Author Archives: Lis

Residual Income Websites Need Traffic

So how do you make residual income from websites? In essence you need to have visitors on your website – and not just any visitor – you need to have visitors who are motivated to buy what you are selling?

I’m Selling Something?

Well you better be if you are planning on making money online!  Don’t laugh, or feel stupid – it was a point that missed me as well at the start of my online career. You will often see the mantra – follow your passion and the money will come. Well maybe, in my experience my passions don’t make me money, yours may, but even if the topic you are writing about is of huge interest to you – its best to find out in advance whether or not it will actually make you money – don’t you think?

Without Traffic Your Website is Nothing

Here’s my story: my passion is travel – I have a website with lots of photos and lots of content from a long road trip around Australia. Its seemed to me that people might want to buy  guidebooks on my iste, or at least click on the Adsense ads which talked tours and activities in the various towns I talked about visiting. No one ever did though. Why? The only people who ever visited were my friends – they were interested in hearing about my trip, they liked the photos – but they had no intention of planning a road trip in Australia. Who should I have been attracting to the site? Maybe the people who were planning a road trip in Australia? How would I find  those people -the ones who were really interested in the topic of my website.  There is basically four ways to attract visitors to your site:

  • paid advertising
  • traffic exchanges
  • social media
  • organic i.e. search engine traffic

Paid Advertising is Not a Good Place to Start

The biggest paid advertising program is Google Adwords – its the other side of the story from Adsense – Adwords are the people who pay for the advertisements on my income producing websites. Now you can make money with Adwords, and you can lose money as well. Much like foregin exchange  trading – you need deep pockets to learn the game – its not a good place to start !

Traffic Exchanges are a Waste of Time and/or Money

Don’t ever buy traffic. Think about it – someone is being paid a fraction of a cent to click onto your website – do you really think you are going to become your reader or even click on your ads. Its also against the terms for many programs including Adsense anyways. The mutual – you click mine and I will click yours sites which are very popular in certain blogging circles are just as bad – again people aren’t engaged – they don’t want to visit your site – they are just visiting to build up credits in the network so they will advertised more prominently and therefore more people will come and visit …

Social Media is Over-Hyped

I pretty much consider social media a waste of time. Yes I mean Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and all the rest are not the secret to my making residual income while I sleep – don’t bother buying the e-book either. This is highly controversial, many people love social media and find the connect with lots of friends through it. That may be so – but it will not bring traffic to your website  who is going to make you money. In fact it probably won’t bring you much traffic at all.  Recently a friend of mine Steve who has  a cool video blog at bloggerlens.com posted this video where he described a one-to-one comparison of his statistics of being featured by a famous Social Media “guru” and a no-name Internet Marketer who has an ugly free blog – his post about social media hype is well worth a read and this video contains all the statistics. ..

Organic Traffic

If you are developing residual income traffic this is the traffic you want -these are the people who went to a search engine, probably Google, and  typed in “how to plan a road trip around Australia” – if you site comes up #1 then about 40% of then will probably click through to your site. Once you have them on your site you have a better than average chance that they will  click your ads, sign up for your list or buy your featured products. Why? Because these people are looking for a solution to a problem – and you may be able to provide it for them.

You still may not make a  sale – but at least you have someone in the shop  so to speak – that’s a good start! The art of getting organic traffic to your site is the art of making sure that you site is #1 in the search listings when  a relevant search phrase is typed which matches your site’s keywords. That’s what SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is all about.

Learning how to choose your website’s topic so that you will not only get organic traffic – but you can realistically push your site into one of the top three positions in Google – that’s thesingle most important skill you need to building your legitmate online business. It doesnt’ matter if you want to make 100 mini-sites or a 1 huge 1,000 page site, whether you want to develop e-commerce stores or online forums – whatever tyhpe of site you want to make money from – you need to traffic to make that  dream of an online income a reality.
Photo Credit

Do You Want a Blog or Website – Is There a Difference?

A long, long time ago there were static websites – websites which didn’t change very often – and when they needed updating you had to go to the computer wizz to do it for you. Often making a chage to the actual look and layout meant changing many hundreds of pages. It was hard to keep track of and keep things up to date – say for example a change phone number on every page.

Then came along blogging – the idea that you could update your own online web log (ie blog) without needing to be an expert or even know what html or css code was. You could write your online personal diary – it caught on – and blogging was born!

So the idea  evolved that blogs were entirely different from websites – that a blog had to be updated frequently and a successful blog had lots of comments and interaction with visitors.

Well that is what a blog was originally – but blogs have become a whole lot more sophisticated – and all because WordPress is a very, very successful piece of software. WordPress is free – its developed by enthusiasts and given away for free WordPress does something very important – it separates the look of a page from the content. WordPress is a platform that developers and designers can use to develop an infinite number of different looks and functionality of WordPress sites. Called themes – there are specialised WordPress themes which will turn your website into a real estate listing site, an e-book selling site, or a newspaper – if you can imagine a style of website its probably been done in WordPress already.

Lets take the current front page of this website as an example:

wordpress-1

Now  using this particular theme – I can vary the look without changing themes – so I could have something like this for example with a couple of clicks of a button or two:

wordpress-2

Its the theme which gives this particular site a static front page  – as opposed to the standard look of the most recent posts running down the page.  The popular “magazine style themes mean that breaking news sites can have rapidly updating stories showing near the top of the page, other designs give the front page a completely static look.

You can run a website on a blogging platform such as WordPress and you can use WordPress to develop a static website.  The choice is yours – and the casual visitor to your site won’t even know that you are running WordPress. Either way you can use your website to make residual income – but that’s the next post!

SEO and Design – Are they Mutually Incompatible

Its tough being a small business owner and trying to get your SME online without being ripped off. Its the classic problem of not knowing what you don’t know. You think you need a website – and they guy who designs your brochures offers websites as well – that’s logical right? Or you nephew is a wizz and design and said he’d come up with a cool flash-enabled website for you for – for free.

Well – probably not.

A website isn’t just an online brochure. Well it shouldn’t be anyway. No I don’t mean you need a fancy online shopping site either. What I mean that though a picture is worth a thousand words, a website which has good SEO is worth a whole lot more money than one that is not.

Here’s why.  A well-SEO’ed website will make it easier for the major search engines (aka Google) to find your site. That means if your potential customer goes online searching for widget makers – they will find your site and not your competitors.

So do yourself a favour – don’t rush into the cheapest or first deal you find to put your website online – try to find out if your designer has some idea about how to make your website “accessible to Google” – if he doesn’t find another one!

Even if you don’t understand it all check out this great article by a friend of mine on how to Combine SEO and Attractive Website Design – and forward it on to your designer!

Are You Already Building an Online Business?

Many business owners want to know how to create an online business without realising that they are already moving in that direction. You may not realise it but many small business owners are already using the Internet for their own marketing purposes. Even unintentionally you may already be starting the process of driving traffic to your website.

This post  will examine some quiet ways  that small business owners may already be developing an online business to complement their real world business, without even realising it.

Does your business already have a website? Owners who can answer yest to the question, are already presenting their products or services online by virtue of their website.  With a functional website you can already have the possibly of capturing the odd curious on-line browser. Even if you are yet to start actively promoting your website online you may still be getting the odd inquiry from potential customers who found your company via the Internet. This is why having a website is often called passive marketing.

Do you hang out in forums and have a link to your website in your forum signature? Its a bit like the on-line equivalent of passing out your business card to acquaintances.  Smart small business people participate in relevant forums and make sure that their signature clearly includes their website’s name and their tag line.  They can also use a forum to establish their product knowledge and credibility in their knowledge of their specialist area. Subtly participating in forums and message boards allows the clever business owner to establish their credibility with future customers.

One thing that is key that your website includes you main keywords. These are not necessarily your business name – say “Cute Cats” – but what need you are actually solving for your business:  practical cat clothing.  Using your keywords affects your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). You need to use your keywords particularly in titles and sub-headings- but not stuff them to much: searh engines caught onto that trick many years ago.  Although the whole area of SEO can be quite complex its a good start if website owners just use their main keywords naturally as they write their site’s content.

Do you get feedback from online customers? This is another way that owners can be marketing their business online without even realising it.  Soliciting feedback can be easy as running an online survey – cheaper and easier than doing it in the real world.

So you may well be doing more online marketing that you realised that you are already

Creating an online business to complement your bricks and mortar business is not as hard as many online consultants would like you to believe. We have already mentioned several ways that owners may already be promoting their business online without even realising it. Moving from accidental online marketing to the next level will really start to show results and drive targeted traffic to their website. Whether you want to go it alone or hire a consultant its not that hard to create an online business