Month: March 2011

How to Get High-Quality Low-Cost Images for Your Website

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But online marketers know that the right picture is actually worth a thousands bucks — and maybe even more. The importance and value of good photographs increases exponentially as the product or service you sell increases in price. If you’re selling cheap e-books or video webinars for $9, then you can pretty much ignore this post. You can do just as well, and maybe even better, with a circa-1950 piece of clipart that you bought on a CD at Staples or OfficeMax. But if you’re selling items that will make consumers pause once or twice before pulling the trigger, your website needs to help you close the sale. Unfortunately, the wrong photograph — or cheap-looking image — will do just the opposite. An unprofessional site will raise doubts as to whether you’re really worth it. Because human eyes are naturally drawn to images on a page, especially evocative photographs, you want to make sure that the photo you use will help you catch visitors’ attentions and get them to the next step in your sales pipeline. So don’t just throw any photo on your site. And please, don’t ever make the mistake of using images you pulled off of Google Image Search. Just because you can download it doesn’t mean you have permission to use it on your site. You can...

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Using Affiliates to Generate Sales and Leads for Your Site

Here’s a little-known secret about the online marketplace: how did Amazon and eBay get so big so fast? Yes, they used venture capital to buy multi-million-dollar Super Bowl ads. And word of mouth did help tremendously, as did the slow response from many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. But what most people don’t realize is that Amazon’s and eBay’s growth was driven by affiliate marketers. These online middle men (and women) linked their sites to these big online retailers. Unlike Google Adwords’ pay-per-click (PPC) ads, these affiliate links did not pay a few cents per click. Rather, these affiliate merchants paid a percentage or sizable flat rate for each product sold. Today, practically any business that sells on the web tries to harness the power of the affiliate marketing community. There are now literally hordes of affiliate marketers working from home and earning six-figure paychecks from their targeted websites. The great advantage of affiliate marketing for merchants is that they get others to shoulder the cost of marketing their products. The individual affiliate marketers will create the web pages, drive the search engine optimization (SEO) and invest in PPC advertising to generate the traffic, leads and sales for the merchant. So if you’re a fledgling online business with something to sell, how do you get in the game. You could do it the hard way and try to recruit individual affiliate...

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Advanced WordPress Themes for the Next Level

Although you can access thousands of free WordPress themes directly through WordPress.org, those free templates are free for a reason. Many of the designs are dated and clunky. That’s understandable when you think about it. If you’re a web designer trying to earn a living off your web designs, why would you give away your best designs? You wouldn’t. Instead, you would give away your older designs, the ones that don’t generate any more interest or income for you. Even if you find a nifty design you like, you soon discover that most don’t have the functionality and customization you need — if you want to go beyond a standard blog-looking site. One way to get past that problem is to hire a developer to customize your WordPress site. But how much will that set you back. Heavy WordPress users have a better way. They sign up for theme collectives or clubs that provide unlimited access to advanced WordPress themes with modern designs and true usability. And one of the best is ElegantThemes.com. When you join ElegantThemes.com, you get access to all of their WordPress themes. So if you have multiple sites, you’ll soon be able to install high-end templates on all of them — for an unbelievably low price of $39. As an Elegant Themes.com member, you not only get to use their top-shelf WordPress templates, you also...

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Recommendation: Low-Cost Option for Beginners

I’m constantly looking for host services with worthwhile packages for online marketers and entrepreneurs. Here’s a selection of web hosting services for beginners who want the benefits of multi-domain hosting at a fraction of the cost…   Jaguar Technologies LLC – two-year plans starting at $5.95 per month   BounceWeb Web Hosting – two-year plans starting at $6.95 per month   WebHostingBuzz.com  – two-year plans starting at $6.67 per month    ...

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