5 Books Every Marketer Is Required To Have On Their Bookshelf

The following is a list of 5 books that every marketer should be required to have on their bookshelf (and have actually read them several times each)…

Scientific Advertising/My Life In Advertising by Claude Hopkins

Influence (Science and Practice) by Robert B. Cialdini

Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz

Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham

The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner

Yes, you can probably add to this list (please add a comment with more from your list below) and yes, you could even replace a book or two with a different one…but the list above WILL provide you a foundational education in advertising, copywriting, and marketing…all skills critical to successful marketing online and offline.

Enjoy! And please help me out by sharing this list with others who might be starting out, or who need a boost to their business.

A New Problem Developing For Internet Marketers…

There’s no doubt…

We live in an age where there’s more information available on any one subject that it’s mind-numbing.

Also…with the development of marketing businesses on the internet, a new “foe” has entered the ring…market fatigue.

What is market fatigue?

It’s the saturation of book and product launches within any niche.  It’s not happening in all niches, but some niches are suffering market fatigue right now.

For example, in the “make money online” niche, there have been quite a few product launches, and when you combine the number of launches, then multiply that by JV (joint venture) partners promoting those products to their lists…you end up with inboxes stuffed with opportunity after opportunity.

People are getting tired of it…and that my friends, is market fatigue.

Does that mean the end of product launches?  No.

Does that mean you can’t successfully launch a new product in a niche such as “make money online”?  Hell no.

You just have to be real.

What do I mean?

Well, a variety of things:

  • You have to be authentic. No more direct re-hash of the latest product launch.  No more direct swiping of copywriting pieces when you don’t have the slightest idea exactly how to fit it into your sales letter.
  • You have to be yourself. Write from the heart, yes, actually work to build a product yourself (write a book yourself etc…) with your opinions and your true feelings.
  • Your product and business have to be based on some concept of helping people reach a real solution.  No theories, garbage, or untested opinions will work any more.  Don’t create a business to “make money”, instead create a business that serves markets.

There’s obviously a lot more to this, but this should serve as a primer.

More to come on this topic.

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff - Is your business real or will it just add to market fatigue?

Joseph Ratliff - Is your business real or will it just add to market fatigue?

How To Make Real Money Using The Internet Part 2

This is the final part of a two part post that should have been a small report I guess 🙂

Part 1 is here.

Continuing our “what it really takes to make money online” theme…

This whole internet marketing business game really boils down to one simple concept (and yes, it IS this simple)…

You need to think about how much value you can deliver to people to help them improve their lives first…before thinking about any profits you’ll make.

Most marketers are very selfish in their mindset to making money online.  They want that elusive “internet lifestyle” so bad that they will try to “game the system” or use all the blackhat tricks to make money using the internet.

Those internet business models don’t have long – term value…because they don’t serve people…instead they annoy people.

John Reese covered this thoroughly in his document “The Rebirth Of Internet Marketing”, which incidentally, is no longer available.

Yes, it’s from 2007, but really, the strategies that John makes reference to (as well as the strategies that I’ve pointed out in these 2 posts) are all evergreen concepts that will transcend any “marketing gimmick” that doesn’t serve people.

You can also download my Ramblings 2 Report (no longer available) which contains nothing but evergreen business strategies (105 pages of them) for you to enjoy.

(keep in mind, that blog is the one that “died” a short time ago, so I don’t know how long this download link will be active until I change hosting and change the link)

Anyhow…I think this concludes our lesson (for now).

Be on the lookout for posts on pricing, building systems for leverage in your online business, and much much more!

Making It Happen In Online Business

Holy crap.

If the following short story applies to your internet business in any way shape or form (allow your mind to expand these thoughts)…you need to fix your mentality right away.

I mean it.  Right now.

Here’s the story of one of my clients (name removed of course)…

As I do with all of my clients, I look for immediately accessible marketing assets first to generate increased profits.

All online businesses (or offline businesses that use the Internet to market) have these “hidden assets” in some form or another, even those that are just starting out.

This particular client has a business generating six figures a month or more, so the type of assets I look for (past the easy ones most screw up like proper use of the customers buyers list and serving / following up with customers) center around modular assets a business can add quickly that will easily generate profits through leveraging what the business already has working for them.

In this particular example, I suggested adding a staffed call center with highly-qualified salespeople (not too many at first, but a few, then grow from there).

The client immediately replied “Joe, that sounds expensive.”

Sheesh and <sigh>.

I always thought from the beginning of my marketing coaching and copywriting career that people liked the idea of growing their businesses…in this case, I was wondering for a second.

But back to my client…

I simply suggested… “You sell enough different products, produce over six figures a month, so raise your prices, and make the call center happen.”

The client initially objected…but made it happen…raised prices a little on a number of products, then staffed a call center, and finally grew the online portion of their business exponentially

(this is the part I specialize in helping to grow with my clients).

The moral of this post is…

When you get shown how to add substantial income or whatever to your business that you’ve been seeking…quit trying to figure out how not to make it happen, and start focusing on how you can make it happen.  The answer is usually quite simple…like raising prices for example.

The second lesson here has to do with pricing in your business…

I’m making an educated guess that over 80% of all small businesses are under-selling themselves…and under-pricing themselves as a result.

So just raise your frickin’ prices.

If you try to build your business around price alone, I guarantee your competition (and the market you serve) will be able to easily make sure your price goes down on that battlefield.

So play on a different battlefield people.

More on how to deal with “price” in another post.  Until then, just raise your price(s) by 5% today, right now in fact, without another thought, it’s pure profit.

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff - Are you going to make it happen or will it just happen to you?

Joseph Ratliff - Are you going to make it happen or will it just happen to you?

3 Common Questions To Starting An Online Business Answered…

I love it when someone asks this question…

“Can I make $XX,XXX or more per year as an internet marketer?”


If someone answers yes to your “Can I make XXk at this?” question…does it really take that “Yes” answer for you to become committed?

I would say that you should become committed first…because success in any business is on you…not the income potential itself. The income potential in any business is solely dependent on the owner of the business.

Online marketing is no different.

Look…no one will tell you it’s ok to succeed…you have to tell yourself it’s ok to succeed.

The reality is, this business, like 99% of all businesses, has its challenges and its rewards…and tons of income potential with no specific amounts that can be determined for any one person…because it’s a business, and not a “job” with a pay scale.

So the question really is, and this is not personal…as many ask the type of question listed above…

Are you committed to make $XX,XXX (or more) in your own online marketing business this year?

Then, a couple of other classic examples of questions asked by those investigating this opportunity…

“How many hours do I have to work per week to earn a substantial income as a marketer?”


“Is there a point where I can put this business on ‘autopilot’ and work less and less?”

Those questions don’t have a “cookie cutter” answer that fits everyone…and really it comes back to what you want to put in…if you put in 10 hours of work, it won’t necessarily pay you 10 hours worth of dollars and cents.

If putting in 60 hours a week worth of focused effort scares you, starting a business might be scary (any business)…unless you have the personal gifts and experience starting, leveraging, and building a business from the past.

There really isn’t a way to answer these questions with an answer that will be specific enough to do you good. Everybody is different, has different resources available etc…to leverage into a business.

You really just need to take a step back, and commit to yourself first. If you put in 30 hours a week behind a computer screen, what could you accomplish? If the need came about to put 60 hours a week in, could you do it?

Do you have enough passion to do whatever is required to succeed (not just in online marketing, but any business)?

Notice the common thread with all of those questions…you. It really depends on you.

If you’re concerned at the amount of work this business might require to get started, this may not be for you.

Not because it would necessarily “take 60 hours a week behind a computer screen” to be successful, it might, it might not…but being concerned at all with the amount of work required to start and run an online business focuses on 2 very common causes of business failure in just about any business:

1) You might want to be told that this won’t require work…or “too much of it” anyhow…to be successful. That mindset will kill your business right away…and quite frankly, it’s a very common mindset created by all of the “biz opps” out there (you’re not the only one with this mindset).

Bottom line for this point is… it’s not work at all, no matter how many hours it takes, if you have a passion for what you’re doing.

2) “Is there a point where I can put this business on autopilot…” That to me implies that you might be seeking defining points where the amount of effort you put in starts to go down, and the income continues to go up.

While it’s good to think about leverage in this business, and trust me, there are several good leverage opportunities…the effort required to grow any business (not just online marketing) never really decreases, it merely shifts.

And it goes back to point #1, it’s not work if you have a passion for it.

Sure, the image of sitting on a beach somewhere with a laptop, and checking your Paypal account for new commissions does in fact exist at certain points that you can control…but the mindset must be adjusted first.

What this all boils down to is…you have to decide for yourself if you’re willing to commit your passion to this business first…and then figuring out the rest (hours, income, etc…) really doesn’t have as much of an impact (and may not even matter).

And a bonus point for this article… many people think that their income is first focus.

It isn’t.

If you want to be successful, your mindset has to center around the value you give other people first…and your income is a reflection of how well you do just that.

That bonus point is probably the reason why many people don’t succeed in business or in life.

So, what are you going to do today to start giving value to others and start the process of shifting your mindset?

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Who have you delivered enormous value to today?

Who have you delivered enormous value to today?

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