You Must Learn For Your Business To Earn

You Must Learn For Your Business To Earn

by: Arun Pal Singh

Are you aware of the reason why most people fail in their online ventures? It is because most of them don’t know and more importantly are reluctant to command the language and gadgets of the web. Put it simply, they are uncomfortable with the technology the internet uses.

Just floating a website and starting a business is not enough. This is crucial first step, no doubt. One has to work further on his business to succeed. The lack of web knowledge might prove to be a handicap.

Please allow me to be clear. Let me be heard loudly and oppose those who say the opposite. To succeed online one must equip himself with technical knowhow.

If one does not know the technological part experts can be hired but they come at a price which is almost always unaffordable by a starter of the small business. So this choice is always out. There is no other option left than to know how to do it yourself. Earlier you realize it better it would be.

When I started my online home based business I was a novice on the net. Plethora of new terms like HTML, FTP, POP3, email aliases, bandwidth, cgi, php etc. etc. etc. did not make any sense at all.

I tried working by approximation but that made me uncomfortable. I could not make the small change in my site that I always wanted to. Every now and then a new or old term would appear again and I was left in a state of confusion.

Because I was uncomfortable I could not concentrate on my business. I could not focus where I should have been. Lack of vocabulary and technical knowledge always held me back. I was a businessman who was not confident of what he was doing. I kept incurring losses until my slumber was broken.

Then I realized I got to learn my basics. I could not always bother others about ขhow to do this and how could I do thatข. Even if somebody is kind enough to reply, the fear of unknown always diminishes the confidence to take the bold step.

Moreover when you get over one, there is something waiting again to be stumbled upon.

Earlier you know your gadgets, better it is. Especially the ones which will be needed frequently. Among these the most important is HTML. It is easy to learn and makes you confident enough to bring those small changes in your site or putting up additional by yourself.

So is setting up of auto responders or email aliases, how to transfer files between your computer and website server, how to use soft wares for making extra profit.

Sooner or later you would need to put your business on autopilot. Knowledge of knowhow would make it much easier

You are the master of your ship. To sail smoothly you must know the tools. Get a fair idea of how the internet works. For example what happen behind those graphics when you click or type a URL? It is not necessary to master everything but having an idea is must

Get a good grasp over the web vocabulary. You will emerge more powerful, more confident.

It calls for some work but time spent on this would bring rewards in future. There are many good books available. Internet is itself a good source to search for everything. Programmes or softwares also come with inbuilt help. That too enhances the working knowledge. Find ‘the how to’ wherever you can get.

By and by you will find that you have accumulated a wealth called knowledge which gives you a cutting edge of many others who don’t possess it.

Copyright 2004 Arun Pal Singh

About The Author

Arun Pal Singh runs a successful business from home at http://www.homeforprofits.com. He is also publisher and editor of Home for profits’ income course, a free newsletter with hundreds of tips for home business which can be subscribed by mailing to [email protected]

This article was posted on December 21, 2004

by Arun Pal Singh

Creating A Network That Works

Creating A Network That Works

by: Diane Hughes

Do you ever stand in awe of those people who seem to know everybody and everything? I know I do! Regardless of what you’re looking for, these people have their finger on the pulse of the กNet and know where to find it. Their network of resources and people is incredible! Yours can be, too. Itกs actually very simple to create a network that works to bring you business, offers feedback and provides those resources that we all need to have.
Make A Wish List
The first step in creating a network that works is making a list of what you want. Go ahead, think of the perfect situation where you would have anything you needed at your fingertips. For example, if you have a Web design business you might find it very helpful to create associations with people who offer services that compliment yours. Why? Because if these people are heavily involved with the process of getting a Webbased business up and going, they could send you many leads and that could turn into paying clients.
What else might you want? Perhaps free advertising or publicity to bring more business your way? Sure! Write it down on the wish list.
Making Wishes Come True
Now, the next step is to find the resources you need in order to make those wishes realities. Itกs not as difficult as it sounds. Just expand on your wish list a bit in the following way.
We mentioned needing associations with service providers that compliment our example of Web design. So write down companies that provide: Web hosting, merchant accounts, shopping carts, autoresponders, Internet checks, copywriting, graphic design and scripting/programming.
We also said we needed some advertising or publicity. So add to the list the following: ezine ad swaps, banner ad swaps, local newspapers, local TV and radio stations, Chambers of Commerce.
Finally, itกs time to go to work. The best way to start is to alert your friends and associates of what you are trying to accomplish. Itกs simple to send a quick email that states something to the effect of, กIกm in the process of expanding my resources and find Iกm in need of the following [provide the list]. If you know of anyone who you highly recommend in one of the above areas, please offer them my phone number and email address. I am interested in arranging a joint affiliation with them in order to increase both our businesses.ก
You can also send the same message to any lists or bulletin boards you frequent. Most people are more than happy to refer those they have had pleasant working relationships with.
Final Decisions
Lastly, once you get the results from your search back, contact the ones you feel most comfortable with. Again, honestly explain what you are doing and that you would like to create a joint partnership with them in order to exchange leads, prospects and services.
Even if someone does not suit your needs at the moment, enter them into your database for future reference. I once had a graphic designerกs email address and samples for 6 months before having a need for them. However, because I had already established contact, once my need arose it was smooth sailing!
When you are ready to begin your projects, just contact those on your list who can fill a need. Perhaps you want to advertise your Web design services. You can ask someone in your network (a Web host, a graphic artist, etc.) to participate in joint advertising with you. This will allow you to get excellent exposure for ½ the price because those costs are shared with your กpartnerก.
You can also set up a referral process. I have several arrangements with others in where we exchange referrals. Some do it for a fee, others just do it on a oneforone basis. You and your network member can decide what works best for you.
The results of this simple process are normally tremendous. The majority of small business owners are always looking for ways to expand their businesses. Exchanging leads with one another, creating joint affiliations and bartering are great ways to create a broad network that truly does work!
Copyright 2004 Diane Hughes

About The Author

Diane C. Hughes * ProBizTips.com

FREE Report: Amazingly Simple (Yet Super Powerful) Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales And Build Your Business Into A Tower of Profits! ==>> http://madmarketer.com/diane

This article was posted on May 31, 2004

by Diane Hughes

Give An Entrepreneur A Break

Give An Entrepreneur A Break

by: Cathy Bryant

Why do any of us choose to work from home? The answer to that question is as diverse as the individuals who call home their workplace.

For those of us who have chosen to market online, this question has many answers. But ultimately, everyone who works at home online or off has the same goal.

To make money.

For some reason, however, those of us who choose to do it online are often perceived as being greedy.

Let me elaborate.

Over the last few weeks, Iกve corresponded with several online colleagues who have indicated that theyกve actually been questioned or even criticized by individuals who feel itกs somehow กunfairก for them to ask for money in exchange for their information product.

As if that was some sort of crime.

Now, I suppose that the proliferation of scamsters online can indeed make people somewhat skeptical. Thatกs the reason that having a mailing list or newsletter is so important. Thereกs no question that marketing online does have an impersonal nature to it. And, if a consumer isn’t careful, he or she can be taken.

Another reason for this attitude, however, is that the internet is still perceived by some as a great gift that they are entitled to. That any information they want should be handed over to them without question and without any compensation on their part.

Well, certainly a lot of information is online if you are willing to spend months and even years (not to mention cold hard cash) to accumulate the knowledge and experience that those who have put these products together have done.

So why shouldn’t they be compensated for it?

If someone were to walk into a bookstore, stroll up to the checkout counter with a stack of books, and tell the clerk, กI want to get all these books, but I don’t want to pay for any of them,ก youกd think they were nuts.

So I ask you whatกs the difference online?

Hereกs one big difference and one not at all favorable for the muchmaligned online information marketer. Keep in mind that these same honest, reputable marketers who have put tremendous effort into producing their own products have offered their products with an unconditional moneyback guarantee as well.

And when people ask for their money back (unlike in the offline world) they can get it WITHOUT RETURNING THE PRODUCT.

So whoกs being scammed now???

I see changes lots of changes on the horizon for those who provide information products online. More and more of these individuals have their products on a secure site that denies continued access should the purchaser request a refund. I even purchased an ebook recently that uses a system which กlocksก the book when a refund is given.

This is just as it should be.

Why should someone who has invested the time to create an information product and invested money to market it NOT be expected to be compensated for it?

No reason at all.

About The Author

Cathy Bryant wants to help you discover the home business that is perfect for you. Her newsletter and website features many resources and ideas to help you generate a homebased income. Her newsletter is adfree and full of useful information to help you succeed. http://www.homebizjunction.com

This article was posted on March 22, 2003

by Cathy Bryant

Write Articles Geared to Your Local Market to Bols

Write Articles Geared to Your Local Market to Bolster Your Local Search Visibility

by: Lynella Grant

The Shortest Distance to Your Home Town Enterprise is Over the Internet

Combine two dynamite online methods for bringing your business to the attention of buyers Local Search and widely posted articles you write. Doing both gives you a jump on your local competition, plus additional credibility and exposure to your market.

Local Search occurs by adding a geographic term is added to a search engine query. Instead of results comprising millions of pages, only businesses within your specific area are included. For example, entering Florists + Boston only returns Boston florists a small pool of available choices.

Geographic terms can be town, state, region, zip code, etc. Results appear on both a list and map, so the most convenient stand out. Today, nearly 40% of search engine queries ask for Local Search information with that number increasing rapidly. 70% of buyers go online to conduct research before they buy, even from local merchants. So the impact is considerable.

Articles Deliver Credibility and Links

When you write articles and post them widely to Internet directories and ezines, your knowledge is spread to thousands of readers. Sites displaying your articles link back to your website. That encourages readers to seek you out. Links also increase search engine rankings, which push you higher on the results lists. Capture all the benefits http://www.promotewitharticles.com/benefits.html that come with writing articles.

You’re Not Competing Against the Whole World

The widespread assumption dictates shooting to be on first page results if you can (most searchers don’t look past the first page). That all depends. If you’re competing against every other business and website out there, that’s true. And your odds are slim. But you don’t need to only the ones competing for the same customers you are.

Besides, sophisticated searchengine optimization strategies or tracking methods are beyond the needs or skills of most small businesses. There’s a danger that SEO demands can easily pull an owner away from their brickandmortar priorities.

There’s a wellknown joke about two men being lost in the wilderness, who come to the attention of a bear. One man stops long enough to put on his running shoes. His friend scoffs, กYou really think you can outrun a bear?ก He replied, กI only have to outrun you.ก

When it comes to Local Search, you don’t have to outrun all the other enterprises that do what you do. You only have to outrun the ones in your local market. Those likely to show up in the same Local Search results you do.

Consider all the plumbers who could show up in a Local Search for:

Plumber + กyour townก. Visualize three groups:

1. Those who won’t appear in the search because they’re not listed in the search engine data bases. See if your business is included in those databases at http://www.localsearchresources.com/listed.html

2. Those who appear in the results, but who have done nothing further. They won’t show up in all the search results they could have.

3. Those adding specific information for search engines, website visitors, and their local customers: a) enhance their website, b) provide searchenginerelevant information on their pages, c) provide easytofind information that Internet users are looking for.

#3 lets you outrun the other guy. Your articles help you to do that, too. Of those who show up in your search results list, how many are likely to have such additional information (and keywords) for the search engines to draw upon? Your information seems more complete and relevant—leapfrogging you to the front.

Adapt Your Articles for Your Neck of the Woods

The usual method for getting better search engine rankings is to post articles widely to article directory sites and ezines interested in your topic. That’s how the game’s played for ecommerce topics, or products and services with a national reach.

But that’s not primarily what you’re after as a small business operator. Certainly, you’ll benefit from links from other posting sites and links to your website. But you’re interested in reaching the people who live in your area. They’re the ones you want to read your articles and be moved to come to your place of business. Your priority is to build relationships on the local level.

So also post your articles to websites or portals in your community. They may not have high page rank, but they have access to your local customers. And links among local enterprises help to support each other and the local economy. Aso, print off a stack of your articles for handouts in your storefront.

Write your articles differently. Mention your town in your title or keywords. Make sure your signature file (sig) says your town and state. Use examples that are specific to your town or region. กChoosing roses that can thrive above the tree line.ก Refer to landmarks or make geographic references that the locals will recognize. The search engines will pick up some of those references, and they’ll boost your Local Search prominence.

Learn to Make the Most of Local Search Exposure

The easier you can be found online, the more ways you appear in Local Search results. It’s here for the long term, bringing customers to your door who don’t respond to your other marketing methods. Articles and Local Search awareness will build on each other, and you’ll gain a tangible edge in your local market.

Copyright 2005 Off the Page

About The Author

Dr. Lynella Grant An expert in Yellow Page ads and Local Search. Stand out online and offline, so you capture more Internetsavvy buyers for your brick and mortar business. Free resources http://www.localsearchresources.com 7193959450

This article was posted on September 05

by Lynella Grant

10 Steps to Getting Paid for Your Marketing Materi

10 Steps to Getting Paid for Your Marketing Materials

by: Paulette Ensign

How many times have you heard the same sound bites come out of your mouth to your clients, prospects, and audiences, almost boring yourself to tears in the process? Imagine generating money directly from those sound bites, from those pearls of wisdom that effortlessly trip off your tongue. Yes, it is completely possible, and here’s how to do it.
1. Capture those tidbits of information as soon as they come to mind. Jot them down in a notebook or get them into a Word document. They can be in a raw format, with just enough information to jog your thinking about what you mean. There will be time to refine them later.
2. Let a couple weeks go by, allowing most of the information to surface in your thoughts. It rarely happens by declaring two hours on a Thursday afternoon to sit at your computer to think of it all.
3. Refine and organize the tips. Divide them into categories and edit the text. Use a writing style similar to what you are reading here.
4. Be sure to include your contact details so readers can easily reach you. Add a brief section about your background so people will know your qualifications for presenting the information.
5. Hire a graphic designer to make the words look good on the page. Your completed product will be a tips booklet measuring about 3 ½ inches by 8 ½ inches when printed. The designer will create their part of the finished product as a PDF file.
6. Send the PDF file from your graphic designer to a printing company. Do an initial print run of 1,000 copies.
7. Think about who can benefit from using your booklet to promote their own product, service, or cause. Send them a sample of your booklet and a cover letter describing some of the ways they can increase their sales or further their cause by using your booklet as a promotional tool.
8. Consider corporations, associations, publications, and any other group that seems appropriate for the topic of your booklet. Reach out to as many of them as you can, on whatever budget of time and money you have available to you.
9. Realize that every time one of the largequantity buyers sends out your booklet to promote their own product, service, or cause, they are also marketing your business. Your contact information in the booklet allows the reader to reach you directly.
10. Enjoy the expansion of your customer base and your checking account. You are now reaching a larger audience than you are likely to do singlehandedly, thanks to the largequantity buyers of your booklet. And you have been paid by your buyers to reach those new people.
Those sound bites you have been saying for years are now reaching far beyond your current clients, helping your buyers, their clients, and your own business. It doesn’t get a lot better than getting paid for your marketing materials.
© 2004, Paulette Ensign

About The Author

Paulette Ensign has sold almost a million copies of her own tips booklet without spending a penny on advertising. For information on creating your own tips booklet and leveraging a booklet manuscript into other products, contact Paulette Ensign, Tips Products International 8584810890, San Diego, CA http://www.tipsbooklets.com.

[email protected]

This article was posted on July 21, 2004

by Paulette Ensign

Do Marketers Really Need RSS?

Do Marketers Really Need RSS?

by: Rok Hrastnik

The recent Forrester Research study, which claims that only 2% of online households in North America use RSS, took the internet marketing world by storm. Does this data really mean that marketers can still afford to ignore this channel?

Soon after the Forrrester study became public, I received a press enquiery asking whether marketers should be interested in RSS now that so few online adults use it.

Is this the correct question to ask? Let’s take a look at the bigger picture …

1. THE FORRESTER STUDY VALIDITY

The Forrester study is just one of those available and cannot be considered as the only relevant study, although it was conducted on a sample of 68,000 households.

Jupiter Research estimates RSS penetration at 12% of the American online population, while the latest report from PEW shows that 9% of the American online population has a good idea of what RSS is. An October 2004 PEW study actually estimated RSS penetration at 5%.

It is also important to understand that Forrester data does not include those that might not even be aware they are using RSS, especially through services such as My.Yahoo, which is actually the most popular RSS reader.

Also, at the same time, Forrester Vice President Henry Harteveldt says that »RSS is critical for any organization that wants to reach out to people under the age of 30«.

2. THE FUTURE GROWTH OF RSS

Regardless of the numbers we put our faith in, the future growth of RSS is without question. Microsoft just recently announced full RSS support in the next edition of their Internet Explorer browser and full RSS integration in the next edition of their operating system, the Windows Vista.

Once RSS becomes easily available to most internet users outofthebox and becomes as widely spread as bookmarks, its adoption will grow at an incredible rate. Microsoft has now made sure this in fact will happen.

Consequently, the time for marketers to not only become interested in RSS but also master it is now. Those that test and discover the best possible ways of using RSS for marketing will be ahead of their competition once everyone starts using RSS.

Furthermore, since RSS implementation can actually be free of any charge, there’s no reason not to start providing your content in RSS feeds now.

3. GOOGLE SHOWS THE WAY

Microsoft and Yahoo! aren’t the only big players to show support for RSS. Google recently launched RSS advertising as part of their Google AdSense program, giving publishers reason to start their own RSS feeds to generate direct revenues.

Those that depend on Google AdSense for part or all of their online revenues actually need to provide RSS feeds, or stand to lose some of those revenues due to their visitors switching to sites and feeds from their competitors.

Face it, today many users are already starting to request publishers provide them with RSS to subscribe to their content. This trend will only continue, with many users selecting RSS as their primary channel of receiving and reading online content.

4. THE QUESTIONABLE RELIABILITY OF EMAIL

All marketers today are experiencing email delivery problems, constantly wondering whether their messages are getting through or not. Simply put, email can no longer be relied on.

For one, offering your content via RSS as a supplement to email will help you make certain that at least a portion of your visitors, those that decide for the RSS option, will be receiving all of your content without any doubt.

Lockergnome.com decided to start pushing RSS instead of email some time ago, and as a result saw that their RSS feeds are outperforming email when it comes to clickthrough rates for about 500%. Also an interesting fact, they today have 5 times more RSS subscribers than email subscribers.

And two, for your most important content updates, RSS really is becoming a must, especially if you need to be in contact with your existing customers, partners and other key audiences. If you want to be 100% certain that your messages reach your audience, RSS is the way to go.

5. OTHER BENEFITS OF RSS

But all of the above don’t even touch all the reasons why marketers should start using RSS today …

a) RSS will help you generate additional traffic and reach new audiences. Considering the low cost of RSS implementation, this is reason enough to get started with RSS today.

b) RSS helps you to easily get your content published on other sites, thus generating you more credibility and visitors.

c) As a publisher you can use RSS to display content from other sources, thus making your site more relevant and interesting to your existing visitors.

And the list goes on and on.

RSS may not be mainstream yet, but it provides enough advantages even today to make it a mustchoice for marketers.

Copyright 2005 Rok Hrastnik

About The Author

Rok Hrastnik

Find out immediately how you can power your online business with RSS and integrate it in all of your marketing. Request the free 28page Business Case for RSS report, with easytofollow instructions, examples and advice on how to get the most out of RSS in the shortest possible time. Get the free download here: http://rssdiary.marketingstudies.net/case/index.html?src=sa15

This article was posted on August 09

by Rok Hrastnik

The Entrepreneurกs Prayer

The Entrepreneurกs Prayer

by: Rick Beneteau

As I awaken with the gift of yet another day and prepare for the tasks at hand, I offer up this most ardent prayer:

I pray for continued clarity of purpose so that I may hold my vision steady and keep my focus on the needs and success of others, which in turn shall bring me my success.

I pray for the wisdom to expect abundance in my life, that it surrounds me and is available for the taking and to be shameless and unapologetic upon its receipt, for I deserve abundance.

I pray for a cheerful countenance, be it clear or cloudy skies and that I may radiate and infect others with my positive attitude.

I pray for the trust of others that they may recognize my sincerity and true intentions so that we may move forward together.

I pray for the strength to fend off adversity and use my desire and determination as both weapon and shield.

I pray for the courage to carry forth my convictions during the battle of business and to resist temptation to a quicker monetary result when such temptation compromises these things for which I stand.

I pray that I may be used as a lightning rod to collect the amazing ideas already present in the universe and when blessed with such inspiration, that I may be able to apply my talents and abilities to turn the power of thought into measurable advancement of my goals.

I pray to retain my childhood wonder so that I can recognize and revel in the small miracles of each day that others may miss.

I pray for an infinite supply of selfconfidence for it alone fortifies faith, strengthens my resolve and conquers the largest enemy I will ever face fear.

I pray for a compassionate spirit and the patience to offer those who seek my advice and my help, my full and undivided attention.

I pray for good health and a feeling of well being, and the continued desire to improve those areas of my physical life I may be neglecting in the name of my spiritual and entrepreneurial advancement.

I pray that today is a day of excellence and at its conclusion I can acknowledge and be grateful for the forward motion I have made and the growth I have experienced.

I pray most of all for the understanding and support of those closest to my heart, my family, that they will equate what may seem like endless hours of apparent preoccupation with affairs of business to what is at the very core of my being, that which drives me, for once I achieve what I have set out in its fullest, I will become that more complete being I strive to be.

It is for these things that I pray, for I am an entrepreneur.

(you can download an mp3 of The Entrepreneurกs Prayer here: http://www.bettersalesrightnow.com/prayer.mp3)

© Rick Beneteau

About The Author

Rick is cocreator of the breakthrough Make Every Day A Great Day Program. Read the powerful, lifechanging testimonials and discover how this revolutionary product can dramatically change Your Life too!: http://www.MakeEveryDayAGreatDay.com/yes.

This article was posted on December 15, 2004

by Rick Beneteau

You Lost Your Data… Don’t Panic!

You Lost Your Data… Don’t Panic!

by: Emanuele Allenti

Inability to access your data stored on the data storage device could be caused by many reasons, from those that are easy to fix to those which are completely impossible to fix. If the damage is irreversible then data loss will occur. The causes of the failure of your hard drive or CDROM drive could vary from a bad connection due to a loose wire (which is easily recoverable) to damage to the media itself, which could still be recoverable in many cases.

As in the medical profession, the first principle of data recovery is: กdo not harmก.

If you are facing a data loss situation, what not to do is very important!

Do not power up a device that has obvious physical damage.

Do not power up a device that has shown symptoms of physical failure. For example, disks that make กobvious mechanical fault noisesก such as ticking or grinding, should not be repeatedly powered on and tested as it just makes them worse.

Activate the writeprotect switch or tab on any problem removable media such as tape cartridges and floppies. (Many good backups are overwritten during a crisis.)

Do not use free software. This is very important. Free data recovery software can be extremely dangerous and ruin your chances for a successful data recovery. Many companies offer free data recovery software also called DoItYourself (DIY) data recovery software available for download on their website.

Even the best programs only work in very specific situations. While these free tools that are available may help, they usually only help if you are encountering one of a very few specific data loss situations.

Some programs may cause further or permanent data loss. While these programs are provided with good intention, even when carefully used these utilities may cause recoverable data to be permanently lost and may cause the loss of additional data.

Anyway, there is something you CAN do; if you are having data access problems and your media has no symptoms of physical failure or damage, try and check some obvious issues before deciding if you need data recovery:

Are the power and disk cables properly connected?

Is configuration or disk information correct?

Try the defective unit with a different adapter/controller interface or on a different computer.

Is there an experienced technician at a local store or the company help desk that you can consult, if these steps are beyond your capabilities? (Make sure whoever is in contact with your data loss situation is fully aware that they should do nothing during their troubleshooting that will risk hurting your data.)

Doesn’t work? Don’t panic; if the damage occurred to the driveกs electronics, it most likely could be fixed. If the damage occurred to the, for example, system areas of the disk, leaving the data zone intact, those data could be theoretically, and (in some cases) practically, recovered by a professional.

Look on the Net for data recovery companies, ask them questions, explain them your situation. In most cases they will be able to understand your problem and fix it for a fair price.

About The Author

Emanuele Allenti is the owner of http://www.harddiskdatabackuprecovery.com a website containing tips and useful information written by experts for those interested in backup and data recovery

This article was posted on September 27, 2004

by Emanuele Allenti

Is Your Yellow Pages Ad Putting Cash in Your Pocke

Is Your Yellow Pages Ad Putting Cash in Your Pocket… or Sucking Cash Out?

by: Alan Saltz

Any idea? It’s a question that more than a few Yellow Page advertisers ponder. If you are currently spending money every month to run an ad in your local directory, you don’t want to wrestle with that question. You want to know that your investment is generating a consistent flow of new clients to your business. So what can you do to maximize returns and stop worrying?

First of all, know this—Yellow Pages Advertising has incredible potential. As a business owner, you have few other ways to reach prospects who are as targeted, and ready to buy as these. But naturally… your success depends on the quality of your ad. And when it comes to ad content, far too many advertisers are quite simply… lost.

ขThe redhot commodity of the Information Age? Why that would be the Yellow Pages… It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.ข

Fortune July, 2003

There are few places to turn. It makes for an unpleasant situation for the honest businessperson trying to harness the tremendous potential of such a perfectly targeted medium. And so, most advertisers rely on the Yellow Pages design department, who, as it turns out, develop most of the ads in their directory.

It’s hard to differentiate your company if that’s the case, don’t you think?

That situation doesn’t need to be one that you find yourself in. While many advertisers fail to develop an ad that draws a strong response, it’s not especially difficult to do. In fact, the basic mistakes that ขriddleข just about every subject heading provide a fantastic opportunity for the business owner that does his homework. If you’re reading this article, you’re doing your homework.

ขHow come we still have the Yellow Pages? They Work. You don’t go to the Yellow Pages and look up pizza unless you’re planning to order pizza.ข

Fortune July, 2003

What Yellow Page success boils down to is ad content. Not color. Not professional design. Sure, those things matter too; but they are nowhere near as important as the words you use to fill your ad. People turning to the Yellow Pages have already determined that they need you. They just need to know whether they should call company A, B, or C.

Their choice doesn’t depend so much on color or design, as it depends on what you offer that your competitors don’tข the policies you hold yourself to that give consumers faith in you and your business.

Here is a point you need to understand… Listing the brand names you carry and the ขlaundry listข of products or services you offer don’t build credibility. They don’t set you apart from your competitors who offer the same thing!

Plenty of other things do. And chances are you embrace those policies and those hassle, and risk removing, motivators already. You probably do quite a bit for your clients that make their lives easier, more lucrative, more pleasant, and so on. You probably have credibility boosters that you’ve never considered including.

And that is because you may not realize the power they have in motivating an eager prospect to act. Ironclad guarantees… customer testimonials… rocksolid offers for new customers… a headline that goes well beyond your logo and company name; these are things that work wonders in a targeted, readytobuy medium such as the Yellow Pages.

Since so many of your competitors are focusing on their company name and their laundry list of products and services, the copy points above will differentiate you! They give you the credibility that your competition likely lacks, and they make a strong case for many a prospect to choose you with confidence. That’s what the Yellow Pages are all about, right?!

About The Author

Alan Saltz, the author, teaches Yellow Pages Advertisers how to boost their response and return on investment, using simple, but extremely effective techniques. To learn more about how to improve your own Yellow Pages ad, visit: http://www.YellowPagesProfit.com.

[email protected]

This article was posted on November 22, 2004

by Alan Saltz

Rethinking Linking Link Exchange Back to Basics

Rethinking Linking Link Exchange Back to Basics

by: Kai Virihaur

In the old days of the internet, links were the primary communication path between web sites. Search engines were not as sophisticated as today, and search results rather crude. Actually, even today links are reported to be more used than search engine results; but the latter are increasing their share.

In a way, this began to change when Google entered the scene. In an effort to make search results more relevant, Google implemented an algoritm that judged the quality of a web site by the number of other sites linking to it. It seemed rather obvious that a popular, much linkedto, site should be of higher relevance than a site with few links pointing to it.

Unfortunately, as webmasters realized this a frantic stampede began. Everybody did whatever they could to secure as many incoming links as possible. One example: In my own field, web hosting reviews, there is a site that has (according to Yahoo) 4,000,000 incoming links pointing to it! Yes, FOUR MILLION links! By comparison, Microsoft.com has only about 3,000,000 incoming links!

I won’t speculate on just how those 4,000,000 links were collected, but surely it can’t have been by manually asking those 4,000,000 webmasters for a link exchange! And I also doubt that the 4,000,000 webmasters just spontaneously thought กWow, I will put up a link to this cool web hosting review siteก! Yes, even cooler than Microsoft.com, evidently.

As we all know now, Google got tired of having its search results manipulated in this way. So they tweaked their ranking algoritms (one tweak widely known as the dreaded กFlorida Updateก), to put an end to these methods. They started actively punishing web sites that were caught using devices such as กFree For Allก link exchange sites, and implemented many other measures also; too many to mention here.

So, getting many inbound links is a dead concept now? That is what some people claim, but they are wrong! What IS dead is the idea that links are nothing but search engine food. Rather, we are getting back in the direction of the good olก days, when links were not there just to bait the search bots. Some folks may have forgotten that links really are there to serve as paths of communication for Real People. Inbound links to a web site means paths for humans to enter, and browse the content. And that is what all of us webmasters want: VISITORS!

This also means: stop trying to manipulate search engines. Keep your directory of links, if it does provide some real value to visitors. But if those links are just a messy jumble, hidden somewhere in a dusty corner of your site repent! Get those links out of the closet, let them breathe some fresh air!

About The Author

Kai Virihaur is a web developer, researcher, and artist. He runs The Hosting Finder (www.thehostingfinder.com), a web hosting directory featuring articles and RSS feeds on web development, web site promotion, and internet marketing.

This article was posted on February 18

by Kai Virihaur

Part 2 Do Not Ever Link to a Site Without Doing T

Part 2 Do Not Ever Link to a Site Without Doing This First!

by: John Krycek

Writing Links

In the first part of this article we learned some techniques to build a solid potential link partner list for your website. Those sites aren’t any good to you if you don’t use a strategy for writing the textual content of those links. Yes. I mean those few little words that are underlined in blue. In the right order they give the key to your website door to the world. In the wrong order, they don’t budge the cylinders in the lock.

Number of links takes second place to quality of links. The words you choose, varying them for each targeted link site, and incorporating some tried and true direct mail standard tactics will make your links more popular in the search engines, which is our ultimate goal. So lets get started!

As we said earlier, links are a crucial part of attaining high search rankings. The key to writing good กlink contentก uses the same tactics for writing all good web content. Namely, don’t write for the search engines. Write for your readers and target audience. After you do that, then go back and tweak the little details to optimize for the engines. Why? The search companies attempt to give results for human readers, and because a number one search engine position is worthless if the description of your site is the most boring thing anyone has ever read.

You have humans that are examining your site to see if they want to link to you. Even if you pay for links someone has to make the decision that you’re worthy of being on their site. And further, youกll never sell your product or service or attain any readership. Letกs take a simple stepbystep approach and make sure your links are lively, catchy, searchable and gushing to be clicked.

Pretend you’re the owner of a pumpkin company website. You sell all things made from pumpkins.

Step 1 Review Your Keyword List

Those are the words and phrases that you want to rank highly with in the search engines. They are the starting point for your link text. Note: กlink textก is the clickable part of the link, the underlined blue type. Letกs take some keywords and apply a few tactics to them to develop a good link.

A few keywords might be:

pumpkin retailer

pumpkin festival

pumpkin plant

pumpkin holiday

pumpkin festival

Step 2 Create variations on those keywords.

Think of phrases that someone might enter into a search engine. Using that thought as the core, build outward by elaborating and specifying. Ask yourself กwhat type of ____?ก to help you expand. For example, take the few keywords above and make them a bit more specific to:

pumpkin pie recipe

pumpkin bread recipe

cooking pumpkin seed

pumpkin patch

how to grow pumpkin

planting pumpkin seed

pumpkin carving design

carve Halloween pumpkin

pumpkin carving pattern

pumpkin costume

pumpkin centerpiece

Note: When coming up with additional keyword phrases (for use within your page elements and link) try this tool. www.inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ is part of Overture sponsored listings (now Yahoo) that will tell you how many times a phrase was searched in their engines on the web. Target the phrases with the most hits.

Step 3 Word Varieties

Your link should contain enough words so that when read out of context it still makes sense. Not so many words that it becomes blurred when a reader scans through a page.

Take the list you just made vary your keyword links using all of those keywords. Search engines raise an eyebrow at seeing กpumpkin recipeก on 50 sites with the exact same phrase all pointing back to you. It doesn’t see natural. Mixing up your link text with กpumpkin pie recipieก,กpumpkin bread recipeก, and กcooking pumpkin seedsก and the rest of your list keeps you well diversified without danger of spamming. And your keywords are more focused and targeted which gives you a better chance of being ranked higher.

Step 4 Incorporating Direct Mail Tactics

Now we have the words that will make up our link text. We’re almost finished. We need to give people some motivation to click.

The simplest of direct mail programs or incentive marketing campaigns all have a solid กcall to action.ก We need one here too. Why should a reader go to your site? Whatกs in it for them? Theyกve got better things to do.

So many websites use the phrases กClick here,ก กLearn more,ก or กMore infoก. Thereกs a definite boundary between keeping things simple and clean on a web page and just copping out. When I see those phrases on a link I think the writer didn’t have time to get me excited about their product so I don’t have time to go look.

It doesn’t take much to write a simple call to action. For example:

Instead of กpumpkin pie recipe,ก say กGrandmaกs pumpkin pie recipe and all things pumpkin at The Orange Pumpkin.ก Now your reader knows the name of your business (which will also be indexed), and thinks if itกs made by Grandma itกs probably good… I think Iกll have a look.

Step 5 Put it all together

Take your keyword phrase and surrounding text and create your link. The coded form looks like this.

Grandmaกs pumpkin pie recipe and all things pumpkin at The Orange Pumpkin.

Every single link doesn’t have to be different, but you should have quite a variety if you follow these steps for all your keywords.

Don’t forget to use those keywords within your page too!!

Step 6 Final Thoughts

Stay away from link farms and free for all link sites.

List in as many Directories as you can, especially ones that are of the same nature as your site.

Try to get oneway links. You might be able to buy some from someone fairly cheaply. If you have to get a reciprocal link, stick to sites that are similar in theme to yours. They don’t have to be identical, but in the case of The Orange Pumpkin Company, a link from a car dealer is a waste of time…unless that car dealer happens to have a collection of the worldกs greatest pumpkin recipes on their site. If thatกs the case, then try to get a link on the page with the recipes.

Even though you’re goal is to rank high in the searches, write for the end user. Then go back and finetune things for an optimized search engine friendly page.

Good luck and happy linking!

About The Author

John Krycek is the owner and creative director of theMouseworks.ca. Read more articles on the insights and secrets of website design and development and internet marketing in easy, nontechnical, up front English!

[email protected]

This article was posted on August 25

by John Krycek

Are You Asking the Right Questions in Your Copy?

Are You Asking the Right Questions in Your Copy?

by: Karon Thackston

It’s a common approach to writing copy. You begin by asking questions. Why? To evoke thoughts in your readersก minds, to stir up emotions, and to get customers thinking in the way you want them to think. But have you ever thought about how you phrase your questions? Are you doing it in a way that will have the greatest impact on your readers or are you just throwing questions on a page?

Behaviorally speaking, not everybody responds in the same way to the same questions. Those with different communications styles will relate in a variety of ways depending on how you phrase your sentence.

Using the DISC Behavioral Profile, let me explain what I mean and show you how you can start asking the right questions in the right way to suit your customers.

D = Dominance

Those who fall in the Dominance category of the DISC profile are described as: in control, powerful, confident, visionaries, and risk takers. These people can be managers, CEOs, highranking military personnel, entrepreneurs, and the like.

Those who are considered high in Dominance want to stick to business. They expect the facts to be presented logically. They want presentations to be clear, specific, and to the point.

This group of people will respond better to specific ขwhatข questions. For example, let’s say we’re developing a headline for an ultrafast printer. You wouldn’t want to write a headline that asks, ขHow Do You Cure a Need for Speed?ข That question is vague; it’s not specific, and it begins with the word ขhow.ข

CEOs, upper management, and others in this category aren’t the least bit interested in ขhowข you do anything. They are visionaries. They look at the big picture, not the little details. Details are somebody else’s job!

Instead, try rewriting that headline to include the word ขwhatข and to be specific, like this: ขWhat Cures a Need for Speed?ข

You can see a similar relation in other behavioral styles (I, S, and C) and the types of questions people in each prefer.

I = Influence

Those high in Influence are generally found in the sales field or other fields that require a lot of people/social interaction. They move fast and want to focus on peopleoriented tasks. They love to give their opinions and to be asked for their thoughts on a matter. They love to be the center of attention.

This group responds well to ขfeelingข questions. Not just about themselves, but also about others. For example: ขRemember the excitement you felt when _____?ข or ขHow would your child feel if _____?ข

S = Steadiness

Those in the Steadiness group want to be seen as people not a number. They appreciate logic, a touch of personal interaction, and they are detailoriented. They are generally slow decisionmakers and are not wild about taking unqualified risks. Those who fall into the Steadiness category make up 40% of the general population and come from all walks of life.

People high in steadiness would be likely to respond better to questions beginning with ขhow.ข Possibilities include ขHow many times have you wished ____?ข or ขHow often do you ____?ข They also respond well to questions that make them think, like ขIs your copy getting results?ข They’ll likely want to know what you can do about it if the answer is ขno.ข

C = Compliance

When describing someone who falls into the Compliance category, these phrases come to mind: critical thinker, prepared, qualityoriented, incredibly detailed, specific, and slow decisionmaker. You’ll generally find these types working as engineers, bankers, accountants, scientists, and the like.

Those high in Compliance will respond best to questions including statistics and questions that force them to look at all sides of an issue/problem. For example, ข68% of All Drivers Pay Too Much for Auto Insurance. Are You?ข Another idea is ขWidget or Thingee… Which Makes the Most Sense?ข

Phrasing your questions in a way that allows your target customers to relate only makes sense. When you hit a nerve people will respond. Asking the right questions… in the right way… within your copy will get you one step closer to closing the sale.

by Karon Thackston © 2004

http://www.copywritingcourse.com

About The Author

Copy not getting results? Learn to write SEO copy that impresses the engines and your visitors at http://www.copywritingcourse.com. Be sure to check out Karon’s latest ereport ขHow To Increase Keyword Saturation (Without Destroying the Flow of Your Copy)ข at http://www.copywritingcourse.com/keyword.

This article was posted on March 09, 2004

by Karon Thackston