Just back from Loral Langemeier’s Alumni conference in San Diego. While not specifically focused on internet marketing, there were several internet marketing sessions there, including a panel that included Geoff Zimpfer from Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft if you are not aware of it, is the uber online customer management system. It’s a CRM (customer relationship management), EMail Marketing and eCommerce system all in one. It’s pricey, but a quite a nice system and surprisingly intuitive.
Geoff said something interesting that I wrote down. I think we all can agree that with email marketing it needs to be a balance between providing value and selling. But what’s that balance? Geoff proposes a point system. For each email you send out that delivers value to your audience you get a point. An email that is a sales pitch, you deduct 7 points. So he’s recommending you strike a 7 to 1 balance here.
I think he is right that a balance needs to be struck, however I’m not sure I agree with the math. Why would 5 to 1 be less effective? If you deliver great value and it in general is more frequent than the sales pitches, does the 7 to 1 ratio need to be rigorously adhered to? My suspicion is that he based the comment on statistics that Infusionsoft has available to it, so I don’t think we can dismiss the comment lightly.
This year I got serious about increasing the traffic to my blog. The result? Over three months I saw traffic double. For the month of June I got 1200 visitors, 1000 of that was organic traffic. Here’s the five things that I did:
There is definitely more work to be done. I need to guest post more and get more of a Facebook strategy. I have additional blog configuration items to tackle and I need to focus more on linkbuilding overall. But it’s nice to get the feedback that I am on the right path.
Perhaps I was just plain stupid in deciding to advertise via my Clickbank affiliate link. I had heard that most affiliates had abandoned Google PPC due to the strict quality guidelines and that it was very hard to get an ad approved. But I didn’t have a suitable landing page to advertise. And for my learning purposes, if none of my ads were approved I could live with that. Just the exercise in setting up a campaign would be useful. Apparently this was a fatal mistake.
I’ve seen several “top blog directories to submit your blog to” articles, however these lists are often light on details or out of date. Here are 16 blog directories that I went to take a look at. Like regular web directories, some blog directories will only list you for a fee, and yet still more request a reciprocal link before they will list you. Some are rather sneaky about it, you don’t figure out you have to reciprocate or pay until you are a step or two into the submission process.
That being said, just like web directories, it might be worth paying for a listing in some of these blog directories, however that analysis (choosing which one to pay for) is for another day.
For some of these you should be prepared to create an account and choose a category that your blog belongs to. Some ask for a full profile. Some have validation/ownership verification processes. It WILL take more time than you expect. Many of these will have a human review the submission before publishing it. That’s ok, in fact it is good, as google looks more favorably on directories that have editorial review.
Copyright law exists to protect the creators of a original work, whether than be an article, a photo or a drawing. As soon as you create it you have copyright to it, which stays in place 70 years after the author’s death; at that point it belongs to the public domain. Unless you grant license for someone else to use your image, it is considered a copyright violation if they use without your permission.
Image theft is an important issue on the web, especially to people who make their living creating visual art. Just this week there was a furor over the site http://lxixixl.com/ which was copying and hosting entire collections of images from people’s websites. Complaints shut it down but there are others that are doing the same thing.
Theft of content and image happens every day on the web, so what can you do?
Ultimately it is up to you how much effort you want to put into preventing image theft and violation of your copyright, but don’t just ignore the issue, decide on an approach and take action.
You wouldn’t register your DBA or LLC entity in your accountant’s or lawyer’s name .. so why, oh why, do so many businesses allow their webdesigner own their domain name?
Just a few weeks ago I had to inform one of my associates that the website she was working on, was not registered to the rightful owner, and wasn’t even hosted where she thought it was.
If you are confused about the difference between domain names and hosting, here is a quick explanation: Your domain name is your online identity and the name of your site (eg. webenso.com). “Hosting” means you are renting space for your website from a hosting company, when your browser, whether it is Firefox or Internet Explorer, accesses your website, their servers “serve” up your website pages, similar to a waiter serving you your soup.
It is possible that domain is registered with a different company than your hosting provider, which means there are two separate accounts you need to have access to … and they both should have your name as owner – not your webdesigner’s name.
For both domain names and hosting accounts, there is usually a way to specify a “technical contact”. It is perfectly fine to have your webdesigner listed as a the technical contact .. but he or she should never be listed as the owner.
You not only should have the domain name registered in your name but also you should have all the account information (username and password) for:
Make sure also you have the URL you go to enter your username and password. If you don’t know whether you are hosted with godaddy or bluehost, the account details will not be that useful.
I had to work with a client whose webdesigner died and left me a forensic exercise to hack into his admin panel and database. Don’t let this happen to you!
If you do not own your domain name you may not able renew it (so your site goes dark with a domain name expiration). You will not be able to point it to a new website.
If you are interviewing a webdesigner, ask them questions about the website domain registration and registration. Be suspicious if they tell you they have to host your site on their “special” servers and set up the domain for you. Most simple business websites don’t need anything special and a hosting provider like bluehost.com provides all the tools (and more) needed.
I do register domains for my clients as some of them just don’t want to face the “technical challenge”, but I always do it in their name and set it up to bill their credit card.
If you are not sure who owns your domain, try a whois lookup.
I had the privilege of seeing Frank Kern give a talk on Saturday. For those of you that don’t know him, Frank Kern is the highest paid internet marketer on the planet. Frank is a gifted copywriter and does direct response campaigns, both online (email campaigns, sales letter pages) and offline. Direct response means that the copy asks for the reader to take action (usually to buy something).
Frank is quite entertaining and swears a lot. But underneath that casual demeanor you catch glimpses of a sharp masterful focus on his craft. The rest of his time he parties and surfs.
Here are my takeaways:
Thanks to JeffAndKane for having Frank at their event.
What’s the difference between Google’s Adsense and Adwords programs?
Adsense and Adwords work together but are frequently confused. I find it most helpful to explain from a perspective of what role you are playing on the internet.
If you are a publisher, in other words you blog, write articles, or otherwise put content on the internet, then you may want to consider adsense as a way to make money online. Web site owners can set up adsense ads on their sites, and if their site visitors click on the ad, the site owners gets a commission. Setting up adsense ads is easy.
Google looks at your content and figures out what ads are relevant to show on your site.
If you want to advertise on the internet, then you should consider adwords (also known as Google PPC – pay per click). Your goals might be to drive more traffic to your website so you can sell online or build a list through an opt-in box. Adwords takes a little more to set up than Adsense but it’s not too hard to get started. Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind.
While it’s easy to get the basics, it’s another to be successful. Google Adwords (or Search Engine Marketing) is a specialized field that successful marketers can charge good money for a successful campaign.
I’ve been doing some mass unsubscribes from the IM guru’s lists. Too many hyped promotions, too many people cross promoting. And the worst thing of all, it completely distracts me from getting real work done. Seems like I’m not the only one.