Hi Jill,

Sixty-year-old newbie here with his first e-book! My site is unlinked — just "up there." I teach project management for a living — but ill health is forcing early retirement, and I have an urgent need to keep paying the mortgage!

I have bought your "Nitty Gritty" report and am absorbing the details.

I am learning how to create an "editorial-feel" site, and am re-designing my "hypey-looking" site. I have a question if you can spare the time Jill….

Nobody lies awake at night dreaming of becoming a project manager, so I have focused my toolkit product at realizing business benefits for the average middle manager employed in corporate life (and hence accelerating the reader's career and salary ahead of their competition).

Do you have any pointers with regard to keyword direction?

By the way, my site is a so-called mini-site with the usual one-page letter style and download page. If I fill it with educational content it will reduce the prospects' inclination to buy the book!

Thanks again for a great report.

Best Regards.

Dave L.

Jill's Response

Hi Dave,

Glad you like the Nitty-gritty guide!

As to your site, it seems to me that you're not really thinking about your target audience by having a one-page, hypey sales-letter-type page. I know you said you're redoing the site, which is great! I would highly recommend that you move completely away from the typical ebook salesy junk we often see for ebooks. It doesn't make sense for the type of knowledge and information you are selling.

You say that nobody lies awake at night thinking about being a project manager, but you may be surprised at how many people are interested in the topic. In fact, this summer I even did searches for project-management books myself! One of our PMs had taken a new job and many of his duties started to fall to me, so I wanted to learn how to do them better and more efficiently. Project management is an integral part of many businesses, especially website design and SEO agencies. It's also extremely misunderstood by those who don't do it. Many people assume that anyone can do it, and that it takes up way less time than it actually does.

I believe that there is a very large market for your ebook. However, just because something is an ebook doesn't mean it should be sold like your typical "get-rich-quick" ebooks. Not all ebooks are created equal. In my opinion (and you'd want to test this for yourself) your target market of middle managers would be completely turned off by a long, scrolling, hypey, one-page, sales-letter website. You are writing to professionals, not wannabe professionals. Your site must project that in all that it does. It needs to be designed by a professional web design firm and look like a corporate site. Those looking for project management advice want it from someone who's obviously been there and done that, not someone who promises the earth, moon, and stars.

The good news is that according to KeywordDiscovery, people are indeed searching for all kinds of information about project management. They estimate that 86 people a day are searching for "project management book." Sure, estimates from all keyword research tools are usually inflated, but even if it's only half that many, and if you had a top-10 ranking for that phrase on Google, it should bring you a decent amount of highly targeted traffic. But if most of that traffic leaves when they first get there, it's not going to do you much good! KeywordDiscovery will uncover numerous other phrases for you as well. I'd highly recommend getting a subscription and playing around with it for a few weeks.

Once you've got a nice fat list of phrases, you can use it to figure out what your new site architecture should look like. I would suggest that you provide a lot of free project-management articles, and perhaps even start a blog and/or write an email newsletter if you're not already. Think about how you could become the "High Rankings" of the project-management world! You'd be surprised how giving out lots of free info builds credibility and trust, and also sells ebooks.

Hope this helps!


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November 1, 2006

CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE, a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.

High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization firm located in Framingham, MA specializing in search engine optimization, SEO consultations, in-house training, site audit reports, search marketing seminars and workshops. High Rankings has a 100% success rate for substantially improving client rankings and targeted traffic.

Jill speaks at national and international conferences and has been writing about SEO and search marketing since 2000. She's been quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post. Her articles have appeared in numerous print magazines and online websites including CIO Magazine, CMS Focus, The Internet Marketing Report, ClickZ, WorkZ, Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Lycos Small Business, WebProNews, SiteProNews and others. Jill has also appeared on many online and offline radio programs such as Entrepreneur Magazine's E-Biz Radio Show, SearchEngineRadio and the eMarketing Talkshow.

Search Engine Guide > Jill Whalen > Project Management eBook Site Questions