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Archive for the 'Forums' Category

10 Ways Writing Articles Can Improve Your Business

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

And if your articles are distributed via the proper channels and subsequently spidered by the major search engines, your website’s link popularity will steadily increase over time for added and long-term exposure!

To help you get started, here are 10 proven ways to share your knowledge, distribute your articles and expose your business for free:

1. Submit them to e-zines and web sites for publishing. Include your resource box at the end of the article to get free advertising.

2. Combine your articles into a free e-book. You can place your business ad in the e-book. Give it away to visitors and allow them to do the same to multiply your advertising.

3. Create an article directory on your web site. People will visit your web site to get the free information.

4. Submit your articles to print publications that pay for submissions. You can make extra income getting paid as a freelance writer.

5. Combine a few of your articles together into a free report. Give away the free report as a bonus for buying your main product or service.

6. Publish a book with all your articles. Make extra money selling the book from your web site.

7. Give people an instant article directory. Tell visitors they can instantly add a free article directory to their web site by linking to yours. All those links can add up to a large amount of traffic to your web site.

8. Post your articles in related online communities. This can give you free advertising in newsgroups, forums and e-mail discussion lists.

9. Allow people to include your articles in their free e-books. Your article could end up being in 20 to 30 e-books in no time. You won’t even have to promote the e-books.

10. Let people access your articles by autoresponder. Include your full page e-mail ad with the article.

If you haven’t started writing articles to increase traffic to your website, I urge you to start today. This overlooked technique is truly viral marketing at its best. Take advantage of the above 10 ideas, share your expertise and create long-term exposure for your business!

Google Takes Care of Idiots Too

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Truly this statement applies to me, because when it comes to my search engine optimization skills, I’m on the idiot side of scale. But that’s okay because idiots are loved, and can easily survive in the search engine game too.

Let me explain.

Although NONE of my 6 web sites rank in Google’s top 10 (or top 20 and 30 for that matter), and I only advertise 2 of my sites using AdWords, Google still helps me make a lot of money.

That’s probably because I went into this search engine optimization ‘thingy’ with a grain of salt. I don’t keep any secret arsenals of software tools that reverse engineer web sites to figure out why their ranking high. I haven’t read any of the latest must-have volumes on search engine optimization. (Although they’re on my to-do list when - and IF - business ever slows down.)

And still my MVP Google does its best to make me happy. And I do my best to give its searchers relevant content. But not in the way that most SEO savvy webmasters would recognize

A Guide to Choosing the Best Home Based Business for You!

Friday, May 19th, 2006

- Mark Williams ©

What if I told you the best home based business for you was right around the corner just waiting. You would most likely say “Yeah Right” and then pull down the imaginary wall of skepticism in front of you. That is O.K.; it’s perfectly natural and understandable. It is my intention to help you find that perfect work at home opportunity that fits your personality and lifestyle.

Within the context of this article I am going to give you an easy to follow guide, or set of things to look for, to find the best home based business for you and your lifestyle.

There are several factors to look for when trying to decide on a home based business. They range from investment costs to time constraints and other factors in between. I am going to give you the basics of what to look for in deciding on a home business.

RESEARCH

The most important thing to do is research. Researching the company extensively is vital in choosing a business opportunity. Find out how long they have been in business. I like to use the 5 year rule - it is a good measuring stick to see if a company is for real or just a fleeting fad.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the company has any negative comments or complaints. If it is an internet based company read the forums and posts to see what people are saying about them.

You need to be careful with forums and posts because some people in them have ulterior motives. Usually, anyone with common sense can read through those fairly easily. Always remember to keep an open mind when reading posts and forums.

If it is a company that sells products and services, then learn more about their products and see how they compare to leaders in that industry. You want to make sure that you are going to promote quality and reputable products and services. The last thing you want to do is jump in with a company and realize that their products are a joke and that selling them is going to be almost impossible.

ASK QUESTIONS

Now that you have done your homework and know all about the company it is time to start asking questions. These questions should be answered before you invest:

1. What is their compensation plan and how does it compare to the industry average? Find out when they send checks and how often if you are working on commission. I have been caught before investing money advertising a product only to find out that I was not going to receive a check for my sales for 90 days.

2. Ask them about their support program. What tools are they going to provide you with to help you become successful? All quality home based businesses, including MLM, know that the more successful you are, the more profitable they become.

3. Ask them if they are going to provide you with proven advertisements and marketing methods. You must be able to promote the business or it will fail miserably!!

4. Ask them if they handle all customer support and shipping. If they do, that it is a feather in their cap. That means that you do not have to worry about dealing with customer complaints and shipping troubles.

Do not be afraid to call the company and ask them these questions. A legitimate company will not be hesitant to answer them. Calling them establishes that they are a real entity with real people working the business.

TALK TO OTHER DISTRIBUTORS

See if you can get into contact with other distributors for the company and ask them about their experiences with the company.

1. Do they pay on time?

2. Find out if they really provide the kind of support they advertise.

3. Inquire about the number of refunds and chargebacks that they get each month. Additionally, find out how many of their customers are repeat customers that order monthly.

The distributors are more likely to give you real world answers to these types of questions. If they are willing, the distributors can give you a really good feel for how good the company is to work with.

At this point you need to take all of the information you have gathered and review it. A quality home based business meets the following requirements:

1. They have a higher than industry average compensation plan.
2. They have a minimal number of bad business complaints.
3. They pay on time.
4. The company offers excellent support to their distributors.
5. The company offers a full-time income opportunity.
6. They sell quality products or services.
7. They must have quality customer service.

If all of these questions have been answered in a positive way and you have an interest in the business, then the opportunity is legitimite.

Make sure that you have an interest in the business that you are looking into. In order to be successful, you must, at the very least, be interested in it. If the desire is not there, it doesn’t matter how good the company is - you will fail!

I hope you can take these tips and use them as a guide to finding the best home based business for you. Working at home has several benefits and few negative aspects, especially if you are a stay at home parent. So, I encourage you to use these guidelines and go out and get the financial freedom that you are looking for!

C’mon Rich, tell me what to do…

Monday, March 20th, 2006

The basic form of the question varies but essentially it is the same and here it is:

‘I have read everything I can about marketing online.

I understand how to get traffic to my website.

I know how to make my website appealing to customers.

I know about generating income with ‘backend’ products.

I understand everything you have taught me over the past X years….

BUT WHAT DO I ACTUALLY DO?’

Yup, the question is simply ‘What should my online business actually be - what should I offer - what do I do?’

Of course, this is the $64,000 question and there is no easy answer. If I could pluck guaranteed business ideas out of the air every time someone asked for one, I would be a rich man. Unfortunately, I can’t and neither can anyone else. Even if someone did have a pool of surefire ideas, would they really be willing to share them with others for nothing?

However, I can try and help you come up with your own idea by making suggestions and eliminating some, almost certainly, bad ideas.

Firstly, do something that interests you and that you know about - if you are not interested in your product and don’t have the first clue what you are talking about, I can guarantee that you will not be successful. For example, don’t try and sell products about making money on the Internet if you yourself are not making money on the Internet.

Secondly, don’t do something that is already being done by thousands of other people unless you can add a highly unique ‘twist’. For example, you will never make any money setting up a general online auction site - there are already plenty of established sites with millions of registered members. Why would anyone want to use a brand new auction site with no members when they can sell on eBay?

Thirdly, (and I know I keep banging on about this but it is important), find a small market that is easy to target rather than a huge, general market. Small doesn’t have to mean ’small’ on the Internet. The money is in the niche markets - trust me.

I know how hard it is to come up with an original idea but it isn’t impossible and plenty of people do it everyday. If you can’t come up with something yourself, spend time surfing the Net and ‘brainstorming’ with others in forums such as: http://www.traderonlineforum.com

Dealing with Refund Requests – Internet Marketing

Monday, March 13th, 2006

1.We know that that person got the use of our product and didn’t have to pay a cent for it (and it can be a disturbing thought but it does happen… some people are just habitual refunders)

2.Advertising isn’t cheap and when you’ve paid to get that customer in it can feel like a beat around the head when you not only refund the money but it often incurs a fee for the refund purchase, so now you’ve just paid that customer to have your materials

3.Organizing a refund could be time spent better doing other things

The best thing you can do for yourself and your company is to keep a “cool head” about it. Getting all nancy about it even if it is a “habitual refunder” can do more damage for your name in the long run.

I’m sure we’re all aware of the statistics of if someone has a bad experience with your business they will tell 11 people about it, if they have a pleasant experience they will only tell 3 people about it.

Well I think those numbers are a little higher on the internet. People have access to forums, emails, websites etc.. etc.. They will take neither pity nor a second thought to run off to these places and give your name a real bashing if you handle the refund request in an unprofessional manner. Once they head to these type places on the internet you can pretty much be assured they will be telling a LOT more then just 11 people. One bad review is all it takes to lose business.

Thankfully most people in the world are “decent” and won’t take advantage of you or your company and sometimes the best mind set to have is believing they have a genuine reason for requesting the refund. And sometimes not all business is lost even if someone has “requested a refund”, if you’ve dealt with it professionally and their motives for the refund were of good intentions (maybe that wasn’t the product they were interested in) you could still stand a chance doing business with this person down the track with another offer of something that’s more suited to them.

Don’t Mistake Activity For Achievement

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

night. The Miami Heat were playing the New Orleans Hornets.
Miami was all over them yet when you looked at the score
New Orleans kept pulling ahead.

Bill Walton made the comment “Don’t mistake activity for
achievement.” I’ll always remember that. Just because Miami
was playing hard didn’t mean they were playing smart.

This can apply to our everyday lives and more directly to
our internet marketing careers. As we all work hard to make
money online and make money at home you should ask yourself
this question everyday, “Is what I’m doing right now going
to help me make move my business forward?”

I am as guilty of this as anyone. I check my email over and
over clicking on the send/recieve button looking for new
messages that say something like “Congratulations You Have
Made Another Sale.”

It is so easy to constantly log into a program and check my
stats over and over. What’s the point? If they do change it
isn’t enough to even merit the time it takes to do it over
and over.

How about this one. Reading posts in forums until your eyes
are blurry. That’s o.k if you are involved and making some
posts as well. You might as well get your link out there
and posting is a great way to learn something as well as do
that. But you have to post once in awhile too.

Here’s the key to getting yourself past the activity mode
and into the achievement mode.

Write down 5 specific things you want to accomplish
everyday to help you make money on the internet. Here is an
example of this.

1. Make 5 new posts in forums
2. Trade links with 5 quality websites
3. Submit my article to 5 article websites
4. Place my ad in 5 free classified sites
5. Call 5 of my home business prospects

Now what is the key to these 5 things on my list? Well for
starters they are written down. Next it is an advertising
and marketing driven list.

If you aren’t spending 80-90% of your time on advertising
and marketing your home business then you have no right to
complain when you aren’t making any money. It is that
simple.

You have to write down action items for the day and the
majority of those action items have to be doing something
to advertise and market your business.

Every one of us has different amounts of time we can spend
everyday working to make money online. It isn’t how much
time you spend, but how you spend it that will determine
your long term success.

Do’s and Don’ts for the Internet Marketing Newbie (Part 1)

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

 
First, in the article which is Part 1, I will list some important “DO’s”. Part 2 will cover the DON’Ts.
 
· Do take your time, one step at a time. Do understand that building your business is not something than can be done in a matter of days, not even months in most cases. It’s going to take time, lots of time.
 
· Do practice Patience! I know it’s not one of my virtues either and it’s really hard to put into practice, but to save your sanity, try to be patient!
 
· Do understand in the beginning you will be suffocated with so much information and resources your head will hurt (that’s where the Information Overload headache comes from) and you will not know which direction to take first. You’ll just be spinning your wheels if you try to go off into 20 different directions at once. Remember, concentrate on one thing at a time!
 
· Do use your best judgment when weeding through all of the information. Throw away the obvious hype and keep what you feel is resourceful and useful.
 
· Do make it a goal to accomplish one task each day. Later when you can handle it add one or two more tasks. Progress slowly.
 
· Do look for free resources, there’s plenty out there on the internet to help you build and promote your business. There’s also a lot of hype and misinformation and just plain bad information, so definitely use number 4.
 
· Do join some good internet marketing forums. You will find a lot of advice and tips on how to promote your business.  Many people there are also “newbies” and you can bounce ideas off of each other. Many will post what has worked or hasn’t worked for them. Learn from the internet marketing experts, they were in your shoes at one time, benefit from their experiences.
 
· Do file and organize the information you receive for retrieval later on. Organize your email by creating folders to keep information categorized and easy to find. Keep a log in Microsoft Excel with all of your affiliate ID’s, affiliate URL’s, and memberships.
 
· Do learn some basic HTML code. This will make it easier for you to change, delete, and make any additions to your website. If you don’t know how to add a link to your website then how will you exchange links with other websites to increase your search engine rankings. Go to http://www.htmlgoodies.com and take their basic HTML tutorial. Read my article titled “Why You Should Learn HTML” on my Articles and News page at http://www.profitfromhomebiz.com
 
· Do realize that it’s going to take a lot of work and time to establish your business. Especially, a business on the internet.  It’s not an auto-pilot business. You will probably spend more hours working at this business than you would a regular 9 to 5 job.
 
· Chances are you are new to internet marketing, so study and learn as much as you can before you just jump in. Know what to expect and be prepared.
 
· Do realize that having an internet business is just like having a business in the “real” world. You need to have a plan, you need to advertise, and you must have a budget.
 
· Do download the “30 Days to Success” E-book written by Stone Evans. You can find a free copy on my website at http://www.profitfromhomebiz.com. You will need to provide your name and email address which will subscribe you to my Home Business Tips Newsletter (which is full of internet marketing tips and articles), and then you can download the E-book. It gives you a day by day guide on how to promote your business online. It’s an invaluable tool!
 
· Do believe in yourself and your abilities. Believe in your success!

I divided this article into two parts so you would not fall asleep trying to read the whole article at once. Part 1 of this article has covered the DO’s for the internet marketing newbie. Part 2 of the article will cover the DON’Ts. Be on the lookout for the part 2!

Easy Way for Newbies to Market Home Business

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

After spending countless hours on the computer and throwing many dollars down the drain, I learned one very important thing: You must combine mass marketing with a personal touch.

There are many great marketing tools you can use to achieve mass marketing including pay per click engines, placing ads, buying leads, banner advertising, and exchanging links just to name a few. While these methods can produce positive results, they lack the personal connection many new business owners need to build a true customer base.

On the other hand, personal touch methods such as emailing your family and friends about your new business can be a great way to start spreading the word, but this approach may not help you reach enough people to give your business the jump start it really needs.

So where did this lead this flailing entrepreneur? Message boards.

I initially visited message boards to get help with my marketing dilemma. In the process, I realized this was not only a place to exchange valuable information with other home business owners, but this was also a great place to market my own online business.

Not only did I find plenty of message board group members willing to give information, I found many interested parties for my own business. Soon, I realized that not only was I becoming a more educated marketing guru, I was introducing my new business to many new friends (and customers).

By joining message board groups, not only will you find a new outlet to advertise your business, but you will also build credibility among your peers.

Follow these simple steps to begin utilizing message boards to market your home business today:

1) Visit a search engine and do a search on message boards.
2) Click through to the message boards and search for forums related to work from home and/or your specific type of business.
3) Join a few message board groups. (Note: Some message board groups will allow you to post without being a member, but membership increases your credibility).
4) Post information about your business. Remember to give specific instructions about how to reach you including email address, Web URL, etc.

Message boards are an efficient and effective way to reach a targeted market with direct contact, and, best of all, they are free. As you will soon see, these message boards are quite powerful as there are thousands of subscribers who receive posts from message board groups in their email boxes each day.

Start joining message board groups now and take your home business to new heights!

Find Your Niche & Follow It

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

With the advent of the internet you can certainly find out what folks are wanting. Being the first at the front of the line to bill them might not be quite so easy.

But there are ways to find out if there’s an existing hungry crowd for your product idea, and more importantly a crowd with pockets bulging with cash to give you.

In this article I’m going to share some tips that will save you much heartache from chasing after the wrong market.

Firstly I believe that it is very important that what you sell interests you, otherwise you sign up for a life of struggle and worse… Boredom!

Motivating yourself to sell something you have no interest or belief in is soul-destroying at the best of times, so don’t do it.

Just because *rubber cat suits* is your thing doesn’t mean the rest of the planet digs them at all. I mean that’s a pretty small niche with less than 560 searches performed a month. Yes I did actually go and check out the stats for it.

One of things I’ve found in this marketing-malarkey is that I am able to explore interests that I simply don’t have the time or inclination to actively get involved in.

Take archery, I can twang a bow as well as the next man, and have done for the past couple of years. But the idea of traipsing off to all those shows every weekend, predominantly talking a load of rubbish just doesn’t do it for me.

BUT sell this bunch of Robin Hood wannabees an infoprod, and I’m game. Seriously though, I love archery, it’s one of the few sports the British government hasn’t actually tried to ban… yet!

And that brings me to my point… What do you have an interest in that also has a large number of people willing to do what I call *the wallet flip*. You need to be looking for markets where the folk won’t even blink at spending $100 a year on the products you will be selling.

OK time to take some action:

=> Draw up an initial list of 10 of your interests.

=> Scan your bookshelves to see what reference books you’ve bought in the past, and on what subjects or hobbies.

=> Pay attention when folk you meet start talking about their hobbies, their passions.

=> Pop down to your local magazine store and see what interests are being catered to.

=> Can’t be bothered to pad down to your local store, then click over to Magazines.com and do some searches.
Link: http://www.megastep.com/dt/t.html?id=166

=> Buy a stack of these magazines and go through the classified ads with a highlighter. Call up the ones you’ve circled and ask for their information packs. Make a note of which ones you’ve called and see how soon the information arrives. How are they selling? Good, bad, OK? Could you improve on the quality of what they are offering? Over five to six issues how many of the adverts are repeated? Make a note and watch that market like a hawk. If they weren’t making money the ads wouldn’t be running.

=> Hop over to eBay to research all the different sub-categories. Which ones are active? Which ones are commanding high prices?
Link: http://www.megastep.com/dt/t.html?id=167

=> Are there any discussion forums related to your potential market? Buzz over to Forum Find and do a search.
Link: http://www.megastep.com/dt/t.html?id=168

This is just the beginning. Start paying attention to what people are interested in. This can simply be as easy as listening to folk banter when they’re in the checkout line.

Scan the news, open your eyes and mind to opportunities. You’ll be amazed at how your brain kicks into “selective perception”. Don’t know what that is? Ever bought a car and then suddenly you notice the whole planet is driving the exact same model. It’s like everyone decided to buy the car YOU just bought. Well that’s “selective perception” at work. Same thing happens when you actively go hunting down niche markets… actually it can work great for an awful lot of other things… building keyword lists is another example, and another story.

Five Ways To Detect Shill Bidders On eBay So That You Don’t Pay Absurd Prices

Monday, February 6th, 2006

A buyer will sometimes attempt to use shill building to raise the price of merchandise he is selling. The idea is that the shiller will bid increasingly high prices, in the hope that legitimate buyers like you will top the artificially high prices in an effort to win the goodies for sale.

Here are five ways you can recognize a shill bidder:

1. Few shill bidders will have any feedback. This is because they never follow through with transactions and therefore don’t have anyone to leave feedback. If the shiller does have legitimate transactions on ebay, he is usually smart enough to use a separate ID, because he does not want to get caught shilling and lose all buying and selling privileges.

{It is important to note, however, that just because a bidder has no feedback that does not mean that he is necessarily a shrill bidder. This may simply be a new account that has not had time to build a feedback reputation.}

2. Generally, a shiller only bids on the auctions of a particular seller. When in doubt, you can check the current and completed options of a seller and see if this shiller has bid on other auctions by the same seller.

3. Shill bidders are most often newbies. You can check the feedback, and the date that the eBay account was created, for any ebay member. If the bidder’s account was created two days ago and he is bidding on several auctions of the same seller, you can be pretty certain about what is going on.

4. eBay has ways of the tracking shillers. Of course we don’t know everything they do (and if I did know I wouldn’t tell!) but some clues all are dead giveaways. For example, if the seller and the bidder have the same IP address, eBay knows to take a closer look.

5. Shill bidders retract many more bids than normal buyers. eBay does allow any buyer to retract a bid, although this is only supposed to occur for specific reasons. But in actuality, a retraction is rarely challenged and ultimately what can eBay do? It cannot force a person to pay for a particular item.

It is wise not to use this option on a frequent basis. Remember that your eBay behavior deal is constantly tracked. A retraction is considered to be a “black mark” on your reputation so don’t do it very often. Shillers, on the other hand, don’t care because they’re unconcerned about their reputation. If caught, they simply open a new account.

Sometimes a shiller is the high bidder at the end of an auction. In that that case, the seller and buyer can agree to cancel the bid, rather than retract it. However, all this takes a lot of work, planning and effort. In the end, shill bidding is rarely worth the trouble and time. Instead, smart sellers spend their time finding products and writing listings - the two basic moneymaking activities of an ebay business - instead of plotting how to raise profits on individual listings. Success in business is about efficiency.



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