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Niche Marketing
February 7, 2000

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' WEBSITE101: READING LIST
Reaching Great Minds Online
February 7, 2000 Issue #30
Mike Valentine, Editor, learn@website101.com

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By subscription only Welcome to the February 7, 2000 issue

"WEBSITE101: READING LIST".

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IN THIS ISSUE
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=> Sponsor Ad: INTERNET BOOT CAMP!
=> Feature article: Rewind and Replay
=> Our Guest Column: Internet Discussion Group
=> HOT TIP! Come to WebSite101 MessageBoards!
=> Classifieds
=> Subscribe/Unsubscribe information


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Rewind and Replay

This week we are reprinting an article from last year for a
new subscribers common question. "What can I offer online?"

Niche Marketing

by Mike Banks Valentine

The key to online success is specialization and niche
marketing. There, I've said it and I won't take it back!
You've heard endless advice shouted from every corner
of the web and screamed from the rooftops by every major
web marketing guru. Now I'm offering it myself in the hope
that *I* finally get it! I'm as guilty as any webmaster of
jumping at the latest affiliate program that offers "200
PERCENT PAYOUT" or leaping on the "Submit your site to SIX
MILLION SEARCH ENGINES" banner I see on every site.

Let's get real. Successful web sites are tightly focused
and highly specialized. I've seen some small business web
sites offering jewelry, toys and free web hosting service
on one page and links to their mom's home page beside an
advertisement from Giant.com worldwide composting service.
When a visitor lands on pages like this they can only be
slightly amused and move on to a site that reflects THEIR
interests, not yours.

The way to catch the attention and business you are after
is to offer a clearly focused, highly specialized source of
ONE (1), that is a SINGLE, and I mean UNIQUE, not widespread
but UNRIVALED and EXCEPTIONAL subject with product to MATCH.
You can sell car parts for European cars but not 4-Wheelers.
Become the single source for whatever tightly focused idea
you want but don't mix apples and oranges in marketing or
you'll lose the customer that was interested before you
confused them with too many options.

That means that if you are selling golf equipment from
your website that you have a great opportunity to talk about
golf by providing a forum or "Chat with the Golf Pro." Post
a course map of Pebble Beach but don't discuss a Super Bowl!
Even cater to golfers with disabilities but don't sell food.
You'll sell golf cleats, golf balls, golf clubs, golf carts,
golf clothing, golf books, golf videos, golf magazines and
even golf novelty and joke items but not baseball cards!

Your goal is to be seen as OneStopGolfShop.com with
advice, links (no pun intended), products, discussion, a
golf related e-zine, golf tours, golf tips and techniques,
golf lessons and golf course directories. If you have even
the slightest inclination to start offering phone service
because you saw a text link telling you you'll become rich
overnight then it's time to turn off the computer and get
some sleep.

Which I better do myself so I can dream of the Golf site
I'm designing this week for my friend who golfs from his
wheel chair. See you next week!

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Promote Your Mail Order Business With Your Own
Internet Discussion Group

by Walter Griffin
MusicCityMotorSports.com

Mail order is one of the fastest growing sectors in business. If even
only part of your business uses the Internet, you're in mail order.

That's a good thing! People from all over North America and
around the world see your web site or contact you via email.
Thousands of new customers can come from just about everywhere
exploding your profits from a source that simply didn't exist a few
years ago.

One of the best ways to create lots of interest in your mail order
Internet operation is to create your own discussion group. People
can gather at any hour to leave messages on a bulletin board.

You can't imagine how much your customers will appreciate this,
especially if your business is tightly focused on something that a
certain number of people find highly interesting.

Recently we started a bulletin board discussion group on my site
MusicCityMotorSports.com. We sell diecast collectibles of NASCAR
race cars and other related products. People who like diecast love
being able to ask questions, share experiences, and offer advice
with other collectors worldwide.

Users don't have to coordinate schedules to participate. Leave
your message then come back when you have time to see who has
responded. We find fathers get together with their sons and
daughters to check out the bulletin board and appreciate the family
interaction it allows.

Getting your own bulletin board can be quick and easy at
http://www.ultimatebb.com/?AID=10581&PID=272711

Also ask your web host. Many offer already configured bulletin
boards ready for you to use.

Finally, you will need to promote your bulletin board before any
conversations can start. Put a prominent link to your discussion
area on your opening page. Include a few words about some of the
better discussions that are taking place or you hope will take place.

Post several messages yourself to get the ball rolling. You can even
say something like "Martha just wrote asking..."--then answer her
question. This shows visitors how to participate.


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Walter Griffin was quick to understand the power of the Internet
for increasing business. See his wide selection of quality diecast
NASCAR collectibles online at
http://www.musiccitymotorsports.com/cgi-bin/af/b.cgi/100295

Be sure to stop by his new bulletin board discussion area and leave
a message. Reach Walter at Walter@MusicCityMotorsports.com


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************ HOT TIP! ************

We invite all of you to share your stories, your successes, warn us
of your failures and blunders and discuss the latest strategies on
our new WebSite101 Message Boards! The beauty of the web is the
creation of community and support of others who find themselves
in the same position as you are in and want as badly as you do to
find a path to success online. Community at WebSite101 is available
at http://liveuniverse.com/world?name=website101&type=board
AOL users
<a href="http://liveuniverse.com/world?name=website101&type=board">
Click here</a>

************ HOT TIP! ************

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CLASSIFIED ADS
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Copyright 2000 Mike Valentine

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-------------------WebSite101: Reading List-------------------
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Mike Valentine
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  June 9, 2001