In a mastermind group to which I belong someone asked whether it would be a good idea to use Paypal as a merchant service for e-commerce.
The gentleman wanted to sell touchscreen monitors at $1000 to $2000.
One thing I will say for Paypal, using their system for merchant payments is extremely easy. You just set up your buttons and your links and you can be taking donations in minutes.
For physical goods, Paypal is extremely buyer friendly, i.e. it would be difficult to prevent a customer from abusing a return policy. On the other hand for digital goods, Paypal is extremely seller (i.e. con artist) friendly. I recently made the mistake of purchasing some expensive marketing materials from a dubious seller. In the end, the product was never delivered.
With Paypal's system, there was no recourse. You fill in the complaint procedure (you have 45 days maximum) and then when you are done, they close the case.
Digital goods are not subject to Paypal guarantees.
But for physical goods, they are always on the side of the buyer (i.e. someone can order something and claim that it didn't arrive and all the burden of proof is on you). On expensive items like yours, I would be wary.
Which Help Desk to Use to Generate an Online Set of FAQ? This is another question I’ve answered lately privately. Kayako, Three Pillars Help Desk, Basecamp, Freshbooks – all candidates. My advice – pick any one system get to know it well and use it to the maximum.
Using Organic Ranking Profits to Subside Paid Search Ads : SEO Book.com: I am not surprised to hear about Amazon…. A year ago, when someone sold on eBay and Amazon, they did about 70% eBay vs. Amazon in volume.
At popular news site Digg users vote stories up and down. Stories either rise to the front page or top of category pages or are buried.
Some of my SEO colleagues are bemoaning their lack of success in getting their annoying marketing materials to the front page of Digg.
They justify their indignation with a chorus of "the others are doing it, the others are doing it".
In the words of Andy Hagans:
Nearly every story that makes it to upcoming/most – whether it makes it to the homepage, or gets buried -has a ‘gaming’ group that votes together. Like I said even top users without site affiliations will plug stories to friend, and nevermind the ‘fanboys’ that vote together.
It’s rather amusing if it weren’t so sad. These SEMs support their position with convenient libertarianism:, accusing Google or Digg or hypocrisy for trying to keep them out:
It’s official – Google will be kicking the AdSense spammers off the network.
What AdSense spam is are those sites which you arrive on via either organic search or PPC results (usually the former) and you find nothing but RSS feeds or chopped up articles on a very basic template. The sites rarely have any contact information. To be blunt, they are of no value at all except to their owner who brings in traffic at one price and sells it off at another price.
The web is undergoing another major shift right now.
The first shift was from direct navigation and directories to search.
SEO was all the rage and we are Foliovision were and are very good at it.
The next stage now is Online Communities or The Social Web.
Manifestations of online communities:
- social websites like MySpace and LiveJournal (perhaps the more exotic AdultFriendFinder could be included in this group)
- forums (countless, for every industry there are usually a few big ones: one of the originals was slashdot)
- social bookmarking sites (delicious and digg spring to mind)
- specialty topic sites like WikiPedia or Squidoo
What's bad about this is that all the black hat search guys are coming up with ways to pollute these communities. At one webmaster forum there are hundreds of paid forum posters available to go out and sign up accounts and start spewing out whatever you want in mainly broken English for literally pennies per post. These guys are harder to catch than the black hat forum and comment bots so the human version must be considered worse.
A very interesting discussion on Aaron Wall's SEOBook about whether Google is contributing to web spam. The best part is in the comments (sorry Aaron!) where two readers to the numbers on AdWords for relatively high priced PPC words.
Basically they just don't add up.
I am having to learn copywriting (quite a bit of the poetry I wrote in my twenties was published so I have hope of managing copy too).
I wish I had more clients who could write copy as well. What any website needs is more great copy. As opposed to machine generated or offshore article spam (most of the article spam comes from the Philipines and India; why? both countries have large populations of fluent if not particularly literate English speakers for higher for pennies on the dollar).
In any case, one of the keys to great copy is the headline.
How does one make a good headline even better
Great guidance on how to anonymise your surfing via proxies:
The danger is that unless you do it just right you risk more than you gain. Specifically that the proxy holder can grab all your unencrypted passwords (email, site logins).
Dynadot is a great company. Nowhere better to register one’s domain names.
- fair prices
- great backend interface
- fast loading website (for a domain registrar where one spends a lot of time doing repetitive actions, speed is extremely important
- telephone support
But lately Dyandot has been getting a lot of bad press for purportedly selling names their customers are searching for.
When doing bulk seraches for available names, make sure you stay away from DYNADOT. In the last few days I had few names I queried about (that were avaibale at the time) registered by somebody else withing 24-48 hrs. (including some by that notorious serial registrant "Mrs. Jello" from this board).
Dynadot is obviously selling their query logs to the likes of that slimy character, so beware.
Okay, world, take a deep breath. This does happen. Last year there was a domain that I really, really wanted. I’d spent a week thinking about the name, looking at what was available and finally leaped, two days after having queried initially. Bingo, the domain was gone. This was on the .at registrar.
This was not a topical, news type domain name so it had nothing to do with collective consciousness or spiritus mundi.
It’s not as easy as it looks. Here’s one guy’s experience:
I’ve been getting my ass handed to me by Google trying to promote "successful" clickbank products. Seems the product owner and one affiliate are making sales but not me even with good ctr and position. Tried direct linking and also landing page. Still no sales. I do believe you that this works, however, for every clickbank product that ranks fairly high it seems there are always other affiliates already kicking it. How does someone like me, a newbie, compete with the dozens of other affiliates, LIKE YOU? How many people can play this game like you and sustain numerous losing campaigns before a winner comes along? So far every product I’ve picked seems to have a few successful affiliates already, so what makes me think I can beat them (you) if they’re more savvy marketers than me? I really struggle with the selection process because it just seems like a roll of the dice
What’s hilarious is Andre Chaperon – full-time internet marketer since 2003 – spent a month working on a campaign and documenting. At the end of the day, he managed 18% ROI. He blames it on a mistake setting his PPC prices, but making a mistake seems to be part of the territory. There are a lot of things to go wrong.
For me, it’s like chess. A great way to practice hunting big game.
This tip comes from one of those hardcore marketing sites. What do I mean by hardcore? They are selling marketing education to marketers or even to non-marketers (hardcore giveaway in the excerpt below: dubious punctuation and capitalisation).
But as our clients move to building prospect lists and incorporating informative sequential autoresponders, we are seeking ways to get more people to offer their information. It’s not easy.
But one answer was sitting right in front of us. If we can put a search box on every page, why not an opt-in box?
What should you have on every page of that website???? Answer: An Opt-in form.I’m as serious as a Heart Attack and a MAJOR Stroke combined. Your Opt-in Form should be on every page of your website, it gives the surfer/visitor multiple chances to Opt-in to your service, free report, eCourse etc.I don’t know what you’ve been told in the past but the above steps Blows Everything Else Out Of The Water when creating a presence on the internet and garnering Opt-ins.
Speaking of which, where is the opt-in box for Foliovision?
This is a great commercial website which has really taken advantage of online video – they call it Topskips TV but it’s really just rubbish bins.
A very visual demonstration of their rubbish containers of different sizes, it’s certainly easy to watch.
Topskips TV has convinced of the value of video on the web. It certainly beats all those terrible camstasia cameras recorded computer screens.
We plan to bring video to most of foliovision clients websites in the new year.
Finally, we’ll go full circle – from television producer to web design company to online marketing company to television producer!