How To Use The Internet Effectively For Network Marketing

Our next guest poster is AnnaLaura, from InterNetwork Marketing Wealth, with some tips on using the Internet for Network Marketing.

You may have already heard the term internetwork marketing but you might not know what it is. Internetwork marketing is the process of building a network marketing organization using the internet. So how do you do this effectively? The internet has so many options and opportunities that it can be easy to get lost or waste a lot of time with activities that are not productive.

1. Make a plan for how you are going to use the internet with your network marketing business. For example, are you going to write articles? How many? Create a blog? What will be the major theme or topic of your blog? Join social networking communities? Which ones?

2. Create a website that offers useful content to its visitors and positions you as either a network marketing expert, or a professional in the field in which you are representing yourself.

3. Develop a plan for how you will brand yourself online. For example, you will probably want to start a newsletter and I highly recommend registering yourname.com if it is available.

4. Decide who your target market is. Make sure to include the obvious such as other network marketers, and business opportunity seekers but you may also want to include less obvious groups of people such as teachers and librarians.

5. Commit to working on your internetwork marketing plan long term. Realize that you will not make a ton of money and achieve your goals overnight.

6. Have your long-term goals for your business and for your internet activities written down. Make sure they are specific and include timelines. For large projects also write down a list of the specific steps you will need to take to make it happen.

7. Enlist the help of others who have been there and done it. Research what you can online about internetwork marketing and ask for help from anyone who offers it. There is no need to re-invent the wheel or to waste time by failing to focus on what will work the best for you.

Building a network marketing organization via the internet can be fun and very profitable. It also takes time and a lot of work. If you are a technology oriented person then this may be a great option for you. Otherwise, know that it can be done, but you will need to have patience and it may take longer than you had hoped.

AnnaLaura Brown is a professional network marketer who builds her business online. She loves helping others read their goals and dreams. To learn more about her and subscribe to her newsletter visit InterNetwork Marketing Wealth.

How To Maximize Exposure From Guest Blogging

Our first guest poster of the week is Alan, of Zero and Up. Appropriately enough, the topic is about getting the most out of guest blogging.

Being a guest blogger at other blogs in a similar niche can have very powerful and positive effects on the traffic and readership of your website. However, if you don’t know how to do it right, you may end up no better off after making your guest appearance. With a little planning and creativity, you can get much more out of that 15 minutes of fame than some people have come to expect.

Casually Reference Your Own Site
If it’s cool with the owner of the blog your post will appear on, try and figure out a way to reference your own site. Be sure and make it subtle though – some people may be turned off if you shamelessly plug your site and ask them to visit.

Write Like It’s Your Own Site
Whether or not you are a well known blogger, be sure and write your guest post with the same flavor and confidence with which you would write a post on your own site. Don’t be worried with the idea that your site is too small – even the big guys started out small. If people truly like the style that you write with, they won’t care how big your site is; they’ll be hooked. Also, if you try and write with a different style when you do guest posts, people may be disappointed when your site doesn’t have the same flair your guest post contained.

Teach Something To The Readers
If people realize that they actually learn something from you, they feel like they are using their time wisely when reading your posts. Try and give a unique outlook on your lesson as well: chances are that someone else has taught it before. It’s not usually the lesson itself that will get you new readers… It’s how you teach the lesson.

Leave Them Wanting More
This aspect is hard to master. You don’t want to give your post any feeling of incompleteness, yet you want to make sure your audience feels like they can learn more from you in the future. Subtly let them know that you have much more to teach them and that you cover similar topics at your site.

Explain Who You Are
It’s always good to either start off or finish out a guest post with a couple sentences about yourself. Make the description short and sweet, and don’t forget to let people know where they can go to read more posts from you!

Some of these steps take practice, but be sure and put yourself out there. If you’re comfortable writing to a new audience, you’ll hopefully be even more comfortable writing to your dedicated readership back at your own website.

Thanks for having me here, and I hope you enjoyed this post!

In case you are wondering, my name is Alan. I’m the author of Zero and Up. I own multiple other sites, and currently earn between $100-300 per month from blogging between the two blogs I own. It just so happens that I love to blog too, so it’s great to be able to earn money doing it.

Building Your First Income Stream

Most people who get into Internet Marketing do so because they want to make money.

Usually lots of money! After all, that’s what the hype tells them. Make money while lounging on the beach, because your websites are selling for you while you’re gone (that came across a list I’m on lately).

What the hype doesn’t tell people is that making money online takes time. The gurus show pictures of their expensive houses and cars, and don’t talk about the years they spent learning the ropes. They didn’t start out making tons of money, they started out making a little money (or even losing money).

I think the first income stream you build is the most important.

That’s the one that you can reinvest into other opportunities, to pay for outsourcing graphic creation, writing, programming, etc. The first income stream should bring money in for nearly free, so that you aren’t leaking money from your savings while you’re learning the skills you need to succeed.

Getting that first income stream is a big confidence booster, and keeps you motivated to continue learning and growing.

Here are some possible first income streams.

GPT Sites

These are the sorts of sites that pay you to do things. Click ads, complete offers, etc. Marketing Pond is the best way to get involved in this arena, since all these sorts of programs rely on you getting referrals to earn more than you can earn alone. Instead of trying to get referrals to a dozen programs at once, you get referrals to Marketing Pond, and then they join the programs under you.

This route is the best for someone whose confidence level at writing is low. You can work on your writing skills while you’re earning a bit of money online.

Blogging

For the cost of a domain name and web hosting (about $70 a year), you can write about a topic that interests you. People come to your blog because they’re interested in the same topic as you, and they stay because they like the way you write.

Along the way, they click on ads on your site, they buy products you recommend, and you earn some money. How much depends on how many people visit the site.

Some people have replaced full-time incomes via blogging. This is a good option for those who are confident writing regularly.

Income Streams To Avoid At First

Don’t get into the pay-$X-a-month ways of producing income right away. You’ve seen the hyped up ads all around the Internet…pay $10 a month, we’ll put 100 people under you and you’ll be in profit in a week.

Profit can’t be guaranteed to happen that soon in any of those programs, and if someone tells you they can they’re lying to you in order to get a commission from you.

Wait on these until your first income stream can support them. Then you don’t care if it takes a while to build up to being in profit, because you’re not out money from your savings.

Whichever first income stream you pick, stick with it for the long run. That’s the only way to build it to the point where it can support other projects.

P.S. This Friday is the one-year anniversary of this blog, so tomorrow will start our guest blogging period. I’ll be back for Friday’s post, until then enjoy the guest bloggers! I’ll be on the beach…

Looking For A Product Partner

My P.S. on my post about Virtual Smart Agent has been knocking about in my mind since yesterday, and the more I think about it the more interested I am in partnering with someone who has a product to sell but lacks technical skills.

My ideal partner would be someone for whom the idea of setting up a sales website sends shivers down their spine. Doubly so for integrating something like Virtual Smart Agent or an affiliate program into the site. The word autoresponder seem like a foreign language?

The product must be something that can be sold online with digital delivery. I’m not interested in getting involved in hard goods. An ebook is a possibility, although it’d have to be very high quality to charge for it, since so many ebooks are given away for free as promotional devices. A video tutorial series is another possibility, and one that is quite popular these days.

The niche does not have to be about earning online. I’m open to pretty much anything, so if you have a product you want to sell but lack the knowledge to do it yourself, send me the details.

Why let that product collect virtual dust any longer?

Virtual Smart Agent First Thoughts

Okay, I admit that I’m a sucker for scripts and programs.

Ebooks I can do without, but good technology is something that most everyone can use. Plus, as a geek, I love finding a well done script (which is harder than you’d think).

So when Virtual Smart Agent went on sale, I couldn’t resist buying it. I don’t particularly have a need for it, but like I said, I’m a software junkie.

If you haven’t seen it around, Virtual Smart Agent lets you put one of those ultra annoying “Wait, a live agent would like to talk to you” sort of scripts on your website. Up until now, those scripts were only used by the big names, because there was a recurring fee associated with them. The author of Virtual Smart Agent, Dave Guindon, thought a recurring fee was outrageous for what you were getting, so he wrote his own version and is offering it for a one-time payment. I suspect there was also something of the “I can write a script better than this” going on, too.

And let me tell you, as a professional geek myself, I can attest to the fact that he did write a very nice program. There are tons of customization options in a web based control panel, and lots of reports on how well your agent is doing at converting people leaving your site into sales.

You can specify in the control panel for the software what keywords will return what responses. So if the web surfer types in “what is your return policy?”, and you’ve provided a response matching the phrase “return policy”, that response will be displayed. Provide responses for enough keyword phrases, and people might think they’re talking to a real person instead of a bot.

While I personally find these “live agent” deals intensely annoying, Dave did some testing and found that about half of the people who were going to leave his website ended up buying at a discount because of the live agent offer. It’s hard to argue with results like that.

You only need the program if you have a website where you sell something. I suppose you could use it for other purposes, but it’s intended to offer people who are trying to leave the site a discount on whatever it is you’re selling.

I’ll do a full review of this after I’ve had a chance to play with it and set it up on a site, but I wanted to give you all a heads up since Dave’s doing the usual “price increases every so often” type of launch with this.

Click here for more details on Virtual Smart Agent.

P.S. Have a product to sell but don’t feel confident enough to set up your own website to sell it? Join The Advisory Panel and let me know about it. We can work out a deal where I do the technical end of things (including using VSA on the site), so you don’t have to.

Results of Testing Adsense Blending

In a post about blending Adsense ads with your site, I showed how to blend the Adsense colors so they matched your site. This is largely considered to be more professional and Adsense ads that stand out.

A couple of readers called me on this, asking me if I’d done any split testing of blended ads versus non-blended ads. I hadn’t, but promised to do so.

This post has the results of that testing.

First, the methodology. I picked a page on one of my sites and tracked blended usage for a 14 day period. I then changed the colors on the ads in that page and tracked the usage for another 14 day period. The basic stats that I tracked were the average click through rate and the average earned per day of the period.

The non-blended ads used a background color that appeared elsewhere on the page, so the ads seemed to fit with the site, but still popped out from the white background of the text.

Unfortunately, the Adsense TOS restrict me from disclosing any form of click through rate specifics. Even aggregate data for the 14 day test periods is probably excluded from disclosure by the TOS.

So, I have to be more vague than I would like to be with the results.

One way of comparing the two results is looking at the relative values of each. The blended CTR was 2.3 times the non-blended CTR. To pick numbers totally at random, if the non-blended CTR was 2%, then the blended CTR would have been 6%.

The total earnings were about the same for the period, which has more to do with the cost-per-click I earned for the ads…this should not have been affected at all by the ad colors, so is more likely an external factor.

These results shouldn’t be considered conclusive, since every site is different and your visitors might react differently than mine. I also did not run the statistical analysis necessary to determine if the difference in CTR was significant, given the number of impressions. I’m happy enough with the practical difference between the two click through rates.

I’ve switched that site back to blended ads now. Hopefully the increased CPC will continue as the CTR gets back to normal.

Ultimate Internet Entrepreneur Review

As Internet Marketers, we tend to get locked into the mindset of working online.

We think in terms of link cloakers, of ad trackers, of search engine optimization, and all the rest of the technical aspects of marketing online. We sometimes forget that, while the vast majority of our prospective customers do use computers, there are many other ways to reach those customers than just online.

Some of the most successful advertising co-ops I’ve been involved in have utilized off line magazine advertisements. People do still read magazines, newspapers, listen to the radio in the car, watch the television, all those things that we tend to dismiss.

The Ultimate Internet Entrepreneur is a recording of a phone call between Corey Rudl and Dan Kennedy. For more about who Corey is, here’s a brief bio.

The phone call is about two and a half hours of Corey and Dan talking about what’s needed for Internet Marketing success. One of the big areas that fascinates me is the focus on how off line marketing can be integrated with online marketing to pull in customers from far outside your normal reach. This is something Google is getting into now, with their newspaper classified and radio ad campaigns available through Adwords. If Google is investing in it, you know there’s potential there.

There’s an enormous amount more on the recording, of course. There’s advice about how to make sure your customers will become repeat customers, by priming them for it before they’re even done with the first sale. Some of the material you’ll have heard before, but it’s all fascinating, especially as it’s in the form of a conversation between two successful Internet Marketers.

I’m not normally a fan of ebooks and the like, but I’m a huge fan of mentoring. This recording was between Corey and his Internet Marketing mentor, so it’s a bit like being invited to be a student of Dan’s, too.

There are bonuses, too, of course. You can’t throw a stick at an Internet Marketing offer these days without hitting at least a couple of bonuses. In this case, one bonus is a transcript of the recording…a blessing for people like me, who read quickly but only listen at normal speed. There’s also a question and answer session originally done with Corey at a high priced tele-conference, and an ebook by Dan Kennedy on integrating off line and online marketing.

Click here for the full details on what’s available on the recording.

P.S. The $97 price tag on the recording is the standard price. There’s enough material on there that you’ll get more than your money’s worth out of it, compared to most training packages at a similar cost. As promised when I started The Advisory Panel, though, I worked out a deal for members to get the package for $47. To take advantage of that, do not buy from the link above, but look in the Discounts section of the forum.

Advisory Panel Sponsored Blog

The first Advisory Panel sponsored blog is up and running.

A sponsored blog is one that’s hosted and paid for by the forum itself, and written by a group of forum members who volunteer for the effort. Individual authors are free to use affiliate links in their posts, and keep whatever income that generates. Each author also has an equal share in the proceeds from the sitewide monetization (with the Advisory Panel getting a share, too).

The sponsored blogs are a great way for people new to blogging to get some experience, or for people who want to start another blog but don’t have the time to scratch that itch (each author needs only to post once per week).

The first sponsored blog is doWAHdiddy.org, a blog with work at home tips for parents. You can read more about the authors here. They all bring a wide variety of experiences to the blog. I’m excited about the possibilities in a group of authors such as this.

The blog’s still new, but is being updated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning with great tips for parents with stay at home jobs. That probably includes a lot of you reading this, so head on over and take a look!

P.S. If you think you might like to try participating in a sponsored blog, head on over to the Advisory Panel and let me know. If we get a group motivated to start another, I’m willing!

Guest Bloggers Still Needed

I have several great guest posts lined up, but could use a few more if anyone wants the exposure.

For anyone who didn’t catch the first announcement, I’ll be doing a guest posting marathon just before the one-year anniversary of this blog. I’ll do the actual anniversary post on April 18th, but the days leading up to that will be guest posts by readers, to give their writing and their sites exposure to a new audience.

Posts must be educational in nature, and not an opportunity review.

So far the line up includes a great tutorial that will be of interest to anyone using WordPress, a post about getting the most out of guest blogging, and a post that gives great advice on doing network marketing over the Internet. There’s a lot of ground that could still be covered, though, so if you have an idea for an educational post that you think readers would like, contact me and ask about being one of the guest bloggers.

We have only about a week before I’ll start running the posts, though, so don’t delay too long!

Freebie Force Review

In a rather surprising move, Marketing Pond, a popular downline builder for free money programs, has added its first paid program.

The program is Freebie Force. The site itself provide access to information on savings you can get for free. None of this information is secret, but the site collects it all in one convenient location for you to search.

For example, one of the current savings is information on how to get a free cooler at CVS stores. There’s also free software, electronics, hotel stays, etc.

Of course, the main focus of the site is rewarding you for referring others to it. They charge $9.95 a month for access to the freebies database. For everyone you refer, you get paid $1 a month, down 7 levels.

Freebie Force has the same disadvantage as most multi-level pay schemes, that you need your referrals to stay active and keep paying each month for you to earn. At least the site does provide information that can save a member more than the $9.95 fee every month, so it’s better than programs where you get nothing for your fee other than the right to refer others.

Up until now, Marketing Pond has been full of free programs (and has removed programs from the list when they stopped being free. So this is a bit of a departure, adding a paid program. It’ll be interesting to see how the membership reacts.