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

       Editor: Peter Kent
         Top Floor Publishing

        60,000 Subscribers in More Than 100 Countries!

   ~~~ IN THIS ISSUE ~~~

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

   Beginner's Column:
       You _Can_ Make Money Online ... Even If You Probably

   The Last Issue's Intentional Mistake

   BizBlast Reminder

   A Real-Life Online Advertising Test

   Free Book to Give Away on Your Web Site
        "Poor Richard's Top 100 Tips for Doing Business Online"

   Where's Your URL? By Jay Conrad Levinson

   Free Book! - Poor Richard's Web Site Marketing Makeover

   Poor Richard's Web Site and Other Top Floor Books

   Book Reviewers Wanted

   Reading Back Issues

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

   {{ Beginner's Column:
       You _Can_ Make Money Online...Even If You Probably Won't }}

   Here's a simple fact. Most people trying to make money online
   are not doing so, and quite likely will not. It's easier to say
   something like this these days; much of the Internet hysteria
   has gone, now. In the "old" days, just a year or two ago, such
   a statement was regarded in many circles as sacrilege. But it's
   a simple fact.

   However, you should also understand that many companies are
   making a great deal of money online. I can't give you names,
   because I've come by this information in the course of a
   professional relationship with these companies but here are a
   couple of examples I know of ...

     Company 1: A niche publishing company grossing around
     $2M/year online. This company has been in business about 20
     years, and their total revenues are probably somewhere around
     $12M a year. It has a couple of retail stores, but mainly
     sells its products through direct-mail catalogs.

     Company 2: A paper-products company, also grossing around
     $2M/year online. They've been in the direct-mail business for
     many years, selling through a variety of catalogs

   What's the difference between successful online businesses and
   those that are unsuccessful? I think there are a number of
   factors that make success more likely (which isn't to say
   success is impossible without these factors of course):

   * You have business experience -- this isn't your first attempt
     at making money
   * Better still, you have an existing business -- going online
     is merely one more marketing channel
   * You're already in the mail-order business; there are many
     similarities ... you already handle order fulfillment, for
     instance (selling online is a natural next step for
   * You have a product that is suitable for online sales -- many,
     most in fact, are not
   * You understand the online "landscape" and how to get people
     to your Web site

   All the Internet-changes-everything arrogance seems to have
   gone. Internet businesses were going to change the world, they
   were going to kill off the old "bricks and mortar" dinosaurs.
   It didn't happen; and it won't. In fact, it's becoming clear
   that the bricks-and-mortar companies will win, because they
   have have many advantages, not the least being real-world
   business experience... experience in actually making money, not
   just losing it.

   Waterfalls, t-shirts, oil drilling permits, sound effects--it's
   amazing what's in databases and specialized search engines.
   ResearchBuzz provides the lowdown on all kinds of info
   collections, while keeping you up on the latest search engine
   moves. Visit the Web site or sign up for the free weekly
   newsletter! http://www.researchbuzz.com

   {{ The Last Issue's Intentional Mistake }}

   In the last issue I wrote that "Those of you who have been
   reading my newsletter since I began know that I'm now great fan
   of advertising... ." Of course what I _really_ meant was "I'm
   NOT a great fan of advertising."

   Build a cool community site online ... but don't re-invent the
   wheel, learn from the experts rather than repeating their
   mistakes. Read "Poor Richard's Building Online Communities:
   Create a Web Community for Your Business, Club, Association, or
   Family"  http://topfloor.com/pr/communities/

   {{ BizBlast Reminder }}

   IMPORTANT-->: PLEASE NOTE: Despite the fact that two of my
   IMPORTANT-->: books, published early last year, mention
   IMPORTANT-->: BizBlast, I am no longer associated with the
   IMPORTANT-->: services marketed under the BizBlast name,
   IMPORTANT-->: and no longer promote those services.

   Promoting your Web site online? It doesn't mean search engines
   and banner ads. You need to know about these low-cost yet
   effective promotional techniques that really do work!

   {{ A Real-Life Online Advertising Test }}

   In the last issue I discussed using Amazon.com's "bid" system,
   whereby you can place book covers when visitors to their site
   search for certain terms:

   I told you I'd let you know the results, so ...

   In the last issue I noted that the word "promotions" seemed to
   do okay, so I bought some more bids for that word. I really
   haven't paid much attention to what's been going on until
   tonight, when I checked again. When I first tested the word, I
   found that each impression was costing half a cent, but that
   one person in six was clicking on the ad, meaning each visit to
   the book's page was costing 3 cents.

   However, over the longer term these results did not hold up.
   The ad has been displayed 627 times, now, but viewers have only
   clicked through ten times! That's one in 63 impressions. So
   each visit to the book's page is costing 32.5 cents, unlikely
   to be low enough to make such a campaign viable.

   By the way, these great little feedback tools that are
   available to Web advertisers are a double-edged sword for the
   companies selling advertising. In the old days of banner-ad
   enthusiasm, the assumption was that banner ads _did_ work, they
   _must_ work, so these tools were simply great tools for
   advertisers. What has become apparent -- and what I've been
   saying for several years -- is that these tools actually drive
   down advertising prices, because it's quite clear to the
   advertiser that ads don't, in general, work well.

   Here's a great subheading from a recent Wall Street Journal
   special on e-commerce and Web advertising: "Technology allows
   advertisers to know exactly what an ad is worth -- to the
   dismay of some Web sites."

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   {{ Free Book to Give Away on Your Web Site
        "Poor Richard's Top 100 Tips for Doing Business Online" }}

   We've posted a free 31-page booklet at our Web site in PDF
   format (Adobe Acrobat Reader). You can download a copy for your
   own use, or even post it at your Web site, e-mail it to friends
   or colleagues, print it out and use it in training courses ...
   whatever you want. "Poor Richard's Top 100 Tips for Doing
   Business Online" is a compilation of tips that have appeared in
   the Poor Richard's series, from information about e-mail
   publishing, to tips on branding yourself online, from help with
   e-mail publishing, to ideas for improving your Web site.

   The only requirement is that the book remains in its entirety;
   you cannot remove any pages.

   Download the page from the Top Floor Publishing Web site:

   If you need to download a copy of Acrobat Reader, you can find
   it here:

   Could this be you?
   "Frustrated office worker quits job to follow passion! New book
   by 'Passion To Profit Career Coach' Walt Goodridge, reveals
   secrets to making unlimited income from home doing what you
   love!" ($10 off for Poor Richard subscribers!) Join; Take the
   "Passion Personality Test", Download free money-making reports;
   Order books and much more at www.turnyourpassionintoprofit.com;
   or call (213) 401-2198 for free brochure

   {{ Where's Your URL? }}

   I was at Denver's "People's Fair" a few days ago, wandering
   around the stalls with my kids, when I came across the Bungled
   Jungle stall. The Bungled Jungle is a partnership between two
   artists, based near Fort Collins in Northern Colorado. Pat
   Landreth and Suzanne Moniano produce wonderful "other-worldly
   creatures." These are beautiful, strange, fantastic creatures,
   made of papier-mache, I believe. Kids love them, as do most
   adults; my kids' dentist even commissioned the artists to do
   some special creatures for him, it seems -- he has several in
   his office waiting room wearing orthodontic devices.

   Now, these artists have a Web site. Here's how I found out; I
   discovered a couple of business cards face down on a table, and
   the business cards have the site's URL on them.

   Putting the URL on the business cards is a good first step, but
   if it was my business I would put the URL on ...

   * A big banner visible from all sides as people walked by the
   * On price labels I had specially printed up; every time
     someone looked at a price, he'd see the URL
   * On the receipts I used, including the credit-card swipe
   * On stand-up cards placed on the tables, inviting people to
     visit the store online.

   Now, unfortunately the Web site is not really terribly good;
   the Gallery area of the site is currently empty, so there are
   only a couple of examples of this wonderful art on the site (
   http://www.BungledJungle.com/ ), so maybe the artists felt that
   there was no point promoting the site. However, such "URL
   reticence" is very common; most businesses don't bother to push
   their URLs. I know I've written about this before, but bandying
   your URL about, and giving people a reason to visit, is the
   simplest way for an online business to attract traffic. Here,
   then, is another perspective, this time from Jay Conrad
   Levinson, the inventor of "Guerrilla Marketing."

   How to Make Enormous Online Profits by Maximizing the Use of
   Every Point of Contact
   by Jay Conrad Levinson

   Quite simply, marketing is absolutely every point of contact
   any part of your business has with any segment of the public.
   It's amazing how many people miss this vital concept.

   Why should any contact with the public have only one purpose,
   when it can work double duty and serve multi-dimensional
   purposes?  For example, in my Guerrilla Marketing courses, I
   show that business cards can be plain and straightforward for
   big-company executives --  but for the little guy, a business
   card should double as a brochure, a circular, or a wallet-sized
   advertisement.  Think of business cards as advertisement for
   you or your company.

   How do you apply this concept to Web marketing?

   Marketing online can be like winking at people in the dark -
   you'll never catch their attention unless you "turn the lights

   Wendy McClelland turned the lights on for her website publicity
   by putting her URL (web address) on EVERYTHING that left her
   office --T-shirts, fax cover sheets, stationery, press
   releases, and even her car were plastered with the web address.
   As a result, she logged over 4,000 registrations on her web
   guest book in the first 2 months and got tremendous local press

   The point is, if you've gone to the trouble of developing a
   website to do yourself proud, it's worth the extra effort to
   promote it like crazy to your target market.  A website can
   only be effective if it gets viewed by prospective clients.
   Here are 8 things you can do right now to utilize every
   possible point of contact to the max:

   1.  Put your Web address on your promotional materials --
   business cards, letterhead, and brochures.  Put it wherever
   you'd list your phone number, fax number or e-mail address. Add
   it to envelopes, invoices, catalogs, postcards, shopping bags
   and all directories in which you're listed.

   2.  Include your Web address in all your advertisements --
   print, radio and television. Most people still find the idea of
   a home page a novel concept.  If you rarely advertise, you may
   want to use traditional advertising to let clients and
   prospects know they can find you online.

   3.  Announce your new Website to targeted prospects and
   clients. Just as you'd notify potential and current clients of
   a change of address or staff hire, you can announce your new
   web page with a special mailer. Send formal announcements to
   your customer base and referral sources.  But before you do
   this, make sure your web page is indeed up and running. It's
   bad PR to promote a web site that's still under construction.

   4.  Include website information on your voice mail.  Let your
   clients on hold learn how to connect to your web site for
   pertinent information.  Encourage the people who answer your
   phones to give your web address to every caller who identifies
   him or herself as an Internet user.  Think of your website as a
   24-hour answering service. Assure your callers that they can
   always phone your store or office for information, but let them
   know they now have a web alternative as well, open 24 hours
   every day.

   5.  Put your web address on store and office signs.  Hang it on
   banners outside your building. Paint it on rooftops and company
   cars. Include it in interior signs throughout your store or

   6.  Create an Internet tip sheet.  Since only a small portion
   of the world population is Internet savvy, there's a good
   chance that your prospects and clients know little or nothing
   about the online world. Create an Internet tip sheet and offer
   it free online so browsers and buyers know how helpful you are.
   Include your home page, web address and other simple online
   tips and guidelines.

   7.  Link your website with other websites.  Not linking is not
   thinking. Referrals, an invaluable source of new clients, are
   the lifeblood of many small businesses.  Similar to referrals,
   a recommendation of your products and services on another
   business's website is as good as gold. Link your site with
   sites of other companies that share your standards for quality
   products and customer service. Then ask them to do the same.

   8.  Share your website with others when you're networking
   online. Specialized newsgroups and forums can provide a
   ready-made audience for your products and services.  As you
   converse one-on-one via e-mail, make sure you attach a
   four-line Internet signature that includes your website as well
   as your phone, cell phone, fax and e-mail address.

   No matter how well designed, your site can't bring in new
   business until it gets seen.  Since most people still spend the
   majority of their time in the real world, not the cyberworld,
   it's important to promote your site using a mixture of both
   traditional and online marketing techniques.

   Jay Conrad Levinson is probably the most respected marketer in
   the world. He is the inventor of "Guerrilla Marketing" and is
   responsible for some of the most outrageous marketing campaigns
   in history -- including the "Marlboro Man" -- the most
   successful ad campaign in history. In his latest book, "Put
   Your Internet Marketing on Steroids" Jay reveals how you can
   use marketing steroids legally to make your business insanely


   The Internet provides a great new way to recruit great new
   employees! Read "Poor Richard's Internet Recruiting: Easy,
   Low-Cost Ways To Find Great Employees Online"

   {{ Free Book! - Poor Richard's Web Site Marketing Makeover }}

   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 Web
   Site Marketing Makeover, by Marsha Yudkin.

   Web pages face challenges similar to flyers and brochures.
   Whether the purpose is producing inquiries or sales, the words
   have to tantalize the visitor with something not available
   elsewhere, explain the offering thoroughly and persuade the
   reader to take action.

   For individuals, organizations and companies on a
   do-it-yourself budget, as well as Web designers and Web
   marketers, this book delves deeply into the details that make
   or break a Web site. It shows how to transform a site that just
   sits at its URL, into a site that generates more interest and
   more orders. "Poor Richard's Web Site Marketing Makeover"
   emphasizes organization, content, and wording for successful
   Web sites, but where appropriate it also includes comments on
   layout and graphics that can make a difference.

   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:

   * You must be willing to read the chapters we provide within
     a few days of receiving them (we'll be spacing them out

   * You must agree to respond with your comments (good or

   * You must be able to download large files from the Web

   * You must be able to work with .PDF files (you'll need Adobe
     Acrobat Reader, which is available at

   We'll be providing un-edited PDF files -- to allow us time to
   integrate suggestions and comments we are sending these files
   out at the same time they go to the editor. Sorry, we can't
   help with technical questions about how to work with Acrobat

   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!


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

   Top Floor Publishing now has twelve books in print:

   Poor Richard's Creating E-Books: How Authors, Publishers, and
   Corporations Can Get Into Digital Print

   Poor Richard's Home and Small Office Networking: Room-to-Room
   or Around the World

   Poor Richard's Branding Yourself Online: How to Use the
   Internet to Become a Celebrity or Expert in Your Field

   Poor Richard's Internet Recruiting: Easy, Low-Cost Ways to
   Find Great Employees Online

   Poor Richard's Building Online Communities: Create a Web
   Community for Your Business, Club, Association, or Family

   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: Creating Newsletters,
   Bulletins, Discussion Groups, and Other Powerful
   Communication Tools

   Poor Richard's Internet Marketing and Promotions, 2nd
   Edition: How to Promote Yourself, Your Business, Your Ideas

   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:

   * Poor Richard's Home & Small Office Networking Room-to-Room
     or Around the World
   * Poor Richard's Internet Recruiting: Easy, Low-Cost Ways To
     Find Great Employees Online
   * Poor Richard's Building Online Communities: Create a Web
     Community for Your Business, Club, Association, or Family

   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 mentioned

   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.

   Get into the e-mail publishing business yourself! Read "Poor
   Richard's E-mail Publishing: Creating Newsletters, Bulletins,
   Discussion Groups and Other Powerful Communication Tools"

   {{ 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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