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QUICK TAKES
by: Cary Christian


It's that time again! I'm in the mood to present another installment of Quick Takes this week, so here goes.


GENERATE TRAFFIC BY HAVING A LITTLE FUN!

One of the most frequently searched terms online is "jokes" or some other term related to humor. Now why would that be of interest to you?

We tend to get so serious about managing our businesses that we sometimes lose some of our creativity. Everyone is optimizing their sites for the search engines, running pay-per-click campaigns, participating in email marketing campaigns, etc., etc., etc. Being able to do something different will give you a competitive advantage.

So if you know people are searching for jokes and humor in droves, why not give them what they want? How many different ways can you think of to turn humor into a marketing strategy? Let's try a couple:

1. Start a newsletter with your own joke of the day. Include an ad for your products in every issue. Get yourself 365 excellent jokes and load them into an autoresponder. Market your joke of the day newsletter on your site and in other marketing efforts you undertake. Then sit back and let the autoresponder advertise for you on a daily basis.

2. Find some good cartoons or a cartoon feed to place on your website and change it every day or every week. If it's good enough, you can build repeat visitors to your site with very little effort.

I'm sure you can probably think of many other ways you could use humor to assist your marketing efforts. Don't get me wrong: these visitors will NOT be very targeted unless you can tailor the humor to your business in some way.

For example, if you cater to people who like gardening, then you should look for jokes, humorous articles, cartoons, etc. that deal with gardening, farming, landscaping or something similar.

Tailoring the humor to your business may be either very simple or very difficult depending on your industry. But even if you cannot target the humor, you'll get plenty of visitors and repeat visitors very inexpensively.


A LOGICAL EXTENSION

The previous discussion of using humor to generate visitors logically leads to using other terms that are more targeted to your business and following the same techniques. For example, find heavily-searched keywords related to your business and develop a "tip of the day" related to that keyword.


WHAT HITS ARE AND ARE NOT

I'm sure you've all seen sites that brag they're getting 10,000 hits per day. You've probably been envious of those numbers and wonder how you can get your site into that category. But what numbers are they talking about when they say they're getting 10,000 hits per day?

Hits are not the same as visitors. You need to understand that in order to analyze your traffic properly. If you have a webpage that contains 20 pictures or other objects, then one visitor to this page will create 20 hits. If this page were our braggart's page that gets the 10,000 hits per day, then it is only getting 500 visitors per day. Our envy level just dropped in a major way!

Make sure you are concentrating on visitors and not hits when you're analyzing your own site statistics.


SERIALIZED CONTENT

Millions and millions of people tune in to soap operas every day and sitcoms every night. You'll hear people discussing the characters and what happened on the last show and trying to guess what might happen tomorrow or next week when the next installment airs. The good shows keep people coming back again and again.

Why not do this on your website? You know I'm a big fan of helpful content that is complementary to the products you sell. Well, why not serialize some of the content to keep people coming back for more?

Either write or get yourself some good multiple-part articles and present a new installment each week on your site. If the articles are sufficiently interesting enough, people will come back to read them.

Once the article series has run, let them do double duty! Load them into an autoresponder and let people subscribe to the series from your site, your newsletter or through some of your other advertising sources. This will give you an opportunity to include an ad for one of your products with each message.


Copyright (c) 2002

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