Twitter – A Follow Up – Attention Realtors!

My last post explained “Twitter, Why all this Fuss?”

Several real estate clients (names omitted to protect the guilty) emailed me to say something like:

“Twitter seems to be for purely social networking… why in the world would I waste my time with this?…”

Another real estate broker wrote in to say, “Twitter? Are you kidding me? Tell me something that can help me find more clients.”


Consumers are increasingly going online to look at real estate, and that’s where you’ll find the Cutting Edge Realtors, using Web 2.0 to market themselves in new and effective ways.
Watch this video!


Til Next Time….



Why You MUST Advertise in a Bad Economy

Who (besides me) is sick of listening to the news on a daily basis? CNN has become what I now call “Constantly Negative News”.

A plummeting stock market, banks failing, hundreds of billions of dollars being passed around in the hopes of fixing it all.  People are understandably worried about the economy, their jobs, their homes and their credit.

Meanwhile, in the past 6 months, my business has grown by about 20%. How is that possible? It’s simple: Marketing on the Internet is very different, and you have to approach it differently.



Television and radio are kept alive by the ROI (return on investment) of their sponsors, and the commercial web is no different. The advantage of advertising online is that it’s far more efficient. When a sponsor puts an ad on a television show or radio program, they can only be vaguely certain of who is watching or listening. Sure the networks provide their own research in demographics and how large their audience is, but much of it is guesswork and impossible to know for sure.

Also, results from TV and radio are very difficult to track. How do you know if the person who just bought your widget was motivated to do so by seeing or hearing your commercial? Again, it’s guesswork.

The internet is different. When you place an ad online, you can track exactly how many people saw it, precisely how many people responded (clicked-through) and exactly how much money you earned from it. You can work to refine and improve your ads to improve your ROI as well. It’s vastly superior to TV and radio in that regard.

So when it comes time for companies to tighten their belts, it only makes sense that they will focus on the ad medium that has the best ROI.

What does this mean for you, the guy just trying to be found on the Internet? It means your advertising-driven web sites that use AdWords ads or other mediums will likely remain relatively healthy during hard times, providing you don’t overspend your budget.

When times get slow, the natural tendency is to start slashing costs where ever possible just to stay alive. That is the absolute worst mentality there is when it comes to your ad dollars. Yet, I see people making the worse mistake of their lives in the advertising category, and they start cutting back there too.

My own advertising has increased over the past 6 months, and will continue to increase over the next 6 months.  I have been in business for myself through three recessions now, and my experience has shown that “Now is when you have to be ramping up your ad business, or you may not be in business this time next year.”

I will be the first to tell you, if you’re not careful and don’t know what you’re doing, you can spend a fortune with Google AdWords campaigns and still not increase your business all that much.


A Better Option

Raise your hand if you’ve ever done a Pay-per-Click ad campaign, and either spent a ton of money and gotten mediocre results, or spent your monthly budget by the 8th day of the month.

I have stumbled on to (thanks to one of my blog clients) what I honestly believe is going to turn the online advertising world upside down in the coming months. Better than Pay-per-Click because your monthly ad costs are fixed, not skyrocketing beyond what your budget can afford, or worse, your monthly ad budget is totally exhausted by the 8th of the month. Yet, in many cases, I am seeing better placement of ads with far fewer dollars on major search engines, even on Google, with this new ad medium.

I only wish I had known about this advertising resource sooner, it would have saved me a lot of advertising dollars!


A survey I conducted recently included a question about advertising budgets, and I was not at all surprised to see that most respondents to the survey either didn’t have an ad budget, or the budget they did have was to include less than $5000 for the entire year for all sources of advertising.  That’s less than $420 per month, and many said they planned to spend less than that.

What if I told you that you could spend $200 per month and show up on more than 100 search engines for an entire month?

What if I told you that you could spend $100 per month and do the same thing?

Forget all of the software and gadgets that all the marketers are peddling trying to sell you the next best thing to come down the pike to help your PPC campaigns. You won’t need it!

I am still in the testing stages with my own ads, but I can tell you (even before my 30 day testing period is up) that my ROI is going to be phenomenal.

I want to share this ad opportunity with you, but doing so now would be just a tad-bit pre-mature. So stay tuned here, and once I’ve completed my own personal ad testing, I will give you another update.



Watch for my next post, as I try to explain to you what all the fuss is about with this crazy thing called “Twitter”, and why you might want to take a closer look at that (if you haven’t already).

Until then, have a great weekend!



Web Traffic – How to Get More Of It

This is an age-old question that I get asked as much as any one thing…  “How do I get more traffic to my website?”


Most of you have known me for a very long time, and have been clients of ours for an equally long time.  I think most of you know me well enough to know… I don’t recommend anything to you that I have not either tried myself, or am currently using in my marketing efforts, and know that it works.


I have spent (perhaps invested would be a better word) THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of dollars over the years purchasing things, ads, gimmicks, etc… trying to find anything that might work better for you, my valued client, in your efforts to get more and better traffic to your websites.


About 4 years ago, I invested $1000 into a program that promised to deliver all of the very latest tricks to getting more traffic to your web site.  The program consisted of about half a dozen DVD’s, and two workbooks, along with several audio CD’s (for listening in the car, etc).


The brain behind that program was a guy by the name of John Reese.  John is a mastermind when it comes to “driving traffic” to websites. I’ve studied him, I’ve heard him speak at several conferences on the topic… and whenever he speaks… I tend to pay attention and take notice.. because he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to multiple ways to drive traffic to a website.


Whether you are looking to generate floods of trageted traffic to your site, or just finding simple ways to start a new site or expand an existing one… John Reese is a mastermind.  John was pretty quiet over the past year or two.  I didn’t hear much about him…didn’t see him speaking at any of the many conferences I attend, and now I know why.


John has been quietly testing hundreds of ALL-NEW traffic methods and strategies to take his original course (the one I paid a thousand bucks to get) to a whole new level.  He wanted to take advantgage of all the powerful opportunities of Social Media, Video Marketing, Content Syndication, and much, much more.


He has posted a new video that YOU NEED TO WATCH!  I know it’s Friday.  I know many are already in the “Weekend Mode” and don’t want to be bothered with anything new heading in to a weekend.  But to put this off and NOT watch what he’s put together COULD COST YOU!


Aside from all the great content that he shares, just check out the Video Style itself.  One look at this video and you’ll get a good idea of where the future of Video Marketing is headed.  It’s really impressive. 


You can actually watch TWO videos right now by visiting the link I’m about to give you… but before you do…let me just tell you RIGHT UP FRONT what’s about to happen here:


Next Tuesday, John is going to be releasing his much anticipated “Traffic Secrets 2.0”. By you watching the video I’m recommending to you right now… you’ll learn a bit about what Traffic Secrets 2.0 is going to contain. The second video (which you’ll be asked to opt in to watch) will go even deeper into the program.  Some might call these two videos a “Teaser”… but I know John Reese too well.  He really doesn’t care whether you buy his new course or not.  But I’ll tell you right up front… if you DO BUY IT… I will earn an affiliate check from him by you buying it from my affiliate link.  I’m not trying to hide anything here… I just think it’s important enough for you to listen to what John has to say, that you go and watch these two videos now before he takes them down.


On top of all that… if you decide (next week when he releases Traffic Secrets 2.0) to buy it… I am going to credit you back half of the affiliate fee he is paying to people like myself who refer people to his program.  This is not going to be a $1000.00 course.  It will be even less than half that amount, but will contain ten times the content his first course did… and I can honestly say, his first course made me ten times what I paid for it. So YOU DO THE MATH.


Am I going to buy it when it’s released next week?  ABSOLUTELY!  I’ll be waiting for the site to go live with credit card in hand.  Should you buy it?  I believe it would be a good investment if you do, but you have to decide that for yourself. I’m not going to be pitching you on 10 reasons why you need it… other than I know EVERYONE wants and needs more traffic to their website… and John’s course will teach you how to bring all the pieces of that mysterious puzzle together.


Just go and watch the video RIGHT NOW.  Opt in to watch the second video… THEN decide.  You can’t even order anything now… and no one is going to be pressuring you to order next week either.  I just believe this course will be good for anyone interested in driving more traffic to their website.  I know I need more traffic, and I know you do too… so watch the video!  You may learn some new things you hadn’t even given the first second of thought to…  


Check it out!


Talk to you next week!  Have a great weekend!







Cheap “Trash” Traffic

Let’s face it: pay-per-click can be very expensive, especially if you’re wanting to drive thousands of visitors to your site.  There are few keywords that I’ve targeted with AdWords that cost less than 50 cents to a dollar per click that generate any real traffic.  If the return on investment is there it may not be a problem, but what if you don’t have thousands of dollars to float your costs while you wait for your paid ads to turn into closings?


Because of how expensive PPC can be, many people turn to lesser traffic sources that promise a flood of traffic for pennies per visitor (or less).  If you’ve ever been tempted to buy traffic from places that promise, for instance, "5,000 visitors for $67", perhaps my case study into these traffic sources will help you in your decision.


You see, there are a lot of brokers for this kind of "cheap traffic" at a popular forum I frequent.  I kept seeing dozens of people buying from those vendors, and yet I knew what they were selling had to be worthless.  Why?  Because why would anyone sell thousands of real, valuable visitors for a penny per visitor or less?  Anyone who could drive that kind of traffic (if it was quality traffic) would be raking in the profits from it and earning (on average) a dollar per visitor or more.


So I setup a test landing page and started buying traffic from these brokers and redirecting the traffic to the test page.  That page contained a list of 16 cheap traffic brokers.


The bottom line is that I ended up getting 41,499 unique visitors sent to my site (far fewer than promised by the vendors in most cases) and I earned a total of about $25 from the traffic.  Given that I spent around $200 for the traffic, clearly the return on investment (ROI) was not there.


In doing this, I tracked a lot of details about the visitors to find out what was going on.


I tracked the time of the visit, the IP address, the host name of the IP address, whether or not the visitor’s browser supported javascript and/or accepted cookies, the referrer, the length of time the visitor stayed on the page, and whether or not the visitor actually saw the page (meaning that the page loaded completely without interruption).


This list of "visitors" is very typical of the cheap traffic vendors I bought from.  First, the referrer was the same for every single visitor.  Most cheap traffic vendors do this, modifying the referrer so that you don’t know where the visitors are really coming from.  They do this because they know you would be a very unhappy customer if you saw where the visitors were really coming from (and how they were delivering these "visitors").


One broker forgot to turn on the referrer replacement, and so I got to take a look at the methods they were using to send "traffic" to the site.  He promptly realized his mistake and replaced the referrer, but it was too late: I had seen the truth.


The truth is – what you’re being sent are not visitors, not really.  They’re views, and not really even that.  This particular cheap traffic source used what’s called a "pop over", where a box appears on a 100% completely unrelated web site and displays your site in the box.  It’s very annoying, and promptly causes the "visitor" (who never asked to see that site) to close the box immediately.


The viewer was so annoyed by the pop-over that they closed the box before it even completed loading my very small test page.  Closing the box before the page completely loaded prevented the javascript I put on the page from loading (since it was setup to execute after the page was completely loaded, in order to track precisely this behavior).


I also tracked the time a viewer spent on the page revealing that virtually nobody spent any time on it at all.  Why should they?  It was an annoying pop-over that had nothing to do with the site they were visiting.  There are a few really high TOP values that apparently are from the javascript failing to execute that ends the "visit."


Another thing I noticed was that many of the "visitors" were from the same hosts and IP addresses.  This means that the broker was claiming to be sending, say, "5,000 visitors", when in reality it was the same visitors being shown the same pop-over again and again.  No unique visitors here, folks.


The bottom line with traffic is: you get what you pay for.  Yes, AdWords is expensive, but it is operated by a reputable source.  My opinion is that any source of "traffic" that hides the referrer is really a "trash traffic" source and should be avoided like the plague.  It’s most likely a rip-off.  If it wasn’t, why would they need to hide the referring page?


I am currently testing some new ways to advertise on Google that Google has not made much fanfare or announcement about that it’s even available…. and will report my findings to you about that current ad testing when I have enough data to tell you whether it’s worth your time or not.


I originally performed this "Cheap Ad Source"  test to see if there was some low cost ways for you to drive traffic to your site.  I thought the information would be useful to you as well, in case you were considering buying from these cheap, bulk "traffic" vendors.


Please post your thoughts and comments below.