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.

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. ;)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Amazon & Content Links

I've been trying pretty hard for the last few months to improve the income on Idea Queen. Google isn't playing very nice lately, and my income from that source seems to be going down while the traffic goes up. Umm what? Yeah I don't get it either. So to heck with that, that site is worth more than a few pennies a click anyway.

So when I saw they have now created Content Links, well I got pretty excited. This was pretty big news to me. I've been an Amazon affiliate for several years now. While their commissions aren't so hot, the conversion rates more than make up for it. My Amazon check has always been nice "play money" in the past when I'd use it here and there.

I don't have a clue how well this is going to convert and I haven't really fully looked into stats on things like this. But I guess it's about time to find out. This seems to be exactly what Idea Queen needs, since it's so high on content. Like a double edge sword that site is - I could give smaller bites of the content and require a membership, but that would hurt my search engine rankings. Although too much content and my visitors don't really feel they need to go any further. I can only do so much with a sales letter.

Well I'm thinking this might be the ticket I've been looking for. I did a few test pages, and so far I'm impressed. Some of the links are a bit off, but hey it's still in beta. I have faith in Amazon, as they've always continued to improve in every way (although I'm still a bit miffed they discontinued the "Buy Now" links that converted the best, GRRRR!). We shall see how this goes though. Looks like there are already some flexible options, so it should only get better from here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ready for some free advertising?

I've got a new site up and running, and I'm ready to do some serious promotion work on it. I've already started to pour work into marketing, so you will be reaping the benefits tomorrow if you hook up with me today.

Remember this site is brand new and does not have a PR yet. It also doesn't have traffic because I just finished it today. However, I've got a lot of promotion planned this week so you could be driving a whole lot of traffic to your site by jumping in on this brand new. ;) Plus it's about to be linked to one of my main sites, Idea Queen.

First off, please be aware I'm looking for those with sites that offer craft supplies for kids, children's products, or other sites targeted directly to kids or crafts. You can see the site here:
Crafty Kids Weekly

For the newsletter itself, here's what I need:

- Craft or activity articles
These will be published in the newsletter. I'm going to be searching article directories for a lot of these articles, but I can always use more. Plus I'd rather feature an article by someone from this list. Your byline will of course be in the newsletter.
Contact me with "Craft Article" in the subject line.

- Subscription thank you page exchanges
Your link on the "thank you" page after my subscribers subscribe, and vise versa. If it's a craft newseltter, that's ok. I don't mind them being subscribed to multiple craft idea newsletters! Other newsletters with a target to families is alright too (such as frugal newsletters, family tips, etc...I would prefer no wahm newsletters though, as my target isn't moms in business but moms in general).
Contact me with "Subscriber Link Exchange" in the subject line.

For the site I need:

- General Link Exchanges
Pretty simple, just link exchanges. The site MUST be targeted to children or crafts. Please use this form so I can keep them separate from everything else:

- Link Partner Exchange
A little more advanced, and must be a lot more targeted. Also, I require a link on your home page. Your link will actually be in my navigation, but the site is small. So I'm not requiring a link in your navigation....just on the home page near the top of the page. I'll only be accepting 3 or 4 of these. Your site must be craft supplies or resources, or related to kids crafts in a direct way. No general sites.
Contact me with "Link Partner" in the subject line.

For the ebook I need:

- Craft Ideas & Activities
Those who submit crafts will have their link published in the book itself, as well as on a public page thanking you for your contributions. This is free advertising for you for your craft or activity! Must be crafts for kids and must be unique. I want to get the ebook finished by early next week, so I'm closing submission after Friday. If you have a craft you'd like to submit, please do so at:

*WHEW* That's about it. Lots of ways for you to cash in on the flood of traffic this site is about to get. ;)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

New Way to Barter

Now this is an excellent idea. Whoever came up with this one is a smart cookie....

I'm sure we've all been involved in a barter or some type of trade at least once. You know, where you have an item you don't want, give it to someone else, and get something you do want in return. No exchanging money, just swapping something of the same value. I use to do it all the time because it's so cost effective for both parties.

Well someone took that basic idea and made a whole site out of it. Here's the thing though - you don't swap one on one. You post your offers and sell your stuff for coupons, which in turn are used to "buy" stuff others have posted. How cool is that?
Kinda like ebay, except you don't risk buying something that won't get shipped.

Want the details? Come see Barter at it's best

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kids Craft Ideas

Alright everyone. *Gives stern look*

We are all bright, talented, and creative women. I know you have some craft ideas out there that didn't come from a book. And here I am offering FREE ADVERTISING for your kids craft ideas, yet I've only got TWO submissions so far.

Did you miss the memo maybe?

Alright let me run through it again then.....

I'm writing an ebook all about kids craft ideas. Those who contribute will get full credit for their idea in the ebook AND on a special public page. What this means is you not only get a "one way link" from a public page, but also a link in an ebook which I hope will be sitting on hundreds of peoples computers. Think about it for a minute....that's ten times better than a bookmark!

So I guess if you are already successful in your business and don't need free advertising, don't bother submitting. However, if you have just ONE craft in mind (that didn't come from a resell right ebook), submit it here:
Submit Your Craft for Free Advertising!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Things we forget in marketing

Several years ago when I was big into affiliate marketing I gobbled up all kinds of information. Everything from SEO marketing to page design. One of the coolest things I ever learned was the psychology of colors in marketing.

What this basically means is certain colors trigger certain feelings with customers. Way back when I read that the color red is associated with impulse buying (had a heck of a time finding another site that said this, but here it is). Just as a test one time, I tweeked a page that was getting around 5 sales a day at the time. Changed the background to red, and the sales doubled.

I didn't completely forget this tip. It stuck with me for quite some time. We tested the theory at craft shows too. Switched out our white table cloth for a red one - sales doubled again.

Now of course if you've got a big ticket item and people aren't so quick to buy, red isn't the color to be using. You probably will have a ton of angry people leaving the site immediately (note you usually see sales letters with a dark blue/navy background)

Why I chose to leave out this basic tip I'll never know. When I was revamping Idea Queen and sticking in solid products to sell, the thought of changing the colors on the site never crossed my mind. Couldn't figure out why my conversion rates were so sucky. Duh.

So I did a revamp today. Thankfully when I started the revamp at Idea Queen about a year ago, the first thing I did was stick in CSS. One file to edit, GO ME for my smart moment! *GRIN*

Let me know what you think of the new colors and new logo on the 'internal' pages (such as the Money Saving Ideas page and Birthday Party Ideas page). I'm still not sure about it as a whole, but hoping it increases sales.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Did They Figure it out?

You're probably wondering ... Did who figure what out? I'm talking about these people who create these information products and charge $97 or $147. The ones that I've spent time complaining about in the past. LOL

Well, it looks as though they've finally figured out that they're going to sell to a whole lot more people if they lower these prices. Although I really have to laugh because they've jumped from $97 to $7!!! Not that I'm complaining here. I am a penny pincher so these $7 products are right up my alley!! LOL

I'll admit though, I am a little jealous! I so wish I could come up with an idea ... something that would take off and be huge that everyone would want in on it. Know what I mean? Well, take this for example:

This whole $7 theory started with the $7 Secrets. It's all about how the author, Jonathan Leger, made $3,000+ in 7 days selling a $7 report. It was really a great read and the whole time I'm reading it I'm thinking well, duh ... this is exactly what I've been saying for how long. No, I'm not keeping my prices low to give a sense of less value ... I'm keeping my prices low so everyone can afford it. Now in my own opinion, $7 was probably a little lower than he needed to go but, just a lower price in general would be suffice. For example, majority of our products are $10 - $15.

Anyway, I got a little off track here. Back to why I'm jealous, lol. This whole $7 theory ... the thing I've been saying for I don't know how long, took off like wildfire!!! Seriously, take a look at this: 7 Dollar Offers A whole website devoted to these books. As of today there is over 300 books/reports listed there and this is a fairly new idea.

That's okay ... my big idea WILL come someday ;-)
(And you can take that to the bank ... it's right around the corner! My big break IS coming!)

There's another aspect about the $7 theory that I really like. After you've purchased one of the books/reports and read them, you can easily recommend them to others and earn 100% commission. It's like being an affiliate but different because there's nothing to "sign up to". In the $7 Secrets book, Jonathan shares scripts so that all you have to do is add your paypal email address in the link, share it with others and when someone purchases, all the money goes directly into your paypal account.

For example, if you purchase the $7 Secrets report through this link, you'll notice that the entire amount is going directly into my mommyshelperonline@yahoo.com paypal account. And all I had to do was change the link. How cool is that?!?

And so far the material has been good. Well, at least the ones I've read so far. As a matter of fact, I just sent out a solo ad this morning on a very good one. You'll have to take a look at my recommendation on The No Cost List Building Report. It definitely gets a two thumbs up from me!

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