Customer Engagement & Retention

Why Articles Get Rejected at

I thought I’d share this quick bit of information to clients who are practicing what they’ve been taught about article writing for their eCommerce websites. Article writing is a great way to build credibility in your industry, brand your name and business, and especially helpful for creating quality links on other sites.

As you know, is one of my favorite places to publish articles: it has a PR6, it’s user friendly, and they allow you to post a couple links in the bio section of your articles. If you have questions about how to make these links, check out these HTML tips.

When I first starting writing articles for my clogging shoes website, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. This is one of the responses I received to an article submission:

….articles MUST NOT be a press release, advertisement, sales letter, promotional copy, or blatant and excessive self-promotion or hype.
Unfortunately this article falls into one of those categories.

Did this cause me to give up, quit, or not write articles any more? Absolutely not! In fact, I felt it was a “small success” because now I had a better understanding of what was looking for.

Basically, articles that you want to get accepted need to be informative.  Teach people why they should use a product you sell, teach them the pros and cons, create a “top 5 reasons to buy this product” article and share it with readers.  As you write new articles, look at other articles in your industry that have been accepted.  What did they do?  What was their style?  Without copying it or plagiarizing, use their ideas as a starting point.

You can do this! Although it may seem difficult at first, it’s not “rocket science”. Best of luck in your offsite optimization strategies.

Website How To's

7 Signs Your Business is Stagnant

Self motivation and positive attitude are two very important aspects of a successful online business. I read an article recently directed to already established businesses that are stagnant. So your business doesn’t become one of these, here are a few sayings that you need to avoid now and in the future as you become more successful:

  1. We’ve always done it this way – If this is used as a justification about why something is done a certain way it probably means the company has forgotten the reason they do things a certain way. This also means they might be doing things the wrong way or there’s a better and more efficient way to do things. You need to constantly be studying, revising and testing new things to see what works. There’s probably always a better more efficient way to do things.
  2. Let’s save money on customer service – If you don’t take care of your customers, you may make an initial sale but you can rule out “repeat business”. Don’t make customer service so low in the priority order that it is seen simply as a cost to be cut: your customers will eventually go to a competitor that actually takes care of them.
  3. All we need is more traffic – Yes, traffic is one of the keys to success with any business, especially an internet based business. However, more traffic is often the mantra of companies who do not get the internet business model. Traffic is not the only metric nor is it a “perfect answer” to a badly performing website. I’ve worked with clients that say “If I can only increase traffic, my Internet business will succeed.” I wish it was that easy. If you aren’t getting traffic that actually DOES SOMETHING, the traffic is not too valuable at all.
  4. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it – Danger! Danger! Business should be a continuous search for better ways to do things, improvements and efficiencies. How can you serve your customer better? What new ways can you reach them? How can you get current clients to buy from you again?
  5. We will make it up in volume – If you are not careful with this one you might sell sell sell all the way to bankruptcy. Make sure, after everything is said and done, that you are making money. This is one reason finding good suppliers and manufacturers is such an important part of this entire process. Without good wholesale pricing, you are waisting a lot of time.
  6. This guy says he has a secret trick to get us top Google rankings – How quickly do you want to be banned from the search engines? It’s called “Black-Hat SEO”. Strategies to “trick” Google may work short term, but in the long run you will be banned. I told a client the other day, if a company ever says they can get you to the top of Google by a certain time, usually they are lying. Granted, there are “White-Hat” things you can do, but Google works on its own time frame of which we don’t have much control of. BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE!
  7. Don’t worry about sales figures, this is premium advertising – Sales is not a dirty word! In fact, everything starts with a sale. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tries to “sell” me on why they hate sales or why they aren’t a salesman. Everyone should have at least one sales job just so they understand how important it really is in everything we do. Negotiating prices, working with suppliers, interviewing for a new job position, forming a joint venture or partnership – all these things require effective salesmanship. So, if you think you’re weak at sales, it’s time to step up to the plate and MAKE A SALE!

Can you think of any other dangerous phrases to hear in a company? Please share in the comments!

Website How To's

“Why Do You Do That?” – What Motivates You?

First watch this:

Now ask yourself, “Why do I do what I do?”

I think this is such a great question to ask yourself. If you don’t know why, you need to figure it out.

Goal setting is such an important part of success with a business. As I’ve talked about before, we have to set goals that we have control of – performance goals. Outcome goals are good to have too – but if we have no real control of the outcome, it can be really frustrating to not achieve the final result.

A goal is defined as:

The purpose toward which an endeavor is directed; an objective.

One of my favorite basketball players is Larry Bird. Was he as fast as everyone else? Was he really that strong? Could he jump over cars? NO, NO, and definitely not! However, he set goals he had control of and busted his butt. This is what he has to say about goals:

A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals. – Larry Bird

Since it’s the new year, I’m sure many of us have at least thought about goals. I encourage you to really think about what you have control of. If you focus on things you have control of, the outcomes will come. 2007 was a great year; there’s no reason 2008 shouldn’t be better.

Customer Engagement & Retention

Happy New Year from!

Happy New Year from! I thought I’d just share a few statistics to let my readers know where this site is at after it’s first full year “in business”.

As many of you know, this blog was started as a way to help my clients actually see what I was talking about with them on the phone during our mentoring sessions.  Having been in the same situation many of you have been in – not knowing what I didn’t know, not really understanding where to start or how to get an online business functioning, etc, etc, –  it always helped me to learn things in multiple formats; I hope this blog has accomplished that purpose, and I appreciate the great comments which have given added insite to ideas and suggestions presented – keep them coming.

I’ve talked a lot lately about consistency in blogging and how blogging really helps your eCommerce business.  Here are a few statistics that may give you a better picture of what I’ve done with this site:

Total Blog Posts in 2007: 91

Total Comments Made in 2007: 858

Total Blog Categories: 28

Total Blogs Linked to (according to Technorati): 294

Google Page Rank: 4/10

Are these numbers really that great?  Probably not to some of the “big dog bloggers” out there, but to me, they are very important: they give me history and history can tell a person a lot about a business.  By having these numbers out there to look at and analyze, I can now focus on what I need to do to improve.  The first year of any business can be a rocky road and many quit or give up when it’s not as “easy” as they hoped it would be. However, I read a great quote today while traveling back from Door County, Wisconsin.  It was by John Paul Dejoria of Paul Mitchell hair products.  It said:

I have said many times that the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people do a lot of the things that unsuccessful people don’t want to do. Like when the door is slammed in your face ten times, you go on to door number eleven with just as much enthusiasm.

Amen to this!  That’s why I love sales and running my own businesses – it’s all about attitude, character and self motivation.  I’m yet to work with a single client that doesn’t have the potential to be successful.  All of my clients come with different back grounds, experience and motivation. Unfortunately, not all of them realize or believe they can and will succeed.  So, with that said, the big challenge in 2008 for everyone (myself included) is to EXPECT SUCCESS! Happy New Year!