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KILLER ADS
by Bob Osgoodby

You went to all the trouble to develop a "Killer Ad Program", tested response rates and heavily advertised your product, service or opportunity, and then - nothing - no business. How come, you might ask.

The object of the ads is really not to make an immediate sale, but to get someone to do something - usually request more particulars by email, or go to a web site for further information. This is where many ad programs fall apart.

If you are trying to make sales from your web site, there must be some continuity between the ad, and the web page they see.  Once in a while an ad will get my attention, I go to their web site, and can't find the information I was looking for. Trying to fight my way through a dozen or so banner ads, that have nothing to do with their offer, I quickly give up. If you are going to have a web site to sell your opportunity, forget the banner ads - they are simply a distraction.

A smart entrepreneur will make their ad and the web page complementary to each other. If someone visits your site, they should immediately find what brought them there in the first place. They shouldn't have to search all over the place as they will quickly lose interest. Remember that people came there to get information, and not view graphics that bear no relation to what they want.

While an image of an ocean view might be attractive, unless you are selling a vacation package, forget about it. The page must load quickly, and while large images will simply slow it down, there should be some balance to make the page attractive. Many of the web pages are simply "boring". People are looking for a professional image.

Most people who buy on the web are not idiots. Just because your ad is on the web doesn't give it any magic. If your product is overpriced, you will not do a whole lot of business.

Someone recently told me that trying to run a web business was a waste of time. Investigation into what he was trying to do, quickly revealed he was selling a product for $49.95, that was available in local stores for $19.95. In this case, he was right. You should really not try to compete with a large company or a "brick and mortar" business. The pockets that contain their advertising dollars are a lot deeper than yours.

But the Internet is a fantastic opportunity for the small entrepreneur. You just don't want to try and compete with "Walmart" in the process. Some people are making money every single day however, so what is their secret? They have found a "niche" not normally available in the chains, and are capitalizing on that.

There are thousands of "niche markets" around. Take a look and see what others are doing. One good example I have found is someone who has extended his "brick and mortar" business to the Internet. Andrae, at http://valuecarpetonline.com basically runs a specialty carpet store, and decided to go online as well. His web site is complementary to his ads, and the user can quickly find what they are looking for.

Do you have to have a "brick and mortar" business like Andrae?

No, in point of fact, the majority of people in business on the web do not. In his case, it is an extension of his regular business, that happens to work well. Many people however, do not have a "brick and mortar" business, and operate solely on the web.

Do you have a hobby that could be turned into a business. I know a person who collects stamps. His hobby has turned into an active business. Another person who is an avid gardener, has started marketing her own herbal remedies. Yet another is an author who writes copy for other web based businesses.

Time and space prohibit trying to list every opportunity that one can pursue. What might be of interest to one person, may not be to another. Everyone is different with different interests and backgrounds. If you can find your proper "niche market", develop some "killer ads" and have a complementary web site, you will succeed.

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