The Importance of Blogging for an Online Home Business

If you have a blog associated with your home business you should be using it frequently – daily if possible or close as you can get. If you do not have a blog associated with your business, get one today.

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It is a powerful, FREE way to get free traffic that may become sales or leads (your list). If you can’t even do this much to promote your business, with all due respect, you may not be serious or committed enough to ever succeed with your online business.

Maybe this is the issue and the juncture where you should make a decision. You want a business, or not really that much. Hopefully it won’t be the case here, but maybe you should just quit while you are ahead if it doesn’t mean enough even to do something for free to promote your business.’ It will still require time and effort to compose blogs unless you can pay a ‘ghostwriter’ or have some other blog service.

This should be pretty telling to ask yourself if you really want a business or would you rather go out to lunch? On the one hand you are building and developing something that will pay you back someday if you play your cards right and invest your time and effort for an extended period. On the other hand, if you can afford to go out to lunch then you can afford to get your business running but only if you really want to.

You can set up a blog at blogspot.com absolutely free. It is just basic but it will work to get traffic to your website. (Use your domain name URL to your website or affiliate link as part of your signature on each article). The search engines will help you to build back-links to and from the blog or website.

Or if you don’t mind spending a few dollars to buy a domain and hosting you can also set up a free WordPress account and have a blog there. With WordPress you can actually create a top-level website on your domain and then add WordPress (*blog) using a simple utility in your hosting account cPanel.

The cost for both domain and hosting is minimal – the cost of doing lunch out – once a year for the domain name registration and once a month for the hosting cost.

Even though it seems like the majority of people trying to start a home business cry broke, almost everybody has a few dollars they can spare themselves to build some kind of an operating budget if they have the right priorities. You will be the only one that will regret it if you make the wrong choices.

Business is Totally About Marketing and Advertising

Particularly with online business there seems to be an image of people who sign up for a program or two and spend a few hours max seeing what is going on there. They may read some of the documentation, and/or watch a video – sort of just ‘kick the tires’. Hopefully they bookmark their affiliate link for the program. Then that’s it.

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They don’t seem to grasp the fact that nothing is going to happen now unless they do something with everything that has been provided to them. It can’t just sit there on their PC and in their member back office. The next step is definitely to find out what some effective methods are to market and advertise the link and use the other graphics and images that may have been provided.

This can range from suggestions and/or resources from the company that may include autoresponders (eMail marketing), list builders, safelists, solo ads, etc. You may already know blogging and article marketing in forums and social networks are powerful free strategies to get your links exposed in a discreet way without being a blatant spammer. (Tell a story – provide some value and then approach them with your link).

It can also include any other ideas that you may have (note: ‘ideas’ how good are they? How old are they? What are the results?). Ever hear of people getting actual results in the last decade? Sometimes it really doesn’t pay to do anything with old information at least until you have seen and used what the current ‘ideas’ may be since they have a more recent track record. Then by all means use everything possible at your disposal. You never know.

With any business – offline they principally depend on foot traffic and maybe hard copy ads etc., to get the word out about their company and products. Online there is very many more inexpensive and even free ways to attract traffic to your website, affiliate web page, blog or wherever you are displaying your affiliate link.

The point is do not sit and do nothing while you wait for someone to magically discover your affiliate links. Remember there are millions of links on the Internet and unless you are doing sufficient advertising and marketing to get your pages ranked in the search engines and/or otherwise visible to people, it is not likely you are going to get far.

An online home business is on your terms but it is still a business and there is work to be done if you want to succeed!

Network Marketing Leads

To begin with, the least effective way to get good network marketing leads is to buy them, with few exceptions. Buying leads has a poor ROI (return on investment). For the most part they are all but useless, however if money is not an issue for you, then you might be able to get a sale or two from the bunch.

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The truth is whoever is selling you the leads may honestly say they are ‘fresh’, because they themselves just purchased them. The fact is that they have no way to know exactly how old the list may be that the leads came from. They may have been regurgitated literally hundreds of times over the years.

This explains why the vast majority of ‘leads’ will be unresponsive. If you do get a chance to reach them at all, they will very likely not recognize your name, your opportunity, or understand why you are contacting them. Some may be quite irritated if they have been contacted too many times.

So how did they get on the list in the first place even if it was years ago? One theory is that they may have been ‘interested’ only in a very abstract way. Perhaps at some time in the past they inquired about a related matter and their contact information was captured. Since then they have moved on and forgotten they ever heard of the opportunity. In any case more than likely, they are not interested in what you have to offer.

Having to first convince someone they requested information they don’t remember asking for is not the best environment to begin a relationship. It would be much more productive to spend your time contacting people who have “opted-in” very recently and have first-hand knowledge of you or your company.

The best of all possible scenarios is that they are interested in what you have to offer and are contacting you to get more information with the definite purpose of taking action. Now the dynamic is very different. Instead of you trying to convince them, you will simply be providing them with the information they requested. Big difference.

The definition of “networking” is ‘to be known without having an agenda’. This says that it would be very wise to participate in various activities where you can be known and get to know others. You can share your knowledge without trying to sell anybody anything and then watch them come to you for more. This is the best way to get really good network marketing leads.

Social networking and online business forums are two very popular venues where you could get to know others. Both of these avenues gives you an opportunity to build a relationship of trust and respect and eventually to discreetly introduce the possibility of a business transaction. It is highly likely that someone will be more approachable and open-minded to someone they trust as opposed to a stranger who is pushing something.

Less personal but still attracting interested people with a pulse, are lead capture ‘portals’. For example web forms that offer a free newsletter or report in exchange for providing your email address. You build the relationship through your communications and over time the leads may take action and you will generate a sale.

Money Making Internet Strategies

Search engines are the key to everything on the Internet. They are more than just the ‘traffic cops’ – they are the source of information and communication online. Hence, the primary Internet money making strategies involve using search engine optimization (free) and search engine marketing (not so much).

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When you first start out with your idea to start a business, all the way to where you are actually taking action to develop and maintain your business online, the search engines will be key to finding the resources you need.

The search engines just need a couple words to describe your idea and they will build on that to give what you what you need to create more ideas, and to provide examples and statistics. Research is really key and you shouldn’t rush through this stage. It is important that you understand all that is involved and to determine whether it is feasible for you at this time to develop your idea. If not then you may find out what it is that is missing and get it, or you may find an alternative idea that you can do now with what you already have.

You should first determine if there is a market for your proposed product or service. There are statistics about the market all over the Internet and you can quickly determine what is hot and what is not. You can find out how many people are searching for that item on a daily basis as well as other demographics, etc. with regard to your idea.

Remember that what you think will be the greatest thing since sliced bread may not interest others – ‘the market’. As such you may have a difficult time selling it. So this is why it is very important to find out what the market is looking for and get it to them. This is one situation where the multiple streams of income theory really comes into play more than ever. You may want to start out with a ‘sure-fire bet’ so that you have an income and then later on try to add your other idea that may not appeal to the market currently.

After you have made a decision on what you want to start with, the next step would be to create a web page that you can promote. Again, here is where you want to primarily focus on search engine optimization, as getting their positive attention can represent free, organic traffic. The reason this is the best traffic (other than because it is free) is that it is ‘targeted’ traffic which means the traffic is actually looking for what you have based on your content’s keywords.

After you find what keywords work best for your situation, these keyword phrases should be used in any advertising and on your web page. The search engine will crawl and index your web page using those keywords and add this information to their database (index). Then when people use those words or phrases to conduct a query, the search engine knows just what links to give them to find what they want, because they are listed in their index.

The way this works, ideally is the seeker will click the links provided by the search engine and be directed to your web site. Since it is not just random traffic they are more likely to convert to a sale as long as they find what they are looking for, etc. This is why doing keyword research is so important. You want your traffic to be targeted to what you have to offer.

How to Get Free Traffic for Your Online Business

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best way to drive traffic to your website for free. Not only is it free, it is the best kind of traffic (targeted). Targeted traffic is best because it is actually going to send you people who are looking for what you have. This is based on your keywords. ‘Keywords’ are relevant phrases that define what your site is about exactly.

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The Search Engine robots crawl websites on a regular basis, usually every 30-days unless there is activity (fresh content). When they crawl a site that appears to be dormant, (nothing fresh, no traffic, etc.) then they just leave and come back next time. However if they see that the site has fresh content they will re-index the site. The index is their database of all the websites on the Internet.

When your site is re-indexed, that means that your link is promoted to a higher position in their search results. You want to strive to be as close to Page One as possible (this may be a long-term goal) and you have to work at it constantly. One thing about Internet marketing in general is that you must be consistently building your momentum with everything you do to promote your business.

Posting once a month would be the minimum, if you want your site to be seen as being relevant at all. With a straight HTML website, it is difficult to make significant changes even once a month. That is why it is a brilliant idea to have a blog on your website. It is considerably easier to post to a blog than to be changing your code, adding pages, etc., to create fresh content.}

At the very least if you have a separate blog, you would want to link it to your website. You can do this by creating back-links in your content that refers back and forth – On the website, refer to the blog (link), on the blog refer to the website (link). Again though, it is a much brighter idea to have the site built on the WordPress platform so that it is seen as a page on your website. These are considered pages in a sense and so then you begin to be indexed not just for your home page but for each post you add.

If you do not feel comfortable writing then you will need to get over that unless you can afford to pay for a ghostwriter to create articles for you. There are also other options that are of lesser significance, such as posting other people’s articles (and giving them credit as the author as well as posting their links). You can also get PLR articles and change them around to make them unique.

SEO is a long-term strategy and the more you contribute to your own site the more important you results will become. It’s really not wise to ignore search engine techniques because it is far more significant and powerful than most other free techniques such as traffic exchanges. This is not to say that can’t work also, and it may be a good idea to do both.