Get Free Stuff by Reviewing Products

Starting a product review website won’t have people clamoring for you to review their products, at least at first, but once you have a popular site believe it or not companies will want to give you their products and services free. That might sound wonderful, and it can be pretty awesome, but there is a price to pay for that “free” item.

High Expectations — The company or person who gives you their product or service to review, might expect to receive a good product review regardless how you really felt about the product or service. This puts you in a bad position from the start if you’re not upfront with the person giving you the product.

Poor Appearance — It can also make you look bad to your readers if they know you’re taking freebies from companies and individuals for whom you review products. Due to laws and regulations you have to disclose if you received any product or service free or at a discount before they read the product review, so yes, they will know. This might leave a bad taste in the mouth of those reading the reviews.

Tax issues — While everyone knows that every dollar you earn via your online endeavors is taxable, many people don’t realize that the value of the freebies they receive is also taxable. This can add up to quite a punch of out of pocket money at the end of the year if you’re not careful. Therefore, many of the free items, sometimes called swag, aren’t really free. You can thank the congress for removing this luxury from stars in 2006 when swag became taxable at fair market value. Much of the time you must pay taxes on these items especially if you receive a lot. The best course of action is to talk to your CPA about this situation. These items are not free and if you run a profitable review website where you receive a lot of freebies you will be found out.

Knowing these three issues involved with having a product review site what can you do? Well, knowing what you’re getting into helps. For the issue regarding expectations of companies and individuals when giving you a product to review you can require them to sign a statement that clarifies that you will give a true account of the product or service to the best of your ability that that no assumption of a good review is expected.

Posting a picture of the short statement before each product or service review where you were given the product or service free of charge will go a long way to not only create a sense of trust between you and your readers but also between the readers and the company. If the company is willing to sign a statement such as that, they must truly believe their product is great enough that they are not worried about a poor review.

Regarding taxes, be sure to consult with a tax professional because they will know best how to deal with these issues. Realizing that you also need to earn cash in addition to free items will help you determine what type of compensation you really deserve from companies and individuals who are expecting you to promote their products and services. Don’t under value your time and commitment to a product or service.

10 Mobile Seo Secrets

It was inevitable. Along with mobile websites, comes mobile website SEO. But is it really so different from “regular” SEO?

Here are 10 tips to help your mobile website soar in the Search Engines…

1. Top of the list – make sure you create a mobile Site Map. This piece of XML code is directly from Google Webmaster Central, and Google recommends that, for once, you avoid Sitemap Creation tools.

(Whatever you do, don’t omit the tag, or your mobile site won’t be crawled.

2. Each mobile Site Map must have a name that is unique – but “URLs serving multiple markup languages can be listed in a single Site Map”.

3. If you use the Google Sitemap Generator to create your Site Map with, Google cautions that you will “need to create a separate config file for each Mobile Sitemap.

4. Don’t use huge titles. “21 Tips for Turning your Hamster into a Money-Making Machine While Helping Him Lose Weight” is just not gonna cut it, for a mobile site. Think “short blog post headline, instead. Keep it really, really simple.

5. Don’t forget to submit it to Google webmasters, just as you would with a regular Site Map.

6. When it comes to mobile blogs, if you’ve set them up properly with the right plug-ins, SEO isn’t such a problem. But do remember that if you don’t submit your blogs and websites to mobile directories – you’ll be invisible. All the SEO in the world won’t be able to help you, if you don’t seem to exist!

7. Keep an eye on SEO, which reports all the latest SEO news from Google (specifically, from Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team. (Also check out the YouTube Google Webmaster Central channel for the latest SEO news.) Cutts is the guy with all the facts and figures: He reports more than 4 billion mobiles world-wide to only 1 billion PC’s. Says Cuts about the planned expansion of Google’s Search features: “…mobile is going to be a big part of it.” (Again – get in on the leading edge!)

8. Drive traffic to your mobile website with a YouTube video – with your mobile site URL and a call to action prominently displayed. If you’ve ever used Google’s mobile web index, it should strike you that most of the results are YouTube pages. This may not be a sure-fire SEO strategy for ever – but it sure seems to be working, right now!

9. Check out the W3C Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 page, at You’ll find out all sorts of helpful data, including “keep your pages under 21k” and tips for SEO

10. Meet Googlebot-Mobile, a very special bot that looks for “mobile-friendly” sites, and includes them in Google’s mobile web index. So far he hasn’t been doing a very good job – but then again, maybe countless people aren’t bothering with those all important Site Maps.

Googlebot-Squarepants, er, I mean “Mobile”, is a lot slower than other search bots, according to, taking about 2 weeks to complete a “rotation”.

When all is said and done, mobile SEO is still in its infancy. By all means follow the tips I’ve included here – but first and foremost, you need to concentrate on make your blog useful, interesting – and worth coming back to.

How Tracking Your Time Avoids The Time Suck

Time suckers cause anxiety for every business owner, but the time suckers that are the biggest problem are the ones you aren’t aware of. Innocent activities that you do out of habit can cause a lot of time suckage. Turning on your email, sending email and social media to your mobile phone, having an “open door” policy for employees, contractors and even kids can all lead to little minutes of time being stolen from you that can add up to several hours a week and in some cases several hours a day.

Therefore the secret to time-management success it not to manage your time but manage what you do with your time. After all, time is static. There is no way to actually increase the amount of time in a day. You’re stuck with what nature gave us. You can do a few things to feel like you have more time, such as delegate, outsource, plan and schedule your time strategically so that you can focus on your core income producing tasks most of the time.

You may have thought that starting your own business would alleviate punching a clock and tracking your time. Maybe you dreamed about suddenly taking the afternoon off and heading to the beach, or perhaps you simply thought having a business wouldn’t be so much like work. Then you found yourself overwhelmed with all this W.O.R.K. to do and you started feeling disillusioned about being a business owner. That’s when it hits, that you have to find the secret to time-management so that you can create not only success in your business, but success in your life.

Some time suckers that you may or may not be aware of and how to deal with them:

Social Media — While social media is a fabulous way to attract attention to your business it can also be a tremendous time sucker. It’s too easy to get side tracked in reading your family & friends updates and playing games for hours. Separate your work social media from your personal social media and schedule the time you will spend on social media. Use personal social media on personal time.

Email — Today we are so impatient that if someone doesn’t answer our email’s almost immediately it gives us anxiety. But, the truth is, it would be best to schedule when you will handle email, and if you can, outsource some of this task so you only see important emails. Deal with email the way you do with snail mail. Handle it once, read it, do what is needed, then file it away or delete it.

Mobile Technology — When you’re working, don’t have every email and social media update go directly to your mobile. Do have a way for people to reach you in true emergencies, which you have defined for them, but when you are working, ignore email, ignore your phone. You don’t have to be continuously connected to be successful. In fact, you shouldn’t be.

Non-income Tasks — Limit non income tasks until after you’ve completed the number of billable hours that you need to meet your financial needs. By focusing most of your time on income producing tasks you’ll find that some of the other things you thought were important, just aren’t.

Family & Friends — A lot of times if you’re a business owner your family and friends seem to not realize how busy you are and think you can just take off time any moment that you want to. It is important to be direct with both family and friends regarding the amount of time you have during business hours. Simply make a statement that if it’s not an emergency that you’ll have to get back with them, and set a time and follow through. Eventually they will learn that your business is important to you and to work around business hours.

Home Life — Millions of working moms and dads have trouble balancing their work and home life but it can be even more difficult when you are a small business owner. As the owner of your business, you do have more ability to be flexible with your time, but be realistic when you set up your working schedule and store hours if you have a bricks and mortar business.

Use Blog Posts to Inform Customers of Your Products & Services

Sometimes bloggers claim they have nothing to blog about, but the truth is you have a lot to write about. If you are promoting a product of your own, or someone else’s, or offering any type of service you have dozens apron dozens of blog posts you could be writing right now. You should be using your blog to inform your customers about your products and services whether they are yours only or you’re promoting them via an affiliate program.

Always be Marketing

Marketing is a process that is ongoing. You should always be marketing, even when you’re telling your audience a funny story about yourself and your kids. It’s a fine line for sure, but if you don’t blog about your products, services and ideas, who will? How will your audience know that these things exist to help them solve their problems? The single most effective form of marketing today is your blog.

Blog to Inform

On your blog you will attract your audience and encourage them to sign up for your email list. On your blog you will introduce your audience to the movers and shakers that you surround yourself with. On your blog you will inform your audience of solutions for their problems. On your blog you will promote your own and other people’s products and services because they are needed by your audience. You are doing a service for your audience, and because you’ve spent time developing trust, your audience will believe you when you explain why any particular product or service will help them.

Make it Easy

You don’t want your readers to have too many questions about how to buy. As soon as they want to buy you should ensure that they can buy. The link should say something like Buy Now. Don’t put something that doesn’t suggest that they are making a purchase because they won’t understand that this is how to buy if you say something that doesn’t mean buy. Purchase Now, Buy Now, Add to Cart. These are words that make sense. Plus, you don’t want to force the people who want to buy to give too much information. They want to buy right now, not in 20 minutes after filling out a long form.

Tell a Story

If you want to get your audience to buy your products, you need to talk about your products in your blog posts. Use personal stories, examples, and real life examples of how someone like them has used the product and service. You can write 10 reasons this product is perfect for you. 3 examples of how this product worked for so-and-so. You can even phrase it as a warning to your audience such as: Warning: Read this before you xyz.

You have to find a way to connect with your audience in a personal way in order to earn attention, build trust and make a profit. Tell the story of how and why you want to promote the product. Why this product is is good for your audience? How is your product different from someone else’s? Use your blog to explain and differentiate your products, services and ideas from your competition, and be clear in your calls to action.

Branding and Marketing with iPhone apps

A great way to make your mark and increase brand awareness is to create an iPhone app. If you do not have programming knowledge you can contract with a programmer via,, and other places online. Ensure that you use a legitimate website and service so that you won’t get ripped off, but there are many programmers who will create applications for you based on your specifications.

Once you figure out how you are going to create the app, then you need to decide whether to give the app away free, or whether you want to charge for the application. If you’ve created the app as a branding mechanism giving the app away free can help the app go farther to create brand awareness than if you sell it. But you can always offer two versions, one that offers a few benefits, free and an upgrade for a price. The important part is that the app is relevant to your target market, and effectively brands your products or services in a way that creates a desire to buy from you.

Once you create your app the other thing you have to do is market your iPhone app. With almost a half a million apps available for the iPhone (maybe more by the time you read this article) it’s important that your app stand out from the crowd. One way to do that is to offer it s a free incentive to sign up for your email list or as a bonus for purchase of another product. This can make potential customers more excited to buy from you.

Your app should match your brand with a matching icon with your logo and colors. The app itself should be something your target market would want to use. For instance if you offer life coaching your app could give your clients tips and incentives each day. If you’re a service provider your app could enable your clients to track your time spent on their projects remotely. With a little thought you can create an app that both represents your brand, encourages purchasing, as well as makes your clients and potential clients remember you every time they use the app.

Even if there is already an app out there that performs the same tasks as the one you’re offering, this is perfectly fine. If you’re a weight loss coach and want to provide a branded weight loss app for the iPhone to your clients, potential clients, or subscribers don’t let the competition for apps stop you. Your website visitors will likely want to use your app over the others. If you can come up with an application that helps your customers use your services remotely then your clients will appreciate it by using your services more.

Three reasons to add services to your Internet business

One of the top reasons online startups fail is a lack of cash. There is no reason for that to happen in the realm of online businesses. If you are smart enough to build a business, you’re smart enough to keep things afloat until you start earning a real living at the business. Many people do extra things while supporting a start up business such as waitressing, babysitting, house cleaning and other such activities. This is called “bootstrapping it.” There is no reason why you need to get that dirty though, but you can add services to your online business in order to make the cash you need.

Three reasons for adding services to your Internet business are:

1. You need cash — This is the number one reason to offer services to others while you work on your Internet business. You need cash, so you offer a service. If you know how to do graphic design, writing, accounting, tech support, whatever type of service you know how to do, you can offer it as a service. Services are the fastest way to get cash on the Internet, therefore if you want cash fast, find a service that you can offer and you’ll start earning money that you can use for your business.

2. You’ve been asked — If anyone has ever asked you if you offer a service, you have a choice to make. Do the service for the fast cash, or don’t do it. But, if you do it, you’ll just make your business that much more successful in the long run because helping others succeed is wonderful motivation for yourself. Plus, believe it or not, you learn so much working with others that is valuable in your own business as well.

3. You’re an expert — As an online business expert you have a lot to offer. You can offer consulting services to other people who wish to either start a new business online, or expand their current bricks and mortar business to the Internet world. You’re already doing it, so there is no reason why you can’t offer your expertise to others for a fee. You already have an online presence, why not use it to make quick money right now while you wait for the hard work to pay off down the line?

By leveraging your skills to provide services to others, you can create cash now, that you can use for living expenses, or put right back into your business, creating a situation where your Internet business starts succeeding even faster than it did before you had more money to invest in your business. All businesses need money to survive, including an Internet business. The fastest way to earn that money is via a service.

One word of caution — The money can be very good when offering a service, but the work can be draining, and you might suffer from burn out. Therefore, do not be turned from your main business idea by the thrill of seeing money appear in your PayPal account, because trading hours for dollars is limited because time is limited. Keep your focus on the goal. Providing services to support your business can pay off in more than one way.

Affiliate Marketing Creating Your Own Products

Most affiliate marketers eventually decide to create their own products. Believe it not it’s not that hard to create good information products for your target market. Once you get a good following your market will start asking your advice about issues, and soon it will become clear what products or services are needed for your target market. The only thing you will need to do is create the informational product, software that solves a problem, or other product that fills the needs of your market.

The simplest product to start with is an information product or an eBook. You can write it yourself or you can hire a writer to write something based on your outline and concept. If you hire someone either edit it yourself or hire an editor to ensure that the information is accurate and well written. Also always check everything you buy from a ghost writer for plagiarism. You can use programs such as and also to check that the work is original.

In addition to having the book written you’ll need to invest in graphics for inside the book, and a three dimensional book cover that will work hard to sell your eBook. Spare no expense making your product look as good as it possibly can. Choose graphic artists who are good at their craft and not just the least expensive and you’ll be the most happy about

Next you’ll need to invest in some kind of shopping cart that handles affiliate sales, or you can use a service like ClickBank instead, or both. You’ll have to look at the pros and cons of each service to decide what you want to do about that. If you plan to have many products it can be more than worth it to use a shopping cart system that is an all in one shopping cart with an affiliate marketing module.

After you’ve created the product, you’ll need to not only promote your new product, but also promote your affiliate program. In order to do this you may consider offering your new product to some well-known affiliate marketers free so that they can review it and possibly recommend the product. In addition use every marketing channel at your fingertips including: Article Marketing, Blogging, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click.

Once you have some testimonials create a great sales page, great banner ads, and unique and relevant content, and then market this product the same as you would if you were promoting someone else’s product. You can put your product on several different affiliate networks aside from your own. The more affiliates you have promoting your product for you the more money you will earn.

Hopefully you’ve built up your email list with trusting ready-made hungry audience ready to buy your new information product. Learn all you can about product promotions, marketing funnels, and affiliate marketing and you’ll be very successful with your own product creation. Once you have an army of affiliates behind you, your business will practically be on auto pilot. You won’t have to work as hard but right now you will have to work maybe harder than you’ve ever worked before getting your affiliate marketing business off the ground. Nothing will be more satisfying for you than creating, promoting, and earning money off a product you created yourself.

The Importance of SEO in Niche Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical piece to the niche marketing puzzle. If you don’t tackle SEO head on, you will get lost in the crowd.

SEO is basically the process of helping search engines (i.e. Google) not only recognize and find your site, but also list and rank your site content. The purpose of this process is to ensure internet searchers see your website in the (hopefully) first, if not first couple of pages of results when performing a search related to your niche.

When you set up your niche marketing website, you will want to first create a list of keywords that are relevant to your target market. For example, if your niche is vegan dinner dishes, your keywords might include “vegan”, “vegan dinner”, “vegan dinner recipes”, “vegan dinner dishes”, and “vegan recipes”.

However, you will want to be careful not to make your list too long because you can only realistically top so many keywords. With SEO, it is critical to focus.

Once you have a set list of keywords (preferably anywhere from 5 to 10 should suffice_ you then must include these words within your site content, your site headings, footers, site page titles, meta tags and anywhere you deem appropriate. You want to weave these keywords into your messaging as much as possible in a casual way that allows for maximum optimization but still makes sense to your readers.

SEO is all about strategy, so take your time when deciding how to approach your niche market. This isn’t something to take a shot in the dark with. You will want to put careful planning into your SEO efforts as they will drive traffic to your site, and ultimately, drive your business.

Viral Marketing and Pre-Launching Your Information Product

Viral marketing is one of the least expensive forms of marketing. It can also be one of the most effective means of marketing an information product even in the pre-launch state. Viral marketing is a type of marketing which has replaced the older style word of mouth marketing strategies. Viral marketing is essentially the same thing but the difference is merely the manner in which the message is passed.

With viral marketing, the delivery method is by internet rather than traditional word of mouth. There are a number of means by which this can occur. The basis however is the same, information being passed on from person to person. This can be done through links, emails, blogs, videos and podcasts.

Social networks are one of the first places to start when looking into the benefits of viral marketing for your pre-launch. Video networking sites are an extension and specialization of these social networks and if you are using video it is recommended that these sites be considered as well. Social networking sites work based on finding friends or building a list of friends based off common interests.

The interests become keywords and can help individuals to find people that have similar interests. The same goes for businesses. Businesses can make use of these social networks by getting in contact with their customers and supplying information on new products and services to them.

These customers each have a network of people they are friends with, and it is through this list that the information is passed on to the network. Each person in that network also has a network and so on. This is how the message is passed from person to person.

The same goes for videos. When tagging a video on a video network site it is important to know the types of tags or keywords used by people who are searching the sites. A little research is in order to find out this information. Once you have it and tag your video appropriately, anyone looking for information or videos on those keywords will pull up your video.

Videos are often sorted by most recent addition or most closely related to the keyword. This means you have a good chance of getting a great deal of exposure if you tag properly. Advertising using the link to the video or embedding the video in a blog is another great way to gain exposure for both the product and your blog.

Your blog ties in with all these forms of social networking and video networking through links. By putting teasers such as “For more Information…” you can easily encourage people to click and find out more about the information product you are getting ready to launch. The more exposure you create for your info products in their pre-launch phase, the more successful that product is once it launches. The great thing about viral marketing is the fact that it does not cost anything to implement. You simply post and allow it to spread.

Mini Sites and Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, should be a top priority for any website. Even those that have thousands of pages should have each page optimized for targeted keywords in order to get the best possible search engine rankings. This opens the door for much more traffic.

But what about mini sites? Can they compete with those huge sites from an SEO perspective? Well, they certainly won’t have as many pages listed in search results, because they don’t have as many pages. But yes, they can fare well in the search engines.

Mini sites have an important advantage over those gargantuan sites. They are targeted toward a very specific niche. That means that they can target keywords the more specific keywords that bigger sites tend to overlook. These keywords may not have an astronomical search volume, but they are subject to much less competition. That means that it’s easier to rank highly for them.

But finding the perfect keywords is only the beginning of your SEO adventure. The next step is including them in your web pages in a way that will cause the search engines to take notice. There is no surefire formula for a number one ranking, but there are techniques that will give you an edge over the competition. Here are a few pointers:

Include your most important keyword phrase in the page’s title. If possible, put it at the very beginning of your title. The title tag has become a favorite of the search engines, so use it to your advantage.
Write a keyword-rich description for your description tag. This tag doesn’t carry as much weight as it once did with the big search engines due to abuse, but it’s worth paying some attention to it.
Use your keywords in headings. The search engines see this as a sign that your content is in fact related to the keywords you’re using.
Include keywords in alt tags to describe your graphics. Search engines do pay attention to this.
Sprinkle your keywords throughout the page’s text, but make sure you do so in a natural and logical way. Including your keywords in your content is important, but overuse of a given keyword could result in penalties.

Since mini sites are so small, good SEO is essential to their success. Finding the right keywords and using them in the right way will result in targeted traffic. And if your mini site is doing its job, that traffic will translate into sales.