Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Link Exchange

SEO 101: link exchange helps your website appear higher in Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. search engine rankings. It’s a simple concept to understand, and it’s the foundation of understanding Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

I’m going to try to explain this as simply as I can. Its been explained to me in a number of different ways, most of which ended with me being lost in translation, but here’s the jist of it.

Think of the world wide web as a huge roadmap just like any major city. You want your website to be downtown! Why? Because there everyday people commute in and out of downtown from multiple starting points. There isn’t just one way in and out of the downtown core, nor is there just one way to get around. There are no site streets in a downtown, all the streets are relevant and go somewhere.

That’s the premise of link exchange. How many links (roads) are leading in and out of your website? How easy is it for the search engines to get to your site? If your only route in is by directly typing your physical address into the address bar, then you won’t be getting much traffic. Your website is like the rural areas where only the people who live there and the mailman can find you!

A great example is New York State. All Roads seem to lead to New York City and Manhattan. Look at how many access points there are to Manhattan! Once you’re there, every single street seems to have a land mark, be a commuter route, or just a 4 lane road. It is truly amazing how much traffic gets to, from and around New York City.

View Larger Map

Now do you see the comparison? Just like traffic in NYC, you want the traffic online to be able to get to and around your site. Let’s make this possible by utilizing link exchange as a first step. There are thousands of sites and companies, who can help you with site analytics, personally, I recommend trying out Compete.com and their Compete Pro tools.

Hey, you’ve found our site, I guess its working.

Take a look for more free tips, and suggestions to rank higher on search engines. Remember that for each, you might have to do things slightly differently; however, Google is the rule of thumb. If you can succeed getting into the top 5 rankings, or even onto page 1, you are making progress!

Work with relevant keywords, and take advantage of the free mediums to do so. If you need a complete database (if your products or industry are not as popular) then (once again) Compete Pro would be my suggestion because of the power of their audience measurement, search marketing, and historical web traffic metrics.

I’m sure you all can build those roads to your site and capitalize on traffic. Traffic are the leads to sales, make the roads relevant. Just like a road that has a dead end, a link that doesn’t do any good won’t be traveled on either.

Best of wealth

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Good Evening, I'm Tom Tucker"

All Family Guy viewers will recognize that line, everytime the news comes on we're greeted with that introduction, followed by...

"And I'm Diane Simmons."

Now the Family Guy news anchors are not the best at hiding thier dislike, frankly, they don't even know what 'subtle' means. They throw cracks at eachother through out the broadcast and that's the entertainment.

I'm bringing this up becuase I'm sure any news studio has just as many (maybe more) issues between colleagues than most of our work places.

Lets refrain from thinking about the person whom you dislike the most in your office, that's where my mind went, and think about how professionalism can curb a lot of issues and create a positive more efficient working environment.

The news anchors, at least in our area, are pretty good at holding back and disguising their dislike for co-workers on the air. That's the key. 'On the air' for most of us, just means don't let it interfere with your work. If something was bothering you so much, stay home. Don't throw away a productive day or jeopardize your job because of an office dispute. Its just not worth it.

If your the type of person who wears their emotions on their sleeve, make sure you wear a sweater in the office. Let me repeat, don't let it get you off your game - its just not worth it.

I'm not going to get into examples becasue I'm sure you all have numerous examples yourself.

Let's be clear - stay professional. Cool, calm and collected. Let you daily successes at work speak to that person who gets under your skin. Don't be Tom Tucker or Diane Simmons, be more like an Anderson Cooper or Julie Chen and keep you cool.

Stay professional,

Best of wealth

Friday, December 26, 2008

“Motion does not equal progress”

Oh so very true.

The first thing that comes to mind is trying to get around during the current snow storm here in Vancouver. There are some people who can drive in it and others who simply don’t have a clue. I’m some where in between, but I’m a pretty good judge of when to find alternate means of transportation.

Spinning tires, rocking inches back and forth, skidding, sliding, even being towed; all have a lot of motion going on, but there is no progress happening. None of those things are really going to help you get to your destination quickly.

Think about the same thing when it comes to your efforts. You only have some much time in the day, and so much effort you can exert. Where are you going to focus that energy to be the most effective and productive?

I think too few people take the time to figure out how to track the success of something. Having your own rule stick helps, however, you can find many different measuring sticks out there just by searching. Whether its CTR, CPA, ROI, etc… figure it out so you can save yourself time.

The extra time it takes to add a tracking code to a link, or pixel tracking to an image can really help you. When your campaign is up – it takes seconds to hit the repeat button. A fraction of the time it would take to make a new campaign from scratch.

Yes, this is targeted more towards PPC advertising, but the optimization of anything that is clickable makes this relevant. Don’t throw your money away by running an un-successful campaign over and over. Maximize your dollars with tools that are converting for you, and converting well! Don’t be shy to cut something that is converting at a very high CPA. Your money is better spent elsewhere!

In the world of e-commerce, saying there are “millions of products,” is a huge understatement. Go out and try something different. Each campaign will give you a better understanding of what people want/need and what they are willing to pay for them. Walmart makes money because they use that strategy. It might not be cool to work at Walmart, or sell what is carried at Walmart, but I would love to own Walmart! Wouldn’t you? They make billions by selling entry level products with a low margin.

Think about what you can do to optimize your time like you would optimize your campaigns. If you can push repeat on one successful thing you do, it will free up more time than you think! Keep doing it over and over: that’s how the top affiliates can double their salary in 2 hrs a day!

Best of wealth

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Shine Through the Clutter

Gain inches here, lose inches there, the level of spam out there is amazing. Remember there are people out there who do want to gain those inches, and others who do want to lose pounds. So, please understand your market for your product or service. The difference in savings by targeting is huge!

How do you make a name for yourself? How do you build a subscriber base? How do you turn those subscribers into income? I was reading a great article about personal branding, and I think it really applies here. Web 2.0 allows us to each become a media source if we choose to, but just like spam, make sure your niche matches the audience you’re targeting.

Feedback is usually critical, but if you are only getting negative feedback because of the opinion or stance of your product, then its time to take a different angle. Lets be proactive, and do that research before launching all efforts in a particular direction.

Using tools like Constant Contact, iContact or Sales in a Click to blast emails are fantastic, but just like a loaded gun, be careful and don’t point it where it shouldn’t. Use the tools for exposure, and marketing, but aim to please – try to be the bright spot through the clutter. People have so much choice, create the pull so they will chose you!

Best of Wealth

If you're interested, here's the links to those email marketing tools:

Constant Contact helps you to connect with your customers and build your business. Try our no risk FREE 60-Day Trial.

The Email Marketing Service That Allows You To Easily Track Sends, Opens, Clicks, and More! Get it now!

Effective, Automated email Marketing

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa, Eh?

With Prime Minister Harper declaring that Canada will expand its territory over the arctic waters, Canada can officially welcome Santa Claus to Canada. Wearing red and white, he is already patriotic, and now he is a Canadian Citizen.

“The Government of Canada wishes Santa the very best in his Christmas Eve duties and wants to let him know that, as a Canadian citizen, he has the automatic right to re-enter Canada once his trip around the world is complete,” said Jason Kenney, the minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, in an official statement.

Although just becoming official, Santa has been internationally recognized as being from the Canadian Arctic North. Lets take a look at the evidence. North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa's Journey on Christmas eve for more than 50 years, and each year it starts somewhere up north (be sure to track him this year).

Lets also consider the millions of letters which Canada Post delivers to Mr. Claus at his famous address and Canadian Postal Code H0H 0H0. I saw a news article about this last week. It is truly incredible how many letters and gifts are sent to Canada. It must be a daunting task for Santa and his elves to get through them all!

Proud to be Canadian, and glad that Jolly 'ol Saint Nick is too. Lets hope that this year he doesn't run into any trouble. ~Merry Christmas~

Monday, December 22, 2008

JUMP!! On to trends in the marketplace!

With 2009 looming over our heads, its time for the annual list of New Year’s Resolutions! Here’s the top 5 according to US Government research, all accompanied by places or things that I would personally jump on to achieve your goal!

1) Lose Weight: Of course! Never fails to make the list. As more research is coming out, we find that there is more studies (and results) showing that working out in combination with eating right and taming your metabolism is the best route to go. I would suggest starting here: www.vitapal.com which is a great online mall of health, nutrition, weight-loss and sports focused food and supplements. From there, get on an exercise plan that suits you – don’t give up!

2) Managing Debt: Personally I’m never happy to see this on the list. Every year it appears, and it seems that most people are in a much worse financial situation that they were the previous year. My advice – make more money! Counter-act the debt toll with a healthy injection of cash! I would look into many of the programs listed on www.e-biz-buzzz.com one of my favorites is Huey Lee’s No Monkey Business! Check it out.

3) Save / Make More Money: Similar to the one above; however, these people are the ones I like. They are willing to show that they need and want to do more with their life and financial situation. With the global financial situation, it might be hard to create and save more money by getting that promotion or finding a new job as most companies are crunching down on their budgets and downsizing. However, the good news comes from the mass population! With all the reports of spending going to be at an all time low, majority of people kept spending – so take advantage of that. I think doing it online is the way to go as the percentage of high-speed internet users is consistently on the rise. For more info on trends in the marketplace check out Harry Dent Jr’s website, and for a way to capitalize on people’s spending, check out the buzzz on some business opportunities.

4) Get a better Job: Just covered it all above – keep your options open, and don’t be afraid to do something on top of your job. There is a lot out there!

5) Get Fit: And have fun while you’re doing it. There is no better feeling while working out. If you can, get involved in some recreational team sports. Something as simple as Ultimate Frisbee or Dodgeball, surprisingly gets you moving a lot with out really thinking about it.

No matter what the case is, the trends are out there for you to make some extra money, hopefully leading to you having a financial dynasty! Make sure to stay current with what’s happening, and how people are thinking especially in your definitions, keyword research, titles, etc. Take the time to really look at the keyword research: here’s a great resource for you to check out. Compete.com shows the different trends between websites, and how to pass your competition!

Best of wealth!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Working on the Go?

It can be difficult to keep all of your info in the same place. I know for myself, I’m bouncing between my home desktop, a laptop and my office desktop. Trying to keep files organized is a pain, even with 3 USB memory sticks. Here’s a great solution that I came across and have been using – box.net!

When I didn’t have a laptop and was going between 2 desktops, my fear was always losing my memory stick somewhere. I even got worried when I lost the cover for one of them – yes, that’s a bit extreme. But here’s what I’ve done. If I know I’m going to at my desk for a while, I’ll bring the USB, once I’m done everything gets backed up on box.net’s server.

Ditch your thumbdrive for simpler stoage--Box.net

I’m impressed. It’s pretty cheap for a secure storage plan that gives you additional perks. I haven’t used these yet, but thought you might be interested:

• Sending large files via email.
• Sharing photos or private documents with family or friends.
• Backing up important files to protect them from a computer crash or virus.
• file hosting
• file sharing
• secure file sharing
• internet backup
• online backup
• online storage
• send large files
• remote storage

If you’re in a jam, and have trouble organizing and using your files on multiple computers like I do – or need to send email private docs or share hi-res pictures, box.net is the place to do it all. Check it out, my annual fees were less than buying another USB memory stick (and I needed one any way).

Best of wealth!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Generating Income with only your Time and Effort

Few things come to mind when I hear about making money with out any capital. Typically the saying, "it takes money to make money," rings true.

If you have the spare time you CAN turn it into some extra income! That what this blog is all about!

1) Find a great online program that you are comfortable with. - I would suggest checking out some of the affiliate programs out there. Start with something like EBAY (which I found very simple) or the one of the hubs; Commission Junction, paydotcom or clickbank.

2) Brush up on your HTML skills by taking a look at the top free site for beginners(in my mind) W3Schools.com and figure out what to do next.

3) Start a blog, like this one. It helps because you have an additional place to post banners, links and ads while brushing up on writing skills.

4)Subscribe to some of the free mailers out there. Free tips are fantastic and the sender loves it when their database grows; its a win-win!

5) MAKE THAT MONEY! You should be able to apply a lot of these free things to cash-in on the affiliate market! Even if its just enough to pay for a subscription for a affiliate training program.

Best of wealth!

No Monkey Business!

Of the numerous sites out there that label themselves as 'the program' which will teach you how to take advantage of money making opportunities online, very few can go beyond the basics.

After looking at A LOT and giving a few a try, I have stumbled, quite literally, on no-monkey-business. The first differnce for me was on the home page, and huey's message.

As I mentioned in the first posting in the MOOOOOLAH blog, I, like huey, have tried many different ways to generate income online and have found a great fit working online.

Second is his affiliates area. If you have already been working as an affiliate, you will appreciate the tools which he lays out for you.

Third is his constant expansion of the program. If there is something new, he'll figure it out and post video tutorials or webinars on the subject.

Fourth, is the branding. With my work experience, no-monkey-business actually has a proper logo, thus brand appeal! I know this seems slightly ridiculous, but its the icing on the cake for me!

All in all, it is quite a complete package that isn't going to 'age' on you as some of the others out there will.

I encourage you to at least take a look at what no-money-business has to offer. It is definetly in the top of its class!

Multiple Websites: The More The Merrier!

More web addresses gives you the ability to channel your customers better if you have a wide range of products, or just want them to see a single type or even a particular item.

Here's a great example: www.feelgoodfeelbad.ca its for a new type of medicine (I had to revert back to their site and still couldn't find out the name with out giving a lot of info). The whole idea is that your joints feel good, but the medicine used to heal that upsets your stomach. Its a pretty catchy campaign, but that's not what we're talking about.

So if you have a great campaign idea – go for it! Since Google SEO 101 says your ranking will go up with each link exchange, it also gives you the ability to get more presence through your 2 or 3 websites. Yes, its small in comparison to the giants who can have thousands of link exchanges, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

Go Daddy $7.49 .com sale 200x200

Remember that just like feelgoodfeelbad.ca, your web address can be something related to a campaign, or even a tag line. I like to think of it as if it were a toll free number. UPS has a simple one, instead of 1-800-742-5877, its 1-800-PICK-UPS. I remembered that one with out having to look up UPS, just needed to look at my phone.

To accomplish this, I wouldn’t look further than Go Daddy, they are super cheap and its a breeze to get a new domain. If its good enough for Google, and since Blogger will direct you to go daddy if you are wanting a personalized web address, then its good enough for me. And their president loves hot stars - that's why you'll see like likes of Danica Patrick, Candace Michelle, Ocho-Cinco and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to name a few.

Find the idea and go get it! I’m always up for link exchange too – email me and we’ll set it up.

Best of wealth!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Understanding Marketing

You see a fabulous girl/guy at a party. You approach them and say, “I’m fantastic in bed.”

That’s Direct Marketing.

You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a fabulous girl/guy. You have one of your friends approach them, point at you and say, “She’s/He’s fantastic in bed.”

That’s Advertising.

You see a fabulous girl/guy at a party. You approach them to get their telephone number. The next day you call and say, “Hi, I’m fantastic in bed.”

That’s Telemarketing.

You’re at a party and see a fabulous girl/guy. You get up, straighten your clothes, walk up and pour them a drink. You open the door, pick up their bag after it drops, offer them a ride, and then say, “By the way, I’m fantastic in bed.”

That’s Public Relations.

You’re at a party and see a fabulous girl/guy. They walk up to you and say, “I hear you’re fantastic in bed.”

That’s Brand Recognition.

You see a fabulous girl/guy at a party. You approach them and say, "I'm fantastic in bed," and she slaps you.

That's Customer feedback

Now that’s sticking to the textbook definition of “everything that one or a company does to generate new customers and sales.” The customer feedback is a little harsh, but personally, I think he got slapped because he either forgot, or was hitting on an ex’s friend.

All jokes aside, it is a powerful and very simplistic way to look at marketing. All make perfect sense right? The trouble that most people have is relating this to what they are doing, or trying to accomplish. The K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) method always works well if you get off track. And feel free to revert back to this if you need a chuckle.

Best of Wealth

Friday, December 12, 2008

Promotional Genius?

We could talk for days about how you can promote yourself, company, etc. I’m sure we all have our favorites that stood our in our mind – hey, put yours in the comments, if you like. The picture you see above is of the Lincoln Highway and was taken in 1920. Those billboards were not the first of their time, but I thought it was a good example of thinking outside the box.

In those days, promotion was done locally, since majority of businesses catered to the neighborhood which their establishment existed. For some of the companies to take a shot at a billboard miles from their shop was a very risky, but logical, form of marketing.

Speaking of the Lincoln Highway, lets touch on the one of the people who spear-headed the design and construction of this pre-interstate route from New York City to San Francisco; Carl Fisher. Many people considered him a promotional genius for the antics that he came up with and pulled off. While others thought he was out of his mind and didn’t understand the subliminal message.

Take this for example, Fisher staged an elaborate publicity stunt in which he attached a hot air balloon to a white Stoddard-Dayton automobile and flew the car over downtown Indianapolis. Thousands of people observed the spectacle and Fisher triumphantly drove back into town, becoming an instant media sensation. Unbeknown to the public, the flying car had its engine removed to lighten the load, and several identical cars were driven out to meet it, to allow Fisher to drive back into the city. Afterwards, he advertised, "The Stoddard-Dayton was the first automobile to fly over Indianapolis. It should be your first automobile too." Now that is thinking outside of the box!

Fisher was a man who pushed the boundaries, and looked for new ways to develop ideas and make money. His wife said afterwards that he didn’t even see the money as a motivator, but incidental. You might be different, I know that I started looking for different ways to make money because I like to learn new things and money plain motivates me. There are too many good causes, places and things in this world to support visit, and enjoy.

Let’s jump back to the future, and pushing the bar forward with promotions. You can make a lot of money by being the promotional means for companies. It is not uncommon to supplement and eventually live very well from affiliate earnings. Its out there, and it is not a “new” way of cashing in, but many people are just being introduced to affiliate or referral marketing.

Personally, I don’t think you need to take as much risks as Carl Fisher did during his lifetime, however, this isn’t going to be a get-rich-quick scheme or money being given to you. There are many programs out there, and take a look – find the one that will work for you. It seems as though every successful affiliate comes out with their own system, and why wouldn’t you?

If you already know that you get paid to direct traffic and sales to a company who has a product worth buying, why couldn’t you direct that same traffic to yourself and a product that you have developed? It makes perfect sense!

Get your name out there, and direct traffic. The right companies will pay you for your efforts, and it helps to have a bit of background knowledge with their products. Don’t let that scare you, if you’ve ever taken a vacation, you’ve got enough background to work with someone like Expedia.

Interested? There’s a lot to this industry… keep following, as it would be much too long for a single post.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Staying Trendy

Just like most people, I like to feel as though I’m a part of the latest trends. I don’t want to feel like I’m getting something second rate or used while I’m paying top dollar.

What impression is your website making?

I have always been a fan of the Holiday Google Logos, and I’ve noticed that it’s becoming a trend with the bigger sites out there. Through the past couple months many sites have slightly changed their logos to fit more with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and now, all of the December Holidays.

After reading a couple of articles on the topic, I agree with their consistent findings; the websites which “dress-up” their logo or site give the impression of being very current. Its not rocket science. If you put out jack-o-lanterns during Easter, you would not be with the times. In web terms, that would mean your site hadn’t been updated for at least 6 months (at least through the eyes of the consumer).

The examples through this entry are of good examples that fall during the appropriate times of year. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but Santa should not be making an appearance for back-to-school.

Stay trendy, it will make your site look fresher, and draw more customers to stay on your site. After all, we want to retain them for as long as possible. Hopefully that is long enough for them to take action and generate more business for you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Make that MOOOOOLAH!!!

Here's the reason: Making money. It can sound kind of shallow, I'll admit that myself, but making money has always intrigued me. It has also left me puzzled on more that one occasion. There's always that great idea or experience that would go much smoother with more funding, support, a cash-injection-whatever you want to call it. The bottom line - its money.

Time + Money is the ultimate goal. There are very few people out there who are wealthy in both of those categories. I think it is very attainable, no matter the economic circumstances your local area, country or world. I hope that through my journey, many people can pick up on what works, what doesnt' work, and mostly, how things work, so they can find a good fit for making some extra MOOOOOLAH themselves!

As of now, I've had jobs, changed jobs, lost jobs, owned businesses, started businesses, had some great ideas fail, and had others succeed. I personally have many goals and business models that I would love to start for a variety of reasons. Some are personal passions, others are causes that I feed strongly about, a few (I must say) are to prove a point, but the main reason is to make a positive difference.

Moving forward, I'm going to be looking at different ways to create income by taking advantage of opportunities that cross my path. I'm open minded, so if you have some suggestions, please do let me know as I think any valid opportunity should be able to touch more than just one person, and I would love to pass along the info.

Best of wealth, Enjoy reading and succeeding.