Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Marketing your product or service on the web

All long-term web site traffic begins and ends with great content on your web site. Sure, there are lots of ways to trick the search engines and people into getting to your web site. But if you really want to build long-term relationships and long-term traffic to your web site. You really need to focus on creating original quality content. Good content is key to long-term web site traffic.

Of course, building quality content takes time. Everyone's looking for a way around building quality content, because it takes so much time. But one thing to keep in mind, is that you can build your web site over time. Don't get caught up in analysis paralysis. You don't need the perfect web site when you first start. It's more important to get started gradually and build pages one at a time. Walking a mile begins with the first step. It's important to be persistent and keep building your content.

There are lots of ways to build content for your web site. Some of these ways are short-term strategies and some of them are long-term strategies. Anytime you use a short-term strategy, don't use your primary domain name. Use peripheral domains that feed the primary domain.

Short-term strategies for web site traffic.

Page randomization and cross-domain linking

This strategy involves randomizing the content of your web page so the search engine spiders think that the web page is actually unique. This is not a long-term strategy for building web site traffic, because the pages actually would appear the same humans, but they would appear different to search engine web spiders. If humans do not find the content viable they're not going to continue to link to it or read it and they are not going to tell their friends about it.

Another thing you might want to do is incorporate cross domain linking. Search engines will rank your page higher if they think other people are linking to you. Fortunately for you, some search engines don't realize who actually owns the domain names or where they are hosted. Which means that you can own several different domain names all hosted at the same location that link to each other.

The search engines will think that the web pages are actually valuable because people are linking to them. But they don't take into account, who actually owns the domains that are linking to the pages. However, this strategy doesn't work for all search engines. Some search engines are smart enough to actually go and look up the whois information on your web site and determined that you are actually linking to yourself.

For detailed explanation of page randomization and cross domain linking. You need to read my book "How to Make Money with Internet Affiliate Programs" available from my web site http://www.ChrisClark.com

Blog commenting to achieve higher ranking

The strategy involves the creation of links from other places back to your web site. Search engines think that if people link to you that your content is valuable. The advantage of using blogs, that is that most blogs allow you to leave comments. This allows you to actually modify the content within someone's web site aka blog. This strategy will work for anywhere you can change the content of someone's web site. The idea here is to go into their web site and leave comments and within the comments leave a link back to your web site. The creation of many links back to your web site, should cause it to achieve higher ranking because it looks like other people are linking to you.

Participate in forums to achieve higher ranking

This strategy is very similar to the blog commenting strategy. The idea is pretty much the same. In most forums they allow you to create a profile for yourself. In this profile, you're usually allowed to create a signature line that will be at the bottom of all your posts. Ideally you would like to have a signature line that includes a link back your web site. Whenever you reply to a post, your signature is attached and that includes a link to your web site. This allows you to actively participate in forums and at the same time increase the ranking of your web site.

If you participate in forums that relate to your topic of interest, you may be able to kill two birds with one stone with this strategy. By working in forums, you can get new ideas, and you can create articles and expand upon the ideas. Forms are a great source of information just look for questions that people have that remain unanswered. Using forms, you can find topics of interest. Take these back to your web site and create lots of web pages on your site by simply answering the questions that people ask.

Automated page generation

There are many programs out there that allow you to create automated web pages. A lot of these programs deal around the topic of article creation and randomization of the article content by using things such as a thesaurus. There are other programs that incorporate things such as Web scraping, were they take your search engine keywords and I go out and scrape search engine results to pull back text that is associated with your topic. Some of these programs incorporate things such as automated Adsense incorporation and Amazon search results for products.

The quantity and quality vary in these type of applications. There are some that are pretty advanced which allow you to take an originally created article; modify some of the words and phrases within the article; and generate randomized versions of the pages that are human readable.

Article generation programs, I think are pretty cool. In fact have written one recently that I'll be releasing soon.

There are other programs however, that just really create pages that are total nonsense. They don't look human readable, and they look like they were generated by a program. A lot of people can achieve high rankings with his pages, but that's very short-lived. So short-lived, in fact that it's almost useless effort.

Press Releases

All the press releases can really be a long-term strategy. The particular life of any one press release in generating traffic to your web site is usually pretty short. Usually within a very quick timeframe a press release will either get picked up or not. This can generate large amounts of traffic to your web site. If you optimize your press releases to really focus on keywords and phrases that relate to the content of your web site, press releases can be very effective in generating visitors to your web pages. A lot of times you may even be picked up by one of the primary news networks. A highly recommend a good press release strategy for any web site that has a product or service that they're selling. The key to creating good effective press releases is to focus on newsworthy content. If your press release looks like an advertisement it will more than likely make it no further than the circular file. Make sure that when you release a press release it is in fact, newsworthy.

Submission of articles

Create a new unique articles that relates to the content of your web site. Make sure that you include a resource box at the bottom of your article that uniquely identifies you and a link back to your web site. The idea here is very similar to the blogging and forums strategy. What we are trying to accomplish is to get your articles picked up by other web sites. You want to use some type of posting service that will post your article to hundreds or thousands of sites at once.

What you're hoping is someone will pick up your article and find it valuable and post it on their web site, including your resource box of course, with an active link back your web site. You want to achieve lots of sites around the Internet who post your content. Obviously you want their site in some way to relate to your content, because they are posting your article. This would generate lots of on topic links back to your web site which are highly valuable.

Long-term strategies for web site traffic

SEO Copywriting

I think this is really an area where people are making it out to be a lot more complex than it really is. It's just fancy few words for people who generate content that's really geared toward search engines, plain and simple. A lot of people would lead you to believe that there's some sort of voodoo magic involved. There really is not anything to it.

Good copywriting is all that's involved with a focus on the SEO aspects of what a search engine is looking for. There are a lot of people who specialize around the strategy of SEO copywriting, but really this is something you can do yourself. You don't need a so-called expert. If you just focus the content of particular pages on a specific word or phrase that relates to your product or service, you will do just fine. I would highly recommend that you use something like the http://www.ranks.nl keyword prominance and density tools to review your web pages before submitting them to the search engines.

Link building

There are some great tools out there for Link building. The general idea is the same as some of the other short-term strategies. Ideally you're looking for on-topic links from other notable web sites back to your web site. Creating and managing these links over time, will allow you to create a higher ranking in search engines because it will look like you're content is valuable to others. There are other very popular programs like http://www.seoelite.com that allow you to do some of this in an automated fashion.

Pay Per Click

Although pay per click can be a very effective short-term strategy, it really is a very effective long-term strategy. Anytime you're using a pay per click strategy, it is very important to measure everything. You want to measure:

  • How many people click on your pay per click link.

  • How many people make it to your web site and load the page successfully.

  • How many people clicked through your sales page to your product order form.

  • How many people actually complete a sale.

Measuring is critical to long-term success. Another thing that you need to master is keyword and phrase management. Wordtracker offers a very popular service for the research for keywords and phrases related to your web site.

Mini-Courses/Newsletters/Email Marketing, yada, yada, yada

I sort of categorize all this stuff together, because really it is maintaining and building an email list overtime. All of these efforts really are geared around offering some free content that gets people to sign up for your e-mail list. Over time, you'll build a relationship with these individuals which will result in sales. As you provide them content they realize that you are a knowledgeable expert. They will build a relationship with you, which will be long-lasting and financially rewarding. For this aspect of my business. I currently use the popular http://www.aweber.com autoresponder e-mail list management system.


One of the greatest ways to create content is the concept of blogging. Blogging is a quick and easy way to add original fresh content to your web site. There are many services out there geared around blogging some will even allow you to send pictures and audio to your blog remotely from your mobile phone. Wordpress and Blogger seem to be the big players.


Podcasting is relatively new in the space is really being sorted out right now. But it is very effective mechanism for delivering multimedia content. Google has recently jumped on the bandwagon allowing people to upload video content, which can be free or can be for pay. The whole idea around podcasting is offer audio, video or some type of multimedia content that is regularly updated and provided as an RSS feed. I use the open source audio program called http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ for creating my podcasts.

Adding a forum to your web site

Although we mention forums as a short-term way to build traffic to your web site. They can also be a long-term way to build traffic your web site. The more pages you can get on your web site that are on topic and content rich, the better. I can't think of a better way to create good content than to get people talking about topics.

Ideally you'd like to have a forum where you don't offer signatures, because each link you let someone create from your web site to theirs also brings the page rank down for those individual pages on your site, in essence you are placing a vote of their site by linking to it. So what would be ideal is to have a mechanism for people to post to your forum, but not allow them to have an HTML link in their signature to their web site.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

How long should I guarantee my product

My answer is 30 days.

You need to offer a 30 days Money-Back "No Questions Asked" Guarantee. If for ANY reason you feel the product does not exceed your expectations, return it anytime within 30 days. Just email me at with your email address and order number and I will promptly refund your money.

As a business owner, you want to make sure you have all your obligations covered. If you offer a 90 day guarantee or 1 year guarantee. You are saying, I will repay all the money I have received in the last 90 days or 1 year to every customer.

You are not saying, "Well, only about 5% ever return anything, so I'm ok saying 1 year, I'll plan for a 5% return rate."

I think that is unrealistic. If it's a guarantee, you need to be prepared to accept "in total" all the transactions returned at once.

But what if I want to guarantee my products forever... I hear from all the gurus, you get a lower return rate if you do...

The truth is that very few will ever return anything. That's what people are counting on.

If you were to sell your business, would you want to say that "all my customers can return all my products at any time and get their money back" If I were to hear that as a buyer of your business, I would run away.

Although, it's true that most people will never return your product. And, it's also true that it makes you look good to have a guarantee forever.

To me, it's just bad business to leave yourself open-ended forever.

Now, in saying all that, I probably would give anyone there money back if they didn't like my product. Even if the guarantee period has lapsed. That's just a good business practice.

In fact, I would follow up just to get it on the record (via email) that they are a happy customer. But, the choice is mine and I am not obligated to do anything. If you guarantee it, you are obligated and you don't have a choice.

If I had an unhappy customer, I would not want to keep their money, that way, they can't badmouth you to all their friends. It's hard to make a case about how much someone sucks, when they proactively make sure you are happy and gladly proactively refund your money.

Can you imagine this conversation...

"Well, that guy is a scammer, he emailed me to ask if I was happy, and I told him hell no, then he gave me the product for free, a free copy of his larger system and he returned my money. But then I told him that wasn't enough, I told him I wouldn't buy his products ever again and I was going to tell all my friends how much they suck. So don't buy from that scammer."

"But you got the product for free, you got the big power system, geez I wanted that one, and you got your money back. Damn, that sounds sweet!"

"Well, yeah, but that's not the point, That guy is a total shitweasel."

"Man, it sounds like you got the deal of the century to me. Paul, maybe you are being unreasonable."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

How to create rapid content

One thing, I use to create very rapid content is the program Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

It's an excellent program and once it gets trained to your voice, you can create content as fast as you can talk. In fact, I'm using it right now, to create this entry.

I use it quite regularly to visit forms and answer questions for other folks who are interested in Internet marketing advice. It may appear that I put a lot of effort into creating a large number of forum entries, but in actuality, I'm just talking.

But the results are remarkable. And with a few mouse clicks and a lot of talking. I can answer hundreds of questions within a couple hours.

It's really quite amazing technology. I highly recommend it for other folks who are interested in creating blogs or working quite regularly in forums.

You can even use it on your first information product. If you wish...

What is unique content to Google

I think Google probably can only recognize patterns and large amounts of text. In a past life, I created several search engine robots, and I can tell you that it is a very hard task even with very complex math to determine word proximities in large quantities. To determine patterns in sentences would be ridiculous. You really need a combination of many sentences in order to determine a large pattern. So I don't think Google is looking at small amounts of text. You have to have patterns in large blocks, if at all.

Another interesting question is who is the originator of the content. If I have a web site with 100,000 incoming links am I the authoritative source of the information. Versus the originator of the information who only has 10,000 incoming links. It's an interesting question. What is the criteria for being the originator?

With a simple program like ArticleBot. I think you can create many variations of original content, and they would all appear unique.

Affiliate Marketing is Emotional Selling

Recently I was asked to critique an affiliate web site for home loan program. Here's my response.

The best thing about being an affiliate is to get people to your web site and get them off your web site as soon as possible. You not looking for a long conversational sales letter. You are not looking for people to camp out at your web site and read for hours on end.

I think you need to create a site more centered around the emotions of why you would want to get a home loan. People don't want a loan because they want to fill out a lot of paperwork. They don't want to get a loan because they want to get a great interest rate. You may argue with me about the interest rate but trust me, read on...

People won't the results of having the loan, not the loan itself.

If I were to be the affiliate in your shoes. I would focus on creating a very nice picture of a great family with a nice smile, standing in front of their new home with nice pretty green grass and a pretty white fence. And I would say something very generic like click here to apply now.

You want to focus on the emotions of the sale. Get inside someone's head. Figure out what they're looking for. And paint a pretty picture that fulfills that emotion.

Affiliate marketing is nothing but emotional selling, and once you master the emotions of selling, You will have mastered affiliate marketing.

Read my book on how I made $189,000 with a one-page web site. It's all about affiliate marketing. It is a good story in there about emotions and creating a page for emotional selling.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

How do I know when Google hits my site?

My favorite way to track this is to use a default 404 file not found script that tracks access to robots.txt.

My experience has been that Google sometimes visits sites without using Googlebot as the user agent. However, they always seem to check for robots.txt. I know this because I track the IP and I can reverse trace the IP address back to Google.


What I do is create a script that will handle all 404 - file not found requests. When I detect that the requested page is robots.txt, I write this information to a file.

I can use this information for creating cloaked pages (which I think are old school and I don't do anymore) or I can use this information for learning about how google visits my sites.

Monday, July 04, 2005

So what makes a great sales letter.

One of the key features of a great sales are testimonials. Throughout your sales page you should scatter testimonials. Don't let the web page scroll without at least one testimonial showing.

Before people read your sales page, they are already not sold. It's important not to reinforce any sort of negative message in your content of your sales page. Assure your customer that they're making a good decision, it's important that a customer feels their are on the right track.

Iterate your unique selling proposition. Your unique selling proposition is the one key thing that separates you from the pack. What is it about you, your product or your service that is unique. What can you say that no one else can.

As part of your sales letter, you should offer a mini-course. This course should be 5 to 8 parts long and be delivered by e-mail. What you are really trying to accomplish here, is to get the customer to receive follow-up messages from you over time re-emphasizing the value of your product. Also, over time as these emails are sent, you are building a relationship, you are building credibility as a knowledgeable expert.

Start out by being conversational, you want your customer to know that you're a real person, establish a repertoire with your customer.

Build value in the results the customer will receive by using your product. Paint a pretty picture for the them of the future and what it will be like after having used your product. It's important to use visualization while doing this to make sure that you're painting a picture in their mind. A beautiful picture.

Talk about the hard alternatives to your product. Talk about what it's like not to use your product, and the pain involved. Talk about when they fail and how painful that will be. Paint a picture in their mind of their failure and what will be like having not use your product.

Introduce your product as the Superman, who will save the day. Show them that your product is painless, simple, easy to use and effective.

Reiterate your unique selling proposition.

Go through several what if scenarios and talk about the product. Imagine different scenarios where people want to use your product. Describe how easy it is to be in their shoes using your product. Follow up each scenario with a testimonial.

Call to action. Ask for the sale.

Add credibility that your product is not some type of half-ass product. Take away the customer's vision of what they think your product is. Take away their vision of what they think your product might be like. Leave them wondering and take them out of their safety zone to were they don't have a clue. All the things they thought were true, now are not.

Establish rapport, build credibility through stories, analogies, etc. to describe a problem space in generic terms. Don't use specifics about your particular product, but the problem space in general. Tell a simple story from history about the problem space.

Identify common problems in the problem space. Tell how your product steps up to these challenges.

List your products benefits as bulleted points. Focus on what the customer will receive out of using your product. Don't focus on the features of your product. Focus on the benefits for the customer.

Create a summary paragraph about your product. Within this paragraph, ask for the sale once again.

Break down the cost question. Establish what the alternatives are to your product. Preferably there aren't any alternatives to your product. Preferably, you're comparing higher-priced products or services. You want to show that your product has true value, as compared to using the alternatives. Preferably, you're comparing things like consulting services to your information product. Consulting services can be incredibly expensive, it makes for an easy comparison to the value of your product. For example, if you charge $4000 a day for a seminar and you charge $300 for your information product. You're showing incredible value if the information received is the same.

So now that you've established that your product has value, why is it so inexpensive. We iterate to the customer that they're buying directly from the manufacturer, there is no inventory, there is no fulfillment calls, and there is no middlemen.

Offer free bonuses. When all things are equal, free bonuses when. Stress with your customer the sense of urgency, they need to act now. For example, order before midnight. The price is going up.

Your product needs a 100% guarantee. Let the customer keep the free bonuses. There's absolutely no risk for the customer and making this decision. All for a 100% money-back guarantee. Tell the customer how it is easy to claim this guarantee.

Stress the sense of urgency. This offer is so good it can't be refused. They can't afford not to do this. This is the best decision they could ever make.

Call to action. Ask for the sale.

Tell the customer the product is available right now. The product can easily be obtained within the next 30 minutes. Restate your unique selling proposition. The customer needs to quarter down to gain instant access.

All for easy ways for them to pay. A customer who can't pay can't be your customer.

Quit spinning your wheels

Get off your butt and do something. If you are looking for the step-by-step plan to Internet riches, you are wasting your time. There are lots of things you may learn from other people in how they do things, but your system will be your own. You will learn over time things that you will take and us in your own systems.

You should study the patterns of lead generation, copywriting and follow up. You can use every marketing tactic known to man and you will still fail if you don't have the right market, with the right message, at the right time.

Learn how to use lead generation techniques and continuous follow up in selling your products. Learn how to cross-sell and up-sell.

Create value, don't sell products that are average. Don't let your motto be "We suck less". It's important to over deliver in your products, look for the Wow factor. When someone sees your product for the first time, they need to say "Wow".

Get the marketing right. Getting the right market, right message, at the right time is no easy task. You need to do some WORK. I said it, WORK. It's what you will need to do. Go ahead and read another Internet Marketing ebook or sixty-five thousand billion, but you still will at some point need to do some real WORK.

Keep working on your business. Take it all in stride. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. You will need to Measure, Measure, Measure. Measure everything you do. Only believe what your results tell you. The truth is in the numbers.

If you come up with a great new Internet marketing idea and get lots of sales. You will be called an Internet Marketing Genius. But, it will not require you to have ever purchased an Internet Marketing piece of software, product, ebook, or teleseminar.

The power is within you, don't die with your best song still inside you. Sing for all the world to hear. Go to the top of the mountain and plant your flag. Tell everyone you are the best Internet Marketer out there. There is nothing stopping you but you.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Is the Internet Marketer Market Tapped Out?

Does it really matter if Internet Marketers are selling to Internet Marketers? I don't think it does.

I make all my money in other businesses, I never have depended on the Internet marketing crowd to put a dollar in my pocket. Read my FREE ebook, it's 68 pages of wonderful stuff. I'm sure you will learn something.

However, I have learned a tremendous amount by participating in discussion groups and purchasing information products from other folks.

I don't really think there are any masters, there are people with different experiences.

Somewhere along the way, you are going to find gold nuggets. Don't be all spent out when $37 seperates you from a gold nugget. Don't blow your whole wad trying to be an Internet Marketer.

Do it over time, spend as little as possible. Don't buy anything. Don't buy anything. Don't buy anything. You can find more Internet Marketing knowledge that you ever need for FREE on the Internet. Did I mention don't buy anything.

If you think you are going to purchase an ebook that will be earth shattering and be the one thing that changed your life, I have one for you and it's FREE.

What you will find is alot of common sense and information you can find on the Internet for FREE, all organized and aggregated into logic thought. If you have half a brain, you can come to some of the same conclusions on your own.

Learn what you can from others and break new ground on things that no one else is doing. That's where the fun is.

If you are re-hashing Internet Marketing to Internet Marketers, you are constantly in the spotlight for your Internet Marketing knowledge.

I can imagine that puts alot of stress on Internet Marketers to always be stressing the "new hotness" instead of the "old busted" That sometimes means your hands are tied and you can't say what you are thinking.

I mean if you are an Internet Marketer and you show up in a Internet Marketing forum and appear clueless, or say stupid stuff, it will come back to you at some point.

Whereas, I can say "I don't have a freakin' clue about Internet Marketing" and no one will know me from adam.

But if you have someone who makes their living selling Internet Marketing knowledge, they won't have alot of fun saying "I don't have a freakin' clue" because they will appear out of the know and dated.

Finding Great Keywords

Overture has a keyword suggestion tool: Just type a keyword in and it gives you a list of keywords that are related to yours ranked in order of how many people searched for the
Keyword on the Internet.
Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool

Adwords has a tool for people who advertise on Google. The tool helps them to find additional keywords to bid on that are related to the main keyword they are bidding on.

Wordtracker is generally considered the best available resource for keyword analysis for web site promotion. However, it does come at a price, whereas the others are FREE.


Niche Keyword Tool

Friday, July 01, 2005

Why don't you see .NET and Java as leading Internet Marketing tools?

I think the bottom line is free spirit.

In the software development business usually people are either in the Microsoft or Java camps. I don't think you see either as the market leader in Internet marketing.

PHP, Perl and MySQL seem to be right up there.

I look at it and I must believe it's just the concept of the old land grab. You don't want to use tools that are tainted with propriety and licensing when you are in the gold rush looking to stake your claim.

Plus, there's just lots of stuff out there and PHP is easy.