Innovative Ways to Market

Marketing is a three-syllable word that seems so simple, yet encompasses so much. Marketing is a multi-faceted approach to promoting a product or service. Both traditional and unconventional marketing methods have a place in the small business world. Marketing helps small businesses focus on building their brand and identity.

There are few limitations to marketing options, and the opportunities listed here are just a few that will generally result in a decent ROI (Return On Investment) for most small businesses. That said, do not be afraid to be creative — no one knows or understands a small business like its owner, so think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Identity Continuity

Create continuity between an online website, logos, letterheads, business cards, and packaging. Create an identity that will make your business stand out from the competition, and leave a good initial impression on potential customers. A professional image associated with your company or product will remind customers of their past brand experiences, and will reinforce your product line.

Trade Publications

Niche publications are journals or magazines that focus on a specific market. If your product or service is appropriate for a specific market, then advertising in their trade publications will allow you to immediately drill down and target that very specific audience.

Promotional Items

Branded giveaways have long been used by marketers to attract potential customers. Products that have a long shelf life will help keep your business in the forefront of a customer’s mind. Weeks, months, and even years after a product is purchased or service is performed, promotional items will remind the customer of your brand.


Solicit product reviews from reputable industry sources, magazine reviewers, bloggers, or industry journalists. Product reviews lend credibility to a product or company.

Keyword Advertising

In order to help your website’s search engine ranking, use keyword advertising. Focused and targeted keyword advertising will drive web traffic that has a genuine interest in your product or service.

Niche Directories

Use online niche directories to promote products or services. Visitors who frequent topical directories have a strong interest and are more likely to purchase.

Viral Marking

Once known as “word of mouth” marketing, viral marketing has taken on a life of its own. Encourage product buzz, as well as customers referring customers.

Opt-In Email Marketing

Use email as a marketing tool to notify your existing customers about specials, new products or services, or product releases and updates. While some say email marketing is dead, others say that measured results of email marketing tell a very different story. Opt-in, targeted email marketing works, and produces results when done correctly.

Partnerships / Strategic Relationships

We see large companies leveraging their assets every day, and small online businesses should too! Whether it be as a partner, an affiliate, or a strategic relationship, all of these relationships can benefit small businesses. Businesses can use strategic relationships to penetrate niche markets. Affiliates can expand their reach and tap into the customer bases of similar products. Partners can provide additional value to existing products or services. Determine what types of relationships could be beneficial to your small business.

Online Classifieds

Craigslist is likely the best known online classified system. Classified systems increase visibility and are often overlooked by small businesses. Consider posting classifieds that relate to product or services, and monitor the results.

Sponsorship / Contests

Contests not only encourage customers to have fun, but also generate publicity and draw attention to your company and brand. Sponsor industry events, run contests, or donate prizes to industry contests in order to increase visibility and generate goodwill.


Communication is critical to all businesses, and small businesses are no exception. Be sure to establish a communication channel with customers and potential customers. Newsletters are a very popular communication channel for software developers.


RSS is growing in popularity. It is an alternative communication channel that has the benefit of reaching a larger audience through syndication. Supplement and enhance email and newsletter campaigns by providing an RSS channel for their content.

Forums / Newsgroups

Participation in newsgroups and forums will result in building credibility. Business relationships will often result from online dialogue in industry forums and newsgroups. Actively participate and always behave in a professional manner.

Forum / Email Signatures

All forum posts and emails you send should contain a “signature” that advertises your business name, tag line, and URL.


Blogging and posting comments on blogs can result in an increase in web links and traffic. Socialization and engaging others with well thought out comments can establish a business reputation and generate product interest.


YouTube is a boon to business. If you are creative, consider compiling an educational or humorous video. YouTube is a huge distribution channel and can generate product or industry interest.

Press Releases

The avenue to inexpensive press! Write a press release to promote new products or services and reap the benefits with media attention.

Article Syndication

Writing articles can help lend credibility to your product line and improve your business reputation.

Local Newspapers

Contact local newspapers and pitch a unique story to them. Publicity is free and can generate discussions and interest.

Consider exploring alternative channels for advertising and marketing. Keep in mind that advertising need not be costly; creative marketers can often find inexpensive avenues that will result in a great return.


About the Author: Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.

Use Regular Text to Improve your SEO without Pay for Click

What triggers popularity with a search engine has always been elusive. You have to change how you market your website and even build it to make search engines rank it on their top page. For someone new on the scene, it can appear to be a daunting task. Here in this article we will look at the latest in SEO and SEM by starting with the site itself.

First thing is what not to do. Remember back when websites would have massive keyword lists at the bottom or top of the pages? These words were paragraphs long and didn’t make any sense at all! The human eye knew that it didn’t mean anything, but this text was designed for SEO and to trick the search engines. Sure, it worked for awhile, but now search engines are wise to our tricks. They know these paragraphs are designed only for SEO, which now will get you penalized.

Create Search Engine-Friendly Content

Simply said, make sure you put a good amount of text on your website talking to your audience, not the search engine. Search Engines can now detect if a sentence doesn’t make sense. For SEO make sure you write text for your site the same way you would speak. The trick is to make sure your keywords show up in your text about 2% of the time. If you do it too much, the search engine will know what you are up to and begin to penalize you again.

Do not use Flash or text embedded images either. Search engines ignore these things. They are very bad for SEO. For images that you do have on your sites, attaching alt image tags with a brief sentence that describes the image, using some keywords, will go far to get you points. Also use heading tags and do not try to hide keywords by making them the same color as your page. While this used to work for SEO, now it is the fastest way to get sunk to the bottom of the page. Sure, it might work for a week or two, but after that your ranking will begin to decline.

As you write your content you may notice that the longer your text gets, the harder it is to keep your keywords at the optimal amount. Some will be higher and others will be lower. Writing more only seems to lower the keywords that are having trouble!

You will want to make sure that your home page text is informative, but concise. Pick the keywords you want to target on your homepage wisely. If you have other keywords you want to focus on for SEO you may want to consider creating a landing page.

A landing page is in essence like another homepage that funnels traffic into your site. It will provide a fair bit of information with links to your main site. This way if people search for keywords not targeted on your homepage, they can still find you on the major search engines. Creating multiple landing pages for different sets of keywords is very hot right now with SEO, and it works. A good landing page doesn’t take long to generate as it should be just one page long and directly link to your site right away.

You will also want to generate a site map.

A site map, in case you’re new to this internet thing, is a page from your site that is strictly text links of your site. It is like a table of contents in a book that shows all the links that are presented on your site. Search Engines eat this up, especially the big ones. Each time you make a site map change, you can ping these search engines to re-index. That will keep your rankings fresh.

Speaking of keeping it fresh, that is another thing that is great for SEO. Make sure to update your website once a week. The changes don’t have to be big. They could be very small like changing the homepage text or posting comments on your services page. Any change will be considered as keeping your site fresh which search engines love. One of the worst things you can do for SEO is to have a stale website. No one likes outdated information and neither do search engines.

About the Author: Jill Cooper – If you enjoyed this article, look for the second part in the series on generating website traffic. You can get more information and articles by joining us over at .

What Does Your Web Design Do For You

There are so many websites on the internet nowadays, so if you want a great website that stands out from the crowd, you are going to have to have brilliant web design incorporated into it.

A website that is badly designed will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. If you want a website that is remembered for the right reasons, you are going to have to have a design that makes your website unique.

Your web design is the first thing that people notice when they arrive at your website. If you have an untidy website with bad graphics and terrible navigation, you are going to lose your readers and viewers right from the start. That is why web design is important in the process of creating a successful website. Whether it is a personal website or one that you intend to use for business purposes, it needs to be well designed and well maintained.

If you can grab the reader’s attention by graphics that are relevant and useful, text that is of a very high quality, colors and layouts that are easy on the eye, then you are half way there! Research has shown that more people buy from websites that are designed professionally and look trustworthy, rather than quickly made and with badly thought out designs.

So, you can see how important your web design really is now. There are many ways to improve your web design, both for free and by hiring someone else to do it for you. Which you choose will depend on your budget and your time frame. A busy web designer may not be able to fit you in for months.

How you layout your website is also very important. You may have lots of great content on your website that people would love to read, but what if they can’t find it? If you haven’t clearly and easily laid out your website in the web design process, your readers won’t be able to find any other pages. This could be disastrous if you are selling some kind of service or product.

All in all the web design aspect is only a small part of getting your website up and running, however, it is very important. When you are designing your website, remember to make it easy to navigate, concise and clear.

If you are not familiar with web design and all the aspects that go into creating a website, it may be worth your while looking for a professional web designer or a pre made template. Web designers come with different price tags all depending on where you get them from and what you need doing.

If you want a relatively simple design you will be looking at a fairly cheap price. If you are looking for a complex website with many features you can expect to pay a fair amount of money for it. A good designer will include you all throughout the process. You will be able to approve the website as many times as required.

Ready-made templates are great if you don’t have the budget for a professional designer and don’t have the time to learn how to create one from scratch. There are many free ones that you find on the Internet or ones that you can buy for a small amount of money.


About the Author: Daniel Millions – If you need high quality VPS Hosting or FFMpeg Hosting with a guaranteed high uptime look no further.

How To Create Your Own Perpetual Traffic Machine

The Internet is such an unknown commodity anything is possible. One of the most intriguing questions concerns the idea of a perpetual traffic machine. Create a website and design a system of automatic programs (both interior and exterior) that delivers content and backlinks to a site that updates itself automatically and keeps growing without any help from the creator. In the process you build a flow of traffic that doesn’t stop, even if the site is abandoned or not touched for a couple of years or never again.

Is such a perpetual traffic system really possible?

Before you conjure up pictures of HAL and creepy talking computers in distant space… realize that question may carry more weight than it would seem at first glance. But is it like its predecessor, the perpetual motion machine – just more an illusion than actual fact?

For curiosity’s sake if for nothing else, the idea of a perpetual traffic machine does require further investigation. Such a system would have special interest for millions of webmasters whose main task is acquiring traffic for their sites, not to mention the potential for monetary gain a PTM (rhymes with ATM) would produce. Some credence was given to the idea recently when Tinu Abayomi-Paul, a well-known online free traffic expert, produced with the help of Marlon Sanders an info-product entitled “The Evergreen Traffic Machine.”

Tinu’s story is very interesting. Tinu had built up a whole array of sites and optimized them successfully for countless keywords in all the major search engines. She had built up a steady flow of traffic, resulting in thousands of visitors “a day” to her sites. This in itself is not that extraordinary, but that’s not the full story.

Because of a personal illness she abandoned or left alone most of her sites for over a year or more – only to discover the traffic systems she had put into place didn’t just dry up, they still kept producing tons of traffic even though the sites weren’t being updated.

The traffic was still coming. The traffic was still fresh.

Tinu basically built her perpetual traffic system around three major areas: High Profile Article Marketing, Exact Keyword Focus and Blogging/RSS Feeds. Tinu’s system proves you can create a traffic system for a year or two, but the real question is will it still produce traffic five years from now? Fifty years from now? How about a hundred years?

The real question: how long will such a system work without fresh input of unique content like the viral articles and blog posts now feeding it? This question is even more tantalizing when you consider it is now possible to create fresh content on your sites with RSS feeds, blog comments and user contributed content.

What’s more intriguing is the fact that all aspects of a website can be automated, including payment for all renewals: domain, hosting, autoresponders… as well as the collection of revenues such as affiliate commissions and advertising fees.

Are we at the stage where the Internet will be filled with these automated human-less web sites drawing traffic/visitors and slowly building and expanding on their own for eternity? Many cynics would argue this is already the case with the majority of sites on the web.

In case you like that idea and want to fully embrace this brave new automated perpetual Internet, here are a few tips to create your eternal traffic machine:

1. Build lists and pre-load your AR system with follow-up messages to keep visitors coming back to your site. You can rotate these messages and ask your subscribers to opt-ín to different lists on related subject areas. Always ask your readers to recommend your content to others.

2. Use social bookmark software or links so that your visitors can easily bookmark your content which brings in both new links and new traffic. Simple programs like the one offered by will get your visitors building your backlinks for you, bringing in fresh visitors who in turn will also bookmark your content.

3. Write viral articles, reports and ebooks that have your backlinks in the resource boxes. Likewise, viral software programs can help bring a constant flow of traffic to your site. If your content is of a high quality and your themes universal… new sites will pick up your content and build your backlinks, creating fresh traffic. The search engines will also index these new links and your rankings will rise, bringing in more traffíc.

4. Use blogging and RSS feeds to get your content out there. You can also use these RSS feeds to bring in new fresh content to your site. Creating new content will be your main obstacle to creating perpetual traffic… you can get new content from feeds but will it be unique? Comments in your blogs could bring in unique content but if you’re not monitoring them, you must have solid software in place to fight against spam.

5. Have “Tell a Friend” forms on all your content. This will bring new traffic to your site, which can be self-refreshing as new people discover your content.

6. Encourage user generated content such as articles, comments, posts… you can even have a community monitoring system where your site’s members monitor this new content.

7. Form JV alliances with webmasters in your related field. Do co-registration so that you help build each other’s lists and traffic.

8. Likewise, if you have products to sell, create an affiliate program to get your affiliates to build your traffic for you. Affiliates are an excellent source of permanent traffic.

9. Automate all aspects of the running and managing of your website. Set up automatic payments for your AR system, hosting, domain renewal, PPC payments… thru PayPal or credít card. Likewise, receive affiliate commissions thru PayPal or direct deposit. Many advertising programs like Google Adsense provide direct deposit.

10. PPC Traffic – While we have mainly looked at free traffic systems, don’t forget creating a PTM is relatively easy with Pay Per Click advertising if you know what you’re doing. Target less competitive keywords to keep your costs down, tie this traffic into a good squeeze page for feeding your AR system with leads and have a good landing page that converts. You can create a system that delivers perpetual traffic and pays for itself from your affiliate commissions and advertising fees.

In summary, the argument for the existence of the PTM mainly relies upon the quality of your content or site. Is it unique enough to draw in new visitors? Does your topic have universal appeal that people don’t tire of? Does it solve or provide advice on a common human problem? Will or does it have a viral “word of mouth” element to it?

As we move to a more and more automated world, all the automated programs and hardware are in place for the creation of such perpetual traffic machines.

Computers, autoresponders, content management software, RSS feeds, viral marketing, direct deposit, automatic payments… and the líst goes on. If we haven’t already created the perpetual traffic machine – we are getting tangibly close to doing just that.

About The Author
The author is a full-time online marketer who practices what he preaches. Get a Free Perpetual Desktop Calendar. Read a review of Tinu’s Traffic Machine at
2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

Registering Your Domain Name

Registering a domain name is a quick process that often seems complex. It is far easier than most general web surfers suspect. You can quickly learn how to register a domain name with a little forethought.

You need little know-how to register a domain name. Your first task is to find a company that will let you perform a search in what is known as a “WHOIS” database. These databases contains all registered domain names worldwide. Domains that are currently in use will offer the name of the individual or company with ownership. The WHOIS will also tell you if your desired domain is free.

Domain names are an evolving aspect of the web. The development of new extensions has created many wonderful Internet opportunities. Extensions are the letters at the end of a URL, or web address. The most popular extensions are “.com”, “.net” and “.org.” Webmasters can find additional extensions, such as:

* .biz * .info * .tv * .us

New extensions allow webmasters to use the precise domain names they want. Potential webmasters are often disappointed to see the name and extension they want is already taken. It may belong to a rival company or may have fallen victim to a common practice of reselling.

Domain name reselling is where a company purchases a large number of generic domain names in order to raise the resell price and turn a profit. It is not recommended to buy a domain name that is being virtually scalped. Webmasters can find many other name/extension combinations available at the standard price.

The added bonus of these new extensions are many. It is common to find multiple domain registrar companies offering discounted prices on domain names with these new extensions. This will lower the costs of starting a website and give you a unique slant for your domain.

The best domain registrar companies will be established. They should have a good rating at independent websites. The domain registrar should offer constant customer support and a variety of payment options. It is a trend amid many registrars to offer “credit card only” services. It is best to avoid these practices. Your registrar and your hosting company should both be eager for your business. This means providing good service and accommodating your payment needs. The credit only sites tend to be lax in their customer service and will not readily work with clients who must change payment information. They have a company infrastructure that automates as many functions as possible.

You will move on to the registration process when you have selected your company. Resources are available across the Internet to help if you have specific concerns. Domain name registrars are the record keepers of the Internet. Your registrar sells you your domain name and sends out information that your respective domain has been purchased. You will need to pay for your domain annually. Many companies offer services that allow you to purchase a number of years into the future.

The checkout process for buying a domain name is much like buying anything else online. You enter your standard information and payment information. Your receipt is sent via e-mail.

You will need to wait for a period of 48 hours before you can begin publishing your domain. This is to allow adequate time for a process known as propagation. When your domain name propagates, it travels to WHOIS databases worldwide and submits the data that the domain name is in use. It really is a simple process. Even if you don’t know how to register a domain name, you should be confident. It’s an easy process.


About the Author: Doug Milton – More information on Registering domain names is available at

Optimize Your Website…and They Will Come

What’s the big deal about search engine optimization? Isn’t it enough that you’ve put up a website, purchased some Google AdWords, and sent out an email to everyone you know announcing your site? In short, no. There is an art and science to search engine optimization (SEO), and it is critical for web-based businesses to know, understand and utilize if they want to drive quality traffic to their website via the Internet.

Where do you begin, though? How can you possibly know whom to trust or what to do first with so much information out there on SEO? Do you buy links or not? Pay per clíck or go organic? And what about those SEO companies who are aggressively promising Number 1 rankings? When it comes to search engine ranking, there are a lot of rumors and myths about what will improve your rankings and what won’t.

Debunking Some Popular Search Engine Ranking Myths

– Pay per clíck (PPC) ads will either help or hurt organic rankings. (Organic simply means the process by which web users find websites having unpaid search engine listings.)

Debunked: PPC is categorized differently than organic listings. There is no effect, one way or the other, on ranking.

– Websites are banned if they ignore Google guidelines.

Debunked: While it’s a good idea to read Google Webmaster Guidelines or Google 101: How Google Crawls, Indexes and Serves the Web, you are not banned if you ignore their guidelines.

– Websites are banned if they buy links.

Debunked: Sites are not banned. The links just aren’t counted.

– Copy must be a certain number of words, use a specific keyword density, and contain bold or italicized keywords.

Debunked: It used to be thought that there was a magic number of words used or certain times a keyword or keyword phrase should be repeated. Not so. Same with bolding and italicizing. They don’t do anything for ranking.

– Duplicate content will get your website penalized.

Debunked: It will just get filtered out and not counted.

– Reciprocal links won’t count.

Debunked: Every link counts, to a certain extent.

– SEO companies can improve your rankings without doing any on-page work.

Debunked: Run if an SEO company tells you this.

According to SEO expert Jill Whalen, SEO isn’t magic and isn’t a crap-shoot. “SEO is about making your website the best it can be for your site visitors and the search engines.” Want to help the right kind of people find your website? Then you need to design your site so search engines can find, crawl and index your pages.

Seven Ways to Get Your Website Crawled

It’s better to have one main website with numerous domains pointing to the main domain, than to have mini-sites or multiple sites with similar content. Mini-sites and multiple sites with similar content do not increase search engine listings and are frequently viewed by search engines as SPAM.

If you do have several stand-alone websites, make sure each serves a different target audience and has unique content with different domain or sub-domain URLs.

Search engines need to be able to follow internal links. To make that happen, use tags, text links, image links, and CSS menus. Spiders have difficulty with JavaScript menus, pop-up windows, drop-down menus, and flash navigation.

Choose keyword phrases that are most relevant and specific to what your web page is about. Think from the perspective of someone searching for what you are offering on your site. Ask, as if you were they: What would I search for if I am looking for something on your page?

Validate your keyword phrases through either paid or free services, such as Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker, or Google AdWords.

Check for keyword competitiveness. Take into consideration the size of your business. In this case, size does matter. If you are a major player with a major brand, you can play in a larger competitive pond than a smaller company just starting out. Know what size pond is right for you, and check for competitiveness by putting: allintitle: “keyword phrase” in your browser and check the number count.

Once you have your keyword phrases validated and checked for competitiveness, use them in anchor texts, clickable image alt tags, headlines, body text copy, title tags, and meta descriptions. Meta tags aren’t all that important for crawling.
SEO can be both intimidating and exhilarating. Intimidating because it seems as if just about everyone has an opinion on what it takes to get a high ranking in Google, so it’s hard to know what to believe. Exhilarating because, once you understand the method behind the madness of SEO, you see the art and science of it. Then it becomes fun and easy to come up with a strategic plan about where to place keyword phrases, how to write copy, and what size pond is best for your company to compete in. Optimize your website, and they will come.

About The Author
Dr. Susan L. Reid is a business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up businesses. She is the Award-winníng author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success. Susan provides intuitive small business solutions, powerful attraction marketing tools, inspiration, and direction. Visit and download your copy of her latest free business success article.

The Mythical Google Sandbox and How To Escape It

With an article title like this, it almost seems like I am playing the fool, by telling you something doesn’t exist and then telling you that I will show you how to beat that thing I said does not exist. Maybe I am the fool, or maybe, I have something valuable to share with you today. You be the judge.
I Don’t Believe In The Google Sandbox, Dragons or Unicorns…

I was browsing the Digital Point forums earlier, when I came across this quote:

“The Google Sandbox is something that people either believe or don’t believe. It usually means that within the first 6 months – 1 year you won’t get a lot of love from Google.”

I saw the quote shown above and I had a good laugh. Yes, many people believe in the existence of the Google Sandbox, and I am not one of those people. I place the “Google Sandbox” in the same category as the leprechaun… they both make a neat children’s story, but I see no truth in either.

What Is Google Love?

Google love is the imaginary “feeling” that Google has for the websites in its index. The more Google loves a website, the higher that website will rank in the Google search results.

No matter how many search results Google shows for a particular search term, Google will only show a maximum of 1,000 website listings in its search engine result pages (SERPs). However, few people, except nuts like me know that as you go to each consecutive page in Google’s SERPs, the actual number that Google is willing to show you gets smaller with each additional page visited.

For example, I just did a search on the keyword phrase “Google Love”. My default Google settings are set to 100 results. When I first typed the search phrase, Google showed 68,300,000 results, and Google shows me that I can look at ten pages of results. But, when I get to the tenth page in Google’s results, there are only three listings. Google only loves 903 web pages for the search term “Google Love”.

Google has told us that they attribute value to a web page, based on the number of inbound links that page might have. Google Love primarily comes from link popularity, which is derived from inbound links.

The Suggested Lifespan Of The Google Sandbox

I see the “sandbox” as being a term that some person working in SEO derived to explain why so many of his client’s new pages appeared in Google’s search results for about one month, before the pages disappeared into the deep recesses of the Google index.

In absence of a better explanation, some SEO person coined the term “Google Sandbox” to explain to his or her customers why a page disappears from the Google index and stays missing for months or years.

According to those who preach the Google Sandbox theory, the lifespan of the Sandbox is six months to one year. That is a lifetime when you are running an online business.

The Life Curve Of A Web Page

Google’s algorithms rely heavily on inbound links to determine the value of a web page. But a brand new web page has not had the opportuníty to attract any inbound links, because after all, it is a brand new web page. So Google gives new web pages the benefit of a doubt.

News stories are a good example of web pages that may very well be important to the world-at-large, but their importance cannot be determined by the number of inbound links available to that page.

As a result, all brand new web pages on the Internet are given an intrinsic value by Google, as if the pages housed a news story. But what was important thirty days ago, will not necessarily be important today. So news stories are given early value and then their value fades with time.

Once the news cycle is completed, the web page will slide down to where it deserves to be according to the normal Google algorithms. This often means that a new web page will disappear into Google oblivion (or the theoretical Google Sandbox), if after 30 days the page has not generated any link popularity of its own.

After The News Cycle, All Normal Rules Apply

We have all heard it before. The way to get a web page to rank in Google is to build link popularity for the web page.

And how do you build link popularity for a web page? Build inbound links to that web page, of course.

Once the news cycle is done, a new web page must compete with every other web page, based on Google’s normal algorithm.

What If A Page Could Develop Link Popularity In 30 Days?

What if you were able to build inbound links and therefore link popularity for a web page, before the news cycle runs out? That would be a twist, wouldn’t it?

Personally, I know for a fact that if you can build link popularity on a page, within the news cycle window, that this new page will not fall into the dreaded and mythical Google Sandbox. The page will not fall into the Google Sandbox at the end of the news cycle, because the page will have already accrued some link popularity within Google’s primary algorithm.

You Are The Master Of Your Domain

As the master of your domain, you get to choose how long a page is sandboxed. Most people don’t realize they have that kind of control, but with smart link building, one can prevent a web page from entering the sandbox. Or, if the web page does slip into the sandbox, the smart online marketer can bring a web page out of the mythical sandbox in days or weeks, instead of months or years. The beauty of this truth is that you define the time line for when a web page exits the sandbox, not Google.

I Boast That I Can Prove It To You

I built a new page 16 days ago (June 10th, 2008) that is holding page one results in Google against 200,000+ websites, with my
Now, one could argue that I am still in the news cycle for this web page, so in another two weeks, my page could disappear from the Google results. But, I have built so many inbound links to this page that I fully expect that when the news cycle is done, my page will remain outside of Google’s mythical sandbox.

I Challenge You To Test My Results

Test my proof by checking back here in a couple weeks, or even in four weeks or six. If I am right, you will be able to clíck this link to Google’s search results for the keyword phrase Blackhat Fish, and you will be able to see my page title on page one or two of Google’s search results: “Whitehat vs. Blackhat: Fish For Links or Die Trying”.

I say page one or page two of Google’s search results, because I would be surprised if I actually won the competition. However, if I am still in the top 20 results for the search key term after July 10, 2008, then I will have proved to you that anyone can beat the sandbox, if only they exercised the right strategy for escaping the sandbox ahead of the end of the news cycle.

I have actually pulled this off with three web pages in the last 60 days. The above listed example is just one of many examples I could show you as proof of concept here. But for brevity’s sake, I am only including the one example here.

In Conclusion…

You can accept my analysis as sound, or you can call me the fool. It does not matter to me which you choose. If you want to believe that the Google Sandbox really exists to thwart your online business, then more power to your fears.

For those of you who have found my words worthwhile, let’s meet next Saint Patrick’s’ Day to share a green beer and a laugh.

About The Author
Bill Platt has been providing article marketing to his clients since 2001 at: . He offers ghost writing and article distribution services. With lots of experience writing articles that attract publishers, readers, traffic and sales to his website, Bill wrote an ebook to share the secrets of his article marketing strategies at:
Read Bill’s blog at: .

Some Tips to Improve Slow Website Sales

I’ve seen it many times. A new entrepreneur is excited because their website just went live after weeks, or even months, of hard work. But the excitement doesn’t last long when they see that they have yet to make a sale. Or maybe they’ve only made one or two. They’re not covering their expenses, and they’re certainly not making enough to live on.

I make sure to tell them not to worry, because it’s happened to all of us. Especially with a new website. And there is an answer. Or, I should say, a few answers.

There are some steps you can follow to make sure you are doing everything right to maximize your sales. Look through the list below. If you can say definitively that you have taken all of these steps, then you should see a big increase in your sales. Here you go:

1. Make sure there is a market for what you’re selling

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about finding your online niche. If you did your research properly, you should have found a market that has a problem that you can provide an answer for. That’s probably the most important part of your business.

If you haven’t done the proper research yet, get started now. Use a keyword tool like Nichebot or Wordtracker to find what people are searching for online. And visit the forums to see what people are talking about and what problems they need to solve.

Don’t skip this step. It’s important that internet users are going to want what you’re selling or your whole business is lost before it even begins.

2. Make sure that you’re selling something that solves their problem

If you’ve found the right niche, then you should have some idea about what their main problems are. Do some research to find out what they need to solve that problem, then offer it to them. That’s the formula in a nutshell. Don’t let your product stray from the main topic. Solve their problem, and you’ll have success.

3. Make sure you’re getting enough traffic

It’s difficult to make a good decision about how effective your sales process is if you haven’t had enough traffic to your website yet. I recommend waiting until you’ve had at least 1,000 visitors. Anything less and you won’t really have enough data to work with. Be patient.

4. Find out where your traffic is coming from

It’s important that you are getting targeted visitors to your website. Make sure that if you’re using pay-per-click advertising you’re bidding only on words that are right for your market. If you’re selling cell phones, you don’t want visitors who are searching for land line phones for their office. Remember who your visitor is.

5. Test different headlines

Your headline is the first thing your visitors see on your site. Make sure it’s compelling and gets them to keep reading. How do you do that? Simply by testing different headlines and seeing which one works best.

You can do that by rewriting it every now and then and checking your stats, or you can split test your headlines using Google’s website optimizer. Website optimizer is part of your Google adwords account. If you don’t have an adwords account, you can get one free at a href=””>

6. Make sure your sales copy is effective

The last thing you want to do once you have a visitor reading your sales copy is to distract them with something that isn’t leading directly to a sale. In other words, leave out any links to other websites, forget about adsense and banner ads, and don’t start talking about things that don’t relate to your subject.

Concentrate on your sales message and proof elements, and dispelling any doubts they may have about giving you their money. This includes using testimonials if you have them, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and good strong sales copy that keeps them interested all the way through to your “buy now” button.

7. Test different price points

It’s hard to know what’s the right price for your item right off the bat. You may have it at the price you’re willing to pay, but that may not be the price everyone is willing to pay. A lot of people will expect to buy something in your market within a certain price range. If your price is too high, they’ll shop elsewhere. If your price is too low, yes too low, they might think that what you’re offering is of poor quality. You can answer this problem by simply trying out different prices to see what works best.

8. Make sure your order processing works properly and is easy to use

Test all of the links from your “add to cart” buttons all the way through to your “thank you” page. You can normally run a $0 test before you go live with most shopping cart and merchant account systems. Obviously, if your ordering system isn’t working right, you’re not going to see any sales.

Also, make sure that it’s easy to use. Get a friend to run through it for you. It may make perfect sense to you, but that doesn’t mean that it will for everyone. Let some other people try it out and see if they get stuck anywhere. Chances are good that if they do, then others will too. If everything isn’t as easy as possible to use, then some people will just leave rather than trying to figure it out.

There you go. Eight steps you can follow with your site to make sure that you are maximizing your sales. Just from my own experience, anytime I was able to say that I went through all of the steps above completely, I saw significant improvement, and found good success with my website. I believe that you will, too. Good luck.


About the Author: Mark Yarrobino is the president of Maroon Enterprises. One of their websites, Home Business Endeavors ( was created to help internet users find the right information about starting their home based business while avoiding online scams.

How To Build Backlinks via Google Alerts

Building backlinks is an essential, yet tedious job for most webmasters. Here are a few tools and tips to make that job just a little bit easier…

I am a member of many online forums. Most of these forums have to do with online marketing and site promotion. Recently, I came across a post on Ken Evoy’s SBI forum that truly caught my attention.

It basically described how to use Google Alerts to build your backlinks. Now for those not familiar with Google Alerts a little explanation is probably needed.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free program run by Google that allows you to keep track of any topic on the web. You select your “keywords” or “urls” and Google will alert you via email whenever links/ content containing your selected topics appear anywhere on the web.

It is an excellent way to keep informed about your domain or name. It is also perfect for keeping up-to-date on the latest information in your market niche or niches. It’s also a great way to find out what other people are saying about you or your site.

For example: if you have a site on “antique cars” then you would create a Google Alert for those keywords. Google will alert you by email whenever a new link/content related to those keywords appears on the web.

This is a great way to stay informed in your niche, but it is also a valuable source of potential linking partners. Many of those links are blogs that will allow comments with a link back to your site.

Google Alerts will probably send you 10-20 links each day, depending on the popularity of your chosen keywords. Just go to these blogs/links and see if you can leave a comment with some valuable additional information on what’s been discussed.

Don’t Spam

Please Note: Don’t spam; there are intelligent people behind most of these blogs, and they will recognize keyword spam when they see it. Your main goal should be getting targeted traffíc back to your site and any link PR should be secondary. Always put the reader or viewer first, especially if it’s on someone else’s site. Don’t talk about your site or your marketing – just join the conversation and add your comments/opinions/suggestions…

Enhance their site and they will reward you with traffic and a link. But you still have to keep your interests in the equation! You have to make sure you get your targeted keywords in the anchor text.

Keyword Market

First, if you’ve done your homework, your main keywords should already be in your domain name or url. Another way is to add your “keywords” + “guide” to your sig or signature. Such as: Name, Your Antique Cars Guide. If you’re an expert in your particular niche, many webmasters will kindly welcome your comments and links.

Since your main goal is the traffic, many webmasters don’t worry if there is a “no follow” attribute attached to the link. But if you are concerned about this – one way is to look at the source code to see if it has the “no follow” tag. I usually copy the whole source code of the page to my text editor and then do a simple “no follow” search.

No Follow

There is also a great little free comment tool called “Comment Kahuna” co-created by Jason Potash which will search blogs and tell you if they have the “no-follow” attribute or not, it will also give you the PageRank of each blog post. If you’re going to use blogs as a source of your backlinks, I suggest you try Comment Kahuna – it will make the task much easier and it’s free.

Actually, while the “no-follow” issue may be a concern for some webmasters, the savvy ones will realize these are links/sites Google is actively indexing and spidering, otherwise you wouldn’t get the alert in the first place. You must get your links into this whole mix of related, relevant sites to help raise your rankings. Also remember the other search engines may not even consider the “no-follow” tag.


Likewise, creating trackbacks are another way of linking relevant content. Keep in mind, a trackback is simply an acknowledgement via a ping signal that is sent from Site A (originator) to Site B (receptor). Then the receptor often places a link back to Site A showing its worthiness.

Again, I am mainly concerned with the quality of the blog or link, rather than the linking structure. I want the targeted traffíc, and it doesn’t really matter whether the link has “no follow” because interested visitors only see a link they can click for other helpful information.

Other Linking Options

Since we are on the topic of link building, another useful way to build backlinks is to use Google Search or Google Blog search. Now if you’re looking for niche-related blogs just type in:

“(Keywords)” “powered by (blog scripts)”

For example, if you’re looking for some “antique cars” related links on WordPress blogs, you would search for:

“antique cars” “powered by wordpress”

And Google would give you a whole líst of sites on antique cars.

Now if you want to find the links that will allow comments, just repeat the Google search with:

“antique cars” “powered by wordpress” “leave a comment” -“no comments”

Remember the “-” means posts that have no comments will not be displayed.

If you’re concerned with PageRank, Number of Backlinks, Alexa Ranking… of particular posts you can download and install the SEOQuake plugin. This handy SEO plugin can be attached to your browser and will give you helpful SEO information on the link or links you’re viewing.

Used in conjunction with Google, it can sort thru all these blog posts and give you the ones with the highest PR? Highest traffic? Highest number of backlinks? The more knowledge you have, the easier and more effective your link building will become.

Just remember, finding quality backlinks is probably the most tedious job for most webmasters. It takes time and it takes patience. By using Google Alerts you can have relevant keyword related links emailed to you each day. Use this information to help build your backlinks in relevant related niches. Do this consistently over a period of time and your site will get noticed and ranked higher.

About The Author
The author is a full-time online marketer who has numerous websites. For the latest web marketing tools try: Marketing Tools. Everyone is profiting from Google, find out how you can too! Google Cash File

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