A Crash Course on Graphic Philosophy 101

A Crash Course on Graphic Philosophy 101

by: Lala C. Ballatan

Novice and professional graphic designers, we are aware that you know the basic principles of graphic philosophy. But then, as workers of art – though digital and graphic art already borders in commercial arts, there’s no harm in continuously improving our craft through constant study and practice, is there? Really great graphic designers I know have come to their status because of painstaking application and study of their past works.

We’ll review the theoretical concepts of graphics and graphic forms as a foundation on how we have to go about our graphic designs. To begin with, a graphic form is the shape that embodies a certain idea. We can take a tree and use it as an example. How many ways can we depict a tree? We can depict by a photo of a tree, or the silhouette of a tree, or even its outline. By having these forms that represent a tree, we are therefore conveying the idea of a tree.

A word of caution, though, the effectiveness of which the idea is communicated depends upon many levels of context.

The abstraction of an idea into a flat space, to make it a graphic form, is an integral part of Graphic Design. Usually, the goal is to communicate the idea as clearly as possible. So why not depict the apple as close to reality as possible with a photo? This clearly depicts an apple and leaves no room for misinterpretation. So why not use photos of everything?

The idea is usually not as simple as just an apple. The graphic form is merely a component of an entire design. In a design of a poster for example, the existence of multiple forms and large amounts of text can compete with one another for the reader’s attention. To increase readability, graphic forms are usually simplified into basic shapes, and flattened into a limited amount of color. They are made to work with type more harmoniously and further refined to convey the layers of information with clarity.

The concept of contrast also defines the graphic form of an idea. In a field of 10 squares and 1 triangle, the form that will be noticed is the triangle. A design placed on a wall, on a billboard, or on the internet, are usually lost in a field of other designs. In order to help define your idea over the others, forms that contrast those around it are effective. Basic factors such as typeface, color, scale, and form are elements that can easily help get a design noticed.

The representation of an idea goes beyond its place on the page or its place on a wall. There is the larger context to consider the audience. The ability of the audience to interpret your design is based on the ability of the audience to understand the forms in which an idea is embodied. Preferences of form, and the ability to understand form, can change by age group, location, and through time. We all understand the representation of dollars by a symbol: $. Though symbols universally communicate, they are become ordinary by usage. As the audience becomes visually educated and aware of these forms, the visual language of graphic design expands. However, the evolution of forms must also take place in order to keep interest.

In the overall scheme of things, fresh ideas and interesting graphic forms have always been able to attract attention. New ways of representation strike curiosity. But the goal is to communicate and the form is part and parcel of visual communication.

About The Author

Lala C. Ballatan is a 26 yearold Communication Arts graduate, with a major in Journalism. Right after graduating last 1999, she worked for one year as a clerk then became a Research, Publication and Documentation Program Director at a nongovernment organization, which focuses on the rights, interests and welfare of workers for about four years.

Book reading has always been her greatest passion mysteries, horrors, psychothrillers, historical documentaries and classics. She got hooked into it way back when she was but a shy kid.

Her writing prowess began as early as she was 10 years old in girlish diaries. With writing, she felt freedom – to express her viewpoints and assert it, to bring out all concerns imagined and observed, to bear witness.

For comments and inquiries about the article visit http://www.graphicdesignsunlimited.com

contactus@graphicdesignsunlimited.com

This article was posted on March 29

by Lala C. Ballatan

Tips and Tricks To Getting Top Money for your Doma

Tips and Tricks To Getting Top Money for your Domain Names

by: Dayne Herren

Would you like to be that lucky person who sells their domain for thousands or even a million dollars? It IS possible to find quality domains and resell them for huge amounts of money. The time is ripe for acquiring top domains and selling them. Now that the Internet Boom is behind us, valuable names expire everyday. The best way to find these domains is to use services on the Internet such as DomainsBot to weed out the bad names. Or just check out Hot Lists on sites like Namewinner or Pool.
So what makes a กgoodก domain name? Usually short, single word domains and 23 letter .coms, .nets, and .orgs are the best. The more specific the better. These can be hard to come by but when you find them, you can almost guarantee that you can make good money from them. Once you have purchased a nice domain name, get a good appraisal of the name to get an idea of the possible worth (see AppraisalBlast.com). In order to sell your newly appraised name, you have to find a buyer. Here are your basic options for selling your domain name in a nutshell:
1. Sell it on Ebay
This is the easiest and quickest way to sell your domain name. There are several tricks to landing a good sale at Ebay. One is, start your price low. People want a bargain. Once you have received an initial bid, it will draw peoples attention to your name and create more bids. You may want to set a reserve price if you want to make sure you get X amount of dollars. When selling your domain on Ebay, make sure your domain name is in the title of the description. Also, include an appraisal to show to possible buyers the value of the domain. Keep your description short, clean, and really emphasize how important and rare your domain is. For example, if your domain is 3 letters and ends in กIก, stress how most 3 letter domains that are highly valuable end in กIก because it usually stands for กIncorporatedก. If it ends in กEก it could stand for กEnterpriseก. A little bit of marketing saavy can go a long way. I once sold the domain 0pp.com for over $200. It even has a number in it making it worth very little. But I emphasize its possible uses and potential. Also, spend the extra $1 for the Bold Listing and make sure your auction ends on a Sunday afternoon or evening. This is when most people are browsing Ebay. It will make a big difference.
2. Sell it on Domain Sites
The only sites you should even consider putting your name up for sale is on ebay.com, Afternic, or Sedo. These are the most popular and where some huge sales have taken place. The only downside is that there are high numbers of domains already for sale and usually the site will get a commission of something around 10%. There also may be a small fee to join. Appraisal Blast charges a minimal fee but no commission. Your domain will get more exposure there just because there aren’t hundreds of domains for sale. You may also have luck selling it on forums such as DomainState. The prices of sales there seem to be lower.
3. Contact Large Businesses with Deep Pockets
This approach takes some time and patience. Letกs say you have acquired a great domain name that would work great for any business in the field of the stock market. You may want to locate some of the bigger sites or businesses and make an offer to sell your domain name. Make sure the name you own doens’t have any elements that are already trademarked because you may be forced to give up the name. You may want to go on the Internet and look up current websites that deal with stocks and find ones that don’t have the greatest domain names. Make offers to these sites stating how your domain is much better and will HELP them. If you get a company to bite, the rewards are usually very generous!
In summary, selling domains for high amounts of cash depends on two key elements. First you must have a quality domain, one that doesn’t have numbers or isn’t too long. It must be clear and easily recognizable. ก.comก is the best, but even domains such as the ก.usก are gaining popularity. The second key is Marketing, Marketing, Marketing! I can’t stress that enough. You have to create a good reason for someone to buy your domain. How can THEY benefit from it. When these two steps are fulfilled, a sale is almost guaranteed!

About The Author

Dayne Herren is a domain seller and buyer, web developer, and artist.
Professional Domain Name Appraisals http://www.appraisalblast.com

This article was posted on May 14, 2004

by Dayne Herren

How To Avoid Getting Scammed

How To Avoid Getting Scammed

by: Dean Phillips

Listed below are some of the most popular and common scams:

1. Nigerian Letter Scam:

This oneกs been around for many years but continues to flourish. Many of these emails claim to be from a person in Africa, usually Nigeria. The writer claims to have access to millions of dollars, either from a relative or from knowledge of an idle account. A percentage of this money is promised to the victim if they will allow the money to be processed through their personal bank account. The victim is instructed to keep their share and send the remaining money to the scammer.

The check given to the victims is fraudulent. The victim is then liable to the bank for the check they wrote to the scammer.

Hereกs what will happen when you give strangers your bank account information: They will take your money. Period.

2. Phishing Scams:

กPhishingก is a hightech scam that uses spam or popup messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.

Phishers send an email or popup message that claims to be from a business or organization that you deal withfor example, your Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message usually says that you need to กupdateก or กvalidateก your account information.

Recent phishing victims include Yahoo, Citibank, eBay, Best Buy and Bank of America among others.

If you get spam that is phishing for information, forward it to spam@uce.gov.

3. Chain Letters:

In this classic scam, you’re asked to send a small amount of money (usually $5.00) to each of several names on a list, and then forward the letter including your name at the top of the list, via bulk email. Many of these letters claim to be legal. They even include a section of the U.S. Postal Code on illegal schemes. Don’t be fooled. They are not legal. And if you participate, not only will you be breaking the law, youกll lose your money as well.

4. WorkAtHome And Business Opportunity Scams:

These scams tempt victims with ads stating กno experience necessary,ก promise high earnings and claim to have inside information. The scammers usually require victims to pay anywhere from $35 to several hundred dollars or more for information, kits or materials that do not provide the promised results.

Frequently, these schemes involve making handicrafts, stuffing envelopes, medical billing, or state, กUse your home PC to make money fast in your spare time!ก

In the craft making or envelope stuffing scam, after paying fees and completing the assembly of the products, victims are told their work is low quality and unworthy of compensation.

Medical billing scams require victims to purchase supplies and lists of doctors who, inevitably don’t exist or are not interested in the service.

5. Bulk Email Scams:

These solicitations offer to sell you bulk email addresses (spam software) or services to send spam on your behalf. Example: ‘reach 100 million websites, $39.95ก! The software is usually of poor quality. Itกs spam and a scam. Don’t do it.

6. Auction and retail scams:

These schemes typically offer highvalue items, such as Cartier watches, Beanie Babies and computers, in hopes of attracting many consumers. What happens is the victim wins the bid, sends the money and receives nothing or receives products of much lower quality than advertised.

7. Guaranteed Loans or Credit Scams:

This scam comes in a variety of flavors: home equity loans that don’t require equity in your home, personal loans regardless of credit history, etc. After you pay the application fees, you receive a letter saying that your loan request was denied. Usually, you never here from these companies again.

8. Credit Repair Scams:

These scams promise to erase accurate, negative information from your credit file so that you can qualify for loans, mortgages, unsecured credit cards, etc. It doesn’t work. Not only that. If you follow their advice and lie on loan or credit applications, misrepresent your social security number, or get an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service under false pretenses, you will be committing fraud and violating federal laws. Another variation of this scam is the promise of a brand new credit file. Don’t do it.

9. Vacation, Sweepstakes And Prize Award Scams:

In these scams you receive notification congratulating you because youกve won a fabulous vacation, a car or some other prize award. All you have to do to collect your prize is pay a small fee (usually several hundred dollars). In return, what you end up getting is a toy car, (I kid you not) or a vacation certificate to the Bahamas or some other exotic vacation spot. Itกs really a lousy deal. You have to pay for your own airfare, and the accommodations that they arrange are usually in rundown hotels. Let the buyer beware!

10. Employment Scams:

Employment scammers take advantage of job seekers. They claim to offer employment services, inside information or inside contacts to jobs. After paying a fee, victims learn they only provide advice, help writing a resumeor less. Some fraudulent employment services simply sell lists of companies that they have gotten from public directories. They usually have not contacted those companies directly or know if there really are any job openings.

11. Multilevel Marketing (MLM) or Network Marketing Scams:

I know Iกm going to ruffle a few feathers with this one, so let me just say right now that all MLM or network marketing companies are not scams. Obviously, there are some good, reputable companies out there. However, there are so many bad ones that Iกm compelled to include the entire industry on this list. Before getting involved with any MLM or network marketing company, investigate, investigate and then investigate some more. Don’t get caught up in the hype. And hereกs a fact no MLM or network marketing company will ever tell younot even the legitimate ones: Unless you have outstanding sales ability and/or people skills, it is extremely difficult to make any money in MLM or network marketing.

Here are some other things you should watch out for: Make sure the website you’re visiting contains all three of the following:

A real persons name (not just a company or business name)

A telephone number

A street address (not just a P.O. Box)

If all three of the above are not present, walk away from the offer.

Before purchasing anything, you should always check first to see if the company has had any complaints lodged against it. The following websites publish complaints and/or scams:

http://www.scamwatch.com

http://www.worldwidescam.com

http://www.bbb.org

If you do get scammed, report it to the aforementioned websites immediately. You probably won’t be able to recover your money. Few people ever do. But at least by reporting the crime and making it public record, you make it harder for that company to scam anyone else.

In closing, always carefully investigate any business opportunity, and remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

About The Author

Dean Phillips is an Internet marketing expert, writer, publisher and entrepreneur. Questions? Comments? Dean can be reached at mailto: dean@letsmakemoney.net

Website: http://www.letsmakemoney.net

This article was posted on October 09, 2004

by Dean Phillips

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Website

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Website

by: Mario Sanchez

When designing your website, remember to avoid useless and confusing features, however ขcoolข they may seem to be. Usually, keeping things simple and consistent are the best way to go. Here are five easy ways to improve your website and make it more appealing to your visitors.

Put your logo on every page of your site, and in the same location. Usually, the best place to put it is in the upper left corner of the page. Remember to make your logo clickable, linking to the main page of your site (an exception is the logo of the main page itself, since you are already there). The benefit of doing so is that if your visitors get lost they can always come back to a familiar location.

Don’ t use a splash screen. Splash screens are seen in many websites before they give you access to the main page. They are usually slowloading Flash animations that only delay and frustrate users. Remember, when your users want animation, they can turn on the TV. When they go to your website, they usually want information, and they want it fast. Some sites that use splash screens now provide a ขSkip the Introductionข link, which most users click anyway, further validating the uselessness of flash screens.

Avoid using heavy pictures. They unnecessarily delay the page upload process. It is OK to use graphics, but they have to be optimized for the web. Use only .gif and .jpg formats. If the pictures are too heavy, try using some of the online graphic optimizing tools. They can reduce the weight of your pictures by more than 50% with no noticeable decrease in quality. Another thing you can do is to use thumbnails (clickable miniature versions of a picture). If a user is interested in the picture, he can click on the thumbnail and wait until the full size picture is displayed.

Try not to use animated banners or fancy icons. Just because you can is not a good reason to load up your site with neoncolored, flashingandpopping, Vegasstyle graphics. They usually take away from the content of your site and distract users. Plus, it has been demonstrated that less and less users click on banners every day.

Don’t make your pages too long. People don’t like to read from a screen. Instead, try to use the advantages of hyperlinks to present a summary of the topic or article, with a link to the full article in another page (similar to what newspapers do in their main page, with the added benefit for web users that it is easier to click on a link than to turn a page). If what you have to say is too long, break the discussion in several parts, each of them with a link to where your visitor can continue reading.

Remember, the goal is to give your visitors fast access to your information, through an interface (website) that is visually appealing and easy to use.

You can freely reprint this article. Just include the following resource box at the end:

Mario Sanchez publishes The Internet Digest (http://www.theinternetdigest.net) a website and newsletter that gives you useful advice on web design and Internet marketing, one free tip at a time.

About The Author

Mario Sanchez publishes The Internet Digest ( http://www.theinternetdigest.net ), a website and newsletter that gives you free advice on Internet Marketing, Web Design and Small Business. To subscribe go to: http://www.theinternetdigest.net/newsletter.html

TheInternetDigest@hotmail.com

This article was posted on May 03, 2003

by Mario Sanchez

Virtual Memory What is it?

Virtual Memory What is it?

by: Michael Arcand

I recently got an email asking about virtual memory. The person who sent me the question was getting an error on random occasions from their Windows operating system stating กYour computer is low on virtual memoryก. They wanted to know what is virtual memory, and if this error does occur, what can I do to fix it? Here is the answer that I sent out:

กVirtual memory is when your computer uses the hard drive as a memory relay once your real memory has been used up. This usually starts happening when someone has installed new programs or is using multiple large programs at one time. Have you installed something new recently, or changed how many programs you are using at one time? Does it seem to occur when you are using a specific program, or perhaps after running a specific program for a longer than usual period of time?

To check your virtual memory settings, follow these steps:

1. Click on Start

2. Select Control Panel

3. Click on System

NOTE: When you first click on System, it will show you the กGeneralก information tab. This tab will indicate how much RAM (physical memory) your system has installed (usually towards the bottom, should be something like ก128 MB of RAMก. Make a note of this number.

4. Click on the Advanced tab

5. Click on the Settings button under the top box, labeled Performance

6. Click on the Advanced tab, and this will show your current setting for virtual memory.

NOTE: Windows usually manages this number automatically, and usually doesn’t require any adjustment. Optimally, this number should be somewhere between 2X and 3X the number noted earlier for the amount of system RAM. You can change the setting by clicking on the Change button located at the bottom of this section. You can then set the minimum to 2X (put in the actual number) and the maximum to 3X of the physical RAM.

If you answered กyesก to any of the questions I posed at the beginning, you may need to reevaluate the system requirements of any programs involved and consider an actual physical RAM upgrade, if your motherboard will support additional RAM. That can have a big impact on whatกs happening.

About The Author

Michael Arcand is a CompTIA A+ Certified computer technician and entrepreneur specializing in computer tips and tricks for home users. His latest venture is online at www.techsupporthelpdesk.com, providing costeffective tech support for home and small business users.

michael@techsupporthelpdesk.com

This article was posted on August 11

by Michael Arcand

7 Ways To Profit From Other Peoples Products

7 Ways To Profit From Other Peoples Products

by: Stuart Reid

If you don’t possess the time, money or inclination to create your own hot selling product there is plenty of scope for profit by using other peopleกs.

In this quick article Iกll detail the best ways to take a thirdparty product and use it to fill your own bank account.

1. Resell Rights

Resell Rights let you sell a product and keep all of the money. Itกs an ideal way to start. Usually youกll need your own payment system to accept the money and your own webspace to sell it but thatกs very cheap to do these days.

Resell Rights can be free, or cost anywhere up to $1000 and beyond. The free Resell Rights are usually not worth bothering with. You want to sell items that have LIMITED distribution quite simply because youกll have less competition!

2. Master Resell Rights

Unfortunately these are bad news. With the Master Rights you can pass on Resell Rights yourself. This means one thing thousands of competitors in a very short time.

3. Reprint Rights

These are sometimes confused with Resell Rights but they are usually used to describe hardcopy material. For example, printed books, tape sets, CDกs or Videos.

You usually have to handle the duplication yourself but sometimes the company will provide copies, and even ship them for you, for a small fee.

These products usually cost more to acquire the rights but can be very profitable. As the old saying goes, itกs easier to sell 10 copies at $1000 each than it is to sell 1000 at $10.

4. Affiliate Programs

When you enter into an affiliate agreement you are sharing the cost and effort of promoting a product. You will take a percentage of the sales in exchange, so you want at least 50% for it to be worth your while.

With an affiliate program you can usually join at no cost, but will make less money and have more competitors!

One other advantage, the company provides the site and the collection of payments. All you do is promote and cash your check.

5. Drop Shipping

This makes the traditional form of selling easier for the information age. Profit = Cost Selling Price , and with a Drop Shipper you merely take the money from your customer and tell the shipper to send them the product. You then pay the shipper their price. For example, you can buy a Widescreen TV for $1299 but you are selling it for $1499. You make $200 per sale but never get involved in the distribution at all.

This method is used extensively on eBay and in online shopping malls.

6. Joint Ventures

These blur the line between the other processors. Basically, you connect those who make products with those who sell and promote them. You can acquire resell rights, or create your own product, or be part of an affiliate network. You then contact possible sellers, for example Ezine Owners, who may be interested in selling the product for a cut of the profit.

This way you can connect BIG sellers with BIG products and slice of some of the profit for yourself!

7. Branding Rights

These can be combined with Resell Rights but sometimes are offered as an extra. With Branding Rights you can make some or all of the links within a product possible moneyspinners for yourself.

For example, you can take a book on copywriting and give it away, or sell it. But within this book are other links to further services, all that could make extra backend sales for you.

As you can see there are plenty of ways to make money WITHOUT the expense of time of building your own product!

by Stuart Reid

http://www.netpreneurnow.com

About The Author

Stuart Reid is an ezine publisher and webmaster. Try the new กAny Branderก Software and brand ANY product, old or new, with your own link even if you didn’t create it!

http://v3k.net/anybrander

webmaster@netpreneurnow.com

This article was posted on August 11, 2004

by Stuart Reid

Why USPs Don’t Work

Why USPs Don’t Work

by: Debbie Jenkins

The USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is based on the assumption that if you can’t be better than the competition then being different will usually suffice.
It is true that most businesses scrape by in the midst of mediocrity. The bosses of these firms see an industry or profession that looks lucrative and join the ranks in a กme too, Iกd like some of that actionก, kind of way. If thereกs enough of a market for what they do then theyกll pick up the odd client and eke out an existence without having to think or work very hard on their brand.
Most of these companies make up the headlines of casualties when the market they’re in gets tough and only the outstanding or wellpositioned firms stay safe.
So, the USP, in principle, enables the enlightened business owner to rise above the ranks and be noticed. This is usually achieved by:
High Value Promises
Guarantees
Under Promising and Over Delivering
Finding an underserviced niche in your market
I applaud and support this way of thinking and believe that high value promises, guarantees and aiming to delight clients are all important. I actually believe that these things should be the baseline for any business.
So the notion of a USP is fantastic. Thereกs just one tiny flaw…
Finding your USP can be like the quest for the proverbial Holy Grail. You could end up spending inordinate amounts of money on research, product/service development and branding without ever really attaining a true USP. The quest to find กuniqueก when ‘relevantก, กoutstandingก and กdecisiveก are just as good can be frustrating and wasteful.
Iกve seen people stumble upon some really great propositions for their brand that would have worked like a dream, but then dismiss them because they’re not ขuniqueข enough.
Some of the problems with USPs:
Nearly every idea you come up with will have already been done, so struggling to find unique will be frustrating and wasteful
Youกll spend lots of time trying to invent something truly unique and if you do ever find it youกll never really know if itกs unique anyway
If you are unique then as soon as you start telling people the reasons why, somebody else will copy it and, alas, it is no longer unique.
Most people realise the above as soon as they start looking and instead of doing the hard work theyกll just slap a USP label on something that is กme tooก or mediocre.
USPs feed money hungry textbook marketers with research, positioning and creative brainstorming projects. Then once somebody copies you itกs back to the drawing board and they can get paid all over again.
I want you to get the notion of กuniqueก out of your head by replacing it with กdecisiveก. Weกll look at how to achieve this shortly but first, Iกd just like to tell you about a guy who came on one of my first Lean Marketing(tm) Master Classes…
Mister 73 USPs: A Warning
This guyกs firm provided training and coaching in performance improvement and change management. He had an MBA and reportedly knew lots about marketing.
Just to set the scene…
Throughout the first half of the day heกd managed to disagree with and antagonise everyone in the room, including his own business partner.
He was quick to disagree and slow to explain his reasons why. Weกd just started work on the ขSo What?ข exercise when he said,
ขI know what you’re doing. You’re trying to help us find our USP. Don’t bother, Iกve already got 73 of กem.ข
I was surprised and impressed but not convinced, ข73 USPs? Are you sure? Tell me about them.ข
Silence. The rest of the group were now all looking at him. He looked back with a look of concentration as he struggled to remember just one. He finally came back with, ขQuality!ข
Although I felt uncomfortable for the man with 73 USPs, I believed it was important to uncover what he really understood; for his benefit and the benefit of the rest of the group. I didn’t want everyone believing that having so many USPs was a good idea. So I continued my line of questioning,
ขHow does quality set you apart as unique?ข
Again, a long pause and then,
ขWell, we provide the best quality solutions to all of our clients.ข
I continued with three questions in rapid succession,

ขDo you offer a guarantee?ข
ขAre you sure your competitors aren’t saying and delivering the same thing?ข
ขWho are your clients?ข

His response to each question was,

ขNo we don’t guarantee it, how could we?ข
ขWe don’t have any competitors because what we offer is unique!ข
ขAnyone can benefit from what we do, so anyone willing to pay is a client!ข

As you can see, Mister 73 USPs was in a tricky spot:
He didn’t have one USP let alone 73
The กUSPก he chose was not unique
He had no idea who his competitors were
73 anythings in branding are usually 72 too many, no wonder he couldn’t remember them!
He hadn’t even defined his target as a type of business let alone pinpointed an individual
He was entrenched with a belief that heกd seen it all before this usually limits a personกs ability to learn anything new
Now, Iกm known for my ability to step right beyond the BS and for my edgy and sometimes dangerous manner with textbook marketers, but he was a delegate, so I swiftly moved on so that he could save face. I then continued to try and help him personally during the rest of the workshop but he really wasn’t willing to part with the belief that he had 73 USPs. Nor would he accept that selling to everyone meant that he wouldn’t appeal strongly to anyone.
I don’t pretend to be a life coach (I leave that to people who are good at it) and don’t believe itกs my job to change peopleกs beliefs, so at the end of the class, unprompted, I gave him his coursefee back.
He wasn’t going to use our information and ideas anyway.
So why am I telling you this sad story? Why, because most textbook marketers, in my experience, really don’t understand USPs. Itกs just another buzzword they throw at you to sound clever and important but under the surface their USPs are usually little more than overdressed features.
USPs are mythological artefacts that rarely exist today except in the imaginations of textbook marketers or the truly inspired.
DPPs Decisive Power Points
Right, back to the programme… Iกd like you to ignore กuniqueก and replace it with กdecisiveก.
Decisive is more effective than unique for a number of reasons:
Unique doesn’t necessarily mean favourable Decisive does!
If all else is equal your DPP will tip the scales in your favour it will be the deciding factor
DPPs work from your clientกs viewpoint they are triggers that help your client decide, not just things that you think are unique
Decisive is much easier to find and maintain than Unique
Thereกs an example of our DPP chart (high and to the right is where you want your benefit to be) on our site at http://www.debbiejenkins.com/academypics/DAY17dppexample.gif
The Decisive Power Point chart and detailed instructions on how to use it is covered thoroughly in our ebook called Coaching Charisma Using The Power of Your Brand to Magically Attract New Business. This 64 page book is a must read for any coach who is struggling to stand out in the crowd.
Speak Soon
กDangerousก Debbie Jenkins

About The Author

กDangerousก Debbie Jenkins is a speaker, author and standup comedian. Get her latest course กCoachesCan!ก Attract More Clients & Enjoy More Success By Doing & Spending Less and you can even set your own course fee!

http://www.debbiejenkins.com/coaches/index01.html

debs@debbiejenkins.com

This article was posted on May 27, 2004

by Debbie Jenkins

Tips and Tricks To Getting Top Money for your Doma

Tips and Tricks To Getting Top Money for your Domain Names

by: Dayne Herren

Would you like to be that lucky person who sells their domain for thousands or even a million dollars? It IS possible to find quality domains and resell them for huge amounts of money. The time is ripe for acquiring top domains and selling them. Now that the Internet Boom is behind us, valuable names expire everyday. The best way to find these domains is to use services on the Internet such as DomainsBot to weed out the bad names. Or just check out Hot Lists on sites like Namewinner or Pool.

So what makes a กgoodก domain name? Usually short, single word domains and 23 letter .coms, .nets, and .orgs are the best. The more specific the better. These can be hard to come by but when you find them, you can almost guarantee that you can make good money from them. Once you have purchased a nice domain name, get a good appraisal of the name to get an idea of the possible worth (see AppraisalBlast.com). In order to sell your newly appraised name, you have to find a buyer. Here are your basic options for selling your domain name in a nutshell:

1. Sell it on Ebay

This is the easiest and quickest way to sell your domain name. There are several tricks to landing a good sale at Ebay. One is, start your price low. People want a bargain. Once you have received an initial bid, it will draw peoples attention to your name and create more bids. You may want to set a reserve price if you want to make sure you get X amount of dollars. When selling your domain on Ebay, make sure your domain name is in the title of the description. Also, include an appraisal to show to possible buyers the value of the domain. Keep your description short, clean, and really emphasize how important and rare your domain is. For example, if your domain is 3 letters and ends in กIก, stress how most 3 letter domains that are highly valuable end in กIก because it usually stands for กIncorporatedก. If it ends in กEก it could stand for กEnterpriseก. A little bit of marketing saavy can go a long way. I once sold the domain 0pp.com for over $200. It even has a number in it making it worth very little. But I emphasize its possible uses and potential. Also, spend the extra $1 for the Bold Listing and make sure your auction ends on a Sunday afternoon or evening. This is when most people are browsing Ebay. It will make a big difference.

2. Sell it on Domain Sites

The only sites you should even consider putting your name up for sale is on ebay.com, Afternic, or Sedo. These are the most popular and where some huge sales have taken place. The only downside is that there are high numbers of domains already for sale and usually the site will get a commission of something around 10%. There also may be a small fee to join. Appraisal Blast charges a minimal fee but no commission. Your domain will get more exposure there just because there aren’t hundreds of domains for sale. You may also have luck selling it on forums such as DomainState. The prices of sales there seem to be lower.

3. Contact Large Businesses with Deep Pockets

This approach takes some time and patience. Letกs say you have acquired a great domain name that would work great for any business in the field of the stock market. You may want to locate some of the bigger sites or businesses and make an offer to sell your domain name. Make sure the name you own doens’t have any elements that are already trademarked because you may be forced to give up the name. You may want to go on the Internet and look up current websites that deal with stocks and find ones that don’t have the greatest domain names. Make offers to these sites stating how your domain is much better and will HELP them. If you get a company to bite, the rewards are usually very generous!

In summary, selling domains for high amounts of cash depends on two key elements. First you must have a quality domain, one that doesn’t have numbers or isn’t too long. It must be clear and easily recognizable. ก.comก is the best, but even domains such as the ก.usก are gaining popularity. The second key is Marketing, Marketing, Marketing! I can’t stress that enough. You have to create a good reason for someone to buy your domain. How can THEY benefit from it. When these two steps are fulfilled, a sale is almost guaranteed!

About The Author

Dayne Herren is a domain seller and buyer, web developer, and artist.

Find out if your domain name is worth THOUSANDS at http://www.appraisalblast.com

Also get your website evaluated by our experts!

This article was posted on March 19, 2004

by Dayne Herren

Marketing a New or Small Business on a Budget

Marketing a New or Small Business on a Budget

by: John Sheridan

There are almost as many opinions and views on marketing as there are companies to market. The big names and multinationals will have an extraordinary amount of funding set aside in which to convey their marketing message to the masses.

The process will involve an inordinate amount of people, multiple marketing agencies, countless ‘creativity’ meetings and thousands of workhours. From television adverts to full pages in the newspapers and glossy magazines, brand names and logos jump out at us and are instantly recognisable such is the power of advertising on an extremely large budget.

Easily missed then in this marketing freeforall are the smaller or new businesses. After the usually costly process of setting up a business with its requisite equipment, possibly an office or other type of premises, there is usually little or no funds available for marketing or advertising.

From the first trading day of a new business enterprise, the going is tough. It is small wonder therefore that most new businesses do little or nothing about marketing because of what they see as prohibitive costs.

There are instances of course where new businesses have originated from someone’s hobby or parttime occupation; in these cases, the market is usually already there and forming a company was the next logical step, immediate marketing was obviously not required to generate the first customer.

There are many advertising agencies that say there is no need for small businesses to spend a fortune on marketing. This is totally true, but what money a small business does have to advertise should be spent wisely and not just thrown at an agency that might end up failing to deliver. There are far cheaper and more effective ways to get a business on the map.

A website is essential to any business these days and will certainly be an asset. However, your site will be one amongst many millions of others and will not be of immediate use due to the nature of search engines and the way the Internet works in general; therefore you will need to look to other methods.

One of the most important things to bear in mind is not to run before you can walk.

Start small, start local. Unless you already have contracts from further afield, there is no point in casting nationwide for business when a vast amount is already likely to be on your doorstep.

Depending on what type of business you run, leaflets and flyers to other businesses or homes are a good way to get yourself known.

Always carry a business card with you they are invaluable, you never know when you are going to meet someone who wants printed contact details – hey presto! Instant advertising.

If you have access to a computer, join an online business forum. They are an excellent source of information help and advice from people in the same situation as you. Even those in the same line of business as yourself will usually be happy to offer their help – don’t be afraid to take it, you can always return the favour.

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for practical sound advice on any aspect of business. They are there to help and are extremely knowledgeable and friendly people.

Business breakfast clubs are normally held once a week in most towns and cities and are another rich source of information and a great place to make contacts, again, don’t forget to take your business cards with you.

The methods I have mentioned are by no means the only ways to market on a budget and have no doubt been written about before, and although they take lots of effort and are very timeconsuming, they do produce results.

New and small business owners can often be the most innovative and creative marketers there are. They don’t have the huge budgets of the corporate giants; they don’t have large teams of creative designers, advertising executives, brainstorming committees, PR agencies or even a tea person! However, enterprising cashstrapped individuals are constantly striving to invent novel and cheaper methods of marketing their businesses, often with varying degrees of success. What must be reiterated though is that marketing and advertising need not cost a fortune, but can still be very effective depending on how you approach it.

This article is the property of the author and may only be reproduced in its original form.

About The Author

John Sheridan is a professional proofreader of hard copy items and website copy. He also writes web copy and occasionally accepts small copyediting assignments. He can be contacted at: john@textcorrect.co.uk

Website: www.textcorrect.co.uk

This article was posted on August 26

by John Sheridan

Building Your First Web Site?

Building Your First Web Site?

by: Tim Querrey

Creating your own site can be a satisfying experience. Here are some tips to help get you up and running.

Before doing anything on the technical side, you need some kind of basic idea to work with. I suggest first getting some paper and a pencil. Start by sketching a layout of how you would like your web page to appear. For example, a simple title at the top, the area in which you would like any content, pictures and so on. Now its time to do some programing!

Don’t let the word programing scare you. Anyone can learn and there are several sites that offer free tutorials. One such site is http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp. Although it is not necessary to be a top notch programer to build and operate your web site, you should learn the basics of html. I recommend that you thoroughly learn about tables. They are widely used and with them, you can create a professional looking layout (even as a beginner).

You can use any basic text editor, like notepad, to write, edit, and save your code (html). When saving your work for the first time, choose Text Document for type of file, then save with the extension htm (for example index.htm). Your home page (the first page people usually see) is normally saved as index.htm. To see how your page looks, double click on the file and it should automatically open up in your browser.

Now that youกve got your web page ready to go, itกs time to find a host (a place for your web page to live). Since this is your first site, I suggest you use Free Web Hosting. Some host will put advertising, such as a banner, on your site as the cost of free hosting. Others will only charge you to register your Domain Name (www.YourSite.com). Be careful not to accidentally sign up for extras such as url protection, spam control, etc. (unless you feel you need them) as they will add to your cost. These sites will have a limit on bandwidth (how much data that can be transmitted per month), email accounts, and maybe a few other things, but are still great for first timers. If later on you feel you need more, then you usually can upgrade. To find a host, just use any search engine and the keyword phrase Free Web Hosting.

Ok! Youกve sketched a layout for your web page, learned some basic html, coded your web page, found your host with the most (couldn’t resist), and registered your URL (www.YourSite.com). Now itกs time to upload (transfer) your file (web page ) to your host. To do this you need a FTP program. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. When using this application, there are usually two windows. The left window shows your computer files, and the right window shows the files stored on your host. For a good tutorial and to download a freeware FTP program, FTP Commander, go to http://www.nexcess.net/hosting/support/tutorials/ftp/ftpcommindex.php.

Now you should be up and running. But don’t stop there. Continue to tweak, add pages, learn to link to other pages and sites, and frequently add new content. Who knows, you could eventually learn to profit from your creation.

About The Author

Tim Querrey is the owner of http://www.homerunbusinesses.com

This article was posted on February 04

by Tim Querrey

Intro to the Traffic Exchanges

Intro to the Traffic Exchanges

by: Brennan Howe

Even if youกve been marketing on the internet for only a very short time youกve no doubt come accross ‘traffic exchangesก. The number of exchanges out there is staggering, so if you need to know what these things are all about read on.

A traffic exchange is a system where in return for viewing the websites of others you will get credits for hits to your own sites. There are several different types of exchanges:

The กsurf exchangeก or กstart page exchangeก: The names are synonymous and they are by far the most predominant type of traffic exchange. The user is required to veiw a web page in their browser for a set amount of time before clicking to earn credit and move on.

กAuto surfingก: Like above but the pages change and credit is received without user interaction.

Popup exchanges: With these the web page will กpopupก at set intervals or or events. You will need to view the window for a set time before closing and receiving credit. These will usually require a small program to be downloaded and run on the users computer.

Now that you know what they are you need to know what they’re made of. These are the things you will need to consider when comparing the different exchanges. The กsurf ratioก is how many pages youกll veiw before one of yours is displayed. These can be from 1:1 to 5:1 but are usually somewhere inbetween. Many sites will also give bonus credits or run promotions for credits. Some will also give credit for sending traffic to your referral page. All of these will combine to determine how many credits you actually get for surfing.

You can also get credit for referring others to the exchanges. You will receive a percentage of the credits earned by the referral, usual this will go several levels deep.

You will always be required to view the pages for a set amount of time. This varies between exchanges and usually ranges between 10 and 30 seconds. For surf exchanges you will need to click to proceed. Often the spot to click will change or you will need to click a certain number or symbol this is to help insure that a script or the like isn’t being used to cheat the system. If an exchange doesn’t have some kind of anticheat system itกs probably being cheated.

There is often the option of joining the traffic exchanges as a paid member. The benefits of this could be a number of monthly credits, better surf ratio, more referral credits and other special offers. And of course if you dont like surfing, credits are usually offered for sale by the traffic exchanges.

These are the things you will need to look at when comparing traffic exchanges. There are hundreds out there with new ideas based on these principals appearing every day. Below are a few of my favorite traffic exchanges. Each uses a different system for you to compare.

http://www.hitpulse.com/jsp/index.jsp?ref=brennan

http://www.ts25.com/index.jsp?ref=brennan

http://www.trafficswarm.com/go.cgi?261610

http://www.milliondollartraffic.com/index.cgi?affid=14538

copyright 2004 Brennan Howe

www.opportunity4all.net

About The Author

Brennan Howe is owner of http://www.opportunity4all.net a resource for the best business opportunities and tools. Visit the site or mailto:opportunity4all@robotreply.com and download a free 10 part marketing ecourse.

This article was posted on November 29, 2004

by Brennan Howe

When to Exercise

When to Exercise

by: Sergios Charntikov

Do you hit the gym in the morning, before your crazy working day, or you check it out late at night. It is hard to figure out what is best for you and what best fit in your busy life style, but with few tips you can make your lifting life much easier.

First rule is to listen to your body. Not everybody has the same daily power cycles, and it is a good idea to start noticing if your body crying during that morning routine or it is really enjoying it. Usually, energy is at its peak in the early hours of morning with the follow ups of lows and downs. The lowest level of the energy usually comes to midnight hours of 3am to 4am.

The best time to exercise is 8 to 10 hours after your awaking from your normal sleep cycle. That means that the early morning work out might be not for you, unless you absolutely ขfeel itข. Exercising 810 hours after you wake up, will give you easier work out, will be better for your joints, and will be more pleasant due to your more appropriate mood phase.

About The Author

Born in Russia, Citizen of Greece, Graduated from Cal State University with BA in Psychology. Sport/Fitness enthusiast since 1991. Founder of:

http://www.proteinhealht.com

http://www.creatineworld.com

director@gympharmacy.com

This article was posted on March 31, 2004

by Sergios Charntikov