Posted by Marty Dickinson on Aug 26, 2008
I finally came out of my cave Monday afternoon after finishing the required 70% complete deadline for my portion of the Web Marketing All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies book due in bookstores everywhere March/April 2009 (Wiley Publishing, publishers of the “For Dummies” books). John Arnold of Constant Contact (E-mail), Ian Lurie & Elizabeth Marsten of Portent Interactive (SEO, AdWords, Social Networking, blogs), and just added, Michael Becker (Mobile Marketing) from Iloop Mobile (personally can hardly wait to see what he’ll be adding about THAT very hot topic!).
When I was asked what I would like to write about, I immediately said, “the money part of course” So, I get the first section of the book which will be covering topics like:
- Converting more visitors to paying customers
- Writing promotional copy that sells
- Shopping cart setup
- Finding and promoting affiliate products
- Starting and building your own affiliate program
- Joint venturing
- Which website type is the best for you
- Design components that sell
- Hiring helpers so you’re not doing everything yourself
More coming on this topic coming soon but I have to mention that something else has happened in the process of writing this book, which is now listed on Amazon by the way. I think I’ve had more leads for business in the past two months than the first six months of this year combined. How could that be? I haven’t been doing anything differently in my promotions than usual. Must be the book. Just by telling people about it, people are talking about it. The book isn’t even out yet and people are talking about it. We’re not even finished writing it yet and people are already talking about it. Strange but true.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Aug 22, 2008
Whenever the conversation turns to Internet Marketing one name comes up more often than any other name…Armand Morin. Armand is the Expert that the experts turn to and watch for direction.
I first met Armand in 2000 at a conference where he was NOT a speaker. Yes he too was once an “attendee” sitting in an audience learning form other speakers. And, that’s my point. People are always asking me, “Marty, HOW do you learn this Internet marketing stuff?” And, I tell them how much I spend a year on attending conferences and buying educational materials.
In the BIGinning
The BIG Seminar is the place where it all starts. It’s the only Internet marketing conference I attend EVERY time. Why? Because Armand only picks truly cutting edge presenters and gives them plenty of time to deliver tons of content I usually begin implementing throughout the weekend of the conference! Yes, I don’t even wait until I get back to start. I’m too energized to wait! While others are partying at the bar, I’m up until 3am trying out what I learned on my laptop.
Who Attends Big Seminar
The audience is made up of about 40% that are brand stinkin’ new to the web, but you could be sitting next to a multi-millionaire who has dozens or even hundreds of websites. And, that’s one of my favorite things about Big Seminar. You just never know who you’re going to meet.
If you are strapped for cash, Big Seminar is the ONLY conference I would recommend you attend coming this October 3, 4, and 5 in Atlanta Georgia. And, if you can’t afford a couple thousand dollars toward your own education, you NEED to attend more than others! It’s the only conference I can honestly say pays for itself, for me, within the first week after the conference. It’s that good.
Now, let’s be real…
Big Seminar has an affiliate program. That means if I refer others to attend, I get some of the bucks. Basic sales and basic Internet stuff. And sure, when you register, of course I want you to Register Here through my affiliate link. But, there’s something more…
I always offer to my clients that when they attend the Big Seminar, if they’ve registered through my link (which they always do), they will get to meet with me as a small focus group on Friday and Saturday night in a private meeting room where we can go over what was covered during the day. I answer any questions they have and it really helps to have someone to put everything together into a summary of steps and fill in the blanks. Then, when we get back (because I always fly home on late Sunday afternoon), we schedule a conference call to go over what was covered on Sunday.
See, going to something like Armand Morin’s Big Seminar is not only overwhelming from a content and learning standpoint, but just the sheer experience of it all requires some savvy to navigate through. After all, you’re in an audience with typically 500 or more people. Just meeting the one right person you needed to meet could change your whole life…and your income! But, how do you navigate through Big Seminar?
You need a guide. Someone who’s been there. Someone who knows most of the presenters, staff, and a good chunk of who will be in the audience too. Let me be your guide.
Not Sure Yet?
One of Armand’s trademarks is having phone interviews with the speakers leading up to the conference. Would you like to sit-in as Armand talks with other experts and they discuss their Internet Marketing Secrets?
You can…and it’s free.
Every Tuesday and Thursday up until the BigSeminar Armand will host a FREE training call with one of the expert Faculty from his upcoming Big Seminar. They will discuss what they’re doing on the Internet and how they do it.
The calls are FREE…click here now to register for the calls.
Calls times, phone number Passcode etc. will be immediately sent to you via email.
If you’re wondering where all those Internet marketing folks go to learn what’s new and what really works to build a business and increase sales, Armand’s Big Seminar is the place to be. I hope you’ll join me and take me up on my invitation to attend the after-hours meetings to go through things. After you register, be sure to let me know. You can contact me through the Ask Marty contact form.
And, I hope to see YOU at Big Seminar October 3, 4, and 5 2008 in Atlanta!
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Aug 22, 2008
Online chat is not only the communication mode of the future it’s the sales conduit of “NOW!” Sure, it’s great to be able to offer 24/7 support to your customers but the right online chat program can also allow you watch visitors as they arrive on your website. You can actually watch them migrate from page to page. Then when they get stuck, you can send them a little pop-up message that invites the to talk to you online.
At first thought, this is scary! But, once you get a feel for your audience and the questions they’re asking, it’s really not that hard to guess the right way to approach your website visitors. Do it right and it pays off!
The online chat software I use on multiple sites I own is not free, but is somewhere around $100 a year, which is a small price to pay for what they offer….
-24/7 online chat support (Ilene knows her stuff!!)
-customization of chat window
-private labeling (meaning your visitors will think it’s YOUR program)
-customizable exit questionnaire (which is a great way to increase opt-ins to your list, if done properly)
-a system worth paying for!
Actually, when I signed up for this system, I bought two accounts.
1) for my paying clients so that they could reach me most times of the day or night (whenever I had my computer turned on) and
2) for visitors checking out my main websites. And, I can assign any of my helpers to monitor chat requests.
Online chat has reduced my email from clients by half and has increased my sales by at least 200% as I’m able to answer questions immediately as surfers have them.
Discover the Online Chat system I use daily and highly recommend.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jul 28, 2008
Everything I learned for the first two years of using Google AdWords was from a single book. It was that good, I didn’t need another…until I discovered thie one I’m about to recommend to you here. Same author, same book, just updated. And, you don’t even have buy the book right off the bat. Just get used to the guy first by signing-up for his free ecourse.
Google AdWords to a business owner today is the equivalent of what a telephone used to mean to a salesperson 20 years ago. Both have been described as the most cost-effective, measurable promotion avenues of their time. If you don’t know how to manage a Google AdWords campaign for your business or product, it’s the equivalent of not being able to talk coherently to a prospect on the phone about your business. If you go another day, week, month before learning how to setup an ad campaign, split test ads, and monitor your conversion rates another year will slip by and you’ll look back on this moment why you didn’t take the next step!
Now, I’ll be honest. I’ve got this banner I’ve posted and when you click on it and eventually buy the book I’m recommending, I’m going to get a commission for the sale. If you don’t have any affiliate programs of your own, then that is a whole different discussion we need to have and the subject for another post.
But, that’s one of the best uses of Google AdWords is to promote affiliate products related to your industry and sphere of influence. You’re intereted in the blog topics I write about related to websites and Internet marketing, so this is a fitting affiliate product for me to recommend to you. See how that works?
Get started with Google AdWords today and there’s just no reason for you to try other, far more expensive programs by other speakers. Believe me I’ve seen what the other guys are offering and there’s really nothing better than this book, especially to get you started.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jul 4, 2008
Seeking Alpha blog reported that Google is coming up with an “experiment” expected to launch in September 2008 where they will produce a series of 50 cartoons that are each 2 minutes or less in length. You’ll be able to add these cartoons to your website and they’ll be much like Google Adsense where you the website owner will get a little cut each time one of your visitors clicks on the link to watch the video.
This is seen as Google’s way of monetizing video for themselves. I see it as a potential new method for viral marketing. If you see a good video on YouTube for example, you might send it to a friend right? If you come across a website with a hilarious cartoon, I think I might forward the page of the website to someone too.
The problem with that is the poor advertiser. I mean, someone has to pay for all of those clicks, right? If I search for a topic and come across a page on a website that has one of the cartoons, great, I’m targeted traffic. But if I send the page on to a friend or three or four friends, and tell them to go watch this cool new cartoon I’ve found, well, the advertiser suffers.
Suddenly their targeted marketing effort gets the additional traffic, but it probably won’t be targeted traffic. So, I dunno, I’m kinda skeptical about putting cartoons on my website. But, you know me, I’ll have to give it a try to see if my hunch is right.
So, go for it Google! Give me cartoons and I’ll make a buck or two off some AdSense style cartoon ads. Just hope the advertisers don’t blacklist me for sending a bunch of people to click on the cartoon ad only to see the cartoon. Or, maybe that’s their hope.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jun 19, 2008
I was talking with one of my website designers yesterday about my website waves blog and told him I made $2 the other day when I finally got my Adsense code installed. Now every time someone visits my Website Waves blog and clicks on the “Ads By Google” listings, I will get a few cents or maybe sometimes a little more. He kind of chuckled a bit and said something like “All that work for 2 dollars?” Well, it gets better, because if you’ve been keeping up with my blog journey diary, I only relaunched this blog a few weeks ago.
By following my Ultimate Blog Checklist, I’ll be able to calculate pretty close to how much traffic I’ll be getting to the blog by the end of this month and how much more it will increase by the end of August. And, by then the $2 a day will turn into $10/day…or at least that’s the goal. So, an additional $300 per month from Adsense is the goal. I’ll report at the end of August if I make the goal so stay tuned.
Today, though, is about exactly how I added the Adsense code. My designer kind of chuckled again as he asked, “Do you have to copy and paste Adsense code every time you make a post?” A firm “NO” was my answer. Once you have the Adsense code, you just copy and paste it into the appropriate file in your blog template.
Here, let me show you:
If you look at any page of the Website Waves blog, you will see a heading on the right column called “My Favorite Blogs.” Where I show the #1 in red is the html code that gives the heading its look and color, the way my designer designed it.
The #2 shows the code I was provided by adding the Adsense Plugin called Adsense Manager (free through WordPress of course).
3) The third step is to open the template file that contains the code for the right column (or any other column, header, footer where you would want to enter Adsense code to your blog posting.
This does require some FTP knowledge so that you can open the file on your computer, make the addition, save it, and transfer it back to your website hosting account where your blog is stored. But, that’s how it works anyway.
My designer then asked, “So, what about where you now have Adsense on every post in the middle of the post after the first main paragraph? Did you go back and manually add that code to every post?”
So, you might snicker too at my small fortune of the measly $2 I made yesterday, but now that I have the code embedded to appear automatically on every post I make, in the two most money-making places on a blog post, even on a bad day I’m already setup to make an extra $60 per month. And, that’s if I don’t even make any more postings!
Imagine the possibilities when I have hundreds of blog posts all with Google ads appearing within those posts? I’ll keep you, well, um, “posted!”
If you don’t have Adsense code appearing on every post in your blog, stop wasting opportunity! Give your designer or programmer a call and if you don’t have one, call me at 303-743-0832 or send a contact request and we’ll get you setup.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jun 17, 2008
How does your website score on the mobile readiness chart? As of this date, here’s the report for my Website Waves Blog. As you can see, there’s work to do. And, that’s okay. A blog is a phased-in process, y’know? The important thing is what got me interested in paying attention to mobile readiness for websites.
Rene LeMerle reported a statistic yesterday on webprowire that kicked me right in the tushy. He said Nielson Mobile counted 9 million purchases from cell phones during the month of April 2008. That’s more than 70% up from April 2007 folks. When it comes to marketing techniques, I love to stay on the cutting edge and try new things, but when it comes to equipment, I’m old school I guess. And, anything to do with a cell phone has taken me a while to come around and “see the light.” But, today is different. A 70% increase in a year is DEFINITELY a marketing thing and not a “cell phone” thing. And, I’m ready to take it seriously now. Hopefully you are too. So, what to do?
I’ve just run a test of this blog at ready.mobi and you should make a similar test of your websites and blogs. Later, I’ll post a checklist for you to go through so that you can take some action toward making your website mobile ready. Pay attention to mobile readiness! Hopefully the idea of 9 million potential buyers a month will be enough motivation for you. Sure was for me! Take the free test.
And, you can be sure that once I implement my own checklist to get in the good graces of cell phone users everywhere, I’ll be posting a new picture of my test. Hopefully it will be a “5″!
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jun 10, 2008
This morning was racquetball morning at the local rec center, another grueling 90 minutes of Marty and my friend Dave battling for survival and recognition. He wore his power-blue shirt and I had my usual glare that never gives up.
There are plenty of future blog posts I could make using racquetball as an example to relate to Website Waves topics. But, this time I wanted to respond to a question one of my clients asked me yesterday. She wanted to know how she could just make another $500 a month.
At the rec center this morning, there was a posting for janitorial help for $9/hour. For a mere 14 hours of work per week, she could have her extra $500 a month.
But I have a better idea and you won’t have to spend a dime…and I don’t even think it would take 9 hours a week to get to $500 per month.
There’s a social networking system called Ning.com. You start a new account for yourself and then once you have an account, you create a website topic. After answering a few questions, your social networking website is live. Your url will become yourtopicofchoice.ning.com so choose that name carefully chock full of keywords!
The great thing about Ning.com is that it allows you to post a forum and a blog with a whole slew of security measures to prevent people from doing certain unfavorable things in their posts. And, I haven’t found a reason yet why you would need a programmer to help, unless you really want to customize. But, first things first.
Why not spend two or three hours building a social network of your own about a topic you’re interested in and begin to monitize it? By adding a couple of affiliate program links to the left column and letting others come to your site to post experiences and questions, you would be surprised how easy it is to generate that extra $500 per month…all with a system that won’t charge you a dime.
Of course, Ning.com has upsells like applying your own domain name or allowing you to add your own Adsense code to the right column, but Ning.com is great for letting you get a feel for a social networking system and getting some monetizing going without ever charging you. Then, you can upgrade once things are paying for themselves. And, you know that’s my favorite part of the web when things pay for themselves.
Let me know your comments on whether you’ve used Ning.com or something else to get your social network going.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jun 2, 2008
The reviews I’ve seen for the new Indiana Jones movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” are wrong in my opinion. Maybe I was just in an open mood or something. Maybe I was I’m just a Harrison Ford junkie and I’ll love any movie he’s in.
But, think about this for a minute and how this applies to your website. I was waiting and waiting for opening weekend and all I heard about was how much a flop the new Indiana Jones movie was. Here are some of the comments I remember reading comments like:
Indiana Jones Movie Review Complaint #1:
Indiana Jones is completely unrealistic. The guy survives a nuclear bomb for example.
My rebuttal: Of course it’s unrealistic. It’s supposed to be unrealistic! It’s Indian Jones for goodness sakes!
Indiana Jones Movie Review Complaint #2:
Harrison Ford looks is too old to be a good Indiana Jones anymore.
My rebuttal: I don’t think a person who actually saw this movie would make that claim. Mr. Ford appears to be in great shape and I think he might have even lost a bit of weight for this movie.
Indiana Jones Movie Review Complaint #3:
The best part of the movie (like all Indiana Jones movies) was in the first 20 minutes and the rest of the movie never caught up to the first 20 minutes.
My rebuttal: Well, the first 20 minutes of any movie is supposed to be attention getting and fast-paced, and then the rest of the movie, like a good speech, should be like a roller coaster rather than a rocket ship to the moon. But, I felt there was plenty of action intertwined with storyline too.
My hats off to Harrison Ford and Speilberg and Lucas. They had a tough challenge to exceed expectations and they did.
So, what does the Indiana Jones movie have to do with your website and this Website Waves blog? Plenty.
1. You’re never going to make everyone happy no matter how hard you try or how much you spend. Having a website means you need to have some thick skin. Embrace the constructive critiques and ignore the hate reviews.
2. Same ‘ol same ‘ol has its benefits. The Indiana Jones movie succeeds because it’s much of the same idea duplicated movie after movie. There are always snakes, fights, explosions, wacky humor, and a lot of surviving the impossible. And, the audience who loves Indiana Jones always comes back for more. Your website will be of use to a certain group of people for months or even years to come if you can tap into that core characteristic (belief, personality, quality) that people expect from you.
3. You’re never too old to make some ACTION happen!
This third similarity between the Indie movie and your website requires no further explanation. But, maybe you need a little motivation to believe it’s true. In that case, grab a couple of bucks and go see the Indiana Jones movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and that will be all the motivation you need to make some action happen with your website.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on May 29, 2008
I awoke this morning to an email from StatCounter, one of the systems I’ve used to track visitation. They were sending a warning message to their list that they’ve had a major falling out with PayPal citing double billings and late arrival invoices as the biggies. No surprise there I suppose. I’ve heard all that before about PayPal. But, c’mon now, this is StatCounter we’re talking about…one of the veterans in Internet tracking and PayPal is IGNORING them!
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the StatCounter blog where they tell the whole story. I mean, listen to this from their post: “At StatCounter we have tried phoning, emailing, posting on the PayPal forums… Many of our contacts are ignored, but even when we do get an answer all we are told is that “Upon review of your account, unfortunately we do not have a time frame for a resolution to your issue…”
Now, how does this relate to Website Waves? Well, for many reasons probably, but as I posted a comment to their blog post, I believe this act on PayPal’s part is reassurance to us in the Internet marketing world that you MUST offer an alternative way for people to purchase things from your website (either in addition to or instead of PayPal).
News like this from StatCounter could be reported from any company. And, once those PayPal users hear of such craziness do you think they’re very motivated to use PayPal for anything ever again? Heck no. If they even see a hint of PayPal in the buying process, they’ll abandon the checkout process immediately. So would I in the mood I’m in right now over all of this!
So, if you use PayPal, watch your charges and payments very carefully. Do WEEKLY audits (if not daily) of all transactions going through your PayPal account. And, if you take online transactions using PayPal as your only gateway, find an additional payment mechanism quick!
Or, you may one day soon find yourself sending out a similar email to your customers.