Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Has your website the right reading level for Google?

This week, Google introduced a new advanced search feature that enables you to filter search results by reading level. Which reading level is required to read your web pages and does this influence the position of your site in Google's search results?

What exactly did Google do?
Here's the official text about the new feature:

"We made it easier for to you pinpoint exactly the information you need with a new advanced search feature that categorizes results by reading level.
For example, if you're writing a college paper on [herbivores] you can refine to see only advanced material, or if you're a grade school teacher preparing for a class on [herbivores] you can refine to see only basic material.
To try it out, click ?advanced search? to the right of the search box and click in the new reading level section. You can filter to see only results that are basic, intermediate or advanced, and annotate results with reading levels."


What is a reading level?


The reading level refers to the readability of a document. Readability is defined as reading ease, especially as it results from a writing style. Extensive research has shown that easy-reading text improves comprehension, retention, reading speed, and reading persistence.
The better the readability of your web pages, the more people will understand your marketing message. The average web surfer has a very short attention span.

How to calculate the readability of your web pages

To analyze the readability of your web pages, check your web pages with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer. The Top 10 Optimizer will tell you the Flesch Kincaid readability level of your web pages.
In addition to the readability of your web pages, the optimizer will also tell you which elements on your web pages you have to change so that Google will give your website high rankings.
Although the readability has only a minor influence on the rankings of your web pages, a high score can mean that your web pages are too difficult to understand for many people. If your website is too difficult, you won't get many conversions. Download IBP and check the readability of your web pages now.

Article courtesy of Axandra.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to Make Money Online From Your Webcomic


By Daniel Ted C. Feliciano

I am assuming that you already have a webcomic so I am not going to discuss what a webcomic is and what it is made of. I will instead go straight to the point and enumerate the ways on which you can make money from it. So here we go:

Project Wonderful Ads - Visit any webcomic and chances are there is a Project Wonderful ad box on it. There could even be three ad boxes on it. The good thing about Project Wonderful is that they love webcomics. Yes, they do. You will soon find out when you sign up with them. Joining their advertising program is free so there is no reason why you shouldn't give it a try. All you have to do is sign up, add your webcomic for their approval and once it's approved, it's all but a matter of copying and pasting code to your webcomic site. Now, here's how you make money. Once the Project Wonderful ad box is live on your site, potential advertisers will then be bidding on that particular ad box. So obviously, the more popular and the higher your webcomic's traffic is, the more advertisers will bid on it. More bidders of course mean bigger payouts. Project Wonderful also allows you to place up to five ad boxes on your site. If you play your ads right, this could mean multiplying your Project Wonderful revenue by five. Not bad, huh.

Google AdSense - AdSense is the provider of the best contextual ads in the internet. It serves your site with highly-relevant ads. Highly-relevant means the ads are related to the content of your webcomic so visitors will more likely click on them. This is very important because Google AdSense pays you based on the number of clicks on the ads present on your webcomic site. Click rates range from a few cents to several dollars. Google AdSense also has great help and support for publishers. It provides you with tools which you can use to track the performance of your ads.

Donations - This is a very good way to make a few dollars from your avid fans and followers. If a lot of people like what you publish, there are those who will be willing to hand over a few dollars as a way of saying thank you. There are many ways of asking for donations but the most effective of these is by placing a PayPal Donation Button on your webcomic. PayPal is a popular online payment system. If you still don't have a PayPal account, it's time you go over their website now and sign up. All you need to register is an email address. After registering, just grab the PayPal Donation Button code and paste it on your website.

Cartoon Commissions - Once your webcomic starts building its readers and traffic, expect that you will soon be receiving emails from visitors who want you to draw a few cartoons for them in exchange for cash. You should take advantage of this and start your career as a freelance online cartoonist.
Ebooks - Once you have enough cartoons in your webcomic archives, you can compile them all in one document such as a PDF file and sell such document as an ebook.

Making money from your cartoons and webcomics is not a very hard thing to do when you play your cards right and take advantage of all the monetization strategies that come your way.

The author of this article writes and publishes a webcomic over at: http://dcfeliciano.blogspot.com/
View his compilation of the 101 funniest webcomics here: http://www.squidoo.com/the-101-funniest-webcomics-on-the-internet-

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Make-Money-Online-From-Your-Webcomic&id=5355839] How to Make Money Online From Your Webcomic

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My SBI Experience And Why I Left

Site Build It! There are a lot of opinions out there regarding SBI vs blogging. Some have even gone as far as to say that SBI is anti-blogging. As an ex-SBI user I have to say that SBI isn’t anti anything. But I do see where some people may get the idea. SBI promotes websites almost to the point of annoyance, but that’s because that is what they are. For those who are on the fence about whether or not to go with SBI, read on about my experience, why I left it and whether or not I’d go back.

When I first got onto the work at home, bus I started with blogging. It was simple and a good way to learn how to develop content for a niche without the technical hassle. But blogging on a free platform like blogger has the drawback of inflexibility. There are a lot of things you can’t do, at least not without some proficient technical knowledge. Thus I wanted more and, after doing some research, decided that SBI was a good fit.

My  few years with SBI were pleasant. SBI has a great community of helpful knowledgeable people that will walk with you through the process. This is indeed a very powerful tool for a beginner who is still learning about online marketing. There are several videos and several guides that if you use give you basic fundamental knowledge about building a niche business.

But the action guide, while up-to-date, doesn’t provide advanced knowledge about using an online platform to build success. In fact, a number of the things in it I learned while blogging and you can probably Google and get the same information.

SBI likes to pride itself on being some kind of “coach” but the site itself is not fantastic in that regards. It’s the forum users who really offer the tips and you can actually gain access to the forum simply by being an affiliate and not buying the package.

Ken provided a lot of different case studies and website examples of different niches, giving confidence to anyone with any niche idea that their website may work. I chose to go with a self help magazine type site and noticed that with SBI it had the potential to be successful. I followed the action guide, hung out in the forum asking and answering questions, and made sure to use as many of the tools as were necessary for my site. Like with anything, it takes time to see success but slowly there was a buildup of traffic, adsense and affiliate revenue and subscribers. So why did I leave?

Something that I wish I had known about SBI before joining is just how tailored it is for people who provide physical or e-products or services. SBI is not the best platform for those who aren’t selling something of their own.

As much as it likes to toot about being an infopreneur site, it isn’t. For those who aren’t selling an ebook, homemade chocolates, or counseling services, SBI can be a difficult money making platform. The reason being most of the tool are geared to those who do more than just provide great content and affiliate products. If I had an ebook and wanted to presell it, then SBI would have been perfect.

 But I was simply writing helpful lifestyle content and after a while I noticed my SBI site was getting too cluttered with the information, especially since I was writing every other day. The site was not as easy to navigate anymore and it was getting difficult to manage all that content, especially if I had to update. With SBI, 30 pages seems to be the maximum in terms of content. Ken Envoy says after that you should be looking at simply promoting your site or building another one, and I agree completely. If you plan to create more than 30pages worth of content, SBI can seem small.

Another thing I disliked about SBI is how difficult it actually is to change the template. People say you don’t need to be tech savvy to work it, but you do. Because these days with all the vibrant hip looking blog templates, it’s essential that your website looks at least close to ranks of “pretty.” Users expect more now and SBI was slow to react to what many web readers want today.

 I had fresh content on my site, Google liked my site, but my site looked and felt outdated. It didn’t have a fresh look or even up to date tools. And updating it wasn’t easy anymore. All this made the revenue generation slow. I thought I was alone in this, but noticed that many SBI users had the same complaint of having clunky looking websites with a lack of community building tools.

The biggest thing with SBI however is the expense. It claims that all the tools together would cost more than they charge, but honestly a number of their tools can be found free and are provided by some blog platforms.  It was costing me $300 to run a site and learn about web marketing at the same time. If you have your own products some adsense and affiliate programs and are market and tech savvy, you may be able to break even by the time you have to renew. But if you’re purely on affiliate programs and aren’t a skilled marketer, you can easily get the 2 year blues where you see your site close up sooner than expected.

SBI does have many advantages and it is a good site for those who want a web business. So, if I did have the time to create and manage my own product or service I would choose them over a blog. However, if sharing great content and gaining sponsors or hosting advertising is your main goal, then blogging may be a more economic and easier platform.

If you are looking for great web hosting or want more information visit SBI today

Monday, November 1, 2010

How To Find An Effective And Free Internet Marketing Course

Are you an Internet marketer? Perhaps you are just aspiring to become one. If you are doing business online, then maybe you are looking for ways to boost your website's traffic or have it more visible to the search engines as well as to your targeted customers.
But, are your methods and efforts fruitful? Have you reached your expectations? Have you accomplished something out of doing the things you thought can help you become successful?

However, fret not. Even though you may think that you're only good in failing or that you have only wasted your time and effort for nothing, there are still so many things left for you to do.

When it comes to making money online or promoting your business on the web, the chances and opportunities are always countless. All you have to do is be keen and determined in finding effective and suitable ways to prop up your website or the business itself.

You should never close your doors to possibilities as you can always find ways to succeed or stay on top. Online marketing is about trial and error, application of the best means and maintenance and continuous search and learning as well as practice and application.

     You should always keep your mind open and make yourself busy discovering methods, information and other interesting stuffs. You must come out of your shell and explore as much as you can. Have yourself trained in a regular manner so as to sharpen your ideas and skills.

So to be able to supply yourself with the appropriate, effective and updated skills or information with regards to SEO and other related things, you must take part in an SEO training or other means of gathering helpful stuffs for the sake of your business and online growth. Participate in an Internet marketing class and see to it that you get into the best group.

You can even get a hold of free stuffs. Many expert marketers are sharing their ideas for free. Search for free internet marketing courses or SEO trainings where you can possibly get the best of everything for free. It doesn't matter if you have to pay for the training so long as you can guarantee yourself that you can learn more valuable and effective techniques.

Roam around the web as much as you can. Go from one website to another so you can gather sufficient resources and references. Find loads of internet marketing courses especially those offered for free by some experts.

You should be able to determine the reputation or credibility of a particular website offering SEO training or internet marketing class. The least that you would want to is to participate in some form of a scam or something that would only waste your time, effort and even money.


     Nowadays, you can certainly get a hold of free stuffs provided you actively participate or visit their website. Of course, it will always be a win-win situation.

Ask around: either online or personally. Perhaps you have friends who are also making money online or doing business through the Internet. Gather information as much as you can. Compare services or offers. You should pay attention to remarkable benefits or things you can get during the training and after that.

Inquire as many questions as you can to the website offering SEO training or free Internet marketing course. Ask who would train, the modules involved and other necessary information to determine which training is truly worth everything.

It pays to go for trainings rendered by seo experts or Internet marketing gurus. Pay if you have to. That is why you need to make a thorough research so you can compare and choose wisely.

     About the Author: Maurice Manhattan - Have a successful online business by looking for effective and free Internet marketing courses. You can find loads of resources online so do your best in getting a hold of the best Internet marketing class.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The unseen work at home business problem

In a classic work situation people are set up in specific positions that allow them to do tasks based on a skill they possess, thus becoming specialists in the task. Most of the working society is used to having very set tasks to accomplish that don’t leak into other realms of specialization. The front desk personnel at an office most likely does not handle reviewing business plans. Now jump online to a work at home business and you see a work situation where people are required to become task generalists at a specializing level.

  By this I mean they are required to be able to be jack of all trade and master of all trade. This is practically impossible since most work at home members fall into one of the following categories.

1. Idea architects: These are people who have the ability to come up with ideas at a quick pace. They can enlighten others by taking bland topics and niches and spinning them in an creative fashion to make them more appealing. Work at home business coaches fall into this group.

2. Idea Constructionists: These are the people that actually build the ideas. They create the websites or blogs. They execute ideas with precision.

3. Idea Pushers: You find a lot of these types online. Think you’re average affiliate marketer. These people know how to connect with others that would have an interest in an already standing idea.

The problem however is most people only fall under one category and if you are truly blessed you can convincingly shift your way into another. But usually idea architects don’t execute ideas as well as actual builders and the builders have trouble selling it to the world.

It is because of this reason that people have come to rely on outsourcing. They focus on the realm they excel at and depend on the talents of others for everything else. Thus bringing back the office work concept, where each person focuses on a specific skill.

The main issue however, is 90 percent of people are forced to wear multiple hats in their first three years of operating a work at home business, because they just don’t have the financial resources to outsource.

It’s difficult enough to master a new task online but learning 3 makes for a steep learning curve. It’s no wonder people give up easily. How can they build websites that can compete with those that employ the talents of others when they are left working with simply themselves?

Here is where skill swapping comes into effect. Instead of paying someone to write articles for you, ask them to trade skills. You may be good at ad analysis, a skill that could be of use to a writer who most likely has a lot of ads out. Trading skills gives you the opportunity to gain other people’s talents and ease the work load without having to pay the high prices of corporate companies.

Most companies know they cannot build a successful business with just their skills, even if they are multi talented, which is why outsourcing has become so important. Instead of paying for outsourced work try trading skills with someone.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Four reasons why Google might not use the anchor text in the links to your website

The text that is used in the links that point to your website has a major effect on the position of your website in Google's search results.

For example, if many people use the text "buy blue widgets" to link to your website, then it is very likely that the linked web page will get high rankings for the keyphrase "buy blue widgets" in Google's search results.

The link text (also called anchor text) is the text that is used in text links. Example:
this is the link text

Unfortunately, not all anchor texts will be used by Google. Check the following things to make sure that the links to your website pass the correct anchor tag:

1. The nofollow attribute
This is a no-brainer. Links to your website that use the rel="nofollow" attribute don't pass the link text to
Google. Example:
great keyword
 

You can use IBP to find out if the websites that link to you use the nofollow attribute: start IBP, click the "Links" button and click "Check links".

2. Invalid characters in the URL
If an URL contains invalid extra characters then chances are that search engines won't be able to index the link correctly. Example:
great keyword

In this example, there's a space at the end of the URL. Some webmasters found out that anchor text is not passed to Google if the link contains an extra space character.
Note that most browsers are able to correct this link and they will display the web page correctly. Unfortunately, search engine spiders seem to have more difficulty with malformed links (or they take them as a signal of low quality).

3. The links use 301 redirects
Google's Matt Cutts recently confirmed that Google won't consider all anchor texts that are used in 301 redirected links. Example:
great keyword

The web server redirects "http://www.example.com/page.htm" to "http://www.example.com" with a 301 redirect. In that case, it's likely that Google won't use the link text.

4. The first link passes the link text
If a page links twice to the same page then Google will use the first link text and discard the other link texts. Example:
This is an example. The link text great keyword will be ignored by Google.

The first and the second link go to the same URL. In this example, Google will use the link text of the first link, which is "This". The link text of the second link will be ignored by Google.
If the second link points to another page of the linked website, then both link texts will be used by Google:
This is an example. The link text great keyword will be ignored by Google.

Links are the most important factor when it comes to getting top 10 rankings on Google and other major search engines. Details about how to get links to your website can be found in the IBP manual (starting at page 91).

Article from Alexa.com

Monday, April 26, 2010

Are You Perfect?

Dr Wayne Dyer says in his book, The Sky’s the Limit that “you must allow yourself to think of yourself as perfect if you are ever going to achieve your full potential.” He then goes on to explain that thinking of yourself as perfect in no regard means that you are lacking motivation for future growth.

These words provide great truth. Many people “settle” with the status quo. Then there are notions that we associate with perfect as arrogant or a cop out to journey further in life. But the truth is you can grow, change and reinvent yourself and still be perfect.

It’s important that the essence of one’s perfection is evaluating themselves, accepting what they perceive as perfect in the present and growing from that.

When was the last time you marveled at your potential? Yesterday? Last week? Maybe you never have. Every single person should marvel at their potential each and everyday. The only way you can fully arrive into life is to view yourself with new eyes instead of meekly “going with the flow” because you don’t think you’re good enough to get into the big game.

Grant yourself permission today to grow and achieve further. Very few people give attention to the born capabilities in every human being to achieve greatness beyond the status quo.
There is no hard statistical data to measure greatness, so you don’t have to chart your data between normality and something worse.

If you feel that you are coping with life as well as the next person why not see yourself further, instead of seeing how you stack up against other people.

Begin to look at yourself in a new and exciting way.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Google uses page speed as a ranking factor



Last Friday, Google announced that they started to use site speed as one of the 200 signals that influence the position of a website in the search results:

"As part of that effort, today we're including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. [...]

We've decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites."

Will your website rankings drop?

Google's Matt Cutts says that the change will affect only some websites:

"Fewer than 1% of search queries will change as a result of incorporating site speed into our ranking. That means that even fewer search results are affected, since the average search query is returning 10 or so search results on each page.

So please don?t worry that the effect of this change will be huge. In fact, I believe the official blog post mentioned that 'We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing.'

The fact that not too many people noticed the change is another reason not to stress out disproportionately over this change."While 1% does not sound much, it can be a problem if your website belongs to the pages whose rankings will drop.

At this time, Google's new site speed signal only applies to visitors searching in English on Google.com.

How to keep your web pages listed in Google search results

There are several things that you can do to improve the speed of your web pages:

1.    Choose a fast and reliable web host with a good connection to the Internet. A "cheap" web host could cause problems.

2.    Combine external JavaScript code files into one file. The fewer files the server has to request, the faster your web pages will load.

3.    Compress your JavaScript code to make the JavaScript file smaller.

4.    Combine external CSS files into one file and compress your CSS files.

5.    If your web server supports it, enable gZip compression (your web host can do that for you).

6.    Use as few images as possible on your website and compress your images. Most graphic tools enable you to choose the compression rate when saving an image for the web.

7.    Put tracking codes and other JavaScript snippets at the end of your web pages.

The faster your web pages load, the more visitors of your website will be able to see the contents of your pages. Web surfers are impatient people. The average web surfer wants immediate results.

Page speed is not Google's most important ranking signal. The end of Google's page speed announcement contains a very important sentence: "While site speed is a new signal, it doesn't carry as much weight as the relevance of a page."


It is important to optimize the speed of your web pages but it's also important to optimize all other elements of your web pages if you want to be listed on Google's first result page. IBP's Top 10 Optimizer analyzes all important ranking elements/signals that lead to high rankings on Google, including page speed and many other factors.

   Article originally from  http://www.axandra.com/  

Monday, March 22, 2010

My experience with survey sites

When I first started working from home, one of the first places I turned to were survey sites, drawn by the prospect of earning money without selling items or even operating a website. And I will honestly tell you the first year I was highly disappointed! Unconvinced that it was a legitimate way to make money I didn’t take it seriously and looked for other options. However, something happened that changed my skepticism---I actually got a check in the mail.

Even though I wasn’t convinced that it would work, I continued to do the surveys and update my profile. I enjoyed doing the surveys for pass time sake. Some of the topics were relevant to me, and I wanted to share my opinion. Thus, without really trying I was starting to build an income with these survey sites and began learning some tips to make serious money in a not so serious way. Here are some of the things I learned.

Note:  I have never joined a paid survey program; all the groups I belong to are free, so this article focuses on free survey sites.

1. You have to join multiple sites. The first mistake I made is actually a very common one—thinking one or two survey sites was enough. In actuality, you need to be signed up with at least 6 different sites to increase your earnings. Many survey sites are connected or merged with other sites so having an account with several sites ups your chances of qualifying and completing more surveys.

2. The points matter. Most survey sites reward with points. When I first learned this, I rolled my eyes thinking it was a scam. However, I quickly learned the points add up and because the points are redeemable for cash it really adds up to the same thing. When I saw one day that my 1000 points added up to 50 dollars, I was not only surprised but happy. It wasn’t something I was paying attention to, so to receive a check in the mail for that amount made me want to do more surveys.

3. Don’t ignore surveys for draws. Another common mistake is deleting surveys that are for prizes. These don’t give points or cash value, but give you a chance(s) to win a grand prize of some sort. Again, when I first started I thought it was a stupid waste of my precious time. But then I learned two important things:

a) Not many people complete those surveys so your chances of winning are higher (and I actually have won before…an Amazon gift card for 50 dollars)

b) These surveys boost the amount of high paying surveys you're offered. Contest surveys are a way for these sites to weed people out.
If you complete a few you are then offered “better” survey opportunities such as, big point surveys, being invited to join focus groups which can pay 40-100 dollars and being able to test products.
In the years I have been doing surveys I’ve tested chips, pop, cheese, and makeup products all before they hit the shelves and was paid to do it. I’ve sat in on several focus groups; none were more than a couple hours.

4. Reply fast. When you get an invite don’t put it off like I used to. Surveys are becoming more popular as more people are learning they can make money with them, so quotas fill up faster than they used to. Try to complete the survey within the day it was sent.

5. Complete your profile. The more complete your profile, the more chances you’re given.


Now before you get too excited, understand that doing surveys will in no way give you a full time income, not unless it’s all you do, and you belong to over 50 survey groups. Most will find it a good way to add to your income. You can make money to buy those “want” items on your list, or even earn a part time income. If you enjoy giving your opinion or being the first to try things then taking surveys is good idea.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Do banner ads still work?

There have been some claims lately that banner ads as an internet marketing technique are ineffective. And in some respect I can see why.

Banner blindness is term used to describe a lack of notice when it comes to banner ads. A user may no longer see the ad because they’ve seen it so many times. They’re used to it. This is very much real and I’m sure we’ve all experience it.

You visit a website and the first couple times you notice a banner ad that may or may not be enticing. However, after a few more visits you no longer notice the ad. It’s still there; it’s still calling for your attention, but you’re indifferent to it. You’ve experienced this and so have your users.

If do affiliate marketing, you understand how damaging this can be to your business. Unless your visitor notices your merchant’s ad, they won’t click it to visit the site and take action, and all this translates to a loss of income.

Fortunately, there are some simple tricks to keep your visitors from suffering from banner blindness.

1. Rotate your banners. It’s such a simple thing, that many people don’t do. Every couple months change your banners. Use a different size, style, message, whichever but don’t have the same banner sitting for more than 5 months. Visitors become easily immune to sales pitches, especially in the affiliate marketing industry, since that same banner is on countless other sites. Changing your banners makes them aware of the ad again.

2. Create your own or use a unique one. There are a number of free tools to create individual banners or you can ask your merchant if they can create a unique one for you. This will help you stand apart from other affiliates in your niche.

3. Remind your merchant to update. If your merchant has not come out with new banners in a while, gently remind him to do so. By offering many different banner options, you will not only have several to rotate with, but it makes the business look fresh. Banners that hold the same style as those used in the 90’s are not as effective. Let your merchant know an update is in order.

It doesn’t take a lot to save your visitors from banner blindness, use the tips above to ensure that this marketing method continues to stay effective.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

4 easy ways to get motivated for your work at home business

Working from home feels great in the beginning. The excitement is there and the hope of finally being able to conquer your financial future makes you feel motivated.  However, somewhere down the line things go astray. Your eagerness to get up and work starts fading and those sparks are barley a twinkle. But you can get back to the stage where you wanted a work at home business by considering the following.

Photobucket
1. Get organized. Clutter, whether it is directly in your office or on your computer, i.e. emails, exhausts the mind. You just can’t do your best work in an area that doesn’t promote productivity. Organize your paper files, make use of programs that help you organize your emails and online files and toss out/delete any old documents that are no longer adding to your business.   

2. Unsubscribe. Work at home business owners have a tendency to subscribe to every ezine. Some of these offer real value to you business, but others simply clutter your inbox. Take some time to look through you’re your emails to see who’s helping your business and subscribe from those that are simply taking space.

3. Blog. I don’t mean a business blog, but a personal blog or diary that allows you to take down all the good things your work at home business does for you and visa versa. Often times we’re so busy working we forget to acknowledge our success. Having a platform that allows you to write and recall your mile stones will encourage you and remind you of why you put in the many hours.

4. Take a day off. One study showed that home business owners work more hours than their office counter parts. This makes sense, especially when you consider all the things that go into building a successful business. However, all work and no play is a recipe for boredom and resentment. Set aside an actual day off for yourself. Do something simply for yourself. Relax and clear your head. You’ll come back to your business a little more refreshed and in control.

   Working from home doesn’t have to be a battle. Your work at home business should give a sense of satisfaction, but if it isn’t try the tips above to get re-motivated and become more productive.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Does your business give you pleasure

When you wake up in the morning are you excited to start the new day? Do you find a sense of excitement and joy with your work at home business? Or is it the opposite—do you feel tired of it, or even afraid of it?

They always say don’t mix business and pleasure, but in my opinion those dichotomies have to fuse together when you work from home.

Majority of people fall out of love with their work from home opportunity after 7 months. Many break up from the business long before then.

For some, expectations are too high and dedication is too low. But even those that work meticulously at their work at home business are not “in love” with it. It gives them an income, freedom but not a strong sense of pleasure.

When you first start to work from home, there is a thrill that electrifies you to. This is because it’s new, fresh and exciting. You’re hoping this opportunity will be the one. You’re excited about doing something interesting within your own home. You like the idea of the business and perhaps the business itself. But after a couple months you start to notice those brilliant sparks fade. You’re efforts aren’t panning out and you‘re losing your sense of motivation.

A few more months later and you’re browsing for another opportunity, starting a new blog, or looking in your local paper to go back to working outside the home. It’s over.

How do people so quickly go from “This is awesome,” to “You’re annoying and boring me?”

One of the reasons is people don’t take the time to choose a business that will in fact give them pleasure. They go for any niche, get excited about the hype on the sales page, and hope for the best.

They don’t carefully consider is this something I want to do, be known for, gives me satisfaction.

Apparently, only 20 percent of work at homers are satisfied with their business. The rest are still searching for “the one.”

But becoming part of the 20 percent isn’t a difficult task. It involves asking yourself one question.

“Would I do this if no one was willing to pay me?”

If you are willing to dedicate and commit to something when you’re not getting any rewards, you’re most likely going to do it if there is an incentive. People who do well, love what they do. They take pride in their work and they have a passion for it. This means they already know a little something about it and are always eager to learn more.

They also give themselves time to succeed. If you’re breaking up with your business after a few months you’ll never get to know what it’s capable of. The average business takes 3 years before it is a true success. Give yourself a good amount of time to really make things work out with your business.

So, is your work at home business giving you pleasure or a headache?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Would you do it all again?


After nearly setting my house a blaze this afternoon, it really put things in perspective…I need to recheck my smoke alarm (darn thing didn’t go off…I could have died!). Besides that, it made me think “what if I had lost everything and had to start over?” Would I choose the same business model?
Would you?
Imagine for a minute that you’re rebuilding your business, starting from scratch. The only difference is you know what you know now. With the same information, would you stick to the business concept or would take a completely different road.
Sometimes it’s not until we’re forced to start over before we relook at everything. Take the recession for example; it wasn’t until companies were laying employers in masses that people seriously started rethinking their spending habits as well as their job security.
While you may love working from home, for your own reasons, if you had to do it all again…would you? And would you do it the same way?
For me, I might get others involved earlier on, instead of putting every nail in my business structure on my own. I’m doing that more now however, and seeing more success as a result. That said-- I would keep my business. I like it. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What not to do on your affiliate review site


A number of people wonder why after they have spent time writing and creating their affiliate landing page, their leads don’t covert. If you’re getting the traffic, why aren’t you making any sales?
One of the biggest problems is the way people present their site. Often, I see affiliate review sites looking like carbon copies of the merchant site. The affiliate basically does a copy-paste job, where they basically list the features the merchant placed for the product and write a blurb about how great the product is, which in some cases no more than what the merchant wrote.
This is an absolute no, no. It doesn’t work to generate sales and here’s why.
1. You ruin your credibility. If all you have is a list of features without a genuine review pointing out your pros and cons, the prospect is going to wonder if they can trust you. If they don’t trust your review, they won’t click to see the merchant site. Now, suppose they do visit the merchant and see a similar landing page with the same list of features and benefits, they are even more wary.  It makes it seem as if you didn’t try the product. And if you haven’t used it, how can anyone trust what you have to say about it.
2. It’s impersonal. Reviews are a chance for you to share your opinion about something. Simply listing off the product features and benefits isn’t a review. Reviews that sell products are personal and have personality. The writers behind them have something tangible to say about the products and services they use. This allows readers to feel like they’re connecting not just with the writer but are gaining a better awareness of the product. The more connected people are, the easier it is to sell them.
I read a great review on bebe.com (fashion site) the writer wrote how the shoes defined her personality exactly. Now, if my personality is anything like hers guess what…I’m buying the shoes too. I now have something to connect to. It’s the whole “I’ll have what he’s having…because we seem like the same type.”
3. Doesn’t give readers a chance to learn more about the product. Even if you’ve listed every feature, consumers will still wonder what they’re buying. Personal reviews give users a chance to learn that extra something from another consumer’s point of view. You can point how the product smells to you; if it’s an ebook, was it long read or did you finish it in a night. Things like that, help consumers move closer to what they’re buying. When you’re selling online this is key, since we can only shop with a few of our senses. The closer the prospect gets to the product, the harder it is for them to walk away.
4. They just look fake. Consumers are smarter and are not buying into hype so easily these days. This is why having a list of benefits makes your review look fake. It brings to the consumer’s mind, “what’s wrong with it?” Even if you loved the product, nothing is perfect. Mention just one thing you would change about the product. Perhaps it’s expensive but worth it. Or maybe it doesn’t come in enough colors. It doesn’t have to be a major flaw, but even the littlest thing, can add more credibility to your review.
If your affiliate review site looks like a copy-paste job of your merchant’s it’s time to rewrite it.
Think about what prompted you to by in the first place. Did it do its job? What you like about it and one thing you would change about it. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Home office accessories that are funny, smart and cute.


Is your work at home office looking a little drab? Mine was. But after a quick browse around the internet I found a number of cute, funny and smart items to spice up my home office. Here are some of my favorite.

I laugh every time I see this. Talk about multitasking.


Another fun way to organize books.





One of the coolest coffee cups I've seen around lately. It looks so real; I might forget and throw it in recycling.


This poor teddy bear is willing to let you decapitate him so you can store your files. And no, he's not a regular teddy bear size.


It's girly, but I can't help loving it. What a pretty way to keep your files organized.



 Great little ornament for your desk that also keeps your paperclips tidy.










                                                                                                               For the artsy work at home business owner, a Picasso note bad.


I love this pen holder. Morbid but funny.












 Looking for more home office ideas? Check out this article.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Calendar Craft: Using a calendar to decorate a desk

One of my goals for 2010 was to make a video, and I did it.
This video shows you how to reuse an old calendar to decorate your work at home office desk. Actually it can be any desk, but it's a fun calendar craft or collage craft to do.
This is my first video, please keep that in mind when you're watching.
And please leave comments so I can improve for next time.
video

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How to set an effective work at home resolution



The New Year has been rung and most likely you’re thinking of all the things you want to accomplish this year. Even if you never set New Year’s resolutions, I encourage you to set one for your work at home business, because a new year’s resolution is simply a goal you want to achieve in order to make your life, or in this case your business, more satisfying and successful.

I believe the main reason people fail to obtain their goals is because they don’t know how to properly set them. Thus, I’ve given a step by step guide on how to set an effective work at home resolution.

Identify a problem
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In order to make a change, you need to know what needs changing. Usually, you can take a look at your business and realize some of the problem areas. However, sometimes you’re too close and may need someone else like a business coach or even an unbiased friend to look at things and point out areas of improvement.

This year, find one thing about your work at home business you feel making a change could improve. Understand however, you don’t need to change things just because. Your work at home resolution may be to keep things running as they are. If you already have success then the goal is to maintain it.

When identifying what you need to change, include a realistic time line.

For example, if you want to increase traffic give yourself a date in which you will measure the growth. So your goal would then be. I want to increase my traffic to {website name} by 18% by March 14. Check back on that date to see how you are doing.

Here are some common changes home business owners want to make.
a) Improve navigation of website
b) Dedicate more efforts to a traffic building method
c) Increase level of knowledge in niche industry
d) Boost self esteem and self confidence

Be sure you only choose one thing to change. Giving yourself more than one thing to focus one can set yourself up for failure. It’s better to just have one thing you can focus and dedicate time to.

State your why
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After you have identified something specific about your work at home business you want to change, write why you want to make that change. Your why is your motivator as well as your benefit. When you give a real purpose to your New Year resolution you increase your chances of success. You now have a personal reason for achieving it.

Examples,
I want to rewrite my sales page by next month, so I can attract more work at home mom since they are my true target market.

I want to continue writing 3 articles each day, so I can maintain my increasing traffic level and subsequently my profit margin.

I want to redesign my website by April, so I can create easier navigation that will encourage users to remain on the site longer.


Create your steps


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It’s not enough to know what you want and why, but also how. Your how are the specific steps you plan taking to achieve your goals. They should be personalized and clearly defined. Here are tips for creating your ‘how’.

a) Locate one of your talents and apply it to your goal. We all can do something well and even if you don’t realize it, your talent can be applied to any goal. If you are good at analyzing and you want to increase your profit level. Then you can use your skill to carefully track ad results. Your natural ability to analyze will help you see what is and isn’t working.

b)Always make your steps realistic. Don’t give yourself too much to do. If you’re too hard on yourself you’ll give up too soon. Create steps that work with your lifestyle and personality. This way you can maintain it until you reach your goal.

c) Make use of resources. Getting advice and information on achieving your work at home resolution will help you avoid mistakes and get you to your goal faster. To do this, find someone who has achieved the same goal you are working towards now. If you want to boost traffic, then talk to someone who has done this in the past little while. Also, read recent books and web content on the topic. You don’t have to take all the advice but even being made aware of one or two things can greatly improve your chances of success.

At this point you should have a specific goal with steps you can follow but how do you stay with?

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Most of us do great in the beginning. We’re enthusiastic and focused. However as time goes on we see ourselves getting bored, tired, and lazy. To be sure you stick to your goal even when you feel yourself slipping consider the following

a) Forget instant gratification. No goal worth achieving will be obtained quickly. It may take a couple weeks, months, or even until the end of the year before you see real results. Be patient and understand this is something you want in order to be more satisfied.

b)Share your goal. Once you have started the steps towards the goal, share it with someone. When we vocalize our goals we reconfirm its importance to us. This works especially well if you tell someone that will hold you to it.

c) Refer back to your why. When you get less motivated, reread your goal especially your why. This can often help to recharge you.