November 1, 2013
I wasn’t sure how I would do it until I dug in. Sometimes I’ll totally rewrite it, sometimes I will change maybe half of it and keep half, and other times I’ll go off in a different direction.
If you compare the following with the original PLR article you’ll see I came at it from a bit of a different angle. It’s now more of why me, myself, and I like case studies. I divided some of the original bullet points into why I like to read case studies and then why I like to do them. So you’ll recognize the bullet points, although I didn’t use all of them. You’ll also notice the last paragraphs here are more of the original wording.
Business Case Studies – Are They Worth It?
Why? I’ll explain my whys in a minute.
Before I go any further I thought we should go over just what a case study is. My own definition seems kind of fuzzy. According to Wikipedia:
“Case studies are analyses of persons, events, decisions, periods, projects, policies, institutions, or other systems that are studied holistically by one or more methods.”
“A case study should be defined as a research strategy, an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context.”
Me, I believe anything can be called a case study if it’s a detailed study of something, and by studying it you can use the knowledge to your own benefit. It might start off as an experiment but the analyzing of the results of the experiment makes it a case study. The same with challenges – a detailed look at the results makes it a case study in my book.
Why I like to read and follow case studies:
- They allow me to get to know the person presenting it better, on a different level.
- They teach me about products, tools, software, and/or methods so I can decide if I want to purchase or try them.
- They’re interesting! Does the person succeed? It’s almost like a short reality TV show.
Why I like to do them myself:
- They hold me accountable. I’ll follow through so I don’t look stupid.
- I can promote products I use in the experiment without having to hard sell. It’s a natural way to promote and I like it much better.
- I can be transparent and hopefully gain my readers’ trust.
- They challenge me to try a tool more deeply than I might otherwise have.
- They challenge me to do something completely so I can analyze the results, learn from them and improve.
- They give me something to blog about that others will find interesting.
- I can educate my readers right alongside educating myself.
So what makes a good case study for your online business?
Just about anything as long as it’s not too personal or too off-topic for the readers of your niche. It needs to be something interesting, preferably with some sort of wow factor. It should be in your niche, the niche your readers are following you in. It should not be about your new workout and how much muscle you’ve built unless that is your niche.
A good case study should point out measurable results. You can’t just tell someone how much better you feel after taking xyz supplement. Tell them exactly how much you were able to cut back on your sleep and exactly how much more productive you were at work.
Examples of measurable results:
* I increased Facebook Likes and comments by 15%, and sales by 24% after implementing the first five tips from this Social Marketing Results course.
* This squeeze page creation tool enabled me to create a squeeze page in 4 minutes and converted 27% better than my old squeeze page layout.
* I earned $$$ more this quarter than the previous quarter because of this course on attracting super affiliates.
One idea with case studies that start as challenges is to invite your readers to join in too. Tell them about it in advance and ask them to commit. Their results will be just as enlightening as yours, plus you’re building your tribe.
Case studies are educational and informative for you and your readers and they can also be lucrative because of the honest, soft way you’re promoting products you’re using in the study. I’ve got to tell you, case studies are a big win-win.
Have you done case studies yourself?
What would you like to do a case study on next?
August 29, 2013
The following is pure PLR, unchanged. I wrote it and included it in a free PLR bundle here. I’d like you to see this PLR in it’s original form because my next post will show you exactly how I’ve changed it and made it even more awesome than it already is. Stay tuned!
Making Case Studies Part Of Your Online Business
Okay, so you’re an internet marketer and you have a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and maybe some products you’ve created. You also make some money as an affiliate for various products.
How can you get more readers to your blog and Facebook posts, become a trusted expert, make more affiliate sales, and perhaps also sell more of your own products?
Do case studies.
There are several good reasons why case studies should be part of the way you do business. They:
* allow you to show transparency, which means you can build trust.
* force you to put your ALL into it, from start to finish so you can report the amazing, successful, or unexpected results.
* hold you accountable – you will do what you say you’ll do.
* are a vehicle in which you can soft sell any tools or products involved, as an affiliate.
* are fun for you to do.
* give people the chance to live vicariously and also to see the results of a tool or software before purchasing. People love to read case studies.
* give you something to blog, tweet, and FB post about. Keeps you in people’s minds.
* allow you to try tools in a deeper way than you might have otherwise.
* help educate you – you might learn a better way to do things.
* help educate your readers.
* give your blog stickiness.
There are elements of a good case study you should be aware of. First of all, it has to be something that will be of interest to your readers, preferably with some sort of wow factor. It should be in your niche, the niche your readers are following you in. It should not be about your new workout and how much muscle you’ve built unless that is your niche.
A good case study should also have measurable results. You can’t just tell someone how much better you feel, that’s not a real quantifiable result. I earned $$$ more in the last quarter than the 2nd quarter, I lost 15 pounds and 6 inches in my waist, I increased my optin list by 40%, this squeeze page converted 27% better than the that old squeeze page, it took me 1 hr. less time to do xx with this tool. See? Measurable.
One idea with case studies is to invite your readers to join in too. They can be on the same path or doing something parallel. Or it might be a good idea to tell them about the study in advance to get them interested and coming back to your blog. You want them to visit and read your blog again and again to build up the trust, transparency and stickiness.
You might be wondering what to do case studies on. Keep the above factors in mind, then look at tools you already own and use (or have been saving for someday) or look at something you’ve been thinking about purchasing. It could also be a service, a training program, different types of advertising, or more.
Case studies are educational and informative for you and your readers and they can also be lucrative. All things considered, case studies are a win-win.
So be on the look out for my next blog post. I don’t know exactly how I want to change this PLR yet, but I will change it.
If you have ideas on how YOU’D change it, let me know! There are different directions to go.
December 19, 2012
Are you ready to get going in a fresh niche? I can hardly blame you, the idea of starting something new and making it wonderful is very appealing.
if you’ve been here before, you know what starts as a good intention often falls short of its mark.
You research niches, hunt around for the perfect blog theme, try to find good keywords, and look for products to promote (or create your own). By the time you write a couple articles to slap up on that blog, you’re exhausted. And then nothing happens with your content-thin site so you decide it’s not a good niche after all and you abandon it.
Sound familiar? It does to me too.
Now fair warning, I’m coming off a Christmas cookie sugar buzz and I’m hoping this post doesn’t sound too cranky, but what I see is a lot of hard work and time spent on the parts that could be left to someone else. I’m not talking about hiring someone to do all your niche and keyword research, to find you products to promote as an affiliate, to write you blog posts and product reviews, and create you a product because that would be REALLY expensive. I’m suggesting you take a look at a PLR business-in-a-box as a way of working smarter.
Stay with me here and I’ll walk you through how I do niche sites now.
For example sake, I’m going to pull everything out of the “box” that Sue Fleckenstein is offering with her latest package. She’s already done the research on what’s trending and has come up with a beautiful package for the Yoga niche. She knows that yoga is a 42 billion dollar industry and it’s grown 87% in the past 5 years. Sue has 2 upgrades available but I’m just going to add in the first one, the Silver upgrade, to show what all can be done here to get you jumping ahead and help you get a share of the profits in this industry.
#1. Pick a niche.
Done. Although I would probably narrow it down within the broad niche. But you’re not stuck with it; there’s no reason why you can’t go off in a different direction with your content now and then.
#2 Map our your plan of action.
Do this first! Or you’ll be jumping around, disorganized, and not getting things done. Make a list, do a mindmap, or whatever gets you to write out your intentions, your steps, and follow through.
#3 Decide what affiliate products you want to promote.
The whole idea of niche marketing is to monetize the niche by promoting affiliate products, right? Make a list of the products you can promote and the affiliate links for each of them. Sue has already done this for the yoga niche with 11 affiliate products and the links to their affiliate programs, plus 10 Clickbank products, and a link to the top 100 yoga products on Amazon. Already having these goodies saves lots o’ time.
#4 Pick keywords.
Anyone who knows me online knows that I hate to do keyword research. This PLR package comes with the keyword research done and shows exact match searches per month, average page rank of the competition, cost per click, competition, ad count, keyword rating, and more. That’s a big time-waster/headache, er…. necessary keyword research done for me. Boy do I feel special.
#5 Create your own product.
You can do this the hard way or the easier way. Sue’s package comes with an ebook you can call your own. There are over 10,400 words already written for you. What I do is take each chapter, one at a time and make it even better. I’ll add images, give a tip in a tip box, include a small story example, explain some of the bullet points further, and maybe add an action plan at the end of the chapter. Yes, this takes a little time, but you end up with something you’ll be proud to put your name on. If you need further help, check out my How To Rewrite PLR.
#6 Create several months of content.
Again, the easy way is to use PLR articles. This yoga pack comes with 10 articles you can use right off the bat. But don’t just slap a PLR article up as is; you’ll want to add your voice, reword some of it, or add additional info to it. Always rewrite the conclusion paragraph so you can tell them to take action. That action might be to check out a product, check out a site, comment, or read another one of your posts.
Since your blog’s job is to educate the reader, provide helpful resources, and make you money, it’s a good idea to include product reviews in your content lineup. Just think what you could helpfully promote! Yoga mats, clothing, DVDs, retreats, membership sites, etc. It makes me smile just to think about it. If you get the Silver upgrade, Sue has included 15 reviews of quality products you can use.
Here’s where I recommend you do it differently than you probably have been – get 2 months worth of content ready to go right now, not piecemeal. Do your rewriting and make a list of what articles you have, the order you’re going to post them, and the posting date sequence. It’s much easier to do it all at once and have a master list, rather than go back and try and figure out which article you’ve rewritten, when was the last time you posted, etc.
#7 Create a lead magnet.
This is to get names on your list so you can promote products to them via email. You can take the time to make your own optin product or just use the one available in the box. It’s a PowerPoint video. Use the audio provided or do it in your own voice. Another choice, with the upgrade, is a 2000+ word report which also comes with a squeeze page.
#8 Write at least 7 autoresponder emails.
You want your list subscribers to get to know and trust you. The autoresponder emails do this job. There are 10 pre-written emails in the Silver upgrade package that are included for this yoga niche and they only need some of your story and your recommendations (product promotions). I do not promote in every email but I always give some helpful info.
#9 Set up your blog.
Did you notice how many things I put ahead of this step? That’s because I want you to have your stuff – your content, product, lead magnet, and affiliate products ready first [Step 5 is the only thing that you could leave til later]. You’re setting the stage for success this way. Now it’s GO time! Set up your WordPress blog and get it live. You can use the default twentyten theme or go with a premium theme, your choice. I’m getting long-winded with this post so I won’t get into theme details here.
#10 Set up a Twitter account.
Start tweeting and following (to get followers back). This PLR comes with 50 tweets. What I do is look them over, tweak any that I want to tweak right away, then save them to my niche folder. The ones in the yoga pack are a little dry so I’d add my personality by putting most of them in my own words. This is easier than having to think them up myself. As I tweet them, I cross them out so I know what I’ve used.
#11 Get social and market it.
Join yoga forums and Facebook groups. The yoga package has suggestions for you here too. Get involved so you can become the expert. Don’t say you are not an expert because I’ll just retort that once you’ve looked over all the material provided in this package or in the upgrades, you already know more about yoga than A LOT of people. If you’ve never taken a yoga class, now is the time. It’s good for your body and your expertise-ness.
This is where people tend to give up with their niche. It takes some time! You have to turn your efforts to marketing now, while continuing to add content (which is why you got a lot of content ready to go in the beginning).
Yes, this is a niche site, but it’s also an authority site. Build relationships with your readers and other bloggers. Do some guest posting and some interviews to get your site in front of others. Set up a Facebook page and do some quick and easy FB ads to get followers. I purchased Amy Porterfield’s FB Ads product and quickly amassed 369 followers for one of my niches running inexpensive ads like she taught me. Amy is one of the good guys and she’s so darn pretty in her videos.
Marketing is where the majority of your time should be spent. Everything up until now should not take up all your energy, that’s why I recommend working smarter with a PLR package. Sue’s yoga package is only $9.95, and the Silver upgrade is not more than $17. This is obviously a lot less than hiring someone to do all this for you.
If the yoga niche doesn’t speak to you, I’ve got a few PLR packages too – Home-Based Income Stream, Writing an Ebook, Family Holiday Memories, and 411 on Outsourcing.
Don’t stop! This is where it starts getting interesting, fun, and profitable!
June 20, 2011
On 5/30 I released a new PLR package on How To write an ebook and if you're curious about it and how much I've made in the first 20 days, this post is for you.
First off, I am a PLR writer but I usually write PLR articles because they're faster and easier for me to do. BUT, I like to change it up occasionally and do some ebook packages because, while they're a LOT more work, the potential income is greater.
I like to make these as helpful as possible for people to have success with so I include:
- the ebook
- sales page to go with it
- download page
- report they can use for optins
- squeeze page for the report
- 5 autoresponder emails to help pre-sell the main product
- all the graphics including blanks and PSDs
- instruction guide
- guide on how to make this as successful as possible for the customer.
A lot of time goes into this for me. I love starting in on the writing process and get a lot accomplished in the beginning. I get bogged down in the middle with whiny thoughts of "Will this EVER be done?" [as mentioned on Paul Wolfe's excellent site]. Plus I get pulled away to work on other aspects of my businesses. Then I gain momentum towards the end and finish up the book with a happy and relieved flourish.
But I'm not done.
I puzzle through topics for the accompanying report. I don't like reports that are merely giving parts of the ebook. I think reports should compliment, not give the same info but less of it. So I bounce ideas off my favorite smart marketer friend, Alan Petersen, and come up with a great one.
I outsource the graphics to Buddy at Coverscorp and the sales page (the one that goes with the product) to Elisabeth Kuhn. Both do a wonderful job. Packaging everything up and making sure the images are in the right folder for the customers makes me very cranky! I'm working with 2 packages of images (one for the ebook and one for the report) so I have to rename all of them because I can't have two header.jpg, footer.jpg, etc.
Last, but very important, I write some emails and load up some graphics for my affiliates to use.
Once it's all done and bundled up all pretty-like, the real work begins.
Decisions, decisions, decisions… again bouncing thoughts off Alan.
WSO or not? (Offering it at a discount on the Warrior Forum)
WSO pricing? What are others currently doing? Regular pricing?
Limit sales of WSO? To what? Limit all sales to what?
So I decide to offer the product as a PLR WSO for half price and limit the sales there to 100. I have it on my site for regular price and will (potentially) sell a total of 100 more there.
I post my WSO with a lot of cursing and hair-pulling angst on my part because the formatting always adds mysterious spaces and extra lines. Grrrrr.
Well here we are 20 days into it!
There have been almost 90 sales so far, with about 1/3 coming through my affiliates.
I've also made several sales of my other packages as I have them featured on the download page (not on sale or anything, just mentioned with links). Even my holiday and families ebook is making sales which makes me very happy as this was a labor of love.
MY PLR list has grown because I give customers the opportunity to sign up for notifications. This is exciting because it means they're happy with the quality of my product and are interested in buying future products! Note – I don't make people optin to get their product, I just let them know they can hop on the list if they want to be notified in the future.
My first comments were download issues. Apparently I shouldn't have bundled everything together because the zip file was too huge for some people to download. So I corrected that as quick as possible (while sweating profusely). I'd always separated it out before so I don't know why I did it differently this time.
Note – Always stick around when you start a WSO to handle any unforseen issues! Sometimes it's your fault and sometimes it's not, but you need to have prompt customer service and make it right, or better than right, for them.
Here's a couple unsolicited comments that made me smile big:
1st time buyer of your PLR products and so far I've read through 10 pages and I'm pretty impressed. You've got a rock solid product.
I skimmed the ebook quickly, it's definitely a solid PLR product, better than most of what you get elsewhere.
The marketing material looks good to, I just checked the emails and I wouldn't hesitate to send them to my subscribers.
Also worth mentioning is that sales of my regular PLR articles also increased. These were from new people whether they bought my WSO or not. Gotta love that!
I also love that people like these complete deals. I really want to do more of them but they are very time-consuming to do. I'm working out possible scenarios in my head as to how to further streamline this process to make it faster. I outsource the sales page for the ebook and the graphics and I have templates for my own sales page. I won't outsource the ebook writing because that's the part I like to do, plus my reputation is built on my quality. Plus, I admit it… I'm a control freak.
My favorite part of posting is getting to read what YOU have to say!
- What ideas do you have to speed it all up? Without me spending more than I would make?
- What questions do you have about writing and selling PLR?
- Or do you have questions about any of the selling/marketing process I've talked about in this whole post?
January 19, 2011
Have you ever gotten an email that gave you that punched in the gut feeling? I felt like that yesterday. All I could think of was my hard work going down the drain and losing customers (before I even had them, mind you!)
Maybe you got the same email I did?
It was from Jimmy D. Brown, Mr. Nearly Perfect Guru With Integrity?
His email was about a new ecourse on how to profit from PLR and also how to sell PLR. Ding ding ding! The alarm was going off inside my head. I just released my new ebook, Become a PLR Writer. I didn't do a big launch, just let my friends know. Plus I did an interview with Tristan Higbee that was lots of fun. I've been working up the backend and starting to talk to affiliates.
photo credit: liewcf
So while I'm having my private pity party and wondering how the little guys, like me, can compete with big marketers like Mr. Nearly Perfect Guru With Integrity, I come up with a couple thoughts.
1. His product is targeted more towards people who want to learn how to use PLR successfully. Yes, it's a two part deal, but more emphasis seems to be on learning to profit from PLR. And the promo emails I've received from his affiliates are pushing that angle.
2. His product comes with a steeper price tag, $197. I'm absolutely sure it's worth it. I own several of his products myself and I know Jimmy D. Brown puts out nothing but the best. But my point here is he is targeting a different customer base than I am.
I am offering a product for just under $18 and I think that appeals to many people who are looking for an online business model they can follow without having to spend a lot of money. I could have added more to the product, but then I would have raised the price and that would defeat my purpose.
Okay, I feel a bit better. And you know what? I made 2 more sales while I was feeling miserable.
Don't get me wrong, I feel great about Become a PLR Writer and I believe it can really help people. I'm also very excited about the backend product I'm putting the finishing touches on. It's not about the money (ok, a little) but it's more about knowing something really well and passing it on to help others.
Slow and steady wins the race (that cliche is for you, Mark at icebluebanana.com) and I won't stop putting out products!
Thanks for listening, er… reading.
I'd like to hear what you think!
- Has this ever happened to you?
- What price point would you rather buy at (with the value of the product in line with the price point)?
- How do you market your products to make them stand out in the crowd?