Lots and Lots of Videos–Powtoon Tips

Lots and Lots of Videos – Powtoon Tips

Thanks to Powtoon I’ve been making lots of short animated videos (2 to 3 minutes) on various marketing related topics. You might remember I did a review of the Powtoon  video creation site a few posts back, and I’m pleased to say I’m getting the hang of it now and discovering a few tricks to make the videos a bit more different to the standard. There are also some limitations to work round, making it even more ‘fun’. Here’s a few of my Powtoon tips.

Powtoon Tips

One of the limitations is that you cannot have more than one colour in any one font block. The trick around this is once you have created and edited a text block, no matter what style (text, word by word, letter by letter) you then create an identical size static text block, type a word that you want a different colour, change the colour and overlay it carefully on top of your existing text. If you leave the colour the same, it has the effect of making that word appear bold. Word of warning here. It works with some fonts better than others and it’s better for 1 to 3 words rather than whole sentences as it doesn’t always line up correctly. You can also do this to transition between two different animations of the same character. You just need to play with the timing and make good use of the pop or fade entrances and exits.

So far I haven’t removed the Powtoon outro or tried joining together several clips into a single longer video. The former is not technically difficult and can be done with any free video editor. The latter is because I am quite happy with the video length I’m producing at the moment. I haven’t approached the maximum of 5 minutes (at the free level) yet and for tutorials, 5 minutes is probably quite enough for a single topic. Multiple topics within the same subject will merely require multiple videos. The Powtoon logo in the bottom right corner hasn’t proved much of a limitation either and short of putting a logo of my own as an overlay I’m not sure how else to get round that little issue.

One of my later Powtoon Tips videos

Most of the videos I’m putting up are getting some views and likes through AddMeFast as I had built up a number of points without really using many before, so this is a good way to get some SEO juice into them. I normally go for around 100 views and 50 likes which is not many in the grand scheme of things, but not so many that YouTube will notice anything beyond an initial burst of interest. I’m also sharing the links on various social sites, not more often than once per day per video (except Twitter which gets 3 or 4), although with the number of videos I have I may just be better sharing the channel. When I have posts on a topic or a review then I will also add a video on here as well rather than grabbing a related clip from YouTube.

My early videos (the first week or so) suffered from a lack of branding but I’m remembering to do that now so that this site appears prominently at least at the beginning and end. I will also spend some time doing a couple of clips to use as intros and outros to any other videos I decide to produce although I will, of course, do my best then to make them as ‘my own’ as possible.

I’ve also been through all of my published videos on YouTube and removed the 10 lines of Powtoon advertorial it feels necessary to add to the author’s resource box under the video. Again not a difficult task but one that is unnecessary in my opinion.

One of my early Powtoon videos

I hope you’ve enjoyed these Powtoon tips. If you’ve not started on video making yet, Powtoon is definitely one of the easiest ways to go about it. If you get any great ideas about how to improve the look and feel of the videos that can be made please feel free to share them here. I’d also welcome views and comments on each of the videos and I’ll publish some of them below.  If they help your cause in any way, go ahead and share them on your site or blog as well. In fact, if you ask nicely and provide some basic ideas, I could make a video for you. I would publish it to my YouTube channel, download it and send it to you to do with as you require, then remove it so it didn’t flag as a duplicate if you upload it to your YouTube channel. How’s that for an offer?

Getting past the “Is it worth it?” stage

I have to admit, not for the first time, that I am approaching that thought of “Is it all worth it?”. I set my self a target of 2 posts a week, which is not excessive and I should have plenty to write about, even if they’re just product reviews, but since I’m not really cracking on with earnings I really have to wonder am I just wasting my time. My wife certainly thinks so and tells me in no uncertain terms. I read and study some of the material that I’ve got over the years and I’ve even deleted a few gigs worth that is no longer relevant, not because I need the hard drive space, but to save me looking at it again in a few months or years time.

I know I wasn’t expecting instant wealth when I started this site but I was expecting a build up of readership and possibly revenue. I’ve tried helping people, but obviously the help I was giving (for free) wasn’t what the recipients wanted, which was instant gratification of their wealth dreams. Something I tried to put over that if you want a recurrent, sustainable income, wasn’t going to happen overnight. I didn’t have the answers they wanted to hear, so they stopped listening.

This is the time I know a ‘live’ mentor would be telling me to buck my ideas up and have I completed the last project he gave me to do, but although I know I can’t afford NOT to have a mentor, I also know I can’t afford the subscription fees to take on with one. I know some of my problems lie with the limitations of how much I get done compared with how much I should be doing. Making 25 comments a day on other blogs shouldn’t be difficult, or even finding them, but the inspiration is lacking. Writing 500 to 800 words, twice a week isn’t really that hard but I sometimes feel like the get up and go just went without me.

I’ve set up squeeze pages with free products and put links for them in relevant places – my usual are IBOToolbox, ApSense, and Twitter as well as through some safelist sites. I know all these are low quality, freebie seeking traffic but they should give better results than Adfly and Clicksense and although my list has grown from 55 to 163 it’s taken me 3 months and when you see people claiming getting thousands per day onto their lists, it does bring you down a bit. The list I have got is totally unresponsive, but that’s not surprising given the sources. I suspect that double opt in may be the key here as it forces subscribers to validate their email and gives you a chance to remind them to add you to their contact list, so you at least stand a chance of being in their inbox as opposed to being caught by their spam filter.

So it it all worth it? Tell me in the comments how you get through these sort of periods. Do you have a friend, mentor or business buddy to help you through. Have you ever just given up for another year, to start again another time?

Otherwise I have about 250Gb of data that might be the only money maker I do. A USB hard drive half full of all the IM stuff I’ve accumulated, along with some domain names that have some age on their side and might be good to someone. The next post might just be asking for offers, if I don’t get some serious self-backside kicking done!

Does this look any different to you?

This is NOT a ‘does my bum look big in this’ question, but more of a ‘does this look any different’ sort of thing.

You see, during the day Monday to Friday, internet access in this place is very slow. frustratingly so at times, so I’m trying this little piece of Microsoft software called Windows Live Writer which is supposed to be able to let you blog from your desktop. It’s a lot quicker and more responsive obviously because it’s local to me and once I hit ‘Publish’ it should upload everything to the blog here for the world to see. Failing that I’ll just copy and paste the lot next time I can force the 1200 baud modem to connect!

Yes, it’s silly mood time, but I’m feeling good. If you remember my Big Launch posts a little while ago then if you count the days (30) it means I’ve just been paid out for my efforts. OK. It wasn’t a fortune but it was a nice little extra to the marketing budget. Now for the real updates.

I’ll start with this site. The more observant of you may have noticed a few extra pop ups and boxes here and there, asking for your email address and offering free updates. This is due to a nifty little plugin called AppSumo. This offers a lot of opportunities to join one of my email lists and also helps to track visitors. The base plugin is free as are some of the useful add-ons. Just go to http://www.appsumo.com and grab it for yourself. There’s also a growing community behind it which is small at the moment but it’s got to start somewhere.

You may also have noticed a little pop up in the bottom right corner too, which changes with the page you’re reading. Another little plug in called Notice Box Ads. This came from http://www.resellrightsonline.com and seems an unobtrusive way of delivering an ad without having to slap it in on the sidebar. Yes I’d like to make sales from here, but I want to bring people for the content. Let me know. Are the ads too discrete or too much? Do they get in your way? What about the share bar that drops down with you? Do you ever share good content? I really ought to ask you to share it if you think it worthwhile. What do you do for advertising and sharing. Comments below as always, please.

Work on the September launch of my next product is gathering pace. The manual that goes with the audio training is almost ready. Just need a decent cover for that. I have a mock up that sort of makes a mockery of the word ‘design’. I just threw some graphics at a page and saw what stuck. Need to make it look nicer now.

Also planning a product for late October / early November and this will be a membership site. I have most of the content started but I’ll need to go through it and make up the manual to go with it. Graphics are going to be a big thing for this one as I’ll need a load of related stuff. I have templates, but I really need a joined up approach for this. I have a feeling this one may slip into the new year.

Although it’s not really my field I think getting into training that can be easily carried out on tablets might be a good thing. There’s been a proliferation of 7” sized screen devices and I think there could be a good market for products specifically aimed at that screen size. I’m not sure what just yet. More than just an ebook reader, something interactive and probably web based so it’s easily convertible to iPad and MS Surface formats too. It’s only a glimmer of an idea at the moment. Maybe yes, maybe no. We’ll see.

As always though good people, tell me your thoughts. Have I finally gone off the deep end or am I making reasonable sense? You tell me in the comments below.

Going With A Big Launch

You might have gathered from the amount of posting I’ve been doing here and elsewhere that I’ve put a fair amount of effort into promoting what looks like (on the surface) to be a very small priced item. Alex Jeffreys’ The Money Trigger – a $5 product with a one time offer ($17) and a recurring 2nd offer ($27), doesn’t look like it will be a huge earner but it all depends on who can capture the leads.

I decided to try an experiment – I hadn’t seen it done anywhere else before so I didn’t know how it would go.

As the system stands, if I send a lead to Alex’s sales page and they buy then he gets a ‘known buyer’ lead and I get $5 (100% commission on this item). If they just leave then no one gets anything. So I decided to send them via this squeeze page BEFORE I sent them on to the sales page. That way I’d get a subscriber to my currently scrawny list and then maybe there’d be a sale afterwards. Win-win for me and Alex you’d think. The squeeze page promises nothing that Alex’s sales page doesn’t deliver and there’s no freebie from it (at least not until email 4 from my autoresponder).

This I think was my big mistake.

Because there was no reason to sign up, out of the 2100 clicks that went there, only 12 did and 10 of them were from Lagos, so I don’t expect they’ll be buyers and one of the other sign ups was me testing that it worked. So not a great result.

I’ve learned a few things though (18 hours after my initial launch):

  1. I didn’t put any analytics code on my squeeze page and relied solely on a bitly.com link. Insufficient data really. I’d sent some safelist ads and analytics would have told me if any visitors came from them.
  2. I should have offered a freebie on the squeeze page. I have several self-written ebooks that would have been good to go with this product.
  3. Squeeze page should have been email only rather than name & email at least for Clicksense captures.
  4. Once I knew what was actually in the product (instead of just info on the JV page) I should have re-written the squeeze page to emphasise the value and benefits. Or at least split tested the two.
  5. Clicksense is a lousy source for paying customers – although maybe I was just unlucky. A free offer might have got signups. It is a cheap source of traffic targetable by region  though and worth trying for that reason. I had some credits left over from another campaign and decided to use them rather than put new funds in. Time of day could have been key there. I got a huge proportion of USA clicks but that was early afternoon their time. WAHM clickers probably.
  6. I spent some time on pre-launch teaser messages on Twitter, LinkedIn, IBOToolbox and ApSense – none of which drew in a damned thing (by elimination of other traffic sources) to this blog’s review, where the pre-launch messages were sending them, or to the squeeze page (post-launch). Articles on the latter two sites do have some interest in them but no click throughs as yet. They will remain there for future potential. At least these were free.
  7. I spent $5 on a Twitter blast through Fiverr. I think that’s where the Lagos signups came from.
  8. I’d forgotten that I’d built up some clicks on AddMeFast.com a social sharing site, so I still have that as a potential traffic source. Wish I’d used it at the time though. It’s actually quite fun as click for click sites go. Twitter re-tweets are the best way and run a separate ‘Website Hits’ tab in your browser at the same time to gain a few more clicks. Clicks can be bought, but I earned mine by clicking.

My actual stats from JVZoo weren’t too bad. 51 clicks on the JVZoo link directly resulting in 6 visitors and 3 sales of The Money Trigger and one upsell to MarketingWithAlex Live, so purely on those stats it looks good for Alex’s funnel, but my side definitely needs more work! Picture below:

JVZoo screenshot

I have one last chance which is a 125 click solo ad from Safe-Swaps which is due to go on Saturday. Probably should have booked that in advance to catch some launch interest.

We live and learn.

Please comment below – especially where you think I could have done things differently or better, bearing in mind I’m still at the low budget end of spending money although time is something I can spend.

Mentoring and Other Stuff This Week

I have to say this mentoring stuff is hard work when you’re doing it off the cuff.

I’ve had 4 people approach me this week requesting some help with either their approach to MWA – Marketing With Alex (One of Alex Jeffreys’ tutorial courses) or with their marketing in general. They found me through Alex’s MWA Facebook group. I’m still getting into what their individual requirements are although fortunately they’re all at similar stages with similar wants and needs as well as similar abilities. That makes things a lot easier than it could be.

I’m collecting and collating all the stuff I’m writing for them and sending by email (no conference calls at the moment) so I can put together a formalised course, something I can charge for obviously, but in the meantime, these guys are getting my aid for free. I have no doubt that I’ll be able to work with each of them n future projects. The one common problem is the ‘want it now’ thing. It’s not an attitude or driving force, it’s a mentality that’s been implanted by too many other sellers (not marketers – they’re a different breed) in order to sell the shiny objects.

My first Facebook viral app is going well. It’s live and is pulling in signups to my list, not in huge numbers yet, but it’s only been live a day or so. You can see it here: http://www.aymayzin.com/ultimate-sales-funnel-blueprint/ I used one of my other domains to host it in case it all went pear shaped. I don’t want anything to affect this domain. I will write a follow up review to my earlier one on Facebook Viral Bomb 2.0. I do have a WarriorPlus affiliate request in for this product but the seller has not responded after 48 hours. Either he’s doing well enough on his own to not want affiliates or he’s busy responding to support requests to check his WP account.

I actually think it may be well worth while doing  an article on the Warrior Forum and WarriorPlus and how they tie in together, perhaps throwing in JVZoo, Commission Junction and PayDotCom so that marketers can be aware of alternatives to ClickBank.

Other than that my own activities have been restricted to blog commenting, answering Facebook queries (which got me the mentoring gigs) and trying to do a bit more on my own products. The latter activity has slowed right down due to the unexpected mentoring requests. I want to do them though as positive results with these guys will enhance my reputation – which is what this blog is about! Being flexible enough to change priorities may be a good thing in some ways, but it plays havoc with marketing plans! Time for a plan re-write, methinks.

Mid-Week Update for Mid-May

Another Day, as they say, Another Dollar. Today has been all about promoting Article Factory Pro (see previous post HERE).

It’s an excellent piece of software and I wrote 2 reviews, putting one on IBOToolbox and the other on AyMayZin.com and then linking back to these 2 articles on Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Google+, plus the article I wrote for the previous post, which I also promoted on the social sites. I’ve already had a few re-tweets and favourites from those and it will be interesting to see if they get anything coming through. By sending people to articles instead of directly to the sales page, anyone that does follow the links should be a pre-qualified buyer and more likely to get the software for themselves. About the only thing I haven’t done is create a video especially to go with the review, but I have picked one I liked and linked to it on my WordPress sites.

 

safelistmarketing

I’ve also done my usual 3 safelists – Herculist, European Safelist and SafeMailServices but I’ve written a pre-sell email and linked straight to the sales page. As I’m using a bit.ly link I should be able to do some basic tracking, at least knowing where visitors are coming from as far as browser, country and most importantly – which site are concerned. For those of you who don’t know, when you get a bit.ly shortened link, if you visit the link yourself but add + symbol to the end, it will take you to the link’s stats page. Makes some interesting reading sometimes.

Book-Review

Earlier this week I sent out some review copies of my upcoming book – The Social Marketer, but as no one has got back to me with a review or testimonial, I think I’ll be popping over to the Warrior Forum tomorrow and making the offer there. I understand this is quite normal and you have to put out about 10-12 free copies to get 2 or 3 reviews back. Still trying to decide though what channels to release it through. All of my stuff has gone to Kindle so far, but I fancy trying a WSO, so tonight’s reading will be one or two of the ‘How To Do A WSO’ pdf files that I have. I may even put what I gather to be the procedure on here and then do a before and after review, so we can compare the theory to the reality!

That’s enough to keep you entertained for another visit. Do come back again sometime or login and comment to your heart’s content. Any questions as always to the email address at the top of the page and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

Some Promotions And Activities For May

In my previous entry I told you about a short ebook I’d written that I had put around some document repositories and to go hand in hand with this I had put out a Twitter blast through a Fiverr gig to publicise it, as well as pushing each repository deposit to Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ if the site had the facility built in.

I’ve not had the report back from the Fiverr gig but I have seen a sharp increase in the number of follows my Twitter account has and so have spent some time following back – a necessary evil at the early marketer stage. I’ll count that as a positive sign and as such have done another couple of pushes of the ebook on my Twitter account – Online Marketing Man – @OnlineM54408687 using my Google Drive as a public document store. Apparently Google likes this sort of thing, so I will place other documents there too.

On my AyMayZin blog site I’ve also done a write up for Rent-A-List who I see a a great half way house between the high cost of solo ads and the low quality of safelists. I haven’t actually used them yet, so I guess I’m taking some of it on trust, but they have a good reputation and look to offer a wide range of email and traffic related services. Link to the actual article – HERE.

I’ve also publicised the article to Twitter and written an article for the article on IBOToolbox. Now in case you didn’t know, IBOToolbox is a social site for internet marketers (mostly) and it claims to be regularly indexed by search engines so that articles (they call the press releases) and Wall remarks (rather like Twitter) can be searched and found by non-members although they cannot reply until they sign up (of course). IBOToolbox also has it’s own video site and is adding extras all the time. It’s very social and it’s free to join.

One other place I’ve advertised the AyMayZin article is through a Herculist safelist blast. I’m a member and so can do an email to around 86,000 other members although on past experience I know the open rate on safelists is very low and I think I’d be lucky to see 80 viewers from that source.

Right then. That pretty much sums up today’s marketing activities. There’ll be more to follow very soon. Please keep up with me by putting your details in on the right hand side. You won’t get overly spammed by me and it’s more likely to be marketing information as opposed to sales pitches.

Thanks for reading.