Thursday, June 29, 2006

To Dream ...

What would you like to do if you had enough money to quit your job and your online business could take care of itself? - What would you do in all that extra free time?"

That's the question I asked my subscribers recently.

When I asked the question I knew some would think that it was another of our "just for fun" questions and others would figure I'd use it to tell them how to define their goal.

Actually, neither of these are the reason I asked the question.

While it is fun to dream and making our dream a reality is why most of us start an online business, there is another reason to dream about what you would do if you didn't have to work.

Your dream of a bigger house, traveling all over the world, driving a race car, sailing across the ocean or whatever - is something you're interested in.

But more than that ...

... It's something you can use to find the niche for your online business.

Now before you start telling me why you can't use your dream to help you identify a niche market let me give you 5 reasons why you can.
  1. If you're interested in something then there are probably a lot of others who are just as interested. Of course you would have to do some basic research to find out if the group is large enough and if they spend enough online to make it worth pursuing - but you have to do that anyway.
  2. If your dream is not specific enough to identify a market then you need to work on your dream. If you had enough money and time to live your dream you'd have to know the specifics or how would you make it come true?
  3. Think your dream is too big? Then pick a piece of it to start.
  4. Think your dream is too small? Then expand it. It's your dream and you can make it as big or as little as you want.
  5. But it's only your dream. You don't know anything about it. To that I have to ask, why not? If you really want and expect to someday have your dream come true you should start learning some things about it now.

One of the mistakes most people make when they are trying to pick their niche market is to think - "I am not an expert so no one will care what I have to say."

But what exactly is an expert?

An expert is someone who knows more about something than someone else - not everybody else - someone else.

So if you learn a little about your dream you are an expert to those who share the same dream and haven't learned as much as you.

All the internet marketing gurus tell you to pick a niche that you either know about or are passionate about. But what is your passion? Is it your job? Is it your family? Is it something you already know or do? Or is it something you want to do but don't have time for?

If your dream is your passion then remember some of the important words in that old song "The Impossible Dream."

To dream the impossible dream,

And the world will be better for this

You can read all the lyrics and listen to the entire song at:'Toole/impossibledream-lyrics.htm. (To hear the song click the music notes next to the song title.)

So dream your impossible dream. Then put it to work and make it happen.

To Your Success,

Thursday, June 22, 2006

19 Formatting Tips To Improve Your Sales Letter

Before I list 19 simple ways to improve your "sales" letter you need to understand 2 things:
  1. For this article, an online "sales" letter is defined as any web page where you want to get an action from your reader - a sale, a sign-up, go to another page, etc.
  2. It's the words and the way you format the words on your "sales" letter that cause the reader to do the action you want. The words - not the pictures - do the work and cause the reaction of your site visitor.

Now that you know what a "sales" letter is and it's the words that are the most important part, here are 19 tips for writing effective "sales" letters.

  1. Have an attention grabbing headline at the top of the page where your visitor can see it without scrolling.
  2. The best color to use for your headline is red. It can be any shade of red but red works the best to get someone's attention.
  3. Put your name close to the top of the page before the body of the "sales" text.
  4. Put your name at the bottom of the "sales" text.
  5. Use a picture of your real signature or one that looks real.
  6. Use sub-headlines within your "sales" letter.
  7. Sub-headlines should be the same color as you main headline.
  8. Don't underline text in the body of your "sales" letter. (People assume underlining means it's a link and may try to click on it.)
  9. Draw attention to your testimonials by having them in separate boxes.
  10. Put some space between the testimonial and the border of the box containing it so it will stand out. A different background color for the box is good too.
  11. A good testimonial should state specifically what they liked about your product, ezine, etc. Use some method to highlight the specific thing they liked.
  12. If you are selling a product on your page do not use red for the price. Subconsciously red means stop.
  13. Bonuses are good when they relate to your main offer. Unrelated bonuses can work against you.
  14. Use some method to highlight the important parts of your "sales" letter for those who just skim the page.
  15. Even though PayPal has some "bad press" within the internet marketing community, it is still one of the best payment processors to use because it is so widely known and trusted. So if you use another payment processor you may want to include a PayPal button as an additional method of payment.
  16. Just like they work on paper, sticky notes on your web page capture your visitors attention for a few seconds. Make those seconds work for you.
  17. White space is very important because it makes the "sales" letter easier to read. Use it to separate paragraphs and important list items - especially when the list items have a lot of text.
  18. Chose an easy to read font and make it an easy to read size and color.
  19. Make sure you include a "call to action." That means you tell them exactly what they are to do - buy, sign-up, go to, etc.

Remember, every time someone visits your "sales" letter they've come with the idea not to do what you want and it's your job to sell them the idea that they "want" to do your desired action.

It's your words and how you format them on your page that make the difference.

To Your Success,
FriendsWhoCare Newsletter

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tracking Your Business To Success

Recently I asked if you were tracking your ads and 2/3's of
my subscribers stated they didn't - most said it was because
they didn't know how.

Because "not knowing how" seemed to be the biggest reason, I
won't bore you with all the reasons tracking is important. Just
know that it is.

Now before we get started I am going to admit that I am Not a
tracking guru. Like most of my readers, I do everything myself
and don't have time to set up tracking links for everything.
Also, since I don't have the time to set up a lot of tracking
links, I haven't installed a tracking program on my host nor do
I pay a service to track my stats. So until I start paying
someone to help me with my business, I use the stats provided by
my hosting service and 1 free service that also provides some
traffic. (I do have the ability to create tracking links through
my autoresponder and have access to a professional tracking
service but very seldom use them.)

With that said, here are 3 ways to get information to help
you track what's going on with your business:

  1. Use the information provided by your hosting service.

    Gathering statistical information for your business is another
    reason to have your own domain name and using a hosting
    service. The information provided is easily accessed, can tell
    you some very valuable information and doesn't create any
    additional work. (This is assuming your hosting service
    provides statistical information and most do. If yours doesn't
    you should find one that does.)

    Using the stats provided by your host you should be able to
    see things like what pages are visited most frequently, what
    country your visitors are coming from, what type of browser
    they're using, how many unique visitors you're getting, the
    most popular keywords used to find your site the page, what
    robots and spiders are visiting your site, the links used to
    access your site and how many times an eBook has been

    Looking at my June stats today, June 7, I can tell you that
    I've received 45 hits from Downloadfreegifts. This doesn't
    tell me how many have signed up but it does tell me how many
    have visited my signup page. (That's why I told you how I
    track where my sign ups are coming from.) I also know how many
    have visited the newsletter page with the poll so I know how
    many look at the poll as compared to how many who vote - Big
    difference! I can also see what people are downloading from my
    site. (Good for finding out if people are stealing your

  2. Use a free tracking service.

    Free tracking services usually only provide you with a
    redirection URL (good for hiding affiliate links) and the
    number of hits to your link. This is not very much information
    but it can still be useful.

    Using these services is very easy since all you have to do is
    sign up, enter the url you want to track and a short
    description so you can remember what your tracking, copy the
    url they create and start using that url in all your ads.

    I've signed up for 2 of these free services:

    I haven't really used trackthatad but do
    use linkbrander since I also get additional traffic for using
    their links. (Also, trackthatad has some annoying pop-ups for
    their tutorials that appear on just about every page.)

  3. Use the tracking links provided by your autoresponder

    Many autoresponder services have the capability to create
    tracking links. Again, all you have to do is enter the url you
    want tracked and a brief description so you'll remember what
    you're tracking. They create a link and that's the 1 you use.

Now here's 1 easy way to track your ads in ezines...

When you enter the url you want to track in the tracking service
you're using add - ?ezinename

to the end of your url (ezinename is the name of the ezine where
you're placing the ad.)


Do this for every ezine you're using. Place the appropriate
link for the ezine in the ad you submit.

After the ads have run you can check how many hits came to
each link and you'll know which ads worked the best. You'll want
to do this for several weeks and be modifying your ads until you
find one that works. After you've found one that works keep
using it. You may find that different ads work better in
different ezines.

You do not need to be a tracking expert or pay a lot of money
to start tracking your ads. You don't have to upload scripts or
put page counters on your web pages. With all the free services
that are now available you can get some basic stats to start
tracking your ads - today.

To Your Success,

PS If you're looking for an inexpensive, reliable hosting
service that provides some good website stats here are the 2 I
use: and

I highly recommend because they also provide my autoresponder (with tracking capability) and a good tracking service in addition to many other services that I use all the time.