Step Up 2 Success New Home

1 Feb

Hello everyone, you can now find us at our new address:

http://seotips4smallbusiness.com/wordpress/

Dr. Ande’s Guide to the Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Ads

30 Jan

Happy birthday to me!

I decided to share my birthday with all of you and give you some tips to boot! These are to help you with your business advertising and marketing. After all, if you don’t market you’ll get no income!

So here it goes 44 Tips on Ad Writing:

  1. DO WRITE OUT ALL DETAILS in your ad offer!
  2. Read it, edit it, and re-write it until it’s a shorter, money saving effective ad. “Think small”.
  1. DO FOLLOW ALL THE RULES when writing your classified ad.  Use these ideas.
  1. Attention     Interest        Desire       Action
  1. DO USE A NAME with each classified ad including your envelopes.
  1. DO NOT CHARGE for sales letters or circulars.
  1. DO BE HONEST with all your classified ad claims.
  1. DO IDENTIFY your product.
  1. DO WRITE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD simple, clear and direct.
  1. DO USE WORDS EVERYONE KNOWS and everyone will understand what you are saying.
  1. DO USE A WORD that will benefit a reader.
  1. DO NOT OVERPRICE your product.
  1. DO ADVERTISE FREQUENTLY. Constant exposure creates a familiar offer with better response.
  1. DO OFFER A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE in your classified ad, sales letter or circular if possible.  An excellent sales technique!
  1. DO TEST YOUR AD in 2 or 3 smaller, low cost publications. Record the results.  Code each ad.
  1. DO READ PUBLICATIONS that relate to your product.  Write for ad rates, paid circulation, discounts and closing dates.  Keep records.
  1. DO HAVE ALL YOUR LITERATURE AND PRODUCTS ready for mailing when your ad appears in the publication of your choice.  Do not delay in responding.
  1. DO USE THE COPYCAT METHOD.  Do what other successful advertisers are doing, only with a slight twist, idea or offer. Make it personal to your business.
  1. DO RUN SEVERAL ADS!  Word each differently.  Keep records of results.
  1. DON’T OVER ADVERTISE.  It can be expensive.  If you want to, do it gradually.
  1. DON’T PRETEND YOU KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS.  Because you don’t. Take time to find out what you need to know.
  1. DON’T TRUST YOUR MEMORY.  A thought will leave you as quickly as it came.  Always write down a good idea.  NOW!
  1. DON’T PLACE YOUR AD in the wrong classification or on the wrong website/blog.
  1. DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY on ad words to amuse or entertain, but use words to persuade, inform and sell your product.
  1. DO USE A SHORT BUSINESS NAME.  Make it easy to pronounce and remember.
  1. DON’T FORGET THE M.E.D.I.C.S.
    Motivation – Enthusiasm – Desire – Image – Creativity – Success!
  1. DON’T GIVE UP. If your ad doesn’t pull after a fair exposure, try re-writing it.  One or two different words may do the trick.
  1. DON’T SPEND THE PROFITS. Re-invest the money in more continuous advertising.
  1. DON’T FORGET, an ad that offers “FREE DETAILS” means writing a sales letter or circular.
  1. AVOID HIGH TYPESETTING COSTS AND MISTAKES
  1. Getting your price lists, brochures, catalogs or newsletters typeset does not necessarily have to be a costly procedure. Keep in mind that the main cost in typesetting is the time involved in setting type.  By minimizing the time needed to create a typeset piece you can effectively keep your cost down. The following suggestions can help reduce your typesetting expense.
  1. Know what you want the FIRST time around.  Have a picture in your mind.  Trial and error can be costly.  Don’t have a typesetter set it one way, then decide a different format would look better.
  1. Reduce and eliminate author’s corrections by thorough proofing and re-proofing.
  1. Avoid minimum charges by combining small jobs and having them set at the same time.
  1. Try to use one family of type to save time and money by avoiding font changes.  The consistent look is better.
  1. Give explicit instructions on marking up copy:  type styles, column widths/margins.
  1. With a large job, such as a brochure or annual report, request a style setting proof sheet to get approvals before the entire job is done.
  1. Avoid super rush jobs, especially if you don’t really need them.
  1. Avoid lengthy corrections on the phone.  You might end up paying for corrections later that could have been avoided if you had done your editing on proof sheets.
  1. Get the layout finished and approved before having type set…the same goes for copy, of course.
  1. Avoid the use of “run-arounds” (reducing the width of the copy to make room for a photo in the column, for example).  If you do use them, use simple shapes, boxes, squares.
  1. Avoid the use of curved or angular type. Type reading left to right on a page (for example, this report) is faster and less expensive to set than copy that is set in a curve or running sideways on the page.
  1. The use of unjustified text and captions is less expensive than justified because it sets quicker, costing less time.
  1. Don’t depend on the typesetter to read your mind.  Be specific.

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande

Affiliate Programs: What They Are and How They Can Make You Money

28 Jan

Affiliate programs are literally taking the internet by storm.  But alas, although many individuals have heard of affiliate programs, there are very few who actually know what they are. So if you are interested in capitalizing on this amazing business opportunity, familiarize yourself with affiliate programs and what they can do for you. Doing so may very well be the best decision that you could make.

Affiliate programs are business programs, also sometimes referred to as business opportunities, which are ideal for webmasters. All webmasters can benefit from the use of an affiliate program, but those looking to make money can benefit the most. This is because, in a way, you will be selling merchandise for another company. This allows you to make money without having to sell your own products.

This article is taken from my Successful Affiliate Marketing Blog, to continue reading click here.

5 Great Work At Home Business Opportunities

25 Jan

Here are some excellent businesses that you can start, operate and grow from your home. All these work at home businesses have the following desirable features:

  • Low Startup Costs
  • Ease of Entry
  • High Income Potential
  • Home Based and Operated
  • Worldwide Sales Potential
  • Residual, Recurring and/or Passive Income Potential

Consulting – A consultant is someone expert in a field who, for a fee, advises businesses or individuals on various matters of concern.

Why is this a good job?

  • Many times we tend to feel that our knowledge, skills or abilities are nothing unique. However, many lack those same assets and would gladly pay us for our knowledge and services.

Where is the money?

  • Although it is possible to make a living from consulting with individuals, the big money is in performing services for businesses.

What skills can be used to consult on?

  • Do you have knowledge of bookkeeping, accounting, tax or similar business matters? Some have made excellent money specializing in small business consulting.
  • Are you a computer hobbyist with business or internet experience? You could make money in web design, internet marketing, search engine optimization, or some other specialty.
  • Some lawyers have combined their legal experience with their love of the Internet and specialized in intellectual property and computer law.

Affiliate Programs – An affiliate or associate program is a method of selling products on the internet through commission sales. When someone you refer to a website buys, the company you are an associate of (or affiliated with) pays you a commission.

Why’s this a good job?

  • If you have a large social network or are a part of a group or host a blog or website that gets a lot of traffic; you can monetize just from the traffic and introduction of the product to your groups.

Where’s the money?

  • In many cases, it is also possible to make money from the efforts of people that you introduce to the affiliate program. You can also expand your product line by joining and promoting more than one affiliate program.

What skills do you need to succeed?

  • Patience is the biggest thing. Affiliate marketing, if done right and honestly, won’t make you an instant millionaire or billionaire, but it can be built up over time to bring you in a nice passive income.
  • You also need a website or blog to sell from.
  • If you are marketing your own affiliate products then you’ll need tracking software or to be a part of an organization that tracks and pays your affiliates for you; like Clickbank.com or Plimus.com

Web Mastering – A webmaster is a an internet specialist responsible for all aspects of web sites.

  • Areas where businesses need assistance include web site design, logo, banner or graphic design, web hosting, e-commerce, internet marketing, web programming, scripts, security, web site maintenance, copy writing, mailing list management, and many other areas.

Self-publishing – A self-publisher creates, produces, and sells information products. Information products may be in the form of books, booklets, videos, audio cassettes, compact disks (CDs), electronic books, files, databases, private websites, and other media.

  • The information products that you create are unique. You have exclusive control and ownership of your own products.

Instant Publishing – An instant publisher sells information products produced by someone else who grants them reprint (or resale) rights.

  • Often self-publishers will sell such products to complement their own information products.

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande

Why Your Business Cannot Afford Not to Advertise on Craigslist

23 Jan
24 Hours on Craigslist

Image via Wikipedia

Craigslist is not always the best advertising option but there are certain situations in which a business cannot afford not to advertise on Craigslist. In this article I’ll give you two common scenarios where a savvy business owner should definitely consider advertising on Craigslist. Failure to do so can be detrimental to their business. These examples include small startup companies without a large advertising budget and existing companies whose direct competitors are advertising extensively on Craigslist.

Small Startup Companies Benefit from Advertising on Craigslist

Small startup companies often have a great deal of work ahead of them to begin competing with existing companies who are already thriving. These companies may already have established client bases and may have substantial funding budges for the purpose of obtaining new customers. Customer loyalty can be difficult to break and new companies either have to offer significantly better quality products or services, comparable products or services at reduced prices or a slick marketing campaign with consumer appeal.

However, smaller companies rarely have the advertising budget necessary to orchestrate an elaborate advertising campaign. This is when Craigslist becomes a necessity. Smaller companies can focus their energy on creating outstanding advertising copy without spending exorbitant amounts of money to run these advertisements in other forms of media such as newspapers, magazines, television or radio.

It is important to note that while free advertising is appealing, the advertising should be just as sophisticated as it would in markets where the business owners would be required to pay a fee to run the advertisement. This will help the business to maintain a professional image and will entice potential customer to try their products or services.

Don’t Let the Competition Corner the Market

Another scenario where a business cannot afford not to advertise on Craigslist is when direct competitors are making use of the advertising opportunities on Craigslist. This is important because businesses who do not advertise in the same locations as their competitors are essentially conceding potential customers who peruse those locations to the competitors.

Imagine you own a dog walking business in Portland, Oregon. If there are a large number of members of that community using the local Craigslist website to find dog walkers, you will likely miss out on these business opportunities because these individuals will likely select one of the individuals advertising on Craigslist for their dog walking needs. If you were to place a well written advertisement in an appropriate section of Craigslist you may find you are able to gain a market share of the available business.

There is, however, one caveat to placing advertisements wherever your competitors are advertising. This practice is not considered worthwhile when the market is already saturated with competition. Consider the above example of a dog walker in Portland. If there are a small number of competitors competing for business on Craigslist it is worthwhile to place your own advertisement here. However, if literally hundreds of dog walkers are flooding the website with their advertisement it is not worthwhile to post an advertisement because your advertisement will likely be lost in the shuffle. It is much more worthwhile to advertise in other locations. Checking Craigslist periodically may still be a good idea because those advertising on Craigslist are likely to not see great gain from this advertising and may resort to other options. When you notice a decline in competitor advertisements, it is a great opportunity to add your advertisement.

Until next time,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande

How to Spot a Small Business Opportunity

21 Jan

There are many small business opportunities right under your nose. But you have to look at the world around you with fresh eyes and listen with newly tuned ears. New local ordinances may help you come up with an unheard of business. Where others see trouble, look for opportunity to start a new service or to make an innovation in an old business model. As a small business entrepreneur the world is yours.

A small business opportunity may be waiting in the talent of your hands. Do you garden, fix your car, or do bead work? Whatever you know how to do there’s a market for it, especially if you add a new twist to your idea. You can sell those plants at auction sites or how about starting an emergency car repair service and bring your shop with you? Expand that bead work talent into making and selling art jewellery. There are sites where you can sell your jewellery art.

The green industry is wide open. Do they have recycling where you live? If not, consider starting a recycling business. Or if there is a private one already, then start a pickup and delivery service for people’s recyclables.

To help yourself with finding the small business opportunity that’s right for you think about these personality traits and see which is like you.

  • Are you concerned with improving the things around you? Maybe you can modify some type of business to make it better.
  • Do you like to give advice? Perhaps you can teach people to do something and create an e-book to sell teaching the process. It could be a small business advice book.
  • Do you have a dynamic personality? Then as a small business entrepreneur, you’re business will be branded by your charisma.
  • Are you creative? Your small business opportunities are available on the internet at sites where you can sell, photography, music, screen savers, and your writing skills.

Many colleges offer a small business advice services so be sure to check out what is offered locally. They cover areas like startup plans and marketing; forums; proposal writing; branding; and various ways to use the internet to advertise and grow your business. These are usually free of charge.

The internet also offers a variety of advice that may help you.

The Small Business Administration is chock full of help for the small business entrepreneur including a plan tutorial and outline, financial assistance, local resources, and a lot more. There are many ways on the internet to promote your small business online. You can post ads, talk in forums, join social marketing sites, use traffic exchanges, and banner exchanges, add your signature to all of your emails and so forth.

For those of you who look to do business online and you need traffic to provide you with potential customers, linking is a good way to get traffic to your site whether you’re promoting your internet business or using a site to promote your brick and mortar business.

This small business advice should get you rolling and building your entrepreneurial future.

As always, I wish you well with your business endeavours.

Until next time,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande

Business Plan for Startup Business

17 Jan
Pandora's Web2.0 Business Model

Image by Alex Osterwalder via Flickr

We’re officially 3 weeks into the New Year everyone and if this is the year you’ve decided to hang out your shingle and start your own business, let’s really start this year off right by talking about your business plan.

Many people are scared off by the very words, “business plan” but rest assured there’s nothing to be scared of. The reason most people dread the “BP” is because they’ve only ever heard of it in conjunction with presenting major calculations and tight budgets and financial forecasts and in depth profiles etc. But let me tell you there are many types of business plans and they need not be scary. But you did need to have one.

So let me put your mind at ease. You see all a business plan needs to consist of is a narrative and several simply written pages on how you plan to manage the business, who will help you run the business and perform the distribution as well as your location, how you plan to make money, and who your target audience is.

When most people go to put together a business plan they are used to the general template variety where the narrative is the body of the business plan and contains over 150 questions divided into several sections. These templates can allow you to work through the sections in any order you like, except for the Executive Summary which should be done last. You can skip any questions that do not apply to your type of business. When you are through writing your first draft, you will have a collection of small essays on the various topics of the business plan. Then you will want to edit them into a smooth flowing narrative.

That’s the business plan that people dread and wake up screaming about. But let’s talk about the real purpose of creating a business plan.

The real value of doing a business plan is not having the finished product in hand; rather, the value lies in the process of research and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research when you are not sure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically. For some it takes a lot of time to create a business plan for others it’s simple. Doing one does help to avoid costly, perhaps disastrous, mistakes later.

When it comes to putting a business plan together, you simply need to have an idea of what your business is; who needs the solutions you have to offer; how you are going to market to them; how they’ll get their product or service; how you’ll collect your payments and who will help you carry out these things. In the beginning you can create a simple business plan using a binder some tabs and 3-hole binder paper. As your business grows you review your business plan to see if you are still on track or if your needs have changed it will help you modify your plan to keep your business growing.

I should also mention that where you hear about those in depth financials section only comes into play when you are looking financing from institutions or investors. Even within apply for funding from these sources the types of business plans they require are put together differently as banks have a completely different focus than an angel investor. Banks and other financial institutions are more concerned with your pricing model, your target audience and your ability to collect payments from them in order to pay back the loan from the institution. Angel investors are more concerned with whether your company is capable of long term growth so they own a part of an innovative business venture. They aren’t as concerned with the repayment of the loan as they are with your company’s expansion potential and the growth of the industry your operate in.

It typically takes several weeks to complete a good plan. Most of that time is spent in research and re-thinking your ideas and assumptions.  But then, that is the value of the process. So make time to do the job properly. Those who do, never regret the effort. If you would like to learn an easy way to put your first business plan together without the stress click here.

Welcome back readers, I wish everyone a Happy and prosperous New Year

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande

IDN: Around the World with a Click!

15 Jan
Internationalized domain name (IDN) with Simpl...

Image via Wikipedia

Are you a business that has customers in more than one country? If not, are you planning on expanding internationally? It’s easy when you’re on the web and reaching out to customers in the international community has just gotten easier. Now’s a perfect time to see if an Internationalized Domain Name is a right fit for them.

Many non-English languages use characters containing diacritics or non-Latin scripts. Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) contain these non-ASCII characters. Characters range from a few special characters found in Italian and French to entire character sets found in Arabic and Chinese. IDNs let users register and use domain names consisting of their native language instead of relying solely on the standard ASCII format.

Examples of IDNs:

English: http:// idn.icann.org
Arabic: مثال.إختبار
Russian: пример.испытание

Viewing an IDN is possible in both Firefox®, Google Chrome® and Internet Explorer 7 (or greater) browsers. And while most languages are preloaded into these browsers, there are instances when an additional download is required to view a specific language. Many can be found at Microsoft.com for use in translating documents in Office or Google has a built in translation system that operates from its Google Chrome® browser.

But I’m talking about doing business on the web internationally. The reason I am brining this up is that just because someone owns a domain name’s English version, they do not own its non-English counterpart. If you or your customers do business in other countries, it may be wise to register the equivalent domain(s) in native languages for those countries, making it easier for international customers to reach your business site.

Yes IDNs cost more but think of the long term rewards. People like to have things available in their own language; it’s more personable and shows a willingness to extend courtesy and respect to your customers from all around the world.

Top languages for IDN domain sales include Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew and Spanish. Even your Western Language-based customers may be looking ahead to expanding their international business opportunities and would benefit from early registration of an Internationalized Domain Name.

Ready to get started? IDN lookups, where customers specify the language for conversion, can be found here.

And, as always, I wish you success and sales!

Dr. Ande
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande

Quick List of Small Business Tax Resources

12 Jan

You may have already completed your 2011 taxes, but if you’re dreading the task or tackling your Internet-based business’s taxes for the first time, here are some resources that may help:

The Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource
The IRS is doing their part to help make filing easier by putting forms and FAQs into one location. This website includes a quick A-Z index if you need a specific form; answers to qualifying business expense questions; tax-related guidelines for employers; how to get an Employer ID Number if you don’t have one; and more.

New Tax Law Changes for Your 2009 Federal Income Taxes
This site is from American Consumer News. This article offers a short summary of tax law changes for 2011, giving you a good heads-up on areas where you might want to pay special attention when filing this year, including new business mileage rates and new rules for charitable giving deductions.

Glossary of Tax Terms
From our friends at Entrepreneur.com comes this handy glossary. Whether you’re working on your taxes or using your tax accountant, you’re probably running into terms that are over your head. Here’s an alphabetical resource to help explain those terms and bring them closer to everyday vocabulary.

Other Resources

Top Tax Deductions for Your Small Business by Attorney Stephen Fishman (Nolo).
This article is about small businesses in general. There are handy sections on “Advertising and Promotion” and a list of “Easily Overlooked Business Expenses.” Be sure to check it out.

Top 10 Tips for Small and Growing Businesses Taxes are one of the most important issues facing small and growing businesses. And like a company’s profits, its annual tax bill will in part reflect the owner’s skills and knowledge. Business owners need to be sure that they are meeting all of their responsibilities to the tax man – and also seizing every opportunity to reduce their taxes.

Determine Whether You Should Outsource Your Tax Reporting It might be tempting to handle your tax reporting in-house, but it’s important to remember that you will sacrifice time that could be spent on running your business. Learn how to choose the best fit for your business’s tax reporting needs.

See you soon,

Dr. Ande
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande

Search Engine Optimization – Title and Meta Tags

10 Jan
English: The three biggest web search engines

Image via Wikipedia

Now that you have a better idea how to pick your keywords for your website/blog pages it’s time to take a look at Meta tags and how you can use them to achieve higher rankings in search engines.

Traditionally, Title and Meta HTML tags – parts of your websites’ underlying source code – have been centerpieces of any successful search engine optimization campaign. In the early days of the search engines, a top ranking often could be secured by simply building the right Title and Meta tags for your website or blog. Today, well-optimized Title tags remain among the most important search engine optimization factors, while the value of Description and, particularly, Keywords Meta tags has declined. Still, because most small and/or niche search engines and Web directories continue to incorporate all three elements into their indexation and ranking procedures, you should add carefully-optimized Title and Meta tags to your website.

Now while keyword meta tags and description are overlooked today, due to the Google SEO rage of the past few years, I’m going to explain why ideally, all of your site’s main pages should be equipped with individual Title and Meta tags that reflect the products and services offered on each of the pages, and why you want to put in the description and still use those keyword meta tags. You see, doing so allows you to aim for a top search engine ranking for each individual page, based on the keywords and phrases specific to each page.

Let me break it down for you.

The Title Tag – defines the text displayed in the web browser’s top bar on any given page. The Title tag should mirror its page’s contents, provide an appealing lead-in, and help boost the page’s search engine ranking — all in a few, easily-read words and phrases. A Title tag should be readable as a headline and include two or three carefully selected keywords. Descriptive, appealing and keyword-optimized Title tags will attract visitors, as well as search engines.

Point to remember: Title tags shouldn’t be more than 80 characters long, including spaces. They also should not repeat a word or phrase excessively as that might be construed as search engine spamming, which could cause your search engine rankings to plummet.

The Description Meta Tag – The only Meta tags that matter to the search engine optimization process are the Description and Keywords tags. Other Meta tags allow you to define your page’s language, author, refreshing intervals, etc. But they have no impact on your search engine indexation and ranking. This is why you must fill out this data!

The Description tag decides what some search engines will display for your site on their search results pages. (The top search engines, Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Ask.com usually will display a snippet of body text that includes the keyword(s), instead.)

Many search engines pay particular attention to keywords found inside the Description Meta tag. This means that a Description Meta tag should inspire the search engine user to click through the link and access your site. As well, the tag should include at least one occurrence of the applicable Web page’s top two or three keywords.

Point to remember: Description Meta tag content should not exceed 250 characters, including spaces.

The Keywords Meta Tag – In addition to listing keywords without having to worry about textual coherence, the Keywords Meta tag is the one website element that allows you to cover common misspelled and alternate spellings of your main keywords. If you are aware of any such alternatives, be sure to list them in the Keywords Meta tag. Generally, the Keywords Meta tag content should not exceed 1024 characters, including spaces.

I hope you this gives you a jump start on building your own Meta tags. For additional information please leave me a comment or visit my Website Review Service.

And, as always, I wish you success and sales!

Dr. Ande
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande

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