Thursday, December 3, 2009
Knowing the value of a lifetime customer can determine your advertising budget and many other marketing strategies. If you only look at a customer as a one time sale, you could be losing 300% or more of your potential revenue.
Monday, November 30, 2009
A side bar here: If you do not spend a little time every week, if not every day, doing some sort of motivational "reading," then let me suggest that you start.
Your subconscious mind is so inundated with "garbage" every day, you need to put some good stuff in to counteract the negative. Like they say, "Garbage in, garbage out." You cannot be a great guerrilla marketer if you only spout the same garbage that you subconsciously soak up from your environment
According to The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook, the personality traits found in most guerrillas are:
- Ego Strength
- Constant Learning
- Action Oriented
to your prospects and customers. You must get involved with them. They come first!
Their dreams must be your dreams! You must help them realize those dreams!
You must make a commitment to your marketing plan, no matter what your family, friends, employees tell you. No matter how bored you are with the daily routine of carrying out your marketing plan, stick with it. Be committed! Be patient!
There can't be one without the other.
Patience is knowing that things take time. You cannot make diamonds overnight.
The reason most people fail on the Internet - or in any business - is a lack of commitment and a lack of patience!
Patience and commitment must be matched by a strong imagination. Not just imaginative copy writing or imaginative web design, but you must be imaginative in everything you do. For instance, Jay Conrad Levinson, the man who developed guerrilla marketing into a true marketing system, tells the story of a guerrilla marketer who mailed a letter requiring 32 cents postage. He put 11 stamps on that letter: one 6 cent stamp, three 4 cent stamps, a 3 cent stamp, and 6 two cent stamps. No postage meter or Stamps.com for him! Which letter would you open first? The metered one or the one with the eleven stamps on it?
This imagination must include the ability to be flexible and "convenient." What I mean by that is, although you are committed to your strategy, you must be flexible in your tactics and the weapons you choose. A great guerrilla marketer is not locked in on how he implements his marketing strategy. Nor can she be locked in on how she handles her prospects and customers.
Make it as convenient as you can for your prospects to do business with you! Make exceptions! Break the rules! The prospect comes first always!
In order to do that, you must have sensitivity. You must be sensitive to what your prospect needs. Read between the lines. You must be sensitive to what your competition is doing. Another one of Jay's great stories involves a guerrilla furniture store owner in a shopping mall. The stores to either side of him had big clearance sales going on. Each store had a huge banner over their respective entrances touting their sales. The guerrilla put a sign over his door that simply said, "Enter Here."
Another side bar: Your sensitivity should not be limited just to your prospects, customers, and competitors. Expand your sensitivity to include your communities and the economy. Economic trends will help you determine which tactics and weapons will be most effective. And sensitivity to your communities will help your identity as someone who is committed and involved.
The next two characteristics of a guerrilla marketer go hand -in-hand. They are
ego strength and aggressiveness. Ego strength is not egotism. Rather it is the quiet identity rather than an image. It is this ego strength that makes commitment possible.
The aggressiveness of a guerrilla is not the stereotype used-car salesman aggressiveness. Rather it is the aggressiveness that makes a marketer do the extraordinary to get and keep customers. It is the giving of more value than any of your competitors.
It is the willingness to "go the extra mile" for your prospect. It is following up with your customers regularly, offering them more and more value - more and more reasons to stay loyal to you! This aggressiveness is best used in combination with the next characteristic, which we've hinted at already.
A guerrilla has generosity. There is a testimonial on our web site that one of you sent to me which says, "Thank you for your time and generosity." It means we went beyond normal expectations and gave value beyond what the monetary compensation demanded. Testimonials like that are what keeps us going day to day!!!
Patience, commitment, ego strength and aggressiveness are generally combined under the rubric of persistence. Persistence is something we all are taught is necessary for marketing.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Benefits versus Features
A friend that works at a car dealership was recently discussing a sales technique with me. "We're not allowed to let customers leave...until they take a test drive," she said. "If they take a test drive, the chances that they'll buy really improve."
What does this have to do with today's topic? The car dealership's policy clearly illustrates the difference between selling features and selling benefits.
So what's the difference?
Feature: The structure, physical description, or attributes of your product or service.
Benefit: The emotional reasons or connections your prospect makes with your product or service.
At a car dealership, putting the consumer in the driver's seat changes the way they view the vehicle. No longer are they looking at the "features" of the car, they are experiencing the benefits. (Hence the increase in sales.)
So what can you do to make sure your message is speaking to your prospect's heart and not their head? Ask yourself a series of questions:
How will their life be better, easier, or more fun with my product or service?
Why will they want to tell their friends about my company?
Without my product or service, what will the prospect be missing?
How will the prospect justify this purchase to themselves or their spouse?
By answering these questions, you will discover the benefits that will attract your prospects. No matter how tempted you may be to point out the incredible "features" of your product, sell with the prospect in mind.
When you constantly put the prospects emotions first, you will create marketing messages that drive sales like you've never seen before.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
(This also apply to classified/written ads and sales letters)
The truth is: the best salespeople don't "sell" their customers; they help them buy.
* Get emotional.
- do not attempt to appeal strictly to the buyer's rational mind with a list of perfectly logical reasons to buy. Instead, fire their imaginations, and appeal to their emotions.
- stress the benefits and rewards of owning your product or using your services. If possible, have them hold your product in their hands.
- use colorful verbal illustrations that stress benefits. Sprinkle in some brief case histories.
- be likeable.
- have some fun.
- let the customer do most of the talking.
- take the pressure to buy out of the experience, and the successful close will come naturally.
* What buyers want.
- the central question on buyers' minds is, "What's in it for me?" Take note: the question is, "What's in it for me?" not, "What's in it for my company?"
- let prospects know how your product or service will help them to:
Make their jobs easier
Gain respect and prestige
Have some fun and excitement
Minimize their personal risk
Look good to management
Advance their careers
Stay ahead of the competition
Remember, the central question you must answer for the prospect is, "What's in it for me?"
* Respect your buyer's intelligence.
- speak to your potential customer as if you were talking with an intelligent, yet uninformed friend.
- do not insult your prospect's intelligence with inane leading questions such as, "We all want to save time and money, right?" Instead, simply state, "Our product will save you both time and money," and immediately follow this statement with a brief example or two.
* What's in a name?
- there is no sweeter music than the sound of one's own name. Try to use your prospect's name a couple of times during your sales presentation.
* The nose knows!
- Do not overwhelm your client's olfactory sense. It is a major turnoff for buyers when a salesperson reeks of perfume, cologne, or aftershave.
- Rule of thumb: use only enough fragrance that if a loved one were nuzzling your neck, the scent could barely be detected.
* Be on time, but don't come early.
-Never arrive more than ten minutes before your scheduled appointment. Being punctual shows respect and good business form, and will get your meeting off to a good start.
* Create powerful imagery.
- Instead of saying to a business owner, "Your employees will really appreciate this program," consider saying with a smile, "Your employees will stand up and applaud you for giving them this program." Don't worry; the buyer will allow this bit of poetic license. Even though he knows his employees won't really stand up and applaud, the mental image of them doing so is powerful.
* Beware the time bandits.
- Everyone needs a break from the action. However, 20 minutes a day wasted on office small talk, surfing the Net, or personal phone calls adds up to two full weeks a year in lost production. How many sales could you make in two weeks? Eliminate these time bandits, and watch your productivity climb.
* Don't interrogate buyers.
- your fact-finding process should flow naturally in response to buyers' comments and conversational pauses. Do not put them on the hot seat.
* Breaking the ice.
- employ a more businesslike opening, such as, "The reason I'm calling you this morning is to learn about your company's personnel needs, and to see if we can be of help." In other words, after introducing yourself, state the reason for your call. Prospects will appreciate your honesty and respect for their time and intelligence. Only ask, "How are you?" after you've progressed beyond the initial contact, and a relationship has been established.
* Don't answer a question with a question.
- this tactic is usually perceived by the prospect as evasive. For example, if your buyer asks, "When can you ship?" do not respond, "When do you need it?" This strategy diminishes your credibility.
* Look sharp.
- Your clothes and personal grooming speak volumes about you to buyers, co-workers, and management.
- if you are looking good, you are undoubtedly feeling good, and you will close more sales.
* Never thank anyone for taking your call.
- This seemingly polite gesture immediately puts you in a subordinate role—and subordinates are easily dismissed.
* Mood follows form.
- your phone personality. If you sit up straight and smile, you will begin to feel self-confident and purposeful. Your voice will reflect those qualities, and you will enjoy more successful contacts with prospects and clients.
Michael Dalton Johnson is the Editor and Publisher of "Top Dog Sales Secrets", the bestselling book featuring advice from 50 renowned sales experts. When order your copy now you'll receive over $3,000 in bonus sales tools.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Did you know there's a powerful method of marketing that almost all business owners ignore?
Plus, it's incredibly cost-effective because you don't have to spend a dime unless you close a note deal.
I'm talking about setting up a formal "referral marketing system."
Sounds complicated but it's actually quite simple.
Let me show you:
You may have told all your friends and family about your new endeavor as a note-finder. And perhaps they smiled and nodded politely as you explained how you can help note-holders get cash for their real estate notes.
But what if you offered to "reward" your friends and family for bringing you a note deal? What if you offered to pay your friends and family a $100 referral fee anytime they send you a note deal?
I bet that would get their attention. And you can bet they will keep their eyes and ears open in hopes of finding a note deal to send your way.
You don't have to give away cash either. You could offer a free dinner at the restaurant or tickets to a ballgame. The key here is simply setting up a formal referral system so that people know they get rewarded when they send you a note deal.
This way, you motivate your friends and family members to help you find note deals. Plus you can extend your referral system to include real estate professionals and other note-holders.
You might find a note-holder who has no interest in selling his note, but you can bet he'll help you find other note-holders if there's a reward in it for him.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Their definitions are great because none of use terms like: fun, pleasing, entertainment, etc... and those are the lines that most copywriters run by these days. The goal of writing advertising copy is not to be liked - it is to sell more of your products and services.
The advertiser should not be concerned if people like his commercials or ads, or if they are entertained by them. If they are, fine. But advertising is the mean to an end, and the end is to increase sales and profits for the advertiser.
Everywhere you look you'll find stunningly beautiful ads, artful catalogs and brochures and impressively created tv commercials... but think about them for a minute. Do they really persuade you into buying their products just because of those nice advertisings?
Sometimes, inexpensive ads, written in a simple and direct form without a lot of fluff, do the best job selling. Burn that last line in your mind as if your life depended on it, because in a sense, it does - your business life is in direct relation to that concept.
That concept applies to every advertisement you write: brochures, catalogs, direct mail pieces, postcards, websites, salesletters, etc.
In order to sell more of your products, you ad must do three things:
1) Get the attention of your prospects
2) Communicate the benefits of your product or service
3) Persuade your prospects into taking the desired action
During this short copywriting primer, you'll discover exactly how achieve each of the three crucial steps to make your ads bring in the results you expect.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
2- The USFreeAds is a 10 years old website and have very high pagerank. This make your and appear higher in search engine depending on keywords that you use.
3. If you do it right, and you have Adsense revenue system running on your site, the USFreeAds is a very good system to attract search engine traffic. Again, the carefully selected keywords are important.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
As Internet marketers it is imperative that we constantly look for ways to make a good impression on our viewers. Your business depends on it. We only have a short amount of time, before a decision on whether or not we are professionals will be made. We must make good use of this time.
The first instant we have at presenting ourselves to viewers is our web page. Which brings us to the importance of good design and proper color choices. First impressions are very important. We must make the best of them because we are only allowed one.
Remember this is your store front, and you must treat it respectfully. While content, customer service, a niche in your market, and a high subscriber list, are crucial to your life on the internet. Good web page design and proper color choices, are crucial as well. It is a good part of the reason why viewers bother to look over your content at all. Regardless of how incredible your content may be, you need to welcome them and make them feel at home, while they are there.
Or, they will leave.
Did you know you can control the mood of your visitors by using certain color choices? This is a simple concept that is very often ignored. Why?
Human emotions are very often triggered by color. You need to know which colors trigger which emotions.
Color can make the difference between buying and selling, if used correctly. You need to choose the right color combinations for your site and product.
Everything we, buy, eat, wear, and all of the things that take up space where we live, work or play, all have colors. These colors provide a psychological and emotional response in everyone. These responses reflect who we are and the things that we think and feel.
Color is the first thing we notice and the last thing we forget. If used properly it can be a powerful tool. It is the doorway to our deepest thoughts and feelings, and desires. This is an issue worth discussing.
Which colors should you use?
Well, it is always best to keep your main content on a white background. This is easier on the eyes and will provide a sense of professionalism. The color white triggers emotions such as: purity, peace, and perfection.
While white is an important color, you will probably want to complement your site with other colors as well. After all, there is creativity in each and every one of us. There is a huge color spectrum for us to choose from. Which colors are best!
Here are a few ideas to help you.
Red colors can stimulate warmth, hunger, and excitement. Cooler colors such as green and blues,
enhance calm and content feelings. Dark colors make objects seem heavier, while light colors make them seem lighter.
Yellow may reflect a lack of worry, while black a troubled state. Of course not all colors mean the same things to all people. Yellow may sometimes mean cheap, green may mean money or greed, black may mean elegance or death.
Color has become a science and it is a much needed weapon as part of your marketing arsenal. You will need to take great thought in choosing color as it will identify you, because once a color is "owned" it is associated with you and your company. I am sure you have noticed this with examples such as Coca Cola red, Tide orange, and John Deere Green. It is just as important to your identity as your logo. If a shape provides a symbol, be aware that color does the same.
Think carefully when choosing colors! Applying a certain color to your product is just plain logic.
For example: In stores, colors identify flavors, brands, and products: Green in a cleaner says pine- in a mouthwash says mint, blue very often means strong mint - icy cool. Clear means additive free. Red found in strawberries, cherries, and apples is very appealing. You would never choose gray for laundry detergent because you don't want gray clothes, you want brightly colored clothes. Blue, very unappetizing on a dinner plate, is much more successful as a dinner
Because they strongly affect mood, grays and browns seem somber and often depressing. But they can take on a more cheerful attitude with complements of red. No matter how you use them they suggest weight, or something heavy. This would provide your visitors with a feeling of stableness and strength. Emotions like this will help your visitors to associate your site with solidity and confidence. Other colors such as burgundy, oyster, beige, and blues will also provide a feeling of solidity.
The list goes on and on.
Don't over look the issue of color with your business.
Believe me it matters!
You see, once we lived in a black and white world. TV was black, printed publications were predominantly black. All of that changed in the 60's and has created a chain reaction that holds true today. Color is the most important attention getter. As humans, we bring our own tastes to the world. How do we choose which color to be identified with? What is the right color?
Sometimes there is no right answer, you just have to take your best shot. But the number one choice of Corporate America is still blue.
About The Author
Pam Renovato is the web master of a newly renovated: The Free Advertising Network. What will you do when you discover all of those other marketing packages don't work? Try using your use your teeth! 4 great memberships one low monthly price!
Most important part of your advertising. Choose your headlines wisesly. Craft your ads carefully. A poor headline and / or ad will ruin your advertising, so take your time. Please don't rush into posting your ads. Take your time to develop strong headlines. Ask yourself, "Would I respond to that headline?" Just placing an ad does not guarantee you hits. You need a killer headline to grab the attention of the reader.
You have several options here of how you want to advertise on Classifieds.
(a) Change Your Headline. You can post the exact same ad with 10 different headlines. It's a proven fact that the headline makes all the difference in your advertising. A good headline turns glances into stares. Many of my clients use the same classified ad in all 10 of their posts, but simply change the headline.
This is especially good if you are tracking your ads. By also changing the URL or email address within your ad, you can determine which of the headlines produces the most hits. Since the ad itself would be the same, then the only difference would be the pull of your headline. (If you are a member of the Profits Vault Private Site, then refer to the section on "Testing and Tracking" for a detailed explanation of how to track your ads)
Please don't rush into posting your ads. Take your time to develop strong headlines. Ask yourself, "Would I respond to that headline?" Just placing an ad does not guarantee you hits.
You need a killer headline to grab the attention of the reader.
If your headline doesn't do that, then you are just wasting your time.
Here are 12 "fill-in-the-blanks" headlines that have been proven effective that you can use for your own advertising, along with some examples.
They Didn't Think I Could ___________, But I Did.
- They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano - But Now When I Started to Play!
- They Grinned When the Waiter Spoke to Me in French - But Their Laughter Changed to Amazement at My Reply!
- Who Else Wants a Movie-Star Body?
- Who Else Needs an Extra Hour Every Day?
- How a "Fool Stunt" Made Me a Star Salesman.
- How a Simple Idea Made Me "Plant Manager of the Year."
- How Relocating to Tennessee Saved Our Company One Million Dollars a Year.
- Are You Ashamed of the Smells in Your House?
- Are You Smarter Than Your Boss?
- Are You Prepared for the Japanese Invasion of Your Industry?
- How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling.
- How I Retired at Age 40 - With a Guaranteed Income for Life.
- How I Turned a Troubled Company Into a Personal Fortune.
- How to Collect From Social Security at any Age.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People.
- How to Improve Telemarketers' Productivity - For Just $19.95.
- If You Are a Nondrinker, You Can Save 20% on Life Insurance.
- If You Are a Football Expert, You Could Win $50,000 Next Weekend.
- If Your Firm Uses "Temporaries," You Might Qualify for $1,000 in Free Services.
- Secrets of a Madison Avenue Maverick - "Contrarian Advertising."
- Secrets of Four Champion Golfers.
- Thousands Now Play Even Though They Have Clumsy Fingers.
- Two Million People Owe Their Health to This Idea Even Though They Laughed at it.
- 138,000 Members of Your Profession Receive a Check From Us Every Month Even Though They Once Threw This Letter Into The Wastebasket.
- Warning: Two-thirds of the Middle Managers in Your Industry Will Lose Their Jobs in the Next 36 Months.
- Warning: Your "Corporate Shield" May Be Made of Tissue Paper - 9 Ways You Can Be Held Personally Liable for Your Business's Debts, Losses or Lawsuits.
- Give Me 5 Days and I'll Give You A Magnetic Personality.
- Give Me Just 1 Hour a Day and I'll Have You Speaking French Like a "Pierre" in One Month.
- Give Me a Chance to Ask Seven Questions and I'll Prove You Are Wasting a Small Fortune on Your Advertising.
- 101 Ways to Increase New Patient Flow.
- 17 Ways to Slash Your Equipment Maintenance Costs.
(b) Change Your Category. You can post the exact same ad in 10 different categories and subcategories. Another subtle change in posting habits that can produce a tremendous amount of exposure is to simply post the same ad in different categories and subcategories. By doing this you reach the viewing eyes of readers in 10 different topics of interest.
For example, if you are advertising a Web Marketing Course, then you can post your ad under "Business Opportunities," "Internet," "Advertising and Marketing," "Information Products," "Work at Home." and several other related subcategories.
Mr. Smith steer completely clear of "Business Opportunities" because he views them as scams. But, he IS interested in learning how to promote his internet business, so he heads off to "Advertising and Marketing." Bingo! He sees your ad.
By contrast, Mr. Jones isn't interested in "Advertising and Marketing" at all. In fact, he doesn't even have anything to advertise! But, he IS interested in finding a way to earn some extra money on the weekends. So, he visits Yahoo! Classifieds' "Work at Home" section. Bingo! He sees your ad, as well.
Different categories means different readers. Different readers means more eyeballs locked on your ads.
Do I really need to tell you what that means? $$$
(c) Change Your Content. You can post 10 different ads highlighting different benefits of your product or service.
The most important thing that a reader wants to know when reading ANY advertising is,
"What's in it for me?" They don't care that your gizmo is the fastest, cheapest, top-rated, best-selling on the market. They simply want to know, "What's in it for me?"
So, tell them for pete's sake!
Re-read this sentence from the paragraph above, because it's important. "They don't care that your gizmo is the fastest, most cost-effective, top-rated, best-selling on the market."
But, you're proud of that, aren't you? You're pleased that yours is the fastest, most cost-effective, top-rated, best-selling on the market, right? So, communicate it to the reader in THEIR language.
What is their language? "What's in it for me?"
- Don't tell them that your gizmo is the fastest on the market. Communicate in THEIR language. Tell them it will save them valuable time that they can use on the more important things in life.
- Don't try to convince the reader that your gizmo is the most cost-effective on the market. Communicate in THEIR language. Convince them it will save them valuable money that they can spend on something they would really like to buy.
- Never, never, never tell them your gizmo is the top-rated in the market. Communicate in THEIR language. Compel them try your product because they deserve the very best, something that is going to be benefical to them.
- They don't care that your product is establishing new sales records, so don't tell them. Communicate in THEIR language. Point out that thousands of hard-working folks just like them are seeing their lives improved because of your product.
..."What's in it for me?"
So, stress different benefits. In one ad stress how it will save money. In other ad, how it will save time. In still another, how it will improve their lives. Stress benefit after benefit.
Again, there's a point to this. Mr. Smith may earn $250,000 a year and doesn't care a thing about saving money. But, he is interested in saving time. Mr. Jones may be a do-it-yourselfer who enjoys investing his time, but he doesn't have any money to waste.
Different benefits appeal to different people.
And you want them ALL to respond. So, change your benefits. Stress them all.
Another variation of this is to target different audiences completely. Instead of simply posting to different related categories, post to different unrelated categories...
...while stressing the benefits to each specific target audience.
This is something that we have found to be very effective. Let me explain.
Suppose you have some dandy new "Work at Home" course that reveals a simple formula that anyone can follow to earn extra cash from their home. You've been posting your ads to the "Work at Home," "Business Opportunities," and "Internet" categories. Let's say you've been using the headline...
Earn $2,000 a Month In Your Spare-Time.
Now, take that same classified ad and head over to the "Wrestling Fans" category and with one simple change to your headline...
Wrestling Fans, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time.
Voila! Like magic you have a headline that is all but guaranteed to get some hits from the wrestling fans who read the classifieds posted in that section. Sure, they came to the classified ad section looking for some cheap tickets to Wrestlemania or an autographed Sable poster. But, who can resist an opportunity for me, a wrestling fan, to earn $2,000 a month in my spare-time?
You're speaking their language.
Of course, the possibilities are endless here...
Homemakers, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time
Dallas Cowboy Fans, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time
VCR Owners, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time
Athletes, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time
Gardeners, Earn $2,000 a Month in Your Spare-Time
You get the idea. With a little creativity you can alter your headlines and ads just a bit and reach an entirely different target audience.
(d) Change Your Product. You can post 10 different ads for 10 different products and services.
Obviously, you can also choose to advertise 10 completely different products and services with your ads.
So, what should you do? Different headlines, same ad? Target your audience? Different products?
Actually, you can do them all. Let's find out how, shall we?
The key is to get started and then keep pushing.
Well, what are you waiting for?!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
John begins to place his ads on free classified sites, submit his URL to search engines, link pages and he has joined a few banner exchange programs, but to John's surprise nothing happens. John commits to place his ads and submit his URL everyday, but 6 months later he receives very little results from his marketing efforts.
Sounds too familiar, right?
Why does it seem that when we try to do everything in our power to promote our online businesses, it appear that it still comes to nothing? In the end it seems that you have only wasted YOUR time and YOUR money?
There could be many reasons why marketing efforts fail: You could have a poor ad copy, promoting the wrong products or services, capital, etc...
Many of us are like John we just think if we put it out there, people have to come. But this attitude is totally wrong! If you continue to think this way you'll continue to waste more of your time and money!
I was once told that marketing is like fishing. If you only have one line in the water, you'll catch a fish here and there. But the more lines you throw out, the more fish you'll catch.
Which meant I should place more ads on classified sites, in more ezines, in more media, submit my URL to more search engines and link pages. This also meant that I should try to plaster my ads everywhere when given the opportunity; because the more people to view my ads, the more responses I will receive.
As marketers isn't this our attitude already? We want everyone in the world to see our ads and purchase our products or services; so why does this perspective also fail?
Although the internet is one of the greatest mediums that gives us all the advantage and the ability to market our products worldwide; let's face it, the world is not interested in your products. Let's say that one of your ads brought in 250,000 orders in one day. Will you be able to handle these orders? Most small businesses wont. Casting many fishing lines into the waters may sound good, but this can be your guaranteed road to failure.
Let's look at marketing as if we all were fishermen. We hear that big fish bite down at Prospects Lake. We all gather at Prospects Lake and throw out our 5, 10, 20 fishing lines everyday in hope of catching all these big fish. We figure the more lines we put out there, we are bound to catch all these fish. But what do you think will really happen?
With all those lines out there the fish will probably become confused. The lines will probably tangle. Most people will probably be using fake bait and this will discourage the fish from biting; because they wont be able to tell the fake bait from the real thing. So what should you do? How can you compete in such a vast market place?
The first thing you must do is start targeting your marketing efforts. You must totally change your "cast out many lines" attitude and concentrate on what really works. Yes, you may have some success fishing at Prospects Lake, but why only accept the crumbs when you can have the whole. Before we all flock down to Prospects Lake, we must first determine if fishing here will be to our benefit or not? You can start by asking:
* What type of fishermen are you?
* What type of fish do you want to catch?
* What type of fish are at Prospects Lake?
* Are these the type of fish you want to catch?
* What type of bait do they like?
* Can you catch enough fish to sustain you for years to come?
* Can you catch enough fish to support you for a life time?
* Does fishing at Prospects Lake, guarantee catch?
* Is Prospects Lake the only place to fish?
* Are there too many people fishing here?
Prospects Lake may appear to be a fishermen's dream, just as the internet may be to the marketer, but this may not be always true. The internet like Prospects Lake has too many fishermen. They're all attempting to reach the same prospects, offering similar products and services, using the same techniques and cliches etc... Prospects are bombarded with 100's of ads everyday; so they too become very confused and can not distinguish your ads from the next persons offer.
You also lack a USP (Unique Selling Position). You fail to show prospects the benefits that make your offer stand out from the rest of the crowd. Prospects only see your ad as just another ad. It is essential the you develop your USP. This will help you determine who and what your targeted market will consist of.
What if you were only interested in catching cat fish, but at Prospects Lake there were only salmon? You will be wasting your time and effort fishing there. On the other hand, what if there were 2 large ponds and another lake where you would be sure to catch cat fish? You would receive better results fishing in them.
Now let's say your online business was wholesale merchandising. Your targeted market may consist of other wholesalers, retailers, distributors. Instead of trying to market your products to the world, you now begin to target where and to who you market your products. You find classified sites, ezines, opt-in mailing lists, magazines etc... that relate to your targeted market.
To some this may seem that we are trying to cut down our targeted market or lessen our chances for better results. When first trying to only reach your targeted market, you may feel that you are not doing your job as a marketer or that you are lessening your chances of growing or expanding, but simple targeted marketing will increase your chances of growth.
There are many successful online businesses that only cater and service there local areas. They never try to promote and market their products to the whole world; they only concentrate on trying to reach this smaller market. To many of us they may seem "small time", but many are making 6 - 7 figure incomes. Trying to be "bigger" may not always be better. By reaching this smaller market they receive better results and can build better relationships. Plus targeted marketing saves you time and money.
So where will YOU be fishing next time? Will YOU be down at Prospects Lake, throwing out "many lines"? Or at the lake where YOU will be guaranteed to catch more fish?
*This article may be reprinted and used in its entirety in your newsletters or ezines. Only requirement is that you also include the resources box below.
**Article written by John Ellis. John has written several articles, books and manuals on online marketing. Check his newest book, "Net Marketing Made Easy!" His desire is to assist other online businesses in achieving the success YOU deserve! Subscribe to the FREE bi-weekly ezine! http://www.je-circle-marketing.com
Monday, July 6, 2009
In keeping with the theme of creating and improving your sales pages and ad copy, here is a tidbit from Lary Dotson that will help you craft "customer friendly" ad copy.
3 Words That Sell Like Candy!
by Larry Dotson
Use the word "fast" in your ad. People want fast results, fast delivery, fast ordering, etc. Nowadays, we usually value our time more than our money.
For example, you could say:
"Our product works fast!" or "Our product comes with fast shipping options."
Use the word "guaranteed" in your ad. People want to be assured they are not risking their hard-earned money buying your product.
For example, you could say:
"Our product comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee!" or "Don't forget our product comes with a lifetime guarantee!"
Use the word "easy/simple" in your ad. People want easy ordering, easy instructions, easy to use, easy payments, etc.
For example, you could say:
"It's the easiest way to lose weight!" or "It's easy to order - just click here and fill out your information!"
10,000 Sales Letter Words, Phrases & Templates!
Just visit: http://www.ldpublishing.com
By Collin Almeida
Headlines -- the whole of your sales letter depends on them.
So is your headline like a hypnotists trance-inducing machine -- luring readers deeper into a hypnotic buying state, or is your headline more like a glittering disco ball that irritates the heck out of you and makes you want to run for cover?
Truly, your headline makes or breaks the rest of your sales letter. So here are 4 different type of headlines and the reason they work so well...
1) The Testimonial Headline
"Professional Headline Creator Took My Sales Letter's Conversion From a Sloppy 1% To A Whopping 4% Overnight -- And I Can't Write To Save My Life"!
If your product offer is something that you believe will lack credibility on its own (löse weight in x amount of days, make x amount of $ overnight,), then a testimonial headline is an effective way to instantly build believability in your offer.
And the best testimonial headline will be one that shows real results from a real user.
So why do testimonial headlines work?
Because they allow someone else the chance to scream praise for your product. It's an outside view from someone that's in comparison to the prospect reading the headline. And with a strong testimonial ... the excitement and results accomplished from the satisfied customer are immediately believed as something the prospect can expect to achieve too.
2) The How To Headline
"How To Double ... Triple ... Even Quadruple Your Sales Letter's Response Using The First Fully Guaranteed "Profit- Producing" Headline Creation Machine -- Even If You Can't Write"!
"How To" headlines are easy to write by combining a desired benefit and the workings of how to get it. And the power lies within the first two words, "How To", because instantly they set off the thought process that the reader is about to learn something.
And that's why this headline works so well, and is the formula most often used. It gives the reader a specific goal, and makes a strong promise of instruction.
3) The Question Headline
"Are You Ready To Dramatically Increase Your Sales Letter's Pulling Power Without Writing A Word"?
The "Question Headline" can work like magic for you if you know your perfect prospect and exactly what they want (and you must).
The key is to ask a question that they can always answer "yes" to. And once you obtain that "yes" answer, you can almost guarantee that they'll read deep into your sales copy.
Just turn your biggest benefit into a question...
"Would You Like To."
"Do You Want...."
If your benefit is strong, asking a question in your headline will have your prospects nodding "yes" and devouring your copy.
4) The Command Headline
"Create Professional Quality Headlines In Seconds And Increase Your Sales Letter Response -- Guaranteed!"
The "Command Headline" demands the reader's attention, and gives them a benefit and direction.
But why does it work so well?
Because you're telling them to do the action required to get the desired benefit. It's like someone telling you, "Get over here and dig into this bowl of cold chocolate fudge ice cream". If you like ice cream, you're going to jump at the command.
Same deal with your product. Give them something they want, and "command" them to get it. If it's a benefit they want, they're going to jump right in.
And there you have it. 4 powerful headlines and the reason they work so well at pulling prospects deep into your sales letters.
Experiment with them. Split test your headlines, and see which one pulls the best response. Just one headline using one of the formulas above can make all the difference in the response you receive from your sales letter or ad.
Collin Almeida is the owner of http://www.MasterCopywriters.com the #1 source for the best copywriting tools and resources on the internet. Get a FR.EE copy of The Killer Copywriting Master Checklist! a 220 Item Cheat Sheet of 'profit boosters' that will instantly transform average sales letter into 'blockbusters'. **A $97 Value** visit: http://www.mastercopywriters.com
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
on actually having made money in affiliate marketing
first BEFORE attempting to sell anything.
Sounds like common sense right? Well, look at some
of the launches around you and you can easily spot
some people trying to 'shortcut' their way.
:: It isn't difficult to make money online! ::
It really isn't. Neither is it DEAD EASY as well of
course. I'm sure you've heard of these methods:
* Article marketing - writing articles and driving
traffic to your adsense pages, presell pages or
* Web 2.0 marketing - using hubpages, squidoo lens
and blogspot blogs to send traffic to your 'money
* Freelancing - using whatever good skills you
have and selling them to other marketers. You get
paid and would have built good relationships.
(provided you didn' screw up!)
* Creating presell/review pages and driving online
and OFFLINE traffic to it.
* Providing a service - forums, URL shorteners, a
job posting board etc and monetizing the traffic.
You might think to yourself, "oh yea, I know those
already". But give it a good hard THINK! Have you
REALLY tried them and made them work? Or do you
just "KNOW" them?
Have you tried but given up after seeing little or
no results? I often tell my marketing friends and
students that the people who are making the most
money online are the ones who tried the hardest and
failed the most.
Now go out there and make some profits!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Debbie was called into the boss’s office Thursday and berated for something she didn’t do. She stewed all day, thinking about how her promotion was now in jeopardy. At 5 p.m., she grabbed her purse and headed for the mall. Debbie thought she needed a little retail therapy.
And why not? She was innocent after all. And the smell of leather from a fine pair of shoes has the power to comfort and soothe, the way Debbie supposed fresh baked goods could for other people.
The following morning, the shoes still in the box, she couldn’t help but regret her impulse shopping spree. Deep down, Debbie felt guilty.
It’s not what you do that’s important, it’s what you’re thinking when you do it that matters. If Debbie had thought about buying the shoes and saved for them, she most likely would have happily worn them at work the next day. Instead, her guilty pleasure sat untouched because her binge purchase was to alleviate stress.
Below are five facts about impulse buying that once realized could change your life:
1. By definition an “impulse” means unplanned, hasty and thoughtless. When we spontaneously buy something, most of us mistakenly believe we are in control. But in truth, we’re acting without thinking about it or the long term consequences. The mere ability to purchase something with cash, a charge card or credit card, doesn’t mean we are in control or have regained a sense of power we fear we have lost.
2. Anger, stress, guilt or boredom is usually what drives an impulse purchase. It’s true that buying things can put us in a better mood. But the high lasts only a short time and doesn’t address the reason we needed a quick fix in the first place. The pleasure Debbie felt from her pricey shoes only masked her anger and frustration at her work situation – it didn’t erase it or resolve it.
3. The positive effects of an impulse buy are replaced by guilt and possibly worse. A client of mine timed how long the good feelings lasted: 18 minutes. After that, guilt began to creep in. As soon as you think, “I shouldn’t have done that,” you know you made an impulse buy. By the time Debbie got home with her new purchase, the positive feelings had been replaced by negative ones. Guilt is bad enough, but others may also have to deal with the repercussions of mounting debt.
4. Impulse buying “nickel and dimes” us out of our dreams. Instead of saving for what Debbie really wanted – down payment on a house, a new car, a vacation to Hawaii – she relieved her stress with binges at the mall.
5. There are three easy ways to avoid or handle an impulse buy.
First, recognize that you have a choice. You can choose a quick fix to a temporary problem or you can choose to pursue your lifelong dream instead.
Second, wait! Before you buy, take three deep breaths. This simple exercise helps to release the immediate emotion. If you are already at your shopping destination before you calm down, take a little extra time to compare items. You may find that you simply don’t want to and go home. Or tell yourself that you can come back that the next day and buy the item. This will help you gauge whether you really want it. Had Debbie waited until the next day, she would have found that she didn’t want the shoes after all.
Third, learn to take it back. If you went ahead and bought something, and the thrill is now gone, take it back. You don’t have to live with the guilt forever. Because Debbie felt remorseful the next day, she returned the shoes.
Rather than heading to the nearest mall the next time Debbie is angry, frustrated, sad or bored she will release her emotions with some deep breaths, taking time to listen and trust her intuition.
Resisting the urge to impulse buy is one of the best things you can do for your wallet, but also for yourself. In doing so, you build your self-esteem in a way that no shoes could ever do!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The Associated Press plans soon to sic a scraper-bot on the Web to find swiped AP content. While no one would argue with taking on scraper sites, the vagueness of AP news editor Ted Bridis might be worth considering.
In an interview with Ars Technica, Bridis talked of a new technology (that writer Matthew Lasar cleverly described as a "search-and-maybe-threaten bot") that is on the horizon for the AP. The technology will identify and flag webpages copying entire AP articles. Upon flagging, AP lawyers would review.
Bridis insisted the news organization would not be going after bloggers or publications excerpting a paragraph of AP content and linking to the original. He admitted AP sometimes borrows excerpts from newspapers and crafts their own story around it.
But Bridis stopped there and made no such concessions about usage of headlines and AP ledes. Arguing the so-called "hot news misappropriation" doctrine, this could affect search engines, aggregators, and sites like the Drudge Report who display headlines and the first line of an article.
Also under the radar would be articles written based on AP content, especially commercial websites rewriting with hedges like "the AP has reported" or the "AP said." That's where the vagueness is troubling, and where the lines are fairly blurry. It's hard to tell if there is more emphasis on commercial or on an attribution method. It is also unclear what is meant by "rewriting." Does he define rewriting only as reporting the facts with only a word or two changed (i.e., plagiarism)? Or does Bridis also include rewriting as retelling a story in different words, or even summarizing facts?
Depending on how these questions are answered, Bridis could be drawing a line between blogs and news sites, essentially saying nonprofit bloggers can quote and refer but commercial news sites cannot. He's also drawing a line between textual storytelling and verbal storytelling. Bridis seems to suggest any commercial, textual relay of information wouldn't be considered "fair" use, so long as they can, in a decentralized communication universe, prove the AP was the only outfit that knew certain facts. That argument is rather stunning considering the AP is a distributor of news first written elsewhere in the world at local publications.
What's extra interesting is that though the AP has criticized fair use as a "misguided" legal theory, the organization itself is insisting on its own with a "hot news" doctrine, which is mostly semantic device to create a separate category for "facts," which are not copyrightable in the first place.
Ninety years ago, the AP sued William Randolph Hearst's International News Service (INS) for swiping breaking news the AP had gathered and distributing the news on its own. Over a lengthy court battle reaching the Supreme Court, the "hot news" doctrine was born. Though the AP essentially lost the suit because the courts found that facts could not be copyrighted, hot news (a scoop) was designated as a special kind of property to which the outlet breaking the news had exclusive rights for a limited amount of time. Just how long these special kinds of facts are protected is unclear, especially in the Internet age, when hot news gets cold much faster.
To succeed in its efforts, the AP will have significant legal hurdles in front of it. The organization will have to redefine fair use, get a court to uphold that some facts are protected and set some kind of timetable for that protection, explain how textually reporting facts to an Internet audience is different from reporting facts to any other audience by any other method, find a logical differentiation between bloggers and journalists, between Internet forums/social networks and water cooler conversations, convince courts previous precedents regarding aggregating, linking and snippeting should be overturned, all while avoiding federal charges of anticompetitive behavior.
Those are some pretty tall hurdles, and likely a 90-year-old argument from a different world isn't going to be able to jump them.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Facebook users take their privacy very seriously--and the social-networking site received that message loud and clear.
Facebook created a firestorm of controversy earlier this week as word spread that it had changed a longstanding but little-publicized claim to an "irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license" for promotional efforts--which would no longer expire if a member deleted his or her Facebook account.
Facebook reorganized its terms of service on February 11. In a blog post, company legal representative Suzie White provided an explanation. "We used to have several different documents that outlined what people could and could not do on Facebook, but now we're consolidating all this information to one central place," White wrote. "We've also simplified and clarified a lot of information that applies to you, including some things you shouldn't do when using the site."
The blog post sounded benign. But the brouhaha arose on Sunday. Blogs declared the change a cause for alarm. Protest groups sprang up on the social-networking site, with more than 100,000 users joining one such group.
Privacy advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center was threatening to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, demanding that the massively popular social-networking service return to its previous policies.
To get an idea how its users felt about the changes, Facebook began a poll in its users' News Feeds, asking them their opinion on the TOS change. And an overwhelming majority favored returning to its previous terms of service.
Facing a revolt of tens of thousands of its users, Facebook quickly announced that it was returning to its previous terms.
Efficiency is foremost for Ablewise.com. Hence, it is extremely important to Ablewise.com Classifieds that our users are able to post their classified Ads up as soon as possible, so that they can get sales in the shortest amount of time. With this in mind, the Research and Development team of Ablewise.com has looked into and streamlined its Ad posting process.
Users now no longer have to click a multitude of "Next" buttons, and only have to go through 2 pages of Ad details to be ninety percent of the way through in making their Ad live. To make it even simpler and the process shorter, after choosing the country/region and category/sub-category of an Ad, only three fields: the 'Available To' field, 'Ad Headline' and 'Ad Description' are made mandatory. You can of course choose to provide more details for the Ad that your potential buyers might be interested in.
To start the Ad posting process, simply click on http://www.ablewise.com/ads/postFreeAd/ to post a Free Ad, or http://www.ablewise.com/details/PowerAd/ to post a Power Ad.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
If you are on a limited or non-existent advertising budget use classified advertising. Classified ads come in a variety of sizes and costs. Many are free or inexpensive at least, and can be quite effective.
Classifieds appear everywhere from neighborhood newsletters to huge national newspapers and magazines that reach tens of millions of viewers per month.
I can attest personally the fact that CLASSIFIEDS DO REALLY WORK! You can get customers and prospects; as well as sell your product or service. But, ONLY if you know how to use classifieds to your advantage.
Here are four basic steps you can start using today to make your classifieds work for you.
#1 Target your best prospects.
"Targeted prospects. Target market." I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard or read those words this year. Sounds cliché doesn't it? It's not! It's hands down the best way to make your ads work! Every newspaper, ezine, and website has it's own particular kind of audience.
Hear this folks: Your ads will not sell unless your product or service is something THAT PUBLICATION'S particular audience would buy.
To understand what type audience a particular publication is reaching, look at their articles and ads. What are they selling? What kind of folks would buy these items? Consider age, lifestyle, gender, income, and education level. It won't take very long at all and you'll have a good idea of
what kind of audience that particular publication reaches.
"USA Today" attracts a very large international audience primarily of very well paid business people. Your local bargain shopper newsletter probably focuses on working class folks looking for a bargain. The local daily or weekly newspaper tends to do best with local homeowners and citizens. A mail order tabloid often goes after thousands of opportunity seekers at a time. The internet by it's very nature tends to appeal to well educated, up-scale audiences in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.
#2 Write a good headline.
Definitely one of my "pet peeves." With any classified the headline makes or breaks the ad. I've told many of my downline members this over and over?" If you don't have a real attention grabbing headline your ad will never even be read." This is true folks. Very briefly put as much key information in your headline as you can in 3 to 6 words. This means your headline has to
get the prospects attention and tell him enough about the ad to make him want to read the rest of the ad.
For example if I had a computer I wanted to sell in my local weekly newspaper what should I write??.. It could vary somewhat, but I would primarily be dealing with a local family type audience. I could write:
COMPUTER FOR SALE! POWERFUL! CHEAP!
In 5 words I've told the prospect what the item is, something about it's quality and benefit (POWERFUL & CHEAP), and at the same time given a clue about the price.
If I advertised that same computer in a newsgroup that had an audience of computer enthusiasts; I would need to change the headline to reflect their more advanced understanding.
PENTIUM II, 333, LIKE NEW, UNDER $1200!
You want to show your prospect what your product, service, or opportunity will do for them, but DO NOT MAKE OUTRAGEOUS CLAIMS. No get rich quick. No millionaire in 60 day programs.
You know the kind I'm talking about I think. Small business owners can build a financial empire in business on the internet or off for that matter; but unless you are a super motivated, marketing superstar with hundreds of contacts it's not gonna happen in 30, 60, or 90 days. Do NOT make unbelievable claims.
#3 Keep the body of your ad short.
Shorter ads usually cost less. Even if you are somewhere that allows 50 or 100 words per classified, make your writing concise and to the point. No need to write in complete sentences in classifieds as long as you make sense. A good rule of thumb with classifieds is; if it can be said with less words effectively, use less words. Lay out the essential info about your product or service and SHOW THE PROSPECT HOW IT BENEFITS THEM! Give all your contact info. A name, mail address, phone number, email address, and website url add so much credibility.
3)Urge prospect to mail, email, or call now!
Words like free, new, amazing, now, how-to, discover, method, plan, reveals, advanced, and improved always work well in ads. Use the word YOU very often as you talk about the benefits of your product or service. Some expert copy writers capitalize the word YOU in their ads.
#4 Track your ads.
You are throwing your money out the window if you don't know which ads work and which ads don't. Key your ads and run them in only a few places at first to see how they work. The real pros always code their ads so they know which publications and which ads work. Not every
ad will do as well as you might expect. When you come up with a really good one that brings good response. PLASTER IT EVERYWHERE and don't stop till it stops pulling. Many of the higher traffic, online classified boards notify you when you get a response from their site. This is a nice feature and makes it easy for you to know how many responses came from that particular site.
I promise you that the few days it will take you to test some various ads will be nothing when compared to the response you will get from one really good headline and ad. Just try it and see for yourself.
By using the above 4 techniques in your classifieds you will reach more of your best prospects, sell or recruit more, and reduce the time and money you spend on classifieds.
Leon is webmaster and owner of Appalachian Online Marketing at http://www.appalachianmarketing.com. At Appalachian Online Marketing you can find everything you need to turn your struggling business into an explosive moneymaker! Free subscription to Absolute Internet Marketing Resources Ezine containing the most current, up to date online marketing resources on the planet!
*Article may be used freely as long as the entire article appears along with this sig file.
Have you looked at the classified section of your favorite newspaper, ezine, or website lately? Have you noticed all the brilliantly written classified ads? Me either.
To make sure that your classified ads stand out in a crowd, use some simple rules, some creative flair, and an award winning formula. If you follow these A-B-C's for writing effective classifieds, you will increase your response rate and your profits. And that's what it's all about.
Here is your quick and simple A-B-C guide for writing classifieds that sell.
A. Think like your reader. While you are writing your ad, always remember that your reader is thinking 'What's in it for me?'
B. Write your ad to one person. Pretend you are sitting beside your reader having a one-on-one conversation. Don't address your entire market at once. There is only one person at a time reading your ad.
C. Write a benefits list for your products. Remember, benefits are not features. Here is an example.
FEATURE: Make a million dollars online
BENEFIT: Enjoy the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and famous, right in your own home.
See the difference? A feature is what your product or service does. The benefit is the feel good feeling you get from the feature. Now write a list of all the benefits you can think of for your product.
D. Edit your list of benefits and select the best one. Writing a successful classified is like writing a sentence, you focus on one thought at a time.
E. Write the headline for your classified, using the benefit that you have chosen. The headline is the most important element of your ad. If you don't grab the reader's attention in a milli-second as they are scanning all the classifieds, you've lost them.
F. Write the body of your classified using the features that support your benefit.
G. Begin writing your classified without thinking about the final size of the ad. Write as much as you can about your product, but stay focused on the benefit that you have chosen. By the time you are done you may have a whole page of copy.
H. Edit your ad. Most ezines run classified ads that are approximately 5 lines long and 60 characters wide. Use this guideline to edit your full page of copy down to a normal classified size. Pick out your best sentences, power words, and convincing arguments that will make your reader click on the link to your website or send you an email.
I. Make sure you include your web address and email. Use http:// before your website address, so that it looks like http://www.bpcpublishing.com and mailto: before your email address, so that it looks like mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Don't put a period after .com or you can ruin your link.
J. When you have finished the ad, go back and read it, polish it, and read it again. Leave it for a couple of days and come back and read and polish some more.
When you are writing your ad, make it believable. Using a lot of !!! may get attention, but it makes your ad look gimmicky and less believable. People genuinely want to believe what they are reading, but if you come off like a snake oil sales man, no one will respond to your ad. Your
credibility is key.
There is much more to writing a classified ad than just verbally throwing up on your reader. You need to be refined and put some thought into what you are saying. These A-B-C's will help you write a successful and profitable classified ad.
Good luck and God Bless
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
1. Review your goals and markets for your site:
a) Are there clear business goals and desired outcomes behind your Web site, and for each major page or section? How will you evaluate your success?
b) Have you defined all the target audiences for the site, and the "languages" they speak? Do you have compelling benefit statements, testimonials, case studies?
c) Does your home page appeal to each of your target markets and audiences? Does it effectively direct them to appropriate areas of your site?
d) How compelling are the "calls to action" on each page?
2. How can you take your online business to the next level?
a) Is your site making the best use of available technologies? How will you stay on top of online
developments in your field? Are all appropriate staff involved?
b) Does your content effectively position the expertise of your business? Are there media or public relations outlets that you could tap for wider promotion?
c) Are you taking full advantage of "real-world" opportunities to promote your site?
d) Does your business offer other services or customer support functions that you could provide online? Are there further efficiencies that you could achieve?
e) Review your contact databases and your use of e-mail to support your marketing. Do you have clear opt-in and privacy policies?
3. Review your Web traffic reports:
a) Are there any obvious patterns in your traffic, or the paths your visitors follow that you could capitalize on, or need to change?
b) What are the top exit points from your site? Where are you losing conversions?
c) Which external sites link to you? Are these appropriate? Are you generating sufficient return on investment for paid online advertising?
d) Do the search phrases for your site suggest ideas for new areas of business development?
(c) 2005. Philippa Gamse.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
By Allan Gardyne
When I left school, the first job I got was as a cadet reporter for a small daily newspaper, in Oamaru, New Zealand.
In those days, the entire editorial office, in one small, scruffy room, consisted of the editor, a sub-editor/reporter, a photographer/reporter, a proof reader and me. With a team that small, everyone had to be adaptable.
Occasionally, the editor would give me a few writing tips, such as, "Imagine you're talking to ONE person," or "How many of our readers CARE about this?"
However, most of the time he was too busy to teach me, so I learned to teach myself.
During the day, I'd pound out articles. Each night, I'd go home and re-read my articles in the newspaper.
I was often appalled and embarrassed to see how sloppily worded they were. It's odd how errors can jump out at you a few hours later - mistakes that your eyes skimmed over at the time.
Apparently, the editor was in too much of a hurry to edit my articles properly.
So I had to learn to fix them myself.
Gradually, I developed a simple, reasonably clear writing style. I don't claim to be a brilliant writer. I'm good enough to get the job done.
Why is this important to you?
Because affiliate marketing is all about making a connection between you and your reader.
You don't have to be a brilliant writer to succeed in affiliate marketing, but you do need to be good enough to get your point across, to communicate clearly.
If English is your second language, this is even more important for you.
Here are 10 things I've learned that will improve your writing, help you communicate more clearly, and sell more stuff...
- Get rid of distractions. Find a quiet spot to do your writing. Turn off the radio, TV and music. You may think you can do two things at once, but what you're actually doing is switching from one to the other.
- Don't stop. Bash it out, no matter how rough it is. Keep going all the way until it's finished. Only then is it time to go back and tidy it up. Resist the urge to edit as you go. Editing as you go interrupts the creative flow. Your article is likely to take 10 times as long to do if you edit as you go.
- Write simply. Your readers are in a hurry. They don't want to waste time trying to figure out what you mean.
- Tell a story. Stories get your readers involved. (For heaven's sake, make them TRUE stories. I'm delighted to hear the FTC is cracking down on some of the fake stuff out there. If you don't have a good story to tell, interview someone who has.)
- See things from your reader's point of view. Keep asking yourself, "What do they want to know?"
- Read it aloud. This makes it easier to spot awkward patches where the words don't flow smoothly.
- Edit later. Put your writing aside and re-read it hours or, better still, days later. It's amazing how you see your article with fresh eyes and spot ways to improve it.
- Read more. To improve your writing, turn off the TV and read books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters - anything. The more you read, the more you'll recognize good writing when you see it.
- Practice. One of the best ways to learn to write is to WRITE. When you learn a skill, you create new neurons and new pathways in your brain. The section of your brain used for writing will expand. If you don't believe me, read "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge. Good libraries should have it.
Write something every day.
a) Keep a journal of your ideas and plans. It will help your business as well as your writing skills.
b) Go to our affiliate forum -
http://www.AssociatePrograms.com/discus/index.php - and write something there every day. Keep writing. You WILL improve.
c) Write an article every day - either for your website or to publish on a related website. Don't worry about making it perfect. Just do it.
* Don't be a perfectionist. Resist the urge. Instead of aiming for an A+ job, aim for a B+. Write it quickly. Get it done.
You'll be pleasantly surprised how much faster you work and how much more you achieve. Upload it to your site, even it's not perfect.
Look at people you know who are making big sales in affiliate marketing. Do you think they're perfectionists? Not likely. They're good at getting the job done.
Get your stuff online so that it can attract traffic and make sales. You can always go back and improve it another day. But get it online. It won't make money for you if it's sitting unpublished on your hard drive - or still in rough notes somewhere.
Remember, clear communication is right at the heart of all successful marketing. So time spent improving your writing is an excellent investment.
In the meantime, you can go to places like Elance and hire a writer. If you've tried that, you'll know it's very time consuming trying to find a GOOD writer.
A quicker, easier option is to buy unique articles from our writing service.
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Saturday, May 9, 2009
Yes, they seem like small differences, but sometimes Search Engines treat each variation as a separate page, diluting your "link juice" to them. And then there are all the ways that sites might send you traffic, using slightly different dynamic URLs. And then, of course, you might have several pages that are very similar.
The canonical tag tells the engines...
This one. Use THIS URL. It consolidates all the links to the one URL. And it also tells engines that you are NOT using duplicate content tricks.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
"Twelve megapixels is, I think, enough for covering most applications most customers need," said Akira Watanabe, manager of Olympus Imaging's SLR planning department, in an interview here at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA). "We have no intention to compete in the megapixel wars for E-System," Olympus' line of SLR cameras, he said.
Instead, Olympus will focus on other characteristics such as dynamic range, color reproduction, and a better ISO range for low-light shooting, he said.
Increasing the number of megapixels on cameras is an easy selling point for camera makers, in part because it's a simple concept for people to understand. Even though having more megapixels can enable larger prints and enlargement of subject matter through cropping, adding megapixels comes with some drawbacks.
For one thing, smaller pixels can mean more noisy speckles at the pixel level and can reduce the dynamic range, so brighter areas wash out and darker areas become swaths of black. For another, images take more room on memory cards, hard drives, and Web servers, and cameras need more powerful image processors to handle them. And yesteryear's cameras already had plenty of pixels for making 8x10-inch prints, a size few people exceed.
Camera and sensor makers have been steadily improving digital cameras to compensate for the drawbacks, though. The space on the sensor that's devoted to electronics rather than light gathering has been reduced. Other improvements have come with the tiny microlenses that help each sensor's pixel to gather more light and with the color filters that determine whether a pixel records red, green, or blue.
Some still need more megapixels
Olympus' view is focused chiefly on mainstream photographers. Studio and commercial photographers taking pictures for magazines certainly have a need for more megapixels, Watanabe said.
"We don't think 20 megapixels is necessary for everybody. If a customer wants more than 12 megapixels, he should go to the full-frame models," Watanabe said.
The sensors in Olympus' SLRs, an element of the Four Thirds camera system also used by Panasonic, are smaller than those in mainstream SLRs from market leaders Canon and Nikon and much smaller than those in full-frame cameras. Those employ sensors the size of a frame of 35mm film, 36x24mm.
The 12-megapixel view isn't a new one at Olympus.
"I personally believed, before starting the E-System, that 12 was enough," Watanabe said. "We interviewed many professional photographers, people in studios, about how many they needed in the future. Before we started, the system, we had a rough idea we'd be at a plateau at 12 megapixels. We gradually increased the pixel count," with the newer Olympus SLRs now reaching that level.
Watanabe had another bold projection: autofocus will change dramatically in SLRs.
Today's SLRs use a "phase detect" autofocus subsystem in which some light is diverted from the viewfinder to sensors in the bottom of the camera. These sensors enable the rapid autofocus that helps make SLRs much more responsive than compact cameras, which use a "contrast detect" method that analyzes the data from the image sensor itself.
Watanabe, though, believes image sensor-based autofocus soon will outperform phase-detect systems. That's important not just for compact cameras, but also for SLRs that today often have an awkward problem with composing a shot using the camera's LCD: when the sensor is in use to run the display, the phase-detect autofocus subsystem can't be used. That means live view on SLRs today is typically a frustratingly slow process.
"In terms of speed, phase detect is faster. But imager autofocus will soon exceed phase detect," Watanabe said.
And speed isn't of course the only factor. "In terms of accuracy, imager-based autofocus is much more advantageous. It directly focuses on the surface itself," the exact location where the image will eventually be recorded. "Phase detect focuses not on the real surface but on a virtual surface," the focusing subsystem reached via a moving mirror.
Imager-based autofocus doesn't require the full use of the image sensor area, so it doesn't directly increase power consumption concerns, he said. In Olympus's new midrange E-30 SLR, for example, autofocus uses only a few points on the sensor when autofocusing in live view mode.
This article was originally posted on CNET News.