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WordPress for DummiesDo you have a blog? A few days ago I started playing with WordPress for my blog. For weeks I’ve been trying to figure out which technology would be best, and have settled on WordPress for two main reasons:

  1. It allows me to create “static” pages, so I can have a site that looks like a regular web site, with menus such as “About,” “Products,” “Services,” and so on, and at the same time have a blog going.
  2. Second, I prefer to install the WP software on my own server, rather than use the hosted version of WP (i.e. WordPress.com) or other software, such as Blogger or TypePad, because it’s better for Search Engine Optimization. All the pages are sitting on my server/domain and are being indexed here, not at some blog hosting company.

Once word of advice, from my own experience: If you’re looking to save a few bucks and opt for a free blog, I wouldn’t recommend Blogger. Although it’s a good platform and all that, and being owned by Google can’t hurt these days, what I don’t like about it is the feature they have at the top of each blog, which is a link to “Next blog”: a few times I tried clicking it I ended up on blogs that I wouldn’t want my kids to see, if you know what I mean.

If you have a web site, consider re-doing it using WordPress, then you can enjoy the best of both worlds – and Google and other search engines will just love it so much more!


Category : Blogging for Business | Boris Recommends | Driving Traffic to Your site | Email List Building | Search Engine Optimization | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog

Some years ago personal development guru Mark Victor Hansen said “Your net-work determines your net-worth.” You’ve probably also heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and that’s actually better said “it’s who knows you.”

In the previous issue of Contacts2Clients, I mentioned some online networking sites and how to use them to build your business. It sparked a number of inquires from subscribers of this newsletter, but also from clients and colleagues.

Although I created my LinkedIn profile years ago, I’ve never actually used it until recently. Within about a month my network is now over 1.5 million strong – yes, that’s six figures, baby. And all that from only 60 or so connections.

Mind you, the point is not to have a large number of contacts, but to participate. Be active. If you just put up a profile, but never participate, it’s like having a blog to which you never post.

Some people say you should be active on 25 different networks. I don’t think that’s realistic, unless you delegate the work to a virtual assistant, but you should pick at least 3 that you will visit fairly regularly and make an effort to participate.
View Boris Mahovac's profile on LinkedIn

Category : Business Networking | Driving Traffic to Your site | On Line Networking | Small Business Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog

Applying these simple SEO strategies will do wonders for your organic search engine results.

3. Write a meaningful description for each page

This goes under the tag. For this you have about 25 words, or 160 characters. Write this paragraph of 2-3 sentences so that it sounds like aclassified ad for the page. Each page should have its own unique meta tag description, relevant to the content of the page, using relevant keywords people are likely to use to find you.

4. Compile a list of keywords for each page

This goes under the tag. Some experts say that you should keep the keyword meta tag under 1,000 characters, some say 256. I’d suggest keep it as short as possible but make sure you cover everything you need. Make sure you pick the keywords that are relevant to the page and to the overall site content. Try to make the first 10 keywords your strongest ones. By the way, by “keywords” I mean single words and phrases, such as “ezine design” and “e-newsletter production services.”

5. Use relevant keywords when you write copy for your pages.

Don’t stuff your page with keywords, search engines will penalize you for it, and secondly, and more importantly, the humans reading your pages would most likely see through your tactic and abandon the page as quickly as you can say SEO.

One final thought: don’t fall for the idea to have your web site submitted to hundreds of search engines by some automated process. Simply go to Google, Yahoo and MSN and submit your web site’s home page only manually, it won’t take you more than a few minutes.

As a matter of fact, if you’ve done your basic SEO homework, you don’t even need to submit your site, the search engine spiders will find it and index it properly.

Please also read Basic SEO: 5 Free Do-it-yourself Strategies, part 1

Category : Driving Traffic to Your site | Search Engine Optimization | Web Site Development | Blog

Many small business web site owners make a mistake of not paying attention to basicSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) of their web pages. This usually happens because of two reasons: one, they create the web site themselves and have no idea about what SEO is and why they should pay attention to it, or two, they hired a “trusted, knowledgeable web designer” to design their site, and s/he has not included SEO in the project proposal.

For sure, you could make SEO an art, but following a few basic steps – accessible to anyone – will go a long way. By all means, if your budget allows you to pay for a professionally devised and managed SEO strategy, do it.

However, for a solo professionalsmall business owner or a non-profit organization on a limited budget, applying these simple SEO strategies will do wonders for your organic search engine results.

1. Each page should have a descriptive file name

In other words don’t name the files just services.html, or even worse page02.html, but try something like email-marketing-services-consulting.html. This will help the search engines index your pages more thoroughly if you use keywords that are relevant to the content of that page.

2. Give each page a unique title.

This goes under the <meta title> tag. You have about 60 characters, or about 10 words, whichever is less in your particular case. The page title is like a summary of the content. Again use the relevant keywords, or you can make it a call to action, for example a “Contact Us” page could have this title: Receive a free email marketing consultation – Call 905-844-4247 now!

Read this post for 3 more tips on basic search engine optimization for small business.

Category : Driving Traffic to Your site | Search Engine Optimization | Web Site Development | Blog

Are you Networking? I don’t mean business networking in person, you know, at your local chamber of commerce or BNI. I mean, are you networking online?

Are you using LinkedInFacebookMySpaceRyze? I just recently started exploring this area. It seems everyone and his uncle is on at least one of these networks. For example, Facebook now has over 65 million users and adding 1/4 million every day!

Here’s a great article on why you should join LinkedIn.

You can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook. Take a look at my profile and let’s connect.
View Boris Mahovac's profile on LinkedIn

Category : Business Networking | Driving Traffic to Your site | On Line Networking | Social Media Marketing | Blog

Today I’d like to remind you that you there’s a treasure trove to be discovered in my interview with Glen Hopkins. Here’s Glen’s discussion on one of his advanced list-building strategies, the so called Triple Win Customer Generation System, which is a hybrid of sorts, of the squeeze page. – Boris

What you need to do this, I’ve broken it down, basically what you need is one JV partner, or an affiliate, it takes you about one hour of your time, it is going to takeone ethical bribe, which is really nothing more than something of high perceived value, such as a call or an audio recording, that I am using in this particular case, which is of low financial cost to you, and then a back end product.

What it is going to do is build you a very highly-targeted customer list. Not just subscribers, but customers who have paid to be on your list and they have proven that they have a willingness to spend their money on you.

That is key, because if you have, not only subscribers on your list, but actual customers, that is of much greater value to you. They have a method of buying, they have a credit card and they have a willingness to pay you money.

So what we are going to do is, I am going to walk you through it really quick. You set up a simple page – withs your basic headline you see on a sales copy on your squeeze page. A headline and then you have a short sales copy letter. You can see that it is really just a few paragraphs with a picture of Mike Filsaime and myself.

Mike Filsaime and I are both list-building experts and we got together and we did a call and we talked about building our opt-in email list. It is a private exclusive call that was not available to the public, it wasn’t a teleseminar, just Mike and myself masterminding and talking about building our opt-in email lists.

Now, you need to understand that both Mike and I charge in the neighbourhood of $500 an hour for consulting. So we are looking at about $1,000.00 value here.

Now, what I am doing is: People coming to this site, I already know they are interested in list-building because the people who are sending out emails for this site, send an email to their list saying “Listen guys, I’ve got an opportunity to share a call with you between Glen Hopkins and Mike Filsaime and it is only going to cost you a dollar. You have to go check this out.”

They come to this site and for a dollar they are going to have access to both Mike and I. In other words, they are going to listen to a brainstorm mastermind session on how to build your opt in email list for just one dollar.

Now, this is a very high perceived value so, obviously, these people want to learn how to build their own opt-in email list. They click on that PayPal link that you see at the bottom, they pay their one dollar to get the call, and here is the process I go through, when they pay their dollar to get the call, PayPal gives you the opportunity to redirect them to another page and the page that I redirect them to is a registration page.

The registration page is where they enter in their name and email address. And I tell them that when they enter in their name and email address I am going to email them the download instructions for that call. So now what has happened is, I am instantly building a list of paying customers – I know that in the future if I try to sell them something, they have a willingness and ability to pay me. You are building a buyers list, the most powerful list you can have.

So we get them to enter in their name and their email address, add them to our list and as soon as they click on the submit button, we redirect them to a second page which is called our “OTO” — the One Time Offer — which is typically an up sell or a cross sell to the product or service to the product that you just sold them.

In this particular case what I do is, when somebody first pays one dollar for that call on how to build their list, the upsell on the OTO page is the opportunity to purchase my book Lucrative List Building, which is the digital version.

Now this currently sells for $147.00 for the resell rights to this ebook. Well, they can get it for $19.95 which is an unheard of price and so the conversion rates on that is very high. So what I am doing here Boris, is I am positioning myself as an expert. Because what is happening is that people are going to purchase this book, they are going to read it and they are going to learn more about me and what I can offer them. So I am positioning myself as even more as a list building expert in their eyes. Which is great for future sales again.

I sell them the ebook and here is what happens. With the ebook there is a PayPal link on that page as well, on the OTO page to purchase the ebook, that PayPal link is a link to my JV partner’s PayPal account, not mine. So my JV partner is getting 100% profit of every sale of the ebook.

You know what that is doing? The key to this is that my JV partner now has an incentive to want to tell his list all about this call for a dollar, because he knows that there are a lot of people who are going to be interested in getting on the call and every time somebody purchases that ebook he is going to get 100% commission.

Glen Hopkins photoThat’s why it is a triple-win situation: my JV partner’s customer is winning because they are getting a $1,000 call for $1, then they are getting an ebook worth $147 dollars for $19.95, which they can resell to their heart’s content and make 100% profit on it, so they are winning. Then my JV partner is winning because he is making commissions from all of these sales. Triple win situation and the best part about it is, you are getting people on your list, you’re building your list with paying customers.

Glen Hopkins is a master list builder. He’s the publisher of the Web Traffic Report monthly newsletter and CD, and also runs a co-registration list-building service called List Builder.

Category : Affiliate Marketing | Driving Traffic to Your site | Email List Building | Joint Ventures and Pertnerships | Blog

If you’ve been around the Internet marketing arena for a while you must have seen these a lot. Almost every web site you visit offers some kind of freebie to entice you to sign up. Most marketers offer this incentive in a form of a special report (such as my The 4 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Marketing).

These special reports are usually delivered to the subscriber on-line, as a download from the so-called “thank-you” page (the page that opens once your subscriber confirms his/her address, if you have double opt-in set up). Most special reports are in PDF format, but some people have audio, or even video presentations of this content.

Alternatively, you could set up your free report in a form of a series of emails, effectively creating an e-course. Essentially, you would take your report and break it up into discrete chapters, or articles. Then what you do is set up an auto-responder to deliver those messages spread out over a number of days, depending on the content and the type of prospects you’re attracting.

If you’re teaching them a new skill, you may decide to send emails daily. If the advice is a more in-depth analysis or a white paper, spread the emails by a couple of days, and give your prospects time to take the new information in and process it.

Make sure the last message in the auto-responder sequence contains a version of your sales letter, or some other appropriate call to action. You may ask the subscriber to purchase a product, call you for an appointment, sign up for your tele-seminar, or whatever your choice might be.

I would also include some sort of “About Me” blurb, plus a mini call to action at the bottom of every email in the series as well, just in case a prospect decides he or she is ready to take it to the next level and hire you.


Please refer to my resource page to find about which Email Service Providers provide auto-responders, as not all of them do, unfortunately.

Category : Driving Traffic to Your site | E-newsletter Publishing | Email List Building | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Small Business Marketing | Blog

Using email for your marketing purposes is very powerful, easy and (almost) free, and is still the most effective way to reach your customers/clients. However, sometimes it pays off to go off-line and use traditional methods for generating leads or new business.

Depending on how clean and fresh your lists are, you may be experiencing 80%-98% deliverability rates for your emails. But you must agree that nothing beats the deliverability of the good old post office!

What if you could combine the strengths of an online, automated system, which works very much like an Email Publishing System with the

  • deliverability of snail mail, and
  • benefits of sending your prospects and customers a tangible item?

Would you be interested in trying this almost perfect business-generating system?

About a year a go I discovered Send Out Cards, an online on-demand printing and delivery system that works very much like sending personalized email, only it prints,personalizes and mails real postcards and greeting cards in any quantity. You can send a dozen custom postcards for about 10 bucks including postage. When you send a greeting card in an envelope, you can even insert gifts such as Starbucks or Home Depot gift cards!

You can use this system to send automated, but personalized postcards and greeting cards. You can choose between thousands of great stock designs – humorous, retro, playful, business-like, your choice – or you can easily create your own designs as simply as uploading a digital photo and adding a voice bubble or a caption.

Recently, I used Send Out Cards to generate some leads for my Ezine Coaching Program. If you’ve ever used direct mail (DM), or at least read about it, you know that a decent DM campaign results in about 1% response rate, while 2% is considered exceptional. Well, my postcards generated close to 10% response rate!

I used Send Out Cards to set up a custom designed postcard (ah, the benefits of having an in-house graphic designer – me 🙂 On the back of the card I have a simple marketing message, basically asking the prospect a few thought-provoking questions with a call to action to find the answers to those questions on my web site, with an offer to receive a free CD and printed report.

All of the copy on the back of the postcard is printed on-the-fly, personalized with the recipient’s name, and all of that using my own handwriting! Of course, I didn’t spend hours manually writing those postcards, I had my handwriting digitized so that my postcards appear to be hand-written.

For this particular postcard campaign I set up a special web site, with three different versions of the landing page. Why different versions of the landing page? Because I am split-testing them to see which one converts better – in other words, which page generates more subscribers.

Again, I am using my trusted Shopping Cart to manage and track the split-testing. This is so powerful, I am amazed every time I log in to my account – especially when I remember how we used to do it, many years ago with every DM piece having a little “ad code” and processing those responses in a spreadsheet! Wow. This is so much easier today.

To be able to track your off-line campaigns I recommend that you set up a special URL, e.g. www.yoursite.com/postcard, or even better, a unique web site. If you’re testing different postcards, have each card link to a different URL.

Using Send Out Cards is a great way to generate leads and especially repeat business from existing clients. However, one more great way to use Send Out Cards is to test different cards on a small sample of prospects (you can test the design, headline, copy, etc.) to see which one to use en masse, if you’re planning to ultimately send a large-scale mailing (1,000 or more cards).

Once you’ve nailed a winning card, then use a commercial printer to print your cards and a mail shop for personalization/sorting/mailing.

Extra tip: when mailing your own envelopes, try to use something to differentiate your envelope from the competition by using either an interesting sticker or enclose an object into your envelope. Anything that will make the recipient want to open it!

Category : Boris Recommends | Driving Traffic to Your site | Email List Building | Off Line Marketing Strategies | Small Business Marketing | Tracking and Split Testing | Blog

Finally, once you have your products or services you’d like others to promote, and you have a system in place to track visitors, sales and affiliate commissions, you’re now ready to start promoting your affiliate program.

A good place to start is a list of your own clients or customers. If your clients promote your stuff, their credibility is going to be very high, since they’ve purchased from you, so they can talk from first-hand experience. You may even consider running a closed-door affiliate program by only allowing your clients/customers to be a part of it. A good example of such closed programs is Audio Acrobat (for recording and hosting audio and video online) and SendOutCards (to send automated postcards and greeting cards – the real ones, with a stamp and all).

Obviously, you’ll want to have your affiliate program featured on your web site and in your ezine for example.

In case you’re looking for products & services related to email marketing, you may want to join my own affiliate program, it pays up to 50% commission on products and 10% on services.

Promoting your affiliate program is like building a list: you can use the same tactics and strategies. Try visiting and contributing to online forums and blogs where your potential affiliate partners hang out. Write articles. Run a pay-per-click campaign. Contact people of influence you think may be interested in promoting your stuff. To get on their good books, buy their product or attend their seminars, then contact them by phone or send them an evaluation copy of your product by post.

Once you’ve recruited a bunch of interested affiliates, who have access to lists of thousands of people you may find that you don’t need to promote your affiliate program that much anymore as your affiliate partners may be just the ticket for your business’ success!

Category : Affiliate Marketing | Driving Traffic to Your site | Joint Ventures and Pertnerships | Off Line Marketing Strategies | SEO for Affiliate Marketing | Small Business Marketing | Blog

The easiest way to manage an affiliate program is to use shopping cart softwarethat also has the affiliate module available, either as an add-on feature, or it is included in the basic package.

The system I use is 1ShoppingCart (you may have heard of it under a different name, such as KickStartCart). This is a well-known and respected shopping cart system that is used by the majority of Internet marketers I’ve come across. Apart from the affiliate module and cart features, it also allows you to set up ad trackersauto-responders and ezines.

It allows you to create an affiliate program, have a web page where people can sign up, then the systems gives each affiliate his or her own link code for each product or service that you offer, and tracks visitors, sign ups, and purchases made that came from those links, for a period of time that you define.

In other words, if one of your affiliates sends you a visitor that signs up for your free ezine today, but makes a purchase a year from now, your affiliate partner will still get his/her commission.

Alternatively, if you’re technically inclined, you may choose a stand-alone script, orsoftware that you install on your own server to manage your affiliate program. I’ve never personally used any of these programs myself, so I can’t recommend any one in particular, but I do know that there’s one important advantage to having your own affiliate script installed, and it has to do with search engine optimization.

You see, if you’re using 1ShoppingCart, or a similar solution for managing your affiliate program, when your affiliates promote your products the links are always going to look like this: http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.asp?MerchantID=94277&AdID=333732

However, if you run your own script, however, you can set it up that those links actually point to your web site, such as this http://YourWebSite.com/affid?2847

Why is this important? Well, from the point of view of search engine optimization, it’s better for you to have pages around the web have a link back to your site. However, if the majority of your affiliate partners are going to be using email to promote your products then this won’t matter.

To find about these alternative software solutions, simply Google “affiliate program software”, or, if you’re part of an affiliate program that uses one of these scripts, and you like its features, log in to your account and look at the bottom of the page. That’s where you can usually find a link to the person or company that created it.

Category : Affiliate Marketing | Driving Traffic to Your site | SEO for Affiliate Marketing | Small Business Marketing | Tracking and Split Testing | Web Site Development | Blog