If You Can Afford it, Paying For Traffic Is Smart

Although there are many success stories about businesses on the internet, unfortunately there are many more businesses that don’t make it. The ‘word’ is that this is only due to the fact that the majority quit without ever really giving it a chance.

drive traffic!

It does take good business skills and most of all common sense to succeed in business. Most critical however is motivation to succeed, determination and a willingness to work hard. These are not just words used like new year’s resolutions made at the height of excitement and forgotten the next day. It has to be real. So before you waste any time you might want to honestly ask yourself if you have these skills in particular.

A little money to operate with never hurt and honestly it is harder to do anything with none but that is not to say it can’t be done if you are really serious. This is where you may have to work even harder and wait longer to see results but again, if that is the only option you can do it if you really want to. Your main focus would be in getting traffic to your website or getting your promotional materials in front of as many people as you can. Every business needs customers to sell products to. On the internet traffic is critical and may generate direct sales or at least lead capture.

Just like a shopping mall, many people walk around ‘window shopping’ and don’t actually buy anything. That’s ok. They may come back later to do so, and at the very least they are learning more about the products that may make them feel more comfortable making a purchase in the future. If you have a mechanism to capture the lead, they might leave you their email address so you can follow-up with them.

However, the point here is that you have to get as much traffic as you can on a regular basis – aggressively – because the greater of number that do come to browse, the greater number of people that will buy your products. It is a simple and known fact. It may be akin to ‘finding a needle in a haystack’ and the fact not everybody buys is exactly why you have to always maintain a very high volume of advertising and other methods to get a steady stream of interested or ‘targeted’ traffic.

Many large and some small companies pay others to bring them traffic. They understand that sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Effective advertising is the key. While there are many ways particularly online that you can get advertising for free, they may not generate the same high volume or produce results at the same rate of speed as paid techniques.

Again – don’t give up or feel discouraged if you can’t afford to pay for your traffic – it does not mean you can’t start a business online. In the spectrum of possibilities, there are free and paid strategies – and in the middle there are inexpensive things you can do if you have a little money. If you really want a business then you should be able to save a few dollars wherever you can to generate some money to use to develop your business. That is all part of the determination.

Successful Internet Marketing Strategies

Basic Internet marketing strategy should always revolve around providing valuable content. As they say, “Content is King”. Things change in search engine land quite regularly. However this concept is the one thing that has remained consistent over the years. If you want the search engines to help your business by sending traffic, then you should always have good, fresh content on your site.

content is king!

As you progress in your abilities, you may want to also consider building back links to your website by posting content on other sites and including a hyperlink reference to your website URL. People can either click it to go there, or the search engines will just add it to their index. Either way it could help you get targeted traffic and sales.

There are many techniques included in what would be called Internet marketing strategy. Always remember, though that it the search engines that run the Internet and as such you want to stay on their best side, particularly if you want free, organic traffic. Even if you have the money for PPC (pay per click) advertising, it is still about the presence of keywords relevant to your business in the content of your ads. This may provide an opportunity to attract traffic that is targeted to your business.

By any means however, creating and publishing ads is not all there is to creating valuable content. You will also want to make good use of blogging and article marketing. You want to be considered an expert in your field by the fact that you are willing to share valuable information that is of interest to others. You will ideally create discreet advertising in that context. Hopefully, you will draw people to you and then to build trust. As time goes on, you will compel them to take action on your recommendations.

Research is very important in your Internet marketing strategy. You should analyze your business and website to determine the best keywords to use in all your content. The way to build a good collection of keyword and phrases, is to find phrases that match frequently searched expressions. Over time you should be able to amass a good collection of keywords you can use to build your content. They can actually help you to create ideas for your ads, articles or blogs. There are many free tools online that can help you in this regard.

It is very important to remain consistent in doing all you can to promote your business over time. You should be doing regular marketing tasks each day and continue to build momentum. Don’t stop. It is just a big waste of time if you ever sit back and wait for results of some campaign you did. Keep working and pushing forward. That way if the results are not all you dreamed they would be, you will have your momentum still moving forward and you don’t need to look back.

How to Design a Successful Business Opportunity Website

When designing your website, you should be aware of some important elements. These are relevant because of the way search engines work to send you traffic and the fact that you want to have a welcoming, easy to navigate site for prospective customers that will click your link to visit your website and ideally conduct some business there.

keep it simple

Although the theories change, for the most part search engines like to see focus in one niche so that they can index your site and know what kind of ‘targeted’ traffic to send. While it is okay to have multiple business opportunities on the site, they should be at least loosely related. For example with this theory of focus, if your business is affiliate marketing, then affiliate business opportunities would be related to each other no matter what their product or service may be.

To give another maybe more clear analogy, if someone goes to Google and searches for ‘shoes’ or ‘vitamins’ they probably would rather be directed to sites that have shoes or vitamins for sale and wouldn’t really understand why they were being directed to a site that has only affiliate programs. So vice versa is true too – If you search for affiliate programs you probably would be very confused if Google returns sites that sell shoes, right? Obviously if they are looking for something you have to offer, they will be more likely to buy something. So this is why focus is important to indexing.

One way that you can stay focused is to have keywords and phrases that are targeted to your niche that are used in the Meta tags and in the content or information that you add to the site. If your site has a blog then it would be helpful to use the keywords in the title or subject of the blog posts. These same keywords should be used in any advertising you do that directs people to your site.

For this reason it is a good idea to have many, many keywords. Some SEO experts have said in the past to start with 5 keyword phrases and work up to 50 and even 500 in a few years. This way you can rank and get traffic for more phrases not to mention it gives you more leeway in what you can write about to promote those keywords.

An easy to navigate site would likely have some sort of a site map or at least some clear menus that people can clearly see are the way they would find the specific information they are looking for that will hopefully help them make a decision to buy something right then and there. (although come back later works too).

When it comes to ‘bells and whistles’ you want to be mindful of keeping the colors and graphics pleasant and professional looking. You know the one about ‘you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’. You want to ensure that your potential customer will have confidence enough to enter into a financial transaction from your site.

While graphics seem essential for a well-designed website, you don’t want to have too many distractions like everything flashing and blinking, as this creates a confusing atmosphere that people may run away from.

You’ve Got it Going On If You Are Working At Home

Working at home is really almost like not working. When you compare, you would be surprised how much of the ‘stress’ in the environment at your job has absolutely nothing to do with the actual work you do. Depending on what the environment is/was like for you in your career, this will make sense to you to varying degrees.

relax!

Working at home allows you to appreciate your life because you are living in a relaxed atmosphere. Right from waking up in the morning, your life is more pleasant. You can get up whenever you wake up, not when you are forced to. If you think about this difference, right there you can see why your life is more relaxed and agreeable.

There is no more need to rush to get ready for work and then to battle traffic or public transportation. When you are working at home, you can just take your time, getting up and getting ready for your day to begin and you logon to the Internet. You are already there and ready to be productive with 100% of your energy as you are not already exhausted.

It is fine if you choose to work for a few hours and then to take a break to do something else, for example give your family some attention, do some exercise, or run errands to use the time productively even when you are on a break from work.

Having gotten some things off your agenda, you come back to your computer feeling good and ready to accomplish something more for your business. You may feel like working several hours to finish out your business tasks, or maybe you will keep working longer and just take a break for dinner or call it a day at that juncture.

The point is, when you are working from home you are in control of your time and can enjoy your life. It is still very important that you have the discipline to get your work done so that you will succeed with your business. Having a great time all the time does not mean you don’t need to do whatever is required to excel with your business. Remember it is what makes it all possible if it is.

You are in control. You can start out small and build up as you get more creative and productive in your home environment. You can develop your business plan and procedures for your own timeline and keep exceeding your own standards. You will pick up speed as you get used to your ‘routine’, and rather than to slack off at that point, the best bet is to keep adding more and more ways to earn more money.

Be Free At Home

‘Free At Home’ – the best part of this meaning is you are free! You are working for you! You are spending your day on your terms, on your time. So starting right at the get-go, things are looking better than sitting in a traffic jam waiting to get stuck in your cubicle for 8-hours.

get off the wheel

One of the most unpleasant things about working at a job is being shocked into consciousness by an alarm clock every day. You are like a hamster on a wheel. As soon as the alarm goes off you are rushing around to meet your time constraints of being at work by an exact time after stressing that you won’t make it in traffic; then you must eat lunch at a certain time, and return by a set time. Then you will need to stay and work to a certain time, and hopefully not later.

You might notice there is no freedom to ‘live’ in this scenario. Where is your life? After 5:00 pm until time to go to sleep so you can get up and do it all over again tomorrow. So wonderful you get a few hours off the wheel and can actually breathe a little.

However, working free at home allows you to work your own hours. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to work though. On the other hand, you may have to force yourself to stop since working at home online is so much fun. Most people really enjoy their life looking at it this way.

You get to decide when you will work, how long you will work and to some degree how much money you will earn, which is likely very closely related to how much you work and how hard you try on a consistent basis to develop your business.

Some people may feel they would really miss being around their co-workers – however there is a huge, world-wide community online and with forums, web conferences, social networks, text messengers and Skype, you will be networking with people just as much or as little as you want to!

Free at home jobs usually involve doing Internet marketing. Sales usually plays a huge role in most businesses and of course that goes hand in hand with marketing. If you have some other business skills you can build into a service business where you can earn money, that will work nicely. There are many jobs you can do online but in order to promote whatever you choose it will involve marketing and sales either as a means or as a means to an end.

Your imagination is the only limitation and the greatest part is you can start one thing and end up with an entirely different business at the end of the day. You are not stuck on any wheel! You can start out with a (flexible) plan, maybe with something sure. As time goes on and your expertise grows, you can take that to new dimensions!

The Ever-Evolving Definition of Blogging

Originally the word ‘blog’ was short for ‘web log’. Literally it is/was something akin to an online diary where people just recorded their daily activities. However, the definition of blogging is very much in flux, as always unfolding new technologies evolve that may redefine what a blog can do for a business.

blogging

For many years, blogs were assumed to be text-based messages on websites. They always were an invaluable way to advertise your business discreetly because they are a permanent record. As long as you keep the blog going, your business will be promoted online. This is versus most advertising that has parameters such as how many times it will be displayed or for what period of time.

Now the applications that can be promoted by blogging are just endless. Many businesses, even offline businesses, have blogs and use them for a variety of things such as the latest technical news, or to have a question and answer facility. Millions can see the answer to one person asking a common question and it being answered by an acknowledged expert. This keeps down the need for an intense customer service response as well as it may help to promote sales when people have any reservations they may have dispelled by the Q&A format.

Of course there are still just fun blogs where people can discuss anything they want to from relationships to hobbies and interests. As well people with various agendas such as politics, religion, etc. have made good use of blogging. Even these can represent income if done properly. The more bloggers began to explore all the ways that they can use a blog for their own purposes, whatever they are, the more the boundaries of what could be called a “blog” can be expanded and ‘monetized’.

As blogging has evolved, plain text has expanded into text with graphics or photos and then to videos. Now mobile blogging devices will add to the many ways blogging can be purposed. It seems like the possibilities are endless. Not to mention the scope of the audience is world-wide and there are many ways to generate traffic to a blog so that people will see it.

So the only surprise is there are still people who want to believe they don’t know how to blog and refuse to accept the fact that it is nearly idiot-proof once it is set up. Ok so this can be a little technical to get started. Certainly though almost anyone who knows how to log on to the Internet can find a way to sign up for a blogging service and set up the account. Then it is menu driven – something really not difficult like following prompts to ‘Post’ and “Add new’ (write something) or ‘Edit’ (fix something) and then ‘Publish’. Boom. You are broadcasting to gazillions!

As they say, ‘where there is a will there is a way’ and in this case there is an easy way. For all of the value that blogging can add to any business, it seems like people at all levels will make it a priority to figure out how to use this medium for their own benefit. It’s easy and it’s free – what more can you ask!

The Early Bird Gets the Best Ideas

They say that our most creative time is first thing in the morning. We can also supposedly retain information best at this time. Obviously if we have rested sufficiently, then we have the maximum amount of energy we will have for the day when we wake up, (allowing time to stumble around a little and make coffee first).

get the best ideas!

While it is true one of the biggest selling points for a home based business is how we can control our time – work when we want to – stop when we want to, etc. If at all possible we should get things done early when we have the most energy and are thinking clearer. If we constantly put things off they will become as if they are low-priority in our minds, and we will possibly begin to sluff them off if we are tired, etc.

This goes together with the problem of being your own boss and not being accountable to anyone but yourself. Well you are accountable to your customers and anybody you are working with, but this seems pretty flexible in the home business world. It is too easy to tell yourself you will do it later, or tomorrow and then either never do it (forget it) or do a poor job because you are tired or preoccupied and/or now need to rush because you have waited until the last minute.

Make no mistake, having a business needs to be taken seriously if we want to succeed. It has to be a number one priority whether it is part-time or full-time. We will have flexibility as part of the beauty of working from home for ourselves. That is IF there is something special you need to do or somewhere you need to go, you can always juggle things around so you can get everything done that is necessary.

As with anything there is great diversity among people. There are some that are ‘night people’. Those that work better at night or really get going by dark. Of course for these folks they should do whatever works for them. Part of the beauty with a home business is things are not rigidly controlled by hours such as 9 to 5, where we have 8-hours to cut it or not. Naturally if you get behind it will begin to ‘catch up with you’ and your job performance will suffer.

When you are able to look at the clock as 24-hours you have so much more time to do everything. So you are really quite free when you work for yourself to do a few hours of work here and there. The point is to get it all done efficiently and timely most of the time. The other point is every waking hour shouldn’t be spent glued to your computer or enslaved by your business. There has to be balance in everything. Enough work, enough rest, enough play. It is only when we have this balance that we can really thrive and excel.

How to Make Money with Affiliate Programs

With affiliate marketing programs, it really helps if you are able to work well with others. Affiliate programs may also be called ‘referral programs’, which normally involve commission-based sales. If you recommend an opportunity to your visitors and they accept, you will then earn a percentage of any sale you make. You’ll benefit from your action in the commission you earn, and the merchant also benefits from the sale. In some structures you can also earn additional, smaller percentages on any sales that your customer’s might make in the future as well.

target is money

To start out with you can just utilize the affiliate sales page that the company provides that is encoded with your affiliate ID. However as soon as possible it would be best if you build your own simple website or blogsite. You are then free to combine your affiliate programs into one business with multiple streams of income, or you can actually just have websites that are focused completely on one thing alone.

If you have your own website, for one thing, your online business can be multi-faceted. You can have a certain number of affiliate programs, and earn money for referrals. You can also sell related tools that affiliate marketers may use to promote their programs. For example you can sell autoresponders, ad trackers, article spinners, list builders, etc.

As with anything, you’ll need to be careful when you select an affiliate program. There can be many benefits to an affiliate program. It does seem logical to choose programs that pay you a fair, decent percentage of the sale you make. However do consider all that your chosen program provides to you and your customers when you determine what you feel is ‘fair’. Consider all that they have already spent in product development, membership program, customer service, and etc. that they share with you. On the other side consider what they are charging you for membership fees. It should all be kind of equal.

Some general things to consider would be not to accept any less than a 25% commission in most cases. You can find many programs with good compensation structures and high percentages of pay. Be sure you understand the compensation structure as far as how often you will be paid, and how they will pay you. Some programs will pay monthly, while others will pay quarterly.

Take the time to run some statistics as you go along so as not to waste time on either strategies or programs that may not be working for you for whatever reason. Track the number of clicks that result in sales, and earnings so you’ll be able to see how you are doing. Whenever possible try to see what your peers are doing so you can judge if you might be doing something that is not meeting the mark. Always look for programs that offer a wide variety of resources and tools to help you promote the program. They should help you as much as they can since your success means their success.

Be sure that top level, timely support is included. They should be willing to answer your questions and help you as much as is reasonable. They should provide documentation which you should use first, and if you don’t understand then they have every reason to help you. At the same time realize you are in business and you are responsible. There is only so much the program can do.

How to Keep Your Subscribers Engaged Over Time

As an experiment, subscribe to several different e-mail marketing opt-in lists to find out which ones are effective. Many online businesses send promotional materials to subscribers in an effort to generate more traffic and sales. They may send newsletters, catalogs, bulletins or updates and many more promotional materials to their visitors. Obviously some formats have different sequences, such as daily, weekly or monthly updates.

email marketing

The idea is that something in the sent promotional material will interest them and they will go to the website to learn more or ideally to make a purchase. Even to hold something in ‘pending’ for future reference has value to the business. Particularly since there are numerous websites that offer the same products or services it is good to have something that makes your business stand out from the pack. Keeping the subscribers interested is one way to beat the competition.

Try to find out which opt-in marketing strategies grabbed your attention – and compelled you to actually be interested in what was being said. You will find a full spectrum in the various formats, from brief and simple all the way to elaborate with colorful graphics and video links. Probably to keep it interesting a variety of strategies could be employed. You may find that you are looking forward to the next mailing because you are learning something, or you want to know more about the product before actually taking action to buy it.

Creativity is the key here. While e-mail marketing is for the purpose of promoting your business, just sending blatant ads, especially the same ones repeatedly will have a very short ‘shelf-life’. They will lose their effectiveness. Always keep the old saying ‘it is not what you say but how you say it’ in mind. If you think about it you will see the difference between adding value and just pushing.

Remember keeping your list engaged is just as much about building a relationship as it is selling. Some of the real masters at this will be friendly in their introduction and then spin a tale as in a natural conversation. Part of this can be to provide factual information, ask questions, pose situations, and then to present solutions or answers. The ‘advertising’ is discreet and seems to have some association to the message you are sending.

Try to always create your promotional materials to be entertaining. Try to stay professional, yet not stuffy, where you are talking over them rather than to them. A warm friendly message is always more welcome than a serious business proposal. While you do want your customers to take you and your business seriously, you always want to keep it light and friendly.

Graphics are very effective in adding emphasis. Some have a definite purpose which is to show the product itself, and some are just for adding a little drama or excitement to the design. You don’t want to overdo this. Especially with a video give an introduction and entice them in to watching it at the end of your message.

How to Generate Low Cost Traffic

The main thing any website needs is a steady flow of traffic. You can have the most gorgeous, interesting and compelling website, but if no one visits your site, it doesn’t have much of a chance of generating an income. If you have unlimited time then you can probably get traffic free, but even with a small amount of money you may be able to ramp up your efforts. Remember ‘time is money’.

drive traffic to the money

Don’t get discouraged because you don’t believe you have even a red cent to spend. It doesn’t necessarily have to take a lot of cash to generate website traffic for your business. If you are honest you will be able to ‘dig up’ some cash just by making a few sacrifices or cutting back on some things that are not necessities in your life. In the meantime you can get creative and find ways to get traffic free.

There are many ways to generate good traffic without spending money you don’t have or can’t afford. Even if you only get a small percentage of successful visitors who convert to a sale, it still works, if you can get a high number of visitors. When you are not spending an arm and leg to get them there, then it is much easier to profit from the transaction.

There are some ways that you can work everything to your advantage if you are creative and willing to work, in lieu of a huge operating budget. One way is to exchange links, if this is done in a responsible way. (No gimmicks and lots of caution). There are many webmasters that may be willing to exchange links with one another. The point is the more places someone might find your link and click it to visit your site, the better for your exposure.

It is somewhat important in exchanging links with other sites that they have the same or similar niche or market. Yes we are talking collaboration with your competition! The sooner you get past the ‘I win/you lose’ concept, the better for you. When you realize you can both win and benefit from each other, the sooner you understand ‘win/win’.

Exchanging links in a natural, organic way* (NO gimmicks) can also boost your search engine ranking. It is somewhat like the ‘you have to have money to make money’ theme – ‘you have to have traffic to get traffic’. The search engines will definitely note traffic being generated by inbound and outbound theme-related links so this is definitely an advantage.

Again the caution about ‘gimmicks’ – it is not natural to suddenly have a site that pops up with 200 new links in one day such as might be the case if you try to ‘submit’ your links to a service that will ‘display your link 10000000000 times’ – Run Away! Search engines really frown on sites that appear to be something they are not. Keep it real. Actually communicate with other online business owners to make arrangements to exchange links or don’t do it.

Be particular who you are linking with. The other important caution is to be sure that businesses that invite you to exchange links are what they say they are. It could have the opposite effect to be linked to a site that has porn, scams or that are known spammers. Pay attention.

Another related way is to work a deal with another business owner to ‘share their list’ (in a sense). Offer to promote their opportunity to your list in exchange for them promoting yours to theirs. Again you can actually benefit from your competition! Not only do you get the chance to show your stuff, but it is more or less being recommended by someone they already know and trust.