The Productivity Challenge for 2013 has begun! For the third year in a row I am hosting another productivity challenge during the spring for you to get moving forward in your online business. If you’d like to take a look at last year’s productivity challenge, it’s on my other blog at this link.
We began on April 1, 2013 and will continue throughout the entire month with this challenge. You may join us at any time; simply leave a comment to introduce yourself to the group.
What Exactly Is A Productivity Challenge?
This is where I post to my blog every day for at least 21 days in a row (for 2013 it will be a 30 day challenge) to share the thinking, activities, and tasks you need to be implementing in your life and in your business to become a successful online entrepreneur. I like to do it in the spring of the year so that you are ready to be open to new ideas and new ways of building a profitable business.
Productivity Challenge Day 1 – Today I would like for you to find three blogs on your niche topic. Make it a goal to read their posts, to leave comments, and to connect with the authors of these sites. What are they doing that is similar to what you are doing? How are they different? Learn as much as you can about these people and their sites and make some notes on what you like the most about them, as well as what does not appeal to you. We all learn by observing, implementing, and reflecting on what others are doing. This is also the beginning of connecting with colleagues with the idea of having Joint Venture partners in the future.
Productivity Challenge Day 2 – Let’s talk about delegating and outsourcing. I am able to be super productive each and every day because I no longer spend time with activities and tasks that can be best done by others. If you think about it, you’ll see that you most likely already delegate or outsource many things in your life, such as getting your hair cut, repairing your car, or having your shoes repaired. There are some things that you absolutely must handle yourself, such as going to the dentist or getting a manicure, but other things are best done by the people who specialize in that area. This is an example of how I got started with this in a major way:
- A friend of mine used to be a travel agent before her son was born. Several years ago she asked me if she could book my flights when I went to events around the country, and now she has done this for me exclusively since 2009. We bartered for this service during the first year, and since then she has been a part-time independent contractor in my business.
- I write lots of articles. Seriously, LOTS of articles! I love writing them, but submitting them to the directories was tedious for me. A family member began doing it for me for three dollars per article, and now I have two people who do this as part of their work for me as Virtual Assistants.
- When I return from out of town (I travel every few weeks for business or pleasure) I like to have a few perishable food items waiting for me. I have a wonderful lady who lives in my neighborhood who does some shopping for me the day before I return. When I walk through the door I know that fresh strawberries, ripe bananas, Greek yogurt, and a few other delicious treats await me. She also goes to the post office, drops off and picks up dry cleaning, and waters the plants for me, working about ten hours each month in total.
These are just a few examples of what other people can do for you to help you in your life and with your business. Running errands can eat up a sizable chunk of your time, so this is crucial to becoming a successful online entrepreneur.
Today I want you to choose three activities or tasks that someone else can do for you, freeing up some of your time to work on your business. Let us know what things those are and how you will handle the delegation/outsourcing right away.
Day 3 – List building is an activity you must engage in on a daily basis as an online entrepreneur. This starts with having multiple ways for people to join your list. Your hosted WordPress blog is typically the first site you set up, so make sure there is an optin box where visitors can exchange their name and email for your free giveaway.
Next, set up an optin page that caters to a specific group of prospects. This should be a stand-alone page, where visitors have only two choices; opt in or leave. You can see an example of that at my Viral Report Marketing site.
How many sites do you own and control where your prospects may join your list? I currently have almost fifty of these, but it all begins with the first one. Share one of your optin pages with us here by leaving a comment.
Productivity Challenge Day 4 – It’s wonderful to see so many readers participating in the challenge! Congratulations on making the commitment to jump start your online business with this 30 day productivity challenge.
Let’s talk about earning some income if you are just getting started. Affiliate marketing is the way many people get started, but even before you recommend other people’s products and services you can offer your own services to others. As soon as I learned how to set up WordPress sites I started doing it for a fee for people who wanted a custom site without having to pay for it. I continue to do this when someone signs up for hosting through my affiliate link. You can see how I’ve set this up by taking a look at this page.
What can you do right now that others will be willing to pay you for? Here are some ideas:
- Submit articles to the directories
- Proofread articles, blog posts, eBooks, and books for Kindle
- Set up and post to social media sites
- Create simple graphics
- Contact potential JV (joint venture) partners
- Set up interviews for Internet radio shows and podcasts
- Transcribe audio recordings
- Rewrite PLR (private label rights) content
These are just a few ideas of ways you can earn money from work that is done online; there are even more ideas for offline work. Be creative with your thinking and see what you come up with. Much of the work I am describing here falls under the heading of being a Virtual Assistant; you may end up loving it and decide to continue doing it on a part-time basis as you build your business.
Please share how you are earning some money on the Internet right now while you are learning to become a full time online entrepreneur.
Day 5 – Continuing education is crucial to success, and every profession requires it. As an entrepreneur, take it upon yourself to be an ongoing learner. Reading is the best place to get started with your business education, and I have created a Productivity Reading List to share which books I am reading. I read physical books and books on my Kindle, and listen to audio books while walking, driving, or flying.
You will also want to frequent your local public library to find books and audio books, as I describe in greater detail in this post on online marketing research.
You will also want to participate in online trainings such as this one, attend live events, and work with a Mentor to further your business continuing education.
Be willing to devote thirty minutes each day to reading and learning. Please leave a comment to share your favorite business books and other ways of learning more about becoming an online entrepreneur.
Day 6 – We’ve been discussing many things that are crucial to your online success, but today we need to get back to the basics of what you must have in place if you are going to earn money as an entrepreneur.
The very first thing is your hosted, WordPress site. This is your ‘home on the internet’ where others can find out who you are, what you do, and how you may serve them.
On Day 4, above, I explained how I do this at no cost to you, so if you still do not have a site you own and control you must stop what you’re doing and get that set up. A site on Blogger or Weebly is not a site you own, so take that into consideration if you want to build a profitable business for yourself.
Day 7 – Before we go any further, I’d like for you to log in to the autoresponder service you are using and get to know it better. I use both Aweber (get started for only $1) and Kick Start Cart (it’s a licensed version of 1 Shopping Cart) to send my autoresponder and broadcast emails. I use both systems so that I am able to have greater control over my business, but you do not need to do this during your first year or so online. I also pay for an advanced tool to allow me to do things with my list that make it much easier for me to segregate separate lists and to change subscribers from one list to another, features that are typically only found in much more expensive systems.
If you’re just starting out, I recommend that you use Aweber to set up your first, or next, autoresponder sequence. Spend some time today clicking on everything in the tool bar. This is how you get to know just what is available and how powerful this software is when it comes to building a profitable online business.
Refuse to allow yourself to get caught up in the details of which service is best or how much it will cost each month (I pay by the year to save even more money). If you could spend a hundred dollars to earn ten thousand dollars, would you be worrying about how to save an additional twenty dollars? Of course not! That’s referred to by entrepreneurs and small business owners as ‘majoring in the minors’, which means getting bogged down in the details and minutiae. Rise above that and move profitably forward.
If you already have a site, tell us where it is so we can take a look. Tomorrow we’ll be talking about your free giveaway, so if you already have one set up opt into your list again and see what it’s like for your prospects to do the same. Read over your free giveaway to see how you may want to change it.
Productivity Challenge Day 8 – Today we want to focus on the free giveaway you are offering in exchange for someone giving you their name and email to join your list. Long gone are the days when we would opt in to someone’s list just to receive a newsletter or updates. Instead, we all want to receive something so irresistible we just can’t say no!
The most popular way to compel new prospects to join your list is to offer them a short report on the exact topic they are looking for. This may take you some time to figure out, but once you do then it is just a matter of time before your list grows quickly.
You will also use the same short report as a free giveaway to your social media community, to add to a membership site, and to send as a free gift to the people already on your list. The idea is to repurpose your content over and over again, getting your name out in a big way and building your credibility. Learning how to write and share this reports will change your business forever. I have an excellent training on How to Write Short Reports, and you may pick it up for only $17 by using the coupon code profit. That’s a twenty dollar discount.
I write at least two new short reports each month. Today I’m writing one that Marlon Sanders will be using as a bonus for his new product. When the word gets out that you are able to write short reports on your topic, you will be in high demand.
Another way to repurpose your short reports is to turn them into books for Kindle.
For the purposes of your free giveaway, these reports need only be abut five to seven pages long.
Day 9 – ‘What’s For Sale?’ Today let’s discuss making money online. The question you must ask yourself each day is ‘What do I have available for sale on the Internet?’ This means that in order to make money while you sleep, which I do every day, you must have opportunities available for people to find you, click on your links and make a purchase.
If I sat in front of my computer today, credit card or PayPal info in hand, how could I make purchases of your own products or affiliate products where you would earn money? I currently have at least five thousand opportunities available, and I continue to add more each day.
May a list of every place you can think of where there are links that belong to you. Start with your blog and see what number you can come up with. This is what I explain in the Special Report I just created for Marlon Sanders’ new WP Leads and Sales Dashboard.
Share your thoughts with us here so that we can discuss it further. Continue reading