Monthly Archives: June 2006

Blogging for Profits: Issue No.6: Do This One Thing A Explode The Profits From Your Blog

In previous issues we have reviewed the mechanics of setting up a blog and the information strategy you should be developing for your blog. If you need help with setting up a blog, go to one of the outsourcing job boards like www.rentacoder.com or www.elance.com and issue a request for a proposal. Quite candidly I recommend you or someone in your business learn how to set up a blog because it is likely you will find opportunities for operating more than one blog as you get better at defining your niche markets. But do not delay getting started. I personally used a person skilled in Word Press blogs to help me when I started www.stevereports.com Now I update the site and make changes for the content I post. For this blog I am the writer so I find that is the easiest and fastest way for me to do it.

The goal of Blogging For Profits is to advise you on how to maximize the profit potential of a blog for your business in the shortest amount of time. As promised, I am now going to disclose possibly the single best action you can implement right now to explode the profit potential of your blog. This action item is not being discussed by internet marketers and I have not seen it discussed in business magazines, newspapers or in on-line forums. However since it is impossible for anyone person to monitor all on line and off line content for a topic I am not claiming to be the first to reveal this powerful tool. On second thought yes I am until someone can show me an article or forum discussion that is legitimately dated prior to June 30, 2006.

(The remainder of this article is FREE for subscribers to Blogging For Profits. Register now at www.stevereports.com )

Blogging for Profits Issue No.5: How To Prioritize Information In Your Blog for Maximum Profits

The goal of your blog is to further fuel your revenue and profits. Do not major in minors. Start with the most important revenue and profit drivers of your business.

Who are the 20% of your customers that account for 80% of your sales?

What do they buy?

What do they buy the most of?

(You are invited to read the the remainder of this article and all prior articles by registering at www.stevereports.com )

How To Use Real Estate For A Competitive Advantage

Columbus, Ohio was once the home and headquarters of Sun TV. This company had the products and format of what today might be Best Buy. If you needed a TV, dishwasher, washing machine or some other appliance, many people in the Columbus market thought Sun TV and bought at Sun TV.

Macy Block started Sun TV and I had the opportunity of spending some time with him as part of a consulting engagement. He told me he would not let a similar format competitor in the market. Macy would strategically locate stores that were easy to get to then he consistently promoted low price for select name brands in print and on television. Sun TV owned the market. Many competitors tried to enter that market and in a short time they were out of business.

What happened? We all get older and Macy did as well. He accepted an offer from an investment bank and he sold half the company. Several years later the investment bank took the company public. By that time there was a new CEO and Macy was able to sit back and enjoy the monetary rewards of what he built.

The new management team had new ideas about how Sun TV should be run and did not stick with the “let no competitors into the market strategy”. Rather than cut prices so deep that a competitor could not make money like Macy did, the new team maintained margins so they would have good reports for their shareholders. They also invested heavily in non retail-store assets that contributed nothing to sales and profits.

Sun TV is out of business today. Liquidation resulted from competitors doing a better job of store site selection, product offering, service and price. They never would have had that opportunity under Macy’s watch.

What reminded me of this story was a recent article in the Tampa Bay Business Journal titled “Bank Enlarges Footprint To Steer Competition Away.” The story is about Bank America’s strategy in certain parts of Florida to use location plus hour of service as a competitive advantage.

Time will tell if this strategy will work. It appears to have a lot of things going for it. The Bank America story also is a good reminder of the opportunities in what appear to be crowded markets. Sometimes companies have a tendency to think they must expand into another part of the country to succeed. That may be an appropriate part of a long term growth strategy, but if you are a retailer or some other business that is dependent on “foot traffic” you should be addressing the opportunities of market dominance from multiple locations strategically selected.

I don’t know about your market but in Tampa Bay and many other markets in Florida, the drugstore closest to your home or place of work gets your business. You will find a Walgreens, CVS or both near every major intersection. Do these companies make money? Just look at their annual reports and you will see that they make money. Does every store make money? Probably not but they contribute to a market dominance position plus they gain tremendous advertising dollar leverage of the advertising when there are multiple locations.

If your business depends on customers walking through the door, then you will be well served by having a clearly defined real estate strategy as part of your profit optimization mission. There is a lot more to it than merely finding or building a building. Demographics, traffic flow, market trends, competitive analysis all play a part. Work with a commercial real estate expert and an expert business consultant who will objectively evaluate the information and return on investment estimates.

Steve Pohlit, Business Consultant
“Helping Business Make Extraordinary Profits Now! No Reports…Just Results”
www.stevereports.com
www.stevepohlit.com

Blogging For Profits, Lesson 4: Sales on Steroids From Blogs

"Blogging For Profits" Lesson 4 Sales On Steroids From Blogs

There are only three ways to increase sales:

1.More transactions with existing customers: for example if a customer buys from you once a month, increasing that to twice a month doubles your sales assuming the transaction size is the same.

2.Increase in the average sale transaction: for example if your average sale is $40.00 and you increase the average sale to $50.00 then you have increased sales by 25%. Of course that can be achieved by raising price, selling more items or both.

3.Increase the number of customers.

Achieving all three results in sales on steroids. Here is how blogs can help you realize maximum sales performance:

Continue to the rest of the article by completing the following information. I respect your privacy. Your contact information will not be provided to anyone – ever!

                                         

Blogging For Profits: Lesson 3 These Steps First

In the previous lessons, we have covered the definition of a blog, RSS and why this technology will help you deliver your product, service and message to a targeted market fast. Many are experiencing blog-based sites being re-indexed by Google and Yahoo the same day a new article or other item of valuable content is
added.

Note: I write these articles fast. If something does not make sense or you see an edit I should make please email me
with your comments.


There are many FREE resources on how to start blogging. This series is about what works and the problems you can avoid by following this roadmap.

If you are new to blogging, you will soon be familiar with the free service Blogger by Google. Some readers have an active blog at Google’s Blogger. Many other companies offer their own blog technology including AOl and My Space.

I Do Not Recommend Any of The Heavily Promoted Services For Your Blog If You Want Your Blog To Help You Grow Your Business.

It is very important to be in control of the sites and content you create or use to develop your business. This means that whether you are developing a blog, website, lead capture page or autoresponder with content that is delivered to your target audience, that you have a back-up copy ready to go on another server. If a problem should develop, you move your domain to another host and you are in business in 24 hours or less. It is very difficult to implement a back up plan quickly if you use Blogger and other blogging services that are not operated from a domain name you own registered to your own domain hosting account. I didn’t follow this advice for nearly a year and lost tons of great content. Never again. Stay in control of your business.

Just this week I received an email from a very well known and successful marketer who described a horror story of his partner becoming disgruntled and destroying all the files on their server. Yes some of his business is backed-up, but a lot is destroyed. In 2001 I was in a joint venture for technical support for an entire Internet business I started from scratch in 1995. I woke up to find a message on my company’s home page announcing the business had been "sold" and for all customers to direct their payments to a new location. I did not have back-up servers and data. I lost most of the business.

One story is from five years ago, another is from about 18 months ago and another this week. Two of the three instances are ones I experienced personally and another is one I read about. I could write a book on the disasters I am aware of,  but by now I know you understand the message that your list and your content are your most valuable assets when you are developing business using the tools of the Internet. Set up your services right and have a backup ready to go at all times.

Here are the Steps:

Establish a hosting account with at least one of the major players. I useHost Gator because they have all the tools I need and offer hosting for virtually an unlimited number of domains for $14.95 a month. I also recommend using more that one host provider. I use three and will likely use more soon.
Host Gator remains my top pick. Whatever host provider your choice, make sure they have C-Panel, Fantastico and complimentary WordPress with each domain. These will make your life a lot easier.

You will need to select a company where you can register domain names. If you plan on registering or are currently managing more than 20 domain names then I suggest using Moniker. If you are at that level then email me and I will help you get a deal for not more than $9.00 a year for .com domains. I know there are companies losing money on registrations by offer better deals. I want to pay the right price long term to a very reputable company and I want my domains easy to manage. If you are not at the bulk name registration level, go for the lowest price you can find but have your hosting service selected first so when you register your domain name you will have the information you need to finalize your domain name registration.

You will need an Adsense account with Google and an affiliate account with at least the following companies to start:

Clickbank
Linkshare
Commission Junction

With a domain name hosted on a server with C-Panel and having Fantastico for the install of Word Press you can begin making additional money within a day or two from your blog based product and information center (assuming you have set up your Adsense account.)

There are other tools I use including registration forms and autoresponders. I will talk about them in later posts. They are not required for you to start Blogging for Profits right now. You can implement what I am recommending in one day if you take action now.

You have the basics and you now know you will need to learn a few infrastructure building blocks. If you are a business owner with people having narrow skills working for you then you will need to learn some of these details even if you outsource many of the tasks. I know there are a number of very successful people who strongly advocate not spending time learning many of the details necessary to operate successfully in the Internet world. Those details include how to set up a hosting account, how to activate Word Press for your first blog based site, how to use an html editor and more. For me, I am in a better position to manage outsourced tasks as a result of developing basic skills.

In this lesson I have given you steps you will need to work through to get started. In the next lessons I will be covering how to use a blog to build traffic and incremental profits in connection with and existing website you have. This is very relevant for companies who already have a corporate web site and small business owners and entrepreneurs who either already have a main site or have been thinking of developing one for their business.

You will need to register to receive future lessons. How many are there? Well I don’t have a finalized outline of all the topics I will cover, but it looks to me at this point like there will be at least 8-10 more lessons. Before concluding, please do not delay getting started. If you need a domain name and hosting account, get them. If you need an Adsense account with Google – get one. If you need an affiliate account with Clickbank, Commission Junction and Linkshare (others discussed in future lessons) get them. These steps should be done now even if you are a major corporation. You will soon see why.

Happy Blogging,

Steve Pohlit, Business Consultant
www.stevepohlit.com
www.stevereports.com

"Helping People Make Extraordinary Profits Now..No Reports, Just Results!"
 

Blogging For Profits: Lesson 2



At the start of this lesson there is an assignment. Please do this first before continuing. Go to www.rssreader.com  and download the
software. It is FREE. Once you have installed RSS reader, click on the Add link at the top of the screen and in the space provided add
http://wwww.stevereports.com/feed  You can add folders to organize your feeds to suit your interests.

I personally use RSS Reader to track news releases in topics of interest including local market business news in areas where I often do consulting work. I also track each of the RSS feeds for niche sites I have developed to make sure my reports are picked up by the directories within an hour after they are released.

If you have done this properly, you will now receive in your reader a list of articles released from Steve Reports including this Blogging For Profits Course. Of course you have just learned by example how an RSS feed reader works and you can now add any content distributed using RSS. Look for the RSS symbols like the little orange one in the right hand corner of Steve
Reports.

This course will give you, as promised, the exact steps of what you need to do to make money for your business using blog technology. Before we get into the nuts and bolts I want to make sure you are already thinking about how you can take advantage of what you are learning to make money. When you have a view of the end result you are working for, the details will be more interesting, relevant and you will stay motivated to implement the steps as we go through
them.

The primary ways to make money using a blog are:

1. Advertising revenue from contextual ads. The number one source of relevantcontextual ads is Google and Google’s adsense program. You will find examples of Google adsense ads in various places at Steve Reports. I use Google adsense on nearly every page of every site I own. If you do not have a Google adsense account, go to www.google.com  and click on advertising at their home page then click on adsense and set up your account. You will need that active soon.

2. Selling other people’s products and earning affiliate revenue. www.Clickbank.com  is a great source of information products. There are others and we will cover more of them as this course progresses. There are many sources for information products, software, and physical products that offer affiliate revenue when you make a sale. I am a member of a number of programs for physical products including Commission Junction and Linkshare.

3. Selling your own products and services.

Of course, using combinations of the above can optimize your revenue flow. Steve Reports is designed primarily to market my professional consulting services. It is also set up to capitalize on adsense revenue and build a contact list where, just as in this course, I reference other people’s products as an affiliate.

Often there is resistance when I advise people to take advantage of as many revenue sources as possible. For example a retailer with an online store objects because they do not want to promote competing products and do not want people to leave their site by clicking on an ad.

Here is my advise and you are encouraged to test it and, of course discard it if it doesn’t work for you. In summary, most sites can promote complementary products and capitalize on traffic looking to spend money. In the case of a retailer with an online store, I first advise to capture the contact information in a database of everyone who buys. Then I recommend a compelling offer be made for visitors to leave their name and email address so autoresponder technology
can be used in a follow-up campaign.

As this relates to contextual advertising, test the results. It may be that you are better off using specific niche content websites to promote a specific offer and use contextual advertising and affiliate programs to generate incremental revenue from visitors who don’t buy from you. On the other hand, you may be better off focusing on capturing name and email addresses and implementing a follow-up campaign. In the follow-up campaign you can reference complimentary products where you are an affiliate. What is the optimum answer? I have no idea. You have to test.

Now, everyone is anxious to learn from this course and make more money. In the next lesson we will proceed with some of the boring stuff you need to do to be able to implement you making money strategy. However, you must have a strategy so begin right now to define what you think will be your best approach for making money? I do this then hedge my conclusions by implementing multiple strategies. You can too but you need to pick one and then you can select
derivative strategies from the one.

Please avoid analysis paralysis. If you are not sure about your strategy,  then simply follow the instructions to set up your RSS reader, Google adsense account and your Clickbank account. At this point everything is FREE. In the next lesson you will learn about the primary infrastructure you must have in place to implement the Blogging For Profits plan.

Author: Steve Pohlit, Business Consultant "Helping Companies Make Extraordinary Profits Now!…No Reports Just Results" using The Profit System. Register for the FREE course "How To Increase Profits by 30% or more in 90 Days or Less" at www.stevepohlit.com