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This newsletter is not sent unsolicited. See the end of this
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   #045/11-June-00


   POOR RICHARD'S WEB SITE NEWS
   Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site

       Editor: Peter Kent
         Top Floor Publishing
           http://PoorRichard.com/


        Over 49,000 Subscribers in More Than 100 Countries!




   ~~~ IN THIS ISSUE ~~~

   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

   Beginner's Column:
       Don't Lose 25% of Your Sales ... Think International

   More on Text Cleaners

   Affiliate Programs From One Side ...

   ...And Affiliate Programs from the Other Side

   The Top Floor Affiliate Program

   Another Text-Replacement Tool

   Poor Richard's Web Site and Other Top Floor Books

   Book Reviewers Wanted

   Reading Back Issues

   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
         **** IF YOU FIND THIS NEWSLETTER USEFUL ...
         FORWARD IT TO FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES ****



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   {{ Beginner's Column:
      Don't Lose 25% of Your Sales ... Think International }}
   ========>>>

   Most Americans doing business on the Internet focus on the
   American market, completely forgetting about overseas business.
   In fact most e-commerce systems don't even allow merchants to
   ship products overseas; either they don't allow them to take
   credit cards from outside the U.S., or they simply don't
   provide enough flexibility in shipping calculations to let
   merchants differentiate between, say, Arizona and Australia.
   Yet overseas sales are often significant. Ten percent, fifteen
   percent, twenty percent or more.

   Missy Ramey, my publishing company's (Top Floor Publishing's)
   Marketing Manager recently told me that approximately one
   quarter of all the orders the company receives are from people
   living _outside_ the USA. Marketing to a global audience is
   very important to Top Floor, so our staff actively promote
   overseas -- contacting journalists throughout the world, for
   instance. We get requests for review copies from overseas
   members of the press through this newsletter, and we contact
   them directly when we think they may be interested in one of
   our books.

   If we can ship books throughout the world -- which of course we
   can -- and if can affordably communicate with journalists
   throughout the world -- which we can -- then it only makes
   sense to think of our business as an international one. We can
   send review copies to most places from which we're likely to
   receive requests in a matter of a few days, for under $9 (talk
   to your local post office about Global Post, which few
   Americans seem to know about ... if you're outside the U.S.
   you'll probably find that your national post office has a
   similar service).

   In fact one of our books, "MP3 and the Digital Music
   Revolution," received most press _outside_ the United States.
   I'm not exactly sure why -- maybe it was a combination of
   timing and the fact that we weren't ignoring the international
   market. There were a few other MP3 books that hit the US market
   at about the same time ... yet it's likely that the publishers
   of those books ignored the global market.

   I found the following article a good reminder not to neglect
   such an important audience, with a few useful tips.

   Marketing to a Global Audience
   by Marc Goldman, Goldbar Enterprises
   -----------

   Are your Internet marketing efforts focused solely on the
   United States? If so, you may be passing up on one of the best
   opportunities ever to reach a global audience.

   The entire world has the opportunity to access the Internet and
   many people are purely interested in the commercial aspects of
   the web. This global audience has both the ability and the
   desire to purchase goods and services and to conduct commerce
   online. They are often more serious minded than the sometimes
   jaded American Internet surfer. In other words, they make
   buying decisions quickly, often return for repeat purchases and
   are less likely to frivolously return products.

   This is not to say that Americans are not serious about
   E-Commerce, on the contrary, many are very serious and
   organized business people. However, in many parts of the world,
   Internet access is a privilege and those who have it do not
   take it for granted. Instead, they use their privilege wisely,
   often to grow a business online.

   Anybody selling products and services online can utilize the
   net to reach this new global marketplace and immediately
   increase their prospect (and customer) base by the hundreds of
   thousands.

   Here are four ways that you could begin reaching this vast
   audience today:

   1. Send out press releases to the international media. This
   website http://www.esperanto.se/kiosk/engindex.html contains
   over 14,000 links to papers from all over the world.

   2. Make sure your site is listed in search engines and
   directories that target a global audience. This software,
   global promobot, can automate the process of submitting to
   these global search engines. Click here for more information
   http://foreverweb.com/cgi-foreverweb/hosting_click.cgi?IM6715

   3. Discover websites from other countries and try to work out a
   co-branding and joint venture relationship. Make sure the sites
   you partner with reach the same audience you are targeting.

   4. Purchase advertising space on targeted websites from other
   countries. These media buys are often quite inexpensive and can
   sometimes yield better results than the overcrowded and
   under-responsive U.S. websites.

   When you begin focusing your efforts globally instead of
   nationally, the potential reach of your website will increase
   dramatically.
   ***********************************************************
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   Discover the exclusive members only website that will propel
   your business to dizzying heights.
   http://www.goldbar.net/yoap/d.cgi?index-27



       ^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+




   {{ More on Text Cleaners }}
   ========>>>

   This will be the last I'll write about text cleaners for some
   time, I hope. I've written about several in the last couple of
   issues, but I just wanted to clarify one more point, about the
   program called eCleaner.

   I was mistaken in the last issue when I said that eCleaner only
   removed the > symbols used when a message is quoted within
   another message. I received e-mail from several users, and even
   the program's publisher, Steve Chin, saying that the program
   does far more. However, in my own defense I'll say that I based
   my statement on the information at the eCleaner Web site, which
   says very little about the program ... beyond that it removes
   the > symbols. (As Steve said to me in an e-mail, "Yep, never
   been much for marketing, I guess...")

   So, in case you're still interested, the program:

   - Cleans the ">" marks...
   - Fixes up word wrapping (so that sentence fragments get
     put back together).
   - Removes HTML code
   - Remove recognized headers and footers
   - Rich Text Support

   If you want to check it out, see ...
   http://members.tripod.com/schin26/

   However, if this is all eCleaner does (I haven't checked for
   myself), it still doesn't seem to match TextSoap, which you can
   find here:

   http://www.TextSoap.com/




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   {{ Affiliate Programs From One Side ... }}
   ========>>>

   First, a quick definition. An Affiliate program is a system in
   which Web sites can earn commissions by sending buyers to Web
   stores. A visitor to site A sees a link to site B. He clicks on
   the link, enters site B, and buys something from site B's
   store. Site B then pays site A a sales commission for routing
   the buyer to site B.

   There are two sides to the affiliate game. Most people are
   playing the game by signing up with affiliate programs, then
   linking from their Web sites to the site running the affiliate
   program ... hoping to make money in the form of commissions.
   It's very easy to get started, and hundreds of thousands of
   people have already done so. Amazon.com claims to have 400,000
   affiliates (or "associates," as they call them), for instance.

   Of course there's another way to play the affiliate game ...
   you can set up an affiliate program yourself, linked to a
   shopping-cart system, then recruit other Web sites to send
   business to you. Ah, but that's a little more difficult.

   First, then, here's a short article on how to increase
   commissions if you're signed up as an affiliate. After that
   I'll discuss how to set up an affiliate program yourself.
   ----

   10 Ways To Increase Your Affiliate Commissions!
   by Larry Dotson


   1. Participate in chat rooms related to the product
   you're reselling. Start a conversation with a person
   without trying to sell to them. Later on, while you
   are chatting, mention the product you're reselling.

   2. Create a free ebook with the advertisement and
   link of your affiliate web site. The subject of the free
   ebook should draw your target audience to down-
   load it. Also submit it to some ebook directories.

   3. Start your own affiliate program directory. Join
   a large number of affiliate programs and list them all
   in a directory format on your web site. Then just
   advertise your free affiliate program directory.

   4. Write your own affiliate program ads. If all the
   other affiliates use the same ads you do, that does
   not give you an edge over your competition. Use
   a different ad to give yourself an advantage over
   all the other affiliates.

   5. Use a personal endorsement ad. Only use one if
   you've actually bought the product or service for the
   affiliate program. Tell people what kind of benefits
   and results you've received using the product.

   6. Advertise the product you're reselling in your
   signature file. Use an attention getting headline and
   a good reason for them to visit your affiliate site.
   Make sure your sig file doesn't go over 5 lines.

   7. Join a web ring. It should attract the same type
   of people that would be interested in buying the
   product you're reselling. You could also trade links
   on your own with other related web sites.

   8. Participate on web discussion boards. Post your
   comments, answer other people's questions, and
   ask your own questions. Include your affiliate text
   link under each message you post.

   9. Create a free ezine. Use your ezine to advertise
   the affiliate programs you've joined. Submit your
   ezine to online ezine directories and promote it on
   your web site.

   10. Start a private web site. Use it as a free bonus
   if people buy the product you resell. You could
   also allow people to join for free and you could
   advertise the affiliate program you've joined.
   ----
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   If you'd like to find affiliate programs that you can sign up
   with, you can find a list of them at the Poor Richard's
   Internet Marketing and Promotions Web site:

   http://poorrichard.com/promo/

   Click on the "Links in Book" tab at the top of the page, and
   search for Chapter 13, where you'll find links to 14
   directories, listing thousands of different programs.



       ^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+




   {{ ...And Affiliate Programs from the Other Side }}
   ========>>>

   The flip side of the affiliate coin is to set up a program
   yourself, then encourage other Web sites to sign up and send
   you visitors -- you'll then pay those sites commissions. But
   it's difficult. One of the largest directories of affiliate
   programs on the Web, AssociatePrograms.com, lists just 2694
   different programs. Of the millions of businesses operating on
   the Internet, just a few thousand have managed to not only set
   up a shopping-cart system of some kind, but to also integrate
   an affiliate program into it.

   Why? Because it's difficult to do so. There are a number of
   programs available to help you do it (a few are listed in the
   Links page mentioned above), but in general they are either
   expensive, or complicated to install ... or both. Some
   e-commerce systems have very crude affiliate systems, systems
   that require, for instance, that you add each affiliate by
   hand. You really need a system by which affiliates can sign up
   for themselves -- everything should be automated.

   Because I realized this is a problem, my own hosting company,
   BizBlast.com, integrated an affiliate program into the
   e-commerce system we provide. It's a great little program, with
   features such as these:

   * Automatic affiliate signup and assignment of affiliate links
   * Affiliate statistics page, so affiliates can see the number
     of click throughs, sales, and commissions
   * The ability to pay commissions based on click throughs,
     sales, or "sub affiliates" (when an affiliate signs up another
     afiliate)
   * A series of reports and tools to help you track who you owe
     and how much you owe
   * You can specify how many days an affiliate "owns" a visitor
     that the affiliate site has directed to your site (if the
     visitor buys from you _after_ the expiration period, you don't
     owe the affiliate a commission)
   * Each time an affiliate order is logged the system can, if you
     wish, send a notification to the affiliate and to you
   * A payment tracking module, to help you pay the correct
     commissions
   * A mail system for sending an e-mail to all the affiliates at
     once (great for announcing special promotions!)

   We haven't got al the demo pages up yet -- we'll be showing
   most of the system's pages, so you can see all the features --
   but you can get an idea by signing up with a fake affiliate
   account at http://our.affiliatetracking.net/bizblast/signup.cgi

   The affiliate program is bundled with our "Superstore"
   e-commerce package, or can be added on to one of the other
   packages. For information on how to sign up for an e-commerce
   package, visit http://stores.bizblast.com/





       ^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+




   {{ The Top Floor Affiliate Program }}
   ========>>>

   Many of you have read one or more of the Poor Richard series of
   books (if you haven't you should! ... visit
   http://PoorRichard.com/ ). If you'd like to earn commissions on
   the Poor Richard books, join the Top Floor affiliate program.
   Our commissions are, on average, much larger than Amazon's. In
   fact, you'll probably earn more money through our affiliate
   program than Amazon's. Here's why.

   If you link to a book at Amazon, you'll earn a 15% commission
   when people click through and buy the book (in general; if
   Amazon's discount is too deep, you'll get a much lower
   commission). People may sometimes buy other books along with
   the books you linked to, but Amazon will only pay 5% commission
   on those books. For instance, I looked at recent Amazon
   commission check and found that when I sent them $1064 in
   sales, I earned a commission of just $83.25 -- 7.8%

   Send people to the Top Floor site through an affiliate link,
   and you'll earn 15% on _all_ sales. And because our books are
   so closely related, people often buy two or more books (the
   average order, last time I checked, was around 2 books). Send
   $1064 worth of traffic to Top Floor, and you'd earn $159.60,
   almost twice my Amazon commission.

   If you'd like to sign up, visit
   http://our.affiliatetracking.net/peter/signup.cgi





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   {{ Another Text-Replacement Tool }}
   ========>>>

   A reader of "Poor Richard's Internet Marketing and Promotions"
   ( http://www.poorrichard.com/promo/ ) sent me information about
   another text-replacement tool. I listed three of them in that
   book ... and discussed them in an earlier article in this
   newsletter:

   http://www.poorrichard.com/newsltr/004.htm#work

   These are great things, a tremendous help with online
   promotions -- if you're having to write anything over and over,
   you can use these tools to store boilerplate text. Just type a
   short code, and a large block of text can be dropped into place
   immediately. It may be an address, a long URL, or a paragraph
   or two describing a product, for instance.

   The reader told me about a tool called As-U-Type. This is an
   unusual program, as it includes error correction tools that fix
   spelling errors in your typing, in any application. You can
   find the program here:

   http://www.fanix.com/






       ^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+





   {{ Poor Richard's Web Site and Other Top Floor Books }}
   ========>>>

   Top Floor Publishing now has seven books in print:

   The Official Miva Web-Scripting Book: Shopping Carts,
   Feedback Forms, Guestbooks, and More
   http://www.topfloor.com/miva/

   Poor Richard's Web Site, 2nd Edition: Geek-Free, Commonsense
   Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site
   http://PoorRichard.com/

   Poor Richard's E-mail Publishing
   http://PoorRichard.com/email/

   Poor Richard's Internet Marketing and Promotions
   http://PoorRichard.com/promo/

   The CDnow Story: Rags to Riches on the Internet
   http://TopFloor.com/cdnow/

   MP3 For Musicians

   MP3 and the Digital Music Revolution: Turn Your PC into a
   CD-Quality Jukebox
   http://TopFloor.com/mp3/

   Order direct from the publisher, and you'll get a 100%,
   1-Year Guarantee. If you feel the book wasn't worth the
   money, send it back for a refund!

   And remember, these books are discounted at the Web site, and
   you pay just one shipping cost regardless of how many books
   you buy!






     ^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+





   {{ Book Reviewers Wanted }}
   ========>>>

   Do you review books for newspapers, magazines, newsletters
   (electronic or paper), Web sites, or other media spots? If
   so, perhaps you'd like to review one of Top Floor Publishing's
   recent books: "The Official Miva Web-Scripting Book" or "MP3
   For Musicians." Or perhaps you'd like to review "Poor Richard's
   Web Site: Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost
   Web Site, 2nd Edition"? Or maybe one of the other books I
   mentioned above?

   Contact Top Floor's Marketing Director, Missy Ramey, at
   [EMAIL PROTECTED] Include your full mailing address, the
   name of newspaper/magazine/whatever in which the review will
   appear and the probable date of publication, and the editor's
   contact information.





     ^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+^+





   {{ Reading Back Issues }}
   ========>>>

   If you need to refer to back issues of this newsletter -- and
   search the archives -- you can find them at the following
   location:

   http://PoorRichard.com/newsltr/


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