Marketing 101 – No More Disposable Clients

The Secret to Success – Small Marketing. – The secret to success is to understand that nobody cares about you and your success. They don’t care about how great you say your website is and they don’t care about you marketing strategy. Through over-saturation, we’re all immunized against that stuff. As consumers, we’ve all been [...]

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- Let’s break this down into more bite size pieces:
- Who is this person that I imagine coming to my site? Know your client. Age range, gender, salary, likes and dislikes, satisfaction in life, married or single, kids? By answering these questions you gain a better understanding of how to connect with your target. For me this person is probably male; employed but not in a serious career, spends a fair amount of time online and would like to start a business to increase their income.
- Once we have an understanding of the person we are trying to reach, then it’s time to step back and think about one of the fundamentals of business. You create income buy giving people what they want or need. It sounds simple, but there are two subtleties that a lot of people miss in this statement.
1. Giving comes before receiving. It isn’t about ‘what can I get from my customer?’ Business starts with a sincere desire to contribute in some way to someone else’s well-being or quality of life. It doesn’t’ have to be big. To make someone laugh or to make their skin softer are very worthy improvements. The more committed a business is to this principle that greater success they will have.
2. Giving them what they need or want. Does a person who is broke or in debt need money? Lots of people think so, that’s why they fall for get-rich-quick schemes like tacky pyramids or matrix scams. Isn’t what they really want to be able to create more money through honest effort and knowledge and possibly to understand how to gain control over there debts and spending patterns?
- What they are seeking is knowledge of the workings of personal finance. Someone who takes a person like this and sells them an MLM program that obviously isn’t right for them will have a quick 200 bucks, but someone that takes a person like this and begins to teach them how to create a business and/or how to manage their finances will create a customer for life and probably a one person advertising campaign.
- It seems simple, so why don’t we all do this? We live in a disposable society and businesses want disposable customers. They want to deal with you as a member of a group, apply policy to you, get your money and have a system that gently ushers you out their door. They call it “Clean Money”. No complications. It’s the business version of a one-night stand. As a result of this approach there is a huge opportunity for businesses, especially online, that can treat their clients like real people.
- If we allow ourselves to form real relationships and show empathy for the client’s needs and, in the long run, we’ll have more customers than our businesses can handle.

Use an Affiliate Program to Create an Online Store

The Rich Dad Affiliate Program Case Study If you have a content-rich website that has a nice tight target audience, an affiliate program is a great way to increase earnings from your site. The basic idea is to add the sponsor site’s banners or links to your site and if a visitor from your site [...]

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To Hell and Back for Profit

- Why does it always seem easier for everyone else? I ride the bus to work and I watch the guy with the Jetta scoot past. You know he’s got the perfect little house with the mortgage half paid that he purchased before the market took off 5 years ago so it has doubled in [...]

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The Stock Market Made Easy

This is the world’s simplest investing method. – This is also possibly the world’s least sexy investment method. If investing was baseball this would be the singles hitter mentality. Just make contact, get small results and if anything amazing happens that’s great but we’re going to be the guy that never strikes out and that [...]

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- Let’s take a look at the chart of the last 5 years of the S&P 500 index.
- I’ve marked it up a bit. The arrows up represent buying the index (you can buy it in any form you prefer including mutual funds or exchange traded funds) and the arrows down represent selling the index and switching to a money market fund. The red/blue line across the bottom is the timeline for the buying and selling; red is holding the index, blue is holding the money market fund. You can see right away the beauty of this system as it carves almost all the loses out of holding the index.
- So if I had purchased $5000 worth of the S&P 500 index in February 2000 and held it until today I would have $4367 in my account at this moment. Let’s see how my singles hitting system would have done.
- Timespan A (buy at 1375 sell at 1440) would have been +236. Timespan B-C-D (I skipped C but in reality that would have been a very short trade in and out of the index) would have been 2% per annum for 2.5 years on our 5236 from section A, or a net gain of $14. In section E-F-G (we’ll call F a wash and lump them together for the sake of this example) we take the $5250 that we have to this point and buy back in 880. This will take us to the current day where the price is $1201. If we sold today, we would cash out at $7438.
- This represents a 48.7% gain over five years, two and half of which were a very intense bear market. This compares to a 12.6% loss if I had stayed invested over that time. That’s a hall of fame difference if you ask me.
Now if you want to step it up a notch, and if you’re a more experienced and knowledgable investor you could, rather than going into the money market funds, short the index when it’s on the way down. Another alternative is bonds for the down stretches, since they often trade contrary to stocks. I’m not going to go into detail on these ones today.
The toughest part of any investment is alway do actually follow the system. There are many systems that work, this one is for a long-term timeline. It will make more money if the market is going up, since you’ll be spending less time in the money market account. So the really joy of this system is that it allows you to only play when the wind is at your back and when the wind is blowing in you just sit on the sidelines.

- Your results may vary dramatically, including the possibility that you could loose all your money. Also I didn’t take into account trading fees for this demo. Also there can be fees incured if you exit a mutal fund before a certain amount of time (usually 90 days) so take this into account as well.


RSS – Site Marketing’s New Frontier

What is RSS? RSS is a type of XML. You can see the feed for my page here. This is the raw xml, this page is never meant to be seen by a human. Notice no ads or affiliate links – that’s part of what is appealing about RSS. If you know HTML then you [...]

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The Simplest Online Business [update]

Parked Domain Names [updates from this archived story] – The parking service has had my sites listed for about 9 days and I wanted to update their status. Here is a screenshot of the stats so far: – The first thing that is clear is that this is not a get rich quick scheme! However [...]

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– The downside I can see is that you would need quite a bit of capital to make a decent income even if every $100 returns $200 you would need to gamble with 10,000 to make 20,000. Of course it’s probably similar to what a lot of people do with the stock market.
- The other big difficulty is finding domain names that will actually get traffic. The most common strategy seems to be to try and find expired domains that had decent sites on them. There are services that claim they can find this information for you (for a fee of course). I’m not a big fan of paying for stuff when I’m not sure of what I’m getting. So here is my version of checking to see if the domain name might have had some traffic.
- Find your domain name, for this example I’ve chosen “” because it recently expired and had the word cash in it (which is a frequently searched term). Now go to the Internet Archive (a cool site to waste some time on!). Type in your domain name and look at the page that is returned. The results for “” are here. Now you can see that actually did have a functioning website (you click on the latest link to see what is in the archive). Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated since Jan. 2004, which means it is over a year inactive. This domain name is probably a 5 out of 10 for our purposes. The next step would be to go to google and find if there are any links to (by entering There are no results, which is not great. The only unknown is that there may be people who have links on their computers to In summary I’d pass on this one but it is just an example to show the process of picking domains for the parking business.

I’ll provide another update in a couple months.

- Your results may vary dramatically, including the possibility that you could loose all your money.


Start a Business Selling on eBay

Q. How do I start an eBay business (from the Rich Dad forums)? A. … 2 years ago, I was between jobs for 4 months and so I decided to start an eBay business. (My feedback). – I went to bankruptcy auctions and purchased lots of computer parts and then repaired them and resold them [...]

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- I have an idea for you from my personal experience to help with finding stuff to sell. My wife is a Home Organizer (, which means it’s her job to help people organize and de-clutter their homes (like the TV show Clean Sweep). One the biggest excuses she runs up against for people holding on to stuff that they don’t want or need is that it has value. It is worth too much to donate it to Goodwill or Salvation Army but it isn’t really an antique or something with easily converted value. These are perfect items for eBay. If I was doing this business now I would contact Home Organizers (they have an association in the U.S. and Canada which you can find on Google) and offer to give them 10% (out of the client’s cut) and, if they are anything like my wife, they will find you an endless supply of merchandise. Included in this stuff will be some real gems that can make you some good money.
- The only real equipment you need is a digital camera and computer. Take some time to take good images.
- Try to anticipate everything that a seller would want to know about your item and do the research in advance. Don’t try to hide imperfections, this will only backfire.
- Do everything, including refunds to dissatisfied customers, to avoid negative feedback. The cost of taking back an item is nothing compared to the cost of lower bids if you don’t have a high feedback rating (especially until you have greater than 100 feedbacks). Another trick for people who win your auction and then don’t pay is, if you think they are hostile, don’t leave them negative feedback (because you know they are going to turn around and leave negative for you, even if you were completely honest) but rather file a “non-paying bidder” report with eBay. This enables you to get you listing fees returned and the person gets a non-paying strike against their account. If they receive three of these they will be banned, so you have accomplished the same as negative feedback without the possibility of backlash.
- Just like an offline business, going the extra mile is rewarded. Answer emails promptly and politely. Package items well to eliminate possibility of damage.
- Add shipping insurance cost into the cost of shipping. Don’t give the buyer the option of not purchasing it. It is very cheap and the headache for you of a lost item is not worth the risk (even if technically the responsibility is the buyer’s!).
- eBay has some great community forums where the pros will answer questions for you.
- Educate yourself on eBay scams. Since eBay is so popular of course it has it’s fair share of con artists.
Here’s one I heard recently:

“The scammer has a broken or damaged item that is essentially useless to him. The scammer searches ebay and finds the same item (undamaged) on ebay, places bids on the item, wins it, and pays the seller for the undamaged item. The seller ships the undamaged item to the scammer, and when the scammer receives the undamaged item, he switches it with the broken one. The scammer then tells the seller that the item must have been broken in shipping, or the scammer falsely accuses the seller of sending damaged goods. The scammer continues by threatening that he will leave negative feedback if the seller doesn’t replace the goods or refund the money.”
from here

- The way that sellers are combating this one it to say on their listings that their items have been uniquely marked and returns will not be accepted if the unique marking is not there or altered.
- Don’t have hidden fees or shipping charges. Clearly post all costs on your listing. Don’t inflate shipping fees, try and be as accurate as possible. Offer discounts in shipping if a buyer buys more than one item.
- Sell items that are similar at the same time. Buyers use the “See Seller’s other items” link to try and group items. I had a buyer purchase 5 items of mine at one time.
- If you live in a larger city and you are comfortable with it, offer free local pickup. Local buying is big now and many of the so-called professional eBay outfits won’t allow local pickup or they charge for it. A local buyer will bid more if they know there are no shipping fees and this can create higher final prices.

Overall eBay is a great home-based business. You can do it with varying levels of time commitments and the start up costs are very low. It is good to start as a buyer to build up some feedback and experience. Have fun, there’s nothing like the rush of waking up and seeing the bid has gone from $30 (when you went to bed) to $400 the next morning.


How to Get Out of Debt – be Debt Free

Q. How do you move a mountain? A. By loving to shovel. Debt can be overwhelming and the cause of many things including health problems and ruptures in relationships. – The most common responses to debt are denial, procrastination and hoping for a miracle (gambling disguised as investing, or worse, lottery tickets). The first step [...]

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– We are the feel good society; buying stuff for ourselves feels good. I remember when I would go Christmas shopping and spend as much on myself as I did on other people.
- The way to start breaking the “using your money for a feel good” trap is to gently begin to examine the inner dialogue that goes on when you are spending money. What is really motivating this purchase? Are you trying to buy a feeling to cover something uncomfortable inside? If you are using a credit card, are you really connected to the number of (after tax) hours that you will have to work to pay for this item? Is it worth it? Is it the best and most balanced use of your money?
- If you can begin to let yourself see the real reasons that you have for putting yourself in debt, then you can begin to enjoy not spending money. You will begin to acquire a taste for saving your money and putting it towards purchases or investments that can create long-term advantages for you.
- Once you can enjoy not spending then the debts can begin to shrink and then the enjoyment of a rising net worth (even in the form of shrinking debts) will kick in.
- The great truth about money is that it is systematic. It is created through consistent long-term effort. Whether it is compound interest or building a business, money comes if the consistent effort is there.
- One of the great myths of being in debt is that “if only I earned more money I could get out of debt”. In my own case, this proved to be untrue. Debt is a result of bad habits with money, when I made more money the bad habits just grew as well. More money, even to the point of winning a lottery, will just magnify your problems if you don’t have a solid foundation in managing money wisely.
- There is no easy way to get out of debt. Unfortunately, networth is like mountaineering: it’s much harder going up than down. However, there is always a way. Start with the tinest steps in the right direction.

Debt Problem Spreading to Kids

National Public Radio this morning is reporting a dramatic rise in the number of credit card application being sent to minors. The radio show can be heard here. It makes sense, if you think about it. The credit card is basically a cash cow for the issuing companies but everyone already has one. So the [...]

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This website has been created to try and provide consumers with responsible information about debt and using credit wisely. I think it is safe to say that debt, like obesity, it affecting younger and younger people and is getting worse and worse. We seem to be continually evolving into a society that needs more and more instant gratification and can blind ourselves to the consequences.

Search Engine Optimization Tips

by SMD · 1 Comment 

From my post to the Building Business forum on 1. The <title> tag is BY FAR the most important SE notifier. If the title tag (which can be a maximum of 63 characters) is an exact match you will score a high ranking on the search results. On my site I script the title [...]

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2. Meta tags are a waste of time. Google, and most other search engines, ignores them. Google looks for and analyzes the content of your page, including which words are in Headings (higher importance), Sub-Headings (medium), and Body text (lower); again looking for direct matches to the search terms.

3. Links. Google builds a page rank system (get the Google toolbar to see the page rank for your site and every other site you visit – 4/10 and above is considered pretty good ( gets a 7/10)) based on links to your site. That is why you see almost everyone on forums and blog comments posting a link to their site in their signature. It improves the search rankings to get a link from a popular site like This is especially true if the content of the site that has your link is directly related to the content of your site.

4. How to link. When you get a link to your site, you can make that link even better by including a keyword (a word or phrase that someone searches for) in the link. This tells the SE to target your site to a particular phrase. (to see how effective this technique is, in a mischievous sense, do a search on “Google Bombing”). Here’s an example: rather than just post your link as, post it like this:

<a href=''>Money Making Business Online</a>

this is like targeting your site, or even a specific page, to the keywords in the link.

This is not even close to being a complete discussion of search engine optimization but it is the basics. There are many many sites to dig into the topic deeper.


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