Local Business Directory Template with Gas Prices

January 28, 2010 by  
Filed under XsitePro Templates

I know I keep threatening to release the Xsitepro Local Business Directory Template and I apologize for the delay. I keep finding ways to improve the template and working on a script for rotating some of the contents.

The Mchenry Local Business Directory has been gaining visitors steadily and I haven’t really done anything with it. By that I mean, I haven’t added any more businesses or other content. I’ve been surprised at the number of returning visitors along with the steady increase of traffic. It’s not much, but Mchenry isn’t a very large town….in fact it’s quite small.

The performance is just as good, if not better than a wordpress blog.

I found 2 tricks that keeps Xsitepro sites ranking in the SERP’s and the rankings have staying power….that is they don’t drop in rank for the keywords I’ve targetted. Here’s 2 results:

Mchenry Oak Flooring Contractor

Mchenry Oak Flooring Contractor

Mchenry Oak Flooring Contractor

Or how about Mchenry Chiropractor

Mchenry Chiropractor

Mchenry Chiropractor

As you can see both keyword phrases are on Page 1 of Google. The best part is both businesses list for a handful of buying keywords each!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I was experimenting on adding a script to the local business directory template that will hopefully turn browsers into regular visitors. I purchased a script that pulls in gas prices from across the country. I put up a quick page, however, I haven’t had a chance to customize the gas price page. The idea is simple. You simply enter the zip code or city and state and you’ll get the gas prices for your area. Check out Mchenry Gas Prices and let me know what you think of the idea!

Post to Twitter Digg This Post

The Confirmed Opt-In Myth

January 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Internet Marketing

Confirmed opt-in as defined by SpamHaus, who is one of the most respected anti spam organizations in the world:

Known as “COI” in the legitimate bulk email industry, also known as “Confirmed Opt-in”, “Verified Opt-in” or sometimes “Double Opt-in”.

Before I go on, just let me say as an Xsitepro user you surely are practicing good internet marketing habits….aren’t you? It really doesn’t matter what you’re trying to accomplish online, I can’t think of very many circumstances that you shouldn’t be building a list in an effort to keep in touch with and possibly sell something in the future. Since many Xsitepro users are trying to build websites for the own brick and mortar businesses, they aren’t too savy when it comes the the techniques involved in internet marketing. Anyway…..regardless of what you are trying to do, you should have an email capture form on your website…preferably on the front page to start collecting names and email addresses. Email marketing is here to stay and gives you many options to build your business…..using a professional company is of paramount importance and Aweber is the King of Email Marketing!

The next issue for email marketing is delivering all your email and one function of that is the double optin form. This means the website visitor first leaves their name and email address and hit submit. Next they get a message in the email inbox asking them to confirm their desire to receive email from you…..its a bit of a hassle but it makes you safe and someone can’t sue you for spam. There have been many myths about the double opt-in and this article should clear that up for you :)

With Closed-Loop Opt-in the Recipient has verifiably confirmed permission for the address to be included on the specific mailing list, by confirming (responding to) the list subscription request verification. This is the standard practice for all responsible Internet mailing lists, it ensures users are properly subscribed, from a working address, and with the address owner’s consent.

In the event of “spam” accusation:

The Bulk Email Sender is fully and legally protected because the reply to the Subscription Confirmation Request received back from the recipient proves that the recipient did in fact opt-in and grant verifiable consent for the mailings.

Numerous myths have circulated regarding confirmed opt-in and its effects. There are many misconceptions out there, and we’d like to help clear those up.

Myth 1: My List Size Will Decrease Because Of Confirmed Opt-In.

Some addresses entered into your form will not confirm — that much is true. The percentage of addresses that don’t confirm depends on many factors, including the quality of your traffic and how effective your thank-you page, confirmation message and incentive for confirming are.

Percentages aside, there are compelling reasons that having fewer addresses on your list is a good thing.

Sometimes Less is Better

I know. You may be asking, “How can a decreased list size be a good thing?” Well, let’s consider:

5-20% of all web form submissions are undeliverable right off the bat.

This means that of your total list size you can cut that by 5-20% because these email addresses are simply dead. Remember these are not temporary undeliverable but permanent dead addresses.

Now, add on the bogus and malicious sign ups that undoubtedly will happen. For example, someone comes to your website and decides to put in bob@aol.com. Well, bob@aol.com was once a real email address and because you were not using confirmed opt-in you are now classified as an unintentional spammer.

A recent study by MarketingSherpa and KnowledgeStorm found that only 68% of users always enter a valid email address.So, nearly a third of respondents knowingly enter bogus email addresses.

- Source

ISPs do not differentiate between unintentional spammers or actual spammers. The potential for you to be blocked or even worse, blacklisted, remains the same.

Less Can Be More Too

A study done by AWeber shows that using confirmed opt-in also reduces unsubscribes and complaints. This means that you keep more of your subscribers (the ones that actually want your email).

Read more about that here.

Myth 2: My Mailing List Is Different! I Don’t Need Confirmed Opt-In.

Let’s be clear, confirmed opt-in is for all businesses, plain and simple. Anyone collecting subscribers and in turn sending email needs to confirm that those people intended to sign up to your mailing list and want to receive your email.

In this age of email regulations and massive volumes of spam email, deliverability can be an issue. Why increase your chances of not getting delivered by putting yourself at risk.

Myth 3: No One Else Uses Confirmed Opt-In. Why Should I?

This is simply not accurate. Our own campaigns here at AWeber use confirmed opt-in for all email marketing activities. When someone signs up for a Test Drive of AWeber, they must confirm.

After setting up an account, if they want to receive our customer training email course, they must confirm. The same goes for our affiliates and their email training. Even when someone subscribes to our blog, they must confirm.

Ok, but AWeber must practice what they preach, who else?

If you want to sign up for the mailing lists of these organizations you will need to first confirm:

CNN Microsoft
Oprah, CNet bellagio.com
IRS.gov weather.com
ign.com maxim.com
tgifridays.com olivegarden.com
pbs.org visitpa.com
Whitehouse.gov

The list goes on and on…

Myth 4: Subscribers In My Market Don’t Know How To Confirm.

The simple solution is to tell them. The first page after someone fills in an opt-in form, commonly called a “thank you page” should tell the visitor exactly what to do next. Often this is done most effectively with a picture showing visitors what the confirmation email will look like.

An excellent example is our test drive sign up video on the thank you page showing visitors what to do.

One variation of this myth is:“Subscribers in my market don’t know how to click an email link.”

Honestly, if they can’t click a link then you probably should be marketing your business offline. If someone can find your website online I guarantee they can click a link.

Myth 5: My Sales Will Decrease Because Of Confirmed Opt-In.

Have you tested this assumption? The answer is always, “No, but I just assume” or “No, my colleague told me it would hurt sales”.

It’s best not to assume anything, but rather to seek out your own answers by testing and observing your own campaigns. We have found from our own testing that while the raw number of email addresses on our list declined when we switched to confirmed opt-in, sales did not.

This means that the people who did confirm were the ones that truly wanted the information that they had to offer and the ones that didn’t were not left to bloat the mailing list.

Grow Your Business Without Risk

Will your results be exactly the same as AWeber or even anyone else? This can only be determined by proper testing and measuring.

Use confirmed opt-in as an opportunity to make sure that your lists are 100% clean and that you know without a doubt that 100% of the people receiving your mail have specifically requested it themselves.

Spend your time and energy building your business with subscribers who want to hear from you rather than dealing with issues created by people who don’t want to hear from you.

Post to Twitter Digg This Post

Offline Marketing Tutorial

Offline Marketing an Internet Marketing Niche

Xsitepro users can easily tap into the offline marketing niche. Showing brick and mortar businesses how to use a website to create a following is very easy if they have Xsitepro. Xsitepro makes the entire offline marketing process really easy because xsitepro is so easy to use. Below you’ll read about a couple of different offline marketing or offline consulting business models….. you really should give this some serious thought if you’d like to make some quick money.

I ran across a post regarding offline marketing the original poster offered a great business model for doing offline marketing and obviously he had some experience in it. He wasn’t proposing that this was the ultimate “offline gold”, simply one type of method to use in offline marketing.

Many of the readers weren’t really getting it. Their lack of understanding might indicate their inexperience since they wanted to know the OP’s sites, how much he was making, how come his sites weren’t listed….in other words they didn’t believe this was a viable business model.

Read his orginal quote below and then my response below it. Offline marketing works…you just need to do it!

I’ve been combining my offline and online marketing skills for quite sometime now. Im going to show you a method that can make a you limitless money if you rinse and repeat it.

It involves local search. The best way of describing this method is by showing you a real life example. This example uses local dentists but you can do it for literally any type of business. The reason I used dentists is because here in London they make an absolute fortune which means they have the funds available to invest in advertising their services.

What I did was buy up a load of domains. I bought about 50 of them but im just going to show you 2

http://dentistinleyton.com

http://dentistinleytonstone.com

So what I did for the first one was chucked up a wordpress blog on the domain, upload a nice theme and write a quick 200 word article with the domain keyword which is “Dentist in Leyton” In leyton there are about 20 dentists but ill go more into that in a minute. I then stick a few “Advertise Here Banners” in the right side of the margin.

What I then did was buy one of these 200 blog comment packages and get the provider to get me 200 links to my TLD with the anchor “Dentist in Leyton”

Now the thing you need to remember is you Obviously want to go for a term that you will rank for and appear on the first page immediately so don’t go for anything crazy like “Dentist London” go for something with a bit less competition, like I’ve done above.

Once the site is ranking. I then went to yell.com and made a list of all the dentists in leyton and rang them one by one. I told them I had a site that was on the first page of google for the keyword “Dentist in Leyton” and was currently getting around 10-15 visitors a day. We’re talking ultra targeted traffic.

Now 10-15 visitors a day could quite easily be an extra $1000 a day of income for a dentist depending on the work that needs to be done to the persons teeth. So I explain this to the dentist and they like the idea and ask me how much. I tell them it will cost $400 a month but potentially that could bring them in about 20K worth of business in that time. They love the idea and sign up. I get my partner to set up an invoice and get them on a monthly billing plan. I then put their contact details on my site and move onto the next dentist.

When I have 3 dentists signed up I close off the signups to that particular site and move onto another location. I don’t want to sarurate the site with too many ads because otherwise the dentists start complaining that they are not receiving enough calls so the optimum number i have found to work is about 3 dentists max per location, which is about $1200 per site per month! This whole process takes about a week to set up and doesn’t really require you to be that persuasive. Once the dentists see the potential in what you are providing they are eager to get signed up. Once I saw the potential for this I then set up another 20 sites in another niche.

As you can see with about 10 sites you should be able to turn this into a $10k a month business and the money is RECURRING every month. All you need to do is make sure the sites are ranking for the keyword every month and bringing in enough traffic to warrant the dentist to stay hooked. What you might also want to do is get people to mention your site when they speak to the dentist to show the dentist you are actually bringing them in decent leads.

Anyway just giving you guys an insight into the power of local search and how you can make money from it.

The OP talks about using one aspect of internet marketing to market to one aspect of the offline or brick and mortar world. In my eys, an excellent post with great ideas. A business model anyone could follow and a niche most anyone could target. Yet I see questions on the reality of the idea….does it work…will it work for me….my dentist’s are poor….my dentist’s have too much money….my dentists won’t talk to me, my dentists won’t pay that much…..and on and on.

Offline marketing works only if you make an effort to apply it. If dentists don’t work for you, try chiropractors or…..just keep trying till something clicks. I said it works but it isn’t necessarily easy. If you’re looking to have your paypal account magically filled over night…..it ain’t gonna happen :(

The biggest joke was the so called “mentor” who said it the idea stunk….yep, and Al Gore invented the internet!

Here’s what you have to remember. Chances are, if you’re here, you know buckets more than any brick and mortar store, service or professional about marketing online. These guys are clueless…period! You have one of the most sought after assests in the whole world…that is, KNOWLEDGE!!!

For one minute forget about your pockets and concentrate on the pockets of your customer or client. If you approach this market from the genuine standpoint of providing value, help and profit for your customers…..you’ll win. You see, this philosophy is counter intuitive to most. In fact, most people on this forum are interested in one thing….that is, making money for themselves.

Get this concept right and the mechanics of developing websites, directories or whatever for offline clients will work. You provide the best solution for their business to start making money or start making more money. Its all in the mindset and people can sense that….even through email or just phone calls.

There are so many different angles you can approach the offline world with that it really is mind bending. The OP’s concept will work if you only try it. I’ll give you a simpler model to follow.

Pick a business in your town….could almost be any business, and find their webpage. Lets look at restaurants. So we go to Google, and search for “restaurants in XXXXXX” go through the first 10 results. How do their websites look? Could you improve them? What could you do to help them make more money?

Here’s where you’ll look like a star. How many of the restaurant websites have an autoresponder form on the first page…at the top, or above the fold? Find the one’s that don’t. Now make contact with the owner and ask what their slowest day is…they say Tuesday. Ask them if they’d like to make it one of their busiest. Ask them, “What if you had a way to contact all your best customers and tell them you had a special gift for them on Tuesday….a free meal…2 for 1, free sandwich….you get the idea. Explain further ways could build a list of customers from their website and how they could market to that list to make more money.

If they aren’t interested….just walk away. You might want to tell them you are going to their competitor next :)

Next you need to figure out what you want to charge for simply putting up an autoresponder form. Maybe $100 or how about $400 one time charge….sign them up for an Aweber account with your affiliate link…..or put them on your own account. Up to you how you want to configure your offline marketing business model.

I guarantee you get more business from them regarding their website because you are now the local internet marketing expert. Of course, you could set this up any way you want and live on the east coast and market to businesses on the West coast.

I could go on with this but let me tell you about another offline project that works.

Set up a Local Business Directory. Do some SEO and get your site on page 1 for “YourCity Businesses”

You can put up free listings of local businesses. Send an email and tell them of the business when you get their listing on page 1….tell them its free, tell them it will stay there for 10, 50 or 100 bucks a month. Whether you charge for the listing or give it to them free, offer a complete web package…with autoresponder.

I can tell you from first hand experience that the “Mentor” doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground and I certainly hope he didn’t charge you for his advice because this works. WordPress brings excellent results, and Xsitepro sites are just as good if not better when developing directories….but you really need to know how to use Xsitepro and all it features.

The bottom line is, any method or platform you use when contacting an offline customer can be used to build and expance your business model. Whether you start pounding on doors selling autoresponders or start by developing some sort of local directory…use them as a funnel to bring your prospect and customer into more development, adding monthly or yearly charges. Provide outstanding value and you will have customers and friends for life!!

Hope this helps

Scott

Post to Twitter Digg This Post

How to get XsitePro Free!!!

January 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Xsitepro Video

Xsitepro Version 1 Tricks

You’ve probably seen or heard of Xsitepro if you’ve been online during the last 4 years. Version 1 was the first version and after many upgrades and much success the folks at Xsitepro finally created a totally new version….Version 2. Xsitepro Version 2 is praised by all its users and contains almost all the features requested by the users of Version 1.

Xsitepro simplified the process of building a website and getting it on the internet…..just about anyone, including your Granny could build a website now! You’ll find Xsitepro Version 2 stands up to programs like Dreamweaver, Frontpage and NVU, however, these other programs don’t compare to the ease of use you find in Xsitepro. I run across testiomonials from people across all ages and occupations who now use Xsitepro to build websites…..it really is amazing!

As with any successful software application that has become successful, there are a ton of videos around that help you use the program….also you’ll find some great ebooks and courses that really get into the details and advanced uses of the program. Every week I search around for a good Youtube video that will further explain how to use at least one aspect of Xsitepro, most are really helpful.Take a look at this video, see if you can learn one Xsitepro trick.

You might be intersted to know one of my favorite Xsitepro tools is….Custom Xsitepro Templates You can create the most awesome looking templates after watching these videos.

Hey, if you want this I put it from torrent to megaupload. heres the link www.megaupload.com PLEASE COMMENT :D

Post to Twitter Digg This Post

WordPress Unique Review

If you are an Xsitepro user, you know and understand how easy it is to set up a site with Xsitepro. However, I wonder if you realize how powerful it is to add a wordpress blog to your site. There’s several ways to do this, you can use Xsitepro to WordPress or you can simply add a wordpress blog via cpanel and link to it from your Xsitepro site. Either way, you’re missing out on some powerful linking and other symbiotic benefits from working with xsitepro and wordpress.Nothing  beats Xsitepro’s power in organizing and setting up static content while nothing beats WordPress when dealing with dynamic content.

I ran into a powerful plugin that creates unique content from duplicate content…..nothing you’ve used before. Anyway, rather than talk about WpUnique or WordPress Unique…..check out the rest of the post and do yourself a favor and grab a copy today!

“Just Think…Your Blog Post Ranked and Indexed
In Less than 5 Minutes Even When Using
PLR or Reprint Articles….or Any Content
By Just Pasting It Into Your Blog!”

wpunique-uniquecontentI’ve been using a new wordpress plugin called wordpress unique or wpUnique for the past couple of months with outstanding results. In fact, this is one case where I’d prefer to be selfish and keep this information to myself….however, the wpUnique has been released to the public and by virtue of the fact that “It Works!” I’m sure everyone will be using it….so, jump to the front of the line and grap a copy of WordPress Unique today!

Simply said, WpUnique is a wordpress plugin that automatically creates unique content from any blog post you place on your wordpress blog. It amazingly converts a unique version or any PLR article or duplicate content you feed it! However, the article looks exactly the same as the original plr or duplicate content….. the magic happens behind the scenes, in the html coding of the blog!

Seriously, this thing works so good I wish no one else knew about it….it works by using something called “html encoding” and alters the blog post on the html version and makes no change at all to the Visual Version of the blog post. There are other features that allow you to further alter the blog post in an effort to create a more unique blog post and in an effort to monetize the blog post. These are all options that are completely controlled by you! The entire plugin, all the features, can be applied to the entire blog or it can be applied to a single post….. giving you the ultimate control of your blog posts.

I think I’ve been using wpUnique for about 2 months…maybe more, and in that time there have been at least 4 updates. These haven’t been cheesey little updates but major upgrades to the plugin. Steve Fullman has gone all out on this baby and has made wpUnique a premiere wordpress plugin, in fact, Steve originally offered WordPress Unique on the warrior forum in the WSO section. It’s been one of the most successful wso’s that I can remember…..I’m surprised it took him so long to create an affiliate program and offer the plugin to the general market!

Testing Wordpess Unique on Blogs

I’ve been testing wpUnique on 2 well established blogs and 2 brand new blogs. I can get a blog post indexed ….literally in minutes on the established blogs. It doesn’t matter what the article is….it gets indexed. For instance, I get an article a day from one membership. The owner of the membership usually already has the article indexed on his blog in the SERP’s. And sometimes a couple of days will go by and the article is indexed on another member’s blog. In both cases I search for the “title” of the article in google or the first sentence. Often times there are 5 or more other results in the supplemental results….but as you know they do not show up unless you force them to.

This is the cool part. I’ll copy the article into a blog post exactly the same as it was sent. Next I tick the box for wpUnique to “Uniquify This Post” That’s the only option I use…there are other options such as:

  • Uniquify Comments
  • Auto-Spin This Post
  • Keywords to Cash Links

I haven’t use any of those other options and then I “publish” the post. I’ll check Google for the “Title” of the article or blog post and voila…..my post is on top of the SERP’s….that’s right….WordPress Unique altered my post so that in Google’s eyes the post was actually different than the posting’s previously indexed. That is some powerful stuff. Like I said….I wish I was the only one to know about this. I didn’t think the SERP circumstances would last very long, however, all articles and posts have maintained their positions! I almost feel guilty using wpUniqe :)

In the interest of full disclosure, I need to report that WordPress Unique did not work the magic as fast on new blogs. As with any new site or new blog, the new blog really needs to be indexed by Google before you’ll start to see your articles in the SERPS. WpUnique still works, it just might take a little longer for the results to show up.

You might be confused and wondering exactly how wordpress unique works. You might think that it changes your plr article or blog post somehow. Maybe you think the wpunique spins new content out of your blog post. Actually, the plugin has grown to include many features since its inception, but the main way it changes the content is by doing something called “html encoding” which changes the html view of the post but not the actual words. I’m not sure how, but to the search engines, the content appears unique enough to be considered different than the original article or blog post.

Here’s a view of a post that has been “uniqified”….it looks as standard as any blog post:

blogpost-wpunique1

Here’s a view of the same blog post from the “source code” view….as you can see the text has been changed to the html encoding.

wordpressunique-htmlencoding

So…if you need to know how it works…now you know :)

If you’re like most of us you just need to know THAT WpUnique works….and I attest to the fact that it does!

WordPress Unique has many other features….I think I’ll discuss those in another post. Suffice it to say, these other features serve to further change your blog post so that it becomes even more unique and thereby overcoming the duplicate content issues. WpUnique also has features that helps you to automatically monetize your blog posts with affiliate links and keywords or keyword phrases.

Check out these videos, they’ll help you gain a better understanding of WordPress Unique, how it creates unique content and how some of the features work!

I don’t do this often, buy click on WpUnique and grab a copy of this awesome plugin and watch it work it’s magic!!!

Post to Twitter Digg This Post

Powered by Yahoo! Answers