The Affiliate BlackBook 3.0

The Affiliate BlackBook 3.0
THE AFFILIATE BLACK BOOK
The Mercenary’s Guide to Kicking Ass and Taking Names on Anybody’s Turf
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The Affiliate Black Book 3.0
© 2015 – Factor X Marketing, All Rights Reserved
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© 2015 Copyright Factor X Marketing
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without express written, dated and signed permission from the author.
DISCLAIMER AND/OR LEGAL NOTICES:
The information presented herein represents the view of the author as of the date of publication. Because of the rate with which conditions change, the author reserves the right to alter and update his opinion based on the new conditions. The report is for informational purposes only. While every attempt has been made to verify the information provided in this report, neither the author nor his affiliates/partners assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. If advice concerning legal or related matters is needed, the services of a fully qualified professional should be sought. This report is not intended for use as a source of legal or accounting advice. You should be aware of any laws which govern business transactions or other business practices in your country and state. Any reference to any person or business whether living or dead is purely coincidental.
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Table of Contents
How to Use the Power You’ve Just Acquired …………………………………………………………………………………… 4
It All Starts with How You Think …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
Dude, This Is YOUR Business ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
Your Time Becomes Worth the Value of Your Time ……………………………………………………………………….. 12
80% of Your Time ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
With a Long Enough Lever You Can Move the World ……………………………………………………………………… 22
If It’s To Be, It’s Up to Me …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 24
When You Take Responsibility You Take Control …………………………………………………………………………… 25
Forget About Commissions – If You Do This Job Well They’re a Byproduct ……………………………………….. 29
What the Hell is a Market? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 35
What is a Niche? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38
Selection Criteria ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 41
One Purchase Source ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 41
Demand for Product ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42
High Commissions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 43
Offline Product Promotions …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 43
Evergreen ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 44
Leaks…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 45
Structures & Processes ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 51
The 80% Solution ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 54
Traffic and Conversion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 56
Front-End and Back-End……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 57
Make the Numbers Work …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 60
Focus on Numbers …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 64
Understand the Nature of Traffic ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 65
The Four Quadrants of Traffic ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 65
Chart of Awareness ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 72
The Models ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 84
Replace the Merchant ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 87
Alternative Approach Replace the Merchant …………………………………………………………………………….. 91
The Blueprint…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 96
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The Diagnosis ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 99
The Black Book of Killer Tactics …………………………………………………………………………………………. 103
First Thing After the Last Thing ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 104
Flood the Internet ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 105
Required Pages ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 107
Bitch Slap 2015 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 108
Ben Settle’s Misquote Technique ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 113
Get a Little Back ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 114
Write With Swag ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 115
How to Write an Addictive Message ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 122
Curation …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 125
Cookie Tricks …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 126
This Double Opt-In Trick Ensures More Confirmations and Higher Quality Lists ………………………………. 139
Monetize the Dream ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 142
CAUTION: Serious Mind Control ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 143
An E-Zine is a Digital Magazine ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 150
Opt-In Incentives ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 153
How to Find and Target Offers to People With Specific Needs ………………………………………………………. 154
How and Where to Find the Best Content Writers ……………………………………………………………………….. 157
Put Them Through Hell! ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 158
The Most Overrated Metric Opt-in Rates ……………………………………………………………………………………. 166
The One Thing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 168
Name It …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 171
How to Lose Your Ad Account……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 172
Highlights and Things You Must Know from Google’s Rating Scale………………………………………….. 173
List Recycler ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 184
Facebook Pages and Groups ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 185
The Power of Images in Search ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 186
Now What? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 187
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How to Use the Power You’ve Just Acquired
Let’s keep this short and sweet, and get right down to business.
I’ve been a successful affiliate marketer for over twelve years; In that time I’ve managed thousands of affiliates and worked with thousands more. This Black Book is a compilation of some of the best ideas I’ve collected and used over the years.
What you have now is only a part of my collection, but it contains plenty to keep you busy building, growing and improving your results.
First, I recommend printing this and putting it in a binder. It’s put together to encourage picking it up, flipping through the pages and finding inspiration.
But it has a logic and methodology to it as well. I think of this process like art: you start with an idea of what you want to do, then you sketch out the idea, and finally you choose from a pallet of options to create your own masterpiece.
If you’ve ever looked at successful websites you’ll notice two things:
1. They have elements in common.
2. None of them look the same, sound the same or work the same. Marketing is not a paint-by-numbers, lemming business – and if it was then people
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pushing buttons would rule the world instead of whining that Google won’t let them have their way.
Here’s how this deal is setup.
Part One is about mindset. I’m not talking “rah-rah, you gotta get psyched up out your head man!”
I’m saying you have to think differently than you’ve been trained to think. Affiliates making bank aren’t doing any of the low-brow crap you buy for $7 on the Warrior Forum.
We work the craft and recognize the real value we bring to the table.
Part Two lays out the structures I think from. I don’t care how complicated people want to make this with all their funnel flow-charts, it all begins with a basic framework. It’s all the same when you boil it right down.
Part three are various approaches to traffic, conversion and list building to put in play after you have something to play with.
This isn’t hard. You can do it. You can have a LOT of fun doing it. And when it’s up and running, it will work for you. That’s the point of this business model – you set it up, tweak it, profit then monitor the number while you move on to the next thing.
It’s beautiful.
Last thing – this is an evolving work. I have a binder on my desk I pop the useful in when I come across it. If you’re in the membership there will be new things to add to your binder. Many are already there but more
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are always on the way making this a continually fresh product.
Oh wait . . .
One MORE thing!
Hey, we care about your success. Go look around and you’ll find it difficult to find a better reputation for support.
If you need something (within reason, we only have a limited number of kidneys), let us know – we are here to help you succeed and as long as you’re respectful, and put the work in on your end we’re happy to assist.
http://gotrythat.com/now/support
All the best to you – John R Barker . . . aka X
It All Starts with How You Think
Ideas have consequences.
If you don’t like the consequences you’re experiencing in life, examine the ideas in your head.
Anyone with minimal experience can point you in the general direction of success.
The world is full of people experiencing success on a respectable level.
But what makes up the difference between an average player and a Michael Jordan or a David Beckham?
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Athletic ability alone?
What makes up the difference between Buffet, Branson, or Jobs and the average business owner?
The ability to read a spread sheet?
The differences are not found in the mechanical abilities but in the processes of thought.
Many people look at affiliate marketing and they see limitations. They don’t REALIZE that’s what they see, but it’s exactly what they see and how they proceed.
I want you to see affiliate marketing the way I see it – I don’t focus on the limitations because I see enormous potential, which seems obvious to me – NOW, which most people do not see.
So, you might be tempted to skip straight to the mechanical and if you did I’d understand . . . but I’d also call you foolish because without the right paradigm – or with the WRONG paradigm, you will not succeed – not in the way you could.
COOL STORY #53
Jon is like many of us – he bought a lot of products and took very little action when he was struggling to gain traction.
Jon bought my Black Book DVDs program, took action and made his first Internet marketing money using what he learned from the program.
But the point I want emphasize is what Jon experienced – it’s not so much that he used the tactics and
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strategies he learned from me to make some money that’s the cool part of the story –
The cool part of his story is that by following my advice he learned to see the entire Internet marketing game differently. It was a radical paradigm shift for him in which he USED affiliate marketing to learn how to sell and market, and then he felt ready to move on to bigger things.
First he started a viral traffic program that did huge numbers, while it was working.
Jon now has one of the most popular podcasts on Apple iTunes in the marketing niche. He’s also a featured writer for CopyBlogger and Entrepreneur Magazine.
My friend, if you choose it, this is only the beginning of BIG things for you – and Jon is just one of dozens of stories I could share.
Cause > Effect
Action > Result
Ideas > Consequences
When I was failing at online marketing I had three fundamental idea issues.
1. Creating product is a great idea, but only after you know how to reach an audience and sell it.
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Until you can market and sell, it’s not a good idea.
2. Selling products and services isn’t a passive proposition – meaning, you can’t write a general article, put banner ads on a page and expect you’ll make money. The hope someone else would close was a bad idea.
3. Nobody knew who I was, as a product creator, and they had no reason to care. They did know of others offering similar products, and they already desired those products. I just had to get in front of that train and close the deal. Trying to “be the guru” was a bad idea.
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Dude, This Is YOUR Business
Maybe you’re ‘only’ out to make a little money on the side – an extra $300 per month would be a dream come true for many. In fact in a poll of aspiring online marketers the majority polled said that $300 per month would “life changing”. Amazing!
I say “amazing!” because $300 per month is easily achievable, IF you have the right approach. But maybe that low-bar figure is why people don’t want to invest much – because they don’t expect much in return.
OK –
But if you’re not already making that $300 then you might be in a place where this all sounds enticing and you want to believe it’s true, but maybe, deep down, you’re not quite sure.
And because of that you’re not sincerely committed – this is more like a hobby than a business.
Most affiliates are willing to let someone else take ultimate responsibility for closing the deal.
But THIS is where you get FIRED UP about the possibilities!
If you produce that $300 per month figure is that it?
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Are you gonna be like, “Cool, I got that car payment made. I’m done.”
Hell no! When that happens you’re going to be like “This works! I can do this!”
And when you have that experience the last thing you want is the inevitable – someone pulls that rug and you’ve got nothing.
The reason you have nothing? That’s what happens when you let someone else tend to your business.
Affiliate marketing is a business model. Almost everyone generating income online acts as an affiliate on occasion, but the difference between the successful and the perpetually struggling is this distinction – affiliate marketing is a BUSINESS model.
A Bit ‘o Me Story
January 1, 2002 I set two goals. First, to be earning $500 per month by June 30th, 2003. Second, to be earning $2000 per month by June 30th 2004. The first seemed doable – the second seemed, audacious.
I missed the first goal by about $150 per month. Then I lost my job, with a wife and 9-month old to support, and no options but to make it happen.
But the next June, 2004, I had almost doubled the hoped for goal – I was earning about $3500 per month from just 3 affiliate product promotions.
It can happen slow and small, or it can happen faster and bigger. But it takes commitment and a refusal to fail. Will you refuse to fail?
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Your Time Becomes Worth the Value of Your Time
I spent a morning on the farm of a friend with the intent of helping him with his business.
We fed and watered his 600-plus chickens and moved hutches. We talked about how his business operated and the constraints on his growth.
Sam’s working hard, real hard, but he’s obviously not getting where he wants to go.
So I asked him, how much money do you want – or need – to make yearly, after your expenses?
Keep in mind Sam’s an educated guy, went to a great university, and comes from a long lineage of Ivy League educated attorney’s.
Sam knew right off – I want to be close to $100,000 per year. My guess is that although Sam has the smarts, the backing and the work ethic he’s not making a third of that currently and it’s easy to see why.
Let’s start building your new paradigm, your new mindset here.
Hypothetical situation: You spend 60 hours per week writing articles because you read on a forum that you can generate free traffic to a site plastered with affiliate banner ads, or Adsense, by writing these articles. This sounds great because your time is otherwise worthless, right.
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And in that 60 hours you’re able to crank out 100 articles (very possible, setting the concepts of quality and carpal tunnel aside).
You submit those articles to directories and let’s say each of those articles generates 50 clicks per month for you – extremely unlikely but this is all a fantasy so it doesn’t matter.
That would give you 5,000 visitors per month which would be pretty freakin’ outstanding, right?
Let’s say you have a banner ad for some WOW! affiliate offer on your site that generates a wicked awesome 5% clickthrough rate (the fantasy continues).
That’s 250 clicks.
And let’s say those 250 clicks generate a 1% conversion rate . . . and 2.5 sales. No, 1% isn’t a great conversion rate but for an affiliate banner ad that’s better than average.
Each sale pays you $30, so you bank about $75. Great! And it only took you 60 hours (not counting the time it took to build your site). Dude, it’s like free money!
Now, if you only made that $75 then you worked for $1.25 per hour.
Of course, traffic should continue to come month after month but it’s going to take a while (3 years, 4 months to be exact) before that initial time investment comes up where we want it – a minimum of $50 per hour.
YOU might be OK with that, but I’m not. And I want to STRESS this is probably a BEST possible outcome. Most
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people will make less, a few outliars might claim to make more – and you can buy their WSO on how to do exactly what they did with an upsell on how to overcome carpal tunnel syndrome.
Before you begin doing any work or investing yourself into any system do the math.
Let’s start with the two numbers that matter most –
1. How much time do you want to work each week?
2. How much do you want to earn per week?
From the very beginning my goal with Internet marketing was automated income – not because I don’t want to work, but because I want to define how much I work and when.
I want my work to revolve around my life – not the other way around.
When people ask “How long” or “how much time” type questions I’m like “No – you’ve got this mindset all wrong.”
Accepting the fact WORK IS REQUIRED how much time do you want to put out?
Here’s my answer – not more than 20 hours per week. Sometimes it’s more – a lot more – and sometimes I don’t work at all. But 20 sounds good, on average.
How about you? Be honest with yourself.
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Next is the income expectation.
First, don’t limit yourself.
Second, if it doesn’t FEEL realistic it isn’t.
Although feelings aren’t rules, they do rule possibility on an unconscious level (I have a solution for that but this isn’t the time or place).
For some the answer here is going to be $250,000 per year.
For others the answer might be “a car payment” – $400 a month.
It doesn’t matter – what does matter is that you set an expectation of yourself.
And, either is possible.
For the sake of our game, I’m going to say $100,000 per year.
What’s your figure?
You can do like I did and set a short-term (6-month) goal and a longer term goal of 18-months, or whatever.
OK – the final step here is to estimate an hourly value for your time.
If I want to work 20 hours per week and I want to earn $100,000 per year from that then let’s work the numbers . . .
That’s 20 (hours) times 48 (weeks – let’s take some time off, OK?) for a total of 960 hours.
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We divide the yearly totals of 100,000 bucks by 960 hours and my time value is $104.16 per hour.
Sounds great – what does it mean?
Strategy equals a plan to reach a goal.
Your goal is your hourly value – to do the things that make an hour of your working time worth the hourly value YOU define.
It also means you don’t do anything more than one time that you can pay someone else to do for less than $104. This is important because economics won’t lie to you – economics will tell you what you should be doing, and more of, and what you shouldn’t be doing at all.
My friend Sam needs to find a way to leverage his time to earn $100,000 per year. Even if he keeps working his 60-hour weeks he can’t achieve a six-figure income doing $10 per hour work. It’s impossible. And it’s predictable that he’s earning about 1/3 what he wants because he’s doing work 1/3 the value of his time.
Economics Don’t Lie.
Who gets paid $104 per hour to write articles? (And would it be a bargain to pay someone $50 per hour to write excellent content for you?)
Who gets paid $104 per hour to install and configure WordPress plugins?
There are things that pay that kind of money, per hour, and there are things that don’t.
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Do not do things that don’t – not more than once, maybe twice to nail the system.
Before you do anything know how valuable you want your time to be.
And then be honest with yourself when it comes to “free traffic” activities – because if you want your time to be worth $50 per hour then you can’t afford to be doing $12 per hour work – especially when you may not get paid the full $12 for that hour for 9 months.
You’re not saving $12 – you’re losing $38.
Now, the reason most people don’t do $50 per hour work instead is because they don’t know what $50 per hour work looks like.
We’ll get to that next, but FIRST determine the value of your time.
And if you don’t know squat now – if you’re not making anything – then base the answer in reality, with something that feels doable and then determine what you’re working towards up the road.
This works, it’s critical – DO IT.
$500 per month by June 30th, 2003. Second, to be earning $2000 per month by June 30th 2004. The first seemed doable – the second seemed, audacious.
I missed the first goal by about $150 per month. Then I lost my job, with a wife and 9-month old to support, and no options but to make it happen.
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But the next June, 2004, I had almost doubled the hoped for goal – I was earning about $3500 per month from just 3 affiliate product promotions.
It can happen slow and small, or it can happen faster and bigger. But it takes commitment and a refusal to fail. Will you refuse to fail?
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80% of Your Time
Michael Masterson wrote in Ready, Fire, Aim, that you – and not anyone else – should focus AT LEAST 80% of your time on selling and marketing until you reach $1 million in sales.
I don’t think the $1 million per year figure is the thing you should focus on – it’s the idea that an extremely successful entrepreneur is telling us that selling and marketing are the basic skill sets that make money.
And if you want to make money then you need to develop those skill sets FIRST and FOREMOST before you do anything else.
For my 20 hours per week that means that I spend AT LEAST 16 of those hours working on ACTIVELY selling and marketing.
That leaves four hours for everything else – including email, help desk, etc.
Do you know how to tell when you’re not following this advice?
YOU AIN’T MAKING NO MONEY!
Now, I often get flak from people who want to hang out in the gray area.
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Remember, economics (numbers) don’t lie to you. Your own twisted logic though, well you’ve never met a more devious and convincing liar. That’s true for all humanity.
If you think you’re in the gray area, and you want your time to be worth $50 per hour, tell me –
Would you be willing to pay someone else $50 per hour to do what you’re doing?
Write articles?
Hang out in forums ‘networking’?
Customer support?
Installing scripts?
Studying the latest WSO?
Escaping this “do something” mentality is the thing that moves you forward. Because if you’re not doing the right things then you are better off doing nothing.
I’m not going to pay anyone to do busywork.
I’m not going to cheat myself by doing busywork.
A lot of what is peddled in IM is nothing more than “busywork” designed to make you feel like you’re making progress when you’re not.
If I’m writing sales copy, a skill that will be valuable now and for the rest of my life, I’m selling.
If I’m pitching a product on a webinar, I’m selling.
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If I’m actively looking for solutions I *KNOW* with a high level of certainty my following will benefit from and buy, I’m marketing.
If I’m making a deal to reach a new audience, I’m marketing.
Basically, if I’m taking the shortest route from point A to point B (point A being where I am and point B being making money) then I’m usually going to make money.
If I’m doing stuff which relies on a lot of effort, a lot of time, someone else (Google and SEO algorithms) then forget it. That’s like taking shots from half-court, blindfolded. It’s a great story when you hit a shot . . . but it’s only a great story because it almost never happens.
Identify the Most Direct Route, Then Take It Whenever Possible
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With a Long Enough Lever You Can Move the World
Here’s reality –
If you create your own products then, number one, you spend a great deal of time in the process of developing and creating that product.
The details involved seem endless. I’ve been creating product for 16 years and STILL it has taken me nearly 4 months to get this product ready for launch.
The profit potential is great – which is why product creators do it – but that’s ONLY if you have existing channels of distribution who will push the product for you.
In other words, if you don’t have an existing network of connections ready, willing, and able to help you on launch, then you better have lists of your own to get the show started.
Overnight product success is like any other form of “overnight success” – it’s usually the result of years of hard work which take on the appearance of “overnight success” because nobody’s heard of you up to that point.
But nothing happened overnight – when the complete “newbie” with zero selling and marketing skill cranks out a $100,000 product in 4 hours we have one word for that: bullshit.
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That doesn’t happen UNLESS that person already possesses superior selling and marketing know-how.
Because of all of the additional skills involved with creating a product of your own I *ALWAYS* recommend affiliate marketing as the smart course for people new to the field.
And that’s because as an affiliate you can focus on selling and marketing existing – proven – products, usually for half the pie, or more.
Sure – the way everyone else does affiliate marketing means you miss out on the back-end but we’re not stupid – we don’t miss out on the back-end.
The point here is to think in terms of leverage – taking the strength you possess and multiplying it by utilizing the work and infrastructure in place elsewhere.
Or in other words – we’re happy to do the part that produces the results while someone else deals with the headaches.
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If It’s To Be, It’s Up to Me
SBI published a free report back when Bill Clinton was still president on the subject of pre-selling.
Taken from the context of most affiliates putting up banner ads and text links, then hoping for the best, the idea of pre-selling was, like, revolutionary man.
I used to tell people to do what I did – don’t try to sell the product – instead, treat it like telling a friend about a good movie you saw – let the theater sell the ticket.
That’s when I was a limited affiliate thinking a sale or two per month was the best I could expect – no more.
People still talk about pre-selling like it’s 2000 or something. It’s not – we’ve moved along.
In case you missed it pre-selling is the idea that as an affiliate your job is to warm people up before sending them on their merry way to the merchant, whose job is to close the deal for you.
Wrong.
YOU close the deal whenever possible.
Embrace the idea now, and we’ll show you how to do it later.
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When You Take Responsibility You Take Control
The ideas of leverage and closing probably make perfect sense – they should.
But there are likely questions in your head about how you make this happen as an affiliate.
Trust me – we’ll get there.
I didn’t come to this conclusion out of the gate. And I needed some tools in place to make this possible.
Given an affiliate link you’re not given much in the way of taking responsibility.
Given an affiliate link you’re given a way to send someone else traffic.
You may not be the expert on traffic or conversion at this moment but that should be your goal.
I know more than any merchant or affiliate manager knows about conversion.
Here’s the quick story on how I got here –
When I left my last J-O-B I transitioned into “consultant” mode. Basically people wanted me to improve their existing website to make more money.
This was an important transition but I identified three problems I hated dealing with.
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1. My income was fixed and it ended when my services accomplished the profitable result for someone else.
The only way to achieve income growth for myself was to take on more headaches, also known as clients.
2. I had no control over my work – ultimate veto power came from the employer and that often meant doing something they wanted that I believed was wrong. When I say “wrong”, in various situations it included neglecting list building, trying to sell 8 things at the same time – and integrity issues, also known as lying to prospects and joint venture partners to make a buck. Unfortunately, information marketing appeals to some of the lowest forms of life you’ll meet.
3. When things didn’t work (often predictably, see point 2) there was added stress for the same money.
I grew tired of dealing with this condition and that’s when I had my “I’m going to prove you wrong” epiphany with a client who didn’t see the wisdom of doing things my way.
I said “Fine – I’ll build my own freakin’ site and sell this the way I want you to sell it.”
Well, guess what? My site converted three times better than his and I built a list of 10,000 subscribers in a little more than a year.
Great – my process worked better.
But the real gold is that I learned to STOP acting like an affiliate (banner ads, pre-selling, blah, blah) and start acting like *I* was the merchant.
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I took control, I took responsibility, and I sold the damned product like it was mine. Nothing deceitful, and all that – final payments go through the merchant.
But I stopped hoping someone else might sell something for me and I made the best possible effort I could to close the deal.
Taking responsibility not only improves results (because often merchants are not Internet marketing experts but people who have something to sell and they hired someone called a WEB DESIGNER to help them sell it) but it also opens a world of possibility for you.
With my “take responsibility” approach and the tactics that I employ I now have a fully stocked business full of front-end and back-end products – and I didn’t create, nor do I support, any of them.
Not only that but I sell only THE BEST on both ends. And this is all possible because I think like a merchant while acting as an affiliate (but not like an affiliate).
Yes, taking responsibility requires more effort. But here’s the thing – if you do it right, without seeking the shortcuts, then you have a system in place that produces checks for you every month while you build NEW income sources.
Taking responsibility is worth the effort and the many benefits you will reap.
And you’ll help everyone involved – yourself, the product/service provider, and the customer.
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See the animal in his cage that you built
Are you sure what side you’re on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
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Forget About Commissions – If You Do This Job Well They’re a Byproduct
List building is not a part of being successful as an affiliate – it’s the whole point.
You’re using the traction of existing products to attract visitors to your site in order to get them on your lists.
We want as many lines in the water as possible, attracting as many people from as many sources as possible.
The product or service you’re selling is the bait to get them there –
And the point of having them on your site is to further a relationship which is accomplished by getting them onto a list.
That list can be an email list (recommended), a Facebook page or group, and definitely remarketing / retargeting.
I recommend that you initially focus on retargeting, soon followed by email list building – and then MAYBE Facebook makes sense.
As an aside I’m not huge on Facebook in my business model because it requires intensive time, interaction and relationship management.
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You CANNOT put a successful Facebook campaign on complete autopilot. You CANNOT automate SOCIAL media – not all of it. Successful social media requires interaction with people.
If you enjoy and thrive on that, do it – if not, don’t.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy interacting with customers . . . but it’s taking on a big commitment and the point of my business outcome is to NOT need to be present for it to continue.
It also requires consistency and that’s not my forte, which is why automated systems – like email autoresponders and broadcaster are an important tool.
Again, list building IS THE POINT of affiliate marketing – not commissions.
Commissions are a by-product of the successful system – not the focus, but the outcome. List building is the cause and commissions are the effect.
If you focus on commissions you will NOT achieve the same level of success.
Commissions fund your list building efforts.
While I am not happy with break-even – I expect to double my investment, or better, break-even with a list is better than break-even without.
All front-end products sold by savvy marketers are FOR THE PURPOSE of building a qualified list – that’s why merchants pay out high commissions – they want you to help get people into their funnel.
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So don’t settle for a front-end commission when you can easily leverage that into more.
You see – your power is that every product in your niche can be a front-end generator FOR YOU.
The advantage FOR YOU is that the merchants you promote only have what they have to bring leads in – YOU have everything in the niche.
Is this turning on a light?!
Do not be the feeder building someone else’s lists for $30 when they make $612 – take more of that pie for yourself.
PLUS whatever the latest marketing hype about email marketing being dead, less effective, whatever . . . it still works, it still improves conversion rates and it gives you a hand up on any other affiliate not building a list.
It doesn’t matter if it’s “half as effective” as it was 10 years ago, because it’s still better than twice as effective as anything else.
If you close twice as many sales as another affiliate, then you should be able to spend twice as much on traffic.
Soon – they cannot compete with you.
Trust me, you don’t have to write killer copy to make this happen. Simply sending out a message that reminds people of something they were/are interested in increases the odds of success.
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List building is the fulcrum point you can use to move bigger and bigger results.
At a certain point your list becomes a huge asset which opens up many opportunities you cannot even imagine possible now.
A big list makes you a player in your market – it’s a valued asset that gives you more and more leverage to make bigger and bigger plays.
The product or service you’re selling is bait
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I Know the Value of My Time
80% of My Time Goes to Selling and Marketing
I SeekOut Leverage
I Am Responsible for Results
Job 1:List Building
I Never Assume a Merchant is a Friend -Even When They ARE
Put Automationto Work
Play to Win
SystemsIf you want more, better, faster, the ONLY answer is a better, more efficient system.
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Niche Pickin’
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I don’t care if you call it a n-itch or a neesh.
But we have to get a few things straight right off because when it comes to this . . . we have to get our heads straight-on to progress straight-on.
What the Hell is a Market?
“Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler.” – Albert Enstein
“The only complexity in life is the ego trying to undo the simplicity of reality.” – Lester Levenson
Marketing, in various forms, has been with us from the beginning. It wasn’t invented with the Internet, with television, with radio. Marketing was around long before PT Barnum became wealthy through the mastery of it.
Marketing is the art and science of interacting with markets.
Let me ask you a simple question . . . What IS a market?
A market is a meeting place between buyers and sellers meet.
Where you find buyers, you find sellers – where you find sellers, you find buyers.
If there are no sellers, there is no market … and if
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there are no buyers, again, no market. Where you want to find yourself is where the buyers AND the sellers are.
It really is that simple.
Without buyers AND sellers there is no market.
I start you with this because I see, and have seen for over a decade, people working really, really hard at things that do not involve markets.
I failed MISERABLY for three full-time Taco Bell cheap-eatin’ years (I like Taco Bell well enough but . . . ) because I was working too hard at the wrong things.
I am not here to argue, but to enlighten; the shortest path to results, and what you and I want is the shortest path because that is the ONLY possibility for easy, involves as little as is possible, other than marketing by being IN the marketplace of buyers AND sellers.
You must understand that most “Internet marketing” activities have nothing to do, directly, with buyers OR sellers.
Article marketing? Is a blog a market?
Social marketing? Is Facebook a market?
Search Engine Optimization marketing?
These countless ideas are like going to a Wal-mart, wearing a t-shirt you hope attracts attention (like Ask Me About Amway!), hoping someone approaches you, and then inviting them outside the store to talk about
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something other than what they came to the store to get.
In this process you have spent most of your time designing your t-shirt, trying to figure where you might find people who might be interested in your offer, putting together information to convince them you have the answer (even though you probably haven’t earned a buck doing it yourself – and they are your first and only hope, outside of family, that you will make a buck).
In essence a lot of time is spent HOPING to create a market. You hope to attract buyers and you hope to become a seller.
Since the world is full of freaks you will find that one gem of a person who makes this work, but is it going to work for the rest of us? Do we really WANT it to work when there’s another way, a simpler way?
This is how most STRUGGLING Internet marketers go about things; they wander into someone else’s store (Google, a forum, a blog) and they attempt to divert people in their direction.
Except in rare instances it’s just not particularly effective. And because it’s not particularly effective most people are not willing to invest more than minimal time, effort or money in the process. So we end up using tactics Google hates, because most people hate them, and we hope to do it by driving “free” traffic or clicks for .01.
Am I the only one who gets the insanity of this?
Now the worst of it all, for you, is that even though your gut has always told you this was a bunch of BS you buy this stuff anyway being perpetually burned by the latest person that you’ve given your trust to.
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Now that you KNOW a market is a place where buyers and sellers MEET, now let’s talk about “niches”.
What is a Niche?
This is important so don’t just brush it off like “Yeah, yeah man, I already know.”
Maybe you do, but I think you don’t.
I’m sure you know the Warrior Forum, but if you don’t it’s a place people from all over the world gather to talk about all things Internet marketing.
In and of itself it’s a niche; it’s part of the bigger world of marketing, of direct marketing, of online business, and of Internet marketing because it has it’s own culture and way of thinking.
If I’m the Warrior Forum and I’m going out to sell myself at conventions of buyers and sellers then it might make sense to go to all of these because I’m a niche within each.
Let’s say I decide to pay for a banner ad on the Warrior Forum.
Would it make sense to sell any old product on the subject of Internet marketing?
Would it make sense to pay for a banner advertisement on the entire forum promoting the Affiliate Black Book?
No, probably not.
Whoah – really?
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Only some fraction of the people there are there to buy something. That’s one. Though it’s probably far more likely a visitor to that forum would buy something than visitors to most others.
Of that fraction, only a fraction of those are likely to have any interest in affiliate marketing in particular. Affiliate marketing is a niche within a the bigger niche of solopreneur Internet marketers.
And then there’s the fact that I’m just a different apple.
Maybe only 20% of all visitors to the Warrior Forum would have any interest at all in me or my offer.
OK –
I’ve got bad news for you.
In the past you could pick an offer, send some traffic to it, and see how it played out.
If you had money to burn then this wasn’t a half-bad way of finding a winner.
Those days, no more.
This is the hardest module in the program.
That’s because you need to get this right and to get it right is going to require some time and effort.
Here’s the good news and why this time and effort is worthwhile.
I’ve encouraged you to take a long-term perspective. I’ve drilled home the importance of seeing a bigger picture. And, most importantly, I’ve told you that
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it’s pretty freakin’ sweet to do work once and get paid for it over and over and over.
The point here is this –
This is the hardest work you’re going to do (and a ditch digger would laugh in your face if you complained about how very, very hard it is). It’s probably not going to happen in 30 minutes with the push of a button.
However, get it right and you’re on your way to LIVING a 4-hour work week.
It may take days of research to find that ONE product. It might take longer. And you might already have the answer.
But it’s work that has to be done –
And, even if we keep it on the modest side things . . .
Is two days of intensive searching worth a monthly paycheck of $200?
How about a monthly paycheck of $2000?
Either way, you’re looking at something in the range of $2400 – $24,000 or MORE, per year!
So please, if you don’t get the answer you hoped for in an evening, after downing a couple beers, keep the big picture perspective.
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Selection Criteria
One Purchase Source
Products that are available for purchase from multiple venues should, generally, be avoided.
When looking for an “it” product remember these three GOLD standard words –
1. Unique 2. Exclusive 3. Valuable
When the market can obtain the same widget from multiple sources this means a few things
• Price competition This drives prices down, as well as margins. You can never expect a healthy commission on a product like this.
• Major traffic loss You might try to sell the product through Amazon but what happens when your visitor does the smart thing, and goes shopping? What happens when they can buy that item at Walmart or a dozen other places? You lose.
• Indecision As long as people are in shopping mode they’re not yet in “buy mode”.
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Demand for Product
Our approach will focus on intercepting people with keen interest in a specific product.
That keen interest exists because people have already been “sold” to a certain degree on the product, and then they go search for more information about that product (or a person behind it).
ESPECIALLY if you’re developing sales and marketing skills then you must focus on products with existing demand.
Remarkably there are plenty of products with existing demand that fall off the radar and we’ll cover some methods for digging those up.
For example, I’ve mentioned the book “Work the System” by Sam Carpenter.
This is a best-selling book that’s been around long enough to have a lot of fans.
But if you go to the “Work the System” website you won’t find any mention of an affiliate program.
You won’t find anything in Clickbank, Commission Junction or any other affiliate network (that I’m aware of).
And yet there *IS* an affiliate program for it – or rather for the “Work the System Academy” which sells for $2000. This is exactly the type of product we like to find.
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High Commissions
A “high commission” is somewhat relative.
And it refers more to what you’ll pocket than percentages.
I don’t consider $30 a high commission, but that is the minimum acceptable commission for a product in this model*.
* Note: A lesser commission is OK for items on the back-end, after you’ve already made money going in. But right now, aim at bigger fish.
Commission percentages are somewhat meaningless.
A 100% commission on a $7 product is the same as a 10% commission on a $70 product – and neither gives you much to work with unless you’re selling to an existing list.
You will be required to offer more value as the price goes higher – so the answer for most isn’t a $2000 info product, either.
Personally, I like a sweet spot of $200 on the product price with a commission in $50-100 range.
Offline Product Promotions
This is touched on already under “Demand for Product”.
The ideal product to promote is the type that gets promoted via direct mail.
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You see Rural John goes to his mail box, finds an interesting offer (because he’s probably purchased something related and he’s on a customer list), and then after reading the sales pitch he sits down at his computer to see if the claims seem legit.
In effect, you then leverage this traffic driver, intercept and close the deal.
This criteria isn’t required but if you’re smart, you start looking for gold in your own mailbox – and the mailboxes of anyone who’d like to share their “junk” with you. If you don’t have junk coming to your mailbox, then it might be worth ordering some cheap-o offer you’re interested in from a magazine or late night television.
Evergreen
The problem with chasing trends is that trends are always changing.
I have no interest in fads.
What I want are products or services that are highly likely to be around five years from now.
While people say “the Internet marketing niche is too competitive”, I say the real problem with promoting in this niche is that very few products endure time.
You want to focus on products or services with evergreen demand. That demand may ebb and flow through the year, but you want to know it’s going to be with you for a while.
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Leaks
Many affiliates have been conditioned to tuck tail and run when they see a “leak”.
A leak is basically when you send a prospect to someone else’s site and there’s an opportunity for that visitor to order the target product in some manner that means you get screwed.
Phone, fax, mail in, etc.
You don’t need to fear leaks – they provide you with an opportunity if you use my “Replace the Merchant” approach.
In this approach you create your own site, intended to appear as “the site”, and then send people directly into the shopping cart to place their order.
In effect, they never see the leaks – and you’re giving yourself an advantage over the affiliates who live with that.
Phone
I’ve known affiliates who setup their own 1-800 number to take orders as an affiliate.
But do you really want to go there?
Most programs that accept phone orders could care less if you get credited with your commission.
I’ve run across one, here or there, where the customer is asked for a “discount code” – which is your affiliate ID.
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But most sites that offer a phone ordering option are going to cut you out of the deal.
And that’s a likely loss of 25-35% of your sales, depending on the niche. There are still a lot of people out there who feel safer giving their card number over the phone than online. (BTW, if they knew the truth they’d never want to place a phone order again.)
Fax
I think fax is a dying means of placing an order, but you’ll probably still catch it here and there.
Same deal as a phone-in order.
Prominent Affiliate Links
This mainly refers to “Become An Affiliate” type links that encourage a visitor to join the affiliate program – and tempt them to buy with their link instead of yours.
However, occasionally you may also discover yourself sending traffic to someone then sending your traffic on to buy something else – with THEIR affiliate link.
Adsense
Lot’s of people send traffic to Amazon without ever considering that Amazon has the equivalent of Adsense (paid ads directing traffic offsite that Amazon profits from).
I find it rare to discover a merchant that does this, but they’re out there.
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I wouldn’t automatically disqualify an offer for doing this.
But I would rather drive traffic to MY site and display those ads, and get paid for people clicking on them, then send them someplace else for FREE!
Opt-in
There are affiliates out there who get their panties in a big bunch when they see a merchant collecting email addresses.
Me?
I don’t wear panties.
I look at this two ways –
1. I KNOW for a fact that email increases conversion rates. If I’m going to send traffic to a site am I really going to complain if they’re doing everything I KNOW they should be doing to convert a prospect?
Yeah, hell no I’m not.
Then again . . .
2. I’m not going to put peeps on someone else’s list when I can put ’em on my own!
So unless I’m being lazy, or testing, or have some other reason for not making the effort then I’m not going to send people to another squeeze page for long.
Instead, I drive that traffic to my opt-in offer.
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When that person opts-in to MY list, here’s what happens –
I use Soda Popper to create the link I’ll use as my custom “thank you” page.
IE, Thank you page = http://mysite.com/go/ThankYou/
In the destination URL I can either send the person to a sales page on my site, or use the page they would see AFTER they optin on the merchant site. (To get that link, just go the merchant site, optin, and make note of where they send you after opting in).
If I send the person on, then I also use the “link cloak” option in Soda Popper to drop my affiliate link.
You feelin’ how slick that is?
No Opt-in
The birth of some of my most devious techniques came when working for a client, a merchant, I failed to convince would benefit from building a list and following up.
What’d I do?
I built my own damn site and my own damn list and showed the fool!
Of course my gloating made a fool of me and all hell broke loose when he discovered I’d built a list of over 12,000 subscribers promoting his product.
TIP: Shut the hell up and be the only source of approval you need.
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Seriously though, when you find someone selling a product without follow-up email in place you can pretty much bet you’ll out-convert them and everyone else by making that effort yourself.
Email marketing works man, or haven’t you gotten the memo?! (Yeah, yeah that guy selling you the product promoting RSS Feeds as the email killer said otherwise.)
Really – it’s not even funny how many people trying to sell something online either don’t use email follow-up – or they do it really poorly.
When you see this happening it’s a gold ticket invitation.
Coupon Codes
Watch for shopping carts that ask for a coupon code.
I can assure you my chea . . . fiscally responsible self . . . heads to Google when I see an opportunity to save and so do a lot of other people.
The heinous part of this is that person is SO close to ordering and the words “Coupon Code” send them on a wild goose chase they may never return from.
Unless you can provide a coupon code – which can be a deal clincher for you – this is a problem you need to take action on and do something about before YOUR customer either finds that coupon code you didn’t have to offer – or they trip over someone else’s affiliate link on the way back.
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TIP: You can work out discounts, coupon codes, special bonuses, and all kinds of other deal sweeteners when you just ask.
You won’t always get what you ask for, but you’ll get it more often than if you don’t make the effort.
These things are especially key when you need a wild card to get people off the fence in your email follow-ups.
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Structures & Processes
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Overwhelm
Overwhelm is a false evidence appearing real.
You don’t have to do it all. You don’t have to do anything. And you sure don’t have to do it all now.
Besides – you can’t. 
This section on Structures and Processes has an intent: The intent is to start with sanity because that will result in something you can live with.
The One Thing
Some of us ARE good at working on more than one thing at a time, but most of us aren’t.
There are infinite ways to get traffic; you don’t need them all. To start, you only need one. Make the one work, and then move on.
If you can’t make the one work, especially if “the one” is highly targeted, nothing else will work.
Forget the flavor of the day, focus on the “the one”.
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Among the lucky, you are the chosen one.
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The 80% Solution
Dan Sullivan says no matter how much planning you put into something your first attempt will only be about 80% as good as it can be. I’ve found this true.
The good news is that 80% good is better than 0% perfect.
As well, 80% good is good enough for 80% of the people out there.
Accept that your first attempt will only be 80% as good as you hope for. That’s just how it is.
Fail faster.
There will be problems and issues to resolve, and that’s great. Because those problems and issues will give you the information you need to make your next 80% attempt. That attempt will bring you up to 96% “good enough”.
What does this look like? On the following page I’ll give you a visual.
But basically, sketch out your general idea and then fill in the blanks with the best answer you have in the moment.
Work against a hard deadline; It will force choices.
The idea is to get that first attempt done as quickly as possible. It will look like a skeleton with minimal meat on the bones. That’s an easier place to work from and improve.
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Traffic and Conversion
This should be obvious but everything fits into one category or the other. Traffic PLUS Conversion is the sum total of Internet marketing.
Traffic is the process of bringing people in and conversion is the process of getting them to take an action that you want taken.
I’ll break traffic down shortly, or at least how you want to think about for best results. Not all traffic is equal – there is high conversion traffic, and then there’s a lot of garbage.
Here’s why this is important because here’s what you’ve probably never been told about being an affiliate and it’s critical mindset shift . . .
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Front-End and Back-End
Of course you know that front-end products can be free to low-cost products, services or trial offers. They’re like bait intended to start prospects in a funnel.
Everyone says “the REAL money is in the back-end” (and they also say “the money is in the list” – get the correlation?)
The reason so many affiliates struggle is that they focus on front-end products. Which means they don’t focus on list building or selling back-ends.
They don’t realize that a front-end product is a traffic generation mechanism. And therefore they’re only a low-risk, cost-effective source of traffic; a traffic conduit, if you will.
Those affiliates are doing a lot of work, assuming a lot of risk, while cutting themselves out of the richest part of the deal.
Don’t be a conduit Be an interceptor.
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This is based on a research study I did in the mid-90s as it related to networking in Hollywood. What I discovered was the people who had power in a network were those who controlled the flow of communication.
You may want to reach the guy at the top, but you’re better approaching the person of controls the flow because they’re connected to everyone.
Google’s page rank works very much the same. The site given the most power, the most page rank, has the most pointers at it. It controls the flow of communication.
As an affiliate you’re a conduit, giving all power to X when you direct traffic to their property in the example on the left.
When you become the interceptor, as shown on the right, then you take control of the flow of communication. This is how you quickly gain power and influence in a market – and it’s how you position yourself to profit from the back-end.
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O T C F
That’s not an eye test.
Until you can execute this set of 4 processes at the most simple level you will not be able to execute with added complexity. This is simple and there’s no good reason to add any complication because it works, and always will.
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“Success Comes from Making the Numbers Work” – Donald Trump
Make the Numbers Work
People ask me, “How do I compete with someone that’s able to pay more for a click than I can?”
It’s a simple answer: Make a click worth more to you than it is to them.
How?
First, you need to know your numbers. You may focus on more numbers than I do, or fewer. They may be different.
But I have found that my entire job, and mindset, shifts when my focus is on numbers because numbers don’t lie. Sure, they can be twisted in their meaning but if you’re not hitting your targets you’re not hitting your targets and the only way to know that is the numbers.
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Work It Backwards
You can grab the worksheet for this but here’s how it works.
First, define your end-game for the promotion. You may want to earn $50,000 per year and set a goal of promoting 10 products that earn you $5,000 per year each.
Let’s call it $400 per month, per product. Your commission on the product is $40.
How many ad impressions do you need to generate that $400? How much can you spend per click? How about the conversion rate?
Ad Impressions
CTR
Visits
Opt-ins
Purchases
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It’s OK that you don’t know those numbers now, but to just start building without knowing you can make the numbers work, or what it will take, is craziness.
So, here – working it backwards, these are the numbers I want to know before I begin work and I want to see these numbers weekly into the future.
I’m keeping these numbers modest, even low, to encourage those that may still be working on first successes. Plug in your own numbers . . .
First, $400 is the income goal.
Second, $40 commission means I need 10 sales.
Third, 10 sales with a conversion rate of 3% (on highly targeted traffic) means I need about 350 visitors (10×100/.03) per month, or about 90 per week.
Fourth, I’m striving for a CTR on my ad of 5%. That means I need . . .
Fifth, 7000 ad impressions per month.
From this overview of the process I identify my *my* critical numbers are:
1. Conversion rate
2. Weekly visits
3. Ad CTR
4. Ad impressions
5. List growth (adds to email and retargeting)
Other numbers that matter are (in no particular order):
• Cost per click (I strive to make $2 for each $1 I spend, at least)
• Opt-in rate (more later on why this is both deceiving and overrated)
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• Ad rank (relative to CTR – it matters)
• Email open rates
• EPC
• Conversion rates from traffic sources
• Etc
We could come up with a list of 20-25 numbers that matter, but when it comes to making the numbers work you should strive for 5-7 numbers that tell you what’s working, and what’s not, so you know at a glance where you’re time, money and energy needs to be invested.
Instead of jumping at the next shiny object, you’re now empowered by KNOWING what isn’t working and where you need help.
And since it’s a process, if ‘system one’ is failing then everything else will fail.
Leading vs. Following Numbers
A certain way to failure is to focus on trailing numbers. Trailing numbers are those numbers that show up on your bank statement at the end of the month. You made X, and you spent Y.
When you’re making money it can be easy to ignore these numbers – until it’s too late and you have a big problem.
Focus on leading numbers because you can do something about those. If you don’t have enough ad impressions, or enough visitors, you’re not going to reach your goal. With that information you can act now, instead of re-act in shock and horror at the end of the month.
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Focus on Numbers
The point has been made, but I need to stress it. It’s so important.
When the game is intangible it’s overwhelming, unclear, unpredictable, confusing, frustrating and the work is never, ever done.
I have found peace and success by focusing on the process and the numbers that matter.
I have built up great successes, but failed to pay attention to key numbers only to see everything fall apart. You may find sales are great even though your list stopped growing. And then, seemingly out of the blue, your income drops to half.
A traffic source dried up, visits declined, list growth slowed to a trickle, and because the rest of the system works it kept supporting you until everyone moved through the pipeline.
Ouch! It was predictable. What needed to happen was clear – if only those numbers were defined, measured and addressed.
I believe that marketing is game of creativity and science. The science gives us numbers to measure our creative results. The science tells us what needs to be impacted in reality, and our creativity is the only limit to making that happen.
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Understand the Nature of Traffic
Not at all traffic is created equal. If you know the law of 80/20 then it should be no surprise that it applies to traffic as well.
80% of your income will come from 20% of your traffic.
With traffic I take it a step beyond that –
Because 80% of THAT income will come from 20% of THAT traffic –
In other words 96% of income comes from 4% of traffic – that’s the traffic you want to focus on. Working and investing in the other 96% is a complete waste.
I don’t care about 1000 visitors per day – I care about the 4% who are going to buy something. 40 per day are just as good if they’re the right ones.
Don’t be seduced by promises of big traffic, cheap – it’s fool’s gold – garbage. It’s cheap for good reason.
The Four Quadrants of Traffic
Have you ever heard of the “Four Quadrants of Knowing”?
It goes like this –
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What does this have to do with traffic? (And later you’ll see how what it has to do with conversion, and how you need to approach each with a different landing page).
Think about yourself on a trip to the grocery store while visiting friends or family in another part of the country, or world – things are a little different than you’re accustomed to.
You arrive with a list in hand and three items on it.
Coffee
Coco Puffs
Cake mix
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First you go to the coffee aisle. Generally you know what you like but here the brands are unknown to you.
You know what you want – coffee with specific characteristics – but you don’t know which kind. In this case, you know what you don’t know – you don’t know which coffee is most suitable to your taste.
Another shopper comes along and you ask their opinion – you don’t know this person, but they seem to know what they’re talking about so you take the advice.
Second, you go to the cereal aisle – you’re in luck, they’re fully stocked with Coco Puffs. That was easy – you knew what you knew – you wanted Coco Puffs. In spite of countless alternative choices you bought what you came for.
Third, you go to the aisle where the cake mixes are.
You’ve never baked a cake and initially the choices seem overwhelming. Then you begin to realize things you didn’t initially know that you knew – you like chocolate, you like simple (Just Add Water!), you recognize the Betty Crocker Brand – that wasn’t so tough, you knew more than you realized.
Thankfully not every cake mix is sold in a generic white box that simply says “Cake Mix”.
And finally, on your way through the checkout line, while wondering how it is you ALWAYS get stuck in the slowest line, some nifty little gadget catches your eye – something you didn’t even know existed – and since it’s only a couple of bucks you toss it into your basket. This falls into the category of stuff “you don’t know that you don’t know”.
The online world and traffic work in a very similar way. All people hold stake in each of the 4 Quadrants, but what they know and what they don’t know is
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dramatically different. And depending on what they know, and what they don’t know, they are in various degrees of awareness and desire for whatever you might have to offer.
The odds of being successful with each of these 4 quadrants vary greatly – each requires a different sales approach and those approaches require minimal to maximum effort.
People who don’t know what they don’t know are the largest traffic segment by far. There is a massive world of information, products and services that most of us have absolutely no idea exist.
When something enters a person’s consciousness for the first time how likely do you think they are to make a commitment? How likely do you think they are to make a BIG commitment?
You never see a $37 item sitting on the shelves of the checkout line, for good reason.
This “Don’t Know What They Don’t Know” traffic is a tough conversion. It might come cheap, and it might come in high volume. But you don’t play here unless you’re on the world class level of conversion and you have money to blow.
People who don’t know what they know are perhaps the most interesting group. These are people who DO have some awareness but they haven’t assembled the pieces in their mind.
Help those take the approach of assessing what they know and crossing things off the list to narrow the choices.
Often more information IS NOT the answer to conversion – the answer is to help people get clear on what they
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already know so that they are able to focus in a more narrow direction.
Again, however, turning this traffic into a buyer requires skill – quizzes work great to help show people in this quadrant how to get where they want to be.
Next, I call people who know what they don’t know “shoppers”.
For example, I know I want a new TV – but I don’t know what kind. I know I want something, but I’m looking for the right fit. We’re getting closer to where we want to be with regard to traffic. But to sell to this kind of traffic you need to know, and communicate, what’s on the market and what the best fit is.
People at this stage are close to making a decision, but they’re not there yet. There are a wide variety of directions they can go – and that means you need to cover a wide range of options and REALLY know your stuff.
This isn’t the place to start – it’s the next place to get to.
Finally we have what I call “buyer traffic”. Don’t confuse my use of “buyer traffic” with the bastardized versions. I AM the one who penned the term and others have tried to put their own take on it.
We’re talking about people who know what they know – they know what they want. They just need someone to close them – to convince them they’re making the right choice – to direct them to the right place and the best deal.
This is the 4% I’m talking about – you almost never lose money targeting these specifics.
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Now, you might have noticed I haven’t mentioned any specific traffic sources.
That’s because I want you to think –
To think about what kind of an offer is going to sell to Facebook traffic – or Twitter traffic – or Google Adwords paid search traffic – or someone reading an article you get published on someone else’s blog.
Always keep in mind the definition of a market – it’s a place where buyers and sellers meet. You are not in a market unless buyers and sellers are present.
Each of the 4 Quadrants represents a prospects proximity to the market.
The person that knows what they know is IN the market. They’re pondering. They’re most likely to buy. This traffic is almost always profitable.
The person that knows what they don’t know is also IN the market. But they’re shopping. Maybe they consider the options and come back next weekend. Maybe they don’t come back. This traffic is break-even, to a slight profit.
The person that doesn’t know what they know is a wildcard. They are NOT in the market but if you hit the right hot button maybe they’d come in. You have to hit the targeting right on. But they generally lack a sense of urgency and your biggest job is to find the thing most urgent for them.
Finally, the person that doesn’t know what they don’t know is just going about life. They’re not in the market and they odds they care to wander in are slim. They don’t feel urgency, and you’re not important. They’ll act on an impulse – maybe.
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Know What They Know
•Sophisticated, know what they want
•Searching for product/service name
•Searching for closely related product/service
•Examples -Aweber, Coke, Gibson Les Paul
•Low traffic numbers, high conversion
Know What They Don’t Know
•Know what they want, don’t know how to do it
•Searching for best solution to be, do, have a desire met or a problem resolved
•Examples -Autoresponder service, best cola, how to play guitar
•Moderate traffic numbers, break-even conversion
Don’t Know What They Know
•Something nagging, not sure what or how to resolve
•Use quizzes and segmentation
•Situation, Problem, Implication, Need
•how to increase profits,
•Big traffic, common issues, front-end loss
Don’t Know What They Don’t Know
•A world exists outside their awareness
•Demographics, mass traffic
•Examples -Religious/political beliefs, mothers, men aged 30-45, basketball fans, etc.
•Impulse approach
•Low-cost, free trial
4 Quadrants of Traffic
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Chart of Awareness
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Level One :: Aware
This has been my bread an butter money maker for a decade.
This is the “Shooting Fish in a Barrel” approach to affiliate marketing.
Prospect Mindset: The prospect is aware of the product or service. There already exists some desire for the offer. They’re searching for two things – 1. The best deal and 2. Confirmation they’re making a wise decision.
Your Mindset: Close the deal. Present the best deal. Address objections, and reframe in the positive.
Traffic: Searching specifically for the product/service by name. “Aweber”, “roku stick”, “Apple iWatch” and variations that might be included.
This is low volume traffic, typically, but you can expect to convert at 3-5%, maybe better.
Landing page approach: The landing page should focus on presenting the best offer including bonuses, price, etc. Even if you have no bonus to offer, by highlighting the bonuses that may already be offered you present something that sounds like a better deal and reason to purchase from your site.
For years I’ve used an approach called “Replace the Merchant”. I don’t want to be seen as an affiliate. There is no bogus comparison review and dumbed-down article.
I sell it like it’s mine and that includes a “Buy Now” button that direct links into the shopping cart, bypassing the merchant site.
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What most affiliates don’t realize is that Google (and Facebook) penalize merchants too. It’s the manner in which things are sold that is the issue, not that you’re an affiliate.
I struggled for two full years trying to get a product I sell approved by Google Adwords review team.
It wasn’t about using Clickbank as my payment processor.
It wasn’t that I had an opt-in form on my landing page.
It wasn’t for a dozen reasons you’ve heard –
It was because of my approach to selling, which focused on gaining an opt-in and used a long-form sales letter (with a lot of hyperbole) to sell.
Once I finally understood that, I could see why so many others were having issues – and that presented a huge opportunity.
There are many merchants out there that cannot promote their own products with Adwords because of the approach they use on their landing page.
Who Should Use This Approach?
Everyone, but this is specifically suited to those getting started.
Traffic will probably cost you more, but it is as close to a guaranteed thing as you’ll ever get. If you cannot get this traffic to convert, you stand no chance with any other.
Headline and Intro:
The headline names the product and highlights the bonuses.
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“Introducing the All-New Abundance Course PLUS These Seven FREE Bonuses”
Highlight Bonuses
This is so critical that it needs a special call out.
If you go to there store and there are two identical boxes of cereal available for sale at the same price . . .
But one of them includes a plastic two that the other doesn’t . . .
Which will you buy?
Nobody wants to feel their losing something they could have EVEN IF they don’t want it.
If a person is aware enough about a product to search for it, then there already exists a desire for the product – maybe weak, maybe strong, but it’s there.
So you really don’t need to put great emphasis on selling the product, but instead put that emphasis into the bonuses.
Not only that, let’s use some creative marketing language to create a sense of urgency:
When you buy TODAY you will also receive these additional bonuses – FREE!
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Of course, if they buy tomorrow they’ll get those bonuses tomorrow as well, but that creates a sense of urgency.
If you’re list building and you need follow-up ideas, this is also an approach to use – highlight the bonuses in your messages.
Just Added! New bonus.
Is it really new? It is to that person, in all likelihood.
Now, it’s best if you have your own unique bonuses to add. It’s best if you can “one up” other offers, including what the merchant offers.
However, to get started take what exists and simply emphasize it.
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Level Two :: Aware, Not Convinced
These prospects are very similar to our level one “Awares” except that they’re not convinced. Which means they require some additional work for conversion.
To be clear “additional work for conversion” means different landing page and a different approach.
These people are closer to a comparison shopping mindset.
They know about the product but they don’t yet know everything it does, how well it does it, or how much better it does it than the alternatives on the market.
Prospect Mindset: Interested, curious, wanting more details. Probably aware of other options and wondering how they compare.
Your Mindset: You want to ensure the prospect knows as much as possible about the features and benefits of your offer. I tend AWAY from comparison reviews because placing additional options in front of people will lead them away from you – they always open questions you can’t anticipate. Framing the product as-if it’s the only option tends to be more effective than acknowledging a competitor as something to consider.
Traffic: These are also people searching for a product by name. Target the product name; target advertising on pages about the product. Also target competitive product names.
Landing page approach: Think of this as “Part A” and “Part B”, with “Part B” being a separate page for the
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“Level One Awares”. Or “Part B” could be the lower half of your page, after you’ve presented all details – what it does, how well it does it, and why it does it better – followed by the close.
Headline and Intro:
Mentions the product name and it’s most powerful feature/benefit.
“Deep Zen, Featuring Triple Harmonic Technology for the Profoundly Surreal Meditation Experience Few Will Ever Know”
• It’s not just “zen” it’s DEEPER
• It’s different and better because it uses triple harmonic technology
• Forget relaxation, this is profoundly surreal
• Few people have or ever will experience this.
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Level Three :: Aware of Desire
Prospect Mindset: They’re aware of a want or desire – an increase in income, to lose weight, save money on their mortgage, run a marathon, etc.
They don’t know much, if anything about the existence of your product, or how it can help them get what they want. In short, they want something but don’t yet know how you can help them have it.
Your Mindset: It’s all about identifying what the person wants, then identifying with them through their fears, angers, frustration and confusion. This isn’t about your offer – yet – it’s about where they are mentally, emotionally, AND THEN you introduce the solution.
Traffic: This is larger traffic that may be frequenting sites that are about what they desire (a marketplace of ideas or offers) or searches for information specific to what they desire – like “lose weight” or “home based income ideas”.
Landing page approach: This will vary greatly but it should flow something like this . . .
A USEFUL article on the subject. That segues into practical (original) solutions, that then leads into why a product/service will help.
For example, I’m a mid-40s dude with little free time between work and family. If I want to lose weight, or become more fit and buff I have certain problems and frustrations that a 20-something dude doesn’t have.
So address that, if I’m your target.
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I don’t have 40-minutes to travel to the gym and back.
As great as she is, my wife can’t make three special meals per day for me.
I have limitations to work with, so address them and then provide a solution to my problems.
• Desire cannot be manufactured. People have it, or they don’t.
• Desire is something the masses want, but they don’t always articulate the want.
• Always sell to the underlying desire –
My opinion is the difference between great marketing and boring marketing is the ability to speak to the desire between the lines.
It’s the difference between the guy telling you what a player he is and the guy who just takes what he wants (within bounds, of course).
I’m not a big old movie fan, but I respect how a guy like Hitchcock could terrify you without showing any blood or gore.
You see the shower curtain. You see the silhouette. You see the knife raised in the air. You see the blood going down the drain.
That’s what I’m talking about.
The art is what’s implied.
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Level Four :: Aware of Need
Prospect Mindset: They are aware of the problem they have, but they don’t know how to resolve it.
Your Mindset: You’re looking for people with a specific need that your product resolves. You address the need, then introduce your solution.
Traffic: Target pages on the subject of the prospect’s need using display ads, or search traffic seeking “how to” advice.
Landing page approach: Acknowledge the problem, agitate it by stressing the implications involved, then introduce what they need to do next to resolve the pain.
Headline and Intro:
The headline should simply state the problem:
Warts?
Insomnia?
Struggling to Pay Your Mortgage?
The intro acknowledges the problem, then agitates by stressing the implications this way:
You’re losing sleep, worried about how you’ll catch up on that missed mortgage payment. To compound the
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issue, late fees, phone calls from bill collectors, hits on your credit report.
To add to the shame, frustration and humiliation you know the calendar is working against you; each day that passes is one day closer to losing your home, knowing the devastation that will cause your family –
And then you step into the unknown. Do things only grow worse from there?
It’s a worst case scenario story that feels – that is – very real to the person in need of a solution.
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Level Five :: Unaware
Prospect Mindset: They identify with a group, a way of thinking, a worldview. What they recognize are broad categories they agree with, or disagree with. They’re not in a place of seeking a product or service.
Your Mindset: Unless you’re advanced, forget it. This is great traffic when it comes to building a large audience with a shared interest, but it’s very difficult to monetize that.
Frankly, this isn’t my thing. This is a world for the CPA marketer. I don’t recommend this as a viable, long-term approach for affiliates and since that’s our focus I’m not going into detail on it.
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The Models
Now you have a clear picture of the two sides and it’s time to do something with it.
It should be clear that it’s not damn well good enough to build one landing page and send all traffic to it.
It’s also a hair-brained scheme to think you can use shortcuts like dynamic keyword insertion to build a page that will convert.
You have to build landing pages that consider the quadrant of traffic your visitors come from. And you have to build pages that address their level of awareness.
Fortunately, there is a lot of overlap there that makes this pretty freakin’ clear most of the time.
I use more models than what included in this book, but you follow these basics and you begin to look for other models in play and it’s going to be like a psychedelic acid trip, show you crazy things you never noticed before.
We’re going to cover these three and you should employ them and the strategies involved in the order of presentation.
1. Replace the Merchant
2. The Blueprint
3. The Diagnosis
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Let’s begin by looking at three solid landing page approaches.
The logic is that we start with the end in mind, and the end is the “close”. This is because we target “buyer” traffic – people who are already aware of the product, and most easily converted.
We will target people looking specifically for the product or service, first. This consists of only one, maybe two, landing pages and limited keywords.
If we cannot convert that traffic and make it profitable, all other traffic is also likely to fail.
When that’s successful, then we move on to The Blueprint. The Blueprint is aimed at people who want to know how to do something, but don’t know how to do it. You show them how, and suggest a tool, information or service that helps do it better, faster or cheaper.
This can include as many pages and keyword phrases as your product/service can address. It’s great for selling software.
Finally is The Diagnosis. (Be careful with anything health related) The point of the diagnosis is to help people determine what they need using the SPIN Selling approach.
Diagnosis
•Problem?
•Implication?
•Need?
Blueprint
•How do I?
•Faster, better, cheaper
Replace the Merchant
•Close
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The above diagram is to give you a rough idea of how you will eventually build out your site.
It needs to be stressed that this is a process. Like any site I start with the home page, The Replace the Merchant page.
The next step being the subtopics that address specific “how to” the product / service addresses. This is effective because it’s a demonstration of the product, provides value, and broadens the funnel.
The third step then is to address people who know they have problems but they don’t know exactly why or what’s needed.
I may think “I have an income problem” but is the problem a lack of traffic, or a lack of conversion? “Hmm, great question! I think it’s traffic.”
Great, here’s how to fix that (The Blueprint)!
HomeReplace MerchantAW Pro Tools
BlueprintHow to triple email conversion rates
DiagnosisNot converting
DiagnosisLow open rate
BlueprintHow to track email actions
DiagnosisLack of information
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Replace the Merchant
With this approach you set aside all assumptions about being an affiliate and essentially set up a site where you operate as-if you’re the merchant.
This approach is highly recommended when it comes to promoting overly hyped products, like found on Clickbank. As-is these sites have no chance of running a Google Adwords campaign. And if you attempt to drive traffic to these sites directly, Google will get medieval on you.
The “Replace the Merchant” approach is also ideally suited when you find good products that are poorly sold.
This has been my number one approach nearly since the beginning – it works.
You won’t easily find examples of this online because you’d never know these sites aren’t “official”.
The exact “how to” on this one requires a full-blown training session but here are the basic highlights.
Here’s the basic idea though –
You create your own page dedicated to selling the product with a “Buy Now” button that directs straight to the shopping cart.
You don’t pre-sell. You don’t send anyone along to a pitch page of any sort. You “Replace the Merchant” and appear to be the merchant to the end user (and Google, or other).
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Soda Popper aka “The Link Weaponizer”
This plugin, provided with The Affiliate Black Book program, will allow you to create a custom link that directs a user anyplace you want to send them to.
This plugin also allows you to insert an affiliate link to ensure you are attributed credit for referring a sale.
Instead of using an affiliate link to send a person to a sales page, optin form, or whatever has been defined by the merchant with the affiliate tracking link they give you –
We use Soda Popper to create a link that sends the user DIRECTLY from our site into the secure shopping cart with this model.
In other words, you put a “Buy Now” button on YOUR site and when clicked they’re directed to the shopping cart order page – they never see the merchant site.
Doing this, are you a bridge page? Would Google ever know the difference?
NO!!! 🙂
That’s basically all you need to know to make this model function.
Your Site
Of course, you’re going to need to present the offer – that means have your own site.
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CRITICAL: You want nothing that looks like a long-form sales letter or squeeze page.
As mentioned above, explaining the full extent of that right here isn’t going to cut the mustard.
But the essence is this –
Forget the sleazy hyped up IMer pitch approach.
Instead . . .
1. Identify the USP of the product. “It does what, so that . . . ”
“Fresh Hot Pizza Delivered to Your Door in 30 Minutes or Less”
2. Identify The 3
• The 3 biggest problems for your market
• The 3 best solutions the product offers
• The 3 most compelling overt benefits
You should be able to find these answers in, with the exception of the overt benefits, in any half-decent sales copy.
As for overt benefits . . .
You know the difference between a feature and a benefit, right?
Feature: professional marketing information
Benefit: reach more people, sell more stuff
A benefit simply tells you why a feature is important.
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An overt benefit puts it into a more concrete form.
Overt Benefit: The ideas and advice in this book will help you IMMEDIATELY DOUBLE your marketing success rate.
“When you communicate an Overt Benefit instead of features, you increase your odds of success by 290 percent.” – Doug Hall, Jumpstart Your Marketing Brain
More examples:
Benefit: fast shoeshines
Overt benefit: 2-minute professional shoeshines
Benefit: Durable shoeshine
Overt benefit: Armor shoeshine protects shoes for 7-days
Benefit: Whole shoe care
Overt benefit: Special anti-slip sole treatments
The point here is to take your standard long-form sales pitch site and turn it into something that looks more like –
http://EverNote.com
http://Adwords.Google.com
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Alternative Approach Replace the Merchant
You’re a deal closer. One of the best ways to do that is to focus on the bonuses.
I’m now creating dedicated bonus-offer landing pages targeted for specific products. Here are three cool things about this approach:
1. So far, Google’s cool with it because you’re adding new value to the offer.
2. It allows you to create a sense of urgency for the product, that you cannot create otherwise.
3. It gives the buyer a required reason for joining your list.
4. People aren’t really picky about bonuses – they just love the idea of getting something for nothing. After I purchased my first Dell computer I started receiving their mail order catalogs in the mail. Even when I didn’t need a new computer, I’d thumb through and check out the latest hardware they had available.
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Almost always, even though I didn’t need another machine, I’d have this buying lust.
Why?
I asked myself that question for a couple of years (when I bought my next Dell) and finally the light bulb went on.
Even though I could buy a Dell anytime, there was some magic at work.
And that magic is simple:
Dell constantly has “limited-time specials” on their products. If you’ve ever received a Dell catalog you’ll know what I mean.
Order by July 17, 2015 and receive free shipping, a free double your RAM upgrade and $450 off your order of $1500 or more.
But you MUST order by July 17, 2015.
Of course, I’ll receive another catalog six weeks or so later with a similar deal where they shuffle up the bonuses.
And sooner or later . . . they hook me. They get me at the right time with the right offer that I just can’t refuse.
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Now, I wouldn’t be anywhere near as motivated to take action as I am when they get me “at the right time” if it weren’t for the urgency inducing offers they make.
Here’s how you apply this as an affiliate . . .
Type into Google: “private label rights” TOPIC
If you acquire 2-4 products (usually on the cheap) then you have some bonuses to offer.
Even better than information is software. Don’t have cash to develop that? Don’t take my legal advice, but . . .
Any software created for an open source platform like WordPress is legally up for grabs. Go grab 10 scripts, freely downloaded from WordPress.org, zip ‘em up and you’ve got a bonus package.
Other good sources of bonuses are:
A. Ask the merchant if they have anything sitting around that you can use.
B. Do your own expert interviews in the niche. You probably already know to take the audio, have it transcribed and then you two products from the one.
C. Pull an element out of someone else’s product (with permission).
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But I wrote a programmer once and said,
“I’d like to include your script in my product. If you say yes, I’ll give you a plug or two. If you say no, I’ll hire someone to clone your script for me.”
Business the X way; I made him an offer he couldn’t say no to.
Seriously, this is a POWERFUL strategy for you. Find something complementary to the product you sell, take a chapter or two, or a script, or part of a video, etc, that is going to enhance the core product you’re selling. If that “piece” is impressive, you’ve just created an after-the-sale upsell offer. Odds are people who like the sample are going to want the whole product.
D. Your time. Have you ever noticed the “gurus” include their time as a bonus when they pitch from stage?
“I’ll give you 2 hours of one-on-one coaching – and I charge $2500 for an hour of my time, so I’m giving you a $5000 value. Blah, blah, blah.”
Here’s what I’ve found with these offers – unless YOU pursue people to get them to show up for your coaching session, 80-90% will never ask for it.
With one package I sold I included 3 one-on-one coaching sessions, plus 6 group coaching sessions. Out
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of the 14 people who bought it, two people scheduled a one-on-one. One of them showed for all 3 of her sessions, and the other guy attended one (and if you’ve ever done a 1-on-1 with me you know it’s a valuable experience).
People just don’t show up.
I’ve done this myself. I bought a John Carlton package, among others, that included a sales letter rip-it-up session and I never claimed it.
Maybe it’s because I only had a year.
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The Blueprint
The blueprint is your opportunity to establish authority by giving people useful, step-by-step information on how to do something.
To sell you need trust and the fastest way to gain trust is by establishing yourself as an authority.
You provide a number of steps to accomplish a result, with the ultimate idea being that you have a solution that will save time or show how to do it even better.
For example, “How to Improve Your Conversion Rates in 3 Simple Steps”
Step One: Do this . . .
Step Two: Do this, using this tool or that tool.
Step Three: Do this . . .
By giving people the information they need to accomplish a task you establish authority and a relationship without needing to resort to hype.
Examples:
The Robinson Curriculum
In this example the author has done two things really well.
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The Robinson Curriculum is a home schooling course of study. The “how to” of the program is about 100 pages long, full of the creators opinions and anecdotes.
The author of this page has distilled the essence of those 100 pages into 10 easy to follow steps.
And throughout she’s included links – affiliate links – to purchase necessary items.
This is a brilliant example that is extremely useful to the visitor and doesn’t leave the reader feeling they’re being sold to at all.
Aimersoft
Although this is a merchant site the concept holds up – easily executed by any affiliate.
I went looking for “how to burn an Amazon video onto a DVD” and this useful blueprint popped up at the top of Google’s search results.
It tells me how to accomplish the result, providing a free download of the software necessary to do the job.
The software allows you to try the software on a project or two, then requires a purchase.
Steps
1. Make a list of “how to” ideas. Generate ideas by:
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• Looking for common problems expressed in forums, blogs, etc.
• Examine keyword search phrases that suggest wanting to know how to do something.
• Take ideas from the product you’re promoting.
• Take ideas from books on the subject.
• Find YouTube videos on the subject.
• Find related articles that can be improved on.
Keep in mind the objective: to explain how to do something with the ultimate goals of establishing authority and demonstrating the value of what you’re selling.
2. Choose the most compelling idea based on what’s most likely to create a valuable blueprint, for the most people, which can demonstrate the value of what you’re selling.
3. Outline the basic steps in the process. Demonstrate value, but keep the blueprint simple, to-the-point.
4. Include within the blueprint (affiliate) links to relevant and useful resources. No, affiliate links aren’t the problem – not a problem at all when value has been delivered.
5. Encourage questions, sharing, useful ideas from your audience.
* If visitors recommend other products in their comments, investigate those products, join the
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affiliate program for the products, and include your affiliate links in their suggestions.
The Diagnosis
The Diagnosis is another approach you can use to establish trust and credibility, and to help your prospect choose the best solution for their needs.
Ultimately the individual feels they’ve been addressed as an individual.
The Diagnosis approach is used to sell registry repair type software but rarely is it used elsewhere – that I’ve ever seen.
First, if you haven’t read the book SPIN Selling I highly recommend it.
SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, Need.
The core idea of SPIN Selling, which is based upon actual research, is that – especially with high-ticket items – it is best to sell a prospect by helping them to recognize what their problems are and then they essentially sell themselves on the best solution.
Let’s say my Situation is that my wife and I are constantly at odds, bickering and arguing – we’re on the brink of divorce.
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The Problem (or perceived problem) is that we cannot reach agreement on anything. We talk, talk, talk but never come to resolution.
The Implication is “What happens if this doesn’t get resolved?” This is where the prospect recognizes and feels their own pain. “If we can’t solve this problem, we’re going to get divorced and our kids’ hearts are going to be broken.”
At this point it should be clear – “We NEED help!”
That’s one way of diagnosing the problem.
Another is to simply ask your site visitor questions, which they then click the most appropriate link.
Imagine this scenario if you wanted to sell someone web hosting.
1. Will you host one site, or many?
– One
– Many
2. At present, do you anticipate excessive traffic or do you expect traffic will build up over time?
– I expect server melting traffic
– I expect to grow steadily
3. How much can your monthly budget handle?
– Less than $10
– Less than $30
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– Less than $100
– More than $100
At each step you then offer useful tips and advice to help the person focus on one selling point at a time.
Once the diagnosis is complete you give the best suggestion for what they need.
Take a look at this common, and effective, web hosting comparison model.
The good thing about this page is that it provides a fairly comprehensive list of web hosting options.
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But aside from the pricing (is cheap a good thing?) and the reviews (which I find questionable), what value does this really offer in helping me choose the best hosting for my needs?
What I really want is for this page to point me in the direction of the solution that’s best for what I need.
Do I need site-building tools?
Do I need to setup an online store?
Is “green” hosting important to me?
Especially on subjects that I have no clue on, I want an expert to put me in the right direction – and if that direction feels customized to MY needs we’re going to make a deal.
Plus after going through this process there’s more buy-in and commitment to complete the process.
This just in . . .
It probably will not work for Adwords, but it’s a very basic example of a Diagnosis
http://www.timedoctor.com/
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The Black Book of Killer Tactics
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First Thing After the Last Thing
Immediately After Opt-in
A common mistake is BLOWING the immediate opportunity after someone opts-in to escalate the relationship. Escalating the relationship can mean many things – from delivering the value you promised in your opt-in, to making a special offer. Whatever you do, DO NOT waste the opportunity with the standard “Thank you for subscribing – please white list my email address (who does that?!) and check your inbox . . . because we’re done here and by the time you do get around to checking your email you’ll have no clue who I am or why you cared.” FACT: The interest level for what you have to offer will NEVER be higher than it is RIGHT NOW. They may not be ready to act right now but if you miss this critical moment then the odds of further escalation take a mega-hit. Do not wait for something to happen – MAKE IT HAPPEN.
DO IT: Define a custom “Thank You” page – never use the standard one provided by your email service provider.
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Flood the Internet
Some of this will fit you and some of this won’t. Do what fits you.
The goals of marketing are:
Attention
Interest
Desire
Action
Satisfaction
Big brands demand our attention by showing up over and over and over. They seem to be everywhere, and that “everywhere” presence builds trust (at considerable cost).
Our goal is to establish a similar presence but at a fraction of the cost.
We accomplish this through massive content distribution plus retargeting (if/when you have the budget).
I’ve found that most people create content in one or two formats, and that’s it.
Here’s the process I suggest.
1. Create a mind map. The idea of the mind map is to cover a subject comprehensively, organize the information, and in the end, produce a report (even a book). This is a long term road map – and a valuable piece of content because some people (like me) prefer to consume content this way.
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2. Take the first element in the mind map, covering only 3-5 subpoints, a create a 4-6 page slide presentation using software like Microsoft PowerPoint. You’ll post this to Slideshare and other slide sharing sites.
3. Now record a video – can be using Camtasia, or a webinar service – this video can be distributed on YouTube, posted on your site, used as an opt-in incentive, or bonus material.
4. Strip the audio track and create an MP3 version of what was shared on the video. This can be used similar to the video.
5. Transcribe the audio into bullet points that contain more information than you have in your slides. Post to blog.
6. Expand on the bullet points and produce an article for distribution to article directories AFTER posting on your own site.
7. Take main points from the article and summarize them to a Twitter-sized post. Post to Twitter, Facebook and other social media linking to the video, audio, or article.
8. Create a set of 3-5 memes that you can share.
9. Place retargeting code on all pages involved, and run a retargeting campaign for visitors.
There are plenty of additional ways to repurpose your content but this keeps the system fluid and it will eventually provide you with a larger asset.
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Required Pages
In addition to content pages on your site you need to have the following, all accessible from every page on your site (I place these in the footer navigation):
Legal pages – you can find packages of pre-done documents under $30-.
• Terms of Use
• Privacy Policy
o Special policy page if using retargeting
• Affiliate Disclaimer
• Copyright Notice
• Social Media Disclosure (if connected in any way to a social media, including share buttons)
• FTC Compliance
• DMCA (if posting other’s content)
• Earnings Disclaimer (if making claims)
Other
• Support (you can link to the merchant’s – I do)
• Contact & Telephone (Gmail and Google Voice, a physical address highly recommended)
• About (Mr. Anonymous is Mr. Untrustworthy)
• Sitemap (XML, submit to Google Webmaster)
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Bitch Slap 2015
Most things have an appropriate time and place, but not all times nor are all places are appropriate for all things.
This is true of Bitch Slapping. 
Before I introduce this tactic know I do so for a couple of reasons . . .
One reason is on occasion we need to deal with competition that’s putting a harsh on our gig.
The second reason is to open your mind to a world of possibilities.
This whole “Black Book” thing is about stepping your game up by seeing a different way to approach the playing field.
So, use this tactic sparingly and use it when it serves a strategic purpose.
On that, keep in mind a strategy is a plan for achieving a goal – it’s how you intended to go about claiming your win.
If you have a goal, and a plan then a part of your strategy may include Bitch Slapping someone when needed.
First, a couple BEWARES.
This is a highly aggressive approach. There is nothing illegal, but it’s not going to produce rich, life-long friendships either.
It’s a war tactic.
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Google, and most ad serving networks, have rules. And here’s the thing with rules –
They ALWAYS create loopholes and new problems.
You can’t change nature without changing nature.
The world cannot be legislated to perfection. It doesn’t work.
So when a new rule is introduced, so too is a new opportunity. This is knowledge to live by.
Back in the day, circa 2004, affiliates caught on to the beauty of “direct linking” to an offer.
That means you find a product to promote and you run ads that go directly to the offer.
Contrary to current popular belief, this is still a legit – though problematic – approach. As an affiliate you can still direct link to offers.
Anyway, what happened was you’d do a search for “Coke”, as an example, and you’d see 8 ads all pointing to Coke.com
Google didn’t like this because searchers didn’t like this. Who wants a page of search results that all point to the same website?
So Google created the “Single URL” rule – only one advertiser’s ad will be shown for a domain.
That didn’t mean only one advertiser could ATTEMPT to show an ad for that domain – it meant Google would only show the one it rated highest in quality score (QS).
Now quality score is based on a combination of factors that include ad click through rate, landing page quality, etc.
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But consider this . . . if two people are using an identical ad, going to the same Display URL, and the same landing page – if all things are equal, who wins?
Whose ad is shown?
The person willing to spend the most – that’s the ad that gets shown.
Now . . .
If you’ve used PPC then you know that in most cases you set a maximum that you’re willing to pay for a click, but what you actually pay is almost always lower – often significantly.
I may set my max bid on a click at $1.50 but only spend .85, or less, if the quality score and everything is working.
What’s actually spent depends on the competition, and I believe, Google’s own basis for what it’s worth to them to show an ad versus not.
But this single URL thing presents an interesting situation. Because it’s no longer that ad versus the field – it’s now that ad versus the field and another for the same Display URL.
And what that means is you can apply direct price pressure on that specific advertiser.
If he’s says he’s “willing” to spend $1.50 but you create the exact same ad and say you’re willing to spend $1.49 – guess what?
He’s not paying .85 per click any more – he’s paying the full $1.50. And that can be the difference between profitable and going broke for that guy.
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First, you can use this approach to drive up the that competitors ad spend forcing them to be unprofitable, and leave.
Second, most of us operate within a daily budget and if you force that advertiser to exhaust their daily budget during the day then your ad shows in their place at a much lower cost.
We’re in a different environment today where you need to be careful about where you’re sending traffic and how many domains you’re sending traffic to.
If you send traffic to a poor quality site, then you will be penalized, flagged and put your account in jeopardy. Do not do this for any site you see as questionable in Google’s eyes. Your work never leaves your history with Google.
Also, it isn’t normal behavior to send traffic to 50 different websites. That’s the behavior of an opportunity seeking affiliate. I’m convinced Google is cool with affiliates who add real value, but they despise the opportunity seekers (if you’re going to test offers, don’t use Google to do it).
Reserve this approach for critical situations that demand a harsh attack.
In 2015 Google Adwords has really settled out and here’s the opportunity I see with this approach.
I have a certain level of vengeance reserved for any merchant that wants to restrict where I get to play. If I know there’s adequate search volume and little competition, and an opportunity to make some real money then I go right after the merchant.
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Remember, everything about their ad will look the same – though I usually leave out an insignificant character, like a period at the end of a sentence.
Why?
So when I see the ad without that period I know it’s mine.
It looks like this:
Sedona Method? Discover How to Let Go and Have What You Want. Claim Your Free Demo. www.Sedona.com My ad looks like this –
Sedona Method? Discover How to Let Go and Have What You Want. Claim Your Free Demo www.Sedona.com
Do you see how I left the period off after “Demo”?
I simply do that so I can know when my ad is showing.
People have often asked about the numbers, like bid price and what not. How do I know?
This isn’t an exact science. I have general ideas. If I suspect they’re paying in the range of $1.50, then I might start with a bid of $1.40 and see if my ad shows right away. If not, I bump up a nickel or so, and keep on until my ad is showing consistently – then I back off.
This is a real game – it can be a lot of fun to mess with people this way, but be selective and careful.
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Ben Settle’s Misquote Technique
This is an interesting approach that’s both fun and helps you borrow credibility through indirect association with a trusted authority.
How this works, in the most interesting way, is to take an unrelated, but trusted figure’s well-known quote and put your own twist on it.
Here’s an example Ben shares –
Subject Line: Abraham Lincoln’s secret golf swing tip
[ fname),
To paraphrase President Lincoln:
“Most people can hit the driver straight some of the time, some people can hit the driver straight most of the time, but almost nobody can hit the driver straight ALL the time!”
Notice how the subject line almost forces you to open the message – “I didn’t know President Lincoln was a golfer? He had a secret golf swing?!”
And then, of course, if you recognize the basis of the quote – and you have any interest in the subject – then you’ve taken critical steps into a story you must know the end to!
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Get a Little Back
It’s about getting more of what you can out of what you’re already doing.
There’s a lot of competition among credit card companies. They want your business and they’re happy to offer incentives to entice you into using their card.
Take advantage.
If you’re spending a bunch on PPC ads every month, don’t have that money directly taken out of your business account. That’s what I did to the tune of many thousands.
And all along, I could have had those charges going on a credit card that gave me benefits like cash back, airline miles, gas credits and much more.
I have a card that offers 3% “bonus cash” back. If you’re spending $500 per month on ads, that’s $6000 per year. 3% of that back to you is . . . $180.
Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, no?
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Write With Swag
Selling requires trust.
Establishing trust takes time.
The fastest way to establish trust is by establishing authority. People trust people they perceive to have authority.
I write in a casual tone, but the tone conveys authority.
I’ve got tons of hacks on email marketing after 14 years of doing it.
Here are six karate chops you can most immediately employ for dramatic improvements.
• Write Fast, Edit Later
• Short, Punchy
• Cut Extraneous Verbiage
• Be Bold
• Mail More Frequently Than Is Comfortable
• Recycle Content, Change Formats
Write Fast, Edit Later
You’ll find this advice in almost everything you read about writing, and that’s because it’s true.
Getting into a stream of conscious flow makes writing easier and allows the best ideas to come out.
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Stopping and editing shuts down the creative side of the brain, and turns on the analytical and judgmental side.
For now, tell that wonk to “sit down, shut up, wait your turn”.
You just can’t work both sides, at the same time, effectively.
Recognize writing and editing as two different skill sets requiring different parts of the brain. You’re writing will improve.
Get to the Point, Then Entertain I think it’s real important to make your work entertaining to people. It should exude a personality that makes it unique to you. Nobody wants to read dry – do they?! I’ve found that I have to get to the point first, though. If I try to mix the entertainment in as I write, I get lost in the fog I’ve created. So, first draft. I walked from Point A to Point B and set the glass down. Second draft. Holy crap man! Beer in hand, three sheets to wind and wearing someone’s high heels, I stumbled from here to there, hopping over bar stools and passed out bodies and somehow, someway, managed to not spill a drop.
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Short, Punchy
Twitter has changed things, or maybe things would have changed anyway.
But you should write as if writing for Twitter.
Get to the point, and say what needs to be said.
Keep sentences short.
Paragraphs should not exceed more than 4 lines – not 4 sentences, four LINES.
Related –
For years I’ve kept my line breaks at about this width.
Why? Because that’s how newspapers have done it, and it helps readers consume what you have to convey more quickly.
Cut extraneous verbiage
I still catch extraneous verbiage in my writing, but if there’s one thing that has improved my writing more than anything else it’s to cut words that are unnecessary, or passive.
Don’t use phrases like:
– I think
– I believe
– If you ask me
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– I hope
A) It’s obvious and B) it weakens your credibility and tells the reader they should have their own thoughts.
When you read what I write you are not allowed your own thoughts – you accept what I say because I am the master!
Seriously.
Be Bold
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
It appears Goethe didn’t actually say/write that even though it’s widely attributed to him.
Still, it’s truth.
And we get the truth at such a gut level that when someone tells us something, boldly, we tend to accept their authority and believe it.
If you cannot state something boldly, don’t state it.
Further to this is the need to recognize that when you write, how you feel is conveyed on an unconscious level.
People have an astute BS detector and that vibe is simply there.
That vibe thing may sound woo-woo, but you need to be in a bold state of mind when you go sell something.
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Don’t think you can hide a lack of boldness in writing – you can’t.
You need to reach out to the people you can reach, and say what needs to be said with conviction.
If you don’t feel mild trepidation when you hit the “Send” button, then you’re sticking too close to safe.
And sticking too close to safe makes your writing weak and generic.
I took acting classes in college to overcome an extreme fear of speaking in front of people. I knew that is a fear I had to overcome to reach my goals in life.
It didn’t take long to recognize that people who are afraid to “look bad” are the people who look bad.
An actor has to set all ego aside and let it ride – that’s when a great performance happens.
It’s the same with writing a message that’s going to have impact.
BE BOLD
Mail More Frequently Than Is Comfortable
There’s never been a better time than right now.
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And the next best time is the next time closest to right now.
Many email marketers worry about annoying people by mailing too frequently.
Your job as marketer not to decide for the subscriber what they want.
Mail the subscriber, let them choose.
If it’s too much, they’ll leave. And that’s OK because it isn’t about numbers on a list – it’s about a list of people interested in what you have to offer.
Don’t limit what you offer because you’re afraid the people who don’t WANT to be there anyway will leave.
Ideally, you should email people twice per day every day.
Because the more time that passes after they join your list, the less interested, invested and valuable they become – and that countdown timer starts the second they hit the “Subscribe” button.
Recycle Content, Change Formats
The idea of mailing out two messages per day should probably make you think . . . “Damn, that’s . . . 60 messages each month dude!”
Here’s the thing –
You really need about 20 core messages that you tweak, and change the format of.
OK –
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First, don’t assume that when you send a message one time that it gets opened and read by everyone who wants to open it and read it.
Second, don’t assume that even when the message is opened and consumed that the consumer received all of the wisdom you had to offer them.
You can, and should, take the same core message and deliver it in a short post, a long post, a video, a blog post, a pod cast, an email message, a Facebook post, a PDF, and whatever else you fancy.
Add a little more here – get more to the point there – mix in sales pitches with solid information to keep them guessing.
Now, don’t feel overwhelmed here – you don’t need 20 messages, with 5 versions of each, today – or tomorrow.
But when the money starts coming in you’re going to need something to do, or have done, and this should be on your list.
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How to Write an Addictive Message
The building we’re standing on won’t be here in ten minutes.
You take a 98-percent concentration of fuming nitric acid and add the acid to three times that amount of sulfuric acid. Do this in an ice bath. Then add glycerin drop-by-drop with an eye dropper.
You have nitroglycerin.
I know this because Tyler knows this.
When you know the right formula you have the power to take down a building, to change the world, an economy.
That’s big stuff. Bigger than what Tyler has to share today but equally significant in your future.
The right formula. It’s POWER.
You want it because it works, and because it works you move closer to what you desire.
Don’t consider the alternative – stasis, status quo, frustration, confusion. Fear.
The right formula is your success serum.
It’s exactly like knowing what Tyler knows.
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Because you want to write an email this great you need to learn how. Here’s the formula I’ve been using – you know it works:
http://awpt.co/Rwt5Q
———-
This message was written in about 15-minutes.
It follows a simple formula:
1. Compelling story introduction
I didn’t write it, it comes from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.
This genre works for my audience. It demonstrates that using household chemicals many people already have, or that could be easily attained, anyone could make something as powerful as nitroglycerin.
2. Segue – begins with “When you know the right formula . . .”
If you could make nitroglycerin by combining some otherwise harmless chemicals, what else could you do if you KNEW the formula?
3. Offer – You don’t KNOW this is an offer, or what the offer relates to, until the final sentence in the message. “Because you want to write an email this great . . .”
Note: I don’t write “If you want”, I write “Because you want” – “If” presents an open question (what *if* I don’t) whereas “Because” assumes for the reader s/he wants it.
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This is based on Rick Geuli’s Addictive Email process (see that link above for details), which works like this:
STEP 1: Create Curiosity About The Email Itself
STEP 2: Captivate With Content (In the form of Information, Story, News Or Metaphor)
STEP 3: Contextualize The Content Into Product-Relevance
STEP 4: Call To Action
STEP 5: Create The Cliff-Hanger
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Curation
When it comes to content don’t think you need to create anything, or everything, on your own. One way to leverage other people’s work, like audio or video, is to transcribe – or create bullet points – from it. I watch a lot of videos on subjects of interest, and often I don’t know if the content is going to be of value or not until I’ve watched 2-3 minutes of it. Leverage the value other people have created by providing an outline with notes from the video as a way to create NEW content from someone else’s work that offers value to your visitor. You can have a 5-10 minute video transcribed for you on Fiverr. I wouldn’t go for a verbatim transcription, but instead provide bullet-point notes.
Of course, this works with audio too!
One of the first pages I *ever* created that had SEO success was a summary of Robert Kiyosakis Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
I read the book, took notes and posted them on my site. I made a few thousand dollars on that page selling his programming (and his affiliate program kinda sucked).
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Cookie Tricks
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding what I’ve called invisible popups, others have called Iframes and the now infamous term known as “cookie stuffing”.
Before you pass judgment or think you know what this is all about, hang with me –
History . . .
I bought a little program called “Affiliate Cloner” sometime back around 2004 because I had an idea and this software seemed to fit the bill.
Then I discovered this rocking little feature it offered called the “Invisible Popup” and the ideas for what I can do with this “paradigm shift” haven’t stopped.
What does it do?
When someone visited a page with this encrypted JavaScript code on it created by Affiliate Cloner, an “invisible popup” occurs.
Bottom line: when someone landed on a page with this code it simulated the visitor clicking on your affiliate link and it placed a cookie – your affiliate ID – on their computer. There isn’t/wasn’t any actual “popup” – no window opened. And to the end user, it’s invisible – they don’t see anything, except maybe in the bottom left of their browser bar they see your affiliate URL load, if
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they happen to be paying any attention (and who’s paying attention?)
The reason I started using this was I wanted to be able to place my cookie and then direct people to any page I wanted on a merchant site – I didn’t want to be limited to sending my customer to a general home page that stood no chance of converting a sale.
You know what I mean – think “I want to promote a book on Amazon but I can’t send people to the page of THE book – I can only send them to the home page of Amazon”.
Most merchants like the idea of making money online, but they’re clueless and that’s why they need you and me.
So I tried this little invisible popup trick and wham, my sales doubled.
With one affiliate product, I went from an average of 38 sales per month up to 57.5 – with the SAME traffic. At $30 per sale, that’s what? Almost $600 per month?
Riddle me this though: What was really happening?
Instead of paying for 100 clicks to my site and having 25% cookied with my affiliate link – the people who actually clicked on my affiliate link, 100% were being cookied (or whatever percentage took my JavaScript).
So the visitors whose clicks I was paying for through PPC – the ones who were visiting my site, then hitting their back button – were now getting credited to me.
Is this cheating?
We could argue that all day. But, I happen to know that I lose commissions every day because people phone
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in orders (25%, based on my first-hand experience), delete cookies, block cookies, order from a different computer/device than where they are cookied or sales that should be credited to me are not.
I’ve managed a few big affiliate programs so I know these numbers – even though I NEVER cheated an affiliate out of a commission (because that would have meant cheating myself out of commissions too), you best believe most merchants love that you send them paying customers but they don’t love paying you.
Fact is, most of them aren’t smart enough to ‘get it’ – like the affiliate who insists on going for the commission instead of a subscriber AND a commission, these merchants are short-sighted and it’s most of them.
Why “Cookie Stuffing” CAN BE a Win-Win for Everyone
Some people use this tactic to stuff cookies or to blatantly rip people off. “Cookie stuffing”, as I define it, is putting more than one invisible popup on your page and attempting to cookie yourself for every product in a market.
Don’t be a putz. That will almost definitely get you reported, hated, kicked out, whatever.
Good. If you do it, I hope you get fried.
If I see you do it, I’ll fry your ass because it will ruin the tactic for everyone.
Balance is good.
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This is a balancer, used right. If you try to cheat the scales you deserve the inevitable.
I want to make as many sales as I can. And as an affiliate I put a lot into selling a product. I create my own sites (because most merchant’s suck), my own sales letters (because most merchant’s suck), my own follow-up auto responders (because most merchant’s suck) and training videos.
Remember, I started using this tool because as an Internet marketer I know things that merchants themselves don’t – like send people to the specific page of the specific product people want to buy.
So, I’m not just vamping on people and I hope you don’t either.
Man. Now you’ve got me going.
I’m going to get on my soapbox right now. Ready for a small ear full?
Most merchants are totally clueless when it comes to selling online. They really are. I’m talking 95% – maybe more. They don’t know what they’re doing.
And why should they?
They make widgets. They run a business that’s about being good at something which probably has nothing to do with zeros and ones.
They aren’t Internet marketing experts. And they should appreciate you full on for helping them with their weakness.
Usually, though, they don’t.
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And I want you to hear something right now. If you bought this information, then you’ve got a decided edge. For starters, you’re savvy enough to know that cutting edge information makes money. It makes a lot of money if the information is applied.
You probably know more than some of the best paid consultants I’ve met. In fact I recently had a well paid consultant tell me all about this magic SEO strategy . . . “meta tags”.
I’m serious.
Give yourself some credit and step up to the plate with some guts. You have a knowledge edge and you can take what someone else is doing in mediocre fashion and make it glow.
Your business is being an expert at what you do. The better you are, the more you make.
Most people don’t see a 5% pay raise PER YEAR – working my system can give you that kind of raise weekly.
So don’t make the SINGLE BIGGEST MISTAKE almost every affiliate marketer makes; don’t put the business of marketing into somebody else’s hands.
Do not depend on a clueless merchant
to make the sale for you.
You must take control. You must know that your business is to find buyers and sell them.
That’s your game.
Some affiliates do make sales. Some do it well. But 95% do not. That’s a lot of opportunity for you.
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Affiliate marketing IS NOT about building someone else’s business, except if you’re a fool. It’s about building your business.
OK. Stepping down from soap box.
. . . for the moment.
Seriously – I know I’m going to stand before my maker someday. I’m not here to rip people off, to “earn” money I haven’t earned. See this as a tool that enables you to do your job better.
Black Book Fallout and the Invisible Popup
I don’t mind taking blame when it’s due to me. When I released the Adwords Black Book, my biggest concern was abuse of the invisible popup and that misuse leading to it being banned by merchants.
In reality, that happened on a very small scale even though there are a number of products on the market now revealing this kind of information.
Of course, I was also concerned about book buyers blabbing off the technique – the tool. And that happened too.
The thing is with Internet marketers, they all crave a little attention and approval so badly they’ll tell you almost anything if you get a drink in them.
Really, I’ve never seen ANY industry where people are consistently begging people to take their best secrets and run with them.
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Hey, that’s me too. But I’m also doing this to further another objective that I’ll reveal when I want to.
Always remember this: X is a calculating bastard. Don’t trust him. 🙂
The Bottom Line
Put a gun in most people’s hand and they won’t shoot someone else. Put a gun in someone else’s hands – like Dick Cheney – and watch out. At least Dick says he’ll never forget about shooting his friend, but we don’t know if the rest of people out there using invisible popups will be as cool as Dick. But follow my lead, everything will be cool.
The Modern Invisible Popup Tool
See SODA POPPER (bonus, WordPress Plugin)
Also, keep in mind that retargeting now works very much the same. Although you’re not dropping an affiliate cookie, you are dropping a tracking cookie for ad purposes.
I mention keeping this in mind because our objectives and reasons are very similar.
With the invisible popups the old way was to put code on your page, usually encrypted, but this became an obvious tell to anyone who knew what to look for.
Eventually we developed more stealthy tools (Blog Popper) that were overly complex.
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And then I grew up and got smarter, wiser, too.
First of all, there is more involved on our end. No longer is it good enough to send people to a squeeze page.
But! If you have retargeting code on the page, and you get your cookie planted too, then these are truly golden times.
Here’s how Soda Popper works (name change imminent – LOL).
1. You enter the destination URL. That’s the page you want people to land on.
2. You enter your affiliate link. Soda Popper activates that when you link is “clicked”.
3. You can enter a second affiliate link which is very useful if the merchant you promote works on multiple affiliate tracking platforms – say JVZoo on the front-end and Infusionsoft on the back-end. By putting both of your affiliates links in you get credit through more of the funnel, as you should.
Logic
You have a number of ways you can now put that Soda Popper link to use for you.
1. Use the link at the traffic source. Maybe that’s an article (DEFINITELY) or paid traffic like Google Adwords. Using your link at the source means your cookie is placed when the visitor is inbound. The cookie is placed BEFORE they reach your site.
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Two things on that – First, with any distributed content you give up control over changing your link down the road. Something changes and you want to change your destination. You can’t change the actual link, but YOU CAN edit the destination with Soda Popper. If you have 1000 links out there, and something happens to the current destination – vendor switches tracking platforms, for example – you make one change in Soda Popper and the destination changes for every link instantly. Second, and there are actual a number of good reasons here, I always use these links with paid traffic because when you make a change to any part of your ad, including your destination link, you have to be reapproved. Not so when you use a Soda Popper link. You can change the destination and as long as the destination landing page matches your display URL, you’re OK. Now, I don’t put my affiliate link in there until after my ad has been approved. I create my Soda Popper link, enter the destination – a straight up link to where I want to go – and after approval I *then* go into Soda Popper and enter the affiliate URL in the “link pop” field. The upside to putting planting the affiliate cookie here is that EVERY visitor gets cookied. That’s great. And since it’s not on the page it’s virtually undectable.
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The downside is you may show an unusually high level of click activity and if that traffic is converting at a substantially lower than normal rate, you’ve just put up a red flag. Be careful if you’re running even a moderate volume of traffic with a crummy conversion rate.
2. Next you can use a Soda Popper link on any page or in any email. You can use the link as you would any hypertext link, or banner. I use this method when I want to place a “Buy Now” button on my page (see Replace the Merchant) and direct people straight into the shopping cart. This approach eliminates bridge page issues, in most cases. The upside here is what I just mentioned. The downside is we’re still dependent on the user clicking our link and that will curb results. 3. Use the link as your “Thank You” page link on y our opt-in form. This is a nice in-between that also gives you control over where you send people after they opt-in. Let’s say you’re promoting an offer that leads with
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a squeeze page. You want to skip that, so you grab the URL people would see on that site AFTER they’d opt-in there. The user opts-in on your page, then sees the “thank you” for the vendor – and you drop your cookie on the way.
4. It’s a good idea to cookie people regularly. Maybe they visit your site on their desktop, then read you email on their mobile device. I seek to cookie frequently for this reason.
5. If you’re promoting attendance at someone else’s webinar drop your cookie when your subscriber clicks your email link to register. I’ve seen sales occur before the webinar happens, and you don’t need to mess with clunky links in the webinar. It’s much cleaner.
can also use this code and simply put your affiliate link into an image code:
You can get really creative and clever, and we share more ideas in the membership site. Oh, and if you don’t want to use Soda Popper for some reason, that’s cool. Although it’s not stealth my favorite way to get the job done is to simply put an affiliate link within an image tag, like this – <img src=”http://myaffiliatelink.com/affiliate.html” height=”1″ width=”1″>
This works because when your page loads the browser will attempt to load what it believes to be an image. Of course, it’s not an image – it’s a page – and that
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triggers the link as-if the link had been clicked and causes placement of your affiliate cookie.
The reason I specify a height and width of 1×1 pixel is because when an image doesn’t load the end user may see an image error show on the page. By defining the image size as 1×1 that should not occur.
The image approach is effective, however anyone who views your source code will see it and that can invite some unnecessary issues.
FAQs About Invisible Popups
What Is an Invisible Popup?
Simulates clicking a link, which embeds a tracking cookie.
Why is This Useful?
It gives you control and flexibility over where you send traffic.
It also increases the odds of you being properly credited for the sales you play a role in generating.
Will They Get Me in Trouble?
Some affiliate programs forbade the use of ‘iframes’, so yes, they can get you in trouble.
BUT!!!
The odds of getting you in trouble (ie, getting kicked out of an affiliate program or network) are slim to nil if you can show that you are using an IP to INCREASE
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THE LIKELIHOOD OF SALE, which is the only reason you should be doing it.
The primary reason this is frowned on – and legally becomes fraud – is when you’re attempting to get commission credit for something you haven’t done squat to earn.
If you’re planting multiple cookies and some of those cookies have nothing to do with the page, you are playing with fire.
I don’t recommend doing that – it’s called FRAUD. “Cookie stuffing” will get you in trouble – eventually (not that I know from first-hand experience).
Clickbank . . .
I’ve had the unique experience of reporting a competitor who was cookie stuffing on my product (yes, he was a customer using what I teach against me), so I did the same to him. Well, he turned around and reported me. In both cases we were using the simple image tag cookie approach (I was lazy – it was dumb).
What happened?
Clickbank gave us both a warning to stop doing it. No accounts were banned, nobody was sued, life went on. I am not saying that’s what will, or will not happen if you’re “caught”. Clearly the both of us were being malicious twits – and we got a slap on the wrist for it.
That’s the only time I haven’t been careful – and my plugin will take precautions to a new level – but I’ve been doing this for a long LONG time and it’s never been an issue WITH MY APPROACH.
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This Double Opt-In Trick Ensures More Confirmations and Higher Quality Lists
I find negligible differences between single-opt-in and double-opt-in SPAM complaints, but you will see a noticeable difference when it comes to the quality of email addresses you build your list with.
In the past it made my ego feel good to be able to boast of a 50,000 member list. Now? It’s just extra money to pay out and I’d rather have a high-quality list of 5,000.
First, my reasons for using double-opt-in have nothing to do with SPAM concerns and everything to do with wanting better people on my lists.
Yes, you’ll lose some people who might be quality with double opt-in – but you lose everybody who won’t be quality too.
I have two favorite approaches with double opt-in – with both achieving the same objective which is to essentially hold-back the opt-in incentive for a good email address.
Option One
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This works best when I have an item to share with the subscriber – a free report, downloadable video, or audio sample.
I edit the confirmation message to say something to the effect of “For immediate access to {opt-in incentive} please confirm your request by clicking the link below.”
TIP: To “frame” your offer as having greater value it’s fine to use words like “membership”. You want to sell the value of being a confirmed member of the tribe.
You do not want to give someone all of the goods immediately without verifying with you.
This means on your opt-in “thank you” page you will want a message which says something to the effect of: “Thank you for your interest. A secret access link has been sent to the email address you provided us. To get you started right now . . . {deliver some solid teaser value which makes them want more}.”
Option Two This approach is like Option One and is used when you’re not delivering an item, but access to content – for example a 5-lesson course.
On the opt-in “thank you” page you immediately deliver Lesson One. At the end of each lesson you want to have a cliffhanger which makes the reader want to turn to the next page.
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In this case, at the end of Lesson One you tell them that to access Lesson Two they need the secret link you sent to their email address.
Here’s how you define a custom “Success Page” – the page your subscriber will see after clicking the confirmation link.
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Monetize the Dream
The most difficult part of getting started is picking a direction and starting.
Should I get in this market? Should I get in that?
Stop looking outward and start your search inward. You have answers to your situation nobody can provide but you.
Affiliate marketing is an alternative lifestyle choice for many of us.
It’s a vehicle for creating a lifestyle.
What do you want?
What if you could get paid to do what you want?
Forget everything else and think about that.
What if you could live your dream and get paid for doing it? How could you make that happen?
You have to start with the things you love, and the things you love are also probably clues to what you already do well or aspire to do well.
If you love basketball, play it, find a way to share your experience and monetize it.
The coolest life is the life you get paid for living even if you’d live it for free.
Nothing is tops the cool chart like having companies send you free stuff that you want anyway.
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CAUTION: Serious Mind Control
The Perception of Lack That Drives Desire
Everyone is running the same basic story in their head –
And it’s the story that they lack something.
And if they HAD that something THEN they could FINALLY be happy!
Nobody is going to buy anything from you unless they FEEL their lack.
Of course, this lack is only a perception – an illusion.
• Money doesn’t guarantee happiness, freedom or respect.
• A great body doesn’t guarantee a great sex life.
• A killer wardrobe doesn’t make you the coolest person in the club.
Here’s what is guaranteed though (sorry if this hurts a bit) –
A person who FEELS they have more than enough doesn’t seek more.
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If I felt I had more than enough money would I ever seek to have more?
I’d probably seek after some other thing I felt I lacked.
But it’s easy to MAKE someone believe they have lack by creating a frame of reference that stresses their lack.
Recognize what people BELIEVE they lack – that’s the only conversation you need to recognize.
Now, let’s make this even simpler because there are only three basic lacks –
1. Lack of security
2. Lack of approval
3. Lack of control
On the flip side of this is desire. You can’t sell people if they don’t ALREADY have a fundamental desire. When you identify what they desire, you got ‘em.
You may think “Wow, there are so many things people desire” but that’s not true. They can be boiled down to three, though they do show themselves in infinite ways.
Security
Approval and control are essentially the two ways that people go about trying to “get” security.
If people ‘like’ you and want you around, they’re probably going to take care of you. Right? This is
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how 2 and 3 year-olds live through the hell they bring into a home.
Or, if you wield some form of control in a group then you have the clout to ensure your security as well.
You want to feel secure? Buy a gun! You want to feel more secure? Buy a bigger gun! Or another gun (for every room in the house)! Or a gun that pops more caps, faster! You follow me?
Because if you break into my home with a baseball bat, and I’m holding a shotgun – who’s in control (at least who has the PERCEPTION of being in control because we’re always talking about odds)?
Look to politics as a prime example of using the perception of lacking security for gain.
– gun control
– immigration
– health care reform
– Social SECURITY
– “tough on crime”
– bad economy
– terrorism
– Etc.
By causing people to feel insecure the people tend to vote for the person they believe will make them feel more secure.
Approval
Most of us feel a strong need to “fit in”, to belong, to have the acceptance of others.
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The person with a weight problem wants their excess gone, sure – but why?
What makes that a desperate situation? What do they desire for?
In most cases the desire is approval from others. In other cases, if they have health concerns then it’s a security/control issue.
Does that mean everyone who has a weight problem, has disapproval?
No more than it means people without a weight problem have approval.
The sad truth is that person will probably feel the same sense of lacking approval, with or without their weight issue (in fact, the weight issue is probably caused by feeling a lack of approval).
Again, the lack of approval is not more than a perception but it drives desire.
Control
People ruled by control emotions seek to force the world into their picture. If they don’t have the control they desire, the resulting emotions are often aggressive – explosive.
But control emotions are not always seen outwardly; if the person has issue with being seen out of control, that’s where you get “passive aggressive” behavior.
The outwardly expressive person probably has a low desire for approval, while the quietly fuming person
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has a higher degree of desire for approval – they want control, but they don’t want anyone to disapprove of them for that.
Let’s take a look at the most common “control emotions”.
Anger
Simply a person who opposes the way things ARE – they want control over how things are and they want it different. Where you see anger, you want to give a person a sense of empowerment and the idea they are in control.
Frustration
The person does the same thing over and over and expects a different result. They are attached to “the one way” of doing something. Get them to define the result they want and present an alternative way of having it. Proceed with small step choices that seem rational.
Confusion
Very similar to frustration, this is about a resistance to making a choice. Given the choice between A and B, the person fears they will make the wrong choice and lose control.
Blame
The blamer wants to control who gets tagged with responsibility for an outcome. In this case, they want control over the perception of who’s really at fault.
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Shock
“Shocking Report . . .” – this person is motivated by a need to know the inside dirt so they might be able to take control over the situation and ensure their security.
Boredom
If you ever attend a personal development seminar, observe when there is a collective desire to yawn! This usually signals a desire to “tune out” when a message is being delivered the individual does not want to hear. Boredom occurs when the options present are not appealing and the person wants to leave the situation. I agree with Tim Ferris too – boredom is the opposite of happiness.
Numbness
The desire to control what one feels by not feeling anything at all.
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Overwhelm The overwhelmed person feels totally “out of control” which is brought on by a strong desire to “be in control”. What is important for you to recognize about all of these emotions is the person CHOOSES to feel them on a subconscious level. The person who feels overwhelmed and out of control wants to feel that because in a twisted way that makes them feel more secure. They continually choose to put too much on their plate. While the desire is to “be in control”, what is real for them is that they are “out of control”. They will continually put themselves in situations of overwhelm as a result. It’s kind of like the person complaining about information overload, but continually buying new “how to make money online” programs . . . .
I’m just sayin’.
There’s a ton to learn about human psychology and what makes people do what they do – but the secrets I’ve shared in this module are enough to move you a long way down the road.
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An E-Zine is a Digital Magazine Build a Bigger List By Making It Look Like It
The communication end of marketing is ALL about recognizing, creating and communicating the perception of value. Images can be far more powerful than words, so consider creating a different perception of value for a report by framing your report as a legitimate publication. You can create a solid report, or online magazine, like this by – 1. Acquiring (PLR), or writing, a solid set of 4-5 articles. 2. Include, just as you’d find in a magazine, ads for related products. 3. You can find an image, like below, by searching for free (or fee) images online. This is from a free PSD site. 4. If you don’t Photoshop (I don’t), send your image and headlines (swiped from actual magazine headlines) to a designer on Fiverr or another outsourcing site.
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Within any market Google doesn’t like, sell software instead of information.
TATE CAMERON
If you can write, seek writing gigs with big publications. It’s not as hard as you think.
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Opt-In Incentives
The key to gaining opt-ins is all about the incentive you give people to join you.
Here’s a simple offer formula –
Free {video, report, demo, 5-lesson course} Reveals the Number One Secret to {solve your biggest problem}
The solution needs to be specific. Examples –
– {solve your biggest problem}
– Generating opt-in rates of 25% and higher.
– Lose 10 pounds or more in the next 22 days.
– Double Your Income in the Next 9 Months.
This can, and should be, one of the most fun parts of the marketing process.
It’s not enough to say “Sign up for my free newsletter!” Remember to check out grocery store magazines for punchy, compelling headlines that can be used for this very purpose.
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How to Find and Target Offers to People With Specific Needs
Years ago I met a well-known guru (who wasn’t well-known or a guru at the time) that shared his business model with me.
His model was effective enough to make him a millionaire.
It worked then and it works now.
The thing I love is the brilliant simplicity of it.
And it goes like this:
1. Go to About.com
This can be any high volume traffic site that has “expert” content AND paid ad placements. For the simplicity of understanding, stick with About.com for now.
2. Browse the Menu
At the very top of their home page you’ll see a menu for each of the main, broad categories on the site. Mouse over one that interests you and select the “More about _____ >> ” option.
I’m going to select “More about health >>”
3. Explore Sub-Markets Within Health
You will see options across the top menu, and more options along the left-side menu.
We’re not going into market selection here – the point here is traffic.
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And the point to grasp is people with NEEDS (see awareness level (4) are searching for information and solutions specific to a large number of problems they may be experiencing.
The Strategy
1. Run ads targeted for specific health conditions. Let’s use “adrenal function” for our example.
(See the Four Levels of Awareness for more details.)
Identify the symptoms of the condition:
– Tired
– Foggy
– Fatigued
– Unable to Handle Stress
– Craving Salty Foods
There are more, but that’s enough . . .
Because those are now the headlines for your ads.
• Tired?
• Foggy Thinking?
• Fatigued?
• Craving Salty Foods?
Create a text ad to test each one of those headlines because addressing the exact symptom they’re experiencing will grab the prospects attention.
2. The ads are targeted specifically for the pages about the problem/issue the visitor is experiencing.
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See also: Placement Targeting
3. The ad leads to a low-cost information product that is intended to (1) cover the cost of advertising and (2) introduce a paid solution, that is ideally recurring.
You could also offer a free report, etc.
One solution for adrenal fatigue is coconut oil, so you may find a source that offers a high-quality product, that’s auto-shipped.
Now your information product should be truly helpful, credible, well-researched and useful. The point is first-and-foremost to help people who are suffering. But information is usually only the beginning of their journey.
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How and Where to Find the Best Content Writers
I’ve spent thousands of dollars having to have mediocre content written.
That’s frustrating. That’s wasteful; I hate waste.
When you hire a writer from article writing services, or through a site like Fiverr, or Elance or whatever they’re called now, you’re hiring someone with some writing ability willing to write on any subject, but almost certainly lacking any passion, interest or experience/expertise.
Even if it’s well-written it lacks substance and you’re not fooling anybody.
I knew this but unless I wrote the content myself I didn’t see an alternative. Until I had an epiphany and I did see the alternative.
That alternative is to go to the people who possess the passion and expertise, and who’d like to get paid a bit to write about it.
Go find the Facebook groups that exist on your subject matter and contact the avid posters in the group who should passion and expertise.
Or make a post to the group – “I have a blog on this subject and I’m looking for someone who would love the opportunity to write about it – PM me.”
You’ll end up with truly excellent, inspired content, often at bargain prices.
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Put Them Through Hell!
The cool thing about not watching TV for years at a time is when I catch up there’s an amazing bunch of entertainment waiting.
One of these gems is Jericho – a series about a small-town community surviving a nuclear attack on the United States.
Episode after episode these people face and endure one hellish event after another – and amazingly everyone still has clean clothes and a fresh haircut.
But seriously, just when you think things can’t get any worse – they do.
This isn’t unique to Jericho –
In screen writing school they teach you to “Put your main characters through hell”. Apparently that’s what makes for gripping drama in the human mind.
When you write copy create a frame of reference. People are accustomed to adjusting their frame of reference to the story that’s in front of them.
With a story in front of them most people shift their frame of reference and engage in what’s called “The Willing Suspension of Disbelief”.
In other words, they’ll believe things that don’t add up (and they know it) because the desire to see the story play out is more compelling.
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Like in the series Prison Break – the character known as T-Bag has his hand cut off with an axe. He picks the hand up, runs around with it for a few hours, finds a cooler with some ice in it, runs around with his hand in the cooler a while longer, before finding a veterinarian who he forces to sew the severed hand back on.
Yes, a veterinarian.
And as soon as the last stitch is in place, his bluish-gray hand wiggles it’s fingers. Yeah. Right!
And while I laughed hysterically at the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen a TV show ask me to believe . . . I was hooked. I kept right on watching.
OK – Let’s take a look at a few terms.
Plot line: the story. In marketing terms you want the central character to be your prospect, seeing them self grow from where they are to reaching their goal and riding off into the sunset. Whether, or not, you are able to sell them depends almost entirely on whether they believe in the POSSIBILITY of their own character arc.
Exposition: Introduce the main characters and describe the setting. In a movie this generally occurs in the first 10 minutes.
TIP: Instead of using your customer’s name to say “Hi John, here’s another boring marketing message intended to manipulate you into buying something from me” . . . use their name in the story you’re presenting them with.
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They’re the main character in this story – or they need to identify with the main character. There is also the setting, the good guys and the bad.
Conflict: A problem or goal is established.
TIP: Make a list of all the problems, challenges, complaints, etc, that are common in your market. Also make a list of the protagonists in their life – the doubting family, the jealous friends, the jerk boss, the Jones’ next door, etc.
Rising action: Different events or conflicts develop as the main character struggles to overcome challenges to reach their goal. Basically, these are your messages. Each message involves the protagonist facing his adversaries, striving to overcome his problems to reach that goal.
Climax: The grand finale – the major turning point or event that LEADS to the resolution of the problem. FINALLY! I bought something that helped me reach my goals!
Falling action: The events that occur after the climax.
This is where you highlight how great life is after reaching the top – and where you get to see the bad guys eat crow.
Resolution: The story usually concludes with all conflicts resolved and everyone rides off, happily, into the sunset.
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Can you see how this approach is going to be easier to draw a prospect in?
Most of all you want them to feel the pain that’s ahead if they don’t take action and do something about this problem.
Another Angle : SPIN Selling
SPIN is an acronym for Situation, Problem, Implication, Need.
It’s a brilliant selling process that fits our story model.
Here’s how it works.
Situation: Your prospects have situations, events, happening in their life. The situation is simply “what’s going on”.
Problem: Within the situation is a problem, a challenge, a threat, a roadblock to happiness.
Implication: If we don’t get this resolved, then what? This is about pain, real or perceived.
Need: To avoid the implication, resolve the problem and make the situation all happy, what need exists?
When you’ve gone through the process of explaining the situation, defining the problem (why the bad situation is happening), and identifying the implications then the need feels obvious. You don’t have to sell – the prospect will see the need on their own.
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Put It All Together Now!
This is inspired by Andre Chaperon’s brilliant Soap Opera Sequence.
Here are the basic ideas:
• Stories sell
• End your messages with cliffhangers to build anticipation for your next message.
• Create and use characters your customer can empathize and identify with.
• The characters deal with a variety of issues, like your customers, and these stories demonstrate how your product/service helps to resolve.
The Process
1. Make a list of all issues that your product or service can solve. 8-10 is ideal.
Examples:
• blood pressure
• stress
• anger
• creativity
• problem solving
• relationships
• overeating / weight loss
• desire to change how feeling instead of resolving feeling
• focus / attention
• anxiety
• improved decision making
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2. Create 3 characters that represent your ideal target prospects. Examples:
Claire didn’t know she had a problem. Well, that’s not exactly true –
– There were problems at work. She was bored, stuck, resenting her boss and co-workers. People didn’t get her ideas and she didn’t feel they respected her.
– The unhappiness at work was leading to binge activity. Binging on chocolate, cake and ice cream -comfort foods.
– Problems in her relationship with Bob . . .
Robert had his own problems and they were obvious to everyone.
– High blood pressure
– A notoriously short fuse.
– Frustration in growing his own business, feeling constantly pulled in a variety of directions. Working harder and harder but not getting anywhere.
Daughter Shyla
– Trouble in school because of instability at home.
– Loved dearly but she didn’t feel it.
– More worried than her parents realize.
– Self-esteem issues.
For each, life improves as stress is constantly addressed through meditation, with profound new
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discoveries about themselves – as a result relationships improve, so do financial and creative results.
3. Each message has two parts – at least 2 of your characters are in the message, and you address two issues. It works likes this –
Message One: Thank the customer, express excitement, and open the story which will demonstrate how people like your customer have faced and resolved issues with your product. Briefly introduce your characters.
Message Two: Introduce an open-loop story. Here’s “Bob”, here’s the situation, here’s his problem, here’s the implication of not resolving the problem, tune in next issue to see what happens.
Message 3-10: First part of message: “Bob resolves his problem using your product”, but (second part of message) “Sally” has a problem of her own – situation, problem, implication, tune in next issue to see what happens.
And at the end of the message I then tie in the product to ensure the connection is clear with the story.
And so it goes.
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Message # and TITLE
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The Most Overrated Metric Opt-in Rates
When I worked for Sedona Training initially we made an offer for a free demo cassette. All anybody had to do to receive that demo package was to give us their name and address.
We received about 250-300 requests per day. To fulfill those requests required one full-time employee and 2 part-timers. And we paid our affiliates $1.00 per signup.
We decided to change the offer to “Free Plus Shipping”. The package was still “free” but we began charging $4.95 for shipping and handling.
Initially we thought “Oh crap!” when daily requests dropped to 25-30 per day.
But guess what? Sales didn’t change. We sold just as many programs to the 25-30 as we were to the 250-300.
How can that be? Because anyone truly interested in the $229 program was willing to spend $4.95 for the demo.
And anyone who wasn’t willing to pony up $4.95? Seriously? They aren’t buying a $200 course.
But what about the smaller mailing list? This also meant we weren’t wasting money promoting ours, or other
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people’s, $200 courses to people who wouldn’t buy them anyway.
It slashed costs in a big way and it didn’t affect income, at all.
I tell you this story because I now look at opt-in rates through the same lenses. Opt-in rates are the most overrated, and least important, of the marketing metrics.
I want the best opt-in rate I can achieve but that rate has as much, probably more, to do with the quality of traffic as it does the offer.
If I mail my list and tell them to go opt-in to a new list for a free $100 product I’m going to have a killer opt-in rate. If I make the same offer to .02 per click traffic the opt-in rate might kill me.
The point here is that you need be clear on who you want on your lists, and who you don’t – all lists are not created equal.
That said – 30-35% with paid traffic is top-shelf killer. Below 10% and we have a problem. Anywhere in-between I’m working on better traffic, better ads, and a better opt-in offer.
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The One Thing
The secret of the one thing.
Marketing studies have been conducted which prove that the more options you give people, the less likely they are to take any action at all.
Joe Sugarman proved this point when he took on a project for a watch seller. They had nine models of watches they insisted be included in their ads.
Joe advised against this, yet they persisted.
He talked them into a “test” where they focused the ad on just one watch. They reluctantly agreed to try . . . and broke sales records with this new ad approach.
I’ve found affiliate success using the “Replace the Merchant” approach by applying this principle. When you discover a merchant placing a crazy number of purchase options on one page, you have a potential winner by picking one product from the crowd and focusing on that product only.
“The Secret of the One Thing” holds true when it comes to your landing pages too.
Each piece of marketing material you create should have ONE objective that stands above all others.
You will be tempted with the desire to go right for the commission.
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Patience is necessary; the commissions will come, you will convert at a higher rate of 2-3 times, and you will earn more down the road by selling to this one-time visitor over and over.
The focus of all landing pages should be to further the relationship.
How you further the relationship is up to you, but to be clear you’re looking for a relationship – not the marketing equivalent of a “quickie” – something ultimately only bragged about by boys who need to grow up.
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Only sell one action at a time. The more things you make people think about the less likely you are to succeed.
Only ask people to believe one thing at a time.
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Name It
Give your newsletter a name. That adds perceived value and helps it stand out.
Scrolling through my message box, almost nobody does this.
The worst might be Ebay’s “store-newsletter”. Most lists I belong to are using a business name, or personal name.
Notice the difference . . .
Bencivenga Bullets (not “Gary Bencivenga”)
How to Double Your Business (not “Glenn Livingston”)
JV Zoo Daily Pick (not “Brian Rose”)
Hack the Entrepreneur (not “Jon Nastor”)
A Holy Experience (not Ann Voskamp)
The name reminds me, and suggests, what’s inside. A few people, maybe like Gary Bencivenga, have enough name recognition with enough people but when you’re on 800 lists you forget names and why they interested you initially.
Not your name, definitely NOT employees or partners.
If you work with partners, never allow them to send email using their own name. For example, I’m on John Carlton’s list and he has a partner/employee named “Stan Dahl”. I have no idea who Stan is, and that makes the message appear as spam. It also lessens the Carlton brand, and could lead me to associate my affinity with Stan instead of John.
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How to Lose Your Ad Account
The biggest issue is with the claims made in the ads and on your site. If the focus is on an atypical result, you’ll have problems.
For example, “Lose 22 pounds in 14 Days”. If you look at those whose ads ARE running and you pay attention to how they’re selling you will learn a lot.
NutriSystems is running this ad:
There is no mention, nor claim, regarding how much anyone will lose in the ad, or the landing page. “Fast 5” is a clever way of implying you’ll lose 5 pounds the first week, but that’s only implied.
Break it down –
Headline: Call to action, includes offer. Description 1: Guaranteed weight loss – but no specific claim, and even if you could argue “5” is a claim it’s reasonable. Description 2: Bonus Savings – everyone gets that. Description 3: Money Back Guarantee – for everyone. Description 4: 150+ Menu Items – everyone gets that. Description 5: No measuring or counting – for everyone.
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If the focus of your offer is on specific weight loss numbers you’ll have problems. The same is true in the make money markets – the focus needs to be on the mechanisms, which is why software is a smart move, not on the potential results unless EVERYONE will experience that result.
Highlights and Things You Must Know from Google’s Rating Scale
In this first section Google determines “relevance” based on the interpretation of the search query – ie, what is this person looking for and what’s the closest thing to “official”, AND THEN to useful/helpful/up-to-date.
Vital
1) The dominant interpretation of the query is navigation, and the landing page is the target of the navigation query.
2) The dominant interpretation of the query is an entity (such as a person, place, business, restaurant, product, company, organization, etc.), and the landing page is the official webpage associated with that entity.
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The query must have a dominant interpretation.
Most Vital pages are very helpful. Please note that this is not a requirement for a rating of Vital, however. Some Vital pages are “official”, but not very helpful.
When dealing with a big business vital isn’t even a possibility for you and I. BUT with a smaller business there is potential with the “Replace the Merchant” approach. Just be careful using trademarks IN a domain, or sub-domain.
Useful
A rating of Useful is assigned to pages that are very helpful for most users. Useful pages should be high quality and a good “fit” for the query. In addition, they often have some or all of the following characteristics: highly satisfying, authoritative,
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entertaining, and/or recent (such as breaking news on a topic).
Useful pages are usually well organized and pages you trust. They are from information sources that seem reliable.
Useful information pages are not “spammy”.
Please note that more than one page can be rated Useful for a query.
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THIS is where your primary focus needs to be. Know this section.
Relevant
A rating of Relevant is assigned to pages that are helpful for many or some users. Relevant pages have fewer valuable attributes than were listed for Useful pages.
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Relevant pages should still “fit” the query, but they might be less comprehensive, less up-to-date, come from a less authoritative source, or cover only one important aspect of the query.
Relevant pages must be helpful for users, in addition to being on-topic. Relevant pages should not be low quality. Relevant pages are average to good.
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Slightly Relevant
A rating of Slightly Relevant is assigned to pages that are not very helpful for most users, but are somewhat related to the query. Slightly Relevant pages may be low quality and/or contain less helpful information. Slightly Relevant pages may serve a minor interpretation, have outdated information, be too specific, too broad, etc. to receive a higher rating.
A rating of Slightly Relevant should also be assigned to mobile landing pages (which are related to the query) that appear in regular URL rating tasks. Pages that are designed for mobile users are different from pages designed for regular desktop/laptop users.
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Pay close attention to the VERY FIRST example provided here – ezinearticles.com. This is where most in the IM crowd are playing the game (not the site, but the quality of information).
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Slightly Relevant is also appropriate for “superficially relevant” pages that are generally unhelpful to users. Slightly Relevant can also be used for very low quality “relevant” pages, as well as “shallow” pages, i.e. those that have little information or content.
Read this as “Made for Adsense”
Sometimes Slightly Relevant pages look nice, but have very little genuine, helpful content. These pages often have the query terms in the URL or in the title on the landing page (RED FLAG!!), which makes them appear to be more helpful than they really are. Some of these pages have many links and ads, without content to support them.
Some Slightly Relevant pages have copied content or repeated “key words”. Other Slightly Relevant pages have “unique” non-copied content, but the actual information is general and non-authoritative. Some of these pages warrant the Spam flag.
Please note that not all pages with copied content are considered “low quality”. The website www.answers.com contains content copied from Wikipedia.org and other dictionary and encyclopedia sites, but is not considered to be a low quality site because the content is well-organized and intended to be helpful for users. Similarly, there are pages on medical information sites that contain copied content. If the page is well-organized and appears to be designed to be helpful for users and not just to display ads for users to click on, it should be rated based on how helpful the content would be for users.
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Here are some examples of superficially relevant or shallow pages that should be rated Slightly Relevant.
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Off-Topic or Useless
Google’s words –
You will also come across pages that are so unhelpful (and possibly deceptive) that they should be rated Off-Topic or Useless.
For example, you may be given a page to rate that has links and ads and no actual content. The links redirect to other pages that lead to yet other links and ads.
When nothing on the page is helpful to the user, it should be rated Off-Topic or Useless. These pages usually warrant the Spam flag.
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Commercial Intent
These are taken from Google’s rating guide and any advertiser driving traffic to a page that violates these guidelines will be tagged with an egregious violation. Egregious violations lead to account termination. Thin Affiliates Any site that exists ONLY for generating sales as an affiliate, offering little to no useful value.
Bridge Pages
Parked (Expired) Domains
Possibly a big killer of Adwords accounts – if you have promoted a site in the past, then the domain expired and is now sitting in someone else’s possession with ads on the page, you will take that hit.
Pages with Unhelpful Content or PPC Ads Essentially the same as a thin affiliate, except the focus is on generating cash with Adsense-type ads. No useful value to the site. NOTE: It is now OK to drive traffic, using Adwords, to pages with Adsense on them as long as the page is USEFUL.
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List Recycler
Recycling means to run it through the cycle again, yeah?
We spend good time and money to get people to opt-in to a list. Some of those wankers decide to decide to unsubscribe and go.
Generally speaking, I say “Let ‘em.”
You see when people unsubscribe the email service provider moves them to an “unsubscribe” list until you do something with them.
Do NOT just delete.
Export the list of unsubscribers and use them to create a custom retargeting audience. I take those one-time subscribers and add them to a retargeting list to pitch related offers – and not the offer they came to me for.
They’re still viable leads, just not for the offer you originally interested them in.
Some scum bags out there take these unsubscribers and add them to in-house lists (or GetResponse, it seems), make up a new sender name, and spam the hell out of them – PLEASE MAN, DON’T DO THAT.
Quick tip though – before leaving a questionable list change your email address first. When hey export you, they’ll be exporting garbage.
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Facebook Pages and Groups
First, have you noticed how many people will follow a group if you just put cuss word in the name?
I Fucking Love Science! Big following.
Who’s following it if it’s just “I Love Science” or “Science is Cool”.
I think it panders to a lower level of thinking, but those people have money too!
That’s a digression, but grab the point that you can niche something down with a word that makes you stand out.
There are lots of interests on Facebook and to me it’s all for the point of building lists. I’m not going to spend all day entertaining people on social media.
And you just can’t automate “social”.
But you can build lists and you can automate showing them ads!
I have a page based on a celebrity and I just auto-post quotes from him. I’ve built a nice list, organically, and I run ads to that highly targeted list for related items.
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The Power of Images in Search
I don’t know how widespread this is because I can’t find the numbers.
But a few years ago I started seeing a lot of traffic coming to one of my properties looking for “happiness wallpaper”.
Huh? Well, I bought some PLR from Ronnie Nejmiah that included desktop wallpaper images with quotes on it. I uploaded those to my site for my visitors. I hadn’t considered any search potential.
Turns out three of those are the most visited pages on that site – over 1000 visits per month each.
And then over the last year or two I’ve noticed something different with my own search habits. I estimate that about 50% of the time I’m using “Image search” on Google as opposed to “Web search”.
I’ve found it’s faster, on many subjects, to look at images as opposed to descriptions.
We also know that Google rewards you for using unique images (they can tell uniqueness of images, just like they can tell with words).
So use unique images, but also use them with the knowing that some (and maybe a lot) of us are looking more and more at visual cues for our information.
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Now What?
Do you expect I’m going to sing you “Happy Trails”?
No way man.
This is just the beginning.
First, don’t forget we’re doing four webinars for you to cover some of the information in this Black Book that requires a deeper dive – specifically the models.
Second, I’m here to help. If you have questions get on the site and ask your questions.
Third, a Black Book is never really done. You add to it when you come across a killer idea. If you run across a killer idea, let me know. I’ll be sharing more of them on the site.
Fourth, when you log in look for the webinars, but also checklists and other training. Look at all the categorical stuff. We got stuff everywhere. We got so much stuff it begs for better organization but if you can find enough stuff to keep you happy and busy, you need help!
OK . . .
I appreciate you and as always if you need support, come get it at http://gotrythat.com/now/support
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