Welcome, fellow online entrepreneurs! This is the fourth annual training and Productivity Challenge to help you get started with a lucrative business on the Internet. This is where I share my experience and knowledge with you on how to build a profitable online business from your home computer, or from wherever in the world you happen to be. Over the next thirty days we will explore the steps to online success and the actions that will get you there.
Productivity Challenge 2014
Day 1 – Google yourself and see what you find. For example, when I Google “connie ragen green” using the Firefox browser I see there are about two hundred thousand results. I then scroll through the first three pages and see what is considered by Google to be the most relevant search results when someone is looking for more information about me.
Do this for your own name and share your results with us here.
Day 2 – Now that you know where you stand with the search engine results, let’s discuss how you will build your online marketing platform. First, decide which business model(s) will best suit your needs. These are some of the most lucrative ones:
- Information products
- Authorship (Kindle and paperback)
- Affiliate marketing
- Physical products (Amazon)
- Local business marketing
- Niche sites/Membership sites
- Providing your services to others
Since coming online in 2006 I have earned income with each of these models, but I currently focus on mentoring, physical products, affiliate marketing, and authorship/speaking as my primary focus in my business. Over time you can pick and choose in this way, but for now choose only two or three to get your online business off the ground.
Leave a comment to share what you are doing and to ask any questions you may have at this time in the Productivity Challenge.
Day 3 – Your hosted WordPress blog is your ‘Home on the Internet’ and is crucial to your success as you continue your journey as an online entrepreneur. I highly recommend posting twice a week, every week for at least the first year, and then once a week thereafter. I have two main sites, this one and Huge Profits Tiny List. They have served me well as my business grows.
Please share your site with us and we will come take a look and leave a comment. This will give you a powerful backlink and connect you with many other like-minded individuals you will be able to build relationships with over these next thirty days and longer. If you do not have your site set up properly right now, I’ll be sharing more about how I am willing to do it for you.
This all begins with purchasing a domain name (preferably a dot com) and hosting (I recommend a Storm VPS account) that can be used for all of your sites. This is an important part of your business, so don’t cut corners here.
You’ll also need to get started with an autoresponder service, if you don’t have one already. I recommend using Aweber, and you can get started for only one dollar for the first month by going here. They have excellent tutorials and customer service to make it as simple as possible to get started with building your list.
Day 4 – Let’s discuss how you can go about creating your free giveaway to ask people to opt in to your list. There are three ways to go about this and I’ll go into more detail about each one.
- Creating your own short report, audio, or video – I tend to do this for my own free giveaways because I love to create original content that shares the essence of what I am teaching online.
- Using PLR (private label rights) – this technique is faster, and I will recommend this site because their content is well written and complete.
- Using other people’s content on your topic – this method involves searching for content on the article directories and putting it together into a short report. Make sure to leave the resource box intact so that the original author receives full credit.
When you leave a comment here, let us know your favorite way of creating free giveaways for your blog ad opt in pages. If you are using audio or video, tell us more about that as well.
Day 5 – Allowing your prospects and customers to hear your voice is the next best thing to meeting them face to face. That’s why I recommend that you get started hosting your own teleseminars right away and then turn them into a podcast.
I began hosting weekly calls back in 2007, and no one attended live for the first couple of months. I refused to be disappointed by this, and instead continued to speak about the various aspects of my topic at the same time and place each week. Over time I had created quite a bit of content and I then repurposed it into blog posts, articles, short reports, online courses, and more.
Finally word got out that I had something to share that was valuable for people wanting to get started with an online business. I was thrilled to have so many people on my calls and my income increased steadily over time.
Almost three years ago I started repurposing these calls into a podcast over at iTunes. This is fairly simple to do using a free plugin called PodPress. I encourage you to subscribe to my podcast series here. Thousands of people from around the world download and listen to these calls, building my list when they come over to my site and opt in and increasing my income when they make a purchase.
Start with a 21 day trial of the teleseminar service for only one dollar. Record your first call as soon as possible. Leave a comment here and include a link to where we can hear your call. You may want to do something like I do with my Ask Connie Anything calls. If you have questions, ask them in your comment and I will answer every one.
Day 6 – It’s all about serving, and we must remember this if we are to build prosperous online businesses. In fact, any business you can think of only exists to serve others. I find that I serve people in my niche most effectively when I speak, share, and teach my topic in person. This is also the most rewarding for me on a daily basis.
My challenge to you today is to find a venue where you can speak about your topic. Some ideas for this where I have presented my topics include the Chamber of Commerce, service organizations such as Rotary or Kiwanis, churches, groups based on a specific topic such as real estate, private social clubs, and corporations that are training their employees and need outside teachers.
This must be related to your primary business, and not to a hobby that makes you little or no income. I have worked with several people over the years who have insisted on doing this, and the result is a drop in income that can seldom be recovered. Keep this strictly business and find other outlets for your creative and fun side.
Instead, think of this as a way to further position yourself as an expert and an authority in your field, leading to increased income over time. You never know who will be in the audience, and much of my corporate work came about from speaking to these groups locally.
Please share with us where you will be speaking, the topic you’ll be teaching on, and how you will follow up with the people who are there for your presentation. Your goal is to do this by the end of this 30 Day Productivity Challenge, if you aren’t doing it already.
Day 7 – Building a successful online business requires focus, dedication, and diligence with everything you do. One important aspect of this is visibility, and an excellent way to let the world know who you are and what you are doing is my writing articles that can be published on the article directories. I got started with the free ones and now use a paid distribution service called Submit More Articles. I recommend starting with a free account and then moving up to the Silver level as soon as possible. This is how I began to build my list with people who were interested in what I had to say about the topic of online marketing.
Once you have written and submitted some articles, put them together into short reports to give away and/or sell as information products. Be persistent with this method and your knowledge about your topic will grow exponentially. Let us know where we can find some of your articles or reports.
My articles published online are here and some of my reports are available to you at no cost on the main page of this site under the ‘Short Reports’ and ‘More Short Reports’ tabs on the menu bar.
Day 8 – When I started blogging back in 2006 I was truly writing to no one. It was months before anyone found my sites and even then they rarely left a comment. Now we know that commenting on other people’s blogs is an excellent way to connect with people, to market our own site, and to increase our own search engine ranking. Even if the blogs you comment on are using a ‘no-follow’ structure, each comment you make is still indexed on Google. That’s why I always sign my comments with my full name.
My challenge to you today is to leave a comment on a recent post from two other people actively participating in the Productivity Challenge. This is the beginning of your relationship with someone who could end up becoming a friend, an affiliate, or even a JV (joint venture) partner in the future. Let us know whose sites you visited and what the experience was like for you.
Day 9 – Today let’s talk about how you are gaining visibility on the channels that receive the most responsive traffic on the Internet – iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube. I discovered years ago that I would be able to reach the most people and have the greatest credibility as well if I began leveraging the power of books, recordings, and videos. My challenge to you today is to check out each of my channels and see how they can work for you as well. Also, if you are already on any of these, let us know about that as well.
iTunes – I have two podcasts available on iTunes. One is my Connie Ragen Green Online Business Success interview series and the other is my Online Marketing Tips trainings. Subscribe to both of these if you aren’t already, and leave me a review over at iTunes. These are simple to schedule and record and I have listeners around the world.
Amazon – Since 2010 I’ve been a bestselling author, and I currently have nine books (seven of my own and two co-written with a friend), several books I have compiled, and more than twenty books that I have contributed to. Take a look at my Author Page and see how I have done this to create a residual income stream as well as readers from countries all over the planet.
YouTube – We must be ready for our closeup! My YouTube channel is the place where I can show people my lifestyle and connect in a very different way than through my writing and audio recordings. Please subscribe to my channel to see what I’m doing there.
What about you? Can we find you as a published author, a podcaster, and a video trainer? What do you need from me in order to move forward with this?
Be sure to sign up for the Book Marketing Challenge as my guest. This will help you to become a bestselling author in record time.
Day 10 – Let’s get social! When I started online in 2006 social media was not yet a part of our lives. Facebook was still just for college students, LinkedIn was geared towards the corporate world, and Twitter was not even a gleam in anyone’s eye! Today that has all drastically changed, and you may find yourself caught up in the social media frenzy that sucks your time, distracts your focus, and sends you down rabbit holes when you read something of interest.
Instead, think of social media as a venue for marketing yourself and your business. Post something to one of your social media profiles that positions you as an expert in your field. Leave a comment here to let us know where we can have a look at what you have shared.
Day 11 – We’ve talked about content you create on your blog, comments you leave on other people’s blog, and now let’s discuss tracking back to someone’s blog within your own post. The way you do this is to write a blog post about the 30 Day Productivity Challenge and to link it back to the permalink (the permanent URL) for this post using the anchor text 30 day productivity challenge or connie ragen green productivity challenge. It is http://connieragengreen.com/productivity-challenge-2014/
Once you have done this I will receive notification and go over to comment on your blog post. When even small groups of people do this for each other the impact is huge, helping everyone who participates to expand their reach and increase their search engine ranking for prime keyword phrases. Please let me know if you are doing this type of tracking back already or of you need more help using this strategy to build your online business.
Day 12 – Now let’s take another look at your blog. Remember, this must be a hosted WordPress blog on your name domain or another domain that brands your business. You will see that I maintain two primary blogs; this one that bears my name and another one at Huge Profits Tiny List. I want to focus on your ‘About’ page today. Take a look at each of mine to get some ideas.
When people first visit your site they want to know more about the person behind the computer who is sharing information with them. Make sure your photograph is clearly visible (one that really looks like you!) and share something about yourself that will help the reader engage with you and resonate with your thoughts, tips, and ideas on your topic.
Give us the direct link to your ‘About’ page in the comments section of this post. For example, the direct link to my ‘About’ page on this site is http://connieragengreen.com/about/.
Day 13 – Today I’m going to ask the question that separates the entrepreneurs from those who are ‘trying’ to start a business online. The question is…’What’s for sale?‘
Several years ago I was helping a woman on my training webinar. She told our group that she just could not understand why she wasn’t earning any money online when she was working at least thirty hours each week on her business. I casually asked her what she was selling, and when she finally answered ‘Nothing, yet.’ it dawned on me that this was not an obvious question to new online entrepreneurs. You can’t earn money until someone makes a purchase, either directly of one of your products or services, or from someone else for whom you are an affiliate.
Many of the products you sell may belong to someone else and you are an affiliate. That’s the perfect place to begin. You may also be offering your services to others. Go back to Day 2 and review the different business models that are available to you.
Please share with us what you are selling online. Also, if you are an affiliate for me or someone else and you post the link on social media, this does not count as being in business. I’ll discuss more about this concept during the last few days of the Challenge.
Day 14 – Social media can be a huge boost to your business or a colossal waste of your time, depending upon your focus and goals. I chose to use the ‘Big Three’ sites – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – as a way to share my lifestyle, manage my reputation, and to attract the right people for me into my business inner circle. This has paid off handsomely over the past few years with an increase in business, connections with people I would have otherwise been unable to meet, and ideas for new products and courses based on my observations and discussions with other new online entrepreneurs.
LinkedIn has been the biggest boon to my business, and I recently expanded my network to include over sixteen million people! Twitter is an excellent place to stop by and share what you’re working on, and Facebook allows you to share your lifestyle with photos and videos right within your posts.
How are you using social media to grow your business? What are your biggest challenges? Note that I do all of this in fifteen minutes a day or less, and that much of it is automated so I don’t even have to show up most days.
Day 15 – Many of us doing business online today got our start by promoting other people’s products as an affiliate. I continue to recommend this as a way to ‘earn while you learn’ and recommend what you use and love. Are you an affiliate and earning money every month with this?
You can become an affiliate for me by signing up Continue reading