Choosing a good domain name isn’t as hard as it’s been made out to be. Here’s a question on that topic that just hit my email inbox along with my reply:
Different programs will tell me that in order to find a good domain name I should try to acquire one that’s at least six months old so it doesn’t get passed over by a search engine. I always thought that a domain name was something I had to invent to reflect either my name or the name of a product I wanted to promote. Can you enlighten me here?
Thanks for your time.
Relax – very little of the overall odds of success rely on your ability to pick a good domain name up front.
Chapter 7 & Chapter 20 from my “101 Free Marketing” book cover this topic in depth, but here are the general guidelines:
If you have input to add please leave a comment!
I’ve been helping great people answer that question for over a decade now. Is it working? As evidence we have over a thousand positive comments and success stories to show for our efforts.
Part of my recent approach to teaching online success is to start out telling people what NOT to do because the odds are they’ve already gotten a bunch of bad advice by the time they discover my ideas.
My students are often surprised to hear me say that they definitely should NOT start their online business efforts by:
So, where should you start?
I run three distinct and successful online businesses and have been doing so for years. The success rate is high when I teach the models to others. I suggest you start with the model below that best suits you. If you aren’t quite sure, then I suggest you start with number one from the below list.
Here are the three strategies of online success that my coaches and I teach:
1. Sell high profit physical goods through Amazon.com, eBay.com and possibly (eventually) your own website. Optionally, you are continually finding creative ways to automate and grow a huge customer following for future sales and connections. (The membership site MySilentTeam.com supports this concept)
2. Find a profitable niche market, be a leader in that niche and give your followers fantastic content while also selling them related products, services, training, or information that is of interest to them. (MySilentTeam.com also supports this concept). NOTE: This IS NOT the same thing as setting up a bunch of tiny niche websites! That model is DEAD & I’ve not liked it for nearly 5 years.
3. Get paid to help other businesses, experts, authors and organizations apply marketing that works to their business. (OfflineBiz.com supports this concept)
Read more about each of these strategies plus more about where NOT to start in the $5 SilentSalesMachine.com book.
Any questions or comments? Let’s talk about it! I’d love your feedback.
I run several businesses online and off.
As you might imagine, my email inbox goes CRAZY daily with hundreds of emails – many of which are very important. Keep in mind that I also limit my daily hours. I don’t let email run my life!
I’ve been forced to develop some good email habits and I thought you might want to read some of them and put them to work yourself.
Have any tips to add? Have a question? Leave a comment!
Alternate title 1: Marketing while still being able to look at yourself in the mirror…it’s not too late
Alternate title 2: Why the good guy are winning more often online
Mark my words -
I predict that the era of mega Internet Marketing Launches is coming to a close. They will eventually die an ugly and slow death because WE the consumers will demand it and literally FRY those who go against the wave of angry victims that nearly all big launches create.
What’s an IM Launch? If you don’t know what an IM Launch is I’ll sum it up for you. The same list of 15-20 “gurus” all cooperate to launch high price tag product after product to hopeful online entrepreneurs. The “gurus” take turns propping up each others big launches while giving away massive prizes to each other for the most affiliate sales. Endorsements flow like water from one “guru” to the next for each big launch without even so much as reading a summary of what the product contains. Email sales copy is “copy/pasted” and there’s a BUY NOW before it’s all over edge to each “launch”.
While there will always be suckers willing to pay $X,XXX for each sharply packaged digital course, here’s what’s going to change very soon:
The ever growing list of SMART CONSUMERS in the IM niche (I hope this includes you) are going to start using their ever increasing online influence to tell their ever growing loyal audiences to STAY AWAY from the shiny objects. And the growing trend is that consumers are NAMING NAMES and ending the careers of those deserving of termination.
I’ve developed some standards that I think we need for the entire industry as consumers and as creators of “online business growth” content:
1) If the training is digitally delivered, make it affordable. If it’s SOOO great, you’ll have plenty of people who want one-on-one coaching to grow the biz and that coaching (if it’s good) can be worth more money later to your top students. This is good marketing, good business, and starts things off on the right foot with nervous students.
2) No bright shiny objects allowed (cut the graphics crap, cut the false scarcity, the exotic backgrounds etc.) As buyers we don’t care – or at least we SHOULDN’T! If you DO actually buy into flashy presentation and care what car your “guru” drives shame on you. YOU are the sucker and you will soon be waving good-bye to what little cash you have left.
3) Start small, grow slow, & make sure it’s not going to be saturated before you start sharing it with us. In other words, no more big launches on unproven and unreliable concepts. PROVE it first by rolling it out to people who trust you…we’ll buy later once you have REAL testimonials from real people and can prove that you are onto something worthy of mass attention. I’m blessed that I’ve come up with THREE such concepts in my ten years of doing this business. I don’t trust ANYONE who comes up with a new concept every few months!
4) Recruit your early successful students to present their ideas to the rest of us as their businesses grow. Let the content GROW as new creative ideas and people come on board. Commit long term to things you believe in and produce results.
5) Hire successful students to monitor the MANDATORY INCLUDED discussion forums and let everyone hang out and learn there.
6) With rare exception, there should be no time limits on refunds for online courses. If the course is SOOO great it should still be working six months from now. We should still be seeing new success stories then as well and the content should still be getting updates for relevance.
7) End guru worship. Showing off the stuff you have does not impress the kind of customer that you’ll need if you want to build a real business.
8) Your “expert testimonials” are crap. Show us real people giving their FIRST EVER real testimonial. Those are the ones that matter.
Am I forgetting anything?
How can YOU help make this a reality? STOP BUYING STUFF THAT YOU KNOW IS GARBAGE.
Lesson for my “expert” colleagues: If you aim your marketing at idiots you’ll soon have an audience of the same.
I’d love to read your comments on this one! Use the comment button above and add your thoughts.
One of the questions I get asked occasionally by new eBay and Amazon sellers is this,
“Jim, how do I drive traffic to my eBay and Amazon listings?”
That’s the wrong question.
There’s an inherent problem in that question that I’d like to expose in this blog post. This post is aimed primarily at “newbies” with stars in their eyes and big hopes for fast success.
If that’s you, the next paragraph is important for you to understand and take to heart and could save you a TON of wasted time, energy, effort and cash:
The beauty of Amazon and eBay is that the massive customer base is BUILT IN and all of those people are in a SHOPPING MOOD. There’s no need to ‘drive customers’ to your listings if you’ve picked the right products to sell.
If you picked the WRONG product or are trying to sell your own original unknown product and are left trying to “drive traffic” to it you are playing an entirely different and more difficult game.
While you may hear stories of people promoting their eBay and Amazon listings using SEO tactics, you won’t find me spending (wasting) much time on that type of strategy for newbies b/c it’s such wasted effort for nearly all people who try to do it.
The fact is, even if you start driving traffic to your products on Amazon or eBay from an external source (i.e. your blog for example), the number of competing products that Amazon and eBay display next to your offer will offset any advantage you may have had. You’d have likely been better off just selling the items on your own blog -something I also don’t recommend trying.
If profit is part of your goal, you are better off putting your energy into creating and finding products that have built in demand vs. wasting time trying to drive traffic to your listings.
My best guess is that the concept of “driving traffic to your listings” is something you read on a shiny object sales page somewhere. I can assure you that there’s absolutely NO strategy that exists to make this happen more often than every once in awhile. When it does work, it works for only the rarest of lucky sellers who are also tenacious risk takers and who are also willing to see it all vanish overnight on the whim of a Google algorithm change. (If you don’t understand that last sentence you should DEFINITELY stay away from any “driving traffic” strategies.)
I spend a great deal of time on my blog talking about SEO. My views used to be considered crazy, but now more and more experts are acknowledging that I was ahead of my time on this topic…and that I’m right! Read through the SEO section of this site or my blog for more detail. I promise you’ll never look at “driving traffic” the same way!
And I’ll repeat my foundational advice for this post:
If profit is part of your goal, you are better off putting your energy into creating and finding products that have built in demand vs. wasting time trying to drive traffic to your listings.
Please leave a comment – let’s talk about it…
We had an overwhelming outpouring of support and applications for the positions! The slots have all been filled now however. If we need more assistance we will put out an additional announcement in the newsletter and/or here on the blog.
If you aren’t a member of MySilentTeam.com yet you SHOULD BE – we’ve just added 15 new moderators with amazing experience! They are there to help you!
Due to incredible growth we have a need for additional great people on my team.
This is not a “job”, but instead it’s a paid partnership opportunity. Time and time again our most successful students have risen up to leadership roles. It’s a great business model and it’s a testament to the effectiveness of what we teach.
Here’s the opportunity:
If you are a match for our needs, we’ll pay you well to provide the level of support and assistance that you’ve come to expect from anything I put my name to. You’ll also get to work with the STRONGEST and MOST CREATIVE team in online business success training.
Here are the specific partnership positions we are looking to fill:
o Forum Discussion Moderators for MySilentTeam.com
o One-on-one coaches to assist paying students with our core strategies
o Content managers with experience in membergate membership sites
What qualifies you to be a part of the team?
The more of the below qualifications you have, the more likely we are to be interested in bringing you on board. The most important qualifications are on top (you don’t need all qualifications in order to apply):
o You’ve had success online in one or more of the **three niche areas that I teach
o You are willing and able to provide proof of your success in your own business online
o You are available to commit a few hours per week (this isn’t full-time work)
o You are a long time member and frequent user of either membership site MySilentTeam.com or OfflineBiz.com (provide your ID please)
o Long time fan/reader/student of Jim’s
How do you apply?
I don’t need (or want) your resume. I could care less if you went to college or what grades you got. Just send me a few short sentences about your qualifications based on the above list- nothing fancy needed.
To apply, please forward your response to Jim’s email account at JimCockrum*at*gmail.com, or reply to this blog post (it will be kept confident) using the comment feature of this blog post. Either way, we’ll get back to you within a week or so, and I’ll be speaking directly to the candidates that are most qualified.
Have a question or comment? Please use the comment button and we’ll respond.
In case you are wondering, here are the three strategies of online success that we teach:
1. Sell high profit physical goods through Amazon.com, eBay.com and possibly your own website. Optionally, you are continually finding creative ways to automate and grow a huge customer following for future sales and connections. (MySilentTeam.com supports this concept)
2. Find a profitable niche market, be a leader in that niche and give your followers fantastic content while also selling them related products, services, training, or information that is of interest to them. (MySilentTeam.com supports this concept)
3. Help other businesses, experts, authors and organizations apply “what works” and prosper from your efforts helping them. (OfflineBiz.com supports this concept)
Read more about each of these strategies in the SilentSalesMachine.com book.
I’ve been invited to be the keynote speaker at the 10th anniversary eBay Radio Conference in Las Vegas in June on the 18-20th 2013.
I hope you can join me there!
Here’s the short audio clip from the eBay Radio show last week where hosts Jim Griff and Lee Mirabal made the announcement (the clip is only about a minute long):
Needless to say – this is a big honor for me…especially on the 10th anniversary! For more details about the event visit ervegas.com or click the logo above.
A few of the other featured speakers you might recognize:
…plus several others! I’m going to be learning & presenting with this all star line up!
A couple of questions for you (respond with a comment):
If you were to attend (or plan to) what topics would you most like to hear me address?
Do you plan to attend?
I hope to see you there if you can make it! I’d love to have a nice contingent of my blog readers on hand so I can thank you in person for the support!
Special thanks (in no special order) goes to Mike Markuson, Mark Becker, Doug Hark, Thea Woods, Jeff Dean, Theo Ntogiakos, Steven Netsch, & Yves Baggi who all generously assisted or offered to assist with getting the above audio clip from the most recent “ebay Radio” show when I mentioned it on facebook! Thanks all!
If you’ve been reading my advice for very long you’ve heard me say stuff like, “The best use of Facebook is to grow your email list.”
I caught a lot of negative feedback when I first said that a few years ago!
The fact is though, I’ve been saying the same stuff for years now, and the list of experts who are calling me “nuts” is slowly shrinking.
Here’s my latest supporting evidence from a $500 report recently published by Forrester Research (Forrester.com). The title of the report is “The Purchase Path Of Online Buyers In 2012″. This research study followed 77,000+ online purchase transactions and concluded (among many other findings) that:
And what about my claim that Facebook never has been a tool for driving sales and is now fading?
In this recent article Facebook admits that it is losing appeal and sees rough waters ahead. A little research could produce many more such articles.
If you want to be in the game long term you’d better be growing your email list and providing that list quality content that they can’t wait to read. If you want to be found on the search engines IGNORE SEO and just create quality content that’s “shareable”.
Check out my comprehensive $7 video course that shows you all I know about email marketing.
*To read more of my thoughts about getting found on Search Engines check out the other blog posts in the “SEO” section of my blog, or read my SilentSalesMachine.com book for more info.
There’s a secret that a few of us have figured out and you need to know the big secret as well. Some who read this post will think I’m nuts, but I’m O.K. with that.
I’m making a great living selling a bunch of products and services every week and helping thousands of people around the world succeed as well. The odds are, anyone who calls me crazy is also stuck scratching their heads in amazement at my success while they endure a job they hate.
I’ll take my life over the “haters” any day – thank you very much.
The “Big Secret”
My 13 year old came home from a youth event recently and he had a long verbal list of complaints about the evening. It was typical stuff for a teenage brain, but it helped me connect some business dots in my own head as I let him rattle off his list of reasons why things hadn’t gone well that night.
After he was done and just before I went into “consoling dad mode”, I asked one simple question that I think annoyed him a bit, but it made my point.
I asked, “If you think back through the entire story you just told me what did nearly every sentence have in common?“
Without even hearing his story I’ll bet you can figure it out right?
If not, you’ll figure it out in a minute.
First, let’s make a list of all the stuff that virtually none of your customers, prospects, readers, fans, clients, video viewers, Facebook and twitter friends or online followers actually care about:
99.9% of them don’t truly care…
…get the point?
So what do they care about?
They are actually asking themselves some simple questions that read something like this:
“Can this person/product/service HELP ME get from where I am now to where I want to be, and how painful will the journey be?”
“Can I learn to trust this person/product/service? …because I don’t yet.”
“What is the cost of skipping all this for now and coming back to it later?”
“Exactly how will my life be better if I do this? Worse if I don’t?”
“What can I expect if I do/don’t ‘pull the trigger’?”
“Does this person/product/service actually CARE or are they just trying to get my money?”
“What is the unbiased reputation of this person/product/service?”
To be a success online means leading. To LEAD an online audience means helping your readers/followers/prospects answer the above questions in your favor.
That’s the big secret.
Stated more plainly – success doesn’t come to those who place themselves at the center of the situation. It’s NOT about you – and if you make it about YOU, you will almost certainly fail.
Further evidence of this simple yet powerful “secret” can be found in two best sellers: The Holy Bible, & “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie <-affiliate link
The rest of the story:
The next week when dropping my son off at the same weekly event I reminded him, “It’s not about you – remember our talk.”
He had a FANTASTIC evening.