of websites that use audio or video ‘voice ads’ that have the marketers making a ‘personal plea’ for you time and attention. They attempt to be reachable and relate to your situation long enough to convince you to make a purchase, and after that they may be long gone.

Don’t Be Fooled By Big Numbers

If I told you that you could make an extra $200 this month, you may or may not be interested. However, if I told you that $20,000 this month is a possibility, your pupils would get larger and I’d have your attention. This is exactly why you see wild claims of people making $2,000, $7,500 and even upwards of $10,000 per month using their ‘system.’ Not only that, it is so easy that anyone can do it, and you could get started today!

Don’t believe the hype. If it really were that easy, not only would everyone be doing it, but because everyone would now have money, inflation would be through the roof (you thought $3.00/gallon gas was something, wait until you pay $13.00/gallon!). Use your common sense and gut instinct when you see these claims, as they are often nothing more than just bait to reel you in for the kill.

Marketers—both legit and untrustworthy—are a skilled bunch, possessing the skill to play on your emotions and convince you that parting with your hard earned cash is a good idea. The best defense is to just take your time and not be pressured into anything you don’t feel 100% comfortable with; that way, the only games and tricks that will be played will be those found on a PlayStation.

Internet Marketing Tips From Around The Web 7/27/2007

July 27, 2007

I decided this week to take a look around for blogs that I have never written about before and find some good tips and interesting articles for you to take a look at. Here’s what I found…

How to Make Money Online: Some Warnings
I loved this post. Excellent advice for newbies looking to make money online.

Guest Blogging – Is It Good Or Bad?
Since I have guest bloggers on this blog you can imagine where I stand on this issue. Do you think guest blogging is good or bad? I would certainly love to know!

Can I trust you? 13 quick tips to increase online conversion rate via building trust
Ayat posted a good list of ways to increase your website conversion rate. I think number 8 is only true in certain markets. In some markets you will sell better if your site looks like you created it, because the people in that market would rather buy from a mom and pop operation. In most cases a professional design will increase conversions, but there are some markets where it will actually hurt (amazingly enough).

An Amazing 76% Response To A Survey Using The Law Of Reciprocation
Excellent post on the marketing law of reciprocation.

Listen to me. How to convert your blog post into a podcast.
This looks like something worth experimenting with on my blog. Would you like the ability to hear my blog posts?

How to Start an Affiliate Program for Your Product or Website
I don’t think I have linked to Wendy’s new blog before, so here goes… this post is an excellent interview with Chris Jones about starting your own affiliate program.

7 Stupid Financial Mistakes I’ve Made
While this post wasn’t about making money online, it is about taking care of your money, which can be just as important as making it.

That’s it for this week’s links…

Create Buzz for your Website with a Contest

July 25, 2007

Guest post by Matthew Henrickson

Contests have been surfacing more and more on blogs because they work. If you can properly market your contest, you can really achieve whatever your target is. Whether it’s to build links to your website or get new RSS feed readers, a contest can be very easy and, if you work it right, low cost.

Types of Contests

Before you decide to start a contest, you should figure out what you want to improve on your website. Are the numbers of your RSS feed subscribers low? Maybe you just want more participation on your blog.

There are several usual contests that you can use on your blog. Linkback contests, leave a comment, or subscribe to the feed. Each provide different ways to improve your website and stats.

Having a Successful Contest

I recently wrote 6 great tips for hosting a blogging contest. In that I listed 6 things you should do when you are creating a contest. By doing simple things like setting a deadline, or making your contest easy, you will see drastic results. We recently just picked our winners for two day planners and we received over 50 entrants in just a week.

Traffic Increases

When hosting a contest traffic always seems to increase. By receiving so many incoming links, your blog can really generate some buzz and traffic. Today we launched another contest and traffic increased by at least 100 unique visitors from the day before.

Our latest contest is sponsored by Eco-Handbags, and they have donated a 180$ laptop briefcase for us to give away. All you have to do is link back to Blog about your Blog and our sponsor, and you can be entered to win.

If you aren’t sure where to go next with your blog, a contest might be what you need.

What Did You Learn From These Blog Traffic Challenge Entrants Results?

July 24, 2007

For those of you who haven’t been reading my blog for a while, I started something called The Blog Traffic Challenge three months ago to see if I could double the traffic to my blog in three months time. I also challenged others to join in the fun.

A few weeks ago I asked for people to send me their results from the blog traffic challenge. I was a bit surprised that so few of the participants shared their results, but I am very happy to present the results that were shared…

John Wesley from Pick the Brain

I’m not sure when I entered, so I don’t know exactly how much my traffic has changed, but its gone up from approximately 1200 visitors a day to 3500.

My best technique has been writing viral content – long, well written articles, with useful information – and then using social media to market them. StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, and delicious have been my biggest referrers. Also, once I had a few articles get popular on those sites I started to get noticed by some larger blogs and got links from ProBlogger, Lifehacker, and lifehack.org that also drive traffic and lead to subscribers. I’ve also had some success with emailing bloggers directly and telling them about a well written article that’s relevant to their blog.

That’s really about it. There is no substitute for great content and aggressive social marketing. I look forward to seeing the techniques others bloggers have used to succeed.

Wendy Peirsall of eMoms at Home:

I just pulled stats from the first 15 days of March vs. the first 15 days of June (which were actually not that great traffic-wise because my site was down a significant amount of time as I moved to my new semi-dedicated server!).

Although I won’t disclose exact numbers, my visits are up 237% and pageviews are up 151%.

I had almost forgotten about your challenge – I’m so happy to see that I way more than doubled my numbers since then!

Perhaps I can double them again for the rest of the summer?! I think that’s my next challenge! šŸ˜‰

Well, I can attribute the growth to a few things:

Momentum – my blog had been gaining speed for 10 months prior – at some point hard work HAS TO pay off!

Publicity – Winning Elite Retreat and writing for Entrepreneur.com really significantly raised my visibility

Networking – I wouldn’t have landed either of the above opportunities without the networking I have done since day one

Social Media – A few big wins on sites such as Digg and SU have had a good lasting effect on growth

In other words – nothing really new here – just hard work and doing the things we know we need to do to grow our businesses!

Rob StGeorge from The Million Dollar Experiment Down Under

Rob reported his results in the following blog post on his site:
http://millionnzdollars.blogspot.com/2007/07/blog-traffic-challenge-finishes.html

Here are a couple of notable quotes from Rob’s results:

There are a number of things that you can do to increase traffic to your site, and that includes things like search engine optimization, social networking, quality content creation, consistency of posting and much much more. What I found worked for me was choosing one thing at a time and then doing whatever I could do in that area to improve things going forward.

and


I recommend that anyone that wants to significantly boost the traffic to their site participant in a challenge like this, and if there isn’t one around why not start your own?

By having a goal to aim for that is concrete it really helps you get motivated

Simonne from All Tips And Tricks

I managed only a 35% increase in number of visitors within the 3 months of the challenge. I mostly rely on Google organic search to bring in the traffic, and on Stumble Upon, which offers very nice traffic spikes, although not materialized in extra income.

As an unusual method of promotion, I used John Chow’s blog to find people who need links and who would write a review in exchange, and I asked them to review my blog. Some of them did.

My Final Thoughts On The Blog Traffic Challenge

When you include my results the three most common techniques people used to increase their traffic were:

1. Writing quality content.
2. Networking with other bloggers.
3. Participating in social bookmarking sites.

Search Engine optimization also played a role for some of us, but across the board it was not as significant a role as one might expect.

What Did You Learn From These Blog Traffic Challenge Entrants Results?

Would You Like Chris Garrett To Guest Blog For You?

July 23, 2007

Wow, what a great opportunity! Chris Garrett is trying to get more people to join his new Authority Blogger forum. According to Chris:

Whoever can send the most new registrations between now and my bed time next friday PM (GMT) will get …

1. A guest post for their blog written by me
2. A thank you post and link on my blog
3. The respect and awe of your friends and peers
...

So, here’s what you need to do to enter:

Step 1. Click here to go to Chris Garrett’s Authority Blogger forum and sign up for it (You should do this even if you don’t have a blog).

Step 2. Once you have activated your account on the forum, then click here and you can see your referral URL. For instance, when I visit the page it shows my referral URL:

http://forum.authorityblogger.com/index.php?referrerid=337

If you see:

http://forum.authorityblogger.com/index.php?referrerid=0

Then you aren’t logged in. Login and then go back to the page that displays the referral URL.

Step 3. Use the referral URL to let your friends know about the Authority Blogger forum. Who knows, you might just win a guest post from Chris Garrett…

Next Internet Millionaire – Good News and Bad News

July 20, 2007

Joel Comm has announced the 12 finalists for “The Next Internet Millionaire” and I am kind of bummed that neither Cliff or Andrea made it as one of the 12 finailists. Andrea was the top female vote getter by visitors to the site, but she still didn’t make it. Which was a bit shocking. Andrea made a funny video about her experience that you can see on her blog.

So, what’s the good news… Well, Garry Conn’s friend Thor Schrock made it into the final 12. So that was cool.

Here’s Andrea’s video for those of you who don’t want to see what she wrote about her rejection as well:

Internet Marketing Tips From Around The Web 7/20/2007

July 20, 2007

I have been under the weather all week, so I have done very little blog reading and blog writing for that matter. Here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

The Open Source Web Design Toolbox: 100 Tools, Resources, and Template Sources
Excellent list of open source web design resources.

Beginner’s Guide to Interpreting Website Traffic Metrics with Google Analytics
The title pretty much says it all.

Does it Take a PhD to Read Your Content?
Good reminder for those of us who tend to use big words in our writing.

You wanted my secrets now you have them!
A very interesting look at how Amanda is raking in money with paid ads.

Sometimes It’s Better to Hit Delete
Personally, I am not into writing “controversial” posts, but I know many people are. Do you ever wish you had deleted a post, before publishing it?

Free Internet Marketing Tips Video
Lastly, this video from Eben Pagan (formerly known as David DeAngelo) has some solid Internet marketing tips in it.

How Well Do You Know Your Online Business?

July 19, 2007

This weekend my wife Jill and I started working on a business plan for our new business. I was prompted to work on the business plan after talking about the business with my Dad who has tons of experience with start up businesses (more on that some other time). Yes, I should have done the business plan BEFORE the product design, but I guess it’s better late than never.

After starting the business plan, I started wondering if the rest of you have a business plan and how detailed it is.

So, here’s my challenge to you…

Go to SCORE’s template gallery and download their business plan for start-up businesses. Now, take a look at the questions asked in the business plan and see if you can answer them all.

A few examples of the types of questions you will be faced with are:

  • What factors will give you competitive advantages or disadvantages?

  • What are the trends in your target market—growth trends, trends in consumer preferences, and trends in product development?

  • What is the age, income level, and education level of your target market?

  • How many customers do you plan on having by the end of the year?

  • What is your marketing strategy for your niche?

Can you answer all the questions? If not, what are you waiting for?

You Know Youā€™ve Been Blogging Too Long Whenā€¦

July 17, 2007

Hi! I’m Matt Jones the author of Blogging Fingers and I guest blogged this post.

1. Your breakfast consists of dunking chocolate digestives biscuits in your coffee at your computers desk. Each dunk has to be carefully synchronized with starting the computer up, logging in and then opening all the programs you need for blogging (Safari, Mail and iTunes in my case) to ‘save time’, even if it means sacrificing half a soggy biscuit to the coffee for holding it ‘half-dunked’ for too long.

2. You’ve opened a new window/tab and have left a window of a blog you read open and go out of your way to close it just so you don’t mess up that bloggers stats for how long people are staying on their site.

3. When your favorite song reminds you of a blog post you wrote because while writing it you accidentally had iTunes stuck on ‘replay’ and didn’t realize until the 7th listening!

4. Whenever the word ‘blog’ or ‘internet media’ comes up on the evening news you choke on that mouthful of Super Noodles and look up eagerly feeling clever and informed that you know more than the guy on TV.

5. You become able to express yourself better through writing than orally.

Those are a few of the more amusing habits I’ve picked up while blogging. There are a lot more that are pretty mundane. For example, I have become an ‘extreme skim-reader’ (if someone can read ‘extremely’?), which may be great for blogging, but in ‘real’ life remembering only what is absolutely necessary has it’s downside.

Does anyone have anything to add?

Is EVO A Good Way To Make Money Online?

July 17, 2007

You may have seen several bloggers (myself included) advertising a site called EVO. It’s billed as a fun exciting new way to make money online. After looking at the free ebook, it actually looks pretty cool. Making money online by playing video games and participating in social networking sounds like a dream come true to me. (If only I could make a good living by playing my favorite game Civilization 4... now that would be truly awesome!) EVO is one of those “why I didn’t I think of that” sites.

EVO just officially launched today and, while I haven’t yet been through the entire site, it looks very promising so far. Are you going to be part of the EVO revolution?

Now What Do I Do With the Affiliate Link?

July 16, 2007

If you’re a beginning affiliate marketer, this may be among your first questions. You get the links, but then what do you do with them? You have to get them out into cyberspace to get people to click on them, but how?

The obvious answer is that you put them on your web site, but that’s not the half of it. People who are making good money with affiliate marketing aren’t just posting links willy-nilly on their content sites without any thought. So if you’re looking to make a decent income this way, what do you do with your affiliate links?

  • Write entire mini-sites around them: Review pages, landing pages, and pre-sell pages are all examples of this technique. You write a single page centered on the product or service you’re promoting designed to get the reader to click through and then convert.

  • Promote them with ezines: You start your own ezine, collect a list of subscribers, and promote your links in content ads or solo advertisements. While running and successfully promoting an email income of this sort requires it’s own set of skills and knowledge, collecting a list only takes a single web page.

  • Aim pay-per-click ads directly at the link: This is an older method that’s falling out of favor because companies like Google don’t display multiple pay-per-click ads aimed at the same URL at one time. Nowadays, most marketers aim pay-per-click ads at landing pages (which I mentioned above) to get around this and improve on conversions.

  • Write affiliate links into ebooks, free reports, or other ‘.PDF’ products: In this approach, you create your own information product and include affiliate links from related programs. Then you sell the product or give it away as a bonus for doing something else, like an opt-in. Your affiliate links potentially generate back-end commissions, plus you get to add a name to your list for more promotions later.

So if you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing and wondering what exactly you’re supposed to do with your links, you can take some ideas from the methods above. And if any of you more experienced marketers would like to share your ideas for promoting affiliate links, feel free to comment

Seriously, how do you make a beautiful, sellable ebook? Find your answers today with The Ebook Walkthrough!

My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m the co-author of Can I Make Big Money Online.

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