Rabu, 16 Juli 2008

Five Fun Ideas That Increase Online Traffic

1. Using Hidden Links to increase subscribers or for a contest. Place a not so easy to find link in your copy and then ask people to find it. Give them a prize or freebie for finding it. Or you can give them the ebook after they find the link and click on it. By burring it inside the material, they will definitely need to read it carefully in order to find it.
2. Have unique information? Start a member-only web site or ezine. Tell subscribers what they will receive for joining. Offer free memberships in exchange for something you want.
3. Use viral marketing by increasing awareness about your product or service on discussion boards or blogs? Exchange your product or service with others who mentioned you on specific boards or blogs. You will need to track all these, so you will want to keep it simple.
4. Help others set up an instant article directory. Offer your articles to be posted on their web site. This works well for others who do not write. It also creates links and increases search engine status for both of you.
5. Create a book web site. You can do this in lieu of offering a free ebook. Market it as a free web book. The term is seldom used and builds curiosity. Design the web pages with a title page, table of contents, chapters, etc. Then place your ad or banner for your product or service on the top and bottom of every page.
By Catherine Franz

Success Is Simple: Five Steps to Online Success

The Internet can be a confusing place to do business. It often seems like there are a million 'gurus' on the Net, all speaking at the same time, and telling you how they have "the" road map to success.

The truth is ... there is no one map. There are many roads to the destination we call success. How long the trip will take depends a great deal on the choices you make.

They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So here are five steps to get you started on your road to online success.

1. Sell What People Want To Buy.

For a thousand years (or more) small business has thrived on one motto. Find a need and fill it. The Internet is no different that Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart didn't sell what people want they would go out of business in short order.

The best way to find what people want is to ask them. Contact the people you know and ask them what their #1 problem is today. Then tally the results and look for a pattern. Once you find the pattern, find a product or service to meet that need and contact them again.

When you do, good things will begin to happen.

2. Follow Up With Everyone

The people who come to your website will fall into two broad groups. Those who buy and those who don't buy yet. Create a follow up system for the people who don't buy and you will make time your ally, not your enemy.

You don't have to be a great writer to do this. Just jot down the five top reasons people should buy your product and create a short message for each reason. Then put those in an autoresponder and offer people more information. Over time, many will buy your product.

It's equally important to follow up with those who do buy. Be sure to offer them products and services that compliment your own.

For example, it's only logical that someone who buys a car will eventually need their oil changed. In a like manner, people who buy your offer may want products or services that enhance your product's benefits.

3. Use A Simple Sales Site

There is a lot of discussion about how many words should be on your web site. While this debate will continue to rage on, the sites that sell the best seem to be one-page, very simple sales sites. After all, why use more words than necessary.

People are in a hurry today so give them what they want. Tell them clearly why they should buy your product, ask for the order and offer them more information if they choose not to buy now. Simple.

4. Use Automation To Your Advantage

'Automation' is simply a fancy term for letting a computer do the work you would normally do. Perhaps the best example is an autoresponder.

A sequential autoresponder is a program that sends emails out over a period of time. Rather than having to remember who should get which message when, the computer remembers and sends them for you. That is how you are going to follow up with the people are aren't quite ready to buy yet. And you'll use a separate sequence for your customers - to offer them complimentary products and services.

There are ways to process orders, send email follow ups, ask for referrals, place ads and more - all using the power of automation.

While it is important to maintain a personal touch, automating everyday tasks means you will be able to respond faster to inquires and have the time you need to follow up with clients and expand your business.

5. Give Yourself Time

Just as in any business, it takes time to succeed in an online business. Since time is going to march on anyway, why not make time your ally?

Using tools to automate your business will help you save time every day. Having clearly defined goals and objectives will help you have 'staying power' for the long haul.

Using time wisely and being committed to long term success are both vital to your online business.

Success is simple if you keep it simple. One key is to find people who are successful and learn from what they are doing.

When you are offering a popular product using a simple sales page website, are following up using automation to your advantage and are patient enough to let your business grow, you will find that the path to success is short indeed.

By Dr. Jeanette Cates

The Ultimate Search Engine Strategy

Search engine optimisation is big business. Ezines and websites litter the Internet with strategies to boost your search engine ranking. Search engine specialists charge large amounts of money to apply their strategies to your website and will go so far as to guarantee you top listings in the webs' major search engines.

And, in my opinion, they are all frauds.

Strategy is defined as a long-term plan. So, if these search engine specialists have the ideal strategy, why do the techniques and approach constantly change. Forgive me, but that isn't strategy. That is a last line of defence that is hastily patched up when the latest changes to the rules punch holes in it.

In "Alice through the Looking-Glass" the red queen said Alice had to run as fast as she could just to stay in one place. This impractical and short-sighted view is ludicrous, but is practiced by search engine optimists world-wide. These companies tweak and tweak and tweak, constantly changing their approach in a bid to keep those top spots. Google's latest dance showed that, at any point, your efforts can be reduced to nothing leaving you with no choice but to start again.

The reason for this rat race is that most, if not all, of these specialists neglect to tell us one simple fact.

Search engines are there for the searchers, not for the searched.

Google, Yahoo, MSN. These weren't set up to send you traffic. They were set up to help people find information on the terms they are searching for.

Search engines spend a fortune developing spidering techniques that will help them put the most useful and beneficial websites at the top of their listings only to forced into changing their approach when the search engine specialists hijack the listings.

Think I'm exaggerating? Are you really so arrogant that you believe your website should be in the top ten just because you spent the last twelve months building a thousand reciprocal links that no-one clicks on?

Ask yourself this question. If you do a search in Google, which website would you like to see at number one?

a) A website with genuinely useful and original information.


b) A website with perfectly optimised keyword density that doesn't answer your questions.

In truth, if you are a multi-million dollar company, then you need the search engine specialists, just so that you can keep up with all the other multi-million companies intent on damaging Search Engines for the rest of us. How else are you going to be able to afford that second porsche?

For the rest of you, give it up. Stop wasting your time tweaking your site EVERY time a new trick is circulated. Once the Search Engine cottons on to the trick, they will change their format and you'll be back to square one.

Reciprocal linking is a good case in point. Google ranked you high if you had plenty of sites pointing to you as this was a good indication of quality. Then it became a matter of, the more reciprocal links you had, the higher you ranked on Google. Everyone started linking with everyone. Software was released dedicated to helping you build page upon page of reciprocal links.

Somehow Google found out and started discounting reciprocal links. Months of work down the toilet? You'd better believe it.

Now people are starting from scratch.

"You link to my site A on your site B and I'll link to your site C on my site A."

How long before Google start dismissing links in their scoring process altogether?

And don't forget. Even if you were capable of following every scrap of advice perfectly, do you think you would be the only one? If a thousand people optimise their site perfectly, will they all get a top ten spot?

So here it is then. The ultimate search engine strategy that will never need to be changed, no matter how many times Google dances, Yahoo jiggles and MSN sits in the corner getting drunk.

Make sure your meta tags are properly formatted, contain ONLY the words pertinent to your content, and that your TITLE tag actually describes the page you've produced.

Ensure your homepage doesn't use frames and contains a brief description of what you do. It could just be a single line, but it needs to be on there.

Add, and keep adding, more and more original and useful content to your site. Don't plagiarise and don't copy and paste from other sites.

Only accept reciprocal links from sites you believe may be of interest to your regular users. Make sure you have at least one link to your website from a site that is already listed in Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Make sure search engines can see all of your pages, by linking to them from the homepage. If you have a lot of pages, have a site map page linked to your homepage instead.

Make sure you have a homepage link on EVERY page. If your content is good and abundant, visitors will enter your site through deeper pages. If they like what they see, they will want to visit your homepage to see what else you do.

Stop trying to incorporate every search engine "strategy" you hear. Instead spend time focussing on step 3.

Google seems to reward sites that stick around, but its probably because time affords you more inbound links, more pages to spider and a greater pagerank. You might not get the top positions from following these steps, but you will get traffic from search engines. And you will have a site that people want to visit.

So, patience is needed. To build up a really good site with lots of decent content can take years.

If you don't have patience, try Pay-Per-Click instead.

By Dylan Campbell

Unlock Your Prospects Mind From The Inside

A prospect's mind is an intimate place where something I call The Inner Score Keeping System dwells.

Simply put, it's a fundamental model that you can use as a metaphor to help explain the way prospects govern their inner decision-making.

It's true that a potential buyer will profile several things in the background while evaluating an offer. Many little decisions are made along the way that lead up to the BIG yes or no final decision.

Some of these are subconscious thoughts while other times one may even notice their own mind chatter. However, in any case, a decision process is in action.

In the situation where a prospect is evaluating a sales offer, here is an overview of events going on deep inside the prospect's mind.

While responding to the offer, the prospect instinctively invokes a scoring system, which helps in evaluating the offer.

We ALL have this judgment system inside of us that we respond with.

This Inner Score Keeping System occurs mostly behind the scenes as we don't focus on the inner process. Although it is transparent to us, it's still there.

It deals with the balancing scale of acceptance and rejection. When we buy, it assists us in weighing our decisions based on emotions and logic.

When positive emotions are triggered in a sales offer, they theoretically score acceptance points, which are intended to collectively add-up over rejection. Rejection points always lean toward discouraging the buy.

Thus, in this virtual score-keeping setting, points equal positive or negative measurements of emotions (or logic) in proportion to the sales offer. This inner-judgment that we invisibly process, determines the outcome of the offers we evaluate.

We, as the prospective buyer, keep calculating this inner score in the background. The sales copy attempts to win us over by scoring maximum acceptance points, provoking the action to buy.

You know when you get a gut feeling 'to buy or not to buy', this is our inner score keeping system I am talking about. It regulates our buying behaviors and helps us make buying decisions.

Thus, when a prospect interfaces with a sales letter offer, it instinctively prompts this decision making process. It all comes down to a final response to the offer.

Ultimately, the prospect will either accept the offer to buy... or reject the offer and leave.

Hence: The Inner Score Keeping System.

The overall message I am suggesting here is to learn to think like a buyer if you want to get on the other side of the sale... the selling side.

Of course we all have plenty of buying experience. But, since we do no not usually think about the process when we buy, we miss the boat on knowing what actually makes us buy.

In other words, when we buy, we are not considering all of the elements that add up to the final buying decision. We just buy or pass on the offer.

However, there is much to be learned from this and thinking like a buyer is by far the best way to unlock your prospect's mind to make the sale!

By Michael Nicholas

Top 10 Reasons Why I Reject Article Submissions

Each week I receive dozens of article submissions to my websites from aspiring authors, website owners, and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, I can only use a small fraction of the articles I receive because the writers are making one of the crucial mistakes listed below.

KEY POINT: When you submit articles to a newsletter/ezine publisher or a website owner, you have to remember that we aren't going to publish YOUR article for OUR customers and visitors unless it is a high quality article that gives something of value.

If you're writing articles like crazy, but getting very few of them actually published, then you might want to re-evaluate your approach. Are you making one of these crucial mistakes?

1. Poor Subject Matter:

If you're going to bother to write an article, write about something that we're interested in reading about. In other words, address a problem and provide a solution. Articles that approach an old problem in a new way or with a new twist work well too -- you don't have to necessarily discover a whole new problem that no one else has ever though of before (If you discover a whole new problem and have the solution you better be thinking of product creation not just an article!).

2. Write with personality:

No one likes to read text books. Put a little of your own personality into your writing and make it engaging and entertaining as well as informative. If you have a sense of humor, use it. You have a good chance of being published on one of my sites if you make me giggle... Belly laughs are nearly guaranteed to be published.

3. Write for your audience:

Don't send an article about the value of protein in the American diet to a Russian Political website or the publisher of a podiatry newsletter... They don't care.

4. Write a decent sized article:

I would much rather an article be a little bit too long than very short. Four hundred word articles just don't have enough meat in them. I'm not suggesting that you ramble, but you've got to give me some details if you want me to publish your piece.

5. Break up your article:

Don't write your article in three long paragraphs. Break it up into smaller paragraphs with a few single lines, bullets, etc. to make it easier and more enjoyable to read. Again -- no one likes to read text books.

6. Spell Check and Grammar:

I don't mind correcting a couple of mixed up letters now and then, but let's be reasonable -- spell check your articles. Grammar is another thing that bugs me. I know that I don't always get it perfect myself, but your grammar has to be reasonable. Some of the people sending me articles need to take a high school English class.

One last point in this category is word usage -- don't use words in your article unless you actually know what they mean. Using big words doesn't necessarily make you look smarter. Did you know that newspapers are aimed at a sixth grade reading level?

7. Stop sending sales letters:

No one will publish an article that reads like a sales letter... period.

8. Forget about affiliate links:

Use your head... why would anyone use your article if it's full of your affiliate links? Ever hear of the "Golden Rule?" This is kind of the "Golden Rule" of writing articles -- don't expect someone else to do something that you wouldn't do. Would you publish another writer's article if it were full of his affiliate links? I doubt it.

9. Create a reasonable resource box:

A resource box should tell me who you are, what you do, and how I can get in touch with you. It's not unlimited advertising space for you to describe every website you run and each product you sell. Don't bother sending an article where the resource box is half as long as the article itself. That "Golden Rule" thing applies to resource boxes too.

10. Only write about what you know.

Even if you're writing an opinion piece, get your facts straight. Don't write an article filled with advice that you have no business giving.

If you take nothing else away from this article, remember that good copy always answers "What's in it for me?" When you're writing articles to send to newsletter and website publishers, you have to answer that question on two fronts...

What's in it for the publisher? Why should they show your article to their customers and visitors? Does it give something of value?

-- AND --

What's in it for the people who will ultimately be reading your article when it's published?

After all, the idea is to provide some worthy content that compels readers to visit your site, subscribe to your newsletter, or buy your product. So next time you send an article, what's in it for me?

By Chris Yates

Ten Day Plan to Online Sales

Recently one of my students asked a great question: We have a product we want to sell online - and we need to make money fast. We already have a domain name. What should I do in the next 10 days?

Here are some ideas:

1. Take *good* photographs of your product. The picture will allow you to charge more, so get a great digital camera and take those pictures.

2. Write a good short sales letter that paints the story of the product - your reason behind creating it, benefits to the reader, vivid pictures of what it will mean to the buyer, etc.

3. Set up a paypal account and arrange to take payment.

4. Start lining up partners who will do an email for you. Find people who already send an email newsletter to your potential customer.

5. Plan to send sample products to the partners you want to work with. That will get their attention and you can seal the deal via email.

6. Set up your site on a template-driven site. It's something you can do yourself with no programming knowledge. You can choose a templates so you have no design costs. It generally includes hosting, so you have no additional hosting costs. You can upload your own photos.

7. You'll need a technical person on call in order to connect your web page and paypal - or at least someone who has a little backgroud in doing this. It's faster than doing it yourself.

8. Use this site for just this one project. Don't try to do too many things with it.

9. Look around for other sites with similiar ideas - selling the same type of product. Then handle yours approximately the same way.

10. Prepare an email for your partners to send to their lists and get it to them a few days before their newsletter goes out. That means you need to get this ready now!

That's a quick 10-day plan. Get started right away and plan to start seeing sales in a little over a week.

By Dr. Jeanette Cates

How Important are Back Links?

When setting up your website for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on Google there are several factors you need to look at in order to obtain a high rank on their search engine. Of course your content and meta tags must be inline with positive density percentages and reciprocal links. Google then takes your website and performs a mathematic equation and places a numeric value on your website depending on one of the most important features, reciprocal or back links.

A back link and reciprocal link are identical. They both say the same thing to the Google engine, that your site should be ranked higher in the order because other people find value in what your website has to offer, thus they provide a link to your site. In turn, you keep a closed loop by reciprocating the favor to the other website by extending the same courtesy of a back link. Thus creating a solid network connection. Google likes to see interconnectivity and will reward your website well for planning it this way.

There are drawbacks to the equation. As things change a website that you are affiliated with may drop a hyperlink or a page may get accidentally deleted. When the Google robot goes through your website and finds a dead link it notes that you aren't keeping good care of your website and punishes your web rank by reducing its point value. If you wish to know what your sites current point value is download The Google Toolbar and search for your website www.yourwebsitename.com in the box and perform a Google web search. Upon reading the full URL, Google will go directly to your site first thus pulling up your home page. There on the toolbar will be a page rank for your website between 1 and 10. 1 being a less visited and noted website and 10 a site that screams traffic 24/7. 

Some of the individuals you share reciprocal links with may in fact scan all their links for continuity, should they receive a bounce back for a broken link on your website you can be assured you will receive an email from them. Keeping your website in balance with other sites you share links with will keep the Google engine happy. If you go off and add a company that is not Google friendly, meaning they have no back links you may also lose points.

By Jakob Jelling