What I’ve Been Reading

Confessions of an Advertising Man
by David Ogilvy

Who would’ve guessed a dead Scotsman can tell you everything you need to know about advertising and marketing? Founder, amazing writer, bon vivant – this book is a must read.

(Yes, that’s an affiliate link. Don’t sue me.)

Economics of Information Technology
by Hal Varian

A treatise written by Hal Varian on the economics of most internet business models back when he was at my alma mater, UC Berkeley. Highly recommended. (Hal Varian went on to be chief economist at Google.)

I Will Teach You To Be Rich
by Ramit Sethi

IWTYtBR is the first personal finance book I’ve ever read that’s really spoken to me. Ramit’s funny, and is all about using technology and hassling your bank to save money. My favorite quotes include “…Credit card companies, whom you should treat just slightly better than you would an armed militia coming after your younger sister.”

Additionally, Ramit founded PBWiki and was a Seth Godin intern, so he’s a certified G in my book.

(Also an affiliate link.)

Just a Venn Diagram and a Cool Link

I haven’t had time to write a substantive post this week, so I thought I’d just speed link to a couple of cool things.

Cool Diagram

Instead, I give you this cool venn diagram:
venn diagram showing SEO in the center of marketing, technology, and statistics

(Diagram courtesy the BlueGlass Blog.)

Cool Link

I found this really cool online book that makes both Haskell and natural language processing (a topic near and dear to the heart of any real search or social marketer) intelligeble to mere mortals. I’m working through it – I’ll let you know what I find.

Natural Language Processing for the Working Programmer

4 Resources for Taking the Next Step in SEO

The internet abounds with SEO resources. But when you want to get beyond “change your title tags and get some links,” where should you go?

In my quest to truly master the discipline of search engine optimization, I’ve run across some really great resources that aren’t as well-known as they should be.

Warning: Here Be Dragons

Much like that scene in the matrix where Neo is presented with the Red Pill and the Blue Pill,
learning about SEO fundamentally changes how you view the internet. If you really enjoyed web surfing and looking at those cool infographics on Reddit, don’t take the red pill. Stop learning about SEO – you won’t like it.

Some of this material is deeply technical and very difficult to understand. I’d be lying to say I understand more than 50% at the moment, but I’m still working on it. Most of it would be at home in a post-graduate course at most universities.

But if you really want to learn to rock a SERP (that’s a search engine results page for the uninitiated), read on.

SEO Theory by Michael Martinez

Michael Martinez is one of the most theoretical SEOs. This is not material for beginners – this is advanced SEO theory. But if you can make your way through it, you’ll find it intensely rewarding.

Highlights:
Introduction to Co-Lateral Query Space Optimization
SEO Math: Axioms for Search Analysis

SEO By The Sea: Search Engine Patent Analysis

Patents combine the most difficult aspects of engineering and the law into one document. However, they’re often the only public information about technology products, so you have to wade through them. SEO by the Sea has devoted a large amount of time to discovering and analyzing search engine patents. Now instead of hearsay and superstition dominating your perceptions of search engines, you can get a glimpse under the hood.

The Original ____Rank Papers

These aren’t a blog per se, but refer to the large amount of publications around the theory of search engines published in the early days of Google. The papers on PageRank and TrustRank are particularly good.

Trust Rank Paper
Page Rank Paper

Introduction to Information Retrieval

This is an online information retrieval textbook from Stanford. While information retrieval was an oft-neglected subbranch of library science until recently, this is really fascinating. The underlying question is “Given a very large corpus of information, how can we extract the most relevant document for any query?” It goes from grep commends to LDA and some other advanced search concepts. Highly recommended.

What are your favorite SEO resources? Leave a comment and share with the community.

7 Great WordPress PlugIns

WordPress plugins can dramatically increase the value of your blog.  But which ones should you pick?
Image Courtesy smemon87 under Creative Commons

WordPress is one of the most powerful tool in the internet entrepreneur’s arsenal. Between the free and open source nature of the software and the massive library of excellent themes available, if you need a great website fast, I ubiquitously recommend WordPress.

One of the best things about WordPress is the amazing plug-in development community. But with over 11,000 plug-ins, which ones should you use? Neil wrote a great post over on Quicksprout about some plug-ins he likes – I thought I’d add a few more of my favorites.

Sexy Bookmarks

If you look at the bottom of this post, you’ll see some cool AJAX bookmarks that pop up when you scroll over them. This is the Sexy Bookmarks plug-in. While it’s probably not as effective as generating re-tweets and facebook shares as Sharebar, I get a lot of my traffic from niche communities like HackerNews, so I want to encourage sharing and upvoting on those sites. (I think those sites are more effective at building links because it gets your content in front of the ‘linkerati’ at a higher rate than tools like facebook and twitter.)

Contact Form 7

A website is a way to broadcast your message – shouldn’t they be able to communicate with you? One way you can do this is through a contact form. (You may say, “well, they’ll just email me,” but I’ve seen the difference in contacts you get between email and a contact form, and it’s huge.) While there’s lots of ways to make contact forms in WordPress, Contact Form 7 is the most fully featured. And you can also include Akismet-based and CAPTCHA-driven spam protection, for when you start having spam issues.

After the Deadline

Everyone needs an editor. Unfortunately, good editors are hard to come by. If you’re like me, most of your friends and family in the immediate vicinity have no idea what you’re talking about in your articles, so finding a qualified editor on short notice can be tough.

Fortunately, software has once again come to my rescue. After the Deadline is a product from Automattic which serves as a beefed up spelling and grammar checker for writers. While it’s not as good as a talented human editor, it identifies passive voice, repeated words, grammatical errors, and overly complex expressions – great for light editing of blog posts before publishing them. Highly recommended.

Dynamic Content Gallery

I don’t use Dynamic Content Gallery on this blog, but if you’re doing something where every post has an image (as I do on some of my affiliate sites), DCG makes your site look incredibly professional. It creates a beautiful, highly customizable jQuery slideshow of your post images on your front page, like here. It’s a lovely effect.

WPTouch Theme

In the last two months, I’ve gotten more than 250 unique visitors on mobile devices – predominantly iPhones. They deserve an excellent experience tooo, so I installed WP Touch iPhone Theme, which shows iPhone users a beautiful version of the site, customized to look like a native iPhone app.

I read lots of blog posts on my iPhone – generally via a click-thru from Twitter – so I think plug-ins like this are important, and will become more important in the coming years as mobile browsing increases.

FD Feedburner

I wanted to put Feedburner on this list, but it’s not really a plug-in, so I’ll go with this one. FD Feedburner redirects all of your blog’s various feeds through Feedburner. That way, they subscribe to your Feedburner feed instead of your regular feed.

If you don’t use Feedburner, you really should. Feedburner lets you measure your RSS feed subscribers, and additionally, makes it possible to subscribe from the link to your feed (as opposed to displaying XML text to confused users.) Perhaps even more conveniently, Feedburner enables people to email subscribe to your blog.

Subscribe Remind

Subscribe-Remind adds a call to action and a link to your RSS feed at the end of each of your posts.. This ensures people who enjoyed your post become subscribers, so they can continue to enjoy your writing in the future.

Thanks for reading! Please share some of your favorite WordPress plug-ins in the comments – I really want to learn about some cool new ones!

Saturday Fun: How to Get 5 Million People to Read Your Website

Awesome presentation from Matthew Inman of the Oatmeal.

Happy Saturday! Remember to get outside and rock your day.

Interview with KISSMetrics co-founder Neil Patel

This week, I had the privilege of interviewing entrepreneur, marketing genius, growth hacker, and self-described ‘professional web surfer’ Neil Patel.

Neil is the co-founder of KISSMetrics, and previously co-founded CrazyEgg and ACS SEO. He’s well-known for his abilities to get on the front page of Digg and the top three results in Google.

We talked about KISSMetrics, Neil’s philosophy of angel investing, SEO, and social media marketing. (This is my first video, so I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the videography and editing.) Hope you enjoy it!

Links

Neil’s Companies

QuickSprout
KISSMetrics
KISSInsights
CrazyEgg
ACS SEO
Online Poker Lowdown

KISSMetrics Advisors – “Original Gangsters of Startup Marketing”

Dave McClure
Sean Ellis
Eric Ries

Neil’s Investments

Bonanzle
Sandlot Games
Devhub
LiquidPlanner

Non-Broke Social Media Experts

Brian Solis
Chris Brogan

Awesomeness

The Oatmeal

Thanks again to Neil for doing the interview – and go read his excellent blog Quicksprout or follow him on twitter @neilpatel.

(This is my first video – the videography and the editing are poor, and Neil’s table appears to be a major character. Additionally, Barbara Walters’ job is very secure, because I am not a great interviewer. I know these things. Don’t feel compelled to point them out in the comments.)

5 Ways to Build Links Without Hoaxes, Whiteboards, or Other Tomfoolery

The internet was all in a tizzy this week after Jenny Whiteboard was briefly thought to be incredibly awesome but ultimately found to be incredibly fake. (Go check it out. It’s funny.)

While Jenny Whiteboard turned out to be a linkbait hoax, you can make great link-getting content w/o resorting to extreme measures

If we really analyze it, we see many signs of a hoax:

- It is posted to theChive (a site that seems to exclusively feature girls in bikinis) and not a personal social media site like a blog, Twitter, or Tumblr. (A tweetphoto stream would’ve been much more believable, if much more difficult to distribute.)

- It seems unlikely that a woman who was angry about being objectified at work would post things to a site where the most popular articles seem to be “hot girls of facebook” and “star wars motivational posters.

- 33 Photos? Costume/hair/makeup changes? Additionally, the photos seem to be taken inside a model home. A staff of at least 2 off-camera helpers? Who has a production team to help them quit their job? Maybe Jenny got the Bluth family to help her?

- The whiteboard is perfectly clean in each shot – there’s no trace of the previous letters. Have you ever owned a whiteboard? Do you know how hard it is to get one that clean?

And this ignores issues with the plot, why would anyone do this, the lack of contact information for potential employers, etc.

However, this was an awesome exercise in linkbait for theChive – they received a huge amount links and re-blogs initially, but even more upon being outed as a fake. According to my trusty SEOBook Toolbar Plug-in, this piece has received more than 7,000 Diggs, more than 2,800 comments, and hundreds of inbound links. Truly a piece of linkbait at its finest.

But what if you have a serious B2B website? How can you create linkbait content that appeals to both your prospects and the ‘linkerati’?

Well, my friends, there’s a lot you can do. Today, I’ll show you 5 ways you can create link-attracting content, without resorting to hoaxes, actresses, and freakishly clean whiteboards.

(In case you’re not sure why you’d want links to your site, it helps both people and search engines find you and your great content. See Aaron Wall’s SEOBook for more information. )

#1 – Infographics

People on the internet love great visuals, and they love to link to them. Infographics are visual representations of data – like this. An infographic of your industry data will draw lots of links, and you’ll probably find it repeated and attributed to you in presentations and keynotes throughout your industry. If you have any unique insights that you can draw from the data created by your service, these make even better infographics. For examples, take a look at the AdMob metrics reports. An infographic of this report would be a link magnet – but because AdMob was acquired by Google, avoiding anti-trust prosecution has become more important than building links.

Infographic about Lame Infographics

As this hilarious infographic (from Phil Gyford) shows, infographics are just passing their peak of effectiveness. Even spammers have caught on – you’re starting to see linkbait infographics that have nothing to do with the site they’re on.

To really kick it up a notch, you can use HTML5 and CSS3 (or Silverlight or your other favorite rich internet technology), to create interactive infographics, which will impress just about everybody. (This idea comes from the awesome Neil Patel, whose interview I will post later this week.)

#2 – Parody Videos

Twitter’s recruiting team used this tactic perfectly with their parody of the opening sequence of Rushmore. Rushmore is one of my favorite movies, so I was blown away by this one. It makes me want to learn Scala simply so I can be part of the ‘Finer Things Club.’

But you can do more than recruiting with these. What if you’re a serious company that makes, say, ERP software? Parody videos can also work for you – see this winner from NetSuite.

#3 – Tools

If you can create tools for people to use, they will link to them. See for instance, the SEOBook Keyword Tool, the SEOMoz Linkscape Tool, and the Hubspot Grader Tools. Even the lawyers have gotten into this – eminent Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini has created their own automatic term sheet generator.

While it helps if the tool is related to your domain area, it isn’t strictly necessary – Patio11 used A/Bingo (a open-source A/B testing library for Ruby on Rails) to build links for his Bingo Card Creator software. Patrick sells his Bingo Card Creator to teachers, but teachers do not typically create lots of high-value links. To gain search engine rank, he open-sourced the tool set he created to leverage the link-rich FOSS community.

But what if you don’t have any tools? Or you work in a space that doesn’t lend itself to tools? For starters, you should consider putting any ROI calculators you have into Javascript and putting them online. Another option is creating a custom search engine of all the influencer and analyst blogs in your space. With Google Custom Search, you can create a custom search engine that only indexes selected sites. (I hope Bing rolls out some similar functionality so there’s some competition.) You should pitch your search engine to all the bloggers featured in it, who will hopefully link to it, creating a virtuous cycle of links and traffic.

#4 – Short Interviews with Multiple People

Another quick and easy tactic for creating great SEO content is conducting very short interviews (one or two questions) via email with a variety of important people in the space. (Both the Influencer Project and I use this tactic.) Many of them will link to it or tweet it, and if you include two or three thought leaders (and maybe one from your own company’s executives), you can create a nice piece without too much work. I recommend optimizing your question around a middle tail keyword that you can win with two or three good links (if SEO is your main reason for creating this content.)

Expert Hint: If you need 10 responses, you should send 20-40 emails. Alternatively, Help a Reporter Out can be very effective. PR people on HARO will put their content in whatever format you ask for, as long as you mention the company they’re pushing.

#5 – Quizzes and Checklists

Everything that works for Cosmo Magazine will almost always work on the internet. (Change ‘Please Your Man’ to ‘iPhone Apps’ and you’ll be on the front page of Digg in no time.) Next time you’re in line at the grocery store, put that time to good use getting new ideas for great content. (Additionally, Cosmo’s headline writing is impeccable.)

Just like in Cosmo, quizzes and checklists are very popular. If you can create a quiz (even something like “Quiz: Is Your Company Effectively Managing Its Paid Search Spend?” or “25 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before You Sign a Contract”) that will provide some value to your customers, it can be the sort of link-bait content that both builds links and trust with people once they arrive on the site. Checklists are great too – like this 25-point Web Usability Checklist.

There are also some strategic concerns around linkbait – such as drafting off a current trend (like this post), being interesting, and having valuable, relevant, well-conveyed information for your target audience. I also suggest having a call to action. If you have a website in a more difficult niche – like poker – the tactics are somewhat different. I’ll cover all of these in a future post, so make sure you subscribe to Grattisfaction. (See what I did there?)

How do you write linkbait posts? What form do you use?

Why Google Should Be Afraid of Facebook

This is a chart of keyword searches over time for ‘San Francisco Wedding Photographers.’ It’s about a $2.75 cost per click. If you search it now, you’ll notice that it lights up like a paid search Christmas tree.

Keyword volume for san francisco wedding photographer showing search becoming less important over time.

Notice the downward trend over time. What’s going on? Are fewer people getting married? It doesn’t seem correlated to the economy or overall marriage volume.

I think today people are going on facebook and asking “Who had a great wedding photographer?” and immediately viewing their friends’ pictures.

These queries – the kind that you want real people to answer – are why social is rapidly becoming the new search.

And as these queries and their buying intention moves to social networks, conventional search engines are left with factual queries – like “When was Einstein’s Birthday?” I don’t know about you, but I have little interest in buying ads on search queries like that.

What do you think? Is social replacing search? Leave a comment and share with the community…

Update: As my friend Ishan Anand correctly pointed out in the comments, this chart actually refers to relative search volume and not absolute search numbers. It seems logical that overall search volume would go down over time for a query that’s done mostly by 27-34 year olds in the Bay Area. Additionally, facebook launched in 2006, well after the big drop.

All of this is completely correct. And I want to make a note here and say if you disagree with me about any of my points, please make a comment. (If you’re going to be a trolling, insulting fanboy, I suggest you take your commenting business elsewhere. But everyone leaving civil, insightful comments should stay.) I want this blog to be a place of fascinating discussions about business and technology, and not simply a platform for me to blather on about my unfounded opinions.

So we emailed back and forth a little, and did some more research.

Our main conclusion was that we do not have enough results to experimentally confirm this hypothesis. Just to go from first principles, what could be happened here?
Potential Outcomes:
- The absolute number of searches for this particular keyword has stayed the same, and Google remains the main research source. This bodes well for Google, because they can continue to sell profitable search ads.
- The absolute number of searches for this particular keyword has gone down over time as more social recommendations are used. This is bad for Google and good for facebook.
- The absolute number of searches stays the same, but people are also asking their friends. They are placing more weight on their friends’ recommendations, so search, but do not click on the ads or make their buying decisions based on the SERP. (Search Engine Results Page.) This is good for facebook. This is also fundamentally unmeasurable from the data we have, and would require things like CTR and conversion rates.

So I ran a Google trends report looking at the search volumes for California, ensuring the overall growth wouldn’t overwhelm the signal. I also ran a report of the % growth against the wedding category, which would give us a better idea of % traffic against other terms.
Growth of San Francisco Wedding Photographers Against the Category as a Whole

This is not a particularly clear graph, but it seems to show some amount of seasonality and a general year over year decline. I’m not sure what the second blue line is, but that appears to show a plunge around January of 2009. This doesn’t seem to correlate with, well, anything.

It appears that we do not have enough data to draw a conclusion. (This is beginning to sound like a GMAT question.) I still think Google should be afraid of facebook for the same reason, though.

How to Install KISSInsights on Your WordPress Blog

If you look in the right hand corner on the home page of Grattisfaction, you’ll notice something new.

A box pops up, and asks you if you’re happy. It also asks you for other feedback.

This is a new tool called KISSInsights. I think it’s a great way to collect feedback from website users, without using too much time or spending too much money.

Please let me know if you’re happy (I will publish these results once I have a few of them.)   Also, if you could put any other feedback you have on the blog in that box, I’ll share it into future posts.

How to Install KISSInsights in WordPress

When I installed KISSInsights, it took me some hunting to figure out the right place to put the code. So I’ll share it here for the benefit of all.

Step 1. Go get your KISSInsights code. It’s easy.

Step 2. Go into the ‘Editor’ panel in WordPress 3.0. It’s in the ‘Appearance’ menu. (If you are not running WordPress 3.0.1 you should upgrade.)

Step 3. Go into the “footer.php” or equivalently named section in your editor panel.

Step 4. Look for the  tag, or use Control+F to find it. Paste the KISSInsights JavaScript code just below the tag.

Step 5. Congratulations! You’ve installed KISSInsights. Wasn’t that easy? Now you can start collecting information about your users/readers/customers.

How do you collect information about your readers/customers? Leave a comment and share with the community.

What I Learned from the Other Tribe: Five Lessons from Grey Hat Internet Marketer John Chow

As all of my awesome readers know, I’m a serious technology marketer.

Accordingly, I don’t associate myself with those sketchy “internet marketers,” who claim to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, from AdSense, or affiliate deals, or selling people PDF files. (It seems like most of these PDF files teach you how to sell people PDF files. What a great industry.)

I found the email list pop-ups spammy, the disclosure policys misleading, and the whole enterprise stinks of ‘get rick quick – instant success with no work’ promotion. While this is often a great way to get lazy people to buy things, it seldom is a path to real revenue. But, even with their cheesy sales tactics, these guys were making real money.

But I was curious – what are these people doing? What’s really their business model? And most importantly, do they know something we ‘legitimate marketers’ don’t? They don’t have to answer to VCs, they keep their team as 1099 remote workers, and they (apparently) travel around the world, constantly. In many ways, they optimize their businesses for personal freedom instead of scale. But can we learn something from the internet marketers and apply them to ‘legitimate’ company building?

I’ve been reading a lot of these materials lately, trying to branch out beyond the Silicon Valley online marketing knowledge. (I think Dave McClure’s stuff is probably the best guide to this, although Patio11 has a lot of good stuff too.) In this series, I’m going to break down what a few of these people are doing, how the written and unwritten business models work, and see what Silicon Valley can learn from the Internet Marketing Circus.

John Chow – Dot Com Mogul

The website I started with belongs to John Chow. It sits at JohnChow.com – the tagline is “Miscellaneous Ramblings of a Dot Com Mogul.” John claims to make more than $100,000 a month from his website, while living an expensive and location-independent lifestyle. (I would use words like gauche or extravagant, but it’s amazing how your perspective changes with your bank account balance)

It’s also worth noting that John has been banned from Digg and severely penalized by Google. Word on the street is this has to do with being public about selling links and blatant link exchanges.

I don’t think you’ll really understand the rest of this unless you go look at John’s site, so go take a look at it now. Notice the email address collector pop-up. It’s incredibly obnoxious. Also notice his disclosures section, which may be the most entertaining disclosure section I’ve ever read:

I make money from every post I put on this blog. If I’m not making money from every blog post, then it was an oversight on my part and it will be corrected soon.

Now that’s something you won’t see on TechCrunch.

John Chow’s Secret

Go download the eBook about making money with your blog. It’s pretty interesting, it’s a quick read, and it’s free. I believe most of the links are affiliate links, but when you’re dealing with the grey-hat corners of the internet, expect every link to be an affiliate link.

Most of these people have a pretty straightforward business model – they get people to their site a variety of means – anything from social traffic to SEO to paid search. Then, they try to get you on their email list, from which they sell you a variety of products on a direct, affiliate, or drop ship basis. Most of them have ads (and I mean LOTS of ads) on their sites as well, which also generate revenue. You’ll also see things like paid links and paid posts, which should be nofollowed to maintain compliance with Google Webmaster Guidelines.

But how, with a free eBook, is John Chow making thousands of dollars a month off his web properties? Lots of companies have unsuccessfully tried to give things away to make money, but a few have made it work. John Cho isn’t using a freemium model – he’s doing something much more devious.

In addition to normal, e-commerce and advertising based revenue streams, John Chow has found the motherload of passive income. Imagine you could have thousands of people paying you,every day, without even noticing it. That’s what John has done – and it’s (mostly) legal.

What is John Chow’s Secret?

John Chow attempts to sign people up for niche ad networks that he has affiliate deals with. He then receives a percentage of that publisher’s future revenue stream. Sure, most of the people interested in this kind of thing never really get their act together, but if anyone does, John makes a good deal of money, wherever he is and whatever he may be doing that day. That’s pretty clever.

So that’s his secret. But what can we learn from John Cho?

Five Lessons About Blogging & Business from John Cho

Deep Link from Your Blog Posts

One way to really leverage the SEO “juice” from a dynamic part of your website (like a blog) is through deep linking. (By deep linking, I mean using your keywords like this – Matt Gratt – to link to static parts of your website from your blog. Often blog posts that draw links will be about slightly different topics than the pages you’d like to rise in SERPs , so you can use deep links to use your blog for SEO.

Additionally, deep links can often get RSS subscribers onto your site. If you’re doing something advertising or page view driven, this is a good tactic.

Canonical URLs

Typically, WordPress sites have posts accessible from multiple pages – the post itself, the home page, the archive, the category pages, the tag pages, etc. Your WordPress pages are also both available at http://yourdomain.com as well as http://www.yourdomain.com. All of this causes your “link juice” to be spread out over multiple posts, when you really only want it in one place.

This can be fixed with canonical URLs, where I believe all the URLs are 301’ed to the main post. (A 301 redirect passes link juice while others do not.) Most good SEO plug-ins can fix this, so you should use one with canonical URLs.

Nothing is Free. Even Free Content.


As most people know, it takes time and effort to put things onto the internet, and even more time and effort to make that content interesting, discoverable, and aesthetically appealing. Very few people do things for free (with maybe the notable exception of the open source movement), and there are frequently ulterior motives behind content creation.
John Cho’s eBooks are free. You can enter his contests, generally for free. You can visit his site for free. But between the paid links, the affiliate links, and doubtless other clever ways to make money I haven’t even thought about, your attention and your clicks are being monetized.

Don’t Taunt Market Dominating Technology Companies

John has been one of the most outspoken advocates of paid reviews, paid links, and reciprocal link exchanges. One day, he was penalized and didn’t even rank for his own name. I imagine his traffic got hit pretty bad (although in the sites I’ve run I’ve seen a pretty solid distribution between search and social traffic), and thus his income. At that time, he didn’t even rank for his name. JohnCow.com and NotJohnChow.com were ahead in the SERPs.

When this happens, you must go hat in hand, and attempt a strategy of appeasement. John worked with Google Search Quality Frontman/SEO Whisperer Matt Cutts, and got his site compliant and resubmitted. Now he does rank for his name.

The Money is in the List

Getting peope to your website for the first time is tough. It’s gotten both harder and easier over the last several years (which I know sounds counter-intuitive), but getting that first order is still tough.

Rather than try to acquire a large number of one-time customers, John Chow focuses on using free content to build lists. These lists can be used to sell John’s own products, or to sell affiliate products through a astonishing variety of schemes. However, for this tactic to work, you need to deliver real value to your customers.

Even internet outlaws have things to teach use. What are your favorite lessons from the Internet Marketing guys? From other communities online? Leave a comment and share with the community…