Sunday, February 16, 2014

How To Get Incredible Results Using Nothing But Your Blog!

This is a dead parrot. 

I know that it's dead because when I took it home, I had the liberty of examining it and I discovered the only reason it was sitting on it's perch was because it had been nailed there, and don't even tell me the reason it was nailed down was so it wouldn't VOOM out of the cage.

This bloomin' bird wouldn't VOOM if you put 10 million volts through it.

This is what you would call an ex-parrot. He is no more. He ceases to be.  He has gone to meet his maker.

This is a DEAD Parrot.

He is stiff, bereft of life, he rests in peace and if you hadn't nailed him to his perch he'd be pushing up daisies.
His metabolic processes are now history.  He's off his twig.  Hes kicked the bucket and shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and is now singing in the choir invisible!

This is an EX-PARROT!

About Your Blog....

If this is the way you feel about your blog content, then perhaps you should rethink what you are doing.  Unless you are just writing a blog just for the sheer joy of writing one, there are a few things that you blog should be doing, namely converting prospects into paying customers and getting people interested in what you have to offer.

Other than possibly reinforcing a company's brand, everything else is just a hobby.

So, my friends, if you are looking for information on how to reincarnate this dead parrot, keep reading, because I'm going to give you a few mind blowing strategies that will enable you to soar with the wings of parrots...Whatever!

In this exciting episode we will:
  • Tell you what makes kick- butt content so that people will actually want to read what you have written.
  • What kind of stuff search engines like to see in a blog
  • How to properly get links to your site without bugging the crap out of someone.

OK, that's a lot of stuff, so I better get cracking.

Oh, before I forget, you need to have a niche even if you are a hobbyist, because you need to at least have a theme for your blog.  If you don't know what you want to write about you might consider reading this article I wrote last week on niche ideas.

First of all, let me say that if you are blogging to make money, you should know that posting regular and often is very important from both SEO and a business perspective.  However, my approach is to create quality content that is an outstanding value to my readers.

The Heck with the Hor Dourves!  I Want the MEAT!!!!!

You see, almost everyone wants to hurry up and get to the MEAT of the dinner, rather than  sample the wine and the hor dourves first.  What that translates to in Internet parlance is, I'll just start stuffing content onto my site and everyone will want to read it.

Not gonna happen.  Nope.

You need a target market first and then provide valuable information to that market that is so good not only will people come to your blog to read it, but will refer it to others.

Now, I don't know about you, but I can't come up with a ton of high quality content everyday with the business schedule that I have. So, that means that I need to come up with a happy medium of content output so that I won't get discouraged or burned out.  In my case, I can write a good, high quality post about once, maybe twice a week.  If all I did was write and blog perhaps I could do more.

However, considering that I have other work to do, plus I need to make sure that I gather references around and then get the content from those resources that will benefit my audience as well as make this blog look god and all the rest of it, I'm looking at the most twice a week.

Now,you can get all high and mighty about it and tell yourself, "Hey, he sucks, I'm gonna blow Ellis and his ilk outta the water and blog every day all day long, then go for it.

But my guess is that you will probably get so burned out doing that you'll probably never want to see a blog
again.  Just sayin'.

So, first figure out your schedule and stick to it.

Create Compelling Content, Dang it!

Yeah, I know, easier said than done.  Let's break this down so that you'll really have something to show off on your blog when you publish it.

1.  Just as in the world of advertising copy, you have got to write material that makes the reader want to go from one sentence then to the next.  You have got to provide quality content that people can actually take out of the box and use, otherwise they will click and go elsewhere.  So, you need to think and plan ahead of time about what is important to your reader.  If you want to figure out what type of content hooks readers
real well, then perhaps you should look at the websites of the top marketers in the world, such as:

Dan Kennedy
John Carlton
Bob Bly
Gary Bencivenga

Just to name a few.  Take notice how they write material that just about drags you down the page and makes you really want to read the next sentence.

2.  Think about format.  Did ya notice how I broke these paragraphs down into smaller bits and pieces following poor grammatical practices?   That's done on purpose because the average blog reader scans pages in search of content that he or she needs and in the process they are looking at CHUNKS of info they can use.  I have also  used bold print, capital letters, graphics and a host of other devices to include graphics.
So, be smart and break things up a bit and generate interest through aesthetics.

3.  Use other forms of media such as audio, video and pod casts and anything else you can to get your Hive Mind into your nest and devour as much content as you can give them.  Just remember, it all has to be high quality stuff or your Hive will move elsewhere.  Make sure that whenever you use video it is relevant to what you are writing about.  Having a cute video about Sea Monkeys when your niche is about marketing E-books will not make an impression on your audience one bit.

By the way, here is an excellent 47 minute video on blogging from the experts at Copyblogger that you should find very relevant:

4.  Post regularly.  Blogging takes a lot of commitment and if you just post haphazardly like most people that get into this business for the quick buck that quickly figure out that there is no such thing as the Short Cut to Millions Fairy.  You've got to make a major commitment to this discipline ESPECIALLY when business is slow.

Oh, and while I'm on the subject, here is a very valuable tip:  A good blog post, a really, really good blog post online will bring in readers for years.   Almost every Internet Marketing trick in the book from pay-per-click to social media and forum links have a shelf life, but a well written, information packed blog post will bring in an audience for years.

5.  Make a calendar.  Here is a great technique that I learned a few years back and it works for a variety of situations especially blogging.  Use a word processor or an online calender service to print out a blank calender for two or three months. What you are going to do is write in a monthly calendar of subjects that you are going to write about.

Can't come up with ideas?

You can go to and look up your subject area very easily. Go to the Amazon website and at the very top where you see the search field, click on the little black drop down menu.  Take a look at the picture below:

Click "GO" on the right side of the search field.

Click on the link that says books.  The next thing you know you will be directed to the "Books" page and you need to scroll down a bit to get to the next menu.  You are looking for a section called "Department" on the left hand side that looks like this:

You will see there is a whole plethora of categories of books that are current in the Amazon universe. Many of them will be specific to your niche.  You can drill down into the categories and see exactly which books are popular.

Usually, best sellers in your category will be listed first and this is a great benefit to you.  Just by reading the reviews of people that have read the books you can get a real good fix what people are passionate about in your niche.

Look at it this way, if a bunch of folks purchased the books, read them and then took the time to write a good, quality review about what they read, don't you think for a second that this would probably be a real good subject to write about?

I'm sure you get the picture!

There are a couple of other things that are common sense to blogging.  Link building is muy importante as well as linking out to other sites and advertising.

Linking, Linking, LINKING!

Oh, a word about linking.  Don't go around and ask someone, "Hey, I liked your site so will you link to mine?"  That is a horrible way to get other websites to link to your site.  For one thing, linking is still the trump card of SEO, I don't care what anyone tells you.  It is THE way to get your site ranked higher in the SERPs.

However if a good quality site links to a crappy site it could hurt them.  So, anyone that has been around the
SEO block for awhile will probably NOT link to your site until it has at least been around for awhile and earned its stripes.

The best way to overcome this barrier is to create jaw dropping content, and when you are using a site that will work legitimately in your post, link to it.  When you feel your blog is ready, write a nice letter explaining  why you love the site and the relevance it has played in your niche and if they ever get the time if they could possibly link to your site page that is relevant TO THEM!

Make it short, sweet and to the point.  Remember, you are knocking on their door asking for kindness.

Oh, don't bug them if you don't get a response either.

Well, that just about wraps it up for this fun -filled episode.  Stay tuned kids, for more incredible posts from the crypt of Ellistrated Ad Copy.

Mark “Elmo” Ellis is a freelance writer, able to write compelling direct mail pieces, video scripts, brochures, and website copy that will grab the attention of your readers, reel them in, and get them to increase your bottom line.

Monday, February 10, 2014

7 Ways to Find Red Hot Niches That Prospects Will Jump On

The very first thing you need to do when creating an  information product is to just sit down and write your guts out.

That's right, grab your favorite computer chair, get out your laptop and start writing.  I would probably write for at least five straight days (taking time out for meals, of course) and just get it all out on paper.

 Then, after you have created your masterpiece, you should  probably print up about wait....five thousand copies and start selling them, because everyone, and I mean everyone will want to buy your info course called,

"How to Raise and Race Gerbils in Your Bathtub for Fun and Profit!"

If Ed Wood were alive, he'd shake his head in amazement at your incredible accomplishment. (He was very easy to impress, at least that's the way he was portrayed in the movie.)

Unfortunately, this process is WRONGO- BONGO!


Think about it, if you create a product that has no appeal for anyone, you won't make a sale no matter how well written your sales letter is.  As a famous marketer once said, "If you want to sell hamburgers what's the first and most important thing you need?  A starving crowd!"

I love watching Shark Tank.  I never miss an episode and when reruns come on I watch the episodes again.  I don't believe that I am actually learning anything, but I love the show.   It always amazes me that a person will invest $500,000+ in  creating a product, only to find out that there is no market for it.

"I decided to craft clothing out of discarded apple peels." she says.
"I put $249,000 into this business." she says.
" I have $40 in sales" she says.

"For that reason, I'm out."  they said.

So,the first step in creating any product, whether it's an information product or something else is finding a market for it.

OK, Ellis, how exactly are we going to find out what there is a market for? Well, there are several different ways and they all require that dirty four - lettered word we all hate: WORK.  What type of work?  Research work, that's what kind of work.  There are a variety of methods you can use, but these are the one's I would recommend.

1.  Mailing List Websites -  Used to be you could go to the SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Service) to look up periodicals and what magazines that are popular to find out what topics people buying and in what  geographical area.  It also used to be that you could find the SRDS in public libraries, but good luck finding one, or at least one in the library that isn't outdated.

The SRDS has an online service but it is very expensive. Your best bet is to go to one of the many online direct mail list companies to look at how many people are buying magazines and other items under different categories.  Here are a few I would recommend:
Mailing List Finder - Loads of categories to drill into and see what people are buying and how many people have responded to different topics.

2.  Google Trends - With Google Trends you can take a look at what people are interested in over time by looking at search volumes that this search engine has aggregated.

3. Google Adwords Keyword Research - AKA Google Keyword Planner - This is probably the best way to poke around and check to see what's hot and what's not.  By plugging in key words t will tell you exactly what ads people have been clicking on so that you will have a good idea if YOUR idea is good enough to sell. It's free but you have to get an account with Google's email system to use it.

4.   Pew Internet - This site freely gives out all sorts of demographic information a marketer might use to find a hot niche to sell to or a product to create.  The downside of this site is that it could take you a while to find the data you are looking for.

5.  Clickbank Market Place - Clickbank is the premiere digital information marketing site on the Internet.  You can create an info product, then market it by getting and paying affiliates to sell your info product for you.  However, you can also go there and peruse the products made by other marketers.  The people that made these products have more than likely done the market research for you, so you should be able to at least find a category that is suitable.  However, don't forget that if there are tons of people marketing a particular subject, then you will probably have a lot of competition in that field.  On the other hand, if there is low competition, then that subject may not be in too high of a demand.

6.  Amazon - You can use Amazon to see what people are reading.  Chances are, if people are buying books on a particular subject, then there is probably a market for that subject.  In the search field on the left, click the drop down menu until you see "books" and then select it.  Next, we would click search and then on the right hand side you should see a list of resources.  Scroll down until you see "Department" and under that will be all sorts of categories for books.  You can explore these all you want and drill down into all sorts of categories.  TIP:  When you find a book or a set of books in a niche you are interested in, take a look at the comments made by people.  If there are a lot of good, well written comments on that book then there is apparently a lot of interest in that subject, otherwise why would anyone want to write that much about it?

7. Articles Base - You can peruse through bazillions of articles on this site and even take a look at the most read articles to see what hot topics there are.

There are a lot of other ways to do market research, but these are seven of the cheapest ways I found to look around and get ideas.  You could also do cheap online surveys, or create a free report to advertise on the Internet and then build a website for people download it from.  If you get a good response, chances are you have a winner.

Mark “Elmo” Ellis is a freelance writer, able to write compelling direct mail pieces, video scripts, brochures, and website copy that will grab the attention of your readers, reel them in, and get them to increase your bottom line.

If you want to learn more about how to write and use ad copy in your business, please click the link below and I’ll send you a free report on how to write more effective copy for your business.

Please send me a free copy of The Secret 7 -How to use advanced tactics in your adcopy to dominate your competition! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Why Some Will Make Money with YouTube and Others Never Will

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Video Better and Stomp the Heck Out of Your Competition

Today I’m going to rant, so get back and prepare to be entertained by watching my eyes bulge, veins explode, and the rest of my carcass go into cardiac arrest.  Please, allow me this.  My doctor told me I can’t have any more pizza, my minister has me sworn off of swearing, and my wife threw my lucky socks away. 

Look, I need to rant about this pet irritation I have, I don’t have ANYTHING else to get my jollies off on, so lay off, will ya?


This complaint is about your YouTube videos. 

You know, some of you just don’t get it.  In marketing, it takes more than just stuffing your face into your laptop or riding around in your car acting like you really have it all together to prove to me that you truly understand how to properly make a video that sells or informs.

Not that I’m some guru or anything special, but let’s assume for a moment that I am your target audience.  (I mean, I COULD be in your target market for all you know, right?)

First of all, you need to look professional in your video or at least look like you have a brain in your head.  I can already hear some of you screaming at your laptop screens, “Wait a minute!  I just saw a Seth Godin video, and all he had on was a T-Shirt and boxer shorts!  If he’s the best and he’s dressed like that, then I should do the same, right?  RIGHT???”

Seth Godin, Yanik Silver, Dan Kennedy, John Carlton and any other marketing guru that you can throw at me have Guru-Status.  They have written tons of books, newsletters, done seminars, have at least three or four websites and when you go to Alexa to check on the traffic they are getting, they actually have a little jagged line on their websites statistics chart, so please, a little respect for those that can and do wear boxers in their videos.


I mean, they are riding so high, they fall butt-backwards into money, while the rest of us have to scratch and peck to get a mere pittance.

So YOU and I will have to look decent.  Look clean and try to dress casual to appeal to the masses.  You don’t have to wear a three piece suit unless you are working for “the Donald” or “da Ahh-Nald”.  Wear a nice shirt, floss, brush, and comb. Getting rid of nose hair would help too.

Now, I've seen lesser wannabe gurus giving dissertations on how to make money on the Internet driving their cars, drinking beer out of mugs, walking their dogs in the park, etc. I’m actually surprised that one of them hasn't tried to make one in the shower or hanging upside down from a tree.

For some reason in their mind, it is not the message, but the area they filmed the video in that’s more important.  Big mistake.  You could have made the video sitting on the toilet for all I care! If you had some very valuable information that I could actually use, it would be worth watching you strain between phrases. So remember, it is the message not the area that is muy, muy importante. (Spanish)

So far there are two rules:

1.  Look good
2.  Have good information to convey

OK, ya still with me?  Good.

The next piece of advice I could give you is to actually write a script.  Sit down and type out an entire script.  I hate to see a video wherein people are fumbling words like crazy, interrupted by the words “ahhhhh” and “ummm”. It is super distracting, a waste of time, and it gets very boring after a while.  

I would much rather watch a video where I could understand everything that was said, the writing was concise, and I didn't have to sit for an hour and a half trying to get a tidbit of information that you said I could really use.

Also, in the same vein as looking professional in your video, you will want your material to look and sound like it was made by some one that has a brain that isn’t tabula rasa.


3.  Write a script

Oh, by the way, you can buy and download software for your laptop that scrolls the words for you like a teleprompter.  I made this video using such software. I put my video on a tripod with its legs retracted all of the way in, right behind my laptop and read the words as they scrolled.  Kubrick would be proud of my innovation.

4.  Don’t use too many channels

My Master’s degree is in Education Technology, and one of the things that I saw a lot of research on was clarity of message and how people can only process on or two “channels” at a time.  Channels being messages or enhancements that people had to take in at one time.  For example: you can have a person speaking with music and that was OK because it was only two channels; music and a spoken word.  But, if you have a video where people are speaking, music is playing, words popping up on the screen with sound effects, etc. then that was more than two channels and therefore it was too confusing. Keep it simple by using only one or two channels at a time.

5.  Make it interesting

You can still make an interesting video on a limited budget using software that you can get for next to nothing.  I use Sony Vegas, but there are even cheaper software packages that you can get to do editing that is good enough that will make your videos shine.  Also, if you decide to make instructional videos, you can use Camtasia, which is an outstanding screen capture software.  I have made many, many videos using this software and it is worth every penny.

This video I made for an assignment I had for Boise State has had over 20,000 views.  I used Camtasia software to produce it:

Using this type of software, you can bounce between different screens while audio voices over the different scenes, you can add credits and words to the screen to emphasize a point, you can grab attention by using music.  But once again, you can make a high quality video that will easily outshine you competitors and give you an extra edge.   

So, to recap:
1.            Look good
2.            Have good information to convey
3.            Write a script
4.            Don’t use too many channels
5.            Make it interesting

Mark “Elmo” Ellis is a freelance writer, able to write compelling direct mail pieces, video scripts, brochures, and website copy that will grab the attention of your readers, reel them in, and get them to increase your bottom line.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Make Massive Sales Easily by Using This One Little Known Secret

In almost everything you do, there is a hard way and an easy way to do things.  For example there is a hard way to sell things and an easy way to sell things.  (Ha Ha!  How'd you know I was gonna talk about business? )  Before I start on my dissertation, I want to make sure that you understand something first, I am not , nor will I ever advocate NOT working hard.  You probably know better than I what a dirty joke that is to get played on you.

I am not going to do that, therefore I am your friend.

What I hope to accomplish in this little episode, is show you that you can make your job of selling something, whether it is on paper or on the Web easier by one of those little known facts, sometimes mislabeled by gurus as "secrets".

Let me tell you a true story.

Years ago, I got hooked on embroidery.  Not the kind you see little old ladies making at the old folks home, but high octane, computerized, 20,000 + in software and equipment embroidery.  This was the kind of embroidery you see on sports shirts, backs of jackets, on purses, etc.  I had an automatic, one head machine that had to have digitized designs fed into it so it could spit out incredibly intricate and beautiful work. It took several months to learn how to use the machine and use digitizing software to create my own designs.

I decided that the Internet was the way to go to sell my embroidered masterpieces, so I made a website that I could sell my creations on.  Man, that took a lot of work.  I had to learn HTML and a whole host of other skills, and I also had to do all of this on a shoestring budget.  So, without any help, I built a business I had no background in.

I built my first website and I did all sorts of designs and marketed to just about everyone I could get my hands on.  I made dragon hats for kids, gardening aprons for mothers, I made bass fishing hats for grand fathers, and just about any kind of hat or shirt with any kind of theme you could imagine.

It was a disaster.

My website was a mess and I had made a cardinal sin in the religion of marketing:


(Remember, marketing to everyone is marketing to no one.)

So, I consulted a bunch of marketing books and courses and retooled.  Since I was a former musician, I decided to pour my efforts into creating embroidered items for musicians.

 I went on to make embroidered hats, shirts, bags, purses, specifically targeted to people that played instruments.  I added catchy names to them like a flute shirt called "Fluteaholic".  I had a sax hat that said, "Sax to the Max" on it, and a trombone shirt that said "Bonezilla" on it.  My big seller was my "Bad to the Bone" trombone hat and shirt set.  The shirt had the word "Bad" with a trombone coming out of the pocket  and the hat had "Bad to the Bone with a trombone in front of it.  I'm telling you, this was a ton of work.  I not only did all of the digitizing, webdesign, and marketing myself, but I boxed all of this stuff up and sent it out.

Guess what?
I actually made good money doing this.  I had my own website, but many of my products were sold over eBay and other auction sites.

Guess what else?
I got so burned out, I couldn't stand to see another order come in.

Not only did I do this business, but I was a full-time teacher as well.  I would get home from work, eat dinner and then get right into sewing out orders.  Christmas months were the worst time.  I had so many orders I couldn't keep up.  I would sew items out until 5:00 in the morning and go back to teaching.

Here's where the story really gets interesting.  Are you paying attention?

I read an eBook on how to make cheap information products.  So, I decided to write my first info product and market it.  However, this time I was determined NOT to make the same mistake I had made before and market to everyone.  I picked a micro-niche and specialized knowledge to make my mark.

I had previously been a band director at a military academy in VA and I had to manage and direct a bagpipe team. Before I taught at that school, I had never even seen a bagpipe team or a set of bagpipes, but the students were really into it, so they brought me up to speed.  The thing I was impressed with right away, was the fact that these kids were making good money with their bagpipes. They would play at weddings, funerals, special events, Celtic festivals, etc.

Hargrave Military Academy where I was Band Director for a year
Since I got a great education from the students, I decided to market and sell my first eBook called, "How to Make Money from Your Bagpipes".  I marketed this eBook to a specific target market, Bagpipe players, military academies, Celtic sites and magazines.

The response was favorable.  I wouldn't call it a landslide, but I made several thousand dollars by putting the book onto a site that automatically sold eBooks.  The best part of the deal was that once the eBook was written, I made money off of it residual style without having to do much else after that.  People would pay for the eBook, download it and that was that.  $30.00 per sale.  No sending out packages or anything, just moola coming in from a targeted group.

And then I thought, "This is the way to go!"

Why should I work my butt off sewing out garments when I could have intellectual property that made me money almost automatically?  So, I sold my embroidery machine and moved on.

But here is where I went wrong and here is a valuable lesson I want to share with you.

When I sold my eBook, people that were in the bagpipe niche, were contacting me.  They always had a lot of questions and wanted to know more about making money with bagpipes.  I kinda sorta ignored man of these people and that was a BIG mistake.  Even if I wasn't going to stay in this niche, I should have seen the darn light.

I had sort of achieved "guru -status" in a niche and could have capitalized on it.  Yeah, I know, it was a micro-niche, but the money was not as important as the lesson was.  When  you reach guru - status, not only do your sales increase, but anything else you decide to sell in that niche will be much, much easier to sell.

I could have sold more books (possibly real published ones even) done speaking at conventions, given clinics, etc., and if I had been really smart, I could have used this knowledge in other subject areas.  However, like a lunk-head I didn't pay enough attention until much later.


Recently, I stumbled upon a book that really capitalizes on this idea called, "How to Become a Recognized Authority in Just 60 Days" by Robert Bly.  Mr. Bly is a master at advertising copy and has written a considerable number of books on the subject of becoming an info-guru and using clout to gain easy sales.

Let's face it, if people know you, trust you and will easily buy from you because they know all about you and your products, then your sales will be so much easier.   So this book which is rather in depth about becoming an authority rather quickly, in 60 days if you put your back into it.

It tackles everything from writing magazine articles to writing your first books and also how to write eBooks for credibility.  I got my copy from Amazon used for $3.00 which is a steal.  You cannot get this good of information anywhere for this price.  I've seen people go to seminars at $2000.00 a pop and get not nearly as much dynamite info from their "gurus".  Ha ha!

Anyway, you can get the book here:  How to Become a Recognized Authority in Just 60 Days and you can go to Bob Bly's site by clicking here: Direct response copy.