Free Tools For Internet Marketers – FTP

Free Tools For Internet Marketers – FTP

Here are some Free Tools For Internet Marketers to help you do various things that need doing. When I say tools, I’m not referring to WordPress or hosting or what you need to get set up. This is more for afterwards, when you want to change PLR, create new graphics or do some of the other tasks involved with running an internet marketing business or any other sort of website. I’m also not going to rattle on about outsourcing things to Fiverr. These Free Tools For Internet Marketers are for those who want to have a crack at doing things themselves.

One of the first things you may find you need is a way of uploading graphics and documents to your site. WordPress has a built in system for media – which can include text documents as well as pictures and videos but it is limited in storage locations and it does have a size limitation (which is far greater than what it was) as may your php.ini file – a system file that controls a lot of what of the underlaying operating system can do. It may be that things in this file limit what you can do more than WordPress does.

To get round these upload file size limitations we need to use a program which does FTP or File Transfer Protocol. This allows us to put files where we want to, rather than where we’re told to. For instance, if you want to use a mini-site – as supplied with some PLR packages, you can install it on a separate sub-directory of your main site if you didn’t want to buy and manage another domain.

For example – http://www.stevenlucasmarketing.com/sm-ccc is a totally separate web site even though it is under the same domain name as this blog. Notice the /sm-ccc after the domain name. It just points to a sub-directory in which there are normal HTML files instead of WordPress ones. There is no direct link between the sites except for any that I put there, like the link at the beginning of this paragraph. Everything is self contained within the sm-ccc site and if I wished I could move it, as an entity, to another location.

It was put there (and it would be moved or copied) by using FTP, more specifically, a program called Filezilla.

Screenshot-FileZilla

Although there are other free FTP programs, Filezilla is by far the most popular, mainly through its ease of use. You simply enter the details of the site, including its domain name and the username and password sent to you by your hosting company when you first signed up. When entered correctly it can connect to your website and allow you to create sub-directories, upload and download files to specific locations and change some of the properties associated with those files.

Certain files – usually scripts, need different permissions set in order to let either only you or everyone run them as required, usually as stated in the set up instructions. Filezilla will allow you to click on the file and set these permissions. You can also set up Filezilla so that when you open a particular website you also open a particlular directory on your home computer and on your target host, which is very convinient.

Here’s a great tutorial video from my friend James Scholes:

 

So here you have the first of a series of Free Tools For Internet Marketers. I will be doing more short tutorials on various other free tools, useful to internet marketers. If you have a favourite tool that you want me to write about, please let me know in the comments boxes below.

Article Spinning Technique

Article Spinning Technique

If you are an internet writer, sooner or later you will need article spinning techniques. Spinning is the task of converting one article into several articles that, almost in the words of Eric Morecambe, say exactly the same thing, but with the words in a different order. It’s not actually quite that simple as good spinning requires a lot of different words and maybe in a different order, to say the same thing.

Why would you want to do article spinning at all? The main reason is to make the most of your hard work (or somebody else’s, of course). By spinning an article you can make a high number of variations very easily. Each one of these variations can be submitted to a different article storage site, all with links pointing back to a URL of your choice, and no one gets penalized for duplicate content.

Article spinning technique
Not this sort of spinning

Some article sites are more fussy than others and insist on unique articles. Others will take almost anything they’re offered, but if you’re pushing 20, 30 or 100 copies of an identical article all over the place, sooner or later, someone is bound to notice and your reputation as a hard working writer goes down the pan.

The easiest article spinning technique is to write the whole article in short paragraphs of say 100 words per paragraph, making each paragraph as ‘stand alone’ as possible within the context of your article. Once it’s complete, you just study each paragraph in turn and what it has to say and say it again in a slightly different way. Do this 5 times for each paragraph so that by the time you’re done you’ll have 5 versions of the same post.

Article 1 has paragraph 1 version 1, paragraph 2 version 1, paragraph 3 version 1, paragraph 4 version 1 and paragraph 5 version 1

Article 2 has paragraph 1 version 2, paragraph 2 version 2, paragraph 3 version 2, paragraph 4 version 2 and paragraph 5 version 2

Article 3 has paragraph 1 version 3, paragraph 2 version 3, paragraph 3 version 3, paragraph 4 version 3 and paragraph 5 version 3

Article 4 has paragraph 1 version 4, paragraph 2 version 4, paragraph 3 version 4, paragraph 4 version 4 and paragraph 5 version 4

Article 5 has paragraph 1 version 5, paragraph 2 version 5, paragraph 3 version 5, paragraph 4 version 5 and paragraph 5 version 5

Got it so far.

Article 6 can be paragraphs 1 to 4 of article 1 plus 5 & 6 from article 2.

Article 7 can be paragraphs 1 to 4 of article 1 plus 5 & 6 from article 3

and so on. Mixing and matching paragraphs as you see fit or need variations.

I recommend changing at least 2 paragraphs at a time to increase the uniqueness of each article. Each article really needs to be different from any other by at least 25% although 40%+ is better. Posts done with this article spinning technique will always read correctly and should not need proof reading afterwards if you did a good job in the first place. However, this article spinning technique will only give a limited number of variations.

The other article spinning technique is a little more involved and revolves around finding synonyms for various words or using variations of phrases and mixing and matching these from within a single master source article.

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Now there is software available as well as internet sites that can do the whole thing, taking a completed article and generating new versions, although with varying degrees of accuracy and readability afterwards, so a better article spinning technique is to prepare the article yourself and just let the software generate the articles from there.

Variations of a given word or phrase are contained within braces (also know as curly brackets) and separated by pipes (vertical line symbol. The software will then select one word or phrase from between each set of braces and construct a new article. Let’s consider a simple example:

{Yesterday|The other day|On Saturday} {my friend|my mate|my pal} John {went|travelled|took a trip} on a train.

Brace or curly bracket : {  and }
Pipe or vertical line symbol:  |

This example will give us 9 variations on that single sentence. Minor 1 or 2 word variations from any other, to be sure, but each variation will mean the same or almost the same thing. There is nothing to say that there has to be only 3 variations within each pair of braces and the more selections there are, the more variations can be generated. Do this over a 500 word article and you can end up with potentially thousands of articles, although many may only differ by one or two words, but as each variation is generated within a couple of seconds getting a hundred or so articles of 40%+ uniqueness would not be difficult.

Free and cheap software do not consider context, merely individual words so a phrase”The cat played with a ball‘ might end up auto-spun as ‘A tiger dribbled the sphere‘, which, more than likely, would not fit with what you were trying to say. To avoid this you can hand-spin the article yourself or find someone on Fiverr to do it although you need to make sure they are using context-aware spinning software if they’re not doing it by hand.

Now to add more to uniqueness you can also nest braces so that you can end up with a huge number of variations on your starting theme. I’ll try and demonstrate nesting braces here:

{ {Yesterday|The other day|On Saturday} {my friend|my mate|my pal} John {went|travelled|took a trip} on a train} | {My {mate|friend|pal} John {went|travelled|took a trip} on a train {yesterday|the other day|on Saturday} }

So you can see our original simple sentence (in red) as above and a second variation (in blue), separated by the pipe symbol and grouped within the outermost braces. Only one of these phrases will be chosen, before the variations of each phrase are generated. Note that this is a bad example in real life as all the words are the same in both sentences, just in a different order. To do it better, each ‘root’ sentence should be as totally different as possible. It might not be possible to do this every time, but it can drastically increase the number of variations you can create.

Things to be aware of when you’re using this manual article spinning technique.

  • Make sure the indefinite article is within a variation so you don’t end up with ‘a elephant’ or ‘an zebra’. If each variation between pipes makes sense in its own right, you then have more chance of the whole sentence making sense too.
  • Choose your synonyms and phrases with care. More variations of each word mean you end up with a potentially larger number of articles, but they might not all make sense if you are careless. Not every synonym is sensible in every case.
  • Keep your paragraphs short to make them easier for you to scan and cross check after the spinning has taken place.
  • If you do nest phrases or sentence variations, use colour coding to help keep them separate. It makes it easier for you to read. Selecting all and changing the colour back at the end is not difficult.

Check your results carefully before releasing them into the wild. Badly spun articles show up and it was rumoured for a while that Google was able to spot automated spun articles and were discounting them from search results. After reading a few you can easily understand why!

Article spinning is a useful tool when done correctly. Hope these article spinning techniques will enable you to do things the right way and end up with a large number of useful articles in a very short while.

Do you spin your articles or PLR ebooks? Do you distribute your spun articles to repositories? Why not share which ones with us. Your comments below are always welcome.

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Until the next time… Tally Ho!

Product Creation – It’s a game well worth starting

Product Creation – It’s a game well worth starting

Internet marketers are often told that they should create their own products, but quite often they’ll trot out the same old excuses. “I don’t know enough”, “I’m not expert enough” or “There’s nothing new to say”. These combined with “I’m no good an English” or “I don’t like writing”, are the ones that seem to kill any attempt at product creation before it even starts.

The experts are right though. You do need to create your own products. If you are an affiliate for someone else’s stuff there may become a time when they decide to stop selling it, and they won’t warn you in advance either. So if you’ve just spent time and money putting together a big campaign for somebody’s product, it could very easily all go down the pan in an instant. This is the strongest reason for making your own digital products.

The other main reason, of course, is that you could be the one who has hundreds of affiliates selling your products with your name on them, spreading your fame and building your brand – Just like you’re probably doing for someone else right now.

Dealing with the above excuses is really quite easy. By doing what you’re doing already, you probably know more than the average person, and that level of knowledge is all that you need to get started. You might not be a sought out expert in the global scheme of things, but just by publishing your own e-book, recording an interview for someone else or putting up a video of you talking about as aspect of your favourite niche – you will start to be perceived as an expert by your buying public.

As for being no good at English, many of today’s marketers seem to make a virtue of how bad they were at school, graduating (or not, sometimes) with no qualifications but how they’ve still gone on to be a success, and every last one of them will have several products (at several price levels) that they at least provided the seed ideas for. So there’s clue number one. They didn’t necessarily write every word themselves. All they did was provide a list of subjects, sub-headings or ideas to someone else who can write for them to turn into an e-book.

Once you have a book then why not read it out loud into a microphone plugged into your computer? Using a free program called Audacity, you’ll be able to turn your book into an audio too and if you don’t like the sound of your voice then head over to the usual micro-job sites and find someone whose voice you do like to do the job for you.

Finally, use Powerpoint or a free equivalent (Open Office, Libre Office and a few others) to make up some slides of the high points of your book or speech and use some of the free movie making software to… well, make a movie. You might need to spread the timing of the slides out to match the speech, or just create some more slides, but by the time you’ve finished (or the person you’ve hired has finished), you will have 3 products that you can use to brand yourself as an expert. Written, audio and video products are the 3 ways to reach your buyers and by offering all three you will cover everybody’s preferences. They are also 3 separate sources of revenue if you choose to market them that way. And most importantly, they are yours and under your control. A great asset to your business.

If you’d like to know more about product creation, please feel free to grab my ebook – Product Creation for the Terminally Terrified at http://www.stevenlucasmarketing.com/sm-ccc This contains more detailed information about how to get started, resources to help you and tips for continued inspiration.

Re-Use PLR – A How To guide

How To Re-Use PLR

Private Label Rights or PLR ebooks, presentations and videos could be one of the most valuable things you have on your hard drive, but 99 times out of 100 I’ll bet they are glanced at once (maybe) and then abandoned, never to be seen again. Here’s some words of wisdom on how to re-use PLR for your own profit. Time to get some rent from the space it’s inhabiting on your computer’s storage space.

First of all it’s worth mentioning that this only applies to PLR and not Resale Rights or Master Resale Rights materiel. Resale Rights & Master Resale Rights are designed to resold ‘as-is’. They might include a mini-site to sell the ebook (or whatever it is) from, but with Resale Rights all you should pass on to your customer is the ebook and not the whole package that you got, and that ebook should not be changed in any way.

With Master Resale Rights you do pass on the original mini-site (before you changed any details within to your own) as well as the ebook – pretty much the package as you recieved it, although if you’re sensible you will have added an extra document with your own details, squeeze page or affiliate link (cloaked of course) within the zip file of the contents. Most zip file creators will let you just drag and drop a new document into the file, so that bit is not difficult and will put you ahead of many marketers who do not do this.

Another thing to bear in mind – and this applies to Private Label Rights as well as Resale Rights and Master Resale Rights, is that many of them cannot just be given away under their terms and conditions and although I doubt if anyone has ever been taken to court over this, it wouldn’t take much to have a negative campaign started against you. People do work hard to create these packages (despite the look of some of them) and you should respect their work, the same as you would if you bought the package from Clickbank, JVZoo or anywhere else. Just because it’s electronic format doesn’t mean it’s available as a free for all.

So back to the point of how to re-use PLR. Many of the packages do come with an admonishment not to give away the package as-is, but of course, once you have altered it, even if you do just re-use PLR, it becomes yours to do with as you please, which will include give-away rights, if you’d prefer to. The least you should do is change the title and graphics – especially if you are re-selling. There’s no point in selling the same item as everybody else, which happens all too often when people re-use PLR.

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How to Re-use PLR. Edit the document.

Good PLR will come with an editable version as well as the PDF original, making editing relatively easy. If it doesn’t then there are various web sites and a good few pieces of software that will do the conversion for you. Most of the software does cost though if you want to do more than a few pages. The current sites do a good job of converting your file for you:

  • http://www.pdftoword.com
  • http://www.pdfonline.com/pdf-to-word-converter
  • https://www.freepdfconvert.com/pdf-word
  • http://www.smallpdf.com/pdf-to-word

There are many others but these are ones I’ve tested.

Whenever you re-use PLR, make sure you read through all the text and correct the sometimes spurious grammer so you will be starting with a quality document. Add your own introduction so that people know about you before they start and include a picture as well as links to your site. The intro pages though are not the place to do any selling (beyond selling yourself). Let the reader see the value of what you’re presenting them first.

Old document with nice stampWhether the document has images or not, consider adding to or changing them, mainly to ensure you know the source of the pictures. You cannot guarantee that any pictures used are not copyrighted to someone, so if you add your own from known royalty-free sources then you will be covered in that aspect. Another anti-lawyer trick to save your hide.

To really make a PLR ebook more your own is to re-write at least 25% of it. This can be anything from a few changes of words here and there to paragraph re-writes or even chapter extensions if you have more knowledge than the original writer intended to hand over. While you’re re-writing, take the opportunity to check the accuracy of the information presented too. You don’t want to get a reputation for giving out of date data, just becasue you re-use PLR.

The final thing to do to your re-vamped ebook is to write a new ending. Improve the conclusion making sure it is more in your own ‘voice’ rather than than the originator’s, making sure you include references to anything you want to tell the world about, but make sure is relevant to the niche of the contents and not just some random, high value item you happened to find. Just because you re-use PLR doesn’t mean it has to stay the same as the original document.

Converting the document back to PDF can be done in two ways. If you have a modern version of MS Word or you are using Open Office, Libre Office or the like, then a Save As PDF or Export As PDF option will be in the file menu. If you have a word preocessor that does not support PDF conversion natively then you will need to look online for a PDF printer driver. This basically appears to the computer as a printer but prints to a file rather than a physical device.

Whichever way you use to convert, think about adding a little security to your new PDF document (as this applies to any document you write that you convert to PDF). I usually prevent copying and if it’s my own document, printing too. You will have to add an administrator password to the document to do this, but you do not need a user password (so that people can just read your new ebook without having to log in to it).

How to Re-use PLR. Re-voice a movie.

It seems to be a fact of online life that adding a video to a product increases the perceived value. It also seems to be a fact that many of these videos have been done by voices best suited to silent movies. Fortunately you can do something about it rather than passing on something you’d rather not be known for. You certainly don’t have to just re-use PLR videos.

This really only works for presentation videos – where a presentation has been turned into a movie. If you have a talking head video (which is rare in PLR) you should just study the material and make your own from scratch. If there is no video, then why not add one anyway. It does increase the perceived value and gives you another chance to increase your personal branding.

If you are lucky, then the basic presentation file will be available and you can start from there. You can easily make a decent video from a presentation using Windows Movie Maker, which is free. As before add your own branding where you can, definitely at the beginning and end, and if you can edit the background template to include your branding too, you will be well away.

In the case where there is no PowerPoint file to start from, then you may wish to use a video editing program like Videmux (free, of course) to strip off the existing audio and then add your own. You are of course reliant on the timing of the slide changes provided by the original, so watch the video with a stopwatch and note the times of the changes. Develop your own script around these timings before using Videmux or Movie Maker to add your own voice-over.

How to Re-use PLR. Conclusions.

PLR even stuff that’s years old may be re-used in this way, turning into effectively a brand new product and one with your name on it. Used as a baseline when you re-use PLR you are giving yourself a head start for product creation and by changing it beyond the recognition of the original PLR writer you will be turning out something of value to you and to your customers. So did out something from the back of your hard drive and get converting. Your next big release could be lurking in there.

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What You Need To Know About Choosing A Domain Name

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Domain Name

What is a ‘domain name’?

A domain name is the bit you type in when you want to look at a web page on your browser. It is also the first thing you need when you want to set up a web site of your own.

Domains, Domain Names The internet is an all-digital place which means that everything needs to be either a one or a zero. Computers really only understand something being on (a one) or off (a zero) but for the sake of humans can also be programmed to understand numbers that we find it easier to understand. We can easily cope with 201 rather than 11001001 but when it came to listing the long string of numbers required for a web address, humans would rather deal with words, and that’s what a domain name is – a word representation of the numerical address of web site.

The end part of the domain name is known as the Top Level Domain (TLD) and is the after the ‘dot’. It reflects either a region and/or the type of business that the web site has been created for. Some are restricted by the nationality of the website owner or business location – you have to live in that country to be able to use that TLD but many are freely available to anyone who asks.

Special TLDs are only available to particular groups. Governments are the only ones who can use .gov, educational establishments are the only ones allowed to use .edu and military organisations have exclusive use of .mil. It used to be only internet service providers who could use .net and non-profit organisations who could use .org but that has dropped by the wayside now and anyone can grab them.

The market has also recently been opened up to new TLDs and although they cost a great deal more than the traditional extensions their popularity is growing and this is opening up the domain name world to a whole new batch of names and extensions.

The middle part of a domain name, the bit between the dots, if you like, is the part we choose for ourselves and what mostly makes our domain name different from everybody else’s. It doesn’t allow spaces or underscores and is not case-sensitive so capitals do not make any difference. You can have a dash or numbers and these do make a domain name different from any that do not or have them in different places.

The middle part and the TLD is the domain name that you actually buy from a place known as a domain registrar, although strictly speaking you only ever rent the name as if has a given life, which is renewable at the end of its life.

Sub-Domains

The first part of the domain name (usually www, but can be almost anything else) is also known as the sub-domain and is subject to the same restrictions as the middle part and allows a domain name owner to sub-divide the domain into totally separate areas. Hence abc.domainname.com is a different domain (effectively) to www.domainname.com and unless specifically linked cannot communicate with each other. For example, you might see a car manufacturer have a different sub-domain for each model of vehicle that they sell.

Uniform Resource Locator – URL

There is another part to the full domain name, otherwise known as the URL or Uniform Resource Locator. This is seen as http:// at the beginning of the domain name. Modern browsers do not require this to be typed in and add it automatically if it is omitted. There are other prefixes that are available but are very seldom used and need not concern us at this stage of the game. Just in case you are interested http stands for hyper text transfer protocol.

URL

Strictly speaking a URL consists of the full address of a web page not just a web site. The page address is added at the right hand end of the domain name after a forward diagonal slash. After the slash can be a folder name (or number of them) and/or a file or page name. There are a number of page names that are accepted without mention such as index and default and different page types such as htm, html, php, asp and cfm depending on the technology that the host server runs (more on this in the hosting document).

So our full URL looks like this: http://www.domainname.com/folder/index.htm and you know what each component of the name is.

How to choose a domain name

Now to the important bit – What to choose for your domain name?

Well it may be easy. You’ve picked something you’d like to sell and a generic product name is available. However that is unlikely these days and most single words are already in use, at least in .com form. With new TLDs being released you may be lucky if you really want a short name.

More likely is that you will have to settle for a 2, 3 or 4 word phrase if you want a .com domain name or you may be able to get .org, .biz, or a country specific TLD – assuming what you’re putting up on your website is specific only to that country. If you are selling a single product or group of products you may be able to pick a phrase that is descriptive of what you are selling. Pick words that are clear and unambiguous. You want a phrase that you can speak and people will instantly know the exact words you’re using. Hence avoid – to, too, two, – their, there, – air, heir and other homonyms because without spelling them out people won’t know which words your domain name contains. For similar reasons also avoid numbers since people won’t know whether to spell the number or just use the numeral.

A word of warning here.

Unless you own the copyright on a particular brand name, do not include that brand name in your domain name. Nasty lawyers come after you with big sticks to persuade you that what you are doing is naughty and that you should cease and desist. Avoid the problem – avoid brand names.

With the confusing number of top level domains, it may be that you are undecided on which one to go for. By far the most popular is of course .com and is the first thing most people think of if you tell them a domain name. Chances are if they only remember the ‘middle part’ they will try .com at the end first anyway. The rest of the TLDs are all pretty much of a muchness as far as an online identity is concerned with a few exceptions which are easy to avoid.

One of the new TLDs is .xxx which is being sponsored by the online porn industry. Unless your site will run that way, it is certainly one to avoid. Obviously you won’t even be offered .gov, .mil, .edu and other specialist TLDs so you won’t pick one of those by mistake. Your guideline should be, if you’ve seen it before, then you should be OK.

There are also some opportunities for lateral thinking. If you’re in the USA the option of .us is open to you, as www.delicio.us is a clever use of that TLD. If your site is television based whether a TV station or TV sales then .tv domain names could be a thought for you. That TLD is actually for a Pacific island nation (Tuvelu) but they will allow anyone anywhere in the world to use it.

So there’s some thoughts and ideas for picking and buying a domain name. Next you’ll need somewhere to put all the web pages that people will see when they type in your new domain name and that is the subject of the next document.

How to get a domain name for yourself.

As I said above, you get a domain name from a domain registrar, which is a company that represents the domain administrators which are usually nationally based although some of them are global. There are a number of registrars on the internet, some of which you may have heard of or seen on your internet travels. There are no actual price restrictions on the cost of domain names and these registrars usually compete on price with each other, sometimes to the point of being lower than the price they pay from the domain administrator – but not often!

My suggestion for domain registrar is Namecheap – http://www.namecheap.com as they have a great reputation for service, which is sometimes desperately required when things go wrong. The other well known registrar is GoDaddy – http://www.godaddy.com still has a good reputation but have been known to suspend a domain name if they receive complaints about it. Almost all domain registrars have free registration to their sites so it will cost you nothing to log in and compare prices and features.

Very often domain hosts also sell (or re-sell) domain names but there is one good reason why you would not want to buy your domain name from the same supplier as your web hosting, and that is the fact that web hosting companies have been known to fail and go under. This would take your domain name away from your control as well. At least with the two parts being separate you can point your domain name to a new host when you have the need without any problems.

Many domain registrars also offer hosting of their own, but are often uncompetitive on price and for the reason stated above it’s better to keep domain registration and web hosting with different companies.

If I gave you an exact word for word, click by click description of what to do, there is every chance that whichever registrar you decide to go with would be different or may have changed because of a website update. Also you’re intelligent people and don’t need to be told to put your name in the box marked ‘name’.

What you might want help with is choosing the domain name itself.

As time has gone on the shorter and snappier names have all been taken. It is now very difficult to get anything shorter than 5 letters that is a single pronounceable word, especially a word that is in the dictionary. You may not be able to find NEW domains but you will certainly find second hand ones available. Take a look on Ebay (I got 3 on there once for $10 each. They weren’t recognizable English words, but they were 5 letters and pronounceable!),  Sedo – a well known site for people reselling existing domain names and sites or take a good search around for expired domains – again there are specialist sites who deal in them, but beware as there are people who will put huge values onto domains claiming they are ‘unique’. Well duh! Every domain name is unique, otherwise we wouldn’t know where we might end up.

Domain names are a big subject, as you might have gathered from the length of this post, but if you’re in the market for becoming a marketer then sooner or later you will want your own domain name. Hopefully now you’ll know more of what they’re all about.

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5 Top Free Internet Marketing Courses

5 Top Free Internet Marketing Courses

There are a number of free internet marketing courses, or at least places that are free to start, even if they have an advanced course. For the purposes of this article – the course has to be free to join and take you up to a place where a brand new starter, without a domain name, website or clue, could be reasonably expected to start making some money. This means that one or two so called free internet marketing course had to be excluded as they could leave the student hanging at an incomplete point – unless they paid for the rest of the course.

By complete I mean training a new starter to:

  • Get a domain
  • Get hosting
  • Pick a niche
  • Set up a website, either a pre-built template or WordPress (or similar)
  • Optimise the website
  • At least one basic traffic method free or paid

The word ‘free’ obviously does not include the cost of buying a domain, hosting or other essential ancillaries for starting a website (if that’s the way the free internet marketing course was run).

My 5 choices of free internet marketing courses are:

There were a few others but many did not fulfil all the criteria I set, mostly they assumed a website was already in place or were purely directed at only one aspect of marketing (product creation, email marketing, social media strategies etc.). Without further ado – here goes:

Affilorama http://www.sazaz.com

To start with the whole site looks a bit overwhelming. Everything is there in Affilorama, but there is no structured course as such. There are plenty of video tutorials on individual aspects of marketing, along with a transcript underneath and at the bottom of each page there are ‘suggested other pages’ related to the main heading. With over 100  tutorials there is a lot to get through and there is a ‘completed’ box in each corner so that you can mark when you’ve been somewhere.

There are only 2 paid ‘upsells’ (a third is coming soon)and at $297 & $997 they’re big ones but there’s a lot more support including niche researched templates and the full done for you service. People seem to stay for a long time around this site going by the blog entries and there’s a lot of peer support in the free area.

A lot of information but the lack of a structured course lets it down a bit. The best thing is that there is no time limit to complete everything.

Wealthy Affiliate  WA

This is probably one of the best known of the free internet marketing courses. It gives structured lessons helping you to set up a free WordPress blog within their own domain, in a niche of your own choice and populate it with your own posts. You are encouraged to visit other people’s sites and leave comments, as well as giving peer support in the chat forum. There is a bit of time pressure as, after a given amount of time your free blog will be suspended then deleted unless you pay to stay with the group.

Once you do pay you are told how to improve your blog further and given more traffic tips. The fee is monthly and does increase the amount of support you get. The free part of the course is well structured and all the basics are there, so you could easily take the lessons away and start again on your own, or you could do, as a lot of people have done, pay and stay

Shoemoney Shoemoney

Joel Shoemaker is a well established marketer and this course is well thought out. Going through the course reflects Joel’s interest in marshal arts and as you progress you receive belts of various colours. Another nice touch is that you sometimes get financial rewards (albeit small ones) for completing certain sections and for introducing other people.

In the course (as in many other free courses, whether online or ebook form) Joel makes his own money by having his affiliate links in key places – the domain registrar, hosting, autoresponder etc. and with many of them being ongoing payments, he is assured of a small but regular income – certainly enough to pay some of it back with his rewards system.

This free internet marketing course is laid out in such a way that things have to be done in a certain order and you cannot progress until you have entered particular details in a form at the end of certain pages. Things like the Get Response API which forces you to have Joel’s choice of autoresponder.

So the structure is there although the time pressure isn’t and nor is the peer support. Some support is available from the administrators but it isn’t necessarily quick. Everything is there though even if some of the choices are limited.

Neotuts Neotuts

Otherwise known as the 30 Days to Success Challenge this is one of the simplest laid out of the courses but is well structured although not in a forced way. I actually went through the entire course in less than a day (mostly because I had all the basics in place). Again the site owner – Allen Payne makes some income via affiliate links to the essential services, but you’re not forced down a particular route or penalised if you don’t pick a certain provider.

The layout is sequential but you’re not held back until the previous step is confirmed – ideal if you want to work at a faster pace than the day by day suggestions. The course may be laid out to be done over 30 days but you can take your own time over it. Support again is only via the admin team and there is no peer support facility.

I just discovered that this 30 day course was once a $37 WSO, so to be getting it for free now is definitely a good thing.

There are a number of paid for courses on the site but these are not in your face sales and they’re not forced upon you either. You can subscribe for $15 a month or $150 lifetime. Pretty good value, I’d say.

Udemy – An Entry to Website Marketing udemy

If you’ve never heard of Udemy.com then you really ought to find them and make good use of the site. Registration is free and there are thousands of courses priced from free to ‘a lot’ on all sorts of topics and not just internet marketing based. The course I’m offering here is called ‘An Entry to Website Marketing’ and, as all Udemy course are, is video based with files as handouts and extra information.

This particular course has 26 videos and the pre-start notes say it will take around 4 hours to complete and is delivered by Ron Stefanski who is a professor ‘who teaches internet marketing for a living’. I haven’t taken this course yet but I have taken other Udemy courses before and I know they are well structured although the teaching quality is variable. Much depends on the speaking voice of the tutor and him (or her) having a decent microphone. When I do go through this free internet marketing course then I’ll let you know how good it is by updating this post.

So there you have it – a short bit about 5 top free internet marketing courses. As they’re all free they all have ‘value for money’ and even experienced marketers may learn a thing or two. Why not pick one or two and go through them. You might even pick up a useful idea or two for yourself.

Increase your optin signups

Increase your optin signups

When you first put up an optin signups page and you start telling people about it, you get a small sudden burst of interest which quickly fades away. Is there a way of how you can increase your optin signups to give you more subscribers you can make your offers to?

Of course there is. In fact there’s several, but here’s a rough and ready one that relies on finding some friends in the same niche as you. 2 or 3 friends will be enough although I’ve seen as many as 5.

The technique to increase your optin signups is called click swapping and at this basic level it requires an amount of honesty and equal work between the click swap partners.

First of all, make sure you each have a different give-away. No one is going to sign up to multiple lists giving the same thing away. From each of your friends you need a link to their squeeze page. All you do is place that link on your download page with a message to ‘Check out these extras’, or words to that effect.

Now if all of you are putting the same effort into your own optin signup pages, there is a good chance that each person who gets to your download page will be intrigued enough to click through the other links to see what else is available and your friends will also be sending their signups to you as well. To add an element of tracking you could use a WordPress plugin called Pretty Links to shorten your optin signup page link and create a different link (to the same destination) for each person in your click swap group so you can see who has sent you the most clicks.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ed/Swapping_apples.svg/918px-Swapping_apples.svg.png

When you’re setting up the links on your download page, set them up so that they open in a new tab or browser by adding target =”_blank” within the HTML code, so that it looks like this:

<a href=http://www.MyFriendsWebsite.com/OptinPage.html target=“_blank”>Get this cool report</a>

As I say, this technique requires that your all put the same amount of work into attracting optin signups. This could also serve as an introduction to a technique known as clickbanking. It is almost exactly the same except it is done with more sophisticated tracking software and does not rely on the honesty of individuals. Instead, one person will add a tracked link to their own download page that goes to somebody else’s squeeze page and when a certain number of clicks or signups (whichever is agreed) has been reached, then things work the other way. This is normally done with sending emails to a list rather than relying on other traffic methods, but I’m sure by now that you’re getting the idea – I send to you & you send to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQFxH0vnhq0

Of course, not every one of the optin signups who makes it to your download page will click through to your friend’s optin signups page, but enough will to make a definite increase in the size of your list. All you have to do then is keep them entertained and entranced so that they stay there.

WordPress & Marketing Training for Newbies

WordPress & Marketing Training for Newbies

Now don’t get too excited. I’m not going to spend the next few posts giving a WordPress & Marketing Training for Newbies tutorial, but having started on the Quick Start Challenge, I’ve seen that a great number of people who are brand new to internet marketing need some help in getting a WordPress blog set up and have the basics of marketing explained to them.

WordPress Logo
WordPress Logo—Phil Oakley (Flickr.com)

Now for the people on the training course there were a number of videos in the membership area giving the members all the help they needed, which is great if you have access to the membership area, but not so great if you’ve never heard of the challenge or have found out that it’s months away before the next one starts – or even if it will ever be run again. This is not good for WordPress & Marketing Training for Newbies. They need training now.

There’s also a huge number of questions that new marketers ask time and time again – and it’s nearly always the same few questions, or at least the answers will be the same.

My solution to this is a new website that will take over the basic tutorial side of this one. I’ll carry on with more advanced training and ideas here, but http://www.MarketingMentorSteven.com will be the place to go for new starters, confused people and ones who want to go back to the basics. I will put support in place for the new site but it won’t be as interactive as this one in that I won’t be allowing comments and once it’s up and running, it won’t need much in the way of maintaining.

I’ll start with a section on WordPress and, as and when I can, I’ll add other basic marketing tips, so that people can come back here or buy more advanced products and begin to have a clue as to what they’re being taught. This will also be a terrific outlet for some of the WordPress PLR I’ve been collecting (once it’s been revamped of course) so I won’t have to write everything from scratch. I’m bound to upset a few people as they have been selling this stuff for years, sometimes at well inflated prices, even though the information is freely available elsewhere – if only new starters knew what to search for. For example…

Hopefully the basics of WordPress & Marketing Training for Newbies on http://www.MarketingMentorSteven.com won’t take too long to get going – at least the first few videos can go up, even if they’ve got somebody else’s voice on for the moment and I can go over them again later and the same with some tutorial articles. People are going to be directed there from other places so I don’t have to worry too much just yet about Google penalties for duplicate content as I don’t try to rank for SEO. This niche is way too competitive for that. I do want to personalise things so that I do increase brand ‘Steven Lucas’, but I’m more interested in helping people with WordPress & Marketing Training for Newbies on this new site than ranking high.

I could do with an assistant though, if somebody wants to offer. You must have good WordPress experience and be happy with FTP. In exchange I’d allow you to put your own affiliate links in the sidebar and if the site gets popular then I’m sure we could arrange something more. What I can’t afford to do is pay or take too much time to do training. It would be for the experience mostly. I bet I don’t get many offers!

Must get cracking. I have an aircraft booked for tomorrow to show off my flying skills whilst recording a video for Quick Start Challenge. I left it too long almost, but I do want to keep up with the challenge, especially since there is a great prize on offer for one of the videos.

One last thing for dedicated readers who have made it this far down the post. Here’s a free report that includes links to 7 (yes seven) training videos on product creation. Just CLICK HERE to download the pdf file and enjoy.

4 Crucial Things You Need To Do List Building

4 Crucial Things You Need To Do List Building

Online marketing may have developed a sudden surge these past few years, but many in the know how have felt its rise even from way then. As more internet based businesses are put up, the need to develop new marketing skills and knowledge based on this new medium have arisen. More and more marketing strategies are being discovered and developed to cope with the changing face of business the business world.

The demand for online marketing tips and strategies have drastically grown and a new form of business has been born, internet marketing strategies. While there are companies that are all too eager to help your site and business build a clientèle for a fee, there also many ways that can spread the word about your sites subsistence in a more cost free way. One of this is opt-in email marketing, also known as permission marketing or list building.

Email list, Email Marketing

Opt-in marketing requires the permission of a willing customer to subscribe to your marketing materials, materials that take form in newsletters, catalogues and promotional mailings via e-mail. The more opt-in marketing mail is sent, the more chances there is to bag sales and more sales. To do this, you must build a list of all those who wants to subscribe to your opt-in marketing list.

From your list building efforts, you will get your targeted customers. This is a good list since they already have shown interest in what you have to show and sell since they have willingly signed in for your list. These are the people who have liked what they have seen in your site and have decided they want to see more and maybe even purchase what ever product or service your company and site has to offer.

Many people would think that list building takes hard work and a lot of time to build and collect names and addresses. This is not so, it takes a bit of patience and some strategies, but in doing this list, you open your site and your business to a whole new world of target market. Take the effort to take your business to a new level, if traffic increase and good profits are what you want, an opt-in email list will do wonders for your business ventures.

There are many sources and articles in the internet available for everyone to read and follow in building a list. Sometimes they may be confusing because there are so many and there different ways. Different groups of people would have different approaches in building an opt-in list, but no matter how diverse many methods are, there are always some crucial things to do to build your list. Here are four of them.

1) Put up a good web form in your site that immediately follows the end of your content. While some may say this is too soon to subscribe for a website visitors application, try to remember that your homepage should provide a quick good impression. If somehow a website visitor finds something that he or she doesn’t like and turns them off, they may just forget about signing up.

A good web form for subscribing to an opt-in list is not hard to do. Just write a simple short statement about how they would like to see more and get updated about the site. Then there should be an area where they could put in their names and e-mail address. This web form will automatically save and send you the data’s inputted. As more people sign in, your list will grow.

2) As mentioned in the first tip, make your homepage very, very impressive. You need to have well written articles and descriptions of your site. Depending on what your site is all about, you need to capture your website visitor’s fancy. Make your site useful and very easy to use. Do not expect everyone to be tech savvy. Invest in having good programming in your site, make your graphics beautiful but don’t over do it.

Don’t waste your time making the homepage too overly large megabyte wise. Not all people have dedicated T1 connections, the faster your site gets loaded, the better. Go for a look that borders between simplicity and sophisticated knowledge.

3) Provide good service and products. A return customer is more likely to bring in more business. Even then and now, a satisfied customer will recommend a business always. Word of mouth and recommendations alone can rake in more business than an expensive ad. As your clientèle roster grows so shall your list. With more members on the list, the more people will get to know about what you have new to offer.

4) Keep a clean and private list. Never lose the trust your customers have entrusted you. If you provide e-mails to others and they get spammed, many will probably unsubscribe from you. Remember, a good reputation will drive in more traffic and subscribers as well as strengthen the loyalty of your customers.

As always, good readers, please feel free to comment below. Have you got any good list building tips?

Talking of list building, if you want more updates and information, please sign up using one of the forms. There are always bonus items for my readers.

Where To Get Affiliate Products To Sell

Where To Get Affiliate Products To Sell

A lot of money is made by selling on a commission basis. That is – I sell the stuff for you in return for a cut of the sales price, and in effect, the more you sell, the more money you make. The upside from the sellers point of view is that he can have an army of people selling his affiliate products, for which he pays nothing unless they actually make sales. He pays nothing for advertising or driving traffic and he does not have to worry about his brand reputation – provided his product really is up to the mark. The affiliate gains through having products to sell without all the hard work of product creation and, provided he is using reputable affiliate sales companies, no worries about if and how he is going to get paid.

So who are these affiliate product companies?

 

Clickbank Logo

Clickbank is probably one of the best known. It has thousands of products in many niches and has a rock solid reputation. All of the products sold on Clickbank are electronic – either downloadable directly or through web based membership sites. Commission rates are set between 25% & 75% by the seller but affiliates are not paid until 28 days after the sale AND once earnings cross a preset level. There’s also a little kick where if you don’t earn enough to be sent a cheque (or direct bank deposit), after a certain time, Clickbank will knock a dollar off your earnings to encourage to go out and sell more.

It does cost an amount (currently $49.95) to set up a product for sale and your sales funnel is vetted to make sure it complies with all of Clickbank’s rules. They can take recurring amounts so it is good for ongoing membership sites. Sales tracking is good and although customer service is reputed to be a bit slow at times, the company is well known for making it easy to get refunds which come from Clickbank itself rather than the vendor (hence the 28 day delay in payments).

Affiliates do not have to apply to sell any particular product and the links can come ‘ready cloaked’ if desired. Clickbank also supply a QR code graphic with the affiliate link embedded and encourage the suppliers to provide the JV essentials like pre-written sales blurb and graphics.

There are far worse places to start and Clickbank make it very easy for new affiliates to get started.

 

JVZoo Logo

JVZoo is the one place that internet marketers will all, eventually, find their way to. It’s a much friendlier looking site than Clickbank and has many of the same features although there are some differences which are quite important. The biggest difference that a newbie will notice is that every product has to be applied for, although if products are in a funnel, permission is given for the whole funnel as a group and the affiliate does not have to ask for each product individually.

Vendors have far more control in JVZoo than they do in Clickbank. They can set any level of commission from 10 to 100% and as hinted above, can set up an entire funnel of products, many layers deep and setting up the upsells and downsells is very easy for the vendor. Unlike Clickbank, selling through JVZoo is free.

Payments to the affiliates is also more under the control of the seller as they have the option to offer immediate payments (as soon as the affiliate has made a sale), which is usually only offered to trusted sellers or delayed for a certain number of days. This is because the vendor themselves is responsible for issuing refunds although this is done through the JVZoo interface (for commission accounting purposes), so the vendor must know that there is ‘money in the bank’ to make these refunds from.

Once an affiliate has been approved to sell a product he will be able to pick up his sale links which are not cloaked, so there is an extra step there for the marketer to take – most of whom would hide their affiliate link within a tracking link anyway (or at least a bit.ly or Pretty Link). Sellers can also add their own bonus items either via a direct upload or a URL and so increase the ‘buy through me’ attraction to potential customers.

JVZoo have an added bonus for both sellers and affiliates in that they can link sales directly to a Get Response autoresponder account so there is no need to sell an item through your own squeeze page to get a buyers list. This feature is definitely worth setting up as soon as you get a JVZoo account and approval for products. You will need to find the Get Response API code within your account, but you only need to do it once. I do recommend you set up a new list especially for buyers, and once you get them, treat them like the gold that they are.

As with Clickbank, JVZoo’s reputation is solid and has a number of features that make it far better than Clickbank although it has fewer products and over a narrower range.

Now by no stretch of the imagination are these the only two companies to deal with, although between them they do hold the majority as far as internet marketers go. Other ones include PayDotCom.com who offer facilities to send physical products as well as digital ones and Warrior+ who deal exclusively with WSOs or Warrior Special Offers – digital items sold through the Warrior internet marketers forum. As I have no experience with either of these or any of the many others, I’m not qualified to comment on using them.

As always, I welcome your comments below and I’m more than happy for you to share this post via the social buttons just under this post. I’m also open to guest posters to add their articles provided they will accept one from me in return.