Home › Monthly Archives › June 2012

How Mind Maps Can Assist the Internet Marketer

A mind map is simply a visual thinking tool that shows you the bigger picture. It’s really helpful in creating a business plan or a marketing plan since there are often so many details and tasks.  Without difficulty you can see how everything fits together. Mind maps are ideal for creating, evaluating, and analyzing ideas.

Mind mapping is generally linked with the popular psychologist Tony Buzan.  It uses the concept of “radiant thinking” – that is, thoughts radiate out from a single idea, often expressed as an image. Branches flow backwards and forwards from and to the central idea.

Mind maps are similar to the older spider diagrams (but not the same).  The spiders were typically done on paper and in a hierarchical format and without color or the use of images. It is still useful to start with pen and paper.  But, if you are like me,  the main problem is that a mind map can easily get out of control and you run out of paper. On the other hand, virtual mind maps can be done online and there are no edges to run off. These are free web-based or desk top programs that allow you to add nodes and write text as you get ideas.

A very easy program to use is Text2Mindmap; you just simply enter the text.  It is limited, but does get you started.  I have used FreeMind which is open source, can be installed on your desktop, and is more flexible. My favorite free program is XMind, it just suits the way I work and is a desktop application as well.  The Brain is also good, but it is a more sophisticated map and organizational tool. Beyond that, there are several options with a free trial or limited use provision. The bottom line; there are simply a number of programs available with a variety of different features.  The important thing is use something that is easy and gives you the ability to quickly and freely note your ideas.  You don’t want to get bogged down with software.

Below is an example of a mind map for Facebook marketing.  It is not entirely complete but gives you an idea of how 5 minutes of your time can get you started:

FBMindMapHow a Mind Map Works

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The Clamour – Microsoft buys Yammer

Microsoft-YammerReports of Microsoft’s intended acquisition of Yammer have been buzzing around for the past two weeks.

Yammer – by definition is to complain peevishly; whine – that is likely not the case since Microsoft on Monday confirmed the rumored $1.2 billion acquisition of B2B social networking firm Yammer.  The Microsoft-Yammer deal follows several other recent enterprise software purchases centered on social media.  Salesforce.com , a San Francisco’s based firm, increased its social-marketing resources through its purchase of Buddy Media Inc. earlier this month, and Redwood City’s Oracle Corp. just recently purchased two companies – Vitrue Inc. and Collective Intellect Inc. These firms assist the management and evaluation of data on social-media sites.

Yammer is an enterprise social network, providing a secure way for employees to communicate, collaborate, and share information.  The business, which is four years old and has five million users, operates like Facebook for communication within companies.  Employees using Yammer can discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also provides a company directory in which every employee has a profile.  What’s more the service makes available a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced. Continue reading »

Choosing the Right Domain Names

Domain namesChoosing the Right Domain Names

Selling domain names has become an incredibly lucrative business and it’s not hard to see why. A domain is the equivalent of a business’ street address online and it has been discovered that many people tend to type in their query into their browser bar rather than run a search, meaning the value of the right domain name is incredibly high. Thus, if one knows how to choose the right domain names, they can make a sizeable profit. But, how does one go about choosing domain names to ensure a profit?

Keep It Short and Sweet

Domain names that are short will always bring a higher profit simply because they are easier to remember, especially in casual conversation. Everyone wants a simple domain name that is easy to remember because it increases the likelihood of direct traffic, in other words people typing the address right into their browser bar instead of running a search.

So, the shorter the domain name and the easier it is to remember, the more attractive it will be to potential buyers.

Avoid Separators

Continuing along the lines of a domain name that is easy to remember, you need to avoid using separators in the name you choose. In other words, portablecomputers.com is much more valuable than portable_computers.com. First of all, people are likely to forget the separator when they type the address in, which will lead them to a different site. Secondly, it is simpler to mention a URL without a separator in casual conversation and certainly easier to remember. Continue reading »

Finally, Facebook to let you edit comments!

Edit Facebook CommentsHave you ever delivered that clever comeback to someone’s Facebook post only to realize that it contains the kind of typo that makes you look like a colossal blockhead?

Well, in the past…if you were quick you could edit a comment immediately after posting it. If you clicked the delete button within several seconds of posting, the text would be editable again. However, if another person commented before you clicked the delete button; the edit option was no longer available.  Guess what…I normally realized it well after the fact and remained a blockhead.

No longer! Step 1: Facebook is finally rolling out a new feature that really should have been here from beginning. Facebook has announced that it is rolling out the ability for you to edit your comments. That means if you leave the great comment on someone’s post and make a mistake, you can go back in and fix any mistakes you may have made.  For instance, you told your favorite gal that she looked very hippy…of course you meant to say happy.

I say Step 1 because as I understand it there’s no comment editing yet on embeddable comments. Also, you still cannot edit original posts, which would be tremendously helpful. While this update is less than revolutionary, it is certainly the first step.

This is just one of the features that I really liked about Google+, since you could essentially live blog with it and fix mistakes and commenter’s are able to adjust their comments and save the changes.

The edit option appears in the form of a small pencil icon on the right side of your comment. Clicking on the pencil will bring up a drop-down menu the option to edit your comment as well as the option to delete it entirely.

But don’t think you can go back in time and completely change your position, view, or arguments to look good and get away with it. Facebook will include a new Edited link between the time of the post and the Like link on the comment. If you click on the Edited link, a pop-up window will appear that lists all changes to the comment. So a user can glance through the edit history.Facebook comments

The time on the comment will change to match the most recent edit. However, the user that originally received a notification about the comment will not receive another notification about the edit. So, you can go back three months and make a change, but it is doubtful that anyone will notice.

Celebrate Facebook fans! Your (favorite, ok, chosen, can’t stand…you pick) social media giant has just got a whole lot more user friendly.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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Can You Make Money Selling Domain Names?

Domains for SaleCan You Make Money Selling Domain Names?

With so many ways to make money online and the majority of them being highly dependent on having a good URL, it’s not surprising that domain names have become a highly valued commodity. Thus, many entrepreneurs have come to the conclusion that reselling domains can be highly profitable. So, while you can make money from domain speculation, you need to understand that it is also a risky business.

The Risks of Selling Domain Names

Going into business selling domain names will automatically require an initial investment. The amount you invest can be as little as $50 but you have to remember there is no guarantee the domains you purchase will sell, let alone for a profit.

Of course, you can do a lot to increase your chances of making a profit by making sure you choose domain names with potential, but even then there is no certainty that you will find someone willing to pay you to purchase the domain from you.

So, this is why it is imperative that you don’t go into the business of selling domain names if you don’t have an alternate source of income, at least at first. It will take a while for you to learn what works and what doesn’t and if you give up your day job right away, you could find yourself in dire straits.

Even established domain speculators will tell you that they have periods when nothing sells and that they’ve also bought tons of domains they couldn’t sell or had to sell at a loss, especially if they paid a premium for them. The key is to have realistic expectations.

Realistic Expectations Are Essential

No business will be profitable right out of the gate, which is why you need to set realistic goals and expectations. You’ll see domains being sold for huge amounts of money but you have to remember that for every domain that sells for $10,000, for example, there are thousands that sell for under $50 and these are just the ones being sold by resellers.

So, you need to be realistic and understand that finding a domain that will make you rich overnight is highly unlikely. In fact, many of your sales will probably be well under the $50 mark but even so, that is still an excellent profit on something you paid less than $10 for.

Reselling domain names can be a great business but you need to be prepared that not everything you buy will sell and that you won’t become rich overnight. As long as your expectations are realistic, though, and you do your research properly when it comes to picking domain names, you have a much better chance of developing a sustainable business that will generate a profit for you in the long term. You can find out exactly how to do that here Precise Strategy’s Domain Flipping Blueprint.  Or, get started with a free review Fast Cash With Domain Names.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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Blog Traffic

Blog TrafficI have a quick question for you:

“If your utility bill was due and you knew that you had to earn just another few dollars to take care of it, which one of the following choices you would pick to give you the better odds at making money with blogging?”

A. Entertain your audience and pray they donate pocket change or click on an ad sense ad to support your cause. Or…

B. Solve a SPECIFIC problem your target audience will be happy to pay you to fix from your blog.

If you’re like most people, of course the logical answer is “option B”, but the hidden and unspoken answer is “option A”. Here’s why:

When most people think of blogging, they assume if they write what they’re passionate about, money will magically show up from nowhere to pay expenses and buy fancy vacations. Yet, the truth is…

If YOU don’t offer your customers something to help them gain pleasure or escape pain, you’re not going to make a dime. And, it all goes back to basic fundamental truths about marketing — even with something as personal as a blog.

Don’t be mistaken…

I’m not saying you “shouldn’t” blog about what you want.  Just understand that, unless you’re in a target market where people are known to spend money — you won’t make very much if your goal is to crack jokes and entertain your audience.

Listen, people read blogs for relief from boredom, but selling entertainment alone is a little tricky because the expectation on the web for people who look for entertainment is “free, free, free”. Just look at what record companies and movie studios are dealing with right now in piracy.

A key success trait in many successful bloggers is having a solid understanding of who your market is, how they’ll find you, and what problems you solve for them.

So that basic fundamental aside, increasing traffic to your blog website is a top priority.

While it might seem like an intimidating task, there are actually some easy ways to increase your website’s traffic on a consistent basis.

Advertising

Assuming that you are solving a problem and have something folks would purchase, buying blog traffic is surely one way to increase the number of visitors to your blog.  You can do this through pay per click ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, or other types of advertising on various ad and publisher networks.

While this is a straightforward and undemanding path to more traffic, it does have a number of downsides.

First, the only way to maintain the increased blog traffic is to maintain your spend.  You must continue spending money and many internet-based businesses simply don’t have the available cash.

In addition, some advertisers have found that the quality of the traffic that they buy is not always as good as they might hope. You will need to manage and test your campaigns and advertising budget.

Getting a thousand new visitors to your website isn’t worth very much if none of them buy anything or sign up for your mailing list.

Fortunately, you can increase your traffic – long term traffic – without having to spend any money.

Consistent Content

The first way to improve your traffic is simply to continue updating your blog or website with quality content on a regular and ordered basis.

If you are not publishing a new blog post at least once a week (this is at a minimum), then you aren’t going to attract the same degree of attention from Google and the other search engines.

In addition, unless you are publishing new information frequently enough it makes it less likely that your visitors will come back to your website again.  It is worthwhile to note that the recent Google Penguin algorithm announced in late April does have a focus on new- not duplicate content.

Actively Comment

One more way to improve traffic to your website is to become active on other websites and blogs that are associated with your particular line of business.  The clear-cut way is to comment on the blog posts and articles that appear on those other websites.

Do this properly.  It is critical that you post substantive comments that relate directly to the article.   Do not simply say something like – “Super article! Please visit my blog here: [LINK]”.  This will only make you look cheesy and diminish your potential.  When visitors to those other websites see objective and pertinent comments, the will eventually recognize you as knowledgeable on the subject will be more likely visit your site. Here is a good and free resource Leveraging Other Peoples Blog Traffic.

It is important to use some discretion and thought when you are identifying the other blogs that you might want to become an active participant.   Focus on those sites that allow you to comment using a Facebook, Disqus, Google+ or similar accounts. Use the social media services to broadcast your opinions….it is a bit like free advertising within a targeted market.

The other advantage is that if someone is interested in learning more about you, they can simply click your picture or name and view your online Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn profile.  Whatever account you’re using or service that you are registered with, they can easily see the website or business you are connected with.

Properly developing yourself, your blog/business, and your professional identity on the internet is an investment and does take some time.  However, it is likely to be one of the easiest, and without a doubt one of the most successful, long-term ways to increase traffic to your business.

You must always be thinking ahead.  The combination of quality, consistent, new content, with a modest effort in advertising is an excellent starting point.  Take into account that your market or your business will likely change and expand over time so building traffic exclusively to a single site, connected to a single offering, supported by particular focused advertising might not be as valuable as getting people to follow you for your expertise and integrity.

Once you create that type of following, whether you move on to the next generation of your product, expand your market, or develop your next business – you’ll already have an ‘en suite’ audience and large amount of traffic.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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Membership Websites ─The Best Internet Business Model?

Membership SitesWith the information highway opening doors to so many new places for Internet users, consumers are now able to find what they want when they want it at the click of a button. While they’re at it, they can also join membership sites to get the information they want on a regular basis to feed the never-ending need for ‘MORE’.

Because of the popular demand from these hungry consumers, an excellent choice of business is the humble membership site… Therefore one of my latest training packages focuses on creating and starting up a profitable membership site business.

It is an insightful training package that teaches the novice exactly how to get started with a membership site business, and provide fresh content to engage members and keep them paying for more each month.

I would hope that by reading this guide, you’ll learn how easy it is to get started — even if you thought it was something beyond your capabilities… Because I guarantee you it’s NOT!  You can get a free report that will provide an initial understanding at Turn Your Content Into $1000s Per Month!

For now, one of the biggest mistakes I see most membership site owners make is they TRY to sell a membership site — and no one wants to join it even if it were wrapped up in a pretty pink bow and tossed under a Christmas tree.

Bottom-line, if you’re trying to sell a recurring problem (monthly payments to you in your bank account), you better have the goods to “back it up” and make THAT problem look like nothing compared to the problem you’re helping them solve in your membership site.

It doesn’t matter if you want to create a membership site in the stock, make money from home, golfing, weight loss, weight gain, or dating market — these 3 CORE fundamentals apply to any niche market:

Fundamental 1: “Give Away FREE Stuff” — Not just any stuff. Good stuff. Stuff related to your target market via a squeeze page to collect email addresses for future updates and promotions.

Give them a “no-strings-attached” relationship and simply offer to help them ease the pain of their problem by opting in for a free video, report, or consultation.

Fundamental 2: “Make Your Offer Irresistible” — If you got the guts (and I know you do), you will stand by your membership and take virtually ALL the risk off the potential customer.

How do you do this? Simple. Give them a 14-30 day risk-free $1 trial. This shows a few things. One of which is “confidence” and a strong psychological belief that you have the solution to their problem.

Fundamental 3: “Deliver MASSIVE Content” — also known as, “over-delivering”. If you want to make the best money, you have to strive to want to be one of the best.

No. Not the best in the world. But the best in the marketplace, and believe me, getting to be the best at this is NOT as hard as you think — if you’re willing to take it to that level.

Price Methods to Maximize

The price you charge to join your membership will MAKE or BREAK you, or earn you a monthly income — almost that quickly.

I’ve seen people who have the highest quality content, the BEST marketing campaign, and have the strongest target niche market who will devour everything they touch fail.

Why, because if you get the pricing wrong, it could turn into a disaster just as fast as you thought it would be a surefire homerun.

If it’s “too high”, it’ll put potential members off (especially when compared to other places where the content may be of higher or better quality).

It’ it’s “too low”, you might get a ton of subscribers but will barely break-even and marketing costs will eat into your profit margins.

Solution?  Do your homework, realistically asked yourself what your market would be willing to pay and then…TEST! TEST! AND TEST SOME MORE!

“Okay”, you would say. “Other than the obvious, what other solutions will maximize my membership subscriptions and keep profits high without my sacrificing subscriber base?

Good question.

Here’s a couple pricing guidelines I discovered to boost subscriber rates and increase profits at the same time below:

Price Guideline 1: “Exclusive Content Rules” — And…the more exclusive it is, the more you can charge (supply & demand). You’ve seen examples of this with consistently winning stock traders like Timothy Sykes or Vince Stanzione.

Price Guideline 2: “Beware Of Psychological Price Barriers” — It’s better to charge $14.95 than $15, or $19.95 instead of $20.

Don’t ask why. I don’t know. All I DO know is that it “works” and, the difference is small, yet significant enough to mention here.

Also, and I mentioned it earlier….

You can offer “trials”, but make sure you get CREDIT card details (not debit) and tell the customer before the trial starts they agree to pay AFTER the trial is over unless you receive written instruction NOT to do so.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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