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Why Negative Social Proof Does NOT Work

We are all familiar with social proof – placing positive testimonials on your sales pages and websites to show what others think of our products. However, there is a form of social proof used by many marketers that actually backfires and causes sales to drop dramatically, and it’s what they call “negative” social proof.

Why Negative Social Proof Does NOT Work

It works like this: You want to create a sense of urgency, so you say something like, “A lot of people have missed out on this, and you do NOT want to be one of them.” Or “Only a handful of people who read this letter will be smart enough to grab this offer before it’s too late.”

The problem is, you’re indicating that a lot of people are not buying the product. And since people tend to look to others for indications of what to do, this kind of social proof will actually encourage prospects to follow the lead of the majority and not make the purchase.

If you read the book Yes!, you’ll see Robert Cialdini’s experiment where he measured the effects of signs posted in the Arizona Petrified Forest to prevent theft of petrified wood. They tested 3 different signs, and the one that included negative social proof actually INCREASED theft.

The sign read, “Many past visitors have removed the petrified wood from the park, destroying the natural state of the Petrified Forest.” This sign actually TRIPLED the amount of theft because it demonstrated to readers that other people were already stealing, thereby making it seem alright for them to steal as well.

Here are more examples of negative social proof:

“This year Americans will produce more litter and pollution than ever before.” Potential result in thinking: It’s okay to litter, everybody’s doing it.

“35% of sexually active teens do not always use condoms.” Potential result in thinking: I don’t have to use a condom if I don’t feel like it.

“4 years ago, over 22 million single women did not vote.” Potential result in thinking: They didn’t bother to vote, why should I?

“50% of women report being harassed in the workplace.” Potential result in thinking: Lots of other men are doing it, I’ll do it too.

However well intentioned those messages may be, as you can see they are likely to have the exact opposite effect than what was intended.

So for example, if you’re marketing something to enhance the security of a WordPress blog, do not say “80% of WordPress owners unintentionally leave their websites wide open to hacking.” If you’re selling an SEO product, do not say “90% of website owners do no SEO whatsoever.”

If you’re selling a diet product, do not say “90% of overweight people will never lose the excess weight.” And if you’re selling a dating product for people over 40, do not say “Most single people over 40 have given up looking for their ideal mate.”

How can you avoid negative social proof? Don’t focus on how common the undesirable behavior is. Instead, show that it is rare and practiced only by social outcasts. Emphasize (where appropriate) that the behavior is:

– Illegal
– Subject to penalties
– Immoral
– Reprehensible
– Irresponsible
– Stupid
– Outdated and no longer acceptable
– (And best of all) Universally scorned.

By doing this, you can make negative social proof work for you rather than against you.

You might want to look over any sales material you have, and make sure you haven’t inadvertently used negative social proof. Just because 80% of marketers have unintentionally used it at least once doesn’t mean you should. 😉

And if you didn’t catch that last bit of negative social proof, you might want to reread this article again.

You’re Doing Affiliate Marketing All Wrong

What’s the easiest way to make money online, without having to create a product or a sales page? Affiliate marketing, of course. 🙂

So, why is it that most affiliate marketers never make nearly what they could make? Anyone has the potential to make HUGE money in affiliate marketing, yet 90% or more of affiliates make a pittance (I’ll wager the number is closer to 98%, in fact.)

You’re Doing Affiliate Marketing All Wrong

Think about this: If you earn an average of $50 on each sale in a sales funnel you promote, and you make 6 sales, you’ve made $300. Sounds good, right?

But guaranteed, there is someone else who made 600 sales and walked away with $30,000.

Why did they make 600 sales when you made just 6?

There are reasons why a handful of affiliate marketers do amazingly well, and everyone else barely makes a profit.

And marketers who understand this will always have a tremendous advantage over marketers who don’t.

1: Build a Relationship

I know you’ve heard it before, but are you doing it? People buy people, not products.

If you want them to open your email and click your link, or visit your Facebook Group and click a link, you’ve got to have a RELATIONSHIP with your people.

This is so simple to do, yet few marketers take the time.

Start with a blog post that is all about you, and then send new opt-ins to the post so they can get to know you. Make the post silly, funny and most of all REAL. Talk about the stupid stuff you’ve done, the mistakes you’ve made, where you live and so forth.

Do you have a strange hobby or unusual taste in food? Include that. Do you have 17 pets? Talk about them. Do you work until 3 in the morning and sleep until noon? Mention that.

Reveal the real you. Not the details people don’t want, but the ones that amuse and interest. You’re looking to make a real connection, not give a resume.

And above all else, don’t make your life seem like a series of magnificent accomplishments. No one is going to relate to someone who turns everything they touch into gold.

But they are going to relate to the time you bought Bitcoin when it was worthless and sold it just before it took off, or the time you thought you could fly and jumped off your uncle’s barn into the manure pile.

And don’t stop with your ‘about me’ page, either. Use this relationship building in your lead magnet, your emails, your other blog posts and so forth.

Always inject a little bit about yourself. Not so much that you bore people, of course, or make everything seem about you. But just enough to keep it real.

Think about relating an event to a friend. Aren’t you going to give your own perceptions of what happened, as well as tell about how you got out of your car and stepped in the mud puddle just before your big presentation?

Use this same method of personal, one-on-one friend communication with your readers as well.

Post on your blog as often as possible, and we’re talking every day or two. Encourage your list to subscribe to Feedburner or the equivalent so they know when you add a new post.

Your readers will realize you’re a real person who isn’t out to pitch them a new product every 5 minutes. And they’ll gladly read your sales emails much more readily when they know there is a real live human being who is sending them these messages.

2: Use Your Own Voice

How many emails do you receive that say something along the lines of, “Buy this product – this product is the greatest product ever – you will be sorry if you miss this – so rush right over and buy it now.”

Yeah. Same old stuff, over and over again.

There is a marketer (or maybe several, but I’m thinking of one in particular) who sells MASSIVE quantities of this exact type of emails as a swipe file to new marketers.

Like a brand-new marketer couldn’t write their own 25 word email that basically says, “GO BUY THIS NOW!”

People are TIRED of getting these emails. You’re tired of getting these emails. I’m tired of getting these emails.

Same phrases, same message, same B.S.

If you’re not going to stand apart from the crowd, then you’re going to have to share the same crumbs they’re getting.

Instead, take 30 minutes and write your own promotional email in your own voice.

Forget hype. Be sincere. Be honest. “Hey, this product isn’t for everyone. I don’t even know if it’s for you. But if you have this problem, then maybe this is your solution. Check it out and decide if it’s right for you, because I know it’s worked like crazy for some people. And it’s on sale right now, too.”

I’ve written emails where I basically tell people not to buy something unless they really really want it or need it. “Don’t buy this if you already know how to do xyz.” “Don’t buy this if you’re not going to be doing this type of marketing.” This is only for people who want (fill in the blank.) It’s like I’m trying to talk them out of it, which paradoxically often results in more sales, not fewer.

But the point isn’t tricking them into buying; it’s to be honest. Because you know what? That latest, greatest product you’re promoting ISN’T what everyone on your list needs. Some of them, sure. The rest of them, no.

Do you have any idea how refreshing it is to open an email that says, “Here’s a new product, thought you might want to know, but please don’t buy it if you’re not going to use it.”

The first time I got an email like that, I bought the product without even reading the sales letter. True story. I was just so happy that someone wasn’t ramming a sale down my throat, that I jumped at the chance to buy it.

Weird but true.

My point is, be you. Be honest. Talk to your readers as though they are your best friends and you don’t want to lose your best friends by acting like a carnival barker who is here today and pulled up stakes (vanished) tomorrow with their money.

3: Email a LOT

This is the one where people like to argue with me, and I understand that.

You’ve heard over and over again that you shouldn’t email too often, or you’ll upset your subscribers, right?

After all, every time you email, there is the potential that a subscriber will hit the unsubscribe button.

Do you know what the potential is when you DON’T email? Nothing. No opens, no clicks, no sales… not even any relationship building.

Do you want people to open and read your emails? Then send out those emails EVERY DAY.

Here’s why:

First, almost no one will see every email you send out. Let’s say you’ve got a sale on one of your products. Don’t you think your readers might like to know about it? But if they miss the one and only email you send that lets them know, then they’ve missed out on the discount and you LOST a sale.

Second, send emails at different times. I opened someone’s email just yesterday, decided I was VERY interested in the new membership he was selling, clicked the link and discovered it was no longer available.

What happened? This particular marketer only sends out emails at 1:00 a.m. my time, so I don’t even see most of his emails in the avalanche of mail I get before I wake up.

Third, if you’re sending email once a week or once a month, your readers are forgetting who the heck you are. And when you finally do send an email, they think it’s spam.

Fourth, if you mail more often, you will make more money. Don’t take my word on this, just do it for one month. Send out one email per day, every day, for 30 days. Put a promotion in each one. See if you haven’t made more – a LOT more – money during that time period than during the previous month.

And by the way, I’m not saying JUST send out a promotion in each email. Make sure you have some content in there as well, even if it’s just an amusing anecdote.

4: Think of affiliate marketing as a BUSINESS

This isn’t a hobby, nor is it an add-on for an additional income stream.

Even if you go on vacation, be prepared to send out an email every day. Schedule them in advance or write them on vacation. Either way, affiliate marketing to your list is a business that you can’t just jump into when you need cash and forget about the rest of the time.

You don’t have many support issues, since the product owners handle this. You don’t have to worry about creating products, sales pages and so forth. You don’t have to drive traffic, unless it’s to build your list bigger.

With so much you don’t have to do, there’s no reason not to focus your time and energy into building relationships with your list and promoting to them every single day.

Affiliate marketing can be some of the easiest money you’ve ever made, if you put in the time and effort to make it a real business.

10 Attention-Getting Email Subject Lines

Successful email marketing starts with getting the attention of your subscribers. If you don’t nail it on the subject line, there’s little chance your subscriber will open your email.

10 Attention-Getting Email Subject Lines

When you’re stumped for what to say in the subject line to get your next email opened and read, refer to this handy guide to demand attention and boost your email open rates.

The Big Benefit: You already know to emphasize benefits over features, but are you placing your biggest benefit in your subject lines? Try it and if the benefit matches a major desire of your list, you’ll likely see your open rate go through the roof.

How-to: This one is easy and effective – use your subject line to indicate you’re going to reveal how to do something they are likely to want to do. “How to lose 5 pounds today,” “How to make $100 this afternoon,” etc.

The Urgency Factor: Create some anxiety and get your email opened. You can do this two different ways – first by showing your subscribers what they gain by taking immediate action, such as gaining a free Kindle book today only. Second by demonstrating what they lose if they don’t act, such as losing entry into a program that is closing shortly.

The Numbered List: There is something almost magical about using numbers in subject lines and headlines, plus it gives you a road map to write the content that follows. For example: “Top 10 reasons why you’re doing email marketing all wrong” or “5 ways to get your children to behave.”

Keyword Bait: If you’ve built a targeted list, then there are certain keywords that will likely get your emails opened by that list. For example, if your list is made up of horse lovers, then you’re going to want words like horse, colt, foal, mare, riding, etc. in most of your emails since they act as triggers for your readers.

Discover Astounding Secrets: Benefits plus curiosity are always a winner. Use words such as discover, secrets, amazing, astonishing, etc.

Ask a question: A question irresistibly compels the reader to think and answer. “Is he the right man for you?” “Would personal coaching help you achieve your goals?”

The Eyebrow Raiser: If you can get them intrigued enough to raise an eyebrow, they will open your email. For example: “Why chickens are master gardeners,” “The couch potato’s guide to weight loss” and “5 foods that make you LOSE weight.”

The Story Starter: Everybody loves a good story, so if your subject line sounds like it’s leading into a story, people will click it. “This morning my son asked me where babies come from” and “My client got blistering angry when”

The Curiosity Raiser: You’re not telling them much of anything in the subject line, yet you still make them curious enough to open it. How? By raising their curiosity. “This is B.S.,” “Never again,” “What was I thinking?,” etc.

Next time you want to send an email, refer back to this list and try out some of these proven subject line tips to get more of your messages opened, read and acted upon.

Proven Idea to Make Quick Money Online

If you’re in the IM niche, you probably get the same emails I do asking: “I need to make money YESTERDAY, what do you recommend?”

Proven Idea to Make Quick Money Online

Or maybe you need some extra money for a project you’re working on right now, or you’ve got an unexpected bill.

Here’s a method I sometimes suggest for earning a quick $500 or $1,000, and what people seem to like about it is how simple and straight forward it is.

Ask yourself what skills and knowledge you posses right now. Maybe you can write really well, or you’re good at building WordPress sites. Maybe you’re a graphic artist, or a photographer or videographer. Maybe you’ve got great people skills and you can act as an affiliate manager or set up joint ventures. Perhaps you can coach people on how to do something specific, or teach them how to find the perfect virtual assistant. I guarantee you have at least one skill or piece of knowledge that others are willing to pay for.

“But I don’t have a skill!” Really? Then you need to find dynamite outsourcers who do have skills you can market. You must find something that others are willing to pay for, and that’s usually a skill and sometimes simply a piece of very valuable knowledge.

Once you’ve identified your skill, set up a web page offering that skill for hire. A simple blog site will do, preferably on your own domain. Check out other similar websites to get ideas on how to set yours up.

Find blogs that are relevant to your skill and allow guest bloggers. For example, if you’re really good at writing engaging blog posts, find blogs about blogging. If you can troubleshoot antique engines over the phone, then find blogs about old cars. These blogs should have a bare minimum of 5,000 readers a month, and be sure they already allow guest posting.

Now write articles that provide awesome content for these blogs. Study each blog and write an article just for them that solves a problem or tells how to do something that is totally relevant to your particular skill. For example, if your skill is article writing, you’re going to tell them how to write the perfect article. If your skill is photographing products, then that’s what you’ll teach. Don’t worry about giving away all your secrets – some people would much rather hire a professional than do the work themselves. Link back to your website in the author’s box.

Don’t know if you spotted it, but there is a flaw in the steps above and here it is…

It can sometimes take WEEKS to get your guest blog post published. How do you speed up the process? One way is to link whatever you are writing about with something that is current in the news, preferably in the last 12 to 48 hours. You might need to get a little creative here but if you can pull it off then blog owners will be racing to publish your post. For example, if you’re a sales letter copywriter and the FTC just handed down new rules for what you can and cannot say in your sales copy, you’re golden.

Another trick for getting published quickly is to provide dynamite graphics, pictures or even infographics to go with your article. In fact, your infographic could even BE your article. And don’t forget to politely make a good case to the blog owners on why they should consider publishing your article as quickly as possible.

Continue writing articles and getting them published until the orders start coming in or your phone starts ringing.

The entire process could take as little as 48 hours or as long as 10 days, depending on how fast you get those first blog posts published.

Added benefit – you’ll make more business connections which can continue to benefit you in the future.

Keep Your Brain Happy to Enjoy Success

The New Year is upon us – time to talk about your goals, right? Goals are important, yes… But I’d like to focus for a moment on one of the real drivers that will allow you to achieve all of your 2019 ambitions, whatever they might be: Keeping Your Brain Happy so it can help you to accomplish your tasks and see your intentions through to success.

Keep Your Brain Happy to Enjoy Success

We all know what it’s like to try to try to work when our brain is in a fog or just doesn’t want to cooperate with us. We feel like we can’t get it in gear, like everything takes too long and the end result is sadly lacking.

Just like any other part of the body, brains can get tired. Suffering from cerebral fatigue results in a lack of new ideas, poor thinking, lousy problem solving and can even be a cause of depression.

Here then are 12 tips to keep your brain refreshed, energized and happy:

1. Mix it up. It’s just common sense that if you spend hour after hour on the same task, you’re going to get burned out. So instead of writing articles for 8 hours straight, try writing articles for 2 hours, researching your next product for an hour, returning emails for an hour, etc.

2. Don’t multi-task important stuff. Sure, you can listen to the radio while you’re doing the dishes, but that’s because neither one requires your full attention. When doing something important like learning a new skill from a webinar or working on your next product, don’t be checking email or the score of the game. By not multi-tasking you’ll accomplish more in less time, and your quality of work will be better, too.

3. Stand up and move around. If you can, get one of those standing work desks and use it at least half the time. If you alternate between standing and sitting you’ll find that you’re more alert and your brain works better.

4. Take a quick break every 20 minutes or so. 20 minute “bursts” of work followed by 2-3 minutes of non-work can make you productive and keep you and your brain energized. BEST: Do something physical on these short breaks like push-ups, sit-ups or deep knee bends.

5. Engage your senses. Use some peppermint or orange oil to wake you up. Make your work space interesting to look at with thought-provoking art. Use colored paper and pens. Get a worry stone or some kind of object you like to hold and pick this up for tactile stimulation when you’re thinking through a problem.

6. Relax for 10 minutes every 90 – 120 minutes. Take 10 minutes off to meditate, walk around the block or work on a puzzle. Your brain will love this.

7. Work when your brain wants to work. Everyone has their own circadian rhythm. Some people are morning people, others are night owls, and many fall in between. Find out what time of day is your most productive and then schedule that time for your most intense and important work.

8. Prioritize. Work on your most important task first, when your brain is at its freshest. Getting this task done first will also give you a much needed feeling of accomplishment and free you up to focus on smaller goals and tasks.

9. Work less, play more. Seriously, if you’re working 100 hours a week then I suspect you’re only doing 50 hours worth of work. Think about it – how much of your time is truly devoted to working, and how much is devoted to “getting ready to work?” Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by emails, games, news, weather, etc.

Instead focus yourself on getting your tasks done as quickly as possible, and then leave your computer, leave your office and go do something totally unrelated to work. While you are out “playing” your brain will be rejuvenating. One unexpected benefit to this is you’ll find your brain becomes more creative and a much better problem solver when it gets periods of rest, relaxation and diversion from work.

10. Take a weekly vacation. No, I’m not kidding. Getting away once a week does wonders for every part of you, especially your brain. And you don’t have to leave your area to take a vacation. Go someplace locally you’ve never been to, take a class, go to events, spend the day walking downtown or in the woods, etc.

Is the weather terrible and you don’t want to leave home? Then grab that book you’ve got of nature photographs or travel shots and sit in a comfortable chair and transport yourself to the exotic places you see in the photos. In terms of benefits to the brain, it’s almost as good as being there.

11. Exercise. I’m not going to tell you all the reasons why you should exercise here – you probably already know them. And one of the biggest reasons is because when you exercise, your brain works better. You think better and more clearly. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if people who regularly exercise improve their IQ scores – it’s already been proven to increase memory and comprehension.

12. Feed your brain. Good nutrition is vital to your brain’s well being. If you’re eating processed foods or junk foods, you’re starving your brain. If you’re eating things like fresh fruits and vegetables and fish, then you’re feeding your brain. Don’t believe me? Cut out all junk food and processed food for one week. Add in fish oils or fish, along with plenty of veggies and some fruits. See if you don’t notice a massive difference in both the way you feel and how well your brain functions.

Be good to your brain and it will help you reach your goals this year, and beyond!

My New Year’s Present to You – Your Own Money Making Machine

I could have sent you a fruitcake this Holiday season to thank you for being a loyal subscriber and reader, but I think you’d appreciate something with more enduring value. So instead I’m giving you the gift that keeps giving – your own money generating system.

2019

As you (hopefully) have already discovered, making money online isn’t difficult, but it does take some knowledge and the ability to put that knowledge to work.

I’m going to outline a rather simple and straight forward system that I believe anyone can use to make income. It can be scaled up as large as you like, depending on how much time you want to put into it and what you want out of it. And it’s easy enough for even new marketers to do.

Mind you, this is not my invention, but rather a system that has been working for many marketers for years. It’s not a shiny new bauble – instead, it’s a proven method that brings home the paycheck week in and week out – if you put in the time and effort required.

Ready? Let’s get started.

1. Choose your niche. I’m going to make it easy for you here by recommending that you choose one of the following 3 niches: Money and finance, health and fitness, or relationships and dating. All three are evergreen and bring in a ton of money.

For purposes of this training, we’re going to focus on health, because I believe it’s truly the easiest of the 3 niches in which to make money. True, there’s plenty of competition, but that won’t really be a factor for what we’re doing. That’s because people who are desperate for a health related solution such as alleviating pain or losing weight are ready to make a purchase now.

Google “most common illnesses” and you’ll find acne, allergies, ADHD, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bad breath, bursitis, etc. And that’s just a few from the A’s and B’s. $320 billion is spent on prescription drugs in the U.S. alone each year, and that doesn’t include over the counter medications and remedies.

This is a HUGE market full of desperate buyers. So forget selling granny square patterns or children’s bedtime stories for now – focus on where the money is.

And if you want to focus on money or relationships, those are always hot, hungry markets as well.

2. Choose a product to sell. This is going to be your One Time Offer after they opt in to your squeeze page. Most people will tell you to create your free report, then create your squeeze page, and then find an OTO to offer after they opt in.

This is good advice. After all, they found your squeeze page, they filled out the form and they pressed the button – they are eager for a solution to their problem! Logically this is the time to offer it to them.

But I do things just a bit differently. I find the product I’m going to be promoting as my OTO first. Preferably I also find a second, similar product to use as my back up, in case the owner of the first product pulls it (yes, it happens.) The reason I find the product first is because I want to tailor my squeeze page and my free report to that EXACT topic.

For example, if my OTO is how to cure adult acne, I will write my report on ADULT acne, not teenage acne. But if I had done things the way most people do, I could have had a report on teenage acne and an OTO on adult acne. Sure it’s the same problem, but it’s two entirely different markets and my conversion rate on the OTO would have been terrible. That’s why you want to find the product you’re going to be promoting as your OTO first.

What product should you choose? Here are criteria to look for:

* Low price – something less than $15 is ideal because it becomes an impulse purchase. And that’s exactly what you need here, because you haven’t yet established a lot of credibility with your new list member.

* Excellent product – you’ve got to buy the product and make sure it really delivers on whatever it promises. This is no time to be selling junk. Actually, there is never a time to be selling junk.

* High conversion rate – okay, this is a no-brainer. You want a product that converts really well so that you’re making money.

The ADVANCED ALTERNATIVE to promoting an affiliate product is to create your own product. The drawback is you need to create it or hire someone else to do it for you, either of which takes time. The benefit is you keep 100% of your sales, rather than splitting them with a product owner.

The CHEAT METHOD to creating your own product is of course to use some high grade PLR.

If you are using your own product, here’s a trick I like to use: At the top of the sales page, let them know that their free report is on its way to their inbox. This builds consistency and credibility and shows them they’re at the right place.

3. Next you’re going to create something to give away to your new niche. Here’s the key – you’re not going to slap together any old report or re-purpose some PLR. Instead, you’re going to create something so awesome, people would PAY YOU to get it. Best of all, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel or come up with some brilliant insight to do this. Instead, you’re going to let others do the research for you.

Head over to Amazon and search for your niche in the book section. Write down titles that grab your attention. Search inside the books and look at the table of contents. Take notes.

Now do the same with magazines in your niche. Look at the headlines on the magazine covers – these can be a goldmine. You’ll need to change them to accommodate your exact niche (and not plagiarize) but that’s easy. You want to pay attention to what the hot topics are and what headlines are used to sell those topics.

Next, visit other websites to pick up more ideas and information. This entire research process should take you about an hour or two, depending on how much time you want to put into it.

Outline the information you’re going to present, and then either write your report or record it, your choice. Don’t want to write it yourself? Then outsource it. It only needs to be 10 to 20 pages of solid, useful information – don’t write a book.

As you go through this process, always keep in mind what you’ll be promoting for your OTO, so that your freebie is 100% consistent with that product. This will give you the highest conversions on your OTO.
4. Make your squeeze page. Hopefully you garnered 1-5 smoking hot headlines during your research. Use these on your squeeze page as the main headline and bullets, let them know they get the report for free for opting in, and that’s it. Don’t make this complicated – less is more. Create excitement and curiosity. Again, if you don’t want to make your own squeeze page, you can always outsource it.

A word to the wise: Once you begin using your squeeze page, test it. Test headlines, test colors, test the call to action – just TEST. The more you test, the better conversions your page will get, the more you will make. Doesn’t testing seem boring? Let me ask you this – does doubling your conversions and thus doubling what you earn seem boring? Don’t think about it, just do it.

IMPORTANT: If you’re using double opt in to build your list, customize the page they land on after confirming their subscription. At the top of that page, let them know their report is on its way. Then either direct them to your affiliate page if you’re promoting an affiliate product, or place your sales letter on this same page. This gives them a second opportunity to purchase your offer.

5. Get some professional articles written. These articles have got to be outstanding, so unless you’re a brilliant writer, I would suggest hiring this out to a professional.

Remember when you did your research in magazines and books? These are your very best clues as to what to write about and even how the title should read. Keep in mind: If you see something on the cover of a current magazine, that likely means it’s a hot topic now and will make an excellent topic for one of your articles.

Number of articles to write: At least 2, although 30+ is better. If you’re on a budget, start small and get more written later. The articles should be magazine quality. They should immediately capture attention and rivet the reader all the way to the end of the article.

Add your resource box to each article. This is your call to action where you promise the reader your shiny new report if they simply visit your totally awesome (squeeze) page.

An alternative to sending them to your squeeze page is to send them to your blog or website. Be sure to have a sign-up form on every single page of your site, offering your free report.

Variation: If you’re sending your new traffic straight to your blog or website, make it for “members only.” This means they have to opt in to get to your website and read the content. Yes, this is also a great way to list build. I recommend testing between the squeeze page, straight to the website with opt-in forms and making your website member’s only to see which one converts the best.

6. Find blogs in your niche. You’re looking for blogs that match your niche really well, that get lots of traffic (bare minimum – 10,000 hits a month) and that are open to guest written articles. If a blog doesn’t meet all 3 of these criteria, then take a pass.

Steer clear of any corporate looking websites – it’s nearly impossible to break into those. Find the sites run by individuals that get a lot of traffic. Make a list of possibilities, and do further research on each by checking where they stand on Alexa: www.alexa.com/siteinfo

[One note here: The higher traffic blogs might be harder to break in to, but they’re well worth the effort. If you are more comfortable starting out with blogs of 10,000 visitors a month and working your way up, do it. After all, those 10,000 hit blogs may well be getting 100,000 visitors or more soon, and if you’re already established there, so much the better.]

Also, visit each blog you’re considering and look at the bylines. Are all of the articles written by one author? Or does this blog accept submissions from others? While it’s not impossible to get your article on a blog that is generally only written by one person, it’s far easier to get it published on a blog that regularly uses guest authors.

7. Rubber meets the road. Remember the articles you had written? You’re going to contact these blog owners and give them your articles. Give each blog owner 2-3 articles, and only give each article away once so that each blog owner gets completely unique material from you.

Why give each blog owner 2-3 articles instead of just 1? Because you’re proving that you can consistently write great articles. Also, what if the one article you send them is on a topic they don’t want to cover? Or maybe they just did an article on it? By sending more than one article you give them a choice and you also greatly increase the odds that they will publish at least one article for you.

Here’s how you give the articles away: Contact these people. Do it through email, through Facebook, through Skype, whatever. Better yet, contact them through all of those methods at the same time. No, you’re not spamming them. You are HELPING them. Send them a very friendly, upbeat message that includes the following points:

– You’ve been reading their blog

– You love what they write

– You’ve written exclusive articles just for them

– The articles are free – they can do whatever they want with them

– No strings attached

– You would like (LOVE!) to be a guest writer on their blog

– If they would publish one of your articles on their blog with your author’s box to help you get exposure, that would be totally awesome

– Thank you

What you’ve just done:

* You’ve made contact and you’ve GIVEN them something right off the bat, no strings attached. What happens when 99 out of 100 people contact a blog owner? They WANT something. But you are GIVING something, and it’s something totally cool, too: Well written articles that are perfect their blog.

* You’ve got a new contact in your field. Do you think s/he might want more articles? And maybe they will even promote one of your own products? It could happen, and it starts with this initial contact.

* You’ve solved a problem for this new contact – you’ve given him or her high quality content. If you’re a blog owner, you know how hard it can be to create new content week after week. Having help is always much appreciated.

* You’ve got some serious link juice going. You’re contacting BIG blogs with major traffic, many of which will be posting your articles. Think Google will notice? Absolutely!

* You’ve got traffic. FREE traffic. Highly TARGETED, raving fanatical traffic visiting your website.

* You are building a LIST out of this traffic. A list of highly targeted people who think you must be an expert because you write articles on important blogs. Traffic that reads your stuff. Traffic that BUYS your stuff.

* You are making money immediately with your OTO. Remember, you’ve got a low priced and highly targeted OTO after your squeeze page. This product is something directly related to the issue you wrote about in the article and in the report.

Total cost for this list building/product selling business? If you do everything yourself, it costs you nothing but time. If you outsource the squeeze page and articles, it might run you a couple of hundred dollars, more or less.

What do you do now? Rinse and repeat. Continue writing articles (or having someone write articles for you) and continue contacting new blogs. Write more articles for the blogs on which you’ve already been published.

This works. Don’t reinvent the wheel – just do it.

The downside is you will find a few blog owners who simply won’t publish your stuff. That’s okay. Most times they will tell you that they won’t, and then you can take those same articles and offer them to a different blog.

Power Tip: A variation to sending them 2-3 articles is to send one 3-part series. It’s got to be totally researched, relevant and on a hot topic. If you get them to publish this (generally over the course of 3-5 days) you will see even more traffic than you would from getting one regular article published.

Now let’s talk hypothetical numbers just to get a feel for what this system can do for you: You contact one blog that gets 250,000 visitors a month. 25% of them read your article (that’s kind of a low number – you might get more.) Of those who read your article, 40% click your link, and 50% of those get your free report (meaning they joined your list.)

That’s 250,000 times .25, which is 62,500 people who read your article. How cool is that?? Just imagine for a second that 62,500 people read your article and see your byline – you’re already an expert and they haven’t even clicked on your author’s resource box yet.

Of those 62,500 people, 40% click your link. That’s 25,000 people going to your squeeze page. I don’t know about you, but when I think about getting 25,000 HIGHLY targeted people to my squeeze page, my heart beats a little faster and you can’t wipe the grin off my face.

Of those, we’re hypothetically saying that half join your list. I know some of you are thinking that number is high, and for the typical squeeze page it is high. But in this case they’ve just read your article on a high authority website and obviously liked it. They already know why they are coming to your page (to get your super-duper hot report on a topic they’re really interested in) and so unless your squeeze page is awful, you can expect to get a higher than average conversion.

Half of 25,000 is 12,500 new people on your list. People who have read your article. People who think you’re pretty hot stuff. People who are now going to read your report and KNOW you are pretty hot stuff. People who are far more likely than average to open and read your emails.

12,500 people from one article. Okay, true, you had several articles written and probably sent 3 of those to the blog owner, who maybe only published one. Still – is that a good return on your time and money or what???

And if you only do 1/10th as well as our example? Then you still have 1,250 highly targeted new subscribers. Not bad.

To those skeptics who think that only the “big dogs” can make money online, I hope I have just given you something to think about, and more importantly – a plan of ACTION.

It’s the New Year. What better time to roll up your sleeves and put this to work?

One more number I want to throw out here: Suppose you got 12,500 new subscribers per month. Maybe you did it with one article, maybe it took you 20 articles. Whatever. Each month you do what it takes to get 12,500 how new subscribers. Assuming a high attrition rate of 20%, how many subscribers would you have by the next holiday season?

I’ll leave you to do your own math on this one.

Happy New Year!!!

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