Monday, September 03, 2007

Like a business needs a business plan, marketing has to have a marketing plan

Well, I've been getting caught up in my own tanglefoot (like the weed of the same name, you can't take a foot forward without getting some "face rash" as your face hits the ground). Reason being is that I've got all these means of driving public into the site, but then have no realistic and workable, operational plan to execute all these.

I've been busy researching and writing this book, but don't know what step to take first once I get the first section written - which is in final editing throes...

The stumbling block is that they all seem to be needed in place before I can do any of them.

Not really true, so let's sort this out.

1. Product first. Not necessarily needed, but I would rather start from this, as it makes the whole scene easier. In my case, I've split up the book into 10 sections, which will be written in about 6 sets, depending on length of content. The first, basics, is already around 170 pages. So if I can keep the others to around this length, then I'll have about an 800-page book - hefty.

2. Post the product where it can be purchased. For me, this will be Lulu, although later it will be posting such books on Lulu and then quickly making them available through Clickbank. (Will bring in affiliate sales, as well as cutting my overhead on Lulu sales.)

3. Have an autoresponder ready to capture names and a squeeze page/thankyou page. Have some ethical bribe or a newsletter ready to subscribe to. A viral ebook would be smart - one that has linking ads for the website and squeeze page in it.

4. Start sending out daily press releases. Yes, daily. When you get that press release up on PR Web, social bookmark it to as many as feasible. Here, when you can get to it, is to build a media center - which would include all your press releases.

5. For a book, start excerpting and submitting 5 articles a day to at least 100 article directories, if not 200. Blog the article first. If applicable, Squidoo it as well. Then copy/paste a text-only version into your article submitter and let it wail away.

6. Start lining up some radio interviews - needs a media release tailored to a certain station or stations. (More on this as I complete it's research.)

7. Update your sales funnel to add the new product where it is appropriate.

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Some discussion of landing pages needed. These are not squeeze pages, through they can be. They don't have to be sales pages, though they should be.

While I don't want to get away from my idea that web sites should be small and to the point, some people (like the media) want more data so they can research your background to write a story. So you need a set of media pages (which contain a sample interview, perhaps an MP3 of that interview or some others, a hi-res photo for download - an old media carryover, and all your press releases). These should be good for both radio and print media.

Simplest way to handle all this data is to put up a CMS, which is linked to your static landing page through a hard link. Don't make your landing page dynamic (meaning you are going to have to hand-edit it every time.

A CMS will keep your latest press release on top, as well as supporting internal search and hard links to other data, such as interviews, etc. But it's only one link on your landing page, not several. And when you post that press release, it's a one-shot deal.

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A related note on landing pages. One piece of advice I saw today was to make a landing page for every keyword phrase you want to capture.

How to do this without killing yourself off: make a subdomain with keywordphrase.yourdomain.com - and then copy/paste your sales page (which uses that keyword phrase) into that index file. Now some search engines will nail you for duplicative content. But you can either put an article on that page above the sales page - or something simlilar - in your spare time. The other point might be to have a meta re-direct which sends them to your sales/squeeze page. You could put a bunch of keyword phrases in the meta tags of that index file, but most search engines are now ignoring meta tags - just a thought.

If you do put an article on top, make sure you have a link down to where the sales portion starts and proably one to just buy the product directly.

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Why post your article to your blog?

One more link back to your squeeze page. And you can add in links to other websites and other posts. Don't forget to link to existing Squidoo pages - both ways. And make sure you have both an opt-in form and a link to your squeeze page on every blog template - you can also add a link at the bottom of every blog-article. Doesn't hurt.

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On article marketing - I have an article submitter program running all the time. Even overnight. Sure it hangs, but it can get out 20 - 40 by itself sometimes. Just that many more links going out.

Something I'm trying: using articles to brand with. Essentially, they start moving certain phrases up in frequency. One I've been using to promote my self-help classics - "Law of Attraction Classics". This works both ways, as "law of attraction" is already a keyword phrase, so my article comes up higher.

Next set I'm going to be pushing (once I have my first book section over to Lulu) is "Online Millionaire Plan". Just set it like - "Online Millionaire Plan: [insert article name here]" That will get me more links and search engine rankings. Especially, since it will be going out as a header on some 1000 articles or more, each to about 200 article directories.

Just an idea. Branding is branding.
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