Avoiding The Vortex

Posted by Neville on March 19, 2012 under Reviews | Read the First Comment

Do Not Get Sucked In

This blog started out as a place to discuss Truth and Reality in Internet Marketing. As a result, that has, at times meant researching some opportunities that could fall into the category of Scams or likely to fail because of unsustainable practices.

Avoid the VortexThat activity can be time consuming, and because the sharing of findings is not always positive, the people who have joined and are promoting them can become very defensive. Reacting to those defenses can be draining of both emotional energy and time.

Ultimately it is not very productive to engage with people who are defending the dodgy schemes since they have an investment and enthusiasm to see it succeed. It is after all going to pay them if it succeeds. But that is a big IF!

Once it has been pointed out that a heavily promoted great new opportunity is flawed in some way, there is not much point in continuing to try to convince the converted to your way of thinking about it.

Hence the warning. Avoid the vortex that will grow with every argument and counter-argument. There are forums where discussions go on for days and weeks, and just following them takes up valuable time and energy that could be applied to more productive pursuits. Do not get sucked in!

Some Time Saving Devices.

Well they are not really devices, but acronyms that I use to label the process that I use when evaluating the latest “new whizz-bang” opportunity that has been put before me.

I first found it necessary to develop methods for sifting the useless and potentially malicious products when providing training for fellow educators (in simple language, teachers ) and because teachers love to use acronyms I created the acronym CD-ROM. Yes, I know, not very original, but the key to a good acronym is t make it memorable.

So what does CD-ROM stand for? Please excuse the the language. Crap Detector- Reality and Objectivity Monitor.

It serves as a reminder to check out the program, software, opportunity or learning opportunity to see if it really will achieve the objectives you have. Over time the CD-ROM has become obsolete, so there have been some changes to the acronym.

To keep up with the times it had to be updated to DVD: Due Validating Diligence. Not very original but it went with the times.

Now the DVD is less potent as a hook to hang an acronym upon another more relevant one needs to chosen.

How does this sound? iPAD: Impossible Program and Activity Detector.  (But I think we had better keep that quiet, or the folks at Apple might not be happy.)

Whatever you find helpful, remember, investigate but don’t get sucked into the vortex that is generated when the scam busters call out the latest big thing to hit the Internet. Apply your CD-ROM, DVD or iPad, make up your own mind and stick with it.

Reading The Fine Print: Due Diligence

Posted by Neville on January 18, 2012 under Reviews, Training | Read the First Comment

Reading The Fine Print:

Reading the fine printIt is a common practice for membership sites to expect potential members to agree to the Terms and Conditions that have been prepared for that site.

Usually that means that you simply have to tick a box to say that you agree to the Terms, even if you have not read or understood them. It has been a common piece of advice to never sign a contract until you have read the fine print. The same should apply when signing up for anything that you join online, but I assume that many do not even give the Terms even a brief look.

Some promotions use urgency as a means to get you to quickly make the decision to join. This encourages the new member to skip over or simply click the I agree box without reading the terms. This has the potential to produce undesirable consequences later.

Encouraging new members to skip over the terms or to ignore them completely could also be used to mask some undesirable elements in the Terms.

I continue to highlight the example of the previous post, with quotes from that “opportunity” and its Terms and Conditions.

Something To Hide?

If an “opportunity” is legal, legitimate and above board, why should it be necessary to include the following conditions?

6. I affirm that I am not an employee or official of any government agency, nor am I acting on behalf of or collecting information for or on behalf of any government agency.

7. I affirm that I am not an employee, by contract or otherwise, of any media or research company, and I am not reading any of the [name deleted] pages in order to collect information for someone else.

New members are asked to state that they are NOT employed by a government agency, media or research company. Surely this not simply to discrimination against these people, but an attempt to make sure that the “opportunity” is not put under any independent scrutiny that may identify problems, shortcomings or even legal issues that may result from the way it operates.

Some sites have incredibly long and difficult to understand Terms, and unless you are totally confident that there is nothing to concern you, it may be a valuable exercise to read and understand the Terms and Conditions.

Possible Consequences.

Loss of account (and any income made).

By not knowing what the  Conditions contain you may be putting your account in jeopardy by unwittingly breeching one of the conditions. How many people have lost income they have built up in AdSense by not knowing that sites displaying their ads can not be shown on some sites?

 Legal Issues:

All readers of these pages are emphatically advised to obey all laws to the letter. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE VARIOUS ACTIVITIES FEATURED HERE ARE VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LOCAL LAWS. Participants in any activity related to [name deleted], participate at their own risk.

In the quote above, it looks pretty obvious that if there are any issues raised by participation in places where local laws prohibit it, the company involved is NOT going to come to your aid. I wonder how many people in that particular “opportunity” have investigated any legal implications from their participation.

A Final Word (or four).

Read The Fine Print




Preparing for Domain Name Selection

Posted by Neville on October 24, 2011 under Niche | Comments are off for this article

By the end of this post you will have enough information to go searching for a domain name for your Niche Product site. Before we do that, there are two more pieces of data required.

More Niche Product research

Niche research

Find Your Niche

Now that you have that list of 20 potential Niche Products, with data on Global Monthly Searches and Competition you can trim down the list a little.

We are looking for keywords that have 500 or more Global Monthly Searches for the exact match. Anything less than that 500 searches per month will make it hard for get enough eyes on your site.

Competition: This is a measure of the sites competing for your keyword. High competition from lots of other sites that have are using your keyword will also make it hard to get traffic to your site. So here we will be looking for Low Competition (best) or Medium Competition (not ideal, but may be OK).

Go through your list and keep those keywords with 500 or more Global Monthly Searches that have either Low Competition or maybe Medium Competition.

Cost Per Click (CPC) data.

We use this data to help decide if Advertisers place value on getting clicks. Advertisers know what will get clicks, and they have to pay more for better performing keywords. So we will looking for a Cost Per Click (CPC) value of greater than $0.50. Anything less, and the share from clicks on ads that you display on your site will be too small to be worth chasing.

To find out the CPC add the keywords that you are researching to the Enter a Domain name or Keyword box at SpyFu (http://www.spyfu.com). If there is no data presented you may need to refine the keyword a little.

In the example I am using, Shimano Pedals, the CPC is reported as Cost/Click $0.095 – $1.17, which is greater than our minimum requirement. Shimano Pedals is still in the game!

SpyFu also may provide the next bit of data required for deciding to take our research further.

SpyFu Keyword Research

Click To Enlarge

Advertiser Numbers

It will be difficult to make money from Adsense ads if there are no ads supplied for the keyword you choose. We will be looking to see there are ads that are served for your keyword. Our criterion for continuing with our keyword is 5 or more advertisers for that keyword.

SpyFu may supply that number, and in the case of Shimano Pedals, we are told that there are 10 Advertisers. So it’s all stems go for that keyword.

If SypFu does not fetch the data, you can get it by doing a Google search for your keyword, and counting the number of ads displayed at the top and in the right sidebar. Just make sure that the number of ads is 5 or more.

Exact Match Domain Name

The next step is check if there is an exact match for your keyword available as a domain name, so that you will be able to register that domain name when you have finished with the research.

The process for checking domain names is to be outlined in the next post.

The 3 Pillars Of Niche Marketing

Posted by Neville on October 14, 2011 under Niche | 3 Comments to Read

Before we launch into the processes for building and growing a niche marketing site we will review the 3 critical factors that need to be considered. Later posts will flesh these out, with practical examples and step by step instructions.

The 3 Pillars

Niche research

Find Your Niche

1: Market Demand:

This will tell you how many people are looking for the item that your niche is providing. There are tools to help you do that, and many of them are free. Others, which help you automate this process are often included in a service that you pay for or subscribe to.

Basically you will check places where this niche product (or a similar product) is already available, if people are providing it, and whether it is producing sales. It means investigating Amazon, Clickbank, Google Adwords, and other places where you might find the product.

Keyword research will tell you how many people are searching for the niche item.

2: Competition:

Once again research is required. This time you will investigate how many times the keywords you select for your niche marketing campaign appear in the search engine results. A large number will indicate a lot of competition. You will also investigate the ranking levels of sites on the first page of results, because that will indicate the likely time it will take you to reach that page, which is where you want to be.

3: Buyer Propensity:

Are there buyers in the niche you have chosen? That answer needs to be a definite yes, and you will have to search out places where your niche product is sold, and assess the level of sales. Thankfully there are sites that provide you with that information, or you can infer from data provided that there are potential, and real buyers.

Amazon and Clickbank give out some of that information, if you know where to look and how to interpret that data. If AdWords ads appear for your niche product it implies that there are buyers, otherwise the advertisers are just spending money for no results. Many AdWords advertisers may mean the product has  buyers.

So why do we need these 3 pillars?If there are not enough people wanting the product (demand), the chances of a profitable niche are low.

If there is too much competition, it will be hard to establish yourself in the niche.

And a market with buyers who are more than just lookers (buyer propensity) is essential.

Research and Finding Your Niche

Posted by Neville on September 23, 2011 under Niche | Comments are off for this article

Meeting A Demand

The product or service you will promote in a niche market should be be chosen based on this basic economic principle. Is there a demand for your product or service? Your offer should be something that people  need, something that will improve their lives, make them feel and look better, or help them solve that nagging problem.

Niche researchCustomer Motivation

After you have chosen a product or service to offer to the market, more detailed research to decide the best  niche is the next important part for beginning a niche marketing program. You need to determine where potential customers and clients spend their time online, and what motivates them, both from a personal and business point of view.

Price Setting

As you research your online niche market your research should tell you what is a  reasonable charge for your product or service. To check this out, visit sites that advertise products or services similar to your choice. It should be easy to see if they are giving away a service or selling the product at a price far lower than you would have to charge.

Do they want? Will they buy it?

If your research tells you that there are potential customers and clients out there who are willing  to buy what you are selling and you can identify those people,  then you have a potential niche market for your product or service.  Managed well you should be able to make money on the Internet. Sometimes it takes modifying your product or service to increase its appeal, making it more attractive, better or just different from others who are selling something similar.

Research is a vital component for achieving success in niche marketing.