Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2004
I was surfing the net, hunting for new forum activity, when I came across a small forum site. It wasn't anything to write home about. There weren't too many postings in any of the discussion lists. Except for the Business opportunity section. That made me laugh.
The most that one had was 7 postings. And yet the Business opportunity section had 50 postings. Probably more by now. So many people trying to market stuff in a forum that almost no one is monitoring.
Out of curiosity I clicked on the business opportunity link. I was scanning the links and one stood out to me. In amongst the offers and get rich quick schemes, there was actually someone asking for advice!
My curiosity was piqued! I clicked on the link to see who this was. This is what he posted in the thread:
"Hi. I'm new to the internet and am looking for a good business opportunity. Does anyone have any advice."
Suprisingly, after a month of being listed in the business opportunity section, he had only gotten one reply.
Actually, I suppose it's not that wierd if you think about it. Many people are willing to peddle their wares to forums but not too many are willing to become an active participant.
One person responded with a short and simple message telling him to go to the website of some MLM program. Some MLM program that he was probably a member of.
Not that I'm against MLM programs, mind you. Some people swear by them. I don't, but some people do. (If you don't know what MLM is, just do a quick search on google for it. You'll find out right quick.)
Anyway, I just had to reply. Maybe it was because this kid reminded me of me when I first got involved in internet marketing. Maybe it was because I hate seeing another human being lead like a lemming down a path where 95% of them wind up falling off of a cliff.
Anyway, I finished typing my reply and sat back and looked at it. I realized that this was the kind of information I wish I had before I got started in internet marketing.
So with that being said I have posted my response to his query below.
I just saw your posting on the forum.
My name is Shaun and my handle in the forum is FoeHammer. Feel free to look up my profile.
If you are looking for a good business opportunity I'd actually suggest staying away from what looks too good (at least to start). And I'd definitely suggest you stay away from anyone who would just throw out the name of an "opportunity" without giving you one scrap of advice or direction afterwrads.
The worst thing a marketer can do is push what "looks good". You need to do a little marketing research first. And it's not that difficult to do. I know of a program that can get you off to a great start. (Bear with me. I can go on when I get on a role).
Follow this URL:(http://our.affiliatetracking.net/wordtracker/a/9593)
This will take you to a site called Word Tracker. This is an awesome utility for marketing research. It is essentially a huge database with every search that has been done within the last 60 days on every major search engine by anyone who uses the internet. That means that you can enter any term and see exactly how many people on the internet are intrested in it by how many searches they did for that and similar keywords.
I would suggest a topic that you are personally interested in.
Let's face it, if you like golf then you are probably not the only one who likes golf. (Well, maybe you are. I've heard it said that men never really play golf. They just use it as an excuse to leave the house and swear. ;) Anyway, just market to people like you.
So, first compile a list of the most searched for terms in their database. I personally would discard any word with a count of less than 500 searches. But use your own judgement. (P.S. They also have a weekly newsletter with the top searches done on the net in that week. They offer this service to people who subscribe to their wordtracker service.)
Next you run what they call a KEI analasys. (Don't worry, they have manuals for this kind of thing too.) You don't have to do anything, they'll do it for you.
Basicaly they score every keyword on a scale from 1-400+ based on a) How many searches are done for that keyword and b) how many other businesses are competing for that keyword.
This is how the keywords are scored.
1-10 is a terrible keyword. Just throw those out immediately. 10-100 is a decent keyword. You have a fair shot at having your web page seen in a web search. But so do all of your competitors. 100-400 is an EXCELLENT keyword. Jump on these. And anything 400+ is just a gift. If you land any of these (and I'm sure you will) YOU will be just about the only person who a surfer will see when they use that particular keyword. Does that sound valuable?
This KEI analasys has two purposes.
One, it helps you target your niche. Your "niche" is a small but potentially profitable corner of the market that you can DOMINATE if you play your cards right.
For example, you might search for "golf". One of the terms you get back that has the highest count AND the highest KEI (note that most words with high KEI have very low search counts. Remember, no one's using them for a reason. But there are a few gems in there.) might be "golf bags" (guessing). You might then want to target your marketing efforts on "golf bags." Give links for golf bag and golf bag accessories. Tips on taking care of your golf bag. An ebook on how to design your own golf bag. I don't know, I don't even play golf! But the point is you have just targeted your niche.
The second reason is because it helps you pick out the name of your future website. You will be ranked much higher in the search engines if your keywords are a part of your title and/or your description. Plus use as many of these high count, high KEI words as you can in your links, articles, as alt text for your pictures, etc. The search engines will love you for it.
So, the name for our ficticious site might be "The Golf Bag Store.com" or "Golf Bag's R'Us.com" or "The Golf Bag Emporium.com". Whatever. I don't even play golf!
I suppose a real life example would be a website of mine. When I was doing marketing research for my next site I noticed that the keywords with the highest count and the highest KEI (within the field of internet marketing) were "work at home" and "work from home". Therefore I named my new site (http://www.work-at-home-help.com).
Also, when the keywords are in the title they stand out in bold just like I did here (I hope you can see it). When they stand out in bold in the search window the surfer will think that the site is more relevant (which it may or may not be) and visit.
One thing that I think I have to warn you against is word stuffing. "Word stuffing" is when you pack your site with keywords at every possible turn. Some people have paragraphs with just nonsense. Inane babble filled with their keywords. Like this for example:
"When you download Brittany Spears .Mpg .Avi .MP3 be sure to upgrade to the FREE trial verson of the Paris Parus Hilton Haltun Video. Make money by becoming an affiliate with KISS and Pamela Anderson's golf bag..."
And on, and on. I've highlighted the keywords (as if you couldn't tell.)
I'm sure you've seen this. People do it all the time to increase their ranking in the search engines.
There are many forms of word stuffing. Another form of stuffing is having a back ground that is all one color (say white, for example). You then take as many keywords as you can think of and have them at the bottom of the page or in the margins and have them the same color as the background. The effect is that people never see the keywords, but the search programs (bots, spiders, etc.) do. And they rank (or ranked) you accordingly.
I say "ranked" because these forms of word stuffing DON'T WORK ANYMORE! In fact they can get you penalised with a lower listing or even have you booted out of the search engines database all together.
But there are two simple things you can consider to avoid these problems.
1) Keep it relevant and 2) Keep it timely.
If you want to add alt text to a picture of a golf bag, for example, just title it "golf_bag.txt". If you want to use your keyword with your description or articles just use it wherever and whenever it's appropriate. You'll come out ahead in the end.
Anyway, we went on a bit of a tangent there but we're back.
Next all you have to do is get a product to sell. That's not too difficult. You can join an affiliate program. You can start your own newsletter. You can write an ebook or a course (downloadable products do well on the internet.) There are many "businesses in a box" you could try. These are usually free and offer some products that are already selling like hot cakes on the net.
It's up to you.
Anyway, I went on for a lot longer than I thought I would. I hope I didn't bore you.
It's really not that difficult. The hardest part is just sitting down and doing it.
Keep in touch and visit (http://www.work-at-home-help.com). It has more resources for you to consider there.
To your health,
About the Author
After receiving his diploma in Business Administration (marketing major) Shaun immediately turned his attention to the internet. Combining humor with his own knowledge in marketing and sales (plus his own fumbling experience) his articles are always informative and entertaining.
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