A Tale of 2 WAHMs

Ramblings of 2 WAHMs - Anita DeFrank and Kara Kelso. Partners in business discuss how we manage successful websites and young children at home.

Monday, April 09, 2007

It's time to say goodbye

To blogger that is. We're officially packing up and moving on. As scary as it sounded last night, today it didn't seem nearly as bad. Of course it helped when Anita said "I'm game, let's go!". That always helps to have someone behind your thoughts. *grin*

So here we go, off to a brand new blog with a brand new domain name to start some brand new projects. I'm excited, I really am. The $7 secrets seem to have lit a fire under me, and I'm ready to get just about anything done.

Funny story about the domain name though. It was actually owned by someone we knew, and has been a friend for a long time. I hadn't talked to her in awhile, but I had to go see if she was still using it. Sure enough she wasn't, and she gladly handed it on over to us for the cost of just the name. Hurray! Thank you to Dianne of WAHMsUnited!

Anyway, this will be our last post here on this blog. If you are subscribed via FeedBlitz, no need to change a thing. We'll be updating the links there. If you want to join us right now, be sure to visit: 2Wahms.com

See you at the new blog, and let us know what you think!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

What's a Blog Again?

You would think after blogging for nearly 3 years I would have had this all figured our by now. I start drifting off into my own little world when there's talk of RSS, feeds, and syndication. Yeah I know that's the whole point of a blog, and I really AM suppose to know this stuff. But I don't. And it makes me feel a little less than smart.

Up until now everything has been fine. Sure I've had some disagreements with Blogger and threatened to move the blog more than once (that was until I realized how many links I'd have to change). But aside from that I've managed to get by with my limited blogging knowledge. That was until I tried to set up a blog broadcast on Aweber.

Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE Aweber. It's my new best friend. But it appears Aweber and Blogger just don't play nice together. Funny thing eh? Blogger not playing nice, who would have thought? HA! And really it's not that it doesn't completely work because it does. It's just the information from the post just doesn't show up. As in the actual content. All we get is the title of the blog and title of the post with the link. Which I guess I'm glad those are showing up, but I'd still like at least part of the post.

So I went digging in Bloggers help files, and got a crash course in blogging terms. Good to know for future reference, although I'm still far from a "blogging expert". Gees I suck.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Vote for Your Favorite Blog

Now how fun is this? Blogger's Choice Awards are going on right now. Have you voted for your favorite blog yet? I found out about this via one of my favorite Marketing Blogs - Clicknews.com. With all the different categories, you're sure to find your favorite blog in your favorite category. Vote for the Best Business Blog, Best Blog of All Time, Best Food Blog, Best Gossip Blog (oh that could be fun!), Hottest Mommy Blog & even the Worst Blog of all Time & Most Obnoxious Blog (lol!). Believe it or not, that's a very small portion of the different categories. Stop in now and nominate and/or vote for your favorite blogs. It's a lot of fun ;-)


Friday, April 06, 2007

An overview of online advertising

Online advertising can be a very cost-effective solution to promote your business or product. There are many different types and although many can give you good exposure for your money, some can lose you money very quickly if you do not know how to do it properly. Online advertising is not the same as offline advertising. It is in many ways a much more direct medium than TV or magazines.

If someone is looking at a web page that you are advertising on, then it is because they have chosen to go to that page. Of course it could be that they are just surfing around, but people these days tend to be more web savvy and targeted in what they are looking for and in the sites that they look at. Most people now use more targeted searches and so if you target your advertising well enough so that it appears in places that are highly relevant to your site, then it is quite likely that you will get a good result.

There are many different types of online advertising such as, pixel advertising, ezines, banner ads, article marketing, forum marketing, text links, pop ups, ecourses, back end product sales, content sites, pay per click, joint ventures, viral marketing, and thats to name just a few. You have to decide which is the best for your product and/or service. If you're not experienced, one of the easiest ways is to find out what methods the bigger sellers in your market are using. If they're successful in the same market as you, then it is a good bet that this type of advertising works well with that market. But that only means that it is a good place to start, after you have had some success, you will have a better idea of what the market wants and what other ways you could advertise to them.

Online advertising is really like any other type of advertising in that you have to know your market and what they want. You also need to know the right way to reach them. The best way is if you are a part of this market and are interested in what you are selling, so that you will know what they want. But if you are not, then it is a good idea to do some research. Visit sites that are on the same subject (especially forums) to find out what they are interested in. That way you will know what to sell them and how to sell it.

Online advertising can help give you exposure to your business if it's done properly. It can be very lucrative or you can loose some money. Do your research, advertise properly and you'll be on the lucrative side with no problem at all.

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Making some changes

Our regular readers will probably notice really soon that a few things are a little different around here. We're going to be working on combing this blog and Mommy's Helper - Mom's Market Ezine. Since we're doing this and I just started an online course called Online Advertising Secrets Exposed, I figured I'll go ahead and continue it here.

Remember, if you want to be updated each day we post, simply sign up over on the form the right ;-)

Stay tuned ... in just a couple of moments I'll share the first segment our course.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

$7 Secrets

Anita made a post about this a few weeks ago, but I felt the need to bring it up again. Mostly because I finally found the topic for my $7 report, and I'm pretty excited about.

If you haven't heard of "$7 Secrets", let me give you the non-guru version: Basically the idea behind it is to create a report to sell for $7. Sound simple enough? Oh trust me, it is. My report was written in about 2 hours today. Think for a minute if I sell 20 copies...that's comes out to be $70/hour I make from one single report. I'm confident I'd sell that many, and you know why?

Because the price is low.

Let's face it, work at home moms usually don't have the highest budget for high ticket items. Anita and I have known this for years, which is why you almost never see up promoting anything over $50 (and most of the time things we promote are in the $10-20 range). Moms have more important things to spend their money on, and can't always justify spending hundreds on the "latest and greatest" marketing materials. However, $7 is something everyone can afford. You get paid for your time, and buyers get a product they know is worth more than what they spent.

Alright so maybe you don't exactly know how to write a good enough report even to sell for $7. Many of us don't. However, that's where Write That Report comes in handy. It's written by the same author as $7 secrets. I picked this $7 report up from Lynn Terry just last night, and I'm pleased with the step by step information. Not to mention it only cost me a few bucks and will make me much more.

There's more to the $7 Secrets system though. From a wahm who rarely buys in to the guru crap, I'm here to say it's worth a second look. The basic idea behind it is original, and the income potential is amazing. What's better is I can still focus on my current projects while using this system. You know me, I don't hype things up. So I highly suggest you check this all out.

P.S. I won't specifically tell you WHY, but I *highly* suggest picking up "Write That Report" first before you buy $7 Secrets. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. ;)


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

YMLP Changes Prices & Policies

First let me say that sometimes a business needs to change in order to grow. I can understand this, and that's alright. Rates need to go up, restrictions need to be put in place, and freebies kept to a minimum. If we gave everything away for free or kept everything at the same price, we'd go out of business quickly.

However, if you are running a service business, it is NOT ACCEPTABLE to change your prices without warning. Which is exactly what YMLP (also known as "Your Mailing List Provider") did this week.

On Monday we got an email that said "Effective from April 1 2007, the number of e-mails that can be sent in a free account is limited to 1,000 a month". Ummmm what? That was YESTERDAY! I was a little upset and thought, alright well looks like I have to upgrade all my lists to the $15 for 3 months like we pay on a few of the larger lists. Upset me a bit because I can't always justify paying for the smaller lists because they don't make as much. Although yesterday was when I really got mad when I realized they changed the prices as well. Now each list would cost me $10/mo, which has to be paid $30 in advance. The total cost had I upgraded it all? $90 up front. I THINK NOT.

So Anita and I are switching everything over to Aweber where it should have been in the first place. Lesson learned on trying to cut costs. Although it just makes me so mad we were given no warning what so ever. In fact because of this mess, I've lost a hoard of subscribers on those little lists. Sure they needed to be cleaned, but this is nuts. Let me explain....

My recipe newsletter has about 700. I know the list is somewhat old, and really did need to be cleaned up a bit. Unfortunately Aweber won't even let them it be imported because it was in that bad of shape. Never mind the fact there was a few hundred clean addresses on it. But no I can't move it over, nor can I even send a notice from the original list thanks to ymlp making the change without warning (I sent out a notice to this list right before I found out about the change, blowing my limit in one sweep). One newsletter I have to start from scratch on.

Next there's the newsletter I keep from the candle newsletter. Those address were imported without problem, BUT, they all have to resubscribe. Out of 900+, about 150 have made it over so far. I was pretty surprised the list was still even that active. The kicker though is the resubscribe notice is hitting bulk folders. How do I know this? Because MY notice was sent there. LOVELY! I don't know how many active readers didn't get the notice. :( Luckily though, I haven't used my 1,000 email limit on ymlp on that list just yet. Although because I was looking at payment options and clicked a certain button, it won't even let me downgrade back to the free. Now it says I have to pay before I can send out. Ummm NO, I will NOT pay for 3 months only to say "go resubscribe here". I sent a letter to support, but I bet they are getting tons of hate mail right now. I could be awhile before I hear back from them.

This is all just an absolute mess, and we cleaning our list the hard way apparently. The plus side to all this is Aweber has got some great tools and tracking that ymlp didn't have. So it's well worth the $20/mo to host all the lists together. There's some interesting features on Aweber, like we can now see how many are opening the email, and which links are clicked. We can also see what pages they subscribe from, which I know is going to be a huge plus. Lots of tracking options that will come in extremely useful in the long run.

Above all I just wish we would have been given more time to move things over, then we wouldn't have been in such a horrible spot this week!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Money Is In the List

Have you heard this before? Yeah I have too. It's taken me awhile, but I finally get it. The money is in the list. This is more true now that it ever has been, what with people becoming so blind to website ads. I mean we literally have to trick visitors with Google ads or build crappy sites to get them to click. I've been on both sides of that, and honestly it's not really worth it to either party.

Just in case you missed it, let me say it again....

The money is in the list.

Not just any list though. It has to be a high quality list. Meaning the content has to be worth something, it has to be published on a regular basis, and the subscribers should be opening your newsletter with credit card in hand. And it doesn't have to be a business newsletter either, despite what some gurus may be teaching by example (either on accident or on purpose). In fact, it's probably better it's not about business. I happen to co-own two business newsletters, and not even I would subscribe to another. Unless of course it focused on a specific niche of interest such as copywritting or affiliate marketing. ;)

It's taken me a lot of trial and error, but I finally get it. When someone subscribes because they want to hear what you have to say, they could become your best customer. If they subscribe because you promised something free in return, guess what? They are going to keep wanting freebies in return. They don't care about your message or your content...it's all about the freebies!

Not to say you can't say "free tips" on your market. No, that's quite alright. One of our best converting lists is promoted on the grounds of free tips. Selling to this list is easy. Although another list I've owned for several years don't have a great conversion rate, only because subscribers were drawn in from contests.

I'm going to stop rambling here, only because there's something much better than my rambling. Yesterday we released a report all about this topic, which covers it much better than I could alone (thanks to expert Becky Hagel!). Interested? Grab the report at Direct Sales Helpers. ;)