Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Do I have your attention now? How about if I told you that there's a quick and easy solution to your online selling problems? Well, thanks to Google, your prayers have been answered. Google Labs is a testing ground for new services thought up by the geniuses who work there. One of their latest concoctions is called "Google Checkout Store Gadget". Its basic function allows you to copy and paste some code onto any webpage or blog, and become an instant merchant selling your own products.
Let's take a look at the "man behind the curtain" to see how it all works. The very first step is to open a Google Checkout Merchant account, which is easy to do by going to http://checkout.google.com/signup Fill out all of the required information, and you'll also need to input a bank account where your hard earned sales funds will be sent to. Google Checkout will process all incoming orders for you. The orders will appear under the "orders tab". On another note, make sure to uncheck the box that says, "my company will only post digitally signed carts", then hit the save button. Also, make sure to write down your "Merchant ID" number as you'll need it later on.
The next step is done using a Google Docs Spreadsheet which will track all your inventory. Google provides a template that can be copied which can be found here, http://tinyurl.com/yhebl4y . Take out the "dummy" product information and replace it with your own. There are separate columns for each item, even for shipping information. Each product can have its own separate shipping charge if need be. Keep in mind when filling it out that it can be viewed by the general public, so don't include any private information in it.
After you've entered all your items, hit "share" in the upper right hand corner, and publish as a "web page".Also, check the box that says "Automatically Re-Publish when changes are made."
Google makes it easy to set up your online store by using http://storegadget.googlelabs.com/ . It takes you through the process step-by-step, and when finished you click on "start publishing" and select where you'd like to embed the code, for example your website, Blogger, etc. Copy the code and paste it where you want the gadget to appear. There are no coding skills necessary, and anyone can do it. Really, it's that simple. If adding to a Blogger Blog, go under "edit layout",add a "gadget", then click "add your own", and paste the gadget code. Now you're selling items from your Blog that quickly.
So what's all of this going to cost? There is a small transaction fee charged by Google Checkout for any monthly sales as follows:
Under 3,000.00 2.9% plus .30 per transaction
3,000.00 to 9,999.99 2.5% plus .30 per transaction
10,000 to 99,999.99 2.2% plus .30 per transaction
If you've been putting off getting up a store front because you thought it was too difficult or technically complicated, Google really has simplified the process.With "store gadgets" even a child can sell online.
For more information see these resources:
http://googlecheckout.blogpsot.com/ Checkout Blog
http://tinyurl.com/ybd8ksk Google Checkout Store Gadget Forum
http://tinyurl.com/n2c2dy Google Docs blog
Monday, February 22, 2010
The most successful entrepreneurs outsource -- they pay freelancers to help them with either one-time or ongoing tasks. But, did you also know that there are other free ways to get this type of help?
I didn't realize that either, until I checked out the Outsource Weekly course from Jimmy D. Brown & Nicole Dean. I'm loving it. Yes, I'll pay for things like Graphics, but I didn't realize that I could also get other jobs done without paying money up front.
Well, I won't tell you everything. Here's an excerpt provided by Nicole & Jimmy from their course.
After you read this excerpt, be sure to check out the full course. They pretty much cover all aspects of an online business - what the task is, if you need to do it for YOUR type of business, if it can be automated instead of outsourced, and, if you do need to outsource it, who to go to.
Outsource Weekly Excerpt
by Nicole Dean
If there was one thing I'd go back and outsource sooner, it would be my customer support and my emails.
Why? For a number of reasons...
Benefit #1: It takes a LOT less time now than I ever spent.
I've never been accused of being aloof, so I'll tell you like it is.
This is embarrassing, but oh well.
I have “shiny object syndrome”. In fact, I think that most internet marketers have a bit of ADD where any shiny object pulls your attention away from the thing that you're doing.
Emails, instant messenger, a new product that's launching that everyone's talking about, a cool website, phone, twitter, “ooh a new friend found me on facebook...” etc.
“What was I working on again?”
When I was answering my own emails, I'd run off to investigate the answers or find out more about the topic, click through on the links that were sent to me, or just plain old get sidetracked and head off to work on more pressing matters.
I'd get shiny object syndrome and spend an hour answering an email and come back and go “oops, I never responded” because I'd run off in 100 different directions between opening the email and hitting send.
So, when I finally outsourced my emails, I was quite embarrassed to see that the virtual assistants were only spending 15 minutes/day on something that was taking me a lot more time.
Benefit #2: It keeps me more positive.
You know the story. You get one crabby person who is just downright mean, for no reason at all. Well, some people can let that roll off their backs, but, when it's your business that they're talking about, it can feel awfully personal in a hurry.
My poor hubby had to dry some tears after one particularly horrid woman came after me, repeatedly being mean. And, she wasn't even a customer! ((shudder))
Benefit #3: You're Going to Have to Do It Eventually. The Sooner you Do It, the Easier the Transition Is.
Anyway, I'd held off outsourcing my emails for a long time, because I couldn't believe that anyone would take as good of care of my customers, loyal readers, and JV requests as I possibly could.
That was until I realized that Bill Gates doesn't answer customer questions.
So, in essence, I was again punishing myself for success. The BIGGER my business grew, the more emails I'd get – the more miserable I was and the more I was stuck on my bottom, working many more hours than I'd cared to.
Success had again became a punishment for me.
This course is the perfect starting point for any beginner. You see, Nicole & Jimmy have this thing called "integrity" that has caused Nicole to pour a lot more into this course than she ever imagined. When interviewed recently, she stated "I can not teach people how to Outsource a task until they understand 1. if they need to be doing it, and 2. how it should be done effectively. Otherwise, they're just throwing money away."
Check it out by clicking here.
PS. Here's a great ebook loaded with hundreds of resources for outsourcing your business. Download it now.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
1. Research your target market & come up with an idea for your product.
I could go into great detail on this step, but I’ll make it short and sweet. The following three criteria must be met. Choose a topic where…
• People are looking for information.
• They are willing to spend money on that information.
• You, personally, are at least moderately interested and knowledgeable about this topic.
Although the third point is optional, I recommend it if you are going to stay interested and motivated to promote your ebooks for months and years to come. You have the option of choosing something you love or something that is popular. Make work fun by choosing a market that you enjoy.
Here are some ideas for you…
• Weight Loss and Dieting
• Health (or fixing health problems)
• Fitness and Exercise (lifting things that are drooping and tightening things that are sagging)
• Looking good (reversing aging, removing hair, keeping hair, etc.)
• Relationships (finding then, keeping them, getting over them)
• Making Money (online or offline, small business, finding jobs, etc)
• Saving Money
• Parenting problems/concerns
2. Purchase a Domain name.
Important things to keep in mind when choosing a URL are:
• Make it memorable.
• Make it short.
• No numbers or dashes.
• Easy to spell.
• Descriptive of your product.
• It should end in a .com (not a .net, .org, or .biz – unless you have a darned good reason to do so)
Also, if this is going to be your main site, be sure to buy any similar domains to protect your branding.
You can buy your domain names anywhere, but I recommend: www.GoDaddy.com
3. Purchase Hosting.
I recommend www.MomWebs.com for many reasons, including:
• Excellent customer service.
• Reliable uptime.
4. Load autoresponder/set up squeeze page while developing product.
The best autoresponder, in my opinion, is this one.
This autoresponder will manage multiple ecourses and lists, including your customers and affiliates. It will grow with your business.
If you don’t have a squeeze page, you can start with one at http://www.mostlysaneplr.com/
By setting up your squeeze page first, you can start to develop a list of people interested in your topic. That will help you later when you launch – you'll have an instant boost for your new product.
5. Develop product.Don’t know how? Here are some options…
If you can write 7-15 pages on your topic, I recommend that you grab the free report on this page - http://www.smallreportsfortune.com/
Take a shortcut by buying Resale Rights products. You can find some here:
http://www.fulltimewahm.com/ (includes resale rights)
http://www.beginnercoach.com/ (also includes resale rights)
http://easyplr.com/resale.htm (great reports with rights)
Start with PLR content. Here are some places to look…
Record an interview with an expert, have it transcribed and sell it. It's really easy if you use http://www.audioacrobat.com/
Hire a ghostwriter to create a custom product for you.
6. Order graphics or create them yourself.
You’ll need, at the bare minimum, an ecover for your product and at least one banner and button to promote it. A professional header or mini-site design can also convey a professional image.
7. Create sales page.
This is a highly important piece.
For best results, unless you have studied copywriting, I recommend that you hire a skilled writer to draft it for you.
You can find skilled writers at elance.com or www.Shelancers.com
8. Create thank you/download page.
Your download page should contain a few basic pieces:
• Who you are
• How to contact you
• Download instructions
• Download links (of course)
• What company name will show up on their paypal statement or credit card statement.
• Any bonuses they were promised and how to claim them.
9. Load the sales page, thank you page, & product to site.
If you’ve never done this before, you can either outsource the task or use a free program like www.smartftp.com
10. Decide on payment processor. (Figure out how you’re getting paid.)
Here are some popular options to choose from:
If all of those options sound overwhelming right now, then a simple paypal button will work just fine for now.
11. Once the pages are loaded, notify your lists. (Tell your friends.)
Contact the following people about the product:
• Your leads lists.
• Your customer lists.
• Your JV partners
If you don’t have lists, don’t panic. Just move ahead to the next step. Although... I do recommend that you read the free report at http://www.listprofitsystem.com/ to learn more about list marketing.
12. Create affiliate tools and notify your affiliates. (Get your Sales Army on the March.)
If you have affiliates, TELL them about your new product and let them promote it for you. Why not have your team of affiliates promoting it for you?
Recommendation: Sign up for the free ecourse at www.SalesArmySecrets.com right away if your affiliate program needs serious help.
The very basic tools that you’ll need are…
1. Banners & buttons
3. Solo ads
4. Text ads
But, of course, there are many more tools that you’ll wish to offer. Just get started with these.
13. Continue promoting your new product. (Market the heck out of it.)
Don’t forget to promote the report like you would any of your other products.
pay per click
web 2.0/social networking
And anything else that you’d normally do to sell your products.
You can certainly outsource many of these activities and/or train your affiliates to do them for you!
14. Start researching your next product. (Rinse and Repeat.)
Go back to #1 and do it all over again.
Does this sound like an insurmountable task? Don’t panic.
I recommend that you check out http://dakota6969.nocost.hop.clickbank.net/ for a step-by-step course that will show you how to easily and effectively outsource many of these tasks – and increase your income in the process.
P.S. For more oursourcing resources check out this ebook.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
If you're new to Blogging or you've been thinking of starting a blog of your own. Daniel Scocco of http://www.dailyblogtips.com/ has written a free book entitled "Making Money with Blogs". He's been blogging since 2005 and today earns a 6 figure salary from all his efforts. In this ebook he shares the core principles of what he learned along the way when it comes to having a successful blog.
This ebooks weighs in at over 50 pages and it's very nicely done. The font is large enough to make reading online or off easy on the eyes and the formatting is excellent. Basically, it looks good kid! Now if you're a seasoned blogger,this ebook is not for you it's mostly geared towards the beginner, someone just getting started with their own blog, or the person who's been thinking about it but not quite sure where to start.
Daniel covers a lot of ground with topics such as:
- Domain Name and Hosting: The importance of where your blog "will live" and choosing your own domain.
- Making Money Online- Can it be done? Yes. Here he points out the importance of specializing in one niche
and really focusing on a topic. Choosing something you're passionate about always makes for a better blogging
- The importance of good quality content to build community.
- Using headlines with emotional hooks
- Where to come up with topic ideas to write about.
- The importance of sticking to a regular publishing schedule
- Design and Usability- Food for thought with links to some free resources that will really help you.
_ Mistakes some bloggers make and how to avoid them.
- The importance of building relationships with other bloggers.
- How to build traffic and promotional tips and ideas such as commenting on other blogs, exchanging links, guess blogging, even Social Media.
- Making money with ad networks complete with links to popular networks and services.
Like I said it really is well written but mainly suited for the beginner. I give it 2 thumbs up. If you'd like to grab your own copy you'll have to subscribe to his ezine to gain access by going to http://www.dailyblogtips.com/make-money-blogging/
To learn more about Daniel and how he got started check out this interview at http://spotlightideas.co.uk/?p=2794or follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/danielscocco
Monday, February 15, 2010
A website is where you conduct your business. But, where can customers and visitors go to learn more about you and get to see you with your hair down, so to speak? Start a blog as a companion to your main website and another way to build more traffic too.
Blogging is basically online journaling. People start blogs everyday on a number of topics. You can talk about a number of topics and get responses from those who visit and read what you post.
As a business tool, use your blog as a place where customers (and potential ones) can go to get away from the more formal website where you sell your products or services. Allow them to find out more about your business and more importantly, the person behind the business. A blog for your business is a great way to get people talking about your business.
Getting started is not as hard as you think. Many blogging platforms offer free web hosting. Two popular blog hosting sites are Wordpress and Blogger. Customizing your blog to your needs is not a chore when you have ready-made templates to help you. Each site offers step-by-step instructions to help you get up and running in no time.
Your blog will be a part of your website so the domain name can be also. Remember to keep it easy to access for anyone. If they know your website name, then they will be able to find your blog. You can also create a link to the blog right from your website’s pages and vice versa.
What Will Your Blog Include?
Ideally, you may want to use your blog to draw more traffic to your site. Existing customers can find a place to ask questions and communicate with other customers. For people who find you through your blog (versus your business website), they can find out from your customers just how great your products or services are.
Offer interesting content. Your blog posts are shorter than full fledged articles, making it easier for readers to gain insight and information. Create posts that will engage the reader. If your business happens to be about gardening, offer content that gives tips for growing different types of flowers or how to winterize your garden as examples.
You can even give them a teaser so to speak. Those interested in learning more can do so by visiting the link you include in the individual post that refers them to a page on your website with more detail. Remember to keep the voice of your blog relaxed and inviting in order to keep past readers coming back and new ones interested in learning more.
Your blog will be a less formal setting so you can use it to give your customers a place to do a variety of things. First, they can offer their opinions. With blog posts, there are always places for comments. Pose questions in your posts like “How can we improve our business?” or “What did you think of the new product line?” and invite visitors to provide their feedback in the comment section.
Post contest links and discount coupon codes on your blog. To enter the contests or take advantage of the codes the readers will have to follow the link back to your website.
As you gain a wider readership, you can add more features. How about a “Letter from the Owner” type section? You can post blurbs from reader comments and your take on what they have to say. Invite notable guest writers who have something to offer your readers to blog for you as well.
Above all, interact with your readers. When they comment, answer back. This shows that you are not just there to promote your website or to sell them something. In fact, try your hardest not to sell them anything at all - at least at first. Instead, give them helpful information, interact with them and then post links to your main site as well as other sites. Let them find their way to your site based on your newfound relationship.
P.S. It can be a pain to manually update your blogs with fresh content. I know you hate this boring job. But don't think that the old-fashioned method of using content from RSS is the only solution.As you know, it will make a website for Search Engine bots, but not for REAL Visitors.
RSS feeds only pull information to your blog from the first few sentences of various content sites...usually not more than 55 words. So if a visitor really wants to read it, he will LEAVE
YOUR SITE and go to the article source to continue reading. You are losing visitors instead of converting them into customers!
Here's a simple and powerful solution that will automatically post QUALITY content to your blog. =>> http://automaticblog.net/?e=msmerle
Friday, February 12, 2010
Well, you can't afford to not know anymore. Go right now and watch this very short video by Kevin Riley (only 1:52). It's free and he even let me give you a valuable report – for free.
Go now to: http://merlesworld.com/TwitterMeThis/index.html
Discover why you can no longer ignore Twitter in this FREE Report.
Monday, February 08, 2010
"Nicole Dean of http://easyplr.com/go.php?af=977615&u=www.easyplr.com answers the question "What are the Benefits of Rewriting or Customizing you PLR?"
If you have more suggestions, I'd love to hear about them.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
A signature line is good for more than your name. Some people don't even use them because their name shows up in the email header information. For an online business owner trying to build their business, avoid overlooking such a helpful tool.
When you learned to write a letter in grade school, it always included a salutation at the end with your name. This ending in electronic arenas is referred to as a signature line. If you haven't been using yours, you might be missing out on free website promotion.
Think of all the places that you are provided with the option of using a signature line:
• Text messages
• Social networking sites
• Instant messages
A signature line doesn't just have to be used for just your name. Include your website information here. When you choose to have your signature automatically added to each email, text, forum post, etc. everyone gets to see and read it. Regardless of whether they are personal communications or business, your little personal billboard goes with them.
On forums, using a signature line is paramount. Most forums do not allow you to advertise, so this is your way to let people know who and where you are and what you are doing. As they see you more and more in the threads, they will take an interest and look for more information from you.
How is that for free advertising with minimal work? So, to use it effectively, make every word count. Of course you will have your name first. You can also precede your name with a traditional salutation if you choose. Common ones include:
• Best Wishes,
• Have a Great Day, etc.
On the next line add your website link. Because it is a link it will automatically appear in blue and be clickable to those who see it with most email programs. Most people can't resist the blue. They'll click out of curiosity if nothing else.
What's next? You can put another link if you have more than one website or if you have a blog. Some businesses have a tagline as a part of their brand. If you have one, use it on the next line (in quotations) below your website link.
Don't feel like you have to keep your signature the same forever. You can change your signature line as you need to in order to keep it fresh and alert others to anything new and exciting you may be doing. If you create a new website, feature that link in your signature line for awhile so others can click and find out what you are up to.
Signature lines can even be added to your mobile phones. This works great for text messaging especially. While most people will put personal signatures in their text message, take a minute to decide if your website would be a good fit for your text messages.
Do you use social networking sites? These have proven to be great tools for business marketing but with a signature line, you are giving yourself that little bit extra to get noticed.
What are you doing with your signature line? If you are leaving it off, rectify the situation right away. It could be costing you a lot of free traffic.
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