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Bogdan Fiedur, Publisher
Vol. 1, #136, Oct 25, 1999
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=======================P O W E R T I P==========================
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Topics in this issue:
Word from Publisher
S u c c e s s S t o r y
C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n s (5)
1.) Traffic Problem Solutions
3.) I have tried various methods of promoting my website .......
4.) AOL & long messages
~ Melody T Vargas
5.) Do You Have Trouble Getting Paid for Affiliate Sales?
N e w P o s t s (2)
~ Does a domain name make a difference in listings and traffic?
2.) Ylice Golden
~ A Better Alternative to FFA Links
Site Review Responses (1)
Site Review Requests (2)
G u e s t A r t i c l e (1)
ATTRACT VISITORS WITH A LEARNING FOUNTAIN
By Paul -the soarING- Siegel
Joke of the Day
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================== Word from publisher ====================
Welcome 124 new subscribers who joined list since last mailing.
I invite everybody to use new forum to make our discussion more
effective and more easily available.
I started web based discussion forum which can be accessed here
Currently there are four discussion forums and Bulletin Board
1. Promotion techniques
2. Site Reviews
3.Search Engine Placement
Once you there post your free ad to section "Bulletin Board".
When asked for user id and password for the first time, just
enter your favorite ones.
Now opportunity for G R A P H I C D E S I G N E R S
I'm announcing contest on designing of logo for "Success Story of the Year"
which will be used to link to winner of Adland Digest contest. Info below.
If your logo is chosen, link to your site will be placed under logo
indicating Designer Site.
If you are interested, please go here to find out about details
I will invite all Adland's Digest subscribers to choose the logo.
See here currently designed logos.
If you think, you have an interesting success story to tell, please send
it to digest as usual and indicate as such.
At the end of 1999 I will create web page and will invite everybody
to vote for the "Success Story Of The Year"
Best voted story will receive one FREE year of advertising
in the form of small button at the bottom of each AdlandPro page.
AdlandPro receives 450,000 page viewings , 75,000 unique
visitors and grows on average 15% each month.
To be eligible for the prize, this story has to be from your own
See existing success stories here
http://www.softfornet.com/archives and click (Success Stories)
============S u c c e s s S t o r y ===============
From: "Robert Lee" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is not as much a success story as a dream realization.
Way back in June 1998 (centuries in internet time) I joined my first
affiliate program, One & Only Internet Personals. The next month I received
my first commission cheque for US$7.48! I was hooked.
I had been building web pages for about 8 months at this time and it had
never occurred to me that I could make money doing what I really enjoyed,
which was just putting on the web stuff for people to read and see. My first
site is still up at <http://members.theglobe.com/robrob8> if anyone wants to
take a look. It quickly became an organized hodgepodge of pages and stuff to
see for my visitors. And this is the place where I made my first sale.
I like my off-line job, but I treat my on-line job like work as well. I have
a goal to make my Internet business my way of life and stop having to rely
on following someone elses rules for work and career.
Blindly I joined every affiliate program that promised Internet riches,
wealth that I could only dream about. For the most part it was only a dream,
I had no goal to promote any single service that I had joined, I just wanted
to wait and cash those cheques.
Yes, I was a gullible newbie with high hopes.
My turn-around came from something that I read - subscribe to every
newsletter you can find that says it will tell you want you need to know.
Read it. Read them all. If I like it, keep the subscription, if I dont,
unsubscribe and find another newsletter to take its place.
I found that my goal had to work with what I wanted to sell and what I
wanted to sell had to be targeted to an audience of people that wanted to
Blindly gaining traffic only brought unique visitors and not people that
wanted what I had to give them.
I realized that to make it easier for search engines to find me and for
visitors to remember me I needed my own domain.
I carefully weighed the costs of running a website and promoting it against
the income that I had reached for my on-line work which was then at approx
US$200.00 per month.
Taking the plunge was a calculated risk, no one likes to spend money on
virtual items, you need something tangible to be able to effectively rate
its value. Could I find that value on-line?
aLoveLinksPlus was born in late March 1999. Growth for my website has been
slow and steady. Every month shows more visitors, more revenue and more time
for upkeep and promotion needed.
It is now easier to resist the money-hungry demon inside of me and
remember my goals - keeping my website of the highest possible quality,
promote to a targeted audience and work with my visitors and companies that
I am affiliated with.
I may not be the savviest web designer, or the best on-line promoter, but I
do have a happy audience, a grateful group of companies working with me, and
a goal that is coming closer and closer to realization.
I am amazed at the sheer number of people that my work has had an effect
on. I actually change peoples lives!
I dont sell anything personally. I dont try to convince someone of any one
thing. I reach a targeted audience and provide to them the information that
they just cant get anywhere else.
I offer help and kind words to those that ask me. I willingly offer what I
have learned with no strings attached.
My website is now at more than 24,000 unique visitors a month, which is
pretty good in such a tough area as on-line dating. But the value of these
visitors is twice what the number says because each and every person
visiting comes looking for what I am offering them.
No gimmicks, no false promises. Honest opinions of dating services so they
can meet that special someone and change their life for the better! Revenue
is now topping US$1000.00 a month.
I do not list only revenue generating dating services, I list all services
that I would be pleased to join myself.
I believe that I will be working at home, on-line only, within one year from
My advice for all of the hopeful on-line entrepreneurs out there is this:
Target yourself. Define your goal. Learn all you can about your subject and
apply yourself to its promotion in a targeted way.
Remember that the driving force of the Internet is the free flow of
information, regardless of what you are selling or promoting or displaying
to the Internet community at large.
I wish everyone at Adlands success for the New Year and the years to come.
I want to openly thank my future wife Sheila for her help, inspiration and
willingness to put up with me.
Thank You For Choosing aLoveLinksPlus.com
As Your Dating Service Directory
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==========C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n (1.1)=============
From: "Melanie " <email@example.com>
Subject: Traffic Problem Solutions
I read the last digest and remember how frustrating it is to work
SO hard to get traffic and find it seems like a futile task...I want
you to know it ISN'T...and with this advice, I am Not trying to sell
you anything either!
FFA's and Classifieds may work somewhat-but even with
powersubmitter-it is time consuming with small results.
My sites have also grown steadily over months and sales are
good. Here is one reason why.
<meta name="DISTRIBUTION" content="GLOBAL">
<meta name="RATING" content="GENERAL">
<meta name="REVISIT-AFTER" content="30 DAYS">
<meta name="ROBOTS" content="ALL">
Add those meta tags to your main url. ( Robots ALL will get all
your pages spidered. Revisit will automatically suck in any
changes so you don't have to re-submit.)
Make at least 6 extra pages from your main url and be sure they
have Content! If you have no way of tracking WHERE your traffic
comes from-do it FREE with www.sitemeter.com (he's great). You
will see the beauty of this Immediately! I get all kinds of traffic from
Sites DO get spidered by Yahoo too! They Do becasue I am #1
to #3 with Yahoo now under several keywords and I NEVER
submitted to them by hand.
The gardenornaments guy-maybe no one searches for
gardenornaments as one word-there is no way to tell if a particular
SE will seperate that...put the space in! garden ornaments.
And choose More key words being sure to sprinkle them thru out
your page and be Certain to use them in your title and heading and
And set up a free email account to filter all the auto-responder mail
you get when you use those nasty FFA's. SAVE YOURSELF! :}
Keep your main email addy Clean! Use it Only for customers.
Look up the most searched for keywords and fit ONE of them into
your site if at all possible, prefferably the first one. Many words
have more than one meaning.... Go to AnalogX
AnalogX shows you the top 100 keywords being used on several
popular search engines on the web - **in real time**. Far better
than goto, This is a utility every webmaster and serious web
marketer should use.
And Use this: Dr.Watson checks your web page,including link
validity, download speeds, search engine compatibility, and link
These are awesome - Do not pass them by. If you are serious,
you'll do it. Love what you do-have Quality product or service-have
a guarantee you Honor and HAVE FUN!!! If you are not enjoying
the online experience -you may as well quit right now or find a new
venture you can be excited about.
Investigative Resources for Everyone
==========C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n (1.2)=============
From: "Tim S." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Response to readers #135
Hello AdLand Readers & Bogdan!
I love reading this newsletter and I love helping people on the net! There are
so many things that work, yet 100 times that, things that don't work! and it
takes alot of time and effort to learn them all and discover what works best? I
added my success story to the AdLand contest last month "What is CSA" My numbers
in Oct have doubled and even tripled CSA continues to be a success :~) My
average hits a day has gone from 33 to 100, my opt-in mailing list has gone to
257, I am currently running a special Get FREE CSA membership just by joining
the CSA Newsletter and had 18 new subscribers in the last 5 days. CSA membership
has doubled in Oct :~) The #1 rule to succeed is to give your customers what
they want and need. The following is an excerpt from the CSA course. It is
supposed to be a secret but I can tell you CSA stands for "Common Sense
My name is Tim Sanders and I have been an Electronics
Technician for 23 years. I have taught Vocational Electronics on
a High School Level, I have Managed and Owned successful
businesses and I was the Web Master for the Sanctuary BBS back
before the Internet ever became popular. As a business manager I
once took an electronics repair business from an $80,000 annual
gross to $380,000 annual gross in 4 years. I am completely
familiar with TV and Radio advertising as well as newspaper and
magazines and I have taken courses in advertising and marketing.
But most importantly, I have learned from years of experience
that the best approach to doing business is with "down home,
honest, Common Sense!" That no matter what service you offer, you
MUST give your customers what they want and need. In my case they
want the broken TV to work and they need to know whether the cost
of repair is worth doing? They want the repair to last longer
than the warranty period and they need to know that if for any
reason it doesn't that I will take care of it. They want to feel
as if their wants and needs are properly being taken care of and
they need to feel that they are not being taken advantage of!
I have become a GREAT Technician over the years and I have
paid close attention to these simple "Common Sense" facts and as
a result have served many satisfied customers and had many return
customers. If you bring a TV to the shop where I work and it has
a blown fuse, we will replace the fuse and let it play for a day,
if the fuse doesn't blow again we call you and tell you that your
set is ready and you owe the cost of a fuse. Most people are
amazed by this, because most people have had at least one bad
experience. We have "No Charge Minor" repairs every week and as a
result of our Honest,Common Sense Approach to doing business, we
have many return customers and a wonderful word of mouth FREE
advertising, the kind of advertising that money can not buy!!!
Can this be applied to doing business on the Web? You bet it
can!!! If your Web Page offers your customers what they want and
need they will BookMark it and visit often! They will tell their
friends about it and discuss it with co-workers and better yet,
if they have a Web Page of their own they will "Link" to it. How
much is that worth? A FREE ad for your service on how many Web
Pages? A happy customer telling countless others that you have
what they want and need? You can't buy that kind of advertising,
you have to earn it!!!
Now we're ready to get down to it! To learn how to apply these
Common Sense principles to Internet Marketing, how to actually
make money doing business on the Web!
My web page currently has 272 links to it according to the search engine
reports. It has only been up since May. If I don't have exactly what they are
looking for I try to help them find it through a links page to other stereo &
speaker sites. I am currently working on a technique to bring in more visitors.
If it works I will add it to the course and share it with AdLand readers :~) If
you would like to read the whole course you can become a member by going here:
Note from Editor.
Tim is bringing up here very important issue wich addresses very well
recent discussions about getting traffic and subsequently business
from it. Traffic is only part of the game. You don't need a lot of traffic
to make 6 figure income but your site (you) has to follow rules of common sense
to attract visitors and make them come back.
You/Your site/Your business has to have or give
1. Professional look
2. Show care about customer (contact them periodically with your announcements
3. Have quick response to customer inquiries
4. Be willing to sacrifice profit for quality.
5. Be honest
6. Give guaranties
7. Be available when needed
8. Make customer welcomed
9. Offer free advice or freebies
and there is more ...
==========C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n (2.1)=============
From: Wendy Phillips <GlobeCity@aol.com>
Subject: Reading ads
<<--- Get 35,000+ unique visitors each and every week to your website!
Discover how YOU can get 300+ opt-in subscribers DAILY, and
over 35,000 unique visitors each and every week to YOUR web
site. NOT Spam! Instant access!
The above site offers a free newsletter which I subscribed to. And it also
offers via its website back issues for several months. I read and downloaded
the issue in June dealing, among other things, with how to use Usenet
Newsgroups (which I already use) to promote one's biz and site. The
subscription invitation promises much valuable info. And I found the issue I
read to have such. So I recommend all Adland members who haven't done so to
both subscribe to the newsletter and read as many back issues is they think
will help them.
Wendy Phillips, Mamager & Webmaster
Globe City's Planet Shopping
==========C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n (3.1)=============
From: kelvin brown <email@example.com>
Subject: I have tried various methods of promoting my website .......
Bee Cheng wrote .
>I have tried various methods of promoting my website
>and it brings visitors but getting them to join for FREE is the main
>problem which I am facing.
The first thing to remember is that people need to see
your information more than once.
To accomplish this you need to make it worth while for
visitors to return to your site.
#1) Offer something FREE. Develop a FREE report about
how pre-launch downlines clubs will benefit them.
#2) You must have the ability to capture visitor
email addresses. Keep them updated on your progress.
Let them no how many people joined since...... How
many could have been in their downline?
3) Here is an offer for you and your visitors.
I currently offer anyone visiting
199 free NO OBLIGATION BANNER EXPOSURES.
Post this information or a banner on your site. And I
will give you 50 additional exposures for your own
banner, up to 2500, for each person that requests to
have a banner displayed. I will start you out with 500
#4) You can require that to get your offer, they must
leave their email address, sign up for either your
newsletter or an autoresponder, signup for your FREE
no obligation program.
Over all GOAL, collect the address.
I only have room right now for 48 more offers of 50
banners per person.
==========C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n (4.1)=============
From: "Melody T Vargas" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: AOL & long messages
In #135, we were asked for tips on downloading larger
messages in AOL.
AOL will truncate all long messages. In answer to Bogdan's
question about optimal size, it's too small. I tested issue 135
and it truncated at the bottom of the Power Tip at the top - it
didn't even make it to the topic list.
Luckily there are two ways to read the whole message, even
though you can't read them in the AOL email program.
AOL creates an attachment that you can download and read
by opening the file. There is a download icon at the bottom of
the email message. This is a little annoying to have to do with
any frequency and this isn't the preferred method.
Here is the easiest way around it:
1. In AOL or in your favorite web browser type in this URL:
(I'd save it to your favorite places or bookmark it)
2. Sign-on with your AOL membername and password
You can do this whether or not you already signed on
to your AOL program.
3. Click on the "click to complete sign-in" box
4. Click the message or if you don't see it on the new
messages page, click on the old message tab, then
click on the message to open.
5. The message will appear truncated but right under the
header (to/from/subject) section you will see an icon and
a link "AdlandDi.txt"
6. Click on the "AdlandDi.txt"
7. It will open the full message.
AOLMail works just like your regular online email, but you
can pick up your email without signing on to your account.
Plus, since it's done on the web, you don't have to deal with
the size limits.
I pick up all of my AOL mail using AOLMail on the web
because it is a lot easier to use.
Melody Treece Vargas, email@example.com
Resources, tips & solutions for home businesses
Melody is now your Retail Industry Guide at About.com
Note from Editor.
Thank you Melody.
==========C o n t i n u i n g D i s c u s s i o n (5.1)=============
From: Fiona <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Do You Have Trouble Getting Paid for Affiliate Sales?
Re Franklin Banker's post
<<If anyone has any specific information about what is going on at
Linkshare, please post back to this digest, or write to me privately
at email@example.com I would appreciate any help at
all. Also, does anyone on this list know what entity I might submit a
complaint to? Is there a "policing" agency to assist small businesses
recover debts from larger corporations such as a Chamber of Commerce or
Better Business Bureau, etc?<<
There are a couple of places you can try who will act as intermediary for
you and some will even list sites/businesses that are know or have shown to
have a "bad track record" Try these two for starters
www.complain.com or http://www.cemptor.com/
Best of luck,
Give Yourself MORE TIME this Christmas!!
http://www.jofi.net <a href="http://www.jofi.net">AOL Link</a>
Need support, help or want some information?
http://www.bestnewsletters.com <a href="http://www.bestnewsletters.com
======================N e w P o s t i n g (1)========================
From: Sheila Currie<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Does a domain name make a difference in listings and traffic?
I have a question and I would like some opinions. Does having a domain name
make a big difference in getting posted on the big search engines (like Yahoo)?
I noticed 99% of those listed had there own domain. Also does it make any
difference in the amount of your business flow? Or anything else I haven't
considered. I have web space that I am currently using for my at home business
(clerical, financial, design services). I am currently creating an affiliated
mall. This will contain links to about 150 stores on the web such as sources
for gifts, toys, books, clothes, financial services, auto, furniture. I am
hoping to get it up this month for Xmas shoppers. But would it hurt sales if I
use my current web? The URL would be:
http://www.megsinet.net/currie/??mall.html Would this be too long? Would
http://www.1grandmall.com (or something like that)make a big difference? Any
Also ??mall has no name yet. Any opinions on a name would be welcome (do
you like the one I listed or do you have another idea). I am offering a static
banner or button to the person that finds the best name. If you want an idea on
my web site style, I haven't finished the site but you will get an idea of my
design style by looking around my site ( http://www.megsinet.net/currie ) and
you can decide if you want a banner by looking at my banners page. (I am
offering reciprocal links)
Any opinion on style would be appreciated. Such as would you shop more at a
mall with all links on one page or would you prefer a page of categories leading
to other pages with banners and links. These are decisions I am facing this
week and I would really appreciate any input I can get. I have created a mail
box for response so that I get to it right away, so feel free to write with any
opinions. Even site critiques are welcome:) Send mail to: email@example.com
Thank you any one that continued reading and especially if you respond!
Currie Business Services
======================N e w P o s t i n g (2)========================
From: Ylice Golden <firstname.lastname@example.org >
Subject:A Better Alternative to FFA Links
I have been reading the posts here, and comments in the AdLandDigest. It seems
that there is much 'hoopla' about whether FFAs work or not. You post to link
10,000 FFA links sites, and see some traffic, but by the time you reply to all
the spam, and delete the auto-responder messages you are plagued with... Was it
really worth all that fuss? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. For me, it was
This very issue is what prompted me and a group of other webmasters to find a
BETTER WAY. Hi! I am Ylice Golden, the managing webmaster of LinkMatrix.com. We
have been working for months to come up with a system can help any web site
owner that is seeking quality traffic at NO COST.
This was no small task but I truly believe that we actually have created a
better service. So you see, this is not a "typical" shameless plug, but an
introduction to a NEW alternative to FFA.
What makes LinkMatrix.com different from FFA Sites?
LinkMatrix.com is just what the name implies...
A huge matrix of sites - A Co-Operative if you will. Sites don't get lost in the
the entire system is based on TRADING, not Spamming! The difference is QUALITY!
LinkMatrix LinkManager checks for dead links, &
sites that do not return your link. It auto deletes them for you. No more
messy/tedious link pages, nor fussing with checking links and tracking down
LinkMatrix gives you control. It looks and feels like your site with no
programming, & is easy to set up. You link with who you want... when you want...
and as many sites as you want.
Most of all the team at LinkMatrix cares about the sites that use our free
system. We designed this whole system because we believe that there had to be a
better way over FFA and tedious CGI programming to get quality hits. We are
constantly adding new services and look to our members to tell us what they need
I want to invite you all to review our site. Feel free to critique it to the
hilt. I really want to hear other people's opinions on the site, and how we can
make it a better service for all web site owners.
===============Site Review Response (1) ====================
From: Fiona <email@example.com>
<<From: "WebCreations" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: We have had NO sales<<
re your post about No Sales
We also have a gift site and have been online for about 10 months now and
are quite happy with our progress and sales to date. The future prospects
are looking positive (fingers crossed)
I visited your gift site. There were a number of things I would personally
do differently (This IS just a personal opinion) I hope this won't sound too
harsh, but here goes.
First of all it wasn't easily apparent to me how to get INTO your site from
the front page. You need to have a more prominent "entry point" I would also
suggest it is placed higher up on your page so that people don't have to
scroll down to find it.
Once i got "in the door" your 'gallery pictures were hard to see. I think if
people could view the pictures better it may be more tempting to go in and
have a closer look. Write a little 'teaser' for each one or suggest who
they might be appropriate to buy for.
It seemed to me the gallery would be the perfect place for you to hit people
with your sales pitch but there was no text there at all:(
You could have a rave up about how wonderful your gifts and service are,
repeat your guarantee, make people feel enthused and excited about your site
Don't forget to have text there (particularly near the top of your page )
which includes your keywords.
I am sorry to say but that banner that pops up everytime i move to another
page is annoying :(
I went to your "Angel " page and while the pictures were lovely there was
no text there to "sell" your products. (include text with keywords for the
search engines. Personally I would for each product page have 'new keywords'
specifically for your individual products ie on your angel page focus your
keywords around angels rather than gifts in general)
I had to look closely at the pictures to see what sort of angels these
were. ie standing ornaments or hanging? You need to tell people what these
are exactly - we're dummies :) Also you had some clips of text as part of
the graphics which I was unable to read in some cases :(
You should give the dimensions of all your products and we personally like
to give an 'upfront shipping price" on all our product pages.
Really some of your items looked lovely but sometimes i found it hard
without an explanation to know exactly what there were:(
We like to have our contact info throughout the site. So if people do have a
question it is easy to e-mail and ask.
Navigation through your site requires that you have to use the back button
to get back to the gallery each time. Place links throughout the site to
navigate around to different parts will make "window shopping" easier.
I had a quick nosy at your page source too. I think you need to change your
meta title on your front page. Include your keywords in there.
Your keywords - can you think of some 'strings of words' instead of single
words? Gifts are a tough one to get a good ranking with as there are lots of
gift shops out there.
Your meta description shouldn't really be just a list of keywords think of a
phrase that includes you keywords but one that makes a logical sentence.
Do this for EVERY page. I noticed you didn't have meta tags on your other
pages. You also need to have text on your page that pertains to your
I also noticed that you didn't have any alt tags on your graphics. Include
your keywords in your alt tags. alt tags are "attached " to your graphics
like so <img src="http://www.sitename/something/xmas-tree.jpg"
ALT="christmas tree, christmas ornament">
A couple of questions to consider: Are you getting many hits? Are they
'targeted hits' ie are you advertising to your target market. When you are
marketing for gifts like this most of what we learn for affiliates and MLMs
are of little benefit to us, we need to have a slightly different approach
and target our marketing more.
Through strategic classified ads, links with similar site, Search engine
placement, newsletter ads....have you got your own newsletter?. If you can't
afford ads in other ezines why not offer to swap with ezines that have a
similar market? Check out http://www.bestnewsletters.com/ to start looking
Links! You don't have any links to similar sites. There are a couple of good
reasons to do this. Some search engines use the number of sites that link to
you to help 'rank' your site. Also it really DOES help to bring targeted
traffic IF you are selective about your links.
Good luck with your site, you have some lovely products:)
There are other things you could do as well but these would be a good start
I know this will sound like a lot of work and it is, but as in all things in
life anything that is worth having is worth working for. (In the 10 months
we have been online I have reformatted our site 4 times!)
Success won't come over night but if you have the drive, determination,
stamina and are prepared to work, learn and try new ideas it will
Fiona & Joan :)
Give Yourself MORE TIME this Christmas!!
http://www.jofi.net <a href="http://www.jofi.net">AOL Link</a>
Need support, help or want some information?
http://www.bestnewsletters.com <a href="http://www.bestnewsletters.com
===============Site Review Request (1) ====================
Hi! I am hoping to get some feedback on my site:
My problems are several: meta tags title and I do not know html so that I
can add plain text at the top of the page under the welcome sign! HELP!alos
how to get page to load faster? email@example.com
Also can some1 please tell me what happened to clickthru.net?! Many of us
used this service to our benefit!
===============Site Review Request (2) ====================
From: Pam Murray <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I would really appreciate it if someone would take a look at my site and let
me know how it looks. This is my first attempt at creating a site using
html instead of one of those site building
programs. I'd like to know how I did. Thanks!
The Secret to Wealth on the Web!
Free 32-page booklet exposes
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===================G u e s t A r t i c l e (1)=====================
ATTRACT VISITORS WITH A LEARNING FOUNTAIN
By Paul -the soarING- Siegel
Yahoo! is a Learning Fountain. Amazon.Com is a Learning Fountain. The
Motley Fool and Consumer World, which are in the top 5 of popular sites
according to the Top100 List, are Learning Fountains. Almost all
recommendations of Encyclopedia Britannica, which chooses only the best
sites, are Learning Fountains.
What do all these sites have in common? They influence visitors by
helping them learn. This is what a Learning Fountain does. And this is
why a Learning Fountain is so popular and is key to the success of so
many prominent websites.
Ever since the U.S. Vice President Al Gore called the Internet an
information superhighway, this is what it's called by almost everyone.
But it's not. TV deserves this moniker: elites dish out information to
the rest of us. The Internet is not a highway, but a network, where all
participants may interact. The emphasis is not on information, but
The difference between information and learning is HUGE:
- Information is something the VENDOR sends
- Learning is what the VISITOR does
Carl R. Rogers, the preeminent educator, in his book "Freedom to Learn,"
"Teaching, in my estimation, is a vastly overrated function.....I see
facilitation of learning as the aim of education."
With reference to a website, disseminating information is similar to
teaching. To truly help your visitor you should facilitate his learning
by making your site a learning catalyst.
Learning Fountains, websites that act as learning catalysts, may be
divided into 5 types. A brief description and the possible purposes of
each are given:
1 - REFERRER - This type of site sends the visitor to sources of
information. Yahoo! and AltaVista do this on a universal scale. But the
Referrer may also be used by an intermediary or service provider working
with a fairly defined group. The College Grad Job Hunter
(http://www.collegegrad.com) and Improvenet (http://www.improvenet.com)
2 - INFORMER - This site is a source of information in the form of news,
tutorials, articles. The information should be of practical use to the
visitor. Use this type for selling high-tech products and services. It
is a way to explain principles, demonstrate use, offer support, and show
how what you're selling fits into the structure of a company. IBM has an
outstanding website, IBM Intellectual Property Network
(http://patent.womplex.ibm.com), which is useful for patent research -
something that is bound to attract prospects for IBM.
3 - ADVISOR - Instead of helping the visitor make a decision, at this
site you state your problem and are given advice. A very good type of
Learning Fountain for a specialist or expert, because it enables her to
show what she can do. A good example is Invest-O-Rama
(http://www.investorama.com) which answers visitor questions about
4 - CONTEXT PROVIDER - Here the visitor is given the capability of
solving her own problem with the aid of such tools as check lists,
calculators, evaluators and simulators. If you're selling a tool or
you're using a tool in the performance of your services, this is an
excellent way to go. A real estate or a mortgage site may supply
calculators to enable potential home buyers to figure their housing
choices. Rank this (http://rankthis.webpromote.com) enables you to
determine the position of your website on search engine results. nVestor
(http://investorsleague.com) enables you to run a simulation to learn
how to invest prudently.
5 - LEARNING COMMUNITY STIMULATOR - The purpose of this site is to help
the visitor develop expertise. With the aid of interactive activities,
newsletters, forums, chat rooms, and discussion lists - and especially a
helping attitude - useful discussions take place. This is an excellent
stimulator of ideas and of loyalty. Use it if you can gather together a
group of people with a common interest that impinges on your business. A
good example is ParentSoup (http://www.parentsoup.com).
Two Interesting Learning Fountains
An unusual Learning Community Stimulator is Frank Coppola's Workshop
(http://workshop.fcoppola.com) where he develops good scripts for
movies. A script writer submits a script. His script is reviewed only if
he reviews 5 other scripts. The good scripts are published. The
excellent ones are turned into movies.
Another unusual Learning Community Stimulator is the Cooperative
Business Bookstore (http://www.capital-connection/bsbookstsore.html).
Here a group of authors formed a community to aid each of them sell
their works. The site is a community for discussion of books and
business. The authors invest work instead of money. Each author has a
task, helps run the site, and spreads the word about the bookstore.
Creating Your Learning Fountain
Creating a Learning Fountain takes a great deal of thought and effort.
But you can do it if you follow these 3 steps:
1 - DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE - This is the most important and most difficult
step. But nothing else will work if you don't do this first.
Essentially, you want to define whom you want to help and how. As part
of this task you need to come up with 2 sentences, specifying:
- the learning needs of your chosen prospects
- the special abilities you have that enable you to supply these
2 - DEFINE YOUR THEME - This too should be brief. It should be focused
on the visitor.
3 - DEFINE STRUCTURE OF SITE - After determining the type of Learning
Fountain you want, develop a welcome message, and organize your site to
allow as much choice as possible to the visitor. Develop interactive
methods to engage the learner. Most important, open the way for future
communication with your visitor.
The visitor comes to your site, not for information, but to learn. Make
your site a Learning Fountain. If you do this, the visitor will not be
merely receptive, but eager to do business with you. An interesting
Learning Fountain will bring your site popularity and success.
Paul is an Internet marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the
originator of the Learning Fountain: a website that influences visitors
by helping them learn; see http://www.learningfountain.com. He is the
moderator of LearningFOUNT, a discussion list on Business Strategy and
Community Building; to subscribe, send a blank email to:
mailto:email@example.com. Because of his performance on the
platform, he is called Paul "the soarING" Siegel.
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======================Joke of the Day=====================
Joke provided by
"Dennis Sutherland" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A couple went on vacation to a fishing resort up north.
The husband liked to fish at the crack of dawn;
the wife preferred to read.
One morning the husband returned after several hours of
fishing and decided to take a short nap. The wife decided
to take the boat out. She was not familiar with the lake so
she rowed out, anchored the boat, and started reading her
Along comes the Game Warden in his boat, pulls up alongside
and says, "Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?"
"Reading my book," she replies as she thinks to herself,
"Is this guy blind or what?"
"You're in a restricted fishing area," he informs her.
"But, Officer, I'm not fishing. Can't you see that?"
"But you have all this equipment, Ma'am. I'll have to
take you in and write you up."
"If you do that I will charge you with rape," snaps the
"I didn't even touch you," grouses the sheriff.
"Yes, that's true... but you have all the equipment ..."
Moral: Never argue with a woman who knows how to read!
Your call as to whether you want to include the "Moral:"
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