All Our Freebies

Over the years, we’ve given away a lot of e-books and software tools at this site. In addition, we’ve provided links to even more downloads from third-party sites.

Of course, you won’t need all of these. And I wouldn’t recommend you download everything even if you did.

It’s all too easy to drown in an avalanche of information, and end up not digesting any of it at all!

The best way to proceed is to download a few books or tools that interest you and read them, or at least skim through them. If you find the information useful, store it away in a “to be read” folder and act on it. If it’s useless to you, simply delete.

I used to download everything until I had hundreds of e-books that I never read at all. And I wasted a lot of time sifting through this and not acting on it at all. Even worse, I missed out on some truly useful guides that could have saved me a lot of time – and money!

You see, the best thing about this industry is that a lot of other folk have been before you and already made the mistakes. And a lot of other highly skilled people have tracked and tested beyond belief to find out what really works – and lived to tell the tale :-)

Here’s all the freebies we’ve offered — but with one caveat: as I’ve said, ensure you filter what’s useful to you, and act on it.

10 Free Marketing Gifts -  a carefully selected giveaway from ourselves.

Our Super Six Giftpack

Our free Members Siteyou’ll need to register here (just an e-mail subscribe)

Our Mega Bonuses Page – a BIG list of everything we’ve come across so far…

Every “Freebie” Post in this Blog

Take care when downloading, and in advance I’m sorry for out-of-date books and dead websites. This happens, but good information is never out fashion!

Instant Flash Banner Creator

A lot of folk are promoting something called “Instant Banner Creator” right now. It let’s you create flash banners, with ease.

However – I’m going to use this wildy offered software in an experiment. I’m going to show you the alternatives… Other software and services you can find for free just by using the search engines. You see, Google is your friend. Always check the market!

Perhaps unsurprisingly I found a lot of variation in the market for banners.

Here’s one that looks really promising:

Instant Flash Banner

Simply choose a template, enter your text, and embed in your site. However, you pay for each flash banner you create. They are amazingly professional, though. Just be aware you can pay over $20 per flash banner – but it does at least include large rectangles and other sizes. Here’s an idea: Why not sell custom, pre-made flash banners? You could just use this service to create them.

But the next one could be even better. It doesn’t create flash banners, but it does make:

  • Banners
  • Headers / Footers
  • Buttons
  • Peel Away Ads
  • … and more!

You can join this site for free, but the are less templates for free users. However, there’s more than enough to get you going. The site is Instant Banner Creator.

The next site allows you to create all kinds of banners – and it is FREE. The only downside is this takes a DIY approach, where you add your own images and text, but being flash based it does allow you to select various transitions and effects. If you take your time with this online tool you could build some professional looking banners with only a little work.

The site I talk about is Banner Snack.

Other options include:

Banner Generator (free online service – creates flash banners)

Banner Maker Pro (not free, but you can download a 15 day trial)

Flash Banner Creator (free trial)

Finally – for those who like to download software to keep on their computer – and even use them in a bundle, to resell, or use as bonuses I’ve added the following to your free members site:

  • Banner Buddy
  • Easy Flash Banners
  • 125 Flashy Banners
  • 114 banners/intros “Flashy Designs In A Box”

If you’re not a member it’s easy to get the username and password required to get in. Just sign up to us, using the form in the sidebar or by clicking “Join Us!”.

If you are already a member, just go to MembersSite.net and log in. If you’re on our list and forgotten the entry details, just look back through our old e-mails in your inbox (or deleted…). The downloads will be on the “Tools” page.

But wait… let’s get back to basics. Even with all these free tools and downloads, are banners worthwhile?

The answer is both yes and no. Banners are not as effective as they used to be. Many web users will filter them out – either mentally, or through software, and will not click. But the success of Adwords – essentially Google’s own image-and-text banner system, seems to disprove this.

By now you should realise that is never a straight answer in these matters and only your own testing will show if it works for you. For example, banners on your site linking to internal pages or other sites you own can work if your visitors are used to seeing them. And banners that mimic system/error alerts also work – but I wouldn’t recommend those, since they smack of adware. Text banners also vary in their effectiveness.

I can only give you my own experience. Banners that attract the eye and are placed prominently continue to get clicked. And if you run an affiliate program or want to offer people a way to link to your site banners are a great way to do it. People like to put them on their pages – to good or bad effect!

Finally, there are many exchange programs that accept banners, gathering you traffic. These vary from full banners to 125 x 125 buttons, but the end result is real… more visitors.

Banners are in some ways a throwback to the early days of the web and marketing but their presence is still felt. If you do go ahead and use them be sure to test how they perform. I think you might be pleasantly surprised.

Launch Videos

There are a number of big marketing products either on sale, or heading that way right now, and I find the launch material pretty interesting. There’s a heavy use of video, for example, and often a longer launch period with new information appearing daily.

This goes far beyond the old model of “recruit JV’s, send teaser e-mails, launch product”!

Note: I’m not promoting the first few here, so they are not affiliate links, and I’m merely looking at the launch sites and material and not the product.

First up is “Launch Tree”, by Anik Singal and Mike Filsaime. The first thing I notice about this launch is that it’s far less serious, often jokey and friendly with short animations, and even a little parody in a “Myth Busters” skit.

There’s quite a few videos in this launch and a so-called leaked chapter you can read/download. These videos ARE entertaining, and worth watching. Here’s a link to the Frank Kern video.

I’m not sure what Launch Tree is actually going to be. From the clues at the site I guess it’s going to be something to do with launches via free products, so expect information on trials, upsells, subscriptions and the rest. It’s a flashy site, but I’m not sure whether good presentation equals a worthwhile product, and whether any of this is really “new”.

Next up we have Eben Pagan’s video on how he has created his own businesses, and how you can too. 44 Mins of video, to be exact! This takes a commitment to watch, since by it’s nature attention spans on the web are very flighty, but it is worth your while if you take that step.

Finally we have something called “Mega Red Package“.  For the awesome price of $697 you get … pre made membership sites you can sell. Am I missing something here? I must be!  This is promoted heavily, leading me to think (a) high commissions and (b) possibly an affiliate contest.

It’s difficult to talk about launches negatively because you look at the process in two ways. On one hand, you’re happy for the marketer and those who aspire to be marketers because it proves massive amounts of money can be made, and quickly, and that anyone can do it. On the other hand, as a customer, you might think some of this is overpriced, that the information is rarely as unique as it is claimed (but, disclaimer: I haven’t looked at any of these products) and in the end you might just be falling for hype.

Which leads me to the last launch – something I am promoting, and something I believe is worthwhile, since it teaches you, and keeps you current with, SEO and Website Promotion.

This is a very interesting video from the Stompernet guys about “LSI“. This passes my own personal test for a products worth because it is NOT overpriced, and it is valuable. The techniques and information you learn here can be put into action at any website. Of course you could possibly find this information elsewhere on the web if you look hard enough, but it’s unlikely to be in a form that educates you and takes you by the hand.

Anyway, that’s for the next post, but I have a little time to leave you with more interesting launch product.

This time it’s from John Reese – perhaps the big daddy of the modern marketing-product launch (Traffic Secrets, $1M in a day) where many of the processes and rules used today were set down.

He’s skipped the video this time and opted for a rather interesting PDF of his hand-written scribbles. And they at least caught my eye! His new Opportunity.Com launch is all about Affiliate Programs, and this at least I can wholeheartedly agree is one area that anyone from a newbies to a pro can achieve success.

In many ways launch season is also silly season, with JV partners and Affiliates going all out to earn their commissions on the big launches. Just remember folks, stay sane, only buy what you can afford, and don’t expect any one product to be a miracle. You can always succeed the time proven way – learn, knuckle down, and work. And who knows, one day you can have your own multi-million dollar reward, with your own launch.

More WordPress Plugins and CSS

Since the last time I tried a selection of WordPress Plugins, which you can read here, things have changed.

I’ve removed a few, sometimes because I’ve found something better, or because the plugin didn’t work as well as I liked. I’ve also started to use quite a few more which I’ll tell you about here.

These are not the kinds of plugins you’ll see in most “WordPress Plugin” articles. My blog was working happily, these are not essential, but they each add a little flair or a little safety to your blog.

Add Post Footer

I’ve noticed many blogs using their post-footer real estate a lot more, so I’ve added an info box and some clickbank ads at the end of my posts. Using a plugin or widget rather than editing the themes directly means you don’t lose your changes if you change themes. Unfortunately, I’ve altered my theme quite a lot but the plugin is still very useful.

For the info box I simply sourced an “information” graphic and put that, and some links to various areas of my site, into a CSS based box. Yes – I’ve been delving into CSS a little too, but more on that later.

For the Clickbank Ads I used a simple tool that’s on the Clickbank site itself to generate a simple script.

There’s also a few other plugins that do the same job, such as HeFo (HEader FOoter) that also lets you change other areas, and also a feed footer tool that let’s you add footers to your RSS – great for getting your info out if your blog content is scraped/stolen!

Sexy Bookmarks

I used this because, simply, it looks pretty… There are countless social bookmarking plugins for WordPress, and I use a few here, but this is a nice addition that has attractive icons. I still use the venerable Add This and Tell A Friend plugins which a similar job, but Sexy Bookmarks are a little more immediate than a pop-up button menu.

WP Greet

I find WP Greet a rather amazing plugin! In some ways it is a little similar to “What Would Seth Godin Do?” which a lot of bloggers use, but it’s more flexible.

Like WWSGD this plugin will welcome someone who hasn’t been to your blog before, with a little message that slides in above your post. This allows them to subscribe to your RSS feed, or whatever.

However, where it goes further is that it detects where your new reader has come from. If they come from Digg, for example, the message will say “Welcome Digger!” and emplore them to Digg your post. Or “Welcome Stumbler!” and ask them to give a thumbs up. There’s a lot of such social networks built into this plugin, and each comes with a nifty icon along with the message.

For people who arrive via search engines there’s another feature. Along with the “Welcome Googler!” message there will also be the search term used, and a list of related posts.

SEO Booster Lite

An ingenious idea. This finds if your visitor has arrived to your site from a page 2 listing at Google, and then creates a new link which is displayed via a widget with that search term in it – linking to the original post.

An example might explain it better. Say, a user searches for “How To Cook Fish” and you have a post that lists for that term, but only on page 2, then this plugin will create a new “How To Cook Fish” link in your blog sidebar (via that widget).

The end effect is it gives a little boost to the ranking you have for that term, and may even get you to page 1.

And it’s also fun to see the search terms people find you with – the page 2 ones at least – appear on your blog. They might not always be what you expect!

Twitter Tools

This plugin gives you numerous ways to work with Twitter. The most useful are the fact you can display your tweets as a widget (usually in your sidebar), and auto tweet for every post you make.

You can also automatically make a post, or a daily or weekly digest post, of your tweets, and tweet directly from the widget/sidebar.

Very useful for you crazy twitterers out there but here I mainly using it to display a few tweets and to autotweet the posts. I’m not a big twitter user but this does have a small effect on traffic. If you were a major user you would get much more benefit from this.

WP-Note

The best way to describe this is to send you to the plugin screenshot page via that link above. Basically, this plugin lets you spice up your posts by including notes.

These notes stand out from the post by being bordered and highlighted, but they also have a small image included. Notes can be Note, Tip, Warning, Info, or Important – displaying a, for example, warning triangle on the “warning” style.

It looks cool, and can be useful, but so far I’ve only used it one post.

WP Database Optimizer

This plugin is slightly different. It won’t alter the way your blog looks one bit, and it won’t help you get more traffic. But it can, in some circumstances, help it run faster and more securely.

This will simply optimize your WordPress database. It has more or less the same effect as firing up PhpMyAdmin and optimizing the SQL but since most users won’t be doing that, or even know what it means, this plugin is good way to keep things running quickly and smoothly.

This does a little more, such as remove revisions (those posts that you’ve edited a thousand times that leave behind old versions) and remove spam, but essentialy it does what is says on the box.

Google Sitemap Generator

A simple, but useful, plugin for WordPress. This makes a sitemap for your blog that is updated with every new post you create. Because this blog is on top of a legacy site I hesitated to use this, incase something happened to the rankings of old non-blog pages, but everything seems ok so far.

You can also add pages outside the blog to the sitemap manually – which I have and it can be time consuming. But once it’s done it’s really set and forget.

Go to Google’s Webmaster Tools, add your sitemap, and you’re done. It’s also worth adding their tracking code to your Blog – best put in the main footer, or via a “blog footer” or Analytics plugin, and use Google Analytics to see useful data on your traffic such as the landing pages, referral pages, searches, and much more.

CSS Editing

I don’t know a lot about CSS, so this isn’t worth a seperate post. For editing your blog a working knowledge is quite useful. So far, I’ve managed to add another sidebar to my theme along the top that spans the other two sidebars, as well as tweak a few boxes, change the header, add an RSS button, etc.

Fortunately WordPress makes it easy to change things, since you can edit all the files in the admin area. Just keep backups! And remember, if you alter a theme in this way you’ll lose all changes if you switch themes. Best use plugins / widgets where possible.

The best examples are the blog theme itself. See how one thing works, and you can copy it. Anytime you’re stuck, search the web. Most CSS is simple styling tags , but there’s a lot of them. Tags such as “border-size: 20px” are self explanatory. Just be careful WHERE you put your CSS because it can really mess things up. The wordpress files are usually named “Header” “Footer” “Stylesheet” “Home or Index” etc so you can see where your changes can go. If something goes wrong, just go back.

For those who want to add extra sidebars themselves it IS quite simple, but you might spend a little time figuring things out with your theme. I found here, here and here pretty useful places to look for information.

As for graphics and images and boxes and tables – spacing can be tricky, so I just use trial and error. But hopefully your theme is commented, or you can “read” the other tables and areas, and work around them.

Happy Editing!

Entrecard’s New Changes

Entrecard has long been a popular ad-swapping service for blogs.

You can see their widget over on the sidebar. The idea is you display cards on your site (which are 125×125 image ads) and you earn credits, and you can click on ads on other sites to earn more credits. You get to approve or deny which ads appear on your site. To place your ad on other blogs you simply purchase slots on them, using up your credits. Unlike a traditional banner display you always had the ability to choose where to leave your ads, and what ads to accept. The cost of ads, in credits, varied according to the popularity of the site in question.

It was a pretty useful service which allowed you to network with other blogs and share traffic. By using the Entrecard Toolbar you could quickly browse other blogs in the network and drop or click ads where you wanted.

Now, and rather controversially, the Entrecard network is accepting *paid* ads. This is so that the owner can monetize his network in some way and – he says – both pay for the service and share the revenue with its members by purchasing credits back.

Of course the Entrecard community, or some quarters of it, are up in arms. It seems a free ad swap network is turning into a paid network with paid ads popping up on users dashboards everywhere. Paid ads are mixed with free ads, and you can still accept/deny them as you see fit or automatically allow all ads according to various criteria – for example, automatically allow all ads, all free ads, all ads in your category, etc. As for the income sharing, it seems you have to register for it, and acceptance isn’t guaranteed…

Other issues like clearing the forum and asking all users to re-register have only made the matter worse. However, even though personally originally I wasn’t too happy about this and quite shocked now that I’ve calmed down a bit I see it differently :-)

Of course the owner has the right to make some money out of it. These servers and other features don’t come free. Also, the way it’s set up means you can still accept or deny paid (or any) ads at will. The traffic sharing element is still there, and the paid ads have a benefit too, as in you earn more credits for them. Closing the forum is probably a bad move, as it smacks of censorship, removing dissent. And the revenue sharing is a bit of a mess, either everyone automatically shares or no-one.

So it’s a bit of a mixed situation at the moment. Entrecard, in it’s favour, is an easy to use, popular, and quick loading / low overhead ads system for your blog. If you want paying for your impressions, there are many better ways – but kudos to the developer for incorporating it well. And if you want traffic from it, it’s success relies on the people in the network – and there are other networks.

At first glance it looks like Entrecard built a business by pulling the punters in to a free service then cashing in on them as many have done in the past. But if you think about it a bit more you see that this was inevitable, and it could have been worse. Nothing is really free in this world – so for now I’ll leave the card widget on this blog and we’ll see how things go. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

10 Ways To Earn Back-End Profits

As I’m sure a lot of people realise by now, almost every industry has ways to elicit extra money from customers. It be as simple as “Do You Want Fries With That?” or “Would You Like To Supersize That?” or be far, far more complicated.

The lifetime value of a customer goes beyond the initial contact.

It’s become so commonplace that people know what is happening, but the deals are so good they’ll go along with it – anyway. The initial sale may even be at a loss, or more dramatically for free, if the potential for back end sales is high enough.

How does it translate to Internet Marketing, in general?

1. Upsells

These are simple extra offers that are proffered directly after the main sell. Usually they are complimentary products to the main main offer, provided at a discount.

Sometimes these are promoted as being “one time” only, with the emphasis that you’ll never get that extra bonus again unless you purchase the main product again.

Sometimes you’ll even get a cycle of upsell offers, but this can quickly prove distracting and give a negative impression to your customer.

2. Upgrades

This is similar to an upsell in that it’s an extra sale on top of the main, but it’s usually tied to the main product. It may be as simple as extra additions to your main package, perhaps bonus templates, books, audios, videos, DVDs, or whatever. It could also be extra rights, such as Master Resale Rights or Private Label Rights to the first product.

If it’s a membership it could be an upgrade to a higher level (e.g. Gold), or if it’s a service it could be an upgrade to 2 years support instead of 1. If it’s a virtual product, the upgrade could be to a physical copy. There are a lot of opportunities with this kind of upsell.

3. Recurring Income

Back End profits don’t just mean extra sales after the main, it could be a recurring income provided month by month.

This works well for subscription based sales, perhaps for a premium newsletter or content site, or more commonly a membership site.

It’s common practice to to combine the subscription model with a loss-leader front-end. For example, the first month for free or for $1. Just be up front about the recurring part, so you don’t break any laws and you are not inundated with angry customers.

4. E-mail List

One way to ensure you can make your money per customer beyond your initial sale is to capture their e-mail address. This gives you a way to keep in contact.

The easiest way to do this is to ensure the customer has to register the main product, either at the first entry onto the site, or by registering the product after it is purchased.

With an e-mail list of customers you can provide further offers in the months or years ahead. The customer has already proven to be a buyer, so this kind of list is very valuable. Just don’t overdo it!

5. Preferential Discounts

While it’s bad form to charge existing customers for minor upgrades to your main offer, it’s acceptable to do so for major revisions, such as new versions.

And if they’re already a purchaser, a discount is way to entice them to buy – it’s fairer, and it’s easy money for you.

6. Support

One way to increase after-sale profits is to provide a premium support service. While you shouldn’t charge for basic support, extra services such as installation, personal help, coaching, or one-on-one consultations can certainly carry a premium.

7. “Subtle” Promotion

Another idea to promote your brand, site and/or products to your existing customers is to subtly include them with the main product. If you create your own products, you already do this with links, (C)’s and ads included within the product. You can also do it if your product comes in PLR form, allowing you to edit it, or if it is re-brandable. You can even include a a text or html file in the package – let’s call it “readme.txt” or “bonuses.html” – to entice your customer back.

This can also be considered viral marketing, since if your customer resells or gives away the main product themselves – providing you’ve allowed the neccessary rights – all this information will travel with it.

8. Make a Sticky Site

Another way to get your customer back, and therefore allow for further sales, is to include sticky aspects to your site. This can be as simple as a forum, or a members area, or a blog. By stating further bonuses, articles, or help will be forthcoming or is already available your customer has a reason to return. This works well along with a mailing list.

If you have confidence in your products you could also allow product reviews, ratings, and advice to be posted, and even credit your customers with points per purchase / post / vote to be redeemed.

9. Appeal to Greed

If you know you can make a substantial amount from your customers even after the initial sale, you can afford to pay them, or others, to promote your products for you. This is essentially affiliate marketing, but with the twist that you could even afford to pay affiliates more than the actual initial sale would make – such as for a free product. You have to crunch the numbers to do this, and know your conversion rates in advance.

10. Try another Medium

Finally, one way to catch your existing customers attention is to move to another medium. If you are selling virtual products, perhaps information products downloaded from your site, consider contacting existing customers periodically via mail or even telephone. If you sell physical products, keep in contact with e-mail or a special website / blog.

Keep your customers happy, give them what they want, and ensure you offer value in some way (special pricing, extra support, bonuses) and you’ll soon discover that marketing goes beyond that initial sale.

Ewen Chia “Internet Millions” Bonuses

Ewen Chia has launched “Internet Millions” his first print book, that you can buy from Amazon. It will cost you around $13 or so.

With this you’ll get private label rights to Internet Business Basics and Internet Millionaire System – both big, multi-video packages.

I’m not going to going to go on about this. It’s a big launch, and you’ve probably seen countless promotions for it already. But it really is a great offer – a print book, showing how Ewen made his millions, and a massive bonus package. I like Ewen too, he comes across as a honest marketer and I’ve been viewing his stuff for years.

The savvy marketer will also realise that there are a lot of bonuses being offered by various people. That means there are high commissions for these marketers, which also means there are upsells involved in the “gifts”. But don’t let that put you off – it’s a great deal. Ewen is unlikely to make much from the print book, but he can claim to be a #1 author (or whatever) since this HAS been done before by various people.

Still, $13 for all that? It’s got to be a steal!

P.S. Don’t bother buying directly, try to grab some extras! John Delavera and Dirk Wagner and Patric Chan and JP Schoefel and Paul Mihail Pavel , Simon Hodkinson and Neil Shearing among others all offer extra bonuses. Check them out.

By the way, this has to be ordered today to get the extras.

For any future launches of this nature, I’ll also try and post the current bonus offers in this blog.

From The Blogosphere

Here’s a compiliation of interesting posts and articles from around the web at various blogs.

Monster List of Video Sharing Sites – if you want to post your own videos.

How To Use Teleseminars and Webinars

12 Twitter Stream Aggregators – “to make you smarter”

What’s the most popular online activity? – Interesting read

A note about “opportunity” – by John Reese

John Reese responds to Mashable attack – another great post!

Basic SEO Tips for Designers

A Marketers Rant – via Neil Shearing (great blog)

How To Videos for Google Adwords Ad Builder

Keyword Research Advice

7 Blog Cloaking Tips From Spock (Lol!)

You’ll find more of my favourite blogs and authors at the links page. It needs updating – I have many more to add and a few to remove – but it’s worth a look. If you’d like to add your link to the page please follow the instructions there.

Mass Control 2.0 (Frank Kern)

No-one does a launch like Frank Kern!

I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the launch materials for the new “Mass Control” system, but it sure is entertaining.

There is a serious side to all this of course, since Mass Control is designed to train you from the ground up to build and run a successful website, but whether you decide to come on board or not is up to you. But either way, you can enjoy the launch – and perhaps learn a little along the way.

First, we have the “Dicks” video. Nothing controversial here, I assure you, but this is a mini comedy movie from the “Department Of Internet Consumer Knowledge Services”… Watch it, I bet you’ve never seen a marketing video like this before!

And then there’s the “Finger” report. A handwritten scrawl written during an aeroplane trip, by Frank, that reveals just why the Credit Crunch and Recession isn’t all that important. Read it here.

If you want to see how successful Mass Control 1 was (it made $23 Million in 24 hours!) and to grab a free report that reveals the ugly truth behind the internet’s biggest launches – click here.

And when you are ready to see what Mass Control really is about, try watching this video. It shows what Mass Control 2.0 is, and what you’d get once you order.

This is serious stuff. It’s not for everyone, but if you have the time – and the money – then this course will kickstart your new career like almost nothing else will.

As frank says this is a “Money Getting System”. And anything that promises that surely deserves a look.

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