SEO Success: Step One is Good Web Design

SEO Success: Step One is Good Web Design

by: Chesa Keane

Creating a welldesigned website is the first step in your internet marketing strategy. Once the website has been created and optimized, there are further techniques to employ that will drive traffic to your website for successful, longterm results. You wouldn’t consider opening a retail store in a major shopping mall without signage and you shouldn’t consider having a nice looking website designed without expanding your web presence in order to be found on the internet. But unless the website is designed correctly to begin with, followon SEO efforts will have limited results at best. The following strategy overview is designed to bring about productive SEO results:

Create an attractive website that is complementary to your company image and provides your targeted audience with information about you, your company and your products and/or services.

Design a website that has a calltoaction in the form of a purchase or providing you a contact, subscription or other commitment from your visitor.

Create a successful marketing arm for your overall business promotion and marketing campaign to promote your business, products and/or services with the many followon strategies that drive traffic to your website.

Become competitive in your industry and marketplace by meeting or exceeding the industry marketing standards and attracting a qualified audience for your products and/or services based on a strong reputation.

Generate and maintain or grow internet traffic to your website resulting in a conversion of traffic into sales of your products and/or services by evolving as your market demands.

This search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is composed of several processes in three stages: 1) Good web design, 2) Attracting attention from search engines and directories, and 3) Creating longterm popularity on the internet. However, it all starts with good web design. Website design is the foundation and beginning of a successful internet marketing strategy. It is true that there are websites on the internet that are unattractive but somehow seem to work. If there are aspects of these websites that work, imagine how well they could do if they simply followed basic design implementation tactics that resulted in a good image as well as simply pushed information out to the viewer.

These basics are essential for Tier 1 success:

Good web design will complement and enhance the company image and offline marketing campaign products creating a corporate branding if done well.

Easy, logical navigation that leads the viewer deeper and deeper into the web of information provided by the website will keep the visitor on your site longer and give you more time to sell your products or services.

Attractive but quickloading graphics that are pleasing to the eye and meaningful to the website will guide the viewer along the route you decide is important for explaining what you offer.

Keyword usage that is search enginefriendly depends on how the keywords are utilized, the placement of the keywords, the frequency of the most important keywords and their relevance to the website.

Website coding that is lean, clean and without errors will keep the search engines happy and your viewer seeing exactly what you intended to offer.

Relevance of content to the theme of the site is essential. Be concise, to the point and focus on your goals. If you have multiple themes and offerings, consider multiple websites to address the different markets, then tie each website back to the others by linking.

Changing content that changes frequently and stays fresh keeps your viewer returning and prevents the search engines from treating your website as if it were stale news. A stale site will be ranked lower by the search engines.

Content is king itกs all about content, content, content. But how that content is presented is what makes the difference.

(c)2005 TAO Consultants, Inc. All rights reserved.

About The Author

Chesa Keane of TAO Consultants has been involved with the internet for 10 years through internet consulting, web development and search engine optimization. Go to for a free Search Engine Optimization Checklist.

This article was posted on September 14

by Chesa Keane

Website Marketing 101

Website Marketing 101

by: Scott กGearsก

When it comes to website marketing and promotions, you need to start here…

Every website, whether new, old, or just a thought needs to consider the marketing that will be put that website in front of itกs targeted audience. Sounds easy huh? It just takes time, perseverance, and the will to succeed! A budget will help too!

The hardest part is sorting through all the crap thatกs available to (supposedly) help you. Yes, I said crap.

There is a mountain of businesses out there making incredible claims about FREE traffic generation, FREE hits, Mega sales, $20,000 in 3 hours, or worse, for a small fee of $29.95 we can… blah, blah, blah.

Save your money! I have spent enough for all of us.

Following through with our suggestions offers you the most lucrative, ethical, and professional ways to achieve substantial results and still sleep at night. No, you don’t have to go for your wallet, I will tell you about these programs in this article (for no charge). A good education will assist you the most.

If you already have a site, we recommend a Website Analysis.

Before You Build

#1 Have a plan Not just a good idea. Take your idea and formulate a complete plan around your goals. Highlight any USPกs you may have.

#2 Build Metatags into every category page! This is crucial to targeted traffic success with the Directories and Search Engines. You need to be found, not by your company name (only) but by กkeywordsก that the general public would use to find your type of business or service. DO NOT just pick any words, this is critical!

#3 Use those keyword phrases throughout your site or particular page. Reinforce what topic you are addressing within that page (content).

#4 Publish an article or newsletter that shows you are an authority on the topics you cover (or try to sell). Just a spiffy sales letter is not enough. This is also critical in acquiring the email addresses of prospective customers.

#5 Create some banner ads with impact for future partnership advertising. You will use these on your site as well as banner partners you can swap impressions with.

#6 Begin considering what types of businesses or partners would or could compliment your offerings. Start a list.

#7 Important: Create a budget for marketing your website. Yes, there are many things that you can implement for free, however, successful websites HAVE spent money wisely to get them to where they are. Don’t be fooled, you WILL spend money on marketing your website it could be potentially more than what your website costs you to build. The verse goes like this… กBuild it and they won’t comeก. You may have already learned this, and that is why you’re here.

Good luck with your promotions!

Copyright © 19962003

SS and Hyperformance Media

About The Author

Scott is the Founder and Sr. Project Manager for Hyperformance, a Technology Marketing Company serving online businesses since 1996. His 23+ years of experience in the computer industry will help you succeed. Their website offers free education & resources that will assist any business in successfully marketing their company online.

This article was posted on March 03, 2003

by Scott กGearsก

Market Research Means Money

Market Research Means Money

by: Jason Carr

I recently made a critical mistake in my progression towards business success: I forgot about market research. I had decided that I was going to make some money with an online store. I thought to myself, where should I start? What can I sell? After a bit of brainstorming, I picked a few things that I thought might be good to sell online. I then proceeded to start looking for suppliers. This may seem like a reasonable course of action, but it is not. It is missing a key component of any business plan.

A basic assumption for the purpose of this article is that there is competition involved with any business. Even if you make your own, unique product, similar products will compete against yours. However, the existence of competition is not necessarily bad. The fact that online retailers are selling items similar or identical to your own means that there is demand for your product. Competition is only bad for you, as a retailer, when the market is becoming saturated (or is already at that point).

Check the electronics market for a good example of this principle. Electronics go for rockbottom prices online because there are so many different stores that sell them. The difference in prices between stores usually comes down to the cost of shipping. The competition in this area is extreme. If retailers cut their prices any lower they won’t make enough to survive.

The first person who had the idea to sell VCRs online probably made a killing. Nowadays, nobody makes anything more than a buck or two per unit. For a homebased business, that’s not good enough. Today’s electronics dealers depend on volume, and very good supply sources, in order to make their money. Generally speaking, small retailers cannot sell at those prices and turn a profit.

In order to be successful it is essential that you know what you’re up against, and that means market research.

If you are selecting your products, then you need to know which stores already sell those products. You also need to know how many stores there are, how much they are charging and, if you can find out, how well they are doing. Could you sell for less (if only a little)? What are other ways you could differentiate your store from the rest?

If you already have your product, then you need to know where and how your competitors are advertising. Are they concentrated in one location? Are there good places that they have overlooked? How much is it going to cost to compete with them for prime ad space?

So, you may ask, where do I begin? The answer is Overture. Owned by Yahoo, Overture is one of the largest and most reliable payperclick advertising services. Their program can be an extremely effective, but that is something for another day.

What you need for research requires no signup and belongs to no program. There are two web tools in the Overture Advertiser Center that can be amazingly useful. The first is the Search Term Suggestion Tool. This tool allows you to look up a keyword, like ขdigital cameraข, and find out how many people searched for that term last month. Not only that, but the tool will suggest a list of related terms, like ขdigital camera reviewข, for your consideration.

The number of searches per term comes from Overture’s partners like Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, CNN, etc. This is critical information because it tells you whether or not people are looking for your product online and, at the same time, shows you how they are searching for it. This indicates a certain demand for your product.

You may be able to judge the size of the demand, to a certain degree, by the number of searches for your terms. For example (numbers taken at time of writing and may not reflect current rates):

Digital Camera – 1,337,422 (high interest)

Used Car – 890,346

Mountain Bike – 133,553

Blender – 26,648

Bubble Gum Machine – 1,502

Chapstick Raspberry Vanilla – 25 (very low interest)

Keep in mind that users searching for ‘digital camera’ are not necessarily shopping for one. They may just want information such as reviews or feature lists. It is also good to remember that if people are searching on Yahoo and MSN, as in the case of digital cameras, then you can safely assume that even more people are searching for the same things on Google.

The second tool Overture provides is the View Bids Tool. This tool allows you to take the keywords that you found with the term suggestion tool and see how many ads there are for each term and how high the bids are (in order to be listed on top of your competition you must place a higher bid for the term you want). This tool can help you judge your competition.

For example, at the time of this writing there are 131 ads associated with the term digital camera. The top bid is 79 cents per click. Bubble gum machine has 13 ads with a top bid of 49 cents. Chapstick Raspberry Vanilla, not surprisingly, has no bids on the term which means that the top spot could be purchased for the minimum price of 10 cents per click.

After you have your information from Overture, Google is your likely next step. To my knowledge, Google does not provide any analysis tools to the general public, though information is available to registered advertisers. Despite this limitation, it is easy to find your competition on Google. Simply enter your search term and check the right side of the results screen. The first page should show the top advertisers. Checking subsequent pages will reveal the entire list of advertisers for that term.

Tip: Sometimes advertisers may be targeting your term, but not selling your product. Read through the ads and visit the sites to get a more accurate idea of your direct competitors.

The natural results (the normal, nonad results) of your search are important as well. Check those to see the top ranked sites in your market. Those sites are probably there because they employ search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Users are much more likely to click on the natural results than they are the ads. The stores at the top of the list are likely to be well established and may represent some solid competition.

Visit your competitor’s web sites and see what they are selling. Check for site quality, organization, ease of use and amount of products sold. Perhaps they sell your product, but it is lost in a vast sea of other related merchandise. That means better chances for your niche store. Maybe their site is ugly or hard to navigate. These are points at which you could gain an advantage over your rivals. Checking other sites will also give you ideas about how to run your own store.

The third step in this process is to check out Yahoo! Shopping. Yahoo! hosts what is known as an online mall. That is, retailers setup stores with Yahoo!’s services and are then included in Yahoo! Shopping’s listings. This can be a good way to get fast traffic. For market research, it means easy access to competitor sites. On the Yahoo! Shopping main page, do a search for your product (Braun blenders for example). The results will show sponsored ads and normal listings. The sponsored ads come from Overture, so you should already be familiar with those.

The normal listings come from a combination of Yahoo! Product Submit results and Yahoo!’s webcrawler search database. What is important in this list is actually displayed just below the top sponsor listings and just above the normal listings. There should be two numbers: the number of products found and the number of stores they were found in. For ‘Braun blenders’ there were 989 matches from 76 stores (at time of writing). Those numbers give you an indication of how many stores you’re up against.

Note: If there are too many matches, the number of stores will not be displayed (ex. ‘sony dvd player’ yields 3,660 matches). Of course, numbers that high shout, ขbig competition,ข even without store numbers.

Here again you have the opportunity to scope out competing stores. The thorough researcher would get their names and site locations. This may seem time consuming, and it is, but it will help with future research.

Our final recommendation is to visit eBay. Once there, find the eBay Stores area (located in the Specialty Sites box on the homepage at time of writing). Enter your search term to see how many eBay stores are selling your product. ‘Braun blenders’ shows ten items in eBay stores (not bad compared to Yahoo!). In addition, the search may show regular listings below the store results. These results should give you some idea of the popularity of your product as well as the feasibility of selling it on eBay.

Quick Recap:

Overture (free analysis tools)

Google (ads and natural results)

Yahoo! Shopping (number of stores)

eBay Stores (same deal)

Remember, some competition is good because it shows that there is an interest in your product. Too much competition is bad because it means low profitability. The spot where you can make good money is somewhere in between (most likely on the low end of the competition scale). Unfortunately, I know of no exact way to calculate your chances of success. For those who can afford it, hiring a market research professional might help considerably with that calculation. In any case, a solid business plan built on thorough market research will certainly boost your chances significantly.

About The Author

Jason Carr is a small business owner, dedicated student of ecommerce strategy, and producer of BeginBiz, an online resource for those looking to start an internet business.

This article was posted on September 15, 2004

by Jason Carr

Nobody Reading Your Blog?

Nobody Reading Your Blog?

by: Bolger Redet

So you got a your own weblog. Everything looks great, you have nice layout, some nice pictures and last but not least excellent articles.

You also update your blog on a regular basis but nobody seems to read it ! You start to think where did I go wrong. Well if your blog is really good you just need to be patient. Also make sure you submit your blog to directories specialized in blogs and search engines.But even if you did all this you might get not the amount of readers you wished for.

Get unlimited readers for you blog !

Smart people started to notice blogs are very popular so they came up with a great ideas. is such great idea. The concept is simple, if you read other blogs then other people read your blog. So the more blogs you read the more people will be reading yours. Sounds good you might think. Well it actually is a very good concept. Just register your blog for free and login, then pick a category blogs you would like to read and start reading. You must read each blog for at least half a minute, after that you can select another blog. For each blog you have red you recieve a credit. This credit means one other member is going to read your blog. Again great concept. But there is a downside, first you have to spend of lot of time reading blogs in order to get other people to read yours. You can choose to read only blogs in a specific category (of your interest) but it is still really time consuming. Other people who are reading your blog might do this because they only want other people to read their blog. You can imagine these are not the most interested readers you wish for. But also offers non members to search their directory for blogs. These visitors are potenial quality readers for your blog! Other downside is that you can not only earn credits by reading other blogs, you can also buy them ! If everybody is going to do this then this concept doesn’t do so well anymore.

About The Author

Bolger Redet is webmaster at a free quality weblog hosting service. Bolger is working on the website to provide their users tools to publish multimedia content

This article was posted on August 07

by Bolger Redet

The Best Advertisement For Your Business

The Best Advertisement For Your Business

by: Mark Daoust

It is no secret among internet marketers that writing articles is a great way to market your website. With all the article distribution services and all the websites looking for free, unique content, writing a quality article can bring you more links to your website in one day than an entire month of working out link exchanges and submitting to directories. The benefits of writing articles have been written about time and time again. Yet in order to enjoy the benefits of article writing, your article must first be accepted by the publishers who receive your submissions. This article will focus on a few key points to help increase your chances of getting your article accepted by the Internet’s top publishers.

Proofread Your Own Writing

Proofreading is very time consuming. If you want your article to be widely accepted, it is your job to make the publisher’s job easier. The first step in making the publisher’s job easier is to check, double check, and triple check your spelling and grammar. If you have someone that can review your article, have them read it over. Tell this person to look for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and poorly worded sentences. They will be able to point out mistakes that you may never have seen. When you write an article there is a tendency of getting overly familiar with the content and thus you could miss a glaring mistake in your writing. Consider the following exercise by reading aloud what is written:


in the



x x x

What did you read? If you identified that the word ‘the’ is written twice, than you can consider yourself one of only 5% of people who get this exercise correct. 95% of people who read this exercise only see ขLondon in the spring X X Xข. (If you still do not see it, read it aloud again, but this time point to each word as you read it.)

The point of this exercise is to show you just how easy it is to miss obvious mistakes. Add in the element of familiarity with the writing and you are likely to miss even more mistakes. By asking someone else to read over your work, you greatly reduce the chances of missing a glaring error in your writing.

Rule to Remember: Proofread Your Own Writing, and then Proofread Again

Offer Something of Real Value

Articles are an incredible source of free traffic and free advertising for your business. However, articles are not supposed to be advertisements themselves. There is nothing you can do to get a publisher to delete your article faster than writing an article that is nothing more than a longwinded ad copy.

If you want to get your article published, once again you must get into the publisher’s mind. The publisher is always looking to offer his or her readers with fresh, insightful, and helpful information. Commentaries on industry trends, useful strategies, tutorials, observations and theories all make good articles. As an owner of a business, reviewing one of your products, offering a teaser of the information you sell, or blatantly marketing your products by including your hyperlink throughout the article makes for a horrible article that will likely not be published.

Think back to the time when you first started your online venture (this may not be very long ago) and remember how thirsty you were for good, quality information. When writing your article, remember how valuable this information was to you when you found it. Every author has the right to a resource box which serves as your advertisement; if you prove to the reader that you are an expert in your field and give them information that only you can provide, this will serve as a stronger advertisement than if you spend 2,000 words on a longwinded, selfpromotional article.

Finally, when writing your resource box, it is best to be as concise as possible. Resource boxes that appear to be about as long as the article themselves show that the author has no concern about the content of his or her article. Limit the number of links you put into your resource box to no more than three links and keep the resource box to no more than four or five lines.

Rule to Remember: Write a Good Article, not a Good Advertisement

Be Clear and Concise

Many people fall into the trap of thinking they have to develop an eloquent, graceful writing style in order to be published. What these people seem to forget is that an article is written with one main point: to deliver information. Be concise, be clear, and be direct. When writing your article, you should actually aim to be slightly boring with your writing style. What is slightly boring to you is probably very clear and direct to the reader.

It is important to note that most online publishers have much more to deal with than the writing styles of the authors who submit articles to them. Publishers are more concerned with grammar, spelling, and content than they are with how eloquently a writer can make his or her point. One thing that a publisher will take notice of, however, is a writer who has a confusing and difficult to follow writing style.

Your article should encourage readers to read through the entire article. If a reader gets a few lines into the article, or even a few paragraphs, and finds themselves confused, you can be sure that they will never get to your resource box and thus never visit your website. To keep a reader interested in your article, give them quality information and give it to them directly and clearly. A reader will only continue to read an article if they believe there is a good chance that they will gain something further by finishing the article. Although it may be counterintuitive, boring writing does just that.

Rule to Remember: Being Boring is Better than Being Confusing

Writing good articles is not difficult. When writing your article, think first about what publishers are looking for in an article. Focus on your grammar, spelling, clarity, conciseness, and content. Remember that your article should actually help people beyond just selling your product or service. Offer valuable information to your readers and they will pay you back tenfold. Offer valuable information to a publisher’s readers and they will be certain to publish your article and provide you with the best free advertisement for your business.

Copyright 2004 Mark Daoust

About The Author

Mark Daoust is the owner of Discuss this article further at

This article was posted on November 25, 2004

by Mark Daoust

Do Not Feed The Troll

Do Not Feed The Troll

by: Rose DesRochers

What is a troll? A hairy and ugly creature that lives under a bridge? Yes but there is another kind of troll they are a forum group poster who makes a post that is a lie to provoke readers into a flame war. Every time I read a trolls post I think ขLiar, liar, pants on fire.ข Sometimes I just want to scream that from the top of my lungs. What is it that makes people twist the truth to justify their own needs? Their story keeps changing or they say things that just don’t add up.

Why is it people can’t mind their own business. I swear that some people just want disruption and chaos. I swear they live for it. Why do they get enjoyment out of harassing people? People like this have one sole purpose and that is to create a ขFlame Warก, where a bunch of people all having their say in a very negative way about you. This benefits only them so they post lies about good honest people.

They feel by baiting the topic they will lure you in where the group of them can pounce on you as soon as you post. Soon your name gets Googled and you are labeled this horrible person. Scam sites are popping up all over the net and instead of them posting actual statements about scams they are posting anything and everything that destroys the reputation of good honest people. Scam sites have quickly become a place to bash other people to benefit themselves and in the end hard working people who are trying to make a life for themselves and a career are victimized.

If you are treating someone this way I have to ask you are you proud of yourself? Do you really think that this person deserves to be humiliated and flamed on a message board and who are you to decide? Do you really know the amount of damage you are causing to this person?

Sorry but I guess I just do not understand. These people you are flaming are nothing to you. Ewww, and ahhhh and laugh all you want. I bet the one your flaming feels like this animal in a cage. People come back because they want to see the blood, the hurt, and the anger that you are causing to this person. Of course you the baiter, flamer, troll has no problem providing it. No matter how stupid it makes your victim look. It is always the same bull, Innuendo, and baiting, followed by threats of exposure. It is good for the ratings isn’t it? If this were a TV show, youกd be a smash hit.

Trolls are nothing more than cruel people who enjoy hurting others. I’m sorry Troll I see you nothing more than someone who likes to stir the pot and cause trouble by twisting the story and filling it with lies to please yourself. I guess what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Someone is sure to remind me after reading this article Rose don’t Feed the Trolls. So now you know all about trolls.

About The Author

Rose is a published author from Canada Ontario and is also the founder of a community for men and women over 18, where writers/poets/columnists meet and exchange ideas, contest, rate and review and help each other succeed in the writing industry. Check out Roseกs first poetry book กShe is like the windก and purchase poetry that is sure to be a world of emotion on a canvas that is her soul.

This article was posted on April 18

by Rose DesRochers

How to Determine Good Online Business

How to Determine Good Online Business

by: Mira Marsellia

Many people would like to start an online business, but sometimes get confused by so many offering letter which contained with hoax and seemed like scam things.

If you like to determine whether an online business is reputable one and do will give you potential income that works, you must spot in their website the things hereunder.

Good online business must have YES answer for this following question :

Is there any real address and real people behind the business?

Do you think they have good product not only for you but for MOST of people that will make people buy again and again?

Do they provide a trustworthed payment method for the transactions?

Do they have good marketing kit and representative tools for you ?

Do they have continuous education and training program?

Do they provide you with reasonable pay plan and better comission payment method?

If thereกs any representative sending you offering letter, also note for the alarm sign in this kind of letter:

Look at the title text on email subject. Do you think the email was originally written by the person who sent it to you?

This is NOT SPAM or This is NOT HOAX in title, is a phrases in title which indicated an unsolicited email indeed.

No valid reference or link to outside resource could give you more confirmation

Claims for some business which absurd and much exaggerate, and you never heard before from legitimete sources.

The language in those kind of letter give you less information and most of them geared to persuade you.

Many of them using excessive CAPITALS and EXCLAMATION marks and using extreme phrases.

Good email business letter always provide you with link to stop receive offering letter from them and the link to unsubscribe you from their database.

A representative of real business opprotunity will like to provide you with their real name, phone number, and valid address.

To find more about determining good online business, read here

About The Author

Mira Marsellia is an Internet marketer and independent representative for Financial Freedom Society Inc and member of Elite Team. Subscribe here and you can get 30 days Free Training to success in internet business.

This article was posted on December 07, 2004

by Mira Marsellia

Specialty or Niche Directory Submissions

Specialty or Niche Directory Submissions

by: David G Hallstrom

The following article was written for and originally published by Resources For
You are an attorney or other service or product provider. You have built an excellent web site, it looks good, it is well optimized and it tells your clients and prospective clients or customers everything they need to know in order to do business with you or purchase your product. You have submitted your site to the major and many minor search engines. Now all you need to do is sit back and wait for clients or customers to come flowing in, right? Wrong.
As the number of websites grow on the internet, it is getting more and more difficult for web sites, even excellent web sites, to obtain good rankings in the search engines. Nowdays it appears that in order to obtain good search engine rankings (somewhere on the first page for your catagory) you must have your meta tags, format and text just right, and then you have to get tons of other web sites to link to you. Even if you do everything right there are still numerous other businesses out there also doing everything right. Therefore, you still might not obtain good rankings. Even if you do obtain good rankings today, the search engines might change there way of ranking sites next week, and your site might well drop or even dissapear from the rankings.
Additionally, it is estimated that nearly 200 million adults use the internet as a source to search for products, services or information, and this number is likely to grow each year. As the number of websites grow on the internet, it is getting increasingly difficult for web surfers to find the product or service that they need. As a result, web surfers are turning to online specialty or niche directories, such as the legal and service directories from Resources For or the Lifestyle Directories from Resources For Attorneys, to sift through the numerous websites and locate the product, service or information that they need.
Specialty and niche directories normally charge a small fee, $3.00 to $100.00 per year, for your listing. They are usually much smaller and have far fewer listings than the regular search engines. This makes it easier for you to obtain a good listing and it makes it easier for consumers that are actually looking for your service, product or information to find you. Additionally, there is a collateral benefit to listing your site in a directory. Most search engines count directory links as good links and this can sometimes increase your link ranking with those search engines, thereby improving your search engine listings.
Although there is a cost in subitting to these directories the total cost of submitting to several specialty and niche directories is much less than the cost of yellow page, radio or television advertising and the benefits can be as good or sometimes far better.
Finally, many of these directories allow you to submit articles, press releases, news storys and testimonials about your services. This can increase your presence and allow your customers to learn more about you, your service or product.

About The Author

Permission is given to reprint this article providing credit is given to the author, David G. Hallstrom, and a link is listed to Resources For Attorneys the owner of this article. Anyone or any company reprinting this article without giving proper credit and the correct link, is doing so without permission and will be subject to legal action.

This article was posted on July 04, 2004

by David G Hallstrom

Information The Art Of Selling

Information The Art Of Selling

by: Dave Collins

Money may well make the world go round, but facts, details and data oil the machine that beats at the heart of it. We supposedly live in the age of information, yet many of us seem unable to use it to its full, and allow ourselves to drift along on a sea of missed opportunities.

If we can take it for granted that you have a good product, it should be a safe assumption that the single most powerful marketing tool at your disposal is information the simple truth. You’re not selling a duff product, trying to convince punters that underneath the rusty exterior lies a power beast… nor are you trying to sell ice to the Eskimos. You’re trying to sell your software to people who either need it, or could use it to the point where they’re actually prepared to buy it. So how do we get them? With information tools.

Information Tools

An information tool is any kind of device that you can use to show yourself and/or your product. Like any other tool, its primary purpose is to make life easier and more efficient. In our line of work, the most commonly used is a signature file. Your signature file should be around four to six lines of simple text, to be used at the end of every single email, letter, report or newsgroup posting. No exceptions; in your business correspondence, to your friends, family, everything and everyone.

The text should contain all your critical contact data at the very least your full name, your company or product, URL of your website, email address, and some sort of slogan or catchphrase. If you have a work phone number, then make sure you include it. Ensure that you also include the email address in the signature having it hidden away in the ReplyTo part of the email client does little good if someone prints out your letter, or even cuts and pastes the content into a new document or file. Have it there for all to see. Have you ever clicked on a link in a signature, just out of interest? You’re not alone.

The next tool is the stock text. Chances are that you find yourself writing the same text time and time again the same phrases, features and pricing information. Write them out in full, so that you have them there for use as needed. As well as saving you time in the future, having them available will also ensure that you’re sending out a wellwritten version of the information, that includes all relevant details, without forgetting a thing. Never rely on your memory alone. When you try and describe your software at the end of a long, problem filled day, you won’t do it justice.

The actual content of the descriptions is critical here. Make sure you write the text in the first person either I or we. Thereกs nothing wrong with referring to yourself as either of the two but make sure you’re consistent. Make sure you also use positive phrasing, and keep it simple. Be as concise and precise as possible; an exact number looks far better than vagueisms such as loads, lots, many or heaps. If your writing skills aren’t so good, get someone to help. Chances are you’re going to use these texts many times, so itกs worth getting the content just right.

A newsletter is another useful information tool, and can be a great way of keeping in touch with your customers or anyone else who may interested in your product. They are fairly easy to setup and administer, but pay attention to a few dos and don’ts. Make sure that you include details of your own product but don’t let it be the main content of the newsletter. If all you’re sending is a longwinded advert, people will unsubscribe quicker than you can whisper กlost saleก.

Again, content is king. If you can provide some sort of tips or information that people either need or will find useful, theyกll want to receive your newsletter, but be careful not to drive them away. If you send out a mailing every week, some are bound to get fed up and unsubscribe. While you’re at it, make sure itกs easy for someone to subscribe and unsubscribe; itกs very bad form to make it difficult to do so. Some sort of stock text explaining how to do this is a very good idea.

Another golden rule is to stick to pure, clean ASCII text. You may like HTML in your mailings, but if the recipientกs email client doesn’t they’re gone. In brief, useful is good; short and sweet is even better. And before you announce your new mailing list, make sure that you have the time for it. You can end up looking awfully silly when you close before issue one even comes out.

Press releases are probably the most wellknown information tool of all. Iกm not going to go into the whatกs and howกs here take a look through past ASPects issues, and check out Al Harbergกs tutorial at Once you have your press release, use it. Make it easily available onsite, and keep it updated when you have new versions or changes. Long after your press release has been sent, you can still be putting it to good use.

Take Advantage Of Your FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions are another golden information opportunity; chances are that youกve already read over a fair number of these yourself, and it may even be one of the first things you look for on a site. I know I do. Practically speaking, you can’t throw every bit of information you have on the front or main page of your website. It doesn’t look good, and will simply overwhelm most visitors. But when a person goes to read your FAQ, they already know the basics, and want to know more. Feed them.

Use your FAQ wisely. Don’t use it as a data dump, but do include the questions you get asked the most. If you can, also make it downloadable, as a PDF or HTML file. Make sure you also put your contact details at the end of the document, something along the lines of กWhat do I do if I have more questions?ก . Theyกve asked for the information, so don’t be shy to give it them. I list my email address, website URL, phone and fax numbers, mailing address and ICQ number as standard. All have been used on numerous occasions.

Many email clients also allow some sort of auto responder to be setup that can send out a stock text when a certain address or specific subject is received. Better still, many webhosts have this sort of feature.

We supposedly live in an age of information overload, where quality loses the battle to quantity on an ongoing basis. Don’t let your product become another casualty. Keep it short, keep it sharp, and use it wherever and whenever you can. Think of every opportunity to write an email or note as an opportunity to reach a customer; don’t waste it. Be seen, be sold.

Copyright 2004 Dave Collins

About The Author

Dave Collins is the CEO of SharewarePromotions Ltd., a well established UKbased company working with software and shareware marketing activities, utilising all aspects of the internet. and

This article was posted on December 09, 2004

by Dave Collins

Seven Things to do NOW to Look Good ALWAYS!

Seven Things to do NOW to Look Good ALWAYS!

by: Renu DalalJain

Fashion magazines target people every day with lists and charts telling them the latest trends and techniques to look better, skinnier, smarter, where to buy the hippest clothes or the latest shoes! If you’re a woman, you are probably bombarded more often than you like, and if you’re a man, you may not get the information that you really want to know! Due to the glut of information available, most people know the obvious things to do to look elegant or well groomed, such as getting a good haircut or wearing certain brand name clothes. However, this may lead people to overlook some simple, basic things that can be done RIGHT NOW to add that subtle flair and polish to your everyday look!

Renu DalalJain, a certified image consultant and the owner of Flair Consulting in Philadelphia, PA, works with men and women to help them put their best personal face forward in social or corporate settings. She maintains that there are seven essential things any man or women can do, and often overlook, to help them present a wellgroomed, neat, and elegant appearance to the world! And all this without spending a dime!

1) Keep your skin and lips well conditioned. Ashy knees, flaky skin and chapped lips do not look nice, and will make your skin look old and tired. This is especially important in colder weather. If you wear lipstick, it is imperative that you keep your lips moist, because chapped lips are even more apparent under color. Keep lip balm in your car and your bedside table and apply it whenever you get in the car and before going to bed at night.

2) Make sure your nails are well shaped and all a similar length. Nothing says you don’t care like ragged nails or nails that are different lengths! (Ladies, I know you worked hard to grow those nails but just because only one broke, you shouldn’t think nobody would notice!) If you polish your nails, keep your everyday color one shade brighter than your skintone. This looks professional and clean and makes your hands look elegant, especially if you wear rings. If you like brighter colors make sure you repair chipped polish right away! Chips in bright polish are extremely noticeable and make you look sloppy.

3) Make sure your clothes and accessories are in a similar color family – don’t wear shades of beige or brown clothing with black shoes or a white belt. As a rule of thumb, make sure your belt, shoes, and watchstrap are in the same color family. Sometimes a strikingly different purse or shoes can make a statement, but it has to be well planned. The article in question must be of good quality and in good condition, since you want people to notice it.

4) Your socks or hose must match either your shoes or your pants. Do not EVER wear blue socks with brown shoes, or black socks with sneakers! If you are wearing slingback or openback shoes, make sure your socks or hose are the color of your shoes or nudecolored. If you are wearing sandals, do NOT wear hose unless it is patterned (think fishnets) and ขdeliberately worn to make a trendy statementข.

5) Wear the highest length socks you can (at least mid to high calflength). NOBODY wants to see shiny shins peeking out when you sit down!

6) Polish your shoes and clean your sneakers! The number one thing people forget to do when going out is to check their shoes for scuffs or dirt. Polished shoes show that you care about your appearance. The most expensive shoes in the world will look horrible if they are dirty or scuffed!

7) Keep your wallet or purse organized all the time. Nothing makes you look disorganized like an overstuffed wallet hanging on for dear life in your back pocket, or a purse bursting at the seams! Make yourself a system to keep the business cards, credit cards or receipts you don’t need all the time, in your briefcase or at home.

And a bonus: an understated use of scent (aftershave, cologne or perfume) shows that you take an extra step with your grooming and can have a positive effect not only on your own mood but on those around you. According to the Social Issues Research Center in Oxford, UK, subtle fragrances can have dramatic effects in improving your mood and sense of wellbeing. In addition, in experiments, subjects exposed to pleasant fragrances tend to give higher ‘attractiveness ratings’ to people in photographs. The regular use of pleasant fragrances helps to reduce mood disturbances in men and women.

About The Author

Copyright © 2004 Renu DalalJain, MS, CIC

Flair Consulting

This article was posted on November 04, 2004

by Renu DalalJain

How To Be A Web Content Provider!

How To Be A Web Content Provider!

by: Stuart Elwell

Would you be happy with reaching literally millions of people by being a web content provider. Whatever you’re selling, it would be nice if you could do this on a regular basis, FOR FREE, through a large number of other peopleกs ezines and websites, wouldn’t it?

Well this is what you can be doing when you start writing content and articles for the countless online newsletters, ezines and webpages that are looking for your input. One thing common to all Internet publishers is that they are all looking for good articles to publish.

If you can be a content provider of interesting and informative articles for them you stand a good chance of getting included in their website/next publication. However you probably won’t get included if it is simply a sales letter disguised as an article. But if you can provide good quality and informative web content you can often be their savior.

Then, they will give you what you need in exchange. They will give you exposure for your business…

How Web Content Providers Benefit:

The publisher will actually expect you to include a small advert at the end of the content you provide. This will get published along with the article itself, and is seen as a fair exchange for the content you have provided. Itกs how you benefit from the deal!

This small ad is usually referred to as a ‘resource boxก, but you can put almost anything you like in here so long as it is only a few lines long. You are free to advertise whatever you are promoting. You could point people back to your website, affiliate program, or tell them how to subscribe to your own newsletter etc.

If you’re like most web content providers you probably don’t consider yourself a writer. It doesn’t matter, it is your knowledge thatกs important. What do you know about your industry? If a friend who understands very little about your specialist subject was to ask you about something related to that industry, what would you say. Write it down. You don’t have to write like an English professor. If fact this would put a lot of people off from reading all your article. To be a good web content provider you should write as you speak, be down to earth and userfriendly.

The Internet often seems so impersonal. Your readers are seeking someone who is real, so why not write as a real person in a conversational manner.

Have a think and try to choose a hot online topic. Look at the articles from other magazines and newsgroups in your industry. A good web content provider should write about current subjects that you’re pretty sure will interest people.

The title is important and should grab people’s attention otherwise they may never read the rest of the article. If they don’t read the article, they won’t see your resource box. Therefore have a good think about the title and live with it for a few days until you feel you cannot improve it.

For the actual web content, around 500 words is a good rule of thumb. Try not to be too long winded. Most users will do a quick scroll to see how long the article is before reading. If itกs too long or too short you may lose them. People don’t like to read for too long online so stick to the point.

At the end of the article add your resource box info. You will receive the best results if you can include a short message related to the article you have just written.

If you have impressed readers with your expertise, thereกs a good chance they will want to learn more about you and what else you can offer them.

Just like with the headline, youกll need to leave your article for a short while, and กsleep on itก. Come back to it the next day and edit it. Improve parts that you then feel could be made a little better. Itกs amazing what a short rest will do for the creative process.

Once you’re happy and cannot improve the article any more, now itกs time to submit to ezine publishers. Below I have provided a list of places that ezine publisher look to find the articles of web content providers. If you can get your article published at these websites, getting into many ezines should be the logical outcome.

Remember, this process could get you huge targeted exposure, so itกs well worth the effort and it costs you nothing but your time.

Best wishes for your future.

Stuart Elwell

(c) Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.

Publishing Guidelines: This article may be copied for use on websites or ezines providing it is not altered in any way (which includes the small กArticle byก paragraph at the end) and all links are live and clickable. If adding to a website I have made it easier for you, simply copy from this html version:

About The Author

Stuart Elwell, Webmaster for; which provides sound advice and strategies for making money from the Internet.

This article was posted on August 07, 2004

by Stuart Elwell

Don’t Fall Into This Trap….

Don’t Fall Into This Trap….

by: Richard Grady

One of the most common problems that people make when starting their online business is creating a website or product that people don’t want.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But itกs true. I have heard from several people in the past that have emailed me to say that they have built a site but despite having worked to get top search engine rankings, they are not making any sales.

Hereกs the thing it is no good having your website at the number one position on Google for the keyword ‘tomato soupก if no one ever searches for ‘tomato soupก!

Therefore one of the most important things to do when you are considering starting any new website business is research see if anyone actually wants what you are going to offer them. Think of it like this, if you wanted to open a restaurant you would do some research to see if the local residents wanted your restaurant and whether they would be likely to use it. If the local residents said กnoก, then you wouldn’t bother opening would you?

Same process online make sure there is a market BEFORE you create the product. There are various ways you can do this but one of the best is to use a free piece of software called Good Keywords. In a nutshell, you type a keyword or phrase into the software and it checks to see how many times in the last month people have searched some of the main search engines for that word or phrase. It works very well and I have used it to rule out several website ideas in the past ideas that would have involved me spending weeks of work building sites or writing ebooks, only to find that no one was interested in the subject matter!

You can download Good Keywords at no cost whatsoever from:

And don’t forget the other piece of advice that I keep banging on about go for a niche market just because 5 million people searched for กdvdก last month, doesn’t mean that DVDกs are a good thing to sell. Search Google for DVD and see how many search results are displayed thatกs your competition! Daunted? You should be! With a bit of research you can find a far less competitive market that still has thousands of people searching for it every month.

Copyright 2005 Richard Grady

About The Author

Richard Grady has been helping ordinary people earn online since 1998. He writes a free newsletter which is published every two weeks. To subscribe (and claim your free gifts), visit:

This article was posted on January 01

by Richard Grady