Monthly Archives: September 2011

5 Easy Mistakes Article Marketers Make

Being one of the many successful article marketers is something that can come easily. There are, however, things that you need to avoid that will keep you from being among the many more who used to be article marketers and are now struggling to make money. Done correctly, article marketing can see huge positive results in a very cost effective way. Article marketing done poorly can be a huge waste of time, energy, and even money.

First mistake…making a boring title. Realize that the title of the article is going to be mixed in with quite a few others that your potential reader has to choose from. There are many of you competing for the same set of eyes. Don’t let your title be something that will blend in with all the rest. Make is something that will stand out and get noticed. Make sure that you don’t get too crazy and make sure that it is relevant to the topic you want to address, but, still be creative and you will stay competitive with other article marketers.

Second mistake…not having a clear purpose. What is the main reason you want the reader to read your article? Is there a goal that you have in mind? Be clear as to what you want them to do and give them plenty of reason to want to take the action you want them to take. Have a starting point and and ending point in planning your article and use everything in between to help them get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. This is something that article marketers fail to do all too often.

Third mistake…Not knowing your target audience. Article marketers need to keep in mind who your target audience is write to their level. If you are writing to a group of people who are typically very knowledgeable about the subject matter, then you better make sure that you are as well. Find out what they ask when they go online to search for this information and find how to relate to them. Study your target market and write to them.

Fourth mistake…writing articles that won’t get published. Look at the standards that article directories have and write your articles to fit the most strict of standards. Make sure that you have the minimum number of preferred words. Make sure that it is well written. Make sure that it doesn’t have any problems with links within your article and that you link to appropriate places. Article marketers will often forget to check the article they are trying to submit and see if it is in compliance only to have it rejected.

Fifth mistake…no call to action. As article marketers you have to remember that your goal is not just to inform, but to invite the reader to go to your website or to take what ever action you want them to take. Just as it is incredibly important to ask for the sale, it is important to ask them to click on the link that you provide.

If you, as article marketers, can avoid these simple mistakes you will find yourself on the fast track to success.

5 Common Types Of Business Blogs

A blog is a site that a person can use as a live journal or to promote a business. When you are promoting a business however, you will need to do a lot of research on the topic before beginning. If you are new to blogging, as a business or just want to get the word out on a certain business, you need to know the more common business topics. This can provide you with a starting point. There are five most common businesses that use blogs to promote their business.

1. Specialty Blogs

This type of business blog is usually written by two more contributes with a common interest. It is a great way for you to build an online community with people that share your interests and ideas. This type of blog can include such things like weight loss, how to stay healthy, or even golf topics among others. The possibilities are endless.

2. Feature Blogs

In this type of blog you will be advertising creative types of businesses. These creative topics can include, but are not limited to, topics on sewing, crafting, computer programming and digital photography as well as many others. The possibilities for this type of business blog are endless. In this type of business blog you have the opportunity to show various pictures, video clips, and even sewing projects that you have been working on among others. This is one type of business blog that you will need to be creative one. The more creative you are the more visitors you will get.

3. Industry Blogs

This blog focuses on a more narrow type of industry and usually is made by industries that sell their products to other businesses. It usually consists of a variety of different topics including trade shows, new lines of product, and materials among others. This is a little more difficult of a blog to create. It will take a lot of careful research and you will need to know a lot of information on the industry you are creating your blog on.

4. Tourist Blogs

Of all the business blogs so far this is about the easiest and the most fun to create. You can write on certain tourist areas of interest and include pictures of the area. You can add tourist attractions famous to the area along with the climate and travel information just to name a few.

5. Consulting blogs

Usually consulting blogs are run by one person offering their opinion, and advice on a certain topic. This is a great way to develop an online community in a topic that interests you.

No matter what business you wish to create or may already belong to, blogging is a great way to advertise.

5 Things You Must Have to Succeed in Affiliate Marketing

The idea of being mere passengers on a ship meant to sail to the farthest points does not appeal to people who like to put their destiny into their own hands. They have the desire of maneuvering the ships themselves, of being able to be the ones to take it anywhere they want to. Being aboard a ship on its way to a particularly great destination is something each and every one of them dreams of, and the knowledge that they have the capacity to steer it themselves is what makes them actually want to.

Perhaps this is the reason why more and more people are succumbing to one of the most popular businesses around affiliate marketing. It is because in this business, there are no bosses to order the employees around. There are no deadlines to meet and no clutter of work do to. One only needs to be equipped with the tools needed to succeed in a business such as this, and he is bound to get what his heart ultimately desires.

Just what are the things needed to be able to succeed in affiliate marketing? What must one have within himself to be able to do well in this industry? There is a lot of competition involved in affiliate marketing, and to be able to rise above the norm, one must be equipped with just the right stuff necessary to propel him forward. There are five things one must ultimately possess if he wants to achieve the glory he is yearning for in this business, and these five things are a must for him to possess to be able to stand out among the rest.

The very first quality one must possess if he wants to try his hand in affiliate marketing is the willingness to learn and be trained. Treading through unfamiliar territory is scary stuff if one is not properly equipped, and he might get lost amidst a jungle of the unknown. Learning the tricks of the trade is also an important aspect of the game, and one’s willingness to know it all will give him far better advantages in the business than he could ever imagine.

The second quality one must possess is the willingness to invest time and effort even if direct results do not seem at all apparent. Although several months may pass without good news, it is important for one who has his foot in the industry to hold on and wait. It is this quality which would save him from giving up after investing a lot of himself in the business.

The third quality one must possess is self-determination. If one wants to conquer the affiliate marketing world, he must have the ability to push himself ahead. Never having to say die is a quality each and every affiliate marketer should possess, and the ability to motivate oneself into scaling greater heights is an ability which would actually take an affiliate marketer there.

The fourth quality one must possess is discipline. If one knows how to teach himself to work everyday with all the energy he can muster, then he is close to achieving what he has set his heart to having in the first place.

The fifth and last quality one must possess is optimism. Negative attitudes and hearsays should not discourage an affiliate marketer from pursuing what he has to in order to make life better for himself and for everyone concerned. Neither should anyone influence his attitude toward the business, because once in it, it is a must for him to be the captain of his ship and the master of his soul.

The ingredients to success in a business such as affiliate marketing are diverse and manifold, but the most important thing one needs to be able to make it big lies in himself alone. It is he who has the capacity to do everything to be able to realize his prospects, and the desire which fuels his heart in doing so is the gasoline which should keep the engine going.

Affiliate marketing is all about putting one’s fate into his own hands. The right attitude is the key to being able to steer one’s ship into that part of the ocean where a certain kind of serenity can be found, one that permeates the atmosphere as the ship sails calmly on.

5 Things To Consider When Publishing A Newsletter

Providing a newsletter for your opt-in list subscribers provides many benefits in terms of driving traffic into your site as well as boosting the sales and profits of your site and company. This is a marketing ploy that will not hugely dent your marketing budget and will not also require many man-hours in developing this project.

With a newsletter, you can inform the public about your company and products as well as services. You can keep them posted and updated about what’s going-on with your company as well as many of your promotions and offerings. With these, you keep on reminding your subscribers that you are still here and is willing to offer them good deals and services.

Newsletters also allow you to impress your subscribers. It can show your expertise and knowledge about the topic at hand and the many benefits you can offer them. When you impress people, they will become potential customers and another great thing is that they can recommend you to their friends, colleagues and family. All of them could very well be customers in the future.

If you do not have a newsletter or publishing one for your site, then you may have to consider about researching and be well informed on how to publish one. It is not as easy as it seems but if and when you get the right idea and process, it will be smooth sailing from there on. Try to take the time to learn what you need to learn and get that newsletter ready and good to attract subscribers to your newsletter as well as traffic to your site.

In the next few paragraphs, I will provide you with some things to reflect on when you decide to start your own newsletter for your site. Here are five things to consider when publishing a newsletter.

1) Make sure that the content of your newsletter pertains to and closely associated with your business or the theme of your site. Do not dwell too far on what could be regarded as your field of expertise. You have started a site and your theme for your site will always be something you are knowledgeable about. For example; if you have a site that sells auto car parts, your newsletter must contain articles or content like photos that pertain to cars, auto parts and such. You may also include content about your company and your staff.

Remember that visitors of a certain site are there because they are interested in what the site has to offer. If they sign up for an opt-in list or for a newsletter this means that they want to be updated for that certain theme or subject. Be sure that when you publish your newsletter you are providing for the need of the subscriber as well as their interests.

2) Ensure that you have well written, information riddled and content rich articles. You articles will be the body of your newsletter and that they should be able to excite your readers as well as provide information. Articles should be well written and checked for errors such as spelling and grammatical errors for it to look professional and believable. The trust of your client to you and newsletter is at stake here.

3) Fact-check your articles. Make sure that you provide true facts and figures so that your reputation as an expert and knowledgeable in that field is not questioned. If you lose the trust of your subscribers these may persuade them to unsubscribe to your newsletter. You will lose many potential sales this way.

4) Provide fresh and new articles that can provide new information to your subscribers. If you publish stale and old news in your newsletter, there is a tendency that people or your subscribers already have read and known about them. This will lose their interest in your newsletter and they wont get to read what is most important, your ads. They may not open or read any of your succeeding newsletters losing your intention in writing and publishing newsletters, to get them to visit your site and make a purchase.

5) Never use copyrighted materials such as photos and articles. This is outright plagiarism, you may get into a lot of trouble for this. You can lose your business and get sued over copyright infringement. If you do not have the time to write your own articles, there are many willing and able professional article writers that can do it for you for a reasonable fee. All your investment in writing and publishing articles will be well worth it when you see your list build up and your traffic increasing.

5 Easy Ways To Get Your Creative Juices Going

Writing an article doesn’t just mean putting down thoughts into words then typing and writing it. You have to capture the interest of your readers and get them to keep on reading. To send your message across you have to get the attention of the reader and have a firm grasp of their interest and pique their curiosity.

The main ingredient in baking up an article is a large dose of creativity. While creativity may come natural to many people, some just gets into a block or something to that effect that can drive someone crazy. Many writers have literally torn their hair out when they get writers block and just can’t seem to get their creative juices flowing.

Putting words into images in the readers mind is an art. A clear and crisp depiction requires a certain flair that only creativity can provide. Similes and metaphors help a lot, but the way an article gets entwined word for word, sentence by sentence then paragraph by paragraph into a whole article develops the essence of the article.

So just what do you have to do when nothing comes to mind? There is no surefire ways to get the perfect ideas but there are easy ways to get your creative juices flowing. No one can guarantee you of having the perfect mindset but many methods may aid you in achieving that state of mind. Here are five easy ways for that.

1) Keep a diary or a journal with you always. Ideas can be triggered by anything you may hear, see, or smell. Your senses are your radar in finding great ideas. Write all of them into a journal and keep it with you for future reference. You may also write down anything that you have read or heard, someone’s ideas could be used to develop your own ideas and this is not stealing. Remember that ideas and creativity can come from anywhere; it’s the development of the idea that makes it unique.

2) Relax and take time to sort things out. A jumbled mind cannot create any space for new ideas. Everyone must have a clear mind if one wishes to have their creativity in full speed. Get rid of all obstacles that can be a hindrance to your creativity. If you are bothered by something, you cannot force your mind to stay focused.

Try to relax every time that you can and think about your experiences and interactions with others. Your experiences are what shape your mindset and your opinions which could be reflected on your writings. Try to discover yourself, find out what triggers your emotions. Discover what inspires you and what ticks you off. You can use these emotions to help you in expressing yourself and your ideas, with this you can grow creatively.

3) Create a working place that can inspire your creativeness. Your working place can be quite a hindrance if it doesn’t make you feel happy or relaxed. Creativity comes from being in a good state of mind and a messed up workplace that causes distraction won’t be conducive in firing up your creative flow.

Surround your working place with objects that makes you happy and relaxed. You may put up pictures, or scents, objects that inspire, or anything that can get your creativeness cranking. A clean and well organized workplace also rids of distractions and unwanted hindrances. With a good working place, you can work in peace and never notice the time pass by.

4) Set the mood. Setting the mood requires you to just go with the moment or to induce your self to feeling what makes your mind works best. Finding out what makes you tick could help you find ways to get your creative juices flowing. Set the pace and tempo for your mood and everything else will follow.

There are many ways to set the mood. Some writers have been known to use alcohol, a little sip of wine to stir up the imagination. Some would like some mood music while others let the lighting of the environment create the mood.

5) Go on a getaway and just do something unlike crazy. Letting yourself go and have fun produces adrenaline that can make your imagination go wild. Take an adventure or a solemn hike. Whatever it is that is unusual from your daily routine can take the rut out of your schedule. In no time at all, your creativeness will make use of that experience and get your imagination to go on overdrive.

Taking Advantage of “Slow” eBay Auctions.

Some auctions get hundreds of bids, but some go much more slowly, getting only a few bids or even none at all for days. Auctions are generally much slower during the summer months than they are in the winter – and sales on eBay are slowing each year, as more sellers than buyers sign up, hoping to get rich quick. There are a number of ways that you can take advantage of slower auctions to get the best price.

Wait to Bid.

If you bid, then everyone can see you’re interested – and that might make them interested too. Leaving the item alone for as long as you can bear will make it look less popular, and keep the price down so you can come in at the last minute and get a bargain.

Make an Offer.

If the seller is selling an item using ‘Buy it Now’ and it still hasn’t sold when the auction is about to end, use eBay’s ‘Best Offer’ service to make them an offer on it. The chances are they’ve listed the item two or three times before, and they’ll be so annoyed at the prospect of re-listing it yet again that they’ll accept your offer just to get rid of the thing.

Conspire with Other Buyers.

You might not have thought of this, but if there are two auctions for the same item and only you and one other buyer are bidding, why not get together and work out a ‘you take this one and I’ll take that one’ deal? This avoids you raising the price on both auctions just to get one each. If you make a few friends, you can even work together on auctions long-term, taking it in turns to bid.

Be Snobbish.

Send the seller emails asking questions about the condition of the item, and making it very clear that you are a discerning buyer and will only accept things of the highest quality. This will make them feel better about selling you their item for less.

Don’t Feel Guilty.

There really are too many sellers on eBay now, to the point where you can get common items at very low prices. Long-term, this will probably force those sellers out of business, but that’s the way a market works – it’s supply and demand.

Buy in Bulk.

When auctions are slow, many sellers will have had the same stock for a long time. If you offer to take ten things off their hands all at once then you can almost name your price – the chances are that they’ll fall over themselves to give you a good deal. If you come back again and buy another ten items then they’ll love you even more.

The longer you spend on eBay, the more experienced you’ll become – and the greater the chances are that you’ll stumble across an auction for something very odd, and quite unexpected. In the next email, you’ll hear all about the strangest eBay items ever sold.

4 Ways To Get Your Opt In Subscribers To Trust You Quickly

While the rest of the world have developed many barriers and protections to keep their e-mail accounts spam-free, there are also those that subscribe to mails that promotes their products, services and their site. This is mainly because these subscribes wants to know more about what these sites are offering and can be beneficial for them. They expect to get be kept posted on what they are interested in and what are new in the market or field they have chosen.

Businesses would be so lucky to have these kinds of customers; the basic element needed to get these types of people is trust. When your customers trust you they will reward you with their loyalty. Many internet users have gone to great lengths in protecting their email accounts from spam mail. Some free-mail internet providers and internet service providers offer spam protection while there are also some internet based companies that screen your mails for you.

With an opt-in mail list, the mails you send containing your promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogs and marketing media will go through. Your intended recipient will be able to read and view what you have sent making it a successful transfer of information. To be able to be allowed to do so, you will need permission from your recipient, to get this permission; you need to be able to get their trust. With the great lack of disregard for privacy in the internet, getting the trust of an internet user you don’t personally know is a big achievement.

To build a good opt-in list you need people to trust you, for a faster and quicker build up, you need to get your opt-in subscribers to trust you quickly. The faster you build your opt-in list the faster word about your site and company gets to be spread. The bigger the scope of your opt-in list the more traffic you get spelling more profits. Its easy math if you thin about it. Getting the numbers is not that simple though, or maybe it is?

Getting the trust of your clientele shouldn’t be so hard especially if you do have a legitimate business. Getting your customers trust should be based upon your expertise. People rely on other people who know what they are talking about. Garner all the knowledge and information about your business. Ell, frankly if you decide to go into a business most probably you have an interest in it. Like how many basketball payers become coaches, you don’t really venture into something you don’t have any interest in.

Show your clients that you know what you are talking about. Provide them with helpful hints and guidelines that pertain to what you are selling. Talk about how to install a roof if your into hardware products or provide articles on insurance settlements if you’re a settlement lawyer. You don’t have to be a big corporation to make use of an opt-in list. If your customers see you as someone who knows what he is doing and saying, they will trust you quickly.

Be true to your customers, if you want to hype up your products and services, provide guarantees. The more satisfied customers you get, the bigger probability there is that they will recommend you. Generally, people will trust someone they know, when that someone recommends you then you’re a shoo-in. They will go to your site and check it for themselves and be given a chance to experience what the other shave experienced from you, so make sure to be consistent in the service you provide.

Another tip in getting a customer to trust you quickly is to provide them an escape hatch. Show them that you are not there to trap them. Keep a clean list that would enable them to unsubscribe anytime they want. Elaborate your web form by providing information on how to unsubscribe from the list. Guarantee them that they can let go of the service when ever they want to. Many are wary that they may be stuck for life and would have to abandon their email accounts when they get pestered with spam.

Remember that when you get the trust of your clients don’t lose that trust. Because if you do anything with their email addresses like sell them or give them out, you will lose many members of your list as ell as potential members. The true quickest way to gain the trust of your subscribers is when you are recommended by someone they trust.

4 Things ALL Articles Must Have – Don’t Forget!

The importance of articles in today’s websites and internet based companies are immeasurable. They dictate a lot in the success and the drive of traffic into one’s site. It has become a key element in making a site work and earns a profit. A website operator and owner must have the good sense to include articles in his or her site that will work for them and earn them the many benefits articles can give to their site.

Articles have been known to be the driving force in driving traffic to a website. Articles are a factor in giving site high rankings in search result pages. The higher a site ranks the bigger slice of the traffic flow pie he gets. With a huge number in traffic flow, there are more profits and more potential for other income generating schemes as well.

But, it is not just about stuffing your site with articles; they have certain requirements as well. These requirements must be met to obtain the maximum benefits an article will provide for your site. A well written article will catch the eyes and interest of your customers and keep them coming back for more. They would also be able to recommend your site to others.

Here are some tips to help you and assist you in making your articles. Below you will read about four things all articles must have to make it successful and helpful in making your site a profit earning and traffic overflowing site.

Keywords and Keyword Phrases.

An article must always be centered on the keywords and keyword phrases. As each website visitor goes to a site, there are those who are just merely browsing but actually looking for a specific something. When this happens, a searcher usually goes to a search engine and types in the keywords they are looking for (e.g. Toyota Camry, Meningitis, Tax Lawyer and Etcetera). It could be anything they want.

The Important thing is that you have an article that has the keywords that are related to your site. For example, if you maintain an auto parts site, you must be able t have articles about cars and their parts. There are many tools in the internet that provides service in helping a webmaster out in determining what keywords and keyword phrases are mostly sought out. You can use this tool to determine what keywords to use and write about.

Keyword Density

Know that you have your keywords and keyword phrases, you must use them fully. An article must have good keyword density for a search engine to “feel” its presence. Articles should at least have ten to fifteen percent of keyword density in their content for search engines to rank a site high in their search results. Getting a high rank is what articles do best for a site.

Keyword density is the number of times a keyword or keyword phrase is used on an article. The number varies depending on the number of words used in an article. An effective article must have a keyword density that is not too high or too low. With a very high density, the essence of the article is lost and may turn off a reader as well as the search engines. It comes off as overeager. A low number may be ignored by the search engines.

Good Article Content

Like what is stated above, you cannot just riddle an article with keywords. They must also be regarded as good reading materials. Articles must be able to entertain people as well as provide good information and help for their needs. Articles should be written well with correct spelling and good grammar. If you want people to trust you, make your work good and well thought out.

People respond well to figures, facts and statistics. Try to get great information and as many facts as you can. A good and well written article will boost your reputation as an expert in your chosen field or topic. As more people believe in you. They will be able to trust you and your products.

Linking Articles

And another important thing to remember. If you are going to submit articles to ezines and/or contribute your articles to newsletters and other sites, DON’T ever forget to include a link to your site. A little resource box with a brief description of your site and you should always be placed right after your articles that you have submitted. If people like your articles, they will most likely click on the link directing them to your site.

4 Crucial Things You Need To Do To Build your List

Online marketing may have developed a sudden surge these past few years, but many in the know how have felt its rise even from way then. As more internet based businesses are put up, the need to develop new marketing skills and knowledge based on this new medium have arisen. More and more marketing strategies are being discovered and developed to cope with the changing face of business the business world.

The demand for online marketing tips and strategies have drastically grown and a new form of business has been born, internet marketing strategies. While there are companies that are all too eager to help your site and business build a clientele for a fee, there also many ways that can spread the word about your sites subsistence in a more cost free way. One of this is Opt-in email marketing, also known as permission marketing.

Opt-in marketing requires the permission of a willing customer to subscribe to your marketing materials, materials that take form in newsletters, catalogs and promotional mailings via e-mail. The more opt-in marketing mail is sent, the more chances there is to bag sales and more sales. To do this, you must build a list of all those who wants to subscribe to your opt-in marketing list.

From your list, you will get your targeted customer, this is a good list since they already have shown interest in what you have to show and sell since they have willingly signed in for your list. These are the people who have liked what they have seen in your site and have decided they want to see more and maybe even purchase what ever product or service your company and site has to offer.

Many people would think that building their lists would take hard work and a lot of time to build and collect names and addresses. This is not so, it takes a bit of patience and some strategies but in doing this list, you open your site and your business to a whole new world of target market. Take the effort to take your business to a new level, if traffic increase and good profits are what you want, an opt-in list will do wonders for your business venture.

There are many sources and articles in the internet available for everyone to read and follow in building a list. Sometimes they may be confusing because there are so many and there different ways. Different groups of people would have different approaches in building an opt-in list, but no matter how diverse many methods are, there are always some crucial things to do to build your list. Here are four of them.

1) Put up a good web form in your site that immediately follows the end of your content. While some may say this is too soon to subscribe for a website visitors application, try to remember that your homepage should provide a quick good impression. If somehow a website visitor finds something that he or she doesn’t like and turns them off, they may just forget about signing up.

A good web form for subscribing to an opt-in list is not hard to do. Just write a simple short statement about how they would like to see more and get updated about the site. Then there should be an area where they could put in their names and e-mail address. This web form will automatically save and send you the data’s inputted. As more people sign in, your list will be growing.

2) As mentioned in the first tip, make your homepage very, very impressive. You need to have well written articles and descriptions of your site. Depending on what your site is all about, you need to capture your website visitor’s fancy. Make your site useful and very easy to use. Do not expect everyone to be tech savvy. Invest in having good programming in your site, make your graphics beautiful but don’t over do it.

Don’t waste your time making the homepage too overly large megabyte wise. Not all people have dedicated T1 connections, the faster your site gets loaded, the better. Go for a look that borders between simplicity and sophisticated knowledge.

3) Provide good service and products. A return customer is more likely to bring in more business. Even then and now, a satisfied customer will recommend a business always. Word of mouth and recommendations alone can rake in more business than an expensive ad. As your clientele roster grows so shall your list. With more members on the list, the more people will get to know about what you have new to offer.

4) Keep a clean and private list. Never lose the trust your customers have entrusted you. If you provide e-mails to others and they get spammed, many will probably unsubscribe to you. Remember, a good reputation will drive in more traffic and subscribers as well as strengthen the loyalty of your customers.

3 Easy Ways To Generate Website Traffic

There are literally hundreds of ways that you can generate website traffic. They all work, but what you need to keep in mind is that they may not work immediately, so start with one, master it, and then move on to the next. As you do this, you will find the ones that you like better, or the ones that work better for your business and website, or both.

Here are just three popular ways to generate website traffic.

1. YouTube. YouTube.com is one of the most visited sites in the world (with over 73 million visits per day) and its visitor numbers continue to climb. If you want to be where the people, and your potential leads or customers, are, sign up for an account on YouTube, post a video, and put your link in the description of the video. YouTube also allows you to put your website on the video itself, but it is not a do-follow link so it is just there for visual purposes. As with all of your marketing efforts, you need to do some keyword research before preparing your video. Pick a keyword that you want to use, use it in the title of your video, in the tags of your video, and in the description of your video. The video must be under ten minutes long but you can do a very effective video for under a minute, which is another great advantage to using YouTube to generate traffic to your site. It doesn’t take much time, and it’s absolutely free. If you further want to leverage your video, you can submit it to one of the video submission sites which then sends it out to other popular video sites.

2. PPC. Most people think of Google Adwords when they hear the term pay-per-click advertising. Google is the best place to start because it is inexpensive to register (only $5.00) and it currently gets the most traffic. Again, you need to pick your keywords carefully. If you have a low budget, start out with the most uncompetitive keywords, use them in the first lines of your ads and even choose for your ad to show only when someone searches exactly that keyword. This will get you fewer clicks, but they will be more targeted. Once you start gaining ground, you can start to target more competitive keywords as well. You can also try the other PPC platforms like Yahoo and Bing. They have less visitors but the bids are also less expensive.

3. WordPress. You can really use any blogging platform to get traffic to your website but WordPress is very good from an SEO point of view, meaning you can get some incredibly effective, and free, plug-ins that will help you raise the ranking of your website. Include the link to your website in your posts and when you comment on other blogs to generate website traffic.

Tips for Buying Collectibles on eBay.

Buying collectibles is one of the most enjoyable things to do on eBay, simply because you can find so many things that you just can’t get anywhere else. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.

Find your Category.

You’ll probably find that all the items you’re after are listed in a single category. Add this category to your browser’s Favorites, and keep coming back.

Look for Mistakes.

If you collect something, the chances are you know a lot about it. This can be your opportunity to make a mint from a seller’s mistake. They might not realise that they have a rare version of an item, or they might have left off the key information that makes it valuable. If you’re willing to email the seller and ask them a few questions about the item to confirm that it is what you think it is, then you should be able to buy items like these. You can then resell them at a big profit, if that’s what you want to do.

Don’t Always Believe Descriptions.

If you find something you haven’t heard of, and the description calls it ‘rare’, don’t assume that it actually is. Far too many sellers just put ‘rare’ into all of their descriptions – the chances are that the item is common and has just been described wrongly. Don’t bid unless you know what you’re buying.

Stalk Other Users.

When you collect something, you’ll probably notice that there are four or five sellers who seem to come up with consistently good items – and the same buyers buying them. Add their user pages to your Favorites, and check back often to see what they’ve got – or what they’re bidding on – that you might be interested in.

Don’t Get Too Attached to an Auction.

There are millions of items being listed every day on eBay – whatever you want, it’ll come around again, and if you don’t get it there are plenty more things to buy. This is similar to the golden rule of negotiating: always be prepared to walk away. If you can’t walk away, then expect to pay over the odds. There are few things so rare that another seller won’t have one to sell. Go and bid in a lower-priced auction, instead of getting into a bidding war in one that is already expensive.

Beware of the Postage.

If you collect lots of small things with a relatively low value, you might end up paying as much for postage as you do for each item. You should take these costs into consideration when you make your bid. Another good strategy is to always buy a few things at once from the same buyer, as they will almost always offer you a discount on the postage.

When you’re bidding, you might notice that some auctions go more slowly than others, going days at a time without any new bids. The next email tells you how to take advantage of these ‘slow’ auctions.

Watch Out for eBay Automobile and Computer Scams.

There aren’t that many scammers on eBay – but the ones there are tend to be greedy. This means that they will always try to pull their scams on high-value items like cars and computers, so that they can make a lot of money quickly. Since buyers generally buy these items very rarely, they may not know about the various scams out there.

Automobile Scams.

With cars, you will generally find that scammers try to get you to send them money in advance, for whatever reason. For some reason, some people aren’t all that reluctant to pay 50% or 25% of the money before delivery using a relatively insecure payment method, especially on a car. They reason that the seller will obviously deliver it, as they’ll want the other half of the money.

But there never was a car! Pictures of cars aren’t hard to find, and the experienced scammers will have a whole library of pictures of different cars. The seller just got your $5,000 for nothing, and you can leave them all the negative feedback you like. They’ll just go and open another eBay account and find their next sucker.

While it’s not an outright scam, what you might find is that the car does turn up, but simply doesn’t live up to the description – it has been oversold, in the tradition of used car dealers through the ages. If this happens to you then you should open an eBay dispute and say your item was not as described – you might get a partial refund.

Computer Scams.

If you bid in a computer auction but don’t win, the seller might email you to ask whether you would like to buy a computer the same as the one they just sold through their own website.

This is a bad idea! You have no guarantee that the item will ever arrive, and you haven’t just given them your money – you’ve given them your credit card details too.

There are sellers with nothing but positive feedback who use this scam often – and since you won’t be able to leave them any feedback on the transaction, their reputation will stay that way. If you complain to eBay that you bought an item outside the site and got scammed, they will tell you to get lost and not do it again.

How to Beat the Scams.

There are lots of ways to beat the scams. First, whenever you buy anything expensive, be sure to check your seller’s reputation thoroughly. Make sure they have sold items of a similar high value before, and haven’t just sold a string of $10 items to get their feedback rating artificially high. If you want to be even more cautious, insist that the money is placed in an escrow service (eBay recommend escrow.com – don’t use any other service unless you’re sure of it).

To be honest, it’s generally quite a bad idea to use eBay to buy things like cars and computers to begin with – you can get them anywhere, and the discounts aren’t that big any more. It’s better to use eBay for those rare, special things that you can’t find anywhere else. The next email will give you some tips for buying collectibles.

Tips and Tricks for Using eBay Search.

If you know what you’re doing, you can quickly find what you’re looking for on eBay. Here are a few golden rules.

Be specific: If you’re searching for the first edition of the original Harry Potter book, you’ll get further searching for ‘harry potter rowling philosopher’s stone first edition’ than you will searching for ‘harry potter’. You’ll get fewer results, but the ones you do get will be far more relevant.

Spell wrongly: It’s a sad fact that many of the sellers on eBay just can’t spell. Whatever you’re looking for, try thinking of a few common misspellings – the chances are that fewer people will find these items, and so they will be cheaper.

Get a thesaurus: You should try to search for all the different words that someone might use to describe your item, for example searching for both ‘TV’ and ‘television’, or for ‘phone’, ‘mobile’ and ‘cellphone’. Where you can, though, leave off the type of item altogether and search by things like brand and model.

Use the categories: Whenever you search, you’ll notice a list of categories at the side of your search results. If you just searched for the name of a CD because you want to buy that CD, you should click the ‘CDs’ category to just look at results in that category. Why bother looking through a load of results that you don’t care about?

Don’t be afraid to browse: Once you’ve found the category that items you like seem to be in, why not click ‘Browse’ and take a look through the whole category? You might be surprised by what you find.

Few people realise just how powerful eBay’s search engine is – a few symbols here and there and it’ll work wonders for you.

Wildcard searches: You can put an asterisk (*) into a search phrase when you want to say ‘anything can go here’. For example, if you wanted to search for a 1950s car, you could search for ‘car 195*’. 195* will show results from any year in the 1950s.

In this order: If you put words in quotes (“”) then the only results shown will be ones that have all of the words between the quote marks. For example, searching for “Lord of the Rings” won’t give you any results that say, for example “Lord Robert Rings”.

Exclude words: Put a minus, and then put any words in brackets that you don’t want to appear in your search results. For example: “Pulp Fiction” -(poster,photo) will find items related to Pulp Fiction but not posters or photos.

Either/or: If you want to search for lots of words at once, just put them in brackets: the TV example from earlier could become ‘(TV,television)’, which would find items with either word.

So once you’ve found your bargain item, bid for it and won it, what if it all goes wrong? Don’t worry – eBay has a thorough dispute resolution procedure, and we’ll cover it in some depth in the next article, so you’ll be prepared if the worst happens.

Introducing the New eBay “Buyer’s Credit” Program.

In an effort to compete with more ‘traditional’ shops, eBay has started to offer finance agreements though PayPal for expensive items. This means that, if the seller decides to offer it, you can now spread the cost of an item into affordable monthly payments.

This is good for buyers, good for sellers, and good for eBay. Buyers can get the kind of credit agreements they’re used to in shops. Sellers can make their items more attractive to buyers who might not have all the money then and there, but eBay still pays the sellers upfront – they don’t have to wait to be paid each month or anything like that. Buyers make their monthly payments to PayPal’s credit provider instead.

The APR of the Buyer’s Credit program is currently 12.9%. You can pay back $999 or more over 12 months, or $1,999 or more over 24 months. There are also interest-free options for purchases of $199 or more over 3, 6 or 12 months.

The reason why some of these credit offers sound better than others is that it is up to the seller to decide how good the credit offer should be and pay extra to PayPal to offer it. To give their buyer the best promotion, for example, of no interest for twelve months, the seller must pay 3.75% of the item’s cost to PayPal.

Basically, this means that sellers pay less when the buyers pay interest, and sellers pay the cost of the interest on the interest-free offers. PayPal makes its interest either way, buyers are happy to get credit, and sellers are happy to sell more.

Can I Get This Credit?

On items over $199, Buyer’s Credit is now being automatically offered to buyers in the USA only. Just click the link when you buy something for more than $199 and you will be taken through the application process, which includes a 30-second check on your credit history. Then you just go through the buying process as normal, and you get your item before you’ve paid a penny.

Why are eBay Offering This?

eBay say they want to “level the playing field”, to allow eBay businesses to compete with the big chain stores, and they also want to promote PayPal as a payment method. Relatively few buyers can afford the more expensive items on eBay all at once, and so the introduction of Buyer’s Credit seems likely to significantly increase prices and sales at the higher end of the market.

It is worth noting that you can use Buyer’s Credit anywhere PayPal is accepted, not just on eBay. PayPal say it’s “like a credit card – minus the card!” You don’t get a card number – you can pay with credit with just your email address and password.

The only thing left to do now, then, is find the best deal for that really special item – the expensive thing you’ve been wanting for ages but could never afford. But how can you be sure you’re getting the best price? Try our tips and tricks for eBay searching, in the next email.