Be Human Online

Written by Shannan Hearne-Fortner

How hard is it really to be human online? If you ran a brick and mortar business, wouldn't you be personable and friendly to everyone who visited your store? Why should you be any different with your e-store?

It is so easy to hide behindrepparttar internet store front and remain nameless and faceless. But it isn't prudent.

Take some time to walk outrepparttar 125114 front door of your e-business occasionally, too. Rememberrepparttar 125115 green grocer sweeping his store steps? You should dorepparttar 125116 same. Visit with people online who are part of your same community. Communicate through email, networking, even making phone calls. Get out of your store and into your neighborhood! Be human online.

It is so easy to not be human when doing e-business. And it costs you so much business not to be human.

The next time you read an article or observe a discussion online jot down a note or send an email torepparttar 125117 author orrepparttar 125118 participants orrepparttar 125119 subject ofrepparttar 125120 discussion. Tell them whyrepparttar 125121 information was of value to you, and even venture out to ask them some questions. If you write articles yourself, ask permission to quoterepparttar 125122 individual or even do an interview. Flattery in its most honest form will still take you far!

When you take a human approach to reaching people online, you get huge results. Very often, these same people who previously seemed so unattainable will visit your site, make comments, and even ask to publish or quote you and your content. With, of course, a link back to your site.

What did you invest inrepparttar 125123 contact? A few minutes. Twenty tops?

A perfect example is my dear friend Jan Crowell. Jan, who lives thousands of miles away from me, saw some of my posts on an email list and took a moment to get in touch with me directly. That was five years ago! She has been with me through infancy of as well as my youngest child. We have shared successes, failures, ideas, and a wonderful friendship. All because she took a moment to make a human contact with me. I'm pleased to have a wonderful review of a product Jan introduced me to on my web site. Jan has probably earned more sales of this product for me than I have done myself.

Jan has also donerepparttar 125124 lion's share ofrepparttar 125125 design work for my site. Not to mention, my logo! She put forth a little effort to get in touch with me. And got a friend and customer for life. (And I don't know what I would do without her) Byrepparttar 125126 way, you can email Jan at

When you become human online, and network accordingly, you create not only to traffic, but something even more valuable - credibility amongst people who in turn have important contacts and credibility with a broad audience.

There is a belief that everyone is connected to everyone else inrepparttar 125127 world by no more than six outward circles of personal connections. And that was BEFORErepparttar 125128 internet. I have a personal contact base of people in over 14 countries. And my client base is wider than that.

So how do you make these personal connections?

Send email. Write letters. Ask permission to do interviews for articles. Write and tell authors how much and why you enjoyed their articles. Share your own tidbits of information with people.

I use a customer relationship management software program called GoldMine (TM). Other similar products include Outlook Express (TM) and ACT (TM). GoldMine helps me keep track of who I know, who they know, what people's interests are, how I can be of help to them, and maintains records of allrepparttar 125129 historical data of previous contacts with each of them. So when I get a new customer who has a similar niche market to a customer from three years ago, I can make electronic introductions and help two otherwise strangers do joint promotions. Thereby building further each one's personal contact base.

Product Review: Zeus

Written by Richard Lowe

Have you ever thought about promoting your site? It does not really matter if your site is about your cat, a product you want to sell or mythology ... presumably you are trying to communicate something torepparttar entire world, or at least a portion of it. It's a pretty sure bet that somewhere inrepparttar 125113 world at least one (or hopefully more) person would want to see your site.

However, site promotion offers perhapsrepparttar 125114 biggest challenge of all to most webmasters. How inrepparttar 125115 heck do you getrepparttar 125116 word out about your site torepparttar 125117 people who need or want to know? To make matters even more confusing you have to follow a poorly defined set of ethical standards; if not, you might be accused of spamming, and who wants that?

If you are like most other webmasters, you've tried just about everything. You've submitted to search engines (these are fair traffic generators) and FFA lists (worthless), created an ezine (good source of return traffic), added your site to webrings (minor but sustained traffic) and even added your site to dozens of top site lists. Sure, you've managed to get some traffic to your site, but still no where nearrepparttar 125118 big leagues.

If you've done all this and nothing else, then you've missed a couple ofrepparttar 125119 biggest traffic-generators of all: viral marketing (not discussed in this article) and link exchanges.

Exchanging links should be a normal part of your promotional habits. In fact,repparttar 125120 best strategy that I've learned overrepparttar 125121 years is simply to keep my eyes open as I surf. As I visit sites, I enjoy what they have to offer, learn what they are attempting to teach, and decide if I want to exchange links with them. What is this decision based upon? Whether or not I believerepparttar 125122 web site has value to my own readers. That'srepparttar 125123 only criteria that's important - ifrepparttar 125124 link does not have value to my readers then they will figure it out and will lose trust in me. This can be fatal to getting return visitors.

Building up a proper link exchange is a constant, daily effort which should never cease. This is perhaps one ofrepparttar 125125 most time consuming efforts of all - building up and maintaining a link exchange.

That's where a product called Zeus comes into play. This interesting program theoretically automates a fair portion ofrepparttar 125126 link exchange process. What you do is "teach" Zeus what kind of sites you want to include in your exchange. At first you do this explicitly by specifying keywords, then you do it implicitly by accepting or rejecting sites.

It's a long and tedious process, but inrepparttar 125127 end you do wind up with a reasonably intelligent robot. Now you cut it loose onrepparttar 125128 internet. The robot (it's really a spider) examines web pages, looking here and there for pages (sites) which match it's internal set of rules.

Once you have let Zeus run for a while it will build up a list of a few sites (or a few hundred, depending on what it finds). Now Zeus works more or less like a surfing tool - you just visit each site usingrepparttar 125129 Zeus browser, examine it, then indicate which category (if accepted) you want it to appear in. You can then tell Zeus to send an email torepparttar 125130 webmaster ofrepparttar 125131 site, and handle any additional correspondence as needed.

The other task that Zeus is good for is maintainingrepparttar 125132 link exchange pages themselves. This is especially useful inrepparttar 125133 PRO version (costs a few hundred dollars), as you can customize these pages as much as you want.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use