Five Ways to Become an Internet Detective
and Make Money Selling People Stuff They
Feel Driven to Buy!
by Dr. Joe Vitale
In my most recent book, CyberWriting: How to Promote your Product or Service Online (without being flamed), I reveal the 1903 secret for making money from people's unconscious need to collect things. (That's right. It's a 1903 secret updated for use online today.)
In short, the secret goes like this: Find out what people collect and then offer them more of it. If they are fans of golf, give them new information on how to improve their golf game. If they are wild about a particular recording artist, give them a new product concerning that artist. If they buy books on business, offer them more business books. Since these people collect those items, they will almost mindlessly buy whatever you offer.
But how do you find the people who collect or the products they want?
Easy. Just go online.
I'm continuously amazed at how simple it is to locate anything in the world by going on the net. When a friend of mine heard a singer on the radio but couldn't locate her music in any stores, I went online, typed in her name, and located her web page within ten minutes. When I wanted to get guerrilla marketer and author Jay Conrad Levinson to write a testimonial for my forthcoming book, I went online and found him. And that's also how I found the daredevil Evel Knievel (who later called me and asked me to help him write his autobiography!).
Here are my five ways for locating whatever you can think of on the amazing Internet. Use these methods and you can become an electronic detective, able to find anything for anybody. And you'll have a lot of fun, to boot. Using the following tools has helped me locate out of print books, find celebrities, locate new prospects, meet new peers and friends, sell more books and reports, and much more.
With the following information in your bag of tricks, you can pretty much kiss the real world good-bye. Who needs it? Whenever you want to do any research, you won't get in your car or pick up the phone. There's no need. You'll just click on your computer, get online, and do the following:
1. To Find E-mail lists.
At last count there were 71,618 e-mail discussion lists available. It boggles the mind. Many of them are junk, devoted to discussing Barney or Bart Simpson or some other low IQ topic. But many of them are intelligent, focused, alive and well, and busy with their subscribers writing and receiving e-mail from people genuinely interested in the topic of the list.
My favorite place to locate e-lists is at http://www.liszt.com. I simply go there, type in the key word that will best describe the lists I'm interested in, and let the search engine at that location find the lists for me. It works like a charm.
Here's an example: If you are after people interested in marketing, go to the above site and type in the word "marketing." Or if you want to locate accountants, go the the site and type in the word "accountants." The site will then generate a roster of all the e-mail lists that match what you seek. You can then subscribe to the lists to check them out.
2. To Find Newsgroups.
There are more than 20,000 newsgroups online. While e-mail lists are restricted to only those who subscribe to them, newsgroups are public bulletin boards that anyone can read and respond to. In general, e-mail lists contain more dedicated users. But you don't want to overlook these newsgroups as the entire Internet has access to them. My favorite place to search for groups is at http://www.dejanews.com.
3. To Find Web Sites.
I've yet to hear of an accurate count for the number of web sites online. It may now be in the millions. Thousands are added every day. If you want to locate information on particular web sites, use any of the search engines your browser gives you. I like Alta Vista at http://altavista.digital.com. Another favorite of mine is Savvy Search, which uses several search engines to hunt for what you are seeking. In other words, go to Savvy Search, type in the keywords for what you are pursuing, and let it search Alta Vista as well as several other search engines. Savvy Search takes a few seconds longer because it's a small army and not one soldier on a mission for you, but the wait is usually worth it. You can use Savvy Search by going to http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~dreiling/smartform.html.
4. To Find Individuals.
If you want to locate a particular person's e-mail address, phone number, and sometimes even their street address, you can visit http://www.switchboard.com. Switchboard contains millions of people, and you can search it in a variety of ways, including city, state, name, and area code.
5. To Find Associations.
You can find entire bodies of people all interested in the same topic by locating associations. Dentists belong to a dental association. Engineers join an engineer's association. You get the picture. To locate the groups you want, simply go online to http://www.trainingforum.com/assoc.html.
There you have it. Those are my five ways for finding buried treasure online. But I can't leave you without saying that knowing what key words to type in is a necessary skill for locating what you want online.
For example, you might want to locate people interested in "writing," but that term is too broad. You'll freeze your keyboard with all the results the search engines will bring to you. Narrow your search. Do you want "romance writers" or "screenplay writers" or "technical writers" or something else? The more precise you can be in your requests, the better the results you'll get.
Search engines are robots. They don't think. They simply look for what you tell them to look for. Give some thought to what you want before you start your search. Every good detective realizes that being clear about what you are looking for is half the battle.
If you have some other tips for conducting online research, share them with me. I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you online!
Copyright © 2005 by Joe Vitale. All rights reserved.
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