Inspired by Zig Ziglar
When I was in high school, this was back in the 80’s so that tells you I’m an old guy. For those of you out there that are old like me, internet marketing is not just for young people. I know it seems that way, but old guys like us can get it done as well. But, when I was in high school I was dating a girl and her father owned his own business and he was in sales. He handled the sales for his business along with a bunch of other stuff.
He had a book by Zig Ziglar, I’ll never forget this, it was called Secrets of Closing the Sale. He had seen Zig speak and he had the cassette tapes. At that time I had a cassette player in my car and he loaned me these tapes for the Secrets of Closing the Sale.
I never will forget this. I think of the things that have influenced my life and this has certainly been one of the top 10 or 15 things. In this book Zig says “you can get almost anything you want in life if you’ll just help enough people get what they want.” It’s just a really simple idea and it says if you really make your focus solving other people’s problems and helping them get things done, you’ll be able to get everything that you want out of life just by having that focus.
It goes right along with what I think you should do in affiliate marketing and it goes right along with the kinds of things that I try to do on this podcast and on the MasonWorld.com blog, to help people and the rest of it takes care of itself.
Now, if you don’t believe me – and you might not – I encourage you to go listen to Pat Flynn’s latest podcast episode, I think it’s episode 41. Pat Flynn just recently got back from Blog World Expo and he was kind enough to re-pitch his Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way pitch that he gave at Blog World Expo in New York.
That’s session 41 over at The Smart Passive Income Blog. (http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/affiliate-marketing-the-smart-way/)
Pat talks about this same thing. This is not a new idea. To create a real business you’ve got to add value. If the way you add value is by focusing on helping people you will be successful in the long run. That is how the really truly successful people, both financially successful and personally successful from an introspective self standpoint, that’s how they do it, I’m convinced. That’s something that I learned from Zig Ziglar in 1984.
If you haven’t seen Zig Ziglar, he is retired now and his son Tom is running the business, but go on over to Audible.com and search for Zig. If I were going to grab one thing, I would grab this thing from Zig called See You at the Top, or something like that. It talks about all the things that you can do in your life to reach all of the goals that you may have. Zig is an incredibly motivational speaker and somebody that I really recommend.
The point of all this; focus on adding value and you can really be successful in your business. If you’re having trouble getting stuff done, don’t worry about it. Start doing stuff today, keep moving, and follow my example – get back on that horse.
In Internet Marketing News…
One of the things I like to do in the podcast is talk about things that are going in internet marketing news. There are a couple things that I’ve seen recently that I thought were really cool, one thing that I thought was amazing.
Mike Filsaime, who generates a reaction from everybody – you mention Mike’s name and a lot of you know Mike Filsaime’s story. He was a used car salesman and he worked in a car dealership, very successfully, and then he discovered this internet thing. This was probably 15 years ago by now.
He started putting up sales pages and was working late at night, just like I talk about all the time. He eventually hit it big and he’s a seven figure internet marketer. Everybody talks about six figure businesses, Mike’s is a seven figure, or maybe on a good day an eight figure, and he elicits a reaction from people.
My understanding is he is kind of an introverted really nice guy. He emails a lot and some people are turned off by the aggressive marketing tactics that he uses or has used in the past. Recently I’ve seen what I think is a softer side of Mike.
But, he has really great products out there. He’s revolutionized a lot of the business process flows in internet marketing over the years. He’s the owner of PayDotCom, he’s had a bunch of other really cool ideas that didn’t take off as much as I thought they would, like Butterfly Reports.
The latest thing that he’s launched is this thing called Site Sales. If you haven’t seen this it’s over at SiteSales.com. The cool thing about this is it really promises to solve all the headaches that I always hear from people who want to sell a product online, an information product or some other kind of product.
It tries to package everything that you need to be successful with your online sales page into one sort of graphical user interface with drag and drop. You build sales trees with up sells and down sells. If you’re not familiar with that term, maybe that’s something we should talk about on a future episode.
You can build membership portals instantly with this thing. It handles affiliates and all your shopping cart stuff. It has some social media hooks in it and it’s hosted in the cloud so you can put your uploads in there. The whole thing.
A lot of times when you’re wanting to sell your first ebook online one of the things you’ve got to deal with is you’ve got to get that sales page up and you’ve got to get a buy button going, you’ve got to get this service and that service, an autoresponder and all of that. This promises to put all of that together, so I thought that was really cool.
I haven’t checked out Site Sales except to watch the sales video. There’s a webinar you can watch that’s very impressive. It’s a neat idea. I don’t know anything about the product, I’m certainly not endorsing the product itself, but the idea for the product is absolutely fantastic. I’ve been one of those guys that struggled putting those websites together and I just love the idea of a product that solves all of those problems.
Is Facebook a Threat to Google?
The other thing I’ve seen in the news recently that I think is really interesting makes me wonder are the days of Facebook and Google truly numbered? From my point of view, Google has a number of missteps recently. I think they’re under a real threat from Facebook.
Recently there was a study done from a company that I don’t know anything about, ZYXT Labs. They did this study of 1.3 billion URLs and found that 21% of those URLs referenced at least one Facebook URL. That means that if you take their sample of 1.3 billion URLS, one-fifth of the web links back to Facebook in some way. That’s just crazy.
We understand that Facebook is dominant because we all spend time on Facebook, all marketers are talking about how to get the most out of Facebook. In addition to that, there’s real evidence that Facebook is just so incredibly firmly entrenched in the web. One-fifth, 21.7% of all links studied link back into Facebook – that’s amazing.
If you don’t believe Facebook is here to stay, maybe it’s because of what happened to Digg. For those of you that have been in the internet marketing social media game for a long time, you remember Digg. Digg was the thing that if you were a blogger your whole life was all about getting Diggs. You asked people to give you Diggs, it was the equivalent five years ago of asking for a Facebook like.
It seems like that was just a few months ago that Digg was really important and earlier this week (July 12, 2012) Digg was sold. It wasn’t just sold, it was sold in pieces, it was basically a firesale. Some people bought some patents, other people bought the Digg brand and are going to try to resurrect it. This thing was so incredibly relevant is no longer relevant.
I kind of feel the same way about Slashdot. There was a time when there was a term in the industry where you talked about “getting Slashdotted” and that if your website was mentioned on Slashdot you were almost surely going to get taken down. In fact, getting Slashdotted still is a pretty big deal, but no one talks about Slashdot anymore – it’s gone.
That makes me wonder with all the missteps, at least in my opinion, that Google is making regarding the way they treat their Adsense publishers, the way they’ve jacked around their algorithm, their complete ineptness in social, the way that they have had problems dealing with algorithms and so forth, the way their whole search engine is getting spammed by internet marketers building backlinks – it really makes me wonder, “Is Google forever?” I don’t think it is.
I can tell you about 10 or 15 years ago I probably would have told you Yahoo was forever and Yahoo is essentially gone. I would have told you that MySpace was always going to be really important about 10 years ago and MySpace is completely irrelevant, at least in my opinion.
I think as important as these things are, they’re not going to be around forever. I think that also means that occasionally when you hear somebody talk about how their whole business is based around their Facebook fan page that that’s a mistake. You need your own website, you need your own email list. You don’t need to trust those things to other people because these things come and they go.
So that’s what I can take away from the news that I see here on these articles about Digg. This stuff seems so important and seems like it’s forever, it’s not. The internet changes so fast that it’s almost certainly true that this stuff is going to change and some day it’s going to be gone. When it goes down you don’t want it to take you down with it.
Corn Sheller Niche Site Update
I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the corn sheller site. You’ll recall that I recently was talking about the corn sheller that I build on a whim based on an email from my buddy Josh Spaulding. Josh is involved in this tool called Keyword Canine. You can check out my review of that over at KeywordCanine.net. By the way, that’s a Josh Spaulding and Jon Leger project that they’re doing together.
For those of you that have been frustrated that you haven’t been able to get in, the reason you haven’t been able to buy into that is that Josh and Jon have been very conservative about the number of people that they let into the system because they don’t want to overload the engine that they’ve built. They want to make sure that they can service the customers that they have. That’s just how Jon and Josh roll, they’re all about customer service and so forth, so they’re being very careful.
They are opening it up again on Monday the 16th of July. If you’re listening to this in the future, that date may have come and gone. But, if you’re listening to this on the release of it you can get back in on the 16th of July. You can see that at KeywordCanine.net.
When they were first starting that up you’ll recall that Josh sent me a goofy list of keywords and one of them was corn sheller. I didn’t even know what a corn sheller was, but I researched it and I thought it was pretty interesting. The tool was reporting that it would be easy to rank for this.
Sure enough, I built a site and built some backlinks to it in a Panda-unfriendly way and that worked great. This was pre-Panda and pre-Penguin and it worked awesome. When Penguin came along the site, which was making money and getting upwards of 100+ visitors a day, went down to zero traffic and therefore zero earnings.
Recently the site picked back up. The only thing that I did to cause the site to pick up in traffic was I put about 500 directory backlinks onto the site. I chose that because the anchor text for directory backlinks is kind of goofy and it should fit well with the Penguin kind of linking restrictions. With Penguin you don’t want too much exact match anchor text. If you look at the anchor text that ends up getting put on these directory links that seemed like that would work pretty well.
The site popped back up again for about a week or two. So that’s some signs of life. My belief is that what Google does is they promote sites up into the top of the ranking and then they review the results – what’s the time on page, are people hitting the back button and going back to the search engines, and so forth. If people stay on the site they use that as a signal to say, “This is a good one to have in the rankings, people like this result.”
That’s part of their algorithm, as I understand it. This is often referred to as the Google Dance. People will see their site go from 40 to the first page and back down again. I think this an indication that the corn sheller site may be coming back and it is related to these directory links, I think.
As an engineer, I’ve told you this before, correlation does not equal causation. What I mean by that is I have no direct evidence that the directory links are actually what is causing this to pop back up. All I can tell you is I did directory links and the site popped back up. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the reason, but that’s the best guess I’ve got right now.
So I’m going to build some more links to the corn sheller site. I’ll keep you updated and we’ll see what’s going on with that. My council to you is that if you’ve got sites that have been effected by Penguin, what I’m personally doing is I’m building backlinks to those sites with pretty randomized anchor text. That’s what the directory links do for you, particularly if you’re using a submission tool that will allow you to widely vary the site title that you can submit with those directory links.
That’s what’s going on with the corn sheller site. I’d thought you’d be interested to know about that. I’ll have a full blog post showing some data, graphs, and details on that at MasonWorld.com in the coming week.
Feedback and Site Headers
That gets me to my last topic for the day, a little bit about feedback.
I hang out over at the Internet Business Mastery Academy, Sterling and Jay are friends of mine and I guess now they’re going by their real names. For those of you that don’t know this, Sterling’s real name is Jeremy. I guess he wanted to go with the Sterling name. I always thought Sterling sounded kind of like a porn star name or something, but for whatever reason they’re switching back.
So instead of Sterling and Jay, I think they’re Jeremy and Jason now. They’re going with their real names, the unmasking of the Internet Business Mastery gurus has happened. Jason told me that they’re going to have an episode on this – maybe that’s already aired.
In any case, I hang out over there as a community moderator because I like the interaction, I like helping people and paying it forward. Pat Flynn and I both got started over there, so I really like it over there. That’s a good place to find me. If you ever find yourself in the Internet Business Mastery Acedemy you can find me there.
One of the questions that often comes up is, “Will you evaluate my site?” One of the site evaluations that I looked at was somebody who had put together a site and they were particularly asking questions about their site header. One of the things I think you’ll see if you look at the really popular sites is in most cases, certainly not all cases, the site header is not very tall.
I would encourage you to do two things with your site header. One is don’t waste a ton of vertical space on your site header. Make sure that it looks great, it’s got your logo and your branding, and the colors look good.
I encourage you to spend some money eventually on some professional artwork for your site header. But, don’t make it too tall because really at the end of the day it’s wasted space and it’s going to push your content down below the page fold or off the bottom of the screen. You don’t want to waste too much space on the site header.
The other thing I would encourage you to do is to make sure that your tagline containing your USP is right there in the site header. Tagline is the thing that you associate with your business and the USP is your unique selling proposition. What is it about your site that people should recognize that’s going to make them want to stay there?
It’s really important, because when someone hits your site that’s one of the first things they’re going to see and you want to set their expectation for what they’re going to see on your site so they’ll decide to stay. Otherwise they’re going to hit that back button and they’re going to be gone.
That’s what I have to say about that, that’s my tip for you for this week. Take a look at your header on your site, don’t make it too tall, and don’t waste space up there. Make sure that you’ve got your USP in your header where people can see it and that it looks good, but it’s not too big.
The YES Virus
I want to close the show today and talk to you a little bit about one of the things that I heard from Gary Vaynerchuck. I’m a big wine guy, I really enjoy wine, so I have a kind of emotional connection with Gary Vaynerchuck. I love his book, Crush It. If you haven’t read that, I strongly recommend that.
Gary released this video called The YES Virus. This video spoke to me, this is a problem that I have in my internet marketing life and in my personal life and in my day job life – I guess that’s in all parts of my life. It’s this sort of big hearted desire to say yes to opportunities. It’s an intention to do the right thing all the time, but your eyes being bigger than your stomach when it comes to the amount of stuff that you can get accomplished.
The danger of the YES virus when you say yes to too much stuff is that you end up not meeting people’s expectations, you miss commitments because you’re overcommitted. Instead of under-promising and over-delivering, which is pretty common advice that you get for how you want to run a business, you tend to over-promise and sometimes under-deliver, and that’s a very bad thing.
With my internet marketing business a lot of times what I get into is I’ll have an idea myself or someone will approach me with an idea, I think it’s a really good idea and I really want to do it, so I figure I’ll just figure out how to get it in there. That’s the YES virus and that’s a bad thing.
Gary talks about how he has grown his company over the last year by saying no to things. That has given him the time to focus on growing his company and kept him from getting distracted with the tyranny of many things. I think that’s really good advice. I’ll link to The YES Virus video in the show notes. (http://youtu.be/NqCgtvxX31o)
For me, if I look at the things that I’ve got going on in my internet business and the things that I committed to at the beginning of the year, it smacks of a little YES virus action. I’m definitely going to be looking at a midyear assessment of my 2012 goal and I’ll be publishing that assessment.
It’s not all great, there’s a lot of stuff that I intended to accomplish by this time of the year that I have not accomplished and I’ll be talking about that on the podcast a little bit. I have made some good progress, I’ve gotten a lot of podcast episodes out there, and there’s a lot of good things to talk about. But, there’s still some gaps. I’ll be talking about that and talking some more about how narrowing my focus on MasonWorld.com is going to help you, the listener, and hopefully get us to tighter better shows and more great valuable content.
That’s my plan and that’s what I intend to do. I hope you guys are glad I’m back on the mic. I’m certainly glad to be here. I’ll be back next Thursday – I’m going to start my regular weekly Thursday production again. Look for me there.
Until then, I hope you have an absolutely fantastic week. Hang in there, keep working, keep pushing. You can do it. If I can do it, you can do it. Have a great one.