Category Archives: entrepreneur tips

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 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...

Image via Wikipedia

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

Image via Wikipedia

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.

How to Earn More as a Small Business Marketing Consultant

Being a small business marketing consultant is just like any other business. While you may not be selling anything tangible, you still need to do your own marketing to increase your income and expand your reach.  In fact, experts recommend that you devote at least half of your time for finding new clients or projects to grow your business.

Boosting your income as a small business marketing consultant can be done in three ways:

  •           finding new customers
  •           charging more for your service
  •           getting more projects

 

Finding new customers

Said to be the most time-consuming and expensive way of growing a business, marketing your services should be a continuous activity.  It doesn’t matter whether you already have enough clients to take care of, because client attrition is always a possibility as well as increasing costs of operations. Get a referral, give out your business cards in social gatherings and send out business information and proposals to people in your contact list.

Raise your prices

Many consultants tend to undervalue their services hoping to get new accounts quickly.  By charging less, you inadvertently market yourself as less of an expert and give off the impression that the work you do is run of the mill. Seasoned consultants manage only a few clients but charge a good rate per service. This way, they earn more by working less with better results and get to focus more on each client.  A good formula would be to charge the same rate as other specialists in your field and a little more for skills that are in demand.

Get more offline projects

Most online consultants are into autoresponders, website development and SEO.  While these services provide good cash flow, business owners are willing to pay more for offline marketing activities.  Offline projects are also worth looking into because these often entail less work but bring immediate results to clients.   These include:

  •           direct mail campaigns
  •           putting headlines on ads
  •           adding upsells and cross sells for their marketing systems
  •           designing corporate giveaways

 

Maintaining the right mindset and winning attitude is important if you want to grow your business as a small business marketing consultant. This means constantly having to learn new ways of doing things, improving your skills and exploring new opportunities for earning. You can study a training course, attend a seminar, read a few books or follow a mentor, because in business, learning should be a continuing process as well.

Advanced Internet Marketing Training for Business

While startups normally fuss about creating their first website and establishing online presence, existing companies and businesses focus on revenue growth and developing new income streams for which they will need advanced Internet marketing training.  It is possible to learn new strategies and try the latest tools through self study but it could take forever to find the right combination of technology and systems which can increase your income tremendously. This is why seasoned Internet marketers choose to learn all they need to know from experts like them. They either attend workshops regularly or interact with fellow marketers at live events to gain new perspectives, learn the latest trends and make important alliances with others for business.

Why you need a good landing page tool

Creating web pages is so much easier these days with web design tools and templates that a non-techie can use. Even a child can create a fantastic looking page in no time. Most site owners, however, neglect the basic goals of web pages, particularly single-page websites that are better known as landing pages.  A landing page is a special web page where your potential clients land after clicking on an ad or search result.  It serves a number of commercial uses such as sales, referrals, lead generation and site testing.  Your net profits, therefore, greatly depend on the landing page tool that you use.

What a good landing page tool should have Continue reading

Internet Marketing Skills for Freelancing Jobs

I’ve always felt that the Internet was going to change lives, not just businesses ever since I got my first Internet connection in 1995. Back then, e-Commerce was synonymous to B2B or Business-to-business trading with only a handful B2C or Business-to-Consumer transactions, most of which were taking place in the US.

Today, the Internet has evolved into a huge marketplace bustling with almost every permutation of “doing business” that can be conceived.    If you think online business is only for buying and selling things, think again.  There is a silent but growing population that provides services to companies regularly.  Also known as “outsourcers”, “service providers” and “freelancers”, their biggest assets are skills that are not necessarily technical in nature as most of them can be writers, transcribers, virtual assistants and customer service assistants as well.

The following are just some of the skills you can develop or use to make money online without leaving the comfort and privacy of your home:

Article marketing

Google reportedly receives over 2 billion search queries each day making SEO (Search engine optimization) more crucial for businesses to survive. Undoubtedly one of the best SEO solutions that can turn any website’s content into a traffic magnet without sacrificing quality, article marketing combines SEO writing and advanced systems.  You can study it on your own or learn it quickly with the help of some Internet training like I did.

Video marketing

Search engines like Google love video content and rank them well. Learn how to create and post videos, integrate them with relevant text and optimize them for search engines. If there’s a single strategy for any website to adopt this year, experts believe that it would have to be video marketing. 

Domaining

Domains can provide multiple income streams if you know how to harness them for business. A basic approach would be to acquire domains at low costs and resell them at higher prices, very much like real estate properties. Another exciting business model entails domain flipping—where you take a researched domain name, build a site, add content and optimize it to generate loads of traffic and then sell or rent it to a business that needs it for thousands of dollars. Domain flipping involves some work but following an effective system will cut down the process considerably while guaranteeing results.

Social media marketing

Unlike the one-way approach of traditional marketing, interaction is still key in Internet marketing. As social networks are a growing force in online business, you need to know how to integrate these networks and their applications to your website.  You can learn this on your own or join an online group that exchanges tips and ideas freely among members. Experiment with the options and features of Facebook and Twitter so you can get a feel of the interface as well.