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 Adland Digest FREE Edition #505
  Tuesday July 11, 2006

Information Your Business Needs RIGHT NOW

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Internet and Profit Newbies
Blogs & Blogging
Guest Articles

 

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Beware the Newbie Syndrome

If you're new to the internet marketing world ('Recip.FirstName')
or just the internet you'll want to read Willie Crawford's article below titled, "Beware The Newbie Syndrome".  Maybe you'll recognize some of the patterns and learn how to avoid becoming a victim. 

Linda Caroll uses a real life example of how your website can potentially drive customers away with a hard sales pitch and outrageous claims.   Ken walks you through how to design your page so that it compliments your content.  

Please enjoy this informative edition of the Adland Digest.

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Internet and Profit Newbies

If you're new to making money on the internet, get to know the Do's and Don'ts of taking the step into the world of generating income online. 

[Linda Caroll's photo]
Linda Caroll
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There Are So Many People Making Ridiculous Claims These Days

Peering down the little side street, the man noticed a little shop near the end of the street. How had he never noticed it before? Curiosity beckoned, and he stepped down the side street eagerly.

A bell jingled as the man pulled open the heavy glass door in anticipation. A rather rumpled looking clerk hurried to greet the man. The clerk's hair was disheveled, his shirt was rumpled, and is that ketchup on his tie?

"Sir, what I have here is the most amazing widget you have ever seen. Now, I know that's hard to believe. There are so many people making ridiculous claims these days. That's why we're offering an absolutely risk free lifetime guarantee."

"And, Sir, I'm going to bribe you to give it a try. As a matter of fact, you can't afford NOT to buy this widget. If you buy right now, today, I'll take fifty bucks off the price. And, I'll throw in a free vacation certificate. And free airline tickets. And, that's not all. This incredible widget case is yours, too. And this widget user's guide valued at fifty bucks."

"Sir, this is a limited time offer. It expires at midnight tonight. You snooze, you lose. Did I mention the lifetime guarantee? You should just hear our customers rave. Yes, indeed, that many people can't be wrong. Just look at what our customers are saying."

He thrusts a stack of letters at you as he continues;

"Sir, I'll even throw in a free subscription to Widget News, too. We normally charge $299 a year, but it's yours absolutely free. What's your address, sir?"

The clerk looks at you expectantly. Stammering something, you back out the door. Hurrying down the street, you mutter something to the effect that a used car salesman would be preferable company. You can hear him calling out behind you...

"Sir! Wait! Sir, if you're not interested, would you please read this? Sir? Sir, would you please tell me why you didn't buy? A quick survey? Sir? Sir??"

Most people would trip over their feet trying to get away fast enough, yet that's precisely the way many people conduct business via their websites.

Places have an ambience to them. The special atmosphere or mood created by that particular environment.

Think of the little coffee shop where the waitress knows how you take your coffee. Or the restaurant where Antonio claps you on the back when you walk in. Websites have ambience, too.

If you sell magic kits, do your visitors feel the awe and wonder that Houdini or Copperfield could inspire? If you sell tropical products, can they almost smell the exotic island flowers?

Ambience is essential. We humans buy based on emotion and justify with logic. Never the other way around. Ambience stimulates emotion.

According to statistics from the National Sales Executive Association;
Less than 2% of sales are made on 1st contact
Over 80% of sales are made on 5th-12th contact

Does your website inspire people to want to establish that repeat contact with you?

Do your visitors arrive at your website and feel all the emotions you want them to feel, including the desire to have repeat contact with you?

Or, are you busy patting yourself on the back for the 2% conversion rate and ignoring the 98 of 100 that trip over their feet trying to get out the proverbial door fast enough?

---------------------------

Linda's clients have been featured in Forbes, People Magazine, Home & Garden TV and more. Visit her website design site at LindaCaroll.com

 

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Web Logs, Blogs and the Art of Blogging

The ongoing growth of Blogs and RSS feeds


Kenneth Sword

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Designing a Page That Compliments Your Content Pt.1

Creating a unique contribution to the blogosphere that readers will return to over and over is what all bloggers dream of. How do we do it? With content.

In some areas, however, it's safer to follow the well-worn path, sort of like following the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. Someone found the best path and many others succeeded the trail only because they followed the same worn-in path.

The hard work was done, and the important stuff lay on the other side of the mountainous path. It would have been foolish for a new trailblazer to try to seek a new path through the mountains simply because others had already established one. So it is with developing the look of your blog, at least when you are getting started. Of course, once you are a seasoned explorer, you'll want to seek out the newer and better paths that others overlooked.

Earlier, you chose the kind of blog business you were going to establish, so now it's time to take a look at a few blogs that have successfully made the trek you're setting out on. We're only going to look at the best, most successful blogs to start with, though you'll eventually want to follow a few blog rings to snatch up ideas that can help you build your blog into all it can be.

If you haven't already done so, do a web search using your favorite search engine, looking for the Top 100 blogs. You may search for keyword specific blogs or just general - it doesn't matter at the moment. You want to find blogs that are very popular to the masses. You may sort them by category later.

Now that you have found a few look at their layouts, colors used and images. Focus especially any blogs that resemble yours in content. How do they deal with long posts? How do they link documents? Do they have an archive or previous entries list? What does their header look like? How many columns do they have across the page? where are the links? These questions are important, not because you will copy them, but because there are certain layout standards your readers will expect to see, just like you expect that all newspapers will share a similar format.


Next post will be:

Designing a Page That Compliments Your Content Pt.2 (Artwork)

Happy blogging.

Designing a Page That Compliments Your Content Pt.1



__________


Kenneth R Sword Jr
Co-CEO - Bizzy Blogz
http://www.bizzyblogz.com

Sponsor of the ABA Basketball 'Streetball' group
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Special Guest Articles

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Beware The Newbie Syndrome
Copyright 2004 by Willie Crawford

Hardly a week goes by when I don't get a call from an on-line
beginner, a "newbie," who wants to consult with me on their
business concept. Often, they haven't started building a
website, so they've reached me at the perfect point in the
process. Very often they're really excited by the possibilities
that they see, and the ideas that they're generating.

I'm sure, at this point, all of the sage old-timers are sitting
their nodding. We were the same way when we first started
out. We somehow start looking to the Internet as the
answer to how we could earn some extra income or as a way
to escape from our old JOB. When we started looking around
the Internet at what was offered our heads started spinning.

To the newbie reading this, I'm no way making fun of you. I
earn part of my living from teaching you, so I have the utmost
respect for you. In fact, if you take a look at the obvious, big
successes in "Internet Marketing" today, you will notice that
many of them are relative newbies. Some, like Yanik Silver or
Alex Mandossian, seem to have come from nowhere. Actually,
both of these guys have very solid foundations in direct marketing,
so when they hit the Internet they only needed to apply what
they knew from the offline world.

What is noticeable is that many of us follow a set pattern when we
start building our Internet empire. There is a "syndrome" that
we all seem to get, and it has killed more than a few businesses.
Let's look briefly at that syndrome.

The first symptom is the thought that we have discovered
something new, or that we are the first one who has thought of
a given idea. Notice I said "we," because I went through the
syndrome myself :-)

As we notice all of the products or services that we can become
affiliates for, we get the brilliant idea of creating a site that
compares them all. We decide that we will educate the next
batch of newbies about which ones are the best. So we get busy
building a website that's like a supermarket, where the Internet
marketer can find anything and everything.

This first symptom indicates that we haven't done enough research.
If we do our research first, we'll see that there are already
THOUSANDS of sites just like the one that we are thinking about
creating. If we dig a little deeper, we'll also find the owners of
these sites on discussion lists and forums asking how they can
improve business. That should be your first warning sign that
the "supermarket-type-site" is generally not the answer.

The next symptom one often observes is the newbie actually hears
someone say, "Find a problem and provide a solution to it." A
few then go back to the supermarket model since they're
trying to solve the problem of helping other Internet marketers
be successful. What's basically flawed in that idea is that they're
trying to teach something they... usually, haven't learned yet.

A second problem with this approach is that they're choosing
to compete with those who're already very entrenched and have
often been marketing competing products for 5 or 6 years. Why
go up against them? Learn from them, and then approach the
market from a different angle.

Others with symptom number two, dig a little deeper and recognize
that there's a huge market for information products. They look at
WordTracker or other keyword research tools and see that people are
interested in golfing, fishing, kids, health, better romance, making or
saving money, etc. So they decide to build a site on one of these
topics. So far so good, but...

When they decide to develop that "golf" website they decide to
target "everything golf." They jump right into the fray, build a huge site,
and to get some immediate traffic, they start bidding on Overture, or
Google, for the keyword "golf."

"What's wrong with that?" you ask. A better approach would be
to pick a tiny niche within the market and then cater to it. For
example, maybe just create a site for golfers with physical handicaps
and offer products to make it easier for them. Or maybe just focus on
vacation packages to resorts with great golf courses. If you're going
to use pay-per-clicks to drive initial traffic to the site, bid on obscure
or less competitive 2-5 word phrases that are searched on, but which
won't cost you a fortune per click.

Here’s the piece of the puzzle missed by many newbies and even
some old-timers... You must have a website with a tested and
proven, predictable conversion process. It does absolutely no good
to drive tens of thousands of visitors to your site if they leave without
buying. So take a good look at the whole experience offered by
your site.

Begin by asking yourself, "What is the path a visitor takes as he
lands on my homepage or landing page?" What steps does the
site lead him to take? If the site doesn't lead your visitor down some
path, don't waste your money on traffic generation until you fix that!
Your visitor needs to be told what to do when he gets on your site.
If he is confused, overwhelmed, or turned off by any aspect of your
site, that's the problem that you need to fix first.

A third symptom that I see newbies display is that they get a fancy,
self-replicated website with all of the bells and whistles. They are
so impressed with this magnificent monstrosity that they just
know anyone that they send to the site will be too. They are so
impressed by the fact that the script running the site inserted
their name or ID number that they want to show the world.

The cure for symptom number three is to sit back and ask yourself,
"So what!" All that matters is that your visitor sees how this site is
going to make his life better... and that should jump right out at
him. If he has to spend 30 seconds watching a flash intro of
the company icon, and reading about the company's president, he is
probably just going to leave. DON'T make your visitors have to
work to become your customer. DON'T waste your time promoting
a site that forces them to work. It's too difficult.

There are many other symptoms of newbie syndrome. We don't have
the time to go over all of them here. A final one that I will mention
is just the idea that you've discovered an untapped market. When
you come up with an idea for a product, and you see no real
competitors, look carefully before you start to "fill that gap." Ask
if there’s really a market for what you have in mind. Often, others
will have tried what you're thinking of and given up. You can often
find remnants of their efforts as warning signs.

We've looked at a few symptoms of newbie syndrome, something
that most of us go through. What's the cure or preventative? It's
doing thorough research. It's understanding the website
conversion process. It's testing little things and then only rolling
out a project when test results indicate that this is the prudent
thing to do. Test small before spending a lot.

I strongly suggest that practically everyone I consult with read
the ebook, "Small Changes: Big Profits," by Paul Hancox. It
explains how making very small changes in your promotions,
or to your website, can often make incredible differences. It also
explains how to easily test and track everything. You can get a
copy of this ebook at: http://TheRealSecrets.com

I mentioned earlier that some newbies succeed very fast and
surpass many old-timers who been trying to build an online business
for a long time. I've just revealed their secret weapon. They test
and track everything.

If you don't track the results of all of the different things you're doing,
you have no real way of knowing how well you're doing. Many
old-timers know this, but STILL don't do it. You do it, and not only will
you cure yourself of newbie syndrome, but you'll be able to see
"measurably" that you are succeeding!

 

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