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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.