There’s absolutely no denying the fact that if you wish to be highly profitable online, you MUST build an email list. Selling to warm leads and existing customers is far easier than trying to convert cold visitors (prospects).
This is why you see marketers constantly parroting the quote, “The money is in the list!”
That’s definitely true. However, let’s not forget a crucial component in all of this. The money may be in the list – but where you keep the list matters greatly too.
The best way to build your list will be to use a reputable autoresponder. Since this is a very profitable online business model, there are many large companies offering email marketing services.
So which will you choose?
They’re all not made equal. Some are infinitely better than others. So you have to pick an autoresponder carefully.
Do NOT do this!
Avoid using self-hosted autoresponders! They’re usually created by ‘smaller’ marketers and lack the features and automation that the managed services provide.
Very often, the self-hosted autoresponders only have one thing going for them – a low one-time fee. But you always get what you pay for. If you have deliverability issues, etc. you’ll have to sort them out yourself.
Not to mention, most self-hosted autoresponders do not have as many integrations and customization features as the ‘big guns’. So it’s best to pick a managed solution even if it means forking out a monthly or yearly fee.
Mention autoresponders and you’ll always see a few big names being mentioned.
Very often, the name AWeber will make an appearance and you’ll see marketers raving about it. But does it live up to the hype?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of AWeber…
If autoresponders were animals, AWeber would be a dinosaur. It’s probably the oldest autoresponder of the lot and was around when online marketing began.
That probably attests to the fact as to why it’s still popular even though it’s nowhere as sleek or user-friendly as the latest email marketing software such as ConvertKit or Active Campaign.
Nevertheless, AWeber is still a goliath in this email marketing scene and is a solid, proven, and trusted autoresponder.
Marketers on a tighter budget will be able to afford AWeber which costs less than $20 a month, unlike other more expensive solutions.
* Wide selection of forms and email templates
You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating forms and emails with AWeber. There are more than 700 email templates to choose with the usual customization options.
* Free up to 500 subscribers
You can sign up for AWeber for free and test it out up to a limit of 500 subscribers. That’s an excellent way for you to get a feel for the software. You may wish to try out the free trials at other autoresponder companies too. This will allow you to get a better idea of which one is suitable for you.
* Has most of the features you’ll need
For quite a long time, AWeber was lagging behind in some of the more recent features that its competitors were offering such as tagging, etc.
However, AWeber seems to have caught up, and are they’re trying to be competitive now rather than relying on old customer habits to stay with them. Automations, tagging, segmenting, split testing, etc. are all available in AWeber now.
* Generally easy to use
The AWeber interface is clean and relatively uncomplicated. While it does seem clunkier than GetResponse and ConvertKit, once you’re familiar with the layout, you’ll be able to use AWeber easily. It’s a lot less complicated than Infusionsoft or Mailchimp.
* Detailed reporting and analytics
This is one area where AWeber truly shines. They even have an app that you can download to analyze your stats. Wow! This dinosaur is really picking up the pace here.
We’re not going into the specific tracking features. Just know that it’s detailed enough to track sales, subscriber actions, and so on.
* Integrates like a beast!
Since it has been in the business for so long, AWeber integrates with hundreds of third-party solutions ranging from PayPal to Zapier. You can see the list on the official website.
Generally, if you have a tool that doesn’t integrate with other autoresponders, you’ll want to check if it works with AWeber. In most cases, it just might.
* Can use Canva
This is something interesting that we didn’t see with the other autoresponders. You can actually use Canva within your AWeber interface to create images and so on. This is brilliant. Good ol’ T-Rex AWeber is definitely beautifying its emails.
* Good support
Just like all the popular autoresponder companies, AWeber has great 24/7 prompt customer support too.
* Account migration
If you’re with another autoresponder and would like to move your lists, tags, subscribers, etc. – all you need to do is fill out a form and AWeber will move your lists and stuff for you. Easy peasy!
* Knowledgebase and tutorials
Don’t panic. If you have no idea how to use AWeber, they have tons of articles and video tutorials to guide you. You’ll have no problem figuring out this platform.
* Good deliverability rate
Despite being on the scene for so long, AWeber still manages to get its members’ emails into the subscribers’ inboxes without fail (for the most part). The litmus test of any autoresponder is its deliverability rate – and Aweber does a good job here.
Despite the fact that AWeber has done a lot to catch up with the newer autoresponders, its interface still needs a better look.
It also charges users for subscribers who are on the subscribed and unsubscribed lists. This isn’t really fair, and while the onus is on the user to delete their ‘unsubs’, it’s still a hassle and AWeber has been in the business long enough to have created a solution for this.
Should You Get It?
We recommend signing up for the free trial and testing it out for yourself… and also trying out the other popular autoresponders.
This is a very competitive industry and most autoresponders have similar features with some focusing on a few strengths. However, what really matters is that you like using the tool and feel at ease with it.
While some people swear by AWeber, many have switched to GetResponse or Mailchimp because they felt it was a better solution for them.
You need to see if AWeber is suitable for you. So give it a try and decide for yourself. As far as autoresponders go, AWeber is just as strong a contender as any.
I tackle extremely few obstacles without initially consulting my spiritual compass. Having that center of reason and also understanding provides me the confidence needed to make the difficult decisions in my life.
As scary as it is to trust in our spiritual guide (which would be the Holy Spirit if you’re a Christian) at times, it helps to strengthen our relationship with God too when we do.
A big part of my spirituality is connected to the biblical values that I live by. This guides me unfailingly, so I depend on them as my compass in telling me the direction I must take.
Whenever I choose to follow the source of my direction, I am comforted. Even feelings of sadness drift away as I know that my choice comes from a positive place with positive intention. Before beginning each day, I show my gratitude and asking the Holy Spirit to lead me and guide me. Connecting with my spiritual center energizes me and gives me hope.
Even the hardest situations become manageable because I know that I am led by the power of the Holy Spirit. I trust in its ability to protect me when I am in danger. It uplifts me when I am down. I am truly thankful for my spiritual foundation and guide.
Today, it is a blessing to be a follower in something a lot more powerful than my humankind. I notice my spiritual support at work in my life, so I am courageous. I can get over any obstacle as a result of my dependence on God and the Holy Spirit as the spiritual guide He has for me.
1. Just how does my spirituality show itself in difficult work situations?
2.What are some of the most important values that I aim to live by?
3. What component does spiritual awareness play in my end-of-day reflection?
Habits are behaviors we perform daily and with little or no thought to the process. It’s almost as if some of our daily habits are done automatically. We often classify habits as either being good or bad. There are also everyday habits that allow us to carry out essential activities, most of us have, that are simply our routines or what we do every day.
Everyone has habits. From what time we go to sleep or wake up in the morning, to what time we eat our meals or even tie our shoes – these are all actions we perform daily without even thinking about them. Good habits are categorized as behaviors that benefit our lives. Eating right, getting enough sleep, being financially responsible, and staying active daily are some habits that are generally considered good.
Alternatively, bad habits are behaviors that don’t enrich our lives or no longer work for us. Some examples of bad habits are fingernail biting, the overindulgence of food or alcohol, and drug use. These are learned behaviors that don’t benefit our lives. Then, there are daily routines that become habits too. Like the coffee, you always buy from the same coffee shop on the way to work, or what time your body wakes up naturally every day, or even the way you put your clothes on in the morning.
There are several reasons why we use habits and why they are important. We use habits to make our lives easier. For instance, think about the simple task of brushing your teeth. You don’t have to concentrate on how to brush your teeth every day; you just do it out of habit.
So What Are The Best Habits of Successful Online Marketers? Here Are The Top 10
1. Create a plan – An ancient philosopher said: “When a man doesn’t know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” Any successful online marketer needs to be organized, know his budget, know the next goal, and what the next job is. Planning is one of the most important habits to be successful in online marketing.
2. Take action – Successful marketers learn and then put that learning into action.
3. Don’t fall for the hype – Successful marketers are realistic; they don’t fall for the overhyped pipe dreams of overnight riches. They work hard to set realistic goals using genuine and effective marketing methods.
4. Not afraid to work and be self-motivated – Success online comes from learning, work, and action, and successful marketers are not afraid of that work. They are self-motivated, and self-starters who are dedicated to the work and learning process needed to succeed.
5. Take risks – Risk-taking is an essential aspect of online marketing, it takes faith, dedication, and guts to delve in and risk failure in order to find success.
6. Staying organized – Another essential skill when working for yourself and from home is to be highly organized, which includes setting goals and outlining the necessary tasks to achieve them.
7. Discipline – Discipline is essential when working for yourself and running a home business. Successful marketers do not let at-home distractions, such as the phone, family, television, or any others divert their focus from putting in the work and hours needed to succeed online.
8. Commitment and dedication – Commitment manifests itself in not only sticking with and being dedicated to the business plan but in knowing and believing that nothing will get in the way of success. While the route may change along the way, the commitment and dedication towards that end goal of success always remain the anchors.
9. Passionate about the business – Successful marketers are very passionate about their business, making it a priority in their life and something they simply love to do.
10. Belief in oneself – Successful marketers believe in themselves and their ability to succeed as much as the business.
“Biblical freedom has a theological component which sets it apart. In the Bible, people are made free for a specific purpose: to serve God.”
It would seem like “serving God” is the last thing on our minds in today’s society. No matter who you are or what you are in life, most of us just want to be free and live life according to our own terms. And for most people, that means having financial freedom.
Being an affiliate marketer I often think about making money online and how it all fits into my personal walk with God. This brings me to the matter of Stewardship and Community.
It’s kind of ironic though, the Bible tells us that, spiritually speaking, no one is free (financially or spiritually). In Romans 6, Paul explains that we are all slaves. We are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. Those who are slaves to sin cannot free themselves from it, but once we are freed from the penalty and power of sin through the cross, we become a different kind of slave, and in that slavery, we find complete peace and true freedom in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
“If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” – Matthew 19:21.
How’s that for financial freedom?
In the Bible, the “greater good” often overrides the rights or best interest of the individual. Examples include Jesus commanding His followers to give all of their possessions to the poor and Old Testament priests sacrificing their animals on an altar. The greatest example would be God sacrificing His only Son on the cross to offer us salvation. It is clear that the Gospel is inherently sacrificial.
This relates to stewardship because when we reflect on how we can manage our resources, we often think of preserving them rather than sharing them or giving them away. But true biblical stewardship holds that Christians have a responsibility to our groups, families, communities, and humanity as a whole. We must steward, or manage our people for the collective good and lead others in an honorable direction.
Galatians 6:2 says “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” In other words, love looks like a sacrifice and the way we treat others matters. As trustees of our time and talents as well as of the culture and values in the society around us, it’s a good idea to occasionally ask ourselves if we are actively seeking to carry the burdens of our brothers and sisters in Christ and to lead our fellow man in the right direction.
One way to do this is by sharing the gospel. In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus commanded His followers to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This charge is known as the great commission, and it is one of the major responsibilities that God gave His followers. Another way is by caring about the physical plight of our fellow man, from our next-door neighbor to our brothers and sisters living in other nations with different backgrounds and beliefs. When we share our resources as biblical stewards, the focus is on serving God rather than self. Giving our money to the poor makes more sense when we realize it was not our money in the first place, we are mere stewards.
We are living in such times where economic crisis is a thing of the day and this makes life a bit tough and complicated for many people. Access to quality healthcare and basic life commodities requires one to have some stable finances. Improving one’s finances does not necessarily imply getting rich and flashy. It means maintaining a balanced financial status in life, enough for you to ease through life without stress or debt. Let us quickly take a look at some of how you can improve your finances today, no matter where you are and what you do in life.
Have a monthly budget
No one wants to live an austere life, we pretty much want to wine, party, and dine like royalty all the time. It is necessary to sit down and work out your budget before you go on a spending spree. Do not leave your finances to chance and squander all your earnings haphazardly. Each time take some moment to crunch the numbers. Take note of what you have and what you want to achieve. Prioritize things, from bills to debts then sundry expenses. This will help you stay equilibrated when it comes to unnecessary spending. It is such a pity that most people go on a spending spree and only get to sit down when their earnings have dwindled. This will force them to be forever in debt and to lose a lot of money unwittingly. So, each month, make it your aim to sit down and work the math. This will leave you in a better financial position than most.
Be mindful – differentiate between needs and wants
Most of us want to live a life we cannot afford; they are obsessed with status. Unless you are sitting on a pile of unlimited treasure, you need to live mindfully. Know your needs from your wants. Needs are those things that are necessary for daily livelihood. You need food, shelter, transportation, healthcare, clothing, etc. On the other hand, wants are just accessories, things that you can live without. So, whenever you are planning on spending, first determine whether that thing you are spending on is really necessary for your life. This does not mean that you have to be frugal or be a Scrooge, you deserve to treat yourself once in a while. However, you have to know when how much strain you will be putting on your finances. We all want the finest things in life after all.
Get rid of debt
To fully get financial freedom and relieve stress, you must get rid of all the accrued debts. This means you will actually be free to spend your money on something more constructive instead of backtracking on stuff. Do not get used to the habit of spending money you have not earned yet. Debts create that void that keeps sucking your earnings, and you will always live with a negative balance, it a virtual prison where you keep on working for past spending. You can never have savings if you are always in debt.
Invest in something
One can earn money either by working or by investing. One advantage of investing is that sometimes the wealth just accumulates on its own over time without you doing anything. Whether it is real estate, the stock market, or other investment plans, the returns usually are worth the investment. Of course, this is a pretty scary venture for most, and you need to be well-advised and careful when it comes to where and how much you want to invest. So, read about financial markets and other ventures. Ask advice from those who know best and make calculated investments. This will help you in the long run.
Most people enjoy spending too much and think that saving up starts in the twilight age. This is misguided. You need to start saving now. Life is pretty much unpredictable and things can change overnight. So, prepare for the rainy day. You can set aside funds for emergencies and also start your retirement savings today. Also, be insured. Set aside some money each month or each week, depending on your income. This requires a lot of discipline since sometimes we all get impulsive.
Of course, it is never that easy to be this disciplined when it comes to your finances, but you need to be vigilant. Sometimes you might have to find alternative sources of income other than your main job. You might also decide to open up a savings account, one that slowly builds up over time. Cut back on things that are unnecessary in life and always try to find ways to boost up your earnings. Remember, it is never too early to start saving up.
Homeschooling on the Rise During COVID-19 Pandemic
I never thought I will be homeschooling my 4-year-old daughter, but then again no one really expects a pandemic to happen. I’m sure most parents don’t think about the process of learning to read until they have children of their own. As someone who homeschools my child, I cannot tell you how many times parents have come up to me asking questions about how they can teach their children to read at home. My response to each of them is always the same: learning to read is a process composed of various skills and strategies, and luckily, I have broken it down into simple and tested strategies to try in your own home.
Make Reading Fun!
Don’t be afraid to have fun while teaching your children to read. Simply asking questions like, “What sound does the word ___ start with?”, or “What word rhymes with ___?”, will have your children listening, identifying, and manipulating the sounds in words, building confidence and excitement towards learning how to read. Another tool that can be used is letter magnets. Sometimes sounding out vowels can be tricky for children, which is why magnets can be super helpful. Place magnets on your fridge, and place all the vowels (a, e, i, o, u) to one side. Say out loud a CVC word (consonant-vowel-consonant), such as “cat”, and ask your child to spell it using the magnets. To help them along, say each vowel sound aloud while pointing to the corresponding letter, and ask your child which one makes the sound similar to the letter in the word.
Sing a Song! Makeup Songs or Use Nursery Rhymes
Songs and nursery rhymes aren’t just fun sounding to kids but are filled with rhymes and rhythms which help them hear sounds and syllables, which in turn help them with their reading. One of the most important skills needed when learning to read is phonetic awareness. Phonetic awareness is the ability to focus on the sound each letter makes within a word. For example, the word “mat” is made up of the sounds the letters /m/ /a/ /t/ make. To help your children build phonemic awareness using songs and nursery rhymes, clap to the rhythm and sing the songs together, and watch them become successful with reading.
Reading Everything – Print Environments Are Best
If children see printed words daily, like on posters, books, and labels, they will able to make connections between the letter sounds and the letter symbol. When out with your children, stop to point out letters on billboards and signs to encourage them to work on making letter sounds and eventually, sounding out the word.
Use Flashcards or Create Homemade Word Cards
Quick and easy, simply cut out cards (any size) from paper, and write one word with three sounds on each (e.g., Sat, cat, sun, pot, pig). Have your child select a card and read the word together, holding up three fingers. Once done, ask them to say the first sound they hear in the word they chose, then the second, and then the third. This activity requires very little prep time, and builds phonics skills, and helps them sound out words. If your child is just starting out, you can do the same exercise, except use letters of the alphabet instead of words.
See the Word, Say the Word
See the word, say the word, is the common expression used to describe “sight words”. Sight words are words that cannot easily be sounded out and need to be recognized on sight (for example, you, I, am, they, where, does). Learning to identify and read sight words is essential when young children are learning how to read, and the best way to teach them is by using flashcards with these sight words on them, and get them to “see the word, say the word”.
Reading to your child daily is one of the most effective ways to get your child to pick up the skills necessary for learning how to read. You are showing your child how to sound out words, building comprehension skills, growing their vocabulary, and letting them hear what a fluent reader sounds like; all needed for your child to be successful readers. While reading to your child, engage them by asking questions about the pictures they see (e.g., “What color is the dog? Do you see the stars?”), and if your children are older, ask them a question about what you just read (e.g., “Why do you think Sam was frustrated?”).
Build The Foundation
Remember, learning how to read involves multiple skills. Children need all of these skills, listed below, in order to successfully learn how to read.
Phonemic Awareness: the ability to hear the different sounds in words
Phonics: recognizing the connection between letters and the sounds they make
Vocabulary: understanding the meaning of words and their context
Reading Comprehension: understanding the meaning of texts in information and storybooks
Fluency: ability to read aloud with speed, understanding, and accuracy
Remember, every child learns at their own pace, so it’s best to make this process encouraging and enjoyable. By reading daily, having fun with activities, and even having your child pick their own books as their skills grow, will instill a love of reading and set them up for the ultimate reading success. Teaching children is not a simple task, and if after reading these steps you’re left feeling a little overwhelmed, no need to worry, I have a solution for that too! Click the link below to see how Sarah Shepard, a fellow teacher, has taught over 35,000 children how to read with her program Reading Head Start!