Interview with Michel and Sylvie Fortin
Welcome back everybody. I’ve got with me today Michel Fortin and Sylvie Fortin. They’re both going to show you a lot of insider tips and tricks on how to get your affiliate marketing campaign on the fast track. Now Michel is well known as one of the world’s best online copywriters. He’s also very, very good in online marketing and Sylvie Fortin who’s very well known for workaholics4hire and a bunch of other niche websites and affiliate sites that she promotes.
Mark Ling: Can you please give us some background for our viewers?
Michel Fortin: Well, a lot of people know that I’m a copywriter and what I’ve done for a long time in my life is not just to do copies, but being in consulting and being an internet marketer myself, I actually have websites and products that I promote. But most people know me as a copywriter, and most people know that I’ve written copies for some of the internet marketers out there – I’ve written copies for top names like Armand Morin, Yanik Silver, John Reese, Frank Kern, Shaun Casey, Steven Pierce – and a lot of these guys have made quite a lot of money with my copy –that’s why I guess a lot of people know me.
What people don’t know is the fact that when I started out as a copywriter, I’m mostly marketing on the cosmetic surgery field. I produced a lot of copy and a lot of infomercials for cosmetic surgeons and particularly hair transplant doctors. That’s why my company (when it initially started up) is called The Success Doctor Incorporated. But now I’m mostly known as the copy doctor in lots of websites that I offer. But being an internet marketer myself and being with all of these top names, I met Sylvie. And Sylvie is a person who shares a lot of the same clients – in fact I became a client of hers. Now, I will let her tell you about her story.
Sylvie Fortin: Workaholics4Hire has been around for quite some time. We were quiet for a very long time working for the top marketers – many of which also happens to be Michel’s clients. And it is how we met, he became a client and eventually, we started dating and here we are today.
But what a lot of people don’t realize is that being behind the scenes like we’ve been, we’ve seen a lot of what the marketers do – what works and what doesn’t work. And while working on client accounts, the bell starts to go off in your head when your job is to optimize a marketing strategy, launch a certain campaign, or do the Google Adwords– any of these things – developing the websites, writing articles, etc. These are many of the tasks that workaholics4hire do. And in the process of doing that, you realize just how much money is there to be made. Then I put the connection together a few years ago when it dawned on me that I just don’t want to be the person being hired (to get paid) to do the tasks.
I realized that if we did the tasks for ourselves (and if he wrote the copy for ourselves), then we would be the marketers – instead of just the people supporting the marketers. So Michel and I, when we got together, decided that we are going to make a very big difference in the way that we approach our career. So we started to market different strategies and do a lot of different things with the goal of making our business run as much on its own as it can, with as much passive revenue as it possibly could. So that’s what brought us here today.
Mark Ling: That’s wonderful. You’ve obviously got a very inspiring entrepreneurial mindset that brought you all of these ideas out of your experiences.
Sylvie Fortin: We love what we do.
Ideal Business Model
Mark Ling: In a nutshell, what is the ideal business model and how does that relate to affiliate marketing?
Sylvie Fortin: Well, the ideal business model to us is always going to be as easy as possible, as easy to duplicate as you could possibly make it, and as passive as possible. Essentially, our goal is – we want to have (and we are already well on our way) a variety of websites that run completely independent of one another. Testing various things, but once they’re set up, you can leave them alone, they just make money on their own. I think that a marketer’s goal shouldn’t be to wake up in the morning and have to work 16-18 hours a day. Why would that be our goal? We walked away from the corporate world specifically to avoid having to be forced to wake up and do what you don’t like doing.
Michel Fortin: We left our soul-sucking cubicle.
Sylvie Fortin: Exactly. So why would our home office be its own soul-sucking cubicle. So our goal is to set up as many different streams of income as possible. They can run completely independent and do it completely on their own – passively.
Michel Fortin: And affiliate marketing enables you to create these small little businesses which are self-sustaining – they work by themselves and are continuously promoting affiliate products but at the same time generating passive income on a continuous and consistent basis. So, what Sylvie is saying is also something that we repeat a lot. The ideal business model is one that’s easy to build, easy to maintain, easy to grow, and easy to duplicate. That’s the ideal business.
Mark Ling: Yeah, that’s one of the biggest reasons why people want to be an affiliate as well (like you’re saying about not wanting to be in a cubicle at work). And, they don’t want the customer support that’s involved with running your own product and that kind of thing. They want to be able to build websites and have them run on auto-pilot and have them grow by themselves.
Sylvie Fortin: Exactly.
Duplicate Content Issues
Mark Ling: In my product Affilorama, one of the ways that I’ve shown people to make money online (by using affiliate programs) is by creating article websites. A lot of affiliates who create article websites use private label rights (PLR) articles. Some also use reprint rights articles such as from Goarticles or Ezinearticles.com. If an affiliate is using either one of these, how do you suggest that they get over duplicate content issues?
Sylvie Fortin: Well, duplicate content – there are 2 things to understand about it. Duplicate content became a buzzword and state of alarm for a lot of people for the wrong reasons. People are concerned about duplicate content because they think that the search engines are going to ban their website. It’s really easy to get around the duplicate content thing even if you’re not using any particular tool. If your website is unique, if you have your own unique navigation structure that’s wrapped around the articles, and if you’ve made your articles your own (which you can do with private label rights) – you can just modify the articles slightly to make it your own (add an introductory). In fact one of the tests I’ve run is that articles will tend to be read more if there’s an initial introductory from the author.
You have an article that’s an excellent review of a particular product that you want to promote and you’ve gotten it from a PLR site. Just add an introductory paragraph to it – just like what you would see in a magazine where you start with an article having an intro paragraph – just add that.
That little 5-minute addition can make all the difference in the world. Combine that with your article being wrapped by your own HTML, your own template, and your own theme. Be as unique and as original as possible. In fact I would love to give an example of how to do a very, very unique internet affiliate marketing if you don’t mind.
I came up with an idea a little while ago (after running some tests with blogs). I’ve found that more people were interested in the blog because the blog itself has a personality – that they told a story either of a person that was creating the blog (and that will be the person’s life) or a story about a particular experience. One of our clients has a series of blogs on their travel experiences, and they go in-depth to describe their travel experiences. These kinds of blogs are very personal and people are always interested in a story.
Mark Ling: That’s funny you say that because I’ve always found that in blogging with newsletters – the best response is if you put some emotion in it, like you tell a story.
Michel Fortin: You tell a story and along the way in your story, you basically put in affiliate links. You’re basically promoting, but in the most subtle way. The difference is, rather than if you try to pitch in the whole product and tell them why they need to buy it, I’ll say, here’s my experience. "Oh, by the way if you’re interested in knowing what it is, here’s my affiliate link." It’s different because it’s almost like a third party – it’s more objective even though it’s not.
Sylvie Fortin: And it’s more believable. You know, I’ve found that if someone feels they can connect with the writer, they will respond more with what the writer is telling them. There’s a rule in marketing that if you can get your audience to know, love, and trust you – they will buy anything that you have to sell them. And that’s absolutely true. I would personally rather spend less money to develop a warm market that enjoys what I’m saying. As opposed to spending a lot of money to try and reach a cold market that’s never heard of me. I would rather spend more money and time in developing that warm relationship – a print and a blog is the perfect opportunity to do that. The audience can easily interact with you, even if you don’t actually exist.
Michel Fortin: Plus, each article has the ability to have comments added to it. Therefore, making the page different and reducing the whole duplicate content issue.
Sylvie Fortin: Exactly. Now, what I meant by "even if you don’t actually exist" is this:
I created a character that doesn’t exist, and it’s very obvious that he doesn’t exist. His name is Tightwad Tony. Now, he is a cartoon character. And his personality is very New York, very gruff, very "Yo, this is who I am." All he does is promote products. But TightwadTony’s site generates a huge response.
People love Tightwad Tony’s site because Tightwad Tony is an honest review. He will cut apart a product just as easily as he would tell somebody to use a product. He will be honest, he will be tough – and people enjoy that. Tightwad Tony is about to have a blog of his own to describe his personal life.
I’ve instructed a ghostwriter who’s taken on the Tightwad Tony persona and I said "This is your character, run with it. " And the ghostwriter is having so much fun creating this content because it’s exciting. And even though the user knows Tightwad Tony doesn’t actually exist – he’s not a real guy, he’s obviously a cartoon character. They respond to him because he’s funny and he’s engaging. And the conversion rate on any product he promotes is incredibly high.
There are people who don’t want to put their own personality out there. They want to stay anonymous. Create characters, create your own Tightwad Tony concepts, and create your own ideas for characters that may not even exist. But it’s the same reason that people love soap operas. People love blogs that tell a story.
Mark Ling: Yeah, it’s great that you can put a face to the blog. Because a lot of people have a blog that they don’t even put their own photo in anyway, so at least a cartoon character can be placed there.
Sylvie Fortin: Exactly. A good friend of ours – David Garfinkel – his blog is a caricature of himself. The picture on his blog is not of himself, it’s a character that he has done. It could be anything. If you don’t want your face out there, there are lots of ways to get around that, but make it personal – it should always be personal.
Michel Fortin: Plus, nothing stops you from having a pen name. Because you are not selling the product and your pen name (in terms of advertising), it cannot be said that you are misleading the public by promoting based on false facts. You’re just using a pen name to protect your privacy, and you can also use that pen name as a character and a caricature to create that following.
Sylvie Fortin: It’s maybe ideal. Because I was thinking about how popular personal blogs are, but Sylvie Fortin doesn’t necessarily want to promote that particular product. One of the products for example, it’s certainly not at all related to anything we’ve done before – it has nothing to do with marketing, it has nothing to do with outsourcing, it has nothing to do with anything we’ve done – it’s promoting a ticket vendor, so of course, the user wouldn’t be able to relate to me on a personal level but they could relate to Tightwad Tony. So you can promote all kinds of products and have that personality out there, even if it doesn’t suit your particular personality.
Mark Ling: Yeah I know what you mean – some people seem to find it strange when they see somebody promoting a "learn guitar" product and also a "learn Spanish" product and also "dog training" product.
Sylvie Fortin: But you can do that with different personas.
Mark Ling: Yeah, and also, it’s a lot more ethical to use (somewhere along the lines of) a cartoon character than it is to grab a photo from iStockPhoto that isn’t you, because people know right there and then when they see it – it’s not a real person but they know that the writing is real.
Michel Fortin: Right. There’s a difference between creating a character that is the reporter on true stuff vs. a person who literally tries to mislead the public. I could go on and on, but I think that’s just basically a really good way to go.
Mark Ling: Now, many people are getting into blogging to increase their Google rankings. So what’s a way of automating blogs?
Sylvie Fortin: Oh, plug-ins. Wordpress is an amazing blog system. In fact, we’ve tested a variety of blogging platforms and found that (hands-down) the one that Google pays attention to the most (if done well) is Wordpress. So if you build a blog, do it in Wordpress . And look for plug-ins like the Google Site Map that automatically pings Google to "come check my site again." Smart Pinger is another one.
Make your Content Unique
Mark Ling: Is there any duplicate content issues with these sort of thing when you’re pulling in feeds and stuff like that?
Sylvie Fortin: No, because it’s wrapped in your own – as long as you make this theme unique. Always make your site unique.
Michel Fortin: Yes, duplicate content is if you’re duplicating a site over and over again – that’s a duplicate content issue because you’re leaving footprints. Whenever you duplicate content on different sites, make sure that they have different intros, maybe comments (if people can add comments) even though it’s an RSS-fed article, and the template itself is different. If duplicate content was such an issue, then large websites like New York Times, when they syndicate their content (which is reprinted in so many websites) should be banned by Google. Are they banned? No, they’re not. So people have to understand that there’s a difference between duplicated content vs. really duplicate content.
Sylvie Fortin: I could say that a truly smart marketer – whether you’re selling affiliate products or your own, doesn’t try to necessarily take the laziest way. Just put a slight bit of effort – just a slightest little bit of effort to be unique and different.
Do not just use PLR content as is. Use PLR content as the ultimate research tool. I’ve had ideas for products that come out of my PLR memberships. When I was just skimming through the articles, I say "Wine! Why didn’t I think of that as a product to promote?" Ok, I’m going to spin out a wine site. I just use the ideas or I might use some of the content as an ultimate research tool. I mean there are all these ultimate information about wine. I hand those articles off to my ghostwriter and say "What I need is 4 really great reviews of different wine countries. And that’s what I want on my website. So, take these articles as your research."
I use PLR differently than a lot of people do. Just grabbing and posting I think is where the mistake comes in. Understand that the tools are there, and the smartest marketer will use the tools differently from their original intent.
Mark Ling: Yeah, well at least they don’t have to write the articles from scratch, they can take something and modify it.
Sylvie Fortin: Exactly. You don’t have to start your research from scratch. Some of my best affiliate promotions have come out like ideas I got from skimming through some of the articles on my hard drive – my PLR articles and using it as a core base for what I wanted to actually do with it. But just to copy and paste, I think is where the mistake comes in. If you’re going to take a lazy approach to marketing, then you are taking a lazy approach to your income. As for me, I’m never lazy about our income. If it takes just take that little extra to make a little more, I’ll do it.
Mark Ling: Definitely. Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger said, that it’s a few repetitions in the gym (this was back to his old bodybuilding days – Mr. Universe) that make all the difference, which made him a champion as opposed to just run off the mill.
Mark Ling: Now forums are also a great way to build traffic. But they can be difficult to get moving. Now how do you suggest people get their forums rolling?
Michel Fortin: I always love interactivity. Interactivity means not just posting a post and expecting some kind of comment or some kind of response. A forum that actually asks other people to respond to either a poll, question, or (in the case of my forum) a critique, is good. What I’d like to do is actually to invite people to ask also their questions in my forum and other people will gladly respond to the questions (because other people want to help – they will genuinely help). And some of them are a little controversial – yet some of them are greatly informational.
So basically it creates a lot of traffic because it creates this buzz about the forum. And in the forum itself, I think that what people tend to do is that they tend to post some ideas or some opinions – that’s really like a blog. You really want to create interaction, you want to create maybe even some kind of process where you’re asking people to review something for you. That’s why critiques are so powerful in the case of my forum because some people are actually critiquing somebody’s idea.
What happens also, a lot of times people tend to (I don’t want to say promote a particular affiliate product) ask a question about a particular product line or product category and even about an idea they have. And people respond and it creates this big buzz, and in that process, they advertise their affiliate ID, not directly saying " Please go to this – this is my affiliate site. " I don’t like forums where people just post and say "Hey, what do you think of this, and this is my affiliate link. " For me that’s pretty lame. But if you create an attraction, you create a community. And best of all – I have an RSS Feed to my forum where people can be instantly notified when a new post is out. I also created an e-mail list where people can subscribe to, and be notified of their post.
So what you have is a forum that grows and grows and people come back by being notified of new posts that will interest them. Some people ask a question and the others get notified through e-mail or RSS feed, and then they go back to the forum to add their 2 cents worth. Well, guess what? It compounds. And sometimes it compounds exponentially. And it grows. In my forum, I started out with 2 other copywriters, and there were maybe about 3 articles in that forum. Now my forum is visited and being participated by Gary Halbert, Clayton Makepeace, John Reese, Armand Morin, and of course over 2,000 or 3,000 people that are just asking questions – it gets really busy and it also made me a lot of money of course. And so that’s what I would say.
Sylvie Fortin: Oh definitely, that’s how to get started. I mean, when you start a forum, it’s an empty book. It’s an absolutely empty section. You may be very creative and set up a lot of different categories and suggested topics but it sits there empty with the sound of crickets if you don’t do something about it.
Here’s one common mistake that people will make: they will initially just post a bunch of "What do you think about this? " as themselves (as the administrator of the forums). It’s always "what do you think about this? What do you think about this?" But since no one is visiting, and nobody is talking – there is no interaction. It looks very much like one person is desperately trying to get other people talking in the forum.
I thought about that a few years ago. I thought about that as a major problem actually because as I surf the web and I come across a forum (and I might be interested in the topic), but if I see that nobody is talking – I’m not going to be the first one. Nobody wants to be the first one. Nobody wants to be the person that starts conversations. So I thought about that and realized – there’s another opportunity here. So I trained a group of our staff for our marketing clients where we would set up a forum, but we would seed it initially. And when you seed the forum ethically and responsibly, you would have one of your clerical staff or your customer support representative (whoever it is) who understands your business, to start post with a variety of user ideas as if there were 40 people talking in your forum already.
Start a post, login, answer the post, login as someone else, answer that post, or if it’s the first person, reply to the post – just like a regular conversation would be going on in any forum. And do this for a few days, and then sit back and watch. That task resulted quite well (actually it was overrated for us because we were the only ones doing it on the web). It’s quite a popular service to this day because it’s boring to do. But it’s important because once it’s done, the interactivity starts. And if you have the right kind of platform set up that every time there’s a new post, your membership base gets informed, then that starts the thing going. And that becomes self-fulfilling.
Michel Fortin: People hate to start conversations but they love joining conversations.
Sylvie Fortin: That’s it, exactly. So I thought about that and realized that I should start the conversation – other people will naturally follow. And it turned out that it was right.
Mark Ling: That’s brilliant. And you also have a service that does that for other people is that right?
Sylvie Fortin: Yes, through workaholicsforhire.com.
Mark Ling: Sounds great. Now, just one other question that some people are probably wondering is, now that you have a forum, do I have to worry about moderating it and that kind of thing, what do you suggest there?
Sylvie Fortin: Well, we’ve got to have forum moderators for precisely that reason. If it’ s done well, the very first thing that you should do after a forum is starting to get active, is pay attention to who are the biggest talkers. Who are the people that pay attention, and are nice, kind and helpful to other members? Definitely pull them in as moderators.
Michel Fortin: A lot of my moderators are actually initially active members. And on many forums, we also have a rating system on how active the people are. You can pretty much do that in any kind of forum software, but anyway, it gives you an idea of who are your biggest conversationalists – also depending on the type of answers of course (you don’t want people that talk a lot just for the sake of talking a lot). People who talk and provide a lot of sound advice – they’re caring about other people in the board, they’re willing to help out – those are the best ones right there.
Mark Ling: Sounds brilliant. That takes away a lot of the fears that people have about starting forums (if the whole idea of it is creating more work for them). But, like you say, it’s something that people can use to keep growing on its own, basically. Like what you’re saying – the perfect business model.
Sylvie Fortin: Oh, here’s a hint – don’t make this mistake and seed your forum all in one day and then leave it alone. That’s a mistake because it’s not the natural progression of any forum. If a conversation is going on and someone else posted a question now – somebody will not be responding in the next 2 minutes. They will be responding in maybe a couple of hours, and so on and so forth. So it takes some forethought, and also, you have to follow the natural order of things. You don’t just blast your forum with a ton of content all in one day. Like apparently, a hundred people came in and posted everything they wanted to see in one day and then left. You don’t do that – you do it in a natural progression.
Mark Ling: Yeah, because when you see that all the time stamps were next to each other, you’re expecting that your response will be in the next 2 minutes or that something funny is going on.
Opt-in to a List
Mark Ling: Now, Michel, you’re known by many as the world’s greatest online copywriter. You’ve copy written for John Reese amongst many others. Can you give our viewers some nuggets of advice in order to get people to opt-in to their list and get more people to read their e-mails because affiliate marketers need to have lists and get people to opt-in to their e-mails as well, not just people who own their own products?
Michel Fortin: If you are offering an opt-in list, a lot of people tend to create opt-in forms that are based on getting people to register, subscribe, or join. What do they get out of that? Really, what do they get out of that?
And when people are told, "Oh, you will just get my newsletter, or you will get my e-course (well, e-course is a lot better than just a newsletter). I mean the newsletter itself should be just a side (a subsidiary product they’re getting out of subscribing).
Offer them something they could get right away. So, if you’re an affiliate marketer and if you have a sales letter that promotes an affiliate product (a product that you’re an affiliate of), the opt-in form gets people to a list but you shouldn’t be directly driving them to your newsletter. You shouldn’t say "Subscribe to my newsletter and I will give you a free report on blahblahblah". And that free report is really the sales letter. Give them something else.
In thecopydoctor.com, the main page is a sales letter. It’s really a special report that gives the option to subscribe if you wish. But on that forum I give them a free 18-minute video clip sample of what they get. And in that sample, I offer tons of tidbits. I mean I personally did a testimonial on that very simple video. Well, in the opt-in form, what I did is I promoted that one video, that’s it (don’t subscribe to my list, don’t get my newsletter, don’t get my special report). "Hey, here’s a form that you can subscribe to, in order to get a free 18-minute video."
Mark Ling: Yeah, it’s interesting you say that because one of the best affiliates that I know of always put a video of himself talking about his opt-in form, and he’s not even selling a product, he’s just saying "hey, this is me, I’m a real person," then basically telling them about the kind of stuff that people are going to get in his membership list.
Sylvie Fortin: It always goes back to being creative and thinking about things not just from your perspective as the marketer wanting to make money. Step outside your business for a little bit. Think of what you’re user is going to experience when they land on your page. " What would you want to say? How do you want to see it done?" And if you can answer those questions, that is your business in a box. You must think about the user and not just yourself.
Mark Ling: The other question was how to get people to read your e-mails.
Michel Fortin: First of all, why do you want them to read your e-mails? Here’s what I mean: the beauty of the internet is that you can have HTML, the ability to put formatting, the ability to have graphic – whatever you need to grab their attention. All those wonderful things are terrible on the e-mail because:
- It would get you deleted before you reach the inbox (a lot of spam filters will assume that you are spam).
- Why do you send a long e-mail in the first place? Because you will have 2 problems:
- The length of the e-mail will be stuffed with keywords that will increase the risk of being known as spam, even though it’s not. You may have an e-mail that has 10 paragraphs and in the 1st paragraph is the word "weight," and in the last paragraph is the word "loss" – spam filters will look at it as "oh, weight loss" – they’ll delete it.
- How many e-mails do you get in a day and how many times did you read every single e-mail from the very 1st word to the very last word? When you read them. Most people don’t, they either delete them or save them for later.
You see there’s an immutable law about human nature (especially online) is that people never read anything at first – they skim, scan, and scroll. So, when they got an e-mail, first thing that people do is that they skim up and down the e-mail saying "Oh, this is long enough, so by seeing the link, they’ll judge "If I have time, I will read it. " I don’t want to do that. I want to grab their attention with a little teaser. That will tell them how interesting that article is – then they’ll be compelled to read the whole e-mail. But don’t do that in the long e-mail because the first thing that they will do is skim, scan, and scroll.
What to do:
Take your long e-mails and put it as web pages. Then tease them with one small paragraph. Keep them hanging.
You know, there’s a process in marketing called the Zimmerman effect. What that means is basically, people feel some kind of uneasiness, some kind of disconcertedness when a task has been started but it was not completed. People need closure – they have this intrinsic need for closure. So when you want to start an idea and don’t close it, people want to get more from you. That’s why in TV series (example is "24"), it leaves you hanging at every show but it also keeps you coming back to every show because it keeps you hanging – you have not completed the thought that you started.
In e-mail, what you do is, you send them an e-mail with a good subject line and in plain text (not HTML). Have 1 paragraph or 2 lines with a link that completes the thought. And what people will do is read your e-mail (if they’re really interested in reading your e-mail), but not necessarily "in their e-mail. " They’re going to click the link, go to the website, and read the rest.
That way as well, it enables you to find out how many people click the links – it will test open rates (if you’re concerned about open rates) – because a lot of people say that they can only test open rates with HTML. Plain text actually has higher open rates (it was proven statistically) but also, you can find a lot of people that really read your e-mails. How many people open my e-mails (with a really long HTML e-mail) – they opened it but they haven’t actually read it. But by clicking a link in a plain text e-mail, you know they read it, because they have to read in order to click on the link.
So by going into your web page, now you have exposed them to your long e-mail – you’ve got them interested. It also puts them in a frame of mind that the one paragraph just starts the idea, but it has to be closed. And it also prequalifies them. It puts them in a certain frame of mind that when they click on a link, now they go into a long e-mail that they don’t have to skim up and down because they know that they want to read the rest. Most of the time anyway – that’s my experience, and that’s what I highly recommend.
Mark Ling: Yeah, that is where the HTML can come in handy when it’s on the web page.
Sylvie Fortin: All the fancy stuff there.
Michel Fortin: And especially the links of your affiliate links. Whether you use cloaking or you use graphics with your affiliate links (you can’t put that in a plain text e-mail) – all that stuff – audio, video, things you can add to your HTML webpage. The process is to get them away from their e-mail. Here’s why: I have one web page, I can read that one web page – it is one browser window right in front of me. But when I have e-mail, I have all the subject lines of all of these e-mails waiting in my inbox, waiting for me to read. I probably got instant messenger on the side. I probably also have a browser window open on the other side. When I’m downloading an e-mail, I’m easily distracted. And when I’m reading the e-mail, I’m always looking at how many other e-mails are still waiting for me in my queue, and my time is short, I don’t have time.
Sylvie Fortin: That’s further proof that there is certainly an effect. Because when you’re looking at your e-mail inbox, and you know you’ve got 30 unread messages, there’s that disconcerted feeling that you have to get through and read all your messages. This is the primary reason – it’s a certain effect when you’re talking about the different distractions. That will be why people will want to close more – I started reading my e-mail, I’ve got to finish reading my e-mail. You will never go back and finish reading your message because it gets lost in a sense of time.
Michel Fortin: Yes, you will file it away in some folder and when will you come back to it? I purge my e-mails that I never read (on a regular basis) and they’re long. But if you give me a teaser (like one paragraph), send me to the web page, and then I will have that sense of "not quite finished. " I was actually shocked and amazed when they discovered this particular unique tool "… <link>."
Sylvie Fortin: That worked! People need to know, what did it do?
Mark Ling: Yes, it’s basic psychology. How do you get someone to want something, you put it right there – you make it reachable but not quite.
Sylvie Fortin: Exactly. Trust me, the simple thing is "click this link." Then the thought will be completed. And complete the thought. Don’t leave it hanging on the website itself. Make sure that the sentence does complete because inevitably, they will read until the end of the sentence.
Mark Ling: Yeah, you don’t want to get them frustrated.
Sylvie Fortin: Exactly, don’t make them mad.
Mark Ling: It’s kind of similar to what you’re saying about articles as well – you’re creating an emotion (like excitement or somewhere along those lines). Most people just can’t resist the "…"
Michel Fortin: It’s like walking up to someone that you haven’t met before and saying, "Hi, my name is…" Or "I got this fantastic idea that…" Or "Oh, I just heard you’re doing blahblahblah. I just have a really good idea to better yourself…" and then you walk away. Well, how many times did the person walk and follow you out, tap you on your shoulder and say "What? What? What are you saying?"
Sylvie Fortin: Human nature must complete what it started.
Mark Ling: Now, all of this sounds like a lot of work for some people who happens to be already holding a full-time job or running other websites and just don’t have enough time to do all the ideas that are probably running through their heads right now. You were saying about workaholics4hire. It does a variety of services, right? It can make articles?
Sylvie Fortin: Oh yes, it has a full range. Our entire focus for workaholics4hire is working on the tasks that marketers need to be done. And it’s pretty much anything that’s grungy and repetitive that gets thrown in our lap.
Michel Fortin: You do what you do best, and she takes care of the rest.
Sylvie Fortin: That includes ghostwriting articles, launching campaigns, software programming, websites, anything. Especially if it’s outside the role of what someone should be doing.
Mark Ling: I take it that all the information is in the website for people to find out more.
Sylvie Fortin: Yes, go to the "client’s section" – because there are 2 sections of the site – for the jobseekers and for the clients.
The Copy Doctor
Mark Ling: Ok now Michel, you mentioned earlier about thecopydoctor.com website. Can you just tell us a little bit more about it and how it can help more people become better copywriters for marketers?
Michel Fortin: Watch the 18-minute video. Go to the website.
Sylvie Fortin: And you’ll (dot, dot, dot).
Michel Fortin: Just kidding. I’ll tell you really what it is. The membership site itself is not a teaching site. It’s not a coaching site. It’s not a "here’s how you do it site." The reason why I chose the process I chose, which is to actually record myself as I write copy or critique copy, is so that you don’t get to learn how to write copy by me telling you how to write copy. You get to learn by actually watching me in action.
We actually take out the middlemen, if you want to call it that way (so to speak). Because when I teach you, I have to sort of take whatever I know (which is really hard to say) and then put it into a message so I can teach it to you, and you have to decode that and then learn and apply. Then you only learn and understand only about 50% of what I teach anyway. But if you actually see me in action, I don’t have to teach anything – you actually see me as I write copy and I talk to you about my logic, the way I think – why did I choose that headline, and why is it better this way (as I do it).
So essentially, this is what this website is all about. It really is a databank of close to 60 hours of video, and there’s about 14 websites being critiqued right now, and I keep adding into it sporadically. But essentially, every website can take from 1 hour to 6 hours to critique or rewrite. And I record everything. So as a member, you get access to a lot and you learn better copy.
Now, here’s another tip: I’m not only a copywriter, I’m a fanatical tester, and I’ve been privileged to have written copies for other fanatical testers. So I came across and learned, and I was privy to a lot of these test results. I share a lot of these in my videos, and you can only learn about them when you watch the videos. So, if I say " you should use a picture in this location rather than in this location," I also tell you that because we’ve tested this, and this location actually out pull the other section by 20% or 22% - you learn all these test results. So you not only learn copywriting techniques. You also learn true, proven results.
Mark Ling: Alright, now a lot of people are making money from Google Adsense. Thousands and thousands of people now are making full-time living from Google Adsense. Now you’re offering something in addition to that called Context Cash (contextcash .com), am I right? Can you tell us more about that?
Sylvie Fortin: Well, Context Cash is web-based software –that’s the first thing to understand. The concept is this:
You have a content site that consists of 100 reprint articles. And in those hundred reprint articles, you want to promote a particular affiliate product or many affiliate products in your article site. Context Cash cuts through all the difficulties in doing exactly that. Because in one simple interface, you can specify that every time a certain phrase shows up, let’s say if your article site is all about pets. That every time the word "dog training" shows up, it will lead to a book you’re an affiliate of – like a dog training manual through Clickbank. It’s automatic link via text.
It came about because I have a situation come up; it took a long night of agony. What happened was, the affiliate program that I was promoting all of a sudden wasn’t there anymore – the site was dead. Now, I have an affiliate link spread through multiple websites, multiple articles, and I have to go and change it all to a new affiliate product. After many, many hours, I was just about in tears and I thought: there’s got to be a better way. And so we started brainstorming this piece of software that will not only solve that particular problem, but will also make it easier to promote anything I wanted to, make changes on a fly, and promote other sites that I want it to link to.
We have a number of content sites – their whole purpose is to get a lot of search engine attention so that we can promote our sales sites. We use content sites to promote products – other people’s products or affiliate sites, but also our own. We want to use content sites which get great rankings like blogs, etc. but they promote our sales sites.
So Context Cash is kind of like an internet affiliate marketing infrastructure. I use it for navigation elements. I use it to cross-link to other things, and the best part that I love the most, is that instead of bleeding out page rank (PR) by having a lot of outgoing links – all my outgoing links are dynamic. In other words, they don’t really exist to the search engine. So I get incoming links (a lot of them from the articles I put out there for reprint) with no outgoing links (not a single link goes out the door). So my page rank is increased because I use Context Cash.
I have an article site, which consists entirely of article reprints from other writers. And the rule is, I need to link to them from the byline. I follow that rule, but instead of doing it with a hard link (like most people do), and all that page rank going out the door, I change it so that every time the author’s name shows up, the links apply to their site. The author is happy, they get their link out, but I don’t lose my page rank. And all the links opens up into a new window so I don’t lose the traffic sitting on my page. People are still there on my real estate to click my Adsense ad.
Mark Ling: That’s a pretty valuable tool. So it’s not just about being able to click on commission, it’s all about protecting your own PR as well.
Sylvie Fortin: And for anybody who’s out there who promotes Clickbank affiliate products, you’re going to love it. It has a built-in system to have your Clickbank affiliate ID automatically inserted – just put keyword in, choose product, and it’s an affiliate link straight to your Clickbank account.
We did that specifically because there’s a lot of Clickbank products, but not all of them are worth promoting. And there are tools out there that will serve up the Clickbank database. Well that’s fine if you know that those products actually convert. I don’t like promoting anything that I don’t know if it will convert. So what we have is a staff member who actually uses a variety of tools and regularly keeps track of the historical record that products will have on Clickbank. So, if they’re a loser product that you can’t convert, they’re going out of the Clickbank database that is built within Context Cash.
Dynamic linking is quick – if you want to make a change, it’s only a 2 second thing. You want to change into a new affiliate product and you have a thousand websites with 10,000 articles out there, the change happens in 2 seconds and it applies to all of your articles instantly. That’s what we love. It’s a tool that solves problems – and that was a major problem that came out with a long night of tears – and thus, Context Cash was born.
Mark Ling: So someone that’s making money from, say their Context Cash links, could suddenly notice overnight an increase due to a better product being included in the Context Cash database?
Sylvie Fortin: To be clear, you still choose the words and products that you want to promote. We have a database that you can choose to import into your list. You still have control over the list.
Michel Fortin: The database is created based on the highest-producing, the highest-converting products rather than just giving you anything to promote. It also connects to Amazon, so you can have words that are connected to Amazon. You can also have your own affiliate links.
You can actually enter in Context Cash keywords, and keywords connect it to affiliate links of your choice – any link. We use it for navigation because pretty much, you can put any link. It could be any affiliate link, even your own sites. You could be cross-promoting your content sites to your sales sites. Well, that’s where you do it. There’s a section in there where you can actually add your own links.
It’s an amazing tool but it also tracks everything. It tracks and gives you a keyword click count on all your keywords. It tells you which keywords were clicked on the most and which links were clicked on the most. This also tells you pretty much what people are interested in, and which keywords and links are making you the most money.
Mark Ling: One of the most asked questions by affiliates as well is something you said just a minute ago is, which products to promote, and this helps you find those products?
Sylvie Fortin: This came as quite a surprise to me. I set up a "pets" website with a lot of articles about various pets - a whole wide range. And I thought – because cats and dogs are the most popular animals, that those should be the most popular articles. I was wrong. The most popular articles on that site are about lizards and reptiles. These happen to be the most clicked on words, and I found that out because the Context Cash tool will track how many times a certain word is clicked on.
So, I thought about that and realized, wait a second, I should be promoting a lizard’s product. I need to be promoting a product on caring for your lizard. And it’s in production right now. It’s also acting as a tool to help me figure out what kinds of products I want to create in the future. You see I’m no longer a marketer trying to tell people what they want to buy. What this essentially did (by accident) was to teach me what people wanted. They were telling me what they wanted. I know what affiliate products I want to create and produce in the future based on how well the sales do with my affiliate products.
Michel Fortin: If you have a site on "guitar lessons" and your site contain multiple articles (which leads to some generic guitar lessons). And then you realized that people click on mostly "jazz guitar" or "heavy metal guitar" or "blues", you can probably point them to a more specific course or any other topic. It literally tells you – so you can easily change your affiliate programs or even your articles to include keywords – even if it’s a generic program that you are an affiliate of. That promotes the words, or the content, or the topics that people are interested in. So it literally helps you to mold your message. Remember when we told you earlier how to modify your PLR articles to make it a little bit different? Context Cash will tell you how different it should be.
Mark Ling: Wow, so it’s not just some money making tool, it’s a research tool and it also helps you get past the duplicate content issues as well.
Michel Fortin: Yes, you can also use it in tandem with Google Adsense. And if you use the tip earlier – the one where I told you to have one paragraph in your e-mail with a link? Well, guess what, when you’re driving people to a site that has Context Cash (or Google Adsense or both), you’re basically getting them exposed to your ads. In the e-mail you can’t do that, unless you hardcode your links in there. And if a person reads an e-mail with multiple links, how many times are they going to click all the links? They’re not going to do that. They don’t even have time to read your e-mail, that’s the point. Whereas, if they go to a webpage (it has multiple links), then click to a link with ContextCash, it opens on a separate browser window, which is a sales letter of the product that you’re an affiliate of. How much greater are your chances to make more sales affiliate wise?
Sylvie Fortin: It’s much greater.
Mark Ling: Thanks Michel. Thanks Sylvie. I’m so impressed with the quality of information you have offered, it’s fantastic. Here is the list of websites that they own and promote:
Go visit them. These people know what they’re talking about and you’ve learned a lot from them from this lesson and you will learn a heck of a lot more from their paid membership sites so take a look and check it out.