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   Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site

       Editor: Peter Kent
         Top Floor Publishing

        Over 50,000 Subscribers in More Than 100 Countries!

   ~~~ IN THIS ISSUE ~~~

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

   Beginner's Column:
       Finished Your Web Site? Now Where Can You Put It?

   Where are Banner Ads Going?

   Want to be an Affiliate Manager?

   A Great Little Search Tool For Your Web Site

   Free Books: Poor Richard's Internet Recruiting

   Run Auctions at Your Web Site ... With Free Software

   FAQ Managers

   Poor Richard's Web Site and Other Top Floor Books

   Book Reviewers Wanted

   Reading Back Issues

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

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   {{ Beginner's Column:
      Finished Your Web Site? Now Where Can You Put It? }}

   I received an e-mail recently from a reader who said ... "I am
   nearly finished with my website and am unsure how to put it on
   the web. Please help."

   We're six years into the Internet revolution (I date it from
   early 1994, when the books in the hundreds began appearing on
   the subject), and many millions of people have got online.
   However, most of them have started using the Internet over the
   past couple of years, and most Internet users still have a lot
   to learn. There's a lot of confusion among users, and the
   preceding message is indicative of the level of knowledge of a
   huge number of Internet users.

   Well, if you've found yourself in the position of wanting to
   get a Web site up and running, there are two ways I can help
   you. Of course you should read my book, Poor Richard's Web
   Site: Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web
   Site (see http://PoorRichard.com/ ), the most widely reviewed
   title in computer-book history. But there's something else you
   could do ... you could call one of the employees of
   BizBlast.com, the e-business hosting company I founded
   recently. We can host your Web site, but what's really unusual
   about this company is that we have people who will talk to you
   over the phone and step you through everything -- whether you
   need help with getting your Web pages over to our servers, or
   help with setting up credit-card transactions, they'll talk you
   through everything.

   If you'd like to take me up on this offer, call Toll Free
   877-870-4932, or 303-623-4932, between 8am and 5pm Mountain
   Standard Time, Monday to Friday.


   {{ Where are Banner Ads Going? }}

   Long-term readers know that I'm no great fan of banner ads --
   search the newsletter archives and you'll find that I've
   written in detail about them in the past:


   A reader recently sent me a link to an interesting article in
   the online Wall Street Journal. The article claimed that many
   major Web sites are now devoting as much as three quarters of
   their ad space to "house ads." In other words, instead of
   selling banner space to outsiders, they advertise their own
   goods and services.

   This has always made a lot of sense to me, and I usually tell
   small businesses that that is the way to go -- forget about
   making money from ads, because you almost certainly won't. If
   you're selling a product, and you are prepared to place banners
   on your own site, don't send people away from your site for the
   sake of a few cents, use the ad to sell your own products. But
   in many cases these major sites are placing house ads because
   they simply can't sell the ads.

   Furthermore, the article claims that "click-through" rates have
   decreased from 1% six months ago to less than half a percent
   now, and quotes someone from an ad agency describing what we're
   seeing as "the downfall of the banner ad."

   If you have a Wall Street Journal account, read the article at

   MORE ...

   Someone I can't name, but who is definitely "in the know," told
   me recently that you should never pay more than a cpm (cost per
   thousand) of $2 for banner ads. The Wall Street Journal claims
   that in some cases as much as 80% of ad inventory is going
   unsold, so my informant is clearly quite correct when he
   advises that you should never pay the posted rate for banner

   A quick rule of thumb. Let's say that of every 100 people
   visiting your Web site, 1 will buy from you. And let's say that
   the Wall Street's assertion that the average click-through is
   0.5% is quite correct. That means in order to make a single
   sale you must have 20,000 banner impressions. If you're paying
   the posted rate, that may cost you $400, $500, or more for each
   sale. (I was recently offered banner ads at a cpm of $60 -- so
   make that $1200 per sale!) If you're able to find someone to
   sell you banner ads with a cpm of $2, that's still $40, which
   may _still_ be too much for some kinds of business. Of course
   you may not be able to find ads at $2 ... the company may
   prefer to run its own house ads!

   CoolNews is a free weekly newsletter featuring weekly reviews
   of FREEWARE and SHAREWARE programs for Macintosh and PC
   computers. You'll also get a list of wacky sites to visit and a
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   {{ Want to be an Affiliate Manager? }}

   Top Floor Publishing is looking for an affiliate manager,
   someone to look after our affiliate program. This
   commission-based job is ideal for someone who wants to work at
   home and set their own hours -- particularly for someone with
   sales experience. It requires good writing skills (you'll be
   working via e-mail mostly), and, although we'll give some
   guidance, a great deal of initiative.

   The job entails finding and recruiting Web sites to sell Top
   Floor's books through its affiliate program (for which, by the
   way, site owners can sign up at
   http://our.affiliatetracking.net/peter/signup.cgi )

   You'll also work to encourage affiliate sales through various
   promotions. For more information, please send your resume to
   Missy Ramey at [EMAIL PROTECTED]


   {{ A Great Little Search Tool For Your Web Site }}

   When Jim Daniels sent me the following article, I wasn't sure I
   was going to run it. I have a favorite Web-site search tool,
   and wasn't sure I wanted to recommend something different. But
   after reading a few lines in, I realized that we _both_ like
   the same one ... Atomz. So you can consider the following as a
   recommendation from both of us.

   Do You Know What Your Website
   Visitors Are REALLY Looking For?

   Through the last few years I've tried many solutions to a
   nagging problem... how to let visitors easily search through my
   website. Each time I'd try a new service, script or software
   program I'd run into a problem. Either the searching was too
   slow, the search engine results were lousy or it just plain
   didn't work.

   After lots of trial and error, I finally found a site search
   tool that is head and shoulders above all others. Actually, it
   is more than that. It can be used as a powerful marketing tool
   as well. I now know "exactly" what my website visitors are
   looking for and can present my own solutions to them in a
   unique manner.

   o First, the tool:

   I'd like to invite you to try the new search tool at my home
   page... http://www.bizweb2000.com - what you'll find is a
   slick, independently hosted search solution for corporations,
   small businesses, and individual web developers... Atomz.

   With Atomz, absolutely anyone can quickly and easily add a
   powerful search engine to any site, and the service is free for
   sites with less than 500 pages.

   I got my own Atomz search engine 100% up and running in less
   than an hour. And while I still have a little "tweaking" to do,
   the engine up at my site now is FAR better than every solution
   I tried in the past. I spent zero dollars and almost zero time
   getting it working.

   Actually, to put the Atomz engine at your site, there's nothing
   to do but fill out a few forms, decide what areas you want your
   visitors to be able to search through and turn Atomz loose to
   index your pages. In seconds it spits out html code for you.
   You paste the code into any page you want a search form on,
   then upload the page to your site. Bingo. Done.

   You now have a powerful search engine on your site and your
   visitors will love you for it! What's nice is that there are no
   annoying ad banners shown with your search results, just a
   small "Powered by Atomz.com" graphic.

   But there's really much more to Atomz than this. It holds a
   unique marketing value for savvy web marketers...

   o The Atomz fun starts...

   As your visitors search your site, Atomz logs what they enter
   and then creates reports for you by day, week, and month. These
   reports tell you what visitors are looking for at your site.
   You can use this information to improve your site or to control
   the search results for your visitors.

   Here's an example...
   The top 15 searches at my site this week were:

   search engines
   marketing plan
   jim daniels
   make money
   direct email
   domain registration
   affiliate program
   free publicity
   shania twain

   So what does this report tell me? Well for starters, the first
   few search words show me that my articles on search engines and
   marketing maintenance have brought lots of visitors to my site.
   That's still something that lots of web marketers are
   interested in learning about so I'll write more about my
   experiences in those areas.

   Next, many of the terms searched on were exact matches to the
   keywords I bid on at goto.com. Specifically, "make money" and
   "direct email" are keywords I just increased my bids on at
   goto. It was nice to see those efforts bring immediate
   visitors. It's also great to give these surfers a quick search
   tool so that can find exactly what they're looking for at my
   site as soon as they arrive.

   Next, the searches on domain registration prompted me to move
   my report on "how to select and register a domain name for your
   business", to the top of that results page. All searches on
   domain registration now indirectly lead visitors to my "domain
   name wizard" and then onto my domain name registration
   services. Hey, this Atomz search tool is a great little
   marketing tool!

   Controlling the search results at your site is a powerful way
   to market specific products and services. Atomz realizes this
   and offers their "Target Meta Tag", an exclusive Atomz.com
   search feature. You simply list words in the "content" part of
   the "target meta tag" and the page is promoted to the top of
   your search results ranking. You can also use your keywords tag
   to influence your Atomz.com Search results.

   As I work my way down my first Atomz report, I not only learn
   what my visitors are searching for, I learn what my site is
   lacking. Over time, these reports will be invaluable to me and
   my efforts to help my website visitors and e-newsletter
   subscribers who return to my site.

   And oh yeah, I learned one more thing from my Atomz reports...
   I may need to do a little research on this Shania Twain person.

   To learn more about Atomz and get your own free search engine,
   visit http://atomz.com/design


   Article by Jim Daniels of www.bizweb2000.com - a great resource
   for all your "how to make money online" needs!
   For weekly online marketing help, get Jim's free BizWeb
   eGazette... mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] or visit:

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   {{ Free Books: Poor Richard's Internet Recruiting }}

   It's that time again, the time when we give away 200 electronic
   copies of our next book. This time it's "Poor Richard's
   Internet Recruiting: Easy, Low-Cost Ways To Find Great
   Employees Online," by Barbara Ling.

   We're looking for comments and testimonials, and are willing to
   give away up to 200 electronic copies to readers who fit the
   following criteria:

   1: You must be willing to read the chapters we send within a
   few days of receiving them (we'll be spacing them out
   2: You must agree to respond with your comments (good or bad!).
   3: Your e-mail system must be able to accept large files.
   4: You must be able to "unzip" Zip files.
   5: You must be able to work with .PDF files (you'll need Adobe
   Acrobat Reader, which is available at
   http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html ).

   We'll be sending unedited PDF files -- to allow us time to
   integrate suggestions and commments we are sending these files
   out at the same time they go to the editor. (There will be
   blanks where the images go, too.)

   Sorry, we can't help with technical questions about how to
   unzip files or work with Acrobat Reader!

   If you're interested, please e-mail [EMAIL PROTECTED]

   Remember, only the first 200 will get a copy, and please, only
   request a copy if you are willing to read and comment!


   {{ Run Auctions at Your Web ... With Free Software }}

   Have you considered setting up an auction program at your Web
   site? I ran into an open source program recently for managing
   auctions. "Open source" software is free software -- you can
   use it without paying for it. It's software that is created by
   programmers who come together -- in a metaphorical sense,
   because often these programmers never meet each other, or even
   talk with each other on the phone. The interesting thing about
   Open Source is how it develops almost organically. Programmers
   add things that interest them -- instead of having a long-term
   development plan, the program develops in an unforseen
   direction, dependent on the whims of the programmers involved.

   The program in question is EveryAuction, and you can find it
   here: http://www.everysoft.com/auction/

   Now, I don't know how good this program is, but it looks like
   it works pretty well. In fact if anyone has any information
   about it, good or bad, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

   Here, by the way, is a special offer. If you don't have a Web
   site, but really want to use this auction program, sign up for
   a Web-hosting account at BizBlast.com and we'll install the
   program for you. Contact me at [EMAIL PROTECTED]

   The Top Floor Publishing's "Poor Richard's" series has garnered
   fantastic praise ... the first in the series, "Poor Richard's
   Web Site," is the most widely reviewed and praised title in
   computer-book series. "Poor Richard's E-mail Publishing" has
   become _the_ bible for e-mail newsletter publishers. "Poor
   Richard's Internet Marketing and Promotions" is widely praised
   as providing advice that really works. And with "Poor Richard's
   Building Online Communities" and "Poor Richard's Internet
   Branding" in bookstores soon, the series is poised to really
   take off. Find out more about these books, at

   {{ FAQ Managers }}

   While doing a little research recently, I ran into a number of
   FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) managers, simple little
   programs that allow you to create and manage FAQ pages on your
   Web site.

   FAQMan: http://www.custard.org/~richard/faqman/
   FAQ Manager: http://www.interlogy.com/scripts/faqman/

   I liked FAQ Manager in particular, because it was so easy to
   use (I don't like the current color scheme, but you can change
   that). It has an Administration page that makes it very easy to
   add, edit, delete, and sort individual questions. Unfortunately
   the list does not contain a table of contents linking down to
   the questions and answers.

   FAQMan does provide a table of contents with links down to
   questions, but on the other hand it doesn't have an
   administration console. Rather, you create your questions and
   answers in a text file saved in the cgi directory, containing
   information in this format:

   The title of the section
     :: A question
     The answer
     :: Another question
     Another answer
     :: Some other question
     Some other answer

   FAQ-O-Matic looks pretty good, though I found the design rather
   ugly, but you can change that if you wish, of course.


   {{ 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

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

   Poor Richard's E-mail Publishing

   Poor Richard's Internet Marketing and Promotions

   The CDnow Story: Rags to Riches on the Internet

   MP3 For Musicians: Promote Your Music Career Online

   MP3 and the Digital Music Revolution: Turn Your PC into a
   CD-Quality Jukebox

   ... we also carry the following books by Peter Kent

   Making Money in Technical Writing: Turn Your Writing Skills
   into $100,000 A Year

   The Official Netscape JavaScript Book

   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


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