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Boost Your Blog #13: Bundle Your Posts as an Ebook

Continuing our discussion of things you should be doing right now to improve your blog, today’s tip—the final in this series—is:

13. Bundle your best posts as an ebook

This is a variation on the first post in this series, about creating a product, but for those of you feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of creating a new product from scratch it can be a good first product.

In fact my own two first ebooks (both of which are still my best selling ebooks—31 Days to Build a Better Blog and The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography) are largely built from content that was previously published on my blogs.

In both cases, I added new content to the previously written content, and updated the existing materials. And in both cases my readers overwhelmed me with thanks for compiling previously scattered content into complete ebooks.

These 13 methods are just the beginning. I’m certain that there are a lot more ways to boost your blog.

Take a little time today to create lasting and significant improvement on your blog’s business model. If you have suggestions, please don’t hesitate to add them below.

3 Reasons I’m Proud to Be an Amateur Blogger

This guest post is by Dan Meyers of Your Life, Their Life.

You  push the Submit button to introduce your next great thought to the world.  Finally, this might be the one that pulls in some real traffic.  Up until this point, the majority of your visits have come from you and your parents.

Amateur golfer

Amateur golfer (image is author's own)

Your bubble bursts when you check your web traffic and realize this wasn’t the one.  If you could only get your Facebook friends to like your blog page, then you’d have some legit numbers!  However, you’ve asked time and time again and most of them don’t come through.  Your subscriber count remains the same.

Life as an amateur blogger isn’t fun, but it reminds me of my experience as an amateur golfer.  I say aloud that my sub-par abilities (pun intended) aren’t worthy of my anger. But that doesn’t prevent me from getting ticked off with every ball that bounces belligerently into the brush.  Check out the picture: I’m that bad!

I’ve only blogged on my current site for a few months.  Of course I shouldn’t expect great traffic or a large subscriber base.  However, that doesn’t numb the pain of a harsh reality!

Are you embarrassed to admit that you’re an amateur at something?  Admitting so can make you feel worthless.  Our culture teaches us it’s better to lie than admit you’re not good at something.

My name is Dan, and I’m an amateur blogger.

I started blogging in 2007, but it was one of those one month blogs.  You know the kind: you get all fired up, pay for a website or sign up for a blog account, write three blog posts, and quickly become discouraged when you don’t get any visits. That’s what mine was, but I appreciate my parents, brother, and friend Ryan for clicking on it!

I’m back at it again and now I’m not afraid to admit I’m an amateur blogger.  It’s easy to start a blog, but it’s not easy to make a blog successful.

I’m now convincing myself that life as an amateur blogger should be relished.  Here are the reasons why.

1.  Death to my best ideas!

Life as an amateur gives me room to grow, and the humility to accept that my first ideas probably won’t be my best .  It will allow me to kill some of my ideas without feeling like I’m killing part of myself.

This is relevant for more than blogging.   Charlie Munger said, “If Berkshire Hathaway had made a modest progress, a good deal of it is because Warren [Buffett] and I are very good at destroying our own best-loved ideas.  Any year that you don’t destroy one of your best-loved ideas is probably a wasted year.”

I’m an amateur. Of course I’m going to have some bad ideas!  Ben Graham made an investing observation that is analogous to real life when he said, “Good ideas cause more investment mischief than bad ideas.”  Are your good blogging ideas causing you more pain than your bad ideas?

2.  Standards? What standards?

Acknowledgement of my life as an amateur allows me to not hold myself to the high standards of a professional.  However, I am forced to know I must strive relentlessly to get to that point.

Professionals got to where they are because of many years of hard work.  As I mentioned in my previous problogger.net guest post, Malcolm Gladwell puts that amount of practice at 10,000 hours in his book Outliers.  If you attempt to instantly match the professionals, you will become frustrated quickly, which might lead to an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy.

However, you must realize that it is possible to get to that point just as they did.  If you are unwilling to put a lot of time into it, you’ll probably join the death of my first blog.   As they say, problogger.net wasn’t built in a day.

3.  I love something enough to do it even though I’m not a pro!

This is my favorite part of life as an amateur.  I’m passionate about helping others get out of debt and take control of their life.  I do it even though I’m not a professional; I don’t currently make money doing it and it’s a lot of hard work.

In his book, The Call, Os Guinness explains it as the following, “To our shame we moderns have taken the word amateur, opposed it to professionalism and excellence, and turned it into a matter of tepid motives and shoddy results.

“But amateur, as G.K. Chesterson never tired of saying, means “love.”  Man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.”

This doesn’t give you a free pass to do sub-par work and shouldn’t cap your ambition to strive towards excellence.  However, it should prevent you from not doing something just because you’re not a professional.  Your message is important because you can help others, and because it’s worth doing.   G.K. Chesterson also said, “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly!”

I can guarantee you one thing:  if you doing something badly long enough, but you try to improve and are passionate about it, soon it won’t be bad anymore!

These are three reasons that I’m proud of my amateur title, but it doesn’t mean I want to continue with it any longer than I must!  I’m so passionate about my subject that I know I can become a professional; it just takes time.  If I continue to work hard and not get discouraged, then I can make it and help many people.

Are you willing to live life as an amateur in hopes of one day becoming a professional?  You have a voice, don’t be afraid to use it!

Dan Meyers started Your Life, Their Life to help you take control of your life.  Read how he paid off $50,000 of debt in two years and how his strategies can help you.

How Carlton Football Club Use Social Media to Engage Fans

Today was an exciting day for me – I was one of a small group of bloggers invited to cover a training session of the Carlton Football Club (the ‘Blues’) – the football team I support.

Marc Murphy (@marcmurphy3 on Twitter)


For those of you outside of Australiathe Carlton Football Club (CFC) is an Australian Rules Football team based in Melbourne Australia. Aussie Rules Football (or AFL or ‘footy’ as we call it) is an amazing game – the biggest professional football code in Australia. It’s difficult to describe but it is a fast paced and spectacular game that people in Melbourne and many other parts of Australia follow religiously – particularly at this time of year as we’ve just started our final series – our Grand Final (think Aussie Superbowl) is in just a few weeks time.

Learn more about AFL on the official AFL site, Wikipedia, or check out this video to get some visuals of the game being played and this one of a video of one of the most spectacular marks of the year.


Today was the last training session for the Blues before our finals appearance tomorrow so it was a big event for Blues Supporters and the club were keen to bring in a group of bloggers to cover the day. I’ve included a few pics of training in this post.

Light Team Run

One of the cool things about the Carlton Football Club in the last 12-18 months is the way that they’ve been reaching out to their supporters via social media – this blogger outreach day is just one example of it.

I first noticed their increased focus upon social media 18 months ago when they started ramping up their use of Facebook, Twitter and when I was invited to a small gathering of Blues supporters who were active on Social Media. At that gathering the club listened to supporters about how they’d like to see the club engaging online. Since then there have been a variety of other such meetings as well as larger scale social media meetups for Blues supporters (last week there was one for 200 supporters).

The last year has seen a growing number of players on Twitter and having their own Facebook pages, an increased use of Video from within the club and some creative use of media to allow supporters to get a peak at the inner sanctum of the club (such as their Blue and Answer videos where fans submit questions to players for them to answer on video).

While they are by no means the only sporting club to be using social media it is exciting to see them embracing it and throwing resources and energy into the field.

Captain Chris Judd

While at training today I took the opportunity to speak with Carlton FC’s recently appointed social media coordinator Luca Gonano who answered a few of my questions about how they are using social media. I thought it might be of interest to others around the world looking at similar initiatives (whether in sporting clubs or other organisations).

Can you tell me a little about the reasons behind CFCs increased push into Social Media in 2011? 

The Club was keen to develop its relationship with supporters and build the membership base, so it was decided last year that social media was a vital ingredient in the communications mix. We employed the services of Deloitte Digital who worked with Carlton to develop a social media strategy, working closely with Fan Development and Communications. Part of the strategy included the creation of a new role, Social Media Co-ordinator, which I was lucky enough to be offered in April this year. The strategy has provided the plan for the development of our social media presence and in the last year Carlton’s numbers on Facebook have increased by 50,000 (currently have 91,000 fans) and Twitter by 10,000 (currently 15,000 followers). This has been achieved without advertising or match-day gimmicks, it has been built around engagement with the supporters. The Carlton Football Club’s social media numbers are now third overall in the AFL and we are growing faster than any other team.
 

Mitch Robinson (@MitchyRobbo)

Could you briefly outline the main push in 2011 in terms of Social Media? What worked best?

It might sound simple, but making our supporters feel a part of the club. We’ve made a conscious effort to keep our fans informed with all the happenings at the club and I think we’ve gone a long way in bridging the gap between fans and players. It’s no secret that supporters want to feel as if they ‘know’ the players. Thankfully for us we’ve got a group of young, enthusiastic players who have been very receptive to being a part of our social media plans and have become more interactive with the Carlton supporters. We’ve set-up fan pages on Facebook for four of our more popular players and run competitions through the players and It’s worked both-ways. Players learn just how much the Navy Blue jumper means to our fans, and the supporters  find out the human side of our players. It has also reduced the number of fake player accounts on Facebook.
 

Team Run

How did the Social Media meetup go in the last week or so?

The Carlton Social was a great success. We wanted to say thank you to a few of our Facebook/Twitter followers for helping us grow as quickly as we have in 2011, so we invited them to the Club to thank them in person. The 200 who attended were taken on a tour of Visy Park by Carlton legends Syd Jackson and Geoff Southby, treated to supper and given vouchers to spend at the Carlton Shop. The only thing we asked of our guests was to fill out a brief survey to find out what they like and what they don’t like about our social media. We were able to gather some fantastic feedback and we’re already acting upon some of the suggestions. We had over 1000 apply to be part of the night, and we’re planning bringing each of them through the Club at some stage in the off-season. It was an opportunity to say thank you with the bonus of providing Carlton with important feedback to ensure we continue to develop our social media platforms for our supporters.
 

Blue Supporters

What is your hope for inviting bloggers along to training tomorrow?

The Club has enjoyed its best season in 10 years and our supporters are hungry for success. Everyone at Carlton is aware that we’ve come from a very dark place over the last decade and our supporters have stuck with us through the bad times. The bloggers that we’ve organised to cover the finals for us each have their own stories about being a Carlton supporter. We’re hoping that they are able to portray the energy around the club from a fan’s perspective and that supporters all across the world,  who are following their blogging can relate to their emotions. We want everyone who supports Carlton to feel like they’re a part of the push for our 17th flag. Having bloggers from outside the club involved helps to open the club up to supporters.
 

Eddie Betts

As much as you can – what are the plans for 2012 shaping up like with your Social Media strategy?

We’ve got some really exciting things planned for 2012. We are currently renovating a space in the Richard Pratt Stand that will become the “Bruce Doull Social Hub”, a place where bloggers/tweeters/facebookers can get together and communicate online about the happenings around the club. We’re also working really closely with Fan Development to devise a social media outlet for those who are new to AFL. Finally, we’re looking to recruit a group of bloggers for the entire 2012 to cover club events, training sessions and matches. We’re really excited with the direction that we’re heading in.

Today’s Training: Blogger Outreach

To recap on today – we spent most of the time with Luca. We were given a tour of the club facilities, training areas, pools, locker room, board room etc. We were given access to the on field press conference with coach Brett Ratten and then allowed to watch and photograph training from the sidelines (right up close). We were also given a bit of insight into some of the clubs plans for social media in 2013 and asked for input into what we heard.

Brett Ratten Press Conference

All in all it was a fun and insightful morning – partly in being able to get up close to players and coaching staff, partly because it is an exciting time for the club with tomorrows big game and partly to see and hear about CFC’s social media strategy going forward (and to be a part of shaping that).

Go Blues!

Boost Your Blog #12: Create a “Best Seller” List

Continuing our discussion of things you should be doing right now to improve your blog, today’s tip is:

12. Create a “Best Seller” list based on Amazon Affiliate reports

If you promote products on the Amazon Affiliate program, why not dig into the reports, look at what your readers are buying, and create a “Best Seller” list?

I created one of these on my photography blog, and I update it every six months or so (see it at Popular Digital Cameras and Gear).

I link to it from the front page of my site, and it drives significant income each month in commissions. Read more about Best Seller lists here.

Do you have a Best Seller list on your blog?

Use External Links to Boost Your Credibility

Bloggers are always happy to link to a resource we think is good, or a product or service with which we’re affiliated.

But there are other kinds of external links that too few bloggers use:

  • links to sources of information we’ve found
  • links to creators of content we’re citing
  • links to more detailed information on a topic we’re mentioning, but not covering in depth in a post.

Citing sources is a basic element of professional writing. As well as reflecting your professionalism, it:

  • helps build your authority on a topic
  • helps you to gain profile and respect by association with quality sources
  • actively helps readers to benefit from your content.

Above all, citing external sources of information boosts your credibility. By linking to a quality, reliable external source, you show that you proudly stand behind the information you give your readers. And what blogger doesn’t want to do that?

When should a blogger include a link as a sort of citation? Whenever you’re relating information that you’ve learned elsewhere. Let’s look at the most common types of statements that require external links to their original sources.

Referencing quotes

If you quote someone else, you should link to the place where they said the words you’ve included in your quote.

After the legal implications of quoting someone without citing the source of that quote, the main reason for referencing quotes is really a logical one.

If you’re quoting a person, it’s logical that your readers may be inspired or intrigued by that quote, so you’ll want to help them out by providing them with easy access to the complete story. Right? Right!

Referencing ideas or concepts

If you make mention of an idea or a concept that someone else has come up with, include a link to the relevant person’s material on that topic.

So, for example, if you wrote a post that mentions Darren’s approach to social media, which includes “home bases” and “outposts,” you’d want to include a link to the article in which he explains those concepts.

Links like this:

  • show readers that you care about providing them with all the information they need to get informed on the topics you write about
  • have the potential to send traffic to the authors you’ve learned from—and love
  • show readers that you’re fair and honest, and that you’re not trying to pass off others’ ideas as your own.

Referencing research

This is the most common issue I see with external links: many bloggers present opinion as fact, often without even realizing it. On the FeelGooder website that Darren runs, we get plenty of submissions that contain prefectly reasonable-sounding claims that, when the authors are asked to provide references to the research or studies they’ve mentioned, turn out to be false.

Many’s the time entire articles have fallen through because the central claim the author was making has turned out to be mere Internet confection. Recently, we removed a section from an article claiming that smiling releases endorphins in the brain because, try as we might, we couldn’t find any substantiation—research reports and so on—for this claim. Sure, it’s written on web pages from one end of the Internet to the other, but that’s not a reference: not one of them pointed to any research (or even mention any researchers) who have ever proven this link.

Don’t believe what you’ve heard as fact. If you’re including information in a post, make sure you cite its original sources.

What makes a good reference?

A good candidate for an external link for the information you’ve included in your post is:

  • original, where possible (so if you find an article that links to the original source, link to the original source first and foremost, and the referencing article if you need to as well)
  • reliable and well-regarded
  • independent (not backed by a business pushing a certain agenda)
  • high quality—a source that’s complete, comprehensive, and links to other sources if required
  • specialized (not a content aggregator or generalist “answers” web portal).

Of course, some sources of information are (gasp!) not online. It happens! What do you do in those cases? Add a footnote. A perfect footnote was given by author Angela Irvin in her FeelGooder post, Developing a Mindset for Social Good. And her readers appreciated it, too.

Angela wanted to cite an article from a print journal. No problem: she gave a standard academic reference so that if her readers were keen to see the research themselves, they could go to their library and check it out. Pretty handy!

How are your last few posts looking? Have you cited references and pointed your readers to more information wherever that’s sensible, logical, or required? I’d love to know your approach to external informational links and citations in the comments.

3 Tactics I Used to Develop a PageRank 5 Blog in 5 Months

This guest post is by John Saddington of TentBlogger.

We all know that having a blog can enhance your freelancing business and serve as an effective marketing tool for your products and services—that’s given. And although it’s easy to get a blog started (and to start a freelancing business) it’s much harder to make a dent in search engine rankings so you can win those viewers (and new customers and clients).

And sure, we all know that every blogger starts on day number one, but it seems that some bloggers have a lot more going for them than others, right? There are some bloggers (and freelancers) who seem to hit it out of the park, achieving some phenomenal traffic and financial return very early on.

I didn’t think it was possible for me to grow as fast and as effective as “those” bloggers until I tried it myself—and boy, did it work.

Within a few months, between Google’s PR update in January and the most recent on in June of this year, I was able to achieve a PageRank 5 (from a PR 0) blog that sees 20-35% organic traffic on any given month, and is just inches from clearing 100,000 pageviews per month. It’s not a boring blog, either, with an average of 45 comments per post!

You think I’d killed someone or bought a “sleeping giant” blog with mega keywords, but that’s not the case at all—in fact, I’ve been able to boil down the last few months’ successes into a number of systems and strategies that I’d love to share with you.

I honestly don’t think it’s too hard to achieve a highly trafficked, highly profitable, and attractive freelance blog for marketing. Sure, it’ll take some hard work and serious dedication, but with the right strategies in place, it can be done. Here’s what I did.

1. Have a serious content focus

TentBlogger wasn’t the first blog that I’ve created and it won’t certainly be my last, but it was the first blog that I took very seriously the element of focused content.

I took it to the extreme and used my categories to guide me. In fact, I realized that anything more than eight categories would seriously cramp my efforts to create a compelling array of content around specific and targeted keywords.

A number of my previous blogs had many more categories than this, and never achieved the amount of success that I’ve seen already. I’ll never dilute my efforts again.

Key takeaway: If you’re going to make a serious dent in the blogging universe (and the freelancing world) then you have to create compelling and unique content around a focused set of keywords, instead of expanding your blog into areas that you don’t have unique expertise or even sustainable passion.

Let your categories be your guide and if you’re finding it difficult to concentrate your efforts, you can believe that users (and search engines) are having the same challenge.

2. Become a linking master

One of the things that I’ve never done or really paid much attention to previously was becoming a link architect and a master of my own content architecture.

You see PageRank, one factor of about 200+ that Google considers when they rank and place you in search engine results pages (SERPs), requires that your blog becomes a paradise of links, both inside and outside.

The part that you can control is the internal content areas, and making sure that every blog post that you write has links to other resources and other pieces of content in your blog. Linking to historical resources that haven’t seen much “sun” is always a great strategy—I call this the art of curation.

The part that you can’t necessarily control is the number of links that are coming to your blog from the outside—that is, from other websites and blogs that have decided to link to your site. But what you can do is create content that is so in-demand, and so amazing, that the community at large can’t help but link back to you. Focused content is certainly something you can control.

Key takeaway: Every blog post that you create has the potential to be a link magnet, yet most bloggers simply don’t take the time to curate them and add the necessary link-love that they need.

And it’s okay if you didn’t start with that in mind! You can always go back and re-engineer and edit previous blog posts to add more links. You might as well update them with fresh content, too!

Your users and the search engines will love you for it.

3. Consolidate the Brand

Your blog’s brand (and freelancing business) is whatever you make of it and I never thought much of it until I seriously made a run as a full-time blogger. When I took stock of what I had created previously, I realized how random and unfocused my efforts had been in terms of creating a compelling and memorable brand!

What I had was a Facebook page, multiple Twitter accounts, and more than a few social networking accounts as well as media distribution properties like Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, and more.

What I needed was to consolidate so that a singular and powerful presence emerged, and it was tough! I had to create a lot of new accounts, letting go of years of historical content so that I could truly consolidate. I even changed my Twitter handle, which had over 10,000 followers!

Was it worth it? Absolutely. I’ve never had a more focused online blogging brand, and it’s really paid off. People recognize my handle and avatar on multiple different properties and it’s still a treat to see people who didn’t know I had an account on one website say, in effect, “Hey, I know you! You’re TentBlogger! I love your blog!”

Key takeaway: If you’re going to be serious about growing your blog’s presence and your freelance efforts online, then you have to also seriously consider your brand presence on secondary websites and corollary social networking properties.

It might be a difficult choice (or near-impossible for some of you) but if you’re going to make a run at becoming a professional blogger, or simply taking your blogging efforts to the next level, then I’d seriously suggest taking it into consideration.

Do you use these approaches on your blog? I’d be interested to hear what’s worked for you in the comments.

This is a guest post by John Saddington. He is a Professional Blogger who loves sharing his blogging tips, tricks, tools, and practical teaching covering SEOWordPress and making money through your blog!

Boost Your Blog #11: Link to Hosts and Theme Providers with Affiliate Links

Continuing our discussion of things you should be doing right now to improve your blog, today’s tip is:

11. Link to your hosting or blog theme provider with an affiliate link

I spoke with one craft blogger recently who has a medium-sized blog and told me that her third-strongest income stream came from two links in her sidebar that simply pointed people to her blog host, and to the WordPress theme she uses. Each was an affiliate link.

Around the links she displays a short blurb on why she uses the services, along with a no-pressure call to action for other bloggers in her niche who are looking for such services. She also includes a note saying that the links are affiliate links, and that sales helped her run her site.

She saw weekly sales from each link and, over a year, they added up to a five-figure income (particularly as the hosting commissions were recurring).

Do you link to your blog’s host or theme provider with affiliate links?

13 Ways for Bloggers to Make Money with Advertising

Recently, I posted my “How bloggers make money MindMap” on Google+. I’ve had a few people ask for clarification around the Advertising section, and what all the options there mean. Here’s a summary:

1. Ad networks

These are services like AdSense and Chitika but also smaller or more local ones like NuffNang (which operates out of Australia and Asia). They can probably fit in some of the other categories as well, as they use different models to deliver their ads.

2. Cost Per Impression (CMP)

This is where you sell space for an ad and get paid based upon how many times it loads. Usually you get paid per 1000 impressions of the ad. The rate varies a lot, depending upon topic. There are lots of very low, “remnant” ad networks out there that pay you a pittance per impression, but if you have a higher value niche you can get better money. I’ve been paid up to $40 per 1000 impressions.

3. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

These ads pay out only when someone takes some kind of action after clicking the ad. The action might be a sale but could also be them signing up for a service, leaving an email address, etc.

4. Cost Per Click (CPC)

This is what AdSense used to be: every time someone clicked your ad, you’d get a certain amount. Now AdSense do a combination of CPC and CPM ads—they mix them in.

5. Sponsorships

This is what I do on ProBlogger. I sell ad spots on a month-by-month basis to sponsors for a fixed amount per month.

6. Text links

When you sell a text link on your site, the person buying the link is usually doing it for search engine ranking purposes. As a result, Google frowns on these and you could be risking your own search rankings by doing it. I don’t do this, as I see it as a little too risky, but some bloggers still do. Proceed with caution.

7. Pay per post

Also known as sponsored posts (advertorials), this is where you’re paid to review a product or to promote it in a post. Bloggers have varied ethical stances on this. Generally these days you are required to disclose that you’re being paid for the post.

8. Job board/classifieds

If you operate in a niche where people are buying and selling products or there are jobs that people want to advertise this can be a nice source of income. You need to be able to attract both advertisers and those they want to see the ads to make it work, though—so you need traffic and profile.

9. Newsletter advertising

This is a growing area for me. Some advertisers love to have their brand included in emails that you send to readers. We find bundling some onsite sponsorship banner ads with inclusions in our newsletter is a good way to sell space to advertisers.

Some ad networks (like AdSense) have ways of doing this but you can also sell sponsorships in your RSS feed directly. We use a WordPress plugin called RSS Footer to add an advertisement in the RSS feed of ProBlogger.

Here are a few more ideas that I should add to the mindmap…

Ad networks like Kontera offer these, and I think Chitika and a few others do, too. They are ads that appear in your posts, turning certain keywords into little ads (they usually change the color of the word and/or underline it to make it look like a link). When someone hovers over the word a little ad pops up with a description of a product that they can buy. Some bloggers find these ads convert well, but others find them intrusive.

12. Video advertising

If you publish videos, you might be interested in Youtube’s integration with AdSense, which allows you to earn money from ads that appear in your videos.

13. Image ads

Yesterday +Scott Fitzgerald alerted me to ImageSpace Media, who have a system that adds advertisements into your images. These are similar to the ads you might see in Youtube videos that pop up and that can be minimized.

There are of course other typs of ads and ads that fit into multiple categories above. What types do you use, if any?

The Humble Telephone is Making a Comeback … for Bloggers

This guest post is by David Edwards of www.asittingduck.com.

I’m not sure why, but when you start blogging, you forget all about how businesses run.

It’s true that there are bloggers out there who wake up to full PayPal accounts and affiliate cheques flying through their doors. But if you’re in the early days of blogging, this may not be the case for you. What could you use that’s sitting on your desk every day, and could help you make serious cash?

A telephone!

What I have done, which has set me up for a very profitable year, is built a sales funnel to increase the amount of revenue in my business.

I have guest posts and viral videos published, which get me some traffic. Then, I have an email subscription list that lets me build those relationships further—to the point where a phone call from me to a subscriber would not be intrusive at all. In fact potential clients, even if they didn’t buy from me, love to receive a call. Some have said it was great to talk to someone that has a good perspective on how to make money online.

This technique may not be for everyone—I know cold calling can be daunting. It really doesn’t feel like cold calling to you or your subscriber, though! Imagine Darren Rowse phoning to ask if he could help you at all with your blog. What would you say? “Not interested, Darren!”? Probably not!

Do it right, and you’ll enjoy a positive reaction for your call. You may think that because you only have a few subscribers, you’re not worth as much to your fans as a big player. But you have the advantage, because a big player doesn’t have time to call his subscribers.

Here are my tips for making successful sales calls:

  • Work on giving a free gift to subscribers that will whet their appetites for future products. I use a very short PDF on traffic generation.
  • Send out an email once a week or once a month to build your relationship with your subscribers.
  • Offer further free training videos or helpful blog posts and give them a chance to email you directly.
  • Once you have a few emails in, offer to call them.
  • Once you have made the calls and spoken to your subscribers, let them know about your more highly priced services.
  • Repeat the process.

The humble telephone is making a comeback, and I would love to hear that some of you still use it to build businesses from your blogs.

David Edwards is a freelance marketing consultant and the founder of www.asittingduck.com.
His character “Candy The Magic Dinosaur” will be starring in his very own iPhone Game this Christmas!