Roseburg and Building a List

I want to tell you about something I discovered recently while on a trip to Roseburg, Oregon.

What I discovered changed my business, and just possible, might change yours.

But first, let me explain what I have been doing on the internet, and how it may hold the key to helping you monetize your website.

I have been quietly flying under the radar for the past year and a half, making money on the internet. How? By finding on-line markets with hungry buyers, creating websites, and selling digital (non-physical) products to these hungry buyers. I didn’t realize how well I had done on the internet this past year until after our taxes were calculated, and our bookkeeper informed me that with just one website – just one – I made over $2,000.

With just one of my several websites I made me over $2,000 last year. What is really funny is what I sell through that website. I sell a silly little ebook of plans on how to build a ping pong table.

A single website making $2,000 over a year won’t get me rich, but let me ask you a question.

“How many people do you know made any money at all from a website?”

To be honest, this success has not come easy. I have spent many hours laboring in front of a computer, analyzing markets, writing ebooks, crafting on-line salesletters, building websites, and building lists of customer’s contact information.

But back to my weekend at Roseburg and why it is important to you.

A few months ago, I traveled to Roseburg, Oregon, for a short overnight trip with friends. We had met our friends in church and we decided to travel together to attended a conference. I remember this weekend well because it was unseasonable hot, and while in Roseburg, our friend’s care was rammed by a SUV in a parking lot.

Our new friends own a local small business here in Central Oregon, and they have owned and run this business for over 10 years. They are the only supplier of their particular product line in Central and Eastern Oregon.

Over breakfast at Shari’s Restaurant on a Sunday morning, I asked them about their marketing efforts. They told me that they have a small yellow page ad in the phone book, advertise twice a year on the radio, and once in a while send out a direct mailing. They said they had a website, they think, but didn’t even know if it was on-line or not.

I then asked my business friends a very simple question:

“What do you do to stay in contact with your customer base?”

Their reply was – “We don’t”.

Over a third and then a fourth cup of coffee in Shari’s Restaurant, on that muggy Sunday morning, I told them what I did.

• How to peek inside a consumer’s mind and find out what people are already looking for on the internet before I even think about building a website.
• How to build a direct response website with pages built around the search phrases that my target audience is looking for.
• Why a single page direct response website can make more money than a website with 100 pages.
• How to get personal contact information from website visitors using a direct response website – and why they are more than glad to give you their personal information.
• Why building a list of customers is better than having money in the bank.
• How to automate building your list – all without lifting a finger.

My business friends had never heard any of this before. Doing business this way on the internet was news to them.

They became very excited. They could see the value of building a long term relationship with their customers by using a direct response website to build a list of loyal subscribers.

Why?

Because the money is in the list.

Just imagine having a subscriber list of 500 or 1,000 people. Imagine sending a well timed offer to your list with whom you have built a relationship over time.  What offers can you send to the people on your list?

Coupons.  Specials.  Limited time sales.

Or, how much do you think an advertiser would be willing to pay you so they could place a single ad in an eZine sent to your loyal and educated subscribers?

Without a doubt, the single biggest thing you could possibly do for your business today to make money on the internet tomorrow, is to build a list of subscribers.

And I am willing to help you do this.

How?

Call 541-480-3113 today, ask for Mike, and discover how you can finally use the internet to increase sales for your business.

Pretty Versus Money

Search engines can’t “see” a site. They can only “read” a site. And search engines only read text, not graphics. Gorgeous graphics or a pretty flash slide show mean nothing to a search engine.

Pretty does not talk to a search engine.

Search engines are blind to graphics.

Search engines love text.

What “talks” to a search engine are the words, the content, the material in your site that explains, shares, informs, educates, and babbles. Make sure you have quality word content for a search engine to examine and compare with all the parts and pieces to give you a good “score” with the search engines.

Why?

Because people are looking for content. Not for pretty. A people looking for content have money to spend.

Write Your Content with Searchers in Mind

How do you find information on the Internet?

If you are writing something that you want to be “found” on the Internet, think about the words and phrases someone would use to find your information. Use them more than once as you write, but not in every sentence. Learn how search engines scan your content, evaluate it, and categorize it so you can help yourself get in good favor with search engines.

Content First

A search engine enters your site and, for the most part, ignores the styles and CSS. It just plows through the site gathering content and information. Few search engines scan more than the first third of the page before moving on. Make sure your site puts the content near the top.

Keywords, Links, and Titles Meet Content

Search engines do not evaluate your site on how pretty it is, but they do evaluate the words and put them through a sifter, giving credit to certain words and a combination of words. Keywords found within your meta tag keywords listings and within your document are compared to words found within your links and titles. The more that match, the better your “score.”

And this is such a simple thing – create a page around each keyword with the keyword in the page title, meta tag description, meta tag keywords, the H1 tag, in the content, and in links. So simple but so frequently not done. If you do not take the time to properly build your site so it is search engine friendly, then it is harder for the search engines to crawl and score your site. And if it is harder for the search engines, it becomes harder for people to find your website.

Why make it hard for your customers to find your website? Are you trying to hide from your potential customers?

Of course not, so make it easy for search engines and customers.

Content in Links and Images

What if you have a graphic rich site?

Your site may not have much text, mostly photographs and links, but you have places in which to add textual content. Search engines look for alt and title in link and image tags. While these have a bigger purpose of making your site more accessible, having good descriptions and words in these attributes helps provide more content for search engines to digest.

Again, simple, but few people (read website designers) take the time to do this.

Link Popularity

It is not how good your site is, it is how good the sites are that link to you. These are called incoming links or backlinks. The number of backlinks, contrary to what you hear by SEO “experts” still holds weight with search engine favoritism.

It’s about who links to you. The number of incoming links your site has that have been recognized by Google can be checked by typing link:www.yoursite.com into Google or Yahoo. Other ways to generate incoming links to your site include:

  • Add your site’s url to your signature on forum posts on other sites.
  • Submit your site to directories such as DMOZ.
  • Publish articles with your sites url in the resource box

What about leaving comments on blogs? Usually this will not help, because all modern blogging tools use the rel=”nofollow” attribute.

What about link farms, or paying to have your websites url placed on a website with a high page rank?

Run don’t walk from that scam…

Build quality content and you will find other websites linking to your website because they are finding great content on your website, and want to link to your site.

Good Navigation Links

Lastly, help the poor search engine out. Make it easy for Google, Yahoo, and MSN to crawl your site by using navigation links in the content of your website.

A search engine crawls through your site, moving from page to page. Good navigational links to the categories, archives, and various pages on your site will invite a search engine to move gracefully from one page to another, following the connecting links and visiting most of your site.

Viola!

Your site gets crawled quickly and easily, and thus your precious content becomes quickly indexed by the search engines, making it easier for people searching information to find YOUR site.

Easy, eh?

But few website designers do this.

For a free on-line marketing audit of your website which includes a SEO evaluation, call 541-480-3113.

Twitter and Marketing

Well I am not consistent with Twitter, which is probably why I am not seeing consistent traffic from Twitter.

I know that many internet marketers use Twitter.

What is Twitter?

Think of Twitter as a mini-blog, where you are limited to a “tweet” of 140 characters. Thus it forces you to keep it short.

Why Tweet in Twitter?

Build up a following (hey! I have eight followers!) of several hundred people. Promote something and several hundred people hear about it…like right now.

And of course it provides back links, really important if you have a wimpy little website with no traffic.

And of course Twitter is fun!

You can find all about it at www.twitter.com. And you can find me on Twitter at @mikedarling.

Tweet away!

Headlines and Sales

While driving to Paisley, Oregon on a recent camping trip, I had the opportunity to listen to John Carlton and Michael Fortin talk about copy writing. Copy writing is an incredibly important skill because based on the words you write people send you money. Which when you think about it, is pretty amazing.

Anyway, they talked about various things, but one of the important topics I got out of the conversation was creating and writing headlines that sell.

John Carlton reminded us that people are basically asleep. And we have to wake them up and get them excited and intrigued with our headline so they read our copy. And interested enough in what we are selling in our copy to open up their wallet and get the credit card out.

Headlines
Use headlines that juxtapose things that are different. Go to the grocery store. Look at the headlines on glossy magazine covers and the National Inquirer. See how the headlines grab you?

I have a web site that sells ping pong table plans. The current headline is “How to Build Your Own Ping Pong Table and Save Hundreds”.

Pretty boring, huh?

My conversion rate is approximately 1.5% so I am doing “ok”, but that means 98.5% of the people that visit my sales letter never buy.

Time to experiment with headlines and do some split A/B testing. How about “How Three Bored Aussies Built Their Own Ping Pong Table and How You Can Too”? or how about “How Building a Ping Pong Table Can Be Easier Then Falling Off a Log”. Oh, pretty bad… copy writing is hard, isn’t it?

I will let you know how it goes…any suggestions on a better headline?

Welcome

I look forward to showing you how your small business can use the power of direct response websites to get more customers and retain the customers you have.

For a free one-half hour consultation of your website and on-line marketing efforts, call me at (541) 480-3113.

Mike Darling
541-480-3113