Not everyone likes writing – tapping away at a keyboard for what seems like hours on end.
Which can make voice to text software seem attractive: you speak into a microphone and your computer types out the words for you.
Windows has some built-in voice to text software. They don’t seem overly proud of it but you can get it set up if you follow the instructions Microsoft give.
The big bonus here is that the software is free, so you can find out whether or not voice to text is for you.
Questions like this one are asked all the time in forums and Facebook groups.
Maybe it’s because we like the idea that there’s a set amount of time for things to happen or a yardstick to figure out whether we’re doing better or worse than other people.
The thing is, there’s no specific amount of time for most things. Just as different babies take a different amount of time to walk or speak. Or different cars take a different amount of time to make a journey.
With email list subscribers, it’s even more variable.
Much as in Animal Farm, whilst in theory all emails on your list are equal, some are (much) more equal than others.
Which means size isn’t everything.
Pre-selling is the art of getting people in the mood to buy without seeming to be too pushy.
There’s a fine line here: if you’re too gentle with your pre-selling, people won’t take the hint. If you pressure them too much then they may decide not to buy either or might buy and then experience buyers remorse and ask for a refund (very easy to do on the web).
There are various options available to help you nudge people in the right direction (where that means they click the “buy” button and earn you some money).
There’s a fine line between being helpful and having people groan when you state the obvious.
But the two are very closely interlinked in almost every niche.
The standard first thing to do with electronics is turn them off and turn them back on again – my broadband supplier even had that as part of their initial instructions when you rang up to report a fault, before you got to the option of pressing numbers in an attempt to get through to the right department.
Back when forums were popular, the same few questions got asked over and over and over again.
Now the sticky post in Facebook groups often tries to cover how to search for common questions (use the search box!)
A lot of time and effort goes into choosing a design (or theme) for websites. Some people obsess over it and spend weeks – even months or years – deciding precisely what their site should look like.
Maybe that’s because we’re emulating what we see big brands doing. They redesign something and make a big song and dance about it.
But does website design really matter?
Creating digital products – whether they’re a giveaway for lead generation or a complete product – is something you should strongly consider.
Sure. you can use PLR (private label rights) products but the quality is variable at best and even the top quality products won’t be in your style or voice unless you spend a considerable amount of time modifying them.
One clue as to the amount of effort this takes is that content mills like iWriter don’t allow their cheapest writers to re-write content. So a freshly written article (albeit maybe not written by as experienced a writer as the re-write) is more expensive than having someone rework an existing piece of content.
That alone should tell you that re-writing is nowhere near as easy as it seems at first glance. Personally, I’ve near enough given up trying to re-write PLR, I find it quicker and easier to start from scratch.
You also need to decide the format…
We need to analyse things to decide whether or not they’re working. But it’s way too easy to over-analyse them and use that as an excuse to not actually do anything.
Over-analysis is by no means restricted to internet marketing – government reports often go on for years and produce thousands of pages of reports (that are reported in news bytes of a few hundred words at most) and are often completed so long after the event that any conclusion they draw is really only for historic purposes.
It’s important not to do the same in our internet marketing endeavours.
Sales letters, emails and teaser posts on sites like Facebook face this dilemma all the time. How much information should you give away for free and how much should you keep back so that people will pay you for whatever it is you’re promoting?
You could go to the extreme of clickbait where there’s often no real information given away at all, just a question that is sufficiently controversial that it almost demands a response. But unless you’re a tabloid journalist in the making, that path is a difficult one to follow.
Or you could go to the other extreme where you give away the whole technique and then offer extras that make the process easier (software promoters often choose this route) or you use the situation to build up trust and (maybe) subscribers or followers.
Sometimes the information is given on a blog post like this one, other times it’s in the giveaway that you promise on your squeeze page, other times it’s in the webinar that you’re promoting.
All of those can work.
There’s been a trend in internet marketing now for quite some time and that’s to make pages longer – more words, maybe more pictures or videos to break them up.
It’s something I think is well worth doing. Various bits of research including my own very ad-hoc peeks at the pages that show up near the top of the results strongly suggest that longer pages show a greater tendency to appear near the top of the search results. In turn, that’s likely to generate more traffic for those pages.
But is that the only way to go?
What if you struggle to put together 1,000 coherent words let along five times as many?
The cusp of the new year is often a time for reflection.
When you get a quiet moment, it’s worth looking at what you’ve done in your business over the last 12 months and take a view on where to go next.
Should you do more of the same?
If it’s showing signs of life, yes.
If you’ve been hitting your head against a virtual brick wall for the last year, probably not.