Friday, June 24, 2011

A Writer's Reputation

A Stable Client Base is Built on a Solid Reputation

by Paul Lalley: http://www.webwordslinger.com/

A Stable Client Base Is Founded On A Solid Reputation
As freelance web writers, a stable client base - one in which work comes organically - lets us sleep soundly each night. But there are plenty of other benefits to having repeat buyers.

If you run your copy writing biz on a transactional basis, moving from one gig to the next "transaction," you'll spend more time marketing and less time actually earning dough.

Keep those happy clients in place and protect your reputation. Here's why:

• Your cost per acquisition (CPA) drops as repeat business is generated. Clients call on you for advice and help which, in turn, becomes a regular source of revenue depending on the services you provide.

• Clients refer their friends and neighbors, co-workers and family members to you. After all, you’re the expert. The best in your field. Have you ever heard a patient say, “Go see my doctor. She’s not good, but she is my doctor.” Of course not. Everyone tells you their medical professional is the best.

• Same with insurance brokers, attorneys, realtors, financial planners and copy writers who deliver both service and value to their client base. Once you’ve converted a one-time customer into a life-long client, you develop positive word of mouth (WOM) advertising, the best advertising you can get. A referral from a friend, or neighbor of one of your clients, is a prospect who'll become part of your expanding client base. Sweet.

• As your client base grows, the value of the time spent maintaining the client base grows. For example, if you have a client base of 100 happy clients who receive your monthly newsletter, you maintain 100 happy clients. When your client base reaches 1,000, the good will created by that newsletter increases 10 fold. Same newsletter. Same amount of time to prepare the newsletter, but the value of that time and that information increases.

• Organic growth occurs naturally as WOM referrals and advertising expand your client base. It’s about two things: increasing your value as an expert by providing useful information even though clients aren’t engaged in a current transaction, and on-going, regular outreach.

By taking a pro-active approach to building a client base, by building your credibility, you assume a longer-term perspective on business growth. Indeed, it may add to your workload initially – especially when you have to focus on current transactions that generate revenues now, though this doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative. It is possible to maintain your client base by outsourcing much of this maintenance work.

Hire a newsletter service. There are companies that provide insider industry news templates that can be customized so they look like they came fresh from your computer. The cost is minimal, the results…well, over the years it’s fair to assume that you’ll see a positive ROI for these efforts.

One final thought about reputation management: it takes years to build an impeccable reputation, especially within a small service area. However, those years of credibility-building can evaporate quickly if you don’t maintain the highest standards of professionalism.

One bad experience with a well-connected client can undo years of hard work to build your reputation within the community. So, if you do have a client who’s unhappy, work double-time to fix the problem – even if it costs YOU money. That client will be happy for the extra attention and will talk up your services to acquaintances.

That UNsatisfied client will also talk you up and, guaranteed, the result will be an eroding client base. You move backward.

Demonstrate expertise, authority, added value and constant care, even to those who aren't involved in making a purchase of services or goods right now.

Your credibility is the foundation for business growth. Guard it as closely as you guard your physical business assets. The fact is…

…your professional credibility is more valuable.






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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tools for Launching an Online Business

Different people use different tools to run an online business. I love free tools when I can get them, and I evaluate these tools all the time. Here are some tools/hints for a monetized blog (money making blog). You don't have to have a product or service to sell, you can sell other people's products or services that you love and make money doing it.

Blogging: I only use Blogger now. I used to use Word Press, but I no longer use it because if you create a free blog, you cannot monetize it, and the learning curve on downloading their wordpress.org tool and building it and getting it hosted is too long for me. Blogger.com has great new more flexible templates, ready to use monetizing (money making) tools, and lots of free widgets or gadgets that make life easier.

Monetizing: First and foremost, using a pay per click content matching service is a no brainer, and the most popular one is Google Adsense. The trick is not to abuse it, and hope that no one around you abuses it because if someone goes into your account and clicks a bunch (they track the computer's ISP address), they will block you forever from Adsense, so it's a tricky proposition. Also, you can't say things like: "Click on this link so I'll get paid." That will also get you blocked.

Monetizing 2: Affiliate accounts can be profitable if you choose the content well and match it to your audience. I am a Amazon affiliate because I am already recommending books all the time, so I can get an affiliate link for a book or a series of books, and if someone buys them (not pay per click, pay for purchase), I get a small % of the sales price. They also have cool carousels for products and books.

It varies with books and programs on what % you get. There are lots of affiliate programs now, and it's part of the new business model to use them. The benefit is that you don't have to have your own product, you don't have to ship anything or spend money on a product inventory. It's all free to use. I belong to these: Clickbank where you can choose the products your promote, Hubspot with lots of variety and helpful newsletters on how to use them, Commission Junction, and a couple of consciousness study programs that I like.

If you want to start a monetized blog, I'll walk you through it online or in person (in Albuquerque NM) for only $100. Once you know how to do it, it's easy to replicate the process and do as many blogs as you like on subject you already are interested in. Email me at or check out my website.






Saturday, May 14, 2011

The First Thing You Need to Know about Making Money on the Internet



Pat O'Bryan is one of those successful marketers who not only makes a great living but loves what he is doing to help others. When asked for the number one thing people should know when they start, he got down and dirty.

He says, "If you’re not making enough money to take care of your own needs, you internet business is a hobby. So, let’s just stipulate here that a primary function of your new Internet Marketing business is to make money. Enough money so that you’ve got the freedom to love, think, feel, travel, study, and play.

Here’s a basic truth. If you’re an Internet Marketer, it’s ok to market. It’s part of our name, for gosh sakes. Keep your eye on that- at some point, you’re going to have to ask somebody to spend some money. If you’re doing it right, when they do spend money, you’ll get some of it."

Getting over the fear or criticism of selling is the #1 thing you have to do. We are all sales people, whether it's convincing out parents to buy us a new toy as a child or convincing our boss to turn over a big project to us, we're all selling something. We live in a capitalistic society that has an economy of sales. Even if you're just recommending a product to a friend, you are selling. The new economy is all about getting paid for what you're already selling. That new book you just read and loved, you tell everybody about it. You do it out of enthusiasm, but wouldn't it be nice if you got paid something if they decided to buy that book? Well, just join Amazon Affiliates, post the books you love on your website, and if people buy them, you'll get paid something for your efforts.

This is the basis of the new economy - word of mouth advertising. In this giant land of cyberspace, how will you know if a product is good. You just see a picture of it, get a little preview, but do you presonally know someone who has tried it? If you do, you go ask them about it, don't you? So, that's what affiliate marketing is about, recommending products and people you already love and getting paid for it. It's just that simple and basic. Of course, there's more to it than that, but it's easy, fun and should start to pay you as you get more familiar with how to present it.

Here's Pat O'Bryan's article on the subject: http://www.patobryan.com/blog/?p=1393 - The First Thing You Need to Know About Internet Marketing.



Click the book cover to get your FREE copy from Amazon. 
t's a big help to those who want to self-publish.



Yola offers automatic translation for mobile devices and great easy to use sitebuilder tools:


Friday, April 8, 2011

I am Not a Techie - Websites for Everyday People

Hi, I'm Sandy Penny. First, let me say, I am not a techie. I'm just a writer who loves to write and share my writing, and I love free and easy tools. It's time to get paid for what you love to do. I know that's my goal, and the easier it is to create an online business, the more likely I am to do it.

The internet economy is growing every day while many other economies are not. As a proponent of people helping each other, I'm trying to help those who are even less technical than I am build their own websites and launch them, either for free or at a very low price so they can get their ideas out of their heads and into the marketplace.

I also want to help free people from having to pay for site updates. The more autonomous you are with your online website, business, or blogs, the easier it is to respond to changes in the economy, in your business model, and what you are evolving and presenting about yourself.

There is nothing I can teach you that you can't find on the web, but I've spent three years studying and working with Yola sites and have learned tips, tricks and workarounds for most of the issues you'll come across. I can greatly speed up your process.

Having spent 20 years as a graphic designer and 20 years as a corporate marketing writer, I can also help you make decisions about your layout, content, navigation and writing for search engines.

So, jump on board my web train. It's on a fast track and a fun track. I can work with you on the phone, on skype or in person if you're in the Albuquerque, NM area. Every Saturday I have a 3-hour support group at the Monzano Mesa Rec. Ctr. It's only $20 for 3 hours of professional instruction/coaching.

 
Sandy Penny offered this support group from October 2010 to October 2012. She has helped many people build low priced websites to promote their heart centered businesses, write their content, learn to use Yola sitebuilder, Facebook, Twitter, Paint, PicMonkey (a free photo editor), Google ad sense (monetize your site and make money), Amazon affiliates and other affiliate networks. Want to start a blog? If you're lost in the maze of online business jargon, let Sandy help you sort it out. Beginner to Intermediate students. Very small groups offer personal attention. Private tutoring and assistance hours are now available.



Click the Book Cover for Your Free Copy of Building Your Book for Kindle:






Yola offers automatic translation for mobile devices and great easy to use sitebuilder tools:


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seven Things to Keep in Mind When Building a Website

Posted on Facebook by Yola on Monday, March 28, 2011 at 12:06pm.Congratulations on taking the big first step toward getting your business website online! By signing up with Yola, you’re on your way to creating a professional website for your business. If you’ve suddenly realized you don’t have everything you need to get your website live, don’t panic. Here are a few simple things you can do to help get your website in great shape and ready to launch.

What do I want my website to do?
When buying a car, you’d probably consider where you’ll drive it, who will be using it, and what features you’ll need. It’s a similar process for your website. Think about specifically why you want a website. Is it to sell your products online? Blog about your industry? Provide directions to your location? It’s important to identify your main goals so you can plan for them.


Who do I want to visit my website?
You’ll also want to think about your target audience. Who would you like to visit your website? What’s their age range? Technical experience? Educational level? Income bracket? The answers to these questions will shape how you design your site, what you want to say, and even how you present your products and services.

What should I name my website?
The default web address we provide is certainly serviceable, but it’s not very memorable. Picking a good domain name (web address) for your website is critical; it’s how your customers and the search engines find you. Make sure the domain name represents your business, blog, or personal site. It should be short, easy to remember, and tell people what to expect from your website. Also establish whether you want a .com, .biz, or .org (if you’re a non-profit) site.

Learn more about picking a domain name in our tutorial.

What do I want to say?
Spend a little time considering what you want to say. This will determine the number and types of pages you’ll create. Think beyond text—photos, videos, and animations/slideshows go a long way toward communicating exactly what you want. Don’t have good photos for your website? No problem. We’ve partnered with Fotolia to bring you over 8 million royalty-free images. And don’t forget to plan for how much time and effort it may take to keep your website content up-to-date.

What do I want it to look like?
Designing your website is the fun part. Bells and whistles are great, but don’t get too carried away. Keep it simple and easy for your customers. Yola’s easy-to-use Sitebuilder lets you customize your site to suit your needs. Start by selecting a design; we have over 100 professionally designed templates to choose from! You can then personalize your style by changing your background, font or banner.

How do people find me?
Publishing your website does not necessarily guarantee visits from prospective customers. Make sure your site is search engine optimized (SEO) and search engine friendly. This means you’ll want to spend some time thinking about keywords (words that accurately describe your business and your website) and ensure they’re included in your website copy and messaging.

How do I promote my website?
Once your website is live, it’s time to start promoting it. There are lots of ways you can do this, including Google AdWords, a “pay-per-click” advertising program. (Attention Yola Silver customers: You have $50 of free AdWords credits!) Social networking is also a great, inexpensive way to get the word out. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, make sure to post links to your new website. You can also create a blog on your website, write interesting articles about your industry, then post links to them.

Check out this site more tips to promote your website.

If you haven’t launched your website yet, now’s the time! Follow these seven steps and your business website will be bringing in the customers before you know it.


Go to my site if you need some help:  http://webclassesnm.com/









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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Make Money Blogging

by Sandy Penny, http://webclassesnm.com

This is one of the most down to earth, easy to read blogs I’ve found in a long time with non-hyped sane information about how to make money blogging. I think you’ll like it, and I am currently creating my blogging empire, so it’s a hot topic for me.

Pro-blogger logo

http://www.problogger.net/make-money-blogging/

I immediately signed up for updates. Inquiring minds always want to know how to make money. And they have two money blog books out too. Check the carousel below. Get some straight talk on the subject of blogging and making money. I’m new at it, and I have a big learning curve. Glad I found a good resource to help me.

Here are some good books you can get on Amazon on all forms of blogging: blogging for dollars, pink blog (for women), blogging for dummies, Huffington Post blogging recommendations. All good resources. Get on with making some money blogging.