Close
Close

How to Create an Instant Yes

This guest post is by Goddess Leonie of GoddessGuidebook.com.

Over the last three years, I’ve launched fifteen rounds of ecourses, four meditation kits, and two workbooks. It’s been a delicious combination of spectacular, exciting, and exhausting.

The thing about my business is that I adore creating new products. I love love love helping people. I need to make it as profitable as possible so I can support my sweet family and keep doing this thing that I love. But, oh gosh, I was so, so tired of launching products endlessly to reach my income goals.

Is anyone else tired of the launch process? All that marketing. All the deadlines. All the talking about it. All the effort to try and get people to see the value in what you’ve produced, and say “yes” to it. The sales pages, the tweet campaigns, the sequence mailing list emails. How on Earth do we find the balance between making money and not overdosing the ones you love the most—your clients and yourself—on the thing you do?

I knew there had to be a better way. I’m kind of a renegade that way. And as these things happen, there was.

Now, full disclosure time here: I’m a hippy. I make a living being a Goddess. So it’s totally, totally normal for me to come up with business ideas and strategies in my dreams. Which, of course, the Instant Yes did.

One night in the moments between nursing my newborn daughter back to sleep, I dreamed a dream. I got told to offer all my ecourses, all my meditation kits, all my workbooks—everything I had created over three years, and everything I was going to create for the next year. And I got told how to price it: $99 for a year’s access to over $600 worth of my stuff.

When I asked why I needed to do all this, my dream elders just said:

You want people to say “yes.” Without hesitation. With tremendous ease. Just: “I see what you are offering. It will help me beyond any doubt. Yes.”

So I listened, and they were right. Over 500 Yeses later, my Instant Yes has become the linchpin and the perfect income source for my business.

There is tremendous power and beauty to the Instant Yes. It means crafting an offer that is as simple as saying “Oh heck yes!” to. Without hesitation. Without concern. Without needing to be pushed or launched or funneled or marketed. All I need to do is turn up. Write. Create. Do the things that I was born to do. And my clients turn up, and say “yes.”

How can you craft an Instant Yes in your business? There are three elements to an Instant Yes.

1. It’s inexpensive

My program is super-affordable. Something clients can easily say yes to. And those who can’t? I created monthly subscription payments using Paypal, and offered that too.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. How can you make your offer affordable?
  2. What would they say yes to?
  3. How can you offer payment plans?
  4. How can you make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to say “yes?”

2. It’s generous

I wanted to be able to give my clients absoolutely everything I had that could help them. My program gives away not just everything I had created, but everything I was going to create as well. Wildly generous. Everything my goddesses could want, I’ve given to them. Easily, it’s a yes!

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. How much can you give your clients?
  2. Why not give it all away?

3. It’s wanted

I already knew my tribe wanted a permanent membership home. They were asking for it again and again. And I knew my products were popular and needed. I decided to combine the two and fill the need.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do my people ask for?
  2. What would I want from me?

How can I make what I offer as Yes-able as possible?

In Twitter-speak, if you want an Instant Yes, make it:

Affordable. With payment plans. Be wildly generous. Give your people what they are asking for.

Thus, the Instant Yes. Personally, I think I’m starting a revolution. I wish more online businesses would do the same—offer everything they have for under $100. Launch less. Produce more. Market less. Let the clients flood in, and let their creativity out.

Have you offered your blog readers an Instant Yes? Let us know about it in the comments.

Goddess Leonie is the creator of the upcoming Business Goddess course and GoddessGuidebook.com, a popular creativity and spirituality blog for women.

Is Advertising Revenue Dead as a Blogging Income Stream?

Earlier in the week I observed a conversation between two Internet marketing bloggers on Twitter which grabbed my attention.

The topic of conversation? Monetizing blogs by selling advertising directly to advertisers.

Their conclusion on the topic? It’s a dead and obsolete method of making money.

It was a fascinating conversation to observe. They gave some solid-sounding reasons for their conclusions, including:

  1. There’s been a decrease in the budgets that companies are putting into marketing (due to the economy).
  2. There’s much more money to be made in selling your own products and services.
  3. Advertising, by its very nature, sends people away from your blog, to advertisers’ sites.
  4. Online banner ads don’t convert and just distract people from what you are on about.
  5. Selling ads directly to advertisers takes too much time and administration.

As I watched the conversation unfold I found myself agreeing with some of these points, however I also wondered if they might also be writing off an income stream that need not be mutually exclusive to other forms of income.

In my own experience of making money online, advertising has always been a part of my income mix. In the early days, it made up 95% of that mix (too much, to my mind), but even today it remains an important element for me. (Advertising made up around 24% of my income in December if you include direct ad sales and ad network income.)

Let me explain the reasons why I think it’s worthwhile to keep advertising in your mix.

The economy: rebounding more strongly for online advertising?

In talking to a number of bloggers who rely heavily upon advertising revenue, I would agree with the assessment that in many niches there seems to have been a contraction in the amounts companies are spending on their advertising. However I do know of bloggers who have seen an increase in spending in some niches.

Also, as we see the economy improve, I suspect we’ll see money return to advertising budgets—particularly in the online space. Companies are realizing the potential of online media to reach target audiences and get conversions. I suspect we’ll see online advertising bounce back bigger than it was before the Global Financial Crisis.

Your own products and services

I completely agree that bloggers should be looking at ways of developing their own products and services. I’ve written about how I’ve done this myself on numerous occasions over the couple of years, however I do think it’s possible to do this in conjunction with running advertisements on your blog.

In my own experience of blogging—particularly on Digital Photography School—I’ve found there’s a limit to how many of your own product/s you can promote on your blog.

While we sometimes talk about the “ad blindness” of readers to the advertising we run, I suspect the same can be said about blindness to your own products. If all you ever do is promote your own products, readers can switch off from those messages. Mixing things up with other people’s messages (whether they’re advertising or affiliate promotions) can actually keep things fresh (to some point).

Get creative with what you offer advertisers

I also think there’s a variety of other creative ways to weave advertising into what you do as a blogger—without just slapping banner ads everywhere. For example, a couple of things we’ve experimented with offering advertisers on dPS include:

  • Sponsored competitions: here, an advertiser sponsors a competition on your blog. They provide a prize, you highlight their products, and you earn income for giving them that publicity
  • Newsletter advertising: one of the surprises to me in the last year is that we’ve found advertisers willing to pay more for ads in our newsletters than for banner ads
  • Sponsored content: by this I don’t mean that we sell space on our blog for companies to actually write their own content—or even for us to review their posts. Rather what we’re exploring with companies is to have them sponsor particular posts. For example, a company might sponsor a series of posts on a topic related to its industry. They’d have no influence on the actual content—they’d simply be mentioned in the intro to the post as the sponsor of that post.

The above options just scratch the surface of what can be offered to an advertiser—particularly as part of a bundle of sponsorship opportunities.

What I’ve found is that when an advertiser buys multiple points of presence on a blog, rather than just a CPM banner ad, they’re much more likely to get conversions, and renew as an ongoing advertiser.

Is advertising revenue still in your income mix?

I’d be interested to hear if ad revenue is a focus for you. Whether you’re using an ad network like AdSense, or you directly sell ads or sponsorships, do you focus upon it?

Mastering the Moments that Matter

This post was written by the Web Marketing Ninja—a professional online marketer for a major web brand, who’s sharing his tips undercover here at ProBlogger. Curious? So are we!

Ask any seasoned marketer which is easier—finding new customers, or selling to existing ones—and you’ll always hear the same answer: it’s easier to sell to people who’ve already bought from you.

Ask what’s the most powerful form of marketing, and nine times out of ten you’ll hear the answer, “word of mouth referrals.”

Yet still so many marketers fail to focus on being exceptional on both fronts.

Delighting your customers in such that they’re likely to buy more stuff from you, and—even better—tell all their friends how cool you are, isn’t rocket science. It’s all about mastering the moments that matter.

What’s a moment that matters?

Let’s image you go to the same cafe for lunch every single day. Today, you order a slice of pizza.  You slice arrives and you dig in.  After the first mouthful you realized that the pizza is cold, so you flag down the waiter.   What happens next is a moment that matters…

  • The good: The waiter apologizes and organizes a new slice of pizza post haste.
  • The bad: The waiter sticks his finger in your slice, says “There’s nothing wrong with this pizza,” and walks away.
  • The magic: The waiter apologizes, organizes another slice, organizes another round of drinks for you and your friends, and slips you a voucher to come back tomorrow so they can make it up to you.

Which of these outcomes do you thing is likely to drive repeat business and a customer referral?

Moments that matter for bloggers

As bloggers, we’ve got a mountain of moments that matter.  Here are just a few…

  • First impressions: Does your content make an impact?  Is it relevant to what visitors expect they’re going to be reading about? What types of ads are appearing on your site? Do they benefit a reader or will they leave a bad impression?  Do you encourage engagement with, and promotion of, your content?
  • Trust and email addresses: When someone trusts you with their email, do you honor that trust not to share it or spam them with irrelevant messages?  If you promise something in your newsletter do you deliver?  Do you allow people to unsubscribe if they wish to?
  • First conversation: If someone reaches out to engage you in a conversation with a comment, an email, or even face to face, do you ignore them, acknowledge them, or make the extra effort to make them feel special?
  • First purchase: If someone decides to spend money with you, does their dollar deliver what is promised? If it doesn’t, will you return their money? Will fulfillment of the product purchase be seamless and will their details be protected?
  • When something goes wrong: When something goes wrong, how quick will you react and how will you turn a frustrated customer into your strongest advocate?

How you perform in each of these moments can have a long lasting effect on a customer.  You can’t make everyone happy, but if 100 people tell five of their friends about your product, that could mean 500 new sales, and if you repeat the performance with those 500, you could be looking at an extra 2,500 sales.

If you’re selling a $20 product, that’s $50,000 extra in your pocket.

If you want to make money the easy way, then referrals and happy customers are important. How do you rate on the moments that matter? I’ve shared five moments that I think matter for bloggers, but I’m sure there are more.  I’d love to hear from your own experience how you’ve turned a good situation into a great one by mastering the moments that matter.

Stay tuned from most posts by the secretive Web Marketing Ninja — a professional online marketer for a major web brand, who’s sharing his tips undercover here at ProBlogger.

My January and February Blogging Income Breakdown

Today I spent some time looking at my monthly income figures. I wasn’t quite sure how the stats would look for January and February.

  • On one hand, after the record month I had back in December, I had a feeling things would look a little down by comparison.
  • On the other hand, we launched a new ebook on my photography blog late in January/early February, which saw a rise in ebook sales. If we’d launched that ebook all in one month, I suspect that month would have rivaled December, but as we did it over Jan/Feb the income is also spread out.

Here are the monthly trends in the different income streams (click to enlarge):

monthly-blogging-income.png

While both months were certainly down on December, it’s good to see that the upward trend we’ve had since last September continues. February is now our second-highest month in revenue ever, and ebook sales over the launch period of the most recent ebook would have eclipsed the spike in June (which was previously our most successful launch).

Note: “continuity” includes membership sites like ProBlogger.com and Third Tribe Marketing.

Here are the monthly splits of income:

blog income jan 11.png
blog income feb11.png

While affiliate income was the resounding winner in December, ebook sales took the #1 position for both January and February. Interestingly, we’ve seen a real shift in the revenue stream in #1 position over the last four months:

  • November: AdSense
  • December: affiliate income
  • January-February: ebook sales.

This only reinforces what I’ve been saying for months now: the income streams do vary from month to month depending upon seasonal factors, promotional activities, and so on.

Also worth noting was the big swing in direct ad sales in February. This is partly due to us not getting as many invoices paid in January (where they made up a very small amount of revenues), but it’s also a trend I suspect will continue for us. This is partly due to an increased effort to sell ads, but it could also be influenced by the increased budget going into advertising with the economy on the upswing a little.

Also note: I’ve now started calling the grey category “other.” It includes speaking, book royalties, courses, etc.—none of which are significant enough to really warrant a category of their own.

5 Lessons from an Internet Millionaire

This guest post is by M.Farouk Radwan of http://www.2knowmyself.com.

As of August 11 last year, I celebrated making my first million selling books and products online. I’m not saying that I’m an Internet guru, but I do believe that my experiences in making money online might help you get to your first million.

1. People are sick of marketers—especially online marketers

How many times did you close that long sales copy page a few seconds after it popped up unexpectedly while you were searching for something? People are already sick of such pages, and they would never want to come across one unless they were intentionally searching for it.

This means that in order to sell something, you should never let people land on these pages without warning. Instead, consider providing some kind of free content first that can assist in building trust. Once trust is built, you can sell anything to your customers.

2. Provide something different

How can trust be built online while the Internet is full of copycats, amateurs, and inferior websites? The only way to establish trust is to provide some kind of different content. You don’t have to be Einstein—you just have to do things differently.

  • You can provide more in-depth information.
  • You can organize your information in a better way.
  • You can back your information with research, numbers, and charts.

It won’t make any difference how you decide to be different; what really matters is being different.

3. AdSense can help you buy a small car, but not a Lamborghini

I make less than $1,000 a month using AdSense, even though my site gets 500,000 page views per month. Okay, maybe my website is under-optimized, but even so, I don’t believe there’s enormous potential in AdSense. How much could I have earned if I’d optimized my site? $2000? $2500?

Four months after introducing on my site three ebooks that I wrote, my earnings increased almost ten-fold. Unfortunately, this is not some kind of magic tip that will help you become a billionaire over night—before I launched these books, I was busy building trust for two years, by applying the points above. But ultimately, you’ll need more than AdSense to make good money from your blog.

4. There’s no such thing as getting rich quickly

When I started my blog three people were working on it and we were all partners. After to years of very low earnings (a few dollars per day), the people who used to work with me decided to quit.

Fair enough. But today, one of the popular search key phrases on Google is “how to become a millionaire overnight” or “how to become rich fast”.

Blogging is not like the lottery, nor is it close to gambling. It’s the art of building with small bricks, and being patient to wait until the building is finally completed.

It might take a year or more before you start making a decent income from your blog, but as long as you’re following a plan and seeing good signs along the way, you’ll know that you’re on the right track.

5. Don’t listen to negative comment

In 2006, I was mad enough to tell people about my intentions. I was inspired by bloggers who made a lot of money at that time, so I told people what I was about to do. Here are some of the responses I got:

  • A close friend: People don’t like to read. Starting a website is a bad idea
  • Relatives: Focus on your career, son, and stop wasting time on your site.
  • A friend behind my back: Farouk is wasting his time on projects that bring him nothing.

There were others. I received condemning email. My website was banned from Wikipedia because an editor their didn’t trust the information, and told me so in a horribly sarcastic email. We all have examples of discouragements like these.

Today, my site attracts 500,000 impression per month, makes me a five-digit income, made me a dot com millionaire, and silenced all of those who said bad things about it. Believe in yourself, forget about what others say, and you will succeed.

What other lessons can you add for the beginning blogger?

M.Farouk Radwan is a full time blogger who makes a living selling his Ebooks online. He is the founder of http://www.2knowmyself.com a website that has more than 1200 self help, psychology and personal development articles and that gets more than 500,000 monthly hits.

Chocolate to WordPress: 6 Lessons Learned Blogging for Dollars

This guest post is by Jules Clancy of Stonesoup.

Ever dreamed of tasting chocolate for a living?

Image is author's own

Well I’ve been lucky enough to live that dream, and while is was hard to beat as far as jobs go, it doesn’t hold a patch on blogging for dollars.

Last year, I quit my day job designing chocolate biscuit—cookies—for Australia’s most loved biscuit company because I knew it was holding me back from my dream of writing cookbooks and blogging professionally.

Twelve months on, I can’t begin to tell you how glad I am I made the leap. Waking up every day to do what I love—cook, take photographs, and write, is the biggest motivator ever. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m living this life.

My business is blossoming and I’ve learned a few things along the way. It will be a while before I start getting phone calls from my accountant asking if I’d robbed a bank, like Darren. I’m still on a huge learning curve but I wanted to share the six most important lessons I’ve learned so far.

6 lessons learned

1. People are willing to pay to learn new skills online but not for information

Think about your own online browsing and spending habits. With so much free information, there’s no need to pay. But learning new skills is a whole different situation. As Martyn Chamberlin wrote recently on ProBlogger, you need to teach, or your blog will die.

While my ecookbook sales have been okay, the response to my Virtual Cookery School, where people take cooking classes from the comfort of their own homes, has been way beyond my expectations.

2. Publishing a print book without a clear benefit statement and target market is a bad idea

The year before I left my job, I self-published a cookbook of my mum’s recipes. I knew it would appeal to some people, but it didn’t have a strong reason for being. While the thrill of becoming a published author was wonderful, having a stack of books in the garage isn’t a great outcome. Even though I have more than broken even, I’m really hesitant to jump into a print book again.

3. It’s a great idea to offer a super-premium product as an anchor

People aren’t rational when it comes to spending money. Having a premium product will make your standard offering seem much more affordable. And from my experience, you’ll still sell a few units of the premium product, which is a nice cash injection. For more on this I highly recommend reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.

4. Pricing is complex and cutting price isn’t necessarily going to drive sales.

When I launched my ecookbook last year for $37, I got quite a bit of feedback that the pricing was too high. So a few months later, I repackaged it and launched a premium video version for $77, the standard book still at $37, and individual chapters for $4.50 each. Surprisingly I sold more units of the standard book after that launch than I sold of the much cheaper individual chapters.

We’re all on a learning curve when it comes to pricing. Don’t be afraid to back yourself and charge for quality.

5. It’s much easier to sell people a subscription than a large one-off fee.

Since January, I’ve moved to a subscription-based model for my online cooking school. People can still pay for individual classes if they like, but most people opt for the $20/month membership. Making the membership brilliant value, with access to all the previous classes that have been run at the school, also helps. And the regular income is certainly a bonus.

6. Being a full-time blogger is the best fun.

I feel so blessed to be making a living doing what I love. Sure, it isn’t always easy, and there are times I’ve doubted my ability to make it work. But I keep asking myself, what’s the worst that can happen?

How about you? Any lessons you’d like to share from the business of blogging?

Jules Clancy is a qualified Food Scientist, the creator of The Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School. She blogs about her commitment to only cooking recipes with no more than five ingredients over at Stonesoup.

Launch Your Product Without Losing Your Mind

This guest post is by Krizia of the Blog Income for Women Blueprint.

At the end of August 2010, my business partner and I made the decision to document the steps I had taken to turn a blog that was earning $20 per month in AdSense money into a $500-$5000-per-month blog (all from natural traffic). Our goal was to show other female bloggers that there was a way of earning income with a review blog.

The journey from idea to actually launching our product was a long road and I’ll admit that some days, I thought I was going to lose my mind in all the details required to execute a proper product launch.

Now that the product has officially launched, I’ve had a chance to sit down and take note of the lessons I learned during the process, so I could share them with other bloggers, and also learn from other bloggers who might use a better process.

It’s no secret that most bloggers who earn six-figure incomes do so by launching their own digital products or services. This means that learning the ins and outs of product launches is a natural progression in any blogger’s career.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve received a string of emails from different gurus claiming that I can launch a product in 48 hours and start living the Internet marketer’s dream life by end of the month. Trust me: the last few months of hard work have proven that’s just not happening unless you have an army of virtual assistants helping you.

The process of launching your own product is very hard work and it can be both challenging and stressful at times, but the end result is simply magical. I don’t think that up to now in my blogging career, I’ve been this proud. So let me explain the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Lessons in ecourse content creation

  • In general, people will tend to be more willing to buy a video course than a 400-page document that they have to download, print, and read. If you’ve ever bought a multi-media course online, then you’ll know that it’s a lot more engaging than a simple ebook.
  • Creating a multi-media course is no more complicated than creating a solid presentation on PowerPoint. Then, use a screen capture tool like Camtasia (for PC) or Screenflow (for Mac) to record each module and convert those files into flash files (for PC) or Quicktime files (for Mac). It’s not so hard after all!
  • Once you’ve recorded all of your modules, you’ll just need to host your videos on Amazon s3. If you have not yet discovered Amazon s3, you’ll be happy to know that you can store video and audio files at a very affordable price, and the whole process is very easy.
  • The end results of a multimedia course is quite impressive. After all, you’re allowing buyers to learn in three ways (audio, video, and text—if you offer a PowerPoint presentation, buyers can download and print that too).

Lessons in building a brand

Building a brand that stands out from the crowd is really and Internet marketing basic. That said, when you first launch a product, funds can be tight and it’s not always obvious how you can find talented graphic designers you can actually afford.

I really cannot say enough about Fiverr.com. We’ve successfully used Fiverr.com to create the following graphical elements to brand our products:

  • logo:
  • ebook covers and DVD covers: the designer also created the group shot (showing all the elements of the product in one shot) for us for $5! We would have paid at least $25 per ebook or DVD cover had we hired someone from Elance or Odesk. Here’s an example:
  • banners for our affiliates to use to promote our product: although banners don’t convert nearly as well as text or video, we still had banners created in four different sizes for our affiliates
  • Facebook fan page: We actually had a Fiverr.com vendor create a video welcome page that looks amazing.

Each job you promote on Fiverr.com will cost you $5 (hence the name). I’ll admit that originally, my expectations were fairly low, but I’ve been proven wrong time and time again. It’s possible to find great talent on Fiverr.com. Our experience with Fiverr.com has been very positive, and the vendors have turned the work around very quickly.

That said, I would advise that you need to be crystal clear on what you are looking for when submitting a job, and it’s worth spending the time time to surf the ‘net to find examples of what you like so you can show them to the person you hire. You should also expect that you might have to spend $10-15 in jobs that don’t suit your requirements before landing on a few really great vendors. I’ve found Fiverr.com to be a good way to get a brand for my product at an incredible price.

Lessons in teamwork

Unless you are super-talented and possess all the different skills needed to put out a product, you’ll have to create a solid team that can help you successfully launch.

To give you an idea of what’s involved, here’s a list of the team members who helped us create our product and launch it:

  • a virtual assistant: she uploaded all the videos on Amazon s3 and checked a lot of the work and links that had already been checked. She’s also been instrumental in helping us get traffic to the blog as we were building out the product.
  • webmaster: he designed each page of the site and each sales video page.
  • graphic designer: we outsourced all this work to different Fiverr.com vendors.
  • Facebook fan page designer: again, we outsourced this to a Fiverr.com vendor.
  • copywriter: I wrote most of the copy.
  • editor/proofreader: we had the copy revised by a few editors.
  • PowerPoint creator: one of those editors also set the entire project out in PowerPoint.
  • customer service: this task is a collective effort between my business partner, our virtual assistant and myself.
  • affiliate marketer: because of my background as an affiliate manager, I took on this role and managed all activities surrounding affiliates.
  • video marketer: I’m the one creating videos, but our virtual assistant is the one publishing them to video sharing sites for maximum exposure.

When you are first starting out, you might not have a budget to outsource all the functions needed to launch a product, but I’d highly recommend you outsource any kind of technical work that’s not your strength—otherwise, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time.

Furthermore, having a site that works perfectly is essential for a product launch and you’ll surely want to hire qualified people to do the job.

Lessons in copywriting

There is far more copy to write for a launch than you expect. Throughout the launch, you’ll also be writing quite a lot of copy. Here’s a list of all the copy we needed to support our product launch:

  • copy for the PowerPoint presentation (aka the course)
  • copy for the video sales page (some stats show that video converts 12% better than a text-only sales page—there are some experts who say it’s up to 25%)
  • copy for the text-base sales page
  • copy for the affiliate toolkit (this is the copy affiliates will use to promote your product)
  • copy for the affiliate auto-responder (to keep affiliates abreast of what’s happening)
  • copy for the buyers (weekly emails to walk the buyers through the course)
  • copy for the leads (people who opt-in to our list, but don’t buy … you’ll need to keep building a relationship with them)
  • value-added messages (after reading a number of sites, I decided to add a string of value-added messages in my auto-responder for both buyers and leads)
  • copy for guests posts (to get the word out on this product, I’ve written a lot of guests posts!)

As you can see, if you don’t like to write, or you’re not comfortable writing, you’ll have to hire a copywriter because there is quite a lot of copy needed to properly launch a product—and that’s not taking into account the work you’ll do writing the product itself.

Lessons in marketing

To help market our product to the largest possible audience, we’re using the following strategies:

  • affiliate marketing: we’ve formed alliances with a number of marketers who will help us promote our product to their lists
  • video marketing: we’re using video marketing to reach a wider audience with less effort
  • article marketing: our virtual assistant is posting articles to article directories to get us back links and additional traffic
  • forum marketing: because our product targets women, our virtual assistant has been commenting on a number of forums and because our URL is in her signature, we’re able to attract new leads.

Do you still want to launch your own product?

I know this list must seem endless—when you are in the middle of it all, it really does seem endless! But it is doable. If you are able to chunk things down and keep working towards your goals, you’ll succeed.

I’ve found two aspects to be key in moving your concept from an idea to a final product: persistence and seeking advice and guidance.

Without persistence, you won’t make it because there are so many challenges along the way and the work often seems like it will never end. You’ll have to have a strong vision of the finished product that you keep in mind at all times in order to help you keep moving forward. Otherwise, you may abandon your dreams of launching your own product online.

I’m lucky to have had a large pool of experts who were willing to offer me help and advice. My years as an affiliate manager have paid off really well. If you don’t have access to those kinds of contacts, I’d suggest you ask friends and other bloggers for help. If you’re part of Darren’s ProBlogger.com Community, that’s another great place to get support, feedback, and ideas.

Launching your own product online is hard work. You are probably going to have to sacrifice a lot of things in order to make this happen, but the end result is spectacular! After all, you’ll have accomplished something that most people will never do.

If you’ve launched your own product and have more tips to share, I’d love to heard about them—share them in the comments so we can all learn from them.

Krizia is the co-creator of The Blog Income for Women Blueprint which teaches women how to turn their blogging efforts into blog income. You can watch a free video tutorial and download a free report here.

Two Six-figure Strategies to Help You with Your Next Product Launch

Earlier in the week I wrote a post about two factors that played a significant part in the growing of my own blogging business over the last two years.

  1. making a mind shift away from just relying upon advertising and affiliate revenue to starting to build my own products
  2. investing in training and starting to learn from others who had experience in marketing and launching products online.

I mentioned Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula (PLF) in that previous post and recommended you check out some videos that he’s recently released (as well as a free report that gives a great blueprint overview of how to release products).

Today I want to share a couple of strategies that I learned from Jeff’s PLF, and which have been a part of my own recent success. I’d estimate that together they’ve been well over six-figure lessons.

1. Using events to launch products

One of the key elements of Jeff’s teaching is that he gets you to think about the launches of your products as events. This concepts has become increasingly important to me in my own product launches, as well as in some of the affiliate marketing that I’ve done.

One of the best examples of this from my own last 12 months as the 12 Days of Christmas promotion we ran on my photography blog. Simply thinking about it as a 12-day event helped a lot, both in terms of my own planning and execution of the event, but also in terms of how it was received by readers.

I was very nervous at the start of the promotion that readers would become sick of it, but framing it as a 12-day event connected with people. We even had readers emailing us asking where our daily promotional emails were if we ran a little behind schedule.

Effectively what we try to do now with our ebook launches is take people on a journey, rather than send them a series of “buy my ebook” type emails.

2. Perpetual product launches

Launching a product (whether it’s an ebook, a course, a piece of software, or something else) is a big effort. Typically now when we release an ebook at dPS, we do so over a two- to three-week period (one week of prelaunch stuff, then two weeks for the launch event).

However, once the initial launch is over, many bloggers then move onto developing their next product and preparing for that launch. Business tends to revolve around a series of events, spiking revenue along the way.

This is how things were for me for a while, but in the Product Launch Formula teaching I came across the idea of the Perpetual Product Launch. This is where you effectively launch a product to a segment of your readers every single day.

An example of this is my first photography ebook, The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography, which I initially launched almost two years ago with a big launch.

After that initial launch, sales dried up to a trickle. So I decided to experiment with a perpetual launch and added to the auto responder sequence that I’d already developed for the site a new email. It would mail to new subscribers about seven days after they subscribed, and offer them the same discount that we offered during the initial launch of the ebook.

The email is not very salsey—it simply thanks the person for subscribing, introduces the ebook and tells the story of its initial launch at 25% discount. It then passes that same discount on to readers with a limited-time offer.

Every day this email goes out to a segment of new readers automatically, and every day it generates sales. While the daily sales are nothing like our initial product launch, over time they’ll exceed that product launch’s total sales many times over.

So without the concept of perpetual product launches, I’d have been leaving significant money on the table.

Grab the Product Launch Formula Blueprint today

These are just two of many strategies that Jeff teaches. There are many more (so many that I’ve not even implementing them all yet).

To get an overview of his launch strategy Jeff’s put together the Product Launch Blueprint—a PDF report accompanied by a 45-minute video that walks you through the material. It walks you through many of the strategies that Jeff teaches in the full PLF course and, whether you go on to do the course or not, it’s going to give you ideas that will translate into increased success for your own product launches.

The cost of this report is simply your email address, which will put you onto Jeff’s list to receive further teaching videos (and which you can unsubscribe from an any time). Grab the report today.

Why My Accountant Thinks I Robbed a Bank

My accountant just called and asked me if I’d robbed a bank.

She just saw the figures from the last few months of blogging and, as I mentioned back in my December earnings update, we’ve had some very good months lately.

December was my biggest month ever, but January and February are shaping up to be great, too.

There are two main reasons for the improvement in revenue:

  1. Christmas Promotion: In December, I ran a 12 Days of Christmas promotion on my photography blog. This rolling series of promotions saw a massive spike in affiliate sales, but also a big increase in ebook sales over that two week period.
  2. Ebook Launches: Towards the end of January and into February I launched a new ebook on my photography blog. It was our biggest launch yet and the new ebook sold faster on launch than I’ve seen before. In fact, ebook sales for the last three months have totaled just under 13,000 units.

Today, when my accountant rang to check whether the reports I’d sent were real, I tried to explain what had happened. She understood the above two reasons, but dug a little deeper and wanted to know why.

Her reflection was that about 18-24 months ago something changed in my business that seemed to tip earnings up a notch. Understandably, she wanted to explore the cause of that change.

I struggled to answer her at first, but in the end I put it down to two things:

1. I made a mind shift

A couple of years back, I switched my business focus away from relying purely upon advertising and affiliate revenue and decided to get serious about creating some products of my own.

2. Invested in Learning

Two years ago was also the point at which I decided to get serious about learning how to market and launch these products that I’d begun to develop. I knew that simply deciding to have my own products wasn’t enough—I needed to invest in my knowledge of marketing them.

It was at this time that I started to do two things:

  1. I began to seek out others who had experience in online marketing. I began to be more intentional in developing relationships with, and collaborating with, smart marketers. These people have taught me a lot!
  2. I purchased a variety of online training programs to learn some good principles for marketing products online. I enrolled in the programs, the most helpful of which I’ll tell you about below.

Overnight success?

I wish I could say that this switch in thinking and gaining of knowledge flicked a switch and helped me gain overnight success—but of course it didn’t.

The increase in revenue didn’t happen straight away after making the mind shift or getting the training, although there have been some great spikes in revenue over the last two years. But that marked the beginning of something that seems to be snowballing for me now, some two years later.

Make the mind shift and get the training for yourself

Over the next couple of weeks, you’re going to hear a lot about Jeff Walker and his Product Launch Formula.

Can I suggest you take some notice of what Jeff’s got to say?

I know some will be put off by some of the hype surrounding this launch—sometimes the affiliates promoting these launches build them up into a frenzy. But Jeff’s one of the guys who has helped me make the mind shift I mention above. His course was the main one that worked for me, and is something I’ve come back to numerous times.

Some of the principles he teaches in PLF have really connected for me, and have been instrumental in skyrocketing my own product launches. I’ve also applied some of them in promoting other people’s products—the Christmas launch I mentioned above used the classic launch strategy that Jeff teaches, and led to my biggest month so far.

Jeff is currently releasing a series of videos in the lead up to re-opening the doors of PLF. While some people’s pre-launch strategy is simply to build buzz before a launch, the great thing about Jeff’s strategy is to provide value in the launch process. Whether you buy PLF in the end or not, his videos will help you make the transition I talk about above.

They’re both inspiring and educational. If you do buy PLF, you’ll get some great teaching, but do yourself a favor and at the least watch the videos over the coming days by getting on the list. You can register for the first video here; the second is here. Update: you can also download his full blueprint for launches here (it’s got amazing teaching).