Archive for Internet Marketing

Jul
18

3 Great Free Graphics Tools

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free graphics tools

free graphics tools

As an IT teacher used to using professional graphics tools like Photoshop I am absolutely amazed with features that you can get now using free tools.

If you are starting your Internet business on a limited budget I always recommend trying to use free or low cost tools to keep your costs as low as possible. Some online business expenses like hosting and domain registration are unavoidable, but fortunately image editing is one area where you can save money. The following three tools are completely free and will really help you edit and resize images, create professional headlines and share images.

Free Image editing software

The graphics editor Gimp has to be my top free graphics tool tip. Gimp is a fully featured image editing program that you can download and use for free. This is not a time-limited trial, or a “lite” version with limited options. Gimp gives you all the tools you need to edit photos and other images.

You can get your free copy of Gimp by clicking the link below.

Link: Gimp

Internet marketing image creation

My next free tool allows you to quickly and easily create some of the most common graphics that we need as Internet marketers. Free Graphics Creator is an online tool that you don’t even have to download. Instead you just create headline graphics, buy-now buttons or guarantee boxes and save the finished image to your computer. Currently there are four graphic creation tools available. These are:

• Headline Creator

• Buy Now Creator

• Guarantee Creator

• Add to cart Creator

The site has simple tutorials to you exactly what you have to do. Basically you just select the graphic that you want to create and choose options like font size and color. You then add or edit the text and within minutes you will have professional looking graphics.

Link: Free Graphics Creator

Screen capture and sharing

My final tip is a website that allows you to highlight all or part of your screen and save it as a webpage that you can easily share. Gyazo allows you to save whatever you highlight on your screen as an online image.

There are endless uses for this greatly program, but it is particlurly useful when you are working on images with someone else like a designer. For example you might want to show your designer changes you want to make to an image like a logo. Normally this would involve saving the image as a file, attaching the file to an e-mail and sending it to the other person.

With Gyazo you simply highlight the image on your screen and send the URL link to it. The time that this tool saves can really add up. Do try it – I think you’ll love it

Link: Gyazo

Do let me know if the comments below if you find these tools useful. For more great tools and  tips and please sign up for my newsletter by entering your email address in the box on this page.

Regards,
David Francis

NewInternetMarketingAcademy.com

 

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Jul
12

3 Simple Ways to Spy on Your Competition

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These three techniques are incredibly simple, but very effective. It always surprises me how many people don’t actually bother to study what their competitors are doing. The best thing is that you really don’t need to use expensive tools like KeywordSpy to be able to spy on your competition.

You wouldn’t open a restaurant without doing market research. You would look at existing restaurants, at their menus, themes and advertising. Internet marketing is just like any other business, the better your research the higher your chance of success.

Your competitors may well have spent several years and thousands of dollars perfecting their advertising, landing pages and keywords. You can benefit from their effort, research and expense.

There are paid tools that you can use to do this research but the following three methods are simple and free.

Spy on your competitors’ ads

Advertising on Google can be very expensive. If your competitor has a long-running ad on Google the chances are that they have invested time and money testing and improving that ad. So the first thing you should do when starting a new project is to research the ads that appear when you you’re your main keyword into Google.

The trick here is to perform the same search every day for between 7 and 14 days. Take screenshots or make a note of the ads that keep appearing in the top four positions. If an ad only appears on one or two days the chances are it isn’t a very good ad. On the other hand ads that appear regularly are likely to be very successful.

You now have a list of highly effective ads that you can adapt and use in your own advertisings, sales copy and also in the Meta description of your site (This is the description or text that appears next your website name when it appears in the search engine results.)

Spy on your competitors’ landing pages

Just like Google ads, your competitors have labored long and hard to create the sales copy on their landing page or homepage. Look at the homepage of the top four websites in both the paid and organic search engine results. These eight pages will provide you with a very valuable insight into your market.

Studying these pages will enable you to very quickly identify the benefits and features that you need to focus on. You also have eight good examples of sales copy to help you write your own landing page and offers. Taking the trouble to do this research really is vital, but time after time I’m shocked to discover that people just don’t bother.

Spy on your competitors’ keywords

Having found the top webpages in your market it is usually very easy to view their keywords. The method you use to view your competitors’ keywords varies slightly depending on which Internet browser you are using. I will show you how to do this using Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Providing that the site has written in HTML it is simply a matter of viewing the page source HTML code and reading the keyword list. This doesn’t work for some sites, such as those written in Java script, so just ignore those for the time being.

spy on your competitor's keywords

Spy on your competitor’s keywords

How to spy on your competitors keywords using Firefox

To see your competitors keywords using Firefox you simply have to right click on the webpage and select “View Source”.

This will display the html code of the webpage and near the top of the page you should be able to see the keyword list that the site is targeting. If not just right click again and search the page for “keywords”.

Spy on your competition using Firefox

Spy on your competition using Firefox

 

How to spy on your competitors keywords using Internet Explorer

In the top toolbar select “View”. From the drop-down menu that appears select “Source”. Again you see or right click and search for the keywords that the site is targeting.

spy on your competition using Internet Explorer

Spy on your competition using Internet Explorer

Please let me know if these tips were helpful to you in the comment section below.

Do use these simple tips, they will really help your online business succeed. For more great tips and advice do sign up now for my newsletter by entering your best email address in the box provided.

Regards,
David Francis

NewInternetMarketingAcademy.com

Related articles:

6 Simple Ways to Get Backlinks

Billboard Mindset Websites

 

 

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Jul
06

What’s In It For Me Marketing?

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What’s In It For Me Marketing?

What’s In It For Me Marketing?

To have a successful online business you need to very quickly demonstrate what a visitor is going to gain from being on your site.

As I showed my last post, Billboard Mindset Websites, users decide in a matter of seconds whether a particular site is worth spending time on or not. They want to know, “What’s In It For Me?”

We have to show our visitors and potential customers exactly how they will benefit from our website and products/services. The better we are able to serve their needs the more successful our business will be. Everything we do throughout our business has to be about providing service and value.

How we demonstrate “What’s In It For Me?” changes as visitor’s progress through the sales process.

What’s In It For Me on your website?

Firstly we have to grab attention and explain benefits. The best way to show new visitors “what’s in it for them” is by telling them immediately what your site is about and how it can help them.

What’s In It For Me to join your list?

Secondly we need to give them reason to join our mailing list. You need to provide an incentive to get them to enter their email address. Usually the most effective way to do this is to offer a high quality free report. This is an ethical bribe. You’re giving away something of value in return for their e-mail address.

What’s In It For Me to read your free report?

Unless you’re free report is well presented and of real value your new customer won’t actually read your report and discover why they should do business with you. It is also very likely that they will unsubscribe from your list unless they find the report useful. To tempt you to join my list I’m currently giving away a great report about Making Money online, so do sign up to get it.

What’s In It For Me if I buy your product?

Your product needs to offer real value. The way to demonstrate value is in comparison with other products. For example a health care product might save on expensive medical bills. Another way to demonstrate value is to offer carefully related bonuses.

What’s In It For Me if I take your upsell?

Once a customer has bought the initial product from you is an ideal time to offer them another product or service. For example if you’re selling a course on how to set up a WordPress website you might offer coaching or provide ready-made websites as an upsell. The key to success with upsell is to make the offer closely related to the original purchase and to give a compelling reason why it is so useful. For example providing coaching would dramatically speed up the process of studying and implementing a WordPress course. Providing a ready-made website takes that even further because you would actually be doing the work for them.

Your online marketing has to answer these questions:

• What’s In It For Me on your website?

• What’s In It For Me to join your list?

• What’s In It For Me to read your free report?

• What’s In It For Me if I buy your product?

• What’s In It For Me if I take your upsell?

Your Action Steps

If you can provide compelling answers to these questions you have an effective online marketing strategy and will be well on the road to online business success.
Sit down and write out a list of benefits or “what’s in it” for your customer at each stage of your business process.

Don’t forget to claim your Making Money Online report by entering your email address in the box provided. I’ve also added a link below to my article about some great Internet Marketing Trial Offers that let you try out some of the best tools and training.

Regards,
David Francis

NewInternetMarketingAcademy.com

Related Posts

Billboard Mindset Websites

Internet Marketing Trial Offers

 

 

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Jul
04

Billboard Mindset Websites

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Billboard Mindset Websites

Billboard Mindset Websites

Some people seem to insist on doing things the hard way. This week I was asked to review and number of websites at an Internet marketing meeting in London. None of the sites had grasped the importance of having a Billboard Mindset.

One striking things about most of the sites was that it wasn’t immediately clear what the sites were about. This was even true of one site that was advertising web design services! The site had fancy flash graphics, lots of images and buttons. It also had a domain name that had no association with web design. It was impossible to work out what the purpose of the site was without asking the website owner!

If a visitor to your website can’t see what your site is about and how it is relevant to them they will leave your site within 3 to 5 seconds. Internet users instantly click away from sites that don’t immediately grab their attention. If that happens not only are you losing customers, you will also get a low “bounce rate” score with Google that will damage your position in the seach engine results.

In business we’re repeatedly told that you have to be able to explain your business concept in the time it takes to travel a couple of floors in an elevator. The so-called “elevator pitch”. In Internet marketing you don’t even have the luxury of that “elevator pitch” time. You need to adopt an online business mindset that reflects the rapid speed at which users evaluate websites.

When designing your online business website you need to have a billboard mindset. Your webpage has to be designed like an advertising billboard. It has to grab the visitor’s attention and instantly convey your most important information. Copywriting is a vital skill that you need to develop in order to succeed online.

It may help to think of your website as a paid advert. If you were putting an ad in the telephone directory what information would you pay to display? That’s exactly the information that you should have near the top of your homepage and certainly “above the fold”.

For example if you were advertising a local business you would certainly include the telephone number in your advert. But I wonder if you have your business telephone number at the top of your website? If you run a local business it should be. Even if you run an international business you will find that having a prominent phone number helps to give your website credibility and will improve conversion rates.

The other information you need on your billboard website is a clear message about what you offer and what the benefits of your products or services are.

For example if your site is a about dog barking, your headline should be something like, “Stop Your Dog Barking in Seven Days”. Straightaway a visitor to your site who has a dog barking problem knows that they are on a site that is relevant to their needs.

Next you need to include short specific information that explains the benefits of what you are offering. It also really helps if you have a relevant domain name. Usually the exact match domain name will be already taken. But with some thought you should be able to register a domain that includes your main keywords. For example StopDogBarking.com is already registered, but you might be able to register StopDogBarkingGuide.com or StopYourDogBarking.com.

Look at your site with your new Billboard Mindset. View your site as someone looking at for the first time for just a few seconds. Writing great sales copy is vital to the success of your online business. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Does the page grab your attention?
  • Is it crystal clear what your site is about?
  • Is the most important information near the top of the page?
  • Have you personalised the site with your photo and signature?

Is your site a Billboard Mindset Website? If not, I suggest thet you go and change it right now. Also, think about copying from already successful online businesses, rather than learning by trial and error. If you are new to internet marketing, or still not making an online income I highly recommend the “Copy and Profit Blueprint” by two very successful British internet marketing experts.  For a full review see my previous post –  Copy and Profit Blueprint Review. Investing in a great training course is a quick and easy way to get started in online marketing that can really save time. For further details click the link below.

Link: Full details about the Copy And Profit Blueprint

Regards,
David Francis

NewInternetMarketingAcademy.com

Related articles:

My Copy and Profit Blueprint Review

What’s In It For Me Marketing

 

 

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Jun
26

Finding the Right Niche Market

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Select the right niche market and everything else will follow. Finding the right niche is the foundation for your online business success.

Finding the right niche market

Finding the right niche market

There are two different approaches to niche selection. Some Internet marketing experts would argue your interest in the niche doesn’t matter. All that matters is the potential for profit.

The other opinion is that that you should at least start your Internet marketing business in an area that you have a passion or an interest in.

I do have many websites in niches that I knew very little about when I started them. But I have to say that most of the content for these sites is outsourced. I just don’t have the interest to keep me motivated to write the content. In contrast I’m passionate about teaching and sharing my knowledge about Internet marketing.

The best of both worlds – passion and profit

You can have the best of both worlds – a topic you’re interested in and a profitable niche. Start with a topic that you are interested in. Then do your keyword research to find a profitable smaller area or niche within that topic to focus your business on.

Start with what you know

My advice is to start by writing down a list of everything that you’re interested in. This should include your hobbies, interests and areas that you have expertise or knowledge about.

You should also include in this list things that you would be interested in learning about. (Writing content about the new interest or hobby can be great because you will be able to relate directly to others who like you are new to the topic and want to find out about it.)

At first you may wonder what knowledge and interests you actually have. Just think about all the things you do. I’ve travelled all over the world. I enjoyed my career as a teacher. I love my cats, tennis and taking photographs. This is part of my list:

My Hobbies and Interest List

  • Internet marketing
  • Teaching
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Personal development
  • Tennis
  • Scuba Diving
  • Cats
  • Cooking
  • Film
  • Theatre
  • Sailing
  • Gym

Hot niches

Now look for the hot niches within your general areas of interest. A hot niche is an area where people are rationally passionate, eager and enthusiastic. They must have money and already be spending money on products in the niche.

A hot niche from the area of photography in my interests list would be digital photography. People spend a fortune on digital photography. But digital photography is too broad a market. In this case I would need to drill down further and find a less competitive sub-niche within digital photography. For example, I might choose digital photography lighting or Macro digital photography.

Tips for spotting a hot niche

A really simple tip for spotting hot niches is to look and see if there are magazines published on the topic. Look online or in the shops. If there’s a magazine – there’s a market. Magazines cost a fortune to produce and make most of their money from advertising. Those magazines are full of adverts for products and services that are being bought in the niche.

Keyword research

Internet marketing is search driven. We can only sell what people are searching for. We also need to target keywords where the competition is not too intense.

Keyword research really is the key to your online success. It is the foundation to a successful online business.

Free keyword research tools

There are some great free keyword research tools including the Google keyword tool. Many of the paid keyword tools in fact use the same data from Google. An important tip for using the Google keyword tool is to create and login to a Google ad words account to use it. The Google Adwords account is free and the keyword tool within the Adwords account has more features than that provided outside of the Google Adwords account.

Paid keyword research tools

It is possible to do keyword research without using paid tools. However if you have a budget, Market Samurai provide a range of tools in one package that are relatively inexpensive and do make keyword research easier. The link below takes you to a free trial so you can use Market Samurai risk free yourself. One you’ve tried the free version you can easily upgrade to a full lifetime subsciption at any time.

Market Samurai free trail offer

Ask any questions that you have about finding the right niche in the comments section below. Don’t forget to sign up for my free report and more online marketing tips by entering your email address in the box on this page. 

Regards,
David Francis

NewInternetMarketingAcademy.com

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Jun
13

How to Improve Your Website Loading Speed

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website loading speed

website loading speed

Website load time is the time it takes for your webpage to appear on the user’s screen. Usually websites load so quickly that we don’t even notice the slight time it takes.

Why is website loading time important?

Internet users are generally very impatient. Even a slight delay in a webpage loading reduces the quality of user experience. So increasing the speed at which your site loads improves the site for the user. The better the user experience the better your site is likely to do. So this is one reason that website load time is important.

Another reason why you need to look at page loading speed is Google. Google now includes page load speed in website page rank. In other words if your webpage loads quickly you will be rewarded with a higher search engine result. If two websites are identical in all other respects but one is faster, the faster website will rank higher in Google search results.

File type and size

Large files, especially graphics and videos take longer to load. Flash animation files can also slow a website’s performance. Avoiding the use of flash and reducing file size can significantly increase the speed of your website.

Image size and type

Using low resolution JPEG pictures can dramatically reduce picture file size and increase website loading speed. Images can easily be edited in simple picture editing programs such as “Paint” or “Picassa”.

Video hosting

Hosting your videos on another site such as YouTube or Amazon S3 again increases your site speed because the videos are being stored on superfast cloud based web servers.

WordPress plug-ins to increase speed

Two Great Free WordPress plug-ins that I use to increase website speed are Smushit plug-in and W3 Total Cache.

Smushit

Smushit is a great plug-in that optimises and reduces the size of images on your WordPress site. Images can be processed individually or done in one batch which makes the process very simple.

Link: Smushit Plugin

W3 Total Cache

At its simplest caching means storing, just like a squirrel stores nuts ready for the winter. A shop might store frequently sold items near the till instead of having to go to the stock room to get them. W3 Total Cache works in a similar way, keeping a store of your website resources so they can be accessed quickly. Total Cache requires a few minutes to setup, but the effort is well worth it. I rate W3 Total Cache as the best cache plugin there.

Link: W3 Total Cache Plugin

How to test page load speed

You can’t just test how long your site takes to load on your computer because of browser caching.

Your computer will already have files from your site stored in the cache so it will load much faster than the site would for a first time visitor.

You could go through the process of clearing your cache, but fortunately there are much easier ways to check your sites speed.

Google developer page speed tool

Simply paste in your URL and the Google page speed tool analyses the page to check which elements of your page are slow and produces a report.

Link: Google Page Speed Tool

Yslow

The aptly named Yslow is the Yahoo equivalent of the Google page speed tool and works in much the same way.

Link: Yslow

Pingdom

Another useful tool is Pingdom because this also has the option to visualise the results

Link: Pingdom

http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/

Do sign up for my free report and more great tips by entering your email address in the box on this page. Ask any questions that you have about page load speed in the comments section below.

Regards,
David Francis

NewInternetMarketingAcademy.com

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Jun
11

6 Simple Ways To Get Links to Your Site

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In this post I will show you 6 tips for getting more links to your website or blog.

Building high-quality links to your site has always been important. Following the recent Google updates quality links are now even more important than ever. The days when you could throw a bunch of low quality links at your site and rank well are over.

Ways to get links to your site

Ways to get links to your site

 

Why is link building important?

Building incoming links to your site is vital for three reasons. These are search engine results, traffic and authority.

Search engines results

Incoming links to your site are one of the important signals that search engines like Google use to rank websites. You need lots of high quality links to your site in order to appear on the first page of the search engine results.

Traffic

Links to your site are not only important for search engine page rank. Links can also bring traffic directly to your site. For example I recently left a link to one of my sites in comments that I made on a forum and as a result over 1000 people have so far followed that link and visited my website.

Authority

Creating links help to establish authority and credibility. The more times that people see links to your site on other websites the more authority your site will have.

1. Article Submission

Submitting articles to article directories like EzineArticles.com is still an effective way of building links to your website. Articles that you submit to article directories are then republished on other websites especially if your articles are well written. The more times that your article is republished the more back links you will receive. The important things are to create compelling articles that get used and include an author resource box so that that the reader can click the link through to your site.

2. Guest blogging

Many sites welcome articles from other writers or guest bloggers as they are often called. In return for providing the site with a unique and well written article you get a link back from the article to your site. The key is to provide an article to another site in your niche or market as this will provide a permanent relevant link back to your site. This is just the sort of high quality link that you need.

3. Social Bookmarking

Social signals, like the number of times people bookmark your site, are increasingly important for website ranking. There are a whole range of sites like Digg and StumbleUpon where users bookmark the site they like. You can create accounts with these sites and then bookmark pages on your website or blog.

Social bookmarking is rather tedious and boring. Setting up accounts with all the bookmarking sites is particularly time-consuming. Fortunately you can find people on fiverr.com who will create accounts at all these sites for you for as little as five dollars.

You can use semi-automated services like socialmarker.com to speed up the bookmarking process but you must also make sure to bookmark general sites as well as your own to make the bookmarking appear natural.

To avoid just bookmarking my own sites I use SocialAdr.com. SocialAdr is free to join. You bookmark sites and in return other people bookmark your site. You get real bookmarks and other social signals like Facebook “likes” from real people all over the world. There is also a paid option that I use where you simply pay for bookmarks without having to do any yourself in return.

Link: SocialAdr

4. Forum posting

As I mentioned you can get both links and traffic from posting comments and replies in forums related to your niche. The trick is to provide relevant and valuable information. For example provide a genuine answer to someone’s question with a link to a relevant article on your site. Many forums also allow you to leave a link in the signature box that appears below each post that you make.

5. WordPress.com and Blogger.com

Create your own sites on WordPress.com and Blogger.com. Both of these sites are free and all you need to do is to create small sites related to your market. Post a few relevant articles each with links back to your main site.

6. YouTube

Many people avoid using YouTube because they are reluctant to create a video. I would urge you to start using YouTube for backlinks and traffic. Putting even a very basic video up on YouTube creates a link from YouTube to your site. Just remember to include a link to your site in the video description. I left this tip until last, but it is really simple to do when you know how. You really can make video for YouTube on a very tight budget, see my post for full details. If you would like to learn more about creating video for YouTube I recommend a very down-to-earth and practical course called Online Video Champ training by a fellow Brit, Neil Travers.

Link: Online Video Champ

Regards,
David

NewInternetMarketingAcademy.com

Related articles:

3 Simple Ways to Spy on Your Competitors

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When I was a teacher the first thing one new head teacher did at my school was to ban staff from going on training courses during school time. He was new to being a Headteacher and this was the first school he was in charge of.

Invest in yourself

Invest in yourself

The logic of this head was that teachers shouldn’t take time away from teaching their classes to learn new skills.

That Headmaster did not last long and the school did not make much progress under his leadership. The school later got a new Headteacher who valued training and invested time and money sending her teachers on professional development courses.

Stephen Covey in his excellent book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” gives an example of two men sawing a huge log that is taking enormous effort to cut by hand. They are working tirelessly but are too busy to stop to sharpen the saw.

It is very tempting to just keep working without stepping back and making sure that you have the right tools and training to do the job effectively. Yes, stopping to sharpen the saw would have taken some time. But by investing that time sharpening the saw would have made the job far easier. It would have actually saved them time in the long run.

As a teacher I found that I had to keep learning myself.  I constantly invested in my training and development. I attended training courses every year to keep up-to-date with the latest teaching materials and techniques. I also completed an additional Education Certificate and did a part-time Masters degree.

Most companies invest in training their staff not for altruistic reasons, but because of the return on investment often called ROI. Companies spend money training their staff because better equipped and trained staff will make more money for their company.

Jim Rohn once said, “Work hard on your job, and you’ll earn a living. Work hard on yourself, and you’ll earn a fortune.” I have continued to invest in myself and my training since I started my online business. I treat my online business as a business. I continuously invest in learning new Internet marketing skills.

Free internet marketing training

You don’t necessarily have to invest much, if any money in your Internet marketing training at first but you will need to invest your time.

One of the great free ways to learn about Internet marketing is by attending free online training sessions or webinars. Two very successful online marketers who I know personally run some great free training webinars. To find out more just click the link below.

Link: Free online training

Internet Marketing Trial Offers

Trial offers can be a great way of trying new tools and training courses often for just a token payment. There are so many trail offer that I’ve now written an article highlighting some fantastic trial offers that you should take advantage of:

Link : Internet Marketing Trial Offers

If you’re relatively new to Internet marketing be ready to invest a very small amount of money in your training. I would highly recommend starting with the “Copy and Profit Blueprint”.  I wrote a full review in a previous post Copy and Profit Blueprint Review. Investing in a great course like this is a quick way to get started in online marketing that can really save time. For further details follow the link below.

Link: Full details about the Copy And Profit Blueprint

Regards,
David Francis

Related Posts

Great Internet Marketing Trial Offers

The Copy and Profit Blueprint Review

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How to create a sales video

How to create a sales video

Making a sales video is actually very simple. You don’t need an expensive video camera to create an effective video. In fact you don’t even need a video camera at all to create great sales videos.

You can make sales videos simply by recording a PowerPoint presentation or by adding a few pictures and titles together using a free program like Windows MovieMaker. You could also make videos by recording what is on your computer screen. This works really well for product reviews and “how-to” guides.

A big advantage of these methods is that you don’t actually have to appear in the video yourself. For those of us with a face made for radio this is a great advantage.

Recording a sales video

At some point however, you will probably want to make a video using a video camera. Again this really doesn’t need to be expensive. I have a friend who makes broadcast television programs using highly expensive professional equipment. He has all this equipment yet he often makes sales videos using a video camera that costs under $150 like the Flip UltraHD Video Camera. The reason he uses such a cheap camera is that the quality is perfectly good enough for putting on websites and on YouTube and it is so simple to use anywhere.

Video camera

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B004I43MH2″ locale=”us” height=”120″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31pziASTcOL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]I use the Flip camera sometimes because it is amazingly simple and really easy to keep in my pocket

I recommend the Panasonic either the HDC-SD90 or HDC-SD80 video cameras because they are both amazing quality for the price.

I own five video cameras but my favourite is the Panasonic HDC-SD90. This camera does cost around $550 and is far higher quality than you actually need, but has the option of adding a 3D lens that I just couldn’t resist.

The quality of the latest digital video cameras now is so good that it doesn’t matter which one you choose, but if you can afford the Panasonic it really is a great camera. The only thing I would stress is to pick a model that allows you to plug-in an external microphone. Surprisingly this is one feature that many cameras don’t have.

Lapel Microphone

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B00006I51V” locale=”us” height=”100″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41dX6yH02ML._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]Audio quality is actually far more important than the video camera itself. The built-in microphone on a video camera isn’t good enough to record clearly. You may have noticed this when you record friends and family.

People just won’t listen to poor quality audio in a sales video. To get good audio quality you really need a microphone that clips onto the shirt or lapel of the person speaking in the video. (Hence the name, lapel mic.) An alternative is to have a microphone sat in front of you, or on a boom stand but I think a lapel microphone is much less obtrusive and better for sales videos.

I recommend using the Audio Technica ATR3350 lapel mic because it’s inexpensive yet produces high-quality results and is very reliable. This model is a wired microphone which means ther is a small cable running from the video camera to the lapel mic. This usually costs as little as $25. I’ve used a lapel mic costing thousands of dollars but I’m very happy using this microphone. There are wireless alternatives but these cost up to several hundred or even thousands of dollars.

Video Lighting

 [easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B0034SABW2″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51wqDdpBEZL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]I often use a simple video light with a soft box to defuse the light. This produces great video and avoids shadow on dark faces. At the time of writing you can get a great setup, the CowboyStudio 1000 W Continuous Video Lighting for around $80 from Amazon, but anything similar will do just as well.

Tripod

Keeping the video camera still is absolutely vital. Many families already have a camera tripod and if you already have one just use that. If you have to buy a tripod, pick one like the Polaroid 72″ Photo/Video ProPod that has a swivel head in case you ever need to turn the camera smoothly.

Autocue

All TV presenters work off an autocue. I often use a very simple version. My basic versioon of the autocue is just a large sheet card with bullet points to remind me what I need to say. I usually get my wife or son to hold this to one side of the video camera. Because I usually position the video camera about 7-10 feet away from me when I’m looking at the bullet points it looks like I’m looking directly at the camera.

There are also free autocue programs that you could run on your laptop. One of the easiest to use is Cue Prompter. The only drawback with a laptop based autocue is that it that does mean having the laptop high up and close enough to read from. A professional autocue system like newsreaders use costs thousands of dollars so I usually use simple bullet poins on card. If you ever need to use a professional autocue I would suggest hiring, rather than buying the equipment.

Video equipment budget $300-$700

The total cost of a basic video camera, microphone and video light is around $300. You may need to spend another $30 on a tripod if you don’t already have one. Buying the Panasonic HDC-SD90 would bring this up to $700

The equipment that you need to make great sales video is really that simple and inexpensive. Far more important is that you learn the right techniques for making the video. It’s a bit like buying a guitar. The simplest thing I did was buying my guitar, the hard thing was learning how to play it. I’ve had weekly lessons for the last three years and am still learning how to play the guitar.

Fortunately learning how to make great sales videos is much easier than learning to play the guitar. I’ve been teaching video editing in schools for many years and you can learn to make a sales video by trial and error. But if you’ve never made a sales video before I suggest that you get some training first.

Attending a video production course is likely to be quite expensive because of the cost of the trainer, venue and equipment. An online video course is a much better alternative to learning how to make the video. I would strongly recommend the Online Video Champ training course by top UK Internet marketer Neil Travers. Neil teaches you everything you need to know about creating a sales video through a series of online video tutorials. What I really like about Online Video Champ is that it is created by someone who actually makes sales videos for his very successful online business. Neil shows you how to make videos with a video camera and without, using the techniques I mentioned before. He is also very down to earth and manages to make everything very easy to understand. To find out more about Online Video Champ training course just click the link below.

Link: Online Video Champ

Regards,
David

NewInternetMarketingAcademy.com

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Jun
01

Why Isn’t Your Site Making Money?

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Why isn't your site making money?

Why isn't your site making money?

I frequently get asked to look at sites by website and blog owners and to see why they aren’t making money. I really understand the frustration of having built a site, having added great content, built back links and still not be making much money.

Often an experienced internet marketer can immediately see why a site is not making money. Finding someone with that experience to give you a website review is one way you might find out why your site isn’t making money. The problem is finding someone willing and able to review your site.

Another option is to ask for an open review on internet marketing forums and blogs like this one. These kinds of reviews can be very useful but usually involve drawing the attention of other internet marketers to your site. There is a very real danger that someone may see your site and simply copy it.

The third option is to pay someone to review your site. This has the advantage of not revealing your business on a blog or forum. The disadvantage is that an expert internet marketer would charge hundreds if not thousands of dollars for this type of consultation.

Unless you’re very lucky and find someone to review your website you really need to learn how to do it yourself. Read on and I’ll give you some great tips for reviewing your own site …

How to review your online business

Firstly you need to identify which part of your sales process isn’t working effectively. Work out which area is causing your biggest problem, then target that part of the process to improve first.

 There are basically four parts to an online business

Traffic

Conversion

Average sale price

Number of sales per customer

Traffic

If you’re not getting enough traffic to your website it doesn’t matter how great your product is or how well your sales page converts.

Quite often when a good site isn’t getting much traffic the problem goes right back to keyword research. Keyword research is absolutely fundamental to the success of your site.

Problems here include picking a niche that is too broad and too competitive. For example, I have seen many new internet marketers trying to target the keyword “dieting”. Dieting is such a competitive niche that it is almost impossible to get organic traffic and prohibitively expensive to buy paid traffic.

The opposite problem is targeting a niche market where there is too little traffic. If there are only a few hundred global monthly searches for your keyword it is simply not going to get much traffic.

If you have chosen a niche that isn’t too competitive but does have enough traffic to be viable you should be able to increase your traffic relatively easily. Traffic will depend on several factors. These include:

Quality and quantity of the content on your site

Link building

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Paid Traffic

Social Media

Time

To increase traffic you may need to add more content or build more links to it. Alternatively you may need to pay for traffic. In the case of a new site you may simply have to wait a few months for your site to gain credibility with the search engines.

Conversion rate

conversion rate

conversion rate

Your conversion rate makes a huge difference to your profit. If you increase your conversion rate from 1% to 2% you are doubling your income. A very small improvement in your conversion rate can produce a huge increase in profits so conversion is something that you must look at.

It is very difficult to say what an average conversion rate is. Conversion rates vary between niches and also depend on the quality of the traffic. For example if I send an e-mail offer to my existing customer list the conversion rate will be much higher than organic or paid traffic. The reason is traffic from my list already know me and are likely to trust my recommendation.

If your conversion rate is low the things you need to look at are the page design, content, how appropriate the offers are and how strong your call to action is. You also need to look at the price you are charging and the bonuses that you are offering.

Sale price

Your average sale price will depend largely on the market you’ve chosen and the product within the market that you focus on. By targeting high-value products you can dramatically increase your profits. For example if you’re selling a product with a $5 profit you’ve got to sell 20 items to make $100. If on the other hand you sell a product with $100 profit you only need to sell one item instead of 20 to make that hundred dollars.

Number of sales per customer

It is getting increasingly difficult to make a profit on the front end, or first product sale. Many marketers actually make a small loss to make a sale. They then make a profit by making further offers as up-sells or later as e-mail offers.

One of the biggest mistakes newcomers often make is making only one sale per customer. Unless you are offering up-sells on the initial purchase and are collecting e-mails and building a list for on-going marketing you will not maximise the number of sales per customer.

What to do if your site isn’t making enough money

Unfortunately if you got your keyword research wrong by targeting too competitive niche or a market with too little traffic you may have to start again in a new market. Keyword research is that critical, but is better to realise your mistake and start again rather than waste more time in a dead-end niche.

The good news is that provided you have picked a viable market there is a simple process for reviewing and improving your site

Review the four parts of your business outlined above

Identify the area that is causing the biggest problem

Work on improving that area if it can be improved

Then work on the next biggest problem

Of course it would be far better not to make mistakes in the first place. If you are new to internet marketing I suggest you copy a tried and trusted system or blueprint. I highly recommend the “Copy and Profit Blueprint” which I reviewed in this previous post Copy and Profit Blueprint Review

Link: Copy and Profit Blueprint

I hope this advice helps you to improve the profitability of your website. Do let me know in the comments box below if you have any questions, or if you need further help or if you have any tips to share.

Regards,
David

NewInternetMarketingAcademy.com

 

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