After the MIT Workshop breaks for lunch there are cookies awaiting in the break room – chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, English toffee and more -a tasty treat to finish the lunch hour and start the afternoon session.
This section of the day is devoted to business systems. The object of this class is to get your own business systems going. With this program, the student gets a domain and hosting for a year.
A discussion about website appearance ensues. Steve cites some of the less attractive sites he’s seen, which shall remain nameless here. He also says some of them, in spite of their lack of pulchritude, still make a ton of money.
For your system, you’ll need a squeeze page, branding site and sales page. The whole internet is based on keywords, which is how people find you on the internet. He shows a squeeze page for one of his businesses, pointing out the layout of the copy on the page, saying (with a grin) how carefully the whole thing is laid out. He has put his own success testimonial on the page, so that readers will know that he’s a real person – it builds credibility, especially since he includes his contact information.
The branding site shows people who you are – he suggests having a blog for the branding site, so that your readers can get acquainted with you and your brand. The average site has about five pages. He suggests droople or joomla to create blogs – they don’t require a lot of high-tech skills to run those systems. They’re easy to learn and run.
People who go to the internet are looking for information and they type in keywords. The search engine takes the keywords and looks for those words in order to bring back appropriate results. They’ll be taken to a branding site. From there, the advertiser can have multiple squeeze pages (also called landing pages), each one geared to a particular keyword. Once the prospect opts in on the squeeze page, they are taken to the sales page. When a person opts in, your autoresponder receives the names and addresses and sends out emails to the prospects. Mail them regularly until they buy from you. Once they buy, move them to another list, for the next stage of marketing.
There are other kinds of pages, but these three are the types for a basic systsem. First order of business is setting up the branding page lets them know who you are – and even how big you are as a company. For the hosting of your website, there is something called a cpanel – the control panel, in other words. Your first job for your business is to be the visionary and run the business, but if you’re not yet in a position to hire it done, you’ll have to learn how to run the cpanel. Your website is your virtual office and you’ll need to do the simple things that you’d have to do in a real brick and mortar storefront: sweep the floor, change the light bulbs, etc. But with a website, all these maintenance issues are accomplished through the cpanel.
Set up your blog as your branding site (such as the Duchess has done) and create your personal or corporate identity, whichever the case may be. You’ll need content on your site and this should be comprised of your keywords. Content on your site is critical for assisting search engine seekers to find you. Figure out your niche of the marketplace and then find out what keywords are being searched for in that niche. Your keywords are the basis for your content. Content comes in many forms: articles, books, videos, etc. Mostly you want to focus on words, however, because the search engines read words, not graphics. “Content is king on the internet,” says Renner.
In order to get your blog started, you’ll need to get at least 25 posts going. Put in major power articles – about four or five of them – on your topic(s). How do you get these articles? You can get articles from the IMTrain section of iNetGlobal and write something for the front and back ends of the articles and publish them (this is because as an iNetGlobal member you have the rights to utilize and publish those articles). Also the government employs people to generate content of behalf of the government – and it all belongs to the taxpayers and is usable as content. Put up stories about your company and product. This creates content for your market niche.
You can also make videos, upload them to online video sites and they will be available within minutes.
“Do follow” sites are the kind of sites you want to post your items, because the search engines will follow those links. Some sites “do not follow” and you’re after the ones that do, because they offer links back to your site, which helps build your site in the “eyes” of the search engines.
Postings on your blog need to be indexed by the search engines. There are many different bookmark sites that will ping for your blogpost. The key to being linked up is getting your posts ‘pinged’ and the search engines alerted that there is new information showing. This is highly important for getting your site notice.
Steve takes us to our cpanel, to the AWStats, which shows the site’s activity. It’s a fun and interesting look at who has been looking at your site and where they’re from. The Duchess was quite surprised the first time she ever looked at her stats – there were people from all over the world looking at her site – whodathunk that the li’l ol’ Duchess would reach such a far-flung group! And she was even more surprised (not to mention pleased) when people from those far-flung places began signing up with her! (Hey – making friends around the world is FUN!)
Next on the list of tasks is taking the MIT Tools disc that each student is given and opening it up on one’s computer.
The first thing we’re going to do is get the squeeze page; then the branding site and sales pages. After that there needs to be a way to collect payment, so accounts need to be set up.
What makes a good squeeze page? It should be short and simple – keep it to just a page, beginning with a bold and compelling headline. The opt-in box should be obvious on the page. Stress that you are anti-spam and that their information is secure, that you will never sell their private information.
Your branding site has a name, term, design/logo or some feature that distinguished your product/service from what’s available on other sites. Branding can be done with your blog – it doesn’t have to be a formal website.
Then he discusses sources for good keywords, which is pretty important, of course. If you’re in a highly competitive market, you may not want to use the top keyword listings. Try going down the line a ways and pick keywords with a longer tail. For example, on the post for his blog today, which was titled “MIT Workshop Live,” he chose the longer tail name instead of just going for “MIT Workshop.” This is because he can get ranked for the former title a lot faster than for the latter.
It is important to get feeder sites – create your own mini-internet of content about your materials.
Here’s our assignment for the evening:
Get your keywords – at least 50
Come up with a 15-30 word descritpion for your website
Come up with list of power words
Most searched for terms on the internet: MySpace, Google, Yahoo, Ebay and sex. Take into consideration the traffic potential for a particular keyword and make sure you’re working with words that aren’t too heavily targeted, as those words are difficult to rank for.
Well, that’s a wrap for today. The Duchess of Earle will see you tomorrow morning at the MIT Workshop Live!