Category Archives: Internet Business

whether you are already a successful internet business or just starting, then this category is perfect for finding little gems of information

Creating Logos on a Small Budget

Quite often I am asked, “how one can get a logo done cheaply?”.

Of course it has to be said and should not be forgotten, that your logo is one of the most important aspects of your business and is your presentation to the world, your brand recognition comes through your logo. Some big companies will pay thousands, hundreds of thousands even millions for logo design/rebranding, but if you dont have that kind of money, or dont place a high regard on the value of your corp identity then I am going to show you how to get a logo done for as little as $5 to $500.

You have three options.

OPTION 1 : Fiverr.com – costs $5

Go to www.fiverr.com and search for logo design. This is a great and cheap way to get some design ideas mocked up. Fiverr.com allows you to test some logo ideas for 5 bucks a time.

OPTION 2: post a logo design contest – costs $75-$100

I have had some nice success with this option. Basically I post my requirements, put up a prize, usually something like $75-$100, then wait for designers to submit their entries, then choose a winner at the competition close date and award the prize.

Here is some logo contests that I have run. Further below is some examples of logos from those contests.

OPTION 3: post a project on www.99designs.com – costs $350 – $500

Pop over to www.99designs.com. This is like option 2 but the designers here will provide highly professional designs and its a more formal setting. Its a logo contest with a touch of class. I have used 99designs many times for web site projects and they provide excellent results.

Some Examples of Logos that I have had created

Here are some examples of logo that I have had done using option 2, design contest.

What to look out for, ie the risks.

Mostly, logo designers that do work cheaply are doing so because they either need to increase their portfolio or live in a country where cost of living is cheap, other times you need to be wary, you may just get what you pay for. If you are paying someone 5 bucks to make a logo, then they will usually give you 5 bucks worth of logo. Never expect 500 bucks worth of logo when paying 5 bucks.

Another thing you need to be careful of with cheap logo design is that the designer does not simply rip off another companies logo and stick your name on it. In graphic design, its very difficult to determine if the works are unique or not. 99designs.com does offer a level of guarantee that the works are unique and that you are the copyright holder, but of course you pay more for that service.

For the most part, I have always had good experience with logo contests and its an affordable way to move forward with your logo if you have a small budget.

Successful people NEVER answer their phone. Here’s why.

I wont lie, I am not a big fan of godaddy, never have been, rather I have been a loyal user of enom.com for years and have recently started using opensrs for some international domains that enom does not support, but I have to say that I am now a fan of go daddys ceo and founder Bob Parson after stumbling accidentally onto his video blog.

The dude is just pure class.

Watch the video, enjoy and learn something new today!

.TEL domains. Add SEO visibility cheaply

There is a new domain extension call .tel, well, not exactly new but is gaining more recognition due to its value as being a simple domain name with the following features:

  • integration of any and all means of communication (i.e. Phone numbers, IM, VOIP, email, social media)
  • real-time publishing of your contact information on the internet
  • full ownership of your published data
  • protection of your private data, only viewable by people you authorize
  • simple structured navigation to easily reach the most relevant information
  • high speed global access optimized for mobile devices
  • multi-language, search engine-friendly structured information and keyword
  • no formal hosting or web site design required!!

To see a .tel domain in action, see: 123marbella.tel

How is a .tel different than a normal domain name?
Before the .tel came around when a person wished to create a web presence they would register a domain name (such as a .com or .co.uk), and attach this domain name to web hosting. Once the content of the website had been created using a particular code such as HTML, the domain name owner would be able to publish their website information live.

With a .tel there is no need for hosting. You simply log-into a control panel and fill in your company or personal details into pre-defined forms. Once you press publish, your company details will be live and accessible on the web.

The .tel is a great way for business owners to create a web presence for their company online in a professional pre-formatted way. The process doesn’t require a large time commitment or any experience with web design. If you have ever filled out a form online, then you can get a .tel up and running in minutes.

The .tel will also give businesses with an existing online presence a great opportunity to decide how and where customers communicate with their website visitors through any device that can connect to the internet. To learn more about the benefits of a .tel take a look at the top 10 reasons to buy a .tel and learn more through our short and informative .tel videos.

Why is .tel different than other Top Level Domains (TLDs)?
The value of a .tel domain lies with the ability to host personal (or corporate) contact information directly in the DNS, which can then be universally accessible. This stands in contrast to the typical use of the DNS for other TLDs, in which the DNS only provides a mapping between domain names and IP addresses.

Below is a video for how to manage your .tel, its pretty easy and well thought out.

Spanish Data Protection Laws

Not many people are aware but there are data protection laws in every country including Spain.

However the topic of data protection and the consequences of not being legal in the eyes of the law is rarely mentioned in any business seminars where the teachings are mostly based around marketing and the bottom line.

Below is a link to an 80 page PDF detailing the law as seen by the “Agencia Española de Protección de Datos” (Spanish Data Protection Agency)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF FILE – Spanish Data Protection (470kb)

You will notice that the title of this department simply contains “data protection” so we are not talking about solely personal data but also business data.

In the document there are 158 individual articles related to data protection in Spain.

You can find more resources about the data protection agency at https://www.agpd.es

SPANISH COMPANY FINED 30K EUROS FOR SPAMMING
Please see an article below regarding a breach of the law in regards to data protection and unsolicited email (spamming)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF FILE – Spanish Company Fined for Spamming (122KB)

Why Google Base Is a Good Way to Start Selling

Google Base is a service separate from Google’s search engine and Google Products. As long as you have a valid Google account, you can make use of Google Base and publish information online. Published information on Google Base may include websites, files, products, and services—all categorized for easy searching. Depending on the relevance of your published entry, it may or may not be included as a Google search engine result.

This is good news for online businesses that haven’t gotten around to finishing a searchable website. It doesn’t assure instant Google ranking, but it’s a good start. Here are 5 reasons why:

1.    It makes your products already searchable while you’re still working on your website
Google Base allows you to publish almost everything. When you publish a product and categorize it as something for sale, Google Base automatically publishes the listing in Google Products—Google’s online shopping service.

Although Google Base doesn’t directly help your website’s ranking, publishing yourself in Google Base already introduces you to the online public who search for their needs via categories. These people are niche keyword users. This is why it’s important for you to already begin a relationship with them as early as you can, even while your website is still under construction.

2.    It’s free

Getting published is completely free of charge. You can post as many items as you want. Just remember to read the agreements thoroughly and don’t try going around Google’s rules. Breaking the rules could result in your account being banned and this could initiate credibility issues between your websites and Google’s indices. Don’t do anything that will get you on Google’s bad side.

3.    It’s owned by Google

Google Base is Google property. Although it doesn’t assure search engine rankings, product entries in Google Base are automatically included and indexed in another Google property—Google Products.

If Google sees that your Google Base entry is relevant enough (regardless of what category your entry is published under), it may be included as a search engine hit. If this happens, it is a good idea to link your just-finished-website to your ranking Google Base entry.

4.    It allows you to narrow or expand your search-ability
Some people may find that the strict categorization of Google Base entries immediately limits the market that they can attract. On the contrary, the categories and sub-categories already filter the market for you so that you only get the most relevant queries and Internet users get the most relevant results. It’s all about matching the right hit with the right keyword.

Even when you submit your website to Google, you’d still want to optimize for a niche market instead of going for a generic market that all of your competitors are going for.

5.    It’s very easy to use, for you and your searching public
Google Base provides easy, step-by-step instructions on how you can best submit an entry and how you can maximize the rest of Google’s properties. Best of all, the structure makes it easy for the searching public to look for what they need.
 

The Marketing Benefits of Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking websites are rapidly making their way to the online marketer’s list of priority channels to tap. When used well, social bookmarking can increase your website’s traffic, which can translate to actual sales.

Social bookmarking websites strive to create online communities that enable registered users to share interesting information they find online. Similar to how you bookmark web pages using your browser’s toolbar, social bookmarking websites allow users to create online bookmarks that they can share with their network. When your web page gets bookmarked by a lot of users—or even by just a handful of socially influential users—then there is a big possibility that you will get attention.

Besides being able to get your web pages out there, here are 4 other major benefits you can get as you make social bookmarking a part of your online marketing strategy.

1.    Builds credibility for your brand
Primarily, social bookmarking websites are social communities. This means that majority of their content is user-generated. When a registered user bookmarks a web page, he gets to share the link and his opinions on what makes it cool or informative. He can even go as far as adding his own thoughts and rating the link.

This bookmark-review-rate function adds credibility to your web pages. To get on the users’ good side, make sure that your content is focused and relevant—don’t just keep talking about your brand. Keep your niche’s needs in mind as you create your content and then naturally integrate your brand.

2.    Attracts niche traffic
More often than not, a user’s social bookmarking network is composed of friends or colleagues who share the same interests with him. This means that if the user stumbles upon your web page, likes it, bookmarks it, and tells his network about it, then the people that make up his network would probably check you out.

If you have a good internal link network, these people will find themselves on other pages of your website and bookmark the pages that they like. Good content will get more of your web pages acknowledged in social bookmarks.

3.    Gives you valuable consumer insights

Making your own account gives you more control over how much of your web pages get bookmarked. You can build your own network. Even if your network starts off with your own family and friends, they’ll make you good reviews and tell their networks about you.

Eventually, your network will grow to include other people whose interests adhere to your brand. Go out of your way to socially engage these people. Talk to them and befriend them. Having a personal connection with people in your network will give you a wealth of valuable consumer insight that you can use for future product developments and improvements to your brand.

4.    Gives you fresh ideas for web page content

Reviews and comments posted by various users whether about your web pages or other web pages that belong to your product category will tell you a lot about what issues matter to them, which of their needs aren’t being addressed—including whether or not your competitors are doing a good job or not.

Use this information to come up with relevant content that has the consumer in mind. Make sure that your tone is conversational so that your pages don’t sound like sales pitches.
 

The Benefits of Cloud Computing for Your Business

Cloud computing allows business organizations to do away with costly fixed assets like company-owned hardware and software. Businesses can now switch to pay-per-use service based models that offer better services to end-consumers with less cost for the company.

Business cloud computing encourages businesses to delegate certain processes to different companies depending on their expertise. This nurtures a dramatic growth in IT systems while ushering reductions in other areas of operations. One company’s need for cloud computing will allow multiple business organizations to use their assets more efficiently as they offer better services to their clients.

Your business can expect 3 major benefits as you explore the capabilities of cloud computing.

1.    Cut cost without sacrificing your quality of service

Instead of bringing in the experts, cloud computing allows you to bring work to the experts. Outsourcing carefully chosen segments of your business processes can reduce your operating costs without having to settle for mediocre output.

Moreover, outsourcing operations to different companies will assure you that work is still being done even if something goes wrong with one part of the process.

2.    Your clients also reap cloud computing benefits
Every time you fail to troubleshoot or have the product fully repaired, clients get turned off. This could result to negative word of mouth that will make it difficult for you to get prospects to listen to what you have to offer.

Cloud computing allows your business to have experts in different fields work for you. At the same time, you can also have these experts address the different problems that your customers may encounter with your product or service. You can set up a hotline that can accommodate all complaints. Then, you can filter the complaints according to problem and distribute them to the experts who can offer the most fitting solution. Customers will be happy with your after-sales service and they’ll surely tell their friends about it.

3.    Micro-manage and macro-manage at the same time
Peter Drucker and his gang of business gurus still debate about the pros and cons of micro-managing and macro-managing businesses.

Micro-management allows you to know what’s going on per department. You are informed of all the details, making it easy for you to spot problems in the production line. Micro-managing allows you to put a number and monitor your staff to make sure the number is made. However, your company could have a lot of departments that could make micro-management very time consuming.

On the other hand, macro-management allows you to keep your eye on the bigger picture. This is helpful when you need to make key decisions that affect the company as a whole. However, you have to rely on your department heads to give you the information you need to make informed decisions.

Cloud computing allows you to do both micro-management and macro-management. Now that processes within your core organization have been reduced, you can invest more of your time making managerial decisions while leaving the nitty-gritty to your roster of experts. In the end, you get to keep all stakeholders satisfied.
 

PPC vs. PPC: The Difference Between Click and Call

PPClick
The better known between the two PPCs, pay per click is an online advertising tool geared towards increasing website visitors. Advertisers are charged an agreed rate for every user click.

Pay per click ads appear next to search results. The ads are matched to results based on your chosen keywords. The ad contains your company or brand name, a short description, and a link that directs interested users to your website.

The good pay per click service providers usually offer advertisers a periodic report that informs you of click through rates (CTR) and keyword trending analyses. All these are based on online activity in relation to your ad. You just have to decide whether or not you’ll take the service’s word for it. Otherwise, you can do your own tracking and analyses.

Note that pay per click ads do not make the sale for you. These ads, if well written and well placed, attract the correct type of people to visit your website. It is all up to your website content and product offerings to make a successful sale.

PPCall

Pay per call shares the same business model with pay per click advertising. The only difference is that instead of paying for clicks, you pay for calls received.

Pay per call is also a web-based advertising technique. While pay per click ads are clickable and designed to direct interested people to your website, pay per call contains a toll-free number that allows interested people to call your company and speak with a company’s representative.

The edge of pay per call over pay per click is that advertisers like you are given more targeting options besides choosing to appear next to niche keyword search results. You can also limit ad appearance to certain category searches and narrow it further to specific geographic areas where you’d like your pay per call ad to appear.

Generally, pay per call ads appear with your company name, your address, a short description (that must be well written), and the toll-free number that redirects to an assigned telephone in your office.

The effectiveness of pay per call advertising may be easily gauged based on the number of received calls. Of course, the pay per call ads have the same goal as pay per click ads: to get the right people to become interested in you.

In this case however, closing a sale depends on an actual person answering the phone call, and not a website. A good marketer will find no problems engaging the caller and eventually, he or she can direct the caller to an actual store or a website. In any case, the interested caller already has initial contact with your brand through another human being. Brand affinity can be achieved at a better rate through human interaction.

Your marketing goals
Making the choice between pay per click and pay per call depends on your marketing goals and other campaigns that make up your overall marketing strategy.

The best way to determine the most suitable online marketing tool is to know your target market well and assess your company’s strengths. If you know for a fact that your website is a strong selling tool, then by all means, go for pay per click ads. On the other hand, if you find your frontline employees as your biggest asset, then pay per call could do you a lot of good.
 

PPC Keyword Tips: Convert Clicks to Sales

Pay per click (PPC) is a common online marketing tool. Online advertisers bid for the keywords they want and their PPC ad appears next to the top searches that correspond to their keywords. Advertisers are charged depending on how many users click the ad.

The good, the bad
The great thing about PPC is that it charges according to the number of people who clicked your ad and were consequently directed to your website. This online advertising tool could be cost effective if it is able to attract the right customers—those who are genuinely interested in what you have to say and offer.

On the other hand, bad keyword choices and poor copywriting for your PPC ads are disastrous for your overall campaign and could eat through your marketing budget. Imagine paying for all the clicks made by people who are interested only in freebies and bargains—worse, people who click ads just for fun.

The best way to make PPC ads work for you is to make sure you own the correct keyword associations, so that you can limit clicks to those who are genuinely interested and who make good candidates as clients. Below are 4 tips that deal with keyword choices so that you can maximize your marketing budget and assure ROI.

For the following keyword tips, let’s pretend that you’re selling eco-friendly, athletic shoes for women.

1.    Know the generic keywords and avoid bidding for them
Generic keywords are what people use to search for a category without knowing what information they need exactly. Based on our sample product, a generic keyword could be shoes or women’s shoes and its variations like shoes for women.

To the PPC neophyte, generic keywords might seem to be the way to go. However, consider how many people who search for women’s shoes would really be interested in your type of product.

Avoid generic keywords to avoid paying for random clicks by a generic market. Niche is the key.

2.    Add modifiers, track and adjust
Modifiers are words you add to the generic keyword that your product belongs to. Going back to our example, if your generic keyword is women’s shoes, the modifier could be athletic. So, your set of PPC keywords become women’s athletic shoes and its variations, including athletic shoes for women.

Adding modifiers to your keyword set automatically narrows down searches where your ad will appear next to, thereby cutting down the number of random clicks.

3.    Use long tail keywords
As the name suggests, going “long tail” adds more market-specific words that only your niche market will bother searching for. Adding eco friendly to athletic shoes for women limits the appearance of your PPC ad to a very specific search.

This kind of focus significantly lessens site visits from random clicks. You spend less as you increase your ROI by attracting only your niche market who are interested enough to end up making purchases.

4.    Say no to negative keywords
Words like “free”, “bargain” and “discount” may look attractive, but you don’t want them in your PPC ad copy. These words will effectively encourage clicks, but you’ll be inviting freebie and bargain hunters, neither of whom will give you profit.

Remember that you want quality clicks that will come from niche customers who are interested in what you have to say and offer.
 

Is Your SEM Consultant the Best One for You?

1.    He must know your business like it’s his own
One must know the problem to be able to give successful solutions. Your SEM consultant must show genuine interest in all aspects of your business, even those that “don’t have anything to do with marketing”.

Often, the most creative solutions are inspired by something trivial—like a particular segment in the production line or an interesting detail from the company’s history.

An effective SEM consultant should also be naturally interested to get to know how your frontline team works and how the team feels about your company. This way, he can assess if the problem needs an internal online marketing solution or an external search engine marketing solution.

It is vital that your SEM consultant understands your brand essence and your company values. If he consistently recommends “a shorter, faster way” of doing things, you might want to check if his methods are legitimate. The best search engines do not tolerate unethical SEM practices and they can—and will—penalize you if you go that route.

2.    He must know your niche market like he knows his TV remote
After agreeing on a specific market to pursue, your SEM consultant must work with you to get to know your market. The basic factors towards understanding a market include knowing:
·    How they use products in your category
·    What attitude they have towards your product, your competitors and other products/details that could be related to your brand, such as type of packaging (tube versus sachet)
·    What image of your brand and your competitors they have in their minds—to guide you towards communicating effectively

3.    He must help you make sense of research results

Besides market research, it is also important to do keyword research to help you determine the type of content that your website will offer. Your marketing consultant must be able to help you interpret the data (in this case, the list of potential keywords for your niche), and weed out the ones that you can maximize.

It is recommended to conduct periodic research and analysis with your SEM consultant. Successful marketing through any medium relies on how well you translate market understanding to communication materials.

In the case of search engine marketing, the success of your website relies heavily on your choice of keywords to optimize for. Keywords, like most elements of marketing, are not static. They evolve with your market. It is your responsibility to make sure that your SEM consultant stays on top of your changing market and recommend content revisions accordingly.
4.    He must be able to listen well
A good SEM consultant must be able to listen to you and your niche. He must be able to balance the needs of both market and brand. He must not take sides because the satisfaction of the market relies on how well a brand keeps its promise while the success of a brand relies on how well it satisfies the market.

The work of a good SEM consultant is to be able to help create a venue where your market can get to know your brand better and where the brand can tell your market how else it can address their needs.