Tuesday, March 27, 2012

3 Reasons You Are Not Making Money Online

For those not making money online after investing a good amount of time and effort it can be very frustrating! It is understandable for many to feel that establishing a profitable business on the internet is more a pipe dream than a realistic goal! In many cases however your futile efforts to establish a new online business may be attributed to your own 'shortcomings' more than any factors associated with the internet environment itself!
Here are 3 areas where your own personal efforts or lack thereof may indeed keep you from establishing a profitable business on the internet!
Not Focused
You're chasing after too many opportunities and not allowing yourself time for your efforts to show results! This is a very normal occurrence for anybody who enters into the internet environment focusing more on making money without having a particular topic or niche in mind! Without having a particular interest to focus on people tend to be more tempted to chase down every opportunity they come across! On the internet you will NEVER be at a loss for new opportunities to chase after but in doing so it will get you nowhere since you're always 'starting' but never 'building' a new online business!
You Lack Motivation
Building a profitable business takes both time and effort! If you're not properly motivated you'll likely NOT invest enough of either to become successful! Another thing about working within the internet environment is that in most cases you'll be working alone so you MUST be driven! Many feel starting a new online business will be a lightning quick process where the money starts to roll in no time and this is NOT the case! Time,patience and diligence will all be required as well as an ample supply of motivation! You game?
Not Delegating Efforts Properly
You can stay extremely busy all day long however if these activities are NOT income producing you're spinning your wheels! It is important to quickly identify those activities that will yield you the greatest results towards helping you earn an income! For anybody starting a new business online there will always be a learning curve and determining what tasks and functions are the most critical to your growth should be a priority! Once you have established this you'll be better able to increase your productivity along with accelerating the process involved in developing a profitable business!
Far too many have spent hours of their time and invested considerable effort but yet are still not making money online! Although it's natural for people to blame the intensity and dynamics of the internet environment, fault can't always be found there! For anybody attempting to develop a new online business much of your success or lack thereof will be more the result of the quality and not quantity of the effort invested! The discussion above points out 3 areas of your approach involving your focus and desire that must be instilled in your efforts if you expect to build a profitable business for yourself online! Remember although the internet environment can be a tricky one to navigate, if you don't start with the proper mindset, focus and resolve, success WILL elude you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Web Site That Is Static Will Remain in the Attic

I'd think that every person who has travelled on the London Underground knows that the Maps are only a convenient representation of the lines and stations and bares small or no resemblance towards the geography that truly exists.
Mile End to Stepney Green is but a stones throw down the busy Mile End Road easily a shorter distance than back toward Bow (Mind the Gap). However the Tube Map doesn't show that! Who cares about the distance! All passengers are interested in is what station comes next and what exactly is it going to cost me? The Tube Map is really brilliant at telling them with clarity just that.
Web Site Development, believe it or not, is quite similar. The web site design shows a targeted audience with clarity a convenient representation of what they're searching for. The Tube Map developed by Harry Beck in 1931 is brilliant due to the fact clients travelling beneath ground actually do not care what the actual geography is since they can't see any landmarks at all; they go in one station and travel on to one more. So all the info they require is Beck's map. It is a single stand alone representation of all the information that they require to be able to get to their intended destination and chart their progress.
Although no physical travel is involved web surfers land in stations (sorry Sites) and what you would like them to do is decide that they 'have arrived' so they terminate their journey there due to the fact that they look and find all the required details and information and so there is no need to look elsewhere.
The world wide web is not the tiny place it was just 10 years ago, in a short space of time it has grown by a staggering amount. No one knows by really just how much but everyone would guesstimate that it is a huge growth factor.
One factor remains certain though it is a lot more important than ever that users can effortlessly locate your website (make it easy for them by doing some Search Engine Optimization), quickly find the site intriguing / appealing and 'stay put' to find out much more.
The Tube map has stayed as the way people find their way round the London Underground for a long period of time now and I am sure that there must have been many suggestions submitted to improve on the original map over the years. Recently British designer Mark Noad has redesigned Harry Beck's 1931 classic version to show the routes and distances between all London stations in a more geographically accurate way. The most important alterations include changing the original maps 45-degree angles into 30- and 60-degree ones to shorten the extremities of the lines to allow it to be more compact. [because there are now so many more lines and stations in comparison to 1931]. His suggestions are up for consideration nevertheless the original remains, well at least for the time being! The new map looks very nice but essentially keeps the concept of the original at its heart. Could it gain acceptance? The 1931 Map has certainly 'evolved' from the original work to something quite polished and stylish if we look at the latest versions that London Underground is now using. Provided it does its job I cannot see LT changing to something different.
Web Sites can be like this to, often the original purpose and layout is a great idea and function is spot on. However the modern world has an enormous rate of change and people quickly consider anything that stays the same some too long must be out of date and not worthy of their attention. The Tube Map is a great example of how something does not need changing as it was so well thought out at its conception. It remains as it was because it has a niche sort of function and its users are not as fickle as internet users.
Certainly if your Web Site is going to rise to the top and people are going to spread your message to their friends about the great site they know about then it has to appear 'fresh' every subsequent visit. So if your site functions well then no drastic great changes required but just a continuous constant development will get you rising obove your station - if you will forgive the pun!
Your Web Site represents you to the world, the world changes constantly, people don't expect things to remain the same and are 'switched off' by a site that continues to be the same. So bizarre as it sounds it ain't broke but you still have to fix it!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What You Should Do When Your Website Is Stolen

You are searching for information on your own website and start checking out the search engine results. Your website shows up in that hard fought number one spot. Congratulations. Then you notice one result a couple of spots lower than yours. In big bold print it has your website or company name. You click on it and are taken to a third party site where, much to your horror, your copyrighted page has now become part of the content of their page. Your website has been stolen.
Stolen may sound like a harsh word, after all, you can still get to your own website's URL, but your content is now available in someone else's website. You can click on your links and they all work, but their trapped within the confines of another webmaster. Even links to outside pages suddenly get owned by the evil son-of-a-bitch who doesn't mind ignoring your copyright. His website is now displaying your website in its entirety. Logos, favicons, content, web forms, database results, even your shopping cart are available to the entire world through his website. It happened to me and it can happen to you.
Unscrupulous webmasters, website owners or other third parties think nothing of violating copyright law to derive financial benefit from your work. They can argue that it is still your site, but it's just being harmlessly displayed on their website, stuck in frames. Heck, your site name may appear in the title bar, your favicon is in its rightful location and all your content is right there, it's just under control of the evil SOB I mentioned earlier. Who knows, if someone tries to login through the embedded site maybe their credentials can be captured, maybe even credit cards. It all depends on the sophistication of the evil SOBs.
Two questions you should ask yourself:
  1. Why is someone risking the penalties association with criminal copyright infringement to display my content in their website?
  2. What can I do about it?
The answer to the first question varies. The hijacker may want to grab some of your search engine juice. When it happened to us the perpetrator was listed as number 3 on the first page of search engine results on blekko.com. They got all that juice for free by stealing our content and displaying it in their page without our permission. Heck, their website has absolutely nothing to do with web security, access control lists or anything related to mine.
Perhaps the perpetrator is attempting to steal credentials and passwords.
Regardless of their motivation, your business can be affected by this type of identity theft. Yes, when your website is taken it can become confused with an entirely different brand, thus cheapening your product, your company and those who put in the hard work developing something unique.
What can I do about it?
There are several courses of action you should consider taking.
Copyright your website. While a copyright is technically no longer required to protect your content it does add extra value. The first type of copyright is the typical warning, Copyright 2012 Some owner. This is important to have displayed but it does not give you all the benefits you need. Sure, you can sue when someone infringes on this copyright, but you may find, unless you have lots of money or a lawyer in the family, you will be hard-pressed to find affordable counsel. If you really want to protect your copyright, register your entire website with the US Copyright office. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.
For cases of criminal copyright infringement you should always contact law enforcement authorities and file a report. Before you rush out and do this, let me give you a little insight. The FBI is going to want a police report before they even consider investigating. Your local police force will try to avoid creating a report for many cyber-crimes, including copyright infringement (it is a crime as well as a civil tort). Most police departments are ill-equipped to handle cyber-crimes. They lack the training and resources to adequately respond to your complaint. They are often short-staffed and the available staff specialized more on crime in the streets, burglary, assault, homicide, etc. But don't let them turn you away. Document your copyright infringement, gather screen captures and other evidence, place it in a file with any other documentation including an overview and history of the alleged crime, and deliver a copy to the police. Make them give you a report number.
Once you get your police report, you can now file a complaint with the FBI. Let me warn you in advance of two issues. I have been told firsthand by an FBI field agent that unless you are a Fortune 500 Company, the likelihood is that the FBI will not investigate your cyber-crime case. Secondly, the FBI will usually not take your report directly. Instead, they will pass you off to the Internet Crime Complaint Center to file your complaint.
When you file you should provide them with the description of the alleged crime, witness information and that all important police report.
Once you file, your complaint may be seen by certain groups to ascertain the merit and jurisdiction of the crime you are reporting. Then your report goes off to die in that great government wasteland known as bureaucracy. Hopefully it will resurrect in the hands of someone in law enforcement that can and will do something about the alleged crime. But in reality you may never know.
After you have filed your criminal reports file a DMCA copyright infringement claim with the major search engines and the ISP where the website is hosted.
When it comes to personally contacting the alleged perpetrator should you write or call? You can send a formal "cease and desist" letter asking them to stop infringing your copyrighted materials. But if you do, they may grab your content and file a copyright on it with the US Copyright office. Then turn around and file an infringement claim against you. Make sure you are protected first. If you do send a cease and desist, send it after your content is fully protected and use a professional cease and desist letter or have one drafted by an attorney. If you send it yourself do so using cheap stationery so you don't lose much money when they laugh and throw the letter away.
If you choose to call, don't. We are not lawyers, but we have one.We have him to deal with these situations.
Contact the media. If you expect the media to come riding in on white horses you are in for a big letdown. I spent a huge portion of my life as a talk radio celebrity and know how most in the media think. If it bleeds it leads is still true. If the cyber-criminal didn't shoot you or blow you up, chances are you will be ignored, unless you are in a tiny town on a very, very slow news day. The big question for the media is this: is it compelling? It's compelling to you because your company identity has been destroyed, your content was stolen and your search engine juice has dried up. But is it compelling to the general public? No, probably not. My talk show producers spent more time turning stories, guests and show ideas down than accepting great show material.
I recently shared our personal copyright infringement experience with a producer at a radio station in Phoenix; a great station and a great producer. He wasn't interested in the least. "Not compelling," he said. And he was right.
Your cyber-crime experience may only be compelling to you. But, that doesn't mean it's unimportant. In order to slow down criminals and those who think they can use your content and intellectual property without permission or payment, you must act to protect yourself. Remember, this is not a compelling problem until you personally experience cyber-crime. Chances are, those who haven't yet, probably will.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Use the Right SEO Service to Handle Negative Publicity

In the marketing world, any publicity is good publicity, but does this hold true for the online marketing world? A negative word about your product or service can cost you thousands of dollars in sales. Small businesses are especially hurt by negative reviews; sometimes the damage is so deep and irreversible that businesses are forced to shut down. To stop bad publicity, it's important that you nip it in the bud through some smart SEO service. If you are one of those suffering from bad press, here are a few things that you ought to know about Online Reputation Management, or Search Engine Reputation Management.
What is it?
Negative reviews, comments, articles, write-ups, or any content that talks bad about your product or service. Popular sites where negative reviews are posted include ripoffreport.com, scamxposer.com, and of course the Better Business Bureau. And sometimes, scammers/bad reviewers go to the extent of creating pseudo sites with names that talk bad about you. For instance, if your site is called abc.com, a site by name ihateabc.com, or abcisbad.com would be created. With Google striving to ensure that the online user is treated right, such sites naturally rise high on search engine rankings. Potential customers are sure to be curious to know about user experience, thereby ensuring that this negative word is fueled. Anyone can post a bad word about you; from a dismissed employee, to a customer who was refused a discount, a competitor, or even your ex-partner.
How do you tackle negative publicity?
Bad naming sites can be pulled down by adding content through SEO service that speaks well about you. You can begin by creating public profiles in sites such Facebook, Digg, Stumbleupon, Twitter etc. If the damage isn't deep, you can push down negative sites, merely by creating profiles in these sites. And if the bad name reviewer has established himself well, you may make as many friends as possible on these sites and get them to play an active role. The more internal links that come back to your profile, the stronger you get. This can be sustained with some unique content creation, wherein you can write articles, press releases, reviews, write-ups, etc.
Can you do it on your own?
Yes, provided you are well versed with the SEO world, and have the time to spare to do the things that I earlier mentioned. But a better idea would be to hire SEO services from an SEO company that specializes in online reputation management. Google dynamics keep on changing frequently, and it is important that you are aware of them while pushing those bad guys down.
The author of this article provides SEO service and writes regularly about the different elements in SEO service.