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A Six Step Plan to be Profitable in Internet Retail

Just after I wrote my rather negative post entitled Six reasons NOT to try to be an online retailer, I read Aaron Wall’s post about how hard it is to sell yourself if you are too negative. Ouch! Good thing I am not trying to be a consultant or I would be starving.

Several people wrote interesting comments after the last post. Some of pointed out that the term “profitable” is relative and I agree. For example, if you are investing a ton of your time to make an extra thousand dollars a month, I do not consider that profitable. It is more like working for minimum wage. Also, I do not believe that those kind of sites have a future. I firmly believe that if you want an online business that is going to stand the test of time, you have to really go for it rather than just dabbling.

Six reasons NOT to try to be an online retailer

The internet retailing landscape has changed dramatically over the past eight years. In a summary, it used to be very easy but now it is hard and getting harder every year. The gold rush is over, and if you are someone without much money or business experience that thinks you can build a reasonably profitable ecommerce site, you are fooling yourself.

I am about to become very unpopular with the consultant types out there but here is a simple truth as I see it… This is no time to be starting an ecommerce business unless you have a way to address the six issues below.

More on SEO

I want to clarify a few things from yesterday’s post and give a few more thoughts about my philosophy of SEO. I think that some of my points were misunderstood and I perhaps I could have worded them differently.

1) I do not discount the need for planning keyword density, well-designed meta-tags, and similar on-site tactics. You should make sure all of those things are done right. However, I believe that in the scheme of things, the weighting that search engines put on these elements is decreasing rapidly, and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. That is why I would be wary of an SEO consultant that focused on these items and tried to make you believe that their rewriting of your metatags is likely to make a big difference in your rankings.

8 Tips for Avoiding an SEO Fraudster

Yesterday, I sat in a meeting with an SEO consultant for about six hours listening to him discuss his philosophy of search engine optimization. Since we started in 1999, we have relied heavily on SEO, but in the last few years, really have struggled. Here are some random things I have learned over this time.

1. The SEO industry is full of consultants that are either incompetent or crooked. How many? I would guess well over 90%. As a result, there is an unbelievable amount of noise in the industry that makes it almost impossible to actually get to the truth. If you want to hire an SEO consultant or contract out your SEO, I feel for you. We as a rule do not do that, so I really cannot make any good recommendations. We have hired for short periods of time some of the top names in the industry, but have in general, been disappointed.

How to Spam Leverage a Network

Okay, I know that spammers aren’t really going to read this, but legitimate webmasters can promote their blogs on social networks like MyBlogLog, too. But you gotta do it the right way if you don’t want to be labeled a “SchMOe.”

So, when using any social network to try to appeal to someone to visit, read or link to your content, here’s some good ideas:

  • Figure out if you’re in anyway relevant to their site—and especially if you’re a “competitor.” If you occupy the exact same space, your target might still be interested. However, if you occupy a completely different space, really, deeply contemplate whether that SEO blog will link to your carburettor blog.

More Summer Time Search Marketing Tips

See also Kelvin Newman’s summer time SEM tips.

By Ryan Douglas

Don’t let the summer whiz past you and leave you unprepared for Q4 holiday season. Spend some of those long, sweltering days prepping your AdWords, YSM, and adCenter accounts. With some work, your search engine marketing performance can shine this holiday season. So grab some popsicles, put down the TV remote and follow these suggestions for beating the heat and preparing for the holiday season.

  • If you didn’t do any “spring cleaning” of your account it is not too late. I strongly suggest that you prune any extremely poor performing keywords or ad copy.

Summer is Time to up your Search Marketing Effort

We’ve not been having a great summer over here in the UK, but where-ever you are, the summer might be the ideal time to up the ante and make an extra push on your search marketing efforts.

Other SEOs are on Holiday – even the smallest niches, the chances are there are other websites competing for links and position in the rankings. If you can use the time, when they are off holidaying or enjoying longer lunch breaks to get extra links, you’ll gain a real competitive advantage. Similarly if you or your team are taking time off, don’t let your marketing efforts stop completely, delegate the work or find a friendly intern from your local college to help out.