For some time now I’ve been considering writing a book about marketing and sales for small online businesses. Not just software businesses, but all small online businesses. During the summer I was even a spearker at such a seminar with Glenn Scott where I personally presented “Website Promotion and Traffic Generation” which got some really great reviews. As one attendee put it, “if the average course is like drinking from a cup [content], then this course is like drinking water from a fire hydrant“. Btw, congratulations Justin on starting CitySales.ca.
Marketing and sales is now a domain of business which I’m quite familiar with, one that I’ve been really striving at since I founded LandlordMax about four years ago. Since that time, LandlordMax has steadily grown in traffic and sales.
In addition to LandlordMax, I also personally started this blog (FollowSteph.com) almost two years ago now. Together, these two sites get approximately a combined total of a million unique visitors per year! It might not seem like much when compared to the major players (Google.com, Cnn.com, or even Digg.com), but the thing to remember is that both of these sites are focused to niche demographics, so these are phenomenal numbers! All in all this is a very big achievement which I’m very proud of.
Which leads me back to my initial concept of writing a book about everything I’ve learned since I initially started. It’s been quite a road, with lots of bumps and turns. And I can tell you, I’d have been a lot further ahead today (at least I’d have gotten there quicker) if there had been a book like this one explaining everything I needed to know about marketing and sales for an online business. There’s a lot of information out there, no doubt about it, but it’s all over the place. It took me a lot of time to consolidate it all into one. This doesn’t even bring forth all the trial and error experience I got along the way. I can tell you as part of this whole learning process I also purchased lots of books, lots of ebooks (ebooks are great for quickly changing information such as “Adwords Definitive Guide“), read tons of articles, read tons of blogs, and so on. All in all, it’s been a great big adventure of learning.
So now I’m considering putting it all together in nice little book that will contain lots of information, more meat than fluff. I’m personally not a big fan of fluff, I like to get a lot of information for my money, and especially time (it’s my scarcest resource bar none). My personal value of a book is if I can get at least ten times the what I paid for it (time and money), then it’s worth its price. I’m hoping this book will be worth more than that!
So without further ado, here’s the outline I’ve been looking at so far:
- Some of my personal story, including some successes and failures.
Section 1 (General information)
- Why is marketing and sales important to you?
- How does traffic affect your revenue?
- Is all your traffic worth the same?
- Will your efforts need to change over time?
- How will people find out about you?
- What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
- What are the free types of website promotion?
- What are the paid types of website promotion?
Section 2 (SEO – Search engine Optimization)
- What exactly is SEO again?
- Why is SEO important to you?
- What can SEO do for you?
- Tips to improve your website for better search engine ranking?
- How does Google view your site overall?
- How can you improve your site’s ranking outside of your own site?
Section 3 (Free Website Promotional Campaigns – Blogging)
- What is blogging?
- Should you blog?
- How you can blog to increase awareness of your website
- How you can promote your website in your blog
- The real power of blogging
Section 4 (Free Website Promotional Campaigns – Part 2)
- How can your content help drive traffic?
- How can your content help your search ranking?
- What are loss leaders and how can they help you?
- What all this social networking about?
- Is linking still important?
- Do you really need an online presence?
- Are directories worth anything anymore?
- Are e-zines worth your time and effort?
- Potpourri of tips
Section 5 (Paid Website Promotional Campaigns – Adwords)
- How does Adwords really work?
- Is Adwords really that good for you?
- Does it really matter how much effort you put into Adwords?
- What’s CPC?
- What’s CTR?
- Why are they both so important to you?
- How you can do Multi-variate testing with Adwords
- How can you improve my Adwords Ads?
- What’s the best way to Manage your Adwords campaigns?
- Does it really matter what keywords you bid on?
- Are the other systems like Overture, FindWhat, etc. worth trying?
- Adwords Potpourri
Section 6 (Paid Website Promotional Campaigns – Part 2)
- What are presses releases and how do they work?
- Are press releases worth your time and money?
- Which services should you use for a press release?
- How do you determine what’s newsworthy?
- How do you write a press release?
Section 7 (Paid Website Promotional Campaigns – Part 3)
- What domains should you buy for your website?
- A great tip on how you can get an amazing ROI by buying domains
- How do you know which domains to buy?
Section 8 – Promotional Potpourri
- Why you should always sign your emails
- The power of giving testimonials
- Can you use RSS to your advantage?
- Misc Potpourri
Section 9 – Sales Conversion
- What is sales conversions?
- How can you increase your sales conversion?
- How can you monitor what’s going on?
- What to look for when you try to increase your sales conversion?
- Some quick tips on how to increase your sales conversions
Section 10 – Resources
- Links to great blogs and articles
- Recommend books and ebooks
Section 10 (Tentative)
- Small interviews and tips from industry leaders
Well that’s the outline I have so far. It might seem like a lot, but imagine if it’s not all consolidated in one place and rather spread out across multiple books, ebooks, websites, blogs, and so on. It took me a long time to get a real grasp of all this and how it can really affect a website’s presence.
I’m also a big believer of the multiplier effect, which is the concept that your business is a multiplier of many factors. And assuming that’s a fact, multiplying any one factor will significantly increase your overall effectiveness. For example, if you score a 2 on one thing, then 4 on another, and 10 on still another (all out of a max of 10), then you’re a total of 2 * 4 * 10 = 80. However if you increase just one item, since it’s multiplied, you get 3 * 4 * 10 = 120, where you’re whole business is running 50% more effectively! By being 10% more effective in just one area (going from a 2 to a 3 out of a max of 10), you increased your overall business effectiveness by 50%!
Therefore I think there’s a lot of value in marketing and sales, and coming from a more technical background, these are some of the tools I wish I had know more about beforehand. Things I wish I didn’t have to learn at the school of hard knocks. I can tell you that I spent a lot of money learning many of these priniciples. Adwords alone cost me quite a bundle before I finally started to really “get” it. On one ad alone I increased it’s effectiveness from 0.42% to 1.62% through about a dozen small iterations in just a few weeks time. This alone increased my ROI incredibly, much much more than four times! I won’t explain here why it’s much more than four times ROI (42 * 4 is approx equal to 1.62), I’ll leave that to the book. All I’ll quickly say is CPC * CTR is the key to your success (hint: another multiplier effect is in play here).
Anyways, please let me know what you think. Would you be interested in this book? Would you buy it? Would you buy it in ebook format or just as an ordinary book (from Amazon for example). How much would you pay for this book? $29.95? $49.95? Are there other topics you’d like to see included? Any topics you’d like to have skipped? Basically any feedback you may have would be greatly appreciated. At this point this is just my outline, but I will start writing it this weekend.