Archive for the ‘eBay’ Category

How To Create Profit Machines With WordPress

Posted on June 28th, 2010 in Adsense, Advice, blogging, Clickbank, eBay, EzineArticles, Free Business Model, Links, listbuilding, Membership Blueprints, Offline, Simple, Simple Cash Blog, Strategies, Videos, Web Traffic | 5 Comments »

ATMOver the past few years, blogging has become extremely popular. Nearly everyone who tries to make money online usually creates a blog very early in their Internet Marketing career, and for a very good reason – blogs alone can put serious cash into your bank account.

The big problem is that a lot of folks don’t use blogs properly. There was a time where you could have thrown up a simple Blogger blog, write a couple short articles, put up some Google AdSense ads, attract some web traffic, and then watch the money roll in.

That doesn’t work any longer.

Sure, you might make enough to pay for a few beers, but it’s not going to put a roof over your head. The good news is that blogs are still extremely lucrative and can put thousands of dollars into your pocket every single month – if you know what you’re doing.

The premier blogging tool, hands down, is WordPress. It’s free, works well, and is easy to use. The only requirement is that you have a hosting account such as BlueHost (who we use to host our websites and recommended) to host your website. In your hosting account control panel, you can automatically install WordPress on your website in less than a minute by using Fantastico or Simple Scripts.

However, the key to making real money with blogs is to get creative. Yes, it’s a huge cliché…but you have to think out of the box. That’s why I use these 6 simple profit machines to maximize my income potential with WordPress…feel free to steal them and build your own blogging empire:

Profit Machine #1: Authority Sites

Setting up simple Niche Authority Sites is one of the easiest ways to start making a profit online, but it’s also the most time consuming. I wrote out an extensive step-by-step guide to building your first simple blog in a post I made over a year ago: Make Money Online – Step-By-Step Method

Note: If you have no money to your name, you can use a Blogger blog to build your first authority site (as I recommend in the above guide), but I do recommend upgrading to WordPress as soon as possible. It is far more customizable and offers you more opportunity to expand. WordPress also provides a free blogs via their website, but you want the self-hosted option so you can upload your own themes and plugins.

It takes serious commitment to start one of these and stick to it – and you won’t see any immediate returns. However, if you post daily for 2 to 3 months, have a professional design and monetize it properly, you’ll be light years ahead of competing websites and you will able to pull in at least a few hundred dollars per month.

The real trick to becoming an authority site (rather than a boring “blog”) is to either position your company, your brand or yourself as an expert. This is a big stumbling block for a lot of people – most feel like they’re not an expert in any particular area. That’s simply not true. When I asked my Dad if he was an expert in anything, he said no…but that’s definitely not the case. He’s a perfect example…

My Dad spent 30+ years as a police officer and learned some extremely valuable skills that you wouldn’t expect. One of them was the ability to write grants that generated millions of dollars for equipment and additional personnel for his department. His success rate was incredibly high – over 90% of the grants he submitted were approved. That’s unheard of and it’s a skill that companies, organizations and individuals would pay thousands of dollars to learn. Starting an authority site about grants would be perfect for him.

You really need to think about your experiences and your interests. Even if you truly don’t feel like an expert on a topic, you can do research to become one. Spend an afternoon learning the basic “rules” of your niche and you’ll know more than 80%+ of the population, and that qualifies you as an expert.

Once you’ve established a topic for your authority site, spend some time doing research on the types of phrases people are searching for using a free tool such as Google’s Keyword Tool or a premium tool such as Micro Niche Finder. (MNF is highly recommended – it makes it very easy for you to find profitable long-tail keywords and to quickly assess your competition.)

Once you’ve found several keyword phrases that people are searching for, you focus your site’s content around those keywords and post to it daily. You build momentum for your new website by talking about your authority site on other blogs and niche forums, then offer to be a guest blogger for other popular blogs.

You make money via Google AdSense ads and affiliate links to start, but you will want to begin building an e-mail list using a provider such as AWeber as soon as you start seeing a significant number of visitors pour in. They visit your blog and you offer exclusive content as a “bribe” for signing up. With an e-mail list, you’ll be able to launch your own products or services at anytime. (I like to think of this as writing my own check.)

The potential with an authority blog alone is extremely high. It’s a very flexible model that can be expanded almost indefinitely, but it’s just one way to make money with blogs. Here’s a method that’s a little less conventional…

Profit Machine #2: Niche Storefronts

A lot of people don’t know that you can actually setup an entire online store using WordPress. Whether you want to sell items directly from your blog, or appear as a third-party store and simply refer customers to Amazon as an affiliate, WordPress can help you establish these profit machines easily.

There are a couple of different ways you can do it…

a.) You can download a theme that converts your blog into a storefront. Some of these themes are fairly advanced and require a fee to download, but you may be able to find some for free. Once you have your website established, you can use Paypal to accept payments. Some of the more advanced themes even have an “Add to Cart” feature built in.

b.) You can download a plugin that automatically pulls in products from websites such as Amazon or eBay. These plugins can automatically include a picture and short description from those sites, integrated with your affiliate link. There are free and premium options for these types of plugins, but the premium options typically provide more options and flexibility.

If you decide to establish a store, you will want to make sure that you add some unique content (as the content you add will be from Amazon or eBay and won’t boost your search engine rankings) and also implement a professional design. This is effectively a type of authority site, but you will providing direct links to products or services rather than information. It’s harder to get traffic to these types of sites, but the quality of customers is often higher as they’re looking to buy a particular type of product.

Profit Machine #3: Membership Sites

Membership sites are a tried-and-true method for generating long-term cash. There’s so much to say about memberships that we created an entire course called Membership Blueprints. With that said, using WordPress to power and protect a membership site is a very smart way to go.

In fact, we use WordPress for our Simple Cash Blog Membership, our most popular resource. It’s extremely easy for anyone to do. First, install WordPress in the location you want your member’s area. For example, you’ll want to install WordPress in a location such as: http://yourdomain.com/members/

After you’ve installed it, you simply need to password protect either individual posts or the entire member’s area. For the Simple Cash Blog, we password protected the entire member’s directory in under 2 minutes using a tool called the Instant Membership Site Creator, which we sell for less than $20. If you want to password protect individual posts or provide different levels of access, you can use a plugin such as s2Member.

The best part about using WordPress for a membership site is that you can actually create content for the membership site in advance and schedule it to be posted at a future date. Your membership site could have a full year’s worth of content in queue without you ever having to touch it. (Of course, this might not be possible depending on the type of membership or the support you need to provide.)

The toughest part of the membership creation process is that you need to write an extremely powerful sales letter and provide “addictive” videos, articles and resources to your members. It’s significantly harder to get someone to subscribe to a $99 per month membership than to purchase a $99 product. Plus, if your content isn’t compelling enough, people will drop out. It happens all the time and some folks will even drop out immediately after joining.

The key for the membership site model is to provide an ongoing service or educational material to a very specific market, and to expose your membership to as many of those people as possible by partnering with others, advertising, article marketing and more.

Profit Machine #4:
Local Businesses

This is a rapidly growing opportunity that nearly every internet marketer can take advantage of. Most small, local businesses do not have a website, but most are rapidly realizing that they need to have one. It adds an immense amount of professionalism to a business if they have a well-designed website, and younger generations use internet search as their first resource to find out reviews or more information about a business.

As a 23 year old living in Toronto, I can tell you that I have only tried out new restaurants if I was able to read their menu online. There is a fantastic fish and chips restaurant 5 minutes down the road that I would have never found if they did not have a website. The website wasn’t even that fancy – it was simply professional enough that it gave me confidence that it was a good business.

The potential here is HUGE. There are a nearly endless list of services you can provide to offline businesses…

* Setup their site using WordPress, then design it using a related theme (there are a lot of great themes available for restaurants, professional firms, and much more.)

* Charge a yearly fee to host their domain and website for them

* Sell them on Search Engine Optimization services – it’s extremely easy to rank for search terms in small towns

* Charge a monthly fee to update their website for them as needed – news, updates, new products or services and more.

* Charge firms to update their website design or ways to make money directly from their website

* Charge businesses for the ability to sell products directly via their site or to accept online ordering

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg. It’s easy to sell these types of services to small businesses. Provide a guarantee and legitimate recommendations to improve their business and you’ll be able to find a lot of customers who are willing to pay for monthly services.

WordPress is an extremely powerful tool, but you have to remember that it’s only a tool – you need to think out of the box and apply the techniques above to create a profitable website that produces residual income for months and years to come.

Social Bookmarking Traffic Guide

Posted on May 19th, 2009 in Advice, Affiliate Program, Customers, eBay, listbuilding, Strategies, Twitter, Web Traffic | No Comments »

This guide explains everything important about using social bookmarks to drive web site traffic. This information can be used to easily create a targeted list. Of course, the guide is especially valuable if you’re looking for free traffic. It’s aimed at entrepreneurs, internet marketers and small businesses.


– — —
Introduction to the Social Bookmarking Traffic Guide

Social bookmarking might seem dull and boring. It might seem like a fad or a craze that will die off. But, when done right, using social bookmarks can dramatically increase high quality web site traffic. If you’re serious about growing an online business, it needs to be a tool in your “traffic secrets” toolbox.

Here’s something to chew on…

If you don’t follow the advice in the Social Bookmarking Traffic Guide you are losing out on cheap and easy traffic. I know that’s a strong statement but by the time you get to the end of this guide, you’ll understand the full power of tagging and bookmarking.


— — —
Getting Started

I want to first make sure you clearly understand social bookmarking. In short, it’s a way for humans to keep track of stuff online. It usually means using “tags” and metadata (which is data about data).

Tags are really nothing more than words or phrases that you use to describe other words. For example, you might use “online marketing” as a tag for The Rhodes Brothers. Or, perhaps you might use something like “tagging” and “traffic” and “bookmarking” for the guide you’re reading right now.

There’s nothing magical about the tags you use. Feel free to use words and phrases that mean something to you. Or, if you’re trying to drive targeted traffic, use keywords that are meaningful in your niche. We’ll cover this in great detail later on; no worries.

Most social bookmarking systems allow you to show or hide bookmarks. So, you can use bookmarks for yourself only or you can expose them to the public.

If you keep bookmarks private they won’t have any impact on web site traffic, although they might be useful to you personally. If you make them public, however, you will enjoy free traffic. The world can find your bookmarks and find you by clicking on your links. I explain this in detail below.

So in large part social bookmarking is an activity where you are categorizing your web sites, domains, articles and blogs. You use social bookmarking to develop a way to stay organized online.

If you want free traffic from your social bookmarks you just expose them. For example, if you have a blog you can use Del.icio.us to bookmark blog entries. In turn, Google will find your bookmarks and your blog. And finally, people will find your bookmarks and your blog in the search results of Google. This is how organic traffic flows from your bookmarking.

Yes, it’s that simple.

At this point you have a basic understanding of social bookmarking. You could leave right now with confidence about how to get started. However, if you really want to know how to get traffic or if you want to avoid serious problems, keep reading.

I’ll also say this: There is a very specific model that I use to drive maximum web site traffic with web 2.0 bookmarks. I promise to reveal this model with you — there is no catch here. I will give you everything you need to succeed with your social bookmarking.


– — —
Social Bookmarking Issues

Social bookmarks are not perfect…

You cannot ONLY use social bookmarks to drive traffic nor can you expect to build a real online business by just using Stumble Upon, Del.icio.us, Reddit and Technorati. You need an entire marketing funnel in place — This is something I explain in detail later.

Before I go on, here’s my list of the top 10 social bookmarking sites. Keep in mind that these sites allow tagging and bookmarking but they aren’t necessarily dedicated to bookmarking. For example, Del.icio.us is very much focused on tagging and bookmarking — that’s its core job. However, Digg is really more of a news aggregation web site but you can tag and bookmark, and therefore drive a lot of traffic.

OK, let’s get back on track. Here’s my list of the top 10 social bookmarking sites:

There’s nothing scientific here. These just happen to be the bookmarking sites that have worked well for me. I have certainly used other sites and other tools. Don’t read too much into this list; caveat emptor.

By the way, I’m guessing that you’re getting worried about something: WORK. In other words, I suspect you’re worried about all the time and effort you’ll need to apply to get killer results.

Don’t worry. I’ve got your back covered. I cover this below…

Another issue is that your site, blog or article often get pushed to the bottom of the stack, or off the page. This is especially true with the social media new sites like Digg and Propeller. Imagine that your new blog entry makes it to the front page of Digg. Although you’ll enjoy insane traffic for a little while, after just a couple of hours your blog entry will drop off the home page.

Some people are worried about this problem, but it’s a false problem. First, you’re getting a gush of traffic in a situation like this. Second, you’ll get residual traffic even after you drop to the next page. Third, other people will link to you as a result and you’ll get residual, off-Digg traffic. Fourth, you’ll get some very powerful backlinks and therefore Google will love you. You’ll be enjoying serious organic traffic.

Another potential problem of social bookmarking is that your tags (or keywords or keyphrases) are terrible. If your keywords are meaningless then no one will care what you have to say. No one will find you through Google.

But, again, this is a false problem. Sure, you can have issues with keywords but let’s face it — you probably know how to find great keywords and niches. I don’t have room to fully explain keyword selection, but it goes like this:

  1. Go to Google Keywords and start searching
  2. Find keywords that people are using a lot
  3. Or, target keywords that make sense for your niche
  4. Look on Google’s Traffic Estimator to figure out your competition
  5. Choose keywords with plenty of searches and low competition

That’s a pretty bad explanation but you get the point. Use tags that are based on popular keywords that aren’t very well represented by competitors on Google.

Or, just pick really popular keywords. That can work for you as well because it takes less time and energy, but it takes longer to see robust results.

Let’s get back on track…

Another issue is that people don’t spell very well. Many tags are sloppy. They are dirty. There are misspellings all over the place.

Um, so what?

People are people. Using misspellings can actually offer you a competitive advantage. This little secret has made some people on eBay thousands and thousands of dollars. (Think about it; this can mean BIG money.)

Furthermore, you can use BOTH misspelled keywords and properly spelled keywords. You can tag like crazy — tag carpet bombing! Here’s a simple example to make this 100% clear:

  • deductible
  • deductuble
  • deductable
  • deductabel

No one can stop you from using all four of these words. Of course I don’t think you should do this all the time. However, if you are tagging and your gut says, “Hey, I’m not sure how to spell this!” — Others will have the same problem. Take advantage of it and enjoy the extra free traffic.

Let’s push forward…

I promised to talk about how to handle all the work associated with social bookmarks. Let’s look at that in the next section.


– — —
Two Secrets of Social Bookmarking

The are two simple ways to eliminate the pain associated with social bookmarking. As I’ve said, it can be labor intensive so you need to decide between these two options:

  1. Burn hours and hours of time creating your own bookmarks
  2. Use social bookmarking tools or hire (outsource) the work

Obviously you want to use tools or hire smart, affordable people to do work for you. Better still, you want to pick a great tool, master it, then train someone to do the work for you using the best tools available. That’s maximum leverage.

Right now, the best tool is probably Social Marker. It’s a semi-automatic social bookmarking tool. You sign up for access to each of the individual social bookmarking sites (e.g., Digg, Del.icio.us, Furl) then head over to Social Marker and sign up for that too. Then you use Social Marker to semi-automatically update those sites.

If you have issues with Social Marker, no worries. There will always be sites and tools out there for you to use. If you’re really desperate, head over to RentACoder or ScriptLance and have someone develop one for you.

So, I’ve revealed two of the big secrets of social bookmarking. First, you need to find tools that make sense. Second, you need to use outsourcing web sites to get the bookmarking done for you. Or, have tools built for you.


– — —
Revealed! More Secrets of Social Bookmarking

There are several really good reasons to use social bookmarks and tags. You can get very high volumes of traffic in very little time.

You might say, “But that traffic isn’t targeted, John.”

Fortunately, there is something I call Social Traffic Filtering which I’ll tell you about. In essence, the amount of traffic is vitally important as an input factor for your traffic funnel. All traffic funnels require traffic. There is no way around this. I’ll explain why this is so crucial in just a moment.

Although a lot of social media and bookmarking traffic will be useless, the fact remains that a lot of it is legitimate, targeted traffic. There are humans clicking and reading what you’ve written. So, if you’re providing valuable content then people will reward you with repeat visits and they’ll join your lists.

That is HUGE.

Let me say that again…

If you’re providing valuable content then people will reward you with repeat visits and they’ll join your lists. (Your list is the blood of your business.)

It’s your job to qualify these leads. You must be ready for this social traffic and filter these folks using great, high quality content. You need to give them high value; respect their time. Then, you need to filter them out with top notch squeeze pages. Offer them something wonderful and grab their email addresses. If they don’t stay and read, and if they don’t join your list, just move on. Let them go. They’ve been filtered out.

To frame this another way, you cannot expect to make a lot of money online just by getting a ton of social bookmarking traffic. That’s just plain silly. You must plan ahead with a Social Traffic Filtering marketing plan.

I explained the basics above and I’m sure you can see how this selection process can provide you with a good list — maybe not Rock Star great, but that’s fine. These people are solid prospects and as they opt into your email list, your business is growing and growing.

Oh, one more thing. Here’s a big Rhodes Brother’s tip: There’s another level of filtering. Here’s how that plays out…

Once you have folks on your list, your autoresponder series can push and pull them in many different ways. It’s up to you to use the autoresponder to qualify people. I strongly encourage you to provide value and pre-sell. If you start selling immediately, you’ll filter out just about everyone. That’s no good for you and it’s no good for them.

PROVIDE VALUE.


– — —
Traffic Leverage From Social Bookmarking

Here’s a very simple concept with profound implications.

What you need to do is combine several different social bookmarking tools together (i.e., assets and plumbing). If you stack these tools the right way, you will have over-the-top, compounding traffic.

I know this sounds vague. So, once again I’ll break it down using an example to make it crystal clear. Here’s just ONE example, step by step:

  1. Post a fantastic blog entry on your niche blog
  2. Digg the blog entry (or ask someone for a favor)
  3. Go to Twitter and talk about it; gently ask for ReTweets
  4. Privately direct message (DM) some trusted Followers; “Please Stumble”

I know this seems simple but let me tell you, this works great. I don’t do it too often because I don’t like to burn people out. It’s a special weapon.

But again —

This is just ONE way to use these various social bookmarking web sites and tools. This kind of activity gives you serious traffic leverage. It’s also another type of marketing funnel that you can tweak and tune over time.

One more thing —

By doing this kind of bookmarking and “backscratching” you can build a powerful affiliate network. It’s also a great way to find and develop JV partners. Remember, this is all very social. It’s about relationships…

Sidebar: Join the Rhodes Brothers Affiliate Program.


– — —
Traffic On Traffic On Traffic

Your web site is not yet flooded with traffic but you’re ahead of 99% of everyone else — You’re in the club.

At this point you must take action…

I strongly recommend that you sign up for Traffic Drill. Like this blog posting, it’s absolutely free.

We’ve put together more material for you about getting traffic to your web site. I give Traffic Drill my highest recommendation. So, if you’re serious about web site traffic read about Traffic Drill.

Cheers,

~ John

How to Create a Great eBay Store

Posted on January 30th, 2008 in Advice, eBay, Links, Simple | No Comments »

Want to know how to creat a great eBay store?

There are just three easy steps…

1. Sign up for an eBay store. (Surprisingly easy.)

2. Configure your eBay store.

3. Collect serious cash online.

OK, so I’m having a little fun here. Creating a really hot eBay store takes some work after you sign up to start selling.

But really, we set up a store in about 3 hours, start to finish. That includes adding 8 products and tweaking everything we felt was important.

Creating a killer eBay store pretty much means reading what eBay gives you for free.

This was quite a surprise to us but eBay’s information kicks butt. If you start looking for design help, templates, and such, on Google for example, you’ll see tons of of offers for “professional services” — pay someone to help you. Or, you’ll run into spam sites that offer no value. 

Here’s the truth. We started looking for tips, tricks, and advice but nothing was as good as what eBay offered up for free. (Again, this was quite a surprise.)

Below are the best resources we found right on eBay for creating a great eBay store. I encourage you to follow these links to get started right now.

Straight from eBay!

1. eBay Store Sign Up Page (Easy as pie!)

2. eBay Stores Deisgn Center

3. eBay Stores Checklist for Success

4. eBay Stores Tutorials

5. eBay Stores FAQs

6. eBay Success Stories (related topic)

If you are looking for professional services, eBay gives you pointers on that too:

7. eBay Stores Designer Directory

Looking for more?

Small Business Marketing is our new little eBay store. If you’re wondering what you’ll get with just a couple of hours of work, don’t miss our store. We have some internet marketing items you might want; dirt cheap. (It is eBay after all.)

Good luck setting up your new eBay store!

Finding the Right High Income Home Online Business

Posted on December 13th, 2007 in Advice, Customers, eBay, Strategies | No Comments »

Many people are looking to make money online. There are many opportunities but finding the right high income home online business can still be a challenge.

Let’s first examine what “high income” means. I’ll be the first to tell you that high income is completely dependent on one person – you! Unless you define clear income goals, you will not be able create a real business plan. So…

A High Income Business is What You Think It Is

High Income Tip One: Figure out what “high income” means to you personally. Write it down. Make sure it’s clear in your mind. Is it $100 per day? $5,000 per month? $100,000 per year?

Now, let’s look at home online businesses. There are many types of online businesses. You can set up an eBay business for example. You can also sell ebooks directly from your own web site. You can do these things from home because they are online.

Editors Note: Build a list when you sell on eBay.

Before I move on, keep in mind your objective: Finding a high income home online business. So, while you can earn a high income on eBay it can be very hard. And, you can sell ebooks to make money, but that is also very hard.

You need to think more deeply about rapidly generating cash and building wealth…

The Secret: High Income Home Online Business Models

Here’s something that many people won’t tell you. A high income business must be built on a model, not on a single product or one place to sell. You can’t get rich without doing one of two things:

1. Sell a very high volume of products
2. Sell products that cost a lot of money

When you combine both of these together, you get magic. You combine them together with a smart business model.

An Example of a High Income Home Online Business Model

Becoming a wholesaler of expense jewelry for eBay sellers.  You job would be to find a major wholesaler and you, in turn, become a smaller wholesaler.  You supply eBayers with products, you don’t sell on eBay. See the difference? You’re the supplier!

By selling wholesale you sell a lot of items at once. You don’t make quite as much as selling one item at a time, but you get serious volume which generates a high income for your home online business. See the magic? Bingo!

Also, by selling jewelry, you are selling a high priced product. When you sell high priced items – especially in bulk – you generate wealth much more quickly.

Creating Wealth Online is Just Like Creating Wealth Offline

Here’s what this looks like in the offline world. Selling a house lands a lot more money than selling a car, don’t you agree? The same principle applies with the eBay jewelry supply business I explained above.

High Income Tip Two: A high income home business is based on creating the right business model. Sell in high volume and sell high priced items. Your job is to find the right niches that allow this then give it 100% of your effort.

The summary is that you can create a high income home online business out of thin air once you realize that you just need to apply some simple principles. First, sell in high quantities and second sell high priced items.

In plain terms, sell expensive stuff in bulk. You also want to create a model that fits your high income wealth building goals. “Big money” can be yours in no time at all.

Editor’s Note: Get started online by reading How to Create Your Own Online Business (It’s free to read right now.)

Tip for eBay Buying and Selling

Posted on November 14th, 2007 in Advice, eBay, Strategies | No Comments »

Today I’m going to give you exactly one tip for buying and selling on eBay.

It doesn’t matter if you are buying or selling on eBay, you should always be thinking about building your brand. Here are five quick examples of what that means to you:

1. Give feedback as quickly if you can
2. Ask for feedback as soon as it makes sense; communicate!
3. Give buyers as much information as possible about goods you are selling
4. Help other people on eBay if you have time; be social, be responsible
5. Become known for one thing, e.g., low cost, fast shipping, niche items

In different terms, this means you should be thinking about your reputation. It is one of the most important things for you to monitor online. Your feedback is everything. If you do other business online, but outside of eBay, this is still very important. It is very hard to repair a damaged reputation.

Remember this eBay buying and selling tip: Create a Brand for Yourself on eBay!

Editors Note: You can use eBay to build your list… Click here to continue

Update: Stumble It!