Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Email Etiquette

For most people who have access to personal computers, email has rapidly overtaken ‘snail mail’ as the preferred means of sending written communication, both business and personal. The near-immediate delivery and low cost of email are hard to beat, but the technology does have limitations when it comes to typographic finesse. Here are some dos and don’ts to ensure that your electronic communication is received with its message intact.

Fonts and Formatting
It’s tempting to format outgoing email with different fonts, point sizes and colors, and to punch up your text with the use of italics and boldface. Unfortunately, what you send is not necessarily what your recipient gets. Some email programs don’t read special formatting, including fonts that your reader’s computer doesn’t have. And many allow the user to set preferences for plain text instead of rich text, which includes styling. The result: your carefully formatted email is reduced to plain text, or worse, littered with ‘alien’ characters (more on that below).

What’s the solution? First, stick to system fonts, such as Arial, Times, Verdana, Trebuchet or Geneva, which virtually all users have. And, unless you’re certain that the recipient can read your formatting, keep it simple and use only keyboard characters and styling that won’t get lost in translation. For emphasis, try surrounding your important text with *asterisks*. ALL CAPS is another option, but one to be used sparingly. Remember that CAPS are considered SHOUTING in the cyberworld!

Article directories

Article directories have a big job—every day, thousands of authors and want-to-be authors submit their articles to these directories. These authors aren’t seeking payment, but rather a link back to their site, exposure for themselves as writers and for their websites. It’s a scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours society. Many of the articles that are submitted to these directories are not articles at all, but rather blurbs of nothingness with little content and usually lacking readability. The revenue from Adsense for the article directory Web sites can be substantial, but only if they have quality articles posted on their site and if they can get it up quickly.

There is of course Spam to these article directory Web sites as well—repeat articles submitted one after another or copied-and-pasted content that has been plagiarized from the Internet and another author. This Spam and plagiarism scam is the bane of article directories and the editors that run them.

Article directories are looking for articles—if your article hasn’t been accepted, it’s likely for a good cause. The articles that should be submitted to an article directory should reflect your best work—remember, you are putting your name and your link to your Web site on the work, and the people who are looking at it could want to commission you to do more work for them.

The articles themselves should be clear and concise, error free and well-written. Don’t get verbose on the bane of your own existence or the antics of your dog—save these rants for your blog and keep them off the article directory sites. Your article should be lengthy, at least 400 words and definitely not less than 250 words. Anything less than this suggests a lack of thought by the author and a cheap attempt to get their name in lights with a link-back to their site without sharing anything meaningful.

It is also important to note that adult material, gambling and pharmacy content are against the terms of service of Google Adsense. Editors at article directories are careful to delete these types of articles that are submitted so as to not lose their Google Adsense account and revenues.

All in all, it is highly important to output quality articles that are informative and well-written. These types of articles are much more likely to get through onto the article directory. Avoid plagiarizing materials from the Internet at all costs—most of the larger article directories and even some of the newer, smaller ones run the copy you submit through Copyscape to scan for plagiarism. Editors at article directories are constantly barraged with emails from irate authors who claim their content has been plagiarized—the usual course of action for the editors is to delete the article completely.

Article directories are very popular and are consistently gaining in popularity as well as more and more Web sites pop up on the Internet every day in hopes of making a few dollars. Articles are used by Web site owners to increase their readership; however, it is important to note that the more copies of the articles that appear on the Internet, the lower the search engine ranking can be for any particular Web site that uses it.

Content on Your Website or Blog

If you are looking to improve your rankings on the search engines then consider finding free content to add to your website. Good quality free content can help to optimize your website for search engines. Search engines are becoming more and more particular about site rankings, and looking for viable, real content. A content rich site will have a higher search engine ranking and page rank than one with minimal content. Also, your site will have more appeal to visitors and a better likelihood of providing good advertising revenue if you provide quality information and content.

Add relevant content to your site as it provides your users with interesting information and saves them leaving your site. Ample content will help ensure that your site visitors will stay, browse, and come back again and again. If you use advertising to bring in site revenue, having plenty of content will encourage your site visitors to spend more time on the site, and increase the likelihood of successful click through advertising on your site. Also, update your content frequently to help your site develop a pattern of regular repeat traffic.

Larger sites provide more instances of keyword rich phrases for visitors to come across whilst browsing than smaller sites. Good keyword saturation is another important search engine optimization tool. When search engines spider sites, they read keywords, and the more your desired keywords appear in your site, the better your overall search engine rankings. Think carefully about your desired keywords and work your site to optimize those words. While keyword rich text is a helpful search engine optimization tool, it is also critical that you make your content interesting, readable, and useful to your site visitors.

There are plenty of sites which offer free to re-use content such as Ezine articles and Article Alley. When searching out content for your site, look carefully at any requirements for use, and be certain that your site meets those requirements. Copyright infringement is a significant issue in the online community, and designing your site to respect international copyrights is critical. Content is free to use provided a link back is offered in return on many sites, and these sites are an excellent resource for any web site owner. Do read the articles you choose to add to your site, and see that they meet your needs, both in terms of content and keywords.

Alternatively you might add an RSS feed reader to your site and utilise a RSS feed. An RSS feed, which stands for “really simple syndication” or “rich site summary”, depending upon the version allows you to publish up to date new information easily. This automated technology can make adding fresh new content to your site an effortless process. A number of web based newsreader interfaces can be integrated into your site to allow your visitors easy access to new and up to date content on a regular basis.

Provided the content you add closely matches the theme of your page then you should see a benefit. Avoid adding content that is not relevant to your site, and consider choosing content for your site that matches your desired keywords for ideal search engine optimization. Always consider the value of the content to your customers and visitors rather than adding for the sake of it. A site that appeals to a human visitor, offers ample and useful content, and is a product of thought and hard work will appeal to search engines as well. Your efforts will be rewarded with a good search engine ranking and good publicity for your new site.

Article writing on the net

Writing articles should be about something you know and can talk about, that is why if you own a website, you probably are knowledgeable about the topics and themes of your websites. When writing your articles, you will not have a hard time because you already know the material well. Making your articles creative and interesting is the important part.

To ensure that your articles get read and enjoyed, these read hot tips should be followed to make your articles readable and interesting.

a) Using short paragraphs. When the paragraphs are very long, the words get jumbled in the mind of the reader just looking at it It can get quite confusing and too much of a hard work to read. The reader will just quickly disregard the paragraph and move on to much easier reading articles that are good to look at as well as read. Paragraphs can be a single sentence, sometimes even a single word!

b) Using bullets or numbers to stress points. As each point is stressed out, numbers and bullets can quickly make the point easy to remember and digest. As each point, tip, guide or method is started with a bullet or point, readers will know that this is where the tips start and getting stressed. Format you bullets and numbers with indentations so that your article will not look like a single block of square paragraphs. Add a little bit of flair and pizzazz to your articles shape.

c) Using sub headings to divide your paragraphs in the webpage. Doing this will break each point into sections but still would be incorporated into one whole article. It would also be easy for the reader to move on from one point to another; the transition would be smooth and easy. You will never lose your readers attention as well as the point and direction to where the article is pointing.

d) Write a good attention grabbing header or title. If your title can entice a person’s curiosity you are already halfway in getting a person to read your article. Use statements and questions that use keywords people are looking for. Provide titles or headers that describe your articles content but should also be short and concise.

e) Keep their interest from the beginning to the end of the article. From your opening paragraph, use real life situations that can be adopted by the reader. Use good descriptions and metaphors to drive in your point, just don’t over do it. Driving your examples with graphic metaphors and similes would make it easy for them to imagine what you are talking about. Making the experience pleasurable and enjoyable for them.

f) Use figures when possible and not just ordinary and insipid statements. Using specific facts and figures can heighten your article because it makes it authoritative. But do not make it too formal, it should be light and easy in them and flow.

With these red hot article writing tips your articles should make your articles readable and interesting.

Internet Paid Surveys

Some internet survey companies are specialists in certain product and industry segments. So that means that unless you are an expert or at least know something about the products, taking internet paid surveys from this companies can require quite a bit of time and effort out of you. Do not waste time when you realize that and move on to another survey that you are more familiar with. Play on your strengths and knowledge and not where your weaknesses and lack of knowledge are. Also, go with those market research companies that offer general paid surveys.

Do not reject internet surveys that reward you with credits. Depending on the credit worth, some are actually easily redeemable for cash upon accumulation. This is just one way adopted by some survey companies to ensure that their survey takers are serious to take internet paid surveys on a long-term basis.

Internet paid surveys can make you real money if you pick up and apply this tip that is to register with as many paid survey companies as possible. You see, a lot of survey takers have this misconception that each individual company has a constant stream of paid surveys for their survey takers to do. But this is not true. Market research companies come in different sizes and smaller ones may not have as many as the big-timers. At the same time, these big timers may also be selective of survey candidates. But you would be glad and assured to know that signing up with the whole batch of survey companies you can find would put you way ahead of others. There are many paid surveys going around and the pie is huge, but it is important that you position yourself ready.

You can start searching for internet surveys companies through the search engines and perform a trial and error to sieve out the good ones, or you can visit my survey blog to get a list of survey companies ready to pay you for internet paid surveys.

Succeed in Affiliate Marketing

Just what are the things needed to be able to succeed in affiliate marketing? What must one have within himself to be able to do well in this industry? There is a lot of competition involved in affiliate marketing, and to be able to rise above the norm, one must be equipped with just the right stuff necessary to propel him forward. There are five things one must ultimately possess if he wants to achieve the glory he is yearning for in this business, and these five things are a must for him to possess to be able to stand out among the rest.

The very first quality one must possess if he wants to try his hand in affiliate marketing is the willingness to learn and be trained. Treading through unfamiliar territory is scary stuff if one is not properly equipped, and he might get lost amidst a jungle of the unknown. Learning the tricks of the trade is also an important aspect of the game, and one’s willingness to know it all will give him far better advantages in the business than he could ever imagine.

The second quality one must possess is the willingness to invest time and effort even if direct results do not seem at all apparent. Although several months may pass without good news, it is important for one who has his foot in the industry to hold on and wait. It is this quality which would save him from giving up after investing a lot of himself in the business.

The third quality one must possess is self-determination. If one wants to conquer the affiliate marketing world, he must have the ability to push himself ahead. Never having to say die is a quality each and every affiliate marketer should possess, and the ability to motivate oneself into scaling greater heights is an ability which would actually take an affiliate marketer there.

The fourth quality one must possess is discipline. If one knows how to teach himself to work everyday with all the energy he can muster, then he is close to achieving what he has set his heart to having in the first place.

The fifth and last quality one must possess is optimism. Negative attitudes and hearsays should not discourage an affiliate marketer from pursuing what he has to in order to make life better for himself and for everyone concerned. Neither should anyone influence his attitude toward the business, because once in it, it is a must for him to be the captain of his ship and the master of his soul.

The ingredients to success in a business such as affiliate marketing are diverse and manifold, but the most important thing one needs to be able to make it big lies in himself alone. It is he who has the capacity to do everything to be able to realize his prospects, and the desire which fuels his heart in doing so is the gasoline which should keep the engine going.

Affiliate marketing is all about putting one’s fate into his own hands. The right attitude is the key to being able to steer one’s ship into that part of the ocean where a certain kind of serenity can be found, one that permeates the atmosphere as the ship sails calmly on.

As a freelancer showcase your expertise

A blog is the perfect venue to showcase your expertise. Sure, a resume and a portfolio of past works are also important, but a blog can give you an edge over the competition.

Clients will be impressed if they see that you are able to produce quality work. But they will be even more impressed if they see that you actually teach other people how to do so, too.

Lets take a look at the Search Engine Optimization market, for instance. There are literally thousands of SEO consultants on the Internet. The vast majority have a website outlining the offered services. A few of them, however, have blogs where they share SEO principles, tactics and techniques.

The blogs that contain the most accurate and useful information end up becoming “authorities” of the niche.

As a freelancer grow your network

There is an old business saying that goes like this: “It is not about what you know but who you know.” As a freelancer, this is particularly true. The difference between getting big projects knocking at your door and having to hunt down for cents here and there might come from your network.

Ideally you want to have as many people as possible aware of your work. Better yet, you want this people to endorse your work and refer it to their friends.

What a better tool for that purpose than a blog? Some time ago websites would communicate unilaterally. The website owner would publish some information and the visitors would absorb it. That was quite unbalanced, and it was difficult for relationships to blossom along the way.

Blogs, on the other hand, have many features that make this communication bilateral. Readers are able to comment and interact directly with the author and with fellow readers. Other bloggers are also able to interact with the author, creating a vast web of relationships.

This structure makes blogs almost perfect networking tools.

Getting your blog noticed on search engines

Part of blogging for profit is making sure you show up in search engine searches. There are a number of ways to make that happen. Some are simple and obvious, while others take a little know-how. So what should you do to get your blog blasted through the internet? Here are a few tips that may be able to help you show up higher on search engines and thus generate more traffic. You know what more traffic means, right? It means a better chance at making an extra buck with your blog.

First of all, as much as it may seem like a hassle, you need to do your own marketing. When you generate more traffic on your own, the search engines start to notice and your ranking will improve. The first thing you should do is get your blog registered everywhere you can register it. Go to all of the lesser search engines as well as the more popular ones and register the site everywhere you can. In addition, register with all of the blog directories you can find out there. You can barely log onto the internet without bumping into a blog directory. So, with that in mind, make sure that all of those have your blog in them so that those searching blogs will have a better chance of finding yours. Remember, this is about getting traffic and getting a search engine ranking. You can do neither if nobody knows you are out there in the first place.

It gets said over and over again regarding blogs, but make sure your content is high quality. That quality comes from writing in proper style. You should make sure your sentences are complete, when capitalization is needed make sure you do it, put your commas in the right place, and use periods. In addition, make sure you are putting interesting and useful information out there so that you will get as many return visitors as possible to your website. In addition to getting people to look at what you are saying, you want to get them coming back. If you want that search engine ranking, then you need to keep the hits to your site coming and coming often.

Another seemingly obvious thing you can do to drive up traffic and thus your search ranking is to update regularly. Make sure your blog is something you are caring for regularly, like you would anything else. People will come back if they know that new and fresh content could possibly be there. You should be posting at least once a day if not twice to ensure that new visitors are getting good content and that returning readers are seeing something fresh that makes them want to stay. Again, get those visits up and the search engine rankings will come right along with them.

You also want to make sure that when people log onto a search engine seeking out information that they find you as often as possible. To do that, you should make sure that many of your posts are search engine optimized. Have certain keywords and keyword phrases in mind as you start each post. When you go to revise, then, make sure they are appearing early in your post with frequency, and then sporadically throughout the rest of the post. This is an important move since most people on the internet find their information through the use of search engines. If you have specific phrases they are looking for then you are more likely to get more hits from those seeking information on the subjects about which you are writing.

If you are going to blog for profit, then it is crucial to get traffic to your site. To get traffic to your site you want to rank as highly as possible in search engines. There are a number of ways to get your ranking up, but it does require your dedication and work. First of all, make sure you do your own marketing. In one of those cruel twists of irony, the best way to get your traffic up is by getting your ranking higher and to get your ranking higher you need to get your traffic up. So register with blog directories and search engines, update your blog regularly, publish good clean content, and optimize your information with keywords and keyword phrases whenever possible without hurting the quality of your posts. Get that traffic up, market your site, and follow the simple tips above and you can blast the internet with your blog.

Earn Money From Your Own Blog

Moving on to the question of promoting your blog, it is worth noting that blogs are better indexed by search engines than ordinary web sites due to the specifics of the algorithm used in blogs. For instance, a new article in a well-promoted blog may appear on the search engine results page already on the following day. Of course, this requires registration in special catalogs devoted to blogs, which is what you will do next. Another way is to publish articles with a link to your blog. There are also services meant for just this purpose.

But most importantly, a search engine needs external links to your blog from other web sites. These should be good links generating heavy traffic. What does it mean? It means that ideally the link should be on the web site's main page. What's more, this page should have a PR rating of at least 4 (PR or Google Page Rank reflects the significance of any particular web page). Five or six such links will do more than hundreds of other ordinary links. How can you get such links? There are also various options. For instance, you can find a resource thematically related to your blog and offer its owners to reciprocate links. Finally, you can buy such links. The higher the web site's PR rating, the more such links will cost you.

Now let's move on to the question of how you can earn money from your own blog. The scheme is quite simple: traffic is converted into money. Your income increases proportionately with the traffic volume. One way to earn from a blog is to place ads, which is done most often through google adwords. Another way is to participate in partnership programs associated with the subject of your blog. So if your blog is devoted to dogs, you should advertise flea control products and other dog-related merchandise. A third way is to sell your own merchandise or services. Of course, you can combine several ways of generating income in a single blog. Last but not least, remember that strength is in numbers, which is why it's a good idea to maintain several resources at the same time.

Effective Blogger

Even though all of us have ideas we would like to share, most people, for one reason or another, never find an opportunity to do so. Perhaps it's that, with out busy lives, we have no way to find those with whom we could begin a meaningful dialogue.

One way in which many, in the past, kept a permanent record of their thoughts, was through their writing. Diaries and journals have always been popular, especially among those who are reluctant to communicate through the spoken word.

Writing offers people a chance to express their most private thoughts, either keeping them private, or publishing them through various venues. Magazine, newspaper, and, of course, book publishers, have traditionally looked for material from private individuals. They may have different agendas for the materials they choose to present, but they are all in the business of keeping the public informed.

But now that the Internet has become the primary source of information in the Information Age, we have a way, through blogging, of communicating our thoughts more quickly, and to a wider audience, than ever before.

Blogs are Internet websites which allow people to publish their ideas. Blogs are available to anyone who has Internet access and a keyboard with which to communicate, and are often free to use.

Blogs get their name from the term "weblogs", and those who either begin, or maintain a blog, or add content to someone else's blog are "blogging". The articles in a blog are "posts", or "entries", and those who provide them are "bloggers".

The power of blogs, as a means of mass communication, should not be underestimated. Political candidates have found them extremely useful as campaigning tools; corporations use them as a way to judge public attitudes towards their behavior and products; and blogs can even give people a "gathering place" to develop the ideas capable of overthrowing governments and changing history.

If you would like to start your own blog, and want to get your ideas before a worldwide audience in very little time, here are some suggestions to get you on your way:

1. Run a search for "blog sites". There are lots of them available; some are free and some will charge you, usually by the month. They all offer different features, so you should look over a selection before deciding which blog site is best for you.

2. You will be able to keep your blog entirely private, allow just close friends and family to view it, or open it to the world. If you just want your blog to substitute for a diary, you may decide to keep it private. If you want it as a repository for your family's memories, you allow them access to share their activities or add photographs. And if you want it to be a soapbox for your ideas, you can make it public. You'll be able, on lots of sites, to password-protect the material in your blog so that only people to whom you give permission can view it.

3. You'll be able to decide on a colors scheme and layout for your blog. Even if you've never set up a website before, most blog sites have templates for page layouts and colors from which you can choose. If you are more experienced, you may be able to design your own.

4. When you've selected your layout, post some thoughts to your blog to see if you like the results. If not, tinker with it until you are satisfied. Depending on the number of features your blog site offers, you can create some very sophisticated effects.

5. When you are satisfied with your blog's appearance, you can send its URL--Internet address--to the people with whom you want to share your thoughts. If you have a website, you can post your blog's address there. You might also, if it's allowed, add your blog's address to posts you make in other blogs.

6. Keep your blog postings as professional as possible. Use your spell checker and give your readers interesting material to consider. There are thousands and thousands of blogs out there, so you need to provide people with reasons to come back to yours.

7. Avoid slang, and Internet abbreviations like "LOL" and "ROTFL" as much as possible. Many people do not know what those things mean and will not waste time trying to decipher them.

8. Regularly supply your blog with fresh ideas. Decide what reader base you are trying to attract, and provide them with things that will maintain their interest. You'll find yourself much more enthusiastic about writing when you know there is someone interested in what you have to say.

And, as mentioned previously, the sheer number of existing blogs may mean that it will take the Internet world some time to find yours. Don't get discouraged. Quality will tell.

Successful blogging requires both commitment and passion. You will have a golden opportunity, through your blog, to express your unique voice to the rest of the world. Let that voice sound loud and clear, and you will be heard!