Wednesday, July 16, 2008

CVOD: A Historical Document

"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio,
Our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you.
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson.
Jotting Joe has left and gone away,
Hey hey hey."

~ from the song "Mrs. Robinson" written by Paul Simon and performed by Simon and Garfunkel, the album Bookends (1968)
This will be my last entry.

Since the passing of my mother I do not have the passion for this blog. And for a site based on creating value... one must have passion.

So unless things change in the future, treat this as a historical document. There is great knowledge within... please read and learn.

I'm still plugging away bringing in names and building communities... just not here.

All the best,


Monday, May 12, 2008

Start With Directories

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." ~ Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister and author, (1874–1965)
Trying to increase your search engine rankings?

The search engines value the number of links you have to your site when deciding your ranking. Links obtained naturally or which are non-reciprocal are considered more important and valuable than links which are exchanged among sites.

So with 'one-way' links coming at a premium, how do you get them... quickly?

One answer is... you don't. It takes time and effort. Where to start... directory submission.

Web directories serve as a catalog of websites and provide links to web users to various sites categorized under relevant topics. Many of these directories accept websites for inclusion to their directory at no cost... some are paid for.

These directories get you a quality one-way link back to your site. This makes directory submissions one of the best and easiest means of obtaining these quality one-way inbound links.

Here are two MUST haves:

- Yahoo! Search Directory
- The Open Directory Project (This free directory is a "must submit". The SEO and traffic rewards are incredible.)

Some other paid directories worth considering include the following:

- Best of the Web
- UncoverTheNet
- InCrawler

There are lots more... but this is a good start.



Monday, April 21, 2008

When were you last ripped off?

“The man who is admired for the ingenuity of his larceny is almost always rediscovering some earlier form of fraud. The basic forms are all known, have all been practiced. The manners of capitalism improve. The morals may not.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith, (1908–2006) was an influential Canadian-American Keynesian economist.
Hey dude...

Where are all the blog posts?

Truth be told, my computer was stolen. Sure it's an excuse but it's also a fact.

I hope to post a few soon, thanks for checking back.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Making Bounce Rates Sexy

“Folks still remember the day ole Bob Riley came bouncing down that dirt road in his pickup. Pretty soon, it was bouncing higher and higher. The tires popped, and the shocks broke, but that truck kept bouncing. Some say it bounced clean over the moon, but whoever says that is a goddamn liar.” ~ Jack Handey, American Humorist
The purpose of the Create Value or Die blog is to teach. Teach online marketing and all that comes with it. Today I found a blog post that gave one of the best explanations of Bounce Rates that I've ever read.

If you are not familiar a "bounce rate" measures the percentage of people who come to your website and leave "instantly". It measures quality of traffic you are acquiring, and if it's the proper traffic then it can help you find on your site where your content is failing you.

I started writing about this and I said to myself, "Self... you just found a fantastically clear explaination on bounce rates... stop writing and just republish the damn article."

So here it is... Bounce Rate: Sexiest Web Metric Ever?
Written by Avinash Kaushik a web Analytics Evangelist.

If you suffer from a high bounce rate just don't stand there... do something about it.

Start testing copy, headlines, navigation, etc. You are losing opportunity dollars. AND worse if it's your paid pages (PPC) that are bouncing you're losing real dollars.

Don't be a victim of a big bounce.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Katie Yeakle Talks Selling

"The best careers advice to give to the young is 'Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it'." ~ Katharine Whitehorn, British journalist & writer
I was talking with my good friend Katie Yeakle this past week about marketing and sales. If you don't know her, Katie Yeakle is the Executive Director of the American Writers & Artists Institute.

Katie works with people from all walks of life who are looking to leave the rat race behind and live “the writer’s life” as freelance online & direct response copywriters and artists.

Since 1997, Katie Yeakle and AWAI have helped over 10,000 students learn how to successfully launch freelance writing and graphic design careers and prosper in the $1.8 trillion direct response industry.

To make a long story short, we both agreed that you must create value for your audience and build relationships as a part of the sales process. As a follow up to our conversation she forwarded this article about sales great Joe Girard saying, "Even though he's talking about old-fashion selling, what he says about relationship building is relevant for web."

I immediately asked Kaite if I could re publish this article for CVoD and she agreed. Please enjoy, I think you'll find it useful.
How a funeral turned Joe Girard into the world’s greatest salesperson - By Katie Yeakle
Joe Girard knows how to sell cars.

In fact, he’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the world’s greatest salesmen.”

To become known as the world’s greatest salesperson, he used what is perhaps the most underused lead-generation technique in the world. Yet it’s probably the most effective way of getting new business there is.

As a salesperson, it gives you instant credibility with your prospect -- making your prospect more likely to buy from you.

If you’re in sales and you’re not using this technique, you’re working too hard.

The idea came to Girard while he was attending a funeral.

Before I tell you what it is, let’s take a look at some of the most notable selling statistics (courtesy of Tom Sant’s book “The Giants of Sales” in which Girard is profiled) from Girard’s 14-year (1963 to 1977) car-selling career…
• In total, he sold more than 13,000 vehicles.
• That’s an average of six cars sold per day.
• On his best day, he sold 18 vehicles.
• His best month he sold 174.
• In his best year, he sold 1,425 cars.
• By himself, Joe Girard sold more cards than 95 percent of all dealers in North America.
• To make his feat even more incredible, he sold them at retail.
• He received no bulk orders; he sold them one vehicle at a time.
Amazing accomplishments, especially when you consider when he first applied for a job as a car salesman, no one would hire him.

At the time, he was in debt and struggling to keep his family fed.

The sales manager, who finally hired him, at first told him ‘no’ explaining that if he hired Girard his other salespeople wouldn’t like it because their walk-in traffic would be reduced. It was only when Girard said he wasn’t interested in the walk-in traffic and would generate his own leads instead, that he was hired.

He quickly found that selling without access to the walk-in traffic was more difficult than he had hoped it would be.

The first thing he did was grab a phone book and started calling people randomly. He made some headway, but it was tough slogging.
The funeral that change his approach to sales
It was around this time he attended a funeral. It was a Catholic funeral. Mass cards were given out to all those in attendance.

Girard asked the funeral director how he knew how many Mass cards to have printed up for each funeral.

The Funeral Director told Girard that over the years the number of people attending a funeral always seemed to average out to 250. So that’s how many he had printed up each time.

Later on after selling a car to him, he asked a Protestant Funeral Director how many people typically attend a Protestant funeral. He got the same reply “about 250”.

He attended a wedding and asked the same question. The answer was about 250 on the bride’s side and 250 on the groom’s side.
Joe Girard’s “Law of 250”
It was then that he came up with what he called the “Law of 250.”

The basic principle is that most people have about 250 people in their lives that would show up at their funeral or wedding. There are exceptions, of course. Some have more some have less, but generally the average is 250.

So how did he use this information?

First off, he realized that if he did crummy job selling a car to somebody, he could potentially lose 250 more customers.

But, more importantly, if he did a great job he could gain 250 customers.

So Girard reasoned that if he consistently built strong relationships with people and treated them fairly, in the long run, it would make his job a lot easier.

So Girard set his sights on getting referrals from his customers. How did he go about it?

Here are the three main ways…

• First within a few weeks of selling a car to someone, he would call them up and ask them how their car was running. If things were going good, he’d ask for a referral. If they weren’t, he’d fix the problem – then ask for a referral.

• He kept a file listing personal information about each client such as the names of their children, what they did for a living, their birthdays, their kid’s birthdays etc. He’d use the information to personalize his conversations with them. He sincerely cared for people and made them feel special. He created such a positive feeling, they couldn’t wait to recommend him to a friend or relative.

• Every month Girard would send a greeting card to every customer on his list with a simple message. He’d do it month after month, year after year. He knew eventually they’d need a new car and he wanted to always be top of mind. He was careful not to include any product specs, just a simple, friendly message. When appropriate he included an anecdote, a new idea, a news story, a book review, a birthday greeting or a tip he knew they’d be interested in. (Eventually this task became so big; he had to hire someone to do it for him.)

Girard’s dedication to keeping in touch with his customers instilled in them a psychological obligation to do business with him. His customers would never even dream of buying a car from someone else.

Girard has often said he doesn’t believe in hard work. That what he does believe in is working smart. And no one approached selling cars any smarter than Joe Girard did.

As a copywriter if you’re not actively using referrals or have a strategy to ensure repeat business – like the majority of people who have to generate their own leads -- you’re working too hard.

Here are a few referral-related tips you can start using tomorrow:

1) Go the extra mile for your customers and prospects – Do things that will make you stand out for the pack. Every time Bob Bly comes across an article he thinks might interest a customer or a prospect, he sends it to them. Copywriter Malcolm Smith sets up a Google News Alert on topics he feels would interest his customers. If he feels the news story is relevant to his customer, he sends them the link.

2) Make sure your customer knows about every service you provide. -- For example, if you’re customer hires you to write a 20 page promo for the mail, but you also know how to write great lift notes and web-copy, make sure you let they know. This will increase your chances of receiving a referral.

3) Establish relationships with people who sell complimentary products or services – For instance, if you often refer your customers to a certain graphic artist make sure they’re aware that you’d be open to any referrals from them.

4) Ask for a referral – If you don’t ask, chances are you’ll never get a referral. Customers usually don’t volunteer them on their own. When the time seems right, say something like “Do you know anyone else I might be able to help out with their marketing needs?”

5) Always thank your customer for their referral. – Obviously say “thank you”, but why not take it one step further? Send them a “thank you” note or a small gift. It could lead to another referral.

6) Keep your customer informed – Let your customer know what happened when you called the person they referred you to. Offer to keep them in the loop as things progress.

Develop and follow through on a referral and “repeat business” strategy and, like Joe Girard, you’ll find you make more sales and have an easier time doing it.


Next week I'll show you how you can apply this online.

For more from Katie Yeakle and American Writers & Artists Institute please visit the AWAI website:


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Retail As Link Bait

"Sickness comes on horseback but departs on foot" ~Dutch Proverb
My whole family has the flu. It seems like the house has been sick for weeks now. And unfortunately I've gone from care taker to patient. ugh!

It's hard to run a business when you're sick... let alone write a blog, eh?

So instead try this:

It's a cool concept from a Dutch retailer. This has been a favorite since I first saw it, and thankfully, a friend just re forwarded it to me.

It's a cleaver and attention getting java based page that will force you to play it several times.

And of course, it has become a good piece of link bait.

Just check it out... I'm going to take a rest now.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Political Link Bait

"In a country of 300 million people, there is a certain degree of audacity required for anybody to say, 'I'm the best person to lead this country.'" ~ Barack Obama, The junior U.S. Senator from Illinois and leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
I love politics.

It's comedy, tragedy, drama and sport, all rolled into one big buffet served on cable news and in the blogshere. What's not to like... besides the candidates. (sic)

Tonight Hillary Clinton may be poised for a big night with wins in Ohio and Texas or at least her campaign is spinning it that way. Her aides say this will be the beginning of her comeback against Barack Obama.

There's only one problem with this analysis... the numbers don't ad up. She doesn't have the delegates to win the democratic nomination even with victories tonight.

How do I know? has a Delegate Calculator that will tell you. It's a greatest piece of political link bait I've seen this year. A fun tool on their site that will bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors and more inbound links than you or I could ever image.

Check it out: Slate's Delegate Calculator

For you political junkies out there... the calculator does not incorporate superdelegates into its calculations. But hey... if you think you can produce better link bait - please do!

Your search ranking will be glad you did.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Nora Patricia Palmer

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner, American comedienne and actress
Dear Loyal CVoD readers,

I'd like to apologize for being away from the blog for the past few weeks. Come March I'll get back to the 4 or more scheduled posts per month. Where have I been?

Life happened.

To paraphrase the late John Lennon...

"Life is what happens when you are making other plans"

...and life hit me right between the eyes. On the evening of Sunday Feb 10th, my Mom passed away of Cancer. She was 75.

I have now buried my Mom and my Dad...

I've tried to write about this on the blog many time but words fail me. I did give her eulogy at her Memorial Service and that was the toughest thing I've ever written. The hardest speech I've ever delivered.

I want to eventually post it here in tribute but it's too soon.

So as we morn... I just want all of you to know... in my best Governor of California accent, " I'll be back!"

Here's to you Mom... thanks for doing the best you could, and teaching us how to raise our children. We love you and miss you!


Nora Patricia Palmer 75, originally of Brooklyn, NY, entered into rest on February 10, 2008 at home in San Mateo. Patt, as she was known by friends, was a resident of San Mateo County for the past 50 years.

Beloved daughter of the late George and Agnes Quigg; dear sister of Eileen Cavanaugh, Mary Gunsten and the late George Quigg, and Jackie Quigg; loving mother of Stacey Calonico and her husband James, and Andrew Palmer and his wife Angela; cherished grandmother of Christina Calonico, James Calonico, Jr., Keegan Palmer and Eleanor Palmer. She will also be greatly missed by her many nieces and nephews and their families; and many dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances in her memory may be made to Mission Hospice San Mateo County, 1900 O'Farrell Street, Suite 200, San Mateo, CA 94403 Tel: 650-554-1000

Now... go have a cup of tea & a piece of soda bread Mom, and rest in peace.