Friday, December 26, 2008

Mery Christmas to All/Making Plans for 2009!

Good morning and Merry Christmas to all. I hope your
holiday has given you a chance to reflect and give thanks
for whatever you have, wherever you are. I know for many
people, including some of my close friends, this has been a
very tough year. Several people I know have lost their jobs,
gone bankrupt, or like me, lost most of their retirement. In
those respects, it has not been a good year for many, and so
it is easy to get lost in our own concerns and worries and
feel sorry for ourselves and become anxious over our futures.

We have to remember to keep things in perspective and to
always look towards the light and the love that is in our
lives, and not get lost in the darkness that always seems
to be hovering around us. Rather than look back with anger,
we should look forward with love and hope for a brighter
future and put our trust in Someone else. We can't control
out futures; we can only follow the path laid out before

And so my holiday wish for all of my friends, relatives,
and especially for you, Steven, is that you find
peace and contentment and happiness in the year ahead, and
that you have a chance to realize your dreams.

We've had some friends staying with us over the holidays --
musicians -- and we've been speaking about the different ways
you can promote yourself online. We also spoken about the
need to generate passive income to keep their bills paid and
maintain some cash flow between gigs and independently
released albums.

As I review my own end of year revenue summary, I see I
generated between $40-50K in passive income this year
outside of my consulting income and my wife's part-time
income as a dental hygienist. Now while this additional
passive income is nothing to brag about, it does help pay
the bills. If you are not currently generating passive
income online, now is a good time to put together a plan
for doing so in 2009.

Times are getting tougher, and we all need a buffer, unless
you are independently wealthy, or have no fear of income or
retirement loss. So what can you do to make money

You can choose one of two paths: sell knowledge based upon
your subject matter expertise (as a result of education or
experience) or sell someone else's knowledge and
experience. Of the two paths, you can make more money
selling your own product, and there is more room for
creativity and differentiation.

It's not particularly difficult to create your own
knowledge-based product. Start with something you are
passionate about and then create a one-hour audio recording
of yourself rambling about the subject for an hour. Then
transcribe the audio into a typed manuscript. Now you can
also record a video if you like and have your product
available in multiple formats, or bundle them all together
since people tend to enjoy reading and listening to
knowledge products.

Creating a web site to sell your product isn't tough
either. It doesn't have to be fancy schmancy though it does
need a compelling sales letter. You should capture visitor
information (name and email address) and get them into an
autoresponder with an email series. This enables you to
convert non-buyers and to cross-sell and up-sell.

A quick sidebar on the cross-sell and up-sell. There is so
much business left on the table these days by people who
fail to cross-sell or up-sell. Don't let this happen to
you. It is always easier to sell to somebody who has either
bought from you in the past or given you permission to email

You can promote your product through related blogs and
forums at little to no cost. Offer excerpts and articles to
bloggers; they are frequently hungry for good content.

You can establish an affiliate program through Clickbank
for next to nothing, and begin to tap into the 100,000
affiliates around the world, getting their help to promote
your product in exchange for a referral fee.

You don't need to spend a bundle on advertising. Of course,
it helps to find some joint venture partners with good
mailing lists and lots of traffic, but it has to be the
right JV partner. I receive a lot of emails from people
asking me to help them sell everything from cook books to
exercise books. I'm the wrong guy for those types of offers
because my lists and sites are not targeted to those
audiences. Find the right JV who shares your audience and
you can make a bundle.

Now you do need to be realistic. Whether your investment is
in time or money or both, you need to make an initial
investment. The key thing is to think this out carefully
before you begin. What is the total investment required and
how many copies of your product need to be sold for $X to
break even? You must know these numbers. Then you can make
a go/no go decision on the project.

Too many people set off on this path without a clear
understanding of costs and break-even point. Then they
complain that you can't make money or be successful. They
complain because they lost money.

If you have a product that can not sell for over $10 then I
would recommend you give it away for free in exchange for
capturing names and email addresses. Use your product as a
means to build a list for future marketing efforts. Many
have done this very successfully and fairly quickly. This can
generate far more money for you further on the down the
road through aggressive email marketing.

Or you can give your product away but have a one time offer
tied to it. In this case, downloaders see an unbelievable
offer before they are given a chance to download the free
product. This can also be very effective.

Using this combination of tactics you can begin to tap into
the passive revenue stream that has been previously evading
you. Again, be sure you fully understand the investment
required and the break-even point before you start.

The other path is to resell or promote other people's
products. If you are looking for products to resell, I
suggest you start here:

I think it helps when you can provide quality reviews of
these types of products and then link your affiliate links
in the review. This is how was founded
and grown in popularity over the past decade. If you want
to learn more about how to create your own review site
check out my ebook:

Be selective about the products you resell or promote.
There is a lot of noise out there and lots of people are
competing for the same audience. It helps if you can
publish your own newsletter as I do, and try to have a
voice of your own instead of coming across as another
Internet marketing guru clone. Don't go down that path
unless you have something unique to say and an extensive
career in marketing to back up your recommendations.
Credibility and experience are requirements.

Of course, there are others ways to generate passive
revenue such as by simply including Google AdSense
advertising on your web site. If you don't mind encouraging
people to abandon your own web site content in favor of
clicking on ads, then you can easily generate some cash
this way. Even though this level of revenue has decreased
for me over the past year, AdSense still generates over
$1000.00 a year for me without me lifting a finger. So why
wouldn't you at least consider it?

I hope these tips and suggestions motivate you to develop a
plan of your own for 2009, and that you begin to generate
some passive income of your own. If you need help, please
feel free to call upon me, whether for assistance with
copywriting, web design or general marketing strategy.

Until next year I wish you all that life has to offer,

Steven Schneiderman

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas is Coming ...

Holiday greetings to old and new subscribers. I recently
sent out a blast to former subscribers who I had lost touch
with, and I am happy to say that hundreds have
re-subscribed. Thanks, and I look forward to
re-establishing our past relationship. Let's not lose touch

Baby It's Cold Outside

Well, the weather outside is frightful but the fire's so
delightful ... no, I'm not going to sing, but it sure is
freezing here in Tulsa, and I am happy to have a fireplace
in my office!

My wife's started putting up the 12 foot tree in the main
entrance of our house, and the kids have put up their tree
in the playroom -- leaving off the "baby" ornaments from
their youth. He's 9 and a half and she turned 12 yesterday,
and already they want a more mature looking tree. Yeesh. I
should be grateful, though, since they both handed me their
Christmas list, and each wants less than $100.00 of gifts.
Now if I can just reel the wife in from buying stuff they
don't want or need.

A Prayer Request

We're planning a surprise 80th birthday for my wife's
parents next week, and her Dad went into the hospital last
night. We're hoping it's nothing and that he will be home
in time for his own surprise party. Her Dad was a pastor
for 30 years in the little sleepy town of Guyman, Oklahoma.
You pass through it on the way to Colorado. I admire the man
greatly for his sensibilities, faith, and the way he raised
his three sons and adopted daughter. Think of him (Harland)
these next few days, please, and throw a prayer of healing
his way. We would appreciate it.

Ebook Cover Questions

I've received a few emails this week from people looking
for advice on ebook covers. They want to know if they
should purchase software to create their own covers or have
me design one for them. While there are many cool and
powerful software tools that will render 3D ebook covers,
at the end of the day, you still need a designer to create
the 2D cover. So if you just need one cover, I would hire
somebody to design it for you. But if you need multiple
covers over time, then you might do well to purchase a good
tool and learn a little about design. My recommendations:

Quick 3D Cover creates a variety of different quality 3D
rendered images (including book covers, DVD and CDs, boxes,
etc.) in batch mode. You just load your cover artwork and
click, and in seconds you have 50+ images done. Doesn't get
any easier or faster. Here's the link:

I would also purchase my latest ebook called Designing
Ebook Covers. This ebook walks you through the design
decisions one must make when creating your own ebook cover.
You can read all about it here:

New Ebooks from EbookoMatic Authors

At my ebook publishing site,, we've had
some new authors join us and I invite you to learn more
about their latest ebooks:

The Secret of the Butterfly by Janie Houf

The Truth About Internet Sex & Affairs by J. Porter

The Leg Owners Manual by Michael Gillan

The Ten Rules of Slimming by Dr. Naras Bhat

Cool Tool Reviews

Killer Text 2: Max Rylski has done it again. If you are
needing to create cool looking headlines (for online or
print) or a text-based logo, then this tool is for you. You
need to see the samples of what you can create with this
tool. Seeing is believing. Check out the review here:

Follow-Up Email Generator: Most of my regular readers will
know that I am a big believer in maintaining contact with
your mailing list, no matter how small it is. In 2009, the
big winners in business will be those who understand and
capitalize on email marketing. This tool helps you to
generate the framework for your own series of 21 email
messages. I still think you should hire me to write your
email series for you, but if you can't afford me, this
low-cost tool can be a good alternative,

New Site Launched

We just completed another site for our long-term customer,
The Persimmon Group. The Persimmon Group Speakers site
features information and video about their senior
consultants speaking about a variety of timely and
intriguing topics. You can check it out here:

And remember, if you need a new web site, sales copy,
advertising, etc., please think of me first. I'd love to
work with you in 2009!

Pre-Release Sales Copy Clinic

I know many people can not afford to pay $1000.00 to have a
sales letter or email series written. Times are tough. So I
have decided to launch a copywriting mentoring site via an
affordable monthly subscription. For the cost of a single
sales letter, you can gain access to me all year-round. As
we say back in NYC, "such a deal!"

The site is in beta and will eventually feature a
members-only forum and other valuable features, but I
wanted to let you all know about this now.

Here's the value: the purpose of the site is to help you to
develop your copywriting skills. Each month you can send me
one sales letter or email series you've written and I will
personally review and comment on it. I will provide you
with written comments, some editing, and recommendations
for improvements.

Each member will also receive a free Sales Copy Clinic Kit
consisting of over $500.00 in specially selected software
tools, ebooks and swipe files that have been hand-picked to
help you craft your sales letters and email series.

To the best of my knowledge, there isn't a site or service
available like this anywhere else on the Net, so I urge you
to consider the value and join now because membership will
be limited to no more than 100 people. I'm doing this to
keep the one-on-one value high, and truthfully, I can only
assist so many people in a given month.

You can learn more here:

If you have a remote interest in this -- or if you have a
project coming up -- this could be the best money you spend
in 2009. Join today.

Well, it's time to get to work.

Until next time,


Monday, December 08, 2008

Free Marketing Newsletter from Armand Morin

Good morning, friends. Hope it is warm and cozy wherever
you are. I fear winter is upon us here in Tulsa; they
predict our first possible snow flurry on Tuesday, my
daughter's 12th birthday. Hope it melts by Wednesday!

December is always an interesting period. The direction of
the economy is always measured by spending, and while
online spending seems to be moving upwards, people are
still concerned about their financial futures.

Of course, we also spend a lot of time celebrating this
time of year, regardless of religious persuasion. Everyone
seems to get into the Christmas spirit except for those
jerks fighting to take "God" out of everything. Let's hope
Santa brings them something special.

And then there's New Years and our resolutions: to take 10
pounds off (does anyone ever actually do this), to start
exercising (yeah), and to complete those home improvements
next year (uh-huh).

What are your resolutions?

Perhaps we all need to focus less on ourselves and focus
more on others. That's not an order, just something I throw
out on the table for you to consider.

I was reading in this month's AARP magazine an editorial by
the late Studs Turkel (Yes, after I turned 50 in October I
joined AARP. It just seemed like the right thing to do.).
This article said that during the Great Depression, people
started helping each other more and getting more involved
in their community -- as if the act of helping others, helps

I've put that to concept to the test recently, helping some
folks to achieve some life-long goals, helping others to
achieve a web presence, and still others with gifts they
needed. Each time, people told me I was a blessing to them,
and they were ecstatic that someone reached out to them
during their time of need. It gave them hope during rough
times. Hmm, couldn't we all use some of that?

So what are you doing to help others? It's easy to lose
sight of what's important sometimes. Some companies and
professionals perform community service while others render
pro bono services. Is there something you could do to brighten
someone's day this time of year?

I have a few friends who are actually on the verge of
bankruptcy and foreclosure. Kind of scary. We were once all
on top of the world 10 years ago, many of us retirees at age
40. Multi-millionaires with more time on our hands than we
knew what to do with. And now, for many of us, it's all
gone as a result of poor decision-making, poor planning,
and that feeling of invincibility.

Retirement? Ha! Gone.

Health Insurance? Yeah, only if you can afford it.

Mortgage payments? Even good rates seem high now.

College funds? Already used to pay unsecured loans and
credit cards.

So how are we to survive in the year ahead?

Maybe staying focused on serving others is the key.
Ultimately, you have to do what right's for you.

I think staying educated is also critical. If you are in
business for yourself, or wanting to go into business for
yourself, or even if you are working for others, it's more
important now than ever before to stay ahead of the pack
and to always be in learning mode.

Here's a new way to learn and it won't cost you a dime:

Until next time,

Steven Schneiderman

Thursday, December 04, 2008

On Publishing and Some Marketing Tool Recommendations

Good morning, folks. I have two things I want to share
with you, but first a little rant which you will either
find inspiring or callous.

I receive many emails from first-time authors with no money
or experience who claim they have written the greatest book
ever. They ask for either free consulting services or a
free membership to In return, they offer
wealth on the back end in the form of commissions. They
tend to be very insulted and insulting when I turn them
down. Like everyone else, I need to spend my time wisely,
and the odds of the average ebook or book becoming a best
seller and making millions for them and for me is akin to
finding a needle in a haystack. I'm not saying it is
impossible, but it is darn near close.

I also receive many emails from authors who have already
taken the first step and built a presence online.
Frequently, these web sites are very amateurish in their
design and construct. Now marketing gurus will tell you
that simple sites sell. This may be true (I don't entirely
agree with this belief), but even a simple site needs basic
elements of good writing and salesmanship. And to be
effective, they must have long-term marketing goals beyond
the initial sales of the ebook or book.

For starters, your site needs a compelling headline.
Without it, the reader won't be encouraged to read further.

Then you need an image of your ebook. You need to make it

Then you need to tell an interesting story which explains
who you are, why you wrote the ebook, and what the value is
to the prospective buyer. The value you can be entertainment
or something they will learn or experience by reading your

Then you need to price it so it is within the reach of your

Include a buy button, a simple purchase process and a
download page.

And throw in a P.S. perhaps with a bonus or two to make your
offer impossible to ignore.

But it doesn't end there because the majority of people who
visit your site will NOT buy your ebook or book.

So you need a way to capture their name and email address
in exchange for some thank you gift (a free excerpt is
good), and then you need to stay in touch with them - 6-12
months - and encourage them to learn more about you and
your work until finally they either buy something from you
or something that you recommend (where you make a back end
commission) or ask to unsubscribe from your newsletter.

These are the basic elements of selling and marketing your
work online.

Skip one of these and your success will be in doubt. Do all
of these and you are positioned for sales -- not wealth or
fame -- but some sales.

The quality of the work is critical.

Testimonials are critical.

How you promote your work is critical.

Now for a few recommendations ...

First, I've seen some really complicated purchase processes
where the prospect has to go through multiple screens just
to buy an ebook. Remember who you are competing against:
Amazon and their one-click purchase process.

I recommend a new tool called Easy Seller Pro. It's a new
software script for your web site that does some amazing
things. I bought a copy and will begin implementing it
across many of my sites. I wrote a review here:

It includes a shopping cart system, an affiliate management
system, a discount coupon system, a mass mailing system and
much more. All inclusive, easy to install, and easy to
customize. What I call a no-brainer purchase. If you can't
install it, they will for $15.00. Now you have no excuses.

Second, Susan Harrow, an expert on promotion and publicity,
has offered a substantial discount on her ebook "Get Into O
Magazine". She understands how to get into Ophrah's
magazine and on her show.

The link is here:

Her $100 discount offer ends December 16th. Buy it. Read it.
Learn something.

Please do yourself a favor and review your marketing
methods. Look at the above list of critical elements and if
you are missing anything, fix it. If you want help, reach
out to me. I have limited time before the holidays, but
I'll do my best to work you into my schedule.

All my best,

Steve Schneiderman

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tough Times Ahead -- What Will You Do?

Good morning, friends. While the News reports holiday sales
are equal to or exceeding last years, I'm also hearing about
a lot of businesses that are closing down stores and
locations as well as letting tons of employees go.

Pryor, Oklahoma which is a sleepy little town was getting
ready to welcome Google who was planning on building a new
data center and hiring a ton of system engineers. That plan
screeched to a halt. The Gatorade announced a layoff.

These are mighty scary times.

We tend to react to every new radio or TV story with a
sudden sense of dread, asking ourselves when will this
economic downturn end.

And we tend to get very reactive, doing all sorts of stupid
things, making rash decisions.

I'm no exception to the rule. A month ago, I received an
offer to consolidate multiple lines of credit into one big,
low interest account with zero interest for a year, and I
moved five figures of cash into my checking account just in
case things got slow or we needed cash in a hurry. When you
are self-employed this is especially critical.

Wise move or stupid move? Wise if I don't use it all or
truly consolidate my higher interest payments. Stupid move
if I use it frivolously and can't pay it back.

The key point here is to not to make yourself crazy with
every new story you hear and to plan for the future wisely.

John Eldridge who is a spiritual and motivational author
recently sent out his newsletter (written letter style so
it seems very personal), and in it he said we need to stop
reacting to every little thing we hear with panic and
instead maintain our faith. Wise words indeed. All things
in their time, and these troubled times will pass, too.
Perhaps not as quickly as we would like, but they will

The real question, I think, is what do we choose to do
about it now? We know times are tough and are going to get
tougher. We're in a recession and in some places and for
some people, we are bordering on a depression.

What can you do?

If you are an employee at a company, you can make sure you
understand your job and the jobs of those around you (below
and above you and to your sides). Make yourself
indispensable and fluid so in the event of a layoff, you
can demonstrate your flexibility and value.

You should also understand your company's vision for the
future and do everything you can to support their strategy for
2009. Become a good corporate citizen and look for ways to
add value above and beyond your current role.

It's also a good time to update your resume and look at
competitors in your areas -- just in case. Be prepared to
leap at all times.

Back in NY when I was in my 20's I used to interview
monthly even when I was happy with my job just to keep my
interviewing skills razor sharp and to always understand my
cash value in the open market.

If you are self-employed, you need to take a different
tact. Most of us who work for ourselves would not readily
entertain returning to the corporate world to work for
someone else. Still, it's a good idea to take an inventory
of skills you have mastered while on your own and it's a
good exercise to update your resume.

And network. Like crazy.

The most important thing you can do is to work on improving
your relationship with prospects and customers. The
majority of people out there who you will be competing against do a
crappy job of this. They do not understand the value of
building and deepening relationships. You do the opposite.

Reach out and touch people repeatedly -- at least monthly
-- if not bi-weekly.

Now the best way to do this is to use software or services
to send personalized emails to your entire list on a
scheduled interval. Lots of tools to choose from here.

For those who prefer to do it themselves, check out

For those who prefer greater automation and scheduling,
check out Get Response:

Once you have the system in place to deliver your
personalized emails, you need to write the series. I advise
a minimum of 20 touches these days. I used to use the
direct mail approach that said 7-10 messages were required to warm
up a prospect to the point where they would either contact
you or buy from you, but I believe in highly competitive
times like these that you need to touch them longer so your
name becomes second nature to them. You want them to think
of you, and only you, when they think of "entertainment".

I can write a series of 10 emails for $500.00 or a series
of 20 emails for $1000.00. You can break that into two
payments by PayPal. Send the first payment to to reserve your space in my schedule,
please. Do it now. I'm getting very busy.

Why pay me to write these messages for you? I write for a
living. I'll study your site and talk to you
to get the info I'll need to produce a custom series of
messages just for you.

I strongly suggest you add a newsletter subscription form
to your site. Every visitor should become a subscriber. You
need to provide a compelling reason to subscribe. Just
adding a form is not effective marketing and will do little
to grow your database. Offer a bribe, whether it's a free
report or a discount coupon.

If you need help creating these things, I can help you with this,
too. Check out the way Michael Kett does it on his Amazing
Flea Circus site:

Yes, we designed this site for Michael about 2 years ago.
We also designed his corporate site:

We'll be updating this subscribe form later today with the
same free report offer.

You need to tell people to subscribe to your newsletter on
every page.

You need to tell people to use your contact form to get
info on every page.

If you don't tell them, they won't do it.

If you don't ask for the sale, they won't buy.

The more your prospects and customers think of you as a
close and trusted friend, the more business you will get.

Want to discuss your site? Call me at 918-298-9531 or email
me at

All my best,

Steven Schneiderman