July 22nd, 2014

Huge Profits Tiny List with Connie Ragen Green

Subscribe To Connie’s Podcast Series

Making huge profits with a small list is possible! My name is Connie Ragen Green, and I’ve been making a full time living online since 2006. I have successfully built a five figure a month income with a very small list. In fact, I was earning six figures a year long before I had one thousand people on my list, and I can teach you how I did this by following some simple marketing strategies based on affiliate marketing, product creation, and joint ventures. I am now a list relationship coach, helping others to build a relationship with the people on their lists in order to increase their online income.

The mission of this site is to teach you how to monetize your list, no matter how small it is. I will share what has worked for me, and welcome your comments and suggestions for what other information you would like for me to share with you.

Even though it is important to be continually growing your list, you certainly do not need a huge list in order to make an excellent living with your online business. Thanks for being here, and be sure to sign up on the right to receive an email notification when I write a new post twice each week. Feel free to leave a comment on any post that resonates with you, and share your own experiences about making big money with a tiny list. I have completed my first book, Huge Profits With A Tiny List: 50 Ways To Use Relationship Marketing To Increase Your Bottom Line, and it is now available. Click on the picture of the book on the right to get your copy today, or visit Amazon.com directly to see what else I have available.

My latest books are now available. The titles include Huge Profits With Affiliate Marketing: How To Build An Online Empire By Recommending What You Love and The Inner Game of Internet Marketing, co-written with author Geoff Hoff. Click on the link on the right, or visit my author page on Amazon or Barnes & Noble to order your copy today.

Finally, The Weekend Marketer, is available! I spent almost a year creating this book and online course based on the principles and CRGreen Cover 03 SM 187x300 Huge Profits Tiny List with Connie Ragen Greenstrategies I used to make the jump from working as a classroom teacher and real estate appraiser to coming online full time in 2006. You can do the same thing, and I’m here to assist you. No matter where you are right now, the Weekend Marketer™ book and program will help you to achieve the success you want and deserve.

It is my hope that you will join me on your journey of turning your ideas, interests, and passions into a lucrative online business. The first Weekend Marketer Live Workshop was in October in Las Vegas, and was so well received that I’ll be hosting the next one there the weekend of October 11-13, 2014. I hope you will be able to join us then.

July 22nd, 2014

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Marketing Consultant?

Marketing Consultant 300x180 Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Marketing Consultant?Are you a marketing consultant who gets real results for yourself and for your clients? This can be a lucrative source of income if you know what you’re doing. I’ve been consulting in the areas of marketing, social media, content creation, and online visibility for individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations for several years now and can tell you that being a marketing consultant requires more knowledge and intuition than you might think.

If you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or decision maker for a corporation, here’s why you probably shouldn’t hire a marketing consultant until you do more research because:

Contrary to popular belief, marketing consultants are not magicians.

Many entrepreneurs and small businesses hire consultants because they are looking for miracles to change what they have already created. The truth is that no consultant is going to take a business that is doing very poorly in revenue and quickly turn it around.

You see, consultants tend to specialize in one aspect of business, such as content creation, driving traffic, or paid advertising. But if you have a bad or low quality product, a low converting site, or an offer that just doesn’t make sense, driving thousands of visitors to your website or creating massive content won’t fix your business.

In other words, you will need to figure out how to create a sustainable business on your own. That’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. If it were easy, everyone would do it instead of working at 9 to 5 jobs.

You must lay the foundation before you build further.

Creating a business is like building a very tall skyscraper. If you tried to erect an seventy story building without laying a solid foundation, you’d create an unstable structure that would collapse very soon after being completed.

The same goes for your business. Without a good product or service offering, your business is bound to fail after a short time. To prevent that from happening, you need to figure out how to create a business model that allows you to get paid for solving other people’s problems.

Remember, your business does not have to be unique. It just has to be slightly different from what else is currently available. For example, when I began consulting with corporations, I was far from being the first in this space. The difference was that I only took on a handful of clients so I could offer more personalized services, while my competitors focused on taking on as many clients as possible, offering cookie-cutter services.

Once you figure out a business model that works for you, marketing your business will become much easier. Even the best marketers can’t turn around a poorly thought out business, which is why you will need to focus on creating a great product or service before you talk to a marketing consultant.

Start off slowly and then escalate over time.

Consultants are quite expensive, and you don’t want to pay them to sit around and ponder. You want to be able to move extremely fast when you bring them on as you are either paying them by the hour or have them on a monthly retainer.

In order to ensure that a consultant can help you grow your business at a faster pace, you need to be prepared. Handle all of the basics and test the waters.

What I am saying here is that you have to try to market your own business first. From optimizing your pages for the search engines to building your social media profiles and implementing your content marketing, you need to test out these pieces on your own.

Here’s what I recommend you do to get started:

  • Optimize your pages for the search engines
  • Speed up your site
  • Start blogging
  • Get involved with social media

If you aren’t able to do all of the things I’ve listed above, you can always hire an intern or someone still in school to help you out. Again, you are not looking for a consultant, but instead for someone who is:

  1. Technical – able to make changes to your website.
  2. Good at reading – able to follow the guides I linked to above.
  3. Good at following instructions – able to implement the steps outlined in the guides.
  4. Fast at executing what should be done – able to work efficiently.

How to know when it’s time to hire consultants:

Once you test the waters and try to grow your business on your own, you can consider hiring a consultant. Make sure you hire him or her for specific tasks instead of all your marketing needs.

If you are looking to accelerate your growth and you know where you can use help, you can always consider reaching out to a consultant. But if you are looking for someone to solve all of your problems and turn your business around, a consultant won’t be able to do much for you.

July 8th, 2014

Podcast: Carrie Wilkerson – the Barefoot Executive

DSCN8034 300x225 Podcast: Carrie Wilkerson   the Barefoot ExecutiveCarrie Wilkerson is a force to be reckoned with. The daughter of a career military father who later became a preacher, this Texan is truly a ‘people person’. The picture on the left is from the NAMS event last year where we were both speaking. I’ve been following Carrie for seven years now and was thrilled when she agreed to join me for a podcast interview. Whenever our busy paths cross and I see her in person at an event, she is the first one to call my name and rush over to give me a big hug. I love that about her and know that you will learn a lot about growing your business from this interview.

We discussed how much we have in common, having both been classroom teachers before coming online and both feeling overwhelmed at times when surrounded by too many people at a live event. But Carrie handles her life in a professional way that I aspire to emulate more and more as time goes on.

We talked about many things, including how she became known as The Barefoot Executive. Carrie is the foremost expert in the area of list building, and I recently went through her course not once, but twice on this topic. Building a list is crucial to your success with any business.

Also, be sure to check out Carrie’s bestselling book, The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom. I’ve read this book twice and learn something new with every chapter.

What will you learn from Carrie? That depends entirely on you, but once you find out she preserves and ‘puts up’ her own preserves from her garden and local produce co-ops you’ll realize the possibilities are endless.

Subscribe To All Calls In The Podcast Series

July 1st, 2014

Marketing Lessons for Online Entrepreneurs

DSCN3766 300x225 Marketing Lessons for Online EntrepreneursMarketing lessons for online entrepreneurs can come from most anywhere. During a recent Retreat I hosted in Santa Barbara our group made keen observations related to many businesses, including the Farmer’s Market, a weekend holiday festival, and even the hotel where we were staying. It turns out that marketing is the one aspect of business that can make a huge difference in your bottom line.

We visited the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning to get our in the fresh air and purchase some flowers and vegetables. Over the course of two hours we met many small business owners and entrepreneurs who depend upon this venue for their livelihood. It was interesting to observe their unique approaches to marketing their goods and selling them to others.

Some vendors offer a free sample of what they are selling and we sampled strawberries, peaches, and cheese, whereas others had no such offer. One man talked our ears off about himself and the book he was writing, and never took the time to tell us more about what he had for sale!   DSCN6958 300x225 Marketing Lessons for Online Entrepreneurs

It was the weekend of Summer Solstice (June 20-21) and the city of Santa Barbara sanctions a Solstice Parade through downtown and a two day long fair in a park at the end of the parade route. Our group attended the parade and then had a meaningful discussion about how the city gets the word out to others, both locally and to those living out of the area. They depend on local magazine and newspaper marketing, and do very little to entice those from other cities.

The hotel where I was hosting the Retreat, the Hotel Santa Barbara, does an excellent job of marketing themselves to the world. You can read about this establishment far and wide, and that is why they are always sold out or filled close to capacity.

What about your business? Are you marketing and selling in a way that will increase your bottom line steadily over time?

June 16th, 2014

10X Rule: Blogging For Your Business

10xrule 198x300 10X Rule: Blogging For Your BusinessI am currently rereading Grant Cardone’s fantastic and thought provoking book The 10X Rule – The Only Difference Between Success and Failure and have decided to apply these concepts to blogging for your business. In this book Cardone defines ‘the 10X Rule’ as a two part process, where the first part involves assessing the level of effort necessary to realize a goal and the second part being to adjust your thinking so that you dare to dream at levels previously unimaginable.

Because I firmly and wholeheartedly believe blogging to be an integral part of success as an online entrepreneur, let’s take a closer look at exactly how the 10K Rule applies.

The fatal mistake I observe all too many bloggers make is that they are not focusing on their area of specialization. If your blog’s topics and categories are all over the map and readers are never quite sure what to expect from you, then it’s probably not worth their time to stay subscribed or to ever visit your site again after their initial visit.

Think about this: There is something you know so well that if you were to write interesting and helpful posts about it on a regular and consistent basis you would attract a very specific readership and you’d become viewed as an expert in that field. And that is exactly what you want – a specific group of readers interested in what you’ve got to say on your topic.

What do you know better than anything else? What can you write about day in and day out, or at least week in and week out? When you figure out the same answer for both questions, blog about that for at least the next six months and see what happens.

Remember and believe that your audience is waiting for you. They need you to share your knowledge and understanding and experiences with them. Teach them what you know and believe. So even though it’s normal when you start blogging that you want to attract as many readers as possible, the mistake is believing that writing about any and every topic will help build your readership.

Grant Cardone would recommend that you apply the 10X Rule to your blogging by having the pure domination mentality, where you think ten times the thoughts and take ten times the actions of what others bloggers do on a regular basis.

Having a small group of niche readers follow your blog can become a very large group fast. If even one percent of people in the world are interested in what you have to say that would be seven million people! The more you narrow down your niche topic you’ll increase your ability even further to attract the right people to your blog. By being more specific it helps your readers make a choice by letting them know what’s in it for them.

Make a huge effort to stay focused, write regularly, and be open to building your business and growing it exponentially, in accordance with the 10X Rule.

June 10th, 2014

Santa Barbara Business Retreat

sb beach 225x300 Santa Barbara Business RetreatI’m in Santa Barbara this week, where I live half of the time. Today I visited two of the restaurants and one of the museums where I will be taking my clients when they arrive next week for my Santa Barbara Business Retreat. I’ve hosted groups of three to five people in this way six times previously. This Mastermind Retreat is a part of my Platinum Mastermind, an elite group I work with exclusively to help them build successful businesses both online and offline.

Many times my students do not know exactly what to expect when they schedule their week with me and the others here in Santa Barbara. That’s perfectly alright as I prefer they not show up with any preconceived notions of what they will get while they are here. The idea is for them to be open to whatever happens and to know that their lives will be forever changed by participating in this small group Mastermind in the beautiful setting of Santa Barbara.

We begin the Retreat by giving each person a chance to share more about themselves with the rest of our group. They explain why they want to build a business, how long they have been trying to do so, what their business model is currently, and some of their challenges and successes along the way. What they have in common is a desire to become successful entrepreneurs, a willingness to help others in the process, and a determination to make it all happen in a timely manner.

By the end of our week together these incredible people have found new ways to accomplish their goals, discovered a more powerful ‘reason why’ and connected with people they will know for years to come.

Success After Attending The Santa Barbara Business Retreat

You may be wondering about the level of success people achieve after spending time with me in Santa Barbara. The answer is that it varies, depending upon where each person was when they first arrived. I have some people who come to me with only an idea and dream, but with no website, products, or marketing skills. Others arrive with an already established business that just needs fresh ideas and insights into how to move seamlessly to the next level. In either extreme, or with anyone whose business falls somewhere in the middle, this is a week well spent.

What seems to make the difference is the degree of action and implementation is put forth in the days and weeks immediately following the Retreat. Those who hit the ground running are much more likely to find success than those who continue to think about what they wish to do and to search for different answers to the same questions.

If the Santa Barbara Business Retreat sounds like something you would like to be a part of in the near future, please join my list and connect with me to explore how we may work together to build your business in a way that works for you.

May 28th, 2014

Summer Online Jobs for Students

kids online jobs 300x150 Summer Online Jobs for StudentsSummer Online Jobs for Students

Now that school is almost over it is definitely time to get the kids involved in a home based business that can be done primarily on the Internet. Remember that you, as the parent or legal guardian, are responsible for overseeing the children in your life and for setting up any financial or legal entities that may be needed. My grandkids have been working online for four years now and have learned a tremendous amount about business, finance, and dealing with people from all over the world.

There are currently three models I am recommending for summer online jobs for students, and these include affiliate marketing, retail arbitrage on Amazon, and blogging on a specific niche topic. All of these models will also encourage reading, writing, and math practice for your child that will aid them in their academic studies once school starts again.

The first model is one that I use to this day in my own online business. Affiliate marketing is the process of ‘recommending what you love’ to others who might be interested. This can be done with both physical and digital products, as more and more companies understand the importance of paying a commission in return for a good recommendation that results in a sale.

Finding the right products to promote begins with looking around the house and on your computer for things you have purchased that made a difference in your life. For my eldest grandson this included his skateboard, skating accessories, and books he owned in this niche back when he was only thirteen. It just made sense for him to tell others about these items, using his affiliate link. Once he made some money he was then hooked on being an online entrepreneur. He recently turned eighteen and now earns all of his own spending money with his multiple Internet businesses.

The second model I recommend for young people is Amazon’s retail arbitrage. This is the process of shopping locally for great deals on books, toys, food, and a variety of other products and then reselling them in the Amazon marketplace. I have done this myself and have fun shopping for bargains. The best stores in Santa Clarita to find deals are Target, Big Lots, and Rite Aid. Set a limit for how much you will spend on the items you want to resell, and then pack them up and drop them off at one of our local UPS stores. They know exactly what you need to do to get them safely to one of Amazon’s national distribution centers.

The third model involves blogging on a niche topic. My granddaughter absolutely loves soccer and has blogged about her experiences since she was twelve years old. She is able to recommend all kinds of physical and digital products related to the sport, and her writing skills have improved tremendously over the last two years. She loves being a journalist in this way and sharing what’s new in soccer around the world.

If you are familiar with blogs you know they have space around the posts (we refer to this as ‘virtual real estate and advertising space’) where you can display small ads and information about products and services you recommend. It doesn’t take long for you to become a trusted advisor to those seeking this type of information online. That’s when your sales will really pick up.

As you can see, there are multiple opportunities for your children to earn money with an online business. I encourage you to sit down with your children right away and discuss the three models I have described here. Once you know what their goals and interests are you can custom tailor a home based Internet business for them to get started this summer as online entrepreneurs.

May 5th, 2014

Driving Targeted Traffic To Your Blog

targeted traffic Driving Targeted Traffic To Your BlogYou may have seen the movie Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner builds a baseball field in the middle of the countryside and people come from far and near to visit. This concept of ‘if you build it they will come’ is a romantic one, but does not apply to your business. Probably the trickiest part for any online entrepreneur is getting targeted traffic to their sites.  This is more science than art and has spawned an industry all of its own.  Search engine optimization or SEO as it’s more affectionately referred to, is a major player in how you get targeted traffic to your sites or in this case, your blogs.

Driving Targeted Traffic To Your Blog

There are other promotional and marketing strategies that you can employ to get traffic, but it all starts with optimizing your blogs for SEO.  If you want your blog to be found, you have to optimize it for the search engines. Google and the other search engines will crawl you site to see what it’s about, and then send traffic (people) who are searching for those specific topics. It must be general enough to garner attention, yet specific enough to weed out those you are actually searching for very different information.

The level of optimization you can perform on your blog depends once again on whether you’re using a free platform or a hosted one.

A blogging platform like WordPress.org is the best way to go for SEO purposes.  There are no limits as to how you can customize your WordPress.org (hosted) blog.  But because most beginners tend to use the free blog platforms, we’ll explore SEO tactics that everyone can benefit from.

Split Your Blog’s Search Engine Optimization into Offsite And Onsite SEO

Offsite SEO can be summed up as just this – inbound links.  This means blogs other than your own, are linking to your blog and a wide variety of your content.  Inbound links are quite possibly the most important SEO tactic that could get your blogs highly ranked in the search engines.

So how do you get others to link to you?  Here are some ways to get you started:

Write Quality Content – Nothing gets you links faster than writing content that affects your readers.  If a little bit of controversy helps, throw that in.  As word gets around about your posts, bloggers will inevitably link to you.

Post Comments On Blogs You Read – Don’t hesitate to post worthwhile comments on other blogs, be it your competitors or not, but realize blog comments themselves don’t have impact on your SEO results. You may get a follow-up with a link pointing to your blog.  And if that happens to be from a competitor with a huge audience, you’ll be looking at some major traffic influx to your blog.

Submit Your Blog To Directories – You can submit your blogs to blog directories to generate more inbound links.  Apart from buying links, this is something many bloggers do to get more traffic.  Technorati.com and DayPop.com are amongst two of the more popular blog directories right now, but you can perform a Web search to find more.

Onsite SEO requires customization within your blog itself.  Here’s how to get started:

Optimize Your Content With Targeted Keywords  – This topic really requires intense study, as it is one of the more important subjects when discussing SEO.  But in a nutshell, your blog posts should contain the keywords or keyword phrases that your potential customers or readers would most likely type into the search engines to find what they are looking for.

This requires advanced research of keywords on your part so that you can place these targeted keywords within your blog content.  The result would be a highly optimized blog for the very information your potential customers are looking for.

Have each of your posts focused on one specific topic so that you can moderate the keywords going into your content.  Over-stuffing keywords can make for terrible reading which defeats the purpose of finding and keeping your customers.

Make your posts as original as possible and update your blog frequently, at least three times a week.

Place Your Keywords Here Too – Within the URL of the page, page and post titles, heading tags such as H1, image alt tags and meta tags.  Bold your keywords where you can too.

Create A Good Linking Structure Within Your Blog – Create links that link from a certain post in your blog to another relevant post which you had written previously.  This interlinking makes it very easy for search engines to re-index your blog, allowing for more of your pages to be indexed.  Categorize your information and place them on your blog’s sidebar.  Create a sitemap once your blog starts growing larger in size.

But one thing to remember is not to over-optimize your blog. Write naturally and don’t overdo it with keywords. Use descriptive wording and use synonyms rather than repeating the same keyword phrases over and over. Following these strategies will increase the amount of targeted traffic you receive to your blog, and will ultimately increase your bottom line as well.

May 2nd, 2014

Podcast: Lynda Weinman

lynda weinman 255x300 Podcast: Lynda WeinmanI can’t remember exactly how many years ago it was when I heard about Lynda Weinman and her amazing site, but I do know that when I first visited this massive online learning community I knew that I would be able to learn much of what I needed to get my new Internet business off the ground and up to speed quickly. We finally met in person at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where Lynda has been a generous sponsor for several years. She was kind enough to agree to be a guest on my podcast series and I know you will enjoy the information she shares here immensely.

When you visit Lynda’s site you will see that it opens with the simple question ‘What do you want to learn today?’

Lynda has an interesting background, and it was when she was teaching digital arts at the college level (Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California) back in 1994 when she realized that her students would be interested in publishing their own websites on the Internet. Unable to locate a book on this specific topic, she decided to do the research and write a book herself. It was published in January of 1996 and quickly became a bestseller. She was then able to start her company with the royalties she received from the book. This took shape as a physical school in a city not far from Santa Barbara (Ojai), and her husband was actively involved with it every step of the way. They enjoyed several years of great success before they had to make drastic changes. After the 9-11 incident and the dot com crash they made the decision to bring everything online.

This proved to be a much larger undertaking than they had originally imagined, and they started with twenty of their courses, first available on VHS and then moved online, and then expanded from there. Today they have a digital library of more than a hundred thousand individual videos, mainly around the topics of digital media, marketing, social media, publishing online, and so much more, all organized into more than twenty-five hundred courses with about five hundred instructors and four million students worldwide..

Lynda shared that her company’s growth truly grew out of word of mouth referrals from raving fans.

They have made a commitment to bring certain programs and corporations, such as Adobe Creative Suite (Creative Cloud is the latest), Apple, and Microsoft when choosing which trainings to create, but their process is much more complex than just that. She uses 3-D printing as an example of something that is brand new that they have jumped in on the ground floor of with their training. They take both a predictive and trend-driven approach to what they are creating in their courses, based on both qualitative and quantitative analysis.

We also discussed how they select and compensate instructors, and how this makes her company even more unique and valuable. You will love this discussion and gain great insight into the process they utilize to make sure the students receive the very best education available on the planet.

Lynda also introduced me to the concept of MOOC (Massive Online Open Courseware) and went into some detail with this fascinating new approach to online education. Her company is not a MOOC; it’s an online community and library of free form training with mashups of the topics you wish t learn. They have a tool on their site that allows you to create a playlist of the exact courses you would need to take in order to achieve specific goals.

She gave us a true ‘scoop’ in regards to what their next steps are to take their company global. You’ll have to listen to the end to hear the details!

Listen to our call and I am sure you will appreciate Lynda and all that she has accomplished as much as I do. Enjoy a seven day free trial by clicking on this link to get started right away.

Subscribe To All Calls In The Podcast Series

April 15th, 2014

The Internet Lifestyle Requires Massive Action

internet success 300x108 The Internet Lifestyle Requires Massive ActionThe Internet lifestyle is an awesome way of life. My last book is called Living the Internet Lifestyle because it has changed my life completely. But it may not be what you think. It refers to our ability to do something we enjoy from anywhere in the world, and being able to choose your own hours. It represents a freedom in our lives few people get to experience until they retire.

Leveraging the power of the Internet includes taking advantage of improved automation tools that allow us to enjoy our day to day lives while our businesses hum along smoothly in the background. My clients and students are on six continents and in more than fifteen countries around the world.

While I was working as a classroom teacher and also in real estate I had no time of my own to speak of, bosses that treated me terribly at times, and very little time or money to travel, spend time with family and friends, and little opportunity to be involved with charities and volunteering. I now have both active and passive streams of income in which to live the life I choose.

But getting all of this in place takes time, planning, and massive action. I’ve never seen anyone make significant progress towards an online business without massive action. The people who lead you to believe you can create the Internet lifestyle for yourself without doing the work and laying the foundation are not being honest with you.

These days I spend about fifteen hours a week actually working in my business, but that was not the case during my first year online. When you’re starting out, it takes even greater action to gain momentum.  When someone tells me they envy my lifestyle I always remind them that my life today is a result of the hard work, effort, and massive action I took in the beginning.

Those who are successful make a commitment to doing so. They turn off the television, stop going out with friends, and give up sleeping in on the weekend. They save money by not going out to restaurants and skipping their yearly vacation. If your family is supportive and believes in what you are working to build, they will understand this completely. If not, then it’s your job to convince them.

The sacrifice is worth it because the reward is so great for your future. You can accomplish a lot more with a year of focused, intense, massive effort than you will with three years of start and stop attempts. My favorite saying is:

‘Do for a year what other won’t, live the rest of your life the way others can’t.’

So, just how badly do you want to live the Internet Lifestyle? How much is your freedom worth?

If it’s valuable enough, you’ll do what it takes.  And it all begins with taking massive action.