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The Ads On This Blog

Posted by on Feb 4, 2009

For those of you who are regular visitors, you’ll notice that I’ve added some more banner ads, so to speak, to the blog, as well as changed some up. I want to briefly talk about them, not necessarily to promote them, although that wouldn’t be a bad thing, but to explain why I chose those particular ads. I do this because some folks might not think some of the ads fit on a blog like this; actually, they do, since I’m pretty much all over the place sometimes, but these ads meant something, in a way, which is why I’ve put them here right now. If I don’t mention an ad, that means it was already there.

Let’s start on the left. I now have three products that I created: my ebook, my book, and my CD set. I felt it was time to promote me more on this blog, my own products if you will, so there you go. I have a couple other products, but decided there wouldn’t be close to a market for those on this blog, so they’ll stay on my business site.

I added Resume Rabbit because the economy is in the tank, and there are lots of people looking for new jobs. In the last two weeks there have been over 200,000 people who have lost their jobs. Sites like Resume Rabbit, Monster and Career Builder are going to help a lot of people. But Resume Rabbit is the only one I’m an affiliate for, so that’s what you get.

The Diabetes Store ad is apparent; I’m diabetic, and I care a lot about others who are diabetic. Supplies can be costly if you don’t have a good insurance plan, but sites like this one offer those supplies at discounted rates.

123inkjets offers major league discounted rates on printer ink supplies. How do I know? Last night I bought 14 ink cartridges in a package deal that only cost $79.99, which, if I’d purchased them in the store, would have cost me way over $200; remember what I was saying in the last post on what drives my buying online? And, right now, that ad has a coupon attached to it, so I got an extra 15% off, and it’s free shipping for purchases of more than $55; sweet! This is also a computer related project, so it’s a great fit.

I added the Buy.com ad because Valentines Day is coming up, and I know someone’s forgotten their favorite spouse. Discounted items are always at Buy.com. I can’t remember who wrote about it, though I think it was I’m With Joe, in saying that one thing most of us internet marketers forget is to target specific holidays with deals that concern the holiday, so that’s my concession; it’ll obviously have to change next Sunday.

Lapworks offers many products for laptops, and since, once again, we’re talking about computer items, and I know many folks who visit are using laptops, that makes sense.

Online Organizing offers products to help one keep their offices or homes in order. If you’re like me, you’re probably sitting in your home office, or work office, reading this. Even if it’s not an office, it’s a work space you’ve hopefully cleared out for yourself. Sometimes we accumulate lots of clutter, and this site will help you find what you’re looking for to get things in order.

SiteSell offers software to help you build websites and programs to help you learn online marketing. John Dilbeck swears by them, so even though I don’t use it, I figure his word is good by me.

eHealthInsurance is the odd entry, and my last ad, but it’s also somewhat relevant. I wrote an article on my Top Finance Blog called The Most Important Financial Consideration Right Now, and that would be having health care. I got this straight from the mouth of Suze Orman, who said on the Oprah Show “I would rather have you drinking water and eating stale bread than not having health care coverage, especially in these tough financial times“. Let’s face the fact that lots of people are losing their jobs, and the costs associated with COBRA can be exorbitant. With this site, you can put together the coverage you want, and the costs will be much less than COBRA. Remember, I’m a health care finance consultant; I know a little something about this.

Now we move to the right side, where there are fewer changes. I added the box of chocolate because, once again, Valentines Day is coming up, and it’s different than the traditional heart. This is an ad from zChocolat, and of course you know I’ve tasted some of their chocolate; good stuff. It will be changed after the holiday.

Down below you see two new 125×125 ads. The one on the left is Calendars.com, and who among us doesn’t have or love calendars (I have two in my office, and we have them scattered all over the house)? The one on the right is for Franklin Covey planners and software, which is obviously specialized office products that also offer, well, extra stuff that’s pretty neat. It’s for business mainly, but can be used for personal reasons also; it just fits.

And there you go. Those are the ads; there are a couple other changes, but since they’re not ads I’m not talking about them. And, if you notice, I didn’t add the text links for each of those products here; I thought that would be a bit of overkill that just wasn’t necessary. Anyway, it would be interesting to hear why y’all chose the ads you did to put on your blog; share if you dare. 🙂

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18 Comments »

Perhaps you should add a Paypal donate button to your ads. I’ve seen quite a few folks benefit from a donate button.

Coco – Kennewick Real Estate´s last blog post..I Love Jesus But I Drink A Little

February 4th, 2009 | 9:37 PM
Mitch:

Actually Coco, that’s what that Top Spots thing on the right side is for. It also allows those who donate to get a link to their site, although it’s a nofollow link. But thanks.

February 4th, 2009 | 11:29 PM
Mirjam:

Lol and with all the changes you have made, you still didn´t feel like adding a “recent post” widget…. would make the navigation soo much easier :P:P:P

Mirjam´s last blog post..Are You Ready for Change?

February 5th, 2009 | 1:28 PM
Mitch:

Well, I’m not sure it would make things easier, but we both know I’m probably not adding it either. Sorry about that.

February 5th, 2009 | 1:35 PM
Mitch:

Well, I didn’t want to, but since you asked, it’s there, at the bottom of the right column. Don’t complain; at least it’s there. 🙂

February 5th, 2009 | 1:37 PM
Mirjam:

ROFL
thanks!!!

Mirjam´s last blog post..Are You Ready for Change?

February 5th, 2009 | 1:39 PM
Tom - Home Business Tips:

The blogger needs to get some compensation for his work, therefore ads are necessary.I think that having too many ads makes a blog confusing and has too many options to click on, which often results in clicking on nothing.

I have decided to go with Google Adsense and an opt-in newsletter box.

February 5th, 2009 | 2:18 PM
Mitch:

You might be right, Tom, but you may be wrong also. Thing is, we never really know until we do some testing. I have now upped the number of ads on this site because, well, the other way wasn’t working, so it’s time to change. For the most part I’ve tried to keep everything relevant also, but maybe stark is the way to go. Just have to keep testing it all, I figure.

February 5th, 2009 | 4:19 PM
Mitch:

Yeah, that would definitely help, Dennis! 😀

February 6th, 2009 | 12:45 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good afternoon, Mitch.

I like 123Inkjets and saved some money when buying from them, but never earned anything by promoting them.

Sitesell remains my personal favorite and highest earner and I’m a very happy customer and affiliate. In fact, I’m stepping up my offline promotions for the company this year and I’m planning a new site that will be powered by Site Build It!

As I’m redoing my sites, I’m going to try pulling most of the graphic links in my left and right columns and doing the majority of my linking with text links in the posts and/or other content.

I’m definitely getting better conversions from text links.

That’s not advice for anyone else, it’s just what I’m seeing after reviewing my stats for 2008. Different sites have different readers and the comparison would not be fair without testing it, as you’re doing here.

Act on your dream!

JD

February 6th, 2009 | 2:19 PM
Mitch:

John, just to clarify, within your posts you do well with text links, or are you putting text links in other places also?

February 6th, 2009 | 2:36 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good afternoon, Mitch.

I meant that I was doing better with text links within my posts than using graphics in the posts or in the sidebars.

In-context text links just seem to do better now. The graphics worked better a few years ago, for me, but have been declining over time on my sites.

I also get better conversions from text links in email as opposed to graphics links.

Because of that, I’ll be sending only text emails from my autoresponder series and deleting the HTML versions. I’m going to try a lot more email marketing this year.

I’m also seeing better conversions for text links in my static websites, too.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know enough to test all my links when I built many of my sites, but I’m trying to rectify that as I rebuild and prune.

I haven’t talked about this much, so I don’t know how others are doing when comparing the conversions of in-context text links versus graphics links.

I still think the graphics can get someone’s attention, so I include them here and there, but of the links I track, they just don’t get as many clicks.

I don’t really know if that’s valid info, since I track a relatively small percentage of my links. And, even though I know better, now, some days I just get lazy and don’t take the extra couple of minutes it takes to build a tracking link.

Act on your dream!

JD

PS. You can write all your code and still get the benefits of Site Build It. You can build a page using any HTML editor and upload it. I do all my coding in blogs and sites using HTML code and most of my pages were built using a simple text editor like BBedit or TextWrangler on a Mac, or NotePad on a PC. I’ve purchased several HTML editors and have tried free ones and just don’t like them nearly as well as doing all the coding myself. Maybe that’s only natural for someone who has been programming computers in over a dozen computer languages over the decades. I don’t like the WYSIWYG visual editors in blogs. Last year, I reprogrammed the database I use to build all my static sites so it also works with Site Build It. I converted most of my current SBI site to work with the database I use and I’ll build my next SBI site using it, too. There’s a lot more flexibility with SBI than most people realize.

February 10th, 2009 | 3:59 PM

John, I have to admit that I kind of don’t get it then; we’re talking about Site Build It. I was under the impression that it was a program to help you build websites; that would seem to be inaccurate. I read a post of yours, I did watch the video, but I’m still missing it. Can you explain it better?

February 10th, 2009 | 9:24 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

I’ll try to do a better job. Sometimes I over-complicate things. I’ve been told that I could describe a pencil and make it hard to use.

Here is what I think is the central concept of SBI: the C-T-P-M process.

The idea is that people don’t search for us on the Internet. They search for information about something, a solution to a problem, or something that will scratch their particular itch.

If they knew about us, they’d come right to our site, but they don’t.

So, they go to Google and type in something they want to learn more about.

If our site offers information about that topic, we want to be on page one so the person doing the searching will find us.

To do that, we offer quality information (C = content) that the search engines rank well.

When someone finds us on the SE, that leads to free traffic to our site (T = traffic).

While the visitor is on our site on a page that is targeted to what they are looking for, we want to provide information that will help persuade them that we have something that will satisfy what they were looking for. (P = PREsell).

Then, if they decide to click on one of the links or perform an action for which we get paid, we can earn an income and build our business (M = monetize).

That’s the C-T-P-M process in a nutshell.

This may sound like common sense if you’ve been marketing on the web for any time, but it was a rather remarkable idea a few years ago when Ken Evoy introduced it.

So, our goal is to place ourselves between the person searching and the merchant from whom they can buy.

To do that, we research the keywords and phrases that people are actually searching for and compare the number of searchers to the number of competing websites.

Ken coined a term for this comparison: profitability. He probably wishes now that he had chosen to call it something different, because some people think it is some kind of absolute measure of how much money they can make. It’s not. It’s a simple comparison of Supply (website pages) versus Demand (number of searches). Still, it make it easy to find the low-hanging-fruit so we can create pages targeted to those searches.

SBI offers a bunch of integrated tools to help us make pages that rank well and get free visitors.

Brainstorm It! is the keyword research tool and I can do more research in a couple of hours with it than I can do in days with other tools I use.

As a result of using Brainstorm It!, we build a master keyword list (MKL) that is stored on the SBI servers.

All of this is done from a browser. It is not a program we buy and use locally. It is a series of integrated tools on their servers.

As we complete the process of brainstorming, following the SBI action guide, we can identify a niche that matches our interests and looks like it will be profitable based on the keyword searches and competition.

In fact, the Action Guide recommends researching three different niches and comparing them to choose one that we’ll develop into a site.

This is a radically different approach than just posting a few pages about us that nobody will find. I’m talking about the typical “brochure” website that most small businesses put up.

Now, if someone doesn’t want to use all the tools that SBI offers for less than a dollar a day, they can go watch the video version of the Action Guide or read the text version and build a site following those principles. They would not have access to Brainstorm It, the MKL, the world submitter, the ezine management module, nor any of the other integrated tools that SBI offers.

I’ve used what I learned from following the SBI method to build other static sites and write blogs. I have found, however, that they are harder to manage and don’t get results as good as I can get from using SBI and all it offers.

Site Build It! does include a simple browser-based site building module that operates similarly to posting to a blog. For anyone who does not want to master the complexities of writing HTML, it takes what we enter into the sitebuilder, parses it through a format we can select for presentation, and produces the HTML page. It then hosts that page, submits it to the major search engines automatically, and adds it to the RSS feed for the site.

It does other things in the background, as well.

Over the years, some people have complained about the templates (themes) that are available for SBI customers. I think there are a couple of dozen basic designs.

So, a few years ago, the ability to customize the themes was added.

Later, the system was upgraded so that a customer could use any design tools they preferred to build a page and could then upload the HTML to the SBI database.

One of the major differences between Site Build It! and typical hosting is that SBI is a huge, integrated database that helps us analyze what we write, preview the pages, publish them, and then hosts and serves them to our visitors.

Some people get hung up on the lack of FTP, because they’re so tied to traditional webhosting.

Lately, a lot of SBI sites have gone to three columns. I think this is partly because of WordPress blogs, but don’t know it for sure.

I choose to continue to use a simple two-column design on my sites that has a navigation menu in the left column and the page’s main content in the larger right column.

Let’s go back to considering the beginning webmaster for a moment.

The included sitebuilder module makes it easy to use headlines, text, graphics, links, and even tracking links, even for someone who knows practically nothing about HTML tags.

Most will learn to use simple bolding, italics, and the like. Some will progress to unordered and ordered lists.

But, they don’t have to.

Anyone who wants to concentrate on writing quality content around their topic of choice can do so easily using the sitebuilder.

I did that for years with good results.

Eventually, instead of using many different modules per page, I started dumping all the content I wrote into a text module. I wrote my own HTML and used the sitebuilder in a way in which it wasn’t designed, but still worked.

When Mom went into the nursing home last year, I spent about six weeks reprogramming the Radio Userland database I use to build all my other large sites so that I could write HTML pages that would work properly with the SBI database.

The reason I did this is because I’ve spent years programming my system to make it particularly easy to include links, navigation bread crumbs, and other things that I’ve grown used to using.

Now, I have rewritten my SBI site and put it into my own database. This allows me to make major changes to an entire site, or section of a site, very easily.

It took a lot of work and a lot of time to make this an easy process, but I believe it was worth the effort. Most people would never approach building a site as I have.

So, with SBI, you have your choice of tools on how you’re going to create a page. You can fill in the blanks using the sitebuilder; write your code in a text editor; use a WYSIWYG HTML editor; or even do something like I did.

If you use the sitebuilder, it’s as easy as filling in the blanks and pressing a button.

If you upload your own HTML, it’s a simple matter of creating the page using the tools you prefer and then uploading the page to SBI. This is similar to uploading a photo to a blog or photo hosting site. Browse on your computer, select the file, click upload.

The difference is that, once your page is in the SBI database, you have access to the analyze it module that helps you optimize the page using common SEO techniques, coupled with advice from the system on how you can make it better.

Then, you click publish, and SBI does its behind-the-scenes work helping you promote the page.

The majority of people I talk to get hung up on one of two things: (1) the sitebuilder and its lack of the options they want, or (2) the lack of FTP.

The actual process of creating the page is not the important part of SBI. What is important is the process of planning, researching, and presenting a well-organized site related to a single theme, with each page being written and optimized to rank well in the search engines for a particular (usually long-tail) keyword phrase.

By creating quality content that people are searching for, and then following the steps to help the site rank well, the site starts getting visitors. Once that is accomplished, and relatively late in the process, we can start monetizing the site.

Most people want to start with monetizing as the first step, before they have created the information that leads to free traffic, and that doesn’t work nearly as well.

If you read the Action Guide, you can learn the SBI systematic approach to building a site – for free.

You won’t have access to all the tools, support, and forum, however.

There is no magic in Site Build It! It’s just a systematic process for building a tightly-focused site on a particular topic of your choice, coupled with a lot of tools that makes the process easier and/or more effective.

Does that explain it better?

Act on your dream!

JD

February 11th, 2009 | 8:52 AM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

I wrote a rather long reply to your question and it looks like it was too long to be accepted.

As a result, I wrote a post on my blog called What is Site Build It? where I tried to do a better job of explaining a complicated system as simply as I could.

Since it is now a post on my blog, I added a few links to pages that offer additional information about specific points.

It takes some time to really understand what SBI is all about and why it is a better solution for many people than blogs or traditional webhosting.

It won’t do some things that people require, so it’s not a good fit for everyone or every site, but I think it is well-suited for a very large percentage of sites.

If you have other questions, I’ll do my best to answer them or find the answer.

Act on your dream!

JD

February 11th, 2009 | 9:57 AM
Mitch:

So y’all know, John’s original response is here; it was so long it ended up in the spam filter, for some reason. And I wrote my response, which was a two part question, on his blog post.

February 11th, 2009 | 10:16 AM
John Dilbeck:

Mitch, I’m sorry for the confusion. I’ve never written a comment that ended up in a spam filter.

Sorry for the confusion, everyone.

JD

February 11th, 2009 | 12:24 PM
Mitch:

No big deal, John. Heck, I know I end up in someone’s spam filter, or at least their moderation area, because I sometimes add a link. Welcome to the “dark” side! 🙂

February 11th, 2009 | 1:03 PM