First, never forget that success requires much hard work. And as you are moving toward success, you will likely have many failures before you are successful. This is especially true of anyone who is a successful Internet marketer. But in the face of multiple failures along the way, to be successful, you must maintain the mindset of success. However, this can be difficult because most of us have a very negative feeling about failure. This is especially true about personal failure.
I think we learn early on in life that making mistakes is a bad thing. As a child, one of the first words we learn is, “No!” This is because this word is repeated so often when, as a learning human, we make frequent mistakes. Thus, we tend to internalize this: “I made a mistake, I was told NO and so I am bad. Therefore, stop doing what I am doing so I can be good again.” And probably, the urge to be a good person is something that drives us all.
However, to maintain a success mindset, you have to rethink your original (2-year old) belief about failure. Now, after all the failures that you have faced in life, all the times you were told “No” and all the times you felt like a failure, I want you to start looking at mistakes in a very different way. Instead of mistakes being failures, mistakes are simply tools for learning. I want you to take some time to go back in your life and think about when you learned something important. How did you learn? If you trace it back, I think you will find that failure was the only way that you learned to do something really well.
Wow, that is a powerful statement: Failure is the only way that you learn to do something really well. But, take something simple like learning to write. Did you learn how to write better by your teacher or mentor saying, “Good job”? Or, did you learn most when your teacher scribbled endless red notes on your paper highlighting the mistakes you made? If you learned a sport – how did you learn to excel? By doing it wrong, learning that way didn’t work, modifying what you did and trying again. That often entailed a coach yelling at you every time you made a mistake. But, you changed what you did and you got better at the sport. Your failures indeed lead to your success. And rethinking how you feel about failure leads to a success mindset.
James Joyce said it well: “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” Really, mistakes are quite magical because they are such valuable teachers. We are constantly making mistakes, learning from them, re-trying and then succeeding. This can be something very simple like learning exactly how far to turn the handle on the new faucet so that you get hot water – but not scalding hot. Only when you turn the handle too far, do you learn not to do it – or risk getting burned again. Your mistakes lead you to your successes.
Mistakes can be wonderful portals of discovery as you build your online business. Indeed, the more mistakes you make, the more you are doing. And the more you are learning and moving toward success every day. So, the next time you make a mistake in building your business, CELEBRATE!!! All the mistakes indicate that you are much closer to succeeding.
The success mindset that you need to maintain is a simple recognition and acknowledgement. You have the guts to attempt something when so many other people won’t even get to that first step. So many people will fall off the first step and fail to get back up. But, you have the strength to get up and keep going. This is what happens to many people when they fail. They tell themselves they were stupid to even try. Negative self talk takes over. They tell themselves they should have known better to even try. This negative internal feedback can break your spirit and your will to continue. So, instead take a moment to reflect on the beauty of your mistake.
That’s right. I said the beauty of your mistake. Looking at mistakes as beautiful things leads directly to a success mindset. Think about the mistake that you made and what you have now learned because of it. Change your mindset to reflect this outlook – a grateful feeling that you failed. Instead of knocking yourself down that you made a mistake. remind yourself of this: “I missed something. I need to try again.” That simple reframing of a truth can change your entire outlook. The new internal dialogue you feed yourself can be your greatest ally in building a successful business. It can give you the energy to pick yourself up and keep going – with a smile on your face. Because when you see failure as one more step forward to figuring out what will work, then you will find the success you seek.
Keep this in mind. Even though we often hear about overnight successes, those are myths. Everyone in life who has ever done anything big has failed. The difference between successes and failures however, is that those who are successful did not let that failure define them. Failure is not the period at the end of an attempt. Instead, failure is a comma. A pause. A way to regroup after your learning experience. Failure or making mistakes is a way to be stronger as you get up again – and move forward.
Another thing that can easily happen in your journey learning about online business is a sense of feeling overwhelmed. There is so much to learn in so many different areas that are all linked together. As we learn something new, we may discover that what we did in the past was wrong. But, rather than feeling overwhelmed with new information (and the mistakes you may have made), you must learn to acknowledge those mistakes as benefits in the online world.
Sustaining a positive attitude in Internet marketing is ALL IN YOUR MINDSET. If you are lucky, you have already failed in some way with marketing. Perhaps, the surefire method you had didn’t work. Maybe the product you were counting on did not sell. Maybe after months and months, the traffic you needed never materialized. But that doesn’t mean YOU are a failure. It means you have to figure out what element didn’t give you the outcome you expected.
Perhaps you went into marketing with limited understanding of what you needed to know about promoting. Maybe you still have to learn the hundred and one details that can make or break you in the world of marketing. In this case, you just need to continue studying to learn what you need to know and do.
Perhaps you did not do enough homework before you launched the product. That doesn’t mean the door to success is closed permanently. All it means is that you need to hit the drawing board again to look for a new – and often improved – way of doing things. Again, maybe you have the perfect product already. But, you simply need a different marketing plan.
Therefore, the most critical thing that you need to do as you are working toward success is to keep your mind on the eventual outcome. Keeping your mind on the eventual goal will ensure that you have the mindset of the successful Internet marketer. You must not focus on the little setbacks that are part of every business. Instead, keep your eyes on your end goal. As you keep your mind on your goal, use everything that others might view as a failure as the thing that teaches you perseverance. In your perseverance, you will come up with a better method of becoming successful.
So, how do you maintain the mindset of a successful Internet marketer? It is so simple. And for some of us it is so hard, at the same time. Instead of looking at failure or mistakes as a bad thing, you must look at them as good things. Simple right? But, sometimes, we have an ingrained idea that failure is bad. Then, we make mistakes and allow them to get us down. We allow mistakes to give us a reason to quit. However, to sustain the mindset of a successful marketer, you often need to consciously tell yourself that you have made so many mistakes that you are clearly on the path to success.
It might take putting posters on your wall with quotes for success to remind you to keep going when you inevitably make a mistake. You might want to come up with a mantra you repeat to change your automatic thinking that failure and mistakes are bad. Or you might want to keep articles on hand that remind you to maintain a positive mindset. And above all, to paraphrase Winston Churchill’s powerful words, “Never, never, never give up!” Get up and keep going toward success. You’ve got this!!!!
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If you haven’t yet heard the phrase information overload as related to your online business, you will soon. Unfortunately, not only will you become familiar with the phrase, you are very likely to experience the feeling. Information overload eventually, if not sooner, happens to the majority of new Internet marketers. When I first started my online business, I already knew a lot about technology and some about building websites. But as I progressed, I definitely had many bouts with information overload. And yes, at times it threatened to overwhelm me.
The main problem with feeling overwhelmed is that it can “shut you down.” Instead of energizing you to work harder and learn more, it often makes you (well, me, really) want to retreat. All I want to do is crawl under a blanket and hide. Or binge on chocolate. Either one allows me to avoid that overwhelmed feeling. This happens when I convince myself that I have simply have way too much to learn. And then I tell myself that I that I have to learn it ALL, now!!! This idea that I have to acquire this excess of knowledge immediately causes negative feelings that hurt my productivity. Feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and more confused than before I even started ensures that I lose focus. Not good!
Information overload happens easily with this industry because there are so many new concepts you have to learn. Each concept can lead to an endless array of opportunities and possible outcomes that can send you down multiple rabbit holes as you struggle to untangle everything.
Causes of information overload
For example, you can be a product owner and an affiliate at the same time. You can use article marketing, social marketing, or pay per click campaigns to sell either your products or affiliate products you are marketing. Then you have to start learning what all those initials mean like SEO, PPC, PPV, CPI, CSS, CRM, PLR, CMS, B2B, B2C, FBX, and even ESP. No, not the reading your mind type of ESP.
As a newbie, you may not know much about any of the above. Suddenly, you have been thrust into an environment where everyone’s opinions differ. At the end of the day – heck, maybe even by the time you get your first cup of morning coffee, you don’t know where to even start learning all this stuff.
Believe you me, I have been there – in fact, sometimes I go back and visit old man Overload when I am trying something new. But, these are some of the things I have learned to do to avoid staying overwhelmed for long.
Calming down when panicked
The first thing to do is to take a deep breath. That’s right – a deep breath. Now. Now scream at the top of your lungs.
Just kidding, everyone. Take another deep breath and then work to calm down those feelings you are having. Easier said than done. So, how do you reduce this panic? The next two key steps are internal. The steps you need to take to bring a sense of calm require you to rethink. Or, to think differently, as it were. This “rethinking” will take the pressure off of you because many of the feelings you are having are a result of pressure you have put upon yourself.
Rethinking what you need to know
The first step is to realize that all the information you need to digest isn’t going anywhere. The information will be available to you tonight, next week, and a year from now. Or longer. So, you can take your time learning everything you need to learn because the information will continue to be available. When you are ready for that next step of learning, the information will be waiting for you.
The second thing that it is hyper-important for you to internalize is this: It is OK if it takes you longer to learn all the information you need to learn to build your business. Often, we put a limit on ourselves thinking that we HAVE to start making money in the first month – or even the first year. In reality, we all start at different places. So, it will take us different amounts of time to start making money. Make plans and set goals – but if you don’t meet them, don’t panic. Just revise your goals. Measure progress and only compare yourself to yourself. Whatever you do, don’t compare yourself to some blogger that tells you they made $6000 the first month they started blogging.
Calmer now? Good. Because, the bottom line is this. It is very very difficult to learn something new when you are in a panic. So, now that you are calm, how do you move forward to learn everything that you do need to learn?
Work on chunks of information
One thing I have to avoid is going off in many different directions at once. My ADD can kick in and I can easily go into a frenzy of downloading courses, subscribing to newsletters, downloading eBooks, etc. Then, I feel like i have to learn it all. Now – mind you! NOW! And, pressure mounts. So, to avoid putting this pressure on yourself, don’t invest in a guide about Google AdWords, another about Squidoo, and another one about Private Label Rights all at the same time. This will increase your pressure to learn it all. Now, now, now. NOW! Instead, work to learn one concept at a time.
There’s an age old riddle that you can use to calm yourself. It goes like this: “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer: “One bite at a time.” Well, Internet marketing is your elephant. You have to choose whether you want to eat the ear, the foot, or the tail section first. Then move on to the next part. Most of the time, it doesn’t matter whether you start out learning about social marketing before you know the ropes of article marketing.
The idea is instead that as you educate yourself about one concept, put that knowledge to work for you. For example, as long as you read the social marketing guide and apply that insight to a method of making money, you are making progress. Once you have that mastered, move on to the next concept. You are looking for progress, not perfection or even absolute expertise.
Focus on the most important concepts first
Some things won’t make sense to learn before others. If you know you have no money to start with, then don’t buy (or even download for free) a guide about pay per click marketing because you will not have the money to do this yet. If you try to learn it while you are also learning about everything else, then you increase your sense of panic. Instead, start with something you can do.
As you are working to learn everything, try not to rush forward too fast. I had this problem when I first started because I fell into the “Learn how to build a blog in one day” trap. Because I wanted to make a million dollars overnight. You understand – right? Anyway, I threw that thing together fast. Not one day, but fast. And started loading it with articles.
Then, I found out it is better not to just throw out articles because they need things like photos. And SEO tweaks. And Pin content. And. . . Well, you do get the idea. When I thought I had to do it all fast, fast, fast I quickly became overwhelmed. Panic set in. I had to learn more and learn it faster. Then, I had to find out more about that. Whew!
Search for support
When I couldn’t even think through the panic, then I had to remind myself to just sit back and start nibbling on the elephant. In essence, I had to start over at square one and decide what I needed to know to move forward. At that point, I decided to invest my time in a company that provided training and a step-by-step way to move forward. They were instrumental in providing support and guidance when I got lost. And could provide information on every topic I needed, when I needed it to move forward. And helped me understand what I needed to learn first, then next steps.
The great thing is that they provide an intensive course for free that will step you through the process without cost. If you decide they are worthy and I think you will, then you can move forward to get advanced and ongoing support and help. In this way, you can immerse yourself in one topic or concept before moving on to the next.
Regrouping to avoid panic
Now, having shared this, I wish I could say that I never suffered from information overload again. But, I think this is something that Internet marketers fall prey to all the time. This is probably because things are changing so fast online and new products or methods of making money seem to be available every day. Algorithms change. New products or plugins become available as others fall to the wayside. Updates happen.
So, when I begin a new tactic, I have to begin learning anew. When this happens, I still take a deep breath. Then another. Then, I remind myself that the information will be there tomorrow. And I will master it and be successful at a pace that meets my knowledge, skills, and schedule. I eat that elephant one bite at a time. And you can too. Indeed, always remember – You’ve got this!
If you are just beginning to work from home – whether blogging, Internet marketing, or being a new CoVid 19 work-from-home employee, you may not yet have everything you need for your home office. However, having your office set up correctly can be a huge benefit. Many people work better when all the things they need for their business are in place. For sure, productivity can go way way up with a properly equipped home office.
This does not mean you have to spend a lot of money to set up your office. It might mean simply having a workspace set aside for working with the appropriate equipment. While it is possible to spend a lot to set up your office, you can also do this on a very tight budget.
Primary equipment needed
The most obvious equipment you will need is a computer and Internet connection to get started with Internet marketing. The computer can be a Windows-based computer or an Apple computer. Either will work just fine for your marketing effort. One thing to keep in mind is that most Internet marketing software is created for the Windows based operating system. So if you have a Mac, you may need to make sure you can also run Windows programs on it by using a Windows emulator, or installing Windows on your Mac.
If you are purchasing a computer, you can usually find a Windows computer good enough for Internet marketing for a couple hundred dollars. A Mac computer will cost substantially more. If you do buy a new Mac, then be sure that it can run Windows programs.
The computer you use for Internet marketing does not have to be a high-end model unless you intend to do a lot of extreme graphics work or video editing. Most Internet marketing tasks can be accomplished well even on systems that are several years old. If funds are limited, you can even consider a used one. Depending on the time of year you are reading this, very good sales are offered on computers near Christmas.
Desktop or laptop?
For Internet marketing, you can use either a laptop or a desktop model. Personally, for my heavy-duty work, I prefer a computer with a very large monitor. Perhaps that is because I “grew up” on desktop computers, but I like space to spread out on my screen. OK, I admit, it could be my age and fading eye-sight, too.
Having made this true confession, keep in mind that if you are building a business online, you will be spending many hours in front of your computer. So, you do want to select a monitor that is large enough for you to comfortably work without squinting or straining your eyes. You also want to make sure it can block blue light at night to protect your vision.
Many people feel perfectly comfortable conducting all work from a laptop computer and that is just fine. The advantage of the laptop is that you can easily move around with the laptop – not nearly as easy to do with a desktop. If you will be conducting some of your business out of the office (such as at the local coffee shop), then a laptop will be a better choice for you, if you only get one computer. Laptops are also easier to move at home as well. Sometimes you may just want to go outside to work or move to the bedroom, away from the family activities. The laptop allows you to do this easily.
Optional monitor for laptop
As an alternative that meets both the need to be mobile and to see a large screen, you can always get a monitor to hook up to your laptop. If you do this, you will have the advantage of actually having two monitors, if needed. When you hook up a monitor to your laptop, you have all the advantages of a desktop computer and the added bonus of being mobile when needed.
One more comment about working from a laptop. For those of us lacking touch pad dexterity, you can also connect a mouse to your laptop. I find when I am doing a lot of moving back and forth across apps and working with graphics, I really need to have a mouse to work fast. Might be my age – but I have never been able to work as quickly on the touch pad as I can with a mouse. This will largely depend upon how you learned to use a computer, I think.
Although you may have a tablet and want to use that for your business, I discourage this choice for conducting the bulk of your work. On the tablet, it will be difficult to do many of the tasks you will need to do in building your business. The tablet can definitely serve as a backup that you can use when out of the office.
In a nutshell, the bulk of your work in Internet marketing will probably need to be done on either a desktop computer or a laptop computer. This choice is really up to you. There really is not a correct choice. This will depend on your space and your work preferences.
You should probably have a high-speed wired Internet connection for building your Internet marketing business. Having said that, if like me, you live out in the country, you may not have that option. You might be one of us that only has a choice of satellite Internet or a hotspot from a mobile phone provider. I have had both. I can say that satellite out in the country (at least where I live) is a no-go. While the TV worked OK, I often found that I could connect to the Internet, but never do anything once connected. So, I switched to a hotspot and have been able to do pretty much anything that I want.
One challenge in building your Internet marketing business on satellite or hotspot Internet is the data limit that rolls around way too fast. Another is the expense of buying more data. You must be creative in spending your data wisely. For example, one of the things I do for watching YouTube videos is download them. This is faster than streaming them and allows me to go back and watch videos at my leisure. I have found 4K Video downloader a great program to do this and it saves a ton of bandwidth each month as I am working.
Supposedly, all problems are going to be solved regarding Internet access once we have 5G across the country. However, that is good for the cities. I don’t think 5G will reach the country for a while. At any rate, no matter which connection you choose, you need to look for stability as much as possible. Speed is good – but stability is better.
If you have wired Internet, then obviously you want to have a connection in your home office so that you can connect at all times. If you are using wireless connectivity, realize it will not be quite as stable. However, I use wireless because I have no choice and honestly cannot say that it has been a problem.
To print or not to print at home
Although having a printer is not a requirement, I come from a time when it was common to read – not on the screen but on paper. I learned by highlighting books and basically interacting with the printed words, carefully taking notes and making comments in the margins. So, in my case, I really do need a printer. If there is an article that I want to study that is lengthy, then I print it out and basically interact with it. I find it easier in some cases to organize my stuff that I use frequently in a notebook. So, while I might type up a list of categories on the computer, I also print it out to keep in a notebook or hang on my wall as a reference.
If you are anything like that, then buying a printer might be a good investment for your business. Off and on, there will be things that need to be printed. If you don’t have a printer, then you will have to stop working to go get something printed for you.
A combination fax machine, scanner and printer can be a very good purchase. Some companies will require you to print and fax documents like a W-9 tax form, although that is increasingly being done online. PayPal occasionally restricts accounts for various reasons, and then they often require you to fax certain documents to them in order to reactivate the account.
Having a fax machine/printer can save you from having to travel to office supply stores while you’re panicking because your account is restricted during a big launch! When looking at printers, consider getting a laser printer. While they might be a bit more expensive than an ink jet printer, in the long run, they cost less because toner is usually less expensive than ink. Often, a printer will sell for almost nothing, but the ink will be quite costly throughout the life of the printer. Although color printers are nice, good black and white laser printers can fit in a small budget.
If you do have a very limited budget, you can wait until you really need it to get a printer. Likely you will know when it becomes necessary because you will feel frustrated when you have to stop to go get something printed. When you feel it is critical, you can find a budget option. Like computers, printers are frequently offered for great prices at Christmas.
Locating your work space
Now that you have your computer and Internet, possibly your printer, you need to decide where to locate your office. I have discussed location pretty extensively in a previous post. To summarize, though, you don’t have to have a separate office in your home. On the other hand, it is important to make sure you can have a quiet place that allows you to work without interruptions.
If you live in a small apartment with a family, you may find it difficult to get any privacy or quiet even in a separate location. If this is the case, a good set of noise-reducing headphones and a good white noise CD or MP3 can really help. White noise will help block a lot of bothersome noises, thus helping you focus on your work. Music can also work to block out background noise, but it may be too distracting for some people.
Desk/workspace and chair
Now that you have your equipment, you will need some place to actually work. For this, you need a desk or workspace with a comfortable and ergonomic chair. A desk does not have to be fancy and can be built in a few hours, if you like DIY projects. Primarily, you need a flat surface on which to house your computer, monitor and space to work. If just starting, you can quickly build a desk on top of two filing cabinets or even concrete blocks. As you grow, you will have a better idea of what type of desk you want.
An ergonomic chair is very important because you will be sitting in it quite a bit. At least in the beginning. Believe me, the chair will be much better if it has rolling wheels. This will allow you to move around more as you are working. A chair with arms tends to be a bit more comfortable for long periods of time. There are many styles of chairs available and a good office chair can make a big difference in how your back and legs feel at the end of the day.
A clutter free environment
Most people find they’re most productive if they have a clean room with limited distractions. Your work surface should be as clear of clutter as possible. This will give you space for folders ready for projects, planners and books that you might need as you work. It is also beneficial to have a writing surface for taking notes and making reminders. If you are like me, you want to have some space for a cup of coffee or glass of tea to sip while working.
With the above essentials, you are ready to begin working in your Internet marketing business. Eventually you find other equipment that will make your work more productive, but this bare minimum will be very functional for many hours of work.
Ready to get started
To recap. Establishing an office is as simple as setting up the following
- Computer (possibly a monitor)
- Internet connection
- Printer (optional but recommended)
- A space to work
- Desk/work space
This is likely the bare minimum of equipment that you will need to build an Internet marketing business. The good news is that most of us already have much of this equipment already and won’t need to invest in much of it. Since working on Internet marketing does not require a great amount of speed, computer equipment can be older and for sure less powerful than you would need for gaming or streaming movies. The desk can be made and the chair can be used. Setting up an office will allow you to get started on your road to becoming a highly successful Internet marketer.
There are a handfuls of simple changes you can make to improve your sales. One of those simple changes comes from tweaking the way you write content on your blog. Believe it or not, there really is a formula that copywriters use to convince people to buy products. You, too, can use that same formula on your own website to increase your audience and to improve your sales.
Present the problem
In order to more effectively reach your audience, the first step to take consists of making sure that you present the problem. Why do you need to present the problem? Well, in basic terms, without a problem in place, people have no needs to be met. Without a problem, there is no reason for anyone to take any kind of action at all. For humans, these problems come in the form of hopes, fears, dreams and desires. In my opinion, fear is the biggest driver and closely related to all problems.
As an example of what I mean, many people “hope” that they are attractive to others. But, the hope is driven by the fear that they are not attractive. For this they need a solution – a way to be more attractive. Someone may “dream” of being a famous actor – but they fear they are not talented enough. Or not skinny enough. Maybe they fear they have the wrong color of eyes. So, they are looking for a solution to overcome the fear, whether it is acting lessons, a diet or contact lenses to change eye color.
Presenting people with a problem that revolves around hopes, dreams, desires and the fear that comes from those components alerts them that they need to do something. This can be something as simple as reading your article to find solutions. It could also call for purchasing something to solve the problem.
Once your audience understands the problem you have presented, your copy should provide a way to solve that very problem. With your help, then, your audience can take the necessary action to resolve the problem you presented. In essence, you are “exposing” the problem and then presenting the solution to said problem.
Identify with your audience
First, you tell them what’s wrong. You want to write about it from the perspective of someone who totally understands what they are going through. This can be because you, too, have faced the problem. Your point of view indicates that not only have you gone through the problem, but you can also offer solutions to the problem. When writing, you do not want to alienate your audience by looking down on them. For example, if you are writing about how to get out of debt, don’t want to have an attitude that comes across as superior by saying something like, “While I would never let myself get into debt, here’s how you can get out of it.” Instead, you want to write from the “Hey – I’ve been there too” point of view.
Instead, show you audience that you understand. Let them know that you walked the same road and have felt the pain in your own life. By spending the time to establish a common bond, you build trust. You show that your solution has merit and can help them.
Provide the solution
Once you have established trust, you want to show them that there is a solution to their problem and then you present that solution. Because you have presented a problem, then your audience understands the significance of your copy. When you build trust by indicating that you too have faced the problem, you have gained trust. Then, since you are on the other side of the problem, your solution has validity. Your solution is something that your audience will want to consider.
Present the solution in digestible chunks
Your solution might seem easy to you because you have worked your way through the problem and are on the other side of it. But, to your audience, basically in the middle of the problem searching for a way out, the solution might be confusing. One of the biggest mistakes most people make when presenting sales copy with a solution is failing to break it down into bite sized chunks. You have spent time on presenting the problem and creating trust. Thus, you must spend time presenting the solution in an easy to follow format. The presentation of the solution then becomes critical.
Break your copy up into small bits of information with step-by-step directions. When words are written together in long paragraph form without breaks, readers tend to skim rather than read the content if they read it at all. Thus, they could easily miss a critical element of your solution or get confused and click away from your site without taking any action at all.
Use headlines to guide your readers
To get your solution across, write your copy in a style that flows easily. Make it easy for your audience to understand by using clean, crisp headlines for each critical point. Each headline should be followed by your story line. Next break up more complex and lengthy ideas into sub-headlines.
With significant headlines, your reader is able to skim the content. And let’s face it – that is what we all do when reading. Very few times do readers go through all the content on a page. They skim to find that information that they need before taking action – or moving on. So you want to facilitate skimming for those who are just looking for key points.
Condense ideas with bullet points
Using bullet points in your copy facilitates skimming. Bullet points serve an important purpose – they take long paragraphs and put them in an easier to read format. Paradoxically, providing key points in bullets make for easier reading that can encourage your reader to actually stay on your page longer to read more. Because it is much easier (and less daunting) to read key bullet points than it is to read huge blocks of text, the reader is more inclined to continue on your site. These bullet points immediately draw the focus of the reader and you can point out important details within each bullet point.
Provide a call to action
Once you provide the problem, build trust and then present the solution to the problem, you then want to write your call to action. People, in many cases, really do want to be told what to do next. This is what you need to do in your copy. However, you must provide this call to action in a way that promotes doing something specific.
This could be an action like clicking a link, asking for more information, buying something or signing up for a newsletter. Sometimes using the same old phrases (Buy now! or Order today!) can backfire simply because it has been seen thousands of times. When you frame your call to action to things that motivate people, then you are more likely to encourage them to act.
Jim Edwards, in his book Copywriting Secrets, provides 10 reasons people are motivated to act. As you read through the reasons, reflect on how much they might motivate you to action.
- Making money
- Saving money
- Saving time
- Avoiding effort
- Escaping pain – either mental or physical
- Getting more comfortable
- Achieving more – cleanliness or hygiene to achieve better health
- Gaining praise or recognition
- Feeling more loved
- Increasing popularity or social status
Indeed, these are powerful motivations to act. I encourage you to do a little exercise to reinforce these concepts before moving on. Write down the last five to ten things you purchased. See where they fit in the above list to motivate you to act.
Going back to the problem
As you are writing your call to action copy, look back to the original problem that you presented to your reader. Here’s where understanding what the problem is can work in the call to action. For example, if you were selling products that successfully treated acne, instead of having a “Buy Now” call to action, you could use, “Yes! I want to get rid of my ugly bumps starting today!”
As you create your call to action, put yourself into your customer’s shoes. How is the problem hurting their life? What emotions are they battling because of it? Embarrassment? Social anxiety? What fears are coming from the problem and how can your call to action eliminate those fears.
Summarize and emphasize
As you are writing your copy, don’t forget to use a PS and PPS on your page. Why is this important? Some people skip the sales copy and head straight to the price point and postscripts to see what the page is summed up about.
Let’s face it. There is truly more information out there on the Internet than we can ever consume. I am frequently guilty of skipping all the blah, blah, blah and looking for the final point. I often skip down to the bottom – sometimes to see if I even want to spend time looking at everything written at the top. If the PS and PPS is interesting enough, then I go back and read what I skipped over. So, summarizing and emphasizing your key points are critical for the end of your copy.
Finally, at the end, it is important for you to show the readers what they will risk if they don’t take advantage of your offer or your call to action. This is a great time to focus on the good things that come from action and the bad things that happen with no action. Again, focus on the motivators discussed above to show the reader what they will miss without action – whether it is losing money, wasting time, losing love or any of the other motivators related to the problem solution.
If interested in even more in depth discussion of writing good copy, I highly recommend buying Edwards book, Copywriting Secrets: How Everyone Can Use the Power of Words to Get More Clicks, Sales and Profits… Not only will his book provide outstanding assistance to improve your copywriting, he also includes multiple resources for the Internet marketer.
First – what is a domain name? yep. This is another one of those terms you need to understand as you begin your journey into blogdom – or really – any online business. A domain name is like a virtual identification card. In essence, it is that thing that follows the “www” and allows others to find you online and to go to your site. Also, it is the best way for people to verify your online presence and see that you are REAL.
Common mistakes in selecting a domain name
A common error is for beginners to believe that having a bad domain name is better than not having one at all. This is not correct. What are the negatives of having a bad domain name? Well, having that bad name can backfire and even cause you to lose customers. If not chosen carefully, having a bad domain name makes you look unprofessional – like an amateur. While it is OK to be a beginner and to be learning “the ropes,” you don’t want a name that makes you look
like a rank amateur. Why? Because this name will follow you for life. So, you don’t want to stick your business with a yucky name.
On the other hand, a good domain name leaves a positive impression. This great name you select fosters a feeling of trust within your clients. As an added bonus, and a very important one at that, a carefully chosen domain name can result in your website ranking higher in search engine results. This in turn allows your site to be seen by even more people. Being seen by m ore people leads to more clicks, more readers, more business. Well, you get the idea.
In addition, your domain name will be on your letterhead, business cards, and more. Even if you are completely online, your “real-world” identity needs to be reflective of your very professional – serious – business. Clearly, selecting an appropriate domain name is one of the most important tasks you have in starting your business online.
How to choose your name
Now that you understand HOW IMPORTANT it is to select your domain name, how do you go about making the best choice? Begin by making a list of potential domain names for your website. At this point, realize that you have literally millions of choices. You do not just have to use your company name. In fact, if your company name is long, complicated or difficult to spell, then it might be better not to use your company name.
If you have a complicated business name, then your domain name might be one of your most important products. A consumer looking for this product would likely search online for that product rather than your company name. Thus, this can result in better customer conversions and higher search engine rankings since more customers would be searching for the product than the company.
If you happen to be the face of your brand, you might consider using your personal name as your domain name. For instance, Martha Stewart and Donald Trump are two people that are the face of their business. If that’s the case for you, then you may want to use your name as the domain name. Also, if you are beginning in your online presence, but want to build YOU as the brand, then that would definitely be a good domain name to select.
Another very important option would be to use a keyword in your niche. Then, as people are looking for topics relevant to your niche, then your domain name is more likely to rank higher. You can build your list for domain names at the same time that you are looking for keywords for your business or even as you are trying to determine your niche.
Next, eliminate domain names that won’t work
Work on building a large list of potential domain names. Brainstorming is the key here. Write down everything you think of – no matter how silly or strange. You want to do this because it gives you the freedom to explore ideas – and this enhances your creativity. So – write, write, write your ideas. Ask others for ideas. And at the beginning, don’t limit ideas.
Then, once you develop a long list of potential domain names, it is time to start narrowing down your choices. To do this, first go through and cross out name too long. A good rule of thumb: Try to stay under twenty characters for an easy to remember domain name. It is also a good idea to strike through any name too difficult to spell. If “psychiatrist” is one of the words in your domain, for example, many cannot spell it correctly and will likely resort to something easier – like mental health.
The next step is highly important to consider. Cross out ANY name that might have negative connotations. First, If you select a name with several words, write them without spaces to be sure that your domain name won’t have potential to be offensive or misread. Be careful that your name does not become a hilarious example of what not to do.
What does this even mean? Well, avoid creating a Slurl – a portmanteau of slur and URL. A slurl is a domain name with a double meaning, many times crude or sexual, that occurs when a website name is misread. Remember, when words are all strung together without spaces, different people read the words differently.
“Funny” domain names to avoid
Some examples of what I mean make very funny web addresses. While well intentioned at the beginning, most of the URLs have been changed since originally purchased. The good news is that if interested, you can probably purchase them at a bargain. Other URLS are still in existence – albeit still funny to many.
www.effoff.com – No longer using this address, it was originally the URL for an Ohio based company called Effective Office Environments. I can certainly see why they changed the domain name.
www.childrenslaughter.com – Obviously, this URL is no longer in use although it was originally for The Children’s Laughter Foundation in Dallas, Texas. See why you have to string your name together to see if it can be misread?
www.speedofart.com Still in use as of this article, you have to wonder how many hits this site gets when people are looking for cures for eating too many beans.
www.ilovebigals.com Yes, well, Big Al’s is a bowling alley – but if you don’t know this, you might wonder what this site is really all about.
Indeed, this site has attempted to be more understandable by highlighting the appropriate words Who Represents, it nevertheless reads as a gift exchange for – well, for … you get it?
And one final example. This domain name is currently for sale Mp3shits.com for a bargain price, no doubt. While music download sites are popular, I think this URL probably had some problems.
Avoid potentially offensive names
If you enjoyed these chuckles, as I did, Andy Geldman wrote a whole book on hilarious Slurls that he found on the Internet. Hilarious examples show you just how careful you need to be when selecting a domain name!!! So, string your words together and be sure you show it to multiple people to read to make sure it will not be offensive to anyone. Cute and funny is OK, but offensive is not.
Another thing to consider is the initials formed by the first words of your domain name. We like to shorten phrases to letters. Consider CIA, NSA, FBI, SSA, and on and on and on. For example, you don’t want someone LMAO at your condensed domain name. You don’t want “A Safe Soap” company to be shortened to ASS.com
Now that you have a list of possible domain names, it is time to tweak a bit more. Go through your list and cross any additional names that just don’t cut your “I really like this name” list. Then, rank the domain names in order of your most favorite to your least favorite ones. Now it is time to go online for additional research on those “final” names. For a free alternative to looking up names, go to Whois.net to look up each name. This site will tell you whether the name is available. If it is already taken, then it will offer alternatives that you select.
Should you select a dot COM name?
Now is the time to decide whether you want a .COM name as opposed to some other newer domains such as .XYZ or .BIZ. This is what I have to say about that. Bottom line, most websites are .COM websites. Most people think .COM is the extension for your website almost automatically. Ever looked for a business online? What did you type in? xyz.COM – right? How many times have you been surprised when you didn’t get the site you wanted and had to go back and see the URL? Oh — .net you say. But, I bet the next time, you made the same mistake and automatically typed in .COM. You might wonder, how much more popular is the .COM domain extension?
Take a look at the graph below and you will see just how popular the .COM extension is based on current information gathered from Domain Tools. Yes, significantly more popular.
[insert graph here]
Thus, this is what I say. Go with .COM. You won’t regret it!!! Now, this might mean you have to select a name from your list that was not your favorite one. However, IMHO, your less favorite .COM domain name will be more popular than the same name with a .BIZ extension. Besides, if indeed, someone types your business name with a .COM extension they will be going to that site FIRST instead of your name with a less used extension. Do you really want to send someone to another business?
Check with Google for similar names
One final thing to check out. Go to the Internet and look to see what names are similar to yours that you may not want to be linked to. What do I mean by this? Well, years ago, before there were computer filters to protect you from things like this, I wanted to a website called Granny’s Basement. Well, that name was taken. So, I opted for Grannie’s Basement for DIY craft ideas. Cute, right? Just a little different spelling and the .COM version was available. You can bet I signed up for it fast. I thought I had hit the jackpot of names.
Then, I decided to go check out Granny’s Basement to see what they had to offer. Well, to my horror, I saw much more than I wanted to see. For hours. And hours. As XXX porno screen after porno screen popped up for Granny’s Basement. Yes, it took me hours to get all the porn off my computer. Not to mention my husband’s comments as he walked by. And the time it took to calm my nerves. Definitely something you do not want to put your readers through – even accidentally.
Really! Who would have thought? My recommendation, then, is to check your domain name out carefully before you drop the bucks to buy the domain. Be absolutely sure to Google it before buying it. Make sure that no one else is using a similar name for something dishonest, spammy or offensive – or heaven forbid, Granny porn. While this might seem like a time-consuming task, you DO NOT want your business confused with a similar website that’s not ethical.
How do you get your domain name?
Once you have decided on your domain name, what is next? Well, you can buy your domain from someone like NameCheap which offers domain names – cheap. Also, if you are interested in building an online business with full support behind you, I recommend you check Wealthy Affiliate out for education, support, hosting and domain name purchases. Even the free account at Wealthy Affiliate allows you to purchase a domain name cheap. The best thing about this company is that it is a one stop shop so that you can track your domains and hosting from the same company. This makes things run much more smoothly as you begin to build your business.
After securing your name
After completing this critical task, you are one step closer to beginning your online business. If you are not sure what to do next, I highly recommend that you use this free checklist with the necessary steps for starting your blog. While you are at the beginning of your journey, taking the time to carefully select your domain name will help you to be successful more quickly. And – it makes you very official – because you are now the proud owner of extremely critical real estate in the online world. The domain name you have selected and purchased remains yours forever as long as you continue to register that domain. It is indeed your official virtual identification card. Congratulations on a job well-done!!!! Once you complete this step, please take the time to share your new identity with others by commenting below.