Saturday, August 8, 2009

4 Secrets to Creating Your Own Money Making Website

Building a website that drives tons of free traffic to your business opportunity landing page is the dreams and desires of every home based business entrepreneur. But just having a nice looking website is not likely to get you the traffic you need to make huge profits. Your site needs to be optimized to drive that traffic your way.

I'm sure you have seen and possibly clicked on those nice fancy sites from some well-known business opportunity. It sure did look nice, and I'm sure they spend thousands of dollars having their experts create a well organized site. But did you buy from them or where you just browsing?

So although it's great to have lots of free traffic coming to your site, it needs to be optimized to your target market so you're getting the right people to purchase your product of service.

So just how do you get this coveted traffic?
Search Engines - make friends with your local search engine. And when you do you'll find they really don't care much about how pretty your business opportunity website looks. It can't even read those nice fancy flashing graphics someone spent so much time placing in just the right place. What the search engines are looking for is content.

The internet is all about information. So the search engines are looking for good content when someone surfs the internet for information on your particular business opportunity.

You've heard the old business adage LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Well on the internet a businesses success is with INFORMATION, INFORMATION, INFORMATION.

So what do I do?
Simply provide the information your target market is looking for. Building a moneymaking website is not as hard as many may think. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Create a blog.
These are interactive and easy to maintain. There are several nice Wordpress products available that will provide fully optimized templates, taking the guess work out it. Or you can use many of the free templates posted all over the internet and add a few plugins.

2. Make sure that you have as many on-page keywords.
in your blog posts that the search engines will look for when someone enters that as their search criteria for your niche.

3. Create as many hyper-links to your business opportunity product as you desire.
This is your blog so you have the say so. Don't go crazy however; you might be viewed as spamming.

4. Now use Google Analytics to monitor the traffic.
This tool gives you great stats on who is hitting your blog and then going on to your product or service page. If you find that you have a lot of traffic that is not converting, change the keywords on the blog to more tightly target your business niche.

None of this is hard, just time consuming. And you don't have to have any degrees to create your own moneymaking website. Everything mentioned here is free; other than some hosting that will cost you a little bit of money, making all the free traffic and potential profits a real deal.

Now you know what 99% of all the successful internet marketers know. Spend some time and reap the profits.

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Guidelines for Selecting a Logo Design

What is a logo?
Simply put, a logo is a name, symbol, or trademark of a company or organization. Logos can be made up of text that is configured in a unique way. Your logo can be an illustration with your company's name on or around the illustration. Or your logo can be a symbol. A logo may also be a combination of these, but its goal is always to project the company's intended image.

* Why should you use a logo?
* Types of logos
o Text logos
o Symbol logos
o Text and symbol logos
* Your logo should be compatible with your image
* Your logo design should be simple
* Your logo design should be unique an recognizable

Why should you use a logo?
One reason is that people process an image in their mind more readily than words alone. A logo serves as the visual stimulation to kick start the audience's memory, leaving a greater and lengthier impact than words alone can do. It is the simplest and most direct way in promoting a business presence; it's a "what we're about" statement without the long-winded speech.

Logos give brand name recognition and add visual appeal to any document or web page. Because your logo is a unique graphic image, your visitors' eyes will naturally be drawn to it both on the web and on your printed materials.

Types of Logos

1. Text Logos
Words in their purest form ARE images. Type fonts come in all shapes and sizes, which convey different impressions on the audience. A thick font conveys strength and power. A script font conveys elegance and austerity, and a slanted typeface conveys movement. Your company name thus can be your own logo, provided your type font displays the intended qualities of the organization.

2. Symbol Logos
A symbol uses an image or images that convey an actual or abstract representation of a business. Because a symbol alone is less direct than text, it leaves itself open to a wider interpretation of what the business is about. Using a symbol in your logo has several possibilities.

It may be a take on a company name. One example would be showing a logo with an ocean wave in a company that calls themselves "Wavelength Optics," which has nothing to do with the ocean but is actually an optical engineering business.

It may create an entirely new symbolic meaning. For instance, people did not originally associate the Nike "swoosh" with the company. But due to its corporate rise and presence everywhere, people have immediately grown to think "Nike" whenever they see a swoosh. The same is true for the McDonald's golden arches, or a national flag.

3. Text and Symbol Logos
A brief amount of text, or sometimes just an abbreviation, compliments the symbol and provides that extra bit of clarity of what the business is about.

There are many choices to consider when deciding the logo that best fits the image of your company. Never limit yourself to one option. It can be very easy to see an image you personally like and think it would look attractive in one format without giving thought to how it will look everywhere else. In the end, it's not about what you want your logo to look like. How your audience will perceive your logo that is more important.

4. Your logo should be compatible with your image
If you are a financial or legal institution, you will probably want a logo that is more conservative in design and color. Navy blue, maroon, and dark teal are good color selections for projecting a conservative image.

If you are an artist or a state-of-the-art computer company, you may want a logo that is more abstract and contemporary. Shapes and symbols are good choices for an abstract look. Even using black and white as colors on a unique design gives a contemporary look and feel.

5. Your logo design should be simple
One reason your logo should be simple is that people process an image in their mind more readily than words alone. The other reason that your logo should be "simple" is that the simpler your logo is, the easier it will be for your graphic designer to resize and recolor it for various design purposes. You should have various logo sizes (small, medium, and large), a web version and a print version of your logo, and a black-and-white and color version. Always plan beyond your initial design purposes for your logo since the ultimate goal of your business is to expand.

6. Your logo should be unique and recognizable
There are two reasons you need an unique logo. First, you want people to see a visual representation of your company or business. When people see your logo, you want them to immediately associate that logo design with you and no one else. You don't want your logo to be a piece of clip art because someone might associate that clip art with your competitor. Using an image or a typeface that is all too common defeats the purpose of having a logo, and can even have a negative backlash among your audience who would view your company as unimaginative.

Second, a unique corporate identity is important because you don't want to violate any copyrights or trademarks of other companies. If your logo is too similar to another company's logo, it is in your best interest to modify or redesign the logo. What it would cost you in time and money to have it redone would be very small compared to winding up in court for a copyright violation.

If your logo is simple and unique, and if people visit your web site repeatedly, people will associate your logo with your company. When done properly, a logo is one of the simplest ways to make a brand name recognition impact.

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Everything You Need to Know About Email Marketing, You Learned from Your Mother

Tuck your shirt in. Clear your plate. Speak when spoken to. For most people, a mother's wisdom helped them navigate through life as a child and imparted values that still influence their actions today. Marketers would be wise to apply some of mom's lessons to their email marketing efforts.

Everything you need to know about email marketing, you learned from your mother. The same wisdom that mom imparted to us as kids is applicable to how we manage our email programs today. The following are lessons from mom, translated for email marketers:

Stand up straight
The way you carry yourself says a lot about the kind of person you are. The same is true in email marketing. Subscribers will judge your email based on what it looks like. The subject line should entice the recipient to open it. The gist of the email should appear "above the fold." Test your design in a preview pane with images both turned on and off before sending.

What if everyone jumped off a cliff?
Would you do it, too? Following the crowd is tempting, but not always the right thing to do. When building an email list, follow the right path and build a list by asking permission. The best lists require double-opt in permission.

Mind your manners
No one likes a rude kid. The same is true for email marketers who do not have good unsubscribe practices. Honor unsubscribes promptly and make it easy for subscribers to leave your list.

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all
Most kids need to learn to filter what they say. The same goes for email marketers. Sending an email without having anything relevant to say just isn't nice. Email only when you have meaningful content that is relevant to your subscribers.

Don't make that face or it'll freeze in that position
This is one of mom's favorite sayings when she's tired of seeing your silly mug. Don't let your subscribers feel the same way. Sending emails too frequently can result in email fatigue, higher unsubscribes and fewer click-throughs.

Speak when spoken to
Nothing annoys a mom more than a child who doesn't acknowledge an adult. Subscribers feel the same way when they get the same email everyone else does. Use the customer data you have to personalize emails-even if it's just greeting someone by name.

Clean your room
Cleanliness was important to mom, and it's important to ISPs too. Sending email to bad addresses and expired domains can result in ISPs blocking your email. Review your email list regularly. Fix typos and syntax errors and remove bad or bogus addresses immediately.

Finish your dinner
Why take a plateful if you're not going to finish it? Likewise, why implement an email program if you're not going to pay attention to delivery? A few best practices can keep your email from being filtered to the junk file. Keep the "from address" consistent and from a recognizable person or company, use spell checker and avoid words that trigger spam filters.

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Banner Design Tips

An effective banner design can make the difference between an unsuccessful and successful banner ad campaign. At Grantastic Designs, we have found that the following banner design tips can increase CTRs (click through ratios) and resulting sales. We hope these tips help you.

Banner Design Dos

* Use animation.
A quick-to-download animation can greatly increase a banner's CTR. Animation must be used very carefully since the purpose of the animation is to attract visitors, not to irritate them.

For animated banners, these general guidelines apply:

o The animation should be subtle enough to attract attention but should not be so ostentatious as to interfere or clash with the design of the web page you are advertising on.
o An animation that loops endlessly tends to irritate visitors. Have the animation loop 7-10 times, leaving the main message on the last animation frame.
o Conversely, some visitors will stop a web page from loading before the banner animation has loaded, leaving only the first frame. Thus, it might be a good idea to have your message come across in your first frame if you know that the web page you are advertising on has a long download time.

* Feature a call to action.

Placing a "Click here" or "Submit" graphic image on your banner can significantly improve your CTR.

* Use bright colors.

Blue, yellow, and green banners have a higher CTR than black-and-white banners. Use the color red sparingly.

* Use the word "Free" in your banner.

Depending on what's offered, the word "free" can increase CTRs. For example, offering a free software demo gets a good response. Offering free money arouses suspicion since people will want to know what the catch is.

* Give a benefit for clicking on your banner.

For example, "Do you want more traffic?" or, "Need help with taxes?" The answer to the question will be on your web site.

* Keep the message short.

Simple banners have higher CTRs than unfocused, wordy banners.

* Link the banner to a specific page.

When people click on the banner, they want to go directly to the web page that has the information they want. Your visitors do not want to go to your home page and have to hunt for the information.

* Refresh or change your banners frequently.

Studies have shown that CTRs drop significantly after 2 weeks. The CTR usually increases when a new banner appears.

To find the most effective banner design for your business, you must go through a period of testing. Testing means you run a banner over a period of time and measure the results (i.e. CTRs and resulting sales). Then you change one thing about the banner design, such as a color or a font change, and run that banner over a period of time and measure the results. The banner designs that result in the most sales should be the types of banners you use for your banner campaigns.

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A Double Take on Affordable Web Hosting

What does Affordable Web Hosting actually mean?

Like any bustling marketplace, Web hosting shoppers are always trying to pick out the best plans, at the most affordable prices.

So with the term ‘affordable Web hosting' thrown around so much these days, it's easy to become overwhelmed and consumed by cheap price tags, and crazy disk space and bandwidth deals.

TopHosts asked a couple of leading service providers what affordable Web hosting truly means these days, and how shoppers should navigate a market so full of numbers and promises.

Lou Honick, CEO of HostmySite, a provider of wide-ranging website services, thinks Web hosting turned affordable a long time ago, and that price tags have basically bottomed out recently. This reality makes finding the right plan at an appropriate price more difficult than ever.

Price, Space, Bandwidth Trap
“Web hosting is such a big market, and when you're exposed to so many companies everybody starts to look the same,” Honick said. “That's why hosting companies, consciously or unconsciously, fall into the pricing, bandwidth and disk space trap – it's the easiest way to look different, with numbers.”

Honick admits HostMySite takes part in low-priced, affordable strategies as well, with their $2.95/month shared hosting plan. But that's just the nature of the market he explained, and says his company goes way beyond just low prices. Affordability, to Honick, is not simply about a price tag. It's about the value behind that price tag, which isn't expressed in numbers – like customer service, support and uptime.

Brent Oxley, Founder and President of Host Gator, agrees that the idea of affordable Web hosting has taken on an extreme state as of late. He also thinks cheap monthly rates, big disk space and bandwidth are not the only things that make a hosting plan affordable. Customers need to keep in mind what they'll need to make their website successful, and what services are most important down the road. If you can get solid customer support, great uptime, at a good price then that's affordable Web hosting, Oxley says.

Disk Space Overrated
“The prices for Web hosting in my opinion have bottomed out a while ago. What hasn't bottomed out is the advertised size of the plans,” Oxley said. “The amount of users who actually use all the disk space and bandwidth on a large plan is close to nil… It's not that hosting companies are able to physically offer that much more, it just means they keep overselling more and more to keep up with their competitors.”

Oxley says customers virtually never use those large amounts of disk space promised by companies, so customers need to look beyond big, flashy numbers and consider what's important – a whopping 100 GB of space for cheap, or good service and uptime at an affordable price?

Degrees of Affordable Web Hosting
Of course, affordability will mean something different to everyone. Honick explained that those that plan to have a website where uptime is critical to their customers, and who want to ensure availability at all times, need to raise their view on affordability a level or two. Virtual Private Servers or a managed dedicated plan with solid, accessible 24/7 customer support may be the kind of solution your website requires. In this case, affordability takes on a whole new level, with the most affordable Web hosting plan being the one that best combines price, uptime, support and the offering itself.

Then again, if you're just starting out and all you want is a basic shared hosting plan at a low price, perhaps the most affordable monthly rate, along with just the essentials – hard disk space, monthly transfer, email accounts, design and marketing tools, etc. – is all you require.

But if you're going to go cheap, make sure it's with a company you can grow with, Honick says. Seek out a Web host that offers a “life cycle of services”, which provides a progression of plans from shared to VPS to dedicated hosting. If you go with such a company you can always upgrade when your website outgrows the cheaper, basic plan you started with.

And always consider the customer support behind the price. “Look for a partner,” Honick says, “someone that can be there to answer questions and guide you through all the steps.” That's the most valuable element behind a price: Web hosting support and reliability.

Future of Affordable Web Hosting
In fact, as more and more realize the importance of customer support, Honick predicts a slight increase in prices. Web hosting has become as cheap as it's going to get, and eventually customers will stop focusing on disk space and price. The focus will shift towards website support and customer service, Honick explained, which hold real value. That kind of service actually costs companies money and, if more people demand it, Web hosting may become less affordable in the future.

“It's going to get to a point where people are going to stop caring about how much disk space you get. It's already not much of a differentiator,” Honick said. “It's easy to offer lots of disk space knowing people aren't going to use it. It's harder to offer great service, and that's what it will boil down to. As people lean on that more, you'll see at least a small uptake in prices because that's a real cost.”

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10 Ways to Drive Massive Traffic to Your Website

By Kim Roach in Featured

Targeted traffic is the lifeblood of any successful business. In this article, I'm going to show you how to get laser targeted traffic in just a few simple steps.

1. Article Marketing

One of the best ways to drive targeted traffic to your website is through the use of article marketing. This is one of the oldest techniques for generating traffic, but it's still one of the best.

Once you have written your article, you can then submit it to some of the top article directories like EzineArticles, GoArticles, Buzzle, the American Chronicle, ArticlesBase, and SearchWarp. For a list of the top article directories online, go to… Article Directory List | Article Directory Rank | MasonWorld Internet Marketing Strategy | Internet Based Marketing Blog You can also publish your website to Web 2.0 sites like Squidoo, HubPages, Zimbio, and

For a complete list of Web 2.0 sites, go to… Web 2.0 Directory : eConsultant Article marketing is even more powerful when you submit exclusive articles to bloggers and owners of newsletters. This technique has sent me thousands of visitors with a single article. The key is to find the right distribution outlets.

Just imagine if you spend just one hour each day writing and distributing one article. In three months you would have 100 articles all sending you traffic on a daily basis.

So get out there and start syndicating your articles, submitting guests posts, and writing for online newsletters.

2. Viral Ebooks
Why not bundle your articles together and create a viral ebook? Giving away free ebooks is one of the best ways to generate traffic online. It's also one of the best ways to build your mailing list.

You can submit your PDF ebooks to Scribd, eSnips, DocStoc, Calameo, Issuu, Yudu, FreeIQ, and ButterflyReports.

For a complete list of ebook directories you can submit to, go to Free Ebook Directories

Quick Tip: You can also convert your ebooks to exe files and submit them to all the different software directories online. You can convert your ebooks using afree piece of software called WebsiteZip Packer.

3. Blogging
Blogging is one of the best things you can do for your business. Blogging is a great way to get to know your readers. Plus, blogging can play a major role in getting valuable search engine traffic from Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

4. Submit your articles to Blog Carnivals
A blog carnival is a collection of blog posts on a particular subject. They are then posted together on on blog - called a host. The host (who is also a blogger), publishes the carnival on their blog, with links to each blog post that has been submitted.

This creates an excellent opportunity to get your blog posts shared on other blogs.

There are a number of benefits to participating in blog carnivals. Not only will you generate extra traffic, but it also provides you with quality backlinks and an excellent opportunity to connect with other bloggers.

To submit your article to a blog carnival, go to Blog Carnival - Blog Communities Publishing Magazines. For extra exposure, submit to multiple blog carnivals. Just make sure they're all relevant to your topic.

This is one of the easiest ways to create one-way backlinks coming into your site, which is one of the biggest factors when it comes to ranking high in Google.

5. Submit your blog posts to social bookmarking sites
Social Bookmarking is one of the easiest ways to get extra traffic and links coming into your blog. Social bookmarking allows Internet users to save and organize bookmarks to a public website, tag them with keywords, share them with others, and browse what others have bookmarked.

Digg, Delicious, Mixx, and Digg are just a few of the social bookmarking sites you can use to maximize your exposure.

You can do a semi-automated submission to over 50 social bookmarking sites at

You can also encourage your blog readers to bookmark your posts as well with a Wordpress plugin called ShareThis.

Ustream allows you to create your very own tv station on the Web. However, it's better than TV because it's a live, interactive experience. While you're broadcasting the video, you're also getting feedback from the live chatroom.

Ustream gives your business a human face and a real personality. This is extremely valuable, because people like to buy and interact with people, not impersonal companies.

Live video allows you to reach entirely new audiences and develop a much greater level of engagement. A deeper level of engagement almost allows equates to a higher conversion rate when done correctly.

It's also an excellent way to get feedback from your audience.

7. Forum Marketing
Forums are another way to drive targeted visitors to your website. The key to getting quality traffic from forums is to find a forum that is highly targeted to your website, become involved in the community, and create a benefit-laden signature.

You can put a link back to your website in your signature. It's critical that you use your signature to offer something of extreme value along with a good call-to-action. Otherwise, why would anybody click?

The biggest benefit of marketing in forums is that they are centered around a very tight group of people who are all interested in the same subject. This is essentially a community of raving fans for a particular topic, making them extremely targeted prospects.

Forums are also an excellent way to connect with other bloggers, meet other marketers, and gain insights into your market.

8. Interviews are another great way to generate traffic
When you interview a fellow blogger, they will almost always publish a link to the interview on their blog. At the same time, you are also sending traffic to their website by posting the interview on your own blog. This can be a very effective technique for generating traffic and meeting new bloggers. Unfortunately, most people are just afraid to ask.

9. Build a List
If you're not building a list, you're missing out on a major source of ongoing traffic. Your list is the most valuable asset in your business. Best of all, it can be leveraged at anytime to drive a funnel of visitors to your website.

10. Video Marketing
Video sites have quickly become some of the most highly trafficked sites on the Internet, making them one of the best places to generate lots of extra traffic.

Don't worry, your video doesn't have to be a Spielberg classic. In fact, it can just be a PowerPoint presentation with audio. Even simple videos can drive thousands of visitors to your site.

Once you've created your video, you can then submit it to the top video submission sites with a tool called TubeMogul. And finally, My Favorite… Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways to generate extremely targeted traffic online. By following just a few basic principles, you can get lots of traffic from the search engines every month.

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How To Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website

By Cynthia Minnaar in Featured

You will need visitors to your site that are looking for exactly what you are offering, which is known as targeted traffic. Here are ten proven ways you can drive quality traffic to your affiliate marketing business site and increase your online income:

1. Articles
Well-written, informative how-to articles are proven traffic baits for affiliate marketing business sites. Use the resource box to provide additional links and include links in the content body to similar or additional information that can only be read on your site.

2. Email Campaigns
Email campaigns, used carefully, can easily drive targeted traffic to your affiliate marketing business site. By providing highly relevant and valuable information in the body of the email message and then offering a link that will take the recipients to your site.

You can provide the full content in the email message and then offer a link inviting the recipient to view more similar write-ups on your site. Or give only a portion of the content in the email and offer the rest on your affiliate marketing site. A link in your signature should also be provided.

3. Blogs
Apart from your affiliate marketing site, use a blog to keep in touch with prospective customers and members. Blogs are considerably more personal and lighter in tone than most affiliate business sites and they can be a great source of information, news, advice and tips from you to your prospects. Include a link from your blog to your affiliate marketing site. Allow comments too so your visitors can interact with you.

4. Ezines and Newsletters
Information is what people are searching for on the internet. By using proven methods to drive targeted traffic to your affiliate marketing business and offering a free ezine or newsletter about the subjects your visitors are interested in, will result in many visitors opting-in to receive your information.

Offer your visitors free bonuses such as eBooks for signing up to your free newsletter. Either use a separate landing page to handle the subscription process or have the subscription box placed above the fold on your website where it is clearly visible.

5. Discussion boards and forums
You can encourage other members to react and send you a reply by leaving useful and thought-provoking comments on discussion boards and forums. This will enable you to build a networking relationship from here. Be sure to sign with a link back to your affiliate marketing business website.

6. Social bookmarking sites
You will find that these sites are a rich source of targeted traffic that you can drive to your affiliate marketing business site. Your market demographics are also easier to define so sending out invitations to potential leads and members is much simpler.

7. Guest Blogging
By becoming a guest blogger you could drive another blog's captured traffic to your affiliate site. The site's readership will find you interesting enough to follow you to your own site if you can write well and can offer unique and useful content.

8. Host a Contest
Locate your target market and then promote a contest through ads or e-mails. All details must be found on your affiliate marketing website so you can drive traffic there. Registration must also be performed on one of your landing pages. Just make sure to offer prizes that visitors who will be coming in will find useful.

9. Allow bookmarks on your web pages
You can drive traffic to your affiliate marketing site by allowing your readers to bookmark certain pages that contain good content. This will help promote those pages and your website to other people who might be interested in the same subjects.

10. Offer freebies!
Everybody loves a freebie! There's nothing like a free gift to drive targeted traffic to your affiliate marketing site. It's easy to implement and can be relatively cheap or even free. Also, you can offer these visitors an incentive to sign up for whatever campaign it is you are promoting.

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Treasure Trove of Website Tips

By Jennifer Horowitz in Featured

Recently people have been asking for tips and “Do's and Don'ts” for website design and content.

Whether you are building a new site or redesigning a current site, here is a collection of tips that you'd be wise to follow:

• Create your site with a clear hierarchy and interconnection of pages.
• Your most important pages should never be more than one click away from your homepage.
• Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
• Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages. I'm conservative; I don't like more than 50 links on a page.
• Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images.
• If you are using images, name them with your keyword phrases.
• Avoid frames.
• Avoid an all Flash site. It doesn't matter that Google can read and index Flash. You are still better off not having a site that is all Flash.
• Optimize your site
• if you don't know how
• hire someone.
• Create a plan for content addition
• keeping your site current with fresh content is good for the engines and your site visitors.
• If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a “?” character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
• Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most search engine spiders see your site much as Lynx would. If fancy features such as JavaScript, cookies, session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing your entire site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling your site.
• Allow search bots to crawl your sites without session IDs or arguments that track their path through the site. These techniques are useful for tracking individual user behavior, but the access pattern of bots is entirely different. Using these techniques may result in incomplete indexing of your site, as bots may not be able to eliminate URLs that look different but actually point to the same page.
• Test your site for broken links and errors
• nothing scares site visitors off like a site that isn't well maintained.
• Test your shopping cart often to make sure there are no errors that are causing you to lose sales.
• Don't waste your thank you page
• make an up-sell offer on your thank you page. People have already bought from you and should be open to other offers.
• Test, test, test. You should be split testing or multivariate testing your pages to improve results.
• Make your opt-in box prominent and compelling. Building a list is vitally important to your business.
• Never make major website changes before an ad or holiday campaign unless you are sure you have time to complete the changes and test the pages.
• Don't wait too long to start holiday marketing. Some campaigns (like SEO) take time to build momentum. End of summer (at the latest) is when you should start.
• Avoid Site Builders unless you absolutely must use one
• and then before you do, make sure they allow you to do everything necessary to get your site optimized. (I've written articles on this, it's really important!!)
• Don't use too much jargon or confusing language. Talk to your site visitors in a language they will understand and relate to.
• If at all possible, consult with a marketing expert to make sure your site is in tip top shape. Remember many designers know design but not marketing - and your site may be missing some of the core marketing principals and techniques.

It's a lot, I know, but it's all really important to the success of your site. Print this article and keep it handy as a reference sheet. Stay tuned for future tips and advice - there is still so much more!

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Website Optimization Tips for Link Building and SEO

By Jeffrey Smith in Linking Strategies

Since link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO, let's take a minute to revisit some very important link building and website optimization tactics.

Trust, timing and authority are three metrics that impact the target site for building links. Sites that rank at the helm of search engines (above the fold on the first page) do so because of fundamental characteristics shared across multiple industries, websites and topics.

Sites ranking in the top 10 are there because they :

(1) either started before others realized the potential for those keywords and have an advantage of time to market / indexing saturation
(2) because they understand link popularity and have built a plethora of links from a variety of sites o
(3) because they understand the value of a good domain, site architecture and on page optimization.

Not to say that this is the only way, but we are only focusing on three metrics for the sake of argument. I have mentioned before that chronology begets authority, in layman's terms, if you started years ago optimizing, refining and grooming your site for higher search engine visibility, you understand the layers involved in producing high ranking search engine result pages.

The typical process is, you make a change to a page, you wait for the page to get indexed (typically you may build some links to expedite the process). Then when the page is indexed, you measure the result of your on page adjustments (tweaks to content, titles, tags, and code), you monitor the impact of the inbound links then evaluate how to bump it up another notch.

This process of refinement is an ongoing obsession until the goal is achieved (until you break the top 20) and then you have to wait for time to infer the element of trust to your page which results in the search result creeping its way to the top 10. Based on how well you implemented the previous steps will determine where your page finally stabilizes in the search results.

I am referring to more competitive terms here, long tail key phrases (keywords that have 3 or more keywords combined) can move to the top 10 unchallenged with the right tactic. Balancing your profile of long tail and competitive phrases is imperative for stabilizing traffic and appealing to an entire audience rather than just the tip of the iceberg.

By selecting a range of keywords, creating content and building links back to that content using a variety of keywords and keyword modifiers.

You are essentially priming the pump for what is to come after 30-90 days when those links have had a chance to pass the quality check from search engines and start passing real value. Link building is cumulative, so understanding the law of cycles and when to fertilize the seeds you plant (your keywords) is crucial for harvesting search engine traffic as a result.

In any case, once you are able to measure the impact, you can assess if you :

(a) need to leverage other pages or parts of your site (such as creating a series of posts or pages on the topic) to get enough traction for the keywords in question or
(b) just need more links to give the page buoyancy in search engines.

The idea here is to keep in mind that a natural progression towards a keyword objective is much safer to acquire over time. There is no need to disregard a moderate link velocity (link velocity is the rate in which you gain or lose links to your pages).

The ideal scenario would be to couple links with timely bursts of content with the intention of creating more value topically in the site. More pages equate to additional opportunities to rank for related overlapping keywords that you can interlink (much like wikipedia) to bring each page up in the rankings like the buddy system.

Which leads to the next point, there is a natural phenomenon that occurs over time as words stem across semantically related keywords and synonyms, this is referred to as “keyword stemming”. Ideally this process takes 3-6 months for a given range of keywords as long as a series of fresh or seasoned inbound links are linking to the page in question.

The first objective for SEO is to put the site in order (including site architecture, robots.txt file, .htacess file, remove spider traps and coding errors) in other words groom the on page factors.

The second objective is to create the appropriate content that will eventually mature into the perfect on page topical relevance and mature to an independently ranking page in 3-6 months. Creating content with the objective of future tense expression is part of a layered and tiered optimization strategy and is imperative for either creating 301 redirects eventually or using those pages as anchors for fresh related content (by linking from them to new pages).

The third objective is to build relevance for other pages besides the home page. Creating the appropriate balance of page rank and how page rank flows throughout the site (as a result of navigation, site maps, anchor text and back links).

This step is crucial for developing a site with website authority which is a key ranking factor based on trust, relevance and popularity. A common ratio is 35% of the total inbound links should go to your homepage, the other 65% should be to deep links (pages other than your home page).

The fourth objective for SEO would be to create keyword stemming across a series of predetermined keywords through systematic expression. Start with 10, those 10 turn into 20 or 30, then develop another 20 keywords (to create topical relevance for the topic) and those 20 turn into 50 keywords, etc.

Then in 6 months, as you add new keywords each month the previous round creates keyword stemming to lay the foundation for the next round and the next round of link building and content creation. This is one very successful search engine optimization strategy that uses timing, link diversity and content on a stable platform to produce relevant results based on on page and off page SEO factors unifying harmoniously.

By managing these steps, it is possible with a game plan and series of tiered strategies to acquire multiple traffic bearing keywords across an entire range of phrases that an individual may use to find your website. Instead of relying on a narrow range of keywords to deliver traffic (since you never really know which terms will outperform others until you optimize them). This tactic is based on topical relevance, link diversity, deep links, aging pages and website authority and using a variety of anchor text for link popularity to promote keyword stemming.

This is one of many methods you can use to scale your results to climb over your competition and gain the highest potential relevance score for each page of your website. That is, if you can see beyond the parts an view your website holistically as an interdependent organism capable of scaling to accommodate distinct conversion objectives.

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Write a Feature Article To Get More Exposure To Your Website

By B Hopkins in Featured

Article writing is a great way to showcase your talents and expertise. If you want to make a name for yourself and brand yourself as an expert in your niche, then articles are a great way to allow the reader to see just how much you know about your niche. Writing an article can get you some credibility, but writing a feature article puts you a bit higher on the credibility scale.

A feature article is an article that is showcased in a newsletter or on a website. It is an article that is considered valuable to it's readers and goes into a bit more depth that a typical 450 to 500 word article. Featured articles can be anywhere from 650 to 1000 words long and are definitely high quality. Featured articles aren't sales letters, or a spammy keyword-stuffed stream of consciousness to get better search engine rankings. Featured articles solve a problem common in your niche, answer frequently asked questions, or provide a different way of looking at the something in your target niche.

The best way to write one of these articles is to see what are some of the common questions people have in your target niche. You can find these questions from going to a forum in your niche, one of the groups in Yahoo or Google, or you could even put up a survey form on your site and see what kinds of questions visitors leave on your site. The last way of getting questions is the most powerful because you can really target your feature article to your site in the resource box of the article (”for more answers to questions like these go to”).

Once you have your article, you will want to get it featured in some sort of online publication. You have a choice of having it featured on a website, or in a newsletter. If you want your article featured in a newsletter, you will have a better chance approaching the publisher of the newsletter that is targeted to the audience in your niche. You can go to many of the newsletter directories and see which ones take article submissions and then approach them.

You will increase your chances if you sign up for their newsletter first so you can get a good understanding of how their newsletter is structured, and what kind of articles they publish in their newsletter. It will also give you something to talk to the publisher about in regards to their newsletter. What did you like about the article? What didn't you like? This will prove you are there for more than just a “what can you give me” mentality. If you have some other articles that have been published in other newsletters, you can share this information with the publisher as well.

If you are looking to have your article featured on a website in your niche, a good way to find websites is to do a search for them in the search engines. Doing the following search string will give you a list of websites that publish featured articles: “<>” +”featured articles”. You can then go to the websites and see if they publish articles from other authors.

Once you find a website, you can take a similar approach of the Webmaster that you did with the publisher. You would share with them what you liked about their website and ask them if they would like to publish any of your articles. If you present your request in a way that will show the webmaster the benefit they will get out of publishing your article on their website, you will increase your chances of having your article published.

Having your articles featured on a website or in a newsletter, you give you additional credibility in your niche. Featured articles should be high quality and provide value to the visitor of the website or subscriber of the newsletter. The style of approach you take with the Webmaster or publisher also makes a difference in whether or not you can get your articles featured.

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Promoting Your New Website

By Scott Van Achte in Featured

A few weeks ago I wrote about building your website from the ground up. This article did not dive into great detail on any specific topics, but rather touched on the key points you will want to address. In this article I will place most of the focus on the promotion aspect of this previous article.

While at times new websites can experience organic search rankings in a matter of months, for the most part, it can take well over a year before you start to see any progress, and that is if you start promoting right away!

If your new website has not been properly optimized for the search engines, then this is a necessary first step you must take. Ensure that your new site has integrated the appropriate keywords into all the fundamental areas of the site. Without this critical step of optimizing your site, in many cases no level of promotion will help you get those search rankings.

Extreme numbers of inbound links can sometimes cause an un-optimized site to rank, but an optimized website will drastically reduce the number of links needed, and its associated cost. This varies from industry to industry, but is true as a general rule.

Ideally the optimization of your site occurred during the planning and building stages, but if it did not be sure to get this completed as soon as possible.

Press Releases
The first thing you should do when your site goes live is issue a press release. Be sure to include a link back to your website, preferably with your target phrase hyperlinked as well. Submit this press release to an aggregator such as PRWeb. This will help get the word out that your site is live, draw some attention from the public, and also get you that first valuable link to your website.

Search Engine Submission
These days search engines will find your site on their own, and submitting to them is not necessary. If you feel you must submit your site to the engines, submit it only once and shortly after the site goes live.

In order to help the search engines fully spider your new site, the best thing you can do in terms of submissions, is to create and submit an XML sitemap. Submit this sitemap to your Google Webmaster Tools account, and also be sure to include a call to it within your robots.txt file by adding the following line including a complete path to your sitemap:

Sitemap :

There are many tools out there to help you build your xml sitemap. Google has placed a list of some of these tools on their “Third Party Programs” page.

Directory Submission
Back in August I wrote about using Directory Submission to help build links. The general gist of it is to be sure that there is a high level of relevance in the directories you submit your site to, especially if it is a paid directory. Currently DMOZ still has a high level of value as it is seen as a strong authority at Google. Make the attempt to have your site listed here in the most relevant category possible.

Link Building
There are a number of ways you can work to increase your back links. In July I wrote about 13 ways to help build links. Links are one of those strategic tools that will never be a bad investment. Today they play a significant role in search rankings for most industries, especially in Google. While the future will almost undoubtedly still see search value in links, even if that value declines, or disappears entirely, quality links can still help drive traffic as well, and a strong base of inbound links can deliver you customers well into the future.

Explore the different ways to build links to your site. A steady progressive increase in inbound links will help Google look positively in your direction. Do not be afraid of reciprocal links either. If you are trading with highly relevant websites to your industry, then you should have nothing to be afraid of.

Social Media
Promotion largely consists of building links and becoming recognized by the search engines, but in order to help you build those links, getting your name and brand out there can really do wonders. By increasing awareness of your site and product, the public will often help create the buzz you need, and often, this can result in fresh links to your website.

To help get your site in the eyes of as many people as possible, take a look into Social Media and consider creating profiles on some of the popular platforms. This can include creating a YouTube account and uploading instructional, informational, or interesting product videos. You can set up a Facebook page, and work to build a community around your product. Create a profile page on Squidoo, MySpace, and Flickr, amongst many others.

These pages often act as backlinks to your site, and also help spread awareness. Be sure to keep your social endeavors updated regularly or any viewership you have will dwindle as people lose interest. If you are able to build a strong following, this can result in many individuals linking to your site and spreading the word, resulting in long term benefits for you and your site.

Your use of social media does not have to be exactly about your company. For instance, let's say you sell cars. Your use of the social platform, while it may note your business, can focus on other car info including trivia, news, photos, etc. The key is to keep it relevant, not identical - you are not looking to create a mirror of your site.

Article Writing
Write articles about the subject of your website and submit them to various services such as EzineArticles. Consider also writing for your own blog to help grow your site content. By writing and distributing relevant articles you can create a nice cushion of relevant incoming links. By writing articles that closely match the topic of your site, and including a link back to relevant content within your site, you can help out not only with search engine rankings, but by creating an extra traffic stream for your site.

Pay Per Click
While Pay Per Click (PPC) will not give you many long standing benefits, it can help you to start making sales immediately which in turn can give you the funds needed to promote your site via other means. If you need that immediate traffic, this is one way to get it, but at a cost, and as soon as you stop paying, your traffic stops, so it is far from a reliable long term means. In some industries however, it can pay off, so it is definitely worth considering.

In general, reference your website everywhere possible. Get links from every relevant source you can think of, issue a press release, and get your site listed the key directories for your industry. The more eyes you can put your URL in front of and the more relevant sites you can get to link back to yours, the sooner you will start to see progress in the search engines.

For many industries it can literally take years to get those coveted first page results - in some industries it may be near impossible, but if you want a chance, you need to start promoting that new site of yours immediately.

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Network Marketing Now - Secrets for Finding Prospects on Online Message Boards

By Eldon Beard in Marketing

Promoting and advertising your network marketing and MLM business online is challenging. There are many different ways to go about it. If you want to promote your business inexpensively and effectively, message boards and forums are a solid and proven way to do it.

Choosing the Right Message Boards
There are lots of message boards and forums online, on just about every topic you can imagine. Since you are promoting your network marketing business, you will want to choose boards related to home business or working from home. This is where people looking for ways to make money will hang out.

Go to Google and do a search for “home business message boards”, “work from home discussions”, and similar keywords. This will bring up a list of boards and forums that you can visit. Look for boards that are active. Most will display the last post date for their various topics, and the total number of posts in the topic. Look for lots of recent posts as a sign that the message board is active and thriving.

Learn About the Community
Once you have chosen some boards to visit, take time to visit them and do some reading. Get a feel for the community and the type of discussions that go on there. Take a look at the board rules and make sure that “signatures” are okay - most forums allow them, but a few don't. Once you have a good feel for the community, create an account and get ready to start posting.

The First Rule for Using Message Boards
The first rule for using message boards to promote your network marketing business - do not post advertisements, or direct invitations to consider your opportunity unless the board has a specific section set aside for ads. The boards you want to use will have strict rules about advertising. Posting ads in discussion areas will not attract prospects for your business, and you risk getting banned from posting in the future.

Become a Contributor and Build Your Reputation
Your goal is to establish yourself as an authority and a valuable contributor to the community. There are many more people reading these boards than actually posting, so each time you post, a lot of potential prospects will see it. Will they see you as a leader? This is your objective. Your first thought should be “how can I help or contribute something positive”. You will attract leads for your MLM business over time by doing this.

Creating Your Profile and Signature
Before you get started, be sure to fill out your profile. This is where you can tell more about yourself and create your signature. People can click on your profile at any time and find out more about who you are. Make your profile as complete and meaningful as possible.

Your signature will appear at the bottom of each post you submit. It can contain a link to your site, and usually a line or two you can use for a mini-advertisement.

Once your profile is set up, start looking for messages where someone is asking for help, or a discussion about a home business or network marketing related topic. If you know something that will help someone or contribute to the discussion, post it! Draw on your past experiences. Take time to provide thoughtful and meaningful replies.

Again, the key to making this work is establishing yourself as a leader and someone who is knowledgeable about network marketing and home business in general. People reading the boards will get to know you and you will begin to receive inquiries and visits to your opportunity site after you've been active for a while.

Pick a few boards to work with, and try to post something as often as possible. Daily posting is best, but if time is limited you can contribute 3-4 times a week and do well. You want to be seen as active and involved, and frequent posting is the way to achieve this.

Final Thoughts
Proper use of message boards and forums for promoting your network marketing and MLM business can be very effective. The key is to present yourself as a professional. Set yourself apart.

The Internet is full of self-serving business opportunity peddlers who take every opportunity to spam and promote their business on message boards while contributing nothing. These people do not succeed. You, by presenting yourself as a professional, will do well.

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These 10 SEO Tactics Bring Me Over 2000 Visitors Daily

By Titus Hoskins in Featured

No matter how hard some people try to mystify SEO, it is not as complicated as many would lead you to believe. Despite all the techno jargon that many in the field will throw at you: SERPs, SEM, PageRank, Keyword Density, Vertical Search, Algorithms… SEO is really simple to do if you understand some basic concepts and follow some easy steps.

Search Engine Optimization is getting your content listed in all the top positions in Google, Yahoo and MSN for your targeted keywords. When someone does a keyword search in a search engine for your particular subject or niche - you want your site or content to be at the top of the list.

Here are 10 SEO tactics that have worked and are working for me at this moment in time.

1. Quality Content is and always will be your number one factor for getting high rankings and keeping them.
You must understand search engines are simply businesses who supply a product like any other company. That product is information. They must offer quality results to anyone using their service to solve a problem, answer a question or to buy a product. The more relevant, the more targeted the search solution they return, the higher the overall quality of their product and the more popular their search engine will become. Providing quality content is vital for SEO success.

2. Keywords are your number one tools for achieving high rankings.
You must understand keywords and how they work on the web. You must know how many searches are made each day for your chosen keywords. Sites like Wordtracker and Seobook will give you a rudimentary number of searches. Design your pages around your targeted keywords and don't forget to do some deep-linking to these pages on your site. Find and build backlinks to these interior keyword pages and not just to your home page or domain URL. Picking keywords with medium to low competition has worked out well for me. So too has using the more targeted and higher converting “long-tail” keywords been very beneficial for me.

3. Onpage Factors and site design will play a major role in the spidering and indexing of your site/content.
Make sure all your pages are SEO friendly, made sure all your pages can be reached from your homepage and no pages should be no more than three levels away from it - keeping a sitemap listing all your major pages makes the search engines happy. Make sure you have all your meta tags such as title, description, keywords… are all optimized. (Title = around 65 characters, Description = around 160 characters) Remember, your title and description should not only be keyword targeted but these are the first contact/impression anyone will see of your site - make sure you use them to draw and entice interested visitors to your site and content. Also make sure your title and URL are keyword matched for maximum effect. Having your major keyword in your Domain Name also helps, using a pike | to separate different elements of your title has helped my rankings, so too does having your keyword in the first and last 25 words on your pages.

4. Google will send you the most qualified traffic so concentrate the majority of your SEO efforts on Google.
Don't ignore Yahoo! or MSN but Google is king of search so give it the respect it deserves. With its new browser, Google's influence will only grow stronger so you must optimize your pages for Google. Use Google's Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to fine-tune your pages/content for Google. I also use Google Alerts to keep up on my niche keywords and for comment link-building on the newly created pages Google is indexing.

5. Link Building is still the most effective way to boost your search rankings.
Make sure you get backlinks from relevant sites related to your niche market and make sure the ‘anchor text' is related to your keywords but don't ignore the text and overall quality of the content linking to you. The anchor text is the underlined/clickable portion of a link. Don't forget linking is a two-way street, make sure you link out to high quality, high ranked relevant sites in your niche.

6. Article Marketing is a well established method of getting quality backlinks and it still works.
Writing short 500 - 700 word informative helpful articles with your backlinks in the resource box is still very effective for getting targeted traffic and backlinks. Longer articles have also worked for me and I use an extensive network of distribution including SubmitYourArticle, Isnare, Thephantomwriters… plus other major online sites. Don't forget the whole element of blogging and RSS feeds in your article distribution. And always remember you're also using these articles to pre-sale your content or products. Don't forget to leverage sites like Squidoo, Hubpages… to increase your rankings and traffic.

7. Onsite Traffic Hubs have worked extremely well for me.
These traffic hubs are whole sections of your site devoted to one sub-division of your major theme. For example, if you have a site on Gifts, then wedding gifts could be a separate section. This would be fully fleshed out with extensive pages covering everything dealing with wedding gifts - a self-contained keyword rich portion of your site on wedding gifts. Works similar as a sub-domain but I prefer using a directory to divide it up, such as yourdomain/wedding_gifts. (Most experts suggest always using a hyphen in your urls but underscores have worked fine for me.) Search engines love these keyword/content rich hubs but keep in mind you're creating content to first satisfy your visitors.

8. WordPress blog software is extremely effective for SEO purposes.
WordPress software is easy to install on your site even if you have no experience with installing server-side scripts. Besides search engines love these highly SEO friendly blogs with their well structured content and keyword tagging. I have at least one of these on all my sites to draw in the search engines and get my content indexed and ranked. I also use Blogger (owned by Google), Bloglines and other free blogs to help distribute my content.

9. Social Bookmark/Media Sites are becoming very important on the web.
These include a whole range of social sites like MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter… media news sites like Digg, SlashDot, Technorati… you must get your content into this whole mix if you want to take full SEO advantage of Web 2.0 sites. You should be joining these sites and using them. It's time consuming but it will keep you in the swing of things. One simple thing you must do is to put social bookmark buttons on all your pages so that your visitors can easily bookmark your content for you. You can use a WordPress plug-in or I like using a simple free site/service from which gives me a simple button to put on all my content.

10. Masterplan! Many webmasters and site owners forget to develop or have an overall masterplan/strategy when it comes to SEO.
You must have an understanding of what SEO is and what it can do for you and your site. More importantly, you just don't want SEO - you want effective SEO. In order to achieve effective SEO you must have three things: Relevance, Authority and Conversions.

First, your content/site must be relevant to the topic or niche area you're pursuing - your content must fit in and be related to all the other sites in your niche. That's why closely themed sites do so well in the search engines, they give only relevant content to what's been searched for or discussed.

Second, your content/site must be perceived as an authority site on your subject or niche. Establish this authority position and the search engines will love you and your content. One way is to develop this authority, besides offering superior content, is to form links/partnerships with other perceived authority sites in your field. Always strive to make your site an authority site - tops in your niche - the one site everyone has to check before drawing or forming a conclusion.

Third, conversions should be your main goal of any SEO efforts because you want to convert your targeted traffic into site members, subscribers, buyers or just repeat visitors. If you're into online marketing, conversions will be the most important element of the whole SEO process because you want buyers, not just visitors coming to your site.

Most of all, you must convince yourself Search Engine Optimization is not difficult, nor is it the equivalent of the online bogeyman as many would like you to believe. Used effectively, SEO can give you the targeted traffic you're seeking, just follow some of the outlined steps/tactics listed above and you will have SEO working for you and your site in no time at all.

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