Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Election 2008 Merchandise Just in Time for Super Tuesday

I just added an Election 2008 section to my store and I’ve been writing online press releases for it. Here’s one:

The political race toward the White House has gotten more narrow, but much more heated lately. With Super Tuesday right around the corner, Republicans and Democrats are working hard to get their man’s (or woman’s) name out there.

givitup, a print on demand store with over 100 products, has just opened an Election 2008 section. Nancy Geiger, owner of the store, has chosen who she considers to be the top 4 contenders. givitup has only been open a little over 2 years so this is it’s first opportunity to get political.

Geiger says t-shirts have always been a way for people to “belong” and “stand out.” The first written t-shirts were usually sports names. Then of course there are the school names and place names, all giving people a feeling of belonging to a group. Later came the “statements” which set them a part. Their view of the world or opinion about something. The hip joke that made them cool. The rebellion against the establishment.

People advertise their businesses or put their kid’s pictures (or their dogs!) on t-shirts. With politics, they are essentially walking billboards for the candidate of their choice.

Geiger says the beauty of print on demand is that the customer can get one item and not have to order in bulk. They can also send her their own text, picture or design to make an even more personal statement.

“With candidates throwing their hats in after the race has started and others dropping out mid-stream, print on demand allows me change my shop with the news and not lose inventory.” Geiger said, “It’s a wonderful system. And fun! Besides the usual stickers, buttons, magnets and t-shirts, I’m able to have mugs, bibs, onesies, BBQ aprons, note cards, baseball caps and even teddy bears wearing t-shirts.”

givitup’s Election 2008 merchandise can be viewed at


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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Internet Marketing Dictionary

I found a helpful site for those just starting to learn about Internet marketing. It’s an online dictionary of all the terms related to this fairly new field.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mining For Gold...In Your Web Traffic Logs

Understanding your Web site’s traffic patterns is a crucial component of your marketing mix. The information in these logs is collected as visitors find and move around your site at their own volition. So, it’s “market research that cannot lie” - and therefore provides unprecedented insights that can help you to strategize not only for the future development of the site itself, but also for your overall business and marketing plan.

I’ll describe the most important sections of the log report when analyzing your site’s marketing effectiveness. Often, deciding what’s right and what’s a problem is a gut feel that you’ll develop by looking at your log reports over a period of weeks or months, by trying some new tactics, and observing the trends and results.

General Statistics

This introductory section shows the overall traffic to the site, including the number of actual visitors, as opposed to “hits”. This is an important distinction - one hit is generated for every page and every individual image that a visitor requests (e.g. a page with some text and five pictures will take six hits to download). So, the ratio of hits to individual visitors can be quite high.

By the way, it’s also important for you to appreciate this distinction if you are selling advertising space on your site. You may be asked by a potential advertiser to prove your traffic levels, and if you happily say “millions of hits”, they may look suspicious!

This section also shows the average time spent on the site, which should give some indication as to how engaging it is. If your site is rich in content, but the time spent on it is relatively low, it may not be meeting the needs of the visitors it is attracting, or it may be targeted at the wrong audience.

I had a client who earlier this year placed #1 in some major search engines. He was ecstatic! But his site had not been worked on for some time, and was very dry and boring. We discovered from his logs that the average time spent on his site was less than two minutes - obviously indicating a problem. And to make my point again, without this evidence from the logs, he would have continued to believe that his site was successful.

Most and Least Requested Pages

The most requested pages are a great barometer of the “hot” areas of your site, and thus the most popular aspects of your online products or services. These may be different from your original expectations, and so this information can be very valuable for overall business development decisions.

If the least requested pages (i.e. the ones that attract the fewest visitors) contain important content, then something’s wrong. Usually, it’s either that their content is not interesting to your markets after all, or that the site is not driving your traffic to these pages in ways that are attractive.

Top Entry and Exit Pages

If the inside pages of your site are well promoted in the search engines, there should be a number of top entry pages (i.e. the first page that the visitor sees), in addition to the home page. This is a good reminder to include clear navigation back to other areas of the site from every page, to ensure that the first-time visitor gets a complete picture of your offerings.

The top exit pages are also an indication of your site’s effectiveness - if these are not the right places for most visitors to leave from, some adjustments are needed. Make sure that every page of your site has an objective, and that you clearly direct the visitor to the next page or to the action that you wish them to take.

Single Access Pages

These are pages that a visitor views, and leaves without exploring any further. Typically, this will be the home page, and I am often asked whether this is an issue. I usually give the standard consultant’s answer: “It depends . . .”
Your home page should quickly show the different audiences for your site that they’ve come to the right place for what they want, and where to go to find it. So you might have sections for members, prospective members, journalists, consumers, etc. The home page should do enough to engage them, and send them on to the appropriate inside pages.

If the home page does a good job of this, there will probably be some visitors who came to your site by mistake, in which case they will leave immediately. But that’s OK - they aren’t the right traffic for you.

It’s really your judgment call as to what constitutes a problem. But, that client I mentioned earlier whose visitors spent less than two minutes on his site also had about 85% single access figures on his home page - some things are obvious!

A splash entry page to your site (i.e. one that says “Welcome, enter here”, but with little or no actual content) will often also show large single access figures. Although these pages can look very striking, they unfortunately tend to be unpopular with impatient surfers. I’ve seen splash pages that have lost one third of a site’s visitors. If you have a splash page, check the single access figures for it in your logs, and be prepared to remove it without hurting the feelings of your Webmaster!

Most Active Countries and Cities

If your site is aimed at an international audience, this section will show which country visitors originate from. This information can be useful in making decisions such as providing pages in languages other than English.

The most active cities report is unfortunately very misleading, as it relies on the registered location of the Internet Service Provider. Most log reports therefore show very disproportionate visitor numbers from Virginia - the home of America Online!

Top Referring Sites / URL’s / Search Engines

These are the Web pages that send visitors to your site. The largest figure here will usually be the “No referrer”, showing people coming directly to the site. This means that they are typing in your URL, or have your site bookmarked, and implies that your other forms of marketing are working.

The log reporting program should display other Web pages that send you traffic as html links, allowing you to click on the URL (when online!) to see the originating page. This will show the effectiveness of your reciprocal links or paid advertising. You will also be able to see other sites that are linking to you. It’s worth checking these out if you aren’t familiar with them - either to thank them, or to check that their link to you is appropriate.

For search engine referrals, clicking on the link will resubmit the search, and allow you to evaluate competitors’ sites and positioning relative to yours. It’s also possible to review keywords that are bringing traffic from one particular source, and to try to improve the site’s performance for those words in other search engines.

Top Search Keywords and Phrases

This is crucial information, as it shows exactly what people were looking for when they came to your site. Often Web site marketers take their best guess at these keywords on their first design, but because the search engines index every word on all your pages, other terms can be found, especially in a content rich site.

So the most popular search phrases can tell you what’s really “hot” in your products and services. Understanding these is another great key to understanding the current needs of your site’s market(s), and making business strategy and development decisions. One of my clients recently decided to write a book on a topic area that, until she saw her logs, she had no idea was so sought-after.


There are other sections in the log report, especially around the technical data for your site. The pieces that I have covered here are the significant ones for marketers. If you don’t have this information available, I really urge you to get it, and review it - I guarantee that you’ll find some gold nuggets!

Philippa Gamse, CyberSpeaker, is a Web strategy consultant and professional speaker. Check out her free tipsheet for 23 ideas to promote your Website "Beyond the Search Engines": http:/ / Philippa can be reached at (831) 325-3307 or mailto:pgamse@Cyb

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Identity Theft T-shirts and Gifts

I added a new section to my store today and I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way! There are times when you just wish someone would take your identity and you could start over! My life? Take it and all the problems too!



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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Google Adsense

Google Adsense has made a huge impact on internet advertising and it is not short of being a revolution. The fact that more and more people are using Adsense today is the proof of its success. It is a concept that can provide businesses, small and large with a good ROI and generate targeted traffic by creating a high visibility over the internet.

You should start applying Adsense if you have been losing money instead of gaining in any kind of affiliate programs. Google through its Adsense service is providing high quality and relevant ads, which match up to the content on your website. To add to this is the search engine, which will take care of most of the searching. Another salient point is that you will not have to spend too much time choosing various types of ads for your website pages. Google's Adsense process makes it easy for you because it doesn't involve codes, as is the case for several affiliate programs.

Adsense Tips

AdSense is something on the lines of a set and forget arrangement thanks to the state-of-the-art technology used by Google. Here are some strategic tips of what to do with Google Adsense and what not to do with it.

1. While working on Adsense, you should try and avoid default settings, instead work towards customizing your ads.

2. When you are writing the content, think about your reader and then target your content through Adsense.

3. One mistake that most businesses or people make is looking at AdSense as a competitor; instead you should look at it as a partner that is going to help generate revenue for your business and create visibility over the internet, and in fact provide you with a winning edge over your actual competitors.

4. You need to position the ads correctly. This is highly important if you want to profit you're your Adsense campaign. You need to place your ads where you feel there is a higher probability for people to see it.

5. With Google, you can place three instances of AdSense code per page. You should use this to your advantage but remember you need to also bring a variety to the implementation.

6. If you have implemented the code on your Adsense ads then refrain from clicking on the ad. Note: Google is extremely sensitive to click fraud.

7. One of the things that many people try is game the system. Google is aware of most of the things or tricks that people apply and is notorious for pursuing people caught doing a click fraud.

Here is a list of Don'ts:

1. Don't try to implement your AdSense code in a place where people won't be able to see it.

2. There are many people who try to offer incentive to visitors so that they click on the AdSense ads. This is a no-no!

3. Never ask people to click on your ad

4. Never place your AdSense ads on empty pages.

Making money from the Rates

The Google Adsense ads can be easily customized, which is one of the reasons for its popularity. They can also be placed anywhere on your web page but it is always advisable to place them where people will be able to see them and click on them. You can always experiment a little with themes, colors and of course the placement but you should never go overboard. Too much of experimentation can kill the main purpose. But before you can start with Google Adsense, you need to be aware of the rates, which can vary. Your Adsense strategy should revolve ideally around the rates because you will receive your payments per click and it will all depend on how much people are willing to pay per click to place an advertisement using AdWords. The minimum that advertisers pay is around 5 cents and it can go to as much as $10, and even more. For example: lawyers are paying around $75 for using the keyword mesothelioma.

You can sign up for your Adsense account by clicking on the URL below:

About the Author: Learn more about making money online at: Also, check out these work at home reviews before you join any income opportunity:

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Monday, January 14, 2008

List of social networking websites

Everyone knows that social networking is huge, but who knew there were so many of them! Wikipedia has a great list with links to each site and how many members.

Check it out! Social Networking List

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

How to Write Little Tiny AdWords That Bring Giant-Sized Profits

When you own an online store, you will not only write descriptions and copy, but lots of ads. This article tells how to write AdWords, but the principle applies to anything you write about your products.

It seems to be a phenomenon. You try AdWords, your ad gets “disapproved” by the powers that be at Google, you count your losses and give up. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are two primary factors to succeeding at Google AdWords and other types of PPC advertising. The first is getting the right keywords. The second is writing little tiny ads. That's what we'll cover in this article.

Mark Twain said it best. “If I would have had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.” The point… it takes much more skill, and much more time to write short copy than long copy.

Let’s go through the process together and I’ll show you a few tricks of the trade that have brought me AdWords click through rates of 7.1%, 8.0%… even 25%.Step One – You would be very wise to either use a benefit or an end result in your headline. In order to do this, you’ll have to be aware of the difference between features and benefits. Start by making a list. I’ll use the example of an online shoe store.

Here are a few features:
· huge inventory
· wide selection of sizes
· discounted prices
· free shipping

And here are the benefits associated with those features:
· hundreds of styles to choose from
· hard-to-find sizes in stock
· save money
· free shipping (costs nothing extra)

Step Two – Know what your customers are looking for. YOU may feel that one benefit outweighs another. However, your customer might feel differently. Be sure you understand what is important to your customer before writing your headline and your ad. You have no room to waste so it is vital that you find a so-called nail and hit it right on the head.

Step Three – Work in your keywords. There tends to be a greater click through rate on search results that use the exact key phrase the surfer types in. The same holds true for Google’s AdWords program.

While the following have by no means been researched, we’ll assume that some optimum keywords for our shoe store are: women's shoes and sandals. We’ll want to include these in our ads.

Step Four – Start big and narrow it down. Begin by writing a few sentences or a paragraph about what you’d like your customer to know. Perhaps:

You’ll find everything you’re looking for in one place! Hundreds of styles to choose from including hard-to-find sizes in stock. You’ll save lots of money because our regular prices are far below that of other stores. Plus shipping is always free – regardless of the amount of your purchase. Check out our excellent selection of women's shoes and sandals.

Now, go back and take out every word that does not absolutely need to be there. You probably came up with something like this:

Everything in one place! Hundreds of styles, hard-to-find sizes. Prices far below other stores. Shipping free. Women's shoes and sandals.

That’s a LOT smaller and still gets the point across. However, it is still too long for AdWords. Your headline must be less than 25 characters (including spaces). Your copy can only be 35 characters per line. (You get two lines.) Now is the time to begin rearranging words to create an ad that will match Google’s guidelines, include your keywords, and draw a crowd to your site.

Here are a couple I came up with:

100s of Styles-Low Prices
Big savings on women's shoes. Plusfree shipping! All sizes in stock.

Discount Women's Sandals
Latest styles at deep discounts. All sizes in stock. Free Shipping!

Step Five – Test, test, test! Put them up and give them a go. See what happens. Believe me, Google will notify you quickly if your ads aren’t performing. Those that get lower than a .05% click through rate are immediately “disapproved.” You are notified that your ad has been pulled and that you need to make changes.

Use the information in the AdWords campaign section to track the results. I’ve heard countless tales of those who have changed one little word and gone from a .07% CTR to a 5.0% CTR. If your ad is pulled, make simple changes to start with. Swapping out the word “savings” for “discount” or “big” for “huge” can be all it takes to catapult you to the top of the list.

When you write extremely short copy, remember to stay focused. There is not enough room to sell the customer within your copy, but there IS enough room to pique their interests. Use the limited space you have to punch up the biggest benefits or end results your customers are looking for and you’ll see bigger returns on your AdWords investment.

About the Author: Discover the proven methods for writing powerful PPC ads with Karon's latest ebook How To Write Successful PPC Ads. This quick-read has easy, tested ways to create PPC ads fast that get higher click-through rates. Learn PPC copywriting today at © 2004

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sales From Your Site - Make It Simple For Prospects

Building a web site often can lead to interesting deviations caused by practicalities and changes in perspective. This is okay so long as you keep things simple for prospects.

Many business owners unintentionally erect barriers between themselves and their customers when it comes to the site sales process. Simple mechanisms can be put in place to remove these barriers.

A business owner that is always looking for new ways to connect with potential customers often finds his or her efforts paying off many times over. Some of the most common web sales barriers are lack of contact methods, payment methods, and delivery methods. To bridge these potential barriers, a business owner can provide more options to crossing each of these barriers.

Contact Barriers

Simply adding contact options can be a great way to create more sales. Some web sites only offer email or even just a contact form as a means of contact. Yet there are many people that prefer to conduct transactions over the phone, by mail or by fax. Retail sites discover this fact the first time they go through a hot sales period such as Christmas. Some people just like to call. No, I don’t know why. They just do.

Providing a broad range of contact options also builds credibility. Having an office address, fax and phone number in addition to an email address shows the prospective client that the business does in fact exist and has made themselves transparent and easy to contact. Providing such information gives people the impression they aren’t dealing with some Nigerian scam.

Using an 800 number is also an excellent way to build credibility and remove a sales barrier. Picking up the tab on calls from potential clients is a polite gesture and may encourage a potential buyer one more reason to call. Toll-free numbers are easy to obtain these days and can cost around 6 cents per minute - a small price to pay for building confidence in your audience.

Payment Barriers

Many web sites provide only one way to pay for merchandise - credit card. There are many reasons to offer more payment methods. For one, not everyone has a credit card. Although in the United States, it seems like almost everyone does, this is not true in over-seas markets where there is resistance to credit. Furthermore, some people just don't feel safe providing credit card information over the web. Regardless of how safe or unsafe Internet transactions may or may not be, it is usually the job of the business owner to provide what the consumer wants.

It is a simple matter to provide an address and a printable order form for most web sites where a check can be mailed. If you are running a home business, a PO box is a simple solution to keep your business separate from your home. Some mailbox services allow for your address to be a suite number instead of a box number, which can further improve the image of your business.

Providing a phone number by which orders can be placed is also a way to remove a barrier between you and your potential customers. Of course this means there must also be someone there to answer the phone. Simply answering the phone can be the difference between a sale and a lost sale.

Delivery Methods

For businesses providing products, providing a variety of delivery methods is yet another way to cater to the desires of your customers and potential customers. Many people have a preference for delivery and meeting this preference could be a deciding factor when deciding whether or not to place an order. For those businesses providing services, providing a delivery pickup service for a deposit and/or contract can be a perfect sale closer.


By removing barriers between you and your potential customers you can increase the chances of making sales. Other options are also available, like instant messaging support, mapped out directions, video conferencing and more. Be careful to not confuse your audience with too many options. It is often a good idea to direct your audience to default options for contact, payment and delivery so as not to confuse people. Other options can be shown as small links or drop down options. By working to connect more with your audience, your sales and customer satisfaction can be increased dramatically.

Author Halstatt Pires is with

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Learn to Improve Sales - 10 Ways to Get More Business Starting Today

You need sales and you wanted them yesterday. Here are ten ideas to start those sales pouring in. Learn them then use them.

Brand your name and business. This is the most important thing you can do for your business. You can easily do this by just writing articles and submitting them to e-zines, web sites, press-release sites, local newspapers for publishing or republishing. Including your picture where possible is powerful.

Find a strategic business partner/s. Look for ones that have the same objective. You can trade leads, share marketing info, sell package deals, and more. This works online as well as offline.

Take notice of successful business or people that directly compete with you. Study the aspects that make them successful then model your business after them. I'm not saying out right copy them, but practice some of the same habits that have made them succeed.

Take a little time out of your day or week to brainstorm. New ideas are usually the difference between success and failure.

Take risks to improve your business. Sometimes businesses don't want to advertise unless it's free. Usually you have to spend money to get results.

Include emotional words in your advertisements. Use words like love, security, relief, freedom, happy, satisfaction, fun, discover, etc for powerful hypnotic effect.

Ask people to review your web site. You can use the comments you get to improve your web site or you may turn the reviewer into a customer.

Combine a product and service together in a package deal. It could increase your sales. If you're selling a book, offer an hour of consulting with it.

Offer a product on the back-end. After product is sold suggest a complimentary product or products. Online this can be done on the thank you page. Offline it is used all the time… “Would you like fries with your meal?”

Start an auction on your web site. The type of auction could be related to the theme of your site. You'll draw traffic from auctioneers and bidders.

Ok, time to roll up the sleeves and put one or more of these strategies to work for you. They won’t start working for you unless you start working them first. Make it happen today.

The author of this article is Marie Gervacio, founder and editor of

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Valentine Day Gifts for New Parents and Grandparents

Whenever I put new designs on, I just want to keep going! So after finishing my Spring Break 2008 section, I went on to add a Valentine’s Day section, filled with baby and little kids clothing and gifts to give the new parents and/or grandparents.


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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Spring Break T-shirts and Merchandise

Now that the holidays are over college kids are counting the days until Spring Break!
I’ve added my 2008 Spring Break merchandise so the students can have a mug, mousepad, clock, magnet, teddy bear, tote bag, t-shirt or hoodie to keep their minds focused on the fun to come!


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