Friday, February 09, 2007

10 Ways You Can Use Blogs RIGHT NOW

Copyright © Philippe de Tiege

1. Team Communication. Companies use blogs internally to communicate project status to stakeholders and managers. It beats clogging everybody's email with mass broadcasts. It allows these missives to be archived, indexed and easily searched.

2. Enrich Your Clients. You can easily link to articles and resources relevant to your readers and their needs. You can more easily attract experts to provide value-added content to your audience.

3. Get to Know Your Customer. Nobody buys from someone they don't know. Blogging allows you to demonstrate your expertise and point-of-view quickly and easily. In addition, blogs allow the customers to receive your updates in the format they choose.

4. Collaborate. You can create your own marketing buzz to drive attention and buyers to your products and services. Some companies use internal blogs to report on projects or to track work groups distributed around the world.

5. Research and Development. Weblogs are the perfect forum to test out new ideas and receive instant feedback. You can allow others to see how you develop your products and services, and at the same time, they can tell you how best to serve them.

6. Go Global. Blogs, like other online media, allow you to take your business and ideas to a global market. Translation services are getting better every day, allowing more people to read online content in different languages. I've helped bloggers from New York to New Zealand, from Indiana to India.

7. Hidden Entrance to the Press. Journalists are busier than ever and blogs provide a virtual directory of pundits on any topic. You and your company can be the content expert they're looking for. Furthermore, if your company is talked about in the blogosphere it could end up using that exposure as a back door to the press.

8. Get Published. Publishers are turning to blogs to find new writing talent. Blogs can give a publisher a taste of your writing style as well as a sample of your depth of knowledge. Content specific blogs show a a commitment to a certain topic or subject matter.

9. Write your book. Let your readers help you write your latest book or article. Post chapters or ideas, then let readers help you in researching, testing and suggesting ideas. Or, use a blog after your book is published to update the material or to answer questions from readers.

10. Success Stories. Invite clients to blog about their successes with your products and services - it's like a living testimonial that never ends. As clients share their experiences, your prospects can see first-hand how you can help them, too.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

12 Reasons Why You Need A Blog

Copyright © Philippe de Tiege

Why Should I Blog? I Simply Don't Get It"

This post on a popular discussion forum set me thinking - and I came up with 12 reasons you should blog.

Read them and get started on your blog. Or better still, go get your blog up and running and THEN come back and read this :)

#1 - You Do Not Need To Know HTML

One of the biggest hurdles many hopeful website creators face is they don't know to design a webpage. Blogs overcome this - all you do is type into a box, and the blog software automatically converts it into a webpage and publishes it on the World Wide Web for anyone to see.

#2 - You Are 'Forced' To Keep Your Content Fresh

Blogs are essentially online diaries. It doesn't make sense to write in your diary every month or two. Similarly, running a blog itself 'forces' you to update it often. And refreshing your blog often makes it more useful to readers and consumers - and by extension, to search engines who are in the business of presenting *their* clients with valuable resources.

#3 - Your Blog Is AUTOMATICALLY Optimized For Search Engines

Search engines love fresh content. But that's not the only way blogs are powerful tools to rank high. Indeed, most blogs are structured to offer a high degree of search engine optimization.

All sections of your blog are linked together. The terms used as link 'anchors' are keyword-optimized. Categories can be created to host themed content. Navigating through your blog is intuitive. Archives can be customized, and generate hundreds of pages of content that act as 'search engine spider bait'.

#4 - You Get A Built-In Linking Structure

With very few exceptions, most blogs are structured to be a tightly integrated network of links - to other sections of your blog! It's quite easy for a visitor to get 'lost' within your blog... without ever leaving it.

Calendars link to posts on specific dates. 'Recent Post' listings point to your freshest content. Archives connect all your earlier posts. Search boxes let browsers look for certain kinds of content. And it all happens automatically, without you spending hours on creating a link structure or sitemap!

#5 - You Generate Multiple Content-Rich Pages

Every post you make on your blog is content. And by intelligently setting up your archiving preferences, you can turn each post into many different forms of content, each on a page of its own. Blog regularly for a few months, and you could end up having a 100+ page website - all filled with relevant, keyword-optimized, themed content!

#6 - You Can Keyword-Optimize Your Blog Extensively

All parts of your blog's template can be customized. And a very powerful way to do it is by inserting relevant keywords. It's a do-it-once job that will give you ongoing benefits for as the life of your blog. You can include keywords in your blog title, description, blog post headings, trackback links, comment invitations, archive titles, and category names.

#7 - You Create An Online Community

If your blog is on a specific theme, you can build a loyal readership and develop an online community. You can even take it a notch higher by tying it in with a forum or membership site. Ask for comments, suggestions, ideas and feedback, or invite reader participation. Pretty soon, your blog will be growing organically - even if you don't write a lot!

#8 - You Initiate Conversations With Readers

Of course, the first step is yours - to initiate a dialog with readers. You could do it with your blog post, asking a question or by inviting comments and interaction. Your blog will be read by an audience that's already interested in your subject or theme. This conversation will be priceless to you, the blog owner.

#9 - Your 'Inbound Link' Process - Trackbacks

Blogging is about distributed conversations online. Links are an integral part of such an informal network. Trackbacks are a kind of blog technology that make it possible - and simple! Your blog will benefit from the inbound links a trackback will bring, and you'll also get extra traffic from other sources.

#10 - You Can Syndicate Your Content Easily

Getting readers for your content is good. Getting your content out where many more readers can see it is GREAT! Syndication (via RSS feeds) is built in to most blogging platforms, giving you a quick and easy way to get a wide readership for your blog posts.

#11 - You're Creating Stuff Search Engines LOVE

Search engines exist to offer their audience a compilation of the best resources on a subject or keyword. Your blog is the answer to a search engine's prayers! By sticking to a theme and presenting the content in an organized, structured, intuitively connected pattern, your blog will be appealing to search engines in a way only a very professionally planned and designed website can ever hope to be.

#12 - You Get 'Alternate' Traffic Sources

Remember what we saw about blogs being linked and networked together? Bloggers like to share opinions with others. And when they 'talk' about you, they are going to point to your site, or a post on your blog, to show their readers what they mean. They become 'alternate' traffic sources - for YOU!

Other tools like blog rolls, furls, favorite bloggers and more can drive sporadic - but sometimes big floods - of traffic your way. And best of all, it's effortless and costs you nothing!

Not yet convinced? Well, then maybe blogging isn't quite your cup of tea. But if you trust me, try it - you just might be pleasantly surprised.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Starting Your Own Affiliate Program: Tools You Need

Copyright © Philippe de Tiege

When you want to take control and are thinking of starting your own affiliate program, there are certain things you will need to offer. You need to make it easy for affiliates to get on board and get started right away. To do this, you will need to offer them certain things to work with. You should immediately tell them everything they need to know in the first email you send to them. You don’t have to go into great detail about it but you can touch on certain things and give more detail on your site. Take a look at some of the tools you can offer affiliates to keep them interested and functioning.


If you want your own affiliate program to work you need ads that are effective. You should make sure they are effective before you start handing them out to affiliates. You don’t have to offer a ton of ads to affiliates at first. Start with a few and change them as you can. You can choose to allow affiliates to write ads as well for a better result. Remember, if your ads are no good, there is no point in having an affiliate program in the first place.


You really need to make your available graphics easier than ever for affiliates to use. If you try to get complicated, they will not be effective. Set up your website so all the affiliate has to do is cut and past the html code into their own webpage editor. When you do this, they will be more likely to use your graphics effectively. In addition, you need to be sure to display a small set of instructions for those who don’t know what they are doing.


One thing you shouldn’t forget when you want to start your own affiliate program is content. You should offer your affiliates content they can use. They can paste the article onto their site and get more traffic. In addition, you can encourage them to write their own as well and update them regularly. The more updates they make to their content, the more people they will draw in and the more money everyone will make overall.

As you can see, as long as you offer simple and helpful tools to affiliates, you can think about starting your own affiliate program with no problems. Try having everything set up before you start signing affiliates up. When you have everything already planned out, you won’t get as frazzled with the process. In fact, it should be a very fun and easy process overall. Starting your own affiliate program is beneficial to you and to the affiliates. When the program is so effective for everyone, you will be a huge success.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Get in the loop: Affiliate marketing for home internet business

Copyright © Philippe de Tiege

If you desire to work at home, but are sketchy as to whether your business skills are enough to succeed, try affiliate marketing for home Internet business.

Affiliate marketing is essentially a Web site network. Let’s say you own an interior decorating business. Your Web site is dedicated to promoting your company and reaching out to potential customers. While your service is basically traveling to locations and performing consultations for redecorating rooms and businesses, you know that those who are interested in redecorating their homes are also into household accessories such as candles, curtains, antique furniture, etc. In this case, affiliate marketing for home internet business would involve contacting companies who sell these items, getting their permission to post links to their sites on your Web site, and collecting a percentage of profit for each purchase that company receives because someone clicked the link from your site to theirs and bought an item.

In turn, these companies may decide to post the link to your Web site on their site. Someone who is browsing for discount furniture may see the link to your interior decorating business and decide to contact you for a consultation. Once the contract is signed between you and the client, the Web site that sent business your way will then collect a tip.

For affiliate marketing for home internet business, having a business yourself is not even really a requirement. If you are nuts about hair products, you can make a living selling hair products without having to take orders or stock products.

How is this done? Create a Web site dedicated to hair tips and hair trends. Include columns and articles all about hair that will attract other hair gurus to your site. After your Web site is established, contact several online beauty product stores and set up affiliate marketing agreements.

Those who hit your site and/or become a regular visitor will inevitably be interested in ordering these products advertised on your site. Once that advertisement link is hit by your site visitor, and a purchase is made, you will then receive commission.

The key to having successful affiliate marketing for home Internet business is simply continuing to increase traffic to your site. The more hits on your site, the more chances you have of gaining profit from purchases made through links on your site. Promoting your Web site, writing articles that contain appropriate keywords and instituting a newsletter to subscribers would be promising ways to attract browsers to your Web site.

The more hits you have on your Web site, the more successful affiliate marketing for home Internet business will be. If a company sees that your Web site is regularly visited by hundreds of people daily, they will be more likely to join forces with you in an affiliate agreement.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

How to Increase Your Site Traffic and Succeed With Your Affiliate Marketing Programs

Copyright © Philippe de Tiege

As an affiliate, your main objective is to sell the products and services offered by your partner merchants. Unless you can do this, you can never hope to make a significant amount of money with affiliate marketing programs. So how do you boost sales? All things being equal, you will need to increase your site traffic before you can experience more sales. By the law of averages, the more people are aware of the products you are offering, the more products you will sell.

Here are a few tips that can help you boost your site traffic:

1. Optimize for the search engines. The most successful sites on the internet are the most visible ones. Now there are various ways to achieve increased visibility on the internet, but the foremost method is that of search engine optimization. The details are too technical to discuss here, but the purpose of search engine optimization (SEO) is to help your site achieve higher rankings on the search engines. If you have used a search engine, you will notice that any particular keyword search will return thousands, if not millions of results. Most people will not bother to browse through all those results; they will prefer to look into the sites already displayed. Statistically speaking, the sites listed on the first results page will garner the highest amount of traffic, putting those sites in a better position to make money.

2. Joining internet directories. While internet directories are no longer as widely used as search engines, some people do use them. It is important that you do not overlook the potential customers that these directories can bring to your site. To join an internet directory, you will have to submit your site for approval, and you will be categorized accordingly.

3. Provide fresh content. Your site must continually be updated if you expect your visitors to keep coming back. Your site must have useful content, as well as tools that will help your target audience. Make your site as easy to navigate as possible, and be sure that your links work the way that they should. There is nothing that frustrates people more than a “broken” website, and once your site has been labeled as such, chances are slim that many people will want to come back.

4. Build an online community. In other words, build relationships with your potential customers. Make your visitors feel welcome and appreciated, and they are likely to come back. Be interested in solving their problems and they will thank you with their business.
Making your affiliate marketing program work is really not that much different from operating a traditional business. The only way you can keep your customers is to treat them right. The Japanese have a saying: The customer is God. As long as you treat your customers with respect and exert effort in trying to meet their needs, you will find that they will be more than willing to help you with yours.

Affiliate Marketing and Requesting Customer Support

As a webmaster, you are bound to run into problems. Even though you have spent a good amount of time learning the affiliate marketing trade, sooner or later you will run into some challenges that you will need help to resolve. Areas such as e-mail services, affiliate marketing software, and online services are often particularly troublesome.

Unfortunately, getting help is not often easy, even from your web host. But there are ways to make the process simpler for both sides. Here are some questions that you might consider before you call your service provider:

Who are you? This is a common problem. Many people report their problems without providing their personal information, such as their username. Unless the support team knows who you are, how do you expect them to solve your problem?

What is the problem? Be specific. Identify which product or service is not working properly. Keep in mind that you are just one of your web host’s customers. Unless you can pinpoint the problem, chances are pretty slim that you will receive appropriate and timely help.

What software are you using? Your web host’s support team will need information on the software you are using. For instance, they will ask you what type of system you are using in your computer. It is a well-known fact that certain applications do not work well on certain systems. Be sure to give any relevant details about the services or applications that you use.

When did the problem start? Identifying the time you became aware of the problem is important. If you have recently made any changes to your system and the problem appeared soon after, it is quite likely that particular change is the cause. Don’t withhold information from the support team; every bit of knowledge is crucial to identifying the source of difficulty.

What have you tried to fix the problem? If you have attempted to fix the problem yourself, be sure to include an account of your attempts in your report. Letting the support team know what you’ve already done will help them save time, and also make a more accurate diagnosis of what’s wrong.

Have you kept it simple? For security purposes, some support systems do not allow HTML display. To avoid having your e-mail intercepted, it is best to send your messages in plain text format.

Remember to be polite. Keep in mind that the support team is composed of human beings – they certainly will not appreciate if you maltreat them. Never insult them; never use profanity. If you want your problem to be resolved, it is better to hold your peace and act civilly. Despite what you may think, you are just one of their customers -- they reserve the right to discontinue their services to you whenever they like.

These pointers will not always get you the speedy service that you deserve, but they can certainly help.
Affiliate marketing is a difficult business enough without making enemies. By taking a little time to see things from your support team’s point of view, you can drastically improve the quality of service you get.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Profitable Internet auctions

Copyright © Philippe de Tiege

There is no real secret to the ebay success story; it is all out in the open with small marketing tools that are available to the willing. Because of this tool, more and more people are finding out just how profitable Internet auctioning can really be. It is not out of the question for someone to sell something simple, just one time to realize the potential for a sound small business. This business has the room to grow on the Internet, and it is very easy to capitalize on.

You can be very sure that you will not get very far if you continually sell junk on ebay however, you can indeed make a very profitable small business if you set it up correctly and use the tools provided. Not only can Internet auctions be profitable and a great way to start a small business, it can be very entertaining as well. There is nothing quite like going after something you want, when you see other people going after it too. It is the thrill of the chase so to speak. If you are trying to reach out to the serious business people that can be found in the ebay community, you surely will not draw them with junk.

On that note it is a good idea to ensure you devise marketing plan that will some profit and growth, if you are to be take seriously. Not unlike all business ventures, online auction and ebay business takes time to develop and make into a success. Business is not merely handed to you, and this is no exception to that rule. It takes a lot of time and energy, to make things work right. It is not uncommon for a large business that is already established to make a splash in the ebay realm for more business. This will only broader their reach, and business scope. Given the extremely high volumes of people that visit ebay on a daily basis, this is a great opportunity for a large company to stretch out their client base. Consider this, there are approximately 90-95 million ebay users, and an estimated 900 dollars for every second in the day.

Nowhere else can you find a bigger network than ebay, it is estimated that just over two million items daily are added to the marketplace. Well over ten million bids are placed everyday, this momentum is growing at such an alarming rate that it is impossible for companies to not notice and take advantage. Are Internet auctions profitable? Yes they are indeed, and they are here to stay, jump on the bandwagon and start the business you have always dreamed of. The web is an entirely different universe, one where everyone has the chance to be on top if they really want to.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pay per click

Copyright © Philippe de Tiege

The method of generating traffic to your site using Pay Per Click is one that has been taking off by way of storm lately; many people are getting their sites flooded by potential buyers. This is where you want to be as well, right in the thick of the traffic. This is the best way to generate the viewers that you seek for your business. If you can spare some time, and are willing to manage your campaign, this method could be an extremely valuable tool to generate the needed traffic to your site. This of course will require you to do some homework.

The name of the game here is keyword targeting; it is very possible for up to 90% of all generated traffic to your site can be a direct result of pay per click methods employed. In theory this is great, but it must keep in mind that bidding still must remain low on cost. The general assumption is that there is only one method of obtaining a pay per click campaign that can be successful this is not the case. It is true that Google Adwords, and Overture are great tools for this campaign, but they are not the only ones. When you use one of these web giants, you can guarantee that you will be seen on the search engine within a good page rank if of course you are willing to pay the price for that spot.

This is where the bidding comes into play; you will need to bid on the keywords that will place you on the top of the list. This can indeed be a rather trying event, as you can be sure that you are not alone in the bidding. It is not unheard of for a larger corporation to bid as much as 100 dollars for a particular keyword to ensure they get high page ranking. After all it is the word that people are using most to search for their information, this will in turn raise the bidding. Often once you have landed that bid, the cost of maintaining it can be steep as well. Sometimes it can run up to 5.00 per click coming out of your pocket. If you are getting many clicks per day however no sales on your site, you will run into a problem as it will cost you money.

You will need to find a keyword that is directly related to your site, and what you have to offer. Tire kickers need not apply in this scenario; you do not want to pay for window shoppers. By calculating the value of a single customer, you can get a pretty good idea on what you can spend on any particular bid. This too will keep you from over spending and falling into financial trouble.

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