Making More Money on Craigslist: A Step By Step, Audio Overview

Ask – and you shall receive..:-)

There will be at least 5 parts to this, maybe more depending on feedback, I will be very simply outlining the process map that I use to make profitable offers on Craigslist, the tools that I use ( which are primarily free ) and the various permutations of each approach ( one of the challenges of " power posting" on CL is you do sort of need to keep your eye on which way the wind is blowing – or you find yourself wasting a good part of your day on ads that " go green" but simply aren’t running  – or making you any money. )

But this really isnt’ about Craigslist – CL is just a really good source for good free traffic, and on the back of the sheer volume of page views and eyeballs your offer will get if you  are dillegent with it – but at the end of the day, these principles are the foundational elements of any good marketing effort that involves using * advertising * ( in this case for free ) to drive traffic to your site, service or offer. 

Stay tuned.  Should have the first piece of this up within 24 hours.  And don’t forget – if you have a specific question of conundrum, drop me a note and I’ll try to address it in the podcast. 


The Refuge Vow as a Marketing Mantra: The Problem of Picking the Proper Path

The Refuge Vow as a Marketing Mantra: The Problem of Picking the Proper Path

yellowchurch.jpgHere is an email that I exchanged with Joe earlier today ( and yesterday ) regarding his questions on getting started with marketing online.

If there is one thing I genuinely love – one sort of interaction that I really enjoy and would honestly do for free all day long if it was feasible– it’s the creative process of helping someone see possibilites and opportunities to change their lives for the better – be it simple life advice if I have it to share, some sort of spiritual nudge from a personal experience of my own – or more commonly on here – helping people see the “ entrepreneurial light “ through sharing ideas, experiences or whatever it may be to get them pointed in right direction.


There is no ” You” in I: Overcoming the Involvement Obstacle

I’ve got a confession to make……

Maintaining this " blog " is hard work. 

And not because of the technical issues, or topics to cover, or even the writing itself.  I love to write and do it all day anyway on many other topics and a multitiude of other sites.

It’s the conversation with self that gets monotonous.  The murmerings and mumblings of my monkey mind.  The internal dialogue that has to be captured, transcribed and transmitted in such a way as to make this site useful and purposeful and helpful to those of you who stop by to read it.


Where is the Love? More Lessons In Link Building

More lessons in link building.

Ok – we are getting a few more questions on how to use * link bait * effectively for your marketing projects – several people even wrote in that it wasn’t an appropriate strategy for “ their” business – which is just a euphemism formy customers/clients/prospects are better/busier/smarter than to be sucked in by some sort of superfluous, manipulative means or machination.

Which is of course, in my humble opinion – just flat wrong.

First – a quick look at using the Compliment ( ary) link baiting strategy I mentioned in the previous post, in quick combination with two of the other 6 C’s – Creativity and Comedy.

 
Here we have Alex – who does a mind map comparison contrasting Britney Spears and her bald head with that of Jeremy Shoemaker – aka – “ Shoemoney “ a popular and iconic blogger and online entrepreneur of AuctionAds.com fame.

 http://mappio.com/mindmap/alex/why-shoemoney-is-better-then-britney-spears

Who is ( was ) Alex yesterday?

Who knows – but today – his mindmap – with a link – adorns the top spot on Shoemoney’s very popular blog –

http://www.shoemoney.com/2007/10/01/shoemoney-britneyspears/

where untold thousands of people most likely ( I did ) took a look at what Alex had done to get there.

( which was – in case you missed it – not create an incredibly funny/insightful/amusing mind map per se – but rather – find a unique way to pay a Compliment to a person of influence – and using some creativity and a ( very ) thin veneer of comedy – was able to generate a ton of eyeballs ( and probably other links ) to his project file.

And of course – Shoemoney himself states straight away – link bait – I’ll bite.

Why? Because we all want to be acknowledged. I don’t care who you are – or where you are on the totem pole of success – we all just want want our egos stroked. Which is why there are very few Buddhists in the Internet marketing field;-) . You need a fair share of ego to get up everyday and share your thoughts with the world – because ultimately – it’s all about approval. If you can recognize this – and tap into it – I don’t care how big the fish is – if the compliment is big enough – you will be recognized ( and rewarded )for the effort.

Now let’s look at how to incorporate some of these very same ideas in your business – totally eliminating the * Internet marketing * crowd from the equation ( which seemed to me to reflect the basic objection a few people emailed about – ie – this is an Internet marketing only effective strategy)

As I mentioned before in the previous post – my favorite approach to doing this well is using the publicity pounding battering rams of Controversy and Confrontation in your strategic approach to getting attention.

One of the readers who “ objected “ to my link baiting laws said that these things would be hard to incorporate into his field ( financial advise to to low income & minority populations) as they were sensitive to confrontational approaches – and controversial topics.

Ok – I will buy that – I’m not in that business so I won’t pass judgment.

(Yes I will – I disagree – but for the sake of this example let’s pretend not..;-)

The idea then – is to pick a different entity to confront – or controvert! Rather than worry about the sensitivities of your clients in devising this strategy ( who – to be honest, I wouldn’t have made the target of the strategy anyway) why not pick on the biggest guy in the playground if you are looking for some momentum in your marketing.

If you help low income people borrow money – and advise them on best practices for applying/qualifying and remitting loan applications and forms – and find that there is a huge discrepancy in their ability to secure funding that other populations don’t….Why Not:


Black and Broke? 7 Reasons Why Your Bank Will Not Lend You One Red Cent ( But We Will )

What have you done here? You’ve Confronted a problem ( minority lending practices ), created an enemy ( the bank) and provided a solution ( You )

And your headline is controversial – people well outside of your niche/geography/sphere of influence or care will stop by and read what you’ve got to say. Will some people take exception to your article?  Probably so.  But – that is sort of the point of this approach to begin with.  And if you are highlighting and illuminating a real problem ( and real solution) as you see it – more power to you to say it well.  And if you say it strong enough and do just a little bit of active promotion ( social networks, pinging some relevant blogs/etc ) you are going to get a lot of attention. And attention – especially when you are wearing the Robin Hood hat – usually means more business.

You can spin this a thousand ways from Sunday and try lots of different approaches to the same game – stronger or softer than the above depending on your comfort level and the brassiness of your balls. But in this case – it would certainly be a much more effective strategy than Comedy – or Creativity – or even Complimenting your potential customers or competition.

I’ll cover some ways to do this again in another post covering some of the other “ C’s” as well as expanding on this area a little bit more as it’s ripe for picking, poking and prodding ( as all good link building strategies should)

Agree? Disagree? Let me know – send me an email ( or just leave a comment ) below and share your thoughts – ( on this – or any other marketing problem/question/conundrum you have )

🙂


The 8 C’s of Link Bait Law: More Lessons in Link Love

Ok – it’s about time we covered some more fun ways to generate free traffic – ideas that can tap into your creativity and if done effectively – transform you almost overnight from just a local yokel blogging in nowheres ville USA into an overnight media magnet – a thought leader in your field – a benevolent benefactor of worthwhile causes and ideas – or just a pretty  freaky fellow if that is the note you are trying to hit.  ( no pun intended )

As Usual – a lot of the so called gurus and SEO guys and self important ninny’s of different types and stripes are spending inordinate amounts of time trying to explain to you what link bait is and how to do it the right way.

All you need to know about link bait – from an understanding and execution standpoint standpoint is this:  There ain’t no such thing as bad publicity.  Ever.


What Should I sell on my Website To Make Money?

Thanks for all of the questions, guys ( and gals..:-) !  In light of a very busy schedule and a severe case of ADD – I haven’t gotten to many of the really good inquiries submitted over the past couple weeks – for that I do apologize – and for those of you who I promised privately to post answers to your pressing questions – don’t give up on me..:-)  I will do my best to give each of you a personal reply – sorry for making you wait – and of course, the ones that serve the broadest cross-section of our readership ( which is growing I am very pleased to say ) I will post here for your review.  I’m going to tackle the shorter Q & A’s over the next few days – the ones that would require ( or really would be best served by a more detailed explanatory sort of response ) I will table until I have the time – and mental acuity to cover as deserved.  Thanks..:-)

—————————————————- 

Hi Ian –

Thanks for the helpful tips.  I am starting a consulting site to offer debt advice in my local community.  I liked your advice using CL.  My question is what should be the best way to make money with my site?  I have a blogger site that has adsense and I was figuring that was the best place to start on my own domain as well.  Should that be the focus, or would you recommend a different program.  I see you have different affilaite programs on yours – anything in particular you recommend?  BTW – I did buy a google adsense optimization guide – if I get a fair amount of traffic I’m pretty sure my CTR will be high based on her recommedations.

Thanks again.

Jerome

— —- — — — —

Hey Jerome!

Congratulations on starting your site. 

Here are my thoughts:

1) I wouldn’t worry about optmizing your adsense ads for your new pages – because, well – I wouldn’t put adsense on your new consulting service pages at all…:-)  The key, in my opinion to properly monetizing your site ( any marketing endevor for that matter ) is really having a clear cut, well defined plan for what is the most important driver – or purpose to what you are trying to achieve.  Google ad’s just muddy the waters – dilute your message, and again – in my opinion, add a certain measure of diminshment of your offering.

For example – if you were providing a resource for Debt Consolidation – putting adsense or yahoo ads on the pages would be a natural companion.  It works – is complimentary to the information you are publishing ( and providing ) as a free resource to your readership – and gives you a natural way to * recommend * so to speak service providers who can help these folks further – through their sponsorship of your pages.  I have these sorts of sites myself, many people do – it is the most elemental form of making money online through information publishing -and I do recommend it.  ( although – many variables have changed pricing and payouts over the last 12-18 months, making these contextual advertising less desirable as a long term monetization strategy in the big picture )

However – what you are trying to do – is sell your own services – as a debt consultant.  Contextual ads are going to showcase your competition – and – show your readership you are willing to send them on to that competition for potentially a few dimes and a nickle per click.  People have some degree of ad blindness these days – but they do have ad awareness – meaning if your page is plastered with ads – they know a little bit more about the spirit of your * soul * so to speak – and while maybe a tad of an overstatement – -I do believe will be inherently less invested in your message.

I would – therefore – if your primary mechanism behind expanding your blogger site to your own domain is to attract more business – make that the centerpiece of what you are offering.  Your Services.  What you can do for them.  Minimize the background noise ( which is what adsense really is on a site like yours ) and focus on the primary message – which should be – informing the reader about your services, the benefits they will realize from lessening the debt load – and the unique and efficient way you do the same for them.

You must have an opt in form on your site.  You Must clearly identify and give them an easy path to get there.  Offer a bonus, a whitepaper – a free report – and entice people to sign up for your list.  Look – even on this site here – I have three or four ways to sign up for my list.  It is the primary driver for me, in what I do.  Because I want to build relationships with my readers – and while you can do that to some degree through ordinary updates – it is much more powerful in a one to one basis.  The people who sign up for my list invariably get more messages from me, more benefit from whatever expertise I may have, and ultimately are like 400% more likely to hire me to help them with their business.

I do not have adsense on these pages – and it was never even the glimmer of the beginnings of a thought in my otherwise cognitively disheveled consciousness.

I do however have other recommended resources, yes – you are right.  These are the very same services I use in my business, or have used at one time to help me improve and build upon my process and success.  I would never have ads on my pages for things I do not recommend or have neve used.  I don’t believe in it and dont’ appreciate when other people shill their shit at me either.

However – I am also an affiliate marketer.  So one of the ways I indentifiied early on that I could profit from this site – very simply was sharing with people like yourself – the very same resources I use to make my business go and grow.  The information on this site is free – and being able to point people in the right direction, and get a commision from helping them at the very same time seems like a pretty attractive proposition to me.  But it is still a tangential, supplemental focus of my site – and my promotional practice.  As it should be yours.  Focus on you – your strengths and what you can do to improve the lives of the people who will benefit from having your expertise in their lives – in fixing their credit, resolving debt service issues, or whatever it is that you focus on.  Make the rest of the stuff rest comfortably in the background and you will do well.

Again – the heirarchy of goals should be very simply:

1) Encourage and reward people to sign up for your list

2) Encourage and reward people to sign up for your RSS feed ( ie – instant notification when you break new news on debt, discounts on site, etc )

3) Contact you in some other way from the site – ( contact form/email direct, etc )

Of course – just hiring you carte blanche without the need of any form of relationship building to begin with might be number 1 – but, in my experience, usually takes some combination of the first three to get started.

Thanks, good luck – and keep in touch! 

Ian

———————————————————————-

Look – I am such a big believer in the power of building a list of good people – that I just hired that little goofy looking character up on the top of right side of the page to encourage  and * point * them in the direction of my  Aweber newsletter.  And be forewarned – if you leave this page three times without signing up – he will flip you the bird on your fourth visit.  And if you stop by seven times without signing up – he turns around, bends over, and……Well, you get the point.  Sign up for list and spare us all the embarresment.

 

 

 

 


Super Sexy SEO: The Power of the Poonani Post

Ocassionally people will ask me – how do you know when your SEO efforts are really working?    Can you build an enduring, growing and profitable burgeoning business on the back of good old fashioned, nose to the grindstone – work hard- play hard optimized pages that are designed to rank well, pull in warm and hungry visitors, and be proud when the proof in the pudding results show up in your analytics logs before you close your eyes at night?

And I say Yes.  Yes to free traffic – and yes to effective SEO.

For today – one of my babies ranks number 2 ( with the lead links for 3 & 4 ) for……

"Vagina Fragrance". 

With the quotes mind you – not quite as good as the naked phrase – but I’ll take it.  ( no pun intended)

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22vagina+fragrance%22&btnG=Google+Search

(YogaTobeKidding.com)

And I really wish I would checked my logs earlier in the day – for while not at all a religious person – I did go to Temple today on the holiest of Jewish Holiday’s – the Day of Atonement.

And as is customary – I ran into old friends and business partners – all eager to drone on and on about this accomplishment or that – this new shopping center construction deal – this new legal eagle multi- million dollar settlement – this new honor bestowed by this new institution of higher education, and so on , and so on and so on it goes….

When the real question should have been, had I known a little earlier in the day –

" Yes, but – where do you rank online for Vagina Fragrance.  Google – With the Quotes?".  Exactly what I thought.

It’s days like this that I’m proud to be in this business – always earnest, working hard, and taking the small victories  where I can get them.  And always – making my family very proud. 

—–> Update<——

about one hour after posting this – I now have the #1 result http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22vagina+fragrance%22&btnG=Google+Search ( Which references This site ) – the #3 Result ( Yogatobekidding –-the original post ) as well as the social bookmarking sites ( Propeller/Netscape ) which point back to the original URL that spawned this story.  Now there is a moral in here somewhere – and I’m going to elaborate on that sometime over the next few days.  Because there is obviously an effective strategy in here to be reckoned with.  For now though – I’m going to bask in the warm reflective glow of being the undisputed " Vagina Fragrance " king and call it a night.  ( right after a short post on Penis Pumps..;-)


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