(Close Window)
Topic: Blog or Website? I'd love to know your thoughts!
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jan 12, 2010 12:19AM)
[i]I just posted this in "A Tangled Web" but it might be more suited here. Mods, please feel free to delete one.[/i]

Hiya Gang!

Man, I've been doing a TON of work on my sites these days. I'm exhausted, lol. Here's the thing: I've been doing a lot of reading about how important a blog is for your brand. I started up http://www.jamiedgrant.blogspot.com and am really happy with how it's going. I'm able to update it easily and will be putting up interesting things to hopefully bring people back.

The question is, with regards to selling my bottles. Do I drive people, to purchase, to my blog page:

http://jamiedgrant.blogspot.com/2001/01/anything-is-possible-bottle.html

Or my site?

http://www.whatizit.net

is it a matter of "clicking" versus "scrolling"? Or is one more professional than the other?

Which would you purchase from?

Thanks so much, I love brainstorming and I appreciate all thoughts and comments!

jamie
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jan 12, 2010 12:38AM)
A blog is something you'll change and update with news and new information. A website is usually more static.

Perhaps a website WITH a blog would be better suited? (www.conman.com.au - click on confessions)
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 12, 2010 01:14AM)
Hi Jamie,

Most experienced marketers are now using blog sites to market their products, but more importantly a sales letter site will dramatically outperform a brochure type site. Both of your sites are brochure type sites. Although sales letter sites are repeatedly blasted here on the Magic Café by the vocal majority, the sales numbers speak for themselves.

Both of my sites that are found in my signature are static web pages, but they are sales letter sites, and they've performed better than I ever could have hoped. I will probably be promoting future products on blog sites, but I will retain the sales letter format.

I hope this helps a little bit.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jan 12, 2010 08:14AM)
Hiya,

That's interesting...

Lou, would you say that a blog could perform as a sales letter format version (since it's already a "scrolling down" method)?

Appreciating the input,

jamie
Message: Posted by: ScottRSullivan (Jan 12, 2010 08:40AM)
Why do they have to be different things? Why not have a blog that IS a website?

To illustrate this, please see both of these sites I created:

http://blog.angiejordan.com

http://digitalblacksmiths.com

Both are blogs. Both are designed slightly different. Both have a menu structure for the benefits of a "website" organization structure, yet both have the benefit of using Wordpress as a blog to update content on a very regular basis.

Scott

PS
Jamie, by the way, I love your bottles. Have you ever tried putting them into a JD bottle? I used to sell them years ago. Here's a [url=http://mugsandmagic.com/sullivan/images/bottles_thumb.jpg]pic of one of mine.[/url]
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Jan 12, 2010 08:56AM)
What is the best blog site to use??
some one told me wordpress.com
sam
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 12, 2010 12:50PM)
Scott makes an excellent point. In reality a blog is a website and you can design it any way you like.

You can always have a page with frequent updates and a separate page on the menu that effectively sells your bottles.

As for scrolling down a web page, people tend to get hung up on this. You hear many that say they hate scrolling down a website and only like to read short copy. The reality is if they are interested in the product, they will read every word, After all, they want to make an informed decision, especially if they're going to spend a significant amount of money. The only people that won't read long copy are the ones that aren't interested in your product, and those people won't bother reading your short copy either.


All the best,

Lou
Message: Posted by: ScottRSullivan (Jan 12, 2010 01:25PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-12 13:50, lou serrano wrote:
The reality is if they are interested in the product, they will read every word, After all, they want to make an informed decision, especially if they're going to spend a significant amount of money. The only people that won't read long copy are the ones that aren't interested in your product, and those people won't bother reading your short copy either.
[/quote]

Very well said. Spot on.

Sam, I use Wordpress, but not wordpress.com. If you go to wordpress.org, you can download the source code and install it on your own server. The benefit is that you get your domain and your branding, plus link love for Google.
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Jan 12, 2010 02:49PM)
Alright
thanks
I will look into that
I am adding it to my website and what it to be easy for me to adjust each week or as often as I ant.

thanks scott

sam
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jan 12, 2010 05:54PM)
My two cents?

Sales letter style marketing is cheap and nasty and vastly undermines a products as beautiful as yours.
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Jan 12, 2010 07:01PM)
Many hosting companies nowadays include Wordpress as one of their free software options. The control panel typically includes a link to install multiple packages - wikis, forums, and CMS systems like Wordpress.

I personally love Wordpress and think it's better than sliced bread. You can use it for a major league blog site or as a very simple sales letter site for your birthday business.

--Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 12, 2010 08:33PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-12 18:54, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
My two cents?

Sales letter style marketing is cheap and nasty and vastly undermines a products as beautiful as yours.
[/quote]

A sales letter would only undermine the product if it decreased sales. The only way to find out for sure is to test it. Although I do find it amusing that you would say that "sales letter style marketing is cheap" since it requires much more thought and effort than the typical brochure type of marketing which is the norm for most magicians.

I would agree that your opinion is probably shared by many on this forum, but I believe any business person shouldn't base their business decisions on opinions but rather on results. Whether your selling magic services or [url=http://www.whatizit.net/] Anything Is Possible Bottles[/url], the final desired result is to make sales, otherwise, why are you in business?

Again, the only way to know for sure if a technology is effective is to test it.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jan 13, 2010 10:37AM)
Great thoughts here & lots to think about!
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jan 14, 2010 04:48AM)
Okay, so I changed the http://www.whatizit.net site and now have it directed to my blog (where people can purchase). We'll see how that affects traffic (and sales). There's only one way to find out!

jamie

P.S. On that note, Lou, if I ever felt like trying it out, where could I find a Sales Letter Template? Thanks!
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Jan 15, 2010 02:55PM)
Here's a very simple sales website template:

****************************************************

PreHead to Nail Down/Qualify the customer:
"Attention: Corporate Event Planners..."
"Attention: Birthday Party Moms..."

Compelling headline the promises a clear benefit:
"How to..."

Dear Friend:

Short opening sentence that excites the curiosity.

State a major problem the customer is facing.

Establish your credibility as expert on that problem.

Tease that a solution is coming...

Offer up social proof in testimonials.

Answer objections the customer may have.

Restate problem and offer bullet points on how you'll solve them - these are the features and benefits of your service.

More proof in testimonials - best if they reinforce what you've just said.

Establish scarcity in terms of your availability.

Clear call to action to therefore contact you now.

Signature

P.S., Offer a compelling bonus for contacting you immediately instead of waiting - price break, whatever.

Repeat call to action - contact me now!

*******************************************************

-- Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 15, 2010 03:10PM)
Jack: What you posted (whether people realize it or not) is really a treasure. It is GOLD right there. That is a formula for success. I have used it many times and it really works great. I have even used it in an email campaign setting. Great stuff my friend.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 15, 2010 04:01PM)
Jamie,

Jack just gave you a wonderful template for sales letters. If you follow the template, it will produce results. I also include a simple template in my course, [url=http://www.sixfiguremagic.com]The Real Secrets[/url].

One thing to keep in mind, is that many people will follow a template without knowing WHY they are doing WHAT they are doing. If you're serious about writing an effective sales letter, then I highly recommend you look into [url=http://getyourprofits.com/z/1020/CD31723/]The Amazing Formula by Marlon Sanders[/url]. He explains in detail WHY you're doing what you're doing, so you can get into the mindset of the people that are interested in your product or service. By doing so, you effectively draw them into taking action. [url=http://getyourprofits.com/z/1020/CD31723/]Click Here[/url] to get more info on Marlon's product.

Wishing you the very best,

Lou
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jan 17, 2010 12:08AM)
Jack should be ashamed of himself, giving away such valuable information! Get him to tell you how he made me work so hard that I collapsed. (YES! It's all Jack's fault!)

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: johnobryant (Jan 20, 2010 05:53PM)
Use both

SYNERGY!

-John
Message: Posted by: MrHyde (Jan 21, 2010 07:21PM)
Jack, great template!

Jamie , some great advice already in this thread.
As several have said the lines are bluring between blogs and websites.

Like Scott I'm a big fan of Wordpress and if you use
GoDaddy or HostGator and I assume others , one click
and you're all set up with your own installation.
You can then set it up as a Website, A Blog or a onepage sales letter
as Lou suggests.

Google loves wordpress , as it's clean and simple.
Once you have a wordpress site you can then Theme it.
Free themes are available, or you can get someone to design one.


I posted this resource to my newsletter last week, but I think
the Thesis Theme is incredible. Great interface, built in SEO,
and a very helpful and supportive online community

[url=http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=198392&u=402777&m=24570&urllink=&afftrack=]The Thesis Theme for WordPress[/url]
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 22, 2010 12:33AM)
Blogs are great! I just started one up a week ago, and all these pages are showing up in the search engines pointing back to my regular site.
Message: Posted by: Majestic12 (Jan 22, 2010 01:00PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-22 01:33, trickychaz wrote:
Blogs are great! I just started one up a week ago, and all these pages are showing up in the search engines pointing back to my regular site.
[/quote]

What's your blog charles? Do you find it better to use something like blogger or install a blogging system within a website ?
Message: Posted by: TheMagicianGuide (Jan 23, 2010 11:13AM)
Use both. A nice site is a great "central" place to guide your vistors to, somewhere where you put your basic contact info etc.

Blogging is a tremendous way to deliver rich content and links to your website - some people setup a blog under their domain name, while others setup a completely separate site and point the links back to their main site etc. Both can be effective uses of blog system.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jan 23, 2010 06:43PM)
Umm the search engines LOVE blogs with a good ping list..

and I do all

use Wordpress for the main site..
have blogger site's (plural)
and run multiple other web 2.0 sites.. (twitter and so on)
for a whopping total of over 120 different sites that are in my marketing plan

then I use the main blog to update the majority of them

so I vote.. BOTH because My website is a blog or has a blog but I use wordpress as my cms

and I run a few membership sites that are all wordpress as well
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Mar 3, 2010 11:55PM)
Update:


I've done a few things!

1) I've purchased http://www.Professional-Magician.com and have it as the home for my blog (which I'm trying to make my "hub".)

2) I've purchased http://www.cardsinabottle.com and am thinking of making it a Sales Letter Webpage format- instead of going to my blog to purchase.

3) Got some new artwork:

[img]http://bit.ly/dwt1nQ[/img]

Still experimenting,

jamie
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Mar 4, 2010 02:17AM)
Jamie...

take a look at http://www.Ithemes.com and look at builder as a wordpress template..

and for a sales letter
http://www.flexibilitytheme.com/flexsqueeze/

and if your learning about wordpress follow my twitter list of wordpress gurus on the

http://www.twitter.com/askmikeclay account
Message: Posted by: danielguo (May 10, 2010 11:05AM)
This is just simply awesome!!! I learn a lot about this !!!
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (May 12, 2010 04:32PM)
Ok, as I read through this I have a quick question. When going to wordpress.org and going with one of their recommended hosting sites, does one then purchase the Thesis theme to go along with that? What I mean is, the Thesis theme is NOT a hosting site correct? It's just a way to edit/format your blog - correct?

So, I would need to go through the hosting site, which would provide me with at least one domain name, the wordpress download, and then I could purchase The Thesis Theme program for my new wordpress site. Does that sound about right?

This thread is very informative!
Message: Posted by: sb (May 12, 2010 09:07PM)
I just want to throw this in here, for future searchers reading through this....

As of now this book is not out, so I have not read it yet, but the "head first" books are a very easy read, and they make it very easy to learn what you want to learn. They do not read like a technical book, but give you lots of technical and practical info.

I will be getting this when it becomes available.

http://www.amazon.com/Head-First-WordPress-Brain-Friendly-Creating/dp/0596806280

My site is a wordpress site. I had someone else set it up, and I enter the content and do the design work. I choose my own themes.

scott
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (May 21, 2010 08:36PM)
I haven't been on this thread for a while, so here's an update of what I finally decided on...

http://www.jamiedgrant.com
Main Booking Site via a web designer. Not easily updated.

http://www.cardsinabottle.com
Main Bottle Site via a self web hosting program. I can update as needed.

they both link to:

http://www.Professional-Magician.com
Blog. Easily updatable!

I'm sure this isn't the most Google-Friendly route but it really suits my needs. To be honest, I don't want to have to deal with my main sites at all ( http://www.jamiedgrant.com or http://www.cardsinabottle.com ) and would rather just update my Blog as needed.

It took a while, but I'm happy with how they link together. It's probably confusing if you bounce from one to another but that's something I'll deal with at a later date I think...

All my best,

:jdg
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (May 22, 2010 07:40AM)
Looking great..
Your blogging enough to get attention

make sure your using your keyword phrases in your title tags and in H1 tags throughout the posts. Build a good ping list so that search engines.

And something I have found that works great are trackbacks from relevant websites..

and commenting on other blogs with a link back to you
Message: Posted by: Mystical Matthew (May 23, 2010 01:17PM)
So here's a question... What's your opinion when it comes to blog comments? On or Off?

...Or maybe on, but set it so all comments require moderation before appearing.

Akismet has done wonders to fix the blog spam problem, but it still doesn't change the fact that some people post inappropriate responses... By leaving comments off nobody is offended, but you also seriously shoot yourself in the foot when it comes to building a community.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (May 23, 2010 06:00PM)
ON ON ON ON ON

Comments help build a sense of community for your potential clients and past clients
it lets you interact with them and build a social environment.

Trackbacks are also great. as is commenting on other peoples blogs..

I'm actually working on a system to find blogs that Google considers relevant to comment on and to get trackbacks from. to generate more weight and traffic.. I plan on launching it as a suprise bonus in june at a 3 day workshop (end of shameless plug)

Comments on your blog also help with fresh relevant content and qualify for fast indexing with search engines so write "Link Bait"
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Sep 13, 2010 09:17PM)
Just gone through another overhaul!

http://www.cardsinabottle.com

This is the latest...

~jamie
Message: Posted by: Oscar999 (Sep 19, 2010 12:00PM)
I make my living writing sales copy and I have just 3 quick comments about Jack's nicely structured and thoughtful outline.

1) I agree the pre-head is useful for calling out prospects, but it's also a great place to establish early "credibility." For example, "Dai Vernon, the man who fooled Houdini, and mentor to the some of the biggest names in magic, brings you his most astonishing creation to date ..." Not the best example, but you get the point.

2) I looked at the outline thoroughly and I never once saw the "Offer." Maybe I missed it, but in my opinion, and it's just that "my opinion," the offer should come directly after the product reveal. A properly languaged offer should make the price seem like a drop in the bucket. And once you've let the cat out of the bag it's a race to the finish line.

3) Finally, I would add a cross-roads close just prior to the call to action. This is where you sit them down and tell them, now you have a decision to make. On one hand you can have all these great benefits -- or you could go it alone, the decision is yours.

Just something extra to think about when you sit down to craft your letter.

Best of luck,

Oscar