Friday, May 20, 2005

Hooked On Books? Write A Book Review For Your Target Audience

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by Bonnie Jo Davis
May 12, 2005

If you are burned out with writing how-to articles to promote your business then consider writing a book review. I recommend you write a review about a book you enjoyed that is related to your products or services. Your review, of course, will be capped off with your 5-6 line byline that includes your contact information and web site URL. Many of the article directories, e-zines and web sites that normally accept articles will accept book reviews too. In addition, you can find and submit to the many sites featuring book reviews.

To begin a review, I start with the format required by Midwest Book Review. I then adapt the format and word count to what is required by each submission site. Midwest Book Review recommends the following format (examples of paragraphs are enclosed in parenthesis):

Book Title:
Publisher Address:
Publication Date:
Page Count:
Reviewer Contact Information:


First Paragraph - Include information about the format of the book. A nice touch is to comment on the cover design, table of contents structure and/or glossary at the back of the book.

(Sample: This beautifully laid out trade paperback has a gorgeous and practical design both inside and out. I recommend you read this book with a highlighter and a pen, ready to take copious notes in the blank pages thoughtfully provided between chapters.)

Second Paragraph - Detail the recommended audience and note why they should read the book.

(Sample: Manners That Sell: Adding The Polish That Builds Profits should be required reading for high school and college students and for anyone already in the business environment. Once upon a time, good manners were taught in school and at home, but that time has long since passed. This book provides the perfect refresher course for those of us who learned manners but no longer remember the finer points of etiquette.)

Third Paragraph - Write about the book structure and layout, number of chapters and topics covered.

(Sample: While reading this book, I discovered that the author, Lydia Ramsey, covered every conceivable point of etiquette including many that I'd never been taught. Each of the twelve chapters covers one main topic broken down into digestible bite sized chunks of rules and guidelines to enhance credibility and professionalism. Topics include first impressions, greetings and introductions, the art of conversation, dressing for business, telephone courtesy, electronic etiquette, correspondence in business, etiquette in the office, gift-giving in business, etiquette out of the office, dining for profit and doing business internationally.)

Fourth Paragraph - Give a brief biography of the author including their name, name of their business (if applicable), business or personal expertise and if available, include titles of their other books.

(Sample: The author of this delightful book, Lydia Ramsey, is a business etiquette expert with over thirty years of experience working with non-profits, corporations, colleges and universities. She is a frequently published author who presents workshops, seminars and keynotes on all aspects of business etiquette.)

Fifth Paragraph - Recommend the book and offer some ideas of its practical use by individuals or groups. If applicable, mention that it would make a good gift book and wrap up the review with a positive summary of the book.

(Sample: I recommend businesses buy this book in bulk and present one to every employee from the frontline up to the top management. In this ever-changing world of so many consumer choices, the bottom line is often affected by the simple courtesies that can and should be afforded to customers. You need this book if you want your employees to succeed and your business to thrive.)

Add your copyright statement and byline to the bottom of the review and, as usual, have the review proofread by an editor before you begin submission. Your book reviews can be very effective marketing tools that will generate considerable exposure for you.

(c) 2005. Davis Virtual Assistance. All rights reserved. Permission to publish online or in print granted provided the article and byline are printed intact with live links.

Bonnie Jo Davis is an experienced writer and publications coordinator with over ten years of experience submitting articles online and in print.
Visit today to gain access to her submission list, e-book, newsletter and more!

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

10 Viral Internet Marketing Strategies That Produce A Massive Surge of Web Site Traffic and Sales

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by Darryl DeLong

1. Start a newsletter that people can subscribe to, and use an autoresponder service like GetResponse ( or Aweber ( to capture and store your subscribers’ contact information.

2. Use the double-opt rather than single opt-in method to capture qualified targeted leads. Why? Because double opt-in requires new subscribers to confirm their subscription (yes, I want what you have to offer) and reduces the chances of a bounced email.

3. Refer people to your web page that offers them a freebie (free report, ebook, etc.), capture their name, email address & phone number (optional) and then take them to your home page while behind the scenes your autoresponder provides a series of follow-up emails to them automatically, re-introducing yourself and your business offer. Studies show that most people need to see your offer at least 7 times before they make a decision to purchase.

4. Include a headline & outline the features/benefits of the product or service you are offering on your web site. Make it easy for your audience to understand what they will gain by buying from you.

5. Include written testimonials from people who have used your product or service on your web site. Include audio testimonials that prospects can listen to and you will really capture their attention.

6. Let your "personality" come across in your newsletters. Allow your subscribers to know who you are and what you are about. Keep it real and be honest with them. By establishing trust and credibility with your prospects, you will greatly increase the return on your investment in time and money.

7. Be sure to include plenty of informational articles on your web site that focus on educating your visitors. Add or replace older articles with new ones on your web site each month. Keep you web site content fresh and exciting to your viewing audience. The more content you have the better. Search engines tend to rank sites higher that have a good deal of content and good content keeps your visitors or prospects coming back for more.

8. Write an informational article about a topic related to your business and post it on your web site. Include an "About The Author" resource box at the bottom of the article that includes your name, company, telephone number, address, web site link and your permission to re-print and use your article on their web site or e-zine as long as your resource box remains intact. Submit your article to web sites like and watch your web site traffic increase substantially.

9. Include a "Refer a Friend" section on your web site and add a hyperlink to this in your newsletter. This gives your visitors and subscribers and opportunity to share your URL with others. Most autoresponder packages make it easy to do this.

10. Start your own affiliate program using an affiliate management solution like AssocTRAC ( Promote your new affiliate program on your web site or newsletter. Watch as you recruit a global sales force eagerly willing to promote what you have to offer. They send you a paying customer and you cut them a commission check. It’s as simple as that.

About the Author:
Darryl DeLong is a sucessful Internet Marketer and Ezine Publisher. Learn how to build up your opt-in list, site visitors and sales with my brand new ebook entitled "Viral Internet Marketing Strategies" get a free copy - here -

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Small Home Business: Unique Free Advertising For Business Owners

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by Kim Beardsmore

If you find these ideas for free small business advertising a little unusual, that’s not surprising. They are. The reason you may have not heard about them is probably because most business people use the same, traditional forms of advertising paths. If you are looking for something to supplement your existing forms of advertising, these ideas may have the power to lift your sales and expand your business without a large financial outlay.

1. Give Testimonials

When you purchase a product or service and it exceeds your expectations e-mail the business a testimonial. Tell them in the testimonial the benefits you got from the product or service. Give them permission to publish the testimonial on their web site, in their advertising brochures or other advertising material if they include a short signature about your self. At the end of this article you will find an example of a short signature.

2. Leave A Message

Participate in local online community discussion boards and other local online discussion groups. When you visit a web site with a discussion board leave a message. You could post a question, interesting content or a compliment about their web site. Include your signature file at the end of the message. Some discussion boards let you post your banner ad or text link.

3. Sign Guest Books

When you visit a well-designed web site leave a compliment on their guest book. You could give them a compliment on their content, ease of navigation, graphics and so on. When you post your compliment include your signature file so other people will see it when they sign the guest book.

4. Write A Review

When you visit a web site you enjoyed a lot write a review for the web site. Write about the benefits you gain from the site, the web site design, interesting online services it offers and the like. E-mail the review to the web site. Tell them they can publish it on their web site if they include your signature file at the end.

5. Send An E-mail To The Editor

When you read a good article or enjoy a certain magazine, e-mail a compliment to the editor. Give the editor permission to publish the compliment in magazine if they include your signature file at the end. The editor may also post it on his or her web site.

© Kim Beardsmore

About the Author:
Kim is part of a 25 year old home business group operating across 60 countries. We urgently require people to join our expanding team. Earn $500-$5,000 per month part time around your current schedule. Full training and ongoing support to ensure your success. Click here:
Kim Beardsmore

Free Advertising

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Do You Make Your Prospects and Customers Jump Through Hoops?

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Copyright Marty Foley,

Picture this: Your prospect has just learned about one of your products or services, and is now ready to buy from you. How you handle the next critical step can make or break the sale.

Always keep in mind that most consumers are understandably wary. They won't hesitate to abandon an intended purchase if they encounter doubts or inconvenient snags in the process.

I invite you to do a bit of honest self-examination when considering the following tips, since problems in this area may be costing you dearly in lost sales, right this very minute.

Acting to improve on what you discover could very well help boost your sales immediately.

1) How Easy Is It for Your Customers to Access Information Needed to Buy From You?

a) For example, does the design of your web site make it hard to navigate, or is the information needed to complete a transaction within easy access to your customers, with minimal mouse clicks?

Poor navigation is but one of many, many different snags that hinder web site sales. Problem is, most site owners, designers, and webmasters don't realize how much more a site could sell, if it were only more user-friendly.

b) While you may wisely reduce the amount of repetitive customer service issues by answering questions through an F.A.Q., (an acronym for Frequently Asked Questions) etc., some prospects may yet have additional questions not covered in it.

Do your prospects have a way to contact you to have such questions answered, and do you have an efficient system in place for answering them, promptly and efficiently?

Is the form of contact convenient to your prospects?

2) What Forms of Payment Do You Offer Your Customers?

a) Do you require your customers to send payment to you by check, cash or money order only via regular postal mail? If you're selling online and not accepting credit cards, you're likely losing many sales.

b) What types of credit cards do you accept? Virtually any type of business can increase sales by accepting payment by Visa and MasterCard.

But even businesses already accepting Visa and MasterCard may still be losing sales by not also accepting Discover and American Express, especially in the U.S.

True, Visa and MasterCard encompass the vast majority of all credit card transactions. But there are many consumers who instead prefer to use Discover or American Express.

Do you want their business? If so, your existing merchant account provider is most likely equipped to easily get you set up to accept them.

3) How Easy Do You Make It for Customers to Submit Payment?

a) Suppose that you do accept credit cards. Even though the risk of online credit card purchasing has been exaggerated, and isn't necessarily more risky than offline transactions, many consumers are concerned about submitting their credit card data online.

With this in mind, in addition to being equipped to accept online credit card orders through a secure server, do you provide alternate ordering options for those who hesitate (or refuse) to order online by credit card?

What about options to order with check, money order, or credit card, by phone, fax, or postal mail?

b) Is your online order system simple to understand and use, even for the most inexperienced users, or are they inconvenient and confusing? How do you know?

"Shopping cart abandonment" is a term used to describe when a would-be online customer abandons, or bails out of, an online order form or shopping cart, before completing an intended purchase.

Beware that this commonly overlooked problem robs Internet merchants of billions of dollars in lost sales each year, and that the selection and design of your online order system has a major impact on your profits - for good or bad!

c) Do you work hard to eliminate guesswork for customers, provide complete order details, and guide them simply and gently through the ordering process?

Remember: Any extra hoop you require prospects and customers to jump through is an extra obstacle in the way of a sale; another reason to change their minds about buying from you.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that there's always room for improvement - in every business in existence. So don't feel bad when you find them in your own business. I guarantee you they exist; you just may not be aware of them yet.

Unfortunately, there's not enough room in this article to cover all the obstacles possibly hindering your online sales, of which there are at least hundreds!

But the basic lesson behind the above tips is this: Make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with you. The easier you make it, the more likely they will.

More Helpful Resources...

Marty Foley's "Convert More Traffic" private members site helps web sites generate more traffic and turn more of it into buyers, leads, and higher profit:

Check out Marty's free e-courses for boosting online profits:
ProfitInfo e-courses

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Spooky Marketing -

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Fellow blog reader (or blogger),

A friend of mine sent this to me over the weekend and, well...
Well, you just have to see it for yourself to believe it.

If you remotely like "spooky" or "unexplainable" stuff, you have to check this out. (It's not exactly the time of year you might expect this, but that's what makes things great - the unexpected!)

Make sure your sound is turned up a bit... it's kinda hard
to hear -

It falls in the "Strange but interesting" category. This is a car advertisement from Great Britain. When they finished filming the ad, the film editor noticed something moving along the side of the car, like a ghostly white mist.

They found out that a person had been killed a year earlier
in that exact same spot. The ad was never put on TV because
of the unexplained ghostly phenomenon.

Watch the front end of the car as it clears the trees in the
middle of the screen and you'll see the white mist crossing
in front of the car then following it along the road.


Is it a ghost, or is it simply mist? You decide. If you
listen to the ad, you'll even hear the commentator talk
about it near the end of the commercial.

A little creepy but pretty cool!
Even though it takes a few moments to load and run, it's worth it.
- Still gives me the creeps every time I watch it -
(shivering chill up my spine)

Spooky car ad

P.S. - If you believe in this kind of stuff, this video might
cause your heart to skip a beat or two. Don't watch this if
you're over 80 or wearing a pacemaker!

P.S.S. At the end of this video you'll be asked if you want to send it (through an e-mail) to any of your friends. By all means, do so!

BUT - if you want to get FULL LEVERAGE from the video, go here first - then your friends will be helping YOU instead of ME -

Spooky car ad

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