Marketing

Sales Page Critique: Lara’s Book of Centuries

As a perk to the bloggers in my network, I offered a very short sales page critique of their digital products. This is just one of many critiques. Watching them should help you identify principles you can apply to your own sales pages.

Lara’s product is a Book of Centuries. The main points of my screencast critique are outlined below the video.

http://youtu.be/vJ8cM_eWstg&w=450&rel=0

Suggestions for improving this sales page to increase conversions

1. Unlink images from the image files.

2. Make your sales page a page and not a post.

3. Remove the sidebar.

4. Create a more colorful book cover image and choose a more forceful orientation of the 3D book cover.

5. Use single images of the book in action (with caption explanations) versus collages. These images will illustrate the features of the product.

6. Move images higher up and put the “fine print details” at the bottom.

7. Consider including a free PDF sample.

8. Use a more attractive and visible buy button.

9. In the sales copy

  • Define what a book of centuries is and use the keyword phrase timeline notebook.
  • Focus on benefits to the mom and not just the features. Features are important. But address a mom’s pain points. How does your product make her life easier?
  • State that your product is a PDF, digital product that the buyer has access to download immediately after purchase.

10. Remove links to other products.

11. Add some product testimonials.

12. Evaluate your pricing and affiliate commission.

13. Create a short video introduction to the product. Sales page critiques are just one thing I do in a site and social media assessment package.

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How to Sell More Ebooks with These Simple, One-time Actions
How to Sell More Ebooks With Simple, One-time Actions

So you wrote an ebook. Now what? Obviously you would like to sell as many as possible and generate the passive income that so many digital publishers have discovered.

Before you get to that passive part, you have to put forth a bit more effort. But these are one-time actions that are going to keep driving sales for months and years after you do them.

Create an Attractive 3D Image

Go ahead and make a fancy 3D image that grabs attention and clearly indicates that you have a book to sell. I use myecovermaker.com. The visual aspect of selling your ebook cannot be overemphasized. You may have the best resource ever, but if your graphics portray something less than stellar, you won’t sell many books.

Tweak Your Landing Page

Study your landing page in comparison to that of other successful authors. What is yours missing? Get a critique from trusted blogging friends, ones who will be honest and tell you what to change.

Link Prominently on your Site

You probably have many visitors who come to your site from Pinterest or another social platform. They are not regular readers and don’t know about your book. Make sure they do learn about it when the land on your site.

  • Add links in your navigation menu.
  • Add a 3D product image high in your sidebar.
  • Link to your book inside relevant posts.
  • Link to your book on your most heavily trafficked posts, especially where relevant to the content.

Include it in Social Media Profiles

Your blog is your home base, but consider all the places online where you have profiles. Are you making the most of them?

  • Link to your ebook landing pages in your Twitter profile.
  • Mention the books by name (keywords!) in your Google Plus profile.
  • Add a tab on your Facebook page that is devoted to your books.
  • Include mention of them in your LinkedIn profile under publications.

Be Generous with Review Copies and Giveaways

Whenever you are approached about giving a blogger a free copy to review or for a giveaway, offer five more! Generous marketing works. And as a bonus, you are getting backlinks to your landing pages, free exposure, and a business expense that cost you nothing more than the time it takes so send a couple of emails.

Write Guest Posts Related to your Ebook Content

Find out where you can write guest posts in your niche and be sure to link to your ebook landing page in your bio. If links are allowed in the post itself, all the better. As incentive, offer to give the owner of the blog a hefty affiliate commission from any sales originating from the guest post.

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How Evergreen Content is the Key to Affiliate Sales

If you are an affiliate, you want readers who click on your affiliate links to buy so that you receive a commission. But typical conversion rates are very low. Even if four percent of people who click through your link eventually purchase, you are considered an effective affiliate. Four percent! That is an awfully low standard to be considered good.

Based on such a statistic, you can conclude that in order to make money with affiliate commissions, you need lots of clicks on your links. The more traffic you have, the more eyes you have on your site and the more potential clicks and purchases.

So how can you get more eyes on your affiliate links? The answer is to include them in evergreen content.

  1. Evergreen content is always relevant, always fresh and shareable. It may be a post that is two years old, but it still surges in popularity on Pinterest and Facebook. It never gets stale.
  2. Evergreen content is a post that helps readers solve a problem. It is something they search for and are happy to find, so happy that they share it via social media.
  3. Some people call it epic content. But Evergreen goes beyond epic content because it continues to be epic even 18 months after it was written.

If you can integrate affiliate links into evergreen content, you will get high traffic, more clicks, and more commissions. Forget one-off review posts where you try to push a product. Readers can smell those a mile away. And most of them aren’t interested in being sold to.

People love to buy, but they hate being sold to. (This is something I learned from Chris Guillebeau in $100 Startup. affiliate link) So you need to remove the appearance of being sold to while giving them an opportunity to buy.

You will find success with affiliate marketing when  you incorporate affiliate links in a natural way into content that does not appear to be a sponsored post or a review post. It’s simply good content which happens to have an affiliate link because that particular product fits the scope of the post.

Go jump out of the review post mentality. Or at least jump beyond it. Write review posts, but also write evergreen posts that incorporate affiliate links organically.

1. List posts

What kind of list could you feature this product in? Write a list post and add your affiliate links. Don’t make every single item in the list an affiliate link. You aren’t writing a shopping list but a valuable post that helps someone.

2. How to posts

Write a tutorial with lots of images that includes the use of the product you want to sell via affiliate links.

3. A slant on the product

Look at the product from a different slant. How can you integrate a mention of it into a helpful post that answers someone’s questions? Don’t get stuck in the rut of gift guides. There are more options than that. Think broader than the product to the category it fits into. Then write about that category in more general terms.

For example, the product is an educational video about geography.

You write a post about ways to make geography fun. You talk about much more than just the video. You give lots of specific examples that don’t involve buying anything, but also in the post you share how much your children love these particular videos.

For example, the product is a fancy hair clip.

You write a post about keeping romance in your marriage. One of your points is investing in your physical appearance. These hair clips make it easy to look good even when you don’t have lots of time to style your hair.

Keep the mention of the affiliate product short and relevant, and you will see clicks.

4. Comparison posts

Can you tell why to switch from a competitor’s product to this one? People love posts that compare two alternatives.

These are just four possible angles for evergreen posts that can incorporate affiliate links. There are dozens more. Go ahead and write that standard review post, but then supplement it in future weeks with epic content that includes reference to the products you love. Besides getting more clicks, you also show your loyal audience that you really do love that particular product because you frequently mention it when it fits. Your authenticity is confirmed when  you consistently promote a certain brand.

Get More Affiliate Help

Want more affiliate tips? Sign up for my free, seven-part mini-course delivered via email.
affiliate marketing tips: a free email mini-course

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How to Get Testimonials that Promote Your Business

Testimonials are powerful social proof of your expertise.  I use them on my own site to verify my experience and my excellence. So obviously I recommend that freelancers or consultants add testimonials to their websites as a way to convince potential clients that you are proficient and worth your quoted rate.

It starts with asking.

Well, the first step is to ask. You are not going to get a testimonial unless you directly request it. Most clients don’t think to offer, but if they are happy with your services, they will be pleased to write a simple recommendation.

Although a recommendation from a well known client may have more social clout, don’t discount testimonials from lesser known clients. Any positive review is a bonus for you. In my case, being able to make complicated social media concepts simple for newbies is one of my specalities. So I don’t need big names to demonstrate my expertise. Regular Joe clients are more fitting for my niche.

It can feel awkward to ask for praise, so keep your ears open for a natural opportunity to slip in a request. For example, when you get any compliment or positive feedback on your work, ask the client to write that down and send it in an email. Or ask if you can quote her.

Here is my real secret to getting good testimonials:  release the pressure of the actual writing and the time it takes to write well.  When I ask for a testimonial, I say something like this,

I know you are busy, so don’t spend a lot of time on the testimonial. Don’t worry at all about spelling, punctuation, grammar, or formatting. Even if the ideas are jumbled, just jot down some thoughts about my work, and I can reorganize it and polish it up. Before I publish your testimonial, I’ll run it by you to make sure that my edits didn’t change your meaning in any way.

Most people take me up on this offer. They send their stream of consciousness testimonials that I condense and rearrange while adding in needed commas or semicolons. Of course, the ideas are their own. I only edit for conciseness and errors.

Always double check with the client to make sure you have not misrepresented their words. (I had one client ask if I could condense her words daily so she could better communicate with her husband. Funny!)

Questions to ask to prime the testimonial pump

Some clients are eager to provide feedback but need a little nudge. These simple questions make good prompts.

  1. What benefit did you derive from my services?
  2. What skepticism did you initially have about my services and how was it erased?
  3. What would you say to a friend who needs my services but is reluctant to sign on?

If you received positive feedback via social media, take a screenshot of it. You might think that because it is public, you don’t need to ask permission to use it. But you do. Once you have permission, use the image on your site, linking back to the original source for verification.

Some people are afraid to share testimonials on their websites because they think competitors will steal their clients. Although that is a possibility, your energy is better invested in serving your existing customers in a way that ensures their loyalty. Stop worrying. Go ahead and share those happy client testimonials. It will help you get even more clients in the future.

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