people who did not want to spend much money. What did I learn? Sell what your
customers want, when they want it.
I still displayed some of my $400 and up baseball cards, just to get the “oohs” and
“ahhs.” I learned that once you have a crowd, many people follow just to see what
is going on, and then you can make sales. I knew I would not sell these cards. So
what did I change?
I created a display case with stacks of all the major stars and local popular players.
Each card was $1.00. It did not matter if the card was worth twenty-five cents or
four dollars; I just put $1.00 on each of them. I kept up with whom was doing well
and would buy up cards of players that were about to become popular. Buy-price
ranged from three cents to a quarter a card. Most of the cards I bought were
considered ‘junk’ by the sellers, yet I re-sold most within a month or two.
By taking the time to go through their junk and making ordering simple, I made
money. That $1 display case was a gold mine. Usually, that case sold more cards
than my good cases did. Also, I had very little invested—other than taking the time
to organize the cards.
So, I decided I would do this kid a favor and send him a free book on
marketing from my favorite author. When I asked him if he wanted a free
marketing book, he got angry, even though I was trying to help him. Instead
of considering my offer, he spouted off Eminem lyrics, telling me that “[he'd]
rather put out a mother****ing gospel record.”
All of his frustration, all of his anger, and all of his wasted time were unnecessary.
That is why search is powerful. You do not hunt for your customers, they hunt for
you. You pick the keywords, and the customer picks you. You not only sell what
your customers want, but you also sell it while they are actively looking for it.
The $1 baseball card case is a good analogy for effective search engine
optimization. Imagine the cards in that case as being web pages. It is great to rank
well for a term like SEO, but by ranking well for various small volume searches you
may be able to make far more money in the long run. Longer search phrases have
more implied intent, thus are far more targeted, and convert at a higher rate.
Having a social element to your site or business is like having the $400 baseball
card in the case. The people who reference the interesting parts of your site build
up your authority. Based on that authority, search engines learn to trust other parts
of your site and send visitors to those pages, as well.
You can think of web traffic like my baseball cards. Due to the vastness of the
market and market inefficiencies, there will always be many ways to make money.
If you learn how to spread ideas and build an audience, you can make a windfall of