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Appreciative Inquiry And Internet Marketing: Focus On The Positive For Greater Online Success

May 29, 2008
Ever since Napoleon Hill have we known about the power of positive thinking. And the newest buzzword, Appreciative Inquiry, has taken this principle into the business world once again.

Can Appreciative Inquiry be applied to internet marketing as well? You bet. In fact, the basic principles of Appreciative Inquiry are considered good standard practice by most internet marketers in the know. They just don't generally use that label for what they do.

Appreciative Inquiry, developed by David Cooperrider in the 1980's, has recently become a growing presence in the corporate world as well as in non-profits and among relationship counselors. I find it curious that the term hasn't really popped up in internet marketing circles, at least not explicitly.

Here's the core principle of Appreciative Inquiry: Find out what works, appreciate it, and do more of it.

That principle has been practiced in some form or other, and under one name or another, for years. The 80/20 rule is really based on that very same principle. Psychotherapist Lawrence LeShan uses it to help people, particular cancer patients, to live a happier life. But the thing is, it works for just about everything.

Here are some ways in which the principles of Appreciative Inquiry can be (and have been) applied in internet marketing:

1. Testing/split testing. A practice common among copywriters and marketers alike, as well as specialists in adwords, adsense, and just about anything else. And then, once the testing yields results, they go with the version that has the better results. In copywriting circles, that better version is known as the "control." Marketers will use the control, yet continue to improve upon it - by way of testing newer versions - until one of the new versions beats the control and becomes the new control.

2. Strategic Article Writing and Marketing: If you publish your articles with ezinearticles.com, for example, you'll get almost instant feedback on which articles draw the most people. You'll also find out, how many people clicked on your resource boxes and how many get published.

That gives you plenty of information to help you find out which ones work best. And the next task? Do more of what works.

For example, you could write more articles about topics that draw the most readers. Or you could write more about topics that result in the kind of sales you're looking for. And you can experiment with your resource box to find out which version draws the best click-through rate. Ezine-article lets you prewrite three different versions, from which you can choose the most effective one, and which you can rewrite to test for even better results.

3. Strategic Outsourcing: Work with your strengths and delegate tasks that are more challenging for you (or that have a less advantageous cost-benefit ratio) to others. It's just another way to use your time and your energy wisely.

Appreciative Inquiry is so simple a principle that some people may think I'm belaboring the obvious. But of course it's anything but trivial or obvious, especially for people who have a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of things. In fact, Appreciative Inquiry is extremely powerful. And it can get huge results if its principles are followed consistently.
About the Author
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