Blog Page 47

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Starting an online business can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. It can also be the most confusing if you’re not sure what kind of business you’d like to have. There’s a popular saying that says, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

That means you need to make sure that your online income doesn’t all come from just one source. A way that you can diversify that source is to start selling info products. You can create an information product in as little as a day, depending on what the product is.

One of the best info products to sell is to write and sell your own eBook. You need to write an eBook on a topic that people are searching for information about. The topic can be one that you’re very knowledgeable about or it can be one that you become knowledgeable about by researching the information you need to know. Other than eBooks, you can also create online courses or workshops sharing your expertise.

You can also promote products as an affiliate. You find a product that you believe is good and will sell well and you begin to promote it for a commission. Promoting just means that you’re raising awareness about a product by driving traffic to it.

You can promote products without cost to you and many people find this type of an online business one of the easiest to break into. You can promote products by writing articles about it and submitting them to article directories, or you can blog about it, promote it on your own website or on any of the common social sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

Many budding entrepreneurs create membership sites. A membership site means that you get paid to pass your knowledge onto others. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re an expert on how to fix computers. You set up a site where people can log in and get access to answers to their questions, they can participate in a forum there, etc.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of how to set up and profit from your membership site, you can turn around and teach others how to do it by writing a how-to eBook or by setting up a course!

Another way you can launch an online business is by offering freelance services. Freelance just means that you are your own boss – you can take on the gigs you want and turn down the ones that you don’t.

There are so many ways you can branch into having an online service business. You can do graphic design work, build websites, edit what other people wrote or you can write articles from scratch for other people.

What’s great about all of these businesses is that start-up costs are often cheaper than buying a meal out! To get started, you need to set up a website and you need a way to accept payment (PayPal is a great way to do that).

Once you begin to get to work and build your reputation, you’ll be able to take your pick of the kind of jobs you’d like to take on. One word of caution, though – if you don’t take a freelance job through an online service that matches jobs with those seeking them, make sure you define the work you’ll be doing in email or message board documentation so that there are no surprises down the road.

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Picking a Niche that Suits Your Passions

When working from home, it’s important to choose a niche that suits your passions. Working in any niche can be more challenging when you don’t like what you’re doing. But when you love what you’re doing, you wake up in the mornings with the energy and the enthusiasm to get to work.

Take a few minutes and consider which niches might fit with your passions. If you’re not sure what your passions are, imagine you have a whole day to yourself. What do you spend it doing?

Would you spend it perfecting new recipes? Exploring your city? Writing movie reviews? If you’re still having trouble, look at your existing hobbies. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What do you spend your money on?

Taking a moment to consider what you love doing will help you decide which niche is the best fit for you. Or maybe you recently discovered niche you’re passionate about. What do you do then?

Begin reading and researching. Fully immerse yourself in your chosen niche. Sign up for every email list that you can. It pays off in big ways to know the current issues and events in your niche.

Spend time browsing websites – both of experts and amateurs alike. Blogs are a great way to learn about what’s happening in the niche industry you plan to use for your business. Search blog directories for your category by going to a search engine and typing in “blog directories.” Then choose a blog directory and browse it by category.

By now, you probably have a list of potential niches just waiting for you to tap into. If so, it’s time to trim that list. Par it down to your top three. These three should be your main choices – the niches you have the most interest in.

Don’t just go by income level (although you should consider that, too). Just remember when your niche interests you, it shows to your customers and when you’re only in it for the profit you can make, that shows too. Choose a niche that you can earn an income in and gain personal satisfaction from.

Once you know which niche is right for you, take a minute and ask yourself, “What’s not being covered? Which audiences are being ignored? Who are the rising stars on the horizon and how will they change the niche?” Since you already have an interest in these niches, you’ll be better at gaining consumers that other entrepreneurs are missing.

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Making Bank With Both Broad and Long Tail Keywords

When you choose a niche and set up a website, you want to use every means available to you to generate profit. Often overlooked, keywords are a major player in the arena of making money.

The concept of using keywords is a simple one. Those are words that identify your website and bring it to the attention of search engines. Without the right keywords, your batting average for customers and sales will be pretty dismal.

Many online entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs grasp that keywords are vitally important for traffic, but what they often don’t get is that broad keywords and long tail keywords can be used to bring in the money.

How are these different from just using any keywords? Broad keywords are words that don’t narrow down the topic – think short, one word versus phrases – for example, car versus buying a Honda Odyssey, or tree versus how to plant an Oak tree.

When you look up long tail keywords, you might see that there aren’t as many results for those words as there are for broad keywords. But there are more of those types of phrases, so the actual traffic volume can exceed what you’d get with a broad search ranking.

You want to bring in people who know what they want. Someone who types in the word cars may be looking for the animated cartoon called cars, the history of cars, used cars, new cars, and more.

People type in long tail phrases are telling you what it is they want. For instance, here’s a good one – “How to buy cars without getting ripped off.” You could sell someone a guide on buying a new car because you’d know exactly what their needs are compared to someone just typing in ‘cars.’

If you were in the business of selling self-help products for depression, you could use depression as a broad keyword, but to get more specific you’d use long tail keywords such as ‘post partum depression symptoms’ or ‘signs of depression in men.’

Not only will you pull in people searching for information on depression in general by using broad keywords, but you’ll also get people searching for depression as it pertains to their situation.

When you do a search to find broad keywords, you’ll see that there are a lot of searches per month for that word or words. But the more focused your keywords, the better your site performs when the search engine spiders come crawling. You want the people who find your site to be the ones that are looking for what you have to offer.

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One of the quickest routes to a business failure is to pick a niche that doesn’t have the potential to bring in the profits you’re looking for. The way to discover which niche has the ability to make money is easy. You have to do your research.

First, you’re going to want to select a niche that you’re personally interested in – even if it’s one that you don’t know a lot about. You can always learn what you need to know, but if the niche is too technical or you consider it boring, you’re going to be as happy working on it as you would be getting a tooth pulled.

Choose a niche that not only interests you, but one that you feel excited about working on. That way, you’ll stay pumped up and eagerly look forward to growing your business. To find a niche that’ll bring in the kind of money you’re after, seek what the big companies look for.

What are the hot selling items? You don’t have to know this off the top of your head. Look for these top selling items on sites such as Amazon or eBay or other market websites.

The bestsellers (just check to see what ranking the items have) will tell you what the pulse of the people buying is. So for example, if you see that on Amazon, a product sells well enough to be in the top ten, you know you’re onto something. Let’s say one of those products was a brand new fitness gadget and they were selling like hotcakes. You’d find plenty of potential by tapping into that market.

You’ll want to check out the self-help books to see what’s selling there. Books on depression, weight loss, and relationships always sell well and that’s a clue to let you know that the market is and always will be wide open for self help niches and the products that you can buy dealing with that subject.

If you become an affiliate, you’ll want to pay attention to the dollar amount you’ll earn by becoming an affiliate rather than the percent of commission. You’ll earn more money that way. Look for tangible products for your niche as well.

Make sure you don’t make the mistake of setting up a niche based on what’s considered a here today, gone tomorrow item. Remember the Beanie Babies? They were all the rage and people just couldn’t get enough of them. But where are they now? They fell off the scene because they were just a fad. You want to seek out a niche that has long term potential so that your business will thrive now and for many years to come.

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After you’ve picked your niche, you need to do some keyword research in order to get the word out about your site. Many beginning entrepreneurs make the mistake of choosing their niche and then launching a website shortly after that with no thought to keyword research.

But entrepreneurs that grasp the benefits of well-chosen keywords take the time to research because they understand the relationship between traffic and keywords. Proper keyword research will allow you to know which words get your target audience’s attention because those are the words they use themselves in a search engine.

Keyword research will position your website or blog at the top of search engine results so that your site receives plenty of traffic. When you’re targeting keywords, even subtle things like the plural form of a word make a difference.

For instance if your niche is pet training then it’s important to know that the word ‘dog’ receives forty five million searches a month while the word ‘dogs’ receives only sixteen million.

Your goal is to select keywords that will garner you the most searches per words. What you’re looking for is something with little competition but a lot of searches. You can shell out money to pay for fancy keyword tools like Market Samurai to help you in your quest, but there are free alternative tools like Google Adwords Keyword Tool where you still get the information you need to get the traffic you want.

Using the wrong keywords means you’re missing out on important traffic and missing out on the sales you could be making. You can use the wrong keywords and bring people to your site, but it’ll be those people who are not interested in what you’re selling. You want your keywords to be relevant to your audience.

When you build your site, you also want to make sure that you not only use keywords in your paragraphs, but you also want to make sure that you use keywords in your titles. When you pick a name for your website, select one with a keyword or keywords in the URL.

Remember the better you use SEO on your site, the higher it will rank when search engines display the results. One of the mistakes entrepreneurs make is naming their pages incorrectly in general.

Be specific. Don’t have an ‘About’ page. Going back to the earlier example about pet training, have an ‘About Pet Training’ page. When you put up a contact page or box, use a keyword phrase there as well. Such as, “Contact me for more information on pet training.” This nets you additional keywords.

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Without marketing efforts, your online business will flop. You have to let the people know you’re online and what you’re all about. One way to easily and inexpensively market your business is by either writing articles or hiring someone to write them for you.

The purpose of these articles is that they can be used to promote your website through the use of backlinks in the articles. Plus, it’s smart strategy for search engine optimization. These articles act as fingers pointing the way to your site and driving traffic there.

Every marketer knows that the more traffic a website receives, the higher the likelihood that sales will also increase. You can’t sell your products if the population isn’t made aware of what you have to offer to them.

If you were to simplify article marketing, it could be defined as advertising. That’s what article marketing does for you. Advertises your business – but it does it a lot cheaper than traditional methods ever could.

Once the articles are written and edited, the next step is to submit them to article directories. Always make sure you use fresh content, because the same article with a few words switched around won’t pass some directories with stringent article approval rules.

When submitting to more than one directory, what happens for the website you’re promoting is that a larger net is cast into the sea of traffic than there would be if you didn’t promote this way.

People searching the Internet find your article, read the content (make it relevant and engaging), and they feel they’ve learned some important information that will help them so they follow the link to learn even more.

Different article directories will have different rules concerning backlinks. Some won’t allow them in the middle of an article and only want them in your signature while other directories don’t care where you put them.

Submitting articles to directories should be an ongoing process rather than a “submit and forget it.”

The more well-received articles you submit, the more your reputation as an expert will grow and the higher you’ll rank in search engines.

When you write the articles (or have them written) you want to use a specific strategy. For example, if you’re writing about how to make money selling eBooks, you can write articles on the popularity of eBooks, why people buy them and the steps they can take to write their own.

You want to be careful that you give them enough information to make the reader interested and want to click on the link to head over to your site. If you write the articles in an informative way that gives value, then you’ll drive traffic to your site – but if you write it as a hard-hitting sales letter, you’ll end up pushing people away.

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CPA or cost per action is another way that marketers can make money. It’s a type of affiliate marketing that can make a steady profit if you select the right offer. In this type of program, you can earn a variety of different ways.

You can make money either through pay per lead, pay per click, cost per lead, cost per sale, cost per click or pay per sale. Sometimes you’ll see those terms used interchangeably, but they don’t all mean the same thing.

In a PPL or pay per lead affiliate or through PPS (pay per sale) affiliate program, you either earn on a set value or on a portion of the sale in the form of a percentage. If you earn based on PPL, then when a potential customer signs up for the mailing list or gives their email, then you make money – even if that person doesn’t buy from the merchant.

Making money through pay per sale is usually the method chosen by new marketers because they like the larger payments offered with this technique. However, PPS earners will only see a pay out if there’s an actual sale.

If there are plenty of clicks but no conversions, that means no money in your pocket. You also want to choose CPA offers that mesh with your target audience. You wouldn’t select offers that aren’t appropriate for those who visit your site.

If you choose a PPC to promote, then you’ll get paid just because the site visitor followed the link you provided. Based on the program you’ve signed up with, this amount of revenue can range anywhere from a few cents to hundreds of dollars, but it’s based on what’s being promoted and how much of the percentage you’re set up to get.

Why should marketers get involved with CPA offers? It can be a fairly easy way to make extra money and it’s money that can be made with little effort on your part. An example of a CPA offer would be if you had a website where you sold health and beauty information or products.

You find a program where there are vitamins being sold that you feel would benefit your site visitors. You have a link set up on your site that leads visitors to this vitamin product and when they click on it, you make money. You’ve helped your customers and earned a profit, too.

When you’re looking for which CPA offer you’d like to promote, be aware that products crop up every single hour on the Internet. You want to avoid offers that seem too good to be true or don’t have a solid history. Don’t get associated with a merchant that would reflect poorly on your website.

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Once you have a website and you know how to use keywords to get traffic directed to your products, the next step is to make sure you keep those customers as repeat customers.

You do this by offering what’s called an opt in offer. An opt in means that the visitors to your website choose to receive (via email) a free gift or more information from you about what you have to offer them. This helps to keep you from getting tagged as a spammer.

An opt in is an important building block for your business. This is the tool that will let you continue to reach out to potential customers. The person who doesn’t buy after a first time visit to your website might do so once you’ve built a relationship and they’ve learned to trust what you have to say.

Not only can you reach those who sign up with an opt in, but if they like what you have to say, there’s a chance they’ll forward what you send them to a friend. For those customers who visit your site and buy from you straight from the site, you want them to opt in because they’ve already shown they’re interested in what you have and the odds are extremely high that they’ll buy from you again.

But you’ll still need permission to contact them. Once a customer leaves your site without purchasing anything, it’s highly likely that you’ve lost their business unless you have the chance to reach out to them again.

Of course, there are always those who read about your products or information, but because they’ve been burned before, they’re reluctant to trust anything – so you need the opportunity to show them that you’re different from the guy who took their money and their trust.

You have a chance to show them that there are still good people in online businesses but you won’t get that chance without them signing up to be on your mailing list. You want to make sure that your opt in box is at the top of your page.

The sad fact is that most site visitors don’t scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. You also want to remember that they have no reason to let you contact them. They know you want to talk about your products and try and sell them something.

So what you have to do is make sure that the opt in matters to them. Give them something they want or need in order to entice them to sign up. It can be something as simple as a short eBook or a report or a series of emails that you call a newsletter.

Whatever it is, make sure it’s worth the download and you’ll find that people are much more apt to listen to what you have to say when you do send out messages to your opt in list.

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As an info product creator or someone who promotes products for others as an affiliate, you’ll want to know the difference between ClickBank and PayDotCom. You’ll find both pros and cons in both of these major marketplaces.

Some people have chosen to use both online marketplaces in order to have the best of both worlds. Something they have in common is that both marketplaces have info products and both offer a wide selection of niches.

One difference is that PayDotCom lets the owner of the product pay you, while ClickBank will handle that for you. That can be a blessing or a hassle, depending on whether or not the product owner is reliable.

There’s a big difference in the fees charged between these two companies. ClickBank charges a fee of $49.95 for a new product account but you can get a discount for subsequent product accounts. PayDotCom charges a $29 fee once, and then you can sell as many products as you want.

ClickBank has a more stringent approval process for marketers when it comes to sales pages than PayDotCom does. You have to get pre approval with ClickBank, but not with PayDotCom. You can list tangibles for sale on PayDotCom, but not through ClickBank.

ClickBank holds a reserve to combat too many refunds before payout, but PayDotCom doesn’t do this. You can get paid through PayPal instantly.

If you have an unhappy customer through ClickBank, you have to return all of the money up to two months after a purchase – but PayDotCom doesn’t have the same requirement. However, you may choose on your own to refund someone at your discretion regardless of which marketplace you use.

You have the ability to reach out and contact affiliates via email through PayDotCom but ClickBank doesn’t offer that same opportunity. However, ClickBank does have a system in place where they take care of ensuring that your affiliates receive the proper amount of money they’ve earned so that you don’t have to take care of that headache.

Both of these online marketplaces have good reputations and are definitely used by smart marketers to make money. Which one is right for you is a matter of weighing what you want to accomplish with what the company offers in features. Many marketers release their products on both sites to accommodate all affiliates.

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In the race to have your website ranked highly in search engine results pages, don’t fall for blackhat marketing methods. Blackhat marketing is a term used to refer to marketing that isn’t ethical.

Instead of focusing on productive, long term strategies, those who practice blackhat marketing are looking for quick, short term results. Not only can blackhat marketing traps negatively influence customers, but they can also result in your site be permanently banned from search engines.

Since search engines are a major way of gaining traffic, you don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize your good standing. It’s important to learn what these blackhat marketing methods are and what you can do for traffic and rankings instead.

Originally, search engines ranked a site based on the number of links to it. This quickly led dishonest website owners to create a system that is now commonly known as link farming.

A large pool of webmasters would each link to other websites that in turn linked to them. If Webmaster A had fifty people working with him then he had fifty links to his site, making his site seem more valuable to search engines.

Of course, this method is no longer effective due to the increasing ability of search engine algorithms to recognize this technique. Instead, try to get links from websites relevant to your own. Contact webmasters of sites that are well written, informative and have a strong PageRank in the search engines.

Another common blackhat method is to stuff pages with keywords. This can be done by using words that are the same color as the background or by simply writing sentences that overuse the keywords.

Regardless of the method used, this is still a poor idea and search engine algorithms will penalize your website. Instead, try using keywords in your text headings, naming your website pages appropriately, setting up your permalink structure correctly, and writing well thought out sentences instead of garbled keyword rich paragraphs.

An additional blackhat method to avoid is doorway pages. These are pages that contain keywords relevant to the visitor’s search term but they contain no real information and don’t contribute to the website.

These pages might get you ranked in search engines but they’ll eventually be detected and your site could get banned. Instead of using doorway pages, write articles relevant to your business and submit them to search engine directories.

Include your website in the bio box or body of the article (if allowed) and you have another link to your website. You can also comment on blogs related to your niche and receive traffic that way. Just make sure your comments are relevant and on topic – not spammy.