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Volume 1 - Issue 43 2-2-07

 

For those who would like to read this in HTML format, this issue of Boomer eZine is posted on the Boomer eZine website at http://www.boomer-zine.com/V1I43_020207.htm and on the Boomer eZine Blog at http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com.  

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Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

3.    Creating Great Copy for Your Website

4.    TinyURL

5.    “Free” is Not Free

Author's Comments

 

Food poisoning on Sunday night has really slowed me down this week.  I finally gave up and went to the doctor.  He gave me some meds and put me on a BRAT diet.  I had never heard of this before.  It stands for bananas, rice, apples, and toast.

 

I hope I get well quickly.  The cure is almost worse than the disease.

 

Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

 

We received this mail from Mike:  

Hi John, 

I’m enjoying the great information that you provide in your ezine. I have a question for you; 

You saidOnce the blog is established, start working on your website.” (This is from your last newsletter) 

What would you put on your website that you couldn’t put on your blog?

If you establish your blog first should you set it up in a sub-directory?

(I.e. Domain.com/blog) So this way you could eventually set-up your website?

Do you feel that it’s best to have a website and a blog? 

My plan is to pick a baby boomer niche and set-up a website/blog to cater to that particular niche with quality content along with AdSense and affiliate products.  

Here is my reply to Mike 

Good question. 

I wrote the article with the idea in mind of getting a blog started very quickly.  This would entail the use of Blogger or some public blogging site where you can create a blog in about ten minutes.  Blogger is owned by Google so entries to it seem to get spidered quickly. 

If you build a blog on your own domain, you will have to set up a website to host the blog.  Unless your web host provides pre installed blogging software, you will also have to learn how to manage blogging software like Word Press or Movable Type.  All this will take time.  If you compose your blog entries in Word and load them to Blogger, you could keep them on file and when you set up your website later, you could establish your own blog on your site and load the back issues of your blog to your own site. 

My feelings are that you eventually need a website.  You are limited in what you can do with blog.  Also, a website indicates that you really own a piece of “Internet real estate” and that you are a mature operation. 

It is easier to post videos for viewing, post an ebook to be downloaded, post pictures for your viewers on a website than a blog.  You can create landing pages for pre-selling on your website.  You can forward from a webpage.  The list goes on and on. 

For more information and a comparison of the various blogging software packages check out http://asymptomatic.net/blogbreakdown.htm.

 For a review of Word Press, Movable Type, and TextPattern go to http://www.sitepoint.com/article/blog-software-smackdown-review

I am more oriented to having a website so I would build the website with the blog as a sub-directory.  I did a little Google research and the people who work with blogs say if the website is strictly a blog, then put the blog in the root directory.  If it is a website with a blog attached, use a subdirectory. 

If you put the blog in a sub-directory, you can put the first few lines from the latest blog entries in summary form on the home page and the reader can click the summary to go to the full entry in the blog in the sub-directory. 

Mike, I ask your permission to print your question and my answers in the Boomer eZine.  I will not use your email address. 

John Howe  

P. S.  Mike and I exchanged several emails and he gave me permission to mention his website.  He has a very good looking site at http://www.everything2dvd.com.  

If you have anything for this section or you have a suggestion for a topic for an article, please go to http://www.boomer-ezine.com/Suggestion_Form1.htm and give us your input.  With your input, we can improve the Boomer Video eZine.  

Creating Great Copy for Your Website  

I am a great admirer of Ken Evoy, the man who developed Site Build It.  He has an uncanny perception about doing business on the Internet. He and Joe Robson teamed up to write “Make Your Words Sell” (MYWS) which is hailed as a masterpiece about copywriting for the Internet.  

I have read several books on copywriting, but they were all written about copywriting for the offline world and then adapted to the online world.  The transition does not always work well.  

I purchased a copy of MYWS and I am reading it now.  I am very impressed with the book and with what I have read thus far.  

The introduction to MYWS is as follows:  

Look at any e-commerce website.  

Take away the words.  

Could it sell without the words?  

Nope.  

Now take away the graphics.  

Could a no-graphics site sell?  

Sure.  

Time to focus on something that gets sales.  

Words.  

All you have to do now is  

Write to sell.  

The Internet is all about information.  Information is conveyed by words.  Words and how we weave them is what sells.  We must become great copywriters to be successful on the Internet.  

Look for a review in a future issue.  

TinyURL  

TinyURL is a website you should know about.  It can save you time and money.  It will take any URL that you give it and convert it into a URL that is much shorter.  When the shorter URL is clicked, the person browsing will be redirected to the original URL.  

Let’s look at this example.  We will convert the URL for this week’s issue of Boomer eZine to a Tiny URL.  

Before: http://www.boomer-ezine.com/V1I43_020207.htm   

After:  http://tinyurl.com/29ouzt  

If you click on the Tiny URL, you will arrive at this week’s issue of Boomer eZine.  Try it.  

“So what?”  You say.  Why do this?  

One reason is that sometimes you have to include a very long URL in an email.  The URL gets broken up by the wrapping of email formatting.  When the reader of the email clicks on the URL, it does not work.  

You can go to Tiny URL and create the smaller URL to send in your email.  When the reader clicks on the Tiny URL, the browser goes to TinyURL.com, matches with the link that you set up and is forwarded to the correct long URL.  

The most important reason to use Tiny URL is to conceal or to protect affiliate links.  When people see a long URL, they suspect that the URL contains an affiliate link and will not click it.  Even though you provided them good information and a service, they do not want you to make money off them.  

Even worse, some people will steal your affiliate commission.  How do they do that?  If the person reading your material is a member of the affiliate program provider such as Clickbank, they can substitute their affiliate name in place of yours before clicking.  In effect, they buy the product at a discount since they pay the full price for the product, but are paid back the affiliate commission.  That was your commission and you need to protect it.  

Tiny URL is a good tool to have in your toolkit.  

“Free” is Not Free  

“FREE” -- You see it everywhere on the Net.  When you dig deeper, you always find that whatever the offer, it is not really free.  It will usually cost you your name and email address on a sign up form for a newsletter or some such offer.  At the very least, it takes your time to even check it out.  

A classic use of “free” on the Net is in web hosting.  There are many sites that advertise free web hosting.  Now who can turn down a bargain like that?  Being a frugal person of Scots heritage, I for one considered it until I really dug down past the top layer.  

“Free Web Hosts”  

Historically, many of these hosts have started up and disappeared quickly.  Poof, there goes the hard work you invested in setting up your website.  Now you have to find another host and go through the process again.

 Another group of the free web hosts began as free hosts, and then started charging for services with the hope that the users would pay rather than go through the hassle of moving their website.

 Still others require the right to put some form of advertising on your web pages.  This does not project a professional image to your viewers.  

This is still not the major hidden cost of a free web host.  

The Real Hidden Cost  

The real hidden cost of a free web host (or a budget web host) is the lack of services that the host provides.  

Put yourself in the position of the CEO of the free web host.  How much can you pay for support personnel if you are not charging the user for your services?  How solid a hardware system can you afford to host the websites?  How much can you invest to guarantee no downtime on the servers?  

If the web host does not provide the services as part of your hosting agreement, then you have to provide the services yourself.  This causes you to pay for the services or work long, hard hours to compensate for the free web host.  Your time is worth money.  You should be realistic in your accounting for your time as part of the costs of your business.  

If you are not familiar with SEO (if you do not know what SEO means, then you definitely need support); if you do not know how to program in HTML; if you do not know about Google site maps; if you do not know what the new XML sitemaps file at Yahoo looks like; if you do not know about blogging; (the list goes on and on); then you should not be on a free web host.  

Unfortunately, if you remain on the free host, odds are you will find that you are included in the over ninety percent of individuals who start a business on the Internet and fail.  

The ideal web host should provide you with a multitude of services that all but guarantee that you will be successful.  Do you think that a free web host will do that?

 The old adage, “You get what you pay for” applies on the Net just like anywhere else. 

If you have a small website that is a personal toy, then perhaps a free web host is your answer.  

When your website is a commercial site that you intend for your income for years to come, be realistic, bite the bullet, and pay for the services that will give you every chance for success.  

That wraps up our issue for this week.  Until next week, stay tuned.  

John and Linda Howe

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