business

Planning to start a website or grow your existing online business? You may be able to do so for cheap. At the same time, you are going to need a set of tools to help you get your business going. Here are 5 businesses that could provide you with the tools you need to start or grow your online business:

NameCheap: in order to bring your website online, you are going to need a decent domain name for it. NameCheap not only offers cheap prices but is a fairly reliable domain registrar.

 

HostGator: finding a reliable and affordable web host can be quite challenging. You certainly don’t want to trust your website with just any company. HostGator has competitive plans and the reputation of being beginner friendly. [click to continue…]

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There is nothing wrong with making money as an affiliate marketer or blogger. But selling an informational or physical product can give you more flexibility and truly put you in the driver’s seat to achieve great things with your business. Many business owners have achieved a lot of success selling e-books, DVD courses, and other types of products. Everybody can do it with the right idea. Whatever you do, you don’t want to forget about creating a website for your product. One can’t expect to sell a digital product successfully without a decent website. Thanks to WordPress, you won’t have to spend too much money getting your site up and running. These 5 WordPress themes let you create a website for your product fast:

Productz: a dynamic WordPress theme that lets you promote multiple goods and services on your front-page and do your products justice.Very clean.

RT – Theme: a very clean theme for start-ups or anyone selling digital products (such as DVD training programs). It has 10 color schemes and takes advantage of short-codes too.

eBook Theme: have just finished your first e-book? You can always try selling it on Amazon and other online sites. Or you can use this theme to sell it directly to those interested (or just promote your book). [click to continue…]

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We all know how powerful a business card can be? If you happen to have gotten your business card to the right person, doors can open for you out of nowhere. But these days, you are going to need more than a business card if you want to generate leads and take your business to the next level. That’s where the Internet comes in. You can not only search for business cards online, but you can also create business and social networking cards online as well. As a business owner, you want to get your brand in front of as many people as possible. That can’t be any easier with all the services available for doing just that.

With that in mind, here are 4 exciting social/business card services that can help you better promote your business and take it to the next level:

Card.ly: an exciting social networking card service that lets you create a card based on your online profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and … It’s free and very flexible as well.

Retagger: if you happen to be a power player in the social media, you are going to love this social card generator. Lets you integrate most of your online presences and share them with the world through your e-card. [click to continue…]

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In case you haven’t noticed, tax time is awfully close again. Whether you are a corporate or an individual, you only have a few months to get your tax documents in the system. Of course, the deadline could be different depending on the type of tax return you want to file. But most people will have done their tax by April. Many small business owners prefer doing their taxes by themselves. After all, that saves you a bit of money that you can spend on other things. But doing things by hand can be difficult, which is why you want to pick up proper software to help you prepare your taxes and stay on the top of legal issues associated with running your business.

To prepare your business taxes, you are going to need a decent accounting software as well as a good office suite. It would also help if you have a legal reference to go with those. With that in mind, here are 5 software kits that let you prepare your business tax more effectively:

TurboTax Business Federal + efile 2009

TurboTax Business Federal + efile 2009: designed to help you prepare your business tax fast. It helps you maximize your business deductions too. It’s not perfect so don’t get too aggressive with your write offs.

Quicken Home & Business 2010

Quicken Home & Business 2010: Quicken has helped me a lot with my business. It helps me keep track of incoming and outgoing funds. Of course, it’d be nice if we could get the updates for free once in a while. But the software is constantly improving, so you’ll have all you need to keep track of your business transactions. [click to continue…]

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One of the best ways to make money online is by taking advantage of the hottest trends in the tech market and get a jump start over your competitors. iPhone development is one of the hottest avenues for entrepreneurs to make money online. And with the latest decision by Apple to allow in-app purchases for free apps, there are more ways to adopt a freemium business model and start making a living off of those so-called “free apps.” Starting an iPhone business is very similar to any other business. You will need to have a plan, an idea that works (though you could use simple apps to start a business as well), and execute your plan in a manner that would give you business the best chance to succeed.

There are many developers who start writing their apps without testing their market and conducting a comprehensive business analysis. You can be the best developer in the world, but if you don’t approach your development venture as a business, it’s going to stay your hobby. Every-time you want to develop a product, you need to do your research, identify your audience, their potential need, and ways to market your product. You also need to be prepared to offer after-sale support to keep your credibility with your customers. [click to continue…]

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Whether you are an online business owner or own an offline local business, you can use the power of the Internet to your advantage to drive leads to your business and increase your profits. You can have the best local, national, or international product in the world. But if people don’t know about what you are offering, they are not going to come to you for your business. Every business owner wants more Internet traffic, but not everyone goes about getting online traffic the right way. There are thousands of ways to get traffic for your business. You just have to decide which traffic source matters to you the most, and whether it’s worth your effort to pursue non-traditional traffic generation sources.

If you are a business owner and looking for more traffic for your business, here are 25 ways you can go about increasing the size of your audience:

  1. SEO: search engine optimization is the cheapest way to get traffic. You got to have a search engine optimized website however (SEO resource).
  2. Pay per click: getting traffic from Google Adwords or Yahoo! search marketing is one of the best (but expensive) way to get traffic (resource).
  3. Twitter: is quickly becoming a great source of traffic for businesses.
  4. Facebook: another great social network to get traffic to your website.
  5. Social News Sites: sites such as Digg and Reddit can be effective traffic drivers as well (submission service).
  6. Directories: should be a part of your SEO efforts (submission service).
  7. Blogs: displaying your content on other blogs can help too (resource).
  8. Facebook Ads: you can advertise on Facebook to get more traffic as well (Fads)
  9. Article Marketing: pushing your products with articles can help too (EzineArticles).
  10. LinkedIn: a great way to reach to your target audience and gain their business.
  11. YouTube: doesn’t need any introduction. Great for going viral.
  12. StumbleUpon: advertising on StumbleUpon or just getting your site voted by the community can drive big traffic to your site.
  13. ClickRiver: advertising on Amazon can be another decent way of driving traffic (CR).
  14. Giveaways: giving away things is one of the best ways to go viral online (just give away an iPhone 3G S or another hot gadget).
  15. Free service: you can also put up your service up for grabs to go viral.
  16. Information: giving away information for free can help as well (e.g. reports).
  17. Newsletter: building a killer newsletter gives you access to targeted leads (Aweber).
  18. Podcast: what a better way to get some following going with a killer podcast.
  19. Video-cast: creating a video show on the web can help your business generate leads.
  20. Blog: still one of the best ways to drive traffic to your business. Easily set up your site with WordPress.
  21. iPhone: building an iPhone application for your business helps too.
  22. Offline Marketing: you can always give away business cards, brochures, pens, and … (offline marketing).
  23. Blog Comments: commenting on other blogs can build your traffic gradually.
  24. Forums: your signatures on niche forums can build your traffic gradually as well.
  25. Affiliate Program: creating your own affiliate program is another cool way to build traffic (idev).

Stay tuned for the 2nd part of this series for more specific ways to drive traffic to your business.

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I still remember the first time I signed up for PPC Classroom. It was an Internet marketing course that was designed to help newbie pay per click marketers increase their return on investments with their Adwords campaigns. What interested me the most about the program was not the content inside but the comprehensive launch plan set forth by the entrepreneurs behind this system. I admit that affiliate marketing was not only part of the equation but it was a big part of it. Launch Tree is a new course based on that very experience that shows you exactly how to use affiliate marketing to make lots of money fast.

Affiliate marketing may sound simple but it’s actually an art. Sure. You are giving folks a decent commission check to promote your product. But that doesn’t mean they would. Even if you are very successful with affiliate marketing, you may still be leaving money on the table. 90% off sales are made by 10% of affiliates. Reaching out to these affiliates won’t be easy. Top affiliate marketers are notorious for picking only high quality products to promote. So you want to position your product in a way that gives top affiliates the impression that your product is worth promoting. Not everyone’s going to get it right, but those who do get to make a lot of money. Here are a few ways to launch your product in the affiliate marketing channel like a pro:

  • Deals with Top Affiliates: top affiliates are special. Unfortunately for you, they know it too. It’s essential for you to reach out to these guys and offer them more money to promote your products. These guys often have large lists and a large following. Don’t underestimate their power.
  • Tools: don’t forget that the more your affiliate marketers deliver, the more money you make as well. Don’t be hesitant in giving them all the cool tools they need to become more productive. That includes providing your affiliates with ads, sample copies, e-mails, and …
  • Training: not all affiliate marketers are super affiliates. You can still make money by going to those regular affiliates. These folks are ready to learn new tricks so don’t hesitate to teach them how.
  • Content: creating new content to promote your product could be a hassle for a lot of affiliates. Put videos on YouTube and create sample blog posts to give your affiliates an idea how to promote your product.
  • Prizes: giving away cool gadgets to your affiliates to appreciate their performance can be a great way to skyrocket your sales. I have seen merchants that give motorcycles to their best affiliate. But they also offer smaller prizes to keep their smaller affiliates encouraged.
  • Cross-selling: affiliate marketers care a lot about the money that they’ll be paid. It’s always encouraging for affiliates to know they can earn more dollars if you manage to sell complimentary products in your back-end. It’s all about treating your affiliates as partners. They’ll appreciate it.
  • Leads: pay per action is a decent pay model, but the folks behind Launch Tree have had a lot of success with a hybrid model. They not only give prizes for qualified leads but also pay commission per each action.
  • Relationship: many large corporations treat their affiliates as secondary employees. You’ve got to treat your affiliates as your business partners. If you look out for them, they look out for you too.

As you can see, there is a lot of factors that you need to consider to launch a successful affiliate program. It’s not all about the money. Affiliates work hard, and they appreciate every little help that you give them. The folks behind PPC Classroom certainly got it! If you are interested to know more about how to launch your own successful business, you should check the videos on Launch Tree. It’s a case study on a project that generated millions of dollars in revenue. And you can bet affiliates played a big part in it!

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