Internet Marketing Blog
The Internet Marketing blog of Mike Merz, Internet Marketing consultant, in regards to what's hot ... and what's not, in the world of Internet Marketing.
Sunday, February 29, 2004
Ken Evoy launches 'SiteBuildIt! Case Studies' ...
In an effort to show those on the fence the benefits of utilizing his popular 'SiteBuildIt! all in one e-commerce solution, Ken Evoy has launched 'SiteBuildIt! Case Studies'
, a collection of SiteBuildIt! user success stories ...
This free resource proves without a doubt that the REAL money to be made Online is by targeting specific niche markets, and using the right research and promotion tools to maximize results.
'SiteBuildIt! Case Studies'.
Friday, February 27, 2004
Checklist - 25 Questions Before You Send
by Michelle Keegan, Email Marketing Diva™, Constant Contact®
The email marketing landscape has certainly changed over the past year or so (the most significant changes being the increase in email blocking and filtering and the signing of the new Federal Can Spam law). These changes have resulted in updates to email marketing best practices that all legitimate email marketers should follow. The difference is that some of these practices are now required by law.
It has been quite some time since I published an email campaign checklist - almost two years, actually. This first issue of 2004 begins by outlining the things you need to think about when creating your campaign. Then, I have listed 25 questions you should answer before you press that send button (8 of these questions address the new Can Spam Law, in particular). So, get ready to put your email campaign to the test!
* Define your goals.
Are you trying to motivate purchases, reinforce your brand, bring visitors back to visit your site, store or office, cue the reading of an article, prompt requests for more information, increase attendance for an event, obtain donations, appointments or sign ups for a service?
* Define your audience.
Are you targeting a segment of your customer base or your entire house list? What are the needs, wants, and interests of those on your list? What is important to them? What will motivate them to take action?
* Define your message.
Engage your recipients and deliver on their needs. Use what you know about recipients to determine how, and in what order, to describe and illustrate the benefits of your offer.
* Define your vehicle.
Now that you understand your goal and your audience, how can you best communicate? Think about what kinds of campaigns you may use. You have many options including newsletters, holiday or seasonal promotions, preferred customer sales, new product or service announcements, press releases, event invitations, holiday greetings and more.
* Define your delivery timing.
When is your audience most likely to open and read your message? While audiences vary, we have found that mid-day delivery is better than mornings or evenings. Choosing the right day of the week is also important. Often Tuesday and Wednesday achieve better results than the beginning or the end of the week. Your audience may be different, so do some testing to determine the delivery timing that is right for you.
Answer the following questions:
1. Are you using a good permission policy? Make sure you have a preexisting business relationship and/or affirmative consent.
* Preexisting business relationship - The recipient of your email has made a purchase, requested information, responded to a questionnaire or a survey, or had offline contact with you.
* Affirmative consent - The recipient of your email has been clearly and fully notified of the collection and use of his email address and has consented prior to such collection and use.
Your "From" and "Subject" Lines:
2. Does your "From" line include your company name or brand?
3. Is your "Subject" line the right length? (5-8 words, 40 characters including spaces)
4. Does your "Subject" line incorporate a specific benefit?
5. Does your "Subject" line include your brand (if for some reason your "From" line does not)?
6. Does your "Subject" line create a sense of urgency?
Your Email Copy:
7. Is your email targeted, relevant and timely?
8. Is your email personalized with the recipient's first name, last name or both, if appropriate?
9. Is your email copy clear and concise?
10. Does it contain a strong call-to-action?
11. Does it focus on benefits?
12. Does it create a sense of urgency?
13. Are you prepared to handle inbound email responses and questions resulting from your outbound email campaigns? Follow through is as important as the first contact. Do not miss the opportunity to open a two-way dialogue with these interested recipients.
14. Have you used appropriate graphics while also making good use of white space?
15. Have you proofread the "From" line, "Subject" line and email copy thoroughly?
16. Have you checked all links to be sure they work properly?
17. Have you previewed and sent yourself a test in both HTML, and text?
Can Spam Compliance:
18. Does your email include a way for recipients to unsubscribe, e.g. an unsubscribe/opt-out link and/or instructions?
19. Are you prepared to handle all unsubscribe requests within 10 days of the request?
20. If you use multiple email products, or have multiple databases from which you send emails, are you prepared to process all unsubscribe requests across all lists?
21. Are you using good mailing practices? Have you been honest and truthful?
22. Have you used a legitimate header?
23. Have you used a valid "From" address?
24. Is your "Subject" line straightforward, vs. misleading?
25. Is your physical address included in your email campaign?
When you can answer "yes" to these questions, you are ready to hit the send button and maximize your success. Congratulations! Now, you can sit back and enjoy your improved results!
Constant Contact Email List Manager - 60 Day Free Trial
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Internet Marketing Forum Directory
I put together a page of Online business related forums ... those I bookmarked over time as my personal favs:
I've made it easy to post in multiple forums ... while still having easy access to the main list.
Friday, February 20, 2004
Niche Marketing Tips, courtesy of Helen Salamakha and Val Danilchuk ...
... of the Niche Marketing Research Center
Guarantee yourself success by finding a good market niche and a proper product
There is a single most important component that has the most significant influence on the success or failure of any business. It is the initial business idea. It consists of your product, your target market niche, and your unique selling proposition (USP). If you have a good business idea, and apply the proper techniques to develop your business, then your success is almost guaranteed. We'll teach you how to find good business ideas - that is the mission of our Niche Marketing Research Center.
What makes a good business idea
Let's look closer at the three parts of what we call a business idea. The "product" term is self-explanatory, "target market niche" is also widely used, "USP" is somewhat less known, but we want to make some comments on each of those terms, regardless of their popularity.
Your product is, pretty obviously, what you are trying to sell. It can be a tangible item, like a book or a brick of soap. It can be an electronic item, like an e-book, or downloadable software. At last, it can be an online community membership, your professional service, or anything else you are going to charge your customers for. We call all those things "a product". The most important attribute of a product is its value. Your product must be valuable for your customers, solve their problems, fulfill their wishes, and generally make them happy.
Your target market niche is your audience, your potential customers. Your target niche should have a reasonable size - large enough to make a good profit, small enough to fit the resources of a small business and avoid competing the large corporations. And your target audience should be easy to reach online through the specialized web sites, online forums, mailing lists, etc.
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what connects your product with the target audience. It is the heart of your business idea. It can be defined as your marketing strategy, or your business mission. It is the concept that makes your product something more than one of the items on the shelf for sale. It must make your product stand out of the crowd and persuade your prospects that your product is the only perfect solution to their problems.
If all three parts of your business idea meet the above criteria, your chances to succeed are quite good. But how can you find such an idea? Read on, and you'll learn several ways to do it.
Find a niche that matches your knowledge and skills
The best policy when determining your product and target market is to do what you enjoy doing. You'll achieve the best results if you love your work. So, first of all, think about the things you like to do most of all. It may be your current job, one of your previous ones, your hobby, your favorite kind of sports, or anything else you like.
Write down all those possible areas of interest, and then think about each one of them separately. Try to answer the following questions:
* Would you be glad to choose it as a daily job?
* Do you have some unique skills or knowledge in that field?
* Who would be interested in your proposition?
* Would you like to work with those people?
After that, you should have a list of areas of interest that have the best chances to bring you the success.
Now, you can pick one of those areas and start structuring your knowledge. Write down the list of all the basic things one needs to learn to reach your level of success in that area. Then put them in a logical order, so that your customer could learn them in sequence. Then, do the same for each item in your list - break it into smaller parts, and then arrange those small parts in a logical order.
When you finish such two-level lists for several areas of interest, you'll have some ideas about what you can offer to other people. Look through your lists, and think over each item.
* Do you know anything special about it?
* Do you have any related skills?
* Can you try and create some product to help people solve that problem?
* Can you offer something outstanding, not present anywhere else in the market?
Write down your ideas and try to imagine and describe a business built on every of those ideas. Some of them might look weird, but some may be quite viable.
Show your lists and ideas to your friends, listen to their opinion. They'll surely tell you what ideas they like most, and maybe they'll even give you some more ideas. They can also point out some logical mistakes you might have made. Ask your friends what products they might need, or what they would be willing to learn. Think how you can help them. Many other people could have the same problems as your friends. Again, write down all new ideas and imagine developing a business.
Do some research in the Internet. Find the web sites related to your areas of interest and your specific ideas. Learn what other people say about those things. Find some related online forums, or newsgroups. Listen to what people say, especially to what they need. If you notice any problems that many people tend to experience, think how you can help them. See if there is some serious competition in your field. As always, write down and think over your new ideas.
And, besides of conducting your research intentionally, always write down the "incidental" ideas that come to you during a walk in the park, or during your lunch. The best ideas often appear at the moments like that, so make sure you don't forget them. Just make a small note, and then think it over when you have more time.
If you do all of the above, you'll soon have a ton of ideas. Of course, they will be of different quality. Pick those that you like most, and research them more thoroughly. Try to invent your own products, or find someone else's products that could make those ideas work. Why consider someone else's products? Because you can form a joint venture with the product's owner, and take a commission for selling that product in your specific market niche.
Estimate your chances before the big work
No matter how much you like your idea, don't be in a hurry. Don't invest your time and money into a new business until you make sure you'll be able to profit from it. It would be very disappointing to spend half a year and thousands of dollars into a new product, and then to be unable to sell it to anyone.
First of all, think, would you buy such a product yourself? If you feel doubted, then you should probably work on another idea first.
Ask your friends if they would find your product valuable. Maybe they would, but with some changes - write them down.
Try to estimate your market niche size. Internet can be useful here. Look at the search engine statistics, try to find information about the size of mailing lists devoted to your problem, find your potential competitors and think what will make you different. Make sure your target niche will be not too large and not too small.
Make sure your target audience is easily reachable online. Find and collect the addresses of web sites, online forums, and other Internet resources related to your product. Those are the places where you'll want to advertise and seek for joint ventures.
When you have the addresses of the related online resources, conduct some research in target audience. Place some announces on the Internet and see how people react. If someone follows the links in your ads, or writes you email showing some interest, then your product will definitely be worth something to someone. You can even estimate the price by simply asking people how much they would pay for the solution to their problems, and how much they usually pay for similar products.
Automating the research to save your valuable time
As you have probably noticed, the process of finding business ideas and estimating their potential is rather time-consuming. You probably don't want to spend several months just searching for ideas and evaluating them. You may be late by the time your research is over, because someone else can take up your target niche with his or her product at that time.
We can help you here! Our NicheFinder market research software will browse the Internet for you, seek the search engines and other related pages for product ideas in your field, and help you to estimate the potential of each idea by collecting statistics from search engines. It is all done automatically, and very fast! Visit our web site to read the full NicheFinder description.
Free content for your web site or e-zine
You can use this article as a free content for your web site, e-zine, or newsletter! Email it to your friends and customers, make it available for download at your articles archive, or publish it on paper - whatever you like! The only restriction is to leave the article unchanged. Visit our web site to download the latest versions of our free articles and our free niche marketing e-book.
Helen Salamakha and Val Danilchuk,
Niche Marketing Research Center
Thursday, February 19, 2004
How To Optimize Your Site For The New Yahoo ...
Just in, from the WebProWorld Forums
Jim Hedger of StepForth
investigated and reported some basic facts that will be important to how you optimize your pages:
* YahooSlurp will work a lot like GoogleBot in that it will follow every HREF link on found a website. YahooSlurp will NOT follow SRC links such as images or FRAMES. When optimizing a site that uses FRAMES, correct use of the 'noframes' tag will be necessary.
* YahooSlurp can follow dynamic links but Yahoo is advising webmasters to post static pages with HREF (text) links directed to specific sections featuring dynamic content. This tells us that the use of a sitemap will continue to be an SEO Best Practice technique.
* Yahoo will respect common ROBOTS.TXT statements. For more information on ROBOTS.TXT files, please visit: http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/norobots.html
* Paying to get into Inktomi database should attract more attention from YahooSlurp. I am pretty sure if YahooSlurp will find your site if you don't pay however paying will buy you much greater frequency of visits from the Slurp spider.
* Inktomi is very old-school when it comes to Keyword densities, keyword arrangement and simple-site structure. Optimizing for Inktomi is a lot like optimizing for AltaVista was a few years back (without the leader-pages and gateways that were once so popular).
For GUARANTEED 48 hour inclusion to Inktomi (powers web based results on About, Corporate Yahoo, GOO, Overture, Espotting, HotBot, MSN and many others ...) visit:
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Don't Have A News Reader?
XML Feed now available for this blog ...
For those of you that want to read this blog via the comfort of your news reader, the feed link is http://www.im4newbies.com/internet-marketing-blog/atom-blog-feed.xml
Yet Another Google Update
I'm posting SEO expert Sean Burns' WebmastersReference.com Newsletter #44, at it goes deep into Google's latest update:
WebmastersReference.com Newsletter #44
February 18 2004
2. Main Article - Yet Another Google Update
Google is at it again. It's only a few weeks since their last update and they are dancing once more. Things look much better to me this time around. So, this week's article gives you some more tips on getting better rankings in the "new" Google. I'm hoping that this will be the last time that I'll need to write an article specifically about Google's algorithm. I much prefer to write about profiting from the search engines than writing about how they work - you probably prefer it to.
Anyway, to sum up the article, keep adding quality content to your site and keep getting links and you will do very well. Also, focus on getting customers not traffic. I've said that numerous times before but it is one of the keys to succeeding online. I've been reading posts from people in forums lately saying how many visitors they are getting from various techniques and how much money they are making. In almost all cases I make a lot more money from a lot less "traffic".
Traffic makes your stats look good - customers make your bank balance look good.
2. Main Article - Yet Another Google Update
Following on from Google's Florida & Austin updates, they are currently dancing again. This update has seen webmasters in general a lot happier as many of their pages have come back from the dead. So, what has changed this time and are Google finished messing with us?
Basically, the new Google results can be seen here - http://126.96.36.199
. These results are showing up quite often on the main Google site and they will be the results shown when the dance finishes. Overall, they are probably the best results that Google has come up with since November.
The main change is that they don't appear to be filtering out as many "good" pages as they have in the past. The number of pages dropping from the top 10 to 1000+ has definitely diminished.
Now, don't think that Google has gone back to the "old" way of ranking sites - they haven't. The algorithm is now far more complex than it was before but one SEO fact remains true - creating a useful site and getting people to link to it will work out well. If you aren't ranking as well as you were last year make your site more useful - add more content that provides value to the visitor (not junk pages).
What we are now seeing with Google is that the old features of their algorithm are still there but there are new factors that are influencing the results. Some of these factors are undoubtedly impossible to figure out but here are some things that are obvious.
Google has been using Stemming for a little while but it does appear to be working much better now. Stemming basically refers to the process of a search engine finding a word within another word. For example, finding "rent" in "rental". However, Google aren't actually doing that. It appears as though they have created a database of words that basically have the same meaning.
So, a search for rent could return a site about "rentals" or "renting" but a search for book won't return a site about "booking" or "bookkeepers".
Adding some "intelligence" to the stemming process is a great idea and does appear to work quite well. How does it affect you? Well, it doesn't really except that it creates more competition for you. In the past, pages that only mentioned "renting" would not rank for "rent" - now they will. So, as I said above, you need to continue working on making your site more useful and get more links - this will help you cope with the extra competition.
In addition, it means that in many cases you won't need to try to target different versions of a keyword - your page could rank well for all of them.
Please Note: The examples used are just that - examples. They show how it works but those specific terms may not be affected.
As far as I can tell, Google is using "semantics" in the results. This means that their crawler is trying to learn what words mean. I've got a post about this on my messageboard but the basics are that words that relate to a search term will sometimes help your rankings. Also, a page could possibly rank well for a word that it doesn't use if Google thinks it means the same thing.
Basically, the way to handle this is to look at the top 10 for a keyword and see if there are other words that are commonly used on those pages (and in the anchor text of links pointing to them). I wouldn't worry too much about this but if you are sitting at number 11 for an important keyword, the addition of some related words could get you to number 10.
3. Add More Content
It seems as though larger (more authoritative) sites are doing better in Google than smaller sites. I wouldn't imagine it's as simple as "how many pages you have" but adding more content to a site looks as though it will help. The added bonus of making your site an authority is that you will get more links (without having to exchange).
In the past I've always said that you should constantly try to improve your site and add more useful content but I think it has now become more important. If you have a purely eCommerce site then this could be even more important for you.
Now, keep in mind that, as I said, the parts of the algorithm that were important before are still important. Also, as in the past, some factors can make others irrelevant. If you search for extremely competitive phrases, you'll see that PR and Anchor Text is still the most important thing - by far.
So, keep getting links and keep adding useful content. Following this advice will help you in Inktomi as well. Yahoo look to be extremely close to switching completely to Inktomi results - I see them about 75% of the time.
Constantly creating better sites is, in my opinion, by far the best way to create a successful online business. Short cuts can make money but the fact is that it's the people who are constantly working to make better sites and products that are doing "really well".
That's all for this issue. Don't forget to pick up a copy of Rankings Revealed (http://www.webmastersreference.com/rankings_revealed
) and sign up for the affiliate program at http://www.webmastersreference.com/rankings_revealed/affiliates.shtml
If you found this newsletter useful, please forward it to any friends that you have who might also benefit from it.
WANTED: Affiliate Program Manager For Major Online Biz
Kevin Wilke and Matt Gill, the co-owners of Nitro Marketing, are looking for an experienced affiliate program manager ...
Do you think you fit the bill?
This position is full time, for the long haul, and pays very well (6 figures).
If you think you have what it takes to run an affiliate program for an established, profitable, and growing Online business, give it a look see.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
New Product, Just Released Today, By Neil Shearing (ScamFreeZone.com)
'SpamBlitzer is our new flagship product, two years in development and costing over a hundred thousand dollars in programming fees and time investment.
This server-side anti-spam software is simply incredible.'
Find out all about SpamBlitzer, here
Monday, February 16, 2004
Top 5 Niche Marketing Tips
Top 5 Niche Marketing Tips
By Mike Merz
Defining, and targeting, specific niches to sell to is easily
the best way for the online small business owner to compete
... and profit.
Here's 5 tips to making the most of your niche marketing
1) Define your niche market.
What, specifically, do your current customers have in
In what unique way do you satisfy the needs of the
aforementioned, compared to your competitors?
2) Find out what your niche market buys and wants.
The best way to find out is to ... ask them!
Add a survey to your site, send one out to your lists,
visit niche related forums, bulletin boards, and newsgroups
and post your queries.
3) Offer the products your niche wants.
Develop your own product/service, or find existing ones,
that satisfy the needs you've defined from your research.
4) Get focused!
Create your unique selling proposition, site content,
and advertising campaigns based solely on these specific
5) Research, test, track ... continuously.
It's important that you stay on the cutting edge of anything
and everything that appeals to your niche.
Everyone wants 'the inside line' to the latest trends, and
those on the horizon ... it's up to you to deliver.
Include these five tips in your niche marketing plan, and I'm
sure you'll see positive results. ;)
For in depth discussion on niche marketing, and more, visit
the IM4Newbies Forum -
Internet Marketing For Newbies LLC
You're free to use this article on your site, or in your
newsletter, as long as it, and the following resource box,
To request this article via autoresponder:
'Need To Know' Niche Marketing Strategies.
Copyright © 2004 Internet Marketing For Newbies LLC
All rights reserved
Friday, February 13, 2004
Free maximize your tax savings webcast ...
Most people overpay their taxes by hundreds or
thousands of dollars. This webcast
will show you
at least a dozen ways you can legally reduce your
tax burden this year.
In addition, with the help of our special mystery
guest, you will find out...
* The top deductions you should be taking,
but don't know about, that can save you
$100's if not $1000's in overpaid taxes
* How to organize your taxes so you don't pay
too much to your tax preparer (or waste your
own valuable time)
* Keeping up with the paperwork -- tips and
tricks to streamline your record-keeping and
stay on top of the paperwork nightmare.
(This will literally save you days, if not
weeks worth of previously wasted time and stress.)
* How to accurately forecast your net income
This is a must-listen event if you want to take
every legitimate tax deduction you're entitled to
under the tax codes and save dozens of
mind-throbbingly frustrating hours this year.
And with April 15th fast approaching, this is
the perfect opportunity to make sure you, and
your tax preparer, are ready for Uncle Sam
and don't end up paying more than your fair
share... which unfortunately happens with
most small businesses.
to register for this free 90-minute webcast.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Google Dance Revisited ...
The following tidbit comes from Zarry, over at the Webmaster Weekly Forums
Google Dance Revisited
A member posted a question about the Florida google algorithm
changes at the WebMaster Weekly Forums this past week..
Here was my reply.....
There is a lot of speculation - as to the algorithm change.
I've heard that a lot of the seo experts got killed in the
last couple of dances. It would seem to me that they set
themselves up as targets by "showing off" and getting top
listings for seo related keyword phrases on google.
If seo is your business model, it's a double edged sword.
You want to prove that you can get top listings for those
seo keyword phrases so that you can attract potential
clients, but you also attract the eyes of the search engine
programming staff. Surely that can't help.
On many forums, webmasters that "over optimize" their sites
to get top listings are considered "spammers".
My opinion is - if you target keyword phrases that DO NOT
pertain to your site, then the label of search engine
spammer applies. If you create multiple sites to take all of
the top 10 listings that point to the same site, you've
spammed the search results.
However if you only target relevant keyword phrases and
don't spam the results (by taking every top spot for one
site), in my opinion... by optimizing or "over optimizing",
and getting the desired results ... you've done well.
Here's one for you....
If one million webmasters all have websites that sell the
exact same product or service.... let's call it "green
widgets", no matter how you look at it, there are only TEN
top 10 spots to be had for the search phrase "green
Let's take location out of the equation... i.e., "New York
If you are ranked 100,000 out of 1 million for the search
phrase "green widgets", and you offer the EXACT SAME green
widgets as the site that is ranked #1 out of 1 million, and
your site has as much relevant content, etc., the only thing
that separates your #100,000 ranked site from the #1 ranked
site is what?
Relevancy per the algorithm used by the search engine.
The #1 ranked site happens to be set up (optimized) in a
manner that falls in line with the relevancy algorithm used by
the search engine.
Does it mean that the #1 ranked "green widgets" site is
really more relevant than your #100,000 ranked "green
widgets" site given the fact that both sites sell the exact
same "green widgets" ??
As far as non algorithm relevancy is concerned, both sites are
relevant when it comes to the subject of "green widgets".
They both offer the exact same product!
So then the search engine has to rely on its algorithm to decide
which sites are more relevant than others.
If a site that sells just ONE TYPE of "green widget" has
1000 incoming links from other sites thus boosting its PR
and ranking, significantly... is it really more relevant
than a site that sells many versions, models, brands, of
"green widgets" but doesn't have any incoming links to boost
its PR and ranking?
So let's say you build a great looking site with awesome
content that totally pertains to "green widgets". If it
doesn't meet the criteria of the relevancy algorithm used by the
search engines, it won't be found in the top. In the end...
no matter how you look at it, it's all about the algorithm
used by the search engines, hence the want and or need for
Quote: al·go·rithm ( P ) Pronunciation Key (lg-rthm) n. A
step-by-step problem-solving procedure, especially an
established, recursive computational procedure for solving a
problem in a finite number of steps.
rel·e·vant ( P ) Pronunciation Key (rl-vnt) adj. Having a
bearing on or connection with the matter at hand.
It's not a matter of being fair. It's not a matter of what
you or I think is fair or not fair. SEO has been around for
as long as the search engines have been around, and began
when people figured out that they could optimize their sites
to get listed towards the top of the search results.
From what I've seen... those that can... DO. They do get the
top spots. They DO get the traffic, the leads, the sales.
Those that can't... yell FOUL, NOT FAIR, BLAH BLAH BLAH, or
simply hire someone that CAN generate the desired results.
This is only the opinion of one webmaster... ME.
****** about the author ******
Zarry is the head muk muk moderator at the WebMaster
Weekly Forums at http://thewebmasterweekly.com/forums.htm
Join us and discuss topics important to all webmasters, such as
code development, web dev, search engines, site promotions,
Janet Jackson's half time performance during the SuperBowl. 8-)
What's your opinion?
Feel free to add your comments ..;)
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
FindWhat.com merges with Espotting Media Inc.
FINDWHAT.COM SIGNS AMENDED MERGER AGREEMENT WITH ESPOTTING
FORT MYERS, FL – February 9, 2004. FINDWHAT.COM (NASDAQ: FWHT), a leading developer and provider of performance-based marketing and commerce enabling services for online businesses, announced today the signing of an amended agreement to merge with privately-owned ESPOTTING MEDIA INC. The merger is intended to create an international leader in performance-based Internet marketing with combined operations and partnerships across the globe. Highlights include:
* Merger of United States-based FindWhat.com and European-based Espotting
* Combined company expected to offer paid listings to 12 countries on three continents
* Combined company expected to have relationships with over 100,000 online businesses globally
For for info regarding how FindWhat.com can help bolster your Online Marketing efforts, visit:
Valentine's Day gift shopping projections - 2004
For those of you that set up seasonal campaigns, or were considering it ...
Twelve Billion Dollars of Hearts And Flowers On Valentines Day
The NRF 2004 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that the average consumer will spend $99.24 on Valentine's Day, up from $80.44 last year. In all, Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $12.79 billion this year among 59.8% of American consumers who will celebrate Valentine's Day.
- 92.8% many consumers plan to purchase Valentine's Day gifts for their spouses or significant others.
- 69.1% plan to purchase gifts for other family members like children and parents.
- 28.4% of consumers also plan to purchase gifts for friends, and 26.0% for children's classmates or teachers.
NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin said "Valentine's Day has become a very big business for retailers in what is traditionally one of the slowest shopping months of the year."
- 73.3% of consumers will purchase a greeting card this Valentine's Day and 53.2% will be buying candy.
- 44.4% of couples will also go out for the evening on Valentine's Day,
- 64.9% of men and 16.2% of women will purchase flowers as gifts this Valentine's Day.
The survey also found that young adults lead Valentine's Day spending, with the average 18-24 year-old planning to spend $154.65 on the holiday. Spending drops dramatically for 25-34 year-olds, who only plan to spend $78.30 on the holiday.
Other Valentine's Day facts:
- More cut flowers are sold for Valentine's Day than any other holiday, according to the Society of American Florists.
- Valentine's Day is the second most-popular card-sending holiday, according to the Greeting Card Association.
- According to the National Confectioners Association, Valentine's Day ranks fourth in candy sales, after Halloween, Easter, and the Thanksgiving through New Years holidays.
More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold this year for Valentine's Day, according to the Chocolate Manufacturers Association.
For the entire article, click here
Monday, February 09, 2004
The New AdLandPro Networking Community
It's a given that business networking sites are hot right now ... and with good reason.
Networking is a great way to expose yourself, and your wares, find joint venture partners, create and nurture business relationships of all kinds, etc.
I'd like to invite you to join my personal and private network on the new AdlandPro Networking Community.
To sign up, click here
Why join? ...
 AdlandPro Community is a free networking service that helps internet users with establishing business relationship with other members of the community.
 You can build your free personal web page and define info on which other members can find you and establish links with you. You can tell them your interests, industry and geographical location. You can upload your picture to make your contacts more personal.
 You can post offers or requests and be contacted in private and secure way. Your email address is never revealed to other members of the community, so nobody can spam you. You can block annoying users who are responding to you with irrelevant information.
 You can search database of other community members by interests industry and other criteria.
 More to come.
The AdLandPro Networking Community
Saturday, February 07, 2004
Are You Losing ClickBank Affiliate Commissions? ...
... when using link cloaking software?
If you don't know ... I recommend you check out the cookied affiliate ID at the bottom of the CB secure payment page .. or if you're already cookied, ask a friend to click on your link.
The only link cloaker I know of that identifies and solves this problem is David Zohar's Affiliate Cloner
If you're in the market for a top notch link cloaker, whether you promote CB or not, I recommend checking it out.
Email Capture ...
... Two Simple Scripts for New Pop-Up Windows that Maximize Email Capture and Minimize Annoyance.
Is there a way to acquire the benefits of an email-capture pop-up window, without incurring its (potentially serious) liabilities? Is there a way to use a pop-up window on your website without Google rejecting your AdWords campaign?
Thursday, February 05, 2004
AOL Seeking Compensation For 'SuperBoob' HalfTime Fiasco ...
Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004
Tit For Tat: Halftime Stunt Triggers Super Makegood Spat
by Paul J. Gough
America Online is pursuing makegoods from CBS after being caught in a public relations ringer by Sunday night’s bare-breasted antics during the Super Bowl halftime show, a well-placed source tells MediaDailyNews.
The halftime sponsorship was the high-profile centerpiece of an estimated $10 million advertising deal AOL cut with CBS to promote its new TopSpeed service during the Super Bowl. But executives at AOL--as well as CBS and MTV, another Viacom unit that produced the halftime event--were surprised when Justin Timberlake tore Janet Jackson’s clothing, exposing one of her breasts at the end of a duet that concluded the halftime show Sunday night. An AOL spokesperson declined to comment about whether AOL was seeking compensation from CBS. CBS and Initiative Media, AOL’s media buying agency, didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.
AOL is maneuvering for some type of compensation for what has been an embarrassing and potentially costly stunt. The event also drew the ire of federal regulators, who said Monday that it had opened an investigation into the incident, which was seen by some measure of the 143.6 million people (Nielsen estimates) who tuned in to at least some of CBS’ Super Bowl coverage. AOL canceled plans to stream the halftime show to its members and to non-members through AOL.com. The plans to stream the show for what was to be nearly a two-week period would have meant a Super Bowl-level of traffic.
The source said AOL had no idea that Timberlake would tear Jackson’s costume.
“I think everyone was shocked and taken by surprise. There was not even anything remotely like that,” according to a person who was at the show’s rehearsal in Houston. “There was no telegraphing that something like this would happen.”
That was mirrored by an official statement from AOL.
“While AOL was the sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show, we did not produce it. Like the NFL, we were surprised and disappointed with certain elements of the show,” a spokesperson said.
Both CBS and MTV apologized for the incident; in a statement, MTV claimed that it was unintentional and “inconsistent with assurances we had about the content of the performance.” CBS said it had seen nothing amiss when it monitored rehearsals in the week before the show.
At least one media director, who asked not to be identified, didn’t think AOL had a good case when it came to receiving makegoods.
“There’s not much to make good on here, especially when they [CBS] delivered the audience that they did,” the media director said. While noting that the event was controversial and newsworthy, the executive also didn’t think it hurt any of the parties involved.
“Fallout for who? Everybody’s talking about this today. Over the years, the Super Bowl halftime show has faced so much competition--to the point that there are pay-per-view ‘Lingerie Bowl’ events competing with it,” the media director said. “At the end of the day, if this makes people feel that they missed something important, isn’t that an advantage to the people who are selling and to the marketers involved? The particular parties involved didn’t know that this was going to happen, but it’s given power to the notion that you can’t afford to miss the Super Bowl halftime show.”
It would also be highly unlikely for CBS to dole out makegoods for a Super Bowl, which generally are not guaranteed the way regular prime time TV shows are.
A more likely fallout from the halftime show would be the impact of a Federal Communications Commission investigation announced Monday morning. That would break against Viacom, parent company of CBS and MTV. Viacom has already tangled in recent months with the FCC, which fined its Infinity Broadcasting unit $357,500 for airing a radio program that encouraged a couple to have sex in a New York City Roman Catholic church.
FCC regulations prohibit the broadcast of indecent material when children are watching, particularly during prime time hours. The Super Bowl is usually the most watched program on television every year.
In a prepared statement, FCC Chairman Michael Powell promised swift action in connection with the incident, calling it a “classless, crass, and deplorable stunt. Our nation’s children, parents, and citizens deserve better.”
The Parents Television Council, which promotes standards in television, said Monday that it had filed an indecency complaint with the FCC. It urged the FCC to fine every station that aired the halftime show, which could cost each CBS affiliate up to $27,500 each and spark a review of the stations’ broadcast licenses. An FCC spokesman didn’t return calls seeking comment Monday afternoon.
“We do not accept the apology of CBS, nor do we accept the statements of regret by MTV. It is absolutely reckless for CBS to claim that it had no prior knowledge that such activity was likely to take place,” said Brent Bozell, president of the Parents Television Council, in a statement. “MTV is known for exactly this type of conduct. MTV and CBS are both owned by Viacom. Whether or not CBS executives did or did not know in advance is irrelevant; Viacom executives had the duty to know.”
-- Tobi Elkin and Joe Mandese contributed to this story.
5 Reasons People FAIL Online ...
Internet Marketing consultant Henry Gold and I share similar experiences, in regard to what most Net Business Newbies stumble on in their quest for Online success ...
5 reasons people FAIL online
By: Henry Gold
Many Newbies have emailed me stating that they would like to make a six figure income from their Internet business.
My usual response will always be "GREAT".
However, after a certain period, they start telling me that they have given up the idea of having an Internet business, leaving all their dreams behind.
Do you know why?
Here are the five biggest reasons why they FAIL:
1. They treat their Internet business as a hobby.
Be honest with yourself. Those Marketers who become very well-known online work at least 10 hours a day.
I spent 14 hours a day on my new project, Make1Million.com's package, for a full 10 months before I released it on Oct 31'03.
So what makes you think that you should work 2 hours or less to make a good living online?
2. Working 10 effective hours NOT just long hours.
I learned from a good friend, Jason Mangrum, that we need to devote ten useful hours.
Let me explain further...
Many people tell me that they work so very hard every single day.... but they get less and less done.
It means that you NEVER plan ahead :-)
Successful Marketers will write down what they would like to accomplish today, tomorrow, this week, this month, or even the next three years before they start working hard on their projects.
Shouldn't you plan the same way?
I schedule what I should do from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
When should I watch "Last Samurai" this week?
When should I clean my room this weekend?
When should I call up my Joint Venture Partners?
This is how I have become more effecient.
3. Don't excercise at all.
To receive fresh, new ideas, you MUST devote yourself to the gym or other forms of physical exercise. I have seen many marketers start to become less effective after they eat their lunch.
Many people start to feel sleepy after a luncheon buffet that was really cheap in the restaurant next door. This creates depression, throws out your schedule, and in turn you fail.
Most people will start blaming their online business saying it is just a myth and they will never become successful.
So, who do you have to blame? :-)
Your ineffectiveness, right?
You see many Internet Marketing experts will spend their one hour at the gym working up a real sweat.
Do you know why?
To be effective, and to get fresh new ideas every morning.
Why not try to devote some time every morning, before you go to work, working out at your local fitness center?
I G-uarantee you won't blame your online business for failing you anymore.
4. They always believe that they are the best.
This is the number one reason why you will FAIL in Internet Marketing.
Why is that, Henry?
Because nobody is number one.
This is what I have learned so far. I've learnt that to become number one in Internet Marketing, you need to learn from others...How?
Learn by participating in message boards. Here is one of them:
Of course my other suggestion will always be obtaining materials from others whom already make a good living on the net.
for more details
Those people know what they are doing online and surely you'll learn many shortcuts that will bring you close to what you're trying to achieve online --
Make More Money, right?
5. No commitment to what they do online.
Before I got into Internet business, I always told myself that I MUST earn thousands of dollars per month online, regardless of what type of issues I have to face.
Many people, when they first come online, would like to become a follower of other Marketers.
I've seen many Newbies who will not hesistate to ask me....
"Henry, what do you think about this business opportunity?"
"Henry, that guy is making $10,000 per month? Should I listen to him?"
If you're one of those people who is always trying to follow other Marketers, you will NEVER be successful.
To become very successful online, you need to become your own leader.
You need to follow what is right for you.
The reason I bought many books and materials from other Marketers was because I wanted to discover what I was missing in my online business.
I wont completely change my ideas with another Marketers ideas, but I will supplement my business with some of their good ideas.
So the key to learning from other Marketers is as easy as learning what type of information you would like to develop further. NOT to change your whole principle in Internet business.
Closing note: I have to mention one more thing. Another reason why people FAIL online is because they stop trying.
Phsychology takes place when you don't make money in the first place...
other people start telling you that your idea is not going to work at all.
The truth is they may be jealous of you. The truth is they don't want to see you become successful.
If you have know me for a long time, you must know that I failed many times before I became very successful online.
Remember: keep trying harder and harder, and you too can make a good income online.
And if you would like to find out which online marketing strategies work well and which do NOT, look at my website guide "Make 1 Million". It comes with unlimited consultation. You'll find it in intro page of http://www.make1million.com
Success is yours,
P.S. "Are you willing to follow Personalized, Confidential Advice and Assistance from a highly respected Internet Marketing Expert if you are GUARANTEED to Make A Living On the Net Starting today?" If you do, click here...
You're invited to re-print this article as long as you include the footer note below...
** Article by Henry Gold. Henry is recognized as one of the most successful Work-At-Home expert. Visit: http://www.freebiesgroup.com
for free articles on Internet Marketing, Free E-book, software, animation, and more. Too busy to visit? Subscribe to his Free weekly E-goldnetter Marketing:mailto:email@example.com
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
10 Reasons Why Multi-Media Will Explode Online This Year ...
We've come a long way since the days when static banner ads were considered revolutionary ..;)
Today, the Net is just brimming with multimedia, which brings us to ...
10 Reasons Why Multi-Media Will
Explode Online This Year
- by Jim Edwards
© 2004 Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
Can you hear it?
Turn up you computer's speaker volume and take a good
What you hear is the next big wave sweeping the Internet
and it's called "Multi-Media!"
Everyone from big corporations to small "mom and pop"
websites have started using sound and video to create
projects and deliver their messages, even to people on
slow dial-up connections.
Here's my take on the top 10 reasons why 2004 is the year
multi-media takes over the Web.
#10 More "Sticky" Value:
"Sticky," a phrase that pervaded the go-go online world
of the late 1990's. "Sticky" describes the ability of a
site to keep customers at the site longer by engaging
them with content.
Audio and video make it much easier to create a "sticky"
#9 Cheap CD Burners:
The fact that virtually anyone can burn a CD and sell or
share it makes the distribution of multi-media content a
Small businesses can create limited quantities of high-
value products and allow consumers to access huge amounts
of data for less than the cost of a can of soda.
#8 People Learn Faster & Remember More:
The U.S. Military reported that audio-visual training
increases learning and retention rates by up to 80% over
Bottom Line: This means people learn new information
faster and can put it to better use more quickly.
#7 FAST Reaction To Change:
With basic computer equipment, a good microphone, and
some easy-to-use software, virtually anyone can create
information packages in a few days and publish them on CD
or the Web the same day.
This allows companies and individuals to profitably fill
micro-niche needs in markets they could not otherwise
#6 CHEAP Bandwidth:
Website hosting rates cheaper than ever.
You can now transmit vast amounts of data over the
Internet for pennies compared to just a year ago.
#5 EZ-To-Use Software:
Just a year ago you needed specialized training, special
servers, and a significant budget to put even the most
basic audio and video content up on the Web.
Now, if you know how to click a mouse and understand what
"record" and "stop" mean, you can create excellent
content and host it virtually anywhere.
#4 Customers Crave More "Meaty" Content:
People want better, more useful information.
Audio and video enables you to convey larger amounts of
information more quickly than text.
#3 Better, Faster, Cheaper Computers:
A good $399 computer is now a reality.
This means that not only can small companies produce good
multi-media content, but it also means consumers on the
receiving end of that content possess the computing power
to use it.
#2 Streaming MP3 Audio:
You can now stream very good quality, clear audio across
the web to dial-up Internet users - even on slow
Offering audio from a website opens up distribution
possibilities that remind us of the glory days of radio.
#1 Widespread Us Of Flash Video:
Flash Video, the most important multi-media development
of recent online history, makes it possible to stream and
transmit huge amounts of data using video, pictures, and
sound to virtually every computer (Mac or PC), even on
dial up connections.
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the
co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how
to use fr^e articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted
visitors to your website or affiliate links...
Need MORE TRAFFIC to your website or affiliate links?
"Turn Words Into Traffic"
reveals the secrets for driving
Thousands of NEW visitors to your website or affiliate
links... without spending a dime on advertising!
Content - The Ultimate Link Building Strategy
When it comes to SEO, and search engine marketing, content is still king.
Shelley Lowery explains why good content is an important part of a successful link building strategy.
Read on ...
Content - The Ultimate Link Building Strategy
by Shelley Lowery ©Copyright 2004
If you've been looking for an easy way to get your link on
hundreds of websites and increase your traffic, providing
content may be your answer.
Not only is providing content easy and inexpensive (it only
costs your time), but it also has the potential to provide
you with massive free promotion and builds your credibility.
If you've contacted any webmasters lately and requested a
link exchange, chances are, you didn't receive a response.
More and more webmasters are choosing not to exchange links
with other sites. Instead, they are now requiring content in
order to receive a link.
As you're probably aware, the Internet is all about
information. For this reason, webmasters and ezine
publishers are continually looking for quality content.
Content comes in a variety of forms, such as articles, tips,
Write quality articles in the area of your expertise. At the
bottom of your article, include a few lines of text about
you and/or your products, and a link to your website.
The most popular articles are those that teach or inform
with regard to the subject matter.
Articles should be between 500 and 750 words and formatted
to 60-65 characters per line.
For further information on writing and publishing articles,
you may read the article entitled, "Write for Publicity."
Write quality tips in the area of your expertise. At the
bottom of each tip, include two lines about you and/or your
products, and a link to your website.
Tips can be written in various lengths -- from just a few
lines to a couple of paragraphs. For example, following is
one of the hundreds of tips I've written.
When designing your website, your copyright information
should be displayed at the bottom of each page. It's best to
include both the word Copyright and the (c) symbol, as some
countries don't recognize one or the other. Your copyright
might look like this: Copyright (c) Year Company Name
Today's tip by Shelley Lowery, author of the acclaimed Web
Design Mastery series. http://www.webdesignmastery.com
Review different products or services and write about your
experience with the product, service and/or company -- good
At the bottom of the review, include a few lines of text
about you with a link to your website.
readers to copy and paste them into their web pages. Include
any needed instructions and allow them to be freely
At the bottom of the code, include a few lines of text about
you with a link to your website.
All of the above content can be promoted through the various
article announcement groups on the Internet. These groups
contain publishers looking for quality content and can
provide you with massive free promotion.
Here are a few groups to get you started:
Free Reprint Articles
Write a short, quality ebook that teaches or informs in the
area of your expertise. Throughout the ebook, include
references to your products or services with a link to your
website. In addition, make sure you let your readers know
they may freely distribute the ebook.
Place a link to your ebook on your website to enable your
visitors to download it.
To encourage webmasters to distribute your ebook, create
customizable fields to enable webmasters to include all of
• Company or website name
• Linked web address
• Affiliate links (if applicable)
In order to create an ebook that can be customized, you must
first purchase an HTML ebook compiler that offers this
option. Keep in mind, not all compilers do. There are only
two that I can recommend and they are:
Ebook Edit Pro http://www.ebookeditpro.com
Activ E-book http://www.ebookcompiler.com
Both of these compilers will enable you to create
For some additional exposure, submit your ebook to some free
ebook sites. Here are a few sites to get you started:
For additional information on ebook publishing, you may read
the article series, "Ebooks: Self-Publishing Your Way to
Create a software program that will be of interest to your
target market. Place links to your website within the
software and allow it to be freely distributed.
You can use this technique even if you're not a software
developer. Elance is a marketplace that enables you to
outsource projects to their global pool of service
providers. Visit Elance to post your software project and
take bids from developers. http://www.elance.com
Place a link to your software on your website to enable your
visitors to download it.
For some additional exposure, submit your software to some
of the free software sites:
As you can see, there are many different ways you can use
content to increase your traffic. The key to using this
technique effectively is to allow your content to be freely
published with your information and links included.
Your content could be picked up by webmasters, ezine
publishers or even print publishers and has the potential to
be viewed by hundreds of thousands of Internet users.
Providing free content is one of the absolute best ways to
get your link on thousands of websites. Use it to your
Shelley Lowery is the author of Web Design Mastery
- An in-depth
guide to professional web design. And, Ebook Starter
- A complete
ebook design kit. Visit Web-Source.net to sign up for a free
subscription to Etips and receive a free copy of the acclaimed
ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies."
Sunday, February 01, 2004
RE: Neil Shearing (ScamFreeZone.com)
I just received notification from my long time dear friend, Dr. Neil Shearing, that he is planning a major release in the very near future ... one that has taken thousands of dollars, and years of research and development, to bring to life.
For those of you that don't know Dr. Shearing, he's one of the most trusted names in Internet Marketing ... and I've been fortunate enough to call him friend for many years.
I have a page dedicated to him ...
But let me get back to the main reason for this post ...
I know exactly what Neil has planned ... and I've been authorized by him, as part of his 'inner circle', to reveal the launch info on a date to be named in the very near future.
If you'd like to be contacted the moment I'm allowed to release the information, sign up is on the page mentioned above.
If it sounds like I'm making a big deal of this ... it's because I feel it IS a big deal, and fans of Neil Shearing know exactly what I'm talking about.
So sign up ... and keep your eyes open for the announcement.
One more thing ... there will be a very short period of time, soon after the announcement, that you'll be able to enjoy a major discount on Neil's offering ... so take advantage of this opportunity to get an inside line on it's release.
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