I just ordered some new books today. One of my goals this year is to read more and I’ve set my goal at one new book per month. Something I believe I can reasonably achieve. Listed below are the books I will be reading. Have you read any of these? What did you think? What books do you recommend?
Many years ago I was struggling financially. I couldn’t afford to pay all my bills, never had extra money, and was always having to cut corners and cover bounced checks. If you’ve ever been in that position then you know how financial problems can carry over into other areas of your life as well. I was irritable, stressed, emotionally tired. I had less energy and time because I spent a lot of my time figuring out how to shift money around to keep checks from bouncing or jumping though the numerous hoops you have to jump through when you’re broke. When it came down to it, I never seemed to have enough money.
Then I changed. I made a major shift in my thinking. Looking back on it, it’s perfectly clear how my thinking was keeping me in that state of lack. After watching a movie called “The Secret” I was inspired to do something. Although I don’t agree with a lot of what’s in that movie, I do think it has some truths in it, and it brought back to my attention how important your thoughts are in your life, and how what you think is what you’ll experience.
After watching the movie I got a manila file folder. I wrote on it “More Than Enough”. Then I put all my bills in it. My reasoning was that each time I put a bill inside the folder, whether it was true or not, I was going to associate the thought of having more than enough to pay it. This was in steep contrast to my normal thoughts surround my bills, thoughts of worry, lack, fear, and stress.
My thinking changed IMMEDIATELY. In fact, I wasn’t even aware of the many negative and “state of lack” thought habits I had until I created my folder. One instance I remember distinctly was when I went to do laundry. I clearly remember my mind was in its old routine and I thought to myself “I better run the shorter wash cycle that uses less water” and I thought in a negative and worried way “I wonder what the bill is going to cost me?” After that thought I immediately caught myself and said to myself “Wait a second, enough with that negative thinking and worrying about not having enough”. I purposely changed my thinking like this over and over again.
Over time as my thoughts changed from lack to abundance I began to see and experience just how much my thinking was keeping me in that state of lack. In fact, since the very day I created that folder and began to change my thinking I’ve ALWAYS has MORE than enough to pay every bill that’s gone into it.
I don’t believe there was anything magic that happened by creating a folder and writing some words on it. And of course there was plenty of common sense I had to follow. For example I still had to budget, be smart with my money, etc. However, what I didn’t do was entertain my old negative and lack focused thoughts anymore. The less I had of those thoughts the less they became my reality. It also made me think and act in a way that was abundant.
The key for me was that I changed the way I thought. Change the way you think and slowly but surely you can change your entire life.
Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated the blog here at MarketingWithMiles. I’ve been totally focused on other projects, especially ClickScoop which is a community for ClickBank marketers. I recently posted the video below in conjunction with ClickBank’s 2 Billion dollar contest and thought I would share it with you here as well. Enjoy!
In 2009 I was fortunate enough to be in the top .01% of ClickBank earners so this year I was inducted into their Apex Elite Program as one of their top 100 affiliates! What an honor and privilege. What this means is I get a dedicated account rep, access to test new beta features, as well as an invite to their party and Executive Business Meeting. I’ll cover the meeting first, then I’ll talk about the party.
The meeting was held the Wed. after Affiliate Summit at Mandalay Bay, what a great hotel and casino, I had a fantastic room, and there was no stench of smoke like there is at the Rio. The meeting started off with a wonderful breakfast assortment and then it was time for business.
After a brief introduction by Terra Goeres, Manager of Client Development, ClickBank CEO Brad Wiskirchen spoke. Following Brad was Monty Sooter, COO, Greg Lems, VP of Information Technology, and Dush Ramachandran, VP Sales and Business development who all spoke about different facets of ClickBank.
Here were my biggest takeaways from what they all shared…
The biggest news in my opinion was that in 2009 ClickBank had it’s biggest year ever! Even in the midst of a global economic downturn ClickBank still had double-digit percentage growth! Also in 2009 they’ve made tremendous enhancements, in fact more enhancements to the ClickBank platform were made in 2009 than in the previous 10 years!
Additionally, ClickBank has made tremendous improvements in their email and phone support, decreasing customer wait times by increasing staff. ClickBank also continued to upgrade their server systems with multiple data centers, a redundant power and cooling network, geographic separating for disaster recovery, and a nice system status page where we can all see the uptime status of various systems from within of our ClickBank accounts.
What I really enjoyed hearing about most was what is in store for us ClickBank Vendors & Affiliates for 2010!
Extending the Apex and Premier programs to more vendors and affiliates.
Expansion into Europe.
And TONS of new features including…
Multiple Vendor Payments – allowing easier support for Joint Ventures between vendors
Translation of Admin system behind the login for German, French, and Spanish
Flexible affiliate commissions allowing bonus commissions based on performance.
Maintenance of multiple accounts through Master Accounts
Aggregated analytics through Master Accounts
Partial refunds for Shippable Media
And more features they’re planning behind the scenes!
Next up was Michael Carrigan and Ian O’Neill from Holland & Hart LLP. Michael and Ian are ClickBank’s attorney’s and Holland & Hart is one of the largest law firms in the United States. They spoke for over an hour and a half about FTC compliance, citing examples of cases they’ve worked on, as well as what every ClickBank Vendor and Affiliate should be doing to protect themselves. They gave everyone a little pamphlet that I believe is worth its weight in gold as it covers the various aspects of FTC rules in simple terms for affiliate marketers. One of the things they recommended was reading and of course following the FTC guidelines set out in the Dot.Com Disclosures which is a free book you can download from the FTC.
After that we broke up into groups for feedback discussion groups and lunch. After lunch I had to head home, so let’s flashback to the ClickBank party the night before…
The ClickBank party was held at the Foundation Room at the top of Mandalay Bay. The Foundation Room is one of the most exclusive clubs in Las Vegas forty-three floors up and perched on top of the Mandalay Bay and with arguably the best view of the Strip and surrounding valley from an outdoor balcony. The private elevator that gets you there only has two buttons, Lobby and Foundation Room, which gives it that exclusive feel. To say the party was impressive would be an understatement, everything was top notch and they even had their own drink, the ClickBank Moneymaker! The party was some of the best networking all week since it was practically a who’s who of ClickBank vendors and affiliates. I got to see many old friends, met many people I’ve known but never met in person, and made a few new business partnerships.
The ClickBank party never wound down, but eventually all good things have to come to an end. So then it was off to the after party! The after party was hosted by WebSeeds.com in a suite at Mandalay Bay. Everyone was still networking like crazy and talking over one another and then we got warned, warned again, then kicked out! Come on, I thought this was Vegas! I guess some people actually sleep there, who would of thunk!
This was the best Affiliate Summit I’ve been to yet! It was fantastic running into so many old friends, people I’ve known online for years but never met in person, and making new friends from all over the world! I thought I would post a short synopsis of what I did and where I went, but also give you some of the key insights I had about my own business and many of the tips and tactics I learned. Many marketers don’t go to the sessions, they feel they’re too successful or already know everything, but I don’t let my guard down like that. I’ve been doing this for over 10 years and if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that you’ve gotta stay on top of everything as much as you can and ALWAYS be improving and moving forward. So you’ll find me at many of the sessions sitting right in the very front row, taking notes, and absorbing as much as I can. One thing I’ve found by doing that is even if I’m hearing the same information I already know, they’ll always be a new idea that comes to me about something new or different that I can implement to improve my business. So here’s just some of what I did and what I learned…
Sunday I arrived and checked in at the stinky smoky RIO hotel & casino. After staying at Mandalay Bay after this years Affiliate Summit I won’t ever be staying at the RIO again, more on that later. As soon as I got to the RIO went straight to the first session…
From what I understood Josh is Ian Ziering’s nephew. Ian is the former star of the original Beverly Hills 90210 and married a playboy playmate. He said his first website was MyAuntIsHot.com, I concur.
Josh’s presentation was lively and entertaining although most the information was very basic but living up to the title of the session “A Primer on SEO”. What I took from his session was the following…
If you’re using WordPress then use a Popular Posts plugin but set the Popular Posts for only the previous X amount of days. This prevents your most popular posts from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy since they’ll be forced to be updated. Excellent tip!
A good reminder for me was to check all my Title Tags, H1 Tags, and Meta Desc. I have some sites I’ve stalled on doing this, so it was a good reminder.
This session was way too basic for me. I really wanted to hear things like what video sizes are best, HD or not HD, viral video, doing overlays with your URL in your video, and what about those click boxes you see all the time on YouTube? Are those effective? Also, what kind of things really sell well with video? What about sites like Qik and 12seconds and doing live streaming from your iPhone? None of that was covered.
Nonetheless, I’m determined to at least get SOMETHING out of all the sessions and the one tip I will use is to keep your videos to 2.5 minutes in length or shorter.
So after that I went out with some clients/friends to an out of the way place at Bill’s Casino for some fantastic Steak, Lobster, and Banana Foster!
The next day I got up early and headed out to the keynote…
Keynote presentation with Dr. Robert Cialdini. It was great! Lots of things he covered seemed to be from his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. Excellent book and an excellent keynote! Everything he mentioned was directly applicable to online marketing. Instead of posting my notes however, I recommend you go out and buy and read his book.
Next we we’re off to a few sessions…
How to Fix Failing SEO Efforts with Wil Reynolds. I have to give him some SEO link love for the fantastic presentation! I’ve seen Wil 3 times now at Affiliate Summit West and this was his best presentation yet. The guy talks about a mile a minute so you gotta be paying attention as he’s really sharp, his advice is advanced, and if you blink you could miss something!
Wil has some fantastic suggestions, cutting edge news, and insights. Here are just a few of the things he touched on…
Use Google Suggest to find keywords and article ideas.
Search “Last 12 Months” when doing keyword research on Google Insights.
Get Google Intelligence for your Google Analtyics to set up email notifications of increases or decreases in traffic from specific keywords. This was an EXCELLENT tip. Apparently it’s a beta feature that you have to ask Google to enable for your analytics account and there’s more you can do with it as well.
Social bookmark all the pages with inbound links coming to you.
Wil’s overall theme was to not get bogged down in caring what Google may or may not do, not caring about your pagerank, or other things, but just focusing on results and what really matters in your business. Excellent presentation!!
After that I took a nap, slept longer than expected but was able to get in on the Ask the Experts session. It was alright, I got a few tidbits about conversion boosters.
That evening we went out on the town and ended up all over at various parties and clubs. It was a blast!
Scaling Article Marketing For Affiliate Marketers with Chris Knight of Ezine Articles. This is probably the one session that completely changed my perspective and will grow my business tremendously. Chris’ website Ezine Articles gets around a MILLION visitors a DAY! Absolutely incredible. He had tons of tips and insights on article marketing that I’m putting to use immediately. His big driving point was “Write more articles, get more traffic”. He even had us all chanting the phrase throughout his presentation. Here are just a few of his tips…
Never trust your ghostwriters. Always stay on the ball.
2 links in your resource box gets the most traffic.
Always do one link in your resource box with the full http URL.
Putting FREE in your resource box and/or CLICK HERE will increase the CTR to your site.
Make sure your articles live up to any promises in the titles.
I was pleasantly surprised with this candid session with Jim. He shared a lot of great insight into how he motivates himself and I loved the quote he shared “Doers get what they want… Everyone else gets what they get”.
I didn’t take too many notes, but I definitely felt more focused and motivated after leaving his session. Objective achieved Jim!
Aterrific way to get ahead in the game of Internet marketing and life in general is to learn from and avoid the mistakes that others make. I’ve certainly made more than 3 mistakes in the past but I thought I would share with you 3 major mistakes I’ve made that you can learn and benefit from. Take action today to avoid these major blunders and you’ll avoid the loss, frustration, and setbacks they’ve caused me.
Mistake #1 – Not backing up. One of the keys to keeping your online business intact and running without interruption is to have some kind of backup policy. There’s nothing worse than losing files, especially ones you cannot replace. Without a backup plan not only do you risk losing the hours and days of work you may have put into creating those files, but you will also lose time creating them again and/or trying to find them somewhere else. If you have a good backup plan, you won’t have these problems.
My current backup plan consists of an extra internal hard drive inside my PC that gets backed up to every night at 3am. I also backup to an external hard drive once a month that I keep in a fireproof safe. I have two hard drives in my computer that use something called RAID to simultaneously write everything to both of them, in case one of them fails everything is on the other drive. In addition to this I use Jungle Disk. I love Jungle Disk because it backs up everything offsite to RackSpace could hosting. It’s all encrypted with your own special password which means nobody can access your files but you. Jungle Disk also keeps several previous versions of every file you backup!
My backup plan is pretty extreme, however I’ve learned from not backing up how important it is, trust me, it’s a mistake you don’t want to make.
Mistake #2 – Not going to conferences. When I first started going to Internet marketing related conferences I couldn’t believe I waited so long. Sadly, it took me about 5 years of marketing online before I ever attended one. Once I attended one everything changed, and fast! Not only did a learn a ton, but the face to face connections I made were invaluable and continue to benefit me to this day. In fact, the more conferences I go to the more connections I make and the stronger my existing relationships become.
The first conference I went to I spent most the trip with marketing legend Joel Comm! A great connection that was, I learned a lot from him as well as another marketer Eric Holmlund. As a result I later got the opportunity to visit Joel’s office headquarters in Loveland, CO. Although I don’t currently work with Joel directly, that relationship is there and who knows what could still happen because of it! I did meet his chief idea innovator Dan Knickerson and I still do a little partnership with him to this day. None of this would have happened if I didn’t attend my first conference.
Subsequent conferences I’ve attended have introduced me and allowed me to form relationships with too many people to mention here. As a result I’ve done interviews, exchanged trade secrets, found business partnerships, started projects, formed strong bonds, and made some amazing friends with a ton of marketers in my industry. Enough can’t be said about the benefits of going to marketing conferences. One of my favorites is Affiliate Summit and if you can attend it you should.
Mistake #3 – Not mastering the art of saying “NO”. Saying “NO” is probably the hardest task to master but it’s absolutely crucial and imperative you master it if you want to reach your full potential. There are many different areas in which learning to say “NO” is necessary.
Opportunities – Turning down opportunities is just as important as taking them. If you can’t learn the art of saying no, you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed with projects and tasks you most likely don’t want to do.
Leeches – People who email you wanting free help are basically saying they want to use your precious time for their advantage with nothing in return. Say “NO” to them. There’s nothing wrong with helping people and that’s why I write this blog, but as you get more successful or popular online you’ll find it impossible to help everyone that asks.
Favors – Again, you can’t do everyone a favor all the time, the busier and more successful you get, the less time you’ll have, you’ll just have to tell them “NO”.
Borrowers – Finding financial success comes with many advantages, but it also comes with some side effects. One of these is family and friends who want to borrow money from you. People who you know are incapable of paying you back. Trust me, tell them “NO” from the beginning and you’ll be MUCH better off.
Partners, Affiliates, Employees, & Outsources – Unfortunately some people will take advantage and walk all over you if you don’t set your limits and boundaries. Don’t ever be afraid to express yourself and tell these people “NO” if you need to. This doesn’t mean you have to be difficult, or say it without tact and grace, it just means you have to be firm. You set the rules of how you allow yourself to be treated in life and in business. Saying “NO” when appropriate will teach these people how you expect to be treated and what you will tolerate.
I hope you can learn from these mistakes and most importantly avoid them as much as possible. What are some of the mistakes you’ve made? Leave a comment and share.
The Marketing Edge is back! Yes, my infrequent, inconsistent, podcast is here again! Hopefully this time I will keep the momentum going, however I can’t make any promises. This issue of The Marketing Edge I think you’re really going to benefit from. In this series I interview John Jonas, a guy who’s really taking outsourcing for all it’s worth. John talks about how he’s able to run his entire business using workers in other countries while he plays golf, spends time with his kids, and works only a few hours a day! John is quickly becoming the king of outsourcing and currently operates ReplaceMyself.com where he teaches people to find, hire, and keep talent from overseas at extremely low costs.
Over the years I have been extensively on the buyer side working with RentACoder, an online labor marketplace, to outsource all sorts of technical projects.
RentACoder boasts “the world’s largest number of completed software projects and is currently made up of 112,923 buyers and 242,331 coders.”
With so many coders to choose from, finding the best coder to complete your project can be tough. It can even be frustrating when it feels like you are spending more time finding the right person to do the job and outline them with instructions than it would probably take to do the work yourself.
If you want to save time, find the highest rated coders who have completed similar projects as yours. So to only work with the best coders, follow some of these tips:
Creating your project
Create a new bid request for your project and start your bid as a “Private Auction.”
Tip: By creating a private bid as opposed to public, you will be able to choose the best coders you want to work on your project.
Invite top quality coders to bid your project using the instructions below.
Recruiting quality coders with similar project experience
From the RentACoder homepage, click on the link in the rop right under “Newest Bid Requests” to browse all open bid requests.
Using some of your project description’s keywords (e.g. HTML template), search past bids for projects similar of the one you want to create by using the “Bid Request Search” in the top right.
The search will show a list of related projects based on your keyword search. Click on a similar project as the one you would like to have completed.
Tip: Results are filtered by date, so you may have to browse back a few pages to find completed projects.
Read the project’s details under Brief Summary. If the project is a similar match to yours, view the buyer’s history by clicking their username next to“Posted By” to find the coder who completed te project.
From the user’s profile page, view their “Work History” and browse for the related project you found. After locating the project in the “Rated For” column, you are able to see the coder who completed it under “Rated By.”
Now that you have found the coder that completed the job, click on the coder’s username to view their profile page and history. Browse down to the project title you found and you can view any rating or feedback given to the coder.
TIP: Finding a positive rating and/or feedback will let you know this coder was able to complete the job successfully.
If you are interested in the coder, invite the coder to bid your project from their page by clicking on “Control Panel” and “Invite ______ to bid on one of my existing projects.”
Alternate way of finding the best coders
From the Rent A Coder homepage, click on the link in the rop right under “New Bid Requests” to browse all open bid requests.
The 10 highest ranked top coders are listed on right side, but to see all the coders by ranking click “See all coder by ranking.”
From this page, you can browse users page for project history and look at their skills
You will want to start at top and work down to the lower rated coders.
Assessing a coder credentials, ability, and ethics
Ratings are often the top indicator for assessing a coder’s ability.
The number of ratings shows how active coders are in RAC, and also give you a more accurate indication of their coder rating.
Looking at the coder’s past bid amounts under work history will give you a good idea as to how large of projects the coder is experienced with.
If they coder leaves you a comment and or bid, respond with a question or comment of your own and time their response. If there is a long delay, which may be a good sign as to how responsive they will be during the project.
I‘ve been using WordPress for SEO for several years now. I fully agree that it’s the cheapest (free) and easiest way to start a content based website that’s search engine optimized to a great degree out of the box. However, there’s still a lot of awesome ways to enhance it for SEO. This video by Joost de Valk is fantastic for anyone who is going to use WordPress and wants to show up in Google. In fact, it’s one of the most comprehensive guides to what plugins you should use and how you should be creating your WordPress blog. I watched the video, then had my assistant watch it so he could learn all about these plugins and tips. I had my assistant take notes, get links to all the plugins mentioned and decided to share my notes with you, so here you go…
Function: Adds text to bottom of post linking back to original post.
When blog get scraped and reposted, RSS Footer will automatically insert backlink and source of original blog.
Result: You get more backlinks and traffic back to your site.
Best for ranking on blog search engines because of amount of links.
Optimizing WordPress – Site Structure
Switch Blog Title and Post Title
WordPress puts the blog title into the header on your theme and makes the blog title the H1 always. However the blog title HAS NO USE of being an H1 anywhere else except on YOUR HOMEPAGE. Reason is you don’t want your other pages to rank for your blog name/brand, you want them to rank for your post title.
Categories in WordPress
Add description to categories that tell people what is in each category.
When I first started marketing online I knew no one personally that was doing what I wanted to do. Even after a few years of Internet marketing I had only a few acquaintances or friends online. Keep in mind, this was long before MySpace, Twitter, or the whole social atmosphere which is on the web now. Yes, it was just me and my computer, pretty lonely
One day after sending out an email to a list of mine with my phone number in it one of the readers called me. This was probably the 2nd or 3rd person I ever talked to over the phone who I’d met online. His name was Rob Boirun and we talked and eventually became good friends and we did some projects together. We shared a lot of information and I learned a lot from him.
Some time after that I finally started to reach out beyond my cozy little home-based bubble. I would actually pick up the phone and call people, introduce myself, and get to know them. I even put my phone number right on this website, it’s still there if you look now. The connections I began to make were incredible and have led to many partnerships, opportunities, and has led me to make me hundreds of thousands of dollars.
One day I ran across an Internet marketer who I saw lived in the same town as me! His name was Eric Holmlund and I reached out and called him. Then, I took a big step. I actually left my bubble! We went and had lunch. While at lunch Joel Comm called him on his cell phone! I didn’t realize he even knew Joel Comm.
Later that year the three of us attended an Internet marketing conference. (Very far from my bubble.) If you’ve never attended a marketing conference you definitely must. I got to hang out with Joel and Eric the entire weekend and they introduced me to tons of other people. I felt like I knew everyone in the industry after only a weekend!
Sometime after that, about a year and a half ago through some turn of events I cannot remember Amit Mehta reached out and called me. We became great friends and eventually started a Mastermind group together. This group completely changed my business and has brought me some of the greatest friends I have.
As you can see, just a small act of reaching out can begin to unwind a huge turn of events that can literally change your business and your life!
Today I know TONS of people that do what I do, and it seems the more connections I make the larger my income grows, the larger my business gets, the more opportunities come across my path, and the faster my knowledge increases.
As I look back, one of the mistakes I wouldn’t repeat is waiting so long to start connecting and reaching out to other Internet marketers. Even if you’re a beginner you’d be surprised at just how friendly people really are and how much direction and advice they’ll be willing to give you. So go ahead, reach out and touch someone today. Don’t wait and don’t be afraid.