Track Your Procrastination With Rescuetime!

A quick tip today, but something that helps me immensely.
Rescuetime is a free app that tracks what you do on your computer and sends you a weekly report, messages and so forth.
It allows you to categorize different activities that are productive or not productive, and keeps you informed if you’re straying to more unproductive activities.

Rescuetime sends you a weekly email that tells you how much time you spend last week and your productivity.

Rescuetime

Rescuetime Weekly Summary

I’d highly recommend it if you want to have a better idea of what you spend your time on, it has helped me!

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The Problem With Noise

As a marketer, I’m aware of many of the personal targeting methods of online advertising. Marketers have available to them re-targeting and a range of personal marketing options. In simplistic terms, this means that they can serve you ads for websites that you’ve visited, and the website can serve you ads to entice you to come back. Now re-marketing is becoming more powerful and targeted, I’m beginning to see ads all over the internet for web pages I have visited, products I may have checked out for a few minutes. I’m seeing these ads on normal websites, Facebook, and many other places.

I don’t have privacy issues, so this post is not about how to clean it up or prevent it. You can search for that quite easily.

This post is about the noise that all this marketing creates, and the distraction it creates. I see promotions for something that I don’t care about right now, as noise and distracting. If I want something, I tend to do a research phase and then make a decision. I don’t tend to spend extra days researching something once I’ve bought it. The problem is, if I decide to purchase one product or service, all the competitors and sites I checked out are likely to have re-marketing cookies on my computer, unaware that I’ve already made my decision. Statistically, re marketing has a great ROI (a few 100% depending on the study you cite), so it’s not going to be switched off any time soon. It creates unwanted noise though and since many of the pricing models are CPM (pay per 1000 impressions) rather than PPC (pay per click), there are still many wasted impressions because the potential customer has made a purchase decision elsewhere, and the advertiser has no way of knowing that. A more intelligent model would be interesting.

On a related note, I spent some time unsubscribing to over 15 email newsletters yesterdays. It’s a good practice to do sometimes, as your inbox ends up with less noise and you can find what you are looking for better.

If you have any questions about re-marketing, get in touch via the Contact Page!

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Today’s post is short but simple. Getting things done is really about putting one foot after the other and doing what needs to be done.

It’s a simplistic statement. Especially for tasks that require creative thought or more intensive mental application (Copy writing comes to mind).

Despite being simplistic, doing what needs to be done usually brings you closer to the end result and creates progress. I’ve witnessed determined individuals knock over entire projects by simply making a list and getting the things done. The biggest barrier to this, is when something is considered too difficult, or another mental barrier is created that prevents a person from taking action. Procrastination is an enemy, and wasting working time doing something easier does not help the end result, rather it creates stress and demotivates. You can watch Youtube and browse Facebook in your down time, and you should to re-balance.

If we worked hard in working time, and had adequate rest and other play time, we would often find that things seem to get done more effortlessly. The secret is to put one foot after the other consistently, create discipline in your life and achieve more than you ever have before. The rewards, being financial, less stress, and more exciting projects will take care of themselves. =)

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Live Presently – Ask Questions

There are some experiences I remember like they were yesterday. It might of been 4 or 5 years ago, but I still remember the small details, the environment, and the people present then. I believe that is because I was living presently at the time.

Today I’m always reminding myself to live presently. Living presently means to pay attention to what is happening now, my every-day habits, my interactions, my personal choices.

By paying more attention I am able to interrupt my unconscious state that may make a decision because that’s what I’ve always done. By breaking out of the normal patterns, I am able to make better choices and form more effective habits. I’m also able to discover new things, wherever they be new roads to drive on, new coffee shops, new people to meet, or just listen to new music.

Pay attention to what you normally do, and see what you can change. You might be surprised at how much more exciting life can be with some small adjustments!

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Focus

I used to lack focus. I went from project to project, trying to do many projects on the go.

Then I woke up.

I realised that if I didn’t focus, I’d probably end up just having more unfinished projects and nothing solid. So I started selling things off so I had one thing.

Now focusing on the one thing feels much better. I have urges to go back again to do many things, but I resist them by saying that I want one great thing, not many average things.

Focus will get you extremely far in life, especially because giving focus creates your full attention.

Worthy pursuits need your full attention and energy.

So are you focused, or is your attention split?

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How To Be An Internet Marketing Consultant

Note, I originally posted this answer on Quora, I thought I should also share it on my blog.

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If you want to be an internet marketing consultant, you’re essentially helping companies make more sales. You do this by.

1) Optimizing what they already have.

For example, making their copy more persuasive would be a simple change. Changing the layout to be more aligned to best case practices would be a simple change.
Adjusting the pricing and positioning of their product would be a simple change.
Develop a testing mentality, running experiments to validate ideas is an advanced stage of this, and allows you to have a longer term profitable relationship with the client.

2) Learning all the Analytics Platforms

Google Analytics
Understanding the numbers online advertising like Google Adwords
Understanding heat maps and their usage

These are basic ones, there are many more platforms.

When you learn the Analytics Platforms and understand how they provide useful business insights, you can provide a free consultation for a clients Google Analytics to lock in work for yourself and identify improvements in only 15 minutes.

You can learn these on the help sections of the relevant platforms that are very detailed.

Analytics Help
AdWords Help

3) Understand how traffic acquisition works and how to enable it for clients.

This includes:

Search (Paid & Organic)
Referral (Backlinks & Affiliate)
Direct

Coming from a business background you will appreciate that it is not just important to source traffic, but it is important to ensure traffic is profitable. This usually involves testing, and a test budget to see how it all works. If you want to differentiate yourself, don’t just try to get the cheapest clicks, or the most clients within a budget – interrupt and say: “Well in my opinion this won’t be profitable before we test this”, you can charge a lot more for saving clients money.

4) Understanding how to capture traffic, build relationships, build social media.

This step is just about making sure:

a) We are maximizing the amount of people that are coming to our website that are remaining connected

to us: “To our Facebook, Email List e.t.c.”.
b) We have a process (preferably automated) to followup leads and educate people about what we do.
c) We learn from this in a feedback loop and make adjustments.

I’m happy to elaborate on any of these points for anyone, just shoot me an email.

Thanks

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How To Make Money From Blogs!

This blog is in response to a question I got asked by Arthur Hernandez, on a Facebook Group about Outsourcing.

Arthur asked:

“I have a few blogs that I have made zero $$’s, and my question is Do I need more than 1 Va to handle all the work.These 12 (websites) blogs are on the internet but I am not making money. Where do I start? How do I start?”

Good Question Arthur. Let’s break down this post into 3 parts:

1) 12 Websites/Blogs Attempting To Make Money
2) VAs (Virtual Assistants) to handle the work.
3) How to make money? The Fundamentals.

1) 12 Websites/Blogs Attempting To Make Money

This is the first problem. Having 12 websites making $0 is a lot more wasted time and work than just having one. The best approach is to get one blog site making money first, and then replicate the formula in a different niche. So Arthur, choose only one, according to the fundamentals outlined later on.

2) VAs (Virtual Assistants) to handle the work.

 Virtual Assistants (VAs) are individuals that you can get to help you do tasks. Usually, they cost around $2-$5 USD per hour, and they can help you with blog posting, commenting, research e.t.c. A properly trained VA can be trained to do any task which you think makes more economic sense than you doing it. E.G. If you can use that time to gain higher value, then it makes sense to outsource. I will get around to another full post on VAs, but basically, it is important to give very clear instructions and give active feedback. Shoot me an email if you have any specific questions about VAs. You can final VAs on sites like Odesk, Freelance, Online Jobs.

 3) How to make money? The Fundamentals.

This is the most important part of the question and the part I’ll give most attention to. There are basically 4 ways to make money through blogs/blog type websites:

1) Selling your own product
2) Selling other peoples products 3) Visitors clicking on your ads
4) Being paid to review products/services

There are no real other secrets to make money using blogs, and the 4 fundamentals above depend on one more important element: Traffic. Traffic is the amount of people who visit your blog.

Acquiring traffic comes down to writing interesting content and being active in your community. You can also hire others (e.g. VAs) to write interesting content for you and be active in the community on your behalf – however it’ll take a structured framework, careful guidance and lots of feedback to get this right. There are also online courses which may teach you to do this, however I can’t recommend any as I haven’t reviewed any myself.

As you publish more content and contribute to the community, your traffic grows. Once you have a good amount of traffic, (over 50 visitors a day), you can consider making a couple of 100 bucks a month out of a blog by following monetization steps that would follow. You can also buy visits to your blog through paid ads, although I would suggest this unless you had a clear monetization funnel (more on this later).

Google Keyword Research Tool

If I wanted to make a blog to make money, I’d focus on keywords that had high enough traffic by doing a search with something like the Google Keyword Research tool and Google Trends. There are more advanced tools available, but they are all based on these sources and just add prettier metrics to the data.

After you’ve created your blog and you’re writing interesting content, it’s time to look into how you can monetize it. If you’re writing an “authority blog” – e.g. “I’m an Expert in dog training”, then you may consider selling your own product. This would involve you shooting videos, creating PDFs, and packaging it up into a product that you can sell through your blog. You can also get affiliates to sell your product through a marketplace like Clickbank, once you establishing it. If you’ve got good traffic and people look up to you for advice on a specific niche, it’s good to have your own product. Further details are beyond the scope of this document. However, I plan to write on it in the future.

 The next best thing to creating your own product is to sell someone else. If you clicked on the link to Clickbank above, you will see 10000s of products that you can sell to others and make a commission (often up to 70%). The catch? You need relevant traffic to sell it to. If you can find products in your blogs niche, this is a good indicator that it can be monetized. Use this as part of your initial research when choosing your blog topic.

The third fundamental was visitors clicking your ads. This is not going to get you that much money overall, and unless you build a massive unique visitor count per month (over 50,000), you’re not going to generate any significant revenue from ads.

The final fundamental is being paid to review products/services. You may get approached by brands, as they believe you’re an influencer and your opinion matters in the space. Often you get the product for free and get to keep it. In return, you do a review and reveal you got paid. As long as it’s interesting content for your audience, everyone wins.

I like to keep my posts to under 1000 words, but there is a lot of scope for elaboration here. There is no push button solution to making money from blogs, and while some tools on the market may claim to make it easier, it still takes hard work and dedication to a cause. I’ll elaborate on the things mentioned in this post in the coming month, for now, subscribe to this blog for updates! =)

Thanks!

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