Author Archives: Darryl

How to Make a Free Website – With Weebly

Recently I have been asked how anyone can make a custom website for free. There are many suppliers of this kind of service, but one of my favourites is ‘Weebly’. They were my stepping stone to learning WordPress, so I guess I owe them that.

The use that has helped me the most is when I was starting out with zero budget. Needing a ‘disposable’ but good site for a bit of credibility was all I wanted. So for building a quick site to use for showing the likes of AdSense, Amazon and Bing Ads that you are serious about your marketing efforts these are ideal.

The content that I used was quick articles I wrote anywhere between 300 and 1000 words to fit the niche I was targeting. No great encyclopaedic content is needed, just enough to show that you are interested in what you are talking about. Add a video as an explainer or tutorial and you are done.

Each site only needs three or four pages and that is your job done. The tutorial below explains what to do better than I ever could, so please go for it and enjoy.

 

 

PS I am still using and making money from my first sites I set up so they are not to be ignored!

5 Reasons Why You Should Go For PPC

When I first started out in my IM ‘career’, the thought of actually paying for traffic horrified me. The stories of making a bundle of money using free organic traffic hooked me in a big way. My reasoning was: why pay for something I can get for free? Some years later and a whole lot wiser, I woke up and smelt my empty bank balance.

Why PPC?

One of the effective marketing tools in the market today is Pay-per-Click (PPC). This can drive massive traffic instantly and on demand to any website for much higher sales and thus, profit. However, a low understanding of PPC would cause low returns on investment while a strong knowledge and application could drive up profits in a short marketing period. Straight forward common sense so far!

PPC can generate high returns on low investments as payment is only made when the prospects click on the ads. A solid grasp of PPC will help you get an optimal return in a short time frame.

The following 5 reasons are just some that I can think of as to why you should think very seriously about getting into Pay Per Click advertising.

Reason 1 – Flexible budget

The investment cost of PPC marketing can be very low depending on the marketer. A good understanding of PPC programs would enable the marketer to determine the size of its marketing budget for different marketing campaigns especially if different strategies are in the pipeline.

An Internet marketer may choose the amount of advertising to be indulged in on a daily basis and the length of run for each ad campaign to control the advertising budget. This allows the marketer to exercise a good control over the advertising budget without exceeding the stipulated quantum for the expected returns.

Small budgets would lead on to generate smaller returns which could be re-invested to garner higher returns over time with patience.

Reason 2 – Simple and Immediate

 Another good reason for implementing PPC marketing is its simplicity in setup and implementation. You can setup a PPC account easily without professional assistance with an immediate application process to enjoy good returns in a relatively quick time.

The process is easy and quick with simple setup instructions available in opening an account for PPC marketing activities. The Internet offers a wide array of tips and guides from opening an account to the implementation of effective campaigns to enjoy good results. Instant market visibility is achieved with a PPC account and a ready-to-go marketing campaign. The long establishment of PPC marketing is very helpful to motivate new PPC marketers in embarking in this first and important step to enjoy future outcomes. Little else is required to get the campaign going once the PPC account is established with a good marketing campaign formulated.

Reason 3 – Targeted Audience

PPC marketing is attractive because it is easy to attract the right type of business prospects. The well setup PPC account and website offer a quick view of the products for a quick click on the link. This simple action would generate the wanted traffic for the marketer and improve their return on investment that this brings.

When your landing page is well designed with the right marketing campaign implemented, the right audience would be attracted to generate the desired clicks on the link. These are potential buyers who are likely to make purchases or activate the desired services offered in the case of CPA network promotions. Hence, a well-planned PPC marketing campaign is necessary to captivate the niche market based on the products or services promoted.

Different products and services promoted at different seasons may generate different marketing campaigns to target at the right consumer crowd. This would avoid a waste of resources, cost and effort by the marketer to achieve their marketing goals and objectives.

Targeted audience in PPC marketing can be easily identified from the available tools in the system. The right keywords used in specific geographic locations can draw the right buyers. These perimeters could be easily changed to attract different crowds in different demographics using similar marketing plans and strategies.

There are more savings generated when the marketer targets the right audience in each of their marketing campaigns to ensure viable leads are generated. This would help reduce wasting of resources, time and effort for the marketer and business.

Reason 4 – Manageable Marketing Campaigns

There is no reason to fail with PPC marketing approaches as this marketing tool offers great flexibility and dynamism in its marketing endeavors to make every marketing campaign a success. The marketer has full control over the marketing campaign to direct the flow of targeted audience and promotions.

It is possible to start, modify, pause or stop a marketing campaign using a few simple clicks in a few minutes. This is crucial for marketers who are alert to the volatile market where changes can happen at any time. Marketers who exercise a good management of their PPC marketing campaigns would enjoy more savings and higher profits with lower losses without wasting time and resources.

As there are no hard and fast contracts to bind the marketer, a PPC marketing campaign can be most effective with slight changes according to the market demand. An immediate tweaking of the marketing campaign can prove to be most beneficial to the marketer and business with this feature.

Reason 5 – Performance Tracking

PPC marketers enjoy manipulating PPC programs as they offer easy-to-track facilities on all their marketing campaigns. Real-time statistics can be generated immediately to show how the ads are performing with click-through rates. This is necessary as high advertising costs are incurred and the best of ROI must be secured.

Real-time tracking of ad campaigns serve to benefit the business as a poor performance calls for an immediate pause in the campaign to avoid further losses. Marketing campaigns must be taken back to the drawing board to be fine-tuned and released to recoup lost time and profits.

The provision of performance tracking of PPC marketing campaigns makes the advertising facility more versatile to benefit the business.

Conclusion

That is five things that should show you that PPC is a great way to get traffic. The return on investment is really good if you start slow and follow a blueprint. My first campaign cost me under $10 to start and has given my 700 opt ins in 4 weeks and two sales – on auto pilot. I have not started marketing to them, but built up trust and a rapport with them. This week comes the pitches and we will see how we perform from just one small campaign which cost me little to set up and run.

10 Great Affiliate Networks

For my money, affiliate marketing is and always will be a hot topic on the business scene, with a growing number of options available to us as marketers. The market offers a host of well-established affiliate networks to get more customers into online marketing as a main source of income generation.

Choosing Affiliate Networks

We all acknowledge that the key element in a successful affiliate marketing program is to join a reputable affiliate network that can provide the best of products or services to be marketed as well as a strong support for the marketer to call on when in need.

Below is a list of 10 great affiliate networks, which if you have not already, you may consider joining as long as you do your due diligence on the preferred affiliate network. It is not necessary to join multiple networks, although many ambitious and more experienced marketers join the lot to give a better niche selection.

It is possible to acquire 7-8 figure incomes with multiple affiliate networks as long as they are able to manage all of your websites and marketing. Multiple affiliate networks allow you to raise the success level and thus income higher on a shorter time frame with the long list of items or tasks to be promoted. This goes without saying, but beware of overloading yourself as I did when starting out. I tried to do too much and failed miserably until I focused on just one thing.

10 Great Choices

1) Clickbank.com

This is a very popular affiliate networking platform with a long list of sale-able products and promotional services for new and experienced affiliate marketers. Clickbank accepts all members easily with a good management structure. It is well established in the marketplace with a high reputation in its industry.

2) Plimus.com 

This affiliate networking portal is very similar to Clickbank with its quick and easy acceptance of members and wide variety of offers. A successful account setup leads to an appointment of a live and experienced account representative who guides the affiliate marketer through on using the portal.

There is no coercion to make purchases of marketing guides and tools.

3) Markethealth.com 

This is an ideal platform for those who are interested in promoting physical health products. A lot of wellbeing niches with attractive payouts can be secured from this affiliate marketing platform. A quick acceptance would get the new affiliate marketer going on the market to generate extra income.

The main attraction of Markethealth.com is the high payout on single products that generate high income.  The use of PayPal decreases waiting time for payment.

4) Linkshare.com 

Linkshare offers super easy acceptance with great tracking measure on hops and conversions. However, lower market commission rates are offered as merchants are required to pay for the services.

Payments tend to be slow, although many top level companies join as merchants. This is the primary selling point of this platform where the marketer can tap on the market reputation of these big corporations to boost their affiliate marketing endeavors.

Many useful tutorials are available with effective development tools for the affiliate marketer to improve marketing and sales. A friendly development team is available on hand to answer marketing issues.

5) As Seen on PC 

A website would be required for you to be accepted by this affiliate network. It offers physical products as well as services with fair rate commissions. This is an excellent platform choice for those wanting a wide array of products to sell or up-sell via newsletter sequence.

6) Commission Junction 

Commissions offered are very varied depending on products and seasons as well as participating merchants. The huge variety of products works well for seasoned marketers, although newbies may need some wisdom to avoid bad offers. As an older network, the site is not very user friendly for a quick navigation.

7) Share a Sale 

This may be a smaller network, but it is fast gaining market acceptance with attractive commissions. It offers a simple join up process with a small time investment to get started.

Its tracking process is excellent with a strict monitoring over inconspicuous rebilling structures or potentially unethical practices that may bring complaints to its marketers or their system. There are no software offers or skimpy products as most products available are high quality items to be promoted.

8) Never Blue Ads 

This affiliate network is a little more selective in signing up marketers. Experienced affiliate marketers are preferred to build further on a successful affiliate marketing business with Never Blue Ads network. Hence, marketers should have a Clickbank account prior to signing up for Never Blue Ads to ensure a quick and fast startup.

9) Azoogle 

This affiliate network prefers higher level marketers on its team, although it has experienced and friendly managers to serve the marketers. Azoogle offers fun little programs in its affiliate offerings with a mix of contests for extra earnings.

This well established affiliate network is skilled in treating their affiliates, customers and vendors to keep them happy and satisfied between sales. It has a wide range of products to offer that entices many marketers to its platform.

10) Affiliate.com 

This affiliate network expects skilled marketers who can jump on board and steer the ship out of the harbor, although the variety of products and offerings may be lesser than other networks. More Cost-Per-Action offers are available, but a successful stint here can generate a handsome income as this affiliate pays well.

Strong support is offered to affiliates in succeeding in this business program, although high standards are set and adhered to. Great rewards abound for those who meet the platform’s performance criteria. Strict vetting of applicants is exercised with a personal notification upon a successful scanning.

Conclusion

There are hundreds of affiliate networks in the market today with more cropping on every day as advanced technologies open the floodgate in this arena. The rising demand of affiliate marketers also increases the rapid expansion of affiliate marketing programs on the Internet. There are plenty of review sites to check and compare the affiliate networks and participating merchants to ensure a wise choice before indulging in one or more of these online business ventures. It is up to the affiliate marketer to make the final decision of affiliate network to venture into.

7 Places to Find Images You Can Legally Use On Your Blog

Recently  I have been asked about images and where you can source them to legally use without being sued. This is of growing concern as some photographers have been exploiting the unknowing and using ‘fee bait’ photos to trap the unwary into paying crippling costs once they publish online.

With this sad scenario in mind, I dug this lot up.

If you are looking for images you can legally use on your blog, there are things you need to remember. When you grab images off of the web, you need to focus on content that is already in the public domain. It can also be royalty-free, or may have a Creative Commons license. All of these situations indicate images and pictures you can freely use on your website or blog. But how do you find them? Check out these 7 websites that list images and pictures you can legally use on your blog.

1. Google – http://www.google.com/imghp

The Big G. At images.google.com, type in your search term. When the images are displayed, click on “Search tools” and then “usage rights”. You will then see a drop-down list of different usage rights. Choose the one that is most applicable to your situation and you instantly harness the power of the world’s biggest image searching engine!

However, this method comes with a big warning!! Some people think it’s OK to just Google images and use whatever they like. That is not OK. Images are copyrighted, so you need to ensure yoy have the legal rights to use them. This is why you must select the correct type of usage rights for your search, and then double check the usage rights of any image you want to use by clicking through the Google result to look at the website that first published the image.

If you’re in any doubt, use the sources below instead!

2. Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons

At Flickr.com/creativecommons there are tens of millions of images which have been given the Attribution License. This means you may “copy, distribute and display” any images you find, as long as you give the image creator credit. And a Noncommercial License means you can copy, distribute and display those images, but for noncommercial purposes only. (This means you could use those types of images in an informational blog post where you are not selling anything.)

3. Pixabay – http://pixabay.com/

This site is popular with bloggers everywhere. That is because most of the images listed here can be used without having to give tribute to the source. Sign-up is free, and you also receive access to a growing list of vectors and art illustrations. Pixabay.com is where you need to go.

4 . Free Photos Bank – http://freephotosbank.com/

Freephotosbank.com is quickly becoming a popular resource for photographs on the web. Categories are broken down extensively, and you can even download and use photos without logging into an account.

5. Morgue File – http://www.morguefile.com/

While it may sound like something out of a horror movie, Morguefile.com is actually a great place for stock photos and free images. The photographs have been freely contributed, and the site asks that you credit the photographer whenever possible.

6. Public Domain Pictures – http://publicdomainpictures.net/

This is another image providing site that is rapidly growing. Free public domain images can be used on your blog or website, and there are premium images also offered for a fee. Publicdomainpictures.net is where you head.

7. Stock Vault – http://www.stockvault.net/

Stockvault.net has more than 70,000 members, all contributing free and paid images and photographs. You do not even have to sign up for an account. Image files, graphics and photographs for use on your website or blog can be found here. (Personal and noncommercial use only).

 

I hope that this helps, but as always, check, check, and check again.

The Importance Of WordPress Website Security

WordPress as we all are now aware is undoubtedly the most popular blogging platform at the moment, with millions of users all around the world. However, this popularity comes with a downside: the more prominent and visible a platform is, the more likely it is to be subjected to all sorts of attacks throughout the years.

While WordPress has already taken a lot of security measures and safety precautions, in the end it is the duty of every user to install the right plugins and to update the WordPress installation and website security. 

Only a Secure Website Can Protect You from Brute Force Attackers

As a blogger, you certainly care a lot about your content and your daily visitors, who are passionate about your work and who would be devastated to see that your site has been taken over by an unwelcome visitor. Not only can this lead to the loss of your readers, followers and fans, but it can also lead to the loss of a valuable income source, as many people rely on their site to make them money.

If you have monetized your website as well, then you have one more reason to worry about the security of your website. It often happens that these hackers target login details, this is why people with very weak or predictable passwords are commonly the most targeted ones. (Is your login username ‘admin’?)

Keeping your WordPress website safe and secure is an aspect of utmost importance not only for your readers and followers, but also for maintaining the reputation of your business, if you use the website to promote a service or a business.

A hacker attack can wreak havoc on the reliability and trustworthiness of a site, and while the online environment can make or break your company – it goes both ways. You can prevent an unpleasant reputation that can have severe long-term consequences by simply updating the security system of your website. 

Fortunately, there are many powerful and effortless website security tools, patches and plugins that you can use in order to get the peace of mind you need, knowing that your identity, your blog posts and the private information of your subscribers or commenters (such as their e-mail address) is safe and sound.

If a hacker detects a flaw or a breach in your site, he can easily exploit it in order to get the control and then send spam messages to all the e-mails if your subscribers. Recovering from such an attack can take hours or even weeks, time during which you lose the attention and the confidence your readers have entrusted you with. 

One plugin which was recently recommended to me after my private little invasion is one called Word Fence Security. There is a free version as well as a premium one. I have started to use the free one which I am very satisfied with. The first day I had installed it, it alerted me that one of my installations was under attack and had blocked the IP address from any further ‘visits’.

Unfortunately, cyber-attacks often turn into a vicious circle, as taking over your WordPress site is the best case scenario – in some cases, the attacker may even install malicious malware on your computer and the computer of your visitors to steal their personal data, which is a crime and will be prosecuted as such. 

The consequences of having your website hacked by a professional are many – sensitive information is at great risk, you risk to spread viruses and malware to everybody who access the website, or your website may become temporarily or permanently banned by Google (as has now happened to me on 17 sites), which basically means that your traffic will drop significantly and you will have to start a new blog from scratch, as restoring the reputation, credibility and overall ranking and quality of a hacked website is very difficult. (Goodbye Ad-sense earnings).

In addition to the fact that a hacker attack poses a massive threat to the safety and online security of your readers, this can also damage your website ranking, thus lowering the position of your website in the SERP, or the Search Engine Results Page. 

Every responsible blogger who uses WordPress should be well-aware of the fact that the Internet has never been, and will never be a 100% safe place. Massive progress has been made to make the online environment a safer space for all users, yet individuals must take safety precautions as well. There is no reason why you should not consider consolidating the security system of your WordPress website, as this will never negatively impact the performance of your blog. 

Besides this, a proper security system will constantly scan for threats and block any and all the malicious and potentially harmful targets, it will help you create the best login details and will detect any suspicious file modification, as it takes place in real-time.

Another way that people are taking advantage of bloggers is when we use a particular type of installation. In another article I will address the best methods of installing WordPress which leaves you less vulnerable. In the end, better be safe than sorry as I well know!

 

Backup Your WordPress Website for the Worst Case Scenario

After a few painstaking months, your WordPress Website is up and running with perfect CSS and proper commenting system. All the hours and effort you did optimizing the website and trying to maintain your search engine rank has finally paid off and you are now starting to reap the benefits of all your hard work. Then one morning, as you logged in to your WordPress Admin Panel, you discover that you’re locked out. You try again and you still can’t log-in. You check the website and your worst fears have been confirmed: your website has been hacked.

What Can You Do?

There are many things that you can do to try to resolve this problem; depending on the cause and severity of the security breach, the actions you can take will vary as well. The results will vary as well. Some might get their account back immediately and go on as if nothing happened while others will have to totally redo everything from the start as their page rank has been affected and their users have shifted out. Sometimes, it really does pay to be pessimistic about things since you will be prepared for the worst case scenario anytime. You can prepare yourself for anything that might happen to your website by constantly making a backup.

Everything Goes Wrong

Murphy’s law states that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Once things start going downhill, we all think in hindsight that we should’ve done this, or probably avoided that. Sometimes you’ll wish that there was simply a rewind button and do everything all over again. Fortunately, for websites, there really is such a time machine. Backups are a saved state of your website. All your content, data, and information can be stored as is. It’s like a slice of frozen time for your website wherein you can go back to. If your website is hacked, you can minimize the damage done by reverting your whole website back to a previous backup. In most cases, this will solve the problem; although there are probably still some things to do to make sure that everything is okay.

Backup, backup, backup

Depending on your service provider’s policy, backup policies differ. That is why it is important to choose a company that does backups often as compared to companies that does it less frequently. Depending on how often your website content changes, you’d have to contact your service provider or web designer. 

So how often do you really need to backup your website? It really depends on the type of content you have for your WordPress site. For static websites that only contain texts and images, then a weekly or even monthly backup will do. However, if you are catering to an ever changing content such as a blog or online shop, then you would have to backup your date more frequently. Ideally, you’d want to backup every time there is new content on your website which could be daily, hourly, or even every fifteen minutes.

How Do I Backup My Data

If you are a bit tech-savvy and has some technical know-how, then backing your wordpress site is quite simple. First, you will need the access codes to your website and an FTP client. You will need this to download your files. Then you just need to open up your website from the FTP client and download all of your content to your hard disk. Remember that your service provider will also provide a backup of their own but it is far safer to make your own backup as well just in case something happens to data on their end such as server problems and whatnot.

Of course, if all of these sounds to technical to you, then you can ask your web designer and server guy to do it for you. It’ll be a different service and you’ll probably have to pay for it separately, but it’s well worth it if you consider the possible worst case scenario.

In most cases, hackers usually attack a website for two reasons: they are simply doing it for the fun of it or they are specifically targeting the information that you have inside your website. Whichever reason your website was attacked, you can mostly wave it all away by simply restoring your backup.

I have just returned one of my hosting accounts to productivity. Will this happen to you? I hope not, so please take precautions now.

The End of The Quickstart Challenge 2014

The end of The Kick-start Challenge 2014 last week was a climax that a lot of the participants were obviously not keen to have happen.

 

There is no doubt that there are lot of people who took part that feel that there was so much packed into the short course that it seemed over before it began. A lot of action was taken into the few short weeks that the Challenge ran, and many put themselves way out of their comfort zones.

 

Stiff formal videos were shot, brief as they were. Blogs were set up with dysfunctional pages. Scant regard was given to content length or quality in some cases. So what? The main thing is that it was done. This remarkable accomplishment in such a short time is more than a lot of people have done in years of trying.

 

Good for us. That is what this was all about, getting started. There is plenty of time to improve and perfect, not just say that ‘we did that and now it is over we can slip back into old ways’. The days of buying endless non money making blueprints should now be over.

 

Getting the Kick-start that we paid for should have shown all that there is a lot more to making money on line that forum surfing and buying rehashed crap. Yes I used that word for what it is.

 

The organizers are to be praised for the value they gave and their ability to get a few hundred people motivated enough to get off their collective seats and do something to build a presence however shaky it seems. Yes motivation and inspiration. Now it is to continue.

 

Many of the participants were not able to participate in the more advanced course that was offered as continuity at the end of the fourth session. The amounts asked for were just a bit too prohibitive to people like me, but for those who can avail themselves of the up-sell, good luck and may you prosper. I am certain that under the wise guidance of those involved you will excel and we will watch your stars rise.

 

For those like me who did not have the ability to upgrade, take heart, you have the keys at your disposal now to create something for yourselves. Just do it.

What Challenges You Now?

Every now and then a challenge comes along which you take. Whatever the reasons that you start the challenge are, you are determined that you have accepted, so will conclude the task at hand.

This is the way I have felt given my latest challenge which is where this blog/website finds me now. Nearing the end of what has been a serious if not too arduous series of tasks.

In life, I have discovered a lot of things are sent to try my patience, endurance, or just sanity. This has to have been one of these. Possibly all three I guess.

Whilst at school

 

Whilst at school we were forced to run cross-country which we were instructed was really good for us and would stand us in good stead in later life. I did not believe it then, and do not to this day believe it, which is why I vowed that I would not  run cross country after school. I did not intentionally do so except on one occasion when an angry baboon…but that was back in Africa and a long time ago.

What I am getting to is that there are some things which we do when we are instructed to whether we want to or not. For me this was operating in the front of a camera instead of behind one.

Now I know for sure which way my internet marketing is going to go. And that sure is not in front of the camera! I do not mind doing tutorials and boring people to death with my voice, but that is where it ends. A face for radio and a voice for pdf!

So a great thing has been accomplished

So a great thing has been accomplished on the challenge. I have defined myself and my future as I wish to continue.

When watching great Internet Marketers at work, I am in awe of their ability to hold an audience in the palm of their hand and guide them as they will. If you have watched Chris Farrell, he is really brilliant at getting you to follow what he says.  Annunciation is clear and you can visualize what he means almost immediately.

Alex Jeffrey’s is another who can hold attention and orate for two days without needing to stop or seem tired. How on earth he developed that skill I will never know. In 2013 I watched over two days one weekend when he did just that. I am not in that league and nor do I aspire to be as I now know that that is not where my leanings are and that is for sure.

 

What has struck me strongly

What has struck me strongly is that I have learnt so much over the years which I now take for granted. This seems to me to be the logic take up point for my direction. It would be difficult to say how much it has cost to get to where I have, but where am I really?

What can I share and show that for me is second nature and is now easy to do? What will I be able to do from now to help others as I have been helped?

What you you want?Please share in the comment box and get my great freebie in my sign up page. Written’ produced and sponsored by me! My first ever ‘self done’ product. Its not pretty, but its functional. Also has a laugh in it too! Enjoy

 

How To Upload a pdf Document Into Your WordPress Site For Downloading

A  number of people were asking how this is done, so here is a short tutorial.

Apologies for the sound recording quality, but I have acquired a new headset so am still experimenting with the quality and volume levels.

Open your backend of your WordPress installation.
Go to Media >> Add New
In the open area presented, either drop and drag the pdf file (or you can load a compressed .zip file).
>>Or you can select>>search file>>double click on it>>job done.

Once uploaded, hit the blue ‘Edit’ and copy the file URL as shown in the video.
This is the Url that ‘Aweber’ or ‘Getresponse’ requires as the ‘download link’.

If you are not sure, ask a question below in the comments and I will get back to you
Or if you enjoyed this, please leave a comment below too.

Thank you.