Monetizing the Web

by | Jan 4, 2009 | Book Marketing Basics

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With all of the “stuff” out there online it’s tough to know what will actually bring in the customers and the dollars but here’s a tip that’s sure to work. First off, get your company/book/self a social networking page – either on Facebook or Squidoo but I’d stick with Facebook and in a minute you’ll see why. Next, make sure that your web site has a sign up on the home page for either a newsletter or mailing list. Make sure you have an ethical bribe (a give away to get consumers to leave you their email addy so you can grow your list). Then, open a Twitter account. Your Twitter account should be used to share information, helpful tips, insider scoop and also link to sites, blogs, or audio online that would be helpful to your consumer. Become a filter, *the* place your consumer goes for everything on your topic or area of expertise. Once you open your Twitter account go to and get an account there, will allow you to set up a welcome message whenever someone “follows” you on Twitter. Your welcome message should offer your freebie (ethical bribe) and redirect people to your site. This way, you’ll get sign ups for your newsletter or mailing list. Now, to your Facebook page…. You can and should add your Twitter account to your Facebook status updates (you can’t do this through Squidoo or MySpace). That way you can share your tips with your Facebook fans too which will help you grow your fan base there too. Make sure you link your company’s blog to Facebook and Twitter (you can do this through Twitterfeed) so that everything is recycled into these two services. By using both of these Web 2.0 properties and focusing your efforts heavily there, you can pull in customers to your site and business. Don’t fragment yourself by getting a bunch of social networking sites. You need to spend time with these and if you can expand on just one site, it will serve you much better than having 30 sites you rarely touch. If time is a constraint (and when isn’t it?) you can use a site called Tweetlater to plan your tweets for the week, meaning that you log on on Monday and drop info into this system, it will then Twitter for you all week so you don’t have to worry about it.

By keeping a circular “funnel” going you bring customers in at two of the biggest points of the web right now. These are huge properties online and when used effectively, can really help monetize the Internet for you. Remember though, be helpful first, sell later. The best metric for online selling is 95% helpful, and 5% sales. Believe it or not this pays off big in the end.

When I did this we quadrupled our newsletter sign ups and doubled the inquiries into our business.


  1. GABixler

    Sometimes I think you all are mindreaders! I had just written a brief blog entry yesterday on one of my many site contacts, declaring that I might be spreading myself too thin!

    My activities have been to go to sites, so that I would be there as a presence for clients; however, you are so very correct, you cannot really establish any real relationships in this way!

    Of course, I’m on both Facebook and Twitter! I have noticed that Facebook is much more user “sharing” friendly than My Space, so I can understand your recommendation for that site.

    I’m not sure I fully grasp Twitter for interactive activity; however, I can vouch that I’ve had more followers added at that site, in a short time, than any other I can remember!

    Keep up the great advice!

  2. Penny

    Hey there – thanks for the response. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. If you want some Twitter tips shoot an email to Hope that helps!

  3. Karen Cioffi-Ventrice

    I want to thank you not just this post, but all your great articles. I’ve learned and am learning a lot from you and I truly appreciate it.

    I know in your newsletters you mention that the info included may be reprinted with the Reprint Permission text. Does the same go with blogs?

    Karen Cioffi-Ventrice

  4. Penny

    Hi Karen – yes it does, feel free to reprint or repost! Thank you for asking, Penny

  5. Lisa Logan

    Thanks for this! I’ve seen conflicting advice–sometimes in the same article–about whether to have a “piece of” as many networks as possible, or whether to focus on just a couple. This “circle” makes sense. Although I’ve heard people can get their facebook accounts cancelled for appearing to engage in too much marketing, so is that really the best place? I’ve tried to really dial it down over there.

  6. Penny

    Hey Lisa – you’re right do have to be careful. Frequent updates on Facebook isn’t a problem. What *is* a problem is when people keep blasting their peeps with announcements….

  7. Gil

    Thanks for the tip! Twitter is a great tool when used as you describe, but I don’t feel confident using Facebook. With Facebook’s copyright issues in the news this past week and their 5000 friend limit I’m reluctant to use Facebook for anything other than connecting to family and friends.

  8. Phyllis K Twombly

    Advice, entertainment, marketing…sometimes it’s hard to differentiate. My advice: if you’re having fun with it instead of going for a hard sell, you’re doing something right. People like to be entertained–who turns down commercials that make them laugh? As an author you bet I’m going to tell people about my latest novel because it’s ‘what I’m doing.’

  9. Jerry Pozner

    Great article. Thanks for the tip. Maybe it will help me to sell more books of my novel “MonkeyPudding” Five star rating on and Barnes & Noble.

  10. TeaCast

    Interesting take, I’ve never actually heard of, but I am definitely willing to try it out. Good article!

  11. Don

    Signed up to as suggested but can’t see anywhere to set a message to those who follow me on twitter for a link to free gift (ethical bribe).

    More detail would be helpful.. beginning to wish I hadn’t bothered… 🙁



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