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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Same Ol' Traffic Tips (Yawn!)

You know about search engine submitting, blogging and writing/submitting articles for other sites. So what do you do when you've done all these things and still can't get enough traffic?

The video below discusses topics which often get overlooked when people create websites. While some of it may seem like common sense to you, why are you and so many people still neglecting these key tasks?

Friday, August 17, 2007

If I Had To Start Over...

While people are encouraged by my online success, some often frown when I tell them it took me six years to make enough online to at least match my 9 to 5 salary. Even though I made a profit every year, there were a lot of ups and downs in the beginning as I learned from my mistakes.

My success didn't happen overnight and if I could do one thing over again I would have learned how to write for my audience instead of myself.

What I mean is that so many people build sites without regarding who their target audience is and what they want to learn about. For example, if you are going to build a fitness site, don't write 10 pages about you and your weight struggle. Write to help your readers.

To put it bluntly, people don't really care about your story until you show them how your site can help them first.

Check out your competition and add information that they are missing. Instead of talking about all the things people should do in regards to the subject, switch it up and focus on what they shouldn't do.

Be different.

Stand out from the crowd.

And once you really know who you want to target and focus on their needs AND offer information that cannot be found anywhere else, then you will have success much faster than I did.

In the beginning, I kept copying other people's concepts and would only have minimal success because my site was not unique enough and got lost in the crowd.

But once I realized the secret was to take a topic and offer information that my competitors were not, add my own voice/personality, really learn how to communicate with my audience, that's when my traffic and sites started to take off.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Site Gets a Facelift!

Not only does have a new look, but I've finally abandoned the little annoyances of Microsoft FrontPage and decided to design and manage my site in Dreamweaver.

I must say, FrontPage does have its quirks such as adding unnecessary HTML code and not handling certain file extensions very well (.php, for example). But it isn't that bad if you want a small, simple site that is mostly written in HTML.

But if you want to do more with CSS (a must for a large site like mine) and have the ability to add Flash elements and other cutting edge web features, you really need to graduate to something like Dreamweaver.

Plus, with Microsoft now abandoning FrontPage for its successor, Expression Web, I decided to move to a more "Web acceptable" design tool. Besides, I've heard nothing but horrible reviews for Expression Web so I was not going to continue to support their web building tools.

My new site design is managed with CSS and SSI (server side includes). In English, that simply means I can update my entire look (layout, colors, navigation, font size, etc.) by simply editing one file. And when your site is over 130 pages, this is a must-have!

When I used FrontPage, I did use CSS, but FrontPage doesn't handle CSS very well and was constantly adding excess code that overwrote the styles I setup in my CSS file. (Sort of defeats the purpose of using CSS). I'm really glad to be done with FrontPage and have much cleaner HTML to work with.

As I continuously emphasize on my site, I am NOT a designer, nor do I want to be (which is why it took me so long to graduate to a more acceptable piece of design software), but I'm very glad to have my site managed in a program that is much more "Web acceptable" and does not add all this extraneous, annoying code.

Thumbs up to Dreamweaver!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why Most Online Stores Fail

Selling products online can be quite the challenge, particularly if you are building your first site and have no brand awareness/recognition. A big mistake many newbies make is they try selling products before they have the traffic and credibility.

Building a store is not a guarantee people will just flock to your site. You must give them a reason. More importantly, you must give sites like Google a reason to bring free traffic to a newcomer such as yourself.

The best way to succeed with an online store is to build content first and the store last. And if you don't understand what I mean, watch the video below and for complete details read this article on building online stores.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I'm Giving Away More $$$

The first contest at my Webmaster forum, really helped grow the forum quite a bit so I've decided to hold another one. This time there will be multiple winners (3) and they will be randomly selected.

For more details, read the announcement at

And while you're there, why not join the friendly community? It's a great place to meet other people just like you who may share similar questions and ideas.