The Best AWeber Strategies & Tactics for Small Businesses - E-book

From this moment on: 192 pages Ebook on

The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses

Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.

Modern Tools to Write and Publish a Book: ScreenSteps, Google Adwords, SurveyMonkey, PoD

After Ed Rivis wrote his second book "Email Marketing Dynamite" he published a post about his preferred method of writing books: Become a published author in less than 7 days...

As you can read in the comment I left there: a great method for those who are verbally attuned, but that's not me I'm afraid. I've always (and still) preferred to write the "old-fashioned" way: keyboard (starting with a very old real typewriter, since 1988 in front of a pc or on the occasional laptop)

Writing made easy

Whenever you write about something you are really passionate about the words just seem to flow out of your fingers, through the keyboard onto the screen in any format the program you're writing in provides you with. Word, notepad, online editor or in many of my cases: ScreenSteps Desktop.


The benefit - and I've mentioned this often - of using ScreenSteps to write articles, blog-post, marketing messages, and complete books is the "library" of lessons/articles. Once written they are there, ready to be exported as stand-alone in multiple ways plus ready to be added to a "manual" where you can combine one article with others (already in the library or written a new) to be published in again multiple ways.

That's why writing our extended "Wooden Floor Installation Manual" took not that much time - most of the articles/chapters were already in the ScreenSteps library, so "all" I had to do was to create a new manual, add chapter titles and where needed write additional articles - with or without images using the image capture tool.

Using ScreenSteps Live for the editing process

Another great benefit of writing a book with ScreenSteps is when you combine it with ScreenSteps Live where the manual can be uploaded to for others, in this case our editor Trevor, to download into their own ScreenSteps Desktop program to do their job. In this case our editor's brief was to translate out double Dutch English into proper English without losing the essence of the article.
(We "found" Trevor using LinkedIn where we opened a "discussion" in one of the groups I'm a member of.)


In ScreenSteps Live we used a simple colour coding to tell each other what the progress on every article was: for instance: red meant Trevor to edit the content and green meant: article edited by Trevor and approved by me = a finished article.

The whole editing process is now finished and the E-version of the Installation Manual was launched end of last week, replacing the older Installation Guide we launched beginning 2009.

Which brings me nicely to why we decided to write a "new" Installation Manual and how we went about it.


The Guide was more a compilation of various questions from DIY-ers that had arrived in our inbox over the years and our answers. Some of these Q&A's had been already transformed into blogpost on our FAQ & News blog, and in order to make it easier for our prospects and clients we grouped the most Frequently Asked Questions (and answers of course) into a ScreenSteps Desktop manual which was then exported first as PDF file and later also as a ScreenSteps Live space (password protected). Our most successful "digital product" in 2009!

Once in a while we would add a new article to it and in the end it became a rather loose collection of articles, not so much a practical guide any longer. Spurred on by the success of the Guide we decided it was time to turn it into a new manual, this time not only as an E-book or online version but into a proper paperback using PoD (Printing on Demand). After a little bit of research and tips from Debbie Jenkins (The Publishing Academy) we opened an account with Lightning Source UK for printing and part distribution. The needed digitising of the content of our new manual and the cover is now in hands of Greenwood Graphics (a contact we knew from our BNI-Ashford time).

Getting our reader, prospects and clients involved

A lesson learned/copied from Ed Rivis - involve your prospects as soon as possible in a new project, especially when the content/features should solve their problems.

In one of our monthly newsletters we mentioned our intention to write a new manual and asked for participation in a survey: what would you expect in a Wooden Floor Installation Manual?


The participation IMHO was overwhelming, 62 prospects, clients and even suppliers (yes, our suppliers do read our newsletter) took part and prompted us to focus on the right chapters.

Using SurveyMonkey (even the free version) is also great to ask for "other subjects we should include or not overlook":


Valuable information to have and very simple to gather. We also included some marketing research in the same survey: what would the participant regard a fair price for the most comprehensive manual on this subject. Again, very valuable information. And, of course, we gave all participants the option to be added to our "pre-launch" list. A whopping 68% of participants wanted to be added to this list.

The result of this survey was two-fold: we now knew even better which subject to elaborate on and the retail price we would be able to demand for it, once the paperback was printed.

In search of a title

The first Guide had the title Comprehensive Installation Guide (floorboards). We needed a better one to front the manual. A few ideas where tossed around, but no final decision was made. So I decided to use a Google Adwords campaign for this sole purpose: which title would get the most clicks, i.e. would be most attractive for potential DIY-clients looking to install their own floor but in need of some guidance.
A special domain name was registered and a special landing page - including webform to subscribe to updates on the imminent launch of the manual - was created in no time at all and the campaign started.


The first 4 adds run for 3 weeks, then during a discussion with our digitiser Peter Greenwood to add something memorable to the title or subtitle, 2 others where added, both with the "series" name "Q&A's on wood flooring" (in the event we do manage to write more manuals).

Once again we turned to our existing clients and asked their opinion again with help from SurveyMonkey. And again with the option to submit their own 2p for the best title.


(Hope no one is offended that I left the second suggestion in - sure you have a sense of humour but rest assured, that suggestion will not be printed on our book!).

The third suggestion was a tiny little tweak on one of the original titles and with another tiny tweak (due to the number of characters Google Adwords allows you) it was added to the campaign. To become the best performing add in no time at all! Within 2 days it'd beaten all other titles and it continues to do so.


Although it received fewer clicks - because it's not running from the same moment as the others - the CTR is the most important value in the above statistics: Click Through Rate = number of impressions divide by the number of clicks.

That's where we're stand at the moment: title decided on (and we'll gift the client who tweaked our title to make it better with a signed copy the minute the first paperback comes from the printers), E-version launched (and already sold, plus those clients who'd bought the earlier "guide" were offered an upgrade to the new manual for a very low price, already 10% has taken us up on that offer) and ETA of the paperback: end of this month/beginning next month.


We started this project 3 months ago, it did take more than 7 days (although if I would count the hours I spent writing the content it would make less than that, thanks to the existing material already in ScreenSteps). All in all there are plenty of modern tools out and about to assist everyone becoming a published author. And most are very cost-effective too.

So,what's keeping you?

Typepad Pro with 15% discount

From everything.typepad comes this New Years Offer:

Open a Typepad Pro Account (the one I always recommend you use for business blogs) and get 15% discount.

The only thing you have to do to profit from this offer (which runs till the end of January, so get your skates on!) in to quote "2010RESOLUTION" in the discount code field when you register before the end of January 2010.

Another excuse for not starting your own blog down the drain: 15% discount and I promise you the blog platform is a piece of cake to get started with. You'll be up and running within a few minutes!

Crafted With Love - Powered By Typepad

Remember to quote "2010RESOLUTION"

Adding and using ScreenStep html template for AWeber

(STOP PRESS - update 07.12.09: in ScreenSteps Desktop 2.7 (beta) these steps are reduced to only 2 simple steps, read all about it here.....)

This post/lesson is to show how easy it is to create content in ScreenSteps and export it in multiple ways: as (Typepad) blog post, as "lesson" in ScreenSteps Live and PDF file. The article itself can be used again and again as part of a whole bundle of articles (think E-book, training, manual).

The subject of this article shows another feature of ScreenSteps: combining it with AWeber - another great software program.

Where to copy a new template.

How to copy new html template (most times created in Dreamweaver/Frontpage or in this case in AWeber itself) into ScreenSteps Template folder
(How to create a new ScreenSteps html template you can read in ScreenSteps Desktop manual )

Continue reading "Adding and using ScreenStep html template for AWeber" »

ScreenSteps 2.7 Preview Video and The Sale that Goes Stale (up to 40% off)

ScreenSteps 2.7 Preview

We wanted to show you a bit of what is coming in ScreenSteps 2.7. We are always trying to make it easier for our users to communicate visually and ScreenSteps 2.7 is going to make a major improvement in that area.

Starting Today! The Sale that Goes Stale

Last month we had our biggest sales month ever and two weeks ago we had our biggest single sales day ever. Thank you so much to all of you who are using ScreenSteps and especially all of you who are telling your friends and colleagues about it.

To thank everyone for their support and to celebrate Thanksgiving we are having a Thanksgiving sale. But this isn’t your standard sale. It’s the “sale that goes stale”.

Monday and Tuesday – Fresh – 40% off of all Blue Mango Products

Wednesday – Like day old bread – 30% off

Thursday – Why are you shopping anyways? You should be eating turkey (in the USA, UK will just eat normal dinner ;-))  – 20% off

Friday – stale – 10% off

The sale begins now (Monday, November 23, 2009) and isn’t combinable with any other offers. The percentage off can be applied to ScreenSteps Standard, ScreenSteps Pro, or to the first three months of a ScreenSteps Live account.

All you need to do to take advantage of the sale is use the coupon code THANKS.


Most of you know I'm always recommending ScreenSteps left, right and center - it truly comes with my highest recommendations and almost every week I discover more options and ways to use one or more feature of the program for our business and especially our marketing.

Take advantage of this superb offer of this superb program - that includes superb customer service! No more excuses, go here - and I would opt for the Pro version - and don't forget to use the coupon code THANKS

ScreenSteps - Documentation Done Right

RSS so obvious - we forget we had to learn too

AWeber announced the imminent arrival of their brand new web form builder - making it even easier for everyone to design/create those all important forms to capture names and email addresses to start your ethical marketing conversation with your prospects.

Watch the video and read the exciting list of new features (soon to be released) on AWeber's blog.

Underneath the post you can find a Web Form to subscribe to AWeber's blog alerts. Now the rss feed of AWeber's blog is already part of my blog-reader, but I thought: what the heck, let's submit my name and email address and subscribe to the alerts.

The first email - after confirming my subscription - came into my inbox promptly and in it AWeber informs me of another list I can subscribe to: email delivery tips.

But it was the paragraph underneath it that made me turn to my trusted Typepad blog to write this post:

How Do We Make These Emails Automatic?
Many websites have blogs that they regularly post new information to. The most common way for visitors to get notified of new posts on a blog is via RSS.

 Unfortunately, according to a study by Yahoo, up to 96% of your visitors have no idea what RSS is.

Using the Blog Broadcast tool, we automatically convert the blog's RSS feed to an email newsletter format that more visitors are familiar with.

We - as bloggers and email marketers - know all about rss and feed-readers, but how many of our website/blog visitors have the same knowledge? Are we - bound by our own learning curve and experience - forgetting about how we "discovered" slowly how all this Web2.0 technology can work together and assume everyone else must know this too?

96% of your web visitors don't - so help them (and yourself) out by offering blog-alerts. In Typepad you can so easily insert a web form in the sidebar (see right) and when the new - soon to be released - web form builder becomes available my guess is you can design your web form is such a way it will entice your visitors even more to pop in their name and email address.

So don't forget what is so obvious to you might be absolutely undiscovered territory for most of your web visitors (96%  - blimey!)

Not on AWeber yet? Open an account now and try it out for 30 days.

Blogging Faceoff: WordPress vs. Typepad - worth a vote?

Today I encountered plenty of tweets about the Blogging FaceOff at Mashable, The Social Media Guide. This week they turned their attention to blogging platforms: WordPress or Typepad.

I found this in the comment box underneath the poll:

DaveWeissDotNet Yesterday 11:47 PM  3 people liked this.
I don't think you're using a full set of criteria to appropriately judge which platform is "better".

In fact, I'd go as far as saying that the author of this post inappropriately sets up an argument without laying any groundwork as to what people will argue about. I understand TypePad inside and out - the nitty gritty details of every nook and cranny of their system and their templates and tags.

I also run a few blogs built on WordPress, customizing templates to my liking. So I understand both the WordPress and TypePad worlds thoroughly.

Here are things I think about when considering which platform is the "best" for a particular need:

Hosted Solution vs Self Hosted - As a blogger, do you have the technical ability to host your blog, and understand all the maintenance issues that go along with it? Just finding a decent hosting company can be painful. They all have their pros and cons. Backups, upgrades, technical support... A lot of bloggers just want to blog - not be a system administrator. TypePad's platform allows for a nice looking blog that can be customized to a great degree, without the maintenance issues that come along with WordPress.

Technical Support - Again, there are bloggers who just want to blog, and not have to spend time with "self help". You have a problem or issue with TypePad, you log into your account and file a help ticket. They have customer support reps to help you out.

Yes, their templating system is not as robust and flexible as you'll find in WordPress, but you don't need to know php to manipulate and customize the look and feel of your blog. Learning php, javascript, or JQuery is a big hurdle for a lot of bloggers.

The platforms are aimed at two different sets of people. If you want ease-of-use on a hosted platform, TypePad may be a good solution for you. If you want infinite control over every aspect of your installation and templates, perhaps WordPress should be your platform of choice.

The "TypePad vs. WordPress" thing is nonsense.


The conversation in the comment box is more interesting IMHO opinion than the whole vote for....
(but of course I voted for Typepad ;-)

What's your opinion? (Not just about the platform but about Dave's comment)

The Ultimate Webmarketing Strategy: get your hands on one of the last copies now

Hot from the "blog" press: Ed Rivis' excellent book "The Ultimate WebMarketing Strategy" is almost sold out - only a few copies remaining.

Ed announced this by reminding us of one of the best known Direct marketing guru's from the last century: David Ogilvy and wondering if he (David) would have changed tactics with all the new "tools" around these days.

"I wonder what he’d be doing differently in these days of the Internet? Probably not much!

The direct response principles that were his ‘first love and later became his secret weapon’, and which allowed him to grow his agency at record speed translate directly to web sites.

In my book The Ultimate Web Marketing Strategy I explain how to utilise the principles of highly-effective direct response advertising — how to change a website from “all about you” to “all about your visitor” to dramatically boost enquiries, sales-lead generation, opportunity creation, and sales and profit!

If you have a web site that focuses on your brand (you know, the kind that start with “Welcome to our website. We’ve been in business ‘x’ years and won all these awards”) maybe you should consider why the visitor has actually come to your website… probably to get information on — and the solution to — a pain, challenge, problem or opportunity they have.

Probably not to learn about you and your business. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s true in most cases.

Give visitors answers… not branding… and you can have a successful website.

The first edition of my book The Ultimate Web Marketing Strategy is now officially out of print.

If you want one of the last few copies (from stock) then grab it now… because it explains how you can change your website from no-response to direct response, the approach David Ogilvy used to become a world leading advertising agency, and help his clients become world leading brands."
Ed Rivis

Ed's book sits in my bookcase next to my desk so I can grab it whenever I need it/want it and I must say, even after reading it 3 times from front to back: I always find some new or better ideas in it to implement in/fine-tune our own strategy.

Webinar: Using a blog for your website and ecommerce

The Small Business Blogs division of Typepad regularly organises Free Webinars with Andy Wibbles.

The next one on August 26 relates perfectly to my latest post on Why I Use Typepad for Business "Blogging":

Using a blog for your website and ecommerce - Learn how to use your blog to create a lightweight website with a product catalog integrated with PayPal or other ecommerce systems. Time: 11.00am PST = 7pm BST
(Follow the link to register for free)

If you can't make it, the recording of the webinar will be published later - as soon as it's up I will tell you where to go for it.

Side-note: don't think I agree with the term "lightweight" website though ;-)

Why I use Typepad for business "blogging"

I've lost count of how often it is asked (anywhere: forums, twitter, off line) which blog platform a small business can best use. Plenty of choices out there: from paid for online software, self-hosted 'free' software, free and hosted by software creator, to small and rather unknown WYSIWYG software.
Typepad, Blogger, (free and hosted by WP) and (self hosted 'free' software) are the four most well know and most used platforms. I always discard Blogger and because of the limits they have - when used as web presence for small businesses - which leaves Typepad and

As with everything online: you have raving fans for the one and equally raving fans for the other option. This review will focus on my own personal experiences with both platforms and why I recommend Typepad for business owners who want/need an easy to use, SEO ready and quick to edit/add platform.

Why would any business use a blog?

Why would any business use a blog 

So far I've come up with 7 key reasons, see here for the long version

  1. You're in control - always (not your web designer or IT department)
  2. Better Listings On Google (BLOG)
  3. It works in real simple syndication with online directories (RSS)
  4. Notify your prospects/clients of new content instantly (email marketing)
  5. Interact with your website visitors (throught the comment box)
  6. Combine static website and "blog" on one platform (fixed page as 'front page')
  7. Become known as "The Expert" (build trust by publishing good content in abundance)

No matter what type of business you are in, service or products, using a blog (or as I prefer to call it: a dynamic and interactive webpresence) is one of the fastest ways to grow your presence online in a sustainable and none-time consuming way. It depends on the amount of time you want to spend and your knowledge of IT, CSS and HTML which of the two most used blog platforms will suit you and your business best: "paid for" Typepad or self-hosted "free"

Why Typepad?

Why Typepad 

Let's face it: Typepad (from Six Apart) is a "paid for" blog platform starting from $ 49.50 annually (+ £ 32.00) I normally recommend to opt for at least the Plus account for more functionality, although IMHO the Pro account gives you even more, such as creating you own template (without having to know much about CSS or html)
The software of is free to download, but you have to have your own domain, hosting and FTP access to set it up, the reason why I always place "quote marks" around the word free where it concerns this platform.

With a Typepad account the hosting is included where your account name is part of the domain name, e.g. From the Plus account on you can domain map any of your blogs on your own registered domain name (without the need of having FTP access) e.g.
Or "mapping" your blog to a subdomain of your main domain will change the to

Another pro for opting for Typepad is the included Technical Support that comes with any account type. Besides an extensive knowledge base you can submit tickets to the support team and it is my experience these are quickly and adequately addressed and answered. is a free open source which has "how to" documentation on many items and forums on various subjects where you can ask for help from other users. However I found 2057 pages (x 31 questions) that received no answer at all. Fortunately there are many users who write blog posts and even training manuals for you, like my friend Martin Malden. (expert on all things
"Free" is good, but in cases where you're stuck it pays to pay for support.

Speed and ease of creating your (first) "blog"

Typepad: 10 minutes tops from starting your 14 day free trial (by creating your account), editing your design and style of your (first) "blog" using one of the 1000 plus templates Typepad offers you to publishing your first page or post. I'm pretty experienced in setting this up, but all my blog-studio students never take any longer to do the same.

I've asked my friend Martin what his best ever time was to do the same with a WordPress blog (from downloading the software, uploading it to the server your domain name is hosted on to editing the css for one of the two standard templates and publishing a first page or post): 20 minutes (and he's very experienced in this). He does state that including searching, finding, uploading (1-click install on most hosting providers), editing a different theme and getting ready to publish a first post/page a "first timer" should allow for up to one hour.

Speed and ease of creating more than one blog on a single account.

Speed and ease of creating more than one blog on a single account. 

Then there is the matter of creating a second (or third, fourth) blog (our business has two divisions: natural wooden flooring and natural wooden furniture - both with their own dedicated "blog" - and then there are various other subjects I write about  - each with their own blog, our family blog plus the community blog we manage for our village).

With Typepad Plus account you can instantly create 3 individual blogs, with the Pro account it is absolutely "limited less" - limited only by bandwidth (10GB) and storage (1000MB). All individual blogs on your account can have their own specific design and settings AND share custom made side-bar items (the typelists).

Again, I asked my friend Martin Malden if you can manage more than 1 blog on account as easy as with Typepad. 'Fraid not: either you have to create a WordPress account per intended blog or download and install WordPress MultiUser. The readme text of this product starts with:

"WordPress MU is a multi user version of WordPress.
If you're not comfortable editing PHP code, taking care of a complex webserver and database system and being pro-active about following developments of this project then run, don't walk, to and sign yourself and your friends up to free blogs. It's easier in the long run and you'll save yourself a lot of pain and angst."
Third party widgets (plug-ins): one click only

Both Typepad and have standard widgets and allow you to add third party widgets to your blog (of which most will end up in your side-bar). Most third parties have "quick" install options to add their widget to the three most common blog platforms: Blogger, Typepad and WordPress. Clicking the Blogger or Typepad Quick Install options sends you to your existing account and the widget is automagically added to your side-bar items. Quick install = log-in  - drag new widget to where you want it to show in the side bar (Design - Organise Content). account holders are directed to an instruction manual because the widget (plug-in) has to be uploaded to the plug-in folder of their self-hosted domain and from there it can be activated through the WordPress account. Quick install = download - upload - activate - drag new widget (plug-in) to where you want it to show in the side-bar (Presentation - Widgets)

Automated improvements - new versions

Another advantage IMHO that a paid for blog platform like Typepad gives you is not having to download, upload and activate newer versions than you first started with. is on stable release 2.8.4 at the moment and have improved the Automatic Upgrade but you still have to deactivate all your plug-ins.
I know that plenty of users are still on the version they originally installed because to the 'hassle' and time involved having to go 'through it' all over again. (Friend of mine is still on version 2.2.2 and told me he truly cannot find the time to upgrade).

Typepad is constantly evolving its features, options and possibilities. Once everything is de-bugged through the Beta-team everyone having a Typepad account automagically benefits from the newer version without having to lift a finger.

SEO ready

SEO ready 

Both Typepad and platforms are SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ready. To be honest the speed of how quick one of my new blogs gets indexed by Google and other search engines keeps amazing me.  My latest project had one of the posts listed on page 1 within 2 days! (On a search that brought up 5,310,000 results).

Improving search results on both platforms are easy, add relevant keywords and/or tags to your posts and pages - besides of course your overall general keywords and key phrases that are relevant to the subject of your blog. Alt Text (text behind an image or a link on your blog) can be added easily too on both platforms.

Plus all blogs come with an integrated RSS feed (Real Simple Syndication): an standardised format to easily share headlines and content online. Regard it as a "What's new on your site" automated feature. It also means your blog content is picked up by many more online services and channels than just search engines.
Side-note: 'burning' your blog feed through Feedburner gives you plenty of more options to be picked up and shared than just relying on the rss feed on its own.

Integrating a blog with a standard site in one go

Many businesses already have a website - designed and managed by a web designer - over which they hardly have any control (at least that's the complaint I hear often). Adding new content to the site takes communication between owner and designer, time from the designer and money from the business owner.
You can add a blog to any existing website and start managing your frequently to be updated content yourself. All your designer has to do is add a link on your website to the blog.

There is however a more simpler way: set up your blog as if it is your standard website (with fixed pages) and use the 'blog-index' feature as integrated blog.
Three big advantages here:

  1. total control for the business owner on content, frequency of updating and layout
  2. design and layout for both the 'standard' website and the 'blog' are exactly the same
  3. both 'standard' website and blog profit from the benefits a blog platform gives you.

A few (IMHO) fine examples:

Plumbing & Heating Service in Glasgow (note how Tony informs his potential clients about every aspect that is involved in the works without any 'hard sell') - "Need to know" is the blog-index

Better Water Solutions (again note how Peter too informs everyone about issues and even news items regarding fresh water supply to your home) - "Tips, Advice & FAQ's" is the blog-index

Community website: Lovely Charing where "What's On and News" is the blog-index informing the village and the Charing Businesses there's always something going on. Using an AWeber blog-broadcast brings every new article straight to the inbox of everyone who subscribed to the so-called blog or news-alerts.



As said in the beginning of this article: both blog platforms have raving fans.
My own opinion is that if you are looking for:

  • a simple,
  • easy to implement and manage blog platform
  • that has standard 1000+ design templates to choose from (which all can be combined with 10 different standard lay-outs)  
  • that comes with many added extras without having to upgrade to a newer version
  • and which gives you instant results

Definitely Go for Typepad

(For business owners I recommend to opt for the Pro account, or at least the Plus account.)

Update Feb 2010:

Open a Typepad Plus or Pro account before the end of FEB 2010, enter the promocode:

RESOLVE2BLOG2010 when creating you account and receive 20% discount for life (yes, that's as long as you keep your Typepad account life).

Get A Professional Looking Blog Today!

Why your documentation is useless and how to make it Useful

Documentation. Done. Right!

There are three software programs our business has come to learn, love and can't do without any more: Typepad blog platform, AWeber the autoresponder and email marketing and ScreenSteps The multiple media publishing machine. All three involve turning content into (marketing) documentation, are mainly so-called 'online' software programs and are a great tool/help for us to interact with our prospects/clients.

Funnily enough one of those three can be used in combination with the two others. ScreenSteps (Desktop) publishes some of our documentation without any problems into Typepad (this post for instance) and in AWeber.

On this 1 Plus 1 Makes 3 and on the Kiss Business 2 blog I've praised this software program since the moment we started using it. I've tried to explain many times why it is such a great, versatile, simple and multifunctional program any business creating documentation should use.

In their latest webinar "Why your documentation is useless" Greg and Trevor DeVore, founders of Blue Mango Learning Systems and the creators of ScreenSteps have done a much better job - of course! - of explaining why creating your documentation, manuals and even training instructions should be considered a process instead of a project.

Even the stills from the Webinar already tells you the essence of the story:

Is your documentation a:


Is your documentation connected with:


Do you plan a documentation project or:


The video recording of the Webinar tells you much more about the principle of seeing your documentation as a progress instead of a project. Due to the time the webinar was planned I couldn't attend, but I watched the recording this morning and thought: yes, this is exactly what I've been trying to explain to others why ScreenSteps Desktop (and Live) is such a great and IMHO essential tool in these modern days where prospects and clients expect adequate and easy accessible information from many businesses - even from a specialised retailer like we are.

Watch the Webinar recording here and all the slides here.

The whole pricing structure of ScreenSteps Live (now in combination with ScreenSteps Desktop licenses) has made it even more worthwhile to start using both programs and for every business - customer service department, technical support, to function as tour guide for their clients by creating, publishing and distributing all your documentation the right way.
Very quickly you will see that the number of follow-up questions asked by prospects/clients to your customer service or technical support will drastically reduce (and the number of "Thank You!" emails will increase).

ScreenSteps - Documentation Done Right

Are you using Email Marketing? Then read this!

Email Marketing Dynamite - Ed Rivis  Last month Ed Rivis announced his soon to be launched new book: "Email Marketing Dynamite".

"E-Mail marketing is the #1 most critical tactic any business can perform online. Pound for pound it’s also reported to be the most effective tactics any company can perform in terms of ROI (Return on Investment).

All the biggest companies use it to generate extra sales, revenues and profits - so if I have a ‘mission’ at the moment, it’s to get a lot more small business owners using e-mail effectively."

If there is anything I can totally agree with, it is his mission. Our own retail businesses thrives on web marketing which includes - of course - email marketing. If you have been following this blog for a while you know I even created "The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses" which is absolutely, purely based on our own successful experience with this modern tool.

Ed has asked (through his own email marketing campaigns in combination with his blog) if he could interview various small businesses about their experiences with email marketing: what effect it has had on their business success or even survival. I had the pleasure of talking to Ed for almost 1 hour as one of the interviewees.

You can subscribe to the pre-launch news of his new book - which, and I'm sure of it, if it is anything like any of Ed's other products and publications, will show/teach you how you too can effectively implement email marketing to grow/sustain your business in any economical circumstance.

First step: preregister your interest and profit from the opportunity to buy his book for only P&P the minute it is released.

Marketing: The Devil's in the simple Details

No entry, sorry Marketing, from ads to email marketing, needs: focus, strategies, tactics and a keen eye for all the details. Without any of these you might as well stop before you even start.

No matter how small, large, known or unknown you and your business/products/services are, the Devil is truly in the Details. If you spend time to create the best worded advertisement with the best placed images in the best read magazine or paper it all has to be right. Your call for action should be hitting the right spot and the "tools" you provide your prospect to take that action should be securely in place, tried and tested.

If that call to action is for the reader to request free reports, free materials up to the value of £ 1,200.00 and you've got the targeting of your prospect absolutely spot on, you better make sure that tool works absolutely problem free. Because your irresistible offer will be seen by over 200.000 specially targeted readers and a handful of your existing private list members. Those are big numbers!

The details of the ad are spot on, what else do you expect from someone labelled marketing wizard who's private clients pay a 4 figure amount for an hour advice. I've read books, reports from this wizard, listened to plenty of recordings by him and know that if he launches a new program you better pay attention and try not to miss out.

The let down here was in the details of the email marketing tool. Not so much in using AWeber's default Thank You Page (now with added narration!) - many here know that is one of my pet-hates - after submitting my name and email address in the web form on the special landing page, but in the fact I almost didn't even reach that default Thank You Page:

We let one detail slip, so NO Entry for you

For a moment I started to doubt myself - had I already received all these new free reports? and so checked the ad again. No, definitely an offer of new materials and a new program.

If you are promoting a new product, want prospects, clients to opt-in to a new program you are launching DO Create a NEW AWeber list/campaign for it!

(I have various email addresses I use to subscribe to various lists and used a different one to end up on the default AWeber Thank You Page, received the confirm opt-in email and even ended up on a custom 2nd Thank You Page. The first follow-up message contained a link to the download page - unprotected - where I indeed found all kinds of new material from the marketing wizard.)

Now it could be that I'm a nit-picker in this regard, possible because I know how easy and simple these details can be improved. But the fact remains, no matter if you are just starting out with email marketing or if you are regarded as marketing wizard: your email marketing is a part of your total marketing strategy - not just an after thought to be used as 'delivery vehicle' of your no doubt splendid and correct in every detail marketing messages.

AWSTlogo150 You need to have Strategies and Tactics for the delivery vehicle too. If you are using AWeber as this vehicle, you will find practical, tried and tested strategies and tactics in this guide to seamlessly integrate the delivery of your marketing messages into your marketing strategy.

(image for illustration purpose only)

192 pages (download online)

"E-book" £ 7.97

(After payment is accepted, please wait until you are redirected to our 'download' instruction page - if you don't receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes, please email me for support:

Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.

Powering up the Content Generator

Two months ago during a brain storm session about marketing my 'brain' partner set me a challenge: for a new report - to be added to our growing list of wood and wood related guides - I had to come up with 57 Reasons Why Natural Wooden Flooring Always Outperforms, Outlasts, and Always Looks Better, Than Any Other Floor Covering.

Why 57? I still suspect he plucked that number out of thin air. But a challenge is a challenge and I took to work. Within 1 day I'd reached over 63 reasons ;-) but since some of them were more or less double I did settle on the promised 57.

How did I end up so quickly with so many reasons? Through my Power Content Generator - ScreenSteps Desktop Pro - and the excellent advice by one of the creators of ScreenSteps: Plan Not To Plan your writing.

Here's a screenshot of my manual about the 57 reasons:

I started with 'writing' every reason I could come up with as the title of a "lesson", just loose thoughts and without writing the explanation or more details of/for a reason. Then one by one I started filling the reason with, well, reasons ;-) and adding images and 'statements' from experts or results from surveys.


When all that was done - another 2 days of research and writing - the report was finished and available with one click of a button as new wood-guide in PDF-file.

But that's not the end of the story of powering up the Content Generator. Earlier this week I've uploaded every single reason from ScreenSteps Desktop Pro to our FAQ & News site (aka blog) and then spent 15 minutes setting the Publishing day and time for each of them.

Now, every three days a new post is published automagically. No more head breaking about what interesting story to write next for our business blog. I've created content once, in one program and am now able to publish it in many different ways: as PDF file and as blog post in this case.

On the Kiss Business too (2) blog you can find out which other ways are also possible with this Multiple Media Publishing Machine.

I've come to the conclusion that for successful online marketing for any small business you only need three extreme powerful tools:

  1. Web Presence with integrated automagically SEO - Typepad
  2. Lead Generation with Permission - AWeber
  3. Content Publisher - ScreenSteps Desktop Pro

And I'll put all of them into the WebMarketing ToolBox for Small Businesses in the very near future.

The Best AWeber Strategies & Tactics for Small Businesses - maximise Permission Marketing!

The first tool in The WebMarketing ToolBox for Small Businesses is available!

3dAWST1 The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses - maximise Permission Marketing.

The E-book is based on our own experiences and successful implementation of AWeber's auto repsonder for our ethical email marketing. As independent specialised (rural) retailer we now reach prospects and clients in the whole of the UK and even beyond. Our success rate?

90% confirm their subscription, only a hand full ever unsubscribe and we convert many subscribers into clients.

The Strategies we use (trial and error discoveries) and which are now available to you too:

  1. Being Effective and Efficient with your email marketing from the moment you start with AWeber (if you have been using AWeber for some time now I will tell/teach you what, where and how to change certain settings to improve your results immediately)
  2. How to turn your 'sales' pitched into a logical sequence of messages, building up more trust between you and your prospect with every single message you write. Spreading your eggs over more baskets, baskets which all contain relevant and anticipated information that solves a pain/problem your prospect has.
  3. I'll show you where and how you can substantially grow the number of self-qualifying subscribers in the most ethical ways. Our own list, as small retailer, has grown over 250% in 1 year time and continues to attract 45 - 50 new prospects per month. No matter how small or large your existing list is or how large you want it to be, these simple and effective tactics are guaranteed to make the numbers soar.
  4. And I will show you, step by step, how you can combine AWeber with other (online) software programs to automate your email marketing campaigns even further without loosing a 'personal touch/voice'. PayPal is only one of the programs discussed.

The Strategies and Tactics (tried and tested) is available now:

  • as E-book - downloaded online
  • The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses

    Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.

    Maximise the Permission Marketing principle and add real money to your business now.


Preview: TACTIC S4-5: Using AWeber with

This is one tactic we don't use ourselves, we use Typepad as blog platform which accepts all AWeber webforms, no matter if you have Basic, Plus or Pro account. Self-hosted WordPress blogs and Blogger also accept the javascript of your webform, only WordPress blogs hosted on refuse every AWeber coding, even when you use the raw html code of the inline form.
But there's a solution.

Using AWeber to use an AWeber submit form for blogs


Sounds confusing? It's not, as will become clear in the following steps. When I was writing the lesson on publishing a broadcast/newsletter online the solution for blog-owners suddenly seemed obvious.

When you have a blog it is hosted on server. These blogs are mostly used by those not able to host any web presence themselves (otherwise they would IMHO use the free self-hosted blog software which gives you plenty more options, but require more css and html knowledge).

The beauty of this solution is that you can have a webform of AWeber hosted by AWeber. All it takes is:
1) a template that resembles your blog design or your AWeber broadcasts
2) an AWeber broadcast - doesn't even have to be send out
3) an AWeber inline web form
4) a link on your blog

Note: this tactic also works when you use only the plain text message, but I think an html message in a template works better. I leave the decision with you.

Step 1: create a broadcast in your AW list


In TACTIC S1-4 "The overall appearance of your messages" I discussed using a template for your messages (html message) and if you use this tactic you have a general template in one of your lists ready to use.

Copy the source from your template broadcast and paste this into the source of your new broadcast. The title of your broadcast can be anything you like, from "Sign up for my blog-alerts" to "Request your free guide".

Write a short message in the body of your message: explaining what's on offer etc.
Don't use any personalised fields though, they will not be filled with details but show like {!firstname}.

Step 2: copy your webform in your broadcast


Have an inline webform ready (see TACTIC S2-3: the web forms) and copy the raw html code so you can change various items later, like the tracking code.
In your new broadcast, go to the source and paste the code in the position you want it to show. Save the broadcast, no need to write the plain text message this time (or you want to opt for plain text message only).
DON'T queue the broadcast, it is not the purpose to send it out.

Step 3: link to the Syndicate Direct Link


Every broadcast created in AWeber has a Direct Link. So open the new broadcast again, tick the box Syndicate and click the hyper link behind Direct Link. This will show you (in a new window/tab) how your broadcast including the webform will look online.
If needed, edit text or lay-out and once you're happy copy the url of the Direct Link to place this in the sidebar of your blog (or in any post you like).

Follow the link to the example I've made: Direct Link


It is of course not the most ideal (or even elegant) solution, but it is the most simple solution for blog-owners without any other additional hosting available. Try it out and do test it for yourself to see how it truly works - it will follow the same opt-in process as any other AWeber webform.

This is just one of the many tried and tested Strategies and Tactics you will find in the complete E-training: The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses - created by a Plus 1 Makes 3.

(image for illustration purpose only)

192 pages (download online)

"E-book" £ 7.97

(After payment is accepted, please wait until you are redirected to our 'download' instruction page - if you don't receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes, please email me for support:

Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.

Q&A's on The Best AWeber Strategies & Tactics for Small Businesses E-training

Time to publicly answer some questions I've been receiving over the last few weeks:

What is AWeber Autoresponder?


AWeber is an online software program you can use for your email marketing. From sending out your email newsletter weekly, monthly or even daily to - sometimes even more effective - automating your sales messages through the autoresponder (follow-up) feature. It is a great marketing tool that delivers automatic e-mail responses, updates, offers, and instant messages.
AWeber's autoresponder puts an online OR offline business on Auto-Pilot. The Autoresponder works tirelessly, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week/ 365 days a year.

With the AWeber online software, you will be able to:

  • set up unlimited campaigns
  • unlimited messages
  • spam checker
  • text or html-based messages
  • create blog-alerts every time you publish a new post
  • manage your subscribers
  • accessible from every where you have access to the Internet.

Why AWeber is so powerful:
Ensuring requested opt-in email is delivered to subscriber inboxes is an increasingly difficult battle in the age of spam filtering. Open and click through response rates can be dramatically affected by as much as 20-30% due to incorrect spam filter classification.

Confirming that the people who ask for your information have actually requested to be on your list is the number one step in the battle for deliverability. AWeber is using a process called confirmed opt-in or verified opt-in to send a unique link to the attempted subscriber when they request information. Before adding the person to your list they must click that unique link verifying that they are indeed the same person that owns the email address and requested to subscribe. Plus AWeber itself (their email server that sends out all your messages in your name) is White-listed - ensuring an almost 99.9% deliverability.

I'm thinking about using AWeber, is this E-book for me?


Definitely! From day one on you will benefit from all the trial and errors we made when we started with AWeber (in Oct 07). You don't have to re-invent the wheel to find out what works best - saving you precious time, effort and perhaps also frustrations - so you can concentrate on growing your email lists and therefore your business in the most effective and ethical way possible.

The E-book also contains tips and advice on other web-marketing aspects, not just on how to set up your campaigns or where and how to insert web forms to your website/blog.

Preview of the Best AWeber S&T's available here

WARNING: AWeber web forms - the starting point of your lead-generation - don't work on free blogs hosted by (like doesn't allow any javascript codes on this type of blog. (update 07.05.09: solution discovered- see here)

You either have to host your WordPress blog on your own domain (downloading the free blog software to your own domain and website area - needs ccs and html knowledge!) or opt for one of the Typepad blog accounts (no need for ccs or html knowledge, although knowing a little bit about the 'internet language' always comes in handy). Typepad isn't a free blog platform, but costs rather little (from £ 3.00 a month) and comes with an excellent customer support.

I'm already using AWeber, is this E-book for me?


Definitely! This E-book will enable you to use it at a higher / or even maximum potential. No matter if you have been using AWeber just for a few months or for years - the Strategies and Tactics in this E-training (and many more other web marketing tips) will give you enough pointers, ideas and insight to unleash AWeber's full power.

Preview of the Best AWeber S&T's available here

Why select this E-book over AWeber's own knowledge base and tutorials?


Besides being one of the most used autoresponder AWeber is also known for its excellent technical support service, no doubt about it.
AWeber has its own excellent online knowledge base, technical support and step-by-step videos, explaining and teaching you the what and the how of their system. We've been helped out by AWeber plenty of times - reading through their knowledge base, watching some of the tutorial videos and submitting technical tickets to the support team.

The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses E-book will go beyond the what and the how, it will explain and teach you the why behind our strategies and tactics:

Why you should follow certain steps in certain sequences;

Why you are sometimes advised not to follow AW standard set-up guide-lines; and

How to implement simple, but powerful, combinations you will not find (or not in detail) mentioned in the knowledge base.

You will learn all the tips, tricks and techniques in the lesson. Most of the lessons contain step-by-step guides, showing you exactly what you must do to achieve the results we consistently achieve. More than AWeber's own step-by-step videos they will go beyond the mechanics and demonstrate both the how as well as the why.

Other (local) small businesses have followed my "AWeber Strategies and Tactics" 1-2-1 workshops. The results are relatively immediately and profitable as every single one of my clients has seen an almost immediately increase in leads, prospects and conversion rate. In other words: their invested time, money and effort has produced a profitable return which can be seen as profit on the balance sheet. Time-after-time, with every new marketing campaign, my 1-2-1 workshop clients have added prospects and customers to their growing lists. Even, and in some cases especially, when they were already using AWeber.

(image for illustration purpose only)

192 pages (download online)

"E-book" £ 7.97

(After payment is accepted, please wait until you are redirected to our 'download' instruction page - if you don't receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes, please email me for support:

Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.

If you want to discover more about ScreenSteps: 'early' webinar

Blue Mango Learning System will hold an 'early' webinar (early for the US, just after noon over here, thanks Greg) on ScreenSteps Desktop for new Users:

Tuesday 28 April 9am Eastern = 2pm BST

Learn more about ScreenSteps

Today the Desktop 2.5 Candidate was launched, even more features, benefits and ease of use! As you can read - if you haven't done so already - on the Kiss Business too (2) blog, the program is awarded my KISS-award for Keeping It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business

I'm using ScreenSteps Desktop to create the Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses.

(image for illustration purpose only)

192 pages (download online)

"E-book" £ 7.97

(After payment is accepted, please wait until you are redirected to our 'download' instruction page - if you don't receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes, please email me for support:

Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.