Creating Personal Web Sites

Creating Personal Web Sites

by: Ashish Jain

This is a twopart article about creating a web site on the web and the tools that you need to do that.

During the last decade we have truly entered the information age. More and more people are becoming a part of the ever growing and wondrous community called the Internet. It was just over a decade ago that ‘Internet’ was just another new concept that a lot of people were skeptical about. Today however, it would be difficult to imagine living in the world without this amazing phenomenon. It really has enabled humans to reach new heights.

Some basic terminology that you should take a look at before proceeding further:

Web Page: A document that contains information created with the help of HTML.

Web Site: A collection of web pages on a particular subject.

HTML: Also known as Hyper Text Markup Language, this is used for the creation of web pages. Information is written in between HTML tags ( ) to instruct the web page as to how information will be displayed. You can also put images into the web page by using this language. Some other languages like JavaScript, VB script, ASP, ASP.NET etc. are also used to display dynamic content on web pages and for performing user driver events.

There are basically two main categories of web sites:

Personal web site: These include websites that are about individual human beings/people.

Business web site: Includes web sites that advertise and inform users about the products and services that a company is selling.

This article will deal with creating personal web sites and putting them on the web.

You too can make your presence felt on the web (if you have not already done so) by creating a web site.

The demand and popularity of personal web sites have increased at a great rate since the start of the web. People have found web sites a great way to express themselves.

A personal web site is your message center where you can upload information about friends and family and share them with the rest of the world. They can even act as a personal Blog (online journal).

Having a personal web site on the Internet has a lot of advantages:

Gives you the freedom of selfexpression. You can tell the world about your favorite hobbies, special interests, post your resume etc. for the whole world to see.

Ability to keep in touch share your life) with friend and family who are far away.

Great opportunity for making new friends and forming online communities.

Now comes the question of actually creating a web site. Surprisingly it is not a difficult task at all. In fact there are a lot of web sites that will provide you with all the tools you need to create your own web site and put it on the web, and you do not even have to know HTML to make them!

You do not even have to worry about buying up web space; almost all these sites will provide you with free hosting services. The only disadvantage is that they will probably put in banners (advertisements) of their sponsors on the site.

For example:

http://geocities.yahoo.com/

members.lycos.com

These are two of the most popular web sites where you can create your own web pages. Yahoo gives you multiple options for creating web pages. It has yahoo page wizard and yahoo page builder, which are two very powerful yet simple editors for creating pages and have a point and click interface.

http://www.webspawner.com/

http://maxpages.com/

www.expage.com/

These are some other sites where you can create your own web pages. You can also search on the Internet for more sites like these as well. All you need to do is register and then you can create your own web pages.

However, there is one little drawback when creating a site on these sites: you do not get your own personal domain name, so the address of your web site will be something like http://www.site_where_you_registered.com/yourname

Where ‘yourname’ is the name under which you registered.

However, taking everything into consideration, this is the simplest way to get on the web and start expressing yourself.

About The Author

Ashish Jain

M6.Net Web Helpers

http://www.m6.net

This article was posted on April 03

by Ashish Jain

The Team Process

The Team Process

by: Ray Cooney

We live in very progressive times, one only has to look around at the changes on the internet each day to see that this is true.

We see changes also happening within the world around us as well, sometimes for the better sometimes not. We sometimes can feel frustrated in that it appears that we can do nothing to make the changes that we would like to see.

It is only through banding together that we can make our influence felt, when you look back over the history of mankind it would appear that all the significant changes came about by team effort.

>From the first groups that gathered together in caves for mutual protection against the forces of nature and the dangers of the wild, to today with groups working together to help our journeys towards the stars.

While most of us may never be going on journeys to stars, nor have to fend off the forces of nature, there are exceptions to every rule, we can find ourselves in a situation where being independent doesn’t help.

It is in these times of need that we find that being part of a team and cooperating as a team with a single purpose creates a greater good.

So when we go looking for an online business that we can participate in, we need to look at the existing teams within that business. How well do they interact? How well do they assist newcomers?

Unless these factors are thoroughly researched one can find yourself struggling not only to work out what you should do to work this business, but can actually find that others may be negatively impacting the way we work.

Now I know that it is easy to say find a group to work with, however not all personalities can work well together and so you not only need a good program, you need people that you are comfortable to work with and that you get along with.

This all takes time which is a significant reason why nearly every GETRICHQUICK scheme fails, this type of program is an individual domain not a team effort. It is only in the team oriented system that true value is placed on individuals and their worth to the team as an integral part of a well oiled machine.

Our planet requires this team effort as well, it is no good trying to do things by yourself. You need like minded individuals to create significant change. Although a single spokesperson may be associated with an event it is the team that is behind that person that achieved any of the successes.

I am not taking away from the individual, some are born entrepreneurs and if you can find one who is willing to mentor you then by all means latch onto their coat tails, I am sure that journey will be worthwhile.

However if you were to remove the team behind the one I can say without any fear that the results would be thousands of times less then with them.

So being part of a team is really a prerequisite for a successful business on the internet, but how do you find that team? How will you start? What do you need to do?

The first step is to work out if there is an existing program that already has a team in place and whether this group meets your expectations of what you want to do.

If not move on find one that does, now I am not suggesting that you jump from one idea to another not at all, do your homework on the program prior to joining, talk with those already involved, find out what makes them and this particular program tick.

Once you are satisfied make a commitment to stay with this program for a sufficient amount of time to give it a fair go, we are not talking weeks or months here but a long term commitment of at least 12 to 36 months.

This is the only way that you will establish your own niche in any program.

The next step and I am sure that you have heard this many times before, start to build your own list of people to share with, people that can like yourself become part of your team.

There are many ways that you can go about building your lists, and being a newbie myself I am still learning, however one very good method that I have found is by having my own newsletter. http://oneperfectday.net/newsletter.htm

You can build a list using this method within a few months from 10 or 12 to over 400. In time you can build this list into the 1000กs that you see others creating.

One thing I will mention here if you do go this path, you must have something of value to offer your subscribers, so that they will keep coming back to hear what you have to say in your newsletter/ezine.

Other methods of creating optin lists are in creating reports or eCourses and offering these free to anyone that wants them, of course you need to make sure that they have a perceived value or else you will not have any one join.

You could also create capture pages and offer a something of value for your subscribers name and email address, this works well but I have found that the other methods are superior in my own experience.

Another way is to do this what I am doing now write an article about something that you know about and submit it along with your resource box, the part in your message that contains the details of your own business.

eZine and Newsletter editors are constantly looking for new articles that are of value to their subscribers and could supplement what they are doing on the internet, it is this cross sharing that can also help build your optin list.

Especially if what you have written is helpful to others, one thing that sticks in my mind is a saying กYou can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.กZig Ziglar

This is so true, in fact you can virtually guarantee that if you help sufficient people along the way you too will grow in your business acumen.

So go out there and find your Team to work with, begin creating your list and create and share your wealth, whether that is in the form of money or knowledge.

About The Author

Ray Cooney has been involved in online marketing for over five years now. He has worked in many areas of the IT arena and is currently part of the administration for the Permaworld Foundation.

http://permaworld.org/members/join/

He also publishes his own newsletter to assist people in their online marketing efforts.

http://oneperfectday.net/ezine

He is also a supporter of the Feeding Kids Organisation through the promotion of the PermaSHARE Program.

http://permaworld.org/members/helpingkids/

ray@oneperfectday.net

This article was posted on November 20, 2004

by Ray Cooney

Steps to Create and Promote RSS Feeds

Steps to Create and Promote RSS Feeds

by: S. Housley

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication as it is commonly known, is a technology that gives webmasters the ability to easily distribute and publish syndicated content on the Internet. It seems like all Internet businesses now have RSS feeds available; at least your competitors do. You have finally made the decision that you have to have one. Where do you start?

Steps to Creating an RSS feed

1.) Build a Feed

There are a number of desktop and web applications available that make feed creation easy. I would encourage anyone creating a feed to use one. Though not overly complicated, handcoding an RSS feed can become a bit confusing and timeconsuming. Most desktop software applications for building a feed include a wizard and contactsensitive help, simplifying the process of creating a feed. Following a few simple steps in a wizard generally will produce an RSS feed in just a few minutes.

Publishers control what information is syndicated in the RSS feed, so ultimately it is the publisherกs decision as to whether to include teaser copy or full articles. Consider what you are trying to accomplish and who your target audience is when building the feed.

Software to Build a Feed http://www.feedforall.com

Tutorial for Creating Feed by Hand using XML http://www.makerssfeeds.com

2.) Transfer the Feed Onto Your Server

Once you have constructed an RSS feed you will need to transfer the feed to your server. This can be done using a standard FTP client (if it is not built into the feed creation software). The feed is usually placed in the domainกs root directory like this: http://www.mydomain.com/nameoffeed.xml , but as long as you know where it is it doesn’t really matter.

3.) Display the Feed on Your Website Using a Graphic of Some Sort

In order to signal to website visitors that an RSS feed containing content related to the website is available, include a colorful graphic on the website. It has become a standard that nearly all websites that have RSS feeds available use colorful graphics such as flags as indicators that RSS feeds are available for specific content. The flags were initially bright orange rectangles but as the popularity has grown, webmasters have bent the rules a bit. NotePage has made a free online RSS graphic tool available that allows users to quickly customize buttons by selecting the text on the button and the color scheme of the button. Once the color and text is entered, a custom graphic is instantly created. Webmasters can easily match the style of the RSS button to a websiteกs theme. Graphics experience is not required. Simply select alternative colors and insert text to personalize RSS feed graphics. The RSS graphics tool can be used by clicking the following URL http://www.feedforall.com/public/rssgraphictool.htm or choose ready made graphics fom: http://www.rssspecifications.com/rssgraphics.htm.

4.) Include Information in the HTML of the Web Page So RSS Readers AutoDetect Your Feed

After publishing an RSS feed it is important to let visitors know that the feed exists. Aggregators will automatically detect RSS on a website if you add a small bit of code in the header field of an HTML page.

[link rel=กalternateก type=กapplication/rss+xmlก title=กRSSก href=กhttp://www.yourdomain.com/rss.xmlก]

Be sure to replace http://www.yourdomain.com/rss.xml with the URL to the RSS feed and replace the brackets with กก greater than symbols.

5.) Display the Feedกs Content on a Website

Contents contained in an RSS feed can be added to a website, providing site visitors an alternative method for viewing the content. The information will also help increase search engine interest. Displaying the feed as HTML can be accomplished. Providing fresh content on a regular basis will encourage site visitors return.

Tutorial for Displaying Feeds http://www.smallbusinesssoftware.net/displayrss.htm

6.) Submit the Feed to RSS Directories and Search Engines

As a rapidly increasing number of content sources, new and old, migrate or add RSS as a key distribution channel, and as more people utilize RSS newsreaders and aggregators to keep themselves informed, the ability to maintain high exposure and visibility is gradually shifted from complete attention to major search engines and content optimization techniques to an increasing awareness of RSS feed directories and search tools.

In order to increase exposure of an RSS feed it should be submitted to RSS search engines and directories. This can be done manually. Just as you would submit the URL of a website or web page to a search engine you will need to submit the link of the actual feed located on your website to the RSS directories. There is a large list of RSS directories at http://www.rssspecifications.com/rsssubmission.htm . If you prefer to automate the submission process try RSS Submit at: http://www.dummysoftware.com/rsssubmit.html. An evaluation version is available.

About The Author

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.

This article was posted on March 30

by S. Housley

How To Choose A Website Designer

How To Choose A Website Designer

by: Steve Lillo

Now that you have decided that it is time to create a website for your business there are many questions you must answer. One of the most important questions is กWho should create my website?ก

I like to use the analogy of playing music; in as little as a few hours, some people can strum a few chords on the guitar and play a song. But to really play the instrument and make your instrument sing requires experience and understanding. Likewise, although there are tools which are readily available to assist in the process, effective website design requires experience and understanding of many diverse areas including: marketing, Internet graphics options and limitations, effectively creating a site from the perspective of search engines, the differences and limitations of different browsers and computer platforms as well as knowledge of the software and coding required to move beyond simple static html pages.

It is also vitally important that your designer understand you and your business and know how to most effectively communicate you and your uniqueness to your Internet audience. To answer our question, we’ll look at some important pieces of information that you’ll need to find out before you choose your website designer.

What do you want in a website? What are your needs and intentions for having a website? Does the prospective designer listen to and understand your needs and intentions? Have you checked other similar businesses to see what they are doing on the Internet? Can a prospective designer offer any suggestions for improving upon what others have already accomplished? The more clarity you have about your intended results for having a website, the more accurately you can communicate your needs to your designer and the more likely it is that you will achieve these results.

Is the designer experienced in website design? How long has the designer been creating websites? What is their background? How long have they been using the Internet? Three years is a long time in Internet terms. More than four or five years is a seasoned veteran. Ideally, your site designer has a variety of experience.

What are the designerกs strengths and weaknesses? The range of skills required for creating any type of website is more diverse than you can imagine. If a designer tells you they have done or can do any project, I’d suggest you take that statement with a grain of salt.

Is the designer easy to work with and talk to? Is she/he able to communicate technical information so that you can understand it? The process of creating a website can often be an overwhelming process for some people. Consider hiring a designer with whom you have a good rapport and find communicating with easy.

Look at some of their previous clients sites. Do they all look the same? Do they load quickly? Are they easy to navigate through? Do you like their previous work? Do they accurately reflect their clients’ business? Does the designer custom create each site or would they have you select from a list of prepackaged sites?

What is your budget and what is the typical cost for the designer’s projects? As a generalization, the larger the company, the more they charge for their services (and often the more elaborate the sites they create.) Companies which create sites from a prepackaged template often cost less but don’t provide you with custom solutions which may more closely meet your needs. Site designers who are getting started will often create your site for a lower fee, essentially using your project to develop their skills.

Your decision should be based on many of these important questions. Also use any other questions you find useful when hiring any other service business for a project. Comparing website designers is sometimes like comparing bananas to bicycles instead of apples to apples. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might consider writing pros and cons for each designer on a sheet of paper to develop a more objective point of view.

The selection of your website designer is an important step in the creation of a successful website. With time and patience, you too can join the thousands of businesses with successful websites.

About The Author

Steve Lillo author of Websites That Work! is the President of PlanetLink, a website design and consulting firm which specializes in creating websites which get results. They also provide their Web Rx Service for increasing the effectiveness of existing websites. PlanetLink can be reached at http://www.planetlink.com or by telephone at 4158842022.

steve@planetlink.com

This article was posted on June 18, 2003

by Steve Lillo

Technical Writing for the Terrified

Technical Writing for the Terrified

by: Mike Kemp

Introduction

Sometimes it may be beyond a companies or individuals budget to hire a professional writer to address their technical documentation. Although in an ideal world all technical documentation should be produced by a highly trained expert, unfortunately we do not live in an ideal. In the same way that many people will attempt to repair their own home appliances, many people will attempt to write quality technical documents. Just as fiddling with a toaster can result in electrocution, attempting to write technical documents from scratch without prior advice will ultimately result in failure. As a rough rule of thumb you should always seek to employ a specialist, but if for whatever reason you can’t and you are the poor unfortunate that has had documentation duties foisted on them, don’t despair. This brief guide outlines some of the core skills you will need to bring to your writing, technical conventions to be aware of, software packages you can consider, and definite things to avoid. Hopefully even if you have never written a sentence in your life about anything vaguely technical you will have at the very least, a broader picture of what technical writing entails.

What is Technical Writing?

Technical writing unsurprisingly enough, refers to writing that is technical. Although this may seem like a fallacious definition, itกs an important one to remember. Too many technical authors make the mistake of creating documentation that is either too technical, or too กliteraryก. A good technical author should be able to adjust the balance between the two to suit the end user of the documentation. Technical writing is a lot like fresh air, pervasive and yet pretty much invisible. In the weird wired world in which we find ourselves, technical writing is everywhere. Software manuals, user guides for home appliances, instructional leaflets, emails, letters, reports, technical news reports, statistics and biographies on television sports shows all are examples of technical writing to which people are exposed to on a daily basis. If you have ever tried to program the time settings on a home video recorder and flung the manual across the room in disgust, you threw a piece of technical writing (although obviously not a very good one!). Too many times technical literature is produced by writers with not a large enough grasp of technology, or technologists that lack an ability to write. As a prospective technical author you must tread the very delicate line of being technically knowledgeable in your specialist field(s) as well as being a กgoodก writer (as opposed to กbadก writers who can usually be found mugging sweet old ladies or something). Technical documentation is usually produced for two distinct user groups, namely expert level users, and naive users. As a technical author one of your first tasks is to sort out what audience you are writing for, which brings me deftly to:

Know thy foe

As the old cliché goes, everyoneกs a critic. This is particularly true of most sane peopleกs reaction when faced with technical writing. As was highlighted in the example of the video recorder above, technical writing can be impenetrable to the end user. If this is the case, it is because whoever wrote the documentation, didn’t bother to identify their audience and write to their level. It seems an obvious point to make, but one that is often overlooked, that the user of the documents your are creating, may not actually be an expert. Obviously if you are creating a document on a particular specialist product for a particular advanced user group (a good example could be auditing software for computer system administrators) then you will need to compose this is an entirely different way than if you are creating for example, a technical manual for mass market computer software aimed at the inexperienced home user. One of the first tasks you must accomplish before you even put pen to paper, of finger to keyboard, is to identify who the user of your documents will be and construct documents aimed at that particular target group(s). If you get this stage correct, it should avoid your documents being thrown across rooms in annoyance!

Planning for perfection

Once you have identified the target market for the documents you will be creating, you will need to start to plan how the documents will be organised. This process is largely dependent on what documentation is being produced, but you can follow a few rough rules of thumb. Firstly, if the documents are to support a particularly detailed product (such as a computer application) get your grubby hands on it as quickly as you can. By examining the product in detail you can formulate a plan of attack and begin to compose an organisational structure. Whilst you are exploring the product in detail, take copious notes, as doing this during the initial exploratory stages can save you time which can be absolutely vital if you are working to deadline. Even at the planning stage you must ensure there is a consistency to layout, and organisational structure for the document. Select numbering conventions, paragraph styles, and generate rough ideas for layout purposes now, and save vital time later.

Let a Draft in

Before diving headfirst into creating the documentation, draft out each section first. This will allow to reorder if the documents being created do not have a logical กflowก without seriously having impact on the project. Many technical documents (especially for more detailed products) are made up of numerous (and in some cases practically countless) iterations. This is because the product shifts and changes over time, and one of the principal duties of a technical author is to keep abreast of these changes, and to ensure that they are all well documented. Good technical authors will always push their documents through as many drafts as humanly possible, refining on each draft, until they reach a position whereby they (and their employer) is satisfied that the documentation is timely, accurate and a true reflection of the product or process it documents.

The devil is in the detail

As already identified, technical writing is called that because it is technical in nature. Part of being technical is to be precise, and part of precision is to be as detailed as humanly possible. Even if the documents you are creating are for an advanced and technologically sophisticated user group, your documentation must focus on the details of a process, or in using a product. This can be a difficult feat to accomplish, but not if you write to your audience. Never assume that the reader knows anything about the product or process be documented, but in the case of advanced / expert users at least have the common sense to recognise the fact that they probably do not need to be told how to use the equipment they operate on a daily basis. When describing how to carry out a particular activity or task, identify each stage involved (number them if this fits the conventions of the document type you are creating) and to ensure the accuracy of what you have written test it yourself, or even better, rope in a volunteer of the same skills level as the end user.

Choose the right tool for the job

Although it is possible to create technical documents using parchment and blood, itกs not advisable. Many specialist software applications exist to help you create powerful documentation, and part of your duties as a technical author, include selecting the right tool for the job. Largely this depends on the nature of the documents being produced, and the nature of their eventual distribution. If the documents can be delivered using the Internet, this is certainly an avenue to consider. To that end make use of packages such as Flash MX and Dreamweaver to achieve this goal. For integrated online help, you may wish to create raw HTML documents, or alternatively select a specialist package such as RoboHelp or similar. In the case of print based documents, you will need to select a software package powerful enough to handle what you will throw at it. Many inexperienced technical authors instantly turn towards Microsoft Word (as it is ubiquitous in may commercial and private environments). Unless your documentation is going to be beneath 150 pages, and you know how to create templates and make macros, avoid MS Word. As any technical author will tell you it has nasty habits all itกs own, and can often be an unstable package to work with. If you are creating graphics heavy documentation, you may wish to consider Quark Xpress, or choose potentially the industry leader in the field, Adobe Framemaker. Whatever software you select, you must ensure you become incredibly proficient with it, either by investing in training, or by using it day after day after day!

Communicate – thatกs what you are paid to do!

Many people will tell you that creating technical documentation is tedious and repetitive. These people, are wrong, and possibly morons too. Although you may find the process of creating technical documentation กboringก (if you do you are in the wrong job!) it isn’t. Creating quality technical documents is a vital stage in allowing people to adequately and correctly use technology. Although no user will approach the documentation you create in the same way as they approach a novel, you can ultimately help them achieve what they want to achieve using technology. No matter how กdullก the process may appear to be, allowing users to achieve their goals by reading your documents should give you a rush of pride and indeed, happiness. As long as you remember the positive effects that technology can have on peopleกs lives, when you create your documents you can communicate more effectively, as you will be happier in the communicative process. Throughout the documentation life cycle, you should seek to liaise with colleagues as often as possible (if applicable). Let them read your documents, listen to their criticisms, and adjust your documents (if you can’t argue your corner!). A technical author is paid to communicate, make sure that you do, and never forget why your are communicating, and to whom, in the documents themselves.

Common Mistakes to avoid making

When creating technical documents there are a number of fatal flaws you can make. Although by no means exhaustive, this section details some of the more common mistakes new authors make, in the hopes that you will avoid making them too:

Being Patronising – Although technical documentation should be clear, it should never be patronising. You are not creating documents to be read by morons but consumers and clients. You should always write to the skills level of your audience, but no matter what technical level people are on, they are not morons. Even children get offended when patronised, don’t make that mistake with someone who is paying your salary, child or otherwise.

Overuse of humour – People do not read technical documents to be entertained, they read them in the hopes of successfully completing a process, or extracting information. Unless it is relevant to the end user, avoid humour wherever possible. If you are writing a book, fine and good. If you are writing a manual, avoid humour like the plague, as more often than not users will miss the joke and just end up loathing the patronising idiot that wrote the documentation.

Inconsistency – Even at the drafting stage, you should ensure that all the elements used in your document are consistent. This applies as much to the ‘toneก of the document as to the layout of it. Ensure you use consistent senses (first person, etc.) as well as page layout, pagination elements, headers and footers, and all other textual elements.

Proof read – By the end of creating a piece of technical documentation, you will probably be sick of the sight of it. That doesn’t matter. What matters is what leaves your office or home, is accurate. To that end proof read the document throughout all itกs drafts, and before it is distributed proof read it again, and again, and again. Never rely on spell checkers (they never work) and if you can avoid it, never rely solely on your own judgement. Get your document read by as many pairs of eyes as possible prior to distribution, after all, they could spot the one thing you have been missing throughout the creation process.

Conclusion / Shameless self promotion

Technical writing is not regardless of what you may think, an easy job. It requires expertise, patience and a very odd mixture of skills. Just like any other job, you can learn how to do it, but even that tuition will not necessarily make you any good at it. To be a good technical author, you have to be anal yet creative, focussed yet communicative, and a flexible expert. This, as you can probably imagine, is no simple task. Although you may think creating technical documents is easy, creating accurate, consistent and timely documentation to a high commercial standard is a highly challenging role. Regardless of your budget, in the long run it will provide significant ROI if you hire a specialist. After all, they will be able to do in days, what you tear your hair our attempting to accomplish in weeks if not months.

About The Author

Over the years Mike Kemp has been employed as a freelance IT journalist (working for publications such as The Register, Namesfacesplaces, Security Focus and Packetstorm), a copywriter, videogames designer, security auditor, web designer, graphic designer and IT trainer. He has worked in a variety of freelance and permanent positions for both small (e.g. two men and a dog) companies to multinational organisations throughout both the UK and Europe. When not working on various articles, books, manuals, and assorted other copy for clients, Mike can usually be found toiling on a variety of unpublished novels. He has had several of his short screenplays produced by independent production companies, and is currently working on several feature length scripts.

Mike lives mostly happily in a dreadfully un-bohemian London suburb with his long-term (and long-suffering) partner, and two addled cats. To learn more about Mike, the range of projects he has been involved in, and other assorted stuff and nonsense, please visit his personal homepage at www.clappymonkey.com.

This article was posted on November 26, 2003

by Mike Kemp

Create Credibility for Success

Create Credibility for Success

by: Nichols Dixon

Back in my early marketing days, finding the magic ticket to online success was my prime focus. Day after day I became engaged in the journey to find the internet ขEl Doradoข. I did find what I was looking for, nothing more than a fistful of air. The online marketing formula for success was always right in front of me or rather right inside. And yet still so many marketers are out there searching for that elusive ticket to success.

Notice any successful marketer and you will find that their success is built strongly on their credibility. Yanik Silver, Marlon Sanders, Ken Evoy and many others all have credibility which precedes them.

This is why they are all so successful. They focus on creating lasting materials which will work for them in the long term. Many marketers including myself have made that mistake by not doing so, which can prove to be fatal to your business.

In the vast world of the internet, credibility is hard to comeby indeed. The internet removes the need for face to face meetings and dialogue, but that does not remove the need for trust and dependability.

How can you create credibility for your online business? You can do so by establishing materials which will be of benefit to your readers and customers. Posting free ads to classifieds and to FFA’s is not what I am talking about. These bring little or no results in the long run.

Article writing, ezine publishing and posting to forums are examples of credibility building materials. When used in the proper way they seem to take on a life of there own and can bring wonderful results. And the best thing is that they have the ability to stick around for a long time after you create and publish them.

All the examples stated are practiced by successful marketers. Some may use all the techniques or they might use one or two. My experience with creating credibility building materials has been wonderful.

A few detractors may point out that using these strategies on a freely hosted website is lacking of credibility, but believe me they work. These techniques have been around for a while and many marketers can attest to the fact that they do produce results.

Give your business a boost by focusing on creating credibility and getting your name in the public eye. Why don’t you give it a try ?

Copyright © Nicholas Dixon

About The Author

Nicholas Dixon is the publisher and editor of The Roc newsletter. Visit our website http://WWW.Geocities.com/Oceanroc and subscribe to receive resources and articles to help you achieve success.

Oceanroc2003@yahoo.com

This article was posted on March 30, 2004

by Nichols Dixon

Creating A Newsletter And Making Your Website Magn

Creating A Newsletter And Making Your Website Magnetic

by: Mike Cheney

Creating a newsletter is an ideal way to drive repeat traffic to your website but its design, format and implementation need to be carefully considered in order to achieve the desired results.
Signing Up
Before you begin creating a newsletter itself attention needs to be paid to the way in which your website will facilitate the capturing of customersก email addresses and other information. Though many sites opt for the quick and simple approach of placing a กName & Email Addressก box on their homepage this is not always the best solution.
Although such an approach makes it extremely simple for users to provide you with their basic details it leaves little scope to sell the newsletterกs benefits. Neither does it provide your business with the opportunity to simultaneously capture vital demographic information from its customers. A balance needs to be determined between the ease of signingup for the user and the quality/quantity of information captured by you.
Format and Frequency
Your website visitors need to be made aware in advance how often they are going to receive a communication from your business. Failure to provide such information may deter people from giving their permission to be contacted in the first place. Stating the newsletterกs frequency up front will also benefit your business in the longterm as customers signing up to receive it will all share a common understanding of the expected volume of email they are going to receive this will lower the number of customers who unsubscribe.
The format of your newsletter is also important you should either state the format during the signup procedure or provide an option for your customers to choose their preferred delivery format. Most newsletters are delivered in standard text format though HTML is being favoured more and more as it enables greater use of images and links but beware not all Internet users can view HTML newsletters. There are various ways to combat these issues of compliance including delivering a newsletter in both formats based on customersก chosen option at the signup stage.
Content is King
This phrase applies equally as well to newsletters as it does to a websiteกs content. Your newsletter may be welldesigned, easy on the eye and technically sound but if it doesn’t contain information that recipients find of value it is worthless.
Creating a newsletter can achieve many objectives and therefore you must decide on which are most important to you. Do you want to use the newsletter to facilitate increased traffic, enable capture of marketing information, push direct sales, improve public relations, generate product feedback or foster loyalty? Your newsletter needs to be tailored to the needs and objectives of your business in this regard.
Generating repeat traffic is one of the easier objectives to attain via a newsletter including relevant links to certain areas of your site, or featuring competitions / special offers can all drive traffic to your site.
Summary
Engaging in newsletter activity is the electronic equivalent of knocking on your customerกs door your business has the potential to sell, whether this be selling products, services or the ethos of your company the potential should not be overlooked.
Mike Cheney

www.magnet4web.com

About The Author

You can get free access to lots more of my articles plus a Free Bonus Special Report กHow To Turn Your Website Into A Customer Magnetก worth a value of £47 ($85) here: http://www.magnet4web.com/website_services/?page=freeguide

This article was posted on July 31, 2004

by Mike Cheney

The Story of a Downsized Manager and His Ebook Bus

The Story of a Downsized Manager and His Ebook Business

by: SS.Jay

If youกve been following the business and economic news around the globe, you should know about how unemployment rates have hit year lows. The recent economic downturn was one of the worse in history and has affected loads of people. In fact, companies were cutting cost for any small reason and retrenched numbers hit more than 1 million worldwide.
My best friend of 10 years, Mark, was a manager with a listed company. About a year ago, he got retrenched and suffered from depression. Just recently, we met up for some drinks and he has started his new career with much success, earning a hefty 5 digit figures monthly. I got him to write the below article which describes his career path.
*** *** *** ***
It was 4th of April 2002, and after having a light breakfast, headed for work as usual. While I was driving along the busy streets, my eyes kept twitching, and deep inside I knew something was going to happen, I drove real careful that rainy morning.
Upon reaching my office, I was told to make a stop over at my superiorกs room. The moment I stepped into her office, I knew instantly that something was wrong. She went on and told me about the companyกs difficult moments, how I have performed during recent years and finally came the final stab, กMark, Iกm sorry, our company no longer needs your service and feel you can crave your own career somewhere else.ก Even though I was kind of prepared, my heart sunk.
I was making almost $10000 per month, and suddenly Iกm left with nothing, the only relief was that Iกm alone in my family, no one else had to suffer with me. For the next few days, I was trying to drown my sorrows with drinks. That was my life for the next few weeks, until one day, I flipped through the morning papers and saw a seminar which caught my attention: กQuit Your Job, Make Money At Home!ก Okay, I thought to myself, กIt was a free preview and I had nothing to lose, why not.ก
I attended the seminar and my life took a 360 degree turn. Although the seminar only briefly introduce about the concept of Ebook Businesses, I had made up my mind to start my first Ebook Business. I couldn’t spend on boot camps, expensive workshops with my current situation. That didn’t stop me though, with a little savings, I cooped myself at home learning all about building an ebook business. I spent tons of time, in fact almost five months before I came up with my first Ebook business. Unknowingly, I had spent thousands on learning to build my ebook business. My savings were seriously depleting to a point that I might not be able to feed myself any further. Fortunately, that point didn’t never came and Iกm hoping it won’t.
After I successfully created my first Ebook Business, I made some money and went on to build a couple more businesses. Iกm proud to say that I can build my ebook business with much ease now. In fact the following 5 steps is all anyone really needed to build an ebook business.
Every time I plan to start another ebook business, I follow my 5 step formula:

Choosing a Topic
Creating the Ebook
Creating the Site
Accepting Payments
Marketing my Site

Choosing a Topic:
Most people back off when they try to come up with a topic for their ebook. For me though, itกs one of the simpler steps. I ask myself a few questions:
กWhat is my Passion?ก
กWhat do I know about, my knowledge?ก
กWhat am I interested in at this instant?ก
These three questions usually immediately give me a topic that I would love to write on. I have written on a few subjects I was totally alien to, but my interest in the subjects allowed me to write about the subject and at the same time learn more about it.
Creating the Ebook:
This is also real simple, once Iกve decided on a topic, I simply elaborate on the points I wish to put across. I write my ebook in Ms Word and then convert it into a PDF format, because I want more people to be able to read my book. Thereกs some common logic to writing an ebook. For example: Its much more difficult to read from a screen compared to a printed copy, for this reason, I always format my sentences to be of 1.5 spacing and try to use larger fonts.
Creating the Site:
I was a total computer idiot when I first put my mind to starting an ebook business, in fact I still am one right now. When I first started, I didn’t want to use professional web designers (they cost too much!). SoI approached a few web designer friends and asked them to come up with templates that I can just edit and use. Of course, I didn’t know anything about loading the site and all, and til today, Iกm still grateful to my friends who created those templates with detailed instructions to using the templates. Now, whenever I plan to launch another ebook site, I simply use an HTML editor and edit the templates according to their documentation. I spent nothing on creating my sites, my friends only requested dinner for their work and I truly appreciate that. Technically speaking, I haven’t spent a dime creating my sites.
Accepting Payments:
This is the whole point; I wanted to start my ebook business for one simple reason, to make a living. I was downsized, I had no money, and I needed money!! I didn’t have particularly good credit history and couldn’t get myself a 1st party merchant account, (I didn’t want to spend thousands on those anyway!). Still I am able to accept credit cards in all my sites, and I spent a one time fee of less than $50.
Marketing my Site:
This is where I had to work really hard on. No wonder they called it Internet กMarketingก. Marketing makes or breaks any internet marketing site. I learnt that first hand with my first ebook website. I only made a tiny amount simply because of ineffective marketing. Now, a year later, Iกm able to generate targeted traffic, some of them totally free. One important equation I learnt was that Sales was Directly Proportional to Marketing!!
It has been almost 20 months since I was downsized, and frankly speaking I went through some of the most difficult times of my life. The Internet literally brought me back to life and Iกm real grateful. Now, I live comfortably off my ebook businesses and have plans to marry the woman I have loved all my life.
(C) CreaTeEbookProfits.com. All rights reserved

About The Author

See how S.S.Jay uses Markกs style of building Ebook businesses กHold you by the Hand Styleก Get his Free ebook ‘tips to Starting An Ebook Businessก at http://www.CreateEbookProfits.com

This article was posted on June 10, 2004

by SS.Jay

How To Find Ideas For Creating Your Own Profitable

How To Find Ideas For Creating Your Own Profitable Products

by: Charles Kangethe

(c) 2004 Charles Kangethe

In this Article we look at the third competitive advantage of successful Internet Marketers Creating Products.

The main problem with creating products is not in the build process, but rather in the กIdeas Process.ก

Product Ideas Come From NEEDS

* New Knowledge

Research at centres of learning gives rise to new theories that provide a wealth of ideas, for new products.

* Emulation

Modification and copying of existing products and services is the most common source of new ideas for products.

* Ego

Most inventors of products have big egoกs that are only satisfied by the กcreative process,ก from invention to production.

* Difficulty

Hardship in terms of effort required to do any work or activity is a rich source of new ideas for products.

* Scarcity

Shortages of necessities and luxuries very often give rise to new ways and products to overcome the shortages.

Product Development

Products can be developed in one of two ways :

* Product Centric Approach

This is where the idea and the product are the drivers of the process.

Prototypes and initial production runs are completed before research to find out whether or not the product has a chance of commercial success.

* Market Centric Approach

In this approach the Market is the driver.

It focuses on identifying clear market needs and then finding very specific products to satisfy those needs.

With this approach you know your product will succeed before you commit money to the production process.

The Research

The two main purposes of research are :

* Technical Viability

In this step you analyse the process and cost of manufacture.

The aim is to find an answer to the question Can the product be made in commercial quantities for reasonable cost ?

* Commercial Viability

This step determines the likelihood of commercial success when the product hits the shelves. You determine how much competitor products sell for and the expected return on investment.

A Practical Exercise In Creating Your Own Product

Step #1 Developing NEEDS

Decide on which NEEDS you want to create a product for. For this exercise we will use Difficulty.

Step #2a Idea Development Using a Market Centric Approach :

Using a directory of Internet Newsgroups join a few groups and lurk. Understand the groupกs purpose and etiquette, and when you feel comfortable post a simple question. For instance :

=>

Hi Forum

I am doing some research and would like to know what is the single biggest difficulty you have with x ?

Name

Hi Forum

I have an idea to resolve difficulty x. Would this be of interest to you ? If so what specific features you like to see in the solution to x ?

Name

http://tile.net/news/

=> http://groups.google.com/

Market Research Techniques and Resources www.sbaonline.sba.gov/starting_business/marketing/basics.html

Set up an affiliate program Simply Easier Marketing Part 1

=> http://www.simplyeasier.com/afiliates.htm

Traffic and Op’tIn Lists Simply Easier Marketing Part 2

=> http://www.simplyeasier.com/traffic.htm

For an ebook on creating specific Info products and a report on Market Research Before Building Your Products send a blank mail to

=> simplyeasier_products@getresponse.com

(c) 2004 Charles Kangethe

About The Author

Charles Kangethe of http://www.simplyeasier.com is a leading new wave Netpreneur and a published author from Suffolk. The กSimply Easierก brand name is your guarantee of high value, quality Marketing Products, Services and Resources.

charles@simplyeasier.com

This article was posted on April 02, 2004

by Charles Kangethe

How To Get Your Email To Stand Out From All The Ju

How To Get Your Email To Stand Out From All The Junk

by: David Coyne

We know that email marketing is a cheap method to reach our customers, prospects and subscribers. However, the increasing amount of unsolicited commercial email is clogging up the inboxes of everyone.

So how do you improve the chances of making your email stand out from junk mail? (And I’m assuming you’re not sending out unsolicited email. If you are, shame on you.)

First, you want to make it easy for your subscriber or prospect to quickly identify that it’s from someone they know ขyou.ข

Make sure that your ขFromข line uses your full name rather than something generic like ขWebmaster.ข You want to burn your name into your prospect’s mind. A webmaster could be anyone.

Never use ALL CAPS in your subject line

Don’t use an exclamation mark ข!ข either.

Use the same phrase repeatedly in the subject line whenever you send an email. For example, in my ezine, I use my initials DC in the subject line: ขDC Web Success Ezine.ข So if you’re creating an ezine make sure you use the title consistently.

Put your prospect or subscriber’s name in the subject line, e.g. ขSusan, Get This Special Report.ข (This is easy to do if you use an autoresponder. Get one at http://www.GetResponse.com

Spend time on creating an attention grabbing subject line that will entice the reader to open the email, it’s as an important as creating a headline for an ad. But be careful not to use words (such as Free) that could target your email by antispam software.

Write two or three compelling subject lines. Then divide up your ขOpt inข mailing list and test to see which subject line gets the most response or clickthroughs.

Apply these techniques and you stand a much better chance of having your email read, not sent to the prospect’s ขtrashข folder.

About The Author

Dave Coyne is a copywriter, marketing consultant and president of DC Infobiz. Get his FREE REPORT ขStart A High Income, Low Risk Home Business And Never Create A Product, Write An Ad or Talk To Anyone.ข Send an email with REF006 in subject line to dcinfobiz@GetResponse.com

This article was posted on March 12, 2003

by David Coyne

Simple Steps to a Great Banner Ad

Simple Steps to a Great Banner Ad

by: Kelly Paal

Everyone is using them now and if you’re planning on creating your own banner ad then there are some things that you should know.

Standard Size

I’ll admit I made this mistake. I was too caught up in creating a really nice looking design that I made something that was not the standard size. Now it wasn’t much off the norm but when I found out I promptly changed the size. Keep to standards. I know that if your ad is slightly larger it may get more attention but if we all start doing this where will it stop? Creating an ad that is larger than standard is not the way to get attention. And in many places they will require you to keep to the industry standard.

Content

This must be short, simple, and very direct. You’ve really got to simplify this. I know that this is hard but there is not a lot of room on these banner ads and the more information that you try to cram on there the less likely that someone will read, or try to read it. Keep it to a few words, if you can’t manage to say what you want in a few words enlist the help of friends and family, ask them to define what it is that you do, or sell in five words or less. You may get a really clever saying to use by doing this.

Color and Animation

Keep colors eye catching but easy to look at and make sure that they match your site. Maybe it’s just me that prefers this but I’ve clicked on banner ads that looked really great and ended up on these hideous web pages. Try to match your ads to the look of your website.

Animation, please, please, please keep this simple and a short download. I don’t know how many times I’ve clicked off a page before the banner ad animation even started. Please make sure that you run your ad several times. Have others watch it, make sure that the download is reasonable. Don’t assume that everyone has DSL. Now you also don’t have to make allowances for older computers or bad connections but most of the country now has enhanced or accelerated connections. Make sure that your ad downloads quickly on an accelerated connection and you’re doing fine.

Call to Action

Apparently we’re all still highly suggestible since studies show that call to action words still work. Things like: call now, click here, and buy now. Try to work some call to action words into your content if you can, it won’t hurt.

Lastly for those of you working at home, or running your own business. Never underestimate the value of family and friends for critiques. They may not be able to tell you what is wrong with the way your ad looks but if they look at it and only say, ขEh, it’s okay.ข Then don’t use it. We all instinctively know what looks right or wrong. If you ask around and don’t get positive feedback from family and friends who love you and want your business to succeed then what do you think that a total stranger is going to think? Also before you even start creating your own ad, look around at what everyone else is doing. Decide what you like and don’t like about other ads that you see. And then don’t make the same mistakes.

About The Author

Copyright 2004 Kelly Paal

Kelly Paal is a Freelance Nature and Landscape Photographer, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Recently she started her own business Kelly Paal Photography (www.kellypaalphotography.com). She has an educational background in photography, business, and commercial art. She enjoys applying graphic design and photography principles to her web design.

This article was posted on August 03, 2004

by Kelly Paal