Monday, November 3, 2008
By Doug Caverly - Making both humans and machines happy.
Ever look at different doctors' bookshelves? There are usually at least two or three books in common, regardless of the professionals' fields or age. This happens because the basics are important, and a session at SES New York returned to the basics of site design.
Depending on how familiar you are with these matters, Eric Papczun, the director of natural search at Performics, recommended starting out by reading Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Next, concentrate on creating friendly URLs - make sure they're unique, and keep keywords in them. Site maps are great, too.
Next, Matt Bailey, the president of SiteLogic, picked up on the topic of accessibility. The problems Target's site pose for the visually impaired have actually gotten the company sued. Since search engines are blind, as well, using alt attributes is important for all sorts of reasons. "Your site should be available to anyone, anywhere, anytime on anything," stated Bailey.
As a couple of added points: Bailey suggested using favicons and not allowing URLs to grow outside the address bar.
Craig Hordlow, the chief search strategist at Red Bricks Media, wrapped things up by once again addressing the issue of Flash and CSS use. He suggested using tabs on a flash page as a way of letting search engines see content, but not throwing the stuff at users until they click for it.
Friday, October 31, 2008
SES NY: What's A Widget?
By WebProNews Staff -03/19/2008
It's something that delivers one site's content to others when embeddedLittle desktop gadgets that reside inside a computer monitor deliver extra information to the viewers who opt to make them part of the daily browsing experience.
Our devoted scribes in New York attending the Search Engine Strategies conference brought us news of widgets. Panelists discussed these software doodads and how they fit into the search marketing strategies being used today.
They defined a widget as something that delivers content and interactivity from one website to another, within a smaller, user-installed piece of software. Christian Oestlien of Google said he saw no reason a search campaign could not link to a gadget.
He also noted how advertisers should think of their ads as content. Thinking that way make the gadget display the start of another method to reach out to viewers during a campaign.
Many conference goers likely observed the Getupdated name around the building. The company picked up the tab to be the biggest sponsor for Search Engine Strategies.
Their R&D head, James Welch, likes the idea of using Google Gadget Ads for campaigns. He cited high interaction and great click-through rates as reasons why agencies and clients appreciate them so far.
Those ads may fulfill various needs based on the customer. Brand awareness, lead generation, and data collection serve as reasons to deploy them.
Welch believes sites constructing these ads ought to come from a different source than the IT department inside a company. Marketing people should build them and ensure a great mix of design and data will be in place for the gadget's deployment.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Getting All You Can Out Of Online Social Communities
By Kailee Brown
So you’ve entered the land of brand-building in online social networks. Now what? Online communities can be great places for marketers to learn and engage with their customers and other consumers. In order to get all you can get out of it, there are certain guidelines to follow that may help. Below are the 5 Commandments for How to Act in an Online Social Community.
1. Get to Know That Online Community
If your research said that your consumers were active in the social networks that you are engaging in, then your goal is to engage. Find out more about them. Let them know more about you and possibly your company, but be careful you’re not pitching to them. Companies invest millions in focus groups every year. Online social networks can sometimes be a great alternative to a focus group. But in order to get all you can get from the community, it’s important to develop meaningful relationships. This concept is heavily reliant on Ignite Social Media’s idea that Social Media is a Cocktail Party.
2. Give to the Community- Don’t Spam
Even if you’ve done all of the research and you feel that the demographic of the online community seems to get you, you also have an obligation to be different than your traditional marketing counterparts. Don’t jump into a social network and immediately start pitching your product or your ideas. People don’t appreciate that! They want to feel like they know you. Part of doing so is in giving back to the community you are immersing yourself in. This shouldn’t be hard if you followed steps 1-6. This process is fundamentally different from advertising. Giving something back to the community means community members trust and view you as a part of the community and not as an advertiser- or even worse- a spammer. If all you do is continuously ask things of the community members or constantly send people to websites, etc. people will resent your presence in the network.
Don’t have time to engage like this? Then look into partnership opportunities with the social networks. These are transparent ways to create a presence in the community without tricking or spamming people.
3. Be Transparent
I feel like I can never say this enough (and even as I say it, there are people out there right now pretending they don’t work for the company they are talking about in a social community). If you have followed the guidelines and you understand your audience and the community that you are engaging with, then chances are they know that you’re not there just to be their friend. Don’t lie! It’s okay to say you work for a company and you are promoting their products by engaging with customers. Most consumers will appreciate that, but will not appreciate feeling like they’ve been tricked in the community that they spend so much time in.
4. Don’t Leave the Community
If a social network is important to someone, they visit almost everyday. That means you must also. Don’t put up a static profile, communicate once with someone, and never visit the site again. If you are truly hoping to engage and learn from your customers, you have the responsibility to continuously visit the site as frequently as your consumers.
5. Start with One Community and Then Add Communities
If you are a social networker yourself, then you know you didn’t sit down at the computer one day and simultaneously set up a YouTube Channel, a Blog, a Facebook Profile, a MySpace Profile, a LinkedIn Profile, etc. Find the most active and RELEVANT community to start in first. Learn from the members in that community and then find other communities that those members are in as well. Then (as with the “Thou Shalt Not Act as if You’re on Myspace” comment in the inspiring article for this post) you have to learn a whole new set of rules and standards for the new community. Examine and learn from the members in that community as you learned from the first community.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Why!!!! Especially if it's free or cheap????
How many of you would go to McDonalds if they were still that first little drive-in in California????
Do you think Pepsi cares WHICH fast food you go to... Taco Bell...pizza hut...KFC????
Nope cuz they get all the profit.
Same with websites & online stores. Nice thing is that the inventory is ALL at your one home....
you don't have to fill each store with separate inventory.
ebay stores.... your own websites.... blogs & Many more!
Set up shop everywhere .... link each one ....
I have personalized Candybars at http://www.candybarwrap.com/
Then I have Engraved Chocolate at http://www.creativecandyland.com/
More engraved chocolate at http://www.corporatecandywraps.com/
Then Candy labels at http://www.candybarwrappers.ecrater.com/
Custom Candles at http://www.customcandlesunlimited.com/
and scratch off tickets at http://www.scratchchoffgames.ecrater.com/
ALL having to do with favors or company advertising & all pretty much linking to each other.
Now do I care which of those sites you get Custom candy bars or favors for your wedding??? Heck no... odds are it will be in my pocket anyway.
So don't shut down one store to start another.... just leave it open, especially if it's free! You just never know when someone will find it. (just make sure they have orders go to an email you check often.)
Story..... years ago.... I set up a website (in like 1995 or 96)... sold some dollar store items I had in storage. It was with one of those free hosting sites. Well I thought I had shut it down & never checked that email anymore. One day (over a year later)... I just went to that email, planning on using it again... and there was an order from a month before. For some items from that old site!
I couldn't even remember the site name.
It was only a few dollars, so I didn't notice it in my paypal. Luckily I still had those items, emailed an apology & got it sent.
So there ya go.... you just never know when someone will come upon your store.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Do you sell personalized items for vendors to give away AT the tradeshows?
How do you get names & contact info????
#1... GO to your local tradeshows & pick up EVERY business card & brochures.
Start your mailing list FROM those cards!
#2... THINK ... what shows are in what seasons.
ski & winter sports will have shows in summer. Winter shows are for "summer vacation" spots.
Sportsman's & RV may be more in winter too.
These businesses are too busy to go to tradeshows or advertise in thier prime season. Think Opposite when it comes to advertising.
Google those types of businesses in the OFF season & start sending brochures, postcards, samples, etc. I don't like doing email marketing. Too much junk.
NOW... do you sell what your Tradeshow customers Need????
Here are some resale, wholesale & dropship merchandise you may want to think about.
Email them for information
All are personalized merchandise that your customer's Logo can go on. Perfect to give away at tradeshows.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Planning your Open Houses???? Add a bowl of Chocolate Houses for your guests!
I like manually submitting by googling "search engines" but ALOT of copy & paste....
I did do a free massive submission for www.candybarwrap.com
Found that the majority send to smaller & less known search engines & be ready for a ton of verifying emails! Also some on going newsletters & advertisings. I just unsubscribe to most of the ads & any other junk.
I guess it can't hurt.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Check this video out!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
In fact, running your own Affiliate Program helps you in more ways than one. By signing up affiliates to go out and sell your product for you, you’ll not only build a huge salesforce, (assuming you make your offer tempting for them) but you will also be building hordes of one-way, targeted links back to your website as they advertise in the various places.
Drawbacks? You must be very persuasive to get an interested following to do serious selling for your product. To overcome this issue, simply build more room into your price so that the monetary gain for your affiliates is too tempting for them to refuse. 50% commissions are quite standard these days on informational products, with some products go all the way up to 100% commission structure, so that the seller can build up a newsletter list.
I would have to say that, especially when dealing with Clickbank (the #1 infoproduct marketplace for affiliates) 75% commissions to your affiliates is the way to go. That’s just because there are so many products out there competing for an affiliate’s attention… So since 75% is the maximum that clickbank allows, you’ll soon learn that affiliates will swarm to these products first and you’ll build up a sales force (and incoming links) quickly. –And you can always turn down the commission later.
Naturally, if your product is not available for online delivery (i.e. software only) then the ability to attract affiliates will be much more difficult for you… Not impossible though, because some affiliates understand the importance of offering their readers a full range of products built around a central niche theme. Having an affiliate program that offers multiple tiers helps as well. There isn’t an affiliate marketer alive who wouldn’t like to earn residual income from the work of others. There are two different ways to get started with your own affiliate program. Both can be free, and of course you pay your affiliates out of sales afterwards.
The most common form of affiliate program is when a webmaster loads software, usually some form of PHP or Perl script onto the server, integrating it with the website. These have been sold for years to webmasters and lately have even been offered for free. The second type is a service run off-site, through providers such as ClickBank.com , Commission Junction, or PayDotCom. (There are many other, non-free ones too.) They do the added work for you of helping your products get found by more affiliates, and they even feature your product in an online marketplace of theirs. Naturally, they want their cut of the product’s sale too, usually in the range of 4% to 8%. (Some let you even split that fee with your affiliates.) These services may be more effective in the long run for the average infoproduct seller, but quite often they do not offer the flexibility that many webmasters need to best promote their own product line. In those cases, using server-side software scripts is the only way to go.
Finding a free copy of your own Affiliate program software to load onto your web server is quite painless, as there are now several different scripts to choose from. To find your own script, simply google the phrases “free affiliate program software” or “free affiliate management software.” They should both return helpful results for you. Naturally, you’ll have to investigate each one in depth to see if it runs on your particular server in your software environment. No matter which way you go, there will be plenty of research involved; this is not something you can start up in the next 20 minutes. (More like 2-7 days.) Once it starts though, assuming you make your offer attractive enough, this could really bring in hordes of traffic immediately.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
"A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), audio (podcasting), which are part of a wider network of social media. Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, one which consists of blogs with very short posts. As of December 2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 112 million blogs. With the advent of video blogging, the word blog has taken on an even looser meaning — that of any bit of media wherein the subject expresses his opinion or simply talks about something."
Blogs can be used for anything you like. I have several for different purposes. You can use it as a simple journal .... marketing ..... recipes .... selling... photos ... music....
My daughter has one for her stories (she loves writing)
I get digital scrapbook graphics from many blogs.
But the biggest advantage to blogs is writing about information & good content that relates to your business.
for my candy bar wrapper site .... I have a link to a party planning & Idea blog. It is linked right on my menu. That blog has party decorating, recipe, games & other great tips for different theme parties.
Alway put alot of keywords & hyperlinks to your site. Also link other relavent sites in your blog also.
Link INTO your blog from your websites.
Blogs are picked up very well by search engines like Yahoo, Google & MSN.
Content on your blog must be updated quite a bit to stay on the top search pages though.
First month or so... blog at LEAST every other day, if not every day. Then once or twice a week is fine.
Now ... do you need to sit & write EACH day?.... NO.
Here are 2 things you can do.
#1: sit 1 day & type up a weeks worth of blogs on notepad or MSword. Then copy & paste into your blog, 1 each day.
#2: Here at Blogger (maybe wordpress has it too) you can use the "post options" & schedule your blogs to post whenever you want.
I use this feature alot, especially if I know I'll be gone for a few days.
There are plenty of blog sites ... I like http://www.wordpress.com/ & google Blogger, since they are the easiest. If you have or use other sites like myspace, auctiva & many more.... advertise your products on those blogs as well. Can't hurt.
Blogs are a great tool to market your site so have as many as you have time for!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
mailed out coupon paks .... these are not only expensive but you are just taking "a shot in the dark" with your advertising dollars.
TARGETING your customers is usually the cheapest (if not free) but can be more time consuming. Now you can buy those expensive lists & send brochures out. I prefer to "make my own list".
If you want to target Brides? .... check with bridal shops or invitation (paper) stores that may allow you to leave brochures or business cards. Want to target Wedding Planners, Caterers etc?... this is something you can use that yellow pages book for local bizes or use google & go into "contact us" mailing addresses are all over the internet!
Hotels .... Resorts .... Country clubs .... Attorneys ... Doctors.....
I keep category files with addresses & little by little... send brochure, postcards or samples.
Google a local or any city's Chamber of Commerce. They have a "members listing" with all the mailing addresses & usually even a person's name.
I hand write all the addresses on the postcards or envelopes ... but you can print on labels.
Flyers.... we all see those bulletin boards filled with flyers with "pull off tabs" ....
Target those too. I do favors for Quinceañeras (latin girl's 15th birthday) .... my flyers go up in Latin food markets.... Chinese New Years flyers in Oriental food markets etc. Now I also put them up in other places, but target the places that have more of your targeted market.
Golf Items on a rec center or golf shop board. Golf flyers at "toys R us" may not be the best place to put flyers. You get the picture.
Can't afford to have 1000's of postcards printed? Go to www.vistaprint.com & watch for free imprinted postcards. I got 100 free (pd s/h) wedding postcards with my www.candybarwrap.com imprinted on the back. & my contact info.
One time I found some really great postcards that were 4 for a dollar at the dollar store. Some had Happy faces .... some had a bear camping .... I personalized each with something like "make your guests Happy Campers with personalized candy bars at www.candybarwrap.com". Get creative.... potential customers will read creative postcards... the plain ol' white cards are "filed in the circular file" (trash can)
If you sell to other bizes .... look at any conventions with tradeshows in your area. Go to the tradeshows if they are open to the public. (sportman's ... bridal ... pets ... stockshows ... home & gardens) Pick up ALL those business cards & brochures & add them to your Mailing list.
***To keep these cards all organized... I bought this a few years ago & not only does it keep all my biz cards organized but business receipts... Tax time is a Breeze! www.neatreceipts.com
It is REALLY worth the small investment!!!
So go to or send to the potential customers that may buy YOUR product. Stop waisting money & time with "just throw it out there & see what sticks" kind of marketing.
Friday, July 18, 2008
#1 issuing company press releases with a link back to your site. Sites of interest & samples of press releases: http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp
#2 submittíng to reputable business directories such as Yahoo! and Business.com
#3 be active on related blogs by commenting and exchanging ideas
#4 if you have clients with web sites, ask if they would mind adding your link in a "partners" section
#5 participate in relevant forums and discussion boards with a link in your signature
#6 write and submit original articles to web publications in your field with a link in your bio
#7 get involved in social media and bookmarking
Thursday, July 17, 2008
To know if your marketing efforts are paying off... these statistics are INVALUABLE!
Google Analytics is one that I use with www.ecrater.com & www.buyitsellit.com
Statcounter is the one I use on my regular website... www.candybarwrap.com
Both are free & both gives really good detailed info on all aspects of my sites.
Just sign up (free) .... enter your info & copy & paste th HTML code into your pages of website or use just the numbers that ecrater tells you to & paste into your ecrater or BISI store.
Personally... I like the info I get at statcounter the best. You can look at where your customers came from & when you click on it, it goes right to the spot. I especially like it when I get several orders all on 1 day. I can see that I was mentioned on a blog or forum.
Analytics is good also.... I can see the key words that the most people use & make sure I pack those keywords in forums, blogs or on my product titles.
Stats are a must... or you will never know if staying up till 2 am promoting your site is really worth it! LOL
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
These ere all checkd a while back & were all good. But you know the internet... one day they are here & the next gone. So sorry if any of these are not working. Also... they were all free, but some may have changed to pay ads. You will just have to check them out.
So here it goes:
#1 http://www.citynews.com/nafta.html [Looks good-- Post your own Classified ad today! Each ad creates a One-page website. You can include a photo with your ad]
#2 http://www.recycler.com Free Advertise products-- Los Angeles and surrounding counties only
#3 http://www.freeclassifiedads.com/reg.htm Found recent ads on this one appears to be nationwide – not sure
#4 http://wwplus.com/ads/viewads.html As with other links like this- it has free ads offered by more than one link [domain is up for sale though]
#5 http://www.theadnet.com/ free ads for items –excludes business and services
#6 http://www.holton.com/ OK-Shows MULTIPLE FREE LINKS
#7 http://www.adlandpro.com/Default.aspx?rep=freememberPlace your free ads in our classifieds and community pages ($2.50 value)
#8 http://www.freebonanza.com/ MICHIGAN must register for classifieds
#9 http://www.aquatrader.com/aquastuff/newad.html SCUBA equipment only
#10 http://classifieds.bmi.net/default.asp This one requires click here to contact advertiser [maybe send ecrater link from there?]
#11 http://www.achieveusa.com/adlandpro.html site is up for sale - offering freeby ads since 1996
#12 http://webpony.com/cgi-bin/class23/classifieds.cgi?session_key=&place_ad=onHORSE related-place ad and be listed on 20 search engines
#13 http://www.aopa.org/classifieds/ XXAirline pilots plane owners $39 reg fee
#14 http://www.1-ads.net/ If this link doesn’t work go to Google and it comes up As #1-ads.net [LOOKS good! Punched in ecrater in search and up came an ecrater seller’s item - CHECK THIS ONE OUT!]
#15 http://wwplus.com/classifieds/ LOOKS free, takes some reading to decide
#16 http://www.dxpnet.com/classifieds/submit.asp displays current free ads
#17 http://classifieds.singnet.com.sg/ free ads requires active X JAVA DOWNLOAD
#18 http://www.primetap.com/class.html free ads and auctions
#19 http://www.militaryfreeads.com/ free website building UK based
#20 http://www.insideneworleans.com/shared/classifieds/placeanad.html New Orleans free classified
#21 http://www.lagumbo.com/freeclass/ Louisiana free ads
#22 http://www.entertheweb.com/classifieds/clad/vault.html free ads for 100 days only
#23 http://www.911hits.com/ Paid membership site boasts of increasing web presence
#24 http://www.nyrock.com/classifieds/categories.cfm 144000 ads free listing no reg
#25 http://www.911hits.com/sendmail.php Paid membership site boasts of increasing web presence
#26 http://www.nyrock.com/classifieds/categories.cfm Free ads Music Gigs Band related
#27 http://www.the-beaches.com/directory/home.html CANADA free ads
#28 http://www.ad-mart.co.uk/ UK SITE- Free ads must register HIGH HITS [it says]
#29 http://www.theecho.com/ FREE UP TO $999 item value
#30 http://adv-marketing.com/marketing/int03classified.htm free ads must agree to webmaster emails
#31 http://eclassified.2n4m.com/main.htm free listing no reg
#32 http://www.homepagetools.com/ BLOG RELATED
#33 http://www.freeads2000.com/ Lotsa free stuff + paid services #34 http://www.midlandonline.com/ MICHIGAN free classified
#35 http://theatreorgans.com/ads/ORGANS/music free ads
#36 http://www.summitnet.com/classifieds/welcome.html COLORADO mostly real estate some ads
#37 http://www.adsonline.co.za/ Free ads -watch for popups!
#38 http://www.inpa.com/ Pennsylvania thousands of hits?
#39 http://www.freereports.net/ click on free website martketing
#40 http://www.homepagenow.com/classifieds/ mostly for web design but check classifieds
#41 http://www.umcmall.com/adlandpro.html Free classified Sacramento CA
#42 http://www.links2u.com/?18098 43 http://www.barattare.net/italian_barter.htm BARTER ONLY
#44 http://www.free-cgi.com/freecgi/classads/index.asp ** Make your website interactive with Free-CGI AND free ads
#45 http://www.localo.com/overview.asp click advertising - shows multiple free links
#46 http://www.infopoint.com/sc/wantads/ free ad but deletes in 2 weeks
#48 http://www.upstatelife.com/free_ads.htm WEBSITE services
#49 http://www.classifiedclub.com/boards/ Looks good free ad with forums
#50 http://www.cgi101.com/ A how to site for web design
W will add more as they come. Keep checking back. if you have a list of freebie marketing sites... feel free to add them as comments!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
So just HOW do you go about getting those other QUALITY sites to like you enough to put your link on their site?
#1 Be generous with your outbound links
Giving outbound links to quality content is one of the best ways of establishing yourself in your online marketplace. But be selective with the sites you link to - don’t just link to any relevant sites you find, choose sites that have exceptional or useful content.
Add some comments and descriptions as you link. The readers of your website will appreciate it and your generosity will encourage some valuable word of mouth marketing for your site.
And of course, the publisher of the site that you’ve linked to will appreciate it. Think how badly you want links - other webmasters are the same and they will pay attention to sites that link to them. Your outbound links could be the start of a beautiful relationship.
On my http://www.candybarwrap.com/ I have a link to a great Personalized Product site,
http://www.promote-101.com/ in my menu. I don't expect a return link.... I just think this site compliments mine.
Customers appreciate some other sites than may help them. Have an Antique store? Links to appraisers or restorers would be extremely helpful to your customers. Pet store? link to vets, groomers or other pet gift sites!
#2. Obsess about quality
It’s not the number of links you get, or the number of articles you write or the number of pages that you publish. It’s about getting links from quality sites in your industry. Remember:
In deciding the importance of your site and your search rankings, search engines put emphasis on the quality of sites that link to you. What could be a better source of unbiased information than a link from an article that a journalist has written and an editor approved?
Just as important if not more so, is that quality sites will have high levels of traffic and as a result, you’ll get a lot of interested people visiting your site.
Quality links attract other links. People see a link to your site on BBC.com. NYTimes.com, Digg.com and many others and they’ll be more likely to link to you. There is a power law at work, the strong get stronger - people with good inbound links get more inbound links without asking.
You can also get some pretty neat testimonials - being able to write, ‘as featured on the BBC’ on your website is a valuable endorsement.
#3. The number of links pointing to your site is not a good measure of the success of your link building efforts.
A website with 100 quality inbound links will outperform a website with thousands of links from mediocre websites. And the situation is further complicated by the fact that Google does not report all the links that it knows about.
So what should you do? Here are the main things I would look at:
Appearance on the top blogs and blog search engines
Appearance in Google news
The sites that already link to you and drive traffic
New sites that link to you - check your log files regularly.
Of course, the thing about quality links is that they’re hard to get - you have to really make a concentrated effort, but the results will be well worth it.
Building quality links is rarely an overnight success but there are exceptions. Sites can make a tremendous impact in a short time if they have an exceptional story to tell. But for most of us, immediate success is not usually the case. Sure, go for the spectacular if you can but treat it as a bonus. Don’t forget to stick to the task and build up quality links over time. If you start with content that is genuinely useful, and if you target sites that are real sources of information for sizable numbers of readers in your marketplace, then you will succeed and start to see powerful and sustained results in a matter of months.
#4 One other way to start boosting your 1 way links.... list in directories. There are an abundance of them on the web. I, personally, choose only free directories. IMHO paid ones have no more power than free ones.
check this list that has a ton of directories.
Most directories do not require a recipicol link, so these are considered 1 way links.
NOW... Get to work! You have a big job ahead of you!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Most don't allow "store ads" however, I have posted 1 item within my store as "for sale".
Read all the "rules" for each of these.
This is the "big boy". You can only post 1 ad in 1 city for the same thing each week.
However, for my Candy Bar wrapper site....
I may select 1 city, post a "for sale" 100 custom wedding favors for $xxx ... see http://www.candybarwrap.com/ for designs.
then in another city .... "for sale" 100 custom Birthday candy bars for $xxx ... see http://www.candybarwrap.com/
OR from http://www.promote-101.com/ , I post "golf stuff" in Arizona & t-shirts in another city.
You get the jist.
Here are a few to start with....
When I google "free classified" I get over 19 million results.
So use your wordpad, develop an ad & start copy & pasting.
BE SURE to read the rules for different sites and remember that MOST offer free for 7 days & want you to pay for 30 day ads.
You decide but I, personally, use free & relist each month or so.
Set up "free ads" in your bookmarks & each month you can quickly find all those free classified sites.
Happy Promoting all :)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Here is a place to add your site to. It is Free, of course, & they would just like you to "spread the word"
You can see a sample: http://www.businessesgrowingtogether.com/Discount/Gifts.html
More info & form link at http://www.businessesgrowingtogether.com/Discount/1
Happy Holidays all LOL
Saturday, July 12, 2008
With the popularity of this marketing medium increasing and the number of websites always growing, everyone wants to be at the top of Google's search engine rankings. Doing that is not an easy feat, however with patients, one can definitely improve their chances of reaching that glorious first page result.
Given that there are a ton of websites out there who are on the first page, what is their secret?
It is a little industry term called "SEO" and it stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO basically consists of the customization of your website, its content and its internal and external links to assist in the overall indexing and ranking of your website in popular search engines.
First... here are some GREAT free tools to help you out:
There are many contributing factors that are used in determining a website's ranking and every search engine is different. This makes trying to optimize your site for Google, Yahoo, Live and the many others quite a huge undertaking.
As most of us are aware, Google is currently the most popular search engine for the majority of Internet users. As such, it is only normal that we'd want to focus our sights on achieving a higher ranking within Google first with the hope that the rest will follow.
To do this, we must start this project that could take months before we start seeing any real results, however we have to start somewhere.
This begins by defining some of the key contributing factors that Google uses to determine a website's and webpage's ranking within its results. These factors range from keyword use to manipulating internal and external links and the líst goes on.
To get you started, we have listed the top twenty factors that you should focus on in order to help get your website that little bit closer to the top of the search engine results listings.
Keyword Use Factors:
The following components relate to the use of search query terms in determining the rank of a particular page.
1. Keyword Use in Title Tag - Placing the targeted search term or phrase in the title tag of the web page's HTML header.
2. Keyword Use in Body Text - Using the targeted search term in the visible, HTML text of the page.
3. Relationship of Body Text Content to Keywords - Topical relevance of text on the page compared to targeted keywords.
4. Keyword Use in H1 Tag - Creating an H1 tag with the targeted search term/phrase.
5. Keyword Use in Domain Name & Page URL - Including the targeted term/phrase in the registered domain name, i.e. keyword.com plus target terms in the webpage URL ie: www.candybarwrap.com
Searching "candy bar wrap" I am on page 1.
6. Link Popularity within the Site's Internal Link Structure - Refers to the number and importance of internal links pointing to the target page.
7. Quality/Relevance of Links to External Sites/Pages - Do links on the page point to high quality, topically-related pages? http://www.candybarwrap.com/OurLinkPartners.html
You can see that the majority of links are relevent to my Custom Candy Bar Wrapper site
8. Age of Document - Older pages may be perceived as more authoritative while newer pages may be more temporarily relevant.
9. Amount of Indexable Text Content - Refers to the literal quantity of visible HTML text on a page.
10. Quality of the Document Content (as measured algorithmically) - Assuming search engines can use text, visual or other analysis methods to determine the validity and value of content, this metric would provide some level of rating.Site/Domain AttributesThe factors below contribute to Google's rankings based on the site/domain on which a page resides.
11. Global Link Popularity of Site - The overall link weight/authority as measured by links from any and all sites across the web (both link quality and quantity).
12. Age of Site - Not the date of original registration of the domain, but rather the launch of indexable content seen by the search engines (note that this can change if a domain switches ownership).
13. Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site - The subject-specific relationship between the sites/pages linking to the target page and the target keyword.
14. Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community - The link weight/authority of the target website amongst its topical peers in the online world.
15. Rate of New Inbound Links to Site - The frequency and timing of external sites linking in to the given domain.Inbound Link AttributeThese pieces affect Google's weighting of links from external websites pointing to a page and ultimately will assist in the ranking of that page.
16. Anchor Text of Inbound Link.
17. Global Link Popularity of Linking Site.
18. Topical Relationship of Linking Page.
19. Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community - The link weight/authority of the target website amongst its topical peers in the online world.
20. Age of Link.
Negative Crawling/Ranking Attributes - There are also some points we should make before you start getting your hands dirty. With any type of SEO marketing, there are some things that can actually have a negative impact on your ranking.
These following components may negatively affect a spider's ability to crawl a page or its rankings at Google.
Server is Often Inaccessible to Bots.
Content Very Similar or Duplicate of Existing Content in the Index.
External Links to Low Quality/Spam Sites.
Duplicate Title/Meta Tags on Many Pages.
Overuse of Targeted Keywords (Stuffing/Spamming).
It's now time to get busy! Start prioritizing your tasks, modifying your content and building your internal and external links to meet some of the above guidelines. Keep in mind that improving indexing is mostly a technical task and improving ranking is mostly a business/marketing strategy. What might work now may not work in the future and finally, it takes time. Loads of time. Still, with a bit of trial and error and a good dose of persistence, you can achieve the search engine ranking you're after.
Friday, July 11, 2008
The top 25 social media networks delivered over 155 million unique visitors in Feb. 2008 with 70 percent coming from MySpace, ( www.myspace.com/candybarwrap ) Facebook and Classmates.com. Add in YouTube and Flickr and you get another 60 million totaling an estimated 215 million humans viewing social media monthly. Compare that to television where an average 24-hour period delivers around 50 million unique viewers.
The highest viewership day of the year, Super Bowl Sunday, has an estimated 110 million unique U.S. residents viewing television. Even over an entire month there is arguably less than 200 million total unique television viewers. The Internet has become a powerful platform for advertisers to reach mass audiences via user generated video too. According to comScore Video Metrix, U.S. Internet users viewed over 10 billion videos online in the month of December alone. Imagine a 15 to 30 second commercial with each video view and the Internet seems ready today to compete with broadcast TV in delivering commercial views.
Advertising on social media is not about clicks or click rate any more than TV commercials are; it's about quickly reaching reaching a huge U.S audience. Sooner rather than later, advertisers will see social media as a great way to reach mass audiences. After all, in terms of audience size there are several Super Bowls every day on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube! It simply doesn't matter what the click rate is for Facebook, MySpace and YouTube because they reach huge audiences that major advertisers like Ford, Pepsi and McDonald's can't help but see the value in. Predictably, Adwords buyers will see the value too. Click rates are a reflection of pageviews and social media sites similar to TV have a large overlapping audience that hang around them all day, every day.
Television would have a low click rate too if an ad campaign were measured over the course of a months worth of programs on the same network, assuming you could click the screen. People also tune in and out of TV just like they do with social media. According to Compete's figures for every unique visitor to YouTube there are 54 pageviews. With Facebook, a unique visitor creates an amazing 564 pageviews in a month and on MySpace each person generates a staggering 1,110 pageviews. The social media audience is loyal, large and habit-oriented just like broadcast TV.
They also hit the prime youth-tilting demographic who are big spenders online and are considered a high value audience by ad agencies and advertisers. Ultimately, what advertisers value is the audience, not just the clicks.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
#1: BUSINESS CARDS. handing out cards is one of the cheapest ways to advertise your business. It is your "little billboard". Printing yourself or you can get cheap card from http://www.vistaprint.com/
Put them in EVERY order.... leave at restaurants .... hand to Bank teller.... always have them in your wallet or purse. Do you sell pet supplies? Leave some around a pet store...
Many people don't set their cards up right... Always have these 3 things on your card:
WHO you are
HOW to get ahold of you
WHAT you do.
I have seen SOOOO many cards left on bulletin boards with: ABC company & a phone...
what the hell do they do????? OR ABC company, a phone AND with a pen, "piano repair"...
WELL JUST PRINT THAT ON THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! I just want to shake people who do that. (one of my pet peeves)
#2: Be a walking billboard. At http://www.promote-101.com/ you can
put your logo or web address on shirts... totes.... golf markers....
Get others to be YOUR walking billboard! Give-a-ways..... all from http://www.promote-101.com/
Hats, watches, earrings, Clocks, even Golf ball markers for those SPECIAL golfing clients!
Let them wear or use items with YOUR info on them!
#3: Your message on voice mail or machine..... "sorry, we are not available. if you would like more information visit http://www.candybarwrap.com/ for personalized candy bar wrappers" Something like that.
#4: Postcards & flyers
The internet is full of addresses to most targeted markets..... google certain bizes if you work with them .... I signed up for a cheap mailing address for bridal leads ... baby leads ... graduates in any zip code I wanted. Local leads in Yellow pages or online yellow pages. Google Chamber of commerces in a certain city. They almost ALWAYS have member lists with addresses & phone numbers. If you have a local "welcome wagon" or Chamber of commerce (not free though) see what it would cost to add your brochure into their packets.
#5 Let those high Gas prices help pay to advertise. Vinyl window stickers from http://www.jlcustomgraphx.com/ . Always in white & on the rear window. Cars at stop lights or in rush hr traffic have nothing better to do than stare at the back of your car.
Car magnets. (just make sure they don't have REALLY cool graphics.) A friend of mine who had a Beer making shop had a beer mug shaped car magnet. After the 2nd one got stolen, he changed to Text in a square magnet.
So there are a few ideas....
Feel free to add comments with other ideas!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The best way is to go to each & manually submit your site.
http://dir.yahoo.com/ click on "suggest a site" in upper right.
Here are some others that will submit to several other search engines for you
I've submited only once. If you keep your site fresh & new at LEAST every month, the searches will see that you have new content & will reindex you each time they do a search.
Some takes...days, weeks or months to index. Be patient & just keep doing all the other suggestions in this blog.
http://www.ecrater.com/ will send your site to google products automatically. So there... you don't have to do google feeds everytime you list new products.
Just having Fresh & New content will keep your site at the top of the heaps.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Find forums that would sorta match your site content. Baby items... "mommy forums"... Book sellers ... reading & book clubs.
Now most forums or groups either allow you to intro yourself once & some with a link to your site. But just about all allow a sig. (a small link under your name)
However... I sorta link my site while I'm "talking about" something or answering a question.
Q: how are your sales doing during the summer? blah...blah...blah
My A: My sales are doing great.... my Kid's ceiling Fans are selling great for the summertime.
OR.... alot of mom's are redecorating their kid's Bedrooms & ordering children's ceiling fans
OR another example:
Q: I am having a party for my daughters first birthday. We are planning on a big party with a BBQ. Any Idea's for other stuff?
A: I got a bunch of personalized Hershey miniatures & Custom Hershey Kisses & tossed a few in the middle of all the tables with confetti that I got at the party store.
Another cool idea are scratch off tickets.... put them under each plate & give the winner a prize.
So you see how you can add your links without spamming your forum.
If you can't add any hyperlinks... CRAM your responses with keywords & say "at my site... I have these cool Italian Charms that would work great for what you are looking for. A Charm Bracelet would be a perfect for your neice as a Bat Mitzvah gift" then you should have your sig under your name that they can click & look.
This way, the search engines will not pull any links .... but it may pick up "Bat Mitvah" or "italian charm" & your sig will be right there.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Years ago... the thought was "build it & they will come" . Those days are long gone. "build it & PROMOTE ...PROMOTE...PROMOTE." Then Promote some more!
This post will start with tips on Linking with other sites.
Set up separate pages on your site for recipicol linking. Each page should be for a separate category. All categories should be relavent to your site. If you are a furniture site... don't link with a viagra site or online casinos.
Do Not set up a "link farm" & link with sites that are not 20 pages of just "links".
I also will not link to a site that has NO resource or "link partners" linking from their HOME PAGE. I will also not link with companies that have a third party directory site.
Linking helps with your search ranking but I also get hits from some of those sites.
My resource page: http://www.candybarwrap.com/OurLinkPartners.html
I link with party, baby, wedding mostly.
I have the ecrater stores as a courtesy for all my ecrater friends. I just HOPE it won't mess with my search ranking.
You can make your own "rules" for linking sites with others. I don't link with direct competitors like other candy wrapping sites. And don't be afraid to tell a "requester" "sorry, I can't link with link farms... etc."
Finding sites that take recipicol links is relatively easy. Google "add link"... start linking & emailing.
Another site to get links & link requests: http://www.linkmarket.com/
Yes... it's FREE!
Friday, June 27, 2008
The best way to start is get a paper notebook. Do a draft layout of the pages you are planning to add. This will make it ALOT easier when you are designing it on your computer!
Start by putting a page name at the top of every page. (home, resources, prices, samples, etc.)
Then you can write the text you want on each page, write in the link locations etc.
*** tip **** start each page with text that has your keywords for that page.
Have your phone number on your front page. Customers don't like hunting for ANY information.
They also don't want to wait a day or 2 for an email response.
IF YOU DON'T WANT AN EXPENSIVE SECOND LINE or don't want customers calling your home phone..... I have this REALLY COOL & CHEAP line! www.magicjack.com
You have to have high speed internet.... choose a number in your area. It hooks into your USB port (I have one desktop in the house that is always on) then you hook ANY phone into the magicjack instead of the wall. Now here's the best part!!! Cost like $50some for the magicjack AND the first YEAR of local, long distance, messages, caller ID... after the first year it is a whopping $20 a YEAR!!! Yes... a YEAR! I don't have a landline anymore. I have magicjack & my cell phone. I save just over $50 a month!!! if you google "magicjack" there is a NonOfficial forum.
OK... now some design tips.
LOGOs: You can design your own... I use PaintShopPro for all my design work. If you are not a great designer, see http://www.cooltext.com/ http://www.flamingtext.com/ http://www.logoblog.com/ & many more for simple quick logo designs.
Logos should reflect your business. Professional looking logos are the best.
Don't want an elephant on your clothing store logo ... you get the picture.
My daughter hand drew this one & then I added the text & made it a bit 3D with PSP (it's light because it's watermarked into my background on my site)
A few inexpesive places for logos & other cool store buttons etc.
http://website-graphics.ecrater.com/ *this one is really cool!*
WEBSITE COLORS: White or light is the best. Textures or image background should be very light like a watermark. Bright colors can be used as menu bars or headers. Please match colors & be sure they are in your theme. Red & green is Christmas... so unless you have a Christmas Item store, those 2 colors would NOT be a great choice.
Now this is MY opinion: pastels.... men (yes, I get business men calling to advertise their bizes at my candybar site) would not stay very long. If you cater to the baby industry, party or weddings ... then pastels would be fine. But you may want to stick to very neutral backgrounds, & darker blues, tans, browns or greens if your targeted customers are both genders.
I am setting up a Golf shop (a work in progress) but you will notice the color scheme is green.
Even though women visit... I kept it "golfing green".
& Finally for this post.... Meta Tags... titles & descriptions:
Tags are the main thing search engines look at. If those tags are NOT relevent to that page, you will be chewed up & spit out on page 999 of the searches.
Tags must be listed above the body of each page in the header.
TITLE TAGS: This is the text that is displayed in the top section of the browser when you open a certain page. Example: Books Audio Movies Music - Online
META DESCRIPTION TAGS: This a a short description of your web site. Example: variety of books of all types: children's, adult's, audiobooks, homeschool curriculum, classics.
META KEYWORD TAGS: List all related keywords separated by "," Example: books, movies, audio, audiobooks, classic books, adult books
These Tags should be different on each page. "wedding" on your wedding page, etc.
3rd party stores & template made sites may be different.
So I thought I would start from the beginning. There are MANY types of sites to build. Depending on your knowledge level.... some of this info may or may not be for you. I am NOT a "geek" so alot of this stuff you will have to figure out, ask your webmaster or call a tech support.
I will give you the basics but you have to do the "click by click" action.
**** THE BIGGEST & MOST IMPORTANT TIP ****
If you are having a webmaster, friend, sister, brother, child, spouse or ANYONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF designing your site..... have them send via email ALL passwords & locations of your domains & hosts. If you can, have them send an HTML file of EVERY WEB PAGE.
Even if it all looks like Greek to you, SAVE it on your computer!!!
If your designer moves or is abducted by Aliens ..... you can have someone else OR if you have learned web designing, change or redo your site .... you are not stuck with 99 cent items forever! LOL
EASY way to start:
Using a third party store. This is a way to get products up & posted with a shopping cart already integrated. No HTML knowledge... just plug in the info & pictures.
2 places that are free: http://www.ecrater.com/ or http://www.buyitsellit.com/
My favorite is ecrater only because they come up really high in Google if you set up your store & do alot of the things they tell you to do. Google "children's ceiling fans" my ecrater store is #2 on page 1. http://www.kjscreations.ecrater.com/
PROS: Easy to set up... they help you promote .... shopping cart already available .... the community forums are full of helpful info & other sellers that can help. You can also buy a domain name from anyplace ( I highly recommend http://www.godaddy.com/) & quickly forward it to your ecrater or buyitsellit store.
CONS: No HTML designing... no html linking. It is a "subdomain" unless you have your domain forwarded. No forms available for customer to add personalized info.... you will have to email the customer for the info.
Here are 3 samples http://www.kjscreations.ecrater.com
http://www.corporatecandywraps.com (auto forwarded)
& a 1 page site that links into our ecrater store: http://www.petsadored.com/
INTERMEDIATE: Free sites that have "subdomains" usually have templates.
You can google "free web hosting" or Free subdomains
PROS: easy to set up.... most are totally free
CONS: Popup advertising.... banners & subdomains are harder to get into searches.
Usually a template... so you can't add alot of the "bells & whistles" that you may want.
HIGHER INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED: This MAY be hard for some. Get your domain & I also buy hosting thru http://www.godaddy.com/ they have GREAT prices, great sales & AWESOME phone tech support!
You need to either have Dreamweaver, Frontpage or an FTP program to design & upload to whoever your Host company is.
PROS: You or your webmaster can add all the bells & whistles you need. Can add form scripts, shopping carts... just about anything you need.
CONS: Not absolutely free... but pretty cheap. Harder to set up. Usually takes longer to set up, depending on your content.
Now... these 2 sites were designed on Frontpage & then I uploaded the HTML files via an FTP program.
Here is a FREE FTP program:
I had to have a webgeek teach me how to use it... once I learned, it's now a breeze.
Let me introduce myself... I am Shelly & I have been building my own sites since 1995. I remember the VERY first business site I did via ALL HTML (as I was learning) & remember thinking it was just the coolest site ever. I had more blinking...scrolling.... goofy graphics... music... Now I think back to that first site & laugh. What a mess it was!
Now.... even though my sites are always a "Work in Progress" ... I've come a long way from the days of blinking stars & embedded Midi files!
This blog will have "places I've seen" & "tips I've heard" about building & promoting websites & third party stores. There is alot more out there than I know about, but by subscribing to e-zines... newsletters & such, I am always finding "new & improved" ways to get my sites up on the searches & get that traffic really flowing into my site!
I have many sites.... but the main ones are www.candybarwrap.com & www.creativecandyland.com
Google "engraved chocolate".... my www.creativecandyland.com site is #1 (NOT sponsored listings... this is for FREE promoting)
I am STILL working on getting www.candybarwrap.com higher with certain keywords
but I'm #3 on page 1 with "candy wraps"
So... take a look at some of these tips & great places to promote YOUR website!