Do Lower Prices Lead to More Sales?

Let’s say you’re choosing between three photography courses covering similar topics.
The prices are stacked like this:

$200
$250
$2,000

What’s going through your mind right now?
Curiosity floods your brain. Even if you’re not sure you can afford the $2,000 course, you want to know why it’s so expensive, compared to the other photography courses.
If we were truly happy with lower prices, we would simply snap up the $200 workshop, right? We wouldn’t so much as take a glance at the rest.
But that’s not how we’re built as human beings.
Many years ago, when I consulted with a company that sold beds in a store, we’d take customers around the store. We’d show them beds that cost $1,500, $2,000, and $4,000. And then we’d ask them if they were curious about the bed that cost $4,000.
You bet they were. You would be, and so would I — we’d all be curious about the features and benefits that caused an increase of 100 percent (or more) in the price. 
Price decisions are made in a vacuum or by comparison
Lower prices, alone, don’t produce more sales. We’re clear on that idea, aren’t we?
And that’s because clients make price decisions either in a vacuum or by comparison.
To start, let’s look at making price decisions in a vacuum.
Say you decide to buy a bottle of Ardbeg (yup, it’s a really nice, single-malt whisky). But wait — the price of a single bottle of 2009 Ardbeg Supernova is $550.
You aren’t asking why at this

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5 Traffic Strategies That Build Your Curation Audience

Note: This is the third of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the initial two episodes here:

Position Your Content Curation for Success
3 Ways to Grow Your Curated Email Newsletter Faster

Now we tackle the eternal question: how do you get traffic to your curation site so you can build an email list? Should we start building a war chest for advertising?
Not yet. First we’re going to apply some creativity and sweat into driving traffic. Some of these methods are tried and true, but need to be executed a certain way for a curation project. Others are seemingly a little “outside the box,” and yet they complement a curated email newsletter perfectly.
In this 22-minute episode Robert Bruce and I discuss:

What makes curated content shareable and linkable
The best audience building strategy on the planet
How to borrow (and delight) a massive audience
How to get others to share your curated content
Why infographics are pure media curation
How to take advantage of visual microcontent
The true value of iTunes for audience building
The podcast interview as valuable curation content
The viral catalyst the exploded Copyblogger in the early days

Click Here to Listen to Rainmaker.FM Episode No. 26
Or, grab it in iTunes.
About the authorBrian ClarkBrian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, host of Rainmaker.FM, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

The post 5 Traffic Strategies That Build Your Curation Audience appeared

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How to Learn From Your Mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes.
And everybody should make mistakes. They are unavoidable when we step outside of our comfort zones. Avoiding mistakes means avoiding growth.
But we can’t repeat our mistakes. We need to learn from them. When we do, we turn negatives into positives and move forward. When we don’t, we simply run in place.
In this episode of The Lede, Demian and I share personal stories of mistakes we’ve made — some big and some small — and how we learned from them, and we describe the thought process necessary to do so consistently.
We discuss:

Recovering from technical errors (notably, a rather embarrassing one Jerod made recently)
Walking away from security in pursuit of happiness
Self-compassion in the face of mistakes
Why it’s okay to want recognition for your hard work
How to mobilize into action quickly when things go wrong
Letting go of stubbornness in favor of learning

Listen to The Lede …
To listen, you can either hit the flash audio player below, or browse the links to find your preferred format …

Click here to download the mp3 | 43.0 MB | 31:07
Click here to subscribe via iTunes
Click here to listen via Stitcher
Click here for the RSS feed (non iTunes)
Click here for the show archive

React to The Lede …
As always, we appreciate your reaction to episodes of The Lede and feedback about how we’re doing.
Send us a tweet with your thoughts anytime: @JerodMorris and @DemianFarnworth.
And please tell us the most important point you took away from this episode. Do so by joining

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Trolls, Unkind Words, and How to Know You’re on the Right Track

At the end of the day, I just find your persona incredibly grating.
Funny that I can still remember that comment word-for-word. It’s from an unsubscribe note to my email list dating back at least seven years now.
I heard lots of good things back then, too. I was helping people, sharing what I knew in a way that was useful to my (then tiny) audience. But I don’t remember any of the good comments verbatim.
Even back then, though, the note made me laugh.
(Ruefully.)
Because I knew that it was a signpost. A signal that I was headed in the right direction.
The Internet is full of wonderful things. It’s given me a rich business life, a vehicle to help and teach, lots of friendships, and a wide view of this amazing world. I even met my husband online.
But it’s also populated by a few people who are rude and disagreeable, if not outright trolls.
The day you get your first snotty comment is the day you’ve arrived, in a weird way. It means you’ve escaped your own echo chamber. You’ve grown out of the little cocoon that kept you safe.
And you’re strong enough to handle that, even if you don’t always feel that way.
No one takes a swipe at boring people
If you’re a bland, unremarkable serving of Cream of Wheat, you won’t attract many haters.
You need a strong voice to stand out online — and some will find that “incredibly grating.” You’re on the

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Three Ways to Grow Your Curated Email Newsletter Faster

Note: This is the second of three core lessons related to content curation based on a case study of my new email newsletter Further. You can listen to the first episode here: Position Your Content Curation for Success With These 5 Essential Elements.
A key aspect of last week’s episode was identifying the purpose of any smart content curation project – audience building. Specifically, building an audience asset in the form of an email list.
This week we’re focusing exactly on that essential element. After smartly positioning your curation project, you want to do everything you can to optimize your initial sign-up conversion rate before you invest serious time and money in driving traffic.
In this 34-minute episode Robert Bruce and I reveal:

Why traffic alone isn’t enough to build an online business
My overall content architecture for Further.net
Whether the “How To” headline is losing effectiveness
The stupidly simple way to get your newsletter shared
The origin of the modern social share button
An unorthodox publishing approach that works
How Copyblogger achieved a 400% increase in email signups
How to create an unbelievably effective ethical “bribe” for subscribers

Click Here to Listen to Rainmaker.FM Episode No. 25
Or, grab it in iTunes.
About the authorBrian ClarkBrian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, host of Rainmaker.FM, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

The post Three Ways to Grow Your Curated Email Newsletter Faster appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Why Creating Your First Blockbuster Online Product Is Easier Than You Think

Imagine you’ve just launched your first product.
It’s a short little course, just a few weeks long, that teaches the “DIY” version of the topics you help people with every day. You built it once, delivered it online, and now it works for you while you’re off doing other activities you love.
This online course has been a transformative force in your life.
You’ve found financial freedom, because you’re no longer constrained by the economics of trading time for money. And you’ve multiplied your impact, making the world a better place for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people.
It’s a pretty picture, isn’t it?
But you and I both know it isn’t so easy to achieve.
In reality, most people with big dreams of product creation end up spending months, or even years, investing time and money that they can’t afford to lose into a project that will probably never see the light of day.
It’s a sad reality, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Let your audience direct your product development …
What the creators of most blockbuster products have figured out is how to completely avoid that situation by allowing their audiences to guide product development.
This is one of the areas where Copyblogger has always excelled. They first discussed the concept of a minimum viable audience back in 2012:
Build an audience through content marketing. Let them tell you what they want. Build products and offer services based on their desires and needs. Prosper.
By

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LAST DAY: Authority Rainmaker Pricing Increases Today

In 2014, we produced a different kind of online marketing conference. This year, we’re doing it again … except bigger, better, and smarter.
Today our best pricing ends. Click here to reserve your spot and save, or read on for the essential details first.
What:
Authority Rainmaker: Copyblogger’s live training event that provides an integrated online marketing strategy combined with the best ways to implement it. Plus great parties and networking.
When:
May 13-15, 2015.
Who:
Daniel Pink, Sally Hogshead, Henry Rollins, Danny Sullivan, Ann Handley, Chris Brogan, Bernadette Jiwa, Michael King, Joanna Lord, Joe Pulizzi, Sonia Simone, Jerod Morris, Sean D’Souza, Scott Brinker, Pamela Wilson, Brian Clark (hey, that’s me!) … plus a few more we’ll be announcing soon.
Where:
The stunning Ellie Caulkins Opera House in sunny Denver, Colorado.
Why:
Super Early Bird pricing ends TODAY (January 16, 2015) at 5:00 pm Pacific Time, which saves you $500 off full price. You don’t want to wait and pay more!
How:
Click here for all the details and to register before the price goes up.
About the authorBrian ClarkBrian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, host of Rainmaker.FM, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

The post LAST DAY: Authority Rainmaker Pricing Increases Today appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Announcing The 2015 Cost of Online Business Report [Infographic]

Here’s a neat fact to start your day: Copyblogger has a goat keeper among its readers. We know because he took our 2015 Cost of Online Business survey.
Now, more than likely it’s a prank. A prank by some misfit in Boca Raton.
But I have to confess: part of me wants there to be a goat keeper (somewhere exotic) who is a faithful reader of Copyblogger. An enterprising shepherd who dreams of growing his herd — with content marketing.
Ah, to dream.
But whether or not the goat keeper is real doesn’t really matter. It is, however, just one of dozens of interesting discoveries we made during our 2015 Cost of Online Business survey.
Discoveries like:

More than a quarter of respondents identified as a Small Business Owner.
Most website owners are struggling to make a living online.
Yet more and more people are choosing to enter the online business realm.
Generating traffic is the biggest challenge of running an online business.

And 53 additional interesting results.
Results that will help us create content that solves your online business problems and develop new products that better serve your needs. Not to mention allowing us to upgrade our current products based on what matters most to you.
Naturally, we wanted this information to serve you better. But we thought you needed it, too.
How can you accurately evaluate your current strategies and tactics — and their associated costs — if you don’t know what other folks are doing and what’s working for them?
You need to know your options.
The survey results in three ways
We’ve decided to provide the results

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Lessons Learned from Conducting Two Monster Audience Surveys

You may be creating content in a niche with 1,000 other sites, but only you have your audience. And surveying your audience can be fertile ground for the kind of information and insight that builds your next transformative content series.
Just ask Demian Farnworth. He did it twice for Copyblogger in 2014 — and the results of his second survey will be posted here tomorrow.
We talked about his mentality in conducting these two surveys, his process, and the lessons he learned in the latest episode of The Lede.
In this episode, Demian Farnworth and I discuss:

Creating a survey to gain insights for a unique content series
Choosing the right survey methodology
How to survey your audience, even if your audience is small and you have limited resources
The golden rule of good content
What we’ll do differently when conducting our next survey

Listen to The Lede …
To listen, you can either hit the flash audio player below, or browse the links to find your preferred format …

Click here to download the mp3 | 33.4 MB | 24:06
Click here to subscribe via iTunes
Click here to listen via Stitcher
Click here for the RSS feed (non iTunes)
Click here for the show archive

React to The Lede …
As always, we appreciate your reaction to episodes of The Lede and feedback about how we’re doing.
Send us a tweet with your thoughts anytime: @JerodMorris and @DemianFarnworth.
And please tell us the most important point you took away from this episode. Do so by joining the discussion over on LinkedIn.
The

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