Nov 15, 2009

Producing profitable web sites without spending ages writing

by: Phil Wiley
This is all about content.
I've written it as a response to some criticism in my forum this week. A couple of people said that I don't produce enough original content. Right now that's true. I'm not writing a lot. 
But I'll tell you what. I'm doing what works.
The sites I've been building for the past few months are producing results. Big results. 
My sites, whether they're mini sites or big sites, work. And they bring in a huge income every week from Google Adsense, Searchfeed, and affiliate programs. 
So should I care what people are saying? 
Yes I should.
Not just because I've been criticized, which is never nice, but because I still believe that the key to long term success is running on-topic content which is unique to your own web site. I don't believe the sites I've built over the past few months are going to keep producing an income for years, where the original content sites I've got will keep working for years. 
But I'm making hay while the sun shines and you should too.
Here's how I'm doing it:
Many of the sites that people were talking about were created with Traffic Equalizer and heavily modified with templates, and by changing things with search and replace, to add individuality. Just one of these sites makes more every week than I used to earn working full time in my old newspaper job. (interestingly this site now gets more traffic from the new Yahoo search engine
than it does from Google, where just a few months ago it was nearly all from Google). 
I hardly write anything on these sites, just an article on the index pages of each folder/sub directory.
In case you don't know, Traffic Equalizer is, in essence, an automated directory builder taking search engine results from your keyword list and building pages around them. Lots of big name marketers are using it to make a lot of money. 
I run Google Adsense on the pages, and also put at least one affiliate program on a page. Very often it will be an ebook sold through Clickbank. On some sites I put a number of Searchfeed links on the pages but I'm a bit worried about using Searchfeed and Adsense together so I don't do it often, but Searchfeed still send me a check for a $1000 plus each month - which is a nice little side income. 
My main concern with Traffic Equalizer has always been that someone else building a page on the same search term could have an almost identical page to mine. Search engines don't like this. 
But the good news is that Traffic Equalizer has just been improved. A few weeks ago Jeff Alderson, the programmer, asked me if I had any ideas on how to make it better, and I suggested he try and find a way of getting the site content from more sources and then randomizing the output. This would make it less of a chance that two users would build identical pages. Well he's a fast worker and the new improved version came out a couple of days ago, and though I haven't had a chance to try it yet, I'm sure it's going to work. At least short term to mid term. 
The bad news is that I'm not certain of the long term viability of the sites.
They do well for a few months, but if you can't continue getting high quality links to them they tend to drop down the rankings. Also I'm sure that Google won't want the search results to be totally clogged with sites built with Traffic Equalizer, and will eventually change their algorithms to make the pages rank a lot lower than they currently do. If they did this by targeting pages with lots of outbound links but few inbound links it would be damaging to the TE pages. 
Having said that, these sites DO work. And Google allow their Adsense Ads to be run on them.
Some people don't like the idea of building writes using Traffic Equalizer because it somehow seems wrong to them. They don't like the "quality" of the sites it produces. But the search engines LOVE the sites. Many of the pages they produce rank very high, and unlike the quite short lived fad of building "smartpages" they don't do anything against the search engines rules. They don't redirect, they don't mislead people. They just build simple directories. 
I'm not going to name anyone, but some REALLY famous people in the internet marketing world are doing very well with TE. These people consistently make a huge income year after year by doing what works at the moment. In other words they use the tools which bring them an income. 
You should be doing it too Bill 
Just one thing to mentally make a note of.
You have to be patient. Unless you already have a few high Pagerank sites you can link to them from, these sites take a few months to take off. During those months you need to keep build new sites.
If you get despondent because the sites look like they not going to do well you'll stop building them, and then curse yourself a few months down the track when you realize you could have had 20 more sites steadily coming online. In other words you don't see instant results, but you have to keep building sites and pages. There is no easy option, no quick work around. You work hard at building these sites and success will come. 
So - seeing I think Traffic EQ sites won't keep working for years - what about long term sites?
Well contrary to what a few people said in my forum I do still build sites full of articles that I write or pay someone to write. 
Right now I'm building a network of travel sites which will be full of articles and photographs of places I've visited. They're going to be mini sites of between 5 and 12 pages, though perhaps as high as 20 pages on some of them because the photographs are going to take up quite a bit of space. 
This week Kate has spent most of her time writing touristy type, personal experience articles on London and York. Next week she's moving on to write about Japan. After that it's going to be France. Then she's doing Malaysia, before working on a big site about Australia. We'll be using photographs that I've shot in the past few years in each of these places. And I'll also put together a site on Bangkok in Thailand, which I visited recently. 
All the content, both photographs and articles, will be totally unique to the sites we build. They'll be keyword rich and the sites properly structured to please the search engines. I haven't yet decided if I'll build the sites with Traffic Equalizer. If I use TE I'll just use it to provide the structure of the site - pages, linking structure - then remove most or all of the outbound links and replacing them with the articles and photos. 
Rather than just putting all the content up on one domain I've registered a whole bunch of domain names and I'm hosting them in the countries the site is about ( except Japan because I can't find a low cost Japanese web host ). The sites will then be interlinked to help improve their search rankings - as detailed in Michael Campbell's Revenge of the Mininet I'm going to the trouble of finding hosts in each country because I think it just might improve the web ranking chances a little. Though I'm not certain on this. I'm quite certain, however, that if they're linked together the way Michael describes they need to be on different web hosts in a different IP range. 
Here's what's involved ( so you can see why I take the easy option sometimes and just do sites built with TE ) 
* First of all I had to do the traveling and suffer all that jetlag. 
* Carry a pile of heavy camera gear around everywhere. 
* Spend hours at the computer editing the pictures. 
* Research the keywords so that I can build pages around search terms that people are actually looking for ( I use Wordtracker to do this ) 
* Pay Kate to write most of the articles, and get my weary brain into action to write some myself for the places for Bangkok which she hasn't yet visited. 
* Decide on whether to run with Adsense, or an affiliate program or both. (I've yet to find a travel affiliate program I'm happy with, but some pages might carry affiliate ads for luggage or books) 
* Choose domain names and find web hosts. 
* Build the sites and link them together as in Mininet 
* Upload them to the hosts by FTP 
* List them with Google and Yahoo ( I don't bother about the rest, AOL, MSN and the others will quickly find you from Google.) 
By the way I'll probably use Traffic Equalizer on different domains to build pages to direct traffic to my travel network sites. The same way I now use Traffic Equalizer to send traffic to my other mini sites. So what do you do if you want to build content sites like my travel sites but you can't write and don't have an employee who can quickly churn out words? 
I think the best way is to sub contract.
There's a lot of talk in the media about how people are losing their jobs because a lot of American companies, as well as many in England and Australia, are outsourcing jobs to India. 
Have you thought of joining them and outsourcing your web content to India?
I've just taken my first steps to doing it. But unlike big companies I'm not putting anyone out of a job, just helping create jobs. 
Wages are very low in India, a country which has some of the best educated English speaking people in the world. And to us Westerners people work for peanuts in India. According to an article in Computerworld magazine,10801,91916,00.html?from=story_kc a programmer in India earns around US$7500 a year. ( A programmer in China earns around 20 to 30% less, but it's hard to outsource content creation to China because, unlike India, few people write English well enough) 
I'm not the first to think of using people in India to write my web content. While I was researching this piece I found that the giant has started offshoring authoring of many of its articles to India 
So how do you find people in these countries? The easiest way is to use an outsourcing web site. Try these. 
Do a search on them for "search engine optimised web content ", "content writing" or just "web content". When I looked on elance last week I saw bids as low $5 per page, but the lowest I saw today was $10 a page. This is still incredibly cheap. 
Here's the $10 a page bid - "Thanks for the opportunity to bid on your project! My quote is based on a rate of $10 per article (350-500 words). I'm a marketing professional with over 10 years of experience." 
Another possible way to use these sites is to hire people to create new products for you. At the time of writing this letter there are 5 bids for writing a recipe ebook. The lowest bidder is willing to do the whole project for just US$400. In fact the highest bid is just $450. Someone else is willing to write a 50 page ebook on stopping headaches for $8 a page, which also adds up to $400. 
Here's another for an ebook about looking after your skin.
Wanted: A ghostwriter for an Informational eBook entitled ""Perfect Skin: Cleansing, Nourishing, Prot ..." 
And again someone is willing to write it for just $8 per page "Our bid is based on US$8 per page (250-300 words) with minimum billing of 50 pages (additional pages will be billed at the rate of US$8 per pages) and includes all necessary research and revisions. You will own fullcopyrights. Completion Time: 16 working days." 
About the author:
Phil Wiley is the author of the best selling book Mini Site Profits www.minisiteprofits.comand writes the free weekly Letter from Phil at www.ozemedia.comRead About

Optimizing AdSense™ by User Behaviour

by: Laura Ciocan
If web surfers behaved all alike, if there were strict patterns in users' behaviour, wouldn't all publishers be on a sunny beach right now, with a fancy-colored cocktail, worring not about AdSense™ optimization matters? 
Web user's behaviour depends on two main groups of variables: the user-related one and the website-related one. 
A) User-related Behavior Variables 
Though people react very differently at various stimuli, we can identify some peculiarities specific to web surfers. The behaviour is much like yours. Have you considered watching your own actions while surfing on the web? This might help if you want to improve your site's appeal to readers, especially if you sell something or if you want your visitors to click on your ads. 
Several groups of variables that influence users' behaviour can be identified: 
* Components of the mental processes involved while searching and browsing on the Internet: attention, awareness, language, mental imagery etc. 
* The behavior of websurfers is influenced also by their subjective approach to matters, determined by temperamental characteristics, such as mood, patience and their purpose and degree of interest.
* Also, users act differently varying with how used they are to web surfing. 
Let's see how we can tweak our websites to turn these to our advantage (and turn visitors into “clickers”): 
1. Mental processes
Attention - The web designer keeps the tools to direct readers' attention. A simple design, without unnecessary loading will prevent the reader from being distracted by unimportant elements. The ads placement must be done strategically, in a place impossible to overlook (recommended in the first paragraph, usually in the upper-left area). Pictures and graphics are considered attention-grabbers and will also be considered when choosing your ads' placement. 
Awareness - This is a very debated topic. Opinions differ on readers' ads awareness. Some sustain that the more blended into content, the better, others say that this formatting will induce the readers the feeling of being “tricked” into clicking on ads, which they resent. I incline to say that blend-in ads work only for very well targeted ads, coming naturally as if belonging to the content. Positioning ads outside the content area would be effective mostly with advertising that builds brand awareness, based on image impressions. 
Mental Imagery - Again, a pleasant, uncluttered design, a balanced look of the page contribute to a positive perception of the page from the part of the reader and to a more open state of mind. A professional layout is important. It inspires confidence, people don't want to purchase from a just any backyard business. 
2. Subjectiveness
Patience - A golden rule: don't abuse your readers' patience (for they usually don't have one)! Web pages must load quickly, ads must not be placed in readers' way and should be kept to a reasonable number. 
Purpose and Mood - Are more related to the topic of your site and the type of content you publish. The idea is that users' purpose and mood can be influenced by copy. 
Degree of Interest - Besides relevant, good content, that answers questions, the reader's interest is influenced by involvement and interaction. Keep your reader involved, integrate your ads into an interaction environment: these will work wonders on your CTR. 
3. User's Degree of Acquaintace with Web Surfing
Net savvy users have developed certain immunities, such as ad-blindness. These are less likely to click on any ads. Customizing ads for this type of readers means harder work; the result must be ads of high relevance (and remarkable ad texts!), with an aspect as close to the rest of the page as possible, as if they were a natural continuation of your ideas. Important! avoid default formats. 
B) Site-related Variables
The type of the site and the topic attract visitors with different interests with different behavioral patterns. 
1. Site Type — Readers vs Browsers
Whether the visitor is a “reader” or a “scanner/browser” depends also on the site type — content and topic. Generally, readers are regular visitors while “scanners” are the ones who look for information and will not spend too much time on the same site. Site topic and content are most times factors in bringing more “uniques” or more regular visitors. Though not as a rule, these apply to many sites: 
Sites Attracting Unique Visitors - These are mostly commercial sites, content sites. Statistics say that unique visitors are more likely to be your clickers, for regular readers are more used to your pages' look and your ads. Contextual advertising works well with these sites. 
If you're headed for unique visitors, make your site “SE-friendly”. They come mostly from search engines and are said to be “pre-qualified” clickers. So, your efforts should be directed towards keywords and keyword phrases optimization. The ideal would be to go beyond the technicalities, that is finding out what are the most searched for keywords in your area of preoccupations and try to find out why these are popular, try to find a behavioral pattern. 
This can be achieved by statistics and analysis. Find out some niches in your area and the users' behaviour within them — that is, lists of searches and then see what is it customers want. This will solve your puzzle and give you exact hints towards what works best for your site. Keep in mind: unique visitors are mostly "browsers". Use ad placement and ad customization techniques that apply best for this type of users.

Sites with Regular Visitors - These are mostly forums, blogs and news sections (though news are somewhere in between). If you own sites with many bookmarks, that attract especially repeat visitors, then either you will be very imaginative in customizing your ads and finding new ways to interest your readers into clicking or if not the case, better use CPM based advertising. Brand bulding/reinforcement advertising works better in this case. 
2. Site Theme Relates to Visitor's Mood and Purpose
Commercial Sites - Sites selling and promoting products are more suitable for CPC advertising. By their specific, this type of site will attract visitors looking for a specific product/service/business opportunity. Thus, users are more in a buying mood, are looking for a way to spend their money profitably. These are clickers. 
Content Sites, Blogs, Forums - Unless you market specific products, your readers will land on your page without the express purpose of buying something. However, you can influence your reader's mood and needs thru witty, sales-directed copywriting. You just need to know some basic things that sell. One is that people are more likely to buy from persons they know, like and trust. 
So, what will help you build these? Good content and structure. Especially with content sites, these are fundamental issues to focus on (unlike commercial sites that focus more on products). Good content, profesionally written and formatted for the web, containing information that is of high interest and relevance for the reader, within an easily manageable structure and good targeting on a specific theme are imperatives. On one hand these mean bulding confidence, the first step in selling. On the other hand they will attract well-targeted ads, more likely to interest your reader. 
Great content will give you credit to your reader. Once you've gained trust, it's easy to direct your readers: you just give recommendations and the results will appear. (Avoid being too explicit in recommendations, though — for example, directing readers towards clicking on ads is against AdSense™ Program Policies.) 
With blogs and forums, it is a different story. Not all forums and blogs are accepted for AdSense™ (or even if accepted, they must be also profitable). Only genuine, specifically-themed blogs and forums, with highly interesting content are suitable. These conditions being fulfilled, forums and blogs are perfect as a source of advertising money — they have what is very difficult for others to achieve: reader's trust, liking and involvement. 
About the author:
Laura Ciocan writes for http://www.adsensehowtos.comwhere you can find how to guides and practical advice on Google Adsense. 
Need Million Free Traffic to your webs ? Please visit Search Engine Optimization Tips  
Need Extra Money At Home ? Visit Make Money At Home, Or Affiliate Revenue Tips.

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My website needed more targeted traffic. Guess where I found it?

by: Brian McGregor
There’s nothing new about using joint ventures (JV's) to get traffic to websites. And good information is freely available from many internet marketing sites on how to set up JVs. 
This article is for the 97% of webmasters who aren’t aware of a particularly powerful JV partner who already exists, and is willing to work with you. 
Before I reveal all, let me just check...
Like me, I would image you’d be happy if:
* Your JV partner’s site gets huge traffic.
* The vast majority of page views are by targeted traffic.
* You can create links wherever YOU like from their site.
* You can start now. There’s no delay in setting up the JV.
* The JV continues as long as you want.
* It costs you pennies to set up and run. 
Does that sound like it’s what you’re looking for in a JV?
If so, welcome to eBay. You’re new joint venture partner. 
But I Thought...
"eBay?" I hear you ask, "Isn’t eBay just an auction site?"
Well, it certainly started as an auction site. Today, eBay is an ecommerce phenomenon.
* eBay’s 1.5 billion page views puts it in sixth place on Alexa traffic rankings. Ahead of Amazon, AOL and CNN.
* eBay members make 79 million targeted searches for items each day.
* There are 35,000 categories within which to place items for sale.
* There are eBay auction sites in 27 countries.
* eBay has 125 million registered users.
* 40,000 new members join eBay each day. 
What we have here is a hugely successful internet business with massive traffic. And, thanks to eBay’s sophisticated categorization and searching mechanisms, the traffic is totally targeted. 
More importantly, there are several smart ways to drive eBay’s targeted traffic to your own website. All of these clever methods add up to what I call the eBay Traffic Funnel. 
Does it work? Well, I sell a communications product from my website. I run 5 simple auctions in the appropriate categories using the principles of the eBay Traffic Funnel. Each auction costs me 30 cents and runs for a week. I get around 300 targeted leads from these auctions to my website every week. Not bad for one dollar fifty! 
Let me show you just one of the ways to get hold of that targeted traffic... 
Sell, Sell, Sell 
First of all, you make eBay part of your marketing mix. You start selling your products on eBay.
Why do I say this? Well, eBay isn’t just for mom and pop businesses anymore. IBM, Disney, Motorola, Xerox and Dell, are just a few of the major corporates that now use eBay as an additional sales and lead generation channel. 
Creating eBay auctions is easy. Anyone can do it - literally. But if you don’t want to learn, you can use a Trading Assistant. These are eBay experts who will create, run and manage auctions on behalf of others for a percentage of sales or a small fee. 
When you set up your auction one of the decisions you make is in which category to place your item. This is important. Visitors to your auction page - just by being there - have self qualified themselves as being in the market to buy products in that category. This is targeting in real time. 
But merely creating the auction isn’t the trick. Here’s the key tip. In your auction page, make sure you tell your viewers that if they’ve any questions about your auction, your products or your policies, they should email you. And encourage them to do this by having a live email link in your auction, like this one 
As soon as they make contact with you, you’ve acquired a targeted lead you wouldn’t have got any other way. You can start building a relationship. You can get them on your list, direct them to your website and start selling to them. 
Pieces of Eight 
I’ve only the space to show you one way in which you can direct your share of eBay’s targeted traffic to your website. There are eight ways in total. If you want to know the other seven, you’ll find them in my free ebook ‘The eBay Traffic Funnel’. You can get this here: 
Setting up a JV with eBay can produce significant results. There isn’t another business on the web that gives you access to the targeted traffic eBay supplies for the price of a few pennies. Best of all, 97% of webmasters have yet to realize the power of this. The opportunity for you and your website is there for the taking. 
About the author:
Brian McGregor specializes in showing website owners how to make more money from their sites by applying inventive and original use of eBay. For free information on how to use the power of eBay to make more money with your website, visit

My Top 7 Favorite Ecommerce Tools

by: Jim Edwards
When you make your living on the Internet, you sometimes forget that the resources you use every day (and take for granted) might rate an incredible discovery to anyone who doesn't already know they exist. 
Whether they help you make money, save time, save money, or avoid frustration, these ecommerce tools and services rate my highest recommendation for anyone who conducts any form of ecommerce online. -

If you sell a downloadable product such as an ebook, report, or software, you can't beat ClickBank for processing credit card payments. Not only do they take the payments and send you a check twice a month, they also plug your product into an existing network with tens-of-thousands of affiliates who can sell it for you. Also, unlike a traditional merchant credit card processing account, ClickBank assumes all the fraud risk and prevents many of the "horror" stories you hear in connection with online credit card processing. -

Since ClickBank only allows the sale of downloadable products, comes to the rescue for anyone selling a physical product or service. Offering a suite of integrated product catalogs, follow up autoresponders, advertising tracking, a secure server, and even limited-time coupon offers, this tool rates a "must have" for setting up and integrating a professional ecommerce solution on virtually any size website. -

If you need an unlimited number of follow up autoresponders and the ability to send an email "broadcast" to all your contacts at one time, Aweber offers an excellent managed solution. Specializing in helping small to medium-sized Web businesses implement an effective email follow-up strategy without complicated software, Aweber gets our highest marks for service and dependability. -

Cheap, reliable, easy-to-use domain name registrar that only charges $8.95 per year for each domain name you register. Godaddy rates cheaper and just as, if not more, reliable than any other domain registrar. They also offer a "private registration" option that allows you to keep your identity as the domain owner a secret from unscrupulous people who exploit domain name records to compile mailing lists, spam databases or worse. -

Any successful ecommerce endeavor begins with a solid website hosting service. Nothing shuts you down faster than an unreliable web host because, the second they go offline, your business goes offline. I host one of my servers at because of great customer service and guaranteed up-time. -

Ever pulled your hair out searching for that perfect image, photo, or piece of clipart for your website? Once you exhaust the Microsoft collection on your computer, the next stop (if you want to find something fast) is With thousands of images searchable by keyword, you can always find the perfect image in less time and without the worries of copyright infringement if you just pull something off the Web. -

Website got traffic but no making much money? Open a free account with Google AdSense and earn a commission any time someone clicks on any of the targeted ads. An excellent way to earn extra cash on virtually any website.
About the author:

Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the creator of an amazing course that will teach you step-by-step and click-by-click how to finally create your own money-making mini-sites... Get a FREE Copy of The "Mini-Site Secrets" Audio Right Now Click Here =>

My Improbable Evolution Into a Passionate eBayer

by: Robert Schutz
It all began innocently enough. I had an acquaintance who had an knack for spotting valuable things at thrift stores, yard sales, swap meets and the like, a trait I regarded highly. Our biggest commonality was that we were both songwriters and musicians, and John had an outstanding assortment of music, books, artwork, furniture, etc., despite his absolute disregard for all of the assorted occupations that necessitated an education or a tie. 
While was I earning a solid living in law offices, not making much, but making an extra hundred or two per week, John had located the main distribution point for contributions for Goodwill Industries in Los Angeles, and was purchasing six foot bins filled with books for $30 per bin. John would take the signed copies, or other books which fascinated him or which he was personally familiar with, and sell them to bookstores. 
Once he sold a script which was signed by a producer and several actors for $900. Each bin contained several hundred books, and he had very quickly acquired a vanload of books that he couldn’t store in his tiny L.A. apartment. So he called me and offered to give them to me if I would haul them away, saying that he was going to throw them in the garbage if I didn’t take them. I saw that there were many books I was interested in, so I took the vanload, about 20 boxes, and gave him $50, the first of many vanloads. John wasn’t computer literate, and I knew that some of these had to be valuable on eBay, although at that point, I hadn’t sold any books online. 
Very soon thereafter, John was getting about three vanloads per week, and I would simply get the boxes and give him $50 per vanload, or about seven cents per book. Considering that some of the books have gone for over $40, this was quite a hefty profit margin. In this manner, I built up an inventory of almost 10,000 books.

I began selling them online, and very soon thereafter I had gotten many times my initial $600 investment back. But what attracted me to this business was the opportunity to do a brief plot summary of the books that I was selling. This plot summary was a lot more fun to me as a writer than the rote, mechanical process of placing the eBay ad, although I did get a great deal of excitement out of watching the number of hits, and learning which authors and genres were popular. 
I soon learned that, even the least valuable genres, romance novels, which were generally overpublished, could be sold in groups. Danielle Steel’s books, which I had more than any other author, would sell in boxes to collectors or other resellers. I soon learned that my plot summaries, which I enjoyed tremendously, were taking a lot of my time, and that most people who purchased books already knew what they were buying, so the plot summaries became an extravagance, superfluous to the objective of becoming a successful eBay bookseller. 
I had to satisfy my creative energies by reading the summaries briefly, and moving on. I learned a great deal while doing this, but more importantly I became knowledgeable about which books would sell and which needed to be sold in groups. And, since I had 10,000 books, at the rate of 4-5 ads per hour, it was going to take me several thousand hours of work just to sell the books I had already acquired. It also stopped me from examining other products, or looking for other books, etc. In other words, it became an all-consuming task to move 10,000 books.

I decided to use a piece of software that enabled me to evaluate what percentage of an author’s books had sold on eBay in the previous six weeks, and what was the average price of those books. The software allowed me to make a more specific prediction as to percentage, and put the rest of the books into their groups without attempting to sell them as individuals. This enabled me to move a lot more books. I also quickly learned that condition was imperative, and that there could be a discrepancy between what I regarded as “good,” and what someone else’s impression of “good” was. 
So I adopted a categorical condition description that I quoted verbatim from a book on book collecting, and that problem never occurred again. In fact, my eBay ads were functioning as an educational experience for most people who were not avid collectors, since they were learning about the importance of condition as it pertained to collecting books. Anything that was not at least in “good reading condition” was donated to charities. I found I could sell most other books categorically. 
The only complaint that I have not resolved on eBay was from a guy who allowed his son to purchase a book on eBay. It was my 15th sale, and the son thought he was buying a video, and had not looked at the category of the ad. He submitted his complaint before emailing me. I was definitely prepared to refund his money (it was only a couple of bucks). The father did not respond to emails but instead ignored my pleas for him to rescind his negative evaluation. 
This lowered my percentage to less than 95% favorable, and was very disheartening for a beginner. I joined Square Trade, a company that mediates disagreements between the buyer and the seller so as to permit the seller to have only positive feedback. At this point, I have 544 sales, and still only that one complaint, for a 99.8% rating, a number that is capable of engendering a high level of confidence in potential buyers. Books have provided me with a great reputation on eBay, which I anticipate I will be using to springboard myself into higher ticket sales. 
They have also provided me with a fantastic library of over 2,000 books on my favorite subjects: music, nutrition, sports, nature, psychology, and legal thrillers. I needed to become familiar with legal thrillers because a writer’s website had advised me that a writer must know the genre he or she is writing in. My years of law offices has provided me with a wealth of very dramatic stories, some of which were very high profile. 
My son, incidentally, has over 560 sales himself, which has helped pay for his musical development and living expenses. He sells concert tickets on eBay, something he is very interested in, and also has a great reputation. 
After months of selling these books, as interesting as it was, I began to want to use this new avocation to free myself from the legal field. I had a price tag, and it was about $600 per week take home. I spent a couple of months looking for economies in my process which would increase my hourly capability. But try as I might, I couldn’t really get past $10 per hour, and it was becoming painfully obvious to me that, while it was an enjoyable hobby, unless I took steps to change my methodology, it wasn’t going to be a successful business. 
I realized that selling books is not like selling manufactured commodities which can be “relisted” on eBay, which takes about one minute, as opposed to the 10-15 minutes that it takes to write an ad for a book, since books are all unique, unless you have thousands of the same book. I was aware of the fact that many people make hundreds of thousands of dollars on eBay and I decided to seek them out and model my new methodology on their experiences. 
I had performed marketing research vis a vis my utilization of eBay software to increase the value of my book sales. I began to realize that I needed new products, products other than books, or more specifically, items from which I could be assured of making $40-50 per sale. Then, if I could sell ten per day, that would be a good living. 
After extensive research, I came across Tim Knox’s website. Tim Knox writes an e-commerce column for Entrepreneur Magazine, and is a PowerSeller on eBay. In addition, he had set up several other businesses, and according to his website, has made almost a million in the each of the last two years. His website contains several thousand products for people such as myself, many of which which can be dropshipped, or sent to your customer by the manufacturer or wholesaler, and the most complete internet marketing strategy I have ever seen for achieving this objective. 
He and I share one major philosophy – customer service is the key to developing an eBay business. The difference is that he has taken it much more seriously than I have, and his knowledge of internet marketing is what I need to get to the next level. His website is very impressive in the scope of information it provides to anyone who wants to make money on eBay, and provides virtually every eBayer, regardless of their experience level, with new directions and tactics for improving existing profit centers or developing new ones. 
One of his products is described as follows: “We asked 58 of the Internet's Top Money Makers: ‘If you lost it all tomorrow and had to start over with nothing but the brain in your head and the experience of your years, how would you get back on top in less than 30 days?’" This question, posed to many top internet marketers, gives phenomenal insight to anyone who is interested in modeling the experience and results of people who have accomplished great things in internet marketing. 
He also reminds us that TV shows such as 60 Minutes have featured people who are not extraordinary in terms of education or initial wealth who are making great money selling on eBay. Some examples and statistics he quotes include: 
• Laurie Liss and her mother, Darlene, armed with little more than a computer, a camera, and something to sell, built their own eBay business that is now selling $30,000 to $40,000 in goods a month; 
• A 43 year old mother of 3 pulls down $2000 a week on eBay; 
• There are nearly 69 million eBay users who spend $59 million every day; 
• Thousands of people nationwide are giving up their day jobs to sell fulltime on eBay; 
• Most eBay sellers are home-based businesses that sell everything imaginable; 
• Every minute of every day more than 150 new items are listed, more than 500 bids are placed, and seven new people register to shop on eBay; 
• At any given moment, eBay is conducting some 12 million auctions, divided into about 18,000 different categories; 
• About two million new items are offered for sale every day, and 62 million registered users scour the site to find them; 
• As many as 150,000 people…have given up their jobs to create their own businesses selling from their own website or on eBay and other online auctions. 
Unlike the “dot-com crash,” eBay is showing no signs of slowing down. Tim Knox’s experience puts you on the fast track to internet income. His background and products are presented in much greater detail at It is obvious to me that this man is no hobbyist and is a true professional. Regardless of your level of eBay experience, you owe it to yourself to add this man’s knowledge to your own. 
About the author:
Robert Schutz has an online book business, with a 99.8% positive rating on eBay. Prior to becoming a successful eBayer, he has spent several years working in sales, and worked as a paralegal. He also works as a studio guitarist, and spent many years on stage. He attended Columbia University, majoring in English and linguistics. 
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Microsoft and Google Show It's Time for RSS Marketing

by: Rok Hrastnik
Many internet marketers are still wondering whether to start marketing with RSS or not. It seems that not even all the case studies, hard metrics and benefits available can’t convince them, or everyone would be jumping on the RSS wagon by now.
Just as an overview, here are some of the benefits marketers are missing out on by not marketing with RSS:
A] 100% delivery of their marketing, relationship building and educational messages to their subscribers, customers, prospects and partners. E-mail isn’t getting delivered, but with RSS you will achieve 100% delivery.
B] Increased search engine rankings and quick content indexing, and increased traffic from other RSS-enabled online sources.
C] Getting your internet content published on other websites.
D] Generating new subscribers more easily and quickly.
E] And much much more …
Even if you don’t believe that RSS is being used by enough people right now, that’s still no excuse to not start using it as a vehicle to generate more traffic to your sites.
But, soon all of this will change, too.
As it was widely predicted, Microsoft is integrating RSS support in the next version of its Internet Explorer, and perhaps even more important, it's making it an integral part of its long-awaited Longhorn operating system.
What does this mean for marketers?
A] By being integrated in IE and other Microsoft software, RSS will achieve mass penetration. For marketers this means that RSS will finally become one of the standard tools of mass communication and content delivery. Furthermore, internet users will start to expect RSS from marketers, probably even more so than e-mail newsletters.
B] Marketers will no longer (eventually, of course, when most of the world starts using the latest software versions) need to explain how to get an RSS reader, but will be able to focus only on presenting their business and benefits to the end-user.
C] Broader RSS integration in Microsoft's tools will enable for additional RSS uses, far beyond basic content delivery in the form of stories, podcasts and products. Marketers and developers will be able to deploy rich interaction applications to make communication and business/personal interaction more fluent, easier and more effective. In essence, for many advanced marketers the capability of marketing with RSS will mean their either “in” or “out” of the game.
D] This is now official. Marketers need to start taking the lead and implementing RSS feeds accross all their communicational innitiatives, from PR to direct marketing and sales.
And to top all of this, Google just recently started serving Google AdSense ads in RSS feeds as well.
The deeper meaning behind this is four-fold:
A] The new "program" is the perfect opportunity for RSS publishers to monetize their RSS feeds. With inclussion in Google's standard "runnings" of AdSense ads, publishers can expect to monetize on RSS immediately.
B] This is yet another reason for publishers to start publishing their content via RSS, especially since it won't cost them anything or very little, but will provide them with an additional source of revenues. With the low-cost aspect of RSS, we can expect a flood of new publishers to set-up RSS feeds of their content to generate additional AdSense clicks.
C] With RSS ads included in feeds, more advertisers will become aware of RSS and its marketing potential.
D] Using RSS advertising publishers are now not only creating an additional revenues source, but are in fact making sure they don't lose ad revenue opportunities.
We used to refer to RSS as the future. Well, that future is now. If you’re not ready to start marketing with RSS, time just might run you over. As well as your competitors …
About the author:
Rok Hrastnik is the author of »Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS«, acclaimed as the best and most comprehensive guide to RSS for marketers by leading RSS experts. The complete guide on RSS for marketers:
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