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.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Are You Utilizing RSS As A Marketing Tool?
I'd like some Forum member feedback on this ... please respond by taking the poll, and elaborate on it within this thread.
I'm using Blogger to host and manage my Blog, Atom and FeedBurner to make it accessible via feed.
In addition, the activity on this forum has been made available by installing the Topics Anywhere PHPbb addon mod (VERY simple), and choosing RSS 2.0 as the desired format.
For site content feed, I'll be using Jeff Alderson's RSS Equalizer, though other options are available ... this is the easier route for a guy like me (at least for now ..).
To make the feeds more compatible, I'm also using FeedBurner for both blog and forum, which formats the generated feed in a way that it can be viewed by nearly all readers.
To ping the various major feed resources for inclusion, and updating, I use Ping-o-Matic, though you should really check out this great article for many more RSS promotion options ... RSSTop55 - Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sites (Robin Good).
I've made a free news reader available, Rocket Reader for those interested in viewing the feed, but don't have a reader installed (plus, it makes the likelihood that it will be viewed a lot better ..)
Here's a great article regarding use of RSS feeds to deliver your newsletters, called ... Using RSS to Deliver Newsletters By Barbara J. Feldman.
Here's what RSS is, in a nutshell.
Mike "still researching RSS, myself" Merz
Monday, July 26, 2004
Rod Beckwith & Jeff Alderson Release Adword Generator.
Google Adwords can be an extremely productive way to generate instant traffic, by sending keyword/keyphrase specific visitors to the site of your choosing.
On the downside ...
Those pay per click charges can really add up fast (with possible negative return on investment) if you don't know exactly what you're doing.
Rod Beckwith & Jeff Alderson have just released a possible solution ... Adword Generator
Here's a list of Adword Generator
- Create thousands of themed profitable ads in seconds.
- You can customize the automated headlines that are created in a snap.
- Gain ideas instantly for hundreds or potentially thousands of new profitable ads.
- Create special notes with each ad and capture each unique detail of the ad.
- Over 65 carefully selected categories to choose from to create knockout ads.
- Save as many ads as you wish for future campaigns. Be able to review and compare ads you ran last week, last month, even last year!
- Post the ads to Google™ within the software program automatically. No need to cut and paste!
- Every Adword Ad is run against a built in Spell checker to assure accuracy.
- Counts each character as you type it so there is no more guesswork on your ad length.
- Saved ads are displayed visually in front of you so there is no hunting around for ads.
- Runs a sophisticated rule checker to make sure your Adword complies with Google's strict guidelines.
- Instantly access the Top 200 Keyword Searches from Wordtracker.com built right into the software and updated weekly.
- Run a Superior Adwords™ Profit Calculator to find out how your ads are doing.
- And much, much more...
Give Rod Beckwith & Jeff Alderson's Adword Generator
a looksee. ;)
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Earn Money Giving Away A Valuable Forum Search Tool ...
If you could make sales ... not just affiliate sales, but straight sales of your own product or service, giving away a valuable tool to your subscribers and website visitors ... would you consider it?
What if the tool were not only brand new ... but unique, as well?
That's the offer my friend Michael Nicholas is making with his newly released Forum search tool, Bot Surfer 1.0.
Bot Surfer can keyword search up to 15 Forums of your choosing ... simultaneously, right from your desktop.
Sounds like a tool that not only would be a cinch to give away ... people would actually USE it, unlike last year's ebooks.
Because it's a known fact that you can build credibilty and gain exposure by regularly interacting in Forums ... and Bot Surfer makes the normally arduous task of interacting in multiple forums (in specific topics that you've chosen ... instantly, to single out) a heck of a lot easier.
... and all the while your subs and visitors are happily using your branded version, you'll have an opportunity to make money.
Give Bot Surfer a looksee.
Mike "surfs up" Merz
Christopher Knight (emailuniverse.com/ezine-tips) Stops by the Forum ...
... to discuss, what else, list building! LOL
See what one of the email list management legends has to say ...
List Building Tips: What Are YOUR recommendations?
Joe Garris' "Think Niche And Grow Rich" Free Course ...
... by Joe Garris, of Product Idea Evaluator fame.
Joe has kindly compiled his popular email course into PDF format.
Give it a looksee:
Think Niche Grow Rich Niche Marketing Course
Click to view ... right click to save.
Mike "carve out your niche" Merz
The IM4Newbies Internet Marketing Forum ...
... has been spruced up a bit. ;)
Give it a looksee ... and gimmee some feedback, if you would.
The IM4Newbies Internet Marketing Forum Portal
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
How To Create And Sell Your Own Products On The Net ...
... during fellow forum member VIP Becky Hagel's Triple C Internet Marketing Workshop.
Ya see, the Ol' Beckster went beyond this category's (I made this announcement in the forum, earlier) initial intent ... and pulled together Internet Marketing's elite ... Willie Crawford, John Reese, Rosalind Gardner, Yanik Silver, and more, to put together a 12 week Internet Marketing workshop that will lead you step by step through the development, and marketing, of your very own infoproduct.
Hey, times a wasting!
Give Becky Hagel's Triple C Internet Marketing Workshop - From Concept ... To Creation ... To Cash! a looksee.
Click Here For A VERY Special Triple C Workshop Offer!
Friday, July 16, 2004
An Interview With Niche Marketer Frank Kern (UnderAchieverFormula.com)
Markëting Masters Interview Series
"Revered Online Markëting Expert Frank Kern"
By: Mike Merz
Originally known for his highly popular 'Instant Internet
Empires', Mr. Kern's success outside the general Internet
Markëting niche, explained in depth in "The Under
Achiever Formula" system (with partner, Ed Dale)
), has won Frank a
new legion of followers that consider him a driving force
behind the widespread interest in Niche Markëting.
As with any successful Online business person, Frank Kern
is obviously no stranger to high level ëmail markëting
Let's tap into the mind of one of Internet Markëting's
premier "under achievers", and learn a few of the email
strategies he employs.
Thanks for agreeing to participate, Frank ...
... it's an absolute thrill to have you here.
How important a part does ëmail markëting play in your
day to day operations, Frank?
Not much, actually. I have a huge list but I rarely mail
them. Most of my traffic and revenue is generated through
paid advertising such as Google Ad Words and Overture.
I used to rely heavily on email, but the Can Spam law and
the proposed government bounty on spammers made me
find another way to market. I'd rather not worry about
some moron crying "spam" and then having a lawyer
hassle me as a result.
It's often said that building a list of targeted prospects is
the key to Online success ... what's your opinion on this?
I don't think it's THE key - but it certainly helps. But I
think too much emphasis is placed on list building. This is
a tricky area, really.
What I'm trying to say is this:
If you rely entirely on ONE source of traffic and business -
you're toast. Because you've built your house on one pillar
- so to speak.
I think that it's a better idea to build a list of people who
are absolutely dying to hear from you ...instead of basically
In other words, quality is better than quantity.
How about multiple lists?
I actually have multiple lists for multiple markets. It's a
good idea. The way I generate them is to offer something
of high perceived value in exchange for their subscription.
Then I constantly give them really good stuff and weave
the sales presentation into the content.
Are you a proponent of building numerous sub lists, as
opposed to a few general prospect/customer contact
I think it's an excellent idea but I don't do it. I should.
Everyone should. It just makes sense. I've been a bit lazy:-)
On the flip side, it has been said that due to advanced
filtering, trigger happy SP*M blacklist organizations, and
the CAN-SP*M Act of 2003, that ëmail markëting is
"dead" ... your opinion?
I think it could be in serious trouble. However - if you
have a list of people who are really, really eager to hear
from you ...and they've legitimately opted in to your list
...and you send them things of value instead of bombarding
them with ads, then I think you'll be OK. Nobody
complains about getting email from their friends. And
that's how you should treat your list. As your friends.
Especially if you develop lists in small, ultra targeted
How have you, personally, dealt with the aforementioned?
I revamped my entire business. If it became illegal to send
email tomorrow, it wouldn't have a major effect on my
Naturally, I don't think that'll happen - but like I said
earlier - it's best to create traffic streams from multiple
sources, and focus on turning that traffic into a customer
Where do you stand regarding the great HTML vs. text
debate? Do you have a preference? Which format has
shown you a higher conversion rate?
I've had better luck with text. When I did a lot of email
markëting, I would buy mail drops to millions of people.
This was opt in, mind you. Not spam.
Anyway - I found that a short text email got the highest
But naturally the solution is to test one versus the other
because I think it'll change depending on the market you're
selling to. For example - if you have a list of graphic
artists, they'd probably be responsive to highly visual
A list of accountants would probably respond better to
Do you have any tips and/or tricks that you'd like to share
with our readers?
How to build a list effectively?
Develop a relationship with your subscribers?
The main tip I'd have is learn to make your business
survive in the event that email becomes impractical due to
filters or litigation ...or both. It's very dangerous to be
completely reliant on only one source of traffic and
There are multitudes of other traffic sources out there.
Banners, PPC, comparison sites ...just to name a few.
I'm not saying to give up on list building, but it's time to
find other ways to generate traffic.
I've had a chance to preview John Reese's highly
anticipated course, Traffic Secrets, recently.
This is a guy who's had over a BILLION visitors ...
without worrying over a list.
Anyway - that's a great course. I'd give you a link but it's
not out yet. When it comes out, get it.
Also- if you do build a list - which you should if you do it
*right*, be sure to give so much content your readers will
actually get mad if they DON'T hear from you.
One way I've done this in multiple markets is to make
screencam videos for them. Multimedia has a high
The bottom line is if you have a list of people who:
1. Actually joined your list as a result of going to your site
and filling in a form.
2. Absolutely love hearing from you.
...Then you'll be less likely to ever worry about getting into
trouble as the "email climate" becomes harsher.
Again - it's the quality of the list ...not the quantity that
will make you money.
Here's an example.
Back to John Reese. He has a list of about 3,000 people.
This is a tiny list. But these folks are fanatics. They love
him. And they buy like crazy. I was on the phone with
him one day when he did over $100,000.00 in sales in a
few HOURS to this list.
He gives them extremely good content. With a list - it's all
about the relationship. If you have hundreds of thousands
of subscribers ...but they don't think much of what they get
from you, then you don't really have much.
In closing, are you currently working on anything new that
you'd like to give us the 'inside line' on?
... in the near future?
I don't really sell much to the "markëting" crowd anymore.
I've been threatening to release a video series for newbies
that shows how to do ULTRA basic stuff like "make a file
downloadable"... but I haven't yet. I have so much fun
publishing info products to small niche markets that I keep
that project on the back burner.
Thank you so much for making time for us, Frank ...
I know you've been running 24/7!
Future "ëMail Markëting Master" interviews are being
booked as of this writing to be run in DEMC in the months
to come ...
So stay tuned!
Who would YOU like to see featured in our series?
Send your requests to DEMC@im4newbies.com and I'll do
my best to track them down!
Be sure to check out Frank's (and Ed Dale's) UnderAchieverFormula.com
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Simon Chen's Strategic Internet Marketing Seminar - The X10 Seminar
... Simon Chen - promoter.
... The X10 Strategic Internet Marketing Seminar.
... Coolum, Australia.
... 3-5 September, 2004.
Why should I be interested?
Seven of the world's most successful Internet marketers will reveal their most closely guarded strategies, tactics and ideas for building an online business that will replace your current income... and then multiply it by ten.
- Michael Hewitt-Gleeson - schoolofthinking.org
- Alex Mandossian - askdatabase.com
- Armand Morin - gogenerator.com
- Perry Marshall - perrymarshall.com
- Ken Giddens - hangers.com
- Paul Colligan - frontpageworld.com
- Declan Dunn - dunndirectgroup.com
- Rob Bell - 1ShoppingCart.com
- Martin Wales - CustomerCatcher.com
Who Should Definitely attend the X10 Seminar?
1. Anyone currently in business - The Internet is a rapidly growing phenomenon you can't afford to ignore.
2. Anyone considering going into business - It's absolutely necessary to find out where the Internet "fits" in your plan.
3. Anyone who wants to stop wasting time & money learning the hard way - The faculty have already made the mistakes so you don"t have to.
4. Anyone interested in wealth creation - You can't afford to ignore the Internet either, because it's already responsible for more "rapid" self made millionaires than any thing else in history.
5. Anyone wanting a quantum leap / breakthrough on the Internet - You'll find many of those here.
6. Anyone responsible for sales and marketing - including CEO, sales and marketing managers. Simply, it is one of the ways of the future, again, not to be ignored.
7. Anyone wanting to start an online business - Save yourself the time, money and irritation.
Get all the info:
Simon Chen's Strategic Internet Marketing Seminar - The X10 Seminar
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Marketing Seminars, TeleSeminars, Workshops, E-classes ..
Although the majority of my personal interest revolves around natural
search engine, email, and offline marketing, I have enjoyed a lot of exposure participating in ... and learned a great deal from, seminars, workshops and e-classes.
My favorite free seminar announcement resource is Jason Potash and Jeanette Cates SeminarAnnouncer.com
, which is updated weekly, and lists many interesting Internet Marketing/Online Business events that you probably would have no idea existed, otherwise.
Jason also turned me on to Preston Campbell's Teleseminar Success Secrets
, which I recommend to anyone thinking about putting together a successful teleseminar ( and ... no, it's not a digital download - this is 3 ring binder/ audio cassette package).
Due to the fact that this is
a physical product, supplies are limited (46 packages, at last count).
For all the info, and access to a free 2 chapter audio download, visit:
Preston Campbell's Teleseminar Success Secrets
And don't foget to stop by Seminar Announcer
, as well ... once you have your own teleconference ready to go, it would be a great place to publicize it. ;)
Adrian Ling's EasyBizTools.com Online Business Software/Scripts.
I'd like to announce that my dear friend, Adrian Ling, has finally released easyClickMate
Version 4, Release 1.9 ... which now features CB-Switch
sale protection technology.
For those not in the know, easyClickMate
is arguably the Net's leading ClickBank affiliate management software, and this latest release is the most feature rich yet (the ridiculously low cost makes it easily the best value).
Adrian has kindly agreed to install easyClickMate
absolutely free (a $25 value), for friends of mine. ;)
For more details, visit:
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Shelley Lowery (EbookStarter.com) Takes Ebook Creation To A New Level ...
Shelley Lowery, creator of the popular Ebook Starter
Pro template and book cover package, and Web Design Mastery
course, has announced that she has not only upgraded the current version of Ebook Starter
to include a step by step automated wizard to create your ebooks (simply fill-in-the-blanks and create your ebooks in a matter of minutes ...), but is also offering a free upgrade to a soon to be announced version of Ebook Starter
that will include a full blown, WYSIWYG ebook editor ... making it the Net's first complete ebook creation solution!
Due to the development costs of this amazing new product, there is no guarantee that Shelley will be able to offer the new version for the same price as the current one (which is an absolute steal, by the way), so I advise you purchase the current version ... put it to good use, and get ready for Shelley's announcement (and free upgrade).
As one of Ms. Lowery's customers, you'll be among the first to be notified of it's release.
Find out all you get, and all you can do, with Shelley Lowery's Ebook Starter
Dori Friend (E-filtrate.com) Winds Up In The SPAM folder?!?!
My dear friend, Dori (no pun intended ..;), owner of E-filtrate.com
, makes a living helping folks get their email through the SPAM filters ... so when I read her latest newsletter (she identifies the problems, AND offers spot on solutions), I had to share. ;)
Dori sez ...
Yeah, I was pretty upset when my emails starting bouncing awhile ago. But then, figuring out the Spam Filters is one of those things that you just have to keep on top of ‘cause the monsters keep growing warts.
So (drum roll, please) here are two NEW things I have found that are keeping email from getting where you want it to be:
1) Links in your email.
We knew that too many hyperlinks would often trigger the Spam Filters, but now even ONE can do the job.
What kind of hyperlink can do this, you ask?
Affiliate links are the major cause of this growing problem. Those hyperlinks squeal "ADVERTISEMENT" just about as loud as a pot-bellied pig caught in a drain pipe. OUCH!
And, they can be as innocent as well.
I normally don't hide my links when I am an affiliate for someone and am recommending a product (remember the AudioGenerator Campaign?) I am very open about it; therefore, I would lay the whole fat link right there in my email.
I’m putting the link on my website as a redirect or plain link. So this is an example of what you will now see from me, and I also recommend you doing the same.
Another reason for this is that many Spam Filters are getting even tougher, and they want to see that the link in the email matches the "FROM" field in your email’s address.
Here’s an example of matching "FROM" address and link inside email...
from address: dori@ e-filtrate.com
Here’s an example of a non-matching "FROM" address and link inside email...
from address: dori@ e-filtrate.com
I just did something, and I wonder whether I got through to everyone. I sent this from my ISPwest email address (my "real" ISP) because of the second problem I am going to talk about in a second.
This is a test to see *how* tough it has gotten. My real ISP is innocent enough, and I think the email will probably get to all my readers. At any rate, this is what it looks like:
from address: dorifriend@ ispwest.com
It will be interesting to see if I get caught for that. If you’re reading this, chances are that it got through. Please let me know!
Now, on to problem number two.
2) Your "FROM" Email Address.
This started a couple of months ago, actually, and has just gotten worse. Some shady person out there create a worm that harvested email address off the Internet and then sent emails to other harvested email address "from" what appears to be other harvested email address. Whew!
What this means is, if you have your email address listed on your website somewhere, you have probably been getting a TON of email with compelling subject lines, with just one line of text inside and usually an attachment on it.
No problem, I thought; I have a great "delete" key. But when I started to get this kind of email FROM MYSELF, meaning from my email address and I hadn’t sent it, I realized the lid had blown off the beans.
Because it appears that my email address is sending these erroneous emails, guess who is now blacklisted!
Yep, that’s right: ME!
Well, the email address is being blocked by MSN, Earthlink, Yahoo AOL, and about a hundred other ISPs who have filters that scan spam email, analyze it, and then come up with their own barometers of it.
And sorry to say, all of us who have email addresses on the web are now residing in the belly of the beast and there is NOTHING you can do about it except get rid of that address and put another one up on your site using a GIF, JPEG, or PICT image. Or do what I do ‘cause I’m lazy about creating images: Use the word "at" instead of "@" in your address. For example, mine looks like dori/at/e-filtrate.com.
I think most folks understand that it is an email address, and for now, harvesters aren't targeting the /at/ group.
Now, for that WAY controversial "Do Not Email Registry."
Unless you have been in a cave for the last six months, you know all the flack that has been flying around about this thing. I think Paul Myers did the best job of explaining why this was a dead fish that nobody wanted.
You can read his post here:
And the verdict is... NO REGISTRY!
At least for right now. Within hours of the FTC's announcement, grassroots organizations started their lobbying efforts.
So like always, stay tuned. More will be revealed ;)
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Happy 4th Of July! Edition Of The IM4Newbies Update
I know ... I know ...
Long time, no IM4Newbies Update.
Between Offline consultations, a major site overhaul,
and more joint venture requests than a sane Marketer
would ever attempt to efficiently satisfy ... I've
been slammed, big time.
But I figured Independence Day a good a time as any to
let you know I was still alive ... and to wish you and
yours a happy, healthy ... and safe holiday weekend.
While I'm on a roll, here's a few words of advice for
those of you that are experiencing inconsistency, in
regards to sales conversions.
One thing a brick and mortar shop owner has over their
Online counterpart, is that it's not very likely that
a tornado nicknamed "Google" is going to pluck their
established business from it's foundation and fling it
into the backwoods ..
In other words, don't count on your natural ranking
placement in the major search engines and directories
as your sole prospect source.
You say you're not guilty of this?
O.K. ... this is for everyone else, then.
Here's 5 things you can do to keep the sales rolling
in with reasonable consistency.
(Note: These tips apply whether you have your own
products/services, or depend entirely on affiliated
1) Promote Offline.
I know this is almost always the last tip mentioned
in those 'how to' courses, but I'm listing it first
because it's that important.
Just because your business exists Online doesn't
mean it should solely be promoted via the Net.
Make sure you have business cards and flyers handy,
get involved in local workshops, advertise in
newspapers, phone directories, on community bulletin
boards, etc. ... and don't forget word of mouth,
2) Submit to any and all reputable search engines
Many will tell you that the top 3 or 4 search engines
and directories are all you need bother submitting to,
as they account for the majority of Online searches ...
Yes ... they do count for most of the searches, but it
doesn't make sense to put all your eggs in a few
baskets. A sale is a sale, and you might actually enjoy
a higher conversion rate, percentage wise, from the
lesser known listing resources (many are more niche
specific than the mainstream) ... without worrying about
the latest Big Boy 'update'.
You'll find a number of submission tips, tools, and
quality sites of all types to submit to, here:
3) If you own your own product/service, start an
Better a number of sales opportunities than one, don't
But it doesn't stop there ..
If you owned a brick and mortar business, would you
hire a commission based sales force ... and then forget
Of course not!
You'd train them intensely to maximum their output,
wouldn't you? Give them the tools and follow up
necessary to achieve optimal results ... right?
The same applies to your affiliates.
But you already do all that, don't you? ..
If you rely on affiliate programs for income, solely,
consider joining and promoting those that offer
residual income, and maintain a contact database of
past customers ... making sure to give this 'A' list
special attention (of course, this applies to merchants
and affiliates, alike).
My fav affiliate program management systems:
- easyClickMate (ClickBank)
- MyAffiliateProgram (service)
- Ultimate Affiliate (software)
- QuickPayPro (service)
4) Build multiple email lists for follow up, as
opposed to maintaining only one.
Invest in a solid autoresponder service, or server
side software, that allows unlimited autoresponders.
Creating highly targeted, multiple lists will increase
your conversions ... as you'll deliver highly relevant
info to each one, as opposed to general info.
This ultra targeting will surely result in more sales.
Last year I made over $6,000 in 3 months ... promoting
to a list of only 186 subscribers.
After the initial promotion ended, I converted over
100 of those subscribers into the base program's next
"How?!?!", you ask?
I simply gave them what they asked for ..
My fav Autoresponder Service:
My fav Autoresponder Server Side Software:
5) Co Promote.
Whether email list, blog, forum, or website, carefully
choosing an'inner circle' of trustworthy individuals
to co promote with is a great may to maximize all
aspects of your Online business ... and theirs.
Though all members should be within the same general
niche, the offerings don't necessarily have to be
similar, but complementary, to achieve optimal results.
I provide web design ... Sue offers site optimization,
Jack is a programmer, etc.
Well ... that's all I have time for today, my friend.
Keep an eye on the forum ...
... for info regarding the relaunch of IM4Newbies.com.
Have a great holiday!
Mike "it is ALIVE!" Merz
One more thing ...
I'll be switching this list over to my AWeber account
after the relaunch, so be on the lookout for that
Saturday, July 03, 2004
Make Money Online Without A Website ...
If you were to ask me to name the most important prerequisites to being successful Online, having your own website would be on the top of the list ...
Jason Lewis proves this is not entirely true, with "Website NOT Required - 9 Surefire Ways To Make Money Online Without Your Own Website
6 special added bonuses, worth the cost of the course by themselves, are included during the preliminary offering of this unique course.
I'll let Jason give you all the details (be sure to click on the audio button to hear a few words from Jason Lewis, himself).
"Website NOT Required - 9 Surefire Ways To Make Money Online Without Your Own Website
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Do You Like My New Logo ... ?
You can have one all your own ... for a lot less than you may think.
Where To Submit Your Blog ...
Jim Edwards (EbookFire.com) Double Shot ...
My good buddy Jim Edwards, of EbookFire.com fame, has put together an interesting 'double shot' for us ...
Part one is a free report entitled "The Biggest Lie Ever Told Online!
", pertaining to offers the get-rich-quick scammers shove down our throats on a daily basis.
Part two is a video called "The Fastest Way To Build A Huge Opt-In List and Have Super-Affiliates Climbing All Over Themselves To Make YOU Money!
This is a freebie, folks ... no charge.
Give Jim's Special Double Update
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