5 Customer Retention Strategies That Will Boost Your Bottom Line

Customer retention is something that every business person is always working on in order to grow their business. It doesn’t matter if your business already has an established customer one sure way to continue to grow your business is by keeping your customers interested and happy.

But first,

What is Customer Retention?

According to NGData.com:

“Customer retention refers to the activities and actions companies and organizations take to reduce the number of customer defections. The goal of customer retention programs is to help companies retain as many customers as possible, often through customer loyalty and brand loyalty initiatives. It is important to remember that customer retention begins with the first contact a customer has with a company and continues throughout the entire lifetime of the relationship.”

From the above definition you will observe that an effective customer retention strategy should make your customers happy which, if done well, will result in these customers in turn…

  • Producing more customers for you by way of positive reviews and word of mouth recommendations; and
  • Feeding your bottom line with their repeat business.

There’s no doubt therefore that customer retention is one marketing strategy that you will want to put to use now. The focus really should be on building and maintaining customer relationships.

Also Read: 9 Creative Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business Today!

How to retain customers for more profits

Here Are 5 Valuable Customer Retention Strategies

Blogging

Consumers love to keep up with the news. No matter what type of business you run, keeping an updated blog that focuses on your company and industry news will keep your customers interested in your product.

Blogs allow you to reach limitless readers, and they are automatically targeted by searches relevant to your industry or location. You can also use your blog to promote new products, sales, or upcoming events so your customers can stay involved in your business.

Sites like Blogger and WordPress offer beautiful blog templates that are simple to set up and easy to update. Make it easy for your customers and potential customers to follow you online by linking your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts to your blog.

Loyalty Programs

The majority of any company’s income comes from repeat customers; that’s because it takes more advertising dollars to gain new customers than it does to keep your current ones.

So it only makes sense to focus on retention. Adding value to your existing customers’ experiences will keep them coming back and loyalty programs are an inexpensive way to accomplish this goal.

Discounts or free products will always appeal to customers who love your products and services. Therefore, keep implementing different types of reward programs should go a long way in generating repeat sales from your existing customers.

Also Recommended: 4 Ways to Take Your Business to the Next Level starting NOW!

Questionnaires & Surveys

Every customer has an opinion and, whether good or bad, they want to share that opinion. Offering questionnaires & surveys to your customers helps them feel involved in your company and lets them express their needs and wants.

When you design and offer surveys to your customers, be sure to show them their opinions are valued by taking steps to implement their suggestions where viable, or by offering to remedy any negative situation they may share with you.

Social Media

There is no denying social media has an effect on everyone with a computer or smart phone. When you invite your customers to interact with your business through social media accounts like Twitter, FourSquare, or Facebook, you keep your name close at hand while gaining valuable insight into your customers’ needs and wants.

Assign one tech-savvy person to manage your media accounts and be sure to encourage your employees to interact with your customers while showing genuine concern for their opinions.

Email Marketing

Studies have shown that email marketing is very effective in keeping customers coming back to your business. This is one reason why it has continued to have a high return on investment (ROI) compared to other forms of marketing. It is therefore a wise business investment to include email in your marketing arsenal.

With email marketing you can efficiently keep your company at the top of your customers’ minds while, at the same time, nurturing the customer relationship, introducing new offers and offering valuable content.

Conclusion

Remember, if you are not retaining your customers, you are losing them. By implementing these 5 valuable customer retention strategies, you will continue to build your business by taking a proactive role in influencing your customers’ desire to stay with you.

Online Business Security Issues: Common Mistakes That Can Leave You Open To Attack

The Internet is a fantastic tool that every business owner on the planet would struggle without. It has taken something as difficult and complex as business and simplified it to make succeeding a whole lot much easier. Though success might not be a guarantee, but it is more likely than before.

However, for all its benefits, there are a lot of weaknesses also. The main one is hacking and cybercrime. Businesses have never been more vulnerable because hackers can access every piece of information. This means you cannot afford to make a mistake which could result in you losing your valuable business information and, possibly, cash.

How to avoid being a victim of online business attacks

So, how do you avoid this happening?

Of course, there are a lot you can do. One of such is learning about the most common mistakes that can expose your business to cyber criminals. Knowing these mistakes and what to do should enhance your security for the future. That being said, in this post you will learn some of these common mistakes and what to do about it.

But first,

What is Internet Business Security?

This can be simply defined as the protection of business data from theft, loss or unauthorized access, use or modification. Over the years, reports of cyber attacks on some big companies like Yahoo! and Ebay have made major headlines at one time or the other. Ironically, many small business owners lose sight of the fact that while attacks on big companies are quick to make the headlines there are many attacks on small businesses that are not being reported.

Besides, while many of these large companies are now getting the services of full-time security experts to maintain their business network security, the opposite is the same for small business owners. This is because they can hardly afford that luxury. For the small business owner it is therefore imperative that they know what to do to secure that business online.

Top 5 Cyber Security Mistakes Every Business Should Know/Avoid

1. Not Securing The Wi-Fi Router

The Wi-Fi is connected to your entire server. That might not mean much, but in reality it is a massive deal. It means that hackers can bypass your security protocols by going through your Wi-Fi connection. Ultimately, they go through the back door. Something as seemingly insignificant as your Wi-Fi connection could cripple your entire business.

2. Not Securing Your Email Accounts

Just like your Wi-Fi router, work email accounts are also often connected to the server, so the same rule applies. The problem you have in many respects is that you cannot trust your employees to use secure passwords. Most employees don’t use their usual password because it is only a work account. What difference does it make? They don’t have sensitive information stored on their work account. You, on the other hand, take a lot of interest in their work email account. It is best to create a random password for them, so you know that everything is safe and secure.

3. Using Free Or Poor Quality Antivirus Software

The free version of antivirus software is not up to scratch. For your laptop or tablet at home, it works fine because the threat is lower. But, for your business, you need a comprehensive package that will cover every possible threat. Quality software is a must, and it is worth spending that little bit extra just for a piece of mind. How do you know what is the best antivirus software on the market? Simply do a bit of research. Forums and product reviews are always a good choice because they are impartial.

4. Being Too Trusting

Attacks don’t just come from outside of the business. There are people that will take advantage if you do show any signs of weakness. It might be cynical to say so, but it is naïve to think you can trust everyone in your business. For that reason, only divulge information to a select few people so that you don’t leave yourself exposed.

5. Not Backing Up Offsite

Finally, get hold of an external hard drive and backup all of your files. Then, take the hard drive and put it somewhere secure. It doesn’t matter where you put it, as long as it is secure and not on the business premises. If you are attacked, you will need to rebuild. If, however, you only back everything up on your server, you won’t have any files to help you restore the business.

Conclusion

As you can see from the above, while online security can pose great threat to small businesses, it is not entirely hopeless. Simply knowing what the risks are, how vulnerable your business is, how cyber attacks could potentially affect your business and what you can do to prevent such attacks can all add up to help you prevent such attacks. You don’t have to be a security expert to do this. Empowering yourself with the right information, like the above, is sure to help you protect yourself and your business.

Gmail’s Image Now Showing Feature – A Plus for Email Marketing?

On Thursday, December 12, 2013 John Rae-Grant, Google’s Product Manager, made a post announcing yet another change from the stables of Google.  In the post simply titled: “Images Now Showing” John Rae-Grant said,

“Have you ever wondered why Gmail asks you before showing images in emails? We did this to protect you from unknown senders who might try to use images to compromise the security of your computer or mobile device.

But thanks to new improvements in how Gmail handles images, you’ll soon see all images displayed in your messages automatically across desktop, iOS and Android. Instead of serving images directly from their original external host servers, Gmail will now serve all images through Google’s own secure proxy servers. “

Google's Image Now Showing update

That indeed seems to be good news for Gmail users – Google cares about your privacy!

But, marketers are seeing it in a different light.

As expected, the debate is on. Is this another way of Google “muzzling” email marketers and forcing them into using more paid advertising just as they are trying to do with search engine marketing or is it truly because of users’ privacy?

Change Could Be for Good or….

Of course, for every change there would always be some form of disadvantage. And for this change, one of the drawbacks is the fact that it takes away the ability of marketers to track email metrics. For example, since Gmail users do not have to click on “display images below” to show images in their inbox, the user’s info (like location, device type and date and time on which the email was read) which previously were transmitted to the email marketer through such actions, will no longer be sent.

Considering this, those who believe that Google is muzzling email marketers may be correct. But looked at from another angle, it does really appear that this change will make email marketing more result oriented. In fact, it is an indication that Google is pushing email towards a more social platform than what we have seen!

We mustn’t forget the fact that in 2011 Google announced the integration of Gmail and Google+  enabling users to add contacts to their Google+ circles and also share content with them right from Gmail.  Besides, we should remember also that visual content presentation is the vogue online right now. Showing images in Gmail therefore is just a way of keeping up with the times!

And, I dare say, we may be seeing a new design layout for Gmail very soon!

The Positive Side of “Image Now Showing”

Despite the hard knocks this change is receiving from marketers, I personally welcome it. I’ve actually wished for it before now.

Many a time when I send out email notifications of new blog posts and product posts and I receive those emails in my inbox, I was always disappointed because of the image not displaying. Frankly, without the image the message usually look awkward. And if that was coming from me what were recipients saying?

This is one of the biggest reasons why, to me, this change is actually a positive one for marketers. With this new change it is definitely clear that we can now add some more visual appeal to our email promotions.

Also, the fact that with the integration of Gmail and Google+ you can easily +1 an image share it with your Google+ circles  right from your inbox, this change is something we must take seriously. Including a visual appealing image in your email is definitely going to be a powerful  tactic of making our promotions go viral. Of course, Google has already made this easy and quick with the addition of the green hover share button within your Gmail inbox!

Marketers Should Really Take Advantage of This Change

Rather than talk down on this new image change, marketers should find more profitable ways of taking advantage of it. One of such ways is by using more appealing images in email sends. It is a fact that email is one of the most popular platforms used by people online. It is also more personal than most other platforms (social media or blogs). If that is the case, a change that gives you the ability to better connect with your email contacts is really a good one.

I see very soon marketers using funny images to push their marketing messages. And where this is used well it could signal a really viral promotion for any product or service.

It doesn’t matter what the intention of Google is, marketers can always find ways of making this work for them.  So, as marketers we can really say, Google thank you!

Or, do you have a different view of this new “image now showing” update from Google? Will love to know your views.

How Autoresponders Can Literally Make Your Life Better as An Online Entrepreneur!

Ever wondered how some “guru” online marketers can boast of making money online even when they are sleeping?

How about those who claim their online businesses are always sucking in money like vacuum cleaners while they are traveling the world, lazing around with their sweethearts?

I’m sure that claims like these may have, at times, come to you as incredible and spurious, right?

But then it means you are yet to discover the power of autoresponders in marketing online.

To every online entrepreneur, the autoresponder is actually the most valuable tool. I personally don’t know how the online business person would have been able to cope with running a business online if there were no autoresponders.

There is so much that autoresponders can do for you as a web entrepreneur. In this post therefore, I want to briefly talk about this very useful tool. I hope you pick one or two things to help you with your online business.

Autoresponders and Online Marketing

Autoresponders And Your Online Business

There is no doubt that one of the most useful tools that every online business entrepreneur must consider is the autoresponder. If you truly desire to have a slice of the internet cake then getting a functional autoresponder is a must. Used the right way they can help you put your business on autopilot enabling you to spend more time doing other things like generating traffic to your websites, networking and even creating more businesses.

Many people correctly refer to it as the 24/7 salesman/secretary. This is because once set up the autoresponder is ready to work round the clock without any problems. Like the automated secretary they are, the autoresponder will readily respond to email inquiries without any delay. It will, also without fail, followup any prospect once the contact details are in the database.

Without Autoresponders Marketing Online Is A Pain In The Neck

Many online entrepreneurs have not realized that trying to build a successful online business can be a little tricky without an autoresponder. Their ability for automatic email response is something that every online marketer will cherish any day.

This is specially so because online, people want instant gratification. They expect responses their inquiries without any delay. And so, automating a majority of your business tasks with autoresponders can help you gain not only respect from your customers’ and prospects but also their business!

One of the good features of autoresponders is the ability to configure your messages to your specifications. You can send personalized messages thereby creating the impression that your email was specifically made for your clients. This is of great help since it definitely increases your email conversion rates. Besides, once you have set up your autoresponders you will be able to followup your prospects, presenting your offers to them until they are ready to buy!

Business Marketing Using Autoresponders

How autoresponders help online entrepreneursOne of the smart ways of using autoresponders to market your business online is by creating free courses, articles, reports, information regarding your products and services, price lists, welcome and thank you letters, advertising rates etc. and preseting this information in your autoresponder.

Once set up you can then direct potential buyers or current customers to get more info by sending a message to your autoresponder address. When they do, the information they are seeking will automatically be delivered to them. The autoresponder will also notify you each and every time someone has requested your information. This will help you know when you have potential customers.

By simply doing this you’d be marketing your business hands-free!

There will be no need for you to spend countless hours answering emails. You will have more time to do other things that will help move your business forward.

A Few Tips On Using Autoresponders For Your Business

Here are some tips that will help you maximize the potential of your autoresponder.

  1. Choose Wisely

Your choice of autoresponder for your online business matters. For one, I’ll say never choose based only the price only. This is because the cheapest price might not really be great after all!

Again, never settle for free autoresponders. If you’re running a business then it’s wise that you put in some investment, because that is what an autoresponder is to your business. Free autoresponders might bring more pain later on when you want to move to a paid one.

I personally recommend GetResponse.com because of the proven service and the features. Even if you’re just getting started, you’ll find the platform easy to work with.

You can get a FREE 30 day trial option here.

2.Load Up a Reasonable Number of Messages

Depending on what type of information you want your autoresponder to deliver to your prospects, setting it up to run for a long time (say for a whole year) is the idea thing. If you load up, say 52 messages, you’ll have something to send for each week of the year.

Of course, you may have trouble loading up this many messages or articles at once but there are places online where you can get your material for free. However, if you simply don’t have the time or content, you can always start with a few messages then go back and add more later.

3.Always Include Your Email Signature In The Autoresponder Messages

Once you have your autoresponder preloaded with messages or the required articles, it is important that you set up your signature. Your signature will be displayed at the bottom of every message the autoresponder sends out. This could be your name and link to your business website. You can also add a short description of your business as well, which will let clients or interested customers know a bit about your business. Your name and link to your business website will go a long way, letting your customers know that you are professional.

4. Every Messages Should Relate To Your Business

Never make the mistake of just stuffing things up because you want to load up a year’s content. This way, when you send out emails or messages, you’ll be sending out material that relates to your business or products. if your content is different from what your prospects are looking you run the risk of many of them unsubscribing from your list.

5. Update Your Autoresponder Messages As The Need Arises

From time to time as you get new products or information to send to your clients, you can update your log. When running a business, it’s very important that you keep your customers up to date. This way, your customers will know that you have new products available and ready for purchase. If you have a good relationship with them, they will be anticipating your new offers.

Final Thoughts: If you run a business via the Internet, an autoresponder is definite to make your life a whole lot easier. You can build a flourishing online business working only with an autoresponder and no website. But if you attempt to market with a website and no autoresponder you will run into problems. An autoresponder will allow you build a subscribers’ list – your most valuable business asset! The truth is, once you’ve tried using an autoresponder, you’ll never imagine your business without it.

How To Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaigns To Be Mobile-Friendly!

Mobile Email Marketing Tips
A silent revolution is going on in the marketing circles, with mobile (or better still smartphones) at the center of it all! Radicati Group recently published a report indicating that worldwide the number of email accounts are expected to increase from 3.3 billion accounts to over 4.3 billion by 2016. The reported also indicated that about 730 million of these email accounts access email via mobile or tablet devices!

Some other reports shows that in the first half of 2013 alone about 52% of emails were opened on mobile devices and of the about $61.8 billion of U.S. retail ecommerce holiday sales expected this year, transactions on mobile devices are expected to reach a record 16 percent!

This is indeed a green light for email marketers to think of adopting mobile email marketing as an urgent need.

But unfortunately, not many marketers are optimizing their email marketing campaigns for mobile devices as reported by eConsultancy. According their recent release only about 25% of marketers are presently taking advantage of the mobile revolution!

Recommended: How to Get Your Business Ready For the Coming Holiday Season Profit Takings!
The question that begs answer is why leave money on the table when you can easily mobile-ize your email marketing with a few changes? Why isolate more than half of your target audience who are using mobile devices?

I personally think it is a suicidal mission to ignore this super connected shoppers. And so, here are a few ideas to get you started on your mobile email marketing adoption.

5 Simple Ideas For Mobile Email Marketing Adoption:

1. Redesign Your Emails for mobile Users

One of the very first things you must consider to effectively reach out to mobile users is your email design. Since mobile devices have smaller screens than desktops, designing your email templates to take care of the small screen is simply the ideal thing. One of the simple solutions to consider is using a responsive design. With this type of design your target audience can easily read your emails both on their mobile devices and on their desktops without you doing any other thing after setup. The good news is that many autoresponder services have incorporated responsive email design into their services.

2. Use Short And Enticing Content

Of course, when marketing through email keeping content within reasonable length is essential. But this is doubly so when you’re optimizing for mobile devices. With smaller screens and an “on-the-go” mentality of mobile users you must put more emphasis on shorter but effective email content. Have a clear picture of who your audience is and what they want and succinctly package your email message to hit hard without taking much space. Avoid any fluff as trying to market to mobile users with long content will definitely generate some negative outcome.

3. Use Readable Font Size

For readability, the font used for email to be read in mobile devices should be larger than the font used for desktops. Some industry experts advocate using HTML to control the font sizes. This way the email copy would be presented at 12 pixels for desktop users and 14 pixels for the mobile users. Others however recommend using text as images in the content but in using this it is important that the font size used within the image is a size that is readable on mobile devices. However, these issues are taken care of you’re using a responsive design.

Recommended: How To Make Money From Home Using Email Marketing
4. Use An Un-Obstructive Navigation

As mentioned earlier mobile devices have smaller screens than desktops and making the best use of the small space available is very important. Now, it is common knowledge that consumers do not fancy the idea of scrolling websites. Understanding this you should move your most important content to the top of your email message. One way of doing this is to move the navigation and menu of your email to the bottom of the page instead of putting it at the top as most marketers do. This way your most important content would be well positioned and read early enough.

5. Make Contact Info Readily Accessible

One good thing about smartphones is that users can easily call businesses or access needed information on the go. Making your contact info easily accessible in your email promotions therefore means potential customers can easily get across to you while reading your emails. By using specific mobile apps you can make your phone numbers clickable. If your business has a physical walk in store adding maps to your emails will also make it easy for customers to locate your store – a possibility of more business for you!

It is very clear that adapting to the on-going mobile email marketing revolution is something you can easily adopt and now is the time to do so. Considering the growing number of mobile phone users right now, not optimizing your email marketing campaigns for mobile is simply shortchanging your business. It is therefore time to re-evaluate your email marketing tactics today and make the necessary changes.

Let’s have your views on this post about optimizing your email marketing campaigns for mobile devices. Feel free to post your views in your comments below.

Why Email Marketing: 6 Reasons To Invest In Email Marketing In 2013!

Why Email Marketing still hold sway when many thougth otherwise

A few years ago many marketing pundits referred to email marketing as a dying internet marketing strategy. They predicted email marketing to fade out in a matter of years!

But it is surprising that we are now in 2013 and instead of fading out email marketing has remained a strong force in doing business online. In fact, it is now predicted to be one of the biggest online sales drivers.

The advent of social media marketing (another big one for building relationships online) could not in any way stop it. Bloggers who a few years ago considered it anathema have now become the biggest advocates of building email contact lists for relationship building and effective marketing!

Looking at all of these, the question one will want to ask is, why is email marketing so valuable in marketing online that it has defied every prediction and remained  a force to reckon with online?

Why, despite the increase of email spam (one of the biggest problems of email marketing), marketers have continued to levitate towards using email marketing for online businesses?

Why Email Marketing Has Defied The Pundits’ Word!

1.    Easier Leveraging Ability

Email marketing gives the easiest way to leverage on the power of the internet. I’m sure you know one of the reasons for using the internet for business is the ability to reach a large number of your target audience in a cost-effective, quick and easy way.

Now, email marketing gives you just that power. With email marketing you simply need to compose an email targeted at the reader and her needs, customize it with the necessary tags (first name or last name, etc), and then click the broadcast button to reach thousands of people instantly!

Nothing can be this easier and if you truly want to reach the millions of online buyers and prospects then making use of email is something you want to consider.

2.    Scalability

If you have been involved in an offline business you will understand that the more customers you have, the busier you become. However, in email marketing, it is much easier because regardless of the size of your mailing list, whether it is 100 or 10,000, all you need to do is click broadcast and everyone on the list gets notified! You don’t really need any extra effort to reach more prospects. Big or small, it all takes the same effort!

Why email marketing3.    Highly Targeted

Another reason why email marketing has remained highly effective at getting sales and therefore has refused to bow to the negative predictions is the fact that the recipients get a kind of “in your face” marketing promotion. With email, you are marketing directly to the customer through their PERSONAL mailbox. Not only will you grab their attention firmly, they will tend to respond with the right buyers mindset because they are marketed to directly, unlike other advertising where the buyer might not be in the frame of mind to buy things.

4.    Personal Marketing In Action

With autoresponders you can customize your email marketing message in such a way that it allows you to connect with the subscriber individually. This is really a big plus for email marketing because the more personalized your email, the better the result because it comes like a message from a friend.

5.    Automation Made Easy

There’s nothing that online marketers love more than the ability to automate things. Frankly! Just take a look around you. We want to automate our content creation. We want to automate traffic generation. Even social media interactions which are supposed to be interpersonal relationships are being automated!

Now, there is no other area where automation is really much easier and better than email marketing. With an autoresponder, you can time your emails to enable you build a really intimate relationship with every new opt-in subscriber! You can decide, for every new opt-in subscriber, what to send, when to send it to them and the frequency between each email.

6.    A Good Pre-Selling Strategy

Whatever you are selling online you know the importance of preselling, especially if you are an affiliate marketer.  With email you will not only be able to build a relationship with your subscribers but also presell them and lead them to your blog, sales letter or website (or affiliate product site as the case may be) to check out what you have to offer. Of course, with the email you are able to set them in the right frame of mind before they evaluate what you have to offer them.

You Need Email Marketing No Matter Your Online Business

Now, can you see why email marketing has remained central in marketing online? If you are not implementing email marketing in your online business, you’re definitely losing out. Whether you are a blogger or a web entrepreneur, one of the good decisions you can make for your business this year is to have a system to build an email list.

In subsequent posts I’ll be delving deeper into this subject. Some of the topics we’ll be dealing with will include how to set up your autoresponder to build fruitful relationships with your prospects and customers, the etiquette and effective strategies of email marketing in a socially connected internet and of course, how to integrate email into your blogging and social media marketing strategies.

I know you don’t want to miss any of these posts because the purpose is to help you boost your online profits. But you may not be able to follow these updates if you are not signed up for my free update newsletter. I therefore ask you get your free signature in the box below.

It’s Your Turn: That’s it from me for now. Share your thoughts and opinion on this subject in your comment below. Do you consider email marketing as ideal for bloggers? Do you think it is a good online marketing investment? Over to you!

Photo credits: Flickr.com

Affiliate marketing income

Affiliate Income Strategy: How To Quickly Double Your Income In 2013

Let’s roll the ball and make more money. Are you ready?   Affiliate marketing income

Does this sound familiar, you wake up early in the morning, logged into your affiliate account expecting to see orders.

But to your greatest surprise, you found $0.0000?

As if that wasn’t enough, you kept a positive outlook, and waited for three months. Still, you didn’t make any money.

What am I not doing right? You kept asking yourself. The truth is, you’re not alone.

I’ve been an affiliate marketer for over 3 years, even before I became a freelance writer.

The frustrations are enormous. It could make someone go insane – after all, you’ve worked hard enough. You deserve to make money online.

Focus On The Right Stuff

Call me crazy for what I’m about to say. You didn’t make enough money from the affiliate offers you’re promoting because you were focusing on the wrong stuffs.

The moment I realized this, I began to see results pretty fast. By results, I don’t mean $1000 per day as advertised by so-called gurus. But I’ve earned $110.23 per day from my affiliate marketing efforts.

So, What Exactly Are You Missing?

“You’re desperate for money!”

Did you know that out of desperation, you can make a lot of mistakes? It’s obvious. People who make money online have mastered the art of giving value.

You can’t cast a magic spell on money because it doesn’t answer to that. The only thing that matters is what you’re offering to the market.

I’ve seen people with viable and hot affiliate products fail woefully. The problem isn’t the product or the product owner, but the marketer failed to provide value. As a content marketer, I understand that when your mind isn’t relaxed, you can’t produce quality content. True or false?

You’d end up infusing your pain and frustration into the content – thereby losing its juice. Such content can’t speak to people’s need or solve a problem. It’s the type that gets slapped by Google Panda or Snake. He he!

The more value you provide, the more money you make. Let me quickly show you how to deliver great value and make more money with affiliate marketing.

Build Premium Email List

Don’t get this mixed up; there is a BIG difference between collecting email leads for your business and building a premium email list.

The word “premium” means high quality. In other words, the only way to double your affiliate commission is when your subscribers are responsive. If you haven’t heard that “the money is in the list,” you’re living under a rock.

But allow me to paraphrase that statement, “The money is in the relationship you’ve established with those who joined your list.” And the list bait (e-book, software, membership access et al) you’re using must not be FREE. I mean it, don’t give away free stuffs.

That’s a BIG mistake which has kept several people from meeting their affiliate marketing goals. You don’t expect people to buy what you’re promoting with ease, when you didn’t offer value in the first place. If you must give away stuffs in exchange for leads, ensure that it’s “premium.”

What Does That Mean?

Ideally, you should buy the product you intend to promote as an affiliate. This way, you can read and discover the “strengths” and “weaknesses” of the product.

You can also take screenshots of the member area and use for your review. If you do all of these, your conversion rate would increase. Guaranteed!

But if you can’t afford the product, you should contact the product owner and ask for details. You could even test the product.

It depends on how well you communicate with the owner. He or she would be glad to help you out – the more sales you bring, the more money he makes. It’s a win/win situation for both of you.

Give away a short report, e-book or 5-minute video that can educate potential buyers. When you allow people to glance through the paid product at no cost, they’d be more than willing to get the full product.

That’s my secret and it’s never failed – it works pretty well. This kind of giveaway is unique, and speaks of value to people who actually subscribed. They’d thank you for giving them access to the product, before asking for their hard earned money.

Eliminate The Dollar Mindset, Earn More!

To a large extent, when you unveil the good and ugly aspects of any affiliate product, you’d double the conversion rate by 203% or more.

I was surprised that potential buyers still felt comfortable when I told them that the product would take time to bring results. Rather than making false claims and cunning people, I decided to come out as an honest person. You should be honest, too.

When you eliminate the dollar mindset, you’d earn more. Because, now your product reviews would take on a new cap. You’d be concerned about people and their needs.

Of course, you still want people to purchase the product – but that’s not your #1 priority/focus. You want to build a lasting relationship with buyers, so that in the nearest future, they can become an asset when you launch your own product.

Stop Holding Back

Create a separate landing page for the product you’re affiliated to.

This way, you can channel quality traffic to the page, build a premium list and begin to spoon-feed subscribers with rich, valuable and friendly content.

Second, understand that no affiliate product/program is 100% perfect. If you assert that yours is, it’s a slap on the buyers’ face because you’re lying.

Stop hoarding vital information that can help people make buying decisions. It’s your turn to build a system that will generate income even when you’re asleep.

See you ahead!

[This is a guest post by Michael Chibuzor a Freelance writer and content marketer for T3leads. Check out the T3leads payday affiliate program to make some extra money in 2013.]

12 Days of Christmas: A Daily Inspiration for the Season!

Today, in light of the Yuletide season, I’m starting a daily dose of inspiration and empowerment talk aimed at helping you better appreciate what you have passed through in the year and preparing you for the coming year!

The idea for this actually came to me after what I passed through this past week when the Web Income Journal came down for the second time this year! Indeed, it was yet another trying moment for me as different thoughts raced through my mind.

Wonderfully enough I was able to overcome these negative thoughts and during that time I came to realize that a whole lot of thing account for many abandoning their dream of enjoying the internet lifestyle!

Yes, the purpose of the Web Income Journal is to “educate, inspire and empower our esteem readers and friends” as clearly stated on our tagline:

Inspiration. Empowerment. Results!

And what better time to do this than now. For this reason I have decided to give my own little 12 days of Christmas inspirational dose which I hope will greatly help one way or the other!

12 Days of Christmas Inspiration from WebIncomeJournal.com

First, you may want to hear my story…

On Wednesday 4th December I woke up fully loaded and energized for the day’s activities. The day before I had published the readers’ appreciation webhosting giveaway post and waking up that morning, I was excited about the things I was going to do.

And so, with high spirits and after a few things to set the day rolling,  I proceeded to load the Web Income Journal but instead of the site loading it returned a 403 forbidden error!

I couldn’t understand what was happening. At first I thought it was something to do with my computer but when I tried another one and the message was the same, I knew there was trouble!

I immediately got on the phone with the mind of contacting my webhost. But then, I was met with another surprise, none of the customer service numbers were working!

To make matters worst, when I attempted visiting the webhost’s site to create a support ticket, I discovered that the their site was also down!

You could practically see my frustration at this point. I tried desperately a few more times but after about 4 hours of trying without any results I was both annoyed and wondered why this was happening again a few months after this site faced a whole lot of troubles which also had to do with webhosting?

After about 8 hours of waiting and contemplating what to do, I received an email that simply read….

“Hi,

“One of the accounts hosted on your VPS is causing load issues by running multiple instances of resource intensive PHP scripts. Due to these scripts laod is going high and our clients are experiencing performance issues. Here is the list of processes that we found running on your VPS: (then followed a list of codes that were the cause of the problem).”

“We had no other choice but to disable web access of this account. You need to contact your developer in order to optimize these scripts and queries to ensure they consume less amount of resources.”

Seeing this as a ray of hope, I quickly replied the email asking for more clarification promising to fix the problem. But somehow till this hour, no answer came in reply to the questions I asked neither was there any other one to the other emails I sent later.

This was really unsettling for me as this has never happened before.

All Is Well That End Well…!

After 2 days of trying different ways to access the site (with no reply from my webhost and web access still disabled to the site, I really did not know what to do) without any success, I decided on starting a fresh site using the backup I had with me, though that would have led to my losing about one month’s content.

But then, I felt moved to check the VPS Control Panel. To my surprise, it opened! Surprised at this, I proceeded to open the Root Control Panel (this is the central control for all the sites hosted on the VPS account) and this also opened without any problem.

It was then I realized that the internet access was only cut off to the blog and not the root cpanel!

At this point my hopes were rekindled and I quickly took a backup of the database and also downloaded some other essential files. Once I had the backup and files, I was ready to set up the blog again.

Well, it was 4 days of soul searching for me.  Experiencing two site failures in just a year was damn too much for me. However, throughout this period the words of Apostle Paul, one of the foremost fathers of the Christian faith, were always ringing in my heart:

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are prepared, but not in despair; perplexed, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…

“For our light affiction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

These words not only uplifted my spirit but also gave renewed zeal knowing that what is happening is only but for a moment but what is ahead is far more glorious!

And so, with that mind I went on to install a fresh blog and wonderfully the blog is back without any loss of data. Even the webhosting giveaway post which was published a few hours before the tragedy struck is intact!

So, What’s the Lesson for Us?

Ironically, instead of this incident crushing my spirit it rather boosted my resolve to move on to accomplishing my dreams! Yes, at first I had some unsettling thoughts but then considering those words of Apostle Paul I realized my dreams are just too big to be crushed by disappointments like this one. And this is what has fired my decision to share this with you.

I don’t know your experiences so far in your journey to achieving your dreams online, one thing that is sure is, do not allow such experiences to deter you. Don’t allow them distract you from the fact that you have a destination – a goal. See them as temporary setbacks but your destination is something too big to be stopped.

And so, here is my encouragement to you…

  • Don’t Give Up – Adversities Are Actually Your Advance Riders!
  • You may not be able to prevent every tragedy from happening but you can prevent them from destroying you!
  • Your goal and dreams are far too wonderful to be stopped.
  • Tragedies that come your way are truly there to teach you things you may never have learned otherwise!

Yes, keep on the race and always remember: “Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win!”

You will end well!

Your friend.

Chadrack

Webhosting Giveaway – 1Yr Guaranteed Optimum Hosting, Yours FREE!

[UPDATE: This giveaway has ended. Please read the details about the winners here.]

In December of 2011, I gave out a special Christmas gift appreciating our esteemed readers! It was indeed something unusual as I gave away a free link to all who posted a comment on this blog for the whole year!

Since then many, mostly those who are new readers, have been asking if I would do the same thing this year.

Well, as much as I truly want to appreciate all my blog readers in the spirit of the Christmas celebration, I also know that I should do something different this year.

Free Webhosting Giveaway - Christmas thank you gift!

And so, as the Christmas season drew near, I had to put on my thinking cap!  Of course, many ideas came to mind but I wasn’t really satisfied with them. However, when a few weeks ago I got an email from Mr. Khuram, the Marketing Director of Zyma Technologies (www.zyma.com) a hosting company based in the UK , asking if I would be interested in hosting a webhosting giveaway, I immediately checked out the site and after a few questions about the features, I was satisfied that this is simply good enough as a “Thank-You-Gift” for our esteemed readers!

But Why a WebHosting When You’re Going To Pay For It After 1yr?

Now, you may be womdering why a webhost when after the one year you are going to pay for it? Or what another webhost when you are already hosting somewhere else?

Frankly, I believe that one thing you must get right about your online business is your webhosting company. This blog is running on a VPS hosting account and I know how much that takes away from my pocket every month. And so, offering you a one year free web hosting account to me is really something great.

Here are few things you could do with the free account:

1. Get a new domain and host it on the account – If you are thinking of expanding your business, maybe with a few niche sites (like I’m thinking of doing in the coming year!)

2. Host your existing domain – As much as I don’t want to suggest you move your money site right now, but if you have been having problems with your present host, then this is an opportunity to move house!

NOTE: You are getting a whole 1yr free which to me is really enough to evaluate this company. If after the 1year you are not satisfied with their services, you can always move to another host but if you found them to be good, you would have made enough money for the year to pay for another year ahead!

So, What Are You Getting In This Webhosting Giveaway!

I’m sure you want to know what you will be receiving from this free giveaway, right?

Alright, here’s what you get:

Unlimited Web space
Unlimited Traffic
Unlimited Email AccountsZyma Webhosting graphic
Unlimited SQL Databases
Unlimited Sub-domains
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
Free Transfer & Setup
Free Tech Support
cPanel Web Hosting
Fantastico De Luxe
Softaculous Premium
Attracta SEO tools via cPanel
CloudFlare CDN Support

Plus These Ecommerce Features:

FREE  Shopping cart software
Paypal integration
Accept credit cards on your site

And much more!

Please read more of the features here.

 

How to Enter For the Giveaway

As an appreciation contest, I want to make this as simple as possible and so I’m using Rafflecopter. To enter you simply need to sign into the widget below.

Once you are signed in, you will be presented with a few options which you can actually do in a few minutes, like posting a comment, tweeting and sharing on your favorite social media. Of course, to increase your chances of winning you definitely want to do all of the options available.

Coming around once a day to do more of the options will also be a plus to your garnering more points necessary to make you one of the winners!

Declaration of Winners

We expect that you have the whole of 2013 for your free webhosting and so this contest will be ending on the 31st of December, 2012 while the winners will be announced on 2nd of January, 2013.

Please ensure that you enter the contest using a working email address because that is the only way winners will be contacted.

Winners will be by simple majority of points as reported by Rafflecopter at the end of the contest. Please note that some of the actions require validation so where this is required in the Rafflecopter giveaway widget, please ensure you input the required action.

The Prizes

There are 3 slots which will go to the first 3 lucky winners. Like I have said above, these are the people with the highest points at the end of the contest.  The 3 slots get one (1) full year of free hosting with all features included.

And so, let the fun begin!

free webhosting giveaway results

Good luck to everyone!

blog commenting problems

Blog Commenting For Backlinks: Can It Affect You Negatively?

Hello everyone. It’ s yet another Monday and as usual it’s time for community time-out.

Today, I want to share with you an experience I had in the past couple of weeks. I know we all accept blog commenting as link building tactic. But as much as this is true, I believe this experience will teach us some lessons, especially those who are misusing this strategy.

Link Building SEOs Who Careless about The Results

A few days ago, I received an email from a site owner who demanded I remove all links pointing to his site from my blog because they were not authorized by him!

When I read that email was pained in the heart because I’m very much aware that I’ve never exchanged reciprocal links with anyone and so saying that the links from my blog to his site were not authorized by him, trying to put me on the guilty box, was not agreeable to me. And I made this clear in my response.

Here’s the graphic of the emails between us:

blog commenting problems

and my reply:

My reply to blog commenting problem

(please I had to block the name and links of the person concerned to avoid more problems!)

A few days later another email came with some graphics of the backlinks in question and from this I immediately knew that those backlinks were created by someone who had been a regular commenter on this blog since 2010 to the early months of this year!

Turning the Tide – Becoming the Offended Instead Of the Offender!

This made me more annoyed, and I made it clear in my second email that I should be the offended one because someone in his pay must have abused the ‘dofollow’ generosity of my blog!

However, still ready to help because I now sense that he must have been a victim of some bad SEO company, I requested the URLs of the pages where those links appeared as a condition for me to remove the links. Here’s what I sent him:

Blog commenting for backlinks

I later received two other emails, one from the site owner who and another from an SEO company, who I presume has been hired to correct the wrong that has been done.

In these two letters they were both apologetic. They made it very clear that the problem was a result of the dubious dealings of an earlier SEO which has led to the site being penalized by Google. Removing the offending links was therefore a necessity!

more replies

And of course, the SEO company’s email contained the URLs links!

Good Ending to a Bad Story

The good news is that with the URLs provided it took me less than an hour to remove those links.

[Update: Here is a graphic of the email of this person later sent me]

However, the whole incident has brought up a few things that I hope we can learn from. Fact is, blog commenting can be a good way of generating traffic from other blogs, creating connections, and building back links for improved search engine rankings. But, it can also be costly when applied wrongly.

For example, this marketer has discovered how costly it can be to hire the wrong hands:

1. He spent money thinking he was doing his business some good but ended up with a problem. In an earlier issue we discovered here I talked about companies employing SEOs to send away clients from their sites because of using misspelt keyword phrases. This is another example of spending money to punish your business. Lol!

2. Precious time and more money is now being spent to correct the earlier mistake. I’m not against career SEOs but how long will online entrepreneurs realize that creating quality and customer-centric web content that is expertly optimized for the search engines, is more important than what most SEOs will want us to believe? Google’s algorithm changes in the recent times have clearly made us understand this. If you must invest your money in your business please invest it wisely.

3. As a freelance SEO content writer, I’ve always known that it is immoral and wicked to take a clients money and do something that will ultimately affect the client negatively. I think it is our duty to let the client know the implication of what we do because most clients do not have a basic knowledge of SEO but you who knows (that is why you are the expert) must stay away from ‘black-hat’ tactics. This incident has reinforced that belief for me.

4. Finally, this is a wakeup call for those who are here because they had been hired by someone to build links. Please beware because one day, that person may turn around to hate you if you build backlinks that turn out to be a problems for your clients. You’re warned!

Over to You:  I don’t know if you learned any lessons from this incident. I’ll love to hear from you in your comments. Also, as a blogger if someone had contacted you with this problem how would you have handled it? Share with us in your comments below.