Monday, September 20, 2010

TOOT your own horn! No one ELSE will!!

To be successful you MUST backlink, no exception no excuses. It is just how it works.
Back-Linking is like:

OK say you are having a garage sale. You have options.

1) Put up your garage door, pull out all your stuff, display it nicely, put labels and price tags on everything, and sit there in your driveway and wait.
This is what most sellers here do, and expect to get sales. No advertising, no signs, nothing. Somehow customers are supposed to magically "know" they are here and what they have to sell, and be able to find them.

2) Put up your garage door and all the rest in option #1, and then put big signs in your driveway that say "Thanks for stopping by now go on over to Joe's Store over there and buy stuff from him!"
Somehow that is what one fellow here (who wants for some obscure reason to put outbound links to unnamed "affiliates" in their listings) would do if he could. Still no advertising to get people INTO their booth but they insist they cannot get sales because they cannot send customers AWAY to other places. I cannot even see how such a scheme helps the poor affiliate since they still do nothing to get people IN to the booth to even see that affiliates link either. What the hey you say? Me too.

option 3) Put up your garage door, put out your stuff displayed nicely with nice descriptions and prices on everything, and the night before go around to EVERY street corner in the area and POST colorful SIGNS with giant lettering and your address and arrows pointing the way that say "Garage sale here. Vintage clothing" (or whatever you are selling) AND don't stop at that, but make sure you post ads in craigslist and local free newspapers and even any local bulletin boards that will allow it and whereever you can POST PICTURES and descriptions of what you have for sale at your garage sale and how to get there.

THIS (#3) is the equivalent of posting YOUR LINKS in blogs and Facebook and Myspace and Twitter and putting widgets and RSS feeds out there for your booth, everywhere you can, pointing the way so people out there on the internet highway know you are there and that you have stuff to sell and they can actually find you. Every one of these is a sign pointing the way. Putting up ONE facebook or twitter note, or one posting on craigslist, or one anything, is like having one little yellow post-it note on one street corner. Other people are also having garage sales the same day as you, and the more ambitious ones have color coded signs and many many of them, say one seller has all green signs, buyers can follow them easily because they just follow the green signs, or another one has orange or yellow or blue: they WANT buyers to find them easily. And the more there are, the easier it is and the more likely buyers will indeed find them. Shoppers have long ago forgotten about your one little post-it note if they saw it at all.
These ambitious sellers will close their garage doors tonite with nice clean empty garages, while you spend the evening dragging everything back into your crowded garage wondering why.

And while on the subject, constantly saying "I don’t know what RSS is" or "I’m not techie" etc is irrelevant: I wasn't either but I learned because I HAD to. You are trying to sell on the internet, YOU chose the venue of online vs real world, if you are at all interested in actually selling, you’ll make a point of LEARNING what these things are and how to use them because this is where you are. It is the job, YOU chose it.


or as we used to say in church: don’t hide your light under a bushel basket! LET IT SHINE!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thermodynamics, TANSTAAFL and Online Business

Selling online is a daily job, there is really NO place that you can just "list and forget" without putting in daily work which includes tweeting and blogging and facebooking and getting your BACKLINKS out there on the web to be spidered by search engines so that people searching for what you have to sell can FIND you. It's just how it works. I have also noticed that literally EVERY time I "update my Bonanzle Booth", even if I have not changed a darn thing, I get a sale, so I try to remember to do that at least weekly. It refreshes the feed and makes everything look "new" on the web.

Lots of people on Bonanzle do offer services, both free and for fee, to get your stuff noticed, indexed, spidered, etc. I am currently on hiatus (after I finish these last three orders) until November 1st, but I build Bonzmerchant websites which creates a search engine searchable backlink for EVERY ITEM in your booth (not javascript which search engines can NOT see) doubling your exposure and increasing your "ranking" on the web so your items will show up higher in a web search. Add a blog to that and any item you blog about (and link to) gets triple exposure and if I feed that blog into a bonzmerchant website the same way I do the inventory it then QUADRUPLES the backlinks to those items. Add (tweet) those same items to twitter and that's 5 backlinks to each item and then those tweets added to a bonzmerchant page that is SIX backlinks to those items you have blogged and tweeted and your ranking goes up and up. Greendevil Designs will put up a single feed page (not sure how many items) for you for free. That's still more essential backlinks. Link on a public facebook FAN page and there's even more. THAT is how you get customers.

Everybody and his brother, sister, aunt, cousin and childhood sweetheart is out there on the web competing with you, many selling the exact same or similar items. You have to do the work to make YOUR listings stand out in this crowd.

Bottom line is you get out of it what you put into it, doesn't matter whether you list here or Etsy or whatever, the VENUE isn't the problem. It's like those three laws of thermodynamics (you can transfer energy but you cannot just create it from nothing), or as Robert Heinlein stated "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" often referred to as TANSTAAFL.