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The SBC Small Business Newsletter

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May 16, 2002

Table of Contents

 

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administrative Stuff

Staff Article - WRITING EBOOKS TO ENERGIZE YOUR BUSINESS
Marketing Tip of the Week

Guest Article -  NEW BAG OF FRESH IDEAS FOR YOUR INTERNET BUSINESS
Parting Comments

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Welcome

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Quote of the Week

The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you Advance. Proceed, and light will dawn, and shine with increasing clearness on your path.

-- D'Alembert

 


Administrative Stuff

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Just send your email to mailto:mybiz@peakconsultinginc.com with "Info on my business" in the subject line. Give us a brief description of your business and your URL and we'll publish it.  (If your business is promoting affiliate programs, you may submit your affiliate programs in lieu of your website).


Staff Article

WRITING EBOOKS TO ENERGIZE YOUR BUSINESS

by: Cary Christian

As you read the title of this article, I know that many of you are immediately thinking that you would never be able to write an ebook. In most cases this is simply a mental block. If you allow yourself to get past the notion that you can't and just leave yourself open to the possibility that you can, you'll soon realize that you are just as capable as others who are regularly publishing ebooks. Most of you have a creative flair already or you wouldn't be building a business on the web.

It is true that the web is nearly saturated with ebooks on Internet marketing, or at least it seems that way. But it is also true that every day someone finds a niche to write about to breathe fresh life into this subject.

But more importantly, I am thinking about those of you who sell products or services that are not marketing related. This territory is wide open for producing ebooks on a wide variety of subjects that can prove very valuable in building traffic to your site, establishing your expertise, and increasing your sales.

Take Verisign, for example. They advertise free "white papers" on ecommerce and secure Internet transaction processing quite frequently. There is only one reason for this: when you think of ecommerce, they want you to automatically think of them. And it works to a great degree.

You can do the same, no matter what it is you sell. If there are people interested in your products or services, they will also be interested in the information you can provide them. Your ebook might find its way into the hands of thousands of people. And if you allow them to give it away, you'll have viral marketing working for you. You could receive hits to your site for many years to come from the circulation of just this one ebook.

You may have already begun to think of topics or subject matter you could use in ebooks to promote your business. If so, that's great! Get started as soon as you can. If, instead, you're starting to think of excuses for not doing it, let's anticipate a few and see if we can't get past them.

I CAN'T WRITE

I realize that many people do not like to write, and therefore, they are not very good at it. Practice does make perfect. If you don't write, you won't be able to. But you can learn to write if the desire is there.

You can also get help. In fact, you can hire someone to write the ebook for you. You provide the ideas, the research, information on your site and products, and let a professional do the writing for you.

You could hire an english major from a nearby college who would probably love to do the work for a relatively small fee. You could farm out the work online by going to a site like Elance and let qualified people bid on your project. You can even contact us. We have people who would provide "ghost writing" services for you. Not being able to personally write the book should not stop you.

I CAN'T WRITE HTML FOR THE EBOOK!

Get yourself a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor. You can buy Microsoft FrontPage or Dreamweaver, or just download 1stPage2000, which is free. It will work just as well as any commercial software you can buy. You can get your free copy at http://www.evrsoft.com/

If you're going to be doing business online, and you don't have employees or consultants who regularly do it for you, it certainly won't hurt you to learn to produce HTML pages. It's a skill you will be able to use in many ways. Make the commitment. It's really not that difficult.

If you prefer, you can do your ebook in pdf format. You will need the full version of Adobe Acrobat to do this, however, and you will probably find it is more difficult to learn (at least to learn to do it the right way) than using an HTML ebook compiler. It is also more expensive if you're on a tight budget.

I WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT!

Sure you do! You are an expert on your products or services and the benefits they provide to your customers. Think about why your customers buy products like yours. What benefits are they seeking? How do products like yours fill these needs? Educate your consumer on your products or services and how they can vary from provider to provider. What makes your products special? You get the idea. There is an endless list of subjects related to your products or services that you could write about. In fact, once you write your first ebook, you'll probably want to start on your second right away!

OKAY, I'LL WRITE. BUT WHY SHOULDN'T I SELL MY INFORMATION?

Perhaps you should! If the information is valuable enough and not easily found elsewhere for free, or if your expertise is such that you have something exceptional to offer, by all means consider selling your ebook. If there is a need for the information you can provide, there is a market you could sell to.

The key is to understand the tradeoff between increasing your product sales and generating additional revenue from your ebook. If you are selling the ebook, it will be owned by fewer people, you will get less traffic to your site, you will lose the viral effect of the ebook and, consequently, you will sell less of your existing products. You need to decide which route will provide you with more profit.

Of course, you can always publish one free ebook for viral marketing purposes and another for sale! Don't limit your possibilities.

SUMMARY

If you haven't considered producing your own ebooks, you are missing out on a real opportunity to energize or reenergize your traffic and your sales. Don't let excuses deter you from realizing the full potential of this strategy. You CAN do it!



Copyright (c) 2002


Marketing Tip of the Week

A lot of businesses spend too much time worrying about optimizing their website for the search engines and too little time developing links to their site. In today's environment, links to your site from sites that are complementary to yours are far more valuable in the long run than endlessly reworking your keywords and trying every scheme you can find to increase your search engine rankings artificially. Not only will these links provide you with plenty of high-quality traffic, but they will actually get you a higher ranking in the search engines as well. The more links the search engines find to your site, the more important your site will seem to be. Seek out these complementary sites and approach the site owners with a link exchange proposal. Do this on a regular basis and you will be quite satisfied with the results.
 


Guest Article

NEW BAG OF FRESH IDEAS FOR YOUR INTERNET BUSINESS

By Terry Dean
 

Every Internet business needs to come up with fresh ideas to drive more traffic to their site, increase their sales, and multiply their profits.

Too often, we get in a rut in our Internet businesses. We keep doing the same things every day even when they aren't working.

My definition of insanity is someone who does the same thing over and over again and expects to receive a different result.

Many people believe that there are only so many different ways you can market your products or services, such as: banner advertising, search engines, classifieds, etc.

How do you expect to come out ahead of the competition if you are going to limit your business to what other people in your market are already doing online?

Every multi-million dollar Internet business has one thing in common. They all came up with a new and fresh idea for creating an e-commerce site that stands out in their industry.

For some it was becoming the World's Largest Bookstore like Amazon.com. Others choose to spend their time organizing and indexing web sites like Yahoo.com. Another company named Ebay created the largest auction house in the world.

Each leading web site had one thing in common. They came up with a fresh idea for helping Internet users find what they are looking for. They found out what frustrations people had and came up with solutions for them.

Yahoo was originally started by two young college guys who wanted to make the Internet easier to use by indexing and categorizing the sites they found. This idea eventually evolved into the portals that we see everywhere today: Infoseek, Alta Vista, Hotbot, Goto, etc. Guess which one still gets the most traffic? The first is the still the best.

If you are out to create a little wealth for yourself and your family, then an affiliate program may be the way to go. They can be a good start for the beginning web marketer. You get to learn how to make money online while being taught by experienced Internet marketers.

You will have to step over to the next level when you want to start developing some real profits from your Internet business. You will need to come up with your own fresh idea.

Don't tell me it can't be done. Remember, Yahoo was not created by a large corporation. It was created by college guys. What Internet trend are you about to create or what Internet trend can you cash in on?

It's funny. Most million dollar plus Internet businesses are not the creation of the major corporations. There are a few to be sure, but the majority of them were originally started by one to three people who just came up with a better way of doing things.

They all started as a fresh idea. Then, they evolved into a system and a web site. Then, as the site grew, they would quickly become the target of larger companies willing to buy them out. Overnight, after months or years of work, the creators become millionaires.

This type of scenario happens every day online. Don't tell me it won't happen to you, because it could. It can only happen if you become one of the Idea generators instead of just the Idea followers.

I want to reveal two simple secrets of success to help you learn how to generate your own fresh ideas.

Step One: Pay Attention.

You need to start paying attention to what is happening around you. Every story you see on the news is a potential idea for a web site. If the public is interested in a subject, it shows you have a market.

One thing that I have found common in successful direct marketers is that they all pay particular attention to the news. You will find that the ones who are successful are the ones who have spotted the prevailing trends inside of a market.

I used ISyndicate to deliver daily news from Time News Daily, The Web Guide, Web Development, News: E-Commerce, Wired News: Business, and CNET: Computers. A little further down you will find the hottest CNET Downloads. The hottest message boards and discussion groups online are also linked daily from this page.

Start spending time watching the world around you. What trends do people keep talking about? What types of frustrations are people experiencing? What is the hotnews of the month?

If you go to the bottom of my News page, you can track and see what message boards and discussions groups are hot. Jump into some of the discussions and read what people are talking about. What are they frustrated with online? Where are the potential opportunities?

The most successful entrepreneurs aren't always the brightest, the most educated, or the most likely candidates, but they are people who learn how to spot opportunities.

Learn how to ask questions of your visitors. Take polls. Put a form on your site for people to leave their comments. Find out what your targeted market is looking for. Then, give it to them.

Step Two: Learn How to Relax.

Something that most people have yet to realize when it comes to developing fresh ideas is that they usually don't come while you are actively working. They come later on while you are playing golf, doing your hobbies, or in the shower.

Too often your mind is plain too stressed out and worn out to come up with solutions while you are at your desk or on your computer. If you want to develop fresh new marketing ideas, you are going to have to learn how to relax.

The most successful marketers are usually those who have learned the right balance of work and relaxation in their lives. They actively work on their business and then while they are away from their business they let ideas come while they are doing the things they love.

You should always keep a notebook handy for this very reason. After you have thought about and studied what types of Trends and frustrations people are experiencing online, you never know when that winning idea may come to you. It could come when you wake up in the morning, on the golf course, or wherever you go to relax.

If you actively prepare yourself and allow yourself to relax, you are giving your mind what it just may need to come up with that next fresh idea to take your business to the next level of profits.


-----------------

Terry Dean, a 5 year veteran of Internet marketing, will Take You By The Hand and Show You Exact Results of All the Internet Marketing Techniques he tests and Uses Every Single Month" Click here to Find Out More:
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/nbt.htm 


Parting Comments

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