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SomethingStore.com – A Creative Idea I Wish I Thought Of!

You know me. I’m always up to some kind of wacky, fun, creative idea. That’s why I’m impressed with a new site/product I found today called SomethingStore.com.

SomethingStore is a fun new website that operates quite simply: We will send you something, selected randomly among many things from our inventory for $10 (free shipping) and you will find out what your something is when you receive it. So, what will yours be?

This is awesome. I ordered “something” today, and will let you know what I get when I get it.

What’s also funny is the page that talks about what you “won’t” get. Stuff like body parts, endangered species, drugs, etc… Good stuff.

So what will I get?

SomethingStore strives to deliver both value and fun with each something. The fact is the merchandise we randomly pick somethings from varies greatly. Depending on your wants and desires, your something may be just the thing you needed or some useless stuff, as it may really be anything. Yes, some items will be more expensive than others in terms of their monetary value, but we believe eventually it’s your perception that will decide what your something is worth.

Can’t wait to find out! If you think about the business model here… It’s pretty easy to see how this could be profitable. You get your hands on some cheap overstock items that are far less in worth than $10.00, then you simply stuff one of them in a box and ship it out. If done correctly, you could make anywhere from $3.00-$8.00 from every order. They pay for shipping so that eats into the cost.

Overall, this is one of those fun, creative ideas I wish I had thought of first. Great work and kudos to their team.

Blogrush Proves A Brilliant Marketing Effort Will Always Win

This whole Blogrush situation just fascinates me, and I’m sorry to keep blogging about it, but I LOVE good marketing and buzz, and John Reese and Blogrush deliver.

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Case in point, what we’re seeing now is the sliding scale of backlash coming back about the product. Particularly, we’re seeing the guys who have had traffic exchanges for years come out of the woodwork saying stuff like “I did it already, and you just copied it, etc…” Check out this comment at Mashable from the guy who started Blogexplosion…

John

Your service is nothing revolutionary, new or even original for that matter …

I’m the original owner of BlogExplosion.com, the original traffic exchange for bloggers (which I ended up selling to LiveVideo.com some time ago)

Both BlogExplosion and Blogmad.net had text link exchanges (essentially what you do), where you can target by category etc.. But that was a couple of years ago.. You can talk up your technology to match content etc. but it’s mostly just that – talk

RELEVANT CONTENT, TARGETED – Bottom line this has been done before with exactly the same functionality (except we had a much larger userbase than you do)…

The point I’m trying to make is…

blogrush.jpgJOHN REESE MAY HAVE NOT CREATED SOMETHING TRULY ORIGINAL… BUT HE MARKETED IT AND POSITIONED IT BETTER!

This is going to sound crude, but here’s an example.

Two people could take a crap in a box and both try to sell it. But the guy who wraps it in the nicer package, the better marketer, is going to sell more boxes of crap.

Sorry dude who made Blogexplosion, and the other guys who are now feeling like they missed something. Guess what??

You did.


John Reese is a brilliant marketer. He positioned it perfectly. He got the sneezers in early to push it hard, and their minions followed suit. It was brilliant, and it worked, and even if it doesn’t last long term, he’s now sitting on probably a hundred thousand email addresses he can push income.com announcements and product to.

The summary…

Good marketing wins. I don’t care if your product is the same, or even better. The better marketing position will ALWAYS win short term. Now, personally, I refuse to market “crap in a box”. Not my style, even if I don’t get rich, I won’t do it. But you cannot argue my points above. John Reese did it again.

P.S. This does not mean you should focus on creating products that are not high-quality. In the long run, you will be able to create a long-term profitable business on the merits of a better product that solves problems… ALWAYS.

How-To Videos Plus Online Subscriptions Make A Recipe For Success

rb02.jpgCNNmoney.com writes a piece called ‘How to Score with How-to Video‘, Niche players are resuscitating the subscription model to make money off homemade instructional websites.

(Business 2.0 Magazine) — When Evan Margolin launched SalsaBootCamp to sell instructional video clips online, everyone he knew told him it was a crazy idea. Why would people offer up their credit cards to him – a dance teacher known only to his students in San Francisco – when they could watch thousands of dance videos for free on sites like YouTube?

Yet aspiring salsa dancers have signed up in droves, even as Margolin has raised the monthly subscription price from $9 to $37. Four months after its launch, SalsaBootCamp.com is making $20,000 a month.

Here’s a question you need to ask yourself right now. What do you know a lot about that you can film and sell subscriptions to?

Think about how easy it would be to upload this content to a private member’s area and let people access it on a subscription?

Creativity Is The Most Important Key To Online Marketing Success

We’ve gotten to the point that most online videos (including mine) are sucking. Well, not sucking, but they’re boring.

Let’s face it, this Internet video thing is growing up fast. It’s time for more creativity.

The best part is, you can be creative without big bucks. Check out this cool video on RSS.

There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don’t. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don’t know where to start.

When you’re done watching that, check out this neat marketing website that uses photos to promote a book. Interesting to say the least, and more effective than reading some bullet pointed copy, no? I think so.

Get creative people. Do something that sounds fun. Grab your home camera, video or digital. Be crazy. It works.

Remember, it’s really hard to make mistakes today. Everyone just needs to try something, anything.

As I said in another blog post. Do it, or don’t. Just don’t complain next year when everyone else did and you didn’t get any of the spoils.

Sometimes Simply Taking Chances Is Your Best Marketing Effort

Case in point, look at how the media picks up on simple stories like this.

SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Ryan Fitzgerald is unemployed, lives with his father and has a little bit of time on his hands. So, he decided to offer his ear, to anyone who wants to call.

After posting a video with his cell phone number on YouTube on Friday, the 20-year-old told The Boston Globe he has received more than 5,000 calls and text messages.

Fitzgerald said he wanted to “be there,” for anyone who needed to talk. “I never met you, but I do care,” a spiky-haired Fitzgerald said into the camera on his YouTube posting.

Now, I doubt this kid will be able to leverage this for any cashola, but… what he could do is leverage his “fame” into a new blog or something. All from a silly idea that was a bit risky.

Do you take chances with your marketing?

I HIGHLY suggest reading Marketing Outrageously. You know my offer. Buy it, and if you didn’t love it, send it to me and I’ll give you the cash for it and and give it to one of my friends.

Last point. This guy wasn’t the first to do it either. See below. Why point this out?

Just because someone has done it once, does NOT mean it can’t be done again. It’s all about hitting the right message to the media.

Free Online Marketing Consultations Every Friday

Are you struggling with how to successfully manage or create an online business? Does your business need more sales, leads and publicity? Do you simply need someone to talk to who can tell you what you need to do to be successful online?

I’ve decided that every Friday (for a limited time) is now renamed Jim Kukral’s FREE Friday. I will personally get on the phone, or meet you in person (Cleveland, OH) to discuss your problems or opportunities that you face online, all for free.

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No catch. Simply contact me using the form on this page to schedule a time.

Not interested in free? Hire me to be your caddy.

Win Jim Kukral’s Domain Name Contest: NicheROI.com

Take my domain names, please. I own about 150 or so domain names, most of which I don’t or ever will use. But I keep buying them as I “hope” to one day make them a good home. So why not give them away to someone with a good idea who can use them?

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Here’s the deal. Every once in a while I’m going to give away one of my domain names to one of my readers who can come up with the best business model or website idea for that domain name. No, you don’t have to write an entire business model, but I will expect you to have a killer idea that is worthy of the domain (a few paragraphs will do).

The rules are you can either leave your idea for the domain in the comments for the public to view, or you can email me your idea and I will do a follow-up post in a few weeks showing each idea anonymously and my readers can vote on which one is the best.

The winning idea gets the domain in question transferred to them free of charge.

Interested? Let’s kick off this contest with one of my all-time favorite domains I’ve never used.

NicheROI.com

Take my domain, please.

Thinking Creatively & Taking Chances Is A Marketing Strategy That Works

girl_postitnotes04.jpgBack in 1994 I had a job interview with an advertising agency in Akron, Ohio. During the interview I noticed the President’s office wall covered in yellow post-it notes. And I mean a ton of them, all over the place, like wallpaper. “That’s how I get work done and remember stuff,” he said. I thought it was pretty cool, and it gave me an idea.

After I left the interview, I went to the store and bought some packs of post-it notes, and a big paper sheet about 3×3 feet in size. I had my wife, girlfriend at the time, who has unbelieveable handwriting write down a quality I posessed on each yellow sticky (hard worker, good designer, smart, etc..). We filled up the entire paper sheet with those stickies, creating a “wall” of my best attributes.

It was my resume in sticky notes.

The next morning I dropped it off at his office before he got in. A few hours later I got the call and was hired instantly.

Now, I didn’t take the job as I had another offer to join something called a “new media agency”, which I took instead, but that’s another story.

The point is… Thinking creatively and taking chances is a winning combination.

Do you think creatively? Do you take chances? I believe that many of you have good or even great ideas, but you are afraid to act them out. Why?

Jon Spolestra, my newest marketing hero, author of an AMAZING book called Marketing Outrageously, advises that you everyone should sit down and get a little piece of paper and write down the craziest idea you have for marketing your business on it. Then stick it in your pocket and just keep it there. You don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to, just keep it there as a reminder to you that you can think in such a manner.

My advice? Stop worrying about failure. It’s going to happen, a lot. I’ve failed countless times, and been laughed at too. I’ve been told my ideas are lame and will never work, and some have, and some haven’t. But you know what?

I will never, ever stop trying.

P.S. Go ahead, buy that book. If you don’t think it’s amazing, send it to me and I will pay you for it, guaranteed. I’ll just give it to someone else. No joke.

Zac Johnson Has The Skillz To Be The Next John Chow

One of my favorite guys in “the biz” is Zac Johnson of Moneyreign fame. Well, it looks like Zac finally got himself a blog. Take a peek at www.zacjohnson.com.

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MoneyReign, Inc., one of fastest growing entertainment and marketing networks on the Internet currently serving over 3 million impressions each month. In addition to on-site and email marketing, the Company is focusing on delivering fun and compelling ecard and humor related content to viewers all around the world.

Zac’s recent blog entry entitled ‘How to Get a Free 42″ Sony Plasma TV!‘ was a heckuva lot of fun to read and learn from.

The best part is, he sure did get that TV, for only about $250 in total purchases and some hard work checking the offers and tidying up that kind of stuff.

I should totally go do that, my TV is 12-years-old.

But wow, pretty cool eh? The best part is that Zac tells exactly how he did it, and gives you advice on how to do it to. That makes for a great blog.

Welcome to the blog world Zac, and keep up the great posts! Consistency of quality…

Oh yeah, and put an rss to email signup form on your blog so I can read it :)

Is Your Shopping Cart & Ecommerce Site The Best It Can Be?

MarketingSherpa’s 2007 Ecommerce Study was published today and distributed via email with a pdf download. There are, of course, some pretty interesting results included in the report. I’ve detailed a few of my favorites that will hopefully help you out.

Click here to buy the full report.

If you’re in the business of affiliate marketing, as either an affiliate or merchant, this benchmark guide should be of particular interest to you.

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Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates Dropped 7.7% From 2006 To 2007

That’s a drop from an abandonment rate of 59.8% to 52.1%. According to the report, the tremendous shift came about because of marketers taking over cart design from the tech team. Why you would let your tech team design your shopping cart, I have no idea.

Tip: Mix Your Promotional Offers In Your Transactional & Receipt Emails

The report tells that “consumers are far more likely to open transactional emails from you, like shipping and receipts”. So why not start adding your promotional items and cross-sells into those emails? Just be carefule and don’t push too hard.

Consumers Prefer Sites With Reviews

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58% of consumers “strongly” prefer sites that have customer reviews. Think about it, don’t you like to read more about the product you want to buy? Don’t you want to hear what others have to say as long as you feel they are reputable? So what’s stopping your ecom site from adding reviews?

I demo’d a neat review product last fall at a trade show called ProductReviews. It might be worth a look.

What Do Consumers Do When They First Visit Your Ecommerce Site?

According to the report, 27% go straight for the search box and type a product name in, while 23% go directly to click on a product category link on the home page. What does that tell you? Get those search boxes up high and label your categories well.

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