Monday, June 30, 2008

Marketing on Forums & groups

Now it's time to "talk up" your new site.
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

Now Start Marketing... linking

After you have your site all ready for customers..... it is time to market.

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:
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:

Yes... it's FREE!

Friday, June 27, 2008

STEP #2 Design Tips on your website

Here are some tips on setting up a great looking website.

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!
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 & 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. *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.

STEP #1 Setting up a website

You can't market a site if you don't have one.

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.

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: or

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.

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 & 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 (auto forwarded)
& a 1 page site that links into our ecrater store:

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 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.

Intro to finding Free or Cheap web promoting sites

I am starting this blog for great tips & locations where to get either FREE or REALLY CHEAP tools to promote your site.

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 &
Google "engraved chocolate".... my site is #1 (NOT sponsored listings... this is for FREE promoting)
I am STILL working on getting 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!