Rxpaola1925's Blog

March 21, 2010

Turn Clicks Into Customers (report #31)

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — Tags: — rxpaola1925 @ 3:10 am

According to Corey Rudl (President of the Internet Marketing Center) “it is harder to get someone to buy in the internet than in a normal business environment”.

The average visitor-to-sales conversion for a good affiliate program is between half and one percent. In other words, you are achieving an average ‘conversion rate’ if you make 1 sale for every hundred visitors you send to a merchant’s site.

How to Write Compelling Product Endorsements

Don’t you hate being on the receiving end of a sales pitch? You’re not alone. Most people do. That’s why the best way to promote your affiliate program products is to endorse them, honestly and sincerely.

In order for your endorsement to be persuasive, you should have personal experience with the product and be enthusiastic about it just and you can make a personal testimonial from that. The primary ingredient in a compelling personal testimonial is an explanation of how you benefited from use of the product or service. Given those two factors, writing the endorsement then becomes easy.

That’s why super affiliates almost always buy the products they sell. They study the product or service inside and out, backwards and forwards. They note all the features, both good and bad.

Writing the recommendation takes time and care. You need to carefully consider all you want to say and anticipate your readers’ reactions. When you anticipate your visitors’ concerns, you are able to address them BEFORE they become unanswered questions that cause them to click away.

Learn the Art of Copywriting


The vast majority of an affiliate’s work is about communicating and that ninety-nine percent of that communication happens in writing. The job of an affiliate is about ‘pre-selling’ and not selling. To pre-sell effectively you have to capture the interests of your visitors in the products that you are offering.

You just don’t write product endorsements for your sites; you will also be writing ads and sales copy for ezines and pay per click listings to entice folks to come to your site. You should also be writing articles about the benefits of those products for your own ad others’ newsletters.

When writing it is as simple as speaking directly to people and telling them how the products you sell can make their lives better.

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March 20, 2010

Web Site Essentials

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — Tags: — rxpaola1925 @ 5:38 pm

Your website is a direct reflection of you and your business. Creating a professional website designed to sell will take a great deal of time and effort, as there is much more to take into consideration than design. you must look at a much broader picture and specifically design your website to sell.

Every page on your site should either display or have links to the following site elements.

Logo

You a business logo for your site, a unique one. Whether your logo is simply your URL done in a fancy font and neat color on a graphic image, or a professionally designed logo – your site needs a unique logo. It sets your site apart and makes it memorable. It would be more memorable than those sites that just simply enlare and bold the font on their URL. For the price of one or two month’s hosting, a professionally designed graphic logo is a great investment in the future of your site.

TAG line / Slogan

When making a Tag line or slogan for your site it should say or it should be relevant on exactly what your site is all about. And it should be catchy, short (not more than four or five words).

Privacy Statement

Every commercial web site should have a privacy/security statement. Inclusion of these statements will achieve a number of things for you. They will differentiate you from your competitors, instill user confidence and trust, reduce liability, and increase your web site’s conversion rate.
A privacy and security statement explains what information is being collected by your site, how it’s being collected and safeguarded, and how it will be used. It is a legal, binding document, an explicit statement made on behalf of the site owner to the site user.

Contact Information

This is very helpful because you will never know if a visitor is encountering problems with your site. This way, not only you can get feed backs from your guests, but also you can correct the problem fast.

In doing a website remember that you are trying to please your target market and not just yourself. Step into their shoes and see if your website will catch the interest of your market.

‘About Us’ Page

An ‘About Us’ page instills trust. People like to put a name and a face to what they are reading. I can’t blame them. I do as well. It’s a human trait. We like to know who we’re dealing with. If we feel that someone is hiding their face, then we’re less likely to trust them. Another thing to add to your ‘About Us’ page is your qualifications for creating your Web site. When people read that you started your ‘Go Fishing’ site because you are a fishing guide in the Adirondack Mountains, they’ll likely put more faith and trust in your site.
In that particular case, that information would probably be included elsewhere on the site, but also be sure to include it in the ‘About Us’ section for those who might miss it elsewhere.

Build Your Site

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — rxpaola1925 @ 4:50 pm

How to make a website? Making a website isn’t difficult – once you know how! But where do you start?

The first thing you need to do before anything else is to get yourself a domain name. A domain name is the name you want to give to your website. For example, the domain name of the website you’re reading is “thesitewizard.com”. To get a domain name, you have to pay an annual fee to a registrar for the right to use that name. Getting a name does not get you a website or anything like that. It’s just a name. It’s sort of like registering a business name in the brick-and-mortar world; having that business name does not mean that you also have the shop premises to go with the name.

Second, choose a web host and sign up for an account

A web host is basically a company that has many computers connected to the Internet. When you place your web pages on their computers, everyone in the world will be able to connect to it and view them. You will need to sign up for an account with a web host so that your website has a home. If getting a domain name is analogous to getting a business name in the brick-and-mortar world, getting a web hosting account is analogous to renting office premises for your business.

  • There are many issues involved in finding a good web host. Read up on the various things you need to look for in searching for a good web host in the article How to Choose a Web Host.
  • After you have an idea of what to look for, you can search for one from the Budget Web Hosting page. You can also find out which web host I’m currently using from the Which Web Host Do You Recommend? page.

After you sign up for a web hosting account, you will need to point your domain to that account on your web host. Information on how to do this can be found in the guide How to Point a Domain Name to Your Website (Or What to Do After Buying Your Domain Name).

Once you have settled your domain name and web host, the next step is to design the web site itself. In this article, I will assume that you will be doing this yourself. If you are hiring a web designer to do it for you, you can probably skip this step, since that person will handle this step.

Collecting Credit Card Information, Making money. If you are selling products or services, you will need some way to collect credit card information. You should read up on How to Accept Credit Cards on Your Website. I also have a step by step guide on How to Add an Order Form or a “Buy Now” button using PayPal to a Website for those using PayPal.

If you need advertisers for your website, you might want to read How to Make Money From Your Website and the follow-up article How to Increase Your Website Revenue from Affiliate Programs. A list of advertisers and affiliate programs can be found on Affiliate Programs: Free Sponsors and Advertisers. Those companies are on the constant lookout for new web publishers to display their advertisements.

Lastly, getting your site noticed. When your site is ready, you will need to submit your site to the search engines, particularly Google. You can find the Google submission page by clicking on the “About Google” link on Google, and then locating the “Submit your content to Google” link on the page that appears. However, submitting your site to Google alone is, quite frankly, a pointless endeavour. If there are no other links to your site on the web, Google will be appear most reluctant to index your site and show results that include your pages. If there are many other links to your site, you don’t even have to bother to submit it to Google — it will find your site by itself.

This is where promoting your website is important. This involves many things, including the usual way people did things before the Internet: advertisements in the newspapers, word-of-mouth, etc. You might want to consider advertising on places like Yahoo! (which puts your ads on Yahoo!, AltaVista and CNN), Ask (which puts your ads on Ask, Excite, Match.com, Gifts.com, etc) or Google. As discussed in my article More Tips on Google Search Engine Results Placement, ads can be a quick way to get onto the first page of a search engine’s results page.

Develop a Site Plan

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — rxpaola1925 @ 4:23 pm

Develop a Site Plan

There are some sites that are built backwards, these are sites made with out plan. Some webmasters that are excited to get online and make money have the tendency to skip proper process, they tend to omit the planning process because it is time consuming. They focus more on designing fancy navigation buttons and flashy banners for their homepage, that is why there are some sites that when you visit them you would love it because of the great looking home page with links that look like they lead to interesting information but what you don’t is that you sometimes end up at ‘under construction’ pages.

Whether you’re building your Web site or outsourcing the job, planning is vital to your project’s success. Carefully planning in the beginning makes for a better end product, especially given the interactive nature of the Web.

Your Web site plan serves as a blueprint for the entire project, detailing the underlying site architecture and forces you to think through potential problems before they happen. Presenting an organized structure makes the Web site logical and intuitive to use for future visitors.

Setting specific goals gives you focus as you plot out the various elements of your Web site. Goals can give you direction for everything from what functionality you need to what color palette to use. They can help you limit the scope of your project and provide criteria for measuring success.

Once you have a high-level understanding of what you want your Web site to do, it’s time to get more specific. Make a list of your short-term and long-term goals. Especially if you’re building the site yourself, you may want to use a phased approach, rolling out basic pages while you work on more advanced features. Or, you may want to test different aspects of the site initially and improve upon them for future roll outs.

Your Web site’s success ultimately depends on attracting and holding the interest of your visitors. To create a good experience that keeps them coming back, take the time to explore your project from your visitors’ perspective.

To map out the best possible user experience, try the following:

  • Identify your target audience. The more specific your audience, the better.
  • Create user stories. Get inside your visitors’ heads by creating characters that fit into the targets you identified.
  • Rank the user experience on competing Web sites. Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum, so a Web site that looks good on its own may pale in comparison to the competition’s slick site.

When you’ve created a site map and documented the user experience, the next step is to begin to flesh out what content and functionality will appear on each page.

At this point in your planning, you’re probably getting excited about some of the ideas you have for your Web site. It’s time to decide how each page of your Web site will look and what functionality it needs to include to help you accomplish your goals.

You will need your site map for this step. Start with your homepage. What is the first thing you want people to see when they visit your site?

For example, if you’re a photographer, you may want a flash animation of your best photographs as an introduction to your home page. An ecommerce site might have product images for featured items or those that are currently on sale.

Document your thoughts for every page of your Web site. If you plan to hire a professional designer, and don’t know the scripts and code you’ll need to create the functionality you’ll need, just keep this list high-level. Your designer can help you pick the best way to implement your wish list.

Once you have a list, it’s a good idea to assign each item a priority level so you or your designer can focus resources on the most important items first.

Now that you have a Web site plan, you’re ready to gather the rest of the items (if you haven’t already) you need to launch your Web site, a  domain name, Web hosting, content, a design and email accounts.

How many pages will your Web site include? What type of pages will they be? Creating a site map helps you not only answer these questions, but organize your pages into categories (thereby creating a navigation structure).

Start your site map with a high-level list of the types of pages you’ll need. One of the easiest ways to organize your site map is to use an outline frame work. The screenshot below shows the site map for the Web solutions section of the Hostway.com Web site.

Creating your site map is one of the most important parts of the planning process. Once you’re done with it, you have an outline of your entire Web site and a structure on which to build.

Design Rules-of-thumb(report #28)

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — rxpaola1925 @ 12:13 pm

Links should look like links

There are three Standard Link colors, these are:

Underlined Blue – unvisited

Red- active or hover

Purple- visited

In order to simply change all the link use ‘cascading style sheets’ or ‘CSS’. In using this CSS it would do away the need to hard core the font face, size and color every time you would like to change to a word’s appearance.

Color Scheme

There are a lot of meanings and connotations from different colors. When choosing the color scheme, it’s good to stick with the tried and true. It wouldn’t be nice to look at if you have a men’s site and then make pink as the primary color.

Page Backgrounds

It is not good to look at pages with busy background. Visitors wouldn’t waste their time reading something that would give them a headache, especially with those who have poor eyesight.

Use of Pop-Ups

For most site visitors they don’t like pop-ups specially me. It is sometimes a disturbance especially if the internet connection is slow then your searching for something then pop-ups suddenly appear its kind of irritating.

Music/Noise

Under no circumstances should a site broadcast noise and/or music without its visitors’ permission. Have you ever clicked through to a Web site and had your eardrums immediately assaulted by some Webmaster’s “idea” of great music? Or how about one that starts off with a voice-over monologue by the Webmaster when you arrive? It is unacceptable, even if your site is about music, your visitors should have the option as to what they want to hear, and when they want to hear it.

March 13, 2010

Are Cookies used to track sales?(my class 3)

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — rxpaola1925 @ 8:43 am

A cookie (also tracking cookie, browser cookie, and HTTP cookie) is a small piece of text stored on a user’s computer by a web browser. A cookie consists of one or more name-value pairs containing bits of information.

The cookie is sent as an HTTP header by a web server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. A cookie can be used for authentication, session tracking (state maintenance), storing site preferences, shopping carts contents, the identifier for a server-based sessions, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing textual data.

You’ve may have heard that it takes 7 exposures to a product before people feel comfortable to buy that product. So what happens if a visitor from your site clicks through to your affiliated merchant site today but doesn’t buy anything until a week later? Will you still get credit for the sale?

As text, cookies are not executable. Because they are not executed, they cannot replicate themselves and are not viruses. Due to the browser mechanism to set and read cookies, they can be used as spyware. Anti-spyware products may warn users about some cookies because cookies can be used to track people or violate privacy concerns.

Well, cookies are coded to expire after a set amount of time. So, if the merchant gives cookies that last for 90 days, you get credit if a visitor from your site returns to the merchant and makes the purchase within 90 days. If your visitor purchases the product after the 90 days, and the cookie has expired, you’re out of luck. You won’t get credit for the sale.

Affiliate Agreement(my class 3)

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — rxpaola1925 @ 8:29 am

Most affiliate programs have agreements in place, primarily to cover their butts. However, these agreements should also cover yours. If the program you are considering doesn’t have an agreement published on the site, move on. Without an agreement, it’s much too easy for them to shaft you for money you’ve earned.

An affiliate agreement are usually lengthy and peppered with long-winded legalese. It doesn’t matter. You should read them completely and carefully or you could be in for a nasty surprise. It is a comprehensive agreement prepared for those websites that intend to operate their own affiliate programme. Such programmes, using custom designed software or off the shelf packages, can enable any trading website to pay commission to other websites that deliver customers or leads.

In order to ensure that the process and terms are clear to the affiliate websites that will promote your website, you should ensure that you have a legal Agreement published on your site, to which new affiliates are rewuired to agree.

This agreement includes a “self billing” option. The capability to allow self-billing (i.e. where the merchant prepares the invoices on behalf of affiliates) can ease the administration burden. Use of this option requires approval from HM Customs & Excise, which is a straightforward process.

This document is suitable for websites hosted in England, Wales and Scotland and contains the following clauses:

  • application and approval process
  • links and licence for promotional material
  • sales and commission tracking mechanism
  • limitations on use
  • payment process, VAT and self billing (optional)
  • data protection
  • conditions and availability
  • termination
  • limitations on liability.

What is the program type? (my class 3)

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — rxpaola1925 @ 8:16 am

There are essentially three types of affiliate programs: pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and payper-click.

Pay Per Sale or PPS (Sometimes referred to as Cost per Sale or CPS) is an online advertisement pricing system where the publisher or website owner is paid on the basis of the number of sales that are directly generated by an advertisement. It is a variant of the CPA (Cost per action) model where the advertiser pays the publisher/website only and in proportion to the number of actions committed by the readers or visitors to the website. In many cases it’s not practical to track all the sales generated by an advertisement, however it is more easily tracked for full online transactions, such as for selling songs directly on the internet. Unique identifiers, which can be stored in cookies or included in the URL, are used to track the movement of the prospective buyer to ensure that all such sales are attributed to the advertisement in question.

Pay-Per-Lead programs, you earn a set amount whenever your customer fills out a survey or requests a quote or some information

Pay Per Click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used on websites, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system.

As Pay-Per-Lead and Pay-Per-Click programs require huge volumes of traffic to generate serious revenue,  Pay-Per-Sale programs is much preferable because they are performance based.

DOMAIN ISSUES(my class 3)

Filed under: my BUS.IT 5 class — rxpaola1925 @ 7:56 am

Free Domains – Worth about that Much

Free domain names and Web site hosts are worth precisely what you pay for them.

There are 6 drawbacks to hosting yoursiteson free servers:

  • Lose Credibility –  My impression of businesses on free servers is similar to street vending. I might buy an inexpensive little trinket, but never anything of value.
  • Banner Advertising on Your Pages – Nothing is really free. In exchange for space on their servers, the host places their own banner advertising on your pages. Their banners detract from your business.
  • Funky Long Address – Which address will your visitors remember?http://members.atsomefreeserver.com/~johnsbusiness/ or http://johnbusiness.com?. Of course, visitors would prefer the shorter address.
  • Lack of Features – Free hosts generally restrict the amount of space you can take up on their servers. The sites offer few, if any, of the most basic features necessary to run an ecommerce site, e.g. cgi-bins and shopping carts.
  • Slow Loading Pages – Most free server pages load very slowly. Slow loading pages are the primary reason people cite for failing to complete online order placement. Let’s not chase our visitors away before they have a chance to become customers.
  • Customer Service – Non-existent. Your site is down? Tough luck. That’s why you get what you pay for.

How to Choose a Domain Name

Your domain name is your business name on the web. It represents both you and your business, that’s why think carefully when making your domain name.

Here are 6 things to consider when choosing your domain name.

  • Make it DOT COM – Although there are a number of domain name extensions to choose from, including .com, .net, and .biz amongst many others, choose .COM. The ‘.com’ extension is the one people think of first when they think of web addresses, so go with it. “.com” is for commercial sites while “.net” is for network.
  • Make it Relevant – When making your domain name, be sure to make it relevant based on what business you are in.
  • Make it Memorable – Shorter names are also easier to remember.
  • Try to Avoid hyphens – Sometimes there are instances that there is a similar site like yours who also sells the same product that you are selling but there site is non-hyphenated. Instead of customers buying from your site there would be a possibility that they will go to the site without hyphen.
  • Avoid a name that you need to spell out. – Take for example my site, byebye925.com. The first time you hear it, you might think it is spelled ‘bybynine2five.com’, ‘byebyeninetofive.com’ or a number of other ways.
  • Take care not to infringe on a trademark – A trademark is a name or symbol is officially registered to a third party, and unless otherwise specified, the trademark owner is the only party that can legally make use of a trademarked name. If you would be purchasing a domain containing a trademark it would result to legal battle and could have your site shut down. That’s why you should be responsible enough to research if you have a trademark on your domain.

February 23, 2010

work from home

Filed under: Uncategorized — rxpaola1925 @ 1:34 am

Home and office are two different places. An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, it is a place referring to the location of one’s duty, while a home is a place of residence or refuge and comfort. So better not bring your work to your residence because you have to spend some few minutes to be away from your office and spend time with your family. Second, bringing work means you are not efficient in your office. Third, do not be so serious with life or work for that matter. Live one day at a time, unfinished work should be finished at the office desk and not at the dining table or in your bed.

In short, there is no sense in bringing work at home. Enjoy life, better do not plan much about your life. Every morning, you have to face what life has to offer there should be excitement everyday or you would not like to go out from home or leave your office if you expect the usual things everyday. See, you may meet someone you like or see some movies that may inspire you or you may witness some sports that may attract you to indulge in it.

Going home means getting comfortable being who you are and who your soul really wants to be. There is no strain with that, the strain and tension comes when we’re not being who our soul wants to be.

Again, go for the ride of your life make every day a beautiful day and full of surprises. Live life at full throttle.

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