How To Get Started Online To Build Your Online Empire

Subscribe To My New Podcast: Online Marketing Tips With Connie Ragen Green

Connie Ragen Green Get Started OnlineMy name is Connie Ragen Green and I teach people just like you how to build a profitable online business and use the basic technology needed to get started in this fun and lucrative field. The first year (2006) was difficult for me online, and I ended up spending about 10K and making almost no money. I vowed that my students would not have to struggle like I did.

I have now been making my full-time income online since 2006, and earn a comfortable income, primarily from my own programs and courses, information products, and affiliate marketing. I teach new online entrepreneurs how to write short reports, eBooks, and books for Kindle, as well as how to set up your own blog, set up mini-sites, use Twitter and Facebook, create your own information products, and write your own web sales copy, which is copywriting for the Internet.

My motto is: “If I can do it, YOU can do it!”

I took one of my students, Helen Raptoplous, to 10K a month as part of the 10K Laser Coaching program, did it again in 2012 with student Geoff Hoff, and am now working with student Adrienne Dupree during 2013/2014. This will help you to do the same thing in your online business, so please join us.

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Marketing in 2014: Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Connie Ragen GreenIt’s 2014 – now what? Are you still marketing like it’s 1999? Starting an Internet business is the way to financial freedom and great success in your life, and you need help to get there quickly. That’s why I started this online marketing tips podcast for my community.

Are your domains locked by your registrar because you haven’t updated your email address? Are you using one email address for all of your business connections? Is your online business growing, or have you become stagnant? In this episode of the Online Marketing Tips Podcast With Connie Ragen Green, my newest marketing training podcast series, I discuss these questions and more. We also discuss the importance of blogging as an effective way to build your business as an online entrepreneur.

During this call we also discuss my ‘Five Pronged Approach’ with blogging, short reports, teleseminars, social media, and affiliate marketing. I also revisit the idea of writing down your plans and goals for the coming year. I’ve been goal setting and achieving since the spring of 2005 in this way and it has made a huge difference in my personal life and in my business.

All of my open calls are interactive so that your voice may be heard. During this call I am joined my many of my students and subscribers who share their questions, concerns, and accomplishments with their online business in regards to content creation, list building, social media marketing, and more. This time we discussed using LinkedIn and teleseminars effectively to promote yourself and your online business, using the Instant Teleseminar service to host your podcasts, the free PodPress plugin for your podcasts, how to know when the time is right for you to set up an autoresponder sequence, how to see which WordPress theme and plugins someone is using, using royalty free music for your podcast and other websites, and much more.

This online marketing tips podcast  is intended to teach you how you can take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my very Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. You will see that each session is first recorded live as a teleseminar, and then repurposed into a podcast to extend my reach to the world. Please join my list to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come!

Also, you can now pick up my popular training on winning affiliate contests and other online marketing tips for only seven dollars at Affiliate Contest Secrets. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been updated for 2013 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

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Positioning Yourself As An Expert

positioning yourself as an expertPositioning yourself as an expert and a trusted advisor in your niche market is a worthwhile goal. I started doing this when I came online in 2006, and here are some ways you can do the same thing.

Sharing relevant and timely content with your community is an excellent way to begin. This way you have introduced yourself to them as a resource, rather than a vendor. This content can be free sites and materials that are readily available online, even though it may take some digging to find it. It can also be PLR (private label rights) content from sources that provide high quality on a consistent basis.

Once you begin positioning yourself as an expert, advisor, and counselor of your clients in your area of expertise, you will know the specific the outcome your products and services, as well as affiliate offers produce for their lives. Let people know who these products are for…and who they’re not for. Maintaining an authentic voice becomes a magnet in your market. You’ll attract the right customers and clients while repelling those who shouldn’t do business with you anyway.

In my online business I focus on new entrepreneurs who are serious about building a solid, long-term income online.  If someone comes to me who is only looking for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme they see very quickly that I am not the right fit for them. I prefer people who value the relationships we are building to grow our businesses surely and steadily.

The pieces of the puzzle are simple enough; choose a niche that makes sense for you, your background, your experiences, and your interests. Set up a site where you can let people know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them to achieve their goals. Offer them a report or audio recording to get to know you a little better. Stay connected and build the relationship with them through email messages, social media, and regular teleseminars and webinars.

You won’t earn any money until someone actually purchases something, so you also need to know how to find and tap into bulls-eye buyers.  Having a ton of freebie seekers on your list won’t do you any good.  Sure, maybe you get people to open your emails and click on your links, but if you’re not attracting buyers with money to spend to your list, then you’re out of luck.

How do you accomplish this?

What about staying on track and getting things done? As an entrepreneur working online today, it’s not a lack of opportunity that holds you back.  Instead, there are so many opportunities that you can’t figure out where to focus your attention because of all the available options. This causes BSO syndrome (Bright Shiny Object).  You bounce from idea to idea and traffic source to traffic source and product to product.

The solution is creating a clear entrepreneurial vision.

When you’re focused on where you’re going, it becomes much easier to just say NO to everything that takes you off that path.

Next month – April – I begin my fourth annual Productivity Challenge. I’m not going to link to previous ones here; instead I want you to think about what you would like to achieve during the next thirty days. Where will you be then? What will you have had to do in order to get there? What questions do you have about the upcoming Productivity Challenge? What could I do to make this the most transformational month you’ve ever had in your business?

 

 

 

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PowerPoint For Business: Keeping It Simple

powerpoint-for-businessBefore I ever used PowerPoint for business, I taught it to fifth and sixth graders as a part of the curriculum while I was working as a classroom teacher. The kids discovered all kinds of things about it by experimenting, and then shared their findings with everyone else. Now PowerPoint is an integral part of my online business and adds to my income on a regular basis. You can do this as well.

So if you’ve created your first PowerPoint presentation – congratulations for taking the next step in marketing your business to your clients. You will find your options open up with multimedia presentations by showcasing your product or service. With PowerPoint you can add sound bites, videos, photographs, charts, graphs, and much more. It truly is a dynamic platform.

Why do you want to add these bells and whistles? First, using PowerPoint makes your presentation more interesting and more interactive with your audience. Whether you’re presenting to a room full of live people or presenting virtually in a webinar room, showing examples of your work, statistics, graphs, or simply sharing your desktop will keep your audience paying attention.

Second, there are many different ways of learning, including auditory and visual. By simply speaking you will capture the attention of those auditory learners but by adding the visual PowerPoint slides, you will also capture your visual learners.

Lastly, think about the topic of your presentation. If you are presenting a tutorial or how-to presentation, using slides to showcase the steps of how to do something is much more concise and helpful than verbally trying to describe each step.

Put yourself in the audience for just a moment. If you are teaching a course about how to install and use WordPress, for example, would you rather listen to the directions or see the steps? When it comes to computers and technology, adding PowerPoint slides to your presentation is highly recommended so your audience members can compare their own computer screens to what you’re showing on the slides.

The beauty of PowerPoint is that it’s dynamic but very user-friendly. All the icons are rather self-explanatory and if you do hit something by mistake, there’s an Undo arrow at the very top left corner of the window. Another tip is to save your work frequently. A good habit is to click the Save button after you finish each slide, which decreases your chances of losing the work if your computer crashes or hitting a wrong button and losing everything!

Don’t forget to have a strong ‘Call to Action’ at the end of your PowerPoint. Business can be enhanced when you let people know what you have to offer while they are actively engaged in learning from you.

The very best training on using PowerPoint for Business is available from Nicole Dean and Melissa Ingold as a part of their online training and tutorials.

PowerPoint Made Easy Tutorials

I Love Coaching Sticky Glue!

What This Package Includes:

  • Report: PowerPoint For Business Made Easy (54-pages, 7630 words)
  • 76 PowerPoint Slides Created from the Step-by-Step Tutorial to use for Your Presentations, Videos, and Webinars
  • 10 PowerPoint Checklists
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Authority Marketing

authority marketingAuthority marketing, according to direct marketing legend Dan Kennedy, is the act of “deliberately, systematically, methodically establishing yourself as a celebrity rapidly and dramatically, at least to your clientele and target market. Without this you’re asleep at the wheel, ignoring what is fueling the entire economy around you, and neglecting development of a measurably valuable asset.”

When I wrote a column several months ago about becoming a local celebrity, this was the idea behind it.

In its purest form, authority marketing helps you as an entrepreneur or small business owner to leverage your knowledge to gain authority status in your industry. This authority status then allows you to dramatically amplify your message and also to convert this new audience into higher paying customers. In other words, it’s the process for positioning yourself as an authority, or even a celebrity, in your marketplace.

This can best be done by consistently providing useful information to your market. I refer to this as ‘being a resource before you’re a vendor’. The information you provide solves problems, offers solutions, and addresses urgent needs. Creating content in a variety of formats makes this a doable strategy for everyone wishing to grow a business, online or offline. You will have positioned yourself as an educator and an advocate for your niche market, instead of just another person selling widgets.

Strategies which are most effective at improving your expert positioning include highlighting your media appearances and your published books, and anything else which shows that you are uniquely more qualified and credible than your competitors. Increasing what is known as the ‘know, like, and trust’ factor is crucial to success. In your favor is the fact that most of your competitors have not been doing this, giving you the ultimate edge in the marketplace.

For instance, once you position yourself as an authority, you’ll no longer have to chase sales leads and prospects for your business. In fact, you’ll find that they will seek out your company and your offers. Once people find you they stop looking for anyone else. Traditional networking is no longer a necessity and doing business takes on a whole new meaning.

You will also increase your income with this strategy. Entrepreneurs and small business owners that are seen as authorities have a higher value position, and are therefore expected to charge higher rates. You will quickly find that people will happily pay more for services from someone who they perceive to be the top expert in a field.

Having clients that trust and respect you is yet another benefit of positioning yourself as an authority. Instead of questioning you every step of the way, they will be more likely to follow and take action on the advice you share with them. That’s an excellent feeling to experience.

Books, podcasts, radio appearances, local appearances, and blog posts become the best sources for information in your market, saving you countless dollars and endless hours for other types of marketing. I’ve written about all of these topics in recent issues of this publication. You will also gain influence in your marketplace and opportunities for speaking, joint venture partnerships with other authorities, and more will readily present themselves to you. These, in turn, increase authority further and open other doors.

Authority marketing is one of the most powerful strategies to differentiate yourself from all of your competitors. If you aren’t actively working on creating your business around becoming a local celebrity and being perceived as the ‘go-to’ authority in your field, you are missing a huge opportunity. What are your thoughts on this?

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New Rules for Online Marketing – Podcast

Online Marketing Tips Podcast

new rules for online marketingAre you new to the world of being an online entrepreneur? Starting an Internet business is the way to time freedom and financial freedom and great success in your life, and you need help to get there quickly. That’s why I started this online marketing tips podcast for my community way back in 2012.

This podcast and these online marketing tips are intended to teach you how you can take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my very Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. Each session is first recorded live as a teleseminar, and then repurposed into a podcast to extend my reach to the world. Please join my list to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come!

New Rules for Online Marketing

During this training I share my thoughts on what is working today on the Internet. We must constantly learn and stay abreast of the latest changes, and that is why I wanted to devote this training to what I refer to as the ‘New Rules for Online Marketing’. Whether you are brand new to this world of online entrepreneurship or have been working online for a period of time, you will benefit by listening to this call and taking some notes on what you can implement right away in your business.

Also, you can now pick up my popular training on winning affiliate contests and other online marketing tips for only seven dollars at Affiliate Contest Secrets. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been updated for 2014 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

Enjoy this New Rules for Online Marketing training. Be sure to leave your comments below so that I may get to know you better and to serve you as you continue your journey as an online entrepreneur.

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Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: A Plan For Business Success

author-publisher-entrepreneurWhen I decided to come online in 2006 it was so that I could leave my job as a classroom teacher and real estate broker/appraiser and work exclusively from home. I had no clue what I could do to serve others and build a business around, but I was willing to work hard and learn as much as I possibly could. I did just that, and with some guidance from trusted mentors the rest is history.

Becoming an Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur

It wasn’t until I had been online for about a year that I began meeting people who had been successful in their previous lives and wanted to bring their ideas, knowledge, and expertise online to serve people around the world that would be interested in and resonate with what they had to offer. One of the first things I observed them doing was writing books on their topic. Many of them had already authored one or more books, so this was a natural progression.

This was a completely new way of thinking for me, and it wasn’t until 2010 that I wrote and published my first book. That book, Huge Profits with a Tiny List, changed my life in so many ways. I was now perceived as an authority and an expert in my niche, and my income skyrocketed as I was asked to speak at marketing and other events, was sought out to offer high level coaching programs, and was encouraged to create products and courses around the topics I had written about.

This was such a successful strategy that I began to write more books on more specific areas I was an expert in, such as article marketing, membership sites, and affiliate marketing. I am currently working on my tenth book, due out in just a couple of months. But here is where it gets really interesting.

If you are creating content on your topic with the goal of selling it as eBooks, books on Kindle, and paperbacks, consider publishing it yourself. I started my own small publishing company, Hunter’s Moon Publishing, to do this more easily, and you can then purchase a block of ISBNs (International Standard Book Number) so that each book or audio book is connected directly to you and your company. Making this leap from content creator to author and publisher gives you a unique perspective on your topic and brings thought leaders to your doorstep.

Within each of my books I begin to teach a course on my topic. You may have heard that you don’t make much money from simply writing books; it’s in teaching what you’ve written about that the true income potential is revealed. There is some truth to this, so I have always taught my books as a course that is turned into a product. This is the basis for my online entrepreneurship and you can easily adopt this strategy.

So now you see the connection and natural progress of going from author to publisher to entrepreneur. The final piece of this is creation information products that are directly related to your books. For example, my first book is based on the idea that you can still get to six figures and above long before your list grows to ten thousand names. Creating an information product on really simple list building strategies just makes sense. Are you following my thinking on this?

Take a look at what you’re currently doing online. Write and publish a book on it and then create a series of related info products. Oh, the places you’ll go with this online marketing strategy.

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Getting Started With A Blog For Your Business

getting started with a blog for your businessGetting started with a blog for your business is a worthwhile use of your time and effort. Choosing a blogging platform is the first step in getting started. I highly recommend that you go with a ‘hosted’ site, rather than one that is on a free platform. The one used by the majority of people working online is WordPress.org.

The hosted option eliminates the hassle of finding a host for your blog as the company takes care of that for you.  This option would cost you a monthly or annual fee.  I’ve used both Blue Host and Host Gator to host my WordPress sites, but have now switched over to Liquid Web for all of my blog hosting because of recent changes in service and performance with those larger companies.

What you want to completely avoid is a free blogging platform, such as WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, or Blogger.com. I compare this to setting up a lemonade stand on the corner as opposed to leasing a space in the mall. You’re setting up a blog for your business, not for a hobby that may go by the wayside in the future.

WordPress.org is the other blog platform you should know, which is a standalone option.  If you are already hosting some of your websites with a web host, WordPress.org is ideal for you.  Not only is WordPress.org free for unlimited use, but it is the best-supported blog platform there is.  For ultimate control of your blog, this is as good as it gets.  It is the blog platform of choice of today’s savviest bloggers.

Visit the sites I’ve mentioned above and if you’re going for the hosted option, simply sign-up for an account and you’ll be ready to start blogging immediately. It’s truly a simple process to set up WordPress through your hosting account, and they will be happy to help you to do it quickly and easily.

Choosing a Name for Your Blog

If you already own a website, you understand the significance of choosing a good domain name.  A good domain name not only enhances the branding of your business and makes it easy for your readers to share with others.

If your blog is going to play a significant role in your business, then spend some time choosing the right domain name for it.  People tend to remember memorable domain names that end with a dot com to spread it around easier. I recommend using GoDaddy as the registrar for all of your domains. I currently own almost six hundred domains and appreciate how they are handled through this company.

Choosing a Template / Theme for Your Blog

With the free platforms like Blogger.com and WordPress.com, the need to hire a Web designer is eliminated.  These options already have blog templates (often called “themes”) ready for use.  Just pick a design that works well with the theme of your business and get ready to start blogging. The downside to this is that there is only so much you can do to alter its look and feel.  What you see is what you get.

With WordPress.org however, you’re free to hire a Web Designer to design the style of your blog from the ground up.  There are no limitations to what you can do with your design.  There are WordPress.org templates that are also freely given away by the WordPress community with no strings attached.  You have full rights to grab any of these templates and alter them to suit the theme of your business blog.  If you need a recommendation for someone to help you set up a WordPress blog that’s exactly what you are thinking of, contact me and I’ll give you some names of the people that have helped me with my sites.

You can search on Google “Wordpress themes” and you’ll get a variety of sites to choose from.  One of the more popular ones is found at http://themes.wordpress.net.  

 

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Is Blogging a Challenge for You?

blogging challengeIn 2009 I started the 30 Day Power Blogging Challenge. The idea caught on and I repeated it two more times before deciding that others should carry on their own version of the Blog Challenge. There are now so many blogging challenges I have lost count. There’s even one for therapists to get them started with blogging! Every time I see another one pop up I smile, knowing that my original idea was innovative and continues to help so many people.

So, What Is A Blog?

A blog, or web-log as it was originally called, is an online diary or collection of thoughts and ideas.  But actually it is much more sophisticated than that.  Your blog is a website that publishes your entries, known as posts in reverse chronological order, with the most recent post shown first, at the top of the page. Readers are also able to comment and share their own blog’s information so that the conversation around any topic becomes an interactive one.

But the true beauty of having a blog lies in its simplicity.  There is no need for you to learn HTML code or web design, otherwise needed to operate a traditional website.   You can also update your blog via any Internet connection, whether you are on another continent or even using your smart phone.

Setting up a blog can take as little as thirty minutes and then you’re ready to publish your content.  It’s honestly that easy.  This is definitely a skill worth having.

How Is Blogging Applicable To My Business?

The ease of publishing your content on a blog makes it a perfect marketing vehicle for any type of business, online or offline.  Whether you are working from home or are the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, blogging on a regular basis will enhance your marketing strategy.

Blogging Is The Single Most Important Activity You Will Engage In To Build A Lucrative Online Business

I’ve always said that your blog is your ‘Home on the Internet’. It becomes the ‘face’ of your business that prospects can identify with and become a part of through comments and the ability to join your list. These days we all like to be a part of the conversation and actively participate in the conversation. it is typical that a new reader will leave a comment on one of my posts and then join my list, prompting me to take a look at their site and reciprocate in some way. That’s the beginning of a relationship in my mind.

Huge corporations and entities like General Motors, IBM, Huffington Post, and Microsoft have set up blogs to effectively market their services or products as a cost-effective way of communicating quickly with their prospects and current customers.  By providing a venue for people to talk about their product, companies can easily find out what they really want and then tailor their products and services accordingly.  This ongoing virtual conversation between the company and the customer has dramatically cut costs and increased revenue because they receive first-hand research information at almost no cost to them. It’s the perfect way to get instant feedback.

If you are an online entrepreneur working from home, the same strategies apply.  Use your blog to:

  • Build relationships with people who are interested in what you do
  • Provide relevant content on your niche topic
  • Find new readers and prospects through your keywords
  • Establish trust with your prospects while gaining credibility
  • Create deeper awareness about what you have to offer
  • Test new ideas and research your market by encouraging your readers and to participate in discussions

Are you blogging regularly, or is it a challenge for you? I’d love to hear from you and take a look at your blog, so please leave a comment below.

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The New Normal for Business: Having an Online Presence

Online-PresenceHaving An Online Presence

Once upon a time it was possible to start a business and become successful without the help of the Internet. Those days are long gone as we enter the age of online marketing, visibility and credibility as a way to build a prosperous business with a future. This is now the new ‘normal’ and those who understand the importance of having an online presence will be far more likely to prosper.

Crystal wrote to me to ask for help with her newly launched interior design business. She began offering her services to clients during the summer of 2013 and wants to know if she must spend money on a website and get involved with social media to grow her business as quickly as possible. The answer is yes, as an online presence is absolutely necessary if you are going to compete in your industry alongside people who ‘get it’ when it comes to online marketing and sales.

This doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as you know what to do and how to do it, which I will explain in detail here. And, coupled with more traditional marketing and offline methods can almost guarantee that you will have the very best chance of success.

First, have someone set up a WordPress site for you, using a domain for your business. This may be your actual business name, your name, or a name that includes your industry and location, such as interiordesignsantaclarita.com or santaclaritainteriordesign.com. Both of these domains were available as of this writing, which just goes to show that you will be ahead of much of your competition if you follow what I am sharing here.

Next, start creating content on your topic in the form of written materials, audio recordings, and short (under five minutes is optimal) videos that you can share with your prospects and current clients and customers, as well as with family and friends. Many businesses, such as Crystal’s interior design company lend themselves well to this, while others take a little more creativity to build interest.

Add your content to your new website as blog posts, to article directories such as http://SubmitMoreArticles.com, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest), within your email newsletter, and in a short report you can make available on Amazon. Start an Internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio and add your ‘show’ (it can be five minute segments if you wish) to iTunes as a podcast. Start a channel on YouTube using your company’s name and upload your videos there on a regular basis.

Be sure to add an optin box to the upper right-hand corner of your website, using a service such as Aweber (http://ConnieLoves.me/Aweber gets you started for just one dollar) to stay in regular contact with your prospects and clients.

Now it’s time to tell the world what you are doing through press releases, live appearances, and traditional print advertising. I use a service called WebWire (http://WebWire.com) to send press releases inexpensively – about twenty-five dollars each as of this writing – and they will be distributed far and wide to help you get the word out about what you do and how you can help others by doing it.

Have fun with live appearances by offering to speak at local meetings such as Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, and any trade shows that are appropriate to your business. Have a one page flyer and a business card ready to give out, and be sure to collect the names and email addresses of those who show interest in your business.

And do not forget about traditional advertising and marketing. The publications you reguarly is the first place to start.  It is my belief that the people who are serious about doing business locally will always begin with a local publication to connect with people who can do what they need done.

Educate all of the members of your business team about the importance of having a website and creating relevant content. Work on increasing your online presence and your business will thrive and prosper in 2014 and beyond.

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