Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 23, 2009
Being in the Internet Marketing business for 13 years, I have come across quite a few clients who are weary of the Internet because of their “lack of technical skills” when it comes to computers. Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to be a know-it-all to make money online! And that is what Website Waves is all about. I want to hand you the tips and techniques I have learned in my career so you can make a splash in this giant pool of the World Wide Web.
That said, I have a little secret weapon for all of you Internet Marketing newbies. The Traffic Manifesto written by Ross Goldberg is a must read if you are just getting started online and don’t know how to juggle all of the different social networks, or which article submission sites are the best to be featured on, or if you don’t know what a Squidoo lens is. This eBook is also a must read if your business is on a slippery slope due to the economic downfall of 2008. Going back to the basics and learning the simple and FREE ways to get traffic to your site, could just be the answer to your income worries.
In Ross’ sales letter for the Traffic Manifesto, he says, “I spent 3,547 hours learning how to generate massive traffic so you won’t have to“. In my experience, you have to be careful who you trust in the sea of top Internet Marketers. I like to make sure the people I follow are genuine people that really WANT me to get results. Ten days after waking up from a coma, Ross was told he would never be able to walk again. He spent his time learning the ins and outs of driving traffic on the Internet while working ruthlessly at physical therapy to hit his goal of walking again – which he achieved. (Great job Ross!)
So, what is in this Manifesto? How about URLs to hundreds of article syndication sites, and dozens of press release syndication sites, podcasting directories, top social networking sitesm blog and RSS feed sites, affiliate program directories sites, video sharing and social bookmarking sites – 131 pages of how tos and links. Ross outlines 79 different ways to drive traffic to your blog or website – and most of them are free methods.
You might have seen the Manifesto selling for $97 which offers a range of bonuses, but I tracked down the same Manifesto selling for only $37 to save you a few bucks if you decide to get yourself a copy.
If you consider yourself technically challenged, or need to boost sales for 2009, check out the Traffic Manifesto here. If you already own a copy, or have seen other Ross Goldberg products and have an opinion, leave me a comment and tell me what you think. I’m thinking it’s here to stay!
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Jan 22, 2009
As a web designer and Internet Marketer, I hear this question from my clients all the time: “How do I get more visitors to my website?” Well, what if you could promote your company, product, service, ideas, or controversial thoughts on one of the top 500 most visited sites in the world, for free? Do you think that would help? Squidoo is hot, hot, hot – and it’s time to jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.
What is it? Squidoo offers its users a way to publish subject-specific individual webpages. Let your creative juices start flowing and just think of the possibilities. There is not a limit to the number of “lenses”, or pages, you can create. You could make one for each product you offer, one for all of the affiliate products you market, one to promote your blog or website – the possibilities are endless!
Now is not the time to add this to your long list of to-dos and come back to it later. This is easy to learn, fast, and can get you more exposure today if you let it. Listen up; here are a few things you should know:
- You can set up your account for free at www.Squidoo.com in less than 60 seconds
- You can add photos, video, ebay auctions, Amazon products, Flickr photos, Google AdWords, links to your site or blog, and so much more! (Hint: Most of those are profit-producing additions)
- Requires little to no on-going work
- Anyone can add content by using Squidoo’s simply WYSIWIG editor (just like Word)
- Traffic will find you! Yes, you heard that correctly. You are creating a page which is a piece of Squidoo’s giant network – one of the top sites in the world!
Similar to other top Social Networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you can create your own Squidoo profile, become a fan of other lenses, drop comments, and join groups. Check out my lens “Save My Business”. This top Social Media site even has their own lingo – you can become a Squid Angel or Giant Squid Greeter based on your involvement. A great example of a Squidoo lens (and one to help you learn the ins and outs of this opportunity) can be found at here.
Getting more visitors to your website doesn’t have to take hours and hours, and cost you hundreds of dollars. We will continue our exploration of free, easy, networking and business-boosting opportunities in the coming weeks at Website Waves – so check back or Subscribe to my Feed. But in the meantime, drop me a comment and share the URL to your Squidoo lens. For the lens that is most unique, out of all comment submissions, I will write a blog post on your website’s product or service and give you some extra exposure. I’ll pick in 7 days – let’s have some fun with this! Good luck…
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Dec 11, 2008
DM News reported in its 11/24/2008 issue that a survey conducted of 1000 adults in October by Guidance/Synovate (wanted to make sure I gave full credit to everyone there) revealed that 45% consider E-mail to be the BEST way to learn about online bargains. What does that tell us? That almost half of us “spam haters” (and that would be you and me) actually prefer to learn about bargains by E-mail. In short…we “say” we hate spam, but we actually PREFER it too!
Now, let’s think about this for a minute. We’re willing to tie-up a commercial spammer by his fingertips for sending even one junk email that causes us to spend the energy to click a mouse to delete it from our email servers. But, we welcome emails telling us of sales and special deals?
Another statistic in the same issue from Retailermenot.com/Harris suggested 33% at lest occasionally visit coupon websites. 9% don’t buy hardly anything without checking for online coupons.
A couple of weeks ago I was watching a news program and some company that makes coupons was about to hire 50 new employees because their coupon business was booming. Can’t remember who it was, but put thtat statisic together with that news program and it appears coupons are taking off.
And, one last statisic by Allen & Gerritsen showing 52% of women reported cutting back on their spending.
Put all of these buying statistics together and it means:
1. People are startving for good deals
2. Many will ONLY buy if there is a special deal
3. They want coupons
4. Email is the best way to deliver special deals
5. Therefore, make a coupon and send it to your list by email
So, the next thing I thought of is…I wonder how someone goes about creating a coupon? And, can one be created online…for free? Without a designer?
So, naturally I went on the prowl to find a free web-based coupon creator and found this one at http://marluckmarketing.com/couponmaker/.
I tried their process and in about 5 minutes of thinking about it created this coupon using the screen they’ve provided:
No graphic design skills needed! Didn’t even have to give my email address to this website.
Does this seem like something you can do? I’ll bet it is. So, what kind of coupon can YOU create to offer to your customers and prospects this week?
When you come up with the right offer, send it by email. Apparently it’s the most preferred way to learn about a bargain.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 25, 2008
Why is it that AIM showcases the Jonas Brothers band every other day? I use AOL’s Instant Messenger program (AIM) to communicate online with up to 9 helpers, often many of them at the same time. AIM takes up one of my five computer screens every day, all day, and often a few hours at night too. With that kind of drive-time, you can imagine I see just about every marketing attempt AIM makes. But, one thing has me puzzled. Why does AIM feature a photo of the Jonas Brothers 3-4 days per week?
When one fires up AIM a home page comes up on screen. This is where they have a bunch of photos of celebrities and what dirt of the day is being dished. Obviously, the target here is adults. And, that’s why I am so confused with the Jonas Brothers photos all the time. What do 25′s and 30 somethings care about the Jonas Brothers? Isn’t that a band that targets junior high school girls?
What is your feeling?
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 19, 2008
Okay, so I’ve been in this Internet marketing world for like 13 years now right? For years I have been among the many anti-spam people. If anyone even started talking to me about sending promotional emails to people who didn’t first choose (opt-in) to be on my list to receive something from me, I would run the other direction as fast as I could as if being chased by a wild rabid grizzly bear!
But, my friend, times do change. And, sometimes they change quickly, abruptly, and profitably too! I’m still a big anti-spammer. Don’t get me wrong. I have no intention of buying lists from a mail house and sending emails without welcome. But, if someone has bought a product online and somewhere and they have opted to receive similar promotions, or email from similar parties, then why would I NOT take advantage of that?
One of the projects I’ve been working on for the past few months is a business credit card affiliate program promotion which you are welcome to check out at www.SBCAlliance.com. Kicking an screaming to the partners “against” sending out thousands or even potentially MILLIONS of emails to people I don’t even know, they finally did it anyway. 5 MILLION plus e-mails sent over a period of 3 weeks or so.
Know how many death threats we got? Zero.
Curious how many weeks the FTC shut down our website for? Zero.
Want to know how many sales we got after emails went out to 4,900,000 people? Ha, well, let’s just say enough to cover the $120 mailing fee!
So, I’m a believer now and I’m ramping up 3 email campaigns for next week alone. Want to know how it works?
1. Here’s the company that provides email advertising without spamming.
2. What you’ll see when you get there is this screen shot where you’ll see steps 1 and 2. First you just fill in your email address. But, this is NOT the email address that is used in the email campaign. So, don’t worry about having your email address going out to 5 million people! I did!
But, the more important thing to check out is how many of each category this company has in their opt-in email lists. You could just pick one category or have a mixture of others.
3. Scroll a little more and you’ll see steps 3 and 4. Step three is a really cool feature to rotate the subject lines of your ad. It’s like automated split testing to see how many people will open your emails depending on what subject lines you choose. Genius!
And, then I just wanted to show how easy it is to create an ad using this system. Using familiar MS Word functionality, you can easily create a simple text post. Or, what we did with SBC is add a small text message alone with a graphic ad. That way the system would determine which one to display based on the type of email system the recipient is using. Another ingenius idea!
4. Finally, you’re in step 5 and 6 where you’re able to choose a country. So far I haven’t done any out-of-country promotions using this system or any other. Have you? What have your results been?
And, then if “LOCAL” promotion is what you’re after, promote to just your state or surrounding states. I love this tool!
So, you’re pretty much done at this point other than paying and waiting. It took us about 3 to 4 days to get our email in the queue and we were still visibly seeing visitation in our stats report 3 weeks after our initial email send.
Now, I gave you the link to this email advertising without spamming company right? Of course, that’s an affiliate link and I’m going to get a couple of bucks if you sign-up and give their promotion system a whirl. But, if you DO use that link, please let me know and I will send to you the steps we used to assure our email campaign was a success.
And, we’re just going to learn more every time. We’ll probably start using this system twice a month for various projects. I’ll keep you posted here hour our email campaigns go and what secret strategies we unveil. But, the good stuff will be reserved for those actually USING this system. And, you must do so through our affiliate link.
Rest assured this is a real company we’re talking about. I’ve talked to their support staff myself and some really good people are behind this email system. Check it out in confidence.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Oct 21, 2008
Last night I made the trek to Westminster Colorado to hear the great Dave Taylor teach us how to “make a living from your blog.” I won’t reveal any actual numbers here, but let’s just say Dave is in the mid 6-figure range for annual revenue derived from his blogs. Here are some notes I took from his presentation:
1. Dave told us how some Kontera, Vibrant Media and Infolinks are worth adding to your blog as money generators. And, of course AdSense is the staple that all blogs should have if you want them to become money generating.
2. You don’t have to make blog posts all by yourself anymore. Try Blogger4Hire.com or MarketingPilgrim.com.
3. Dave likes to have the goal of making $275 per day with any particular blog (corrected by Dave in comment below…he actually said any particular “business” as a whole. Thanks Dave…). That seemed to me to be a good number to shoot for instead of having a lofty annual goal that you may never come close to reaching.
4. He showed an example of a tip jar on Ask-Leo.com which won’t put your kid through college but Dave says it’s amazing how many people will buy you a cup of coffee through a tip jar.
5. When it comes to tracking AdSense…track every major keyword phrase with channels. That way over time you will come to know the phrases people are most interested in reading on your blog and you can create more posts for those popular terms.
6. Don’t use WordPress.com to host your WordPress blog. If they find out you are using your blog for commercial purposes, they will shut you down. Get a hosting account somewhere…anywhere!…and host your blog there. I always knew there was a reason. Now I know why.
7. My favorite: “If you want to get a higher clickthrough rate in your Adsense ads, create your posts about topics where people are prepared to buy something.”
A good example of that is software. If you write about a new computer virus you just heard of, then AdSense will surely pop a bunch of ads in your post related to viruses. People are willing to invest in a good virus protection software so they’re more likely to click on one of those ads.
Finally, one thing I really liked about Dave’s presentation is that he stopped the powerpoint slides and just sat on stage asking questions. It seems offering to ask questions these days is becoming rare. Great job to Dave and the Davinci Institute for offering this program.
Dave’s presentation was recorded by video and will be made available to Davinci Institute members.
Posted by Marty Dickinson on Sep 10, 2008
I finally took the plunge last night and made a concerted effort to build some momentum with my Twitter account. I gave myself 20 minutes and found 350 people to “follow” and out of those 350, at the time of this writing, 80 have chosen to follow MY postings on Twitter. In the time it took me to write that much of this post, I see another person has signed-on be on my list of followers but I’ll stick with the 80 for easier math. In the world of measuring conversion rates, that would be a 25% conversion rate. That also means if I want 1000 followers, I need to find 4000 people to follow.
If it took me only 20 minutes to get 80 followers out of 350 people, that means it would take only 4.1 hours of my time.
Now, these are not quite of the true caliber as opt-ins to your newsletter list, but they are people who have expressed interest in giving you a “try” to see if you are interesting to them or not. If you can generate content in your Twitter messages (known as Tweets), then you stand a decent chance of attracting visitors to your website. I’ll report a little more on that process in a few days.
So, what steps did I take to get 80 people interested in me within 20 minutes? Here are the 7 Twitter Steps:
Twitter Step 1) Create a photo for your profile that’s interesting to people and catches their eye. Most Twitter accounts just have the person making a goofy face. I used my picture of the RUSH dogs that I use for my forum postings. Gotta be a RUSH fan to understand, but it sure does draw attention in a sea of typical portrait photos and gives the idea that I have a sense of humor.
Twitter Step 2) Get back to your Twitter home page inside your account and click on the “Everyone” tab as shown below. This will show you a list of the most recent topic additions that people have made to Twitter…within the past 5 seconds! If you refresh your browser while viewing the “Everyone” tab, a whole new list of comments will display. Yes, that’s how many people are adding new comments that it only displays the most recent 5 seconds worth of posts!
Twitter Step 3) I’ll click on webzeppelin’s photo and I’ll see his profile.
Twitter Step 4) Notice the word Followers? That’s a live link. Click on it to see his followers with links to their accounts.
Twitter Step 5) Click the “follow” link for every account as shown below.
That means whenever the person makes an addition to Twitter, you will be notified within your Twitter account. You can be notified by email, but I chose to turn that off after I got my first round of a bazzilian emails! Twitter is popular!
How many times can YOU click in a minute? That’s how many people you can follow and therefore attract people to follow you.
Those really are all the steps. As people see you’ve decided to “follow” them, they will reciprocate and follow you as well. That’s the conversion rate I was mentioning earlier. Some people have only 5 or 10 followers. Others have well into the thousands.
In a future post, I’ll go into some more detail about making an attractive Twitter post to get more people to take an interest in what you’re writing.
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.