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Three Cool New Resources For Making Money Online

August 28, 2008

Next Monday is a holiday in the US called “Labor Day”. In honor of the holiday, I’m going to take a few days off and won’t be working on the business until late next week. However, before I take a break I had to let you know about three cool resources I learned about this week. So, in no particular order, here are the three resources you should go check out:

1. Yanik Silver’s Underground Online Seminar Best of The Best
Yanik has taken the best footage from all of the previous underground seminars and combined them into a “best of the best” package. This looks like a great deal for those who missed the first 4 seminars. Click here to check it out for yourself.

2. Stomping the Search Engines 2
I am actually getting a preview copy of this in the mail, and I hope to get a chance to look at it before they launch. You can learn all the details by clicking here.

3. Rich Schefren’s announcement
For those who haven’t seen this yet, Rich Schefren is coming out with another report. I can hardly wait to read it. Check out the video announcement he made for it by clicking here.

Have a great weekend!

PS. There is a lot coming after my break… (summer Olympics blogging update, the final two posts of getting started series and some other cool things.)

Making the Most of Your Download Page

August 28, 2008

It doesn’t matter what type of digital product you’re selling, there’s always one place your customers will go after they’ve bought from you: your download page. It’s where your product is, after all. They bought it, they go there and get it, and then they’re done. Yes, you could let it happen that way, or you could make your download page do some more work for you.

Your customers deserve a hassle-free download after purchasing, but I’m not talking about putting obstacles in their way. I’m talking about putting other things on that page besides your download link. Since they will go there after buying, a few extra things on that page might be handy.

  • Banners that generate impressions: If you’re in a banner exchange program, or any of it’s variations (like traffic exchanges or, get a credit with them by putting something that gives you credits on your download page. It’s not as though you’re trying to sell something at that point, and can afford your customer’s distraction. Besides, once they get the product, they’re leaving the page anyway. Why not through a link that benefits you?
  • Cross-sells: You can promote an affiliate program that relates to your product in some way. Not competes directly with it, but relates to it. They’ve already bought your product, because they’re at your download page, so you know they’ll spend money. Why not try for an extra commission with something else your customer might find useful?
  • Freebies: These are things like viral reports, loss leaders, trial memberships, and other things that could lead to an upsell or additional traffic. Your customer is already on your download page, so why not give them some surprise bonuses that work for both of you?

Now, while all this is great, just two words of warning. One, don’t intefere with your customer’s download of their product with new advertising under any circumstances. They’ve already paid for it, and they should be able to get to it easily. Two, don’t try and do too many other things at once. Making your page look like an ad stack won’t accomplish a thing.

Have a use for your download page I haven’t mentioned here? 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 one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.

To Make Big Money Selling Online You MUST Have A USP

August 26, 2008

Why You Need To Have A Unique Selling Point (USP)

A few weeks ago, in my internet marketing newsletter I talked about making money online when you don’t have a USP (Unique Selling point aka. Unique Selling Proposition). A Unique Selling Point is something that sets your product or service apart from other product services. The USP answers the question, “Why should I buy from you?”

Without a unique selling point it is extremely difficult to make money selling products and services on the web, because what you are selling is a commodity. Selling a commodity is hard work! It means you have to compete with many other people who sell the same commodity.

On the other hand if you have a USP you can own your niche, because nobody else is providing what you do. This allows you to set your price without regarding other people’s prices (because you have no competitors). Consumers are willing to pay a lot more money for something that is unique.

Important Note:

Now, before I go on and explain a few ways that you can create a USP, I want to let you know that I strongly believe in offering your products and services at a reasonable price. To me it is unethical to make people pay for products and services at an unfair price. Determing what is a fair price is another story altogether. You will have to make that determination for yourself.

How To Create A Unique Selling Point (USP)

I have talked about Seth Godin’s book, “The Purple Cow” in the past on this blog. If you don’t own it I highly recommend you buy a copy of it. A purple cow is something that stands out and is remarkable, the way a purple cow would stand out if you were driving by cow pasture after cow pasture and all of a sudden saw a purple cow grazing in a pasture. It would stand out in your mind forever. When you are creating a unique selling point think “Purple Cow”. The more that your unique selling point stands out in people’s minds the easier it will be to make sales.

There are many ways to create a unique selling point, here are a few of them…

  1. Unique Guarantee
    Offering a powerful and unique guarantee can set you apart from your competition. Dominos pizza is the “poster child” example of this. In keeping with tradition I will use Dominos for my example. When pizza places were a dime a dozen, Dominos Pizza came out and offered “Fresh, hot pizza in 30 minutes or the pizza is free!” When I was a freshman in college we used to order from Domino’s on the chance that they wouldn’t make it in time so we could get FREE pizza. Dominos became a recognized name in American homes… Dominos unique guarantee worked.

  2. Unique Feature
    If your product or service has a unique feature then you need to focus your marketing on that feature, because it is your unique selling point. If it doesn’t have a unique feature, then create one and focus on it in your marketing message. When you create a unique feature, make it something that is hard for competitors to rip off.

  3. Narrow Your Niche
    Narrowing your niche is undoubtedly the easiest way to create a USP. For example, say you are selling a product to help people lose weight. Diet systems are a dime a dozen and it’s hard to come up with a USP in that niche. The solution is to narrow the focus of your niche to a smaller sub-niche. For instance, if your product is an ebook called “Weight Loss for Vegetarians”, you have already focused on a sub niche of the “weight loss” market. However, you could narrow that niche even farther to something like “weightloss for vegetarian Christian dads”. I doubt anyone is selling to that niche, so it would be an easy way to own that niche. However, before narrowing your niche be sure to do market research to determine if there is a demand in that market. In other words, I have no idea if there is a vegetarian Christian dad market looking for books on weight loss.

Final Thoughts

Some people will tell you that branding is another way to create a USP. However, in my mind branding is not a USP. Your product or service needs to be unique or you don’t have a USP. A brand will not stand the test of time if it doesn’t have a USP.

There are many other ways to create a unique selling point for your online business. They key is to find something that your competition isn’t offering and that your customers want. Then focus your marketing on your USP, and you will be on your way to making big money online!

When Should You Use Kontera Ads?

August 20, 2008

I have been meaning to write about this topic and was reminded of it recently when I read Shai’s post last week called, “Kontera: In-Text Advertising“.

At the end of the post, Shai asked:

“ you think Kontera is something you’ll be interested in using on your blog or site? Why or why not?”

Here is my answer:

I have played around with Kontera ads on some of our blogs and I know from that experience that some people don’t like to see them on a website, while some people do like to see them on a website. Why is that?

Why are there so many mixed opinions on Kontera In-text Ads?

I can tell you why. In general, I have found that the people who don’t like them are the people who see them on “make money online” blogs and on tech blogs. At first I thought the problem was that tech savvy people don’t like them. While that may be true, I think a bigger reason that they don’t like Kontera ads may come down to the fact that the ads just aren’t targeted well on non-product related blogs.

I put Kontera ads briefly on our Summer Olympics blog and it was horrible. The ads were showing for all sorts of random words and made the blog look ugly.

On the other hand, I have put Kontera ads on product related blogs and most of the ads are relevant and help people find things they are looking for.

So, when should you use Kontera ads on your blog or website?

I don’t recommend using them on blogs or websites where there is a focus on information (news sites, “how to” sites, etc.). I do recommend using them on non-technical product type sites, or on “how to” sites that make mention of a lot of products in the text of the articles (like a recipe site).

What do you think about in-text advertising? Would you ever use in text advertising like Kontera on a site?

Distractions and Your Online Business

August 18, 2008

Want to know a big problem with running an online business? They’re online.

Yep. They’re on that big, huge, distraction-filled wonder of our day, the Internet. The one with all the blogs, and social bookmarking sites, and YouTube, and online games, and…well, maybe I should stop here. Otherwise, I’m going to start indulging in one of my worst habits, which is getting distracted by all the things I can find online.

Distractions have eaten hours of time I could have probably spent doing something more productive, like building my business. If you let them, they’ll do the same thing to you. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do if you’re as distraction-prone as I am.

  • Earn your fun time.
    If you enjoy doing something online that’s always on the back of your mind while you’re online, force yourself to accomplish your daily tasks first, and earn your fun time. There’s far less guilt that way, and you actually accomplish something.
  • Learn from them.
    You know some web sites or fun things distract you. Find out what makes them that way, and see if you could apply them to your online business. That way, you might be able to put your otherwise frivolous distractions to use in making you money.
  • Restrict them.
    Only allow yourself so much time in a day to indulge in your online distractions. That way, you don’t find you’ve Stumbled or Dugg for hours on end to the detriment of your business.

Distractions are everywhere online. Don’t let them get in the way of your business. Manage them, and you can make your money and live a little too.

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 one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.

CashMaps – Systems That Help You Make More Money Online

August 15, 2008

I have been swamped this week with the Olympics, but I wanted to let you know about something REALLY cool that Rich Schefren recently released. It’s called CashMaps“.

Bascially, CashMaps is a monthly newsletter that reveals the systems that Rich uses to build his online business. If you want to build an online business, Rich’s CashMaps is something you should take a look at.

Click here to check it out for yourself.

7 Causes Of Procrastination Exposed!

August 12, 2008

procrastination Procrastination is like venomous poison for anybody who owns and runs a business. Sometimes it can get so bad, all we do is stare at the computer screen for hours on end while we mentally beat ourselves up to will a clever idea into our brain.

If you fight against this monster from time to time you know exactly what I mean. You might even have felt the urge to throw your computer out of the window because you got so frustrated at your lack of ideas.

I know how this feels and I can tell you, it’s not a good feeling. But over time I have come to recognize certain procrastination causes and I’m going to expose them to you one by one.

By knowing what could be the reason behind your inability to produce kick a** content on time, every time, you might be better armed next time around.

Procrastination cause #1: pressure

Pressure is hardly ever a good thing. Ok, some of you might actually get off on stress, but for the rest of us, we rather have a time and a place for every task we do. Plus, multitasking has been said to be quite ineffective anyway.

By limiting pressure, you will clear the mental head space and make room for the more important aspects of your business.

Procrastination cause #2: clutter

That nasty word! Office clutter is perhaps one of the biggest reasons we procrastinate. I’m sure you can remember times when your office desk was neat, kind of like a Zen style advert for organized media gurus.

This is the situation you want to experience every single day. If you currently struggle with clutter, get organized. Use apps, employ a secretary, or even a virtual VA. It will be worth your time or money; since working in a clean environment is beneficial for our creative juices.

Procrastination cause #3: hunger & thirst

You might be laughing at this, but I have come to learn that on many occasions when I felt lethargic and couldn’t be bothered to work, it was due to not being hungry. I often find myself totally lost in my work and before I remember to eat or drink, some 5 hours have gone by in a microsecond.

Thirst is another major cause for procrastination. If you don’t drink enough, your brain will become sluggish and procrastination will settle in.

Maybe you want to get into the habit of keeping a glass of water at your desk (safely of course) to remind you to drink often.

Procrastination cause #4: loss of interest

If you find yourself consistently procrastinating over the same issues or topic it might be a sign of underlying issues. Perhaps you lost the drive for the subject, or you feel inadequate to fulfill the required job.

Either way, it might be time to look closer at the why and then go about finding a solution.

Procrastination cause #5: lack of quality sleep

While some of us can function perfectly with about 5 hours sleep every night, most people can’t. I’m taking a wild guess here, but I would think that most of you fall into the 7-8 range.

The point is, unless you sleep enough for your body’s needs, you will find yourself consistently tired, moody and hard to motivate.

Procrastination cause #6: lack of adequate rest

You can’t just keep working like a robot. Every one of us needs time off. Time off work, preferably in a total different environment.

Sometimes I get into my extreme mode. I work and work and work….. and guess what? Work some more. While this is great for a while I soon find myself totally and utterly burned out. I do need my time away from the computer (my office) as much as anybody else.

If you think you are superhuman, think again. You too need a break.

Procrastination cause #7: interruptions

These are by far the worst causes of procrastination because they are often outside our control. We don’t know that hubby is wanting to discuss his latest recipe right when you are in the zone. neither can you possibly know that aunt Mary is calling you just as you entered a very creative working spell.

It’s true, we can’t know these things, let alone foresee them.

But what you could do is eliminate the possibilities of distractions while you work. Switch the phone to the answering machine. Tell your family you are working and for gods sake close your email client and chat.

Making small changes and taking control

Rome wasn’t built in a single day and neither will you manage to go from procrastination victim to Zen warrior of GTD. All it takes is small steps, one at the time.

Procrastination mustn’t be something you “just experience“. You can beat it.

About The Author
My name is Monika Mundell, I’m one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online and I’m the author of Freelance Writing. Learn more from me there.

Avoid the Snowballs

August 11, 2008

Not too long ago, I had a customer service problem. It wasn’t all that much, just a failed ebook delivery. A few emails and some personal intervention later, the problem was solved, and the customer was happy. This is something that wouldn’t have happened if I had run from it.

The trouble with problems is that they’re like snowballs. The longer you let them roll, the bigger they get. I left one job because they prevented me from solving problems before they became big snowy boulders, which made them impossible to fix once the screaming began. Because of this, solving problems while they’re still small makes them easier to fix. Waiting can make them impossible.

If you’re trying to make money online, you’re going to run into problems. All that means is you’re just like anyone else. It also means that when you have those problems, you can deal with them, or try the ineffective method of burying your head in the sand. I personally recommend the former.

Problems happen in online business, just like everything else. Web sites go wonky. You have to learn something new. You have to pay an unexpected bill. Customers get annoyed for real or perceived reasons. Projects are set back. Sales or commissions aren’t what you want. It happens to everyone, and the best way to deal with them is to deal with them, and not try to ignore them away.

Avoid the snowballs when dealing with problems. Solve them, or if you see the potential for some forming before they happen, avert them. It’s not just you, and you’re not the only person that has to deal with difficulties in making money online.

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 one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.

Getting Ready To Make Money Online With The Olympics

August 8, 2008

olympic rings

Well, the 2008 Olympics are about to start and I wanted to share a little about what we have been doing to get ready.

For those of you who don’t know this, we made some decent money a few years ago when my wife Jill blogged the winter Olympics. We then decided to blog every Olympics, because Jill really enjoys it and it is a good way to make some decent money.

To be honest, with the new baby’s arrival we did not do as much preparation for the Olympics as we originally planned. I was going to redesign our blog to look nicer, but after redesigning this blog and watching my Search Engine rankings immediately drop 5 spots for the “make money online” term I decided I would put the redesign of the Summer Olympics blog on hold. Also we found the current design to work so well for making money with the last Olympics that it didn’t make sense to change the design without the time to test it’s monetization.

Anyway, over the next three weeks I will be very busy with the Olympics. I do intend on giving you updates about other things we did in preparation of the Olympics, as well as things we are going to do to make money with our blog during the Olympics. So stayed tuned…

What is Spam?

August 6, 2008

I am going to start of by answering the question “What is spam?” and then I am going to talk to you about a disturbing a trend on the web related to the definition of spam.

Here is the ORIGINAL definition of spam:

“Unsolicited email”

Simply stated spam is email you receive from someone that you have never agreed to receive from them.

How is the definition of spam changing?

In the first chapter of Sylvie Fortin’s ebook, “Internet Marketing Sins”, Sylvie discussed a recent report by Marketing trends about spam. Apparently the definition of spam is changing…

According to the report:

Most consumers don’t accurately comprehend the term “spam”:

  • Over half of survey participants – 56% – consider marketing messages from known senders to be spam if the message is “just not interesting to me.”

  • 50% of respondents consider “too frequent emails from companies I know” to be spam.

  • 31% cite “emails that were once useful but aren’t relevant anymore.”

Regarding the use of the “report spam” button – the primary tool that internet service providers (ISPs) provide consumers to counter spam – nearly half of respondents (48%) provided a reason other than “did not sign up for email” for reporting an email as spam.

Respondents cited various non-permission-based reasons for hitting the spam button:

  • “The email was not of interest to me” (41%).

  • “I receive too much email from the sender” (25%).

  • “I receive too much email from all senders” (20%).

When I first read the above survey, I was TOTALLY shocked!

Apparently, people are EXTREMELY misinformed on the meaning spam. I occasionally have people unsubscribe from my newsletter who cite the reason for leaving as “spam”. I am always dumbfounded by that response. I mean seriously…

If you sign up for a newsletter and you get the newsletter the only way you can legitimately call it spam is if you don’t know the definition of spam.

Long story short, the Internet is becoming more and more challenging for marketers. If double opt-in newsletters are being called spam, what’s next? Will blogging of any sort be called spam? Will all advertising messages be called spam? It wouldn’t surprise me at all… would it surprise you?

I’m Starting to Like Video

August 4, 2008

I must tell you, I’m really starting to like making digital videos. I’ve learned a lot about how to do this from, and if you have the money, you should look into taking the complete course there for yourself. The information is invaluable.

Once you know what you’re doing, making digital videos isn’t at all hard. Time-consuming, yes, but not hard. And while I’m not going to replace my other efforts with video, I’m most certainly going to start adding video marketing to promote my sites and projects now. They’re just plain fun, and with some work, effective besides.

Granted, making fancy and beautiful videos is more expensive than say, a viral ebook. However, getting what you need to do it isn’t so hard or costly as you might think. All sorts of stock clips, music, equipment and voiceovers are available, and it still won’t set you back thousands to get started unless you want to buy everything on the high end.

Just to warn you though. If you use stock footage, voiceovers, music, or other things of this sort in your videos, make sure you understand the extent of the licensing first.

So, what can you do with videos?

  • Drive traffic by putting them on YouTube. It’s within their Terms of Service to do this, as long as you meet the restrictions on things like copyrights.

  • Put them on top of your sales letter page to sell your products or services. You can see an example of this on the Butterfly Marketing web site.

  • Bundle how-to videos with your ebooks or software products! If you think demonstrating something is the best way to go, make a video manual and add value to your products that way.

Internet Marketing is trending towards video. While I’ve made sales and opt-ins without it, I’m certainly not going to overlook its potential now that I can make them for myself.

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 one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.

Ethical Online Marketing And Internet Marketing Sins

August 1, 2008

I planned on writing about a completely different topic today, but I felt like this news was too important…

Michel Fortin’s wife, Sylvie, just released the first chapter of a free ebook called “Internet marketing sins”.

She talks about many of the questionable tactics being used by Internet marketing gurus and she doesn’t hold anything back. I know that the unethical tactics Sylvie talks about aren’t used by all Internet marketing gurus. However, there are some marketers who do business this way,and I am quite frankly as sick of it as she is.

I highly recommend you go check it out by clicking here.