Friday, January 29, 2010

Stumped For What to Write About? 15 Article Topic Ideas...

by Steve Shaw

Do you ever dread sitting down to write because you're just not sure what to write about?

When you're doing article marketing, you need to create a steady flow of articles. You may be just getting started and haven't gotten into a writing groove yet. Or maybe you've written tons of articles and are feeling like you've written about your topic in every way you possibly can.

I assure you--you have more creative writing ideas in you. You just need a little help in looking at your topic in a new way to come up with new writing ideas.

Use these 15 article ideas to start your next brainstorming session:

1- Use a keyword suggestion tool such as WordTracker to look up searches that people are doing related to your topic. When you find a search term that is popular for your topic, then write an article to satisfy that term.

2- Take a look at your website stats and see what people have been typing into search engines to reach your site. Write articles to satisfy those searches.

3- Forums: Look at popular forums in our niche and see what topics are hot. Pick out some questions that people are asking that you think your target market might also be wondering, and then write an article that answers that question.

4- Blogs: Start following some popular blogs in your niche, and see what topics strike a nerve with the readers. You can usually tell what topics are hot by how many comments the post has. Sometimes just looking at the comments on a topic is enough to spark ideas for new articles.

5- Newsletters: Subscribe to newsletters in your niche and see what catches your eye. Use a compelling newsletter topic as a jump start for your next article.

6- Google Alerts: Create Google Alerts for each of your keywords and see what other folks are writing about your topic. The idea is to just catch an idea--you can cover the same or similar topic in a new way, with a new perspective, and with different information.

7- Solicit questions. If you have a blog or a newsletter list, ask your readers if they have any questions for you. Take the best questions and write articles that provide answers.

8- How To articles. What can you teach your readers? Think of a specific lesson, technique, or skill that your target market needs to know in order to succeed in your niche, and then walk them step-by-step through how to do it. Numbering each step helps readers follow your instructions more easily.

9- Top Tips articles, or any list article. All articles do not have to be in essay form--some articles can be lists. Be sure to include an intro and concluding paragraph and to choose an overarching theme that your readers would be interested in. For example, this article is a list article. My overarching theme is "article topic ideas". All of the elements of my list contribute to that theme.

10- Got an e-book that you've written? You can break your e-book(s) up into articles. You can also use your table of contents as an article idea list.

11-Look at your newsletter messages--turn them into articles.

12- If you've done any audio interviews, you can turn them into articles. Just re-listen to the interview, take notes, and then create articles based on the information you covered in the interview.

13- Customer support replies--have you ever written a customer support reply that was so thorough, instructional, and useful that you thought you should share it with all of your readers? Some customer support replies are worthy of being turned into articles.

14- Forum replies and blog comments. If you leave really insightful, helpful, and knowledgeable blog comments, consider turning them into articles. Now, these comments have to have some depth and meat to them. You might have to develop the idea further to make it into an article.

15- Write a "Top 7" article and then bounce an article off of each of the 7 items. That way you get 8 articles out of one Top 7 list!

Use this article idea list to brainstorm your next 15 (or more!) articles. How many article ideas were you able to come up with from this list?

About the Author

Steve Shaw is an article marketing expert and founder of the popular article submission service http://www.submityourarticle.com used by thousands of business owners. Discover how to use the power of article marketing to reach thousands of potential prospects for your website - download a powerful free report on successful article marketing from http://www.submityourarticle.com/report

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Is Google Analytics?

by Peter J Moore

Google analytics is a free web-based service which gives you up-to-the minute website traffic statistics and marketing effectiveness figures. So how can it be helpful to a website owner?

Well, you've set up your website but how do you know who has visited it and how effective it is? It may look good to you and your mum will have told you that it looks lovely - but as a business tool, is it working and having the desired effect of bringing in customers and getting you noticed? That's where Google analytics comes in handy.

The analytics will allow you to see who is viewing your site (and sometimes where they are based in the world), so again you can see whether there are any trends or patterns around who is most likely to hit upon your site and for how long they visited each time. It will also tell you which pages they viewed so you can see which are the most popular and which pages are perhaps not working for you.

You can set up email campaigns which are targeted at your chosen audience and then Google will tell you who has opened them, read them and how many 'click-throughs' to your own website you've had on the back of them. This enables you to revise your campaigns as you go along so that you know exactly where your marketing tactics need to be improved.

Like any other web tool, it's relatively easy to set up and use but there are also add-ons which you can select if you want to get really involved. It can actually become quite addictive!

On the back of your statistics, you may decide to revise your website completely or just target specific areas which you feel need to bring in the customer further. You will soon get a feel for which bits are working and which aren't.

You can set up Google analytics to work in conjunction with other Google money-making sites such as Google Adwords, Adsense and so on. Additionally, this allows you to improve your return on investment (ROI) for the business and you can determine which visits to your websites are converting into sales for you - this is a huge enhancement and a very useful tool for any business person. Website hits are all very well and good but we want them converted into referrals and ultimately cash.

So if you're a natural 'curtain-twitcher' and can't resist wondering what others are up to, then Google analytics is for you and your website! It's not spyware because it can't pinpoint who your customers are and where they live exactly - but it can tell you how popular your website is and who is bothering to read your email blasts. Watch those campaigns turn into hits and your hits turn into cash.

About the Author

Pete Moore is a UK based author and co-founder of http://www.EzWeb123.com, an award winning website maker that is ideal for any small or start up business, organization, group, club, society, association, guild or charity looking to create a professional looking website.

Monday, January 25, 2010

7 Common Adsense Mistakes Publishers Make That You Should Avoid If You Want To Make Money Online

by Dean James

Contrary to what some may have you believe, making money with Adsense is not rocket science but it does require some good old fashioned work, knowledge and doing things a certain way so you comply with TOS ( Terms of Service ).

Here are 7 common Adsense mistakes that publishers routinely make.

1) Too Many Ad Units - They use too many ad units thinking that 'more is better', but this couldn't be further from the truth. In actual fact having too many ads on your site makes it look spammy and your site actually ends up displaying lower paying ads to your visitors. Definitely not cool.

2) Ads That Scream 'Ad' - Publishers will often use the stock Adsense ad block colors with those green URL's that make many visitors instantly recognise it's an advertisement. They are used to seeing these colors and mentally associate the fact they are an ad. This can adversely affect CTR ( click through rate ).

3) Low Paying Niche - They choose a niche they are passionate about but neglect to do the research on the niche to see if advertisers are actually actively advertising in that niche. If there is little demand, there will be fewer advertisers and they won't have to bid competitively.

4) Lack Of Keyword Research - Doing keyword research is a publishers foundation in building and launching a successful website that is monetized with Adsense. If you don't choose good keywords you are going to be facing an uphill struggle.

5) Content Scarcity - I have lost track of the number of times I've seen a publisher scratching their head as to why they aren't getting relevant ads displayed or the number of visitors they were hoping for. Without a decent amount of content on your site pages, you are not going to be found by searchers that routinely type in all manner of combinations in a search engine to find a website.

6) Images Next To Ads - This is a BIG 'no-no'. Anything that could be misconstrued as influencing a visitor to click on an ad is prohibited by Google. If you are putting images sneakily near to ads you risk not complying with Terms of Service you are bound to as a publisher.

7) Bad On Site Optimisation - This is about SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) and making sure your site and its pages are properly optimized so the search engines know what you want to be found for and so that relevant ads are displayed on your sites pages. If your ads aren't relevant to your content, they won't be relevant to your visitors either.

About the Author

Do YOU want to make money online with Adsense and do it the RIGHT way? Pick up your FREE copy of the Content Cash Secrets Ebook which shows you how to build a GROWING passive income online with Google Adsense at => http://www.ContentCashSecrets.com

Friday, January 22, 2010

Measuring Your Social Media ROI

by Karen Scharf

If you've added social media to your marketing mix, you're probably asking yourself, "Is it worth all the time and effort involved?" That might seem like a difficult question to answer at first, but there are definite steps you can take to measure the return on your social media investments.

** What Are You Trying to Do?

First and foremost, you need to determine what your actual goal is. Are you trying to create brand awareness, generate sales, find joint venture partners, communicate with customers?

These are all worthy goals, but they will be measured and achieved very differently. So, if you haven't thought about it yet, schedule a brainstorming session with your team to discuss exactly why you're involved in social media and what you hope to get out of it.

** Choose Your Measurement Tools

Once you've determined your overall goals, it's time to put tracking and measurement tactics to work. How will you track the actual results you are receiving from your social media efforts? The most obvious (and probably the easiest) tool is your traffic program.

In order to measure traffic effectively, you will need to lure the conversation back to your website and use a dedicated landing page for each individual source. That way, not only will you be able to see where your social media traffic is coming from, but you'll also be able to see which sources are providing the most valuable traffic.

Let me give you a quick "for instance" of how this works. We recently set up dedicated landing pages for our client Dean's social media efforts. We created tracking codes for his traffic sources in order to trace the prospect throughout his lifecycle with Dean. By following traffic patterns and ultimate destinations, we were able to determine that Dean's Facebook traffic is 34% more valuable than his Twitter traffic. Now, when budget is low or time is short, Dean knows to focus more of his effort on Facebook than Twitter.

Some social media goals are harder to measure, such as brand awareness or name recognition. You will need to decide which tools to use and what to track in order to measure any goal that does not involve sending traffic to your website.

A few ideas might include:

* The number of times your posts are retweeted on Twitter

* The number of friend requests and/or friend suggestions you receive on Facebook

* The number of targeted group invitations you receive

* How often your blog posts are posted to delicious, stumbled upon, digg, etc.

* How many new inbound links your website gets

* The number of times your blog posts are being published elsewhere

* The number of track backs your blog receives

** Don't Quit Tracking Too Soon

The time it takes for your social media traffic to convert can vary across sources. It's a lot harder to build up the "know like trust" factor in 140 characters (such as Twitter) than it is with pictures and posts and back-and-forth conversations (such as Facebook). Give yourself adequate time to thoroughly track and measure the effectiveness of a social media source, attach a time frame to each of your goals, and don't abandon an effort too soon.

It's also extremely important to always keep in mind the lifetime value of your customers. If your typical customer is worth $100, but you're spending $120 worth of time and effort to bring in that customer from Twitter, you might be able to determine that those efforts are not worth it. Take advantage of auto-pilot marketing tools wherever they are applicable.

About the Author

Karen Scharf is an Indianapolis marketing consultant who works with small business owners and entrepreneurs. She offers several whitepapers, free reports and checklists, including her FREE Can-Spam checklist and FREE email pre-flight checklist to ensure your emails get delivered, get opened and get read. Download your copies at http://www.ModernImage.com.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Business Website Design Strategies - The Starting Gate

by Adam Skiba

Twenty years ago most successful business owners would have agreed that "location, location, location" played a major role in their ability to generate profits. This still holds true today, except that it's not the best corner on Main Street anymore - it's the internet. Yet if you're like the thousands of attorneys, wholesalers, small town retailers, physicians, local health food stores, architects, piano teachers, landscapers, auto repair mechanics and other small business owners who have convinced themselves that their business is "different" and is therefore excluded from this directive, think again. No amount of newspaper ads, direct mail campaigns, business cards, radio spots or trade shows can substitute for a website, and more importantly, a high ranking search engine optimized website.

Having a website is not enough. The internet, and more specifically, your website, is merely a tool - and a very powerful one. Aside from the obvious technology components, it's not all that different from other types of marketing communications like brochures, sales letters and fliers. Your ultimate goal is to use your website to generate income - whether it's all online, all offline or a combination of both. The internet is the most powerful, effective and affordable marketing tool available out there, but it can also be the most baffling, and when you consider that the internet is still in its infancy, it's even more mind-boggling.

Site Design Strategies

There are many different ways to create a web presence. The type you choose for your business will depend upon a variety of factors such as the types of products you offer, your target audience's age range, personality types, preferences, budget or time constraints, your skills and much more. Although websites can be used solely to entertain or inform, sharp business owners use them to generate income directly or indirectly. Decide how you'll use your website to generate income so you can build the right structure to accomplish that goal. Begin by asking yourself these nine important questions:

1. What are my short and long term business goals?
2. How will I use my website to achieve these goals (what do I want it to do)?
3. How will I measure my website's performance?
4. What do I want to emphasize?
5. Who are my targeted visitors?
6. How will I measure success?
7. Who is accountable for my website's success?
8. What resources do I have available for building my website?
9. What are my limitations?

Once you answer these questions and consider the other factors that will affect your website's development, you should be ready to narrow down your website's income-generating methods using one of the following four basic approaches.

Immediate Online Sales

You'll sell packaged goods, services and/or digital products which will be delivered immediately or sometime in the future. Although you may accept offline payments, like checks, you'll need a method for accepting online payments via a shopping cart.

Lead Generation For Future Online Sales

This is the quickest and most economical way to build rapport and credibility with your targeted prospects. Although this model varies widely, the website owner asks their visitors to "opt-in", provide their name and email addresses, in exchange for free information, samples, advice, service and the like. This also serves another very important purpose in that it provides web owners with permission to market to these prospects and builds your all-important email list.

Lead Generation For Future Offline Sales

These websites are used to encourage offline sales and are most appropriate for service professionals, brick-and-mortar retailers and wholesalers, or any other business requiring face-to-face sales processes. For example, a men's clothing retailer might include pictures of their best-selling pieces, provide directions to their store location, highlight clearance items and offer advice on fabric choices in an effort to get their prospects to visit their location.

Hybrid

This type of website gathers leads of interested prospects for multiple products and services that can be purchased online, offline or both.

About the Author

Founder of SkyMax, LLC, Adam shows a true passion for delivering cutting-edge SEO Web Design for sustainable, long-term business growth.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Organize Your Way to Affiliate Marketing Profits

by Dave Cooper

Six months in affiliate marketing is a really a very short time. If this is true, how in the world in six months time did you find yourself dealing with so many different tasks on a daily basis? Maybe you are involved with many different affiliate programs? You may be managing several websites or sub-domains. Perhaps, you have multiple affiliate marketing email lists you are keeping in touch with. I'm betting you are contacting lots of potential merchants and advertising partners. Wow! This affiliate marketing stuff is hectic.

With so many tasks to accomplish, many affiliate marketers find that their whole affiliate marketing system is starting to look a bit chaotic. Okay, a lot chaotic. It is in this chaos where many affiliate marketers find they are failing and decide to call it quits. It isn't time to quit, it's time to re-take your Organizational territory!

It is without a doubt one of the least glamorous aspects of affiliate marketing. Getting and staying organized is extremely important to any aspiring affiliate marketer. You must have the foresight to create a system, an organized system! This system that you create may not work for anyone else on this planet. It doesn't have to. It only needs to work well for you. I promise you that you will thank yourself many times over for creating an organized environment that you can thrive in when your affiliate marketing business starts expanding.

Here are some of the things that you will avoid by establishing an organized system for your affiliate marketing business.

Losing passwords and email addresses - Has this ever happened to you? Of course it has, it happens to almost every affiliate marketer. At one time or another we all lose or misplace passwords and email addresses that we really, really need! You can avoid losing passwords and addresses if you create a system that has a retrieval method which is easy to remember and follow. Try keeping a simple text document of all of your most important passwords and email addresses. I promise you the few seconds it takes to document this information now will save you a huge headache in the future.

Losing track of day to day activity - It is easy for an affiliate marketer to keep track of his daily business activities if he has a system that will allow him to record such activities in a convenient, rapid, but accurate manner. Create a daily activity plan. Write it down. Do certain activities on certain days of the week. Get a daily planner and write down the things you want to accomplish that day. Don't try to do it all every day.

Mixing records of several affiliate programs - You really need to keep each and every one of the programs you are promoting separate. You don't want to mix your records. Again, you need a system of organizing the information you have accumulated for each affiliate program you are an affiliate for. Keep the information you have accumulated for each program in a separate folder on your computer. Or create a paper and pencil filing system the old fashioned way. Manila folders anyone?

No exact knowledge of the financial records - Financial records are the backbone of your affiliate marketing business. Record all of your transactions. Some transactions that you will want to include the operating expenses of your business, the amounts of commission checks received, and many other financial entries. The method I recommend for keeping track of your financial records and status is the utilization of a spread sheet. This spread sheet should show daily, weekly, monthly, and annual activities.

All the above suggestions may seem a lot of work, but any seasoned affiliate marketer will tell you that the above suggestions are part and parcel of every successful affiliate marketing business.

What are you waiting for? Get your affiliate marketing system set-up and organized as soon as possible.

About the Author

For more great affiliate marketing tools and highly converting affiliate products visit http://www.guaranteedprofitsystem.com/affiliate%20page2.html

Friday, January 15, 2010

Earn Some Extra Money in My Spare Time-The 3 Things To Avoid When Emailing Your List

by Neil Rowlings

When you decide to have an opt-in list, it is not just a matter of sending your subscribers your promotional newsletters or catalogs. There are many things to consider in avoiding many complications. While there are so many ways you can make people subscribe to your list, there are also some things you must do to avoid subscribers from wanting to get off from your list.

Aside from that, you also want to avoid any problems with the law and your internet service provider or ISP. There are now many laws and rules that are applied to help protect the privacy of the internet users from spamming and unwanted mails. With the popularity of the electronic mail as a medium for marketing because of the low cost, many company's have seized the opportunity and have flooded many people's e-mail accounts with promotional mail.

But, with an opt-in list, you avoid this annoyance because people subscribe to the list; they want to receive the newsletters and promotional materials. They have consented to being on the list by subscribing themselves, just don't forget to put an unsubscribe feature every time in your opt-in list so that you avoid any confusion. There may be times when an email account was provided when the real owner didn't want to subscribe.

It is essential that you keep your list clean and manageable. Arrange it by using the many tools and technologies available for your opt-in list. Do not worry; your investment in this marketing strategy is well worth it with all the coverage you will get which will likely be converted into sales then to profit.

Keep yourself and your business out of trouble and potential run-ins with the law and the internet service providers. Keep your operation legit and clean. Your reputation as a legitimate businessman and a legitimate site depends on your being a straight and true marketing strategist. As a tip, here are three things to avoid when emailing your list.

1) Take notice of your unsuccessful sends. These are the e-mails that bounce. Bounced emails, also known as undeliverable messages, are those messages that, for whatever reason, were not successfully received by the intended recipient.

There are bounces that happen or occur because the server was busy at that time but can still be delivered in another time. There are also bounces because the inbox of the recipient is full at that time. There are those bounce messages that are simply undeliverable ever. The reason for this is that it may be an invalid email address, a misspelled email address, or an email address that was abandoned and erased already.

Manage your list by putting markings on those that bounce. Erase an email account from your list so that you have an accurate statistics and records as to how many are actually receiving your mail. You may also want to check the spellings of your email addresses in your list. One common mistake is when an N instead of an M is placed in the .com area.

2) Always provide an unsubscribe feature in your site and an unsubscribe link in your mails. When someone in your list files a request to be unsubscribed, always take that request seriously. If you don't take them off your list and keep sending them your e-mails, you are now sending them spam mail.

When you are reported as a spammer, you and your business can get into a lot of trouble. You can be reported to the authorities and maybe blacklisted by many internet service providers. You will lose a lot of subscribers this way and many more in potential subscribers.

3) Do not provide pornographic or shocking and disturbing content in your newsletters. It is hard to decipher the age of the recipient and many complaints may stem from these. Controversial issues also are to be avoided to not be branded by your subscribers. Stick to the nature of your site and business.

Always remember these tips in this article so that you can have a healthy relationship with your subscribers as well as be kept within the boundaries of what is allowed in sending mails to an opt-in list.

About the Author

Earn Some Extra Money in My Spare Time: For more information & a free ebook please click on the link below: http://www.wage-replacer.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Setting Up a WordPress Web Site

by Gary Klingsheim

Although it is commonly viewed as a "mere" blogging program, the wildly popular WordPress (WP) application is starting to show up as the foundation for mainstream Web sites. Proponents of this use say it is flexible and fast, while opponents say that WP is awkward and tedious except for blogging. Can you really put it to good use as your online article database, graphics portfolio or business site (with shopping carts and the rest)? Or is setting up a WP Web site a fad that will leave disappointed webmasters in its wake?

WP fans will tell all their "home office worker" acquaintances about the advantages of "streamlined systems" and a "muscular Web presence." This is all well and good, but whereas setting up a basic blog or simple site is right down WP's alley, it may be that the customized result you want is more easily obtained with another approach - such as writing code with BBEdit, using a combination coder-and-WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) tool like Dreamweaver, tweaking a pre-made site or some other method.

Will that be "com" or "org"? You can use WordPress two different ways, whether you are building a simple blog or using it for your site architecture. If you go to Wordpress.com, you can build a site within the company's own network, which gets you a subdomain name (www.yoursubdomainname.wordpress.com). This is the quick way of getting "up and at 'em" right away with a WP "site." It's free, it's fun for beginners, but it's limiting and frustrating for veteran Web designers and developers as you can only change the overall theme. You get some tracking, stats and spam filtering, but that's it for the much-vaunted flexibility.

Using Wordpress.org, on the other hand, begins with a few expenses. The software is a freebie, but since you'll host the site yourself you need a domain name and a hosting account. Since you can always expand later, get the lowest-cost hosting plan you can find (perhaps $5-$20 monthly). As this is the only way you can conceivably have a "WordPress Web site," we will continue checking the ins and outs of WP's "org option."

WP installation You've got your domain, you've got your hosting plan - now you need to get the WP software and upload it to your own server. This process differs depending on the host company, although the Wordpress.org site has a well-made introduction to the software, the "5-Minute Install," that addresses the most common issues (and more involved instructions if you need them). Some hosting firms have even developed installation "wizards" for their WP-loving customers, but the reviews are mixed. As the old saying goes, "It takes what it takes," so do whatever is required to get that WP software set up, or your site-building project will be stillborn.

After a successful "install," you have some setting up to do. As opposed to logging in with ftp software, you will access the "back end" of your site by going to www.yourdomain.com/wp-login.php, entering your name and password and heading to what is called the "WordPress Dashboard." The setup that you will accomplish here is what will result in your having a "WP site," whether complex or simple. Proponents point to what you can do, skeptics to what you can't, although few would claim that you have a blank slate and all the tools to do "whatever you want," as you would if you built your site another way. This may be perfectly acceptable to you, of course.

Building the WP site You will encounter a number of tabs and options in the Dashboard, and under the Settings tab you will select General to fill in the basic information about your blog or site. You will enter its name, a tag line or slogan, the URL for your domain and a contact e-mail address. Other Settings options are found under Reading, Writing, Discussion, Privacy and so forth, where the default selections are probably fine for your purposes. If not, find out what you are doing before making changes - and don't forget to save the changes you do make.

Unless you set up "static" pages that need intentional changing, your new posts will "push down" older ones as you write and publish them. Static pages can be made for permanent (or semi-permanent) content, such as you would put together for an About page, Bio, your resume or your business products/services. Set those up, click Publish, and they're done just as quickly as a blog.

Last thoughts Yes, you can set up a WP Web site, and it doesn't have to look like a blog. Custom themes are a big business, with some freebies available, but if you want to be unique, you will need to spend time and energy making one - unless you buy one, of course. "Theme mills" are doing big business around the world as people get hold of the WP software and discover they need some help in customizing it.

It may be that a WP site is just what you need. On the other hand, if you have e-commerce needs, inventory to control and Customer Service reps who need to do "live chats" with customers, you may find that a different construction approach is required. If you don't know how to proceed, by all means, talk to a professional Web site design and development firm. Getting the right information before you take the WP leap can save you time, money and frustration, too, whether you end up using WordPress, another approach - or both.

About the Author

Moonrise Productions is a full services San Francisco web development company. They offer complete design services, web application development, ecommerce development, social network hosting and more. With New York, San Diego, San Francisco and a Los Angeles presence no matter where you are, we've got people to serve you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why Using Adsense Makes Perfect Sense For Your Internet Business

by Anthony Wong

It may be surprising to know that Google makes most of its turnover from advertising, a majority of which is made from other businesses putting ads up on their search result pages. This is all managed and processed via the Google program AdWords where the company charges varying amounts of money each time someone clicks on the ad a company puts up, and you can get in on benefiting from these charges. You do this by displaying these same adverts on your own site, and they (Google) then pay you a percentage of what they earn. This program is called Google AdSense.

If you own a website you should think about implementing AdSense. Most people think that to make money on the internet you have to sell something. What makes Adsense great is that even if you don't sell or promote products or services on your site, you can still make some money.

It was common practice in the past, for websites to feature banner advertising in an attempt to make some extra money. The problem with these is that they tend to be ugly and irrelevant and most visitors to your site will just ignore them. Another issue is that to get paid by the company (the banner belongs to you) the visitor needs to purchase or sign up for the actual product or service.

With AdSense the adverts Google displays on your site are contextual, meaning that the adverts will be relevant to your website's content. Also, the best thing about AdSense is that visitors do not have to buy or signup for anything in relation to the adverts in order for you to receive a commission. All they have to do is click on one of the ads. The money you make per advert clicked is dependent on the ad, though it has been proven that some people make a full-time income just using AdSense!

Also an advantage is that when setup correctly, the ads displayed are simple text that blend in amongst your site's content. Site visitors tend to presume that these ads are a part of the content and so there is a higher chance they will click on them because it matches the content. Knowing now that you can make good money with AdSense, naturally you want to position yourself to fully capitalize on it. Here are some tips to making good money from Adsense:

1. Create a website with your own domain. If possible do not use a free web host as this will not give you as much choice in the appearance of your website and where your ads can be displayed. Using your own domain allows you to create something catchy and memorable as opposed to a long winded one that a free host will give you.

2. If the primary goal of your site is to make money with AdSense, be sure to choose a topic that you know a lot or can easily find a lot about. By doing this, you can create mass amounts of content which will go on your site and keep updating your site which Search Engines pay attention to.

different topics or interests that do not relate to each other. You want your site to have an obvious and user friendly theme which all links in nicely. Avoid just copying content from other websites and pasting it on yours, as Search Engines look for unique content and rank it higher.

4. Get traffic. The most crucial step to make any online business successful. After establishing your website online, I recommend you learn some specific techniques which will help you rank higher on the search engines in a shorter period of time.

About the Author

In order for you to successfully make money with Google AdSense you need to be able to drive huge levels of traffic to your site and if you want to learn the BEST online system that generates traffic and builds a list that earns you a significant income all on autopilot, visit Generate Traffic now!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Website Traffic Generation Planning and Methodologies

by Duncan Wierman

Real Estate internet marketing is like any other kind of marketing, you're trying to reach a niche market and must plan accordingly. You have to start by identifying your target market in order to develop your message convey exactly the kind of high value business proposition which your niche will respond to.

The first steps are to:

1) Identify your target market; start with geo targeting and work with the demographics from there

2) Decide how you want to be perceived by this target market and decide how you'll foster this perception

3) Identify and refine your value proposition

Once you've done this, the next step is to develop and distribute your value proposition, making sure that your value proposition is perceived by your target market exactly as intended - in marketing, shaping consumer perception isn't just the most important thing: it's everything.

You have to start by positioning yourself to be perceived in a specific way; from here, you'll need to maintain, develop, grow or alter this market position as you deem necessary.

The real challenge is putting these principles into action:

Driving Traffic

There are some important principles of traffic generation you need to understand in order to be successful at bringing visitors into your website.

There are both principles and rules of traffic generation; principles have to do with your approach to the task and the rules are the practical nuts and bolts of driving traffic. You need to have an understanding of the larger picture before you can successfully put the practical techniques into action.

What you'll usually see a lot of is the techniques alone. While this is still valuable information, you probably won't get far with these techniques if you aren't versed in the underlying principles of traffic generation.

These are the most important principles of traffic generation:

* Traffic generation isn't a black art - it's something which largely relies on common sense and methods which can be replicated with consistent results.

* The reason people usually fail in their traffic generation efforts is that they don't truly commit to making traffic generation techniques a fully integrated part of their business strategy.

* You need to create a plan for driving traffic. Think of it as a road map; follow it, but remember that it's not carved in stone. Your plan can and should evolve to reflect your real life experience and results.

* Continually test and track the results of your traffic generation efforts - and adjust your plan accordingly.

* Set goals for yourself and as you meet them, raise the bar; traffic generation is a process, not a single objective.

* Don't be discouraged if you don't see results immediately.

* Remember that driving traffic begins with building your site - Why is this? Because your site should be built from the ground up with visitors in mind. Look at other sites in your industry to gain an understanding of patterns of visitor behavior.

See what these other sites are doing; don't hesitate to take a page from your competition's playbook if you see something which is working for them.

This is where things can become challenging; it's something like standing in Grand Central Station at rush hour with a megaphone, trying to be heard above the noise of the crowd. The goal here is to get the attention of your target market and get them to come to your site.

All business is arbitrage. You're taking something which is cheap (to you, at least) and exchanging it for something of higher value - buy low, sell high.

For example, SEO and other free traffic generation strategies essentially trade your time for traffic which is of higher value to you; this value may be measured directly in monetary terms or in other means (for instance, as signups to a list). The same is true of paid methods of driving traffic like PPC advertising; you're paying what you deem to be a small amount for something else which you see as more valuable.

If you've been reading carefully so far, you may have noticed that I haven't said a word about being indexed by the search engines; that's because this falls under the heading of techniques, not the principles of traffic generation. While you do of course want to be indexed, this isn't your primary objective - and it's something which will happen naturally as you work to drive traffic using other strategies.

Don't lose sleep over the search engine crawlers; they will come sooner or later. Remember that even once your site is indexed, it's no guarantee that visitors will follow. Focusing on being indexed is losing sight of the forest for the trees. This will happen anyway as a side effect of using other traffic generation methods. What you should be focused on is getting targeted traffic to your site. For instance, if you exchange links with another site (or even a directory) relevant to your industry, the search engine crawlers will follow these links when indexing this other site and voila! Your site will be indexed.

What you need to do is to let the web know that your site is there while simultaneously driving targeted traffic. The best way to do so is to create links to your site from other sites; not only do these result in your site being indexed, but back links are great SEO and of course, they can generate traffic directly through visitor clicks.

Here are a few things you can do to start driving traffic almost immediately:

* Whenever you add new content to your site or blog, submit this content to the social bookmarking sites (Digg, Technorati, etc.). Make an effort to give your posts attention-getting titles so that people will be interested in reading your content.

* Post comments on blogs which have a similar audience to the one you're trying to reach. Don't post comment spam; write real, thoughtful comments and include a link back to your own site.

* Start contributing to forums and message boards relevant to your industry.

* Create an RSS feed for your site or blog and submit this feed to directories.

* Write articles on your niche topic and submit them to directories article directories.

* Join link exchanges

* Build a linkwheel; create blogs and pages on platforms like HubPages, Squidoo, Facebook, etc. and link them to each other in a web ring-style structure. This helps the search engines identify the topic of your site and will improve your page rank as well.

These techniques can start driving traffic to your site very quickly; if you implement all of these methods and follow the basic principles of traffic generation, you really can't fail at bringing in targeted traffic.

So why do so many people fail at traffic generation? Because they don't stick with it and follow through; far too many website owners give up after a few days or a few weeks, saying that it's just too much work for too little result - instead of analyzing their efforts and figuring out what is and isn't working for them.

So how about search engine optimization (SEO)? Here's what you really need to know about

1) Focusing on search engines rather than your potential customers is always a losing bet. If you're putting all of your energy towards keeping up with the search engines and their constantly evolving algorithms, you're losing sight of your visitors.

2) Optimizing your site for very competitive (i.e. popular) keywords means fighting an uphill battle with no guarantee of success.

3) Generally speaking, you'll do best with long tail keywords; these require far less work in terms of optimizing your content. Long tail keywords are also very effective at attracting targeted traffic. The effort you put into optimizing your content for long tail keywords will bring you much better results than the same amount of time and effort spent optimizing your site for popular keywords.

4) Offsite optimization is just as important (if not more so) than on site SEO. Back links can do wonders for your traffic; but remember to keep all of your efforts focused on visitors, not search engines whether you're working on on-site or offsite SEO.

5) Base your traffic generation strategy on visitors and the search engines will follow.

6) As you develop and implement SEO techniques, always keep in mind how people actually look for information online - that's why long tail keywords are so important. It's a lot easier to rank high in the search results for long tail keywords. Being in the top 10 on Google for several long tail keywords will bring you a lot more traffic than being on the 10th page of results for a highly competitive keyword (which is where you'll start out if you're very lucky if you choose to go this route).

Remember that it's a long way to the top; be patient and enjoy the view on your way up. Stick with it and you'll eventually have more traffic than you know what to do with!

About the Author

Duncan Wierman is an Ex Software company CEO turned Real Estate Investor and Marketer. Discover how to outsmart your competitor, ethically dominate the search engines,and legally siphon off tons of cash in hand buyers from your website! Get a customized FREE report on what is wrong with your website! http://internetmarketingconsultinggroup.com/outsourcing/

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Advantages of Dedicated Hosting over Shared Hosting

by Michael Smith

When you launch an online project in the beginning, it is relatively difficult for you to foresee whether it will be a success or a failure, so it is common to start off with a shared web hosting package. A shared web hosting service may have been performing okay for you for a little time, therefore you never thought of migrating to a better plan during that period. Downtime may have been the cause of irritation to you for some time though while you were using the shared hosting service. Unauthorized access to your account may also have been a subject of concern to you, which kept you worried given that you were not pleased with the security on your shared hosting account. However, given the length of time that you have now spent on your website and the capital that you have invested into it, you cannot tolerate to have such a scenario again. Secondly, as the number of users of your site grows over time, other hosting options may need to be considered. 

One option in stepping up to a better web hosting plan may be to sign up for a VPS hosting package. The increased traffic may be sustained by a VPS web hosting solution for some time. However, as the size of your online business grows with the increase in demand for your products, even this may seem to be not enough. This is exactly the point where you may feel that the intense needs of your online project can only be supported by a higher-level web hosting package, i.e. a dedicated server. As a result, a dedicated web hosting service appears to be an attractive and viable option to you, because it can not only keep up your online expansion but can also give that extra functionality and protection needed by your project. 

This article is written with the objective of giving you an idea of what a dedicated web hosting service can do to support your business growth. What follows describes the crucial aspects of dedicated server hosting. 

I. Unshared Server

Dedicated server hosting means that the hosting company rents out a complete server to you, which can then be used as dictated by your individual requirements. A dedicated server offers a definite advantage over a shared server because the system resources are not shared with the other virtual accounts, instead you have full access to the resources plus total control over their usage. 

II. Option to Install Custom Programs

Another advantage is that custom programs may be installed on the server. 

III. Easily Modifiable Access Rights 

In case you have given access to other users to the applications that are installed on the system, they can also use those applications at the same time as you. 

IV. Great for High Traffic Websites

Another argument in support of a dedicated hosting server is that it is ideal for high traffic websites. This is because the included monthly bandwidth is typically uncapped for the great majority of dedicated server plans. 

V. Flexible Customization Options

You are able to customize the server according to your requirements, in addition to installing any custom applications. There are plenty of dedicated server hosting providers out there that give you complete flexibility in regards to the achievable level of customization. 

VI. Flexible Options to Add Extra Features

With a dedicated hosting package, you may choose any of the available features so as to achieve the required configuration. 

VII. A Number of Operating System to Choose from

Since different programs demand different operating environments, one of your first considerations is the choice of the correct OS. Two fundamental OSs namely Microsoft Windows and Linux Red Hat are commonly offered by a great majority of dedicated hosting providers. 

VIII. A Variety of Control Panels to Choose from

As far as the selection of the control panel is concerned, the two most popular brands offered by a huge majority of companies include CPanel and Plesk. Of these, CPanel seems to be more popular than Plesk, although the latter also has a huge customer base because of a variety of functionality offered by it in contrast with the former one. 

IX. Reliable Service
Stability is another key factor behind the popularity of dedicated hosting in comparison with a shared hosting server. Given that your site will be the only site residing on the dedicated server, the responsiveness of your applications will be maximum because you are the lone user of the server. X. Uncapped Bandwidth Results in Much Faster Access

Since no requests are initiating for using the bandwidth other than the server, there is a steady data transfer from the site. A direct effect of this will be that users requesting access to your site through their browsers will be able to view your site almost instantaneously with the shortest possible delay. 

XI. No Security Threats

A dedicated server hosting plan is also well known for its ability to handle any security risks as opposed to a shared hosting server. In the case of a shared hosting server, the accounts of other users may easily get infected if another user deliberately uploads a new virus into its account so as to bring down the web host. This is because the new virus may go undetected by the server antivirus software, with the result that the whole server may become compromised. A dedicated hosting server is able to resolve this issue by offering you the ability to change access rights, along with a dedicated external hardware firewall, both of which can go a long way towards reinforcing the security of the server. Due to this, with a dedicated server, you can enjoy a worry less sound sleep in the night being aware that no one can get access to your server under any circumstances. 

XII. Dedicated IP Address

The availability of a dedicated IP address turns out to be another significant advantage of dedicated server hosting, in that when a visitor tries to access the site, it is identified almost immediately. The availability of a unique IP address with companies offering shared hosting services is relatively limited. Even those who do offer this functionality generally cost more than those who do not. The drawback of a single shared IP address is that the site URL address cannot be identified immediately, instead there is a separate piece of software hosted on the shared server which directs the URL request to the correct partition holding the website. Under normal circumstances, the URL translation operation with a shared IP address takes only a bit more time compared with a dedicated IP address, however it can increase considerably under peak loads. On the other hand, there is no translation software needed in the case of a dedicated hosting server, which results in a much faster access speed. 

XIII. Added Level of Protection for Your Data

Dedicated server hosting is also distinguished from shared server hosting in that it also gives you the option to install extra hard drives on the server. An extra hard drive adds a great deal of redundancy to the system configuration, as it can be used to backup the data on a scheduled basis, apart from the primary storage device. This adds a great deal of safety to your crucial business data and is available only with a dedicated server. One application of the secondary storage medium may be to protect any crucial data your web applications might be generating, such as your client credit card information. Moreover, the dedicated hosting provider may also give you the option of having a backup FTP account, the advantage of which is that you can duplicate critical data on it in parallel with the usage of your regular FTP account. 

Conclusion

We expect you to harness the information presented in this article to your advantage, by making an informed decision to go with the right dedicated hosting provider, which is not only low-cost but also suits your particular requirements. This may not be as hard as it sounds once you have familiarized yourself with all the necessary information presented in this article. To be very frank, there is no hard and fast formula for locating the correct dedicated hosting company in accordance with the user needs, and there are more than one ways to reach the right conclusion. Nevertheless, the important qualities and benefits of dedicated server hosting discussed in this article can go a long way towards the selection of the correct company.

Summary

This article is written with the aim of giving the potential clients an idea of when it becomes crucial for them to move to a dedicated hosting platform. It then outlines the defining features of a dedicated server. The presented information is expected to be useful to the potential customer in order to make a well thought-out decision.

About the Author

Michael Smith has been reviewing and rating the leading web hosting companies since 2005. His website Dedicated Hosting Companies offers a depth of information on some of the most popular web hosting companies.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Guidelines for Effective eCommerce Solutions

by Richard Kacerek

Anyone who wants to set up an online business should be familiar with terms such as online shopping carts and e-commerce websites. There are a large number of solutions to choose from to boost your online business. We will provide you with guidelines that will help you in selecting the most effective e-commerce solution.

Table-less XHTML and CSS design

XHTML coding along with CSS shrinks the webpage code by up to 60%. This is a huge advantage as your client does not have to waste valuable time, waiting for each webpage to load. Average statistics prove that people do not wait for a site to load for more than 3-4 seconds. This coding standard also makes your site ready for new browser versions, ensuring flawless usage across various platforms.

W3C valid coding

Whether valid coding influences the search result on a searched for site is a point which is still under debate. Based on our practice and experience, we believe it does. After purchasing a fresh new domain, a valid W3C coding helped in attaining top search result positions and increased web traffic over Google. This was achieved after just 2 weeks! There are many sites we built using W3C coding and all the sites always performed better.

Product pages and category views

Category views or listing pages are important for both the visitor and the search engine. Quick and comprehensive navigation through the site is crucial. The description of categories should be simple and preferably of few words. This enables the visitor to view the site with ease.

Automatic head tags changes

Each product should have its own descriptive page. Avoid the implementation of pop-up Java scripted windows with HTML code as well as images as they cannot be read by search engines. Moreover, visitors find them annoying especially if they do not have options of installing special plug-ins or even if they simply choose not to install.

Each product page should have distinct head tags with automatic change script. Title and description tags are the most important parts of a well optimised site which is embedded with keywords.

Search engine friendly URL addresses

Many web sites have URL addresses like:

../product.php?product_id=1645&dsny_ctgy_type=newCat

  Though it is a valid URL, it is not search engine friendly. Preference should be given to include a category or product name. This feature is usually easy to set up using mod-rewrite (modification on Apache server).

It can look like:

../computer-hardware/keyboards/microsoft-natural-keyboard-elite.html

Including descriptive words in the URL will definitely generate better results. Accessibility (Non JavaScript, Navigations, Art)

Meeting accessibility rules can be a very difficult task in e-commerce sites. Search engines cannot read java scripted menus, image pop-ups and other flash images that people use to jazz up their site. Simplicity makes your products sell, not the amount of features incorporated in the site.

Web statistics and analyses

Probably the second most important part of SEO is analyzing your web traffic and monitoring your site. There are many free web statistic software packages available. You can increase your sales by responding in time. You can display links of the products that are doing well in the market on your pages. 

Unnecessary features

Avoid embedding your site with a ray of features that have practically little or no use. Always judge which features are useful and profitable to you and which are not. A handy feature would be notification via email, for example.

Flawless order process without registration

  There is nothing more frustrating than to shop on an e-commerce site, add products to the cart and then discover that there is a registration needed to purchase them, and when you actually get registered, all the items from the cart are gone. Registration of a visitor is not obligatory. Make registration an optional choice and also give priority to quick checkout. This will definitely boost sales.

SSL and IP address

SSL certification is a secure way for your client to communicate with your site. An average user cannot make out the difference in the browsers. But everybody keeps an eye out for the "little lock" symbol. To add even more security assurance, you should place a SSL certification on every site. This logo should be clearly visible too.

IP address is an identification number. There can be numerous sites using one IP address (shared hosting). But if you possess a SSL, a dedicated unique IP is a must. It is also believed to be beneficial for search results. Site Search

An excellent e-commerce website always has a search facility. You need to give your clients the option to find what they are looking for in the fewest possible clicks. It is very frustrating to locate products on a website. If you are offering a certain product; you may not wish to lose a client simply because he couldn't locate that product on your site. If visitors need a product, you provide it to them.

Finally, always remember to mention delivery details. Create an info page where clients can have a clear idea about how much the total order will amount to. Also mention terms and conditions of sales and a telephone number or email address where clients can verify their queries. Look at your store and ask yourself - would you buy anything from your store? You may also get your friends to browse the store, make a few sample orders, and give you some feedback.

About the Author

Richard Kacerek, CEO Empire Elements, Ltd.

http://www.empire-elements.co.uk/services/