One Tough Challenge – Knowing When And What To Outsource

I have to be honest – I’ve had really bad experiences when hiring outsource workers. Like really, really bad ones.

Go Cheap, Go Chinese!?

At first, I thought I should look to China and get the cheapest labor I could find and that they’d still be really good.

NAHHHH! It blew on my face – huge communication barriers, mostly my fault, put a stampede on my project as I was unable to pass my vision to them in a manner that they’d get the concept.

Plus, the 12 hour time difference doesnt help at all – I had to stay awake to make the meetings and that would really screw my day.

Then I realized there’s a reason they’re so cheap – the technical part came out decent (they really know their stuff), but the part that required finesse, failed miserably. Again, my responsibility to make sure they got it.

Outsource Much?

Here’s another issue I had to face head first since the beginning (and that still confuses me sometimes):

1. Should I outsource even though I dont really have the margin to cover the outsourcing cost, just to free my time in order to focus on big picture? Or..

2. Should I keep my margins high by doing most of the work myself and saving outsource hours for bigger projects?

The thing with option TWO is this: how would I close bigger projects if I’m stuck doing small work?

So what’s the solution?

Outsource as much as you can – but KNOW what to do with your time.

Dont hover over the outsourcing people when you should be focusing on more important things. In other words, letting them do the minor things means NOT thinking about the minor things – so give’em instructions, strict checkpoint deadlines, and move on.

Last tip: sometimes softwares can be the best outsourcers – for example:

ViralUrl email marketing allows you to save time and money when building a list of subscribers. The Synnd software is a social media marketing robot – that can save HOURS of work. And the right plugin can save you tons of SEO time – try Jeff Johnson’s free traffic plugin to start.

BIG ONE – if you know any good outsource/freelance agents – PLEASE post their contact info on the comments. I’m always looking for new people to work with.

Thanks!

On PPC Management & Web Development (Make BIG Money With It!)

Market & Convert offers small business customized web marketing solutions
Market & Convert offers small business customized web marketing solutions

So I’ve been working with small and medium businesses across the U.S creating solutions for their online marketing. Ironically enough, my own company’s website is not ready yet – but it should give you an idea of what we’re all about.

I’m writing this post for two reasons – I want your opinion on the content of the site: does it explain its purpose? What information is missing? Would you like to see prices?

Secondly, I’m officially inviting the selective readers of this blog to become affiliates for my company. With this offer, I blatantly invite you to advertise my company and I’ll pay you well for it.

1. What’s missing on the site?

Yeah, I know it’s not finished – heck, I’ve got all designers tied up with clients and I dont have a lot of time to get it finished myself. But on the parts that are already up, what is your impression of it?

I plan on adding free ppc tutorials there, and expand the navigation to a total of 25-30 pages.

But what would you expect to see when you arrived at the site? What would a business owner need to see in order to understand what we do?

2. Let me pay you for referrals

In case you’re wondering, the average contract for our services starts at $1000 – you’d get 30% of it.

One prospect that becomes our client for PPC and Social Media, for example, is set to pay $2000. How would you like a $600 commission?

Here’s the deal – post your feedback on the page here on the comments. I really appreciate it.

For those interested in becoming a partner, go to http://www.MarketAndConvert.com and fill the form to get the coupon. Our sales manager will contact you and get everything rolling.

Thanks!

Build A Big Email List Without Going Broke (Or Spamming)

Having An Active Email List Makes Things Easier (not to beat them up)
Having An Active Email List Makes Things Easier (not to beat them up)

“The Money Is In The List”

Yeah, yeah… but how do you get a list?

Well, first of all, you dont “get” a list – I’ve tried, and it DOES NOT work.

If you buy a list, and decide to start emailing them offers, you will get a bunch of spam complaints and your account will be shut off.

So we BUILD a list – which is also not easy at all. Well, kinda…

If you’re running PPC, you should ALWAYS direct traffic to a squeeze page. That’s a given. If you’re using the viralurl software, the same concept applies.

“But I think direct-linking is much easier” – EHHHHHHHHH WRONG!

With direct linking, you get much more people to see the offer, but they’re not ready for it yet – except for your ad, they really have no idea what to expect. And those that do buy your stuff, wont leave their info so you can email them later to buy more stuff.

So always have a squeeze page somewhere. It doesnt have to be a plain old page like Eben Pagan originally came up with, but it could be a blog, or even a squidoo – as long as you can capture their data.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Even though you have tons of email fields everywhere, people are just not signing up!

Warm Them Up

Again, if people are not driven to take action, they wont. If you expect it to happen just because, it wont.

Not only that, but email has been so beat up that people go extra lengths to protect it, which forces you to be EXTRA good.

Solution? OFFER YOUR BEST! Yes, give them so much info, or such a good bonus, that they just have to sign up.

It’s that simple.

I may be talking out of my arse, one would say… but this guy is definitely not.

He built a 200,000 emails list and continuously make $300-400k out of it.

Forget what I said and go see what he’s saying.

Is ViralUrl Really Effective? Yes, Here’s How

ViralUrl email marketing is more than a lottery
ViralUrl email marketing is more than a lottery

Yesterday, I posted about how to get your ViralUrl email open, so today, I’m going to talk a little about how effective their email marketing software is and what you can to do explore it.

So when you have a ViralUrl gold account, you’re allowed to email 3000 other members randomly, every 3 days.

As I mentioned before, because of neon-marketers and the volume of emails sent daily, a lot of internet providers will bounce your messages before they even show up in their inbox.

So out of 3000 you may get 900-1200 emails delivered. It’s still a decent number.

What I’ve experienced since February, when I got my account, is that around 80-120 people actually open a ViralUrl email. Out of those, around 30-60 will click on your link – depending on how good your copy is and how reliable your link looks like.

It’s beyond this post to explain good copywriting, but you know how valuable it its. What I want to talk about is making your links look reliable. I’m going to show you how to transform your weird affiliate links like this one:

http://www.productlaunchformula.com/plmjd.php?1715

into something much more sexy like this one:

http://www.marketandconvert.com/socialpilot

1. Log Into your Cpanel

2. Click on Redirects

3. Choose PERMANENT 301

5. Choose any domain (that does not have WordPress installed)

6. Pick an extension (/something – relevant to the product)

7. Add your affiliate link to the box that says “redirects to”

And that’s it!

The best part about it is that if you have a domain that is closely related to the product, the link looks way more professional and clickthrough averages go really high.

If you want to try it out, go sign up for a ViralUrl account now.

Any questions or concerns, post your comments here and I’ll get to them asap.

See ya soon!

Free PPC Management (including Setup) for a Month!

Free PPC Management For A Month?
Free PPC Management For A Month?

I will make this quick ’cause I really need to get some sleep – George Brown has just launched the Google Sniper, a great course for folks trying to make it in affiliate marketing.

The course doesnt cost nearly a 1/3 of what I charge for my services (PPC management is about $897, in average), but I believe it’s such a good course I’m willing to put my little outsource staff to work for it. Plus, they really need the practice 😉

So you’re getting:

 – market and keyword research2 campaigns setupall the ad copyongoing split tests (including website optimizer) – and an entire month of optimization. And everything stays with you after 30 days, clean and profitable. All for $77 bucks!

I’d have come up with more appropriate bonus for this if I wasnt so lazy, but what the heck – I know it will be worth in the long run when folks realize PPC is not that difficult (or maybe I will lose potential clients… huh)

So if you’re trying to make your affiliate business work, get Google Sniper through this cleverly disguised affiliate link:

marketandconvert.com/sniper

Make sure you clear your cookies before you go to that page, or you may send the sale to another affiliate.

All you have to do after you buy it is post a comment here and I will get in touch with you to work out the details.

In the end of the day, does work suck all of your creativity?

Is there an end to creativity?
Is there an end to creativity?

I guess that’s my latest excuse for not posting to this blog anymore.

If you dont know yet, I’m currently managing (read completely running) 3 blogs for my clients. And I’m trying to update them all daily.

Guess what…

By the time I finish writing about wedding catering in the Outer Banks, fitness in the outer banks, and cute halloween costumes for toddlers, I’m a bit drained out.

Add to those posts at least 30 min of research, the occasional picture editing (cropping, resizing, etc..), and the link-digging (you know, from previous blog posts, to increase blog traffic) – I’ve got at least 3 hours of work.

And no, I will NOT pull other people’s RSS and feed my blogs with their content. I find that despicable.

But maybe I do have things to write about – I’d love to write a huge post on the new web metrics project I’m running for an outer banks builder page. I have that in the back of my mind since I started it, because I’m really fired up about the stuff I read from The Occam’s Razor.

Maybe I just have to suck it up and keep writing.

I could use some encouragement, though – how about a comment? Come on, comment!

My Son’s First Halloween Costume – Harry Potter?

My Toddler Will Have A Harry Potter Costume For Halloween
My Toddler Will Have A Harry Potter Costume For Halloween

What a silly way to break the month and 1/2 break from blogging here…

But I decided to post my idea of buying my son a harry potter halloween costume for his very first trick or treat experience.

I thought about ways I could turn this post a marketing lesson, and I’m drawing blank.

Does this blog really need to be about marketing? I have long ago gave up on the whole SEO thing that says I should write about a certain theme of keywords…

I have such a wide array of posts coming out of this blog that Google probably gave up trying to index me 😉

But back to my son’s first halloween – He’ll be 17 months in October, and he already loves candy. Not that he has much, but he knows how good a reese’s cup tastes.

And here’s another confession – I LOVE Harry Potter. When I got the first book a million years ago, I read the first chapter and put it aside, because it was too silly for me.

harry potter dementor halloween costume will be awesome!
harry potter dementor halloween costume will be awesome!

But when Harry got around to the third book, and people were actually discussing it in public, I decided to join the hype and give it a second try. I read the first, second, third, and bought the fourth harry potter within a single week.

So I thought it’d be only fair to dress my first born muggle child with a nice Hogwarts halloween costume.

And who knows.. maybe I’ll dress myself up too.

IF you’re a J.K Rowling fan as well, and your Halloween wouldnt be the same without Harry, check out the coolest harry potter costume selection.

Trick or treat anybody?

Why People Say They Have No Time For Blogging….

It Sucks To Not Have Time To Blog!
It Sucks To Not Have Time To Blog!

Okay, so I would never agree with anybody that said social media is a waste of time and blogging is for geeky people that still live with their moms, but lately I’ve been wondering “When am I going to have time for blogging?”

Trust me, I have this blog and its approximately 25 daily readers dear in my mind everyday, and I probably have 10-20 ideas of stuff I really want to blog about, but I’m seriously lacking the time to do it.

Unlike this post, I usually dont post two paragraphs – my posts have a certain level of research put into them, and I try to add screen shots, images, videos, etc.. to make life easy for folks who browse the net with ADD.

But ever since I started a online marketing & sales consulting company, I’ve completely lost the little time I had to dedicate to this blog. You may say startups are a shot in the dark, but in less than a month, I have 5 clients.

And when I take in consideration that this blog has only generated about $100 worth of revenue (from affiliate links), the amount of time invested absolutely does not correspond to the ROI. Thus, I’m focusing on the consulting area.

I’m working with local small/medium size companies that wouldnt necessarily participate in online marketing if it werent for me. I say that because I’m 98% sure that they wouldnt seek a ppc management firm or ever adventure themselves into social media by themselves. So they have me doing it for them.

A quick look into my portfolio:

2 Local Gyms: KnuckleUp Fitness –  Outer Banks NC Gym (they have a blog & multiple capture pages for PPC)

The Fitness Warehouse – Chesapeake & Suffolk, VA Gym (their page will be up soon)

Four Seasons Landscaping – Outer Banks Landscape Design

East Coast Construction Co. – Outer Banks Vacation Rentals & Home Improvements (under construction at the moment)

The Red Sky Cafe – Catering Outer Banks (also under construction)

At this point, I’m doing all of the web design, the ppc management, the social media updates, the video editing, writing blog posts, setting up autoresponders….

So you can see why I’m not that much available for blogging. But that’s no excuse.

This community (though smaller than I’d like) is important to me and I shall find the time to keep up with it.

Hope you stick around with me.

Social Media Silos and PPC Landing Pages

Weird freaking topic combination, isnt it?

But yeah, today I churned out a combination of these two topics, the first one at the YourIncomePotential, about landing pages and cheap ppc traffic, which is a continuation of the discussion about the google adwords affiliate slap.

I’ve had great feedback from the initial article about the affiliate slap, and now folks can see the basis of a highly-converting landing page.

And as I was reading about Social Media Silos, it struck me that most companies flush their social media marketing down the drain by failing to integrate departments and make them communicate.

A silly mistake that can cost thousands of dollars and waste considerable time, silos are the result of a poorly constructed social strategy. Companies that see a blog as another billboard are doomed.

Check out the material I published above, I’m feeling amazingly productive today and I’d appreciate your opinion.

Thanks.