Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just what is a blog & how can I market my site with one?

Just what is a blog??
From wikipedia:
"A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual[citation needed], 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.[1] 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 & 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

Target your marketing efforts

Yellow pages..... calendar ads at your local high school .... bench signs .... newspaper ads ....
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 & watch for free imprinted postcards. I got 100 free (pd s/h) wedding postcards with my 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". 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!
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

A few more linking tips

If your site has useful content and is doing something unique, you're already ahead of much of the competition. People need a reason to link to your site, as very few will do it out of the goodness of their heart. Trading links can work, but link exchange networks have decreased in value and won't be of much use in competitive fields. Buying links, if you haven't heard, is a big Google no-no. While entire articles could be written on this topic, here are a few popular methods of acquiring incoming links:

#1 issuing company press releases with a link back to your site. Sites of interest & samples of press releases:

#2 submittíng to reputable business directories such as Yahoo! and

#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

Analyze Your Website's traffic

Do you know just how much traffic you are getting on a daily basis? What keywords potential clients are using to kind your site? Where those potential clients are coming from? What pages do they look at & how many are return customers?

To know if your marketing efforts are paying off... these statistics are INVALUABLE!

Google Analytics is one that I use with &

Statcounter is the one I use on my regular website...

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

HUGE list of FREE Places to promote your Website!

Thanks to Big and tall mens clothing & Boomerang records ... they have allowed me to post their list of Freebie places to list your site.
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 [Looks good-- Post your own Classified ad today! Each ad creates a One-page website. You can include a photo with your ad]
#2 Free Advertise products-- Los Angeles and surrounding counties only
#3 Found recent ads on this one appears to be nationwide – not sure
#4 As with other links like this- it has free ads offered by more than one link [domain is up for sale though]
#5 free ads for items –excludes business and services
#7 your free ads in our classifieds and community pages ($2.50 value)
#8 MICHIGAN must register for classifieds
#9 SCUBA equipment only
#10 This one requires click here to contact advertiser [maybe send ecrater link from there?]
#11 site is up for sale - offering freeby ads since 1996
#12 related-place ad and be listed on 20 search engines
#13 XXAirline pilots plane owners $39 reg fee
#14 If this link doesn’t work go to Google and it comes up As [LOOKS good! Punched in ecrater in search and up came an ecrater seller’s item - CHECK THIS ONE OUT!]
#15 LOOKS free, takes some reading to decide
#16 displays current free ads
#17 free ads requires active X JAVA DOWNLOAD
#18 free ads and auctions
#19 free website building UK based
#20 New Orleans free classified
#21 Louisiana free ads
#22 free ads for 100 days only
#23 Paid membership site boasts of increasing web presence
#24 144000 ads free listing no reg
#25 Paid membership site boasts of increasing web presence
#26 Free ads Music Gigs Band related
#27 CANADA free ads
#28 UK SITE- Free ads must register HIGH HITS [it says]
#29 FREE UP TO $999 item value
#30 free ads must agree to webmaster emails
#31 free listing no reg
#33 Lotsa free stuff + paid services #34 MICHIGAN free classified
#35 free ads
#36 COLORADO mostly real estate some ads
#37 Free ads -watch for popups!
#38 Pennsylvania thousands of hits?
#39 click on free website martketing
#40 mostly for web design but check classifieds
#41 Free classified Sacramento CA
#44 ** Make your website interactive with Free-CGI AND free ads
#45 click advertising - shows multiple free links
#46 free ad but deletes in 2 weeks
#48 WEBSITE services
#49 Looks good free ad with forums
#50 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

One way links better than link exchanges?

Having many inbound links is a daunting task, but in the end ... worth every bit of time spent working on it. Unlike link exchanges, inbound only links give your site a tremendous boost in ALL search engines.
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 I have a link to a great Personalized Product site, 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, 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

Free Classified Ads

A bazillion free classified ad sites are out there.
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 for designs.

then in another city .... "for sale" 100 custom Birthday candy bars for $xxx ... see

OR from , 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

Promote for the Holidays

I know.... it's July but promoting for the next season should be a good season ahead. Now you may not get orders & hits right away but considering google indexes sites about once in 2 weeks to a month.... now is the time to get started. Also... potential clients will start "thinking" about shopping or Companies will start planning client gifts & Holiday parties. Will YOUR website be ready for those "early birds"?

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:

More info & form link at

Happy Holidays all LOL

Christmas countdown banner

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Top 20 Contributing Factors For Google SEO

Websites are one of the most popular ways of advertising. Whether it's a business, product or service or something completely different, everyone of all ages is turning to the web as a method of getting their message out there.
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. plus target terms in the webpage URL ie:
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?
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

Social Media Advertising works

The reality is that social media delivers the holy grail for advertisers on the Internet: a mass-concentrated U.S. audience reach similar to television.

The top 25 social media networks delivered over 155 million unique visitors in Feb. 2008 with 70 percent coming from MySpace, ( ) Facebook and 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

Marketing OFFline

There are many free & really cheap ways to market your web business.

#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
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 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
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 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 . 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

Marketing.... Search Engines

There are a TON of search engines but the first ones to get listed on are Google, Yahoo, MSN & DMOZ. Most searches will pick up sites from the DMOZ

The best way is to go to each & manually submit your site. 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. 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.