Month: February 2011

Service-Based Businesses You Can Start from Home

There are a lot of people all over the world making a good living by providing quality services online. Here are five examples of service-based businesses you can start from home.

1) Content Writer

A content writer writes articles, blog posts and informational reports for website owners who choose to outsource their content creation.

Generally a content writer will make between $3 and $12 per article, depending on experience. To start, you may only be able to do one or two articles per hour, but in time you’ll be able to do three to four in an hour, for up to $40+ an hour.

2) Graphic Designer

A graphic designer’s job is to come up with designs that look great. They can design for web or for print. Jobs may be for logos, for brochures, for site layouts and any number of other things.

A graphic designer can make anywhere from $10 an hour initially to $80+ an hour after a few years of experience.

3) Website Builder

A website builder’s primary skill set is not design, but the ability to put together great web pages in a short period of time.

The primary skills you need to know are CSS and HTML, plus the basic principles of design.

Unless you’re incorporating high-end design with your website-building skills, you’ll generally be making $200 to $500 per site, which would usually take less than a day to build.

4) Link Builder for Site Owners

Website owners who want to rank well in search engines often outsource their link building.

Link building usually entails submitting sites to directories, creating Squidoo lenses, spinning articles, creating forum and blog posts, among many other techniques.

Depending on how much value you can bring to clients, you can make anywhere between $5 an hour to $40+ an hour through building links for clients.

5) Online Personal Assistant

Business owners often times want to have PAs to answer their phones, respond to emails and handle their personal lives. Instead of paying $3,000 a month or more to hire a full-time in-office PA, business owners often choose to hire an online personal assistant instead.

The beauty of being an online PA is that you can generally manage several different clients at once. Although each client won’t pay you as much as you’d make if you were working full time, combined the income can be quite good.

How much you can make per client really varies depending on where you get your clients from. If you get your clients from eLance or Guru, you can expect to make $300 to $600 per client. If you get your clients through personal relationships and recommendations, you could make a lot more.

These are just five examples of service-based businesses you can start from home. If you find a business you love and build a solid client base, you can be making very, very good money in just a few months’ time.

How to Write Successful PPC Ads

Matt Levenhagen's campaign  blasts methodWriting successful PPC ads takes a combination of proven techniques, creativity and meticulous testing. Here’s how to write PPC ads that get high CTRs and conversions.

The Starting Point

The easiest place to start is to simply emulate your competitor’s advertising style.

If you’re in a market with a fair amount of competition, chances are your competitors have already spent thousands of dollars testing what converts and what doesn’t. Why start over?

In general, copying the general principles behind your competitors’ ads is a good starting point. The downside to doing this is that your ad looks like everyone else’s ad and don’t stand out.

The idea is to use this as a starting point and then test out ads that stand out from there.

Taking Advantage of Keyword Bolding

Whenever an ad has the exact keyword in the ad text, that ad is bolded. For example, if you type in “campaign blast,” ads with the exact text “campaign blast” will be bolded. So, having the exact ad text in as much of your ad as possible is a good idea.

The best way to do this is to do one keyword per ad group. This will allow you to write a different ad for every keyword, which means every time someone types in their search term, they’ll see their full keyword bolded in your ad.

One keyword per ad group is easy to do if and only if you use AdWords Editor and Excel to create your ads. If you use the online interface, it will take far too long to be practical.

Things That Stand Out

One simple way to stand out is to use either symbols or specific numbers.

For example, which stands out more?

New York movies
Movies @ New York

The latter, naturally.

Another thing that stands out is specific numbers. Which of the below stands out more?

Increase Opt In 20%!
Avg. Opt In Up by 19.7%!

The latter – because it seems more real and precise, rather than a generic claim.

Use symbols and specific numbers wherever possible. Little things like these can drastically increase conversions.

Split Test Meticulously

Nobody is asking you to write a superstar ad right from the get go. Even the best players in PPC can’t do that. The idea is to throw wildly different ideas against the wall until you have a clear winner. None of your ads should look remotely similar in the beginning.

Once you have a clear winner on the specific style of ad, then start refining the ad by split testing different words, punctuations, call to actions, capitalizations, etc.

A mediocre copywriter who is meticulous about split testing will do better in the long run than a great copywriter who’s sloppy about split testing.

Here’s the bottom line: Start out by copying the general principles behind what others are doing. Split test wildly different ideas, with an emphasis on things that make your ad stand out. Sooner or later, you’ll have an ad that’s a clear winner. When you do, refine it to get the highest CTRs and conversions possible.

If you want to skip all the mistakes and bad decisions most people do when they start PPC, check out Matt Levenhagen’s Campaign Blasts Report. He is taking it off the market at the end of the month, so don’t postpone it, or you’ll lose.

How to Choose an Autoresponder Service

AWeber - Email Marketing Made Easy

Autoresponders are a must have for every internet marketer. However, not all autoresponders are created equally. Some offer more than others, and some are quite expensive. If you don’t need the bells and whistles, your money is probably better spent elsewhere. Choosing the right autoresponder for your business needs is important.

How Many People Are on Your List?

Many autoresponder services are free until your list reaches a certain number. For example, they might be free to use until you have 1000 subscribers. They then charge a fee per 500 or 1000 subscribers. So you’ll pay the same amount whether you have 1100 or 1900 subscribers. Once you go over 2000, then you hit the next fee level.

While you may be comfortable with the first few fee tiers, look ahead. Make sure the fees for that large list you’re going to grow won’t be exorbitant. Make sure the per subscriber fee makes sense for your business and your budget.

How Customizable Is It?

Some autoresponder services are very basic. Others seem to be infinitely customizable. Being able to customize the look and feel of your email messages helps brand. However, you might not need all those bells and whistles. Take a look at what you really need to grow your email list and profit. Then compare services based on those features.

Does It Offer the Features You Need?

Some autoresponder services are newsletters only. Others offer the ability to deliver digital files. Outline the purpose for your AR. Make a list of the things you need it to be able to accomplish. Do you need to deliver files with your autoresponder? If so, then look for one that has that capability.

Is the Autoresponder Compliant?

It’s important for the reputation of your business to be CAN-SPAM compliant. Most AR services respect that need. They offer the email list management tools and features to ensure you’re compliant. However, it pays to double check. Make sure they offer automatic unsubscribe. Make sure they also offer a double opt-in procedure.

Is It Easy to Use?

Take a look at some autoresponder interfaces and you feel as if you need a tech degree. They can be quite confusing. Others are simple and straightforward. Make sure, before you pay good money, that the interface is easy to use. Take a free trial. Watch the video demonstrations. If you need help or have questions, call customer service.

Finally, triple check the reputation of the service. You want to make sure the autoresponder service has a good reputation. You want to make sure they have good customer service. And you want to ensure they’re going to be around ten years from now. To your success!

No list yet? Check out these quick reports to learn how to grow your list.

List Building Renegade

Easy Autoresponder Cash

Free Niche Research: Chainsaws

It’s almost spring, and this means that soon people everywhere will  need to stat cleaning up  backyards, pruning trees, cutting down dead branches, etc. So, let’s see if we can help them and profit at the same time. Today we are going to research chainsaws.

Top 10 Highest Paying Keywords (from the Google keyword tool)
electric chainsaw sharpeners $3.72

used chainsaws for sale $2.73

makita chainsaws $2.38

husky chainsaw $2.25

chainsaw sawmill $1.95

husqvarna chainsaw parts $1.73

concrete chainsaw $1.67

husqvarna chainsaws for sale $1.58

husqvarna chainsaws $1.50

makita electric chainsaw $1.47

Top 10 Most Searched Keywords (all phrases are exact matches in Google)

stihl chainsaws 27,100

husqvarna chainsaws 6,600

chainsaw reviews 5,400

poulan chainsaw parts 5,400

homelite chainsaw parts 4,400

echo chainsaw 3,600

jonsered chainsaws 2,900

chainsaw sharpener 1,900

how to sharpen a chainsaw 1,900

dolmar chainsaw 1,600


One of the best places to research this will be garden/home maintenance forums, but there are also magazines, manufactures documentation and friends/neighbors who operate one of these chainsaws.

Possible Affiliate Programs

There are lots of merchants at  CJ & SAS, but  don’t forget Amazon .

Monetization Suggestions

If you like writing , a content site would be excellent: AdSense pays well.

Don’t just do content though: do some in-depth reviews and link to your merchants with an affiliate link.

Here are some .com domains available for this niche now:

Here are some .org domains available:

And some .net ones:

P.S. Check out these guides to learn how to create lots of traffic for your new site/s:

Article Marketing 365

Non Stop Viral Traffic

Quick Site Indexer (free)

Free and Cheap Traffic

Traffic and Leverage

FREE Quality Traffic

What Is Split Testing and Why Is It Important

Split testing is the practice of continually improving your website incrementally over time.

The way it works is you create two or more versions of the page you want to test, each one slightly different than the other. You “split” your traffic between these two versions and see which one performs better.

For example, if you’re selling a dog leash you might split test two different images: One of a dog on a leash, another of a pet owner who’s smiling.

After testing the images, you might find that surprisingly the pet owner smiling brings in more sales than the dog on a leash picture.

Instead of just creating a site and hoping that it sells, split testing allows you to increase your conversions over time.

Types of Split Testing: A/B Tests and Multi-Variable Tests

There are primarily two different types of tests you can conduct: A/B tests and multi-variable tests.

A/B tests are the tests we talked about above, where you test two different sites and see which performs better. It’s called A/B because there are two sites, one called A and the other called B.

The other type of test is called multi-variable testing. It’s a type of testing where you test many variables at once and use software to mathematically figure out the best combination of variables.

For example, you might test the headline, the layout, the picture, the price and the order button – All at the same time. The software will tell you which is the best combination of all the data.

Multi-variable testing is generally used only once you have a lot of traffic.

For our purposes, we’ll go over how to run A/B tests in this report.

What Should You Split Test?

There are a few things that affect conversions more than anything else. Start by testing these factors, then test less important factors later.

The Price

The price will often affect your conversions more than anything else. Should you charge $20, $40, $80 or $100? The only way to really know is to test it.

Be careful when testing prices. Generally you want to test it only for a limited time, or else you’ll be sending mixed messages to your market about what your price is.

If someone buys a product and later realizes someone else paid less, always refund the difference for them.


Next to the price, the headline is often the highest impact factor to test.

The headline’s main job is to capture the reader’s attention and get them to keep reading. It’s their first impression to your website.

If you spend 50% of your copywriting time on your headline, that’s time well spent. Split testing your headline can have very, very dramatic results.

The Layout/Design

The layout speaks to your users emotionally, non-verbally. By layout/design, I mean things like: font color, font size, width of the page, background color, etc.

Studies have shown that certain layouts can increase conversions quite drastically in certain markets, while reducing conversions in others.

For example, red headlines tend to work great in markets that aren’t heavily marketed to.

In markets like marketing, weight loss and dating tips however, people are so sick of seeing red headlines that a red headline actually reduces conversions. Instead, a deep blue headline which builds trust actually tends to convert best in these low-trust high-competition markets.

Each market is different. After you’ve tested your price and headline, start testing your layout to see what converts best.

Shopping Cart Dropout Rate

One thing marketers often forget to split test is the shopping cart’s drop out rate. In other words, once someone clicks “buy” what percentage of them actually completes the transaction?

Online, the drop off rate can be as high as 50% or more. With split testing, marketers have been able to cut down their shopping cart drop off rate by as much as half, effectively doubling their income.

The main things to split test in this area are:

1) Making sure the shopping cart page looks like the rest of the site, so a buyer doesn’t feel like they left your site when they hand over their credit card.

2) Safety. This is perhaps the #1 factor to lowering shopping cart dropoff. If you can help your customers feel safe giving you their credit card, they’re much more likely to be willing to pay.

3) Symbols like the “BBB Certified” symbol, “128 Bit Encryption” symbol and the “Hacker Safe” symbol have all been proven to increase conversion.

What is “Statistically Significant” Data?

One word that you’ll often hear in conjunction with split testing is “statistically significant data.” What does that mean?

It basically means you have enough data to know that if the test continued indefinitely, the results will be similar.

For example, if you flipped a coin 5 times and you got 4 heads and 1 tails, it would not be accurate to say that you’ll get tails 1/5 times by flipping a coin if you did it 1,000 times.

You just haven’t flipped the coin enough times to get statistically significant data.

On the other hand, if you run an A/B split test and find that out of 5,000 impressions one made 100 sales and another made 20, you have enough data to know that #1 will outperform #2 if you gave it a million impressions.

Any time you’re split testing, you want to make sure you have enough data that you’re getting statistically significant data. Meaning you have enough results to know that the data will stay constant when it’s scaled up.

1 2