Friday, December 21, 2007

Get new course on blogging for fun and profit - for free!

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Viral Marketing: Basic Training Manual

by Michael Crozier

In the past,Viral Marketing and Guerrilla Marketing were used by only small, start-up businesses. Here's why they've now found their way into the marketing mix of Fortune 500 Companies along with guides on how to use them for your business.

Viral marketing is one of the ever emerging variations of guerilla marketing, a promotional strategy first made popular in 1984 by Jay Conrad Levinson in his best-selling book, Guerrilla Marketing.

Guerrilla marketing employs aggressive, non-traditional, low cost promotional activities to produce profits, rather than utilizing costly conventional media such as TV and magazine advertising. Like guerrilla warfare, it relies on timing, creativity, enthusiasm, energy, and of course, swift action.

These strategies and tactics make guerrilla marketing ideally suited for small start-up businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. Today, however, it's also used by mega-marketers, even Fortune 500 Companies, as part of their overall marketing plans.

Viral marketing is simply “word of mouth advertising” for the Internet Age. Although initially considered another guerrilla tool for small businesses, it has evolved to become an effective form of marketing for large companies too.

Like its traditional “word of mouth” counterpart, viral marketing encourages people to voluntarily pass on information about a product, service or company to their social and business contacts.

Conventional word of mouth advertising relies on telephone calls, snail mail, discussions at church socials or random conversations in the grocery store to spread testimonial endorsements. Customers become voluntary brand ambassadors and a free source of publicity. But that's pretty much where the similarity to traditional word of mouth advertising ends.

Viral marketing is designed for today's digital world and its diverse Internet-based social networks. Using today's high-speed technology to communicate with existing online communities, it has the power to reach a potential audience of millions with incredible speed. The effectiveness of viral marketing results from its ability to quickly and cleverly infiltrate these online social networks at little or no cost.

The viral campaign process is simple. A message with a strong, irresistible offer is developed and then passed along through the online community. It spreads the same way a human or computer virus does --- by ongoing contact. Once the message starts spreading, it's propagated and voluntarily passed along from person to person - often in a matter of just days.

One of the keys to success in any “word of mouth advertising” is the ability to identify “opinion leaders” to jump on the bandwagon and spread your message. Traditional “word of mouth” advertising identifies active members of the local community and have extensive “spheres of influence” they interact with frequently. These spheres are groups of social or business contacts that follow the trends the opinion leaders set and try products they endorse or use. Identifying these groups in traditional marketing is a relatively subjective process, time-consuming and a often unreliable process.

Viral marketers, however, can take a more scientific approach. To maximize the impact of their marketing they seek individuals with a high Social Networking Potential or SPN. This Social Networking Potential is an algorithmic representation of the size of a person's social network and their ability to influence it. (For those of us who had trouble with basic Algebra, an algorithm is a series of carefully defined successive steps that need to be completed in order to accomplish a specific task. Algorithms are also the basis of Google's search engine operations.)

A number of different factors enter the SNP equation. They include the number of online community memberships, blogging frequency, web sites visited, content of personal websites, online affiliates, number of articles published, job title, employer, and other relevant data. Once this demographic and lifestyle data is analyzed, a SNP coefficient is calculated and assigned to an individual or social networking group. This rating can then be used to pinpoint people and groups who are prime viral contact points.

Savvy marketers and advertising agencies are also developing their own unique ways of identifying prospects with strong social networks and communicating with them through viral campaigns. There are now also specialized viral marketing consultants and advertising agencies whose clients include Fortune 500 companies. This investment of time and money indicates viral marketing is finding its niche in corporate America.

Many viral marketers simply compile “seeding lists” of high-traffic websites and online communities whose visitors are strong social networkers. A typical example could include sites like,,, , and a wide range of others. There are specific social network sites that appeal to teenagers, college students, twenty-somethings, music groupies, parents, and even corporate executives. More sites like are emerging and developing a more broad based audience appeal. Today, there's an online social network for just about everyone.

Viral seeding lists aren't direct mail lists or email lists. Contrary to the belief of many mainstream marketers, viral communications are not confrontational or unsolicited. The objective is not to annoy prospects with “pop up boxes”, “ banner ads” or spam.

“Discovery” is what viral marketing is all about. The idea is to get a prospect to voluntarily find or discover and then interact with a communication containing an offer and branded content, and then pass it along to a friend. The communication could be a website, a video, music, a blog, a photo of the day, an advergame or other message. That's why they're “planted” on high traffic, highly targeted websites and portals, in news groups, bulletin boards forums and other online places where the right people will discover them and pass them along.“Flying under the radar” is critical to the success of viral advertising. Viral communications cannot appear to be ads. Members of online communities and web surfers in general have become more sophisticated and have developed “filtering systems” that screens out obvious hype. Viral communications need to be very subtle and carefully disguised and strategically planted so they can be found by the right prospects and passed along. The more subtle, friendly nature of viral advertising is what makes it so effective with individuals or market segments are non-responsive to traditional advertising. Viral marketing in this respect is quite similar to “PR”.

Very often, the offer in viral marketing is “Free”. It could be a free email account, a free web page, a free screensaver or wallpaper, free software, video or music downloads, a free magazine subscription, a free T Shirt or product sample. The big creative challenge is to make the free offer appear to be really free with no strings attached and not just another advertising gimmick.

Viral marketing is far more sophisticated that many traditional marketers or even guerrilla markets give it credit for. And an increasing number of large companies are finding a place in their promotional mix for viral marketing as well.

In order to be effective, viral marketing requires a carefully developed plan. The plan is no different that a traditional marketing plan. A basic plan includes:

Objectives: a clear outline of exactly what you want to accomplish
Strategies: a detailed plan of how you're going to it
Target Audience: the market segments you're trying to reach
Media: What social networks and online communities you're going to use
Creative Strategy- What are the formats, styles, tones and offers of the communications.
Budget - How much you plan to spend annually and how the money is allocated
Tracking and Results Analysis- How you measure the effectiveness of the campaign

One very effective way for any business to use viral marketing is to boost the effectiveness of a TV, print or direct response advertising campaign. It's a simple, low cost and very efficient means of increasing your advertising effectiveness. Viral campaigns can be “seeded” in targeted social network sites and online communities that will “discover” your message quickly and pass it along. The message very often reaches a potential audience of millions virtually overnight. Usually you can see measurable results and a “lift” in your advertising performance in a matter of days.

In presenting the idea of viral marketing to some clients, I've encountered some very strange and humorous misconceptions it. One very conservative client described viral marketing as a “pack of high school kids in garages, techno-geeks in basements and pornography merchants in seedy bedrooms sending out spam that will infect PCs everywhere with deadly computer viruses.” Wow! I never realized viral marketing is destined to bring about the downfall of online civilization as we know it today. Well, thank God I'm a MAC guy and immune to most dreaded viruses. Better abandon your PC right away and get yourself a MAC today!

Viral Marketing has become serious business. Major national advertisers are shifting an increasing percentage of their advertising dollars from TV, radio, print and mail into interactive online media, including viral marketing. Like search engine marketing, pay per click advertising and guerrilla marketing, it's found its niche and is here to stay.

Source: Associated For more articles by Michael Crozier - click here.

Direct Mail: Dinosaur in the Digital Age

by Michael Crozier

Direct Mail has long been a major advertising media for businesses of all sizes. Here I examine how technology and lifestyle changes could spell disaster for junk mail.

Direct mail is a dinosaur in today's digital world. Whether or not it's ready for a place in the New York Museum of Natural History next to T Rex depends on its ability to evolve. We live in the “Age of Digital Darwinism." Businesses, advertising agencies and advertising media need to adapt and evolve in order to survive.

It's going to be an uphill battle to survive. Direct mail has a lot working against it.

First and foremost is cost. Of all the media available to advertisers, direct mail has the highest cost per thousand customers reached. When the “CPM” or “cost per thousand of direct mail is compared with television, radio, print, outdoor or online media, it is clearly the highest, and has been for many years. Even with advances made in digital printing and attempts the postal service has made at automating their operations, direct mail remains an inefficient way to get an advertising message across.

Creating and producing a direct mail campaign is also a very time consuming and cumbersome venture involving many people and processes. This only adds to its inefficiency.

There's a lot involved in executing a direct mail campaign. A “short list” of production steps includes mailing list selection and cleaning … printing … inserting letters, brochures and other contents into the envelope … addressing … getting post office approval for 3rd class bulk mailings and complying with other requirements for rate discounts … transporting … mailing … processing undeliverable mail and fulfillment.

Unless you're a small retailer doing a small preprinted post card mailing, it can take weeks or even months to get a direct mail message into the hands of the target audience. In today's electronic world, time is a precious commodity and speed is essential to many marketers..

Another thing direct mail has going against its survival is it's “junk mail” image. Direct mail is “mother spam”. Unsolicited 3rd class bulk mailings have been plaguing America for generations. Even with “do not mail lists” and other attempts to regulate direct mail advertisers, it seems almost impossible to keep “junk mail” from clogging up people's mail boxes.

The majority of direct mail is poorly designed and produced. Some of it is created that way intentionally. In their quest to be “hard-hitting” and “offer-driven, direct marketers have come up with formats resembling telegrams, invoices, bank checks with envelopes announcing “Free Money”, “Your Check Is Enclosed” or “Important News About Your Mortgage”. They do this for one reason - it appeals to the basic human greed factor, and experience shows it works.

Finally, direct mail is not very “environmentally friendly”. Even with advances in recycling technology and other conservation efforts by the paper industry direct mail, so its green opponents claim. “kills a lot of trees”. To make matters worse, most residential direct mail goes directly into the trash, unopened and un-recycled.

If most people agree direct mail is expensive, time consuming, annoying, low class and wasteful, how come it's still being used? There are several good reasons.

Direct mail has traditionally been the best way to finely target your audience both geographically and demographically. The “Zip+4” code at the end of your mailing address tells not only where you live, it also gives a good indication of how much you earn. Your name also appears on commercial mailing lists compiled on the basis of your magazine subscriptions, stores you shop at, vacations and other personal criteria. When merged and analyzed together they provide a more finely defined target audience that radio or television ever could.

Supporters of direct mail have long claimed it was the only way to deliver such a finely targeted audience. For many years, they were correct. Technology today, however, is changing all that. With cable and satellite TV that pass through boxes in almost every home, cellular phone technology and, of course, the internet, advertisers can now use TV, print and internet ads to target their messages even more finely than with direct mail. Strike One.

Another reason direct mail has survived is because of its ability to personalize the message directly to the recipient. Laser printing and addressing technologies developed in the 1960s and 1970s made it possible to address you by name not only on the envelope, but inside the mailing in the letter and brochure as well. Once again direct mail supporters claimed it was the only media that could deliver this degree of personalization. Once again for a while, it was true. Now the same technology that makes other media more finely targeted, makes them more personalized too. Strike Two.

Historically, direct mail has always been an important means of communication between people. But today with email and cell phones, direct mail is becoming less and less of a “preferred” means of personal and business communications worldwide. Email is instantaneous and it's free!

A growing number of people choose to receive invoices, bank and credit card statements, advance notice of preferred customer sales, pay bills and receive payments, all electronically by email. People are sending fewer and fewer greeting cards by mail, and sending free “e cards” instead, so much so that the major greeting card companies are being forced to get into the e card business. Strike Three?

It's purely a case of what I call “Digital Age Darwinism”. Today any business, or advertising and communication medium like direct mail, needs to evolve and adapt in order to survive.

Source: Associated For more articles by Michael Crozier - click here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Web 2.0 Evolution & Your Marketing Methods

Copyright © 2007 Dan Lok

Almost 10 years ago, futurist author John Naisbitt wrote about the social effects of the internet in his book, High-Tech/High-Touch. Here's an excerpt from a synopsis that described the author's observations...

"... on the effects of technology in reshaping society, the book brings together a mountain of evidence implicating technology in relentlessly accelerating our lives and stirring profound yearnings for a more emotionally satisfying existence."

It's simple... the more hi-tech we are, the more we crave for human interaction.

And we've responded to an ever-increasing sense of isolation with the help of the web and multimedia technology. There are web-based video sites like YouTube. Social networking sites such as Digg, Flickr, Wikis, MySpace and Facebook, etc. And perpetual ways to keep in contact with IM, video messaging, and texting via cell phones.

The web has grown up. And the term, Web 2.0, reflects it in important ways. For online businesses, it means giving people increased interaction and more control over their content. A curious and new twist on a time-tested marketing term, give people what they want.

Web 2.0 exemplifies the evolution of the internet. But in a way it's a return to earlier roots by being the information sharing resource it was in the beginning when Al Gore invented it! But with the Web 2.0 twist.

And what does it mean for online businesses? It amplifies the power of the best form of advertising for any business!

Word-of-mouth advertising. Brand building. And getting your business message out to be heard!

The nature of Web 2.0 is viral and contagious. Go to Digg or and you'll find out what I mean. As a marketer in this environment, it's crucial for you to understand the importance of viral marketing and managing your various marketing messages. And it's important to creating maximum buzz around your products.

But you need to develop a smart strategy.

The best way to take advantage of this new technology is to understand what each has to offer in your marketing plan. Then develop a clear understanding of your business goals and most desired outcome. And no. It's not as simple as 'making a boatload of cash!'

It's really no different than having a tool box. Each tool has its own specific purpose and reason for being. For example... if you want to know how customers feel about a particular topic, you can create a blog to get that kind of information. You can do interviews using either video or podcast and make them available.

Audio is very powerful and diverse. You can increase website conversions, regardless of your most desired response, simply by putting an audio button with a short message on it.

The only limits to what can be done are what you can imagine...

Approach the Web 2.0 evolution with the same strategies used with the more traditional ways of marketing. An integrated approach will serve you well. And the same marketing principles apply. We're just driving a new vehicle!

Succeeding at online marketing means paying attention and evolving. Businesses that refuse to learn and grow will soon disappear.

About The Author:
A former college dropout, Dan "The Man" Lok transformed himself from a grocery bagger in a local supermarket to an internet multi-millionaire. Discover how you can maximize your website profits in minimum time. For a limited time, you can test- drive Dan's Insiders Club for 30-days Risk-Free and get $1,165 dollars worth of bonus gifts. Rush over to:

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Monday, December 3, 2007

QuickBooks 2008 - Many Exciting Changes Added

by Jennifer A. Thieme

Intuit recently announced some exciting changes to its new QuickBooks 2008 line of software products.

Improvements for QuickBooks Premier Accountant 2008

Some of the most exciting changes happened in the Premier Accountant 2008 version. Here are some of the new features added for that version.

1. Now Backwards Compatible. Perhaps the most exciting new feature added is the ability of Premier Accountant 2008 to be backwards compatible with many 2007 versions of QuickBooks without upgrading them to 2008. Some exceptions are: QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, QuickBooks: Simple Start, QuickBooks: Pro for Mac, QuickBooks: Online Edition. Payroll transactions cannot be adjusted.

According to Intuit, 2008 Premier Accountant is only backwards compatible when an Accountant's Transfer file is created (.qbx) from a 2007 version of QuickBooks. Intuit gave no indication that regular backup files (.qbb) or portable files (.qbm) created with QuickBooks 2007 are backwards compatible with 2008.

2. Bank Reconciliations Added. Another exciting feature is the ability to complete a bank reconciliation in the Accountant Transfer File. Previously, accountant's could not send a completed bank reconciliation back to the client, but now they can.

3. Merge Accounts Added. QuickBooks Premier Accountant 2008 can now merge accounts when using an Accountant's Transfer File for a client. Again, this feature is missing in previous versions of Premier Accountant.

4. Secure Server Now Available for Secure File Transfers. Intuit now has a secure server called "Intuit's Accountant Direct Secure Server." QuickBooks 2008 users can upload their Accountant's Transfer files to this server. Their accountants can download the Accountant's Transfer file from this server to work in. According to Intuit, this service "increases security and eliminates emailing and multiple file issues."

Improvements for Entire Line of QuickBooks 2008

Premier Accountant 2008 was not the only version to undergo many additions. The entire line of QuickBooks 2008 products has many important changes:

Simple Start now supports payroll
Linux now supported for Enterprise Solutions
Free version of Simple Start now has no list restrictions
Improved Excel import
Improved Outlook integration

Intuit announced many other changes besides these, and also announced that QuickBooks 2008 has begun shipping since October 1, 2007.

Final Thoughts

QuickBooks 2008 appears to be the largest step forward Intuit has made in a long time. If you've been waiting to upgrade your QuickBooks file, it sounds like 2008 is the way to go.

About the Author: Jennifer A. Thieme develops QuickBooks solutions for business-savvy entrepreneurs. She's a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor who brings unique insight, clear instructions, and over ten years experience to all her QuickBooks clients. If you need advanced help with QuickBooks, visit and contact Jennifer today


Copywriting Secret #6: LVC Formula

Copyright © 2007 Scott Bywater

One of the most powerful offers you can use in your advertising is the word Free.

But, you may well ask, how can I make a profit giving my products and services away without charging for them?

Which is the exact reason why you need to understand the "LVC Formula" which stands for the "Lifetime Value of a Client"!

Here's how it works. Let's imagine for a moment you own a beauty salon. Now if you get a new customer, they may pay you $80 for their first treatment.

But how much is this $80 client really worth?

After all, most clients will continue to buy off you for many years to come.

For instance, let's imagine your average client returns for a beauty treatment 8 times a year, and remains a client for 2 years.

$80 (price of consultation) x 8 (purchases a year) x 2 (number of years)

Now if you have a calculator handy, you'll work out the value of this client as $1280.00.

And if your profit margin is 40% this calculates to a $512 profit per client.

Now, let's imagine we sent a letter to all the nearby businesses offering women a free manicure valued at $30.00 (I'm not a beauty therapist, so please forgive me if all these figures are way out).

And imagine the manicure costs you $7 in products and 30 minutes of your time (which if you're not busy, you'd just be sitting on your butt anyway!)

So, effectively the $7 investment could have just made you $512 in profit.

And how easy is it to give away a free manicure?

Or for other industries.

A free car service

A free dancing lesson

A free consultation

A free ice cream

A free report of some sort

The secret lies in giving away something which has a high perceived value, but actually costs you very little to produce.

Why does it work so well?

Using the word Free in your advertising STOPS inertia. You see, people are happy with their current hairdresser, or their mechanic.

But when they get an opportunity to trial a product or service for FREE - there's something irresistible and risk-free about it, isn't there?

A word of warning though. Make sure you offer the best possible service, otherwise people will not come back, and you'll get a bad name very quickly.

And of course, where possible, make sure you collect a database, and measure your results.

What could you offer for FREE? Write down a few ideas now, and start implementing this stuff.

It could have an almost overnight effect on your sales.

About The Author:
Scott Bywater is well known for getting results as a professional copywriter. And also the author of Cash-Flow Advertising. To get a free subscription to his "Copywriting Selling Secrets" newsletter where you'll discover the truth about why most ads and sales letters don't work (And how to make yours different) scamper over to his web site at

Make Your Words Sell! -
The art and science of using words to sell successfully on the Net.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trump cites "The Benefits of Cursing"...

"If you want to improve morale around the office, start cursing.
According to a
study by British researchers, regular swearing at work can help boost team spirit among staff members. It’ll help them express their feelings and it’ll help develop better social relationships.
The key is knowing when such language is appropriate and when to watch what you say.
For example, you probably shouldn’t let loose with profanity in front of senior executives or customers. But a few choice four-letter words can help foster solidarity among employees, especially when you’re expressing frustration or stress."

Donald J. Trump

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Announcing the massive archive of sure-fire profit tips from 'the Godfather of internet marketing'!"

"Guaranteed to be the most comprehensive collection available anywhere online of articles by internet marketing pioneer Mark Joyner...the best source to help aspiring internet marketers and web entrepreneurs to drive swarms of targeted traffic to their sites and put more money in their bank accounts."
Mark Joyner Internet Marketing Articles Archive

Monday, November 26, 2007

"How You Can Instantly Convert MORE of your website traffic into cash...without working any harder!"

107 Killer Traffic Conversion Secrets - eBook by Dan Lok

...offered for FREE at Atwood and Associates Blog, as a gift to you from Mr. Lok...started out as a series of private journal entries that Dan wrote to help himself more money. It is loaded with "shoot-to-kill" and "take no prisoners" secrets that will increase your website traffic conversion. They are not theoretical concepts BUT proven strategies that you can easily apply to your site immediately.

Click HERE now for free access!

Copywriting Selling Secret #2 - Twelve Magic Words

Copyright © 2007 Scott Bywater

You're in for a real treat, because I am going to reveal a dozen words, which could change your life.

Why? Because Yale University researches have identified the 12 most powerful words in the human language, proven to attract attention and stir emotion within their readers.

Here they are:













So how can these "proven" "new" words "you" have discovered be used to generate "results" and make "you" more "money"? It's "easy". "You'll" "love" the way you can "safely" integrate them into your ads and sales letters. Plus, "you'll" "save" thousands of dollars from burning a hole through your pocket from ineffective advertising. "Guaranteed."

Notice how easy it is!

Oh yeah, one more thing. Once you start implementing all of these words into your copy, you may just find that the extra "money" you make will help you to chill out. Consequently, many people find their "health" improves as a result ;)

A word of warning: These words are a tool. but just as mild painkillers are not a cure for cancer. they are not a cure for poorly thought out copy.

But they will certainly spice up your communications.

About The Author:
Scott Bywater is well known for getting results as a professional direct mail copywriter. And also the author of Cash-Flow Advertising. To get a free subscription to his "Copywriting Selling Secrets" newsletter where you'll discover the truth about why most ads and sales letters don't work (And how to make yours different) scamper over to his web site at

Make Your Words Sell! -
The art and science of using words to sell successfully on the Net.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The One Thing You MUST Have To Be Successful

- by Dan "The Man" Lok, The World's #1 Website Conversion Expert™

- author of Long Lost Sales Letters

2 weeks ago, I gave a seminar talk here in Vancouver.

Afterwards it was the usual thing...

People approaching me to ask questions or tell me how
much they benefited from my presentation.

But I noticed this one particular lady who seemed to be
waiting in the wings.

Finally, this lady walked up to me. She said, "Hello" and
thanked me for my time to appear and talk to them.

Very nice and polite person.

But I sensed that she wanted to say something else. She
seemed a bit hesitant...

Finally she came out with it!

She asked me how I had so much energy, so much enthusiasm
and excitement!

I was initially a little surprised at her question. But I
thought it was interesting.

She must have caught my studied glance at her. Then she
went on...

She said I was SO full of energy and passion. I had a
passion about the things I was talking about.

I noticed a few things about her while she talked.

She had a very quiet voice and delivery. Soft spoken. But
there was also something else about her.

She had NO energy! She didn't seem depressed. But maybe
just not happy.

I also felt that she could drag ME down if I "allowed"
her to do that. But I'm powerful enough to avoid letting
that happen. And instead of being dragged down I could
pick her up.

I told her... first of all, I have NEVER met a successful
person who did NOT have high energy, passion, and


I told her that it was a CONSCIOUS choice on my part! I
simply CHOSE to be enthusiastic.

Then I asked her a question...

I asked her, "How often do YOU meet someone who is like
me? Someone with high energy, joy, enthusiasm, and

She said almost never. Almost NEVER.

Right! I told her how much I love and like what I do. How
could I NOT be happy? How could I NOT be overjoyed,
excited, grateful, and passionate doing what I do?

So we kept talking...

And she just could not get it. Would not get it. She had
nothing but excuses as to why she could not be energetic.
Could not be passionate. She went on about all her
problems... her family... on and on.

Finally, I just had to end the conversation.

But it got me to thinking and wondering...

How come people DON'T have more energy and enthusiasm?

Will having more energy help people to become successful?
Have more money? Have the things they want in life?

The short answer is... YES!

In fact, having more energy, excitement, and passion will
make you MORE successful in anything you do! Anything!

I've started telling my coaching clients that success is
NOT just all about business.

You have to pay attention to your life. How you eat,
sleep, exercise... everything!

Taking care of your self is vital to having MORE energy
and passion for what ever you do. When you have more
energy, everything you do is invigorated and becomes more

As busy as I am... and I'm busy as hell... I still take time
out to take care of myself. I take the time to exercise
(ballroom dancing and martial art), relax, and do the
things we all know we should do to give us good health.

Health and wealth!

They go hand in hand. Like Forrest Gump said... like peas
and carrots!

Think Big AND...... KICK ASS!

Dan "The Man" Lok

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Seven Deadly Workplace Sins

by Donald J. Trump
- From Trump

Click here to read the Donald's latest blog posting.

Bob Dylan on Donald Trump:

"And going into all the rhythm & blues stuff, and the rockabilly stuff, the stuff that trained me to do what I do, that was all individually based. That was what you heard -- the individual crying in the wilderness. So that's kind of lost too. I mean, who's the last individual performer that you can think of -- Elton John, maybe? I'm talking about artists with the willpower not to conform to anybody's reality but their own. Patsy Cline and Billy Lee Riley. Plato and Socrates, Whitman and Emerson. Slim Harpo and Donald Trump. It's a lost art form. I don't know who else does it beside myself, to tell you the truth."

The Modern Times of Bob Dylan: A Legend Comes to Grips With His Iconic Status - Rolling Stone, 08/21/06

Donald Trump & Robert Kiyosaki "Why We Want You To Be Rich"

- Criticism: Real estate investor and writer John T. Reed's analysis of Robert T. Kiyosaki's book Rich Dad, Poor Dad
- Robert Kiyosaki's Public Response to John T. Reed's Review of "Rich Dad Poor Dad"

Roll over Gutenberg and tell McLuhan the news: releases kindle

On's Kindle: "This is the future of book reading. It will be everywhere."
- Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and Liar's Poker.

News release from

Introducing Amazon Kindle
Revolutionary Portable Reader Lets Customers Wirelessly Download Books in Less Than a Minute and Automatically Receive Newspapers, Magazines and Blogs

No PC Required, No Hunting for Wi-Fi Hot Spots

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 19, (NASDAQ:AMZN) today introduced Amazon Kindle, a revolutionary portable reader that wirelessly downloads books, blogs, magazines and newspapers to a crisp, high-resolution electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight. More than 90,000 books are now available in the Kindle Store, including 101 of 112 current New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases, which are $9.99, unless marked otherwise. Kindle is available starting today for $399 at

"We've been working on Kindle for more than three years. Our top design objective was for Kindle to disappear in your hands -- to get out of the way -- so you can enjoy your reading," said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. "We also wanted to go beyond the physical book. Kindle is wireless, so whether you're lying in bed or riding a train, you can think of a book, and have it in less than 60 seconds. No computer is needed -- you do your shopping directly from the device. We're excited to make Kindle available today."

Downloads Content Wirelessly, No PC Required, No Hunting for Wi-Fi Hot Spots

The Kindle wireless delivery system, Amazon Whispernet, uses the same nationwide high-speed data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phones. Kindle customers can wirelessly shop the Kindle Store, download or receive new content -- all without a PC, Wi-Fi hot spot, or syncing.

No Monthly Wireless Bills or Commitments

Books can be downloaded in less than a minute and magazines, newspapers, and blogs are delivered to subscribers automatically. Amazon pays for the wireless connectivity for Kindle so there are no monthly wireless bills, data plans, or service commitments for customers.

Reads Like Paper

Kindle uses a high-resolution display technology called electronic paper that provides a sharp black and white screen that is as easy to read as printed paper. The screen works using ink, just like books and newspapers, but displays the ink particles electronically. It reflects light like ordinary paper and uses no backlight, eliminating the eyestrain and glare associated with other electronic displays such as computer monitors or PDA screens.

Books, Blogs, Magazines and Newspapers

The Kindle Store currently offers more than 90,000 books, as well as hundreds of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Customers can search, browse, buy, and download from this wide selection wirelessly from their Kindle. The same Amazon shopping experience customers are accustomed to is offered in the Kindle Store, including customer reviews, personalized recommendations, 1-Click purchasing, and everyday low prices. Additionally, Kindle customers can download and read the first chapter of most Kindle books for free.

Kindle customers can select from the most recognized U.S. newspapers, as well as popular magazines and journals, such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, TIME and Fortune. The Kindle Store also includes top international newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland, including Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine and The Irish Times. Subscriptions are auto-delivered wirelessly to Kindle overnight so that the latest edition is waiting for customers when they wake up. Monthly Kindle newspaper subscriptions are $5.99 to $14.99 per month, and Kindle magazines are $1.25 to $3.49 per month. All magazines and newspapers include a free two-week trial.

The Kindle Store has over 300 blogs on topics ranging from Internet and technology to culture, lifestyle, and humor, to politics and opinion. Examples include Slashdot, TechCrunch, BoingBoing, The Onion, The Huffington Post, and ESPN blogs. Blogs are updated and downloaded wirelessly throughout the day so Kindle customers can read blogs whenever and wherever they want. Wireless delivery of blogs costs as little as $0.99 each per month and also includes a free two-week trial.

Holds Hundreds of Books in 10.3 Ounces

At 10.3 ounces, Kindle is lighter and thinner than a typical paperback and fits easily in one hand, yet its built-in memory stores more than 200 titles, and hundreds more with an optional SD memory card. Additionally, a copy of every book purchased is backed up online on so that customers have the option to make room for new titles on their Kindle knowing that is storing their personal library of purchased content.

Built-In Dictionary and Wikipedia

Kindle has built-in access to The New Oxford American Dictionary, which contains over 250,000 entries and definitions, so readers can easily look up the definitions of words within their reading. Kindle customers also have seamless access to the world's most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia,, and its collection of over 2,000,000 articles.

Long Battery Life

Customers can leave the Kindle wireless connectivity on and recharge approximately every other day, or turn wireless off and read for a week or more before recharging. Kindle fully recharges in two hours.


Kindle has a standard-layout keyboard that makes it possible for users to search the Kindle Store, their entire library of purchased content, and Customers simply type in a word or phrase and Kindle will find every instance.

Annotation and Bookmarks

The Kindle keyboard lets customers add annotations to text, just as they would write in the margins of a book. Customers can edit, delete and export these notes, highlight and clip key passages, and bookmark pages for future use. Additionally, Kindle automatically bookmarks the last page a customer reads of any content on their Kindle.

Ergonomic Design

Kindle is designed for long-form reading, so it is as easy to hold and use as a book. Full-length, vertical page-turning buttons are located on both sides of Kindle, allowing customers to read and turn pages comfortably from any position. The page-turning buttons are located on both the right and left sides of Kindle, which allows both left and right-handed customers to hold, turn pages, and position Kindle with one hand.

Adjustable Text Size

Kindle has six adjustable font sizes to suit customers' varying reading preferences.

Personal Documents

Customers can take their personal documents with them on their Kindle. Customers and their contacts can e-mail Word documents and pictures directly to their unique and customizable Kindle e-mail address for $0.10 each. Kindle supports wireless delivery of unprotected Microsoft(R) Word, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP files.

Comes Ready To Use

When customers order a Kindle, it arrives from ready to use. There is no software to load or set up. Customers are immediately ready to shop, purchase, download and read from Kindle.

Amazon is adding new book, periodical, and blog titles to the Kindle Store every day. Publishers and authors can submit their content and make it available to Kindle customers by using Amazon's new Digital Text Platform (DTP), a fast and easy self-publishing tool that lets anyone upload and sell their books in the Kindle Store. Sign up today for DTP at

Per 11/20/07: Kindle Availability
"Due to heavy customer demand, Kindle is temporarily sold out. Because we ship Kindles on a first-come, first-served basis, please ORDER NOW to reserve your place in line. See availability messaging above for estimated in-stock date."

How To Guarantee Your Product's Success Before You Even Start!

Copyright © 2007 Willie Crawford

Today, I'd like to teach you an easy method of researching a product or project idea BEFORE you invest a lot of time and other resources in it.

Over the past 11 years I've been shown over 100 products that "seemed like a great idea," but when they were offered to the market, the customers weren't interested. In a few cases the "marketing" was just bad, but in more cases, the product was simply something that the market didn't want.

There are, of course, more research tools available than you could ever learn to use. So, today, I'm actually going to focus your attention on just two... and they'll both be free.

First, I'd like to introduce you to Google Alerts! You'll find this handy, free service offered by at:

Note that Google does own the trademarks to all of the terms mentioned in this article that uses their name :-)

Google Alerts allow you to subscribe to free notifications of when Google discovers new occurrences of a target phrase anywhere on the Internet. You can specify what types of databases Google provides you with updates from. As you'll see when visiting the site, it's fairly self-explanatory.

I have dozens of these set up. I have it set up so that... once a day, I get an email summary of new alerts for:

Target keyword phrases
Target URLs
Target product titles
Discussion forums on a topic
My name and my company name
My key competitors
Unique phrases that I created for various purpose

... You get the idea.

The second free tool that I use is online forums specific to my topic of interest. These are forums where people discuss your topic or niche. There are hundreds of thousands of them scattered across the Internet, and you CAN find one on almost any topic.

When that brilliant product idea comes to you, the first thing that you want to ask is, "Is this something that the market really wants?"

You also want to know, "Is this something that already exists, and if it does, can I still market something similar?"

The final question you want to answer if you're contemplating getting rich with your idea is, "Is this something that the market is willing to pay for?"

The first objection many people will offer when reading this article is that they don't know where to find discussion forums in their niche. To them, I say... "Google Alerts!"

Simply set up some alerts for phrases that include the terms:

"online forums" + your keywords
"discussion boards" + your keywords
"forum" + your keywords
"online community" + your keywords

In a day or two, Google will be so kind as to start EMAILING YOU links to some of these forums. What could be easier. Just go over, register for the forums if required, and then listen to the discussion.

You're listening to see if your product idea will solve a problem that this group of people PAINFULLY want to solve.

You're listening to see if there is a glaringly obvious problem, other than the one your were already thinking about, that you can offer the perfect solution to.

If you don't see discussion that answers your question, then consider posting the question. Explain that you are doing research for a possible product. Perhaps even ask them to visit your site and take a survey.

A living example of how I recently did this AND the resulting product follows. Study my example, and you'll see that you really can confirm that your product is badly wanted by the marketplace before you write the first word of an ebook, or the first line of code for a program.

I'll give you an example from Internet marketing since that is the niche that many readers of this article will be from.

I began by visiting the very popular Internet Marketing Warriors discussion forum. I had an idea that the market was growing tired of products that promised a fortune overnight but that offered techniques many people found daunting.

I suspected that many people in the "Internet marketing niche" were having very little success, and would be completely ecstatic if they could earn even $100 per day.

So I posted the rhetorical question, "Would You Be 'Happy' With $100 Per Day?" That thread generate over 4700 views, and over 170 responses. The responses overwhelmingly confirmed my suspicions. It confirmed that most people would not only be thrilled with $100 per day ($3000 per month) but that they were anxious for instructions on HOW to accomplish this seemingly-daunting task.

You can read that thread, and feel the strong emotion here:

I mention the strong emotion because if you understand sales, you know that people buy on emotion, and then justify with logic. So, you do need to provide a solution to a problem that people really REALIZE that they have on a deep emotional level... if you want a best-seller.

After verifying that people wanted this product, and even letting them tell me what the product should feel like, I then felt confident in creating and marketing such a product. I knew beyond any doubt that if I offered this product in the right way, that it WOULD sell.

I have used the technique above in numerous niches. I'm currently working on a similar "exercise" in the very competitive cooking niche. I'm doing it by addressing one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers in that niche. More on that in another article though :-)

After I had verified the demand for the product in my example above... the product on "How To Make $100 Per Day Online"... I then had to determine the best method for creating this product.

Realizing that there are literally dozens of easy, viable methods of earning that amount, working just one or two hour per day, I also realized that writing something based upon just my own experiences would be too limiting. I AM involved in a lot of online niches, and do far more things than I probably should be doing.

However, to get a wider variety of experiences, I turned to the best "brain-pool" that I could think of. I went to the members of my inner circle private memberships site at:

I posted the suggestion on our private forum that this was an idea with proven demand, and suggested that we write this ebook as a group.

Instantly, I had lots of people who were actually earning that much, or more, coming forward and offering to do a chapter. Others, who didn't feel qualified to write a chapter, offered to do things such as proofreading, or helping with graphics or programming.

The community at The Internet Marketing Inner Circle WROTE the ebook, producing what many are already calling "The Internet Marketing Product Of The Year!" One even called it, "The Internet Marketing Product Of The Decade." That may be a stretch, but it clearly filled a very real need. It solved a glaring problem.

You can see the result of my research and our teamwork at:

I'll close by revealing one other BIG secret. One of several reasons why I was willing to suggest my idea as a group project was that I knew that having more people involved would create a sense of ownership. I knew that getting more people involved in creating the product all but eliminated any risk in creating the product.

We could even say that the thread on the Warrior Forum reduced the risk by 95%. By saying on the forum that they would be happy with $100 per day, and that they were looking for a plan to accomplish this, created a deep psychological connection between those posters, and the success of the project. Since the product filled a need that they publicly stated that they wanted SOLVED, they would be inconsistent if they didn't accept the solution when offered.

I don't need to pack too many lessons into this article. I think that I have demonstrated, with a living example, that you can guarantee the success of your product before you even start! Now you just need to do it!

About The Author:
Willie Crawford has been teaching others uncomplicated methods of building successful online businesses since 1996. Today, he does most of his teaching inside an exclusive membership site filled with other experts dedicated to uncovering the truth about how to succeed online. Join Willie and dozens of other "old-timers" at:

Monday, November 19, 2007

How To Eat Your Competition Alive!

Copyright © 2006-2007 Dan Lok

One of the questions I get often is, "How do I deal with competition." Most people want to know how they can prevent competition or what steps they can take to overcome competition successfully.

These days, on the Internet, there are two sides of a coin.

It is so easy for a person to get into a market because it is simple to start a business in just about any niche.

There are low barriers to entry to most businesses, so competition is rampant. You may realize an opportunity and start making good money.

The chances are high someone else will see your success and try to mimic it.

So how do you deal with this? How do you protect yourself from copycats?

It's easy to have competitors.

In fact the more money you make the more competitors you will have.

You have to think faster than people can copy you, and you must develop what I call hidden advantages to dominate your niche.

Copycat "syndrome" as I like to call it is common.

You may be in a good niche, and some guy sees you are making good money, so he decides to copy your ideas. He comes up with a new product to compete with you.

People want to prevent this, but you can't prevent competitors.

You will always have competitors regardless of what you do. The more money you make the more competitors you'll have. It's just the way things work.

You can however, overcome any threats associated with competition. How?

Innovate faster than they others can copy your material. Develop hidden advantages.

That's the key to overcoming competition.

If you want to dominate your niche, you must have some hidden advantages that are hard to copy. Your competitors should not even know you have these advantages.

They may copy what you are doing, but they won't be able to copy your hidden advantages.

Many competitors will then fail because they are confused about what you are doing. Why? They won't understand the reasons behind what you are doing. They won't realize you have hidden advantages.

How can you make hidden advantages work for you? Let me give you some examples.

Let's take the internet guru business. I have many competitors, many new people coming in trying to be marketing gurus.

My secret? I'm not an internet guru. My specialty is website conversion. I teach people how to convert more visitors into paying customers. I niche. I don't claim to be the number one "internet marketing" guru. But I am the world's number one website conversion expert. That is a hidden expertise, a hidden advantage.

I was there first, found this niche first, so that gives me an advantage. When people come into my niche, when they want to compete, they are only reminding people of my success and experience.

People see my name everywhere that is a hidden advantage.

High name investors and entrepreneurs also endorse me. That is a hidden advantage. I have testimonials from high people in high places. Best-selling authors and multi-millionaires. That is a difficult hidden advantage to duplicate.

I give out free CD's, I combine online and off-line marketing techniques. These hidden techniques are hard to copy. Competitors won't see this, they won't know whether these techniques are working or not. I do things to confuse my competitors. This is also a hidden advantage.

My personality is also an advantage, a hidden advantage. My personality is impossible to duplicate. My experience and my ten years of experience in marketing aren't easy to copy.

Most newbies also don't have all the products I do. I have much more than an e-book for example. By the end of the year I'll also have 4 published books, and other offers worth $3,000 and more. I am established, and it is hard to compete with this.

My question is this... What are your hidden advantages? If you don't have hidden advantages you better come up with one or two very quickly. There must be something you have, something you posses, something difficult for your competitors to duplicate.

Once you have those hidden advantages, you don't have to worry about people coming into your niche and competing.

They say, "He is so established, so well-known I can't compete." So they move on. That is the barrier you want to create to discourage them. You want to make it difficult for them to complete.

Sit down and write down what your hidden advantages are, then work on building them. That is what you can do to crush your competition and discourage people from competing against you.

About The Author:
A former college dropout, Dan Lok transformed himself from a grocery bagger in a local supermarket to a multi-millionaire. Today, Dan is one of the most sought-after business mentors on the Web, as well as a best-selling author. His reputation includes his title as the World's #1 Website Conversion Expert. Click Here! and join Dan Lok's Insider Club: "You'll Get My Ultimate Money-Generating Gift Worth $1,165.95 - Absolutely FREE! Just Say 'Maybe' To A 30-Day Trial Membership In The Dan Lok's Insiders Club!"

Guerrilla Marketing and How It Can Work for You

© Kate Smalley

When most people think of marketing, they think of advertising.
But marketing is much broader than that. Marketing is everything
it takes to get your product or service into the hands of
buyers—from product development to product delivery.

Think of marketing as a continuous process, not a single event.
It typically begins with creating an identity for your business …
a name, logo, tagline, etc. It extends to product/service
creation, manufacturing, packaging, advertising, promotions,
sales, customer service, shipping and delivery. It can involve
any number of tools brochures, direct mail, websites, postcards,
press releases and print, radio and TV advertising.

Now that you understand these fundamentals of marketing, you’re
ready to engage in guerilla marketing warfare.

Guerrilla marketing is marketing that is unorthodox and often
revolutionary. Unlike traditional marketers, guerrilla marketers
throw out the rule book and apply creative, flexible strategies
to achieve results — rather than money. In a nut shell, guerrilla
marketing can help you work smarter, not harder. And it can save
you time and money.

Here’s a good example of guerrilla marketing: A new home security
business wanted to gain clients as quickly and cost-effectively
as possible in a market dominated by a well-established
competitor. The rivaling company offered basic service, but had
built a reputation for outstanding customer service.

To overcome this competitive challenge, the home security
business decided to offer a more comprehensive product and
included a 100-percent, money-back satisfaction guarantee. It
also offered free security seminars to neighborhood watch groups,
discounts for referrals and complimentary security audits to
customers who signed up for a time period. The new approach
worked like a charm. Within several months of opening, the
business received double the amount of customer sign-ups it had
originally anticipated.

Here are some simple ways you can you capitalize on guerrilla

* Invest time, energy and creativity into marketing, instead
of money.
* Use a blend of marketing weapons, instead of a single tool.
* Carefully focus all of your marketing tactics, instead of
using a random approach.
* Tailor marketing messages to individuals, instead of groups.
* Focus on making long-term relationships, rather than sales.
* Form mutually-beneficial business partnerships.

For more information about guerrilla marketing, visit or contact Kate Smalley at 203-641-3739

Video of Jay Conrad Levinson, "The Father of Guerilla Marketing" - in Bucharest

Sunday, November 18, 2007


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