Monthly Archives: March 2013

Making Money Selling Other People’s Products

A lot of people are now getting into online businesses and online marketing either to supplement their “real world” income or for it to become their primary source of income. Why? Because online marketing just provides them a lot of benefits!

First, you can reach just about anybody in the world who has Internet access if you market your products online. That means a wider market for you, which can translate to larger profits. Second, setting up an online business requires only a fraction of the cost required to set up an actual business establishment, which means a lot of savings for the business owner.

Another aspect that has attracted a lot of people towards online marketing is the fact that one doesn’t have to have his own products to get started. In online marketing, one can start making a lot of money just by selling, or even by just trying to sell, other people’s products. And getting started with this kind of marketing strategy is actually quite easy. All that one needs to do is to set up an agreement with an online retailer or merchant, and after everything is settled, one can immediately start making money by selling the merchant’s or the retailer’s products.

Incidentally, the most popular and the fastest growing method of selling other people’s products online is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, in its simplest definition, is a relationship between an online merchant or retailer, who has products to sell, and his affiliates, who are willing to promote the merchant’s product on their website.

In a typical affiliate marketing set up, the merchant provides his affiliates with banners and text ads that links to his site. The affiliates will then get these ads posted on their website and they get paid whenever traffic or sales is directed to the merchant’s website. Affiliates are often paid on commission basis, although other online merchants would opt to pay a fixed fee for the affiliate’s compensation.

Starting to make money online with affiliate marketing is relatively quick and easy. All that one has to do is to sign up as an affiliate for an online company that offers affiliate programs. An alternative method, and usually an easier one, is to sign up as a member of an affiliate network-a network that hosts a variety of affiliate programs for different online merchants or retailers. Signing up is usually free, although other companies and networks may require you to pay a particular fee. Such fees, however, are made as payment for additional services that the company may render, like providing you with tools and assistance to jumpstart your online business.

When you sign up with an affiliate marketing program, you are usually required to fill out a form containing information about yourself. Some affiliate programs may also require you to present the URL of your website and describe its contents. This will allow the retailers to verify that you actually have a website with contents that are relevant to their products. Some affiliate programs, however, won’t require you to have a website. After filling out the form and all, you are then allowed to choose the affiliate programs you want to promote.

After signing up with an affiliate program and being an actual affiliate, you are now ready to start making a lot of money by selling other people’s product online. How do you make money? There are actually a number of ways for you to earn money as an affiliate, and most of these ways depends on the type of affiliate marketing program you’ve gotten into.

Many affiliate marketing programs compensate their affiliates in either of three ways: pay-per-click (PPC), pay-per-sale (PPS), or pay-per-lead (PPL). In pay-per-click affiliate marketing, the affiliate is paid whenever he directs traffic to the merchant’s site. PPS and PPL affiliate marketing programs work rather differently. In PPS, the affiliate only gets paid when his referral converts into an actual sale. In typical PPS affiliate programs, the affiliate would usually get 15% to 20% commission for each conversion. PPL affiliate programs work the same way, although affiliates are paid a fixed fee whenever his referral converts into a lead for the company.

Some affiliate marketing programs are two-tier programs, wherein the affiliate is also allowed to recommend other affiliates to the merchant. In such affiliate programs, the affiliate would not only be paid for the traffic or sales that he would direct to the merchant’s site but also for the traffic or sales directed by the affiliates who signed up with the program through his recommendation.

Yet another way of earning more profits with affiliate marketing is through residual affiliate programs. Residual affiliate programs are affiliate programs where the affiliate gets paid a number of times for as long as the merchant keeps the customer the affiliate has referred to his site. One form of residual program gets the affiliate paid a commission every time the referred customer purchases something on the merchant’s site. Another form of residual affiliate program gets the affiliate paid a percentage every month for as long as the company keeps the referred customer.

With a lot of options available and a lot of ways to earn money, affiliate marketing is undoubtedly the most popular and the easiest way to make money by selling other people’s products online. As to how much money one can get from affiliate marketing actually depends on the affiliate. A dedicated and hardworking affiliate would certainly get more from the program compared to those affiliates who would simply sign up and forget about the program later.

How to Make Home Buying Fun

Fun and purchasing a home are probably two concepts that cannot be further apart.

Instead of being fun, purchasing a home might prove to be nerve-wracking and stressful. This is understandably so since this is an investment that spans a lifetime a whole set of generations even.

Buyers are intimidated by the various dimensions that make purchasing a home troublesome the legal aspects, the financial aspects, dealing with brokers, agents, insurance, and others purchase concerns.

But dissecting these roadblocks and adding some spice to you choice of property could make this life-changing decision an enjoyable one.

Step 1: Assess your finances

The question here is can the buyer actually afford payments for a home. The buyer may want to consult a financial adviser as to the strategy he or she may employ in paying for a home. This is imperative especially if the buyer has a troublesome credit history and other financial obligations. The buyer must also reach a compromise between payment capability and desired property.

Step 2: Survey

With the explosion of information in today’s age, it becomes more exciting to search for possible properties. Newspapers, advertisements, referrals, brochures, and even the internet all give the buyer more choices and better options. Buyers should take full advantage of this information glut to facilitate his or her decision regarding a house.

Step 3: Learn from Others

If the buyer is a first-timer, he or she does not have to make the common mistakes newbies commit. He or she should contact people who have been in the same circumstance and learn from their experience. This will save the buyer from a great deal of grief later.

Even grizzled veterans of such purchases would do well to seek advice from trusted colleagues on the matter.

Step 4: Find an Suitable Agent

This is one of the most underestimated, yet important aspects of home buying. Most buyers end up with an agent by sheer accident. It would do well for the buyer to do research and contact an agent whose strategy and skills fit the buyer’s needs.

A skillful agent can save the buyer a great deal of trouble and is instrumental in a successful sale.

Step 5: Close the deal

A great deal of discussion and paperwork in involved in closing a deal. However, if the preceding steps were accomplished well, this step will most probably be exciting instead of worrying. Here, the buyer and the seller come to terms with the financial details, paperwork, and other details vital to the sale. If this comes up right, the buyer can now come home to an exciting new home.

Linux webhosting

The free Linux, apache, mysql and php popularly known as the LAMP setup makes this combination the popular choice as the web hosting platform among many hobbyist and enthusiasts. The Linux operating system which is a special kind of UNIX, inherits many of UNIX’s desirable properties as a web server platform. You spend zero costs in terms of the needed software to setup a web server in contrast to the more expensive price of the Windows operating system for example. Open source software is freely downloadable over the web and is protected by the GNU license.

The GNU license ensures that this freedom is protected and prevents other software from abusing it. Contrast this to a Windows based offering which is clearly a more expensive proposition even from the bare operating system alone. The proprietary solution’s cost is even more compounded by the additional costs of the other required software components needed to setup a web server setup.

To wet your appetite on some of the goodies that naturally comes with the Linux solution, think of the following: Linux operating system costs $0.0; the PHP and mySQL tutorials are everywhere and the technology is awesomely easy to learn; a telnet of ssh account is naturally present in the system already. The readily downloadable mysql for the database and the php language makes this choice of web development the favorite of many wannabies eager to start up their very own web hosting service.

Web hosting companies that use Linux in their solutions offer services at a very low price. Being a Unix foster child, the Linux operating system always have the powerful tools that many people are already familiar with like Perl and sendmail. The Linux choice is not only popular, it is also secure. Due to its openness, there is no limit to its configurability and you can customize it to your heart’s content.

The engine of all Linux solutions is the Linux kernel. Developed and constantly enhanced by thousands of eager Linux programmers, the Linux kernel is one of the most stable systems for a web server. There is a very high uptime of websites that are hosted by a Linux system. The process of software development in a Linux environment is very transparent and direct to the nuts and bolts. Contrasts this to the closed development in a Windows operating system wherein there are just so many hidden settings and hidden door knobs.

Moving a Linux web hosting to a different host is also easy. The apache, mysql and php combination runs in a Windows based web server. However, there no known Windows web solution that can be easily made to run inside a Linux server. Linux web hosting solution is also more scalable and does not require drastic code changes within the code or design. The Linux operating system is extraordinarily scalabe in that the Linux that runs inside a handheld device is the same Linux that runs inside of some of IBM’s mainframe. Its only drawback is its incompatibility with Microsoft applications but these has been remedied through wine and the several virtualizations.

If you want a proprietary solution, there is the Windows based server. This is a more expensive solution. You will only go this path if you have no other choice because your hosted web server uses ASP/ASP.NET. Microsoft Access or the Microsoft SQL server. If you think that proprietary solution is a better choice then get ready to pay the cost.

You should feel fortunate for having these choices in your web hosting solution. Newcomers to web site development and theses with little or no knowledge on web hosting options, the choice of Linux is often recommended. It costs less, and there are lots of talent pools out there ready to answer your questions. But if your solution uses the Windows-specific subsystems such as Microsoft Access, Visual Basic.NET, COM/ActiveX then a Windows based web hosting service is the one that will work for you.

Linux Unix Host Options for Small Businesses

Ever since the very first web pages came online, the Unix operating system

has been there to power the brave new world of the internet. Small businesses

and thriving companies survived their way from these dark ages until today

because of the stability and reliability of the Unix operating system as a

server platform.

Sometime in 1991, a Finish genius Linus Torvalds planted the seed of what

is now to become the Linux system. This operating system is like

Unix, but more. It sprouts from the interconnectedness of the world wide web

that made possible the cooperation of thousands of other computer programmers to

breath life to the old Unix and make it into a Redhat or a Gentoo.

The very first users of Unix/Linux were the hard core computer programmers

and hackers. However, today things are changing and we can see already our

grandma using it from time to time. The power and the openness of this platform

has caught the attention of businesses by storm. The concept of openness

wherein everybody can see and examine the source code allows for infinite

customization. For the first time, businesses can shape their software solutions

like a clay.

For the few last years, many web hosting companies transformed their web hosting

solutions into a Linux/Unix platform. The reliability of these type of

operating system is proven and has undergone the test of fire. Web hosting

solutions from Microsoft operating system is no match in terms of uptime and

programmability. The amount of power that can be achieved from a Unix/Linux

solution is just beyond its competitors available today.

Software programmability is built into the DNA of Linux/Unix. Computer

languages from scientific to commercial applications exist in this platform.

Every new discovery is first tested in this open platform. It is an fiesta

bonanza of various software applications known to man for free. The kernel is

coded in C computer language and you can examine the source code or choose to

recompile it. The amount of computer software languages that can be made to work in

Linux/Unix is mind-boggling.

The web owes itself to Unix and many web development tools already exist in

this platform even before there was Facebook. Ancient and powerful communication

arsenals allows you to log-in via ssh like ninja or ftp into your web server.

However, there are also GUI tools too.

The era of a free word is dawning and the Unix/Linux solutions will continue

to spread its influence into businesses from hand helds operating system, web

server platforms to mainframes and supercomputers.

Linking Strategy For Content Sites

Linking is great if you know what you are doing. If you don’t then you create a huge mess. Linking does work but it has had changes since it first began being used.

The key to using links is using them in moderation. In the past, it was common practice to use thousands of links but as with many other things in the marketing world, limiting the number of links is the best method to use now.

The market today focuses on content not quantity. This is great news since you now have more space on your site and can remove the many links you have that aren’t really producing but you hated to remove them.

When you have a website with several pages, use links to the different pages. All the links will have different content describing the pages. This increases traffic to the site via the different pages and entices the people to browse through the rest of the website too.

Have one of the links to the homepage of your site. Deep linking is using the right link to the specific page on the website. This can be a link from within your site or from another site you have exchanged a link. Use relevant pages of content to link to your pages. Tell the sources of the links you are limiting the links for future sources and this will create others to want to add links to your site before you meet your quotas of links.

Using this method creates excitement from webmasters since you are placing their links on a website with limited links, which decreases their competition for users to select their links on your site. It also states to potential sites wanting to exchange links or add links that you are responsible and caring about the appearance of your site so they want to use the professional site you have created.

This method of business tactics also increases your link popularity and directs more traffic to the pages on your site. It gives you more leverage to ask for higher quality links when you have better traffic and link popularity. Some sites will provide a lower level link when they exchange links, but you are now in a position to ask for a better link.

When you increase the value of your links you are linking to high quality businesses and sites. This is always great for your business and website.

You need to realize that part of this process is sending traffic to other sites. Some people get uncomfortable at this thought, but it will all come back to you a hundred times over. Think of it this way, you are actually building stronger links to your site when you help to raise the rankings of the sites linked to your site as they help to increase your site based on YOUR links.

Link Popularity For A Successful Website

One of the most common ways to get your website noticed on the internet is to link your site to other websites. With the common practice comes the misusage of the technique. The creation of “link farms” has made search engines take notice of the misusages and set restrictions of the sites using that practice. However, for the sites that use link exchanges properly, they find great results and increased traffic levels.

There are two types of benefits from having links on your website. Getting improved rankings from the search engines and the internet traffic will take notice of your site. When used properly you create an important internet presence.

The classic link exchange or swapping of links is one method. Locate another website with the same or relevant content. Offer to add their link to your site if they allow you to add a link to your site.

Consider paying for incoming links from high ranking websites. This method is frequently used and is very beneficial.

Write articles and post them on other websites with the links to your website. Write content that is clear and concise pertaining to your niche and product.

Publish your articles on websites such as ezines.com with links to your site. Readers love to gain further information and you will be providing a valuable service with your article.

Join an online forum where you post responses and comments. Include links to your site within your signature with every posting. Your comments will become informational posts to create a following based on your expertise and knowledge.

Start your own blogsite with RSS feeds. Submit the blogsite to the search engines and directories for added internet exposure. Remember to link your blogsite to your website. Keep the content up to date with regular postings.

Be prepared to spend time and money for the increased traffic to your site. It takes money to make money even on the internet. Reach out to the internet world population with different techniques to gain their interest.

Target your traffic with each method. You do not want to waste your time on traffic that will not purchase your products and services. Quality traffic it the desire so, be specific with all of your attempts to build your traffic with each link you use.

Keep current on the traffic visiting your site. Add a tracker software application to your site that will help you monitor all the hits and visitors. You need to know what method is working and the ones that are not working. The ones that are not working modify them or delete the links so your site is not cluttered and unprofessional. You only want the highest links on your site.

Learning SEO For Beginners

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a daunting process to learn for any person who is unfamiliar with it. However, this process is one of the more important skills that you must learn and master if you plan on making some money on your online site or business. This seems like a tall order for a novice in the whole SEO game, but fortunately for you, there are a couple of things that you can learn about that can help you understand, and hopefully implement, the entire process to help improve your site’s ranking.

What is SEO?

The first thing that you must know before anything else is what search engine optimization (SEO) is and how it can benefit your online site.

Just in case you do not know, search engine optimization is an important skill that will allow your website or webpage to get better rankings in search engines, such as google, thereby making it easier for people to discover it. There are a lot of techniques and processes involved in SEO, which is why learning how it works first of all is the most important first step that you must take.

Basically, SEO helps online sites, or online businesses, to get a certain amount of exposure on the web by making them more visible and easier to find through the use of search engine’s indexing software, thereby making it easier to redirect traffic to your site and business, improving your chances of receiving a steady stream of market.

How is your site or page ranked?

Before your website can make full use of SEO, you must first get it indexed by search engines. How this works is that search engines find your website or webpage through the use of different indexing programs, such as crawlers or spiders that basically follows all links that lead to your site or page and downloads copies of it as it goes.

After this, your site or page will be analyzed and indexed based on some algorithms and criteria set by the search engines, thereby giving your site its ranking. This can be achieved through effective link building, which requires you to create connections to other sites that have similar contents to that of your site.

Benefits of SEO for your site

One of the more obvious benefits of SEO is that It can help improve your site’s web ranking in search engines, thereby increasing the amount of web traffic that you website can generate. Since your site is now easier to locate in the web, it is a safe bet that there will be a significant change in the amount of visits from potential customers that your site can get. Keep in mind that making your site easier to find makes a whole lot of difference for your business’ survival, especially for those based online.

Avoid spamming

Spamming is one way of getting traffic directed to your website, however, this type of method will only work for a short period of time, and will ultimately lead to your site’s failure.

This type of method works by literally tricking traffic to get redirected to your site through the use of some deceptive techniques, such as using irrelevant keywords and using duplicate content on other sites just to try and increase your site’s page ranking.

Initially, this can generate some traffic to your site, but it will create some problems later on for your site, making it a big possibility that you might even lose some potential customers along the way.

Learning how the entire SEO system works is your first step on managing your online business or website, especially for a beginner such as yourself. Understanding how it works can help you determine what other steps you need to take in order to fully realize and take advantage of the entire SEO process in turning your business into a complete online success.

Knowing Your Target Market For Effective Blogging For Business

You may have started blogging for business and created a business blog with a carefully chosen theme. But, because it’s a business blog, it’s important that you first consider your target customers before proceeding with the series of content that you would like to post. Without proper consideration, you might miss the real purpose of your blog, which is to catch the attention of your prospective customers.

Web surfers are very diverse and they have different backgrounds, preferences, and lifestyle. Therefore, market segmentation is very important. Your target market will depend much on the products or services that you are selling, and you better know your products very well. It is your products that determine the demographic profile of your customers.

Before conceptualizing the theme of your blog, it would be better if you have a definite profile of your ideal customer in mind. This profile will represent your target market segment. The basic demographic profile includes age, gender, and social or economic status. The categories under each profile are as follows:

Age. Does your target market consist of children, teenagers, adults, or senior citizens?

Gender. Are your target customers male, female, or transgender?

Economic Status. Do they belong in low income, middle income, affluent, or rich group?

Location or address.

These profile or sets of traits should match the characteristics or features of the products or services that you are offering. Remember, however, that these classifications are still relatively broad and apply only to basic commodities where product differentiation by consumers is still not so distinct. Examples are medicines or medical services, foods, educational services, and others.

For stricter market segmentation, you can differentiate your target markets or narrow them further according to customer temperaments, needs, goals, and fears. Specifically, you can distinguish them according to:

Needs sense of accomplishments, sense of belonging, self actualization

Goals productivity, efficiency, savings, safety

Temperaments serious, happy go lucky, complacent

Fears old age, poverty, ill health, rejection

There are still more categories to further narrow your market segment such as educational attainment, lifestyle, mindset, family size, political views, etc. These are relevant if the products or services that you are offering are highly specialized or customized such as travel or vacation packages, luxury cars, high tech gadgets, and other.

Having a clear picture of the common characteristics of your target market when blogging for business will help you decide what theme or blog design to use, the appropriate mode or tone of your article, and the right web graphics that you need to employ.

These details may overwhelm you at first. But, you should realize that your purpose for blogging is to attract web users who are more likely to use your products or services and to influence them to buy and patronize what you offer. Bear in mind as well that customers now are more discriminating, especially if the products are quite expensive. They scrutinize details and compare them with competing brands.

So to make your blog more effective, know your products well and create a profile of your target market based on your products’ characteristics and features. Then, post blog content that will appeal to your target market. Remember, your business blog is created to generate sales. Keep your focus so you will not waste time and effort when blogging for business.

Knowing the Advantages of SEO

SEO can be very beneficial for your online company and web site, provided that you follow the rules and guidelines. There are several experts online who can give you quick tips on how to achieve long term business success. SEO is very affordable and you do not have to spend so much time trying to grab the customers you’ve always wanted. Here are some advantages on how to acquire hundreds of thousands of customers in a short time.

Boosting Income

The use of SEO can greatly enhance your ability to earn money. Your web site becomes more visible and available to several visitors all over the globe, thereby helping you get your ROI or return of investment back quickly. You get to stabilize your finances quickly too. Long term positioning is another benefit where you get to stay on top of search engine rankings as soon as your properly arrange and optimize the web site, compared to PPC wherein the outlay and costs are unpredictable and constant.

You get to boost your capability of earning more income by staying visible and ranking high on search engines. Search engine users may only view the first or second pages at most so you should aim to drive them immediately to your site by using the right tools and approaches.

Getting the Right Visitors

Compared to random advertising wherein you just target several thousands of individuals online with the hope that some of them will eventually purchase or be interested in your company, SEO helps you get targeted traffic. This means that you actually get visitors who are truly interested in your product, service or topic. You can boost your reputation by writing sound articles and content and putting these in related sites and online forums.

Promotional campaigns last 24 hours a day and 7 days a week nonstop once you start any SEO approach. You stay visible to your target market any time of the day. People can visit your site regardless of their location. You do not to pay people for working overtime or stay up late just to check on your buyers. SEO continually works for you even when you are off the internet.

Saving Costs

SEO is one of the cheapest ways to market your product or service. You do not have to spend so much on advertisements and affiliates. You can just update the content of your site, use the right title and meta tags and make sure that your content is unique and easy to read for visitors. Loading pages are also faster, since optimized files are generally smaller. There will be fewer server overheads and requests, as well as faster download times. Using SEO means that you get increased accessibility. Users get to connect regardless of their current situation.

Staying Visible

When you use SEOs, you can expect your brand visibility to improve significantly. Search engines also get to navigate and crawl to your pages easily. All pages must be accessible to search engines, so your site becomes very easy for engines to appropriately arrange and index. You also enhance usability, so users can enjoy their stay and experience more. You can get more repeat sales and visits if you continue to enhance your onsite navigation tools and give vital information that will appeal to your customers.