My Website Was Running Slow. Here’s How I Fixed It.

This blog is running fine now, but for the last few weeks before writing this post, it was running so slow.

I finally got sick of the WordPress White Page of Death and aimed to put an end to the slow page loads.

I went to work and I FINALLY figured out WHY it was running slow. I was surprised at what I found. Watch my video below to find out what I did to make my site run faster. It wasn’t what you think.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And if you have any more advice or tips to share for speeding up websites, please let the world know!

Stuart Stirling

stu-Kai-Okinawa

Avoid Getting Scammed Online – And What To Do If You Get Scammed

No matter if it’s a digital product you’re buying or a physical product, there are scams everywhere you look online.

But before we go into how to avoid being scammed, let’s get clear on what a scam is.

I feel the word ‘scam’ is often misused.

Some people use the word ‘scam’ to mean ‘I paid for the product and although I downloaded it, it didn’t work for me’.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is not a scam. That is either the product is faulty e.g. it’s a plugin that doesn’t work, or you just didn’t take the time to use the product and calling it a scam to cover your own laziness because it ‘doesn’t work’ for you. I most cases, information products, courses ‘work’ if you put in the effort to apply it.

A scam is when you pay your hard-earned dollars but you don’t get anything. You get a big fat zero.

Like my buddy in Australia years ago, who bought a camera from Ebay and never received it. He got scammed. They took his money and ran!

scammer_blog

So in this article, I want to talk about how to avoid getting scammed – when you actually pay for something and the seller disappears, never to be seen or heard of again.

Just over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen a handful of horror stories around the web of people getting ripped off with buying solo ads or paying for sales letters, even coaching, that never gets delivered!

I’m not sure if it’s just a coincidence or scammers are on the rise, but I was surprised to find so many examples in a short time period recently.

What is really distributing is that some of the sellers (scammers) actually have a good track record, i.e. they’ve been around in the scene for quite a long time. Then all of a sudden they turn to the darkside. They take the trusting person’s money and cut off all contact, leaving them with a plate of fresh air and disillusionment, not to mention fury towards the scammer and a sick gut feeling.

It’s very disappointing when I see people getting scammed. I know the sick feeling because I have been scammed in the past too. It’s a feeling I don’t want anyone to have to feel.

The best way I know to avoid a scam is to do your research BEFORE you buy to check out the validity of the seller and product or service being offered.

You have the world’s best search tool, Google, and it’s just a click away. Go over to Google and search for the “product name + scam” or “seller name + scam” and read reviews and other reports that you find. If there are bad reports of scams, then you know to avoid it.

If it’s a seller advertising on a public forum, like the Warrior Forum, read the comments/posts thoroughly. Sometimes the seller will be all genuine for the first little while, but then disappears, and the comments on the 2nd and 3rd pages of the thread will tell you that.

If you do become the victim of a scam, contact the seller as much as you can through as many different communication channels as possible – Email, skype, Facebook, Twitter, phone, etc. If it seems like a dead-end, contact the payment processor whom you paid through (e.g. Paypal) and open a dispute.

Be careful from who you buy from. Online scams do exist so you need to be aware and don’t rush in to buying anything from an unknown seller until you’re 100% sure it’s a genuine deal.

If you’re running a business online selling your products and services, you need to be mindful that your (potential) customers are cautious about who they give their money to. You need to become a trustworthy source.

Make sure you build trust with your prospects as soon as possible.

The easiest way to do that is to be genuine and show the reader that you’re a real human being, and are contactable. Offer guarantees and honor refund requests. I’ve granted refunds only to have them buy a different product from me later down the road.

If your business is a faceless webpage with no contact details, no guarantee and no testimonials, your sales will struggle.

And of course, don’t scam people! Karma is a bitch.

stu-Kai-Okinawa

Stuart Stirling

How To Sell Like Frank Kern

Is Frank Kern the best salesman in the world? He sure is good at what he does. But this video is a refreshing break and a little ‘behind the scenes’ look at the real life of an internet marketer or “salesman” as Frank puts it.

It’s an interview with Frank Kern with him candidly revealing some very powerful insider secrets on internet marketing. Although he is making no ‘sales pitch’ this in itself is a selling him, his persona and the internet marketing lifestyle. Gee he is good. We can learn so much from watching this man in action.

You may be a little shocked however at some of the things he says.. which I imagine is completely intentional.. but these are great take-aways that will help you if you digest them.

In particular he talks about the myth about “working a couple of hours a day and making a boat load of cash”. It’s true.. as much as I’d love to be living that lifestyle, I’m definitely not, although some times I do take an afternoon or morning off to spend with the family… because I can 😉

But if you’re believing that you can get rich by doing nothing all day, yeah…sorry to burst your bubble but the 4-hour work week is a great concept but it’s just not practical. Jut like Kern, I don’t know anyone who is mighty successful and is content with working just a couple of hours a day.

The other part that struck a chord with me was in the later part of the video where he tells us the two big reasons why people fail online.

One is that people just don’t get started or they don’t get back up after they get knocked down after a failure.

The second biggest killer is that people simply never learn how to sell. They are too concerned about the tech side of things – about having the most Twitter followers or the best looking website but don’t know the fundamentals for of persuasion and selling.

Like Kerny, I would have to agree that I would prefer to be in a room with 10 buyers than 10 trillion Twitter followers.

“If you can sell something, you are set, forever”. This has to be the most powerful statement from this entire video (around the 15 minute mark).

This video is full of killer principles that you can take away so without rabbiting on any longer, here is the video. I suggest you watch it a couple of times. It’s a real refreshing change from all the sales pitches and hype that we all get bombarded with on a daily basis.

If you liked it as much as I did, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I’ve also posted it on my Facebook page so you can leave a comment there if you prefer that.

To your success,

Stu Sensei

 

How To Start A Business With Little To No Cash

When money’s tight it’s hard to start and grow a business. But the good news is that you don’t need a lot of money (or any money at all for that matter) to build a business if you ‘barter’. You can barter to get everything you need for free or get a major discount on things you need.

Not everyone might have the skills or resources to trade for high-priced items, but you can definitely stretch your budget through bartering.

How does bartering actually work? Well it’s basically a trade of ‘you do this for me and I’ll do this for you’. Some examples of bartering for online business owners might be for a freelance writer to write content or articles for a web designer to create him a nice website.

If you have any skills that you could charge for, whether it’s copywriting, website design or consulting,  it’s amazing the kind of things you can trade with other website owners and marketers for. In the tough economy we’re all facing,  more and more ‘onlineers’ are doing barter exchanges in order to save dollars while still being able to grow their business. Maybe you’re next?

But let’s go back to the problem of how can you as an entrepreneur with limited skills barter for what you want or need for your business without spending a dollar out of your pocket, when you don’t have a product that is of equal value to trade? Here are seven tips to help that come from two successful Entrepreneurs, Traders and hosts of the new TV show ‘Barter Kings’ Steve McHugh and Antonio Palazzola.

  1. Leave your wallet at home. When you go to do a trade, don’t take (or mention you have) any cash with you. That way, you can’t be persuaded to add in a few extra hundred dollars to even out the trade. Simply say you have no cash available. It must be a straight trade or nothing. This can also work online or offline.
  2. Look for the soft spot. The pair chat up traders to find out why they’re selling. For instance, one trader needed to get rid of his son’s dirt bike because the boy had broken his leg, and his wife was mad. Another had made a vow to his wife not to ride motorcycles as long as they had kids at home, so the bike had to go. When you know the trader has to ditch their item, you’re in a stronger position to negotiate and trade them a slightly less valuable item.
  3. Be stoic. Never let a trader see you’re crazy hot to get an item. Stay impassive and act like you don’t care to make the best deal.
  4. Leave some mystery. When you’re listing an item to trade, don’t advertise all the details. Post a good photo, then leave it with a basic description so the prospect has to call you to find out more.
  5. Craigslist rules. Both hosts recommend the popular site as the top place to scan for trades. Not everyone posting on there will be savvy about how much their item is really worth, giving you an opening to potentially trade an item.
  6. Know your item’s value. You can’t come out on top in a deal if you’re not sure what both the item you’re trading and the one you’re getting are really worth. Often, traders will price items with sentimental value in mind or still have the original retail price in their heads, both of which are irrelevant to the resale market. Bring an experienced trader with you, or a smartphone for checking eBay to establish what this item is selling for today, in its current condition.
  7. Watch out for scams. There are plenty of shady traders out there, Palazzola says. If you smell something fishy, run the other way.

Bartering provides a great solution for business owners and entrepreneurs to get started or expanding it by getting what they want by trading.

What do you have that you can barter with? What skills or products can you trade?

Have you ever done a trade before to get something for your business? Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences with bartering!

To your success,

Stu Sensei

Success Starts With Learning The Basics

Too many times, beginners get caught up with purchasing the latest ‘shiny new object’ when all they really need is to learn the basics first.

They try to make money with the latest Facebook App or the latest WP plugin before they even get a simple website up and traffic.

Internet marketing is not a race. Although you might feel like you need or should be making money fast. Believe it or not (and ask anyone) it takes time and a lot of hard work.

Start wth the basicsStart with learning the basics. Learn to walk before you run. You’ll be able to go far with just some simple website building and marketing skills.

Here is a simple lesson about the basics of creating an internet business and online marketing. Learning these skills, you can build yourself a successful internet business.

Step 1. Find or create a product you want to sell online.

This can be a product you’ve created or someone elses you can promote as an affiliate. Ultimately, you should be aiming to create a product of your own. I love and recommend the digital info-product business. It’s how I make 95% of my money online and it’s awesome because it’s 99% fully automatic. No shipping, no products to constantly create. I get paid instantly and my customers download it anytime like clockwork – even when I’m asleep.

Digital products are easy and cheap to create too. Ebooks, audios, articles, videos, graphics, templates, software – these are all examples of hot selling digital products. And once you make them, you can sell them over and over again. Find what people want to buy and create a simple digital product about it. Internet millionaires have been made by following this simple business model.

Step 2. Build a website to act as your 24/7 online sales person.

Don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise. You need a website if you want to be a successful online marketer.

I know newbies get hung up on website set up because of the find it difficult to learn the technical stuff like FTP, domain names, hosting and Autoresponder systems etc. but it’s this basic skill that once you learn, you’ll be able to use to take your internet business far.

To sell your product, set up a website, write a sales letter and place your order button on it. Copywriting is also one of those important fundamental skills you need to learn to be successful as an online marketer. If you really want to get rich, learn to become a good copywriter!

If you’re selling online as an affiliate, create a website centered around that particular niche and position yourself as an expert in that field. Using WordPress makes it easy and quick to build an affiliate site. If you have good helpful content and can build solid traffic to that site using SEO and/or viral marketing, you can make money from recommended products on your site.

List building/marketing is a proven strategy for making sales on demand. It’s easy to build a list at your blog or on your sales letter. Use a pop-up, embed your opt-in form in the web  page itself, or use a squeeze page. When you build a list, you can follow up with your subscriber and recommend products to them -yours and others’ as an affiliate.

Step 3. Integrate an affiliate program to sell more of your products.

This will only work if you’re selling your own product or a product you have resell rights to. There are several sales and download management software scripts you can install on your website that will automate the whole sales and delivery of your digital products.

I like and use the RAP script because it has a ton of features like:

* instant payments to affiliates,
* auto-optin of your customer to your autoresponder,
* multi-product management from one domain, etc.

RAP isn’t not the cheapest sales/affiliate management script but you only need to buy it once and you can use it over and over on any number of domains. The other advantage of using a self-hosted script is that you have complete control over your website and affiliate program. You also save money because you don’t have to pay fees for listing products ora percentage of every sale.

There are a ton of web-based affiliate management services online such as Clickbank, JV zoo, Mooshpay and Paydotcom. The benefit of using these is that you can tap into an already existing JV network. Your product can get spotted and promoted by affiliates who bring you sales.

Step 4. If you don’t have your own product, yet.

I say ‘yet’, because having your own product should definitely be in your plans. You simply need a product to dominate your niche.

If you’re not selling your products from your website and doing the affiliate marketing thing for now, your main job is to get traffic to your affiliate links (merchants order pages). There are several ways to get traffic (as discussed below) but most affiliates go for search engine traffic.

Last year, I started a couple of affiliate blogs and SEO optimized them for Google traffic. It’s a fairly complex game but the rewards are great when you’re on page 1: hands-free, non-stop traffic. Not to mention it’s highly targeted.

The basics of SEO are simple and easy to understand but usually basic SEO will only get you so far. It’s the little extra secret tactics you apply that get you above your competition. I learned from one of the best affiliate/SEO marketers Andrew Hansen how he makes simple $300/day affiliate sites, so I recommend you check his course out if you want to learn affiliate marketing.

Step 5. Market your website.

In other words, get traffic to it. This is the fuel which will power your business. These are some ways to drive traffic…

* SEO (search engine marketing)
* Video marketing
* Social networking (Facebook etc)
* Article marketing (write and submit to article directories)
* JV marketing (swapping ad space on your website or in emails etc)
* Affiliate recruiting (as we talked about in Step 3.)
* Paid ads (PPC, banner ads, ezine solo ads etc)
* Forum marketing (place your links in your sig)

There are many more ways than this to market your website but it really comes down to your budget and amount of time you’ve got. For free traffic, I suggest article marketing, SEO, JV and affiliate traffic. If you want to pay for quick targeted traffic, then ezine/email solo ads are the way to go. I don’t have a lot of experience with PPC but it’s something I’m looking into.

Extra cool tip: With the traffic you generate, send it to a squeeze page so you can build a list. (works for affiliate marketing too ;)).

6. The final secret. In the end, the secret to it all is just going out there and doing it. You probably know all the things I already explained above – but they won’t help you if you don’t take action on them! 90% of success is a result of simply taking action! (10% inspiration, 90% perspiration)

Work out a plan and then break it down into small jobs. Work and aim to complete those small jobs in a time frame you decide. If you just do one small but significant
task a day, you will get a lot accomplished every week. Doing the basics leads to big things.

Stuart StirlingTo your success!

Stu Sensei

Newbie Start Up Guide – How To Set Up Money Making Websites

Newbie Start Up Guide is one of my best selling “how-to” ebook guides that show beginner internet marketers how to get a real, profitable website up and running.

I got the idea for it when I noticed a lot of “newbies” were coming to me with emails asking the same questions…

“Where do I start with Internet marketing?” “How do I build a list?” “How do I make a blog?”

Newbie Start Up GuideMy answer was usually “Get a website! Build a squeeze page. Use WordPress to make a blog. Sell PLR and MRR ebooks from your site.”

But there were always more questions to follow like “how do I get a website?”

This led me to think a little more about this and being the savvy (sarcasm) marketer that I am, I saw this as an opportunity to fill a big need in the market place…. especially after a little looking around, I found there weren’t any complete, practical guides to help newbies set up money making website (which was really surprising!)

A few days later, I came out with Newbie Start Up Guide. A simple step-by-step guide for getting your first “money making” website up and running less of a challenge.

It explains things like how to get hosting and register a domain name… then point the domain name servers (DNS) to your hosting and start uploading web pages via FTP and even how to install a WP blog!

This covers pretty much all the techy bits that newbies get confused with. But it goes further onto how to make websites that actually make money too!

There are step-by-step instructions on how to set up a squeeze page, and a sales page with order button (to sell your own or MRR products) and then how to create download pages.

This guide DOESN’T reveal any miracle money making system. If you go to the sales page, there is no headline that promises you’ll make “$3434 in 7 days with 1 mouse click”.

It doesn’t cover all aspects of internet marketing like product creation or any secret sales technique… there are a few tips for traffic generation, so if you’re looking for a magic bullet to make you money online fast, this guide isn’t for you.

It’s just a straight forward guide about getting your website up and ready to take sales or collect subscribers.

It’s great if you’ve got your own idea for a web site, your own product you want to sell or got a heap of MRR or PLR products lying around that you want to sell.

Here is some feedback from some happy customers:

Your new newbie guide is so simple and straight forward that anyone who reads this and still DOESN’T know how to build a money making website must be (in my most honest opinion) either a blithering idiot or armless.

“What I really liked about it was the concise, clear instructions. Nothing is left to the imagination nor are you left to wonder about your next move.”

Stu, I love your no-nonsense approach and you’ve out-done yourself again here with Newbie Start Up Guide.

So if you’re in need of help to get your website up and running, give my Newbie Start Up Guide a try. It’s designed to help the most clueless beginner internet marketer get started without stumbling and wondering what to do next.

There are 16 easy to follow steps over the 50+ pages written in plain English and with images and diagrams to show you exactly how to do everything.

It’s a small investment to make but it will be the best one you’ll make for your online career.

Having your own website is the best thing you can do for your internet business….I can promise you that.

Stu Sensei Stirling

3 Tips For Selling eBooks & Info-Products Online

The majority of my online income comes from selling my own and other people’s information products such as “how-to” ebooks and video courses.

If you’re selling “how-to” info-products or want to get started in this business, this post will help you succeed faster. These are things that I’ve learned over the last 5 years of selling info-products online.

1) Choose a “Desperate” Niche

What makes a desperate niche? Simply put, it’s a niche group of people who are desperate to find a solution to their problem urgently.

Most buyers choose to buy something through their EMOTIONS. There are people who buy on impulse and a few who buy something based on a logical decision.

But the best buyers you can be sure are going to NEED your product are ones who have a problem with emotional feelings involved that needs an urgent fix.

That’s why niches in health, money and relationships are so huge and lucrative.

An info-product based on a hobby can be good too.

Take the niche of “Golf” for example. People who play golf want to improve so they can impress their peers and clients so they can make business deals with them. There is somewhat an emotional background to wanting to improve at golf.

This is a bit of a bonus section, but a lot of info-preneurs fail when going after a “hobby niche” because they make a product based on what they themselves are INTERESTED in rather than what the market wants and is looking for.

You’ve got to know if there is a market who is hungry for your product otherwise it won’t be profitable for you.. it will be nothing more than a learning experience.

If you want to make money with your eBook or other Information Product, then you must choose a niche that is loaded with buyers who are EMOTIONAL about their need for your product. This makes it so much easier for your job as a marketer.

2) Laser-In On Your Niche

Another reason why some eBooks and Information products fail is because the creator was trying to hit everyone. Very rarely do “one size fits all” solutions work.

When a customer goes out searching for an answer, they are looking for a specific answer and they will buy something that checks all their boxes.

Let’s say a woman wants to lose 20 pounds and get in shape for her wedding in 3 months. She wouldn’t be really interested in a “general dieting” ebook.

She wants a book called “The Bride’s Guide To Losing Weight: How To Lose 20 Pounds In 90 Days Or Less.”

Sure the search volume on Google for “dieting ebook” might be massive compared to “how to lose weight before a wedding” but if your product is targeted specifically to that keyword string, the prospect is going to be several times more prone to buying.

And like Seth Godin said- “Don’t try to please everyone. There are countless people who don’t want one, haven’t heard of one or actively hate it. So what?”

3) Give People A Taste Of Your Product For Free

In recent years, the internet has become polluted with flimsy info products with little to no value (simply because it’s so easy to sell or distribute ebooks online) that customers are becoming more aware of scams and thinking twice before they hand over their money.

That, and the increase of competition means that your customers have more options.

How can you cut through that noise and make that person buy from you an no-one else?

The best way is to give them something of value first. Give them a sample of how good your product is.

It could be a few chapters of your ebook or a special additional report or video that informs but also pre-sells your main product.

But don’t make the mistake of putting together any old junk just because it’s a “freebie” – give them a taste of your BEST STUFF.

When your prospective customer comes to your website and gets something that’s very, VERY valuable from you for free, it shows them y

1) You really know what you’re talking about.

2) You are a cool guy (or girl) for giving it away free

This works great for you because you build an instant relationship with your prospect and show them you’re an expert which makes them much more likely to buy your product(s) in the future.

So give your prospects a taste of your BEST stuff for free – just make sure you get their email address so you can continue to follow up with them and help them place their order.

When they you get them on your list, you can promote not only your product to them, but also any other related products as an affiliate. This is the power of list building.

To your success,

Stu Sensei