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Location: Texas, United States

Thalia Miller is an eBay enthusiast, author, artist, mother, wife, and entrepreneur with strong Christian values. She lives in the middle of nowhere, just north of Dallas, Texas. For more info visit: http://www.bohemiattic.com/album.htm

 

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Winners Circle

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
  eBay and Cable TV?

Cable Tv has long been considering ways in which they could create an interactive experience for viewers. Most plans fell to the wayside and were not taken seriously due to lack of interest, as well as, a surge in more profitable sectors including digital cable, high-speed Internet, and telephony. Any interest that was given to Interactive Television (ITV) centered around shopping. Analysts such as Gary Arlen, president of Arlen Communicaitons, note that the rise of e-commerce has made consumers more comfortable with buying things from a screen. Despite the reluctance of consumers to adapt, and due to the change in consumer spending habits, cable TV operaters have a renewed interest in ITV and are trying to work out a way that viewers can use a remote control to make purchases as instantly as they change channels.

Time Warner Cable has teamed with eBay to smooth the transition and for a test group of 50,000 participants in the Austin, Texas area, ITV became a reality last Thursday. Those researched were already renting boxes from the cable service and subscribed to its digital video recorder service before being introduced to the new concept. This "trial" effort is being offered at no charge and marks the first deal for the Plano, TX-based Biap System's eBay on TV service.
Users of the service can access their eBay accounts, submit new bids on watched items, and track existing bids with a remote control, but no search of eBay is currently offered unfortunately.

Though using eBay to revitalize the ITV concept is a smart move, eBay is not the first ITV channel. Always on the cutting edge of consumer technology, Sharper Image launched its ITV offer in February on satellite TV programming provider Dish Network. Sharper Image senior vice president of marketing Roger Bensinger implies that ITV is the next step in ecommerce evolution saying, "Much like e-commerce, interactive TV shopping is available 24/7, and you don't have to get off your couch to do it."

Someday, we'll probably be doing most everything from our television screen. Hopefully, we won't be as attached to our couches!
 

  Clickbank Case Study: Update

Well, a million things have come up as is often the case: Step-sister's wedding shower, son's school play, SAT testing, trade show appearance, birthday celebrations for my sister, best friend, son, mother and neighbor, allergies so horrific that the doctor was convinced it was strep throat, and the list goes on. Basically, life is happening. But through it all I have continued to work on my Clickbank project, though slower going than first anticipated.

Here's the scoop thus far... Have decided to do a major edit on the written portion of the manual itself-- very time-consuming! Have decided to keep it PDF completely with member's only web-links for easy updates to time-sensitive material. The choice to stay in PDF is based on the ultra compatibility of the media format. It was an executable application before and such a format is at risk of incompatibility and faster obsolescence. Also, as a result of the editing I'm creating this PDF to be strictly a digital version whereas before it was virtually the same as the written (the published softcover) version. Also, even though the cost of using Clickbank will be higher for me and entail additional risk, I've chosen to forego the initial price-increase I had considered previously. I just feel that keeping the price down is better for my market, my business, and my product. This way there will be no question whatsoever that the value received is greater than the cost. But I still intend on offering an above average compensation plan to my affiliate group (despite the low price). This will bring my profit margin down, but hopefully the anticipated exposure will more than make it worthwhile.

In making the choices above, I'll also need to do major reconstructive surgery on my website to enable greater functionality of the product. This is in regards to the member's only portion of the manual. Membership will come with the purchase of the manual, and include all access codes. So, this will be fairly easy to integrate with the scripting I have purchased.

Launch date? Now, I'm shooting for end of May. But this is the last week of school and with five kiddos-four in school, only time will tell if my deadline is realistic. (Bless me indeed!)

Until the next break in my hectic schedule,
To your success,
Yours Truly,
Thalia
 

Friday, May 06, 2005
  Clickbank Case Study

Well, it has been a while since I have touched base with my readers. As you know, I have been super busy, but I did not realize that it had been a whole month, and for that I apologize. My hubby gave me a little challenge to raise money online for a project we took on. I accepted the challenge, and am pleased to say that I raised $2061.08 in 9 days of effort. This may pale in comparison to the pull of the big gurus tooting their horns out there in cyberspace. But I am just an average girl who few know, and my results are real. They are results that anyone could pull off. I mention this challenge because it isn't quite over yet. I am supposed to bring in more and I have a deadline. Yikes! I have until May 20 to raise $2938.92 more in funding for this project. But my hopes are up.
For a long time, I have been considering using the services of Clickbank to sell my digital product, the Advanced Power Selling Toolkit. I am apprehensive because of the implications to my brand. So far, I don't have much brand presence being in the 4 millions of the search rankings and all. But my little site is still fairly new so I'm not too disappointed yet. Anywho, going with Clickbank seems to me like joining the infomercial pool. While I can't deny the potential financial gain Clickbank will probably bring, I'm not entirely drawn to this concept. In fact, I'm more than a little hesitant of putting my product, the one I worked so hard to create, into the hands of every Tom, Dick and Harry pusherman out there. But I have relented for the better good.
This week I have been diligently working hard to double check everything within the product for editing if it needs it, making sure all the links work and that everything looks good. I have also been working on writing the sales copy, beefing it up for the likes of Clickbank. This has been one of the hardest things to do, since I don't really like "selling" myself so much. But I just kept everything honest and hope that folks will appreciate the integrity of my offer.
On the technical side, I had to acquire a script that would work specifically for the protection of products sold with Clickbank, this after my husband had already bought the Paypal script we were using previously (which I think I can still use for other sites I'm getting up to speed). I have also been reading up on the use of Clickbank and how to optimize its power. (Maybe, if you're interested, I'll offer all of those products I found helpful as a bundle later on, since I also received the rights to them. )
So, I wrote the sales page, the affiliate page which I hope will attract honest affiliates, a bunch of legal jargon that I had to include, and tweaked my back-end order script. What I have left to do is change my download and possibly my newsletter processes, integrate the new pages into my site, and pay Clickbank to begin, which is a process that takes up to 3 days and cost $49.99 per product (charges per sale are much lower though). Oh, and unfortunately, I have to raise the price of the product.
So, though I am reluctant, I want to document this process as a means of examining the results and hopefully offering others a peek into the Clickbank world. I'll check back in when I have more to share.
Until then,
Thalia
 

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