Google Changes Algorithm–Again

Google officials learned how an online seller got top search rankings the unusual way– by generating sizeable negative feedback on its site, prompting yet another change in the world’s largest search engine’s algorithm.  Read more.

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Google Places SEO Strategy for Small Business

SEO is not a one-time solution for your website.  Getting top rankings and staying on top of search results is a constant challenge even for SEO experts because of changes in Internet behavior and the way the Internet’s top search engine views and ranks content.   Getting top organic listings used to be the main goal of SEO, then came indented listings, and of late, we have seen the supremacy of Google Places.  SEO strategists now maintain that it’s no longer enough for your website to appear in the organic listings.  If you want to get massive amounts of targeted traffic, you’ll have to add or claim your listing in Google Places as well.

What is Google Places? Continue reading

Investment strategies during recession

There are two ways of looking at the global recession: the usual pessimistic view and the rare optimistic outlook.  While most people fear a recession, there are still ways of making money during a downtrend. The economic effects of the recession should not stand in the way of your investment goals. In fact, the hard times should give you a better reason to pull your finances together.  Here’s how:

Start a reserve fund.  If you are employed, the risk of losing your job in a lay-off increases.  Prepare for such an event by setting aside some cash as your emergency fund.  Aim at building the equivalent of the value of at least six months’ worth of living expenses.  You should be able to keep this in a regular savings account and not in a time deposit because the latter locks in your emergency funds to a maturity date and may make your money inaccessible when you need it.

Invest in stocks. If you have money to spare, a recession is said to be the best time to find good investment opportunities when most stock prices are at their lowest.  During a recession, think like a long term investor and buy stocks when their prices fall.  Economies go through cycles and it will only be a matter of time when the downtrend will experience a reversal.  When the tides will have turned, you can be in for a windfall as your recession purchases could be worth much more by that time. 

Invest in utility stocks.  Companies in the utilities industry are safer bets for stock investments.  Traditionally, the utilities companies manage to stay afloat during a recession because their services are indispensable to almost everyone’s daily life.  Hard times or not, people will need energy, for example, for their daily needs.  Utility companies are also known to consistently pay out annual dividends.  While these annual dividends may not amount to much, any income stream that is available to you should be welcome during hard times. 

Real estate investments.  Prices of real estate can also drop during a recession.  Nowadays, it can be said that the real estate industry is a buyer’s market. In other words, you can expect to dictate the price at which to buy property.  Most sellers are interested in getting rid of property for a variety of personal reasons and may just take your low offer simply to get their hands on much needed cash.  Not all real estate purchases make good investments.  You should look at real estate in good locations where there is still a demand for rental properties.  During a recession, your strategy should be to generate cash flow from your real estate investment, rather than to seek an appreciation in its value. 

Most people avoid investing during a recession because of fear about how their investments may pan out.  You should be able to overcome the same fears by adopting any or all of the investment strategies mentioned.

How to Use a Squeeze Page for Internet Marketing

You may have heard of a squeeze page before but are not sure how it works.  Internet marketing experts use the squeeze page as a tool for growing their list of potential customers.  The squeeze page is a landing page or a simple webpage where all your reader has to do is to leave his name and email address in exchange for access to something of value.  This page is important because it is where your reader gives his permission to remain informed through email. 

Writing a squeeze page is easy.  All you have to do is remember a few basic things such as the following:

Offer something for free.

People love freebies and often think it’s a good deal to exchange email information for something useful that costs nothing. Offering a free course, an e-book, or other information product that they find useful often works for collecting email addresses.

Insert a squeeze page in various parts of your page.

 

Persuasion can happen at various parts of your web page so it’s best to grab the chance to collect your reader’s email addresses whenever you can.  To do this, you will have to break your sales letter into chunks of information and insert a squeeze page in between.

Business lessons from Barry Dunlop

Successful entrepreneur Barry Dunlop has done business in the real world and in the internet. Prior to his team-up with young internet buzz marketing specialist Dean Hunt, Dunlop owned a lead generation company for the home improvement industry.  He eventually met and joined forces with Hunt to start a buzz marketing website that offers valuable tips and techniques for generating unbelievable web traffic and profits. 

Having experienced success in both worlds, Dunlop’s thoughts about business are insightful.  In an online interview conducted by his own son, Michael, Dunlop mentioned the following:

Less is more:  With an online business, it is possible for you to make plenty of money even when you have little or no money at all.  The secret lies in buzz marketing which he and his partner, Hunt, teaches at www.buzzprofits.com.

Winners are givers:  Dunlop believes that successful people should give back to society in order to receive more success.  Giving back need not be in the form of charity.  You can give of yourself to others by offering advice to inspire them to do the same.

Beware of energy vampires:   While Dunlop recommends you to share some of your time and wisdom to others who are struggling, he is cautious about being around people who use up most of your time feeding you with their problems which appear to be cyclical due to their own fault. These types go to you with the same problems even after you recommend a course of action because they are simply unable to do what needs to be done.  As you entertain them every time they seek your counsel, you waste your precious energy by dealing with the repetitive issues that seem to be unresolved.

Money energy attracts more money:   Dunlop repeats a line that he picked up from some of his readings, “The trick to money is to have some.”  He shares that he takes the money he earns from internet buzz marketing and invests it on properties and domain names. As a domain name investor, Dunlop purchased a lot of dot com domain names that he considers generic and valuable. He notes that the prices of domain names have dropped considerably making today the right time to buy as much domain names as you can.   He foresees that someone will need any of those names and want to buy it from you.

Take action:  It is not enough to know all there is to know about your business.  Dunlop insists that if you want to become the next success story in the internet business, you must take concrete steps towards your goal.

How to Tell if the Economy is Recovering — or NOT

Interesting signs of the times are not always those observed and analyzed by economic observers.  Lipstick, men’s underwear, moviegoing habits and other ordinary activities provide a refreshing view of the state of the economy.  Check this link out for more details.

1.  Men’s underwear:  A dip in the sales of this item is a sign that men are feeling the pinch. This report cites Alan Greenspan’s book “The Age of Turbulence” where he says that men tend not to replace their underpants when they feel trouble looming. 

2. Lipstick index: Immediately after the 9/11 attacks in the US, Estee Lauder chairman studied sales of their lipstick products and discovered that women were buying more lipstick than usual, bolstering the psychological view that women put on lipstick to feel good about themselves.   They went further to speculate that in times of economic recession, women will turn to inexpensive options for feeling good, lipstick being one of them.

3.  Foundation index: Closely related to the lipstick index is the use of foundation to get flawless looking skin, in lieu of expensive facial treatments and trips to the salon that women tend to forego during a recession.  Similar observations were made on sales of DIY hair dye home treatments.

4.  Hot Waitress Index:  New York Magazine contributed this piece of indicator– that in times of recession, waitresses appear to be hotter, possibly owing to the slump in the job market and oversupply of workers.

Read more for other interesting observations.

How to Make Money Online From Home

The Internet is still the best thing that ever happened to home-based businesses because it has changed the way business is conducted and how money can be made these days. No longer hindered by geographical limitations, anyone can legally earn money without leaving the comfort and privacy of one’s home just by going online.

To get started, you will need a personal computer or laptop, an internet connection at home and an online payment system. Your computer’s technical specifications may be basic or sophisticated, depending on the kind of activity you intend to undertake online. Choose one to suit your needs.

Aside from having a computer and a reliable internet connection, you will also need an online merchant account to be able to receive payment from your customers and clients. At present, most buyers trust PayPal. Signing up is easy and you will need a valid credit or debit card to register as a user.

Some of the easiest ways to make money online include : Continue reading

How to make money with affiliate marketing

An overview of online marketing. A simple grap...

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You may have come across the idea of affiliate marketing as you looked up ways to make money on the Internet but have no clue about how it works.  Without any clear understanding of affiliate marketing, you can either dismiss it as mere hype or some sneaky scam that may one day leave you empty-handed.

Truth is, many people have succeeded in making money by doing affiliate marketing and there are many more who failed to make a single cent out of it. As with most businesses, there is a learning curve that anyone should go through before experiencing results in affiliate marketing. If you persevere enough, you may just be one of those who can claim that there is a lot of money to be made in the internet. Continue reading

What is Outsourcing and How You Can Use It for Business

An Indian call center

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As companies around the world strive to streamline operations and find new ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality of their businesses, the world OUTSOURCING has become a by-word that saved many businesses and jobs around the world.

What is outsourcing

Outsourcing is delegating or assigning tasks to another person or company.   It is often used to obtain services or products that do not form part of a company’s core business either to cut costs or to avail of the provider’s (worker) special skills.

In Internet marketing, outsourcing can be used for non business and business activities.

Why you should outsource

• Fast action

Time and skills are important aspects of every business. Doing things properly and quickly will make your business grow fast. While you may be tempted to do everything on your own, you could be spending more time on minute tasks that won’t generate revenues instead of doing things that generate cash flows.

• Get better quality

Multi-tasking can significantly reduce the quality of your output as you rush to finish one task after another. Oftentimes, certain tasks are best left to more experienced service providers like accounting work and contract drafting even when you can do them yourself.

• Rest and recharge

An overworked mind and body is going to burn out fast. Unloading some of your tasks to others even when you can easily do them on your own can free up some time for you to rest, unwind and recoup.

Outsourcing tips

• Get someone to do non business tasks

 Find someone to do your laundry, deliver your meals, or clean your pool. The time you save by not doing these non-revenue generating activities can be used to focus on marketing and selling activities which bring in cash flow.

• Outsource business activities

Growing your business means getting more work. By outsourcing tasks like content writing, website development and programming, you increase your revenues without having to spend more time working.

 • Leverage outsourcer’s skills

Human resource specialists transfer skills not by training every person in the company but only a few managers who take care of training those under their immediate supervision. The same principle may be applied in Internet marketing where you can guide one or two service providers and get them to do the same with several others. Ultimately, you can build a team of highly skilled outsourcers using only a fraction of the time it would take to train them all on your own.

Inside the Mind of a Copywriting Genius: Copywriting Tips for Internet Marketers

Some people say that selling is a calling, something that may not be meant for everyone.  But this perception may already be outdated with the advent of Internet marketing where a sales pitch is often read rather than heard, making copywriting an indispensable skill that every Internet marketer should learn. 

There are salesmen and there are copywriters. The difference between the two lies in how the prospect is turned into a buyer with a copywriter using the written word to persuade his audience.  Among the sea of copywriters, John Carlton stands out as the most respected and most imitated, although he modestly denies that he is the world’s greatest copywriter alive.

With more than a decade of writing experience behind him and another ten years of teaching struggling writers his techniques, it’s easy to see why Internet marketing experts often turn to John for writing tips to boost their conversions.  And John does not disappoint his followers as he generously shares his writing style in seminars, information products and even in interviews. 

Here are some of John’s writing tips as revealed in one of his blogs:

Tell a story.

John’s work is characterized by storytelling which works because it entertains, drives the message across albeit subtly and moves readers to take action in the end.  For John, storytelling as a selling technique works better than neurolinguistic programming (NLP).

Video-Text combination

There’s some truth to the early 80s song “Video Killed the Radio Star” as MTVs and YouTube videos currently dominate media. John recommends that the best way to sell online is to combine a video sales pitch followed by text that contains your call to action.

Practise using email

While John maintains that there is no magic word that does the trick all the time, he recommends testing different versions of your sales letter using email campaigns.  A good formula to adopt would be to start out with some text leading to a URL for people to click on.  Suggesting that your email recipients click on a URL is more effective than letting them wait for a video or audio file to download as studies show that people abandon a page that takes more than a few seconds to start playing.

Finally, John recommends that every business owner, marketer and salesman must learn how to write his own sales letters because copywriting is a skill that you will constantly need and once acquired, can never be taken away from you.