Net Words by Nick Usborne - A Book ReviewWritten by Mike Banks Valentine
Business online differs dramatically from business offline in several key areas. The first and most important is difference between behavior of online buyers and their offline counterparts. Offline buyers must first be AWARE that service or product they seek is available near their location, then either call a specific company they know and trust or visit a particular dentist, accountant, hardware store or auto parts retailer. When an offline buyer decides to purchase an item or a service, he first must decide where to spend his money, what his budget will allow him to purchase and when he will get in his car and drive to whatever location is necessary to complete his actions. Even if product or service he intends to buy comes to his home in case of tree trimming service or pool man, he will decide who to contact based on what? Advertising! In phone book, promotional flyers, newspaper classified ads, billboard advertisements, word of mouth, television or radio ads. This is why we are constantly bombarded from every one of those sources by companies that sell their products and services locally, regionally and nationally with ADVERTISING.
This is also why advertising online has failed so miserably and contributed to bursting of high-tech bubble. We tried to apply that offline advertising model to online world and it just doesn't fit! How do people behave when considering a purchase of products or services online? Do they wander around to different web sites to purposefully look at those annoying, blinking flashing, beeping banner ads. NO! They go to a search engine, type product or service into a search box and click "Search" button! They don't look for a billboard telling them where to go, they don't look for an exit sign, they don't reach for a phone book or ask their neighbor, THEY GO TO A SEARCH ENGINE! They may change words they type into that search box, they may misspell words they use to search for your product or service, they may use a brand name to search for a product, they may specify town they hope to visit in that search query. They may research problem that they hope to solve with their purchase before deciding where, when or from whom to buy it. These are very important clues to determining how to market your product or service online! Nobody sits down in front of their computer knowing answers to all of their buying decisions! They search, research, shop randomly, shop at YAHOO! But in all of that bouncing around online, they will, at some point use a search engine or directory to find what they want to know, then they will decide where to buy it, whether that is done online or offline. You are dealing with someone seeking information, features, benefits, resources, solutions, pricing, comparisons when seeking online buyers. They are NOT looking for your business name, your widget, your service offering, nor will they necessarily purchase online! They are seeking a solution to their problem. Whether that is how to treat their sensitive skin after a summer sunburn, or seeking price comparisons on used cars, or real estate values and finding local agents. Search and research -- That is online behavior. The online buyer is seeking something that can be found using WORDS, TEXT, DESCRIPTIONS and INFORMATION! They don't shop based on who has best Flash Movie, they aren't searching for nice photographs of your building, your fancy equipment or technical illustrations of your products. They will find YOUR SITE one way and one way only if they haven't already bookmarked your front page. By USING A SEARCH ENGINE, TYPING WORDS into search box!
Tips & Tricks for More EfficiencyWritten by Terri Seymour
When running an online business, there are so many important details to remember to take care of. Between website maintenance, answering emails, writing articles, organizing ad swaps, searching for ezine content, etc., etc., we tend to get a little overwhelmed sometimes.
I would like to share some of my timesaving tips & tricks that I use to help me get things done more efficiently.
Save each issue of your ezine and just change what is necessary for each issue. When you come across a resource you would like to share with your readers, you can then just open up template and slap resource in place.
Print out all your ad swaps and write date that each ad will run as you finalize each swap. Keep them all in their own file folder, so each week (or when your ezine is published) when you go through them, dates will be easily seen and ads will be organized. I find that this way of organizing my swaps is much easier than searching through email folders and floppies for correct ads to run for each issue. I also use this method with my ad sales.
Keep all your past issues on floppy or CD, so when you reuse some of your ads or promotions you can just copy and paste into current issue.
*Writing & Submitting Articles
You definitely want to have an idea notebook. Each time you get an idea for an article, write it down in notebook. I usually get my ideas as I am getting Web Success ready to send out, but when I do get an idea between issues, I will write it down.
As you are writing article, think to yourself, what information did I need and/or want to know about this subject when I was first starting. Just start writing as if you were telling a friend or family member about it. For me, it flows more naturally that way.
Have all your editor emails and article list addresses saved in their own email file. Also, save your "Dear Editor" email. When you finish each article, paste it into saved email, copy and paste your editor addresses into Bcc line and click send. Next open your saved article list email, paste current article into it, paste list addresses into Bcc line and click send. What could take an hour or more now takes about 10 minutes.