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I mentioned that I'm going through some personal and business struggles. Hmm, transitions is a better word. Yes, I'm going through some major transitions.
One thing I am always grateful for in situations like this, is the fact that I've created a solid business foundation and invaluable assets. That is exactly what has allowed me to recover from anything life has thrown my way in my 19+ years in business.
That and leverage. I'll share with you how I put both to work...
You may have noticed that I haven't been traveling much lately. Or maybe you didn't.:) I'm usually on a trip at least once a month or 6-9 times a year, but I haven't traveled since March. I've been working from home exclusively for five straight months now, and don't have any trips or events planned (yet) for awhile.
That's always subject to change, of course.
Anyway, I share that with you to make the point that no matter what your situation (for example, even when I was homebound taking care of my grandmother for two years) there is SO much you can accomplish. You can literally build an EMPIRE and create a solid business foundation from your couch.
Creating A Solid Business Foundation
I am fortunate to have everything I need to recover from sticky situations, or handle big things that arise, because I put in the work to build a solid foundation.
The fact that I feel fortunate doesn't mean "I'm lucky" because I'm not one of those people that just naturally has good luck (lol).
It means I've worked hard to build my business, and to create assets I can leverage.
Instead of panicking when something falls through, ends, shuts down, comes up, or lands in my lap - or after my initial panic sometimes, lol - my first comment is always this: "I have everything I need to deal with this."
That doesn't necessarily mean I already *have* every single thing I might need in any given situation... but that I can certainly get it.
Your Most Valuable Assets In Business
An asset is a useful or valuable quality, person, or thing; an advantage or resource.
In business your assets include things like your reputation, connections, networks, knowledge, skills, resources, abilities, your reach, your audience (and/or traffic, or level of engagement), and of course your websites and products.
Other equally valuable assets to any entrepreneur include confidence, tenacity, creativity, determination, DESIRE, etc.
It pays to always be building on these things.
I like "desire" because it's true: "where there's a will, there's a way."
We aren't born with these "assets" or gifted with them the day we decide to start a business. Or I wasn't, at least. For most of us, assets are something you have to work at and build on consistently.
The more assets you have, the more options and opportunities you'll have as your business grows. The more you nurture or build on those assets, the better your options will be.
An article on Forbes refers to Human Capital as the most valuable asset, defined as "your ability to earn money now and in the future" or "the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual."
I like that term. A lot.
A good read on a slightly different note:
An Entrepreneur’s 5 Most Valuable Assets
I have stuff you don't have. You have stuff I don't have. Everyone has different advantages and disadvantages. Don't focus on that. Not even for a minute.
Your perception isn't necessarily truth anyway, and it usually just holds you back, or stains your beliefs or your self confidence.
As a random example, someone commented on my Instagram photo of my "dinner for one take-out" saying I was lucky I didn't have a big family to cook for. Lucky?! Don't make me explain that one.
Creative Ways You Can Leverage Your Assets
Something I consider one of my MOST valuable assets is the connections I've made at both live events and online. That includes friends, business peers, merchants - even people in random niches that I can't collaborate with in any way, because I often glean creative ideas or inspiration from them.
The reason I consider people my most valuable asset is because even without any of the other assets I listed above (and others you could add to that list), you can leverage people you know to tap into their assets.
Let's say you have no traffic, no reputation, no website (yet), but you have a product. Or maybe just an idea, even. All you have to do is leverage the assets of other established entrepreneurs to sell your product. Bingo! If you're shaking your head thinking that would never work... I've done it - very successfully.
You can even leverage your competitors...
The key to leverage is to figure out how you can benefit THEM most. What do they need, what would be helpful or useful to them, what would make them look good, etc?
To exercise leverage you have to get out of the "what I need" mindset. You have to switch into "what they need" and pitch ideas they can't refuse.
There are other things you can leverage as well...
You have assets (or skills, or connections) others don't have. One of those assets may even be time. It can be as simple as that! You can also leverage past successes, notoriety (or the opposite, even!), launch numbers, etc.
This post isn't an in-depth training guide on leverage so I'll leave it at that (for now) and let your wheels turn a bit, and let your own creativity bubble up.
Just remember this key word: Leverage. It will serve you well in business!
Invest In Your Business, Invest In Yourself
In a few weeks my daughter is turning 20 years old. When she was born I was broke, struggling, saw NO light at the end of the tunnel, and had ZERO assets. Or at least that's how it seemed. We all have more assets than we realize, even if it's just sheer tenacity. When she was just 5 months old, I quit my $6/hour job (my steady paycheck!) and set out with nothing (literally) to start my first business.
More than 19 years later I can tell you wholeheartedly that it was the best decision I ever made for myself and my children. It wasn't just that ONE decision though, it was every decision over the last two decades since then - and the fact that I kept building, kept pushing, kept finding solutions, kept powering through failures, etc.
Don't hold back OR hold yourself back.
Reach out, build things, do things, know people, get known, create stuff. Keep investing in yourself, in your business and in your future.
You never know what's coming down the track. Never float by on the minimums. Build a solid foundation that will prepare you for anything...
Get Creative With Missed Opportunities
This is actually another lesson (or creative angle) on the topic of leverage.
There was an event I really wanted to go to once, but I just couldn't swing the trip between other things I had going on at the time. The main reason I wanted to attend wasn't for the sessions. I knew I could learn those topics from home, from a variety of sources. I mainly wanted to go to meet the vendors, connect with new brands, scout potential sponsors - basically to mingle with the merchants.
I had two options: be bummed and chalk it up to a missed opportunity, and envy the people that got to go and accomplish what I wanted to do. OR still achieve my objective, just in a different way. Which is exactly what I did!
The event website had a sponsor page that listed all the vendors and merchants involved and/or attending. The event also had a hashtag, which made it easy to get involved and get connected - and get on the radar of anyone I wanted to know and/or attract.
You can't do everything and you can't be everywhere, but you CAN get creative and still accomplish a lot through different means!
I'll give you another example, and this one pains me a bit...
There's a GREAT event coming up in a few weeks, the Warrior Event in Raleigh NC.
I was meant to speak at this event, but I'm not going to make it.
Do I just chalk it up to a missed opportunity?
I think you know me better than that by now.
I decided that since I already had a topic outlined to speak on, that I would turn that time invested into a digital product. I was planning to share my secrets as a Super Affiliate, by the way. Good ones.:)
In the coolest of timing, one of my friends (an asset!) asked me if I knew a current 2016 affiliate marketing course or guide to promote...
Bingo! TWO good reasons to create a product!
I'm in the process of creating it now, and I've already come up with a creative way to leverage my lack of presence at the live event. I shared the entire "genius plan" with the members of my Private Brainstorming Group last week - which they loved - and they'll be privy to the entire process along the way.
They'll be getting the new product free of course...
Stay tuned to learn how YOU can get my new "super affiliate secrets" training.
It's going to be available SOON.
I shared a lot of great ideas with you here. I hope you'll take at least one of those and implement it in your own business - immediately.
Knowledge is not an asset... unless it's applied.
Task: Make a list of your most valuable assets. Next, make a list of the assets you would most like to attain. Then create an action plan to consistently increase your list of assets, and the value of your assets.
p.s. The ClickNewz Forum & Private Brainstorming Group will be offline for a bit on Sunday for major (super cool!) upgrades. Then next week the membership rates increase. That doesn't affect current members of course. Members get to keep their low rate for the lifetime of their active membership.
If you haven't joined us yet... you should join in now while it's still cheap.
I share ALL with my group in our Brainstorming Hour sessions twice a week, including live examples of everything I'm working on myself (in my own niche) and cool resources they can use too -and how. It's fun!
What if you only had six months to live, and in that scenario you were well enough to LIVE fully every single 24-hour day of it. Let's say that instead of a debilitating illness, you were simply given the foresight that your time here on earth would instantly cease exactly six months from today...
What would you do?
Perhaps that seems like a morbid question, or a negative thought to ponder. Maybe it is. But let's be honest - we are all on borrowed time, and no one knows exactly how much time that may be. Let's think it through for a minute, though...
I suppose the easy way out would be to just STOP - relax - quit pushing yourself so hard. I mean, why pay the bills or get in amazing shape or do anything at all really? You could just drop everything and ENJOY LIFE. Right?
The fact is though, you could live another 6 years or 60 years, so you don't really have the option to QUIT and do nothing. We all have to live every day like it's the very last, and like we need to make it last, at the same time.
This question came to mind while I was considering my priorities.
On that note, there's a big difference between Goals and Priorities.
We all know what our goals are, or have a general idea at least. Goals are basically just a wish list - things we want or hope to achieve. Priorities is where we actually spend our time, they are the things that are most important to us.
If you want to know if your Goals are even a priority to you at all, keep a Time Log for the next week and see if any of your Goals show up in the list of things you do every day or every week. For most people, they don't.
There's a solution to that, of course: Make your Goals a Priority.
I'm heavily focused on my own priorities lately... I've been feeling anxious and overwhelmed, and I'm tired of feeling anxious and overwhelmed. There are reasons I'm feeling that way of course. Just the usual "life stuff" like pianos that fall from the sky out of nowhere right on your head or in your path, lol.
We have two options in life: continue on the current path of our lives (good or bad), or switch gears / change paths / make changes and continue in a different direction. Ideally a new and better direction.
Doing NOTHING is an option, but it STILL changes things. It's actually negligent in most cases, and will result in things going downhill.
No path stays linear, or stays the same. You're either improving or declining - even if you stick your head in the sand (or ignore your options). You're still moving in one direction or the other at all times, and at light speed sometimes it feels like.
It's amazing (or shocking) how six short months can dramatically improve - or really damage - your life, your well-being, your lifestyle and/or your financial situation.
I've never been one to sit around and do nothing.
Not for long at least.
I tend to be very proactive by nature. Or maybe not by nature, but more because I don't really have any other choice, lol. When presented with "work or starve" it's basic human nature to pick "work." Or that's my thinking anyway...
While I'm working on solutions, on turning things around and making positive changes in my life, I've been reading some great pieces that I think you'll enjoy too.
Here are my Top 3 favorites from my "recent reads" I would highly recommend:
Using the 5/25 Rule to Make Decisions
Stop Spending So Much Time In Your Head
How to Overcome Procrastination and Find Your Focus
What BIG difference or BIG changes can you make in 6 months?
I'm presenting that question to you because it's one I'm working on myself.
I know what my goals are, so the "work" is in prioritizing those goals into a short-term plan: an Action Plan for the next six months. I think that's smart. It's achievable - as long as I don't get overly ambitious about it, which I often tend to do -lol.
If you're ready for a turnaround too, here are some of the questions / thoughts I'm using in my own brainstorming & planning...
(Do more of that! How can I scale it?)
What's NOT working - and WHY?
(Can I quit it? If not, can I outsource it?)
What are my problem areas?
What is the easiest solution to those problems?
Can I turn one of these problems into a solution? (Usually!)
What stresses or worries or distracts me most?
(Solutions: How can I fix or eliminate those things?)
What do I most want to achieve before I leave this planet?
What needs to happen in order to accomplish that?
Everything is fine here. (I repeat those words several times a day.) Refer back to Link #2 above. It pays to stop your runaway mind in it's tracks, reel yourself back into the present moment, and continue forward toward improvements and solutions.
That's exactly what I'm doing right now. I'm going to get back to it, in fact. I just wanted to stop for a moment and sit down and share this with you. My hope is that it proves as helpful to you as it has for me over the last few weeks.
If your life and business is all rainbows and fairy dust right now, bookmark this for later. "This too shall pass" works both ways. It's the poor man's greatest hope, and the rich man's greatest fear. Such is life with it's twists and turns and phases.
I wish you rainbows.:)
Hmm. If this came across negative or worrisome, my apologies. Everything TRULY is fine. I hesitate to hit the Publish button, but the thought nags me in the back of my mind that someone somewhere (you?) needs to read this today...
p.s. Create a 6 month plan today. You deserve to live the best life you can!
I'm a minimalist when it comes to add-ons, plugins and software programs. I like to run my computers and blogs as clean as humanly possible...
But I just installed this amazing WordPress plugin, because I practically HAD to. I'll explain why - and what you're going to LOVE about it.
That's my affiliate link, and in addition to the plugin itself I highly recommend you join the affiliate program. You're going to want to share this with others!
WHY I Installed The WP Notification Bar
Let's start with the "why" because I think that's the most important point. There's one main reason, and then countless other reasons I've discovered that it's totally amazing now that I've actually started using it.
My Instagram following has exploded this year.
But even before that, I noticed in my site stats that the majority of the visitors to my niche site were using tablets or mobile devices. Add in Instagram, which is a mobile-only platform, and that number went on the rise - and fast!
You're probably seeing a similar pattern in your own stats?
The fact is, most people are using mobile devices or tablets these days.
I had one main problem that kept coming up. People in my Facebook Group and on my Instagram account kept asking me "How can I subscribe and get your emails??" That is a GOOD problem to have. Not that they cannot figure out how to sign up, but that they want to bad enough to take the time to ask.
Realizing they were on a mobile device and couldn't see my sidebar, which has a very obvious subscription form at the top right, I started adding in a subscription form to every post. Still, they actually had to open a post and scroll down to the very end to find that box. And that didn't slow down the number of times a day I got asked "how to subscribe to my site."
Most people will NOT ask. They simply won't see the option, won't realize there IS an option, and so they don't subscribe to your email list.
That is NOT a good problem to have.
I had to come up with a simple solution that would work well for mobile users, and also desktop users. I could have picked any old WordPress plugin that had a mobile-friendly opt-in overlay...
Here's why I chose the WP Notification Bar
First, because it came highly recommended by my friend Elaine Perry, which is what prompted me to check it out as a potential solution to my problem.
I was immediately impressed! This is NOT just another opt-in bar. Here's a quick description of this versatile, high performing notification bar plugin:
WP Notification Bar is a custom notifications and alerts plugin for WordPress that displays a sleek message bar on your website.
It can help you grow your email list, manage marketing promotions, increase your social media following or grow the audience for specific pages on your website.
This image gives you a few visual examples of what it can do:
It was SO easy to set up!
It has a very friendly user interface, with tons of options already built in, making it easy to connect your mailing list manager and set up a variety of notification bars on your blog or WordPress site.
You can set up a general site-wide notification bar, but you can also set up specific/unique notification bars on individual blog posts.
So if you want to notify readers of something relevant to THAT blog post only, you can do that! I'll show you some live examples since I have it set up on my own niche blog. Check it out on both your mobile device and your desktop...
Live Examples On MY Blog:
How cool is that?!
You can scroll your recent posts, create a strong opt-in incentive, play a video only on certain pages or posts of your site, add an animated bar with an affiliate link on review/product posts, put a countdown timer on special offer pages or posts, etc. There's tons you can do with this one little plugin!
I've only started using it in the last couple of days, and I'm already seeing fast results. For example, there were 8 clicks on the Keto Krate notification bar... and 4 sales.
YES, you get stats for each of your notification bars!
Check out WP Notification Bar & View The Demo
Again, that's my affiliate link, and in addition to getting the plugin you should join the affiliate program so you can share this with others!
The uses for this notification bar is giving me tons of creative ideas to test out on my niche site. It'll be a PERFECT way to promote my new product when it comes out, a great way to monetize archived posts that are getting steady traffic, a great way to encourage visitors to join challenges when I host them, and obviously a GREAT way to increase affiliate conversions on product-based posts & reviews!
Consider all the ways you could use this on YOUR site...
I would love to hear your thoughts!
p.s. When I got the WP Notification Bar, there were tons of free plugins & resources in my account when I logged in to download it. Cool free WordPress themes, even! I was seriously impressed with that. They REALLY over-deliver.
There are days I look at my screen with multiple programs, two browsers, and a zillion tabs open... and just want to get up and walk away.
I'm seeing a lull across the web, and have been talking to other home business owners too, so I know I'm not alone in feeling overwhelmed and scattered with my online business. Or some days, just plain burnt out with it all.
But wait! I LOVE my business. I ENJOY my work. What the heck is going on here?! I asked myself that question, and came up with some good answers...
It's easy to lose your focus when you're lost in a never-ending list of mundane tasks. Or to lose sight of the things that excite and motivate you when you're in the thick of the daily runnings of your business.
There are phases in your business where you feel totally unstoppable and on top of the world, and the creative inspiration seems to have a neverending flow.
Then there are other phases where you're mindlessly drudging through the tasks to maintain that same business.
When those phases of drudgery, dispassion, overwhelm or frustration drag on... you absolutely MUST stop - and do something about it.
Here's what's working for me...
6 Simple Ways To Revive Your Business Passion
Revive: regain life, consciousness, or strength; give new strength or energy to; revitalize, refresh
1. Get back to the things that motivate and excite you.
Why did you start your business, and what do you love (or did love) about it? Think back to times you were "in the zone" and having the time of your life. What were you doing then that you're NOT doing now? What has changed? What NEEDS to change?
Step back from the 342 browser tabs and neverending task list for a moment, and consider what you LOVE doing. Then get back to doing exactly that: the things that motivate and excite you!
DO something creative and inspiring. Those tasks aren't going anywhere...
Take a day to work on something FUN to refuel your passion for what you do!
2. Make time for creative inspiration & brainstorming.
Schedule it in, whether you take an hour (or half a day) on Friday mornings, or you spend 10 minutes every day doing some creative brainstorming.
Make it part of your routine!
I do this in Evernote, and come up with some of my best ideas through my journaling there. Not to mention a boost of motivation to dig in to projects that matter!
Of course you should also jot down ideas as you have them, otherwise you'll lose them. I use Evernote to keep a running list of ideas to come back to (instead of letting them distract me from the task at hand).
When I come up with blog post ideas, I open WordPress and jot those down and save them as a draft. That way when I log in to my blog I already have ideas drafted. Then I can just pick one and start writing!
3. Clear your space, clear your mind.
Lately I have found myself completely overwhelmed with the space around me. It's not just the thoughts & ideas swirling through my mind, but the digital clutter and the clutter in my office & work space as well.
I have to take tons of product & food photos for my low carb blog, for example...
I have a great photo/video setup with all kinds of cool accessories: tables, backgrounds, lighting setup, stands, you name it.
The problem is... they're all over the place, and in the WRONG places, so when I go to shoot a video or photo it becomes more work & hassle (moving around of things) than it needs to be. Solution: Put everything I need in a permanent setup so it's easy to "shoot & edit" quickly!
Deal with the clutter in your office or work space. Organize your task lists and idea lists into one place - ideally in digital format that is backed up and/or synced, like with Evernote. Then prioritize those lists!
A clean, organized space is SO refreshing! It makes your work easier when everything is right where it needs to be, and a clear space does wonders for clearing the mind.
4. "Stop doing what's not working."
Consider what you can change up, do more of, do less of, etc to get things moving in the right direction again. I have a favorite saying, which is:
"Do more of what IS working, and less of what's NOT."
That makes perfect sense, right? Yet all too often we get caught up in tasks that aren't really producing great results, and neglect the tasks that would.
Results will give you a BIG boost in motivation and inspiration. Working on things that aren't bringing fun, exciting results will just drag you down - and they aren't doing much for your business either!
There are times I get caught in what feels like a hamster wheel of tasks in my business. You can probably relate. Jump out, STOP, and get back to doing the things that MATTER in your business.
I find it helps to analyze my books and revenue sources for ideas on "what's working" - or what has over the last year - and get back to THOSE things.
5. Outsource anything you can.
Pass off the tasks that are dragging you down and taking you away from creative projects. Especially repetitive tasks, or things that drain you. If you can't outsource right now, even at cheap places like Fiverr.com, make that a goal!
6. Focus on ONE thing: the highest priority.
What can you do in your business that will make the biggest difference? Consider what will serve your market best, what will make YOU feel most fulfilled, and what will grow your business the fastest.
Focus on that ONE priority to the point of exclusion and MAKE it happen.
What are you best known for? What is your most exceptional quality or offer? What could you bring to the world - if you weren't drowning in tasks? Don't be a busy body, trying to do a million things. Be exceptional, stand out for something. Figure out what that ONE thing is, or get back to it, and pour ALL of your energy into it.
A good read on that topic: You Can Master Anything. Stop Trying to Do Everything.
These are the things that are working for me, so I hope you found some ideas you can implement here as well. Motivation and inspiration are the top ingredients for a successful online business. When you're at your best, excited about what you do and doing what you do best, everything just falls into place... and becomes FUN again.
I would love to hear your thoughts, and any tips you've found helpful in reviving your business or your passion & motivation. Leave a comment & let's discuss!
p.s. Nothing gets me fired up again better than a great book! The ideas, inspiration and motivation you can get between two covers is amazing.
Or maybe not.
That one usually shocks people, lol - but it's how I manage to put out so much content in so many different places online, consistently.
I'll share a simple trick with you, along with live examples, to help you create content faster & easier than ever...
Here it is:
Work with what's right in front of you, at any given time.
It really is THAT simple.
I'll show you what I mean, using examples from content I created already this morning.
I started my day by logging into my WordPress Dashboard, with a nice hot cup of coffee in hand. I wasn't sure yet what I'd blog about, but I have hundreds of drafts saved in WordPress.
That's a great tip for you too: When you get a content idea, draft it right in WordPress. If you're on the go you can use the WordPress app on your mobile or tablet. That way when you sit down to blog, you already have tons of ideas to work with!
Anyway, I logged in to my dashboard, and this was the first thing I saw:
That quote caught my attention. I looked it up, then switched over to Google Images for a quote graphic I could use, and posted this on my Facebook Page - linking to an archived post of mine on the same topic.
Quick & easy! I did have to do a Google search to find my post on that topic, which took another second or two - but seriously, that was a super quick content update that was inspired by what was right in front of me.
Next, I checked Days of the Year, which is a website with a calendar of all of the weird, interesting observances for every month and every day. It's a great free resource for creating your social media & blog content calendar!
I discovered today was "sourdough bread day" and sent to see if my favorite low carb bread company also makes sourdough bread. It turns out they do!
I made some social updates about it, then decided to write a blog post about it too - which you can see here. I have a Blog Broadcast set up through Aweber, so that post also goes out to my email lists.
To give you another quick live example, I was checking my email one morning and found some great arm exercises from Fabletics. While I was reading that article, I also shared it on my Facebook Page real quick - along with my referral link to Fabletics.
A day or two later, I embedded that Facebook Post into my blog post, so my blog readers would see it too. The great thing about embedding Facebook Posts into your blog (just like I did above) is that it gives your Facebook Page even more exposure.
Again, that's just from one email I opened, clicked on the link, and read the article. And it turned into social content AND blog content. EASY.
These are very simple examples, but that's exactly what I do: keep it simple!
I use whatever is crossing my screen at any given moment to turn around and create content out of it - whether it's social media content, a blog post, or something I email to my subscribers.
And then there's this post, yes - the one you're reading right now!
As I was reviewing the content I posted earlier this morning, and deciding what to blog about here on ClickNewz, I simply used what was in front of me already - sharing with you what I'm doing today. So it comes back around full circle!
I could give you hundreds of live examples just like those I shared with you above, but hopefully that gives you the spark you need to start creating more content - more easily. Just consider everything that crosses your screen: everything you read, watch, buy, click on, think about, etc. It's all potential content!
This is what it means to "create at least as much content as you consume." If you read a blog post, write one. If you read a tweet, tweet something. Often it's just easiest to use the content you DO consume to turn around and create content.
Also see: How To Find GREAT Blog Post Ideas – Fast!
I mentioned this tip in the Live Q&A Sessions this week, but I wanted to show you a live illustration and explain how I use Google Adsense for "lead gen" as an affiliate...
The screenshot above is a post I was writing on my niche blog this morning. Google Adsense is just one of the ways I monetize that blog, and I am always scanning the ads that display with my content for potential money-makers.
There are two VERY GOOD reasons you would want to do this...
In this particular example (the image above) the ad is for a product my target market would be interested in. I never click on my own ads, but rather open a new tab and go find the website. This one was easy because they placed the URL right on the ad.
I looked it up and discovered they do indeed have an affiliate program.
This is exactly how I find most of the products I end up promoting as an affiliate.
It's fast, easy and efficient!
What if they don't have an affiliate program? That happens too. But you have to keep in mind that they are actively marketing their product, and they are paying (via Google Adwords) to put that product in front of their target market.
That means they have an objective... and an advertising budget! So even if they don't have an affiliate program, or perhaps you simply can't find it, these are the perfect merchants and brands to contact and strike a profitable deal with.
If you're not sure how to pitch brands and merchants, Shannon Acheson has a great guide that's also full of templates and fill-in-the-blank pitches.
See Making Money With Brands & Sponsors.
If you're NOT doing this... you're leaving A LOT of money on the table!
Google Adsense is a great way to monetize your content. But it's pennies compared to what you could earn as an affiliate for the same products, or by working with those companies directly on a paid campaign.
I love ads. I love them on sites I frequent, I love them on Facebook, and I love the ads that put money in my pocket. They are great to study and learn from, and they are also great for finding awesome new products to recommend to your audience - like I illustrated here.
My next step? I'll sign up for the affiliate program, then I'll purchase the product myself. Not just to test & review it, but also to review the buying process and the shipping - to get a REAL feel for what it's like to be their customer, before I send my own readers their way.
So there you have it... a great reason to fall in love with Adsense - again.
p.s. I have a 4-part series on how to sell advertising and work with sponsors & brands you may like. It's a great addition to Shannon's guide. That series is part of my popular Niche Success Blueprint, and you'd be smarter to just get the entire blueprint/course free as a member of my Private Brainstorming Group.
I hosted two fun (and very candid) Q&A sessions on my niche marketing success, and on running a "lifestyle business" you ENJOY. They are full of live examples and great tips that you can implement in your own business right away!
Here are the replay links, and the highlights of the discussion...
Replay One | Replay Two
Click the links above to watch the interactive replays.
Here are just some of the topics we discussed during the live sessions:
A "Lifestyle Business" vs "Big Business"
I started out 19 years ago with more of a "big business" model and mindset, running a large electronics shop and then a web development company - both in the city with physical locations and a number of employees.
I then partnered in two other businesses, before ultimately leaving it all behind to move to the lake and work exclusively from my home office.
I don't regret that for a second.
I absolutely love the freedom & flexibility a "lifestyle business" affords me. I also love not having to manage people, offices, shops - and being able to travel the world with a laptop and ENJOY my life, and my work!
We're having a great discussion about it in the comments of this post, following the training to "scale up" to agency/corporate level at Traffic & Conversion Summit.
It was a GREAT event, but several of us there that do run a lifestyle business discussed how we loved the content - but were brainstorming ways to "scale it down" to a more fluid and enjoyable level.
I say... to each their own. Build a business you love, the way you want to do it. Don't let anyone tell you how to do it, or let any internal or external pressures convince you to build in a direction that would be anything less than FUN.
In 19 years of business I've done a little bit of everything, a variety of models in a variety of niches. The biggest thing I've learned in all those years is that there's more to life than money, taxes and bragging rights...
If you're not having FUN, and enjoying your life, you're not doing it right!
How To Write GREAT Product Reviews (Even For BORING Products)
I shared live examples of how I easily create product-based blog posts and product reviews, even for VERY boring products (lol) - and how well those convert.
And (surprisingly?) how much engagement I get on "product discussions". Including 21 shares & 68 likes on Facebook for a purely product-based list post!
One of my favorite quotes for bloggers is:
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
You can read more on this, and see live examples from my own niche blog, in this post titled Writing A Blog Worth Reading. We also discussed "conversational disclosure" as a means of being transparent with your readers, and also including the required disclosure - without sounding boring.
Here are a few recent examples from my own niche blog:
24 Cool Low Carb Products Other Readers Bought on Amazon This Month
Can We Talk About… Probiotics? (And Other UNsexy Personal Stuff)
A Secret About… My LEGS
In the webinar replays you'll discover why I often start with one blog post title, then later edit the post title. We also discussed "Affinity Marketing" and how to make otherwise irrelevant products... relevant and interesting to your audience!
What's A Realistic Way To Make Money Online... Fast?
This was a great question:
What is a REALISTIC way to start QUICKLY earning money online (REAL MONEY in the pocket of $150 to $250+ per week) WITHOUT working a regular JOB?
My advice: When you need money, start by selling anything that isn't nailed down and also lowering every expense you can. Get rid of things like Netflix, cable tv service, sell everything you can on eBay or Craigslist, etc.
As for making money, the fastest easiest way to make money online or from home is by offering services - or taking contract work. This will get "cash in your pocket" the fastest. You can work on building your own business for more long-term profit potential on the side, devoting 60-90 minutes a day to building your business while you take on service work to bring in the fast cash.
Check out Writer Help Wanted for everything you need to set up a service-based business, or take on FAST easy contract work to bring in some quick cash. This is my special link to get it half price, this month only - so take advantage of that!
You can read more about it here, but make sure you use the discount link above.
Perfection Not Required! Stop Holding Yourself Back...
I freely shared what's WRONG with my own niche site, and how I built a list of over 17,000 highly engaged subscribers... anyway!
It doesn't matter if you have the perfect wordpress theme, whether you have a "lead magnet" (ie opt-in incentive) created yet or not, or if you have all the pieces in place. You can always fix, add, improve and tweak as you go. They key is to just... GO!
Work fast, build fast, fix fast, fail fast even.
I recommend you watch this video & read this post:
Do you suffer from a "Failure to Launch" or a fear of failure?
...to discover the ONE thing that will guarantee you to fail, and 7 simple solutions to the things that keep you from achieving success!
Cool Resources We Discussed
How to download Adobe Photoshop CS2 for free - legally
Create your own professional cover graphics for Info Products & Kindle books
Instagram Power: Build Your Brand and Reach More Customers
Be sure to join my free groups on Facebook too:
Weekly Marketing Challenge
Social Marketing Results
What is the best way to get traffic to your website?
Years ago this was the primary focus for any site owner, but right now your time is best spent building an audience - across the web, on a variety of properties. In the live session I explained that my top two sources for conversions are currently Facebook and email. The majority of my conversions don't even happen ON my website!
When you focus on building an actively engaged audience, you'll naturally get traffic to your website as a result. But don't make that primary focus.
Focus instead on serving your market where they are.
One of the reasons email is working so well for me on my niche site is because I use the Blog Broadcast feature in Aweber to send my full posts out to my subscribers.
The majority of my readers read my blog in their inbox - not on my website.
This is why contextual advertising is so important, meaning you should put your "money links" in the content area of your site/blog.
Another reason is because the majority of your readers may be reading your content on a tablet or mobile device - meaning they never see the sidebar or other static areas of your sites. So make sure your ads and money links are IN the content!
Funnel Marketing vs Building Relationships
I've been reading Russell Brunson's DotComSecrets book where he talks about funnels and qualifying subscribers and buyers immediately when they first come to your site. This seems counter to building a relationship before asking them to buy. What's your opinion?
Great question! The two actually work hand-in-hand.
First, read 3 Key Content Pieces as this explains how to qualify your visitors and subscribers, and how to "meet them where they are" and then strategically move them to and through your funnel - strategically.
You'll also want to see Funnel Hacking, which is my free bonus - and the detailed nitty-gritty how-to on creating high-converting funnels.
Building funnels and qualifying your traffic is actually a great way to build solid relationships, and to create an environment where you can best serve your market every step of the way.
The Power of "Audience Insights"
Dave asked: Lynn, have you had a chance to try out Ron's $5 Posts? If so, could you please describe how it worked for you? Thanks!
Dave is referring to the Quick Start Cheap Facebook Advertising training program by Ron Douglas - which is GREAT! If you use this link, and this coupon code: lt19special (that's lowercase "lt", as in LT), you can get it for half price right now.
One of the coolest things I learned from this course is the power of Audience Insights.
The fact is, Facebook knows everything about everyone!
The amount of data you can get by uploading your email list, or placing a pixel on your website, is nothing sort of AMAZING. Even if you never place a single ad, or do any paid advertising, this is an extremely powerful way to gain profitable insights into your market - insights you can easily use to expand your revenue sources!
Even if you have a very small list, or very little traffic, Facebook can create what's called a "lookalike audience" to dramatically expand your reach - by taking your limited data, and creating an audience highly similar to those you HAVE reached already... which is a super fast and easy way to dramatically increase your reach.
Highly recommended, definitely worth it - especially with our February coupon code. Click here to get it and use the lt19special coupon code to get the discount.
Schedule & Structure vs Creative Inspiration
Creative types are naturally disorganized and stifled by schedules. Then there are types that thrive on structure. My advice: don't try to work against your natural tendencies, your personality and preferences.
It's ideal to strike some kind of balance, one that works for you personally, so that you have some structure to the way you run your business... but also have the room to go with creative inspiration when it strikes you.
"Your fly by the seat of your pants success always inspires me because I often fall into the idea that I need to "fix myself" and get more organized. Then I hear what you've done "unorganized" and I'd be thrilled with half of it..."
I jokingly call my strategy: flying by the seat of my burning pants." LOL.
I'm in the process of adding more structure to my own business though - through strategic planning. See: Strategic Planning vs NOT Planning for more on that, and what it means exactly.
"Create At Least As Much Content As You Consume."
This is my personal policy, and one I highly recommend. It forces you to be more picky about what you read, and how you spend your time online. It also gets you in the habit of sharing and creating content consistently - which is super important.
As for me and my burning pants (lol), I find it easiest to work with what's in front of me at any given moment.
For example, while reviewing my Amazon sales stats for the month (ie consuming content), I turned right around and repurposed that sales data into a blog post.
My two favorite sayings on the topic of content creation:
Stop Blogging. Start Talking.
Stop Marketing - Start Serving your Market
If you would like to see me in action, you can watch over my shoulder here:
Fast, Easy Content Marketing!
Also check out How to find GREAT blog post ideas - Fast! for a tip that will have you pumping out awesome content consistently that your readers will love.
We also had a great discussion about what to do when the topic you're passionate about isn't necessarily a commercial topic. Or "how to monetize a niche where there's nothing to sell."
We also discussed why I don't use automation tools for my social marketing, and why you MUST be on Twitter! Plus this fun browser trick to increase your productivity. Oh - and how to use Google Adsense for "lead generation".
There were a lot of great questions, and it made for a fun discussion on current marketing strategies - and creative angles for doing business online.
Replay One | Replay Two
Click the links above to watch the interactive replays.
p.s. I would love to help you create a business you LOVE, or work with you to reach your true profit potential this year!
Find out how you can get my hands-on help in your business. To celebrate my 19th year in business, I temporarily reopened the cheap monthly option plus the Lifetime Access option (which is currently $500 off!) to make it easy for you to join.
When you join, not only will you get my personal attention and hands-on help every step of the way, you'll also get my popular Niche Success Blueprint and Social Marketing Results courses - so you can duplicate exactly what I'm doing.
There are 3 key pieces of content you should provide at the top of your site, and use in your paid traffic campaigns:
- A solid awareness piece
- A solid evaluation piece
- A solid conversion piece
I'll expand on that point, and the function of those three content pieces, and also share more of my notes with you from the Content Marketing & Traffic tracks at the event. You can view the complete event agenda here too, if you'd like to see what was covered. As I continue to go through my notes, I realize just how much I took away from this event...
The breakout session I missed on the first day while sitting in on the content marketing & media funnel sessions was: Promo Mapping: How To Craft The Perfect Promotional Calendar.
I cannot wait to get Tim's Notes on this session! I think that's the session I regret missing live the most.
The 3 Key Content Pieces was part of Russ Henneberry's presentation titled "The Perfect Content Marketing Strategy: How Content Generates Leads & Sales At Every Step Of The Funnel" on Day One.
Russ discussed the 7 characteristics of a perfect content marketing strategy, and how important it is that you have a "full funnel" strategy. Meaning you consider ALL stages of the funnel: from awareness, to evaluation, to conversion.
What content pieces are needed at each stage of this funnel?
Awareness: Content that targets problems and/or solutions. This is the segment of your market doesn't realize they have a problem, or doesn't realize certain solutions are available. Your "awareness pieces" make your potential subscribers & buyers aware of problems/solutions.
Evaluation: Content that addresses a problem they already know they have. This is the segment of your market that is actively looking for solutions. Your "evaluation pieces" help your market evaluate the options (solutions). Use these pieces to provide comparison charts and comparative reviews, help them make a smart buying decision, explain why they should choose a specific solution (ie your product).
Conversion: This is the sales piece. It may be a squeeze page or a sales page. Your goal is to appeal to your general market, educate your potential buyers, and close the sale. This is the ideal content marketing funnel.
"Good content marketers satisfy intent at all stages of the funnel. Consider the intent at each stage, and how you can best satisfy that intent."
Ideally you'll put a solid Awareness, Evaluation and Conversion piece at the top of your site. You'll also use a variety of these pieces to appeal to different segments of your market through your paid content campaigns, leading people to and through your funnel strategically.
Tip: Spend some time brainstorming the various mindsets of your market at the different stages. In my low carb niche for example, people know they need to lose weight, or perhaps they know they have to change their diet because of health news: diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, etc.
There's also the point of making them AWARE of a problem they're not focusing on through an Awareness Piece, such as "3 Benefits To Losing Weight - Besides Looking Gorgeous!" Or making them more aware of a priority, maybe with a seasonal twist: "Want to look AMAZING on your vacation this summer? Discover the easiest way to lose weight - fast!" Those are just some examples off the top of my head...
In the Evaluation phase, a detailed comparison between Low Carb and Low Fat diets would be a great piece. As well as content pieces that address common myths: no, we don't eat bacon and drink bacon grease for every meal (lol) - or: "Will a Low Carb Diet Make You A Walking Heart Attack?" (explaining why it's actually a heart-healthy diet, despite the myths). Before & After pictures and Success Stories would also be great for those evaluating solutions, as pieces that inspire them to the next step: taking action.
More points to consider for your content pieces:
What would they respond to best? (at this stage)
What would help them make a decision to take action?
I'll stop there for now and let you brainstorm those 3 key content pieces for your niche, and implement them. I'll share the "traffic temperature" tips in an upcoming post, and how to appeal to the Cold / Warm / Hot people in your market.
p.s. I took more notes in this session than I did any of the others - but I still didn't capture all of it. It was GREAT content! Like I said, I really regret missing the "Promo Mapping: How To Craft The Perfect Promotional Calendar".
For that, and ALL of the event content, you should get Tim Castleman's Traffic & Conversion Summit Event Notes.
Those event notes are better than any "info product" you could buy because only the TOP strategies are shared by industry leaders at live events - and only after they've been tested, tweaked and perfected for months on end... and often years!
As a special bonus, you'll also get the Funnel Hacking guide when you order Tim's notes through my link above. Enjoy!
Here's what you'll get in the bonus:
* Funnel Hacks Process
* List Hacking Funnels & Email Arbitrage
* How to Grow A List & Get Paid
* Traffic Hacking - The Dream 100
* Book Launch Case Study
* The Perfect Tripwire Funnel
* 3,500 Buyers (Without A Huge List)
* Product Launch Formula by Jeff Walker
* High Ticket Consulting
* High Ticket Funnel Walkthrough
* Perfect Webinar Funnel
* Webinar Hacks
* Reveal Actionetics
* Funnel Stacking
- What If A Funnel Flops
If you've signed up for the Traffic & Conversion Summit notes, simply log in to your JVZoo download page to find this bonus file. If you haven't yet, you can get them at: http://www.clicknewz.com/tims-notes.htm
The bonus is notes from Russel Brunson's "Funnel Hacking Live" event. I could not have gotten this much out of it by attending the event live!
These event notes are so much better than any "info product" you could download. Why? Because only the TOP tips from proven case studies (and years of testing!) are shared at high-end live events.
I did attend the Traffic & Conversion Summit event live, but there was just no way to absorb all of the content - or even 1/3 of it - while I was there. I'm so glad Tim took an entire team to the event to record all of the notes!
Click Here to Get ALL of The Notes
Don't forget to download the "Funnel Hacking" bonus on your download page...
p.s. I haven't been this inspired and motivated in ages!! Ideas are flowing like crazy from these notes - and I'm not just thinking up brilliant ideas - I'm home with the information, the resources, and the ability to implement on the spot - so I'm taking fast action.
I got a lot out of the actual event, but there's just no way to take it all in, much less start implementing AT an event. Not to mention the cost with travel expenses and the event ticket itself, plus the 4-5 full days it takes up.
I'm loving the notes, and the option to get all of the highlights from home! You'll love them too. It's high-end training from the top players in the industry that have tested & tweaked to the max - so you're getting solid training on what WORKS, not just concepts & theories...
* This is my referral link for Tim's notes: http://www.clicknewz.com/tims-notes.htm Thank you in advance for using my link to check them out! I uploaded the Funnel Hacking Live bonus through my affiliate account, so using my link is how you get that 91-page training on YOUR download page. Enjoy!
I had some moments of confusion, annoyance and disconnect (lol)... but I came home with a lot more take-aways than I realized while I was actually there.
I made a lot of interesting notes in that little Macbook at the event.
My notes are actually kind of sparse (meaning: they suck) and I'll explain why. But that's why you should really read Tim Castleman's notes on the T&C event instead.
Tim had a team of writers at the event taking mad notes in every single session. With multiple sessions going at once, and the fact that I missed quite a few sessions in favor of lunches & meetings, my notes are pretty limited.
I just read some of his notes from the 2015 event last night, and WOWSA - I got some great takeaway's I cannot wait to implement!! I'll tell you how you can get a copy of those too, because you'll LOVE them...
On a personal note, I like Tim Castleman. He's nice, smart, interesting, and "genuine" - definitely.
He's a hard worker, and a slacker too, or maybe just a smart worker - lol - that's just my vibe from him. I think he's cool. He'll be at Marketing Mayhem Live too, so if you're planning to be there and want an introduction just let me know!
My Overall Impression of Traffic & Conversion Summit
T&C is a huge event that sells out every single year. There were over 3,000 people in attendance which had the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel at a loud roar for three straight days. It was an awesome crowd though, definitely top players in the industry - with a very positive & friendly vibe.
The Grand Hyatt was a great venue, by the way. It was an ideal setup for getting the most out of the event, running into and meeting up with people, and just enjoying your stay overall. Great views, great gym, a 24-hour coffee shop with great food. I heard rumor they were changing the venue for next year due to growth, though.
The sponsor & exhibitor booths were interesting & entertaining, and really added to the overall event experience. T&C was extremely well organized too, which impressed me. There was a PDF version of the agenda, an interactive agenda app, plus agenda handouts AT the event. It made it very easy to map out your own personal agenda & objectives - which is super important when attending an event that size.
I came home feeling insanely inspired and motivated! I obviously took away more from the event than I realized... while I was there.
My T&C Event Notes & Thoughts
I mentioned my event notes are sparse, so I'm getting Tim's T&C Notes myself. I didn't realize he did that every year at T&C, but I was totally relieved when I found out on Day Two - because my head was spinning and I knew I was missing A LOT.
Before I get into the actual event content, I had some personal "A-Ha" moments throughout the week from random comments that were made. There were three personal comments that really made me THINK. Enough so that I jotted those comments down in Evernote to evaluate more later - which I did on my flight home.
It was mostly about how I define myself, how I want to be perceived, what I could improve, who/how I want to be going forward, changes I want to make, etc. Just personal stuff, but GREAT food for thought. And I love food (lol).
I guess you'd like to know what those comments were. They may not make much sense to you out of context. Well, I suppose they will - somewhat at least. So here you go:
Comment #1: "You look tired."
Comment #2: "If you eat ketogenic all the time, how is it you're not stick skinny?"
Comment #3: "Oh, so you're basically retired?"
I was tired. I've lost about 45 pounds and I'm still working on it. And retired? Hmm that one struck me as funny, true, untrue and interesting all at the same time. You might wonder how those comments are relevant, or why I spent any time evaluating them. I find perceptions interesting, and a great tool for making improvements.
Comment #2 was not meant to sound as bad as it did, by the way. You had to be there. I laughed. It was a legit question regarding the way ketosis works. It DID motivate me to hit the gym HARD though! Motivation is GOOD.
As for #1, that comment made me realize how a simple smile or a shift in your posture can make a BIG difference. It's about being self-aware, and being intentional about putting your best self forward.
It made me want to be more mindful about how I present myself.
#3 (which still has me smirking, lol)... that one made me realize quite a few things actually. The first being how I describe what I do, how I should describe it, it made me analyze what I'm doing now and what I want to be doing over the next 5-10 years.
That same guy (#3) also said "I wouldn't trade my stress for anything." I replied, "I wouldn't buy your stress for any amount of money." To each their own, right?
It's one of the things I love about this industry. We all have the option to create the lifestyle we want, whether you want to be an egotistical multi-millionaire... or "happily unemployed" and traveling around the world having fun.
All three comments hit me sideways at first, but ultimately really inspired and motivated me to make positive changes - which is a great thing!!
My Top Take-Away's from the T&C Summit
The event was GOOD. The content was top notch for sure. I got confirmation I was moving in the right direction on some things, and saw some great live examples of how more structure & strategy would make a HUGE difference in my business - and of course learned specific ways to make some of those changes.
There was a lot of talk on paid advertising, and the detailed "how to" of creating (brilliant!) campaigns that convert. It really inspired me to get serious about my ad campaigns this year. Speaking of, Facebook Advertising is obviously HOT right now. If you want to learn more about that, and how to do it super cheap, read this.
I got a lot of creative inspiration on Days 1 and 2 of the event, but Day 3 was where I felt a real disconnect. Which is unfortunate, because the topic that day was "scaling up" and I was up early and anxious to attend those sessions.
I'll share more of my thoughts on that in a second...
It did inspire me to start outlining my plans for "Building a Team" though while I was sitting in the session, including: what to outsource, what to out-task, how to manage the team, prioritizing order of tasks to outsource, etc.
Speaking of, the only real downside to the setup and organization of the event is that there were no tables for attendees (unless you were a VIP ticket holder). There were only chairs. That made it uncomfortable to sit for long periods, or to try to take notes on a laptop. A slight inconvenience, I guess. Eh, a big one actually.
I also got inspired to dig in to my complete rebranding project for my niche blog, analyze and improve my angle with both Traveling Low Carb and ClickNewz, and found my enthusiasm for ClickNewz totally revived and renewed (which was really me just being contrarian! lol - I'll explain why in a minute)...
Day 1 focused on content strategies & conversions...
Day 2: My favorite session was on "Affinity Marketing" (not the actual title) by Perry Belcher. This really hit home with me as I mentioned it's something I've been testing more and more (with GREAT results) in my low carb niche...
That last quote came from the closing Keynote on Day 2, leading into the Scaling Up topic of Day 3. I was hoping to get more out of those sessions, but I did really enjoy the Day 2 Keynote. I decided to buy the speakers book titled Scaling Up later - along with Traction (recommended by Amazon).
I ordered them both from my phone at the airport waiting on my flight home. I can already tell I'm going to get A LOT more out of these two books.
Day 3 is where I got a bit lost and disconnected. I was also tired, lol. It was all about "scaling up" but they were talking agency/enterprise level business scaling...
My Thoughts - And Where "The Disconnect" Happened For Me...
It would have been GREAT to have sessions on how to build out your team, and how to scale up to that level. It seemed like there was a big gap between the "lifestyle business owner" or solopreneur, and the corporate / agency level they focused on.
I'm guessing that people who have been in their membership or at their events for a few years now may have already had that gap filled somewhere along the way - ?
There were a few mentions about "a lifestyle business" being more of a hobby or low-level job (ie: they look down on that model?), and that "going pro" is the only way to experience real success. I'm paraphrasing here, but this is where the disconnect came in for me personally. I made this note on it in my journal:
The theme seems to be that a “lifestyle business” or solopreneur is kind of a joke, or not really acknowledged here. It’s all about taking it to the agency or enterprise level. I can definitely see the benefit in that, and have been inspired with creative ideas for “scaling my business” while here, but certainly not to that level. I just have ZERO interest in going back to offices and employees. I don’t like managing people - or "office hours" - and it would feel like going backward in my own business.
Like I said earlier, "to each their own." I left my shops, offices, employees and "big business" behind many years ago. I really enjoy "being retired" (lol!!) and traveling around the world having FUN with my business.
That said, I definitely need more structure and I'm highly interested in scaling strategically, so I really look forward to digging in to the two books this week. I just intend to do it on my own terms, as every entrepreneur should - in my opinion.
Would I Attend Traffic & Conversion Summit Again?
Yes, without hesitation - I can definitely say I would attend again. The content at T&C is really good, and much of it was highly detailed instruction and full of live examples. Some of it wasn't a great match for me, but that's where multiple tracks comes in - and making sure you attend the topics that fit YOUR business best.
The number one reason I would attend again (besides the awesome weather in San Diego!!) is for the networking. T&C brings together some of the top minds in the industry, and I really liked the caliber of the crowd attending.
That alone makes it worth going. And even though some of the topics weren't a great match for me, I still ended up getting creative ideas that I can USE.
I mentioned my renewed enthusiasm for my blogs and my business as a whole. This is where I referred to me being contrarian (lol)... because it was all the "poo poo" on "a lifestyle business" that really made me realize... how much I LOVE mine. Not just my business, but my lifestyle, and how both combined allow me the freedom & flexibility to create and enjoy life on my own terms.
My event notes are sparse like I said, and my take-aways were more relevant to me personally - as anyone's should be. I'm super excited about moving forward with all of the ideas I penned out last week, a few new ideas but many of which were just REinspiration for things I already had in the works.
Inspiration and Motivation are worth A LOT, so I'm definitely glad I went!
I'll be sharing updates with you along the way, what I'm doing - and more importantly WHY - and of course the results as things unfold.
I'm getting Tim Castleman's T&C Event Notes too, so I can go over the sessions I missed and see what else I can pull out to apply to my big plans for the year ahead.
Looking back over my own notes, I found that I really only jotted down the few things that really spoke to me at the time, or ideas I had as a result - so I'm missing A LOT.
Plus there were sessions on email marketing, social marketing and podcasting that I had to miss... and would love to "read" (which is how I learn best anyway!).
I mentioned reading an excerpt of Tim's 2015 event notes last night. You can get those on this page too. I plucked a tip out of the 2015 notes that will pay back again and again (and again!) so I'm really excited to implement that - and also to get his 2016 session notes. Just ONE single take-away could result in an amazingly sweet return. - so it's definitely worth every penny.
(The 2015 excerpt is free, by the way - so be sure to grab that!)
I hope you enjoyed my recap, "personal and wordy" as it was lol. I really wanted to share my whole experience with you. It was a great event overall in my opinion, and I had a GREAT time. I caught up with old friends, met some really cool people, plus it really got my gears turning and added some SERIOUS FUEL to my motivation.
Grab Tim's notes for yourself. It's a super cheap way to get some serious training - without the travel expenses, crowd, and exhaustion & jetlag from attending the event in person. I cannot wait to sit down with the notes myself!
p.s. When you get Tim's 2016 T&C Notes you'll also get his notes from the last 3 events. This was the bonus that really sweetened the deal for me! I'm anxious to scan over all 4 years worth of sessions - because how they've taken their own companies (multiple businesses/sites, including some really interesting niche sites) is exactly what I want to explore and examine... in great detail!
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
When you LOVE to blog, and people LOVE to read your blog...
How To Write A Blog Worth Reading
I'm going to make this short & simple for you, because you could easily complicate the heck out of it... but that's really not necessary. So here you go...
1. Blog on a topic you ENJOY
2. Write like you TALK
3. Have FUN with it!
Writing a blog worth reading, that you ENJOY writing, really is that simple. I often say "Stop blogging and start talking!" That's the key. It's exactly what makes me wake up every morning excited to sit down and talk to my audience every day.
I take boring topics like Probiotics and Compression Stockings and make them FUN. Or at least interesting to read. On the flip side, you can take a perfectly great topic... and make it horribly dry and ridiculously boring. Don't do that.
You probably know I have a low carb blog, so you may be wondering how things like probiotics and stockings are relevant on my blog. That's another trick: talk about whatever is on your mind (or going on in your own life) and MAKE it relevant!
That's called "affinity marketing" and we'll discuss that more in an upcoming post.
I just call it "smart marketing" but Affinity is a prettier term.
As just one example, I have linked to (and sold) rain boots to my low carb readers. WHY? Because we were discussing a more active lifestyle, and getting out to walk & hike daily. I bought a pair of rain boots, used the hashtag #NoExcuses - and shared pictures of Slim and I out walking in the rain. Bingo!
Don't Avoid Product Discussions (That's Silly!)
If you have an aversion to selling, or avoid mentioning products for some weird reason - STOP IT! People LOVE to discuss products! Here's a recent live example for you, with great reach and HIGH response (proof that people LOVE discussing products!):
I know what you're thinking: But is that profitable in any way? Obviously I have an angle, and of course the social reach & response is valuable in itself, but YES product discussions with your market are profitable. Facebook is currently one of my TOP TWO sources for conversions! Here's an example of "social selling":
(Netrition is one of my top converting affiliate programs in the low carb niche.)
When you make it a habit of discussing products you love, weaving "product mentions" into your blog posts, and engaging your audience in products THEY love... an interesting thing happens. They start coming to you for recommendations, asking you for YOUR link, and they ENJOY shopping with and through you.
It also makes for a much more seamless transition when you're working on paid campaigns with brands or sponsors, or sharing affiliate links, because your audience is used to hearing your recommendations and opinions. Which is smart!
I hope these quick tips and live examples get your brain turning with creative ideas. I'm going to leave it at that, because it truly IS that simple - and because I'm off to get into a little more niche fun.
If this raises any questions for you, leave a comment and let's talk! I would love to hear your thoughts too, whether you have tips to add... or you've been struggling with blog topics & reader engagement.
p.s. I told you I'd be back.
If you really want to take your blogging up a notch and finally start reaching your full profit potential, you'll want my Niche Success Blueprint. The cheapest and best way to get it is as a member of my Private Brainstorming Group. You'll also get my popular Social Marketing Results course as a member too - plus my hands on help with your business. Join us, you'll love it!
I have a standing tradition to take the entire day off to celebrate ALL of the things I love in my life.
It's freezing here in Tennessee (especially after all that San Diego sunshine, lol) so I'm curled up in a big sweater enjoying a hot coffee, thinking over the things I want to celebrate this year.
You came to mind, of course. Actually it was awhile back that you came to mind. It was a random association. I noticed on Facebook that Felicia Slattery and her husband renewed their vows one Sunday morning, and it made me think of us. That may sound odd (lol). Let me explain...
A vow renewal ceremony is a way to declare your continuing commitment. That's why it made me think of you, of our relationship and my work here. I feel like I haven't been pulling my end lately. It made me realize I needed to renew my commitment, and perhaps even my vows - or what you can expect from me going forward.
So now you get the connection, right? Good, because sometimes my mind can twist and turn in some of the strangest ways, lol.
I mentioned I just got back from the the Traffic & Conversion Summit event. It was good. There were some interesting things, some odd things, and definitely some things that made me THINK. I'm still sorting through my notes, but I'll share those with you in one of my next few posts.
One of the things I decided (totally unrelated to the event content - well, sort of) is that I want to revive my passion and enthusiasm for ClickNewz, and for sharing more details about what I'm working on online - what's working and what's not, what I'm changing, things I'm testing, etc. I've been really lax about that lately, and I apologize.
Another thing I decided (definitely unrelated to what I learned at the event, lol) is that I want to go back to having more FUN here at ClickNewz.
Over the last year or so I've leaned more heavily toward my niche blog, and really poured myself into growing that audience. I truly enjoy being "Low Carb Traveler" - often more than I enjoy being Lynn Terry! lol
I realized the reason, or the big distinction. It's because I really let my hair down there and ENJOY letting my personality shine. And because it's more a "lifestyle business" (a term I DID learn at the event), and that... I like that.
Some of this could use more explaining, so I'll let that unfold over the next few posts as I share my notes from the event, and also as my thoughts & ideas solidify a bit more. For now, I'll just say... I still love you. And: Happy Valentines Day!
Valentine's Day is not just another day of the year. It's not a commercialized money-sucking holiday. It's not "Singles Awareness Day" either.
Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate all of the things you love in life. It's a perfect day to celebrate appreciation. Enjoy!
5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Today
* I wrote that post ^ 5 years ago today. It's still just as relevant today - except I'm now celebrating my 19th year in business!
p.s. While I've been quiet here on the blog lately, I've been staying in contact by email - so make sure you're subscribed and not missing out on the "behind the scenes" updates. I'm also very actively involved in my Private Brainstorming Group here at ClickNewz, so when you don't see me here on the public side... it's because I'm busy brainstorming in the group.]]>
This weekly "mini-goal task" should be something outside your usual tasks, outside your comfort zone even, and specifically a money task or a business-building task.
What ONE big thing are you going to tackle in YOUR business this week?
The goal is to set aside 30, 60 or 90 minutes at the same time every week and challenge yourself to do something seriously ambitious in your business...
Get creative, make it fun, and really think outside the box!
To help you get on a creative roll, I'll give you some ideas to consider. It doesn't matter how big or how small the actual task is, as long as it takes you out of your comfort zone and moves your business forward - every single week.
Start by making a list of things you've always wanted to do in your business, or things you've been afraid to tackle even. Include things you know will really grow your business, and help you take it to the next level. You don't have to commit to them all just yet, just brainstorm freely and jot down ideas.
Here are some ideas to consider...
10 ideas for specific Money Tasks:
Also see: 20 Simple Tasks That Increase Revenue Fast
As you test various things and follow through on them, make note of what works and what flops. The key is to do more of what's working, and less of what's not.
These are just examples. I encourage you to do some serious brainstorming and come up with ways to dramatically increase your traffic and revenue this year - through small tasks that pack a big punch. What would make the most difference to YOUR business? Tip: It's not just one thing, but consistent forward-action.
I challenge you to do something outrageous & ambitious in your business every single week for the rest of the year. Consider ways you can step WAY outside your comfort zone or usual tasks, pick a day of the week, and do something BIG in your business!
Are you in??
Simply set aside 30, 60 or 90 minutes at the same time every week and challenge yourself to do something seriously ambitious in your business.
Want to stay motivated EVERY week? Join us:
FREE Weekly Marketing Challenge
Thoughts/Questions? Leave a comment below.
I would love to hear your goals...
What BIG things are YOU planning to do this year?
Maybe you've already started an online business, but you're struggling to reach your financial goals. Whatever the case, something is holding you back from reaching your true profit potential.
Maybe you started out with a great idea but got confused or lost along the way.
That happens to a lot of people. Most people actually. Trying to learn Internet Marketing is a rabbit hole you can get sucked into that leaves you spinning your wheels without ever really getting anywhere at all.
It's time to hop off that hamster wheel and MAKE things happen!
Think about it for a moment. How much time have you invested in the idea of starting your own business so far? How much money have you invested?
Are you where you want to be?
How much closer are you, really, to your ultimate goal?
I want to share a secret with you...
There is no secret.
Most people try to learn everything upfront so they can make smart decisions, or be totally prepared. And I definitely see the logic in that line of thinking. However, we're talking about the constantly evolving web here. The most consistent thing about the internet, and technology in general, is change.
What that means is that you can never learn everything you need to know about running an online business upfront. By the time you learn everything you think you need to know, things have changed - and you're back at square one.
Frustrating, isn't it?
The people I know that have been successful online jumped in headfirst and figured things out as they went. That has been my own method as well, including my very first business almost 19 years ago - where I had no experience, no back up plan, and no idea going in if it would even work at all. But I was determined, figured things out as I went, and that business did six figures it's first full year.
That could be YOUR story this year.
Make a commitment, today, to stop learning (only) and start doing.
NOW is the time to put your plan into action. NOW is the time to stop focusing on what everyone else is doing, and how they're doing it, and to focus instead on what you most want to accomplish in your life - and to get started doing it!
There are no rules.
There are no failures.
There's nothing "real" to be afraid of or worried about. Except NOT achieving the success you truly want, and you already know deep down you are fully capable of that.
Read: You’re Guaranteed To FAIL If You Do This…
Keep in mind that we're in a first generation trend with online business. We can make up the rules as we go. We can figure things out along the way. We can test various things and find out what works and what doesn't. We can get creative, and innovative even, and we have the whole world and endless resources at our fingertips to make cool things happen. There are no standards, no rules, no guidelines.
The only real failure, or risk even, is doing nothing - or stalling yourself - and dealing with the regret of knowing you could have totally changed your life.
It's time to take that leap and finally put your plan into action, MAKE things happen, and get serious about starting a fun and successful online business - or taking yours to the next level. Imagine how awesome that would make you feel!
Imagine looking back a year from now, having reached your goals, and saying, "man, I should have done that sooner!"
In February 2016 I will celebrate 19 full years in business. I've screwed up along the way. I've made plenty of mistakes. I've pissed off a few people (oops!). There were things I could have done better. There are STILL things I could be doing better...
But I wouldn't change a thing.
I have a lifestyle most people would LOVE to have. And I am forever grateful that I took that leap, fear and all, and created the life I knew I really wanted.
It's your turn!
p.s. I would love to help you reach your goals! Join my Private Brainstorming Group today and let's get started working together on your business. You can expect very practical hands-on help, plus a powerful mastermind group and active community of action-takers to help you every step of the way.
If you enjoyed these thoughts & tips, you'll love this free download where I share the inner workings of my day to day business as a niche blogger. *cheers*
And be sure to download these 6 FREE online business cheat sheets
As in $0 (yes, zero dollars).
It's all about scalability, or "scaling it up."
I've often said, do more of what works and less of what doesn't. That's exactly what I'm referring to here...
If you can make $1 online, you can make $10. If you can make $10, you can make $100. If you can make $100, you can easily make $1,000. And so on, and so on. All you have do is add zeroes!
This is the reason that $0 is my favorite number when it comes to revenue. I look at a revenue source and ask myself: How can I add a zero to that number?
It's easier than you might think...
It's really common to make a little money at something, and then move right on to the next thing, and then the next thing. But when you do that, you are leaving far too many zeroes on the table! Instead, consider how you can "scale it up" on every single source of revenue you have in your business.
It takes a lot less work to increase a revenue source that's already in place, than it does to create something totally new.
The same can be said for traffic sources. Simply do more of what's already working for you on a small scale. Look at your current traffic and revenue and consider how you can "scale it up". I like to think in terms of adding zeroes, but you can start by simply doubling your numbers - then once you do that, double them again.
Or let's say you're currently making around $500/month online, but you really need to make $5,000/month in order to quit your day job and sustain a comfortable lifestyle. Start with a goal of doubling your income to $1,000/month, then double it again to $2,000/month, etc.
Scaling is easy online. There are no real limits.
Even the limit of time, the fact that we only have 24 hours in a day, isn't a TRUE limit because you can use leverage. You can leverage the power of affiliates or other content marketers, increasing your traffic and/or sales exponentially for example. You can outsource tasks, or slowly build out a team, that increases the time invested in your business at a cost way below your increased revenue.
Start by analyzing what's working...
It's easy to say "I need more traffic" or "I need to make more money" but what you really want to do is get specific. Otherwise you'll find yourself chasing an intangible "wish" that's not even measurable, instead of working on a tangible goal.
This is what I love about adding zeroes or doubling numbers.
As one example, take a look at your site stats. Analyze your traffic sources over the last three months. What stands out to you? If certain types of posts (recipes, for example) or certain topics get more views, serve up more of that type of content.
One thing I noticed in the stats for my low carb blog is that Pinterest is consistently in the Top 3 sources for traffic. I barely even scratch the surface with Pinterest! A little actual effort (lol) would increase that traffic source dramatically.
Or let's say you're promoting a certain product as an affiliate. Looking at my affiliate stats for Netrition last month for example, my top sellers are the low carb breads & bagels I recommend on my site. I haven't been actively promoting them lately but they're still selling consistently - just not as well. Adding a zero is easy! I would start by going back and doing what I did before when I was selling A LOT more of those products. That worked, so it's as simple as "do more of what works."
But to "add a zero", meaning to make ten times more in commission, I would need to scale it out. How could I reach more people? What creative new ways could I put this product in front of people that would LOVE to know about it? Those are the questions I ask myself... and the questions you should be asking too!
Start thinking in tangible, measurable goals and results - meaning: real numbers.
Analyze what you have, look at your current assets and your current traffic & revenue numbers. Start with a very specific goal, product or promotion and create a plan to double that number.
Are you getting 1,000 unique visitors a month right now? Decide to get 2,000 unique visitors by the end of next month. Are you earning $100/month consistently with a certain revenue source? Sit down and brainstorm how you can double that - or get ambitious and add a zero! How can you turn that $100/month into $1,000?
That's where things REALLY start getting fun.
Thoughts/Questions? Leave a comment!
p.s. If you enjoyed these thoughts & tips, you'll love this free download where I share the inner workings of my day to day business as a niche blogger. *cheers*
And be sure to download these 6 FREE online business cheat sheets