Step-by-Step Guide for Internet Marketing

A friend of mine just launched his latest Internet Marketing initiative. Basically, his product aims to teach serious internet marketers how to generate online income using only free resources. This might not sound very ground breaking as many others have touted the same concept.

However, I have visited their web site and they do deliver. They have these step-by-step videos that guide you through the process of starting your own internet business. Nothing is left out. The viewer is assumed to know nothing. So, even simple things like signing up for a free blog account has a video! They are advocating a 4-step formula which they call the Smart Business Formula.

For those who are interested, you could not do worse than to check it out. There is a 72-hour window where the price has been lowered to a one-time payment of only $19.97 as opposed to a monthly fee. Again, nothing new here other than the fact that these guys are serious. They launched it a few months back as a free service. Now, it’s a one-time fee. Then, it will be increased, and eventually, a monthly subscription. They have already garnered enough word of mouth to make it really successful. Best of all, all the techniques described do not require you to pay anything.

Nothing to lose if you go check it out.

[tags]internet marketing, online revenue, marketing formula[/tags]

Does it Matter What kind of Blogger are you?

Here is an interesting one. I picked this up over at Char’s blog where she was asking Fun Friday Quiz – What Kind of Blogger Are You?.

So, being the naturally born curious person, and of course, in the interest of research, I took the Quiz.
What Kind of Blogger Are You?

So, I have no idea what it means to be a Purist, Expert, Socilite. But I am guessing that it is telling me that I sure know how to blog well and I get along with other bloggers, but I think it is hinting that I have no clue how to make my blog cough up cash! That’s the “purist” part, I believe.

So what? Give it some thought. If you are going online, why? What is your purpose online and what exactly was it that you wanted to achieve?

When you open your doors for business, it is inconceivable that you have no idea what you are selling, why you are selling it and who will be buying, right? So, don’t do the same for your online presence. It has an impact on your business. If you have no idea why you are blogging, but you love it anyway, that is fine. That is your purpose – to blog. But if you had a business objective or have been driven online by commercial considerations, then it behooves you to be clear. What kind of blogger are you?

[tags]blogs, blogging, writing, online business, marketing[/tags]

Optimising your Blog

Everyone tries to get the best out of their blogs. They consult the SEO gurus and scour the web for tips and tricks to generate traffic, and even ask their neighbours if they have read their blogs!

While we spend a lot of time looking at our blogs, optimising both design and keywords, there might be a little piece of real estate on our blogs that we are missing: the footer! Go read Randa’s excellent take on this over at 12 Ways to Make Better Use of Your Footer. Looks like there will be more work to do over the week tweaking the footer!

How small businesses go online?

Many small businesses avoid putting their business on the Web. They think that they do not have the resources like the big companies to put up a nice, professional looking web site. Wrong! They think that since theirs is a small business, they do not need the global exposure offered by the Internet- true, but…

You can have very affordable and professional services for small business website design. This will enable you to have a professional site up quickly and at an affordable rate. No more excuses.

But if you think you do not need to be online simply because you are not a big international business, then you need to think again. More and more, habits are changing. People are browsing online and buying offline. This means that if you are NOT online, you are not even on their radar! Think about it! Get online. I believe websitpros.com can help with more than just a web site. They provide a full range of marketing services too.

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[tags]website, web design, small business, online marketing[/tags]

Innovative Thinking for link exchange…

Every time someone comes up with a good idea, some one ELSE will come up with a way to abuse it. This seems to be the way of the Internet. Remember those days when link exchanges, link farms and all kinds of linking methods helped you get noticed on the Internet? See what I mean? Well, the death of links is much exaggerated. Google never said that you should not link – such discussions abound on the Net (1.9 million to be exact for “link exchange penalty”).

Jean, over at Writer’s Notes has quite an innovative way to spread the link love. She gets a list of folks who visited her and left good comments, and linked back to them. Now, if relevance is important, then this is certainly a relevant method of linking. Things change quickly on the Internet. If you are doing Internet marketing, you have to be constantly on your toes. But then, that’s what makes it all so much fun!

[tags]links, link exchange, linking, internet marketing[/tags]

How to use Links properly

OK, finally, here is a nice, practical treatment of the whole “click here” discussion which have been going on in my head – Text Links, Contextual Meaning and Your Users. Head on over to Ben’s “Are You Using the Five Types of Links Properly?” where he skillfully talks about the various types of links and how you should or should not be using them.

Frankly, this is a much more logical and practical approach then merely debating the rights and wrongs of “click here“. If you are even remotely interested, read his post.

[tags]seo, click here, anchor text, links[/tags]

Text Links, Contextual Meaning and Your Users

I did not expect this to be so interesting a discussion when I penned the my post “What does SEO and clicking links got in common?” based on Phil’s “Click Here – It’s Not About SEO!” post. But for sure, it is a fascinating topic at several levels.

Indeed, the Web has moved on from the early days where “clicking” and “double-click” were terms that could get you kicked into the Geek Room. Like Yucca Korpela stated in his article – “Why “Click here” is bad linking practice“, assuming that users did not know what to do when encountering a link is no longer a valid argument. He went on to illustrate the useless-ness of “click here” with examples of browsers that automatically generates a list of links. Frankly, I have no idea why anyone would want to do that, but then again, some people actually eat their greens; so…

Referencing Yucca’s article might not be very relevant in 2007 as it was written in 2002. Five years is eternity in Internet time. I believe that today, “click here” is no more or no less a phrase that can be used by anyone. Just like “take this” or “take that”.

Somehow, I still get the feeling that we are all approaching this from an extremely mechanical, technical point of view. After all, we do not communicate with each other in keywords. Nor do normal people talk in sound bites. So, if “click here” taken out of context means nothing, so what? I can think of a million words taken out of context to mean nothing… or a lot.

“Take this.” – what? a punch? present? $100?
“Oh, lovely.” – what? someone left pooh on the floor? your neighbour’s dog? new dress?
“Grab it!” – ok, I will not go there…

But I hope that I made my point. Any phrase, no matter how meaningful in context, means nothing out of it. “Click here” is not the problem. Taking things out of context is. Some claim that “click here” looks silly on paper. Well, it certainly should. Grab a newspaper, oh ancient one!

If I were to be asked to write an article, I think one of the first things that I would need to know is – who is asking me to write it. If the Wall Street Journal asked me to write a piece for their front page, I certainly won’t say “click here”. But if MSN featured my article on their web site, I will send an email to the whole world and scream “CLICK HERE!!!”

In the end, it is the communications that has to take place. Whether or not you choose to use “click here” or some other anchor text, it should be within reasonable flow of your piece. Many times, there will be better alternatives. But there will be times when you just want to tell people “Now that you know – CLICK HERE!”

What do you think?

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[tags]SEO, contextual links, user interface[/tags]

Get a professional shopping cart software

Somehow, when we get onto the Internet, there seems to be a sudden shift in our mentality. We want it all for free. It’s good to get things free. But sometimes, there are consequences.

When it comes to your business, I don’t believe that scrimping is the way to go. Prudence, yes; scrimping for the sake of soothing your miserly side is really not the wisest option. If you are doing an online business, then a shopping cart becomes a key component of your operations. Do not be misled, not all ecommerce software are created equal. For sure, there are good software out there that are free. But unless you fully appreciate the technology and all it implies, your quest for free software could land you into a situation where you will need to spend a lot more to get it right.

Among all the various pieces of the puzzle, I would suggest that your shopping cart software might be one of the most critical decision. I took a quick look at Ashopcommerce and it seems to be a fairly comprehensive solution for an online store. I particularly liked that they had integration with MYOB and QuickBooks, which most small businesses use.

There is a 10-day free trial option which is quite ideal for you to test out the software. But more importantly, it will allow to put their service to the test. When running a business, prompt response to your questions and quick resolution to your problems should rank really high in your selection criteria. Use the 10 days to find out if the company is responsive. When you are spending money, it is always wise to check.

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[tags]shopping cart, ecommerce software, shopping cart software, online store[/tags]