Archive for category Online Business
I have a new client that just went live with their first redesigned website. The company provides apartment marketing solutions for multi-family property owners.
The company’s name is Pallaton and they operate their apartment marketing company under the name of Occupancy100. Their product offerings include:
- Tenant Lead Generation
- Online Lease Application
- After Hours Leasing Support
- Tenant Screening
- Tenant Credit Checks
There are quite a number of advantages to having Occupancy100 handle maketing for apartments on behlf of small, medium, and large apartment property management companies. The most exciting of the advantages being that the service is FREE!… Well not really it is only free if it doesn’t work.
The company uses a pay for performance model that has been proven across a number of proprties already. What it means for an apartment owner is that unless the service provides you with more tenants that sign more leases, you don’t pay. And if it works as well as they advertise, apartment owners will be lining up to take advantage of this cheap source for more renters.
Check them out at: www.apartment-marketing-solutions.com
You have probably read a lot of headlines that sound similar to this one above, or make promises like this one seems to. You have probably even read some of those articles all the way to the end, even clicked on some of the links in the article and read all the information on those links. And after finishing, you probably have thought to yourself, what a bunch of hooey… no way can I make money doing that; I can’t promote that, do that, write about that, endorse that… or whatever that! IT WILL RUIN MY BRAND!
Well it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m going to give you some tips that will give you an opportunity to monetize your website or blog, while preserving your brand. One of the best and easiest ways to monetize your online properties is to join some affiliate programs and advertise them on your site.
Affiliate programs are the answer
Why affiliate programs? Simple. Affiliate programs allow you to have a product to sell without having to build or create it yourself. All the work of writing an eBook, or recording an audio track, or programming a software product is taken care of by someone else. But the benefits don’t stop there. You also don’t have to create any marketing materials – those are all created for you by the person who builds the product and is running the affiliate program.
Another great benefit is that you really don’t have to keep track of finances or money. Most good affiliate programs will provide the members with a login to a sophisticated affiliate management program that is based on one of the leading affiliate software programs. These programs make it easy for you to follow how the ads you place on your site are doing, and how much commission you are earning.
Five tips for choosing affiliate offers to promote
- Look for good earnings potential – You want to make sure that if one of the people you refer to an affiliate offer buys, that you will make some decent money. Some experts recommend that you look for high percentages. I prefer to look for opportunities where you can make a ‘big hit’ from a sale. This affiliate program for promoting music teacher websites offers the opportunity for you to earn $200 for a sale with monthly recurring income of $10.
- Choose programs your readers will like – It is critical that you choose affiliate programs and offers that your audience will appreciate and be interested in. It wouldn’t be too smart to choose to promote affiliate programs and products for adult content movies on a site that is dedicated to toys for toddlers. However, if you have a website that helps people find careers is sales, it would be great to promote something like How to Get Into Medical Sales.
- Look for affiliate programs powered by software – When you sign up for an affiliate program it will quickly become obvious if the owner of the program is serious about helping affiliate members be successful. If you are automatically redirected to a page powered by a fully-featured affiliate marketing software program, you can infer that this is a serious affiliate program. If you get an email message that says ‘here is you affiliate link’ and ‘we’ll let you know if you earn anything’ you should think carefully about investing any time. Their are several top name brands like iDev Affiliate, LinkShare, and JROX JAM. My favorite is JROX JAM, which you can get for free here: http://websitesthatdrivesales.com/recommends/free-affiliate-management-software.htm
- Make sure the website is NOT anonymous – What I mean is, make sure that there are real people standing behind the website, people with good reputations, who take customer service seriously. People who let you know who they are, give you contact information with phone numbers aren’t very likely to be fly-by-night. They aren’t likely to ‘forget’ to pay you the commissions that you have generated. If you can find a picture, bio, and phone number of the affiliate site owner, chances are they will behave legitimately. You will also be able to ‘Google’ them to find any complaints about their program. Peggy McKee, the Medical Sales Recruiter, is one of the country’s leading sales recruiters – she proudly announces her site ownership on the about pages like this one: http://30-60-90-day-sales-plan.com/about/
- Choose affiliate programs that have support programs – If you are choosing a piece of software to buy, you probably wouldn’t purchase it if there was not support mechanism in place. You should use the same criteria when evaluating affiliate programs. If the vendor doesn’t have a support system in place – something like a help desk or help desk software – then they probably don’t care about their customers. If they do, then you can be fairly sure that they are trying to keep customers happy. If they AREN’T trying to keep customers happy, their poor service will reflect poorly on you, and tarnish your brand.
There are a couple of affiliate programs that hit on all cylinders, that I could recommend if your site’s visitors would be interested in these subjects. One is an affiliate program for a sales interview tool that targets sales professionals – you can check it out here: http://30-60-90-day-sales-plan.com/affiliate-program-details/. The other is a program that has a broader appeal – it targets people who own businesses that either have no web presence or under performing websites; you can get all the information for it here: http://websitesthatdrivesales.com/blog/home/affiliate-program/
Many people are familiar with the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”
Ah, if it were only as simple as that! There are thousands upon thousands of small business owners in the world with superior products and services – but their businesses are stagnant or faltering. How can customers come and beat on a door that they do not even know exists? And how do they know if the door they DO find is actually WORTH beating on?
You already know the answer: Marketing.
But flyers, business cards, brochures, yard signs, Craigslist, newspaper ads, direct mail, referral rewards, word of mouth, discounts and coupons, t-shirts, caps, pens, bumper stickers, magnets, sponsorships, and even free hot dogs outside Home Depot can only do so much. Most of these approaches take valuable time and money to implement, and do not have a high rate of effectiveness. They use up your precious time and resources for very little return.
And then there is the internet. When people want to find something, they go on their computer and do a search. They want to spend the LEAST amount of time possible to find the product or service that will meet their need. So when the search results come up and YOUR business is right there on the first page, there is an excellent chance that a customer is going to check out your website.
Let’s think for a minute about what comes next. Put yourself in the customer’s place. Let’s say that you are new in town and are looking for a piano teacher for your child. You do a search, and a bunch of the listings that show up are national sites that have all kinds of useless links to teachers that are not even close to your area. What a waste of time!
Next you find a website for a teacher that has all kinds of information about his background, degrees, performance history, and even a page where you can buy his CD, but very little about how he teaches and exactly what he teaches. Hummm. Keep looking.
You click on the next site and are instantly pleased. Right there in front of you is a slide show of children at a piano. The teacher’s picture and information are all right there – what to expect when you take lessons, where to click for rates, and clear directions to her home using a Google map. There are links to articles about children and music, informative blog posts, resource links where you can find music games and quizzes, and a page full of glowing testimonials complete with pictures of her students. WOW!
Are you going to keep looking after you see this site? Or can you pretty much tell that this is the person you want as your child’s piano teacher?
Fact: This teacher now has a new client because 1) you were able to easily find her and 2) you liked what you saw. There are probably 30 other piano teachers in your area, but you don’t know anything about them. Your search is over.
So now comes the question: Are YOU a great teacher? If the answer is YES, then you need to let the world know it!
Let us help you put your passion, knowledge, and teaching accomplishments on display for everyone to see, 24/7.
Let us help you easily connect your current students to valuable information and resources.
Let us help you make YOUR business thrive!
Click here for a special offer for websites for music teachers.
That’s what I said, you shouldn’t have a website.
You should have a blog instead.
Now that you’ve found a web host for your business / marketing website you have just one question – “What the heck do I put up on my website?“ My very best suggestion is is that you put up a blog and not a regular website, at least at first. I would suggest that you use WordPress as your blog software. Here are my 7 reasons you shouldn’t have a website but should use a blog for your website:
Blog software is free – there is nothing wrong with wanting to do things economically, and free is about as economical as you can get. You can go to WordPress.org and download blogging software for free. You can also get them to install it for free on your website. If you use HostGator as your web hosting provider (as I suggested in my article on where to host your site) then you can install WordPress yourself with the click on one button on the control panel.
Blog software is robust – there are several million installs of TypePad and WordPress each, and both have large communities that support them. You can find forums and groups all across the internet just by doing a Google search. With millions of users, the software tends to get bullet proof pretty quickly.
Blog software manages content – actually most people use blog software as a CMS or content management system. What that means is that the blog software takes care of the structure of the website handling most of the coding complexity of building a website, allowing the owner of the site to concentrate on content. Basically the blog creates a framework of static pages and post pages (pages displaying articles) that hold your content. Content creation is about the only work you have to do, and mostly it is about as simple as writing an email.
Blogs are attractive to Google – when it comes to indexing sites and ascribing value to them, Google thinks highly of blogs. At least if they contain original and valuable content. The reason is that blogs tend to have fresh, new, exciting (OK maybe that’s over the top), original, and useful content which is published on a daily basis. That is a lot more frequently than the content changes or additions that happen on most websites. Since they change more often, and Google is in the business of being the best search engine – which means they have to have the best index of sites, naturally Google will index blogs more often than they do a static unchanging site.
Blogs have built in promotion features – most people don’t realize that blogs contain two important features that help your website / blog gain notoriety and importance in Google’s eyes, if not in the eyes of your readers and the features work automatically. These two features are pings / trackbacks and RSS feeds. I won’t go into great detail here because these are large enough subjects to have their own posts, but suffice to say that these features help drive your website to the top of search engine rankings.
Blogs help display your subject matter expertise – if you build a static website chances are very good that you will be limited in the number of pages you can publish. All of the pages together have to say something about your business, your products and services, and your team. There is a limit to how much information can be digested in one reading, and a limit as too how much time any of your website visitors will spend reading one page or group of pages in one sitting. Static websites, therefore, can only dish up a limited amount of information about one topic. Not so with a blog. The model is different . You publish bite-size articles about topics in posts (articles) that can be served up on a regular basis. You have the ability to tailor each of the posts to fit the intended audience and their attention span. For longer topics, you can do a series of articles -as I’m doing here – that are connected and get your readership engaged. Because you can dole out information in small chunks on a regular basis, you have the ability to show the depth and breadth of your subject matter expertise without boring the audience.
Blogs develop valuable traffic - as you create content you build value for your readers. You should be providing information to your audience that they will find useful in their daily lives. As you continue to provide information / value then these folks will continue to return to your blog to find more. When they return, you will have an opportunity to present to them propositions that involve revenue generation. It could be that you provide interview tips that candidates find useful – making them feel comfortable with signing up for outplacement services. It could be that you give tips about resumes – driving candidates to you resume writing / review service. You might also provide staffing / recruiting consultancy, and your status as a subject matter expert in staffing might convince a client customer that your working style would be better suited to them than one of your competitors. It could be that you are an expert in communications and your articles could attract people who are looking for a way to improve their relationships.
Those are my 7 reasons why you should have a blog instead of a static website. If you have questions or would like to investigate how you can get blogging websites set up contact us.
Written by Carl Chapman [Internet Marketing SEO Guru]
If you would like to transform your website into a powerful online money making machine, hire the Internet Marketing SEO Guru or contact us. Also, get a free video report on "How to tell if your SEO consultant is worth what he charges"