Quick Start Challenge – Week 5

As requested, many turned up online for the call early, only to be told that we should wait for 10 minutes for any stragglers to join.  This is one of the most obvious sales pitch starts, so we all knew what we were in for.

The webinar started with a summary of where we were, and then commenced a sales pitch for iPro, although at no stage were we told exactly what iPro was, what market sector it covered, and whether the subject was in your niche area.  The sales pitch went on for 3 hours.

As the webinar went along, it moved further away from the audience’s reality of today and into their dreams of tomorrow.  Why sell a $20 affiliate product when you could sell a $1000 product was repeated over and over.  There was always mention of how easy it was to sell big ticket items.

Product Sales Funnel

But lets get real;  it takes the same effort to sell a $10 product as it does a $1000 one, but the process is just a bit longer.  And this was acknowledged, but used as a further sales tool as to why iPro was so good for you.

There was also a great use of the subliminal visioning; the word ‘imagine’ was used hundreds of times.  ‘Imagine what t would be like to earn $10K a month’ linked to ‘imagine what it would be like to be an iPro partner’.  All great stuff, but most people involved in the Challenge still had issues imagining what getting a few leads would feel like, let alone making money.

At the 2.5 hour mark we were told the price of signing up for the iPro offer, although again not fully outlined what it was, simply being told we could license ‘some’ of the top selling products. The price was not $30K, not $10K, not $4997, not $2997 but $1997.  Yes it was that predictably corny.  Then there were the bonuses, and the obvious monthly payment options.

Almost hidden in plain view was the fact that none of this would work unless we drove thousands of leads to our site; and one part of the iPro offer was a lead generation course.

I am not sure how many people bought into it, but in my mind the presentation was just too long, too vague with too much smoke and mirrors to keep me motivated to buy, and by the time the price was displayed it had already lost any wow factor.

There was some good information disclosed in the webinar if you could remove the blatantly crude subliminal selling.  The sales funnel process and the five product types you need all made good sense, but are all available from any number of affiliate offers for free today.

5 Product Sales Funnel

So can we use this information to continue our journey with our blog? Of course we can.

What Now?

Let’s summarise where we are today then:

  • Week 1 – We got a domain name, hosting, and set up WordPress with minimal content.
  • Week 2 – We added more content, comments and worked on lead generation techniques
  • Week 3 – We created our lead magnets and added an optin form
  • Week 4 – We did more of the same
  • Week 5 – We got sold to

And lets look at what support we got:

  • Week 1 – Some good free videos on how to get started
  • Week 2 – Use of the Facebook forum to chat to each other
  • Week 3 – Given some keywords like ‘autoresponder’ and ‘optin’ and told to sort it yourself. Yet this was the hardest part to do, even for experienced marketers.
  • Week 4 – Nothing
  • Week 5 – We got sold to

So for those that have a blog and are getting leads you have done really well.  And to those of you that haven’t, it really isn’t your fault.  The process appears to have been set up to get you all fired up at the beginning, only to slowly fade out and wonder how you can get back on track.

Now do I think you should buy the iPro course.  Well it depends.  It comes down to the carrot or the stick approach.  If you get most work done by being supervised and monitored then it probably will be a good investment, and I assume here that there will be much more helps than has been given so far.

However, if you can manage on your own, even if you buy extra training course that cover specific tasks (like my ‘Get Started with WordPress’ course) then iPro doesn’t offer you much right now.  Stay doing what you are doing and slowly build your list.  Make sales to it by crafting a proper email series, which was not even covered in the Challenge (I wonder why?!) and you will see $1000 months very quickly.

Whatever you do, now is not the time to give up.  Keep dropping here or sign up to my mailing list and I will keep adding the tools and tasks to keep growing and moving in the right direction.  The processes above really are what you need to have in place to make money. You are capable of doing it yourself, but there are no shortcuts.  You don’t actually have to learn it all on your own.  Use selected courses to give you the information you really need to know, and when you understand fully how the process works for you you will be considered an expert.

Let me know in the comments box what specific training you are looking for.  I am working on a range of very targeted training covering the exact keystrokes you need to do to achieve success with plugins, themes, auto responders etc.

Revisit iPro when you get to that $1000 a month and see if it needs you more than you need it.

Running to Keep Up with the Auto Sender?

OMG! You got your first real optin signup.

The notification came into your inbox and now you are dancing around the room. Your site works and the first optin email has been set up. As the excitement fades you suddenly realise: I need to deliver them regular emails; my auto responder is empty!

If you auto responder looks like this then you need to start writing.

Empty Auto Responder

You can set up mails for each day, or every other day, or whatever schedule you want. I would suggest every day, and use each one to build up brand value with your subscribers. It is by regular mailing that you can get the subscribers trust, and then be able to offer them products to buy that make you profits.

Get Writing

Not sure how to write the mail? Or the best sequence of information to sales? I suggest you sign up to the free offers from and site you like, and then see how their mails look as they send them to you each day using their auto responder.

Get a sense of the style, layout, and tone of their mails.

If you don’t have any suitable affiliate offers yet to send your base then don’t worry. Write a mail that gives them some great information and a useful link back to your site.

If you find yourself a bit behind in populating the auto responder, then I would suggest you start by creating a mail a few days ahead of the sequence, maybe day 3 or 5. This will mean that anyone who has joined now, and missed the day 2 post because it wasn’t ready will get something the next day. Then go back and fill in the missing days.

It takes time to create your auto responder mails. They need to be short and readable, not long sales letters, and they need to have killer subject lines.

Think of the mails you get and read every day. As I said before, get a sense of the style, layout, and tone of the mails that you open and read. If possible, link back to your blog if you have a lot to say, as this is the best place for great content and makes your subscribers see you as an authority. Obviously to do this you need blog content written as well, so it is a time consuming effort to get set up. But once done, the rewards will come in.

Rules For Selling

The standard rules for sales emails are:

  • Mix of Information and sales messages, ratio 2:1 or better
  • No more than 3 sales products a month
  • Pre-sell your sales message
  • Post Re-inforce your sales message

Make your sales offers seem natural, not forced. There is an art to this, and a formula for delivery which I will show in an eBook that I am working on at the moment.

Note: Remember that people who buy from your list are then added into a buyers list so that you can market to them again but differently from the standard subscribers list. It allows you to have a conversation with then on the product they bought and give them more sales offers relevant to them.

Revisit Your Mails

There is nothing to stop you going back and editing your auto responder emails, to bring them up to date or change an offer. So if you set up a load with information, then feel free to go back and change one to an offer if you have one.

This is key to keeping all your messages fresh and relevant. You need to sign up to your own auto responder and check the messages each day.

Are the affiliate offers still valid? Some are long lived, such as WordPress plugin or theme sales, but others may only run for a few weeks or months and then expire. Check that your offers are still valid.

Hot Offers?

Got a really hot offer that won’t last long? Use the ‘direct mail’ sender to notify your subscribers. You use this method for mailing list swops and it is very successful if done right. There is a whole area of skill involved in create good sales letters, usually done over a few days to build up the excitement and urgency for the product. I will say more on this in another post.

So now you know what to do, and you have a subscriber who has opted in to get your messages. So go and start populating your auto responder now.

Quick Start Challenge – Week 4

Once again, congratulations to everyone on the Quick Start Challenge who have now made it this far. From the 1000+ who first registered, only 356 got a site up, only 150 managed to get a video created, and it seems that less than 80 managed to get their opt-in page up. And that includes those that created and opt-in page that doesn’t even link anywhere when you click submit.

I think those figures reflect how difficult the work was in week 3, especially as there was no blueprint to follow to at least get everyone up and running with a working site. A huge opportunity has been missed in helping these fellow bloggers and that is why I chose to give away a marketers blueprint in order to help as many as possible fulfil their destiny.

Quick Start Week 4

But overall, Week 4 of the Challenge came and what a disappointment it was to most people. I think everyone was expecting more constructive stuff to do. What we got was a summary of how important subscription services could be to our revenue streams and then a regular and subtle pre-sale for a high cost affiliate scheme called iPro.

Outside of this blatant pre-sales pitch, there were three nuggets to take away that anyone who has got this far should know.

  1. There is nothing more to do. Keep on keeping on.
  2. Add an offer to your thank you page, It’s the one place everyone will see.
  3. Offer affiliate subscription products if possible, the recurring revenues require zero work.

The first one may come as a surprise to many, but in reality you DO now have all the elements in place.  You need to keep on driving traffic to your site, which means hours a day commenting in forums and getting the visitors.  Its boring, but it works.  And it’s free.

The offer on your thank you page is an obvious one, but rarely done by new bloggers because they have set their sites up as a startup and not expecting large numbers of visitors.  There is nothing wrong with this, as the process is pretty much the same.  Sure, for now you may be leaving money on the table, but first you really need to understand the process.  Only then can you start to tweek things to work harder for you.

Lastly, sell recurring billing products to make more money.  Duh, yeah.  But so far no one has even spoken about where to find good quality products, let alone quality recurring products.  I have a whole post on that alone, but as you are starting out its not a big priority.

Your priority should be getting people to click on your optin and to subscribe to your list.  From that point on you can start to have a quality dialog with them, and prove to yourself that you have an optin that works.

Right now you need to think about offering the right lead magnet, and then populating your autoresponder with the right content.  Starting out always feels strange, but your visitors won’t know that.  So if you haven’t got any products to sell them as an affiliate yet, set up an autoresponder series offering them tips and links back to your own website.  Nothing is set in stone so you can edit your autoresponder sequence at any time.

The Week 5 Task is just to turn up.  I really hope that it is not just a sales pitch, but an hour or two of quality input as to how to improve our sites.  Either way, we have now got website started from scratch that have visitors and get people to optin to our list.  From here on, we own our own destiny.

Quick Start Challenge – Week 3

Firstly, congratulations again to everyone on the Wealth Challenge who has made it this far. From the 1000+ who first registered, only 356 got a site up, and now only 150 managed to get a video created. And that includes those that created one without themselves being in it. So if you are here then you are already in the top 15% and ready to start on the next and possibly the most valuable stage.

So what is the next stage? Well, you now have a functioning WordPress blog site, with content being added regularly, and traffic visiting your site. Now you need to start capturing those visitors into an email list by offering them something that they want and value enough to take action.

As a basic minimum, the visitor will go through the following stages:

The Process To Make Money

  1. Traffic driven to the site sees the opt-in form or squeeze page and enters their details
  2. The opt-in page integrates with your auto-responder
  3. The now opted in visitor is sent to a thank you page.
  4. That thank you page and be a simple ‘thank you for subscribing’ or it could be a sales page for an affiliate product, along the lines of ‘you free product has been emailed to you. Whilst you are waiting for it you may be interested in..’
  5. The opt-in details are sent to the auto-responder.
  6. The auto-responder adds it into a specific campaign, which you created when you set up the opt-in offer. You can have multiple campaigns, so if you change your offer magnet you simply create a new campaign if you want to keep the leads separate.
  7. Once in the auto-responder, regular emails go out to the subscriber based on the timeframes you have set up, with the fixed content you had in them.
  8. You can at any time send specific emails to your campaign lists, outside of any regular auto-responder process.

You can see from the diagram that you can start to sell to your list when they sign up as well as later using your auto-responder mails.

With the process clearly defined in your mind, you now need to take action to make it happen. The tasks are:

  • Identify the key lead magnet for your site
  • Create a free offering to give visitors to your site in exchange for their email address
  • Sign up to an auto-responder
  • Add an opt-in link to you site and/or a squeeze page
  • Create a thank you page and deliver the free offer to the opted in visitor
  • Create an ongoing stream of emails to populate the auto-responder.

The above list will take a lot of time to do properly, and you need to view each task as an investment in your site building. Each component builds up into an awesome solution which you will use going forwards to capture visitors and make sales. Most of the tasks are one-off activities, but the more quality time you spend now the greater the rewards will be later.
Note: None of the above tasks have to be fixed. If you want to change and edit your offer, your opt-in methods, your emails etc. you can do so. For now it is important to get something produced and visible to the world. Save perfection for later.
It may initially feel a bit disjointed as it is hard to test until all the bits are in place. Do not be afraid, it looks harder than it is in practice.

Choosing The Optimum Giveaway – Your Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is basically a ‘lead attractor’ that offers something with so much value that visitors are compelled to hand over their email address in order to get it. It acts as a showcase for what you are about and is a great way to attract the right kind of visitors, sharing common goals and ambitions, into you list.

For most sites you will only have one opt-in offer, and that will use your chosen lead magnet to highlights what your site is about.

The purpose of the lead magnet is to get opt-ins from people with a common need, which you can then mail using the auto-responder. It is common to think you need to have multiple offers but in reality you don’t. Your blog should be positioning you to be an expert in a particular area, and the single lead magnet you need to create should be something that offers real value to all your target visitors. Can you imagine how confusing it would be if a visitor had to opt-in multiple times to get different content from your site?

I have created a free report on how to identify the best lead magnet for your site, and then how to create the item you intend to give away that delivers the real value you want your new subscribers to see. It is important that you have the optimum lead magnet wording for the opt-in in order to get visitor to convert into subscribers, but it is also that the item delivered to them exceeds their expectations. You want them to be wowed by it and eager to hear more from you as your auto-responder kicks in, rather than dismayed and looking for that unsubscribe link.

I outline some of the tools and processes to get the opt-in process up and running in the next few posts, and detail some of the tools you can use to really improve conversions over and above the normal levels of most marketers.

Promote Your Blog to the Search Engines – With Ping-o-Matic

If you have set up Google Analytics, then you have probably also set up your Google Site map and made sure you are now being indexed by the big G. But what about the other search engines? And the niche search engines? If you are serious about getting traffic then you need to be indexed by as many search engines as possible; and there is a tool to do that for you.

Ping-o-Matic is a free web based tool created by WordPress that will promote your blog or site to loads more search engines. It basically informs other search engines that your site is live and has content that they should look at. It cannot make then index your site, and most will add you to their database and visit you when they have time, usually over a few days. Use your Google Analytics to see which search engine spiders has visited you.

To use Ping-o-Matic click http://pingomatic.com/

A simple page comes up that asks for your blog details and search options.


Fill in your website details, select all the search engine options (why wouldn’t you?) and then Click ‘Send Pings’. The following page pops up:

PingoMatic Complete

The address bar shows you a long link which is specific to your site. Bookmark it or save it somewhere you can get to readily. You will be using it regularly (the webpage even tells you to bookmark it in case you forget)

You only really need to run this process once a week, and only if you have added lots of new content to your blog. Do not run it too often ans the smaller search engines may simply ignore you forever if the content doesn’t change.

Now isn’t that an incentive to write more?

Commenting on Other Blogs – Is It Worth It?

Website PlansAs part of the Web Wealth Challenge, you were asked to add comments onto fellow Challenge members’ sites, and in return they would comment back on ours. As you get going, this is a source of free traffic and gets you some social activity on your site.

However, it takes a lot of effort to do, with a lot of frustrations along the way, so it’s only natural to ask ‘is it worth it?’

Here’s my thoughts.

The list of Challenge members blogs had 359 blog domain names on them so we could visit each one to comment.

  • 138 of those blogs did not allow any comment posting at all.
  • 29 of those blogs only allowed a comment if you were logged into their site. Clearly they hadn’t set up the ability to add comments correctly. Many had no idea how to set up WordPress to accept comments, and the default install settings are different depending on host, so this is not their fault.
  • Only 192 of the blogs actually allowed for a comment to be added. That is just over 50%

It takes the same amount of time to visit site and try to identify if you can post comments or not, regardless of whether they have comments on or off. This means that almost 50% of our time was wasted visiting sites that we could not comment on.

So I put a nice, relevant comment, onto 192 blogs, over a period of 6 days, taking about 1 hour per day. How many of those bloggers returned the favour and put one on mine? 48. That’s a 25% return on sites that could take comments (13% of all sites visited).

Am I surprised? Not really, and here’s why. All the blogs in the initial list were people who wanted to take part in the Challenge, and had very little barrier to entry. They simply needed to set up a WordPress site and create a single post. Many of them had done just that, and had not done any more a week later.

Many of the comments I added to sites are still ‘awaiting moderation’, which implies that either the blogger doesn’t know what to do, or more likely, they have given up and not visited their blog in a week.

But 48 did comment back on my site, and commented on a range of pages, with relevant and informed comments. I thank each of you for that. I also made the effort to reply to all comments where a reply would be useful, which I know has increased my returning visitors total.

There were 2 comments made that were just pathetic and pointless, but I just deleted these. Remember that you don’t have to accept and show all comments made – that’s why they await your moderation.

So was it worth doing?

Yes and No. The list of blogs to visit was unique in that it was full of startup sites. You would normally only add comments to established sites, which would all have comments turned on. Likewise the current returning comment is from the owner of the site. With the more established sites the comment back would be from one of their visitors, and unlikely to be the blog owner themselves (although they would be likely to reply to us in their comments)

We have built some backlinks by commenting, although this will be hard to quantify until all the sites are indexed and hopefully all the comments are approved and do not sit awaiting moderation. Google Backlink tools will show us how we are doing on this, but it really takes time to come through.

The work did generate some comments back, which will in future develop a display of social engagement and community on your site. However as you might expect, these early comments are all from other, competing blogs, and not from regular visitors that you would want to convert to subscribers.

The discipline of visiting blogs and commenting is one to maintain. Don’t underestimate the power of developing good habits.

It is unlikely that we will do this again in this format. Obviously we will continue to add comments to those sites we added comment to before (I hope you kept a list) and ignore those that have not developed further. But we will also now start targeting other blogs in our marketplace or niche that are more established. Start adding them to your list of sites worth commenting on and then visit them about once a month so they don’t think you are spamming them in any way.

Next year, turning on comments will be part of my Challenge.

Comment Luv

Of the 192 that allowed comment posting, only 28 had Comment Luv installed. Comment Luv allows the comment to include a link back to a post of your choice on your site, by default the most recent one. It is not actually needed to make a comment, and although it is nice to have, it really isn’t the norm. If anything it is more likely to encourage other competing blogs to add comments to your site rather than normal visitors that you want to convert into subscribers. I don’t have it on my site and no one has said its missing.

AntiSpam with Akismet

Installing the Akismet plugin block any spam comments and made moderation easy by filtering out the crap. It’s an essential time saver. And it’s free.


Many blogs had Captcha codes on them, that required you to enter a text code from an image or maths sum. These I think just hinder real people from leaving comments, whilst adding little safety from spammers that have tools to defeat them when they comment. If you use Akismet then drop the Captcha codes and make it easier for your visitor.

So in summary, don’t be too disillusioned by the return on your time for the small amount of comments traffic. It is not typical of what you can expect, and has set you up to understand how to make good comments, and how to make it easy for your visitor to add a comment to your site.

This Will Take Hours – If It’s Done Right!

It never ceases to amaze me how many people that say they want to make money never want to make the effort to do so. I hope you are not one of these people.

Sometimes friends or acquaintances ask me what I do as they never seem to see me work. They want to know my ‘secret’ to making money as they would love my lifestyle, thinking how easy it must be not having to commute and to be your own boss. So I thought that today I would share the hours it has taken to get this blog to where it is now, and what is expected for us to do over the next weeks in order to be successful.

Ignoring the setup time, as that is a one-off thing, my days are broken down as follows:

  • 1 hour Write a quality post (it takes me longer but I’m optimistic here)
  • 1 hour Commenting on other peoples blogs (see my results here)
  • 1 hour Writing quality answers on Forums

So I spend 3 hours a day just adding to my site content and driving free traffic to it.

Now, if we want to successfully build a mailing list then we also need to create a regular mail message to the subscribers. Mail messages may be shorts but they need crafting with real skill; let’s say an hour a message, and you need a regular flow out from your auto responder.

  • 1 hour Writing a quality mail for the auto responder

So before you have done any keyword research, blog development, web surfing or any of the many background things you need to do to be successful, you are already doing 4 hours a day of serious keyboard work on your blog.

As you start out, you probably have to do this alongside your regular job, and that will be hard for many. You must never lose sight of the ultimate goal, which is to develop your blog to build a residual income stream so that you can leave your job. Work now, reward later.

From where you are on the Challenge, your first $ profit could be only 2 weeks away.

From the 1000 who registered, 356 got to create a blog and share it with us, and in week three only 150 completed the task to create a video. I am sure we will drop to around 100 with the next challenge. It’s a sad fact of life that most people prefer to keep doing the same thing and hope for change, rather than actually making it happen themselves.

So When Do I Work?

I am just not a morning person. I like a leisurely start to the day, at my home office desk by 10am, check my emails and see what’s happening in the world. That includes checking my blog site traffic and making sure everything is OK. Then maybe go for a cycle or run, catch up on other stuff and think about lunch, often with friends in Town. They think I have nothing to do. But as it heads to the evening, my brain focusses on work. Again I check the site stats and start to write a post that is relevant to my visitors. Next I look through the forums and write replies where I have something to offer. My signature at the bottom of my reply will get traffic to my site, but I only want quality traffic, so I only respond to sensible questions with a quality reply. The questions people ask often lead to ideas for posts so I copy them into notepad to refer to later. I do a few blog comment posts, but I find these don’t work as well as forums so I now put more time into those instead. (to see why click here)
Then it’s onto mail writing and scheduling, and then onto site maintenance and working with other blogs, affiliates and JV’s to create broader promotion and marketing plans. Sounds grand; I bet they are all working from home too, trying to be successful just like you.

Sundays are great days to publish a new post. Why? Because it is the day most people think about the return to their boring work on Monday and start to look around for better ways to make money. I am sure you can relate to that.

To create your Sunday post means you either need to work over the weekend, or write posts during the week and schedule them for release on Sunday. This is easy to do in WordPress, and the option is just above the ‘publish’ button. It helps to have a few posts ready to go that you can release on days you don’t write anything or just want a day off.

But do you think you can really take a day off from creating traffic or content so early in your blogs life? The following chart is my traffic for the first week of the site creation. Can you tell which day I wasn’t around to do anything? I bet you can!

Google Day Off

So let’s stick with it, the results are worth it and the money is so close you can almost smell it. Here’s to your first $ online.

Are You Monitoring Your Traffic?

So the last week has been spent getting traffic to your site. How’s it going?

If you think the answer to that question is ‘fine’ or ‘ok’, then let me ask you again. Differently:

  • How many unique visitors are you getting a day?
  • How Many repeat visitors are you getting a day?
  • What are you most popular posts?
  • What is your bounce rate?

There is really only one tool you need to track almost everything to do with your blog or site and that is Google Analytics. They have every tool you could need to track all the above questions and more.

Go to https://www.google.com/analytics/ and sign up if you have not got an account already. It can be a bit fiddly, but if you follow the steps one-by-one you can easily add your blog into the analytics so that every visitor is tracked and their actions reported clearly to you. The setup takes a matter of minutes, but you need to wait a few days for the data to start flowing into your account.

Whilst you are there, you need to sign up with Google Webmaster Tools. It is there you can see whether Google has spidered your site, and more importantly, where you can submit your sitemaps to Google to get faster indexing. That’s all in another post on here.

There are a number of plugins that you can use that claim to pull the Google traffic stats into your blog. You would probably only want to do this if you didn’t want to open another browser window to your Google Analytics. The plugins only give you a fraction of what Google can, and are fine for checking that traffic is as expected, but not something you should use to really understand your traffic.

Let me give you an example:

The following page is a sample from the Yoast Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Its ok, gives you a few headline numbers but that’s it.

Yoast Stats

The following page is just one of the many pages you can get from Google. All the information you need is on one page, simply laid out, and easily read.

Google Analytic Stats Starting Out

The Google Analytics gives you so much more, and the graphic is less than 1% of what you can get. Seriously, if you don’t use your Google Analytics then you are just playing about and not serious in making money.

So you have these stats now. So what? How do you interpret them and what are you going to do with them.

If you have created your blog from new, and are following the challenge, then you stats will look very much like the above. An initial bit of activity as you get the first page up. Then a quick burst of traffic that falls back; these are the people coming to check you out, the traffic falling as they don’t return. Then as you add more content, people come, read, and then return later to read your next bit of content.

The main point here is that you need to keep your visitor stats in mind at all times. It will be even more important when you start to collect opt-ins or paid links. The stats tell you what the visitors are looking at, where they are coming from, how long they stay on your site, where they are leaving you for and more.

If your traffic dips then you need to understand why. Is it because you have stopped doing something, is it a natural reaction to an activity done? You want to increase time on site, and you want to increase repeat visitors. The stats give it to you in cold facts; don’t get angry or emotional about it, just get onto addressing it.

Remember, in the challenge you were tasked to create the blog and then get some traffic. If you created a post only once a day, then you would still have only 10 posts maximum. Remember the video you had to make? Well that adds a considerable amount to the time-on-site value that Google loves, as people actually watch it. It adds a lot of other stuff too, but I am only talking about visits here.

On the very first webinar it was said:

Traffic + Conversions = Profit

You should be able to monitor the Traffic part of the equation, and you should be looking at it every day.

Conversions can be monitored in the next week or so.

Profit will come after that.

Making That First Video For The Quick Start Challenge

I have made many videos, but rarely do I put myself in the picture. There’s a reason for that.

Slide shows, product demos, screen shows etc are all used widely in sales videos and blog examples, where the focus is on the product or activity. It takes time to do properly, and it’s all about the content. Most of us are not movie stars and our fumblings on screen are not usually needed or valued by our visitors.

The above video took 47 seconds to record on my mobile phone and has so many things wrong with it it is shameful. But it is done and I can move on with the challenge. I will create another later to show you what I would be happy with, but that takes longer to create and edit.

So why make the video?
As stated in the Quick Start Challenge, the video is more to get us out of our comfort zones than anything else. Getting us to try something new and learn from the experience.

I know I learnt that I spent more time finding excuses to put off doing it than it took me to actually do. I also wish I had done it sooner, so that I could have spent more time on it.

But a video of ourselves also helps our visitors, and soon to be subscribers, start to build a trust relationship with us. We are who they see; it’s a bit like virtually shaking their hand.

There are some rules I like to follow when doing a video:

Be Presentable. You need to make the effort to be smart, natural and welcoming to your viewer. If you want to present yourself as a future internet millionaire then don’t dress like an unemployed gardener.

Location.Find a good place to present from that makes you feel comfortable. The webcam may be tied to your PC, but a small camera or phone could be used anywhere. How about taking a video outside, or inside the car? (that’s a favorite of Dean’s) Just as with being presentable, the area behind you or around you that shows in your video needs to be clean and tidy. Always think about what image you want to give out.

Lighting.Use good lighting as it really makes the difference between a dark almost sinister bedroom type webcam shot and a positive upbeat presentation. I am sure you have all seen the dark cringe-worthy videos that are only like that for the lack of some more light.

Scripting. Write out what you are going to say and either learn the lines or print it out an put it next to the camera. All the TV pros and WebCam marketers do this, and if you doubt it, just look at their eyes scanning the words as they speak to the screen. A teleprompter is probably overkill, but a sheet of paper with large print on it will save loads of retakes and keep you focused on the message you want to say.

If you are recording a long video then you need to follow the normal rules for giving a presentation so that you keep their attention to the end.


Your WebCam and Microphone. Obviously the better they are the better the video quality will be. Your webcam probably came with some recording software so that you can record your video for editing or uploading later. This is probably good enough to generate the initial video.

Video Camera. You may want to use a separate video camera, digital camera or mobile phone to record your video. The quality is likely to be higher than a regular webcam (although the difference is getting harder to spot these days) but you will have to transfer the video recording to your PC in order to upload or edit it. The process is the same for transferring photos so its not difficult.

Lightning. Think about investing in proper lighting if you are going to do videos on a regular basis, and get setup so that you have a place that is your recording area. If you don’t want specific video light systems (still cheap off eBay) then use some ‘white light’ bulbs in regular lamps to brighten out the scene.

Green Screen. This is a technique widely used in movies, where the entire background can be hidden and replaced by another image or video or just a white sheet. It can be really helpful to do if you don’t have much space or cannot really tidy up. You can get green screen kits off eBay for only a few $ and it opens up the door to a whole range of effects. You will have to use software to enhance and edit your video, but the results can be amazing.

Software. There is so much you could buy its unreal, but I only use two packages, one for editing the video, and one for creating animated banners, text and graphics for putting into the videos. Both are paid and cost about $100 each but they are worth it. It really isn’t required unless you want to take your videos to the next level.

Publishing Your Video

There are tools you can use to host the video on your own site, but most people use YouTube, and that has many benefits. YouTube is a video hosting platform (owned by Google) but it is also a video search and ranking engine. This means that you can rank your videos so that they appear in the top of YouTube searches in exactly the same way you can rank your blog using SEO tools. If your video point to your blog then it’s a double benefit in driving traffic to your site.

YouTube LogoWhen you upload your video to YouTube there are a number of different options and text boxes you need to fill in in order for YouTube to correctly interpret and promote your website. You have probably seen them when you uploaded your video, but if not I have a short but details PDF document on what they mean and how you fill them in.

Once your video is uploaded to YouTube simply cut and paste the video url link code into your web post and hey presto – the video will now show on your blog. There are some settings that you need to choose to correctly size your video for your theme, as well as to how it displays at the end of playing. Do you really want to show lots of other peoples videos, and the chance of getting distracted, or just leave them seeing yours?

So, having got over that hurdle of procrastination, and then over the nerves, how was your first video? What tools did you use? What help did you feel you needed more of? Add a comment below and I will answer them all.

Quick Start Challenge – Week 2

Firstly, congratulations to everyone on the Quick Start Challenge who has made it this far. From the 1000 who registered, only 356 got this far in the last 7 days. There may be a few late arrivals, but I doubt it.

So where are you now? Well, you now have a domain name of your choice, web hosting for WordPress, and content including some core pages and a welcome post.

That’s the hardest technical part done. There is much more to do, but it is less time critical than getting your blog set up and started.

This Weeks Quick Start Challenge Focus

This weeks focus is on Traffic; Getting people to visit your site. There are hundreds of ways to get traffic, but the two easiest when starting out, and free methods are:

Signature Traffic
Whatever niche you are in with your blog, there are always forums of like minded people, asking questions and wanting answers. Join the forums relevant to you, and set up an account with them. The account will have a signature footer where you can put in 1 web address link to a genuine blog. Now simply read through some of the questions on the forums that you can genuinely answer, and write a decent, quality reply. By submitting your reply, the forum will show your signature, including the link. Curious members can follow the link to your site; hey, free traffic!

Blog Hop Traffic
Write a comment on another persons blog, and include your name, email and web address in the boxes displayed. Only your web address is disclosed, but this is visible to the world to click though and visit your site, as well as for search engines to see as a backlink. Make sure the comment is sensible, quality, relevant and not spammy.

Whenever you are writing comments or forum replies, always ask yourself “does this comment look like I have read the article and that I am responding sincerely”. (You always want the answer Yes, just in case there is any doubt.)

Track Your Traffic

You need to know where your traffic comes from, so that you can both improve your traffic generating efforts as well as improve the content for the traffic you get. There really is only one tool to do this and that is Google Analytics. It is the industry standard, and although very powerful, it is also very straightforward to use.

I have written a setup guide on how to add it to your site available here.

You can also us a Google Analytics Plugin to display core stats from within your blog dashboard, but this is not actually necessary unless you really want to keep everything in one place. If you want to make real money online, then you need to learn how Google Analytics reports and to look at it every day.

Hard Slog or Rinse and Repeat?

This week is also when the real, regular, disciplined work needs to start happening. First impressions count hugely to visitors, and you need to get your site into shape. Think of how you feel when you visit websites, including any of those doing this challenge (their addresses are on the website in comments or Facebook posts) Does it make you want to stay and engage, or will you click back instantly and never return? How do you think people will react when they see your site?

So firstly, you need content. Quality content of 600-1000 words. And you need it daily. This may sound like a difficult ask, especially when a decent article may take you an hour to write, but it needs to be done. Get into the habit of writing a post a day, or more if you can (and schedule them for days when you want time off!) In this 4 week challenge, assuming you started on day 1, you would still only have 28 posts by the time you want to make your first money online. It’s what your visitors would expect to see.

Once you have 10 posts, only then I would suggest choosing a theme that displays your blog in the style you would like it to. You really need those 10 posts in order to fill up the blog homepage with enough content that you can see what a theme will look like. There are plenty of free themes that can be tried within the WordPress site, or you can buy some of the higher performance themes if you really want to.

Personally, I see little point in driving traffic to your site if you are not capturing it (or at least giving it the option to subscribe to you – that’s coming soon) but the practice of actually doing the work to get traffic is hugely important. You need to make it part of your daily routine:

  • Wake Up
  • Write a Post
  • Comment on others sites
  • Answer some forum questions
  • Continue life as normal until the money comes in

Build up the quality and content of your blog, drive traffic to it. Repeat this every day, and you know you will be moving forward towards the money.