Are Banner Ads a Good Way to Build A Brand?

Build A BrandA lot of marketers today think of banner ads as the advertising tool of yesterday. When the internet first took off, banner advertising was the "in" thing. But as people started to develop "banner blindness" and started ignoring ads, the popularity of banner advertising took a nosedive.

However, the reality is that not only do banner ads still work - they're one of the most powerful mediums to advertise online.

Often times the only way to get your brand in front of a lot of people is through banner advertising. If you want to advertise to medical sites, for example, banner advertising is the only way you can get on WebMD and the Mayo Clinic.

While "banner blindness" is still an issue, there are now Continue reading

Analyzing the Numbers: Gauging and Learning from Results

Analyzing the NumbersYour year-end numbers are one of the most important tools you have for steering your business. These numbers can help you identify the strongest areas of your business, as well as help you spot red flags early on. Your best bet is analyzing the numbers. Once you know exactly what's working and what's not, you can fine-tune your business.

So what should you pay attention to?

==> Profits and Sales: Direction over Values

The first things you should look at are your sales and your profits. The most important things to look for aren't the actual numbers, but the trends. Continue reading

Amazon Mechanical Turk: What It Is, Who It’s For, How It’s Used

Amazon Mechanical Turk: What It Is, Who It's For, How It's UsedAmazon Mechanical Turk was one of the most radical inventions in online outsourcing. It allows you to outsource tasks to other human beings for pennies. Amazon Mechanical Turk is great for all those tasks that aren't quite highly paid enough to bring on a real outsourcer, but are still too complex for a computer to handle.

Amazon Mechanical Turk

==> What Kind of Tasks Would You Use Mechanical Turk For?

Here are a few examples of tasks you could use Mechanical Turk for:

* Look at a picture and determine if it's uplifting or depressing.

* Look at a name and determine if it's a man or a woman.

* Look for any words in this picture.

* Look at an advertisement and determine what the core message is.

* Look over a Yellow Pages scan and identify all the phone numbers.

Basically, these are all tasks that you'd want a human performing rather than a computer. Amazon calls these "Human Intelligence Tasks" or HIT for short.

==> How HITs Work

You set a price for each HIT. For example, let's say you want someone to look at a picture of a person and determine if they're male or female.

You might set the price at 5 cents apiece. You figure a human being could do one task per 15 seconds and earn 15 cents per minute or $12 an hour. People who can work faster than that can earn even more.

For a lot of outsourcers, this kind of work is a dream come true. For many businesses, paying a few pennies for data is much more cost effective than developing software to perform the task.

==> How to Set Up a Task

So how do you actually use Amazon Mechanical Turk?

It's quite simple, actually. You begin by setting up a template. Amazon has several pre-made templates you can use as a base, or you can create your own template from scratch.

You then upload your data sheet. This contains all the data that you want to sort.

For example, let's say you're having people look over your list of emails to determine if the names are male, female, undetermined or if they look like fake emails.

You'd start by creating a template with four options: male, female, undetermined or fake email. You'd then upload your list of email addresses.

Mechanical Turk will present outsourcers with each email. The outsourcer will be awarded with a HIT every time they finish sorting an email for you. Once you're satisfied with your results, you can pay all your outsourcers at once.

It's that easy! If you have tasks that need to be performed on a mass basis and you don't have the software to do it, consider using Amazon Mechanical Turk to handle all your Human Intelligence Task needs.

Amazon.com Affiliate Program: Is It Worth the Effort?

It seems like affiliate programs are all the rage these days. And why not? It is a good way to create an income stream with very little work. One such program is Amazon.com Affiliate Program.

What Are Affiliate Programs?

In case you are a newbie in the world of affiliate marketing, here is a quick tutorial about the concept. Affiliate marketing basically involves selling products for others and earning a commission on those sales or sales leads.

There are many advantages to this model. First, you don’t have to house any inventory. The products are managed by the affiliate program owner, in this case Amazon.com. There is nothing for you to keep up with.

Second, you don’t even have to come up with tools to promote the products. The affiliate does that for you as well. They provide an affiliate’s toolbox filled with all sorts of goodies that help you to get started. You can use different codes on your site to embed pictures, text or both with your affiliate code so that it traces back to you when someone clicks on the links.

Third, you don’t have to monitor the clicks. All of that is done for you, by the affiliate owner. They compute your payment and send it to you.

So, what’s your responsibility? Successfully promote the product and drive traffic to your site so others will take advantage of the offers displayed there. But, that is a subject for another time.

What about Amazon.com?

Amazon is a pioneer in the affiliate marketing model. When you are growing a company it is often hard to also grow the advertising. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. Amazon have developed a strategy whereby others help to promote the products and services that they offer for a percentage of the commission on the sales.

It’s ingenious, actually. Now, someone else is working for you so you can concentrate on other business aspects.

With Amazon.com, you are backed by a brand that people trust. When you promote any of their products, potential customers already know that it is good quality so you don’t have to sell them on that. The products practically sell themselves.

But, before joining any affiliate program, even Amazon.com, read the fine print. Know about fee structures, payment schedules and what you are getting to help you be a successful affiliate. This will help you evaluate whether the program itself is worth the effort.

If you are looking for a constant income stream that gets better over time, then this one may work for you. Some are skeptical about the low starting commission rate. However, while it is low compared to other programs, you can grow that as quickly or as slowly as you want with increased sales each month.

Also, Amazon.com pays quarterly. You won’t see a check until the end of the first three months depending on when you sign up. So, it is not a quick bucks kind of program.

Is Amazon.com worth it? That depends on your needs and affiliate marketing goals.

All You Need To Know About Starting A Consulting Business

Starting A Consulting BusinessAs a small business owner, what is your specialty? Have you been answering questions from your customers? Have you been teaching your customers tips and tricks to make their life easier? As your customers look to you, your responses will guide them toward a successful path. You have become their coach or consultant. Your passion for imparting that knowledge to others is shining through to them.

It's not hard to become a consultant as long as you have knowledge and experience in some area that your customers can use, whether for themselves or for their businesses. Continue reading

Stretch Yourself Challenge To Get Known In Your Niche

Stretch Yourself Challenge
Do you know people who are less qualified than you or are less talented than you, but yet they are successful online? The reason is because they put themselves out there everyday. They spill the beans on themselves, whether it is about a failed business project or a a project that is still sitting on their hard drive. They share with the world these situations and problems that they struggle to get through. And you wonder, why? Why are they more successful in their online business?
Continue reading

Become An Online In-Demand Content Writer

Content WriterDid you post an update to your blog this week?  Writing, I believe, is a developed talent. If you like to write, you're lucky to be alive right now. The internet has created a massive demand for writers to write its web content.  You can write blog posts, articles, and questions for an interview, an eBook and much more. It's never been easier than it is now to make a living as a writer. All you need is a passion for it and an internet connection. Want some tips to help you become a successful online writer?   Continue reading

The Secret of A Successful Entrepreneur

The Secret of a Successful EntrepreneurWhy did you start your business? Did you know the secret of a successful entrepreneur when you started? Whether you are a brick and mortar business or you are a contractor or service professional, it takes work to start a business and maintain it. But many of us complain that our lives aren't where we want them to be, yet we don’t take any action to change things. Everyone has goals, and a solid plan of action is the only thing between you and your goals. Some companies plan a year (or more) in advance. Maybe you can't plan years ahead, but you should be able to plan a quarter of the year, or 3 months, at a time. Continue reading

Top Tips To Start An Online Business

Start An Online BusinessAnyone can start a small business. But whether that business will be a success depends upon you and your skills. As an entrepreneur, you may not need a specific business office space. You can work from home. Many businesses are looking for virtual help these days. Because many businesses are an online business, you can provide services to support these businesses right from your living room. You can meet the demand by offering services such as web design, bookkeeping, data entry, transcription, and content writing. A ‘virtual assistant’ (as the title is now known) can bundle several services together as a package deal. The only requirement to start an online business is to have an internet connection and an in-demand skill. Are you interested? Continue reading

Personal Efficiency With Coach Glue

Personal Efficiency With Coach GlueIs it really possible to make more money, serve more people and have a bigger impact on the world-while working less? According to Coach Glue it is! Coach Glue is focused on helping you get ahead in your business. They have ready-to-use tools and ready-to-use forms that will help you get your work done faster. Everyone knows it takes more time to set things up from scratch. But if you use their ready-to-use items, that will reduce your work time and possibly cut it in half. The sooner you finish a project, the sooner you can make money from it. That sounds like a plan to me! Continue reading