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PostHeaderIcon Hostgator Web Hosting Company A Review By A Long Term Customer

A few years back I was involved in making websites for people who wanted instant Adsense sites to earn money online. The guy I was working with mentioned his web host (Hostgator) and that they could handle internet marketers websites and reseller hosting. I wasn’t sure as I’d had several hosts and although I was paying a bit more for my webhosting at the time they had been reliable. But as we had customers asking if we could offer hosting for the sites we were selling I bit the bullet and signed up for a Hostgator Reseller account.

I moved a few of my own sites there too, and found the uptime to be better than my previous hosts. Also the features on the account were much better than I’d been used to, but with webhosting that’s not the whole story. I had a few monthly hosting clients and no complaints about the loading times of sites from them, and when I looked at my own sites or added to them it was always smooth and quick.

Then one of my sites got hacked, and the hackers used it to send thousands of spam emails. I had moved hosts twice before because of this happening with dodgy scripts I used leaving backdoors open to hacking, and feared the worst from Hostgator. The site had been disabled by Hostgator and I had an email telling me so, I had to contact them. I used the Hostgator contact form and within an hour had contact from them. Within another hour the site was back up and running with the hostgator techs taking my word for it that I hadn’t sent the spam, easy as that.

I have since used the technical support at Hostgator on several occasions and they have always responded quickly and positively even when it’s my own stupid fault I let something go wrong. They understand the internet marketer and human failability. Each and every time I have lost my password, or had a site down they have helped quickly and efficiently, so top marks for customer service.

The reseller side of the hosting package is also simple to use (Web Host Manager and Cpanel) to add more domains and assign bandwidth and webspace to each site or setup pre-defined packages with limits in place. If a site is running low on space it’s a simple matter to allocate more to it with a few clicks. Even I can use the features there, those I understand anyway as there’s more functionality than I have ever needed.

I have only had one time in several years as a Hostgator customer that I would consider a slight problem. They were doing some server upgrades, and the process slowed all of my sites for a period over a few days. Their support team explained what was going on when I contacted them, and to be honest it was an inconvenience rather than a disaster, and it’s been just that once that anything has gone wrong on their end as opposed to several on mine they have had to help me with.

So to sum it all up, if you want a reliable webhost which understands the needs of internet marketers there are lots of reasons to choose Hostgator to host your sites. With excellent uptime, good fast connectivity and all the features you need on a range of affordable web hosting plans along with the best customer support I have ever come across Hostgator should definitely be near the top of your list.

Visit Hostgator now to find out more.

PostHeaderIcon WP Simplicity: A review

WP Simplicity: A review

Wordpress plugin WP SimplicityWhen I saw WP Simplicity advertised, I was very sceptical. The claims being made make it seem like the answer to every marketers prayers. When something gets as much hype as WP Simplicity did I usually find its actual value is inversely proportional to the claims. I resisted buying it for a while until somebody I trusted put it in a more believable light.

When I had downloaded it, installing WP Simplicity was as easy as installing any other Wordpress plugin, that is upload and activate. There are actually two plugins, the main one which helps set up blogs quickly, and the secondary plugin which makes adding content to almost any wordpress blog just a few clicks.

We’ll start with the main plugin, which contains a plugin selector for over 100 of the most useful Wordpress plugins. Some didn’t work, but that was due to the plugins themselves rather than WP Simplicity. Select as many plugins as you want from the list and install them, ideal for setting up multiple niche blogs quickly. In addition, the WP Simplicity plugin can instantly install a “Privacy Policy” page, “About” page “Contact” page and a sitemap. The only problem I encountered with these was that the sitemap required a particular plugin, which was one of those which wouldn’t install automatically from the Simplicity menu. Manual install allowed the page to be created.

So having setup several plugins, and all the necessary pages for my blog in just a few minutes, it was time to see what else the WP Simplicity plugin can do. There is a section to add any plugins you use which Simplicity didn’t contain, but I found that the functionality I need in a blog all came from the plugins supplied. Next it was time to test the addition of content using WP Simplicity.

Being a smartarse, I never read instruction manuals, and that made WP Simplicity’s content add-in (WP Simplicity Add Post) seem more difficult than it actually is, more on this later. Some basic setup is required first, inputting Clickbank I.D. and a few other bits of information which you discover is actually making life easy later. When you go to write a post you are given an extra search bar, and some radio button choices, these all ow you to search for content in the form of articles, news, Clickbank or Amazon products by keyword. Use the radio button to search for an article, and this was where I complicated things when I clicked the link and then copied and pasted the article. No need, there is a preview article link which loads the article in the preview box, and gives the option to insert it immediately.

Having added an article as content, you can search for affiliate products in Ebay, Amazon or Clickbank to add to the article all at the click of a few buttons. Adding content never was this simple, and adding potential money pullers at the same time is icing on a delicious cake.

Now onto the drawbacks, of which there are few. Firstly as I pointed out earlier, some of the plugins don’t work and one of the non working plugins being one of those required to make something else work in the WP Simplicity plugin did take off a little of the sheen. There is also a long loading time for the list of all the plugins to load before you can select them, although this is minor irritation and maybe better on a different webhost. Additionally the amount of plugins can be daunting unless you know which ones you want already.

The verdict, WP Simplicity is a very useful tool for the affiliate, Adsense or online marketing blogger to set up Wordpress blogs quickly with almost instant plugin installation of a lot of useful gadgets. The addition of the pages to make Privacy policies etc. instantly is a real timesaver. The addition of the Add post widget and its ease of use makes this a must have for me now. Once I’d installed it on one blog, I started installing it on all of them and looking at what other niche blogs I have products and links to produce using this swiss army knife of a blog tool.


Find out more about WP Simplicity and pricing at this link

PostHeaderIcon Multiply Your Profits With A Social Network Website of Your Own

There are many, many unique social networking sites online and there is still scope for more. With the proper social networking script, any webmaster can build their own niche social network website and raise their profits substantially by doing so. Social networking sites are exceedingly prevalent and because there is an endless supply of interests and niches there is further room available to new social sites for people to speak with other people who share the same interests.

Regardless of what nature of social networking site you plan to create, the first thing you will require is a decent social networking script. With a social networking script it will contain all of the code that is needed to create a networking website. Once you have installed the script you then modify it with the template you would enjoy and then populate it with content.

There are quite a quantity of different social networking scripts available ranging from free of charge options to commercial solutions. Dolphin and PHPizabi are some of the free options that are to be had. There are other commercial options which you will need to pay for either as a onetime payment or as an annual subscription.

If you make a decision to purchase a social networking script then you need to take the time and do your research before you purchase as you don’t want to waste funds on a script only to discover that it doesn’t do what you want it to. A good vendor will have all the features and benefits listed on their sales page but it is at all times advisable to do supplementary research to make certain they deliver everything that they state. It is also good to read unbiased reviews to know if other buyers have been pleased when using the script themselves. When you do research on a few different social networking scripts then you will soon start to identify what features each script offers and you will before long be able to work out which script is the appropriate one for your requirements.

When you have successfully installed your social networking script and have your networking site up and running you then need to begin to populate the website. You need to customize your social networking website to have it set up with the information and contents that you want possible members to see and enjoy.

You can customize your social networking website with text, links, videos, photos, images and the more content you add to your site the more members you will start to see. As more and more people join your networking site they will begin to invite their friends and family and soon your membership will multiply.

A good social networking website all begins with a good social networking script, so do your research and choose sensibly before jumping in and purchasing. If you make a good pick in the beginning then you can enjoy the profits from your website for a prolonged time.

All you need to know about Social Network Marketing

All you need to know about Social Network Marketing

PostHeaderIcon Word Press Sales Automator – A Review

I have been searching for a Wordpress plugin to make adding products with a buy button easier. I recently tried several programs and to be honest was getting to the point of giving up. The last one I tried was so close to working and the support team were brilliant but never quite got the buy it button through to the end delivery of the digital download.

It took days of wasted effort, and I was consigned to just making payment buttons through Paypal manually. I mean who has time for messing with supposedly easy plugins which don’t work out of the box? You need to be able to start selling almost as soon as the plugin has installed right?

While looking at some items in my inbox I noticed a link to a Wordpress plugin which promised easy set up with digital sales and memberships catered for in the core download, and add ons for much more. It wasn’t a free plugin but the cost was minimal for the basic sales button and delivery part of it so I shelled out the cash. Immediately I had the download and installed the plugin. That was as simple as any, so it was onto the setting up.

Setting up Wordpress Sales Automator was easy enough except for removing all the extra bits and changing a few settings in Paypal which were done for other plugins which hadn’t worked. Once I had IPN enabled and the appropriate email address for my Paypal account in the right box in the plugin there were just a couple of  urls’ to sort ou which involved making a generic “Thankyou” page and “download” page with a small inserted piece of code on each which would work for all the products (No need for seperate thankyou/download pages for each product).

Then setting up a product was as easy as uploading it and setting the price etc. in the form inside the Wordpress Dashboard for the WPSalesAutomator Plugin and took literally just over a minute including small file upload.  Obviously larger uploads will take longer but you can do it all from the one form quickly and easily. Copy and paste (or write) your sales page and again add a small code you get from the product listing in the dashboard to the bottom and you’re done. Time to test….

My first test worked flawlessly, straight to the download page after purchase, and a nicely formatted thank you email with a link to the product download in my email box shortly afterwards too. All very nice and simple. I’ve got to say my experience has been very positive so far, and I will be adding it to other blogs. I also like that you can add other modules such as Affiliate sales later (you can get your own army of affiliates selling for you all run from your own server) and I will be testing them out as it becomes neccessary. The only drawback I can see at the moment is that it may not work yet with the latest version of Wordpress (3.2) at this time but it works fine in 3.14 and lower according to the forum for the Plugin, although that is being addressed.

The verdict then is if you need a simple to install, simple to setup and use automated sales system on your Wordpress blog then WPSalesAutomator works out of the box.  Click the image below for more information and purchase details..

wp-sales-automator-banner

PostHeaderIcon Using Message Boards for Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is a very wide term which can be used to encompass a variety of marketing techniques which are used online. Banner advertisements, website promotion, search engine optimization, email marketing and affiliate marketing all fall under the umbrella of the term Internet marketing but there is even more to Internet marketing than those concepts. Promoting your website or business on message boards can also be considered to be Internet marketing. In fact this is one of the simplest and least expensive Internet marketing options available. This article will examine how savvy business owners can use Internet message boards wisely. It will also explain how message boards can be misused and rendered ineffective as well.

Message boards are essentially online meeting places. In general most message boards are focused on a particular niche subject and encourage those who share an interest in this particular subject to get together to discuss relevant issues, ask questions, provide advice and even just socialize. Message boards can focus on any subject imaginable they may focus on a particular baseball team or just the sport of baseball in general. Message boards can focus on subjects such as politics, television shows, bands, current events, jobs, hobbies or any subject imaginable. Savvy Internet marketers can take advantage of these message boards to reach a target audience without investing a great deal of money.

Consider a business in which the focus of the business is to assist people in finding jobs which offer telecommute options. The concept of working from home is becoming increasingly popular and there are many websites which focus on this subject. Likewise there are also many message boards devoted to the topic of working from home. Here those with an interest in the subject meet to discuss issues such as finding employment where working from home is an option, working around the schedule of your children, setting up a home office, dealing with friends or family members who don’t respect your working hours and paying taxes on freelance assignments. A business owner who actively participates in this message board can take the opportunity to post a link to his website when it is relevant and offers something of value to the conversation. This is worthwhile because the message board features a high concentration of your target audience members.

When using message boards to promote your business, it is important to ensure you are following the rules associated with the message boards. Message boards may have restrictions regarding the posting of links and failure to abide by these restrictions may result in you being banned from the message board. For this reason it is important for anyone who is interested in using message boards for promotion of their business to carefully read the user agreement to ensure they are not violating any of the rules. It is also important to simply use common sense when promoting your business on a message board. Just because the rules do not restrict posting links, does not mean you should spam the board with your link. Take care to only include y our link when it is relevant. This will prevent message board users from assuming your link is just worthless spam.

Finally, when using message boards to promote your business it is important to be courteous to other message board users and to keep all posts professional. This is important because you and your business are much more likely to be taken seriously if you act professionally and responsibly. You should maintain this degree of professionalism even in posts which do not include your business link. This is important because other message board participants will remember you by your user name and will not be likely to take you seriously if you have previously made posts which were offensive, mean spirited or inaccurate. For this reason it is important to act as a representative from your company at all times.

PostHeaderIcon Alternative Payment Options – More Choice Equals More Sales?

If you’re doing any sort of business online which involves accepting payments for your goods or services, then you should already have considered the alternatives. Most online marketers use Paypal, as most of our customers can use it to make payments, and we can accept credit cards, e-cheques and straight Paypal transfers without the expense of having our own merchant accounts.

But there are alternatives to Paypal, and choice is a good thing where customers are concerned. For starters Paypal is still not available everywhere in the world, and some people still won’t use it even where it is. Offering an alternative payment option will obviously allow many more of your potential customers to buy from you when Paypal isn’t an option.

So what are the alternative payment choices?

Obviously you could get your own merchant account and process credit and debit cards for yourself, this would involve contacting a bank, and arranging the services with them, as long as your software can integrate with their systems. Another alternative for accepting payments is 2Checkout (http://www.2checkout.com ) they do charge a fee up front to join, but 2checkout is widely supported in shopping cart software. With 2 checkout you can accept cheques, credit and debit cards, and in addition they now offer affiliate facilities so you can sell your products and services through an affiliate network.

Another widely used online payment option is Clickbank, who accept payments from many different sources on your behalf. Again there is a small fee to set up a vendor account at Clickbank, and there are limits on maximum prices (you can request higher maximum limits, and they are quick to respond to requests). Another plus for Clickbank, is that they have lots of affiliates using their system, and if you offer a good quality product many of them may begin promoting it for the commissions you set when you add your product. A negative on Clickbank’s scoresheet, is that you can only sell one product from the account without using a script to redirect to others, although there are scripts available to do this and Clickbank does allow quite a lot of products on an account but only one salespage.

There is another alternative payment option which we just discovered, and which may help you to make more sales with an innovative way of giving everyone a win win deal. It’s called TrialPay and it’s ingenious in the way it works. As a merchant you can now offer your products for free, but still get paid. As a customer, your purchasers now needn’t spend money they don’t want to on your products, but still get them. TrialPay uses a system whereby their partners are offering incentives to gain customers or even visitors to their sites. Trialpay offers to pay you some of that money (up to the value of your products or sometimes even more) when you send your customers to sign up for free offers in return for receiving your products for free.

In simple terms, you get paid, TrialPay get their clients some extra visitors or signups, and your customer gets the product they wanted without paying anything for it. As a payment option TrialPay is truly win win win for everybody. We are currently trying it out at http://www.thediscountebookstore.com on several of our top selling products to see how it works out, see the TrialPay buttons for these products Niche Marketing Profits and Follow-Up Email Creator Pro and try it out to get those products for free from us and TrialPay.

Then checkout if Trial Pay can work for you as a payment option by using the button below to sign up for your free merchant account

TrialPay Referral Program

PostHeaderIcon Reducing Load Time Through Image Optimisation

Even though more and more Internet users switch to broadband every year, a large portion of the web’s population is still running on good old dialup connections. It is therefore unwise to count them out of the equation when you’re designing your website, and a very major consideration we have to make for dialup users is the loading time of your website.

Generally, all the text on your website will be loaded in a very short time even on a dialup connection. The culprit of slow-loading sites is mainly large images on your website, and it is very important to strike a delicate balance between using just enough images to attract your users and not to bog down the overall loading time of your site.

You should also go to a greater length and optimize every image on your site to make sure it loads in the least time possible. What I really mean is to use image editing software to remove unnecessary information on your images, and thereby effectively reducing the file size of your image without affecting its appearance.

If you own Photoshop, it will be obvious to you that when you save an image as a JPEG file, a dialog box appears and lets you choose the “quality” of the JPEG image — normally a setting of 8 to 10 is good enough as it will preserve the quality of your image while saving it at a small file size. If you do not have Photoshop, there are many free image compressors online that you can download and use to reduce your image’s file size.

On the other hand, you can opt to save your images in PNG format to get the best quality at the least file size. You can also save your images in GIF format — the image editing software clips away all the color information not used in your image, hence giving you the smallest file size possible. However, saving in GIF format will often compromise the appearance of your image, so make your choice wisely!

PostHeaderIcon 5 Important Rules in Website Design

When it comes to your website, extra attention should be paid to every minute detail to make sure it performs optimally to serve its purpose. Here are seven important rules of thumb to observe to make sure your website performs well.

1) Do not use splash pages as your entry page.

Splash pages are the first pages you see when you arrive at a website. They normally have a very beautiful image with words like “welcome” or “click here to enter”. In fact, they are just that — pretty vases with no real purpose. Do not let your visitors have a reason to click on the “back” button! Give them the value of your site up front without the splash page. A splash page can be used as a lead generator for collecting email addresses for your newsletter.

2) Do not use excessive banner advertisements

Even the least net savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner advertisements so you will be wasting valuable website real estate. Instead, provide more valueable content and weave relevant affiliate links into your content, and let your visitors feel that they want to buy instead of being pushed to buy.

3) Have a simple and clear navigation

You have to provide a simple and very straightforward navigation menu so that even a young child will know how to use it. Stay away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If your visitors don’t know how to navigate, they will leave your site.

4) Have a clear indication of where the user is

When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your site, you will want to make sure they know which part of the site they are in at that moment. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily. Don’t confuse your visitors because confusion means “abandon ship”!

5) Avoid using audio on your site

If your visitor is going to stay a long time at your site, reading your content, you will want to make sure they’re not annoyed by some audio looping on and on on your website. If you insist on adding audio, make sure they have some control over it — volume or muting controls would work fine.

PostHeaderIcon Should You Blog For Business?

Before you jump on the bandwagon and start your own blog, you should understand what a blog entails.  Otherwise, you will begin writing and then lose interest.  If you stop blogging, then everything you have done up to that point will have been worth little.

How can you determine if a blog will actually benefit your business?  You need to know why people start blogs in the first place.  You also need to know how to find the right topic for you and how to find tools that will help your become an efficient, successful
blogger.

Articles and content are important for attracting and maintaining your client list.  This content can be provided in a variety of forms, and blog is one of the most popular today.  You can use your blog to connect your business to your readers in hopes of drawing potential customers to your site.

You need to decide how you want to approach your blog.  While it can be fun and therapeutic to talk about your life, it will not necessarily attract many readers unless you are a celebrity.  Most people these days want people to give them advice on how to become successful or they want information on a certain product or area of interest.  most  readers do not want to read an advertisement that is wrapped up in uninteresting content.  Instead, they need to see how the site owner can relate the product to real life.

Before you start a blog you should ask yourself a few questions.  Do you really have something to say?  Do you have the time to devote to updating your blog regularly?  Can you provide information that would be relevant and important to someone else?  How
will you use the blog to attract new visitors to your site?

One of the most important of those questions is whether you will have the time to write in your blog regularly.  You should be able to add something almost every day, with a minimum of five times a week.  Most of the blogs that show up in search engines actually
have multiple posts a day.  You can read other blogs on similar topics and post a response to those blogs.  It is actually a common practice among bloggers.  Cross-blog discussions give new readers a reason to check out your blog if you post about a blog they read regularly.

Besides that, you should consider the amount of website traffic you generally get.  If you
have very little traffic, it will take more work to get your blog up and going and successful.  However, if you already have a lot of visitors to your site, then your blog will
be more likely to catch on quickly.  Just realize that you may not become an overnight success, but hard work will pay off in the end.

Your main goal with a commercial website is to gain profit.  The way to do that is to attract as many people as possible to your website and to maintain that client list by enticing them to come back again and again.  A blog is not for everyone or for every business, but it may be exactly what you need!

PostHeaderIcon Book Review: The Adsense Code by Joel Comm

Book Review: The Adsense Code by Joel Comm

The Adsense Code begins with the basics which anyone just starting out with Adsense will find useful as a quick reference to get them up and running. As someone who has been using Adsense for a while I found this section could be skimmed, although there are some tips you may still find useful even if you have used Adsense on your sites for a while. Some of the stuff in the first few chapters will jog your memory and remind you of somethings you already know but forget to use.

After the initial setup Joel gets right on with the stuff you bought the book for, the correct way to implement Adsense for maximum profits. His tips are all backed with his real life testing and tuning, but even so he is ready to admit that there is no one size fits all when it comes to ad placement and colour usage in the adblocks, think blending in the Adsense blocks to not look like ads and you are getting close. He also reveals what Adsense blocks work best and where, as well as caveats when this advice doesn’t quite work out to be true.

After the initial setting up, and placement, The Adsense Code goes further into testing and tracking to get the maximum CTR (Click Through Rate) for your Adsense blocks. Joel mentions some of the tools he uses for tracking and gives you a more in depth knowledge of how to use the tracking Google has already given to Adsense publishers with the “Channels” you can use to track your Adsense effectiveness with. This is a useful read for anyone who wants to make the most of every block of Adsense ads.

The other parts of the book briefly (sometimes it seems a little too briefly) cover the topics of content sites, search engine optimisation and using your website stats to help you increase your traffic. The section on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) could have been a little more in depth, although this is a huge subject which deservedly has more than enough books and ebooks written about it, it could have had a little more than the 8 pages devoted to it, but then this book isn’t about getting traffic, it’s about making the most from what you already get.

In summing up, The Adsense Code by Joel Comm is an ideal book for the beginner to intermediate Adsense publisher, and will help improve their Adsense earnings. If you are already earning a living from Adsense this will offer only a little backup reference information for you. The Adsense Code covers the core subject for which it was written in great detail, in an easy to understand way without being patronising. My advice is if you are earning less than a few hundred dollars a month from Adsense but would like to do better then this is the book to buy, and keep referring back to as you improve your earnings.

The Adsense Code By Joel Comm which you can buy for yourself at http://www.cashinonline.info/recommends/theadsensecode.php