Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Online marketing and eBay

Another week, and another installment of Richard Hoy's lessons on internet marketing. This week's lesson is about the difference between search engines and directories. The information contained in this article is invaluable for those like me who are internet savvy but nowhere near being "expert." For instance, I had no idea that Yahoo! was a directory, not a search engine!

One of the main points of Richard's article is submitting your website to the directories and search engines. I have to say, out of my own experience of having a website, that you really don't have to do anything - eventually they'll find you on their own. For instance, if you search either Google or Yahoo! for "Katharine Swan," you'll come up with my website homepage, top of the list. However, my website has been online for about a year now. I've heard that it takes as long as six months for a website to start appearing in search results; for my website and my blog, I think it was only about three months, but still - that's a long time if you need traffic to find your website for sales purposes.

Another interesting part of this week's Writers Weekly issue was the Letters to the Editor section, where my email to Angela appeared! I wrote to Angela in response to last week's article about selling self-published books on eBay. Being a long-time eBayer, I knew what she was talking about when she advised authors to list their books in the category that the book was about, rather than the books category. I've bought and sold books (albeit not my own) on eBay, and I know from experience that they don't get much attention - which is good news for buyers (i.e. good deals) but not for sellers. I have no doubt that it's because of the size of the book category - people don't take the time to look through it all! At best, they'll do a search if they're looking for something in particular, or browse through a specific category (i.e. Antiquarian and Collectible). No, if you want to sell a book on eBay, you're much better off listing it where people will see it: in the subject that your book is about.

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