1. Check up on your competing web sites and find out about their traffic totals and demographics via www.quantcast.com.
2. To find out about affiliate programs, consult aggregators such as www.clickbank.com or www.cj.com. If you want to be an expert on an industry specific topic or product or service, type it into Google with the words “affiliate programs.”
3. To become an affiliate (where you sell other people’s stuff), register with the person or company that you plan to sell on behalf of. You’ll receive a string of numbers and letters in a link that, when others click on it, shall yield you a sales commission. You can also register a domain name to forward to your unique link – it’s a lot easier to tell someone go to GreatBaseballBook.com than to go to www.yz1789006q28.com.
4. Google Ad Sense makes it easier to earn ad dollars. Open an account at www.google.com/adsense. They will help suggest which ads to display on your site. Every time someone clicks on an ad, you earn a small royalty or commission. If you have someone post an ad directly on your site (banner ad) you’ll want to track how many times someone clicked on it. With ads, you can charge based on pay-per-click, pay-per-purchase, or based on how much traffic your site or page receives (similar to how mags and newspapers charge based on their circulation).
5. To sell online, you need a merchant account. You can start with PayPal but some people may not want to use them. Consider using www.authorize.net or other payment gateways that help tie your transaction page with a merchant account. One solution for the marketer-in-training is 1shoppingcart.com. Eventually you may graduate to netsuite.com, infusionsoft.com or others. No doubt, consumers will want to know, when it comes to doing an online transaction with you, the following: How do I get what I ordered? How much is shipping and handling? How long will it take to arrive? Is my info secure or being sold? Whom do I contact if there’s a problem? What guarantee do you offer? What’s your refund policy?
6. Some approaches to selling could include:
a. A special one-day sale
b. Exclusive availability of a product or service
c. Snail-mailing and calling the same people you emailed to highlight a deal
d. Upsell a book with other offerings, such as an e-book, industry report, resource list, seminar, webinar, CD training, DVD presentation, consulting or coaching, bootcamp, subscription, membership, etc.
7. Create a new logo for cheap by posting your request on elance.com or craigslist. Or ask a college student for help. Or trade ad space with someone who can help you.
8. Up to 1 in 12 are colorblind, so keep that in mind when creating your web site colors. Also take into consideration how people may interpret or react to specific colors. Blue may suggest honesty, loyalty, calming and trustworthiness, as blue is often connected to the sky, water, police, and beautiful eyes. But other colors may have their detractors. Silver, for instance, may be associated with finishing second rather than first, though it is a precious metal. It seems cold and scientific. Brown can seem genuine and natural, but it also conjures up thoughts of dirt, poop, and blandness. Even red, though it conjures up feelings of passion, energy, and excitement, it also makes us think of scandal, death, warnings and limitations. If you really want to understand color patterns and combinations along the spectrum, consult the Pantone Matching System. Check out: www.visibone.com/color. You can also look at the free color calculator provided by Sessions Online by School of Design at www.sessions.edu/career_center/design_tools/color_calculator/index.asp.
9. Wondering how people view your site? Check out a free “heat map” at www.feng-gui.com. It’ll tell you how people might be looking at your site or page for the first time. Do they view top right corner initially and scan to the middle and then down the page – or do they follow some other pattern? If you want to see other web site designs that might be more favorable, check out the templates available at www.templatemaster.com or www.websitetemplates.com. Take note of sites that you frequent or surf and imitate their layout style as you see fit.
10. Whenever you want to make a sale, motivate the buyer with a sense of urgency to respond. Don’t panic them or create a false emergency but do seek to move the process along. Perhaps inspire them by adding value to your offer, provided they act in a timely manner.
11. Add a button on your blog, web site or newsletter that highlights a tell-a-friend feature. Make it easy for others to share your content.
12. If you need to find the best keywords to use for search engine optimization, consider using www.wordtracker.com, www.wordze.com, www.keyworddiscovery.com, and other resources for a small fee. To discover search volumes on keywords, check out:
http://adwords.google.com/select/keywordtoolexternal. You can see if search frequency is rising or declining in volume by going to www.google.com/trends. Another good tool to test keyword usability is to look at demographic data. To heck your assumptions or curiosity about keywords relevance, and to see how they fit your industry, go to: www.google.com/insights/search and type in your keyword in the text box.
13. By searching for keywords on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, LiveSearch and other major search engines, you’ll become clearer on which keywords to use. To exploit your competitors, go to Yahoo! Site Explorer and see exactly what links their sites are connected to. SEOQuake tells you how many links a competitor has, lets you know their keyword density, and informs you of how many pages they have in the search engine indexes. Interestingly, Yellow Pipe Lynx Viewer tells you if a site is showing one thing to contact search engines but something different than what they reveal to the public.
14. Including certain images in a search result can generate a lot of traffic. To optimize an image, use an original, high-quality image. Use JPG, not GIF. Optimize the content surrounding the image by using certain keywords for the photo caption. Give the image a keyword-rich name.
15. Writing online copy means that you not only write for your customer, you write for the search engines. Think about what your customer asks, wants to know, always needs, or consistently talks about. Then address these things. Think of ridiculous claims made by or about your industry and debunk them. Find news relating to your topic and comment on it. Look at your topic and see how it can be broken into subgroups and smaller categories. Then go back and clean up your writing with SEO and keywords in mind. Write in an active, not passive, voice. Be clear, easy-to-understand and of course, interesting. Use bullets and write scannable copy, where it is simple to discuss quickly.
16. Always write something of quality. People want to see good content. Avoid a hard-core sales pitch approach. Include images, good keywords and a punchy headline. Conclude with a clear action step.
17. If you have an online business (selling your book from your site would qualify), you should submit your site to local web sites such as www.yelp.com, www.yellowpages.com, www.citysearch.com, www.superpages.com,
www.patch.com, and others that localize searches for things. Have your friends and family post positive reviews for your business on Google, Yahoo!, Live Local, and other popular sites. Provide a simple way for them to bookmark your location on the mapping services like Google Maps. The more people who bookmark your location, the better your SEO. To make sure your site is optimized for local searches, include your physical street address on every page of your site, put your metro area or city in a few title tags on your site, and include directions on your contact page. Get links from other local sites, such as a neighborhood association, library, Chamber of Commerce, etc.
18. Get more links from sites sending traffic to you. But don’t buy or sell links. Link exchanges with another site won’t help your SEO, but you may get more referrals to your site. Link networks are not useful and can hurt you, so don’t join one when someone sends you link text and a URL. In the end, you get more links because you create great content and tell others. You make people laugh, angry, challenged, proud, curious, smarter – do that and people will come back to you. If you want to see a competitor’s links, use www.linkdiagnosis.com. Also use Yahoo! Site Explorer to generate a list of their links. If you want to see who wrote about someone else’s book so you can approach them, Google the author’s name and his/her book title.
19. To examine how you are getting non-paid traffic to your site, utilize Google Analytics. Go to traffic sources and search engines and then click on the “non-paid” link to show what led people to your site. You can also see which keywords got them to you. Go to Google Analytics, then traffic sources, then keywords. Click on the non-paid link. To see incoming links on Yahoo!, use Yahoo! Site Explorer; Live Search use Live Webmaster Tools and then Backlinks. On Google you can use Google Webmaster Tools, then links, and then pages with external links.
20. To see if something you wrote has been published elsewhere, whether with your blessing or without your permission, to the following: go to www.copyscape.com, paste in the address on one of your web site pages, and run a report. Or you can take a unique paragraph or phrase from your site or blog and paste it into a search engine like Google and surround the text with quote marks. Search to see what pops up.
21. You can examine your web site metrics to death but it does help to monitor the basics – if traffic is rising, and if so, when and why? If you did an ad campaign or executed a PR initiative, you should monitor the results. Seeing which pages they went to, time spent on the site, and keyword searches that led them to the site will help you tweak your approach. Google Analytics should tell you what you need.
22. When sending email, honor the spirit of the SPAM Act and be sure to include the option to
unsubscribe. Post a privacy statement, include your physical address on the email and send the email from a verified address. If you need the assistance of a professional email service provider, consider going to see the sites: www.office.microsoft.com, www.constantcontact.com, www.1shoppingcart.com, www.verticalresponse.com or those can provide templates and assistance when it comes to designing or sending newsletters, announcements, event invitations, greeting cards, etc.
23. According to Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results, “Some color
pairings can create headaches, perceived vibrations, phantom shadows and other optical illusion-type situations for your visitors. Avoid pairing color chart opposites (e.g. blue and red) and high chroma colors (e.g. blue and yellow).”
Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.
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