Thursday, September 28, 2006

Do Butterflies Buzz?

Unless you're really new to internet marketing or you've been locked in a closet for the last 6 months, you know who Mike Filsaime is since someone mentions his name in an email almost everyday. And you also know his name is associated with both Instant Buzz and Butterfly Marketing. (Maybe butterflies do buzz or Mike's got a think about insects.)

Anyway, today I'm going to mention his name because I recently listened to 1 of his interviews and want to share some of the information he gave since he answered questions many online marketers have.

Here are 5 of the questions and answers.
  1. Should I use an autoresponder service or an autoresponder package uploaded on my host?

    Mike and I both agree that using a service is the best way to go.

    Why, well in addition to the problems of uploading and maintaining, Mike points out, "the bottom line is it’s a bad thing to be e-mailing from your own server. After your list grows over 10 to 15,000 people and you’re sending two e-mail broadcasts out per week - AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, MSN, and Yahoo and all these huge ISP’s, which make up over 50 percent of the e-mail addresses on your list, blacklist you because they see that too much e-mail is coming through your server."

  2. Should I have a blog?

    Again, Mike and I agree that having a blog is a good thing.

    Here's what Mike says about it, "... if you don’t put a blog then people are going to see the site once, and then they’re going to say, “I’ve been there, I’ve done that. I don’t need to go back.” But if you put a blog they’re constantly going to go back. They’re constantly going to seeing your face and things like that. And it’ll help with the relationship of building your list."

  3. Should I have a list?

    Guess what? Mike and I agree on this 1 too.

    "... the average person will come to your site four to seven times before they buy. They need to see your sales letter four to seven times before they buy it."

    "... if you’re an information marketer and you're selling an information product online, that’s the time when you want to use a squeeze page." Remember, when you drive traffic to a site, "97 percent of the people are not going to buy."

    If you have an e-commerce site selling physical products you should also have a list but you may not need to promote it as actively.

  4. What are some of the best ways to drive traffic to your site and build a list?

    According to Mike there are 3 basic ways to get traffic to your site. You can "buy it, borrow it, and create it." Buying traffic are things like PPC, banner impressions, and magazine/newspaper/radio ads. Borrowing traffic are things like joint ventures, having an affiliate program, ad swaps and free classifieds. Creating traffic is a little bit slower and are things like posting articles on the Internet, writing a press release, optimizing your site for search engines with keywords and putting a signature in your e-mail.

  5. How do you go about building the relationships with your list?

    I totally agree with Mike's answer and urge you to follow his advice.

    "Don’t promote products that you wouldn't use or don't own or don't know the people that are credible that are selling the product. You know, those three things are very important, because if you recommend a product that the person that owns it is not credible, you need to be held accountable, too. Don't use too much or any hype in your e-mails. Hype is a derogatory word. So look at your e-mails. Make sure you don't use things that say, "You'll kick yourself in the morning if you don't click this link." Or, "This is the most important e-mail I'll ever send you." All that type of stuff is just hype."

    When you write an email to your list you are not broadcasting a message to the world, you're writing to each list member as an individual person. "Always write it as if you're writing it to that one person."
Wow, it's truly amazing how much Mike and I agree.

Now Mike provided more information during this interview than what I've shared above. He talks about branding, how to use affiliate links, backend offers and a form of viral marketing.

Now I wish I could say you could hear the interview on my site but unfortunately I can't. If you look at the ad at the top of this page you'll see the link to the free membership site that offers this interview to its free members.

There are other interviews also available but I haven't had a chance to listen to them yet since I am still trying to absorb and implement some of Mike's advice.

Now you may not be a follower of Mike Filsaime. You may not have the skills or the resources to use his Butterfly Marketing concept. And to be quite honest, I have no idea who Joseph Bajjali is or what he has to offer besides the interviews.

But ...

I do know good advice when I hear it (especially when it's the same advice I've been giving) and this interview with Mike Filsaime is full of good advice for anyone who wants an online business.

To Your Success,

PS Sorry if you think the above tip sounds like a sales pitch but I was very impressed with the interview because it answered questions I receive in my inbox every week and I want to give you the opportunity to listen to it. And - I am not pushing you to buy into Mike's Butterfly Marketing concept since there are already a ton of them online right now. I am, however, recommending his free advice since it is the backbone to good online marketing.
Susan has been helping people with their online marketing for more than 3 years. You're invited to join her free membership site at:

You may re-publish the article in its entirety, with the resource information at the bottom left intact.

Friday, September 22, 2006

How To Create Custom Buttons With Word

Since I am currently working on a new site and have been creating menu buttons I'd like share the method I'm using.

Originally I was going to include several screen shots to make it easier to understand but since all those picture would make this page take forever to load I decided not to. Instead, I am going to list the steps and tell you where you can download the free PDF file I've created that includes both the steps and the images.

Oh, I should also mention that while the instructions are written for MS Word they can be easily adapted to MS FrontPage.

For those that use another word processor or html editor, you may be able to adapt these steps to the 1 you're using. In case your word processor doesn't provide drawing tools or you don't have a word processor, you can get a free 1 called OpenOffice at: Open Office works slightly different but does provide drawing tools so you can use it to create the buttons.

To find the Drawing tools available in Word and OpenOffice you can go to the 'View' menu item. Highlight 'Toolbars' and select 'Drawing'.

Below are the 38 steps to creating custom buttons. Don't be intimidated by the number of steps because they're all easy and once you've done them a couple of times they become almost automatic. And like I said, there's a PDF file , CustomButtons, showing pictures of how to do these steps. The PDF file has these 38 steps grouped into a more manageable 13 steps and also includes a couple of hints I've learned as I've used this method.

38 Steps To Create Custom Buttons Using MS Word

1) Open a new document in Word

2) Select ‘Autoshapes’ located at the bottom

3) Select ‘Basic Shapes’ from the menu

4) Select the rounded brackets and click the left mouse button

5) Create a rounded bracket shape in the ‘Draw Box’

6) Select Fill Color located at the bottom.

7) Select ‘Fill Effects’ from the menu.

8) Select the Gradient Tab.

9) To get blended colors select ‘Two Colors’ or ‘Preset’.

10) Pick the colors you want and click ‘OK’.

11) Select ‘Line Color’ located at the bottom.

12) From the menu select ‘No Line’.

13) Open a ‘Text Box’.

14) Type the text you want i.e. Home, Main, etc.

15) Highlight the text and select the font size, color and bold you want.

16) Using the ‘Fill Color’ and ‘Fill Effects’ buttons at the bottom, select ‘No Fill’ and ‘No Line Color’ for the text box.

17) Drag the text box and place it over the rounded bracket image.

18) You may have to resize you image if it’s too large or too small for your text.

19) To keep the rounded corner effect of you picture you need to set the image on a background that is the same color as the background where the button will be placed on your web site.

20) Select ‘Format’ located at the top.

21) Select ‘Background’ from the menu.

22) Select your background color.

23) Select ‘Print Preview’. You can use either a button or the menu item found under ‘File’.

24) Open Irfanview.

25) Turn on ‘Screen Capture’.

26) Have the ‘Print Preview’ of your Word document on your monitor screen.

27) Do a screen capture (Cntrl + F11).

28) An Irfanview window will popup where you draw a box around your button image.

29) Select ‘Crop’ from the ‘Edit’ menu located at the top.

30) Select ‘Image’ from the top menu items.

31) Select ‘Resize/Resample to set the size of your button.

32) Select ‘File’ from the top menu items.

33) Select ‘Save as’.

34) Go to the folder you want to save the image.

35) Type in a file name.

36) Save as either a GIF or JPG file type. (I use GIF).

37) Open your html editor and ‘Insert’ the button image you created where you want it.

38) You can then give this image a hyperlink to the web page you want your visitors to be sent when they click it.

To Your Success,

PS The PFD file CustomButtons is free and you may share it with others if you want. It is contained in a zip file so you'll need an unzip utility plus a Acrobat Reader.

PSS Last week I told you where to get the free graphics editor Irfanview and if you didn't get it but want it, the link is inside the free PDF file.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Where To Get A Free Graphics Editor

While it is true that the graphics on a web page don't do the selling the words do, it is also true that most pages have them because they help capture the attention of your site visitor.

Now creating good looking graphics for your site can be done through some expensive software like PhotoShop. However for those who don't have the money to buy or the time to master an expensive package there is a very popular free and easy alternative called Irfanview. You can get a free copy at:

I've been using Irfanview for a couple of years and find it works very well. It allows you to do things like capture screen shots, crop images and change the colors of your graphics. And it works with many types of images like gif, jpg and bitmap and will convert 1 type to another.
Now I learned about Irfanview thorough a very useful ebook

called "How To Master Web Graphics In 10 Easy Steps" by Louis Allport.

In this ebook Louis not only tells where to get Irfanview but also has videos showing some of the things you can easily do with it. So today rather than write instructions on how to do something I am giving you access to 1 of the videos in his ebook.

To find out how to add text to an image using Irfanview, watch the video at:

If you have a slow internet connection or your browser is messed up like mine, please allow time for the page to come up. I've tested the link and it works it just takes a long time to come up for some of us.

To Your Success,


PS The above tip was not meant to be a sales pitch since this ebook has been available for quite awhile and many subscribers already own it but haven't taken the time to use it. However if you don't have it and would like to know more about Allport's ebook you can see the lessons it contains at:

If your interested in getting a copy of it but don't want a 14 ebook collection you can get it inside our members' area at:

You'll have to login to access this page and this ebook is about half way down the list.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How To Guarantee Failure

After having an online business for more than 3 years I can speak from experience when it comes to making some bad decisions since I've made a few along the way.

So to help those who are thinking about having an online business and to those who've started but are getting discouraged because it seems to take forever and are thinking that there must be a quicker way - This tip is for you.

First let me say that very few become overnight successes and if you've been struggling for awhile trying to get your site up, get some traffic to your site or make some sales from your visitors then you doing some things right. The overnight "wonders" who became successful in a short time are the exceptions and had something like previous experience or lots of money when they started.

For the rest of us who come online with no experience in anything that would help get a site up or advertise or convert visitors to buyers and who must learn how to do everything ourselves, there is a lot to learn, a lot of work to do and a lot of time to wait before there's money coming in.
And it's during that time of learning, working and waiting that many new online business owners fall into some of the same "waste your time and money traps" as those thinking about having an online business.

So to help you learn from some of the same mistakes I and others have made here's a list of things to avoid because these are the most common ways to fail fast.

3 Ways To Fail Fast
  1. Get Rich Quick Schemes - Someone promises you that you can make money in little or no time or you can make money with little or no work.

    This is the number 1 reason most people fail online.There is so much hype out there about how easy it is to make money online it's easy for inexperienced or discouraged people to be persuaded to spend money to get cash quickly.

    Don't do it because "Get Rich Quick Schemes" don't work!Oh, sometimes you may get in at the top of a pyramid scheme and make a few bucks but it won't last. And, if you've associated your name with the scheme you may find it harder to get a legitimate business going since people will associate your name with the failed program.

    And while most who try a "Get Rich Scheme" will just quit and give up when they don't make any money, there are some who will try several "Get Rich Schemes" and lose lots of money looking for the "Right One" before they give up.

  2. No Business Strategy or The Wrong Business Strategyis the second biggest reason new online businesses fail because most people want to get their business up and making money fast.

    Now in case you're not sure what a business strategy is, it's your business plan. It includes what your business will look like when you start, how you intend to get traffic, possible things you may have to modify, future plans for growing your business and of course your goal.

    "Throwing a web page online and buying traffic to make tons of money" is not a good business strategy for a beginner. In fact, even those who have hundreds or thousands of affiliates driving traffic to their sales pages put more into the business strategy for their sales page than this.

    So if you don't have a business strategy, get one. And if you've got one and it doesn't seem to be working, start modifying the things that aren't working.

  3. Trying To Become A "Super Geek"
    A "Super Geek" is someone who knows how to do all the technical work for your online business and develops all the code to get all the latest "bells and whistles" on your site. Sure, you have to know some things to get your business started but you don't have to be a "Super Geek".

    Automation is great, audio is great, video is great, etc. but you don't need all of it when you're first starting. In fact, one of the things I love is how most of the sites selling audio and video packages don't use their own product for their sales page. If these things are really necessary to increase sales then why don't they use them to increase sales? It would sure help me think harder about getting them.

    The bottom line is, after you've mastered enough web programming to get a simple page online you should be spending at least 80% of your time driving traffic to your site. If you want to add more technical stuff then learn about it and develop it in the 20% of your time you're not using to get traffic.

Every successful online business person has had to learn how marketing on the web works. For the 90% who failed, they failed because they didn't take the time to invest in the right education. The 10% who succeeded know that to be successful online you must not go down the 3 most common paths for failure: "Get Rich Schemes", not having a plan and trying to be a "Super Geek". Instead, they invested their time and money into learning how things work and they continue to learn as the web changes.

To Your Success,

PS Today I was going to write about how to install a small 7 file automation script on your site. However, after spending more than 2 hours with it and never getting it to work I've decided that the number of files and whether or not they use a database does not determine the degree of difficulty in using an automation script. (I have large automation scripts that use databases uploaded and working on 2 other sites. And while getting the scripts uploaded and working was fairly easy and straight-forward, modifying the code to look and feel like my site takes a great deal of time and programming skill.)

So until you've mastered a lot of basic web skills like html, autoresponders, uploading files, getting traffic, etc., I recommend you put off automation scripts until you have time to master some of the more advanced skills like php and cgi programming and installing databases.