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Archive for the 'Spam' Category

10 Quick and Easy Steps To Building A HIGHLY Targeted And Responsive Opt-In List

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Well… I truly have to agree with that simply because this is where you’ll always have a consistent source of FREE Targeted traffic(also referred to as ‘Sticky Traffic’) to promote your offers or related information to for years to come.

It just makes sense, wouldn’t you say?

And, we all know that ‘Email’ is where the $MONEY$ is truly made when it comes to marketing your business online because it gives You the ability to Follow-Up your potential customers until they decide to buy from You.

But, the problem that usually takes place is that people don’t know where to start when it comes to building there own targeted Opt-In list.

Now, for those of you that are new Internet marketing and don’t know what a ‘Opt-In’ list is, here’s a quick definition:

An ‘Opt-In’ list is simply a database of peoples Names and Email Addresses that have subscribed to an email list via a web form giving that list owner permission to send them periodic emails on the topic they are interested in.

Notice how I said, “giving that list owner permission to send them email”.

When they subscribe to your Opt-In list they are giving You permission to send them offers or related information on the topic they are interested in, this is known as ‘Permission Email Marketing’.

This is the ABSOLUTE safest form of email marketing where You won’t get accused of ‘SPAM’.

This is very important that You understand this from the beginning.

So, now that you have a clear idea in your mind of what an Opt-In list is and how it will benefit You and your business, I guess it’s time to share with you the simple ‘Ten Step Process’ that I have put together for you on How-To build your own targeted Opt-In list that you can email your offers to at any given time for $Profit$.

Step #1. Pick your Target market or Niche.

This is a very important step because this is where you need to figure out who your target market is going to be for the Product or Service your going to offer.

So, for example, if I was interested in selling a book related to Internet Marketing, well then, my target market would be Internet Marketing related.

Step #2. Can your Target market or Niche be reach online?

This step is where you need to do a little research on whether or not your particular target market can be reached online.

In order to do this you need to do some keyword research using keywords related to your target market.

You can do this by using the Overture keyword research tool located at the URL I’ve provided below.

http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

Simply type in the keywords related to your target market in the form provided.

This will give you a detailed history of how many searches have been made in the last 30 days on the keywords related to your target market.

As a general rule, if your targeted keywords aren’t pulling in 15,000 or more searches per month, then this is a market I wouldn’t pursue simply because there isn’t much demand for it.

Step #3. Are they making money in this Niche?

This is where you need to do some research on your competition to see if people are spending any money in this Niche.

You can do this by going to Google at http://www.google.com and type in your targeted keywords related to your Niche in the form provided.

This will give you a list of search results.

Those results are your competition, but even more important, to the right you’ll notice little ads.

These are paid ads offered through Google Adwords.

This means that somebody is willing to pay to advertise and is paying attention to this particular Niche and must be making money if they’re willing to pay for advertising.

That’s good news for you.

Step #4. Use Forums to find your Target markets problems.

Forums are a great place to find out exactly what your potential customers TOP problems are by simply scanning there posts and looking for the most common threads.

By doing this you’ll be able to know right away what your target markets TOP problems are and how you can help solve there problem.

To find Forums related to your Niche simply visit Google http://www.google.com and type in your targeted keywords with ‘+ forums’ after your keyword.(ex. internet marketing + forums)

Step #5. What’s keeping them from getting what they want?

This is where you have to figure out whats keeping them from getting what they want in order to fix the problems they are dealing with, meaning, this is where you need to work with them to find a solution to there problems.

Whether its a Product they need or a Service of some sort.

Step #6. What can you offer them to solve there problems?

This is where the money is being spent.

Now, the only thing you need in order to receive your share of the revenue is a Product or Service that will solve your potential customers problem.

If you don’t have a Product or Service of your own don’t get discouraged.

I’m going to give you two resources where you can find products or services that You can become an affiliate for that are related to any Niche that will pay you a commission for every sale you make by simply referring your traffic to there website.

The two websites to visit are http://www.clickbank.com and http://www.associateprograms.com

Step #7. Set-Up a simple direct response mini-site.

Here is where you Set-Up your lead generating website with a Follow-Up System that your potential customers will come to and Opt-In to your list to start receiving offers or related information on the topic or problem they are having.

This is a very simple process to do and you can view my website as an example of how one would look.

http://www.internetwondersezine.com

If you don’t know how to build your own website you can always hire someone to do it for you by going to… http://www.elance.com

Step #8. Get an Auto-Responder account.

This is where you’ll be laying the foundation down for your list.

You MUST have an Auto-Responder account Set-Up before you make your mini-site go live because this is where your potential customers are going to come and submit there Name and Email Address so that you can start building a list to send your offers or related information to.

So, do not miss this important step.

Step #9. You need to figure out what ‘Bait’ to use.

What I mean by ‘Bait’ is… what are you going to offer them for FREE to get them to subscribe to your Opt-In list.

Here are some examples of what you can use as ‘Bait’: ebooks, special reports, mini-courses, coupons, etc.

These are the most common. It really depends on who you are targeting, so be creative.

Step #10. Reach out to your target market.

This is the part where you send traffic to your website in order to get subscribers.

I’m going to mention only two methods.

These methods are the most POWERFUL and for good reason, they work.

The first method is Writing Articles.

By Writing Articles your showing your target market that You are someone who knows how to help solve there problem and may have a possible solution for them.

This is the quickest way to build INSTANT credibility in your Niche.

The second method is to send targeted traffic to your mini-site through Pay-Per-Click search engines.

Pay-Per-Click search engines are where you bid on the keywords terms related to your target market and are listed according to the highest bid for that keyword term.

By using PPC search engines, it will get you infront of your target market Instantly.

Writing articles gives you INSTANT credibility and will put you infront of thousands of readers, and Pay-Per-Click search engines send you HIGHLY targeted traffic to your website within minutes depending on which PPC search engine you are using.

The More traffic you send to your website, the More subscribers you’ll receive.

It’s simply a numbers game.

Well… there you have it, “10 Quick and Easy Steps To Building A HIGHLY Targeted And Responsive Opt-In List”.

Now… it’s up to you to take the neccessary Action in order to get started with your own targeted Opt-In list.

If you already have an existing web business online simply implement the steps outlined above to your existing website.

These are the 10 basic steps required in order to get your Opt-In listing building started in the Right direction.

Simply follow them and you’ll be on your way to receiving your first subscriber in No Time.

Aggressive Marketing

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

If you get an email with a title like ‘Don’t Ever Trust Me Again!’ and continues along the lines of ‘… then you don’t have to take my advice ever again!’

My advice is - Don’t *

Perhaps it’s because I’m skeptical of the number of “miracle” products, “great deals”, ‘limited time offers’ or ‘incredible packages’ that are advertised online every day. Perhaps it’s because I have bought more products than I can possibly use for now. Perhaps it’s because there are probably more people trying to sell this particular package than the number of packages that are available. Or, perhaps it’s because I received an email with almost identical content from too many different sources. Whatever the reason, don’t make the same mistakes as I have in the past.

* It may be a good deal. It may be exactly what you are looking for. But if you receive emails with exactly the same content from different sources, think carefully before you buy. There are some good internet marketers that I have every respect for. However, there are an increasing number of ‘marketers’ that show little thought or consideration for others. They will take from you but offer nothing in return. You may disagree with the last statement. If you buy a product from them and you are happy with that product and they are happy with the money earned from selling you that product it’s a win-win situation.

That’s all well and good until you look more closely at the process. To do this, other factors must be taken into account. These include cost, value, convenience, time, and most importantly trust. You’ve probably heard of the phrase. “The money is in the list”. I wouldn’t disagree with that and it’s easy to see why many of the “big list” hitters are successful in the percentage game. But unless they offer you something more than somebody else’s ’sales pitch’ ignore them. Many of these people come and go. Make sure they don’t go with your money.

With regard to the email in question, here is a quote from a ‘trusted’ ezine that I subscribe to “This is only of interest to you, Bryan, if you really need some brand new products to sell. If not, don’t bother.” At least, this is honest and straight to the point. I know who I’d buy from. On occasion, time may be more important than trust. If this is the case, then make sure you have a use for the product before you buy it. We are all guilty of impulse buying. It can be all too easy to buy something that will seldom, if ever, be used.

If you subscribe to an ezine or newsletter, it’s often useful to keep tabs on the sender. By doing this you will learn to recognize if the content is original or simply a copy of someone else’s work. You’ll also quickly discover if the sender is only interested in using you as a means of earning a ‘fast buck’. This is obvious if there is little or no content, excessive affiliate URLs, or emails that are repetitive or delivered more often than necessary.

If you like the newsletter or email subscription, that’s great. If you don’t, you can usually ‘unsubscribe’. If this fails, then try ‘whitelist’ filtering to weed it out. If you think the email is from a spammer, then be careful. Don’t click on any URL or ‘unsubscribe’ option, and unless you are absolutely sure of the originator, never open an attachment.

If you use eBay or PayPal, you will no doubt be aware of the fake or spoof emails that are periodically blasted out. Well, the spin cycle has begun again. A good tutorial on spoof emails and how to recognize them can be found at http://pages.ebay.com/education/spooftutorial/

Tip - If you have your own website, don’t use your default address for your PayPal or eBay account. Use a different address and you will quickly spot the spoof email in the ‘To’ line of the email.

7 Steps To Running a Killer Link Exchanging Campaign

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Well, there’s a right way to link exchange and a wrong way – if you want the most out of your linking, then be sure to follow these 7 steps:

1. Develop a spreadsheet file (in Excel) and create the following columns:

Website URL
E-mail
Contact Name
Website PR (we’ll talk about how to figure this out in a minute)

Contact 1
Response to Contact 1

Contact 2
Response to Contact 2

Contact 3
Response to Contact 3

2. Finding a Website’s PR.

Go to Google and download the free toolbar. This toolbar has a feature on it that will tell you the PR for any website you visit. If you plan on optimizing your website for search engines, this tool is a MUST.

3. Choosing websites to link to.

Go to any search engine and start typing in keywords for which you’d like to rank highly. Visit each website and add them to your excel file. Once you hit 50 websites, spend some time contacting them. We recommend contacting each website personally and not using any automated software (it’s very easy to see when someone uses software).

There are many programs out there that will do a mass link exchange mailing, but we strongly advise you NOT to use them (at least in the beginning). These programs can get you in a lot of trouble with SPAM laws. Also, if each email is personal, you are MUCH more likely to get a link back.

4. Write your contact email.

Make sure to address the email to someone specific. Always insert some details that you enjoyed about the site. It’s evidence that you actually visited the site and made a conscious decision to link to it.
Briefly introduce your website, and send them the URL of your link to their site. Finally, ask for a link back to your site.

TIP: Give them specific directions on how to link back to you, what keywords to use, and what URL to link to. It always helps to give them the exact HTML coding that they would need.

5. Respond to replies.

If you get an acceptance of your offer: Thank them, and add them to a separate Excel file. This will become a list of people you will constantly stay in touch with (to submit articles, free viral reports, etc.). Register the reply in your “Reply to Contact 1″ section. This way you will know NOT to send a follow-up email.

If the person rejects your offer: Add that note to your Excel file so that you don’t contact them again. A good technique is to highlight that entire row with a red highlighter so there’s no danger of a mistake.

If you get no reply: Follow step 6.

6. Send follow-up e-mails.

Wait one week to follow-up with those who have not replied. This is the second contact. In this e-mail, state that you wrote to them the prior week. Rephrase the email to keep it fresh.

Wait for replies, then repeat Step 5. Do not contact a “no-reply” website a third time unless you have a very good reason to.

7. Find more web sites.

After finishing your initial batch of 50, repeat the process for another 50. Once you begin getting incoming links, you will slowly start seeing similar “link exchange requests” coming to you. This will decrease your leg work.

There you have it – those are the 7 simple steps to starting an effective link exchanging campaign. Remember, a small percentage actually accept and respond, that’s OK. The trick to getting lots of links is to send lots of requests so make this a daily habit.

8 Killer mistakes for ezine failure you must avoid.

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

1) Be Careful with the “from” field.

Although many consider this as a detail, it is the first thing a user will see. Who is sending the email. Use either your name or your business name. Avoid any kind of other phrases in that field .It will cost you a lot.

2) The subject line.

This is the second more important field in the email. Avoid hype in that area like “Earn 50.000$ in 2 weeks” e.t.c. People are smarter than you think. You will never be believable. Emphasize to the purpose of your newsletter .Do not use more than 7 words in your subject line.

3) Call to buy in the first mailing.

This is a common mistake most ezine publishers do .They have sales pitch on the first time. Research has proved that you will gain your subscriber trust after 6 to 7 mailings according always to the content you offer.

4) Use death words, which spam filters ban.

For God’s sake, do not use words or phrases like free, make money, hello, your family, and other. Your newsletter will go directly to junk mail and will be erased without notice.

5) Avoid too much personalization.

Although personalization is important in order to create a friendly ambience, do not overdo it. Some people will consider this as rudeness. Use their name only once in your mailings on the first line of your message, not more. Otherwise, some of your subscribers will be insulted and unsubscribe in a second.

6) Use more verbs, not adjectives.

The best internet marketers and advertisement agencies has proved that verbs are much stronger than adjectives. Especially the “call to action” verbs are so strong that could increase the response rate up to 700%! For example, use the verbs, boost, and explode instead of the word “increase”. See how stronger they are?

7) Use auto responders not web pages.

Many people use on their mailings or other advertisement campaigns their web page mostly. That is big a mistake. The estimate shows that 30% max will subscribe from your web site. On the contrary if you promote your auto responder the percentage, goes from 80% to 100%! Of course, you can use both. It is effective too.

8) Too much info in the submit form.

This is another typical mistake. Some ezines require submitting more personal information such as: email, first and last name, area and other. The info you really need is the first name and the email. Many internet users consider any more than that as violation of their personal info. That means fewer subscribers for your ezine.

A Common Frustration When Operating A Home Based Business

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

The source of frustration addressed in his article may be all
too familiar if you happen to work at an Internet-based home
business which relies on personal relationships and/or teamwork.

I am often contacted by members of my business team with a tale
of woe regarding a lack of response from their affiliates. It
typically goes something like…”I send out lots of emails to all
of them and I very rarely get any response. What am I doing
wrong”.

If your particular internet business involves selling well known
branded items, personal feedback is not an issue. Visitors to
your website (potential customers) are primarily interested in
selection, availability, and price. If it is a returning
customer, then you can also throw customer service into the
equation. Once the desired item is selected, your mouse does
all the “talking” without any human interaction involved.

However, there are many types of internet-based home businesses
where feedback and interaction are quite important and getting an
affiliate or business team member to communicate with you is a
definite objective. It’s not at all surprising that this can be
a challenge when you stop to think that what you are trying to do
is initiate a dialog between two complete strangers who have
never even seen each other.

Heavily branded websites like walmart.com or amazon.com are
household names and carry an implied trust with visitors.
However, the vast majority of websites are not well known and are
found and visited as a result of searches performed by search
engines. In these instances, the visitor is probably arriving at
the website for the first time and human nature often dictates a
sense of fear or suspicion of the unknown which is manifested by
a reluctance to respond to email messages from an unknown party.

It seems that there is no pat answer as to the best way to elicit
an initial email response from a person. I have tried several
approaches with varying degrees of success. Individual styles
will vary, but the following four points should be kept in mind:

*you need to build trust & credibility with thorough knowledge
of your business and with straight forward talk about realistic
expectations

*don’t over-sell or indulge in hype as many people are expecting
this and it can be an immediate turn-off

*send messages with at least one open-ended question that
requires a response

*keep the messages fairly brief, long winded messages that go on
and on quite frequently will not be read

One other thing to keep in mind is that your messages may not
even be reaching the intended recipient and they have no
opportunity to give you a reply. At the end of your messages
you might want to ask the recipient to send you a return email
just saying “got it”.

We all agree that spam is a very serious problem. These days,
many email providers and ISPs have appointed themselves to be the
“information police” and are employing various schemes to try to
recognize and block messages that constitute spam.
Unfortunately, these mail filtering or blocking techniques are
often very inaccurate and many messages that people actually want
to receive are arbitrarily being sent off into the ozone.

I have some first hand experience with this situation. Not long
ago, the ISP that my mother was using suddenly decided that she
would not be allowed to receive messages from me! It took us a
while to figure out what was going on, but once we did, that ISP
was going to soon become history as far as my mother was
concerned.

In the final analysis, all you can do is give it your best shot.
Some people will respond, some won’t…and the beat goes on.
Remember, it’s nothing personal, just human nature at work.

A Day in the Life of an Internet Marketer….

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

To illustrate the above point, take a moment to read the account of a typical day in my office……

7.30am Get up and turn on the computer. Grab a cup of tea while it downloads my emails. A web business is never closed, so even though I checked my emails last night at 11pm, there are still over 30 new ones (not including spam!) - mostly from US customers (I am in the UK so the time difference means that whilst I am sleeping the US is wide awake).
Spend the next hour replying to emails and deleting spam.

8.30am With the emails done, I make a start on the real work of the day - developing. I am currently building a new membership site. The content is there but I am just ironing out some of the ‘behind the scenes’ software issues. The key to a good website is to have everything running automatically so that customers don’t have to wait for their purchases and the site owner doesn’t have to deal with every single transaction that takes place.

9.00am I run into a problem with a software script that I purchased yesterday - basically it doesn’t work and I need it for the new site. Obviously it comes with support, but I purchased it from an American company which means that due to the time difference, I probably won’t be able to get any assistance until later this afternoon. I send an email anyway and hope for the best…..

9.10am Wow, I get a reply back from the software developer - it must be about 2am in the US but he is still working! He agrees to fix the problem and install the script on my website right away - what fantastic service. I leave him to it and go to have some breakfast.

9.30am Ok, more problems, the software guy is telling me that the reason the script doesn’t work is because of my web host. I phone them up and they tell me that the problem is with the software - oh great, I am stuck in the middle! Unfortunately, I use one of the largest web hosts in the UK so they don’t take too much notice when I tell them that my software chap in the US thinks there is something wrong with their configuration settings!

11.30am Two hours later and I am still going back and forth between the software guy and my host. We don’t seem to be any further forward and the last telephone conversation with the host involved them telling me that they don’t offer support for third party scripts and there was nothing more they could do. I find this somewhat irritating as I am paying them well over $1000 a year for hosting and the software guy is earning a fraction of that and still hasn’t been to bed yet!

11.35am The web host phones back with a solution, I pass it on to the software guy. His opinion - it looks good and he will get back to me in 5.

11.37am Software guy is back and everything works - yippee! I thank him for his efforts and work out that it is probably around 6.30am in the US and he has been up all night. Now that’s what I call customer service. This is one of the reasons that I like to deal with small businesses - they tend to care more about your custom and make a bigger effort to keep you happy.

Happy that the script is now working satisfactorily, I check my emails again - another 25 have arrived since I last looked, so I spend 45 minutes sorting them out.

12.15pm Emails finished and I really want to get the website done so that I can launch it tomorrow. I am going away tomorrow evening and I want to launch it before I go, otherwise it will be delayed for another 5 days and it has already taken a month longer than I anticipated to complete. I make a start on the final testing.

12.30pm I have a brainwave for a new website and get sidetracked into doing a bit of research on the Web to see if anyone else has already set up a similar site…….

12.45pm I can’t find anything like my idea on the search engines, so I figure that even if someone has already thought of it, if I can’t find it then no one else will be able to. I forget all about the members site that I am supposed to be working on and start designing a home page for my new idea.

2.00pm That’s the problem with the Internet - it is too easy to get sidetracked into other things! I have just wasted over an hour playing around with a new site - a new site that I have no time to build. I add the idea to the pile of post-it notes on my desk - must be at least 20 ‘great ideas for a new site’ in the pile - I will get around to them one day…….

2.15pm Right, I am back on the job and the new website is ready to go. I need to draft up an announcement email to send to my subscriber list to tell them about the new site.

3.15pm After typing up a long announcement email, I bore myself reading it and decide it is just too long. I cut it down to a couple of paragraphs and upload it to my mailing list manager for sending tomorrow.

4.00pm I realise that I haven’t had anything to eat except for a couple of bits of toast first thing this morning, so I take a break and have a sandwich.

4.30pm Back at my desk (I am sure I got a full hour lunchbreak when I had a job!) Another batch of emails to reply to and a customer having a problem with opening an eBook which needs sorting out. Customer service comes before everything else, so I spend the next 30 minutes trying various things to fix the problem and eventually get things working for the customer.

5.00pm By this time of the day, my eyes are usually getting pretty tired from staring at a computer screen for hours, so I don’t normally do anything too ‘important’. It is a good time to have a general surf around and see what other people are doing online.

6.00pm Have just remembered that I promised to review an eBook for a colleague and get back to him today with my opinion - I haven’t even opened it yet! I hope it isn’t too long….

7.00pm Phew, it was only 30 pages, so I read it and send off an email with my comments. Just a few more emails to deal with and then I am turning the computer off for a couple of hours.

7.30pm - 10.00pm Dinner and slump in front of the television time!

10.00pm Quickly check my emails again before going to bed. I don’t like to leave anyone waiting for longer than 8 hours without a response - I know how frustrating it can be waiting for a reply.

11.00pm Bed and I am ready for it too!

Baxter Grabber - Advanced Landing Page Strategy

Friday, April 21st, 2006

The purpose of the Baxter Grabber is to drive prospects (leads) into your sales process from free search engine traffic.

It all begins with the landing page design. The landing page begins with a compelling headline which follows traditional direct sales style headlines. The headline is followed by a compelling multimedia presentation. After the multimedia presentation, the format follows a short form sales letter. This means that there is an opening paragraph, followed by compelling benefit driven bullets, a closing paragraph and the lead capture form.

An example landing page: http://www.baxtergrabber.com

Now, let’s get into what makes the Baxter Grabber different.

Using a JavaScript overlay, the landing page masks keyword rich content pages designed to target the search engines with laser precision.

Let’s take a step back.

Most of us are familiar with programs like Ranking Power (http://www.rankingpower.com). These programs generate keyword rich doorway pages that the search engines love to index and rank highly. The problem with these systems is this… the pages are ugly, nonsensical, and are useless to 99.9% of the visitors that visit them. Most of us call this search engine spam. But, thinking outside the box, I discovered a way to use Ranking Power in a way that benefits both the site owner AND the visitor.

This is all detailed in the free Baxter Grabber report.

Now, you begin with your keyword research and develop a list of keywords that target the market you are attempting to sell to. You take this list and run it through the Ranking Power script. When you reach the template section of the script, you add the JavaScript overlay which in turn points to your multimedia rich landing page. You now let the script create the hundreds of keyword rich pages. If everything was done properly, you now have hundreds of keyword rich pages the search engines see; all the while your prospect sees the landing page you created.

Truly a win-win scenario.

While this may look difficult, it really isn’t. I’ve created a free 6 page online tutorial anyone can access at http://www.baxtergrabber.com. Every step of the process is detailed, all java code is presented, and a solution is given that automates the majority of this process for you.

Bottomline to Increase Your Website Sales Instantly

Friday, April 7th, 2006

“How the hell can I increase my sales?”
or

“I’ve got tons of visitors but nobody seems to be buying anything? What gives?”

FISHNETS WITH HOLES? ANYONE?
Getting traffic is not the be all and end all of a successful online business. It requires skills, specific online marketing strategies designed for your site and a robust customer service strategy.

So what if you have thousands of visitors per day! That does’nt amount to success, unless you close at least 5 to 10% of those visitors.

You see, when you get a lot of traffic from your advertising and marketing activities and nobody there to guide them, is like hauling a big fishing net in the water with a major flaw…..it has a sizeable hole in the middle. So you can say goodbye to eating fish…for now, at least.

Would you go and pick up items on display from a store that does not offer the least bit assurance of somebody manning it? Sure! Sure, we’re on the work smart, work less attitude but hey, humans prefer humans, and they most certainly will buy from somebody they’ve talked to before. You see, they need to feel some warmth and yes, especially on the internet where items are passed on in “cold” or “digital” means.

DOING THE BOTTOMLINE
It’s good that you have some or a lot of visitors to your website, but the bottomline is that you should have the best customer service and a lot of options for them to contact you, the soonest. The more the better!

Look around you. Take a look at the most popular sites on the net or even your favorite newsletter, they all have one common factor, customer service availability.

The most common or popular customer service strategy is through a form-to-mail which prohibits anybody from spamming your email account rather than having them email you directly, well unless you have a very good email filter software.

But you can offer them additional ways to contact you such as these options below.

PROVIDE MANY OPTIONS FOR CONTACT
Online business is a contact sport. You want to close more sales? Then increase your customer service availability and options.

Providing them with a lot of options would mean that you are always ready to receive their inquiries, or issues with a welcoming smile. It would make you more credible. It would create a halo of success to your already plumed hat.

Let us take a look at some of the free ways for you to interact with your website visitors:

CHAT SERVICES
Mostly, website owners would be the one manning these free chat services and if you’d like to be assumed as a pro-entrepreneur you can always advance anytime to a helpdesk solution or upgrade from your free account.

Bravenet.com - Free Webmaster Resources. Cut and paste services you can use for your site for free. They use LivePerson for their customer help service. (FREE AND PRO)
http://www.Bravenet.com

Chat-Forum.com – They offer free Java Chat Rooms & Advanced Custom Internet Chat Solutions (FREE AND PRO)
http://chat-forum.com/

Parachat.com - They’re solutios enable real-time communication on their own web site for a host of applications, including corporate interaction, moderated events, distance education, visitor retention, customer service, dating and romance, entertainment, and family fun. (FREE AND PRO)
http://www.parachat.com

Boldchat.com - Boldchat is a FREE live chat service for web sites to do live help and live support chats with visitors. They don’t have ads and their free account is for unlimited personal use. (FREE AND PRO)
http://www.boldchat.com

PHONE SUPPORT
If you want credibility then put your phone number up in your website. Make it more visible to the eye especially on your home page or on your product or service order page. This way, they’ll be more comfortable to see that they can call you anytime. You can ask your local phone company to provide you with a 1800 number so visitors all over the world can call you for free.

RULING IN VOIP
VoIp is certainly getting it’s share of the market right now as more and more softphones or internet phones are coming out of the market every month.

What is voip? Voice over internet phone which basically denotes that you can now make clear pc to pc calls worldwide.

Skype.com
Take a look at Skype for example. They’re definitely a new player against giants like Yahoo, and MSN but they say that they have 14 million downloads up to date. I’m not against them but hey, they’re software is ad-ware so you should be aware!
http://www.Skype.com

Buzzfon.com
There’s a new player in town and they call their pc to pc calling softphone, Buzzfonp2p. They’re giving away free 30 day trials and yes, the user surveys are in. They’re clear, the quality is amazing with no disruptions mind you even if you’re on dial up! So you can check them out. http://www.buzzfon.com and nope, they don’t have ads on them and you can even make pc to phone calls, phone to phone calls, phone to pc calls on their advanced version of Buzzfonp2p, aptly called, Buzzfon+.

GO BROADBAND FOR LESS
There are a lot of broadband services out there who would’nt charge you an arm and a leg for their services. One of them is Vonage and the newest player in town is Bonusfon.

Vonage.com
They have specific target packages for different market segments and they’re basically number one in terms of broadband user surveys.
http://www.vonage.com

Bonusfon.com
They are certainly getting their own share of the market, as what the energetic telecom owner Tam Sanchez said regarding distributing global broadband services. Their rates are highly affordable and they have a feature called pay –per-talk. Pay only for the services you need and you want. Yes, they’re lower than Vonage and more competitive and flexible in terms of packaging.
http://www.bonusfon.com

HELPDESK SOLUTIONS
Helpdesk solutions are web applications that you install on your own server or hosted on the provider’s server that includes most of the customer support solutions like FAQ, TICKET SUPPORT SYSTEM, and LIVE CHAT. Some even have phone in support.

There are a lot of helpdesk solutions out there which are free but then always has a drawback. It’s either, chatting service are slow on your server or it just freezes in the screen while you’re online or you can only try it if you have the latest language of php, and perl installed in your server.

There are particular helpdesk solutions we like that offers a lot more for less.

LiveHelp.Stardevelop.com – PHP Live Help Messenger is the new real-time, live chat, customer service software solution allowing customer support operators to chat to potential online customers browsing your web site. (Price : $89.00)
http://www.livehelp.startdevelop.com

DNAHelpdesk.com - DNA Helpdesk is a powerful yet user friendly module for the corporate helpdesk available on its own, combined with DNA Pack 1 (Inventory) or as part of our overall DNA management suite. DNA Helpdesk is a fully web based solution providing detailed recording and tracking of user Help Requests. (Price : Commercial)
http://www.dnahelpcenter.com/

IN CONCLUSION
There are a lot of ways to interact and create a more personalized service than your other competitors and that will surely depend on the ways and means that you want them to contact you. Provide them more avenues of interaction and they will certainly trust you more than your competitors. Help them to help yourself.

Happy Profitting!

Business Needs Drive Search Engine Updates

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

All major search engines claim that they strive to present search results to users with the highest quality. But the business of search engine is business. What they won’t tell us is that there’re many business reasons for every major search engine updates. Search engine traffic is hot commodity - it’s free and has higher conversion rate since the searchers are very close to make their buying decisions. The downside of the search traffic for webmasters is that they don’t have control at all. Your sites may be ranked #1 today, but nowhere next day.

Search engine companies will, no doubt, use the search engine traffic to maximize the values for their stakeholders. Google’s Feb. 2 update (allegra update or Superbowl update) once again shocked the webmaster community like last Florida update. The noticeable change in Superbowl update is that well-established sites rank well even for specific keywords that aren’t even highly relevant to their pages. You may think the move is to fight spams and improve the quality of SERPs. That’s only part of the story. The results of the update is that the websites of well-established corporations (with never ending press releases) will get a major traffic boost from Google. Google does this by algorithm changes, not manual manipulations.

If we think search engine traffic from Google is really an incentive to try it free before you buy. This time, Google decides to lure the major corporations to test the benefits of search traffic. Major corporations will likely increase their spending in online advertising and those news agencies may even drop their law sues against Google if they see the traffic from Google justifies that their sites benefit from including in Google index database.

Is this the real driving force behind last update? Only Google knows. If you own Google, however, you will do the exactly the same.

Will this negatively impact the user experience? - maybe and maybe not. What is the real difference between the #1 spot and the site that ranks #100? - the backlinks. Backlinks don’t alter the quality of a page at all.

When they say technology, they mean business. Major technology changes are always driven by business needs. It has nothing to do with “good” or “bad”.

Strategies to Cope with search Engine Updates

The Internet and the Web was once hailed as the new medium and the new opportunity for small business and site owners. They will be disappointed as big three peek into fortune 500 companies’s deep packets. There’re strategies they can use to cope with the search engine updates, however.

1. Create a portfolio of website using different SEO techniques. If some of your sites get hammered in a update the rest may benefit
from the update.
2. Generate traffic from all major search engines.
3. Use the search traffic to build loyal user bases.
4. Build sites similar to the sites of well-established companies. The tags, on-page, off page optimization techniques will become less and less important as major corporations aren’t interested in those types of things that geek webmasters are interested.

Crisis On the Home Front

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Crisis On the HomefrontBy Lisa

ReddellCopyright 2004Viruses, spam and system

crashes are just some of the challenges that online business

owners face on a daily basis. But there is another challenge

that many online entrpreneurs may overlook.Across the

globe, Mother Nature wreaks havoc with monsoons, tornadoes,

hurricanes, and earthquakes. Would one of these natural

disasters create a crisis on the homefront for your e-biz? What

would you do? Are you prepared for the

worst?Recently, a natural disaster hit my

town. Seventy to eighty mile per hour straightline winds ripped

through Cheney

Kansas. The damage left in the wake of the storm was

unfathonable. The town was

in shambles. It really got me to thinking about how it would

have effected my business

if the storm has destroyed my home. Since I work from home, the

destruction would

have likely taken my business down as well. Looking over my

files on my computer,

just my documents folder alone is 336 megabytes. That’s not

including my website,

graphics and the other tons of files I have.I

remembered reading an editorial

from an ezine recently that spoke of online back up services. I

decided that an online

back up service would be worth looking into. After all, how

would I recover from

a tornado or flood, if it destroyed my home and business?

Computers can be replaced,

but what about the data and files? After a quick search using

the keywords “online backup”

and “online storage” (without the quotes), I had a starting

point for my research.

What I found was a cornucopia of options, from pricey to quite

reasonable in regards to fees.

I chose the companies at random after careful consideration of

features included,

security issues, and amount of storage verses cost. The

companies I chose, in no

certain order are as follows:


target=_blank>http://www.bullguard.com/antivirus/backup.aspx

Free trial - no

$39.99/year/10 MB

Type - back up


target=_blank>http://www.backup.com/

Free trial period the first 30 days

$49.95/year/50 MB

Type - back up


target=_blank>http://www.streamload.com/

30 day free trial

$4.95/mo/3000 MB

Type - storage


target=_blank>http://www.usdatatrust.com/service/default.asp

30 day free trial

$199/month/5 GB

$150 activation fee

** Online information kit - very helpful

Type - back up


target=_blank>http://www.iomega.com/istorage/

30 day free trial

$2.49/mo/50 MB

Type - storage/back up


target=_blank>http://www.xdrive.com/features/backup.jsp

15 day free trial

$9.95/mo/500 MB

Type - back up


target=_blank>http://www.filesanywhere.com/Features.htm

30 day free trial

$8.95/mo/500 MB

Type - back up


target=_blank>http://www.ibackup.org/

(back up only)

30 day free trial

$14.95/mo/4 GB

Type - back up


target=_blank>http://www.ezbackup.com/

30 day free trial

$9.95/mo/250 MB

Type - back up

How does one know exactly how much storage one needs? Well,

that’s a good question.

I recommend that if you use your PC on a regular basis, you

probably have between

100 to 500MB of data to protect. You should only backup files

that you can not easily

replace. These files are usually created or named by you. Do

backup documents,

financial files and pictures, etc. Don’t backup operating

system files or applications. A

good starting point in determining your storage requirements is

your “My Documents”

folder. To do this, right click “My Documents” and select

properties. The size

displays on the General tab. Take a look at other folders or

files you want to protect

in a similar manner to determine your storage requirements. You

can always upgrade

or downgrade your account.I would not recommend using

an online service in the direct

vicinity in which you live. If your community is hit by a

natural disaster, chances are, your back up service would be

affected also. Location of your back up service should be a key

consideration in protecting your data and files.So, are

you prepared for a disaster on the

home front? If not, you should be. Take control of your online

business. Don’t wait

until its too late to take action.Lisa Note: It is my

most sincere desire that

this article has made you go hmmm…and answered questions

about online services

available that can be utilized to protect an important

investment. Your business.



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