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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Understanding the Difference between Marketing & Promotion

Are you an online marketer? Or do you simply promote affiliate
programs? Marketing is truly the most misunderstood word in use
today on the Internet. Let me see if I can clarify this issue
just a bit.

In Marketing 101 at your local university, marketing is actually
the process of Product, Place, Price and Promotion.


No business can exist without a product or service to sell.

In a nutshell, entrepreneurs are the people who believe in a
product, service or idea, so much that they are willing to
invest their lives into the development of their dream.

Historically, every major corporation in the world was started
by an entrepreneur with a dream and the drive to make it a

However, there comes a time in the life of every corporation
when those who fear the gambling nature of their founder, squash
the entrepreneurial drive that made the company a viable concern
in the first place. The entrepreneur will either submit to the
careful nature of the stockholders, or he will be forced to
leave the company he created.

The only entrepreneurs who withstand the pressure to move more
carefully are those who have maintained majority control over
their companies.


In the offline world, place is defined by location. On the
Internet, place is defined by domain name and the web hosting
service chosen.

Both online and offline, place can make or break a company
without respect to the quality and value of the product, service
or idea.


Selecting a price is determined first on a basis of whether the
company wants to be seen as a discount or a value company.

Take for example Wal-Mart and Staples.

Wal-Mart is the lead discounter in the marketplace. Staples on
the other hand is the specialist in office supplies.

Both sell a significant number of office supplies despite the
fact that the lowest price can usually be found at Wal-Mart. As
a value dealer, Staples can afford to charge more for their
products than Wal-Mart.

So the question for you is whether you want to position your
company as a discount or value company.

Testing has shown that products and services can be sold at any
number of prices and still reach a significant number of people.

The challenge of selecting the best price for your product or
service will require a certain amount of testing.


Let`s assume we are selling a product. Let us also assume that
we know that the product can be sold for $10 or $50. Let us also
assume that if the price dips below $10 or rises above $50, then
the product sales fall off significantly.

Our challenge is to determine the best rate at which to sell our

Testing has shown us that we can sell 1000 items a week at $10.
Testing has also shown that we can sell 500 items per week at
$50. And testing has shown that we can sell 650 items per week
at $45.

At $10, our projected weekly earnings are $10,000. When we sell
the product at $50, we know that we can earn $25,000 per week.
Most importantly, we know that we can earn $29,250 when our
product is priced at $45.

With the imaginary testing we have done on our imaginary
product, we can easily see that selling our product at $45 per
item will earn us more money over the long haul.

Thus, when we make the decision for a national rollout of our
product, then we will price our product at $45.

Of course, this is a very simplistic analysis of the point I am
trying to make. Though simple, I believe this analogy will help
you understand the methods of developing a product`s prices.


Promotion, on the other hand, is the process of notifying the
consumers for your product or service of your availability to
serve them.

Methods of promotion vary distinctly and should be arranged to
meet very specific goals.

As with product, place and price, promotion should not be left
to chance. You should test every ad, every media, and every
price point to determine the best bang for your promotional


If you are an online promoter or marketer, please factor in the
most important element concerning the cost of your promotions.

What element is that? Your time!

Value your time at a certain dollar amount, and figure in your
time into the cost of your promotional accounting.

I say this because too many online promoters lose sight of this
concept and spend 20 hours to generate one sale while using free
advertising. Even if you rate your time at the federal minimum
wage, then you will have invested $105 of your time for one sale
that might only net you a gross sale of $45!


Most people who run a business on the Internet call themselves
marketers. Yet, most of these same people are really just
promoters wrapped in the label of a marketer.

True marketers do not promote without a lot of advance work.
They spend time planning, testing and measuring their actions
and results to get the most out of every dollar spent and earned.

Entrepreneurs finesse the art of marketing as they build their
company into a major enterprise.

If you are a promoter who does not keep an eye on the total
marketing equation, then you are bound to fail.

If you do call yourself a marketer, then do what a professional
marketer does. Make sure that every dollar spent is spent well.
Make sure that every dollar earned is put to good use. Market
well so that when the people of the next generation look at your
life, they will see a fine example of a successful entrepreneur
that they will strive to emulate.
Continue reading...

Elements Of A Good Design

One resoundingly negative consequence of the amazing advances in computing power over the last 25 or so years is the notion, still popular despite constant debunking, that all you need to be a designer today is to buy a computer (usually a Macintosh).

When over-caffeinated pundits were first promoting the term "desktop publishing" in the mid-1980s, many said the new technology would result in so many great new print publications (this was before the Internet boom) that it would "put the First Amendment into overdrive.

What really happened, of course, is that entirely unqualified, untrained and untalented people got hold of a Mac, a Laser Writer and some software and proceeded to crank out a few metric tons of 300dpi landfill.

My, how judgmental, you may think. Oddly enough, for all the counterculture tendencies of some, artists in general are among the most judgmental and elitist folks around, and have no problem observing (and saying) that people are not "equal" when it comes todesign talent.

A clever advertisement from that bygone "DTP" era promoted a graphic design firm with the tagline, "Using Picasso's paintbrush doesn't make you Picasso". Since this is a principle and not a value judgment, it is as true now, and will be as true in 2050, as it was then. Fact is, there are elements of a good design that must be attended to and contended with, no matter the medium-print, broadcast, web, even mobile phone displays.

Classic components

Think of the elements of design as the basic building blocks. These elements will be part of everything you design, from consumer products and furniture to magazine pages and billboards, whether you know that or not. (For now, we will restrict our discussion to the layouts that are common to print and web publishing.) It should go without saying, but very little does anymore, that understanding these basic elements will enable you to create more powerful pages for your packaging, ad, magazine or website.

At the most basic level, there are five elements in any design:

1. Lines and linework

These terms do not refer to pen-and-ink or pencil sketches, but to borders, frames and rules. Horizontal or vertical, thick or thin, regular or irregular, they help define and delimit spaces around various elements on your pages. Good linework increases both the readability and "directionality" (see #5, below) of the design as a whole.

2. Shape

Any enclosed area, form or contour in your design is a shape. Shapes in most layouts are square or rectangular, but nothing says they must be, and circles are useful, too. You can also use images to create other, regular or irregular shapes.

3. Texture

Texture imparts a "surface" feeling, and is tactile in printed matter, so choosing the paper stock-matte, weave, coated-is a design decision, too. Textures on layouts meant for broadcast or the Internet are visual only, but still key.

4. Color

Color is probably the element that most designers are at least acutely aware of, if not schooled in. However, color is not required in many designs, and some art educators suggest creating designs without any color first. The artist, in this view, should then add only as much color as needed to enhance or complete the design. Another school of thought holds that color should be one of the first elements determined. Experience and experimentation will help every artist develop a good color sense and strategy.

5. Direction

Effectively designed layouts, in magazines or on your computer screen, usually have a sense of motion. A good design will lead the reader's eyes through the design deliberately, using color changes, shapes, linework and copy placement direct viewers' attention to what the designer wants them to see.

Balance and interest

Other considerations enter in to the process of making good design choices, such as the feelings of space, balance, action and even excitement. The important thing for young, inexperienced designers to remember is that "less is more". One can often identify the design work of a beginner by a lack of open (or "negative") space, an overdose of motion or color contrast, the proliferation of different typefaces and conflicting directionality. Rather than pull every tool and trick out of the bag, the designer needs to remember the ultimate aim of the layout, which for pages in print or on the web is quite simple: Draw the reader in so you can deliver your message.

It seems much simpler after, say, three or four years in a fast-paced, high quality, well-managed design studio. One of the simpler ways of judging a page design is to ask, Does it say "read me" when you look at it? Frankly, some print and web pages look like the backside of a rental agreement, while others seem designed to confuse the readers or test their reactions to optical illusions.

The bottom line of good design is, quite simply, to attract readers' attention, direct it in a particular way and, in concert with the copywriting, make a positive impression. It is, after all, "commercial art" at which most artists work. It becomes much easier for them to do as they learn to leave their egos out of it and simply do what is necessary, proper and effective. If they are unable to do so, perhaps they should go get one of Picasso's paintbrushes and be a different kind of artist entirely.

Continue reading...

What Makes a Website Design a Good One?

A lot of people can recognize good design when they see it on the web. But most people don't really know what makes that design good.

How do you define "good design?" Is it subjective, like your favorite flavor of ice cream? Although there is some subjectivity within good design, there are artistic principles that good design is built from. Here are a few that form the foundation of good design.

1. Proximity

Because items that are in close proximity to one another become one visual unit, items that are related to one another should be grouped together. Laying out related items on a website page this way helps the eye associate the information and enables the viewer to mentally categorize the information easily. The flip side of this principle is that items that are not related should not be placed in close proximity to one another.

The purpose of the principle of proximity is to organize information in a way that enables viewers to quickly and easily comprehend. When information is organized, people are more likely to read it and respond. People are also more likely to remember information that is organized.

How can you determine if items form a visual unit? Squint your eyes and look at the page on a website. Now count the number of times your eye stops as it views the page. On a page that is using the principle of proximity well, your eye will stop three to five times. In other words, there will be three to five groups of information for the eye to comprehend separately.

2. Alignment

You've seen website page layouts where the text and graphics are placed wherever there happens to be space. The effect is messy, with no impact. Nothing should be placed on a page arbitrarily. There should be a visual connection between each item and something other item on the page. When items are aligned, it creates a cohesiveness that the eye appreciates.

The purpose of alignment is to unify the website page. Imagine a well-organized kitchen. All the pots and pans are stored in the organizer, the fruit is nicely displayed in a basket on the counter, the spices are all on the rack-everything is in its place. A page layout needs the same thing.

Look at a website page that you feel is good design. Now focus on the main visual element. Where does your eye go from there? Do you see how other elements are aligned with that one main element both vertically and horizontally?

3. Repetition

Good design repeats some aspect of the website design throughout the site. It's this repetition that makes all the pages in a site look like they belong together. Color scheme, graphic elements, typefaces-all of these elements should be repeated-used consistently-throughout.

The purpose of repetition is to create consistency and to add visual interest. Repetition creates a professional, polished look that the eye is drawn to. When a website design uses repetition and is consistent, it is more likely to be viewed and read.

Here are some was you can create repetition beyond simple consistency in typefaces and colors: Use some element in your logo as a major graphic element in the design. If you are using a ruled line, make the line more interesting visually by perhaps making it with tiny dots or dashes, then repeating the line element throughout the design. Create patterns that are repeated throughout the design. Take a small element and place it somewhere on each page for a whimsical look. Just be careful not to overdo the repetition, or viewers will be annoyed rather than pleased.

4. Contrast

The principle of contrast states that if two items are not the same, then they should be different-very different. Contrast creates an organizational hierarchy of the information and graphics on a webpage. When using contrast, you can't be a wimp! The contrast must be strong to be effective.

The purpose of contrast is two-fold: to create interest on the page, and to organize information. A page that is interesting to look at is more likely to be read. And contrasting elements will help a reader understand the way the information is organized.

Contrast can be created in many ways. You can contrast large type with small type, a serif font with a sans-serif font, bold with light, smooth texture with rough texture, a small graphic with a large one, a dark color with a light one.

A design that integrates these principles will automatically gain a professionalism and polish that it would otherwise lack. Next time you stumble across a website design that makes you say "wow", cheek for these principles-you'll find them quietly working to make that design a good one!

Continue reading...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Simple And Successful SEO Strategies - On Page Optimization

SEO doesn't have to be complex and by following these simple on-page optimization techniques you can give your SEO campaign the perfect start.

SEO is often seen as being a difficult and in-depth process, but the reality is that by following some reasonably common sense guidelines it is possible to get good rankings. That's not to say that optimization is a simple or quick process; there are, unfortunately, no short cuts. Your SEO efforts should be a concerted and long term effort in order that you will enjoy the best possible results and should incorporate both on-page and off-page optimization techniques. By following the on-page SEO strategies below you can set a strong foundation to all your SEO work.

Keyword Research

Before you begin penning content and writing title and meta tags you first need to research the keywords you will use on each of your pages. Using the wrong keywords can negatively impact your entire campaign, causing you to lose untold hours and days of work and eventually forcing you to concede that you made the wrong decision and start all over again.

The most appropriate and most beneficial keywords are popular enough that they will enjoy regular searches but without being prohibitively competitive or overly generic. A number of keyword research tools exist and your competitors' websites are a good place to start your early research. Ensure keywords are targeted specifically to the type of content you will provide as well as the service or product you will be selling. More targeted keywords will result in more targeted visitors and targeted visitors mean greater conversion rates and an improved return on your efforts.

Niche And Semantically Related Keywords

A good strategy is to incorporate a reasonable list of competitive keywords with less competitive ones. The more niche keywords will serve you well during the early days of your website and over time you should be able to start competing for the more challenging of the keywords you use. Also incorporate semantically or topically related keywords into your keyword list because the search engines are placing more and more emphasis on those pages that use related keywords as well as primary keywords.

Accessibility And Standards

Site accessibility is an integral part of good website design but it should also be considered an important factor in any SEO strategy. Using standards based code for your website will help to ensure that anybody that wishes to access and view your website will be able to do so. It will also mean that the spiders used by search engines will be able to access and index your pages effectively ensuring that you get the full credit for your site.

Navigation And Intra-Linking

Your navigation menu and internal links should be prominently placed, easy to see, and easy to follow for the spiders. It is good practice to include a text link from the home page to a compliant sitemap on your site, alleviating any potential problems that might arise from broken links or the use of graphical or flash based navigation menus. You can also consider adding links into the main body of your content, although too many will make the page difficult to read and therefore diminish the overall effectiveness so don't get too carried away.

Title And Meta Tags

While search engines do not specifically use the meta tags to help assess the value of a page like they once did, meta tags are still critical to good SEO performance. The title and description tags that you add at the top of a page are used in various ways including in the compiling and display of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This is the first thing a potential site visitor will see from your site so this mini listing needs to be as effective as any paid advert or PPC ad. Poorly written titles and descriptions can put many readers off viewing your pages so a little time and effort here can have a very positive effect.

Using your keywords in the title and the description is good practice because these will be highlighted in the search results if they were used in the search query itself. This will make your result more prominent and instantly identify your page as being relevant to the user. Don't needlessly use keywords, however, and don't throw extra keywords into the description at the cost of a well written, short ad.

Other Formatting Tags

On-page content should always be written with the visitor in mind, although obviously it can still be optimized for search engines. As such, proper page structure is important to your reader as well as to the engines. H1 and H2 tags are an effective way of breaking up page content, and give readers the chance to skim through a page and determine its relevance.

A page should only contain a single H1 tag at the top of the content but can include multiple H2 and H3 tags. Alt tags on images should also be included and these as well as the actual file path to the image itself can include important keywords (but do make sure that they actually make sense and are more than just a keyword thrown in for the sake of SEO).

Page Content Optimization

Finally, we get to the heart of the page - the content itself. Use the keywords you researched for a page including semantically related keywords. Write as naturally and appealingly as possible while keeping those keywords in mind and don't get carried away stuffing or cramming them into the body of the text. Not only is this unappealing to readers but is seriously frowned upon by the search engines.

The reader really is the most important aspect of your content. If the majority of your visitors are coming from the search engines remember that they arrived using specific keywords. This means that they are searching for equally specific information relating to those keywords - make sure you deliver on the promise that you made in your title and description tags.

Continue reading...

Search Engine Optimization May Not Be As Hard As You Think

Being found on page one of the major search engines is one of the number one marketing techniques you can use.

It's all about bringing targeted traffic and visitors to your site for your niche. Not only that but it is often one of the least costly kinds of advertising even if you hire an expert to do it for you.

For example a Toronto search engine optimization company may charge a few hundred dollars a month for their services. In comparison you would easily spend upwards of a thousand dollars trying to get similar results from paper ads. And optimizing your site can give it much a broader exposure.

You don't always need to hire an expert because you can do a number of things yourself if you are willing to put in the effort.

Before you even begin to optimize your site you need to think about which keywords you wish to rank for.

Think like a customer to discover keywords phrases they might use to find a similar product or service. The more you can think of the better. These may then be plugged into on-line tools like Google's keyword research tool or on sites such as Wordtracker or Wordze.

These sites can give you an estimate on how often these terms are searched for. If you find some terms that have a great number of monthly searches then it is a good indication that being on page one for that phrase could equal a large number of site visitors.

Remember that frequently the keyword phrases with the most amount of searches are often the most competitive also. That does not mean that you can never rank for them, only that it may take quite a lot of time.

A good strategy is to select a mix of difficult and easy to optimize terms. This will help get you a short term and long term focus.

The content contained on the pages of your site should be your next focus.

Try to use your chosen keywords into the various web pages. Despite the fact that one of the reasons for using your keywords in your site is for the search engines don't forget that actual visitors will be viewing it.

The greater the number of pages you can add to your site the better. Every time you add new content you are attracting the search engines to frequently return and reindex your web site. This can increase the chances of getting you to page one for many more terms than the ones you are specifically focusing on.

Finally comes what is definitely the most critcal part. Every time another site points to your web site you are one step closer to being on page one. That does not mean getting just any kind of link from any site. They need to be from sites that are of the same theme to yours.

For example if your site is real estate oriented site then you will need to have a real estate search engine optimization strategy. This may include getting links from various real estate agent sites, blogs, or anything related to that topic. You should be more concerned with quality, not just quantity.

One of the premier ways to accomplish this is with article marketing. You create content in the form of articles. These can then be submitted to various directories for inclusion like Article Alley. Your site will get a link pointing back to it in return for handing out free content. This is step you should be doing a minimum of once a week.

You will slowly begin to see your site's traffic and ranking soar. The greater the time period you optimize your site for the better your results will be. It could take some time and work however it is well worth it.

Continue reading...

Spelling and Grammar in Online Content

Just how important is spelling and grammar in online content? It is well known that not everybody in the world speaks English as their primary language.

It is also well known that while the first fact is true, the vast majority of all websites... and especially websites about Internet Marketing are written in English.

Not everybody can be an expert in English but you really should consider the importance of spelling and grammar in your online content.

Would you allow an auto repairman to work on your car after he described such technical issues as "fixing the thingy there" or talking to you about "doo-hickers" and "thingamabobs"?

The fact is that if you are going to allow someone to work on your car, you want them to know a carburetor from distributor and you want to know what they are working on and without a bunch of generic talk or worse yet... gobbled y-gook involved in the discussion.

In all likelihood, you would probably leave running and never go back. It may be that they are the greatest mechanic in the world but you would never know that because they could not establish your trust. How many sales pages have you seen where you were almost compelled to buy something that sounded really good but had second thoughts?

I personally know of one very admirable product that is nearly complete in every sense of the word and it really is an awesome product.

The sales page is long, involved, detailed and laid out in all the right ways according to the copywriting gurus but conversion rates still hover somewhere around one to two percent. Why is that? Well it could be because it is an expensive product but somehow I doubt that is the case.

It happens to be a very in-depth and informative informational product for Internet Marketing that leads you by the hand from start to finish where you can get enough going to at least get started creating your virtual online empire.

While it is actually an incredible product and you would definitely be interested if you saw it, most people will never actually see it.

The fact remains that when somebody is going to "plunk down" their hard-earned cash for an informational product, they want information. "Well Duh!" you say. Still, how are you ever going to trust someone to provide you with valuable and timely information that will actually help you if they can not even get a sales page up without a massive number of errors?

Are you going to trust them or are you going to run... whether consciously or not, because you are just not convinced that they know what they are talking about?

Nearly everybody is judgmental to a degree. If a fat, smelly, homeless looking person cut in front of you in the line you would be much more likely to get upset than you would if an extremely attractive person graciously intervened and thanked you for your kindness, beguiling you with their charm and good looks.

Facts are facts and no amount of discussion can change reality. The same principles hold true in website copy. If your website is full of errors that could have easily been avoided, it is costing you more than just a little lost ad revenue.

How important is spelling and grammar in online content? Do you want your readers coming back from more or running away without even giving you a chance?

Continue reading...

The Top 10 Essentials for Your Pay Per Click (PPC) Success

Whether you're looking to do Paid Search Advertising yourself or to hire someone to do that for you - you should know what makes a Pay Per Click campaign successful - or you will end up suffering.

Paid search advertising may look deceptively easy to do. Countless times small business owners decide (and correctly so) that PPC is going to do wonders for their business and 'dive' right into it...

Unfortunately most of them don't really educate themselves enough on what to do and how to do it, and then they end up spending a helluva lot of money, with little to no results. Next they declare that Paid Search Marketing doesn't work and then they're out!

Alternatively, the small business owner hires an overpaid, over-promising PPC management firm, and lets them do whatever they like - not knowing what to be aware of in order to make sure he's getting the best possible results for the best price...

Well - despite the doom and gloom scenarios above, I'm here to tell you that PPC works for most businesses!

It works very well, and can be one of the best, quickest, most cost effective and best tracked medium of advertising/promotion there ever was... Sure, there are other ways you can market your business, but if you know how to, and if you want almost immediate results that are fully tracked - then PPC can't be beaten.

OK, let's get to the top 10 essentials of Pay Per Click marketing:

1. Know your market place

It's as obvious as daylight, but people still go into PPC without doing their research. Bear in mind that you may know your market place offline, but when you consider the internet - it may be a whole different environment. So make sure you look into it - even if you have to pay for professional research - it will be worth your while.

If you're letting an agency manage your paid search, then make sure you ask them about your market - make sure they have done their homework thoroughly.

2. Know your target audience

Again an obvious one - and yet again people don't do this step properly. Don't just list out a bunch of demographics about your prospective customers. Get into character - engineer 'real-life' people profiles (avatars), describing everything about them.

Creating about 3 customer avatars for your business, will help you understand your customers, and thus you'll be able to anticipate how they behave. Knowing how they are likely to behave, will allow you to setup a VERY effective PPC campaign process, that will guarantee you success.

Remember - your customer just wants to feel understood, then if your product/service is good - they will buy.

3. Know what you want your visitor to do

In other words decide - do you want a prospect visiting your site to:

- call you to make an appointment?
- email you with more info about themselves, before setting up a consultation?
- click on the "Buy Now" button on your landing page?
- sign up to your membership site?
- sign up to your free newsletter?
- download a free report?

The clearer you are about what you want visitors to do, the easier it will be to entice them to do just that. If you don't tell your prospects what it is they need to do to progress this visit to something that is of benefit to them, they will click away, most likely to never be seen again...

4. Know how they look for you & your product - i.e. understand searcher intent

This one's not so obvious. Only very good paid search marketers know that keywords have different intent behind them. In other words, if a searcher on Google types in "running shoes" they are highly likely to be doing some preliminary research on what types of running shoes there are.

If the same searcher typed in "running shoes reviews" - then they are likely to be still researching - but they now know that they will buy - when they find the shoe that appeals to them.

A prospect with 'buying' intent, however, will likely type in "buy asics gel kayano running shoes" or "asics gel kayano stockists". You get the idea...

5. Start small - grow big later

This simply means that it is better to find the most suitable keyword phrases for your business, and run with that small group first. This will allow you to test the 'waters' and it will help you keep control of your budget.

Later on, when you know what works and what doesn't you can add other phrases to your heart's content.

6. Split test your ads

It is amazing how many people don't take advantage of this feature on Google AdWords. Split - testing will give you a constant way of improving on your ads. Your ad is the 'window' to your sales... so you cannot afford not to be constantly trying to make it better converting than before.

7. Use landing pages (LP)

Landing pages are powerful when using them correctly. They allow you complete control of what your visitor experiences. I always recommend that if you are only wanting one result from your prospect you should use LPs. But if your resources and knowledge are limited, then at least make sure you are leading the searcher to the most search-relevant page you have on your site.

8. Track everything

This says it all - even if you don't know how to, or with what - find someone that can help you. Outsource this job, or simply head over to Google and read all there is on their Analytics service. In some cases this is perfectly sufficient.

9. Listen to your stats

Once you have your tracking working, make sure you look at your stats to see the results. I recommend you look at them once a day in the beginning - depending on the size of your campaign, the amount of traffic your keywords are getting, and the amount of money you've budgeted to spend.

Once your campaign is working and making you profit, you can start looking at it less often, but at least once a week. Also make sure to optimize it regularly on the basis of your stats.

10. Learn consistently and constantly

Learn from your successes, your failures, your competitors' successes and their failures too... I have a document template that I use for all my campaigns called - Lessons Learned. It's only through experience that you will be able to progress and optimize any paid search campaign.

Well - hopefully you'll find the above list of PPC essentials very useful. Of course there are a lot of other important points to consider, like daily budget, competitive research, and return on investment requirements, but the above 10 will be able to start you off in a very strong way.

Bear in mind that whether you're managing your own PPC campaigns, or you're hiring a professional to do it - you can use the list above to make sure you're getting the best out of your campaigns.
Continue reading...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How to Stay Focused on Your Home Business Goals

When you are the owner of a home business, you will find
hundreds of distractions that vie for your time, energy and

Common distractions include: children, family, friends,
neighbors, pets, phone calls, mail, household chores, video
games, television, neighborhood children, visitors, and so many

As an owner of a home based business, you must always remember
your purpose in bringing your profession home. What was your
reason for wanting to own a home business? Was your goal to work
from home so that you can share in the lives of your children?
Was your goal to be out from under the rule of a tyrannical
boss? Was your goal to have the freedom to work when it is
convenient for you? Was your goal to make tons of money working
for yourself?

Here`s a few good tips that will help you stay focused on your
home business:

TIP #1:
Whatever your reason for going out on your own, you must keep
your reason in the forefront of your mind. If you forget your
reason for starting your own home business, you will not be
working for yourself for long. It is far too easy to let
circumstance drive your activities --- and when circumstance is
in the driver`s seat, you are more likely to crash and burn.

TIP #2:
Remember --- your own business is a lot like a real job. Some
people go to work to play, some go to socialize, and others ---
most often those who are paid in a commission or tip environment
--- go to work to work and to make money. When you work for
yourself, your salary is directly proportional to your
productivity. Therefore, wouldn`t it make sense to stay focused
on getting as much done in as short of a period as possible?

Go to work to work and to make money. Leave playtime and
recreation for when your workday has ended.

TIP #3:
When you are dealing with family in the course of your workday,
it is important to schedule your activities as much as possible.
With small children, you must take time when you must, but you
should also work hard to make sure you dedicate a specific
number of hours to your workday.

With older children, it is much easier to tell them that you
will be working between the hours of x and y. Your children and
your friends must understand that certain hours of your day are
devoted to the activities of your business.

TIP #4:
Don`t permit your friends and extended family to run over you.
Many people get the blind idea that if one works from home then
they are not actually working.

Well-meaning people may try to fill your doorway to bring advice
about getting a real job. Others may simply believe that if you
are at home, then you are fair game for chitchat and

You must stand firm. You must make certain your friends and
family understands that when you are working, then you ARE
working! If they wish to socialize with you, then they need to
do it during the hours that are not dedicated to your home

You are the only one who can stand up for you. Your friends and
family will seldom be able to appreciate your dedication to your
home business, unless you make the effort to make sure that they
have the same respect for your business that you do.

TIP #5:
You should allot a certain portion of your day to email and to
regular mail. For example, allot one hour in the morning and one
hour in the afternoon to handling your written communications.

Unless you dedicate certain times to the handling of these
communications, you will soon find yourself on the downward
slope of decreased productivity.

TIP #6:
When you find yourself spending too much time doing
non-productive activities, then you should seriously consider
finding a third-party service provider who will assist you in
those non-profitable business activities.

As an example, you might be in the mail-order business. You
might believe that your time is best spent writing ad copy and
setting up your advertising, but you find yourself spending far
too much time taking care of your books to take care of your
advertising in the manner that you should. In this event, it
might make more sense to hire a bookkeeper to handle your
financial records for you.

In the end, the success of your home business is entirely and
completely reliant upon you and the decisions that you make.

You had your reasons for deciding to start your own home based
business. You must always keep your reasons in the forefront of
your mind. You must always be able to rely upon your own self
and your dedication to the success of your business.

Your friends and family might be annoyed that they cannot come
visit upon their own whim, but when success comes to you and
your business, they will better appreciate you for putting your
foot down when necessary.

Success is within your reach, if only you can stay focused on
your goals. You must decide to reach for your goals, and then,
you must have the discipline necessary to reach them.
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SEO Services: What are they?

SEO services address the inherent mechanism of the world's most popular online search tool, the search engine. Access to the secrets of a search engine assists companies to improve the search rankings of their websites, helping boost traffic and attract relevant traffic. Quality traffic can significantly improve a companys conversion rates, fueling sales and profitability. With Internet surfers using search engines as their primary online information source, SEO services can help companies tap into a large portion of their potential market.

SEO Services: What to Include? Whenever one thinks of SEO services for a website, the only service that comes to mind is researching for keywords that are appropriate for the business. These keywords are the words and phrases used by web surfers to search for a product or service and act as the first step to attracting traffic. However, SEO services encompass much more than simply researching for the appropriate keywords. Whenever an organization hires an SEO company, it can make use of any of the following services to improve rankings on search engines and enhance visibility, popularity, sales and growth:

Site review and modification: These services involve reviewing and refining content, website architecture and backend site coding in order to make every page more compatible with search engines.

RSS Feeds: Search engines such as Google prefer RSS feeds. Creating an RSS feed, with the targeted keyword in the title of the feed, and submitting them to as many RSS aggregators as possible would significantly help improve the rankings of a website.

Blogs: Blogs, especially posted at Blogger, Squidoo and Wordpress, are given preference by search engine like Google. Creating blogs, the content of which is focused on target keywords, and posting them on popular blog sites can have a highly favorable impact on the rankings of a website. These blogs can also be converted into RSS feeds and submitted to make the maximum impact.

Incoming links: Incoming links can be created through active forums and Yahoo Answers. Posting keyword-targeted articles on active forums and asking questions on Yahoo Answers, while focusing on target keywords, would significantly boost the popularity of a website. Each article posted in various forums must have a link that can redirect readers to the website.

SEO services have become more vital to the development of a business than ever before. Rather than merely being a supplementary marketing technique,SEO services can pave the way for increasing a company,s customer base and aid its foray into new markets. eBrandz has been instrumental in the successful execution of numerous search engine marketing projects.

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Article Marketing Tips For Supercharged Profits!

Article marketing when done correctly is a powerful website promotion technique. It is hardly a secret that most well-informed marketers and webmasters use article marketing as one of the many traffic driving techniques. We will take a closer look at the world of article marketing and some tips that will supercharge our traffic and explode our sales.

People use article marketing to post their ideas, views, opinions and knowledge about their pet topics. Article submission directories offer interesting reads and are rich sources of information to readers. They are like online new stands where you can read and even download any article you like except that they are free at article directories. This is mutually beneficial. Readers get their information and sometimes are entertained by the interesting snippets and funny jargons and style of writing authors use. Authors get to tell stories to their readers. Getting targeted visitors to their websites is the main reason for article marketing. What are some handy tips we can use to multiply our efforts?

1. Keyword and Content Research

Many webmasters and internet marketers fail to do a proper keyword and content research. There are many benefits in conducting these researches. They tell you what the market is searching for so that you can correctly target the right market. It is time and effort well-spent. You will also find that a targeted article will attract quality, buying traffic to your website and not just curious readers. So hang out at the forums and blogs to read what people are saying and looking for.

2. Hire a Ghost Writer

It is best if you can write your own content. However, if you are one of those who hate writing, do not let that stop you from using article marketing as a traffic generation tool. You can always hire a ghost writer to write for you. There are several places where you can get a decent writer at affordable rates such as Scriptlance, Elance, The Phantom Writers, Rentacoder and Killer Content. But make sure you ask for a sample article to check the quality. You may also head to Copyscape and do a quick verification if there is any plagiarism.

3. Private Label Rights Articles

There is such a wonderful source of content called private label rights articles. Most come in monthly packages from membership sites or can be bought one-off. Many people make the mistake of using them in their original unedited format in article marketing. Guess what? The search engines quickly size them up as duplicate content. So remember to modify them.

4. Submit To Multiple Distribution Channels

Submitting manually to hundreds of article directories and other distribution channels would take you ages. There are many paid article submission services that will post your article to article directories, newsletters and Ezines. Some examples are iSnare, Article Marketer and EzineTrendz. Depending on your budget size and desired profit margin, you can choose one that fits the bill.

Article marketing like any other marketing techniques is a numbers game. The more you expose your article, the more traffic you will enjoy. Read up more on marketing with articles at my blog and find out which article submission software have been helping internet marketers and webmasters see a sustainable hike in their web traffic and income.

This article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any ezine, newsletter, blog or website. The author's name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

PPC Advertising - The Secret To PPC Advertising

Are you looking for a way to increase your bottomline online and get more traffic to your website? If you are, then you need to know that getting traffic is not how you increase your profits. You increase your profits by getting very targeted traffic that converts into sales and money. This is exactly what PPC Advertising or Pay Per Click Adevertising will provide for you. Here it the secret you are looking for.

The best way to use PPC search engines, like Google Adwords, MSN, Yahoo Search Marketing, and the many others that are out there is to pick the right types of keywords and keep your advertising cost down. This is a process that most of the seasoned professionals use to get their traffic and they have spent many hours coming up with keywords lists for their advertising that will get them targeted traffic and will bring them these visitors for a very affordable price.

You want to use longer keywords than just one word. You should try to stick with keyword phrases that are three words or longer because they tend to be very targeted. The only exception is if you are using a brand name or a product name. Then, it is okay to have one or two words as long as it is not an incedibly popular brand like Nike or Reebok. These would be horrible keywords because they would cost you a fortune and would not bring you very targeted traffic.

Here is an example of what I am talking about:

If you were advertising a website that has to do with golf, but more specifically you are selling golf swing training aids, then you would want to pick keywords that are going to bring you traffic specific to golf swing training aids. You would want to use keywords like "golf swing training", Golf swing training aid", "fix your golf swing", "buy golf swing training aids", and so on. These are just a few of the many keyword phrases you could come up with for this example.

These are all very targeted for PPC advertising and would bring you people that are specifically looking for what you are offering. You would not want to just use the keyword "golf" or "golf swing" because these are very general and you are going to get people to your website that have no interest in your products at all and they will cost you more money to get them there as well.

Discover more PPC Advertising methods that you can use to get your business or website going. Get more info here:

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