Accountability Partners for Business Growth
I’m coming to you from the streets of Dallas, Texas. I’m stuck in traffic and I thought, “Why not record a little podcast action while I’m on the go?”
I was thinking about last week’s episode where we talked about the benefits of internet marketing coaching and we had a great interview from David Perdew. I thought one of the points that I hit in that podcast deserved some additional follow up, so I wanted to talk a little bit today about the value of accountability and having some sort of accountability partner in your internet business.
I don’t know if you can hear the background noise, I’m headed down the freeway in a bunch of traffic, it’s raining outside, and it’s pretty dreary here in Dallas today. Those kind of dreary atmospheres and the pressure of having a day job and trying to manage a family can sometimes leave you in a situation where you just don’t feel like working on your internet business.
I know sometimes it will get to be 9:00 or 10:00 at night, the time when I usually intend to work on my internet business for a couple hours, and I simply don’t feel like it. I would rather watch television. I have one of these fancy DVRs, in fact we have a couple, and they record all of my favorite shows and I can watch them from any room in the house just like on the TV commercial. It’s really easy to plop down
on the couch, maybe with a tasty sparkling beverage, and crank open the latest show that I really like.
I like shows like Law & Order, Hawaii 5-0, and CSI, I’m all into cop shows and those kind of mysteries. I also like spy things like Nikita and Burn Notice. So those pile up and I get behind on those shows. NCIS Los Angele is another one I really like. So I might have five to 10 hours of shows just waiting for me on the DVR begging me to watch them.
We could do a whole other separate episode about how filling your mind with junk off of the television is not a good way to live your life. I actually love entertainment, so I’m not against television because I think television is evil, but I do think you’d be better off watching or listening to some motivational content or some learning about internet marketing or whatever it is that you’re focusing on rather than watching NCIS. But, that’s not really what we’re talking about here today.
What I really want to talk to you about today is how do you make the choice between watching TV that you really enjoy or whatever other procrastination activity that you might do and working on your internet business, which really needs your constant attention? If you’re a part time internet marketer like I am the only way you’re ever really going to build a valuable business is to make tiny little deposits into that business over the course of months and years. When you get down the road eventually you’ll wake up and you’ll have this great business.
It’s been said many times that the longest journey begins with the first step. What that never talks about is the 100,000 steps that you need to take after that. A lot of people say you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Internet business is a lot like that. You’ve got to work on it a little bit at a time. So how do you stay motivated?
One of the ways that you can stay motivated is the way that I mentioned last week, which is have an accountability partner. Find someone, hopefully who understands your business and certainly someone who supports your business, that you can talk to about your business that will hold you accountable.
A really good way to do this is to identify a business partner, someone that you can work with to meet with on a regular basis. Maybe it’s monthly, I think weekly might be a little bit better, every two weeks is sort of an ideal time for me.
Exchange with that person over Skype (or however you decide to meet with them) a list of things that you plan to accomplish before the next time that you meet. Make sure that you make it a realistic list and make sure that you have things on your list that are well aligned with your goals and business targets for the month and the year.
Once you do that then the next time you meet you’re going to be in a position where you don’t want to have to tell this person, “Hey, I didn’t do what I said I was going to do.” To make it a little bit more real you can have a wager. For example, one of the things that Nicole Dean does for her coaching students is she gets them to commit that they’re going to complete the task that they sign up for or they’re going to have to donate a painful amount of money to their favorite charity.
So let’s say that I’m going to finish what I said I was going to do or I’m going to pull $100 out of my pocket and give it to the United Way. That’s kind of a win-win situation. You’re either giving money away that maybe you can’t really afford to give away or you’re doing your work. I think that’s a kind of a clever innovative thing that she does. Mostly for me though it’s just I don’t want to have to be the guy that makes excuses.
If you can find that accountability partner, hopefully someone that understands your business, but certainly someone who believes in what you’re trying to do and wants you to be successful, then that will really help keep you motivated and let you make those little deposits in your business that are going to add up in the long run.
I’m going to get my eyes back on the road. I hope you have a fantastic day and we’ll talk to you soon back in the studio.
[end of Mark’s on the go segment]
Different Types of Content Rights
That gets us to the next part of the show, which I’m really excited about. I’ve been doing business with Alice Seba since 2008. She is a purveyor of fine PLR products, she is just awesome. You can check her out via my affiliate link at MasonWorld.com/alice. You’ll hear more about some of the things that she has to offer.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with the labeling rights that usually come with content I thought I’d cover that a little bit and put this conversation into context. Basically when you buy content for your internet marketing business that you intend to reuse in your business there are three, maybe four, kinds of rights that you usually run across.
One is private use rights. You buy an ebook, you’re buying the right to read that ebook. You can’t share it with your friends, you can’t post it to your blog, you can’t email it around, it’s for your private use.
Another kind of right that you can buy when you buy content on the internet is private label rights. That usually means that you’re buying the content, you can use it as if you wrote it, you can use it as-is, you can rewrite it, sometimes there’s a few restrictions but you usually can’t resell it for other people’s use. You can sell it to people usually, because it’s just like if you were to write it yourself and sell it.
You can post it to your blog, use it as an autoresponder, but you’re using it as your private label. You’re taking that content just as if you’d hired someone to write it just for you. The only difference is several people may be buying the same content out there. That’s private label rights and you can buy those and use them for whatever you want.
I use those occasionally on some of my blogs if I want to create a blog post and I don’t want to write it myself completely or if I’m short on ideas and so forth. So that’s a good way to get content, provided the PLR is high quality. That’s Alice Seba’s specialty and we’ll be talking to her about that today.
Sometimes you’ll buy content and it will have resale rights. That is you get the content and you have the right to resell the content that you bought. So you might buy an ebook online that you’re allowed to brand as your own and then resell that content to others and make money doing that. Those are resale rights.
Master resale rights are the rights when you buy something and you can sell the rights for other people to sell something. So maybe I buy an ebook and I can sell it to other people and their purpose would be to sell it. That may sound a little confusing, but these are the different kind of rights that are out there.
Private label rights, stuff that you buy as if you had hired a ghostwriter to write it for you. Resale rights, something you buy to resell. Master resale rights, something that you buy to sell to someone so that they can resell it. Those are the kind of rights that you have.
Today we’re going to talk about private label rights, that’s something that people have a lot of questions about. Alice is one of the gurus and she’s going to answer some of your questions today on the Mason World Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast.
Mark's Interview with Alice Seba
Mark: I’m very excited to be on the mic again with another guest from another country. I’m on the phone with Alice Seba. Alice and I go way back to 2008. I was digging back through some of my old receipts and I saw the first time that Alice and I ever did any business together was back in 2008.
Alice is one of the most well recognized and highest quality private label rights content providers out there. It’s a real pleasure to have you on tonight. How are you, Alice?
Alice: I’m very good. Thank you. Thank you very much for having me.
Mark: So you’re close to Vancouver, British Columbia, right?
Alice: Yes. They call it the lower mainland of Vancouver. I’m in the suburbs.
Mark: As far as I know, the United States has not yet annexed British Columbia, correct?
Alice: There’s still a border not too far from here.
Mark: I’ve actually been there. The one thing I learned in British Columbia is that if anyone every offers to put your mountain bike on a ski lift you should just say no. I learned that in Whistler, that you should not ride a bicycle down a mountain.
Alice: No. That doesn’t sound like a very good idea. I don’t know if that’s typically Canadian or not.
Mark: It’s another story for a different podcast, I think. It’s really great to have you on the phone tonight. I appreciate you spending time with us. I think you and I talked about the fact this is your 10th year in business. Is that right?
Alice: Yes. I guess moving onto 11 with 10 years completed. Since 2002 when my firstborn was just a little baby.
Mark: So 2002 seems like the Wild Wild West of internet marketing. Can you tell me a little bit about how you got into internet marketing? Did you start out in the PLR business immediately upon entering internet marketing?
Alice: Well, no. Actually, what happened was I’m sitting at home in Canada, we are very fortunate that either the mother or the father once you have a child you can split it or one parent can take it and we have up to 12 months maternity leave where we do get some paid benefits during that time.
So I had this amount of time and I was like, “I need to do something.” So I looked for the typical stuff that mothers often do; Tupperware, direct sales things. I actually did join a company. I thought, “That’s not really working at home, that’s going out and selling your stuff at people’s houses.” I had a baby, I wanted to be home.
So I took to the internet to try to sell these products online. The companies didn’t really like me doing that. They said, “That’s not how you make sales. You have to meet people, you have to get out there.” I’m like, “No way. This can’t be true.” So I did connect with some people and really try to figure out how people could make a living online.
While I didn’t start with PLR, I’ve always been very focused on content. I understood the power of it right away. I was writing this content for my own website and search engine traffic. It was way easier back then, I will admit that. But, it was the thing that gave me my clue on a fairly new site getting 1,000 visitors a day, this is a great thing.
I also wrote for pay, so PLR didn’t really exist too much. I know Jimmy D. Brown maybe around there somewhere start to sort of do some of that stuff. It wasn’t until, I think, 2006 that we actually started the PLR. But, content has always been a really big part of what I do.
Mark: I guess it was Nicheology or something like that that Jimmy started.
Alice: He had something before that, he had something that was just internet marketing content products. It was very similar to Nicheology, but it was focused on that. Then they did the niche stuff after that. So it was even older than that.
Mark: So you’ve been in content ever since the very beginning, ever since your Tupperware days.
Alice: It wasn’t actually Tupperware, it was Usborne Books. I don’t know if people are familiar with that. But, Tupperware was one of the first things that came to mind with selling and searching around what would work from there. But, yes, even since then. And even though I was discouraged from doing what I wanted to do, I ended up branching off on my own. I ended up saying, “Whatever. It’s not going to work for you guys, I’ll go do my own thing.”
Mark: I have to tell you that I buy PLR for various uses and I always go to your site. There’s a couple of sites that I always go to first. One of the things that stands out about your products that always impresses me is just the quality of those.
Can you tell me a little bit about your philosophy on the quality of the content that you create and maybe even comment a little bit on how you’re able to do that and still afford to have it created? I imagine there’s no way you can create all the content that you’ve got there yourself.
Alice: Oh, no. Between the two PLR sites that I do own I am more hands-on at the DIY PLR stuff, but on the other site I don’t actually write any of the content. These are writers we’ve had, most of them, from the very beginning. So it’s people we’ve worked with for so long and taken care of them, making sure they have regular work.
I guess as far as the philosophy to the quality of the content there’s editing done every month, we don’t just put it out. We don’t have a cheap writer off eLance give us some stuff and say, “Let’s call this PLR.” It’s done by people we work with regularly. An editor who works with the same writers regularly as well to make sure that we have that consistency.
Mark: That sounds like to me that’s a pretty big challenge. I always tell people that internet marketing is 10% internet and 90% marketing. But, with something like PLR managing the quality of content sounds like it would be really challenging. I guess unless you’ve got reliable content sources that you’ve been essentially training for years, I guess that helps.
Alice: It does. I think also in All Private Label Content where we publish a lot more volume I do work with a partner – which one of my previous partners recently moved on, so I have a new one – and that is the partner’s main job. So I am actually not working with the writers every day on a daily basis myself, that’s my partner’s job and that is one of the main things she does.
So it doesn’t take her a lot of time, I wouldn’t say it’s a super labor intensive thing, but it is something that she has to keep an eye on and make sure of, getting feedback from customers and things like that, making sure we stay on top of things.
Mark: Once somebody buys some quality PLR that’s actually useful for something, a lot of people that listen to this podcast are affiliate marketers or they’re in some kind of content marketing activity, how do you see PLR typically used? How do you as the PLR content creator and provider intend for it to be used? What are the best practices you see out there for people using your stuff?
Alice: That’s a hard one. I don’t think it’s wishy-washy, but it may sound wishy-washy. I would never say there’s a right way or a wrong way to do anything, because everyone’s business is different and how they want to approach it.
I know there are some people who pretty much take the content as it is and maybe do a few changes, some keyword research, and then they’re just mass publishing a lot of content. They will have to do more volume as opposed to someone who uses the PLR, which is my preferred way of working with it myself, to use it as a part of what I’m already doing.
I don’t know if you noticed, at DIY PLR we do large packages people can buy, but they’re not complete things that give you the sales page and that give you the opt-in page where it’s a big marketing package ready to go. I think that has its place too, but for me I really want to encourage people to think and put a little more of themselves in their business because that’s what is going to make them stand out.
So if we give them little bits and pieces that they can put together and make something unique and special and right for their audience, I think in the long run they’re better off.
Mark: That’s interesting that you mention that. When I use your stuff particularly, that’s exactly how I use your stuff. I do find a place for the other stuff, the stuff that’s really ready to go. I use your Canadian friend for that, she does a lot of that. But, usually when I use stuff that I don’t edit very much I don’t attribute it to myself. Whenever I speak with my voice I have to put my voice on top of whatever content. I think of it as research that I use in my content, essentially.
Alice: Yes, definitely.
Mark: Okay. So people have this content and one of the question that I often get is, “What are the different ways to monetize this?” I guess you’ve actually got a free e-course on monetizing content. Is that still true, do you still have that course?
Alice: Absolutely, yes.
Mark: I’ll put a link to that in the show notes, let’s put that at MasonWorld.com/plrcourse and that will take people to it. I guess they opt-in and then the course is mailed to them. As I recall, it’s eight modules or eight segments, it’s a pretty meaty course that’s completely free. Right?
Alice: Yes. They get three lessons that help them. I think it also encourages them to do to really set themselves apart, how to find the knowledge that they actually have and they can supplement that with PLR, and how to get it out to people. Also, how to get other people to help them finding that PLR or working with ghostwriters or guest writers, whoever it is, to start building that content.
The eight modules are different ways that they can monetize content, whether it’s selling information products or if it’s free online content how they can monetize it with affiliate links or working with teleseminars or webinars, that kind of idea. We go through eight different ways that they can make money with content.
Mark: So they’ve got this content, they’ve got a way to monetize it, now the question that never gets asked but the thing that I always see that makes me cringe – What are some of the mistakes that you see people making when they use PLR? I certainly see plenty, but I’m curious to see what you have to say.
Alice: Well, I think setting it and forgetting it. I don’t see it as much as I did before, maybe I’ve also come to see the really good core PLR providers, I don’t see what else is out there. People think that if they’re going to get this content and they’re told “we’ve already done the keyword research for you” that they’re going to get a bunch of search engine traffic.
Well, no, they’re not because everyone is going to put that same content up, they’re going to target the same keywords, and not all those 30 people out of the 100 it’s sold to who actually put it up are going to be ranking for that keyword phrase. That’s not how it works.
You need to do your own keyword research. I think some PLR they also come with a list of keywords that you can work with and that’s a little bit better. But, if someone tells you “this is a search engine optimized PLR article,” I’ll tell you that’s impossible. If anyone else is using that article you’re not going to get ranked for that phrase. You have to find your own phrase and do a little bit of editing, not a lot – you don’t have to do a lot of rewriting, and that’s how you’ll get the traffic.
I guess another mistake, thinking of that rewriting, people are always talking about how, “I rewrite all my PLR.” I think, “Why?” Either it takes a lot of time or it costs a lot of money. If it’s really cheap rewriting I would be very suspicious of the quality. When a writer writes a decent piece of content and someone else comes along and tries to paragraph by paragraph say it in a different way it’s not the same anymore. I don’t know, I think it’s unnecessary. It’s something that some people like to do, they swear by it, but I think it just adds extra expense and time.
Mark: When I talk to people about that what they want to talk about is usually what I regard as a misunderstanding of Google’s duplicate content concerns. They are concerned that if the same information is published on a different website that somehow Google will detect that and actually penalize their site.
I guess that’s a question you get a lot. What are your thoughts on that whole PLR is duplicate content, lions and tigers and bears, oh my, kind of stuff?
Alice: If you read what Google publishes or what Matt Cutts says – which I’m not a big search engine person, I’m more for repeat visitors. I do get the search engine traffic, but I’m not watching algorithms every second of the day because it’s too much work.
From what I’ve seen over the past 10 years they talk about duplicate content as in being say I have a site – and what’s silly is Google still indexes people, but they’ll say if you have a site about lawyers and you do a page that’s the same that has “California lawyer,” and “Texas lawyer,” or whatever then you have all these pages that’s duplicate content. Or if you’re making a bunch of sites in a network or something and you’re putting the same content on each of these sites and linking them that’s where they start to notice it.
But, the internet is filled with duplicate content. Filled with it. There’s news sites and they’re publishing the same content.
Mark: The Associated Press and syndicated news services exist on the basis of duplicate content.
Alice: Exactly. And they’re doing all right. I’ve been doing the same method since starting to use PLR and it’s the same method we’ve taught people all the time. Change the title, because you want to target a different keyword phrase and you’re going to do a little bit of editing to target that keyword phrase. If you want, change something at the beginning or add an introduction or something like that.
That’s about it. You don’t need to go and “it must be 30% different” or something like that. People want to put a number on it, but I don’t think it works that way. That’s not my experience. I don’t have time myself to do that en masse and find out when there’s so many more sustainable ways to keep getting traffic too. Just delivering that great content that people are going to talk about, that’s going to bring more.
That’s what is really key now, even in search too. The sharing of content has a growing impact. Even on Google if you have a Google account and you’re logged in and your friends are sharing content it’s influencing the results right now.
Mark: I couldn’t agree with you more. This is completely consistent with my experience. I think there are two things that I would lift up and highlight based on what you’ve said.
One thing that is really critical and one of the things I try to teach people to always do is to carefully consider what keyword they’re targeting with each piece of content. I agree with you, probably it’s not the very broad and highly competitive keyword that the PLR author was targeting. It’s something more specific, carefully thought out, and a little bit of on-page SEO work on that PLR content will make a huge difference in the effectiveness of it from an SEO standpoint.
Alice: Choosing that keyword phrase is also important for what you plan to do with that piece of content, what kind of product you want to promote with it or what ads you want to post on that page. You can target it slightly differently. So out of the box, as PLR providers, we don’t know what your precise plan is with that content so it’s there for you to shape it into what you want it to be.
Mark: Absolutely. I think the other thing that we talked about, when you talk about a little rewriting I think that’s the time for adding your own voice to the PLR content to kind of make sure that you get that good market-to-message match, as you say, for the content. It depend on what it is that you’re normally talking about and what you’re trying to talk about that day to blend all this stuff in.
Then I think all of these SEO algorithm concerns and so forth that people express but can never really prove, I think those all go by the wayside if you do those other two things well.
Mark: Very good. Well, I appreciate this. Any other words of PLR wisdom that you would like to share with us about best practices, pitfalls, or common mistakes, or things to go do and see in the world of PLR?
Alice: Maybe thinking about how people use it. For example, we have memberships where people get a certain amount of articles, they get product reviews and a report, and they’re all just publishing the articles to the blog. They’re doing the same thing every month, probably, with the content.
But PLR can be used in so many different ways and you can use the same PLR over and over again. It can be content for your website, it can be content for emails, it could be turned into a freebie for signing up for your mailing list, it could be turned into a digital information product.
I use the PLR that I have as a sort of a library for research as well. I have it well organized into different topics so I can search through my computer for that topic. And I do that with the content I’ve written as well. I want that easily searchable, because I copy and paste snippets out of my own content or out of PLR content to just fill out something that I might be working on.
So there is just so much use for it beyond once you get it posted to your blog or wherever you happen to publish it.
Mark: I do that too. Even your stuff, you’ll put out a series of 10 articles on autoresponders and I won’t do anything other than stick them on my hard drive. Then at some later date when I’m writing an article about autoresponders and I’ve written 400 to 500 words and I’m looking for that extra thing that I want to put in the article that I’m not even sure what it is, I’ll just read through that and I’ll see, “Oh yeah, there’s two or three points that I can make that I forgot about.”
I’ll cut and paste, edit, and whammo, now all of a sudden instead of sort of okay 400 word article I’ve got a piece of 1,000 word pillar content and I was able to get from a pretty good piece of content to a great piece of content because I used research that I paid for that was done by somebody who was really thinking these things through and exhaustively trying to cover the topic, which is something that I often times don’t have to do.
Alice: Exactly. Sometimes even just when I find that a lot of topics I write about I’ve written about so many times, it’s easier to search my hard drive than to go to the internet and be wading through a whole bunch of other stuff and then getting lost in people’s comments when people act crazy and you just get sucked into what they’re saying. It’s like, “I’m just going to look at what I’ve already got here, I’ll stay more focused, I won’t get lost, I won’t end up on Facebook, I’m just in my hard drive.”
Mark: I really appreciate hearing from you tonight and I know everybody else will. Let’s talk a little bit about how people can find you. Your main site is DIY PLR, which is do-it-yourself PLR.
Alice: Yes, that’s right.
Mark: I’ve set up an affiliate link for that for the show. People on the show are familiar with the fact that I only recommend products that I actually use. If anybody wants to see some Paypal receipts I can show them, I’ve been using your stuff for a long time. I have an affiliate link setup at MasonWorld.com/alice for people who want to use it. But, even if they don’t want to do that I want to encourage people to go over to DIYPLR.com and check you out because I really believe in your stuff.
I also want to encourage people to go to that PLR course and I put that link at MasonWorld.com/plrcourse, because there’s a lot of really good solid content in there that I think people are wondering about PLR and are not quite sure what they’re going to do with it that’s the course for them to really get their mind wrapped around all the possibilities for PLR.
Alice: And it even goes further than that too, it’s not just the PLR. Just everything about content and different ways to get it. People say they don’t have money to do it, but there’s lots of ideas beyond PLR for getting cheap and free content.
Mark: I really appreciate that. Again, I want to congratulate you on not just 10 years surviving, but 10 years building a really successful business that I certainly respect. It’s been a real treat having you on the show. Thank you so much for coming on. I guess you’re starting to thaw out up there in the Vancouver area?
Alice: Yes. It doesn’t get too cold – well, for you it’s cold, but for us as opposed to the rest of Canada it’s actually quite mild here. We don’t go below freezing too consistently. We always hope for snow, but we don’t get very much.
Mark: All the snow is up on Whistler Mountain.
Alice: Yes. Not too far we’ve got other beautiful mountains very close, but you’ve got to go up in elevation to get that.
Mark: Thank you so much, Alice. I really appreciate it. I’ll look forward to talking to you again soon.
Alice: Sounds great. Thank you.
Mark: Thank you very much.
That wraps us up for today. That was a great interview. I just want to say thank you again to Alice, I really appreciate you coming on the show all the way from British Columbia, Canada. It’s totally beautiful out there if any of you ever get a chance to go out there I highly recommend it.
Thanks for joining us. I really appreciate it. We’ll be seeing you next week. Next week I’ve got some really cool stuff going on that you’re really going to enjoy. We’re going to have some SEO discussion with my friend Shane Eubanks. This guy has been doing internet marketing for a really long time, he does it as a professional internet marketer and as part of his day job. We’ll talk to you then.