Steak or Sizzle?
by Mike Banks Valentine
Three years ago I was struck with the sudden inspiration to
free small business ecommerce tutorial and reserved my second
domain name, WebSite101
was born from a desire to help educate
the small business ecommerce entrepreneur on how to establish
effective web presence. I had studied the process myself for
I'd purchased multiple courses written by the well known web
of the day and studied them tirelessly. I took courses at
community college, I took courses online for free, I took
courses and then I wrote pages and pages of web copy and posted
of my newfound knowledge online for the good of the Little
Well now what? I had to get the word out about my wonderful
course and began to study search engine positioning. With
maniacal fervor, I learned about metatags and keyword density
how to submit to the search engines and directories. Purchasing
courses and learning from experts and more gurus and making
mistakes as I progressed along the path to web Nirvana.
I called a professional copywriter friend and asked her for
on the finished site. She kindly read it through and met me
the following day with one question. "Why are you giving
information away? You ought to charge for it!"
OK she doesn't get the web. Everything is free online. But
repeating the question, "Why don't you charge for it?"
patiently that it was all about traffic and once I gained
that, I'd be able to charge for advertising! She shook her
head as she
left the restaurant on the way to her next appointment. She
for her writing and sells her knowledge for a living.
My next lesson learned was online press releases and I came
the opportunity to distribute my own PR to small business
and news sites. It worked wonderfully and I suddenly found
with a blurb in the December, 1999 Entrepreneur Magazine and
article in Oracle Magazine! They liked it! They really LIKED
I went back to polishing and improving the site, launching
letter in March of 1999 called the WebSite101 Reading List.
become common knowledge that in order to create visitor loyalty,
WebSite101 must gain that magic "Top of Mind Awareness"
learned about while studying under Dr. Michel Fortin, "The
Doctor." He was charging for the information I was giving
Well, he could do that, but I was going to give it away for
of the small business world. Then I saw an infomercial offering
course on how to get your small business online and selling
"$100 plus monthly hosting fees for your own online business!"
I considered buying their course and mastering this thing
for all. But then I listened to what was being offered and
that I already knew what they were going to teach me. HMMMMM.
The following week I bought a new ebook and quickly devoured
thinking I'd discover the "Real Secret" and then
I noticed that I
already knew what was in that ebook and wondered why I had
for it. There must be something more, so I kept seeking the
to share with the world. It was then that I learned about
and selling the sizzle, not the steak. It was after I saw
sales copy on multiple web sites selling more internet secrets
that I came to a startling realization.
I was a teacher, not a salesman. The same information in different
hands became either Steak or Sizzle. I had known that simple
when I decided to teach at a local community college rather
creating infomercials to SELL the SIZZLE. Now my path became
clear. Education was where my skills were best used and not
What this all boils down to is that WebSite101 was about teaching
and not about selling. Yes we will now begin to charge for
mation that was once free. But it will take (the original)
form of a
college course and not an infomercial. WebSite101 is happy
our formal introduction of a paid course offered through an
online distance education portal. http://www.onlineworkshops.com
Our current 2200 members will be grandfathered in and allowed
access to the WebSite101 campus and given a thank-you gift
our new ebook, made up of collected articles from the WebSite101
Reading List. New members will pay tuition and buy the ebook.
Stay tuned for further updates and your free ebook download
WebSite101 has graduated to an accredited intstitution of
learning and would like to thank the nearly 750,000 students
have passed through our classroom in the last three years.
WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet
Ezine emphasizing small business online http://website101.com/arch/
e-tutorial online at: http://website101.com/shortcourse.html
By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web!
Take A Look At Our Press Release
Announcing our new Partnership with OnlineWorkShops.com
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