An agonist. An agonist causes action to happen. They are more than a muse. They force you to take action and that is something I believe most of us need to create our best work. Not that the agonist will get us creating our best work all the time but in the end we will all be better because of them.
And of course, a procrastinatrix. A person whose sole function is to make sure you get it done now, rather than later.
In an online business world where we are our own bosses, these two people are more important than ever. Do not trick yourself into believe you can do these jobs yourself. If you think you do both of these jobs already I challenge you to spend the time and the money to find a person to do these jobs for you. Then compare the before and after results. Neither of these jobs is very hard, however, they are very hard to do yourself.
Content is still king, but influential relationships are queen. And we all know that women rule the world, so maybe we should start paying more attention to these queens.
Bloggers should publish less and promote more.
If you enjoy staying awake until 4am writing each night, and frantically trying to publish according to your over-zealous schedule, then continue doing what you’re doing. My guess is that you’re not paying enough attention to the queens though, and we all know how important it is to cherish, respect, and support the women in our lives.
That said, there are a lot of queens in the world, and everybody seems to be trying to get attention from the same ones. So you send emails to industry influencers and tweet at top bloggers. One day you get a response back and feel like you’ve made it to their inner circle.
Then you hear crickets … followed by tumbleweed rolling by. (Which is odd because you don’t live in the Wild West or in a cowboy movie. But I digress.)
The Diamond in the Rough System of relationship-building
In every industry there are a select few who are in the spotlight. They receive hundreds of emails, tweets, Facebook messages and so on every day. Likely they don’t answer their own mail and there isn’t much you can offer them in terms of support.
The Diamond in the Rough System is a way to get the influencers to want to approach you. It can be applied to any large social medium but I’m going to stick to Twitter for this article.
Twitter is a sea of shameless self-promotion. Much of it goes unnoticed. The feed is so cluttered and people are more interested in pumping their own information out than absorbing that of others. Add to that the unfortunate fact that what you’re saying isn’t unique—there are probably people with bigger followings already saying it—and you’re facing an uphill battle.
The Diamond in the Rough System will teach you how to find the Queens behind the scenes and court them.
First, understand that there are a number of influential people in every industry:
The influencers are the ones in control of the big brands. They may or may not be smarter than you, but they have hustled to get to where they are, and built an empire and great network around themselves.
The large magazines are usually faceless organizations with multiple walls and levels of bureaucracy getting in the way. This makes it difficult to get in touch with anyone.
The bloggers are gaining more steam in some industries. In the tech industries, for example, it could be argued they control the information; in plumbing they are relatively non-existent.
The senior editors are the top-level editors at magazines and industry publications. These people are over-worked and usually under-paid or under-appreciated.
The beat reporters and supporting editors are easy to access and have a lot of influence as to what goes into major publications. They are the diamonds in the rough.
Right about now you’re thinking I’m crazy. Because, if you’re like most people attempting to gain influence, you have tried to follow the conventional path and emailed various editors desperately trying to get his or her attention—and never gotten a response.
Get creative and get unconventional
Email is conventional. People have learned to ignore it. You must evolve your practices to get noticed.
Twitter is a way to build a relationship with the queens and create a friendship. Most of these reporters have modest, if any, followings on Twitter. So while they get 100+ emails a day, they might only get two @ mentions on Twitter. Which do you think they would be more likely to respond to?
How to find the diamonds in the rough
Follow the head editors and scan the lists of the people they follow. Look for accounts that say something like, “NY Times editor focusing on social media and marketing.” Follow everybody that seems to cover your niche.
Identify the top bloggers in your niche and follow the same steps are above.
Identify the top influencers in your niche and follow the same steps as above.
Search newspapers websites and find the editors that cover the subjects your niche pertains to. A Google search is usually all you need to find their Twitter account if they have one.
Every magazine lists the various editors and writers on the first couple pages. Identify the top magazines in your niche and write down the names of everybody on this page that fits your specifications. Do a Google search and try to find their Twitter account and follow them.
Pay attention to networks of influence. It’s not uncommon for a number of influencers to tweet back and forth with the same person that you have never heard of. That person is likely an important member behind the scenes.
The community of people at the top of your industry is close-knit. There are the influencers that you know and a supporting crew that acts behind the scenes that you don’t. These supporting crewmembers are your diamonds. Find them and make them feel important. Support them and build relationships with them.
How to court your queens
Now that you’ve found these people, respond intelligently to their tweets. If they promote a blog post or article with a link, take the time to read the entire article and respond with a piece of feedback or a question. If they say something about their personal life or hobby, send back a joke or tidbit of information.
As an aside I’ll add that you should not respond to every tweet. This comes off as needy. Respond only if you have something intelligent to say and not more than once or twice every couple of days.
Don’t ask for anything in return. Your bio on Twitter says who you are, and includes a link to your work. They will check you out. And you only publish your best work right?
You should have a headshot as your profile picture in Twitter, not your company logo. People like talking to and doing business with people, not faceless organizations.
As you can see, there is a lot of money to be made, especially if you can sell several hosting packages per month. So of course, everyone is trying to promote these products online and the landscape is extremely competitive.
HOWEVER, selling these hosting packages offline is very easy if done cleverly.
Who needs hosting packages?
People who need a website.
Who needs websites these days?
Just about everybody and their mother.
Who offers websites?
Just about everybody and their mother.
How much do these companies charge for a website?
So what to start doing?
OFFERING FREE WEBSITE DESIGN CLASSES.
Print up simple paper fliers at home and posted them all over town…at university campuses, in libraries, and other public areas. They can look something like this:
Learn how to make a website or blog for FREE!
I am offering FREE website design classes on Sundays from 6-9 pm at the public library. Make sure to bring your laptop and a credit card (to buy a domain and hosting account) and you will be walking out of there with a website – GUARANTEED! If you need a blog or website for any reason, you don’t want to miss this opportunity.
Please call or email if you are attending so I can get an idea of how many people are showing up. I look forward to teaching you!
That’s it. Obviously you will switch up the time and location, but that’s all you need to put on your flier.
Now, as everybody should know, nothing in the world is ever free. And even though I’m technically offering “free” classes, every person that shows up to that class is paying. Yes, you already figured it out…they are signing up through my affiliate link.
And guess what? I’ve found that by simply telling the people that show up at the class why you are doing “free” classes, they are happy to sign up for a domain registrar AND hosting account through affiliate links:
“Hi everyone and welcome to my free class. You might be wondering why I am offering a class for FREE on how to make a website. Well, to make a website, you have to buy a domain and a hosting account – you can’t make a website without those things (don’t worry, it costs less than $10 / year for a domain and less than $10 / month for hosting). If you purchase those products through me, I will make a commission, but the price won’t change at all for you. Let’s start and I’ll walk you through the process of buying a domain. Please go my website and click on the Go Daddy link…”
So as you can guess, it’s easy to make more than $2,000 per month by doing this – the numbers I’m giving are extremely conservative. 20 customers (5 per class) * $100 per referral = $2,000.
There usually are more than 20 customers per month and you get commissions for domain registrars AND hosting.
And guess what else? At the end of my class tell everyone about your website and ask them to sign up for your mailing list. You get to promote my website and get 20 extra subscribers to your newsletter per month.
Needless to say, be happy to teach every person in that class how to make a website when you’ve made at least $100 off of each person that showed up. Show them how to install WordPress and teach them all how to use it. And be glad to help people make whatever kind of website that they want.
People leave extremely happy from the classes because they got a website for exactly what it costs and no more (plus the knowledge of how to update it themselves), and you’re happy because you just made several hundreds of dollars. It’s a win-win-win-win-win.
So start thinking of ways to make money from your affiliate links OFFLINE and you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities there really are.
There are very few basic knowns about what factors have an effect on your keyword ranking. Put your keyword in the title of your page, in your page, and in the url of your page that you want to rank for that keyword.
But the gold standard for ranking for a keyword was to register the exact match domain. For example if you wanted to rank for Lincoln Dentist, registering lincolndentist.com secured your spot in #1.
I have known affiliates and companies that have invested millions of dollars in exact match domains for high paying niches.
Recently, Google’s spam fighting face Matt Cutts responded to the shuffling results saying they were taking action against “low-quality ‘exact-match’ domains”.
This adds to the work done by the Panda update, which filtered out poor-quality web pages, and Penguin, which tackled spammy pages.
According to a Cutts’ tweet on September 28th, 0.6% of English-US queries will be noticeably affected.
This might not sound like many searches in the grand scheme of things. However, the latest comScore figures show that Google sites were responsible for 11.3 billion individual search queries in the US alone in August 2012, meaning that 0.6% of queries amounts to almost 68 million searches per month.
Sounds like no big deal right? I mean its only 0.6% of all searches that will be effective. But here is the thing. This is something very specific. Since its exact match for something like “lincoln dentist” how much of Google’s over all searches is that? Umm like .000000000000000000000000001% ?
It should be noted though that a TON of these sites that are low quality come from type in traffic in the browsers. But since Chrome and Firefox no longer take you directly to domains when you search for keyword matches this will become a factor as well.
Cutts’ full announcement of this update on Twitter read as follows:
“Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality ‘exact-match’ domains in search results…
New exact-match domain (EMD) algo affects 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree. Unrelated to Panda/Penguin.”
The immediate response was positive, with one Twitter user simply replying with “Yippeeee!,” and another joking “I suspect that won’t be a ‘minor’ weather report to the vast majority of affiliate marketers.”
This is good and bad news. Mostly bad for people that invested tons of money in exact keyword domains… Just hoping the power of the exact match would work.
Also since all of these are manually reviewed (I doubt it, seems more like a programatic thing). I am guessing there will be a lot of false positives. After all Google is hiring thousands of people to manually review search results to determine if its good content or not for the keyword.
Unlike the old days of churn and burn on domains people have made a VERY sizeable investment in these exact match domains…. and the ones who also invested in quality content I hope they don’t get burnt.
A friend posted this on Facebook. I have no clue who wrote it. However, I think it’s worth sharing. Enjoy:
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnais
e jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..
‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.
‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.
Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.