Category Archives: Marketing

Pot Odds In Internet Marketing

Many of you know how much I love going to play poker. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it because I love the camaraderie that eventually is created by spending just a few hours with a bunch of people you’ve never met before, commiserating with everyone else who’s either won a big hand or gotten beaten in a big hand. We’ve all been there, and we all have stories to share.

One thing I like to believe I’m good at is figuring out what the odds are that my hand is good or not. Of course, having a good hand doesn’t always mean it’s a winning hand, but more often than not it works out just fine. What I’m not good at is figuring out the numbers, as in what the actual percentage is that favors my hand.

I was reading a blog post called Easiest Way To Understand Math In Poker, where the writer, named Mitchell Cogart (knew I liked him for some reason) was giving some formulas for how to calculate it fairly quickly. It’s still somewhat beyond me, mainly because it takes time to do those calculations, and unless I was playing in a tournament, I don’t like taking that kind of time figuring out anything.

However, it’s the other thing he was talking about that starts to get me into the point of this post. There’s something called pot odds that, to poker players, is very important and very intriguing. In essence, it’s figuring out how much the pot is worth to you in odds versus the odds of you having a winning hand. Just to throw out numbers, if you only have a 30% chance of winning a hand, but the dollars in the pot come out to you having a 55% chance of winning the pot, many poker players will take a chance on the money rather than their hand because they perceive the dollars are so high that you can’t afford NOT to play the hand.

I hear this on poker commentary sometimes on TV. The guy will say “there’s so much money in the pot that so-and-so absolutely has to call the hand, even though he’s going to lose.” On TV, you always know what the players hands are, so you know who’s going to win or lose. But the players don’t know that, so you see them taking time, running through all the calculations in their minds, and then they’ll pull the trigger on hands that most of us would say we know better than to play because we have no idea on how to calculate pot odds.

In a way, you can relate that to trying to learn more about internet marketing. There are a lot of products out there that will teach you something about it. Some are very good and some aren’t all that good. However, what most of us believe is that the more expensive something is, the more we should be getting out of it. Truthfully, that may or may not be true. The “pot odds” are in your favor; after all, why would someone put a $500 product out there that wasn’t going to deliver on what’s been promised, right?

Here’s the thing. Just like everything else in life, nothing works for everyone. It’s possible that the $500 product might tell you everything you need to know to make money, or it may not. It may tell you things to do that your morality won’t allow you to do. For instance, if it said that in order to make lots of money you have to kill a lot of puppies, would you do it? If it said that you had to do what’s known as black hat principles, would you do it?

While I was at my mother’s house on Friday, she was watching this network that was advertising a program called Kell On Earth, about this fashion designer who’s very successful. However, she’s a terror; there’s no way I’d ever want to deal with that type of person on a yearly basis, let alone a daily basis. She berates her employees and other people around her, but justifies it by saying she has to do what she has to do to stay at the top. I’m sorry, but if you have to treat people as if they’re inferior to you then I don’t want to be successful. It’s not my style, and I couldn’t live with myself. Yet there are thousands of people who subscribe to that and believe it’s the way to go. Notice how some are successful, but others aren’t? Once again, no one size fits all.

Some folks thought I was being too lenient when I reviewed Six Figure Blogger Blueprint. The thing is, the book wasn’t really for those of you who have been doing this for awhile. It was also free, not a full course on internet marketing. It got me thinking about things, and any book that does that for me works for me. We all judge things differently. We have to know ourselves, and what we might respond to. Like that book to the right side there, 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day Online. I bought that book, and I think it was perfect for me because I was able to take just one of its principles and turn it into a way to make money. It wasn’t overly expensive, but turned out to be just what I needed. I calculated my odds for finding something I thought I could use, and I turned out to be right.

How do you determine whether something might work well for you or not? Do you even try anymore? I say that at the risk of jumping into Sire’s response, because I know he’s said more than once that he won’t pay for anything anymore, after being burned many times early on. Has that happened to some of you as well? I’d really like to know.

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Health, Wealth, And Self Care Online And Off – Guest Post

In my post talking about my online goals for 2010, I got a quick request from one of my readers who has never written a comment as far as I know named Connie Baum. It’s always great to hear from people who enjoy what you have to say, and she asked me if I could write a guest post for her, which I did entitled Watch Out For Internet Marketing Scams. I hope you check it out.

Then I asked Connie to write a guest post for me, since her blog is all about internet marketing, so she’s created this post for us. I hope you enjoy it.


oldcar136

Creating a blog post for someone whose work you admire is akin to being a child, visiting a classroom where the teacher places you at the front of the room to introduce yourself. You think you would rather be having a root canal at that moment. You are embarrassed; you are not sure what to say. You feel certain that the friend who brought you to school is biting his lip and wishing his mother hadn’t MADE him bring you.

Internet marketing is the reason I have been closely following Mitch and ‘I’m Just Sharing.’

There is something endearing about every post he makes. I aspire for my blog posts to call people to action the way Mitch’s do. When Mitch extended the invitation for Guest Bloggers, I raised my hand and ‘Teacher’ called on me. I’m looking forward to reading what other Guest Bloggers have to say, for I fancy I can learn something from every post. The trick of course, will be remembering what I learn and implementing it properly.

The mother in me is compelled to admonish all internet marketers, including Mitch, to do two things and in the proper order. Remember, kids, I’m Just Sharing. Grin

1. Take very good care of yourself
2. Take your marketing work very seriously but don’t take yourself so seriously.

Health and wealth walk hand in hand. If you lose your wealth but have your health, you can recover and resume. But if you lose your health, you also stand to lose your health as well. Doesn’t paint a very pretty picture, now, does it?

With a nod to #1 and taking good care of your body, let’s address how important- no, critical-it is to eat well and wisely; to remember to move away from the desk from time to time to move and play.

If you are fortunate to work at home where there are children-or fun loving adults, for that matter-you can schedule recess time! Go out of doors, jump rope, run, walk, turn cartwheels! Do whatever it takes to get your heart rate up and pop a sweat. Then you will be ready to go back to business and resume the creativity and discipline of work.

Your body needs water to keep all your cells functioning optimally, so keep handsome pitcher of water close by. Drop a wedge of fresh lemon in it to make it more tantalizing. And don’t be fooled into thinking that anything wet counts as water because if there is anything in the water, it isn’t really water any more. Don’t rely on coffee and other caffeine loaded beverages because those will dehydrate you and literally shrivel your brain.

Another facet of self care is to reward yourself for meeting your online goals. For example, when your new blog makes the first page of Google, you are entitled to have lunch at your favorite eatery that day. Or, you might have added 100 new names to your new list of subscribers. This calls for a hot chocolate break with your spouse or significant other! You need to figure out what floats your boat and use those things to motivate you. Some popular rewards include scalp massage, nail care, pizza, fresh flowers; new socks. You probably have your own list of what trips your trigger.

Let’s address item #2, taking your business seriously. If you are new to internet marketing, I would offer that a good coaching program would benefit you. You will learn skills you did not have previously and you will network with others who will enhance your journey.

I would also remind you of the recess idea from item #1. Being completely silly and operating with abandon for brief periods of time will increase your creativity and make you far more productive. “Do use discretion,” she warned.

Read other people’s blogs with sincere interest. Comment intelligently, adding value to their site. Interact with the bloggers; get to know them. Attend every live event you can and take copious notes whenever you are on a conference call, webinar or brainstorming session with others. Partner with others to capitalize on one another’s strengths; offer added value in any way you are able to help others.

It has been an honor to present my ideas through Mitch’s blog. Here’s hoping some value was added to your life, even if it did not shake the earth.

I thank Connie for this wonderful guest post. Here are her blogs for you to check out when you can:

Rapid Cash Review
Mother Connie Sez

 

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Trying To Understand Squeeze Pages; Trial One

I keep reading about this concept of squeeze pages, and I’ll admit that I don’t quite have the concept down.

Yes, I know what a squeeze page is. Basically, it’s the main sales page which you hope to drive people to so that you can potentially sell your products.

Where my issue comes in is that I’m never quite sure what the look is supposed to be. I’m one of those people who really doesn’t like those long sales pages that have all the pictures and keep pumping the product over and over. I keep thinking that people aren’t really crazy about that type of thing.

However, I think I might also be incorrect on that front. I just don’t know. So, I want to look at this in stages, and I’d like to ask y’all to help me out, which, in a weird way, helps you out as well. I’d like you to comment, in general terms without hurting my feelings (yup, don’t make me come there), on two pages. Yes, it’s a product I’m marketing right now, which I actually have over there to the left, which is my very first book Embrace The Lead. I’m not asking you to buy it, unless you have a compelling reason to do so once you look at both pages.

The words are the same on each page. What’s different is the look of the page. On the one page, which I actually link to right now, it looks just like ever other page of my business site. I did that because I thought it was the more professional thing to do. On the other, it’s the first sales page I ever created, and it was based on what I’d seen many other sales sites do.

To be truthful, I’ve probably made the same number of sales from each advertisement, which isn’t a high number. So, it may not be the squeeze page or sales page at all. But it’s a good test, if y’all cooperate and take a look, and maybe we can learn this thing together.

Here’s the sales page I use now.

Here’s the original sales page.

Which one works better, and why? Thanks for playing; it should be interesting.


Shop Fish.com

Traffic And Buyers

Our friend Sire and I have had some interesting conversations lately on two topics. One is the concept of trying to drive more traffic to one’s blog. The other was how to turn people into buyers, especially if they’re actually clicking on your links.

Traffic Jam
Marcelo Campi via Compfight

Let’s address the first topic of traffic first. I’ve actually broached this subject many times, in different ways. I asked what people would do to get more traffic. In that post I talked about those websites that you can pay that supposedly will send you lots of traffic. It’s not targeted, and you’re not sure any of those people actually clicked and read your stuff, but you’re somehow getting traffic.

I mentioned free traffic exchanges. I mentioned the concept of better SEO and organically driving traffic to you and your site. And I mentioned myself the idea of blog commenting to drive traffic as well. I like the last two the best, although SEO can take awhile and blog commenting is a lot of work.

Of course, there was my rant against those folks who write all these posts about driving massive traffic to one’s blog but copy what everyone else has been writing; I hate that kind of thing. I also have shared something where Alvin Phang talks about how he drives traffic to his blog. And I also have asked people how far they’re willing to go for promotion, although that wasn’t specifically for traffic, but if you promote yourself well you’re probably going to get better traffic.

The reality is that it’s hard getting traffic to come to your site unless you can figure out a way to stand apart. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with content anymore; sure, content adds value, but I’ve been to some blogs where the entire post is two paragraphs, or is a lot of nothing, and that post will generate 50 comments.

It might have something to do with blog commenting, because people see what you have to say and if they like it they’ll visit you. I think this thing Kristi does every Friday called Fetching Fridays is a wonderful concept, but wow, what a lot of work!

It generates lots of visits because the people she highlights love it, and people who drop by get to see lots of topics and visit blogs they may never have heard of that have articles they want to see. No, I won’t be doing anything like that on a regular basis, so you’ll just have to deal with my occasional highlight of websites you might not know about.

One other thing. This concept of niche blogging is a good one, but just selecting a niche isn’t going to get it done as far as driving lots of traffic, or even making a lot of money. Today I posted my 201st post on my finance blog, Top Finance Blog, as today is the blog’s anniversary (200 posts a year there, 300 here… man, I’m tired!). The niche is finance, which one would have thought was a big issue in this past year with the terrible economy, but it’s generated very little income, few visitors by comparison, and not all that many comments. So, it really depends on picking a niche that you know everyone else is really interested in, then being able to consistently write on that niche without being boring or stealing from others for inspiration.

In other words, other than blog commenting and figuring out how to promote yourself better, I have nothing to add on how to drive traffic to a blog or website; at least not fast.

Now, on to the topic of turning people into buyers. Sire stated on his blog that he believes it could be tied into getting more traffic. I disagreed with that assertion. We both put up our monthly income stats. I made nothing for Commission Junction in November, but I had 283 people actually click on the links, which means they checked out products or the websites. But no buyers. Sire had around 170 or so, and the same thing. Most sales professionals will tell you that you should average at least 1% sales; we both missed that.

One of my friends, Monique, wrote to say that she felt if one actually talked about the product then marketed it that it would generate sales. I didn’t totally dismiss it, because that does sound like a great strategy, but I’ve done that. I talked about my Casio watch and even put the watch I bought at the bottom; no clicks. I’ve written on other products, and I’ll be writing on another product soon; nothing. I’ve actually written 2 posts on the ebook 20 Ways To Make $100 a Day, and never gotten a click, even though I bought the book and it’s what’s led me to my latest career in writing and blog writing for others.

Is it a matter of trust? Well, this guy named Todd asked if people like and trust you, and I commented that I hoped so, but I wasn’t really sure. I get visitors, have subscribers, but no buyers. So, does that mean people don’t trust me, or just that I’m not offering anything that they need?

Then I said to Sire that we had to look at each other to see what makes us respond to buying things. And we really don’t have an answer for that; I think that’s interesting, and something worth exploring. Actually, I asked people before what makes them buy stuff, and got at least a few comments on it. I’m asking again, because I’d love to hear from more people on the subject. And of course the question comes up as to the types of ads people respond to better, banner ads, product ads, or text ads. I’ve tried them all; still no idea.

Either way, it’s probably the question of the ages for anyone trying to market themselves online. I have a lot of questions, but not all that many answers. Anyone figured out the full formula yet? Let us know.
 

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If You Can’t Get Your Family And Friends To Subscribe…

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine regarding people not subscribing to my blog. Actually, the conversation was more along the lines of why she didn’t subscribe to any of my blogs. She will read a post if I send her a particular post link, but otherwise, it just doesn’t happen.

She wrote back saying she was a terrible friend, but I wasn’t having any of that. See, the thing is that I’ve often wondered how any of us really believe we can sell and market to others, as well as get people to subscribe to things we do, if we can’t even get our friends and families to participate in the process. After all, these are the people who supposedly know us best, and at least are supposed to like us in some fashion, yet when it comes down to it you’re not writing anything of interest to get them to participate.

Not counting my internet friends, I have four friends of mine who are subscribed to this blog in some fashion; that’s it. I have a few more subscribed to my business blog. I’m not sure any of my friends are subscribed to my finance blog, but I wouldn’t expect them to be since it’s kind of, well, out of their realm of caring.

One truth of mine is that I’m subscribed to every one of my friend’s blogs. Only two of them write fairly regularly, and every once in awhile I comment, but I see everything. I’ve always felt it was the thing to do, but at the same time, I’m really interested in what people have to say, when they decide to say it. Just seeing them express themselves, no matter what it is, thrills me to no end. Yet, it’s not reciprocal.

Of course there is a difference. I’m really hoping to grow my blog, whereas most of them are just looking to say something and move on. Most of them probably have way fewer people following them than I do, but that’s not really the point. I guess my point, or question, is if my thinking that if I can’t even convince my friends or family to read things I write, let alone comment, then am I kidding myself in thinking that other people should be interested in it?

I know I’m not alone on this one, so please tell me your thoughts; I’d really like to know. Not that I’d stop, but I’m just trying to get my mind around it all. Thanks; enjoy your day.

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