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Guest Post by Alan K'necht

Guest Post by Alan K'necht

Over the past five to eight years, Search Engine Marketing (“SEM”) professionals have finally woken up to the reality that the goal of their campaigns, be it search engine optimization (“SEO”), pay per click (“ppc”) like Google Adwords or any other effort is not about driving the maximum number of eyeballs to a web site; it’s about conversions. Yes, the goal must be to drive quality traffic that converts on the site.

With the advances in web analytic products like WebTrends, SiteCatalyst and Google Analytics (just to name a few of the more popular tools); the ability to assign conversions to specific marketing efforts has improved immensely and allow a the Search Engine Marketer and more importantly their clients the ability to properly evaluate their efforts. Through this effort campaigns can be more effectively optimized to maximize the return on the investments (“ROI”).

I’ve been doing business on the Internet for six years. Many things have changed on the World Wide Web since I launched my very first website, but there’s one (negative) thing that apparently will never be gone: this tendency to waste great opportunities that is evident in so many webmasters.

If there’s one huge problem that a smart webmaster should fight as hard as s/he can, this is it. This can never be stressed enough: grab any and all good opportunities that you find on the web as soon as you can. And once you start, do not give up so easily.

I’m going to tell you a real-life story to illustrate my point:

K. started surfing the web because she wanted to have some fun and research her favourite subjects. As time went by, she naturally made friends with other Internet users, joined forums, mailing lists and became a loyal visitor to various sites in a specific niche.

One day she realised that there was a certain type of website missing in that niche. So, she decided to fill this gap with her own web project. It was totally amateurish… yet it soon became pretty successful, because of three major factors:

1. She was a sort of pioneer, because she detected a need in her niche and was the first one to do something about it.

2. She really knew what she was dealing with and even devoted part of her time to expanding her knowledge on the subject, so she could improve her website on an ongoing basis.

3. She had good networking skills, so it wasn’t hard to spread the word about her site.

However, she wasn’t able to make a single cent from that site and eventually took it down. Why did this happen?

* She stopped investing in networking and promotion.

* She believed that the niche was about to collapse, so she lost the motivation needed to keep her site up.

* She thought a site like that couldn’t be effectively monetised.

This is what happened afterwards:

  • She eventually realised that the webmasters which persisted and kept their sites alive are now recognised as true authorities in that niche, because they’ve been around for a long time. Consequently, they don’t have to spend much — if any at all — time with promotion.
  • The niche never collapsed. Much on the contrary: it’s still growing and there are no visible signs that it’ll be stopping any time soon.
  • Several new monetization techniques have been made available to webmasters, even to those who deal with smaller sites and restricted niches.

Talk about missed opportunities!

Had she persevered, now she wouldn’t have to use her own story as an example and alert for other webmasters.

I’ve previously written about the importance of choosing a niche for your site or blog. But I admit that knowing something should be done often isn’t enough. We also need to know how to do that, right? So I asked myself: what’s the best wat to teach people how to identify niches and subniches? Then it struck me: give the readers some actual examples and they will see what you mean.

As a result, I’m going to share with you a short list of broader niches and related subniches that can be found inside each of them. Hopefully, after reading this article you’ll be able to apply and/or adapt its concepts to your own needs as a webmaster. (more…)

How many websites and blogs should you run simultaneously? Some believe that building one huge portal is the way to go. Others prefer investing in site networks. I’m going to write about both cases and hopefully help you identify the case that best suits your needs. (more…)

I’ve said it before and I’m going to repeat it: monitoring competitors is an important part of any webmaster’s strategy. Not that you should invest all your time and resources in this activity; after all, you have to take care of your own business above all. But if you don’t know what your competitors do and how they achieve success, you may miss several learning opportunities.

Why am I writing about this topic once again? Because I feel this is an activity many webmasters neglect. But I know that just saying something is good doesn’t mean much; people want details. And this is what I’m going to give you today. (more…)

Some webmasters and bloggers believe that appearances count a lot when you want to win some credibility on the Internet. They claim that if you aren’t that successful yet, you should pretend you are, until everyone believes you. Eventually, actual success will follow. In other words, this is the old “fake it til you make it” scheme applied to Internet marketing.

Should you apply this principle to your activities as a webmaster or blogger? I’m not totally sure that I can give a positive answer to this question. But I’m going to save my objections for last. Now I’m going to show you a few situations when you might consider doing some make-believing, if you really must. (more…)