Live Writer a go

February 5th, 2008

It’s taken me a while to get around to trying Live Writer… and it turns out that Microsoft had released a new version (Windows Live Writer 2008) just as I decide to try it.  This is my ‘first look’ post.

So what is it and what can it do?

LiveWriter Well, it’s a blog post editor.  I’m writing this post using Live Writer.  And, more interestingly, the editor is formatted just like my blog.

The width of the page, the paragraph formatting, the font… all taken from the settings of the very blog you are reading.  It’s a WYSIWYG blog post editor (you can also view/edit is as HTML)

It works with most major blogging software (not just Microsoft’s own) which in my case is WordPress. Plus it will spell check, automatically post images, maps and video, set categories, publish date and it has a plug-in model for extending the functionality (take a look at the plug-in gallery here).

I thought I’d try the Silverlight streaming plug-in - which as you’d expect allows you to add a streaming link to a post.  If it worked, you’ll be able to see the first frame of the video with the title ‘Raw Food Recipes eBook’ or will see an ‘install Silverlight’ icon.

(the Silverlight video is from our ValuedClientSystem.com demonstration videos)

Enjoy…
-Mark

Mark Quirk is a director at Know It Use It Ltd
http://www.ValuedClientSystem.com - From Prospects to Customers to Valued Clients
http://www.VCSHosts.co.uk – Create Your Online Business In A Box

The Final Three

January 26th, 2008

I’ll deal with our final three speakers in one post as they were (in order): Tom Hua, Adam Ginsberg, Tom Hua.

I’ll start with Tom Hua. He spoke about his background and it was quite interesting. It seems he landed in Australia with almost no money and a contact who couldn’t be contacted. He slept his first night on a bench at a railway station. He then took jobs where he could. He started his internet career with the e-book “Working with Clickbank”. It is a book describing how to create a clickbank account, how to set up web hosting and so on. It has a number of links to these and other sites, all of which are affiliate links.

Tom gave away this resource and it went suitably viral - that is people passed it on to others. As a result his income from the affiliate links grew and grew. In fact he still gets a cheque for around $1,000 per month from the hosting company he recommended in that book even though he now runs his own hosting company and would rather people used that one!

Tom then moved on to talking about business growth. His main comments were as follows:

  • To move from multi-thousands of dollars of income to multi-millions you have to have employees, i.e. it is not a one man business
  • You need to have Vision - you success all depends on how badly you want it.

  • Information products have the highest ROI (Return on Investment) if they sell.
  • Niches - odd example coming up - anyone searching for “free sex” is not someone willing to buy anything you may want to sell. Someone searching for “sex positions” is quite likely to be a buyer!
  • The value of an idea has nothing to do with the idea itself. It is only when it is shared with millions that it has great value.
  • Take a unique approach to differentiate yourself. Just because someone else has a similar product is no reason not to market your own - don’t be put off!

I found Tom’s talk quite interesting. I was disappointed that some people sitting near me were not so impressed. In essence they judged his content on the fact that his spoken English is not yet perfect and he still has his Chinese accent. In my view anyone making millions of dollars per year from internet based businesses is worth listening to and I felt that Tom delivered good, useful advice.

 

So, our next speaker was Adam Ginsberg. He spoke about a product they have to make fancy home pages on MySpace. I was sick of this guy by then (shameless attempts at audience manipulation bug me too much) and I saw little value in him telling us about his product. For an hour and a half.

Our final speaker was once again Tom Hua! This time he was presenting WorldInternetOffice - a clone of our own www.ValuedClientSystem.com - in essence it’s the tool every internet entrepreneur needs - so go check our our words and video at www.ValuedClientSystem.com. (OK - shameless plug over - but it really is a good service!)

-Paul

Paul Quirk is a director at Know It Use It Ltd
http://www.ValuedClientSystem.com - From Prospects to Customers to Valued Clients
http://www.VCSHosts.co.uk – Create Your Online Business In A Box

The biggest ego in copywriting

January 23rd, 2008

I dragged myself in early on day four to hear our next speaker; Alan Forrest-Smith. As a general statement I quite like Alan - I think he is very talented at copywriting and he can give a good presentation. However this wasn’t a good example.

In essence Alan spent 1.5 hours telling us how great he was, how great it was to have lots of money, that this happened fairly quickly for him (ignoring all the business experience he gained as a hairdresser and then owner of a number of salons) and that if we attended his next level copywriting course (for £20,000 - only £5k down the rest when we get some business) then we could enjoy that lifestyle too.

A few people just walked out once the ego trip got moving…

To be fair he did let a few copywriting tips slip and they do give an inkling to the depth of Alan’s knowledge:
1) 85% of people don’t read beyond the headling.
2) The first paragraph is a critical starter.
3) Each paragraph should lead the reader to the next one
4) Have a no risk no refusal offer. Are readers hesitant? If so the you need to change your offer.
5) Have a call to action - tell them what to do.
6) Audio should be set to play automatically, if they have to click to play then they won’t. Must have play, pause & stop buttons.
7) Every word should be directed to the buyer. It should be as long as it needs to be to tell the story.

-Paul

Paul Quirk is a director at Know It Use It Ltd
http://www.ValuedClientSystem.com - From Prospects to Customers to Valued Clients
http://www.VCSHosts.co.uk – Create Your Online Business In A Box

Internet Marketing Explained

January 22nd, 2008

The last talk on Saturday evening (day 3) was from Armand Morin, someone whom I admire greatly. He entitled his talk “Internet Marketing Explained” and explain it he did. His presentation was full of his own brand of humour and solid information while at the same time being an advert for his upsell product. Nice.

He started off with this fact: “It’s OK to do nothing and make a bunch of money”. I guess he thought we may have been wondering about that…

He then added more facts: “8,000 people a day start an internet marketing business. 90% fail!”. He went on to explain that they are missing the necessary marketing strategies. It seems his students have a 94% success rate.

Examples of people doing the wrong things:

  • Graphics buttons give a 62% decrease in response rate.
  • Having your site name in horizontal strips on the page background equals a 45% reduction in response rates.

Armand says we should be an island, that is not dependent on anyone else for business.

“Google hates me - so I don’t need Google to succeed.” Give up trying to be number 1 on Google, it’s just not that important.

Continuous education is important.

If you see an opportunity - take action!

Your business needs to be like a Rhino:

  • Endangered
  • Charge first, ask questions later
  • Take action
  • Have thick skin
  • Nobody messes with a Rhino!

Get traffic using articles. Write or (better) buy articles. To buy them use sites like forums.digitalpoint.com -> Services->ads for article writing. Also sitepoint.com->marketplace->look for article writing services.

Before you submit the article to an article site, add your resource box and include an ad for a free report - i.e. give them a reason to take action.

The free report link should go to a namesqueeze page (from memory, Armand is the one who coined this term) to get the report. When you have processed their name, send them to a product sales site. If you get the name and email address the sales conversion on the following page doubles.

Submit your article to an article directory site. ArticleMarketer.com costs $1/day and they submit your articles to many sites. Then of course post the article to your own blog. Also send out a newsletter on that same subject - i.e. another article needed. At the end of the article you have another link to a product site.

Repeat this activity each week.

Note that you must have your own product.

Armand’s down and dirty method to create a product

Go to ezinearticles.com. Pick a subject. Search for articles on that subject. Now do three things: highlight, copy and paste.

Collect 50-70 articles on your subject. Email each author asking if you can include their article in your new book, (don’t mention e-book). 70% will say yes. Now just compile each article into a logical format which becomes your table of contents. You are now done with your book.

Put it up, use articles to drive traffic as above. Note that Armand only expects to make about $300 per month from something like this so he makes lots of books! In fact he has someone else do this for a profit split.

Blogs.

Don’t have a blogger account. Technorati.com tracks 5,000 blogs and none of the top 100 use blogger. Use Wordpress, obtainable from Wordpress.org (NOT .com). Sit it on your own website. You can set up a wordpress blog in minutes if your hosting account has Cpanel and Fantastico. Then get these two plugins: Optimal Title and Related Posts. (Find them by typing those terms into Google!)

Traffic

Select any topic. Find keywords for that topic. Find sites on that topic which display Google adwords. Look on those sites for a link which says “advertise on this site”. Then from your adwords account, select that site for CPM (cost per thousand) advertising. Aim to pay 50c per thousand impressions. This is what site targeted advertising is all about!

List Building

Use forced opt-in lists. Force people to opt-in before they can see your sales page. Don’t be a wimp and provide some way around this! E.g. take some copy from an affiliate product and add an opt-in box and GO!

Armand said a number of other things but I couldn’t take notes on all of it. He did say also that the speakers were going to a local pub later and that he drinks Budweiser!

I did attend and did get to exchange a few words with some of the speakers but it was difficult. Everyone was interesting but the one I found most helpful was Brett McFall - he simply asked me what I was up to and then gave some advice about that - simple, cool and efficient. Three “cheers” for Brett.

Incidentally I did talk to a few other delegates there. One of them expressed some derision at the whole pub thing, suggesting these guys were enjoying being famous in their small way and effectively did not deserve this. I think that attitude is rubbish - they were all making money on the internet and offering to give us tips on how we might do the same. Famous? Well in their niche certainly. Enjoying the attention? Of course - who wouldn’t? Do I begrudge them their moments of fame? No. I like people who help me.

-Paul

Paul Quirk is a director at Know It Use It Ltd
http://www.ValuedClientSystem.com - From Prospects to Customers to Valued Clients
http://www.VCSHosts.co.uk – Create Your Online Business In A Box

The Ultimate Affiliate

January 21st, 2008

Next up was Ewen Chia, in a rare appearance outside his native country. Ewen is known as the ultimate affiliate - he is often the top affiliate of a marketing campaign (aka super affiliate).

Ewen shared a personal note when he told us that his success only came after he committed to take personal responsibility for his own success - not putting it down to luck (good or bad). He said you must have a passion and love what you do; internet marketing is a lonely business so you need that passion and interest to continue with it.

Not surprisingly Ewen talked to us about the benefits and ease of being an affiliate. In essence the affiliate is the middle-person, connecting buyers to sellers by the simple expedient of providing useful information to buyers.

The purpose of the internet is information sharing and the internet uses universal marketing/business principles. Therefore we should use those principles to offer information to people who are looking for it!

Focus on one thing at a time. Adopt a marketing mindset and learn the skills - after all no-one is born with a laptop on their laps!

Ewen pointed out the 5 step proven system to success:


Market  ———> Offer
^                 |
|    Duplicate    |
|                 v
Back-end <------- Traffic

He discussed each of these steps as follows.

1) The Market

  • Follow your heart first - you need an affinity for your market. e.g.
    Hobbies, interests, life experiences.
  • Universal “hot selling” topics that affect humans - love, money, beauty,
    sports, self-improvement.
  • What people are already buying - look at eBay, Amazon, Magazines.com
  • Validate the market with keyword research tools.
  • Inside out strategy, specialise in a mini-market, i.e. a niche.

Ezinearticles.com is a good place to see market interest, categories here are very helpful.

2) Offer

  • Using other peoples offer - affiliate marketing. Your role as a middle
    man/woman/person (delete as you see fit!).
  • Find offers for your market via clickbank, CJ.com, ShareASale.com
  • Find offers using the search engines.
  • Leverage from day 1 with your own website.
  • Create your own offers when you’re more experienced.

A sample squeeze page is pianoplayer . com - it has a 70% opt-in rate!

3) Traffic

There are 3 main ways of getting traffic - Buy, Steal, Attract. Ewen says he prefers to steal it!

4) Back-end

This is where you skyrocket your income.

  • Back-end is any sale after your front end offer.
  • Plan your back-end income funnel in advance.
  • Create instant back-ends with affiliate products.
  • How to add in back-end streams:
    1. One time offer (OTO) pages
    2. Download pages
    3. Blogs
    4. Existing/new
      Autoresponder campaign.
  • Your biggest back-end is your own product.

5) Duplicate

Easiest way to multiple streams of internet income.

  • Horizontal markets, e.g. golf swing –> golf equipment.
  • Vertical duplication, e.g. Self-improvement –> forex trading
  • Product duplication, e.g. E-book –> audio –> seminar. (Ewen gave the
    example that Autopilotprofits . com was duplicated to Secretaffiliateweapon . com.)

Overall Ewen gave an excellent and enjoyable presentation.

-Paul

Paul Quirk is a director at Know It Use It Ltd
http://www.ValuedClientSystem.com - From Prospects to Customers to Valued Clients
http://www.VCSHosts.co.uk – Create Your Online Business In A Box

The Secret Six and the Power of Intimate Interviews

January 17th, 2008

Our next speaker on day three of World Internet Summit was Shaune Clarke. Yes, I know he’s been doing the World Internet Challenge, but this was his “proper” slot as a speaker.

After a preamble Shaune gave us his key nuggets for copywriting:

  • Don’t settle for “good copy” - Know who you’re speaking to, the 2% who buy, not the 98% who won’t, Doing this make a big difference in the tone of your copy - it becomes much stronger.
  • Read your copy out loud - this finds all the pauses, errors and disconnects.
  • Use the nuances that create connection, believeability and lower resistance. Real-life tidbits, real-life events.
  • Assumed language - it doesn’t need to be explained to those who buy
  • Expressing understanding, compassion and empathy has a dramatic effect on response rates.

How to interview someone

After a little more standard stuff on how to find a niche, Shaune moved on to his main topic, the one he is an expert in - interviewing.

Shaune’s first comment was to say that you don’t just want an interview, you want an interview that:

  • Produces provocative comments
  • Gives a differing perspective
  • Gives original content
  • Gets the interviewee excited!

A passionate and exciting interview leads to a revealing interview. Then it becomes viral.

You increase the trust level of buyers by putting a photo of the interviewee and brief comment underneath.

How to get an interview

How do you get someone to agree to be interviewed? You use these four powerful words …. “can I interview you?”. You should probably preface them with a compliment, e.g. “I appreciate your perspective on …” or “I’d love to interview you about…”

If they’ve already been interviewed many times on a particular topic, ask if you can interview them about something else (and name the topic of course).

Question types for interviews

Shaune gave us a list of question types to ask which work the interview up from the initial friendly stage to the later ones where the real gold is.

  • Rapport - Why is something important to you?
  • Likability - What do you most want people to know?
  • Persona - Tell me what you really like about…
  • Revealing - What do you find easiest to sell?
  • Digging - How do you know that? (Typically leads into a story)
  • Emotional - How did that make you feel?

Working through these questions is a matter of the state of your emotional bank account with your interviewee. Shaune gave seven levels for this:

  • Interview just ended
  • Watching the clock
  • Participating out of duty
  • Interested
  • Talkative
  • Emotional (this is the level where you can ask anything)
  • Completely connected

Effective techniques during an interview include allowing long pauses - let the interviewee dump some information and then pause. You may encounter some uncomfortable reactions, just stay calm and pause. Allow the interviewee to lead.

Overall I thought Shaune’s presentation was delivered well with lots of interesting material. He had a training course on interview techniques for sale, the only thing which stopped me buying was I couldn’t think of anyone I particularly wanted to interview in connection with our web business!

-Paul

Paul Quirk is a director at Know It Use It Ltd
http://www.ValuedClientSystem.com - From Prospects to Customers to Valued Clients
http://www.VCSHosts.co.uk – Create Your Online Business In A Box

The only 2 things which matter in marketing and the 5 Laws

January 15th, 2008

Our next speaker was Brett McFall, one of the organisers of World Internet Summit. I have a lot of time for Brett - he brings his Aussie laid back approach to speaking and presenting which is quite refreshing. When dealing with some audience “participation” which went beyond the normal bounds Brett just took it all in his stride and even managed to look amused at it. Well done Brett.

Anyhow, on to the talk. The only 2 things which matter in marketing are…

  • Yes, and
  • No

It’s the “should I stay or should I go?”, “do I like this guy or not?” questions which people ask themselves while reading/viewing/interacting with your marketing material.

Brett then spent time talking about the Five Laws.

1) The Law of Respect

People are here (at the event) because they want a better life. The level of happiness is determined by what you focus on. If you centre you life on your spouse then happiness depends on how they are. If you centre it on your family then how they think and feel affects you. Or if you centre it on work then the decision to do something is based on whether it will help me at work. If you centre on money then decisions are based on cost or opportunity.

If place RESPECT as your centre, to show respect both to others and yourself, then have a better basis. If you respect others they will nromally respect you. Typically employers don’t respect you in this way.

What if you respect your customer? This question pulls out what you need to offer your customer. Your offer would include:

  • Guarentee
  • Add value
  • Testimonials
  • Information
  • Personalisation
  • Privacy
  • Quality
  • Things which meet what they want.

2) The Law of Uniqueness

You need to make yourself stand out.

What is the one reason why someone should do business with you? E.g. Brett’s promise in his formative copywriting days was “I guarentee you’ll make ten times what you pay me or I’ll continue to work with you until you do.”

Keep pushing through the questions you ask yourself about what makes you stand out until the answer scares you. That tells you you’re onto something!

Search hard until you find something which hasn’t been done before or is available elsewhere.

3) The Law of Irrisistability

Keep offering more and more value to someone until they say “Yes”. Brett gave us an example of this where he sold a small bottle of water to an audience member for £100. He’d even had a drink from the bottle. How did he do this? He kept adding bonuses to the offer until it included his full product set which sells for many hundreds of pounds. In the end the offer became too much to resist and he got the sale.

This ties in with others that I’ve heard talk about bonuses - they should leave people thinking that they’d be crazy not to buy your product or service because of the great bonus(es).

Brett suggests spending 15 minutes each day considering how you can add value to the point of a certain “Yes”.

4) The Law of Results

A fail-safe way to increase sales is split testing. In essence the *results* from your sales (or lack thereof) need to be your measure as you continually change things to seek to improve them. As an example the headline on the landing page is a critical item to test and keep testing.

5) The Law of Value

This is like the third law - you need to give good value in what you do.

Brett gave this simple sequence:

  • Create Massive Curiosity
  • Deliver Massive Content
  • Get Massive Conversion Rates

As an example he gave the 3 sites which formed a single campaign. Go look at them and see what you think!

  • www.BrettMcFall.com/secret.html
  • www.BrettMcFall.com/secretexposed.html
  • www.BrettMcFall.com/mcebayday.html

The question is - how will you use this principal? A free months trial? Free video section from a DVD? Something else?

Overall Brett’s presentation was excellent and he is to be congratulated.

-Paul

Paul Quirk is a director at Know It Use It Ltd
http://www.ValuedClientSystem.com - From Prospects to Customers to Valued Clients
http://www.VCSHosts.co.uk – Create Your Online Business In A Box

“The Internet Audio and Video Guy”

January 14th, 2008

After a short update on how the World Internet Challenge from Shaune Clarke, (it was going fairly well) the first speaker of day three was Mike Stewart of InternetAudioGuy.com and InternetVideoGuy.com fame.

Mike told us that audio and video build trust more quickly than just words. He showed us some sites which seemed to prove this point rather well and were fun to boot. A good one to share is www.YuckyNastyBugFacts.com. To save signing up for the newsletter you can watch his video at www.northfultonexterminating.com/. After watching the video of Hal Coleman, ask yourself a question - “do I believe this man knows what he’s talking about? If I lived in that area and had a problem with bugs, do I think he could solve it?” A nice demonstration of how video builds trust quickly.

Other things to notice from that video are that you can point to things on the web page - Hal points up, down and to the sign up box on the left of his frame. That’s actually pretty cool, even if he is talking about bugs. Also notice that Hal tells you to fill in your name and email address to sign up to his newsletter. This brings out another point Mike made - tell people what to do; have a call to action in all your material, especially your videos!

Mike gave us a demo of how easy it can be to create a video or audio blog entry and upload it to the internet. He really did make it look simple. (On the video side he didn’t mention that you should take care in lighting the subject, I guess he didn’t want to put people off.)

Mike also talked about the kind of equipment you need to do the recording, video camera, microphone, suitable leads to connect to the computer, suitable software and so on. He sells this kind of thing plus training materials on how to be a home studio.

Audio and Video podcasting are a hot area. Once you have created some content, ensure that you use the power of RSS to allow your entries to work with an RSS aggregator such as Feedburner.com or Google’s RSS Reader. Note IE7 has an inbuild RSS reader. Apparently in the US Apple TV allows people to receive video casts via their normal TV! Same deal with TiVO in the US. In other words you can become a micro TV station. And this is what Mike termed New Media.

Old Media is the mass advertising even if the viewer might not care. E.g. you’re watching your favourite program on the TV and then they interrupt to tell you that you should eat this breakfast cereal, were this type of ladies clothing and so on, regardless of the fact that these ads might not be appropriate to you at all! In New Media the broadcasts are so niche that the ads can be included in the content, e.g. a review of a new piece of equipment you are using. OK, so you won’t broadcast it to millions, but then millions are not interested anyway. If you get a few hundred viewers who are interested then your recommendation will have a much greater impact on them.

Mike’s websites have the hardware information on getting started plus a bunch of other stuff.

-Paul

Paul Quirk is a director at Know It Use It Ltd
http://www.ValuedClientSystem.com - From Prospects to Customers to Valued Clients
http://www.VCSHosts.co.uk – Create Your Online Business In A Box