Tuesday, May 30, 2006

success the Gary Halbert way

Why do some people make a lot of money in business, and others don't?

What distinguishes the successful from the not?

And why can 100 people read the same book, or take the same course... and only one succeed?

I believe it has nothing to do with talent. It has a lot to do with persistence, but that's not the reason either.

The answer - for our marketing business - is: PERSONALITY.

This is the distinguishing attribute between the winners and losers.

The world is full of people with similar talents. The internet is rapidly showing how very many of us all think alike. Millions of us write the same, spell the same [think how many people can't use 'lose' correctly and spell 'loose' instead], and produce identical web sites... millions of us. Identical.

To stand out from the crowd, we need to show our true personality, and the weirder it is - the better.

To see how well an off-center personality can succeed, take a long look at The Gary Halbert Letters. Gary - by his own admission - is the best copywriter in the world... and he often presents a crazy attitude in his writing.

But his unique personality shines through, and people hire him for millions of dollars. He's worth studying.

While you're there, take a look at the Rolls-Royce letters. Read and learn from a master.

UPDATE: Sadly Gary passed away in April 2007 at age 63.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

what's a Single Action website?

Home Publishing SecretsOne advantage in being around a long time is that you get to see the same things repeating themselves. The current trend is something called a "Single Action" web site.

I've been doing this for 10 years so it's nothing new to me - except that very few people know how to do it successfully.

I'm going to reveal the secrets now. But you won't need to write them down... it's all pretty simple.

Here's the secret:

1. Devote your web site sales page to one product only.
2. Never deviate from selling that product only.
3. Do not put another product on that page.

So what happens when you get a visitor to this kind of website? Yes... you guessed it...either the prospect wants the product, or they don't.

The outcome is simple if they do.

If they don't, you must have a way to attract them at another time. For that you use an opt-in mailing list with an autoresponder sequence of selling messages.

OK, the structure of such a setup is a bit more complicated. But mainly it's pretty simple. My "Home Publishing Secrets" is a good example of that. Take a look.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

tool of the century

If there's one tool I absolutely can't do without, it's a tiny application called ShortKeys. You store any kind of text... URLs, signatures, sentences, paragraphs, names, unusually spelled names... under any kind of keyword that you prefer.

When you enter that keyword, ShortKeys retrieves your full text and pastes it into practically anything... webpages, emails, toolbars.

Now, that all seems very convenient, but unless you can remember your keywords, it's not much use. So defining the keyword is the secret.

I have what appears to be a complex set of keywords, but to me they are entirely logical. For example:

I use W to indicate a URL. then I used the first letters of the web site. So:
wks typed will give me "http://www.kensilver.com."
wct will type "http://www.copywritingtool.com."

Using this simple code, you can produce anything. I found my typing workload has decreased by at least half. And of course, I never make a mistake in important text, like my signature files.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

home (self) publishing secrets

I wrote "How To Make $100,000 A Year Part-Time Creating Profitable How-To Manuals" about 10 years ago, and it was a very popular e-book. It's still available from me here: Home Publishing Secrets

I found one of the most effective ways to reduce refunds on a physical product - as small as they were for me at the time - was to shrinkwrap the manual. You can apply the same principle to any hardcopy product. Read more about that tip at Home Publishing Secrets

Saturday, May 20, 2006

what's this browser doing so high in my top 5?

I got a surprise today when I looked up my browser stats from visitors. Internet Explorer was top dog of course, but in 2nd place was a relative newcomer over the last year - Firefox. Here's the percentages for the top 5 as they figure in my website life:

Internet Explorer - 86.3 %
Firefox - 9.5 %
Netscape - 1.4 %
Safari - 1.2 %
Opera - 0.5 %

They all have their uses. I use each one separately for different purposes:

  • Opera as a daily browser for its speed (it's 2-3 times faster than IE!)
  • Firefox for its built-in Google Page Rank and Alexa toolbar, and keyword density calculator. More about that later.
  • IE for some operations that Opera won't do for some unknown reason. For example, Opera won't allow me to add a new newsletter in my favorite autoresponder, GetResponse

  • I test every new webpage through these 3 browsers before releasing them to the world, and I recommend you run your webpages through the top 3.

    I'll be writing about many more tools in upcoming posts, but it's surprising how few you need to run a profitable internet business.

    Friday, May 19, 2006

    how I got to 1st place in Google - in 24 hours

    Ken Silver imageI hadn't done anything search engine related with my Honest Lotto System website for many years. Affiliates have been the prime driving force for my sales most of that time.

    Consequently it was so far down on Google's search engine that I couldn't find it at all.

    So last week I decided to do a couple of things to get it moving along...

    1. Increase the number of keywords.
    2. Redesign the website to make it more search engine friendly.

    And it took just 24 hours to jump straight to 1st position!

    You can get more detail on how I did it at my Copywriting Tool page... it's in the newsletter.

    And welcome... this is the first post of my second blog. My other blog has been running since last year, and is How to Win At Lotto.