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Welcome to James Craven's Blog

I've recently created this page with the intent of helping my fellow marketer. Over the past months I've written dozens upon dozens of articles that I've either posted on enzines, or just kept stuffed away in my desk. Well I figure it's time to put them to some use. So I've gathered them up along with some e-books, free software and a few other goodies. I love to write, so if there is anything you would like to hear my opinion about or basic fact, please let me know and I will get right on it. I am just a normal guy with just a little extra time on my hands. The internet has set me free financially and if you would trust in me I will take your hand and guide you down the path to prosperity. Why do you ask? Because in order to succeed in this business we must all help one another, otherwise it will not work. That is my belief and I trust in it. Sincerely, James Craven

Friday, July 31, 2009

Working From Home? Do This? Don't Do That

Maybe you've reached your goal and you can finally work
from home, or maybe you're just inching closer to reaching
that goal. Whatever your case, you need to know that
working from home is a lot harder than you would think.
You will be battling distractions and a lack of structure.
You will also be constantly battling time, which seems to
go three times faster when you work from home.

So, here are some Dos and Dont's to help you if and when
you are working from home.

Do: Buy a laptop.

If you don't already have a laptop, get one. It's a tax
write-off and the freedom it will give you for when and
where you can work is a must.

Don't: Build a home office unless you can really afford it.

If you have the extra cash to build a home office then go
for it. But don't borrow any money to do it. While a home
office is great and may be a goal of yours, don't borrow
money to get it done. You'll just be adding debt at a time
when you need to be building your income.

Instead just set up your office in a spare bedroom, or find
any space in your house where it's semi-private and livable
including the basement or your garage. A couple hundred
bucks can dress-up either of those places.

Do: Set a Schedule

This is especially important if you have a family at home
or anything else that might distract you.

Have a discussion with anyone else who lives with you and
let them know when you scheduled to work. Get them to agree
that they won't disturb you while you are working. Post
your hours of work on the refrigerator or in another area
where everyone will see it.

Be sure to stick to your schedule just the same as you
would if you had a boss to answer to.

Don't: Watch television

This is tempting to do - Put your laptop on your legs,
settle into your recliner, and flip on the television.
The television will distract you and make any project
you're working on take much longer than it should.

While you are working, avoid the television at all costs.

Do: Leave the house to work.

If you have too many distractions, get out of the house and
work at the local library or at a cafe. All you need is a
couple bucks for coffee and Wifi. That's it.

Also, though the idea of working from home is great, there
might be times when you feel like you are homebound and you
just need to get out.

So whenever you get the opportunity, change your venue. It
will keep things fresh and make you happier.

Don't: Work in the middle of chaos.

It's a nice idea to work in the same room where your kids
are playing or where your family/friends are hanging out.
But it just won't work, mainly because you won't work.

Be sure to always separate yourself from everyone else in
the house. If you can't do that then leave the house.

So there are three very important Dos and Dont's for you to
follow. Follow these and you are well on your way to
achieving success while you work from home.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Top 5 Tips to Maximize Your Income on EBay Auctions

EBay, the world’s #1 online auction site has provided a part-time or fulltime source of income for many households all over the world. The process of selling items to anybody in part of the world has made this a huge phenomenon. Many have found a way to sell off their unwanted items and make some money out of it and many others may have found a way to buy items for low and sell high on EBay. Before EBay, lot of these unwanted items would end up as donations to Goodwill stores or trash if they do not sell on yard sales! Now, they have a way of making some money out it.

Some of them have teamed up with wholesalers and drop shippers to create a regular income and sell same or similar items like computer, electronics or furniture etc. over and over again. So, how do you maximize your income on EBay? Short answer would be BACKEND SALES! Did you notice that when you buy a burger at Burger King, McDonald or any other fast food joint, you always hear "Would you like some fries with it?" Have you noticed that at the check out counter of your local grocery store chain, they stack up gossip magazines, TV guides, Gums, Snickers etc.? These are low priced items that sell quickly when people have to stand in long lines.

Here are five unique ideas to maximize your income:

1. Whenever you sell an item, you get the email of the customer. Create a database of these customer contacts and send an email stating that you will be sending occasional information about great deals similar products in the future. It is best to use an auto responder. There are many free sources of auto responders or you can subscribe to a paid one. Whenever you list an item on EBay for sale, send an email to this list. Remember to add this line after your signature - "PS: Please forward this email anyone you know who might be interested". Since you have a good reputation of being a very courteous and trustworthy seller, they will forward your email to their friends and relatives.

2. When you ship your item, always include a list of other similar items that you have for sale. This can get them interested in more items or they may mention it others.

3. If your product is an item that will be needed by the customer again and again (for example shipping package material), then it is good idea to contact them after a few months because the shipping material that you sent earlier would have been consumed by them and they may be looking to buy more. Offer some discounts on subsequent sales or offer free shipping. This will motivate them to buy more from you.

4. Here is a great idea that is used very effectively by many online business owners. These business owners use EBay to get a sales lead only. That’s all! For example a computer parts seller may sell over 100 memory stick for only $3.99 on EBay. All this person is trying to do is get a sales lead. Once the sale is made, they will send an email to mention about their website for future sales. Create a website for your products with a shopping cart. After you sell an item on EBay, send your buyer to your website. Buying directly from your website is profitable to you because you do not have to pay EBay fees. You can encourage the buyer to go your website by giving discount coupon and it will still work best for you because you are not paying any EBay fees.

5. Here’s another great idea for backend sales on EBay. You can sell related digital information products (eBook) along with the main item. An eBook works best here because you can offer it for cheap as there is no extra cost for additional sales and also the buyer has the satisfaction of downloading it immediately after payment is made. You can create your own eBook or buy resell rights to one or sell an affiliate product. You cannot list any other product or link on your EBay auction listing but you can in your "About Me" page. All members get to create "About Me" page. Once you create this page, a "me" icon will appear next to your username. In your "About Me" page, you can create links to your information product. Put the link to your "About Me" page in your auction listing. For example, you are selling golf items on EBay. You can create an eBook (or eBook with resell rights or affiliate eBook) about the improving your golf cut that can be sold for $7.95. In the auction ad, create a link to your "About Me" page where there is an ad for this eBook. The link to your "About me" page can read something like - "Want to improve your golf? Click here for some great tips!" This will lead the auction visitor to the "About Me" page and then to your eBook. The pricing of such digital product is very important! These are not the main item so the cost should be from $5 - 15. Remember "Would you like some fries with this?" Fries cost around $0.70 and that is why they sell quickly. Such backend sales are possible even if the visitor does not buy your main product on EBay and also you will not be paying EBay fees for the sale of the eBook!

This article provides some possible ways to increase your income on EBay. Keeping in contact with your customer is very important. People buy on EBay because of the credibility. There are thousands of new products and services website built everyday but people buy these products only from well established online stores like Amazon, Dell, and HP websites because they feel more comfortable. If not, they will buy from EBay because they get a chance to leave feedback on the seller. This is reason why new online business owners must open a business on EBay so they can also gain credibility from potential shoppers and encourage them to buy from their product website.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Web Hosting Packages for Smart Business

Web hosting packages are clearly the best way to consolidate and present information that you feel the need to make available to the Internet public. Web hosting providers offer a variety of options to host your websites for an array of personal or business needs. There are many reputable companies that provide quality web hosting packages at reasonable costs to you.

Selecting a web hosting package is one of the more important tasks needed if you expect to operate your own virtual real estate. Whether you are simply advertising your business or hope to maintain a large e-commerce with catalogs for your products; or even if you would like to post your creative talent on the Internet, you will need a company to host your website.

The Internet is an enormous collection of websites and each one is hosted on web servers all over the world. The web server (or computer) where a particular websites’ files or graphics exist is known as the web host. Web hosting clients can easily upload their websites to a shared web server. This web server is maintained by an Internet service provider to ensure a consistent and speedy connection to the Internet.

Web hosting packages are as diverse as the material that occupies them. You can acquire free web hosting packages. In reality, "free" is a misconception as there will be hidden fees somewhere. Many clich├ęs surround the so-called "free" web hosting. "Nothing is Free" and "You Get What You Pay For" are two phrases that come to mind. However if you aren’t too concerned about the bandwidth or quality and speed of your website these free web hosting packages may accommodate your needs sufficiently.

There are many things to consider when choosing a web hosting provider. Uptime average guarantee, e-mail accounts and front page extensions will suddenly be vastly important to you. Some web hosting packages support image-only web pages. There are many considerations to weigh regarding the bandwidth that will be available. Thankfully there are also many websites to aid in your research.

Depending on what material you will be posting on the site and how many visitors or hits you will be receiving on a daily basis, your choices may vary greatly from company to company. It is also extremely important to consider whether you are more concerned about quality graphics or video streaming when researching your web hosting options. As you research, you will find the package best suited for your needs.

Crafting a Terrific Close to Your Sales Copy

Now that you have grabbed your reader's attention with your riveting headline and presented your product with great enthusiasm dispelling all possible resistance, included some killer bonuses that make your offer irresistible, it is now time to bring your sales copy to a close.

The close is as important as the beginning of the sales page. This is where the final hurdle is overcome. Therefore, it is to be crafted with great skill.

So what do you write in the close of your copy? And equally importantly, how do your put it across?

Most offers include multiple bonuses that complement the main product. To encapsulate the entire offer for your prospective buyer, summarize everything that he will be getting when he buys. The best way to do this would be by putting all bonuses and products into a table so that everything can be seen at one glance.

Next, the thing to do is to remove ALL risks for the buyer by offering a money-back guarantee. Most guarantees consist of merely a few lines giving assurance to the prospective buyer that he will get a full refund within a specified period of time. Here are two tweaks that you can make to have your guarantee really stand out.

Firstly, you should use an image of a certificate and put your guarantee wording in it. This gives your guarantee a more official and professional look.

Secondly, you can word your guarantee as a personal undertaking or agreement. In other words, instead of the usual "In the event that you are not satisfied for any reason, you are guaranteed a 100% refund...", you can word it as "Should you have any dissatisfaction at all, I promise to give you a no-questions-asked refund of every penny you have paid. All you have to do is email me...". Can you see how this makes your guarantee seem much more personal?

Also, your close should ask for your prospective buyer's action of accepting your offer. This is where your words must be very clear and specific. In fact, give your prospective buyer instructions as though he were a four year old child without treating him childishly.

You do this by giving explicit step-by-step instructions. For example, you could say, "Click the 'Order Now!' button now and you will be taken to our secure order page...".

To complement your order button, you could add some words that reflect the feelings you want your prospective buyer to have. For example, just above the order button, you could say something like, "I understand that I am getting XYZ product at the lowest price ever to skyrocket my sales. And along with that, I will also be getting ABC and DEF bonuses that will give me an unbeatable edge in my business. And if that were not enough, I will be getting a 100% 'love it or leave it' money-back guarantee...".

Lastly, you should sign off with your signature and name. One last powerful piece of copy you should include is a PS after your signature and name. Research has shown that people read PS's more than they do the main copy. Therefore, you would want to add a compelling statement in your PS such as a reminder about your guarantee or your amazing discount, etc.

These are the little tweaks that top Internet marketers use to really add more punch to their close. Now you can do it, too.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

4 Essentials for Creating a Successful Paid Membership Site

For an Internet marketer, the biggest reason for setting up a paid membership site can be summed up very easily - recurring income. A small amount paid monthly by every member can quickly add up to either valuable extra income or even a full-time income if you have several membership sites and if you have a higher priced membership fee, you can quickly earn a very substantial annual income.

People will buy information that they could probably find on the Internet themselves if they had time and knew where to look, but often there is a higher perceived value when they have paid for it.

The challenge then is to find customers and then provide them with such good value that they will retain their membership month after month and hopefully also recommend your site to others because you pay them a generous affiliate fee.

There are four main criteria you need to consider to achieve this and they are:

1. Your site must be in an established membership type market.

2. You must provide excellent value content or service

3. You need to use software that will password-protect your site so that non-paying members cannot get the content for free.

4. A marketing system to attract new subscribers and retain them once they sign up.

Criteria 1 - Your Membership-Site Market

In assessing your potential membership-site market, consider both online and off-line habits. Ask yourself whether people with an interest in this subject would buy monthly magazines, belong to a club or organization about it and perhaps whether there are books on the subject on Amazon's best popular seller lists. Online, check if there are eBooks that sell well, blogs, forums or other on-line communities about this subject.

The topic must be popular enough to have many potential subscribers or you will be wasting your time. It is worth offering some free material, perhaps an ebook on your subject to see how many people have an interest it it. Another strategy to test your market is to set up a simple survey, asking what issues people have. You can offer free membership to your new site as an incentive for people to reply; the answers you receive will guide you as to what kind of concerns people have on this subject.

The information most in demand on-line is that which solves someone's immediate problem, so it is worth considering whether your content or service solves just a one-time problem or whether there could be an ongoing or related issues that you can address.

An example of a one-off problem would perhaps be a remedy for snoring and for an ongoing problem, think of new parents, who have many worries and sleepless nights when their baby cries, perhaps in the middle of the night and there is no-one they can ask for advice. A membership site that contains suggested solutions for the numerous problems new parents face would be a valuable resource for them.

Criteria 2 - Quality Content

The four main types of content are: written, audio, video and web-based software solutions. Naturally, the media type you use will depend on your site topic as some will be more relevant that others. Most sites will include a significant percentage of written material as this is still the primary method of sharing information on the Internet, but audio recordings are increasing popular because people can download them and listen when they are walking, driving, exercising or away from their computer for any other reason.

Video content is preferred when the information you are providing is instructional; "how-to" in pictures or a video can make a process very easy to understand compared with following a written list of instructions.

Another situation where pictures are helpful is showing symptoms of something. For example, for the new parent site mentioned above, there could be photos of the types of spots or rashes a small child might have on their body if they have caught any of the various common childhood complaints such as measles, chickenpox or have been bitten by an insect.

There are many sources of good content apart from writing your own if you are qualified to do so. Your own material is obviously the cheapest, but will take the longest to prepare and you need to know enough about your topic to keep providing fresh material on a regular basis.

Use other people's material by utilizing royalty free articles from article directories such as ezinearticles.com and free content sites, free to use videos from YouTube, metacafe.com or ehow.com or good quality PLR (private label rights).

Outsourcing is another option that will be less time-consuming although you will have costs for the ghost-writer or freelancer you contract to produce your work. Apart from the well-known elance.com & rentacoder.com, there are hundreds of other sources as a simple web search on "outsourcing" will reveal. If you plan to outsource on a regular basis, it is worth the time and effort to find a freelancer and develop a relationship with them, rather than going through a ghost-writing service provider.

Interviews with experts are something you can do yourself with basic equipment. Prepare a list of open-ended questions before the interview and send a copy to the person you will be interviewing two or three days beforehand. Any sooner and they might forget about it and any later doesn't give them time to prepare.

The following are some suggestions for interview questions that will give an expert the opportunity to give you excellent material for your membership site:
1. What is so good about .........?
2. How did you get involved in .........?
3. What do you consider the top 3 things someone should know about ......?
4. What would you suggest would be the best way to get started?
5. How long would it take to be proficient at ..........?

An hour is a good length for a value interview but you may want to go longer and edit the script later. This is easily done even with a free audio editor such as audacity.

Criteria 3 - membership site software to protect your subscriber's investment and save you time

If you can, invest in a specialized memberships-site software package or script. There are quite a number of good choices of varying prices, for example Membergate, Memberspeed, & Wordpress plugins like Wordpress Wishlist, Digital Access Pass (DAP), YourMember & aMember. The advantages of using one of these is that so many of the member functions are done automatically, for example:

1. Membership levels
2. Membership types
3. RSS Feed encryption so that non-paying members cannot access your content through the RSS feed
4. Sequential delivery so that someone cannot sign up and download all the material & then unsubscribe - the longer a person is a member, the more content they have access to
5. Payment gateways - preferably more than just Paypal
6. Training and Support
7. A good strong guarantee

Criteria 4 - Strategies for Recruiting & retaining members

1. Instead of focusing on trying to sell memberships, focus on how how one particular article of your content can solve a specific problem a person might have so that you are providing a solution to that problem and also giving one month's membership to the site for free.

2. Use free advertising by writing & submitting articles & reports, posting on blogs & forums, make squidoo lenses, hubs & other web pages.

3. Buy Pay per Click advertising and banner ads etc

4. List your membership site on Clickbank, Paydotcom etc

5. Email your list & if you don't have one, form a joint venture partnership with someone who does & pay them a generous affiliate commission.

There are many other marketing tactics that have been written about at great length and can be found in a web search.

In summary, if you can address the four main criteria of using an established membership type market, providing premium value content, using appropriate membership software and attracting subscribers, a paid membership site can become a very profitable business model.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Five Obstacles To Achieving Success In Internet Business

A lot have been said and written about the obstacles to achieving all round success in Internet Business but this article is to submit additional five obstacles to the ones that had already been proferred by other authors.

A. Get Rich Quickly Syndrome
The major obstacle is the mad rush to get rich quickly without recourse to patience. Whatever business you find yourself requires hard work, capital and patience. No matter the promises made by an Internet venture, one still need to come on board with capital and time you can invest. But most people believe this money is there already to be collected with ease.
This is wrong, Internet Business is something that needs enough time and efforts to set in motion and once it starts nobody can stop it! Rome they say was not built in a day.

B. Inadequate Experience
Another obstacle is that most Internet business men and women do not have the requisite experience to successfully run an Internet business. Experience they say is the best teacher. Your ability to use a computer/laptop and browse the internet do not necessarily make you a guru in internet business.
Regardless of internet business experience you may have possessed before venturing into it, you still need to do alot of research on the business and carry out extensive plan. Above all, you need to be mentored by an expert in internet business to succeed in the business.

C. Inadequate Working Materials
No reasonable person goes to the farm without the needed working tools like cutlas, hoe, shovel etc to work when you get there. This is one of the obstacles to achieving success in internet business because alot of people enter into the business without the necessary tools. A would be internet business man or woman needs to equip himself or herself with a very good computer/laptop, internet connection and electricity supply. In the case of developing countries like Nigeria where the supply of electricity is epileptic, you need a good electricity generating set as a back-up in case of power failure. So these working tools are very critical to achieving success in internet business.

D. Information Overload
The Internet is the cheapest source of information and because of this, people send different kind of information to your mail bordering on internet business. The volume of information sent is so much that you may become confused and frusstrated even to the point of abandoning genuine ones that would have been of help to you. The best way to get quality information that would be relevant to you is to search reputable and well tested Forums relevant to your line of business instead of going through heaps of irrelevant information.

E. Prevalence of Fraudulent Internet People
The Internet is a breeding ground for Internet Fraudsters of different sizes and shapes. These set of people have succeeded in duping alot of people of their hard earned living thereby frusrating them out of internet business. The best approach to solving this problem is to stop believing everything you are told in the internet. Infact, skeptism should be your watchword. Seek expert advise from mentors on internet issues and above all run away from people that promised to make you become multi-millionaire overnight, they are fraudulent people.

So as stated on the opening paragraph, alot had already been said and written about this topic and that this one is additional five obstacles to achieving success in internet business that have not been said or written before.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Integrate Twitter With Your Word Press Blog

Twitter is a micro blogging platform that has caught the attention of the main stream media. You share your thoughts, insights, knowledge, tips, and interesting article sources using 140 characters or less with your followers in Twitter.

It is not a marketing platform but you can effectively use it to establish your brand and promote your products and services indirectly.

If you are planning to spam your Twitter followers with your blog post URLs and affiliate links, you will not go anywhere. Your followers will un-follow you quickly. You will not get new followers.

Twitter is like any other social media site. If you share information and insights about your niche by filtering them from hundreds of blog posts published every day, you will provide value to your followers.

If you find valuable information in your niche, share them with your followers and their number will increase.

You can also use Twitter to post latest news, hot trends in your niche, links to funny pictures, humorous video links, and other interesting things.

You have to post almost every day, preferably couple of times a day, to keep the number of followers growing rapidly.

If you are using WordPress blog platform for your blog, there are few tools you can use to automate your Twitter activities. These tools will help you use Twitter for promoting your brand.

First, you need to integrate the Twitter feed into your blog and encourage your blog readers to tweet your blog posts in their accounts.

Use TweetThis WordPress plug-in to encourage your visitors to tweet your blog post. TweetThis adds a Twitter link in every blog post you create. If needed, this plug-in will also shorten your blog post URL to fit the 140-character limit.

WPTwitp-ID plug-in adds a Twitter field to your WordPress blog comment form. When users posts comments, they can enter their Twitter user ids and the plug-in will create links to follow them in Twitter. You will be providing a service to increase the number of Twitter followers of people who leave comments in your blog.

Another WordPress plug-in called Twitter Tools integrates your blog with Twitter by pulling all your tweets into the side bar of your blog. You can also post new tweets from inside your WordPress blog.

TweetMeme Button helps retweet your post through out the Tweeter network. It also shows a count of how many times your blog post has been retweeted.

Tweeter Updater tool will send a Twitter status update to your account when you publish a post in WordPress.

You can find the web sites for these WordPress plug-ins by doing a search in Google. If you're not using Twiteer as a brand building platform, you should sign up for a Twiteer account immediately.

Five Obstacles To Achieving Success In Internet Business

A lot have been said and written about the obstacles to achieving all round success in Internet Business but this article is to submit additional five obstacles to the ones that had already been proferred by other authors.

A. Get Rich Quickly Syndrome
The major obstacle is the mad rush to get rich quickly without recourse to patience. Whatever business you find yourself requires hard work, capital and patience. No matter the promises made by an Internet venture, one still need to come on board with capital and time you can invest. But most people believe this money is there already to be collected with ease.
This is wrong, Internet Business is something that needs enough time and efforts to set in motion and once it starts nobody can stop it! Rome they say was not built in a day.

B. Inadequate Experience
Another obstacle is that most Internet business men and women do not have the requisite experience to successfully run an Internet business. Experience they say is the best teacher. Your ability to use a computer/laptop and browse the internet do not necessarily make you a guru in internet business.
Regardless of internet business experience you may have possessed before venturing into it, you still need to do alot of research on the business and carry out extensive plan. Above all, you need to be mentored by an expert in internet business to succeed in the business.

C. Inadequate Working Materials
No reasonable person goes to the farm without the needed working tools like cutlas, hoe, shovel etc to work when you get there. This is one of the obstacles to achieving success in internet business because alot of people enter into the business without the necessary tools. A would be internet business man or woman needs to equip himself or herself with a very good computer/laptop, internet connection and electricity supply. In the case of developing countries like Nigeria where the supply of electricity is epileptic, you need a good electricity generating set as a back-up in case of power failure. So these working tools are very critical to achieving success in internet business.

D. Information Overload
The Internet is the cheapest source of information and because of this, people send different kind of information to your mail bordering on internet business. The volume of information sent is so much that you may become confused and frusstrated even to the point of abandoning genuine ones that would have been of help to you. The best way to get quality information that would be relevant to you is to search reputable and well tested Forums relevant to your line of business instead of going through heaps of irrelevant information.

E. Prevalence of Fraudulent Internet People
The Internet is a breeding ground for Internet Fraudsters of different sizes and shapes. These set of people have succeeded in duping alot of people of their hard earned living thereby frusrating them out of internet business. The best approach to solving this problem is to stop believing everything you are told in the internet. Infact, skeptism should be your watchword. Seek expert advise from mentors on internet issues and above all run away from people that promised to make you become multi-millionaire overnight, they are fraudulent people.

So as stated on the opening paragraph, alot had already been said and written about this topic and that this one is additional five obstacles to achieving success in internet business that have not been said or written before.

Positivity in Business and Life

When life hands you something that you don't naturally agree with, or when you seem to be having all sorts of problems, it can seem all too easy to get down about it and to get upset and negative. However, there are many reasons that you should always attempt to be as positive as you can – whether you are dealing with the stresses of family, of your job, or of your life in general. Being positive is going to help you make sure that you never need to worry about anything else.

There are always times where it seems like it is tough to look on the bright side of things. It can be that you have too little time on your hands and too much to get done, or that you have stresses that you simply cannot combat no matter where you go. However, usually, with some practice, you can learn to see the positives in these things as well, and you can learn to train yourself to always look on the positive side.

The first step to staying positive is to be able to step back from the issues at hand and to learn how to look at everything as a big picture. This is very important because it means that you are going to be able to look at everything put together as a whole, and you won't need to worry about all of the small details. As you begin to pull away and look at the big picture, you are going to see the positives that are there – you might have very well behaved children generally, who are very smart and strong – and suddenly the spilled soda on the floor doesn't seem so bad. You might have a great career with a boss that you respect, and suddenly the issue with one project doesn't seem as important or as huge as before. If you can learn to pull yourself away and look at the big picture, chances are good that you will learn how to start to look more positively at your entire life.

Studies have shown that when you are able to focus on the positive, you are going to be able to attract even more positive energy to yourself. People who are more positive are more attractive, more comfortable with themselves, and are in better spirits – and these things attract only good things and opportunities as well. Therefore, the more positive that you can be about the world in general, and about your life, the more positive aspects you will be able to attract to yourself.

Whether you are dealing with a business, your home life, or with anything else that might be going on with you, you are going to find that there are lots of great things for you to consider about each of the parts of your life. And, the more that you focus on these positive and great aspects, the better you are going to feel about your life in general.

Wake Up Big Corporations, These Are Your Customers Speaking

Have you ever felt really peeved when a supermarket decides not to sell an item that you’ve tried from their store, liked it, and then incorporated it into your general shopping requirements? Or perhaps an own-brand item from a pharmacy that is not only cheaper than anything else on the market but also does the job so much better, and then the pharmacy decide to withdraw that product? Or maybe you’ve put yourself out to support a local farm shop and buy much of their produce which isn’t particularly competitive but nice quality and their home cured ham is exceptional, well worth the 20 mile trip every now and again, and then that shop replaces their home cured ham with ordinary supermarket ham at the same price?

If the answer to any of the above questions is YES then you will be among many thousands of shoppers who feel they have been let down by a company that they have supported.

Many big companies especially seem to have lost touch with their customers and actually treat their customers with contempt and really couldn’t care less about individual customers; the bottom line profit figure is the only thing that counts.

If a supermarket takes off its shelves an own-brand item that is popular with the local community because it is not producing as much profit as a well known brand, it will start to alienate its customer base; particularly in the supermarket business, there is a lot of competition around, and it only takes a few customers to become disenchanted with a supermarket they use and start trying out one or more other supermarkets, before the profits start to fall from the original supermarket. They will tell their friends about another supermarket and before long a small trickle of exiting customers becomes a stream.

A similar sort of thing has happened whereby big corporations have thought that they were being so clever by saving a lot of money by outsourcing certain services, for example call centers, to countries with cheaper wage bills; in the short term this policy does appear to be good, but what about the customers?

Pretty well anyone that you talk to will say that they get confused and frustrated when dealing with foreign call centers, not for any racist reasons but purely because most people at the foreign call centers may be able to speak their language pretty well but they still have a difficult-to-understand accent and they are not aware of the way of speaking, mannerisms, humor, etc in a particular country. It is pretty well universally agreed that people in call centers should be brought up and educated in the same country as the people they are supporting. Many banks in the UK are finally waking up to public reaction to call centers.

So these corporations using foreign call centers will eventually become losers, big time, when one or more of their competitors realize that satisfied customers are the corner stone of their business and that if their business is built on a shaky foundation of bottom-line profits, then a small tremor in public feeling and awareness could bring their whole corporation down.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

MLM Internet Business Opportunity-Careful with Timing!

Many opportunity seekers are looking to generate passive income from a legitimate mlm internet business opportunity, work from home business opportunity, etc. They desire to become successful and make money from home so the current economic conditions won't seriously effect them.

However, before rushing to sign up for any business opportunity, whether it be some sort of internet affiliate program, multi-level marketing opportunity, direct sales opportunity, etc., the would be entrepreneur needs to always ask this crucial question. The question is, "Has the company I am considering passed the "early failure timeline?"

You see, any new home based income opportunity should be able to past the two year test. Why is this? It is because 99% of those new "ground floor" opportunities and start up companies don't last for two years. Therefore, it would not make good business sense to waste time and effort building something that will evaporate after a few years. So, there should be no rush for potential reps to get in a "ground floor" opportunity. After all, if a company is good today, they should be great tomorrow. It is important to not fall for all the hype that abounds on the internet. One needs to learn to see clearly through all the smoke and mirrors before decisions are made.

In addition, distributors should consider that profits usually come after two years. Most new companies do not make a lot of money the first two years due to "pre-launch" start-up issues.

On the other hand, it is good to avoid a network marketing opportunity or any company that has gone way past their momentum phase and are now household names. This is important to consider since the potential for big growth is long gone.

Another important point to consider with any online business opportunity, including a mlm business internet opportunity, is to never join a company with zero profit margin! For example, if a distributor joins a company whose products can be found in Wal-Mart for 50% less than what the company sells them for, the rep is set up to doomed to fail from the start!

There are many home business opportunities for people to choose from now days on the internet. It is crucial to consider the "timing in the company, timing in the industry" issues and if the company has passed the "early failure timeline". This will save all years of failure and frustration who are seeking to have a very successful mlm internet business opportunity or any other type of home business.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Change Is Not Always A Good Thing

It's easy sometimes when trying to develop a successful Internet business tactics to become dissatisfied with the results of your current efforts. When there are so many people talking about how easy it is to do so well, it's not hard to have doubts if you are still getting your bearings.

The only reason you are considering changing your Internet marketing tactics is because you do not think it's working for you. The only reason it would not work for you is if you have not been executing your tactics well, whatever that tactic might be. It makes no difference if you are trying to get ad revenue, sell content, or even sell a specific product. There is an effective way to do any Internet marketing, but you are not going to discover it overnight and it's not going to work unless you put forth the effort.

If somebody who's just starting out is sharing wild success stories, there are two possible things happening. One is beginners luck, yeah, right. The other is extensive preparation. If they aren't lucky, and they probably aren't, they did their homework, their due diligence, which means they started sticking with their tactics before they even carried out it.

By preparing, and then sticking with your Internet business model, you will ultimately begin to understand the ins and outs of your field, and how to make your marketing tactics an effective and profitable one. The rewards of experience can be priceless. Sticking with your tactics, and looking for ways to improve what you are doing without tossing the baby out with the bath water is only going to lead to long term success.

And all that experience is just another reason you do not want to try to jump horses mid race. These horses may not trample you, but the lost profit potential could be just as bad. If you've taken the time and energy to get your Internet business going why would you throw away that entire investment just because it has not instantly made you rich, Rich, RICH?

The truth is, making good money on the Internet is entirely feasible, but it is most certainly not effortless. Sure you can work from home in your pajamas if you want, but you are still going to have to do the work. From producing content, to answering customer questions, to receiving and fulfilling orders, you are going to have to work. Making money on the Internet is so easy anybody can do it, but that doesn't mean they are going to do it without putting in the required effort.

If you are struggling with your Internet business, try to locate some business forums and see if you can get tips and tactics from successful online marketers to help you improve your results. Look for the tools that will help empower you to enhance your tactics with more efficiency and greater success. But the last thing you want to do, especially if you are serious about succeeding, is starting completely over with some other Internet marketing venture. Do your due diligence first, find a reputable and honest business, stick with it, and work the business until you do become rich, Rich, RICH.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What are Your Web Site Marketing Objectives?

Frequently small business owners spend hard earned cash for a web site and they get little return on the investment.

The first step in designing or redesigning your web site is to clarify the goals you want the web site to achieve. What is the purpose of your web site? What do you want your web site to do?

One of the goals of your web site should be to attract the attention of your target market. Most small business web sites fail to do this. Typically, these web sites are filled with information on the firm's services, products and credentials.

These types of web sites do little to attract new customers, simply because they are "me" oriented. In other words, they don't offer what the customer is looking for.

Most users of the Web are searching for information and solutions to problems. If your web site doesn't provide easily found solutions the customer will quickly leave for other options.

Is your target market searching for the content you have on your web site?

Many small businesses have web sites in order to establish credibility. The mere presence of a web site is not going to convince prospects you can help them. To establish trust you need to demonstrate your expertise and qualifications.

One method for establishing credibility is by featuring testimonials. Comments from others are perceived with greater credibility than descriptions of your features and benefits. This will help differentiate your business from the competition.

What are you doing to differentiate your web site and build credibility?

Generating leads is one of the most important objectives for a small business web site. If people come to your web site for solutions, you want as many of them as possible to contact you.

It is also desirable for your web site to differentiate people who are not ready to buy from people who are ready to make a purchase.

Visitors to you web site need to be given direction and incentives.

Does your web site prompt people to supply contact information and contact you? Is there motivation for them to give you their contact information?

Of course the most important goal of your web site should be to help make you money. If you sell services and products it should be easy for prospects to find them, along with comprehensive information about each product.

Ideally, you will want individual sell pages for each product or service. Again, you will want the content to discuss solutions to customers' problems.

Is your web site helping you sell more of your products and services?

It is your customers' problems that maintains your business. You need both customer problems and solutions to keep your business operating.

Customer problems are the fuel that provides the power to your marketing engine. Fueling your marketing engine requires a constant focus on customer problems. The better you can address customer problems the more powerful your marketing engine.

What are the concerns of your target market? What problems do they have that you can solve? What problems do they want solved?

Prospects want to see themselves and their concerns clearly identified in order to feel confident that you understand their needs. Don't start talking about features and benefits until you have identified the problems that the prospects want to solved.

Switch to using your prospects problems as the core to your marketing message and you'll be amazed at how quickly your marketing will accelerate your business.

Monday, June 1, 2009

All you need to know Start Blog Marketing

Whether you are new to blogging or not we always want more ideas to drive readers to our blog pages. Marketing your blog the right way will give you the results that you are looking for. You are going to find that you can not just make a blog, post in it a couple of times, and then expect for the world to find you. That just will not happen how much you wish for it. However, you can market your blog effectively, and get the results that you are looking for.

To begin blog marketing you first need a blog. The next step is to ensure that your blog is updated frequently. Post content in your blog regularly for the best results. Some will post once a day and others once a week. Whichever it is, be consistent with it and know that it will pay off to continue posting as you should. This is a great way to get started with blog marketing. You wont have a blog to market if you do not post in it regularly.

While most free blogs all look the same, you can make sure that your blog design stands out. You don’t want your blog to look and feel like everyone else’s, so make it different. Having your own look is a huge plus in the blog marketing world. You will find that most blogs all look the same and you can have your own look by just using HTML and adjusting the code to suit your taste. You are going to see that this will truly make a difference with your blog as well as your readers. Try to get a theme that is going to match the market that you are promoting in your blog. Doing so will make it look even more professional. You don’t want your readers to confuse your blog with others do you? If this is something that you are concerned about, you will definitely want to make sure that you change yours to make more personable. However, if you are not worried about it or concerned about it in the least, you can leave the design as one of the free templates that you see so frequently used.

Something else that will help you with your blog marketing is exchanging links with authority blogs and websites that are in your same market is another great way to get the word out about your blog. The authority sites are going to have a higher page rank, and will also be listed high in Google’s search results. So do some searches and check those out and see if they are up to exchanging links. If they are not, you could always just add those into your blog roll. You do not need permission to do that if they are not into linking. However, in the world of blogs, most blog owners are thankful for all links, and are willing to return the favor. This is a great way to market your blog that some do not think about or use. If you use this technique to get your blog seen, you will not be sorry. It is a trick you can even use to market your website.

Web Site Usability - What is it?

The primary thing that makes a web site usable is how well it enables someone to achieve what they want to do. To achieve this goal a web designer needs two things. First, you need to understand the basic principles of usability. Secondly, you need to understand the users of the web site and design the site with them in mind.

The International Organization for Standards (ISO) has a definition for usability:

...the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which a specified set of users can achieve a specified set of tasks in a particular environment (ISO Standard 9241).

However, everyone has their own definition of usability, "If I cannot use it, it is not user friendly."

Usability expert, Jakob Nielson lists ten general principles for user interface design.

1. Visibility of system status - Always keep the user informed about what is going on.

2. Match between system and the real world - The system should speak the users' language.

3. User control and freedom - Support undo and redo.

4. Consistency and standards - Users should not have to wonder if different words or actions mean the same thing.

5. Error prevention - Eliminate error prone conditions

6. Recognition rather than recall - There should be no need to remember information.

7. Flexibility and efficiency of use - Allow users to tailor frequent actions.

8. Aesthetic and minimalist design - Extra information competes with relevant units of information.

9. Easy error recovery - Error messages should be in plain language.

10. Help and documentation - Easy to search.

You may be eager to jump right into the designing of your web site. You are excited about your ideas. While your ideas may be very good, you need to stop and take time to get feedback from others.

Before you can consider design solutions you need to have a solid understanding of the problems you are trying to solve, the business requirements, and the user needs. If you do not have this information you should not be considering design solutions.

Depending upon the purpose of the web site these initial steps can be determined very quickly or they may require significant input from business associates and end users. Extensive task analysis and scenarios may be needed. Personas can be developed to help facilitate this process.

It may be helpful to involve end users in the research phase of the design, depending upon the purpose of the web site. It is much better to have their involvement at the early stages as it will save you heartache later.

As the web site is designed, it is important to have usability reviews. As a designer, you must not think of these reviews as critiques of your design. The objective of the usability review is to make the web site design even better. Your budge may determine the extent of the usability review. But even with a minimal budget, a review by a few end users will be very helpful.

After your web site is online and live you still need to keep working on usability. Small improvements in the web site usability can result in significant increases in your desired results from the web site. If your desired results are measurable, you need to test if changes on the web site can improve performance.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What Makes Great Eyeball-Grabbing Sales Copy

Selling services or products over the Internet can be done in two ways. You can either sell through catalog style e-commerce marketing or through direct response marketing. Catalog style e-commerce marketing involves putting a range of services or products with their specifications, functions and uses before the eyes of prospective buyers. Pretty easy. The buyer makes his choices based on the information he sees. But direct response marketing often involves selling only one product or service. The buyer has only two choices - to buy (or take some other form of action the seller wants) or leave. Not easy at all, but immensely rewarding if you can do it well.

In direct response Internet marketing, you must be able to move your reader to take action (often it is to buy your product) simply by communicating through the written word. Doing that successfully takes a very specific set of skills. You must be a master at writing eyeball-grabbing sales copy.

Here are three elements of great sales copy.

Firstly, your copy must have an attention-grabbing and captivating headline. It must stop the reader in his tracks so that he reads nothing else except your copy. There are two ways of doing that. Firstly, you write the main benefit of your product into your headline. Notice it's benefit, not feature that you must highlight. Suppose you are selling an automated blog post making software. Writing, "Introducing the World's Best Software that Makes Blog Posts to Your Blog Automatically" is writing about the feature. But writing, "Discover How You Can Update Your Blog on Autopilot and Never Have to Look at it again for One Entire Year", is writing about benefit.

Features of your product are important, but not in the headline. The second way to make a captivating headline is by writing something in your headline that puts a question into the mind or your reader. This makes him think that the answer must be in the body of your copy and he will continue reading. If you read the headline above, your most natural question would be 'How is this accomplished?' and you will likely read on. Once you get your reader thinking like that, then your headline has done its job. Now comes the body of your copy.

The body of your sales copy must be riveting and engaging. Every word must be written for the sole purpose of getting your reader to read the next sentence. Here's one simple technique to accomplish that.

Think about the old bucket system of dousing a fire. Each person in the line passes a bucket of water to the next person until it reaches the end of the line and the water is poured onto the fire. That is exactly what your sales copy must do. It must move the reader to read the next line and subsequently the next paragraph until he comes to the end.

To do that, your each sentence must lead on to something in the next sentence that your reader wants to know. And the last sentence of each paragraph must leave the reader with some missing piece of the puzzle such that he is compelled to read the next paragraph. Look at the last line of each paragraph of this article. They were designed to lead you to the next paragraph. Can you see how it is done?

Simple, by using certain words like 'if' or '...you must be a master at...' (as in the first two paragraphs), you covertly challenge the reader to find out something he does not yet know. Another way is by stipulating a certain number of points beforehand (as in the fourth paragraph) then your paragraph does not cover all the points you said you would bring up. The reader then concludes there are more points in the following paragraph and reads on.

Another way to write like a 'bucket system' is by using the last line of a paragraph to 'introduce' what's in the next paragraph (as in the 5th and 6th paragraphs). Yet another way is to pose a question in the last sentence (as in paragraph 8).

Finally, great sales copy must have a clear call to action at the end. Your call to action must be convincing and compelling enough for your reader to take the action you want of him (usually it is to buy your product). Your call to action can be made more convincing by answering your reader's objection, favorably comparing the price of your product with another similar product or challenging him to make a change by buying your product instead of remaining the way he is.

A clear call to action is a big topic by itself which can be written about in another article (can you see the 'bucket system' at work here?).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Defining Your Niche Marketplace

The internet world is mine to infiltrate. A successful online business is the goal. Riches and vacations are the dream and the incentive. So why are the wheels spinning and getting nowhere fast?
If this pertains to you keep reading.
Are your e-mails taking up too much of your time? Are you plugging away at an impossible set of keywords? These are just two of the many things that get in the way of having a successful campaign. They were mine.
There are ways of rectifying any distractions. A good way to do that is by creating a to-do list. Once you have discovered the path, you are no longer lost. Follow it and you will escape the forest of distractions and enter the broad landscape of keyword fantasia.
Now you are ready to get to work. Let's find what works best.
To define a particular niche may sound easy, especially if the mind is set on a certain product or service, but it is not. The keywords can and will get in the way of your success if not researched properly.
Keywords are the web term used to define where your potential customers will look for your particular product or service in the search engines.
When specific keywords appear on a web page the search engines will then assume your page will be a good fit for someone typing in your keywords. Of course, there are many other factors coming into play, but keywords are the dominant force in getting your website discovered by your potential customers. Any word can and is a keyword if typed into your computer, but the keywords you choose must be those that your customers would think of when searching for a site such as your own.
It all boils down into how you aggressive you plan on attacking your phrase/keywords and how many competing keywords you face. If the phrase you chose has 5 million competing keywords, how well do you think you will rank? And how easy will it be to get to page one in Google? The answers for both are simple, that is why researching your niche before starting a website is really important. A good place to start is http://www.wordtracker.com. There you will be able to locate which keywords have great potential for marketing.
The niche marketplace is broad in spectrum, but unless you have a huge e-mail list to sell to, you should keep your attention set on a narrow path. Find that potential rose in the field of dandelions and you will be on your way. But don't stop there, once you have located your flower, pick it and take care of it, but by all means find another and another.
A niche market isn't something to be found, but rather a thing you define and create. It will take a lot of effort and time to get it right, but the rewards are well worth it. So rather than spending all your time playing with distraction after distraction, define your niche by finding a great keyword. Then get to work.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Niche Websites For The Longterm

If your looking for longterm, consistent income, then maybe you should look into creating a bunch of niche websites.

Most of the work is done up front, and then you just add to it every little while. If you're getting alot of traffic and/or sales, then you need to put all of your focus on that site to get what you can out of it.

Niche websites are little sites that you can setup using wordpress. Normally about 5-7 pages and promoting one product. They can bring you in a consistent income, sometimes for years! It all depends on how you tend to them through fresh incoming links and updated material. Some do nothing. Others do well. Your hope is that one (or more) does great!

Also, you need to "ping" after every post to your blogs, niche website, or even within your squidoo account. Pinging let's search engines know that you have fresh content on the net. The spiders then come to crawl your site.

Google "ping" to find out more.

Using the free Wordpress.org site means that you will need a host for your sites. There are a ton of hosts out there, but the host you want will support "Fantastico". This enables you to upload your wordpress software at the click of a button.

A host will cost you about $10 a month. Your other expense will be for domain names. For one whole campaign, you're looking at purchasing two domain names, one for your wordpress site and the other for your products affiliate link. This will cost you about $20 a year.

Before you read any further, let's just find out if creating niche websites is for you!

Can you see yourself focusing on one subject for a week or two and then switching gears and throwing all your attention into a new subject?

If you think you can, then maybe this is for you. Alot of people can't do this. They need something that they are passionate about and that's it. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that and actually I would advise you to search for topics that do interest you. Of course, you need to dig down deep into the subject to see if there actually is a market there.

Okay, let me give you a quick rundown on how creating niche websites work!

It's as easy as going to Clickbank, (which is a place where you can promote other people's products and get a percentage of the sale), searching and choosing a product to promote and then grabbing your hoplink(affiliate link). This link is one that you'll want to purchase a domain name for. Once you get that domain name, you forward that hoplink to it, you can do this at the site where you purchase your domain name. Hoplinks are generally pretty long and ugly. You want to look professional, so make them nice and neat.

When choosing your product, stay away from fad products and don't choose a product who's gravity is sky high! Yes, it's nice to know that affiliates are making some money off of the product, but that also means that the competion will be stiff.

We want to, kind of, fly under the radar. Also, before you grab your hoplink from the product your going to promote, go to google and type in "google keyword tool".

Click on it, it's free. Check to see if you can find some good longtail keywords for the product you're looking to promote. We want keyword phrases that are RELEVANT to what you will be promoting. VERY RELEVANT!

Enter a broad keyword. look for keyword phrases that have about 1,000 to 1,500 monthly searches and low competition. Dig down deep, try to find about 5 or 6 really good longtail keywords.

Think about what you want your site to look like, as far as the pages go and what you'd like each to say. I say that because you're site will be about 5 or 6 pages and each page will be optimized with one of those keywords. Title, first sentence of the first paragraph, the "about" page, and maybe 2 or 3 sprinkled throughout the rest of the page.

Now go grab your hoplink.

You're going to be sending people to that hoplink(which has been forwarded to the purchased domain name, which, by the way, should also be relevant to your topic, having the keyword phrase in the name would be ideal) from your niche website.

You're going to be sending people to your niche website from Squidoo via another domain name, this one being your niche website domain name. So, on Squidoo, you're going to send people to the niche website using that domain. But, on your main website, you're going to send people to the product sales page using the hoplink domain. Kapeesh? Did I even spell that right? Haha!

Google loves Wordpress and Squidoo. This is why most ALL of your links will go straight to your Squidoo lenses first.

Do the same thing with your Squidoo campaign as you did with your niche website; create a lens for each longtail keyword.

Now start sending traffic to each lens. Take each keyword phrase and write articles around it, send the links to your Squidoo lens page and to your niche website page. create a blog or two and link to your lens page and your niche website page. Go to Wetpaint and set up a page, you probably can guess where I'm going to tell you to link to, haha!

The bottom line is this; pick some ways to generate traffic and let that become your routine. Soon, you'll start pumping out these sites. Like I said before, some will stick and some won't. Don't fret over it. Just keep creating more and more.

Also, remember this; when one starts getting some good traffic or sales, stop everything else, go to that site and expand it. Do more articles, make more posts, post in more bookmarking sites, create some videos.

Oh and by the way, once you do start generating some steady cash flow; you can purchase some software and/or outsourcing to get these sites up even faster!

Have fun with this!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Choosing an Accounting Package

Accounting is all about numbers. These numbers are collected , summarized and analyzed before creating reports and statements. This is then distributed to management and even stockholders. It takes time to put all these numbers in order which is why an accounting software is often used for this purpose.

The advantage of using an accounting software for starters is that you can reduce the time needed to collate data so you know almost immediately if the business is making money or not.

Another advantage of using an accounting program is that aside from being fast, it is as accurate as the information you put into it. The best part about accounting software is the fact that you only pay once in order to get the whole package. This saves you money as accountants will charge a professional fee each time you require them to do a particular task.

Most accounting programs in the market are easy to use, set up and navigate. This means you don't have to be a certified accountant to use it. Generally, you are given a step by step guide that will help you throughout the entire process.

There are a few things to look out for when you decide to invest in an accounting software. First, this should be reliable. Some software programs look good in the beginning but then fail to deliver later on.

You can talk with other companies that are in the same industry you are in to find out what software they are using. Since these software programs are sold more openly in the web, you should get in touch with current users to see how well it has performed or read reviews written by various organizations that spend time browsing through the program.

Although accounting uses the basics of mathematics, there is more to it than that especially when various sheets are compiled together. You can ask for a 30 day trial period to see if this is what you need. Should the features and all the numbers come back with the same results, then you know it is worth buying.

If it has a lot of features that you don’t need, you should just look elsewhere and get the kind that suits your needs. There are various ones in the market like those used for payroll or to compute for taxes so you should focus only on what you need.

The last thing to consider is the price. Given that you know what features you are after, you don’t even have to buy the most expensive one in the market. Compare prices. There are cheaper packages that can perform just as well.

Reliability, features and price are the three most important things to look for when you decide to purchase an accounting software for your company or organization.

Flipping Websites to Make Money on Line

Flipping websites is a business model that many online marketers use to generate quick cash. Frankly, it is not as easy as that may sound, but once you have worked out an established process for getting the site, establishing its value and marketing it in the right market, it can be a money maker.

This online business is not limited to flipping just websites. The business model can include selling blogs, Squidoo Lens and Hubpages. The upside of building a Squidoo Lens, Hubpage or say a Blogger Blog, is that the site can be built and sold with just the investment of time, with no cash out of pocket.

If the business model was to use Wordpress.org as the site building tool, the cost can be kept to a minimum. The benefit is that the site can be built on a specific domain name and on hosting that you control. A site built for the price of a ten dollar domain name and a faction of a monthly hosting fee, then sold for $50, puts nearly 40 bucks in your pocket or Paypal account.

Building your own site and selling it is only one way online marketers use flipping as one of their multiple streams of income. Another method can be compared to the real estate investing strategy of "rehabbing" properties. In this case, the investor buys an existing site that has some established profit making history. After that the site is tweaked or rehabbed so it gets more traffic and/or converts sales better. Once a the statistics reflect the better profit performance, the site can be sold again for a profit, hopefully a large profit!

One of the trickiest things with flipping websites is determining the value of a site before you buy it or sell it. As with the flipping of domain names, there are services online that will provide you an estimated value report on the website. If expense is an issue, checkout a free service like www.dnscoop.com to help you determine a price for your site.

Another challenge in flipping websites is finding someone to buy it from you. Just starting out in this business model, the best and easiest way to both create interest and market your sites is on eBay. Once you have a value estimate for your site, set up an eBay auction with a minimum bid that assures profit and then see what happens. Once you establish a reputation for marketing quality sites, your auctions will be an ongoing source of revenue for your online business.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do What The Pundits Say You Can't

Remember the days of yore - the ones before there was an Internet? No, you're not dating yourself - it really wasn't that long ago. But the advent of the 'net has changed how business is done pretty drastically in that short space of time, and if you want to squeeze a living from that massive online marketplace, you need to know something about how the rules have changed.

Pre-web, you could crack open a newspaper, check the business opportunities section and find ads galore, all promising to teach you how to make money from home. You'd pony up with a $10 check, they'd mail you back a package teaching you how to sell their package. That self-serving formula hasn't changed much; you'll still find plenty of those online, but they aren't charging you $10 for it anymore, that's for sure.

But there's another kind of teacher that you can find online that isn't trying to sell you on selling them. They really want to teach you how to make money, and aren't trying to fleece you out of what money you have. But they often have one problem: they promote their way of making a success on the Internet as the only true, genuine, workable way to succeed, and proclaim everybody else's methods to be useless at best, and a scam at worst. They take what worked for them as a universal truth, and really they're not wrong, exactly. They just suffer from tunnel vision. You've probably heard the parable about the blind men and the elephant - each one felt a different part of the beast and made their separate (and incorrect) conclusions about it based only on the part they came into contact with . That's what a lot of these online gurus are doing.

If you're trying to learn what "really works" when it comes to making money on the Internet, you are no doubt completely confused by what your research has brought up so far. Let's dispel some of these myths.

Theory One
In these days of blogs and social media, you need to prove your authority for your site to succeed. build your traffic and your authority first, then monetize later.

Theory One Shot Down
While this method can certainly work, it doesn't take into account what your personal style of blogging might be. Perhaps you don't feel yourself to be an authority on a topic you want to turn into a business. If you prefer to write posts that come across like an online diary - if you have your smiling picture up on your "About" page - then the relationships you're forming with the visitors to your blog is a friendly, cozy, interactive one. Once you have a lot of traffic and want to monetize your blog, you'll find yourself in the uncomfortable position of trying to solicit money from people who have become your "friends." You can either establish yourself from Day One as an authoritative source of information, or you can be a blogging buddy. You can't really do both.

Theory Two
You can't be anonymous. People don't respond to a gravatar...they need to see a face.

Theory Two Shot Down
Have you ever heard of lolcats? The icanhascheezburger.com site launched in January, 2007. By June, they were getting half a million hits per day. Nobody knew who ran the site. In July, the two founders were interviewed by Time Magazine, and told their interviewer that they preferred to remain anonymous. It wasn't until they sold their little hobby site for 2 million dollars that we learned their names: Kari Unebasami and Eric Nakagawa. Anonymity didn't seem to hurt them any, eh?

Theory Three
If you have a blog, you must post often or you'll lose traffic.

Theory Three Shot Down
Ask Frank Warren. His postsecret.com blog gets updated once on Sundays, and he landed a multi book contract with a major publisher not long after it swept the web. It's also in the top 100 sites online.

Theory Four
The fastest way to build a list is to give away freebies.

Theory Four Shot Down
Well, this can work, but you could also be laboring to build a list of freebie hounds that never, ever end up buying anything from you. It's a crapshoot.

Theory Five
Your website, blog posts, or mailing list should be about whatever you're selling.

Theory Five Shot Down
On the surface of it, this makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Problem is, it doesn't necessarily reflect reality. You have a brand of socks that you think are the bee's knees, but do you really want to read a newsletter about them? You wanna join a mailing list and hang out in forums and get updated blog posts about your favorite nose hair trimmer? Ask a few gurus what they'd do about trying to sell a product that nobody really wants to read about, and most of them will tell you not to bother trying to sell it. But people do sell these things online, and make a very nice living for themselves doing it. How do you manage that when you can't stay "topical" or "targeted"? Well, find a way to promote an idea that's related to what you're selling. If you're trying to sell socks, consider talking about the fashion industry in your posts. If you're selling nose hair trimmers, you could write about hygiene, or personal grooming in general. If you are selling your services, for instance home renovation, roofing, decks, etc., how about creating a site with barbecue recipes and kids crafts, with testimonials from your clients telling about how they loved entertaining on their new deck and that the kids are crazy about their new playroom. People will love your cool articles and fun stuff, and return to your site to buy what you're selling them. Just talk about what people want to hear and they'll remember the connection.

Theory Six
Do what you love, and the money will follow. It won't even seem like work.

Theory Six Shot Down
Again, another idea that makes sense on first viewing. What better way to spend your life than getting paid for doing something you love? But think about it. What was a leisure pursuit, a way to relax, a way to express yourself, will soon become a full time job, with pressures, deadlines, expectations, and endless compromise as you cater to each new "boss" that pays you to give them what they want. How long do you think it will take before you have no desire to look another doll, or sewing machine, or kit car, or pile of PC parts in the face again? There's nothing wrong with making your hobby into a business, if that's what you really want. But considering the downside, it's also perfectly possible and often desirable to go into something else altogether, keeping your hobbies and business completely unrelated.

Theory Seven
You can't succeed in a field you know nothing about.

Theory Seven Shot Down
It's not tough to see how having a lot of knowledge in a particular field can help you achieve great success in it. And sometimes it's even a prerequisite: you probably wouldn't take flying lessons from someone who'd never flown a plane.

But do you suppose that every successful marketer, website designer or ghostwriter is an expert in every field they're asked to apply their expertise to? Of course not. So what did they do? They found out What They Needed To Know. If you know how to properly research an industry, you can sell anything to anyone in any field and make a success of it.

So don't take what someone trying to sell you their "Make Millions Online" program says as gospel truth. They may not be trying to mislead you, but they may have a fatally narrow focus and a "can't do" attitude that won't reassure you that there really is an infinite number of ways to make money online. If you keep an open mind about the possibilities, you really can make the dream work for you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

4 Really Good Reasons To Start A Blog

For as many people who have started a blog or 2 of their own, for their internet business, there are still ten times as many who have not. That is somewhat amazing when you consider how many benefits blogging can offer your business.

I could write all day on why you should start a blog, but let's boil it down to 4 really good reasons!

1. Everyone else is doing it so why not you. Maybe a better way to put that is your competition has a blog so you better get with it or be left behind eating their dust.

If you compare two similar businesses online today you will find the one that has a blog is beating the pants off of the one who does not. Is that a risk worth taking?

2. Blogs are a great way to interact with your visitors. In fact you can do so many cool things with a blog today that the really good ones make the visit so enjoyable people actually want to come back again.

You can interact with your visitors by adding a place for them to post comments on your blog articles. You can run polls and make it fun to see what people are voting on.

You can add videos on various things relating to the theme of your blog. If you do not know how to create a video you can go to You Tube and copy some simple code and place it in your blog. Presto, you now have made your blog more fun.

3. You can sell products on your blog. This is so easy that anyone can do it as well. Start by placing a banner for your favorite affiliate program on the sidebar. Then add text link ads for more products you sell in the content of the blog articles themselves.

Another huge revenue stream for top bloggers is selling advertising. Did you know you could earn several thousands dollars a month for one banner ad if you have a high traffic blog.

You can even place Google Adsense ads on your blog and get paid every month by Google. They sell the advertising for you which makes it real nice!

4. Search engines love blogs because they are looking for fresh content everyday. If you work at adding new content on a consistent basis Google and other search engines will reward you with free traffic.

So there you have it. 4 really good reasons to start a blog. What are you waiting for? Go do it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Can You Trust Anyone Selling Training Online?

Are they out for your money or are they really interested in helping you to succeed. Both are indeed true. It is up to you to decide which.
There are ways to uncover the facts and it is important that you do if you plan on spending any money. So before emptying your wallet, open your browser and do a search. Go to Google search and type in the persons name or web address and see what comes up. Another way to find out a lot about a certain website is by going to http://www.scambusters.org. If it is not listed there you may be in the clear. Although, all it might mean is that they haven't had any reports yet. Another great place to find out about whether a company is legitimate or not is to go to http://www.sohojobs.org/scams.html.
Since the birth of the Internet there has been many people out there looking to make a quick buck. Many have succeeded because the person doing the buying doesn't take the time to look into what they are purchasing.
So when looking to purchase training do your homework. There are many great training programs available online and many are free. Most trainers will offer a free audio, video or e-mail course in exchange for your name and e-mail address. You are then placed in their autoresponder and will begin to receive sales messages via e-mail. This can be a very fair trade-off if the original training content is good.
There are also numerous training sites that offer multiple sources of material for a monthly fee. It would not be fair to place all of these systems under one dusty old umbrella because there are many legitimate companies out there offering top of the line training. But be careful, do not spend 100 dollars a month on something that sounds too good to be true, because it probably is. What you should be looking for in any one of these companies is the truth. That usually spells out by them claiming there will be work involved.
In any online business, just like any offline business, you must work at it in order to succeed. And in order to become a successful online marketer you must learn and acquire good training to make your dreams a reality. Just be careful and do your homework first, otherwise you could end up a statistic and end up a dime in some scammers pocket.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Link Partner Strategy to Leverage Your Marketing Results

The name of the game with Internet Marketing is productivity. Productivity means reaching the greatest number of targeted prospects with the least effort and expense to generate the most sales.

The key to productivity is leverage: expanding your marketing activity with resources and systems that run without your direct effort or excessive involvement.

Developing a Link Partner strategy is one recommended way to leverage your efforts and increase your productivity, although there are numerous additional ways to apply leverage to your Internet business efforts. These may include:

- Advertising in ezines, online forums, websites and other sources

- Participation as a member in online business and marketing forums

- Participation in Social Networking sites

With each of these leveraging systems, it may take some effort and time to get them set up and to begin establishing your website presence.

The advantage to any or all of these systems is that once set up, they will produce results for you with minimal effort and will continue to do so for extended periods of time.

Link Partners are website owners or webmasters with whom you exchange your website link. You will place a link to their site somewhere on your website, and they will place your link somewhere on their site.

Links can be in text ad form or banner form. Links might be included in an article, a site review or a blog post. Or they might be listed in a business services directory. The style or nature of the link exchange should be agreed upon before the links are posted to prevent any misunderstandings or disappointments.

Link Partners may be easy to find, but the real essence of an effective Link Partner strategy is exchanging links with quality websites. That is, sites with a respectable PageRank and who are already attracting the same kind of visitors that you are targeting for your online business.

There are many good web tools available that can be used to check the PageRank of a website. You can do an Internet search for page rank tools.

To find quality sites and to encourage them to want to support your Link Partner strategy, here are some recommended steps:

1) When surfing the Internet, watch for and bookmark sites that you believe are suitable for your purpose. You could also do Internet searches for your keywords, then check out the sites that rate the highest in the search engine results.

2) Once you identify a suitable Link Partner candidate, write a complimentary review for the site and post the review on your website or blog page.

3) Contact the webmaster or owner of the reviewed site, advise them of the review and give them permission to publish the review on their site along with a link pointing back to your site as the review source. As an alternative to publishing the review on their site, they can simply include a link that points to the review on your site.

You can apply this Link Partner strategy to any number of partners you choose, keeping in mind that the more link partners you have, the more effectively you will be able to leverage your efforts and expand your reach.

Productivity is the name of the game. Increased sales are the goal. An effective Link Partner strategy can be the ideal means to achieve the desired end.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How To Become a Search Engine Friendly Web Designer

There are many great web designers out there, and some of these designers pride themselves on their great designs. Visually of course, a great look and feel is an important part of a Website, but unfortunately, many Websites don't rank well with Search Engines because of this very fact. Many designers get carried away with Flash, complicated table layouts and images, making their Website load slowly or hard to read. Often designers forget or don't know the workings of a web page or a Website as a whole.

In the past, Search Engines were not as evolved as they are now. There are a number of constantly changing Algorithms now in place to determine whether you make the cut. Realistically, you would need a professional SEO company to optimize and maintain your Website properly if you want to follow all the Tech specks that Search Engines use, but to keep it simple, here are some basic SEO tips and questions to consider when building a Website:

1. Optimize the size of the web page to the fullest. Resizing the images to their correct dimensions and getting them reduced in file size as much as possible is important, because the more KB a Website has to load, the slower it is. Ideally, a visitor wants to get in to your Website and get the information that they came for as fast as possible. If the Website takes long to load, visitors will get discouraged and leave. Achieving a balance of a great design and a fast loading time is crucial to Search Engine success. There are a number of Websites that will test your loading time using different speeds. Usually these services are free. Do a search for one. It is definitely worth your time.

2. Too much optimization can hurt you.. Some elements are important to properly optimize a web page. An example of these include: Metatags with a well written Title, relevant strategically placed H1 and H2 Tags, ALT Tags, Comments, and obviously keyword rich content are to name a few. Key fact to keep in mind though, over doing it can actually hurt the Website. There needs to be a balance of real content and optimization. When unsure, less is always better.

3. Is the Website using web safe colors and fonts? Fonts and colors often make a web page more attractive. This becomes a problem when designers use fonts that are not available on the visitor's computer. The font then defaults to the closest web safe font available. The result is often unpredictable and a visual mess. The same applies to colors. Colors look different on different monitors, and unless a web-safe color is used, it will vary on different monitors.

4. Is the content "Readable" by the Search Engines? To display the content exactly how the designers plan it, they often turn valuable content into images. Remember, Search Engines cannot read images. An ALT description can and should be used for images, but it does not substitute for great HTML content. If possible, always opt for using HTML content and ALWAYS, write the content for the readers, not the Search Engines.

5. Design with screen resolution in mind. Screen Resolution is a setting on individual computers that people set according to their preference. Screen resolutions can vary. Here are some common settings that people use: 640 x 480, 800 x 600, 1024 x 768, 1152 x 870. When designing a Website, you would want to stay somewhere in the middle of the range. If you must go beyond that, try to fit at least the important parts of your Website into that valuable space. The last thing you want the visitor to do is scroll horizontally to read your content.

There are a lot more intricacies to why a Website succeeds or fails out there, and different Search Engines are constantly evolving and changing their review criteria. If you speak to 10 different SEO professionals, they will most likely give you 10 different interpretations of what it takes to be a truly Search Engine friendly Website. Chances are they are all correct. It's hard to keep up, but one thing seems to be a definite constant. Keep all the SEO pointers in mind from the start when designing a Website, and definitely design with your visitors in mind. You do that, and it will save you a lot of time and heartache later on, and the Search Engines will love you.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Meet the Tweeple

It seems that there are hundreds of new terms entering our vocabulary each year because of technology. It wasn’t so long ago that nobody would have understand what ‘go and Google it’ would mean. The latest craze bringing in a wealth of new terms of its own is Twitter.

Let’s look at how you can increase your chances of meeting the tweeple. (This is just one of those new terms mentioned. It is so new that spelling checkers still think it is a mistake). Tweeple are simply people using Twitter. Why would you want to meet people using Twitter? The reason is that there is a potential to reach a huge audience very quickly. Unlike spam email the people reading your messages (or tweets) have opted in to do so by becoming your ‘followers’. This raises the possibility for Twitter marketing.

It is not a good idea to blatantly advertise in twitter – even though many do. Apart from the fact that people may stop following you, they are also a lot less likely to click on any of your links. A better method is to tell a story. For example, you could send a tweet that said something like ‘You’ll never guess what happened to me at the shops today – find out the full story [link]’. This would arouse curiosity. The link would send readers to your blog or website where you could include an interesting pre-sell story. Not only would you get more clicks, you are likely to get higher conversions.

Of course, none of this is going to happen if you don’t have followers. There are some simple steps you can take to increase the likelihood of others following you. The simplest is to make good use of your twitter profile. You should include a picture of yourself in order to appear personal and approachable. If you have a website then you should include the URL in the profile. Twitter allows you to add up to 160 characters for your bio. This is an area you should put some thought into. As well as introducing yourself you should add something about the niche you are targeting.

An advanced tip is to change the profile background. Most people couldn’t be bothered doing this so this one small change can help you stand out from the crowd. Not only can you change the background color, you can also add a picture. This could be a picture of yourself, your product or one that just sets a theme.

If you set up your profile well and provide useful tweets that add value you are likely to build an army of followers as well as make some extra sales and get increased traffic to your website along the way.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Promotions That Stick Like Peanut Butter

Are you always searching for new, better ways to promote your product or service on line ? If so, then you are certainly not alone.

Promotion of your site's product or service should be the type of thing that is at the top of your list if you are intent on creating some traffic and sales.

Everyday you are likely flooded with new email offers which promise to create a flood of new traffic to your Web site. Some of these offers are fresh, creative approaches, but most of them are simply re-hashed efforts of systems and creations of others.

For the most part, if they sound too good to be true, they probably are.

This article is aimed at giving you three good, time-tested approaches to promotion of your site that brings you some long term residual benefits and traffic. As you probably already know, increased traffic = increased sales and more profit for you.

Here is three suggestions:

(1) Write Articles

Writing and distributing articles is probably the very best approach in your promotional arsenal.

It's something that you can do for free and with just a little effort. Try to include article writing in your weekly activities. Make a goal of creating one or more articles each week.

Once you have your articles written, you should distribute them through services like iSnare.com, http://www.isnare.com , an article submission and distribution directory. Your articles will be sent out to thousands of ezine publishers and article directories within a few days.

While there is a cost for the distribution, it is small and well worth the cost to quickly and efficiently distribute your articles widely and quickly. It would probably take days of your time to equal their efforts.

(2) Build A Partners List

Establishing a joint venture effort with several of your on line partners who have complimentary but not competitive Web sites, can be very beneficial.

One good source of potential partners would be the Directory of Ezines.com. http://www.directoryofezines.com/ . While this is not a free resource, it can be a beneficial investment that provides you with a ton of information on ezines, advertising and other resources.

You can then swap advertising efforts and share in promotion of each others offers. They can benefit from your promotion of their products or services in your list of subscribers and you can do the same.

To make your contacts with potential joint venture partners easier you can create some contact letters to use as templates. Simply personalize each new contact with their name and information.

It's a win-win situation.

(3) Visit Forums

Location and use of on line forums which are appropriate to your niche can be very beneficial to your site. Most of them will allow you to include a signature file with a URL to your site in your posts you make to the forum.

To locate appropriate forums to visit, simply do a search on one of the major search engines for "forums:marketing." Include the niche you want to find as the second word in your search.

Try to provide helpful answers to those asking questions and needing help in forums you visit. Become a resource that is trusted and respected. You will be more likely to gain some traffic and sales at your site. Be sure to read their rules to make sure you are not spamming.

A conscientious effort by you to apply these promotional efforts outlined in the article above create promotions that sticks like peanut butter and results in increased traffic and sales of your product or services.