20 High Converting Lead Generation Landing Pages

landing pages

Think that all “squeeze pages” or lead generation email marketing-centric style sites have to look like they were designed by someone who wears pastel polyester pants when he (or she) isn’t pushing pixels for profit?

Think again! Gone are the days where those super ugly, ignominious squeeze pages with the big red arrows, bright (span class = yellow) and other aesthetic atrocities have been committed in the name of killer conversions.

landing pagesThe truth is, regardless of whether you are working on your own list building campaigns or helping your clients create their own….having pretty pages that capture attention and engage your audience to do the ONE central thing that your campaign craves is central to conversions. Read More

Insanely Affordable Managed WordPress Hosting

If you’ve never experienced the wonderful world of WordPress hosting in a managed environment……you are really missing out on a simple, easy and amazingly elegant way to simplify your blog, brand and business.

(especially if you are secretly a bit tech phobic like me….and abhor the idea of doing upkeep on the behind the scenes stuff that is, unfortunately…an essential part of running an online business)

Managed WordPress hosting has become pretty popular over the last few years, I’ve tried and have used several of the best services and would never go back to doing the old way.

(this blog is hosted with WPengine – one of the premier providers in the managed WP hosting space)

The problem of course, is that it’s sorta kinda expensive to go the managed route…especially if you have low traffic and a bootstrap budget and can’t justify spending the extra money on something that you may not yet need. (i’d argue of course that any time wasted working on the innards of upkeeping wordpress is time i’ll never get back and regret on my deathbed as well, which…if this pesky and persistent headache i’ve been having this weekend doesn’t disappear by next week, may be closer than I predicted :-)

The good news?

Much maligned (and often unfairly) Godaddy has now stepped into the WP managed hosting space…and their deals right now are simply too ridiculously good to pass up.

I just bought a full YEAR of managed WP hosting…..with a free domain name (something I always tell folks to not do in any other scenario) for 12 bucks.

12 months of managed WP hosting……for 12 dollars (and I got a great domain name I was going to register anyway for free)

So instead of spending the day at the beach as planned – i’m back where I belong – sitting on my rear end in a windowless room with a big ass mac cinema display for a view.

Who knew lazy, hazy end of summer days could be so crazy?

If you have any interest in jumping on the managed WP bandwagon and want to save 84% (or whatever they say it is when you carry the 1′s) check out the offer page here, before it’s no longer there.

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

funny amazon reviews

It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.

It’s also hard out here for an Amazon author.

I know what it feels like to get a 1 star review.

It’s a lot like Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s famous 5 stages of grief.

  1. Anger.
  2. Denial.
  3. Something.
  4. Something else.
  5. And then acceptance.

I forget the rest of them, because I never make it past the first 2.

So I got to admit….it always makes me giggle when I see these types of one star reviews.

I mean….in what culture, country or continent do we rate things on a backward scale where 1 is the best….and 5 sucks?

Even my 6 year old, incredibly special, cool, ,creative and intuitively intelligent niece wants to add digits to her minuture golf score because instinctively, we all know that more is better than less.

Of course, it doesn’t do the evolving, enlightening new age movement much good when the harbingers of spiritual truth can’t discern between what the stars mean on the Amazon review form, let alone what the larger Universe herself is trying to tell them.

Okay.

Back to writing.

Pixel Revel Tumblr Themes

Beautiful, minimal & wonderful tumblr themes for authors, artists, creatives & content marketers.    If you truly crave content that converts, inspires, illuminates and entertains…the truth is, you’ve got to keep your audience engaged with what you say.

And if you are doing online “Agency” style work like many of the people I’m working with now are….if you can impart that ethos in your clients,  not only will you make your own life infinitely easier when it comes to helping folks launch new content campaigns, you’ll be sharing the one secret that is so obvious, yet easy to overlook. Read More

A Kick Butt Collection of Curated Creative (Photos) to Use for Your Blog

People often ask me how I manage to get so many cool, creative, compelling and otherwise amazingly interesting pictures to post on my blog.

Okay – no one has ever asked me that.  Ever.

And sometimes I think about pretending that I take them as I embark on the ongoing eclectic adventure that is my day…..but I worry about getting caught.

Plus, I really rarely leave the house, so taking lots of pictures would be redundant and probably impractical.

And a bit embarrassing too…as you may not know this, but I’m a total domestic disaster.

(of course you don’t know that – you are a total stranger, and if you think about it, it’s sort of weird that you’ve read this far already)

So without further adieu – check out http://thestocks.im for some really great royalty free pictures you CAN use on your blog and in your business…and in some cases, anywhere else you wish as well :-)

 

 

 

 

Embrace the Adventure

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

 

4 Quick and Easy Ways to Make More Money as an Affiliate WITHOUT Extra Work (Authority Site Monetization Strategies)

high sales

I don’t do a ton of affiliate marketing anymore.

And while I’ve never been one of those people who recommended or promoted online marketing “gurus” or gimmicks, I did used to live or die on affiliate commissions as my primary source of income, and have promoted more “real world” products and programs than I can possibly remember.

(partly because it’s a lot – and partly because my mid and long term memory is embarrassingly bad)

The funny thing is, for better or for worse, a large part of my list – and a serious segment of my audience DOES really focus on affiliate marketing, so whenever I neglect this segment of my readership for too long, I find it’s back to me, 2 friends and 3 sort of creepy stalkers from 2012 who are still reading this blog. Read More

Why I’m Running a Marathon (and the power of sharing your goals with the world)

atlantic city marathon 2014

I’m running a marathon in October.  The Atlantic City marathon to be exact.  I’m telling you because I want to make sure i follow through.  I expect you to keep my feet to the fire when I come up with a creative excuse why I suddenly can’t make the run.

It’s funny, because new people I meet will often ask me if I’m a marathon runner….or if I’ve ever done an ironman, or if I’m a competitive swimmer, or serious athlete of another sort, in an altogether different sport. Read More

The Secret of the Irresistible Offer – How to Turn “FREE” into a Profitable Business Doing What You Love

hartsee3

If you are looking for some good ideas (and an email template you can copy and use) for creating new clients out of “thin air”, you are going to love this approach.

The steps are simple:

  • Have a high value FREE service to offer that has empirical, real world value.
  • Have a back end “THIS is what I do” value proposition to extend the offer beyond free.
  • Simply pick 10 or 12 local professionals who are in your ideal audience, or who you’ve identified as your target market, and copy and paste the basic email template I’ve included at the end of the post.

Hope you enjoy….and more importantly, that you try, apply and actually USE this approach to build your own local consulting business, starting this weekend! 

 

 

 

 

 

The Product Launch Specialist Strategy (LAUNCHiT Local)

26

If you are NOT on my email list…..here is a short, simple but VERY powerful process for literally branding yourself as the go to person for local LAUNCHES…...for everything from realtors to lenders, to brokers, bakers and candlestick makers.

The truth is, it’s amazing how many amazing opportunities there are these days to leverage TOOLS, templates and technology to offer world class services to people of passion and purpose who really CAN use them, without having to reinvent the wheel, or be super duper smart yourself.  (everything from ROLL YOUR OWN crowdfunding campaign plugins to viral launch frameworks like the one I write about in today’s newsletter)

Enjoy….and don’t forget, if you want to take advantage of LAUNCHiT local live coaching with yours truly in January, a few spots remain at 2013 prices.…..next batch of clients starts on the 15th, and if you are truly serious about building your business, getting inspired with ideas and imagination and waking up whatever it is within you that wants to truly LOVE what you do for a living…….check out the details and get in touch – I’d love to help!

Again – today’s update is HERE.  (it’s a bit hidden for those of you who aren’t on my list  – so check it out and enjoy!)

The LAST Niche Marketing Exercise You Will Ever Have to do (Or…….How to Discover Your Life Purpose and Embrace the Privilege of Being Yourself)

cliff

I know that many people who read this blog aren’t on my email list…..so I wanted to share this simple, exciting, enlightening and exhilarating exercise for picking a niche that CAN transform your life, your focus and your sense of passion and purpose…..all in about 5 minutes.

It is….i can confidently state with 100% certainly – the only niche picking exercise you’ll ever need to do. Read More

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

 

The Power of Positioning

Still looking for an easy way to turn your passion, purpose into a fun, easy and profitable business in a niche, market or industry that you love…..yet aren’t sure how and where to begin?

Here is another short article I submitted to EZA earlier today on using the authority site marketing model to go, grow and flow in the direction of your dreams…without having to do a whole bunch of heavy lifting to make it happen.

Simply stated, if you are serious and sincere about building BUZZ your brand, blog and business and want to expedite the process of turning what you love into a living, positioning yourself as an expert, authority or thought leader in your niche is clearly one of the easiest ways of making that happen in a hurry. But, for most of us…waiting weeks, months or years to get noticed by our professional peers (and the public) ain’t the sort of recipe for success we’re looking for. Read More

The Devil is in the Details

Building structure requires serious listening, serious reflection, and serious imagination. All this requires experience, and no matter how experienced you are, it costs you. We spend our time and nerves to save the user their time and nerves. Well-designed things give us the invaluable present of time. Well-designed products do not just save us time, they make us enjoy the time we spend with them. They make us feel that someone has been thinking about us, that a nice person took care of the little things for us.

Oliver Reichenstein, in Putting thought into things.

How to Build a Better Authority Site

rocket

Here are a few ideas for those of you who are interested in learning how to build an authority site, without having to endure some of the most common challenges and obstacles that keep most folks from ever really being able to “build something” valuable, viable and enduring in their niche.

The truth is, for most of us, while the idea of creating copious amounts of inspiring, illuminating, informative and entertaining content may SOUND like a very sexy strategy and path to pursue…unfortunately, in the vast majority of situations (there are obvious exceptions of course) no matter HOW talented you may be, your “authority” is never going to translate and transform into an engaged audience and a community of clients and cash.

There IS a better way. And a simple strategy that WILL stack the odds heavily in your favor. I lay some of this out in the short article below…….which is part of another project I’m working on for folks who really want to scale this strategy up and out in a very specific way. I’m sharing it here below – and again, as I mention, I’ll probably be codifying all of this authority site content into an ebook you can buy on Amazon in the fall as well.

Enjoy….and i’ve got tons of very unique and exceptionally easy (and current) strategies for implementing this marketing model with great success, if you want to chat about it with me one on one, follow the contact prompts following the piece below.


Q:  What is an authority site?  What is the easiest way to build a new authority site from scratch, without investing tons of time, money, effort, energy and income into a project that may NEVER become a success?  Should I simply start a blog in an area that I have experience, “authority” or expertise?  And what if my niche, market or industry is SO crowded and competitive that it feels like incredibly heavy lifting to step up and stand out in the sea of sameness and similarity where everyone else seems to swim?

Read More

Life, Art & Work

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.

- Danny Kaye

And sometimes I wish I had a better brush.

Build a Q and A Site with WordPress

whatwedo

Q and A sites are still a great, fun and amazingly EASY way to create content, build a community and position yourself as an expert, authority or thought leader in a niche, market or industry.  (be it a hyper local authority style site….or a bigger, broader and more generalized Q and A that caters to a global community)

When I first started developing the Content Community Continuum strategy for my own business, as some of you may recall, I was using (and recommending) themes like ASKIT, which were super affordable options for folks who wanted to build their own version of Yahoo Answers, or Stack Overflow…..for under $100.

Using a FAQ style strategy to build a site (asking questions and offering up answers) remains one of my favorite ways to quickly and easily create killer content that is hugely helpful and keyword friendly, without being scammy, spammy or creating contrived content.

The other big benefit of Q and A style sites is that you can OUTSOURCE these very easily.

And because the content is so super duper easy to create (remember, you are just populating the site with questions that are already being asked in the niche, often verbatim, which means they don’t have be poetic posts to be PERFECT for exact match traffic) you can really have a site built for you that positions you as the thought leader, expert or authority in your niche of interest.

The truth is, while I haven’t been using dedicated themes for Q and A style sites for the last 18 months or so, instead focusing on BuddyPress communities with the Q and A sections being handled by plugins (like offered here by DesignWall)….BUT, i’ve been quietly watching as some really good, really elegant and really forward thinking themes have been built.

Here is a new Q and A theme by a popular Themeforest author that looks great, has some pretty advanced functionality and would be a dead simple, entry level authority site that absolutely ANYBODY could build….be it in a local marketplace (an entry level city guide) or a larger niche style site that answers the common questions being asked in the niche overall.

Build a Q and A Style Site with WordPress

 

The Email Offer (Leveraging Your Authority Site to Build Your Brand in 2 Simple Steps)

lightbulb moment

Let’s start with the steps, as this is going to be the tough part :-)

Step 1.  Write the letter

Step 2.  Email the letter.

authority siteThe concept here is pretty simple…and something that is so strikingly obvious, and yet so often overlooked, that I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I’ve wasted trying this the hard way.  (the hard way being defined as trying to build buzz for my brand…..by building my blog, instead of using the approach I’m outlining here instead)

The IDEA:

You want to build an online agency, or a web marketing business, or an online coaching or consulting practice, predicated on helping other entrepreneurs succeed.  (be it generalized local businesses in your local community, or catering to one niche or industry vertical in your local community, or….simply establishing a brand or business without borders – meaning you will take clients from any niche, market, industry or area) Read More

Types of Authority Sites

startup

Q: Aren’t authority sites difficult to create? Don’t you have to be an EXPERT, or an “authority” to create an AUTHORITY site in the first place? What if I don’t yet have enough experience in my niche to position myself as the “go to” professional person online?

A:  This is a question that comes up a fair amount when I write something new about authority sites….and in my mind, one of the biggest misconceptions about WHAT an authority site is, and what type of experience you need to have to create one.

Consider this for a moment. Read More

A Great Free Tool for Content Creation, Organization and Staying Ferociously Focused

Workflowy is a fun, free and amazingly addictive tool for project management, organizing content, outlining ideas and most importantly for me…….quickly and easily turning my content into a “cornerstone” that can be converted into something more concrete.  ( a site, service, articles, emails, ebooks or even a complete “curriculum” that  can be recorded and turned into a product in no time flat)

WorkFlowy - Organize your brain.If you find yourself having difficulty staying focused, or keeping your ideas organized in one place, Workflowy may be the ONE and only tool you need.  It keeps me inspired to come up with ideas…..and stay on page, point and pixel without distractions, or managing multiple screens like so many other more complicated project management tools do.  (and while it’s not a traditional project management tool for teams…….Workflowy DOES has some creative collaboration tools that make sharing information and ideas with your partners, clients or collaborators fun, easy and pretty effortless as well)

If you write books like many of you do – it’s DEFINITELY a tool you are going to want to try.

Check it out HERE.  (it’s fun and free and if you are a creative or a content creator like me- it’s well worth it, I promise!)

 

Building a Web Marketing Agency From Scratch – How to Use Authority Sites to Generate Clients on Demand

startup

Here is a short article (below the jump) I wrote for EZA earlier today to do a little bit of lead generation from my online marketing agency list.

The truth is, as a bunch of you who are working with me now already know, using AUTHORITY sites (or the perception of an evolving authority site) is my favorite way to sell services, and to cultivate clients in your ideal audience or niche, market or industry of choice. Read More

Content Marketing Ideas

A quick, fun and free way to get your creative juices flowing…..here is a great little site of curated content openings from a whole smorgasborg of sources – from books, to movies music and all sorts of other ideas in between.

If you are stuck like chuck on WHAT to stay first…….From classics to the ocassionally obscene and often obscure,  all sorts of opening lines guaranteed to inspire your own.

Check them out at the link following the excerpt below :-)

Today they will find her body. I know how it will happen. I can picture, quite vividly, the sequence of events that will lead to the discovery.

When you love someone, you’ve gotta trust them. There’s no other way. You’ve got to give them the key to everything that’s yours. Otherwise, what’s the point? And for a while, I believed that’s the kind of love I had.

 

 

http://openin.gs/

How to Write the Perfect Article for Social Media (10 Things That Will Help Make Your Content Go Viral)

A great read for those of you looking to either build your own blogs, brand and business on the firm foundation of content marketing magic….OR, are helping others in your niche, market or community do the same.

Well worth checking out….a quick and easy primer on the some of the best practices for creating inspiring, informative, entertaining, entertaining and ENLIGHTENING content that gets “shared” like crazy ;-)  Enjoy!

http://karmicconsulting.net/10-killer-content-marketing-tips-every-blog-brand-and-builder-ought-to-read/

Tumblr Marketing Tips

good tumblr blogs

Looking for some super easy ways to build buzz for your blog, brand and business? Some really exciting things happening these days on Tumblr – and it’s truly one of the absolute best ways to quickly, easily and CREATIVITY create, collect and curate killer content – and connect with your community – without having to write long form blog posts on a daily vasis to build your blog.

Check out some of the great tips from Tumblr’s official Marketing blog at the link below – including some really great insights into their demographics -and audience – that if you love content, and have a pulse like me, will inspire your creativity and make updating your blog a whole bunch of fun to boot :-)

 

It’s nearly Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at the tight-knit community of users who trim the crusts off our sandwiches, Mumblrs.

  • There are indeed moms on Tumblr. (Sorry kids.) In fact, there’s a whole community of new and expecting mumblrs, momblrs, and pregblrs sharing in the ups and downs of parenthood.
  • Mumblrs skew younger. 40% of visiting moms are millennials (21-34). Naturally, they also have younger kids. Most of the conversation happening with the mumblr tag is about rearing infants, toddlers, and tykes.

    Mumblrs are prolific writers. Text posts are the most common original post type, although photos and quotes are still the most reblogged.

http://marketr.tumblr.com/post/80901958501/momsontumblr

What is an Authority Site? ( A simple strategy for using local sites to sell services)

Here is a short article I wrote earlier today as a quick primer on using sites to sell services – a strategy that leverages the idea of creating hyper local “authority sites” to give you a competitive advantage for selling services to your ideal audience…..in your niche of choice.  (authority sites being a broad and general and over-used term that I simply use to refer to a community whose primary purpose is to position YOU as a perceived expert or authority in your niche…..simply due to the fact that the “real estate” is yours, even if the content is more collaborative or community oriented) Read More

On Good Writing

The very first thing I tell my new students on the first day of a workshop is that good writing is about telling the truth.
-Anne Lamott

Bird By Bird

On Confidence

“If this typewriter can’t do it, then fuck it, it can’t be done.”

- Tom Robbins:

Still Life with Woodpecker

Tumblr for Blogging, Branding & Business

Think that Tumblr is only good for kids, cats or animated gifs? Think again! Big buck brands and businesses are quietly building BUZZ for their blogs using easy to emulate tumblr techniques….check out some of the videos below.
Here are some really super interesting insights about using Tumblr as a brand and business building blog….rather than simply to show off cool and creative pictures of your cat

The truth is…..if I were to go back in time and totally start again – I’d spend a whole heck of a lot of time trying to cultivate a community on Tumblr, where there are a plethora of fun, easy and truly effortless ways to connect with an audience who shares your PASSION for a niche, market, topic or tag, rather than use a lot of the more old fashioned tools and techniques required to step UP and stand out in the sea of sameness and similarity where most conventional blogs swim.

I’ll be sharing a few super simple, but hyper effective (and tons of fun) ways to build a Tumblr blog with hyper speed over the next few weeks…..especially for those of you who are online marketing consultants, or brand builders, or aspiring web developers who want to offer YOUR clients a competitive advantage when it comes to quick and easy content creation…..but in the meantime, check out some of the interesting ideas in the video below.

(note – the average “sponsored” Tumblr post is reblogged 10 THOUSAND times according to what Marissa Mayer says below….a pretty staggering statistic – although running sponsored posts is probably well beyond the budget of most)

For more insights from Tumblr at NewFront NYC, check out this link as well – or watch a bit of the keynote below.

http://lostremote.com/yahoo-newfront-the-average-tumblr-sponsored-post-is-reblogged-10000-times_b43165

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