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Through special arrangement as a SearchKing's portal partner, you'll be eligible to receive an extra 10% commission on every sale. The normal commission rate is 20%. In order to start earning commissions today, simply follow this link http://www.audioclassics.net/html/misc_files/affiliate.htm and sign up as an affiliate (at no cost). If you are already a Commission Junction affiliate, you can find Knowledge Products under the Books category. After signing up as an affiliate, email the Knowledge Products Affiliate Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org with your web site or affiliate name requesting your commission rate be increased to 30%. This special offer is made to SearchKing portal partners and is not available to the general public.
Pretty cool huh?
MORE AFFILIATE NEWS
I'm now ready to release some specific details of the new SK affiliate program. We have all been working so hard on getting this stuff ready, but we are close enough to having it go live that I am no longer concerned with letting the cat out of the bag and our competitors beating us to the punch. Now that it's done, I probably didn't have that much to worry about in the first place. I doubt there are many people who would be willing to put in the kind of effort and time that we have. Nevertheless, I still feel that there is often good reason for keeping your mouth shut and this happens to have been one of those times.
What I would like to do is use this announcement to illustrate some of the things I've been talking about in this latest series of articles on "How to Make a Website Sell". However, the objective and strategies, identifying strengths and weaknesses, cash flow studies, using stats to identify trends and effectiveness of text, page layout, functionality, programming planning and implementation, banner design, pricing structures, etc., etc., etc. I'm just afraid that it would take up way too much time for readers and it doesn't really apply. Our discussions have been focused on making a website sell, but what we have been involved with for the last several months with this SearchKing objective actually has more to do with "how to take over the world with no skills, talent, equipment or money", and I really don't see where it would help the majority of us. So, instead, I'm just going to try to briefly explain how this is going to work.
In this case, the objective is simply, to make Searchking profitable based on the philosophy that we can't become successful until we see to it that our partners become successful, or in other words, to make portal partners and our affiliates more money.
The strategy is this:
1. To increase our revenue from hosting fees and paid upgrades. The more money we can produce, the more we can pay out.
We will very soon be launching our new admin panel. It has every feature and function that the admin2 has now plus some. It is much easier to use and understand. Not to mention it's faster. For new people coming in, it is going to make their learning curve much shorter. For those of you who are used to their admin2, it is going to give you a lot more features and make your job less of a hassle. Of course for those of you who like the challenge of the original admin, that will still be there just like it is now but we will no longer support it and continue to fix the bugs and add upgrades. In a lot of ways, if you're good enough to use the old admin, you're probably good enough to fix it yourself.
This new portal manager is going to give SearchKing the flexibility to add new features much easier and faster. It will also allow us to add several functions that will enable us to make sales much faster and easier. We can target specific ads to specific partners by knowing when they are getting close to using up their allotted space or features. We can run specials and we will be able to make suggestions.
Furthermore, we are going to change some of the policies regarding the sign up pages. First of all, we will no longer offer the portal plus to adult content webmasters. This will also include some sites such as gambling that are also way too graphic intensive for any type of free program. There is also the problem with spam. Without pointing any fingers, the simple fact is that these types of industries seem to attract an inordinate amount of people only looking out for themselves with little or no regard to others and we simply can't have that. They will be required to have their own domain name which means at least a portal premium.
We are also going to stop allowing unlimited free portals to everyone. The idea of the free portal was never to be able to just run our own ads and let everyone have as many free portals as they could take. The idea was that you would use the free one to learn the value of the program and how best to take advantage of it. Also to allow people to start their internet site with no investment of money and only have to pay for the featrues they needed to grow their site as they needed them. Once you had the program figured out and knew what features would do you the most good and could justify the expense, then you would upgrade. So, we will only allow one free portal to any one person. Any additional portal plus would cost you a one time set up fee of $29 which would allow us to pay a percentage of that to affiliates.
#2. Create a customized affiliate program.
We have searched high and low for an affiliate program that we could tailor to our specific needs and it's just not out there. We have created our own.
This is going to be a three tier program. Basically, any sale you make from anyone clicking through from your banner, you get paid for as long as that customer continues to pay. Even a free service is considered a sale and we will track that customer to your affiliate number for one year and any paid service that customer would upgrade to within that year, you again get paid for as long as that customer pays.
Anyone that would sign up as an afiliate under you would become your second tier and any sale made from their site would pay them and you for as long as that customer paid. Anyone that would sign up as an affiliate under your second tier would become your third tier and any sale made from their site would pay them, your second tier and you for as long as that customer paid.
#3. Build an Advertising Program Based on a Bidding for Placement Service
We have just become the world's first Pay-Per-Day advertising service. We are testing this script now as Mike is building the order pages and we should be live this week.
Actually, SearchKing was the first engine I know of to offer any type of bid for advertising system. When the engine first went online,( before Goto by the way), we were using the text banners much like they are being used now and you bought them by a bidding script for placement. It ran for about a month but I was forced to remove it because we could never get it running right and it kept slowing the machine down way too much. That was before we had Dave and Dan.
Along comes Goto and they get the credit for having the first, but I have witnesses, SearchKing had the idea first, it's just that Goto was able to make it work first. Just ask Mike Rotter, Dan Kavanaugh, Curt Dunmire or David Gaylond, they saw it running.
Ok, Goto does a very good job of making this PPC, (pay-per-click), thing work. Soon there are copy-cats and now there must be several hundred Goto clones. Like anything else, there are pros and cons. In this case the main pro is cheap targeted traffic, but the big con is your competitors and all the get-paid-to-surf affiliates are running up your charges without ever intending to buy anything. OUCH!
It is obvious that any company that takes your money based on a bid for clicks program is going to have a hard time convincing their advertisers that they are trying to stop bogus clicks. To the company, regardless of who it is that clicks on your link, they get paid for that click, so how bad do they really want to stop that? I'm not saying that Goto or anyone else is not trying to do the right thing, I'm just saying it looks fishy and I can see a potential PR problem. That opens the door of opportunity for someone that can offer a viable alternative.
Recently, Goto announced a drastic price increase by eliminating the penny minimum bid and raising the minimum to 5 cents. What an uproar. Thousands of advertisers are screaming foul and looking for an alternative, but the only alternative is another pay-per-click engine only without the traffic that Goto has.
What SearchKing has done is to offer that alternative. Instead of bidding for placement by click, you bid per day. This eliminates the worry of your competitors and affiliates pushing up your cost. Regardless of how many clicks you get, you would only pay what you had bid to be in that position for that day.
Add to these features the fact that SearchKing is now the only place in the world
that an advertiser can place and manage ads from one location and have that ad displayed on hundreds, and soon to be thousands, of other search services who are NOT affiliates for click thrus or compensated or motivated in any way to increase the cost to the advertiser, considering we now have all these featrures priced at what the market will bear by virtue of the bidding script and I believe we have a very viable alternative. I think we may just have a hit on our hands.
Is this a better system? I don't know.
Is this an alternative? Absolutely and I think it has extreme market value.
Well, the script is working and this will also be offered into our custom three tier affiliate program just like the hosting fees and upgrades. Anyone that buys an ad from any one of your banners, whether it be yours or someone from your second tier or someone from your third tier, you all get paid for as long as that customer pays. Even with the system we have now, (which is not priced anywhere near right), we have advertisers that have been paying for over a year now. I expect we will have some that will be paying for our ad services for the rest of their business life.
So, we've created a more effective ad program and improved the portal manager script and created a three tier affiliate program to enable us to increase our own revenues and share that with our portal partners.
Here's the last detail about this new stuff I will bore you with. The secondary results.
The reason we did the secondary results was I felt like we needed something to offer enough value to potential customers to get them to respond with nothing more than seeing a graphic or text banner. That means we have about two seconds to "hook" the viewer. 200 affiliates have been running "get your own free portal" banners for over a year now and we are paying out less than $200 per month. That ain't gonna get it. There are "advertise with us" buttons and banners all over the net and I don't see them getting anywhere either, so what is it that will get the attention and response of thousands of people a day?
Search engines and directories that index for free are getting few and far between. Search engines that can index instantly are even fewer and farther between. Submitting to a lot of search engines has always been a real pain which is why there are so many banners out there that offer to submit your site to thousands of engines for just $29 or so, but with all these new features from SearchKing, nothing could generate the kind of response that a banner that says "submit your site to hundreds of portals FREE" could generate. This is the banenr we will be showing from all of our affiliate sites. This should generate a lot of traffic and the trick is that in order to get that free submission to all those portals, you will have to see our ads in order to get to the submit your site form.
The objective here is to generate 10% sales from the 100% of traffic coming into the one site. In other words, if we get 1,000 people a day to the submit your site page, we are shooting for 100 people a day either buying an ad, a portal or hosting service or at least a portal plus. As I've said before, I have a knack for hitting my numbers. I don't know at this time how long it will take to find the right combination of navigation, functionality and text, but it won't take long and I WILL hit my numbers!
My guess is that the forums will light up now with questions. No problem, I'll be there to answer them the best I can, but trust me, I would not have had everyone working so hard on this if I thought there was a chance that this would NOT work. It will work.
MAKING A WEBSITE SELL -- THE NEXT STEP
Last week we talked about setting an objective. If you remember, my objective was to get at least 2 people sending me their objectives. Well, I got 12. That's the way this objective thing is supposed to work. I hit my numbers!
I think I was able to respond to all of them but if I happened to miss anyone, just re-send it to me and I'll get to you this week.
We had some really good ones and I think I was able to show those 12 that regardless of how complex the objective was, it's just a matter of setting a strategy and watching the numbers to make sure it's working and if not, change what you're saying, where you're saying it or how you're saying it and keep changing it until you start hitting your numbers. It's not that hard, it's just work and we're all going to do that anyway. We might as well get what we want from our efforts right?
Out of the 12 I got, here's is my favorite and I'd like to share it with you. Once I do, you'll see why and how easy it is to accomplish your objectives once you just know what you want.
Hi Bob, greetings from Thailand.
Speaking about objectives, my objective is to be mentioned with a reference link to my Website http://www.th4u.com in your next newsletter. Establishing co-operation with your portal is most likely my sweet dream.
Michael Willion - email@example.com
Thailand for YOU - The source for your dream vacation!
Submit your site to the new Thailand & Travel Directory
And my response:
Done! It will be there in the next issue.
See how easy it is to win when you know what you want?
I'm going to assume that we all got the concept of setting an objective, so it's time to move on to the next step.
Setting a Strategy
Setting a strategy is not nearly as high brow or complicated as it sounds. It just means "how are you going to accomplish your objective". It doesn't require a board of directors. It doesn't require doing a lot of research. In fact, it doesn't REQUIRE anything other than you deciding what to do and how you're going to do it.
Let me give you an example. Keep in mind I live out in the boonies about 25 miles outside of Oklahoma City. I'm country man, Okie country to boot. As a matter of fact, my grandmother's maiden name is Rogers. Recognize that name? Will Rogers is my 5th cousin, that's how Okie I am.
So, the other day I run into my cousin Emmitt and he's loading up chickens onto his pick up. I say, "Emmitt, what cha doin with them hens"? He says, "gonna sell 'em", (sell chickens = objective). I ask, "so why you loadin 'em into your truck"? Emmitt says, "I'm gonna haul 'em to Stella's store and put a sign up on my truck", (haul 'em - put up sign = strategy).
Emmitt has just provided a pretty clear illustration of setting an objective, (sell chickens), and a strategy for meeting that objective, (haul the chickens to Stella's store and put up a sign). As it turns out, Emmitt did not sell his chickens. He got a ticket for trying to sell his chickens on private property without a peddler's license and there may have been a few health code violations as well, but the possibility that he didn't have a GOOD strategy does not diminish the fact that he did at least have A strategy.
I'm not really sure of just how many portal partners we have who are selling chickens from their portals, but my guess is that the number would be pretty low. I hope I didn't just confuse anyone, but I will give you a couple more examples that most of you should be able to relate to a little easier. I'll use two more of the letters I got last week dealing with things like increasing sales and increasing posters to a forum. Here's the first one.
Hi Bob My objective for April is to sell one mortgage application per day and 3 debt consolidations!
The answer to meeting your objective should be three fold.
#1. Stressing the benefit. Focus not on what your service is, but what it will do for the visitor. Will it make their life better? Then you have to find the way to quickly, (in about 2 seconds), get the potential client to visualize that.
#2. Navigation. Putting the benefit where they are most likely to see it and making sure that that is what they are wanting to see. In other words, use your trackers to know what keywords/phrases visitors are using to find you and then put the benefit where they would be looking. If your selling debt consolidation, don't put that on the mortgage page.
#3. Tracking your numbers. Again, use your trackers to determine how many people saw the benefit and how many responded. If you get 20 hits a day to your debt consolidation page but only 1 hit to your order page, you're not saying what they want to hear. Simply change what your saying or where you're saying it until those numbers start going up.
Bob, :) Anyway, my objective is to get 100 new posts in my forums (not including my own posts) for the month of April.
I feel like the answer to hitting your objective is simply the software. UB pretty much sucks. Dave and Dan are going to start working on a decent looking forum very soon, but of course I'm talking in programmer terms so we could still be looking at months.
In the meantime my suggestion is to focus on three areas within your forums.
#1 Web page help. Put up a topic offering tips and advice on web site building for people who are not that familiar with the net. Then put up some flyers in the local stores, gas stations, laundry mats and telephone poles announcing
This will attract new people with questions and keep older members posting wanting to offer help.
#2. Get some prominent member of your town's political structure to post regularly. Give them the topic like
The Mayor's Corner
The Police Chief's Voice and let them post opinions and answer questions.
#3. Dear Abbey. Start a topic where some unknown persona, (probably you with a different username), answers questions about just about anything. Love, money, the net, school, dating, etc.
Oh yeah, whatever you decide on, post it on your front page as a hot topic and update daily. Eventually, you will hit the thing that gets them posting. Once you find that thing, put it on those flyers aro und town.
Well, that should get the idea across. Just decide what you want and how you plan to get it. That is setting an objective and a strategy.
Next week, I'll tell you how to track the effectivness of your strategy and what to do if the numbers aren't there. I will also get into the fun stuff. Next week you'll see how to use some of the easiest and time proven techniques that have been used by salesmen from the beginning of time! I'll also tell you the real "secret" of making the sale. Overcoming objections!
Next weeks issue may be a little late. Next week is the week I'm speaking at the Internet Marketing Strategies Conference, (http://www.internetmarketingconference.com),in Las Vegas. Kathi and I will be leaving, (she ain't about to let me take off to Vegas without her!), on Saturday and will come back the following Sunday. I'll try to get the PPP out on my laptop but no promises.
This Bob's for you!
Publisher -- Bob Massa
April 24, 2001
Subject: PPP 4-24-01
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 14:37:29 -0500
From: bobking - firstname.lastname@example.org
Portal Partner Press
April 24th, 2001
IN THIS ISSUE
Wanna Play Pay-Per-Day?
WANNA PLAY PAY-PER-DAY?
I'm sure that most of you know about PPC, (pay-per-click) or PPP, (pay-for-performance or pay-for-placement) search engines. If you don't, you should as this type of deal is getting VERY popular with a lot of search services.
One of the biggest challenges we all face as owners of a search service, is how to monetize our service. How do we get people to pay for our services? Well, it appears that when it comes to people who are doing the search, there doesn't seem to be any way. Asking someone to pay you for doing a search is probably going to get them hitting their back buttons faster than a speeding bullet. Maybe it's because it would be kind of like asking someone to pay at the front desk of a library to come in and look for a book. I don't know. .
So, if the searcher won't pay, who would? The obvious answer would be the people who are wanting their website to come up on top of the results for a search. In theory at least, there should be a market for this, but how do we charge them?
This line of thinking brought about services like Double Click who would make a deal with Alta Vista to present your ad on top of their results. This failed for some reason that I'm not really sure why, but the fact remains that Alta Vista only ran this program for a couple of months and then abandoned the idea. So that left Double click doing what they had always done which was to simply work as an ad agency in buying banner space for their clients. With the decline of the ad market on the net, this left this type of service seriously lacking. In fact, many of these types of ad services are dropping like flies.
While all this banner ad stuff was making headlines, a company came along with a unique idea. Set up a bidding process and the top spots would go to the highest bidder. They would bid on how much they were willing to pay for each visitor sent to them by the search service and Goto and PPC was born. It worked. .
As it became obvious that it worked, Goto soon had a lot of competiton. It seemed everybody and their dog was doing some type of PPC engine. Since Goto's inception in late '97, PPC engines on a second and third tier level have become just about the most popular business model for these companies. .
The problem with PPC is how to justify the value of these services to the ad consumer to the point that there was enough reason to increase the bids. In other words, you wanted that top spot bad enough that you were willing to pay more than the next guy for every click thru to your site. The answer of course, was traffic. In the traffic wars, Goto has emerged as the clear winner. None of their competitors even come close to providing the amount of traffic that Goto can. Goto was not only first in making this idea work, they were also first in being able to generate enough revenue from it to make deals with some of the highest profile sites in the world. Sites like AOL, Alta Vista and dozens of other high traffic sites. .
So, what has happened now is that while Goto can supply the traffic, naturally the price of those bids can be very high. All their competitors can offer the same type of service, but they can't offer the same type of traffic. I'm not really sure what the term monopoly means, but it occurs to me that if anyone has a monopoly on keyword bidding for placement, it would be Goto. .
Every advertiser interested in this type of service now has to make the decision. Do I keep my bids low to keep my cost down and be satisfied with low amounts of traffic, or do I pay a premium for my placement and get more traffic? Of course each advertiser has to make his own mind up about how much that traffic is worth to him, but my question is, is this really the only options a web marketer has? .
NO. My personal belief is that in all things, an alternative is good. I thnk Goto does a great job but I don't think they are the only answer to getting traffic at a fair price. Nor do I think services that oeprate the same way but with a lower price and less traffic should be the only alternative. .
There is also the problem with inflated costs with a pay-per-click. What's to keep competitors from trying to either get you to lower your bids or get you to stop advertising alltogether by clicking on your link just to cost you more money? Also, with all the "get paid to surf" programs out there, how do you know that the people costing you money by clicking on yuor link are actually in the market for your product or are they simply trying to make a penny by clicking on a paid link. These are questions even Goto has had a very difficult time in answering. .
So what if there was a system that allowed you to bid per day? You could have unlimited clicks and impressions without raising your cost. Your competitor could click on your link all day long and it would not raise your cost a penny. What if that system allowed you to bid as low as 10 cents a day or $3. per month for a keyword top spots? Well, that's what SearchKing has built. .
We've been testing the system now for about two weeks and it seems to be working fine. What is not working is our sales. We're getting some 30-50 hits a day to the page and yet we've only had 4 advertisers actually sign up. You guys know how I am about hitting my numbers and this ain't cuttin it! .
I need your help. I need this thing tested. From the ordering process to the establishing value part. I want some honest feedback, and I'm willing to pay for it. I'll pay up to $50,000! .
I'll give every portal partner $20 to open their account with and run those ads just like you had actually paid the money. If 2,000 portal partners out of the almost 3,000 we have take me up on this deal, that would be $50,000 US in ads that we had given away. .
No problem, it's well worth it to me if I can just get you to agree to let me know how your experience went and what you think I can do to educate the public on the value of this alternative. Have we got a deal? .
Just go to http://www.searchking.com/advertise1.htm. Follow the instructions and open your account. Just put SK for your credit card number and then put $20 into the amount field. You can spend the 20 bucks anyway you like. You take enough 10 cent keywords to burn up your money in one day or you can take one keyword that will last for 200 days, (unless someone bids you down of course). It's up to you how you want to spend your $20. I'll be starting a post in the Advertising and Marketing topic in the Searchking forums at http://forums.searchking.com and I expect some feedback there about your ad campaign. don't e-mail personally, just post it in the forums so we can all see it and discuss it. .
I-Cop is a great organization trying to do it's best to promote honest, professional e-commerce. I have the honor of being one of it's founding members and I strongly urge you to at least give them a look and hopefully your support. http://www.i-Cop.org International Council of Online Professionals.
I-Cop has a lot to offer members including a conference coming up in September that I hope to meet some of you at. It's going to be held in Reno Nevada and is priced what I think is very reasonable. Anyway, if you'd like some info on the conference and how to help your online home based business, this may be just the ticket! .
Finally, I have some ad copy that I-Cop sent out that I agreed to publish here. I realize that I have said in the past that I don't run ads in the PPP, but I guess I really need to be saying I don't run PAID ads in the PPP. I didn't get paid anythig to tell you about this. I want to run their ad because I like and want to support what they are doing. Plus, I want to do a little bragging. They put up a really nice bio for me as a featured speaker and I'd hate to think that nobody saw it but me :) Here's the ad.
Dear Readers: .
As you may know, I'm a proud member of the International Council of Online Professionals. Now I-Cop is about to hold our very first International conference! .
At last! The Conference for Home-Based Online Businesses! .
The .com bust is leveling the playing field for Internet business. Never before has the home-based online company had a better chance to succeed. Attend iCop Conference 2001 and ... learn what the .coms didn't know! .
The two day conference will be held in Reno, Nevada on September 27-29, 2001. The cost is LESS than most one day Internet conferences - and the content is priceless! .
Each speaker at the iCop Conference will be presenting material never before given at any other Internet conference! These speakers will tell you the REAL DEAL! .
They will speak about and demonstrate the very foundation of what has allowed them to develop successful online businesses - WORKING FROM HOME! Not to mention that this is a HIGHLY entertaining group! Check them out at the URL below. .
If you are not an iCop member yet, attend this conference and receive your first year's membership absolutely FREE! .
Register NOW - space is limited! .
That's it for this week portal owners. Let's go ad shopping at SearchKing! .
This Bob's for you! .
Publisher -- Bob Massa
April 30, 2001
Subject: Portal Partner Press 4-30-01
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 15:57:21 -0500
From: Robert Massa
Portal Partner Press
April 30th, 2001
IN THIS ISSUE
New Affiliate Script
Well we've had a pretty good response from last week's offer of free pay-per-day advertising. We've had about 20 partners sign up and get their ads running. That's a little less than 1% of all our portal partners and assuming it's not that hard to sell free ads, that is probably a pretty good indication of how many people are even reading the PPP. The reason I think that is still a pretty good response is that 20 people from a wide variety of fields and interests all providing feedback on the system is a pretty good beta testing force.
We will keep the free ads available for one more week and then change the credit card field to verify and only accept valid card numbers. Naturally, this will eliminate the SK in the credit card field from working.
For those of you who may have missed last week's newsletter, I'll run the little freebie again. Remember, only one more week. I don't want anyone coming to me and whining about they didn't it see it in the Portal Partner Press. That's only one more reason you should be reading the darn thing if you care about your site, (at least skimming thru it for freebies and news about your own portal).
*************************************I need your help. I need this thing tested. From the ordering process to the establishing value part. I want some honest feedback, and I'm willing to pay for it. I'll pay up to $50,000!