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Old 1st December 2005, 01:44 PM   #11
SpongeBob13
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Default Sure - a T-Shirt expert would have done a better job then Jenn

Rather a T-Shirt expert set up an Online Site, Or a SEO expert? Isn’t that what we’re asking?

How much help does a startup need from a SEO - Alot!!! In fact, I'll retrofit a SEO to any industry rather then dream of taking a industry expert and tossing him/her online.

As you read on, what T-Shirt expert would have done what was done with ‘Thelactivist’?

Furthermore, what T-Shirt expert would have the resources that were used with ‘Thelactivist’? For some of us, those options don’t exist.

Finally, ‘content’ heretofore has included the product itself. What about those who’s content isn’t quite as glittery, or isn’t a novelty item?

Jenn I realize we are pushing the scope of your ‘30 day exercise’. However, for the exercise to be ‘real’ for situations similar to mine (am I alone here?), certain questions beg to be answered.

Rather then beat around the bush, I’ll offer up my current business situation as an example of the naiveté of the T-Shirt expert – ME! I don’t deal in T-Shirts, I deal in selling software, thus there are other challenges which are noted.

***My business is www.Online-Poker-Tools.com and live information on the website is available here... www.Online-Poker-Tools.com/lactavist.asp. No the site is not a gambling site! The site provides tools that help people learn and play better Poker

SEO Tactic - Café Express Association

‘Thelactivist’ learning - Associate with established e-store.
Online Poker Tools application - ? Unaware of any similar arrangement available.

SEO Strategy – Back-links

‘Thelactivist’ learning
Buzz is buzz and buzz is good. “People link to our site because they like what we have to offer” Dutch marketing related websites linked to a T-shirt website is good. Small Business development websites linked to a T-shirt website is good. The Google algorithm understands that these are relavent links?
Online Poker Tools application
Given a product with less buzz, what should be done? No buzz, no good. Should we have faith in the Google algorithm understanding that most of the software being sold is written in C+ language, therefore a link from Microsoft is okay? I realize this is an extreme example, but with the penalty of the ‘Sandbox’ hanging over heads, where is this line?

SEO Tactic – Soliciting Links

Thelactivist’ learning
“Throughout this entire project I’ve asked for a total of two links. The first was the link from Jason Dowdell at Marketing Shift. The second was from a friend that used to run a blog”
Online Poker Tools application
“sending out zillions of requests for reciprocal links is unlikely to do you any good.”. Could you recommend any link strategy? Sadly, I do not have any friends relatives, aquantainces that have a GPR > 0

NOTE - Online Poker Tools heretofore has attempted to solicit approx. 500 back links from within the industry. This has resulted in approx. 6 or so good back links. Of these back-links, only one has registered in Google in 3 months.

SEO Strategy – Viral Marketing

‘Thelactivist’ learning
“It’s the viral marketing efforts that have really launched this project. It’s the half dozen parenting forums where someone that’s visited to the site made a post about it, or the parenting blogs that have started adding The Lactivist to their blogrolls…”
Online Poker Tools application
We’ve installed a BLOG and will be blogging to death. If BLOGs be the way of the world so be it. If I have to wade through pictures of Matt Cutts in his Halloween costume to get business, I'll do it! Now, if you you get Online Poker Tools on the Blogs in your MS’s Living circle…( ) Seriously, any thoughts on purchasing ‘Viral Marketing’?

SEO Strategy – Viral Marketing

‘Thelactivist’ learning
Utilize AdSense to generate cash flow.
Online Poker Tools application
Been rejected by Google’s AdSense program. Reason – gambling content. (sidebar – We wrote and told them that all content is Poker related and Poker educational, which is true, they stated,in sum-they don’t care. Also, if you do a Google search on Poker, you will find plenty of ‘Sponsored ads’. Their explanation is they were pre-existing in the system and are looking to remove them. Honestly. this is difficult to stomach. Poker 'Sponsored ads' have grown in number since Online Poker Tools applied!)

SEO Strategy- Keywords

‘Thelactivist’ learning
“Heck, the title tag of every page was still showing as “the lactivist” up until this afternoon. Is that proof enough that SEO really has been a secondary part of this process? And to note…while I’ll throw meta tags up just to have them there, they are far from the secret to search engine marketing success. I’ve never had a problem getting great rankings without them. (note…I mean keyword tags, not the title tag…title tag = moocho important!)”
Online Poker Tools application - This is quite stunning. In fact I need to break format to discuss this

A phenomenon exists amongst those in the know and those that aren’t in the know. For example, I happen to know Excel spreadsheets pretty good. Last week someone asked me how to sum up a string of numbers. In about two seconds I had remedied a problem they had worked on for two hours. What’s the point? The point is, you need un-told SEO experience to proceed as you state with no concern to Keywords?

Now, since you’re extremely more versed in SEO decisions, does that mean the time non-experts spend on these areas is not SEO time. Does this mean the week or month that we spend researching keywords, researching KEI, visiting NicheBot, daily visits checking rank on keywords ( not ranked for ‘online poker tools’ on Google for one year now… yeah, go figure,… and look at the ‘content’ of the listings that come up… sad) is time wasted?

Could you clarify ‘thelactivist’ strategy on keywords?

In sum, I would rather have Jenn, amateur Novelty T-Shirt businessperson / Expert SEO create an Online Novelty T-Shirt business then vice versa. By default, this means an Online Startup needs a lot of SEO help.

Does anyone agree?

I am personally vested in this. As mentioned I have labored long for little results. Fact - Online Poker Tools is the only site on the web that reviews over dozens of Online Poker Tools. However, do a search with the keyword ‘online poker tools’ in Google, and tell me what you see. I need to invest my time in more content? It's been this way for nearly a year. Please do educate me…Google, Matt Cutts, industry - I understand you’d like content to be king. From my view, for reasons explained here, it just ain’t so

This T-Shirt expert appreciates your time. Thank you.

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Old 1st December 2005, 11:27 PM   #12
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Rather a T-Shirt expert set up an Online Site, Or a SEO expert? Isn’t that what we’re asking?
As I've said, no one is denying the fact that if you take a marketing expert and set them to task at starting a business, they are going to have success faster than someone that knows nothing about marketing. I guess I don't see why this is an issue.

The whole point of this experiment was to help people learn how to market their business. Notice that these articles aren't about taking care of inventory or hiring staff of even getting a merchant's account. There are plenty of other folks that tell you how to do that. These article are being written by a marketing person to help people that don't know anything about marketing. Again, I ask how that makes this experiment any less valid.

Quote:
How much help does a startup need from a SEO - Alot!!! In fact, I'll retrofit a SEO to any industry rather then dream of taking a industry expert and tossing him/her online.
I dunno, lots of companies out there making a go of it without SEOs.. there's no denying the value of SEM knowledge, but I also think you undercut the ingenuity displayed by most entrepreneurs by claiming that they could never make a go if it on their own. That's just not true.

Quote:
As you read on, what T-Shirt expert would have done what was done with ‘Thelactivist’? Furthermore, what T-Shirt expert would have the resources that were used with ‘Thelactivist’?
Again, I'm not sure I understand your point with this... Do you want to read an article series about someone that doesn't know what they are doing? Would that someone make for a more valuable resource? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I'm trying to understand why you want so badly for me to admit that this whole project is completely and utterly flawed and unrealistic.

Quote:
Jenn I realize we are pushing the scope of your ‘30 day exercise’. However, for the exercise to be ‘real’ for situations similar to mine (am I alone here?), certain questions beg to be answered.
Yes, but I have answered them. I've explained several times that it's my belief that if you want to start a business from nothing, you simply HAVE to pick a niche idea that you know enough about to be able to succeed through things like viral marketing. Why does that make it 'unreal'? I didn't tell you to start the business that you did...you made that choice yourself.

You've chosen a VERY competitive industry. That's going to make it really hard to compete, even if you have solid marketing knowledge. (and I don't know if you do.) I'm an SEM with about five years of experience. I've got about 10 years of experience as an online marketer...yet when I decided to setup a business, I picked a VERY niche area that I knew I had a great shot at being successful in. Don't you think there's a reason for that?

Quote:
SEO Tactic - Café Express Association
Online Poker Tools application - ? Unaware of any similar arrangement available.
Maybe this is the point at which I need to make it very clear that the article series serves as a learning GUIDE that seeks to offer up general concepts in how to market your business. It is not meant to be followed as a step-by-step Bible of online business success. Marketing is an art, not a science. What works for me isn't going to work for you unless you put your own relevant spin on it.

Quote:
SEO Strategy – Back-links
Given a product with less buzz, what should be done? ... with the penalty of the ‘Sandbox’ hanging over heads, where is this line?
The penalty of the sandbox eh... I dunno, TheLactivist.com showed up in Google a week after it went live. It even ranks for some phrases. Nothing competitive yet, but then, I never even added Title tags to the site because I didn't expect it to be spider for another week or two and I hadn't had time. Doesn't sound like a site caught in a sandbox to me.

That doesn't mean that I don't think the sandbox exists in some manner, but it does show that a brand new site can still get traffic from Google.

As for buzz and back links... How popular is poker right now? Umm...pretty darn popular. Are you telling me that there are no discussion forums that you can take the time to build a reputation on? No blogs that you can associate with? No online community to tap into? If so, I honestly don't buy it.

Quote:
SEO Tactic – Soliciting Links
NOTE - Online Poker Tools heretofore has attempted to solicit approx. 500 back links from within the industry. This has resulted in approx. 6 or so good back links. Of these back-links, only one has registered in Google in 3 months.
So quit trying to solicit backlinks. Do some work to make people WANT to link to you. Create a blog and fill it with great content. I've already got TheLactivist showing up on half a dozen blogrolls...people found it via blog search engines or parenting discussion forums. All it takes is one link to get the ball rolling...

Build and offer some free tools, or a catchy game and use that to get people to start linking to you. Write some how-to articles and submit them to the article archive sites like goarticles.com.

You just need to get creative. Stop asking for links and focus on EARNING them.

Quote:
SEO Strategy – Viral Marketing
We’ve installed a BLOG and will be blogging to death.If I have to wade through pictures of Matt Cutts in his Halloween costume to get business, I'll do it!
What does Matt Cutts in a Halloween costume have to do with getting business? Blog about things that matter to you, that matter to your business that matter to your target audience. They'll find you. For instance, when I did the post about the guy who compared breastfeeding in public to masturbating in public...I picked up some nice traffic. It was a post that was interesting to my target audience and it was a great chance to link them to the breastfeeding in public shirts that I sell. You just have to take that same content and put it to work for you.

Don't think that simply blogging is going to do it. Blogging is not some magical tool that sends customers flocking to your site. It's like any other tool...it's how you use it that will determine whether or not it works.

Quote:
SEO Strategy – Viral Marketing
Online Poker Tools application –
Been rejected by Google’s AdSense program. Reason – gambling content.
Obviously can't help you there. Again, you can't expect to duplicate every single thing I do and have it magically work for your business. Instead, you have to take what you can and leave the rest. If I honestly thought I was writing a how-to guide that would guarantee profitability to every company that followed my pattern, I'd be charging a lot more than "free" to access the articles.

Quote:
SEO Strategy- Keywords
Now, since you’re extremely more versed in SEO decisions, does that mean the time non-experts spend on these areas is not SEO time. Does this mean the week or month that we spend researching keywords, researching KEI, visiting NicheBot, daily visits checking rank on keywords ( not ranked for ‘online poker tools’ on Google for one year now… yeah, go figure,… and look at the ‘content’ of the listings that come up… sad) is time wasted?
Why are you checking rankings? You'll know when the rankings appear because you'll start getting traffic. The only rankings I ever check are the ones I see when I follow a referrer in my stats.

"Hey look...I'm getting a lot of traffic for "breastfeeding clothes" in Google. Well what do you know! I rank #5, cool!"

or...

"Hmm...milk banks has actually sent some traffic from MSN. Let's see what variations of that get searched. Wow! "human milk bank" gets searched five times more than plain old "milk banks" Let's check...nope, I don't rank for that. Ok, let's go edit the site to use "human milk bank" instead of "milk banks. No need to check rankings after that, I'll know when the rankings show up because traffic will start showing up."

Seriously...throw away the rank checkers. Watch your stats instead. They'll tell you SO much more.

[quote]Could you clarify ‘thelactivist’ strategy on keywords?[quote]

I think I mostly did above...but if you have more specific questions, please clarify.

Quote:
In sum, I would rather have Jenn, amateur Novelty T-Shirt businessperson / Expert SEO create an Online Novelty T-Shirt business then vice versa. By default, this means an Online Startup needs a lot of SEO help. Does anyone agree?
Hmm...who is this "Jenn" person that you speak of? Only person I see around here is "Jen." (Don't let "thejenn" fool you...it's Jen with one "n"...

I digress... If you are talking about an online business that is being run through some type of affiliate system, then yes, I'd take an SEO expert any day. That's why so many of the really skilled SEO folks have stopped working for clients and make a fantastic living running affiliate sites.

But that's not who this series is for. This series aims to give people like you a look into the way that people like me would try to launch a business. The hope is that this series will help people learn something...that it will inspire them and that it will spark discussion and debate within the community. Thus far...it appears to be doing all three.

I can't make your business be successful...I can only offer up my experience and my advice on things that have worked for ME and hope that you can find some way to apply them.

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Old 2nd December 2005, 04:44 AM   #13
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Default We Agree

Jen - (or 'theJenn')

A Recap?

There is no doubt an attempt has been made to stretch your '30 day' exercise learnings to apply to other business situations.

"The whole point of this experiment was to help people learn how to market their business. "

The stretch was/is an attempt to take the learnings and challenge them where

1) The product in itself does not create 'buzz'.
2) The industry is more competitive then a niche or cottage.
3) Prior internet connections (BLOG contacts, or high GPR contacts) were unavailable.


Agree?

1) Viral marketing is essential. Viral marketing is BLOGging. Connect your BLOG to popular BLOGs thus your popularity increases.
2) Pick a product that is unique or quirky. This will provide un-told buzz which brings business.
3) If an event can be made out of the process, thus creating more buzz, great, do it.
4) Links from high Goggle PGR are important.

Maybe Agree?

1) The more competitive the environment, the less prior internet connections (BLOG contacts, High PGR contacts), the more essential a SEO is. (my view, I'll take an SEO anywhere, anytime).

Questions still remaining(admittedly beyond the scope of the original exercise)

Where product 'buzz' is less apparant, given less Internet contacts (BLOG/High GPR)

1) How do you get back links? Should one concern themselves about the relevancy of the back links? (theLactivist relys on un-solicited back links, not greatly concerned with relavency)
2) How important is keyword? (theLactivist is not concerned with keyword, at least not in the early stage)
3) Viral Marketing impact is related to the 'buzz' of the product or an event surrounding the product. Given lack of buzz, how can Viral Marketing be used? Should Viral Marketing be bought? (theLactivist has good buzz)
4) What do you do when your site is Ranked 1 on MSN, but not Ranked at all on Google, for close to a year? (theLactivist on day 15 or something, give em a chance, will ya!)

A solution! When your done with these 30 days, you can start a new series entitled '30 days to increase hits 10 fold in a competitive situation'. '30 days to increase GPR when none of your friends have GPR'.


Necessary points of clarification -

1) Online Poker Tools is a niche business. Albiet, it hangs in a very competitive industry.
2) Online Poker Tools has no known competition. However, this may be suspect, since Google searching brings totally irrelevant results!
3) Online Poker Tools GPR is still 1, and hits are still 40 a day. I am still going to spend my time wearing an SEO hat. Content is irrelevant based on current content compared to competition. I will be seeking answers to questions 1-3 above.
4) Online Poker Tools visits 6 of the most popular Poker forums on a weekly basis. Dodging bottles labeled 'spam', we try to make twice weekly posts.
5) In the last post, affiliate is downstream of getting hits, thus, irrelevant to the discussion here.
6) Matt Cutts in a halloween costume was from a moment I had. The moment was about 3 am, looking for ways to get Google recognized. I found Matt Cutts BLOG. I worked my way through pictures of his Halloween costume - a middle aged man brandishing a sword or something. I asked myself, 'what am I doing'?
7) My voyage for answers continues. From middle aged men in pirates costumes, to lactating lassie t-shirts,... where next... where are the answers... off I go!

For anyone who's made it this far... a rant! I think I am entitled, if you don't think so, don't read on. Ah, rant supressed.

Thanks for your time.

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Old 2nd December 2005, 08:22 AM   #14
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1) Viral marketing is essential. Viral marketing is BLOGging. Connect your BLOG to popular BLOGs thus your popularity increases.
Viral marketing is NOT blogging. Viral Marketing is nothing more than a fancy way of naming the phenomenon of having other people talk about your business.

Viral marketing CAN be blogging.
Viral marketing CAN be having an awesome commercial that people forward via email
Viral marketing CAN be a unique giveaway
Viral marketing CAN be a satisfied customer that tells two friends
Viral marketing is public relations and branding on steroids.

Quote:
2) Pick a product that is unique or quirky. This will provide un-told buzz which brings business.
Perhaps. The buzz doesn't come just because the product is quirky. There are other CafePress stores that sell pro-breastfeeding shirts. The buzz comes from how you present it. I've since found a few other shirts selling "boob man" shirts. Great! I'm not original, that's no surprise. But I haven't found other sites that have the variation in shirts, or some of the slogans (nip/suck, milk jugs) slogans that I do and I've yet to find one that has a daily updated blog to go with it. Thus, buzz can come from HOW you do something.

Quote:
3) If an event can be made out of the process, thus creating more buzz, great, do it.
Agreed.

Quote:
4) Links from high Goggle PGR are important.
I disagree. See previous posts. I'll take a link from a mother's discussion forum with a PR3 over a PR9 link from a business journal any day. I'll say this one last time, then I'm done with this topic.

SEEK LINKS FOR THE TRAFFIC THEY CAN SEND. NOT FOR THE PR.

Quote:
1) The more competitive the environment, the less prior Internet connections (BLOG contacts, High PGR contacts), the more essential a SEO is. (my view, I'll take an SEO anywhere, anytime).
Perhaps. But again...there are many, many, MANY successful businesses out there that have no idea of what SEM is. They're doing just fine. Doesn't mean they couldn't to better...but it does show that you CAN run a business without SEM, the same way that you can run one without Public Relations or a Marketing staff.

Quote:
1) How do you get back links? Should one concern themselves about the relevancy of the back links? (TheLactivist relys on un-solicited back links, not greatly concerned with relevancy)
2) How important is keyword? (TheLactivist is not concerned with keyword, at least not in the early stage)
I'd like to suggest a few articles that you might find helpful:
The Number One Rule of Search Engine Optimization - http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/004379.html
The Number One Rule of Pay Per Click - http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/004414.html
Incoming Links Aren't Hard to Come By With the Right Content - http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/003482.html


Quote:
3) Viral Marketing impact is related to the 'buzz' of the product or an event surrounding the product. Given lack of buzz, how can Viral Marketing be used? Should Viral Marketing be bought?
Some would say that if you are trying to buy viral marketing, you don't understand viral marketing. I think that I'd probably agree with them.

You can buy the "stuff" that starts viral marketing, but you can't buy the viral part of it. For example...

Gap paid big money for those "Khaki's Swing," "Khaki's Rock," "Khaki's Boogie" commercials a few years back. BIG money. But, they may have never dreamed that they'd set off a resurgence of swing music and generate buzz that had people seeking out the commercials to watch.

Burger King paid good money for their Subservient Chicken web site, but they never could have paid for the gazillion emails and "have you see the?" comments that every day people sent or said.

This is where I'm just not sure that you understand what I mean when I say viral marketing. You are close with buzz... but I'm just not sure I'm making it clear enough that viral marketing is something that you "aim for" not something that you can DO.

Quote:
4) What do you do when your site is Ranked 1 on MSN, but not Ranked at all on Google, for close to a year?
You thank your lucky stars that almost half of the people online use a search engine other than Google!

Seriously though...do NOT let the success of your business rest on a Google ranking. That's just bad business practice. You've got to diversify. If your search engine traffic stopped tomorrow, could you stay afloat? If not, then you need to work on broadening your base.

Seriously.

Several years ago when the infamous Florida update hit Google...people went out of business left and right. Why? Because they put all of their eggs in one basket. They got so used to the free traffic coming in from Google that they got lazy. You can't be lazy and be a business owner. (If you want to be lazy you have to work for someone else...)

You need to be setting up multiple channels to drive customers to your site. That's why TheLactivist doesn't focus on SEO. As I see it, here are my current channels for the site along with a list of upcoming ones that I hope to add...

1.) Search Engine Advertising (Google AdWords and soon, Yahoo! Search Marketing)
2.) Search Engine Optimization
3.) Link Building
4.) Viral Marketing (perfect strangers marketing the site)
5.) Networking (LaLecheLeague, Milk Bank Donors, Friends and Family...this differs from viral marketing because they are people that I am having personal contact with...thus I'm driving the networking, not strangers...)
6.) Event Sales (There are some upcoming conferences for Lactation Consultants, I'm looking into getting a booth and taking some shirts there to sell.)
7.) Newsletter (I've got a newsletter sign-up box on the CafePress store, though I haven't really promoted it yet. Looking to get a list setup before too long so that I can send once a month newsletters.)
8.) Blogging
9.) Public Relations (working on releases that target parenting and pregnancy magazines)

It's like running a consulting firm and having one client make up 90% of your business. Sure, some people do it and have no problem, but it would scare the bejezzus out of me. I never wanted to have more than 10 or 15% of my income showing up from one client, because sometimes you lose clients. Why would you set yourself up to fail if that happens?

Quote:
A solution! When your done with these 30 days, you can start a new series entitled '30 days to increase hits 10 fold in a competitive situation'. '30 days to increase GPR when none of your friends have GPR'.
LOL. Not a solution. I could care less if my "hits increase 10 fold" or if I "increase my GPR."

What I care about is increasing my sales. You seem to think that if you do the above, your sales will go up. That's not really how it works. (sometimes it works that way, but not always.)

You seem to be hung up on SEO as a way to generate a TON of traffic and you seem to believe that a TON of traffic will help you make lots of money. That's not how SEO works.

You have chosen to start a business in an industry so competitive that it is overrun with scammers and spammers. That's not something that I can help you with. In fact, if you called me and asked me to consult for your business, I'd tell you no. I don't "play" in those areas because I'm neither willing, nor skilled enough to spam to the levels required to rank a site in that industry.

Think about it like this...you could be an amazing singer...I mean just fabulous...and NEVER get a record deal. Why? Because the industry is so competitive that the true talent doesn't always rise to the top. That's just the way it is. The same goes for anything related to gambling or poker and web sites. Me writing my little old article series isn't going to change that.

Quote:
I think I am entitled...
...and in my opinion and with no malice intended...that seems to be your biggest problem. No one owes you anything.

Life entitles you to "a chance." It doesn't entitle you to success.

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Old 2nd December 2005, 08:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by thejenn

...and in my opinion and with no malice intended...that seems to be your biggest problem. No one owes you anything.

Life entitles you to "a chance." It doesn't entitle you to success.
Cmon Jen. You've got people out there who have spent 6 months sweating out getting 40 uniques a day. Up pops someone who gets that much in 8 days with no money. Geez.

Why do these discussions always degenerate

I do agree, no one owes me anything.

And I don't get involved in flame drills.

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Old 2nd December 2005, 10:09 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SpongeBob13
2) How important is keyword? (theLactivist is not concerned with keyword, at least not in the early stage)
Actually, if you go back you'll see that she is concerned with researching/monitoring keywords and phrases that are important to her audience.

Don't confuse not being concerned with immediately putting up Meta Keyword tags with not being concerned with keywords.

Meta Keyword Tags = Not so important.
Researching/Monitoring Relevant Keywords and Terms = Very important.

Quote:
4) Online Poker Tools visits 6 of the most popular Poker forums on a weekly basis. Dodging bottles labeled 'spam', we try to make twice weekly posts.
This sent up a red flag for me because I'm not sure I was clear about what I meant by using forums to further the awareness of your site.

Go to relevant forums that allow you to have a signature file like we do here. Don't directly promote your site in any of your posts. Instead, be there welcoming newcomers, answer questions about becoming a better poker player, give tips on the best places to stay in Vegas, let people know when another casino is having a special, etc, etc.

You shouldn't ever have to dodge bottles labeled 'spam' because all you should be doing is helping the visitors at these forums.

Every time you help someone, you get a chance to have your site appear in your signature file with that post.

Visitors will come to respect and appreciate your opinions and the forum owners will love having you around for the time you put in supporting the community.

(Oh, before I forget, I made the link to your site live in your signature file. This gives me a change to remind everyone that instruction on adding a signature file can be found here:http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/fo...hread.php?t=56 )

Quote:
5) In the last post, affiliate is downstream of getting hits, thus, irrelevant to the discussion here.
Even if you don't have a product and run strictly an information site, you can have an affiliate program. We do. It's yet another tool to build awareness of your site with people who have never heard of you. Set up an affiliate program for your site through http://www.linkconnector.com/ and pay a few cents for each visitor a site refers.

This will increase your links in a couple of ways. First, linkconnector will submit your site to all of the affiliate directories you may not be aware of. There are a bunch.

Second, there a plenty of small sites that monitor those directories and will find you and link to you for the chance to earn a few cents a visitor. All of these little links can and will add up over time.

Don't be concerned whether or not these links show up as backlinks on Google or any other search engine. Instead look at these links as another way to bring qualified traffic to your site.

Heck, even the mighty Google had an affiliate program in the early days. You could place their search box on your site and they'd pay 3 cents per search. (maybe 2 cents, it's been a long time) The point is, for a few cents a pop, plenty of people were willing to provide that link.[/quote]

Quote:
Originally Posted by thejenn
Hmm...who is this "Jenn" person that you speak of? Only person I see around here is "Jen." (Don't let "thejenn" fool you...it's Jen with one "n"...
LOL, don't feel bad Chris, I didn't know that either. Sorry about that Jenn, er, Jen.

Quote:
Cmon Jen. You've got people out there who have spent 6 months sweating out getting 40 uniques a day. Up pops someone who gets that much in 8 days with no money. Geez.

Why do these discussions always degenerate

And I don't get involved in flame drills.
Chris, she didn't mean that as a flame (not allowed here) or any type of personal attack. The discussion isn't degenerating and it's been really productive thus far.

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Old 2nd December 2005, 10:20 AM   #17
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Cmon Jen. You've got people out there who have spent 6 months sweating out getting 40 uniques a day. Up pops someone who gets that much in 8 days with no money. Geez.
As Robert said, no malice or flaming intended. Just trying to make sure you (and anyone else reading this) is being realistic.

I understand that you don't think it's realistic to get that much traffic in 8 days, but it DOES happen. My blog? The Lactivist Blog? It's getting that many hits a day just from blog search and getting on the blogrolls of other parenting blogs. Those links and that traffic have nothing to do with my "industry connections."

I understand your frustration. Really I do. Keep in mind that I've dedicated about 30 hours a week (on top of being a work at home mom that edits Search Engine Guide and being in process of selling my house) to building this business. In exchange for that, I've earned a whopping $120.

$120. Divided by 60 hours? Not exactly something to write home about. But it's a start...and it could grow into something more.

I'm trying to help you, I'm sorry if I've offended you. I hope that you'll continue to learn and participate here.

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Old 7th December 2005, 08:30 AM   #18
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I just have to jump in here. I've found this debate almost as interesting as the experiment.

I just have three points:

1) Traffic - Although the "experts" discount the industry exposure as non-targeted traffic, I think it has a substantial amount to do with the quick success of the site. I'm a prime example. I read about the experiment and visited the sites, never intending to buy. However, Christmas is coming and I started thinking it might make a cute gift for my breastfeeding SIL (or her 20+lb 5mo). So now I'm a potential customer, even though you're discounting me as non-targeted traffic.

That being said, I believe Jen herself, separate from "her name" or reputation, is what is making the site such a success. Here's why:

2) Her personality. She has the self-confidence to put herself out there. She's confident she'll succeed when too many others don't even try because of fear of failure. (ex. partnering with the Ohio milk bank and doing a fundraising event, etc) She also has incredible drive and energy. She seems to get more done in a part-time day than most people do in a full-time week.

3) Her experience. She has 10 yrs of experience thinking "out-of-box" for marketing ideas. She calmly says the only limit to marketing is your imagination. I think she fails to realize that her imagination in this field is considerably more developed than the rest of us. (But what she says is still true.) She also already knows what has a better chance of succeeding - hence her initial business decision. (Lesson for SpongeBob - maybe this means that you could try to gear your poker tools towards other popular but less competitive card games. Take what you've learned thusfar and apply it to related areas.) She's also familiar with PR and marketing campaigns and doesn't shy away from the "threat" of exposure. She dives in to capitalize rather than sitting in a daze and not knowing what to do with the extra exposure (as I have done (although on a MUCH smaller scale) )

I believe her 30-day trial is a real-world example in microcosm - at lightening fast speed. Each of her days might be more like a week to a normal mortal, which still means success at the end.

Any chance of a condensed "Here's What I Did" version at the end, or will that be left as an exercise for the reader?

Debbie

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Old 7th December 2005, 09:02 AM   #19
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Hi Debbie and welcome to the forum!

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Old 7th December 2005, 06:06 PM   #20
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Debbie,

Welcome aboard! So glad to see you here and I very much appreciate your thoughts and compliments.

Despite popular rumor, I'm not an energizer bunny, nor a robot. I'm just living with the benefit of having a one year old... I have the ability to function on zero sleep.

Your points are excellent though...there's no doubt that my background give me a boost in this, even I won't argue that one. But that's the whole point...to use what I know and what I learn through this experiment to help other people figure things out.

As for a wrap-up...there's a chance (hint...hint) that when the series ends, I'll be asking if anyone's interested in some on-going updates. There's a lot on the burner right now that I don't think I'll get to by day 30 and I hate to leave folks hanging. If there is interest, I think I may go to once a week updates for another month or two...

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