Category Archives for Marketing

How I Unfollowed 25k on Twitter

I started with Twitter when it was new and back then the point was to follow as many as possible in hope that they will follow you back. Yes it worked and maybe it works today as well.

If it works today, it may work in the way that people follow you back. But, it is not the way we build relations with the people on social media.

We simply don’t have time to interact with tens of thousands of people. So, what is then the purpose of having them? Maybe some kind of social proof that my account is important or some kind of proof that I would be important.

Well, I think people are more intelligent than so. What matters is the kind of content I publish.

I haven’t used Twitter for a long time and I decided to start fresh. I search Google and find an article from Lifehacker about the Unfollow All plugin for Chrome.

Twitter: Are you sure you want to unfollow all users?
Erik: YES

Twitter: Refresh the page when you want to stop!
Erik: OK

Twitter: It is advised that you do not unfollow large quantities of users in one day, according to the twitter guidelines. Use with caution. Cheers!

After that message I got cold feet and refreshed the page and found out that I had unfollowed about 600 people.

What is a large quantity according to Twitter? I don’t know and I didn’t find any good answers on Google either.

I don’t want to lose my account that I have had since March 2007 so I will try to unfollow people every day. There is a Twitter rule about following 1000 people per day and maybe I am safe if I follow that same rule when unfollowing.

We will see. I will update this post when something happens.

Do you use Twitter? What is your experience with it? Let me know in the

9 Things To Avoid When Starting a Home Business

This is a post about what you should try to avoid to do when you start a home business. I failed at every one of these 9 tips when I started. Actually not only when I started but with some of the things in the list, I made the wrong ting many years before I understood that I had to change in order to get better results.

The list is made of 9 very important things to remember when you start your home business. If you get them wrong it will have a major impact on your results. They are not in any specific order as every part can be equally important.

List building

It didn’t take long after I started my online journey before I was told that I had to build a list. It was a very good friend of mine, Goran Thisell, who told me this. Unfortunately he passed away far too early and I can’t discuss my marketing with him anymore. He told me that the list is an asset that you own and handled correct it can your own ATM. I wish I had done what he told me then.

I didn’t start list building until years after that. Later I have built some lists but it has never been a number one business task for me. That is a pity as it really is the most important thing you can do. My excuses were that my English wasn’t good enough and I didn’t know how to write good emails.

Hire your own mentor

This is a difficult one as it is a major cost to get a good mentor. As a new business owner the cash flow might not be very good and most often it can be negative. In that situation it is not easy to make a decision to invest in a mentor. I didn’t and as a matter of fact I didn’t do that until late 2017. There are many reasons for that but I did feel that it was too expensive for many years.

Now I understand that I was completely wrong. Yes, there is a cost to it but that is actually a good thing. For some strange reason we are more compelled to do certain things if we have paid a lot for the service. And what is a lot? Let’s say the price for a mentor is $497 per month, and the advice we get generates $1000 a month. I doubt that anyone will say that it is a bad decision to pay the mentor that money. The sums I use are only examples but I am completely confident that my mentor will help me to a completely new income level.

Should I have an office outside of my home?

The short answer is: Yes. It is comfortable to work from home but it is also very difficult to be effective if you have other family members around. They want to talk to you, ask questions or maybe watch tv in the same room. You try to explain that when you work, you have to concentrate and should not be disturbed, but it is not that easy.

With an office outside of your home you will be more efficient and get more done. I have tried both and working from home is not recommendation. We are in the middle of a move right now and I will have a home office in the new apartment. It is still better than what I am used to as I have had the office in our living room for the past 2 years.

Build your network

During my ears online I have got some very good friends. Still this is something I haven’t done in a way that I should have. What I mean is an active approach to build a network of other marketers. As long as you don’t have your own product, a network is not that important. But you should always have a goal to make your own product and the best way to prepare for that launch is to have a large and talented network.

 

Time for family and friends

My way of living is to not be bothered by things that I have done wrong. I try to learn from them and then go on. One thing I do regret is that I spend far to little time with my sons when they were young. I thought that I could made that up later but the later did ever come. This is far more important than trying to make some extra sales. I didn’t understand that then. This was when I started as an entrepreneur and before the internet. I took care of old cars, a junkyard, and sold used car parts.

Test everything

How can you know that something is successful if you don’t test it? The simple answer is: You don’t! Even if you think that you have found out the best way to do something, there is always something that can be better. There are two parts of testing:
1. Testing existent promotions in the form of AB testing.
2. Testing new ideas. Test as fast as you can and try to implement the idea when you have them fresh in your head.

Don’t chase the final pixel

This was a major one for me for many years. It still can be a problem when I forget what I have learned. What is it about then? Don’t try to be a perfectionist. I have made a lot of websites with different layouts  and a lot of imagery. I have changed colors, sizes and the positions. Sometimes it could take hours before I was satisfied. What I didn’t understand that it is not about me, it is about the customer or the website visitor. And I have no idea about what they think. So, the best way is to publish your work as fast as possible and then improve based on the results. This is where testing is the key again. The same go’s for copy. Write and improve, write and improve.

Take care of your body and mind

I read somewhere that if you can’t take care of your body, you certainly can’t be successful in business. It all starts with ourselves. I believe in that. And it is not only our bodies, maybe even more important that we take care of our minds. There are great programs to improve our memory as one example. I love to learn new things and read a lot. But if I don’t remember what I read, it’s only a waste of time. I will post more about what I have done to improve my memory in another post.

 

Find a sustainable business and stick to it

This is a difficult one. I suppose that I could say that I have failed with this last point in 12 years. I have tried a lot of different things and I have also known that it will not last. I have made some money and at time I was very pleased with that. It paid my rent and got me some food on the table. But then Google or Amazon or some other major player changed their algorithms and suddenly my business was gone. Another problem if you keep changing your business is the risk of buying program after another in order to find the right one for you. This is the famous shiny object syndrome SOS. I have been there and try to avoid it if you can.

Have you started you own business yet? What are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments and maybe I can help you.

Paid or Free Traffic?

This is a question I have pondered about many times. Not only that, I have changed my opinion a couple of times as well.

When I started on the internet back in 2004 I didn’t have a clue about how to get visitors to my site. It was a affiliate site built in HTML without any software.

I searched for solutions and specially after free solutions. Now when I think about it I it is a shame that I didn’t test adwords in the early days. Many marketers tell stories about how easy it was to drive traffic with Google then. Well…not me.

The method I decided to try was traffic exchanges. If this is new to you, I’ll explain. You visit two sites and you get one visit to your site. That is the principle and yes I got some traffic and I also got some sales after a while. It would have been better if I had failed completely as I hold on to this method far too long.

I was an early adopter for blogging and I started to get some traffic from the search engines. This was extremely interesting and I bought every course I found.

For many ears I thought that free traffic from the search engines was THE way to get people to my websites.

I have built over 100 keyword domain sites and they worked very well for some time. I had auto blogs generating fresh content several times a day and that was also a success.

Videos on Youtube were really easy to rank and actually they can still be used without massive link building if you use the right keywords.

So I had some results with free traffic but the results didn’t match my expectations. I needed more traffic, much more.

Main problems with free traffic:
– Difficult to scale as you are dependent on the search engines or other bots.
– Difficult to test landing pages and copy as most of the time there are not enough traffic
– Time consuming as you have to wait for optimizations and link building to get noticed by the bots.

Actually I did test some paid traffic but I failed miserably….or I should say that I learned a lot :-). Unfortunately I didn’t understand what I learned until years later.

The magic word that I didn’t understand or probably didn’t even know the word was: Funnels. I tried to drive traffic to a single book or product. Now when I think about it I am not sure when funnels became popular.

When you have a good funnel you are able to pay a lot more for every click. This is really important. When you combine/start the funnel with list building you should have a great system in place.

There are so many different paid traffic sources and you should not treat them equally. Facebook is what I have used most but it also depends on what you are selling.

As I have worked with eCommerce the previous 3 years, I found that FB worked great for me. The best results I got with short video ads.

In summary I would say that when you choose between paid and free website visitors it depends on the kind of product or service you offer.

Another great source of traffic that I haven’t mentioned is traffic generated from affiliates. That can be highly effective and something I will try when I release my new product with the help and advice from my mentor.

Mentor? Yes, I have finally decided to get help to be more focused in my business. That will be a topic for another blog post.

Let me know what kind of traffic you find best?

My Stupid Mistake

Sometimes things go completely wrong and as always there is no one but myself to blame.

I have been an internet marketer for more than 10 years now. My second website was Businesshout.com. Google has always favored older sites and domains that are registered for several years. That was the reason I bought the domain for 10 years. By the way… it is still good advice to buy domains for more than 1 year. You can get some favor in your rankings.

The problem was that I used a yahoo email address when I bought the domain and I registered the domain with GWO which I left many years ago. I have used Namecheap now for several years and they are good.

The other problem was simply that I was completely sure that I had bought the domain in December 10 years ago.

I was wrong. The domain expired and the registrar wanted $100 to get it back to me. During the 10 years I have used the domain for a lot of different things and I don’t think it was really popular in Google’s eyes anymore.

So I decided not to pay the fee to GWO and start the ErikAstrand.com site instead. That has been in my mind for several years but as long as I had Businesshout I didn’t want another site to update.

What is the purpose of this site then?

I have studied and learned a lot under my 10+ internet years and I want to share that information with you. I believe in giving and my plan is to help as many as possible to make a living with the help of internet.

There will be affiliate links in my emails and on the site and I think you understand that they are a part of supporting this site and the time I set aside to help you and other marketers to succeed.

If you buy from my links I am here to help you when you need and you can also get additional tips about how to use the program or software you have bought.

Who knows…maybe the stupid mistake can develop to something much better and in that case it isn’t stupid anymore. J

13 Traffic Conversion Secrets

Traffic vs conversion – getting traffic to your website is one of the most difficult tasks for many online retailers and home business owners. The easy route is to buy traffic but if you don’t know what your are doing – it will be really difficult to get a positive ROI.

This is why you have to focus on conversion!

Here are 13 traffic conversion tips that even a newcomer to Internet marketing can do:

1.    Refine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What makes your product different, special, better or more desirable? That’s the USP. Now get the answer to that question down to one or two concise sentences.

2.    Sound friendly, not slick. Your sales copy needs to sound like one friend excited to tell another friend about a great buy. Avoid sounding like a high-pressure infomercial.

3.    Ask for help. Give the viewers a reason to interact with you by asking for their opinion on a survey or product rating. You get useful information and keep them thinking about your product longer.

4.    Simplify the offering. If you have three different products to sell, use three websites. Don’t make the mistake of trying to offer too much at once. This might work for major retailers, but they already have a brand and a following.

5.    Leave some open space. Prepare a sales page that’s easy to read with wide margins. You don’t have to fill every inch. Leaving some white space helps the reader to better focus on the copy.

6.    Brag openly. If your product has a good rating or endorsements from satisfy buyers, then let them brag about the product for you.

7.    Cast with plenty of bait. In your sales letter and squeeze page, put out the “bait” for your offer over and over.  Don’t skimp on bait. Better too many offers than not enough to convert that buyer who is still uncertain.

8.    Find problems.  Even after your sales page is complete, keep thinking about other problems that your product can solve. You might get a hint of new ways to promote your product by asking buyers how they use the product.

9.    Use moderate highlighting. Yes, highlights draw visual attention but too many highlights or excessive colors frustrate online readers.

10.    Package deals are popular. After presenting your USP, sweeten the offer with a package including several free items as part of the “Buy Now” deal. Limited time offers create a sense of urgency for the buyer to act.

11.    Ask for the order. An old principle of sales that must never be ignored – ask for the order, ask again then ask again. You can’t ask too many times.

12.    Say “Thank you.”  Have a gracious, personal sounding, “Thank you” email with the order confirmation. It never hurts to show good manners and buyer appreciation!

13. Use familiar trust building images on your website. This can be pictures of credit cards or well known security seals.

This is by far not a complete list but a good starting point.

Contact me

Feel free to contact me with any of the following methods.

Social Media

Contact Me