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How To Turn A PowerPoint Into A Video

How To Turn A PowerPoint Into A Video

turn a powerpoint into a vi 300x300 How To Turn A PowerPoint Into A VideoWant to learn how to turn a PowerPoint into a video?  I use this simple and free way to convert my PowerPoint presentations into video files that let me take advantage of the great backlinks that I can get from video sites.  And more importantly it saves me from having to spend $250 on camtasia to produce videos.  I generally start with an article that I have written and convert them into a video by adding a slide for each main point.  This tutorial assumes that you already have your PowerPoint presentation made, and it shows you step by step how to turn a PowerPoint into a video file.

Step 1 – Record Narration and Timing

If you want to talk while your slides are clicking through, you need to record the narration.  Click the slide show tab and choose record narration and it will give you some options.  The default options work fine on my computer, but check for quality and make adjustments if you need to.  You will be speaking through the microphone on your computer, so make sure that you position yourself so that the microphone is close enough to your mouth.

I find it helpful to practice a couple times before I actually start recording.  This gets me a better recording, and it ends up saving me time as I don't have to start over nearly as often.  The first couple that I did, I actually wrote out a script and that was helpful when I was not as comfortable narrating.  But as I got more comfortable, I needed the script less and less, so I do not do that any more.  As you are recording your narration, you will be clicking through the slides and recording the timing as well.  Click save on the message that pops up asking if you want to save the timings as well.  Now, when you choose to play the slideshow, it will play with your voice as narration, and it will click through the slides automatically.

If you do not want to add sound to your presentation, simply click rehearse timing.  You will then click through the slide show at the rate you want the slides to advance and save the timing.

Step 2 – Upload Your Presentation To Authorstream

Authorstream is a website that allows you to upload your PowerPoint presentations and share them.  What makes this site particularly useful is that they have a converter that will convert presentations that are set to advance automatically (which yours is since you recorded the narration and timing) into video files.  The quality is quite good too.  First, if you do not have an account with authrostream, you will have to sign up for an account and confirm your email.  Then, you can upload your presentation.  I use the single file upload, and the process is quick and painless.

Once your file is uploaded, you will have the option to convert file to video.  Click it and they will convert your PowerPoint into a video file.  It does take a few hours (they say it can take up to the next day, but mine was done about three hours later) to complete the conversion, and you will receive an email from Authorstream letting you know when it is finished. 

Step 3 – Use Your Video

You now have a few choices.  Some of the more popular choices are to point traffic to your page on Authorstream to view the file, download the file and upload it to your site, or upload it to youtube and/or the other video sharing sites.  Another great option that Authorstream has is automatic upload to youtube.  I have never used it, as I use tubemogul to upload to multiple sites, but from what I hear it is quite easy to use and works very well.

I have tried several of the free alternatives to camtasia, and this is by far the easiest free option to turn a PowerPoint into a video.

 

The Best WordPress SEO Plugin And 6 Other Plugins You Need

The Best WordPress SEO Plugin And 6 Other Plugins You Need

7 Free Plugins Your WordPress Site NEEDS To Make Money

 

best wordpress seo plugin The Best Wordpress SEO Plugin And 6 Other Plugins You NeedI love WordPress and I use it for all of my sites, and the first thing that I do when I set them up is add the best WordPress SEO plugin. The beauty of WordPress is that it is easy to use, and very user friendly.  You can go from domain name to complete live site in a day which is awesome, especially for those of us who are more technologically challenged.  But, just having a WordPress site doesn’t mean you will get traffic or make money.  If you want to do that, you need a well optimized site that ranks well on the search engines AND helps to monetize your site.  Another beautiful thing about WordPress is that it offers plugins to help you do exactly that. 

 

Here is the best WordPress SEO plugin and 6 other FREE plugins that you cannot afford not to use.

 

1.      All In One SEO Pack – The Best WordPress SEO Plugin

All In One SEO offers great SEO benefits on autopilot.  You’ll get your keywords in the title tag of every page and post on your blog, it automatically adds meta tags, and lots of other benefits.  The best part?  It works without you having to know SEO.  Just install, fill in the blanks, and enable and you will start to reap the SEO benefits.

2.      WP-Insert

WP-Insert allows you to quickly and easily monetize your site.  You can add affiliate, amazon, adsense or any kind of ads quickly and easily to your posts and pages.  Check out their site for great tutorials and set up information.  Lots of options and incredibly easy to use.

3.      Pretty Link (Lite Version)

While not as good as it once was because of WordPress’ restrictions, it is still a useful plugin.  It allows you to easily cloak links using a redirect.  Easy to set up and it tracks clicks on your cloaked links.

4.      Official Statcounter Plugin

A must if you want to know where your traffic is coming from and what pages they are visiting.  StatCounter not only counts visitors, but tracks keywords, downloads, popular pages, search engine activity, links followed to get to your page, and lots of other useful info.  You need this plugin!

5.      Dean's FCKEditor For WordPress

This one is here because it makes it easier to edit and format posts and pages.  It replaces the standard WordPress editor and works more like the editor that you would find in a word processor like Microsoft Word.  Great for when you want to set up a squeeze page or a sales page which can be a real pain to format without knowing html.

6.      Robots Meta

You don’t want all of your pages to show up in the google results (like your bonus pages or download pages).  This simple to use plugin has lots of useful options, but I use it most to keep goole from indexing pages that I don’ want indexed.

7.      Widget Logic

Widget logic allows you to choose what pages you want each widget to show up on.  It takes some getting used to, but once you master this plugin, it will allow you to have many more options for how you monetize your site.  If you want an opt-in form to show up only on certain pages, or if you want a specific ad to show up on a specific post, this will let you do that.

These are, in my opinion, the most important WordPress plugins that you need if you want to be successful in internet marketing.  Just install and set them up and you will have a well optimized site that is ready to rank in the search engines.  And that is when the fun begins!

P.S. If you are going to choose only one of these plugins, make sure that you download the best wordpress SEO plugin as it will make the biggest difference.

 

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  Am I right?  Am I wrong?  What plugins do you like? 

Mystery Shopper Vacancies – How To Find Them

Mystery Shopper Vacancies – How To Find Them

mysteryshoppervacancies Mystery Shopper Vacancies   How To Find ThemMystery shopper vacancies can be very difficult to find.  I had a co-worker what had been a secret shopper for years.  And, while she would tell me about all of the perks – staying at hotels for free, eating out for free, getting paid to shop – she would not tell me about the agency that she went through.  You see, mystery shoppers know how good they have it, and they don't want the word to get out.  Finally, I wore my co-worker down and she let me in on her little secret – Paid Shopping Providers.

As you can imagine, I was pretty excited to finally be able to join the mystery shopper club, and keep my eye on mystery shopper vacancies.  My wife and I both immediately started applying for any mystery shopper vacancies that interested us, and I have to say, it has been a blast.  So far I have been to a very nice restaurant for free, and I got to buy myself a couple of shirts from my favorite store, and my wife bought some groceries last week! 

I don't do this as an income, but more because I really like a great deal.  However, I have come into contact with a lot of people who use mystery shopping as either the main source of their income, or as a large part of it.  I know a few stay at home moms who are able to stay at home because of the income they receive from mystery shopping.  I've even met a couple who both do this full time as their only source of income. 

All this to say, that my wife and I are really enjoying mystery shopping and the extra money never hurts!  If you are looking for a way to start making some extra money at home doing something that you enjoy, secret shopping might be a great fit.  But remember, mystery shopper vacancies are not very well publicized, so take advantage of this offer while it's up!

Internet Marketing Basics – It’s All In Your Head

Internet Marketing Basics – It’s All In Your Head

its in your head Internet Marketing Basics   Its All In Your HeadWhey you click on a post in internet marketing basics, I am sure you are expecting me to explain how internet marketing works.  I could do that.  I could go into great detail about finding the top niche, keyword research, finding the right product to sell, and countless other topics.  But I am going even more basic than that – I'm going to talk about how you think and how that will effect your internet marketing success.  I know, I know, it sounds a little bit too touchy feely – it did to me at first too.  But I have come to realize that the most important aspect leading to my internet marketing success has been my mindset.  I knew I was going to succeed, and I stuck with it until I did.

I wish that I could tell you that this is a trait that I was born with, an unwavering belief in myself.  But if I did I would be lying.  I have had plenty of business failures in my life, several of which were entirely self inflicted.  But this time was a bit different.  I found myself unemployed (I was a new teacher in California, so I got pink slipped) with two kids and a wife.  I had to figure out a way to earn enough to supplement my wife's income, and I had to do it part time from home as I was now taking care of a baby and a 4 year old.  I researched several options and decided that internet marketing, and affiliate marketing specifically, was right for me. 

In the past, I had tried my hand at several business ventures, all with terrible results.  But what I realize now is that I had the idea of what it would be like to own by own successful business and I wanted that right now.  I didn't want to have to go through all of the hard work to get there.  So, when hard times inevitably came up, I'm ashamed to say that I gave up.  I wouldn't have admitted that at the time.  I would have given a long list of excuses, but the truth is, I gave up.  And I can tell you that the main difference between those ventures and internet marketing (besides the fact that I am actually making money now) is that I am still working at internet marketing.  Hard times come and go, but I decided at the beginning that I was in this until I succeeded.  I was going to make this work or I was going to go crazy in the process.  Along the way, I learned that the most important internet marketing basics have nothing to do with internet marketing.  Here are four things that I learned.

Internet Marketing Basic #1. Learning is no excuse

Don't put doing off in order to learn more.  I have found that the best possible way to learn is to do.  Now you should be reading everything that you can get your hands on about internet marketing when you first get started, but it cannot take up all of your work time.  I tried to keep my time divided with about half of my time spent learning and half of my time spent doing.  As I got more experienced, I had to spend a bit less time learning, but I still spend a pretty good portion of my time reading about what is new in internet marketing.  But my priority is and always has been on the doing.

Internet Marketing Basic #2. Success can be scarey

When I read about this the first time I thought it was nonsense.  Then I realized that it was happening to me.  I was learning so much about internet marketing and was excited about everything.  I was putting some of what I was learning into action and I felt like I was on the verge of starting to make money.  And then, the doubts started to creep in.  I found myself thinking things like, "there is no way it is this easy" or "maybe another way would be better" or "let me just go back and re-do this part and maybe then it will be ready."  Unfortunately I talked myself out of sticking with several systems and ended up wasting a lot of money in the process.

Internet Marketing Basic #3. Pick something and stick with it

This goes with the one above, but you have to pick something and stick with it if you want to have success.  No system is going to be perfect.  But choose one you like and feel comfortable with and then stick with it.  As you learn how to do things better and faster, and you start to see patterns of what works and what doesn't, you will be able to tweak the system a bit here and there.  But, and please do not miss this point, you have to stick with a system if you want to be successful.

Internet Marketing Basic #4. I can do this

I mean really, if I can do this and make money, so can you.  I was an elementary school teacher with absolutely no experience in internet marketing.  All of my previous business ventures had failed miserably.  I can only work part time while I take care of my kids.  I have some pretty serious strikes against me, and yet I can do it.  I'll say it again – if I can do this and make money, you can too!

The most important thing that you can do if you want to succeed in anything is to believe in yourself.  If you don't think that you can do this, don't bother.  There will be plenty of hard times when you are getting started that will test you even if you are confident in yourself.  But, if you are willing to work, and you are willing to stick with it even if it gets hard, internet marketing can be an incredible way to make a living!

On Page Search Engine Optimization – Improve Your Web Page Ranking

On Page Search Engine Optimization – Improve Your Web Page Ranking

seo 300x200 On Page Search Engine Optimization   Improve Your Web Page RankingWeb page ranking, or where your site is found in the search results of search engines like google, is the key to free traffic.  Think about it, most people find web pages by searching for them, right?  I bet that is how you found this page.  So, if you want to improve your web page ranking and generate free traffic, the first thing you should take care of is your on page search engine optimization.  And before I go further, let me define a couple of terms for you.

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) – The process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.  SEO is generally broken down into two parts – on page SEO and off page SEO.

On Page SEO – Creating your site with the goal of making it search engine friendly.  These are factors that are completely within your control.

Off Page SEO – Factors such as incoming links (or backlinks), page rank, anchor text of the incoming links that are not on your site, and therefore somewhat outside of your control.  Basically, the search engines look at how many other sites are linking to your page when they are determining your web page ranking.  Generally, the more sites linking to your page, the more popular the search engines think that your page is.

As you might have guessed, on page search engine optimization is much easier to do than off page.  Unfortunately it is also a much smaller piece of the puzzle, as the search engines consider backlinks more important than onpage factors.  However, if you want to have a good web page ranking, you need to pay attention to the on page factors first as it will make a big difference in how long it takes for your page to show up on the search engines and for which keywords you rank for.

 

Want To Get To The First Page Of Google With 53% Less Backlinks?

I am lazy, and I look for ways to get out of work. I have been split-testing sites to see the easiest way to get to the first page of google. Check out my FREE REPORT where I detail the 5 steps that I use to get to the first page of google with 53% less backlinks!

445 On Page Search Engine Optimization   Improve Your Web Page Ranking

Mini Clickbank Guide – How to Research Products Like The Pros

Mini Clickbank Guide – How to Research Products Like The Pros

If you are anything like me when I started with internet marketing, you feel like you need a guide for everything – a clickbank guide, a backlinking guide, a wordpress guide…  I have come to find though, that complete guides can be costly, and it can be a pain in the butt to find the information that you are looking for in a 100+ page guide.  [one_half]So, I will be adding some mini guides periodically to help with very specific tasks.  My first mini guide will deal with what all newbies seem to need help with – picking the right product from clickbank.

 

There are so many products available, and so many niches to choose from.  How do you choose one that will actually sell?  A lot of people say that you should look at the gravity and choose the product with the highest gravity.  Whatever you do, do not try this!  The products with the highest gravity are the products that well established affiliates are selling, and making good money.  Ask yourself this, as you are starting out, do you really want the best of the best in internet marketing as your competition?  Not if you want to be successful.  You can get to the point of promoting the big products later, but for now we want to get you making money!

[/one_half] [one_half_last][callout]What Is Clickbank Gravity? Clickbank uses gravity as a way to show how many affiliates are successfully promoting a product. They use a secret formula, so a gravity of 200 does not mean that 200 affiliates are promoting a product. What gravity does is shows the amount of affiliates that are making sales. The higher the number, the more products are selling and the higher the competition.[/callout][/one_half_last]

So, How Do You Choose A Product?

First, make sure that you have chosen a niche (see my post on choosing your top niche here).  For product research, I like to use a website called Clickbank Analytics.  It is free and gives you access to a lot more information than simply using the clickbank marketplace.  So, where do we start?  Open up Clickbank Analytics in a new window and I'll walk you through it.

Step 1. Click Categories

Click the Categories tab at the top left of the screen.  This will open up a new page.

cba categories1 Mini Clickbank Guide   How to Research Products Like The Pros

 

Step 2. Select Your Niche As A Sub Category

cba categorylist Mini Clickbank Guide   How to Research Products Like The Pros

Since you have already selected a niche, this part is pretty easy.  Choose the sub category that your niche would fall under.  They do not list every niche by name, so you may have to search a bit to find your niche.  But rest assured, if clickbank sells it, it will show up on clickbank analytics. 

Another note here.  There is a number in parentheses next to each sub-category.  This shows the number of products that show up in that category.  So, if the category that you think your niche falls under has (0) next to it, you will need to keep looking.  Notice in the picture that Computing & Internet shows 0 results, where Computers/Internet shows 299 results.  Keep looking and you will find the right sub-category.

 

 

Step 3. Sort By Gravity (Descending)

gravity descending1 Mini Clickbank Guide   How to Research Products Like The ProsWe will be looking for products with a gravity of between 50 and 125.  This seems to be the sweet spot for products, especially for a new marketer.  This range, for the most part, still has good converting sales copy, but gets you away from competing against all of the big boys with their gigantic email lists and endless traffic.

You will probably have to scroll down a few pages to get to the products that have a gravity in our desired range.  When you reach the range, start looking at what the products are, and see if you find something that sounds interesting to you.  Pay no attention to the bragging that goes on in the descriptions.  All of the products are the highest converting on clickbank.  As you read the descriptions, try to find something that interests you because it is always easier to promote something that you find interesting.

You will also note that under gravity is a box called EPS/Rebill.  EPS stands for earning per sale, and rebill is what customers are charged each month that they continue with the product (a subscription).  This is very important information as it tells you how much you will make each sale.  But, as a new internet marketer, don't even pay attention to it.  It is too easy to get sucked into trying to sell products with a high EPS.  It can be a tie breaker if you are deciding between two products, but for right now we are looking for products that sell.  It doesn't matter how much you make per sale if you are not selling any products!

 

Step 4. Look Closer At Products That Interest You

As you click on products that interest you, you will be taken to a page that gives more information about the product.  Really, all I want you to look at on this page is the gravity graph.  I'll show you three examples and tell you what you are looking for.  First, let's start with a bad example.

Bad Gravity Graph

gravity bad Mini Clickbank Guide   How to Research Products Like The Pros

You will notice that the current gravity is within our range, but notice that it was much higher recently.  In September it was at a high of over 500!  And it has been steadily decreasing ever since.  You do not want to promote a product that is decreasing steadily because it means that affiliates are not having as much success promoting the product.  There could be a lot of returns, the market could be saturated, or the commission could have changed – it doesn't matter why the gravity is decreasing.  Just run away from the sinking ship!

Good Gravity Graph #1

gravity ok Mini Clickbank Guide   How to Research Products Like The Pros

You will notice that this product had a very rapid rise before it evened out within our range.  For the past two weeks it has been steady which is a very good sign, and makes this a desirable product.  You will also notice that this is a new product.  This can be a good or a bad thing (see the chart above for the negative).  It is great to get to a product relatively early when there are still keywords and domain names available.  But, you run the risk that it is going to be a short term success like the product above.  What I like about the product above is that it does have two weeks of steady gravity which gives me hope that it will be a longer lasting product.  Now it is time to take a look at the actual website to see what it looks like.  Is the sales copy well written?  Does it capture your interest?  Do you feel tempted to buy it?  If you answer yes to all three of those questions, this is a good product to promote.  Find a couple keywords and domain name and build yourself a website!

Good Gravity Graph #2

gravity good1 Mini Clickbank Guide   How to Research Products Like The Pros

This is the kind of graph that I look for.  The slow and steady increase over the last two months means that this is a stable product.  Again, look at the website and ask the same three questions as above.  One thing to keep in mind about more established products such as this one is that it can sometimes be harder to find keywords with low competition and domain names available.  Before you decide to promote, make sure that you can find keywords and a domain.

This is mini clickbank guide shows how I find products to promote.  In my opinion, there are four things that a product must have if I am going to bother to promote it.

  • I look for products that interest me
  • I look for gravity between 50 and 125
  • I look for consistent gravity over time
  • I look for well written sales copy

When I find all four of those in a product, I know that I have found a product that I can be successful with.  I hope that you have the same success that I have with this system.

 

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.  How do you find products that sell?

Keyword Research With Google Keyword Estimator – How To Do It For Free

Keyword Research With Google Keyword Estimator – How To Do It For Free

Have you heard of the google keyword estimator, or the google keyword tool?  I know that many new bloggers and internet marketers are lost when it comes to keyword research.  You might write an amazing post, full of information that your audience wants and needs.  But if no one is able to find it, what is the use?  Good keyword research is the first step to making sure that your efforts are not wasted and that your content shows up on the search engines.

120x600 v2 5 Keyword Research With Google Keyword Estimator   How To Do It For Free

Why Keyword Research Is Important

Keyword research is important for two reasons.  First, you want to write a post on a topic that people are interested in and are searching for.  Therefore, you need to target a keyword that gets searched for a few times every month.  Second, you have to find a keyword that has an acceptable amount of competition – in other words you feel that with a little effort you can beat the competition and move above them in the search results.

So How Do I Use The Google Keyword Estimator?

For this exercise, I am assuming that you have already chosen a niche and a product, and are in the content creation stage.  As you get started, keep in mind that there are easier ways to do keyword research, but they will cost you.  I now use Market Samurai, which is a bit pricey at $150, but worth every penny for the time it saves. When I first started out as an internet marketer, I used the google keyword estimator exclusively for my keyword research and I got pretty efficient at it.  To get the most accurate results, you will also need the free SEO Quake addon for Firefox.  SEO Quake has some videos that explain how to use it, so I will not go into detail on how to install it and use it here.

Step 1 – Type Some General, Niche Related Keywords Into The Google Keyword Estimator

googlekeywordestimator 300x252 Keyword Research With Google Keyword Estimator   How To Do It For FreeIf you have an google adwords account, sign in.  Otherwise, I recommend signing up for one because you get more search results and you don’t have to fill in the annoying captchas as often.  As you can see in the picture to the left, I added three phrases related to dog training that are pretty general.  At this point we want to use general keywords, because they will give us the most options.  Click search.

Step 2 – Choose Exact Search

exactsearch Keyword Research With Google Keyword Estimator   How To Do It For FreeMake sure after you have searched to click the exact option on the match types on the lower left portion of the screen.  This shows you results for only the exact phrase and is therefore much more accurate than the default broad results that the google keyword estimator shows by default.

Step 3 – Sort By Global Monthly Searches

search results Keyword Research With Google Keyword Estimator   How To Do It For Free

Click on the column titled global monthly searches to sort the results by the amount of times the term is searched for each month.  To choose a keyword for a blog post, I usually look for a keyword that is searched for between 40 and 80 times a month.  I scroll down to the part of the search results and look for keywords that I could write a post about.  In this case, I found aggressive puppy training (with the star next to it – he google keyword estimator lets you star keywords that you want to remember to make it easier to find it again in a long list of keywords).    It is a keyword that would be easy to write a post about, so I clicked on it in order to gauge the competition on google for that keyword.

Step 4 – Check The Competition On Google

googlesearchresults Keyword Research With Google Keyword Estimator   How To Do It For Free

After clicking on aggressive puppy training in the google keyword estimator results, it will open a new tab showing google’s search results for the keyword.  Place “quotes” around the phrase (like it shows in the example above) and hit enter.  This will give you the results for web pages optimized for the exact term you are researching.  Usually you want to find a term with less than 30,000 results when you place the term in quotes.  This will give you a pretty good indication that there is not much competition for that term.

Step 5 – Research The #1 Result

seoquake Keyword Research With Google Keyword Estimator   How To Do It For FreeSince you want the number one result, you need to take a look at it to see how strong the competition is.  This is where the SEO Quake add on comes in very handy.  I clicked on the # 1 result (not the sponsored links) and opened up the page from dogtrainingclassroom.com.  You want to look at the top of the screen at the SEO Quake bar.  Pay special attention to the PR box and the two boxes with the yahoo logo in them (L and LD).  In this case, the page has a page rank of 1.  A zero or a n/a are what we are hoping for, but a page rank of one is an acceptable level of competition.  If the page rank is 2 or higher, find another term.  Next, let’s take a look at the yahoo L: box.  This shows the amount of backlinks this page has according yahoo (the yahoo backlink finder is much more accurate than google’s).  This page has 6 backlinks which, again is an acceptable amount of competition (anything less than 15 backlinks means that you should pretty easily be able to rank for that term).  And finally, look at the yahoo LD: box.  This shows the amount of links coming into the entire domain.  In this case, dogtrainingclassroom.com has over 1,000 backlinks coming into it.  If you are just starting out and your site has very few backlinks, this might be too high of competition for you.  But, if you have a few hundred links coming into your site, this will not be a problem.  Generally, you want to try to compete with sites with a similar number of links to the domain, but google does seem to weight links to a page much higher than links to a domain, so this can definitely be overcome.  If you are trying to compete with a page with a high number of links to the domain, just know that you are going to have to have significantly more backlinks your page if you want to rank higher in google.

It takes practice, but keyword research is how you can start to bring a steady stream of traffic to your site.  I know that 40 searches a month does not sound like much.  But, if you get to #1 on google and receive 40% of those clicks, that is 16 clicks a month.  Again, this doesn’t sound all that impressive until you think about the future.  Imagine that you write 3 posts a week that each get 16 clicks a month.  In a year, that is over 10,000 total clicks, and by the end of the year you will be receiving more than 3,00 clicks a month.  Do your keyword research and start small.  As your site grows, you will notice that you have to do less work and you get better results.  This allows you to target higher competition keywords, meaning more clicks, and more profits for you.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  Do you have a different tool that you use for keyword research?

What’s The Top Niche? – How To Find The Right Niche For You

What’s The Top Niche? – How To Find The Right Niche For You

moneykey sm 300x212 Whats The Top Niche?   How To Find The Right Niche For You"What's the top niche?"  I get asked this question a lot by new internet marketers, so I thought I would address it here.  You'll hear lots of answers about what the top niche is.  Some marketers swear by the weight loss niche, others love forex, some like the make money online niche, and I have even heard golf and dog training.  But the truth is there is no general "top niche" where the money flows.  The mythical top niche reminds me of the idea of California during the great depression, where the unemployed traveled to California by any means to get to the land where milk and honey flowed.  But when they got there, they realized that there were no jobs there either.  If you spend your time looking for the perfect niche, you will be greatly disappointed. 

So how should you choose a niche?  Well, for a new internet marketer, there are two characteristics of popular niches.  First, there have to be products within the niche that people are buying.  And second, you should be either knowledgeable about or interested in the niche.

Where to Find Products To Sell

It is important that there are products within the niche for a new internet marketer because you really should at least get your feet wet selling someone else's product.  There is no sense in you spending the time creating a product at this point.  But not products available, but products that people are actually buying.  So, how do we find the products that people are actually buying?

I recommend that new affiliate marketers start by promoting products from clickbank. It is free to sign up, they offer many products spread across many niches, and they generally pay commissions between 50% and 75%.  It is also a well trusted marketplace, so you can rest assured that you will be paid what you earn.

But Are They Actually Selling?

Clickbank gives a decent tool to let you know if a product is selling, which they call gravity.  They use a secret formula to come up with the gravity, but it basically tells you how many affiliates are making sales, and how recently.  So what you really need to know about gravity is that the higher the gravity, the more affiliates that are making money selling that product.  So, what do the numbers mean?  When you are first starting, you will want to stay away from the highest gravity products because you will be facing more competition for sales.  But you also do not want to waste your time promoting products that don't sell, so stay away from products with very low gravity.  You will want to concentrate on products with a gravity between 50 an 125.  That seems to be the sweet spot for a new internet marketer, where you are selling products that sell well, but have low enough competition.

Are Your Interested In The Niche?

A lot of experts leave this question out, but I think that it is important for a new internet marketer.  Once you know what you are doing, this becomes less and less important.  But, when you are first starting out, it is nice to know something about the niche that you are promoting.  That way, researching for articles and posts and searching for blogs to comment on will not be as labor intensive.  You will have enough work to do trying to learn internet marketing to have to learn a whole niche as well.

So, when you are looking for your top niche, make sure that there are products that are selling and that you will enjoy the research that you will be doing.  These are really the main two ways that you can go wrong in choosing your niche.  You can spend all of the time researching and promoting a product that simply doesn't sell online and realize that you just wasted months of work.  Speaking from experience, this is not a fun realization.  I have also seen many new internet marketers give up before they even got started because they hated the research and the article writing.  These things are a chore at first before you have a system in place.  But, by choosing a topic that interests you it will at least be palatable while you are working the kinks out of your system. 

Affiliate Business Opportunities – What Are They?

Affiliate Business Opportunities – What Are They?

affiliatemarketing sm Affiliate Business Opportunities   What Are They?If you are looking into making money online, affiliate business opportunities are always going to be one of the top recommendations.  This is because out of all of the business opportunities that I know of, affiliate marketing offers the greatest return on investment.  There is very little initial investment in affiliate marketing, and the returns can be staggering – once you know what you are doing.  But if you are new to the making money online world, you probably have no idea what affiliate marketing is.  It is quite simple really.  Affiliate marketing is driving customers to a vendor's website.  Vendors who want to sell a product will offer commissions to affiliates who drive traffic to their sites.  The vendor gives the affiliate a custom link that will track all customers that arrive to the vendor's website from a particular affiliate's website.  An affiliate earns a commission each time a customer makes a purchase or performs an action after clicking on the affiliate's link. 

There are three main types of arrangements used in affiliate marketing, which are listed below.

1. Cost Per Sale – This is the most common form, and as the name implies, an affiliate is paid each time a customer buys a product from a company after following a link from the affiliate's site.  These are popular because they often pay commissions of 50-75%.

2. Cost Per Action – In cost per action agreements, instead of paying for a sale, the affiliate gets paid each time a potential customer completes a predetermined action after following a link from the affiliate's website.  Popular actions include signing up for free trials, filling out surveys, or registering for a site.  These do not pay as much as cost per sale arrangements, but can still be quite profitable.

3. Cost Per Click – Cost per click means that you get paid each time a visitor clicks the link from your site to the company's site.  But due to factors like click fraud and low conversion rates, these are offered by very few companies.

The way that an affiliate chooses to drive visitors to a vendor's site can very greatly.  I'll take a look at four ways affiliates drive traffic to vendors' sites.

1. Text Ads and Banners
The easiest way to get started with affiliate marketing is to place banner ads and text ads that point to your affiliate link.  This really takes no effort other than setting up the banners the first time, and can be profitable.  The trouble with them is that people know that they are ads, and almost always tune them out.  I know that when I am surfing online I rarely even notice the banners on a site any more.  So these are not as effective as some of the other strategies, but are very easy to implement.

2. Reviews
Another way that people make money in affiliate marketing is through review sites.  These often have domain names like productxreview.com or doesxproductwork.com.  Affiliates then describe all the positives of the product to would be purchasers and then point them to where they can purchase the product through their affiliate link.  Reviews are very effective because anyone looking for a review of a specific product is thinking about buying it.  This usually leads to more clicks and more sales.

3. Sales Letters
Sales letters are usually much longer than review sites and are usually emotionally charged.  Sales letters have catchy headlines explaining a great need, then go into great depth as to how a product is going to meet that need.  With good copywriting skills, this can be the most effective strategy.  However, most sales letter sites are not profitable due to inferior copy.

4. Testimonials
Testimonials are just what they sound like – a testimonial.  An affiliate will talk about their experience with the product and explain how it has met a need or improved his/her life.  These can be very effective if they do not sound too "salesy." 

This just scratches the surface of affiliate business ideas, but I hope that I at least gave you an idea of what affiliate marketing is and how people use it to make money online.  Stay tuned for more affiliate business opportunities and tips to be successful as an affiliate marketer.

Home Business Advertising – Online Ideas

Home Business Advertising – Online Ideas

advertising Home Business Advertising   Online IdeasHome business advertising can be a tricky proposition.  Everyone knows that one of the major factors that contribute to the success of any business, and this is especially true of a home based business, is good advertising.  It makes sense that if a potential customer does not know about your business then they can't become actual customers.  Many businesses rely on a good location to promote awareness (think about a mall store or a restaurant downtown) but this does not work with a home business.  So, to get customers you will need to do some advertising.  

All of this seems obvious enough, so why is advertising tricky?  Well, I assume that you are an expert in the field that your business is in.  For example, if you started a plumbing business, you are probably a good plumber.  But, are you an expert in advertising?  You know that you need to advertise your new business, but how?  Who should you be advertising to?  Where should you be advertising?  How often?  How much should it cost?  It can all get very overwhelming very quickly.  But have no fear, I am here to help you get started with five online home business advertising ideas, some free and some that will cost a bit.

Five Home Business Advertising Ideas

1. Classified Ad Sites – Free
Classified ad sites such as craigslist.org and backpage.com are a great source of free advertising because they are free and offer geographically targeted ads.  These are potential customers who searched for the particular product or service that you provide.  These are targeted customers and they are worth their weight in gold.  Make sure to read through the guidelines for the site(s) that you use to make sure that your ads are approved.  And a well written ad is very important so take your time, look at other ads, and make yours look professional and stand out.

2. Create How To Videos – Free
You want to be known as an expert in your field.  One way to do this is to create how-to videos and post them on youtube.  It is easy and beyond the cost of a video camera, which you probably already have, it is free.  This does take a little bit of technical know-how, but there are plenty of resources that will show you how to do everything from making the video, uploading it onto your computer, and posting it on youtube.  And don't do just one.  Set apart some time each week (or every other week) as a part of your business plan to make and upload a new video.  With more videos come more views, more authority, and eventually, more customers.

3. Write Articles for EzineArticles
Much like making how-to videos, articles are a great way to become an authority in your subject.  Write a few articles a week and submit to ezinearticles.  I choose ezinearticles instead of other article sites because they are the biggest site and it is free to submit articles.  You cannot put any links in the article itself, but you get a resource box at the end of the article where you can talk yourself up and give a link to your website.

4. Make a Website – Free or up to $10 per month
Creating your own website isn't nearly as hard as it sounds.  Programs like WordPress make it incredibly easy, and if you can work a word processor, you can make a website.  One of the free bonuses that I offer is a WordPress guide that will walk you through the whole process of setting up your first website.  Depending on your budget, there are two options that you can choose.  The first is free, and you can sign up to start a site that is hosted on wordpress' site.  As you can guess, since it is free, it is quite limited, and your domain name (what people type in to find your site) will be in this format – www.yourbusinessnamehere.wordpress.com.  But, you can have a presence on the web to take advantage of a free home business advertising idea. 

If you have a little bit of a budget, I recommend building a website that you host yourself.  This means that you can have a domain name without the wordpress.com and instead have www.yourbusinessname.com.  This is much better because it is easier for people to remember and you will have a much better chance of people finding your site on search engines like google.  You will need to buy a domain name for about $10 for a year and set up a web hosting account which will cost between $5 and $10 a month.  I recommend hostgator.  I have used them for quite some time and I have never had any trouble.

5. Hire a Firm For Search Engine Optimization – a few hundred dollars per month
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of getting your website to show up at the top of the search engine results for specific keywords that you want to target.  It involves setting up your page correctly and getting links to your site from other sites.  It can all get confusing very quickly, but showing up at the top of search engine results is the key to getting visitors to your site and new customers for your business.  While this is definitely the most expensive of the ideas, this is the one that will bring you the best results. If you would like the email address of the company that I use for SEO, use the contact me form and I will gladly give it to you.

These are a few ideas to get new customers through home business advertising.  Pick and choose what you think will be best for your home business and do it.