Sunday, May 23, 2010

Legitimate Online Businesses: Making Money Selling Products

There are a few different ways to make money selling products. One way is to create and sell your own products. Crafters often get into this type of business to sell their own creations to the online public, and scrapbook creators choose this path for their business.

Another way to sell products is through an online store that sells already made products. With this way, you would not have to stock an inventory of items in your home, nor would you have to ship anything directly from your own location. The products are ordered through the ‘store’ you have set up and the wholesaler providing the products will ship the items directly to the customers for you. This way is popularly known as drop shipping.

What skills are helpful?

Hard work and good customer services skills are among the skills you should have. In addition, a lot of time will be needed to market your websites so potential customers will find you. Having a good website set up is necessary to provide customers everything they will need when deciding whether or not to buy your products.

Customers will also have questions about the products, and they may have some problems that you will need to address, so good customer service skills are a must. Establishing good rapport with your customers starts the cycle of them coming back to you to buy more. Therefore, providing them with top notch customer service will help you gain rapport.

What tools are needed?

If you chosen to sell products that you created yourself, you will need to stock up on an inventory of items to create them. Check with some vendors and craft stores to find deals on items that are purchased in bulk to help you save some money.

Of course a website is necessary as well since your customers will need to find your products, see what they are, and have a way to order what you’re offering. Make sure your site has a shopping cart feature to make the purchasing process easier for your business and customers.

How do you get started?

The first thing you need to do is to decide what you’re going to sell. Are you creating your own products to sell or are you planning to sell other products through the use of drop shippers?

If you’re planning to sell items you create yourself, you will need to research vendors for the materials you will need to make those products. Have some made up ahead of time, so that when consumers are ready to order your product, you can ship them out right away and not make them wait another day or two while you create them.

When the planning stage is done, you will need to create your website from where to you’re your products. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and doesn’t distract to where customers are turned off from your business within the first few seconds.

Of course, the last step to getting started in this business is marketing your products and website. This is the most important step if you want your business to be a success, so don’t skimp on this one.

Selling products is an excellent way to make money online. If you have already created products to give away as gifts to friends and family, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take these products to the internet and start selling them.

If you like the idea of selling products, but don’t want to create them yourself, or if you just don’t feel you are creative enough then you can still achieve this kind of business by having someone else ship products for you. Getting started this way online gives you the flexibility to spend the time needed with your family while still earning a living.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Why Pay Per Click Programs Suck

Have you ever tried to make money with your website and/or blog by posting ads?

Many of us have used Google AdSense or other pay to click ads trying to monetize our sites, just trying to make some money.  We were not doing anything wrong.  Yet unfortunately most, if not all, people who have tried AdSense have had a roadblock put before us while going down the road to making money online.

Since the beginning AdSense has been scrutinized as being easy prey for click fraud.  Many AdSense users have been victims of click fraud with the ads on their sites.  Of course, there are those who are dishonest who do click on their own ads, or get friends and family to do so.  Google doesn't even like it when sites with AdSense are placed in the Traffic Exchanges, such as Traffic Swarm.

Yet for those of us who are honest, we get our AdSense accounts terminated because other people are fraudulently clicking on our ads without us being aware of such.  Unfortunately, Google could be looked at as an evil corporation.  Some AdSense users get their accounts terminated just because they are making money, and Google is justifying that by saying your site has been suspected of fraudulent clicks, whether or not that is true.

When click fraud is suspected, whether or not it is the case, you forfeit any earnings, which are refunded back to the company who had the AdWords account which brought the AdSense ads to your site.  The thing is, your site was suspected of click fraud, even though you did not click on your own ads and other visitors to your site did without your knowledge.

What's bad is no matter what, once your AdSense account is terminated, there is no going back.

So after that I tried Bidvertiser.  Things were going great there until I was recently terminated for "invalid clicks".  I did not make these clicks.  I can attest to that.

Moreover, I'm not sure how much credibility Bidvertiser should have.  They did not even send an email saying my account was terminated.  After not being able to see ads on my blog, I had to login to my account and see that my account was terminated.  Here is the screenshot:

This is a screenshot with my added comments.  Notice it has a blank after "Dear," and no reason for termination.  Notice my comment, "What if I don't remove the HTML code..."  I also pointed out that if this is the way the screen is that their HTML coding sucks.  I actually logged in to the support area and expressed my concern.  I even uploaded this screenshot and told them about their HTML code.  Then again, I don't think Bidvertiser cared.  They just stated my account was terminated for invalid clicks and that the decision was final.

I did rebuttal with threats that I would not purchase ads from them and with improper language as well as threats to slander the company, but then again, I don't think they cared.

Of course I can also say Bidvertiser has no credibility because they are hypocrites.

As per this screenshot, they show FriendFinder as one of their advertisers.  In fact, in this screenshot, FriendFinder is a featured advertiser:


But here's another screenshot that says something different:

Bidvertiser does not allow you to place ads on sites with adult or sexual content!  HELLO!  FriendFinder is considered an adult/sexual program!  If a company had integrity, they would not accept an Adult/Sexual program as an advertiser when they don't allow publishers to post ads on adult or sexual content websites!  This makes Bidvertiser hypocrites!

Then again, if I were to bring this up with Bidvertiser, they would deny that FriendFinder is an adult program.  IT IS!  They advertise themselves as such!  Bidvertiser can say what they want, but as far as I'm concerned, they get no credibility from me!

So yes we can say pay per click programs are shams.  Another reason is with Google AdWords. 

Google does not want you to make money from AdSense, but if you're an AdWords user, they will try to squeeze as much money out of you as they can.  Bidvertiser does the same thing with their advertisers.

If you're an AdWords user, you are charged each time someone clicks on your ad.  You also set up a budget for bidding on keywords.  Each keyword has a cost per click (CPC), and the lower the gravity of that keyword, the higher the CPC.  This can cost AdWords users a lot of money with no return on investment (ROI).  If you are not getting enough clicks from your ads, or if Google believes you are not, the only advice they would give you is to increase your budget.  Doing that will end up giving you a bill too high to pay.  That is too costly, especially if no one purchased anything when clicking on your ad. 

This happened to me, and I complained to Google.  I just got the generic response about how ads should be related to what site visitors will go to when they click on the ads.  The response also included that visitors will leave without purchasing anything if it turns out the site is not related to the ad.

You see, on the internet you have more window shoppers than buyers.  People just want to click on Google ads and see where they will go by clicking on the link.  They have no interest in buying anything.  Each time someone clicks on the ad, it costs the AdWords user.  Hey, I could go to any site, and click on ads over and over again, doing so repeatedly without buying anything.  Each time I click I will cost the AdWords user money and I will give the AdSense user a temporary feeling of making some money through AdSense only for his/her AdSense account to be terminated for "fraudulent clicks" and never to have an AdSense account ever again.  Yet the AdWords user will be charged for the clicks causing a loss of income.

What can be said about this?

I am not longer an AdWords user because of this.  If somehow AdWords users could complain to Google that they suspect click fraud when they get charged so much for clicks with no ROI.  Google would supposedly investigate but would only refund the charges for known big companies, not affiliate marketers advertising a product, website, or blog.

This is what sucks about pay per click programs.  I think I'm better off promoting Amazon or Clickbank.  I don't know, but this is my rant on this topic for now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Types of Legitimate Online Businesses: Making Money from Membership Sites

In addition to Service Based Businesses, Affiliate Marketing, and Selling on E-Bay, there are some online business owners who make money by selling memberships to their websites. This works by people purchasing memberships to certain sites to gain access to content that the website owner provides on a regular basis.

For example, you might offer memberships to your site for internet users who need articles for their websites or blogs. These memberships would need to be renewed every few months or so depending on how long your memberships are good for. Each time someone renews their membership, you make more money.

This type of business has a pretty high profit potential, and it would not cost much to provide your members with informational items. In addition, you could charge them a nice amount to access those items, thereby giving you a profit that keeps on giving.

What skills are helpful?

Marketing skills will be the most helpful. These skills come into play when getting those internet users to your site to purchase your memberships. This is what will make you the money. You also should have some knowledge of running a website as this could be useful as well keeping your site running smoothly for your members.

You should also have some knowledge of the products you’re offering. For example, if you’re offering articles to your members, you should know what makes a good article and how they work for the different purposes.

What tools are needed?

You will need a high quality website to handle the demands that your membership site will bring. You should provide excellent customer service should something go wrong with your site. Also, you should invest in some membership site management software program that can help you get your site set up and running. You can find these programs for less than $100.

Content for the site is another tool you will need. You need to provide your paying members with fresh content to use regularly. It could be in the form of written articles, software programs, or even online games. This all depends on what you plan to give to your members.

How do you get started?

You will need to plan your membership site beforehand. What do you plan to offer your members? Will it be content, software, online games, etc? When you have made your decision, come up with a new and different angle to provide your consumers.

You could provide content in a specific niche, like nutrition, or you could offer a certain kind of written content. Just do whatever it takes to provide internet users with a fresh angle. This will help you stand out from the crowd of other membership site owners out there.

Next, get your membership site created with a shopping cart feature to handle the payments for the memberships. The membership management software program should come with all you need to accomplish your business. Then all you would need is the content to give to your members.

The most important step will be to market your membership site to get people to find you. You can market though SEO, Pay Per Click, classified ad sites, traffic exchange programs. The possibilities are endless. Try doing a search for marketing techniques in the search engines.

Membership sites can offer you a means of earning residual income. If people are satisfied with what you give them, they will have no problem handing you their money to keep renewing their memberships maintain their access to your site’s content.

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