Business Methods Archive

You can make a little money working online. But you can also make a lot. What you earn depends on which direction you go and what kind of work you get into. Some people choose to focus only on one area.

That’s not what most people who work successfully online recommend. It’s always better to have some variety when it comes to making money. That way, if one avenue suddenly changes or stagnates, you’ll still be making money in your other endeavors.

Many of these methods of making money online require little or no money to get started – and you can build them quickly. Even if you don’t have all of the knowledge you’d like to have about what niche you’d like to get started in, that’s not important. You can learn as you go along.

Affiliate Marketing Is a Good Way to Earn Online

Affiliate marketing can be an easy way to make money because you don’t have the time and expense of creating your own product. But out of the various business branches you can get into, affiliate marketing might bring sales, but it also might take longer to start paying out for you if you’re promoting on sites that have a two-month payment window, like Amazon.

As a general rule, affiliate marketing is not the answer if you’re in a bind and need quick cash. This is more of a long term, steady type of way to bring in an income.

There are a few ways that affiliate market can pay off. If you’re someone who has a platform, then you’re already ahead of those who don’t. Affiliate marketing works best if you have an audience in place that trusts you.

If people don’t trust you, then they’ll be more hesitant to buy from you. To build this needed trust with your audience, you have to make sure that you’re open about any connection that you have to the product.

If you received a free copy of the product in exchange for a review or for promoting it, then you have to disclose that information. Second, never promote a product that’s junk or is questionable just to make a sale.

If you do that, your audience will feel duped and will refuse to trust your recommendations in the future. On any products that you do promote, make sure that they’re items from marketers who are known to provide excellent customer service.

If you’re sharing a product from a marketer who has poor customer service, that will reflect badly on you. When you look for products to promote, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t put all of your eggs (potential commissions) in one basket.

In the past, many affiliates relied solely on Amazon for their earnings. Then when some states wanted to charge a tax on purchases from Amazon, the affiliate programs in those states ended up being shut down.

Because of this issue, affiliates in those states were left scrambling to find other affiliate programs to replace this lost income. One of the biggest issues that stumps people who want to get started in affiliate marketing is not knowing which products to promote.

Finding ideas in this area is fairly easy. All you have to do is look at your own life. If you create content about fitness and use at-home exercise equipment, then you could write reviews about the products you use and include affiliate links to some of them.

You want to be careful that you don’t overdo it with links or your audience and search engines might think your site is a spam site. Some experts recommend that you don’t just rely on banners on your site.

When you’re first starting out, it can be tempting to assume that banners will be your biggest money makers, since they’re front and center – but the truth is that most banners don’t convert very well.

That’s because most readers see banners and think of them as advertisements. So they ignore them. It’s call ad blindness, or banner blindness. What does work is having a contextual link.

This is a link in the middle of whatever content you’ve written about a product. You can include these links in reviews or articles on your site about the item. Another way that you can find products to promote is to see what other marketers and bloggers in your niche are successfully promoting.

Don’t be afraid to promote the same products because you may reach readers that don’t read or subscribe to your competitors’ sites. They might simply trust you more than someone else.

Even if a reader is subscribed to your mailing list and your competitors’, you still have a good chance of making a commission since studies show that some buyers will only make a buying decision after being exposed to the same product multiple times.

Info Product Creation Can Bring in Passive Income

Info product creation is another lucrative way that you can make money online. But this area of money making has a lot of other benefits as well. When you write and then promote your own info product, this helps establish you as an expert in whatever niche that you’re in.

It works to strengthen whatever brand you’re trying to develop. Plus, it gives you a source of passive income. A passive income is the kind of money flow that can put cash in your pocket for many months or even years after you’ve created your product.

One of the reasons that some people don’t create an info product is that they believe they have to do all of the work themselves. But you don’t. There are many successful Internet marketers who use service providers to help them.

By paying a service provider, you can shorten the amount of time that it takes to create a product. Plus, this can help you in any areas of the creation process that may not be your strong point.

For example, if you’re good with graphics, then you should create your own graphics because it will be cheaper and easier if you do that. But if you’re not, then you should outsource.

Same thing with writing. If you’re not great with writing, then try to outsource to a professional ghostwriter. Even if you outsource things like writing, you’ll want to put your own unique voice into the final product.

Once you’ve completed your product, you’ll still need to market it. This is where a lot of new marketers go wrong. You need a marketing plan. Having a solid marketing plan can make the difference between a launch that soars and one that flops.

Your marketing plan needs to go into effect before your launch ever happens. You can start by mentioning on social media that you’re working on a special project then post hints and teaser in the following weeks.

This will make your followers curious and make them more likely to read about your product when you’re finally ready to release it. Every good marketing plan should include an affiliate program.

You want an army of affiliates that are eager to share your product with their own followers. This not only brings you more cash, but it also gives you more subscribers and helps you find new customers.

You don’t have to manage your affiliates yourself because this can be a big job. Instead, you can use a platform like ClickBank, JVZoo or Warrior Plus. By using these platforms, you’ll have access to affiliates who are already looking for great products to promote.

In order to get the best affiliates promoting your products and helping you earn more money, you need to set a good commission rate. No one wants to promote your product for only a ten percent commission.

The best affiliate promoters usually expect half the purchase price of the item they’re promoting. If this seems like a lot, remember that good affiliates can put your product on the bestseller lists, which will result in even more sales for you.

But setting a generous commission rate isn’t the only thing you need to do. You should also create plenty of extras so that it’s easy for your affiliates to promote your info products.

Some of the tools that you could give your affiliates include graphics, product links, comparison charts, email autoresponder swipe files, free bonuses and more.

Once your product has launched, you’ll get returning as well as new customers signing up to your list. Many of them will have questions about the product. Make sure you handle inquires promptly and don’t outsource customer service until your business grows to a point where it’s impossible for you to handle it yourself.

How to Start a Successful Membership Site

There’s a good reason that membership sites are popular business avenues with Internet Marketers. These sites are popular because they provide a consistent monthly income.

And in a lot of cases, this can be a great deal of money. If you plan out a membership site, it won’t take you months or years to generate enough income online to be able to support yourself.

If you plan it, you can grow your site as well as your income very quickly. What you have to do first when thinking about creating a membership site is to figure out if you have an audience that’s willing to pay well for access to your site.

If you’re thinking about starting a membership site in a particular niche but can’t find other sites in the same niche, that can be a warning sign. Though it’s not always the case, not having competition in a niche could mean that the audience isn’t interested enough in your idea.

But it can also be a sign that your niche is too narrow. If you broaden your niche and find membership sites, then you’ve found your market. When you have a niche in mind, you’ll want to look at other successful membership sites.

You should join some of these other sites if possible. Think about it this way – if you were going to open a car dealership in a city, then the first thing you would do is scope out other car dealerships in the area.

You don’t do this so you can steal their cars or so you can duplicate their marketing. You do this so you can study the other dealerships’ successes and failures.

Knowing what works well in your niche can position your site for success. The next thing you need to do is decide how you’re going to build your membership site.

You can build a membership site by using software like WordPress and a plugin like S2 Membership. This will help keep your costs down – especially in the beginning.

But if you do go this route, it also means that you’re on your own for tech support. Since the backend management is the toughest part of having your own membership site, you need to compile a list of trusted service providers.

You want several providers that are capable of dealing with tech problems and can troubleshoot if something breaks down and you need help. If you’d rather not deal with this hassle, then you could consider paying for membership software like aMember Professional.

This means that if something does break, you’ll have a dedicated team that you can reach out to for help. When you start building your site, you’ll want to assemble a team of moderators.

Unless you plan on being chained to your computer for days on end in the beginning, you’ll need moderators. These should be people that support your vision and can help enforce member rules.

You probably already have some followers who would make great moderators. Look for the people who always comment on your blog posts, that promote your newest products, and that may already be involved in other communities.

To make it worth their while, you can give moderators free membership and even throw in some perks from time to time. You’ll also need a marketing plan for your membership site. You have to continually grow it, bringing in new members in order to grow your income.

Freelancing Before, During and After You Build Success

Freelancing your talent is a good way to earn money online. There are always marketers that are looking for service providers who know how to do a great job. If you’d like to get into freelancing, the first thing you need to do is pick what type of freelancer you’d like to be.

You could be a freelance writer, a freelance illustrator, a freelance web designer or more. Finding clients to build your income isn’t difficult. You’ll need a professional looking website.

This doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. You should be able to get started with a domain name and hosting for around $25 or less in some cases. Just install WordPress on it and go from there.

You could also use free websites like Blogger or WordPress.com – but while this can be a solution to your problem, it should only be a temporary solution. Free websites often have disadvantages such as annoying ads, limited features, poor template selection and the URL is branded with the host name.

You can find clients on sites such as Elance, Guru or Freelancer. The amount of money that you can make on these sites will vary. You can start here and build your portfolio as you build a following. Once you’ve established yourself as a freelancer who delivers good quality and services, then you can raise your prices.

Is Coaching Right for You?

You can earn even more money by sharing your knowledge with others who want to know how to achieve success in your niche. What you first have to decide is if you’re going to do one on one coaching or do it in a group format.

You will earn more money having group sessions versus one on one because you’re spending the same amount of time, yet making ten, twenty or thirty times what you would one on one.

By coaching, you’ll generate a steady income. You can show people how to succeed in their niche. These are people who want help from someone who has been there and they’re willing to pay for your help so they can be successful, too.

You’ll be a mentor to them. You’ll guide them through all areas associated with their business. Some of these areas might include the best way to grow their income, how they can become an expert and how they can market their business.

If it’s in a niche like dieting, then your coaching might take them on a 6-week challenge and if it’s group coaching, they can be pillars of support for one another while you coach them with your guidance.

You can set up your coaching business in 30, 60 or 90 day cycles, for example. Obviously, the 90 day cycles would need to cost a little more since you’re not rotating in new members as often.

You can teach through your online forum, through webinars, Facebook groups, or through tutorials on private video sharing sites. You can establish contact with your clients through Skype or Google Hangouts, through phone calls, through emails or in an online group that you set up.

You’ll want to make it clear when you’re marketing your coaching skills – what benefits your clients will receive. You might want to mention specific ways that you can help them.

This might be something along the lines of how you can teach them to be successful using email or video marketing. You can offer ways to teach them how to build a web presence, how to establish a growing platform, how to blog, incorporate social media and more.

To get started as a coach, you’ll want to look at how others have done it. You can even hire a coach to teach you how to coach. You’ll also want to make sure that you have the kind of experience others are willing to pay for.

5 Ways to Make Money Online in a Bleak Economy

Posted November 5, 2016 By Callie

For every position that’s available in the workforce, there are hundreds of people vying for that job. A college education doesn’t guarantee anyone a job once they graduate, either.

That’s because the economy is pretty bleak – and that can be enough to discourage even the most die-hard optimist. But thankfully, you don’t have to beat the pavement and fight scores of others for a job.

You can learn methods of earning money online. There are five ways that you can get started right now earning money, and none of them are scams or situations where you have to build a pyramid scheme and harass family and friends to join you.

Ghostwriting and Graphic Design

Ghostwriting is pretty simple. It basically means that you write for other people and your name doesn’t exist as the author of that work. You’re a ghost, working behind the scenes.

There are some people who are of the mindset that if they write it, they want to take credit for it. But the problem with that way of thinking is, having a byline won’t fill your car with gas and it won’t pay your mortgage.

Ghostwriting is a solid way to earn some extra money, but you can make a living at it if you know how to do it. There are online sites overflowing with people who are looking for writers to write content for them.

This doesn’t mean that you would have to major in writing in college or that you have to be the perfect writer. It does mean that you need a pretty good grasp of the mechanics of whatever language that you’re writing in.

It means that you need to be pretty good at spelling. But both of those are things that can be learned. You can ghostwrite articles, eBooks, reports, blog posts, newsletters, technical manuals, nonfiction and fiction books, screenplays and more.

You’ll need to be able to meet deadlines and handle multiple projects. You can get clients by advertising your services on a blog or joining a writer-for-hire service platform. What you can charge will depend on the project and your level of skill.

Graphics are another way that you can earn money online. These are simply visuals like images or designs that can be used to enhance or promote a product or a business. The purpose of graphics is to communicate a visual message.

Using a graphic can help people create a brand. Some examples of graphics are banners or headers for websites, buttons, company logos, business cards, bookmarks, ads, eBook covers and more.

To get started with making money online by selling graphics, you’ll need to have a good understanding of color theory. What you need to know is what colors work well together and how to design the project so that it’s appealing.

You won’t necessarily need a degree to know how to do graphics. You can be self-taught and there are many tutorials online that will show you how. You will need design software, but you can also find some free ones to get you started.

Finding clients is handled pretty much in the same way that finding clients for ghostwriting is. You hang out a shingle on a website or you join a community that advertises your services to the public.

Selling Your Own Info Products

Info products are simply products that share information with the reader. Many people are under the impression that they have to learn how to be some kind of expert in order to set up and sell their own info products, but this isn’t true.

One of the keys to being successful with selling info products is sharing what you’ve learned or how you’ve solved a problem. You can be that if it’s something that you’ve struggled with, then other people have as well.

That’s why you don’t need any special expert training. You are the expert already. For example, weight loss is a huge info product niche because so many people have struggled with losing weight.

They want to get fit and they’re seeking answers. If you’re someone who walked a journey of losing weight to get fit, then you already have the expertise needed because you lived it.

What you need to learn about info products is that you have to have something available to give people who are looking for a solution. Not only is this in the area of weight loss, but you’ll find it in skin care, relationship problems, financial struggles and more.

People who have a need are looking for answers. You need to know who your target audience is and aim to solve whatever problem it is that they have. There’s a huge wide open market for info products and they sell well.

You can create an eBook where you give step by step directions on how to lose weight, or on how to get control of their finances. You can even write one on how to get clear skin or any number of things that people can relate to.

If you don’t have any idea what kind of product to create, take stock of your life and write down any way that you solved a problem. Detail step by step what you did. Then create an eBook where you share how you overcame that problem.

An eBook isn’t the only avenue for info products. You can create an audio program, a members’ only forum or paid tutorials. You can tap into your skills and use the knowledge that you have.

If you’re drawing a blank, you can go to a search engine and start typing in things like “how to,” “why,” “should I,” or “what’s the best way to” and you’ll get a list of ideas. You can also look at the topics on the cover of magazines and you’ll see that a lot of them are the same topic.

That’s because some information is evergreen – people are always going to want to know more about them. Once you come up with a product idea, create a sales page with a bonus item for people to input their email address.

This is how you create an email list of people to get your product and future products in front of. Having an email list lets you continue to create info products in the future and sell them to an existing audience.

Affiliate Marketing

You don’t have to stick with just one way to make money online. You can have your efforts spread out in as many areas as you can successfully keep up with. It’s always better not to put all your eggs in one basket and by branching out, you can have several avenues that will bring money in.

Affiliate marketing is one of those business models. When you get into affiliate marketing, it means that you make money by helping promote what other people are selling.

Every time that product sells, you’ll earn money on it. It’s like when a salesman closes the deal on a car. It’s not his product, but since he sold it, he gets the commission. And you will, too.

This way of making money online is financially risk free for you. You won’t have to spend time trying to create your own product. You won’t be responsible for making sure it gets to the consumer and you won’t have to fork over any money in order to make money.

You will need a place online where you can promote products. You can use a free website or you can create your own. You can also use a personal blog. There is a lot of money in affiliate marketing, but you will need to know a few things to be able to earn some of it.

If no one knows about your site and you don’t get any traffic, you’re not going to have people clicking through on the link to buy the product. If the people don’t buy, you don’t get any commission.

So you have to be able to get traffic to wherever you’re promoting the product. You can do this by offering quality content. But you want to make sure that content is relevant. You’ll find a bigger audience for people looking for weight loss tips than you will for topics like how to pack for a trip.

Create a site or blog that resonates with people. Be engaging, funny, or make people think. Promote only products that are helpful for your audience. For that, you need to know what your audience is searching for.

If you have a wedding blog showing people how to make their day special, you don’t want to promote divorce products. Or if you promote products about overcoming a divorce, then you don’t want to promote wedding items.

Build reader trust. You have to make sure that you have a foundation of trust with your audience. If you promote items that are no good, then you’re going to lose that trust. You can find which items to promote on places like Amazon, Commission Junction or ClickBank.

Working for Others Who Work at Home

A wide open market that you can tap into to make money online is by working for other people who have work at home businesses. People who have home based businesses don’t often have the luxury of having a full time assistant, so they handle quite a few jobs on their own.

When it becomes more than they can juggle as one person, they’ll reach out and hire someone such as a virtual assistant (VA). A virtual assistant is someone who can do the same thing that an in-person assistant can do, but it’s not always a full time gig depending on what you’re doing.

As a VA, you can be hired to work on a project by project basis and you won’t be used unless you’re needed. One week you might work for a T-shirt company. The next, you might be working for a public speaker.

Sometimes you’ll run into cases where you’ll be hired for something long term. The job of a VA can be interesting, exciting and lucrative. A VA can be used to handle social media contact for a business.

On top of handling the day to day stuff that has to get done, in today’s world, a business must have an online presence. Social media can quickly become a huge time drain and most people who work at home recognize this.

That’s why they hire someone to handle it for them. When you handle the social media side of a business, it means that you’ll be doing things like updating business information on Facebook or interacting with people who leave comments on the page.

You could be hired to handle the Twitter account and interact with customers there. You might be called on to add pins on Pinterest or create content for the person’s blog. You may be used to edit content or to proofread for mistakes.

Some VAs have been hired to put together newsletters for clients that announce the release of a new product. Email campaigns are another job that VAs are often hired to do.

You might be put in charge of answering the emails for the company or as a project manager to help keep everything on time for a release day. A virtual assistant can be hired to plan an online event such as sales event or a Facebook party.

You might be tasked with setting up a giveaway and handling entries as well as making sure prizes are dispersed. What you’ll do as a VA will depend on who hires you. You can find clients by advertising online through a blog or creating a Facebook page for your VA business.

Writing Fiction for Kindle

It used to be that if you wanted to make money with your writing, you had to sell to a big New York publisher, but thankfully those days are long gone. Now anyone who has a story to tell can publish a book using Kindle.

By using the Kindle Publishing Direct platform on Amazon, you can upload your book and have it go live. Depending on which royalty set you choose when you sign up, you can earn 35% or 70% in royalties.

You can also choose whether or not to make your book exclusive on Amazon. Some authors do this thinking that it will make a difference in how much money they make. What this does is prevents you from selling your book on any other platform for the time being.

First, of course, you’ll need to have a book or a novella. A novella can be around 30,000 words in length. After you write it, you must make sure it’s professionally copyedited. If you can’t afford that right now, then find a few people willing to beta read it for you and ask them to catch mistakes and any plot holes.

Once the book is copyedited, you’ll want to find someone to format the book. If you try to upload a book that’s not formatted, the wording will get messed up. An unedited, unformatted book turns readers off and you want to give your book the best possible chance to shine.

Hire a professional cover artist. You want to do this because an ugly book cover doesn’t attract readers. It’s not as expensive as you think. You can find readymade covers for as little as $25 and you can have custom made ones for as little as $50.

If you plan on having print versions of your book later on, make sure your cover artist creates a back cover so that you’ll have a book that will wrap for print. When you upload your book, you’ll be given the choice on whether to take Digital Rights Management or not.

Enabling it is supposed to help prevent people from sharing your book with others, which is supposed to cut down on piracy. It doesn’t. So whether you choose that are not won’t make much of a difference.

You’ll have to choose your price and the price that you choose will impact your royalty rate. Because Amazon doesn’t really push advertising for self-published books on Kindle, you might want to consider setting your book up for an introductory price just for release week.

Many readers are more than willing to try a brand new author’s book at 99 cents than they are for $5.99. You can change the price and it only takes a few hours for the new price to go into effect.

Royalties are paid 60 days after your book is published. Before you ever upload your book start creating buzz for it. Set up a blog tour, advertising spots, and create teasers for your book.

You don’t have to have Photoshop for that, you can use PicMonkey – and use these graphics that include your name, the title of your book and a quote from the book to build pre-release interest.

More and more men and women are finding themselves shut out of the workforce. It’s a tragic outlook for the foreseeable future, but whether or not you continue looking for a regular 9-5 job, it’s still wise to launch your own work at home business.

Aside from job stability and knowing you can’t get fired, you’ll get to enjoy other perks, such as being your own boss, developing your own plan of action, and working during the hours you see fit, not someone else.

Why Analytics Is Essential for Marketing Success

Posted October 5, 2016 By Callie

Studying the metrics of what you do is a very important part of having a successful business. Without looking at the numbers you really cannot know exactly why you experienced either success or failure. You can make assumptions, but when you don’t have to do that it’s better to use facts to ensure that your efforts aren’t a waste.

* If You Can’t Measure It Doesn’t Exist – When you set goals, they should be something that can be expressed in numbers: clicks, page views, sign-ups, buys and so forth. You can even assign values to conversions so that Google Analytics tells you what a particular conversion is worth to you without you having to leave the system.

* Help You Get to Know Your Visitors – You probably set up a certain idea of your audience before you even started your business. You created marketing materials based on your ideal audience and it’s worked. But, can it work better? If you dig deep into your audience’s demographics (especially the people who’ve converted), you most certainly can.

* You’ll know What Content Is Most Important – When you set up analytics you can see what blog posts, articles, and other content is getting more traction. You can see views, comments, and more, which can help you judge better what type of content you need to create more of.

* Lets You Understand Top Referrers – Using the data you collect, you can find out who/what is sending the most traffic (converted traffic) to your website. This is useful because if it’s one particular person (like an affiliate) or one website, you can give them some extra love to encourage more of the same.

* Helps You Study Your Competition – Nothing is more important outside of your visitors than your competition. You can learn a lot from your competition when you can get to know everything they are doing – including the keywords they use, the prices they charge for their products, and even their conversion rates.

* Teaches You What Works for Your Audience – When you study your numbers you can find out if the ideas you’ve had work or not. Some will, some won’t. You can find out what works, optimize it and do more of it by looking at the data.

* Enables You to Kill Projects That Fail – You don’t even have to allow projects to continue if the numbers show that they are failing all the way around. You can kill projects fast when you’re doing them online. It’s not like the old days when you had to let things run their course and watch your money go down the drain.

Running your business by the numbers is something that can really help advance it in ways that you may not have previously considered. It’s imperative to learn about metrics, goal setting, and how to determine correlation, because not everything is always as it seems when it comes to the numbers.

What You Need to Know about Mobile Banking Fraud

Posted October 5, 2016 By Callie

We are living in the information age where everything is just a few clicks of our fingertips. This is especially true about our banking. We’re always on the go and it’s so easy and convenient to do banking from our mobile devices. You’re in the store and see a new pair of shoes, but do you have the money to afford it? Maybe you take a look at your bank account.

However, there are risks to mobile banking. You now have easy access to your funds, but so do the crooks. However, you can take steps to keep your money safe. Here are some ways to protect yourself from mobile banking fraud.

1. Make sure your bank is using multi-factor authentication. A bank that requires multiple different ways for you to identify yourself when on a new device is the first great defense against banking fraud.

2. Utilize email and text alerts. Receive immediate alerts any time there is unusual activity on your bank account, or even any time there’s activity so you can see your interactions as soon as they occur and can verify that they are yours.

3. Regularly change your account passwords. And don’t just add a new number to the end of the old one either. Make it a significant change. Using a password generator could be a great way to create hard-to-guess passwords for yourself and then save them on a site like Passpack.com so you don’t forget them. Don’t use the same password throughout your accounts either, banking or otherwise. Your banking transactions will be much more secure if you are using a different password than you have for your email for example.

4. Be vigilant, aware, and suspicious. Check your account frequently from secure locations. Be aware of what transactions you’re making. Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Know what new scams are out there and be on the lookout for those. Speak with your bank to find out what they are doing to protect you and your account from scammers.

5. Update your mobile devices. Make sure you have the latest security protection not only on your personal computers, but all of your mobile devices as well.

6. Secure your mobile device with a strong passcode. Be cautious about the sites you visit on your mobile device and what information you give out, especially if you’re using public Wi-Fi. Whatever information you put over a public Wi-Fi signal is not safe or secure.

7. Look for secure websites when making purchases with your mobile devices. Sites with https are secure. If you see the little lock symbol in your browser as well, you can be assured that the site has taken extra measures to make sure your personal information and credit card numbers are not being filtered out all over the internet for anyone to see.

8. Use a digital wallet. This will store all of your credit cards so you don’t have to use the actual card at a store, but it has a unique card number. No worries if you lose your device, though, because no one can access your digital wallet. It’s easy, convenient, and secure.

If you keep up to date on what is happening out in the world and also keep changing your passwords, then you should avoid most mobile banking fraud. Remember, work with your banking institutions to keep your funds safe and protected. Frequently checking your credit will alert you to any issues as soon as they arise.

Using Analytics to Understand Your Visitors

Posted October 4, 2016 By Callie

Your website visitors are much more than page views. They are people that take various actions (or not) when they get to your site. It’s important to understand as much as you can about them. Due to Google’s powerful network they have a lot of information on your users. You may as well use it to get to know your real audience.

* Who Are They? – Knowing exactly who your visitors are is useful because when you first choose your audience you are usually just making a guess on the best audience so that you can create marketing materials and products and services. But, once you have your site live and your products selling, checking up to ensure that you’re still marketing to the right people helps tremendously.

* Where Did They Come From? – How your audience finds you is an important thing to know. Because if your audience is finding you more from one location over another, you need to up your activities there so you can get more of that traffic. In Google Analytics you can find this information under All Referrals.

* Where Is Your Audience Located? – You can use the Geo Location area of analytics to find out where your audience lives. Even if you’re marketing worldwide it’s good information to have, because the location of your audience does help you make some assumptions about their personalities and values.

* What Do They Do on Your Site? – You can map what each visitor does on your site so that you can see which menu items are most popular. This can help you determine what type of content you should put more of on your website. Put more of what they’re reading and viewing on your site to attract even more visitors like them.

* What Do They Want? – By analyzing where they go, how they interact and so forth, you can make some assumptions about what they want from you. If they’re reading blog posts, do more; if they watch and share videos more often, do more of that.

* Where Are Their Conversion Paths? – Knowing the steps a user takes to reach a buying decision is important, because it can help you create paths that work for your visitors based on the conversions already made. This information can help you optimize your sales funnels.

* What Information Do They Comment On? – If you have a forum, or have opened comments on your blog, or get emails from people who purchased something from you, what information do they comment on most? Is it positive, negative or indifferent? With that information, you can create more content that gets bigger responses.

Any information you can get on your visitors will help you improve not only your website, but your entire business. You can learn so much by what the current visitors do and don’t do on your website. Use the information to make everything better and more targeted.

Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Posted October 4, 2016 By Callie

Each year, millions of people are impacted by identity theft. Since 2009, it has exponentially increased with at least 12 million people affected. If that’s not something to worry about, then maybe this is: it takes over 600 hours to restore your reputation and identity after falling victim to identity theft. Listed below are steps and tips to take in preventing yourself against identity theft.

1. Make good and strong passwords. Choose words and phrases that no one would be able to guess. If you have difficulty thinking of your own password that no one else would be able to guess, try some free password generators online. Good passwords should always have capital letters, numbers, and be at least 12 characters long.

Also remember to never use the same password for any other websites. If any hackers do get access to one account, they won’t be able to get access to all your other ones without knowing your other passwords.

2. When making a PIN number, avoid easily guessed numbers like your birth year, social security number, birth date, or phone number.

3. Beware of phishing scams. Phishing involves the sending of emails that appear to be harmless. Then, once you click on them and open the attachments or links given, you are flooded with downloads you didn’t agree on or asked to confirm what your passwords, social security numbers, etc. are.

Any such email should set off a red flag. Other phishing scams can include false lottery wins – letting you know that you’ve won big on the lottery. They’ll then ask you your banking information, social security number, and passwords. This is where the scammers have access to who you are and all of your money.

4. Take care when shopping online. Always make sure that when you’re shopping the web address contains “https” instead of “http”. If it contains “http” the website is not secure and should not be used. You can also try having a separate credit card for shopping online. This will make it easier to tell if your information has been compromised. It will also prevent hackers from getting access to your “real” credit card.

5. Never open/answer unsolicited and unwanted emails. If you don’t recognize the sender, don’t open it, and definitely don’t answer any questions asked. If you do answer the email, it confirms to the hacker that you are a real person. Aside from identity theft, there could also be viruses looming within the email. Once opened, your computer is compromised and filled with viruses.

6. Carry your wallet or bag safely. Even if you think you live in a safe area, thieves can be looming, ready to take your belongings once you’re not paying attention. Listed below are some ways to discourage the possibility of your wallet and information from being stolen.

* Never leave your belongings unattended. Unattended belongings are an easy target for any would-be thieves. Always keep an eye on your things. This simple step can save your identity and your money.

* Never leave your wallet in a pocket where it’s hanging out. This leaves your wallet exposed and easy for anyone to take.

* If you use a purse, don’t carry it on one shoulder. It’s easily snatched that way. If you can, carry it across your body.

7. Shred any documents that have your confidential information on it. Don’t just throw away those old billing statements and other documents. People may go through your garbage and find all of your banking and personal information. Shredding your paperwork will prevent unwanted people from gaining control of who you are and your money.

Your identity is who you are so you don’t want some stranger to take that away from you. You always want to protect yourself from the inevitable, so it’s important that you know how to protect yourself from something like your identity being stolen.

Using Analytics to Understand Your Competition

Posted October 3, 2016 By Callie

The more you can understand your competition, the better business you’re going to have. You can learn so much from them – especially if they’ve been around longer than you have. If you know for a fact the competition is profitable and that they are good at what they do, it’s even more important to learn all you can from them. You can do that by using analytics.

* Google Alerts – This is an excellent, free service. Sign in and choose keywords, names, and more to search for. Then, set up how often you want to receive the alerts in your email inbox. You can scan each email to find information about your competition that you can use in your own business.

Link – https://www.google.com/alerts

* Social Mention – Use this cloud-based search engine to search websites, blogs and more for mentions about your competition. Then you can go take a look at what they’re doing. Identify the gaps in their offerings and you can outshine your competition in no time.

Link – http://socialmention.com/

* Website Grader – While it does ask for your website and not your competition’s (and your email address), you can still use it to check the health of someone else’s website. The information you will receive is page size, page speed, redirects and more, including how many requests for the site have been made. It also tells you how they’re doing on SEO and more.

Link – https://website.grader.com/

* Link-Assistant.com – Using this downloadable software you can study keywords of your competitor’s site so that you will know what keywords they’re using. You can then use them on your own website to nab their traffic.

Link – http://www.link-assistant.com/

* SocialAdNinja – You can use this software to copy and make your competitor’s ads your own. Of course, you don’t copy them exactly, as you are selling your own products, but this will help you duplicate the most successful ads online.

Link – http://www.socialadninja.com/

* KeywordSpy – This software is an amazing way to profit from your competition’s hard work and research. You can find out what keywords they’re using, what they’re spending for AdWords, their ROI estimate, and much more.

Link – http://www.keywordspy.com/

* Open Site Explorer by MOZ – You can get a lot of information about your competition from this cloud-based option. You can get information about the links that come into the site and the anchor text used, and you can even compare five sites. What’s more, it’s free when you sign up.

Link – https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/

Using these tools to discover important data to analyze about your competition is a great way to grow your business and please your audience. By keeping an eye on your competition you can learn about what your audience really wants and what they really respond to.

Tips for Smart and Safe Online Searching

Posted October 3, 2016 By Callie

There have always been and probably will always be dangers when searching for things on the internet. Some of those risks include exposure to illegal or offensive information and the possibility of hackers getting into your information. However, there are risks to everything you do; you just have to know how to avoid and deal with those dangers. Below is a list of tips to follow to always be safe on the internet when searching for things.

1. Some search engines will warn you if you are about to come across some potentially dangerous material. This will not prevent you from having access to it, but from there you can decide if you still want to continue on to that page.

2. Make sure that you use the most accurate wording when searching for information you need. This will help you to avoid coming across unwanted information and will get you to the place you need.

3. Along with the most accurate wording when searching for things on the internet, use correct spelling too. This will also help you to avoid any unwanted information.

4. Consider installing some filtering software on your computer. This will help protect you from pages that you can get scammed through and offensive or illegal materials that you don’t want any access to.

5. Keep in mind that not all information on the internet is reliable. You can’t believe everything you see, so be cautious when on all websites. Hackers could be looming and bogus information may be displayed.

6. Some search listings are paid for by companies to promote their products and services provided. Such things should have the wordings “Ad” or “Sponsored Results” and will usually appear at the very top of the page.

7. Have a filter. It’s a good idea to filter your searches to what you want, especially when it comes to pictures. If there are things on the internet that you do not want to see or have access to, turn on the filter feature on your computer.

8. Avoid common words in your searches. Those common words include “A” and “The”. These words are unnecessary.

Follow these tips if you encounter illegal and unwanted information on the internet:

* If you ever come across something you consider to be illegal, such as child abuse photos or any other crimes, report them to the Internet Watch Foundation.

* If you come across racism or terrorist content, these things should be reported to the police.

There are ways to be safe when searching and doing things on the internet. It’s important that you know some of these tips to ensure you are always being safe. There can be some very scary things on the internet, so it’s key that you know how to prevent those such things from invading your life, privacy, and computer.

Analytics can tell you what happened, why it happened, what will happen and how you can make it happen. “It” consists of any goal that you’ve set for your business. Using analytics to inform you about these issues will help you make your business even more prosperous. The insights you get from the data are immeasurably useful for business owners today. They will help you guide all your actions.

* Operate a Better Business – When you use data to help you learn about your business, your competition, where you stand and where you want to go, you’ll truly end up with a better business than you ever thought possible. Today, data can actually be predictive and almost give you directions on what to do next to boost your business and make it better.

* Be More Innovative – As you look at the data you have, and you can see what happened and how it happened, you can take that information to repeat whatever worked so that you can get more good results out of it. But, you can also use that same data to add complementary products and services to your offerings or even change direction altogether.

* Stay Ahead of Trends – Think of Netflix’s decision making. Had they minded their data when they thought they were going to stream only, they would have known in advance that this idea wasn’t ready to work – although it probably will in the future as people who use electronics instead of digital devices will become fewer and fewer.

* Face Challenges – Every business faces challenges and you can even predict some by looking at data. For example, some businesses are seasonal in nature, even though in some cases there is no reason for them to be seasonal. But, if you check the data you might find that your business has times where you make more sales. You can use that information to pump up advertising during the off season.

* Information to Help You Grow – Analytics can help you get to know your audience even better. When you first start a business you choose almost out of thin air who you want to be your target audience. You set up all your advertising and marketing with that in mind. But, you might find through analytics that you have a far different audience than you thought. This can help you narrow down and optimize your marketing materials so that you can grow your business.

If you want to grow your business and plan exactly where it’s going, use analytics to discover insights into your business that will help you accomplish that goal. Predictive analytics can help you make the right decision for your business.

You do everything you can in your life to avoid danger. You always wear a seatbelt when in the car, you apply sunblock every time you go outside, and you always make sure you’re wearing the proper protection when riding a bike. But what do you do when you go online? There, it’s much harder to protect yourself from the dangers of the world. Hackers are everywhere, hunting for your information and hunting to expose who you are.

Below is a list of things people do on the internet that has proven to be very dangerous for people’s privacy. If you realize you are guilty of doing these things too, please be aware of the dangers involved.

1. You assume that your banking site is always safe. The hackers always go where the money is. So please, don’t hastily type in the URL to your banking site. Take your time and ensure that the URL is correct each time. Failing to notice a mistake can lead you to a site that is about to scam you. This will lead you to becoming a victim of cyber theft.

2. You don’t know where your kids go online. If you have children, you need to become aware of their favorite social media websites. Be involved in your children’s internet life. By doing so, you can help guide them through any cyber bullying and any challenges that come up through their internet life.

3. You shop in shady online stores. It’s very easy to get hooked on an item you love online. Use caution before you click the “Add to Cart” button, though. To prevent you from falling victim to cyber theft, you can protect every transaction you make with Kaspersky’s Safe Money Technology.

4. You shop and bank on public Wi-Fi. Hackers love to spy on the public Wi-Fi. They can gain access of your credit card numbers, social security, and any other information. Make sure the Wi-Fi connection is completely secure. Try to only use your phone for banking when it’s completely necessary.

5. You only use one password. If you aren’t putting enough thought into the creation of your password, it’ll become very easy for hackers to figure out what it is. They can then steal your money and your identity. If you use multiple passwords for different sites, it’ll become very hard for hackers to access everything you own with just one word. Think of strong passwords with at least 12 characters in each one.

6. You don’t read the fine print. No one likes to take the time to read the fine print. That’s why some companies like to take advantage of that fact. When you don’t read the fine print, you could be allowing companies to have access to your information without you knowing.

7. You’re too social. There’s nothing wrong with talking to people and being friendly, but sometimes the wrong things can be said and the wrong people might take advantage of that.

The internet can be a dangerous place. It’s very important to take the proper precautions necessary to protect yourself and your information.