Sep 24

How to Improve Your Home Business Performance

Tips To Improve Your Home Based Business Performance

Home Based BusinessCreating and maintaining a home business can be a great way to make money from the comforts of your own home. Know what it takes to make a successful go of your venture before you begin. You can find some great information about this right here in this article!

Your focus should be to satisfy all of your customers. It isn't as hard to build a repeat customer base as it is to bring in new customers. By keeping your customers happy, they will be life-long customers.

Try to keep your personal appearance up at home the same as you would when working in an office environment. Even though it can be extremely fulfilling to have a home business, your self-esteem could suffer if you place work before your own needs. Take a shower each morning, limit snacks, and take time to get regular exercise. You can use these tips so you and others will have a better view of you.

Find out what amount each item you are considering selling is selling for before you make the decision to sell it. Look at the prices of comparable products, and aim to slightly undercut the competition. Do not speak badly about your competitors, just make yourself look good!

Select a name for your business that is personally meaningful. Purchase your business domain name even if you do not yet have plans for a company website. You can easily find a domain name for $10 a year but make sure you purchase your domain name before anyone knows about your business. Once you own your domain, create a single page with your contact information and a quick blurb on what you do or sell.

Affiliates can be used to help you to market what you're selling. Trade links with other business owners, and make sure you can help each other by improving traffic. Check out established affiliate programs. Find one that fits your business niche. This is a great way to increase your income without having to do any hard work.

One of the best ways to ensure that your home business makes as much money as possible, is to effectively market your business and products on the internet. There are many ways to market your home business online, including article marketing, blogs, forums and email lists. This can increase your company's visibility and customer base, thereby maximizing your profits.

Keep your customers informed, but don't overdo the messages. Newsletters that are rich in content are a great way to feature discounts and specials. Be sure that you only contact your customer as much as they request from you.

Your business domain name has to be memorable and connected to your business. If your domain name is confusing, you will not reel in your customers. Simple and catchy is always best when creating domain names.

Do you have comprehensive liability insurance? If people will be coming into your home to do business, this is especially important. If you have a business related accident, or a customer has one at your home, you will then be covered for any liability.

Security and safety standards are just as important for a home business as for any other business. Your family's well being depends on it. You might need certain equipment and strict guidelines for others to follow. This will help keep your family safe and help you avoid having an expensive accident involving your business. Your business is always prone to being inspected, even if your office is in your home.

As mentioned before, knowing the right way to run a successful home business takes some basic knowledge. Apply the advice from this article and you will be on your way to running a successful home based business.

For more great information regarding anything internet marketing related, check out the rest of my Blog.

Good Luck.

Jul 22

Tips To Grow A Home Business

Home Based Business; Basic Tips

Home BusinessMost people believe family comes first, and therefore feel the need to have enough money for their family to have what they need. If you are thinking about starting your own home based business, you need to read these basic tips first.

Find out what the laws are in your state and county, if you need a business license. You can check with a lawyer or an accountant if you like, but you should also be able to find this information online. Depending on where you live, and what you are selling, you may also need to collect state sales tax. Just make sure that you know and follow all applicable laws.

If you want to start a home business, make sure that it relates to something that you really enjoy doing. Your interest will keep you motivated in making the business successful. Because you will be spending many hours on your home business, you do not want to spend so much time on something that you do not enjoy.

If you are going to splurge on any home office furniture, splurge on a very comfortable office chair. You are going to spend many, many hours in this chair and if it is uncomfortable, you will not be as productive as you could be and you could technically, do damage to your body.

Have a mailing list and announce your specials on it weekly. It would probably be more successful if you link it to a newsletter. This will bring more users to your site since they would have to visit your site in order to read all of the content.

Develop a description for your home business that can explain what it is that you do in less than three sentences. If you have to spend a good bit of time explaining what it is that you do, you may not have the plan that you need to have to succeed.

For your home business, give your customers the option of buying your product online. Online payments are very common and some customers may be less likely to buy your product if they see that online payments are not an option.

Do anything you can to build exposure. One unconventional way of sticking your foot in the door is to barter your products to other businesses. It exposes your products to others, while exposing you to the ways others do business as well. You can always learn from other people, so keep your mind open!

A great home business tip is to keep your office off limits to other members of your family. You don't want any surprises when you decide to work. Logging into your computer and seeing that it's screwed up can devastate your business. Set boundaries for your family members.

Keep your office organized to help keep your mind and life in order, too. Being able to find necessary paperwork or a piece of computer hardware that you've put in a drawer is essential to keep your time lines in check. Nothing can make you miss a deadline more than not being able to find the resources you need.

Learn about your customers. Your products or services probably interest a certain niche of consumers more than the others. Find out who these people are and market the product to them. Find a marketing technique that works for this category. Look for new niches and adapt your marketing strategies accordingly.

Working From Home

If you feel yourself getting stressed in your home business, take a breather. Sometimes when you work from home, it is easy to forget to take breaks. It's more than likely your business on the line, after all. But if something stressful is occurring, take the time to relax for 10-15 minutes. You'll come back to the problem with a clearer head and be more productive in solving it.

When working from home, try to always achieve your personal best. If you spend too much time on your work and not enough on yourself, you can develop self-esteem issues. Working in your pajamas is wonderful occasionally but don't make a habit of it. Get up, have a shower, and dress for the day as you would for any other work location. Apply these tips to boost your self esteem and you'll find that others hold you in higher esteem as well.

If you're starting a home business based on an idea from somebody else, make sure it is legitimate first. Many people sell ideas for work-from-home businesses that equal up to nothing but scams. Don't waste your time with dishonest people, and make sure that any venture you take on is successful and trustworthy. 

I recommend you read my article How to Spot Make Money Online Scams, so you can avoid becoming a victim yourself.

Research your home based business ideas. There are many opportunities available for people who want to work from home. You could provide hard merchandise such as selling goods through online shopping websites, or you could provide training in your personal areas of expertise. The possibilities for you are vast and plentiful.

If you have children, you need to figure out who is going to watch or take care of them when you are working. Just because you work from home does not mean that you will have the time or ability to take care of your children. Figure out how school or daycare will work into your business plan.

Business operates according to a golden ratio, even at home; you should be spending only 20% of your time learning and 80% on actually doing work! You only make money when you do something; whatever your business is, you may need to be calling, emailing and creating things to have an income.

Create a schedule when you start your home business and treat it the way you would if it wasn't home based. It is great to work from home, but avoid the natural distractions, like spending more time with your family, doing chores around the house, or running errands for your family, just because you are at home you still have to get your business work done.

In the beginning, minimize your spending for your home business. When you choose to work from home, you will be saving money by not having to rent a space for your business. Keep that money-saving trend going by buying only supplies you actually need. Using a budget for your expenses helps keep the costs of your products inexpensive.

Take time for yourself, sometimes it is easy to become overwhelmed when running a business from home. You need to set a work schedule so you don't forget to take some time off. It is easy to forget when business ends and family time begins when you work from home. Make a schedule and stick to it.

A home business is something that you can't just dive into head first without looking. You never know how far the leap is or what's on the bottom. By receiving information like this, however, you can avoid a leap of faith altogether and make sure that every step you take is a well-informed step.

Dont forget while you are here to check out my Home Page here on Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online where I discuss my personal experiences regarding internet marketing, and also my Blog where I cover all topics internet marketing related.

Good Luck.

Jun 26

Top Tips To Make Your Affiliate Marketing More Productive

Making Your Affiliate Marketing More Productive

marketing more productiveAffiliate marketing is an essential part of online business planning, but understanding it and finding a good affiliate program can be tricky. There are all kinds of products and budgets to make sense of and you need to make sure you choose the right one. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you get the best affiliates for your online business.

If you are going to make money through the affiliate marketing industry, it is important that you know who your audience is. If your website is about trumpet mouthpieces then you probably will not make very much profit by advertising for vacuum cleaners because your audience is not in the market for a new vacuum.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to link your website or blog to companies that can make you money. Adding links for specific products to your site will help to not only draw you more targeted traffic, but also earn you a percentage in commission if the people click the link and buy it.

One of the best ways to increase your affiliate expertise level, is to study what other marketers are doing with similar products. By viewing their tactics, you will understand how they attract people to their sites and ultimately send them to the main company's site to become customers. It's a working method that can help you increase commissions.

Use the affiliate tools provided by the companies you are working with. Most affiliate programs are constantly adding new content that you can use to promote the products. From e-books, to tip lists, banners, and email templates to send out to your lists. These are generally proven tested methods so take advantage of them.

The best companies with good affiliate marketing programs will do lots of work to help you help them. Many affiliates have integrated creative resources – unified advertising designs, pre-written copy and other ready-made tools you can use. Affiliates enjoy the consistency of message these resources give them; you can make use of the time they save you to concentrate on other parts of your website.

To make money through your affiliate marketing efforts, you should check out the homepage of the product, and make sure that it is well written and sales driven. Does it make you want to buy the product? If you are sending the page hits, you need to make sure that they are clicking through and making a purchase.

Make sure that content on affiliate marketing websites are written in the proper language. If your site targets mostly visitors from the UK, have content written in the Queen's English. Also, make sure that word usage and sentence structures are correct. Content that is in badly written English turns potential customers away, especially UK customers.

In writing reviews for affiliate marketing, make your reviews visually appealing. That is, make sure your blog or site has a pleasing design, and use photos, graphics and/or videos to keep your reviews entertaining and break up text. Part of earning people's trust and esteem is giving them a pleasant experience, and the visual aspect of your reviews is an important contributor to that. People are visual creatures, so don't make it a strain or a pain to read your reviews, and people will be more willing to keep reading.

Take the time to learn some tricks of the trade prior to getting involved with any affiliate marketing program. If you get into it without knowing the basics, you are likely to find yourself getting ripped off and wasting your valuable time on something that is bound to fail.

When you are first exploring the world of affiliate marketing, limit yourself to offering no more than a half-a-dozen affiliate products. This narrow portfolio will let you learn the ropes and get to know the back end of the affiliate process. Thorough mastery of these basics will make it easier to tackle the new challenges that bigger product portfolios bring.

An affiliate program that doesn't include cookie tracking isn't worth joining, so don't! If you're only credited for sales that are direct clicks from your website you could be missing as much as 75% of the commissions you deserve! A good affiliate program will use a cookie to track the customer's later sales and credit you for bringing them to the site.

Create a website that will not offend or put anyone off. Never forget that all visitors are potential customers and the customer is always right, so take extra precaution to make sure your site is friendly to everyone. This is also true of your social network pages. Is there anything on there that could cause people to take their business someplace else? And don't think that people won't make a link between your personal pages and your business – when was the last time you Googled your own name?!

A good tip for all affiliate marketers is to find out exactly what items on your page are causing your customers to click on your affiliates. Find out which link within your content or any other place on your page is garnering interest and what items are not. You can use this information to make your page better.

It is usually easiest to choose one method of generating traffic and then focus solely on learning to do that correctly when you are first getting started with affiliate marketing. If you spread yourself thin trying to figure out all of the various methods of traffic generation, you may get confused and frustrated.

As I’m sure you now realize, affiliate marketing is incredibly important to your current and future business planning, and so is understanding all the different kinds. This is so it makes it easier for you to understand what programs fit your personal needs. Following the above tips, is a very good place to start.

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

Good Luck.

Jun 25

Tips To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketingAs you begin to develop your business model in affiliate marketing, you will learn that there are certain things you need to do in order to achieve your success; keys to marketing that will ultimately lead to a successful business. If you haven't figured them out yet, then read this article, and check out these affiliate tips.

A great way to jump start your affiliate advertising industry is by advertising through multiple affiliate programs that speak to the same consumer. This is providing your customer with options and information on the topic that he or she is interested in.

Only advertise products on your affiliate site you personally believe in. If you wouldn't buy it, don't advertise it. When your visitors find out that not even you believe in the products and services you promote, they will leave your site and will never come back or recommend it to other possible customers.

A good affiliate marketing tip is to be patient. You can't expect to get rich quick from joining an affiliate program. It is however, a great way to make some passive income. Passive income is great because you are basically making money from work you have already done.

Don't let your affiliate ads go stale. Review your content from time to time. Update and add new affiliate links to keep it interesting and pertinent for your readers. Doing this, encourages readers to keep checking back to see what's new. It will also improve your search engine ratings.

Only promote products you know are legit or that you would use. If a customer senses you are doing this only to benefit yourself, you may never see them again, let alone get a referral from them. Customers can see right through a dishonest referrer and won't come back to your site.

Do your research to avoid vendors that are running scams. There are quite a few vendors out there running disreputable business. Some of the most prevalent schemes are to have bad tracking software to "miss" your commissions or actually lying on your refunds to make it seem like you are not owed any money. Check into the vendor thoroughly to avoid the scammers.

Sincere reviews can make all the difference. Any affiliate marketer probably understands the power of reviews. Writing neutral, objective reviews that point out the value and benefits of the product can educate your customers and build interest. Reviews can be purchased to help build your site. They help get your product increased exposure, more sales and help build your brand across the internet.

Keeping your affiliate program information is essential if you plan to have any success at affiliate marketing. Know your affiliate program's tools and updates like the back of your hand. New tools are implemented constantly to improve the usability of different kinds of affiliate programs that make advertisements more appealing to its readers.

Look for affiliate programs that offer subscriptions to their products and that pay commission on the full subscription. These programs can lead to nice amounts of passive income that can continue even if you stop promoting that particular product. Be sure to confirm the length of time that you will continue to earn commission on the subscriptions.

If you want to maximize the amount of money you generate through affiliate marketing you must make sure that all your product information is presented clearly and cleanly. Your page should draw focus to your content and advertising and nothing else. Get any unnecessary graphics or anything else that distracts readers off your site.

Cater the items you're selling through affiliate marketing to the topic of your website. If you're blogging about a baseball team, provide links to items like player's autographed jerseys, or season passes. If your website is for at-home Moms, include links to the latest technologies in baby care, or this year's hottest toddler toys.

Use a tracking software program to keep track of the different keywords that people are using to search for your site. Knowing what the more popular words are can help you to redesign your marketing campaign and adjust the keywords that you are using to draw in new customers.

Include content with lists of helpful hints and tips on your website to attract visitors who are looking to learn about that topic, then include affiliate links to products and services that can help them with their problems. For example, write a list of homework help tips and then include links to educational software and books, or office supplies.

Create a series of videos showing expert demonstrations or how-to's, or some other content which people will want to watch. This will set you up as an expert in your field and will draw a larger audience to your website. Then you can hit them with your affiliate links through reviews.

Focusing on selling a single product through affiliate marketing is fine, but finding products which have recurring commissions is even better. Items that have upgrades becoming available over time, or items that have accessories continuing to pop up now and again are perfect as you can sell the additional items when they return to your website.

One of the only ways you're going to become a skilled affiliate marketer is to actually work as a marketer. Even with great tips like you've just read above, you will still need to put them to action to find out if they work. So remember to take that big leap by implementing what you've learned here.

Are you now ready to join the exciting world of internet affiliate marketing? If so, then you need to learn the basics, such as keyword research, how to build a website, search engine optimization to rank your website in the search engines, ways to market your site to gain free traffic, etc.

I recommend Niche Blitzkrieg as a great beginner program to teach you these basic skills. This program teaches you the fundamentals of everything I mentioned above. However, you will have to take action and implement what you learn yourself in order to be successful.

For more great information regarding anything internet marketing related, check out the rest of my Blog.

Good Luck.

Jun 10

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.

Jun 10

WordPress – What is it?

What is WordPress?

What is WordPressWordPress is a free, Web-based software program that one can use to create a website or blog. It was originally designed to create a blog, but, since it is an “open source” program, and many programmers have worked to improve its capabilities, WordPress has morphed into more than just a tool for bloggers. Currently it has been used to create and maintain more than 60 million websites, and that number continues to grow daily.

WordPress is a very easy to use piece of software to build websites. It is the platform that many internet marketers use to create their websites. The best part about this software besides its ease of use is the fact that it is free. It is what I use to create and maintain my websites. All you need is a hosting company to host your website, and at most that is about $10.00 per month.

Why would I even mention this? Because if you are planning a career in internet marketing, or have an existing "brick and mortar" business I don’t want you to even consider paying someone to build a website for you. Once you know how to create and maintain websites you will understand how easy it is and then you will never consider hiring someone to do it for you.

Additionally, knowing how to use this software to create websites is a very marketable skill should you choose to pursue that avenue.  Many individuals and companies pay people to create and maintain their websites.

Bottom line, I love WordPress and I recommend using it to create websites or blogs for your business.

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

Good Luck.

Jun 03

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.

May 31

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.

May 29

Above The Social Matrix Review

What is Above the Social Matrix?

making money online scamsAbove the Social Matrix is a piece of software that is designed to work with RSS (real simple syndication) feeds. You set up the software to supposedly automatically create a popup window when someone is trying to leave a webpage and it will pop up whatever webpage you have the link set to go to.

The Sales Pitch

On his video pitching the Above the Social Matrix product the guy narrating the video (supposedly Mike Williams) talks about how he and Bill McRea created automated software requested by a HUGE company to generate massive traffic to their website. However they don’t tell you the name of the company that supposedly contracted them to create it. They then tell you how the company that paid for them to develop the software agreed that they would have full rights to it and can sell it others.

Yeah, like that would actually happen. The video goes on and on about their personal stories, shows pictures of their supposed houses, and a picture of Bill McRae’s son to pull at your heartstrings. Then in the video it states over and over that you have a full 60 days to use the product and if you don’t make money then they will give you your money back and you can keep the software for free.

I can say that I was a fool and fell for this scam hook, line, and sinker. I actually bought the product. Wait, it gets worse. When I bought the product I actually purchased the up sell of the advanced coaching as well. (I purchased the software for $47.00, and the up sell was another $97.00.)

What I Got for My Money

Bottom line; really nothing but a headache. When I logged in to the software for the first time, I realized the “advanced coaching” up sell that I purchased was simply the video instructions on how to set up and use the software. What? Ok when I purchase software I automatically expect for it to provide instructions on how to set it up and use it, don’t you?

At this point I realized that I had been scammed, however I decided to go through most everything so I could test and see how it worked, so at least I could provide an accurate review of it.

Needless to say the Above the Social Matrix software did not work as promised. It is a scam and a complete waste of money. Even worse when I bought the software I had to give my email address and so I was on Bill McRea’s email list, where he would do nothing but email me trying to sell me other scam products. I of course unsubscribed from his list.

Returning the Software for a Refund

Here is where the real fun begins. After realizing that the software would not deliver as promised, and I had gathered enough information to create an accurate review, I created a support ticket and requested a refund for the purchase of the software and the advanced coaching.

I never dreamed I would have such difficulty getting them to process my refunds.

First of all, it took 6 days for me to get a response from a person. Then their response was, they only have a 7 day money back guarantee, and my 7 days were up. I then reminded them that they have a 60 day money back guarantee and got the advanced coaching refunded ($97.00), but not the purchase price of the product because they were still stating they only offer a 7 day guarantee. I had to continue to go back and forth until I proved to them they did have a 60 day guarantee and then FINALLY they refunded the rest of my purchase ($47.00.)

This was beyond ridiculous and further proved that this product is a SCAM!

I have copied and pasted the emails below that I sent as well as their responses to me in chronological order, for you to see this painstaking process for yourself.  (Please note, I am not including the automated email responses showing they received my refund requests because that will just waste your time. You will see their spelling, grammar, spacing, and punctuation in their responses to me is terrible.)

My 1st Email:   March 26th, 2013

I want to request a refund for the Social Matrix Software I purchased for $47.00, and the Advanced Coaching from Bill McRea up sell I purchased as well for $97.00. Both of these products came with a 60 day money back guarantee. I purchased both these items on February 12th, 2013. I was not impressed with the software or the Advanced Coaching, and I will not use it.

Please process my two refunds totaling $144.00 as soon as possible. Also please send me a confirmation email, that my refunds are being processed.

Thank you,
Rachel Keele

My 2nd Email:   March 29th, 2013

Dear Support,

It has been three days and I still have not heard anything from you
regarding my request to process my refunds below. Please check on the
status of this ticket, and issue my refunds immediately, then notify me via
email letting me know that his has been done.

Sincerely,
Rachel Keele

My 3rd Email:    April 1st, 2013

Dear Support,

OK, it has now been six days I have still had no response other than the automated email that was sent to confirm my original request for my refunds. Please process my refund request immediately. I am submitting this as a new ticket since my original Ticket ID  DRV-640340 has yet to be responded to.

I do not understand the delay in acknowledging my request (other than the automated email), nor the delay in processing my request. Again, please process my refunds for the Social Matrix Software I purchased for $47.00, and the Advanced Coaching from Bill McRea up sell I purchased as well for $97.00. Both of these products came with a 60 day money back guarantee. I purchased both these items on February 12th, 2013. Please process my two refunds totaling $144.00 immediately.

Here is the original request I sent requesting my refunds (sent on March 26th, 2013 at 8:05pm) (Original Ticket ID: DRV-640340):

I want to request a refund for the Social Matrix Software I purchased for $47.00, and the Advanced Coaching from Bill McRea upsell I purchased as well for $97.00. Both of these products came with a 60 day money back guarantee. I purchased both these items on February 12th, 2013. I was not impressed with the software or the Advanced Coaching, and I will not use it.

Please process my two refunds totaling $144.00 as soon as possible. Also please send me a confirmation email, that my refunds are being processed.

Rachel Keele

Their 1st Response:    April 1st, 2013

Hi Rachel,

As I  checked  your account  your money back guarantee  is up, therefore we can not  process refund for your basic purchase.
Please check our 7 days refund policy when you signed up to our website.
https://abovethesocialmatrix.com/secure/tos.php

We know that you are a bit confuse in our system therefore we will give you a FREE access to ADVANCED COACHING with Bill with the  value of  $197.00.

Please register  to LIVE WEBINAR:
http://billmcrea.com/wpccwebby

 For technical issues please SUBMIT A TICKET to  http://mcreasupport.com
 Above The Social Matrix Tech Issues
 note: no need to log in  no need to register

Regards,
_______________

Nancy G.
Customer Care Manager
McReaSoft Solutions, Inc

My Response to their Email:   April 2nd, 2013

Nancy G. Customer Care Manager,

I received your email below stating that my money back guarantee is up, and that you only have a 7 day refund policy. That is not accurate. The video I watched at your website http://www.atsmatrix.com/ states multiple times throughout that video that you have a 60 day guarantee, and if not satisfied you can get your money back and keep the software for free. I was directed to that website from the You Tube video by Bill McRea (here is the link to that video as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FWN5EUknog) talking about the Above the Social Matrix software.

Well I don't want the software, and I am within my 60 day money back guarantee as stated multiple times in the video on your website, so once you refund all my monies you can cancel my login to it.

Also you stated in the email below, that you will give me free access to the Advanced Coaching with Bill. That was the up sell I purchased for the $97 that I want refunded as well. You wouldn't be providing me with anything for free because I already paid for it. Also when I paid for that up sell for the Advanced Coaching it stated it had a 60 day money back guarantee as well, otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it.

Additionally in your email below you state "please check our 7 days refund policy when you signed up to our website." Well guess what, I couldn't find out about that so called "different policy" until after I had purchased and logged into the software. Go to your website http://www.atsmatrix.com/ and go to the terms at the bottom of the page. It states you cannot access this without logging into the software. It never occurred to me to check if the policy you state on your video advertising the Above The Social Matrix Software would suddenly change after I purchased it. The reason it didn't occur to me is because it is ILLEGAL. That is false advertising and fraud.

Therefore based on the multitude of reasons I have stated above I expect no further excuses, and expect you to refund my purchase for the Above the Social Matrix software for $47.00, and the Advanced Coaching from Bill McRea up sell I purchased for $97.00. The total for the two products is $144.00.

Please email me back to confirm that you are processing my refunds as requested within the 60 money back guarantee as promised in your video.

If you need any additional information in order to process my refunds please let me know.

Thank you,

Rachel Keele

Their Response:   April 2nd, 2013

Hi Rachel,

Your Advanced Coaching ($97.00) has been refunded, however as I  checked  your account  your money back guarantee  is up, therefore we can not  process refund for your basic purchase.

Please check our  7 days refund  policy when you signed up to our website.

https://abovethesocialmatrix.com/secure/tos.php

In connection, we know that you are a bit confuse in our system therefore we will still give you a FREE access to ADVANCED COACHING with Bill with the  value of  $97.00.

Please register  to LIVE WEBINAR:
http://billmcrea.com/wpccwebby

 For technical issues please SUBMIT A TICKET to  http://mcreasupport.com
 Above The Social Matrix Tech Issues
 note: no need to log in  no need to register

Regards,
_______________
Nancy G.
Customer Care Manager
McReaSoft Solutions, Inc

My Response:   April 11th, 2013

(I waited to respond further to ensure I received the $97.00 refund. Once I received the $97.00 refund I sent the following email.)

Nancy G. Customer Care Manager,

Thank you for processing my refund for the advanced coaching of the $97.00. However, I still have not received my $47.00 refund for the Above the Social Matrix software as requested.

You have stated twice now that your refund policy for the software is only 7 days. I must state again that this is *not* accurate. The video I watched at your website http://www.atsmatrix.com/ states multiple times throughout that video that you have a 60 day guarantee, and if not satisfied you can get your money back and keep the software for free. I was directed to that website from the You Tube video by Bill McRea (here is the link to that video as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FWN5EUknog) talking about the Above the Social Matrix software.

You cannot advertise your product with a 60 day guarantee, and then once purchased, change the guarantee to 7 days. As I stated before that is false advertising and is illegal. You are obligated to stand by your original guarantee promised me in the video in which I purchased the product, which was 60 days.

Therefore please process my refund of $47.00 as soon as possible for the Above the Social Matrix software. I should not have to send multiple emails to "fight" to have my refund processed. Stand by your guarantee as stated in the video above and process my refund request.

Sincerely,

Rachel Keele

Their Response:   April 14th, 2013

Rachel,

I don't see the part that he says that its 60 days money back guarantee.

Last Login  Date: March 27, 2013 12:54am

In connection, we know that you are a bit confuse in our system therefore we will still give you a FREE access to ADVANCED COACHING with Bill with the  value of  $97.00.

Please register  to LIVE WEBINAR:
http://billmcrea.com/wpccwebby

And also , there will be no recurring fee  for this product, this is not a subscription.

Nancy G.
Customer Care
McReaSoft Solutions, Inc

My Response:   April 14th, 2013

Nancy G. Customer Care Manager,

I received your email stating "I don't see the part that he says that its 60 days money back guarantee."

In your video go to your website http://www.atsmatrix.com/ and watch the video. At approximately 26 minutes into the video is where it starts with the 60 day money back guarantee. I don't know how you missed seeing it because it is typed in black and white on the video, as most of the video is strictly text. I am not going to type out every word because that would take too long, but here are bits and pieces in exact quotes as it is stated on the video:

"I'm taking all the pain out of this…..we are putting the software to the ultimate test….you get a full 60 days of fun and profit with it….You either make money with us, and it's every bit as easy as we told you it would be….or you pay nothing."

I hope this clears up your company's confusion of that fact that it does offer a 60 day guarantee for the Above the Social Matrix software in its video.

Therefore I am respectfully requesting my $47.00 refund be processed as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Rachel Keele

*************Their email on April 14th, 2013 was the last email I received from their customer service manager. However I did receive and email showing they were processing the final refund request. A few days later I did receive the refund for the $47.00 I had requested.

My Conclusion of the Above the Social Matrix Software

My opinion on the Above the Social Matrix software is plainly that it is a scam. The software does not deliver what it promises, nor does the company want to stand by its own guarantee.

DO NOT BUY the Above the Social Matrix software. My suggestion is to stay as far away from it as possible, as well as any Bill McRea products, or any products that he promotes.

And Finally…Above the Social Matrix and Above the Matrix are the same software promoted and created by Bill McRea. Every so often he rebrands it and releases under a different name, so be cautious there.

Warning Signs

From personal experience if any product, software, etc. you find promises you to set up a few buttons (or push a few buttons) and it will bring you constant or consistent traffic, and make you lots of money, then it is a scam plain and simple. Building traffic and maintaining traffic to your website takes continuous work on your part. Anyone that tells you any different is lying to you, and is just trying scam you out of your money. There are no quick shortcuts. Don’t get me wrong there are tools out there that can help make your internet marketing business easier, however there is no such thing as software or a product that will do all the work for you.

If you are a newbie to internet marketing or you are interested in online marketing then I recommend the Niche Blitzkrieg program to start with. This program is a training platform to teach you the basics of how to start a home based business utilizing affiliate marketing.

It is what I use and it taught me all the basic information I needed to start an online home based business.

I hope my bad experience with the Above the Social Matrix software and review helps you.

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

May 28

Should I Start an Online Home Based Business?

Home Based Business – Should I Start One?

work from homeShould I start my own home based business? My honest answer to this question is, it depends on you. Only you can answer the question as to whether or not you want to be an entrepreneur or business owner.  I want to explain in a little more detail about what is involved in an online home based business, and then you need to be honest with yourself to determine if it is something you want to pursue.

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, or business owner. My husband happens to be one of those individuals. He prefers to go to work, earn his salary, and come home and relax by enjoying his many hobbies. I on the other hand am the complete opposite. Let me tell you a little more about myself, to help you understand why I decided to start my own home based business.

My Story

I have always been interested in running my own business. However, I worked for almost 20 years for other people. Some jobs I loved, some I didn’t. Twelve of those years were spent in Management, but the very long hours (minimum 80 hours a week to over a 100 hours a week), and managing adults that acted like children, burned me out. I then made a career change over to sales, and I found that I loved it. I no longer had to manage anyone but myself, and I didn’t have to work excessive hours (only 40 – 50 hours a week). The only drawback for me was that I was a salaried salesperson, and didn’t get commissions from the company I was employed by. This helped bring back my entrepreneurial spirit that had been buried in me for so long. That is when my interest in an online home based business began.

Like many other people I got started researching then joined a few programs, but never got started because I was suffering from information overload. A little over a year later my mother passed away very suddenly at age 61. She was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 8 days later. This was my wakeup call about how short life really is, and I started to learn more about the internet marketing world. Unfortunately, about 9 months later my step dad was diagnosed with cancer. After my mother’s death I wanted to be there for my step dad to help take care of him during his treatments. He had taken wonderful care of my mother in the 22 years they had been together, as she was dealing with Multiple Sclerosis and had been house bound and unable to care for herself.

After life slapped me upside my head once again, I decided to quit my stable job in sales and take care of my step dad while he was going through cancer treatment. I am happy to report he is now cancer free and is doing well. During this time in between everything that was going on in my personal life I decided I was now truly ready to dive head first into internet marketing.

I had some reservations of course because I am not a technical person. My husband is, he is a computer programmer, but that is so not me.  I knew I would have to learn what I consider technical things like how to build websites, set up hosting for my websites, etc. The other big caveat for me was realizing that I would have to write, a lot. When you pursue internet marketing you need to write all of your own content (or pay a website content writer to do it, which can be expensive), be it for your website, blog, Facebook posts, etc. I am not a natural born writer. Writing is difficult for me; it is not one of my natural skill sets. I am getting better every day and am starting to enjoy it. I like helping others, and if my experiences help you, then I achieved my goal.

I think one of the main reasons I am succeeding is the fact that I went into this expecting this to be hard work. Many people are scammed into believing that an online or work from home business is easy and not a lot of work. Nothing can be further from the truth. Any business regardless of what it is will take a lot of effort on your part. Having a business for yourself takes hard work, dedication, persistence, endless amounts patience, the ability to adjust to change, and the understanding that you will regularly continue to educate yourself and evolve as time and technology changes. I know that sounds like a lot, and quite honestly it is, but you must be honest with yourself. Only you know if you are truly willing to do those things.

To Answer the Question Should I Start A Home Based Business?

For me the answer was yes! I love the freedom an online home based business has given me.

So back to the question of "should I start a home based business?" Of course I can’t answer this question for you, as I said only you can do that, but here are some of the pros and cons of having your own home based business.

Pros to a Home Based Business

  • I am my own boss. – I don’t have anyone telling me how to do my job.
  • Freedom – I can work around my life, instead of living my life around my work.
  • Schedule – I am a night owl by nature, so I can sleep in, and work in the afternoon, and late evenings. Bottom line I can work whenever I want.
  • Flexibility – My life is flexible. I can work as much or as little as I want. My goals are up to me.
  • Location – I can work from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection. If I want to travel out of state and visit family, I can. I just make sure I bring my laptop with me.
  • Dress Code – I can work in my pajamas if I want to.
  • No Commute – I don’t have to drive to work. I just walk from my bedroom when I wake up to my home office space.
  • Start Up Costs & Carrying Costs – Starting and running a home based business requires very little start up costs and monthly carrying costs.
  • Tax Advantages & Write Offs – I now get the tax advantages other businesses get by having my own business.
  • Income – I determine my income, based on my efforts. I can increase my income based on how hard and how much I work.

Cons to a Home Based Business

  • Distractions – If you have kids, pets, loud neighbors etc. you will have to learn to deal with distractions. One way to avoid this is to create a dedicated office space where it is quiet, so you can get your work done.
  • Isolation – You will no longer have people working with or around you. You are self employed and don’t have employees. To help with isolation, I use forums. This way I get to interact with other like minded individuals during my work day.
  • Organization – To run your business efficiently, so you aren’t wasting your time, you must be organized and stay organized.
  • Time Management – You have to manage your own time. I use a day planner to plan my work every day, and cross off things as I complete them. It is easy to get side tracked; you will have to control this yourself.
  • Motivation – You have to self motivate, you won’t have co-workers and friends around you while working, so it will be your responsibility to keep yourself motivated.
  • No Health Benefits or 401K – You won’t have an employer providing health benefits or retirement benefits. You will have to pay all these expenses out of your own pocket.

What Type of Home Based Business Should I Consider?

This is another impossible question to answer because the answer depends on you and your interests.

There are tons of options available such as; affiliate marketing, Ebay, Google Adsense, Blogging, a rep for an MLM such as Mary Kay, Scentsy Candles, etc. If you have skills such as web design, or are a social media expert, etc. that you can market as a Consultant, then the possibilities are endless.

I personally prefer affiliate marketing. I prefer it because:

  • I don’t have to go out and personally get clients.
  • I don’t have to have any inventory.
  • I don’t have to ship anything.
  • I don’t have to process any payments.
  • I don’t have to provide customer support.  My business is running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, because my entire business is on the internet. With my business being solely on the internet my potential customers can be anywhere in the world.

Click here to see my blog post "What is Affiliate Marketing?"

Conclusion

If you were on the fence on whether or not you wanted to be a business owner for yourself, I hope this blog post helped you to now make an educated decision.

For more great information regarding anything internet marketing related, check out the rest of my Blog.

Good Luck.