Monday Money

Wealth Creation – Does Age Matter?

Does Age Matter?

Here’s my standard answer: It depends. It depends on your health, your energy, your drive, your goals, and of course, your finances. If all those are in good shape and you have your spouse’s approval (that’s a biggie), then there is absolutely no reason why you should not start a business at your age.

In fact, the numbers are actually in the favor of the older entrepreneur. According to recent studies 22 percent of men and 14 percent of women over 65 are self-employed. That’s compared to just 7 percent for other age groups.

According to a Vanderbilt University study the number of entrepreneurs age 45 to 64 will grow by 15 million by 2006.

That’s compared to a 4 million decline for entrepreneurs age 25 to 44.

A 1998 survey of baby boomers conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) revealed that 80 percent of respondents planned to work beyond retirement age, and 17 percent of those planned to launch new businesses.

The study noted, “Self-employment among American workers increases with age, with the most dramatic jump occurring at age 65.”

Older entrepreneurs may also find starting a business easier than their younger counterparts because older entrepreneurs tend to have more experience to draw from and more assets with which to finance a business.

Further evidence comes from a report released by Barclays Bank entitled Third Age Entrepreneurs – Profiting From Experience. The report shows that older entrepreneurs are responsible for 50 percent more business start-ups than 10 years ago. This amounts to around 60,000 business start-ups last year alone.

The survey also showed that today’s third age entrepreneurs (as the report calls entrepreneurs over the age of 50) don’t mind putting in the hours required to build their business. Nearly 49 percent work an average of 36 hours or more a week.

Third agers also rated holidays, lack of stress and a balance between work and home life more important than their younger counterparts.

The report further showed that only 27 percent run the business as the only source of household income, with 51 percent supplementing their pension.

Other key findings showed that third age start-ups account for 15 percent of all new businesses, and third age entrepreneurs are three times more likely to be male than female. There is a downside (isn’t there always?).

Many businesses fail within the first few years and older entrepreneurs may be less able to handle the financial loss than younger entrepreneurs.

It’s one thing to lose everything at 25, but it’s a much bigger deal to be financially ruined at 65.

PowerPersuasion

Money From Simple Power Words

Also keep in mind some of the “power words” that stop people in their tracks.

The word “you” is one of the most powerful words you can use in your headline and elsewhere in your copy, so use it generously.
After all, people are only interested in themselves and how your products benefit them. As they read their copy, they’re always thinking, “what’s in it for me?”

If you orient the copy towards them through generous use of the word “you,” your copy is already taking a big step towards answering the “what’s in it for me” question.

Are there other “power words” to use in your copy?

Of course.

Here are some of the examples:
People also like new things, so words like “new,” “introducing,” and “breakthrough” tend to capture attention.

People like knowing things that others don’t know, so using words like “secrets, “revealed,” and “discover” tend to be powerful words in your copy.

And as already mentioned, since people like their solutions quick and easy, use words that convey that message where applicable (quick, easy, fast, etc.)

Now that you know what’s important to your prospects, and what sorts of “power words” to use to capture attention, you can start writing headlines. Notice I said “headlines” and not the singular headline. Since it is the most important part of your letter, it only makes sense to spend a good amount of time crafting the very best headline you can.

You should draft dozens of headlines for your sales letter. Don’t stop when you think you’ve created a good one. Keep going, and you’ll likely craft an even better one. This is what the professionals do — some copywriting experts regularly write 50 or 100 headlines!

Now let’s look at a specific example of how to transform an average headline into something much more compelling…

Let’s suppose you’re selling a cream that helps users avoid wrinkles, smooth out laugh lines, eliminate crow’s feet wrinkles, etc. Perhaps you’d start out with a headline like: “Here’s How to Eliminate Crow’s Feet and Laugh Lines.”

Problem is, eliminating crow’s feet and laugh line wrinkles is a feature associated with using the cream. Sure, many people will make the logical jump between the features (eliminating wrinkles) and the benefits of using the cream.

However, your job is to make it easy on the reader and lay out the benefits clearly so the prospects don’t even have to spend a second thinking about how the product will benefit them.

So what benefits are associated with these features? Overall, smoothing-out and eliminating wrinkles makes you look younger. And a person who looks younger may be more attractive, may be happier, may get more dates, etc.

Using these benefits, we can tweak the example headline into this: “Here’s How to Eliminate Crow’s Feet and Laugh Lines to Make You Look Younger.”

OK, that’s a little better. But let’s be a bit more specific. Instead of simply saying “younger,” let’s say “Ten Years Younger.”

Now remember earlier we mentioned that people like their solutions quick and easy. So let’s also let the reader know it’s a quick solution:“Here’s How to Eliminate Crow’s Feet and Laugh Lines Quickly and Easily to Make You Look Ten Years Younger.”

Do you see how this headline is much better than the original headline? But you’re not done yet. From here, you should now start tweaking this headline to make it go from “average” to downright compelling.

For example, you may start crafting variations of this headline such as:
“Discover the Secret of Looking Ten Years Younger… in Just 5 Minutes a Day!”

“Here’s an Anti-Aging Cream that Makes You Look So Young and Beautiful Your Husband will Call You his Trophy Wife!”

“In Just 21 Days from Now, You’ll Look so Young, People Will Mistake Your Teenage Daughter for Your Sister!”

…and so on.

Keep tweaking and crafting new headlines until you have several strong headlines. After you roll out your copy, you can start testing headlines to see which ones convert better.

Monday Money

Take The Entrepreneur Test

Are You Cut Out To Be An Entrepreneur? 

No study of creating multiple streams of income would be complete without a discussion of entrepreneurship. Chances are once you have multiple streams of income flowing in, you may find yourself in the enviable position of quitting your job and becoming your own boss.

Since being an entrepreneur is not for everyone, read on and consider the points to help you decide if being your own boss truly is for you.

Entrepreneurial Skills, Not Everyone Has Them

There are a variety of skills you’ll need to succeed as an entrepreneur and chances are do not possess them all. One of the great things about being an entrepreneur is that if you lack certain skills you can always hire people with those skills to help round out your company skill set.

Here are a few of the skills you’ll need starting out and others you can build upon later. Different stages of business require different skills.

People Skills

Every budding entrepreneur should have good people skills. The ability to walk into a room and befriend everyone there is often more important to your business than an investor with deep pockets. The more you can make people like you, the more they will want to do business with you.

Networking Skills

Networking is one of the best ways to build partnerships and find new clients. Networking simply means that you go to functions that attract the people you need to know. A successful entrepreneur is also a successful schmoozer. It’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of “kissing babies and shaking hands.” Whether it’s the weekly Rotary luncheon or a Chamber function, show up with a pocketful of business cards and meet as many people as you can.

Leadership Skills

To be an entrepreneur is to be a leader. Even if you are a company of one, you must have the skills to take charge and to lead. It’s much easier to learn leadership skills when you only have yourself to manage. These skills will come in very handy as you add employees and your business grows.

Management Skills

Management skills encompass a wide variety of tasks, including managing the daily operation, growth, employees, customer relations, investor relations, and so on. Poor managers make for poor entrepreneurs.

Employee Relation Skills

Your employees are one of the most important assets your business has and it is important that as the boss, you develop a professional relationship with your employees. It is important that your employees feel appreciated and you show it financially and professionally.

Team Building Skills

As your organization grows you must have the ability to build a team that can take your business to the next level. Your team not only includes employees, but also partners, your accountant, your attorney, and investors. Anyone who has the ability to impact your bottom line and growth should be part of your team.

Marketing and Sales Skills

Until you grow your business to the point that you can justify adding a marketing person, it will be up to you to think up ways to market your business. As I’ve said before, marketing is one of the most critical areas of business as getting the word out to customers is the first step in generating revenue.

Like marketing, selling is vital to the success of your business. Starting out you will probably be the one making sales calls and closing deals for your business.

You must have the ability to sit in front of a prospective client and sell them on your service or product. Many entrepreneurs find this difficult to do as sales is more art than skill. This is also why one of your first hires when able should be a good sales person.

Time Management Skills

Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day and for entrepreneurs that means we must manage our time well or inevitably some things won’t get done.

I find that it helps to plan your day the night before. I know before I ever get to the office what I have to do that day. I know the order I will do things in.

Of course, something always comes up to throw a monkey wrench in my plan. When the unexpected happens I try to add it to the next day’s schedule. If that’s not possible, I deal with it and then try to get back on track. That’s not always possible, but having a plan certainly helps.

Do you currently have all these skills? Probably not. Very few people possess them all even after years in business.

Does a lack of these skills mean that you shouldn’t start your own business? Of course not. Entrepreneurial skills can be learned and improved over time.

PowerPersuasion

The Easy Way to Write the Letter

One way to write a sales letter is to start with a “brain dump.” This is where you sit down and just write everything that comes to mind regarding your product.

Perhaps you imagine your perfect prospect sitting across the table from you, so in a conversational tone, you tell them how your  product or service will benefit them.

However, most copywriters don’t stop with one draft. It’s usually during the editing process that they carve out a great sales letter out of their initial average draft. It’s during the polishing process that you turn an average letter into one that will have your prospects eagerly reading each and every word.

When you sit down to polish up your letter, your over-riding focus will be to ensure that every word, sentence, and paragraph serves its purpose. Specifically, that purpose is to keep the prospect reading right down to the order button – and then getting them to click that button and buy your product.

Keep in mind as you write that you aren’t selling a product, but rather, a benefit or set of benefits. For example, no one is interested in buying “face cream.” However, they are interested in more youthful-looking skin.

Likewise, people buy lawns (the outcome) and not grass seed (the product.)

They buy prestige and not transportation when they buy an expensive car like the Rolls Royce.

They don’t buy “tooth whitener” – they’re buying the benefit of whiter teeth so they can be more attractive.

In short, people are buying benefits and NOT features. They’re buying outcomes and NOT products.

You can make your slide slippery by always keeping the focus of your letter on how the product will benefit the reader. What’s in it for her? How will her life change when she uses your product? How do you make her life easier?

How do you save her money, make her younger, more beautiful, healthier, happier, thinner, or richer?

Make the letter about your prospect and she’ll keep reading right to the very end.

Monday Money

How To Make Easy Money With A Dropship Business

Start An Online Dropshipping Business 

The popularity of eBay has inspired many people to start a business. And for those entrepreneurs who don’t want to invest in a ton of inventory but still want to set up shop, dropshipping is a logical solution.

Before you get started, consider these seven steps involved in starting a dropshipping business:

• Step 1: Choose a product to sell. The very first step in any sales process is deciding what product to sell. Many factors should be considered before you make the decision, but for now, let’s say that you’ve decided to sell CD players on eBay.

• Step 2: Locate a supplier who will dropship for you. Using a research tool like Google, ThomasRegister.com or an industry-specific resource like The Ultimate eBay Dropship Power Pak, you can search for and find a company that will dropship CD players for you. If the company offers you a 35 percent markup over cost, which means that it will supply the CD players to you for $100 each, then you should be able to retail them for $135 apiece. Make sure the dropshipper has a good stock of CD players on hand so you don’t end up selling a product that must be back-ordered.

• Step 3: Set up an account with the dropshipper. Now it’s time to set up a reseller account with the company that will supply the CD players. This can often be done online or by phone, but some companies will require that you complete and return a reseller application to open an account. Some may also require a tax ID and a business license.

• Step 4: Advertise the product for sale on eBay. Now that you have your supplier lined up and you know that the product is in stock, it’s time to make a sale. That means it’s time to advertise the product using an eBay auction. Since you know what you must pay the dropshipper for the product, you also know what minimum amount you will take for the product. In this case, you could start your auction at $100, since that is your cost. If you are confident that you can get more than $100 for the product, you can start with a lower price, but remember that if the product goes for less than what it costs you to fill the order, you will lose money. Also remember that the dropshipper will charge shipping, so make sure to figure that into your sale.

• Step 5: The product sells. Great news—your CD player has sold for $135, and your customer pays you with a PayPal instant payment. I highly recommend that entrepreneurs use PayPal or some other online processor to accept instant payments. This allows the customer to pay you faster, which lets you place the order with the dropshipper faster, which gets the product to your customer faster.

• Step 6: Place the order with the dropshipper. Once your customer pays you, you should contact the dropshipper immediately to order the product on your customer’s behalf. The dropshipper then ships the order to your customer under your company name and address.

• Step 7: Follow up after the sale. This is where many new e-business entrepreneurs drop the ball. Just because your customer has paid you and you’ve placed the order with the dropshipper, does not mean that you are out of the loop. Quite the contrary: If there are problems with the order, you are the one that will be held responsible in the eyes of your customer. It’s best to be proactive in your customer relations. Follow up with customers to let them know when a specific item has been shipped. Offer yourself as the personal contact for any issues that may arise. This is also a great way to sell customers more products. Invite them to check out your eBay store or Web site, if you have one.

Many people are afraid to use dropshipping as a method of sales due to the horror stories that fill the Internet about unscrupulous dropshippers who take the money and don’t fill the orders, merchandise that is eternally back-ordered, unscrupulous middlemen posing as dropshippers and so on.

Make no mistake, the dropshipping industry—like most other industries—does have its share of shady characters who would rob you blind given the chance, but there are also hundreds of honest dropshippers who can help you build a profitable eBay dropship business.

 

 

PowerPersuasion

The Persuasion Slide

How to Set Up a Slippery Slide for Your Prospects

The headline’s job is to get your reader to read the first sentence. When you think of your letter as a slippery slide, then the job of your letter’s first sentence is to get the reader to read the second sentence. And the second sentence’s job is to get your reader to keep going and read the third sentence… and so on.

That means every word and every sentence in your letter is important. If you let your reader’s attention stray for even a moment, they may lose interest in reading the letter – and that means you lose the sale. You need to hold their interest continuously while making your case for your product or service.

So what should be in these opening paragraphs? As with other elements of copy, different writers will have different ideas of how to do it.

Some will start off with an exciting story that ties directly into the product benefits. Other writers will start off by entering the conversation that’s already going on in the prospect’s head.

For example, the letter may emphasize with the reader who’s having problems with acne. The letter “agitates” the problem by discussing how embarrassing acne is, how it dampens one’s social life, and more. Then of course, the letter reveals the solution to the reader (which is to use the product/service.)

The best thing you can do for yourself to further your copywriting education is simply to read a lot of sales letters. Get on mailing lists. Read magazines and catalogs. Buy books that include old sales letters (like “Million Dollar Mailings.”)

Study proven sales letters to see how they create slippery slides.

TIP: If you want to go from being merely a good copywriter to becoming a great writer, start copying proven sales letters by hand. This will enable you to truly get a feel for the rhythm of copywriting.

Monday Money

How To Make Money With eBay

Start An eBay or Online Auction Business 

Selling on eBay continues to be one of the more popular ways to make money online, though very few people are getting rich with an eBay business alone.

Many Powersellers don’t make enough profit to cover their costs.

However, if Fred Sanford were alive today I’m sure he’d be earning his ripple money by selling quality junk on eBay.

While it’s also true that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure (I have a garage full of treasure to prove this point), your chances of building a profitable business selling “junk” on eBay (or anywhere else, for that matter) are slim to none.

While there is a lot of junk/treasure for sale on eBay, it is typically sold by individuals who have “I break for yardsales!” bumper stickers on their cars and not serious business people.

For serious entrepreneurs, however, selling on eBay can be a good way to start a new business if you are willing to put in the time and energy required to make the business a success.

eBay is also a good option for existing businesses to expand their reach by selling online.

Everyone from small used car dealers to giant companies like Dell Computers have discovered that eBay is an excellent place to hawk their wares simply due to the huge number of folks who visit the eBay site on a daily basis.

Nowhere else on earth will you find such a large pool of potential customers.

Consider these numbers:

• There are nearly 69 million eBay users who spend $59 million every day.

• Most eBay sellers are home-based businesses that sell everything from porcelain dolls to locks of Elvis’ hair to $100,000 Mercedes convertibles to $5 million dollar vacation homes.

• Every minute of every day more than 150 new items are listed for sale, more than 500 bids are placed, and seven new people register to shop on eBay.

• At any given moment, eBay is conducting some 12 million auctions, divided into about 18,000 different categories.

• About two million new items are offered for sale every day, and 62 million registered users scour the site to find them.

• One company is grossing more than $5 million dollars a year selling brand new pool tables on eBay. Their eBay store is so profitable that they have closed their retail location and now sell solely online.

That’s right, $5 million dollars from the sale of pool tables: proof that you can sell just about anything on eBay if you know how to do it.

Be aware, however, that eBay is no magic bullet. As any eBay Power Seller will tell you, building a profitable eBay business takes hard work and requires long hours, and often the financial rewards do not make it worth the effort spent.

When it comes down to the mechanics of it all, running an eBay business is no different than running a brick and mortar business.

You still have the same considerations regarding product selection, inventory purchasing, product pricing, inventory management, order processing, fulfillment, customer service, etc.

You must also consider the legal and accounting aspects of the business. Just because you’re selling online does not mean that Uncle Sam won’t expect his piece of the pie.

Revenue generated by an eBay business is just as reportable and taxable as revenue generated from a brick and mortar store.

And if you sell to customers within your state you may also be responsible for collecting city, county or state sales tax. This is discussed in detail later in this section.

One of the biggest obstacles to building a successful eBay business may be the stiffness of the competition.

Many sellers sell identical items and the price wars often get ugly, but that’s to be expected in a free market place, which is exactly what eBay is.

You may be the only store in town that’s selling that one of a kind, custom made just for you, broke the mold after they made it, Dale Earnhart Memorial Bobble Head Action Figure (Earnhart fans would string me up if I called it a Doll), but do a quick search on eBay and you’ll probably find a hundred others just like it.

So, can you build a profitable business selling on eBay? Certainly, thousands of people have done it and so can you.

Here are a few tips to help get you started.

Sell Quality Products

Don’t sell junk! Leave the knick-knacks and fake leather jackets to the less informed. You should offer only quality products at a fair price.

Research The Competition 

Once you have your product in mind, don’t invest a dime on inventory until you have spent some time on eBay to see what the competition is doing. If you want to sell motorcycle helmets, for example, you should look at current auctions to see how many others are selling similar helmets and what prices they are charging.

This step is vital since you may discover that you can’t compete with current sellers on price or there is simply no market for what you have to offer.

Start Slowly

Many people believe that the more items they have for sale on eBay the better. They will invest thousands in inventory and spent hundreds on listing fees (yes, eBay charges you to list items for sale and collects a final fee if the item sells). Those are the folks that usually end up with ten thousand Ginsu knives forever in their garage.

Test, Test, Test 

A fair portion of eBay auctions result in no sales, so it’s best to test the waters before jumping in with both feet.

List a few items and see how they sell. If an item doesn’t sell, list it at least twice more. Some items might not sell the first time, but may the second or third, then sell steadily from then on.

If an item gets no bids the first time, consider adjusting your price or your terms. If an item sells well, keep it in stock and then experiment with another item.

Do Your Homework 

eBay is too broad a subject to be covered fully here, but there are a multitude of books available that can help you start an eBay business. In fact, I bet you’ll find most of them for sale at this very moment at eBay.

Paying Taxes On eBay Income 

With so many people selling on eBay these days this is a question I get all the time. To many eBay sellers the thought of running an actual business is about as appealing as getting negative feedback, so they go out of their way to convince themselves that selling on eBay is really “just a hobby” and therefore, should not be susceptible to income tax laws.

While you might think selling on eBay is just a hobby and the extra money you’re making is not reportable as income, depending on the circumstances, the IRS just might disagree with you.

The IRS rules are clear: you must pay taxes on all personal and business income and that includes money you make selling on eBay.

In its most basic sense, the IRS rules mean that if you buy a vase at a garage sale for $10 and sell it on eBay (or elsewhere) for $20 you made a $10 profit and therefore must report it as income and pay Uncle Sam his fair share.

In reality, if you are a casual seller who only sells a few items on eBay every now and then it’s doubtful the IRS is going to lose much sleep over the few bucks you make.

However, if you consistently sell on eBay the IRS may deem your activities to be business oriented and you will be required to file a Schedule C and claim the income.

The IRS uses a number of factors to determine if a hobby is really a business. These factors include:

• Do you carry on the activity in a business-like manner? If you conduct your eBay activities in a business-like manner, i.e. you keep business records, track profit and loss, keep a separate checking account, etc. then whether you think so or not, your hobby is really a business.

• Do you spend considerable time working on your hobby? If you put considerable time and effort into your eBay sales, the IRS may contend that you do so for profit and not fun. It seems the folks at the IRS don’t believe in doing things strictly for pleasure. My guess is, neither do you. If you weren’t making money selling on eBay I doubt you’d bother getting up at 4 a.m. to hit all those yardsales.

Then again, maybe you would… :o)

• Do you depend on income from your eBay activities for your livelihood?

If so, it’s a business, not a hobby. There are a number of other factors the IRS uses to determine if a hobby is really a business, but that covers the basics.

You can learn more at the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

What’s eBay’s take on all this?

eBay is vehemently opposed to anything tax related (especially the forced collection of sales tax, which is a whole ‘nother issue). It’s understandable that eBay is not a fan of the IRS since trying to enforce tax rules on buyers and sellers would undoubtedly be detrimental to the way eBay does business.

eBay does not does not issue 1099 tax forms to sellers, nor does it report seller’s sales figures to the IRS. eBay considers itself a facilitator, i.e. they provide a marketplace in which buyers and sellers come together to do business.

However, since eBay is not directly involved in the transactions that take place between buyers and sellers, it would be impossible for eBay to report sales figures.

Furthermore, eBay does not track if a seller actually gets paid by the buyer, so they have no idea how much money actually changes hands, making it impossible for eBay to issue accurate 1099s to sellers.

On the bright side, if you do sell on eBay as a business you can deduct a number of business expenses, including the cost of inventory, listing fees, shipping, envelopes, packing materials, etc.

You might also be able to deduct things like the purchase of a computer for business use, office space (even if it’s a home office), office supplies, and more.

I’m not accountant (nor do I play one on TV), so please do not take any of this as tax advice or legal opinion. Talk to your accountant if there’s any doubt as to whether you should or should not be paying taxes on your eBay earnings.

PowerPersuasion

How to Rise Above the Noise and Get Your Prospect’s Attention

Let’s face it – your potential buyer isn’t thinking about you. He’s thinking about himself. He’s thinking about his job, the fact that he needs to run to the store to get milk, and that the dog is giving him “the look” that signals it’s time for them to go for a walk.

He’s thinking about his relationships, his crabby boss,
his upcoming weekend, etc.

So when he hits your sales page, it needs to be strong enough to get his attention. It needs to grab him enough to break through the conversations in his head and shift his attention to the conversation in your sales letter.

The easiest way to do that?

Instead of competing with the conversations in his head, join them.

In other words, instead of trying to shift his attention away to
something unrelated to him, shift his attention to something very
relevant and important to him.

As a marketer and product creator, you already know that your product or service IS relevant to your target market. You already know how it would benefit them.

You already know that this product is perfect for your customer.

But he has no idea.

And in fact, he doesn’t even know why he should care.

Given all that, you have just a few seconds to convince him that he needs to stop whatever he’s doing and read your sales letter.

As you might expect, the headline is what will capture his attention (or not) in those first few crucial seconds.

As such, your headline is the most important part of your entire sales letter.

After all, if it doesn’t do its job (capture attention,) the rest of your sales letter is worthless because IT WON’T BE READ.

Think of it this way: the goal of your headline is to get the potential buyer to start reading the sales letter.

That’s it.

The goal of your headline is not to sell the reader your product or service. That’s what the rest of the letter is for. The headline is simply what you’ll use to grab your reader and pull them into the rest of your copy.

But remember this: your headline absolutely needs to be relevant to the rest of the copy. You can’t put out a shocking headline like “The President Has Been Assassinated” just to get attention, and then go on to try to sell vitamins to the readers. They’ll feel duped and angry if you do that.

Instead, you need to speak to your reader directly about something that’s important to her. You may go on to arouse curiosity or promise a big benefit. But whatever you do, it absolutely must be relevant to her and to the sales copy that follows.

You can accomplish this by using a pre-headline and a headline.
The pre-headline is a line or two in smaller font above the main headline.

Many times it’s used to get attention by addressing the target market.

For example, if your target market consists of people who own poodles, your pre-headline may simply be: “Attention Poodle Owners!”

If you own a poodle, would you at least read the headline if you saw a pre-head that called out to poodle owners?

Yes, chances are, you would keep reading.

Indeed, the more specific you can be, the better. For example, if you can narrow down the target market further, than address them in a focused way in your pre-headline. In our example, you might say, “Attention Toy Poodle Owners!”

If your product deals with housebreaking, then you can focus in even more by using a pre-headline like, “Attention Toy Poodle Owners – Who Else Wants to Housebreak their Poodle in Just 48 Hours?”

Another example: let’s suppose you are selling a course on how to make money working at home. Your pre-headline can qualify your prospects and get their attention by asking a question such as, “Do You Want to Make a Full-Time Income Working Part-Time from the Comfort of Your Home?”

Now that you’ve grabbed the momentary attention of your target market by identifying them in the pre-headline, you now need to further get their attention by promising them a benefit or arousing their curiosity in your main headline (which is in a large font.) There are other ways to get attention — such as by being controversial or shocking — but promising benefits and arousing curiosity are the main two.

Indeed, if you can create a headline that both promises a benefit and arouses curiosity, you’ll likely have a winning headline.

Chances are, there are many benefits associated with using your product or service, right? Of course. So what you want to do is identify one of the biggest – if not the biggest – benefit associated with your product and promise this benefit to readers if they keep reading.

In order to know what your biggest benefit is, you also need to be aware of what is important to your target market.

For example, if you are selling watches to wealthy people who enjoy the prestige of an expensive watch, touting your watch as a “good value” in the headline isn’t going to capture their attention.

Another example: Some products (like cookware or mattresses) may do well to boast of a lifetime guarantee. However, a lifetime  guarantee is not on the top of buyer’s lists when it comes to items that won’t be used much, such as wedding dresses or baby clothing.

As such, mentioning the guarantee in the headline for products like these isn’t likely to hold your reader’s attention.

In addition to figuring out what’s important to your prospects, you’ll also want to consider some more “universal” wants of people. For example, people want quick and easy solutions. They want magic bullets.

They want to feel better, be more attractive, be wealthier and look younger (among other things.)

If you can give your prospects a quick and easy way to look younger, mention that in the headline! If you can give them a quick and easy way to get richer, then by all means, let them know in the headline.

The same goes for feeling healthier, becoming more attractive, being happier, etc.

Monday Money

How To Make Money By Marketing Your Services Online

Market Your Services Online

Are you a computer programmer?

A writer or editor?

A graphics artist or website designer?

If so, you can market your services to customers around the world and it doesn’t cost you a dime.

You can offer your services to customers on websites like elance.com or rentacoder.com. Basically you register with these sites and when someone posts a job that falls within your area of expertise you can bid on the work.

For example, I needed a logo for one of my online businesses so I went to elance.com and posted the project for bidding and within hours I had a dozen graphic artists bidding for the job.

I sifted through the profiles of everyone who bid on my job and picked a graphic artist who did the logo for less than $50.

Granted, I did not pay top dollar for the logo (to get it done locally would have cost ten times the amount I paid), but the designer probably spent an hour or two knocking out the 5 designs I got back and the work came to him, he did not have to spend a dime on marketing his services.

For more information visit:

• http://www.elance.com

• http://www.rentacoder.com

Monday Money

How To Make Money Online With Affiliate Sales

How To Become An Affiliate Marketer

Many Internet Entrepreneurs have become millionaires without ever having a product of their own. They did it by promoting affiliate programs.

An affiliate program simply means that you sign on as an affiliate marketer or reseller for someone else’s product. It’s your job to market the product, send the company customers, and get a cut each time a sale is made from your efforts.

Affiliate program commissions can range from as little as 2% for high ticket items up to 75% for ebooks and informational type products.

There are thousands of companies that sell informational products and most have affiliate programs that you can sign on with.

As an example, let’s say you sign up with Amazon.com’s affiliate program. You are assigned an affiliate code which you use to promote Amazon’s books on your website.

When someone clicks to purchase an Amazon product from your website, your affiliate code is included in the URL and you get a commission for the sale.

Some folks have built elaborate websites that sell nothing but Amazon.com’s books, and each time they make a sale they get a piece of the pie.

One of the most appealing aspects of affiliate programs is how quickly you can begin making money. You can literally sign up as an affiliate and begin making money in minutes. I’ve done it, I know it works.

Admittedly, I am not an affiliate program expert, so I sought out the person that many call the Ultimate Affiliate Program Authority, Rosalind Gardner.

Rosalind Gardner began making money with affiliate programs in 1997. She has since grown her affiliate business into a $400,000 a year business and is now considered the authority on the subject.

Her book ‘The Super Affiliate Handbook: How to Make a Fortune Selling Other People’s Stuff Online‘ is considered by many to be the affiliate marketers bible.

I have read Rosalind Gardner’s and I have to tell you I found it to be one of the best books on the subject I have ever read. It’s a hype-free approach to what affiliate marketing is really all about and how to make it work. The book is 270 pages and leaves no stone unturned.

For anyone serious about making money with affiliate programs, I highly recommend this book. The bottom line, is this: you can make a lot of money with affiliate programs, if you pick the right product and do your part to promote it.

As for which programs would be best for you, I advise that you concentrate your efforts on one or two products instead of starting with a shotgun approach.

Pick only top quality products that hold some personal interest you. Never pick an affiliate product just because you think you’ll make a ton of money with it.

Remember, you are starting a business. If it’s not a business that holds your interest, you won’t be in business very long.