Traffic

There’s a post over on SlyMarketing blog today about the difficulty of getting press attention to your latest and greatest idea – particularly the product or service you might be marketing. The difficulty he identifies is that the local newspaper is focused on something else, namely soccer! what else and the specific local area.

This is an extreme example but encapsulates not so much the difficulty of how to get press attention but rather the opportunity it opens up. This is a traffic generation strategy much loved by Andrew Reynolds, one of the UKs leading direct mail marketers.

His advice is not to write a press release and ship it off to every journal under the sun. Rather to research the publications that are big in your niche, study the style of their articles and then write an article for them. Note I said an article, not a press release.

The editors of most niche publications are desperate for copy. Something, anything to fill those empty spaces that will attract readers because it is the reader numbers that attract the advertisers that pay their salaries.

If you deliver to them an attractive article about the niche in which both their publication and your product belong – and you just happen to major on your product as being newsworthy; and it is written in their house style and is the length they are comfortable with so it fits into their usual page layouts then it is quite possible they will print the article without even editing it.

And what did you put into your article? Why, your website address, the product name, your company name and contact details so that the readers of that publication will have no difficulty at all in finding your website or picking up the phone to order. All in a nice subtle way, but just make sure they are there.

So what’s the secret? It’s the research and tailoring the article to fit easily and neatly into the editors product. After all, what editor is going to complain if a contributor makes their life so easy?

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WordPress is set up with the ability to automatically tell others whenever you have spoken. After all, there is no point in publishing if no-one comes to read what you have written.

Many new users of WordPress are puzzled about how this notification to others takes place, especially when the first words they come across are things like ‘ping’ and ‘ping servers’ when they are possibly still struggling with the basics of logging in to their new blog.

Although WordPress is set up to deal with it automatically, in practice there are many choices available. WordPress calls them Update Services and you will find them in your Writing Settings right down at the bottom of the page.

The default setting on installation is, from memory, Pingomatic and Pingoat. These services distribute the fact that you have just published a new post by ‘pinging’ a number of ping servers. However, there are a multitude of other ping services.

What there is not is any common opinion about how successful or otherwise any combination of ping servers might be. Indeed there is an argument that multiple ping servers will often be notifying the same servers many times and this can get your message blocked as spam.

Myself, I work on the basis that even if some get blocked I would like to at least make the effort to get my message out there by as many channels as I can. So I use a pretty big list.

There’s a useful article on the basics of ‘pinging’ – where I just found out that a ping is a ‘groper’(!) and my page on blogging for more information.

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There are a very few fundamentals to internet marketing and list building is one of them. Why? Because unlike the real world, your presence on the web is completely invisible to potential customers unless you go and stand in their way and make them fall over you. In internet jargon that’s called ‘driving traffic’.

In reality, it’s more like finding a herd of stampeding cattle and making sure you go stand in front of them.

So once you’ve got someone’s attention you sure don’t want them to disappear again like someone walked into your high street store, took a look around and walked out again without buying anything. At least they walked in so there must have been something about your shop/products/staff or even the pattern on your carpet that attracted their attention. So you want to make sure that you can communicate with them again just in case you can work out what it was that they liked and offer them some more of the same – up to the point that they might buy something from you.

You can’t do any of that if you do not know who they are. So your number one priority the first time they wander into your store is to get their name and email address and their permission to communicate with them again. That’s called list building.

I recognised a little while ago that you can work your socks off as I have done for some time learning individual skills and applying them to various projects with varying degrees of success. But without an automated system you are working very hard for little progress. What you really need is automation which is exactly what the internet is good at.  If you are into online marketing and are not using the one unique characteristic of the internet then you have to ask yourself if you are barking up the wrong tree.

That’s why I shall shortly be launching my automated list builder called www.ListLegions.com that embodies all the fundamental aspects of marketing whether online or offline.

Giving value to your prospects before you ever offer them something to buy, gathering their details to add to your list, using viral marketing concepts to persuade your subscribers to pass your message on to their friends, offering all the services of your own system to them so they can benefit too and automating as much as possible of these marketing basics so that subscribers can concentrate their time on marketing and not on the mechanics.

It’s an abiding principle of marketing that you have to give in order to receive – and I am planning that ListLegions.com is going to do just that by making list building as easy as possible for my subscribers.

Bruce Bird

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