Archives For blogging

If you are looking to earn money but are limited on time then you need to learn the basics of passive income.  Passive income is income that you don’t have to continually work at to earn.  There may be some maintenance but basically you do the job once and then collect income well into the future.

Books, CDs and applications are great examples of passive income.  You write the book and then collect royalties on it forever.  Record a CD and collect royalties on it forever.  Develop an exciting game or business application and collect royalties on it forever.  

Just like your blog or website, active involvement in promoting your product is extremely helpful.  Promotion doesn’t have to be marketing.  Your marketing or involvement could be participating on forums relating to your product, writing a new blog article about it, or creating the next version of your app.

Three Steps to Created Passive Income

1. Develop Product - write the book, record the CD, finish the application

2. Promote Your Product - participate on forums, spread the word, start the follow-up to the product, create an add-on product

3. Collect Your Royalties

Passive income is a totally hands off approach to income but the more involved you are the better the results will be. 

A few posts back I suggested that people buy solutions not features.  They have seen all the fancy options that you offer at a dozen other places.  It is all information overload.  In the end, what your potential customer needs is the answer to ‘Why’ they should choose you.

It is easy to get stuck in a rut when you are looking at all the pieces that you have to offer.  Think of a car.  As an automobile manufacturer you could look all day at every individual piece and share with everyone how wonderfully strong or lasting that particular piece is.  But, it is just one piece.  Without the rest of the car that piece is worthless.  

The question becomes, How can all of these pieces help someone or solve someone’s problem?

One of the hardest things for a sales person to do is think from the customer’s perspective.  Some of the best sales people in a field are the ones who used to buy the same stuff!  They know what the customer is looking for.  They know what would be a nice ‘bonus’.

Take 5 minutes and pretend you are your customer.  Go to your competition’s website and write down what they are doing well and what you wish they would do.  Remember, you are doing this from a customer’s perspective.  Not as a competitor.

1.  Be the customer

2.  Go to your competitor’s websites and write down 5 reasons why you would not sign up with them.

3.  Go to your competitor’s websites and write down 5 reasons you would sign up with them.

4.  Review your business and see how you can meld these into the ultimate solution for a potential client.

  1. Update your website

    A fresh new look may be all you need to be inspired again.

     

  2. Commit to posting at least one blog post per month

    At least once a month.  Once a week is better.  Three times a week is best.

     

  3. Help someone in need

    You don’t have to go far to find someone in need.  You may find by helping someone else that you benefit most.

It is easy to get caught up listing everything your company or website has to offer.  We all try to “out-feature” the next guy.  My background is in web hosting and we are the best in the world at comparison charts with hosting features.  Geeks with lists to the nth detail.

So, why aren’t people buying?

Truth be told is, especially in the web hosting world, that most companies are so similar that you can change a logo and you would never tell the difference.  Everyone has the features.  Unless you have a niche (which I hope you aim to have), you are just another convenience store offering the same old stuff.

How to Set Yourself Apart

Trying to be different is easy.  Succeeding at it is very, very difficult.  It takes a mindset change.  No longer do you concentrate on what you are offering.  You instead focus on what the customer needs.  You offer the solution to the customer’s problem.

Take the web hosting industry for example.  Instead of stating all the gigabytes, bandwidth and email accounts you offer you could give an example of how a particular company solved their hosting needs with you.  Maybe they needed special attention getting setup and you went the extra distance and held their hand.

You didn’t sell them the features, you sold them on your excellent support and the peace of mind they received when their website was setup so quickly.

TO DO: Think of your business or service from the opposite angle today.  Not from your feature offerings but from the customer’s perspective.  Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

There is a new age for the Internet.  No longer are people looking to use it as a library for searching for answers to their questions.  It is now an all inclusive media hub.  We want entertained and we want it now.

The Internet has become so efficient at giving us what we want so quickly that we have developed even shorter attention spans.  If you are a blogger then this means you have little time to win the web surfer’s attention.  Once you get it you need to keep it.  You have about 8 seconds.

In the last year video on the Internet has just exploded.  The majority of people no longer are reading but are wanting to watch a video about the information they need.  Some may call it lazy but I think it’s just the evolution of life on the Internet.  We have reached a new level of sophistication for being entertained.

To embrace this change you can add two things to your website to make it more interactive and entertaining for your visitor.

Add a Podcast to your website

My good Twitter friend Scott Wild offered a tip for me a while back.  He suggested that I add a podcast to my website.  My first thought was that it would be a lot of extra work but it really isn’t.  Scott told me to start by reading my blog posts.  This is a great tip since the hard part is done; the content.  This is one I plan on implementing very soon. Thanks Scott!

Add Video to your website

Like the podcast, you may get stuck for ideas on what to video blog about but again you can start by taking a blog article of yours and simply reading it in front of your web cam.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  By adding video to your blog your reader will get to see more of who you really are plus it may force you out of your comfort zone.

What not to do

A word of caution; don’t add audio or video to your blog just because you think it’s the right thing to do.  Make sure your audio is clear and well spoken.  Make your video as professional as possible. 

People like honesty and watching “real” genuine people.  Keep it real, don’t be fake and have fun with it!