Create Your Own Website - In Three Simple Steps!

What Should I “You” Blog About?

BloggerIs it not everyone’s dream to spend a good amount of their day doing something that they thoroughly enjoy? Wouldn’t the best job to have in the whole, wide world be the one that involves something that you absolutely love or one that makes you excited to wake up in the morning? Maybe even one where you can sleep into the afternoon! Okay, not everyone is so interested in that last part, but you agree with the other parts, don’t you? What a coincidence! Me, too!

It isn’t always easy to find something like that, but it is definitely possibly to find it. So, how do you find it? The first step is to figure out what you’re passionate about. Again, that is something that you are PASSIONATE about, not merely something that you’re interested in.

Stick with it because this process can take a while, but you’ll be glad you did.

Don’t Kill Your Blog

The easiest and fastest way for you to kill your blog is for you to write about something that you’re only “just” interested in. This might sound dumb, but it’s true. You might think that one of your interests will bring in a lot of money, but if it is only an interest, the odds are high that you will lose steam and your blog will merely fade into nonexistence.

Keeping a blog going is not easy, just ask any blogger. You have to come up with topics continuously, and writing compelling content is no small task. Remember writing papers in school on topics you weren’t all too interested in? Imagine having to commit yourself to doing that every day. If you don’t completely love the topics that you are writing about, coming up with a steady stream of fresh content becomes more and more difficult as time goes on, which, frankly, might not be for very long.

Another problem that you will face is that your readers are far more likely to pick up on the fact that you have become disinterested in your topic, and that will cause them to become disinterested as well. Reading content that was written by someone who has lost interest in the topic can be as hard on the readers as it is on the writer. Once your readers lose interest, it is far more likely that they are going to stop reading, and what is blog without readers?

As a side note, if you are hoping that your blog or website will become a ticket that will get you out of your current job which might not be exciting either, is there really any point in trading one boring job for another?

Of course, do not think that this is always absolutely mandatory to be successful in the world of blogging, but you will significantly increase your odds of finding success with your blog if you choose a topic that is more than an interest. Try to find something to write about that goes beyond interest and touches on passion.

Interest Or Passion…

Now lets take a look at the distinction between an interest and a passion? We have all seen people who have started blogs that have been focused on one of their interests.  More often than not, their blog doesn’t go anywhere. It can happen to anyone. It might even happen to you at some point, but don’t get discouraged from trying again.

Let’s take a look at a fictional example blogger named Sheila. You see, Sheila is interested in many different things. She is interested in saving money, homeschooling, making up new recipes that involve chocolate, and living a life without debt. Sheila is interested in all of these things, but none of those interests are things that she spends a significant amount of her free time pursuing. They are simply not things that she eats, sleeps, and breathes (Okay, so she eats the food that she makes with the chocolate, but you know what that saying really means.). Sheila has tried to start blogs about all of those topics, but all of those blogs have failed.

In the process, though, Sheila spent hours learning how to create her own websites for those blogs and had even read about the topic before she had ever considered starting her first blog. Sheila was fascinated by that subject; it turned out to be something that she truly enjoyed and loved doing. Sheila began to spend every spare moment she had on the computer, trying to figure out how different features worked on websites. It became her go-to pastime, and she even started helping her friends develop websites for their various projects or blogs. Whenever Sheila was researching web development and learning how to do new things, she felt as though she was in her element.

Can you see the difference there? Sheila likes her interests, but she lives and loves her passion. If it is at all possible, focus on what you live and love.

Brainstorming

The goal here is not necessarily finding the final topic for your blog. Instead you should try to come up with a short list of things that we fully enjoy. Hopefully, when you throw that list into the machine that picks blog topics for you later, that list will provide you with one amazing final choice.

The main assignment for now is fairly simple: Let yourself dream.

To help yourself feel the creative juices flowing, try asking yourself a few of these questions. Here is where you might want to grab a piece of paper or open a Word document and take down some notes. Some of these questions are similar but written a bit differently. This is brainstorming, though, so let yourself go. When you’re done, try to make a list of a few topics that you really and truly love.

  • Is there an activity that you get so involved with that you often lose track of time?
  • Assume all your responsibilities are taken care of. What would you do if you had a week to spend however you felt like spending it?
  • If you were asked to teach a class on any subject, what would your class be about?
  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • Generally speaking, what makes you incredibly emotional?
  • If you were guaranteed a great salary, what would your dream job be?
  • Is there anything that you regularly do in your free time just because you really enjoy it?
  • If you were given a check for $3000 and you had to do something fun for yourself with it, what would you spend that money on?
  • When you’re with your friends, what do you talk to them about?
  • What kind of books do you read?
  • Are there any TV shows you love to watch or blogs and websites that you visit frequently?
  • Is there anything that you talk to your friends about so much that they are incredibly tired of hearing about it?

Take as much time as you need to find the answers to those questions. Once you have your answers ready, analyze the information and make your list.

 

 

Kick Start Your Job Search With A Digital Resume Website

If you are searching for a new job, or even if you are just open to a new job, you probably know already that you have to find ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

In order to get noticed these days you need to be online. LinkedIn & Facebook are both great resources, but everyone else is already doing that too. One way to make yourself stand out is to publish your own online digital resume for perspective employers to browse through and get to know you.Person Holding Hire Me Sign in Crowd

There are plenty of free options available, where you can “borrow” or “rent” a page on someone else’s domain, but a much more powerful way to make an impression is to have your own domain setup with a professional (or quirky depending on the type of position you are looking for) looking resume.

The simplest way to do this is to get yourself a domain name (usually your own name.com) set up a web host, and then install and use WordPress to build your resume. WordPress is a free open source software program that makes it really easy for anyone to build, manage and edit a website.

It will cost you a few dollars for the domain and hosting, (under $20 to get started) but the impact this could have on a potential employer could be huge.

Having your own online resume site allows you to show off your personality as well as an in-depth work history, but most of all it shows employers that you are prepared to go above and beyond what most people do.

At SimpleWebsiteTutorials.com we have a great step by step tutorial that will show you exactly how to get your resume setup in no time.

We have seen hundreds of people from high school kids, to brand new grads as well as mid-career experts looking for a change or promotion setup some awesome sites.

Here are our top tips for setting up your digital resume site:

1: Your online resume should help any prospective employer get to you know as quickly and easily as possible. Keep your navigation simple and easy to use, and direct people to your most admirable qualities.
Some things to keep in mind are:

  • Main Page: Should contain a short bio 50 to 70 word summary of your previous experience, and what you are looking for next, as well as a great headshot.
  • Job History – Should contain your most relevant experience, try to limit it to what is relevant to the type of job you are looking for now.
  • Education – Brief but complete details of any relevant educational qualifications.
  • A Portfolio Page – This is where you can really go to town and highlight any past achievements that will impress your new boss. Depending on the industry, it could be photos, creative projects, any accolades you have achieved, whatever.
  • Contact Page – Make it easy for people to get in contact with you, whether its a phone number and email address or a Contact Form, just make sure they can easily get in contact with you.
  • Recommendations – Don’t wait for your new boss to ask for your references, put them out there front and center, list any references, recommendations etc, along with their contact details (with their permissions of course).

2: First impressions count, so make it a good one. Pick a good theme if you have a few more dollars to spend, there are some great premium resume themes available for under $100). Make sure it has a clean, large readable font. No fancy script or handwriting fonts, keep it simple, Ariel, Times New Roman, Cambria, Calibri etc are all fine.

3: Show off your talents. Unlike a traditional resume where you don’t want to include too much information for fear of handing over a 30 page “Novel”. On your resume website you can add as much information as you like. Employers will only look at it, if they are truly interested, so you have got nothing to lose by adding in as much “Good stuff” as possible.

4: The above point notwithstanding, try to keep your content short and sharp, to the point. Add in as much information as you need to to make your point, but avoid waffling on about irrelevant details.

5: Build Your Brand, a name based domain is a great way to start. But you can also link to any other websites or profiles that you think may enhance your chances of landing that dream job.

Below you will find some great examples of some WordPress themes that can be used for your online resume.

To get your resume up and running, simple choose a theme, and then follow the main tutorial over here.

Next: How To Create A B2B Website.

Example Resume Themes:

Advante

Available From ThemeForest.com

Available From ThemeForest.com

 

 Cascade

Available From ThemeForest.com

Available From ThemeForest.com

 Aurel Resume

Available From Mojo-Themes.com

Available From Mojo-Themes.com

Get Hired

Available From Mojo-Themes.com

Available From Mojo-Themes.com

 

There are loads more resume themes to choose from, to get your Online Resume started, click here and follow our step by step tutorial.

 

Why Search Engine Optimization is Important to your Website

Gone are the days when creating a website was all that you had to do to attract visitors. These days there are billions of websites around, and each of them want the traffic and the business coming through the door. Unless your business is a Wal-Mart or a Victoria’s Secret, SEO is important to you!

If you have a website it is imperative to take the proper steps to get the customers that you want. No, do not go out and start begging and pleading with people to visit your site. Incorporate SEO! Without SEO you could be missing out on many customers and more traffic coming in and out of your website.

While creating an attractive website with products or services that people want is imperative in attracting a customer, there is something else that you need to do as well- utilize Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your website visible within search engines. With SEO your site can be properly found, read and indexed by search engine spiders. It is a proven fact that most people will not look past the first three pages of a website. If your links are not found within these pages you are missing out.

With a short bit of time and the proper SEO techniques this is no worry. You can easily find yourself on the first page of all of the major search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Even if many people are aware of your site’s existence and you are advertising in every publication and website possible you are still missing out on the potential of seeing so many others visiting your website if you are not optimizing your website.

Not only does SEO help your website attain a high ranking within search engines it also helps build your credibility. Google is searching for sites that are nicely designed, trustworthy and worth a top spot in the search engines, and only with SEO can this take place.

How to Optimize your Website
Optimizing your website for search engine purposes is done with the use of keywords specific to what you are offering. For example, if you sell plus-size clothing, those three words should be placed inside of the content on your site, the Meta-Tag description, headline title and throughout articles that are placed on article directories. A number of tools are available to help you choose the right keywords for your needs.

Most people choose to hire a professional SEO company to handle their website’s optimization needs. Because SEO involves many different layers to be done correctly, not to mention it can be time consuming, this is usually the best option for those who are not already familiar with search engine optimization.

If you choose to optimize your website on your own ensure that you first learn as much as you possibly can about the process. Not all of the tips and tricks used in SEO are going to be beneficial to you. In fact some of those tips and tricks could actually do more damage than you could imagine, even removing your site completely off of the web!

There are many methods of learning search engine optimization. You can search the web to learn the things that you need to know, but ensure that you use a trustworthy site to gather your information. You can also take a specially designed course from an SEO professional or purchase DVDs, books and software that details the process of website optimization.

The Bottom Line

As you can see SEO is something so very important to you if having an amazing website that reaches its full potential is something that you are looking for. Whether you choose to go it alone or hire a professional company, SEO is something that should not be forgotten. It is far too important in creating and maintaining a website that ranks well and proves itself as being trustworthy.

While it may not be the easiest or fastest way to get your website to the top you will find it very much worth it in the end. Imagine yourself as a top-ranked, profitable website that customers love and then imagine incorporating search engine optimization into your life.

Common SEO Mistakes you want to Avoid When Building Your Website

seoYou are fully aware of the benefits of SEO, but what you may not realize is that there are many mistakes that you can make that can inhibit your growth and placement within the search engines. It is imperative that you understand those mistakes and avoid them at all costs. To help you make the most of SEO, take a look at these common mistakes. When you are aware of the mistakes you can be certain that you are not making them.

Not Conducting Proper Keyword Research

At the heart of SEO is keywords. A keyword is a word or group of words that an individual will put into a search engine to find what they are looking for. While you may think  that a Dallas florist would use these two words as keywords, this is not always the case. There are many free and paid keyword research tools and you should use them in order to ensure that you are choosing the right keywords. Never assume that you know what is best, as you never know what an individual may be searching for.

Not Updating your Website

Once you have your website optimized and well-ranking you may think that your job is over, but this is far from the case. You must continually update your site and provide fresh, unique content in order to keep your site ahead of the game. Ensure that, at least every few months, you are updating your website, always including search engine optimization into the process.

Not Focusing on your visitors

Sure, it is important that you have plenty of keyword rich content on your site, but that information should be well-written and tailored to an individual, not a search engine spider. It is the customers that will keep you going strong, after all. Make sure that you provide useful information and tips that is well-researched, informative and well-written.

Using BlackHat SEO Techniques

Blackhat SEO techniques are favored by some individuals as they quickly get your website to the top. However, these practices are frowned upon by search engine spiders and sooner or later will be discovered. When they are there is nothing but trouble coming your way. Blackhat SEO techniques include keyword stuffing,  buying links, doorway pages and invisible text. All of these things, as well as the many other Blackhat SEO techniques, break the rules and regulations of proper SEO and should be avoided at all costs.

A Poorly Designed Website

Although you may not consider this to be useful in SEO it really is. When Google is ranking a website they take many considerations into factor, including your website and its design. You should take the time to ensure that your site contains only valuable information and facts with a great design if you do not want to harbor your growth.  This will help with search engine optimization but it will also ensure that all of the customers visiting your site are happy with what they receive. Great website design is not hard to find or to do. Stick with a theme, ask others their opinion and all will be well in the end.

Forgetting the Small Stuff

Along with your website you should concentrate on the meta-tag description as well as the title and website address that you have chosen. A accurate meta-tag description with appropriate keywords should be something that you have. Your website address should also contain these same keywords. While they are not the most important of SEO aspects they are nonetheless important and things that you should be doing to make the most out of your website and SEO practices.

The End Results

There are certainly many other mistakes that can be made when optimizing a website for search engine purposes, however these are the most common of them all. Make sure that you are aware of these mistakes and the harm they could bring your way. Avoid them at all costs and in the end your site will be as successful as you want it to be.  You may even want to consider using a professional SEO company to help you in the process. They are fully aware of the latest Google algorithms and understand what it takes to create an amazing, search engine and visitor friendly website.

The Hidden Benefits of Social Networking

It’s undeniable that social networking has become an integral part of most of our everyday lives. It’s changed the way we interact with our friends, keep in touch with our families, flirt with our partners, get to know our colleagues and admire our idols. All this is well and good, of course, but what’s all this information and connectivity doing to our minds? We hear about the bad all the time – but here’s some of the good.

Social networks help you to deal with criticism

People are motivated to protect their own images of themselves, and they react poorly to anything they perceive as a threat to that image. These threats are actually very common – criticism at work, relationship problems, new diagnoses and being on the receiving end of someone else’s prejudice are all threats to our self-integrity, and therefore we react to them in ways that are ultimately not helpful for anybody, least of all ourselves.

Psychologists have long suggested self-affirmation manipulations to help improve our reactions to these threats. Traditionally, these have included such techniques as writing a list of your better qualities, creating a scrapbook of everything that makes you happy to look through in times of trouble, and compiling a list of things people have done that prove to you they care for you.

Recent research, however, suggests that building profiles for ourselves on social networking sites brings with it some of these same benefits. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense; most want you to compile lists of your interests and qualities, amass a network of the people who love you the most, and save you little messages from anyone important in your life. They’re doing things for free that some people have paid mental health professionals to learn about.

Social networking helps you to make friends more quickly

Imagine that it’s 1993 and you’ve just met someone cool at an exercise class, and you’d like them to be your friend. You get talking to them after the session a few times, chatter, perhaps exchange landline numbers for one or two talks on a phone. You maybe have lunch with them one day. The process of turning them from ‘acquaintance’ into ‘friend’ is fun, but it’s slow – it could be months before the two of you swap much personal information, and you’ll probably never know much about their daily life.

Twenty years later, the process is quite different. You’d chat to them after a couple of classes just the same – and then maybe you’ll add them on Facebook. All of a sudden, as well as seeing them at the gym once a week, you have an inside track on their life – you know about their bad days at work, their favourite breakfast food, the hilarious thing their cat did this morning. Is this essential information? Almost certainly not. Does it help you to get to know them better, and thereby make the transition from girl-from-the-gym to close-friend quicker, easier and more personal? Absolutely.

Social networks can make you more intelligent.

Now, I’m not going to try and convince you that watering your imaginary cows can raise your IQ. It is true, though, that some of the ways we use the social networks we’re a part of can help us to broaden our horizons, learn new information, and become better at making astute connections between seemingly disparate facts.

Social media opens up the world to us in ways that were never before possible. We can now have friends from any country on the planet, learn about the daily lives of people whose societies are drastically different to our own, and keep up with events in parts of the world that the mainstream media tend not to report much from. “All of human life is here”, as the old adage goes – and the more we know and the more we see, the more informed and intelligent we can become.

Of course, the internet is still full of a million articles bemoaning the evils of social networking – and all things have their downsides. If used in an informed and sensible way, however, social networks can change our worlds for the better and forge new, innovative methods of learning, socialising and using our time beneficially.

Premium WordPress Themes

If you’re serious about your online business, or you simply care about leaving the best possible impression on your visitors, you should definitely consider getting a premium WP theme.

Premium themes offer several important advantages over their free alternatives, most of which we will discuss in this article, as well as showcase some of the most popular themes available online.

Let’s start by addressing the most obvious factor with paid themes – the price.

Why on earth would anyone choose to pay for a WordPress theme when there are thousands of other themes being offered for free just around the corner? To answer this question, we first have to establish the fact that free stuff isn’t always cheaper.

Tell me – would you rather invest some money in a dependable car that gets you where you want to be without breaking down every couple of miles, or get a free one from your relatives and having to spend your entire paycheck on keeping it mobile month after month?

The similar applies to all things in life, and WordPress themes are no exception to the rule.

Investing $10 or $20 in a premium WP theme could very well turn out to be the best thing you will ever do for your online business. Why, you ask? Well, let’s see…

First of all, premium WP themes boost user experience and website credibility, which are both crucial factors in improving your traffic conversions. In fact, NOT having a proper website theme could end up costing you thousands of dollars of lost sales per month.

Secondly, premium WordPress themes are much more secure and safer to use. Many free themes include hardcoded links to other sites that you have no control over and sometimes even compromise your data and steal personal information.

Also, WordPress releases new updates every so often, which brings up theme compatibility issues. That’s why all premium themes come with a lifetime of support and updates.

Even more importantly… you want your website to be unique, right? That’s pretty hard to accomplish with a limited set of customization features that free themes offer, especially when you consider the fact that so many people will be using the exact same theme you decide to use.

There’s only two ways to handle this problem – either hire a professional web developer to design a custom theme for you (which can be very costly), or get a premium theme and play with the settings until your website looks totally unique – it’s up to you!

OK, so what are the cons you might ask? Every coin has two sides. Well, the only real disadvantage to using premium themes is that you can’t “test drive” them. Unfortunately, you first have to “buy” the theme before you can play with it.

On the flipside though, you can always check out the “live-demo” of any premium WordPress theme to get a feel of how it looks like in action. Besides, most themes are actually quite cheap. You can find amazing quality templates on Themeforest for as low as $30!

Keep in mind that once you purchase a premium theme, you can use it for all your future websites, because all it takes is a little creativity and you can tweak your customization settings to get a seemingly brand new theme every single time.

Top 3 premium theme providers:

1

ElegantThemes is certainly among the best (if not THE best) premium WordPress theme providers on the market. The reason for this lies in a brilliant design coupled with an extreme ease of use, as well as very accessible pricing. Currently, you can gain access to all 81 themes for just $39/year!
This membership package comes with all updates and support included, as well as a 100% satisfaction guarantee and when you consider that most premium themes cost more than $40 on their own, this is an opportunity well worth your consideration. Here are some examples:

 

2

3

4

 

5

One of the main characteristics of StudioPress themes is really awesome coding job. Although the themes are not as fancy and vivid as the ones of ElegantThemes, the code is much cleaner and search engine friendly, which is why a lot of people choose to go with this theme provider. Examples:

6

7

8

 

9ThemeForest has become increasingly popular over the last year, which is no surprise when you consider that their themes are right there with ElegantThemes judging by design, and the prices are also very affordable (averaging around $45/theme). Theme count climbs up to 1700+ and new ones are being added every single month. Unlike the membership model with ElegantThemes, when you purchase a theme with ThemeForest it’s yours forever with a lifetime of updates. Have a look:

10

11 12

 

 

Conclusion

Whichever theme provider you choose to go with, make sure it suits your needs, preference and (of course) budget. Most premium theme providers offer a money back guarantee, so you won’t be stuck with a theme that you don’t really like.
Also, remember that having a premium WordPress theme is much cheaper than not having one…

How To Build An eCommerce Website

Ecommerce websites have been around for a while. In fact, they were around long before the whole “affiliate marketing” thing became popular, and they’re still here today. What does that tell you?

It tells you that ecommerce sites are a reliable and sustainable business model. They’re very targeted, they have a clear and well defined purpose (SELLING STUFF) and there is absolutely no need to hire expensive copywriters for sales copies because the traffic is ALREADY looking to buy.

So, why isn’t everyone building their own ecommerce website then? Well, there’s one thing that’s had a pretty big influence on hindering the popularization of these websites and that is complexity.

Truth is, it is not easy to build an ecommerce website from scratch. It used to take programmers weeks of coding and hard work to do it. Thankfully, we can now set them up with a few clicks of a mouse.

Big CMS platforms like WordPress, pre-made scripts like Magento and hosted solutions such as Shopify have made the process of setting up and maintaining ecommerce sites accessible to anyone who knows how to use a computer.

In this article, we’re going to talk about different options that people have when building an ecommerce website and some details that are worth paying extra attention to.

1. Do you want to sell just a few items, or a whole arsenal?

If your goal is to sell just a few things you have sitting around in your garage, you may not need an ecommerce website. In this case, all you need is a simple WordPress website integrated with a popular payment processor such as Paypal.

This involves much less hassle and it’s also very easy to set up. In fact, Paypal does all the work for you. You just enter the required details and it automatically generates the HTML code that you can just copy-paste to your website.

Paypal-Shopping-Cart

You can also choose between several different button types (buy now, add to cart, donate, etc.)

To get more information about the Paypal buttons, follow this link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_singleitem-intro-outside

2. Magento, Shopify, WordPress… what is REALLY the best choice?

This obviously depends on two things – your needs and your budget.

Generally speaking, unless you really want to sell a whole bunch of products, you’ll be just fine with running a normal WordPress website with an ecommerce theme/plugin.

ecommerce-display

You can find free WordPress ecommerce themes, although I would highly advise you to steer clear from those. They’re known to break easily and for no obvious reason, which can be really annoying.

Some of the best WordPress ecommerce themes include Kallyas, Camy, Fancytheme, Prostore, Cumico, Shopsimple, Breeze and Impulse.You can find literally thousands of them on Google.

For example, check out the »eShop« WP theme here: http://templatic.com/demos/?theme=eshop

However, WordPress CMS has also been a subject to frequent hacking attacks and security breaches, which is no surprise when you consider the fact that most webmasters are using it for their sites.

The Best Of The Best

If you are looking to build a serious long term eCommerce business, then you really can’t go past Shopify, one of the most popular and well respected options available.

shopify

Shopify is also a smart way to avoid paying for hosting and premium ecommerce themes, and can support a virtually unlimited amount of products with no noticable performance decrease. It’s very fast in terms of loading speed and can be scaled to fit almost any requirements.

But it doesn’t have to stop there… Shopify offers its users an option to actually import their WordPress blog into Shopify. This combination is pure gold, and is often used by ecommerce webmasters.

You can get started with Shopfy on a 14 day Free trial which gives you a chance to test it out and see how it all works.

Here’s an example of a site built with Shopify: http://www.lonesomegeorge.net/

Click Here To Take Advantage Of Shopify’s 14 Day Free Trial

Finally, another popular choice is Magento. Should you use Magento? In my opinion not unless you really plan on selling A LOT of stuff. Magento is a good platform, but it can be quite heavy, especially for new users who just want to get up and running as soon as possible.

It requires a robust, dedicated hosting server to run smoothly, which can cause additional costs.

However, as I already mentioned, it’s very scalable, versatile and also quite user friendly, so it’s not something you should disregard right away. It’s also a cheaper option than Shopify.

Here’s a Magento built site: http://www.tomassa.com/

3. So… what’s the final verdict?

That’s up to you to make. Keep in mind one thing though – whatever you choose, make sure you can scale it up… There is a very good reason for this – migrating ecommerce sites is extremely tricky!

Once you’ve chosen your platform, you’re pretty much stuck with it, so choose wisely. Shopify is always a good solution if you can afford it. Magento can be scaled very easily and works flawlesly when under heavy load. WordPress is great for having a low-medium sized ecommerce site and offers outstanding customization features for incredibly low pricing. Like I said… it depends on your needs and the amount of money you’re willing to spend on it.

I hope I’ve managed to shed some light on some of the most popular ecommerce solutions available today. Thank you for reading, and feel free to leave me a comment below!

Producing an E-Book to Sell Information Online

You’ve got the ideas, now what do you do with them?

One of the most popular online products: INFORMATION

Information is the NUMBER #1 reason most people do a search online. The quest for information is not limited to just quick website peeks. People are buying books and instruction guides from online sites at amazing rates.

Are you looking for ways to share your EXPERTISE?

Producing an e-book is one of the lowest overhead means for selling a product. Your inventory is basically what’s stored in your head and gets put into print. Unlike the days when 1 author out of 1000′s could hope to get a book published, you can now sell your own book, online with an unlimited audience.

You’ve got the ideas, but how do you ORGANIZE THEM?

One thing about the internet, it’s streamlined what people are willing to read through. You may get away with writing and selling a novel online, but e-books are better suited to problem solving and how-to guides. They need to be concise and get straight to the heart of the problem, then right on to the solution.

The Basic E-Book Structure:
Follow the time-tested structure to create the most effective and popular style of e-book:

  • Headline it with a bold statement. Follow this with a headline that smartly backs up the statement with a brief explanation.
  • Define the state your readers are probably in at the time. There is a particular audience. Tell them clearly that you know who they are and why they’re there.
  • Move directly to a clear explanation of the problem. Show that you not only understand the problem but you empathize with your reader. You’ve been through this yourself.
  • Present the solution. Don’t be tempted to save this for last! Your readers want to see results soon, and aren’t going to muddle through thick content waiting to discover the magical solution.
  • Back your solution with real-life examples of how it’s worked for you or others.
  • Set up a promising but realistic time line for expected results. Use the shortest time frame possible with terms such as in as little as… in as soon as.
  • Summarize EVERYTHING in a conclusion. If there’s a call to action, place it here.

Don’t forget the illustrations!

Illustrations provide a visual guide while breaking up thick chunks of text. Use color images if you can and change up the types frequently. Photos, diagrams, charts, and drawings should all appear in your e-book. Make sure you test drive those images!

  • Can the fonts be read on a small screen?
  • Did the text blur when you transferred the images?
  • Will your charts and diagrams make clear sense to someone who reads at an 8th grade level, or someone whose 1st language is NOT English?

You can be a genius in your field and still not know how to get your ideas into a logical, reader-friendly format. You can always get help with editing your writing, but you’ll always be responsible for your e-book’s formatting. Following this simple structure will give you a head start in delivering the type of e-book your readers are looking for.

How to Find an Affiliate Program To Promote

So your website is up and running. If it’s not, then you should check out our website tutorials . Ok so, you’ve got something that people want and you’re getting some traffic. Are you thinking about pumping up your income with some affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a popular side business for many online business owners. It even works for people who have nothing to sell, but have a website that attracts traffic. It’s not a “get-rich-quick” scheme by any means. You have to maintain a powerful and engaging website to get the traffic it takes to make money off affiliate links.

If you think you’re up to the task and your website will support substantial traffic, you’ll want to look for affiliate programs that are reputable and solid enough to generate sales through links you provide. Poor-quality and disreputable companies will hurt you by destroying your reputation, so you have to be careful to screen the companies you link to.

Your first order of business is to make sure the companies you link to are relevant to what you offer. If you run a lawn care service, it wouldn’t make sense to link to a restaurant chain or department store. If you run a restaurant it would be a waste of your time to link to a hardware chain or personal injury lawyer.

Once you decide which types of companies fit with your website, it’s time to go shopping for affiliate links. Here are some ideas of where to go:

  • Online Vendors. Online sales monsters are one of your best bets for affiliate links. Companies like Amazon, McAfee, Dell, and Apple rely heavily on affiliate advertising. Smaller companies and overseas companies who rely on internet commerce are also strong supporters of affiliate advertising.
  • Retailers Websites. Most retailers now have online stores. Gather a list of stores that are compatible to what you offer, especially focusing on retailers you do business with and can stand behind. Remember that your affiliate links need to be relevant to what you offer. Your site visitors are counting on you to NOT waste their time.
    ~~Many retailers openly post opportunities for affiliates on their websites. Look for an “Affiliates” tag on a retailer’s home page.
  • Affiliate Networks. These are online companies that manage affiliate programs for a variety of member vendors. You’ll have access to countless affiliate opportunities without the tedious search through individual accounts. You can search for companies by category and apply for multiple company links simultaneously. It’s also the easiest way to manage your affiliate accounts. An added bonus to using a network is most companies are shopping for you as aggressively as you’re shopping for them. You could receive special offers and promotions just for noticing them on a network.

Here are some of the most popular affiliate networks:

  • Clickbank
  • Commission Junction
  • Google Affiliate Network
  • LinkShare
  • CuttingEdgeOffers

Good luck with your shopping, but keep in mind that your links need to be relevant and respectable, and limited to what you can stand behind. Crowding your page with multiple random links is a turn-off for most site visitors, and breeds distrust. You can clutter your pages with hundreds of links, but if you can’t get visitors to click on them they’re completely worthless.

Does it REALLY Take Money to Make Money?

How to get up your online business up and running before you go broke.

The whole purpose of getting your website up and running is to start making money. Online businesses may take a lot less overhead than a brick-and-mortar shop, but you’re still going to face start up costs and what could be a long delay between going live and earning a paycheck.

You came here to start making money with an online business. It’s going to take work and sacrifice, but the potential is unlimited. The problem is… how do you get through the start up costs and lack of income until you get on your feet?

PATIENCE is a lifesaver if you don’t have a bundle stashed under your mattress. Until you’ve got your web site live and traffic flowing in, you may need to do it as a side-job. Keep doing whatever pays the bills and work on it in your off-hours. It will happen slower, but without the pain and stress you might otherwise go through.

GET IN WITH AS LOW AN OVERHEAD AS YOU CAN MUSTER.

There are so many free online products these days that you can get a website up and running for almost nothing.

  • Take advantage of free trial periods for software.
  • Look for online mentors instead of buying tutorials.
  • Use free online tools like graphics, at least until you can afford to upgrade.
  • Use your local library’s online and computer system until you can afford scanners, printers, or even a decent computer.
  • Do business on your supplier’s and customer’s dimes. Buy from vendors who offer delayed payments. Set up sales so that customers pay in advance and pay for any shipping costs.
  • Be your own labor. Write your own content, design your own website, do your own marketing.

DECIDE WISELY when choosing how you’ll generate income. Concentrate on selling products or services that don’t cost you anything. How does that work?

  • Sell your services as a consultant or expert. There are specialty niches all over online marketing. You don’t need a college degree, you just need to do your research. Learn everything you can about certain online niches like affiliate marketing, blog writing, or web design and start a forum that baits visitors into buying your expertise.
  • Do nothing but write blog articles and sign up as an affiliate for companies that have products or services in line with what you write about.
  • Create a site that gathers pools of particular businesses or services and charge membership fees to them.

Money is a major reason that people don’t even try to get a business going, even a lower overhead online business. For every entrepreneur there’s a handful of employees who’ve found it easier and cheaper to make money for somebody else. They’ve limited themselves to what others are willing to pay them, not what they could generate on their own. But that’s not you. Suck in your gut, grit your teeth and make it happen.