Five Key Factors for Compelling Web Content

Readers-searching1-618wAlthough content has always been considered the be the “king” when it comes to writing compelling web material, with the rapidly increasing numbers of websites “out there”, never has it been so vitally important to make your content better that of your competition, so it pays to take the time to create high quality articles that visitors truly want to read.

Forget about taking shortcuts; no matter what niche or business you are in, the quality of your articles, posts & sales material will always be the key to a successful online venture.

To write content that really conveys the message you want to get across, take note of these 5 key factors:

Make It Easy To Read
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Keep that in mind many people skim-read webpages. Your target readers are probably subscribed to several news feeds or  blogs, so if you want to hold their interest, you need to make your content easy to read.

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Remember readers like white space, so use short paragraphs and bullet points or numbered lists with subheadings. Use web recommended fonts because research has shown them to be the most easily read by the majority of readers. A particular font might appeal to you, but that doesn’t mean it will have universal appeal or be easily read by others, especially those with poorer eyesight.

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Add graphics to your articles where that is appropriate as this makes the structure of your post more visually appealing and helps to keep your article focused on the point you want to get across.

Good Quality Material

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While it is true that you can get articles written very cheaply when you don’t want (or don’t have time) to write them yourself and also true that some so-called “gurus” claim to still make money using poorly written articles, these guru’s may well have a very large list of people who will buy whatever they recommend, regardless of quality.

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Therefore, it isn’t a good idea for you to do what they do because you want to build a good reputation for yourself, build your business so that your readers and customers see you as a quality provider and will be more interested in your next offer. Remember, it is easier to sell something to an existing customer than it is to find a new one.

Be Natural

Cute_Vector_Robot_Character_176x189Don’t try to fill your article with keywords; make your sentences flow in a clear, informative and entertaining manner.  Search engines have evolved to the point where you will be penalised for overuse of keywords, rather than rewarded in the rankings.

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The best advice is to stop worrying about keywords. If you are answering the questions your searchers are asking then the keywords will come into the content naturally.

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Of course you can add some in on purpose after the article is finished, but in a way that does not upset the flow. Keywords should be secondary to creating an article that’s interesting and informative.

A comfortable Length

Funny_Robot_Vector_Character_25_2There may be accepted “rules” as to how long your online articles should be, but every article and every subject is different, so use your common sense about it.

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Imagine that you are the person searching for your content; ask yourself if you could find the answer to what you want to know in just 100 – 150 words? If the answer to this is “yes”, then 100 -150 words is long enough! The key is to use as many words as are required to address the subject without getting off track or including unnecessary detail and very often, that will require a lot more than 100 words.

Current

Most online content becomes out of date and needs updating from time to time. Yes, some things don’t change much over time, like how to grow vegetables or recipes, so articles about these subjects are considered “evergreen” because they are still relevant long after being written. Robot_Vector_Character_with_Thumbs_Up_175x215 However, just because they are still relevant doesn’t mean you can re-hash them without penalty from the search engines.

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Remember that Google, Bing and the like are businesses too, trying to please their customers (searchers) so they will reward those who upload content that is fresh, up to date and original. It pays to take advantage of this fact by keeping on top of your industry and keeping your readers informed. 

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It is a mistake to take shortcuts when it comes to high quality content. In the long term, it is well worth the time and effort it takes to write material that will convince your reader to take action and join your list or buy whatever you are offering.

Where to Start Finding, Your Marketing Niche

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The first rule of niche marketing to learn is that it is advisable to research a market first and to try to establish a shortage in the market place, after which you will need to find a product to fill that shortage. Do not try to find a market for a product that you already have as it is almost certain you will fail.

So, before doing any research you will need to decide on the type of market that interests you. There are a lot of them on the Internet so it is important to choose the right one for you. To begin the research it is advisable to start on a broad theme and then dig down into the market. The following is a good starting point to find your potential list of markets to review.

1. A market following one of your passions.
2. A market within the Internet Marketing (IM) niche.
3. A market that follows the high spenders.

Number one blueThe first is obvious. You need to list any, and all the subjects that you feel passionate about, such as hobbies, sports, your work, or any subjects that you are knowledgeable about. If you are passionate about the subject then it would seem natural that you could make others passionate as well.

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teo-blueThe second market – IM – is probably the largest market currently on the Internet, but it is a highly competitive one. There are many niches within the overall market, and maybe there would be something that could be of interest. Some of the high flyers in this market are:

  • Private Label Rights
  • Resell Rights
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Traffic Generation
  • Blogging
  • Membership Sites

number-three-blueThe third is one that tempts most newcomers, but they really don’t know where to start to look. The key here is to find information regarding which subjects have the most searches made, and there is a high spending value in that market. Some of the highest money spending markets include the following:

  • Dating
  • Travel
  • Stock Trading
  • Diets
  • Pets
  • Real Estate

Again there are many niche markets within each of the above topics with room to dig down to find the best possible returns.

Pr 072 - TRI - 16_11_10 - 012With your list of markets to explore, it is time to fully research each one thoroughly. Make extensive notes as you dig into each market. Ensure you can evaluate the number of searches in the niche; assess whether there is money being spent in the niche; and then that vital “something” that is missing, which hopefully you will be able to find and sell to the market.

When you have completed the research on your niche market list, you will need to make an evaluation of which one(s) presents the best business proposition, then start developing the niche. Remember that Rome was not built in a day, so be patient and don’t try to short-cut the research or you may miss some important information.

When the product is selling like hot cakes – start all over again.

Randy Smith’s Hacker Nightmare

One of the people I admire in the internet marketing industry is Randolf (Randy) Smith, one of many internet marketers out there who genuinely want to help others to succeed. Randy’s blog called “Randy’s Ramblings” is one that I read on a regular basis because it is down to earth, humorous and helpful. You won’t get any bullsh.. on this blog – Randy tells it like he sees it and if he doesn’t think a new product would be useful, he’ll say so or else it just won’t be mentioned at all.

Randy has, or should I say had, a number of websites and products but in early October, his sites were hacked and all his domains stolen. To read the story behind this nightmare, visit the blog at http://randolfsmith.com

If you feel sick, as I did, that one human could treat another in this way, just take note of the effort Randy put in to try to put right all the wrong being done to his customers, a time consuming and costly endeavour, and you’ll realise that this is a man that just won’t give in, he’ll keep doing what he believes is right. This is a man worth keeping in mind to buy products and services from.

Once he gets everything back up and running, there will again be links on his blog to his many services. In the meantime, here are the ones I have used and recommend:

Sales Letter ABC – www.salesletterabc.com
7 Key Elements – www.7keyelements.com
More Monthly (stolen) – now called More Monthly Pluswww.moremonthlyplus.info (more info on this site on my Online Resources Page http://r7-

sydney.webserversystems.com/~trishfin/online-business-resources)

I have not included an affiliate link in the list above, so I won’t profit if you buy from Randy, but I believe he deserves a break, so if what he offers is useful to you, buy from the man!

Best wishes
Trish

P.S. – there is always something to be learned from someone else’s misfortune, so to all out there with an internet business of any kind, make sure you back up your sites and your lists. You’ll be glad you did if a hacker comes your way, too.

Five Different Kinds of Blog Posts

Do you have a blog already, but it has been a while since you posted something?

Or perhaps  you thinking of starting a Blog?

To keep your blog fresh and interesting, then you need to post frequently, preferable at regular intervals so your readers have an idea when to expect another instalment. Create different types of posts to keep your readers interested. This also helps you from getting bored with your own blog. It doesn’t matter if you have a blog to make money directly fromit, or you are blogging to drive traffic to someone else’s product to earn affiliate commissions, you need to be aware of the following types of post.

1. The Review Post

Review blog posts can help you to earn income because you review several products, including your affiliate link for each. When reviewing, be unbiased and give an honest review, including both positive and negative comments about the product. Even if you totally loved the product, keep your review balanced by mentioning a few things that could have been improved. Your readers will appreciate your honesty and be more likely to trust your recommendation.

2. The Quick Tip Post

In between your longer posts you can do a “quick tips” type of post; these are approx 150-250 words.We may have a lot of information about our niche that we want to share but it may not rate a full length post. In that case, post a quick tip. Focus on ONE key area of the niche. For example, “How to connect a new monitor” would be a quick tip article for a beginner computer users blog.

3. The List Post

Blog readers love lists! The most popular blogs make good use of lists. You can create lists that fit with any topic imaginable. This is a great way to convey information online because it can be easily scanned by web readers who are “skimmers.” You can also create lists of different ways to accomplish a goal in your niche. “10 Ways To Prepare Your Soil For Planting” would be a great list for gardeners.

4. The Interview Post

Interviews will require some preparation, but they are very valuable to your blog. Interview someone in your niche and then share the results of that interview with your readers. This will not only provide valuable content for your blog, but will also bring more traffic. Most likely, the person you interview will also publicize the event on their blog or Website, directing traffic to your Blog.

5. The Instruction Post

This is similar to Quick Tips as you are providing your readers with valuable information. However, these Instruction posts will go into much more detail on a certain topic. Sometimes your instructions can even be divided into two or three posts or courses. Look at comments and questions from your readers to find what topic would be most beneficial to them.

As you blog, remember that your readers like variety. Don’t always write the same type of post, but add something different to keep it fresh and new.

Home Based Business Ideas

A work from home business is now seen as an alternative to the 9-5 job, five days a week. Making money online is becoming increasingly popular as people begin to think differently. With the cost of everything increasing, more people are taking charge of their financial situation. They are setting up businesses at home so that they can earn an income and get a better work-life balance.

The internet is full of various opportunities. There are many genuine ways of making money. However, you need to be aware of scams that don’t deliver the goods. You need to be wary and check out credentials before parting with your cash.

The internet has so many opportunities it might be hard to choose which one is best for you. How to get started and the business opportunity to choose is the biggest challenge. Here are some questions to think about.

Is this the right work from home business idea for me? Do I need a lot of experience to succeed in this business? How much money do I need to get started? Is it a proven work from home business?

Here are some of the best and quickest ways to earn an income with your own home business.

  • Affiliate Programs & Other People’s Products

Affiliate programs are a very easy and quick way to start with your home business. Affiliate programs are a way of making money by promoting other people’s products or services. You receive a commission which will vary greatly. Check out the commission paid for products you feel comfortable with promoting.

The advantage of affiliate programs is that you only need to lay out a small amount of cash to get started to pay for your website and paying for ongoing promotions.

Your sole aim is to advertise your website and promote products and services. Create as many sales as possible and gradually increase your commission checks.

  • Private Label Resell Rights Products

These are products that are already created. You claim ownership and market them as your own. Key advantage of this is that you don’t have to create your own product and can be in your own home business very quickly.

  • Resell Rights Products

These are products that are already created and available to anyone who can pay for the resell rights to market them. You get to market a product which is already created. Sometimes they come with their own website so you can be up and running in your own home business pretty quickly.

  • Create Your Own Product!

Sounds scary? Needn’t be. All of us know a bit about something. Just think of things that you enjoy, what you know, what you do. Put it in to an e-book or product. Use what you know and start making money from your own business.

These are just some of the ways in which you can easily start to earn money from your own online home business. Working from home can generate extra income and potentially, a great deal of money. These are proven methods. They just need you to apply them.

Why not give it a try?

Computer Crash! Prevent Loss of Your Valuable Data

Have you ever had a computer crash and all your data was lost?

Most likely your computer’s hard drive failed & this happens more frequently than we’d like and for all sorts of reasons. Another major risk to your data is fire, flood or theft. The following strategies will help you to protect and recover your data.

Although the software files for the programs that run on your computer is also data, you don’t need to back that up as it is easily recoverable from the installation disks you received when software is purchased.

The data that we will focus on is “user” data specifically, the data that you create from the software programs that run on your computer.

For example, if a word processor is used to create a document or a letter, the word processor provides functions to save this data. The data that is created and saved through the word processor is “user” data. Most programs will create and save data somewhere on the hard drive.

There are many kinds of user data that are usually stored on the hard drive, do you have some of these?

  • letters you write in a word processors
  • flyers / posters for your clubs
  • business cards
  • spreadsheets
  • greeting cards you’ve made
  • accounting data from a money management program
  • picture files
  • music files
  • video files
  • email and email addresess

This is not a complete list, but to give you an idea of what you might have created and could lose if your computer crashed or in a fire or theft. Most people do not pay enough attention to this basic fact about computer systems until it’s too late. Don’t let this happen to you!

Remember, the key is “prevention” and in order to prevent loss of valuable data you must be prepared, so let’s look at some basic backup plans.

Option 1: Save your data to CD or DVD disks
This is by far the cheapest option and a very good approach to securing user data, especially if you don’t have too much. All that is needed is a CD or DVD burner and some blank disks, which cost very little these days.

When using this option, make two copies so that one of the copies can be stored off site, to protect you against fire, flood & theft. Another reason is that a CD or DVD backup can also become corrupted & it’s better to have two or more copies.

Option 2: Use a memory stick (USB stick)
This will cost a bit more than option 1, but USB sticks are getting cheaper & cheaper all the time, and holding more data as well. One advantage is how small they are and easy to carry around. I bought a waterproof one when they first came out for my client’s data and was very glad I did so, as it went through the wash twice and still worked fine! (I did have other backups though & I still use that drive today!.)

Option 3: Consider having two internal hard drives, especially if you have a lot of user data, especially big pictures or music files.

Most home computers generally all come with only one internal hard drive, which stores both software and user data. This means that this one single hard drive is experiencing a lot of wear and tear. Every time a program is launched it’s being accessed. Every single function that the operating system invokes will likely hit the hard drive etc. This heavy wear and tear can eventually lead to physical failures.

Also, many viruses are designed to hit the operating system & if the user data is on the same physical drive as the operating system, then it can be severely impacted by viruses as well. The disadvantage of this method is that it doesn’t protect you from fire, flood or theft, etc, but it is probably the easiest way to automate backing up your files.

Option 4: Attach an external USB Hard Drive to the system

With the price of hard drives getting much cheaper, this is another really good option. By attaching an external USB hard drive to the system, special backup programs can be installed and scheduled to run over night. There are many cost effective backup programs available. Some will be built into your operating system and others are available free – search on the internet and you’ll find plenty of options. The advantage of the external drive is that your work is still physically separated from the main hard drive and can be taken off-site with you.

Option 5: Online backup service
The services are fairly inexpensive (typically about $5 a month), and the best ones won’t noticeably slow down your PC use or Web browsing (after the initial large upload, at least). They also encrypt your data before, during, and after it’s been sent to industrial-strength servers. There are no discs or USB drives to worry about, either. The service can start processing and uploading files automatically on a schedule or in the background when there are enough free cycles available.

How often should you make backups?

This really depends on what your data is. If you are only using your computer for emails and writing letters, perhaps once a week is sufficient. When you’re doing work for someone else, it’s wise to keep doing incremental backups as you go, every ten minutes, every hour perhaps. It’s a decision you need to make for your personal circumstances. I personally do my backups before I go away from my work area and every night. The main thing is, remember to DO IT!

Summary

  • You need to backup your user data in case of computer crash or fire or theft
  • Back-up frequently, as often as needed to make it easy to restore your work to where you were
  • Use at least two different methods
  • Keep one copy of your backup data away from the computer (prevent loss if fire or theft)

Hopefully this helped you become more aware of the importance of your data and the need to back it up.

The options presented here are the very same methods used by many highly experience data processing centers and can be easily adopted by the average computer user. The most important point to remember is that good planning for potential disasters is the best protection against loss of valuable user data. You may not think of it this way at first but the user data that you accumulate on your computer takes time to build up and acquire.

If you value your time then you’ll value your data. Your data has a lot of value. So why not take a few simple steps to protect it.

Handy Hints 1

Beginner Level

How many times have you wondered how to do a particular task on your computer but didn’t know how? How about things like create a new folder or copy and paste some text into notepad? These are simple but often a lost skill with many of the computer users on and off line, so here’s a refresher.

Computer Tip #1

Copy and paste is one task that every computer user will find they are using many times per session for many useful tasks. Say you wish to copy a portion of text into a file in which you are creating a report or project, even an article or your website content? This too is a simple skill to learn with a little practice you will be an ace at it and wonder how you ever got along without it. To copy something you must first highlight it using your left mouse button with your index finger.

You will want to start at the beginning point of the text you wish to copy and place your mouse cursor then by clicking your left mouse button. Now when you do this DO NOT let go of the mouse button which you are holding with your index finger and while holding that mouse button down simply move your mouse over the text until you reach your stop point then let go of your index finger.

Now simply move your mouse into the center of the highlighted text and then using your ring finger to press the right mouse button. This will bring up a menu with the copy selection. Use your index finger, otherwise called the left mouse button; click on “COPY” from the menu that comes up. You have now successfully copied the text and are ready to paste it into your project or a new notepad text file.

Place your mouse cursor in the blank notepad or project and then using your ring finger press the right mouse button to bring up the menu. From the menu select “Paste”. If you successfully completed the copy process your text should appear in the new text file or your current project. If not go back and try again. With practice you will find it becomes second nature to you and your speed will increase as you use it more and more.

Once you have mastered the copy and paste process this way, there’s an another very good way to do it (and my preferred method). Once you have highlighted the text you wish to copy, hold down your control key (Ctrl) and the “C” key at the same time, very briefly. This is written as Ctrl-C and does the same function as the right mouse click ‘copy’. Now move to the new area as you did before and do Ctrl-V (hold down the control key and the “V” key at the same time).

With copy and paste you end up with your text in both places. Sometimes you won’t want that, what you really want is to move it from one place to another, so instead of using copy and paste, you use cut and paste. And yes, there is a shortcut key combination for ‘cut’ too – it is Ctrl-X.

There are times when the cut, copy & paste options are not available on the right mouse menus, but Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V & Ctrl-X will still work. Practice and see which method works best for you. There are always lots of ways to do everything with Windows, Office and other programs , so you just use the one that seems easiest for you. Good luck!

Computer Tip #2

Have you ever downloaded a piece of software from the internet and couldn’t find it later? It happens to thousands of people all over the world every day! An easy way to find it later is to first prepare a landing zone or a place where you know you can always find it.

Some people use the My Documents of Windows but after downloading many files you may find it hard to find the latest file. One simple fix is to create a new folder on your desktop. The definition of your desktop is where you see icons of folder; files and you’re able to see your favorite picture as the wallpaper for your desktop.

To create the new folder is easy. First find an un-crowded portion of your desktop and then using your ring finger click the right mouse button to bring up the context menu for the desktop. There in the menu you will find a selection called “New” Then Click on “Folder”.

This will create a new folder on your desktop. You can name it something that will help you find the downloaded files. The first time you create a new folder, you will notice that the folder naming text is highlighted. To rename the folder to something more to your liking simply start typing and the highlighted text will be replaced with what you wish to type in. A good folder name would be downloads or my new files or even the month and year which will make it much easier to find those files in the future.

Now once the folder is created simply remember when you download the next file to save it in that folder on your desktop for easy and fast access.

I hope you found these tips useful; there are others I think you’ll find handy that will appear as time goes on. If there is anything you want to know about or some topic you’d like to have covered in a post, leave a comment or send me an email.