Free vs. Paid iPhone apps for marketing

The iPhone is one of the most purchased mobile devices, and iPhone users are more apt to download apps to use to enhance their productivity, have fun, engage in social media, and you name it they like to use their apps. The great thing about this for you is that you can make money with either free or paid iPhone apps. You simply have to figure out which way is best for you with your particular app.

If you’re trying to expand your brand it might be a good idea to create a useful application that fills a need or desire that your target market has that is within your niche and offer it free including completely ad free. The app itself carries your logo, and serves a need of your target market which will make your target market happy, which will encourage them to purchase more products or services from you due to the nifty little gadgets you offer your clients free.

You can also include pay per click code within the iPhone app that runs ads on the iPhone. If they click on it you make money. A free iPhone app with keyword activated pay per click advertising included can become an entirely new income stream while also serving a purpose and fulfilling a need that your target market has without directly charging them.

Alternatively, you can create a useful application for the iPhone and charge a fee for using it. If your app fills a need for your target market, plus is emblazoned with your logo, you will keep your brand in front of your customers, thus marketing your brand, and providing an added benefit to your customers. Typically, iPhone users like to use the same company. So if you create more than one great app ensure that you offer it to users of your other apps. They’ve developed a trust of you and are likely to use other apps that are relevant to their lives.

If the app promotes your service, or is an extension of your service or is complementary to your products and services it will work to promote your brand in a brand-new way. Educating potential new clients about your products and services via an iPhone application is a great way to increase your market share and apps that allow your target market to use your services in a new way, such as via their mobile device will excite current clients, and encourage future purchases of your products and services.

Five SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you’ve been optimizing your web pages for quite some time or are new to the strategy, everyone makes mistakes. While the bad news is that these mistakes can have a significant effect on your page ranking, the good news is, they’re reversible. Here are five SEO mistakes to avoid (And if you’ve already made them, not to worry, you can make changes and move forward with your SEO strategy).

SEO Mistake #1 Not using keywords correctly.

Many webmasters are concerned about being banned from the search engines for keyword spamming or stuffing so they limit the use of keywords on their web pages. As long as your content sounds natural and reads easily, the chances are you have not overused your keywords.

Make sure your keywords are included in the first paragraph, in your headings and in your title and meta tags.

SEO Mistake #2 Trying to fool search engine spiders.

Search engines are a lot more sophisticated than most of us realize. They recognize, and penalize, hidden text, keyword spamming, and cloaking, which is showing different content to the search engine spiders than to your visitors. All of these practices only serve to hurt your page ranking and can in fact cause your website to be banned by the search engines, which means no one will find you and no traffic means no profits.

SEO Mistake #3 Using Flash

Flash is a great presentation tool and can be dramatic and effective if used sparingly. It’s particularly appropriate if you have a media related website and want to demonstrate your industry savvy however for most website owners, it’s just not necessary and can harm your page ranking. Search engine spiders cannot read content embedded in Flash files, which means they’re not recognized or indexed.

SEO Mistake #4 Using Your Company Name As a Title Tag

Unless you’re branding your company name, your company name shouldn’t’ be the only element in your title tag. Feel free to include it, however it’s also important to use your primary keyword for each webpage title tag. This is more useful for your customers and helps the search engines identify the various pages on your site.

SEO Mistake #5 Using A Splash Page

A splash page, in case you’re unfamiliar, is a web page with a large graphic or company logo, and a link to enter the site. This is an ineffective strategy for a number of reasons:

* No keyword rich text on the page, nothing for the spiders to index.

* Only one internal link on the page

* These pages often have a redirect which often causes spiders to ignore them

If search engine optimization is important to your business, you may need to forgo the splash page. Your home page should be easy to navigate, content rich, and link visitors and spiders to other main web pages.

In general, unless you’re trying to outsmart the search engines and using nefarious tactics, the majority of search engine mistakes are reversible. If you’ve committed a few of these mistakes, simply correcting them can increase your page ranking almost immediately. Take some time to evaluate your SEO strategy and eliminate these SEO mistakes.

Content is Still King for Product Review Sites

So, you want to build a product review site and make a lot of money. Of course, you do! But, like with anything you have to do it right if you want to earn money. First, you need to decide who your target market is, then you need to choose the right products for your audience, and then you must fill it with keyword rich content that attracts search engines and humans alike. This is no easy task, but with a little practice, you can get really good at writing reviews that get results. We all know what results you want, right? You want to make money. So read on to discover the perfect formula for your product reviews.

Try it — When possible try the product you are going to review. If you cannot try the product, it makes it difficult to give it a great review. If you can’t review it yourself, offer the ability for site visitors to submit a review or invite those whom you know have tried the product to submit a review. If the reviews aren’t accurate, and someone buys the product they’ll blame you. How can you be accurate, if you haven’t tried the product or service — think of a way.

Be Truthful — If there are issues with the product that aren’t wonderful, but some are wonderful be truthful. Consider not posting reviews for products that are really bad. Sometimes, if you do that it makes the other products look that much more wonderful. However, be prepared for the owners of the product to be angry, especially if they gave you a review copy.

Why You? — Why should people trust your product reviews? Ensure that your site visitors and guests know why you are the one to give the reviews about your particular niche. Are you an expert in the area? Do you use these type of products on a regular basis? Do your clients use them? You don’t have to be a Doctor to review stethoscopes, but you do need to be able to interview those who do use stethoscopes.

Remember your Audience — You’re writing the review for the audience, not for the product creator, the vendor, or even yourself. If you keep in mind that you’re writing for a potential user of the product and not for anyone else you can keep your sights set on the correct keywords, the right attitude, and the best approach for the products you are reviewing.

Who, What, When, Where — These are the questions every product review should answer. The reader should know that the product is for him or her, what it is and does exactly, when they need it and where to get it. If you can’t answer those questions, then do more research, because nothing else matters as much as those four answers.

Benefits vs. Features — You’ve likely heard, when you are writing your own website, especially if you offer a service, that you should focus on benefits, not features. In the case of a product review, focus on both benefits and features. Discuss the features and the benefits of the features. What problem does the feature solve for the potential user?

Sum it up — In the ending paragraph tell your reader exactly what you think about the product. Is it worth the money? Now is the time to consider how you feel about the product. If you were going to use this product, do you think it’s worth the money the reader will need to spend? If you think so, say so, if not say so too. Your readers will appreciate your honesty.

Making your Design Work for StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon tends to be a visual site, whether we like it or not. On many sites, you’re taught as an entrepreneur not to fall into the trap of gorgeous graphics, with your message and site function taking a back seat: In StumbleUpon, this is definitely not the case.

People who are busy stumbling are always looking for that one site to really grab them by the eyeballs. You don’t do that by having a page of plain text (it makes you look cheap and cheesy).

Fortunately, there are ways to have strong, eye-catching graphic design without making your site slow and cumbersome. (Slow sites do get skipped or – worse – the “thumbs down”, in StumbleUpon.)

1. Make Color your Friend – Not Your Enemy

Color can make or break your site. Pick the right combination of colors and remember that color is a language. It speaks to people. For example, a bright pink website with touches of hot orange promises to be either sumptuous and tropical, or flirty, female and fun. A website accented in sharp black with accents of red warns the reader it’s attempting to be “cutting edge”. A screaming neon yellow website is actually screaming, well, “Amateur!”.

How can you use color like a pro? By avoiding common “Amateur” mistakes.

– Don’t use dark backgrounds (unless you’re presenting technology or sound): Most people find light text on dark backgrounds very hard to read. No matter what other colors you have on your pages, try to have your text plain black on a white background.

– Don’t use colors that draw attention. They’ll overpower your message.

– Do look at other sites in your category, and get a feel of what “works” for you and what doesn’t, color wise, when you surf them.

– Think about your site colors: Ask your trusted buddies for feedback. Are your site colors reinforcing your message and personality… or turning it into a lie? What do you think about the issue? What do your trusted buddies think?

2. Avoid Huge File Sizes

Yes, it’s true that most people nowadays have high speed… but even so, many of that number have limited plans, and if you hit them with a massive graphic and a Flash intro when they’ve got a Bell Turbo stick or Rogers Rocket, they’re going to be hastily hitting the “Stumble” button without even looking, terrified of data overages and huge bills. (And people still out there on dialup may number way more than you think, thanks to rural areas and geographic conditions).

How can you avoid huge file sizes? First, if you’re saving an image in Adobe Photoshop, select the “Save for Web” feature, rather than “Save” or “Save as”. It will cut down the file size considerably.

Unless yours is a photography site, you probably don’t need full-page graphics. Resize them down to the smallest you feel you can get with – without losing impact.

Stay away from iFrames and Flash movies if you don’t absolutely have to have them.

Give people an option of watching in High Resolution or Low Resolution, if you’re presenting a video.

Of course, in the end, it’s all about balance: You need to weigh the reductions you can make in site loading time against the effectiveness of the message; and whether or not your message is visual. But these 2 tips and the specifics of implementing them should help you find the simplest place to start.

Free iPhone apps and mobile pay per click ads

A great way to make money and expand your brand is to create or have created a useful or fun iPhone app. iPhone apps are the most popular and the easiest to make money with. The barrier to entry with a good iPhone app is low, and you can choose to give away your ads free using pay per click ads to make money, or you can sell your app, or even do a combination of both. It’s up to you on how you decide to make money.

As discussed, you can make money by offering a paid app or you can offer free applications and make money via advertising. Mobile pay per click advertising is just like pay per click ads on your website or blog, except that they are accessed via your iPhone mobile app. There are several companies and advertising networks that offer mobile pay per click advertising. — This company is the first ever completely mobile advertising network. You can monetize your applications easily by signing up and following their instructions. If you’ve hired a developer you may need to work with them to ensure that the code is set up properly. You’ll have real time metrics reporting and more with

Google Mobile — You’re already familiar with Google Ads, this is Google, only mobile. They offer the same cost per basis model on mobile devices that they offer on websites and blogs. AdSense for mobile content is just like AdSense for content. Simply sign up with Google and follow the instructions. Google offers many ways to review your metrics.

The important thing is to find an advertising company or network that you enjoy working with and pays a fair percentage while being easy to work with. At first, you won’t have any stats to work with so it needs to be an advertising network that does not have hit requirements. Making money with free iPhone apps can be an excellent way to add a new revenue stream to your income.

After creating your mobile application and deciding that you’ll run ads with the application it is important to develop a good keyword list that will bring up the kind of ads your target market, and those who would use your application the incentive to click on the ads. You only get paid when someone clicks on the ads when you engage in pay per click advertising. So start with a good list of keywords.

You can use Google’s Keyword Tool to find the right keywords within your niche, or you can use a paid keyword tool of some kind but it is important to use valid research to determine effective money making keywords for your iPhone mobile pay per click campaign. Just guessing simply won’t cut it. Do your due diligence and conduct some research to get the best keywords. Having the best keywords will result in having a larger return on investment.

Once you’ve made all these choices then the next thing to do is market your app. You can offer the app for free via iTunes, you can offer it as an incentive when purchasing from you, or simply list it in the mobile app director on iTunes. Make sure that you have a great look, using your colors and logo, and mention your new app wherever you can, in blogs, on message boards, and across all your marketing channels.

6 Tips to Ensure Your Live Event Goes Off Without a Hitch

If you really want to make your mark in the business world, it’s important to start hosting events. You can have both online and offline events. Live events are a great way to meet the people you’ve been doing business with over the years online, and to capture new leads from enthusiastic people who prefer live interaction over webinars.

Having live events is a little more complicated in some ways than having an online event, but it’s a great way to give your business a boost of excitement. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do it all alone, you can invite other speakers, and share the stage. This is a great way to get more attendees too.

Choose The Right Event Tools — Giving your guests a reliable way to sign up and pay for your event is crucial to your success. There are numerous payment processors but be sure to choose the right tool for your event. One tool that you can use to take payments and get people registered as well as promote on social media is

Pick The Right Venue — The place you host your live event is very important. You need to know your audience, understand what type of creature comforts that they need to enjoy the event. In addition, you need to know your audience’s budget so that you don’t price them out of the event, or insult them with poor accommodations.

Choose a Theme — Make sure that you know what your speakers will say at your event. It’s important that everyone stay on theme and that no one comes off too much like a used car salesman. If possible, ask for their speech notes and give pointers about how to stay on the theme of the event.

Ensure WiFi is Available — At a live event, everyone still wants to be online. They want to be able to blog about the event, Tweet about the event, and upload pictures to Facebook during the event. While some people may think this is rude to do during an event, you want your guests to do this so that you can get free buzz for your next event.

Start On Time — When someone pays for a live event they expect the leaders to stick to the agenda. Everyone’s time is valuable, yours, your speakers, and the guests. When you start and end on time, it will make it easier for people to be able to plan their day and they’ll be more likely to come to future events.

Practice — Before the event find a way to have a run through of the order of events and make sure all the technology works properly. Nothing is worse than figuring out that you can’t access your PowerPoint presentation at the last minute when you have 100 paying attendees looking at you.

Live events are a terrific way to boost either online or offline businesses. In fact, live events can be another stream of revenue. Not only that, it can be a large portion of your revenue stream. Plus, they are fun. You get to meet new people, and people you’ve known online for years, and go to a new city and experience new and exciting things.

Content Is The Key To Growing Your Email List

When it comes to making your fortune on the internet, you’ll hear time and time again that building your list should be one of your main priorities. It basically means you’ll have a collection of names and email addresses of people who are guaranteed to be interested in what you have to offer.

The main problem with building a list is encouraging people to sign up. A few years ago it may have been easy to get people to hand over their email address in the promise of getting regular updates, but not so anymore. Nowadays you’ll need to give them an extra reason to subscribe – especially when they’re already subscribed to so many other marketers.

Some incentives to join an email list could include:

* Free reports on various subjects,

* Exclusive member discount codes to products or services,

* Being the first to find out about your latest launches,

* Free PLR products,

* eBooks,

* Or an eCourse (delivered in parts every few days via email) that teaches something valuable.

The Benefits Of Using Follow Up Emails

Although most marketers will choose to give something away in the first email as an immediate gift (usually a short report), they’ll often schedule a sequence of email messages to automatically build up a relationship with their new subscriber.

When this comes in the form of an eCourse, this could mean sending out a new “lesson” every other day. The first few lessons will be pure content – teaching new skills, giving out free resource links and so on. Once enough of these lessons have been sent to build up a connection, the list will include affiliate links or product promotions every few emails.

Your eCourse could be something like “how to build a blog in 7 days” or “how to cure x without drugs”. It is free information, and it offers something of genuine value.

At the same time, your eCourse is scheduled in advance and will start sending, in sequence, whether you get a new subscriber today or a year in the future. It means “hands-off” selling that allows you to take the time to focus on building new material.

Where Does PLR Come In?

Many people decide against PLR for their blog content because it’s not “unique” in the eyes of the search engines. But with an email list you don’t have that problem: the content is sent out through email, which the search engines have nothing to do with.

This is why it’s perfectly acceptable to use autoresponder PLR for your eCourse, as long as you know it does provide that value, and that it can build trust with your readers. Just edit it to include your own links, personalize it a little and you can start building your list today!

Using the Multi-Level Membership Model

Multi-level membership sites offer customers the ability to become members at different levels (i.e. Silver, Gold and Platinum, or Basic, Advanced and Maximum). Whatever the terms used, we see this approach used in many different industries.

For example, credit card companies are famous for offering “gold” and “platinum” level memberships. Another industry that follows this model is the airline industry. Not only do they offer frequent flyer clubs, (which are a great example of membership marketing in and of themselves) but they also often offer VIP memberships for those who want to take their memberships one step further.

These exclusive clubs come with exclusive privileges… and many times, a high price tag. Why are people willing to pay for such memberships? Because everyone wants to be a part of something… and everyone likes a deal.

So, how can you apply the multi-level membership model to your business? Consider simply offering a three-level membership program with increased discounts for each level. Such as:

Silver Membership – 10% discount
Gold Memberhship – 15% discount
Platinum Memberhsip – 20% discount

You may even want to consider throwing in additional incentives for your higher levels of membership, making them more attractive to your customers. For example:

Basic – 10% discount
Advanced – 15% discount plus FREE monthly newsletter

Maximum – 20% discount, FREE newsletter and weekly articles.

Only you can decide what will work for you, your business and your customers. The most important thing to keep in mind is to continue offering the same quality products and services that you always have. Your membership site and membership marketing efforts should merely compliment your already successful business.

Support your online business with add-on services

If you have a great idea to earn passive income via an Internet business, but it’s not generating the kind of money you need right now to keep going, consider offering add on services to help you break through to the next level. You cannot make your business a success if you have a cash flow shortage. Most Internet businesses fail due to lack of cash flow, not lack of a great idea. To make passive income on the net it will take time. If you stick to it, with a good idea, you will succeed.

To avoid the pitfalls of low cash flow, consider once you’re in the marketing stage of your business adding on services that you can offer to others. You can market services directly to your current website visitors, or you can market services to other business owners with whom you network. The type of services you offer depend on your skills. Did you build your own website? Do you make your own graphics? How about content writing? Can you envision yourself doing any of these tasks for others in the short term? Are you willing to do it in order to generate the cash your business needs so that you can continue pushing your actual business towards profitability?

Doing side projects can generate a substantial amount of cash faster than you can generate money via passive income. Certainly, the fact of passive income generation is the goal. You can generate income from work you do today, tomorrow. But, you need money today to support that goal. The danger in offering services is forgetting to continue to work on your business and focusing only on providing services.

Some services you might consider providing are:

* Website or Blog Building or Customizing — If you know how to get around WordPress you can offer simple services to more advanced services.
* Graphic Design — Offer your services to create eBook covers, banners, buttons and simple graphics.
* Virtual Assistant Services — Offer administrative services to other online business owners. You can even offer VA services locally.
* Content Writing — If you’re good at writing keyword rich content based on someone else’s idea, you can offer this as a service to others.
* Social Media Marketing — If you like being on social media sites, you can offer social media marketing services to other business owners.
* Content Formatting & Posting — Don’t want to think much, but want to offer a service. Offer to format and post content for others. Posting content on article marketing sites, blogs, and websites can give you just the right amount of work. Kindle formatting is a highly needed service today.
* Niche Site Flipping — This is harder, but while you’re marketing your own site, why not use your creative juices to create other websites, get them to the marketing point, and sell them to someone else.
* Coaching or Consulting — Your business is successful but not generating the amount of money you want, why not coach or consult others to get to where you are? Just because you’re not generating tons of money doesn’t mean you can’t do this. You still know how to get to where you got. You can help others.

How to Become a StumbleUpon Superstar

When you’re first starting out on StumbleUpon, you might find yourself wondering how StumbleUpon Superstars end up with so many stumble buddies and fans. I asked one Superstumbler who defies all the established rules with his screaming neon web background and too-small, eye-straining text.

His answer was unexpected, to say the least: “I don’t have a secret. I just say what I want, and ignore all those ‘vote for my site’, ‘please stumble me’ messages I keep getting.”

In going through his site, however, it’s possible to glean the following things:

– His blog deals with a “hot” topic

– It’s been open for business since 2002, making him an authority veteran in this present day and age

– His blog titles are short, punchy and intriguing

– He never, ever sounds like he’s writing what he “should” be writing

– He finishes each post with a “call to action” (even if it’s not always an obvious one)

– He has a strong, individual “voice” with palpable authenticity

In other words, he’s no “extra” in the movie, trying to blend in with all the others. He’s the quirky, memorable character who catches your attention.

Now you may not feel up to sporting a pink Mohawk or riding around on a Harley with a pot-bellied pig, but there are definitely things you can do to avoid coming off as generic, bland or just plain annoying.

1. Never, ever post a stumble for the sake of posting something

2. Don’t post a blitz of stumbles at the same time every single day. (If you do have a rigid stumbling schedule, use to set your posts to be published spread out at different times).

3. Don’t friend people just for the sake of racking up followers. Make sure they’re really people you would consider hanging out with in real life.

4. Don’t even think of your blog or website as “a marketing tool” – even if marketing is your lifeblood. Think of it as your unique voice in the wilderness.

5. Don’t spam. If you churn out links to your new post every single day, only the fans you already have will check them out. The rest will quickly learn to tune out.

6. Don’t use profanity, pontificate or treat people impatiently when they comment.

Of course, my Superstumbling friend sums all this succinctly up with: “Don’t be an arrogant jerk”. He also points out: “Adding someone doesn’t mean you’re friends with them. It’s like being the new kid at a new school: If you try too hard, nobody likes you. If you just be yourself, there are those who’ll hate you and those who love you. If you’re not being an arrogant jerk and you pay attention to them, most people like you.”

I think he’s just about summed it up. To this I would perhaps: Don’t be shy to rate content you don’t find interesting with the “thumbs down” button. It’s an important part of refining your stumbles, so don’t rely solely on clicking your “thumbs up” button to make contact with relevant stumblers.

Always end your posts with a reminder for your reader to stumble your content, if he or she likes it. Don’t be shy!

And speaking of paying attention, you can glean the biggest tip of all from our Superstar’s Tagline…

“Artists are leaders, never followers.”