Site Templates and the Importance of a Unique Look

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When it comes to designing web sites, writing business plans, creating spreadsheets, writing newsletters or creating other types of documents, templates can of course be a huge help. When using a ready made template, writers are relieved of much of the drudgery, including formatting, setting margins, choosing fonts, creating formats, and the like. The problem, however, is that these templates can lead to thousands of identical looking documents, thus negating many of the positive aspects of using those templates.

How many times have you seen letters, business plans, newsletters and other documents that all looked exactly the same? This sameness can create the impression that the writer suffers from a lack of imagination, and it can lead those same viewers to subconsciously tune out the message being sent with that document.

The inherent problems that lie with document templates have led many people to doubt the value of ready made web site templates that have been optimized to improve AdSense revenue. While these web site templates have been optimized to provide not only the best ad placement, but the best AdSense ad formats as well, the problem is that many people worry that these web sites will come out looking the same.

This is of course a danger, and it is important that anyone who uses such a template based approach to creating a web site which has been optimized for Google AdSense use to keep in mind that such web sites will need to be made unique and customized in order to have the maximum impact.

That is why it is important that the template software you choose provides a randomization element. These randomization elements use sophisticated software methods to create an infinite number of different web site styles and formats. Even though many of these web sites look similar to the human eye, they are designed to appear quite different to the eye of the search engines.

This is important, of course, since the response and ranking of search engines is such a critical factor in the success or failure of any Google AdSense campaign. Getting a good page ranking on the major search engines can have an enormous impact on page views, and this increase in page views can in turn have an equally enormous impact on click through rates and AdSense revenues.

It is important that any web site template software you are considering is capable of randomizing the various web sites and web pages, while also providing the high quality content that is so critical to success on the internet. The idea behind this customization is to create sites that are infinitely useful, and infinitely customizable.

More information on these easily customizable web site templates can be found at www.adsensetemplates.com. Visit this site for more complete information on this unique and valuable alternative.

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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Myspace Promotion – Key In On This Traffic Explosion

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What Is Myspace?

I’m sure you’ve heard of Myspace.com before, if not here is a quick recap. Myspace is a social networking site where you can build a network of “friends” who can share photos, post blogs and communicate with each other. That’s the general nature of Myspace, but what I’m about to reveal to you are some innovative ways you can start marketing to myspace users and start receiving traffic FAST!

I’ve personally been using Myspace to market my websites for the past few months and have had some great success. Before I proceed I should first state the following:

1) Myspace traffic is usually people between the ages of 15-30 years old. That age group accounts for the majority of the users, BUT they are NOT the only users. You’ll still find many users above that age demographic on Myspace.

2) Myspace was not initially developed to be a social networking marketing website, but because of the millions of members they have, along with the communication tools, many people join Myspace simply for marketing purposes.

3) Myspace is continuously evolving, what works today may not work tomorrow as the coding is always changing and things are becoming stricter. At the time of writing this, these techniques do work.

Creating Your Myspace Account
Before we proceed the first thing you must do is create your myspace account. You can do this at the link below:
Link: http://signup.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=join

When you register with Myspace, it will request you to create a profile. For now create the basic options. With regards to using your real name, you can use an alias if you prefer. The other options such as interest etc are all self explanatory. The uploading of a photo is optional, but for a more favorable response it is best to upload one. If you rather not have your photo on the internet you can upload any image for example an artsy image, an image of anything general to use as a placemat. Keep in mind though, that images of a real person do get a better response rate than those that do not have a photo.

Changing Your Myspace Theme

It’s best that you change your myspace theme from the default theme that Myspace uses. There are many myspace help sites that you can use to select a theme. I’ve listed some of the best ones below:

1) Myspace Support
Link: http://www.myspacesupport.com/myspace-layouts/myspace-layouts.php
2) Doobix
Link: http://www.doobix.com/myspace/layouts/
3) Myspace Layouts
Link: http://www.myspacelayouts.us/

The above three sites should enable you to find a layout that you like. Once you’ve found the layout, copy/paste the layout code they provided into the “About Me” section in your myspace profile. This will then transform your Myspace Profile page to the theme you’ve chosen. Take note that most of these sites will have links back to their website. You can edit the coding to remove these links if you know basic html.

Editing Your Theme

Now that you have your new theme, it is now time to edit it to have links back to the websites you are going to be promoting. If you have banners for your website, you can add those banners in any section you wish. For example by placing your banner code in the about me section it will load your banner in the About Me area. Start placing links to your site in high visible areas, preferably the top half of your profile page.

Okay, you’ve created your profile and have links, so what’s next?

Building Your Friends List

This is the most crucial aspect. You’ve got your page all set and ready to go but you have 1 friend, and that’s a guy name Tom who is everyone’s friend by default. Well, now it’s time to build up your friends list. You can do this in several ways. I’ll show you the free way which may take a bit longer and entails work, and I will show you the easier way which will build your friends list faster.

I’m going to teach you how to build an extremely targeted network of friends who will be interested in what you have to offer. Myspace has a section on their website called “Groups”. Each created group is assigned to a particular category. For example if you want to target a group about “Recipes”, then you would go to the Myspace Groups section and do a search for “Recipes”. This will then give you results of groups that relate to the word “recipes”.

Review the search results and “Join” the group(s) that relate to your keyword. The key here is that once you have joined a group, whatever you post is sent to the ENTIRE group to see, meaning it is visible by all group members. Be careful though, you need to build a relationship with your group members before advertising anything. Do not spam the group or you will be banned in most cases, and you’ll ruin your chances of building a targeted network.

Review the postings by other group members and respond to their posts. You should do this for a few days, and then you can make some posts of your own as well and have a link to your site included in the posts. Do not ever make your post seem like an advertisement. Simply make a general post or response but also have a link to your site included. For the most part you do not have to advertise your link to get traffic, you just need to have it listed, and most people will click on it, if it’s targeted to what the group is all about.

Now that you’ve started a relationship of posting and making comments within Groups, the next step is to start sending friend requests. A friend request is when you view a person’s profile, you’ll see an option that says “Add To friends”. If clicked, this will send a request to the person stating that you would like to be added to their friend network. If the person approves, you’ve just made a new friend :)

The next step is to go to your Group(s) that you have joined, and then click on “View All Members”, you can then view each person’s profile and send a friend request to each person within the group. It is important to note that most groups have thousands of members, so sending a friend request individually to each user WILL take some time.

Another important note is that Myspace only allows a certain number of friend requests to be sent per day. I recommend that you do not go over the limit of 300-400 friend requests per day. Any number with that range should be fine, but do not ever go over 400 as then your account can be restricted for 24 hours or possibly banned or removed permanently.

By sending a friend request to users within the group(s), you are building a targeted network of friends that you can send messages and bulletins to regarding your products/services. Remember the key here is that the group you chose MUST be related to the product/service you are offering. You do not want to send any bulletins or messages to non-targeted groups as it can be labeled as SPAM. The more targeted the group is to your product/service the better.

As mentioned prior, the above is the LONG way of acquiring friends as it requires you to manually send requests one by one to each member in the group. I still strongly believe that the key to myspace marketing is *not* quantity but the quality, therefore targeted members are much better than thousands of members who have absolutely no interest in what you have to offer.

ACCELERATE YOUR FRIEND REQUESTS

You’ve done all the research, you’ve joined groups, and you’ve posted messages within the group so people are aware of who you are. The next step is accelerating your friends list. You can do this by using a software program called Madder Adder. This is a very powerful piece of software designed specifically for Myspace Marketing.

Links: http://www.madderadder.com

http://www.friendbot.com/

You can download the free trials of these programs and give them a test drive, but here’s what these programs can do for you.

1) Mass Messaging
2) Mass friend adding
3) Mass Commenting
4) Posting Bulletins
5) Event/group invites
6) Searches for friends

and much more!
All these members that you will attain using the program you can now send messages or bulletins to regarding anything that is related to the group. The good news being that since you chose a group that is targeted to your website; your posts cannot or should not be labeled spam since it does relate to what the group is all about. It is still important to make your messages or posts NOT look like blatant advertising. Be very selective with your wording and how often you send messages. I would send a message only once per day unless you are promoting more than one item.

Other Ways to Generate Traffic Using Myspace

Auto Comments

This method allows you to post comments on your friend’s profiles automatically. Usually you can leave a comment saying something nice but general, that can be sent to all your friends. Within your comments you can have a link to your site. Again, be discreet with your link placement, you can say something friendly such as “Hey, just leaving a comment to say you rock, since I haven’t posted a comment on your profile in awhile, if you have some free time you can check out my new site xyz.com, I think you will find it interesting”.

When leaving comments, it is important to note you can leave the comment on your friends profile or any profile for that matter that allows comments from anyone. Some users do restrict comments to people in their friends list only. To ensure it doesn’t look like you are spamming a bunch of people with comments, I would restrict it to people who are actually you’re friends as they are less likely to get angry.

Other Ways of Friend Building

There are other non-targeted ways that you can use to build your friends list fast. If you are not interested in targeting a specific group or users, you can use what is called “Friend Trains” to get friend requests quickly. A myspace friend train is basically a list of people who add themselves to a “train” requesting that other users add them to their friends list.

Popular Friend Train Site:
FriendStorm.net

This is a very popular site that allows users to enter their Myspace Friend Id. Your myspace friend id is the actual number myspace assigned to your account upon registration. For an example see the screenshot below to find your id #:

Once you enter your friend id, you’ll then see a listing of hundreds and sometimes thousands of other users who are looking for friends. It’s the easiest way to grow your friends list fast. Please remember the same limit of 400 is set here by Myspace, so you cannot send out more than 400 requests.

Link: http://www.friendstorm.net

If you are looking to build your friends list even faster without having to lift a finger, then you should consider a “Featured” spot on FriendStorm.net. A featured spot ensures that you are featured on the site, which in turn will have many users sending YOU friend requests which you’ll need to accept.

TIP: The easiest way to accept a flood of friend requests is to use one of the robots mentioned earlier. If you open the bots you will see a feature entitled “Accept Friends”. This will allow you to “Auto Approve All Requests’ so that you would not have to approve each request one by one.

Link: http://www.friendstorm.net/featured.aspx

In Conclusion

Get started as soon as possible with your myspace promotion. It is important that you cash in now on this latest marketing trend before any drastic changes happen with Myspace. If you follow the steps I’ve outlined you can create a very strong network of targeted friends who you can keep informed of all the happenings with your site.

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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Writing Meta Tags

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Remember Your Motives

Search engine optimization isn’t just about getting a top listing. Ultimately, webmasters optimize their pages in hopes of getting sales, or, for content-based sites, getting ad revenue. This should always be your first priority.

For example, consider that you were searching for “shoes,” and that the first listing looked like this:

Shoes Online: Sneakers, Sandals, Shoes, New Shoes, Footwear
Come to Shoes Online to get shoes! We have all kinds of shoes, sandals, sneakers, and more. Shoes Online has great footwear. Click here for shoes!

Would you click on it? And furthermore, would you consider buying shoes from that website? You probably wouldn’t.

Even though search engine optimization usually focuses on search engines, it’s important to remember that everything you do still needs to appeal to users. Keep this in mind as you “optimize” your title and Meta tags. I’ve seen many sites that have titles like the one above, and they may get a good ranking, but the person ranked lower than them (just a few positions lower) will get more clicks than they do. Why? It’s simple, the title is more attractive, and is well optimized without looking like keyword spamming.

What’s Your Deal?

What do you want your title and description to accomplish? Most likely, you would make a list that looks something like this:

1. Put your site at the top of search results.
2. Quickly and accurately tell users what your site is about.
3. Convey a positive image of your company.

This is a good time to think about what makes your website unique. Does it have lower prices? Do you have higher-quality items? Do you have a bigger inventory? Do you have useful content? You can’t possibly write a search listing if you aren’t sure what your website is selling.
Now, choose the one key idea that you want every user to know before they even arrive at your website. Also, choose one key phrase that describes your website. Remember: If you want to make a phrase a “secondary” phrase, then that’s probably not what your site is about.

From the shoes example:

• Key Idea: We have a large selection of shoes.
• Key Word or Phrase: shoes

Keep these in mind as you write your title and Meta tags.

Write the Description First

Most people write a title, and then Meta tags. I, on the other hand, prefer to write the description (Meta tag) first. There’s a reason for this, it’s to ensure I have a clear idea of what I want to emphasize about my site.

Write one or two sentences that describes what your site is all about. Although you can include more than one aspect of your site, the primary impression that a reader gets should be the main idea that you wrote. Remembering the idea and word that I came up with earlier, I might write something like this for my description:
We sell a large selection of shoes, including athletic, formal, and casual. All shoes in our inventory have free shipping.

Things to consider:
• You should use your keyword or phrase two to three times in your description.
• Try to keep it as short as you can.
• Don’t say that you’re the “best,” the “biggest”, etc. This means nothing to users.
• Don’t use exclamation points–ever.
• If you can live without a word, don’t use it.

Writing the Title

Now, trim down your description to a phrase or two. You can use this in your title. For a title, I’m going to use:
Shoes Online – A Variety of Shoes with Free Shipping

It’s best to use either a keyword twice or a key phrase once. Note that it’s short and to the point. This is important. Now you can see why I used a description first, as by writing a description it enabled me to then pull my title based on my description.

Here’s the original listing:
Shoes Online: Sneakers, Sandals, Shoes, New Shoes, Footwear
Come to Shoes Online to get shoes! We have all kinds of shoes, sandals, sneakers, and more. Shoes Online has great footwear. Click here for shoes!

And the new listing:
Shoes Online – A Variety of Shoes with Free Shipping
We sell a large selection of shoes, including athletic, formal, and casual. All shoes in our inventory have free shipping.

The major difference between the two is that the latter achieves the keyword indexing focus for my primary keyword without reducing its keyword relevancy weight, and it gives a nice description that displays a good aspect of what we are offering. I’m pretty sure that “Free Shipping” would entice a few more users to click than listing out a bunch of keywords in my title.

Remember, the key is to combine optimization with good marketing.

Writing the Keyword Tag

Some search engines (Google being the main exception) recognize a special tag which allows you to list keywords that your page is relevant to. These are invisible to users, but will raise your rank for searches with those words in them.

I recommend using about ten words, though you shouldn’t use the same word more than three times (or the search engines will penalize you). Don’t include helper words like “and” or “with.”
Make a list of search phrases that you want to be listed under. If you follow our shoes example, and remembering to use the overture search suggestion tool, we can come up with the following keywords:

• shoes
• discount shoes
• cheap shoes
• shoes free shipping
• discount shoes free shipping
• sandals
• athletic shoes
• sandals free shipping
• discount athletic shoes
• (and all combinations thereof)

Now, your challenge is to create a list of approximately 10 words, while not using the same word more than three times. Also, keep in mind that search engines do consider which keywords are placed next to each other (they are assumed to have relevance to one another). So, my list will look like this:

cheap discount shoes free shipping shoes sandals discount athletic shoes

Putting it All Together

Now, the HTML that goes in my HEAD tag will look something like this:

HEAD
TITLEShoes Online – A Variety of Shoes with Free Shipping/TITLE
META name=”description” content=”We sell a large selection of shoes, including athletic, formal, and casual. All shoes in our inventory have free shipping.”
META name=”keywords” content=”cheap discount shoes free shipping shoes sandals discount athletic shoes”
/HEAD

Note: I have removed brackets < and > so you can see tags

Overall Title & Meta Tags Conclusion

Keep in mind that fewer and fewer search engines are displaying Meta descriptions, and almost none show Meta keywords. However, in many search engines these still make a difference in your rank for a given term.

But the Meta tags won’t give you an astronomical ranking for those terms. Google doesn’t consider Meta tags at all. More likely, it will increase your rank (at engines besides Google) if you also use those terms in your site’s content as well.

For the time being, Meta tags are still worth it, since many engines use them as a significant factor.

Titles, on the other hand, are not only obvious to the user, but can also be a huge factor in your ranking.

All in all, titles and Meta tags are definitely important, but inbound links and your site’s textual content are still just as significant.

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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AdSense and Holiday Revenue

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Many of those who rely on AdSense revenue from their web sites have discovered a strange and somewhat disconcerting trend revolving around holidays. It seems that AdSense revenue tends to nosedive on and around big holidays like July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Anyone who has used AdSense for any period of time knows how unpredictable that revenue can be, but it seems that the revenue can be especially erratic around the holidays. Some fluctuations seem to happen for no apparent reason, while others can occur for seasonal reasons. Even different days of the week can sometimes see different levels of AdSense revenue. Each niche will have its own good and bad days, so it is important to track those results carefully in order to fine tune your marketing program.

When it comes to the holiday flux of AdSense, the good news is that the buildup to the holiday season, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas, can be a time for a buildup of income and AdSense revenue. The key is to get in on the action during the exciting pre-holiday season, and to structure your business so that the post holiday plummet is not such a killer.

One way to accomplish that goal is to create content pages complete with AdSense code well in advance of the holiday season. Putting those pages online ahead of time will ensure that the search engines have plenty of time to discover and index them. The longer time horizon also gives you plenty of time to tweak and fine tune the web site for maximum AdSense revenue potential and higher search engine rankings.

It is also important to carefully build those links in the run-up to the holidays. It is important to build links to the new pages, as this can help to enhance your rankings in the various search engines and therefore your AdSense revenue as well.

It has always been important to think ahead when doing business on the internet, but it is even more important now, as Google has lengthened the time between reindexing their sites and the time needed to get the sites categorized. It is taking longer than before to get those new pages ranked well, so it makes sense to leave plenty of time. It is helpful to have a Google Sitemap in place to help the search engine find and accurately index the site.

As with any type of business, of course, it is important to budget properly and to anticipate the inevitable declines in AdSense revenue. The revenue potential for internet based businesses and internet web sites is virtually without limit, but it is not unusual to see wide fluctuations in the amount of that revenue for each web site. It is important to plan your business budget with this fact in mind, and to keep funds on reserve to keep the operation up and running until the ad revenue again picks up. It is also important to carefully track that AdSense revenue, and to look for patterns that can help you maximize your earnings potential. It can take some time for those new to the program to learn the ins and outs, but it is well worth doing.

It is important to know your marketplace as well. Google AdSense can work very well for smaller niche markets where there is less competition, as well as for broad categories where there are lots of potential buyers. It is important to research each market in order to determine what the customers are looking for in terms of content and product offers. The more you can learn about your potential visitors the better positioned you will be to benefit from the power of an AdSense revenue strategy.

Check my Adsense Templates website to find out more

Click here to visit my Adsense Templates website

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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Becoming “Buddha” – Make Yourself an Online Guru

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Being known as a guru is a wonderful way to make yourself much more credible to the average visitor to your site. But how do you obtain guru status? Not everyone can get that instant recognizability – and then, not everyone with guru status deserves it.

What the gurus know that you may not is how to sell themselves.

Step One: Believe You Deserve It

No one is going to give you guru status; you must take it. Sell yourself as a guru: write authoritatively. Have more than one website as well on which you address issues in your area of specialization. And above all, be willing to help anyone who needs information. A guru is someone to whom we go for help and knowledge, so be ready to give up a chunk of your time to do this.

You will be rewarded for that willingness with instant respect, name recognition, and a much higher likelihood of selling your product or service than the average vendor.,

Step Two: Deserve It

If you don’t really have the knowledge you claim, your guru status is not going to last long. Explore the websites of others in your field. Know what’s out there, and learn everything you can about your field and fields closely related to it. For instance, if you are going to be a model train guru, know everything possible about model trains, and also learn something about scale modeling, miniaturization, and architecture.

Step Three: Don’t Bite Off Too Much

Gurus hold sway over relatively focused subjects. If you try to be guru to a topic that’s too broad, you’ll find two distinct problems: it will take up too much of your time to keep up with the information out there for that topic, and you will find yourself responding to so many guru seekers that you won’t have time to properly maintain your business.

Instead of adopting a huge area (dolls), determine a smaller area of specialization (antique Victorian wax-headed dolls) and focus on it. If it turns out that you’ve chosen a too-small slice of pie, you can always add a little more later, but if your slice is too large, it’s fairly difficult to give that extra part back without destroying all the credibility you’ve built up.

Step Four: Publish Stuff for Free

Gurus share their knowledge freely. If you attain guru status, you should be ready to print articles and ebooks, freely downloadable, that those seeking your knowledge can access. This not only shows that you know enough to write entire books about a subject, it also keeps too many people from asking you for help. (The maintenance of an FAQ will free up your time as well.)

But here’s where many would-be gurus hit a snag: no matter how much you know about a subject, you may not be able to write convincingly about it. That’s not really that much of a problem, though, if you know where to go.

You don’t have to write your own information, though you should have mastered it if you intend to be a guru. Instead, you can contract with a writer or with an article broker to either have articles custom written for you, or to buy pre-written articles that you can then publish as your own. Not only articles can be contracted in this way, but also ebooks, put together in PDF format and sharing a large quantity of information with your customers.

Don’t put huge chunks of articles on your site, either; instead, dole out articles over time, either as regular posts to your website or as blog entries, or even as emailed newsletters. Later you can compile article series into ebooks and special reports which you can then distribute from your website as well.

The most important part, though, is that even though you may be paying for this writing, you must give your information away for free. You are a guru, after all. Information is of so little value to you that you can afford to distribute it to those who don’t have it. Not only does this make you look knowledgeable to your customer, but it helps them get to know you, and makes it even more likely that they will buy from you.

Check my Private Label Articles website and get articles you can use your name on.

Click here to visit my Private Label Articles website

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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7 Factors of an Effective Advertising Campaign

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You’ve probably heard the old saying – I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted, if I only knew which half! Although it’s not possible to know all the factors that go into effective advertising, there are a few elements that are crucial to an ad campaign that is profitable. If you strive to achieve as many of the following 7 factors as possible, you can be confident that you’ll have a winning campaign.

1) Choose an appropriate medium to convey your message. This is so obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t use common sense when buying media. If you’re trying to reach a 14 year old, don’t buy an ad in the daily paper – buy the radio station that plays hip hop music! Try to target your advertising as much as possible. Think about the person you’re trying to reach with your message. The more you know about that person, the easier this will be. If you’re selling clothing to working women, buying TV is probably not a good idea. They’re probably so busy doing household chores and taking kids to various activities, they probably don’t have time to watch much TV. But billboards and radio are great because she’s probably on the road a lot and those media fit for that audience.

2) Don’t believe that everyone uses media the way you or your spouse does. Just because you don’t like a certain program on TV doesn’t mean that your potential customer doesn’t like it – they may be big fans and never miss an episode. Don’t assume that everyone reads the newspaper because everyone you know does. Ask for information about the medium’s audience – let your rep show you exactly who is watching/reading/listening/driving by/surfing their medium.

3) Don’t judge the price of the ad by the dollar amount alone. Just because an ad is expensive doesn’t mean it isn’t a good buy – and the opposite is true also. If an ad is cheap, but no one reads or sees it, it’s worthless to you. If an ad is reaching tens of thousands of people for $1,000, it might be a good buy if those are the people who are in the market for your product. Try to gauge the real value of an ad by the cost per thousand or cost per rating point (for TV, radio & cable). If you’re not familiar with those terms, ask your ad rep – they will be happy to fill you in. (And if they aren’t, find a new rep.)

4) Develop a relationship with your customers and prospects. This is another thing that should be obvious, but very few companies actually do this. Proctor and Gamble has found that this is what makes them money. And it makes sense. If people trust your brand and feel that they know your company, they’re far more likely to buy your products. This is actually easier to do as a smaller business than a large one – and many local businesses have done this for years. It may be schmaltzy, but when the local furniture store owner is on camera for all his TV commercials, people develop a relationship of sorts with him or her. They feel like they know that business. Anytime you can link a personality – even if it’s not a celebrity – to a business, that makes that business stand out. This is an important element that there’s not nearly enough room to cover – so think this one through for your business and come up with ways (and they can be very simple) to develop a relationship with your customers and prospects. An email newsletter is a simple, cheap and very effective way to do this, by the way.

5) Have a hook. Give people something that makes them remember you. Big companies spend millions on this – and for a good reason – it sells stuff. Whatever you do, don’t say “for the best in service and quality” – no one will believe you! If you want to convey that message, have one of your customers give a testimonial on camera – have them describe how you provided them with great service and quality. Give details. A hook needs to be simple, memorable and if possible, fun or heartwarming. The Taco Bell Chihuahua is a good example – the Pillsbury Doughboy is another one. Do something different and let people know about it. Give them a reason to choose your company over your competitors.

6) Be relevant. Talk to your prospects in your advertising – let them know that you feel their pain and are going to help them make it go away. If you’re talking about something they can’t relate to, they’ll ignore you. There are way too many advertising messages in the world today – and people have learned to tune them out unless they click with something that is important to them. You know how this works – you do the same thing. If you’re sick of how your car is nickel & dimming you lately, you suddenly are much more aware of ads for cars. Find out why people buy your product and talk about how you will give that to them. It’s really pretty simple – but an overwhelming majority of businesses totally miss this.

7) Make sure you know what you’re trying to get your prospect to do. Do you want them to come to your store and buy a specific product? Or do you want them to call your business to get an estimate on a project so your sales person can close the sale in person? The more specific you are in your call to action (please make sure to include one!), the more likely your audience will do what you want them to do.

All of the elements that go into your advertising – the media, the creative, the copywriting, the call to action – create a synergistic result. The more focused you are with any of those elements, the better your results will be. It’s always crucial to measure your ad results. Determine what you want to achieve and include devices that will allow you to determine whether or not you achieved your goal. Then you can tweak results from there.

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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Affiliate Marketing – The Art of the Squeeze Page

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Affiliate marketing’s one of the quickest methods to generate cash flow on the web today.

Among its many benefits is the fact that you don’t have to spend time or money researching and developing a new product. All of this has been done for you by the product owner.

This is a tremendous burden lifted off your shoulders because this is usually the most costly aspect of any business venture.

A word of caution though, you should still do a little research yourself as to whether the market wants the product you are looking to promote and whether the price point is fair and reasonable enough to attract a big audience.

Once this is done and you have found the product or service you want to promote and are satisfied with the affiliate program you should set up what is referred to as a squeeze page.

Simply put, a squeeze page is a one page pre sales letter that entices the prospect to leave their name and email address in order to receive more information on the product or service of choice.

There are several points to be made for this superb sales tactic. Number one, you set yourself apart from all the other affiliates promoting the same product. Number two, you build your own opt-in list that you can promote other products to.

So what do you need to use this tactic? A few basics and a little skill.

The first thing you need is a web hosting account and domain name. These are very inexpensive these days and are a must have for anyone who is serious about doing business online.

Second is an autoresponder. These too are fairly inexpensive. Many hosting accounts will now offer free autoresponders with their service.

Third is an HTML editor. There are several free editors out there that are easily found through a quick search. Nothing fancy is needed, just a simple user friendly application.

And the final ingredient is a little copy writing skill.

Here is a tip on what to write on your page: Go to the product sales page. Pick out the highlights, the biggest benefits you can see offered. Think about what other benefits there are that may not be stated already and jot them down.

Now go into your HTML editor and put together a small sales page using a good headline, subhead and bullet points listing all the benefits you gathered. This is where the copy writing skill comes in.

Put the email capture form generated from your autoresponder on the bottom of the page. Let your prospect know that by leaving their name and email address you will then reveal this highly coveted tool, piece of information, service or whatever it is you have and they so desperately want.

Do not mention the name of the product or service on the capture page, just the benefits. The reason for this is because they may have seen this product or service before and were sitting on the fence about it and you want the prospect to purchase through your link. You are going to nudge them over the fence with your presentation.

All you are trying to do is build interest, pique their curiosity and whet their appetite for more information.

Set up your autoresponder with 6-7 emails that go out in 3-4 day intervals, each building on one of the benefits mentioned on your squeeze page.

Then add in other related services or products that you are an affiliate of. Repetition is the key and your squeeze page gives you that advantage over other affiliates.

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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Avoiding MLM Scams

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It’s no secret that when multi level marketing (MLM) is mentioned, many people think of illegal pyramid schemes and other scams. Follow these tips to check out an MLM company and you will be able to avoid MLM scams.

1) Contact the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), the State Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade commission (www.ftc.gov or 1-877-FTC-HELP) and at no charge you will be able to check the records of the MLM companies and will get some great tips about how to safely evaluate them.

2) Check Google and other search engines for “company name + scam” and you will find out quickly if there are complaints.

3) Check out home business message boards and scam.com for bad reviews. Obviously, there are always a couple of people that didn’t make money and want to blame the company. Do proper research and you will quickly know which distributor had a legitimate complaint and who was just plain lazy.

4) Go to www.mlmwatchdog.com and see if any problems are posted there.

5) Ask your attorney to review any documents before you sign them.

6) Present the entire program to a trusted friend and see what he or she thinks. Take their advice under consideration. You never know, if the company does turn out to be legit, then that friend is a great first recruit.

7) You should be focusing on selling products or services and not recruiting more distributors. If this is the case, proceed with caution and at your own risk.

8) Be leery of requests to make large purchases up front.

9) All MLM’s, just like any type of business, require work. Beware of false promises of easy money making schemes. Beware of guarantees such as “everyone is making money with this automatically.”

10) Do the math for yourself. Have a trusted advisor, friend, accountant or attorney check you and make sure that the payout plan is actually feasible.

11) You don’t want to sell products or services with false “miracle” claims to them. Actually try to promote the products and services yourself to make sure that you like them and WANT to promote them first and how they work.

The MLM industry is one that holds great promise. Unfortunately, there are a few undesirable people and companies. By following your due diligence, asking questions and proceeding with caution you should be safe. Check these things out first!

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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You Must be a ‘Hedgehog’ to Accomplish Great Things!

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Yuck! A hedgehog…

Not the most glamorous of all the beasts to compare yourself with, for sure. So how did the lowly hedgehog become the mammalian mentor for us all?

After all (and no offense to all you hedgehogs out there), it appears to be nature’s accidental cross between an armadillo and a porcupine — slow moving, methodical, prickly and not all that bright.

The fox, on the other hand, is…well…FOXY! A quick-witted, sleek, fast and agile predator, the fox seems to have the attributes that we can easily imagine we share? (And even if we don’t, we pretend.)

Why compare a hedgehog to a fox anyway? It all started with ancient lines of poetry that were found from a fragment of verse by Greek poet Archilochus which says:

“The fox knows MANY things, but the hedgehog knows ONE big thing.”

One thing! And that’s a good thing?

What about Renaissance men like Leonardo Da Vinci? He’s one of the exceptions to a very perplexing rule according to Jim Collins, author of the classic business best-seller “Good to Great”. He picked up on the ancient hedgehog vs. fox comparison in his book. All top level CEOs he says are very hedgehog-ish.

He tells this story:

“Day in and day out, the fox circles around the hedgehog’s den, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce… (The emerging hedgehog) waddles along, going about his simple day, searching for lunch and taking care of his home.”

While minding his own business, focusing on vittles, the hedgehog wanders right into the path of the fox. Sensing danger, he rolls up into a perfect little ball, becoming “…a sphere of sharp spikes, pointing outward in all directions. The fox, bounding toward his prey, sees the hedgehog defense and calls off the attack…Each day, some version of this battle between the hedgehog and the fox takes place, and despite the greater cunning of the fox, the hedgehog always wins.”

The hedgehog ALWAYS wins!

Think about this: Are you a hedgehog, or a fox?

Your answer holds the key to whether you’ll be successful in business or life!

Nobody wants to be a hedgehog. Admit it. How boring is that?

He doesn’t see much of the world. He’s too focused for that. He doesn’t learn all the latest hunting tools and tricks because his world view is boiled down to just what he needs.

In “Good to Great,” a terrific book by the way, Collins says the hedgehog “reduces all challenges and dilemmas to simple — indeed almost simplistic — hedgehog ideas.”

“For a hedgehog, anything that does not somehow relate to the hedgehog idea holds no relevance.”

Ever known anyone so focused that they could only pursue a single goal? Ever known anyone so focused on that goal that nothing else mattered?

Think about Olympians. Even thought the Winter Olympics may be a distant event to us, there’s a 10-year old girl somewhere who gets up at 3:30 every morning to practice figure skating compulsories for four hours before school. The Winter Olympics is all she thinks about.

And NOTHING else matters!

Foxes on the other hand, “pursue many ends at the same time and see the world in all its complexity. They are ‘scattered or diffused, moving on many levels.’”

Multi-tasking with too many balls in the air at once already, we’re asked to do more and be more. Our bosses want us to be busy, working hard, doing as much as possible.

Yet the fox “who pursues many ends at the same time” NEVER wins!

And the guy who gets the promotion or has the very successful business is the one who focused on fewer tasks and did them well.

That was one of Collins’ points — instead of demanding too much from employees and executives; we should demand one BIG thing.

Think this doesn’t apply to you? Wanna bet? You’re an employee or an executive — or both — if you’re self-employed. And just because you may wear many hats doesn’t get you off the hook either. Focusing on the hedgehog ideas even when you’re doing the grunt work is the key to your success.

Okay, so it’s good to be a hedgehog.

How do we become one if we’re a fox by nature?

It’s simple. You act as if…

What would the hedgehog do? He’d focus on hedgehog ideas. Don’t know what your hedgehog ideas are? Sure you do. You’re just not focusing on them. This will help:

1) What six things are vital to the success of your business this year?

2) Narrow it down to three — two’s better

3) Make ‘em BIG

4) Focus on those only

5) Nothing else matters

Make this part of your soul. Eliminate everything that is not helping you focus on your goals.

Keep working at it and some day you’ll be a hedgehog too.

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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Keep Your Downline Active for the Long Term

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Anyone who has recruited more than a couple of people into their organization have experienced the “revolving door” syndrome – where you recruit one person and it seems two others drop out. Obviously, this is frustrating and makes you wonder why it is so difficult to get your downline to stay active. It is even more frustrating to see people leaving faster than you can recruit them. Realize this happens in every business that fails to implement the one often forgotten element of retention.

Too often we are so caught up in recruiting new downline that we forget about the downline we already have. We focus all of our energies on the toughest part of building the business which is recruiting. Yet we forget to take action on the easiest part: Follow-up customer service.

While follow-up customer service may seem difficult to get to sometimes, it is extremely important for future growth and improving your retention rates. The number of people in the downline who drop out should not be dropping out like they are. People drop out because they are often ignored or forgotten by their up line.

Your goal should be to improve the retention within your own team and to make your customer service to your downline a priority. It is far more difficult to recruit new downline than it is to follow-up and follow-through with those you already have.

Below are seven things you MUST do to ensure your “revolving door” in your organization stays locked and to keep your downline active for the long term:

1. Implement a customer service policy. If you truly want to build a solid and profitable network marketing business, you need to implement the following policy: Provide service and follow-up to your downline.

2. Follow-up is following-through. Just because someone signed on the dotted line, does not mean the sale is complete. You must follow-up with your new downline within one week. Call them within one week of their purchase to ensure they are happy and are using the product/service. If they want to build the business, call to make certain they are tapping into the resources and getting off to a good start.

3. Staying in contact shows you care. In your prospecting and recruiting efforts, you planted seeds to start the relationship building process. Stay in touch with your downline. Doing so will show you care and value their business. Staying in touch will also provide you with an opportunity to get additional business and to strengthen the relationship.

4. Anticipate the needs of your downline. By staying in contact, you can anticipate or stay ahead of your downline needs. You will strengthen your relationship and will more fully understand their current needs. This ultimately leads to anticipation of future needs. Try to always think ahead. This will help you keep your downline happy, satisfied and even can help you to exceed expectations.

5. Keep records on your downline. As your business grows, it will become impossible to keep all downline information and individual needs in your head. You must create customer files with personal information on your downline. This information should include notes on your conversations and on their current or potential needs.

6. Work closely and be supportive. No one is guaranteed success. However, you will be amazed at how high of a success rate you will have with those you personally sponsor when you work closely with them and are supportive of their efforts. Granted some people will never do what they need to do and you can’t build the business for them. But, if you provide support and show you care, you improve the retention of your downline.

7. Create intimacy with your downline. What this means is to be genuine in your concern for your downline as a person. Show them you are not just in it to get their money. You must go beyond just an order taker and help people get what they want and need. The difference between you and your competition boils down to one thing – customer service. If you provide value through concern for them as a person and deliver quality customer service in every way possible, you will find your downline will be there for the long term.

Keep in mind, the stability of your residual income will be in direct proportion to your personal follow-up and customer service. Make follow-up and customer service your PRIORITY! As you build your business in the future, make certain you follow-up and follow-through with customer service. Your wealth depends on it!

To Your Success
Cody Moya

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