If you are a new online marketer, it's a great time to contemplate what kind of busieness you might want to put together and try out yourself - if you're not sure how or where to begin, then reading over my newsletter archive will help point you in the right direction.

As the year draws to a close, I'm always excited about what lies in the new year ahead.

After Christmas is an excellent time for niche marketers to go out and pick up some bargain inventory to re-sell again on their website, eBay store or online auctions.

Maybe you still need some technical advice on how to pursue your dream or need some help with an issue you're having a hard time implementing or just not sure about? Then, you should contact me and I'd be happy to discuss it with you and help you with some coaching. Let's set an appointment today!

Wishing you, your family and friends a very Merry Christmas,
Coach Danny


- Four Simple Tools That Website Owners Should Be Aware Of
- Some Ideas About Niche Marketing Strategies on eBay
- Why You Need A Fully Enabled Website

"If you don't know where
you are going, how can you
to get there?"

-Basil S. Walsh


Four Simple Tools That All Website Owners Should Be Aware Of

This month, you don't get just one tool, but a whole entire arsenal of four you can
use together to help boost your traffic, as well as your search engine rankings!

a) Alexa.com, most of our readers may know about this, but in case you don’t, it’s a tool bar that will enable you to go internally into a site and can provide you with traffic and link information.

Many times you will want to check traffic if someone is selling a $39.00 product,
they should have a lot of traffic. If you are selling a $2,000 product, you don’t need as much traffic. It will also show you addresses of sites that are linking in, the contact phone number, the e-mail address of a site owner and search engine ranking.

Would you want to purchase a traffic tool from a site with no traffic?

b) The next thing to help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization/ranking) is to
check and see if your webdesigner (I do this constantly with the websites I build for my clients) has got your META tags entered properly.

There are lots of variables here and the robots change their parameters all the time. You can go to this site and it will run a free analysis. Then, it will also let you regenerate the code the way it should be.

Drive higher quality traffic to your website.
Check out websitesubmit.hypermart.net/metataganalysis.

c)We all know about link exchanges. They help with getting you traffic and most
importantly they help your search engine ranking. Link exchanges work by websites
trading links or advertising each other's site. It's as simple as contacting a website owner and asking, "I'll place a link on my site to your site, if you would
do the same for me."

There are many free systems you can install on your site. The one I've used for my
clients is cplinks.com/cpdynalinks. We like it because it's automated and your link
partners can set up their link without you spending a lot of time.

You want activity on your site (traffic). SEO robots visit your site more when there are changes. It’s like, would you read the Wall Street Journal if it said the same thing everyday?

Also this serves as a way to advertise your site free on other sites. When helping
students achieve higher rankings on the Google search engine, we've found this to be
one of the most powerful ways to get your site to appear near the top on the first
page. After you have about 40-60 links pointed at your site, watch your ranking
skyrocket to the top!

d) Next, you need link partners. This site lets you select the categories you are
looking for link partners in and it sends a request to all members inviting them to
link with you.

It’s a super tool and again, it's free. You need links. Not just any links, but
high-quality, relevant ones.Go to value-exchange.sitesell.com.

More about SEO strategies in future newsletters...


by Skip McGrath

Awhile ago, eBay implemented a new policy to keep sellers from linking from
the auction description to a web site or shopping portal where they could sell an
item directly without waiting for the auction to end.

Shortly after, eBay introduced eBay Stores, which would seem to accomplish the same
thing. Still, sellers wanted to get visitors to their web site in the hopes of selling them something else or making an immediate sale. The advantages are obvious. First you can sell to many people who just won't bother placing a bid and waiting for an auction to end. Secondly, you avoid paying the eBay listing and selling (final value) fees.

As to the second item, fee avoidance, I can see eBay's point. They are in business
to make money. But so are we. After all, we are paying eBay a listing fee (and
feature fees). This is no more than an advertising fee. eBay isn't really losing any money. If the website links work (and they do) eBay will miss some small final
value fees, but they will make up for this in listing fees because sellers will place
more listings.

Here is eBay's current links policy: "The eBay item page can only be used to
describe, promote and facilitate the sale of the listed eBay item - it cannot refer
to or promote the seller's individual website, off eBay sales or other businesses.
The eBay About Me page is a place where the seller can promote their individual
website or business. The eBay Sell Your Item page can not contain URLs or links to,
or promotional information about, any off eBay webpage, including websites of the
seller or any third party."

There are 2 basic exceptions to this general rule - the Sell Your Item page may
contain a link to information related specifically to that item that:

"Gives acknowledgement to a company that provided services related to that listing
(such as counters, auction management tools, or payment and mediation services).
This acknowledgement may contain both a logo (88 x 33 pixels) and up to 10 words of text (HTML font size 3) but only one of those may be clickable.
Points interested buyers to another Internet page that contains only more
information (such as pictures, product specifications or detailed terms and
conditions) about eBay items listed by that seller.

Links from the eBay Item page that interfere in any way with the eBay bidding
process, or solicit any eBay user information, are not allowed. Links from the eBay
Item page to pages that promote off eBay sales in any way are forbidden, though
such pages may generally themselves contain discrete links to other commercial web

So how do we work with these rules? Here are some ideas.

Notice the sections. The first one states: "The eBay About Me page is a place where
the seller can promote their individual web site or business."

The second reference says: "Links from the eBay Item page to pages that promote off
eBay sales in any way are forbidden, though such pages may generally themselves
contain discrete links to other commercial web pages."

The key words in this section are "discrete links."

If you have an AboutMe Page there will be a "ME" symbol next to you user name.
Some people do click on this to read about you.

A better way is to invite them to view your AboutMe Page right in the text of your
item description.

Make sure to create a hyperlink to make it easy.

Here is an example with the HTML code:
http://cgi3.ebay.com/ ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=xxxxxx

Just replace the XXXXXXX with your eBay username to create the link.

I have been collecting and selling Beatles memorabilia for over 20 years. Please
visit my AboutMe page to learn more about Beatles collectibles and our business.

Once readers arrive at your AboutMe page you can then direct them to your website
with a live hyperlink.

eBay also allows you to provide links to purely informational pages with information
(including more photos) about the item you are selling.

We used to sell amber jewelry. Each of our auctions contained a link to a free
article entitled "All About Amber." That page contained an interesting article about
amber, how it was formed, where it came from, and so on. However, that page also
contained a link to our storefront web site where people could purchase amber
jewelry items directly.

The trick to driving bidders from eBay to your web site is to:

1. Follow the rules
2. Use the rules to your advantage by finding
clever loopholes.

The AboutMe Page is still your best bet for promoting your website. The best
strategy is to point sellers to your AboutMe page in your auction description and
give them a reason for visiting it.

Good luck on eBay!

eBay AboutMe Overview
eBay Links Policy

Ideas About Niche Marketing Strategies on eBay

Excerpt from "Niche Marketing Strategies on eBay"
by Skip McGrath

What denotes a niche market?

A category is not a niche. For example, if you sell all kinds of toys, you are a
toy vendor. If, however, you only sell action figures, then that is a niche.

Benefits of Niche Marketing...

There are two primary benefits of niche marketing:

- Sourcing
- Selling

Let's look at sourcing first. The more time you spend in a market or product
category, you will learn all the sources of supply for that market. The more you
know about a product the better you will be able to buy it.

Remember our adage on pricing: You make money when you buy - not when you sell.

When you decide to specialize in a niche of any kind the first thing you want
to do is become expert in that area. Learn and read everything you can about it.
Study the history of the product. Get to know the companies that manufacturer the
product and their distributors. The more you know the better you will be able to buy.

The other benefit of niche marketing is selling. The very fact that you are selling
in a narrow market segment means you will have less competition and therefore you
can command higher margins. The other factor is that people prefer to buy from
someone who is knowledgeable.

(Another) selling advantage of niche marketing is the ability to accurately
describe products in your auction descriptions. The added knowledge you have from
being a specialist allows you to add more data and "insider" information that
someone else can not. A potential bidder looking at your auction will have more
confidence and perhaps bid more liberally than otherwise.

Finding The Right Niche...

Finding your niche is a matter of research and brainstorming.

Work is always more fun and usually more profitable if you are doing something you
like. If, for example, you enjoy computers, this is a great area to start your
search for a niche.

Almost any broad category on eBay has sub-categories, some of which are small
enough to qualify as a niche and others in which you can find a niche. The key is
that the niche you find be active enough to generate large sales and not be crowded
by hundreds of other sellers.

Remember you do not have to totally "own" your niche to be successful, but you
will need to be one of the handful of major players to have consistent, predictable
and long-term success.

Why You Need A Fully Enabled Website

Why you need a fully eCommerce enabled website if your in the auction business and
do you own your site?

Over 50% of the students that have enrolled with us have had a website that they
think they own.

In reality, it’s either one of the free sites that are given away as virtual
toys or your web developer owns it. Maybe you own the domain name, but many
developers keep all other information away from you so you have to use them every
time you have to make a change.

We had one student that spent $30,000.00 on her web site in 3 years before she
came to us only to have it taken down when she ran into some brief financial

We profess that you should own your site and learn how to make changes. Some student sites are built based on modified open source osCommerce shopping cart code that gives the online store owner a variety of features. You will see all over the
internet people selling using modified osCommerce sites (one of the best shopping
carts on the internet today).

The osCommerce shopping cart features include a link exchange built into the store
admin that checks reciprocal links for you, individual shipping per product (great
for drop shipping or multiple vendors), free shipping per product option, a fully
customizable store template that is easy to edit and cut ‘n paste HTML into (this
is necessary, to edit yourself or just add affiliates to the side columns and many
shopping cart templates are not easy to edit), multiple newsletters and more!

PayPal also let's members easily create Buy Now Buttons that lead a customer to a
shopping cart. Check under Merchant Tools in your PayPal account dashboard. All you need to do is enter your pricing information, copy the generated code and paste it
on your product description page.

Students websites also use RSS feeds on the side (I can help you choose appropriate
RSS feeds for your website so you always have fresh content). We’ll help you sign up
for affiliates like Linkshare, ClickBank, Google AdSense and place relevant affiliates on your website.

My webdesign service can also optimize your site for search engines with valid META
tags, robots.txt file and an HTML splash page. A splash page is a plain HTML page before your cart that is search engine friendly.

Search engines cannot see Flash or other animated features. The search engines will
only recognize animations as a flat image with no readable information for ranking.

Your website is built to be your headquarters and owned by you! Let me also teach
you how to make changes easily, so you are not paying everytime you call a
developer trying to figure out why your system is charging $45.00 to ship a $1.00

However you proceed alone or with a guide, you should include the above items in
your web spec sheet. It’s the old saying: teach a man to fish and he can
eat forever...

I invite you to view my webdesign portfolio at dannycroft.com

Coming Soon: Changes to eBay Item Specifics

We plan to update the following eBay Item Specifics in early January:

- Cell Phone Accessories, "Chargers, Cradle Chargers" will change to "Chargers.”
- Gift Certificates, Lodging, Cruises, Vacation Packages and Airline – Year values will be updated.
- BMX Bikes, Mountain Bikes and Road Bikes – Model Year and Brands will be updated and Model changed from a pre-set selection to a text-entry field.
- Coins, Certification numbers added via Item Specifics will be partially masked on the item page.

Item Information is completely optional, and gives sellers an easy way to add basic, standard information to their listing. Examples include brands, models, colors, and stock photos. Using Pre-Filled Item Information can help save sellers time, and provides buyers with helpful information when searching for items to purchase.

Note: Sellers who use a 3rd party listing service (ChannelAdvisor, etc.), should contact them to verify that they will offer the Pre-filled Item Information capabilities in the categories listed above.


Subscribe by providing your email address to danny@dannycroft.com
and have the next issue of here and NOW sent to your Inbox
directly as a plain-text message as soon as it is published.