Friday, October 31, 2008

How to Maintain 20 Blogs at Once

by JTPratt's Blogging Mistakes

Most of the "make money online" blogs teach various ways to earn online income, but I very seldom see articles that teach how to earn online income consistently. I'm not rich, I don't make thousands and thousands of dollars every month - but each month I do seem to make more than the last. My web sites and blogs grow, my income grows, and I learn more as I go along the way.

If you're thinking of building your own "online empire", you need to be ready for the harsh reality of how hard it is - especially for one person to do alone. I own 48 domains, and less than 2 dozen are even live and running. I am not a very organized person, and yet the little bit of structure I have been able to apply to my work routine has greatly increased both my productivity and monthly profit. I'm going to give you a glimpse into the daily life of a blogger / web worker / blog owner, so you can compare it to your own schedule and gauge where you possibly need improvement.

Here's a running list of things that I did during one work day blogging:

1. Create a running list of items to work on for the day (which blogs need posts

2. Create a new weekly list of goals to complete by week's end

3. Read and answer emails

4. Approve Entercard ads

5. Approve blog comments

6. Check various stats (Feedburner, Adsense, etc.)

7. Read other blogs

8. Comments on other blogs

9. Read and comments on forum posts

10. Create graphic for blog sidebar

11. Write new posts for articles series

12. Edit guest post for submission to another blog

13. Write 6 quick posts for 3 different blogs

14. Write email for 2 Wordpress projects partnering with blog owners on

15. Do 10 minutes research for blog posts

16. Write new blog post for 1 blog

17. Send MySpace comments for web site that has companion MySpace profile

18. Check blog (page view) stats

19. Post pictures on one blog

20. Check eBay product availability for post monetization

21. Add 20 events to calender on one blog

22. Answer MySpace messages for one blog

23. Approve and reply to blog comments for one blog

24. Respond to incoming emails for the day

25. Edit existing blog page

26. Approve and answer 10 comments on one blog

27. Upgrade 6 Wordpress plugins for one blog

28. Write post for one blog

29. Finish writing article series post and publish

30. Write out notes for work to do later in the week

31. Review design for Wordpress Theme partner project

32. Review design spec for Wordpress Plugin partner project

33. Place links for new merchant affiliate sale for the week

This list is basically what I did during one 5 hour work period. Now, I work on blogs more than 5 hours a day - but I wanted you to get the picture of how much work it can actually be. I wish I had seen somebody's "to do list" for full time blogging a few years back so I knew what I was in for. I would have started getting more organized way back then.

If you want to be successful building monthly online income - you need to have definite plans for how to get there. You need to make sure your money comes from various sources, and you need to put in some time each and every day working on the basics:

1. Writing Content

2. Building Links

3. Monetizing

4. Doing Maintenance

5. Doing Analysis (what's working - what's not)

If you aren't writing both daily and weekly goals, AND keeping track of exactly what you do throughout the week - you may actually FOOL YOURSELF into believing that you are working hard when really you didn't do as much as you thought (in areas that generate income). As I stated before in previous posts, I maintain a daily spreadsheet in google docs of what I do throughout the week - so I can review it at the end of the week to see how I did. It's also good starting out a new week, so I can pick up where I left off.

When you work online, and work for yourself you basically are running a small business. You are the boss, you are in charge, and you give yourself your own work assignments, and you need to evaluate your performance and work just like a boss would of their employee. Are you making the grade - or do you need to be fired? Are you an invaluable employee, or do you need to be fired?

I don't claim to be the most organized person, or the most effective worker. But I do know I have a pretty good handle on whether or not my "online business" is on the road to profitability or not.

About the Author

John Pratt blogs about building monthly income online, and how to build a Wordpress Affiliate Store.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

11 Content Ideas to Put on Your Website

by Paul Coulter

1. Information About Your Company

Place information about your company on your company homepage, or create a page just for company information. You should let your visitors know who you are and what your business is all about. The goal is to help customers trust you and feel comfortable about doing business with you.

2. Your Company's Products and Services

Of course, this is probably the most important part of your website. It is important to have a website to show that you are a part of a business and have the credibility in your industry, but the products are the main reason people will be visiting your site. The products are why you are doing business online. If you have a lot of products that you offer to customers, don't try to put all of them on one page; use several pages to display them.

3. Contact Information

Make sure that you have posted information on how a customer can contact you. Have your contact information on both the homepage and on a separate page labeled contact information. On the separate page you should include the following.

• Your address for mailing

• Fax and phone numbers

• Email addresses for employees

• A map of your business location

• A picture of the building where your business is located

• Driving directions


4. Any Memberships and Associations for Your Business

Use the memberships that you belong to on your website to show your customers you are trustworthy. Associations like the Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce are a wonderful way to show your potential customers that you are an upstanding member of the business community.

5. Frequently Asked Questions Page

If you regularly receive certain questions from your clients and customers, you might want to create a frequently asked questions page to answer those questions for your site visitors. Put a link to this page on your contact page so that a customer can access the frequently asked questions before they try to contact you with one of the questions.

6. Testimonials from Satisfied Customers

Ask your satisfied customers if they would be willing to add a testimonial to your testimonials page. It will give your potential customers a good feeling about trusting you when they read the comments of other customers.

7. The Benefits of Doing Business with Your Company

Give your customers reasons why they should do business with your company. Show the reasons that you are a better choice over your competition. What does a customer have to gain by selecting your company over your competitors? This is the place where you can show all of your company's great points. Don't be modest when you are trying to sell your company.

8. Images

Show your customers the work that your company does. Show the products you have created for your clients. If your company provides a service, you can use methods that show your potential customers how well you served other clients.

9. Employees

Show some pictures of your staff and employees. This will add a personal touch to your business that customers will love. If you have some employees on your staff who are experts in their fields, you should show their qualifications on this page.

10. Your Business Equipment

If your business uses some special equipment to perform the job, you display it for your customers here. You can also describe the equipment. Tell customers why it is the best to perform the work for them. It can give them a great reason to do business with your company, if you are using state of the art equipment.

11. Give Some Information About the Industry

If you find that your customers would benefit by knowing some of the inside information about your industry, then you should include such information on your website. They might find the information interesting and be thankful that they have gained some new knowledge from you. You will also be demonstrating that you have expert knowledge of the industry.

These are just a few of the things that you can include on your business website. You will have to let the web designer know what information needs to go on your site. When a visitor comes to your website, they are most likely looking for some information. If you can give them this information, they will be more inclined to do business with you. Don't pass up the opportunity to give your customers what they are looking for.

About the Author

Paul Coulter is an Internet marketing professional who specializes in Toronto Web Design. For more information, or to inquire about his services, please visit: http://www.torontodesignwebsite.com

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Which Affiliate Program Will Be Best For Me Theres So Many to Choose From?

by Wayne Bird

Ask questions first before you join an affiliate program. Do a little research about the choices of program that you intend to join into. Get some answers because they will be the deciding point of what you will be achieving later on.

Will it cost you anything to join? Most affiliate programs being offered today are absolutely free of charge. So why settle for those that charge you some dollars before joining.

When do they issue the commission checks? Every program is different. Some issue their checks once a month, every quarter, etc. Select the one that is suited to your payment time choice. Many affiliate programs are setting a minimum earned commission amount that an affiliate must meet or exceed in order for their checks to be issued.

What is the hit per sale ratio? This is the average number of hits to a banner or text link it takes to generate a sale based on all affiliate statistics. This factor is extremely important because this will tell you how much traffic you must generate before you can earn a commission from the sale.

How are referrals from an affiliate's site tracked and for how long do they remain in the system? You need to be confident on the program enough to track those people you refer from your site. This is the only way that you can credit for a sale. The period of time that those people stay in the system is also important. This is because some visitors do not buy initially but may want to return later to make the purchase. Know if you will still get credit for the sale if it is done some months from a certain day.

What are the kinds of affiliate stats available? Your choice of affiliate program should be capable of offering detailed stats. They should be available online anytime you decide to check them out. Constantly checking your individual stats is important to know how many impressions, hits and sales are already generated from your site. Impressions are the number of times the banner or text link was viewed by a visitor of your site. A hit is the one clicking on the banner or text links.

Does the affiliate program also pay for the hits and impressions besides the commissions on sales? It is important that impressions and hits are also paid, as this will add to the earnings you get from the sales commission. This is especially important if the program you are in offers low sales to be able to hit ratio.

Who is the online retailer? Find out whom you are doing business with to know if it is really a solid company. Know the products they are selling and the average amount they are achieving. The more you know about the retailer offering you the affiliate program, the easier it will be for you to know if that program is really for you and your site.

Is the affiliate a one tier or two tier program? A single tier program pays you only for the business you yourself have generated. A two tier program pays you for the business, plus it also pays you a commission on the on the sales generated by any affiliate you sponsor in your program. Some two-tier programs are even paying small fees on each new affiliate you sponsor. More like a recruitment fee.

Lastly, what is the amount of commission paid? 5% - 20% is the commission paid by most programs. .01% - .05% is the amount paid for each hit. If you find a program that also pays for impressions, the amount paid is not much at all. As you can see from the figures, you will now understand why the average sales amount and hit to sale ratio is important.

These are just some of the questions that needed answering first before you enter into an affiliate program. You should be familiar with the many important aspects that your chosen program should have before incorporating them into your website. Try to ask your affiliate program choices these questions. These can help you select the right program for you site from among the many available.

About the Author

This article is for people interested in starting there own online business but don't know where to start,there is so many different opportunities to choose from,my advice would be to make a short list and then study each one and read all reviews.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SEO Tips to Improve Your Website Traffic

by Dan Sayble

There are many ways that you can improve traffic to your website. The best way to do this is through organic traffic from the web. This means that people will find your website through a search engine naturally; hence it appears in the search results without sponsorship.

For years savvy business owners have attempted to use the power of PPC (pay per click) advertising, such as Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter, to harness the power of search engine traffic. Unfortunately, in doing so, the average cost per click has increased dramatically. This substantial increase has wrecked havoc on the ROI of most advertising campaigns causing business owners to search for other means of reaching their targeted audience. Hence, SEO is now more than a coveted service for the few, it is a main stream tactic used by the masses.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is through SEO that you will be able to improve the traffic to your website. There are ways that you can use SEO to increase the ranking of your website on the search engines and we will highlight some introductory methods in this article.

Tip One

To succeed, you need to choose the right keywords to focus on. Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into a search engine to find information on a topic. The better you align the keywords that relate to your product or service, the more targeted the traffic will be. Time and research should be spent in researching keywords that correspond with your website, this is an important first step and like any foundation, it should be thorough.

Tip Two

One of the ways to garner great SEO is to post keyword rich content onto your website. This is content that contains a 3% to 5% keyword density. Keyword density is an important term to know when you are using SEO to increase traffic to your website. This means that the keywords that you are focusing on should show up in your article 3% to 5% of the time.

Tip Three

Content is king! Keyword rich content is important when speaking to the search engines. However, it is equally important to speak to your audience. Ensure that your articles contain valuable information for the reader, and that you post fresh content to your website with regularity.

Tip Four

Select the highest ranked keyword for your website and use it in your URL. This is another trick to help search engines increase your page ranking. It is important to use the main keywords for your website in as many places as you can to help your SEO. You can use your keywords in the tags for your photos and articles to help search engines to find you.

Many website owners see SEO as a strange and often changing beast. Search engine optimization is the best way to increase traffic to your web site. This is the easiest way to get significant traffic and keep it coming to you.

Search engine optimization is not an exact science. What the search engines are looking for can vary from month to month. The one constant that all remains the same is that they are looking for valuable content with good strong keyword density. So get researching and increase the traffic to your website today.

About the Author

Learn how to increase your web traffic with seo technology. At FooWebDesigns.com we share SEO tools, web design tips and branding ideas so that you will no longer fear your competition, you will simply pity the foo'

Monday, October 27, 2008

Boost Your Website Traffic with a Directory Service

by Jay Gaulard

Are you looking to increase traffic to your website? Does your online business need more exposure than it's currently getting? To jump start your business and see your number of online visitors skyrocket, try using an online website directory service.

An online website directory service is a website that features every type of business imaginable. From dog food to florists, all of the business websites are neatly categorized into headings and subheadings.

The category system of organization helps the online website directory to be as user friendly as possible. It offers up a wealth of information in a manner that is easy to understand.

It is important for web surfers to find the information they desire quickly and easily. Website directories are constructed to make a visitor's experience convenient and hassle free. The pleasant experience a potential customer encounters when using a website directory will directly affect their overall impression of your business.

If you are affiliated with a directory that is well-designed and easy to use, it makes your business look professional. If you are listed on a sub-par site that is cluttered and chaotic, it will make your business look unorganized and give a bad impression to your potential clients.

Often, the best online website directory service is one that listens to the needs of its visitors. For instance, if a web surfer sees that a new category is needed for a certain group of businesses, the website should make it easy for them to submit their suggestions.

After all, their ease of use on the website translates into web traffic for their valued advertisers. Make sure the online directory you choose to list your business with cares about the satisfaction of their visitors.

Many online website directory services also allow their users to rank and review the websites they frequent. If you have a particularly good website, listing it on a directory service is a must. It will earn you the positive feedback that your online content deserves.

Another convenient feature that is offered by a good online website directory service is a search tool. Imagine if a potential client was looking for your website through the directory, but couldn't remember the exact name of your business. The client could simply go back to the directory and type in as much of your business' name as could be remembered.

Because there are far fewer competitors listed in an online website directory than in a huge search engine, clients are far more likely to find your website again. In this manner, an online website directory service makes you easier to find online than lots of the competition.

In fact, some directories offer more than a simple, standard search feature. The best directories offer an advanced search option, sometimes called a power search, that allows visitors to search by a person's name, e-mail address or business category. This is very useful if a potential client can remember your e-mail address, but not your business' name or phone number.

Often, you can add your business' website to an online directory service for free. The directory will provide you with a back link to your website at no cost to you, just like registering your domain name for free with the major search engines. So, if there's no charge, listing your website on a directory is a no-brainer.

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Gaulard on behalf of http://www.experato.com , a popular website directory.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flash Websites Kill Business

by Jill Cooper

Flash websites are slick. Most of them have pretty vibrant colors that can move, bounce, accompanied by music and a gorgeous intro movie.

This is all wrong.

Flash is the favorite toy of big designer studios and numerous amateur graphic artists alike. All the benefits of the nice outlook are overridden by the disadvantages in terms of SEO and usability.

There was a study done that the peek time of internet traffic is in the middle of the work day. So Jane Smith is looking to buy a car and finds a great car dealership website. She clicks on the link and the flash intro page starts to play. She's busy, she's at work, and now her co-workers can hear where she visited.

So what does she do? She closes the window quickly and looks for something else. Basically flash ignores the basics of what the user needs. A user is looking either for information or to buy a product. The trick of a web designer is to get this information to a person as fast as possible in as few clicks as possible.

Flash sites can be hard to navigate with menus that are cumbersome. If you hit the back button on a flash site, a lot of the time you are taken right back to the flash intro movie and you waste time trying to find where you were. This frustrates consumers and leads them to click the dreaded close button.

If you want to make a small change or add some information to your site, with HTML it's easy. You could easily modify the CSS file to change a color, or add a blurb about a new product. But, with Flash it becomes a gigantic project. You may as well be redesigning from scratch because that's the amount of work you will have to do to make a small adjustment.

Unless you do Flash yourself, you might face some serious troubles with developers. Some of them code their project to prevent them from editing, thus making you to hire them over and over again as you need to do even the smallest modifications.

Search engines do not like Flash SEO suffers tremendously when it comes to flash websites. There are reasons that the most frequently visited sites on the net are sites such as Amazon, eBay, and Google. Simple, and they bring the visitor right to where they need to be. On a search page.

If you must have some element to flash on your homepage, limit it to something small and don't let flash become part of your website navigation. When all possible use Title and Alt tags on your menu items and all images. These things will help your SEO rankings.

About the Author

Websites can be made that are pretty, vibrant, and call consumers to action without flash. Visit www.nosquaresoftware.com as an example, and if you're in the market for SEO or a website redesign, we can help you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Incorrect Niche Selection in Affiliate Marketing

by Joel Heim

It is true that the majority of people in affiliate marketing are not very successful. A large number of the affiliates change their field of affiliate marketing without earning even a single penny of commission. And if someone is lucky enough to earn some money, he cannot carry on affiliate marketing as his full time job because the amount of money he earns is so small that he cannot do it full time. Hence, the end result is the waste of time, money and energy.

I would advise affiliates to find the correct reasons of their failure in affiliate marketing. This way they may be able to enjoy the full benefits of the affiliate marketing by avoiding their past mistakes.

Correct Niche Selection in Affiliate Marketing

A lot of new affiliates choose the niche markets where there is a very little chance of earning. If affiliates want to increase their income, they should enter into a niche market which must have the following properties:

Avoid Free Markets

Select the market where the buyers are really serious to purchase the products. And buyers can spend good amounts of money if they can get what they are looking for. You should not enter into the markets which have no money or where people are willing to get everything without spending a single penny, or at very cheap rates.

Select the Range of High Demanding Products

In order to get the most out of affiliate marketing, always select the niche market which offers a range of high demand products. Select the products that are really selling. Offer the range of hot products that are making sales. It does not mean you should always offer the different types of products and should not concentrate on some specific type. But this is to test what are the best selling products. After a few months you should remove the products that have not been selling and find another top selling hot product..

Select the Merchants Who Are Good Product Promoters

Always choose a market, where merchants are skilled product promoters and they know the market trends. Such merchants will always launch the products that are the need of the people. Also they know how to market their products and convince the people to become their lifelong consumers. With such skilled merchants you will need to do give less effort to make sales. On the other hand, if you are affiliated with the merchants that don't have the above qualities then chances are you will struggle to make sales.

Always choose the market that has the high demand products and that are not low priced. Try to avoid the free markets where users are offered the free trial products. In these cases people usually don't come back to purchase the real product. You should offer a range of hot products with different price ranges. This way you can test the interest and aptitude of your visitors. After every two or three months, remove the products that are not making the sales and add new hot products. The last point is to select the high skilled merchants who know how to market their products. This will help you to make more sales. Otherwise you will be required to do the hard work yourself to promote such products. This will waste your energies (YOA).

About the Author

Joel Heim or Accer as he is known online seeks to make money online in ways that are honest and ethical. You can explore his efforts at http://www.accertruth.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

SEO Intervention; Stop Driving Yourself Crazy and Start Getting Results!

by Scott Jason

Do you drive yourself crazy trying to keep up with the latest SEO trends? If so, Stop! Please. You have enough to worry about already. Quit running yourself ragged or spending a fortune trying to keep up with the latest and greatest SEO tricks and tips. The truth is search engine optimization has not changed nearly as much as experts (trying to sell you something) might want you to think.

To be perfectly honest getting to the top of Google, Yahoo, MSN or any other search engine is largely dependent on the quality of your Web pages. There's no magic formula you must follow to the letter but there are a number of simple things you can better understand and do to help get you to the top of ANY search engine. It's a lot easier than most people think.

First and most importantly, remember that search engines only care about your Web pages, NOT the whole site. If you end up with enough high ranking PAGES from a single site on Google, you can become a what it considers to be an "authority site" which can automatically double your top ten rankings. Here's what I mean...

If you do a search on http://www.Google.com and search for "SEO partner" (without the quotes) you will see that number one looks like a normal return while number two is indented. You have just witnessed an authority site's usurping of an extra top spot. There is a good chance that the indented one was actually number six or even fifteen. But since it is from an authority site it got to cut the line and push everybody else's listings down one.

Secondly, the biggest and most important search engines use something called a natural text algorithm. This means they can tell when you are writing text that is intended more for search engine spiders than for actual people, and they will ding you for it. So to keep quality high, simply write your page text as if you were describing your goods or services to a good friend. Let the words flow and don't get hung up on things like keyword density and ideal placement. We've got a great technique for that coming up next.

Keyword density is an outdated concept for the most part. As long as you don't spam the text by having your keyword blatantly repeated or inserted in areas that don't make sense, you will be OK. If having a guideline helps, plan to use each keyword about five or six times on each page and no more than twice in a single paragraph.

Keyword proximity is another concept that is a bit outdated but still somewhat valid. What that means is you should be aware of where your keywords go but you do not need to follow a strict formula of placing them in exact locations. Just be strategic. Put them where they make the most sense in context. Don't force them to fit in one location just because it is the first sentence of the third paragraph or whatever. It helps the reader and the search engine if you can mention your main keyword toward the beginning of the page text and toward the end, but this is not a hard and fast rule. It's just a suggestion.

As for the number of keywords you optimize a single page for, do what makes sense for the page length. If the page is really long and you have room for several keywords to be featured with good natural ext, go for it. As a rule of thumb I try to limit each page to about three keywords but that's just because it helps me stay better organized and does not confuse the readers by splitting their focus too much. The other reason is because I really want it featured prominently in the page title.

Speaking of the title, this is one of the few META tags we care about and it's a pretty big deal. Use the title as your chance to show off your keywords. After all, this is what your visitors searched for. Don't feel that a page title needs to be clever and captivating like a book title. In fact this is probably the easiest part. Just take your keywords, in order of importance, and separate them with a comma or pipe (the vertical key over the enter key.) That's it! Just remember most search engine will only count the first 64 letters.

So if you did a page on search engine optimization tips with the following keywords: "SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEO Tips" your title could be just that. Or you can use my favorite and it would look like this "SEO | Search Engine Optimization | SEO Tips."

And by the way, when Google sees "SEO Tips" it is counting the word SEO and Tips as individual words so the title text "SEO, SEO Tips" has the word SEO repeated. Just two instances of one keyword so close is not really SPAM but it's good to be aware of.

I mentioned that the Title tag is one of the few META tags we care about. Another is the Description tag. No magic here. Just be sure to write it naturally and include a couple of your keywords if they fit in well. And you can make this as long as you like but most search engines don't use more than the first 250 characters. Most importantly, think of the Description as your big chance to get people interested enough to visit your page. This is sales copy first.

Once someone lands on your page they will be looking for a little guidance. Give it to them with Headings (H1, H2, etc.) Think of a heading as an on page title use a similar keyword strategy, just not as cut and dry. Here it is a good idea to have not only your keyword but also some descriptive supporting text. Something like "SEO Tips That Really Work" is a good example. We have our SEO Tips keyword and reinforce it with a statement that the information they are about to read actually works. Too simple? Yes. It really is.

While headings are your first visual cue to the reader, links are the ones that really draw them in. Make sure your on page links stand out and contain relevant anchor text (clickable keywords.)

If you really want to get the most out of your online real estate consider dedicating one page to each major keyword and linking to it from the anchor text on another page. For example, the words SEO Tips would be great anchor text to a page titled "SEO Tips | Search Engine Optimization Strategies."

The final piece of this SEO puzzle is linking. Quality inbound links will account for most of your success on Goggle and several other top search engines. You need to get the highest quality links possible and build optimal reciprocal linking partnerships. This is HUGE!

The final piece of this SEO puzzle is linking. Quality inbound links will account for most of your success on Google and several other top search engines. You need to get the highest quality links possible and build optimal reciprocal linking partnerships. This is HUGE!

You can do it all manually or use an inexpensive SEO software tool like the one found at http://www.SE0elite.com. I've done it both ways and find that good software saves me about 10 to 15 hours each week, per site. But either way, manually or with a tool, focus your efforts on linking as much as possible. While onsite optimization is a one time (or at least limited) thing, linking should be part of your weekly routine.

Good luck!

About the Author

With 10 years experience under his SEO belt, Scott Jason started http://www.BestSEOcopywriting.com in 2006. Since then he has helped dozens of client as an SEO copywriter and specialist with hundreds of top rankings to his credit on Google, MSN and Yahoo.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Top Five Reasons Why Reciprocal Link Requests are Turned Down by Webmasters.

by Kanaga Siva

Reciprocal linking is one of the accepted methods adopted by webmasters to build traffic, increase link popularity and improve page rank. It is a known fact that in recent times search engines have begun to place more importance to one-way inbound link and consider it to be superior to a reciprocal link. It is also known that search engines do appreciate reciprocal links if the links are from quality theme related websites.

Webmasters receive regular requests for reciprocal link exchange either by e-mail or through their websites where provision is made for the submission of requests for reciprocal link exchange. Why are most requests rejected to the utter disappointment and dismay of webmasters of new websites anxious to increase their link popularity and page rank?

Some of the major reasons for the refusal to reciprocate a link exchange request can be attributed to:

1. When a reciprocal link exchange request is received, the obvious thing the webmaster will do is to visit the website making a request and try to identify what this website is all about. If the request is from a website with an irrelevant theme, the chances are the request will be turned down. The reason is that search engines will not give him any credit for linking with an irrelevant site and he cannot expect any targeted traffic from such a website either.

2. Poor content of your website is another major reason for the rejection of your reciprocal link exchange request. Websites with good quality theme related content are seldom rejected. In fact webmasters appreciate reciprocal link exchange requests from non competitive theme related websites since these sites will provide their own visitors with useful website experience and also receive targeted traffic.

3. If your website is with a PR zero or with a low Page Rank and if you request a link exchange with a high PR site, unfortunately your request will most probably be turned down. The reason being that the high PR site will not benefit by linking with your site. One saving grace here is that if you have excellent theme related content and indicate that you are growing fast some websites will link to you hoping that you will achieve high PR rank soon.

4. Most webmasters want to know whether your link directory is easily accessible to your website visitors. Hiding it in a maze of other information will not help. Your link page should be only two clicks away from your home page. A webmaster with a good link directory set-up will not be interested in complying with your request if your link directory is not easily accessible.

5. Having several dozens of links in each page is another reason for the rejection of a link request. If you wish to succeed in your request then you should ensure that you categorize the link directory and have not more than twenty five links to a page.

It should now be obvious why most requests for reciprocal link exchange are turned down. Having good quality unique content is the best way to start your reciprocal link campaign and succeed in your efforts.

About the Author

Copyright © 2008 Kanaga Siva.

Kanaga Siva is an Expert Author and Marketer. For more Tips, Ideas and Advice on Internet Marketing, you are welcome to his Free Home Based Business Website, Internet Marketing Blog

Friday, October 17, 2008

How to Compare Web Design Proposals

by Barry Harrison

You've received at least two proposals for your web design project. Let's assume your decision isn't based solely on price. How do you evaluate them to make the best choice?

Here's our list of 10 Good Questions to Ask as you weigh each proposal.

1. Does the proposal reflect a real understanding of your needs and goals or is it a generic document with your company name and a few relevant details?

A lack of attention to your needs in this crucial stage increases the likelihood of misunderstandings, frustration, and disappointment down the road. Strong proposals include information as to how the design firm will approach your specific project (not a one-size-fits-all "here's our process" formula).


2. How many design options do they offer?

Some proposals include only one design option, while others may include two or three (or more). Even if you're totally in love with the firm's design portfolio you should see more than one alternative, if only because it helps you understand the benefits of different visual directions.

3. How many "rounds" of revisions do they include?

If there is only one round of revisions you can expect to: a) settle for something that doesn't quite work for you, or b) pay for additional rounds to get it right. Make sure you have an idea of what each additional round costs.

4. Does the proposal include content development or editing, or are they just going to "plop in" your content?

Even if you have good, strong, web-ready content, the web design proposal should include time to format and display it properly (for easy scanning and obvious calls-to-action). If you don't have content, do they offer content development or editing as additional services?

5. Will your site be optimized for the Search Engines?


If your proposal includes content development does it specify keyword research? Browser titles, meta descriptions and links? A crawler-friendly site map? Is there a strategy to minimize disruption to your current Search rankings? If basic Search Engine optimization isn't part of the proposal you may pay more for it when you hire a SEO firm after the site launches.

6. How will you update your site?

Does the proposal include a content management tool to update your site yourself, or a web maintenance package? These days, content managers allow anyone with basic computer skill to do normal updates. This isn't something you should have to pay for every month (unless you're dead-set against doing it yourself).

7. If the proposal includes a maintenance contract, will your hours expire?

What will happen if you pay for extra hours per month but you don't make any changes in the month; will they carry over? What about at the end of the year? Be careful: Unnecessary maintenance plans can add substantially to the lifetime cost of your site.

8. Is there a project timeline or schedule?

The proposal should include a timeline or estimated project schedule. If you require a specific "launch" date, make sure the proposal allows for a little wiggle-room. Understand your own obligations to provide feedback, content etc. in a timely manner and how that impacts the schedule.

9. What is the charge for work outside the defined project scope?

It's not unusual for the scope of your project to expand or "creep" once work begins. How does the proposal address this concern? You don't want to be surprised by a big invoice at the end of your project: You want to be informed of potential extras before you incur the expense.

10. Who is on your project team?


Does the proposal indicate the primary members of your project team? Is there an established structure and process for project management? If you don't even know who you'll be working with you had better find out! Clear communication is an essential part of every successful project.

11. Bonus question: Does the proposal demonstrate relevant project experience?


If the web design firm has successfully completed similar projects you have a good indication that they can handle your project. (We call it "domain expertise" and it means you don't have to pay to reinvent the wheel.)

About the Author

Barry Harrison is the author of "REDiTIPS" eMarketing Newsletter and a partner in Resolve Digital, Web Strategy for the Real World.

Visit Resolve Digital San Francisco web design, web applications, and online marketing at http://www.resolvedigital.com.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Unlimited Bandwidth Scam

by Ricardo d Argence

If you have your own site, a very crucial thing to be aware of is bandwidth. In a nutshell, bandwidth simply refers to the amount of information you're able to transfer at a specific time.

The less bandwidth you have, the longer your visitors will be forced to wait for your site to load no matter what type of connection they use. With more visitors, each visitor is going to have to wait his or her turn if you don't have enough bandwidth to accommodate everyone. When selecting a host plan you must first discern how much bandwidth you need.

Anyone claiming to provide unlimited bandwidth or monthly transfer is not being completely honest. Nobody can have unlimited bandwidth. Unlimited Bandwidth is a myth.

I have never come across a broadband service provider claiming to offer an Internet connection with unlimited bandwidth. How can a web hosting company provide unlimited bandwidth to customers if it doesn't own its own access lines?

Usually, high bandwidth sites on such unlimited plans are disconnected and then no refund is granted. In most cases, the web host will claim that a violation of the terms of service or policy of acceptable use has been committed by the website.

When researching what source you will use to serve your website always read the terms of service for any hidden policies. More information about the so-called Unlimited disclaimer can be found in the fine text.

When getting started, monitor your usage for the first three to four months to get a good estimation on how much time you would need from your web hosting service. These factors must be considered while estimating. How many users will access your web site? How many pages to be access? How big are the graphic and HTML files?

More bandwidth will be needed when you download large multimedia, computer programs, and files. One bandwidth concern is using Flash on your website, as it consumes a lot of it. Virtual reality, as well as full length 3D presentations, will require a greater bandwidth than other things.

Even though it isn't entirely precise it still allows you to work with something until your site has been up for a good amount of time and until actual statistics have been made. Do not fall for an unlimited bandwidth trap which some companies will toss out in order to lure you in.

About the Author

If you need a dedicated server, Alojate.com is the number one web hosting company in Mexico, offering a range of solutions for all business needs. Servidores dedicados, factura electronica, web hosting & domain registration.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How An Affiliate Marketer Can See Success

by Lana Robinson

Internet Marketing is unquestionably easier and more rewarding compared to traditional marketing methods. With billions of people worldwide getting online each day, there's a high possibility for a merchant to sell his products and generate huge income online.

In affiliate marketing, an affiliate marketer doesn't really need to own a product and service to sell. All he needs to do is to refer people to the merchant's business site for them to purchase the products and thereby, earn a commission.

For the affiliate marketer who wants to be successful:

First, you need to choose a good affiliate program and to employ excellent marketing techniques and strategies in promoting or selling the products to consumers. Why choose the best affiliate program? Because the best affiliate program can make sure you can earn not only one time but also every moment when your downlines get people enrolled. The best affiliate marketing program can make one affiliate marketer to become a millionaire. Choose a good affiliate marketing program to start with. How to make and work it fast would now depend on you.

But before you think how you are going to make it best and financially rewarding, you must think about how you are going to make a good affiliate program with thousands of affiliate marketing opportunities abounding in the Internet today. Below are the tips and suggestions on how to best select the affiliate program that's right for you.

The Information you need to know Take the affiliate product, that will be the right choice for you. You will get an automated website, which had been set up for you once you enroll as a student in Success University. You will learn how to direct yourself towards all the self-development materials and online marketing program that really matches your needs, wants and resources. You can join some forums and learn some tips and get suggestions from expert affiliate marketers.

You will learn a lot of useful online marketing tips for you to promote whatever products you want. Next, you will understand many merchants and affiliate marketers like you meet. The merchants advertise their affiliate programs to interested affiliates who sign up in the network for free. Third party affiliate program networks are helpful since they provide you with access to a large number of advertisers (merchandisers) simultaneously. You can track and compare their sales records, performances, benefits, products and services easily.

It's Quality, not Quantity~

Choose a good quality of the products and services. As an affiliate marketer your goal is not only to make visitors to click the link to your business site; but more importantly, to promote your product so they would buy it. Make sure you write down your goals, so that you will be able to achieve it faster than you can imagine. Ask yourself: if you were the customer, would you buy it? Would you recommend it to your family or good friend? If you can convince yourself or your family and friends to buy it, you are the one who is successful because you make things happen. Success of the program really depends on you, this is very important. The sales records does not only show how good an affiliate is, but he/she speaks about the products' reliability, market availability and the company or the merchandisers' reputation as well. Moreover, look into and carefully study the company's compensation plan. Your purpose for joining the program is to earn, so make sure you'll be paid for all your efforts fairly.

If you do not have much time to promote the affiliate products or service by creating articles, websites, banners and etc, choose a useful affiliate program that helps you create all these. It provides training on how to effectively market products online and lots of self-improvement material. Keep in mind that affiliate marketing is a partnership, the best affiliate program is able to support you as you only need to promote the package and services.

You may take down what are the advantages and disadvantages of each program you are considering so you can clearly see the difference among your options; after that, compare the advantages of the programs with your own checklist. Take time to gather all the information you need to choose the right and best program. Remember an informed choice is the best choice.

About the Author

Lana Robinson of OnlineProfitsWork.com is a successful Internet Marketer working with top leaders in the home based business and Internet Marketing industry. For more information on starting a home based business visit: Proven Home Based Business Ideas

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Using RSS To Explode Website Traffic

by John S

What's better: to get your readers to keep coming back because they remember you, or to have a little automated reminder there, telling them you're here, you've got new stuff, and they should come out and check it out? The answer's obvious.

Website traffic comes when you let your interested readers know that you have something new, interesting, and exciting for them to check out. And one of the easiest ways to do this is through RSS feeds.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and RSS feeds are nothing more or less than a super-easy way of sharing your content with the owners of other websites, or your own website or mashup, even a fan's own site or desktop via an RSS reader. Adding an RSS is as simple as adding a line or two of code into your HTML. It updates by itself every time the page is accessed.

Does it build traffic? It can - if you use it properly. An RSS feed ideally brings you website traffic of two types: first, it ensures your faithful readers and customers return to your site whenever you have something new.

And second, it brings you new readers from other websites who have picked up your syndication. If you're not careful, though, RSS feeds you supply can backfire, helping others to KEEP your traffic instead of feeding it to you, and drastically dropping your own Google ranking and overall income.

However, it can also take your traffic and feed it to other sites. Why come all the way out to the country to buy your milk when it's for sale at the grocery store? Never make more than a teaser line from your content available via RSS; instead, create excellent content with fantastic titling and make those readers come to your site to read it.

Using RSS Feeds From Other Sites

RSS can help you build real, serious website traffic if you use it in the other direction: to aggregate content from others on your own website. Done well, it can turn your website from a handy information portal to a hub for information of all sites in your niche market. You can experiment with this model by using Squidoo, a free online service that makes it very easy to add RSS feeds, or you can go ahead and throw your RSS on your own site.

When you're using RSS in either direction, keep careful tabs on your website traffic during the transitional period, and go slowly with it. Make sure you track who is using your RSS, and add feeds slowly to your own site so you can see which ones are beneficial and which ones are either redundant or detrimental to your traffic.

If you're using an affiliate model or selling your own product, keep an even closer eye on conversions, and avoid RSS from sites that sell the same product you're selling. Most of all, try to get helpful feedback from your users; what they think about your new RSS models will make the difference between success and failure.

About the Author

There are hundreds of ways you can effectively drive traffic to your site FREE. Learn The Most Powerful Secrets Today VISIT ==> http://www.trafficsecretsreport.com

Monday, October 13, 2008

Upgrading Your Company Website

by Jerry Bader

Dealing with website development issues can be an overwhelming task. There are many things your marketing team must consider, in fact, there are so many things to bear in mind that many of the most important ones never get dealt with, or are buried under competing interests.

To avoid project paralysis you should focus on certain key areas of concern from which all other issues flow. Whether upgrading your existing website or developing a new webmedia initiative from scratch, consider these four vital questions that need to be answered:

  • What content should be included?

  • How should content be delivered?

  • How is your website going to be marketed?

  • What will visitors remember?

    What content should be included?

    Content is a function of purpose. Unfortunately many websites don't have a clearly thought-out realistic purpose; and orders alone, is not an adequate website objective. Obviously every company needs sales, that's a given, but sales are a result of all the marketing elements you put in place, and the degree to which your presentation distinguishes you from your competition.

    There is a prevailing view that traffic translates into sales; this viewpoint may be valid for websites whose economic model is commodity or advertising-based, but businesses that don't compete on price alone, or are more than an excuse to deliver advertising, must be structured around a purpose that is more meaningful, and far more compelling than 'give me an order or don't bother me.'

    An over-emphasis on search engine friendly site design ignores the fact that when someone does a search for what you do, they'll not only find you, they'll also find many of your competitors as well. And even if you appear first in the search, nothing will stop potential clients from clicking on any of the other organic or advertised listings, or even the numerous Adword links on the side of the page.

    The biggest website design problem companies have is not the amount of traffic generated from search engines, but rather how visitors react to your content. Are visitors engaged, enlightened, and entertained so that they stay on your site long enough to get your marketing message, and is that message compelling enough for them to remember it?

    There are many misconceptions about advertising content, one of the biggest is that people hate it, but the truth is, what people hate is bad ad content; qualified clients actually look forward to good advertising because it presents a relevant problem, and provides a believable solution, in a distinctive memorable presentation.

    If your content doesn't engage your audience with a persuasive, memorable presentation then you'll never achieve whatever website marketing goals you've set.

    How should content be delivered?

    We know the vast majority of people don't like to read text on a computer screen, so they scan for relevant information concentrating on bulleted points, captions, and headlines, but does that truncated information really get your message across? Website text is really designed for search engine spiders, which is fine, but how about paying a little attention to people and how they absorb and remember information?

    We also know people are impatient and are ready to abandon your website with the click of mouse, often in mid sentence before they ever get to the point you are trying to make. Your clients are sophisticated media consumers raised on video games and television, and are used to making quick decisions on limited information; this kind of leap-of-logic protocol demands a clever focused presentation.

    Your audience will be gone in seconds no matter how convincing you think your content is, if it is not presented in a media-savvy manner that holds viewer attention, otherwise your website is nothing more than a glorified Yellow Page ad.

    Audio and video has the potential to deliver information in a form and format that attracts and holds viewer interest while it makes a memorable impression. But even audio and video will fail if it is badly conceived, poorly written, and amateurishly performed.

    How is your website going to be marketed?

    Everyone is concerned with traffic and how to drive it to their websites. Search engine optimization is only one marketing technique, and it's one that ignores the impact of content on your audience in favor of attracting the attention of search engine robots. By all means, build search engine friendly elements into your site but don't ignore people-friendly elements as well.

    Having text-based articles on your site is an excellent way to provide search friendly information, but presenting that same information as a professionally produced audio option, or a lively video presentation is certainly more memorable.

    An entertaining webmedia presentation makes a lasting impression that viewers are more likely to recommend to colleagues, thereby increasing your traffic and reputation. Word-of-mouth is the best way to generate qualified traffic, and the best way to generate interest in your site is to make your site's presentation a rewarding experience.

    What will visitors remember?

    In a brick-and-mortar environment, visitors are more likely to make a decision to purchase on the spot, simply to avoid driving halfway across town to save a few dollars, but on the Web jumping from New York to California is as easy as the click of a mouse. People are just more likely to shop-around because it's so easy.

    Of course what people think they want is the lowest price, but providing the lowest price only attracts the least profitable buyers and ignores the biggest obstacle website businesses need to overcome, and that's credibility. Who are you, and can you be trusted? And after visiting ten different websites all selling the same thing, can they even remember who you are?

    Your presentation has to be memorable and establish credibility so that when all the searching and browsing is finished, your site is the one they remember and go back to; your site must be the one visitors can trust to deliver what's promised.

    How to Hire A Web Video Firm

    The ability to produce an effective video or audio presentation requires more than the possession of some cool hardware and software. Owning an expensive camera doesn't make you a producer, and even the technical ability to edit doesn't qualified you as a commercial marketing expert. When the time comes to hire someone to add video and/or audio to your website what should you be looking for? Below are eight things you should consider when hiring someone to create webmedia.

  • Can the webmedia provider deliver a turnkey solution from concept to implementation, or do you have to act as your own producer hiring different people with different skills complicating the project and creating both technical and conceptual implementation problems?

  • Can the webmedia provider produce everything from scripts to custom music in-house, or do they have to farm-out some of the work increasing costs?

  • Does the webmedia provider understand how to use verbal and visual performance to create a convincing, memorable presentation, or do they substitute expensive production techniques for cost-effective psychological persuasion?

  • Does the webmedia provider just shoot video, or do they have the ability to analyze your offering and purpose, and focus it into a consistent, meaningful, branded presentation?

  • Does the webmedia provider have the ability to think strategically as well as tactically? Can they implement and repurpose your investment into your existing website, create a targeted mini campaign site, and provide alternative versions ready for ad implementation?

  • Does the webmedia provider have the ability to create lasting campaigns that can be rolled out and built upon, or are they just interested in making a quick buck from a one-off effort? Are they willing and able to be your ongoing webmedia marketing advisor?

  • Does the webmedia provider have the ability to turn advertising into content, and content into an experience, or can they only produce nondescript infomercials?

  • Does the webmedia provider understand business, marketing, branding, and what can and can't be achieved so that you have appropriate achievable expectations?

    Commercial presentation production requires a multitude of skills and talents. Big companies solve the problem by hiring advertising agencies that drive the cost of production beyond what most businesses can afford. By understanding what's needed to create an effective webmedia presentation, you can look for a firm that possesses all the necessary talents in-house; an approach that keeps costs down, while producing an exciting Web video campaign that achieves corporate marketing objectives.

  • About the Author

    Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit http://www.mrpwebmedia.com/ads, http://www.136words.com, and http://www.sonicpersonality.com. Contact at info@mrpwebmedia.com or telephone (905) 764-1246.

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    11 Things To Check Before Purchasing Web Hosting

    by Jarret Cade

    The web hosting industry is extremely competitive due to the fact of the massive growth of the internet and the fact that people want to have their own website. Web hosts compete against each other by offering more disk space and bandwidth for cheaper prices or free domain names along with your purchase of a web hosting plan. Many people get taken advantage of because they don't know what to look for in a web host to ensure that you are getting the most for your money.

    A lot of people fall victim because they don't do their proper research of a web hosting provider before they make a purchase. While the list below is not a comprehensive checklist it does cover some of the most basic things to check for when you are looking to buy web hosting.

    Contract Terms/Length

    This is a biggie, especially when it comes to those hosts offering unlimited disk space or bandwidth. The fact of the matter is that web hosting providers can't actually afford to offer anything for free. There is always a catch and the catch is explained within their Terms & Conditions. Yeah the big wall of text that you never read because of the length but that you have to agree to. Read through the contract and you will find out just how limited your account really is and how much freedom you truly have.

    Server Backups

    Considering we are dealing with computers things can go wrong at any time. When they do go wrong it is usually far worse than expected and this is why you should have multiple backups of your files in different locations. Many of the larger web hosting companies offer multiple backups that are automatically done for you but you need to make sure of this beforehand. Just because a host doesn't offer backups does not necessarily mean that you can't purchase from them, you just need to take extra measures to keep your files backed up in multiple locations.

    Server Uptime

    You have a website because most likely you are trying to draw visitors to it in turn to make money. Having your web site go down can costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars of lost profits. Making sure that a web hosting provider has multiple options for power can decrease the chance that your server will go down. There are many sites dedicated to providing server uptime monitoring for web hosts scattered throughout the internet.

    Negative Press/Reviews

    No hosting provider is perfect and not every customer is going to enjoy their experience. Before you purchase hosting make sure to do a search for reviews of the web host. There are many sites online that provide you with honest reviews from web hosting customers. Make sure to read over the reviews carefully and to understand the negative reviews. Many times people over exaggerate a situation that could have been simply solved by themselves.

    Awards

    As stated above, there are many web hosting review sites out there. Some of them may also offer awards to a particular web hosting for having the most uptime or providing the best customer service. It is a good idea to research the awards that have been given to a web host. Some hosting providers like to prominently display the awards that have been given to them while others have the awards tucked away on a sub page on their site. However, just because a web host does not have an award does not make them any worse than a host that does.

    Compare Prices

    This is probably the most obvious point of this list. With the industry as competitive as it is, providers are always looking for ways to provide you the most resources for as little as possible. One web host may provide 1000MB of storage and bandwidth for $10 a month while another may provide 5000MB of storage and bandwidth for only $5 a month. Write down a list of what you need and while browsing for hosting plans write down the information from each host. Then once you are done, go over the list and make comparisons to see which host will give you the most for your money.

    Look For Coupons

    As stated above, the hosting industry is competitive and hosts constantly have to improve their services while keeping the price low. Many providers will offer coupons that give you a free domain name, a discount on a yearly hosting package or a major discount on your first month of hosting. There are many sites and forums on the internet that look for these coupons and provide lists so that consumers can save some extra money.

    Programming Language Support

    Depending upon your site, you will most likely need some kind of programming language. Most hosting providers nowadays offer PHP as a standard because it is widely used throughout the word. However, your site may require additional languages to be able to function so make sure that you are aware of what languages they do provide or what languages they can provide upon request.

    Customer/Technical Support

    When things go wrong you need somebody to talk to no matter what time it is. Most of the major hosting companies offer 24/7 phone, live chat and email support. Companies such as HostGator have a great reputation for their customer service and are very eager to go out of their way to help you. While you may not need to contact support everyday, it is nice knowing that if you do ever need to there will be somebody on the other end of the line ready to assist you in any way possible.

    Hosting Plan Details

    The 2 major details in a hosting plan are disk space and bandwidth. Disk space is the amount of files that your hosting plan can support while bandwidth is the amount of traffic that your site can receive. Knowing beforehand what your site will require is essential in finding the best hosting plan for your situation. Most web hosting providers do provide extra features however they may not always display them on their main page. You might have to go digging deeper into their site to find out just what exactly they do provide with their hosting plans.

    Cheapest Isn't Always Best

    Too many people get lured into big numbers for low prices. As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for". That works for both web hosting and anything else in life. Low cost hosting plans are almost always setup on a shared server which means that your site is shared with anywhere from 10 to 100+ other websites. Meaning that you have to share the resources between all those sites. If one of the other sites starts using up too many resources your site may experience slow load times or completely crash. It may be wise to spend a few extra dollars a month to ensure the quality of your web hosting service.

    This list is by no means complete but it is a great starting point and should be reference when making a decision to purchase web hosting. Knowing the facts beforehand can save you both time and money in the long run while avoiding unneeded hassle.

    About the Author

    Find which host ranks the best, visit http://www.webhostsdeals.com. A web hosting comparison site dedicated to finding the best deals on web hosting from the top web hosting providers.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008

    Should you handle your own SEO?

    by Jennifer Horowitz

    Everyone is trying to save money in today's economy - but sometimes when you think you are saving money you are actually losing so much more than you save.

    If you are considering handling your own SEO, that is only a good decision if:

    a) you have the time to do the work and actually get it done and b) you can get the results you need so you actually increase your traffic from top rankings.

    To determine if you should handle your own SEO - check out these questions.

    1. Can you work within simple HTML? At a bare minimum, you need to be able to add Meta tags to an HTML document. Ideally, you can also bold text, set up links, change formatting, rename images, move java script into a .js file etc.

    2. Do you have enough time to make your site search engine friendly? Plan on a minimum of 3 hours for site's that are in great shape, and up to 25 hours (or more) for sites that may need a complete overhaul. In our experience, 3 - 6 hours seems to be the norm for time spent on updating SEO friendliness issues.

    3. Will you have this time for SEO friendliness work within the next week? Typically if people don't take action in the immediate future (within the next 5 business days), the project ends up being delayed indefinitely. You need a clear scheduled start date for your SEO work - especially when the holidays are approaching! You need to get things going!

    4. Can your business afford to "lend" this time to SEO without experiencing some other negative impact? If the time is not truly extra time you have, then you would be "borrowing" the time from another area of your business. Can you do that without harming another area of your business?

    5. If you SEO project becomes bigger than you initially anticipated, will you have the time and attention to continue dedicating to it until completion?

    6. Are you an experienced and competent copywriter? If you said no, do you feel you can quickly master writing compelling copy that is also keyword rich?

    7. Is the content already on your site something you feel comfortable altering? Often people that have paid for high-end marketing copy on their websites do not want to make any SEO alterations themselves, for fear of altering the effectiveness of their current copy - and therefore affecting their conversion rates.

    8. Do you have any prior SEO experience?

    9. Do you have the tools or know where to purchase the tools that will help you in keyword selection, site analysis, reporting and current industry information?

    10. Would you rather spend your time working ON your business(i.e., growing it) than IN your business (i.e., taking care of the nitty gritty details rather than the big picture)?

    11. Do you have a plan in place to make sure you stay current all SEO trends and changes so you can maintain your rankings on-going?

    Now let's take a look at your answers and what they mean:

    1: Can you work within simple HTML?

    On-page optimization requires that you work within the HTML on your website. If you are not able to work with an HTML document and feel confident that you will not cause any errors or malfunctions, then you simply can not handle your own SEO at this time.

    You would need to learn HTML before you could consider handling SEO. Please note, if your site is more complex than simple HTML, you would need to be comfortable working within the code used on your site.

    2, 3 and 4: Do you have enough time to make your site search engine friendly? Can your business afford to "lend" this time to SEO, and therefore experience no significant negative impact? If the time is not truly extra time you have, then you would be "borrowing" the time from another area of your business.

    You will also later need to write content, alter content and handle various optimization techniques, but to get started - before you can do anything else - you need to make the time to get the foundation ready for SEO. If you don't have time to do this, your project simply won't get off the ground.

    Do you truly have the time, or are you just taking it from somewhere else. If you are taking it from somewhere else, that may be fine - you just need to be sure that you aren't harming your business in other ways. Getting rankings, and ultimately traffic to your site will not benefit you if your business falls apart while you work on the optimization.

    The remainder of the questions are details for you to consider. Basically, the more No's there are, the more likely it is that you should NOT handle your SEO in-house.

    If your results determined you can handle your own SEO, here are the final details you need you consider:

    1. What is your time worth per hour? Which option is more cost effective for you - hiring someone or spending your own time?

    2. Can you recognize when your choice is not working for you and are you willing to try the other option at that time?

    3. You must commit to educating yourself and learning all that you need to know to truly run a successful SEO campaign. Inadvertently spamming, or using a questionable technique can result in a temporary loss of results or a permanent ban from the engines. Be 100% sure you aren't endangering your business.

    If your results determined you should outsource your SEO, here are the final details you should consider:

    1. Make sure you know what questions to ask the SEO firm you hire

    2. Plan on spending anywhere from $300 - $1000.00 per month to run an aggressive SEO campaign.

    No one but you can decide - we just wanted to arm you with some things to consider. It is all in the details, and you should consider them carefully before making a decision.

    About the Author

    Jennifer Horowitz, Dir. of Marketing for EcomBuffet.com, has written a book on SEO and has been published in many SEO & Marketing publications. She is the editor of Spotlight on Success: SEO & Marketing newsletter. Over the past 10 years Jennifer's expertise in marketing & Search Engine Optimization has helped clients increase revenue. Follow Jennifer and stay current on SEO, marketing, social media & more. http://twitter.com/EcomBuffet

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    5 Steps to Abundant Web Traffic and Backlinks Using News Popularity Sites

    by Dr. Deepak Dutta


    Social media news popularity sites like digg, reddit, mixx, etc. are the latest sources for huge traffic, backlinks and search engine marketing. If your post hits the front page of one of these sites, you will get thousands of visitors, hundreds of back links, and repeat visitors to your blog.

    However, it is not easy to hit the front page of these sites. Every day, hundreds of people submit thousands of articles to these sites but none of them make it to the front page.

    Most of the articles submitted to these sites are spam, of very low quality and self promoting marketing materials. The regular visitors of these sites demand good quality, informative, fact filled, and funny contents. Contents that attack a different angle to old materials may also do fairly well.

    By following the five steps described in this article, you will be able to reap the benefits of traffic and back links to your site without wasting time and efforts.

    1. Know your audience. The first step to creating posts that get the attention of the visitors of these sites is to study the front page stories on these sites. Different sites cater to different tastes. Find out the type of contents that are popular in each site. For example, stories dealing with technology, liberal politics, and entertainment do well on digg.

    If you are writing a story that does not quite match the popular topics of the site, you need to create an angle for satisfying the taste of the site's audience. For example, conservative politics does not do well in digg but if you can talk about religion in politics in an entertaining way, it may get more votes than a serious post on why religion should be a part of politics.

    2. Announce your presence. Sign up for a few sites and create your profile with authentic information about you. Include your blog links in your profile. Upload a picture so that everybody knows you are a real person, not an unknown spammer and scammer.

    3. Drum up your post. Use some visual cues, like a digg button, on your high quality posts. This invitation helps your site visitors to submit your stories to the news popularity sites easily. Don't use these buttons for every post. You don't want every post submitted to these sites. If you submit every post, regular visitors of these news popularity sites will consider you as a spammer.

    4. Create a friends network. Locate a dozen submitters, preferably bloggers in your niche, whose posts regularly appear on the front page. These submitters know what succeeds on the site and they spend lots of time finding stories that are likely to get votes. They also compete for stories to submit to these sites before anybody else.

    Include these power submitters in your friend network and read stories submitted by these users. If you find a story interesting, positively vote on the story. Post comments on these stories.

    Find out the sources of the stories of the power submitters. Subscribe to these sources using your RSS reader and set up Google alerts for news items related to the topics. If you find a story that matches the criteria, submit it before anybody else.

    5. Share your stories. Once you have established yourself as a positive contributor to these sites, invite a few power submitters to read your high quality post and comments on it. Use twitter and instant messages for taking your networking efforts with the power submitters to the next level. Not all of your network friends in the news popularity site will respond positively. However, you will find a few who are willing to share their insights with you.

    Announce your best posts to your twitter followers and inform about them to power submitters using instant messages. Don't do it for every post. It will annoy the recipients and they will abandon your as fast as they can.

    If some of your twitter followers are bloggers who are interested in your post, one of them may create a post spun off of your article and provide a link to your original story. If this happens within a few hours of you publishing your post, it will boost the quality of your story.

    Getting your stories into the front pages of news popularity sites is hard work and time consuming. If you want to invest the time and efforts, the reward in terms of traffic and backlinks can be worth it.

    About the Author

    For more than a decade, Deepak's free classifieds and free ads sites are popular for online marketing. People also use his article marketing and social media link building tools frequently.