Friday, April 01, 2005

How to Profit from your Home Business Blog

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by Ian CanawayFebruary 23, 2005

A blog is a simple tool which all affiliate marketers should be utilising to explode their affiliate sales.

I set up my blog in about 15 minutes at It’s a completely free service, and it’s really easy to set-up. I followed directions on an excellent article on getting a new website listed in Google in 48hrs check it out here, . I just followed the advice in the article and got started with no problems in no time.

I've been doing a lot of research with regards to blogging and came across a case of a 19 year old kid who was making something ridiculous like $50,000 a year with a blog on mobile phones, from his bedroom! So clearly there is a good earning potential through blogs, but they do take time to grow and build up a readership. Treat your blog as a marathon not a sprint, because it will take time.

Blogs provide a very simple, quick and easy means to add fresh content to your website. As I’m sure you’ve heard many times over ‘content is king’ in the search engines eyes and if you can provide high quality, regularly updated content your website should benefit with regards to your search engine ranking.

By providing fresh, high quality relevant content you will gain an increase of both first time visitors and repeat visitors, they will come back to check out your new content. Providing it’s interesting, relevant and useful to them. You will begin to build relationships with your readers, increasing your credibility and building their trust in you.

These repeat visitors will be exposed to your messages more and begin to trust you and your recommendations. This in turn will fuel sales and referrals. Just make sure you don’t recommend a product you haven’t tried because if it is bad you will lose all credibility!

Never recommend something you haven’t tried and tested yourself.

You want to send traffic directly to your blog, do it through multi-dimensional strategies. Have a subscriber box for your newsletter to build your list from your blog. Use it as an exit pop-up from your main site or thank you page for new subscribers, directing them to relevant content immediately. Once your prospects have gotten to know you through the blog, they are much more likely to explore your website and check out whatever you are offering.

Whenever you sign-up for an affiliate program or buy a product, review it in your blog and be brutally honest - your readers will love you for it. Take a completely unbiased view point and talk about both the positives and negatives of each product. In essence you are providing more of an insight into the product than the sales page itself, almost a sample, this will help convert those prospects that are ‘sitting on the fence’ so to speak. Obviously, when you review your affiliate products, make sure that you use your affiliate links.

It has been shown that prospects are 7-10 times more likely to buy from a blog recommendation than from other sources!

Other ways that you can generate extra income through your blog are through the Google ad sense program, selling banner/link space as your traffic increases, or, as I mentioned earlier, by adding you own opt-in sign-up form to which you send your newsletter or other targeted offers.

Your blog can be syndicated using RSS, which I won’t go into here, that’s another article. But savvy webmasters can use your blog content on their web pages. This benefits them as they have regularly updated fresh content for their website and benefits you through increased exposure and free targeted traffic.

Be passionate about your blog, love your blog. If you do not then it will become obvious through your posts and you are unlikely to be anywhere near as successful as you could be.

Add to your blog regularly; provide good quality content and reviews; you will be on your way to blogging success.

“A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one at all would find fault with what he has done”.
-- Cardinal Newman

Get that blog started today!
(Feel free to use this article online and in your email newsletters as long as you leave it intact and do not alter it in anyway. The byline and biography must remain in the article.)

Copyright Ian Canaway 2004-11-30
Ian Canaway is the owner of and you are invited to come and have a look round his new home business blog at For home business tips, advice and product reviews. Happy Blogging!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

How Full Is Your Life?

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A slight change of pace today -
I've seen this before (perhaps you have too), but this version seems to "hit the nail on the head".

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

Enjoy the story -


A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students, "Is the jar full?". They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again "Is the jar full?" they again agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "Yes!"

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full."

"The pebbles are the other things that matter - like your job, your house, and your car."

"The sand is everything else -- the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal."

"Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."


You think I can show this to my spouse and use it as an excuse for my work-challenged mentality?

1 Happy Marketer

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Affiliate Product Landing Pages - Three Tactics That Sell

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by Dan B. Cauthron

As competition within the online affiliate sales arena rises to a fierce boil, affiliate sellers expecting any degree of success must first find effective methods to set themselves apart from the crowd.

An uninitiated affiliate may expect to make sales simply by placing a referral link on his website, or by distributing the link in an email. On the other hand, a seasoned affiliate seller knows that a unique marketing twist of one sort or another must be built into the campaign for a satisfying profit to be realized.

One tested and proven method is to develop a unique landing webpage for each and every affiliate campaign engaged.

A landing page is nothing more than a proprietary webpage owned by the affiliate seller, hosted on his website, and and located at a URL within that domain. A well developed landing page will not only contain the actual affiliate referral link, but will also serve as an introduction to the product or service being offered, and will warm the customer prior to directing her to the main sales page.

Here we present three types of affiliate landing pages that have been proven effective in promoting a broad range of products and services. (However, the reader should note that no particular order of effectivenes is presented here. Determining the best type of landing page for a particular affiliate campaign will be a matter of careful consideration and diligent testing.)

Landing Page #1 - The Product Review

This style of page takes the form of a factual and objective report, and should be completely free of any wording that attempts to sell. Direct experience with the product is a must, as the writer will be providing her or his own first hand observations regarding the benefits and problems that arise while actually putting the product or service to use.

Typically, a single product is reviewed for the sake of simplicity. Yet some successful landing pages do feature reviews of multiple products within a given category. In this case, each individual product should be rated by means of an easy to understand system, ie. one to five "stars."

For the sake of credibility, the product review must reveal both positive and negative product attributes. Still, the positive factors should firmly overshadow the negative in a realistic and honest sense. If not, look for a different product to promote.

Landing Page #2 - The Pre-Sell

This tactic has also been referred to as the "soft sell." The content here can borrow some of the effects of the product review method, but should be more directed overall toward defining a problem and offering the product or service as a solution.

It is advisable to carefully examine the main seller's page to discover and capitalize on overlooked product benefits or hooks. It is also acceptable to use highlighted or bolded words and phrases to a degree, providing they will enhance the reader's understanding.

A strong headline may be used, and bulleted lists may also be inserted to clearly illustrate product features and benefits. But keep in mind this is a "soft sell" page. The purpose is only to warm the reader, and there should be no hard sell or call to action other than asking her to "Click This Link to Learn More."

Landing Page #3 - The Forced Opt-In

This type of page typically consists of nothing more than a strong headline, a problem reinforcement, an offer to solve the problem, and an autoresponder opt-in box. The prospect can be redirected to the main salespage after she signs up.

Experienced affiliate marketers have varying opinions as to the effectiveness of this landing page, especially when used behind a paid advertising campaign. There is some conjecture that too many prospects are lost when they fail to opt-in.

Another viewpoint is that this tactic produces a high quality list of action-taking propects with a proven degree of interest. Given these two viewpoints, it may be wise to perform a split testing action, using the forced opt-in page and at least one other landing page configuration.

Regardless of either view, the forced opt-in tactic will enable the affiliate to capture a unique and highly targeted mailing list, a valuable asset in and of itself.

About the Author:
No Hype - No Bull - No Pie In The Sky! Dan B. Cauthron tells it like it really is, and shares 30+ years of direct marketing wisdom. Entrance to his member's only website will never cost you a penny. ==>

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Opt-In is NOT an Option

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by Rosalind Gardner
March 24, 2005

In the course of my Internet business consulting work, I am asked to review web sites and figure out why the sites aren't achieving sales. The webmasters of these sites have usually worked long and hard to make them attractive to the search engines and appealing to visitors. Some of these webmasters also invest in pay-per-click advertising to bring even more traffic to their sites, but still there are no sales to speak of.

In almost all of these cases, the first problem that I spot is the absence of an ezine or e-newsletter signup form. That's a problem of such significance that I rarely need to look any farther.

When I ask why they haven't set up a autoresponder to collect the names and email addresses of their visitors, some tell me that they didn't know they needed one.

Others express concern about paying a monthly fee for an autoresponder service when their site isn't making any money, and still others balk at the thought of how much work goes into producing a regular newsletter.

Fair enough. Maybe you are having a similar problem with your site, or the same objections to setting up a mailing list.

Let's look at each concern and objection, and I'll show you why email marketing is one of the most effective and lucrative activities you can engage in during the course of your business day.

First of all, an opt-in mailing list is the cornerstone to success online. Without one, all that time spent tweaking a site for search engine friendliness, is pretty much for naught. You may be an expert at getting traffic to your site. But unless you have a way to bring those visitors back to your site repeatedly, the prospect is lost the first time they leave.

Imagine for a moment that you are single and looking for a life partner. For the last half hour you've been speaking with the most attractive, witty and intelligent person you have ever met. Your heart is thumping loudly and that person is likewise indicating their interest in you.

Unfortunately, it's time for them to be on their way. What do you do? Do you simply say "I enjoyed talking to you" and watch them walk away? Or do you say that you'd like to stay in touch and ask for their telephone number?

Only the second scenario allows the opportunity to build that relationship. As these things sometimes go, you may call a few times, and it turns out not to be such a perfect match. With someone else, you could be on your way to the happiest relationship you'll ever enjoy. However, you'll never know unless you ask for that number.

Email marketing works on much the same principle. If you don't collect email addresses, a visitor comes to your site, takes a look around and in most cases leaves and never comes back. You have no way of bringing them back, because without a list, you have no way to tell them about new products on your site. A trusting, friendly relationship will never develop and they'll never be 'the one' who buys what you're selling.

Because it usually takes seven exposures before most people trust a product enough to buy it, you might as well flush your hard-earned money straight down the drain if you don't follow-up with your visitors at least six times after their first visit to your site.

For less than twenty bucks a month, you can automate this follow-up process so that each new subscriber starts receiving a series of six or more marketing messages as soon as they opt-in to your list. It's an investment that pays for itself over and over again, and the payoff gets bigger and better as your list grows in size.

In addition to the follow-up campaign, you can notify your subscribers of new products that you think they'll interested in. Just type a quick note, press 'send' and voila! your message is on its way.

And email marketing isn't just for merchants. It works extremely well for affiliates too. On just one of my affiliate sites, I've built a mailing list of more than 70,000 subscribers. Each time I pop a quick note or newsletter out to that list, my sales take a huge leap for up to a week after I send the message.

Although I personally use a couple of different autoresponder services, I particularly like ProAutoresponder because they offer an unlimited number of campaigns. That means that unlike some other services that provide only one autoresponder per account, you can set up as many autoresponders as you like with only one ProAutoresponder or Aweber account.

You can set up an autoresponder campaign for visitors who stop by your site without buying, another for those who accept your offer of a free product download, and still others for buyers of your products. You can even set one up for each individual product that you sell.

As to the amount of work that it take to produce a newsletter - consider the alternatives. You could spend lots of time honing your meta tags, or beautifying your site instead, but unless you can get in touch with your visitors, you won't have any customers. And turning visitors into customers should be your top priority.

When you write a product endorsement for the site, just write a shorter version to send as an invitation to visit your site and learn more about the product.

Maximize your marketing efforts and save your advertising dollars.. send your subscribers a note. It's that simple.

So, if you've been reluctant until now to start building your contact list, I hope I've alleviated some of your concerns, and helped you understand why 'OPT-in' isn't an OPTion.

Article by Rosalind Gardner, speaker, consultant and author of the best-selling "Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People's Stuff Online". To learn how you too can succeed in Internet and affiliate marketing, sign up for Rosalind's "Net Profits Today" newsletter at:

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