Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How To Make A Small Fortune Online With Small Reports

Today, I'd like to share with you a business idea that is oftentimes overlooked by online marketers.

We all know about writing and selling ebooks. Perhaps you don't know HOW to do it, but we know that it's a great business model.

But, ebooks can be a pain to write. I mean, really, who has time to write 50 to 100 pages before making a cent? Yikes!

Here's a business model that's JUST as profitable, and a lot less work.

I'd like to introduce you to your new best friends --

Small Reports & Jimmy D. Brown (the guy who's going to teach you about them).

After you read this excerpt, be sure to grabbing the FREE report "5 STEPS TO A BIG-PROFIT, S.M.A.L.L.™ REPORT BUSINESS: How To Turn 7-15 Page Small Reports Into A Six-Figure Information Empire" at this site:
http://www.infoprofitshare.com/go.php?offer=dakota6969&pid=5

But, first -- I'll share the first few pages of the actual paid course.

-----

How To Make A Small Fortune Online With Small Reports

Hello, this is Jimmy D. Brown. Welcome to Small Reports Fortune™ where I’m going to teach you “How To Make A Small Fortune Online With Small Reports”.

We’ll talk at length about how to do this, but I want to kind of encapsulate everything into one opening statement as we begin our presentation –

The ultimate information business is finding a target audience and then convincing them to make repeated purchases from you.

An age-old marketing law is this: "it's much easier to sell MORE to existing customers than it is to find new customers to sell to". Your information business stands to gain serious momentum when you offer multiple, related offers to your customer base.

Instead of selling a customer a $20 ebook and then looking for the next customer, you'll want to setup a system to offer her a $20 ebook, then a $40 product, then a $497 product and finally a $1997 offer. (These are just "generalities", of course)

And it’s all going to build upon this foundation of creating short, 7-15 page reports.

The important thing is to get your existing customers to spend MORE money with you. Learn this: the more money each customer spends with you, the less customers you'll need to reach $100K per year.

The idea is simple: get your target audience (subscribers + customers) to repeatedly spend money with you.

Once you have worked to secure a customer or subscriber, why not allow them to spend as much money with you as they are willing?

I'm not suggesting that you exploit your relationship with others and coerce them into purchasing sub-par products or things they don't really have a need to buy. I'm talking about making products and services available that provide genuine usefulness to those who are in a position to buy.

There's a big, big difference between these two statements:

"This product is going to change your business forever ... it's the best product I've seen in months ... if you don't buy this today, then you're absolutely nuts ... it's what I consider to be a 'must-have' for anyone who’s serious!"

"If you're ready to XYZ, then I've found this product to be very beneficial in my own business. I use it myself and here are the results that I've achieved. I highly recommend it and will even give you a free copy of XYZ if you are one of the first 50 who buy it."

Both are attempting to get the sale. But one is full of hype and the other is reasonable.

Back to my point. You need to get your target audience to buy from you. And buy again. And again. And again.

Despite popular belief, you can do this without being a money-hungry, conscious-less, in-your-face, psychological mind-games coercer. (That's a mouthful, huh?!)

So, that's the backdrop of the Small Reports Fortune™ course. I’m going to teach you how to -

CHOOSE a market, CREATE small reports to sell to them and CASH-IN on your own money-making information business.

What I want to teach you to do in this series is to create small, 7-15 page reports that you sell to your list members in the $10-$20 range...and how to spiral them into premium-priced offers down the road.

You can make a "small fortune" with "small reports" - and I'm going to show you how to do it.

Here's what it looks like 12 months from now:

You have 12 reports available for $10 each. (One per month) Customers buy the first one and, in time, buy most of the others. (Multiple customer purchases)

You put together package deals of 12 reports for $97. (Larger chunks of cash per transaction)

You launch an affiliate program for the $97 package and sell large quantities of the bundle. (Affiliates love ~$50 commission per order!)

You use your reports to launch “high ticket” offers that sell for $1,000 or more. (Skyrocket your profit!)

You make a "small fortune" with "small reports" (Yes, YOU!)

And it all begins right here.

-----

The great thing is that you can get more of a peek into this course by grabbing the FREE report "STEPS TO A BIG-PROFIT, S.M.A.L.L.™ REPORT BUSINESS: How To Turn 7-15 Page Small Reports Into A Six-Figure Information Empire" at this site:

http://www.infoprofitshare.com/go.php?offer=dakota6969&pid=5

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"How's Your Sense of Style?"

No, I'm not referring to your wardrobe here, but to to cascading style sheets, also known as matchpix2 CSS. Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, it allows webmasters to separate site layout from the design. CSS is actually a standard for controlling the appearance of your Web pages. It's essentially a set of rules that, when linked to or embedded in HTML pages, control their appearance.

Right about now you're probably thinking "What's so great about that?" The benefits are numerous -- two of the biggest are:

1) Easy Site Updates: Global site updates will be simpler when you can make all your changes in one  place to update the entire site. It's much better than going through page after page of HTML code. For example, say you have a site made in Times New Roman font and your customer calls you up and tells you he wants Verdana. Can you imagine scrolling through 25 pages or more looking for every incident of the <font> tag and changing it to Verdana? What
a nightmare. With CSS you would simply specify the font in one location and the change would be implemented site wide.

2) Faster Loading: Your HTML pages will load faster due to cleaner code. All of the extraneous coding will be in a style sheet, leaving less clutter and faster downloading of the site.

So now that you've seen a few of the "benes" to  style sheets, let's learn more about them. Let's clarify up front that while both Netscape and Internet Explorer both support CSS from version 4.0 and higher, they don't exactly see eye to eye on CSS and interpret some style properties differently. You'll want to test your pages in both browsers to check and correct any inconsistencies.

So what can you control with CSS? Things like paragraphs <P>, Headings <H1><H2><H3>, borders, table layouts, Fonts and font colors, text alignment, pixel size, line height, letter spacing, word spacing, font weights, page margins, and even background images; and the way they work is a big improvement over just plain old HTML. Are you beginning to see the possibilities and just how powerful this can be?

There are three ways to use CSS:

1) Inline: The CSS tags are applied to the web page itself, to any body element you choose. This is not the best method, as you'll have to find each incidence in the web site in order to make changes in the future. Example of this:

(remove the periods before and after the span tag)

.<Span Style="background-color: yellow">Text Here </Span>.
In the example above the text would be highlighted yellow.

2) Embedded: The actual CSS code is part of the HTML page placed between the <HEAD> tags on each page. Again, placing the tags inside the pages defeats the convenience of CSS and being able  to make global site changes from one document,but some do like to use this method.

Example of embedded:

.<HEAD>
<STYLE TYPE= "text/css">
<!-->
H2 {font-size:small}
</STYLE>
<HEAD>.

3) Linked: In my opinion, the best method to use. You place a link to the CSS between the <HEAD> </HEAD> tags on your web pages. The link looks like this:

<Link Rel="stylesheet" Type="text/css" Href=style.css>

The style sheet is a separate text document that is saved with a .css extension like this: style.css.

So now that you know your three options for using CSS, how do you write the code? Every style sheet rule starts with a selector followed by braces. A  selector is any part of HTML coding like P, Font, Body, etc.

Here's what it looks like in action:

.P {font-size: 12pt}.

The P above is the selector and the font specification between the braces is the property.
This code says that all paragraphs will be 12 pt font in size.

A rule can always have multiple properties. Semicolons separate multiple properties, commas are used to  separate multiple selectors.

Example:

.P { color: black; background-color:white; font-size=12pt }.

This code says you want all paragraphs black with a white background and a 12 pt font. (Why anyone would want that is beyond me; it's just an example so go with it.)

You can always group more than one selector tag like this if you want them all to look the same.

TD,H2,H1 { color: Red; background-color:pink }

This would make all table cells, and heading 1 and 2 tags red with a pink background.  Attractive don't you think? Again, this is an exaggeration to prove a point (even if it is gaudy).

Selectors are not case sensitive, so "P" is the same as "p."

H2 { color: blue } this would make all heading 2 tags
blue in color.

As you can see from these examples, CSS is not that hard to pick up and can really give you more control  over your website's appearance. For further information, check out some of these informative sites and you'll be a CSS pro in no time at all:

http://www.freewebmastertips.com/tutorials/css
http://www.w3schools.com/Css/default.asp
http://www.csstutorial.net/

There are also software programs you can download that will make the creation of CSS so much easier:

TopStyle http://www.bradsoft.com/topstyle/index.asp
Style Master http://www.westciv.com/style_master/
Rapid CSS Editor http://www.blumentals.net/rapidcss/

In Part 2 of our discussion of CSS, we'll discuss some fun things you can do with styles that will  dress up your website and have you looking like a pro in no time at all.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jimmy Brown's Short Reports

What if you could pick and choose from a selection
of short (but meaty) reports that were instantly
applicable to your business? What if they were all
written by none other than Jimmy D. Brown?

Now they are. Check out the newly-released Small Reports at: http://infoprofitshare.com/go.php?offer=dakota6969&pid=15

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"11 Things Every Successful Website Needs"

So you've put together a spectacular website, and you're ready to go live on the Internet for 004_17 the whole world to see. Not so fast there Bucky. In case you didn't know, there are a few essential requirements that every site needs to include in order to be successful.

Let's review, shall we:

1) Privacy Policy/Disclaimer: Now, I'm not a Lawyer and
don't claim to be one, but these two documents should be
standard issue for every site you have. People want to
know how you're going to use their personal information,
and a "privacy policy" does just that.

In today's litigious society you'll also need to include
a disclaimer/terms of use page. This protects you and
spells out to your visitors what they're agreeing to by
using your website. If you don't know where to start in
generating these documents, you'll find plenty of help
online.

DMA Privacy Policy Generator
http://www.dmaresponsibility.org/PPG/

OECD Privacy Statement Generator
http://tinyurl.com/5plgpc

Google Adsense & other Ad Networks Privacy Policy Generator
http://www.serprank.com/privacy-policy-generator/index.php

Privacy Policy Generator
http://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/

Free Site Disclaimer
http://www.easyriver.com/free_disclaimer.htm

This is not legal advice, and if you need help in this
department, consult with a local attorney.

2) Contact Us Information: I can't tell you how many sites I've been
to that fail to include a way to contact the owner. If
you can't include a phone number, at the very least have an
email address or a "contact us" form. By providing this
information, you'll make your visitors feel more comfortable
knowing there's a way to reach you should the need arise.

If you need a form and don't know how to create your own,
try one of these free form services.

Bravenet: http://www.bravenet.com/webtools/emailfwd/

Freedback: http://freedback.com/

Email Me: http://www.emailmeform.com/

3) Search Box/Site Map: If your site is rather large,
you'll also want to include a way to search, or have what
is called a "site map". There are many ways to add a
search function to your site, the easiest being to
use Google's free service at-
http://www.google.com/sitesearch/

or try PicoSearch: http://www.picosearch.com/

A site map sounds technical, but it's just one web
page that contains links to every page of your site,
usually broken down by category. Here are some
resources to help.

FreeFind: http://www.freefind.com/

4) Google Analytics/Tracking System: Once your site is
up and running you'll want to keep your eye on traffic.
Who's visiting your website, what pages are the most
popular, where is the traffic coming from. All of these
questions and more can be answered by using a good
analytics program.

There are several ways to add a thorough tracking system
to your site, but the easiest and one that won't cost
you a dime is Google Analytics http://www.google.com/analytics/
Once registered, you can add as many sites as you like all
under one user ID and password. You'll be given some
code to copy and paste on your pages. Simple, easy, and
you're done.

5) Newsletter Sign Up/RSS Feed: There's an old saying
that people won't buy from you the very first time they
come to your website, so you need a way to stay in touch
with them to bring them back again and again. By offering
a newsletter, also known as an ezine, you'll be building
a list of possible prospects which is invaluable to any
site owner.

You'll find a multitude of free and low cost newsletter
services online. It's up to you, depending on your needs
and what you can afford. If you don't want to pay anything,
my favorite free services are:

FreeAutoBot: http://www.FreeAutoBot.com
Yahoo Groups: http://www.yahoo.com/groups

You can also offer an RSS feed for your newsletter, or
updates to your blog or site. This makes it easy for
others to keep up with your most recent posts. The
best service for this is...
FeedBurner: http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home

6) Consistent Navigation: This might sound like a no
brainer, but many folks get it wrong. No matter what
type of menu system you decide upon, make sure it stays
the same across the board on all pages of your site.

Your job is to guide your visitors through your website,
making sure they always know where they are and how to
get to where they need to go.

For more see:

Eye on Web: http://tinyurl.com/dyh9fm

Web Page Mistakes:
http://www.webpagemistakes.ca/website-navigation/

7) Search Engine Optimized Copy: At first glance you might
not think this is so important, but trust me it is. You
want your pages to rank well with the search engines and
there are a few steps you can take to ensure this happens.

Each page of your website should be optimized for 2,
or at the  most 3 keywords/phrases. Weave the keywords
into your titles and into the body of each page. You
can also include them in your image titles, alt tags,
even in the names you give your pages. Look at each
page individually and decide what it's about, then optimize
accordingly.

For help see:

MarketLeap: http://tinyurl.com/ce8ffd
CopyBlogger: http://www.copyblogger.com/seo-copywriting/

8) Social Media Share Button: With the popularity of
social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace,
you'd be foolish not to include an easy way for your
content to be shared with others.

You'll find many free services that will give you the
code you need to instantly add a "share button" to
your web pages so that visitors can instantly share
them with their friends.

To generate your own buttons see:

AddThis: http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php

TwitThis: http://www.TwitThis.com

9) Meta Tags: Some may tell you that meta tags are
dead. Don't listen. Meta tags should be included
in your HTML code at the top of every page. Many
search engines  will read them to pull a description
to include in their search results.

Again, each page should be optimized separately and
have a unique title, keywords, and description tags.

For help see:

Submit Express: http://www.submitexpress.com/metatag.html
Submit Corner: http://www.submitcorner.com/Tools/Meta/

10) Copyright Notice: Sounds simple but forgotten by
many. All pages should include a copyright notice. If
you don't want to have to update it manually every year,
find a simple Javascript that will automatically do
it for you. You'll find one such script at:

Uncle Jims: http://jdstiles.com/java/copyright.html

11) Trust Seals/Testimonials: I grouped these two items
together as they both instil trust and confidence in
your visitors. Remember, when someone comes to your
website, they don't know who you are and if you're
selling something, they may not feel comfortable giving
out their credit card information. To help them feel
more "warm and fuzzy", include trust seals for any
organizations you belong to:

For example:

iCop: http://www.icop.net
BBB: http://www.bbb.org/us/Business-Accreditation/
Honest E Online: http://www.honesteonline.com/index.html

Also, if you have testimonials from happy customers, or
ezine subscribers, weave them into your site copy. People
always love to hear that others have had a happy experience
with your products/services. Make sure you get permission
first from the testimonial writers before placing them
on your website.

So there you have it -my short list of what every site needs to succeed online. Now that you're armed with this information, get out the magnifying glasses and take a close look at your own website to see what may be missing.

It's not hard to create a website, but for one that stands out head and shoulders above the rest, you need to include these important elements. When you launch your next site you want it to be successful, not average. So what are you waiting for? You've got a lot of work to do, so get busy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Appealing to Customers Thru Colors"

One of the first steps you should think about when designing your Website is 'what colors will I use?' Sometimes that decision is made for you in advance, as when your assignment is to put together a corporate site that already has pre-determined company colors that must be used. If not, and the field of color choice is wide open, you need to think long and hard about the psychological effects of different colors and the mood they create.

Let's say the desired effect you're looking for is to create a restful, calm site for a nursing home. You probably won't want to choose an excitable color like red. How many colors should you use? Try to limit your site to two or three at the most. Any more than that will tend to create confusion and look unprofessional.

Since colors can trigger reactions in people, you want the ones associated with your website to be favorable. You want your visitors to fill out that form, purchase that product, sign up for your newsletter. Good color choices can help move them along to the desired response.

Understanding a little about color theory will go a long way in helping you make the most out of your color selections. Below are some basic colors and meanings.

Brown - Comfortable and Enduring
Red - Excitement, energy, passion
Purple - Associated with royalty/mystery
Black - Elegance and sophistication
Yellow - Betrayal- Fear
White - Innocence and Purity
Blue - Reliability and Trust

Are you starting to get an idea of why using the right colors can make or break a site? For example, a site that sells baby merchandise would want to stick with pastel soft colors, not outrageous purple or black.

To learn more about color theory check out these sources:

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Website
http://www.avangate.com/articles/color-web-site_59.htm

Do Colors Influence Website Visitors?
http://www.graphic-design.com/Web/web_color.html

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Website
http://www.outsourcingtemps.com/articles/choosing-the-right-colors-for-your-website

Color is a very powerful aspect of Web design. Take advantage of it and you'll have a successful site that evokes just the right mood and gets the response you're looking for.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Website Updates are a SNAP With Server Side Includes"

If you ever had to make a change to your website that needed to be carried onto every page, you know what a tedious job it is. Well, have I got news for you. It doesn't have to be. p_109 Welcome to the world of Server Side Includes, also known as SSI. The best part about SSI is that it will make your life as a site owner 'oh so sweet.' You're going to want to kiss me after I give you the lowdown on this little beauty.

Let me give you an example. Let's say you have a site with over 50 pages and you need to add another link to your navigation bar. Can you imagine how long it would take you to open each page and update it? By putting your navigation bar into an SSI file, you would only open up that one file and update that -- and the change to your navigation bar will show up site wide. See how simple that was? By editing one file you have updated your entire site instantly.

The most common use of an include file is for your top navigation, your bottom text navigation, copyright, logo or any other piece of info needed to appear on all pages of your site.

So how do you create an SSI file? Glad you asked! An include file can be an HTML file or a simple text file. It should be whatever HTML coding you need for that element of your site, minus  the <HTML> or <Body> tags which should remain on your individual pages.

An easy way to make them is to design your web page and cut and paste the code you want into individual files and name them things like topnavigation.htm or bottomnav.htm. By giving them descriptive names, you'll know at a glance which file is which when it comes time to perform those updates.

After creating the files you plan on using as your includes,you'll need to open your web pages and insert a line of code where you want the SSI information to show up in your documents.

The code looks like this:

  <!--#include virtual="nameofSSIfilegoeshere.htm" -->
  If your includes are located at the root level on  your
  web server your path would look like this:
  <!--#include virtual="dropdownmenu.htm" –>


That's it. Pretty simple, really. After you get the hang of it you'll wish you would have learned about them years ago. They really do make global updating a snap.

Here are a couple of good sites to learn more about SSI:

Big Nose Bird-
http://www.bignosebird.com/ssi.shtml

CGI Resource-
http://cgi.resourceindex.com/Documentation/Server_Side_Includes/

New Breed Software
http://www.sonic.net/~nbs/unix/www/ssi/

Web Reference
http://www.webreference.com/programming/ssi/intro/

Before you start implementing SSI you need to ask your web host if they support them (most do), and also if they will need to be named with any special extensions. Some servers may require you to give them specific extensions like .asp (if it's NT) or .shtml (for many Unix servers). Although the majority won't,  it's always better to ask first. Better safe then sorry.

By designing your website with server side includes you'll save yourself a ton of headaches when it comes time to updating your site. SSI is a Webmaster's best friend, so I suggest you spend some time getting acquainted.

Monday, April 13, 2009

PodCasting 101: "Everything you Need to Know to Get Started"

Everywhere you turn online these days you hear the word "podcast" or "podcasting." No, it's 001_37 not some broadcasting method used by Martians, even though it might sound like it. A Podcast is just an audio file that is syndicated via an RSS feed, that you download and listen to with your computer or a portable device such as an iPod.

What makes it different from an ordinary RSS feed is the audio component included in the "enclosure field." Think of it as a feed that talks to you.

Podcasting is increasing in popularity. According to Forrester Research, by 2010 podcasting should have about 12.3 million listeners. That's a pretty big audience. For more info see http://tinyurl.com/84tyo

Similar to a talk radio show, podcasts can also take the format of an interview. Topics range from business to hobbies; even rants and obsessions. Lengths vary, but a typical podcast will run anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but I have seen some longer. So far, there are not many music podcasts due to the red tape and cost of music licensing -- although musicians and/or small record labels bypass that issue by utilizing their own recordings.

Before you think you need some special device to listen to a podcast, let me assure you that youdon't. Most RSS readers have the capability built in to play podcasts. Any software that can play a sound file can play a podcast. If you want to take them with you to listen to while on the road you'll want to invest in a portable MP3 device like an iPod.

Like other RSS feeds, you decide which ones you want to subscribe to and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Online business owners should think of podcasting as yet another avenue for promoting your products and services. Like an ezine or the RSS feeds you already use, it's a simple inexpensive method of syndicating your audio files online. It would appear that a podcast is a bit more personal. Instead of just reading, like a newsletter, people can listen to the sound of your voice and make a more personal connection.

Now that I have your attention you may be wondering "How do I create a podcast?" Well, it's really pretty simple if you follow the easy steps below:

1) First you'll need to use software to record your own audio file. A good free one is Audacity which you can download at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ While there, you'll also need to download the Lame MP3 Encoder which allows MP3 exportation.

2) Once your audio is recorded you'll need to create an RSS feed file which is simply a special text file with an RSS extension that also includes a particular enclosure tag. For step by step directions on making a feed file see this site:http://make-rss-feeds.com/making-an-rss-feed.htm

There's also a great tutorial on RSS here:

http://www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial/

3) Once your audio and RSS files are completed you'll need to upload both of them to your server/website.

If you'd like to read more here are some more online sites to help guide you.

Create Podcasts Using Your PC http://tinyurl.com/9jfcb

If you don't want to do all this work manually there are software tools specific to podcast creation.

ePodCast Creator http://tinyurl.com/do7sq

GCast- http://www.gcast.com

That's it. Wasn't that simple? Remember, you can't get subscribers if people don't know about your feed, so make sure you add it in a prominent place of your site. You want to make it easy for them to subscribe and add your feed to their news reader.

If you think you're going to have a hit on your hands and want to try to generate cash from your podcast, check out http://www.premiumpodcasting.com/ . They provide a system that allows you to charge for your shows and also include private access to them, track who is listening and more. You can try them out for a four day trial for only one dollar.

Once your podcast is live you'll want to make sure you list it with the various directories
that exist for just this purpose. You'll find a nice list here: http://tinyurl.com/create.php

Podcast Bunker
http://tinyurl.com/9qayk

Podcasting Station
http://tinyurl.com/7qlzq

Robin Good has a huge list at
http://tinyurl.com/9rusq

So now that you see how easy it is to create a podcast, what's stopping you? Remember, this
is a great tool to add to your marketing mix and if you're a bit on the creative side this might be just the ticket. Have fun with it, experiment and you'll become an expert podcaster
in no time.

----------------------------

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Friday, April 10, 2009

The Ultimate Website Checklist


When you're getting ready to launch a new website there are plenty of things you need to check and double check. I keep a list myself. You need to make sure you cross yout t's and dot your i's...so to speak. Here's a nice PDF checklist of all the things you need to check before your next website goes live. Very well done.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"Your Website & The Importance of Keeping an Eye on Bounce Rate"

When you hear the word "bounce", you're probably more inclined to associate it with a bunny checking account, not your website. But for those who study and understand website statistics, they understand that "bounce rate" is an important measure of your website's effectiveness.

Bounce rate, simply put, is the percentage of people who come to your site, then immediately leave without viewing any of the inside content pages. Think of it like window shopping. Say you browse by a shop and don't really care to enter based on what you saw at first glance through the window. The window in this case is your home page. A bad first impression, or irrelevant content, can chase away a visitor and stop them from freely investigating the full content of your site.

Google Analytics defines bounce rate as:

"The percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality - a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren't relevant to your visitors."

Therefore, a high bounce rate is bad but a low bounce rate is a positive sign that your visitors are engaging and exploring your website. So what constitutes a good rate? This is a very hard question to answer, but if you do some research, most say it needs to be under 50%. It also will depend on the type of site that you have. For example, if you're a blogger, many times a visitor will come to your blog to read the latest updates then leave. Thus more often a blog will have a higher bounce rate than a "normal" site as there is no need for them to go any deeper.

How do you know what your bounce rate is? One free program that makes it easy is "Google Analytics". Register, list your sites and paste some HTML code on your pages and you're ready
to go. You'll clearly see your bounce rate go up and down as you view the in-depth reports.

So, how can you improve your bounce rate? First, you'll need to track the rate over time, and also look at the amount of time your visitors are sticking around. Also, take note of the traffic sources. Where is the majority of the traffic coming from? Search engines, direct links, social networking sites like Stumble Upon or Twitter, etc. The source of the traffic and the quality of that traffic will contribute to the overall bounce rate being higher or lower for the week. Some traffic, depending on the source will naturally convert better than others.

Once you know your statistical rate, you'll need to start making small changes, then run tests to see if it improves over time. It all starts with trying to improve the usability of your site's landing page. Translation: what people see when they come to your home page.

You can make changes to the design, look and feel of your site. Make sure there are other links readily available to peak the visitor's interest so they'll want to dive further into your content. Of course, you always want to make sure your site's navigation is user friendly, and that the site itself is easy to use and well organized. Another trick is to play around with different headlines, even change your website's copy. Another big problem is a heavy load time. Make sure your site loads quickly so the visitor isn't reaching for their back button before it even finishes loading.

Change one thing at a time, and keep your eye on the bounce rate to see if it improves. If you're not doing so already, have Google Analytics email your site reports weekly in PDF format. This will make your homework a little easier.

As you can see, bounce rate is an important statistical measure and says a lot about the "stickiness/effectiveness" of your website. There are also those who believe it plays a role in search engine algorithms and how they rank your site. If this is true or not, I don't know - but if it is true it gives you some extra motivation in working on improving it. For more on this controversial subject see:

http://searchengineland.com/bounce-rate-as-a-ranking-factor-15643

http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/11/21/is-bounce-rate-a-google-ranking-factor

By studying your site's bounce rate, you really can learn a lot as to what's working and what's not with your website. It really is an important number to know and one you'll want to continually strive to improve upon.

Like costly heated air leaking out a drafty window, you'll want to do what you can to plug those leaks and try to keep visitors at your site a little longer. It's only when they are fully engaged that they'll make a purchase, subscribe to your ezine or do whatever action you consider a conversion. In the end, isn't that what it's all about? If your site's been losing visitors as fast as they enter, it's time to follow the "bounce rate" and make some much needed changes.

Friday, April 03, 2009

"Put Your Web Biz on Autopilot with Autoresponders"

Anyone who has a web-based business will tell you that answering emails is one of the most yes time consuming chores they face on a daily basis. After answering your emails for any length of time, you'll soon see that many of the requests you receive are for the same information over and over. Instead of typing the same responses again and again you can streamline this process with the use of  autoresponders.

Autoresponders work much in the same way as fax on demand. They're pre-determined email responses that are triggered to go out automatically to specific email inquiries.

There are many ways you can use autoresponders in your online business. Here are my Top Ten:

1) FAQ (Frequently asked questions)- How many times do you get questions on how your site or service works? Take them and answer themall in one text document.

2) Advertising Rates- If you sell ads in your ezine or on your website, set up a document
containing your ad rates and demographic information.

3) Help Responses- For tech support on your site; you can make a list of possible problems
with the solutions along with a note that you'll be in touch soon. This can also be used for tech support with your software or e-books.

4) Copy of your Ezine- If you publish an ezine, make sure you have an issue people can request a copy of by autoresponder. Many times people like to see an issue before they subscribe.Make sure you include subscribe information inside as well.

5) Price Lists-  If you sell products on your site, supply a comprehensive list of items with pricing.

6) Services-  If you perform multiple services, list them along with a brief description and
pricing and how to order.

7) Vacation- If you're going to be out of touch for a week or two you can set up an autoresponder to answer your incoming mail, with a canned response of when you'll return.

8) Short Courses- Many site owners use autoresponders to teach lessons or set up a tutorial on a subject, with one lesson being sent every day over a period of a week or two.

9) Sample Chapter- If you sell an e-book, you could offer a free sample chapter to arouse interest and encourage purchases.

10) Articles- Writing articles (like this one) and distributing them online is a great way to
promote your website. Setting them up on autoresponders makes it extra easy to offer them
to others for possible inclusion in their ezine or on their sites.

If you're in need of an autoresponder service, check out some of these:

Send Free http://www.sendfree.com/
Get Response http://www.getresponse.com/
Free Autobot http://www.freeautobot.com/
123 Response http://www.123response.com/

These are just some ideas for getting mileage from autoresponders. If you take a look at what information is requested most by your business, you'll come up with many more that will suit your need and help put your web-based business on autopilot.