Archive for the 'Online Marketing' Category

Top 7 Reasons Why Anyone Can Succeed as a ?How-To? Content Writer And Make Money Online

November 4th, 2010 by Bob Bly

Excerpted from my new book, How to Write and Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit.

1. It?s easy to get started in how-to writing: ?How-to writing provides a quicker, surer entry into publication than many other writing categories. Vast hordes dream of writing the Great
American Novel, but the group of writers who dream of writing the Great American Guide to Growing a Greener Lawn is a bit smaller.?

2. How-to writing pays extremely well: ?Some of the best-selling books of all time are how-to books. If you follow the plan in How to Write and Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit, I think you can realistically get to the $100,000 to $200,000 a year income level within 12 to 24 months.?

3. You don?t need to be the world?s greatest writer: ?To succeed as a how-to, do-it-yourself, or self-help author, you don?t have to be the next Shakespeare or even the next Stephen King. Can you explain something or teach a skill in a clear, organized, entertaining fashion? Then you can succeed as a how-to writer.?

4. You don?t need to be the leading guru in your field: ?You do not need to be the leading practitioner, scholar, or expert in your field to write a book about it. As noted by author and speaker Fred Gleeck, you only need know more about your subject than 90 percent of the people out there. ?Don?t worry about the other 10 percent; they?re not your market anyway,? says Fred.?

5. Whether you know it or not, you have unique knowledge to share with a paying audience: ?If you think you are not an expert in any subject, I doubt that?s really true. Every person has unique skills, training, and experiences. You are an ?expert? in your life and many of the things that make up your life.?

6. Even when information is free, demand for knowledge is high: ?Even in a world dominated by Google, the wisdom, knowledge, and guidance people are seeking are in short supply. As librarian Richard Yates once observed, ?We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.? As a result, the public?s appetite for how-to material is insatiable, and?despite the Internet user?s mantra that ?information should be free??readers eagerly open their wallets to obtain it.?

7. The guided step-by-step plan in How to Write and Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit shows you everything you need to do to be a success: ?By following the comprehensive plan laid out in this book, you can earn a comfortable six-figure annual income from your writing. And you can do it when and where you want, while writing what interests and pleases you. You can work at home?no boss, no commute, no suit and tie, no alarm clock.?

For more information visit:

www.bly.com/simpleinfo

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Category: Online Marketing, Writing, Writing and the Internet | 52 Comments »

Not All List Brokers Are Created Equal

June 28th, 2010 by Bob Bly

by, Brian Berg,President/CEO ? BB Direct, Inc

No two list brokers are the same. Yes, they are all compensated by earning a commission in the form of a discount for their data, but not all list brokers live up to the compensation they receive. Many provide little more than a list industry vocabulary. A good mailing list broker starts with an account summary of previous campaign successes and low or no response. They attempt to involve the mailer in the process of target audience selection and how their list recommendation is developed. Ultimately, they attempt to improve response and response measurement, as well as reducing cost.

Often asked, ?Why utilize a mailing list broker when you can go direct to the source?? The answer to this question can be found in the flexibility provided by a list broker. A good mailing list broker can access many sources of data, put the ?target-ability? of the list before cost, and properly set the expectations of the mailer in terms of deliverability and response.

Mailers that go direct to the database compiler should expect to pay a standard retail price point that?s higher than what you?d pay with a broker. But even more so, going directly to the database source will limit their options. Owners of the database will only sell their own data while brokers will have options. And since no two databases are the same, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a particular database is a quality that good list broker can deliver.

When shopping for a mailing list, it only makes sense to get more than one quote. Like anything you shop for, consider experience within your industry, price, and general ?gut? feeling about the broker/consultant. Ask for references and call those references. The time put into this type of research will always return favorable results. The importance of partnering with a good mailing list broker is vital to the direct mail investment and the return on that investment.

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Category: Online Marketing | 4 Comments »

What to Charge for Webinars and Teleseminars

February 15th, 2010 by Bob Bly

Like you, I get a lot of invitations to attend teleseminars and webinars, and lately, I’ve been paying more attention to the price.

The cost to attend those events for which there is a registration fee (many are free) seems to range from $19 on the low end to $149 at the high end. Length is either 60 or 90 minutes.

As a tightwad consumer, I prefer free or $19. But many customers are gladly shelling out $49 to $79 and occasionally more.

Topic doesn’t seem to be critical, as I recently saw two different promoters charge widely different pricing ($29 vs. $149) for the same topic (for a marketing oriented webinar)!

As a marketer, what do you charge for your teleseminars and webinars — and why?

As a consumer, what price are you willing to pay?

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Category: Online Marketing | 21 Comments »

Is Joe Pulizzi Nuts?

February 12th, 2010 by Bob Bly

I admire Joe Pulizzi, but his latest article about succeeding as a freelancer leaves me wondering if he’s lost his marbles.

In it, Joe says, “I don’t hire any freelancer that doesn’t blog.”

Huh?

He goes on: “Understanding what it takes to create a successful blog, learn the value of social sharing, and be able to define ideas succinctly is a must have for any marketer.”

What about the ability to be persuasive, increase response rates, and generate more sales and revenues?

If you are a freelancer who doesn’t blog (or even if you do), do you agree with Joe that a freelancer who does not blog is out of touch?

If you hire freelancers (like I do for my online publishing business), do you insist that they have a blog? If not, what DO you look for?

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Category: Online Marketing | 24 Comments »

Social Media Consultants Selling “Snake Oil”?

December 6th, 2009 by Bob Bly

“Beware social media snake oil,” warns Stephen Baker in an article in Business Week (12/3/09).

According to the article, the benefits of social media are often nebulous — and the cost, contrary to what social media consultants and gurus claim, are far from zero.

“Employees encouraged to tap social networking sites can fritter away hours or worse, they can spill company secrets or harm corporate relationships by denigrating partners.”

As for social media consultants and gurus, Baker insists that “many are leading clients astray … [as] success is defined more often by number of Twitter followers, blog mentions, or YouTube hits than by traditional measures such as return on investment.”

Ironically, when asked for case studies to prove the effectiveness of social media, some of these consultants point to their own self-promotion rather than client success stories, which are few and far between. (That’s like me showing my own self-promotion sales letter for my copywriting services as my copywriting sample.)

Finally, says Baker, social networking does not make sense for every company.

Example: in the defense industry (where I once worked), where much of the revenue comes from the Department of Defense (DoD). Baker suggests the privacy-obsessed Pentagon “may not be thrilled with a supplier publicizing itself through Twitter.”

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Category: Online Marketing | 33 Comments »

Has Social Media Transformed Your Life?

October 31st, 2009 by Bob Bly

The subtitle of Erik Qualman’s new book “Socialnomics” states that “social media transforms the way we live and do business.”

Really?

I can’t think of a single way in which social media has transformed my life or my business.

Has it transformed yours?

Qualman says that social media is the new inbox.

For me, my e-mail inbox is the new inbox.

He also says that “Are you on Facebook?” has become the equivalent to “May I have your phone number?”

When I deal with clients, customers, vendors, and prospects, I ask for their phone number and e-mail address.

I don’t ask whether they are on Facebook.

How about you?

Source: Target Marketing, 11/09, p. 14.

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Category: Online Marketing | 29 Comments »

Best Fonts for the Web?

October 21st, 2009 by Bob Bly

You always read the old rule ?use serif type which is easier to read than sans serif.?

That may be true in print but it?s not online.

Reason: the lower resolution of the screen vs. print renders serif imperfectly, making it less attractive and more difficult than sans serif to read.

With that in mind, here are the best fonts for online marketing:

>> For e-mail marketing messages, use either 12-point Arial or Verdana.

>> Do not use Times Roman for web pages ? it?s a serif type and difficult to read online.

>> Recommended typefaces for web sites include Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, and other popular san serif fonts.

>> If your web pages are too light to read on screen or when printed, use a boldface font like Helvetica Bold Condensed.

>> The most common error in web page design is using too small a type size. Use at least 12-point type. Even 16-point won?t look awkward, and larger is easier to read than smaller.

>> For web page headlines, use Arial Bold in 2 or more point sizes larger than the body copy.

Do you have other fonts you like better? Or disagree with any of the above?

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Category: Online Marketing | 36 Comments »

How to Measure Social Media Effectiveness

October 16th, 2009 by Bob Bly

An article in SIPA Hotline (10/16/09) suggests that a way to measure the effectiveness of social media is to track certain metrics before, during, and after the social media campaign.

The metrics to be measured can include:

>> Traffic to web site and blog.
>> Number of brand impressions per month.
>> Percentage of content clicked through.
>> Percantage increase in site-return visitors.
>> Percentage increase in followers or fans per month.

It also recommends monitoring what is said about your company on social networking sites using a new service called filtrbox (www.filtrbox.com) and responding to negative comments to correct perception.

Make sense?

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Category: Online Marketing | 14 Comments »