Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving & The Power Of Promotional Gifts

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o Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

o Never Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth!

I would just like to take this time to say
a big Thank You to all the subscribers and
supporters of this small marketing newsletter.

If you're living in the States and the
majority of the people reading this are;
I wish you a safe and enjoyable
Thanksgiving Weekend.

I am always appreciative of the many
subscribers and visitors of my sites who
have been so supportive over the years...
a gracious thank you to you. I never forget
without customers and supporters - none of
this would be possible.

As my number of sites increases and my online
marketing obligations grow, I sometimes find
it hard to answer and help all the people who
ask for my humble advice... but I do what
I can with the time I have to give. Will
try harder in the future.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving and I hope
you enjoy the holidays.


o Never Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth!

(The Simple Power Of Promotional Gifts)

Since I am an affiliate of many companies
and products - which I promote and sell
thru my many online sites - I get the occasional
gift from these companies. Most of these
gifts fall in the category of what is called
promotional gifts.

These corporate gifts are nothing fancy, just
some small item ( book - mug - pen - gadget)
usually with the company logo inscribed on it.
Funny thing is, no matter how small or silly these
little trinkets or gifts are, they are always

Besides, it's a gift and we all have been
hot-wired or programmed to receiving gifts
since we were two years old & up. Getting a
gift never fails to put a smile on our faces or
a warm feeling in our hearts. Corny as that
may sound, it is nonetheless very true for the
majority of the non-scrooge humans living on
the planet. We simply like getting gifts.

However, I believe many marketers, including
many small website owners, (maybe even you, highly
appreciated reader) fail to realize the marketing
power of these small promotional gifts. It can be
a truly effective way of promoting and marketing
your site or product.

Since we are entering the gift-giving season,
even in these harsh economic times, companies
and individuals are still giving gifts. Many
business are downsizing these gifts but many
are still giving out gifts regardless.

Nor should you underestimate the power of even
giving away free gifts to your site's visitors...
it can be an effective way of branding your
name and in getting repeat customers. Especially
on the web where you sometimes only have a
few seconds to make contact or engage a visitor...
handing out a free gift is often an excellent
way of making a first good impression with your
visitor and potential client and/or customer.

It is a marketing tactic I use with all my sites...
I try to give them something of real value, and/or
perceived value in the eye of the receiver -
something they will appreciate and remember.
Of course, that something also has my site's
URL and Logo on it... calling visitors back to my
site, time and time again.

That's why on many of my sites you will see a
Free Desktop Calendar that visitors can download
and place on their computer desktops... a simple
calendar and daily planner which has my site's
information, logo/message, plus a direct link back
to my site on it. Something simple, practical and
visitors like it... and they use it, I get tons
of emails from these calendar users telling me
how much they enjoy it.

A simple promotional gift that works.

Another marketing tactic I use with most of my
sites that also proves very effective is the
giving away of free guides. These are simple
handy guide (in PDF or EXE file format) that
I pass out to my visitors - to anyone who wants

Extremely easy way to build your list and build
a potential list of customers for your products.
Anyone can create these guides and give them
out to your visitors. Just use Google Docs to make
the PDF files of your favorite Tips, How-To Articles,
Special Reports or Buyers' Guides... you may be
totally amazed at how effective these free promotional
gifts can be to your marketing.

I especially like giving away free Buyer's Guides
of the products I am promoting, mainly because you
know these are the targeted group who are at the right
stage in the marketing process - when they're
seriously considering buying the product. You get
their attention at the most opportune time.

It makes for very smart marketing.

These helpful buyer's guides are in reality, very
effective promotional gifts that will increase
your targeted traffic and sales. Don't overlook
this simple way of marketing. Instead, use these
promotional gifts and techniques on your own
site or with your own products. A proven method
of increasing both your brand recognition and your

Just try it and see for yourself.

If you can't create your own guides, reports,
articles... there are tons of free ebooks, products
on the web that you can use. And if you're promoting
affiliate products, you can usually get these
free promotional reports, guides... from your
affiliate company and you can re-brand them with
your affiliate IDs.

If you want to see a whole list of more
traditional promotional corporate gifts
you can check out this page on my site,
it has many small promotional gifts at
very reasonable prices... especially if
you're buying in bulk.

Corporate Promotional Gifts

Kind Regards,


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Friday, November 21, 2008

Does Google Have A Golden Rule?

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o Does Google Have A Golden Rule?

o Joel Comm's New Marketing Tool


If you run an online site or business you probably
spend a lot of time worrying about how
Google ranks your site. Believe me, I have
reached hundreds of #1 rankings for some
very lucrative keywords in Google.

But I have also seen just as many really
good keywords fall to #2 or #3 spots, some
have fallen to bottom of the page and ,more
than I would like, have fallen off the first
page all together - ouch!

Getting a #1 spot for your keyword in Google
simply means money in the bank with increased
traffic, increased sales and increased business.
Those organic #1 spots in Google are truly

And the real sad part is - it's usually only
the top 5 spots that will deliver the traffic.
Number #1 is always the best... what I have
been noticing lately, especially for very
lucrative keywords - big business or big
resource sites with very deep pockets are
taking over the top spots.

These businesses are catching on and throwing
everything at these keywords... links managers
in India building links, teams of social network
workers rigging the media sites, PPC advertising,
whole sections of their companies building links
and relationships with other site owners...

Organic search is becoming big business and big
business is taking over. What's the little guy to do?

It's harder and harder to compete because you
simply don't have resources of these big businesses.
When Walmart comes to town - you have to go unique
or perish. You have to offer your customers something
they can't get at Walmart. Something different,
something special.

Same goes for the web, you have to create your
own brand of uniqueness, something different from
these big companies... stake out your own piece of
the web.

With all these thoughts roaming in my head,
I sat down and tried to think: What does Google Wants?
Does Google have a Golden Rule? What does it
expect of your site?

If I can be so bold as to try and read Google...
here's what I came up with:

Feature Article

Does Google Have A Golden Rule?

2008 Titus Hoskins

As a full-time webmaster and site owner, figuring out
just what Google wants has been the most challenging
aspect of running an online business. For many webmasters
Google is the eight ton elephant in the room and you only
have two options: upset the elephant and get trampled or
quickly find out what it likes to consume and try to feed it.

In order to keep Google fed, webmasters have to jump
through more than one set of hoops. When it comes to
getting top rankings in Google's Index or SERPs, there
are 200 of these hoops or ranking factors. And if you
want to play in Google's ballpark, you have to try
and master the majority of them.

For years, frustrated webmasters have been guessing
and searching for these ranking factors. Asking what
does Google want? How does Google rank pages and
keywords? How does Google want you to build your site?

Ten years ago it wouldn't have mattered what Google
thought of your site for it wasn't even in the picture,
but now when it comes to online search, Google is king
of the hill. And as we all know, kings get whatever
they want.

Besides, any webmaster worth his salt, knows Google is
what counts when it comes to organic traffic - you can
achieve #1 spots for a keyword in all three top search
engines (Yahoo and MSN being the other two light-weight
contenders) but Google will simply deliver the most
traffic to your site.

Google doesn't as yet have a monopoly on web search,
but it's getting close to 70% of U.S. traffic and in
some countries it's up over 90%. But it's not only the
search numbers which makes Google king - it is the
prestige and power of the Google brand name. Google
has truly permeated into popular culture and the
public psyche like no other brand name in history.

Google brings respect and trust into the equation.
Web users respect and trust Google to give them a
quality answer to their question. That's why it was
rather ironic, that for years webmasters have been
asking Google about their ranking system, their
algorithm, their practices... for years Google
remained for the most part silent. This was mainly
to keep at bay, those who would like to "game" the
system in order to get high rankings within Google.

Until now that is, maybe it's just me but doesn't it
appear that Google is suddenly opening up about its
whole ranking procedures and what they expect from
webmasters. Maybe the answers have always been there,
we just couldn't find them. However, a more likely
scenario is that someone high up within Google made
the decision to be more transparent with it comes to
webmasters and how much they would tell them.

In recent Webmaster live chats, Googlers Matt Cutts,
Maile Ohye, among others... have been honestly answering
questions about what Google requires webmasters to do
regarding their sites. These are Q&A sessions dealing
with the "burning questions" webmasters have had for
years concerning Google and what Google wants.

Here's a link to one of those sessions:

Google Webmaster Help

Or if you want to discover how webmasters are
interpreting these live chats, try WebSitePro's
editor Jason Lee Miller's rather excellent
take on these sessions:


Since I run several modest sites on webmaster tools
and Internet marketing I am approached by more than
a few people who want me to help them build their online
site or business. One of the major issues that always comes
up somewhere in the process (usually phrased in different
ways) is this question:

What does Google want? What does Google expect of
my site? How do I get ranked high in Google?

Mainly because my chief goal is to help these webmasters
understand Google better in order to build a profitable site;
I have struggled and puzzled over this question for years.

What is Google's Golden Rule?

Many experts believe it is related to relevancy
- the key to getting high rankings is how relevant
your content is to the question being asked? Maybe so,
but in order to explain it to a would-be webmaster,
I had to find the words that would most appropriately
sum up Google's prime directive?

After you go through all the SEO checkmarks, take into
account the quality and uniqueness of your content,
factor in the credibility and authority of your site
and backlinks, and factor in the relevancy issue...
this was the simple Google Golden Rule I came up with:

"Always think of your visitor first when creating
any content for your site."

This may or may not be what Google is expecting but
all indications are pointing in the direction of the
"visitor's experience" and how good you or your
content make that experience? Google is serving up
a product, it wants the user of their product to be
happy with the results. If they're happy, Google is
happy. And if everyone's happy then the kingdom grows.

Still anything as simple and as complicated as getting
top rankings in Google can't be boiled down to a single
catch phrase. You must do your homework and a good
starting point would be to thoroughly read Google's
Webmaster Guidelines. Studying and listening to the
latest Google webmaster chats may also prove beneficial
and helpful.

However, there are still those 200 hoops you have
to jump through and you must be extremely careful
of how you build your site if you're trying to please
Google. Listen when the king speaks. Observe his rules.
Be on your guard, and it helps to become just a little
paranoid. And always, always remember, an elephant
never forgets.


The author is a full-time online marketer who has numerous
websites. For the latest web marketing tools try:
If you liked the SEO tips above, why not try the Free 7 Day
Traffic course here: internet marketing course
Copyright © 2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely
distributed if this resource box stays attached.

o Joel Comm's New Marketing Tool

Joel Comm introduced a new marketing tool
this week. It all has to do with creating
forms on your site... forms for gathering
information, list building, surveys and
so on.

Creating all those forms on your site or
sites has always been a tricky problem
for me over the years... a real pain.

I won't bore you with any marketing hype
- this is a great program for finding out
exactly what your visitor or customer wants
from you. It is the crucial step in marketing
many people forget about. But it can help
your site or business to be more competitive.

Joel's new "Instant Form Pro" helps you
with this problem of creating all these forms.
It's a bit on the expensive side, if you asked
me. Not supposed to say that but it is worth
a look and the price if you're operating your
business on the web.

Like I mentioned above, online competition is
heating up and it's only going to get hotter!
Any marketing tool that gives you an advantage,
even just a slight advantage is worth considering...

Anyway here is link for Joel Comm's
"Instant Form Pro"

Kind Regards,


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Friday, November 14, 2008

Google Reveals More Ranking Factors

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o Google Reveals More Ranking Factors

o Marketing In Harsh Economic Times

If you're like me, you have a major stake
in how Google ranks your site or sites.
The more information I can dig-up about
Google, the better my sites perform.

Lately, there seems to be a lot of information
coming from the top search engine on the web.
Google is becoming more transparent in how
it ranks pages in its index. For webmasters
like myself, this is very welcomed news.

Google uses 200 different ranking factors
in its algorithm... any webpage that it
ranks has to be filtered thru these factors.
The more you know HOW Google ranks pages, the
better you can prepare your site and marketing
to match their expectations.

Google Q/A Chat

Google for so long has been very tight-lipped
about how it ranks pages... it has been one
of the major "beefs" webmasters has had with

Is all this now changing????


Sometime in the not so distant past, higher
board members or CEOs must have made a strategic
change in HOW they would treat webmasters...
who after all are really Google's bread and butter!

It's our products and content they're dishing
up in their SERPs... why bite the hand that
feeds you! Maybe Google has finally gotten the
"webmaster" issue right, just like have gotten
so many other things right.

Those top Google executive members must have
decided to deploy the troops in helping
webmasters understand how Google ranks

So now you Google troopers such as Matt
Cutts, Maile Ohye, among others... following
orders from on high and opening up about
Google and ranking.

Now Google is not giving away the shop, but
they are becoming a lot more open and straightforward
in their answers many concerned webmasters have,
regarding how their sites perform within Google.
Which can only mean less sleepless nights
for webmasters around the world.

We are talking all "white hat" by the book
SEO techniques here... how to build backlinks, how
to optimize your pages, how to link out to
other sites, and the list of SEO methods goes

If you're serious about ranking high within
Google - this "Live Chat Q/A" will give you
a lot of solid pointers.

Check it out here:

Google Q/A Chat

o Marketing In Harsh Economic Times

Don't have to tell you, these are very scary
economic times no matter where you live in the world.
What's happening with the stock markets,
mortage meltdown, government bailouts...
no country seems immune to all these predictions
of a looming recession.

What does an online do and how should you react
to these tough times?

So far, I haven't seen much of a downturn in
my own online sales yet, although there's a slight
dip in some luxury affiliate items that I sell,
but believe it or not, there are still people buying
big-ticket items on the web.

But there has to be a slow-down in online sales...
given all this bad news and how reluctant prospective
buyers are becoming. So the real question remains -
how do you market in these tough times?

Perhaps, you should look towards those industries
that are recession-proof to find your answer.
Look towards health care, education, renewable
energy, environment, security, international business...
these areas the experts say are the most recession-proof.

Keep in mind, when things are tight financially,
people look for ways to save money. It not exactly
rocket science to understand that Walmart was one
of the stores to see an increase in sales lately...
while most others are dropping.

For the online marketer, this could be pointing
to areas where there are opportunities. You can
look for bargain retailers, discount stores, coupon
shopping... as areas where there will be more
and not less economic activity.

Then you have all these workers who have lost their
jobs looking for new ways to earn more income. You
have retired people who will be looking towards the
web to supplement their dwindling retirement savings.

Online education could be a major area of activity
in the coming months as laid off workers upgrade
their resumes.

Even Internet Marketing will probably see a minor
boom as many people look for ways to earn a little
extra part-time income. We could see major increases
in online webinars and off-line seminars as experienced
marketers take advantage of this opportunity to
teach others how to sell and earn on the web.

Since many people will be worrying about debts
and bills - any financial courses, services and
helpful programs will probably be very popular.

So too will software programs that help people
cope with all this financial stress and worry.
If you look closely, there should still be a
lot of areas for your online marketing could
prosper. Just adjust your marketing to suit
the times.

Here's a really good example of what could
do well in these harsh economic times.

Kind Regards,


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Friday, November 07, 2008

Invisible List Building & A Free Graphics Tool

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o Invisible List Building

o A Free Graphics Tool

o Event Tracking Now In Google Analytics


One of the strangest things that happened to
me with all this online marketing stuff -
happened quite early when I first started
marketing online.

Basically, what happened was this: I had to
change my main site's webhost to another
better server so my site was down for several
days... but the strange thing was my online sales
from this site still kept coming even though my
site was down.

I was totally puzzled (I can be rather slow sometimes!)
until I realized or rather learnt the marketing power
of cookies. Almost all of the affiliate programs I
was promoting on my site were using cookies to mark
the traffic or clicks coming from my site as my referrals.
If anyone of these referrals made a purchase in the
next 30, 60, 90 or more days - I would get credit
for the sale.

Invisible List Building!

My site was down, but because I had a whole list
of cookied buyers lined up to purchase these affiliate
products, my sales still kept coming. I was fairly new
at this web stuff then and this was a real eye-opener
for me. I started joining those affiliate programs
that gave me the longest time-frame with their cookies.
Most are around 30 days but there are quite a few that
will give 365 days. Some affiliate programs such
as Ken Evoy's Site Build It and Marlon Sanders's
products even give you a life-time cookie.

In affiliate marketing using these "cookies" to build
up hundreds of lists of "invisible customers" can be
a very effective marketing strategy. You might not see
these lists, but they're quietly working for you in
the background, bringing in sales even if your site is
down or even when you have stopped a particular compaign.

Of course, the key here again, is how targeted is
your marketing. You could have a million cookied
customers lined up but if they have no real interest
in your product - they won't turn into buying customers.
You must get the potential customer who has shown
an interest in your product, onto your invisible
cookie list. That's why ranking high for your organic
search results for your chosen keywords plays a vital
role in how much you earn online, especially if you're
into affiliate marketing. Going the PPC (Pay Per Click)
route can also work but the profit margins are much closer.

Nor should you ignore building an actual opt-in list
of customers to your autoresponder system in this
whole process. Many marketers also try to "cookie" their
actual opt-in lists as soon as possible in order to boost
their sales. Your invisible cookie lists can work in
conjunction with your so-called real lists.

So if you're into any kind of affiliate marketing be
aware of these "invisible cookie lists" and take full
advantage of them. Believe me, it will improve your
sales and increase your earnings.

o A Free Graphics Tool

I came across this really neat Graphics Tool
on the web. You can use it to make professional
headers for your site. It's called "xheader"
and it's quite good.

Most of us can't afford to get professional
graphics done for our sites so this is a good
alternative... worth checking out and it's

o Event Tracking Now In Google Analytics

Google has Now introduced Event Tracking within their
Analytics program. I was fortunately enough to get Event
Tracking for my main site profile - -
it was like christmas coming early for me and there is
a Santa!

Why am I so happy about getting this event tracking
on my site? I guess you really have to understand
what Google is actually offering here to know the
reason for my excitement.

First, Google Analytics is one of the best free
programs for tracking all your site's stats -
how many visitors, how many pageviews, where
your traffic is coming from... and so on.
Now Google has made Analytics much better
by letting you track "events" on your
site and not just pageviews.

Here's Google's simple explanation:

"Event Tracking allows you to track interactions with
Web 2.0 style content such as Flash, AJAX, Adobe Air,
Silverlight, social networking apps, etc. It essentially
allows you to track interactions beyond just pageviews."

You can basically track any user activity on your
site. If you're into affiliate marketing this has
great importance...

You can find out more here:

Event Tracking Google Analytics

Kind Regards,


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