Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sensational Website Traffic Secrets Exposed

One major thing that online success depends on is knowing traffic secrets for getting substantial amount of website traffic. Without real traffic, no online business can thrive and survive, because one that has the most traffic has the most gain. But the truth is, not everyone online entrepreneur knows the real secrets to building the kind of traffic they desire to have. Yet there is nothing magical about it, neither is it a game of chances.

One major thing that online success depends on is knowing traffic secrets for getting substantial amount of website traffic. Without real traffic, no online business can thrive and survive, because one that has the most traffic has the most gain. But the truth is, not everyone online entrepreneur knows the real secrets to building the kind of traffic they desire to have. Yet there is nothing magical about it, neither is it a game of chances.

What are secrets? Whatever is called a secret is only known to a very few people; and the very few who know the secret of online business are the ones who are enjoying the gain thereof - massive traffic to their websites. However, it is obvious that not many people know these sensational secrets employed by these few. You want to be among the few, Can you?

The Secrets:

Sure enough, you want to be one of the successes by getting a targeted traffic. All you need to do is to improve and increase the thing you usually do. For instance, if you have been doing article submission, you have to double on the number of articles you submit, and then increase the number of articles you submit often.

The Sensational Secrets:

There are those who are getting thousands of people who visit their websites every day. These people are like kings, who know how to turn the key. They may have done one thing or the other to get where they are. They may have submitted articles to articles directory. They may be using strategies involving Search Engine Optimization SEO, back links, and so on. The fact is, they have things they do systematically and consistently, they use certain methods and follow some calculated steps to drive the kind of massive traffic they have to their website.

The undisclosed things they do are actually what make them stand out among others and soaring above their competitors as if the web came into existence to favor them alone. The web exists for the benefit of all, including you. Knowing what to do and how to do it right is what makes all the difference, and that is what you must go for.

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Top Internet Business Niche Solution

Niche marketing is one of internet business' obsessive and interesting aspect. Almost anyone and everyone is on the lookout for the next internet business idea. It is a fact that the internet is indeed an awesome place where one could have the opportunity to make tons of money. The question now is how one could make a good income from one of these internet niche ideas?

First things first, one needs to take in account that coming up with a profitable niche idea takes work. You have to come up with an excellent niche topic. After which, the research and keyword tools come a bit later on in the game. As much as possible, always get into the mood of looking through niches even in your sleep.

So how will you know which are the best and most excellent internet niche business ideas to choose and do? Unfortunately, there is no specific internet niche business that is sure to 100% work. Fortunately, there are niches and sub-niches in any and every industry. This covers everything from Health, Finance, Business, Relationships, Real Estate, etc. The niches are available anywhere and everywhere. A few are very profitable that all one needs to do is place a relevant product and people will naturally flock to it thus garnering you tons of sales. There is no specific formula or way on how to find the best internet niche idea. However, there are techniques on how to locate what is best for you.

All who search online are essentially on the lookout for a specific solution to their problem or a problem or issue their friend or loved one has. Be aware that this is already a niche and one that you can use to guide people to the products which are relevant to them. You can do so as an affiliate if you do not have products of your own. Remember that as long as such products solve an issue, concern or problem, they will be purchased. In order to locate these people and such a hungry market, you can use a keyword tool you trust. Feel free to utilize the keyword tool of Google. It could be had at no cost. One simply needs to enter the words Get Rid Of or Cure or Eliminate, or How to, or Solve. You can then check the specific search words which come with these phrases. Essentially, you will be amazed on the number of people who are seeking ways and techniques to solve their problems. All in all, you just have to present a product that is relevant to their concerns and issues. Voila, all you need to do is expect sales come in.

Steve Lim is an online internet marketing specialist, while running his internet marketing business, he has been constantly doing business offline and online. Now he works with world class internet marketing gurus to build successful online businesses. He desires to share his knowledge with everyone, and hopes to inspire people.Discover more insider secrets and the exact proven strategies that are used by famous Internet marketing gurus to make money online in this free ebook:

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Steve Lim K. K. - EzineArticles Expert AuthorThis article has been viewed 0 time(s).
Article Submitted On: April 09, 2011

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Promoting the Businesses Online

This article discusses how the business organization, various brands and the companies can make use of the online tools to augment their virtual returns from their existence on the World Wide Web. One of the best ways to increase the chances of earning more through these unique addresses on the web is by attracting more people to the addresses. One of the best tools to use for this is the Search Engine Optimization or the SEO. Though this might be a time-consuming process but, it has worked wonders for the people who cannot afford to spend a lot on hiring the services of the other web tools.

1. One should make sure that the website or the virtual existence of the companies on the internet should have a proper web page that tells the visitors about the company and the products or the services they are offering. This will not only stimulate interest among the visitors but also allow them in learning about the options they have when it comes to buying a product.

2. The web content of the website should be developed around the 'you attitude' highlighting the benefits of the customers and how they will gain by hiring or opting to select the product or the services featured at the website.

3. One should make use of the high scoring key words to place in the content of their websites. These keywords will attract more traffic and should be placed strategically into the content. One can also make use of the meta tags to allow the website to be more visible.

4. One should also make sure to upgrade the web content regularly as it will keep attracting the attention of the web spiders. The more spiders a website is able to attract the more will be their chances to be ranked higher by the search engines.

5. SEO or search engine optimization is not a one-time process rather, this is an ongoing process, which might take time but, produces effective results for the businesses and the companies looking forth to earn more through their virtual existence.

6. One can also make their accounts on the various social networking websites and use these platforms as the channels for making networks and marketing. This type of marketing is known as the 'viral marketing'.

7. One can even write blogs or get the press releases written to make announcement related to the latest events and the news of the businesses.

8. One of the smartest ways to augment the traffic to a website is by submitting articles about it in the article directories.

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Tips on How to Write an Article in Under 30 Minutes

Content marketing is important, we all know that. The content you produce for syndication has to be top notch if you want to create some buzz and get attention but is there ever enough time in the day to put that content together?

It can be extremely time consuming to sit down and produce an article from scratch, especially if you're not sure what you want to write about but there is a light at the end of the time - you don't need to spend an hour or more getting content together for a content marketing strategy.

Here are some tips that I use to produce content quickly when I need it most, and keep things flowing within my schedule.

? Begin with a list of varying concepts or topics that you'd like to cover. It can help to do this the old fashioned way with a pen and paper - the blinking cursor can be a brain drain.

? As you generate lists of article ideas, let the concept of the article stew and churn in your brain for a day or two. This doesn't count toward the 30 minutes or less, you're prepping at this point, which you have to do because this is the first time you're trying this technique. Rough out some topic ideas and walk away if you need to. Ideas come frequently once you start thinking about them.

? Don't be afraid to give up some of the topic points in order to get an article moving. You may have listed article topics and points that seem relevant but you don't have to include everything.

? Don't save ideas. Don't feel like you need to put a particularly good article away and save it for that time when you need a secret weapon. Once you start writing regularly and pushing a lot of quality content in your content marketing then you won't have any issues coming up with new content later.

? Always have some tricks to get you past writers block. Go for a walk, do some free-form writing, clean something for a few minutes, wash your face, blow up some people in multiplayer Call of Duty - whatever you fancy. Want to simplify it? Give yourself a daily deadline for your work. Set yourself a time to get things done and run with it.

? Some of the best articles I've produced were written partially, revisited a few times and then finished. The total time spent on the piece was under 30 minutes but it was broken into multiple sessions of a few minutes here and a few minutes there. If your ideas are flowing particularly well then you don't need to do the back and forth but this is also a great way to work on multiple articles at the same time.

? Use bullet points and sub headers. Not only do these work well in helping readers get through an article but they also make it easy for you to stay on track while writing the article out. This post is a perfect example of how you can structure an article or blog post with bullet points.

If you put these concepts together, when you sit down to create an article you should have a quick reference outline of the topic and the points you want to hit on. Put in some best practices methods such as the bullet points and sub headers and you'll be amazed at how quickly you can turn out articles for your content marketing strategy.

Your content is killing your sales - Discover how an affordable and professional website copywriting agent can help you craft compelling blogs, articles, press releases, website content and more that will lure in your target audience and get you on the first page of Google - FAST. Learn more about hiring a professional copywriter at

Derek Cromwell is a professional freelance copywriter and owner of Thunder Bay Media, a company that provides content marketing & SEO copywriting solutions for businesses ready to improve their online presence.

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Derek Cromwell - EzineArticles Expert Author

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Importance of Local SEO Marketing For Legitimate Online Businesses

For any legitimate online business owner search engine optimization (SEO) is part and parcel of any online marketing strategy, but have you ever considered local SEO marketing as a part of having a successful home based business? There are some excellent benefits to be gained from focusing on local marketing and this is rapidly becoming a very popular means of making money online.

Here are three reasons why local SEO marketing is important to your online business and how you can benefit from its popularity.

One of the biggest advantages of using local search engine optimization is that it generates hyper-targeted traffic. Generally SEO is considered as one of the most important methods of getting targeted traffic over a sustained period of time. The reason for this is that the traffic it generates is based on the persons' search queries, and by making use of a specific geographic area, you are adding an extra modifier that makes sure that visitors are not only finding your website based on the subject of their search but it also has the advantage of location, which in turn adds more interest in the product or service you are offering.

There is less competition, and even though more legitimate online businesses and traditional offline businesses continue to add local SEO marketing strategies, it is still not as widely used as the general type of search engine optimization. Even if every single online home based business in your particular are was competing against you, there would still be less competition than usual with general SEO. It is still absolutely essential that you check not only the amount of online businesses you are competing against, but also the kind of search engine optimization tactics they are using. You will probably find that over the last couple of years many of them will be involved in local SEO marketing as well. The key to success here is to research the top few competitors and ensure that your SEO strategies are more effective than theirs if you want to not only compete against them but beat them.

Another reason to be involved with local search engine optimization is that it can very often produce considerably higher conversions, which could be in the form of newsletter subscriptions, direct sales or the possibility of having people call you directly depending on the nature of your online business. There are a few different reasons for this, the main one being that you will be generating hyper-targeted traffic, which in effect means that they are actively looking for the type of product or service that you are offering and also that they are searching in your specific geographic area. The majority of people who search locally want solutions that will immediately solve their specific problems, and if you can get their attention and give them what they are searching for, they will be very happy to take advantage of what you are offering.

Hopefully you can see from this that there are numerous reasons why your legitimate online businesses should be involved in local SEO marketing, and to summarize; you will be enabling hyper-targeted traffic which in turn can substantially increase your conversion rates and in addition you will have less people to compete against. Even if your online home based business does not have geographic restriction, you can still benefit from using local search engine optimization strategies.

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Top 5 Ways to Generate Buzz About Your Business

What are the right ingredients for getting people in cyberspace talking about your brand? Start with the proper balance of fee-for-service and social media marketing channels, then repeat your messages liberally and often. Always remember to proclaim the specific benefits that differentiate your products or services from the competition. You can accomplish all of this through the top five methods of generating buzz.

#1 Issue Press Releases

Just about anything that happens in your business is cause for an announcement, and an opportunity to create awareness about who you are and what you have to offer. From the initial business opening, to new hires and product line expansions, you can tell about it all in press releases. Though often overlooked, this simple form of communication, when properly distributed, is a great first start to getting noticed.

While there are many press release services online, is worth exploring. This company has a menu of press release products at varying costs and will even write it for you if you need assistance. Their advantage is wide, efficient distribution based upon your selection of online news sources and region. A well written press release with mass appeal will easily be picked up by Yahoo News as well as other prominent news sites.

Just as with other social media marketing activities, though, scheduling is important. Plan on sending out at least one press release a month. This constant, predictable conveyance of information will keep your brand name and benefits fresh in the reader's mind and serve to maintain the level of awareness you need.

#2 Write and Distribute Articles

Write articles about your products, services, or field of expertise, or hire a writer. In the body of the articles, use keywords or keyword phrases that you have discovered generate good search results. Look for sites that will publish your articles. The top three on a list in an article by Dr. Ralph Wilson of Web Marketing Today were,, and Wilson advises limiting your submissions to five general interest sites and a few special niche interest sites. He also states that articles are an effective way of promoting websites, both through content and in the author's bio at the end of the article.

#3 Blog on Your Site

Blogging is another essential function for an online business, and a blog that resides on your website can get you far more traffic than one with an unrelated domain name. If it isn't easily possible to add a blog to your main website, you can at least include links to your blog so that you establish the relationship between the two sites.

Blog posting should be done no less than once a week and as frequently as seven times a week or more, depending upon your content and goals. Hire a writer or give the task to an employee so that you can ensure frequent and consistent blog article postings. Keyword research and usage is as important in blogs as it is in articles. Make sure that keywords chosen will be ones that can assist help you reach you social media marketing goals by virtue of their popularity and relationship to your business.

#4 Use Social Media to Spread the Word

Each new blog post and article publication is worthy of a tweet on Twitter, a link to your Facebook business page, and a Facebook status update in the least. Use other networking sites such as LinkedIn and Digg to further spread the word. Other sites to consider are StumbleUpon, which is akin to a search engine for finding web content, and, which is a social media bookmarking service.

#5 Publish on YouTube

Create a product or service "how-to" demonstration on video or in an Adobe Flash slideshow. In addition to posting your work on YouTube, you can also link it to your blog, to a "how to" article about you are planning to publish, and to Twitter and Facebook.

Think about how many different communication tools you can employ to get your messages across to your target market. Using audio, video and photos enhances text every time, and provides stand-alone communications for YouTube, further extending your reach.

One of the most important questions to ask yourself regarding social media marketing is, "How many different ways can I deliver my message?" By using all appropriate online channels, adhering to a posting and message release schedule, and incorporating audio and video, you can succeed in generating buzz about your business.

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Tips for Marketing Online

1. The blogs and the press release play a vital role in augmenting the chances of virtual returns from the websites. Thus, one should identify the top bloggers in their respective industry categories and send them their products to try out. They can then write reviews about these products and post the links to the websites, which will help in convincing more people.

2. One can also opt for online interviews. In order to implement this approach the individuals or the companies might need to get in touch with the publishers who conduct regular online interviews.

3. Provide a tool on the website through which the customers can provide their feedback. This way the companies will know the demands of their customers and can manage their websites according to the customers' needs. This is one of the best ways of knowing the needs of the customers and building mutual trust when they see the changes according to their preferences.

4. One should make sure of the various content management systems to place their potential keywords in almost all the important Web pages.

5. The website development is no more a onetime process. Rather, the successful companies make sure that they keep upgrading the content and the images on their websites, so that the visitors are not bored of logging on these pages.

6. One can even make use of the viral marketing and use the social networking websites for promoting their products, services, ideas or the company.

7. Getting articles written is another effective way of increasing the awareness about the offerings of a websites. These articles can be submitted to the various article directories existing on the World Wide Web. These directories can be free or paid.

8. One should make use of the meta descriptions wisely in their websites. The keywords that hold potential should be used in the title or the subheadings for the various web pages.

9. One can even search for the articles or the discussions in the blogs related to the industry or the category of their products and leave their comments while publishing the link to the websites or the comment boxes. Since the comments expire after a long time, more visitors will be able to click and view the website long after they have been published.

10. Another smart way of online marketing is by getting the press releases written that talk about the benefits of the product or the services being offered in a 'you attitude' approach.
These tips will help in marketing the various websites and their offerings online.

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Online Money for Free

When you think about getting something for free what does that conjure up in your mind? Do you see someone handing the item to you? Do you see yourself having to do something for the item but not having to hand over any money? Do you see someone doing the entire thing for you and you just reaping the rewards? The next time you think about making money online for free, examine these questions for a minute.

A lot of people want to make money online and a lot of people say they want it for free. So ideally, someone would see your email address and just send you a link saying "click here to receive your $4,500,000.00." Oh wait. I got one of those emails today, from a bank in Nigeria.

So maybe now you realize that there will probably have to be a trade of some sort, if you want money from the other people out in the world of the Internet Market Place. What are you willing to trade? Good question. You probably do not want to trade your hard earned cash for the bounty that will become yours, once you find the magic link-code. Are you willing to trade time? Time can be a precious commodity too. How much money is your time worth? How much does your boss pay you? You know, the guy who you want to fire?

Surely your time is worth more than $9.00 or $10.00 an hour. Are you willing to earn $1.00 an hour or less? What is the cutoff point where you way, "This is ridiculous! I want to make money but no one told me it was going to be this hard."?

I am here to save you from having to say those words. If you want to make money online and you do not want to spend any money doing it, you are going to spend a little time. Okay, a lot of time. Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk...

I am an Internet Marketer and I know every way there is to spend hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours online and not make any money. I am a professional. But there is hope. You see when you want to know if the way is clear you send the guy you like the least, or the guy who may not be the brightest, into the cave to check it out first. If he comes back alive then you know it's safe to forge ahead. The smarter of us have been doing this for millennia.

So I am your canary, for lack of a better term. I was sent into the trenches to make sure the way was safe and to find the best way through for the rest of you. I was gone a long time and I saw a lot of the dangers awaiting you. The first of these dangers is the promise of millions of dollars with little to no work. I fell into that pit a couple of times. I know, I should have learned the first time, but the ads were so shiny and bright and the letters were big and red. That guy wouldn't lie to me. Would he?

The next danger was the "Hurry and click this now, or it will be GONE the next time you come back" sign. I couldn't click fast enough. "Please let me in." Okay I only fell for that sign maybe, 15 times. Sad I know. But he was only giving away 32 copies. And the price was so good. It was marked down from $1997.00 all the way to $27.00. Do you know how many people signed up for this guy's training for over $5,000.00?

I have to tell you about the first time I saw this kind of marketing. I was walking to my therapy session, and I saw a man wearing dirty, torn jeans and a ratty shirt. He looked like he hadn't washed or eaten in weeks. He had a roll of posters under his arm and he was attaching them to poles throughout the city streets. I stopped to read the sign.

"Easy Money, Make $10,000.00 a MONTH" it read. There was a phone number under the bright letters.

I laughed so hard I almost had an embarrassing accident. So how was I to make $10,000.00 a month? Putting up posters on street poles? If it was so easy why was this guy posting signs instead of making money? But I digress.

If you want to make some money online and you don't want to spend any money doing it you will have to put up some man/woman hours. There will be lots of clicking and posting. But remember there are people who have gone before and learned a lot who can teach you the ropes. Don't be afraid to look around and get some sound advice. There is no rush. If you take your time and learn the ins and outs of Internet Marketing, it will come to you. You will be a success.

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Profitable Niche Marketing - How Is It Done?

Niche marketing can be many different things to different people. However, if the Internet Marketer is to make it profitable then he/she must be aware of what attributes the niche requires to generate income.

Firstly, when choosing a niche, the internet marketer is looking for a captive market that is being serviced by a relatively low number of competitors. To get an idea of the competition you can first enter your chosen niche into the Google search bar and determine how many competitors are active in your chosen niche, the fewer results the better.

Internet marketers need to target their marketing techniques and adapt to real life search strategies by consumers. The easiest way to do this is to target longer phrases instead of generic one or two word searches for example; rather than choosing 'guitars' the niche marketer would chose a phrase relating to guitars that only a subset of the guitar market would be looking for such as 'Antique Spanish Guitars'.

Obviously the market for antique Spanish guitars would be a lot smaller, but so would the competition from internet marketers promoting this niche. Therefore it is significantly easier for the Internet Marketer to be an authority in this niche and capitalise on an under-supplied market.

The term used for this strategy is to use 'long tail key words' which can be found using free tools such as 'Google AdWords' or if you require a more in-depth search there are several tools on the market that will make the process a lot quicker and easier but come at a price and are not needed when first starting out.

To help determine the strength of the niche you can use Google AdWords or the marketing tools to see how many people are actively searching for your 'long tail key word'. Obviously if the search is very low then you will ultimately have very few visitors to your sight, and if the number is very high then chances are the competition will be too great. Therefore I recommend you choose a 'longtail key word' that has somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 searches per month to maximise the activity from the niche.

Now that you have found your niche its time to start generating some income. To actually make it profitable you will have to actually sell something to the visitors on your website or blog that solves their problems, or services their needs. Now, you can spend time and money creating your own product which ultimately brings higher revenue, however, chances are you are not in a position to do so as you are not familiar with your new found topic or more likely you do not have time to research and create it.

When things are going well you can outsource this by paying others to build the product for you but to get started a much better option is to 'affiliate market' someone else's product and make a commission on the sale. There are lots of places these products can be found but I would recommend starting with two of the bigger ones being 'ClickBank' or 'Amazon'.

you can sign up as an affiliate marketer (free of charge) to both and scan the marketplaces for products that relate to your new niche. There are several indicators on the websites such as 'Avge $ / sale' or 'gravity' which will help determine how profitable each product is and how well it is selling with other affiliate marketers.

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Pay Per View Marketing Strategy: Why Most People Are Turning To It

What is pay per view marketing strategy?

Pay per view, also referred to as PPV, is a marketing strategy that utilizes adware. Adware is a form of advertising done on free software. It is different from spyware in that it is not malicious and the user willingly installs the software. However, the user sometimes is not given the option of viewing or not viewing the advert and some companies just sneak in the adverts. In any case, the user is always in knowledge that they are using adware.

How does the pay per view marketing strategy work?

The strategy starts with setting up a marketing campaign with any PPV network. These networks are quite a number. The choice of the network determines your advertising success and the cost you are to incur. The most popular PPV networks include TrafficVance, Media Traffic, LeadImpact and Direct CPV.

Your advert is then attached to some software. While attaching the advertisement, you specify the URLs of the websites that you will want to appear in the advert or the keywords that will prompt the adverts. When a person installs the software on their computer, the specified websites will pop up every time the software is run or when the specified keywords are searched using any search engine. You can also set it such that the website you are promoting pops up on the user whenever a certain website is visited.

During the setting up of the advertising campaign, you choose how the adverts will be appearing. They can be pop-ups such that the user sees the advertisements the moment a triggering action takes place or a pop-under where the user sees the advert after closing their browser.

Payment on Pay per View Marketing Strategy

Payment here is a bit different from what happens with pay per click. In this case since the user actually sees the website, you pay for every view of the site you are promoting. In other words, the user does not have to click on anything on the website.

But why are so many marketers going for this option?

The answer to that question is dependent on two factors. One, with a pay per view strategy, you could get more visitors to your site than you would with other strategies. If you set up your campaign well, making the correct choice of keywords and URLs such that the user of the software would be interested with the products you market on your website, you could actually be getting targeted traffic. The second and most important reason, is that a pay per view marketing strategy is far cheaper compared to pay per click and many other advertising strategies.

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Some Website Promotional Tips

Developing the websites on the World Wide Web is an effective channel of increasing the chances of more customers. This is the reason organizations and the individuals are extending their services through this virtual portal in order to augment their virtual revenues. One of the best ways to increase the revenues is through optimal promotion of the websites, which in return will generate greater traffic to these websites. There are certain ways, which can be used to increase the promotion of the websites. Some of the most common methods used for the promotion of the websites are discussed in this article.

1. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is one of the most effective ways to attract more business. This approach makes use of the potential keywords to improve the ranking of these websites as well. With this type of an approach the number of the visitors is likely to improve on monthly basis. However, Search Engine Optimization is not a onetime task; rather it is a time consuming task, but promises, better results. One of the best ways to increase the effectiveness of using the SEO approach is to make sure that the potential keywords are used in the domain name of the URL. In the same way they can be used in the titles and headings etc.

2. One can also get blogs or the press releases published related to their offerings and submitting the same in the different directories on the World Wide Web. Those who do not want to incur the additional cost of submitting them to the directories can make use of the several free directories as well.

3. Others can also make use of the viral marketing approach by using the different social networking websites as their platform to disseminate knowledge abut their products, services and even the websites.

4. Another smart approach to increasing the awareness of the existence of any website is by taking part in the discussions on the various blogs and the articles. One can surf the internet to find the blogs and the articles under discussion that are related to their products or the content in some manner and leave their comments along with the link to the website. Since these comments do not expire, one can click them long after being posted.

5. One of the best ways to keep attracting the attention of the webs spiders, the programs which help in improving the rankings of the websites on the web search engines is by keep updating the content of the websites. One can do this by announcing their latest promotional deals or by introducing newer versions of their content or by letting their customers know about the latest happenings in the industry or the organization.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Small Business Marketing Strategy - How Google Places Marketing Can Grow Your Business

Consumers searching for various products and local services may account for more than two-thirds of Internet searches, according to studies. With this statistic in mind, programmers at Google have adjusted the way results are presented. There is now more emphasis on local parameters. Google Places marketing is proving to be effective for many owners of small business. Listings are free for business owners and sites have been designed for millions of businesses worldwide.

Many of these sites have already been indexed so they show up on page one automatically. In some cases, a business may be listed without the owner taking any action. Many people are probably wondering how this can happen. Since information for Places pages is gleaned from business directories, yellow pages and third-party websites, Google automatically populates the page with content.

How to Determine if Your Business has a Places Page

Simply enter your business name and zip code or phone number into the Google search box and open up the Maps tab found at the top. Your page will automatically appear if it exists.

What it Means

This is a good start because Google has already created the site. The downside is that the information may not be up to date or totally accurate. There may be a name change or new address or phone number. Claiming the page is the only way to gain access to verify and edit the information.

Benefits of Claiming Your Page

There are two main advantages to making the claim on your page. The most important thing is it keeps anyone else from claiming it as their own. This may sound crazy, but it can happen. You should protect your business interests by taking control of this information. Once the page has been claimed, business owners are encouraged to supply other helpful information potential customers may be looking for. There is space to add discount offers, brand names, hours of operation and more. Photos and video demonstrations may also be uploaded.

After you have taken the time to claim, verify and update the data, it will be possible to work on improving the page ranking. Of the 50 million pages that have been designed, only three percent have been claimed by their owners. A page that has been claimed can attract more people because the non-claimed page of competitors can be bumped off page one.

Improving Your Free Listing

Here are some things to keep in mind when filling out the listing:
- Use the proper business name, exactly as it appears offline.
- Provide a complete street address and be sure to add identifiers like north, south and suite number when appropriate.
- List your website URL and a valid local phone number that connects directly to your business so potential customers can gather more information about your company.
- The form offers suggested categories for your listings. Select at least one that is brief but detailed enough to describe what you do.
- Additional data that is not covered anywhere else on the page can be listed in the custom attribute and description fields provided.

Explaining Citations

The business owner is prohibited from adding citations but it is possible to seek them out. The citations are listed under "More About This Place" near the bottom of the page. Citations are culled from listings found on other sites and include name of the business, physical address and phone number. This may sound similar to link building and, in certain ways, it is. Instead of dropping your link on various sites here and there, simply search for websites that are dedicated to business listings like those seen on Online Yellow Pages.

How to Encourage Reviews

The review section of the page is a valuable addition because it gives potential customers an idea of what to expect if they do business with you. Offering excellent customer service and selling only quality products are the most effective ways to garner good reviews from past customers. Encourage any and all satisfied customers to post a review on your Places page. Reviews may also be posted on sites like CitySearch, Insider Pages, Judy's Book and Yelp.

Your page will move up in rank as you accumulate more reviews and citations. As the rank goes up, more visitors will be attracted to your page. By providing lots of helpful information, those visitors can be turned into leads and eventually sales.

Adding Coupons

Another helpful tool business owners should take advantage of is the ability to create coupons on the page.This is strongly suggested.

Seven Ways to See Success with Google Places
1-Claim your listing and verify the existing information.
2-Make sure your listing is optimized with appropriate keywords.
3-Choose the categories that best fit your business.
4-Upload suitable videos and images to the page.
5-Create customer coupons.
6-Gather as many citations as you can.
7-Set aside time to update coupons and information on a regular basis.

Discover Other Options for Local Business Marketing

There are a variety of local search directories that can be helpful to the small business owner. Yahoo Local, Merchant Circle and Bing Local are three such directories. Each has its own rules. It can be time consuming to optimize each listing. If you do not have enough time to do it properly, hire someone who is familiar with these types of listings to do it for you.

Give Your Listings the Attention They Deserve

Marketing through search directories should be an ongoing process that needs to be monitored carefully. It will be more difficult keeping your listing on page one as more listings are claimed and optimized.

Google Places marketing is something that should be addressed from time to time. You will need to devote enough attention to promoting and updating your listing to get the most out of it.

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Over Delivery - The Latest Marketing Craze!

I thought I'd write a short article on the subject of "Over Delivery" in the world of internet marketing today... What do I mean when I say "Over Delivery"? Well, when affiliate or internet marketers sell or promote products online many are starting to add more and more content or bonuses to their offers. Why? To beat the competition of course!

As an example I have to refer to a program I just bought a few days ago as I actually got hold of an amazing amount of bonuses; In fact I was so blown away by what I received that I decided to write this article because of it.

I mean, first off the product I bought was $2,000 worth of wealth creating information but I got it for a mere $37.00, how does that work? How can someone claim that their digital information is worth $2,000 in the first place?

I mean from what I can see, it really is down to what the information is worth. You see the guy that sold me the $2,000 program access is a multi-millionaire marketer. And the $2,000 product supposedly contained all the information that made the guy a millionaire in the first place so his product must be valuable, right?

I mean to say when a multi-millionaire tells you he is giving you all the knowledge to help you do as he has done for a mere $37.00 you jump at the chance, right? Actually you don't - Do You? Well I don't anyway...

I question everything, I look for the SCAM side of every single product now, I never used to but, I do now because there are so many scammers online. I weigh up all the pros and cons prior to getting my credit card out and I hope you do too.

Would I have bought that product if the guy was a nobody? Someone I couldn't find more information about online? No Way!

So that's my first tip: Only buy from credible resources especially if it's a product related to making money.

Here's another little tip for you when you are just about to get your credit card out and invest in a product, program or service within the internet marketing niche...

Search Google for the "Product Name + Bonus" or "Product Name + Review", If it's a well known popular product then chances are you will be able to pick yourself up some decent goodies in the way of bonuses or additional content, especially during the pre-launch phase.

You see, Joint Venture Partners can win bonuses and credibility by becoming one of the top promoters a JV contest so they go out of their way by adding lots of extra value to their promotions. It's a JV tactic that get's more sales.

Top affiliate marketers can make thousands a year by simply by adding value to their offers so if you are a marketer yourself learn from this and apply it to your own business. I know I am since coming across this common trait amongst the best marketers online.

What's the old saying? "Give and You Shalt Receive." Well get into the habit of giving instead of just taking all the time. Learn the art of giving.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this short article on "Over Delivery." Watch and learn from the wealthy marketers online because success leaves clues.

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Rapid Profit Formula Review - Does Rapid Profit Formula Really Work?

The Rapid Profit Formula has Arrived

Matt Carter may have come up with the perfect learning tool for entrepreneurs to succeed at internet marketing.

Amassing an income online is easy for some and elusive to others. Why is this? There are no blanket answers to such a question. However, if the answer could be summed up in a simple statement it would be certain systems are practical and others are mired down in old methods that do not work in the rapidly changing word of online marketing. This is why anyone wishing to succeed in the affiliate marketing realm needs a practical and workable system. The Rapid Profit Formula may prove to be that long sought after and elusive system.

What Does the Rapid Profit Formula Entail and How is it Different?

The Rapid Profit Formula is much different from other systems on the market because it is highly comprehensive and covers its subject from various angles. A common criticism about courses and systems for affiliate marketing is they are too cursory and rehash generalities about the industry. With this system, that is not the case at all. You get much more clarity.

Within the formula, you will gain access to a highly comprehensive course that covers the subject in great depth. There are over two dozen video tutorials covering seven learning modules. This material invests a great deal of time and effort into showing you exactly what you need to now to increase traffic and boost conversion/sales potential. Considering that is exactly what you would want out of such a system, this formula may very well deliver on all your expectations.

One thing that needs to be understood here is that this is not a "pie in the sky" program intended to make you rich overnight. Rather, this is a serious and scientific look at what is needed to make your internet and affiliate marketing ventures succeed.

Matt Carter Understands Internet Marketing

Matt Carter is not someone who claims to know how internet and affiliate marketing work. He has a solid background in this mode of entrepreneurship and anyone wishing to succeed would be well advised to follow his lead. His material is tempered with common sense and an effective approach. Such a combo will certainly be a welcome reprieve in a world of hype.

What You Will Learn

With this system, you will learn seldom taught techniques for search engine optimization and traffic generation. There are no bold generalities and this is not a repackaging of material you have seen time and time before. New insights are brought to the table in a clear and effective way. This will enhance you ability to grasp the material and make it work for you.

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How Blogging Can Help You Achieve Online Business Success

Blogging is an important internet marketing tool that many online businesses utilize to promote their business. A business website no longer seems complete without a Blog page where the company is able to showcase their credibility through articles and videos. Let us then examine what exactly is a blog and what is its significance in ensuring the success of an online business?

What's a Blog?

A blog (or Web Log) is a part of a website (or sometimes the website itself) which contains regular entries in the form of articles, photos, music, videos and/or audio (which is called podcasting). The popularity of blogging in internet marketing has been growing. In a research conducted by there are currently over 156 million blogs online.

Blogging originally started as a type of online personal diary where people wrote about their personal lives. It has gained immense popularity as a tool to express opinions, to establish credibility and to promote products or services.

Why do you need a blog for your business?

Having a blog for your company is an important element in your online business success. Blogging has emerged as one of the most powerful tools which can help establish the credibility of your business as well as emphasize your uniqueness. A Blog also allows you to interact with potential customers. Most importantly, blogging can provide a significant boost to your business brand.

Blogging is a cheap way of creating press releases. Utilizing the services of a press release company is very costly and therefore usually out of the reach of someone starting an online business. Now, instead of expensive press releases, you can use your blog page to launch new products, announce new promotions and discounts.

Blogging also increases your online presence. Keyword-rich blogs can increase your website's ranking on search engines. Blogs that are of high quality are usually linked by other bloggers. Blog commenting allows your customers to post feedback with regard to your products and they can also repost your blog into their own site or into social networking sites. The more visible you are online the greater earning opportunities you have.

If you are serious about succeeding in your online business, I strongly recommend getting a blog. Maintaining it does not take a lot of time and it is so effective in ensuring your online business success.

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Chicago Fed: Economic Activity Improved in March

Forex Analysis This post by CalculatedRisk has been reprinted from Calculated Risk.Comments (0)

Catching up – this was released last week at the same time as several other releases. Note: This is a composite index based on a number of economic releases.

From the Chicago Fed: Economic Activity Improved in March

Led by gains in production indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index increased to +0.26 in March from +0.16 in February. March marked the fourth consecutive positive reading of the index and the sixth consecutive positive contribution from employment-related indicators. Neither has exhibited such patterns since April 2006.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged down to +0.20 in March from +0.27 in February, but remained positive for the third consecutive month for the first time since May 2010. March’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was somewhat above its historical trend. With regard to inflation, the CFNAI-MA3 suggests limited inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (three month moving average) since 1967. According to the Chicago Fed:

A zero value for the index indicates that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth; negative values indicate below-average growth; and positive values indicate above-average growth.

Not a robust recovery, but this index suggests the economy was growing somewhat above trend in March.

• Summary for Week ending April 29th
• Goldman estimates 3.5 million Excess Vacant Housing Units.
• Schedule for Week of May 1st CalculatedRisk @ May 1, 2011

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Lower Commodity Prices?

Forex Analysis This post by CalculatedRisk has been reprinted from Calculated Risk.Comments (0)

Three weeks ago there were a couple of articles in the WSJ about lower prices for steel and copper. Here is another more general article: Commodity Surprise: Some Are Now Heading Down

Cotton has pulled back 17% from the all-time record set in early March, and sugar is down 34% from its multidecade high in February. Lead and zinc have tumbled in recent weeks after shooting up in the second half of 2010. Copper has shed 6% this year.

The declines came amid a wild April in which other raw materials continued to climb. U.S. oil prices rose 7% for the month, while gold set fresh records in nominal terms 13 times and silver neared its all-time high.

Lower commodity prices would definitely help, but unfortunately the one that matters the most for the U.S. economy – oil prices – are still high (WTI futures are at $113.56 per barrel, and Brent Crude is at $125.56). High oil and gasoline prices are one of the key downside risks for the economy.

• Summary for Week ending April 29th
• Goldman estimates 3.5 million Excess Vacant Housing Units.
• Schedule for Week of May 1st CalculatedRisk @ May 2, 2011

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Affordable Internet Business Opportunity - Blogging for Cash

Since the dawn of the internet revolution, smart people have been making money online. You'd be surprised how cost-effective it can be to set up an online business. How you go about making that money depends on your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and, last but not least, how much time you are willing to devote to an online business. One idea to consider is to run a blog site.

Running a blog One of the easiest and most affordable ways to make money online is by setting up a blog. The days when blogs were used for simply writing about our daily goings-on in life are gone! Blogs are now being used as vital marketing tools for businesses and they make a very affordable internet business opportunity.

How can you make money from a blog? A blog generates money through advertising. The more readers you have, the more likely they are to click on the ads on your blog and every time they do just that, you get paid. Google AdSense is an excellent program that lets you sign up, choose adverts to display on your site that are relevant to your blog's content and earn commission each time the advert is clicked on. This is referred to as pay-per-click.

Does my blog's content really matter? Absolutely! In fact, one of the main reasons why blogs fail is that the content is sub-par. It is vital that your blog offers valuable information to your readers. The blog's primary purpose should be to provide value to readers by providing then with information that is unique and excellently written. The aim is to always provide your readers with enough value that they will not only return, but possibly even refer others to the site.

Not only should the content be well-written, it should be highly relevant to the products you are advertising. Remember, the more people who click on the ads, the more money you get paid.

Attracting Traffic Even though blogs offer a very affordable internet business opportunity there's really no point in having one unless it attracts lots of readers i.e. potential advert clickers! It can be beautifully set up and well written but without the lifeblood of any website, traffic, it is useless. However there are many ways to generate traffic to your blog.

- You can sign up with a program like Google AdWords and pay for adverts
- Contribute valuable posts to lots of internet forums about your business
- Use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to advertise your blog
- Try back-linking which is the process of posting links back to your blog on other people's sites and forums.

A blog site is a very versatile website. In fact one definition of a blog site is that it is simply an easy to use website. Much more could be written about this affordable internet business opportunity platform. But that is for another article.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why Successfully Building a Blog Requires Passion

Building a blog goes far beyond publishing a few updates live to the internet. Blog building is a 'process' that takes time since it is not really successful until you have developed a loyal following! The history of most popular blogs will show it sometimes took quite a bit of time before readers found their site and even longer for them to become loyal. Loyalty is not something you can turn on or gain with the flip of a switch or a nifty piece of software, sorry! It calls for consistently creating good quality blog content, and I mean consistently, even when you do not have a lot of visitors showing up! This will require plenty of self motivation and discipline and this is where your own passion comes into play!

Following are 3 indisputable reasons having a genuine interest in what you write about will make your blog building efforts infinitely easier and more effective.

Content Creation

It can get old and very quickly when creating blog content that nobody seems to read. Research and care need to be invested in almost anything published online if you expect others to have an interest in reading it. Well this is what blog building is all about, establishing a consistency in both quality and quality when updating your site. You are sending out a signal to others that they can rely upon you to maintain the platform yet people will not 'respond' until they see evidence of this! In so many words get used to writing for yourself during the infancy stages of your platform since you will not have a lot of visitors. If you are passionate about your content this should not be a problem and therefore will supply you with the self motivation needed early on.

Supplying the Demand for Quality

The more of a personal interest you have in what you write about the better your blog content will tend to be. This quality will be what attracts people and what will keep them coming back. This is how you develop loyalty with your readers and is also something that will encourage people to refer others back to your site. This is how most popular blogs gain a lot of their traffic, through referrals, and we all know how powerful this type of viral advertising can be!

Everybody Wins!

Now you have a cycle where you as the blogger are actually feeding a passion of yours which results in consistent quality updated to your site. This results in the satisfaction of many visitors who develop a loyalty and thus refer your site to others. Now you have increasing traffic, a passion being fulfilled, happy readers and a perfect example as to how the blog building process should work! Everybody comes away happy!

Building a blog is a long process that starts first with attracting visitors and then 'eventually' gaining their loyalty. The loyalty comes only after you have consistently posted blog content of good quality. In fact this must be done 'before' the very first visitor lands on your site! Even the most popular blogs started this way and discovered the importance of possessing a genuine passion for what they do! Being passionate makes creating fresh blog content much easier since in many ways you are writing for yourself. Over time visitors will discover your platform and enjoy not only the quality of the material but also the passion you display in your updates as well! It is in this way that during the blog building process your passion will help to make your efforts easier, your content better, your commitment stronger and your visitors happier!

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How to Optimize Blog Copy With Keywords

Overstuffing blog posts-and even websites, for that matter-with keywords is a universal no-no. Not only do readers have difficulty remaining focused throughout the post, but search engines also frown upon the unnatural use of keywords.

Below is a checklist of 5 tasks to perform in order to properly optimize the web copy of a blog post:

1. Write your post: Don't rack your brain trying to include keywords in your post. If they naturally come out in the content of your post, then great! If not, just focus on writing a valuable, well-thought-out post.

2. Inject keywords: Hit two birds with one stone when you read over your post to check for spelling errors and to insert keywords throughout. You may come across areas in your post where you can naturally insert a keyword. See below for an excerpt of a post without keywords and an example where I added keywords after the post was written:

Excerpt of post before I added keywords:

Is your website focused primarily on your business and how wonderful you are? If so, your prospects might be feeling left out.

Excerpt of post after I added keywords:

Is your website copy focused primarily on your business and how wonderful you are? If so, your prospects might be feeling left out.

In the above example, you'll see that I added the word copy after the word website. Website copy is one of our keywords, but the word website, alone,is not.

When injecting keywords throughout your blog web copy (See? I added web copy after the word blog. Web copyis another one of our keywords), make sure you abide by, what I like to call, the golden compromise. The golden compromise is when you add keywords throughout your post to ensure that both the readers and the search engines benefit.

For example, when you try to stuff too many keywords into your posts, the post will no longer flow properly. It will be difficult for readers to follow and stay interested. Search engines also know when you're stuffing keywords into a post. Therefore, keywords should naturally fit into the flow of your blog web copy so that readers can remain focused and interested and search engines can categorize and rank your post.

3. Add a post title: Your post title should grab your readers' attention. This is your place to be creative! Look at the title of this post, Is Your Blog Web Copy Packed like a Can of Sardines?I managed to fit a keyword into the title (web copy), while still being creative and drawing readers in-which is the entire purpose of the post title.

4. Add meta data: This blog is run on the Thesis theme, which has built-in SEO features. Many blog themes do not have this feature, which means you'll have to use a plug-in that adds SEO features to your blog. If your blog is on, you can upload the All in One SEO pack plug-in, which enables you to add a meta title, meta description, and meta keywords to each blog post.

The difference between meta titles and post titles is that meta titles should be keyword rich for optimization purposes. Because the meta title is used for search engine purposes only, you don't have to make the meta title catchy-simply make it informative in 60 characters or less.

Below is an example of the difference between a post title and a meta title:

Post Title:Tips for Handling and Preventing Negative Online PR

Meta Title:Online PR: How to Handle and Prevent Negative PR

The meta description of the post must be 160 characters or less. It should be informative, yet incorporate keywords and phrases.

For example, the post title we focused on above, Tips for Handling and Preventing Negative Online PR, might have a meta description along the lines of:

Online PR and marketing firm shares tips for how to handle and prevent negative online PR.

Notice how there are three keywords strewn throughout the description? This is great for SEO purposes.

5. Hyperlink Keywords:When you hyperlink keywords, readers can then click to another blog post or website page around the topic of the hyperlinked keyword. Search engines also note these hyperlinked keywords and use them in ranking your blog post.

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Schedule for Week of May 1st

Forex Analysis This post by CalculatedRisk has been reprinted from Calculated Risk.Comments (0)

The key report for this week will be the April employment report to be released on Friday, May 6th. The ISM manufacturing report will be released on Monday, and the ISM non-manufacturing report on Wednesday. There are several Fed speeches this week (only a few are included below). Also the automakers report on vehicle sales on Tuesday.

—– Monday, May 2nd —–
10:00 AM: ISM Manufacturing Index for April. The consensus is for a decrease to a still strong reading of 59.5 from 61.2 in March.

10:00 AM: Construction Spending for March. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in construction spending.

2:00 PM: The April 2011 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices from the Federal Reserve. The January survey indicated some slight easing of standards and more demand for commercial and industrial (C&I) loans over the fourth quarter. For other types of loans to businesses and households, the January survey indicated banks have stopped tightening standards (they are already very tight), and demand has stopped falling (there is little demand for loans).

—– Tuesday, May 3rd —–
All day: Light vehicle sales for April. Light vehicle sales are expected to decrease to 13.0 million (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate), from 13.1 million in March. The impact of the supply chain disruption is a big unknown.

Vehicle SalesThis graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967. The dashed line is the March sales rate.

Edmunds is forecasting: “ analysts predict that April’s Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) will be 13.3 million, up from 13.1 in March 2011.

“As inventories rapidly deteriorate, April could be the last month that we’ll see strong sales numbers until late summer or early fall,” said Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell.”

10:00 AM: Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders for March. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in orders.

—– Wednesday, May 4th —–
7:00 AM: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the mortgage purchase applications index. This index has been very weak over the last couple months suggesting weak home sales through the first few months of 2011.

8:00 AM: Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren speaks before the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association

8:15 AM: The ADP Employment Report for April. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for +195,000 payroll jobs in April, down slightly from the 201,000 reported in March.

10:00 AM: ISM non-Manufacturing Index for April.

ISM Non-Manufacturing IndexThis graph shows the ISM non-manufacturing index (started in January 2008) and the ISM non-manufacturing employment diffusion index. The March ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 57.3% in March. The employment index indicated slower expansion in March at 53.7%.

The consensus is for a slight increase in April to 58.0.

3:00 PM: San Francisco Fed President John Williams gives his first policy speech on “Maintaining Price Stability in a Global Economy” in Los Angeles.

—– Thursday, May 5th —–
8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The number of claims has increased over the last few weeks. The consensus is for a decrease to 410,000 from 429,000 last week.

9:00 AM: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, “Implementing a Macroprudential Approach to Supervision and Regulation” in Chicago.

—– Friday, May 6th —–
8:30 AM: Employment Report for April.

Payroll Jobs per MonthThe consensus is for an increase of 185,000 non-farm payroll jobs in April, down slightly from the 216,000 added in March.

This graph shows the net payroll jobs per month (excluding temporary Census jobs) since the beginning of the recession. The estimate for April is in blue.

The consensus is for the unemployment rate to remain at 8.8% in April.

Percent Job Losses During RecessionsThe second employment graph shows the percentage of payroll jobs lost during post WWII recessions through March – aligned at maximum job losses.

This shows the severe job losses during the recent recession – there are currently 7.25 million fewer jobs in the U.S. than when the recession started.

3:00 PM: Consumer Credit in March from the Federal Reserve. The consensus is for credit to increase $5 billion.

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Discover the Benefits of Using a Blog Name Generator

Finding the name for your new blog may be both hard and time-consuming. A blog is in most cases a very personal kind of website so you probably want a name that you can identify with. You want something you can stand for and something you can be proud of. No wonder the search takes so much time. Fortunately the whole process can now be sped up with the use of a blog name generator.

There are different approaches to finding the right blog name. The internet is full of good and bad examples you can learn from to generate a blog name idea you need. Let's have a closer look to examine them in details and discuss pros and cons of different groups of blog names:

- Descriptive names- describing for the content of articles and the issues discussed in the blog posts. They are easy to comprehend and some may also be easy to remember but there is a small problem with them. What you should be aiming at is a strong identity of the blog to get some recognition. Descriptive names do not guarantee that you will build a brand around them. It is a bit like with the company names - your favourite soda is not made by "The soda company," is it?

- Abstract names - names that do not correspond directly with the subject of the blog or ones that are a mutation of the main keyword. In this group we can also find made-up words. What is great about blog name ideas from this group is that they are very unique. That makes them easy to brand and easy to remember. It should be also much easier to find an available domain name as opposed to very popular keyword based name ideas.

Both groups of blog name ideas can be easily created or examined with the help of a blog name generator. It is an online tool that is designed to deliver random, exceptional and fresh names as well as check the domain name availability of your own ideas. Everything is presented in a very clear way with a lot of additional information about each suggestion. That enables a quick and detailed analysis of each blog name to examine its strength and potential popularity. What is also great about this tool is the fact that it will significantly increase the number of names to choose from.

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April in Figures

Forex News This post by larrygreenberg has been reprinted from Currency Thoughts.Comments Off

April was a volatile month.  The dollar plunged across the board.  Most stocks markets improved, and G7 ten-year sovereign debt yields fell.  A rise in three-month euribor deposit rates as the ECB entered a tightening cycle put added strain on the peripheral members of Euroland, and their bond yields rose.  Commodities soared.  Impressive gains of [...]

Blogging 101: 7 Basic Steps to Creating a Blog for Online Business Success

Do you need extra money? Are you thinking about a career change? Are you unemployed? Or are you just sick and tired of your current JOB?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then starting an online business by creating a blog might just be the answer you have been looking for.

You should have heard of some aspect of blogs and blogging by now. You may not understand exactly what is a blog and why you need one. But creating a blog is the easiest way to start an online business. Here are 7 basic steps on how to start your own blog for the complete beginner.

1. Make a decision to create a blog

This is one of the most important steps to online blogging success. It is easy to talk about what you want to do. But sometimes the fear of not knowing all the steps prevents you from making the decision to start. Don't worry about the "how". You must first make the decision to start your online business by creating a blog. The "how" will come once the decision is made.

2. Choose your niche

Decide what your blog will be about. What kind of business do you want to start? What are your passions and interest? What are you good at? What do people come to you for all the time?

At this point, it is necessary to conduct keyword research. Take the answers to the above questions and determine if and how many people are searching for these keywords online. Create a running list of keywords that have high demand (lots of searches) and low supply (small number of competing websites). Use your keyword research to narrow your blog niche.

3. Determine your ideal client

Who do you want to reach when creating your blog? Your message and information should resonate with a particular group people. Determining who your ideal client is will help you create a blog that speaks to them. You must speak their language if you want them to listen to what you are saying.

Conduct research to find your ideal client's pain points. What keeps them awake at night? What questions are they seeking answers for? Your blog should become the solution to their biggest problems in your niche.

4. Choose and buy a domain name and hosting

Based on the name of your business, your keywords and your niche, choose a domain name for your blog. This is the URL people will type in to find your blog online. It would be ideal to use keywords in your domain name. But it is not mandatory. However, you do want to choose a domain that is short, easy to remember and easy to spell.

Write down several possibilities and go to to see if your domain choices are available. Don't get discouraged if your first choice is not available. Keep trying until you find a domain that accurately depicts you, your business and your niche. Also make sure to use extension if possible.

A hosting account is where your blog lives online. There are several options to choose from. Do your research. Determine what features you will need. Do a Google search on "How to Find the Best Website Hosting Provider". You should find an article that will offer you several important things to look for when choosing your hosting provider. Two of which are the amount of data space and bandwidth they offer.

5. Choose and install your blogging software

There are lots of other blogging platforms out there. But the only one I recommend is Both and have advantages and disadvantages. One of the most important differences between the two, is the level of control you have with Do a Google search on "Comparing WordPress vs. Blogger". You will find articles that will give you many details about why WordPress is the preferred choice for most bloggers. Two of those reasons are its ease of use and ability to easily customize your blog.

6. Customize your blog with themes and plug-ins

When you first install WordPress, you are given the default theme. You can use this theme and customize it. But there are 1000s more free and paid themes you can choose from. However, there are certain factors to keep in mind when choosing a theme. Your theme should:

be SEO friendlywidget readyhave customizable features such as colors, header, sidebar, plug-inshave the # of columns you prefer - 1, 2, or 3

Before choosing your theme, decide how you want your WordPress website or blog to look. And how you plan to use it. Now you're ready to choose your theme. Upload it and start customizing.

Don't worry about whether you chose the right theme or not. You can test different themes until you find the right one for you and your business. But conduct your testing in the beginning. Clients and potential clients want consistency. So don't constantly change your theme. Find the theme that works and customize it to your liking.

7. Create a blogging schedule and start blogging

How often do you plan to blog? You want to create a realistic blogging schedule that you can stick to. Even if its only one day per week in the beginning. You can always add more. But you don't want to cut the number of post from what you started with. However, it isn't recommended that you blog any less than once per week.

You want your blog to become an active site that people visit often. People will come to expect frequent updates. So being consistent in the beginning is more important than frequency. Once you get the hang of it, increase your frequency to at least twice a week.

Now that you have a blogging schedule, its time to start blogging. But what do I blog about, is the question I'm sure you are asking. Pull out your keyword list from step 2 above. Do additional keyword research if necessary.

Then develop your keyword blueprint. To start, find 5 keywords on your list that are a little broad. These keywords will become the categories in your blog. Then find 5 subtopics (keywords) of each of your 5 categories. You know have 25 keywords.

Start writing blog posts, each focused on one of these keywords. If you're posting once per week, you now have enough blog post for 6 months. If you're posting twice per week, you will have enough blog posts for 3 months. You may also want to write different types of blog posts for some of these keywords to spice up your blog from time to time. Add more subtopics or new categories as needed.

Your keyword blueprint will give you everything you need to create great content for your new blog. You will start increasing your expertise in your niche as you start and grow your online business. So start creating your blog and before long you will have a successful online blog and business.

And for more great blogging tips on how to determine your blog's goals, how to promote your blog on and offline, and 25 ideas for great blog post, I would like to offer you Free Instant Access to Blogging Basics for Success Audio & Listening Guide when you visit Blogging Basics for Success

Daily Forex Analysis – May 2, 2011

Forex Analysis This post by has been reprinted from Forex Market Analysis.Comments (0)

EURUSD Analysis. EURUSD may be forming a cycle top at 1.4881 level on 4-hour chart. Range trading between 1.4700 and 1.4881 would likely be seen in a couple of days. However, the price action from 1.4881 is treated as minor consolidation of uptrend from 1.4157, as long as 1.4700 support holds, uptrend could be expected [...]

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some Tips for Increasing Traffic to a Blog

People start a blog for many reasons, personal satisfaction, a way to keep friends and relatives informed on what they are doing, i.e. staying in touch, as a way to make money, a creative challenge. Most of them however, have one thing in common-they want traffic. And most of them experience the same maddening frustration, the same rubix cube challenge, how to get it. Because traffic is the holy grail, the bubbling wellspring for blogs and bloggers that opens doors, gives validation and may end up paying the bills. Even if you are doing it for the simple reason of publishing your thoughts for friends to see, it soon becomes apparent that blogging is a lot of work and and if you don't put in the work, no one will come, even your friends. Little traffic soon becomes no traffic and the blog dies. No one wants to go to work in a museum vault unless one is a scholar or a well paid janitor. On the other end of the spectrum, if you blog to make money, traffic is a huge consideration. So how does one get it?

The first place I launched my blog was Facebook. After some research, I found that at this time, it is for most people as well. If your blog is a commercial/business blog, Facebook has a unique business page dedicated to talking about your business. Here, you can add links to your site. Facebook was the first place that came to my mind. And why not? After all, its the number one social network site in the world, siting a half a billion active users. As a newbie blogger, I assumed that I would post my brilliant content and ALL my friends, a paltry 92, would come there for pearls of wisdom and scintillating entertainment. And they would share it with their friends and so on. It would start a chain reaction of sorts. In that vein, I also 'friended' friends of friends, (they all accepted) and they would of course be interested in what I had to say. Unfortunately my initial optimism was quickly dampened.

The problem with Facebook is that you can only get so much traffic from it, even if you had 597 friends. And you have to work for that traffic. I would post my content on someone's wall with a catchy com-on to attract them, I would send personal messages with content I thought someone might like etc. My real friends have supported my blog, but very seldom did the 'friends of friends'. And even if they did, you cannot rely on them passing on the word. So, though Facebook is a fine place to launch a blog, establish a brand and work out the kinks, it is not the place that is going to get you increased traffic.

Another way is if you are a member of a message board. I am a member of long standing in a biker board. So I have used that place to post entries on my blog. But, though they are all great long time friends, there are limits. You must target your viewership. My blog is a city-centric theme and my most popular section is food and cooking. And though bike riders love to cook and eat, they might not be that interested in reading about the virtues of a fine French wine. So unless I write about motorcycles, or a great steak, I will get traffic, but only modestly.

What you need is traffic from all over the net, from all over the world and direct uniques. And you want it coming in 24/7, not just when you post a new entry. You want to wake up in the morning and view your stat page and see that during the night while your were sleeping, 60 or 660 people visited your site. You want your blog to become a vortex of energy and information that people you don't know come to to see what you have to say and to offer. It has been said that one doesn't get respect in their hometown and unless you are happy being a small fish in a small pond, you must find a way to reach people in other ways. You must venture out to 'other towns' and you must let other sources do the heavy lifting.

I have found that submitting articles in article hubs like and Articlebase etc is a very good way to increase traffic to a blog. As a matter of fact, at this time, I can think of no better way. I have seen my stats double and triple in no time at all by simply submitting to these sites. What they do is act as a hub where sources all over the world come to find pertinent articles on any given subject and re-publish these articles on their sites. They are useful in other ways as well. Because of their editorial standards, they tend to hone your skills as a writer and increase visibility of your content on the World Wide Web. On many of them, such as EzineArticles, you cannot post the link to your site directly in the article body, however, they do allow you to in the author bio section, and it is from that section that readers will click on your site if they like what you are saying or what you may offer. One thing they do not do is attract web crawlers, robots or 'bots'. The reason is that when you submit to a hub site, that counts as 1 submission on the web. So, when your article is reprinted, the site that publishes it receives the subsequent bot attention. Robots are useful in that search engines like Google use them to index sites and content. A lot of crawlers lets the engines know that people are interested in your site and eventually a person only has to type in '' and many of your posts will come up by themselves. This will result in more direct traffic, and will also call up articles submitted to the hubs.

So robot traffic is very important in blog building and that IS where Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites do help because your link posted there is always direct to your blog.

A couple of other ways are to ask friends who have sites to add your link to theirs, in a quid pro quo. The more linkage, the more robot attention. Posting on other sites has also been mentioned as a way to establish community and reputation. I have not used this method myself but I intend to. I hear it works very well.

The idea is to do whatever it takes to get your name out there. You must write good content, you must have interesting ideas or a good product to sell, but you must always pay attention to the other part of blogging which is promotion. Even if you have nothing to sell, the very idea that hundreds of people every day from all over the world are listening to what YOU have to say, validates your dream of being a writer. Follow your dreams, but do what it takes to make them come true.

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How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog Using Online Forums

Forums is a free way to get attention to your blog because a "cross section" of people will be exposed to it. The way forums works is that others will be able to back link your blog to their websites. Most forums will allow you to place a "signature file" on your comments. The signature file is your blog url. When you make a comment, other online dwellers will be able to see your blog url. Forums are very helpful because it is an online community based on others helping others. People go to forums to help get answers to their problems.

Members of forums could easily share which post was helpful or not. Their are some rules when participating in forums that one should adhere to. You want to give a sincere comment and participate in the conversation and not make a comment just to get a back link to your blog. When you start a conversation, it is called a "thread". Other online dwellers will comment on the subject. When someone else starts a "thread", you can comment on what was just said. If you are consistent with this strategy, you will build up many back links to your blog.

Forums can be very fun and informative to take part in. You also will get a "pulse" on what is on others minds and what to research for your personal blog. It is also an opportunity to meet people in your niche. One way to find forums is simply to do a Google search for online forums or forums in your niche or interests. You can sort from their to find the forum of interest. I once met this gentleman on an online forum. He started a thread and I commented on it. This went on back and forth and I noticed that he was from Jamaica West Indies. Being that my family is from Jamaica I started a conversation with him there in the forum. We exchange our Facebook urls and we made friends with each other on Facebook.

You will find a community of people in your area of interest on forums. If you are active in a forum and giving helpful tips to others forums is a great way to make friends and this friendship could continue outside of the forum. You may be an expert on a subject or you may be looking for help. Forums are a great place to get help and meet people.

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How To Make Money Off a Blog - 4 Quick Tips

Blogs are no longer used solely for the purpose of keeping online journals; they are now a widely used vehicle for making money. If you're in search of some extra cash, we can show you how to make money off a blog in four different ways.

1. Make money from advertising

The easiest way to make money from blogging is to sell advertising space. The bigger your blog-reading audience, the more advertising revenue you can generate. Google's AdSense is one of the most popular ways to make money from advertising. You sign up to their program free of charge and select adverts that are related to your blog posts. Whenever somebody clicks on one of the ads, you get paid and Google takes its commission off the top.

2. Promote products on your blog

Another popular way of learning how to make money off a blog is through affiliate programs, for example, Amazon. It's a simple process whereby you mention a product in your blog that Amazon sells and the reader gets the opportunity to link directly to the product on Amazon's site. If they end up buying the product, you get a cut of the sale price. You don't have to limit yourself to one affiliate program, nor do you have to lose your integrity by promoting products you don't believe in! If you're already an avid fan of music, why not promote your favorite bands and songs by mentioning their singles and albums that are available on Amazon. The same thing goes for whatever your passion in life happens to be!

3. Donations

When you're wondering how to make money off a blog you might not immediately think of donations but if you feel that the content in your blog is worthy of financial contributions then you can set up a donations link via PayPal and ask people to contribute to your blog. Examples of donation-worthy blogs would be sites about animal welfare, health, education or any social issue that people feel passionate about, especially if you are actively promoting the cause with quality content in your blog.

4. Market yourself

Use the blog to promote your existing business or new business. Let's say you sell cycling-related products through eBay. Well there's no reason you can't blog about your business and also provide quality cycling-related content on your blog, all the while promoting your products and encouraging people to buy them for you. You should ensure that you constantly keep your blog up to date with all the latest products, information and special offers and it's worth repeating, the content should be very high quality or else you are not providing anything of value to your readers. If you don't already have a business, then use your blog to promote a new enterprise of yours e.g. virtual assistant, online transcription serve, web design or computer programming and sell yourself via your blog!

Learning how to make money off a blog can be a very effective way to start and maintain a profitable business online. It may be argued that blogging has become an entrepreneur's best friend. Use these four tips and start to create your own online presence.

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How to Create Your First Blog And Start Posting On It

In this article, I will be giving you an outline on how to start creating your first blog and your first blog post. People nowadays are commonly blogging on the internet to share their passion, views and many other things. If you have something to add to the pool, which I personally think everyone has, then you should consider blogging. The first step is to choose a niche that you're passionate about. The second one is to choose a blogging platform. When you're done with those two you can start posting your blog post with anything that you desire.

Let's start with choosing a niche that you're passionate about. This might not be as hard as it may seem. The easiest way will be to just look into your hobbies. You can ask yourself "What are the things that I enjoy the most doing and can spend hours talking about it?" If you ask yourself this question, you'll soon find the niche that you're passionate about in a very short time.

The second one is to choose a blogging platform. There are many free blogging platform available on the internet. Two of the most popular ones are Blogger and WordPress. Just pick one of them and you're good to go. If you want to create your own blog, hosted in your own domain, you're going to be better off in the long run. However, if you just getting started with blogging, then blogging using the first method will also work well.

The third and the most fun step is creating your first post. Try adding some value to your blog post. Remember, you're writing for another human being, not to just to Google or other search engines. Make sure your blog post has some value to give and your readers will soon start talking about your blog. If you give value, they will return the value back to you by giving you exposure and driving traffic to your blog.

Let's look at what we've learned so far about creating your first blog. We start with choosing a niche that you're passionate about in life. This will make the third part, which is writing your blog, post easier to do. The second one is to pick a free blogging platform. It's even better if you decide to get a hosting service and your own domain name to host your blog. The final part is to write your first post. Make sure you post has relevant content for your reader and try to give value to them. They will reward you with visitors and traffic in the long run. Happy blogging!

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Goldman estimates 3.5 million Excess Vacant Housing Units

Forex Analysis This post by CalculatedRisk has been reprinted from Calculated Risk.Comments Off

Some key numbers for the U.S. economy are: 1) the current number of excess housing units, 2) how many new households are being formed each year, and 3) how many housing units are being added to the housing stock each year (at a record low this year).

Unfortunately reliable data for the first two numbers is unavailable except with a significant lag.

I’ve used the quarterly Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), but that is not really designed for this purpose.

Goldman Sachs put out an estimate yesterday of 3.5 million units based on the HVS: “Based on data from the Census Bureau, we estimate that about 3.5 million housing units currently sit vacant, above and beyond normal seasonal and frictional vacancies.” They calculated a range of 2.5 to 4.5 million units based on different assumptions.

Recently economist Tom Lawler took a long look at the 2010 Census data, and estimated there were about 2 to 3 million excess vacant housing units as of April 1, 2010. With the record low number of housing units delivered last year, Lawler estimated that as of April 1, 2011 the excess “would be somewhere in the range of 1.45 to 2.45 million units – with the latter almost certainly too high”. With another record low number of units added to the housing stock this year, the excess will be in the 750 thousand to 1.7 million range next April (with the latter “certainly too high”). This suggests the excess supply will be gone sometime between early 2014 and 2016.

Goldman has a higher estimate of excess vacant units, but they also have a higher estimate for household formation (partially because of pent up formation from all those people who doubled up during the recession). The conclude “[W]e think the recovery in single family housing starts will remain very slow. A plausible central scenario would be an increase in starts from about 475,000 units in 2010 to 600,000 by 2012. We do not expect single-family housing starts to return to their historical average rate of about 1 million units until 2015 or later.”

In Thoughts on Residential Investment Recovery, I noted: ‘My guess is housing starts will return to “normal” in 2015 or 2016.’ It is hard to pinpoint an exact date because the data is uncertain. Frustrating!

But here is a little good news on data via Tom Lawler:

The Census Bureau announced that beginning next week it will release “demographic” profiles of 13 states each Thursday in May, with the first round of “states” will be the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. For folks interested in the housing markets, the data will include (among other things) data on housing tenure (owners/renters), occupancy/vacancy (include vacancy status – for rent, for sale, seasonal, etc.), age and sex distributions, and household types. These releases will help analysts get a much better “feel” for the overall housing market as of April 1, 2010, and will highlight just how “messed up” the data from the Census Housing Vacancy Survey really is – and why analysts should not use it to try to estimate the “excess supply” of housing.

I think the Goldman estimate is too high, but no one really knows. Hopefully by the end of May we will have a much better estimate for the excess supply as of April 1, 2010.

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