May 30, 2002
Table of Contents
Quote of the Week
Staff Article -
USING RECIPROCAL LINKS TO BUILD TRAFFIC
Marketing Tip of the Week
Guest Article -
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN $2,000 A WEEK INTERNET STRATEGY
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Quote of the Week
People of mediocre
ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when
to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to.
-- George Allen
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USING RECIPROCAL LINKS TO BUILD
by: Cary Christian
Last week I presented an
article here on optimizing your site for the search engines. I did not
discuss link popularity even though this subject is very important to search
Search engines are very interested in the sites that link to you. Links are
one method of measuring how "important" your site is and its worthiness of a
high ranking by the search engine. If you have no links, your site WILL
suffer in the rankings.
But links to your site are much more important than just the effect they
have on your search engine rankings. Done properly, they will generate far
more traffic to your site than the search engines ever will! A jump in your
search engine rankings is a very nice and desirable side effect.
So let's rush right out and get links from anyone and everyone we can find
and join a few of these new "ready-made" links directories than can provide
us with hundreds of links automatically. On second thought, LET'S NOT!
LINKS ARE USELESS UNLESS THEY RELATE TO YOUR SITE'S THEME
Someone visiting an auto parts web site will probably not be interested in a
link to a needlepoint web site, and vice versa. You want links to your
site from other sites that are similar or that complement your site. For
example, if you sell accounting software, a link from a site that evaluates
accounting software should yield excellent results for you.
Search engine robots are also smart enough to evaluate your links. A
hodge-podge of links that have nothing to do with your site will only hurt
you with the search engines. Your rankings will actually go down. For this
reason, joining one of these "link farms" is the WORST thing you can do.
They are a prime example of free marketing schemes on the Internet that do
more harm than good.
Poor linking practices also do nothing for your visitors. You want YOUR
outbound links to be meaningful as well. Make your links page a valuable
resource to your visitors that they will want to bookmark and refer back to.
It won't be if you do not approach reciprocal linking in the proper manner.
Your outbound links should be neatly categorized and presented. Group
similar links together and provide headings and subheadings that make it
easy for your visitors to browse and find what they're looking for.
I'll be the first to tell you that I don't like a lot of links out of my
site to other sites. Once I have a visitor, I'd rather keep them on my site
for awhile. But they will leave eventually anyway, and if your links are all
organized on one page that is specifically designated as a "related links"
type of page, your visitors will probably visit it only after they have seen
everything on your site that they are interested in. I really don't
believe you lose anything with this type of links page.
FINDING SITES TO LINK TO
This takes some work on your part. You're going to have to use the search
engines to perform searches on keywords that relate to your site in order to
find appropriate sites for linking. You can also use an automated tool
like ZEUS for this purpose (see our Featured Resource, above).
In fact, since you can download and use Zeus for free, a most excellent
price, there is no reason you shouldn't use it. The free version is fully
functional but does not contain a lot of the "bells and whistles" of the pro
version. But it is more than adequate to get you going in the right
direction and to help you learn the process. You feed in keywords and other
information about your site and show it one site that represents the type of
sites you are looking for and it will take it from
there. It will go out and find hundreds or thousands of sites that are
potential linking partners and provide you with the information you will
need to request a link.
If you don't use a tool like Zeus, be prepared to spend more time reviewing
potential sites and digging out the contact information you need to propose
a link. If you're doing this manually, loading the Alexa toolbar will make
your job easier. It provides you with contact information on the site
and sometimes will provide you with information on where to find similar
sites. You can download the toolbar at:
(See the bottom of the page for the toolbar download).
ASKING FOR A LINK
Whatever you do, do not just send out a bunch of standardized emails asking
for reciprocal links. Take a look at each site, decide what makes it a good
match with yours, and craft a personal email to the webmaster that shows you
have given the potential link the attention it deserves. Mention to the
webmaster specifically what makes your sites complementary and give him or
her enough detail to let them know you really looked at their site.
Do not include any advertising in your email. Not even in the signature
line! Keep it brief, courteous and professional. You could be accused of
Make the subject line personalized as well. A subject line of "Let's trade
links" probably won't even get read. Chances are, the webmaster gets a ton
of those every day. If you have actually reviewed their site, which you WILL
have done, you will be able to do much better.
Do not go into linking rules or guidelines in this email. There is
plenty of time for that later if and when the webmaster agrees with your
You might be hesitant to approach a large, popular website with a link
request, and you probably should be. You might want to save those until your
own site is a little larger and has better traffic numbers.
HOWEVER, if your site fills a unique niche and really does make an excellent
link partner for the larger site, by all means propose the link. Just make
sure you explain what makes you unique and such a good link candidate.
Remember, even large, popular sites are looking to provide valuable
resources to their visitors. If your site IS such a resource and is
perceived to provide value to the larger site's visitors, you will probably
get a link. Then you might not be such a little site any more! Appropriate
links really CAN change your life!
Copyright (c) 2002
Tip of the Week
Safelist ads rarely get noticed, but if you
are creative you can still get some response. Here's an example of what
we're talking about:
We ran a short ad in a bunch of safelists that apparently had no marketing
effort attached to it at all. The subject line was "Take a humor break!" and
the body linked to the following page on our website:
Go ahead and follow the link. You'll find two real jokes and one fake joke
that is actually a real ad people use frequently in their email advertising
with a link for people to click if they don't get the joke. The link is to
our sales page for "A Beginner's Guide to Internet Marketing." The
implication is, of course, that if people really think that type of ad will
work, they need our book! This little non-ad drew twice as well as a
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN $2,000 A WEEK INTERNET STRATEGY
by Terry Dean
In most of the articles on the
web, probably 97% - 99%, you will read about the technical aspects of
building a profitable business online. Most of the information I cover deals
with that arena...but what most people forget to mention to you is that the
technical aspects are ONLY half of the equation to your success on the
When you really get down to the nitty-gritty of making money online, it all
starts with your strategy. Even if you know exactly how to achieve top
positions on the search engines or know exactly how a link campaign should
be done, it still won't let you achieve the level of success you want if you
don't know how to develop the strategy for your site.
To put it simply, tactics are your day to day actions in building your
website. A strategy is your overall plan and goal for exactly what you would
like to have your website and business accomplish for your customers.
The Random House College
Dictionary defines strategy and tactics this way... "In military usage, a
distinction is made between STRATEGY AND TACTICS. STRATEGY is the
utilization of all of a nation's forces, through large-scale, long-range
planning and development, to ensure security or victory. TACTICS deals with
the use and deployment of troops in combat."
Have you ever stopped the day to day battle of trying to achieve top
positions on search engines (And believe me...This is a battle) long enough
to develop your long-term strategy? What is your overall vision for
your site? In the Bible, Proverbs 29:18 states, "Where there is no vision,
the people perish..."
I know some people who are brilliant strategists about online marketing who
have achieved amazing success even though their actual tactical skills are
only so-so. They hire out the web site design, the search engine
registrations, the linking campaigns, and the copywriting. As a matter of
fact, one of these brilliant minds once mentioned to me that "The Concept is
Greater than The Copy."
In other words, the right marketing strategy can overcome slight problems in
the copywriting or even the carrying out of the plans. Even the best
copywriting on the planet won't make a success out of a poor business
strategy or concept.
No contractor would ever consider starting work on a project without having
a detailed blueprint already done and in their hands. It also doesn't matter
how good they are at following the blueprints if the blueprints are all
wrong. For many people, their internet businesses are in this exact state.
They have many of the internet tactics ready, but they have yet to develop a
powerful strategy to empower the whole process.
So exactly how do you choose the strategy for your Internet Marketing
Empire? Below you will find a three step process in helping you develop your
overall strategy. I don't want to over-complicate the process by any means,
but I do want to help you create ideas through this. Your actual day to day
internet marketing tactics will then flow out of your overall marketing
STEP ONE: Create Your Overall Theme to Your Online Business
You can't develop a business around a single product. Even if you are
promoting a single product upfront, it is not the product that people want.
They want the BENEFITS they receive out of the product. When designing your
site, think about an "Ultimate Benefit" to build your site around.
I first heard the phrase "The Ultimate Benefit" through Dr. Jeffrey Lant and
it has stuck with me ever since. It is that ever abiding "WANT" or "GOALS"
that your prospects have with them continually. Ultimate Benefits are things
such as: more money, weight loss, online success, being sexually attractive,
Ultimate benefits are what your prospects are really seeking after. So,
don't base your business just on products. Base your business on this
Ultimate Benefit. This will be the theme that binds everything else you do
at your site together. It is what you want your site to become known for. It
is why people will return to your site over and over again forever.
What is it that your prospects ultimately want?
Once you have defined your "Ultimate Benefit," that's where the products can
come in. You will want to provide multiple products that all fall under the
same Ultimate Benefit. This will help you to create "Multiple Streams of
Income" all generated from one web site.
What mail order or internet company do you know of that only has one
product? There aren't any really successful ones. Even the sites which seem
only to have one main product still have dozens of different profit streams
which all come out of the backend of that product. Your mission online is to
help people reach
their ultimate goals, and that cannot be done with just one product. It
takes a variety of products to accomplish this goal.
One warning I do want to mention here though is that your site will be more
successful if you have one LEAD product. By testing both multiple product
sites and sites which focus on one lead product, I have found that the lead
product sites will outsell the multiple product sites by a long shot in most
So, the absolute best set-up is to focus on a main product, and then have
many different backends or supporting products which will help your
customers to further their goals. This type of system is often referred to
as a marketing funnel. You may be selling a book about Ad Copy on your site,
but you will also
have consultations, seminars, audio tapes, and ad writing services which all
support your theme.
If you are selling web sites as a primary lead product, you could also sell
books on internet marketing, web design services, CGI programming, etc. If
your theme is weight loss, your primary product may be a nutritional
product. You could also sell weight loss and exercise books. A newsletter
could be started. You could also do personal one-on-one consultations for
You also don't need to come up with all of these products yourself. Many of
them can be found through Joint Venturing with other companies which have
products you know your customers want.
STEP TWO: Develop A Unique Aspect to Your Business...Your USP
Your business cannot just be a me-too business online. You need to develop
some type of uniqueness to it...something that sets you apart from all of
the rest of your competition online. You need to create a "Unique Selling
Position" which makes you stand out from the crowd online...
For example, everyone is selling books online. How did Amazon.com becomes
the most well known bookstore on the Internet. They developed a USP which
basically states "The World's Largest Bookstore" which is exactly what they
are. They have stated in one phrase exactly what makes them unique from the
rest of the bookstores in the world.
How can you develop your own USP? You probably aren't going to own the
largest selection of anything in your business since most of us have started
out bootstrapping at home or in our small business. Let me give you a simple
little formula you can use which will help you immensely in the creation of
a USP for your business.
To find your USP, pull out a blank sheet of paper. At the top of the paper,
write "You know how most __________..." Then, halfway down the page, write
"Well, What I do is..."
I want you to write how most of the businesses in your market are in the
first section. Then, I want you to write what sets you apart from them.
Avoid using words such as quality or better service, because those types of
things don't really mean anything UNLESS you are more specific in your
description. This may take you a while to do.
You probably will have to study your competition online for a while. Give
yourself a few days to think it over. Then, write it down.
Next, I want you to boil down that entire sheet of paper to a single phrase
or sentence. This takes some work. Write it out in a sentence or phrase as
many times as you need to until you get just the right words. Again, if this
takes you a few days, let it. Think about it when you are driving, eating,
etc. Mull it over. Then, once you have just the right wording, that is your
NEW USP which you will use to separate you from all of the competition.
Use it on your signature file online...Use it on your website...Use it in
your ad copy. Let it become a guiding force to your online business that
sets you apart and defines you as the person to deal with in this area.
STEP THREE: Concentrate on Building Relationships with Your
To fully develop an online business, you need to maximize your relationships
with people. Although your goal in your Internet business may be to set it
up on auto-pilot, you have to remember at all times that you are dealing
with real people. Credibility online is a major issue because there are many
fly-by-night get-rich-quick operators on the internet.
To help you develop this credibility with your prospects, your overall
strategy has to include such tools as ezines, message boards, chats,
conference calls, dealer programs, etc. Many people keep asking exactly why
does it seem ezines are popping up everywhere...It is simply because they
work. They help you to develop the relationships you need with your
prospects. You are able to contact your prospects over and over again
providing them with good useful information.
The same thing is true of the message boards. Once you have worked them up
to a certain level of traffic, the same people will keep coming back day
after day learning from you and the other experts you may have brought to
Use your imagination and develop other free services such as these to help
you develop your website and relationships online. How about doing JVs
with other businesses? How about running a monthly conference call on your
subject? Your business online is only limited by your imagination!
Get Started Today In Developing Your Online Strategy...
Don't let this report just sit there in your email box. Print it out. Start
today in putting these strategy building tips to work for you. It is a
proven fact that if you put this off for more than 24 hours, you will
probably never come back to it.
Developing Your Internet Strategy can be the most important key to creating
the internet business you dream of. Take action today and at least start
thinking and working on it.
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:
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