The Awareness Ladder: How to Set Up Your Website for Maximum Conversions

Do you have a website that just won’t make any sales? Or are you building your first website, and are puzzled about how to structure it? Then this post is for you!

website conversions

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In this post I describe an approach to structuring your website to optimize conversions – whether you define a “conversion” as a sale, email opt-in, donation, or whatever action you want your visitor to take.

But first, a refresher on how to put yourself in the shoes of your market – from marketing legend Eugene Schwartz.

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Dreamlining: A Good Alternative to Setting Goals?


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Did you notice all the “here are my 2011 goals” blog posts flying around last month?

I sure did – they seemed to be everywhere. And for the past month I’ve been putting off setting my own goals for 2011. For some reason, the idea of “goals” just doesn’t sit right with me.

For the past while I’ve assumed it was just me who thought like this – until I picked up my (well-read) copy of the 4 Hour Work Week yesterday and reviewed chapter 1 on “Definition” – the chapter in which Tim Ferriss argues that the questions “What do I want?” and “What are my goals?” are far too broad to be useful.

What Tim recommends, instead of asking yourself those two incredibly vague questions, is to pose this simple question: “What excites me?” Tim includes this question in a process that he calls dreamlining.

For me, this question hits the nail on the head – because it’s far easier to define what excites us. By planning our future by focusing on what excites us, we’re also more likely to achieve happiness than focusing on “goals” – and there’s scientific proof to back up my claim. Allow me to explain.

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Desperate Buyers: 3 Proven Techniques to Find Them

Desperate Buyers

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Have you ever had a serious medical condition or been in deep financial trouble? If so, you probably spent a lot of time actively looking for a solution – whether that was talking to friends, consulting with trained professionals, or searching online for answers.

One of my sons has asthma, which flares up whenever he gets a cold. During the Canadian winter, kids tend to get a LOT of colds. So when my son was a toddler, we spent a lot of time in hospital, nervously waiting to see a doctor while our son coughed, wheezed, and gasped for life-sustaining breath.

In the eight years since our son was born, my wife and I have also spent much time trying to find a cure for his asthma. We’ve tried allopathic, naturopathic, and Ayurvedic medicines – and we’ve put a lot of energy into preventing him from getting colds, so his asthma wouldn’t be triggered.

Do you think we’d pay a lot of money if someone offered us a proven cure for asthma?

You bet we would!

When it comes to our son’s asthma, we fall into the “desperate buyer” category – a type of buyer that every Internet marketer needs to be on the look-out for – because desperate buyers can be the easiest to convert into sales (IF you have a proven solution to their problem).

In this post I’m going to describe 3 techniques that I use to find desperate buyers in health markets, which are the markets I operate in.

Let’s jump in!

3 Proven Techniques for Finding Desperate Buyers

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Confused and Overwhelmed? 31 Successful Internet Marketers Tell You How to Overcome Self-Doubt

Self doubt

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Did you know that there are over 1 million Clickbank affiliates, and 15,000 of them make a full-time income promoting Clickbank products? Quick math: that means 1.5% of Clickbank affiliates make a full-time income from it.

Now, there are two ways of looking at that number: glass half-empty, and glass half-full.

The glass half-empty folks say “What?! Only 1.5% of affiliates are making it?”

The glass half-full folks, on the other hand, say “Wow, 15,000 people is a lot! I’m going to be one of them.”

And when you combine all of the internet marketers who are successfully promoting products from other affiliate networks, or their own products, Adsense, eBay, Amazon, CPA offers, and a million other things, there are probably hundreds of thousands of people who have “made it” online.

And yet all of those people went through a range of emotions on their way to achieving their goals. I regularly hear from my blog subscribers about the emotions they are grappling with, the most limiting of which is self-doubt:

– Doubt in their abilities

– Doubt in their chances of succeeding

– Doubt that this whole “make money online” thing is even real

I get so many emails from people trying to overcome self-doubt in making money online that I got an idea one day: to ask as many successful bloggers as I could how they overcame doubt.

So here’s what I did. I emailed 100 bloggers and asked them a simple question:

“What is the #1 thing you did to overcome self-doubt in your early days online?”

Out of the 100 emails I sent, 31 bloggers responded (so far). Included in the respondents were some heavy-hitters, including John Chow, Yaro Starak, Shawn Collins, Chris Guthrie, Zac Johnson, and Daniel Scocco. Many “up-and-comers” also responded.

The text that follows is the responses from all 31 bloggers. In their responses, I think you’ll see a few themes emerge:

– Find a mentor, or someone successful to model

– Treat “failures” as learning experiences

– Take a long-term view (don’t expect quick success)

– Focus on one thing at a time

– Persist!

You might say that this post is a kind of mirror to my previous post on the 8 challenges facing IM newbies. And yet, if you look at the responses from bloggers who have “made it”, you still see similar issues cropping up.

So, in no particular order, here are the responses from bloggers:

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Finding a Profitable Niche: 6 Essential Questions to Guide Your Research

profitable niche

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So you’ve selected an audience to serve, and brainstormed some problems faced by that audience. How do you zero in on the problems that have the greatest chance of making you a profit?

In this post I’m going to cover the key questions that I ask when researching a market. While answering these questions won’t guarantee that a niche will be a money-maker for you, filtering your ideas through them will GREATLY increase your chances of success.

So let’s jump in!

Is the Niche Large (Enough) and Stable?

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5 Ways to Overcome FEAR in Building Your Online Business


overcoming fear in building OB

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If you read my post on the challenges facing internet marketing newbies, you know that I’ve been digging through the results of the KeywordsBlogger survey lately.

The survey results have generated a great discussion about what’s really holding people back from making money online.

One of the things that has really struck me about this conversation is how common FEAR is in the minds if budding Internet marketers:

– Fear of making mistakes

– Fear of losing money

– Fear of looking foolish in the eyes of their family

– Fear of FAILURE

Here are some comments that people made on the post:

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Top 8 Challenges Facing Internet Marketing Newbies: Results of KeywordsBlogger Survey

Top 8 IM Challenges

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If there’s one thing the Great Recession has done, it’s forced a lot of people to reassess their careers and how they make money (if they’re fortunate enough to still have a career, and still be making money).

The result? Well, one of the results has been a shift in people looking to start their own business – including an online business.

Check out this graph from Google Trends showing the gradual (but noticeable) increase in searches for the term “make money online”.

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How to Grow an Email List: 7 Steps to Get You Started

If you’ve been in internet marketing for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard the saying “The money’s in the list”.

What does that mean, exactly?

Put simply, it means there’s a lot of money to be made in nurturing relationships with people via email.

It took me a while to realize that, but now I have an email opt-in box on every one of my sites. And when a visitor to one of my sites gives me their email address, they automatically start receiving emails that I’ve set up through my autoresponder.

Confused? If this all sounds like Greek to you, check out the video above. In the video I take you through:

  • 3 reasons why you should start collecting the email addresses of your site visitors
  • 3 ways to collect email addresses that have worked extremely well for me
  • 7 steps to get started in setting up your email list system

Click the image above to download the PDF of this presentation

And if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

8 Components of an Online Business

If you’ve read Michael Gerber’s book “The E-Myth Revisited”, you know that many business owners get caught in the trap of working IN their business, and not ON their business.

What does that mean?

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Google Keyword Tool: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to the New Tool


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This post is part three in a 4-part series on keyword research called Keyword Research 101: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Buyers.

Unless you’re completely new to internet marketing, you’ve probably noticed that Google came out with a new version of its hugely popular free keyword tool a few months ago.

There’s been quite a bit of complaining around the blogosphere about the new tool, and I’m one of the many people who wish they’d bring the old one back! (But maybe that’s because I’m in an adjustment period, and just need to change with the times…)

Here’s what’s new about the keyword tool, straight from the Inside Adwords blog:

  • Flexible search options: Search by any combination of keyword, website/URL, and category (where available) and receive a single set of results.
  • Easy keyword refinement: Filter results by word or keyword match type.
  • Negative keywords: Easily add keyword ideas as negatives right from your keyword list. Just click on a keyword and use the drop-down menu to select and save your negative keyword.
  • Advanced options: View statistics for mobile search and use data filters based on local searches, search and ad share, and more.

Most importantly for internet marketers, Google also changed how they calculate Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches. Statistics in these columns are now based on search traffic only, whereas in the old keyword tool, they also included traffic from what Google calls “search partners” (e.g.

There are a couple of changes in the new tool that I’ve noticed that aren’t mentioned by Google: the new tool returns far fewer keywords that include the search term that the user entered; and the default setting of the new tool is to return a list of “related terms”, many of which aren’t related to the keyword you type in.

Despite the changes, however, I still believe Google’s tool is an essential weapon in every internet marketer’s arsenal, because it provides keyword data straight from the largest search engine on the web.

So let’s jump right into the tool.

How to Use the New Google Keyword Tool
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