What is a WordPress Theme?

WordPress Themes

wordpressThe WordPress Theme you choose will be the design and functionality for your website or blog. What I mean by this is, the design (or overall look) of this article and blog and website has been determined by the "theme" I chose for this website.

There are tons of themes available on WordPress for you to choose from. You can either use a free theme or purchase a theme to use. I personally use free themes right now, but if I find a theme I would like to use in the future I would definitely buy one. Having said that I would start with a free theme until you are comfortable working with WordPress.

What WordPress Theme Should I Choose?

That answer depends on you and your goals for your website or blog. When you search for themes it allows you to preview it. I recommend doing this, this way you will have idea what your website or blog would look like. Also read the details of each particular theme you are interested in. Make sure it has the features you want to be able to use now and in the future.

For even more great information regarding anything internet marketing related, check out my Blog.

Good Luck.

What Ways Are There To Make Money Online?

How Many Different Ways Are There to Make Money Online?

Make Money Online There are endless possibilities to make money online. Ultimately this question depends on you and your goals. If you have a “brick and mortar” business and want to increase market visibility, as well as generate leads for potential new customers and sales, or you work from home and want to do the same, the options with internet marketing are endless.

A Website Really Is A Necessity.

First you need to have a website. Most people start out searching for something online. Why? Simply because it is easier for them to find many options to what they are looking for, plus they can find reviews which many people utilize before making a purchase be it online or not.

A website is the tool used to brand either yourself or your company on the internet. It is a fact that people buy from those they know, like, and trust, and even though you or your business may be thousands of miles away, if you establish a positive online presence they may buy from you.

Don’t let a website scare you. Many small businesses don’t have website simply because of the cost to hire someone to build and maintain it. If you hire someone to build and maintain it, it can cost thousands of dollars in upfront costs. However, it is easy to do yourself if you are simply willing to learn how. And it won’t take months or years of training to learn how to do this.

So How Do I Make Money Online?

Your marketing options again, are endless. For example, there is affiliate marketing, email marketing, social media such as Facebook, there is Adsense/Adwords advertising, there is classified ad marketing as on Craigslist, there is video marketing such as YouTube, etc. These are just to name a few.

I am going to go into much more detail on each one of these now to give you a better idea of how to narrow down where you want to start.

Tip: Another thing you may want consider if you already have a marketable skill such as writing, or have a large Facebook or Twitter following that you can advertise for others to; services like as those can be marketed on websites such as Fiverr, etc.

Affiliate Marketing

If you own  a brick and mortar business and sell a particular product or service that appeals to consumers and not business to business, or you simply have or want to have a work from home business, then affiliate marketing is definitely something you should consider.

So what is affiliate marketing? Well that is worthy of a whole post on its own.  I have created another article to answer that question. What is Affiliate Marketing? article

Assuming that you read my “What Is Affiliate Marketing?” article I will continue.

As you can see, if you are a brick and mortar business affiliate marketing can considerably cut your marketing costs because you effectively have several salespeople (affiliates) do the marketing for you. If you are internet marketer, or are considering becoming one, then becoming an affiliate for someone can allow you the freedom to work from home online.

Email Marketing

email marketingMost businesses and internet marketers communicate at some point with their clients or potential clients via email. If you are in internet marketing then I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “the money is in the list.” What is meant by this is that if your clients or potential clients provide you with their email contact information then you can market to them over and over again, to get more sales from your existing clientele.

However in order to get repeat customers with your list you need to establish trust, and you need to market to them the right way. It is important to give your potential customers good information of value to them. Do not constantly sell to them and DO NOT spam them. Many businesses and internet marketers don’t understand this critical rule and it ends up hurting their reputation and business.

I am sure at some point you signed up for something or bought something and whomever you bought from requested your email address and then started emailing you incessantly.  In every email they were promoting and trying to sell you something. I don’t know about you, but this drives me crazy and I always end up unsubscribing from them, or just mark it as spam so it goes to my spam email folder and I don’t ever have to see it. This is the perfect example of what you don’t want to do.

If you do decide to pursue email marketing then you need to employ the 80/20 rule. What this means is 80% of the time give them good valuable FREE information that is useful to them. This can be tips, how to’s, etc. Then the other 20% of the time you can market your product or service to them (or in the case of affiliate marketing someone else’s products or services.)

Additionally less is more when it comes to email marketing. I have been on people’s lists where they literally email me 5 times a day. That is ridiculous. Even if they are offering good free information 4 out of 5 emails, it is still way to excessive and irritating. Typically I wouldn’t email a person more than 5 times a week maximum. That would mean 4 days a week great helpful information, then 1 day per week trying to sell something. However again this would be the absolute maximum and I personally prefer to only receive emails from people I am subscribed to about once a week.  The only exception to this rule are blogs that I am subscribed to, in this case I want to be notified whenever a new post is made to that blog.

Email marketing can be a very powerful tool when done correctly. One sale is great, but repeat sales from customers are much better.

Social Media

facebookThere are many platforms for social media but I am going to cover Facebook. According to current statistics there are currently 1.11 billion users on Facebook

Facebook is an incredibly invaluable tool to market and increase visibility as well as sales for your business. You can interact with your potential customers easily and gain valuable feedback. 

Facebook allows you to reach a very large audience quickly. By creating a Facebook page for or related to your business you will be able to market to your audience. However in order to have an audience you need to have people “like” your page.

In order to gain “Likes” to your page there are a few things that you can do.

  1. Request people to “Like” your page that you already know either on a personal or professional level.
  2. Market your Facebook page on your website to help gain “Likes.”
  3. Create an ad on Facebook to market your Facebook page to get more “Likes.” (FYI, there are certain niches that Facebook will not allow you to submit ads for.)
  4. Then once you have about 100 “Likes” to your Facebook page, post a request asking your followers to “Share” your post to gain more “Likes” to your page. If you have a good relevant page and people like what you are posting many will share it if you just ask.

In time you can literally have thousands of “Likes” to your page which will result in a potential customer base that you can market to.

Now just like with email marketing, don’t overdo it. I would suggest applying the 80/20 rule here as well.  Additionally don’t post too much on Facebook. I expect individuals (personal friends/family) to post constantly, but I don’t expect or want this from business I follow. I have followed businesses that literally posted on Facebook 4-6 times a day. That is simply too much, so ultimately I don’t read what they post and I eventually “unlike” their page so I don’t have to see their stuff constantly.  You can test this for yourself of course, but what I would recommend is no more than twice a day maximum.  If you do post twice a day then space them several hours apart.

Tip: A great feature about Facebook is that you can schedule your posts in advance for a specific date and time.  Weekly I sit down and figure out my posts and schedule everything in advance for the next week.

Facebook marketing like email marketing is very powerful when used correctly. It presents another opportunity for repeat sales.

Adsense or Adwords Advertising

Google Adsense puts ads on your website or blog relevant to what your site is about. What this means is if someone clicks on an ad from your website Google will pay you for the click or impression, so you can be paid to advertise for others.

Google Adwords on the other hand is just the opposite. Using Adwords you pay Google to advertise your business or product on others websites, and when someone clicks on your ad you pay Google a negotiated amount per click or impression.

So basically the difference between the two is; one you pay for, and the other you get paid for.  All businesses or individuals are targeting specific audiences, and this allows them or you to advertise to that specific audience.

Should you use Google Adsense or Adwords? That is something that you have to decide for your business. Currently I am an affiliate marketer, so I am not using these methods, but if they are a fit for your business model then you may want consider them.

Craigslist Marketing

Craigslist is basically free classified ad marketing. Many internet marketers and regular business use this platform to market their business.

Craigslist is broken down into sections for all 50 states, and the larger cities within each state. This way you can target a specific geographical area.  Once within the geographical location in which you want to post an ad, you will see that it has several different topic sections. The topic sections currently are; Community, Personals, Discussion Forums, Housing, For Sale, Services, Jobs, Gigs, and Resumes.

Since there are so many options to choose from you may be tempted to post in all them for more exposure. DO NOT DO THIS. Only post in the topic sections that are relevant to you or your business. Also since you can post information in many different cities and states you may be tempted to post in many of them. Again DO NOT DO THIS. The reason being is that this is SPAM plain and simple and you will get banned from using Craigslist if you do this.

Typically if you post in two locations total per day you will most likely be fine, any more than that and you will most likely get banned from Craigslist.

Also I recommend that you vary your ads so they are not all the same. Additionally if you are placing an ad in a big city where there can be literally thousands of posts every day; you should post first thing in the morning between 7 am -9am, or early evening between 5pm – 7pm. That is most likely when your ad will be seen and it will hopefully be in the first 100 which is the first page on Craigslist for whatever category you chose.

You Tube Marketing

Did you know that more than 1 billion people visits YouTube each month? That is a staggering amount of people to be able to market your business to.

In order to market your product or company on YouTube you need to create a YouTube Channel. Then you need to upload videos regularly to that channel. Once you have done those steps one needs to optimize each video an associate keyword tags so your videos will rank in YouTube as well as the search engines. In the description for each video you create and put on YouTube you can put links to your website, Facebook page, etc. This can help you gain traffic to those sites as well as increase sales.

Another great thing about YouTube is that people can subscribe to your channel and be notified whenever you add more videos. Just as I covered previously in the examples of email marketing, Facebook marketing, etc. It is important for you to provide great information and value to your channel so that people will want to subscribe to you, and check out the other online mediums you advertise such as your website, or Facebook.

Conclusion

As you can see there are tons of options to market your existing business, or just have an internet marketing business. If you or your business are not taking advantage of these options you are simply hurting your business because of the additional potential sales, and visibility you or your company could be getting.

Of course there are many other options for internet marketing other than the ones that I covered above. I recommend you take some time and do some research to find all the possibilities out there and then make an educated decision on what would be the best direction for you or your company to take.

You will most probably choose several to implement. However I do have one piece of advice for you on that. Take your time and learn one option at a time, then implement it, and then once you are comfortable move on and add the next option. Trying to do too many things at once will result in information overload, and action paralysis. In other words you will become overwhelmed, get confused and won’t implement anything. So take it slow and steady and you will successfully integrate internet marketing in your business.

I hope you found this article helpful. For more great information regarding anything internet marketing related check out my Blog

Good Luck.

Bad Writer? Worried About Writing For Your Website?

I Am A Terrible Writer; Can I Still Create A Website?

Of course you can. I am not what you would call a great writer, and writing does not come easy to me either. Of all the things I am doing for my work at home business writing content for my blog, and website, etc. is by far the most difficult.

I thought that the technical aspects like creating a website were going to be the most difficult, but I was wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, learning the technical skills to build websites, etc. was hard for me, but writing has turned out to be much harder.

writingWhy? Well simply because even if I learn and understand the fundamental aspects of writing, that doesn’t mean I can do it well.  I have never aspired to be a writer or author, but the more I do it out of necessity for my business the less I mind doing it, and I have even started to enjoy it.

The reason is because I like providing solutions for others. It is a real natural high for me knowing that I am helping others.

Having said that, I still know that I am not a good writer, but I have finally figured out that I don’t have to be. All that matters is that I am giving people good information regardless of how well it’s written.

Since coming up with the words to put on paper are difficult for me, a lot of the time I just speak what I want to say, and type it as I am saying it. It is a lot easier to talk then it is to write, so I just combine the two.  I haven’t purchased any software in which you speak and it types the words for you in a document, but maybe I should look into that, it might make things easier for me.

Back to my original question of “I am a terrible writer; can I still create a website?” My opinion is yes. If I can do it, there is no reason you can’t.

For more great information on anything internet marketing related, check out more of my Blog.

Good Luck.

Do I Need A Website For A Work At Home Business?

website example imageDo I Need A Website For A Work At Home Business?

Technically no, you don’t need a website if you have a work from home business. However, I highly recommend that you do.  The primary reason I say this is because you have complete control and you can promote your business and build your brand and reputation in many different ways.

What I mean by this is; the way I generate sales for my home based business is currently completely done by actively promoting my website. You may be thinking, why do I do it this way? Well simply put, I own my website. I built my website myself and I pay for hosting it. It is mine and that cannot be taken away from me ever.

I do utilize other things to gain traffic to my website such as; Facebook, writing articles, utilizing forums, other blogs, You Tube, etc. However, I don’t own any of these traffic sources. I will use Facebook as my example. If Facebook decided to close down tomorrow and I used that as my only source to generate income for my business, then I would be put out of business.

I personally believe that I need to be in control of all aspects of my online business. If I own and control it, then it doesn’t matter to me if tomorrow Facebook closes down, because I still own my website and I can generate traffic to it utilizing other sources.

Continuing using Facebook as my example, it is a fact that the internet is always changing and evolving. As of right now Facebook might be the cream of the crop as far as social networking goes, but in a few years that will most likely change. You may be reading this and are thinking I am crazy, but remember just a few short years ago MySpace was all the rage, and now I don’t know of hardly anyone still using it. The internet will continue to change since people are always coming up with new ideas and technology continually evolves.

So personally, if you have a home based business or are considering starting one, I think you are insane if you don’t have your own website for it.

For more information regarding anything affiliate marketing related, check out more of my Blog.

Good Luck.