March 7, 2001


 • Automate Your Search Engine Submission
 • What is Online Marketing?
 • Affiliate Programs: Definitions and Benefits.
     Part 1 of a four-part special report
 • Can You Answer This?
 • SuperStats Featured Report: Cookies

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This Week's Blue Site Special

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What is Online Marketing?

Okay, so you have a great Web site. Forget the movie. If you build it they will not come.

Marketing a Web site is like trying to sell real estate through the use of a card deck. You have an infinitely vast potential audience and like the card deck, you have no idea whose hands you will fall into.

Online marketing differs from conventional marketing in that you are trying to sell yourself electronically rather than in print. You cannot lure people with fancy graphics or catchy phrases. Online marketing is used to drive people to your Web site. The site itself then becomes the sales agent.

So how do you get recognized? Look at these eight suggestions:

  1. Register with the search engines
    You can do this yourself or you can use a service, like SubmitWizard by (See the great discount on SubmitWizard Professional in the first article.) This nifty tool even walks you through creating the Meta tags you need at the head of the document. Whether you go through the registration exercise yourself or use a service, remember, there are so many new Web sites created every day that it can take up to a month before the better search engines will find you. Then, you take the chance of being dropped because most of the search engines have a limited amount of storage space so they drop the sites with the least activity.
  2. Include your site address in your e-mail signature.
    I am amazed at how much e-mail I get that does not include the company Web site address. Create a signature file with this information. The signature is your online business card.
  3. Include your site address on your business card.
    This is basic but many people fail to realize the value in this. Very seldom do you hand your business card to people you have not at least talked with and, if they have any interest in your or your company, they will keep the card. Without your Web site address your business card is almost useless. Your Web site address should appear on all printed materials.
  4. Use strategic alliances.
    If you belong to an organization, ask if you can be included in a list of members' sites. Many groups do this for members. If you know of a site that is of general interest within your business, and they have other sites listed, send an inquiry to the Webmaster asking for a listing. Be sure to offer to put a link to their site on yours.
  5. Advertise in e-zines.
    If you know of someone who produces an e-zine on a regular basis, see if you can insert a short paragraph and a link to your Web site. You might offer to do the same if you produce an e-zine.
  6. Advertise in your own e-zine.
    If you produce your own e-zine, instead of including the entire article in the e-mail version, include a teaser paragraph and a link to the actual page on your site where the entire article resides. This will accomplish two things: first, you are being kind to those who may not want to read the e-zine; and second, it gets people on your site where they are apt to browse.
  7. Write articles.
    If you write articles for electronic publication or print, ask to have your Web site listed as part of the short bio most publications provide for non-paying articles. (Notice my Web site address at the end of this article.)
  8. Use banner advertising.
    This is not my favorite but on the right Web sites it will work for you. If you cannot have a link off a site you like, ask if you can use a banner ad. Most sites that take banner ads have criteria for the ad and they have very different methods of paying for them. Avoid the click through charges and opt for a weekly or monthly fee. On an industry or business specific site this is not expensive.

All online advertising will do for you is to create traffic. Traffic does not necessarily relate to sales. However, you never know when a visitor to your site may recommend you to someone who needs what you have to sell.

In a subsequent article we will talk about some of the unconventional ways to use conventional marketing to promote your Web site.

Thanks to Ken Hablow of KH Graphics, Web site development, design and strategic planning for another wonderful article.

Special Report: Affiliate Programs, Part 1

Affiliate Programs

One of the positive outcomes of the "dot com demise" is that the profitable ways of doing business on the Web are becoming more apparent. Affiliate programs are emerging as one of the most profitable businesses on the Web today.

Affiliate programs are also growing rapidly and steadily. In fact, in a recent studies show that majority of online spending (over 80%) by 2003 will be spent on affiliate programs and cost per action deals.

So what exactly is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is an opportunity provided by one company for others to market that company's products and services in exchange for a commission.

Generally, Web sites choose an affiliate program related to their core business for optimal profits.

For example, IBM's affiliate program offers sites linking to IBM a commission for each sale referred to IBM. So, when a person visits an IBM affiliate site, clicks on the link to IBM and makes a purchase, then the affiliate site earns a commission. Sites offering various computer services or hardware tend to join and experience success with IBM's affiliate program.

Another popular affiliate program is ClubMom. Affiliates of ClubMom have a variety of options to link to the ClubMom Web site. Affiliates can choose between a tile, text link, articles, and other options. They earn $1 for every membership referral. ClubMom takes care of managing accounts and processing the memberships referred by Affiliates for a seamless process. Affiliates are also provided with comprehensive clicks and referral reporting. Once affiliates reach a certain number of referrals, their commission increases. Commission payments are mailed once a month after the account balance has reached a minimum of $25.

Commissions earned by affiliate program participants can range from 4% to 50% of the sale price. There are a four different ways that online affiliate program participants can be compensated:

  1. Pay Per Sale: Compensation based on type and dollar amount of sales referred.
  2. Pay Per Lead: Compensation based on number of sales leads.
  3. Pay Per Click: Compensation based on number of clicks on a provided banner.
  4. Two Tier: Compensation based on initial sales referrals, and then further compensation if those sales referrals end up referring new customers.
What are the benefits of joining an affiliate program?

Some of the major benefits are:

  • If you already have a core business, affiliate programs can provide a way for you to earn supplemental income fairly easily. Simply by placing a small banner or link on your site, you can start accumulating clicks and commission.
  • With an established brand that customers easily recognize, customers will feel more secure and confident in purchasing the product. Also, the most difficult part of the marketing task has already been completed with an established brand identity.
  • They are mostly free, so it doesn't cost you anything to try out different affiliate programs.
  • Streamline your business operations. With affiliate programs, you outsource costly ecommerce functionality.
Affiliate payouts are rapidly on the rise. The highest commissions paid to affiliates nearly doubled from 1999 to 2000. Affiliate programs offer a number of benefits to any Web site owner-from small businesses to enterprise level businesses. In the next article in this series, we will address how to choose the right affiliate program and maximize your success online.

If you have a question, opinion, comment, or would like to submit and article, feel free to email us at

Can You Answer This?

Last week, member Kimberly Nichols sent this question:

I was hoping someone could tell me how to use a .jpg as the background, but without having it tile vertically or horizontally. I want it as the background, but only once, and I need to be able to put a table cell beside it.

Thank you for your time,

Kimberly Nichols

We received many responses and have included some of your answers below. Thanks Kimberly for your question!

Style Sheets

With Style Sheets, you can define if and how the background image should be shown, a complete explanation can be found at the excellent CSS resource Index DOT CSS

Hope that helps,

This is in reply to Kimberly Nichols question regarding placing a NO-repeating Background Image tile and also be able to position a table with or with out an image beside it.

For this Kimberley you'll need to use CSS positioning, but beware of cross browser compatability issues, plan, test and test again!

The following link contains a page with a demonstration for you to view, it also has the code available to read if you don't want to view source. Nothing better for painting a thousand words in an instance.

Glenn Dalgarno
Web master for

Table Cell

The way to do this would be instead of using your jpeg as the background to the entire page, create a table or table cell in the position and size you require the jpeg, and then simply make the jpeg the background to the table, or the table cell, whichever is best. You can then insert further tables within this table, or add more rows or columns to it and format it however you choose.

If you don't use it already, using something like Dreamweaver ( will make your life a whole lot easier for doing stuff like this and the help files are also pretty useful.

Hope this is of some use.


Phil D


Two suggestions

1. Start a big white picture a big as the Web page on a 15" screen and place you picture in the white space where you want it to be. Save, and then place it as the background.

2. Make a huge table that cover the entire screen and place the picture in the cells you want it in. You may have to merge some cells together and add to just what you want, and then make sure you can't see the cell lines if you don't want to see them.

If all you pictures are tiling when you put them in as background it is because they are too small. Use the recommendations above. If you are advanced and know a big of java or have time to get a book and look this feature up it will make any picture readjust itself to the size of the screen. By the way I advise against a .jpg background it take up too much memory and slows your page download time down. Use the .gif for .png format.

Brian Roberts

Code Samples

I also received several answers containing sample code. I will happily forward code samples to anyone interested. Just drop an email to:

Also, don't forget to send your questions and answers to mail to:

SuperStats Featured Report

Cookies Just Like Mom Used To Make—Well, Sort Of!

There are many technologies that help enhance your visitors' experience as they visit your site. One of these technologies is called cookies. We're not talking about chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies; we're talking about cookies on your computer.

What are cookies? A cookie is a message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file called a cookie. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser, which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.

Almost all browsers provide users the option of either enabling or turning off cookies. Your Cookies Report shows you what percentage of your visitors have cookies enabled on their systems.

Should you be using cookies on your site? About 97% of Internet surfers have their cookies enabled. The SuperStats Cookies Report will tell you how many of your visitors have enabled cookies in their browsers. This can help you to decide whether or not to take advantage of this technology for better personalization on your site.

To see an example of the SuperStats Cookies Report click here:

Next Week:

  • How to Market With Search Engines?
  • Affiliate Programs: The Best Program for You.
    Part 2 of a four-part special report
  • SuperStats Featured Report



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