Now, in order to support that, to generate accountability, to really try and take the show to the next level, I’m very excited to be participating in Cliff Ravenscraft’s new mastermind that he’s cranked up over at ThePodcastMastermind.com. I have an accountability group in there for masterminding to help understand how to take the show to the next level. We’ll all be working with each other on each other’s shows, holding each other accountable, and I’m going to use that as a lever to get this show to the next level and to make it of greater value to all the great listeners that I have. I really appreciate each and every one of you.
So that’s the plan on talking about affiliate marketing. In addition, I’ll be cranking things up on the blog. I’m going to try and get back on a regular posting schedule. If you look at the goals post that I have on the blog I talked about how many posts I wanted to do on the blog. Basically I want to hit a posting schedule of three posts a week on the blog, one of those posts of course will be the show notes from the podcast, so we’re really talking about a couple pieces of content a week. I think I ought to be able to do that. So we’re really going to crank up the value added quality content on the blog side and on the podcast side, and that’s how we’ll talk about internet marketing.
Now, in terms of doing internet marketing I’m also going to be talking about as many as 12 sites. At one point in my internet marketing career I had 137 domain names and a vast number of those were unfinished projects that I had started and had ideas for. So I really decided in 2012 I’m going to pick 12 sites to work on. A couple of them are going to be familiar to you. One will be the Niche Site Duel site that I’ve talked about and one will be the Open Niche Project site, and I’ll be talking about those pretty openly on the podcast.
We’ll be talking about how to make those profitable. I’ll be pretty open about what I’m doing on those. I want to say I’ll be completely open about what’s going on with those so you can see what works and what doesn’t work and learn from what I’m doing on those projects. So we’ll be talking about those on the podcast as we move forward.
I was checking the rankings on the Niche Site Duel website and it’s actually ranking on the first page of Google, so we’ve got a lot of good stuff to start with. I think that we’ll enjoy that and we’ll all get a lot of value out of the efforts that come from doing affiliate marketing.
I really feel like you can’t talk about something that you’re not doing, that just doesn’t make any sense to me. I think if you want to learn from somebody or if you want to benefit from somebody’s experience they need to actually have some. So I want to keep doing affiliate marketing and that will give us a lot of cool stuff to talk about.
And then the last thing is teaching affiliate marketing. One of the things I’ve always wanted is to have the best, and I truly mean that, the best product on the market for beginning affiliate marketers so that they could come in, have a clear no nonsense road map for affiliate marketing. So I’m starting to work on that and I’ve actually engaged a coach for that to help me lay out the material and create some accountability on that.
So those are my goals for 2012, to be somebody who is talking about content based affiliate marketing, who is really doing that content based affiliate marketing and revealing some of that work when he talks about, and then teaching affiliate marketing to people in a course format.
So that’s where I’m headed with MasonWorld.com and I’d love to have you guys along for the ride. If you’ve got input on how I can make that valuable to you, I’d love to hear what you think about all of that. Just come on over to the show notes over at MasonWorld.com and leave me a comment about what you think about my plans for 2012.
I’m also very excited because I’ve been spending most of the day with this brand new podcast mastermind activity and really seeing some amazing results that Cliff is having just with the value that he has created in his brand. It’s really cool.
He announced his podcast mastermind activity, it’s not inexpensive. The value is incredibly high, but he had people apply and he didn’t even accept all the applications, he’s really trying to create something special and I was lucky enough to get in. It just makes me understand the coolness of creating community and brand and having integrity in your brand and understanding how to build a community around what it is that you’re trying to do.
And that’s really what I want to try and do here. I try to follow examples of guys like that who create this following because they’re really trying to help people and that’s what I want to do.
I recently had this experience that I talked about a little bit on the blog where I ran across a wine maker that was out there doing a podcast, a wine maker interested in internet business and his name is Todd Clift. He was on Cliff Ravenscraft’s podcast, that’s where I heard about him. He was doing this “be everywhere” thing that Pat Flynn talks about where he is just out there talking about his brand. He knew Cliff and building a following and making connections with people.
I really resonated with this interview that I heard, so I called up the winery and I ordered some wine. Lo and behold it wasn’t too long before I got the wine in the mail – it was fantastic by the way, it’s Moonstone Cellars. Todd had really demonstrated some outstanding marketing techniques. There’s a video on the blog you can check out and I’ll link to it in the show notes.
Basically what Todd had done is he delivered an excellent product, but he used some very simple and very straightforward marketing techniques in his business. And they’re marketing techniques that I recommend that you use in your business.
He had done this “be everywhere” thing and he was in some kind of tangential interview talking about his wine. It wasn’t a wine show, it was a podcasting show, but he ended up with a new customer as a result of that. But, he also had included a bunch of information inside the wine that he delivered about what his winery was like, what the people were like that work there, some candid shots from a festival thing they had done there at winery, really part of this build community idea, and that was really neat as well.
He also included a small little inexpensive to him but valuable to me bonus in the wine shipment. That was just an example of over delivering and exceeding my expectations. That was a really good example of some really solid marketing techniques that apply well to internet marketing. I encourage you to hop over to the MasonWorld.com blog and check out that video if you want more information on what impressed me about Moonstone Cellars, it was really pretty cool.
I think one of the things that we always want to do is talk about some specific affiliate marketing tips. In episode 14 we talked about redirecting links. One of the affiliate marketing tips that I want to talk about today is this issue of identity. I had some feedback from one of the listeners and readers that I have named Chris, and Chris has a blog called ThePathtoRiches.com.
He’s been working on it for quite some time, he’s owned the domain for a long time, but he’s got this kind of very common situation where he has these dreams and aspirations and he is airing them out on his blog, he’s talking about kind of following passion, creating passive income, these sorts of things. But, he’s also got a day job.
His question is should he use his real name or not? He is worried about is his employer going to find out. Is it ethical for him to use a fake name and bring this blog forward? How can he do that with integrity? This raises all kinds of questions, and this is a pretty common question in affiliate marketing. Do you want to use your real name or do you want to use a pseudonym, is it okay to do this kind of stuff?
Dr. Seuss did it, so it must be sort of okay. But, seriously. Can you really do that and build community if you’re living this lie? I think for me I totally understand his concerns.
In fact, I have often had these same concerns with my current employer because I really like my current job and I don’t want to ever send the message that I don’t like it or that I’m trying to get away from it. Even though I talk about how to build a business on the internet and so forth, I really like my current job and my current employer, so I’ve worried about this same sort of thing. But, my internet activities and my domain and everything that I use sort of predate all of my thinking about how I was going to take this thing, so I didn’t plan very well.
My answer to Chris is simple. I think one of the most important things in business in general and internet business specifically is this issue of transparency. We need to be telling the truth. That doesn’t mean that you need to be telling everything. I can tell you the truth, but I don’t necessarily need to tell you my Social Security number.
What I mean by this is it’s okay probably to have a pseudonym and a picture that’s not you, maybe it’s a cartoon character or maybe it’s something off of iStock photos. But, tell people that’s what you’re doing. On your about page say, “I go by this name and this is reason. I wouldn’t want my employer to get confused about my intentions. I’m a real guy, but I’m really doing things this way.” I think that’s absolutely fine.
In fact, I’ve suggested that maybe he have a pseudonym like Internet Joe and then he could have a section on his about page called “My name is really not Joe,” and he could explain why he’s doing business as Internet Joe.
So I think in internet business, as in most things in life, the key thing really is integrity, transparency, and honesty. You’ve just got to tell people the truth. Everyone who is interested in following you is going to understand an issue like needing to protect your identity.
This has often been recommended for women online, because with all the computer technology we have it’s easy to track people down and there has been thinking over the years that women can be more vulnerable to security concerns. So maybe you don’t always want to let people know exactly who you really are. And I think that’s fine. If it becomes an issue for you and you’re worried about telling the truth, then just tell people “I’m somebody else, but I’m not going to tell you exactly who it is.” I think that makes perfect sense.
Thanks for that feedback, Chris. You can go check Chris out at ThePathtoRiches.com.
I always like to tell you the kind of articles that I’ve been looking at over the last couple of days on the internet. Since it was New Year’s resolution time I saw this fantastic article that was brought to my attention by Nicole Dean.
This article is kind of an old article, it’s actually from the end of the year in 2007 just before the New Year’s resolution season. It was written by a lady named Christine Kane, she’s pretty famous actually, she’s a women’s mentor and kind of a life coach. She is actually quite impressive and I think you might really enjoy her work over at ChristineKane.com.
This article particularly has become pretty famous over the years, I’ve seen it a couple of times and Nicole Dean reminded me of it. Basically she says New Year’s resolutions are a joke, everybody makes them and by the end of January they’re busted.
In fact, even my own 2012 New Year’s resolutions are in serious jeopardy even though I’ve taken the massive action of joining the podcast mastermind and retaining the services of a coach for my new product I’m still not meeting the day-to-day execution goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year already and it’s only the end of January.
She says these resolutions don’t work because they don’t really address a whole level of your life, they’re usually specific to one thing about what you’re going to do and they don’t really address a vision – you need to have a vision. So what she suggests as a ritual for the new year is to choose a word that you should focus on for the year. Instead of choosing “go to the gym” choose a word that embodies what it is that you’re trying to do, like “health,” and focus on that word and take a more holistic approach to that single word and let that word enable a vision.
I really liked this article, we’ll include a link to it in the show notes.
The word for MasonWorld.com is FOCUS. That’s almost always what I need more of. I’ve got all this stuff I want to do, I know what it is, I need to focus in order to get it done. When I lose focus, when I get distracted on other projects, when things come up and I look away for a little while, weeks go by and then I don’t get my goals done. The answer to that is always focus.
So I encourage you to think about your life in those terms. What’s the big picture and what’s your word for 2012? You can check the article out on ChristineKane.com.
I want to call your attention to another article. You know I follow Jonathan Leger, he’s an internet marketer here in Dallas and I’ve mentioned before. He recently had an article at the beginning of January on his blog where he did a case study where took two almost identical domains, a keyword rich domain for .com and an identical domain .net, and he put some very similar content on those domains and then he started pointing backlinks at the domains in order to try and get them to rank.
This was kind of an article marketing sort of test as the backlinks were coming from articles. The difference was in one case the links were coming from identical content spewed out into a bunch of different locations and in the second case the same number of links were sent out with different content. In other words he was basically trying to compare the backlinks from identical content versus spun content.
What he found out was a pretty dramatic result a few weeks later that the website that had links from unique content, in other words it wasn’t the same article over and over again, each article was different, that was ranking on the first page of Google. But, the website with the duplicate content everywhere on the internet pointing back to the blog wasn’t ranking well at all.
So he cites this as evidence that unique content links are stronger than links from repetitive content. Now, this is something that people have argued about for a long time. A lot of these article marketing tools you can put an article in and you can send it to 5,000 article directories and the question is does that really help you. And we know that the answer is that it does help, because we do have many instances that we can show where if all you do is that sort of backlinking you will get rankings.
But, what Jon is trying to say is if you do the additional work to create unique content then you can get a lot more power from those same links. That’s sort of the point of this. This is a really good article and I recommend you read that over at JonathanLeger.com.
I had one more listener question that I wanted to address. A long time ago I also mentioned in episode 14, oh so many months ago, that I had this situation where I had to replace one of my products that I used to promote that was no longer being supported by the developer. I argued that this was a great reason to have redirected affiliate links.
If you didn’t get a chance to listen to that episode, I recommend that you go back and listen to it because if you’re in affiliate marketing you need to have great control over your links and I recommend that you do that using Pretty Link, which is a WordPress plugin and was mentioned in the last episode.
One astute listener noticed that was actually an article marketing product that I was talking about. It’s true, that is an article marketing product that I used to promote and I no longer promote it. Ryan Johnston asked, “What article marketing product do you recommend now?”
The answer, Ryan, is hands down it’s this product called Article Marketing Robot from Vince Severson. I think Vince has pretty much got the market cornered on this sort of software that runs on a PC. It does not run on a Mac, it will run on a Windows virtual machine on a Mac, but it’s a PC native code.
The reason I like this and the reason I recommend it to people is this the kind of thing that you pay for once and you’re done. Vince supports it for the life of the product based on one payment, which is awesome because most article marketing software is a monthly proposition and that can get pretty expensive if you’re just starting out.
So Article Marketing Robot, I have an affiliate link for that at MasonWorld.com/recommends/amr if you’re interested in supporting me in that way. Otherwise you can head over to ArticleMarketingRobot.com and check it out. It is what I use for article marketing when I promote sites in that way.
Well, that about does it for the podcast. I’m going to ask Cliff how to create a cough button for my podcast even if I keep having a cold like that.
Thank you very much for tuning in. We’re going to really try and get this thing cranked up to weekly and try to take this show to the next level. We’ve got some big goals for 2012.
Incidentally, I use this SMART goal philosophy, I try to make goals specific and measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. I’m not so sure they’re all that realistic, but certainly they’re very specific for what we’re going to try and do with the podcast and the blog in 2012, they’re measurable because I’ve laid out the number of posts and podcasts that I want to do and when I want to do them, that makes them timely. We’ll see whether or not they’re realistic.
I know you guys will help me along by encouraging me. One of the ways you can do that is if you’ve got comments or feedback on the podcast, I’d love to hear what you think. You can head on over to the blog and leave me a comment.
Better yet, I’d love to answer your internet marketing question right here on the show if you’d like to drop me a line at 214-444-8655 that would be great. I’d love to get listener questions to be a bigger and bigger part of the show. Just be and sure, if you’d like to, leave your website so we can get you a little publicity in return for the courtesy of asking me a question. I really appreciate that.
Thank you so much for tuning in. Next week I’ve got something really special for you, I have a fantastic interview with Cliff Ravenscraft from The Podcast Answerman. It’s been in the can for a couple of months and I’m really excited to feature Cliff next week on the show. You’ll really enjoy that because Cliff is a guy that is running business the way it should be run and you’ll really learn a lot from listening to Cliff.
Until next time, I’m Mark Mason from MasonWorld.com and I hope you have an absolutely fantastic week.