I admit it. I am a terrible speller. I think fast, talk fast and type fast. And sometimes the words just don’t come out right.

Ever get that feeling?

Well, in my day to day projects, I use several different checks and balances (mostly spellcheck and my business partner) to make sure that if anything is going to go out as final product, I was not the last person to proof the draft.

Well, on the odd occasion that I am writing about a “brand name” (which spellcheck tells me is wrong even if I spell it right) and my partner is out of the office; What happens then?

I MAKE ALOT OF MONEY THATS WHAT!

(Don’t worry. I’m going to explain in full)

Let’s start at the beginning…

If you are at all involved in internet marketing, you know about affiliate sales (quick refresher if you don’t: you agree to send traffic to someone else’s site or sell their product in exchange for a set fee or percentage), but most people think this refers only to ebooks. Not True…

Many many affiliate programs exist for the sole purpose of marketing physical products or non-ebook related services.

Now, on the internet there are many sources for quality traffic. The top 2 are: The Search Engines. I said 2, because there is paid and ‘organic’ search. This story focuses on organic search engine traffic.

A very popular concept in organic search marketing or SEO (search engine optimization) is that of ‘low hanging fruit’.

I prefer to call this, more specific-more eager. As an example: someone searching ‘cell-phones’ is likely just looking around/comparison shopping/price checking/ day dreaming etc… Someone searching for ‘Kyocera E1100’ is much more likely to make a purchase if they come across an acceptable deal (sidenote: this example was chosen specifically, because as kyocera is a mid-low price brand of phone, a good price is very likely to generate a sale! cheap=high impulse)

So a very common tactic is to optimize your web pages as well as possible for very SPECIFIC keywords (links, tags, on page content) And I like everyone else, engage in it because it works. Now remember, I said for organic SEO ONLY. Trying to bid on trademarked terms in pay-per-click is usually a big no-no.

But what does that have to do with being a bad speller???

Good question! Let’s bring this baby home-

Kyocera is not the world’s easiest name to spell (in fact wordpress says I have it spelled wrong now. See what I mean about the spellcheck?) and as it turns out, There really are more of us than there are of them… Bad spellers are everywhere, even on the internet, shopping for cell-phones.

Right now, there are over 57,000 entries for the search kyocera e1100 on Google. Now, even 57,000 results is a cakewalk to dominate with even decent SEO, but how many people do you think search for Kyosera e1100??(which btw- wordpress thinks is the correct spelling 😉 )

So, that’s my tip. There are more bad spellers online than there are very careful good spellers, and if you’re the only relevan mis-spelled result Google indexes, then you get placed first in the results. Seriously. If you optimize for Kyosera e1100 and someone searches for it the results list will be 1.-You 2.-10-Everyone who spelled it correctly.

So always keep in mind the common mis-spellings for your keywords if there are any (and there always are) and make sure to index for those too!

-TheSterlingGuy

p.s- The Phone

Ahh Time-

Often time can be more elusive than luck, or superbowl tickets. We’re all ‘gifted’ with the same 24 hours in a day (minus the 5-8 we should spend sleeping) And yet, some of us seem to be able to do so much more than others with the exact same amount of this resource.

Abraham Lincoln managed to teach himself Law well enough to pass the Illinois state bar exam while pounding railroad ties into the ground; The Steves as I call them (Jobbs and Wozniak) invented the personal computer while attending Stanford; and my lawn hasn’t been mowed in 5 weeks because “I’m just too busy”

What gives?

As you may or may not know, we here at Sterling Business Group select students for and run an advanved training initiative where, with our guidance, students have a realistic chance at ultimately creating a six figure income, which I have seen to be absolutely life-changing.

One of the central requirements for entrance into our program is the ability to set aside dedicated time to not only be instructed in business technique and strategy, but to actually carry out the work.

The official minimum a client must have to be considered is 5 hours per week. We typically stress that 10 per week is more realistic. Our research had shown that once clients begin to really see significant income 12 is more typical.

Now, let’s look at those numbers. When I say six figures, let’s say bare minimum (100k). That is just over $8,000 dollars per month in income (obviously nothing to sneeze at in today’s climate) Let’s say, that in order to do that well, the minimum was AT LEAST 12 hours per week of actual work.

52 weeks at 12 hours is 642 hours of work annually. That comes to almost $156 PER HOUR of accumulated income.

Why do I say all this?

Because to this day, people still complain about “Not having the time” to try to pursue their dreams… It seems that far too many of us have grown ‘mature’ and worse, complacent in our maturity. Everyone thinks that the moment in their lives to passionately chase their dreams has simply passed them by.

All-nighters and grandiose dreams are a thing of childhood. Under-paid work for an over-demanding boss 8-10 hours per day (if we’re lucky) is today’s reality. Everything else is spent just trying to maintain this lifestyle of ‘barely making it’ so that we can deceive ourselves into thinking that this is ‘comfortable’ and not just familiar.

We all have routines. We all have plans and procedures in our lives. You would be surprised at just how many things you do exactly the same way every day of your life (and just how much of that time is wasted)

And yes, to acheive something new and different, you WILL have to change and do things you havent done  before, at least not in the same way.

Throw out your TV. Unsubscribe yourself from all of those emails you read dreaming about a better tomorrow. I guarantee you, you can find the time to make yourself into the success you want to be; or better yet the time to have someone who has helped others to do it help you to.

If you still cant, maybe you can Try This instead. They’ll even send you a free report (doesn’t everyone love reading email?)

Making money with an internet marketing focused business can, and often does look very daunting from the outside looking in.

Afterall, that’s obviously why you’re looking for more information about online business in the first place.

My favorite strategy for attacking that kind of problem is a very simple one: Break it down into smaller chunks and attack them one by one, eliminating any ‘blockage’ in the ‘flow’… I know- GROUNDBREAKING isn’t it? Well, a little Daoist anyway.

So in that vein, I want to start attacking all of these common ‘blockages’ one at a time until there is nothing impeding the ‘flow’ of cash through your online endeavour and into your wallet.

The first blockage I would like to cover and ultimately remove is a small one. Almost triffling. In fact, many businesses view it as almost an afterthought. This is a mistake you see, more than anything else, this one gravely important aspect of your business determines how, when and in what amount you get paid.

Pretty important huh?

When most of us start coming up with ideas about online business, we tend to think along familiar lines:

Product

Idea

Design

Marketing

Affiliates

Delivery (physical or digital)

and thse are all very very important, no doubt. But isn’t “How exactly am I going to be getting the money?” just as important?

The name for this is Merchanting. This determines who will charge customers’ credit cards, and how/when the money will be paid out to you.

Now if you plan to stick strictly to affiliate marketing, your only concern will be to find and work only with companies that you can trust to pay you honestly and on time. (whole different topic for another issue)

But if you plan to market or sell anything of your own, how will you get the money?

“Well isn’t that what paypal™ is for?” Well yes and no.

Let me ask you a question: Have you ever done a small favor for a friend that they offered to compensate you for? You know, helped them move, or gave them a ride to the airport in exchange for $20 in gas money; something like that? But then, once the favor had been done, they didn’t seem to have the cash on them (even though you agreed on all this ahead of time)?

So now, what should have been an easy and straight-forward transaction between friends becomes kind of a headache… and it’s a little awkard next time you see them, because they still owe you some money, and you still haven’t gotten any of it.

Now imagine that friend owes you 5 grand…for 6 months.

That’s my relationship with paypal™. You see, someone in Paypal’s “powers that be” divison decided that there was something suspicious about my account ‘activity'(the amount of money coming in in the form of payments to me) So to be safe, they froze my account for 180 days while they completed an investigation. Believe me, there is nothing more frustrating than not being paid what you’re owed for honest work… on the whim of some faceless corporation. (After some time, the matter was eventually straightened out. I was cleared and the money was released to my bank account where it belongs)

But, you can’t blame paypal. Without going into legal details, the reality is, every time they process a transaction for you, they are putting THEIR reputation on the line, both to the public and to the banks that let them transact business. In a sense, paypal is letting you use their merchant account and their name and reputation to help you run your business. And they have great consumer protections in place (which is why  I gladly still use them to BUY things)

But when you have your own merchant account, it’s your reputation on the line with the bank. This is often a far superior solution to small but growing businesses. In the early stages of any business, your volume WILL fluctuate (hopefully in your favor more than not), but with you being in control of your own merchanting, you know that at least this ONE portion of your business will be within your control. So for anyone serious about promoting anything of their own online, private merchant accounts are a must have. And here at Sterling Business Group, they are something we provide to every client to make sure they have that added level of protection in their own business.

Now I’m not going to pretend to be a finance expert, but to learn more about merchant accounts and how they might benefit your business, I suggest you do more research Here

TheSterlingGuy

The Rent is HOW MUCH???

February 26, 2009

If you were starting a physical brick n’ mortar business, one thing you would have to keep in mind is location, and by proxy, the cost of that location. When you look at retail space, you have to consider the following: foot traffic, local demographic, and obviously, total space available.

But in starting an online business, since the space is virtual, we shouldn’t have to consider these things right? Well, yes and no…

Obviuosly, we don’t care about “demographics” so much as digital space is more or less equal. But we really do have to care about who we’re paying our rent to.

On the surface, hosting (online space rent) is hosting. But in reality it’s not that simple. Now depending on your needs, you can find hosting for anywhere from $0 to millions of dollars monthly, seriously.

So what’s the difference?

Well for one thing, SPACE. You see, bandwidth, or computer space is cheap, but it’s not free.

On average, if you’re dealing with shared hosting you’ll py around $10/month for 5 gigabytes of “space” and 300-500 gigs of bandwidth.

What does that mean?

Well if you host a video on your site, of say, 30-40 megabytes(about average) and it immediately becomes an internet sensation (good thing) and 100,000 people come to your site to see it, your bandwidth will exceed 3,000 gigs and your hosting will literally be shut off (bad thing).

This is where dedicated hosting comes in. If large amounts of traffic are standard in your business, dedicated hosting is where you are leasing access to the entire “server” or computer and get nearly unlimited bandwidth or space. This will run you anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars per onth.

Why such a wide range?

Well there are a few other areas of concern: up-time and service… Up time is just a way of saying “how long do the lights stay on?”. You want service between 95-99% uptime. Any less is unacceptable. Any more is a lie. No one on EARTH hits 100%. That’s why very large companies like search engines use entire rooms of servers that cost millions of dollars a month to maintain.

And last but obviously not least is service. When you do have a problem, and you will; who solves it? Are you gonna have a dedicated IT technician who’s only job is to handle your account, or is your call getting routed to a call center in India?

These are all things that have to be kept in mind when weighing the needs of your business. You’re going to need more info before you can make a meaningful choice. I suggest you find it “here”

-JW

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE INFO

Why your mentor may not be teaching you the things you THINK you should be learning-

Remember “Because I said so”? In most of our childhoods, that was by far the most infuriating response we would ever get to our endless barage of “why’s”. But in hindsight, most of us have come to understand the meaning our parents were trying to convey. Sometimes it just isn’t in the best inerests of the task at hand to have to explain ourselves.

But at least now, we’re old and wise enough to never have to hear “because I said so” ever again, unless of course we’re the ones saying it to our own children.

Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case. In life we all have unique skill sets, and that sometimes means working for, with, or over someone who has a professional skill-set that you don’t that took them just as much time to learn as it took you to earn yours. And sometimes, just like our parents, these pro’s just don’t have the time to explain themselves fully and still get the job done. So we often find ourselves making do with “because I said so” or its insidious cousin “that’s just the way it is”

What does this have to do with the wonderful world of business mentoring?

Often, in fact most, if not all the time, clients that come to us with a desire to create large incomes online have been looking forward to the process for a long time. The idea of making obscene amounts of money on the internet is seldom one that is born in someone’s head as a mere afterthought.

So with all of this time spent looking at, thinking about, and planning their ideas of online business; clients tend to come our way with certain ideas about what they THINK they should be learning.

“But this SEO Blog I read that forum links don’t count! Ever!”

“Why are we optimizing for these ‘3rd tier keywords? Stompernet(tm) said I should be going for the ‘low hanging fruit’.”

“Why am I researching physical product suppliers? All the money is in MAKE MONEY EBOOKS” (Yes I’m serious. This is an actual quote)

Often, in the interest of time, the answer to these questions simply has to be “Because that’s the way it is…” relying on the fact that the student/client will one day understand in retrospect the way all the pieces eventually fit together. Afterall, the immediate goal is to deposit big checks into your account yes? Then that’s just the way it is…

But for all those that don’t want to patiently wait to understand the process more fully, here is a blanket explanation as to why the training can sometimes be different than “expectations”:

The mentors that you work with here at Sterling Business Group and our partners have been doing this for a long long time.

There is no 6 week mentor training course that magically qualifies us to teach you all of the ins and outs of online business success instantly. Every mentor you work with has had years of successful industry experience online, and most have had multiple mentors themselves over a period of years to gain the expertise they now have.

So in short, anything you’re reading in an ebook right now about SEO loophole strategies with blog-farms and cyclical linking, we read 3 years ago in the first ebook it was written in back when the idea was new and still worked…

Why are we doing product market research before we learn list-building?

Because you don’t need a list before you have something to sell to them.

Why are we spending so much time on correct content writing and site keyword research instead of spending 2 hours a day posting our links anywhere that’ll take them?

Because once a site is indexed and has just a few quality backlinks, all of it’s pages are going to be spidered by the search engines (#1 source of traffic) and if your site isn’t optimised for the terms that get searches AND conversions you wont make any money. You do want to make money right? Besides, link-spam is both annoying and ineffective.

Now there are tons more specific questions I could quote as examples, but I think you get the point.

Just know, that nothing we do is a guess or an accident. And know that there is a plan in place to get you where to need to go as fast as possible. Afterall, we’re as vested in your success as you are. We’re not here to let you down…

In short, because I said so…

SterlingGuy

Comments? Critiques? Criticisms?

Let me know!

A mentor by any other name?

February 6, 2009

So in the industry we’re in, alot of words get tossed around all meant to be newer and fancier ways of describing the same thing.

So, you want to start a new business/endeavor and you know you’re going to be needing help right? Afterall, you don’t want to slog away drudging through all of that trial and error and mess all by your lonesome. That could take YEARS before you get it right, if ever. And you don’t have that kind of time. You need that executive level lifestyle NOW.

So what’ll you do?

Hire a consultant?

A Coach?

A Mentor?

The word consultant gets thrown around alot. Too much in my opinion. Bottom line, if you have a multi-million dollar manufacturing operation with a quarter million net, then you need an efficiency consultant to raise up to 300k+. If you have an offline brick-and-mortar business with 2 or more locations, a strong local following and a less than impressive web presence, you need an online marketing conultant.

Bottom line, consultants serve as a fresh pair of eyes on an old problem meant to improve and refine an existing system. So, if you’re just now starting a business, you probably don’t need a consultant…

So a coach then? No not really.  Coaches are about strategy, and practice and training and preparedness. Highschool football anyone? 10 games, 90+ practices. Coaching is about training. That’s why I never understood the term success coach. You don’t prepare for success, othwerwise you’ll be preparing for a lifetime. You actively participate in success as an ongoing process.

So, if you want to be doing link-building drills, or email creating bootcamps preparing for the “big-game” till the cows come home, then yes, you need a coach.

Otherwise, the word you’re looking for is Mentor.

The only objective of a real mentor is to get his/her student to a comparable level of success as quickly as possible through the application of real-world techniques, hard won experience, and testable, replicable methods that have been proven to work through the mentor’s own experience.

You see, creating a six-figure income on-line isn’t an event, it’s an on going and evolving process. And when you have yourself armed with an experienced mentor at your back , what you have is a reliable source of information for tapping in to the cumulative knowledge and experience of those who have done it before you, those that are doing it now, and those that, with you, will experience success well into the future.

Comments? Critiques? Criticisms?

Let me know

SterlingGuy

OK, so why have a consultant help you build your business?  I don’t know if I have enough room to write all the reasons…..  But lets just say that with a consultant you:

1.) Learn in a Fraction of the Time by listening to Professional
2.) Don’t have to make all the mistakes as Professional has already done so
3.) When stuck, you can reach out to a professional to help you
4.) Open you up to Possibilities not yet realized or were completely unknown to client
5.) Focused where one SHOULD BE FOCUSED so client makes money in timely fashion rather than wasting time on unnecessary issues
6.) Extremely Low costs, compared to regular consulting (10s of thousands of $)
7.) Learn all important areas of running your own business so that you are self contained & do not need to hire outside people in future i.e. – changing website, products, marketing strategy, ect.
8.) PROVEN money making strategies.  Client is doing what we know works