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PayPal Alternatives: "Do You Have a Backup Plan?"
PayPal Alternatives: "Do You Have a Backup Plan?" By Merle http://mcebook.mcpromotions.com Many people think that in order to do business online you need to have an expensive merchant account to have the ability to take payments by credit card from your customers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Merchant accounts can be hard to get and the monthly fees can really add up. So what's an honest Internet Entrepreneur to do? The answer for most is Paypal.com. It's easy to set up an...

Writing Sales Letters That Work!
Writing Sales Letters That Work!   by MerleIf you do any kind of direct mail, sooner or later you'regoing to have to write a sales letter. The point of asales letter is to get people to read it and not tossit in the trash. You need to get their attention fastand get them to act. Your product has to sound appealingand your copy needs to be written to "sell".Your sales letter needs to stress the benefits of yourproduct. If you don't know what they are, spendsome time writing them down. People...

"Sometimes Obsession is a Good Thing!"
"Sometimes Obsession is a Good Thing!"   by MerleNo, I'm not talking about washing your hands fifty timesa day or smoking a pack of cigarettes. That's just nothealthy. However, if you are obsessed with promoting yourself online, you've got a good thing going. If you want traffic you need to sleep, breathe, and eatpromotional marketing techniques. Don't assume that justbecause you've listed your site with the search engines your work is done. That is just your starting point; thebeginning, not...

Make your Website Talk with just One Click!
Make your Website Talk with just One Click!   by MerleWhat's the most important thing you can offer your customers?If you said "support" give yourself an A+. Incorporatinglive customer service into your website is one of the bestways to assist those who browse your site and may havequestions. Yes, they can send an e-mail to you and waita day or two for the answer, but by the time you replythe buying mood may have already passed. Another opportunitymissed.So how do you offer live on-the-spot...

Marketing Yourself Online: Freelancing 101
Marketing Yourself Online: Freelancing 101   by MerleBefore the widespread use of the Internet, working foryourself was a much tougher undertaking than it is today.With over 13 million people claiming the status of"self employed," sites have sprung up online to fill this niche and offer help through a variety of services.>From helping you find work projects to offering advice,these sites can be a real asset to anyone striking out on their own.Job categories range from writing,...

Winning the Game: Your Strategic Marketing Plan
Winning the Game: Your Strategic Marketing Plan   by MerleIf you want your small business to compete with the "big boys"you should have a "strategic marketing plan." A strategic marketing plan basically spells out how you will use youravailable resources to meet your company's stated goalsand objectives. (You do have goals right? If not that's a topicfor another article.) Here's what you need:1) State your Objectives:Companies usually set objectives in terms of desired profit,total sales, or...

Relationship Marketing Online
Relationship Marketing Online   by MerleForming good relationships is a part of life; not onlyfor ourselves but for our businesses. You should bethinking of your customers as long-term clients, not just one time sales. Whenyou work hard at forming good relationships withthem, you'll find they come back and buy from you again andagain.Remember this: It's much easier to sell to an existingclient then to find a new one. It's also less expensive.Another "perk" of making them happy is they'll...

40 Easy Ways to Promote Your Website Online and Off
40 Easy Ways to Promote Your Website Online and Off   by Merle1) Make sure if you have an on-hold messaging system or an answeringmachine that it includes your URL and email address.2) If your company has voice mail have your employees' listyour URL in their individual messages.3) UPS advertises on their trucks, why don't you?URL plates can be ordered with your web address and puton the back of your car or company vehicles.Take a look athttp://www.mcpromotions.com/adURL/default.htm4) If you...

Need Fresh Website Content? Syndication May be Just the Answer You're Looking For!
Need Fresh Website Content? Syndication May be Just the Answer You're Looking For!   by MerleFresh content is an important aspect of any successful website. But who has all of the free time that it takes to changeyour web pages on a daily basis? Allow me to introduceyou to "syndicated content." By including syndicated contenton your site, it stays fresh with very little effort on yourpart. So how do you get it? How does it work? Slow down...All will be revealed in due time. Remember, patience...

No Website Sales? Maybe Your Site is Missing the Mark!
No Website Sales? Maybe Your Site is Missing the Mark!   by MerleIf you've moved your brick and mortar store online or recentlystarted an Internet business and the sales just aren't comingin, the culprit may be your website.Many people call me and say "My site's not generating sales;what can I do to get more traffic?" Before you can beginpromoting, you need to take a long hard lookat your website from your customers' perspective.Customers always ask themselves the same thing:"What's in it for...

"Lycos Jumps on 'Pay for Inclusion' Bandwagon"
"Lycos Jumps on 'Pay for Inclusion' Bandwagon"   by MerleSeems as if all of the major search engines thesedays have instituted a policy of pay for inclusion,and it appears Lycos is no exception. In a fewweeks they'll be launching their own paid inclusionprogram. Lycos boasts big numbers, claiming over 40million users; making them a competitive playerin the search engine games.The exact launch date has not been announced, but youcan sign up to be notified by email when it is and also receive...

"Google Updates its Toolbar with New Rating System"
"Google Updates its Toolbar with New Rating System"   by MerleGoogle recently announced a change to its toolbarsoftware which includes two new buttons: a happyface and a frowning face, which users can click onto rate a webpages as they visit them.The toolbar is free and only works with InternetExplorer 5.0 and runs on Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000or XP. The toolbar helps you find just what you'relooking for online without returning to Google'shomepage to perform new searches. Once installedon your...

Free Internet: What's it Really Cost?
Free Internet: What's it Really Cost?   by MerleIf you're sick and tired of paying 10 or 20.00 a monthto your ISP for Internet Access, listen closely to whatI'm about to say. "You don't have to." Yep, that's right;you can surf the Web totally free if you don't mind givingup some of your precious screen real estate to banner ads.Most of the Free providers want your personal informationas well and will ask you to fill out lengthy registrationforms when signing up to use their services. They'll...

Rampant Rudeness on the Internet: What Would "Miss Manners" Say?
Rampant Rudeness on the Internet: What Would "Miss Manners" Say?   by MerleGive some people a computer and an Internet connectionand they think it's a license for rudeness. What is itabout the Internet that causes some folks to take allthey learned about basic etiquette and throw it rightout the window?Think about it: Just because your reader can't see you doesn't give you the right to be rude, but there aremillions of Net users who feel that it does. I've beencalled names I'd rather not...

"Who Needs Cash When There's Electronic Money!"
"Who Needs Cash When There's Electronic Money!"   by MerleIt's a new world. Gone are the days of writing paper checks and entering credit card numbers. Now with the click of a mouse youcan pay anyone anywhere, anytime, or you can receive paymentsyourself without a merchant account. All you need is the rightservice and an email address. There are so many "electronic payment" services on the Nettoday, if you're not taking advantage of them you're missingout on a fast, simple way to move money...

Finding that Host that Offers the Most
Finding that Host that Offers the Most   by MerleWhether you already have a website or are thinking of setting up shop online, sooner or later you'll have to deal with the issueof web hosting. Although it may seem like a "no brainer," there are actually many factors you'll need to consider before makingthis important decision. Your first inclination may be to lookonly at the cost, thinking "cheaper is better." However, thatold saying "you get what you pay for,"is especially true in...

"Don't Bore Me! Give Your Ezine "Personality"!
"Don't Bore Me! Give Your Ezine "Personality"!   by MerleAll right, I confess. I'm an ezine junkie. I love 'em. Allshapes, all sizes; I subscribe to hundreds. You might say I'man addict. Anyway, as I scan the subject line of my preciousbeauties when they hit my inbox, there are only certain ones I'm chomping at the bit to read. Why is that? Why does one ezinehave me salivating and another reaching for my delete key?Good question, I was hoping you'd ask.The newsletters I can't wait to read are...

"Publish an Ezine; Your Website Depends on It!"
"Publish an Ezine; Your Website Depends on It!"   by MerleSo you've done all the research, built your website andyou're ready to show it off to the world and make your Internetfortune. "Whoa," not so fast there, Mister. If you haven'tincluded an ezine, your site is missing out on a major onlinemarketing tool. Here's why the decision to include one or notcan lead to your website's success or ultimate failure.1st Time Visitors. Let's face it: the first time someone comesto your website, the odds...

"Are You Doing It on a Regular Basis?"
"Are You Doing It on a Regular Basis?"   by MerleIf you're an ezine publisher I have one word for you: "consistency."When planning your newsletter, you need to decide how often your ezine will be sent out to your subscribers. Essentially,you need to create a schedule and stick with it. But how oftenshould you publish? How much is too much and how often is notenough? When it comes to frequency, the usual choices aredaily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Let's examine the pro'sand cons of each...

Building Your Ezine Subscriber Base and Selling Ad Space
Building Your Ezine Subscriber Base and Selling Ad Space   by MerleIn this the last in a 3 part series on ezine publishing weturn to the nitty gritty of finding subscribers and sellingyour valuable ad space.So now you have a terrific looking ezine and interesting contentbut where do you find subscribers? I was hoping you'd ask. Inorder to grow your subscriber base you'll need to promote yourezine every chance you get.The first thing you need to do is includea sign up box on each and every page...

Part 2 - "How to Format Your Ezine and Where to Find Free Content"
Part 2 - "How to Format Your Ezine and Where to Find Free Content"   by MerleIn Part 1 of this series we discussed how to start your ownnewsletter. Now we move on to the nitty gritty: Formatting andfinding content. 1. FORMATTINGText ezines versus HTML format is a highly debatable subject.At this time, most ezine publishers stick with text, and Istrongly recommend you follow suit. Many people are stillusing email clients that cannot read HTML messages - othersprefer the speed, ease and security...

Part #1- "Easy Steps to Creating Your Very Own Ezine"
Part #1- "Easy Steps to Creating Your Very Own Ezine"   by MerleIt seems like everyone and his dog is publishing an ezine thesedays...and from what I've seen, the dog's may be better than most.So why -- if there are so many ezines out there -- do you need topublish one? The answer is simple: If you have a website where youare selling goods and/or services you need to establish an opt in list of visitors to your site. The majority of people who visit your site won't buy from you thefirst time,...

Easy Steps to Creating Your Very Own Ezine
Easy Steps to Creating Your Very Own Ezine   by Merle 1. FORMATTINGText ezines versus HTML format is a highly debatable subject.At this time, most ezine publishers stick with text, and Istrongly recommend you follow suit. Manypeople are still using email clients that cannot read HTMLmessages - others prefer the speed, ease and securityof receiving their ezines in text format. It is saferto use the format that is compatible with the largestnumber of users. But there are other readers who...

7 Reasons Why You Should be Publishing an Ezine
7 Reasons Why You Should be Publishing an Ezine   by MerleEzines: They're everywhere you look, and for verygood reasons. They are an excellent online marketingtool. If you have a website and aren't publishing yourown newsletter, I'm going to give you seven very good reasonswhy you should start.1) Establishes Trust: When people visit your website,they have no idea who you are. As far as they'reconcerned you might be some evil person lying in wait,just trying to get your hands on their credit...

"Get Control of your E-Mail, Before it Controls You"  
"Get Control of your E-Mail, Before it Controls You"   by MerleAsk any online entrepreneur where they spend the bulkof their time and they'll tell you they are reading and responding to e-mail. If you run an online businessyou may receive hundreds of messages a day. It comeswith the territory and unfortunately, there's no escapingit. Keeping up with your e-mail is very important to your success online and you should make every attempt to answerany and all messages within 24 to 48 hours.Here...

What Does your "John Hancock" Look Like?  
What Does your "John Hancock" Look Like?   by MerleIf you have a website and simply sign your e-mailswith just your name, STOP right there! If you're not taking advantage of using a good signature line,you're missing out on promoting your business every timeyou send mail.So you ask, what exactly doesa good signature line look like? It should read likea mini bio with the "Four W's:" Who, What, When, Where. The lengthis usually 4 o 6 lines (at no more then 65 characters per line). You should...

Hey, Watch Your Tone!  
Hey, Watch Your Tone!   by MerleAlong with the advent of the Internet came a new way ofcommunicating called e-mail. If you spend a lot of time online andespecially if you're running a web based business, odds are your maintool for communication is through e-mail.Now e-mail is a wonderful thing. Don't get me wrong, butunlike the telephone or face to face communication, if you don'twatch your words you can easily be mis-understood. It's all tooeasy to offend or even hurt someone's feelings just...

How to Accept Online Payments Without a Merchant Account  
How to Accept Online Payments Without a Merchant Account   by MerleIf you operate a small business from your home and have beenthinking of moving it online to take advantage of a"global audience," this article is for you.A lot of people I talk to are hesitant to start selling onlinedue to the "red tape" of getting a merchant account,a secured server certificate, and if needed, shoppingcart software. That is not to mention the huge expense of payingsomeone to put it all together for you.Well,...

Shopping for a Shopping Cart? Make Sure you Weigh your Options First!  
Shopping for a Shopping Cart? Make Sure you Weigh your Options First!   by Merle If you sell more than a handful of products on your website,you'll need to add what's known as a shopping cart. This is a function that allows your customers to pick out the items theywant and send them to a "cart," which holds onto them untilthey're ready to check out. The program then totals the orderand adds any applicable taxes and shipping charges.So how do you add a shopping cart to your site? There arethree...

Electronic Payment Services: Money Still Exchanges Hands, it Just does so Without ever Touching a Palm  
Electronic Payment Services: Money Still Exchanges Hands, it Just does so Without ever Touching a Palm   by MerleBuying and selling products or services online justgot a whole lot easier. Using only a person's e-mailaddress, you can pay for purchases and receive moneyowed to you without ever touching an actual greendollar bill. Of course, not touching it might takesome of the fun out of getting paid, but it's stillyour money just the same. It's virtual money.So, you're saying to yourself right...

E-Book Review: "Ebook Farming"  
E-Book Review: "Ebook Farming"   by MerleIf the name "Boogie Jack" sounds like the monster that hidunder your bed as a child, you obviously haven't been on theInternet for any length of time. Boogie Jack's real name isDennis Gaskill, and he's a well known online figure who haswritten volumes on HTML and publishes a very entertainingezine. He makes his living totally online, hence he knows whathe's talking about. His website, http://www.BoogieJack.com , isloaded with helpful resources for...

So you Wrote an E-book...Now What?  
So you Wrote an E-book...Now What?   by MerleE-books are one hot marketing tool. For those of youwho don't get out much, an e-book is basically acollection of HTML documents that have been compiledinto an executable (.exe) file. The concept is that ofan electronic book that can be downloaded, read pageby page, and passed around easily online.Some e-books are sold where as others are givenaway freely. Those who download free e-books are encouraged to give them away to their friends orbusiness...

Inexpensive Places to Register Domain Names  
Inexpensive Places to Register Domain Names   by MerleAbout a year ago if you wanted to register a domainname there was only one place to go: "NetworkSolutions". For $70.00 (for the first two years) youcould register a name of your very own.Today that's no longer the case. Now that the Internicno longer has the stranglehold on domain registration,there are a variety of websites that will register adomain for you with varying prices.One word of advice: Don't pay $70.00, but don't go with the...

Promoting your Affiliate Program with Directories- Part II   
Promoting your Affiliate Program with Directories- Part II    by Merlen part 1 we had discussed some options for setting up your ownassociate program. Now, in part II we'll look at what you needto do to get the word out to those who may be interested insigning up as an affiliate in your new venture.The best place to start is to list your program with thedirectories that exist for just this purpose. If you do some research you'll find many "associate directories"to list with. Since these...

Work Those Affiliate Programs and Make Some Cash  
Work Those Affiliate Programs and Make Some Cash   by MerleSo you've joined your first affiliate/associate programand slapped that big old banner on your site. All you have to do now is sit back and wait for the bucks tocome rolling in. Not so fast there, Bucky. There'sa lot more to making money with affiliate programsthan that. If your best effort is going to be thatbanner, don't plan on retiring any day soon.Just like everything else online, you'll get outof it what you put in. So if you...

Build your own Sales Force Army With an Associate Program  
Build your own Sales Force Army With an Associate Program   by MerleWhat's the quickest way to increase your website sales andextend your reach on the Internet all at the same time?If you said with your own associate program, you would becorrect. An associate (or affiliate program as they are some-times called) allows others to to sell your products/services and receive a commission on each and every sale orclick. Just think of having a sales force that can growas big as you'd like... and you...

"Work Those Affiliate Programs and Make Some Cash!"  
"Work Those Affiliate Programs and Make Some Cash!"   by MerleSo you've joined your first affiliate/associate programand slapped that big old banner on your site. All you have to do now is sit back and wait for the bucks to come rolling in. Not so fast there, Bucky...there's alot more to making money with affiliate programs thanthat. If your best effort is going to be that banner, don't plan on retiring any day soon. As with everything else online and off, what you get outof an activity is...

Ask Jeeves 'How Do I Get a Top Listing in your Directory'  
Ask Jeeves 'How Do I Get a Top Listing in your Directory'   by MerleMillions of people enjoy using 'Ask Jeeves,' by simply typingin a question and getting back relevant search results. With many of the search engines/directories turning to paymodels, 'Ask Jeeves' now offers its own Text Sponsorship Program.A text sponsorship ad consists of a title no longer than 40characters and a description which can be up to 150 charactersin length. Your 'text ad' appears to the right on the search results...

Excite Me, Tease Me, Make Me Want to............CLICK!  
Excite Me, Tease Me, Make Me Want to............CLICK!   by MerleBanners are a necessity for anyone doing business online.Sooner or later you'll want to do some banner advertisingor simply swap with another site, so you'll want to makesure you have a few to choose from when that time comes.There are "standard" sizes for banners, and you need to make sure you adhere to those standards before creating them. The most popular size by far is 468X60. Some of the others are:234X60 Half Banner120X240...

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