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Archives for September 2009

SEO Copywriting: 3 Reasons to Train for this High-Paying, Work-from-Anywhere Career

Since I’ve been travelling, I’ve gotten a few inquiries about how/why I got to the point in my career where I can do this (ie, have a career that allows me to work from anywhere). This inspired the post, SEO Copywriting: Train for a High-Paying, Portable Career at SeoWritingJobs.com yesterday….

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How to Make Money Online as a Freelance Writer – Beyond Writing for Clients

If you’re a regular reader of my articles, blogs, websites, etc. you’ve probably read where I discuss making passive income online as a freelance writer. I’ve been doing it – in earnest – since January of this year and on some weeks, my “passive” income exceeds what I make writing for clients.

What do I sell online? Mostly I sell my ebooks and a few affiliate products that teach newbies how to make money online.

Note: Passive is in quotation marks because I do put some marketing muscle into it; it’s not automatic money. But, the effort I put in pays much more dividends than say what I make writing for clients.

This is a real comfort mentally because I don’t rely so heavily on client projects to make a living. In fact, I really don’t do any real marketing anymore as an SEO copywriter. I take what comes my way, but the majority of my time is spent promoting my own products and other affiliate products.

Today, I want to discuss a couple of the tools I use to do this.

How I Make $100-$150/Day Promoting Affiliate Products Using FREE Classified Ads

Forever a fan of free and low-cost methods, I stumbled across the free classified ad site Backpage.com while I was promoting an affiliate product. I got such great results from it that I started using it almost exclusively.

Then, I ran across a software that allowed me to post more ads quicker using this site. So, I bought it and used it. It has allowed me to keep my income the same, but cut down on the amount of time I spend placing ads (which to be honest, can be a real drag).

You can learn more about how I use the free classified ad site backpage.com to make money.

Putting My Free Classified Ad Marketing on Steroids: The Classified Connection

Update: December 2014 — the info below is no longer relevant. I leave it here to keep the other relevant info in some kind of context. I no longer recommend any particular backpage auto posting software.

One day while surfing for new products to promote on Clickbank, I ran across the free classified ad posting software, The Classified Connection. I was intrigued because I knew that posting ads on free classified ad sites worked from my experience with Backpage.

Make Money Placing Free Classified Ads Online

Make Money Placing Free Classified Ads Online

But instead of placing hundreds of ads, this software allows you to place thousands, in minutes. I tested the demo, which made it seem so easy.

So even though it was a little pricey, I thought, let me buy it so I can really see what my results will be. FYI, when you buy a product from Clickbank, you have a 60-day window to return it, so I knew it was “risk free.”

I bought The Classified Connection software on September 8th. A couple of days later, I finally revved up my brain to open it and place some ads. I say this because most technology befuddles me. I hate learning new software programs it always takes me a few days to gear up my brain to learn  something new.

The Classified Connection Software: A Review – The Specifics

Once you know what you’re doing, the software is easy to use. But, you do have to figure out some things for yourself. I don’t know why but many software developers can’t give clear instructions to save their lives. This program really could use a straightforward Step 1; Step 2; Step 3 instructional guide.

But again, once you know what you’re doing, it literally does place thousands of ads on hundreds of sites in less than 5 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes to key in an ad (less if you pre-write and cut/paste them), then you hit the submit button and it shows you exactly where and how many ads it’s submitting in real time.

THEN, after the program finishes running, it generates a report that tells you how many sites accepted and rejected your ad. And, you can click on the site to see your ad – the proof that it got published.

FYI, you have to check the sites soon after you place your ads because they disappear pretty quickly from the first page (because many others are placing ads as well).

What I Don’t Like About The Classified Connection Software

1. Unclear “How to Use” Instructions: As I mentioned above, it could use some detailed instructions on how to go about using it. Because I’m computer literate and can figure out most things, I was able to figure some things out that weren’t patently obvious.

If you’re online a lot, you will be too.

2. Ad Delay: Sometimes, there’s a delay when you place your ads. For example, one night around 10, I placed some ads, but couldn’t find them. I looked for like half an hour, then gave up. But, when I logged on the next day, I found them.

I don’t know if it’s a system delay or a delay by the classified ads sites themselves but so far, every time I’ve placed ads, I’ve been able to find them sooner or later.

Both of these are minor things when you consider the advantages of this software, ie . . .

What I Like About The Classified Connection Software

1. It’s Quick! The software says you can. . .  eliminate thousands of hours of manual work and expose millions of internet users to your products within minutes (emphasis added).And it’s so true.

2. Promote Multiple Products: You can promote as many products as you want using this software. To do this, simply create different profiles (you’ll see what I mean if you try the demo or buy it) and you’re off and running. So far, I’ve used it to promote 4 products.

Again, the time consuming part is creating/writing the ads for each product.

3. Works Internationally: The Backpage free classified ad posting software only works from the U.S. and Canada. For example, I can’t post to the site from Jamaica, where I am now. I’ve been able to use The Classified Connection software from here with no problems.

Making Money with Free Classified Ads: Conclusion

I want to conclude this post with two final observations:

Spend Money to Make Money: I started making more money online when I started spending money on tools that allowed me to work smarter, not harder. I still do a lot of what I think is “stupid stuff,” because I am notoriously frugal I (years of living a “feast or famine” existence as a freelance writer, I’m afraid).

But when you invest in something that really works, you’re like, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” I’m starting to loosen my purse strings a bit, especially once I have proof that something works.

Not Everything on the Net is a Scam: I’ve received quite a few emails about the backpage ad posting software along the lines of “Does it really work?” or “Can I make money promoting this product?”

What I believe underlies a lot of these types of questions is fear that “it really can’t be that easy to make money online;” it must be a scam. Well I’m here to tell you, it IS that easy, especially if you know the “secret tools of the trade.”

I no longer turn my nose up at ads that say, “Make $500/day doing X, Y or Z.” I know, because I’ve hit this mark several times – and come close to it many more times – and I’m still a newbie to internet marketing.

Now, I’m still very skeptical of outrageous claims of making say, $50,000 a week. But you know, this probably has more to do with my skeptical nature and the limitations I place on myself than the claims of “known” gurus.

The reason “known” is in quotation marks is because if you do your research, you can always find out who is legit, and who isn’t online.

I stumbled onto making money placing ads on free classified ad sites – and boy I’m glad I did. I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I want to do now that I know this is a system that works.

I hope this provides some insight into how you can get a sideline, passive income going as a freelance writer.

A Note about Affiliate Marketing: A lot of success in affiliate marketing depends on the product or service you’re promoting. No matter which techniques you use, if the market is too small for a particular product/service, or the product/service is no good, or  you’re a terrible ad writer, then you’re not going to make sales. A lot of it is trial and error, so if the first product doesn’t work, try something else. The key is to keep testing until you do find a product that does sell.

Along these lines, in a future post I’ll give some ideas about WHAT I think sells online – and why.

P.S.: Want to train for a recession-proof freelance writing career? Get the FREE Report, Learn SEO: 6 Reasons SEO Copywriting Is the Ideal High-Paying, Work-from-Home, Recession-Proof Career (pdf file).

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WiFi (Online) Tips for Freelance Writers Who Work While Traveling (Part II)

I wanted to add one more thing to this list:  get “on the go” wireless internet access via a service like T-Mobil HotSpot.

Hotel on the Beach, Negril Jamaica

The foliage is typical of what you see EVERYWHERE in Jamaica. It is a breathtakingly beautiful country.

I don’t have it yet, but my sister does. She gave me her information so all I had to do was log in while I was waiting in the airport (there’s no equipment or anything needed). Thanks to her, I was able to get some article writing and marketing done while waiting for my flight.

It was the only work I did the day I travelled — and as regular readers of my blog/website know, I’m an avid fan of article marketing because it works so well. It’s the way I make a lot of my passive income from ebooks and various affiliate products I promote, which I’ll talk about a bit more in tomorrow’s post.

Cost: $10/month (for T-Mobil wireless access).

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with T-Mobil as a wireless user. I only recommend it here b/c the connection worked great for me in the ATL airport (I also have a T-Mobil cell, so I’m pretty familiar with their products).

P.S.: Want to train for a recession-proof freelance writing career? Get the FREE Report, Learn SEO: 6 Reasons SEO Copywriting Is the Ideal High-Paying, Work-from-Home, Recession-Proof Career (pdf file).

Negril Island: Take a 15-20 Min Boat Ride from the Beach to Get Here

Tourists from all over the world gather on this little island to eat fresh-caught lobster cooked over an open flame by the locals. It's such a warm vibe. Dripping in butter and garlic, no 5-star restaurant serves lobster better. And yes, you can buy beer here too! Yet ANOTHTER thing to do in Negril, Jamaica on the beach.

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Freelance Writing Job: WiFi (Online) Tips for Freelance Writers Who Work While Traveling

As I told you in my last post, I’m travelling again — back to Jamaica. I was also in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago for a friend’s wedding and I was in Jamaica last month….

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How to Get Customers to Respond to Your E-Campaign

If you’ve ever done an e-campaign and received no response, maybe you overlooked one of the top four elements: timeliness, consistency, benefits and a call to action.

Timeliness: It’s the holidays. Do you have new, relevant products for the season? I know it appears that you’ll just be one of the herd, but there’s a reason Christmas is the shopping season. “But,” you opine, “I offer a service, not a product.” Then tie in your service with the season.

For example, holiday bookkeeping. Send a tip list of things that clients should be paying special attention to this time of year; offer the old standby – a seasonal discount; offer to help them “relax in the new year by getting their books up to snuff now!”

No matter your product or service, you can always find a slant to make it work with the season.

Consistency: In-boxes are full of hit and run advertisers this time of year (or any special occasion for that matter). As a small business owner, you should be in contact with your customers year round.

It’s human nature to patronize those establishments that you have done business with in the past. So, start building a relationship with your customers in January. Come December, it’ll be that much easier to make the sale.

Benefits: This has been said ad nauseam, but it bears repeating – sell the benefits of your product/service, not the features. In other words, tell the customer what’s in it for them. Too often, this point is overlooked.

Every time I sit down to write a postcard, newsletter, brochure, etc., I have to “switch” into a customer mindset. As the entity behind the product/service, you are too close to it. Take a mental break and approach it from the other side. The difference in your presentation will shine through.

Call to action: You’ve written a timely sales piece that proudly touts all the benefits to the customer – but, you forgot to tell them what to do. Call today, fax in your order for an additional discount, 48-hour special — all of these are calls to action.

Human nature is to put things off. Put a sense of urgency behind your piece. Let your customers know exactly what they need to do to take advantage of your wonderful offer. Otherwise, it may get filed away, never to be seen again.

Now, YOU can relax and enjoy the season.

Happy holidays!

NewsletterMarketingP.S.: Did you know that newsletter marketing is easy to do, and it costs practically nothing? In this ebook pullout, I give some first-hand insight on how I consistently earn four figures per month marketing via this medium. You can too!

Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black, Publisher
InkwellEditorial.com

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5 Easy Steps to Getting Your Business On the Web Quickly & Affordably

Having a website for your freelance business is no longer an option; it’s a must if you are to compete effectively, whether your business is local or international. Learn how to move your biz to the next level via the Internet.

In 1998, I decided to get a website for my business at the time. I found the process to be confusing, expensive and frustrating. After five months, two web designers and several thousand dollars — and a still unfinished site — I just knew there had to be a better way.

Much later, I discovered that if I were somewhat familiar with the web design process and could formulate key questions to ask potential designers, the process would have been much smoother and less expensive.

Outlined below are five steps all freelancers and/or small business owners can take to simplify this process of getting their business on the web.

1. Do a little research: Become familiar with basic web language: web page, host, domain name, server, et cetera. If you have little or no knowledge of technology, this is especially important and will be immensely helpful when you start interviewing web designers. What you don’t know CAN hurt — and cost — you.

Information is available everywhere — books, online, friends who have websites, your geeky, teenage nephew. You don’t have to become an expert. Just learn enough to be able to converse with a potential web designer.

2. Ask for references: Ask for at least three sites the designer has completed. Be sure to speak with the owners of those sites. Web design is like art — designers are proud to show off their work. If they can’t produce at least three completed sites, move on.

3. Ask questions: Don’t be intimidated. This is easier said than done, especially once the “tech talk” starts. However, remember that this is a critical part of your business. If you don’t understand something, ask for it to be explained in plain, every day language. This is a hallmark of a good designer.

Questions you might want to start with are: How long have you been in the business? May I have three references? How long will the process take from start to finish? What exactly am I responsible for? What will be the ongoing costs (if any) — eg, graphics, content, maintenance? Who will own the site?

Note: Please make sure that you own the site outright — do not be flexible on this.

4. Avoid site overload: Don’t be talked into peripherals that you may not need. The simple fact is, most web surfers are looking for information — especially those that are serious about buying.

Your site should load fast and be easy to access and navigate. Do not inhibit this process by adding jumping animals, dancing text and other “bells and whistles” that obstruct the selling process. Very few sites need these extras. Usually, they only serve to make your site look less than professional.

5. Give the designer room to create: Once you have relayed your ideas to the designer, give them room to breathe and create your vision. Calling constantly, offering tidbits as you think of them, and asking to view pages before the designer is ready to show them only delays the process.

Once the site is ready for viewing, your web designer will show it to you. At this point, you will, depending on the arrangement between you and your designer, be allowed to request changes. As this is an artistic endeavor, every arrangement is different.

Be sure that you are at least able to make one set of changes after the designer has completed your site. It is rare indeed for a designer to create a website that requires absolutely no changes. These changes should be minimal, however, unless you have changed your mind on some aspects. In this case, be aware that your designer may charge extra to implement your changes.

When your site is finished, begin marketing it (hint: Internet marketing is now cheaper than ever!). Treat the marketing of your website like any other add-on to your business. Make it a priority, and the returns will be well worth it.

GetSmallBizonWeb-cover-medP.S.: Order How to Get Your Small Biz on the Web Quickly & Affordably: An Easy-to-Follow Guide in Plain English for Those New to Internet Terminology & Web Technology.

Note: This ebook was first written in 2004. The previous name of it was as it’s listed just above.  For the 2011 update, the title was changed to Want to Get a Website or Blog? Here’s an Easy-to-Follow Guide in Plain English That Will Help You Do So Quickly – and Cheaply!

Why the name change?  Because getting a website or blog is not just for small business owners any more (at least the way it was primarily defined in 2004).

Everyone who does business on the web — from freelancers to Fortune 500 companies — need a web presence. The ebook contains the same great info — updated of course. It just has a different name to reflect the changes that have occurred in the world of business since it was first written.

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Inkwell Editorial’s New Look, Lust in Jamaica and Other Musings

Arrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh is all I can say about this redesign. It’s coming along sooooooo slllllowwwwwllllly….

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How to Start a Freelance Writing Career in Less than 24 Hours for $0

I receive anywhere from 5-10 emails a week (a couple a day), asking me the same question, “How do I get started as a freelance writer?” The short answer is to just do it. …

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Inkwell Editorial Has a New Look!

Finally —  InkwellEditorial.com looks like it belongs in the 21st century!

While I’ve moved in, my new home still needs a lot of work. There are still:

–>Boxes to unpack (files to upload);

–>New furniture to be bought (plugins to be added)

–>Old furniture to be rearranged (files to be renamed/redirected) and

–>New roommates to move in (new resources to be added).

So, please be patient with me a bit longer. I’m getting it together (slowly, slowly).

THANK YOU!

. . . for sticking with me throughout this process. You guys have been so great, still coming back for content when I haven’t posted for months; still digging through old posts to find the info you need; still encouraging me to just hang in there when all I wanted to do was chuck the whole thing (you have no idea how many times I thought about just quitting this site altogether).

I’m getting teary just typing this, cuz I don’t think there are many sites where readers really stick with you through broken links, horrific design, irregular posting, etc.

Just so you know, it’s meant the world to me.

In a way, this break has been good, because it’s allowed me to store up a wealth of material to share with you. I’ll start posting again regularly in a few weeks once I get all the kinks worked out here — and boy do I have some wham doozy posts coming up.

Until then, enjoy the upcoming holiday . . .

Yuwanda

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