Do You Have a Marketer’s Mindset?

Before you get started in this industry, you have to analyze your own mindset to see if you have what it takes to be an online entrepreneur from conception to fully-functional success operation. It’s not enough to say you want to make money or be your own boss.

Everyone wants those things, but not everyone can achieve those goals. It takes a special person. You don’t have to be a workaholic or be willing to engage in questionable marketing tactics. You just need to have a few characteristics that are common to most successful Internet marketers.

This industry requires deep commitment. If you’re the type to change jobs with your moods, then stick to a 9-5 gig. You’re building a business and it takes time, effort, and tweaking to make it work.

Perseverance and a positive attitude can make or break an entrepreneur. You’re going to have down times. Every marketer does. Something will go wrong – whether it’s a freelancer who didn’t deliver on time and threw off your launch date or a JV partnership that fell through. If you panic and shut down, you’ll tarnish your reputation as a true professional.

The great Internet marketers don’t fly by the seat of their pants. They believe in being meticulous planners. They make schedules and plans for their day, week, month, year, and even further down the road.

They plan every step of a launch before the product development even begins. They plan every single detail they can think of. The more meticulous you are with your plans, the fewer things there are that might go wrong.

To become an authority in your niche, you need to exude confidence. Even if you’re worried, anxious, or unsure of yourself, what you project must be that you have it all together – you can’t be paralyzed by fear.

Are you willing to be a student for life? No successful marketer gets to the top and stops learning this industry. That only means you’ll eventually become the prey of another hungry marketer who’s stayed on the ball with up-to-the-minute solutions and practices in your niche so that they can become king of the mountain when you let your guard down.

You have to know how to get from point A to point B on your journey to achieving financial independence. Do you know what you’ll say when your in-laws or spouse questions your “career?” If you’re a fearless marketer, the inquisition won’t bother you a bit.

If you aren’t sure how to develop a blueprint for your success, don’t know how to set and achieve goals, or have a mindset that’s not in sync with that of victory, then work on those things before you quit your day job and set off on this voyage. You want to be mentally prepared for the ups and downs along the way.

Digital Download Dollars

Whether you’re an affiliate marketer or a product owner, you get to choose how much you get paid to promote something. As a product owner, obviously you set the price. As an affiliate, you seek out products that have a good commission.

Digital downloads usually have a much better payout than tangible goods. Of course, if you’re promoting a high-ticket tangible item, you might make more – but it could be harder to sell to the general public, too.

A digital download is a text, audio, or video file that buyers can download instantly onto their hard drive and access immediately. Instead of waiting until tomorrow afternoon to run to Barnes and Noble, they log in at 3 o’clock in the morning when they can’t sleep and download a book on the topic they want.

A tangible book that costs $14.95 in a local bookstore can sell for $49 and up on the Internet as a digital download. As an affiliate, your commission will probably be higher, too.

If you promote a tangible book on Amazon that costs $14.95, and you get 7% of that, you’re only earning a little over a dollar. But that $49 digital download – an eBook about the same topic – offers you 50% commission, giving you $24.50 per sale!

It’s not hard to see which one pays better. As a product owner, you can create eBooks to compete with tangibles. You’ll charge a lot more, but you’ll be able to pay your affiliates a lot for their efforts, too.

If you’re not a writer and prefer a different type of product creation for your digital download, you can choose to create a series of MP3 files – audio tutorials that teach your topic to a paying audience. The public loves information they can digest on the go using their iPod or other electronic gadget.

You can also use a tool like Camtasia and create video productions as your product creation tool of choice. Some people prefer to watch a lesson rather than read it. With both audio and video digital downloads, your price point can go beyond the borders of what text info products can pull in.

Combine all three media elements and you may be poised to market a high-ticket digital download that takes in upwards of $1,500 for a single sale – something affiliate marketers will jump all over.

Defining What It Means to Be an Internet Marketer

There’s no PhD you can strive for to be in the Internet marketing industry. You have to learn as you go – on your own – soaking up information along the way. The first thing you need to know is what it means to be an Internet marketer, because it isn’t always clear to everyone.

Let’s start with what Internet marketing is not. It’s not being a con artist. It’s not being a spam king. It doesn’t just mean selling on eBay or having your own website and products.

In reality, Internet marketers can pick and choose from a whole host of options available to help them make money. Your opportunities are virtually endless, and include one or more of the following:

  • Selling digital downloads (information products like eBooks)
  • Promoting other people’s products for a commission (affiliate marketing)
  • Selling on eBay or other auction sites
  • Running a membership site
  • Selling your online services (writing, graphics, etc.)
  • Owning a website that sells dropshipped or wholesale items

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Being a newcomer to Internet marketing, you might be worried that you don’t have anything to sell. That’s okay – most people don’t start out with anything, and you never have t stock a tangible inventory if you don’t want to.

Internet marketing creates no gender or age boundaries for you. There are teenagers who have launched multi-million dollar companies as budding Internet marketers whose ideas sprung to life and catapulted them to instant success.

You don’t have to do anything unethical or shady to succeed at Internet marketing, and in fact, launching a respectable business with a solid reputation is the secret ingredient that will allow you to hatch an empire on the ‘net to fulfill all of your dreams and those of your family.

Creating a Minisite

The word “minisite” can refer to a number of different things. Some people call small niche article sites minisites, but that isn’t the general use of the word. In Internet marketing, the word “minisite” is generally used to refer to very small websites that are set up to sell a product – usually an eBook or other digital download.

Most minisites are only 1-5 pages. Some of them are only a single sales pitch page, plus perhaps a thank you page for after the customer orders. Others have a contact page, a terms of service page, a frequently asked questions page, or other general pages.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll just work on creating a single page minisite, and we’ll cover only the design – not the sales copy. Most minisites have several key parts. They usually have a header and footer, although some have only a header, or may have neither.

They also have a sales letter of some sort, which is used to sell the product. Finally, they have an order button that is clicked when a customer wants to purchase the product. Some minisites also have an eCover, which is a computer-generated image that mimics what the product might look like if it was a physical product.

For example, if the product is an eBook, the eCover might look like a hardcover or paperback book cover (sometimes a spiral notebook, too). If the product is a membership site, the eCover might be a membership card. Software products usually have a 3D software box as their eCover

The first step in creating a minisite should be creating your eCover, if you intend to use one. Most people create their eCovers with Photoshop, because most eCover action scripts only work with Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop, you may need to create it from scratch, or have it made for you by a professional graphic designer.

After you have your cover design, you’ll need to create a header. Although some marketers don’t use headers, most do. A well-designed header can draw attention to your headline, and it can make your site look more professional.

The header should contain your product’s name and a tag line – like a one-sentence blurb that tells what your site’s about. It should also contain a photo that’s related to your niche, and it might also contain a small version of your ecover – all tied into a theme for your demographic.

Let’s say you’re creating a minisite to sell your dog-training eBook. Your header would potentially contain a picture of a woman pointing at a dog, and the dog sitting down. Then the text on the header might say something like the following: Dog Training 101: The Ultimate Guide to Training Your Puppy or Adult Dog!

Don’t make your header too large. If the header is so large visitors can’t see the headline without scrolling, it’s too big! It should attract attention to the headline, not hide it. Headers are generally between 700 and 800 pixels wide and 100-200 pixels in height.

The footer is usually the same width, but about half the height of the header. It may only contain the product name or logo, but may also contain an image or copyright notice. Finally, you need an order button that draws a lot of attention. Your button might contain your eCover, plus a brightly colored button and a call-to-action, such as “Click Here for Instant Access!”

If you have the money to invest, you might consider ordering a minisite package from a professional designer. For about $300, you’ll get the header, footer, eCovers, and sometimes extra banners that you can use for off-site promotions.

How Newspapers and Magazines Find Great Content

Newspapers and magazines produce some of the most unique and well-researched content in the world. As a rule of thumb, content that’s printed in a newspaper is usually more carefully checked than content found on the internet.

Online, a lot of websites tend to have similar information. Often time’s content writers do most of their research from other sources online.

Yet newspapers and magazines work completely differently. They’re consistently able to produce highly unique content every single month that’s unlike anything that’s ever been published. How do they do that?

Here are some of the ways that newspapers and magazines find great content.

==> Interviewing Real Experts

Instead of looking through medical websites, journalists will actually call up well-known doctors to ask for their opinions.

If they’re doing an article on a particular car, they might call up the car manufacturer or a plant manager to talk about how the car was built.

As a smaller publisher, you might not be able to command the same respect as a New York Times reporter, but you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to give free advice if you just ask.

==> Using Books and Offline Publications

Another common source of information is written books and other publications, especially academic papers, research papers or official studies.

By looking up studies and books written by experts in the field, you can get a much more in-depth look into subjects that you just wouldn’t get from browsing internet websites.

There are several academic paper search engines out there you can use to find detailed source material for research.

==> The Public at Large

You might be surprised at how much information can be gleaned from the public at large. Granted, this doesn’t work for skill-intensive subjects like medicine or law, but for many subjects the public at large can be a great resource for content.

For example, if you run a financial blog and you want to write a post about how rent control affects the economy, where might you go?

Yes, you can research academic theories about rent control. You can Google “rent control” and see what else is written online about the subject.

But one fascinating place you could look is everyday people who actually live in rent-controlled places. Talking to just a handful of these people can give you more insight into how rent control really affects things than reading a dozen articles online.

As you can tell, newspaper and magazine writers tend to get their information from different sources than most online writers. Granted, these methods of researching content take a lot more time and effort. However, if you’re willing to put in that time and effort, you’ll be able to create content that’ll blow your competition out of the water.

Finding Your Voice as a Content Marketer

When you read content by someone who’s found their voice, there’s a really distinct ring to it. You can tell they’re really passionate, really self-expressed and really know what they’re talking about.

People are moved by those who speak with their real voice. Yet what most people don’t realize is that almost everyone who’s found their voice had to put in a lot of work to find that voice. It doesn’t usually come naturally.

So how do you find your voice as a content marketer?

==> Start with What You’re Passionate About

If you love internet marketing, get into the internet marketing field. If you love crocheting, get into the crocheting field.

Ask yourself: What’s a topic that you could talk about for hours and hours on end? What’s a topic that you’d talk about and obsess about even if you weren’t getting paid?

What’s something that really lights you up in life and gets you excited?

While not every passion can be turned into a career, you’d be surprised at how many people do manage to turn their passions into money, even in very obscure fields.

Start with what you’re really passionate about. It’ll come through in your voice.

==> Be as Self-Expressed as Possible

Try to write without censorship. Don’t worry about grammatical correctness or political correctness.

If you’re speaking from your real voice, you’re probably going to turn some people off. However, you’ll also really attract the kinds of people you should be attracting.

People who have strong voices are polarizing – Some people like them, others might hate them. But that’s how real followings are built. Seldom is a following built from people who try to please everyone.

When you’re writing content, try to write as if you were speaking one on one to a friend. Write naturally, in a casual yet self-expressed and passionate manner.

==> Care about the Impact You Want to Make

Can you tell the difference between someone who’s written something and really cares if you succeed, versus someone who’s just writing the content to write the content?

Most likely, you can tell that the former has a completely different feel to it. Naturally, it’s the people who really want to help us that we feel drawn to.

When you’re writing content, ask yourself: Who are you trying to help with this content? How would you like their life to change as a result of you writing this content for them?

If you really want to help people, they can sense that. It comes through in your writing and your voice. It creates loyalty.

Your voice isn’t “one thing” that people can point to and say whether it’s good or not. It’s more of the overall vibe of your content, how everything you say is presented. A great voice will create a sense of community, loyalty and following, while a weak voice will turn people away from your content.

Design Tips for Content Websites

Having great design on a content website will play an important part in your user’s overall experience. Good design can increase trust, while poor design can decrease trust. Better designed websites will get more opt-ins, more sales and more referrals. In general, design plays a pretty big part in the overall web marketing picture.

Here are a few design tips for content websites.

==> Reduce Your Ads

Yes, you need to make money. However, crowding your page with advertisements really isn’t great design.

In fact, a study of several hundred thousand websites showed that statistically, having more ads on your site means you’re slightly less likely to rank well than other sites with fewer ads.

Your ads should integrate well with your website in general. The ads should be relevant, and placed strategically to get your user’s attention without being intrusive.

==> One or Two Images per Page

Having high quality, professional photos on your page can really add to the aesthetics of your site. However, crowding your page with graphics makes it look very unprofessional.

Try to have just one or two carefully chosen images per page. If your article is really long you can have one or two more, but try to avoid having images too close to one another.

Make sure any photos on your website are crisp, taken with a high quality camera. They also need to be relevant to the content. Try to have to color corrected before publishing, so the colors and contrast really stand out.

==> A Stellar Header Graphic

Your header graphic is one of the most important elements of what your website looks like. After all, it’ll be on the top of every page visitors go to, affecting their overall experience.

If you’re not a professional designer and you’re doing your website yourself, this is perhaps the one area where you should consider hiring someone professional to do it for you.

Your header graphic should contain just one or two graphical elements and just one or two text elements. The text elements and the graphic elements can’t both be too loud, or they’ll clash with one another or detract from the overall content.

==> A Coordinated Color Scheme

Your site overall will generally look better with relatively similar colors. Use complimentary colors or adjacent colors on the color wheel in your design colors.

Avoid colors schemes that clash or have one color standing out too much. The goal of your design shouldn’t be to bring attention to your design, but to create a positive framework for visitor to consume your content.

These are a few of the most important elements to designing content websites that look good and make people want to stay on your site longer.

Time Management Tips for Successful Freelancers

Freelancers around the globe all face one critical challenge to their success. The ability to manage their time is incredibly important. It can mean the difference between failure and success. Manage your time well and you’ll not only accomplish more, you’ll also make more money. Here’s how.

#1 Get a calendar, and use it. One of the easiest mistakes to make is to assume you’ll remember the projects you have on hand, what’s due, and when it’s due. This can not only lead to a sense of feeling overwhelmed, you will also likely forget something. There’s nothing worse than having to cram a project in. You’re left feeling like you couldn’t give the project 100% and perhaps have an unhappy client.

The solution is simple. Get a calendar, or calendar software, and use it. Schedule your projects, not only when they’re due but also when you’re going to work on them.

#2 Make room for changes. Some days just don’t go very well. Maybe you’d planned on writing a report and you wake with a migraine. Well if you’ve scheduled that report to be written the day before it’s due, you’re out of luck. However, if you’ve made room in your calendar for bad days, rush jobs and other challenges life throws at you, then you’ll sail through the project without any problem.

#3 Stay focused when you’re working. Freelancers have the ability to work from anywhere they desire. They can work from their couch, the beach, the coffee shop or the park. This freedom also presents challenges. It’s tough to focus.

If you’re great at focusing rather than surfing the web, checking your email or feeding your fish on Facebook, then great. If you struggle with focus, consider using a timer to help you stay focused. Set the timer for how long it should take you to complete a project and work on the project until the timer beeps. If you’ve been focusing solely on your task, then it should be completed or nearly completed.

#4 Calculate your hourly rate. If you’re money motivated, this is a great way to help you stay focused and on task. For example, if you have 50 articles to write and it takes you five days to write them, at a rate of $20/article you’re making $25/hour in an eight hour day. However, if you can write those same articles in two days, you’re making $62.50/hour. The latter is a much more enticing hourly rate.

#5 Set aside time to stretch, play, and otherwise laze about. All work and no play leads to boredom, procrastination, and a complete and total inability to focus. Set aside time to do nothing, at least nothing work related. You’ll be much better able to focus and manage your work time later.

Managing your time as a freelance writer is generally a learned skill. Pay attention to your days, weeks and months. Are you successful? What challenges did you have? How can you eliminate those challenges from happening again? Use these five tips and you’re well on your way to a long and happy freelance career.

Don’t Get Burned Out As A Freelance.

Managing Freelance Burnout

If you haven’t experienced freelance burnout, it’s probably only a matter of time. Burnout is something that happens to most freelancers. There are a few key ways to manage it so it doesn’t affect your income or career.

What Is Freelance Burnout?

Freelance burnout is what happens when you just don’t have it in you to complete another project for anyone, even your best clients. You’re just plain tired of being a freelancer. You procrastinate to the point where every project becomes an emergency project or it’s delivered late. Your passion and enthusiasm for your career and business have evaporated.

What Causes Freelance Burnout?

Burnout is caused by a number of possible events or factors.

1. You’re in the wrong niche/industry. Sometimes we dive into a niche because it’s the easiest. However, if you don’t have an undying passion for that niche, then burnout is a very real possibility.

2. You’re working too hard. Working every day, seven days a week and eight to ten hours a day is a lot. For most people, it’s too much. Even if you absolutely enjoy what you’re doing, breaks and days off are essential.

3. You’re bored. Sometimes freelancers end up doing the same type of project over and over again. If you’re in a creative field, this may be stunting your creativity.

I’m Burnt Out, Now What?

If you’re suffering from burnout, try to identify why it is happening. Are you bored? Working too hard? In the wrong field? Take some time to look within yourself for the answers. It’s not going to go away until you know what’s causing it.

If you’re bored, find something that excites you. Look for a creative outlet. It can be something related to your business or entirely separate. You can create a new report, video or ebook to promote your business. Take up photography as a new hobby or write a fiction book. Make time to keep your creative side happy.

If you’re working too hard, the solution is both simple and complicated. The simple solution is to stop working so hard. However, you have obligations – both financial and to your customers, right? Look for ways to lessen your workload. Can you outsource some of the tasks that take up your time? Do you have room in your budget to weed out the smaller, lesser paying clients, and focus on the bigger clients and projects?

Ideas to Market Your Freelance Services

You’re a freelancer, right? In order to continue to be a freelancer and to grow your business, it’s important to get the word out. It’s called marketing and it’s something many freelancers neglect. Take advantage of their mistake and capture more clients. Here are seven ideas to market your freelance services.

#1 Guest blog – Your prospects read industry blogs, right? Email the owner or owners of the blog and offer to be a guest blogger for free. Your posts will capture the attention of prospects and turn them into customers. Make sure when you sign on as a guest blogger, that you’re able to also create a bio and a link back to your blog or website.

#2 Give away free information – In addition to becoming a guest blogger, write or create a free report, online course or even a video to give away. Make sure your free information provides valuable information – information that provides a solution or solves a problem for your audience.

In addition to offering the free information on your website, you can also offer it to other business owners to distribute. Make sure they agree to keep your name as author and your contact information intact.

#3 Article marketing – Another way to gain attention and market your freelance business is to create articles and publish them on article marketing sites. They’ll be published on a number of websites. Your author information will be intact and you’ll drive tons of traffic and prospects to your website.

#4 Create a newsletter – When you gain subscribers, whether they’re customers or not, you have access to them. They’ve agreed to receive information from you and you can provide them with valuable information. Each newsletter is an endorsement for you and your services. Invite them to forward your newsletter to a friend for more exposure.

#5 Ask satisfied customers for referrals – Don’t be shy. When a customer is satisfied, ask them for referrals. In fact, you can create a referral reward program. Each customer who refers a new customer can receive 50% off their next project. Make sure to include a dollar limit on that referral bonus, unless you don’t mind giving away thousands of dollars.

#6 Network – Social networking is a wonderful way to meet new people. It’s also a great way to share your knowledge, skills and experience. You can offer value to others and in return they may become customers.

#7 Don’t forget promotion – Postcards, business cards, advertisements and magnets on the side of your car… these little promotional items can go a long way toward attracting awareness. Invest your money wisely and focus on a few small promotional items.

Marketing doesn’t have to be stuffy and complicated. You can find creative and effective means to spread the word about your business. Growing your freelance business takes time and resources. Invest them wisely and reach your freelance business goals.