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 Adland Digest FREE Edition #584
  Friday, Nov 23, 2007

Information Your Business Needs RIGHT NOW

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How Will This Blog Help Me Sell My Product?

By Paul Burani

              Recently, I took on a client who is looking for a new approach to selling a product whose sales have flattened. (Sound familiar?) Her product is a cookbook full of healthy recipes geared toward diabetics; her question was, how is a blog likely to help her generate sales?

Two sentences into my reply, I realized that this is killer material which applies broadly across all kinds of business models. Here's what I told her:

There are a lot of other people out there selling books online, right? But only a fraction of them sell cookbooks, and an even smaller proportion sell cookbooks, and ultimately only one of them combines easy diabetic-friendly recipes, useful anecdotes, a pleasant writing style and a low price - you. (I assume I am representing you at least reasonably well?)

The same trickle-down effect applies to people who buy books, buy cookbooks, buy diabetic-friendly cookbooks. And among those there are going to be people who want exactly what you're offering. Your first objective is to define your very specific category in which you and your product are #1 - and define your target market with the same level of detail. (For those who remember, this same concept was illustrated in an August 2007 post about marketing to the Long Tail.)

Then the blog is how you connect them-in a few easy steps.

1. Define your voice and subject content.

For example, you could define your blog as a "lite" version of your cookbook: stories about your experiences as a diabetic, news items showing how the foods showcased in your cookbook are rising in popularity, the occasional recipe, and so on. Alternatively, you could make your blog more of a forum for other diabetics to share their own "wish lists" for diabetic-friendly recipes.

2. Pull in information from various sources.

Do you cruise the internet consuming content related to cooking, diabetes, health eating, etc? If what you find is germane to the theme of your blog, bookmark everything and use it for future posts! Example: a graph documenting trends in healthy eating, a new bestselling cookbook (and what it lacks, that yours has), another blogger's personal accounts of the difficulties of eating healthy with diabetes. This stuff is all out there. Navigating the internet, particularly with search engines like Google, is an invaluable skill - very apparent in an exercise like this. (Search Engine Guide has some very user-friendly tutorials for novices, on how to effectively search the internet.)

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3. Write, and write often.

Search engines tend to favor active, dynamic sources of information. A web site which is published and never changes will rarely reach its full potential, because Google, Yahoo! and other search engines don't trust them as much. If you, the blogger, show expertise and dedication by updating your site with fresh content on a regular basis, you immediately establish your authority and expertise in the subject at hand. As a rule of thumb, if your blog's primary objective is to sell products or services, you should write once a week at minimum. Many bloggers post once a day, or more.

Your goal is for your blog content to become link bait - the kind of content that people read, reread, forward, and post all over the internet by their own volition. Once you get really good, you'll effortlessly be creating link bait on a regular basis.

And then a remarkable thing will happen. After a few months of regular, dedicated activity, the search engines will start to take notice of the frequent mentions of keywords that are relevant to what you sell, e.g. "healthy eating," "easy recipes," "low calorie," "diabetic-friendly," and so on. Meanwhile, visitors begin to interact with your content, posting comments of all types: supporting your ideas, contradicting them, elaborating on them, and so on. If a few of those people are themselves bloggers, your visibility begins to multiply. Your blog starts to climb higher and higher in the search rankings for these topics.

A sizable proportion of people are typing these terms, along with the word "cookbook," into Google and other search engines. They're someone's customers-and if your blog ties back to your e-commerce enabled web site, they're yours and you're already halfway to making a sale. With each and every one of them. Effectively, what you've done here is humanize your site, draw people in and engage them with your unique content, and stand out in their minds the next time they're presented with a dozen options to buy cookbooks.

There's no doubt that this is a significant time commitment. But patience is a virtue-and like all marketing projects, you get what you put in! Have some fun with it, and the upside is all yours for the taking.


About the Author:
Paul Burani is an internet marketing consultant based in New York, NY. After acquiring account experience working with Fortune 500 clients in the advertising and market research industries, he has since turned his attention to startups and growing businesses. His company, Clicksharp Marketing, serves small business clients in the New York area with specialties in website design and search engine marketing.


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Thinking Outside the Box

By Tom Laios

            After doing months of research on all the income opportunities on the internet, you have finally made the decision to join a program. Now its time to get to work and start marketing your program. Your splash pages are all set up and you start placing ads to as many sites as you possibly can. And you wait… and you wait…and you wait. You get some hits but not many, so you turn it up placing more ads, submitting your web site etc. and still no sales. You start to feel that the internet is a big lonely place.

This is a sad reality for newcomers to internet marketing. While all this is new and exciting to them, the people who are actually searching for an opportunity or product online have seen it all before. They are tiered of all the hype out there and all the different ads leading to the same opportunities or products.

So what is one to do? In traditional marketing, we all know that one is more likely to purchase from you if you have established a personal relationship with them. Luckily, the Internet has increasingly become a huge social network. Sites like My Space, Face Book and You Tube have hundreds of thousands of members and are visited daily. Specialty marketing sites like AdlandPro Community and DirectMatches have thousands of members networking their common business goals and interests.

Being part of these types of social communities can help potential customers to get to know who you are and at the same time you will be able to brand yourself.

This means your articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other comments on the Web are now critical sources of information about your company, your products and services, and more important, about you. The content you put out is just as important as traditional advertising messages.

Today’s internet marketer can no longer hide behind a web site and email address and be successful. So, get yourself out there and market yourself first. http://tlaios.info


About the Author:

Tom Laios is a McGill University graduate in Economics and Political Science and has post graduate studies in Accounting and Finance. You can visit his Business link at http:.tlaios.info or Blog at http://moneymagnetnews.com
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